Hung speed dating

“I’m not putting up with his crap anymore! I’m done!” Beth yelled to the open sky as she stomped along the jeep trail.

2020.10.31 06:56 emilywinterw “I’m not putting up with his crap anymore! I’m done!” Beth yelled to the open sky as she stomped along the jeep trail.

Beth yelled to the open sky as she stomped along the jeep trail. She would keep walking for as long and far as she could. Stephen caught up to her, gently grabbing her by the forearm. Beth turned to him and saw that he was studying the dark purple bruises just below where her sweater sleeve ended. There was another on her clavicle and she hoped it was hidden from sight. Her eyes averted to the ground. She breathed shallowly and trembled as he talked.
“Where did you get these? Did he do this to you?” Stephen asked. Beth could see by the way his eyes flashed that he was infuriated but faked a calm composure, for her sake. She didn’t say anything. Stephen placed his hands on her shoulders, willing her to speak.
She looked at him and could feel tears welling up in her eyes. “I got a call this morning from Mike. He said my dad was in a bar fight last night and then disappeared. They haven’t seen him since.”
Beth pulled her sweater sleeves over her cold hands and crossed her arms. “I don’t want to go back home, at least not for a while, anyway. I don’t want to be there when he shows up.”
Beth watched Stephen as he backed up a few steps and unclenched his fists. He sighed, visibly taking in all that she had told him. “Damn. Well, I don’t blame you,” he finally said, although Beth could tell he wanted to say more.
They had been climbing up hill, and when they reached a mountain peak she was able to look back toward Durango, the small city where she grew up and where she had left the bitter atmosphere. He had another one of his episodes again, just before he had taken off for the bar, bursting through her bedroom door and began throwing pieces of furniture at her, yelling, “Stay away from me! Don’t come any closer!”
Beth shivered as she remembered every hit, every object that went sailing through the room towards her. “Dad, stop! It’s me. No one is going to hurt you. Please,” she had cried, with arms extended in front of her. After her pleading, her dad stopped, wide-eyed. She watched him as his eyes came back to the present. He bent his head over into his hands and left her room.
Beth stared blankly towards the mountainous landscape as she relived that moment. She knew her dad lived a lifetime full of trauma, but she never knew what about, since he was always so unavailable—emotionally, but often physically, too. Where was it that he went? Her poor dad. It was as if something dark overcame him and he was trapped inside, completely helpless. She could see it in his eyes, and each time it happened, he would grow worse and worse. Beth ached for the day he would receive professional help and relief—it would help give her some sort of closure before she moved out of the house. Not to mention it would take off some of the blame she felt for his behavior, for whatever reason. One day hopefully soon he would get help, and she would be there to witness it.
The voice of her friend took Beth back to the present. “Well, that’s why you have us to carry you away!” Celeste chirped, her arms extended as she hopped towards Beth, in attempt to make her smile “...into the great San Juan Mountains!” Celeste’s voice echoed amidst the gorges and snowcapped mountaintops. The beaded boho bracelets all along her arms jingled in the breeze.
It was clear that Beth’s friends had indeed taken her away from a bubble of insanity that was about to burst, and into a spacious forest. Although vast, wide, and unpredictable, she was certain there wasn’t anything worse out here than what she would face at home. Beth held the straps of her backpack and grinned back at Celeste, as a thank you.
They continued to hike up the jeep trail. “You guys still haven’t told me where we’re hiking to, yet,” she said as she turned back to look at Stephen, Celeste, and Palmer. Palmer was Celeste’s boyfriend, who was just as wild and adventurous as she was. Stephen, on the other hand, was more reserved and still somewhat of a mystery to her. He and Beth weren’t an item, or at least yet. That had been Celeste’s goal when she’d invited Stephen to join them on this unexpected venture.
“That’s because I don’t know myself,” said Celeste, brushing her hands along the tall, golden grass. “I thought it’d be fun to go where it feels good, or until we get lost.”
Stephen interjected and reassured Beth. “We won’t wander too far. Think of this weekend as sort of a refresher, a time to get away from things and think about what’s next,” he said, eyes locking with Beth’s as he walked beside her. “Don’t worry right now—just enjoy. But know that when you do go back home, I’ll be with you.” He nudged her shoulder with his and she smiled back at him, grateful for his company.
***
Later that evening, the group arrived at a spot in the woods with an opening in the tree tops, perfect for stargazing. Beth slid off her backpack and dug through it to find her fuel canister. “I’ll start dinner if you want to set up the tents,” she told the others, fishing for several bags of beef chili mac, one of her favorite trail foods.
“What? We don’t get a choice tonight?” asked Celeste, smiling.
“The chef chooses the specialty! If you don’t like it, more chili for me,” Beth said, searching for a lighter.
Palmer handed her one from his pocket. “Just admit that’s the only flavor you packed,” he said, laughing.
“Not entirely,” responded Beth, waving her wooden spoon at him. As the three conversed, Stephen turned over his pack and out came pieces of the tent. Beth watched as he reached over to pick up the stakes, his foot slipping clumsily on something slick underneath the leaves and snow. He brushed the leaves away with his hand and to her surprise, revealed a train track.
“Whoa, guys. Look. Don’t you think it’s a little odd to see train track this far out? I mean, I know where all the Durango railroads go, and this isn’t a part of it.
Palmer looked down at it. “Looks old,” he said, not appearing very interested. He walked off nearby and dumped his own backpack.
“Better not set up camp on that,” Beth said, worst case scenarios running through her mind.
“Yeah. You better train your eye to look elsewhere,” said Celeste, slapping her hand to her knee. Stephen rolled his eyes and joined Palmer. They picked up the pace to get the tent up, as the night was creeping in.

Beth found herself in a pitch-black room, with nothing but a flickering candle in front of her. As she studied it, the flame remained the same, but a puff of grayish pink smoke slowly expanded from the flame into layers of cauliflower-like shapes. The smoke grew and grew until it completely consumed her line of sight. She was engulfed by it but could feel nothing.

Suddenly she awoke to the sound of Stephen’s voice. “Beth,” he said, lightly shaking her. “Get up.”
Beth blinked and stumbled to her feet, shielding her tired eyes from a bright light approaching. “What is that?” she asked. She looked over at Celeste and Palmer, both wide-eyed and holding their spoons of chili mid-bite.
No one said a word as the incoming machine shook the earth. Its whistle vibrated through the air and through their chests, bringing a stinging chill down Beth’s spine. In complete silence, the four stood alongside each other as the monstrous train stopped in front of them. Over what seemed to be nearly a hundred feet tall, the matte-gray beast felt alive as it stopped in front of them, its mighty power pulsating through the night. The train’s ghostly, black steam clouded the air, but its blood-red undercarriage shined through.
The four stared in silence as a dark figure limped alongside the train toward them. Beth could hear the sound of a cane crushing the stone along the tracks. The figure stopped in front of them, and as the fog subsided, she could see his face. An old, decrepit man in weathered uniform held up a steel lantern with red bulbs in front of his face, examining each of her friends with a stern eye.
Palmer, Celeste, and Stephen stood wide-eyed, but Beth broke the silence. “Can we help you?” Beth looked up at the old man’s hat on his head, which read conductor.
The old man ignored her question and pulled out four pieces of wrinkled paper. His hand shook as he handed them to Beth. She looked at each one. They were passenger tickets, each sketched with the names of her friends. The final ticket had her name on it.
Beth attempted to hand them back. “This must be a mistake,” she said, waving the tickets at the old man, so that he might take them back. He gazed ahead as if he were waiting, his eyes lifeless. “Let me see those,” Celeste said, taking the tickets from Beth’s hand. Her eyes grew wide as she examined them and read aloud. “Good for one first class passage via the IRON CLAW EXPRESS for a luxurious, three-day venture to Richland Falls.”
“Where the hell is Richland Falls?” Palmer asked, glancing over Celeste’s shoulder.
Beth shrugged. “I’ve never heard of the place.”
Stephen pulled Beth to the side. “I think we should politely decline and be on our way,” he said, motioning her away from the train.
“Now hang on just a minute, “Celeste said, stepping between them. “Do you know how much these elegant trips can cost? Thousands! I think we should go,” she said, waving the tickets in their face. “Hell, look at these things. They look like they’re made of gold.”
Everyone turned to Palmer, who was making noise in the background. He was packing up all of their belongings. “I agree with Celeste. This looks sick,” he said, excited.
Beth turned her gaze back towards the old man, still in disbelief over what was happening. “Excuse me, sir, can I ask you why you stopped out here in the middle of nowhere?”
At first, she thought the old man would remain silent, but he rubbed his gray, chapped lips together and opened his mouth to speak. “The train stops where it wills.” He stood in silence for a few moments, and then turned and limped back towards where he came. The train’s engine began to shudder loudly, as if it were about to leave.
“C’mon, people! What are you waiting for?” Celeste said, pushing through Beth and Palmer, and nearly knocking them over with her overflowed backpack.
“Celeste, wait!” Beth yelled. “I don’t think we should.”
Palmer stomped behind Celeste. They were laughing as they stepped up onto the train and disappeared inside.
“What a bunch of idiots,” Stephen said. “Beth, let’s just head back. We don’t need to get into this mess.”
Beth stared at the door of the train. She felt compelled to follow Celeste and Palmer, but a part of her begged her to stay behind with Stephen. She sighed. “I can’t leave my best friend like that, Stephen.” she said. “You know those two are bound to get themselves killed without us. They’re so damn reckless.” Beth picked up her heavy pack and walked towards the train entrance, her gaze focusing down on the track. Creepy or not, this trip would be better than facing what was back at home.
Beth stepped into the main car. The first thing that caught her attention was the tall, chestnut-colored ceiling, and she looked up at it in awe. The walls were covered with beautiful dark trim and paneling, and the dusty, lowlight lanterns that hung from the ceiling gave off a rust color, like in an old road tunnel. Beth laid her pack on a wooden table that sat in between two hunter-green, upholstered chairs. She hugged herself from the stinging cold air and looked around at the emptiness. Where were the other passengers?
“Hey, Beth! Come check this out,” Celeste called from the other room, her voice echoing from down the hallway. Beth walked towards her voice but then turned around at the sound of Stephen climbing on board. He smiled at her. She smiled back, happy that he had decided to come with her. Beth turned her gaze back towards the hallway.
As she slowly started down the narrow hallway, she studied framed pictures on either side of the walls. They were all different sizes, some ghastly tall and over-the-top, others about the size of Beth’s hand. Some of the frames were light brown and rectangular, with a tin trim and gold etchings. Others were dark and oval shaped. Nonetheless, all of the black and white photos had similar, creepy faces that glared at Beth with their oddly white eyes. Must’ve been the gritty film that made their features look somewhat distorted.
Beth took a closer look at one of the photos that included a man in the distance of a bare, naked landscape and a river full of wildebeest. From what Beth could tell, the figure was holding a rifle and had his foot rested upon a large mound of some kind. She read a faded inscription on the bottom right that said Albert C., South Africa, 1920. The photo next to it was of a man in all white, leaning back in a chair with one hand in his pocket and the other gripping a stethoscope. His back sort of hunched over towards the stethoscope, like he was in pain or discomfort. The hook-shaped cane resting on his thigh helped Beth confirm that. She glanced over the other portraits of numerous women and men. Perhaps they were once financial partners or famous passengers of the railway line, Beth thought. She shrugged and continued walking toward Celeste.
“This place is huge!” Celeste said, with a rebellious tone that said she was up to no good. Beth had made her way into the next car that was brightly lit. This was clearly the observation room, with its panoramic glass windows.
Beth then found herself in the next train car, apparently where their passenger cabins were located. She looked into the first one on the right and saw Celeste making snow angels on a large bed. “Can we just live here forever, please?” she laughed.
Beth giggled and nodded in agreement, then turned her gaze towards the gold patterned ceilings and walls, admiring the detail. The room was majestic yet cozy, with little space to navigate from the bed to the mustard colored furniture, which accented the room tastefully. Beth shrugged. “I guess you were right in suggesting that we come here,” she said, almost in a whisper. Then suddenly a strange feeling made her regret what she just said.
“Of course, I’m right! I know something good when I see it.”
Beth shook her head and returned to the hallway, where she fell against the wall when the train unexpectedly lurched forward. The train whistled and the landscape outside the large, lofty windows began to shift. Beth regained her balance and checked out the second sleeping cabin on her left, and then the third. They were identical. She went to the end of the hall and tried to rattle open the door that led to the next car, but it wouldn’t budge. “Drat,” she said. There had to be twenty or more cars to this train to explore.
She turned to walk back to the common room but stopped in front of the fourth bedroom after hearing a thumping sound, like something had fallen off a shelf. This room was the one sleeping cabin she hadn’t checked, so she curiously cracked open the door and stepped in.
“Serious business going on in here!” yelled Palmer, who was apparently in the bathroom.
Beth made a face of disgust. “Too much information!” She quickly left the room and made her way back to the original observation room, where she found herself resting on a nearby couch. She laid back and looked out at the blurry passing trees, which slowly rocked her to sleep.

Beth awoke to the sound of conversation in the main parlor. It was Celeste, Palmer, and Stephen, relaxing on the hunter-green chairs and playing a game of cards. As Beth slowly made her way toward them, Palmer looked up from his hand. “Beth Charles, the sleepyhead!,” he announced, shielding his cards from Celeste’s wandering eyes.
Beth nodded and plopped down next to Stephen. “So, has anyone seen that weird old man?” she asked, pointing at one of Stephen’s cards. He laid it down on the table.
“Oddly, no. I tried knocking on the door to the engine car, but no response.” He had a concerned look on his face. “There doesn’t seem to be anyone else on this train, either. Unless they’re in the remaining cars that we don’t have access to.”
“Well they’re bound to come out here in the dining area eventually, aren’t they?” Celeste said, laying down one of her cards. “It’s only eight now. I can wait up and see if anyone shows. I’m not that tired, anyway. Palmer, will you stay with me?”
“Yeah, I can. But I don’t know how long I’ll last.” He sat down his deck of cards and stretched, reclining back. Right on cue, the overhead lights faded, and the parlor grew dark.
“What the hell?” Celeste said, scrounging around for a light.
Beth felt the lighter in her pocket, which she had been nervously playing with every now and then. Palmer had previously lent her for the campfire and boy was she happy to have it in her possession now. She lit an old lamp and suddenly Celeste’s face appeared in front of her, vibrant from the light. “I guess that signals bedtime then,” Beth said. “Celeste, are you sure you guys will be okay?”
Celeste sighed. “Yes, mom.”
Beth playfully punched Celeste’s shoulder as she walked by her. She was headed towards the sleeping car, with Stephen following behind her.
“Yeah, we’ll be just fine. If you hear any screams, they won’t be bad ones,” said Palmer. Beth shook her hands in the air. “Too much information!” she yelled but couldn’t help stifling a laugh.
Surprisingly, it was Celeste who had passed out first. Her head rested on Palmer’s shoulder as he sat up, wide awake. The train lightly vibrated and hummed as he sat in the dark blue night, with only the peeking moon to give clues of his surroundings. He felt Celeste slowly breathing as he smelled her hair. He was about to pull her closer, but the sound of a rattling doorknob down the hallway caused him to startle, and he almost woke her.
He delicately rested Celeste’s head on a chair cushion and stood up, heading towards the persistent noise. He walked down the quiet hallway, glancing to the right at the closed sleeper rooms. When he reached the door at the end of the car, the one that had been previously locked, he placed a hand on the rattling doorknob. Immediately, the movement from the other side stopped.
He slowly turned the knob and took a step into a brightly lit, golden room. His confused expression reflected back at him from an old phonograph that stood next to the door he’d entered through. It was playing old jazz music. The walls were covered with a plethora of animals, from wildebeests to impalas, with sharp, black horns that seemed to stretch eerily up towards the ceiling. Several stuffed lions stood in the corners of the car, protectively staring ahead. Obviously, these were the last expressions they ever made. A lifeless leopard laid upon a nearby couch with jaws open wide, revealing its white fangs. What surprised Palmer the most was a massive, mounted elephant’s head with tusks that outstretched towards the middle of the room. Travel bags were scattered everywhere, and there was a stench of tobacco in the air. Palmer looked towards the end of the car, where a man sat under a lamp, cleaning his rifle. He looked up, grinning strangely at Palmer.
Palmer ached to break the awkward silence. “Didn’t think there was anyone else on this train,” he said, staying backed up against the door he came in. The man continued to rub the barrel of his rifle with a dirty white cloth.
“There shouldn’t be. Considering it’s my train and I always travel from Africa alone,” he said, propping his rifle to the side of his lap, against his thigh.
Africa? Okay, this guy was clearly insane, Palmer thought. Stuffed animal trophies all over the place, loaded rifle, old timey safari attire. . . and now a train that goes to Africa. Palmer turned to leave and attempted to open the door. Locked.
He heard the man load his rifle. “Where did you come from?” the hunter asked. “Maybe you are here to steal from me, huh?”
Palmer slowly turned back towards him, holding his hands out in front of him. Before he could answer, he noticed a trap door on the ceiling. Bits of snow were blowing through the cracks. He turned his eyes back towards the hunter. “I don’t want any trouble. This conductor, he invited us aboard earlier,” Palmer said in an attempt to sound calm, but instead he nervously stuttered.
“I know a thief when I see one,” the man replied, loudly plopping his right leg onto a dusty, wooden chest. A muffled moan came from the inside, then the chest shook rapidly.
“Let me out!” a voice roared from the inside, sounding more like a monster than human.
The hunter stared ahead at Palmer and started to tap his rifle repetitively on the old, wooden floor. With each tap, an animal came alive. The two lion’s heads cracked towards Palmer in unison. They quickly transformed from preserved bodies into fully alive, hungry beasts. At the corner of his eye, Palmer saw that the leopard was now gone. In panic, he looked around the room at the horned animals on the walls as they tried to ram their way off their mounts.
He could hardly believe was he was seeing. One of the tiger heads on the wall began to squeeze itself off its wooden plate. Apparently, behind the head, somehow had been an entire body. One long leg with a paw full of sharp claws stepped out, then the other. The tiger began to squirm and push against the plaque in an attempt to pull itself free, quickly becoming successful as it tumbled to the ground, all in one piece.
Before Palmer knew it, a number of predators were slowly walking towards him, all growling loudly over the jazz music. He jumped up towards the ceiling to pull down the ladder that led to the trap door. The hunter laughed loudly and shot his rifle at the wall near Palmer, scaring him to the ground. Scrambling back up as fast as he could, Palmer was finally able to jump up on the ladder, but just before he was able to climb out onto the roof of the train car, he felt a violent pull on his ankle. He turned back and saw that the elephant’s trunk was wrapped around it, squeezing it with an almost crushing force. The elephant pulled him down several steps, but somehow Palmer managed to squish its trunk in between his foot and the iron latter step. The elephant screamed and recoiled his tusk, and Palmer was able to climb out onto the roof of the train car, slamming the door behind him.
His efforts were in vain, however, as the lions crashed through it. They had climbed up effortlessly, glaring at Palmer. The lions stepped closer and closer, their large paws exposing long claws in the snow that covered the train. Palmer looked down towards the moving landscape. He knew he couldn’t outrun these lions, and the only thing for him to do was to jump. Maybe he would survive, maybe not. He didn’t have time to debate it. As he jumped high in the air towards the ground, the lions jumped as well, and clung to him, and they fell out of sight into the night. Celeste was the last thought on his mind.
Celeste shook herself awake. “Palmer?” she said sleepily, glancing around at the cold, dark room she was left in. She quietly tiptoed down the hallway into Palmer’s bedroom, noticing the wrinkleless bed. Immediately she put a hand to the door next to his room and turned the knob. She pushed open the door that led to the next car. The room was black and lifeless, with only a few antiques and boxes scattered around. She walked through to the next door, and then into the next car, and the one after, continuing on until all the cars seemed to blend together. How many had she traveled through? She lost count. Before she knew it, she was resting upon a wooden freight box, her head in her hands. Her head had begun to throb, and she couldn’t see straight. She fell back, and the ceiling above her began to spin.
Suddenly, a woman in an old nurse’s outfit looked over her. “We’ve got another one here,” she yelled.
Another face appeared over Celeste, scrutinizing her with sharp eyes. “Let’s put her with the other wounded ones,” the face said.
“What are you doing? I’m fine,” Celeste tried to yell, but her voice couldn’t project like she wanted it to. She found herself plopped onto a cot and carried down the hall to another car. “This one is bad,” she heard a voice yell in the distance. Celeste looked around at her surroundings as she was being carried to the unknown. On either side of her were bunks with moaning men in uniform, who reached out towards her for help. Some had bedpans with an acrid odor coming from them, others had blood all over the sheets.
“Hold on just a second, I’m not sick,” Celeste muttered, although she knew she was being ignored. “Beth!” she yelled, hoping she wasn’t too far away to be heard.
“Shut up,” a man in all white said, appearing above her. “Bite down on this,” he said, shoving a rope into her mouth. Tears rolled down her face as she looked around in panic. She blinked tears away and the only object that came into focus was the man’s name embroidered on the lab coat. Henry Charles. Celeste grew wide eyed, realizing who her captor was, and just before she passed out, the last thing she saw was the lab-coated man with rubber gloves and a massive saw in his hands.

The sound of dripping water awoke Beth from a deep sleep. She rubbed her face as she rolled out of bed and looked out the window. The train was still moving at a surprisingly fast speed. She walked over towards the bathroom area and turned off the sink. That was odd, considering she was certain she turned it off last night. She looked into the foggy mirror in front of her and studied her reflection, briefly catching a glimpse of a figure moving behind her, in the hallway. She turned, but no one was there. She walked out into the hallway and into Stephen’s room, seeing that he was asleep. As she turned to leave, she heard Stephen’s voice behind her. “What time is it?” he asked groggily.
Beth looked down at her watch. “Three a.m.,” she told him. “I’m going to go check on Celeste and Palmer and see if they’re still out there,” she said.
“This late? I doubt it,” he said, climbing out of bed to follow her.
When they reached the empty dining hall, Beth grew concerned. Stephen jogged down the hall and peeked in their bedrooms. “They’re not in here,” he yelled.
Beth looked at the door at the end of the bedroom car and noticed it was cracked. She opened it and walked in, Stephen trailing behind her. “God, what is that smell?” he asked. “Like something is rotting.”
They both traveled through the doors of each car. “Celeste? Palmer? Where are you?” Beth called as they reached each new car.
There weren’t any clues to guide them, only the rusty antiques and boxes covered with cream-colored sheets. Stephen removed one of the sheets that revealed a stack of old newspapers. He held one of them up towards his face and saw a photographed train and a title that read Hospital Train No. 40 returns with patients and medical staff aboard—all deceased. He skimmed through the article. “Henry Charles deemed top suspect of the railcar murders. Authorities claim he is still at large. Dated 1940. Henry Charles?”
Beth’s face turned white. She suddenly felt heavy. A rush of cold sweat came down her shoulders, and she attempted to not allow fear to overtake her. She took the newspaper from Palmer’s hand. “I . . . don’t understand.” She looked at the photograph of the medical train, suddenly remembering the portrait in the hallway of the doctor. Beth blinked several times attempting to also remember the other man’s name in the portrait next to the doctors.
“Albert C… Albert Charles?” she said aloud to Stephen.
Beth looked at Stephen as he froze his arms out in front of him. “Wait, why does this Henry Charles guy have your last name, too?”
Beth didn’t know. She had never heard of these men before, but her instinct told her this was all connected to her father’s behavior. She threw the newspaper down onto the floor and headed through towards the door. “C’mon. We’ve got to find Celeste and Palmer. Now!”
After Beth and Stephen pushed through about fifteen cars, they approached a door that looked like a prison cell. With Stephen close at her side, Beth peeked in, but couldn’t see anything. She could only hear the sounds of chains shaking against iron. She rattled the doorknob. It wouldn’t budge. “What the fuck?” she yelled, frustrated. She kicked the door and Stephen quickly grabbed her by the arm.
“Wait a second.” He rattled the door himself, and it flew open, the sounds of hundreds of prisoners yelling profanities. They both looked into the darkness. “Wait here while I go look for them,” Stephen said.
He walked through the door and Beth tried to follow in behind him. But there was an invisible force that prevented her from doing so. “Stephen, wait!” she yelled. She kicked and shoved at the invisible wall, and something pushed her nearly off train in-between the cars.
Stephen thought he heard Beth calling, and he looked back towards her, but the green iron door was shut and didn’t have a window on it anymore. That was strange. He blinked, to make sure he was seeing it right. It seemed like the room was growing darker. He took a match from his pocket and lit it but didn’t like what he saw. Haunting faces of prisoners on the other side of iron bars grimaced at him in silence. In terror, he carefully walked down the hallway with the prisoners on either side.
“Palmer? Celeste?” he whispered. He tried as best as he could to stay away from the jail cells. As he cautiously crept one foot in front of the other, the prisoners jolted towards him, slamming their bodies against the bars of the cell doors hard. They repeatedly banged against them until they started crushing themselves, blood splattering everywhere and onto Stephen. Stephen screamed and lunged towards the door to the next car, nearly laying on the doorknob for it to open. He turned around and saw crushed body parts that had fallen out into the hallway, now crawling towards his feet. The ghoulish parts stacked on top of one another, pushing Stephen and the door he leaned against through the doorway. Stephen laid face down on the fallen door for a few moments in silence. He listened around him, but everything had fallen silent. He sat up, and noticed he was suddenly at the front of the train, in the engine room. “Stephen, you made it,” said Bethany, smiling in front of a brightly lit doorway, almost like a white TV screen. “Come. Take my hand.”
Stephen looked awkwardly at her outstretched hand, unsure of what was happening. “How did we end up here?” he asked her.
“Why does it matter? We’re safe now. It’s all over,” she said, pulling on his hand. She led him through the bright doorway. Stephen blinked halfway through, and the doorway turned into a firebox, which reeked of burnt coal.

Stephen’s screams radiated through the trains, eventually hitting Beth’s ears as a whisper. She turned and sprinted through the cars, back towards the front of the train, bursting through the dining car and into the engine room. She looked at the firebox, watching in horror as Stephen burned alive inside. Next to the firebox stood the conductor, now a terrifying demon, as he shoveled Celeste’s body parts into the flames, grinning all while at Beth. Beth could tell it was Celeste from the beaded bracelets all along the arms the demon held in each hand. As he threw one arm in at the time, he flickered from the conductor to the doctor, the doctor to the hunter, then back to the conductor, and finally transformed into her father. Beth held her hands over her mouth and screamed into them. “Why are you doing this? Please, stop!”
The demon posed as her father dropped what he was doing and stomped over to Beth. “They all brought this on themselves! Doc Henry gave in to power, Albert gave in to his greedy old bastard ways. And I just thought being angry all the time was so much fun!”
He slammed a nearby chair onto the wall and then towered over her with bloodshot eyes, whispering, “And guess what, Beth?” the demonic voice hissed. “Each of the Charles invited me in. Each. Generation. And now they’re pitter pattering around in the jail cell of hell! Do you want know who’s next?” Beth could feel the demon’s sharp claws dig into her sides. She could feel its breath on her skin, its long tongue brushing the side of her face. “You are!”

Beth screamed and pushed back up against the door, feeling around for the knob. She turned and ran to find the nearest door. She attempted to unlock the front entrance, but no luck, then ran through the bedroom car to the opening before the next car. She tried to jump off the train, but an invisible force prevented her from doing so. Away into the other cars she went, sprinting through about ten of them until she tripped on a loose rug. She slowly gained her composure and looked ahead. She was back in the dining hall.
“Beth Charles, the sleepyhead!” said Palmer once again. The three looked completely oblivious, cheerful and lighthearted, in fact, just shuffling their cards.
“Come play with us!” Celeste said, motioning Beth over.
She stiffly walked towards them, unable to open her mouth with words. She sat down and hugged Stephen’s arm tightly, still terrified at what happened seconds earlier. She whispered softly, “Please. My friends don’t deserve this. Take me, instead.” Her head remained buried in Stephen’s arms, so they couldn’t see her tears.
“What’s the matter, Beth?” he said in a low tone. Beth remained silent, whether from fear or demonic possession, she wasn’t sure. She clung to Stephen, digging her face into his jacket until she couldn’t see anything. She heard Palmer hit the table with his stack of cards.
“Let’s see what sort of hand we’re dealt with this time.”
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2020.10.30 20:47 Joker_ERP [M4A] (A playing as F) Massive list of RP prompts (Rule 34, fandoms, Games, OC, Incest Ect.)

Hey there! Today I’ve got a massive list of rp ideas and have written out some starters along with some ideas to how I see the rp going. I’m open to change and ready to do other ideas too. So if you feel like you’ve got an idea I might be interested in feel free to talk to me about those: ).
As for my replies. I write in first person mainly and my reply length varies. I generally do anything from a few sentences to a paragraph or more and generally require my partner to do the same. Fair warning the less detail you reply with the less interested I’ll be in rping with you. (Not looking for a few words as a response)
I enjoy having a story to go along with the smut so it’s not just constant sex, some cute or action driven moments are fun as well. – Hand holding and cute dates are pleasant! I mainly do my rps on kik, discord or here. I also have an RP facebook account, so feel free to ask for my users for those! : )
My kinks and limits list might be a big read, but none are compulsory. I’m just here to have fun and hopefully meet some cool rp partners : )
Kinks: Harems (Doesn’t mean having to play all characters at once, just one by one is fine!), Incest, Outercourse (Which is stuff like titjobs, thigh jobs, grinding, hot dogging) Risky public spaces (Toilet stalls, changing booths. That kinda thing where people could get caught.) Facials, Freckles (Face and body). Big/nicely shaped bums (Especially if they jiggle). Creampies, Cum on tits/body, big cumshots, Thigh high socks. showewater sex (pools, shower, hot tubs ect.) Mutual desire for sex.
Limits: Pregnancy (Hard limit sorry), Vomit, Piss, Blood, Toilet stuff, Rape, Gangbangs (Unless it’s multiple females) Male on Male, futas, rimming/pegging.
There might be more that I’m forgetting so if you’re unsure feel free to ask me! The rougher side of sex like Name calling, slapping choking spanking I can all do as well! : ) Without further ado let’s jump into the starters!
Disclaimer: I am 18+ and all participants and characters must be 18+
Here's the basic list of ideas if you wanted to look them over before reading the full posts. I’m also open to some ideas that I may have missed! And please note: I’m looking for FEMALE characters only!
Rule 34/Fandom/Game Ideas: Idea 1: My Harem (Hero) Academia. Idea 2: Pokémon Idea 3: Naruto Idea 4: Bleach Idea 5: One piece. Idea 6: Sword Art Online. Idea 7: Fairy Tail. Idea 8: Avatar The Last Airbender. Idea 9: Persona (Girls from 4 and 5). Idea 10: Harry Potter. Idea 11: Final Fantasy. Idea 12: The Witcher 3.
OC Ideas: Idea 13: Fantasy harem adventure. Idea 14: Only Man of the town. Idea 15: Zombie and Nuclear Apocalypse. Idea 16: Sci-Fi space crew.
Incest Ideas: Idea 17: Brother sisteMother son (Or both). Idea 18: Aunt/Cousin. (Can be both) Idea 19: Incest family vacation.
Idea 1: My Harem (Hero) Academia.
(So my character will be a transfer into Class 1-A. His power is the power of persuasion. With the power he’s able to convince someone to do something as if it’s their own will. However, he’s hesitant to use it on other people and to tell everyone he even has it as he’s been outcast at his last school for the villainous nature of his quirk. As such he can’t use it to its full extent and can only issue small commands to begin with.
My idea with this is that one or more (cannon or non) of the girls decide to help him out in a private setting and overtime it gets more and more sexual in nature. And as he becomes more confident, he’s able to issue more longer-term commands. This can also be mixed in well with some story and some action to keep the plot interesting.)
Starter: It was a day which started like most others in Class 1-A. The students got ready in the dorms and headed to class to chat among themselves while they waited for Aizawa to enter. However, unlike most days there seemed to be an extra desk placed in the room. The seat caused some confusion which didn’t last long as the first bell rang and Aizawa entered the room.
“Morning everyone.” He stated in his mainly bored and sleepy tone which seemed to sound like he was stifling a yawn. “Today we’ve got a new student transferring in from another school. He’s from Shiketsu, some of you may recognize the name since it’s got the same level as prestige as U.A. but regardless make sure he feels welcome.” He said pointing a sweeping stare at everyone and finally resting on the problem child of the U.A class Bakugo.
With that he fell silent and I felt it was my cue to enter. Swallowing a little at the nerves I steeled them quickly and entered. My blue eyes sweeping over some of the familiar faces in the room. Many of the students had standout performances in the UA sports festival and as well in the news reports about the villain attack on the training camp.
I had a lot to live up to if I wanted to join these legends in training but regardless, I was determined to do just that. Breathing a little and shifting my auburn hair from my eyes I smiled the best I could. “My name is Schwarzer, Chris Schwarzer. It’s a pleasure to meet you all.” I say bowing to the class.
Satisfied with the introduction Aizawa nodded to the spare seat in the room. Taking that as an order I nodded back and headed over to my seat sitting down and getting my books out. Curiously I turned to the seat next to me noticing one of the girls in the class and gave her a slight smile as Aizawa began his lesson.
Idea 2: Pokemon. (So this one is super simple. Some trainers or a trainer and his Pokémon go on a grand adventure. For this one my favourite Canon female are: Marnie, May, Hilda and May. And my favourite Anthro Pokémon are Lopunny, Arcanine, Blaiziken That’s just for reference though and you can really play whoever you like! Ocs are of course welcome too!)
Trainer x Trainer Starter:
I like many others in the world of Pokémon have just started on my journey. Although I had done so a little late. Regardless me and my starter Pokémon Aipom which was a gift from my late father. Setting off with excitement to make a name of myself.
That excitement wore off pretty quickly however as an advanced trainer stepped in my path and soon, I realized how big the gap between us was. He wiped the floor with my aipom and laughed as he took my “Prize money” Scooping up my aipom I rushed through the rest of the route and over to the next town ducking quickly into the Pokémon centre.
Looking around there was a few new trainers who seemed to have fallen to the same fate as I had and I shook my head. Guys like that were total assholes and without hesitating I headed over to the counter where the nurse took my Aipom from me. Once he was gone, I was told there was going to be a short wait due to the amount of Pokémon they had to treat. I nodded as I headed over and sat down in one of the seats.
Idea 3: Naruto. (So for this one I like the idea that my character is a nomadic mercenary hired by the leaf to help train the ninja of the village, maybe he also has some kind of hidden power that boosts his chakra but also increases his libido. Not too sure how I wanna go about this one.)
Starter: The Hokage Tsunade Senju looked over me with a curious gaze and then down to my application form. “You’re younger than I expected given everything you’ve done.” She stated honestly. “But the intelligence division did a thorough search into you and you check out.” She stated as she slammed the approved stamp down onto my paper.
“Just remember, if you do anything to endanger this village, I’ll snuff you out personally.” She said in an icy and threatening tone. Feeling a cold bead of sweat roll down the side of my face I nodded. “Of course. I wouldn’t dream of it.” I say. Internally I make a mental note not to cross her in any way.
“Good.” She said putting a smile across her features. “Your first group is down on the training field waiting for you already.” She stated. “Your lodgings will be set up by the time you’re done, here’s the key.” She said tossing the key to me which I caught and stuffed into my pocket. I was a little shocked with how quick she wanted me to get to work but I nodded. “Right!” I say giving a respectful bow before heading out.
It took me a little longer than expected to actually find the training grounds as I hadn’t ever been here before. And when I got there much to her credit there were a few ninja standing around. Approaching them I gave them a sheepish smile. “Sorry I’m late guys.” I called out. “I got lost.” I added on.
Idea 4: Bleach. (So a new human soul reaper makes it into the soul society. His power isn’t captain level to begin with simply being enough to take out the average hollow. And with the resurgence of the hollow threat the Soul Society has offered to give him a substitute badge to take out those hollows deemed too small for the soul society to handle. Maybe he’s paired up with someone or someone like Orihime steps in to help him grow.)
Starter: Another boring day at school followed by a night of boring patrols. With all the big hollows being taken care of by “Full-fledged” Soul reapers it didn’t leave me with much opportunity to train against bigger enemies.
At least that’s what I thought originally. A few blocks from me there was a rift which opened up and the pure spiritual pressure that came from the hollow that stepped out of it was enough to make me feel as though gravity itself was pushing against me.
It was hard to breathe and even harder to stand as my hand clutched my blade in my left hand tightly. I shook my head as I heard the loud roar of the large breast and could even see it’s towering form from my position.
It was nothing close to a menos, but it was enough to tower over a three-story building for sure. “Shit.” I hissed to myself as I knew there were no soul reapers around at this stage. With a threat this big I was sure they’d come, but until then it was up to me to buy some time and make sure no humans or souls were consumed.
Pushing myself forward I reached the park that the Hollow had appeared in. Thankfully the park was deserted at this time of night. When he saw me the hollow. “You don’t smell like much, but you’ll do as a snack.” The hollow commented as it charged forward. “Just evade, buy time.” I comment to myself as I began to leap around the battle field looking a bit like and feeling like an idiot.
The hollow toyed with me a little while enjoying the chase before it seemed to ger bored. Just when I was thinking I was fast enough to keep avoiding it the creature’s mouth opened and its forked tongue shot out at me with faster speed than I was anticipating I raised my blade to defend myself but it was a feeble attempt and I knew it wouldn’t be enough.
Idea 5: One Piece. (So I’m not quite sure how to approach this one, but I’ll give it a go. Much like the MHA starter my character will have the power of persuasion, having eaten the Persua-Persua fruit. I’m thinking either he joins the Strawhats and goes on their adventures or he makes his own crew with girls from the story, I’m gonna leave it fairly open ended so we can jump in whenever along the story we wanna go!)
Starter: Alone in a bar I sat staring in the amber liquid in my mug. I was down on my luck after having my whole crew and my ship destroyed in a long battle another pirate crew. The only reason I was able to live through the ordeal was due to my crew sacrificing themselves to give me a chance to escape.
I spent days adrift with little food and water and soon washed up upon the island I was in. Immediately I found a tavern ready to drown my sorrows and feel sorry for myself for a little while.
Letting out a sigh I downed the rest of my drink soon looking at the few drops of liquid bottom of my mug. I knew being a pirate wouldn’t be easy, I knew it’d be violent and end in violence. However, to lose in that fashion without even being able to use my devil fruit to calm or question our opponent and losing everything still took its toll on me.
Scratching at the growing stubble with one hand, the other I raised my mug to demand another drink and as such the bartender approached to fill my mug. “You’re looking a little rough there, you sure you need another?” The bartender asked as he took the mug from me. “I don’t have anything else to do. I don’t even know what else to do with myself.” I responded grumpily. “Just fill it up.” I demanded. “Right.” The bartender responded as he filled it with more of the alcoholic amber liquid and slid It in front of me.
Idea 6: Sword Art Online. (Fairly simple it’s SAO set in the original death game. I love the idea, so I’ve always loved rping this one. If you want to play canon characters my fave is for sure Lizbeth, but I’m open to OC characters!)
Starter: It’s been months since Akihiko Kayaba has trapped us into this death game. Or at least that’s how some people looked at it. Others saw it as their dream come true. But most if not, all wanted to push forward and beat the game.
Despite the desire to push forward little progress has been made. Guilds and parties have formed to push through dungeons but with the increased danger and with it more deaths; more and more people simply decided to live out their lives on the lower floors.
Unlike those rushing in to push through the content I was happy enough to go through it at my own pace. This place was like a dream for me, save for the fact I had an increased chance of dying I was able to live in this game without the worries of the outside world.
I was doing some late-night grinding in an area of dense forest. The sun had set and there was little light save for the bright moon poking through the trees. All was calm, the trees swayed with the wind and the occasional sound of creatures moving about was enough to calm me.
However, the deeper I got into the forest the louder a sound became. At first it was quiet but as I approached, I heard it more clearly. It sounded like steel clashing against steel. Someone was fighting. Moving from a casual walk into a jog I quickly came to a small clearing where I saw two figures fighting, although in the low light I couldn’t make it out until I got closer.
Idea 7: Fairy Tail. (it’s been a little while since I’ve seen the series, but I’ve always loved it! Given my time away I might have to take some time to refamiliarize myself with the magics. My character will simply be an entry level member into the guild to begin with, canon characters are welcome just as OCs are!)
Starter: Another day in magnolia and another party being held at the large guild building at the centre of town. A large-scale job had just finished with some of the senior ranking wizards. and even though I wasn’t part of that mission, instead being on my own D-Rank job I joined in on the celebrations.
I had only been part of the guild for a few days and so far, it’s not been as exciting as I’d hoped, although I figured that it’d pick up once I proved myself. I was drinking by myself when I was approached by Makarov. He was wearing an essentric looking orange outfit. “Schwarzer my boy!” He said as he patted me on the shoulder. “How are you fitting in?” He questioned. “Fine sir! Everyone has been very welcoming.” I say to him in response. “Glad to hear it! You’ve been doing a good job, although I’d like to see you do more.” The male said. “So I’ve arranged a partner for you on your next job, that way you can take something more challenging, what do you say?” He questioned.
“Yes of course!” I say eagerly as a smile spread across my face. “Great!” He said cheerfully. “I’ll introduce you to who you’ll be working with.” He said as he stood from his spot and lead the way over to a female clearing his throat loud enough to get their attention.
Idea 8: Avatar the Last Airbender. (So for this one I guess it can go two different ways. My fave girls from Avatar would probably be Ty Lee, Suki and Toph. Maybe my character is a powerful bender that either the fire nation or team Avatar wants on their side. I think it might be cool to think that Aang isn’t the only airbender and instead a small faction managed to escape and continue the lineage. Either that or my character is a powerful firebender of some kind. I’ll leave whichever you prefer to you in your first reply as I’ll leave it open ended.)
Starter: The world was at war ever since the Fire nation attacked. With the intense fighting came mercenaries. Freelance benders or soldiers ready to fight on either side. For a fee of course. And despite my age, being only eighteen I was quite renown amongst the other bounty hunters for my bending.
Of course, there were talks of the Avatar returning, having repelled an invasion in the south pole, the liberation of Omashu and then the fire nation prison. It seemed they were making quite the stir in the earth kingdom.
It’d only be a matter of time before they reached the small town, I was in. Perhaps they were already here. But if that was the case surely there would be some kind of stir. Pushing my hair from my face I ordered another drink from the barkeep. “You know you’re my favourite customer Schwarzer…. You’re the only one who consistently pays his tab. Unlike the rest of these soldiers or the workers around here.” The older man says in clear annoyance.
“Well who knows, if I wasn’t so successful, I’d probably mooch off you too.” I admitted with a grin. “Try not to talk too ill of the soldiers on either side.” I added on flicking him an extra coin for a tip once my drink was finished. “Well I better check if anyone has a job for me.” I say as I pushed myself up from my seat.
Idea 9: Persona. (So basically this is just gonna be a fairly interesting idea. My character along with the girls of persona 4 and 5 get stranded in this strange dimension where they have to fight their way out to make it back to their own worlds.)
Starter: It all happened so fast. One minute I was in a team meeting with my group discussing what we should use our newfound powers for next. And the next second, I had blinked and I was in some kind of strange room.
One by one more people were added into this room. Some of which were dressed in some elaborate costumes. And I frowned as I looked to each one of them, all of which I didn’t recognize at all and judging by their looks they didn’t recognize me. Although before we managed to introduce ourselves a booming voice broke the silence.
“Welcome all!” The clearly male voice commented. “To the room of my design.” He added on. “I’m sure you’re all confused. And no doubt you’ll want to return back to your homes. However, to do so you’ll need to enter my labyrinth. “Make it to the end and you’ll all return home.” The voice explained.
“Of course, this maze isn’t without its dangers. Enemies, much like you encounter on a regular basis will roam these halls. As well as beasts of my own design far stronger than those… Fear no though for every check point you reach this room will become more furnished with amenities. For now, you simply have beds to rest on.” He said as there was an audible click and the dark room was suddenly lit up. Sure, enough there were rows of beds all lined up one for each person to sleep on.
“When you’re ready to test yourselves step through this door and enter the first level of the labyrinth.” He declared as a large door appeared and opened up in front of them. For a while nobody said anything probably all too stunned to even process the information. “So, I’m guessing we’re all persona users given what he just said.” I spoke up. “I guess we should probably start with names and strengths, right?” I questioned the group. “I’m Chris Schwarzer.” I say. “My persona Serapth focuses on ranged combat.” I explained.
Idea 10: Harry Potter. (So to keep this one interesting I’m thinking of having it set in an AU where Voldemort and Harry don’t exist. However, there are still dark wizards who are part of a cult around. Defs looking for a Hermionie, Luna or Ginny, you could even have other celebs/ecelebs as teachers or students for this one! Ocs are of course welcome too!)
Starter: Another year at Hogwarts, the last for some; and another year of learning was right around the corner. Although times were not peaceful in the wizarding world. Aurors who were the police of the magical world were going missing or showing up dead.
The ministry not wanting to make a panic kept it fairly under wraps, however some of the families have come forward with the information and rumours abounded about what was really happening. Stepping off the train I sighed a little rubbing my temple where a headache had begun to set in. During the train ride here, I found myself stuck next to a boy who wouldn’t stop going on about the rumours and conspiracy theories.
Glad to be off the train I looked around for a minute lost as to where I needed to go. “I know it’s around here somewhere.” I commented, although my sense of direction was always off. Usually I followed everyone else. But this time it seemed I was one of the last ones off the train.
Idea 11: Final Fantasy. (So this is simply going to be an idea with no starter since it will probably change depending on the many FF universes. My favourite however is defs FF7. (Tifa, Jessie and Aerith are best girls) with follow-ups being 12, 13, 15, 10, 8 and 9. Basically a fight would take the Main character of those series, Cloud, Noct, ect out of commission and needing a leader the other characters step up and hire mine on. Similar to some of my other prompts but I never said I was creative :^) With that being said though if you ARE interested in this one let me know and we can work out details depending on what world we’re in!)
Idea 12: The Witcher 3. (So my character will be a Witcher. (wow!) Saving people, hunting things you know? The family business. Anyway, I’m gonna leave it super open ended for you to come in however you like! If you wanna play a canon character my top two are for sure Ciri and Trist, and OC characters are accepted too!)
Starter: A Werewolf, an odd and rare contract, although I figured it wouldn’t be a hard one. In face I figured with my silver blade that the creature would go down rather quickly. Starting the encounter, I was faced with a harsh reality due to my hubris. I started off well enough, however due to my carelessness I was quickly on the backfoot.
The beast roared as it swung its large clawed hand towards me. I had barely managed to roll out of the way of the attack. Probably due to the increasing levels of bloodless resulting in a careless action on my part. A level of confidence quickly pushed down by the fact a handful of open wounds stung at my flanks.
More scars for later given that I make it out of here, although with my silver blade thrown on the other side of the area leaving me with only a steel sword which barely even phases the thing. I had to reach my blade, although with my focus on dodging the attacks it was hard to find an opening to do so.
I raised a hand and cast the igni sign launching flames at the creature who leapt back and I tried my best to make it past the creature only to have to dodge another strike as the beast recovered remarkably fast. “Stubborn bastard, aren’t you?” I questioned a little sourly.
Idea 13: Fantasy harem adventure. (This one is fairly basic in nature. Basically, a young man with little combat experience leaves his poor hunting village once he’s of age and sets off to join the adventurer’s guild to make a name for himself and also to send money back home. He’s fairly modest, naive and kind hearted. Which makes him likable and easy to take advantage of.
We could add a story with war elements, racism and darker themes to show him that the world he idolizes isn’t as cracked up as he thought it’d be. Ideally, I’d like a full harem party for this one but I’m cool with one on one too.)
Starter: It had been a few days since I was finally able to leave the small village, I was raised in behind me. Sword on hip and keen to become an adventurer. Of course, I also wanted to make a name for myself and I was even more excited to see everything the world had to offer. With driving me forward I headed from my village over to the closest city which had a guild branch. A city called Ruan. It was nearly five times the size of my village if not more and yet it was nothing close to the capital city of Grancel.
Smooth dirt paths soon gave way to cobblestone and my boots clacked rhythmically against the pavement as my steps soon got faster and faster as Ruan came into view. My stomach was in knots as I gripped the straps on my bag tightly and after steeling my nerves and taking in the sight of the large city, I headed through the large stone arch to the busy streets beyond.
My excited eyes looked around at every nook and cranny as I took in every detail that was on offer. Soon coming across the large marble and wood building of the adventurer’s guild in front of me. I stood in front of the large building clearly awestruck and for a moment I felt completely overwhelmed. This was it. This was the first step I was going to take on my journey and yet I felt far too nervous to head inside. Instead I stood there shaking slightly as I tried to work up the courage to push those large oak doors aside and declare my presence to the world.
Idea 14: Man of the town. (So again the premise is also pretty basic. My character wakes up in a town where there’s no men, as if they all vanished at once. Including his father which leaves him home alone with his sister and mother. (It’s up to you if you want incest in the plot or not.) We can have a story with an element of mystery to it too if you want! Or we can just bounce around the town having him bonk as many different people as you want.)
Starter: It’s been a few weeks since all the men in the town vanished one day. One day they were there and the next they were gone. There was of course a panic even though it is much calmer than originally, it continues to creep in the back of everyone’s mind. It doesn’t help the fact that no outsiders have come into the town and some strange thick fog seems to stop everyone from leaving.
However, with no answers it was left to the women of the town to pick up the slack and try to push for some level of normalcy. Except for me it seemed. Since the whole act started, I was in lockdown not being free to leave my home since my mother and sister was much too paranoid that I’d disappear too. With the amount of time I spent indoors going stir crazy I began to wonder if it was better to be wherever the rest of them are.
Today was different though and finally I was given the chance to leave the house while my mother was careless and rather quickly, I headed out into the street just glad to take in the scenery as I headed over to a nearby park. I headed over the soft grass feeling it beneath my shoes and then to the pond where I took a seat on one of the mounted benches.
Idea 15: Zombie and Nuclear Apocalypse. (Not a whole lot to say here other than it’s one of your run of the mill Zombie/Nuclear apocalypse scenarios. I might toy with the idea of having multiple zombie types like games such as Dying light and Left for dead in order to spice things up a little but we’ll see where we go with it. As for nuclear I’ll probably be following along the Fallout franchise. Being part of these worlds will probably make my character a bit more brash, blunt and even a little rude. However, given some time he’ll warm up.)
Zombie Starter: No one knows quite when the outbreak started, however it swept over the globe causing panic. People eating people. People dying and coming back to life as a shambling corpse joining the armies of similar creatures. Society crumbled over time and the cities which were now hot zones for hordes of the undead creatures were left abandoned to all but the most daring or desperate of individuals. However, these rabid hordes weren’t the only thing to look out for in the apocalypse.
Society had begun to reform in its most primal form. People grouped together for safety. Those who just wanted to live peacefully became easy prey for those who saw the end of the world as we knew it as a playground to kill pillage and steal what they’d like. These bandits created their own factions with their own fortresses and seemed to have an endless supply of guns and ammo as they used it quite liberally.
I had been on the trail of a particularly nasty group of bandits as they razed whatever small settlements, they had to the ground callously and without mercy. I had just arrived at one of these towns. Dying people lay scattered about while fires licked at the makeshift buildings. It was still quite fresh. Approaching a nearby body which seemed to be moving slightly I turned it over the man was in bad shape and was clearly on death’s door. His eyes looking into mine in a pleading sense.
“Do you want me to make it quick?” I asked him reaching my left hand down to my machete which hung on my belt. Weakly his hand reached out to grip my right as he gave a nod. I knew the death wouldn’t be clean, as I unsheathed my blade. However, I couldn’t waste any ammo on my pistol nor could I risk tipping off the bandits that did this that I was following them. With a quick swing I slammed the blade into the head of the man ending his life and after wiping the blade off on his shirt I slid it back into its sheath my eyes scanning the immediate area for any of the undead which had turned or for a slim chance of getting a glimpse of survivors.
Nuclear Apocalypse Starter:
The world as we knew it ended in a flash. A white light followed by a rumble which washed over the world in nuclear fire. Billions died then and there reducing the world’s population to the brink. Those who were lucky to survive a direct blast were mutated to become much different than humans and more akin to zombies. Those outside of it didn’t have much quality of life as the radiation created mutated creatures which made living in a barren wasteland that much harder.
There were others however who were lucky enough to be given a spot in giant underground vaults. There they lived out their lives separated from the horrors that this new world wrought. One by one these vaults opened to allow these vault dwellers into the wasteland that was our world.
Their blue suits and clueless natures made them stand out and become easy prey to raiders, giant creatures and everything in between. Many of them didn’t get far before being gutted and robbed for their illusive vault suits which earned enough to feed a scavenger or bandit for a month.
The world and society began to rebuild. And with small settlements and towns popping up here and there it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the wasteland. Many were able to create jobs in local milita, mercenary work. Even trading or bartending.
I was such a mercenary a few generations of my family lived through the bombing and the radiation which was lucky enough for me, I guess. I was hired to do whatever someone wanted for the right price. And today I was tasked with delving into a recently opened vault and check make contact with the inhabitants inside.
Colt python on my waist I headed over to the large vault door which at this point was sealed shut and knocked loudly. This job seemed rather easy and was paying a lot which made me wonder who I was working for and what purpose they had with these vault dwellers. However, I wasn’t paid to ask questions nor did I really care at the end of the day. The less I knew the less guilt I could feel.
Idea 16: Space/Scifi. (So this is a scifi adventure. My character is the captain of his own ship and is currently looking for recruits to join him and help run it. There will probably be lots of interesting planets our characters go to and I’ll certainly be making them up as we go along! Your character can range as anything from a human to android or even an alien.)
Starter: Stepping out of The Tempest I breathed in the humid station air of Astra station. The station which was on the furthest reaches of the space ruled over the galactic council; was a haven for the depraved. Outlaws, mercenaries, drug dealers you name it Astra has it and in bountiful supply too.
Which made it a perfect spot to find someone who was desperate to get off the station. Someone who would work for cheap or for free. All I needed to do was to find them. “Schwarzer, don’t forget to stock up on food, military rations are sad.” A voice commented through the earpiece I had. “Yeah. I’ll head through the slums and to the market. Thanks, Evai.” I responded. “And don’t cause any trouble, I don’t wanna rot in this ship while you’re dead.” The voice added on. “Yeah yeah I’ve got it.” I responded as the communication line was severed and I started on my walk.
I headed through a nearby door and down into the depths of the station. Soon I the overcrowded and frankly smelly slums. Beggars and gang members lined every corner all looking at me with a cautious eye as I passed. There were even a few tweaked out drug users laying scattered about in some dark corners. Even a few corpses.
I didn’t stop though, if you stayed in one place too long down here you were asking to be jumped and quickly, I pushed on heading over to the bustling markets. The food quality here wasn’t the best although it was abundant. I even talked to a few of the store owners to see if they knew where I could find the extra hands to help me on my ship.
Idea 17: Brother sisteMother son (Or both). (So, this starter is gonna be fairly generic, however it’s open to allowing any of the familial ties to be easily included. I have a few ideas for immediate family and will post them below and if you have any ideas, I’m happy to hear them.)
Starter: It’s a hot and lazy day in the middle of summer break. I had laid splayed out on the couch at home. Despite the air conditioner being on full blast my skin underneath my tank top was getting stuck to the leather couch; which did little to alleviate the heat fluster that was going on. I sighed after looking over the back of the couch to the pool outback longingly. I sighed a little resigning myself to bite the bullet and peeled myself from the couch.
As much as I wanted to strip down and run out, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was home alone and as such, I headed up to my room to change into a pair of swimming trunks before heading back downstairs. Passing through the laundry and grabbing a towel on the way.
I headed onto the back deck and draped my towel over the railing before I rushed over and leapt into the pool immediately feeling the cool water wash away any of the heat I had been feeling. I resurface and breathed a sigh of relief as I pushed my messy hair back from my face.
Idea 18: Aunt/Cousin (Can be both). (Again like the incest scene above I’m not quite sure how to spruce this one up so I’ll leave it rather basic and we can go from there.)
Starter: My family has gone on holiday without me as I had to stay behind due to being caught up in exams. Rather than meeting up with them later they decided it would be more fun for me if I finished them up then headed over to spend some time with my Aunt and my cousin across the county. While I wouldn’t be leaving the country, I was still getting a vacation in a way and as such I tried my best to be upbeat and positive about it, even if I was envious of the others.
While it wasn’t the same pristine beaches and high-class resorts that the rest of my family was going to, I was still grateful for the hospitality. The plane lands in the airport and after collecting my bags and checking my phone for a confirmation I was going to be picked up I sent my family and my aunt and cousin a quick text telling them I landed safely. After gathering my small suitcase from the conveyor belt, I wheeled it through security and out to the meeting area keeping my eyes peeled for any sign of my cousin or my auntie. There was a little confusion about who was going to greet me so I wasn’t sure who to expect myself.
Idea 19: Incest family vacation. (So, this one is again going to be like the other two before it. They kinda roll off each other in a way. However, I believe it allows for a wide range of engagements with multiple characters at some kind of beach resort.)
Starter: It’s the dead middle of another scorching summer and rather than tough it out in our homes which has air-conditioning which never seemed to help, our large family decided to all go to a large resort (Could even be a cruise too) together. Many of the rooms were rather luxurious and I was more than excited to see what the rest of the hotel had to offer.
We pulled up into the lobby and while the parents were checking in I headed over to check out a map on the wall. It seemed there were quite a lot of different things to do around the resort. There was a pool with a poolside bar, a beach which had volleyball games, a massage parlour, hot tubs and many different activities ranging from native dances to eating competitions.
Just the realization we were here and the excitement at the many possibilities that could come from the vacation. Maybe I’d even meet someone nice and have a vacation fling. Although with so many family members running around, I doubted that I’d get much peace to do that. Regardless I was eager to get up to the room, have a shower and change into my swimming trunks to explore all the different places.
We headed up to the rooms where I noticed mine had a large double bed. However, judging by my mother’s comments outside It seemed there was some kind of mix-up in the rooms and I’d be sharing the room with one of my family members. Not that I minded too much. I placed my suitcase down and waited to see who would come in and if they were interested in joining me look around.
Closing words: So yeah that’s about it! Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or suggestions, I’m open to hearing them! I know this was probably a big read so thanks again for your time and I hope to talk to some of you soon!
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2020.10.30 20:47 Joker_ERP [M4A] (A playing as F) Massive list of RP prompts (Rule 34, fandoms, Games, OC, Incest Ect.)

