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Weekly Watch Report - June 09, 2023

2023.06.09 16:35 SauzaPaul Weekly Watch Report - June 09, 2023

Hey everybody! Drop your recent watches right here, I'd love to hear about 'em.
The Ninth Configuration (1980) Stacy Keach is a military psychiatrist who is newly in charge of an experimental facility in a remote mansion in the Pacific Northwest. Many of the committed soldiers are suspected of feigning insanity to get out of military duty, and Stacy himself is haunted by powerful dreams that he claims are the dreams of another person. This is the directorial debut of William Peter Blatty, based on a novel he wrote before The Exorcist, Twinkle Twinkle Killer Kane. An outstanding supporting cast, and full of comedy and drama, with a hard shift to horrific in the final act. This movie stuck with me for days. (Midnight Pulp)
Renfeild (2023) Dracula’s assistant and his problems in modern day New York in this comedy, with Nic Cage as the Count. A lot of gags hit the mark, particularly the action/violence scenes, but I expected it to be even funnier. I like Akwafina, but as a 5 foot NY cop? Kopwafina? Anyway, no complaints. (Peacock)
Student Body (2022) Teens hanging out in the high school after hours with a slasher dressed as a mascot. Usually when I don’t enjoy modern slashers it’s because of the characters, but not this case, the characters were fine, the premise and execution were as bland as they come. Not recommended. (Showtime)
Becky (2020) An angry teenage girl on a family retreat with her dad and step family get home invaded by Nazi Mall Cop and a former WWF wrestler. She “Home Alone’s” them, but with less comedy and more blood. A fucking shitload of blood, in fact. Good fun, don’t think too hard. (Showtime)
The Killing Kind (1973) John Savage plays a mama’s boy, recently released from prison who gets a bit strangley when sexually aroused in this very cool, Psycho-inspired proto-slasher from Curtis Harrington (Night Tide). With Ann Southern, Ruth Roman, Cindy Williams, Luana Anders, and Sue Bernard (who supplies the nudity). (TUBI)
Count Dracula’s Great Love (1973) A broken carriage forces four beautiful women and one male companion to stay at a nearby castle. They were quite welcome as their host, Count Dracula (Paul Naschy), bit and turned nearly every damn one of them. This one overflowed with blood and boobs from start to finish. The girls even skinny-dipped in a pool, did Romanian castles have modern looking swimming pools at the turn of the century? Maybe. This will not disappoint fans of eurosleaze. The version I saw was dubbed in English from Spanish. (DVD)
The Dracula Saga (1973) Leon Klomovsky, who directed a ton of Paul Naschy films, makes a Dracula movie without Paul Naschy! The Count was a bit of an older gentleman in this one. His pregnant granddaughter comes to stay and Count wants her unborn child to be his heir, as his current heir is a deformed, inbred Cyclops whose giant head resembles a red-haired testicle. Her husband doesn’t take long to be seduced and turned by a house full of she-vamps and our poor heroine is left to fend for herself. The story is a bit uneven, but it’s loaded with blood and tits, and gets increasingly interesting as it progresses. English dub, from Spanish. (DVD)
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2023.06.09 14:33 SnooOnions973 Do I go strait to u/castiron jail for this? (More in comments)

Do I go strait to u/castiron jail for this? (More in comments)
I humbly crawl to the Kings and Queens of this sub, it took me 4 shots and some Sara Briallies [sp?] for me to get the bravery to submit this!
In short, I’m a lazy POS. Put this in the dishwasher one night while too distracted (can I blame adhd now?), and then hung it up and forgot about it. That window gets the afternoon Sun, and, well. I only really noticed this yesterday (haven’t been cooking much lately as I live alone and been a bit sick).
Thought before I ruin it more I’d ask. Wwyd? Before you tell me to take an angle grinder to it, I wonder if there are fewer violent options? (Last time I used an angle grinder I nearly chopped my hand off). Products? Methods? Timing?
Please forgive me and I promise to post updates to show my progress?!?
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2023.06.09 13:53 LengfOrGirf One of my favorite posts from TRP, historical quotes and examples of female nature

St. Jerome, 393 AD: Men Should Not Marry
St. Jerome (AD 347 – AD 420) was one of the most prolific of the early Christian theologists. His main accomplishment was the translation of the Bible into Latin, an important part of the crumbling Roman Empire’s conversion to Christianity. He is frequently ranked among the likes of Augustine, Ambrose, and Gregory the Great as one of the original Doctors of the Church.
Although Christianity has a long history of supporting holy matrimony, St. Jerome was vehemently opposed to the idea of marriage. In my opinion, his condemnation goes too far; he claims furthermore that all sexual contact is inherently sinful and unclean, and urges chastity for all people. It is worth noting that he engaged in much sexual hedonism and debauchery as a young student in Rome, so he at least speaks with experience, if only to reject that lifestyle. Nevertheless, his dissection and critique of marriage and male-female relations remain supremely insightful.
(His advice could be applied to softer relationships too, for the same dynamics and drawbacks are present, albeit in lesser form. Where he says “marriage,” one could easily replace it with “LTR,” and “wife” with “girlfriend.”)
He lays down his reasoning in a book written in 393 AD, Against Jovinianus. An extremely well-learned man, Jerome brings up many quotes, anecdotes, and famous figures from the Classical world. Here are the original sources for these excerpts if you want the whole picture.
