Baby register

Baby Registry Free Shipping Enjoy free shipping for your baby's first year when the value of gifts purchased from your registry exceeds $1,500. *exclusions apply Baby Registry Referral Rewards Start Your Baby Registry. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! Welcoming a new baby into the family is both an exciting and overwhelming time in your life. Fortunately, you have several months to get things ready for the arrival. Setting up a baby registry allows your friends and family to buy gifts for the baby that you can use and enjoy ... Create a Babylist registry today to be eligible for a free baby box full of goodies for you and baby! Get Started *With minimum of $ 10 Babylist store purchase. With Amazon’s Baby Registry, you can add items from Earth’s biggest selection, get free 90-day returns on most items, and manage your registry on any device whenever—and wherever—you want. A Universal Baby Registry is a gift list where you can add items from any store in the world—online or brick-and-mortar (really!). Gifts can be products, experiences, even a Cash Gift Fund for big-ticket items. The Best Baby Registry is Babylist. Create Your Babylist Find a Registry Why Register with Babylist? As a new parent, you'll have plenty of decisions to make for the first time. Figuring out which baby registry to use shouldn't be one of them. Don't settle for a registry that doesn't fulfill all your wants and needs. Create a Target Baby Registry and enjoy all the perks: a free welcome kit, 15% discount, baby registry checklist & more. Or, find a baby registry by searching here. The ultimate Universal Gift Registry. As many as you like! You might start with a milestone event, like a wedding or new baby, then create a Wish List for the next special occasion in your life—a big birthday, the holidays, even a housewarming. BABY REGISTRY FINDER. Looking for a friend or family member's registry? Enter their info here and click 'Search' The Bump Baby Registry Create the ultimate baby registry with items from all of your favorite stores like Amazon, Target, buybuy BABY, and more! Within 24 hours, each retailer registry will sync with The Bump and you’ll be on the way to getting everything you need for baby.

A (former) place for broken moms to ask for and offer help.

2015.05.23 04:52 I3km A (former) place for broken moms to ask for and offer help.

Hello! I have taken the sub down. I have been considering it for several months, but this was the scheduled date of decommissioning as it's been more than a week since the last registration and request of assistance. Consider /assistance and their sidebar for alternatives.
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2020.09.12 21:44 nwonline12 VulcanForged

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2020.10.22 21:32 vren55 [A Fractured Song] - Book 2 Chapter 3 (67) - Fantasy, Isekai (Portal Fantasy), Adventure

Cover Art!
Story Summary: After years of beatings and neglect from her parents, 13-year old Frances was summoned with her entire class to the fantastical world of Durannon to fight the monsters invading the human kingdoms and defeat the "Demon King." If she succeeds, she might have the home she never had. But if she can't overcome the trauma and self-loathing inflicted on her by her abusive parents, Frances will die, and be summoned back to the home she escaped, on the day that she left.
Teaser: Frances meets Ayax Windwhistler, her cousin by adoption. But she's a troll... from Alavaria. How will this first meeting go?
[The Beginning] [<=Book 2 Chapter 2 (66)] [Chapter Index and Blurb] [Book 2 Chapter 4 (68) on October 27 or Right Now For Patreons]
Day of the Windwhistler Gathering...
“Mom, I thought that the Windwhistlers were a trading or merchant house,” Frances said her eyes wide.
Edana re-read the slip paper she was holding. “Our family does have other businesses. I just didn’t realize that they have been doing so well.”
That was because Frances and Edana were standing in front of what looked like a manor, except most of its front floor was replaced by glass windows that displayed dresses, suits, amongst a dizzying variety of outfits. To Frances, this looked surprisingly modern. Emblazoned atop the front door was the sign, Windwhistler Couture and Clothing.
There was also a lineup across the front, filled with eagerly chattering customers.
That was when a hulking man in an excellently cut black suit and waistcoat, ran up to them. He had an orc’s green skin and fangs, and yet his features looked quite human. The customers seemed to part around him, even as they watched with interest.
“Coz! Oh how wonderful it is to see you!” he exclaimed, grabbing Edana in a hug. Frances tensed as he lifted her in the air and spun her around, but she saw her mother was laughing.
“Don! Put me down already! I still remember when I could spin you around!”
Don, laughing, did put her down. “You look good cuz.” He turned to Frances and smiled. “Oh and you must be Frances. Welcome to the family!”
Frances smiled. “Honored to meet you mister…”
“Just Don. Don Windwhistler. But oh do come on. There are so many things to do today!” He practically half-skipped, half-dragged Frances and Edana into the couture house, past rows of outfits and tailors, and into a private dressing area with mirrors and racks of dresses.
“And what is it we are doing, Don?” Edana inquired.
Don turned around and seemed to give the mother-daughter pair a once over. “Well Grandma Emelia and Grandaunt Eleanor insisted you come here so we can quickly get you ready for tonight.”
Edana frowned. “But we are ready—Sorry, Frances, Don is my first cousin. His mother is your Great Aunt Emelia, your grandmother Eleanor’s sister, which makes you…makes you what exactly?”
“Let’s say niece. But you both do need a bit of a makeover. Nothing too fancy. This is just a family affair, but… I think there are some things to touch up.” Don pointed at Edana’s hair. “Your hair in particular looks really badly heat damaged, probably from all the fire spells you keep casting.”
Frances followed Don’s finger and blinked because the half-orc was right. She liked her hair short, but always saw her mother’s black hair as pretty. Now that she looked closer, though, the dry and frizzy ends of Edana’s hair looked like those of some of her more dolled up highschool classmates. Those who often used heating irons. Her mother… had also just worn her White Order mage robes.
“And you, Frances, you are very cute. I also love your dress. Light green really does suit you. But you need some jewels, maybe an earring? Something to draw out your eyes.” Don turned around and clapped his hands. “Ayax sweetie, are you around— Oh, there you are!”
Frances started, right hand dropping to her wand, left hand immediately catching her own wrist.
A troll girl, with a black cat’s tail, four-fingered hands and pointed ears, was standing quietly beside her. Black eyes regarded her with an unamused look. She had a wand clipped to a holster at the belt that held up a black skirt, a few pouches and a dagger. Her shirt, a matching dark blue, was neatly tucked in.
“Hi,” said Ayax coolly, one hand brushing a lock of her shoulder-length black hair back.
Managing a smile, Frances dipped her head. “Hello. Nice to meet you, Ayax. I’m Frances.”
Don smiled. “Frances is your newest cousin, just adopted by Edana. She’s an—”
“Otherworlder war mage,” Ayax said with more than a little wariness. Only, she immediately winced, “Sorry, Don. I’ll show her around.”
If Don registered Ayax’s tone, he didn’t react. He simply said, “Thank you, sweetie.”
Frances thought she saw the faintest trace of a smile on Ayax’s face, but then it was gone and she was gesturing with her four-fingered hand to a door. She turned to Edana. “Master—I mean, mom, can I really—”
“Dear, some gems would look nice on you. Every girl needs some accessories.” Edana smiled. “Go ahead, pick whatever you like.”
Frances smiled, and after briefly hugging Edana and whispering a thank you, followed her cousin out.
“So as I suspected… the real reason we’re here is to introduce Ayax to Frances?” Edana said quietly after the two girls left.
Don’s smile weakened just a tad. “Yeah. I mean, you do need a better dress, but… well Grandmother caught you up?”
Edana nodded. “Yes, but I’d rather hear it from you. You and Alex are her fathers after all.”
“Yeah. Except… she hasn’t called us dad once.” Don sat down on a nearby chair, steepling his hands. “Coz, I don’t expect Ayax to see us replacing her parents, but I’m getting worried. She’s always been quiet. I think that’s just part of her, but… recently, no matter what we or our family try to do, she just seems… uninterested, and increasingly irritated.”
“And you and everybody else think it has something to do with what happened when she was orphaned in the war?” Edana asked.
“Well, it has to be that.”
“And you, my mother, everybody else, think that just putting her with another traumatized girl is going to work?”
Don paled, his eyes widening. “Is it not going to help? Alex said it might be a bad idea especially given how Frances is an Otherworlder and Ayax is a troll from Alavaria. Oh no. What if they get into a fight? Frances will—”
“Don,” Edana sing-songed.
The half-orc took a deep breath. “Sorry. I’m just so worried. Ayax seems to like it here but she wasn’t so sure about being adopted and well… she’s never talked about her past apart from telling us that she was orphaned. I mean, if this is a bad idea or a good idea, or maybe you have just… any clue of what to do?”
Seeing the worry on her cousin’s face, Edana took a seat herself, brow furrowed with thought. “How much has mom told you about Frances’s situation?”
“Just that she went through something traumatic herself and might be able to relate to Ayax that way?”
“So, Frances has told me I can tell you this, but her parents from the other world abused her.” Edana let that fact sink in and watched as her cousin’s expression changed to one of horror. “Given that, I don’t think she can relate to Ayax, at least not perfectly, but I trust her insight on this will at least help her understand what Ayax is going through.”
Don nodded slowly. “Wait, you told Frances about us needing help with Ayax?”
“Well of course I did. We are having her to help us. I thought it necessary to inform her.”
“Oh… I see. Yeah, that makes sense.” Don sighed. “I hope you’re right coz.”
Edana smiled. “Don, relax. Frances is a good kid. I would say everything is going to go perfect, but… I may be a bit biased.”
The half-orc shook his head, chuckling. “Edana the firecracker, a doting mother. Who would have thought?”
“Who would have thought indeed,” Edana conceded.
The room that Ayax led Frances down past a hulking ogre guard, to a heavy vault door, which the troll girl opened with surprising ease. A wave of Ayax’s wand and a Word of Power lit the torches.
What the illuminated made Frances’s eyes bulge. Glass cabinets contained a plethora of necklaces, bracelets, rings and all manner of jewelry that twinkled with a rainbow of gems and crystals. It was to put it bluntly, overwhelming, as Frances had never seen so much wealth gathered in one place. Being on the frontlines of a war meant she hadn’t seen that much finery. People were far more concerned about armor and protection. It certainly explained the vault door and the guard.
“Need a moment?” Ayax quipped.
Frances swallowed. “I… I think I might need a suggestion, or two.”
Ayax straightened the collar of her shirt. “I’m not very good at this either. Do you have anything you will be wearing or any colours you like?”
After a moment’s contemplation, Frances reached into a hidden pocket in her dress and took out her diamond magical ring. “Just this?”
Ayax’s eyes narrowed at the ring. “A focus and magic storage ring. I’m afraid that while it is pretty, it’s not something you should wear for tonight. How did you get this?”
“My mother did. There was an incident…” Frances swallowed, trying to find words to describe the near-death experience she’d have when human traitors working for the Kingdom of the Alavari had kidnapped her and nearly killed her.
“You were fighting Alavari.”
Frances looked up, finding Ayax giving her a very cool look. “No. They were human traitors, working for the Alavari.”
Ayax narrowed her eyes. “And how many of the Alavari have you killed?”
Frances briefly closed her eyes, thinking about how to answer her cousin. Someone who’d grown up in the Kingdom of the Alavari. The kingdom whose ruler she had to kill, or else she’d be sent back home.
“Too many. I didn’t want to kill them, but they left me no choice.”
Ayax frowned and studied Frances for what seemed like minutes, before shaking her head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound like that.”
“No, it’s fine, Ayax. I know you came from Alavaria, and that your parents raised you there. I’m happy to answer your questions.” Frances held her breath. She could see Ayax shelling up behind her stoic facade, nervously adjusting the black bow around her collar.
“Frances, Don and Eleanor want you to talk to me for some reason. Why?” the troll asked, her black eyes narrowed once more.
Frances winced as the question slammed home. She wanted to be open with her new cousin, but this question… brought a lot of bad memories with it.
“Grandma and Uncle Don think that I might be able to relate to you better than they can. As to why…” Frances tried to find the words, but choosing them was far more difficult than it had been with Eleanor. “I think they thought what I went through would help me understand what you’re going through.”
Ayax arched an eyebrow and shrugged. “I’m fine.”
Frances felt an eerie sense of deja vu as she watched her troll cousin glare defiantly back. Except, where the troll girl stood, Frances remembered a depressed, shattered and starving girl, broken by abuse. The girl had been her, refusing to accept something was wrong with her life.
So, Frances nodded and smiled. “Okay.”
Ayax blinked and frowned. “Sorry, what?”
Frances smiled. “If you say you’re fine, then you’re fine.”
The troll stared at her. Incredulous surprise across her features. “You believe me?”
“Should I not?” Frances asked in a gentle voice, continuing to smile.
Ayax bit her lip, and averted her gaze. “Nobody has. Why should you?”
“Perhaps I don’t, but you don’t want to talk about it, right?” Frances asked. She remembered when she was younger, when she first arrived in Durannon. She didn’t want to confront her own trauma, and it had taken a long time before she was able to confront it. It still hurt to think about what she’d gone through even now. Trying to force Ayax to open up when she didn’t want to would be a terrible idea.
Sure enough, Ayax emphatically shook her head.
“What would you rather talk about then?” Frances asked.
Ayax looked rather flustered by the question. She definitely didn’t expect to be asked this. “I… I heard you beat Ophelia Voidsailor. How did you manage that?”
While Frances also didn’t expect to be asked this question, she was happy to answer. “Oh, you mean the girl in the orange robes?”
“Yes, those robes,” grumbled Ayax. She blinked and stared at Frances. “Do you not know who she is?”
“Before I duelled her, I think Eva told me she was the youngest finalist in Erlenberg’s Winter Tournament and a powerful mage.”
Ayax nodded, once stoic features now eager. “Yes, that’s right. How did you beat her? She’s really good, and has never lost a magic duel.”
Thinking back to the duel, Frances crossed her arms and took a seat by one of the glass cabinets. “I think I surprised her. She was expecting to duel a nobody, but she was fighting… me. I don’t mean to brag, but my mother, Edana, trained me well, and I have a few very powerful spells. She was using magic-activated cards and her rings to quickly cast magic, but I kept moving and blocked her with my shield spell. I’ve only recently learned how to produce a strong shield, but it bought me enough time to cast a lightning spell.”
“She couldn’t block it?”
Frances blushed. “No. My lightning spell is a true lightning spell—”
“Wait you can—but how? People can picture lightning in their head but actually creating the lightning and controlling it so you don’t just kill everybody—” Ayax clamped her mouth shut and looked away. “I’m sorry, I… overstepped.”
“Ayax. It’s alright. We’re family now. You can ask.” As the troll smiled sheepishly, Frances giggled. “You really are interested in combat magic are you?”
Ayax nodded, brushing some of her black hair out from her face. “Yeah. I… my father was teaching me before…before it happened.”
Frances nodded in understanding and made herself comfortable. “Well, I managed to cast lightning because back in my original world, Earth, the sciences had advanced so that we know how lightning forms and why it happens. It has to do with…”
After setting his cousin up for his makeover, Don checked in on the vault, having not heard from the two girls in some time. When he entered the vault however, he was completely unnoticed. For Frances and Ayax were sat down on stools, locked in an animated discussion about spells and magic shields.
Don stared at the pair, took in the genuine smile on his daughter’s features and smiled. “Hello girls.”
That drew Frances and Ayax’s attention. Both stood up. Frances looking abashed, Ayax trying to look expressionless, but not quite managing it.
Frances stammered, “Sorry, um—”
“Sorry, Don, I lost track of time—”
“There’s no rush, dear. I’m really glad you two are getting along. Besides, I should have realized that jewelry wasn’t your strong suit.” Don walked over to a cabinet and opened it. “Have you considered getting your ears pierced, Frances?”
---
And this was how Frances got her ears pierced, along with a pair of emerald earrings and Edana, got a long-overdue makeover.
“Mom, you look amazing,” Frances gasped.
Edana blushed. White robes had been exchanged for a dress of dark forest green which complemented her eyes. Her long hair had been done up slightly, and also trimmed, but in a way to show off its beautiful length. Light makeup had also been excellently applied to hide old wrinkles.
“Maybe I should take more care of my appearance,” Edana mused.
“Mm hmm.” Frances smirked. “I know Igraine would appreciate it.”
Edana’s spluttered as she took in Frances’s innocent smile, “Whaaat. How... Okay, well she would. When did you find out?”
“Sometime after the second time she visited Erlenberg,” Frances quipped.
“Oh, do you have a special someone coz?” Don asked. He didn’t wiggle his eyebrows, but Frances could somehow imagine him doing that.
“... I’ll tell you about it later. I don’t want to repeat myself,” Edana muttered. “Besides, our carriage is here.”
The carriages were just for Edana, Frances, Don and Ajax as Don’s husband and younger son were already at the gathering. Frances was surprised however to find the carriage escorted by two guards on horseback.
She was even more surprised to see them arrive at a complex that looked more like a scaled-down castle than a manor home. White plaster walls about the height of two-humans and topped with terracotta tiled roofs surrounded a cluster of buildings that included a stable, storage rooms, and living quarters for guests and servants. The three-story main building at the centre of the compound looked as if someone had put tiled Japanese-Chinese roofs on top of a Georgian mansion. (As to how Frances knew this, she had read a lot of history books and she still remembered some of what they told her). The complex also had tower-like buildings at every corner of the surrounding wall, small gatehouses with solid doors, and L-shaped walkways that turned upwards past arrow holes and gun ports.
“Ayax, did our family’s house always look like, um, a fortress?” Frances asked as they walked toward the great main building. She would ask her mom, but Edana and Don were chatting, and that didn’t seem like a very nice question.
Her troll cousin gave a short nod. “Inter-house warfare in Erlenberg used to be extremely vicious.”
“And by extremely vicious, we mean an entire house would be destroyed,” said Eleanor, approaching the party. She was helping along an elderly human man with a great white beard, and an unfortunately balding pate.
“Mother, dad!” Edana embraced the old man. She touched her lips to her mother’s cheek and asked, “What’s this about houses being destroyed.”
Eleanor frowned for a second, before groaning, “Oh dratted ears. Pardon me, I overheard Ayax telling Frances about our fortifications here. I am glad you two seem to be getting along.”
Ayax smiled briefly, whilst Frances smiled and curtsied. “Hello, Grandmother Eleanor and Grandfather Paul.”
A crinkly grin spread across Paul’s face. “You must be Frances, Edana’s adopted daughter. Come here and give your granpappy a hug.” Frances did and found herself in a very tight hug that belied the old man’s frailty. She also noticed anchor and sea monster tattoos on his neck and hands. “Aren’t you the cutest thing? No wonder Elly’s been absolutely tickled. She wouldn’t stop talking about you when she got back.”
“I wasn’t that bad, dear,” Eleanor protested as Frances blushed and Edana’s eyebrows arched with interest.
Paul laughed, and freed his arm from Eleanor. “Well come along Frances, let’s introduce you to the family.”
Frances nodded eagerly and followed Paul to the main house. Only then did she notice that Ayax, Don, Edana and Eleanor all suddenly looked rather worried.
“Dad maybe—”
“Dear perhaps—”
“Uncle maybe—”
Ayax, shaking her head, whispered, “Brace yourself. And good luck.”
Frances’s eyes widened. She was about to ask, “What do you mean by that?” when Paul flug open the doors to the mansion with surprising strength revealing a humongous front hall where what looked like a small sea of adults, teenagers and children, milled around, both standing or seated on couches. They looked to be from all walks of life, wore a plethora of clothing, some more formal, some more casual. Most were human, but there were many fae-kin, trolls, ogres, orcs, and Frances even spotted a centaur.
Paul gently pushed Frances to stand in front of him and bellowed, “Hello everybody! Please give a warm welcome to the newest member of the Windwhistler family, Frances, Edana’s newly adopted daughter who trounced Ophelia Voidsailor a few days ago in a duel!”
As the eyes of every single person of her new family rested on her. Frances felt her stomach do a flip flop and her legs freeze.
Frances had prepared to introduce herself to her family. She was even prepared to mention a little of why she was staying in Durannon and not returning home. She was not prepared for this.
“Dear… why?” Eleanor hissed.
“Doesn’t this help?” Paul asked.
“Uncle, it doesn’t even help the babies. They just end up crying,” Don sighed.
A warm hand squeezed Frances’s shoulder and she glanced to find her mother smiling at her reassuringly. Swallowing, Frances turned back to the crowd and curtsied, before saying:
“Hello everybody.”
The sea all smiled and grinned… before promptly surging forward toward her like the tide coming in.
The last thought Frances had before the first cousin, a familiar brightly smiling girl with black hair and green eyes ran up and re-introduced herself as Eva was:
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeep.”
Author's Note:
:D I've been waiting a long time to introduce you to Ayax. She's one of my new favorite characters. I hope you like her!
Question of the update: What's your favorite desert you can make? I can make hazelnut cookies that are similar to shortbread that I think are pretty good. They're complicated though because you need to fridge them for four hours.
submitted by vren55 to redditserials [link] [comments]