Hey there! Today I’ve got a massive list of rp ideas and have written out some starters along with some ideas to how I see the rp going. I’m open to change and ready to do other ideas too. So if you feel like you’ve got an idea I might be interested in feel free to talk to me about those: ).
As for my replies. I write in first person mainly and my reply length varies. I generally do anything from a few sentences to a paragraph or more and generally require my partner to do the same. Fair warning the less detail you reply with the less interested I’ll be in rping with you. (Not looking for a few words as a response)
I enjoy having a story to go along with the smut so it’s not just constant sex, some cute or action driven moments are fun as well. – Hand holding and cute dates are pleasant! I mainly do my rps on kik, discord or here. I also have an RP facebook account, so feel free to ask for my users for those! : )
My kinks and limits list might be a big read, but none are compulsory. I’m just here to have fun and hopefully meet some cool rp partners : )
Kinks: Harems (Doesn’t mean having to play all characters at once, just one by one is fine!), Incest, Outercourse (Which is stuff like titjobs, thigh jobs, grinding, hot dogging) Risky public spaces (Toilet stalls, changing booths. That kinda thing where people could get caught.) Facials, Freckles (Face and body). Big/nicely shaped bums (Especially if they jiggle). Creampies, Cum on tits/body, big cumshots, Thigh high socks. showewater sex (pools, shower, hot tubs ect.) Mutual desire for sex.
Limits: Pregnancy (Hard limit sorry), Vomit, Piss, Blood, Toilet stuff, Rape, Gangbangs (Unless it’s multiple females) Male on Male, futas, rimming/pegging.
There might be more that I’m forgetting so if you’re unsure feel free to ask me! The rougher side of sex like Name calling, slapping choking spanking I can all do as well! : ) Without further ado let’s jump into the starters!
Disclaimer: I am 18+ and all participants and characters must be 18+
Here's the basic list of ideas if you wanted to look them over before reading the full posts. I’m also open to some ideas that I may have missed! And please note: I’m looking for FEMALE characters only!
Rule 34/Fandom/Game Ideas: Idea 1: My Harem (Hero) Academia. Idea 2: Pokémon Idea 3: Naruto Idea 4: Bleach Idea 5: One piece. Idea 6: Sword Art Online. Idea 7: Fairy Tail. Idea 8: Avatar The Last Airbender. Idea 9: Persona (Girls from 4 and 5). Idea 10: Harry Potter. Idea 11: Final Fantasy. Idea 12: The Witcher 3.
OC Ideas: Idea 13: Fantasy harem adventure. Idea 14: Only Man of the town. Idea 15: Zombie and Nuclear Apocalypse. Idea 16: Sci-Fi space crew.
Incest Ideas: Idea 17: Brother sisteMother son (Or both). Idea 18: Aunt/Cousin. (Can be both) Idea 19: Incest family vacation.
Idea 1: My Harem (Hero) Academia.
(So my character will be a transfer into Class 1-A. His power is the power of persuasion. With the power he’s able to convince someone to do something as if it’s their own will. However, he’s hesitant to use it on other people and to tell everyone he even has it as he’s been outcast at his last school for the villainous nature of his quirk. As such he can’t use it to its full extent and can only issue small commands to begin with.
My idea with this is that one or more (cannon or non) of the girls decide to help him out in a private setting and overtime it gets more and more sexual in nature. And as he becomes more confident, he’s able to issue more longer-term commands. This can also be mixed in well with some story and some action to keep the plot interesting.)
Starter: It was a day which started like most others in Class 1-A. The students got ready in the dorms and headed to class to chat among themselves while they waited for Aizawa to enter. However, unlike most days there seemed to be an extra desk placed in the room. The seat caused some confusion which didn’t last long as the first bell rang and Aizawa entered the room.
“Morning everyone.” He stated in his mainly bored and sleepy tone which seemed to sound like he was stifling a yawn. “Today we’ve got a new student transferring in from another school. He’s from Shiketsu, some of you may recognize the name since it’s got the same level as prestige as U.A. but regardless make sure he feels welcome.” He said pointing a sweeping stare at everyone and finally resting on the problem child of the U.A class Bakugo.
With that he fell silent and I felt it was my cue to enter. Swallowing a little at the nerves I steeled them quickly and entered. My blue eyes sweeping over some of the familiar faces in the room. Many of the students had standout performances in the UA sports festival and as well in the news reports about the villain attack on the training camp.
I had a lot to live up to if I wanted to join these legends in training but regardless, I was determined to do just that. Breathing a little and shifting my auburn hair from my eyes I smiled the best I could. “My name is Schwarzer, Chris Schwarzer. It’s a pleasure to meet you all.” I say bowing to the class.
Satisfied with the introduction Aizawa nodded to the spare seat in the room. Taking that as an order I nodded back and headed over to my seat sitting down and getting my books out. Curiously I turned to the seat next to me noticing one of the girls in the class and gave her a slight smile as Aizawa began his lesson.
Idea 2: Pokemon. (So this one is super simple. Some trainers or a trainer and his Pokémon go on a grand adventure. For this one my favourite Canon female are: Marnie, May, Hilda and May. And my favourite Anthro Pokémon are Lopunny, Arcanine, Blaiziken That’s just for reference though and you can really play whoever you like! Ocs are of course welcome too!)
Trainer x Trainer Starter:
I like many others in the world of Pokémon have just started on my journey. Although I had done so a little late. Regardless me and my starter Pokémon Aipom which was a gift from my late father. Setting off with excitement to make a name of myself.
That excitement wore off pretty quickly however as an advanced trainer stepped in my path and soon, I realized how big the gap between us was. He wiped the floor with my aipom and laughed as he took my “Prize money” Scooping up my aipom I rushed through the rest of the route and over to the next town ducking quickly into the Pokémon centre.
Looking around there was a few new trainers who seemed to have fallen to the same fate as I had and I shook my head. Guys like that were total assholes and without hesitating I headed over to the counter where the nurse took my Aipom from me. Once he was gone, I was told there was going to be a short wait due to the amount of Pokémon they had to treat. I nodded as I headed over and sat down in one of the seats.
Idea 3: Naruto. (So for this one I like the idea that my character is a nomadic mercenary hired by the leaf to help train the ninja of the village, maybe he also has some kind of hidden power that boosts his chakra but also increases his libido. Not too sure how I wanna go about this one.)
Starter: The Hokage Tsunade Senju looked over me with a curious gaze and then down to my application form. “You’re younger than I expected given everything you’ve done.” She stated honestly. “But the intelligence division did a thorough search into you and you check out.” She stated as she slammed the approved stamp down onto my paper.
“Just remember, if you do anything to endanger this village, I’ll snuff you out personally.” She said in an icy and threatening tone. Feeling a cold bead of sweat roll down the side of my face I nodded. “Of course. I wouldn’t dream of it.” I say. Internally I make a mental note not to cross her in any way.
“Good.” She said putting a smile across her features. “Your first group is down on the training field waiting for you already.” She stated. “Your lodgings will be set up by the time you’re done, here’s the key.” She said tossing the key to me which I caught and stuffed into my pocket. I was a little shocked with how quick she wanted me to get to work but I nodded. “Right!” I say giving a respectful bow before heading out.
It took me a little longer than expected to actually find the training grounds as I hadn’t ever been here before. And when I got there much to her credit there were a few ninja standing around. Approaching them I gave them a sheepish smile. “Sorry I’m late guys.” I called out. “I got lost.” I added on.
Idea 4: Bleach. (So a new human soul reaper makes it into the soul society. His power isn’t captain level to begin with simply being enough to take out the average hollow. And with the resurgence of the hollow threat the Soul Society has offered to give him a substitute badge to take out those hollows deemed too small for the soul society to handle. Maybe he’s paired up with someone or someone like Orihime steps in to help him grow.)
Starter: Another boring day at school followed by a night of boring patrols. With all the big hollows being taken care of by “Full-fledged” Soul reapers it didn’t leave me with much opportunity to train against bigger enemies.
At least that’s what I thought originally. A few blocks from me there was a rift which opened up and the pure spiritual pressure that came from the hollow that stepped out of it was enough to make me feel as though gravity itself was pushing against me.
It was hard to breathe and even harder to stand as my hand clutched my blade in my left hand tightly. I shook my head as I heard the loud roar of the large breast and could even see it’s towering form from my position.
It was nothing close to a menos, but it was enough to tower over a three-story building for sure. “Shit.” I hissed to myself as I knew there were no soul reapers around at this stage. With a threat this big I was sure they’d come, but until then it was up to me to buy some time and make sure no humans or souls were consumed.
Pushing myself forward I reached the park that the Hollow had appeared in. Thankfully the park was deserted at this time of night. When he saw me the hollow. “You don’t smell like much, but you’ll do as a snack.” The hollow commented as it charged forward. “Just evade, buy time.” I comment to myself as I began to leap around the battle field looking a bit like and feeling like an idiot.
The hollow toyed with me a little while enjoying the chase before it seemed to ger bored. Just when I was thinking I was fast enough to keep avoiding it the creature’s mouth opened and its forked tongue shot out at me with faster speed than I was anticipating I raised my blade to defend myself but it was a feeble attempt and I knew it wouldn’t be enough.
Idea 5: One Piece. (So I’m not quite sure how to approach this one, but I’ll give it a go. Much like the MHA starter my character will have the power of persuasion, having eaten the Persua-Persua fruit. I’m thinking either he joins the Strawhats and goes on their adventures or he makes his own crew with girls from the story, I’m gonna leave it fairly open ended so we can jump in whenever along the story we wanna go!)
Starter: Alone in a bar I sat staring in the amber liquid in my mug. I was down on my luck after having my whole crew and my ship destroyed in a long battle another pirate crew. The only reason I was able to live through the ordeal was due to my crew sacrificing themselves to give me a chance to escape.
I spent days adrift with little food and water and soon washed up upon the island I was in. Immediately I found a tavern ready to drown my sorrows and feel sorry for myself for a little while.
Letting out a sigh I downed the rest of my drink soon looking at the few drops of liquid bottom of my mug. I knew being a pirate wouldn’t be easy, I knew it’d be violent and end in violence. However, to lose in that fashion without even being able to use my devil fruit to calm or question our opponent and losing everything still took its toll on me.
Scratching at the growing stubble with one hand, the other I raised my mug to demand another drink and as such the bartender approached to fill my mug. “You’re looking a little rough there, you sure you need another?” The bartender asked as he took the mug from me. “I don’t have anything else to do. I don’t even know what else to do with myself.” I responded grumpily. “Just fill it up.” I demanded. “Right.” The bartender responded as he filled it with more of the alcoholic amber liquid and slid It in front of me.
Idea 6: Sword Art Online. (Fairly simple it’s SAO set in the original death game. I love the idea, so I’ve always loved rping this one. If you want to play canon characters my fave is for sure Lizbeth, but I’m open to OC characters!)
Starter: It’s been months since Akihiko Kayaba has trapped us into this death game. Or at least that’s how some people looked at it. Others saw it as their dream come true. But most if not, all wanted to push forward and beat the game.
Despite the desire to push forward little progress has been made. Guilds and parties have formed to push through dungeons but with the increased danger and with it more deaths; more and more people simply decided to live out their lives on the lower floors.
Unlike those rushing in to push through the content I was happy enough to go through it at my own pace. This place was like a dream for me, save for the fact I had an increased chance of dying I was able to live in this game without the worries of the outside world.
I was doing some late-night grinding in an area of dense forest. The sun had set and there was little light save for the bright moon poking through the trees. All was calm, the trees swayed with the wind and the occasional sound of creatures moving about was enough to calm me.
However, the deeper I got into the forest the louder a sound became. At first it was quiet but as I approached, I heard it more clearly. It sounded like steel clashing against steel. Someone was fighting. Moving from a casual walk into a jog I quickly came to a small clearing where I saw two figures fighting, although in the low light I couldn’t make it out until I got closer.
Idea 7: Fairy Tail. (it’s been a little while since I’ve seen the series, but I’ve always loved it! Given my time away I might have to take some time to refamiliarize myself with the magics. My character will simply be an entry level member into the guild to begin with, canon characters are welcome just as OCs are!)
Starter: Another day in magnolia and another party being held at the large guild building at the centre of town. A large-scale job had just finished with some of the senior ranking wizards. and even though I wasn’t part of that mission, instead being on my own D-Rank job I joined in on the celebrations.
I had only been part of the guild for a few days and so far, it’s not been as exciting as I’d hoped, although I figured that it’d pick up once I proved myself. I was drinking by myself when I was approached by Makarov. He was wearing an essentric looking orange outfit. “Schwarzer my boy!” He said as he patted me on the shoulder. “How are you fitting in?” He questioned. “Fine sir! Everyone has been very welcoming.” I say to him in response. “Glad to hear it! You’ve been doing a good job, although I’d like to see you do more.” The male said. “So I’ve arranged a partner for you on your next job, that way you can take something more challenging, what do you say?” He questioned.
“Yes of course!” I say eagerly as a smile spread across my face. “Great!” He said cheerfully. “I’ll introduce you to who you’ll be working with.” He said as he stood from his spot and lead the way over to a female clearing his throat loud enough to get their attention.
Idea 8: Avatar the Last Airbender. (So for this one I guess it can go two different ways. My fave girls from Avatar would probably be Ty Lee, Suki and Toph. Maybe my character is a powerful bender that either the fire nation or team Avatar wants on their side. I think it might be cool to think that Aang isn’t the only airbender and instead a small faction managed to escape and continue the lineage. Either that or my character is a powerful firebender of some kind. I’ll leave whichever you prefer to you in your first reply as I’ll leave it open ended.)
Starter: The world was at war ever since the Fire nation attacked. With the intense fighting came mercenaries. Freelance benders or soldiers ready to fight on either side. For a fee of course. And despite my age, being only eighteen I was quite renown amongst the other bounty hunters for my bending.
Of course, there were talks of the Avatar returning, having repelled an invasion in the south pole, the liberation of Omashu and then the fire nation prison. It seemed they were making quite the stir in the earth kingdom.
It’d only be a matter of time before they reached the small town, I was in. Perhaps they were already here. But if that was the case surely there would be some kind of stir. Pushing my hair from my face I ordered another drink from the barkeep. “You know you’re my favourite customer Schwarzer…. You’re the only one who consistently pays his tab. Unlike the rest of these soldiers or the workers around here.” The older man says in clear annoyance.
“Well who knows, if I wasn’t so successful, I’d probably mooch off you too.” I admitted with a grin. “Try not to talk too ill of the soldiers on either side.” I added on flicking him an extra coin for a tip once my drink was finished. “Well I better check if anyone has a job for me.” I say as I pushed myself up from my seat.
Idea 9: Persona. (So basically this is just gonna be a fairly interesting idea. My character along with the girls of persona 4 and 5 get stranded in this strange dimension where they have to fight their way out to make it back to their own worlds.)
Starter: It all happened so fast. One minute I was in a team meeting with my group discussing what we should use our newfound powers for next. And the next second, I had blinked and I was in some kind of strange room.
One by one more people were added into this room. Some of which were dressed in some elaborate costumes. And I frowned as I looked to each one of them, all of which I didn’t recognize at all and judging by their looks they didn’t recognize me. Although before we managed to introduce ourselves a booming voice broke the silence.
“Welcome all!” The clearly male voice commented. “To the room of my design.” He added on. “I’m sure you’re all confused. And no doubt you’ll want to return back to your homes. However, to do so you’ll need to enter my labyrinth. “Make it to the end and you’ll all return home.” The voice explained.
“Of course, this maze isn’t without its dangers. Enemies, much like you encounter on a regular basis will roam these halls. As well as beasts of my own design far stronger than those… Fear no though for every check point you reach this room will become more furnished with amenities. For now, you simply have beds to rest on.” He said as there was an audible click and the dark room was suddenly lit up. Sure, enough there were rows of beds all lined up one for each person to sleep on.
“When you’re ready to test yourselves step through this door and enter the first level of the labyrinth.” He declared as a large door appeared and opened up in front of them. For a while nobody said anything probably all too stunned to even process the information. “So, I’m guessing we’re all persona users given what he just said.” I spoke up. “I guess we should probably start with names and strengths, right?” I questioned the group. “I’m Chris Schwarzer.” I say. “My persona Serapth focuses on ranged combat.” I explained.
Idea 10: Harry Potter. (So to keep this one interesting I’m thinking of having it set in an AU where Voldemort and Harry don’t exist. However, there are still dark wizards who are part of a cult around. Defs looking for a Hermionie, Luna or Ginny, you could even have other celebs/ecelebs as teachers or students for this one! Ocs are of course welcome too!)
Starter: Another year at Hogwarts, the last for some; and another year of learning was right around the corner. Although times were not peaceful in the wizarding world. Aurors who were the police of the magical world were going missing or showing up dead.
The ministry not wanting to make a panic kept it fairly under wraps, however some of the families have come forward with the information and rumours abounded about what was really happening. Stepping off the train I sighed a little rubbing my temple where a headache had begun to set in. During the train ride here, I found myself stuck next to a boy who wouldn’t stop going on about the rumours and conspiracy theories.
Glad to be off the train I looked around for a minute lost as to where I needed to go. “I know it’s around here somewhere.” I commented, although my sense of direction was always off. Usually I followed everyone else. But this time it seemed I was one of the last ones off the train.
Idea 11: Final Fantasy. (So this is simply going to be an idea with no starter since it will probably change depending on the many FF universes. My favourite however is defs FF7. (Tifa, Jessie and Aerith are best girls) with follow-ups being 12, 13, 15, 10, 8 and 9. Basically a fight would take the Main character of those series, Cloud, Noct, ect out of commission and needing a leader the other characters step up and hire mine on. Similar to some of my other prompts but I never said I was creative :^) With that being said though if you ARE interested in this one let me know and we can work out details depending on what world we’re in!)
Idea 12: The Witcher 3. (So my character will be a Witcher. (wow!) Saving people, hunting things you know? The family business. Anyway, I’m gonna leave it super open ended for you to come in however you like! If you wanna play a canon character my top two are for sure Ciri and Trist, and OC characters are accepted too!)
Starter: A Werewolf, an odd and rare contract, although I figured it wouldn’t be a hard one. In face I figured with my silver blade that the creature would go down rather quickly. Starting the encounter, I was faced with a harsh reality due to my hubris. I started off well enough, however due to my carelessness I was quickly on the backfoot.
The beast roared as it swung its large clawed hand towards me. I had barely managed to roll out of the way of the attack. Probably due to the increasing levels of bloodless resulting in a careless action on my part. A level of confidence quickly pushed down by the fact a handful of open wounds stung at my flanks.
More scars for later given that I make it out of here, although with my silver blade thrown on the other side of the area leaving me with only a steel sword which barely even phases the thing. I had to reach my blade, although with my focus on dodging the attacks it was hard to find an opening to do so.
I raised a hand and cast the igni sign launching flames at the creature who leapt back and I tried my best to make it past the creature only to have to dodge another strike as the beast recovered remarkably fast. “Stubborn bastard, aren’t you?” I questioned a little sourly.
Idea 13: Fantasy harem adventure. (This one is fairly basic in nature. Basically, a young man with little combat experience leaves his poor hunting village once he’s of age and sets off to join the adventurer’s guild to make a name for himself and also to send money back home. He’s fairly modest, naive and kind hearted. Which makes him likable and easy to take advantage of.
We could add a story with war elements, racism and darker themes to show him that the world he idolizes isn’t as cracked up as he thought it’d be. Ideally, I’d like a full harem party for this one but I’m cool with one on one too.)
Starter: It had been a few days since I was finally able to leave the small village, I was raised in behind me. Sword on hip and keen to become an adventurer. Of course, I also wanted to make a name for myself and I was even more excited to see everything the world had to offer. With driving me forward I headed from my village over to the closest city which had a guild branch. A city called Ruan. It was nearly five times the size of my village if not more and yet it was nothing close to the capital city of Grancel.
Smooth dirt paths soon gave way to cobblestone and my boots clacked rhythmically against the pavement as my steps soon got faster and faster as Ruan came into view. My stomach was in knots as I gripped the straps on my bag tightly and after steeling my nerves and taking in the sight of the large city, I headed through the large stone arch to the busy streets beyond.
My excited eyes looked around at every nook and cranny as I took in every detail that was on offer. Soon coming across the large marble and wood building of the adventurer’s guild in front of me. I stood in front of the large building clearly awestruck and for a moment I felt completely overwhelmed. This was it. This was the first step I was going to take on my journey and yet I felt far too nervous to head inside. Instead I stood there shaking slightly as I tried to work up the courage to push those large oak doors aside and declare my presence to the world.
Idea 14: Man of the town. (So again the premise is also pretty basic. My character wakes up in a town where there’s no men, as if they all vanished at once. Including his father which leaves him home alone with his sister and mother. (It’s up to you if you want incest in the plot or not.) We can have a story with an element of mystery to it too if you want! Or we can just bounce around the town having him bonk as many different people as you want.)
Starter: It’s been a few weeks since all the men in the town vanished one day. One day they were there and the next they were gone. There was of course a panic even though it is much calmer than originally, it continues to creep in the back of everyone’s mind. It doesn’t help the fact that no outsiders have come into the town and some strange thick fog seems to stop everyone from leaving.
However, with no answers it was left to the women of the town to pick up the slack and try to push for some level of normalcy. Except for me it seemed. Since the whole act started, I was in lockdown not being free to leave my home since my mother and sister was much too paranoid that I’d disappear too. With the amount of time I spent indoors going stir crazy I began to wonder if it was better to be wherever the rest of them are.
Today was different though and finally I was given the chance to leave the house while my mother was careless and rather quickly, I headed out into the street just glad to take in the scenery as I headed over to a nearby park. I headed over the soft grass feeling it beneath my shoes and then to the pond where I took a seat on one of the mounted benches.
Idea 15: Zombie and Nuclear Apocalypse. (Not a whole lot to say here other than it’s one of your run of the mill Zombie/Nuclear apocalypse scenarios. I might toy with the idea of having multiple zombie types like games such as Dying light and Left for dead in order to spice things up a little but we’ll see where we go with it. As for nuclear I’ll probably be following along the Fallout franchise. Being part of these worlds will probably make my character a bit more brash, blunt and even a little rude. However, given some time he’ll warm up.)
Zombie Starter: No one knows quite when the outbreak started, however it swept over the globe causing panic. People eating people. People dying and coming back to life as a shambling corpse joining the armies of similar creatures. Society crumbled over time and the cities which were now hot zones for hordes of the undead creatures were left abandoned to all but the most daring or desperate of individuals. However, these rabid hordes weren’t the only thing to look out for in the apocalypse.
Society had begun to reform in its most primal form. People grouped together for safety. Those who just wanted to live peacefully became easy prey for those who saw the end of the world as we knew it as a playground to kill pillage and steal what they’d like. These bandits created their own factions with their own fortresses and seemed to have an endless supply of guns and ammo as they used it quite liberally.
I had been on the trail of a particularly nasty group of bandits as they razed whatever small settlements, they had to the ground callously and without mercy. I had just arrived at one of these towns. Dying people lay scattered about while fires licked at the makeshift buildings. It was still quite fresh. Approaching a nearby body which seemed to be moving slightly I turned it over the man was in bad shape and was clearly on death’s door. His eyes looking into mine in a pleading sense.
“Do you want me to make it quick?” I asked him reaching my left hand down to my machete which hung on my belt. Weakly his hand reached out to grip my right as he gave a nod. I knew the death wouldn’t be clean, as I unsheathed my blade. However, I couldn’t waste any ammo on my pistol nor could I risk tipping off the bandits that did this that I was following them. With a quick swing I slammed the blade into the head of the man ending his life and after wiping the blade off on his shirt I slid it back into its sheath my eyes scanning the immediate area for any of the undead which had turned or for a slim chance of getting a glimpse of survivors.
Nuclear Apocalypse Starter:
The world as we knew it ended in a flash. A white light followed by a rumble which washed over the world in nuclear fire. Billions died then and there reducing the world’s population to the brink. Those who were lucky to survive a direct blast were mutated to become much different than humans and more akin to zombies. Those outside of it didn’t have much quality of life as the radiation created mutated creatures which made living in a barren wasteland that much harder.
There were others however who were lucky enough to be given a spot in giant underground vaults. There they lived out their lives separated from the horrors that this new world wrought. One by one these vaults opened to allow these vault dwellers into the wasteland that was our world.
Their blue suits and clueless natures made them stand out and become easy prey to raiders, giant creatures and everything in between. Many of them didn’t get far before being gutted and robbed for their illusive vault suits which earned enough to feed a scavenger or bandit for a month.
The world and society began to rebuild. And with small settlements and towns popping up here and there it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the wasteland. Many were able to create jobs in local milita, mercenary work. Even trading or bartending.
I was such a mercenary a few generations of my family lived through the bombing and the radiation which was lucky enough for me, I guess. I was hired to do whatever someone wanted for the right price. And today I was tasked with delving into a recently opened vault and check make contact with the inhabitants inside.
Colt python on my waist I headed over to the large vault door which at this point was sealed shut and knocked loudly. This job seemed rather easy and was paying a lot which made me wonder who I was working for and what purpose they had with these vault dwellers. However, I wasn’t paid to ask questions nor did I really care at the end of the day. The less I knew the less guilt I could feel.
Idea 16: Space/Scifi. (So this is a scifi adventure. My character is the captain of his own ship and is currently looking for recruits to join him and help run it. There will probably be lots of interesting planets our characters go to and I’ll certainly be making them up as we go along! Your character can range as anything from a human to android or even an alien.)
Starter: Stepping out of The Tempest I breathed in the humid station air of Astra station. The station which was on the furthest reaches of the space ruled over the galactic council; was a haven for the depraved. Outlaws, mercenaries, drug dealers you name it Astra has it and in bountiful supply too.
Which made it a perfect spot to find someone who was desperate to get off the station. Someone who would work for cheap or for free. All I needed to do was to find them. “Schwarzer, don’t forget to stock up on food, military rations are sad.” A voice commented through the earpiece I had. “Yeah. I’ll head through the slums and to the market. Thanks, Evai.” I responded. “And don’t cause any trouble, I don’t wanna rot in this ship while you’re dead.” The voice added on. “Yeah yeah I’ve got it.” I responded as the communication line was severed and I started on my walk.
I headed through a nearby door and down into the depths of the station. Soon I the overcrowded and frankly smelly slums. Beggars and gang members lined every corner all looking at me with a cautious eye as I passed. There were even a few tweaked out drug users laying scattered about in some dark corners. Even a few corpses.
I didn’t stop though, if you stayed in one place too long down here you were asking to be jumped and quickly, I pushed on heading over to the bustling markets. The food quality here wasn’t the best although it was abundant. I even talked to a few of the store owners to see if they knew where I could find the extra hands to help me on my ship.
Idea 17: Brother sisteMother son (Or both). (So, this starter is gonna be fairly generic, however it’s open to allowing any of the familial ties to be easily included. I have a few ideas for immediate family and will post them below and if you have any ideas, I’m happy to hear them.)
Starter: It’s a hot and lazy day in the middle of summer break. I had laid splayed out on the couch at home. Despite the air conditioner being on full blast my skin underneath my tank top was getting stuck to the leather couch; which did little to alleviate the heat fluster that was going on. I sighed after looking over the back of the couch to the pool outback longingly. I sighed a little resigning myself to bite the bullet and peeled myself from the couch.
As much as I wanted to strip down and run out, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was home alone and as such, I headed up to my room to change into a pair of swimming trunks before heading back downstairs. Passing through the laundry and grabbing a towel on the way.
I headed onto the back deck and draped my towel over the railing before I rushed over and leapt into the pool immediately feeling the cool water wash away any of the heat I had been feeling. I resurface and breathed a sigh of relief as I pushed my messy hair back from my face.
Idea 18: Aunt/Cousin (Can be both). (Again like the incest scene above I’m not quite sure how to spruce this one up so I’ll leave it rather basic and we can go from there.)
Starter: My family has gone on holiday without me as I had to stay behind due to being caught up in exams. Rather than meeting up with them later they decided it would be more fun for me if I finished them up then headed over to spend some time with my Aunt and my cousin across the county. While I wouldn’t be leaving the country, I was still getting a vacation in a way and as such I tried my best to be upbeat and positive about it, even if I was envious of the others.
While it wasn’t the same pristine beaches and high-class resorts that the rest of my family was going to, I was still grateful for the hospitality. The plane lands in the airport and after collecting my bags and checking my phone for a confirmation I was going to be picked up I sent my family and my aunt and cousin a quick text telling them I landed safely. After gathering my small suitcase from the conveyor belt, I wheeled it through security and out to the meeting area keeping my eyes peeled for any sign of my cousin or my auntie. There was a little confusion about who was going to greet me so I wasn’t sure who to expect myself.
Idea 19: Incest family vacation. (So, this one is again going to be like the other two before it. They kinda roll off each other in a way. However, I believe it allows for a wide range of engagements with multiple characters at some kind of beach resort.)
Starter: It’s the dead middle of another scorching summer and rather than tough it out in our homes which has air-conditioning which never seemed to help, our large family decided to all go to a large resort (Could even be a cruise too) together. Many of the rooms were rather luxurious and I was more than excited to see what the rest of the hotel had to offer.
We pulled up into the lobby and while the parents were checking in I headed over to check out a map on the wall. It seemed there were quite a lot of different things to do around the resort. There was a pool with a poolside bar, a beach which had volleyball games, a massage parlour, hot tubs and many different activities ranging from native dances to eating competitions.
Just the realization we were here and the excitement at the many possibilities that could come from the vacation. Maybe I’d even meet someone nice and have a vacation fling. Although with so many family members running around, I doubted that I’d get much peace to do that. Regardless I was eager to get up to the room, have a shower and change into my swimming trunks to explore all the different places.
We headed up to the rooms where I noticed mine had a large double bed. However, judging by my mother’s comments outside It seemed there was some kind of mix-up in the rooms and I’d be sharing the room with one of my family members. Not that I minded too much. I placed my suitcase down and waited to see who would come in and if they were interested in joining me look around.
Closing words: So yeah that’s about it! Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or suggestions, I’m open to hearing them! I know this was probably a big read so thanks again for your time and I hope to talk to some of you soon!
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2020.10.30 18:16 _DarkPlaces_ I always get nervous when my girlfriend goes out without me

I always get nervous when my girlfriend goes out without me. Not because I don’t trust her but because I don’t trust the world: it seems to me an awful place, one intent on building you up just to break you back down, laughing as you tumble down to Earth. That’s not exactly normal, not a healthy outlook, and I know that, so mostly I keep it to myself. When I can manage. “Keep the weird in.” That’s what my mom always told me. She saw it before anyone else did, which makes sense when you think about it. “Suck it all up and keep it inside where no one can see it. Make a place for it, somewhere deep, somewhere that you might forget if you’re lucky.”
I’ve never been lucky.
Closest I’ve ever come was the day I met Eileen. I had American History II at 11:00 AM, but my confused and sleep-deprived brain got me up and on campus for the 8:00 AM lecture. She sat next to me and noticed the Hippo Campus sticker on my laptop.
“They’re coming in October,” she said, nodding at my MacBook. Her smell followed her, floating on the wind her swinging backpack brought. It was soft and green, that smell.
The concert had been our first date. After graduation we moved west, hundreds of miles from either of our families. Got an apartment. Two dogs. Grown-up jobs. I did my part to keep the weird inside and she did her best to ignore it when I failed.
Eileen worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency. I did sales. My client base was on the east coast, so I was in the office by six AM each morning. She didn’t crawl out of bed until closer to nine. Neither of us had too many friends for the first year or two, just each other, which I was perfectly okay with. I’m not much of a people person. I can make due when it’s expected, but it drains me. Leaves me feeling emptied out and sorry. She was how I recharged.
What brought us together was a mutual love of music. Like I said, our first date was a concert. We both loved live music, but her schedule was more allowing of it. If the gig was on a weekend, I’d happily go. Weeknight, not so much. For Eileen, the day didn’t much matter: if a band was in town that she wanted to see, she was there.
How many times in your life can you remember being truly scared? I mean that deep, dark, bottom of the well fear, the one that turns your skin rough and your heart cold. I have three: First, losing my mother at the JV Mall when I was six—I thought I’d never see her again, I was destined to become a vagrant, a lost, starved boy with no family. I cried until security took me into the office and paged her. I don’t think I’ve ever hugged anyone as tight as I grabbed my mother’s leg when she walked in, looking annoyed yet relieved. Second was when I was thirteen and rode my bike off the roof of my middle school as a dare. From the ground, the roof didn’t look so high; from the roof, the ground seemed very far away, like something I could remember knowing. When the tires left the building, I seemed to float for a minute. Everything that was low in my stomach came up my throat. Even the weird I’d tried to push down, deep, somewhere it might be forgotten.
Third was the night Eileen went to see Glass Animals without me. It was a Tuesday. I had work early the next day. She took an Uber, because we lived downtown and shared a car. Light snow was falling that night, promising an ugly morning. I tried to stay awake until she was back home and safe with me, but when eleven o’clock rolled around I gave up. Got into bed, prayed to a God I mostly don’t believe in to bring her back to me, please, bring her back, don’t let anything happen, and closed my eyes. I was out in minutes. Five AM comes early.
What woke me was the sound of my phone vibrating on the nightstand inches from my head. It buzzed, stopped, buzzed, stopped, buzzed; that’s when I remembered who I was, when it was, what was happening.
Unknown Caller is what my screen showed. I swiped the green icon, put the phone to my ear, and said, “Hello?” At the same time I was checking the time, my heart gathering speed when I saw it was nearly three in the morning. The bed next to me was empty.
“Hello?” I repeated. What I’d mistaken for silence on the other end was actually faint breathing, someone listening.
“Who is this?” I said, my voice rising. I hoped it sounded like anger instead of fear. Really it was both.
I was looking at the wall, trying to turn my eyes off so my ears could focus. The dogs pushed the cracked bedroom door open and watched me, attracted by the sound of my voice.
“Eileen?”
Nothing.
“Is that you?”
A voice spoke then. I honestly can’t say if it was a boy or a girl or a woman. I don’t think it was a man.
“Eileen is gone,” it said. There was static, not blaring, more like soft white noise, after the voice spoke. Like talking to someone over an old landline: the silence between words was heavy.
“Who the fuck is this?” I yelled. I stood up, because I needed to do something. I was feeling helpless and lost, like the six-year-old kid who’d lost his mom at the mall.
“Nick,” the voice said, “you knew this was coming.”
“Knew what was coming?”
“Try not to be mad,” it said. “This is inevitable. People like you don’t win.”
I turned on the bedroom light, went into the living room and turned those lights on, too. The dogs followed me, watching with concerned eyes.
“If this is some sort of prank you better stop right now,” I said. I did a quick sweep of the apartment, hoping to find some sign, any sign, that Eileen had returned home, knowing damn well I wouldn’t. I was close to tears.
“We both know this isn’t a joke,” the voice said. “I’m sorry. I wish it was. But I don’t make the decisions. I’m just the messenger. Don’t shoot me because you don’t like what I have to say.”
I almost hung up. I needed to call Eileen, but I was afraid that once I did this person, if that’s what it even was, would be gone forever. And what if she didn’t answer? What then?
“Tell me what’s going on,” I said.
The voice sighed. I heard genuine sadness in that sound.
“We don’t like the dark, Nick. You shouldn’t have tried to keep us there.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?” I was crying now, full tears streaming down my face.
“It will be easier this way. Without her. You don’t have to pretend anymore. Isn’t that what you want?”
“No. I don’t want that. I don’t want anything like that.”
There was a long moment without sound. I held the phone close to my ear, wiping my eyes, listening. The dogs watched me nervously. I heard a murmur, as if whoever was speaking to me had held their hand over the mic and was conferring with some unknown council.
“It doesn’t matter what you want,” the voice said. “It’s too late. Goodbye.”
The line died. I called Eileen sixty-four times between then and sunrise. Eventually the line stopped ringing and went directly to voicemail. I tried to locate her phone, but I kept getting error messages. I reported her missing to the police. Her body was never found. No trace of her. None at all.
Who called me that night? The police subpoenaed T-Mobile, but they couldn’t follow the number. The detective assigned to her case was surprised. I wasn’t.
I no longer try to keep the weird inside. There’s no point. I am who I am. I can either accept it or lose myself trying to fight it. The voice said they don’t like the dark. I understand that. Neither do I. Yet that’s where I find myself. That’s where I always am.
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2020.10.30 15:00 Angel466 [Bob the hobo] A Celestial Wars Spin-Off Part 0206