Theophrastus’ Golden Book of Marriage I feel that . . . I have said far more than is customary in illustrating a point, and that I might be justly censured by my learned reader. But what am I to do when the women of our time press me with apostolic authority, and before the first husband is buried, repeat from morning to night the precepts which allow a second marriage? Seeing they despise the fidelity which Christian purity dictates, let them at least learn chastity from the heathen. 
Even back then, women were quick to move on with their (love) lives, and marriage vows held little sway.
A book - On Marriage - worth its weight in gold, passes under the name of Theophrastus. In it the author asks whether a wise man marries. And after laying down the conditions that the wife must be fair, of good character and honest parentage, the husband in good health and of ample means, and after saying that under these circumstances a wise man sometimes enters the state of matrimony, he immediately proceeds thus: “But all these conditions are seldom satisfied in marriage. A wise man therefore must not take a wife. For in the first place his study of philosophy will be hindered, and it is impossible for anyone to attend to his books and his wife. Matrons want many things: costly dresses, gold, jewels, great outlay, maid-servants, all kinds of furniture, litters and gilded coaches. Then come curtain-lectures the livelong night: she complains that one lady goes out better dressed than she; that another is looked up to by all; ‘I am a poor despised nobody at the ladies assemblies.’ ‘Why did you ogle that creature next door?’ ‘Why were you talking to the maid?’ ‘What did you bring from the market?’ ‘I am not allowed to have a single friend, or companion.’ She suspects that her husband’s love goes the same way as her hate. 
God, those complaints sound word-for-word like what you’d hear today. Things just don’t change.
There may be in some neighbouring city the wisest of teachers; but if we have a wife we can neither leave her behind, nor take the burden with us. To support a poor wife, is hard; to put up with a rich one, is torture. Notice, too, that in the case of a wife you cannot pick and choose; you must take her as you find her. If she has a bad temper, or is a fool, if she has a blemish, or is proud, or has bad breath, whatever her fault may be – all this we learn after marriage. Horses, asses, cattle, even slaves of the smallest worth, clothes, kettles, wooden seats, cups, and earthenware pitchers, are first tried and then bought; a wife is the only thing that is not shown before she is married, for fear she may not give satisfaction. 
I’ll admit that it is now easier than ever to “try before you buy,” but even so, a woman has incentive to hide her flaws and stay on her best behavior until you’re invested and committed. In any case, you’d still have to do a lot of sifting to find one without any major faults.
Our gaze must always be directed to her face, and we must always praise her beauty: if you look at another woman, she thinks that she is out of favour. She must be called ‘my lady,’ her birth-day must be kept, we must swear by her health and wish that she may survive us, respect must be paid to the nurse, to the nursemaid, to the father’s slave, to the foster-child, to the handsome hanger-on, to the curled darling who manages her affairs, and to the eunuch who ministers to the safe indulgence of her lust; names which are only a cloak for adultery. Upon whomsoever she sets her heart, they must have her love though they want her not. 
But she say he just a friend!
If you give her the management of the whole house, you must yourself be her slave. If you reserve something for yourself, she will not think you are loyal to her; but she will turn to strife and hatred, and unless you quickly take care, she will have the poison ready. 
Poisoning is harder to get away with these days, so they use divorce papers instead.
If you introduce old women, and soothsayers, and prophets, and vendors of jewels and silken clothing, you imperil her chastity; if you shut the door upon them, she is injured and fancies you suspect her. But what is the good of even a careful guardian, when an unchaste wife cannot be watched, and a chaste one ought not to be? For necessity is but a faithless keeper of chastity, and she alone really deserves to be called pure, who is free to sin if she chooses. 
In other words, mate-guarding is useless, and a woman who is faithful only out of fear of consequences or of losing you is not truly pure at heart. She can still mentally undress anybody she wants.
If a woman be fair, she soon finds lovers; if she be ugly, it is easy to be wanton [i.e. promiscuous] It is difficult to guard what many long for. It is annoying to have what no one thinks worth possessing. 
If nobody’s buying her goods, then the price of entry goes down. But since most men value sexual exclusivity as much as sexual attractiveness, then so does the value. It’s a vicious cycle, but what’s a plain woman to do to snatch a high-value mate?
But the misery of having an ugly wife is less than that of watching a comely one. Nothing is safe, for which a whole people sighs and longs. One man entices with his figure, another with his brains, another with his wit, another with his open hand. Somehow, or sometime, the fortress is captured which is attacked on all sides. 
Jerome notices that there are many ways to stimulate a woman’s lust. Wealthy noblemen, lanky musicians, sly conmen, brutish warriors, and stern rulers all enjoy sexual success in exchange for what their lifestyles have to offer.
Men marry, indeed, so as to get a manager for the house, to solace weariness, to banish solitude; but a faithful slave is a far better manager, more submissive to the master, more observant of his ways, than a wife who thinks she proves herself mistress if she acts in opposition to her husband, that is, if she does what pleases her, not what she is commanded. 
Then, as now, men had the same fears and faulty reasoning in pursuing relationships with women.
But friends, and servants who are under the obligation of benefits received, are better able to wait upon us in sickness than a wife who makes us responsible for her tears (she will sell you enough to make a deluge for the hope of a legacy), boasts of her anxiety, but drives her sick husband to the distraction of despair. But if she herself is poorly, we must fall sick with her and never leave her bedside. 
Notice he uses the word “sell” to describe the woman’s crying and pleading for children (i.e. a legacy). Jerome had enough experience with women to see through the long con.