2020.10.22 21:11 trinitydelaney The life of being a girl

Last night I was sexually assaulted. I’ve really lost count of the amount of times I’ve been touched non consensually. I’m only 20. That’s young enough to be considered a baby but old enough to not be able to call out “jail bait.” I’m hurting today, struggling to fake a smile. I came to trust my neighbor as an old godly man, who I thought would never do anything to hurt anyone. I struggle with fibromyalgia, so I’m constantly in pain, especially in my muscles. Desperate for relief, I allowed him to massage my back. He started taking off my jacket, then my shirt, and eventually got under my bra. He kept telling me to relax, and I tried because I thought he had good intentions. I knew something was off though, but I continued to let it happen. He touched my nipples and I moved his hands away and he quickly apologized and continued throughout the rest of my back. I also deal with major pain in my hips, which is what led him to put his hands in my pants. But I should have known better right? He’s a registered sex offender, but I was told the charge came from an evil ex wife. And when someone talks to me about Gods word, I listen very carefully, so I put my trust into this man. Then he led me into the bedroom. Told me he was going to lock the front door and asked if anyone knew I was over there. That’s when I knew it was time to fucking go. I quickly got up and got out the door and ran home. I was met with an angry friend telling me it was my fault and I should have known not to put myself in that situation. It’s not like I can call the cops, because I never said no until the end. Today, I would rather make money at work distraught from emotions than go home and cry right next door to the man that did this to me. But that’s what being a girl is. Constantly being looked at for your body and not your mind. I just want a break from it all, but that’s too much to ask for.
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2020.10.22 20:16 tittykilla69 H

He means cock and ball torture, which actually helps with depression according to 9/10 doctors. That 1/10 doctor is at the pharmacy day dreaming about the slightly overweight pharmacy technician crushing his manhood with her big, flat, paddle-like feet. If you saw him, you would know that he still has depression, and it's not going to get better without CBT.
You see, a man's balls are actually nearly connected to his brain. If you tug/pull/manipulate his manhood in a particularly effective manner, you will find that his overall mood will improve greatly. He will smile more, he will laugh more, he will cry more. All of this is happening while experiencing cock and ball torture, of course. Cock and ball torture has been found to have many regenerative properties (not just mentally). It has been practiced in many ancient and prehistoric societies, though the methods were probably much more violent, it is sufficient to say that CBT is likely the secret ingredient to the success of humans as a species. I don't think any other species could even reap the readily available benefits which are available to humans, due to their own anatomical restrictions
Sadly, women cannot (at least in the foreseeable future) experience cock and ball torture. But that does not mean that they should fret and feel their own existential despair. That's because for every set of cock and balls, there needs to be a fair maiden looking to cause a little bit of chaos, destruction, and testicular devastation. "Behind every strong man, there is a stronger woman" is the old adage, while a woman is physically weaker than a man I'm terms of strength, a woman is able to bring render a man incapacitated by pleasure with a few well placed strikes below the belt
In fact, writing this post brings me back to a particularly happy experience I had prior to my treatments. (I probably should have mentioned at the beginning of the response that I used to be that 1/10 doctor who doesn't advocate cock and ball torture as the mainstay gold standard in treating depression In human males). I was constantly distracted, thinking about my own despair and inability to escape the void of depression and its negative thinking patterns. Naturally, I was pursuing the traditional western treatments for depression, in the form of medications. However, that changed when I saw that lovely beast of a woman behind the register that day. As I waited anxiously, I could feel my tender testes starting to become a bit tense. Watching her interact with each customer, I could hear her rough and troubled breathing from her mouth, getting louder as I advanced in the line. By the time I was in front of her, my member was noticably hard. In fact she was probably able to notice my pathetic little pecker! But under such stressful situations I'm a bit of a coward. I could barely get the words out of my mouth, I stammered goodbye. Sadly, cowardice prevailed that day, as I drove home crying, but I just couldn't get her out of my head! Right when I got in the door, I ripped my pants and my now precum soaked underwear off (I wear boxers). My penis was erect like never before, as I grabbed a sack of flour to pulverize my boys, I nearly ejaculated on the spot. It took every ounce of my strength to keep the baby batter from spilling out of my member onto the cold hardwood floor. After nearly thirty minutes of carefully rubbing my cock and smashing my sack with such great strength, I couldn't hold back any longer and a torrential eruption of cum, almost in the same magnitude as the pompeii disastor, was expelled all over my chest (and a bit on the wall behind me). Weak, naked, and weeping, I wiped off the wall behind me and crawled into the bathroom to wash myself off before mother got back from work (I know, I know, I still live with mom). Since then, I've moved onto more than just smashing (like stretching and pulling), but I'm not sure if I'll ever have a moment quite like that again. It's something that I'm truly proud of
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2020.10.22 18:00 BSERecruiter 249M+ GP All-Heroic EU Guild - Looking for 1 New Member - DS Geo TB: 30 ⭐️ & 38 Wat Shards - LS Geo TB: 15 ⭐️ & 1-3 kam shards and increasing steadily - Great Leadership & Active & Social Members - See Comments for More Information

BSE SWGOH.GG
Blue Squadron Eternal
249M+ GP
49/50 members with Baby Yoda Cookies
UK / EU Guild Reset (US Friendly)
Discord
REQUIREMENTS:
submitted by BSERecruiter to SWGOHRecruiting [link] [comments]


2020.10.22 16:01 BSERecruiter 249M+ GP All-Heroic EU Guild - Looking for 1 New Member - DS Geo TB: 30 ⭐️ & 38 Wat Shards - LS Geo TB: 15 ⭐️ and 1-3 kam shard, increasing steadily - Great Leadership & Active & Social Members - See Comments for More Information

BSE SWGOH.GG
Blue Squadron Eternal
249M+ GP
49/50 members with Baby Yoda Cookies
UK / EU Guild Reset (US Friendly)
Discord
REQUIREMENTS:
submitted by BSERecruiter to swgoh_guilds [link] [comments]


2020.10.22 13:19 TCBNUFC Can I claim benefits as a single parent if I have a partner who usually lives abroad?

I have just had a baby with my girlfriend in Mexico, who I have registered as a British citizen.
We can't yet apply for a partner visa as we have only been together 18 months and I don't yet meet the minimum income requirement.
As I have no viable means of income in Mexico, our plan is to return with our baby to the UK, however my girlfriend is currently only permitted to stay in the UK 6 months with no recourse to public funds. This means we can't apply for universal credit as a couple, even though we technically are one.
Can I therefore apply for housing benefit and universal credit as a single parent?
submitted by TCBNUFC to DWPhelp [link] [comments]


2020.10.22 10:39 ShiroiOk Room 28, The Schooner Hotel.

I'd been with my ex fiancée for 7 years but this story starts two years earlier, I'd managed to get a job at a local security company and everything was going good.
At the time we both pretty deep in the paranormal activity films and we loved it.
Me and Vicki were really getting along and everything was amazing I couldn't wait to get home from work and even if it was just five minutes of hugging, for me it was perfect.
We both decided that we needed a holiday so we had a look online and found a hotel called The Schooner Hotel which in our minds "haunted", we both joked about it and Vicki asked me to call the hotel and make the booking, the phone call itself was weird at first the guy said "we have no rooms available" until I asked for room 28 and the owner quickly changed his tone "oh yes that's available, that'll be £120" I muted the phone and asked Vicki if she was OK with that, we joked about them hiking the prices up due to it being a 'haunted hotel' and we agreed.
When we walked in, it was a beautifully restored 16th century building with only a few rooms, it was quite and empty but we thought nothing of it, we registered the booking, dropped off our stuff and headed out to the Lindisfarne Priory for a cheap day out, it was a pretty good day to see such an old piece of history still taking the punches especially since the priory itself had been raided by the Vikings.
On the way back we joked about how England was so soft back in the 16th century and how we heading back to a spooky hotel.
As we prepared for bed Vicki reached out to run off her light and the bulb blew just before she flipped the switch, we joked "oh my god your possessed" and thought nothing else of reverse, she thougbt il two years later, the room we had stayed in has been a story of murder, suicide and other horrible acts, we joked about it all of course until that light went out.
Now I personally beleive there is something else to this life that we can't see, touch or feel I can't say yes its demons or ghosts, but the moment that light went out I knew something was up.
A few days later after our little getaway, I noticed I was becoming increasingly agitated with really stupid stuff and Vicki seemed like she was always on edge, at first because it felt natural we just ignored it until a week later I found Vicki downstairs, naked, chugging water straight out of the tap when I asked if she was OK she turned and a gurgling, deep, demonic voice escaped her lips "we are doing fine baby, go to sleep, hahaha"
I confronted her in the morning and she had no idea as to what I was talking about, nothing else really happened for a few more weeks, I awoke one night to find Vicki standing over me as my eyes opened she reached down grabbing my throat and she began choking me, I'll be honest I'm not exactly built but if you put my life in danger I will fight back but for the life in me I struggled to get her hands off my throat.
The morning after this incident I didn't really know what to do so I asked her about it and she said she thought I was losing it and I was just going mad, a few weeks later the same thing happened but in reverse, I had tried strangling her in her sleep, we agreed at this point something was seriously wrong.
Shortly after all of this we both became quite distant and the animosity just grew between us, we would have stupid arguments and we would just keep arguing until one night we both agreed on leaving the house and just have another getaway, everything that night went so perfect it was just like we had both met, like we were just in love no other bullshit.
The night we returned to our house, things really took a turn, we both woken up by the sound of banging I immediately looked outside thinking someone was trying to steal my bike but there was nothing, the banging kept on going, we both got up and headed downstairs as we reached the bottom of the stairs, I felt the cold air drift over me and I was thrown towards the door as I turned back Vicki screamed my name "Glynn!" As she was dragged through the hall towards the back door.
With all my might I pushed myself up off the floor and grabbed her hand, she stopped dead, all of a sudden there was a figure stood behind her pointing at us with two fingers and an eery whisper escaped its lips "you are mine now"
After we had regained our composition I noticed Vicki had scratches down her legs and she noticed I had scratches down my back, we came to the conclusion something had attached itself too us since our stay in the hotel and we tried ridding ourselves of the spirit or whatever it was over the next few months using different methods incense, prayers, everything we could think of.
Everything came to a hault one night, when we invited some friends I've rand it took a really dark turn, glasses would smash onto the floor and my friend a 6'3 guy was thrown across the room, he ended up with a broken arm and his girlfriend ended up with cuts across her face, I ended up with deep cuts on my leg's and Vicki had cuts on her back, we decided the next day to move out and we found a new place about a week later, nothing has happened to us since but we have never forgot what happened to us.
We brought something back from The Schooner hotel.
submitted by ShiroiOk to scarystories [link] [comments]


2020.10.22 09:18 BithumbGlobal Cryptocurrency Day Trading 101: Day Trading Simplified for Crypto Enthusiasts

Cryptocurrency Day Trading 101: Day Trading Simplified for Crypto Enthusiasts

https://preview.redd.it/7premb78klu51.jpg?width=800&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b91fb62fb384a21b7c48b6726111927185f23f18
Do you feel left out when your friends, who just tried their luck at crypto trading, go on and on about day trading until your ears start to bleed? Day trading, one of the most popularly applied trading methods in stock and commodities financial markets is now being employed by crypto traders as well. Either you are marveled by the day trading success stories shared by your friends or just freaked out by how some traders lose all their money to day trading.
What is day trading and is it worth investing your time and money in?
Find everything you need to know as a newbie crypto enthusiast in this beginner’s guide to crypto day trading.
What is Day Trading?
Trading is all about selling an asset for a price higher than its cost price. Many factors including environmental and political fluctuations, research and development, mergers, and acquisitions impact the price of an asset in the financial markets. Rather than adding value to the asset and then making a profit from it, you take the shorter route and make a profit from the price fluctuations in the market. Trading methods differ depending on how long you are willing to hold the assets.
In day trading or intraday trading, you enter and exit the market on the same trading day. Day traders keep track of the price fluctuations that happen during a day to make a small profit that adds up to a larger amount over a long period. Although traditional financial markets are only open on business days of the week for a set number of hours, the crypto market is open 24*7. To qualify as a crypto day trader, you confine yourself to a 24-hour time frame.
These two examples will help you understand day trading better.
Sonny learns from the news that the price of ABC coin is going to see a sudden, fleeting hike during the next few hours owing to a Twitter reference made by a Hollywood celebrity. He purchases 100 ABC coins for $10 each at 10:00 AM and sells it for $12 each at 10:20 AM making a $200 profit in just 40 minutes.
Mark has been keeping track of the price charts of crypto coin DEF for a while now. He decides to take his plunge into day trading and buys 200 DEF coins for $6 each. The price goes up to $7 in a few hours. Anticipating further price increase, Mark holds his coins for a few more hours during which the price dips to $6.9 and then $6.8. Mark sells the coins for $6.8 each making a $160 profit.
Crypto Day Trading Strategies
Many trading strategies are applied by different day traders to earn a profit. Let’s take a quick look at each of them.
1. Scalping
In scalping, you exploit small price fluctuations using your technical skills. Rather than focusing on fundamental analysis as these events often pan out over a longer period of time, scalpers develop a deep understanding of the market to make quick decisions.
2. Range trading
You can’t rely on price charts solely when it comes to day trading. In range trading, a careful analysis of the support and resistance a cryptocurrency receives is made to buy low and sell high. Here, you should watch out for factors that go beyond what is revealed by the price charts.
3. High-frequency trading (HFT)
In HFT day trading, you develop trading bots that enter and exit trade positions exploiting price fluctuations within a time frame of milliseconds. Although the bots are automated, a lot of work goes behind the screen like monitoring and changing the algorithms according to market changes.
Things to Know Before You Start Crypto Day Trading
  1. The cryptocurrency market is highly volatile as most crypto ventures are recently set up and yet to prove their competency. Some become a humongous success overnight pushing the prices to even double or triple while many bite the dust a few weeks into listing. Both the profit and loss you make would be significant.
  2. Don’t risk more than 1% of your total bankroll. Here, bankroll is the total amount of money you have available to invest. This will save you from losing all your money at once. Although small, your profits can be added to the bankroll to increase your income over time.
  3. Losses are part of the game. If you believe you incurred losses because of your mistake, learn from it. If external factors were to blame, accept the fate and move on.
  4. With practice comes (near) perfection. Start small and get yourself acquainted with the highs and lows of the market to improve your skills.
Ready to get started?
Day trading is one of the safest methods recommended in crypto trading, especially for newbies. If you have decided to try your hands at crypto day trading, you need to find a reliable cryptocurrency exchange that is up and running 24 hours and offers you a range of coins to trade.
Bithumb Global is a leading cryptocurrency exchange with more than 1 million registered users. We offer great liquidity and user experience. Since there are 100+ different coins listed on Bithumb Global including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, you won’t run out of your options to trade. We will be a great place for you to learn the basics of day trading. So get started and make your baby steps into the crypto market.
submitted by BithumbGlobal to BithumbGlobal [link] [comments]


2020.10.22 06:52 yungvillaindeadcash I [22M] am experiencing a newly strained relationship with my sister [49F]