PART TWO HUNDRED AND SIX
“HELEN!!” Tucker Portsmith rarely ever raised his voice, and never to his wife, so when he flew through the front doors screaming her name at the top of his lungs after midnight, Helen Portsmith’s first instinct was that something terrible had happened to one of the kids.
She flew out of bed and rushed into the living room without throwing on her robe, meeting Alex in the hallway. That left only Geraldine unaccounted for. She saw in his eyes that he’d made the same deduction. “I’ll kill him if he’s hurt her,” he swore, racing through the apartment just ahead of her.
Tucker and Alex collided at the corner. But instead of being upset with his son, the older Portsmith bounced off him, caught Helen around the waist and lifted her off her feet, whirling her in a tight circle of delight. “I don’t know how our little girl did it, but she sniffed out the grand prize of all grand prizes, Helen!” he laughed, still spinning her round and round. He hugged her tightly and put her down, stepping away from her with a clap of delight. “I knew I liked that boy!”
Helen looked at Alex, who more or less returned her poleaxed expression. “Tucker, for goodness sake! Will you stop dancing around and babbling like a lunatic and start making sense? What are you talking about?”
Tucker was beside himself. “Sam’s father! There is no Llyr Arnav! Thomas was right! It’s a damned alias!”
“How is that a good thing that the guy’s a bald-faced liar, Dad?”
Tucker’s eyes practically shone with glee. “Because his real name is Llyr Nascerdios!”
Helen stumbled backwards and fell against the wall and even Alex had to steady himself. “What?”
“Are you sure, Tuck?” she asked, knowing her own searches into Sam’s background last year had found a very mediocre history that was technically too far below Geraldine’s status to be encouraged long term. The young man she’d been introduced to two nights ago was certainly well-mannered enough, but given her own search, she’d been genuinely surprised to see him wearing those Brioni pants and jacket. She’d recognise that company’s quality anywhere. Not to mention the Silencethesea cologne that she was sure she’d smelt on him at the time they’d hugged.
“Positive, baby! Our little girl has fallen ass-backwards into the biggest league on the planet! Sam is a NASCERDIOS!” Tucker locked his fingers together and pressed them into his lips. “Oh, I wish I’d taken a whole lot more photos of their first date! The PR from that would be pure gold! Just think, Helen! Our grandchildren will be Nascerdios!”
“That little fucker is a Nascerdios?” Alex repeated in astonishment and received a savage backhand to the bicep from his father.
“Don’t you be talking about him like that, Alexander! He’s Nascerdios! People who buy and sell companies like Portsmith Electronics over a morning coffee! My God! Helen!”
Helen was also thinking ahead. This was no longer a harmless dalliance between two school kids of consenting age. This was the future. The future that would forever tie Portsmith Electronics to the Nascerdios name. As the grandmother of Nascerdios grandbabies, there wouldn’t be a door in the world that wouldn’t open for her.
She pushed herself off the wall and went back into the master bedroom at the end of the hall with a determined stride. Tucker quickly followed. “What are you doing, honey?”
“Geraldine’s credit card is connected to mine,” she said, stripping off her negligée and walking into her dressing room. She grabbed the first matching set of clothes she could find and hauled them on. “She’s booked a suite at the Hilton Garden Inn. Since it’s on my card, the concierge will tell me if they’ve come in yet. If they have, I’ll send her a message to have her meet me in the foyer. If she’s not, I’ll wait.”
She looked across at her husband, growing just as excited as he had been. “This is their first weekend to themselves, which means they’ll probably be having non-stop sex. If she plays her cards right, she could be pregnant with his child by Monday!”
“She definitely needs to land him before anyone else works out who he really is,” Tucker agreed. His eyes widened and he snapped his fingers. “And that also explains how the Arnav driver flattened Thomas with one punch.”
She stopped and swung around to him. “Why would he need to punch Thomas?” she asked, already signing Thomas’ pink slip in her mind if he’d done anything to jeopardise her new agenda.
“Thomas caught two people spying on the kids this afternoon, and when he challenged them, one was Sam’s driver and the other was a subordinate that had apparently been assigned to Sam’s personal security! They were Nascerdios security! No wonder he was decked like he was nothing! To them, he was!”
Helen still wasn’t happy, though a fracas between employees was hardly likely to be noticed by the Nascerdios family. “We need to show we’re good enough for them too,” she said, pulling on her sneakers. “Roll out the red carpet for Sam especially. Geraldine said he’s still heavily into the conservation movement. We should make a sizeable donation before they find out we know. Make it look like a happy coincidence that Portsmith Electronics and the Nascerdios ideals are aligned.”
Tucker nodded in agreement. “Right, right. I’ll get on that right now.” But then he paused at the door. “Which organisation?”
“Greenpeace. It’s the one he and his mother are affiliated with. I’ll find out from Geraldine what his favourite foods and drinks are and make sure our pantry has plenty of both.” Then the moment caught up with her and she clapped her hands together as well. “We had a Nascerdios in the house!”
“I know! And we have the photographic evidence of the relationship!”
“We need to make that a framed print! Dig out the best one you have, Tuck! We’ll get it blown up and put on the portrait wall. But not too big though! We don’t want him to know we know! It all has to look like it’s all a happy coincidence at this stage. Like our families were destined to be together.” She picked up her phone and speed-dialled Donald. “I’ll be downstairs in fifteen minutes,” she barked, then hung up and went back to gathering her things.
Like many chauffeurs of the apartment complex, Donald and Thomas were given a one-room, basement style accommodation in a nearby building so they could be on call twenty-fouseven. Fifteen minutes gave them three minutes to wake up and get dressed.
She went into the ensuite, brushed her hair and applied a basic layer of makeup. As annoying as the lost time was, she had to make herself presentable to polite company. Otherwise, it’d be just her luck to run headlong into the wrong people. And depending on who they were, it could range from idle curiosity to a deeper probe into Helen’s business. No way were the other mothers going to get any kind of head’s up that would have their daughters trying for an end-run around Geraldine’s claim to Sam.
“Do you want me to come with you, Mom?” Alex asked, already dressed and back in the living room by the time she came out a few minutes later.
Helen shook her head. “You need to work out what you can do to make Sam feel more welcome within the family. Find something the two of you can bond over as brothers-in-law.”
“MOM!”
“Alexander Edward Portsmith!” Helen shot back, just as heatedly. “This is your sister’s one big chance and you are not ruining it for her! Do you understand me?!”
“Yes, ma’am.”
Tucker had already disappeared into his office to organise things from his side. Helen stopped in the entryway and gave herself a final once over before heading out. God willing, by the time Geraldine brought Sam home after the weekend, she would be pregnant with his child and they’d be able to prove themselves to be the most Sam-friendly family in the world.
Because Helen Portsmith was on a mission.
* * *
Previous Part 205
((All comments welcome))
I made a family tree/diagram of the Mystallian family that can be found here
For more of my work including previous parts or WPs: Angel466 or indexed here
FULL INDEX OF BOB THE HOBO TO DATE CAN BE FOUND HERE!!
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2020.10.29 11:04 Electricgrapefruit KABOOMtinkletinkle...........................................

October 27, 2020 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11366572Components: STRUCTURE, VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL
NHTSA ID Number: 11366572
Incident Date September 1, 2020
Consumer Location CORONA DEL MAR, CA
Vehicle Identification Number 5YJYGDEE7LF****
Summary of Complaint
KABOOMtinkletinkle...... aaaaargh!
I WAS SLOWLY PULLING THE TESLA MODEL Y, VIN #5YJYGDEE7LF031858, ON TUESDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 1, AT APPROXIMATELY 11:15AM. I WAS ABOUT 3 FEET FROM THE FRONT OF THE GARAGE WHEN THE CAR WITHOUT MY PROMPTING SUDDENLY RAPIDLY ACCELERATED INTO THE CABINETS AND RUINED THEM ALONG WITH THE WALL THEY WERE HUNG ON, REMOVING THE WALL FROM THE FOUNDATION. THIS ALSO CAUSED CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE TO THE CAR WHICH ONLY HAD APPROXIMATELY 450 MILES DRIVEN ON IT. WE ALSO OWN A TESLA MODEL 3 WHICH I HAVE DRIVEN EXTENSIVELY THEREFORE MAKING ME VERY FAMILIAR WITH THE TESLA DRIVE TRAIN. IN NO WAY WAS THIS ANY TYPE OF OPERATOR ERROR AS TESLA HAS SUGGESTED AFTER THEIR REVIEW OF THE VEHICLE DATA. THIS IS CLEARLY A DESIGN FLAW WITH THIS CAR AND THANKFULLY THERE WERE NO SERIOUS INJURIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE CRASH. I AM EXTREMELY SHAKEN UP BY THE INCIDENT AND WON'T EVER FEEL CONFIDENT DRIVING THAT CAR AGAIN. PHOTOS OF THE DAMAGE ARE AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW. PHOTOGRAPHS OF MUSK FUCKING A CORGI ALSO AVAILABLE.
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2020.10.29 00:38 theintrepidwanderer 2020 Ocean State Rhode Races Marathon: An Actual, In-Person Live Road Race

Race Information

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A Sub-3:10 Yes
B Sub-3:15 Yes
C Sub-3:20 Yes
D Set a marathon PR by 20 minutes Yes
E Set a marathon PR by 15 minutes Yes
F Set a marathon PR by 10 minutes Yes
G Negative split Yes
H Top 20 placement Yes
I Set a half marathon PR (old PR: 1:36:13) Yes

Mile Splits (from Strava)

Mile Time
1 7:02
2 7:16
3 7:35
4 7:04
5 7:17
6 7:15
7 7:20
8 7:28
9 7:01
10 7:16
11 6:59
12 7:17
13 7:13
14 7:08
15 7:11
16 7:17
17 7:30
18 7:27
19 7:53
20 7:10
21 6:53
22 6:46
23 7:01
24 7:02
25 7:25
26 6:58
0.2 6:43

Half Marathon Splits

Mile Time Notes
13.1 1:35:22
26.2 1:34:32 new half PR

Training

Well, let me start by getting this out of the way: this year has been weird, unusual, and at times, stressful. Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. After a spring training cycle that ended with me setting new PRs in the 10 mile and half marathon distances (via solo time trials), I started my marathon training cycle in June, with the hope that the major fall marathons (Chicago and NYC) were going to be held. Of course, they cancelled their events weeks later (and within weeks of each other) because the COVID situation was still left uncontrolled, leaving me without any goal race to aim for. With the uncertainty still lingering in the air, I opted to continue my training regimen, and start looking around for smaller races nearby later. Specifically, races that were small enough where they could get the necessary approvals to be held and were not too high profile where it would attract unnecessary attention.
My training consisted of mostly easy/aerobic running, some speed and hill workouts thrown in, along with the regularly scheduled long runs. But because I was training in the Northeast during the summer, it was brutally hot and humid, and training was miserable at times. Using a modified Pfitz 18/70 plan (basically without the hard workouts that might have overcooked me), I began at 50-55 miles per week, and eventually peaked at 70 miles per week.
Over the late summer, I started using marathon aggregation websites to look around for small races nearby, or within reasonable traveling distance, that were not cancelled at the time and still had space to accommodate additional participants. Some early leads fizzled out as the organizers opted to cancel their races and/or go virtual due to the uncertain COVID situation. Another race I was looking at decided to restrict participants to those who only resided in New England states, per a state order. Eventually, it came down to me seriously considering two races – Ocean State Rhode Races (OSRR) and the Harrisburg Marathon – and began to keep a very close eye on the developments from the organizers of those races. I noticed that the Ocean State Rhode Races organizers had a free waitlist enabled, the race was in late October (coinciding with the TCS NYC Virtual Marathon), and COVID cases wasn’t expected to spike to concerning levels at that time; with that in mind, I put my name into the waitlist.
About four weeks out, OSRR organizers reported that they got state-level approval for their event (a huge development), and they were working on getting town-level approval for all the towns that were along the course. One by one, town-level approvals started coming through, and the event appeared to be on track to get the full green light by the following week (three weeks out). With that promising positive trend, I decided to schedule my final 20 mile long run on that same weekend so that I could start my three week taper when registration opened up the following week. Sure enough, once the final town level approval was obtained the following week, they began to start pulling people from the waitlists. I immediately jumped on registration once I was pulled off the waitlist and signed up without any further delay. What seemed like a distant dream a few months ago became reality; I now had an actual, in-person marathon to focus on. It was time to prepare and bring my game day face to the race.

Pre-Race

Traveled over to Rhode Island via train and car early on Saturday morning, arriving at Narragansett later in the morning. After dropping off my overnight bags at the hotel, I walked around the beach area for a while, then stopped by the bib pickup area at the beach to pick up my bib. After eating lunch and checking into my hotel room, I did an easy shakeout jog along the first few miles of the marathon route to loosen my legs and get a feel of the first few miles of the course. Spent the rest of the afternoon chilling, sparing my legs from walking around too much.
I went to a nearby restaurant in the evening for the customary carb-heavy pre-marathon dinner. After dinner, I went back to my hotel room, where I went and did my usual pre-race preparation and routine. Laid out my singlet, shorts, arm warmers, my new pair of Next%, socks, gels and gloves, and pinned the bib onto my singlet. Took a warm Epsom salt bath to loosen my muscles and calm my nerves. I remembered seeing u/dozaster mentioned in artc that he drank a full serving of Maurten 320 the night before the race and it helped him greatly. I was like heck, this was worth a try; I wasn’t planning to carry a bottle during the race, yet I wanted to make sure I was sufficiently fueled up for at least the first half of the race, even I have to find myself storing it in my body like a bear preparing for hibernation. So I found myself drinking a serving of Maurten 320 while watching the World Series on TV before heading to bed. (Side note: And I found out the morning after the Dodgers choked really hard down the stretch. Like c’mon? Really? But again, that doesn’t surprise me). Got a good 7 hour sleep that night, and felt very well rested that night.
Woke up at 5:30 AM and started to get myself ready for the race. Had a quick breakfast consisting of two granola bars and some water to go along with it. I checked the temperatures for that morning, and while it was cold (temperatures were in the high 40s at the start), I realized this was perfect running temperatures and that I was going to be in perfect place once I was warmed up. Thus, no need for throwaway clothes. Plus, the start line was about half a mile from the hotel itself, and it was an easy 10 minute jog over. Since the race asked us to show up about 10-15 minutes before our scheduled start time, I wasn’t going to be sitting around in the cold for long prior to starting the race. Once I got dressed, I headed over to the hotel lobby where I got myself a bit of coffee to wake myself up and to stay warm for the time being. About 20 minutes before the race started, I took a gel, washed it down with water, then headed out to make the 10 minute jog over to the start line.
Once I reached the start area, I saw that other marathoners were converging on the area at the same time, and I noticed that the announcer was starting to ask participants to line up at the start corral. After a few quick strides in the parking lot, I went over to the starting corral and positioned myself up front. I quickly greeted a few runners near me and we started asking each other what our race goals were. It was immediately clear to me that everyone wanted to respectfully run their own races and not want to go out too fast and spend unnecessary effort jockeying for positions up front at the beginning. I also quickly realized there was a much deeper field than usual that showed up this year; there were quite a few sub-2:40 men, with a good number of sub-2:55 men in the mix as well. This was not surprising to me in the first place; with all the high-profile races were cancelled due to the pandemic, many of these displaced runners needed to find a race satisfy their racing itch, just like me, and it was almost a guarantee that a few of these fast runners were going to show up to any legitimate race that is able to be held in a COVID environment once they hear about it. With the realization that I was facing a very competitive field and that an age group placement was out of reach (unless something catastrophic were to happen), I decided to focus on running my own race, race smart, and focus on my own goal: running a 3:10 marathon.
After the usual pre-race announcements and the singing of the National Anthem, it was time for us to start the race. With the “on your mark, get set….” from the race announcer, we were off and running down the road in no time to kick off the race.

Race

Mile 1 to 7

I started off the first mile a bit too hot, going along with the faster runners up front. I quickly realized this was a bad idea and I certainly did not want to end my race early. So, I consciously backed off and let other faster runners go ahead of me, while I worked on slowing my pace down to my goal pace of 7:15 per mile.
My immediate concern in the beginning was that my HR was spiking to levels that would be unsustainable over the long run. Because of that, I focused on making sure I was being relaxed as much as possible while staying close to goal pace as much as possible in efforts to keep my heart rate down. There were a good number of rolling hills present during the first seven miles, and so I made sure to maintain consistent effort while going up and down the hills. I was in visual contact with a small group of runners – a few males and a few fast females – and so I tried to make sure I didn’t fall too behind from that group. Took some water at mile 4, and decided to hold off taking a gel until the mile 8 aid station, as I felt good nutrition-wise at that time.
Although, I have to say that I enjoyed the views while going through the Bonnet Shores neighborhood, and that was definitely the highlight for me for this portion of the race.
Hit the first 7 miles with 7:02, 7:16, 7:35, 7:04, 7:17, 7:15, and 7:20 mile splits.

Mile 7.1 to 13.1

After going through the Bonnett Shores neighborhood, I continued north on Boston Neck Road. After we passed the half marathon split off point, we started to run past the early bird marathoners whom started an hour earlier than we did, and we continued to encounter groups of these early bird marathoners throughout this stretch. There was a slight uphill climb between miles 9.4 and 10.4, but it did not bother me too much and I was able to navigate it without any issues.
The stretch between miles 10 and the half marathon point was incredibly beautiful. The roads here were lined with trees on both ends, and you could see that there was some fall foliage left on these trees (peak fall foliage occurred a week before). It was quite a beautiful sight to see.
By this time, my heart rate had dropped and stabilized to levels where I could maintain my current pace without completely bonking out later down the stretch. Took a gel with water at the mile 8 aid station; at that point, I burned through a good portion of my glycogen stores and felt this was a good time to start taking some additional nutrition. By the time I approached the halfway point, the lead male runners started coming through in the opposite direction, making their way south to the start/finish area.
Mile 8 through 13 splits were as follows: 7:28, 7:01, 7:16, 6:59, 7:17, 7:13. Hit the halfway point in 1:35:22. So far, so good.

Mile 13.1 to Mile 20

The halfway point between mile 13 and 16 consisted of an out-and-back loop through a residential neighborhood. Again, it was very quiet for the most part, aside from a couple of cheer groups that popped up along the way. Took a quick look at my watch and while the predicted time on the Race Screen app was still fluctuating all over the place, there was one metric that remained constant: the average mile per pace. And it was consistently showing 7:15 mile per pace. This was a good sign that I was on the right track to meet my goal finishing time; I focused on maintaining my current pace with consistent efforts. There was a small group of guys I was running with between mile 8 and 16, but by mile 16 I had completely dropped them as well. Took some water at the aid station after mile 14 and took some additional water plus a gel at the aid station right after mile 16, and braced myself for the uphill climb between mile 17 and 19. By this time, the rest of the marathoners were making their way northward, and I found myself blasting past them in the opposite direction.
Mile 17 and 19 was arguably the toughest part of the course, with rolling hills between miles 17 and 18, and a significant uphill climb of 160 feet between miles 18 and 19. While I navigated miles 17 and 18 without any issues (though at a slightly slower pace), miles 18 and 19 were somewhat difficult. While I slowed my pace by a minute per mile, it was a never-ending grind and I had to put much more effort into this segment compared to the effort that I had put in running the first 18 miles of the race. My lungs and legs felt like they were burning up, and I wanted this to end.
Once I crested the hill at mile 19, I made a quick porta potty stop at the nearby aid station, followed by a quick sip of water. After a quick breather, I resumed running and was back on my way.
Mile splits between miles 14 and 20 were as follows: 7:08, 7:11, 7:07:, 7:30, 7:27, 7:53, 7:10

Mile 20 to 26

There was this female runner that was I was running with since mile 8; while she was ahead of me most of the time (but within visual sight), I finally caught up to her by around mile 20. Once I passed mile 20, I had a big decision to make; do I stay on my current pace, or do I pick it up and run fast during the last 10K? I quickly checked in with myself to see if I was OK with picking things up a notch, and I realized that I was still in good shape (no fatigue), didn’t show any signs of bonking, and still had enough left in the tank for a fast finish. My watch still showed that I was on 7:15/mi pace, and my dream of a 3:10 finish was very much alive. With that, I did not want to lose this opportunity; it was go time for me. I picked up the pace, dropped the female runner, and began grinding out the last 10K on my own, at a pace slightly faster than my goal marathon time. I took full advantage of the elevation drops between miles 20 and 22 to throw down mile splits of 6:53 and 6:45, respectively, and put in more of a gap between me and other runners who were right behind me. This put me in no man’s land for at least a mile or so once more.
Shortly before mile 22, I made a right turn and merged onto the same route that the half marathoners were running on; this delighted me because now I was not completely alone and would have company for the last 4 miles of the race. With that, I continued with my fast pace, made sure I was 6 feet apart from the half marathoners, and blazed past them like a hot knife through butter. Some of them even cheered me on as I ran past them. Not going to lie, I felt like a rock star at that time, even though I felt bad for running past them and leaving them in the dust like that. But I had a goal to meet, I was not going to relent, and I had to remain focused. A quick check of my watch around mile 23 indicated that my average mile pace dropped down to 7:14 per mile, and I was on track to finish in the 3:10 range.
By mile 24, I knew that I almost had this marathon in the bag, and I was on pace to set a massive PR. But, before I could bring it home and celebrate, there was this hill between mile 24 and mile 25 I had to climb. Not as bad as the hill between mile 18 and 19, but it was an annoying obstacle between me and the finish. So, I braced myself and grinded it out while doing my best to maintain a pace close to my goal pace of 7:15 per mile. After hitting the mile 25 mark, I knew the finish line was not far away, that I was almost done, and I wanted to finish up strong. Picked up the pace once more, grinded out another small hill that was in the way, and held on for dear life.
As I approached mile 26, I noticed the finish line in the distance, and that was enough motivation for me to further pick up the pace book it to the finish. Checked my watch one more time, and the Race Screen App told me I was on track to finish in 3:10:06. Oh hell no, I thought to myself, I have a good shot at finishing under 3:10, I made it this far, and I am not going to throw away this opportunity. I made a left hand turn and entered the finishing chute to book it all the way to the finish, and got so excited that the announcer had to remind me to pull up my mask on the way in (which I did!). I saw the race clock at about 150 meters to go, and it was ticking away at around 3:09:30, and that is when I knew that a sub-3:10 finish was possible. Ran the final meters while keeping a close eye on the race clock to make sure I wasn’t slowing down while approaching the finish. Crossed the finish line with my arms up when the race clock ticked past 3:09:56. With that, it was over. A stretch marathon goal that I thought was not possible in to reach in the possible became reality.
Mile splits between mile 21 and 26 were as follows: 6:53, 6:46, 7:01, 7:02, 7:25, 6:58. Final 0.2 was ran in 6:43. Ran the second half in 1:34:32, or 50 seconds faster than my first half.
Final official finishing time: 3:09:54. Good for 17th overall. And a 21 minute marathon PR.

Post-Race

After crossing the finish line, I stopped my watch and did a quick check on my body to make sure that I wasn’t experiencing any physical difficulties (I was still functional and alert). Grabbed my post-finish snacks and drinks on my way out of the finishing chute, and checked my official finishing time on my phone; that was when I learned that I finished under 3:10, which was the best possible outcome for me. Hung around for a bit to watch other runners finish their own races, and chatted with other runners that were in the finish area. After about an hour, I slowly walked back to my hotel for a much-needed hot shower and a change of clothes, checked out of my hotel room, and headed over to a nearby restaurant for a celebratory lunch. Stopped by a brewery next to the train station that afternoon for a quick celebratory drink before taking the Northeast Regional back to NYC.
All in all, this race went as perfectly as you could imagine. Because of the rolling hills that were prevalent in the course, I was concerned that I was going to fry myself for going too hard on the hills, especially during the second half of the race when bad decisions during the first half come back to bite many people’s asses. Thus, I decided to start conservatively and made sure I was holding myself together during the first half without overcooking myself, and make a break for it for the second half if I had enough left in the tank. This proved to be an excellent decision on my part. Second, I was expecting to be in no man’s land for most parts of the race because of my expected finishing time; indeed, I was in no man’s land for some stretches of the race, but surprisingly I had company near or ahead of me for most parts of the race; I made sure I was keeping those runners within line of sight with consistent effort, not pacing myself faster than I was comfortable with at the time. Third, taking the Maurten 320 the night before helped me a lot in terms of fueling as I was able to tap into it during the first half of the race, when I was getting my rhythm established. Finally, the weather was perfect for running; the temperatures at the start were in the high 40s and did not creep up beyond the low 50s, making conditions ideal for racing. The only obstacle I faced was that there were 11 mph winds from the north, which made the first half a bit challenging. I opted to hold back during the first half so to not fight against the wind and crank it up during second half where the wind was basically a non-factor. Overall, I committed to a reasonable finishing time as my primary goal, stuck to and ran my own race throughout, and made sure I was well fueled and well rested beforehand. These were the ingredients that propelled me to a successful day on the course and helped me nab a huge marathon PR in the process.

Marathon PR Progression

Special Thanks

Before I end this, I wanted to give a special thanks to everyone who have made this year possible, even in these unusual and scary times.
Made with a new race report generator created by herumph.
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2020.10.28 22:53 Electricgrapefruit Model Y oh WHY did you try to fucking kill me?

October 27, 2020 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11366572Components: STRUCTURE, VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL
NHTSA ID Number: 11366572
Incident Date September 1, 2020
Consumer Location CORONA DEL MAR, CA
Vehicle Identification Number 5YJYGDEE7LF****
Summary of Complaint
CRASHYes
FIRENo
INJURIES0
DEATHS0
I WAS SLOWLY PULLING THE TESLA MODEL Y, VIN #5YJYGDEE7LF031858, ON TUESDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 1, AT APPROXIMATELY 11:15AM. I WAS ABOUT 3 FEET FROM THE FRONT OF THE GARAGE WHEN THE CAR WITHOUT MY PROMPTING SUDDENLY RAPIDLY ACCELERATED INTO THE CABINETS AND RUINED THEM ALONG WITH THE WALL THEY WERE HUNG ON, REMOVING THE WALL FROM THE FOUNDATION. THIS ALSO CAUSED CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE TO THE CAR WHICH ONLY HAD APPROXIMATELY 450 MILES DRIVEN ON IT. WE ALSO OWN A TESLA MODEL 3 WHICH I HAVE DRIVEN EXTENSIVELY THEREFORE MAKING ME VERY FAMILIAR WITH THE TESLA DRIVE TRAIN. IN NO WAY WAS THIS ANY TYPE OF OPERATOR ERROR AS TESLA HAS SUGGESTED AFTER THEIR REVIEW OF THE VEHICLE DATA. THIS IS CLEARLY A DESIGN FLAW WITH THIS CAR AND THANKFULLY THERE WERE NO SERIOUS INJURIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE CRASH. I AM EXTREMELY SHAKEN UP BY THE INCIDENT AND WON'T EVER FEEL CONFIDENT DRIVING THAT CAR AGAIN. PHOTOS OF THE DAMAGE ARE AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW.
1 Affected Product
submitted by Electricgrapefruit to EnoughMuskSpam [link] [comments]


2020.10.27 14:37 IEscapedFromALab If You See a Downed Aircraft in the Everglades, Avoid It

About three years ago, a buddy named Will and I went kayaking and slough slogging (think a combination of hiking and swimming) in the Loxahatchee remnant of the Everglades. I had just gotten engaged to my girlfriend of seven years and he was celebrating three years of avoiding painkillers and sticking to weed that started after our third amigo, Cory Walton, passed away from an overdose. Will had been partially responsible, having fled instead of calling the police to avoid trouble and had never forgiven himself. I had difficulty with it from time to time, so I tried to consider not hating him for it a burden to work on and he agreed to work on his painkiller habit.
So we had brought some shrooms and weed with us to really enjoy the wilderness. Our friendship went back more than fifteen years, all the way to our High School group of hooligans so I couldn't just give up on him. My name is Jason Grover and this is the story of what me and my friend found in the swamp.
We paddled out with our old kayaks from the Arthur R. Marshall park in West Palm Beach, Florida. We planned so that we could camp a few miles in, grill up some fish and enjoy mother nature. We decided to go much deeper in than we normally did, but our adventures had become a ritual since Will started getting clean and we had a variety of gps devices so that we didn't go missing like so many others. After four or five hours we noticed it was getting dark and Will suggested we find a good spot to camp.
"Hey man, check out this tunnel" Will suggested, pointing at a waterway that went below a thick canopy of trees that formed a tunnel like structure.
There were plenty of invasive species, like Australian pine, climbing fern and brazilian pepper in the areas we had passed, but we most have gotten pretty deep because I hadn't seen a single invasive species for nearly an hour. There was a skinny woman dressed in all white standing on a patch of land covered in tall grass, but she wasn't facing us and walked into the grass when we came near.
"Hey, lady! Is there good solid ground here?" Will tried to ask, but she didn't respond or return. He shrugged and we decided to go through the verdant tunnel ahead of us.
Most of the canopies were formed by mangrove and cypress working together to horde what passed for solid land in the natural state of Florida and this one was particularly thick. This one was so thick that it blocked out the sun almost entirely for about four hundred feet, creating a dark tunnel of tropical colors with only occasional holes for the dark orange and purple sunset to cast light through. There were tons of strange purple bromeliads, beautiful flowers that formed nest like structures to grow from the crevices of trees and branches so that they would not need soil.
"Wow, what the fuck do you think brought it down?" Will asked. I looked at him in incomprehension until he pointed at a spot in the canopy above us.
In addition to the vines and flowers, letters could be seen through a rare area that wasn't covered in foliage. The canopy had been formed by a downed aircraft, and a big one by the looks of it. The Everglades used to enjoy a similar reputation to the Bermuda Triangle and it wasn't uncommon at all to find old military service planes here and there throughout the wetlands. This particular wreck looked ancient, so it didn't surprise me that we had never heard of it.
"Welp, a pity we don't have any choice in exploring the fuck out of this, it's going to eat into our time." Will quipped happily.
"Yeah, we pretty much have to." I said, after I had recovered from my shock.
"Yeah, I'd say so." He said with a triumphant laugh. "AbandonedPlaces is going to absolutely shit its pants."
I nodded in awe as we realized that what appeared to be a cockpit lay some distance ahead of us. A severed wing had propped itself up against a particularly hearty pond cypress tree that seemed to partially wrap itself around the metal, as if embracing it.
We set up camp, putting up our mosquito net over a natural lean-to created by the wing of the downed aircraft and setting up every insect repellent known to man. On closer inspection, the formerly robust looking tree that had seen some better days. The words "La Cigu" were spraypainted near the cockpit of the plane, but the vines obscured anything else. I would have camped elsewhere but Will wanted to get a mosquito net up quickly and thought it looked cool.
It was the winter which made the mosquitos less of a problem, but not enough of a difference, the swamp could exsanguinate a cow in thirty minutes without enough Deet. I couldn't blame him for wanting to get it ready. Once the sun was down we decided to make a fire and warm up our dinner consisting of some fish we had caught, muscadine grapes, purslane, spiderwort, swamp cabbage, betony, young cattail stalks and ringless honey mushrooms, which we added together with some lettuce and ground provisions to make a gigantic weird salad which was quite delicious. In addition, Will decided to rush ahead with some magic mushrooms, although not even close to a full dose. Just enough to make the scenery a little weird, I assumed.
After some time we noticed some soft blue lights and the sounds of people talking and laughing in the distance and figured we must not have been too far from civilization after all.
"Cool, maybe our neighbors might like to party." Will suggested. There was a wild peel of a woman's laughter that encouraged us to believe that this was at least possible.
After enjoying our salads Will decided that he wanted to explore a bit. Despite it being late, I couldn't blame him.
He headed straight for the cockpit of the downed craft. It had broken off from the fuselage and was laying face down in the water, which didn't exactly bode well for the pilots. One of the wings had been thrown several hundred feet ahead. Despite not being able to get the door into the cockpit open, he was able to find something interesting.
"Dude...how did we not hear about this?" He asked, in amazement.
"It probably went down years ago, the Everglades are full of these wrecks." We had even passed an ancient Cessna that nature hadn't taken nearly as much of a liking to.
"No, it doesn't look like that's the case." he said, pointing to a laminated piece of paper that had survived the crash intact. At the top of the page was the date, only three months prior to us finding it. A list of passengers showed nineteen passengers were originally on the list.
"What the fuck?" I asked, in audible amazement. I set up a floodlight on the interior of what was once the craft and immediately saw that despite mother nature's ferocity, there were many signs that it had once recently maintained life. Several first aid kits were still in the craft, only two of them open and only one missing its contents, some rations that had been untouched and still in their packaging. Near the wing we had not camped under there were signs of a campsite.
After unpacking and preparing our camp, we decided to hit out before the sun went down to see as much as possible of the mysterious wreck.
There was only a single sign of death, a skeleton that we hadn't noticed in one of the darker areas of the fuselage that we had kayaked through. Its arms and legs held it to the wall of the fuselage by vines, allowing the partially shattered torso to sag slightly as if it had been crucified. It looked like it had been picked clean and now had a beautiful bromeliad growing from one of its eye sockets, making it look like it had one dark purple and green eye that still watched us with an amused expression. There was a hole in the ribcage and most of the bones around it wrenched forward slightly, if it weren't for the downed aircraft I would have suspected a gunshot.
"Holy shit dude" Will said with an incredible sense of awe as he snapped photo after photo. "We have to check out that campsite!" He was clearly thrilled. Despite the creepiness, he seemed ecstatic, I hoped the trip went well for him.
Will took as many pictures as possible, especially of the beautiful skeleton, before we got back in our kayaks and maneuvered to the campsite on the opposite side of the fuselage, amidst a group of small, grassy islands. It seemed strangely far away from a lot of decent, even partially covered places to sleep, being out in the open on a small, easily submerged island generally the worst spot to camp in the Everglades.
Well set up a floodlight so that we could see the area better. It had been a while since a fire had been started there, but there was another corpse, this one not nearly as picked clean. It was wearing a bright yellow sundress and still had some desiccated flesh sticking to the bones. Most of the skeleton was curled into a fetal position, but one of its arms was several feet from it and one of the legs had been shattered. A few feet away from the scene was a now extremely rusty revolver. I guessed and looked around the skeleton and sure enough, deep in the sand there was a bullet where someone must have shot this woman in the leg for some reason.
"What do you think happened?" Will asked, and at first it seemed like a stupid question, until I thought about it. There were plenty of rations left in the plane, plenty of ways to avoid exposure, she seemed to have a radio. There was no reason for whatever happened here to happen. I grabbed the rusty gun, just in case something attacked them.
"It looks like someone shot her in the leg? Where is everyone else from the crash? Why the fuck wasn't this in the news?" I asked aimlessly, as Will was more wrapped up in his trip. We checked around the area of land, but I didn't see anything. I was about to suggest leaving, but Will began taking pictures of the wing, specifically the motor on the wing.
"Alright, there might be an award or something for this!" Will said with delight. I turned the corner and found what had let him in a good mood: the propeller on the rig was filled to the brim, and I mean all the way, with the dead corpses of birds. Most of them were just skeletons and feathers, and the mass of twisted birds looked like a horrible Halloween prop.
"Yeah, we should contact authorities right away, just so we look alright."
Will was a good guy, but he tended be extremely focused on his on search for personal luxuries, often to the point of causing problems for himself. You had to remind him from time to time. He was about to respond when suddenly we heard a loud shriek coming from our campsite.
"Aww man, I hope this doesn't turn into a bad trip." Will said.
I didn't want to make things worse by telling him that we clearly had picked the wrong spot to camp. As we swung our kayaks to head back out to our camp, we heard chittering, bizarre laughter. Someone ran through the tall grasses and said something along the lines of "I wish we had picked some up the last time we were at the store." in a high pitched, slightly nasal woman's voice as if in a normal conversation.
"Hey! Hey! Hello!" I shouted. Will looked confused. "Where did that come from?" He asked.
Suddenly another voice rang out. "It was just a telemarketer, get some rest." whoever it had a New York accent and was somewhere behind us, but when we looked there were only some water grasses.
I flashed my light in the direction it came from but saw only shadows moving. I started paddling away from whoever was speaking and towards the camp. Will looked terrified as we headed through the plane again, especially at the skull, which seemed to regard us with the same hostile amusement it had when we first met it and was now considerably less cool.
"Alright, maybe we oughtta just get the fuck out of here. Someone here wants to fuck with us. I'm sorry man, I hope this doesn't fuck up your trip." I said with as much firmness in my voice as I could muster.
"Yeah, yeah, it's cool, it's cool." Will said, very obviously to himself as much as to me. He was shaking pretty badly and seemed to have some difficulty following me. I had to keep him from tipping over repeatedly.
When we got to our lean-to camp, it was obvious someone had been through our stuff, but none of it was destroyed. Instead, all of our belongings had been laid out neatly outside of our tent in overlapping circles, like an insane Venn diagram. Much of the vegetation and scrap in the surrounding area had been cleared away. I could now see that the spraypaint on the side of the aircraft said "La Ciguapa" in a desperate hand. Strange symbols now covered the cockpit as well.
"La Ciguapa" I said aloud. I remembered a friend of mine telling me it was a mythical demon from the Dominican Republic, but he had described it kind of like a mermaid.
"Dude, what the fuck?" Will said, rushing to our tent to check for further damage. His flashlight lit up hundreds of bizarre symbols that had been painted on the interior of the mosquito net.
"I understand that the schedule is tight, but this meeting is a priority." Came a stern woman's voice from the far distance.
"Dude, do you think those are the people who survived the crash?" Will asked, not even bothering to speak to whoever it was.
For once he had the right idea and I hope he stuck to it. I just shook my head. I was shocked that anyone could survive a crash like that, but something was now clearly wrong with those fucking people. I would get them help later once the authorities came by. I hoped that Will wouldn't suggest going to speak with them.
"Well, where did the bodies go then?" He asked, quietly. There was a chance that the tail had broken off, sucking people out, but it was hard to tell. And why had that skeleton been shot in the chest? Will sounded like he was breathing hard enough to hyperventilate, so I had to calm him down before he panicked further and then call the authorities, as if it was going to be easy to help us out there.
"Dude, where did the bodies go, why did we not hear about a missing plane, what the fuck happened here?" He was freaking out, and it was raising the chances of both of us dying. He took out his cellphone and tried to make a phone call, but stared at his phone oddly after a moment.
"I can't get any reception to open a browser and when I try to make an emergency call I heard was some woman singing in Spanish!" He almost cried in despair.
"Let me get in contact with the authorities, it's cool dude. Just chill out a second. Just chill."
I took out my own phone and tried to use every emergency system I had in place for this situation. My phone essentially told me to fuck off, even for emergency calls. I found our radio equipment, surprisingly undamaged, among the bizarre circles. Will smoked a joint the size of his forearm, which was a relief to see considering his own situation.
When I finally got a line of communication up, all I heard was a woman's voice, singing a strange sounding song in a language I didn't recognize. I speak Spanish fluently, and whatever I was listening to had nothing to do with the language. It didn't even sound like a Romance language. Every channel that should have been useful seemed to play it endlessly. I tried not to mention anything, but Will probably noticed the look of frustration, and began toking more rapidly for it.
"Hey, dude, maybe we should ask those people for help. There are some more, over there." He pointed in the distance ahead of us and I noticed lights blossoming some ways away. A cold chill went up my spine and I remembered the nonsense phrases that were uttered in response to us asking for help. And the gun near the woman.
"They didn't seem very helpful, I'm going to set up a PLB first." A personal locator beacon, or PLB, was something you wanted if you were going into the wild, whose only job was to send out a powerful S.O.S. that was difficult for search and rescue teams to miss. Then I fired up our satellite messenger, which should have allowed me to have access to Facebook and Twitter. Except this time nothing loaded correctly. I turned the thing off, the on again and it came out worse. Every single thing I read was in some weird language, bizarre syllables spelled out on otherwise blank webpages. I couldn't even use it to send an S.O.S., so I kept the PLB in my pocket.
"Get anyone?" Will asked, with obvious fear in his voice. Getting him to calm down was difficult enough when he wasn't on shrooms.
"The S.O.S. beacon is working, just give it some time dude, it's cool. We may end up camping out here while we wait." I hoped he would listen to what I said for once, because if he lost his shit we could have ended up in trouble out there. Death was not something I wanted to think about, but it was absolutely a possibility, especially with Will not being helpful. I was happy he was smoking weed just to keep him out of the way. He must have loved it too, because nearly an hour went by before I heard from him again.
"Dude...look." He said, barely above a whisper. At the very far edge of the clearing, more than 600 feet away from us the woman we had seen much earlier was standing quietly. Just like before, she was standing with her back to us, moving around as if she was working on something that we couldn't see. Her white blouse and khaki shorts hung from her body and she was utterly emaciated. Both of her hands and her legs were jet black with what looked like incredible bruising. A long river of black hair flowed to the ground. She was muttering strange phrases mixed with the strange song I had heard on my phone. I quietly tried to turn off my lights and warn Will, but it was too late.
"Hey, lady, do you need any help?" Will asked, shining his flashlight on her before I could motion for him to shut the actual fuck up.
A long, horrifying shriek emerged from the woman and she began to run at us at an incredible speed while still backwards. Without thinking twice, I took the gun out of my pocket, hit the safety and pulled the trigger in its general direction, but if I hit it didn't seem to do anything. Instead, I couldn't hear anything and the fucking thing flew out of my hand. Will took a moment, staring in shock, but eventually followed my cue of running to the kayaks. Before I did, I noticed that the woman's feet and knees seemed to move in a way that implied they were facing us.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit!" I couldn't hear the words coming out of my mouth, the ringing in my ears covered everything up. Will was shouting something to me that I couldn't make out as he pushed his kayak out with him laying on top of it instead of in it. I struggled to use my paddle to push myself as far away from the land as possible, and almost landed in the water in the process, but managed to keep my ship right. When I looked back, I noticed small, pale hands sticking out of the water in front of where Will was moving his kayak and knew they were going to be able to catch the small craft.
I slowed down and reversed just slightly, allowing him to slide onto the top of my kayak right as two pale bodies shot from the water, hair covering their faces and grabbed the kayak. It was amazing mine didn't simply go under.
Will was screaming something and I paddled as hard as I could as Will cut loose any extra weight that he could find, including the only supplies we had that weren't on the island. We managed to make it to the aircraft and when I looked back, the woman was still standing there as well as two others, a man and a younger looking girl. All had their backs facing the kayak they were tearing apart, matted hair covering their faces.
I paddled us through the aircraft and saw that the strange flower growing from the skeleton was now glowing with a powerful blue light, just like the ones we had seen in the distance. Will and I stared in awe and horror as we realized what had become of the survivors. I wondered if perhaps the flower was the real culprit. It wasn't unheard of for some parasites to force their prey to perform labor, perhaps this was a similar mechanism.
We paddled for at least half an hour, only to find ourselves returning to the aircraft again. This time, a man stood just off to the side, not facing away from us, wearing absurdly bagging clothes. We kept quiet and left, but kept coming back, again, and again. Another one eventually appeared on the edge of the aircraft, a child by the looks of it, who stood up as we neared. We left quietly every time.
Without our GPS units our chances of finding a way out were seemingly non-existent, and with Will laying on top of my craft if one of those things chased us again we would probably be joining them or getting eaten or who knows what. Will began to sob uncontrollably as we realized we had gone in a circle for the fourth or fifth time. I was fucking exhausted and there were more of those things, those people, every time we came near.
"Will. We have to go back." I could see shock and horror cross his face.
"No, no man, don't. Let's just keep trying." I could barely hear his words over the ringing in my ears.
"If we don't get our GPS map, we're never going to be able to figure out how to leave. Something is fucking with us, it's keeping us here. We need that thing." I said, knowing that sternness had crept into my voice. I could see his lips forming the word "No" over and over again and it pissed me off. "Do you want to die out here, Will? Because they'll be happy to help. Let's just do this, and get it done with." He seemed to quiet down after that. I paddled in silence for another fifteen minutes before we reached the edge of the aircraft again.
"Ok, we're going to do this as quickly as possible." I told him, and he simply nodded in terror.
We didn't see any more of them around the exterior of the aircraft. I paddled through the green tunnel until we came to the edge of the clearing where our belongings had been left. Will's kayak was ripped to shreds on the edge of the water. No one creepy backwards people, though. We landed as quietly as possible, and Will slid off of the kayak, allowing me to get free. Our stuff was in circles again, but this time different circles. I looked through the one closest to us and found some batteries, but nothing else useful.
Will poked around, but didn't seem very focused, instead he was watching the woods around us as he half ambled over to the wing where we had built our camp under. Hopefully he was looking for supplies and not weed. I went back to searching and eventually found a radio and GPS system. I put in the batteries and it kicked to life, albeit in a strange language. The map was still visible. I also grabbed the gun, which although it had fallen, hadn't gone far. Thank God La Ciguapa didn't care for them.
From every direction, that song was now flowing to us, slowly and steadily getting closer. I stared in horror as first one, then two, then at least half a dozen emaciated bodies came from the woods. Each had blackened arms and legs, turned all the way around. There were two that were very close to the kayak and the gun didn't have many bullets left.
Before I could think about it, I shot the tree that was holding up the airplane wing. The wing came down with a sickening crack and a tremor, landing on top of Will. He screamed a long, impossible scream and even from the distance on of our floodlights illuminated dark pink foam that had started to flow from his mouth. I backed away from my friend as he flailed pitifully against the structure which had surely crushed his ribcage.
"I got better! Please help me! I got better!" Will screamed and gurgled.
The backwards people came rushing to him, and at first it looked like they were going to help, but then the screaming intensified. As they ran to him I could see their faces, frozen in fearful grimaces, their eyes no longer seeing, their limbs blackened and turned around. They flocked to Will and seemed to be tearing the flesh off of his bones in strips, and I ran to the now undefended kayak.
"I'm sorry!" I screamed as I fled, but the only response was the singing growing louder.
I managed to get out of there, and got home the next morning. By then, Park Rangers were out in the exterior area, but didn't seem to be searching for anyone. They drew their weapons at me when they saw me, but lowered them after a tense moment or two of me begging for my life. They sunk my kayak and told me not to mention any of what happened to anyone. I mentioned Will but they just shrugged and said "He's gone now." They had me fill out paperwork saying that he drowned on accident and that there wasn't going to be an investigation and told me to never come back.
I plan on keeping that promise, and you should probably avoid the Everglades too.
submitted by IEscapedFromALab to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.10.27 08:11 Lexibean02 This has been really hard to write but i just wanted to tell my story

Writing this out is difficult even after the years, but growing up i have always been a tiny person, 5 2" and 110 pounds plus the only girl and youngest child in a family of 3 brothers and my father, who are all amazing and i love them all, but iv always felt invincible until 3 years ago, i started to get really into running and the outdoors and since we live by a massive forest i would love jogging through it most mornings or afternoons, I had a little plan in my head that i would explore the entire forest one day and always try to jog down new paths each day.
My dad always hated that i would go out alone but i would always snap back at him that he never stopped my brothers from doing whatever they wanted or leaving at any time and il be honest i was probably pretty difficult for him to deal with at times since he was never to sure how to raise a daughter but has and is still doing his best which is why i love him so much
back in 2017, 4 days after my 16th birthday i ended up getting into a big fight with my father about something i don't even remember now but that caused me to put on my running shoes, grab my phone and storm out of the house early in the morning to my safe haven, idk the time but i remember that it was still dark out when i left, i didn't have a destination in mind i just wanted to run and let off steam, i choose to go down one of the more popular trails that day and just as the sun was starting to come up took a break to lean against a tree and have a drink where i then noticed someone else about 100 metres away but at the time i just assumed it was someone going for a morning hike, and since i wasn't interested in any kinda human interaction i put my headphones back in and continued running, occasionally looking back to now see that the person has gotten closer which unnerved me a little bit but since i'm not the fastest jogger i didn't think much of it until as he got closer i saw he was staring right at me, at that point i became terrified and started sprinting, which he then called out to me
"Hey girl! stop for a second will you?"
not knowing what to do i panicked and speed dialed my dad who i could tell was still angry by the tone of his voice but quickly could tell something was wrong since at that point i could barely even breath and was sobbing hysterically, one of the dumbest things i did was try to run off the trail into the woods to try and lose him as i frantically tried explaining to my dad what was going on i remember saying
Me: "I'm out on the trail and some man is running after me, please dad i need help, please come pick me up"
Dad: "okay baby where exactly are you il come get you right now, is he still near you"
Me: "he is still behind me! please"
at that point i ended up stepping in some kind of hole and twisted my ankle bad and had to grab onto a tree to keep myself up, quickly after i felt him roughly grab the back of my sports bra and throw me to the ground
warning this does get violent so please stop reading if you are bothered by that
he threw me to the ground and i started screaming as loud as he could, which is what may have saved my life, he got ontop of me and punched me in the face and to this day i still remember every word he said to me
Monster: "Scream all you want you fucking slut, nobody is in the woods to hear you" he then mockingly started copying my screams
I remember begging him to please just let me go, i told him i wouldn't tell anyone what happened and that nobody has to know, in between tears i told him how i just want to go home to see my father, my brothers and my cats, i begged him as much as i could but the sick fucker just seemed to find that more amusing, he said to me
"Your right nobody will know what i am going to do to you, nobody will ever find you and your family will just think of you as some dumb runaway slut"
and as the realization hit me my body became cold and numb, i remember feeling him cut my clothes off with a knife then pressing the tip of it against my chest as he assaulted me, i never stopped screaming for help the whole time. The whole encounter felt like it lasted hours but probably only lasted 10 minutes
After i couldn't scream anymore i remember just sobbing as he had his way with me mumbling to myself and apologizing to my family for leaving them and begging god for a miracle until i heard him swear and stab me in my right shoulder, at the time i didn't feel any pain i just remember thinking "this is it im going to die" then he got up and started running into the woods, leaving his knife in me and a second later i see another man sprint past me, fast enough that he was kicking up dirt and chasing the fucking monster, then another man came up beside me and said the most beautiful words iv heard to this day
"its okay, your safe now, your safe, everything will be alright im a medic" and i just broke down in tears,
I don't remember much after that i know i got air lifted to the hospital and there were actually 3 guys who came to me after hearing me screaming, they were all off duty marines who went out for a hike that morning and one of them happened to be a field medic, the man who attacked me was also hospitalized after the other marine chased him down, and one thing i didn't know at the time is i never hung up with my father, he was on the trail sprinting down it trying to find me and i'm glad he didn't because i know if he did it would be my father going to jail for murder instead of the monster who deserves a fate worse than death, when he saw me in the hospital was the first time iv ever seen my father cry, i remember seeing him hugging me as hard as he could until it sated to hurt even through the pain meds, then he hugged the trio of soldiers who saved me and fell to the ground weeping, even to this they soldiers are really close to my family and considered part of it, today i am actually dating the son of one of them and have been for almost a year now and all of them really helped me deal with what happened to me, the scars will never heal fully but they have become manageable, even to this day i have a panic attack if anyone besides my boyfriend or family hugs me or as bad as it may sound i recoil when any male touches me, which has caused some of my male friends to distance themselves more unfortunately
If there is anything you want to ask then ask it but please be respectful, i may have left things out or poorly explained stuff i am not a professional writer so i know it might not be perfect and this has been very emotional for me to write, i just wanted to finally tell my story somewhere. You might be wondering why i didn't call 911 instead of my dad but in the moment i just panicked and called the one person who always made me feel safe, and he still does to this day, i will add that i have been really scared to post anything like this since iv never actually told anyone the full story
submitted by Lexibean02 to rape [link] [comments]


2020.10.26 20:52 Mr-DenimChicken Need a long read? Here's my twisted story of 6 years, marriage, and a son.