Or if she be a good and agreeable wife (how rare a bird she is!), we have to share her groans in childbirth, and suffer torture when she is in danger. 
Even if she does her best to make your life easy, a good woman still needs much support, protection, and care. Proceed at your own risk.
Then again, to marry for the sake of children, so that our name may not perish, or that we may have support in old age and leave our property without dispute, is the height of stupidity. For what is it to us when we are leaving the world if another bears our name, when even a son does not all at once take his father’s title, and there are countless others who are called by the same name. Or what support in old age is he whom you bring up, and who may die before you, or turn out a reprobate? Or at all events when he reaches mature age, you may seem to him long in dying. 
Many of my grandfather’s friends raised incompetent sons, despite being hardworking and conscientious themselves. As a result, they’ve had no support from their offspring in their old age. It is always a gamble, even if you do right by your family.
Friends and relatives whom you can judiciously love are better and safer heirs than those whom you must make your heirs whether you like it or not. Indeed, the surest way of having a good heir is to ruin your fortune in a good cause while you live, not to leave the fruit of your labour to be used you know not how. 
This is probably a big, big factor in how the children of good men become spoiled. They know a great inheritance is in the works, plus they’ve had every want and need fulfilled since their parents were so successful at providing, so where’s the children’s incentive to work hard themselves and pay back the favor? For those same reasons, a wife can be spoiled the same way your children can.
Examples Showing Why Men Should Not Marry When Cicero - after divorcing Terentia - was requested by Hirtius to marry his sister, he set the matter altogether on one side, and said that he could not possibly devote himself to a wife and to philosophy. Meanwhile that excellent partner, who had herself drunk wisdom at Tully’s fountains, married Sallust his enemy, and took for her third husband Messala Corvinus, and thus, as it were, passed through three degrees of eloquence. Socrates had two wives, Xantippe and Myron, grand-daughter of Aristides. They frequently quarreled, and he was accustomed to banter them for disagreeing about him, he being the ugliest of men, with snub nose, bald forehead, rough-haired, and bandylegged. At last they planned an attack upon him, and having punished him severely and put him to flight, vexed him for a long time. 
I find it interesting that St. Jerome pointed out Socrates’ ugliness as the reason for his wives abusing and disrespecting him. I guess looks do matter.
On one occasion when he opposed Xantippe, who from above was heaping abuse upon him, the termagant soused him with dirty water, but he only wiped his head and said, “I knew that a shower must follow such thunder as that.” 
Socrates had another quip, something along the lines of “If you marry a good wife you will become happy; if you marry a bad one you will become a philosopher.” At least he had a sense of humor about it all.
Metella, consort of Lucius Sulla the Fortunate (except in the matter of his wife) was openly unchaste. It was the common talk of Athens, as I learnt in my youthful years when we soon pick up what is bad, and yet Sulla was in the dark, and first got to know the secrets of his household through the abuse of his enemies. 
To put this in context, Lucius Sulla was one of the most successful generals and leaders of Rome. He sacked Athens, captured Rome to end a civil war, became dictator, and reinstated the Roman Senate. He was declared by none other than Machiavelli as having the prime attributes of an effective leader – cunning like a fox, courageous like a lion. Apparently all this had no bearing on his wife’s fidelity.
Pompey had an impure wife Mucia, who was surrounded by eunuchs from Pontus and troops of the countrymen of Mithridates. Others thought that he knew all and submitted to it; but a comrade told him during the campaign, and the conqueror of the whole world was dismayed at the sad intelligence. 
Pompey could be considered a successor of sorts to Sulla. As a young military commander, he was wildly successful, ruthless, and bold. He became consul of Rome at age 35, an unprecedented feat attributed to his popularity. All this was still not enough to inspire his wife to remain true. They divorced after Pompey learned of her frequent adultery during his military campaigns.
Cato, the Censor, had a wife Actoria Paula, a woman of low origin, fond of drink, violent, and (who would believe it?) haughty to Cato. I say this for fear anyone may suppose that in marrying a poor woman he has secured peace. 
A poor woman will not be automatically appreciative of your relative wealth, and make only modest demands of you. She will still want everything you have to offer. Just as you want her sexual best – and nothing less – she will want your provisional best – and nothing less.
When Philip, king of Macedon, against whom Demosthenes thundered in his Philippics, was entering his bed-room as usual, his wife in a passion shut him out. Finding himself excluded he held his tongue, and consoled himself for the insult by reading a tragic poem. 
Even kings are made to sleep on the couch. Sing it with me: “Who run tha world?”
Gorgias the Rhetorician recited his excellent treatise on Concord to the Greeks, then at variance among themselves, at Olympia. Whereupon Melanthius his enemy observed: “Here is a man who teaches us concord, and yet could not make concord between himself, his wife, and maid-servant, three persons in one house.” The truth was that his wife envied the beauty of the girl, and drove the purest of men wild with daily quarrels. 
How do you keep multiple girlfriends happy? Make each one secretly believe she’s number one.
Whole tragedies of Euripides are censures on women. Hence Hermione says, “The counsels of evil women have beguiled me.” In the semibarbarous and remote city Leptis it is the custom for a daughter-in-law on the second day to beg the loan of a jar from her mother-in-law. The latter at once denies the request, and we see how true was the remark of Terence, ambiguously expressed on purpose – “How is this? Do all mothers-in-law hate their daughters-in-law?” 
A mother often understands her son’s wife/girlfriend better than he does – that hatred means something.