I will start off by saying that my sister and I have always had an amazing bond, she's always been motherly to me especially since my mom dipped in my early childhood (but came back). It has never been strained until recently. Sorry for formatting, I'm on mobile.
My sister married her third husband 10 years ago. I've always heard he was quite the drinker but never gave too much thought into it. I never formally met him until the summer of 2018. Now it wasn't until the summer of 2019 that he showed me his true colors, made my sister cry and have an anxiety attack. He's the reason she takes psych meds, she admitted that to me. I keep asking her why she married him and stayed married to him but she's one of those Christian people that have to give people "grace" and that they're having a "hard time" and all is forgiven.
His mouth when he's drinking is undeniably nasty. I lived with an alcoholic father for my 22 years and never heard such shit fly out of someone's mouth. And you don't just come up with hurtful things to say when you're drinking, I feel like he really means them and my sister won't listen. She puts her husband's comfort over my emotions and of course my blood connection with her. She says she never gives him excuses but says things like "Well he isn't like this when he's not drinking" but I find him annoying both sober and plastered.
He goes to AA meetings but has been drinking nonstop (doesn't have a good sponsor either) since I've been at her house for personal reasons between me and someone I love. He also hates cats, no matter what she says. He will abuse the cats when he's drinking and you can hear them cry from the other room. So low and behold, I rescued a 6 week old black kitten and kept him in the room I was staying. It stressed him out so bad because he has past roommate issues and he just hates cats like I said. It eventually boiled into an incident that happened while he was drunk around 2pm yesterday where he rudely asked me to "get the f*ck out" of his house and to "pack my bags and gtfo", in his words.
Here's the kicker, my sister did defend me and tell him to leave but got upset when he actually left on foot. He then played victim and baby needing mommy while feeling "sick and upset" and of course, she cared for him like a baby. But now I feel as if she's wedged her and I apart because of her husband who I think needs an intervention or a divorce from her. My nephew is rarely home because of him, she wedged her son and herself apart because of her husband. And I don't blame my nephew at all for never coming over.
Well the husband hates cats so much and I guess it put my sister in a frenzy after promising me that I could keep the little guy after I move back to another state but then giving him away to people who have more than enough cats, the house smells like cat pee and is in complete disarray. I've just been mad at her ever since and I loved that kitten more than anything I've ever had. I was going to register him as an emotional support animal because that's literally what he was for me. He needed me and I needed him. I was his favorite person and he thought of me as his "momma". I taught him everything he knows now and this just doesn't feel fair. I have very bad bipolar, anxiety, and OCD and I feel like she cut my happiness off to please her husband. I was barely notified of the exchange and attended to check the place out and plus I couldn't just walk away from him. And I've also been notified since yesterday that it's best if I leave. So I have to go back to an abusive and toxic environment that I escaped from.
She doesn't tell our dad everything either, she just tells him the bits she picks out to be "less stressful" and tells him the little parts but never the big picture. And I feel like he could really help as he struggles with alcoholism himself and he's been around the bend of marriages. I keep trying to encourage her to stand up for herself and tell her side of the story as loud as she can and she just won't. As far as I know, the husband doesn't beat her. It's just words (which are terrible in their own realm). But that doesn't mean it won't turn into that. I say if he can hurt a cat like that, he can hurt her physically in due time. I just have no idea what to do anymore and I don't even feel like keeping up communication with these people anymore and never visiting them ever again. I feel horrible for feeling that way but it is what it is. And I do believe his drunk thoughts and words reflect his sober feelings, but she does not. This is really toxic and I've been worried about her and upset for her but she just brushes everything off like it's no big deal, but I know she is upset about it. I just don't know what to do, what to say, how to act, how to be. I'm so lost right now and very angry at her over the kitten situation and putting her husband over her blood sibling. Thank you.
TL;DR: Sister puts alcoholic husband over me, her sibling that she's "mothered" for my whole life. Acts like everything is fine. Doesn't listen to my concerns or expressions. Has caused me to turn my emotions off and mentally/emotionally step back from being close to her. Never tells anyone about her problems or at least the full picture. The situation has mentally and emotionally damaged me.
submitted by yungvillaindeadcash to relationships [link] [comments]


2020.10.22 05:55 forgetxreality How Hard is it to Get an ESA After You're Already on Campus?

Has anyone gone through the process of getting a new ESA after already being on campus? What was it like? Do they really make you wait until the next semester and does the process really take 2+ months? Is it easy to get accepted to live with an ESA through BU or are they really strict on who they accept?
Context:
I'm looking into getting an ESA to help with mental health problems, but I'm not sure what the process through BU looks like.
I'd really love to adopt a cat. I live in a very roomy single and have a cat back home (unfortunately, I can't register my baby back home since my parents are too attached to him to let me bring him to college), so I have a lot of experience taking care of one and definitely have the space for a cat.
submitted by forgetxreality to BostonU [link] [comments]


2020.10.22 02:35 NBA-Uzi [A3][Recruiting][Semi-Serious StarSim] 606th Shadow Company

606th Shadow Company Clone Wars Spec Ops Unit
Timezone: PST and EST.
Country: USA/North America
Play Style: Semi-Serious leaning towards casual.
Attendance Requirements: None, life takes priority.
Who are we?
Hello there! We’re the 606th Shadow Company, an open group of Arma 3 players sharing a love for Star Wars.
What do we offer?
We offer a casual, clone wars experience on dedicated hardware owned 100% by the leadership team, we don’t rely on any rental services or game server hosts that could disrupt our future as a unit. The servers provide a smooth experience over a 180+ Arma 3 players
Across two servers (one Star Wars, and one fun op mod pack). Come join the fun!We have detachments for the following:
Our standard kits include:
FAQ:
Who can join? Anyone who is 16+ and interested in Arma 3.
What if I’m bad at Arma? Nothing. We accept people of all experience levels and provide a short but sweet basic training experience to help prevent your death on the battlefield.
When are the operations? We host our main operations on Saturdays and Sundays (3:00 pm PST/6:00 pm EST). Along with a fair amount of ad hoc operations throughout the week.
Are the fun weapons locked behind ranks? Nope, we don’t have any kit splitting between Privates and higher ranks. The only things ranks get you are potential leadership positions (i.e. Team, Squad, or Platoon leading) during main operations.
How do weapon qualifications work? We just show you how to be effective with a given weapon, and then you’re allowed to use it whenever you’d like. So this means learning about the tripod that comes with the minigun kit, or the UAVs that come with certain ARF roles. You have nothing to prove. There is no “passing” or “failing”. You show up and walk out of our Kamino facility with a new kit, guaranteed.
What if happens and I miss an op? Life takes precedence, period. No questions asked.
How Do I Join?
Joining is a very simple process; it can be done by finding a recruiter, who can be found on our Discord at https://discord.gg/ffs5fVDOnce there, you’ll register your callsign, and potentially attend an optional basic training (it’s only 30 minutes long) depending on your experience with Arma 3. Then you’re ready to blast some clankers. Looking forward to running ops with all of you.
Side Note: If you haven't noticed I'm a CT and not a very high ranking. I just wanted to let you know that the players and staff are extremely welcoming and friendly. They will stick with you and help you even if you've never touched Arma before. The OPs are always fun and you're always learning something new. The troopers from other units join us for joint ops sometimes too and they are great. I just wanted to give my two cents to anyone who is skeptical about joining..
Best Wishes, CT-2020 "Doc"
submitted by NBA-Uzi to FindAUnit [link] [comments]


2020.10.22 02:24 motherindispair Is it registration time yet?

I don't want to miss getting my babies registered
submitted by motherindispair to SantasLittleHelpers [link] [comments]


2020.10.22 01:25 elliottthomasstaude [Revenant Faith and Foreign Pilgrimage] - 1.1 {Cannot Go Backward}