If you're looking for a VERY long, interesting tale of twists and turns, take a look below, at my past 6 years. This will be an extremely long post.
If you've got the endurance, buckle up.
I find it hard to even figure out how to start this one. My first post.
 It all started in 2014. You were 18(f), I was 22(m). The way we met, how the relationship began, how it has ended so many times and been partially put back together is enough to make anyones head spin. You were my person though. I'm already tearing up, jesus. I should have taken the signs seriously, but nope. We were together for 2 years at first. We both had our issues, but love kept us trying to find the fix for anything that got in our way. We only knew each other for a week before we decided to be together. I stood up for you. We fell in love fast. It didn't take long for you to want to move in and I let it happen one month in. I let you take me away on this ride and I never thought twice. Two years and living together. You were living with me before you even graduated. I found you a job out of high school, you said you loved it. It was 15 seconds away from our home. Little did I know, things were going to turn upside down. You were always one to find comfort and validation in others, no matter how much I gave you. No matter how much I told you I was here. You had your own issues. 2 years in, you weren't the same. You were sad a lot, we argued all the time, but made up. 
Eventually, you cut me out.
 You said you needed a change. That you were depressed. This life wasn't the one that you wanted anymore. It tore into me like 50 knives straight to the heart. I begged. I pleaded for you. I apologized for what I had done, the mistakes I had made. Did everything I could to use logic and reasoning to bring you back, and to show you I'd fix whatever it could be. You told me you were young, you wanted to be "free." Be single, be responsible for yourself, and to get your own place. What choice did I have? I let you go.. kind of. You rushed to get an apartment 45 mins away. You accomplished it. You became independent. You went out with friends with your new found freedom.. partied, had fun.. but still found reasons to keep in contact, and I loved it. I was going to stick around until maybe one day you figured out that we could make it. "I miss the dogs, can I come see them?" You asked. Of course you can. It'll give me a chance to see you, and try what I could in that amount of time to spark something up again. You hung out, I focused on you. We knew this wasn't about the dogs. It was to check up on me. Had I moved on? Was I still available if you wanted to return? You knew I was right there waiting. We had sex every chance I could make it happen. You even stuck around sometimes to make dinner before going back to your place. The first time we had sex while you were "visiting" the dogs, you cried afterwards. You said you didn't want to hurt me. I was confused. How can you hurt me when I don't feel alone anymore?? I always felt in the back of my mind that there were others you were with. You said no when I asked. You were even offended. "I AM NOT A WHORE! The person who gets dumped is the one that goes and has sex with other people quickly.." I laughed, and shot that down. I wasn't. I held onto hope with you. Another woman would never cross my mind. I just hoped that maybe you were still trying to focus on us. Naive. It was a Monday morning. I woke up. The first thing on my mind was you, and I felt good. At the same time I felt destroyed. The sex was amazing. Bittersweet. I get to enjoy your body, but I wanted more than that. How could I get us back?? Getting ready for work, you call me. I was happy to see your name on my phone. "Awesome, I get to hear "good morning" from you!" I pick up the phone... "I'm Pregnant.." you said. We both panicked. There was part of me that was happy, and seen this as a chance to fix things. You sounded mad, and reminded me that your 21st birthday was 4 months away, which meant you weren't going to be able to celebrate.. weird thing to say. I calmed you down and told you we would get through it. We decide to talk things out. You seemed okay with returning. That you missed me the entire time. That you knew you made a mistake. And that you just wanted to have a nice healthy family. That was your goal. I had to ask the question though. Was the baby mine? Did you do anything with anyone else? You got mad at the question and said I was stupid for asking it. I took that answer with open arms, but still had trouble trusting you. I hid it well at that point though. So we get back together. You move back into the house, we prepare for our lives to change completely. You have your moments of rage and emotional breakdowns, as any pregnant woman does. I done my best to be there for you. Even though some days I was lacking. My attention didn't stay on you all the time. I was always reminded of that. I didn't give you enough attention, I didn't do this, I didn't do that. "All these couples are so happy on social media, I wish we had what they had.." all the things you said really hurt me. I guess our age gap put me in a position to where I understood things about social media that you didn't yet. You were envious of people and you believed everything you seen on there. You believed in a relationship that was easy %100 of the time. I knew that didn't exist. 9 months later, we had our son. Best thing to ever happen to me. I still worried time to time. Did she get pregnant by someone else, and just chose me to be the dad because she knew i was more stable? Did she not want her family to look down on her if they found out she has a kid with another man immediately after our break up? I don't know, but I took him in either way, and just prayed he was mine. At that point, blood bond or not, you were my son. Days went on, some were extremely good. Some were extremely bad. Our communication lacked horribly at times. You still seemed to fantasize about having the perfect relationship. A goal that could not be reached. You wanted to be married by now. I wanted it to, but it was something I was afraid of. I didn't want to be hurt again. Disregarding all my fears, though, I went and bought a ring for you and proposed. I wanted you to be happy. I wanted us to make it. You said yes, and the entire family was so happy. You were happy, and I was happy. Now, we just needed to start the plans, and it was only a matter of time before we were bound by God. Often times, I would stay up later than you. I would be in bed and you would be sleeping away peacefully. Some nights your phone would vibrate deep into the night. I would wonder who is texting you at midnight. Maybe its just a Facebook notification. I would still have those insecure thoughts though. One night it vibrated, it woke you up this time and I was already awake, as you reached over to your night stand to see what the vibration was. I waited for you to put the phone down and roll over, and decided to ask, "who was that?" "Just one of my coworkers." You said. Thats all I needed to hear. I let it go, and went to bed like it never happened. As the days went on and on, you started acting the same way you did when you left me the first time. Depressed. Distant. Uncommunicative. It made me insecure, and angry at times. The phone was always in your hand though. Tapping your fingers at lightning speed. Constantly. If only you put that effort into our conversations.. The lack of communication that we both had just tore us right back down. You were ready to leave again. After another year and a half. You told me all kinds of things. I didn't show you enough attention, you were depressed. You wanted to live life again and feel like yourself. You weren't happy and you were tired of feeling like you did everything yourself. I was surprised. This was sudden, and the only thing I wanted was to have you back, and a chance to be better. Our lack of communication prevented me from seeing anything other than you being upset and quiet all the time. Why didn't I try harder? Why am I such a failure? Now I get to be a dad for only 3 days a week. It felt like death was at my doorstep. I would have welcomed it right in if I could have. The proposal went right out the window. The marriage was off. Just like that, you were no longer my fiance. This break up felt different, but it was the same. Looking back now, I can see what happened. This break up was the one that made me figure out what kind of a person you were. You had issues way deeper than I had ever imagined. Your best friend was the one to help me learn things I never wanted to learn. Your childhood friend, one that you grew up with, messaged me one day. "Where is she? Have you talked to her?" I didn't know where you were. I told her we split up and I'm sure she already knew that. I told her it felt like you were going through some quarter life crisis or something. Maybe post-partum depression. It was weird, you didn't even seem like the same person when I was able to talk to you. The friend said "I know where she is." The friend did not seem happy. I was afraid of what her next message would be. She wanted to video chat me and talk to me about something. I was so afraid. We were not close or never really talked, so it was surprising to hear she wanted to video chat. I was anxious about the situation so I quickly started the call. The information was given right there. 
"She is seeing my step brother."
 My heart, my mind. It shattered right there on the video call. I didn't believe it at first. Her friend was really mad about it, for whatever reason. We still had sex a few times since you left, just like the first time. I asked the friend if she was sure. ARE YOU POSITIVE??? This must be a mistake. She wouldn't have sex with me if she's seeing someone else.. right? After 3 and a half years and a son together, she wouldn't be with someone else within a couple of weeks of her leaving me..... RIGHT?? 
WRONG
 In my broken voice, I thanked your friend for the information and told her I needed to go. I immediately hang up, and call you. I must figure out what is happening. You pick up, surprisingly. The first thing I ask is "where are you?" She had no obligation to tell me, but she did. "I'm out having some food with my co-workers." I felt the lie come through the phone and slap me right in the face. This guy was not her co-worker. My next question was "Is (Step-Brother's name) there?" 
She responded with one word. "Why?"
 I had the answer that confirmed my worst fear. Its one of those questions that doesn't even need a yes or no. If the question is answered with a question, you have your answer. I was furious before I hung up, but was only able to utter the sentence "cool, glad to see how much I mean to you." I spent the rest of the night broken down. Defeated. You had my son around this man. You lied to me. We weren't together, technically. I felt cheated on. You still chose to have sex with me and then go do shit with this other man. Disregarding any respect that I thought we had between each other. This break up was no different for me. I stayed loyal to you, even after you left. I stuck by you. Even if it was one sided. I kept my conscious clean and only chased after what I loved. It was you. Only you. After finding out the facts, I decided to leave you alone. I had to. I broke down so many times. Someone else got the best of you. The only question I could ask myself was "how long had he been in the picture?" Those texts at midnight before we broke up, they were him. I was cheated on. Maybe only emotionally, but its all the same to me. For some odd reason, I still fantasized about you coming back. I always told myself, if you ever slept with someone else, I wouldn't let you return. I would walk away. After this had become a reality though, I still found myself wanting to give you another chance. I left you alone though. I had to really try to move on this time. I never let her go. I still never wanted to find someone else. Even after the news was broken to me. I had never been one to just be able to go have sex with someone. I needed the connection. I needed to feel safe. So I spent a few months alone, only ever getting far enough to message girls here and there. Meeting up to have a drink with one, then going home alone. I wasn't going to push something with a new woman, just for revenge. This was not a situation that I wanted to bring another person into. Then one day, you messaged me. You were feeling hopeless again. You were depressed. You told me you figured out that it was your issues, and that it wasn't me. My guess is that your little relationship didn't work out the way you hoped. So you decided to rush back to your second option. Me. What did I do? I let you crawl yourself back into my arms. You came back and we had a long conversation about honesty. Trust. I asked you about all of the things I wanted to know (or not know.) Everything her best friend told me was true. You were honest about it as well. Tears streaming down your face as you admit to having sex with him and myself. You telling me over and over it was a mistake. I found it hard to let you back in, but at the same time, my heart took over my brain once again. I let you come back for a second time.. So there we were. Trust issues and all. You moved back in after being gone for 4 or 5 months. At first, it was great. We had more issues on our plate, but your guilt kept you in check. It kept you willing to work on things. My conscious was clean, but yours was non-existent. You were just happy to be able to get away with what you did to me. It ate at you, and some days, truth be known, I even liked to see you hurt for what you did to me. It crossed my mind each day. Its something that virtually never left the back of my mind. When will this go away? Is she going to do it again? Who is she talking to now? Was that notification from another man? How will I ever get through this? My issues were there clear as day, but I set them back just enough to keep you around. I wanted you still. For some reason, I kept finding excuses to justify what you did. I loved you. You were a part of me. Have you ever heard that history repeats itself? I have, too. This time is different though. We love each other. She learned her lesson the last time. We will make this work, because she wants to have a life with me. She wants to marry me. She wouldn't do all of it again and risk losing me for good. She took me seriously when I said this was the last time I would take her back. 
She took me seriously, right? Nope.
The cycle continued. 4 and a half years, 2 break-ups, and 1 son later, you pull it again.
The same words I heard the last two times you left. I knew what was coming next. I expected it. This time, I was waiting to hear the bad news from someone. You want to know one of the things that bothered me most about you leaving me? Its how you had went about it. Just a text. Thats all I got from you. A few words in person, maybe a tear or two. Other than that, it was over text messages where I found out you no longer wanted to be in my life. It always bothered me that you never had the courage to say it to my face. It was always useless to explain that to you though. The only time I thought about confronting you about it is when you were already out the door. This break up was different, and I was determined to let you know that I wasn't going to wait around for you. I was angry. I felt broken once again, and it was my fault. I let you do this to me for the third time. The same excuses. The same lack of communication. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times... well.. I felt like I deserved it at that point. I didn't beg, I didn't plea. I let you go. I let you pack your shit up and leave me again. I was expecting you to have someone new in a few weeks. This is, of course, if you weren't already talking to someone before you left again. My family was close to you. You even went to my sister and told her I was acting different after you left. You noticed I wasn't chasing you or freaking out after you left this time. I went on my way for the first couple months. Having to keep contact with you for our son was hard, but thats what happens when you have kids. I still stalked your social media every day it seemed, but I didn't bring anything up to you. I was just waiting for the moment I found out you were back at it again. Seeing someone new. I figured it was only a matter of time. I spent my time hanging out with friends and family. STILL not sleeping with anyone. Still not dating. Probably because the few times we seen each other, I was stupid enough to have sex with you again... Surprisingly, deep in the crevices of my mind, I was hoping you made this "mistake" again, and that you would return. My hopes were becoming weird. After all of this. After everything you've put me through, I STILL chose to believe the good in you. The sex probably didn't help much. I still believed that you leaving honestly for yourself, and that you were going to put work into yourself that you always talked about when you needed an excuse to leave. 
Guess what? I was wrong again. Surprised yet? Didn't think so.
 This night, I was with my friend. I gave him a ride to Walmart. He had to get some things, and I wanted to see him. I gladly picked him up and let him go into the store to get what he needed before we rode back to his house to chill for a while. It was the weekend, and I was ready to just get some quality time with a friend that I felt truly enjoyed my company. 
As I was sitting in the parking lot waiting, I get a Facebook message from a random guy I wasn't friends with.
 I looked at it and its was a simple message. "Hey man." I responded, asking if we knew each other. I knew we didn't. He proceeded to tell me that he knew you, and that I should never look back. He told me I should move on and that my son should be my only priority. I was confused. How does this guy know me or my son? I asked him what he meant. I finally got the message I was expecting to get right then and there. He told me that he had been seeing you over the past couple months. The math added up in my head. You were seeing THIS guy now, and you had been talking to him right on the line of our breakup. Another monkey branch, I assume. I asked the questions I didn't want to ask, but needed the answers to. My heart was pounding waiting to get the answer I figured was coming, but still didn't want to believe. "Was there sex involved?" He responded with a yes. Why was he getting in touch with me to tell me this? I was so angry and confused at this point. It seems like you were screwing with more people's heads than just my own. He then told me that he came to me to tell me these things because you hurt him as well. He told me you hooked up with his best friend and he found out. I was furious once again. At the same time, I felt bad for this guy. Why the fuck am I sad that this man that you had sex with is hurt? Because I know his pain. Even though my pain felt 10 times deeper, I could relate to being screwed over. 
This woman is something else, I thought.
 I decided to screenshot the conversation and send it to you. Just to let you know that I knew what you were up to. You had no defense. This time, I did make it known that I was mad, but I wasn't frantic. I kept it cool. I let it be, and let it simmer in your mind that I figured you out. Once again. This time I found you out by, not your best friend, but by the MAN HIMSELF. 
I can't make this shit up.
 This time, I was out for blood. This time was different. I was done waiting. I was done hoping. It was truly time to move on and start over. I went about my night with my friend. I told him what I was going though, and that was that. I went home that night depressed, lower than low. Disappointed in not only you, but myself. I let you come in and out of my life as you pleased. Testing out different men on the way, only for you to return when you learned the grass wasn't greener on the other side. 
We stopped talking for a while, only communicating to exchange our son. No more sex, no nothing. I wasn't letting this happen again.
 On my road to recovery a few weeks later, I recieve a message from one of your friends you hadn't talk to in a while. This was your friend you went and partied with when you left me the FIRST time. You were best friends at one point, but you guys drifted away from each other after we had our son. 
She messaged me and asked what had happened.
 If only I could have told her what had happened. Where would I even start? I explained a little bit, but typing this stuff out was just exhausting. I was surprised that even your friend messaged me. Why didn't she message you? Why did she decide to be there for me instead? I don't know, I will never know, but she was. She invited me over to hang out, to talk. To vent if I needed it. Up to this point, noone really seemed interested in hearing what had happened. Or even cared. You know what I did? I went over to her house. We hung out for a few hours. Drank a little bit, and I poured out the information. She was there for me. We sat around, listened to music we enjoyed. And had a good time. No sex. I left that night happy. Surprised that someone listened, and seemed to want to be there. 
For the first time in almost 5 years, another woman seemed truly there for me. Who was that woman? Your old friend.
Ironic, huh?
 I finally kind of felt wanted. Whether it was meant that way or not. I felt like someone wanted to listen, and be there. We continued to hang out and just enjoy each other's company. We decided to buy tickets together for a concert. I was doing all of this, very aware that she was your past friend. I didn't necessarily do it for revenge. I just didn't care who she was to you at the time. You dragged me around so many times. It was your turn to feel like you had truly lost ME for the first time. So I continued to spend time with her. During this time she had told me some interesting, heartbreaking information as well. She knew what you were doing doing our first break up. This was your party buddy at that time, after all. She told me you were seeing someone else, you had sex with another guy at the time that you had gotten pregnant. So then I wrestled with the fact that maybe, my son really wasn't mine. I was beyond crushed. The day had come. The night of the show. I met up with her, dressed nice. I was so excited to spend time just another woman. For once, I didn't feel like I was being used. We met up, and left with our little group to the show. On the way, she decided to take a few pics of us all. It was me, her, and her friend in the car. She posted them to snapchat. We get to the show and start having a great time. Dancing, sipping, enjoying the music around us. It was weird, but amazing at the same time. It wasn't long until someone told you and showed you the snapchat pictures she posted. Crazy how information gets around so fast, right? Immediately, my phone started to blow up. I couldn't hear it, but I felt it. I knew it was you. I knew you seen the pictures. Part of me was anxious. Part of me felt bad. Then I remembered everything you had done to me. The bad feeling quickly faded, and I decided to read your texts. All 20 of them. You were not happy, of course. You explained how nasty I was. How I was going to get an STD. How I was fucked up for what I was doing. All of your messages explained those 3 points over and over, just in different words. I laughed it off. It was too late for you to make me feel bad then. How dare you even think you had any room to speak. I responded very shortly. Simply agreeing, being dismissive. I had no desire to have the conversation anymore. I put my phone back in my pocket. The rest of the night was awesome. After the show we went back to her house, where we met up. We were drunk, but had a DD. She told me I could just stay the night if I wanted. Why not? I'm single. I had a great time, and I have the opportunity to keep the night going?? I didn't even hesitate. This was the first night we slept together. I couldn't help but to feel weird in a way. It was a different girl. For the first time in close to 5 years, I slept with someone else. I have to say, it was good, but I will never know how you were able to do this with other guys while you were still sleeping with me all those other times. I'm a person who couldn't fathom having more than one partner. 
We are clearly vastly different, and I had accepted that.
 As much as this girl was there for me, no matter how much fun we had together, I couldn't just look past you. I couldn't just get over you like that. Me and her still talked, we were still hanging out here and there, but we didn't initiate any kind of sex again. She knew what I was going through. Neither one of us wanted her to be a rebound. I expressed that I wanted to take things slow after the night of the show. She wanted the same. So thats what it was. Days after, you continued to put me down. Told me how bad of a person I was. I admit, I felt slightly bad, just because of who it was. She was there for me. She WANTED to be there for me. I just didn't care how you felt about it all. Just like you had no regard about how I felt when you talked and fucked with other men while STILL coming over and having sex with me so many times. Most of me felt you deserved it, even if I felt bad for it. We kept in contact. We had to, since we had our son. God I love him. It was rough though. We both hurt each other now. It was my turn to hurt you, and I took that chance without hesitation. You didn't want any of your own medicine, but I jammed it down your throat anyway. Weeks past, still seeing each other for our son. Slowly but surely, I still became sad. Alone. I still missed you. Me and your friend slowed contact. We both knew I didn't need to be jumping into something like that so quickly. I'm just glad she understood. I couldn't believe it.... I STILL WANTED TO BE WITH YOU. We became closer and closer. You knew what it felt like to lose me now. You were angry at me, of course. At this point, surprisingly, you didn't think we had sex that night. Atleast thats what you told me the day you asked me about what happened at the show. The day came, after a few months, you wanted to try AGAIN. I won't lie, I wanted to also. I was at a point where I was okay with it. A part of me felt like I needed to have sex with someone else to "even the playing field." Thats exactly what I had done. I thought, now that you learned how it felt, maybe you'll think twice about these half baked plans of yours to break up AGAIN. Maybe you finally learned that I could let go, too. That the grass, once again, was not greener on the other side. We were back together again. Slowly trying to build communication. Trying to understand each other. You had asked me the question. "Did you have sex with her? I have to know. I keep having dreams about you two, and I can't let it go" I figured this was a weird question. She asked me once, and I did not beat around the bush. I said yes, we did. I was never one to lie. Every time I found out about her other men, it was through a 3rd party. I wasn't going to lie. After all, we were building trust right? She was crushed of course. She told me if she knew that, she wouldn't have tried again. I kind of figured she knew what happened, but whether she did or not, it didn't matter. I spilled the beans immediately. We worked through it, kind of. You would use this as ammo any time we had an argument, or you felt insecure. It was unbelievable. I reminded you several times of what YOU did to ME. I told you I knew what you did during the first break up,, when you got pregnant. It had been something i had wrestled with since the day I was told. I had to find a way to answer the question myself. Is he really my son? I had to figure it out somehow. Yet you never had anything to say to that. We just tried to work past the situation the best we could. 
We had hurt each other. I understood this was going to be a rough road to recovery, and reminded you of that many times. I always reminded you that I was sticking by your side, though. Our mistakes are our mistakes, our past.
 Eventually, I decided to get a mail in DNA test. I done it secretly. It had came in and I got it done. Sent the samples in and waited impatiently for the results. I needed this. I needed the answer to the question that had tore me down for so long. To move forward, I needed to know. The results came in. My heart was beating so fast. After reading horror stories, and knowing you were having sex with someone else as well when you got pregnant. I was preparing myself for the worst outcome, and how I would bring it up to you. 
I opened the letter quickly, skimmed down to the bottom..
"Samples of said father is %99.99 match. Tested subject is the biological father.
It was the calmest, the happiest moment after that. I was so elated. I cried. I could put this behind me now. The biggest fear I had was squashed.
 As time went on, you wanted to get married, and eventually I fell for it. I proposed again, knowing the answer would be yes. I hoped for this time to the the time. We actually started planning things out. Getting a spot set. A guest list. A dress. Everything. This was at the end of 2019. 
Little did we know, COVID was on its merry way to make 2020 one of the hardest years we had ever witnessed.
 2020 arrived. We were still making it through, finishing planning. Then, right then and there. The lock down started. All of our plans had been turned on their head. A marriage during covid? How do you do that? We were determined to make it happen though. We spend day and night together. Work slowed down for me, I had to start a side job. I was able to continue to support us. Luckily, you were able to work from home. We spent so many days together at home. Stuck with nothing to do. Somehow, I felt like I was blamed for not taking you out any more. What the fuck were we going to do? Movie Theater? Nope. Restaurant? Nope. We spent months on top of each other, but we pushed through. Eventually after everything we had been through, the day had come. Close to 5 and a half years of this up and down, on and off relationship. It was time to become husband and wife. We opted to just have a private wedding. Me, you, and our son. I got dressed up in a simple, nice looking outfit. You waited to get dressed at the building we were doing the ceremony at. I was so nervous. I was happy. It was finally happening. You were vowing your life to me and my life to you. You walked in the room in the most beautiful outfit I'd ever seen. I cried as soon as I seen you. You walked up to me and hugged me, surprised I cried. I was surprised, too. It just hit me, and I was not expecting it. After checking each other out for a few moments, the ceremony began. We said our vows as our son stood there watching. It was amazing. 
"I now pronounce you husband and wife."
 We kissed, and took many pictures. You were so happy with how they turned out. You were excited to have my last name. Our son's last name. You rushed to facebook, changed your name and the relationship status, and I did the same. It was a such a great feeling. There we were. Finally married. We tied the knot. During covid. We pushed through and got it done. Days went on and on, still on lock down, but we were making it, none the less. A few months passed, and things started to... change. You expressed how you were depressed. Again. The house wasn't being cleaned. I was the only one doing dishes. Most days would consist of you sitting on the couch, either working, or sitting on your phone. I must admit, I should have paid more attention. Looking back, I wish I would have reached out harder. Some days I would be gone to work, I called you and asked if things were okay. I specifically called you to tell you that you were enough. That I loved you so much. That we could make it through anything. I made the call with the intent to give you some extra validation. I was in a great mood. I felt like it was just what you needed. You were happy that I called you just to tell you those things. After a while. I decided to take a "strike" on house work. I felt as if I was the only one doing anything. I would get upset everytime I cleaned the house. Because you would sit on the phone. Not considering to pitch in at all. Yet you wondered why I was always grumpy when I was at the sink. I decided to see how bad the house could really get before you decided to get up and do something yourself. Every. Single. Dish. Was dirty. It was to the point to where you had to wash a dish if you wanted to use one. The counter was covered in pots, pans, plates, sippys, glasses. Everything. I just decided to start washing them again. Something had to change. All while you sat there. What confused me the most is that you had a little side hustle. Art projects that you would do all the time. You would make a mess everywhere, never cleaning it up. How could you be too depressed to clean, but happy enough to do the things you enjoyed? I know depression. Thats not how it works. Then the day came out of nowhere. You planned to go see your family. I decided to stay home. You loaded up our son, and you kissed me goodbye as usual. We had planned on doing something with your family that weekend. You were going there to spend the night, and I was going to meet you guys the next day to have some fun. Plans had ended up being canceled, because of the rain. I texted you to see how you guys were doing. Something seemed off. You were being short with me. My intunition between us was on point. I knew you, after 6 years. After all. You told me you were fine, and I had no choice but to accept that. I was irritated that I felt like you just didn't want to tell me, but I knew there was something there. However, I went on about my day. A few hours later, I get a text from you. You told me you were going to come home, pack somethings up, and stay with your parents for a while. At this point, I was scared. Confused. Like so many times before, I thought "here we go again." I knew this wasn't going to be pretty. I swallowed my tongue, and just told you that that sucks. If thats what you wanted to do though, you could do that. I told you, you could do whatever you need to feel better. Then you hit me with it. "I just need a break. I feel like do everything myself." My mind was so confused. How could you even say that?? I asked you what kind of break were you wanting. You told me "just a break from my usual environment." I guess the many months of being stuck in the house had put a toll on us. Seeing each others faces. Thats the only thing I could put together. I reluctantly accepted what you wanted to do. Expressing that we had never fixed anything by you running away. At this point, I was scared, angry, confused. We were married. Hopefully she enjoys some time with her family and returns. Maybe we can talk and communicate like we needed to. Once she was ready. Nope. She came back home the day after. Decided to stay at home, but we were distant. I hated it, but I didn't want to smother you. I gave you space. You even decided to sleep on the cough a few nights. It felt as if we weren't even together. I figured we were married though, you would come around once you were ready, and I'd be here to figure things out. A few days passed of complete silence, living with each other. No talking, no communication. I was getting impatient. What was going on? Is she leaving me all over again? I decided to go sit in the living room with you. I wanted to feel out the situation. See if you were open to talk it. The first thing I noticed once I got close, was that you didn't have your wedding ring on anymore. 
I was shocked. Mine had stayed on my finger. How long was it off for?
 I immediately asked about it, you didn't even say anything. You just made me feel like a burden for asking. The panic set in. I was furious. I expressed how unbelievable this was. I knew what she was doing. It was time for her to run away again. After that I got up and decided to get on my phone. I knew one of the things you do when you wanted to leave me. You'd block me on social media. I went to your profile in a panic. Your name was changed back to your maiden name. Your profile picture was different. Your married status had disappeared. You were leaving again. My heart sank for the 4th time. I was so mad. You convinced me this was it. You convinced me marriage was what you wanted. Yet, 4 months into being married, you wanted to hop out like it never happened. There was no conversation, other than you wanting a "break" from your usual environment. Once again. I found out you wanted to split through your social media. Through your actions. No talks, no conversation about how to turn things around. This was it. It all seemed unbelievable. A week after that, you told me you were moving to my sisters house. Still no conversation. No talk about what went wrong. You just wanted out. What could I do about that? Nothing. You blocked me on all social media, and we went back to communicating only about our son. Its like we never even married. Its been about 5 weeks since you've been gone, staying at my sisters house. You've been out to the bars with your friends. You went on vacation. You are indifferent to me. I am destroyed. I stalk what I can of your social media. Waiting for the concrete message that you have, once again, moved on to someone else. Less than 1 week after you left, I had already seen a guy in your pictures. I could only imagine whats going on there. I haven't begged or pleaded this time either. As the days go on I miss you so much. At the same time, I try to push myself to move on. You dropped our relationship. Our marriage. Like it was nothing more than a fling. For the 4th time. 
Where do I go from here?
6 years, 4 breakups, 1 son, and a 4 month marriage later. We are here again. Separated. Here I am. Blocked. Rejected. Abandoned. You seem fine with it all. Will you return? Could I even accept you back for the 5th time? How long would i let this cycle continue?
 I now know that even marriage will not stop you from doing what you've done. Nothing will. I think it is just a part of you. I don't know. I spend my days lonely, fighting my mind. Trying to find ways to become better for myself, but my self-esteem is non existent. 
Reddit.
Whether this is a lesson to you, whether this gives you an idea of what you should do with your situation. Let it be known that you are not alone. I hope that I'm not the only one that struggles this hard to let go, still wanting to be with a woman who I know could leave in an instant. No matter how fragile the trust. Its hard to let go, and I know that.
If you read this entire thing, thank you. I needed to let my story out. I've stayed silent. I needed someone to hear my wild story.
Hopefully, this will serve as a reminder to everyone. Pay attention to how they leave, how they handle the break up, and learn to stand your ground and love yourself.
Goodbye, for now.
submitted by Mr-DenimChicken to BreakUps [link] [comments]


2020.10.26 14:51 ziptoe Novovchok

On October 15, 2020, the European Union imposed sanctions on six senior Russian officials and a leading Russian research institute over the alleged use of a nerve agent from the Novichok family in the poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Russia dismissed as baseless the EU’s allegations that it had not complied with its obligations, under the convention it ratified in 1997, to discontinue its chemical weapons program. Russian officials said the country had nothing to do with Navalny’s poisoning and implied that if any party had used nerve agents on him, it would have been Western secret services. Vladimir Putin, who in 2017 had personally watched over the destruction of the last remaining Russian chemical weapons stash, ridiculed the findings of four separate laboratories, confirmed by the OPCW, that a Novichok-type organophosphate poison was identified in Alexey Navalny’s blood.
Two years earlier, in 2018, Russia had dismissed as unfounded allegations that its military intelligence had used Novichok to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Similarly, Russia had then stated that it had no ongoing chemical weapons program and had destroyed all of its prior arsenals; while alluding that UK agencies may have used their own stash of Novichok to poison the Skripals in a false-flag operation.
A year-long investigation by Bellingcat and its investigative partners The Insider and Der Spiegel, with contributing investigations from RFE/RL, has discovered evidence that Russia continued its Novichok development program long beyond the officially announced closure date. Data shows that military scientists, who were involved with the original chemical weapons program while it was still run by the Ministry of Defense, were dispersed into several research entities which continued collaborating among one another in a clandestine, distributed R&D program. While some of these institutes were integrated with the Ministry of Defense – but camouflaged their work as research into antidotes to organophosphate poisoning – other researchers moved to civilian research institutes but may have continued working, under cover of civilian research, on the continued program.
Our investigative team believes the St. Petersburg State Institute for Experimental Military Medicine of the Ministry of Defense (“GNII VM”), likely with the assistance of researchers from the Scientific Center Signal (“SC Signal”), has since 2010 taken the lead role in the continued R&D and weaponization of the Soviet-era Novichok program.
Crucially for our conclusions, we have identified evidence showing close coordination between these two institutes and a secretive sub-unit of Military Unit 29155 of Russia’s military intelligence, the GRU. This unit has previously been linked to the poisoning attempts on Emilian Gebrev in Bulgaria in 2015 as well as Sergey and Yula Skripal in the United Kingdom in 2018. Telecoms data we obtained shows that the St. Petersurg-based institute communicated intensively with members of the assassination team during the planning stage of the Skripal mission, while also communicating – at highly correlated moments – with scientists from SC Signal.
The two research institutes also appear to collaborate with the 33rd Central Experimental Institute for Scientific Research of the Ministry of Defense, located in the town of Shikhany. This agency was originally involved in researching and testing the Russian chemical weapons program.
Furthermore, our research has established that these two institutes were in frequent communication – including during the planning state of the Skripal operation – with Russia’s Scientific Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology (“GosNIIOHT”), the agency that was tasked with supervising the destruction of Russia’s arsenal of nerve agents and ensuring the termination of the country’s CW program.
The role of the 33rd Central Institute and the GosNIIOHT in the development of Russia’s nerve agent program was previously known, and the these two institutes were sanctioned by the European Union. However Neither GNII VM nor SC Signal have been sanctioned by European or US governments, and it appears that their work has stayed outside of the focus of Western intelligence services.
Extreme Toxicology at GNII VM
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The sprawling complex of The Institute for Experimental Military Medicine outside St. Petersburg. Photo: The Insider
GNII VM, the Ministry of Defense’s Institute for Experimental Medicine, is a secretive military research unit located just outside St. Petersburg. There is scant public information about this establishment’s structure, personnel and projects. A succinct listing of the institute’s history and functions on the Defense Ministry’s website suggests that prior to 2015 it had existed as an adjunct research center within Russia’s Kirov Military Medical Academy, and had been focused on researching “the ergonomic properties of Russian armaments.” As of May 2015, however, the institute was given autonomy and a new focus, including “organization of scientific research in the interest of Russia’s defense and national security” and “conducting tests of the developed products.” An internal 2017 presentation of the institute, obtained by our team, shows that – at least officially – its main functions were developing and testing emergency medical equipment, medication, and treatment techniques for wartime use. In particular, the institute reported it was developing an antidote to organophosphate poisoning, with its development being – in 2017 – in a “pre-clinical trial stage”. A rare public lecture announcement from 2018 shows that leading researchers from the institute were specializing on the effects of organophosphate poisons on the human body – and were tracking the international development of antidotes to those. (Poisons from the Novichok group fall into the larger group of organophosphates – which includes also certain pesticides).
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The St. Petersburg institute is headed by Sergey Chepur, a 50-year old military doctor and expert in extreme toxicology, with a special interest in the effects of organophosphate poisons on the human body. There are no open-source photographs of its director Sergey Chepur, and a rare public mention of his name is contained in a September 2020 announcement of an achievement award for his contribution to military medicine.

Sergey Chepur and Unit 29155’s

As a research entity serving the Ministry of Defense, the St. Petersburg’s institute has a legitimate and plausible interest in developing antidotes for nerve agents including organophosphates. However, telecoms data we obtained shows that key researchers from the institute are integrated with Russia’s military intelligence, including its black-operations unit (a clandestine sub-unit of GRU’s Unit 29155) to a degree that cannot be explained away by purely defensive considerations. After initially stumbling upon the phone number of the institute’s chairman, Sergey Chepur, in phone call records of Unit 29155’s commander Maj. General Andrey Averyanov, the same number kept popping up in phone records of other members of the black-ops team, including the main suspects in the poisonings in Bulgaria and the UK. This prompted us to obtain Chepur’s own phone records. They showed that he had repeated communication with at least four members of the clandestine team, and that the communications peaked just before undercover international operations undertaken by the GRU officers. Furthemore, the phone records contained metadata showing that Sergey Chepur visited the headquarters of the GRU during what appeared to be preparation meetings on the eve of the 2018 Salisbury operation.
In the period from November 2017 until early March 2018 – when the Skripal poisoning operation would have been planned by the GRU – Chepur spoke repeatedly with members of Unit 29155. He spoke or texted with the unit’s commander, Andrey Averyanov, at least 65 times (the data about these interactions were purged from Averyanov’s phone records but remained visible in Chepur’s phone metadata). In this period he also communicated repeatedly with Maj. Gen. Denis Sergeev, also known under his cover identity of “Sergey Fedotov”, who supervised both the Gebrev poisoning operation in 2015 and the 2018 Skripal poisoning. Chepur also spoke and texted many times with Alexander Mishkin (a.k.a. “Alexander Petrov”), one of the two suspects wanted by UK law enforcement over the Skripal poisonings, as well as with Col. Alexander Kovalchuk. Both Kovalchuk and Mishkin are part of the clandestine-operations GRU team and are medical doctors who graduated from the Kirov medical military academy in St. Petersburg. Alexander Kovalchuk did not travel to the United Kingdom during the Salisbury mission, but remained at the GRU headquarters during the three days of the operation which extended into the weekend.
Phone records for 2017 and 2018 show that Sergey Chepur contacted Alexander Mishkin for the first time three months before the Skripal poisoning, on the December 30, 2017. The very next day, Mishkin, traveling under the false identity of “Alexander Petrov,” took a flight from Russia to Switzerland, his travel data shows. On the day Mishkin left for Geneva, Col. Anatoly Chepiga – a.k.a “Ruslan Boshirov,” the second suspect in the Skripal poisonings – arrived back from Geneva to Moscow. During the period from Christmas 2017 until the end of February 2018, at least five members of unit 29155 traveled to Switzerland on a staggered schedule, usually with at least two undercover officers being in the country at any given time. The last member of the team departed from Geneva to Moscow on March 1, 2018, the same day on which Sergeeev, Mishkin and Chepiga bought tickets for their flight to London the next day.
Bellingcat has previously reported on the relevance of Switzerland as a frequently visited location by unit 29155 and has hypothesized that the Skripal attack may have been prepared there, or that alternatively the GRU may have expected Sergei Skripal to travel to Switzerland during the holiday period. The calls between Chepur and Mishkin in the immediate run-up to the “New Year trips” corroborate our earlier hypothesis. It is unlikely that the relatively small GRU elite team would have had the capacity to work on two separate operations in such a small stretch of time.
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Immediately following Mishkin’s return from Switzerland on January 12, 2018, Sergey Chepur had several calls with Mishkin and his boss Andrey Averyanov, on January 13, 14, 17 and 18. A month before the Salisbury operation, on February 2 and 3, 2018, Chepur was contacted for the first time by Denis Sergeev. Serveev, as we previously reported, oversaw the poisoning mission from a London hotel room, where he kept continuous communication with a burner phone number in Russia. On the evening of February 12, 2018, in the course of 17 minutes (from 20:59 to 21:16), Chepur contacted three GRU officers from the clandestine unit – Mishkin, Sergeev and Kovalchuk.
On 18 January, Chepur took a one-day trip to Moscow and spent the day at the GRU headquarters. Metadata from Mishkin, Sergeev and Kovalchuk’s phone show they were at the same location at the same time. The previous day Denis Sergeev had returned from Geneva where he had spent a week.
Chepur also had a vast number of interactions with the GRU team on the February 23, 2018. In Russia, this date is celebrated as Defender of the Fatherland day and it is customary for the military to send celebratory messages to each other. However, Chepur’s communication with the GRU team members stand out from the rest as they extend late into the evening, ending with a midnight (23:59) conversation with Alexander Kovalchuk. The number of interactions and the late-night exchanges suggest they were likely linked to the planning of the Skripal operation which was to take place just a week later.
Crucially, on February 27, 2018, just three days before the GRU trio departed for London, Chepur flew to Moscow on a one-day trip. Upon arrival in Moscow, he communicated with several GRU officers as well as with members of another research institute, SC Signal. Afterwards, he headed for the headquarters of the GRU where he spent several hours. Sergeev, Mishkin and Kovalchuk were also present at the GRU headquarters at the same time.
Following his three hour stay there, Chepur made two further phone calls to a key researcher from SC Signal. Chepur then moved to the territory of 27th Military Scientific Center at Baumanskaya St. During this visit, which lasted just over an hour, he had several further calls with one of SC Signal’s lead scientists and organophosphates specialists, Victor Taranchenko.
Our hypothesis is that during this day – February 27, 2018 – final preparations for the upcoming assassination mission in Salisbury were made in Moscow, including for the delivery of the poison and the tools for its applicators, to the GRU black-ops unit.