We read of a certain Roman noble who, when his friends found fault with him for having divorced a wife, beautiful, chaste, and rich, put out his foot and said to them, “And the shoe before you looks new and elegant, yet no one but myself knows where it pinches.” Herodotus tells us that a woman puts off her modesty with her clothes. And our own comic poet thinks the man fortunate who has never been married. In all the bombast of tragedy and the overthrow of houses, cities, and kingdoms, it is the wives and concubines who stir up strife. Parents take up arms against their children; unspeakable banquets are served; and on account of the rape of one wretched woman Europe and Asia are involved in a ten years’ war. 
I am not sure what war Jerome is referring to here, maybe someone with better history knowledge can chime in.
We read of some who were divorced the day after they were married, and immediately married again. Both husbands are to blame, both he who was so soon dissatisfied, and he who was so soon pleased. Epicurus the patron of pleasure (though Metrodorus his disciple married Leontia) says that a wise man can seldom marry, because marriage has many drawbacks. And as riches, honours, bodily health, and other things which we call indifferent, are neither good nor bad, but stand as it were midway, and become good and bad according to the use and issue, so wives stand on the border line of good and ill. It is, moreover, a serious matter for a wise man to be in doubt whether he is going to marry a good or a bad woman. The Snares of Marital Love; Chastity Recommended to Women Aristotle and Plutarch and our Seneca have written treatises on matrimony, out of which we have already made some extracts and now add a few more: “The love of beauty is the forgetting of reason and the near neighbour of madness; a foul blot little in keeping with a sound mind. It confuses counsel, breaks high and generous spirits, draws away men from great thoughts to mean ones; it makes men querulous, ill-tempered, foolhardy, cruelly imperious, servile flatterers, good for nothing, at last not even for love itself. For although in the intensity of passion it burns like a raging fire, it wastes much time through suspicions, tears, and complaints: it begets hatred of itself, and at last hates itself.” The course of love is laid bare in Plato’s Phaedrus from beginning to end, and Lysias explains all its drawbacks – how it is led not by reason, but by frenzy, and in particular is a harsh gaoler over lovely wives. 
Jerome is talking not only of oneitis, but of pure lust as well. Both can lead to a man’s downfall. In both cases, sexual jealousy can rear its ugly head. But if a woman wants to cheat or branch-swing, there is virtually nothing you can do to stop her from acting on that desire, or from having the desire in the first place. And if a woman does not want to cheat or branch-swing, then jealousy is useless and can only damage your standing in the relationship, perhaps leading to a self-fulfilling prophecy. And all the while, your feelings of rage and inadequacy only cause you psychological harm. That said, I completely understand the natural tendency to become jealous. It is probably an evolved, instinctive response to being cuckolded or losing reproductive opportunity, which would’ve been useful to avoid wasting resources and to keep your genes in the gene pool. But if sex is all you’re after – and the women you sleep with fulfill your sexual desires – then what do her other lovers matter to you? Sure, STDs are a concern, but if it’s your goal to sleep with multiple women, you’re already exposing yourself to considerable risk.
There is nothing blacker than to love a wife as if she were an adulteress. Men who say they have contracted marriage and are bringing up children, for the good of their country and of the race, should at least imitate the brutes, and not destroy their offspring in the womb; nor should they appear in the character of lovers, but of husbands. In some cases marriage has grown out of adultery; and, shameful to relate! men have tried to teach their wives chastity after having taken their chastity away. 
I think this speaks to the hypocrisy of men expecting women to enjoy having sex, but only with them and no one else. If a woman likes wine, would she only drink chardonnay? If a woman likes country, would she only listen to Carrie Underwood? Likewise, if a woman genuinely enjoys sex, why would her tastes be limited to just one man?
Marriages of that sort are quickly dissolved when lust is satiated. The first allurement gone, the charm is lost. 
Relationships based on attraction alone do not last, simple as that. You actually have to be compatible as people – if that’s possible between a man and woman. You both need enough self-control and motivation to overcome your straying impulses. Men must check their desire for polygamy, and women must check their desire for hypergamy. Otherwise, the relationship will become exploitative on one side or the other, or dissolve entirely.
What shall I say, says Seneca, of the poor men who in numbers are bribed to take the name of husband in order to evade the laws promulgated against bachelors? How can he who is married under such conditions be a guide to morality, teach chastity, and maintain the authority of a husband? 
Even then, men were compelled to marry and place themselves under the yoke. Remind me again how Marriage 1.0 was such a good deal? Ain’t a damn thing changed.
Summary: St. Jerome, one of the most influential figures in early Christianity, warned of the follies and dangers of marriage, and advised wholeheartedly against it. Even during Marriage 1.0, women often ruled the relationship. Famous philosophers, powerful rulers, and charming orators were unable to keep their wives in check. Jealousy and mate-guarding are useless to prevent cheating, they can only help a man to walk away from potential cuckoldry and abuse. It is paradoxical to expect a woman who enjoys sex to only desire it with you. Conversely, it is irrational to expect a chaste woman to act like your own personal whore.
Do not marry for sex or love, because the relationship will crumble when mutual attraction fades. Marrying to have kids is also foolish, because you don’t know how they will turn out or whether they will actually support you in your old age. Ultimately, it is impossible to know for certain beforehand if a woman will make a good or bad wife, so it is wisest to avoid the risk altogether. DO NOT MARRY.