“Don’t speak of the fifteenth age, for mistakes can teach where regret only hinders.”
-Bequastish adage
Ktsn Wdondf Daephod snapped awake like the closing of a rugfos trap. She was comforted at first, relishing the feeling of her bed against her legs.
Then her eyes widened when she remembered the circumstances that had led to her unconsciousness.
Broken bones.
The farmer darted a look around her cabin, and saw absolutely nothing different about most of her home. One notable exception came in the form of the human figure on the ground by her door. Eihks’s head drooped, elbows on his simple knees, and his legs seemed to be doing that same knotlike under-over thing his arms had done earlier. It was the kind of posture she might have taken a hundred times as a child before realizing it was the opposite of comfortable. He didn’t move even when she rose, and stepped back, and loaded her sling with a particularly heavy stone she remembered collecting four days prior at the brook.
She took a careful step closer once she realized he wasn’t going to leap up and throttle her. She still felt uneasy, though.
Ktsn wasn’t completely and totally sure that he’d personally brought her back into her house after she’d collapsed, but she was absolutely certain that he’d removed his head, using her pickax, and remain conversant afterward. Maybe humans were like some of the field pests that lived for quite a while without some parts of their bodies? Or maybe they didn’t actually require their heads at all in the way that her own people did?
That was beside the point, of course; not a trace of scar or blemish was on the straight pale neck. She distinctly remembered the off-color vista she’d seen when her pickax’s blade got to the center of his being, and revealed some of his inner workings and tissues.
Now that she thought about it, she realized, he hadn’t bled a bit. Or maybe he had, and it only started after she fell, senseless. Still, it didn’t explain how he could have grafted his head back on without so much as a trace.
Either biology, or something far more fundamental, was different about the world she now occupied compared to that very morning.
Then her unease shifted in a slightly different direction, as it signified that the biped wasn’t breathing.
“Hmm?
The head of the human went upright, and she tensed as his legs drove him to towering above her. Two eyes, glancing at her, moving over the rest of her house, jittery with whizzing whirls and hardly staying on any one thing for more than a tenth of a heartbeat.
“Welcome back to the world of the waking,” he said, when they both settled on her once again. She really couldn’t shake the sense of wrong, having a person look at her with two eyes while speaking. There was the occasion when watching a play, when she had the opportunity to see an intelligent and bright soul put together a stage with mirrored walls. Allowing both the eye facing the audience and the farther eye to be seen was the objective, yes, but that was for dramatic effect. When you exercised that irony, you were quite deliberately subverting the basic fundamental principle that when looking at something straight-on, one eye was always hidden.
“Are you alright?” asked the human, arms crossing.
“No,” Ktsn answered.
She sat down, haunches flexing.
“Well, take your time.”
“You are not like what I expected a human to be,” she said, without having meant to say it.
“Ah? Yes… about that. Earlier, you alluded to my not being the first of my kind you’ve encountered. I’ve got to ask, under the circumstances, where that might’ve happened.”
He stepped back, his head nearly brushing against her ceiling, and his neck quirked.
“You have to understand that that’s a bit concerning, for several reasons.”
He stopped, and Ktsn suspected that the way his mouth moved, and his teeth showed, were not meant to be the same strange positive-attitude manifestation she had seen in her encounter with Thomas.
Internally she resigned herself to the ridicule she somehow knew was forthcoming, and replied, “I saw one in a dream last night.”
“A dream?”
Tone of voice meant little to her, especially given his other eccentricities, when coming from her uninvited houseguest. Nevertheless, he started making a rolling gesture with one hand, that she watched with flummoxed curiosity until he said, “Apologies, that means ‘continue.’ I’m listening.”
“There was a dream that I had, in which I was supposed to tell you… ah. I am going to help you, and you are going to help me, it seems.”
“Another human was going to help you?” asked Eihks, and his voice went softer than the coat of a baby rugfos.
“No. I was told… I suppose, to keep a watch for you. Eihks Richard. Your name, specifically.”
All the little twitches, tics, small spasms of unnameable muscles, everything flew away and left the human a bipedal statue.
Ooooooohhhh?
Unless she was mistaken, that was the sound of disbelief, or at least skeptical confusion.
“You were supposed to be… someone with ‘good intentions,’ and… who is sick, and who apparently wants to find a compatriot or partner, or something.” At his violently catalyzing face, she hurriedly added, “I am just saying what Thomas told me.”
“... Thomas?”
“Thomas the Librarian, he called himself,” she half-snarled, getting ready to walk away in a huff. HE was the one who’d asked, and she was approaching her capacity for frustration.
Thomas!?
She couldn’t have possibly predicted the man’s level of upset. Eihks literally fell to the ground, mouth gaping, eyes getting wider and wider. Three times he started to make sounds, speech stillborn, before he finally asked, “Are you sure that was his name?”
Dumbfounded, she clapped an affirmation.
“He said he was… a Being of Old, unless memory fails me,” she muttered.
Blinking furiously, Eihks grabbed something from… somewhere on his person. Brandishing the thing hidden in his grasp, he pointed at her table, looking between her and the place he indicated on the flat surface.
“Did he look like this?” he asked, before an image conjured on the tabletop like a portrait done in light instead of paint. It was precisely the same manifestation that she’d seen with the pohostinlat back in the village. Carving itself out of the air in knife-edge swaths and filling the whole scene with vivid unreal colors, the picture showed a sunset against the foreground of an unknown locale. Even closer in the foreground, a colossus of a statue defied the dictate of gravity. The image it captured was that of a human holding a slate in one hand and a quill or stylus in the other. The figure stood tall, and staring ahead with only one eye open. A strange glow vomited forth from the bared orb, fuchsia and indigo wrestling each other with bladed fury.
Even stylized in the essence of stone, Ktsn couldn’t fail to recognize her supernatural visitor.
“That is him,” she affirmed.
Eihks stepped away, hands knotted, and said something likely vociferous in a language she couldn’t understand. He tromped around the room for a few heartbeats, looking like a ledhuk that was about to start kicking things, before he clasped his palms together and came to a standstill.
“This’ll be more interesting than I’d anticipated,” he growled in a low, dental register.
“Is there a problem?”
“Not as such. Or rather, this is the sort of problem I don’t even know where to begin finding a solution.”
He blew a sudden burst of air through his downturned nostrils, and they expanded.
“Tell me everything you remember about this dream,” he said.
Something about the way he said it, perfectly deadly serious, was just hilarious. Ktsn, despite the very real sense that he was on the cusp of some incredibly grave territory, couldn’t help but rattle her claws at him.
“Well. He asked if I was interested in having adventures. He gave me a carpet and pillows for a seat, before we began talking. He told me to not be alarmed when he appeared. Actually, the whole thing felt like a memory from somebody else, in a way; dead emotions and distance.”
She paused a moment again, considering.
“He told me that he would give me a gift, but that he would not - or perhaps could not - say what it was.”
“A gift?
Oh, dear.
The tall creature almost slithered over, leaving space between them yet exuding his presence so heavily that it was like a violation of her personal space. He still did not breathe that she could see - assuming that one could normally see one of his kind breathing - and yet he was almost vibrating.
“What, precisely, did he tell you about that? As specific as you can get.”
She wracked her brain.
“I was in a bit of a daze for this whole dream-thing - and I have been more than passingly disturbed for most of the time since - so forgive me if this is not precisely perfect. He said that he needed to give it to me, and that… telling me about it would be problematic in some fashion. It would malfunction in some way.”
“The Way preserve us,” Eihks murmured. “A run-in with an Old. This is exactly what we needed. No, no; it’s not your fault. You couldn’t have known. It’s just…”
His eyes closed, and he began rocking back and forth. It gradually accelerated and gentled to a thin vibratory blurring.
“What was it that was giving you consternation earlier?” Ktsn found herself asking the shivering figure. “Something was upsetting you - or am I wrong about that?”
Eihks dropped down to her floor again, silent except for the rustle of his clothing. He sat there, unmoving, until she was certain he’d fallen asleep. Eventually, just as she was about to repeat her inquiry, he replied in a faraway manner.
“Let me tell you a story.”
He shifted around on her floor, leaning back against the wall beside her spare pithoi, hands coming around to his front.
“Once, there was an interesting place occupied by an interesting people, which had interesting properties that were worth studying. A foreign nation took notice of that interesting people, their interesting home, and - inevitably - grew intrigued. Trying to generally be minimally invasive, those foreign nationals decided that yes, investigation was called for in this instance, and began making studies, taking notes, observing those curious properties that had fueled their intrigue. It turned out that the locale in question had an odd… architecture to it, if you will.”
He shifted again, head bent around in a curling serpentine crook as though for protection.
“These studies were eventually expanded, by slight degrees, to include more and more metric-gathering. It wasn’t long before the observers discovered the presence of several deities and deity-like entities in the environs being observed. Beings, according to the tongues of the locals, called things like Gegaunli and Do-Ag-Dr-Susup and Taralngegeshet. The foreigners’ scientific minds decided to delve into the matters of these strange beings, and in so doing drew attention to themselves that they had not bargained gaining.”
The dual fore-facing eyes flickered open, stabbing Ktsn.
“The simple truth of the matter was that they had the ability to curtail the activities of these entities, or at least exercise some caution that would keep the deities’ interactions from causing trouble. The foreigners decided that they could certainly do such things… but in their avarice for knowledge, procrastinated just a bit too long. Instead, the one called Gegaunli exerted her will, and turned some of the studious individuals into thralls. Not out of malice, as such. For that matter, we cannot say for absolute certain precisely what those individuals underwent, besides the fact that it wasn’t voluntary.”
Dipping a digit upward into the air, Eihks’s mouth ripped open briefly, showing those mixed sharp-and-blunt instruments of its toolkit.
“Sadly, that was not the end of it. ‘The just desserts of meddling are meddling and more meddling,’ as some of my countrymen say. So when the entity’s understandable desire to convert more believers to her cause led her other thralls to ‘spread the word,’ the thralls in question began creating disruptions in their organization. Some basic disturbances like trying to proselytize their colleagues, and some less basic disturbances like sabotaging some of their own work. One of the side effects of this chain of events was what we call a ‘type nine event.’ Specifically, an uncontrolled type nine event.”
Eihks stopped talking, then, his outstretched hand curled into a fist.
“You’ll learn about type nine events soon enough. For our purposes, it is sufficient to say that an uncontrolled type nine event is close to the worst thing that could have possibly happened to the natives. It was with some contrition that the foreigners, once they’d managed to free their people from Gegaunli’s clutches, found that the situation had spiraled far out of the intended progression, and decided to do what needed to be done. They gathered up a planet and all its inhabitants, and uplifted them.”
A gritting sound followed, as his jaw worked his teeth together.
“Therein, you see, was justice served. In part. The natives could, theoretically, have been given reparations in the form of completely nullifying - as though having never happened - the preceding chain of events. Get set back to before any meddling minds started drawing Gegaunli’s attention. That might have happened, except that the necessary precautions hadn’t been observed. Those little missteps couldn’t be repaired. The next-best thing was for the perpetrators to make their misused victims part of their own elevated social clique; that, they did. But - and here’s the sticking point - although they implied their guilt and contrition by way of making that effort to remedy their victims’ misfortune, nowhere did those fateful foreigners explicitly admit to their folly being the sole root of the fiasco.”
A tiny ringing silence suffused Ktsn’s home for a short while.
“I’m sure I don’t have to clarify which of these players represents you - the creatures we call karkshes - and which represents us.”
Eihks showed his teeth.
Thumb went sideways on his forehead.
“I’m so very sorry.”
Then there was the snap of silence fermenting into something greater and more rancid.
“You - your people are guilty of creating in us a social caste of victims. You gave us a certain amount of assistance without asking or demanding anything in return. Why did you not simply abandon us to our fate?”
Eihks skinned the air with his fingernails.
“We are many things,” he replied. “Among them is not ‘a collection of truly amoral creatures with a vendetta against all thinking feeling entities unfortunate enough to not be one of us.’ We couldn’t adhere to that mentality, even if it weren’t totally abhorrent and detrimental on a level of personal integrity. The concept of ‘do unto others as unto yourself’ is one with very wide traction, across a wide span of cultures. When you become outed as a creature which doesn’t comply with the principle of reciprocation, then you become known as the sort of tolerable evil that must be jettisoned at the earliest opportunity. ‘Making an effort to better the world’ is a flavor of social survival imperative.”
Most of the lower half of his face was covered by a mask, formed with cupped fingers and palm.
“But that’s it, as far as you’re concerned. No need to admit to actual blood guilt. I assure you, within a handful of years, there won’t be a single person whose accusations that we were guilty of mismanagement and legalistic appeasement won’t be met with the argument that ‘Rhaagm was just doing the right and charitable thing!’”
A sudden change in timbre and skittering exaggerated gestures with the non-face-holding hand managed to convey something approaching disgust. Ktsn wasn’t sure if that was a vestigial sense left over from the rest of her Thomas-imbued grasp of human traits and quirks, or that was something she’d come to understand over the duration of her so-far brief acquaintance with Eihks Richard.
She steeled herself, and tried to reorient. A mental flip over, highlegs and fastlegs repeatedly exchanged in rapid succession, put her in a clean state of mind.
How did she feel?
Numb. That part was going to be around for a long while. She was less confused than she might’ve expected. She was also, oddly enough, vaguely happy at the civilized way the end of the world was progressing. Some of the non-confusion was probably directly resultant of her numbness. Other bits - actually, the majority - descended from how weirdly well her academic leanings prepared her to accept her current plight. These people from Rhaagm were being almost baldly forthright, she noted - with just one glaring absence, if Eihks was accurate. The problem was now learning which components of these aliens’ introductory moves were false and which were genuine.
What did she want?
Truth, for one. Or, rather, the ability to identify which bits and pieces of the big stage put together in front of her were legitimate. She’d ideally like to go back to the way things had been that particular morning, but that was far more of an impossible dream than her confrontation with… a Being of Old? She wanted people to listen when she asked for reasonable favors, especially when she was willing to exchange for other reasonable favors. In short, she wanted respect and all the things that came with it. She’d even put up with Rlgts hounding her for the rest of her days, if she could reliably expect a better resolution to the recent complications.
That brought up a related question. What degree of objectivity of perspective did she actually possess in her current mindset? Surely she, a ‘karkshesh,’ wasn’t being given much beyond what knowledge was necessary for appearances. She certainly didn’t fully trust the human sitting against her house’s dry floor, but his forthrightness led her to believe he was circumstantially reliable. Whatever that dream had done, or been, it inclined her to give him some benefit of the doubt. She wasn’t hardly ready to just sign herself away to his whims yet, though.
Just like that, it hit her; of COURSE she should be pressing for more data right now. Who cared if it was false? That alone would tell her something… in time, at least.
“So, now what happens?” she asked the human.
As he looked up into her own stare, Eihks made a small snort.
“In what sense?” he responded. “Are you asking what will have to be done to get an actual apology from those…”
He broke off and growled something half under his breath. Momentarily he rediverted his full attention to the farmer.
“I assure you that won’t be happening unless there’s very specific pressure applied from outside. Maybe from some lesser players in the government, but not those ultimately responsible. You and your people won’t be able to put that pressure in the right places, even if you knew exactly what needed doing. Any efforts in that direction would just get a general response that you poor distressed foreigners are poor and distressed and out of your element. This needs to come from…”
He stopped again. Muscles up beside his eyes strained.
“Look. All I can say is thus: you are going to have to let others stand up on your behalf for this farce. Not because you’re weak of will, or you aren’t worthy people. You don’t know how things work just ye-”
He stopped a third time, but in this instance it was to whirl around, shifting into a crouch, looking through the wall in the direction of her berry garden. Before she actually asked him what he was doing, she paused, listened, heard. A little breathy sound came in through the cracks and seams of her dwelling, indicating a close and unwelcome visitor. Very close, as a matter of fact.
That snuffling in the near distance could indicate one of several things. All of them happened to be gpsl-nuson-related.
“I assume you don’t want a… gpsl nuson, I think you call them… knocking around your yard, do you?”
The tall human was brought to a height where Ktsn could easily see his whole form without angling her skull at all. He held out one hand to the side, and she saw his head jerking occasionally, as though he was watching the intruder on her property with great care.
“I do not!” she said, whispering with vigor. “This is not good! I do not have what I would need to-”
Eihks interrupted her, speaking very quickly, and with an inordinate amount of the sounds coming from that neck box of his.
“Is it a problem if the creature dies?” he asked. “It’s pretty close, so this will get violent I’m sure, but I don’t know quite as much about them as I’d like to safely remove it without being needlessly cruel.”
She gaped at him.
“No, but… do you know what you are doing?” she pressed, as he began slinking for the door at speed.
Just before exiting, he looked over one shoulder. The distance his neck needed to turn in order to peer at her gave it an unnatural, crawling-creepy feeling.
“I’ve dealt with wildlife before.”
Then he pushed out into her yard, and the sound of a gpsl nuson protesting a contender in its territory filtered into her home.
Ktsn cursed everything she knew or thought or suspected might have to do with the way her day was collapsing, and followed at a short distance.
In retrospect not too many heartbeats later, she thought the confrontation lasted all of four or five breaths. In that moment of seeing the gangly spoke-riddled form rushing around her yard, though, time stopped. The bull was at least two body-lengths from end to end, and counting the forward-pointed sets of horns probably two and a half. It had gone through her land like a small half-thinking storm, and was now menacing the little plots at the far end of her house. How she hadn’t heard it before was a mystery, but it was a mystery that mattered relatively little. She’d gone rushing across the countryside, and almost certainly had attracted unwanted attention from her solicitor in the process. The rest was just cause-and-effect.
As it pawed through the dirt and clods trying to find something else good to eat, she saw how far up the beast’s horns the staining went, and realized that this creature was both very old and very good at digging up food. Those horns probably had done a great deal of disemboweling in their time as well. It had already destroyed most of her berry bushes, torn through her tubers, and gotten a start on marking up her better-quality orchard quadrant. She didn’t often harbor hate for animals - they were dumb creatures with little or less concept of “consequences” - but seeing the way her efforts at cultivation had been desecrated, she felt mad enough to start backing into the house once more, and perhaps pace a new rut into her floor.
Her soul cried out the instant that she saw what it was doing, and noticed the demolished bits of jars where it had unmade her experimental setup with appalling thoroughness.
To one side of the lanky form, another lanky form closed in with great speed. The way Eihks was sprinting made her wince inside, every step looking like it would put him over on his face. No wobbling newborn’s pace, this; it was actually on par with a swift trot on one’s fastlegs.
The gpsl nuson must have heard his fast-moving feet, because it gave a short bugle, then reared up and fell onto its opposite legs (highlegs, she thought) with its leading eye already trained on the man. The bull’s thin mouth showed both sets of teeth as it hissed, making very short twitches in the human’s direction.
The human in question took a running leap that by rights no two-legged creature should have been able to achieve. He collided with the growling form in a way that nearly left one ivory spear gaily protruding from his flank. The terrified creature started trying to flail and rip him apart as he pulled himself closer, right up until he came within reaching distance of its slender head, and touched it.
Then, it died.
One instant the thing was thrashing about with its large rhombus feet stamping the ground, the next it fell completely still and collapsed. There was no sound from it, no final expulsion of breath. It just stopped being alive and its flesh started being meat.
Ktsn watched, silent and unmoving, as the human made a little snorting noise and stepped back from his work.
Ktsn looked between the man who was going to his flat feet, and the detritus of her life as a farmer.
“Sorry about the mess,” began Eihks with that wretched tooth-baring happiness, looking around at her.
“What…”
Eihks cut off as he followed her gaze toward the upturned patches. He looked back at her, and knew. Not how bad it was, she felt sure, but some inkling.
“Ah. Here, let me…”
He stepped away, grabbing hold of the bull’s thickest horns, and made as though to start dragging the body off to the side.
“Where do you want this?” he asked. Then, when she didn’t respond, he let go and clambered closer. No closer than a body-length, though.
“What can I do?” he probed, soft like unstretched gauze.
“Nothing.”
The memory of a gaping hole where glass had sat, the thought that in the twinkling of an eye… she lay on the ground, legs splayed, eyes closed so hard they were almost gummed shut.
“I suppose that most of my life has been rendered moribund at a stroke,” she added, knowing that she was pathetic and feeling all the more powerless for it.
“Oh?” asked Eihks.
Something in his voice, and the fact that she heard him standing, made her open her eyes. He bent at the waist, leaning over her prone form, and his hands were clenched together into one ten-finger fist.
“If you think that, you’re very sadly mistaken.”
He pointed, and as she followed his outstretched digit, he started walking in the indicated direction.
“I’ll tell you what,” he said over one shoulder, “if that’s what you honestly think, then let’s put your leisure to good use. No, don’t bother refusing; I INSIST. I will show you… a wonder. If you’re still certain that things are just as bleak later, we can get into constructive discourse then. And when you’re feeling better, of course.”
The voice rose a bit.
“We can be back before the sun’s down, if that’s what you feel like doing. Maaaaybe a short time after, but not by much.”
Ten body-lengths away, he rotated. The clad shapes of his feet had disappeared into the churned soil, and it made her wince inside.
“Unless you have some obligation you need to take care of before leaving, of course,” he added, arms out in a cross. His head canted to the side, before he asked, “Well… are you coming?”
Ktsn thought of her family, and Cursog. She counted the countless faces spanning the sky of her now-alien home. She grew hot at the thought of her aborted treatise, and then cold as she saw the human’s twirling fingers gesturing outward. She grew numb considering the improbable tale that he’d recounted for her benefit.
Without even dwelling on why she did it, she thrust herself to her feet.
Not a word was spoken between her and her strange companion-keeper for quite some time, but then they arrived at the wonder of which he spoke.
“I do not know… it is… how can…”
“Yeah,” said Eihks. The suddenly-appearing halfway transparent world stretched out before them both, and that was all he needed to say.
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2020.10.21 23:12 tjaylea Hotel Inertia Part 4: The Radio Transmission