SC Signal: From Novichok to Sports Drinks

A key part of Russia’s official chemical weapons program prior to its termination was conducted by the 33rd Central Scientific-Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense. This institute, based in the formerly closed military town Shikhany-2 near Saratov, was the R&D base for development of a particularly powerful strand of organophosphate nerve agents commonly referred to as “Novichoks.” Another military institute that had an ancillary role in the development and testing of nerve agents was the 27th Scientific Center (which was briefly incorporated into the 33rd Center); this institute oversees one of the two Russian chemical-analytical labs accredited by the OPCW.
In analyzing Sergey Chepur’s call metadata, we identified a correlation between his calls and visits with GRU’s unit 29155, and calls with several researchers who had formerly worked for the 27th Scientific Center. These included the former chairman of the center – Artur Zhirov, as well as his former colleagues Andrey Antokhin and Victor Taranchenko. Chepur spoke with Artur Jirov on 11, 18 and 30 January 2018, on one of the days – the 18 – not long after a phone call to Alexander Mishkin. However, the most notable correlation is with Chepur’s communication with Viktor Taranchenko. Taranchenko was the first person Chepur called once he landed in Moscow on February 27 and just before he headed to the GRU headquarters. Once he was at the GRU and presumably during the planning meeting for the upcoming Salisbury operation, the two exchanged several text messages.
While still working at the 27th Scientific Center, Taranchenko and his colleague Antokhin had specialized in research of cholinesterase inhibitors, a broad class to which the Novichok and other powerful nerve agents belong. Artur Zhirov, on the other hand, had specialized in research of nano-encapsulation: an innovative technique permitting the embedding of chemical compounds into a cell-like membrane-covered structure made of other compounds. This technique appeared to be a promising solution to the necessity to delay the onset of the effects of certain pharmaceuticals.
Taranchenko, like Antokhin and several other key researchers from the 27th Scientific Center, had followed their former boss in 2010 when he left the Center to become the founding CEO of a new scientific research center created through a presidential decree, the generically named Scientific Center “Signal.” SC Signal is incorporated into the structure of Russia’s Export Control Agency, and its official function is to ensure technical and scientific control over the exports of Russian materials, including “chemicals and technologies that can be used in the manufacturing of chemical weapons
SC Signal and the St. Petersburg experimental-medicine institute work on two publicly known projects, which in theory could explain the interaction between Sergey Chepur and the Signal researchers. However, the correlation between the calls with SC Signal and members of Unit 29155, as well as a visit by Chepur to one of the addresses of SC Signal on January 31, 2018, following which he continued to the GRU headquarters, suggest that the contacts between Chepur and the SC Signal are likely linked to the planning of the Salisbury operation.
📷
One of the labs of SC Signal is located at Natatinskaya 16 in Moscow. The same address houses one of Russia’s military institutes tasked with the destruction of Russia”s chemical weapons arsenal.
According to several experts contacted by our team, the technique of nano-encapsulation – which appears to be the area of specialization of many of the researchers working at SC Signal – may be successfully applied in the application of organophosphate nerve agents such as the Novichoks. Through this method, experts say, three effects might be achieved that would improve the efficiency and ease of application of the poison. First, nano-encapsulation could delay the onset of the poison by several hours, which may be desirable in clandestine operations. Second, it can improve the rate and speed of absorption through the target’s skin. Third, it can provide an opportunity for masking the presence of the active ingredients of Novichok, through the (overwhelming) presence in the victim’s body of chemical compounds from the cell’s “membrane” – which can be a different, decoy poisonous substance. Notably, both in the cases of the poisoning of Emilian Gebrev in 2015, and in the case of Navalny, presence of other, non-Novichok – and much less dangerous poisons – in the targets’ blood were reported.
When approached by our team to comment on the possible link between the SC Signal and the Ministry of Defense’s continued program for development of Novichok, the institute’s chairman Artur Zhirov hung up the telephone after hearing the question and without uttering a word. Reached by telephone and asked about his possible involvement in the development of organophosphate poisons, Mr. Taranchenko denied and said he was not even an expert in organophosphates – which appears to be contradicted by his body of published research.
Confronted by phone about his frequent interactions with members of GRU’s Unit 29155, Mr. Sergey Chepur said he had never spoken to any of Alexander Mishkin, Denis Sergeev, or Andrey Averyanov. He also appeared to clearly remember that he did not visit the GRU headquarters on February 27, 2018. Before hanging up, he advised us to “stop lying to everyone including to yourselves”.
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2020.10.26 10:57 tjaylea There are 5 inmates on death row in a secret prison and I've been tasked with eating their sins. Envy eats nothing, but its own heart.

LUST
GREED
To say it’s been a rough 48 hours would be a gross understatement. And I do mean gross.
My body did not react to the food very well and as I stared down at the now empty bowl, my world grew hazy and my body became limp as toxic shock overcame me.
For a while, I simply floated in the stygian void between worlds. I saw very little save for flashes of bioluminescent colours, beautiful patterns that raced past my eyes and bore into my skull, pushing the endorphins out to my aching limbs. I could hear voices off in the distance, but I was so high above it all that it mattered very little.
As I concentrated, shapes would convalesce and form out of the dredges of darkness. Bountiful planets, beauteous stars and stellar galaxies that appeared far closer than they actually were, each individual strand of its great cosmic arms winking at me in morse code. A greeting? No, a warning.
“S. O. S.”
Something else formed on the fringe of my peripheral vision; a vacuous black hole with an event horizon that spanned the stretch of my view. It was a bright orange hue with a thick, pungent red that pulsated as the hole grew larger, devouring anything that came near it with great expediency.
Then, out of its murky depths, a long arm punctured the blackness. Colossal and pulling itself free as a body began to emerge.
The same spectre that’s plagued me since before I got onto the plane here. It unhinged its jaws and began biting down on a nearby planet, ripping it to pieces with razor teeth and staining its teeth as if the planet were a ripe fruit.
Stretching out its gnarled fingers once more, it clenched a fist around the planet, holding up five fingers with the free hand, the other firmly shut on the crumbled planet as it cackled in such a wicked way that it snapped me from my sleep.
"FIVE."
-
The first thing I felt when I awoke was a pounding sensation in my head. Mainly because as I snapped awake and stood up, my skull collided with The Wardens in a sickening thud.
“ACH! Mein got woman, I was just inspecting you to ensure there was no lasting damage!” He stumbled back, clutching his forehead as I did my own. Nestor rushed in and looked ready for a fight before seeing the state we were in.
“Nelle! You good? You’ve been out for a day and a half… we were getting worried. Warden here said he’d have to pull the plug if you didn’t get up soon.”
The Warden shifted uncomfortably before looking over at me, his lips curling into a half smile as he shrugged playfully.
“What matters now mein freulein is that you’re awake and ready for your next sin. Emarosa was a unique challenge, but one I was confident you could overcome… even if the food was regrettable.” He shivered as our minds were cast back to the plate of meat. Cartwright Family Meat.
“Not your fault. Nobody knows what the food will be until it happens. But no more games from this point on, okay? I want to know what I’m dealing with when I walk in there. Especially after this latest scare.” I stood up and walked towards him, a finger outstretched in an accusatory manner, trying my best to be intimidating against a tall man whose name literally translated to corpse mountain. “Am I clear?”
For a split second, I thought he would do something drastic; maybe strike me where I stood or spit in my face. The expression on his face was nothing short of utter incredulity that someone spoke to him this way. But, in an instant, it snapped to the wild eccentricity he’d shown throughout and he nodded exuberantly.
“Ja, Ja. I think you proved you can handle it. Very well, our next inmate is Prisoner #2122 Ethan Elliot Blaznik III, a 22-year-old programmer who committed a series of kidnappings and torture killings on young men and women in the Washington area. His sin is his own to tell you but I should caution you; this man will use his information against you and try to get a rise out of you. Why? I cannot say. But he has made… comments about you in his request. I suspect he has reasons for you being here beyond the request.”
The Warden went for the door, informing us we had 4 hours to prep and we’d be collected at the appropriate time.
Glancing around the room for anything non-meat related, my eyes stumbled over the open compendium. It sat on a photo of Buck and his entire family. He was younger, his famous beard little more than a stubble on his chiselled jaw as a man barely in his 20s, sporting a more conservative explorers outfit than the one he proudly wears now. Around his sides are two elder brothers; Darius and Johnny, his sister Tara, cousins Porter, Solomon and Brandon. His father Nathaniel stood proudly by him, huge hands resting gently on his shoulders and his wife, Bucks mother Saoirse lovingly nestled in his chest, beaming down at her boy. In front of them all on this proud occasion was the hunting trophy that Buck had claimed as a rite of passage; he’d successfully taken down a wayward Lycanthrope with nothing but his wit and a bowie knife.
Buck hated killing anything without cause, but this was one creature he couldn’t ignore even then. It’d been devouring children who ventured too far from the safety of the village and venturing into forest territory where this intelligent killer would wait. They say when Buck sliced its stomach open, two children spilled out. Neither alive, sadly. It was even here that Buck got his nickname, holding onto the beast as it thrashed around and tried desperately to free itself from his grip, bucking him around as he drove the knife into its ears and eyes repeatedly. Simon would forever cease to be his first name henceforth. “Buck Nasty McGraw” was born on that day.
I smiled, the photo bringing such warmth and comfort after a physically exhausting few days, tracing my hands over it and remembering the good times when we’d first met.
“Hard to believe it was 10 years ago already, ain’t it?” Buck called, passing me a hot drink and sitting next to me as I observed the photo with wistful eyes. “I met you on the very first job I took as a licensed crypto-hunter and cataloguer. You were still in training then with your grandparents, must’ve been a few days shy of 16 when you assisted me in taking down that illusive forest god. You talked to him for what felt like hours to get his sin while I tried to subdue him.”
“And then he reared back, bleated and ran headfirst into a tree, knocking you both out cold. Yes, I remember.” I chuckled, his eyes rolling at the mere mention of his failure as he too began laughing.
“How was I to know he was more goat than god? Still, that was the day I was given one of the most important life lessons I’d carry into our working relationship all these years later.”
I looked to the note left at the bottom of the photo, the one that Buck coveted like it was the most valuable piece of treasure he’d ever owned or would own.
“Son,
Today, you are my equal. Tomorrow, you will surpass that.
The compendium is now your responsibility and your job to fill.
But promise me, son, you won’t forget the family and will embody our most important trait;
Make as many connections along the way as you can. For our time is fleeting and all cycles must one day repeat.
With all the love in the world,
Dad.”
“What lesson might that be, Buck?” I asked, smiling as he took my hands in his and those hazel eyes shone with pride and admiration.
“That Nelle Lockwood is stronger than I could ever hope to be, and if she can talk a forest god into stupidity, she can beat any sinner or monstrosity this world has to throw at her. And I will support her every goddamn step of the way. I did it when we hit the coma city, I did it when we dealt with the dreamwalker and I will do it until my dying breath.”
I felt weak. Partially from the sentiment and from the lack of actual food over a day and a half. I nodded affirmatively, and he patted my hands before fixing me something to eat after hearing my stomach groan in protest.
“We’re also here, y’know, if you need anything fucking up. That’s our whole modus operandi.”
“RIP AND TEAR. RIP AND TEAR.” Edgar chimed in, mocking Nestors “stop it!” as he tried to silence him, bringing an even bigger smile to my face.
In spite of where I was and how I felt, I was truly blessed.
Even if the image of that fucking creature in my dreams still loomed on the edges of my vision, even now.
-
When the announcement rang out for us to go towards the visitation area, there was a sense of concern amongst us all that these were going to reach a critical mass point that we would be completely and utterly unable to bounce back from. I know in my case, the pervasive question that lingered in my mind was simple;
How many of these sins could I take before they began to consume every good part of me?
I kept close to the others and tried to keep my mind focused on the job at hand, not the mounting list of concerns I had about this facility, the inhabitants or my own competency. As we passed the gate, I heard soft music coming from the interview room.
“Is that… normal?” I asked the guard. He didn’t look at me once, keeping his gaze firmly on the door handle as he scanned his ID card and waited for the green light.
“For most? No. But for the death row inmates, yes. Some you’ve seen already don’t care for furnishing these little spaces, but Blaznik and the others do. If the music is ever too loud, just get Holden to come out and we’ll instruct him to turn it down. Oh, and uhh… try to keep calm in there. He has a habit of riling people up.”
The machine beeped, and the door swung open to let loose the hard EDM blasting from the inmate’s side. Strobe lighting beamed across the room and a young man, short in stature and muscular on the top half of their frame, the bottom half remarkably skinny and without definition. He was throwing his entire weight behind his arms as he danced around the room, smashing anything in his wake and frequently hitting the same spot on the wall with extreme ferocity; knuckles bashing into concrete as he screeched at the top of his lungs. Something meshed in with the wall, blood and skin on his knuckles as he pulled away, breathing heavily as the song came to an end.
It was a photo of someone; the image faded and crumpled, but the smile of a charming young woman in her late teens/early 20s still shining through.
“You’re Ethan, right? I’m nel-”
Before I could finish, he held up a bloodied knuckle and extended his index finger towards me, wagging it as we took our seats.
“No. That is not how this works, my dear. You will address me by my FULL title and only then will I respond.” He breathed in, hunching his shoulders and flexing. “Bitches really think they’re so entitled, don’t they?”
I felt anger surge through me; I didn’t take to insults or a lack of respect at the best of times, but I knew better than to let advice given to me just moments ago fly out the window. I pulled up my chair and closed my eyes for a moment before responding.
“My apologies. Mr Ethan Elliot Blaznik III, my name is Miss Nelle Lockwood, my associates are-”
Again, he wagged his finger as he pulled a beanbag, undamaged from the tantrum moments ago and sank into it, legs spread out and attempting to keep his bulge within his sweatpants visible at all times as he spoke again, arrogance oozing from him.
“Don’t care. They’re just other dudes, I’m not interested.”
I pinched my nose. This was going to be a long, long session.
“Mr. Blaznik, what was your intent with calling me here? I assume you have more to say than just hurling insults? I was made to understand you had a sin to confess?”
He shifted and scratched his crotch as he spat on the floor.
“Mm, maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. You know, you’d be a LOT hotter if you dropped the pretense that you’re intelligent or in any way authoritative. Women are far more desirable when they’re just silent and/or agreeable.”
Instead of responding, I decided to simply write down some notes onto my ledger, making the occasional glance up before passing them over to Buck & Nestor to observe.
“Why are you ignoring me?” He leaned forward and let his jaw go slack, hands hanging over his thighs. I continued to pass nonsensical notes with comments like “Smile and chuckle while glancing up at him briefly.”
It only took him 3 minutes to fly into a rage. Picking up a piece of furniture from his make-shift room and hurling it at the plexiglass with a thunderous boom.
“You think you’re better than me, you fucking skank?! Why? Because you’re pretty? Because you’re smart? Bitch, I have an IQ of 186, I lift weights for this sculpted body and I can HAVE anyone, DO anything. I don’t need you! Get the fuck out of my sight! NOW!” he boomed, spit flying from his mouth as he finished, face beetroot red and huffing in place.
“Sounds good. We can go out, live our lives, and do great things. Plus, it seems your sin isn’t worth eating anyway… the inmates across the way have FAR more delectable sins.” I walked to the door and held on the handle. It was easy to ascertain this poor boy’s sin.
His face may have been red from anger, but his sin was green with envy.
And I intend to play him like a fiddle.
“W-wait. My sin IS worthy. Just… just listen and I’ll tell you. I’m sorry, Madame… I’m so sorry.” He trembled, getting down to his knees and clasping his hands together as if he were a pitiful anime character. “Please forgive my transgressions. You’re a queen. I should’ve controlled myself better!”
It was pathetic, but not entirely surprising for a manipulator. I took my hand off the door and sat back down, Edgar cawing as Holden apologised for waking him up just to move.
“SADBOY. SADBOY.” He chirped, Holden throwing him a piece of meat to placate him. I saw Ethan’s eyebrow twitch, but he didn’t break his stance until I was fully seated.
“Your file says you’re a remarkable programmer. A former member of the white hats, efficient at taking down any rival who opposed you and with a 4.0 GPA in school and a scholarship to whatever university you want. You came from privilege and were intent on pursuing a promising career… the hell happened to you?” Buck let the paper fall flat in disbelief as he stroked his beard. Ethan looked him up and down and put his hand to his patchy bearded face, anger rushing over him until I interjected.
“Ethan, honey, keep your focus on me. Buck is my friend and just like Nestor over there, he’s here to help. Can you do that?” I was never an expert at charming people, but I put on my sweetest tone and most sincere smile which seemed to work. He relaxed and let out a side grin.
“Of course. Mr. Simon McGraw of the fabled McGraw clan of cryptozoologists isn’t the least bit threatening anyway, even if his beard is better than mine. I’ll get my own eventually, bigger and better than yours. And I bet I know way more about monsters than he does, seen enough of ‘em in my time…” He grumbled, fumbling with his hands. “So many fucking animals on the internet that make ME look tame by proxy.”
“What have you seen, Ethan? What turned you into the person you are today?” I asked gently, a plate to hand and a mind open to adverse reactions.
“Let’s start with social media. It’s a toxic, vacuous black hole from which nothing can escape. You see something, you take a photo and post it. Showing it off to all your adoring fans. Shit, they can never even afford or hope to have for themselves. From money to bitche- er, women, and everything in between. It’s posturing, and it’s sick.” He snorted and averted his eyes from mine. “So many friends getting married, having kids, successful jobs… shit I could never dream of. It wasn’t fair. It ISN’T fair. But that’s not the worst of it…”
“Go on, we’re listening.” I tapped my fingers rhythmically on the table, hoping this wasn’t going to turn my stomach.
“Y’see you can get all sorts of shit on the dark web. Anything, really. I made some good friends there, though they were my brothers in arms. Thought they understood what I was going through. The group I was closest to was The Terrapin System, a group of like-minded young men dedicated to routing out problematic individuals. Proud “Thot Patrollers”. We were so good at what we did.”
“Sorry, thot patrollers? Not sure I understand…” I interjected, sure it was a derogatory slur of some kind.
“Say you date a girl and she’s had multiple partners. Maybe a dozen or so. Think of it like a shoe, okay? Why would I, a clear alpha, want to buy a shoe that’s been used and stretched as opposed to a fresh shoe never worn before? That is what the thot patrol is all about. Finding these disgusting women and shaming them. But we didn’t stop there, we’d harass them, stalk them, ensure they never got to feel safe until they publicly apologised and renounced their evil ways.” He stopped and a wide grin ran across his face, eyes alight with passion. “It was such a beautiful time. Until the incident…”
He got up and walked towards a whiteboard obscured in the background, tracing his fingers across it before wheeling it over to us.
It was full of photos, some appropriate model shots and others far less pleasant. Side glances of someone as they walked to their home, unassuming shots of someone sleeping, showering or eating. My skin crawled and my breath shortened, I knew this kind of horrific behaviour all too well, this level of obsession that would send any sane woman running to a police station if she knew...
Every photo, all the same young woman.
“I met SirenSarah2213 on a stream one night while I was bored. She was… different to the others. Her stream was barely populated, and she was going on some tangent about female purity, being unfair to men and being nicer to everyone.... But man, she looked sexy as hell in a cosplay outfit. I just felt this instant connection and reached out to her, donating to her stream so she’d notice me. Whenever she’d say my name and ask me something, I felt validated.” He looked at us, his head tilted to the side with a vacant look in his eyes. “Do you know what it’s like for someone to look at you and SEE you, Miss Lockwood? I mean, since your mother, of course…”
I felt a sharp stabbing sensation rush through my stomach, but I didn’t want to stop his flow, so I simply nodded and motioned for him to continue.
“I ended up spending nearly 3,000 dollars on her. By the time the final donation went out, she was doing 1 on 1 streams with me and giving me “life advice”. Saying that my methods with the Terrapins weren’t strong enough. That they weren’t who they said they were. She pushed me to dig into them and when I finally did… she was right. Most of them had families, friends, partners and even kids… they had fucking KIDS. How could they understand our methods if they were with loving partners?!”
He bellowed, tears in his eyes.
“I found their secret chat where they mocked me, called me a kissless virgin and the king of the incels. Hundreds of memes about me with my body photoshopped onto unflattering edits or doge memes directly ripping into my personal views and experiences. It was… damaging. When I told Siren about it, she soothed me to sleep and promised to show me how to get revenge. That I would be the purest knight this world had ever seen, with her by my side. She even said that we could be together when my job was completed. Can you believe that? I was so lucky, but at the same time, I KNEW it was right. I am an alpha male and nothing would change that.”
There was a pause as he looked closely over at Nestor, half cradling Edgar as he ate quietly and his body language still tensed up in case of a fight. Ethans smile faded, and he walked over to the far side of the glass, sizing Nestor up.
“Hey Holden, you Jewish?” He asked, disgust in his voice. Holden’s eyes flashed, but he kept his cool.
“What if I am?” He asked, his hand still softly petting Edgar. Ethan shook his head.
“Pity. Waste of good muscle.” He spat again and walked back over to Nelle.
“It’s all bullshit anyway, Mr. Blaznik. At least in my line of work, everyone ends up in the same place. No matter what god, goddess or demon you pray to. It ain’t worth shit when you’re in front of Lady Death.”
Ethan exploded at this, the double standards beginning to shine through.
“MY religion is pure. It’s the truest path through God and Jesus. And I heard about your “Line of work”, total fucking fake news, you think I’d buy for a second you work for LADY Death? Fuck off, if Death is a woman, she’s the biggest thot going. Stupid cunt.”
He was beginning to fly into a rage again and not wishing to breach both his racist views and the depths of their religious ideologies; I stepped in to keep him focused.
“Ethan, your sin. What did Siren tell you to do next?” I was sensing a pattern in these encounters. Ethan took a breath and sank back into his beanbag.
“She began appearing in my dreams. Which was weird, but she gave me remarkable instructions and tools to take them down one by one… Addresses for their homes, names of their loved ones, methods to… enact my revenge.”
“And it’s at this point you began your “crusade” against injustice, correct?” Buck asked, Ethan refused to look at him as he nodded in my direction.
“I began with a test run on the newest member. He was easy to locate since he never deviated from his pattern. He’d never seen me in person, so when I posed as a mormon looking to give him some info on the book of Joseph Smith, he never batted an eyelid with him being one himself. The guy even invited me into his home, big mistake. The second his door locked, I smashed his brains in with a claw hammer. It was then that Siren spoke to me again.”
He looked wistfully up at the ceiling, pausing before continuing. Was he ashamed? Or was he revelling in the moment?
“She said: They took everything from you. Now take something you wanted from them… So, I looked at this fallen piece of meat… Darrel I think his name was. I looked at him and asked myself what I wanted most. Well, Darrel had a beautiful home despite his new status to the group, so I took that. Easy enough to move in and assume his bills. The guy was a shut-in and nobody questioned it when I took over.”
A thick green mist was now covering the surrounding floor, it almost looked noxious, but Ethan paid it no mind.
“How did she talk to you?” I asked, his attention lapsing and almost looking offended I’d stopped him mid flow.
“What? Why does that matter? She was there when I needed her, as she always was.” He retorted, bile in his words.
“It matters to me, I can’t eat your sin if I don’t know everything. You wouldn’t want to lie to me, would you? I’m not as clever as I look…” I felt disgust at my own deprecation, but this was part of the job, so I stuck with it. His expression softened, and he carried on.
“Fine, fine. I can’t excuse a lady being honest. Siren wasn’t a normal girl, she was radiant, alluring and always there when I needed her. I mean that literally. After I’d donated to her enough, the 1 to 1 sessions began, and she manifested in front of me. I could never touch her, but I could always see her as clear as I see you. She was instrumental in my growth and as we proceeded, she only got clearer to me. After a couple more targets, I’d taken their car and bank accounts, but the last one was where things got… complicated.”
He paused again, and I exchanged a look with Buck; I didn’t like where this was going. The haze was beginning to form the shape of a woman, a bowl
“See, Siren told me not to listen to anything they said, to keep my mind focused on what they had that I didn’t. That this would be one of the final steps to ascension. She gave me something to drink and for a moment, our fingers brushed… I felt electricity run through us. So, I did as I was told, drank from the bowl and ignored everything until I reached the master bedroom. I felt… different. My vision was tunnelled and a green haze fell over my eyes as my fists acted on their own. My clawhammer was tossed aside as I strangled the person in front of me, seeing visions of the life they led that I was denied. The laughter of all my colleagues in the group, happy couples and the entire fucking world at my expense. All of them just filling up my skull until it threatened to burst like the stupid cunts in front of me as my grip grew tighter… and tighter… until…”
He stopped, motioning the bursting of a balloon and contents spilling out.
“No more. I felt as if I’d constricted them into submission. Became the true alpha now that the leader of the pack. But no, instead I was looking down at a total stranger… a woman, in fact.”
“You were looking down at the woman you’d been thirsting for all this time, weren’t you, Blaznik?” Buck sighed, venom in his words. “Saoirse Maisey Lovewood, 19-year-old streamer and model. You’d been paying to get her attention and one night you flew into a rampage when she banned you from the server, got her info and that of your contemporaries when they tried to stop you.”
He held up a photo as the mist began forming, the two matching up perfectly. A beautiful woman with flowing red hair, the photo showing a cosplay of Poison Ivy from the Batman comics. The woman now formed in the room with him clad in an emerald green dress that hung at the shoulder, clutching a large bowl with a bubbling liquid.
“No… that’s not… I don’t…”
“Saoirse, Indiviosa…” Buck said, getting up to slam the photo against the wall and make him look as her counterpart walked towards him. “Saoirse, abounding in envy. You never had a Siren calling to you Blaznik, never had a larger-than-life plan fit for an alpha mastermind. Your jealousy simply overwhelmed you, created a narrative where you were in control and had it all. Well, you’re going to live out your sin whether you want to or not. You will spend your final moments knowing you can never have what you want.”
I looked at my own plate and saw two dishes form. One was a side of Mexican bean rice with green peppers, the other was a Glamorgan sausage and Yorkshire pudding… the way my mum made it. The *exact* way she made it, even smelling as such. I felt an overwhelming rush of emotions and nostalgic memories, desperately fighting to come to the surface with the first bite.
But I couldn’t reach for it. Even if I wanted to.
Eyes fixated on the unfolding carnage in front of me, my body acted on its own and began shovelling the rice into my mouth as the sausage and Yorkshire faded from view, lovingly being consumed by something unseen. I watched with anger and misery as the meal I wanted was once again fading from my grasp.
After a few moments of staring, Ethan turned to see the visage of his Siren in front of him. Her expression that of pure satisfaction as she used her free hand to point down at the floor in a domineering fashion. He whimpered and obliged, head pressed against the ground as he shook.
“I only wanted what was mine. Isn’t that fair? Isn’t that a man’s right to claim what is rightfully his? I don’t understand… is this ascension? Or punishment? I don’t… I don’t…”
He rose his head up to look at the visage of Saoirse as she tipped the contents of the bowl over him and into his mouth, partially widened in a scream that would never be uttered.
The green liquid ate at his skin with remarkable speed, flesh bubbling and popping as it splattered across the plexiglass, his rapidly decaying torso shuddering and eyes melting into the sockets as he gurgled until slumping over.
But I was less focused on his pain and more-so on my own. This sin did not physically encumber me, make me sick or wear me out. No, instead it bore into my soul and found a small place to nest next to the memories of my mother that I kept with me every day.
It managed to shake my professionalism and my confidence, something nobody had done before.
With more of these fucking monsters to go, I was unsure I was up for the task and began to doubt my abilities.
As if on cue, the same spectral night terror that has plagued me since my arrival shone in the viscera of the plexiglass, standing right behind me with a malformed digit up to its cracked lips in a hush motion. In its other hand it held the totem I’d been given by Nestor as a safekeeping method from god knows what. I watched as this thing crushed it to dust, holding up a number as a shock wave ran through my body, fear buckling my knees and something in the prison stirred at my presence, something I would come to fear more than any other creature in existence;
"FOUR."
-
Inmate #2122: Ethan Elliot Blaznik III
Sin: Envy
Food: Mexican Bean Rice & The one dish I will always want, but will never have again.
-
NEXT SIN: SLOTH.
submitted by tjaylea to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.10.26 04:52 kindamymoose [NF] The One (pt 3)

(iii)
The one I struggle to understand.
I spent 2019 mostly trying to recover. I dated on occasion, if for no other reason than to shake the rust off. Most of the dates I had were due to friends of friends; the Stacie, I think you’d like this person, so I’m sending them your way sort of dates. They were fun and lighthearted, but not longstanding by any means.
I came out to my family on April 7th, 2019. In a way, it felt like a second birthday. It was a relief in a lot of ways.
I took a girl on a date to the movies. We saw Pet Sematary. Not that it matters, but you can skip it. I wasn’t remotely scared. She was, on the other hand, terrified. She seemed annoyed that I wasn’t more moved by it. She ghosted me a few days later. Maybe for that reason. Maybe because of other reasons. I have no way of knowing, but I wasn’t upset about it, looking back.
A little later in the year, I met up with a girl who seemed cool. We had a date at a local arcade. We didn’t have too much in common, but she seemed interesting. Our conversations were easy-going and she talked about herself openly. We agreed to meet up for a second date to get barbecue. We had a nice meal. She asked if I wanted to meet up again and I agreed; she had never been to a baseball game and there was one coming up that she asked me about. She ghosted me after I bought the tickets. I was slightly upset, but only because I spent $40 on tickets to a baseball game that I’d have to attend alone. (I ended up giving the tickets to my sister and brother-in-law.)
Toward the end of the year, right around the end of October, I met a girl at the market around the corner from my then-employer. I saw here there often and we exchanged pleasantries. Sometimes, we ate together if I had time. I asked if she’d be open to having lunch and she agreed. She seemed nice, at least at first. She was rude to our server, though, and it killed any attraction I could have potentially felt. Somehow, we ended up ghosting each other, something I’m thankful for.
After that, I took a pause again. I determined that I wasn’t quite ready for the fickleness of others, at least not then. I spent the remainder of 2019 alone, fifth-wheeling and continuing to mend the parts of myself that I felt needed it the most. I dabbled on dating apps, but strictly to find friends. I talked to a lot of interesting people; I kept conversations high-level, though. It seemed to work well for me. I found I wasn’t looking at other women romantically for the most part. Every now and then, I would see a pretty lady and feel some level of attraction, but it wasn’t quite the same. There were times I wondered if I’d ever get back to where I’d been before.
2020 quickly approached. The winter is my least favorite of all the seasons, thought it wasn’t particularly harsh this year. Valentine’s Day is never something I look forward to, mostly because I haven’t ever had a reason. This year was no different. No cheesy cards or “I love you’s” for me. Still, it’s nice to see love have a day of its own. I did my best to practice optimism and practice self-love. I made a list of all the things I like about myself and kept it handy with me throughout the day. I read it at different points in the day. It helped raise my spirits a bit.
Right around this time, I started a new workout regiment. There was a bike-a-thon that was set to take place in the summer that I wanted to participate in. I had planned on honoring my grandpa and a former coworker who both lost their lives to cancer. The ride itself was a bit grueling, and it required a lot of stamina. It took up a lot of my time, and frankly, helped my self-esteem quite a bit.
Shortly after, I began feeling ill quite a bit of the time. I figured maybe I had been working myself too hard; I had gotten a promotion, started a new workout regiment, and started eyeing school all in a short timeframe. It was a lot to handle. I had to drop something from my plate at some point. School had to wait a bit longer, I figured.
I never deleted my dating apps. They stayed inactive, buried on the back-pages of my home screen. Occasionally, I would get a notification, but I rarely checked up on it. I felt I was in a good place mentally, and the thought of getting hurt again was daunting for me. In all honesty, as I look back, I had been wrestling with unresolved feelings. I didn’t want to pass that pain on to someone else.
Around March, my employer began furloughing workers. I expected to be one of them, but I’m pleased to say I wasn’t. A few of my friends were affected, though. (Don’t worry – they all found work.) I had two options: To continue working in the office, or to work from home. Mostly everyone exercised the option of working from home. I wasn’t particularly excited about it. I am a textbook introvert in the sense that I simply need my own space to recharge. The thought of not being around people is not something I’ve handled well. I found I was in the minority with those feelings.
I moved my entire office space into the guest bedroom of my parents’ house. I had a new office buddy: My cat – now my parents’ cat – Porschia. She could often be seen on my Zoom calls, even with clients. They thought it was charming, thankfully. Still, I missed the interaction I previously had with others. I headed back to the dating apps to see if I could find new pen pals.
As it turned out, a lot of people had the same intention, so it wasn’t hard. It didn’t necessarily make conversation easier. People are people, and that includes people being shallow. I will admit I’m an average-looking person. Brown hair, blue eyes, short, a little chubby. I’ve been told a time or two I have a nice smile. Nothing about me necessarily stands out; any form of interaction I get on dating apps, I assume, is because of my personality. Still, I did my best to be confident.
I struck up a conversation with a girl who lived about an hour south of me. We didn’t have a ton in common, but we had the same sense of humor. We shared similar political views, too. She considered herself strictly a cat person, which was disappointing when I told her I wanted to one day own a farm of Golden Retrievers. It was something she said she could overlook. She had a nice smile, which I liked. I will be honest – I didn’t feel an immediate spark when I talked to her, but at the very least, we could have easily been friends.
We talked for a couple of days and exchanged numbers. She asked me almost immediately what it was I was looking for. And, in my typical fashion, I was honest: I had no clue. I didn’t explain to her anything involving my dating history. It seemed a bit premature for that discussion. I felt it was best not to lead us both to something where our hopes would be dashed if feelings weren’t mutual. She had a similar answer. It was a relief.
We both quarantined for a few weeks. Because I lived with my parents, I didn’t have to worry about leaving the house much. I would, on occasion, leave to get groceries, but I never left for long. I’ve always been a stickler for washing my hands anyway, so I didn’t have a huge concern about getting sick. Still, I was careful. She had a similar situation.
It was because of our caution that we agreed to a socially distanced meet-up just a few weeks in. We used the masks. We did the six-foot thing, at least I think it was six feet. We walked through the park and chatted. We ate lunch with our windows open in our own cars. We talked about music. I discovered, disappointingly, she didn’t know many of the songs I played. They were new to her, but I didn’t mind showing her if she would be interested.
We didn’t agree to another meet-up at the conclusion of our first one. It was new for me, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up or pressure myself into something I may have not been ready for, either. Instead, we continued chatting. She brought it up eventually and asked if I’d be open to it. I had to think about it for a bit, but I eventually agreed. The meet-up was in similar fashion, and we spent most of the time just chatting and getting to know each other.
Most of our communication was virtual for the first couple of months. We FaceTimed quite a bit. We talked on the phone often. She started getting into the habit of calling me on my lunch break. She let “babe” slip more than once. I have no problem with pet names; I just prefer there be sometalk of relationship status. I felt awkward having to tell her, but she seemed understanding of that request.
A day or so later, she told me she liked me. I wasn’t expecting it. The comment came out of left field. We had been talking about something completely unrelated, in fact. She interrupted my thought to tell me. “Hey, shut up for a second,” she said. That…sort of surprised me. “I like you.” I nodded. “OK,” I replied. I waited for something else. It seemed like there could have been something else, but there wasn’t. I didn’t know how I felt. I found I wasn’t prepared for the conversation to take place this way. I settled on more neutral phrasing. “I think you’re cool,” I said. She noted my hesitation to say too much. “It’s okay if you’re not ready,” she added. “Just tell me when you are.” Maybe I don’t know women, but she seemed to take it better than I expected.
Things began to blossom from there, albeit slowly. We had virtual date nights. She began asking me more about myself, and I slowly began to open up. I told her whatever I felt comfortable sharing. Though I don’t find myself to be much of an interesting person, I took it in pieces. I wanted to know more about her, too, so I asked questions as they came up.
She began getting a little bolder with her questions. She asked about my dating history on more than one occasion. I glossed over the subject. It didn’t seem fair to her to discuss that sort of thing, even if she did ask. I simply chalked it up to not being completely inexperienced, but also not having a great deal of experience. She told me she had been in love with her last girlfriend and they had only been broken up a few months. It seemed soon to me, but everyone dials at different speeds. It was only fair to her to let her determine how ready she was to move on, so I didn’t question it.
Eventually, we decided to meet for a non-socially distanced date. We took abundant precautions beforehand. We agreed I would go to her place the first time. She lived alone during the time. She sounded really excited to be able to cook dinner for me, and there was a lot of effort on her end to make sure I liked what she made. This was…normal, I thought. You know, minus the global pandemic.
I arrived on a Friday evening. I decided that a dress shirt, tie, khakis, and dress shoes were fitting. My hairdresser was closed, so I had to get creative with my hair. I think I managed to make it work. I knocked on her door and before I knew it, she wrapped me up in a big hug. She kissed me on the cheek and led me inside. Her house was clean and organized, about what I expected. I always have anxieties any time I’m invited to someone else’s home. As kids, my parents always made sure that my sister and I were exceedingly polite in other people’s homes. This usually included taking shoes off at the door, offering to help set the table if food was served, and helping around the kitchen. But it was all done for me this time. I felt slightly awkward. She must have been able to tell – she asked more than once if I was okay.
We sat down to a candlelit dinner. There was wine. I’m not much of a wine drinker, or a drinker period. I powered through it, though the thought of drinking on a first date, for whatever reason, makes me uncomfortable. She had prepared homemade bread, chicken fettucine alfredo, and a salad. We chatted over dinner and watched some of the wildlife that surrounded her house.
We eventually cleaned up and headed to the living room. An intense game of Jenga awaited us. Turns out, I’m not that great at Jenga, either. I swear a lot more when unstable wooden blocks are involved. Thankfully, she found this funny. She slid close to me and kissed my cheek. I felt myself get a little nervous. Gotta be the wine talking, I thought. She mumbled something a little saucy in my ear; I immediately suggested watching a television show. My nerves were a little jumbled. Some prime comedy television was surely in order.
We watched about an hour of Parks and Rec before, out of nowhere, she sat up and grabbed me by the face. She kissed me. Hard. It took me a few moments to relax into it, but I did. I eventually pried myself from her and smiled. I wasn’t sure what else to do. My hands stayed glued at my sides. She guided my hand to the strap of her shirt and slid it down her shoulder. “Oh, boy,” I remember saying. I thought I left it as internal dialogue, but judging by her laugh, that was not the case.
She started kissing my neck, somewhat more aggressively. Not that it matters to anyone that might be reading this but…not an area of focus, at least for me. I backed away. “Can we, like, not do this right now?” I asked. She seemed slightly offended. “Don’t you want to?” She was genuinely confused. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. I had serious doubts that she was completely sure herself. I slid her strap back on her shoulder and gave it a gentle (nervous) pat.
“I was hoping maybe we could just cuddle and watch something on TV,” I remember saying. The topic of physical closeness had yet to be discussed by this point. She seemed deflated. This was new to me. I hadn’t ever rejected a woman’s (physical) advances before, but I hadn’t had a reason to. She eventually conceded to the idea of a blanket and television, although I could tell she wanted more. We talked for a little bit longer. She took the opportunity to tell me of her physical needs at some point during the conversation. I either struggle with being direct or I’m too direct; there is rarely any sort of balance for me. This time, it was the former. I didn’t want to tell her I wasn’t quite ready. She eventually took the hint and didn’t bring it up for the remainder of the evening.
We made our way to bed at some point. She snuggled in beside me and rested my arm over her. I didn’t end up sleeping for most of the night; she snored like a freight train going 70 in a 30. Still, it was nice to be close to someone. Her cat decided I made a good pillow, or at least my legs did. I found myself sleeping next to a gal who was sawing logs in her sleep with a cat who may or may have not been trying to slowly immobilize me. Still, I can’t say it was the weirdest experience I’ve ever had.
I woke up the next morning to a hand being pushed through my hair. I’ve never been a morning person; I don’t necessarily have any problems with sleeping in past 10:00 AM. “What time is it?” I mumbled. She shooed her cat off the bed and rolled me on my back. She straddled me and took her shirt off. She was really not good at being subtle at this point. I swallowed hard. She kissed my neck again. Too tired to protest, I sort of…let it happen. She whispered more saucy things into my ear, and I found myself mostly not responsive. She either didn’t notice or didn’t care. She was sober now, so it seemed she reallydid want to follow through with it. Me, on the other hand? I was still unsure.
She took me hands and guided them where she wanted them. I found myself struggling to maintain eye contact nearly the whole time. The experience isn’t what I’d call unhinged; uncontrolled, arrhythmic, maybe. Again, not that it matters, but it didn’t align with my style. It didn’t last too long. She got up and showered immediately after. I lay in her bed realizing that a woman had invited me to her house for dinner and Netflix. I partially blamed myself. What was I expecting to happen?
I got dressed and headed to her kitchen. I thought I’d forget about the previous encounter, or try to, by making breakfast. I was used to cooking for one by this point, and it looked like she was, too. She would have to live with my waffles, eggs, and turkey bacon. I decided to surprise her when she got out of the shower. I arranged a breakfast tray and delivered it to her room where she was getting finished preparing herself for the day. She thanked me with a kiss on the cheek.
We didn’t talk much about the morning’s events. I found myself changing the subject whenever she brought it up. It was a beautiful day that day; I suggested a picnic in the park and maybe a small hike. She was only interested in one of those things, which I was able to live with. We spent most of the day together before I had to leave. It was mostly uneventful, and barring certain encounters, would have been a great day.
Despite this, we continued to see each other. I signed my lease for my apartment in early May. I began boxing most of my life away. Thankfully, I didn’t have many personal items. It was mostly clothes, books, a television, and some new household items. She helped me pack and seemed interested in my high school life. We looked at some of my yearbooks. During those years, I wore my hair long. I didn’t wear my glasses regularly – I was stubborn in that way. I was a shy, quiet teenager, which surprised her. I’m not sure why.
I eventually moved into my apartment, which is small. But it worked perfectly for me. She seemed surprised by that fact; I felt the judgment, but only a little bit. She helped me unpack and we looked at more photo albums. But something was different on move-in day. She was unusually snappy with me. I asked if she wanted to eat pizza with me while I unpacked. She seemed annoyed by that. “You didn’t plan a meal?” I remember her asking. It didn’t seem totally crazy to have pizza after moving my life into a new apartment. I assumed the question was rhetorical. “I guess we can. But you invited me over. I thought you may have had something special planned,” she said. I felt a little bad. After all, she did cook dinner for me when I went to her house. “Next week?” I asked. “When I get everything unpacked and get to the grocery store. I can make spaghetti and meatballs or something.” That seemed to placate her.
The truth is, I hadn’t been feeling completely well or like myself. I was more tired than usual. A little sore, even. But I didn’t find it significant enough to share with her. My job was terribly stressful at the time. I had just moved out on my own. I figured I was also maybe feeling a bit depressed or homesick. It was hard to pin down my emotions. I didn’t want to unload them on her; she had stuff of her own to deal with, too. She asked if she could stay all night, and I agreed it would be fine.
I woke up the next day to a hot bath drawn for me and McDonald’s breakfast. I hadn’t even heard her leave that morning, though I am sometimes a bit of a hard sleeper. “What’s this for?” I asked. “You don’t have food here,” she said immediately. It felt a little passive-aggressive. I felt bad again. I tried to gloss over it with a joke. “Yeah, I guess I should probably go to the store,” I said. She seemed annoyed again. “Guess you have to be an adult sometime,” she said. That comment sort of stung. I asked if everything was okay. This specific behavior was a little new to me, but it felt like she was looking for reasons to be upset. “I’m fine,” she said eventually. “Just tired.” I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.
She left a little later that day after helping me unpack some more. She called later that night to talk about her parents. I put her on speaker phone and puttered around the house. Nothing seemed out of place on my end, besides her previous bad mood. I had to know why she was in such a crap mood, but the other part of me told me not to dig.
She hit me with an unexpected question. “Do you think you could ever see yourself falling for me?” It was a loaded question, as well as unexpected. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to answer it. It wasn’t totally improbable that I could fall for her. Though, as I write this now, I realize I knew the answer all along. “It’s definitely a possibility,” I said. It seemed like a safe answer. There was a long pause. “Good,” she said. It was a bizarre ending to our conversation. “I have to get going. Talk to you later.” We exchanged “goodnights” before she hung up. I went to bed wondering if I had just walked into some sort of weird trap. My anxiety wasn’t in overdrive, so I went with that.
I slept in a little later than normal the following day. My whole body was sore. I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I also had to report to work in my new apartment/office, something I wasn’t looking forward to much. I got up, gave a little stretch, took a hot shower, contemplated my life choices, ate some toast. You know, the usual. I hadn’t checked my phone that morning, something that was a little odd for me.
I shuffled into my office space and started my day. Judging by the way my client called and yelled at me for ten minutes straight, I could tell it was going to be a weird day. I played some music to get the juices going. The Eagles are always a prime choice, and my neighbors probably now know how much I like the song “Hotel California.” They probably also know I’m a shit singer. Frankly, I’m okay with both.
During my lunch break, I decided to check my phone. Six texts from my girlfriend. That’s gotta be bad, I thought. I opened them, expecting something, but not a breakup. Not after our last conversation.
Among other things, she mentioned I needed therapy. This comment was particularly hurtful; I had finally opened up to her and told her I had been to therapy off and on during my late-teen years. She seemed understanding at the time. I never expected for her to use it against me. She told me I was a bad kisser. That one didn’t hurt quite so bad, but I was rusty when we met. If I was ever bad with anyone else, they had enough tact not to tell me. And finally – perhaps the most confusing statement – she called me desperate and needy. I was shocked. And hurt. If I’m being honest, I still am.
The thought of getting close to another human daunted me for a while. It stopped me from pursuing anything remotely resembling a relationship, for the most part. I hadn’t shared that with her, though. Maybe she could tell, maybe it was just a lucky guess. In a way, it felt like she looked for ways to hurt me. I tried calling. Straight to voicemail. I asked if we could meet up. She was “busy.” She only wanted to talk by text.
I spent most of the afternoon in tears. I guess, looking back, I should have seen it coming. It wouldn’t be the first time I missed completely obvious signs. Sometime before I met her, though, I realized not every experience would look the same. At least that’s what I told myself. This felt hauntingly familiar in some ways; the biggest difference was that it felt like she meant to hurt me. I can’t say the same for those that were before her. I eventually worked up the courage to ask if I’d done something wrong. She didn’t answer with a response to my question. Instead, she suggested we talk later that evening.
It was mostly just rehashing her texts. She wanted a break for a while and I gave it to her.
I found myself more hurt by the circumstances of the breakup more than the breakup itself. It was a little new to me. I was angry with her. I still am, at least in some ways. I don’t get angry often. It’s a useful emotion sometimes, though. It offers clarity under certain circumstances. We haven’t talked much in the past few months. I have written unsent letters to her that I’ve erased. The words struggle to come to mind.
It’s probably because I didn’t love her. I don’t think I could. Completely improbable? I suppose not. Something was just…missing. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the warmth that I need wasn’t there. She was genuine in a lot of ways, but completely unsure of herself in others. There was a bit of an age difference between us, but not extraordinary. I came with a bit more life experience; we struggled to relate on backgrounds and shared experiences. Looking back, the holes were probably too big to fill.
The story is still somewhat fresh. It feels I could write new pages every day. I have contemplated reaching out to her more than once, but I’ve struggled to follow through. A person I spent a lot of time talking to, sharing mundane details of my life with, is practically a stranger. She texts me occasionally. She’s shown up uninvited to my house. She’s sent me birthday greetings. But it all feels very superficial. She told me she feels guilty for what she did. I’m not a perfect person. I can admit that maybe I want her to feel a little guilty. She knows I didn’t deserve for it to end the way it did. But on the other hand, I’m a flawed person myself. I recognize that sometimes, people do things they think might be best and act in ways that don’t always align with their character.
Love teaches a lot of lessons. But then again, so do things that might resemble love. Things that might have potential to be love but never quite make it. Things that turn into love but never get the space they need to grow. I genuinely have no clue what this experience was meant for me to learn. I do my best to be a positive person. In some way, I hope, I’ll have the lesson figured out soon enough.
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2020.10.26 00:42 twatsonwatson I Was Born In 1998 But I'm 375 Years Old (Part 1)