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2023.06.09 12:39 sikrsai Finns on the Titanic

I recently came across an article about the Finnish travelers on the Titanic and wanted to share a few stories that stuck with me. Original article was published in the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti.

Elin and Pekka Hakkarainen
Elin and Pekka were newlyweds from Helsinki. They had only been married for three months at the time of the sinking. The couple were awoken by the impact, and Pekka went out to see what was happening. Not realizing she would never see her husband again, Elin went back to sleep, only to awoken sometime later by the couple's worried friends banging on their cabin door. Elin went on deck to look for Pekka but was pushed on to a waiting lifeboat so violently she was almost crushed between the boat and the hull of the ship. "Pekko, Pekko! I'm over here, this way!", she cried out for her husband, whose body was never found. Elin received 50 pounds as compensation.
Erik Jussila
Erik Jussila was also recently married. He had lived in the USA for 8 years at that point and was traveling to Finland ahead of his wife. Erik's friend Juho Niskanen awoke him after the impact, shouting: "Get up, come face our death!". The article doesn't specify what happened to Erik and Juho, but on a list of survivors I was able to find a Mr. Jussila Eiriik. No mention of Juho.
Panula family
Maria Panula was traveling with her five sons to meet her husband, who was waiting for the family in the US. The couple's children were Ernesti (16), Jaakko (15), Juho (7), Urho (2) and Eino (1). With Maria was traveling ms. Sanni Riihivuori, as a nanny for the children. Sanni was 22.
The exact movements of the family on the night of the sinking are unclear, but several eyewitness testimonies have been recorded. A panicked Maria was seen on the deck, holding her youngest sons and frantically searching for her older children. Maria was offered a place on a lifeboat, but only her and 1-year-old Eino were permitted to board. A distraught Ernesti grabbed onto his mother's skirt, crying out: "Mother, don't leave us, please! Let us die together!". Maria chose to stay with all her children on board, where they all perished in the sinking.
In a chilling detail, the family's 9-year-old daughter Emma had drowned in a river near their home only two years earlier. Before Emma’s body was recovered, her mother dreamt of her saying: “don’t feel bad for me, mother. A watery grave is not so bad, and one awaits you as well.”
An unknown child buried in a Halifax cemetery was for some time thought to have been Eino, the 1-year-old from the Panula family. Further DNA analysis proved this theory false, as the baby was identified as 1-year-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin (another family that perished entirely in the sinking).
Laina Heikkinen
26-year-old Laina Heikkinen was from a working-class background, as most of the Finnish passenger were. She had moved to the USA in 1910, and worked as a maid in New York. Laina had returned to Finland hoping to convince her sister to join her in the States, but the girls’ mother wouldn’t let her. Therefore, Laina had to return alone, and due to a coal strike she was unable to make her intended ship. She boarded the Titanic with a 3rd class ticket.
On the night of the sinking Laina awoke to commotion from the hallway. She heard someone shouting “iceberg!”. She dressed carefully in three dresses in order to keep warm, and eventually made it to lifeboat number 14.
Laina married in 1914 and spent the rest of her life on a farm in Oregon. She never learned to speak English and never wanted to speak of the Titanic. Laina’s daughter remembered her mother often crying in her sleep. She suspects her mother was haunted by the events of the sinking, and the cries of help from those in the water.
63 Finns in total boarded the Titanic in the hopes of reaching New York. Only about one third of them survived the sinking.
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2023.06.09 08:15 Knightlyish [F4M] The Second Chance Brothel. [TW disfigurement][Long Post]

Miss Courtney stepped out of her apartment into the gloomy night. It had been pouring rain for a week now, the ground so oversaturated there was nowhere for the water to go. Each step made a small splash around her, making her way towards her special home away from home. She didn’t live far, but this was never a safe neighborhood. Junkies and riffraff littering alleys and street corners. Miss Courtney would not be dissuaded. Glaring forwards, as to intimidate any who might dare approach her. Finally, she made it to her destination, a gloryhole brothel that she herself owned. Stepping inside and clicking on the humming lights, and Sighing a breath of relief. She always arrived early to turn on the thermostat, coffee machine, and to unlock the back door for her working ladies. Her special second home was her dream since her accident, And she had finally made it a reality some 4 years ago. This home, however, held a dark secret that nobody knew, besides those who worked there. All of the working ladies had some kind of Malady, Disfigurement, old injury, or quirk that made them self conscious and unable to find purpose. Despite her mean, and frankly rude exterior, Courtney cared deeply for these girls. She felt their pain and wanted to bring some comfort to them. She closes her eyes with another deep sigh. Rubbing at her shoulder where the prosthetic arm met flesh. It was a useless thing, but she wore it to keep up appearances, nobody suspected a thing. Her job had become harder, however, as her business became more and more popular, it became increasingly difficult to take care of every task alone. With a heavy heart and a tinge of regret, she posts an advert online, searching for an assistant to take up her more menial duties.
HEY! Hope you enjoyed the little preamble. This roleplay YOU will be filling the role of the assistant that arrives to help Miss Courtney! Also, this is a GLORY HOLE brothel, Not a normal brothel. A normal brothel could not keep the girls secret identities. But still…
This roleplay is very low/zero smut! But given the setting it is not right to claim it not as an ERP. But be aware that I am not looking for sex driven partners. This is a WHOLESOME roleplay meant for romance and some darker themes.
I am hoping for literate partners as I do not like one line roleplay! Please hmu if interested!
Few character limits. If your character has any of these there’s a decent chance I won’t want to continue the rp :( sorry.