“I remember when the door closed, the music sounds filling the air and making me nauseous, but nothing more so than the sickening crunch when that block was brought down on her head…” Robin shuddered in their corner, hands gripping forearms and rubbing them in a self-soothing fashion.
“It’s one of many times we’ve seen what this fucking Hotel can do.” Wendy scoffed, rotating her shoulder as the whirring of the elevator signalled a pick up in speed as it headed towards its next destination. “One more stop on the memory tour before we reach floor 13, right Ros?”
I nodded, my neck still aching as I tried my best to tune out the pain and focus on the conversation, something I’m sure we were all eager to do. But what the fuck do I know? I’m not a doctor, I’m barely a repairman.
“Ros, what happened next? Did you find something special along the way? A room full of cheezits, a white room that over explains the journey you’re all on to a boring point? OH! Did you meet GOD?!” Soma shouted through the phone, practically distorting the speaker with her enthusiasm.
“Not exactly, but we found the next best thing; a guy who says he MET god… among other things.” I replied, raising an eyebrow at the guy huddled in the corner opposite, nursing a broken nose and cleaning his thick spectacles, hood pulled up around his ears.
Beirne Stevens, though I’m sure that was a pseudonym. Guy didn’t trust us as far as he could throw us (and given his gangly state, not far at all), but it was HOW we found him on the 5th floor that was more interesting than the man itself.
Because we didn’t find him.
He found us.
-
The sound of a brick smashing against skull was thankfully spared as the doors slammed shut and the engine whirred to life as the elevator somehow, inexplicably, began rising again. Baring in mind we’d manifested into the top end of a fucking pillar on top of a concrete roof that extended outward into a sprawling tent city. Though, by this point, I was less inclined to question the reality around me and simply accept it for what it is.
That didn’t stop Robin having a minor panic attack as their mind ran through the most logical scenario imaginable, their body sinking against the far wall in distress as visages of violence filled their mind;
Their elder, the person they looked to as a mentor and leader, had just met a gruesome end because WE had let loose the music and the beast within the structure.
As they began whimpering, Wendy put a comforting arm around them and looked to me for next steps.
“What else is there to do but go up?” I asked, shrugging my shoulders and trying to steel my resolve and look ahead to the next nightmare in this never-ending torrent of horrors.
“You could always give up, you know. Simply lay down your arms, go back to your floors and agree that you are not worthy of continuing through my hotel.”
Turning on my heel, The Concierge beamed back at me, twirling that golden rod in her hands as she spoke. I’d have gone as far as saying she was giddy if she had the emotional range for such a thing. But no, she was stoic as always, even if her facial expressions betrayed that in an “uncanny valley” type of way.
“What makes you say we’re not worthy?” I spat, offended by her sudden change in tone and heart. She grinned and gestured to something shrouded in darkness, the face barely registering but the form undeniably what we’d encountered in the last floor.
The thing we set free.
“You allowed a wonderful member of The Order of The 13th Floor to go free and do its business across my Hotel. In doing so, you turned off pacification music and let a town once ruled by violence walk willingly into his loving embrace!” She leaned in closer, eyes awash with malice. “Blood was shed because of your actions. It will be shed again if you proceed further.”
I began to speak, trying to one-up her in a battle of wits, but Wendy put an arm out and walked forward, into direct view of the security camera.
“You want me to go back to a place where I was nothing but food and fodder for their amusement? A place YOU put me when I first woke up here? Oh no, I don’t think so… I will be ripped into shreds of cells and sinew before I give up my desire to escape this fucking hellhole. But I’ll add one other goal to that list, we can call it a sidequest…”
Mirroring The Concierge, she leaned in close, eyes wide and a manic smile plastered over her face.
“Tearing you limb from limb and casting your corpse off the roof of the Hotel. That’s not a prediction… it’s a fucking spoiler.”
With that, she punched the screen and smashed it into pieces, sending sparks and glass across the floor as she panted heavily.
“Remind me never to piss you off, Wendy…” I muttered, checking on a still shaken Robin before looking to what floor the elevator was taking us to. Wendy scooped up the pieces on the floor and placed them into a corner, walking past me to sit with Robin again as we waited out the journey.
“You won’t need reminding if it happens, Ros.”
-
After what felt like hours, the elevator opened and we readied ourselves for what lay beyond; a darkened hallway? An unforgiving tundra?
No, a large open field in the dead of summer. A lone radio station sat in the distance.
We stepped out and looked behind where the elevator had formed out of; a wind farm. One of many working in tandem to provide energy to the area. Marking it with an X, we ventured through the large fields and tried to keep close.
It took us a solid 2-3 minutes to realise what was wrong.
Wendy noticed it first, walking ahead of us all and holding up a hand while she scanned ahead before turning her head back slowly, placing a finger on her lips and shaking her head firmly.
We pushed on, keeping our pace with hers until she turned back once more, eyes widening and breaking into a run. We followed suit, and it was only when looking back I realised what was wrong.
There were no sounds coming from the field. Not the wind farm, no insects, no rustling of the trees. No soft breeze running through the field.
When I looked back, I saw elongated creatures running on all fours towards us, teeth bared and black eyes fixated on our feet.
At first, I thought they were hairy people, perhaps even primates.
But as my eyes took in the muscular legs that jutted out from their sides, arms that ended in hooked claws instead of fingers and undulating pedipalps where mouths should be, it became apparent very quickly that if we so much as slowed for a second; we were dead.
Breaking through the last of the cornfield, we reached the outside of the imposing radio tower, each of us trying in vain to look for an entrance or a ladder to climb, not daring to stop running.
Wendy turned to the right and began circling the building until we heard a mechanical door screech open that broke the malaise of running and heavy breathing, like a cannon firing in the dead of night.
We stopped. They stopped. Everything froze.
Then, in the distance, something called back.
The smaller creatures scarpered off for the safety of the fields. Something in the far reaches of the forest that this tower was situated in front of had woken up and it was pissed.
Wendy screamed to us to get inside and we didn’t protest. One by one we filed into the building as horrifying screeches and the pounding of large footsteps grew closer until Wendy slammed the door behind her and darkness enveloped us.
“Chalk this one up for creepiest fucking start to a floor!” Robin croaked, fumbling around and nearly tripping over something on the floor.
“The creepiest start to a floor so FAR!” Soma quipped from the phone. “Any idea if there’s power where y’all are?”
“We’re working on that one, Soma. We’re not content to just sit in the dark all day long and figure out the way blindly!” I cursed, but she was asking the right questions. Sure enough, Wendy found her way to a switch, and the building whirred to life.
Sterile white and grey filled our eyes as we stood in the middle of a reception room where backup equipment was kept. You’d expect a radio tower to have *some* personality to it; maybe a funny poster or a bit of memorabilia… but no, this was all there was to it.
That, and the body Robin had just moments ago bumped into. When realising, they yelped and dashed to the other side of the room, shouting “gross” over and over.
Given the state of the body, I don’t blame her.
The face was contorted into a pained grimace that threatened to dislocate the jaw entirely. From the ears, nose and eyes was a pink and red liquid that caked each orifice. Lastly, the skull had been caved in and simply looked like an elongated flap of extra skin.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say his noggin had been drained. That, or someone managed to make the poor fucker’s brain leak out of him… but how?”
“Maybe he saw Ringu?” Soma asked before following up with “Put the camera on, lemme get a good look at it!”
Obliging, I turned my phone around for her to get a good look. She paused to type something into google before coming back to us.
“Not good. I’m not entirely sure what it is, but I’ve got some suspicions. In the meantime, find anyone who may still be here… IF they’re still intact and get the hell outta there as soon as you can. Maybe find something useful along the way.”
Her serious tone set me on edge more than anything else.
“I’ll find some cotton swabs and nose plugs as soon as I can, chief.” I quipped, a reassuring smile on my nerve wracked face as Wendy and Robin made a beeline for the door connecting the reception area to the main hallway.
“Be careful, smartass. No music either, loud noises are NOT your friend on this floor. Understand?”
I saluted her before turning off the call and following the gang deeper into the bowels of the building.
-
The further we traversed into the building, the more unsettling things became. The absolute absence of sound was easily the most jarring aspect of our trip. Every footstep was so potent, that I was able to hear rubber stretching, socks chafing, and even the muscles contracting as each person moved.
It was an unnatural level of silence that heightened ears to a point of unlistenable noises.
I’d heard tales of an “organ room” that existed in Belgium. A place where the sound proofing was so absolute and the quality of sound so preserved that should a person sit in there, they’d hear their own organs settling in their body.
It’s enough to make a person go mad.
Yet, my brain ran to the next logical question;
Why the fuck would you make it if not a torture device for people who hurt kids and animals? Why make it as something purely recreational?
The same feeling of unease it gave me, that sort of empathic shock you feel when hearing a gruesome death, was now emulated as we reached the control room of this building. The creeping sounds of our own bodies beginning to fill us all with extreme unease.
As we passed a recording room, our reflections were illuminated by the phosphorescent lighting of the studio. It was the first time in a while we’d seen ourselves, and it gave all of us pause to stop and stare.
We looked exhausted. Haggard. Beaten down. Patches of skin were scratched, burnt, seared and scarred over. We were dirty and looked as if we hadn’t slept in ages.
But, we were together, and that was enough.
I turned to smile at the two of them, but they didn’t smile back. Robin opened their mouth to yell, but Wendy quickly placed a hand over her face.
Looking back, our reflections were all, in unison, screaming silently. Eyes, ears and noses filled with that same substance we’d seen on the corpse before. Each one pointed at us.
With that, we bolted for the room, no longer concerned with the echoing of the steps we were making as we barreled inside and locked it behind us.
Standing against the door and breathing heavily, we looked around at the sea of complex equipment, dials and audio set-ups before our eyes fell upon a terrified man sat at the far end, microphone in front of him and a headset around his ears.
He stood up slowly, eyes darting to each one of us.
“Y’all are real?” He said, we put a hand to our lips, but he waved it off.
“They can’t hear us in here, you’re fine. But I guess that answers my question… what are y’all doing here?” He asked, shoulders resting and heading over to a small fridge on the other side of the building.
“We uhh.. Came here in an elevator. But that’s not even breaking the top 10 of “shit we need to discuss”, we have the lack of sound all over, spiders so big and hungry that it’d make Steve Irwin think twice about handling, a big ol’ fucking NOPE in the woods and something resembling ringu not only in the reception area where a dudes body lays, but our own fucking reflections. So uhh… how about all that first, chief?”
I was shaking as I finished, leaning back against the door as the man furrowed his brow and threw me something from the fridge. An ice cold bottle of coke.
“Might be the edge of the world, but we still get good refreshments!” He beamed, making me let out a chuckle and lower my guard before he continued. “Names Beirne, this here’s my research outpost. Not a fuckin’ clue how I got here, part of the NDA I ‘spose. We’re investigating why this particular zone has a total lack of sound, how it affects biodiversity and what happens when we introduce sound… gradually.” He gestures to the building. “That’s what this baby is for, both recording and distributing sound.”
The safety that this room provided was slowly ebbing away the more he spoke.
“So you’re both exploring the issue and making it worse? Doesn’t that… terrify you?” Wendy asked, inspecting the equipment while looking out the window.
Beirne paused and took a swig of his drink from a silver flask before wiping his ginger beard and giving her the most forced smile I have ever seen on a man.
“Not as much as what happens if I stop.”
We watched him walk over to the main monitor that until this point had been switched off. When he flicked it on, the recording booths flashed to life and we could see what was lurking in each one.
Four booths. Four people. All reacting to the sounds pumped through speakers into their air-tight chambers.
One was chewing off their right arm, another smashing their head against the wall and the third simply standing in front of the camera and staring without blinking. Motionless, as if the video was paused.
The fourth was self soothing in a corner, rocking back and forth as they softly whimpered. Steadily peeling off their skin from the tips of their fingers, several of the digits now nothing more than pulpy masses with bones sticking out.
Maybe they sensed us watching or heard a commotion, but they tilted their head up from the fetal position to stare at us and I damn near lost my lunch.
A flap of skin hung from the bottom of their skin, the final remnants of what used to be their face. In their teeth were fragments, chewed away mechanically as bulbous eyes fixated on the camera lens, the mouth never ceasing its chewing.
I took a step back and tripped over the console behind me, pushing a button that allowed the speakers to turn into a two-way system for a few moments, giving us a window into the world these poor people were inhabiting.
A torrent of ungodly sounds filled my ears and brought us collectively to our knees. Screaming cicadas, children crying, the beat of heavy drums and a cacophony of violent sounds threatened to crack my teeth from the force of the grit, my muscles tensing and begging for release. Looking over to Robin and Wendy, neither one was even cognisant; both simply stared ahead, vacant and writhing.
As Beirne slammed his fist down on the console to shut the sounds once more, I heard a distinct cry bleed through the speakers. Just for the briefest of moments. A cry that shook me to my core and had me rushing back out to the window.
“Siggurd. Help. Hurts.”
Nobody called me by my full name. Not anymore.
The group called after me, advising of the dangers, but I ignored them.
Instead, I simply saw the visage of the person I knew was calling my name. The only person calling my name.
Flowing black hair, a curious look in her eye, and a smile that could’ve lit up Sturgeon’s boardwalk on its own.
My baby sister.
Dahlia.
How long had it been since the consumption took you? How much had you changed since the last time we met? Hell, how much had I changed?
I ran in a haze towards the booth I sensed her from. I don’t know HOW I knew, I just did.
Bashing on the windows, alerting everything around me and not giving a damn, I made the biggest mistake since I’d entered The Hotel.
I called out her name.
Those three sounds ripped through the silent radio station and within moments, something else called back. But I was beyond that.
The same beast that’d torn its way from the thick underbrush was now at the forefront of the building, ripping apart the reception area in an effort to reach the source and tear it limb from limb.
Still, I was beyond that.
I simply looked forward with my hand on the glass and called her name again, begging for something to reach out and confirm my grief-addled bias that she was somehow here, in the hotel. After everything else we’d seen, surely the dead could find their way here too?
Something did put its hand on the glass, delicate hands matching mine and seemingly looking to reach out.
But as soon as I breathed that sigh of relief, the face smashed into the glass and brought with it the bitter reality of the last floor.
It was something wearing Dahlias skin. The same hollowed out complexion that plagued Baron Leavy. Eyes missing, nose gone and skin sallow to the point of such gaunt-ness that the skin was nothing more than paper stretched over a skeleton.
“Help. Siggurd. Hurt.” It croaked, no mouth moving and no change of expression, but it croaked nonetheless. As I backed away, Wendy grabbed me by my collar and wrenched me back into the room, slamming the door shut behind me and raising her fist to admonish me.
I guess when she saw the tears; she thought better of it. She lowered her hand and sighed;
“The fuck do we do now? How do we get out?”
Beirne wrung his hands nervously, scanning his work desk for some kind of tool that he could utilise. It took him a few seconds, but he managed it and got his hands on a small key, grinning as he ran over to a locker and pulled it open.
It was full of headphones. The kind you’d see on a busy construction site. He tossed us each a pair and began drawing up a plan.
When he ran us through it, we took our places behind him with hands on each other’s shoulders like a conga line of trust. Eyes fixed on the route ahead and nothing to our sides or behind us. Beirne was clear on that.
“Remember; you will hear nothing and practically SEE nothing when we start. Follow my lead and don’t stop running once we get clear. Understand?”
We nodded, placing the headphones over our ears and prepping for the inevitable hellscape.
“Man, all the work I did here and I can only take so much… I hope they’ll understand.” He mused, pushing the button and running to the front as the door unlocked alongside every single booth.
Without a word, we pressed forward, myself in the middle between Wendy & Robin, desperate not to lose my cool or break formation.
As we went through the hall, I could feel the vibrations of some familiar song or sound filling my ears, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Only that it felt… homely. Like a sound that was made just for me. Every part of me was being urged to take off the headphones and listen clearly, almost frustrating me when I found myself unable to properly do so. But, resolve won out, and I simply pushed on, knowing everyone else was feeling the same thing.
Beirne held up a shaking hand at the juncture between the main hall and the reception and did not move. Mirroring Wendy in the fields.
We stood there for a solid 5 minutes before I felt something begin to grab at my leg with long, spindly fingers. It crawled its way up my body before a wet tongue dragged its way along the nape of my neck and around to the back of my skull. I felt sick, but the fear was manageable.
Until I felt the hands reach for the headphones.
Without thinking, I leaned my head back and smashed it hard against whatever was there, pushing my left earphone askew for the briefest of moments before I snapped it back.
But one moment was all it took, and Beirne didn’t want to chance what would happen. He signalled for us to run and we did.
As our footsteps pounded the marble floor, I felt the rumbling beneath our feet of something gargantuan in our stead, the faint screeching of many smaller creatures, hungry and looking for a meal. The soft gurgling utterances of something wearing Dahlia’s skin urging me to listen.
And all the while, a familiar song humming underneath that never stopped until those doors closed and we were running breakneck to the elevator doors once more.
-
Once we were safely inside and the elevator was again running, we caught our breath and discussed our experiences, each of us talking about the sounds across two floors and how they were connected.
But when I began to discuss my experiences, what I saw and heard on that conga, the conversation fell flat and became subdued.
“Ros, you know you hit ME in the nose, right?” Robin replied, showing me their huge bruise that until now, I’d barely noticed. “You just… randomly tried to pull off your headphones and then reared back like a goddamn turkey to peck me. Shit still hurts…”
“Wait, so you guys didn’t see anything in the window? What about the song in the background?”
They looked at me, Beirne’s eyes were glowing, but his face was grimaced.
“The only thing I heard in there were screams, lad.” He replied. “No songs or voices. Just screams.”
Wendy nodded and tended to Robin, leaving me looking at the window of the elevator as it passed through random fields and structures. Now equipped with the knowledge that we let loose something that’s tracking us… me specifically.
But also that it’ll keep wearing Dahlia’s skin until I rip it from its corpse.
submitted by tjaylea to tjaylea [link] [comments]


2020.10.21 22:39 Lesbian_communist REPUBLICAN DAD VOTES BLUE!!!!!!

My father is a registered Republican who accepts me, I love him tons and he means the world to me but he told me many times he was voting for trump. Today I broke down into tears, bawling, in front of him over the current anti LGBTQ+ propositions trump may put into action by just being president. He looked at me and said "baby, I dont want you to be scared like that, I'll vote for Joe Biden and I'll make sure your mom does too" I'm so relieved.
submitted by Lesbian_communist to lgbt [link] [comments]


2020.10.21 21:25 AdFluffy2328 Baby Registry questions

Where did you register and what were the pros and cons of using that site? I’ve been researching but still don’t know which rout to go. I’d love the option to register for items from different websites. Is there a site that lets you register for mainstream things like the Uppababy stroller, but also smaller boutique items? Is it tacky or more difficult to register On two sites, like Buybuy Baby and also a site that would let me register from various boutique style websites? Overall I don’t plan to register for tons of stuff. I don’t think babies actually need all that much and would rather ask for higher quality items over quantity. I also want to be able to have multiple people chip in for one item. Any advise would be awesome!
submitted by AdFluffy2328 to pregnant [link] [comments]


2020.10.21 20:47 throwaway9476258 People are so quick to invalidate others based on "Science"

Science is a fickle thing. It's gotten better over time but the information and and answers we get from it go through tons of changes - it doesn't make science wrong, but it shows that there's a lot we don't know and then we update it.
There are also things science wasn't able to explain or it said was impossible which it was later able prove, whether that's due to better technology or testing or even just asking the right question/looking at the right variables.
I am tired of people constantly at the ready to 'disprove' someone based off of science they know. It's as if they won't believe anything unless their "science god" tells them it's true.
If someone says "I'm experiencing "x" and this is not normal for me", someone will hop right along with a science article or study to say "but based on this study of other people, it is"... but that's not a study of that person's body and many people have different experiences. If someone says "this is not normal for ME", people should step off their pedestal and just listen.
And why are humans so ready to believe that the body doesn't know what's going on with itself? The brain (who we are) is constantly trying to make sense of things. Our body knows when a virus has entered before our minds are aware of what's going on. Our body manages hormonal cycles and creates shit for making babies -- on a super complicated microscopic level -- and we only recently seem to understand what's going on. Unless something in our system doesn't register a threat properly (or creates the threat itself), it knows a lot more about what's going on, far sooner than our minds are aware.
Someone, a mod, on a particular thread had the nerve to tell me "reddit is a place of science with evidence to fact check"... LOL. REALLY? Reddit is a place of "SCIENCE"? Have they literally not been to 99% of reddit?
And when tf did that person become "all knowing" that they can just bounce in on a conversation and tell you what's going on with your body? Mods really get a fuckin ego trip from this stuff. JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE A MOD WITH "SCIENCE" IT DOESN'T MAKE YOU RIGHT.
I would really appreciate if people could just humble themselves and try listening before throwing their limited-knowledge science book at someone. What is normal for someone else is not normal for me. If you can't answer a question I posed, don't respond, it's that easy.
submitted by throwaway9476258 to venting [link] [comments]


2020.10.21 20:22 reddiketts I am 31 years old make $135k live in Northern Virginia and work as a Management Consultant