Please forgive the possible lack of detail. I am very old, so these memories are ancient as well. I am posting this to NoSleep because I need advice. I currently sit in a rinky-dink hotel in some half dead town in the deep south of Florida. People don't ask for ID here, but it won't be long before they find me. The year is now 2020 again (I know, a tad confusing) but I need to explain my story first, then you'll understand.
***
I worked a lot when I was younger. 12 hour days, 5 days a week may not sound too terribly horrific, but to me, in the job I worked, it was a nightmare. I worked night shift for a little over a year. Recently, however, I was moved to days with a promotion and a pay raise, but exponentially more work, as these things tend to be. I relished it, though, as I was able to spend more time with my wife, Sasha, and my 1 year old son, Henry. Things were great up until about a month after I received my promotion.
I came home one night feeling more exhausted than usual. I told my wife that I was going to be going to sleep a little earlier that night, as I felt a little sick as well, and if I didn't feel better in the morning I would call out of work and head to the doctor. She was, of course, frustrated and saddened, but she understood. With me working so much, I honestly felt guilty any time I would have to bail out on the family time because I don't get much of it, and when I do, it is usually only a few hours at a time each night.
Apart from me being unusually exhausted and sick, that night had been as normal as any other. I came home, took my shower, ate my dinner, and went to sleep, planning on getting 10 hours of rest to help with whatever I was afflicted with. So, as I laid down, I called out a "goodnight, I love you and Buddy" to which I was met with silence. I assumed she just didn't hear me, and I was too tired to get up and tell her in person, so I proceeded to shut my eyes and get some sleep. I didn't even put my phone in its usual spot on the charger. I just fell straight asleep with it in my pocket. That night, in a small town in Florida on October 23rd of 2020, I had the worst sleep of my life. I now wish I would have relished that night like I do any other. I haven't seen either of them in over 350 years.
***
I awoke to blistering heat and violent lights, each ray of orange and red breaking through my windows as if it were a midnight intruder hellbent on taking my life. In a daze and still somewhat of a half-sleep, I jumped from my bed and looked to wake my wife. She wasn't there, nor was Henry who usually slept with us at night. "What the hell?" were my first thoughts.
"Honey?!" I cried out. No response.
The heat rose, and the lights grew ever more vibrant. They obviously weren't in the bedroom with me, so I ran to inspect the rest of the house. Fearing that we had a fire on our hands, I wasted no time in trying to find her and my son. There was no one in the house, even the 2 cats and the dog we had were nowhere to be seen. "Maybe she already fled?" The thought occurred to me. It was a hurtful one, yes, but as long as my family was safe I didn't care. Reaching down, I felt my cell phone still in my pocket as I desperately tried to call 9-1-1 as I fled my house. The first thing that came was the dial tone, the next was the scalding heat as a burst through the door only to find all of my neighbors houses ablaze with crimson lights. "What the hell?" I thought to myself. "What was going on?"
I ran into the street looking for my car that was nowhere to be seen, when I noticed something odd. The streets felt...abnormal. They were bumpy, and they seemed to be smaller than the streets that circled my house. Calling my wife's name as I ran through the streets, I saw neighbors desperately attempting to douse the flames, to no avail. Many were crying, some were screaming, and then there were those who just laying on the ground, burned and moaning. I tried calling 9-1-1 again, and again, dial tone, so I tried calling my wife-dial tone- then my best friend Steven- dial tone again. It was only then that I noticed the bars that told me my signal strength on my phone were completely missing. No, not empty. It was just a blank portion of the screen.
I finally managed to reach the edge of my town, when I took time to carefully inspect my phone thoroughly. Confusingly, the battery life was at 100%, but more shockingly, the date on my phone read "September 2nd, 1666." Being a lover of history, there was something very familiar about that date. Something sinister. "Come on you piece of shit" I muttered at my phone trying repeatedly to call my wife, to which I kept being met with dial tones. Frustrated, I almost threw my phone to the ground when I noticed the symbol I get for new text messages was visible at the top of my phone. "Finally, an answer" I thought. I pulled up my texting app, and saw a strange message. The sender was blank, no number and no name, and the message simply read "Call 0000." So, running out of options, I called that number.
"Who the hell is this." asked the raspy voice, annoyingly. The sound of the voice offered no identification as to who it might belong to. It didn't sound female, and neither did it sound male.
"What do you mean 'Who the hell is this?' I was told to call you! What the hell is going on, where is my wife and child, who are you?!" I practically screamed into the phone as I watched from a distance, the flames engulf my hometown. Only now, in the dark night sky set illuminated by the blazing light, my hometown didn't look so familiar.
"Listen here you little-" the voice paused for a moment, seemingly remembering something. "Oh...it's that time again then, is it?" It continued more calmly. It sounded almost apologetic. "We don't have time for this. Listen to my instructions and listen VERY well, lest you wish to be tortured for the rest of your life." It stated as if it had repeated this same message many times over, like a tired out customer service representative just ready to get the day over with.
"Hmmm, Dereck is it? Wife is Sasha, child by the name of Henry. Listen, Dereck. You need to run. They are coming for you, and you don't want them to find you. Run into those woods in front of you, don't stop, don't make any turns, just run straight. They know just about where you are, the Great Fire Of London marks your location. Now go. I will call you, so keep your phone handy and NEVER lose it." It instructed forcefully. I tried to respond, but whoever, or whatever, was on the other end already hung up.
The Great Fire Of London? I live in Florida. "What in the shit is happening?" I checked the date again. So that's why it seemed familiar. I bolted. I don't know who or what I was talking to, but if there were people after me then I don't want to stick around to find out. I ran and ran and ran, until I was physically and mentally incapable of running anymore. By the time I collapsed, the sun had risen almost directly overhead. I tried pulling my phone out, but not having the energy, I just lay on the grassy floor until my eyes forced themselves shut and restless sleep overtook me.
***
I awoke to my phone blaring a loud ring as the sun was already set over the horizon. I quickly, in my twilight daze, swiped to answer.
"Please, just tell me what's going on" I begged the mysterious voice "I just want my family, please."
"Listen to everything I have to say, and you might see your family again. On October 23rd, 2020, you laid down to sleep. You woke in a different time, in a different place. You are now in London, September 2nd, 1666. This is the time and place that everyone who goes through this wakes up in. This happens to someone, somewhere, once every 100 years. You are here because you are chosen. I am your Guide, and you can call me as such. I am here to make sure you live through to your own time again, and then possibly you can see your family once more." Guide sputtered on without hesitation. "The group that is after you is known as 'The Omnipresent.' They want what you have, they want your life. You cannot die in this time, but you can feel pain and everything else humans can feel. The Omnipresent have successfully captured everyone else they have hunted, so they are very powerful. They torture you to draw out your energy then they absorb it themselves. They were once human, but I wouldn't call them that anymore. They can easily tear a man's limbs clean from his body. They call themselves Angels, and they call people like you Demons. Quite backwards if you ask me. They will come for you every night. They can sense you. You will need to constantly be on the run. No resting, lest you wish to be captured. Right now, however, you need to go again. They are near. You may call me whenever you need Guidance, but go now, before they find you." And with that, it hung up again.
I went to run again, but a brief sound stopped me in my tracks. Horror filled my body. A trepidation the likes of which I've never felt before surged throughout every fiber of my being. The noise I heard was a faint growl. But just as quickly as it came, It stopped. Then I heard a familiar voice.
"Honey?" I heard Sasha weakly call out. Along with her voice came the faint cries of Henry.
Overjoyed with the sounds of my family, I leaped from my spot on the ground and ran in the direction I heard their voice. "I'm here!" I cried as I broke through the brush and into the clearing. Only, there wasn't anyone there. As I broke through, I was met with a horrific being straight from anyone's worst nightmare. It turned to look at me, its mouth opened wide with hundreds of razor-like teeth embedded into its gums. Its arms were disproportioned to the rest of its body, its head was massive, and its legs were short and stumpy. Tentacles of what looked like congealed blood sprouted from its back as it let loose a horrifying screech. It then leapt at me, its weight feeling like that of a semi-truck carrying a blue whale. It tore at me, ripping flesh from my bones. The pain was unimaginable, blood sprayed the grass and the smell of death emanating from the creature was enough to make me vomit on myself. I could hear my skin being ripped open and the creature chewing. I was near unconsciousness when the figure suddenly lifted its head and sniffed the air. At that moment, I decided to attempt to make a break for it. I underestimated the amount of blood I lost, though, because when I stood to run I immediately fell over. I turned to look behind me, but the creature was gone, and there was not a single sign of it or what it had done to me anywhere, besides what was left of my body.
My arms were torn to shreds. Skin ripped from the muscle, muscle ripped from the bone. I could barely lift them. My phone was ringing again, and with all the strength I could muster, I pulled it from my pocket and answered.
"Please get me out of here." I begged, hardly more than a whimper at this point.
"I can't do that. I don't even have the power to do that." replied the raspy voice. " Just so you know, that wasn't even an Omnipresent. An Omnipresent would have consumed a little of you, but ultimately, you wouldn't have escaped. You would be captured by now if it was."
"Then what the hell was it?" just talking hurt.
"That was an actual demon. Being far more powerful than real demons, they use them to hunt and stalk."
"Why did it stop?" I feebly asked
"Because they made it stop. It was going to consume you whole. Some Demons get out of line, and the Omnipresent have to extinguish them right there. If it had consumed you whole, it would have gained power unattainable by the Omnipresent, making it an extremely difficult foe to control for them, so they eliminated the threat as soon as they got wind of what it was up to. Not only would it have gained more power, but you would have been eliminated. Not killed, as you cannot die here. But you would've been consumed and then shit out like some bad food. You would have been alive, but you would not be able to do anything. The Omnipresent want to capture you and consume you slowly while letting you regenerate so that they can get as much out of you as possible until your time comes."
"Wait...regenerate?" I was confused, and nearing unconsciousness again as I asked.
"Yes, you will regenerate, but you will be weak for a while. When you wake up, your wounds will be gone, but you will be very weak and slow. You shouldn't have let this happen. I know it sounded like your family, but you should've just ran. This is 1666, not 2020. Your family will never be here."
I heard him continue to talk, as if explaining more to me, but my eyes were not cooperating and my head was pounding, and sleep came against all of my protests.
***
When I awoke, my first realization was that Guide was not lying. My arms looked as if they had not been touched, but my head was throbbing, arms were heavy, knees were weak. I could barely muster the strength to stand. Somehow, I managed to get up, and somehow, I had a feeling of where I needed to go. Maybe it was something Guide said that my subconscious picked up on and stored for me when I was asleep, but whatever it was, I left the woods and bounded north.
While walking, I couldn't escape the noises that would come occasionally. Faint growls, low whispers, loud moans. Trees and bushes would shuffle in the corner of my vision, and anxiety and panic made their homes in my head. Oftentimes, I would hear footsteps, and those would make me speed my walk up to an unbearable pace. I couldn't run. Not now, not with how weak I was. I walked for hours. Time seeming to last an eternity here, and yet I was supposed to live through almost 350 years of this before I saw my family? All while avoiding capture, consumption, and torture? The mere thought alone was torture enough. But I needed to be with my family.
Hours passed and I finally arrived at what I assumed was where I was supposed to be at. I rundown, abandoned looking village with a half broken sign that read "The Forsaken." I pressed forward into the village. Some homes were destroyed. Others were rundown, and a few were in livable conditions. I popped my head into one of the nicer ones, where I was met with a grisly sight. Corpses littered the floor. All decomposed enough to see bone. Flies and rats made their homes in the skeletal remains and scattered deeper into the home when I came near. I retrieved my phone and called Guide again.
"Where am I, Guide?" I asked desperate for an answer.
"This is the village that the first Chosen made their home. They were ordinary people, like you. Whisked away to a time unfamiliar to them, separated from their families. Except, with these people, the Omnipresent gave them the false hope of being able to live. They told them that if they just cooperated, lived here together and submitted themselves to being tortured until their time came, they would be able to live a normal life afterwards. That was before the Omnipresent realized that even after their time came, they could consume them one last time, whole, and gain more. Once they found that out, they massacred the village. Consumed the flesh of all of them, and left the bones to the rats." He explained this harrowing story so calmly, it made me angry.
"Why are you so calm? People are dying, being tortured, and frankly, you don't give a flying-" I was cut off by a screech. It was a screech so loud, so potent, that my ears began to bleed, and the glass began to shake on the window frames.
The screech subsided, leaving me with an unbearable headache. I peeked through the window to see wherein came the noise, and what I saw left me with both ecstatic joy and resounding dread.
"Sasha?..."
submitted by twatsonwatson to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.10.23 20:59 dourdan Rise of Hellion ch7: Dreams

Rise of Hellion ch7: Dreams

Rise of Hellion ch7: Dreams (Barry Pepper fanart fiction inspiration)

previously: https://www.reddit.com/BarryPeppecomments/j87s60/rise_of_hellion_ch6_retail_hell/
Sitting in Tony’s comfortable gaming chair I spun around, trying to jumpstart my brain. “Who or what is Feng?” I asked aloud to the search engine. Yes, I knew I had to type, but I was trying to think of all the possible ways to address the question. This was not Google or Yahoo, but rather the low-security clearance (guest level access) of the TAC archive network.
“Need help?” Tony asked, from his place on the floor. He had been doing pushups, sit ups and other gym class exercises while wearing earbuds. He removed one earphone, awaiting a response.
This of course implied that he had been watching me without my knowledge, which was more than a little annoying. “Nope,” I said quickly as I spun back to the screen, my metal leg narrowly avoiding the side of the desk. I tried different search combinations; Feng- terrorist, Feng- officer, Feng-scientist, doctor, weapons, etc. Unfortunately, Feng is one hell of a common name (especially for people who reach the top of their respective fields.)
In a state of defeat, I slammed on the caps lock key and proceeded to type, ‘F-E-N-G.’ To my surprise that brought about something completely different. “Falcon Element National Guard: project FENG.” I clicked on the link only to see a mostly blacked out document. There were no readable names or dates but there were a massive number of preliminary sketches for various combat-use prosthetics.
“What are you looking up, anyway?” Tony asked, resting his sweaty head on my shoulder.
“I think I found Dr. Frankenstein’s lair.” My mind trailed off. I was at a loss on how to explain my interest in what appeared to be a high-security clearance military organization.
“What’s project FENG?” Tony leaned forward, tilting his head like an owl. With a few blinks of his odd, robotic eyes he took control of the mouse, scanning through pages faster than I could stand to look.
“Will you stop!” I groaned. “You’re giving me a headache.”
“Sorry,” Tony said with a chuckle. With one last blink he put the page back where he’d found it. “The drafts look like early versions of my augmentations. Even here you can see the technical specs for my eyes.”
“Oh?” I smirked. The drawing was too elaborate for me to decipher. “Kinda like a Deadlock 1.0?”
“Yeah,” Tony said, still focused on the schematics of the eye that decorated the front page. “That sounds about right.” The device appeared to have lenses, connected to wires that fed into minicomputers.
I had a feeling the design would work much better with the invention of wi-fi. “Can you get in further, using your security credentials?” Clearly, he could see how much of the information was blocked out, unless his powers somehow allowed him to see through encrypted data.
Tony stroked his fingers over the screen causing the image to warp. Apparently, he could in fact see through encrypted data. “I could give it a try, but first I want some answers, if you please.”
“Ok, that sounds fair,” I said with as much confidence as I could muster. “How about we go back and forth? You ask a question, then I get to ask a question.”
“Fine with me,” he said crossing his muscular arms. “As long as I get to go first.”
I had a feeling I already knew what he was going to ask. “Sure, go ahead.”
“What’s your relationship with Baron? You know he’s a terrorist, right?” Tony gripped the back of his chair, turning me to face him. “Let me guess: his preferred term is ‘freedom fighter?'”
“That was a lot of questions for one turn,” I replied, never breaking eye contact. He was clearly comparing me to the teenage girls who flee Europe and America to become ‘warrior brides’ in the middle east but end up being given away like participation trophies to potential suicide bombers.
“Let’s start with the first one. Why did he call you his sister?” Tony asked in a way that seemed serious, yet with the genuine curiosity of a nosy younger sibling.
“We’re not related, if that’s what you’re asking.”
Tony raised an eyebrow. “You know what I mean.”
“Are you asking as my superior?”
“I’m asking as your partner and friend.”
His words brought me a level of comfort. We were in the same boat; augmented bodies being kept alive for the purpose of becoming super soldiers. Perhaps he could be trusted. “Back at the Asia base, Baron was sent to rescue Anya…”
“Toska,” Tony bluntly corrected. “Civilian names are only for friends and allies.”
That was like a rock shattering a pane of glass and I was more than a little annoyed. Not only was he interrupting my story but he had the nerve to tell me who I should or should not consider friends. “Fine then, should I call you Deadlock?” I locked eyes making sure to scowl.
Tony smirked as he noticeably pressed his tongue to the inside of his cheek. “No,” he replied with clear notes of sarcasm. “Tony should work well, considering the complexities of our relationship.” He paused, smiling as if this was all a big joke. “Nicki.”
Because we fucked; I was the girl who threw herself at him and now he thinks he can hold that over me. Great, just freaking great. “Baron was sent by Kitsune,” I continued. “I don’t know if that’s her real name or her supervillain name, but rest assured I don’t consider her a friend.”
“Understandable,” Tony replied in his professional tone. “Please continue.”
I sighed. No matter how much he pissed me off, the sight of Tony’s dark puppy dog eyes made me want to trust him with my life. “When rescuing Toska he was informed about my whereabouts and potential.” At least that was what I heard from Anya when we landed in Russia. “I shadowed Baron for a few days, we went on patrol, smoked some weed and drank stolen sake. He told me about his dreams of leaving the life.”
“The life of crime, working under the Yakuza,” Tony added.
The way he glanced at me with a comically intense face drove home the idea that I was a naive, little girl who loved fairytales. “You don’t believe me?”
“I’m just saying, if he wanted to disappear, why didn’t he? Vancouver is a long way from Asia, he could have easily faked his own death. But for whatever reason he is making the conscious choice to stay employed by the most powerful cartel on the planet.”
The Yakuza is the most powerful cartel on the planet? I really didn’t want that to be true. “I think FENG knows the answer. I believe he, they, or it,” my voice became flustered as I started to doubt my own sanity. “FENG is in possession of two or more individuals whom Baron considers friends, people who I know he would be willing to die for.”
Tony scoffed in disbelief. “You’re trying to tell me Baron is risking his life, to get the battery, on the possibility of saving his friends?”
“You seem to already know his history. Is that motivation so hard to believe?”
Tony closed his eyes, taking a long blink. “Actually no.”
“No?”
“Upon review of my files,” Tony said still focused on whatever was projecting onto the back of his eyelids.
“Your files?” My focus went to the drawing of the eye. Was his mind even human or was Tony’s consciousness crafted from a series of computer chips?
“Based upon the information in TAC’s database,” he clarified. The event that turned Baron to a life of crime was the death of his parents who were political prisoners on a certain communist controlled island.”
“Fascinating,” I said with a smirk. I knew Baron was a good person. “Is it my turn to ask a question?”
“Shoot.” Tony nodded.
“Is Baron alive?”
Tony paused for a moment and bit his lower lip. “Yeah.”
He did not sound at all confident in his answer. “What does that mean?” I asked. His oddly hesitant tone seemed strange, as if he was trying to spare my feelings.
“I was kind of mentally off that night. All I can remember is fighting; shit was collapsing, burning.” Tony’s calm, cool demeanor was quickly fading. It was clear he felt guilt, maybe even remorse. “All I know is I didn’t kill him.”
That would have to be good enough for now. “Ok, I guess you get the next question. Unless you’re ready to keep your word and log in so I can read the rest of the document.”
“No, I don’t think I will,” Tony replied with a self-righteous grin.
“No to what? You won’t log in or you won ask another question?” With my pregnancy hormones on full blast I was ready to punch him in the face.
“I have the entire document memorized,” he explained in a cheeky manner. “I’d be willing to discuss its contents over-“
“Coffee?” I assumed.
“I was thinking more of a sparring match in the first-floor gym.”
I took a moment to consider my options. Over coffee and junk food I could have coaxed out enough information to formulate a battle plan. But realistically, whatever plan I came up with would require Tony’s help, anyway. And if worse came to worse I would get my opportunity to punch him. “Fine, let’s go. first one to the mat gets to ask the next question.”
That response made Tony smile. “You’re on.”
We both raced for the door, nearly bodychecking each other in the process. At the last possible second Tony let me slip by. To repay his kindness I went for the southern staircase, knowing Tony would head east to the outdoor fire escape.
Neither of us could fly, but Tony’s agility allowed him to walk on water, so I knew he had the win. I could practically picture him jumping down entire floors of stairs. Knowing that, I took my time.
Somehow, Tony had the same idea in mind. When I opened the door, he was just getting in. It would be a foot race to the sparring ring. We both started to run at full speed. I launched off what I thought was a springboard (it was just a wooden stool.) Instead of an impressive tumbling pass, I only managed a half-twist before landing on my back. I was expecting to hit the mat but instead I could feel the air below my body.
Tony had caught my dumb-ass mid-air and was now carrying me like a bride. “Please don’t do that, at least not until the baby is born.”
A whistle blew, followed by slow applause. Someone had been watching.
I looked to the dark audience section of the gym. There were only a few rows of chairs set up at the moment so it was not difficult to locate the source of the noise. A familiar tall Hispanic woman stood up.
“Maverick?” I didn’t know if I should rush in for a hug or be genuinely scared. Tony lowered my feet to the floor, allowing me to stand, but he kept an arm around me. He clearly knew something I didn’t.
“It’s been a while,” Maverick said from behind a pair of dark glasses. She shifted a stack of files in her arms; this was not a friendly encounter; she was here on official TAC business.
“What are you doing here?” I asked nervously.
“Axel filled me in on your escapades.”
Tony placed his hand on my shoulder, physically moving me to stand behind him. “Our escapades.”
“Yes, I assumed as much,” Maverick replied.
I was somewhat insulted. After all, I was more than capable of screwing up all on my own. “What exactly did Axel tell you?”
“That you snuck out and caused close to a million dollars’ worth of damage to a retail warehouse.”
I hung my head like a child facing the school principal. “Sorry Ma’am.” My apology was genuine, but I soon realized that showing weakness was a big mistake.
“My main purpose here is to get some insight on your interest regarding the battery.”
“I don’t know anything about the battery,” I said with a notably anxious laugh. Was I being accused of spying? “And I certainly don’t have an interest in it.”
“While that might be true, you are still in contact with individuals who have a reputation for wanting to acquire said item.”
“The individuals TAC stole it from?” I said the words out loud but somehow Maverick didn’t hear.
“What the fuck?” The tall imposing military officer gripped her head in visible pain. She appeared to be looking around for the source of a sound only she could hear.
“Damn alarm,” Tony said, pretending to look behind him at the fire exit. “Should shut off in a few seconds. “Anyway, you were saying?”
“Axel gave me intel on your relationship with Faust,” Maverick explained, still only addressing me and not Tony.
“You mean like the fact that he tried to kill me?” My voice creaked with emotion.
“He tried to kill you by kidnapping you from the clinic, to place you on the secured roof of the building that just happened to house the battery?”
That cleared up any doubt; she thought I was a spy planted by Kitsune. I had never been more grateful to have Tony at my side. If Maverick had heard my snide comment, there would be little doubt of my allegiance.
Tony took a step forward standing in front of me like my personal bodyguard. “Maverick, with all due respect, if you have something to say just say it.”
I wanted to put my big girl pants on and tell him to stop speaking for me, but the fact that he could address Maverick without fear was kind of inspiring. Did Tony hold rank over her? Or maybe it was just the fact that he could probably kill her with his mind.
Maverick locked eyes with Tony, pausing with an intense, awkward silence. “I will see you both in my office; building 203, room 5409, at fifteen hundred hours. Will that be acceptable, Deadlock?”
Tony nodded. “See you at three pm.” He stayed in front of me until Maverick left the room.
I released my breath, resisting the urge to burst into tears. “Thank you, Tony.”
“No problem. I mean you’re not a spy, right?” He said with a chuckle. “At least not intentionally.”
I knew he meant the last part as a joke, but the reality stung. “I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry,” he said as he patted my back. “just don’t show weakness.”
I nodded, taking a breath to calm down. “What are we going to do?”
“Meet with Maverick, hear her out. I assume Axel is going to be present, but if not I’m sure as hell going to demand it.”
“Because he has our back,” I replied. That made a lot of sense. “So, moving on.”
“To what?” Tony asked, heading for the chairs.
“You got to the gym first, you get to ask the next question.”
“Give me a second.” Tony tilted his head forward, letting his wavy hair fall over his face. He looked like a typical shy, goth best friend from a made-for-tv movie. “Do you trust me?”
“Yeah, I do,” I said with a smile. “Like it or not, we’re one in the same.”
“Really?”
“You’re what I want to be when I grow up.”
That got a genuine laugh from my super soldier boyfriend. “I’m going to try to find Axel before the meeting.”
“Can I come with you?” I asked.
“Sure, I mean if you’re not too tired.”
I’d been expecting him to say no, as I was kind of hungry. “Can we grab a bite to eat, first?”
Might be faster if I go alone. If I can’t get some face time, I’ll just call him,” Tony said as he put his arm around me. “I’ll try to bring back some breakfast.”
“Sounds good,” I said with a shrug.
Tony leaned in close, rubbing his nose to my cheek like a puppy. “Try not to get yourself kidnapped by the evil dragon.” He turned my face, to kiss my lips. “My Princess Peach.”
His soft, tender lips tasted of cool ranch chips and Gatorade. I truly didn’t want to let him go. “Can I ask a question?”
“Sure,” Tony replied as he kissed me again.
“What are we?”
“I never had a girlfriend.” Tony blinked his eyes, his cheeks flush with embarrassment. In that moment he looked genuinely human. “I don’t know what that actually entails.”
“There are no info files on the TAC database?”
Tony laughed. “I really do like you as something more than friends. You’re beautiful and I love just being around you.” He moved his hand to my waist. “And even if the baby isn’t mine, I want to be the one by your side. Because I want to be the one to love you.” He blinked tears from his eyes. “I should go before I embarrass myself further.”
I threw my arms around him, holding him close for one last kiss. “Don’t be too long.”
Tony got up to leave, his eye sparkling with a sense of joy that I’d never seen before. “Don’t go breaking my heart.”
I watched as Tony left out the northern entrance. I took a moment before heading to the West facing exit. Placing my hand upon the cold metal door I knew I should not open it, and yet I did.
That was why I was not at all surprised to land hard on my back, in the middle of a parking garage. “Ow! Fuck!” Looking around, I could see the lot was about half full, not uncommon for a weekday.
“You think they would install security cameras, but I guess the brass doesn’t care if some low rank pencil pusher gets their car broken in to.” The male voice was a cross between the Flower Child and Faust, leaning more towards the creepiness of the latter.
“Hello,” I muttered as I forced myself to stand on my own two metal legs. I was surprised the light weight frame survived the fall as well as it did. I located my target sitting comfortably on the hood of a blue Honda Civic.
His blonde hair was shoulder length, and he wore a jacket that seemed to slip off his half-naked body. That wasn’t even the most distracting part. His skin, although human, appeared to be partially made of a holographic metal. “Are you looking at my fucked-up arm?” The man chuckled as he looked to the side, drawing my attention to the intricacies of the prosthetic.
“No,” I replied in an aggressive yet hopelessly confused tone.
“Kind of hard not to look.” His muscle tissue sparkled with an ethereal, hypnotic glow. He looked like an angel; a digital angel made of led lights.
“I’m leaving,” I said confidently turning away. If I don’t look, he’ll disappear. Yes, that sounds about right.
“So, kid,” he said in a raised voice. “You’re really not going to take my advice?”
“About what?” I muttered, increasing my pace.
“About not being a total pussy and taking what’s rightfully yours.”
“I’m not stealing the battery.”
“why? Because it’s morally wrong? That thing was created as a weapon of mass destruction,” he shouted after me.
“I can’t hear you,” I said, putting my hands over my ears like a small child.
“The first team to unlock it’s secrets will rule the world.”
The cliché sentence caused me to stop in my tracks, doubling over with laughter. “Did you seriously say ‘rule the world’?”
“You don’t buy it?” he asked, still sitting on the car well over fifty feet away.
“No, I don’t. Now leave me alone.”
“Can I ask, what’re you planning on telling Maverick?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but I plan on telling her that I want no part of this.”
“This?” He of course laughed.
“Ruling the world or whatever,” I said, throwing my hands up as I attempted to turn away. Every part of my body wanted to run but my brain refused to comply.
“Except you do,” his voice became softer, disappearing on the wind. “Because like it or not you want to know what happened to Noah.”
“No, I don’t,” I replied calmly. “I have a boyfriend; someone who wants to start a life with me.” I’d known Tony for longer than I’d known Noah. He was good, kind, pretty much perfect in every way.
“What about the fact that you’re a blood thirsty little bitch who is tired of bowing down to powerful women; Anya, Maverick, Kitsune- when will it be your turn?”
“When I’m good and ready,” I said sarcastically. I would not be ready; I would never be ready. If Maverick and Kitsune wanted to fight for the title of Queen of the world they were more than welcome to. ‘Go!’ I shouted to myself. ‘Walk away!’ I closed my eyes and started to force myself to move forward. I didn’t hear any footsteps, so in my mind I stupidly assumed he was not following me. When I reached the main road, I was more than ready to take a step forward. I wanted to see Tony; to play videogames eat junk food, and just act like a typical fucked up pregnant teenager.
I froze as I felt a metallic hand grip my shoulder. A rush of cold spread down my arm like someone had just dumped a soda cup filled with liquid nitrogen. Before I could fully react, my blond stalker spun me around and pulled me close for a deep passionate kiss. This was immediately followed by an intense electric shock, preventing me from opening my eyes.
My mind was treated to a stream of images, as if he was transferring a bunch of files in to my brain. What was I seeing? There was a glowing figure, a man made of parts. “Tony?” He looked powerful, mystical, inhuman. The images came faster, creating animated scenes. Tony’s body rippled with energy in the form of blue and yellow light, but in the place of a heart was a glowing orb. No, not an orb, it was a long mechanical stick, connected to a full circuit. I thought I knew what I was about to see; Tony’s augmented body powered by the battery. But if the device wasn’t in his heart, where was it?
The image of Tony turned to face the camera; his eyes sparkled with a sinister glow as he ran his fingers through his hair. The battery was in his brain and what it was doing to him was downright terrifying. However, the worst was yet to come.
The camera pulled out, to show more of the scene. Tony took a knee, bowing down to someone with metal legs. “No, please no.” I was not going to steal a weapon of mass destruction and I sure as hell wasn’t going to stick it in my boyfriend’s head turning him in to my personal attack dog.
“Keep watching,” my stalker said, as he paused for breath.
As if I had a choice in the matter. Even without his mouth on mine, I was still paralyzed, frozen in place as the images continued. Tony was bowed down, his skin shimmering with electricity as a hand reached for his. It was my own blood covered hand. The camera turned as a vision of future me helped Tony to his feet. In one arm was a perfectly swaddled newborn, and on the opposite hip was a machete caked with blood and gore.
Future-me had the biggest smile as she threw her arms around Tony, holding him close in a loving embrace as the world behind them burned.
This could all be mine; I could rule the world with the love of my life at my side, all I had to do was make a play for the battery.
submitted by dourdan to BarryPepper [link] [comments]


2020.10.21 21:34 moriyocho I (F18) want to spend time with my boyfriend (M21) in close proximity but I am fully aware of the current situation.

I want to start off by saying that I have been extremely careful about who I see during this pandemic, particularly because I am in a very high stakes position that would result in dire consequences for my fairly large bubble/team (also under close surveillance) if I were to be exposed to the virus. All throughout the summer, I did not hang out with any friends (even socially distanced and outside like a picnic) knowing that my parents are at risk due to underlying conditions, and I have avoided going to the grocery store (always delivery) until last week. I have always taken precautions like wiping everything down once it enters my apartment, indoor and outdoor clothes, etc. Prior to my recent relationship, ever since I moved to university (where I live alone) I have only met up with two people outside my bubble for food, one of which is tested even more frequently than me (twice a week vs I go once a week). Within my bubble, I have only seen 3-4 people regularly (every other week or so) outside of our practices.
I communicated these concerns to my boyfriend, who was so kind and understanding about my situation and is willing to get tested before seeing me (he did and would do it again, though he doesn’t want to abuse his insurance privileges—I am able to get testing free of charge). I also know that he lives with his parents and mostly stays home; occasionally he goes to lunch with friends, but abides by mask and social distancing protocols when it comes to those.
The thing is, I asked him to get tested, he did so 9 days before we met up, he came back clean and so I allowed him to stay over at my place (something I was told was okay for people in my bubble to do). I think it was much needed for my declining mental health during this time, but I couldn’t help but go in a downward spiral of health anxiety. Growing up I’d always be nervous around germs and got over that fear, but it seemed to come back with full speed and manifested in me looking up symptoms four times a day, COVID and research on testing in general occupying my thoughts most of the day, requesting extra testing and a bit of disrupted sleep. I also sought professional mental help regarding this.
Note: I ALWAYS stick to distant outdoor hangouts for the few regular friends/peers I’ve seen but because he is closer in terms of relationship, I thought different standards for interaction could be considered.
I want to be able to see him in person again and I do think it’s important and mentally healthy for us to have physical connection, but I don’t want to have to go through this draining process again.
At this rate, how safe is safe? I’m planning on setting up some of those “social podding guidelines” with him and he’s open to it, but I also don’t want to overstep boundaries and be controlling. I also think it’s unrealistic/unpractical for me to ask him to get tested as much as I do considering he doesn’t have the same access and he doesn’t have the same reasons for that as I do, yet it’s the only way I feel perfectly safe being around him with my physical and mental needs being met.
TL; DR I have generally been very careful with my procedures during this pandemic. I hung out with my boyfriend in close proximity after having us both tested, but that triggered health anxiety for a week and I want to see him again to meet both mental and physical needs in the future. These are important to me; however, my safety (and of course his) is my #1 priority. What do you suggest I do (not see him anymore until quarantine gets lifted, only do outdoor date ideas, set a time frame for testing, etc.)?
submitted by moriyocho to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2020.10.21 13:45 IBMadMan I Now Know Why They Are Called Weeping Willows

The last few months have gone much less than expected or planned. For reasons beyond merely the pandemic that has impacted everyone. There are a series of more personal events that have taken turn after turn this year. They all came to a head a few weeks ago.
Let me go back a little bit first.
I first met my ex-girlfriend at the start of our sophomore year in high school. She had just moved to the area and, presumably, done a private and last minute audition. It was the first day of band camp, over thirty-eight degrees Celsius with heat index, and not a single cloud in the sky to offer even a moment of peace from the blazing sun. We were just doing movement rehearsals outside when the drum major stopped us and our director told us to take a quick ten in the shade on the nearby trail. That was the first time the drumline was near the flute section and the first time I met Helen.
Even with sweat plastering her bangs to her forehead, leaving thick trails across her summer camp shirt with the sleeves cut off, and rolling across her bare skin I was enamored. The gleam of her gray eyes rattled something deep inside of me. From the first moment I saw her, she held my complete and undivided attention. That continued through our first date, one year anniversary, and every other milestone we shared. Since that first day of band camp at the end of summer our sophomore year we were inseparable.
I mean, truly inseparable. Like, make our friends gag type of inseparable. Names carved in a heart into the thick bark of a tree in my backyard and gave our virginities to each other the night before junior prom type of inseparable. Now, the cliché is to have sex for the first time on prom night, and that was the plan. However, the night before we were teasing one another so much about it that one thing lead to another and it happened.
Anyway, as hard as we tried, we eventually accepted that we were not going to the same college. My college didn’t have a chemical engineering program. My grades weren’t getting a spot in her university. So, for the first time in over three years Helen and I would be separated for more than a week.
But, like most headstrong, lovesick, high school sweethearts we were convinced we could make long distance work. It wasn’t real long distance after all. Just a little over an hour away from one another. Easy.
Wrong.
I should have taken the hints. During the last couple of weeks before going to school, Helen started making comments about how hard long distance was and all the tragic stories she had heard. I just continued to remind her that all of those other couples were not us. It almost seemed like a stroke of fate when I got notice that my college had decided to go virtual for this semester due to the pandemic. I thought this is it, this is how we stay together a little while longer and figure it all out. That glimmer of hope splintered quickly as she told me her university was doing a hybrid of in-class and online programs, so she still had to go to campus.
Now we were going to be just under three hours apart.
On Thursday night I went over to Helen’s house to have a “going away” dinner with her and her family. We played games and talked. Eventually, after everyone else had gone to bed, Helen and I went out to the backyard where we just laid together, awake, until sunrise. That Friday morning, I helped her pack the last few things in her car, reminded her that we were going to make it work and how much I loved her, laid a deep kiss on her lips, and watched her drive away. It was one of only a handful of times Helen had ever seen me cry. That was the last time I saw her in person.
We talked every morning, texted throughout the day, and video called every night before bed. It wasn’t the same, and it sure as Hell was not enough, but it was all we had at the time. I attended my classes online and hung around with my friends from high school who were also denied access to their campuses of higher education they worked so hard to get into over the last few years. Helen told me about her lectures, labs, new people she was meeting, and old acquaintances she was reconnecting with. A girl from our high school was assigned as her roommate, so that should have given her a little touch of home.
Slowly, over the first few weeks of the semester it began fading away. Our morning calls got shorter. Texts were fewer and farther between. Video calls were cut short or sometimes missed all together. I was concerned about her mental health and wellbeing. Was the stress of her schedule too much for Helen? Was she missing home that badly? Had something happened that she didn’t tell me about?
I came to learn the truth by way of a random text. The other girl we had gone to high school with that Helen was rooming with reached out to me. I will never forget that night. My parents had taken my little sister on a trip for the weekend and left the house to me. Sitting on my porch with a few friends, we watched a summer lightning storm. It was the kind with heavy sheets of rain, but only a little thunder. The kind that lights the entire sky up in stark flashes and streaks. That’s when I got a paragraph-long text.
At first, I plainly did not believe her and just shrugging it off like some sick joke. Then I grew angry that she could even think of something like that. Finally, I gave in and listened to her story. As it turns out, Helen began cheating on me and did not know how to tell me. She had hit it off with some older guy acting as a host at a “Social Distancing Welcome Party.”
Not knowing what to do or how to process it all, I quickly sent everyone away. Standing in the yard alone, I watched the lightning and fought the urge to either scream or cry. I tried calling Helen to no answer. I texted to no response. I paced the yard like an animal, the lightning in the sky paralleling the cracking inside of me.
Then, a bolt of lightning crashed too close for comfort. The flash was enough to make me stumble back and as I regained my composure, my attention was drawn to flickering reds and yellows. They were small at first, but quickly growing. The old green and gray weeping willow tree Helen and I had carved our names and a little heart into years ago was going up in flames before my very eyes.
My first instinct was to salvage it. I wouldn’t want this landmark of our endless love to be gone when Helen and I worked through this, after all. I grabbed the first semi-practical thing within reach and ran to the tree. With a damp sheet left out on the porch, pulsing in the pouring rain, I whipped at the flame trying my damnedest to smother it. At first I was calm, but gradually grew more and more frantic. Before I knew it, I wasn’t trying to extinguish the fire as much as I was attacking the tree itself.
I froze.
A sudden and unexpected calm fell over me. I stared at the flames reaching higher and deeper into the willow’s trunk. For a brief moment, I was able to see a feminine face. It was Helen. It had to be Helen. She was taunting me. She was mocking me for not heeding her warnings or catching her signs. She knew this was going to happen. She may have even planned on it happening. I was just the fool that stood by and watched it.
My body regained control and went into autopilot. Stomping through the mud and water gathering in the yard, I went to the shed and snatched an old wooden-handled axe. Returning to the tree, I began ferociously chopping at its aged and weathered trunk. With each strike of the blade more of the wood splintered away. With each flicker of the flame I saw the carving and the face laughing at me together.
I swung that axe until the rough handle tore into my hands, leaving them little more than bloodied and blistered appendages growing numb from the rain and work. Then, I swung some more. I kept going until the handle gave in to the constant and repetitive burst, fracturing in my hands. All I could do then was fall to the ground and watch the tree burn in the storm.
Eventually, all that stood was the charred husk of a once mighty monument. Only then was I able to pull myself away and go inside for the night.
That night, I slept like a corpse.
I don’t remember dreaming, changing my clothes, or even getting into bed. Regardless, I woke up feeling beaten and worn. Of course, I was still heartbroken, but this was something deeper than that. Maybe chopping at that tree and watching it burn wasn’t as cathartic as my slightly intoxicated brain thought. Maybe I was in some walking state of conscious denial and just wasn’t ready to process everything yet and it was wearing me down from the inside.
Rolling over in bed, I checked my phone. I had a handful of texts from the friends I sent away the night before and a couple of consoling messages from the bearer of bad news. There was one single missed call from Helen from just after three in the morning.
As I placed my feet on the hardwood floor I felt a quick and cold sensation. I stepped into a small puddle with a splat. Please tell me I didn’t throw up everywhere I thought to myself. I can deal with most things pretty well, but vomit always got me. All I could do was sit there for a moment, praying internally that I wasn’t standing in some form of late night, blackout regurgitation.
Imagine my surprise and joy when I found that it was only water that I had stepped in. Just water. I took a deep, steadying breath before finally standing up. After a long and much needed morning stretch to awaken all of my joints and muscles, I started to make my way out of the room. Only, I felt more cold and heard another splash.
More water.
Clearly I tracked water through the house when I came in from the rain. A little rain water is nothing to worry about and could easily be wiped up after a cup of coffee. I walked through more water, disregarding it as just a problem for later. It wasn’t until I got to the steps that the idea occurred to me: maybe I should make sure not to splash it around and make more of a mess for myself.
At the steps I watched my footing carefully as to not disturb the water. Three or four steps down I noticed a few things. The little puddles were much smaller than my feet. But, some of the water probably already dried up, so that wasn’t too much of a surprise. They were in little patterns: an oval of the foot with smaller circles where the toes would be. Simple enough, but I could have sworn I saw the boots I was wearing by my bedroom door. Based on the patterns, the prints would have had a sixth toe on the outside of the foot roughly the same size as the big toe. Last time I checked I still only had five toes per foot. Finally, there were two sets of prints: one going up the stairs and another coming down.
Those last two realizations made my blood pump just a little bit faster. Who the Hell could have been in here? A small part of me, just the tiniest sliver in the back of my head, imagined for a fleeting moment that they were Helen’s. Maybe she heard about me finding out and she drove through the night to see me. She was just in the bathroom or something. I hoped that was the case until I remembered the sixth toe.
About that time I started to smell coffee wafting from downstairs. Someone had to be home. If it wasn’t Helen, perhaps my family was back early or a friend stopped by to check on me. The sixth toe part of things was more than likely just an effect of some water splashing or me misreading things in my waking state.
I followed the smell of coffee to the kitchen. Reaching the counter bar, just across from the coffee pot, I closed my eyes and took a long, deep inhale. Immediately, I started to gag.
A foul, putrid smell filled me out of nowhere. Rushing to the sink in case I did finally throw up, I tripped over something. With a heavy thud, I crashed to the floor, bending my wrist a little too far back and catching my chin on the top of a step stool my mom and sister use to reach the top shelf of the cabinets.
Rolling on to my back, I rubbed my face. I used my right hand at first, but the rush of pain was almost too much. Now, my focus was on massaging my injured wrist with my other hand. As my nervous system began to calm down, I propped myself up on my elbows. That’s when I saw it.
In the middle of the kitchen lay an already rotting and decay corpse of a young woman. Her skin was already gray and patchy while her hair was as lively red as a freshly formed flame. There were no eyes in their sockets and her jaw was pulled well passed as far as it should have been able to extend. A bulge protruding from just above her right shoulder looked as if her neck had been snapped.
The most high pitched and feminine scream I had ever conjured tore from my throat. Jumping to my feet I watched the body as if it was going to start moving, shambling without warning like some kind of cheesy jump scare. As I slowly crept around, still flooded with the irrational fear of the dead reanimating, a loud, screeching wail filled the room.
The alarm started going off as I noticed the source of the coffee smell. The pot itself was not brewing, but instead an old, cast iron pan I had never seen before was bellowing smoke as a pile of coffee grounds burnt on its hot, black surface.
I turned off the burner, removed the pan from the still hot burner, and covered it in baking powder before sprinting out the front door. Standing on the porch, already soaking wet from a mixture of sweat and morning humidity, I called the police. The operator started asking me questions like how the body looked and stuff like that. I told them about the wet prints, but wasn’t able to answer a few of the specifics on the body. Cautiously, I moved back into the house to try and get the information they needed.
“Sir, please stay on the line,” the woman on the other side of the line instructed me.
“Of course.”
“Dispatch is on their way. Now, can you tell me, approximately, how tall the woman is?”
I fell silent.
“Sir, are you still there?”
I couldn’t answer.
“Please respond and stay on the line until dispatch arrives.”
Without a word, I hung up the phone and stood there just staring at the kitchen.
The smoke alarm had stopped. The pan and the corpse were gone. No trace of anything that had just happened remained.
When the police finally arrived I explained the situation to them. They took pictures of the house, including the wet prints that apparently lead from the back door, up the stairs, into my bedroom, and then back out the way they came.
“You know it is a major offense to file a false police report, right, son?”
“Yes, sir. It was here. I promise you that.”
“I’m sure it was. How about you take this.” He slipped a business card into my hand. “And, ah, make sure there is actually a crime before calling us out here next time.”
“At the very least someone broke into my house last night!”
“I hardly consider some drunk fool forgettin’ he stumbled about the rain a crime. Now, you have a nice day. Ya hear?”
Before I could say anything else, the officers left my house. Walking to their car, they signaled for the other first responders that it was a false alarm with a wave of their hands. I looked at the card he had given me. It was for a drug and toxicology testing facility the next town over.
I finally got my cup of coffee and took a few minutes to recollect myself on the back porch. After a lengthy internal debate I decided to not tell my family about what happened for two reasons. First, I didn’t want to worry them in case I really had just blacked out and was slightly losing my mind. Second, I didn’t want to ruin my little sister’s weekend.
For most of the day I just lounged around the house and avoided the mountain of work that was already piling up from online classes. I played some video games and watched some purely stupid videos online. As badly as I wanted to, I avoided calling Helen again.
Late into the evening I heard a heavy wind start howling outside. The branches and needles of evergreen pines danced through the pale light of a crescent moon. It was still warm enough to warrant a tank top, but cool enough to call for jeans. The perfect seasonal cusp of weather.
Sitting outside and enjoying a smoke, I looked out to the willow tree for the first time that day. At least that was still battered and scorched. As far as I could tell, that hadn’t been some strange hallucination. I worked up the courage to go examine the remains of the tree up close.
As I reached out to touch the charred bark, I realized I was instinctively reaching to where Helen and I had carved our names all those years ago. I felt a single tear roll down my cheek. Then, as my fingertips grazed the burnt bark, a flash of scenes flipped in the front of my mind like a distorted montage. The footprints, the burning tree, the corpse in the kitchen, the face in the flame, and the coffee on the stove. All of it.
I came to, laying on the ground once again.
At this time the need to try and calm myself from the events of the last twenty-four hours faded as the need to figure out what was going on rushed in.
Getting to my feet, I ran back to the house. About halfway there, a strange noise echoed from the woods behind the house. The only way I can describe it is as if a wolf’s howl was broken and segmented like an older woman’s cackle.
I still can’t explain why, but I kicked it into double speed to get back in the house as soon as possible.
Once inside, I stood at the window just watching the woods beyond the yard. Waiting for something to emerge from the tree line, I never thought to ask myself what I would do if something did, in fact, come out. After a few minutes, only hearing the sound a couple more times, I gave up and retreated to my computer in the living room.
Hours must have passed while I sat there searching every combination of words that I could think of in failed attempt after failed attempt to find the right search engine optimized set. It wasn’t until I cut my searches down did I finally find something. I learned that burning coffee is an old trick for masking the smell of dead bodies used by homicide investigators and murders for a little over a century. It wasn’t much, but a start is a start.
“Faces in flames” just gave me a lot of angsty image results. “Seeing corpses” lead to a lot of fiction stories and helplines for potential psychological breakdowns. “Water prints” mostly offered different types of shoes to order for aquatic athletics and water color paintings.
I heard a gentle creaking noise from the kitchen. Looking over, I could see nothing but deep shadows cast across the walls from the thin moonlight. Most of the kitchen was encased in this darkness from the cabinets, refrigerator, and all sorts of other odds and ends hanging in the way. One patch of dim light had traces of the branches’ shadow dancing through it from just outside the window.
Albeit a little unsettling given the things that happened earlier, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Rooms get darker without a light on and shadows abound. All of this is normal. But, since I was still feeling a little off, I needed to check it out further. Retrieving my phone from my pocket, I slowly brought it up and extended it in front of me. I can’t say for certain if I was going slowly to avoid making noise that would either startle whatever may be there or risk drawing more attention to myself or if I was just too scared to move at full speed. Regardless, before I could turn the flashlight on, I heard another creak.
Or, more specifically, a series of creaks. Gentle and rhythmic as if something were rocking in place. Back and forth. Back and forth. A slow, almost methodical tempo. Why I didn’t choose to approach the kitchen and just turn the damn light on is still beyond me. The most likely reason goes back to me being too afraid to move, but that is still a hard thing for me to admit, even to myself.
My thumbs slid around the screen and eventually got to where I could flip the flashlight on. Just then, the creaking stopped. I hung in that moment of thick silence before taking a deep breath. My thumb pressed against the little icon. I took another breath. My thumb released from the icon.
A flurry of noise assaulted me as the howling cackle flooded the room. Dead center in the soft light from the phone, I caught a glimpse of a figure. Feminine and lean with a protruding belly. Her skin was painfully white and marked all over with dark smudges. Wiry hair extended from her eyeless head in matted angles littered with leaves and twigs.
Her flowing, brown poncho clung to her form as she rushed towards me, cackling and howling all the way. She made her way from the kitchen, across the dining room area, and to where I stood at the invisible, but understood edge between the latter and the living room. My body tightened and coiled inward. I couldn’t see a weapon in her possession and it didn’t appear that she was going to reach out and claw me or anything. She kept straight and true, more like she was going to run into me. Maybe a tackle at most.
Bracing for impact, I felt a waft of heat. Starting as a warm breeze you may feel coming off the ocean late at night, it quickly grew into the harsh, dry burst of heat you may feel when opening the door in the afternoon of a heat advisory.
Then, nothing.
I stood there for a few moments and, as my breathing evened out, I opened my eyes to find nothing in the house. At least, as far as I could see. Maybe I am just going crazy. An internal debate waged on as I began to question my own sanity. I was conscious of myself enough to know that Helen’s actions had shaken me to a deep and foundational level, but had it been enough to actually make me lose my mind?
All of these concerns were washed away when I noticed the wet foot prints leading from the back door, through the kitchen, and then at me, disappearing just a step or two ahead of where I stood.
The idea hit me out of nowhere, much like how I expected the woman to. Rushing back to my computer, I searched two words. Cackle Howl. It took a few seconds for the page to load any results, most of which were stock audio recordings, information about some video game add-on, or links to this honestly terrible garage punk band out of Europe. It wasn’t until halfway down page four of the results that I finally find something useful.
Cackle howl, also referred to as the Late Laugh or Carolina Hyena Call, is a sound often used in Gullah folklore. The Cackle Howl is said to be the noise made by the spirit of a tormented woman, most commonly manifested as a Willow Witch, Weeping Witch, or any combination of those three words.
It is believed by many groups in the southeastern United States that some women turned evil who die before their natural time have their spirits trapped inside a weeping willow tree. This is used to explain why weeping willows tend to have shorter life expectancies (an average of 50 years) than other species as the evil spirit poisons them. If, however, a weeping willow is desecrated before the spirit has experienced their full cycle, the spirit has been released. The spirit cannot harm you or interact in any way unless summoned.
The details of summoning a Willow Witch vary by geographic region, but the call tends to be more or less similar. The oldest recorded document of the Willow Witches’ Prayer dates back to 1812 from a Carolina Plantation library.
The spirit, I do call, from the moss that fetters
The willow, she weeps so still
The witch that I seek, betrayer false matters
The weeping, more than tears, it spills
Please guide off to what I seek and teach me of your strength
For the Willow Witch knows, with noose in toe, the always proper length
The spirit, I do call, from the moss that binds
The willow, she weeps to none
The witch that I seek, she blurs the lines
The weeping has yet to begun
History of Willow Witches explains that often times individuals, most commonly women, call or summon a Willow Witch for guidance in matters of evil and acts of violence. A Willow witch must be freed from a desecrated Weeping Willow tree before summoned.
Later, the call was repurposed as a nursery rhyme, of sorts, to deter children from pursuing evil deeds by citing the last line to mean that it is them who are left weeping, not what they focus their deeds towards. The prayer not only calls a witch to you, but grants them access to interacting with you as well as the target of your bad intentions. Parents rectify saying this to children as there are no bad intentions or targets for evil in them reciting it.
I sat on the couch, leaning over to get my face as close as possible to the computer screen without smudging it with the tip of my nose. For the first time in nearly twenty-four hours, I felt like laughing. And not just a little chuckle, but bursting out into a fit of knee slapping laughter. The only thing that really stopped me was fear that someone nearby may hear it and support the idea I was going insane. But, seriously, witches is the best the entirety of the internet had for me?
In all honesty, that was probably the best thing for me to have read. It was so ridiculous that I felt at ease and was able to just close my computer and go about my night.
A few hours later, as I finally made my way to bed, I lay there just thinking about the story of the Willow Witches. The legend bounced around in my head, made me laugh once more, and I started to drift off to sleep.
Then I heard the floor boards creak. Slow and rhythmic, just like it had been in the kitchen. Back and forth. Back and forth. Surely, this was all part of a dream. It’s my fault for filling my head with this nonsense just before bed. Creak and creak. Back and forth.
Years ago I had read little tricks for waking yourself up when you realized you were in a dream. It was part of a lengthy game of what if Helen and I were playing at the time. What would you do if you figured out you were trapped in a nightmare and had to escape? A quick flash of light or making a loud noise within the dreamscape often did, supposedly. There was also the option of pinching yourself. Just, whatever you did, avoid peeing in the dream world because… well… I’m sure you get the idea.
With the bravery of existing within my subconscious, I rolled over and flipped the lamp on my nightstand on in one, fluid motion. The room burst into the dull hue of an energy efficient light bulb shielded by a thin shade. Nonetheless, it was enough. In the far corner of the room crouched the woman. This time, she stood in the light as if she were studying me for a moment. She grinned widely showing her jagged teeth filled with dirt and mud, and licked her lips.
We stared at one another for a moment before she burst into action. She nearly leapt across the room and landed next to me on the bed. I tried to get up, to run away, to grab something to fight the woman off. It was no use. She grabbed about my wrists and held me still with an unexpected strength.
Tossing and turning, I tried my best to get her off of me, but it was no use. Slowly, the adrenaline coursing through me began to fade and my body gradually went limp and gave in to her hold. Leaning in closely, so close that I could smell the rot and decay of low tide wafting on her breath, she looked deep into my eyes. At least, if felt like she did as she still bore empty sockets in her face. Her face grew serious. After a few more seconds, she nodded, kissed my forehead, and scurried out of the room.
The first thing that ran through my mind was that this was all an elaborate dream. That was, until I realized that my arms were sore and my wrist hurt from where she held me. I couldn’t feel pain if this was a dream, could I? The next thing I needed to check is if there was any evidence. Sure enough, wet prints lead through the house, across my room, and a thin puddle sat where she had been crouched in the corner. Running to the bathroom, I checked the mirror and sure enough, black and brown smudged lip prints marked my forehead.
I searched the house and could not find the strange woman anywhere. Her prints appeared to lead out the back door and dents in the still soft and damp grass told me she went to the burnt willow tree. From there, it was a mystery.
As hard as I tried, I could not fall back to sleep. I told myself again and again that it was all some strange dream. I wasn’t losing my mind, I was just a little stressed with everything going on. It would be fine. I would be fine. Everything was fine.
I wish I could say I believed any of that.
Since I could not sleep, I figured the only logical thing to do was torment myself even more. I thought about how the woman touched me and it hurt. The words from the article on Gullah folklore ran through my mind over and over again. However, the spirit cannot harm you or interact in any way unless summoned. I hadn’t summoned it in any way. I hadn’t read the prayer allowed or had any ill-will in my heart even if I had.
A little more digging online brought me some more answers a lot quicker this time. Apparently some circles of spiritualists and occultists believe in a thing called cerebral manifestation of will. The short explanation of this is that not all prayers, summons, spells, or incantations have to be read aloud. In fact, some groups argue that it is often better to do it internally so you can focus more on the words and their meanings than projecting them.
Was just reading the Willow Witch Prayer enough to summon her to me?
What ill-will did I possess to reach out to her?
And then my phone rang. It was a little before three in the morning when our old high school acquaintance called me. What else could she possibly have to tell me? If Helen want’s to apologize she was going to have to wait until I was ready to hear her voice again, then we could work on it. But, don’t have your friends start calling me. I declined the call. Almost immediately, she called again.
“Hello,” I answered in a growl.
“It’s Helen.”
“No it isn’t. What are you talking about?”
“I’m not saying it’s Helen on the phone. Helen is the problem.”
“That became clear when she cheated…”
“Listen, Helen is missing.”
“What are you talking about?”
“We had a couple people hanging out in our dorm. I ran to the bathroom and they went to grab something from their room. When we all got back, Helen was nowhere to be found.”
“I’m assuming she went for a walk. Or maybe over to her new guy’s place.”
“We already tried there! There is no trace of her.”
“Well, what the Hell are you calling me for?”
“Maybe you know something.”
“Are you accusing me of something here?”
“That isn’t what I said!”
“Then make it a little clearer.”
“Just, was she a good swimmer?”
“Come again?”
“Was Helen a good swimmer?”
“Pretty good.” What an odd question. “Why do you ask?”
“There is just water all over the place and we were wondering if she maybe went out to jump in the pond, came back to change, then went back out… I don’t know. I’m a little frantic right now!”
There is just so much water.
Those words rang in my head as I slowly put the phone down and hung up.
There is just so much water.
The cackling howl echoed from outside again. I rushed to the back door in time to see the faint outline of something fade into the burnt willow tree dragging something along with it. I opened the door and felt a light crunch and squish as I stepped out. A small box-like shape woven of Spanish Moss lay on the ground.
As I picked it up, I felt something warm drip from between the strings. Peeling the top layer back I found what looked like two white blobs with oddly familiar stunningly gray spots on them.
Without warning, I suddenly felt at ease.
submitted by IBMadMan to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.10.21 13:14 Crone_Johnson The Midnight Radio Show