1:stupid name (I’ve had people go by Gromulus) 2: Veterans 3:Scars/missing parts.
Q: Could you tell me more about the plot? A: The plot is very open ended and the direction it takes is very dependent on how you interact with the girls and which girls you interact with. BUT, I would love if your character would befriend the working girls and build up relationships with them, respecting them enough to defend them.
Q: Should we discuss kinks and limits? A: JUST LIMITS. This is a wholesome focused rp. When any kind of smut or sex happens it will be quite vanilla. Because that is NOT the focus of the rp.
Q:How is this “wholesome” A: see above
Q:How is this “Dark” A: the scene is capable of taking dark turns at points. Dangerous situations involving the girls, hostile patrons, mental breaking points, even so far as “losing” one of the working girls.
Q:where does the “gore” come in. A: the working girls all have physical issues from their past. Unsightly old injuries that impact their lives and make them conveniently unattractive. The gore refers to these injuries. But there is of course, room for new things when the rp gets dark. If you state gore as one of your limits, that will be a strike, as it makes me think you have not paid attention to the post
Q: who will you be playing as. A: I will be a GM of sorts, playing as all of the girls working at the brothel and rarely as patrons/those involved with the working girls.
Q: Who will I be playing as. A: you have been hired as an assistant at the brothel. You will be an assistant to not only the manager but also the working girls. And your tasks will widely vary, depending on who needs your help.
Q: Is my end goal to “save” the girls from this horrible situation? A: NO! The girls need no saving. They are here of their own free will and the money is just a bonus for them! They are truly only here to enjoy sex without having to deal with people being offended by their appearance. The girls are treated incredibly well.
Q: is the brothel run down/decrepit and in need of my help to fix it up? A: NO! It is a very high end brothel. Real wood floors, velvet carpets, a break room that you could live in it’s so homey and comfortable, And of course a clean show floor stocked with everything to make sure the experience is smooth and safe.
Q: the tag says Gore, do I get to snuff the girls? A: Absolutely not. Any attempts to be unnecessarily violent or nasty to the girls will result in the rp ending right then and there.
Q: This prompt reminds me a lot of Katawa Shoujo, was that the inspiration? A: NO! I had no idea what this was until very recently and I’ve been doing this prompt for years. But I understand now! They are pretty similar and I see the connection! Speaking of, make sure to say Inspiration in your first message, or I will not reply at all, or, I’ll reply to berate you for not reading this post.
Q: What are the specific “quirks” that the girls have? A: I’d rather not spoil every surprise in the rp. If you have any kind of limits about the “quirks” described on the post please say them before the rp, so nobody gets offended.
Q: Do you have Character refs? Tell me about them. A: Yes I have refs for most if not all of my characters. But I will not be sharing them all right from the start. I do not want to spoil the surprise of the rp. Do note, all of the character refs are AI generated, as what I am looking to show is nearly impossible to find naturally.
Q: If I’m not comfortable with a certain injury/quirk. What should we do? A: if you have any kind of limit regarding this aspect of the rp. Please let me know the specific quirks you would like to avoid BEFORE STARTING the Roleplay.
Q: What if there is a certain quirk I would like to see in the roleplay? A: You may suggest whatever quirks to me and I will let you know if that is something appropriate for the roleplay, and even generate a reference for the character
submitted by Knightlyish to roleplaying [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 07:26 okaysowhatsup Food poisoning or stomach virus weeks later? Tests?

Hello! Did a virus or food poising just turn me from IBS-C to IBS-D?
Traveled from US to Ireland and began having “mild” diarrhea after 3 days, by my 6th and final day i got bad lower back pain and left side aches on my upper stomach. Began violently puking (even water) and basically had liquid coming out my other end for 9 hours straight. No fever or bloody stool. I had to get on a flight 2 hours after this all slowed so i finally took the Imodium.
It’s now been 2 weeks and i’m still having diarrhea and get bloating, gas, and cramps in my stomach especially near my right hip in the mornings and nights (my appendix was removed in Nov so not that)
So what the heck is going on?? I think maybe a salad triggered it, I tend to throw up after eating salad or sushi even if high quality…but it may be in my head.
If I go to a doc what tests can I have done? I don’t want to take meds unless 100% needed for stomach issue. I’m also panicked that now I have IBS-D. I appreciate you all greatly!!
submitted by okaysowhatsup to ibs [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 06:03 Objective_Campaign82 Sins of the Father Ch36 (Hellworlder pirates 2)

Standing and moving still brought the Arbiter a lot of pain. But the Law’s grim enforcer couldn’t let anyone see that weakness. Especially not with the pirate before them and the very same assassin who had nearly killed them weeks before beneath that pirate’s foot.
The Arbiter had only just been cleared for light duty and decided to spend that time with the Officers in charge of watching the pirates Demon ship. They weren’t ADCU since those officers couldn’t be wasted on a simple stakeout. The Arbiter however had been assured the Officers in charge there were the best they had. But not two minutes within the stakeout tent the Arbiter had learned that the pirate Captain had slipped past the officers assigned to tail her. And more disturbingly that every pirate who left the Astaroth had slipped their tails with disdainful ease.
The utter lack of concern had further stoked their fury. According to the officer on duty every pirate that left eventually made a mess of something and stirred up a minor disturbance. And that only a few that left were unaccounted for. 