Section One: Assets and Debt
Retirement Balance
· $122,600 split between 401k and Roth 401k. In college my first employer offered a 401k match up to 3%. While I had student loans I believe I only contributed 5%. After transitioning to a new company with a new match (25% of the first 6%) increased my 401k contribution to 7%. The firm then brought on a Roth 401k plan about 2 years after I started working there, so then I started investing an additional 8% in the Roth 401k.
· $22,350 in a firm sponsored pension plan. I don’t know much about this plan as it is managed completely by the firm. I became fully vested after 3 years.
Equity
· This is probably the most interesting thing about my money diary, but also may be the most difficult for me to explain. I currently co-own one property with my fiancé (FH) that we own outright. Although we own the property outright in a legal sense, we paid for it using a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), leveraging FH’s parents existing home assets to secure a loan, that was treated as cash during the home buying process. Benefits of leveraging the HELOC were that we could receive a loan with a lower interest rate than a mortgage, that we will also leverage the same loan in future planned construction for the home, and that we were able to close in 15 days which benefited us during the offer process as there was a competing offer. If we had a standard mortgage loan, our home equity would be roughly $229k, with $200k paid initially into the HELOC or what I would consider to be the down payment ($100k from each of us). Once home construction is complete, we will convert the HELOC into a 30 year mortgage loan. That will likely not occur until 2022.
· FH also co-owns another home with his brother that is currently a rental property. I have no legal ties to the property at this time and only have a general idea about the current equity and debt.
Savings account balance
· $33k – this money is a combination of money reserved for existing wedding contracts, safety net, and the payment for our architect, engineering, and site plans for future construction on the home discussed above
Checking account balance
· $14k – At the beginning of the pandemic, I was hoarding cash out of fear. Now I am trying to move most of these funds to the HELOC
Credit card debt
· The average balance of my credit card seems to hover around $2000, however I pay my credit card in full every month so I do not pay interest on my debt
Student loan debt
· None – My parents paid for my first 3 years of college (BS Economics) , and I paid for my last year using student loans (~10k) and paid the loan off in my first two years of my working career. At the time I was living with my aunt and uncle and directed a majority of my income to paying off the loan as quickly as possible.
OTHER
· HSA - $4k – I come from a military family, who’s healthcare was 100% funded by the government. I have been in good health for most of my adult life and did not understand the benefits of HSA contributions until one of my friends, a former healthcare consultant, explained why I needed to be contributing the max contribution every year. I regret not investing in my HSA sooner, especially now that I have a baby on the way.
· Stock - $3k – I invested $3k into robin hood stocks, some are doing great, some are doing terrible, so I am pretty much at break even.
Section Two: Income
I am in this odd middle space where I do not have combined finances with FH but we treat our money as shared. We divide certain expenses between us a bit arbitrarily, and do not monitor each other’s daily spending, but do discuss major purchases. Combined HHI is $235k.
Income Progression:
· My first career after college was a business analyst on a helpdesk for a tech product. My salary was $45k. I stayed there for roughly 2 years and was promoted with a role change after 1 year to $60k. At the time $45k was probably under market rate for the area, so the jump to $60k felt like a huge increase.
· That company ended up in some legal troubles so I quickly sought out a lateral job change, and did not focus on trying to gain a promotion or salary increase. I still work at the same professional services firm that I jumped to, starting at $65k. I have been with them for over 6 years at this point, through 2 title changes, 2 relocations, and 2 org changes, now making $135k.
Main Job Monthly Take Home:
· $6k/month ($3k paid out on the 15th and the end of month) after taxes, HSA, healthcare (medical, dental, vision), and retirement.
Section Three: Expenses
Rent
· $0 - We currently live with FH parents to save money for future construction. We moved in with them in August. Everything we save in rent and other independent living expenses goes towards our HELOC. Previous rent was $1900 in a HCOL city.
Mortgage
· A follow on to the HELOC discussed in the equity section. We are only required to pay the monthly interest payment on the HELOC, which is roughly $900, however we deposit roughly $7k/mo ($3500/mo each from me and FH) into the HELOC, between rent from current tenants, and the categories noted above in the rent section.
Home owners insurance
· FH pays for home owners insurance
Savings contribution
· $0 - Since we already have quite a bit of money set aside for emergency, wedding, and architecture plans, and have no vacations planned for the foreseeable future, I will not allocate any more funds to savings, and direct and additional money towards the HELOC.
Investment contribution
· $1600/mo for the retirement accounts discussed in assets. No others at this time. In May, I had about $100k in mutual funds, and then pulled all that money to be used as an initial payment to the HELOC. Once we convert our HELOC to a home mortgage, I will start investing in mutual funds again. I will need to pay taxes on gains this year, which I have not yet estimated, and am now cringing on the inside for.
Debt payments
· I pay my credit card in full every month
Donations
· After being hooked on moneydiariesACTIVE for the past month, I am embarrassed to say that I do not donate regularly to a single organization, when I see everyone else being quite generous. It is on my to do list now to pick a charitable organization and start donating regularly. As for my one off donations, this past month I donated $10 to Wikipedia, and $100 and 14 inches of my own hair to Wigs4Kids.
Cellphone
· $139 – I pay the cellphone bill for my mom, dad, and myself
Subscriptions
· I mooch off of FH’s amazon and Netflix subscriptions, and from his parents HBO MAX, apple TV+ and, a relatives HULU. I just recently cancelled my free year of the Disney+ subscription through Verizon.
Car payment / insurance
· $67 – FH and I share his car (already paid off), and I pay insurance for both of us since I get the best rate through USAA, a benefit of being a former military dependent
Section four: Other things:
Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?:
· Yes, there was an expectation for me to attend higher education. My parents received their bachelor’s degrees in night school through the GI bill, and always talked about their life plans for us to attend traditional universities, and that they had money set aside for us to attend. I never saw an alternative path for myself, although my sibling decided not to attend university. ·
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?:
· Growing up I was under the assumption that we were poor, mainly because my mom would outright claim we were poor and weren’t able to afford things. Now that I am an adult, I realize that my mom and dad were huge savers and were only willing to spend money on the important things, such as their home, our education, and one vacation a year, keeping their budget really tight for everything else. My dad has been retired from the military for some time now, and all the saving that my parents did (+my dad’s military pension) has allowed my mom to retire early as well. I would call them good financial role models to look up to, but claiming we were poor growing up was a bit extreme, untrue, and probably unnecessary. As far as direct conversations about money, debt, and credit, my mom said to always save as much money as you can, reduce recurring expenses as much as possible, reconcile your credit card statements, pay off your credit card bill in full every month, and homes and mutual funds are the only good investments.
What was your first job and why did you get it?:
· I worked part time at a clothing store folding clothes for 1 month before being let go because I was too young?? Apparently, the age cutoff was 17 but I was 16 at the time, not sure how they missed that on my application. I spent that money on a jr prom dress and prom ticket, because I figured my parents wouldn’t buy me one.
Did you worry about money growing up?:
· Superficially, yes. I knew there would always be dinner on the table, but if I wanted to do anything fun, I would typically pay for it myself. I didn’t save any of my money high school because I paid for all of my extracurriculars. I also got into a car accident in high school and paid my parents back for the repair.
Do you worry about money now?:
· I did not worry about money until we started this home construction process. I now worry that construction building materials are x3 the price they were before the pandemic and worry about what our monthly mortgage payment will be when we convert to a mortgage loan.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?:
· I was financially responsible for myself for 7 years. Starting at 23, when I moved out of my aunt and uncles house and got my own apartment and was responsible for all bills. As of May, I am no longer financially independent again, as we are leveraging FH’s parent’s assets for our HELOC.
· For a financial safety net, FH and I both have savings to leverage, as well as retirement accounts if we are very desperate. I do not consider my in-laws to be an additional financial safety net, because we are already leveraging their assets, and since my parents are already retired, they only have limited income every month.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?:
· Indirectly. My parents gave me $7k as a wedding gift, which came from my grandpa’s inheritance to my dad.
DIARY
Day 1
· 8am - first alarm goes off, and my phone has fallen in between the mattress and the wall. Luckily I can fish it out by pulling the cord back up, and go back to sleep. I rarely get good sleep anymore as being pregnant is generally uncomfortable, so I usually snooze no matter how early I go to bed. FH gets out of bed at 8:30 for tennis, and I lay in bed strolling IG and reddit until 9am. At this point I boot up my laptop, eat two bowls of honey bunches of oats, make a single cup of decaf coffee, and get to work. When i say get to work, surf the internet for an hour before I even think of being productive, I have a light load for work this week. Yesterday was my birthday so I reply to a few bday emails from our leadership team. My director probably let them know late last week that my birthday was coming up, she's extremely thoughtful and makes it important that her team is recognized for both personal and professional milestones and accomplishments.
· Noon - Place an order with Kate Quinn for baby clothes. I just discovered her last week through a reddit post on gender neutral baby outfits, and she’s having a price point sale so everything I purchase is 50% off. 2 footie pajamas, 2 panda pants, 2 kimono long sleeve onesies, 2 knee high socks, 2 bibs, 2 large bow headbands, and a bunny hat. I have been really good with baby purchases, getting a lot of items second hand, but I really wanted to splurge on some clothes since this is my first baby and she will be born in the middle of winter. I’m making a lot of excuses for myself to justify my guilt in spending so much money. $141I've also been sitting on a saks off 5th cart over the weekend. We just recently moved back to Northern Virginia and it’s a much colder winter than where we were living for the last 2 years, so I'm in the market for winter accessories. I have 3 cashmere beanie’s (2 for me, 1 for FH) and some leather gloves in my cart. Over the weekend, one of the hats goes out of stock, and the gloves are final sale, so I end up removing those as well since I have short fingers and don’t know if they are going to fit. I'm under $99 so I have to pay for shipping :( $85
· 1pm – FH’s parents are friends with a restaurant owner, and FH dad regularly works on his network and security setup for his restaurant, so he is always sent home with food. We eat that for lunch several days a week. FH’s birthday present for me comes in, a Shark handheld vacuum inspired by Mrs. Hinch, an IG home cleaning influencer from the UK who has a gorgeous home, dog, and kid. I set it up on its charger.
· 1:30pm - My first YesStyle order comes in. I go through cycles where I won’t spend money for a month, then I just go crazy with online orders. It’s comprised of Japanese skincare and random face and makeup gadgets. I give them a test run, and my face seems to be getting softer as the day goes on but I could also be imagining it.
· 6:50pm - Dinner time cooked by MIL. I cringe on the inside when MIL talks about feeding Baby G the current fish we are eating, which happens to have lots of bones in it. Baby G will be her first grandchild so I know she's excited, but I also am headstrong and want to do things at my own pace and through my own methods.
· 7pm - new mommies group call, I talk about how my butt is getting so huge that I’ve had to size up 2 sizes in underwear.
· 8pm – I go back up to finish dinner. MIL talks to me about using her IRA for to self direct her funds for investing in buying rental homes. This is all new to me, so I ask a lot of questions. Still a bit confused when she explains that she will convert IRA company ownership to Roth IRA, She will probably have to explain this to me again a second (third, fourth, fifth) time, before I can fully absorb
· 9pm - I stay up too late binging Emily in Paris while FH watches football
Day 1 Total: $226
Day 2
· 4am - I wake up to my in-law’s Little Dog barking at the outside critters trying to steal our pumpkins from the porch
· 5am – Little Dog is barking
· 6am – Little Dog is barking
· 8am - FH gets up to play tennis but it's raining so he comes back
· 9am - I roll out of bed, cereal, and get to work
· 10am - I register at the hospital I will deliver at and sign up for a delivery introduction session
· 10:30am - The director on the current project I support just greenlit my idea for an incoming presentation. I am happy.
· 11am - I end up laying down because my back hurts, and contemplate purchasing a standing desk, but decide against it because my feet hurt more than my back usually.
· 1pm – It’s dumpling day for lunch! FH’s mom makes homemade dumplings in mass quantities for days when she doesn’t have a lot of time to cook lunch. I think her dumplings are delightful. She mentions we are getting low so I volunteer to help fold the next time she makes them.
· 5:30pm - I buy two maternity coats off facebook marketplace. I know this seems strange compared to my cashmere hat purchase from yesterday, but I know I can get 5+ years out of the hats (my oldest cashmere sweater at this point is 12 years old), but will likely wear these jackets for 5 months max, + maybe another 5 months if I have a second baby in the winter as well. $10
· 6:30pm - I hinch (read: clean) around the basement for a little bit with the new Shark wandvac
· 9pm FH and I watch Home Before Dark on Apple TV+ and head to bed at 11pm
Day 2 Total: $10
Day 3
· 9am roll out of bed, cereal, work
· 930am I’ve gotten through all my emails so I take a mini break to put on some eyeshadow. I am not a daily makeup wearer but 2 months ago I subbed to panporn and am now obsessed with the idea of panning some of my eyeshadow palettes. I’m still in my pajamas however.
· 11:30am I was extremely unproductive yesterday, and today we have a check-in meeting this afternoon so I am now finally crushing my work. My biggest weakness is that I am a procrastinator, but when I am up to a deadline, I always seem to pull through with really good work products that everyone generally seems to be happy with. Breaking the procrastination cycle seems impossible.
· 3:30 I periodically search for a particular single to double convertible stroller through google and second hand sites, and discover that Dillards is selling the double stroller for $100 cheaper than its single seat counterpart. I think the pricing is a mistake on Dillards part, as this brand almost never goes on sale, but I’m taking the chance of a cancellation for the discount. The in-laws wanted the stroller to be a gift to us, so it will be reimbursed. I'm pretty set on having 2 kids, so fingers crossed they are close enough in age that having a double stroller is still useful, but if not, I can sell the second seat on fb marketplace.
· 5pm We meet with an architect in the backyard to discuss her experience and things we are looking for in the home design process. Her quote is pretty standard compared to other architects we’ve interviewed, and we like her experience the best, so we ask her to give us a proposal.
· 7pm FH’s mom makes kimchi stew for dinner, which I really enjoy. I can be a picky eater at times so she has been experimenting with new dinner items for me to try. After dinner I clean the bathrooms in the basement but leave the showers for FH to clean since I can’t bend over very well anymore. After cleaning, I make myself a cheese snack of asiago and crackers. I really want some jam but can’t find any, so I attempt to eat my cheese snack with applesauce. Its absolutely horrible so I try to pawn the apple sauce off on Little Dog, who also hates it, so I make FH eat the rest. Apparently he doesn’t like apple sauce either even though he was the one who bought it, what!
· 9pm-11 Home Before Dark, sleep
Day 3 Total: $0
Day 4
· 9am roll out of bed, cereal, work
· 9:50am inspired by Sylvie from Emily in Paris, I watch a few YouTube videos on how to dress like a French woman as I get some work done. A few youtubers talk about simple beautiful accessories being one of the stand out characteristics, so I pull out a Nixon watch that I haven’t worn in probably 4 years, and then decide I need some simple earrings. I have a metal allergy so I need to go for gold or gold plated pieces. All of my gold plated jewelry is thrashed from over wear so I go Mejuri for some earrings. I love the mini hoops but I start to feel guilty looking at the prices so I close the site 10 minutes later.
· 10:50am I send my friend a picture of a vizcacha and we debate if this is what Pikachu was inspired from. We're pretty sure we've had this discussion before. I’m procrastinating on tackling a tough problem on my current project, so I take my firm's mandatory code of conduct training while I play in my makeup instead. I really like our compliance officer’s reference to the quote "trust is built in drops and lost in buckets" and index that in my mind for some project work I am supporting related to customer experience.
· 1pm lunch of assorted leftovers
· 330pm I get an email saying my saks order is here. There’s also a mystery amazon package for me, it’s a lotion set from my director, extremely thoughtful and will come in handy right away as its already dry in the mid-Atlantic. FH's beanie is too small but it fits me great so I’ll just keep it for myself since it was final sale. Also, break for popcorn snack! I bought a silicone popcorn popper a month ago and now just buy popcorn by the kernel. It’s panning out to be a really worthwhile purchase for the amount of popcorn that I eat.
· 4pm Today is payday and it’s also been 1 week since I transferred extra funds from my checking account to our HELOC, so I send the max weekly amount through Zelle. The more money we put into the HELOC now, the less interest we will pay. $3500
· 5pm I decide I really need to work out. I was in a good routine at the start of quarantine with Nike workouts but then I got pregnant a few months in, and all motivation was lost due to nausea and fatigue. I procrastinate for another 30 minutes then get to it. Normally this is $29/mo but I cancelled my membership 2 weeks ago because I wasn’t utilizing it enough and am now just finishing out my last month of membership. After my workout I take a bath using a bath bomb that I received as a gift from one of my girlfriends.
· 7pm Eat dinner of assorted leftovers and putz around until FH to finishes an online test for his grad school program.
· 9pm We watch Bobs Burgers until 1030, and I talk about wanting to eat everything I see in each commercial during the show. Little Dog wants to sleep with us tonight so I set up a pillow at my feet for him to rest on. He leaves about an hour later.
Day 4 Total: $3500
Day 5
· 845 roll out of bed, cereal, work
· Noon FH’s parents venmo me money for the stroller, and I transfer my total venmo balance to my bank. FH’s mom is already talking about putting little dog in the second seat when she takes Baby G for walks. Little Dog will never walk again when he is introduced to the stroller, he hates going on walks. I renew my audiobook loan on Emily Oster’s Cribsheet through Libby
· 1:50 Quick lunch of leftover fried rice and some ramen before I hop on a 2pm meeting. I am waiting on an empty conference line for 40 minutes. Apparently, I joined Wednesday’s conference line instead of today's, so I miss the meeting. That's really embarrassing, especially when I was prepared to meet and discuss some new content I created. I check in with the lead and he says no worries, I'll meet with them again on Monday
· 6pm We visit with Little Dog who is back from surgery for a benign tumor removal. He is looking very sad so he gets lots of pets from FH and me.
· 645pm I am sitting on the couch scrolling reddit and Baby G gives me a couple of swift hard kicks, which I am pleased about. I haven't felt some really hard kicks in a few days so I was getting a little worried. FH’s dad comes home with dinner from the restaurant where he helps out on the guys network. FH and I watch tv for the rest of the night.
Day 5 Total: $0
Day 6
· 730am - FH and I wakeup to get ready for tennis, but get stopped as we walk out the door by FH's dad saying they will be leaving to check on their rental properties and will take Little Dog. We insist that we will stay home to watch Little Dog while he recovers, so he doesn’t have to wear his cone of shame. Whenever little dog has to wear the cone he gets extremely sad. At first I thought they were being dramatic but he really does look so sad and refuses to walk around when he has to wear it.
· Noon – I order tacos and tortas from the local taco shop and drive over to pick them up. $29
· 4pm – I eat my left over torta and some extra butter popcorn as a special treat. This leads me to skipping dinner at the dismay of FH’s mom.
· 10pm – FH keeps talking about McDonald’s but we settle on leftovers and some cereal and then play Among Us with friends on zoom until Midnight.
Day 6 Total: $29
Day 7
· 8am FH and I wake up to get ready for tennis and head to the tennis courts. I'm a beginner so FH just runs drills with me. My forehand is atrocious but my backhand isn't too bad today. We try to rally but it doesn't go well since I can't run very fast or very well anymore due to the belly.
· 10:20am I check my phone as I am waiting for a friend to confirm plans later and see that we have a meeting with our labor and delivery hospital at 10:30. We race home to hop on a zoom call.· Noon – We head to a local sandwich shop, and FH pays. The medical world at large says pregnant ladies shouldn’t eat cold cuts but I’ve read that if you heat meat in the microwave till steaming, it should kill off listeria, so I do that and enjoy my sandwich.
· 1:30pm - I head to a bagel shop in DC for an everything bagel and cream cheese as well as a chai latte.. I know I just ate but I can't help myself, I love bagels. I meet my friend at the National Mall and walk around for 3 hours, enjoying the sunshine and conversation. We attempt to fly a kite near the Washington monument but a piece of the kite is missing, whoops. $13
· 530pm – FH’s mom asks if I could get us sandwich items for lunch this week and I am happy to oblige, I head to the grocery store to get assorted deli meats for lunch this week, plus a nice block of white cheddar and raspberry jam as a snack $50
· 630PM – Dinner is home made hot and sour soup which is think is lovely. I putter around after dinner waiting for FH to finish studying.
· 945PM We play Among Us on zoom with friends and head to sleep at 11:30
Day 7 total: $63
Food + Drink $91
Fun / Entertainment $0
Home + Health $0
Clothes + Beauty $236
Transport $0
Other HELOC $3500
Lastly, reflect on your diary!
Day 1 was a high spending day for me, with 2 out of the ordinary purchases however, the rest of the week was extremely low, so I would say this was a great week. Prior to purchasing our house, I was much less strict with my money. We actually did a 6-month assessment of all of our transactions before we started our home search, and found that outside of food and transportation to work, my biggest expenses were clothes, uber rides, and going out to eat and drink. As soon as we did that assessment and determined that we wanted to buy a home and do follow-on construction work, I stopped buying clothes completely. The pandemic also facilitated the change to completely eliminating uber rides and going out to eat and pretty early on in quarantine we also decided to get pregnant so we stopped drinking as well. I have started to buy some maternity clothes and baby gear out of necessity, but still feel I am making responsible decisions with my purchases. I feel EXTREMELY lucky that we had the opportunity to purchase our house and fund construction the way we are, as well as saving on additional costs by living with FH, so I am trying my best to be financially responsible and contribute as best I can while still giving in to small indulgences every once in a while.
Edit for maths and spelling
submitted by reddiketts to MoneyDiariesACTIVE [link] [comments]