The Midnight Radio Show
The headlights emitted bright beams of light, which illuminated the empty mountain road. Each bump my car went over shook the tree-shaped air freshener under the rear-view mirror. Casting their shadows over the road, a web of crooked branches protruded from the leafless trees on both sides. The hood of my car scattered piles of dead leaves in all directions as I sped through the night.
A few minutes away from midnight and the thirty first of October, the night was young. My nephew’s favorite day of the year, Halloween was something he had been looking forward to for months. I planned on keeping my promise, and being the first thing he saw in the morning, along with a special costume I bought from the neighboring city.
Some music would have helped the time fly faster. Being far away from a city, I couldn’t find a single station. Just as I planned on giving up, something came up.
A short catchy tune passed, signaling the beginning of a radio show, and a man spoke out with his calm soothing voice.
“The clock hit the one-two-zero-zero, it’s midnight, and we are live. As always, shoutout to the nightshift, everyone with insomnia, the night owls, all of you underaged folk who should be in bed, and knowing it’s Halloween... everyone and everything supernatural. This is your host Mark, ready to keep you company throughout the night. A quick word before we start; each night of the year, we sit down, and for a tiny fragment of our daily life, we go to another world. Forget the troubles that await our return, and we laugh, cower, and cringe together. It’s the time when the barrier between that world and ours is the thinnest, so let’s enjoy it.
You know me, I love stories, and each night we have a topic. Can you guess what tonight’s is?
Since it’s Halloween, we will be telling each other anything supernatural we’ve experienced. Anything from your socks mysteriously disappearing, to the ghosts you see in your selfies.
Good thing the night is long; there are a lot of people lining up. Caller number one, first come, first served.”
A quick beep signaled someone was on the line.
“I knew you’d pick me first, I just knew it!” a woman shrieked.
“I’m excited to meet you too,” Mark answered in a friendly tone. “But have in mind that some people are wearing headphones.”
“Oops. Sorry,” she lowered her voice.
“What is your name, and what story do you have for us?”
“Name is Tania. It’s about this pen pal. I’ve been single for almost a year, and everyone on the dating apps were intimidated by my good looks, so I couldn’t find a soulmate there. Then a friend told me prisons have this program where you can write to prisoners. It’s like a dating app, but with a bunch of felons.”
“So a normal dating app?”
“Haha, yeah. I did some searching, and found this really hot guy, whose only crimes were tax evasion and battery. After trading a few letters, I realized we had a lot in common. We were both animal lovers, liked art, liked music; the list goes on, so I wanted to arrange a date. He told me when the visiting hours were. Wearing my hottest attire, I arrived at the prison. The visiting room was this big place with a bunch of tables and chairs. Wouldn’t you know it, he was talking to another woman! Supposedly he hooked up with some bitch, and forgot our date. Could you believe that?”
“How is any of that supernatural?”
“If you saw me, you’d agree that not finding a soulmate is not natural.”
Mark cut the line.
“Caller number two, remember the topic, please.”
“This one is definitely supernatural,” a man answered.
“What is your name, sir?”
“Anthony. Night shift construction.”
“Much respect for your profession; what have you got for us?”
“Thanks, Mark. This is something that happened last week. My team of four finished repairing a small road at the park, and we thought we were done for the night. Our boss, who was always a chill guy, called and sounded stressed. Without giving us any details or time to prepare, he ordered us to repair a road in the outskirts. ‘No need to be a good job, just cover it up’ were his exact words.
The team and I jump in our truck. Getting there fast wasn’t a problem since there isn’t a lot of traffic at night. The old houses were spread a quarter mile apart; the neighborhood, if you can call it that, looked dead. On our arrival, we see chunks of asphalt scattered everywhere. I’m talking big pieces torn out of the single-lane road. A tole truck with a destroyed car moves past us towards the city. I’ve seen car crashes, but that vehicle was something else. I shit you not, it looked like a chewed up dog toy.
We park our ride and get out. Aside the headlights and flashlights, there aren’t any lights. The road looked horrible, I swear I saw gashes and claw marks. And they were big.”
“A monster, which hates roads?”
“Once examined closely, we found a tunnel big enough to fit a grown man. Whatever did that to the road, it came from beneath. Wish I could tell you what it was, but we repaired the road and didn’t discuss it. Guess it will stay a mystery.”
“Giant moles under the city; thanks for the story, Anthony.”
“No prob Mark, enjoy Halloween.”
“You as well,” Mark cut the line. “Much better than the last one. Caller three, keep the ball rolling.”
The beep followed.
“Hey,” the tired voice of a boy answered.
“Hello young sir, past our bed time, are we?” Mark joked.
“Sadly, yeah. My evil teacher brought down a hellish tsunami of homework on my ass. Listening to your show to keep my sanity.”
“Good on you for doing your schoolwork, name and story?”
“I’m Harry. I just finished writing this paper and celebrated, then remembered it was double sided.”
“Sounds really scary.”
“Just messing around. That story is true, but I’ve got a better one.”
“Go on.”
“This happened at school. To draw the scene: my school is big, and this takes place in the cafeteria. There are lots of people and tables. I’m waiting in line to get lunch. You can pick some small side things on the way, but the main course is the same for everyone. My turn comes, and this monster faces me. Our kind old cafeteria lady is replaced with this fat, ugly troll. Doesn’t even wear a hairnet to hide her slimy, short hair. Her stained tank top reveals tattoos and scars all over her arms.
She stares at me as if I’m a cockroach, and slaps a pile of crap on my tray. The old lunch lady wasn’t a five star cook, but the food she served looked like food, and was edible. I sat at the table I usually sit at with my friends, and start digging in the pile, trying to understand what it is. I glance at the lunch lady, and she is staring at me from the other side of the hall. I quickly take a bite out of it, and she looks away. It tasted like a salty banana dipped in barbecue sauce. A few moments passed before a sharp pain ran through my stomach. It felt as something was burning and stabbing my insides.
I got up and bolted towards the toilet. Halfway there, in one of the corridors, I vomited all over the floor. I was feeling dizzy, and my vision was blurred. I collapsed next to my vomit and stared at the ceiling. Then the lunch lady appeared above me. She extended her hand towards me, but grabbed what I threw up next to my head. She lifted the disgusting waste and dropped it in a bucket. Half-awake on the floor, I watched her walk away.
Right before I blacked out, I saw something I’ll never forget. The bucket was shaking, as if something was trying to get out. I heard nails click against its metal interior, and this creepy hiss. I never saw the lunch lady again. Turns out two other guys suffered the same thing, but we’re all fine now. They checked us, and we are healthy.”
“Sentient vomit... doesn’t sound fun.”
“Whatever it was, I’m just happy it’s over.”
“Glad you are ok.”
“Me too Mark, me too. Thanks for having me, but I gotta finish that homework. Wish me luck.”
“Good luck, Harry.”
The beep sounded.
“What an experience that would have been, poor kid. Next caller. Number four, name and story?”
“Name’s Balthasar, barman,” a man answered with his low pitch voice.
“What have you got for us, Balthasar?”
“You ever heard of body modification?”
“I have, but some of the listeners haven’t. Fill them in, will you?”
“Oh I will. Body modifications can be many things. As an example, the most common are piercings and tattoos. Then come contraptions, which deform your limbs, metal rods you stick through your body, getting parts of you cut and sewed back into something entirely different, injecting different substances under your skin to give your body a... different shape; definitely not for everyone, but it is art. I’m personally a tattoo guy with a little piecing here and there.
With that lesson out of the way, I work in an underground establishment for everyone with different tastes. I see all kinda people, but most of them are pretty cool. This nice couple comes each Friday; they mostly stick around the bar for a bit, and leave. I’ll call them Luke and Leia; not to give away names.
This happened last Friday. It’s around midnight, the club is pretty full, and everyone is having a blast. Then suddenly this strange sensation hits me, and judging by their looks, it hits everyone. I was close with my grandad, and when he died a few years back, I couldn’t leave my room for a month. I was depressed. That night, I felt the same way; I could smell the stench of death.
Some people begin to leave. Then this guy shows up, and sits at the bar next to Luke and Leia. Pale as snow, cosmetic lenses, which make his entire eyes grey, and dressed in all black. He casually orders a drink. He had his teeth chiseled; I had seen other guys sharpen, but never a full set. I’ll call him pale man.
While I’m preparing his drink, he is ignoring me. His eyes were locked on the couple. Guy didn’t blink a single time. I couldn’t quite hear him due to the loud music, but the couple sure could. Luke and Leia looked enraged but sat completely still. Really still, like statues. He is talking, then all of a sudden Leia smiles and sits on his lap. Luke is now terrified. And here comes the crazy part...
Pale man whispers something in Luke’s ear and French kisses him. And the kiss is long, like half a minute long, while Leia has this empty smile. He pulls back, and blood pours down Luke’s mouth. A piece of meat is hanging from pale man’s mouth, as he slowly slurps it in, and chews it. Hands all over Leia, he gets up and walks away with her. Luke is sitting alone, paralyzed in fear, blood pouring from his mouth.
At this point, I have no idea what I should do. They didn’t fight back, and the girl looked like she was liking it. I had seen people do kinky things there, but this looked wrong. I’ll call him Han, a huge guy who works at the establishment, came and dragged Luke out. I don’t know what happened to him, but he wasn’t outside when I was closing up a few hours later.”
“Eating someone’s tongue with a kiss, ouch. Sorry you had to see it.”
“Pale man looked pretty frail. If he ever comes back to the club, I told Han to kick his ass.”
“Glad you solved that problem. Thanks for calling.”
“Watch out for crazy tongue eaters, Mark, later.”
“Stay safe,” Mark cut the line.
“Nasty story, all kinds of things happen out there. Caller number... let’s skip the five, caller number six, my unlucky number.”
The beep was shortly followed by muffled noise from the other side.
“Caller number six?”
Heavy breathing became audible.
“Caller number six, do you have a story?”
The breathing continued for a few seconds, and stopped.
Mark cut the line. “Caller number five, we’re going back to you.”
The beep sounded.
“Yo Mark. It’s Fred.”
“Well hello Fred, is this the... sixth time you’re calling? Been a few months.”
“Dude, that’s so rad you remember.”
“What do you have for us?”
“Dude, I found the mermaid!”
“Here we go. Before you start, there might be new listeners.”
“Sure thing. Dudes and dudettes, a few months ago, I hooked up with a mermaid, but she kinda dumped me. Been searching for her since... found her a few days ago.”
“Were you high then?”
“Maybe, why would it matter?”
“Curiosity. But go on, the floor is yours.”
“Thanks my dude. I had her name and a sketch I drew, so I put up fliers, ads in the newspaper, and questions in Internet forums. I also walked up to people and asked them, but nobody knew her. One time I was asking this dude about her, when two huge dudes came and kidnapped me.”
“You are calling in so I’m guessing that ended well for you.”
“It sure did, my dude. They brought me up to this cliff at the coastline, and said I knew too much. Turns out my mermaid ran away from her father, who is now chasing her. He saw the ads, and sent his dudes to check me out. The dudes were actually mermaids too. Or merman. There are a bunch of mermaids who live in the sea as well.”
“Apologies for interrupting, but you should cut back on the drugs.”
“My dude, marijuana isn’t a drug, and all of this is real. They kicked me off the cliff... and my mermaid was there! Just like I remembered her. She kissed me.”
“Im glad you got a happy ending.”
“Not quite. I woke up on the beach again... without her.”
“You kissed a mermaid twice, who can beat that?”
“Yeah, I guess dude. Going to get high and listen to the rest of your show.”
“I know you will,” Mark let out a friendly chuckle. “Next caller. Number seven.”
“Markie, what up?” a woman sluggishly asked.
“Doing fantastic as always. Name and story?”
“Johana. My name is Johana. Second year in college. Do you know Bloody Mary?”
“The legend or the cocktail?”
“The legend. Say her name, spin three times in front of the mirror, and she is there.”
“A classic, would love to hear it.”
“Well... I didn’t summon Bloody Mary, I summoned a similar spirit. Her name is Acid Mary.”
“Acid Mary?”
“You take acid, spin three times in front of a mirror, and boom.”
“Does Acid Mary look like a burst of colors?”
“Yeah, did you summon her too?”
“Wild guess,” Mark cut the line. “Next caller. I feel like a seventeen, caller seventeen, you’re up.”
“Buenas noches.”
“Good evening to you as well. Could you speak in English?”
“Si.”
Mark cut the line.
“Caller number twenty. Name and story?”
“Who am I? If I told you my real name, I might as well sentence you to death. Only the highest of ranks in the most secret of secret organizations know my true identity. Low ranks call me The Carnage Cougar, a nickname I received for successfully completing over ninety-five missions. And by missions, I refer to ones, which usually require an army of hundreds. Assassinations, espionage, cyber warfare, defensive and offensive operations, you name it. I have driven anything and everything, from baby bikes and ice cream trucks, to nuclear submarines and spacecraft. All kinds of entities keep attempting to end my life, from the generic human assassins and hit squads, to eldritch beings and aliens. I know what you are asking yourself, why would someone like me call. Well it is simple, my job doesn’t legally allow me to talk about these things, but telling it here as a fictional story is a loop hole. And why would I want that? I want people to know how amazing I am. So don’t hold back on the worshiping.”
“Alright Carnage Cougar, amaze us.”
“I am currently undercover as a stripper. A biological warfare mutant escaped from the local secret government base, and infected a human. As always, I have to fix the problem. Sounds easy enough, right? Just kill them and get it over with. Well, that’s just it, they act and look entirely human. The special locator device, installed in the zebra themed speedo under my pants, can detect them up to a foot.”
“I’ll have to stop you right there; we’ll be forever grateful you shared this story with us, but this isn’t that kind of show,” Mark cut the line. “Hmm... a lot of people have a story to tell. Let’s look at the back of the line, number eighty-one, what can you bring to the table?”
A few seconds of muffled speech went by before a man answered. “Hey. First time caller.”
“A hey back to you, name and story?”
“My name is Ca-ugh.”
“Your name is Ca-ugh?”
“Ugh... no, I meant to say my name is Conor.”
“Sure thing, Conor. What kind of story do you have?”
“It all happened at the coast.”
“I love coast stories; the floor is yours.”
“My job doesn’t pay well, so to earn some extra money, I own a small boat I’d take out to fish in the sea, just far enough to still spot the city lights. The night this happened was different. I was there to... ugh... enjoy the view. Just as I was about to stop... ugh... enjoying the view... a distant pop focused my attention on the horizon. Opposite the city, far in the sea, a red dot blasted through the air. Someone had fired a flare gun.
While there were other boats closer to the shoreline, the chance they saw the signal was very low, and with no information, the coastguard wouldn’t have known to search there.
I hastily turned the engine on. My boat was definitely not a yacht, however I had mounted a small roof to partially protect myself from bad weather. Since I couldn’t tell the exact location the flare was fired from, I slowed down after relatively closing in, and unpacked a heavy flashlight.
'I’m here to help!' I yelled and moved the bright beam of light through the darkness. 'Say anything!' I kept shouting.
The further I moved away from land, the bigger the waves became. A shiny surface reflected moonlight. I illuminated a yacht.
For some reason back then, I expected a sinking boat or drowning people. Engine problems were far more common and likely to happen.
I was close enough not to have to yell, so I explained I saw their flare, and asked if everything was alright. The well-kept, seemingly new boat, didn’t have any lights on. This creeped me out a bit, so I proceeded to speak in a quieter tone.
The silhouette of a person appeared behind the windows.
'I can see you, I won’t hurt you,' I tried to sound funny and playful, but since no one answered, it came off as creepy. I was anxious. The sea had calmed down, and the only audible thing was my boat’s engine.
Suddenly, quiet, gentle humming came from the dark boat. There was something calming, and welcoming to it.
'Ugh... hi?' I asked. The two boats were getting very close to each other. I said that if they are alright, I’ll be leaving. It felt wrong when I said those words. I didn’t want to leave. Something forced me to turn my engine off, and listen. And not like some evil mind control; it felt calming. The moment I came closer, and the humming could be heard better, it moved away as if it was teasing me. The two boats bumped against one another.
I tried to jump to the yacht, but hit my toe, which in a way, snapped me out of whatever state I was in. The smile I didn’t know I had faded.
The humming stopped, and a figure exited the interior of the yacht. I instantly moved the beam of light on it. A young, pale woman in a blue dress greeted me with a calm monotone voice.
I lowered the flashlight’s brightness, and asked if everything was alright.
A single yes was all she said.
Before asking her anything else, I realized there was blood around her mouth. At first it appeared she was hurt, so I asked if she needed help.
She told me not to worry, since it wasn’t hers. The woman then took a step forward. Her hands, and long, brown hair also had blood.
Scary thoughts filled my head. I asked her whose blood it was.
She said it belonged to those who owned the boat. The woman hadn’t broken eye contact. It felt as if there was nothing behind her bright, blue eyes.
Her answer was in the past tense, meaning they weren’t there anymore. So I asked where they were.
And this is what she answered. ‘A vicious animal tore them apart.’
I turned the engine on, and escaped as fast as possible. The woman calmly watched me the entire time.”
“Killed a ship crew, but let you leave?” Mark asked skeptically.
“I’ll never know why,” Conor coughed, and cut the line.
“Strange fellow. So little night, so many callers. I don’t know about you, but I need a drink. Enjoy some music, while I take a small break. Don’t worry, I’ll be back...”
[BREAK]
“This is your host Mark, the clock hit the zero-two-zero-zero, and we are back. Friendly reminder to those who are joining, the topic is anything supernatural-related. It’s Halloween after all. Caller forty-two, pick up where we left, would you?”
“Only if you ask nicely,” a woman cheerfully answered.
“Would you, please?”
“My name is Rose. I hunt cryptids.”
“Interesting. Go on.”
“I have a team of two. Bill takes care of all the tech: cameras, GPS, vehicles, that kinda stuff. Linda does the research, she pretty much knows everything about any animal on our planet. And I’m the one who gets her hands dirty. My job is to hunt the creature, and tranquilize it.”
“How many cryptids have you caught?”
“Well... we have a lot of footage. But we haven’t caught anything.”
“Has the world seen this footage?”
“It has, but not many people believe it. People call it fake because it tends to be blurry. The story I’m telling has solid footage, and we actually caught something.”
“I think this is something everyone wants to hear.”
“We travel to all different kinds of places. The latest one was up at the desert north of Santa Bacia. Aside a few festivals ones or twice a year, nobody goes there. We picked up on some rumors that the government has been doing secret experiments. Problem is, a lot of other cryptid hunters picked up on it as well, so we had to hurry. We got on the off-road van, and off we went. The desert is a really big place, and we didn’t know the exact location of where these government experiments were being held.
Bill used two drones to scout ahead, which made it much easier. We didn’t think something would come up quickly, but it did. An hour in, the camera caught a big hole in the sand. Perfect square tunnel; led to a busted trapdoor. Complete darkness underneath. We dropped flares, which illuminated this large chamber. It was the real thing. Since there were no stairs, we dropped down ropes. Bill left me and Linda to climb down. First thing we saw was a busted metal detector. It was out of place, recently brought there. We faced a big reinforced door, covered in multiple dents and holes, one of which barely big enough for a human to fit. One after another, we squeezed through.
Now on the other side, we could see claw marks on the door. As if something had been trying to escape...
We found ourselves in a long corridor with doors on each side. Water drops leaked from busted pipes, which ran along the ceiling. The entire floor was slippery and wet.
Even though we had flashlights mounted on our foreheads, it was hard to see in the dark. Linda set up a motion-detecting camera. The place was trashed. A file cabinet was bent into a wall, as if it flew out of one of the rooms. Tranquilizing rifle in hand, we entered the room. Complete mess. Furniture slammed all over the place. File cabinets, desks... and they were metal. No human could have lifted them.”
“Hmm, I’ve got to give it to you Rose, you sure sound brave. This... secret government base sounds scary.”
“Oh it was, but I’m conditioned. I’ve been to worse places. So I’m in the destroyed room, and Linda points out something. Under a pile of metal cabinets, we could see a human arm. It wasn’t normal... it was sickly pale, and had blades protruding from its fingers. Metal blades! We tried to pull off all of the furniture, but it was just too heavy. We didn’t get an answer when we asked whoever was there if he was alright, so...”
“Since you found a corpse, I presume you called the police.”
“We tried, but our phones didn’t work. We called the cops later; I’ll get there. We took pictures of the arm, and kept searching. All of the folders on the floor were in some strange language. There were a few scattered pictures, and they were really creepy. Detailed pictures of bodies. They weren’t entirely human. Some had out-of-proportion limbs, others were unnaturally muscular or skinny. We kept some pictures and folders, and checked the other rooms. More and more useless cabinets. In the end of the corridor, there was a large double door. Of course, it was locked. So we climbed back up the ropes, got in the van, and left. We called the police, and they just told us to stay out of the desert. We came back and the square tunnel was full with sand. Lots and lots of sand. When we returned with some heavy machinery the next day, cops had blocked off the road. There is definitely something down there, and we have proof.”
“A picture of a Halloween costume hand?”
“I’m being serious!”
“Thanks for being on, dear,” Mark cut the line. “Next caller. I’ll keep this number secret. Number you-know-who, care to share a story?”
“Everyone here is a liar. You know it, I know it, they know it,” a man stated.
“You don’t believe in the supernatural?”
“Not at all, Mark. Stories are all cool to listen, but pretending this is reality is complete and utter bullshit.”
“There is no way of knowing.”
“Yeah there is. No proof, therefore not real. Rosie from the last call, you’re a liar, go get a real job. Cryptid hunter, pff, what a joke. Boat guy with the pale girl, get a girlfriend; maybe you’ll stop seeing imaginary people. Mark, listening to you is fun, but all of these peeps talking they’ve seen real ghosts and goblins is pissing me off.”
“Everyone has an opinion,” Mark replied in a friendly tone. “Real or not, taking a break from reality for a second hasn’t hurt anyone.”
“I get where you’re coming from. Love your show, but tonight’s topic is lame. Peace out.”
The line cut.
“Next caller. Caller thirty-seven, lighten the mood a bit, will you?”
“George here, and I’m with the last guy. Supernatural life doesn’t exist, but hear me out before you cut me off. Everything has an explanation. Wendigos? If they exist, they aren’t magical, they are probably some animal. Ghosts? In time, science will explain them.”
“Mystery carries its charm; logical explanations, answers, we always search for them, but maybe we should leave some things unknown.”
“I’ve got a story.”
“Go on, friend.”
“I’m a biologist, and there have been certain sightings in a certain swamp. I can’t mention its name, cryptid hunters might come, and disturb what is potentially a living fossil.”
“A living fossil?”
“Alligators have always been intriguing. They can grow a lot, but the one we’ve found... judging by shedded scales, and prints... it might be as big as a bus.”
“A bus-sized alligator? Wouldn’t that be hard to miss?”
“There have been sightings-”
“Caller forty-two wants to rejoin,” Mark interrupted. “Why don’t you two have a discussion?”
Both Rose and George were on the line.
“I’m a cryptid hunter as well, would you like my assistance?” she asked.
George let out a frustrated sigh. “I’m a scientist. I don’t go on wild goose chases. The creature I am studying is not a supernatural... cryptid as you put it... it is an undocumented species.”
“That’s what a cryptid is!”
“With all due respect, you keep filming people in Halloween costumes, I have research to do.” George cut the line.
“Research? Is that what you-“
Mark cut her off as well.
“Enough with the productive debates. Caller number... number thirteen. You’ve been waiting for a while.”
“Thought my turn would never come, chief,” a man answered.
“Lucky you, it did come. Name and story?”
“Paul. I don’t want to sound insane, but in a way, my story is a warning.”
“Ok Paul, warn us.”
“I’ll just give a quick explanation how I got into my predicament. Basically, law enforcement thought I did a few very illegal things, which I didn’t do, and they sent their guys after me. Late at night, by accident, they stormed into my neighbor’s apartment. I heard screaming and bashing, and got a head start. I’ll skip the part where I climbed a few roofs, had a chase through alley ways, and stole a motorbike.”
“You stole a bike?”
“I panicked. They know I’m innocent about the other thing now, but I’m going to court next week for the theft.”
“Good luck with that.”
“Thanks. So that was the intro. I’m on the bike, speeding through a suburban neighborhood, while three cruisers and a helicopter are on me. Out of nowhere, the brakes stop working. I crash into a pile of trash and bushes, and thank the people in the neighborhood for littering. I get the bike up, and its engine doesn’t want to turn back on. The three cruisers behind me also have that problem. Their headlights and sirens turn off, and they crash into each other. The helicopter can’t be heard anymore as well. My confusion is quickly replaced with fear when I see the officers exit. One of them has my biggest fear... a police dog.
This part of the neighborhood has houses packed really close to one another. I begin to climb over fences, run through backyards, duck in trash and bushes. I hear them shouting and releasing the dog. All of the sounds suddenly disappear. I burst out of some bushes, and find myself around more houses, but they are different. There are absolutely no lights inside. The street lights are also really dim. I can’t hear a sound...
At this point, I’m both happy I escaped in a way, but I’m also freaked out. I start to check the doors and windows, but they are all locked. Not normal locked, felt like they were superglued. Then one of the street lights in the end of the street flickers. I take a step closer to see better. It slightly wiggles like a string. That freaks me out even more. Then two long protrusions emerge from its sides. Its bottom half splits into two, forming legs. The street light takes a super, sluggish step towards me, and transforms back into a normal light. I glance back for a moment, and see the distance between street lights is uneven. They’ve been moving closer... they are gathering around me! I run back at the fences and trash. The creatures jump out of their lamp form and sprint after me. Just as they were about to catch me, all of the houses lit up, the sirens come back, and I feel the dog’s teeth sink into my leg. It tackles me to the floor, and in a second three officers are around me. I was happy a dog caught me, and not the street lamps.”
“What an... intriguing story,” Mark couldn’t find the right words.
“Thanks for having me, chief,” the man cut the line.
“Well, that was weird. I think there is time for one last caller. Number one hundred and one, you’re up.”
The beep sounded.
“Happy Halloween!” a boy yelled.
“Someone likes Halloween, why are you up so late, young sir?”
“My uncle brought me my costume!”
“Your costume?”
“Yeah. Arrived twenty minutes ago. He got me this glow-in-the-dark skeleton suit. It’s awesome. Uncle, say hello to Mark!”
“Apologies,” a man with my voice said. “My nephew loves your show.”
Mark chuckled. “And Everyone here loves him, am I right listeners?”
I could hear my nephew laugh.
“Made his Halloween even better, thanks for answering. Good night everyone," my voice spoke for the last time before the caller hung up.”
I looked at the glow-in-the-dark skeleton costume on the backseat. I was nowhere near the city and my nephew.
“So many people with so much to say,” Mark spoke. “Who knows what stories will be left untold... but hey, we have time. This one is for all the little moments we let ourselves forget reality, and dive into the unknown. Happy Halloween, listeners.”
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2020.10.20 06:30 throwawayaracehorse The Massacre at Crybaby Bridge: An Oral History - Finale and Aftermath

The following is the conclusion of my senior capstone for my journalism degree. I sought out to explore the truth behind a local legend in my hometown. My professor rejected the original draft due to its disturbing and unbelievable nature, even though everyone I spoke to claims they're telling the truth. The previous parts are available here:
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7
PART 8
BOB SCHROEDER, LOCAL HISTORIAN: The Massacre at Crybaby Bridge will live on in the annals of Somerset history and lore. Like all local legends, it’s not immune to thegossip and embellishments that are inevitable in a rural town the size of Somerset.
The state news covered it for about a week and it barely made a blip in the national news headlines. The nation was too caught up with coverage of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. There was also an effort by many members of the community to suppress the story. They didn’t want the travesty to be the only thing the town was known for.
STEPHEN PARKER: How much fight could I possibly have left? How much adrenaline did I have in reserve? I know that a certain point that death might come as relief. I would no longer have to feel scared for my life.
I wasn’t ready yet.
We rounded the side of the house. There was a barn out back, old and wooden. Completely dark. An old truck was parked next to the barn. Maybe it was open. Maybe it would have the keys in it. Nick headed straight for it. I followed. “Need...to...catch my breath,” he gasped. “Me too,” I agreed.
DAVID NEAL, SHERIFF, MOMADAY COUNTY: The Loveless property was a massacre in its own right. That place alone might be the kind of crime scene that sticks with you for years. Five dead at the scene and in all of those different manners.
STEPHEN PARKER: The doors to the truck were locked. We darted to the inside of the barn. We couldn’t hear anything from behind us, no signs we had been seen or followed. It was really dark in there and as my eyes adjusted I could see a tractor parked dead center of the barn and smell the musty scent of dust and hay.
There was a loft towards the back of the barn that was loaded with bales of hay. A ladder led up to it and in the back of the loft under the angle of the barn’s roof was an open window.
“Let’s hide up there, catch our breath,” Nick said, pointing. Looking back it seems like such a rookie horror movie mistake.
The loft was warm and stuffy and Nick quickly piled up a few bales for us to hide behind. We lied on our bellies like soldiers in a foxhole, peeking through a crack in our alfalfa barricade, waiting for the enemy.
DAVID NEAL, SHERIFF, MOMADAY COUNTY: The first body we encountered was Floyd Loveless. He was deceased on the porch with an extensive penetrating neck injury.
JOEY KESSLER, LOCAL RESIDENT, FARMER**:** They were confused as to what to do with that ol’ gal with the blade in her back. Everyone was afraid to move it. I got creative while they was twiddling their thumbs and waiting on the helicopter. I rushed back with my cutting torch and cut it down close enough to her back.
SKYE BRIGGS: What else could I do but pray? I’d never done it much before, but I sure as hell was right then.
STEPHEN PARKER: The mind of a teenager is not a rational thing. I don’t know what I was thinking. My best friend had just been brutally killed and I had seen it, seen him staggering around in his final throes before he collapsed. All of the others, too.
Maybe stress had done crazy things to my mind. Maybe the adrenaline and survival instinct had made it impossible for me to feel any sort of grief.
It felt like we were up in that loft a long time. I guess it was the silence that made it feel that way. All that I know is that I felt safe in that moment despite all that had happened, the dark all around, the warmth. It felt like there would never be another one.
I could feel Nick’s body rising and falling beside me, his heavy respirations slowing as he caught his breath. I could feel his warmth in the crisp autumn air and smell his sweat and cologne.
In the dark it was like we were anywhere else.
I whispered his name.
“Yeah,” he whispered back, and his face was close to mine as he turned. I took it in my hand and right there in that dusty, hay filled barn, I leaned in to kiss him.
The mind of a teenager is not a rational thing.
DAVID NEAL, SHERIFF, MOMADAY COUNTY: Around the backside of the house we found the second body. A decapitation had occurred.
STEPHEN PARKER: He didn’t turn away right away, didn’t shove me off in a fit of disgust. For a second he let me, I think. I could feel his lips and mouth and then he pulled away.
“Stephen. C’mon man. A bunch of people are dead.”
“Oh. Yeah. You’re right.”
He gave me a pat on the back and then whispered, “I’ve got a plan. If he comes here we can go out the window. It’s a twelve foot drop. We’ll just hang off the side and let go. Bet we could do it pretty quietly.”
Before we could discuss any more there was a scream.
DAVID NEAL, SHERIFF, MOMADAY COUNTY: It was presumed that Mrs. Lorraine Loveless had come out to check on her husband, encountered the perpetrator, and fled to the backside of the house.
STEPHEN PARKER: It was a woman’s voice, screaming “Floyd! Floyd!” and then these kinds of yelps that started sounding closer and then nothing.
DAVID NEAL: Next it was presumed that Shaun Loveless, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Loveless that lived on the property in a fifth wheel camper trailer, attempted to subdue the suspect. His body was found nearby with a twelve-gauge pump action shotgun that was empty of shells. There was blunt trauma to the head with gray matter in the nearby grass accompanied with massive blood loss.
STEPHEN PARKER: After a little while we heard the angry shouts of a man, followed by several gunshots. From our vantage point, this seemed to be coming from a direction away from the house. Nick’s eyes got big. We inched backwards towards the window, but then he stopped, looked at me.
“I’m through running,” he said. His face was serious. “He’s just gonna keep coming and coming and more innocent people are gonna get caught up in it. I’ve got an idea.”
I could only stammer out a “What?”
“Stay here,” he said and gave me a smile. “Go out the window if things get too hairy.”
SKYE BRIGGS: They say the explosion could be heard for miles. I certainly heard it.
STEPHEN PARKER: Nick slithered down the ladder, disappeared in the shadows below me. I waited. So much for my heart rate going back to normal. It beat rapidly in anticipation and I felt close to pissing myself as I feared the worst to come.
STEPHEN PARKER: I still get nightmares where I’m at the end of a long hallway. There’s a door on the other end and it opens. I see that figure, that face, the one that had now appeared in the wide doorway of the barn. It was as close a look at him as I’d been able to get so far. His eyes were dark dead pits in the middle of an expressionless face. I could see now that he wore some type of mask over the top half of his face. His head was sleek and without hair. There were several bleeding holes scattered around his torso, blood oozing from them and not appearing to slow him down in any capacity. In his hands he wielded a T-post. Whether it was the same one he had used before or another I don’t know. It looked wet. Something dripped from its sharp edge.
DAVID NEAL: We arrived on the scene after the explosion. In fact, several of the deputies en route to the area heard it.
STEPHEN PARKER: That motherfucker looked up at me. The tractor roared to life, the diesel engine revving, the gears grinded as the clutch was popped and it lurched forward. It had a front end loader on its front-- basically like this bulldozer kind of thing. It slammed into Big Baby. He didn’t fall underneath it, he withstood the blow, caught it right in his arms and managed to push back on his feet against it. The engine struggled and the throttle roared and Nick sat behind the wheel.
Big Baby managed to skitter back a few feet, but the tractor kept coming for him and soon they both were well out of the barn. Nick maneuvered the levers and tilted the front end loader’s bucket to keep Big Baby on his heels. I slid down the ladder and ducked my head out of the barn’s doorway to watch the outcome.
The last steps took place in a matter of fast forward, before I could truly comprehend what was going on. Big Baby’s arms were bloody and he hung onto the bucket of the front end loader, attempting to pull himself up. His feet hung above the ground. It seemed his goal was climb onto the arms and leap at Nick if he had the chance.
He wasn’t quick enough.
Nick shifted gears and the tractor revved forward to a utility line pole to the left of the house. Sitting next to that pole was the shiny silver of a propane tank, one of those that are shaped like a pill and the size of a house.
I yelled for Nick to look out, yelled for him to jump off, as if gunning straight for that tank hadn’t been his plan all along. As if he didn’t know the stakes.
As if he didn’t know exactly what he was doing.
There was the collision of metal on a body and then the sound of grinding metal as the corner of the bucket pierced the tank. The gas hissed as it escaped and I saw Nick stand up in his seat and fish around in his pocket. He was pretty far away, but I could make out his hand movements as a flame appeared in his hand, the flame from a Zippo lighter.
JOEY KESSLER: I heard that explosion and I thought, “what now?”
IRENE MYRTLE, LOCAL RESIDENT: I thought the good Lord was coming down to get us. The rapture y’know?
TERESA RUSSEL, 911 OPERATOR: The calls started coming in left and right, first the injuries and then about the explosion and all in this particular part of the county. It was mayhem for a while. Busiest night I ever worked.
EDDIE DUNN: LOCAL RESIDENT, UNEMPLOYED: I thought it was them damn terrorists, myself. Heard they might try and strike a little place like the Somerset area on account of all our oil wells and the like. Had even seen some A-rabs at the truck stop recently.
STEPHEN PARKER: If this is a feel-good action movie, if I’m the one writing the screenplay, then Nick turns his back right as he throws the lighter. He does a running leap off the back of the tractor just as the propane tank explodes. The fireball propels him forward, singing the back of his shirt and head and that’s it. He lands in the grass and I run to him and I say, “Looks like you got out just in the Nick of time.” We both laugh and embrace. End scene.
But that’s not what happened no matter how much I look back and try and rewrite it in my mind. What happened was he managed to do a half turn before the tank exploded and the flames engulfed him.
Through the smoldering rubble and debris I found his body and rolled him over and it was clear that there would be no happy ending for us. No final words. Just an embrace followed by me scrambling into the house, finding a phone, dialing 911.
That was it.
SOMERSET REGISTER 10/xx/2003, FRONT PAGE: MULTIPLE VICTIMS IN KILLING SPREE SATURDAY NIGHT, SUSPECT DECEASED AT SCENE, TEENAGER REMAINS IN CRITICAL CONDITION
____________________________________________________________
AFTERMATH
SKYE BRIGGS: What we went through only made me stronger. I hate that it happened and I’m not trying to say I’m ultimately glad that it happened or anything like that. I guess what I’m saying is that after you go through something so terrible, it really puts everything into perspective y’know? All your insecurities, all your fears--surviving something like that, they’re nothing in comparison. Besides, I’m only living the life that I think Hailey would want me to. My new confidence or whatever is a testament to her. I mean if you look at what she’s gone through, it’s the least I could do. I think she’s proud of me, but I’m even more proud of her. I could only hope to be fifteen percent of what she is and has always been.
HAILEY ADAMS: That’s something I speak about at my engagements. How even still after all this time and what I’ve remade myself into, there’s still people that speak from the perspective that I’ve had my life ruined or whatever. I don’t look at it that way. Were there times I got down about what I had lost?
Hell yeah. I got pretty low on several occasions. In the end I looked at it as my life was headed in one direction and then this happened and it swerved to this other direction.
The extent of Hailey Adams’s injuries was significant. She was medflighted to the University Hospital, the state’s only Level One trauma center, where she underwent an eight hour surgery. In the end she was left with a spinal cord injury that left her with paraplegia.
Her disability was only the beginning of her journey, however. After rehabilitation and high school graduation she attended college and received her teaching certificate where she became a cheer coach and special education teacher for a number of years. She would later become an advocate for those with disabilities and became quite active on the motivational speech circuit. She has signed a book deal with Simon and Schuster for the publication of her memoir.
She is married and has two children.
STEPHEN PARKER: Back when I would get those emails from Dylan about him and Nick hanging out and I would get this uncomfortable feeling I didn’t quite understand. Later, I would be able to put a name to that feeling: jealousy.
I wished it was me hanging out with Nick instead of him, sweating in that barn and playing guitar, his jawline and the look in his eyes while he played and got lost in the music. I would imagine it would get hot and there and we would have to take off our shirts and then who knows what would happen. It was a fantasy I returned to often and it left me feeling guilty and ashamed. I tried to suppress it.
I didn’t come out for many years after. I grew up going to church and church camps and all that stuff and I guess I suppressed a lot of stuff, y’know? Grew up hearing the word “f-g” and “fxxgot” tossed around. There was lots of denial and confusion. For the longest time, I thought that the death of Nick and everything we’d been through was a punishment for being gay.
SKYE BRIGGS: Steve and I? Yeah, we ended up dating for a while. A long while actually. Going through that event together really made us closer. How could it not? We would go visit Hailey at the hospital together. We would recommend music to each other. My dad, he would teach Steve guitar. He was my date to Junior Prom and we even went to Senior Prom together as friends.
If you had told me before that night all of this, it would’ve seemed like a dream come true. After a while though I realized something was up. I had no qualms or hang ups about sex before marriage and when we got to that point in the relationship I noticed something was...off. Like he wasn’t totally into me that way? I mean I tried to convince myself otherwise and he would swear up and down that he was, but there was a drunken night in his den our senior year when we went out to the alley to look up at the night sky and he broke down and confessed.
STEPHEN PARKER: I could trust Skye. It was finally time for me to tell someone, but I asked her to keep it secret. We continued to fake it for a while and eventually broke up. We still keep in touch pretty regularly, although it’s been hard in recent years.
Skye Briggs became the front woman to an alternative rock band. They performed at Vans Warped Tour, SXSW, and ACL Music Festival among others over the years. They had several mild crossover hits including songs featured in various soundtracks for television and movies that you have most likely heard.
She is twice divorced and has a daughter and when not parenting she can be found working on her solo musical career. Her debut solo album is set to release next year.
BOB SCHROEDER, LOCAL HISTORIAN: Why does such a tale captivate us? It is a classic tale with much in common with the slasher genre of films from the horror section of the video rental store. There are teens to be sacrificed, bodies to be collected, scores to be paid, and lessons to be learned. Except in this tale, I’m not sure that there is a moral or lesson to be learned.
STEPHEN PARKER: A moral? A lesson to be learned? Stay home, I guess. Wrap yourself up in bubble wrap and never go outside.
BOB SCHROEDER: Teenagers as a cautionary tale is an old concept. They are the bridges to adulthood, yet we’ve used them over the years for various ends. They are young and dumb and full of come. Or is it piss and vinegar? I can’t remember.
They are nine foot tall and bullet-proof. Or so they think. We use this to our advantage, get them to join our wars and fight for us. They will storm that hill without a second thought and we like them for that. The thirty year old might have second thoughts about it.
We give them 2 ton hunks of steel, death machines capable of reaching speeds of 120 MPH. We give them cell phones to check in with us, knowing full well that they are distracting and likely to increase the chance of a wreck. We cross our fingers and hope for the best.
We send them to school with bullet-proof backpacks and contingency plans for school shooters. We haven’t figured out a better solution.
Our teens are lambs to the slaughter. Always have been. (shrugs shoulders) Eh, but most of them make it out ok.
STEPHEN PARKER: I mentioned earlier that I had found myself back in Somerset years down the road. I mentioned that it brought the emotions roaring back. I found myself in the park and I got out and it was mostly empty, but I was under this row of giant sycamore trees, and I walked around a little until it hit me like a sledgehammer to the gut.
I just broke down and wept. I wept for my past. I wept for Nick and Dylan. I wept for what could’ve been.
BOB SCHROEDER: The other thing about slashers is that they often feature the common trope of the killer getting away. The killer is out there, not quite dead, waiting to return again.
STATE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION NOTES, OCT 2003: A body from the state medical examiner’s office has been reported missing. The body of the John Doe believed to be responsible for the numerous deaths in Somerset has vanished from the lab site. If you have any information regarding this please contact us at (XXX) XXX-XXXX.
STEPHEN PARKER: I mentioned before about pivotal moments and I’ve thought of another. It’s one that I keep coming back to, a moment outside of all of the trauma. Something warm. Something comforting. In spite of everything that happened, I’m glad that I have this.
Let me set the scene. We’re heading out to Buster’s and we’re all a little giddy. Dylan, he says, “Look at us, just a regular bunch of Breakfast Club motherfuckers up in here.”
HAILEY: Oh really? Why’s that?
DYLAN: It’s an unlikely crew is all I’m saying.
HAILEY: Oh, because I thought you were saying its like all of us fit into a bunch of cliched roles. Are you saying that I’m the cheerleader and Nick’s the jock? What does that make Stephen and Skye?
NICK: I ain’t no jock.
SKYE: Wait, are you saying I’m the weird girl?
STEPHEN: No way in hell you’re the rebel, Nick. You’re the geeky dude.
DYLAN: Look, can we just drop it? How about we’re the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Justice League or something?
Just then, Nick starts to sing the chorus of that song from the movie, “Hey! Hey! Hey! Don’t you...forget about me…” And before you know it it was like a goddamn singalong, the whole truck singing along.
So this was another pivotal moment, for we were all happy and it was like this high we would continue to pursue so that the night didn’t have to end.
Now I’m not a journalist or writer or anything, but if I was writing this thing, that’s where I’d end it.
END