The complete lack of awareness for how shady and suspicious all that should have sounded baffled the Arbiter’s mind. They knew crime and violence didn’t come so naturally to other species as it did for the Arbiter’s human mind. But the failure to make such a basic connection that the pirates were creating distractions so that other pirates could do their work covertly, screamed at incompetence.
That led to the Arbiter learning that all the officers in charge of the overwatch operation were actually low level beat cops and file clerks. Looking into the system used to select these officers the Arbiter learned that they weren’t just incompetent, but so incompetent that the staggering number of negative reports had confused the filing system and had placed them into the highest bracket of trusted officers. The system was made to calculate negative values but couldn’t properly place such incompetent people into their proper bracket because there wasn’t a bracket appropriately low enough to place them into. So instead it simply went past the lowest level and placed them into the highest level.
And of course such poor officers couldn’t simply be fired because the officers workers union would make a fuss. Which meant the SS couldn’t replace these idiots with any slightly more intelligent sapients.
The bureaucratic idiocy was so infuriating that the Arbiter had lashed out at a nearby pole before they could think better of it. The pole snapped at the impact, fell over, and collapsed half the tent with it.
After that little outburst the Arbiter decided to take a walk and calm down. Only to stumble upon the missing pirate captain locked in a life-or-death battle with the very same assassin who had ambushed them just weeks before.
The Arbiter hadn’t been there for the start of the fight, but simple deduction was enough to reason that the assassin had likely initiated the conflict. They had mentioned Astarte’s name on the night of the attack. And the Pirate had no reason to seek out and attack the assassin.
During that fight The Arbiter had barely survived their encounter with the assassin. The assassin’s prosthetic modifications presented a gap in power that the Arbiter just couldn’t bridge. But despite fighting what should have been a one sided battle, the pirate was doing surprisingly well. In fact if the Arbiter was any judge, Astarte seemed to have a slight advantage.
Not in speed, power, or endurance. The assassin’s mechanical body was simply too powerful for a human to matchup. But in skill Astarte out matched the mechanical assassin.
Astarte dodged and weaved without effortless ease, getting past the assassin’s guard to strike at their, or her, mechanical body. If the assassin hadn’t been a machine then Astarte would have won by now, even with the gap in power.
Rachel felt slightly ashamed at her own poor showing against the assassin when compared to Astarte’s fight. The shame then quickly burned into anger as the Arbiter gripped the rifle at their side and pulled it out to try and shoot the assassin. Unlike the Arbiter had been that night, Astarte was wearing that ridiculous dark red armor and had a sword like she was some sort of space samurai. The Arbiter had done well that night, and their lack of superior weaponry had been their only flaw. One that had been amended with the addition of a more powerful pulse rifle.
They tried to line up a shot on the assassin that wouldn’t hit Astarte, when Astarte began to speak. “You wanna know the funny part. Greyson didn’t even care that you were gone.”
Wait, did these two share a past. The Arbiter guessed that old saying about birds of a feather was true. Who was Greyson? Some sort of man they had both known?
“Didn’t even question me about. Just said ‘Zera’s gone, now you will guard my back’” the pirate continued. “Then not even a week later I was second in command and got to sleep in his comfy bed.” The pirate gave her attacker a sloppy lascivious grin.
“And then you killed him like the deceptive whore you are!” the assassin spat, her attacks becoming sloppier with more openings.
Where these two quarreling over a man? The Arbiter felt bile rise into their throat. Two of the deadliest human women they had ever seen fighting over some man they had known. Pathetic. No man was worth that. Especially not whoever this Greyson bastard was given how quickly he had let the pirate into his bed after his first girlfriend disappeared.
Wait, Greyson, pirate, dead. Were they talking about the infamous human pirate, Byron Greyson? The one who had been a menace to the Femeri system, who was responsible for the disappearance of over thirty thousand humans and the deaths of many more? The one whose headless body had turned up one day aboard the drifting remains of the Black Saint? It couldn’t be, right?
But the rise of the Astaroth and Astarte had happened shortly before Greyson’s mysterious death. It seemed too coincidental.
“Of course I did, I refused to be the latest women he ruined and dumped into the gutter. Face it, your days were numbered. If it wasn’t me it would have been him.” The pirate said with a derisive sneer.
A bit callous and mercenary, but if they were discussing Greyson then likely not inaccurate.
The assassin however didn’t see that logic. “LIAR!” she screamed as she flew into a rage.
Then the Arbiter saw the reasoning behind Astarte’s taunts. This assassin was dangerously unhinged, and Astarte was using that to bait her into a trap.
The next sequence of attacks was too fast for the Arbiter to follow. A sword hilt to the face, followed by something launching out of the assassin’s arm. Then somehow Astarte had her other arm in her grip and flipped the assassin over a shoulder. With the assassin on the ground, Astarte quickly pressed one leg to their back, and with the arm in hand began to pull. The assassins sudden ultrasonic scream made the Arbiter vison darken at the edges, and maybe caused their ears to bleed a little.
Then the arm came out with a pop and the screaming stopped.
The pirate looked at the arm for a second, before lifting it above her head and swinging it down into the assassin’s head. The loud conk of metal on metal was enough to startle the Arbiter out of her awe and terror.
The barrel of their pulse cannon lifted up with Astarte centered in its sight “FREEZE!” the Arbiter roared with all their might.
Astarte paused mid swing, looked towards the Arbiter, and then raised both of her hands above her head. As well as the assassins severed arm. “It was self defense.” The pirate said quickly.