2020.10.21 19:40 jak5467 The girl in the cave. (Part 2)

I sprang to my feet and ran outside. My head began to spin. The shotgun lay lazily in the grass before the porch. There was no sign of Lara. I coughed. The air seemed void of any oxygen. Tears streamed down my face. I ran towards the gun. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a myriad of punctures in the ground. Fresh tracks. My heart went into overdrive. I fell onto my knees and vomited.
LARA, I yelled. LARA.
It was to no avail.
Only then did I think about Tina and the girl. I ran back into the house just in time to see Tina storm out of her room. The girl at her heels.
Tina saw my tear stained face and knew.
No, she cried. The girl took her hand and looked at me. There was something in her eyes I could not quite place. I had no time to think about it.
STAY HERE, I yelled and stormed out of the house.
I grabbed the shotgun and sprinted down the field and into the forest. I had to find Lara. I had to save her.
This is your fault. You left her alone. you should have been with her. you should have protected her.
I could hardly breath as a pit formed in my stomach. Guilt crashed over me.
After what seemed like a lifetime, I reached the cave. Without thought I stormed inside.
LARA!, I yelled over and over as I ventured further into the darkness. I frantically spun around trying to illuminate as much of the cave as I could. A desperate hope took hold of me. I had found the girl here last time. I could find Lara.
I had gone deeper into the cave than the previous times. I could barely breath. The air felt so putrid it made me heave. I pulled my t-shirt tighter over my face hoping it would alleviate the smell. It didn’t. I stopped. I could not go any further. My legs started shaking. My body protested. I knew that if I went deeper into the dark I would not return. The light of my flashlight began to flicker. Then it went out. Instantly I was swallowed by shadows. A chill crept up my spine as I peered around the darkness. In the distance I could make out the faintest of glimmers. I knew that was where the entrance of the cave was. I slowly began to shuffle towards it. The light became brighter. I could see the entrance.
Now that the my flashlight had given up life, I could not muster the courage to call for Lara anymore. Suddenly I felt vulnerable. A faint echo of falling stones emanated from behind me.
I spun around, lifting the shotgun to my shoulder. Sweat poured down my face. I wiped it from my brow. I could hardly breath. I peered into the darkness yet there was nothing I could see.
The rumbling of falling rocks rose from the deep. I stopped moving completely.
Lara?, I said. My voice barely audible.
The echo of the falling rocks vanished as quickly as it had arisen. I stood in silence too scared to move, almost too scared to breath. The seconds ticked by. A deafening silence returned to the cave. There was nothing there. My heartrate began to stabilize. I sighed and wiped the sweat from my brow. I realized I was on a fool’s errand. I would not find Lara in this cave. She was gone. I turned back towards the entrance.
A cry escaped my lips. A cluster of eyes hung in the web above me. A faint light reflected in them. They all focused on me as if in recognition.
I raised my shotgun, but a huge black leg swept the gun out of my hands. I fell backwards onto the floor. The creature dropped from the webs and landed on the floor with a loud thud. Its fangs snapped at me. I crawled in the direction my gun had fallen. My arms flailed wildly around the dark cold floor. My fingers brushed the butt of the gun. Before I could grab it two hairy legs pinned my shoulders to the ground. The creature hung above me. Its massive head hovered above mine. Its fangs snapped. The sound vibrated through the cave. I felt saliva drop from its mouth onto my face. My eyes widened in fear. My body felt paralyzed by shear panic. Desperately I reached out to the shotgun. My fingers brushed the butt once more and with desperate strength I managed to pull the gun close enough so that my hand could take hold of it. The creature’s eyes drilled into mine. Once again I thought I saw a deep sense of helplessness reside within them. They seemed so familiar. The creature’s fangs snapped. More saliva dripped onto my face. My heart felt like it was about to explode. I gripped the butt as tight as I could and with a last assimilation of strength, I raised the gun and shot at the hairy legs. The creature shrieked as its leg burst into pieces. Having lost its balance the creature let go of my shoulders and fell to its left.
Without thinking I scrambled to my feet and bolted towards the entrance. I heard the creature shriek in the darkness but it didn’t seem to be following me. Cobwebs latched onto me from all sides but I felt the adrenaline surge through my body. I pushed through the silky webs and finally burst into the morning sunlight. I fell to my knees greedily gulping in the air. Tears poured out of my eyes as a bout of hysterical laughter burst from my lips. Then I felt bile raise up my esophagus and I vomited again. I crawled to my feet and grabbed the gun. The temporary euphoria I felt disappeared instantly. It was replaced by a feeling of loss so overwhelming I cannot put it into words.
I had lost Lara.
She was gone.
I began to walk back to the house. My mind absent of any thought. My heart felt like a maelstrom. All I could do was force my feet to keep on moving. The trees around me were basking in morning light yet I found no comfort in its beauty. I was absent from my surroundings. I did not notice the black mass moving through the trees beside me. Then I registered the movement out of the corner of my eye.
There it stood. A swarm of eyes drilled into mine. I stood motionless. My heart sank as it dawned on me. There were more of them. For a moment I welcomed the notion of death. It somehow seemed comforting. I could not bear the thought of living without Lara. I could not muster the strength to go on.
The creature clacked its fangs again but stayed where it was. Instead of attacking me it bowed forward so that we were on eye level. The creature seemed different. It was smaller in stature and its coat lighter. Blonder almost. The creature held my gaze. Its eyes wide and gentle. There was something strangely familiar about them. I stood perplexed, unable to comprehend the being before me. It almost seemed amicable. Suddenly my mind flooded with images of Lara.
A searing anger took hold of me. I would never see her again. These things had robbed her from me. Before my mind registered my body’s movements I raised my shotgun towards the creature’s head and pulled the trigger.
The creature shrieked in agony as part of its head exploded. An unintelligible mass of pain filled the forest. It’s cries tore through me. I could not stand it. I raised my gun once more. As I stared down the barrel my eyes met the creature’s gaze. Its remaining eyes brimming with sadness and pain.
I felt tears form in my eyes yet I could not understand their purpose. I felt confused and the creature sensed it. It softly clicked its fangs and gently crawled towards me.
‘Don’t,’ I pleaded suddenly unable to pull the trigger.
‘Don’t.’ I repeated through tears.
The creature stopped. Its remaining eyes glistened as if wet. A thick viscous liquid oozed from its wound. Then with one last shriek it turned around and stormed away from me.
I clutched the tree beside me, drained of all energy as I watched it disappear.
I forced myself to continue through the forest. I had to get back to Tina. To the girl. It was only us now. I could not fail them as well. Waves of pain shot through my legs as I forced them to move. Soon enough I caught sight of the house. The reflecting sunlight made the windows sparkle. It looked idyllic. The thought soured in my mouth. I pulled out my phone but still no signal. It was hopeless. Tina and the girl stood on the porch as I approached. The girl ran towards me and threw her arms around me. I was taken aback by her strength. I felt like I was being crushed. Then she let go and looked into my face. She opened her mouth and closed it again. I looked away, unable to meet her gaze. Tina grabbed my hand and ushered me inside.
She sat me down at the kitchen table and put a plate of food before me. I saw her lips moving but I did not hear her words.
‘Adam?’ I heard her say. Her voice far away. ‘Adam?’ she repeated and grabbed my shoulder.
I slowly looked at her.
‘We need to get out of here.’
‘We can’t.’ I whispered. ‘Not until we can call for help.’
Tina threw up her arms. ‘We can go ourselves. Take the girl and walk…’
‘Walk where?’ I interrupted. ‘The bridge is broken. We would have to climb down the ravine without any gear. It would be suicide.’
‘So, we do nothing?’ Tina snapped.
I looked at her. My anger flared.
‘What would you have me do?’
Tina stood up and began pacing up and down the kitchen.
‘Those things are coming for us Adam. They took Kostas. They took Lara. Which one of us is next hmm? They are picking us off one by one and your plan is to sit here and do nothing?’
‘THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO!’ I yelled. ‘WE ARE STUCK ON THIS FUCKING MOUNTAIN. LET’S NOT FORGET IT WAS YOUR IDEA TO COME HERE. THIS IS YOUR HOUSE.’
My words cut Tina deeply. I could see her struggle to hold back her tears. I instantly regretted my outburst.
I sighed and fell back into my chair.
‘I’m sorry,’ I muttered. ‘I don’t blame you for any of this. It’s not your fault.’
Tina faced me. A silent fury rose in her eyes.
‘I know this was my idea Adam. I will have to live with this for the rest of my life. If we even survive.’
‘Tina…’ I wanted to grab her hand but she slapped me away.
‘Don’t touch me, ’she said coolly and walked out of the room.
The girl had stood motionless in the corner of the kitchen, attentively observing our exchange.
‘What?’ I said annoyedly as our eyes met.
I stood up and walked back into the living room opting to lie down on the sofa. My eyes grew heavy. I felt exhausted both emotionally and physically. Yet I knew I could not sleep. For all my mixed feelings I knew I had to protect Tina and the girl as best as I could. I licked my lips. They felt chaffed.
As if on cue, the girl walked into the living room carrying a glass of water.
Thank you, I said appreciatively. ‘I’m sorry for what I said earlier.’
The girl stood motionless and stared at me. Her expression was hard. She must have sensed I hurt Tina. I gave her an appraising look. Her appearance had further improved since I left her with Lara the previous night. More color had returned to her cheeks and her bones no longer stuck out against her skin. Her hair flowed like a waterfall. She seemed to glow.
The girl motioned towards the glass of water I was awkwardly holding.
I gulped down the glass in one go.
The girl cocked her head to the side ever so gently yet the motion unnerved me. I stood up. My legs felt like jelly. I stumbled forward and fell to my knees. The girl took some steps back, all the while staring at me with a completely blank expression. Whatever innocence she had displayed disappeared. As I fell to the ground I saw the girl hold Tina’s bottle of sleeping pills in her hands.
‘What…wahthaveyoudone?’ I slurred as I fell forward. My eyelids slowly closed. The last thing I saw was the girl’s impassive face as she looked at me. Something dark danced in her eyes.
My mind drifted in and out of consciousness. Bright lights danced before my eyes. I felt like I was floating. Like I was embraced. I felt comfortable. The world was finally at peace. Then my eyes burst open and I felt like a baby torn from its mother’s womb. I was confronted with reality. I panted loudly as I sat up on the floor. My head spun. It was still sunny outside yet the air felt dense and dreary. A faint smell of rot still lingered in the house. I massaged my temples hoping to push away the drowsiness.
I crawled to my feet.
‘Tina?’ I muttered through dry lips. There was no answer.
‘TINA!’ I yelled louder and shuffled to her room. It was empty. I knew it would be. There was nobody in the house. I was alone. I thought about the girl.
Why had she drugged me?
I stumbled towards the kitchen and gulped down 2 glasses of water and splashed some in my face. It made me feel better. I was awake. I walked back to the living room and sat on the sofa pondering everything that had occurred.
What am I missing?
I was surprised by my own calmness. I could only explain it as a stage past desperation and despair. I think in my heart I began to realize what fate had in store for me. I had lost my friends. I had lost the girl I would have married. If I was to disappear next then so be it. I felt determined. I would put up a fight. An idea crystalized in my mind. I went to the cellar and dragged up two small barrels of gasoline. I checked my watch. It was early evening. It would still be a while before the sun went down. I swung the shotgun over my shoulder and began to drag the first barrel outside. It was slow work. I was drenched in sweat when I reached the entrance of the cave. After I carefully set down the first barrel next to the entrance, I peered inside and listened. It was quiet. Peaceful almost. I forced myself to run back to the house and began to drag the second barrel to the cave.
The sun sat low in the sky as I reached the cave once more. I could barely feel my arms. My body ached all over. The incumbent sunset made the cave look sinister. I had to hurry. I wanted to get this done while the sun was still out. The thought of being stuck outside in the dark made me restless. I peered into the cave once more. There was nothing. All I could hear were pockets of air quietly hissing in the deep. The putrid smell of the cave seemed fainter or maybe I had just gotten used to it. I dragged in the first barrel and pulled it to the wall where the thick cobwebs began. I doused the webs in as much gasoline as I could until the barrel ran out. The combined smell of the gasoline and rotting air made me gag. I hurried outside and grabbed the other barrel dousing the cobwebs on the other side of the cave wall as well.
Suddenly the noise of falling rocks resonated from deeper inside the cave. They were coming. I knew it. I tipped over the barrel and kicked it down into the cave. The metal bounced off the stone with deafening noise. I heard shrieks rise up from the dark. Frantically I sprinted back to the entrance where I had poured a trail of gasoline. I got the lighter out of my pocket but it fell on the ground. I panicked. I snatched it from the ground and tried to light up the lighter with my clammy hands. A handful of sparks burst out of the end but no fire. In the dark I saw the outline of humongous bodies approaching. A dozen eyes peered at me. Panic took over. I desperately tried to get the lighter to work. They were visible now.
Crawling towards me from the dark. Two creatures. Their fat bodies dragging over the floor. One was slightly bigger than the other. Both where snapping their fangs. My vision began to blur. The lighter hissed and a flame appeared. I threw the lighter into the puddle of gasoline just as the creature’s hairy legs shot at me out of the dark. Too late. Fire burst from the ground. I fell back on the floor. The hair on the creature’s legs singed. I saw fear dispelled from their eyes as they crawled back to escape the fire. By now the fire had reached the cobwebs and a huge inferno took hold. It lit up the cave. I put my hands in front of my face. The heat was unbearable. With every passing second the fire engulfed more of the cave. The creatures shrieked as they sunk back into the darkness in a desperate attempt to escape the flames. I could see their bodies engulfed by fire. Their screams of desperation turned into wails of pain. Their bodies violently convulsed as they retreated further into the dark.
I stumbled further back. The smoke stung my eyes. I coughed. My lips felt cracked and my throat dry. I could still hear them, their agony rose out of the deep. A concoction of pain and suffering pierced the air. I turned away from the noise. My body shaking. Then the shrieks of suffering turned into wails of agony so intense I could not shake the thought that it sounded human. Suddenly a deep rumbling rose out of the dark. Small stones began to fall. Then bigger ones. The earth began to shake as the cave collapsed. Its ancient cobwebs must have held together the cavern somehow. With a deafening bang which seemed to last for minutes the ground shook as the cave collapsed. Huge boulders fell in front of the exit cutting off the entrance permanently. I covered my face as a cloud of dust swept up before me. Then it was over. Everything was quiet.
A feeling of elation rose up inside of me. I had done it. I had ended the nightmare. I was certain the two creatures in the cave could not have survived that inferno. I was also convinced that the other creature which I had shot in the forest would succumb to its wounds.
The feeling of elation dissipated as quickly as it had arisen. It was not over yet. The girl was still out there. Her role in this horror still eluded me. From the beginning she had been at the center of it all. But how was she connected to those things? I shook my head, frustrated at not being able to figure it out. I had to find her. She had played a role in the disappearances of Kostas, Lara and Tina. The girl had to atone for what she had done. For what she had taken from me.
I briefly wondered whether I would be able to kill her. The thought made me nauseous and I quickly pushed it out of my mind. I was no murderer. I could never kill another human. Lost in thought I paid no attention to the path I was taking. I found myself deep inside the forest. I turned around ready to go back in the direction from which I had come when I stopped. An ominous sense of foreboding plagued me. I noticed the dirt before me was stained by blood. Its trail turned to my right. I felt my heartbeat rise. I felt compelled to follow the trail. I knew I had to. After about 5 minutes I stepped into a little clearing. A body lay in its middle. Golden hair sparkled in the evening sun. The shotgun fell out of my hands. My body turned cold as I hovered forwards. My ears began to ring. My head felt like it was going to split open. I knew I must have been crying out in pain. I felt the vibrations coming from my mouth yet I could not hear them. Once I reached the body I fell to my knees.
Lara was dead.
I hesitantly put my arms around her and lifted her from the long grass. I fell back in panic. Half of her face was gone. Her head had been blown apart. Almost half was missing. I stood frozen, staring at the blood and tissue dripping from her head. Then I violently vomited. I closed my eyes and looked away desperate to forget this image of Lara, yet I knew I never would. It is etched in my brain for eternity. I thought about who could do such a thing. Then something passed through my mind. One small thought which made my body shake with pain.
No, I thought. That’s not possible. That can’t be possible.
I felt like I was falling into a void. A cold sense of dread spread through my veins like ice.
No. no. no. no. no.
I pressed my hands against my ears as if to push the thought from my mind. Something broke inside of me.
It can’t be real.
I felt my pocket vibrate. My phone began to beep. The network towers must have been restored. I fished my phone from my pocket and stared at the text.
It was from you Lucas.
I glossed over the message. My eyes fixed on the last three lines. The translation of the stone. It almost felt like a lifetime ago.
My eyes reread the message.
Here lies Arachne,
Cursed by the gods,
Mother of spiders.
Everything fell into place. I thought about the two creatures in the cave. The one I had shot in the forest. I realized part of me had known. Part of me must have known all along.
The tears stopped streaming down my face. My body stopped shaking. A numbness took hold. I felt nothing. In that moment the void which had been stirring inside of me took over. All I could think about was the girl. I rose from the floor and walked out of the clearing. I did not look back. I could not stand the sight of Lara anymore. Before I knew it, I was sprinting. My body felt like it was on autopilot. My mind was empty. I felt neither pain nor sadness. My heart was broken. My emotions spent.
I reached the house.
She stood there waiting for me. Her dress slowly waving in the wind. Her appearance still pale but no longer skeletal. She seemed vibrant with life and new found health. Yet the girl had changed. Her eyes betrayed her. Now that she left all pretense behind, I saw a wild fury burn in them.
‘I KNOW WHO YOU ARE.’ I yelled.
She cocked her head to the side.
‘Arachne.’
The girl stared at me, her expression unchanged.
I realized I had forgotten my shotgun in the clearing. It did not matter. I would kill her with my bare hands if I had to.
The girl made no attempt to move as I wrapped my hands around her throat and slammed her against the door.
‘Die.’ I spat and choked her.
Her lips turned into a smile. The girl observed me like a hunter would its prey. It unnerved me. Her hands grabbed hold of mine. Slowly she pulled my fingers loose. I could not match her strength. Desperately I reached for her face. Suddenly her head shot forward and sharp teeth sank into my arm.
I yelled as a burning sensation spread through my limbs. The girl let go of me and stepped back as I crumbled to the floor. I felt drained. I barely found the energy to breath. I stared at the bitemarks in my arm. The pain was unbearable. The veins in my arm bulged. I saw something black spread through them.
I focused on the girl. She licked her lips. Her eyes bulging with a sense of euphoria as if drugged. Her cheeks flushed red. She looked revitalized.
Her eyes found me. She slowly backed off the porch onto the grass. Suddenly she stopped and got on all fours. Her eyes fixated on mine. There was something hypnotic about them. I could not look away.
The air around us began to vibrate. I felt it being sucked in towards her. Suddenly she began to convulse. Her limbs snapped in grotesque angles. She bent forwards as her spine curved upwards. A piercing shriek escaped her throat as her dress tore exposing her bulging body. Mere seconds had passed yet I would have sworn I heard every bone in her body break.
The skin around her bones burst apart and fell to the ground in shreds as a coat of black mass poured out of her.
Suddenly her limbs retracted, disappearing within the malignant abyss of darkness oozing from her body.
Her head snapped back, rapidly increasing in size as her eyes rolled back in their sockets. A myriad of slits ruptured around her face.
The girl had completely disappeared in a maelstrom of shadows. It clung around her like a dark cocoon. Abruptly the darkness tore open.
A wave of putrid air crashed over me. It smelled foul and rotten. Massive scabby legs sprouted from the darkness, planting themselves onto the floor. A dark body of bloated corpulence fell onto the earth with a heavy thud. A monstrous, hairy head arose out of the dark. Two massive fangs snapped slobbering all over me.
Only madness could justify the creature before me. Witnessing her transformation had left me on the brink. I felt my eyes bulge out of their sockets. It was a nightmare, and to see it meant death. I felt an all-encompassing horror. An apocalyptic fear festered within my heart as I stared into the creature’s face. Its gluttonous eyes radiated an insatiable hunger I knew would never be quenched.
The girl before me was nameless no more. Arachne had revealed her true form. The bulbous monstrosity sat before me in a half crouch as if she was waiting to pounce. A soft clicking escaped her mouth.
In a last wave of desperation, I crawled through the front door and slammed it shut. I grabbed Lara’s medical bag and poured out its content beside me. My hands found the adrenaline pen and I injected it straight into my heart hoping it would buy me more time to finish my account.
And so we have returned to the present. I have dictated this message to you, my dear Lucas, in the hope it finds its way to you. I have lost feeling in all my limbs. I feel the poison coarse through my veins as It slowly consumes the rest of me. The pain is unbearable. Even my voice is fading. I will muster what strength I have left to send this message to you. The creature is still outside. I can see it out of the window. She is waiting. Her thrill cries, once so frightening, now soothe me. She knows I will eventually crawl to her. Do not come looking for me. My body will be gone soon. I am part of her now. She calls to me. I hear Arachne’s song. Like a siren she beckons me to her ruinous shores.
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2020.10.21 18:00 BSERecruiter 249M+ GP All-Heroic EU Guild - Looking for 1 New Member - DS Geo TB: 30 ⭐️ & 38 Wat Shards - LS Geo TB: 15 ⭐️ & 1-3 kam shards and increasing steadily - Great Leadership & Active & Social Members - See Comments for More Information