Stephen Parker drifted for a few years after high school. He eventually pursued a career in medicine. He lives in California.
Image of Bridge 17 Years Later: https://imgur.com/a/CwuQxbF
~~~[II]
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2020.10.19 18:01 youto2 It Just Means More - Part One

We slowly fade from black into the live stream, where we see the jam packed venue for tonight’s show, with 1090 WiR fans in attendance cheering, holding up their signs and chanting as we go on air.
Crowd: W-i-R! W-i-R! W-i-R!
The camera cuts and we see Paisner and Woodbridge at the commentary desk, as the crowd continues to be loud.
Paisner: Welcome everyone to the jam packed GSU Sports Arena in Atlanta Georgia, where WiR presents…..IT JUST MEANS MORE! I’m Allen Paisner, joined here by Mark Woodbridge-
Woodbridge: -who’s joined here by Johnnie Walker Black!...
Woodbridge displays his bottle to the camera, as Paisner picks the introduction back up.
Paisner: And these WiR fans are JACKED for what promises to be a great night of action!
Woodbridge: You ain’t kidding! KCJ defends her Independent Title against Tony Stevens, The Stargazers defend the World Tag Belts against The Horde, and we crown the Interim WiR World Champion in a 6 Man Scramble!
Paisner: Not to mention Team BS vs. The Young Cardinals in Tag Team Action, and Austin Balandran vs. Klutch, which has MAJOR implications for the legal future of this company!
Woodbridge: Right! But up first, it’s gonna be a DANDY! Jim Baker vs. Cam’ron West, with a very unique stipulation!
Paisner: It’s gonna be the SOUL ON A POLE match, and it‘ll be a hell of a way to start this thing off! Let's take it down to our ring announcer Javier Babaganoush for the introductions.
We cut to the hard cam, and see Javier Babaganoush in the center of the ring with mic in hand, ready to speak.
Babaganoush: Ladies and Gentlemen, your opening contest is a SOUL ON A POLE MATCH!!!
Crowd: YYYEEEEEAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Babaganoush: In this contest, there are no Pinfalls, No Submissions, No Count-outs and No Disqualifications! The ONLY way to win, is to retrieve the Lunchbox containing the “Soul” of each competitor from the top of the pole!
The camera pans to the large Pole which has been attached to the corner of the ring. At the very top there is a Lunchbox dangling from a small steel chain, the same lunchbox Cam’ron West used to “extract the souls” of each competitor on the recent episode of House Party.
Babaganoush: Your referee for this contest is Mia So Hung!
Mia So Hung steps through the ropes into the ring, and waves out to the audience to a small pop from the crowd.
Crowd: YYYAAAAAAAYYYY!!!
Paisner: Here we go, It’s Soul on a Pole, and this match is brought to you by, somewhat befittingly, Disney & Pixar’s SOUL, coming to the Disney Plus streaming service on December 25th this year!
Woodbridge: Can’t wait for that one!
Jim Baker’s theme hits the sound system, and the camera erupts in a mix of cheers and boos, but the reception is definitely mostly positive. Baker himself steps through the curtains, wearing a Horde Jacket, and his usual black trunks and boots. Baker shadowboxes and the top of the entrance stage, before walking down the aisle, stretching his arms out as he does so, warming himself up as he walks.
Babaganoush: Introducing first, representing The Horde, from Cincinnati, Ohio, weighing in at 245 pounds…………..JIM…..BAAAKKKEEER!!!!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
Jim Baker rolls himself into the ring, and continues to stretch, knowing that he’s gotta stay in decent shape, considering this is his first of 2 matches tonight.
Paisner: And here comes Jim Baker of The Horde, and this won’t be his only rodeo tonight. First he has this match with West, and later on tonight he’ll be challenging for the Tag Titles!
Woodbridge: And you gotta wonder how that’s gonna play into this one. Is Baker looking to the Horizon and not in front of his face? We know he wants to bring the World Tag Titles to The Horde, but he’s gotta stay 100 percent focused on Cam’ron here, and worry about the Tag Match later.
Paisner” But one thing is for sure; win or lose, the faster Baker can get through Cam’ron here, the better it is for his chances at winning the World Tag Titles tonight.
Baker looks ready to go, and his music fades away. We soon hear none other than the Anime intro-like theme of Cam’ron West, as West steps through the curtains to a pop from the crowd!
Crowd: YYYEEAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
Cam’ron stands at the top of the stage, with very minimalist pyro going off, before walking down the aisle and towards the ring.
Babaganoush: And his opponent, from Another World, weighing in at 180 Pounds……..CAM’RON…….WEEEESSSTTTT!!!
Crowd: YYYYYYYEEEEEEAAAHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: Cam’ron West is a bit of an oddball, but he’s no doubt got heart, and the fans respect him for it.
Woodbridge: He’s not only got heart, but he’s got a set on him too! He burned Jim Baker’s park bench to ashes, for god's sakes! I heard around the grapevine that he basically lived on that thing for a year!
Paisner: The rivalry between these two has escalated at a lightning fast rate these last few weeks, but now, at It Just Means More, someone’s ‘Soul’ will be claimed in this match!!!
Cam’ron hops up to the apron, and steps through the ropes into the ring. He doesn’t take his eyes off Baker, and Baker’s eyes are firmly locked on West as well. Cam’ron’s music fades away, and the two are left in their opposite corners, as the referee, Mia So Hung, checks to see if each competitor is ready.
Woodbridge: In a match like this, no DQ, no Count Outs, no submission or pinfall to record, Mia’s basically just out here to check on the general well being of the competitors, and that MAY very well be a good idea with these two heated rivals.
Mia sees that both competitors are ready, and calls for the opening bell!
DING DING DING!
Cam’ron and Baker immediately meet in the middle of the ring, and start throwing wild right hands at each other, trading blows back and forth!
Paisner: And here we go, this one’s starting off HOT!
Baker and Cam’ron continue to trade shots, back and forth, but after a bit it appears as if Cam’ron gets the upper hand. Baker appears to be much groggier than Cam’ron. Cam’ron throws another shot at Baker, but this time Baker doesn’t follow up, and Cam’ron hits him with another, and another, and another! Baker stands on wobbly legs in the middle of the ring, and Cam’ron takes a couple of steps back, winding up his arm before lunging at Baker with a big punch, but Baker blocks it, and catches Cam’ron with a punch of his own! Now Baker starts hitting West with a flurry of right hands, and backs Cam’ron into the ropes! Cameron stands a bit dazed, leaning against the ropes, and Baker turns around to run towards the opposite set of ropes, rebounding off of them and charging at Cam’ron!
Woodbridge: Look at Baker!
Baker dashes towards Cam’ron, and clotheslines him over the top rope and to the floor! With Cam’ron out of the ring, Baker quickly makes a beeline for the Pole, running towards the corner and starting to climb the turnbuckles, quickly trying to reach up at the Lunchbox containing the ‘Souls’!!
Paisner: Baker’s gonna win it right here!!!!
But Cam’ron quickly gets back up to his feet, using the ring apron to help him back up. Cam’ron slides back in the ring, and runs over to the corner, jumping up and hitting Baker in the spine with a forearm shot.
Woodbridge: Cam’ron’s not gonna go down without a fight!
Baker continues to try and reach the Lunchbox to pull it down, but Cam’ron grabs Baker by the leg, and pulls him off the top rope! Baker comes down and hits his face on the top turnbuckle, and stands near the corner looking a bit dazed! Cam’ron grabs Baker by the head, and takes him down to the mat with a Snapmare, immediately followed up with an elbow strike to the top of the head!
Crowd: YYYEEAAAAAAHHHHH!!!
Baker lays on the mat clutching his head, and Cam’ron gets back up to his feet, and walks over to the corner with the ‘Souls’ on the Pole. Cam’ron starts climbing up the turnbuckles, trying to reach the Lunchbox, but he’s out of reach as he stands on the second rope. Cam’ron looks about ready to climb up to the top rope, but before he does, he turns around to see Baker getting back up to his feet. Cam’ron decides against going for the ‘Soul’ for now, and turns his body around to face Baker as he stands on the second rope. Baker gets back up to a vertical base, and Cam’ron leaps off the second rope to catch him with a dropkick!!
Crowd: YYYYEEEEEEAAAAHHHH!!!
Paisner: And what a dropkick from Cam’ron West!
Woodbridge: Cam’ron’s not your typical wrestler, but that was a veteran move from him to check on Baker’s status before going all the way up to the top rope.
Baker lays on the mat in pain, as the crowd applauds the athleticism from Cam’ron. Cam’ron gets back up to his feet, and leaps up into the air before coming down onto the prone Baker with a Legdrop! Baker rolls towards the ropes, and rolls out of the ring to the floor. Cam’ron walks over to the ropes, and steps through them onto the apron, dropping onto the floor as well. Cam’ron peels Baker off the floor and up to his feet, and tucks his head, before lifting him up and dropping him with a Snap Suplex to the floor!
Crowd: OOOOHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: Snap Suplex to the floor!!!
Baker lays in a heap on the floor, clutching his back, and wincing in pain. Cam’ron doesn’t give him much of a rest though, as he bends down to pick Baker back up off the floor, and once again he grabs a hold of him, dropping him to the floor with another Suplex!
Paisner: Another suplex from Cam’ron to Baker on the floor!
Woodbridge: And Cam’ron can do it again and again and again if he wants to! There’s no risk of getting counted out in this match!
Baker yells in pain now as he lays on the floor, while Cam’ron turns his attention to the apron of the ring. West lifts up the ringskirt, and looks underneath the ring for a potential weapon! After a bit of searching, Cam’ron pulls a TABLE out from underneath the ring!
Crowd: YYYYEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: Cam’ron’s got a table! This doesn’t bode well for Baker!
Cam’ron starts undoing the table legs, and setting the table in its upright position at ringside. Cam’ron gets the table completely set up, but as he turns around to check on Baker, he gets caught off guard with a big forearm shot to the face! Baker follows up with another forearm, and another, and another! Baker then grabs Cam’ron by the back of the head, and bashes his face into the set-up Table!
Crowd: OOOHHHHHH!!!
Woodbridge: Baker smacking Cam’ron’s face against that hard wooden table! Cam’ron may have taken a bit too long to get that table set up!
Paisner: Or maybe he didn’t damage Baker enough before trying to set up the table in the first place! Either way, Baker’s back in the driver's seat!
Baker sends Cam’ron back through the ropes and inside the ring and Baker slides in after him. Cam’ron starts trying to get back up to his feet, but Baker hits him with a hard kick to the gut, and follows up by grabbing him, and lifting him over his head and to the mat with a Pumphandle Suplex!
Crowd: YYYEEAAAAAAHHHHH!!
Baker starts making his way over to the corner with the pole, but he hesitates for a moment. He turns around to see Cam’ron trying to push himself up to his feet, and he realizes more work must be done. Baker walks back over to Cam’ron, and grabs him by the head, planting him on the mat with a SPIKE DDT!
Paisner: SPIKE DDT!!! Good lord!
Woodbridge: Baker just drilled him!
Baker gets back up once again, and starts making his way to the corner with the pole once more. Baker starts climbing the turnbuckles again, but as he gets up to the second rope, he hears some rustling behind him. Baker pauses his climb for a moment to turn around, and he sees Cam’ron once again starting to stir, starting to get back up to a vertical base.
Woodbridge: Cam'ron-sama is refusing to stay down!
Paisner: And this seems to be throwing a monkey wrench in Baker’s plans! He’s trying to win this ASAP so he can be fresh for the Tag Title Match later tonight, but Cam’ron is proving to be tougher than he may have expected!
Baker hops off the turnbuckle once again, and makes his way to Cam’ron. Baker pulls Cam’ron up to his feet, and grabs Cam’ron by the back of the head. Baker now has his eyes locked on the table that Cam’ron set up at ringside!
Crowd: OOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: Baker’s got eyes on that table!!!
Woodbridge: THIS will keep Cam’ron down!
Baker grabs a hold of the back of Cam’ron’s head, and starts running with him to the ropes!
Woodbridge: He’s gonna send him through!!!
Baker chucks Cam’ron over the top rope, but Cam’ron hangs onto the top rope for dear life, as he stands on the apron in dangerous proximity to the table!
Paisner: Cam’ron hung onto the top rope, and that saved him from going through that table!
Woodbridge: But look at Baker!
Baker bounces off the opposite set of ropes, and starts charging at West, looking to knock him off the table, but Cam’ron gets his feet up, catching Baker on the side of the head with an Enziguiri! Baker takes a few steps back, looking a bit rocked after that kick, and Cam’ron somersaults through the middle rope, before popping up and taking Baker down with a big dropkick!!!!
Crowd: YYYYEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!
Paisner: What a move from Cam’ron!
Woodbridge: This may be his opportunity!
Baker scrambles back up to his feet, but he runs right into the arms of Cam’ron, who takes him down to the mat with a BIG BLUE THUNDER BOMB!
Crowd: YYYYYEEEAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: Blue Thunder Bomb! Blue Thunder Bomb!
Woodbridge: Cam’ron’s starting to feel it!
Baker looks dazed, laying in a heap on the mat, but he slowly starts to roll onto his stomach, push himself up, and rise back up to a vertical base. Cam’ron stands against the ropes, lying in wait, looking fired up!
Crowd: CAM-RON! CAM-RON! CAM-RON!
Paisner: This crowd’s on their feet!
Baker, with a look of pain on his face, makes his way up to his feet, and Cam’ron lunges with full force towards Baker………………. taking him down with a big RUNNING LARIAT!
Woodbridge: THE WEST-ERN LARIAT!!!
Instinctually, Cam’ron goes for the cover, hooking the leg, but Mia reminds Cam that the match cannot be won by pinfall!
Paisner: But Pinfalls don’t count!
Woodbridge: If they did, Cam’ron would’ve just won this!
Paisner: Cam’ron just let muscle-memory take over. He’s from another world, and as such he may be getting used to regular wrestling matches, but he’s not entirely used to matches like this, where there are no Pinfalls!
Cam’ron looks a bit flustered, but he doesn’t let it affect him for long. Cam’ron now starts walking over to the corner with the Pole, and starts climbing up the turnbuckles, while Baker lays in a heap on the mat!
Woodbridge: Now Cam’ron has his eyes on the prize, and this may be the beginning of the end of this match!
Camron climbs all the way up to the top rope, and starts reaching up at the lunchbox, mere fingertips away!
Paisner: Cam’ron’s close! He’s real close!
Camron tries to grab a hold of the lunchbox, but as he reaches up, Baker starts getting back up to a vertical base, and starts hobbling towards the ropes.
Woodbridge: Baker’s up, fighting through the pain!
Baker hobbles towards the ropes at a great speed, and flails his body at the top rope, causing Cam’ron’s foot to slip off the rope, and Cam’ron crotches himself on the top turnbuckle!!!
Crowd: OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Woodbridge: DAMN! Right in the family jewels! And look at Cam’ron, he’s in agony!
Camron sits crotched on the top turnbuckle, with a look of pure agony and pain on his face! Baker hobbles over to West on the turnbuckles, and pulls his body downwards with his feet still hooked on the turnbuckles, setting Cam’ron up in the Tree of Woe!
Crowd: OOOOHHHH!!!
Paisner: Tree of Woe! This could be DISASTROUS for Cam’ron West!!!
Baker steps through the ropes, and starts climbing up the turnbuckles, slowly making his way up to the top rope, and using the pole to help balance himself. He looks down at Cam’ron, who hasn’t moved very much in the tree of woe, and Baker starts reaching up for the Lunchbox, trying to grab a hold of it, unhook it and put this match to rest!
Paisner: Baker’s got another match to worry about later tonight, he’s doing the smart thing here, trying to end this ASAP!
But as Baker tries to grab the Lunchbox, Cam’ron starts using his core strength to slowly pull himself back up!
Woodbridge: But Cam’ron’s not quite done yet!
Baker looks down to see Cam’ron trying to get back up, and he kicks him right in the face, sending Cam’ron right back down in the tree of woe position!
Paisner: Baker’s gotta create some separation between himself and Cam’ron, and I think he may realize it too!
Baker now stands on the top turnbuckle facing Cam’ron, looking down at him as he tries to pull himself up again. Cam’ron tries to use his core and pull himself back up asain, but Baker leaps off the top, and comes down onto West with a DIVING DOUBLE FOOT STOMP!
Crowd: OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: WHAT A STOMP! CAM’RON’S GOTTA BE OUT!!!
Cam’ron lays on the mat with a look of agony on his face, while Baker quickly rolls out of the ring, and lifts up the ringskirt to look for a weapon! Baker pulls a STEEL CHAIR out, and slides it into the ring before rolling in the ring himself!
Woodbridge: Now Baker has a chair! Cam’ron’s in deep shit!!!
Baker positions the Chair flat in the center of the ring, before making his way over to the vulnerable West. Baker bends down, and grabs Cam’ron by the arms, dragging him to the center of the ring. Baker pulls Cam back up to a vertical base, before tucking his head in between his legs, lifting him up……...and DROPPING HIM RIGHT ONTO THE STEEL CHAIR WITH A THUNDEROUS POWERBOMB!!!
Crowd:OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH!!
Paisner: POWERBOMB!!!! ONTO THE STEEL CHAIR!!!
Woodbridge: HOT DAMN! CAM IS OUT!!!!
Cam’ron looks to be nearly motionless on the mat, and he seems absolutely physically spent!
Woodbridge: Cam’ron just got sent for a ride, and now Baker’s going for the ‘Souls!’ This has gotta be it!
Baker wastes no time after the Big Powerbomb. After dropping Cam’ron, Baker immediately makes his way to the corner with the pole, and he starts climbing up the turnbuckles as fast as his body can muster!
Paisner: Baker’s climbing, and Cam’ron’s still down!
Baker climbs up the turnbuckles and stands on the top rope, reaching up and grazing his fingers on the Lunchbox!
Paisner: Baker’s got his fingers on that Lunchbox, he’s just gotta get a good grip on it!
Baker, while trying to keep his balance on the top rope, desperately tries to reach for the Lunchbox, and he almost gets a good grip on it…
Woodbridge: Baker’s about to put this one away!
Baker finally grabs a hold of the Lunchbox………....but Cam’ron West, fighting through all the pain in his body, starts getting back up to his feet on the mat, and he quickly hobbles himself over to the corner!
Crowd: YYYEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: How is Cam’ron standing?!?!
Woodbridge: I don’t know, but he may be too late!!!
Cam’ron wastes little time, and climbs up to the second rope, throwing forearm shots into the back of Baker. Baker still keeps his balance on the top turnbuckle, hanging onto the pole for stability, as he grabs a hold of the Lunchbox with his other hand!!!
Paisner: Baker’s just gotta unhook the Lunchbox!!!
Cam’ron now climbs all the way up to the top rope, and grabs Baker by the waist, leaning back and trying to use gravity to pull him off the turnbuckle!!! Baker starts to tip backwards, and he releases his grip on the lunchbox to grab the pole with both hands, hanging on for dear life!!!
Woodbridge: Cam’ron’s trying to take him down!
Paisner: Baker’s desperately trying to hang on!!!
Cam’ron throws a couple more forearm strikes to the back of Baker, and tries to pull him off again, but Baker hangs on!
Crowd: PLEASE-DON’T-DIE! PLEASE-DON’T-DIE! PLEASE-DON’T-DIE!
Paisner: How much longer can Baker hang on!?!?!
Cam’ron, still with one arm wrapped around Baker’s waist, now starts reaching out to Baker’s upper arm with his free hand, hitting him with hammer strikes to the bicep, trying to break Baker’s grip as he hangs on for dear life with both hands!!! With each strike from Cam’ron to Baker’s bicep, Baker loses more and more grip, and his fingers start slipping off the pole!
Paisner: Baker’s slipping!!!
With Baker’s grip severely weakened, Cam’ron hooks both arms around Baker’s waist once again, and leans back………………throwing Baker off the top rope with a SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX!!!!
Crowd: OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX!!!! BAKER COLLAPSES IN A HEAP!!!!
Baker lays nearly motionless on the mat, but Cam’ron starts using the nearby ropes to help pull himself back up to a vertical base! Cam’ron looks up at the Lunchbox, and starts climbing the turnbuckles!
Crowd: YYYEEAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: Baker’s down, and Cam’ron West may be a few small moments away from victory!
Cam’ron slowly climbs up the turnbuckles, reaching up to the Lunchbox, but he’s not quite there yet. He climbs up to the top rope, grabbing a hold of the pole to balance himself, and he reaches up to the lunchbox, grazing his fingers on it!
Woodbridge: Cam is close, he’s REAL close!!!
Cam’ron manages to get a good grip on the Lunchbox, and starts trying to unhook it!
Paisner: It looks like Cam’ron’s got it!!!
Cam’ron just about unhooks it, but before he can, suddenly a whole entire STEEL CHAIR is thrown by a kneeling Baker in the ring, and it thwacks Cam’ron on the back of the head!!!!
Crowd: OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Woodbridge: DAMN! Baker just chucked that chair at West!
Paisner: Baker didn’t have enough time to get up and physically pull Cam’ron off that turnbuckle, but thanks to that Steel Chair that was used earlier being close to him on the mat, as well as a great throw, Baker’s momentarily still in this one!
Baker stays in his kneeling position on the mat, still in a great deal of pain, while Cam’ron pulls his hand off the Lunchbox to favor the back of his head, as he stands groggy on the top rope.
Woodbridge: Cam may be out on his feet on that top rope! This is a very precarious position!
Baker drops down from his knees to flat down on the mat, and rolls over to the side of the ring, rolling underneath the ropes, and using them to pull himself back up to his feet on the apron. Baker walks over to the corner, and starts throwing punches at Cam’ron’s thigh, causing Cam to hunch over and try to balance himself against the pole. With Cam hunched over, Baker reaches up……….shoving Cam’ron off the top, sending him CRASHING THROUGH THE TABLE SET UP AT RINGSIDE!!!!
Crowd: OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Woodbridge: JESUS!!!
Paisner: CAM’RON THROUGH THE TABLE!!!
Cam’ron lays in the wreckage of the broken table on the floor, and Mia So Hung immediately checks on him. The crowd starts chanting at what they’ve just seen!
Crowd: HO-LY-SHIT! HO-LY-SHIT! HO-LY-SHIT!
Paisner: And the table that Cam’ron set up earlier in the match just came back to haunt him, and now Baker’s all but won this thing!
Baker looks down at the wreckage of the table and Cam’ron, before climbing up the turnbuckles, slowly getting closer and closer to the top while Cam’ron remains motionless on the floor. Baker stands on the top rope, hanging on to the pole for support, while reaching up at the Lunchbox, grabbing ahold of it……..and unhooking it from the pole, securing the Lunchbox with the ‘Souls’ of himself and Cam’ron and winning the match! Mia So Hung calls for the bell!
DING DING DING!
Paisner: Jim Baker has done it, he has the ‘Soul’ of Cam’ron West!
Babaganoush: At a time of 17 minutes and 20 seconds, here is your winner……….JIM…..BBAAAKKKEERRRRR!!!
Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOO!
As Baker’s music hits, the crowd rises to their feet and starts applauding, clapping for both men for their efforts in the match. Baker stands on the top rope against the pole, looking elated after this big win.
Paisner: Holy SMOKES what a brawl that was! Both men gave it their all, and they’re standing here in Atlanta!
Baker climbs down off the corner with the Lunchbox in hand, raising his fist in the air in victory, but taking some deep breaths as he does so.
Paisner: Congratulations to Baker, but hats off to Cam’ron as well! What a way to kick this show off!
Baker rolls out of the ring, with the Lunchbox in hand, and he looks down at Cam’ron who is still being tended to by Mia So Hung. Cam’ron barely has his eyes open, but Baker nods his head slightly down at him, a small show of respect from Baker to West.
Crowd: YYYYEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!
Paisner: West gave it a hell of a go in that match, and while Baker may not like him, I think he’s earned a bit of Baker’s respect here tonight.
Baker walks back up the aisle, not limping, not showing any major signs of injury, but he definitely looks to be in a great deal of pain, and looks slightly exhausted.
Paisner: After that match, the two questions on my mind are ‘Where does Cam’ron West go from here?’ and ‘What shape will Baker be in later tonight?’
Woodbridge: After that showing, I’d say Cam’ron’s getting better and better in the ring, and he’ll continue to improve his game. As for Baker, he’s gonna have a couple hours to recuperate before his Tag Title Match tonight, but he took a LOT of punishment in this match. Even with a couple hours rest, I don’t think he’ll be at 100% later tonight.
Paisner: Time will tell, ladies and gentlemen. But now, coming up next we have tag team action as Team BS, Buster Braggadocio and Stephen Romero take on Miles Alpha and Dalidus Nova of the Young Cardinals.
Woodbridge: And there’s a lot to say for the partnership between Buster and Romero. They’re two sides of the same coin more or less, both of them proud of their ethnicity and who they are, but there’s a disparity between the attitudes of the two.
Paisner: Nova and Alpha at first glance would seem to be a more cohesive unit, but I wouldn’t dare count Buster and Romero out. If there’s any group who’s insufferable enough to get Romero and Braggadocio on the same page, it’s the Young Cards.
Woodbridge: We’ll send it down to my boy Javier for the introductions!
We cut to Babaganoush, who stands in the ring with the mic.
Javier: The following tag team contest is scheduled for one fall…..
Crowd: ONE FALL!
Javier:......with a 60 Minute Time Limit! Your referee is Ivan Itichicock!
The crowd applauds for Itchicock as he enters the ring. We pan over the crowd as some funky beats begin to play over the sound system.
Javier: Introducing First, From Atlanta, Georgia……….
Crowd: YYYYYEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
Paisner: Hometown pop!
Javier:...the first half of Team BS: BUUSTTERRR BRAGGAADOOCIIIIOOOOOO!!!!
Crowd: WOOOOOOOO!
Buster saunters through the entrance of the runway without a care in the world. He stops for a moment, turning around to reveal "Straight Outta TEAM BS" sewn onto the back of his vest. It’s clearly his own handy work, with the letters hastily stitched on with the same material as his flashy red pants.
Crowd: WOOOOO!
Crowd: BOOOOO!
He continues down the runway, mostly getting cheers from his hometown…..until he starts accusing fans of being ‘crackers’ regardless of their heritage.
Paisner: Once again Buster has chosen to keep his entrance for this tag team match.
Woodbridge: We all know that Romero and Braggadocio don’t necessarily see eye to eye on everything - but this is looking more and more like a sign that things may not be all sunshine and rainbows.
Paisner: Woodbridge, may I give some professional feedback? As a friend?
Woodbridge: … Yes?
Paisner: Maybe we shouldn’t run straight to the rainbow metaphors when speaking about these two.
Woodbridge: That’s not what I…
Paisner: Because his partner is-
Woodbridge, pinching the bridge of his nose: Yes. Noted, thank you.
The lights dim as another familiar song begins to play throughout the ring.
Javier: And hailing from Sacramento, California, STEEEPPHHENN ROOOMMERRROOOO!
Crowd: RO-MER-O! RO-MER-O!
Romero appears at the end of the runway, playing off of the cheering fans who jump to greet him. He stays friendly, handing out fist bumps along his walk to the ring, but those who look close enough can see that he isn’t feeling as confident as usual.
He steps into the ring and hops up onto the turnbuckles, running a hand through his hair before raising a fist to the crowd. After returning to his corner, he looks expectantly to the top of the runway just in time for the lights to dim once again.
PA: GO!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOO
Dalidus Nova and Miles Alpha walk out wearing matching military jackets with the canadian flag stitched onto the arms
Javier: And their opponents, representing The Vanguard. At a combined weight of 415 pounds, The YOOOOOOOOUNG CARDINALS, MILES ALPHA AND DALIDUUUUUS NOOOOVA!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOO!
Paisner: The former tag team champs have had issues with the newly formed Team BS for a few months now.
Woodbridge: Yes, but despite being a team for years, they might not be fully on the same page either, as Joey McCarty has been busy with individual championship pursuits to help his fellow Cardinals tonight.
The Cardinals walk straight to the ring, ignoring the fans and staring down Romero and Braggadocio. The two Cardinals step into the ring, Alpha subtly bopping his head to the music, as the two hand their jackets to Chondon. Their music starts to fade away, and both teams get ready in their respective corners. Itchicock confirms both teams are ready, and calls for the opening bell!
DING DING DING
As the bell sounds, Romero and Nova stare one another down, before both charging from out the corner! Romero swinging out with a lariat, an action Nova seems to have anticipated as he quickly gets slow to slide under and in between Romero’s legs to get behind him! Nova quickly rises and jumps up to deliver a dropkick to Romero’s back! Sending Romero stumbling towards the ropes, as Alpha runs over to the center of the apron to try and catch Romero with a kick to the head from the outside! But Romero manages to duck his head under, as he turns around, and sees a charging Nova coming right for him! Romero sidesteps just as Nova goes for a superkick, Nova nearly kicking Alpha, but Alpha reacting fast enough to catch Nova’s leg, and try to turn it right back around into their favor as he spins Nova by the leg to try and get him to catch Romero in the head with it! But Romero ducks straight under it! Then rises up to clock Nova on the jaw with a stiff forearm strike! Sending Nova stumbling back and onto a knee, as Alpha tries to run over to near Romero and swing with his own strike, but Romero catches him with a back elbow! Dropping Alpha to his ass on the apron!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Paisner: The Cardinals managing to avoid taking each other out, and hell, nearly turning back around a potentially bad situation into getting one over on Romero, but Romero with incredible awareness and timing with his moves! Subduing both cardinals!
Nova has groggily gotten up and backed themselves up into a corner, which Romero turns his head to see, and charges at Nova with a clothesline in the corner! Sending Nova sinking down in the corner! Romero then grabs Nova and brings him back up, before heading to the opposite corner, and rushing back with a second clothesline! This one knocking the air out of Nova, as he falls to a seated position in the corner!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Romero has a confident look on his face, as he grabs a hurt Nova, struggling to get air into his body, then just biel tosses him across near all the way across the ring! Nova landing right near the opposite corner!
Crowd: WOAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Woodbridge: The absurd strength of this man! That’s over 220 pounds tossed like it’s nothing!
Nova is loopy in the corner, grabbing the ropes, and slowly pulling himself up. Eventually making his way up to his feet, as Romero goes to rush towards him again!.....but Nova slips himself through the ropes, then flicks himself up to connect with a pendulum kick to the head of Romero! Stunning him in the center of the ring! Nova then steps back into the ring, taking a moment to catch his breath, before running towards Romero, then jumping up with an enziguri to Romero’s head! Sending Romero a bit wobbly on his feet!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Nova then grabs the wobbly Romero, and tosses him into his tag corner, where we see a now-recovered Alpha standing up. Nova tags in Alpha, as Romero in the corner tries to quickly grab Nova and strike Nova away, but Alpha strikes Romero in the head from behind to stun him, and stop him! Nova begins to lay in hard kicks to Romero’s midsection as Alpha then steps into the ring, where he joins in with the kicks to the midsection! Romero sinking down in the corner as The Cardinals send kick after kick into his chest! Before the two link arms, as Alpha whips Nova towards the center of the ring, before Nova turning himself to whip Alpha even closer to the center, before Nova then sends Alpha running back towards Romero! Alpha sent at a high speed as he jumps up with a hesitation dropkick to the face of Romero! Leaving him completely seated and loopy in the corner!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Woodbridge: Young Cardinals seeking to do what they do best, on point teamwork learned from years of experience not only as just general tag wrestlers, but with each other specifically. Buster and Romero may know the tag ring very well, but they can’t compete with how well Nova and Alpha know each other specifically.
Nova then heads over to the apron, as Alpha walks towards Romero, and goes to press his boot into Romero’s neck! Romero grabs onto Alpha’s legs, and goes to pry him off quickly, but Alpha drops down to dropkick Romero’s face to re-stun him, before getting up and extending his leg out again to successfully press it into Romero’s neck and choke him out!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
All the air is pressed out of Romero, as he struggles around while Alpha applies the choke. Itchicock eventually begins to count Alpha off, who breaks only right before the 5 count!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Alpha smirks at his work, Romero holding at his neck on the ground, struggling to breath, as Alpha then just begins to lightly tap at Romero’s head with his boot!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Paisner: And now just palpable disrespect from Alpha! Taunting Romero on the ground!
Alpha keeps booting the head of Romero, yelling out taunting remark after taunting remark as Romero begins to push himself up against it. Romero gets to a knee, as eventually Alpha switches to doing something more legit harmful, as he shoots down forearm strikes into the head of Romero! Sending a hard one right down into Romero, but Romero moves through and continues to rise up! Alpha then strikes with another rough forearm to Romero, but still Romero is not deterred! Alpha beginning to panic, starts striking rapidly with the forearms, looking to subdue Romero with an absolute onslaught of forearms, but eventually, Romero forcefully pushes himself up and breaks through! Alpha is sent flying across the ring, falling on his ass, as he scrambles to his feet and rushes back at Romero to try and re-take advantage, but runs right into Romero tossing out an open palm chop! Impacting Alpha’s chest hard, and flooring him right to the ground!
Crowd: YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Alpha writhes around on the mat! Moaning in pain, clutching at his chest, now left with a big red spot in the middle, as Romero then lets out a roar!
Crowd: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Romero then takes a moment to catch his breath and collect himself, before he then sizes Alpha down, and goes to run the ropes!.....but gets caught with a kick in the back from Nova as he hits them!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Romero tenses up for a moment, before he goes to turn around to strike Nova off of the apron! But Nova ducks under the elbow Romero throws at him, and grabs his head to pull Romero down into the ropes to whiplash his face off of them!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Woodbridge: Romero trying to come back, but the Cardinals sneaky tactics quickly cutting him right back off! Excellent work from Nova!
Romero is sent back from the ropes, holding at his face as he falls to a knee. While we see Alpha beginning to stir from the chop he had just taken. Romero begins to try and rise from his knee, but Alpha runs in with a dropkick to the back of Romero’s head! Forcing him back to the ground!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Alpha then grabs Romero, and does his best to try and bring Romero up, but the significant weight difference makes it a struggle. So instead, he works from the position he has. Dropping Romero and allowing him to hit the mat, before applying a rear chinlock to the larger man.
Paisner And now Alpha trying to ground the big man, wear down Romero. And this can not only take even more energy out of Romero than has also been took, but also drain the morale of Buster to try and get Romero back into it!
Alpha grinds in on the chinlock, getting low to the ground as possible to sink out as much as he can from Romero. Romero tries to power up, but Alpha is quicker, and delivers an elbow strike to the shoulder and neck that drops Romero back to the mat.
Buster: COME ON STEVE! THE hWHITE MAN CAN’T CONTINUE TO GRIND US DOWN LIKE THIS!
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2020.10.19 17:55 SnooWalruses9935 Trick or Treaters

Since I was 7 years old, Halloween has been my favorite holiday. While most of my family was already excited about what Christmas decorations to put up, I stayed busy trying to throw on my costume so I could run through my neighborhood with a stained pillowcase in hand. October 31, 2010 changed my Halloween plans for the rest of my childhood, and most of my young adult life.
I was 10 years old at the time. We had concluded the Halloween party we threw for close friends and neighbors that year. Even as a kid I knew that the air was thick with the smell of beer, hard liquor, and whatever other adult treat people Brough for, "Liquor Treating." The Lipson's were still at the house. They were my parents closest friends, so they stayed long after everyone else drunkenly waddled through the front door with their sober enough to drive spouses, and sugar crashed children. To put up with the obnoxious and loud party for two families, I sat in the music room by myself, and counted my candy earnings for the night.
About 12 wrappers into counting, I hear a knock on the front door. I found this odd, because we turned the front porch light off once most of the party left. I figured maybe it was either some kid who was late trick or treating, a greedy kid trying to get some extra candy, or maybe even a party guest who forgot something.
Looking back, I should have let my parents, or even one of the Lipson's open the door, but I was a kid, and it was the one night a year where strangers knocking on your door all night is normal. That was the other thing. They knocked. All night there have been kids ranging from my age to, young adults. Not one of them knocked on my door, but rather they just rang the doorbell.
When I stood up I grabbed the mask I had worn all night. I didn't put it on all the way though. It smelled like sweat, spit, and warm breath. I went to open the front door, my mask resting on the top of my head, and a half empty bowl of candy the neighborhood kids had picked apart like sugar vultures all night balanced in one hand.
Before I could get to the door, the three knocks that scared me enough the first time repeated. It made me jump so hard that my mask fell off of my head, and I had to stabilize the candy bowl with my other hand. The adult conversation happening in the other room had silenced to my ears. All I could focus on was what was on the other side of my door. Finally, I swallowed my fear, and crept the door open.
In front of me I could see a man. Not a kid. I'm not entirely sure if it was a teenager. He wore a glossy blue skull mask with a black robe covering the rest of his body. I would've held the candy bucket out for him, but he was in the middle of my lawn.
"How could he have knocked on my door?" I thought to myself.
All I hear are the crickets screaming in the dark bushes, and the man in the mask breathing slowly.
"Um, do you want some candy?" I nervously mutter out.
From the middle of my lawn I see the man in the mask tilt his head slowly, and his breathing stops.
I'm not sure how long we stood there. Me at the doorway, and him dead still in the darkness. I was frozen in fear. I waited for him to move, for him to breathe again, or at least just walk away.
I go to turn on my front porch light to get a better look at him. I think maybe if I can see more, I'll be able to tell that it's just one of my friends' brother trying to scare me. I lean back into the house, and flip the light switch upwards.
Before I can look back into my yard to check if the man in the mask is someone I know, I hear him breathing again. It's different though, he's excited. I look out and I see him walking towards my house with head still tilted.
"Does he want the candy in my hand?"
Before I can answer that question I see a shadow out of the corner of my eye. My head dashes to the left and I see another man in a mask walking to me from the side of my house. I look back at the man in my yard. He's on my walkway, in front of my house, and walking with more haste. It seems as if he knows he doesn't have much time to get to me so he knew he needed to speed up.
This was the first time I was put into a situation in which I had to think on the fly, but even with my mind screaming at me to close the door, my body stood stiff in fear. I assumed it was some stupid prank, but by the time the men in the masks got to my door, I slammed it shut and locked them out.
I stood on the other side of the door with my back pressed firmly against it as if my petite 70 lb body would do anything against two grown men. On either side of my front door, there were skinny windows. I peaked out to see what they were planning on doing, but there was no one there. Not so much as a shadow running away from my house.
After that, I didn't enjoy trick or treating too much until I matured, and started enjoying scary movies more than most people should. That being said, I still loved Halloween more than any holiday, but I spent it trying to throw parties in my young adulthood, or watching a scary movie with my older sister.
I've done that every year for the last decade. I recently turned 20 back in September of 2020, but I fear that this year is going to be different. Back in July of this year, a double homicide occurred in my own town. A man was shot twice over by the town cemetery, and the suspect was never caught, but he wore a mask.
3 months after it happened (the start of October) I was home alone at night while my parents were out on a date. I had just bought myself some guitar wall hangers and hung them up earlier that day, so I was feeling good. I was eating leftovers for dinner downstairs around 9:00 PM, and my quant little dinner for one was interrupted by a loud bang followed by the sound of wood bouncing on a hard floor. I immediately assume the guitar hangers on my wall collapsed and my acoustic guitar shattered, so I ran to the front of my house where the music room is.
Once I turn the corner I see something far more upsetting to me than the shrapnel of my acoustic. My front door was wide open. The wood I had heard was part of the door frame that was ripped off when the door was kicked in.
I'm 20 years old, and at this point in my life I had gone through many situations in which I had to be the brave one. I went to go get my Louisville Slugger bat, and then carefully crept to my front door.
I saw no one. Again. The only evidence I had that any evidence I had that anyone was by my house was a shoe print in the center of my door. Reluctantly, I stepped outside to look for more evidence on what happened. Then, I saw something in my yard. It's so dark outside I can't even make it out. I walk over to it to see what I lost in the grass earlier today, because that's what I assumed it was.
After picking it up I dropped it and sprinted back into my house and called the police. I went into my room and locked the door, because my front door couldn't even close anymore.
I waited in the corner of my room, a 20 year old man clutching onto a baseball bat and frozen in fear again until the red and blue lights shined through my window.
The police came in and questioned me about what happened. I gave them every answer I could about everything accept for one small detail I didn't know.
"Who does this mask belong to, son?"
Halloween is coming up soon, and I don't know what my plans are this year. I do know one thing for sure though.
I am not answering the door the time.
submitted by SnooWalruses9935 to u/SnooWalruses9935 [link] [comments]