BSE SWGOH.GG
Blue Squadron Eternal
249M+ GP
49/50 members with Baby Yoda Cookies
UK / EU Guild Reset (US Friendly)
Discord
REQUIREMENTS:
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2020.10.21 17:29 InsaneProtestorsMod [Announcement] If it seems like r/InsaneProtestors hasn't been posting much lately... good! The nonsense in this subreddit shouldn't be happening at all.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Videos of non-peaceful (violent) American protestors have been getting harder and harder to find lately — wonderful!
Recently I held in my arms my beautiful newborn baby nephew and was in absolute awe at the thought of how many Chinese or Russian soldiers he would be forced to bayonet to death.
Or would it be his own neighbors in another U.S. civil war?
The Selective Service System still exists for a reason: to "provide the most prompt, efficient, and equitable draft possible, if the country should need it."
This country doesn't need more war: it needs more peace, more peaceful protesting, more rational discussions, more free trade, more free markets, and more cheap beer.
These are the history-proven elements to create peace. Thankfully, we are seeing that lately.
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2020.10.21 16:06 psyopticnerve New to the Neighborhood

Mount Harmon is where I have lived my whole life, where I tell this tale from my childhood from. Its one of these small towns in New England where everybody knows each other, the kind of place that looks like it hasn’t changed in fifty years. The biggest attraction is the gas station, where most people buy their groceries as well as gossip about the residents. You get the idea, there’s not much going on here.
Anyways, it was really weird when a new neighbor showed up. Not a person mind you, an entire house. It just showed up out of nowhere. Mrs.Danforth was the first one to notice, naturally, as it was suddenly right next door to her. She called Sheriff Franklin, and once people saw the sheriff heading over towards her road, everybody knew something was going on up there.
Vinny, my older brother was the one who told me about it.
“Ricky, Franklin just rolled up the Danforth road, you want to come check it out?”
I did, it beat whatever mind numbing thing I had been doing. We grabbed our bikes and made our way up the hill. My brother and I figured one of the Danforths had died, they were quite old.
“Hey, where did that come from?” I nearly crashed into Vinny as he braked abruptly, seeing the house that had never been there before. We both sat with our mouth’s hanging open. The sheriff’s cruiser was parked on the other side of the road, the Danforths stood talking with him on their porch, all three peering at the new house in fear.
It was large, three stories, with a long curved driveway that lead to a barn beside it. Despite being a new structure, the house itself looked like it had been sitting there for about two-hundred years. The paint was deteriorating, the porch sagged and the upstairs windows looked like they were cracked.
We watched the sheriff go timidly up to the end of the driveway, ducking low and trying to look through the windows. By now more people had joined us, at what seemed like a safe distance from it. Other kids from the middle school gathered around us where we had parked. A few speculated on what the house could be.
“Its a ghost house, no doubt,” Donny Maron said, his confidence selling his theory to a few other onlookers who nodded in agreement.
“Nah, it can’t be a ghost house, its solid, plain to see as you and I!” Tim Desmond pitched his opinion in.
“Yeah, well, then how did it get here?” Donny asked, folding his arms and wrinkling his nose at Tim. They glared at each other.
“Maybe it was invisible!” Tim finally retaliated, folding his arms as well.
“That’s stupid, then somebody would have crashed into it!”
Their debate got rather heated.
It seemed that no one really knew what to do about it. Franklin had Deputy Reevis bring down caution tape and road blocks. It wasn’t reassuring to see the way they kept a close watch on the house the whole time, neither daring to put the tape on the structure. They closed down the entire road instead, keeping everyone from getting near it. Not that anyone dared to.
A town meeting was scheduled to decide how to proceed. For the first time in my life I wished I was allowed to attend, opting to listen crouched down by the windows instead. We weren’t the only kids who had made their way to hear the outcome, Donny and Tim were there, along with about half of our middle school.
The meeting was long, involved a lot of shouting, caused tension between families, and in the process gave all us middle schoolers reason to pick on each other for where our families aligned themselves. It was a thrilling thing to be spying on, in other words.
They ended up forming two sides, one that thought the house should be demolished, while the other half said it should be left alone. There were various reasonings for either side. I was curious how our parents would vote, not hearing their voices arguing along with the rest.
As people started to make their way to the doors we all fled, trying to act like we had all been playing pick up ball. Grim faced parents called on us to go home.
“So, how are you going to vote, Pop?” Vinny couldn’t wait any longer when we crossed the front threshold, badgering my father before he had slipped his shoes off. He looked at Vinny and I and simply pointed upstairs. This was his way of letting us know he would be talking to our mother in private. We ran up the steps, both shoving each other for the best spot at the top of the stairs to hear down into the living room. As usual, Vinny won and cupped his ear. I found myself holding my breath, eager to hear what my father had to say.
“It would probably be safer to leave it be…” my mother decided to start the conversation after a long spell of silence.
“How do we know it isn’t dangerous keeping it up?”
The discussion was less exciting than we had hoped, but it ended with my father saying he thought it should be demolished, and if it came to it, he would help take it down. My mother said she wished he wouldn’t.
We had a quiet dinner that evening, our parents sent us to bed earlier than usual after. I tapped on Vinny’s door when I heard snoring coming from the master bedroom. He let me in, shutting the door quickly. I could already tell he was eager to discuss something.
“We should go look at it, right now!” he whispered excitedly. I wasn’t entirely surprised to hear him say this, but my stomach was already filling with butterflies at the prospect.
“Vin, what if we get caught?” I was trying to reason, the argument was shaky though. We were seasoned veterans at leaving our house at night. Vinny scoffed, pulling his sweatshirt over his head. He started tying his laces. It seemed I had little chance of persuading him not to go.
“Don’t tell me you’re going to wuss out?” he looked at my nervous posture. I bit my lip, I knew it was a bad idea. I didn’t want him to go by himself though.
“No, I’ll get ready,” I said, regretting it immediately. I went back to my room and got dressed, then met Vinny by the backdoor. We grabbed our bikes out of the yard and pedaled up the hill.
Vinny was really eager to get there, going extra fast. I, on the other hand, felt like each pedal was putting me closer to certain death. Once we got to the roadblock Vinny parked his bike next to it and left me behind, making his way up to the driveway. I glanced up at the house. In the dark it looked all the more menacing, hostile even. I shuddered, hoping that we wouldn’t be staying long. Vinny had his toes at the bottom of the driveway, staring up at the house with a longing look.
“This is as close as anybody has gotten…” he said softly. He was right, not even our sheriff had been where he was. I couldn’t bring myself to stand next to him. Something primal told me not to.
He stared at the house for a long time, inching his toes a bit further into the driveway every now and then. Once his heels were completely across, I got nervous.
“Vinny, let’s go, its late. This isn’t a good idea. We have school tomorrow!”
He finally turned away from the house, addressing me with disdain.
“Fine. But we’re going to come back. This is important stuff man, it’s like we’re exploring the moon!”
The next day the school was abuzz, the only topic was the house. Even the teachers got into our debates. The votes were to be tallied the next day to see what to do with the house itself. After last bell, I made my way over to the bike rack to meet Vinny, unsurprised to find him bragging about our midnight excursion to Donny and a few other eighth graders.
“Is he full of shit or what?” Donny asked when he saw me coming up. I shook my head.
“No, we really went to see it,” I replied. Donny spit on the ground and addressed Vinny.
“I call bullshit. There’s no way you went into the drive. Let’s see you do it again.”
Vinny rose to the challenge, eager to prove to Donny he wasn’t afraid.
“Okay, Donny, meet me tonight, I’ll show you. Be there at midnight,” he told him.
That night I waited for Vinny to signal to me that it was time. When he came to get me I tried to convince him to bail. He wasn’t having it.
“No way, and have Donny tell everyone I was too afraid to meet him? Uh-uh! Plus, what if they bulldoze it down, don’t you want to be able to say that you were brave enough to go up to it?”
It really didn’t matter to me, I was only feeling dread at the prospect of returning. Again, I found myself being dragged along, not wanting Vinny to be there alone in case Donny didn’t show. As we got to the roadblock I could see Donny’s silhouette and somebody else parked beside him. As we got closer I realized it was Tim.
“I told him we were going, he wanted to come too,” Donny gestured to Tim. I was kind of glad to have more people around this time. I hadn’t liked the way Vinny was looking at the house last time. He made me think I might have to drag him away from it.
“The more the merrier, eh? Alright Donny, watch and learn,” Vinny strode toward the driveway nonchalantly as we watched from the road. I held my breath as Vinny went even further than he had the night before. He went up the drive about twelve paces, then turned around, facing us with a huge grin on his face. Tim clapped sarcastically, Vinny took a bow and ran back over to us.
“Alright, so I guess you’re not so full of shit,” Donny relented, “But, I can do better than that.”
He marched up to the driveway, taking a nervous glance at the house before he ran up just ahead of where Vinny had stopped. Tim clapped again, Donny flipped us off before he came back over. My stomach was churning, feeling that we were really pushing our luck. Vinny was pissed that Donny had outdone him, saying he would do better than that. I begged him not to, making myself look like a wimp, but I was finally able to pry him away.
“Hey, Vinny, maybe leave the baby at home next time!” Donny said, climbing on his bike and taking off down the hill with Tim. Vinny gave me a lot of shit the whole way back, saying that I had cost him a victory. I didn’t care, their new rivalry made me feel nauseous. I knew nothing good could come of it.
The next day we had the outcome of the vote at noon, which ended in dramatic fashion.
Mrs.Danforth had begged the town to leave the structure up, saying she thought demolishing it would only release whatever was held within onto the world. She shocked everybody by saying that they were moving out, going a county over and leaving their house for the last fifty years, and the town they had lived in their whole lives. About twenty people pitched in to help them load up, then they were gone, Mrs.Danforth weeping as they rode away.
The only thing this meant to Vinny was that he could now venture to the mysterious house whenever he felt like it, without anybody around to see him.
He and Donny upped the ante when we all met up to play the game again. They had a wooden chip that was painted blue on one side and red on the other. After they argued over who got to pick the color first, Donny ended up with red and Vinny with blue. They would place the chip at their feet, leaving their color right side up until the other person came to pick it up and walk it further. The first day we used the chip Vinny made it halfway to the barn. Donny claimed he had something to do when it was his turn, opting to call it quits at that point.
Every time we went he would go a little further, able to beat Donny by a few feet. Tim and I were there only to be witnesses, it seemed. Some word circulated about the game they were playing, but even though Vinny was prone to bragging, he realized if he confirmed it, somebody would put a stop to it. Donny was just as tight lipped, surprisingly.
The game continued, Vinny now only a few steps away from the barn. Every piece of me told me to stop him, to prevent him from going any further, but some morbid curiosity would overcome me, wondering if my brother may just prove to us the house was ordinary after all. As he smugly placed the chip down and strode back to us Donny was scowling. He looked like he was ready to prove something.
“Alright, Vin, get your notebook out for this one!” he taunted. He jogged to where the chip was resting, but unlike they had done up to that point, he tossed it up towards the front porch. It landed with the blue side up just below the steps. Tim and I exchanged looks. Vinny’s expression didn’t change. Donny chuckled as he walked back, bumping into Vinny on purpose.
“I changed the rules, whoever’s side it lands on has to walk to that spot now,” he said. Vinny looked like he was going into war as he made his way toward the chip. I put myself in front of him.
“Vinny, please, don’t,” I begged. He shoved me aside. His eyes were focused on the porch, barely registering me.
“You know I have to,” was all he said, continuing on his way. It was nerve-wracking to watch him go, each step he got closer we grew more tense. Even Donny began to second guess himself.
“Hey, Vinny, let’s just get another thing to mark with, I think this might be a bad call…” he shouted, to no avail. Vinny had let this thrill become an obsession, there was no stopping him. Finally, he was bending down to pick up the chip. He held it high for us to see before he placed it on the top step, blue side up.
We left after that, silently processing the last round. Vinny had purposefully called on himself to go up the steps. It seemed he no longer had anything to prove to Donny or anybody else, he was caught up in the rush he got from it. He came to me that night with an idea.
“I’m going in next time,” he said. It didn’t surprise me, but I found tears running down my cheeks. I knew nothing I said would make a difference. I nodded my head.
“I’m going to tie a rope to my waist, if anything goes wrong you guys can just pull me back out,” he continued. I fell asleep crying that night, not knowing how to stop what I feared would happen tomorrow.
Tim and Donny were waiting for us the next day, gravely silent, waiting for Vinny to address them. He tied the rope and explained what he wanted them to do, asking me to be at the front of the line.
“Vinny… I love you,” I whispered, trying not to cry. To my surprise Donny and Tim were also misty-eyed, clapping Vinny on the back and wishing him good luck. Vinny looked at us fondly, giving me a hug before turning away. I watched the rope uncoil by my feet until there was nearly nothing left. Vinny was on the top step. He looked back at us, then reached for the door.
I wanted to scream at him to stop, to turn back and take me home, beg him to read me stories out of his favorite books, to ruffle my hair, to flash me his wicked smile. But I couldn’t. Some part of me had to know, just like he did, what this house was. I tightened my grip on the rope as he pushed the battered door open, revealing the dark entryway. He was there for a few seconds, then he disappeared from view.
The rope nearly escaped from me. Something had yanked all three of us forward into the driveway. I kept my feet dug into the dirt but it was no use, whatever had a hold of Vinny was taking us all with him. My hands were being ripped apart, Tim and Donny were screaming behind me, all of us still keeping the rope in our grasp despite the agony. I was wailing, barely able to breathe from the exertion and terror.
We were heading at the front steps with alarming speed. My heels left the ground and I tried bracing myself against the steps, pushing back with everything I had. By then Tim had let go, screaming at Donny and I to do the same. I flew upwards, smashing my knees and shins into the splintered wooden steps, being dragged to the doorway. I let out a cry of despair, fear, rage.
I let go just before I was pulled through the dark entryway, falling to the porch and rolling to my feet, desperate to catch a glimpse of what was happening inside.
I would never get one. The loop that had been tied around Vinny’s waist was tossed out at me, the door slamming shut immediately after.
In my shock, I laid down, unable to comprehend what had happened. Donny ran up the steps and pulled me to my feet, taking me down the steps and away from whatever was in that house. The rest is a blur. I made it home. Tim and Donny had to retell what had happened up there, I was too shocked to speak.
I moved into the old Danforth house when I got older. I didn’t buy it, it wasn’t for sale, but nobody was going to stop me from living there. I spend my nights on the porch, looking into the upstairs window, my brother staring back, surrounded by darkness, not a day older than the last time I saw him.
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