The Arbiter could have sworn they saw a flash of red. But it happened so fast that they weren’t sure if it was really there. And if it was then why would the pirates eye flash red?
The eye crossed by a gruesome scar. Did the pirate have a glass color changing eye?
No, her eyes were both clearly moving around and focusing on things like they should. Could it be cybernetic? Those were supposed to be impossible, too complicated to properly miniaturize with current technology.
It was something to investigate.
The Arbiter had been so focused on Astarte that they hadn’t been watching the assassin close enough. In a movement the Arbiter hadn’t seen the assassin threw Astarte off her back before popping up to her feet. Astarte went down onto the ground and the assassin lurched forward to attack her downed foe. But before she could reach the pirate three quick blasts from the Arbiters rifle stopped her in her tracks.
One had winged her side, another went wide. But the third had caught her right where a liver should have been. The assassin stuttered, but wasn’t dead. They dodged the next shot by ducking and then the second by somehow leaping ten meters into the air and onto a window seal. The assassin looked down on the two women and was clearly judging their chances at victory. But with an, admittable impressive, one-handed springlike flip Astarte was back on her feet, sword ready for another round.
The assassin’s strange mechanical face scowled before another impossible jump sent her over a nearby building and out of sight.
The Arbiter relaxed once the assassin was gone, but Astarte didn’t. The pirate turned, grabbed the Arbiters gloved hand, and pulled her into a jog down the open alleyway. “Come on, there’s an open lot nearby. Can’t jump us from there.” She said without looking back as she dragged the Arbiter along.
For a stunned few seconds Rachel stared at the strong hand grasping her own smaller one. But then the Arbiter saw the logic in Astarte’s worry and forced their hand to release the pirate and ran alongside her.
A few times the Arbiter had noticed a thin humanoid shadow leap between the buildings above them, but a quick turn down an alley from Astarte had them moving away from the incoming ambush from the assassin chasing them via roof tops. In no time at all they made it to an open loading dock for a nearby warehouse. Astarte ran into its center and scanned the roof tops, the Arbiter followed suit.
The Arbiter and the Pirate stood back to back, each searching for any signs of the mutual foe.
“There!” Astarte shouted while pointing her finger at a roof top.
The Arbiter stared up, but couldn’t see anything. But following the pirate’s direction they raised their rifle and shot at the edge of the building Astarte had pointed at. The blasts landed and then the crouched figure of the assassin rose up and backed away.
How had the pirate seen her? The Arbiter spared her a glance and saw a second flash of red before the pirate shifted her head.
“You should call for backup.” The pirate stated while still scanning the roof tops.
“To arrest the assassin?” the Arbiter asked before they could think better of it.
Astarte snorted. “Wouldn’t trust any SS to arrest a dead log, let alone Zera. But more witnesses might scare her off.”
Two things stood out in that statement, the assassin’s apparent name, and “SS, is that supposed to be short for station security?”
“Schutzstaffel actually, its just a strange coincidence they line up” the Pirate joked wryly.
The Arbiter scowled “You think the Station security are like the Nazi’s?” The Arbiter’s lessons about the various evil factions during Earths history had left her with nightmares for years. Crucifixion, death by a thousand cuts, blood eagles, and the like had disturbed their six-year-old mind. Their lessons had spent weeks on all the evils humanity inflicted upon each other, all the way until First contact.
“If the kinky boot fits.” Astarte said while examining the Arbiter’s own black boots.
The Arbiter swished their cloak to hide their boots, and the pirates gaze snapped back up to the rooftops. The Arbiter made the call, and the idiots in charge of the tent said they would need a few minutes to ‘locate’ their rifles and arm shields. Why they had to be located in the first place confused the Arbiter? They couldn’t be so incompetent as to not know where their weapons were, right?”
Tense minutes past before Astarte let out a sigh of relief. “I think she gave up.” she then shot the Arbiter an accusing glare “I almost had the bitch. If you hadn’t interfered we wouldn’t have to worry about her coming back.”
"You expect me to stand by while you committed murder?” The Arbiter growled, now stepping back from the pirate and reaching for a set of cuffs.
The pirate frowned, then glanced up as if recalling a distant memory. “I… ugh felt my life was in imminent danger, and feared for my life while facing down a clearly aggressive and violent deathworlder with a weapon. I used whatever objects I could find at the time…I carry no weapons and was forced to use ceremonial objects in crude, and ugh…unusual ways for self defense. I did not think retreat was possible so I acted to end the threat” she said in a bland staccato rhythm of everyone reciting words from memory. Her words obviously citing several different laws pertaining to self-defense.
The Arbiter felt an eye twitch. “The law pertaining to Deathworlder assailants was not intended to include Deathworlder victims.” The Arbiter said slowly.
Astarte shrugged “Union vs. Trevor Philips established that the enforcement of the law was done by the letter of the law, not the spirit. By that ruling and precedent I acted reasonably and was within my rights for self-defense. Any attempt to detain me would result in punitive measures from my legal representation.”
In all their time on the ADCU the Arbiter had never encountered a criminal so well versed in the intricacies of Union law. Some loop holes were well known, and easy for Officers to circumvent in order to attain an arrest. But the Arbiter hadn’t encountered something like this before.
The Arbiter looked down and noticed the sword she still held, red blood from the pirate running down its blade. “So that sword isn’t a weapon?” The Arbiter asked pointedly.
The feline smile that covered Astarte’s face sent shivers up their spine. “My dear officer, as you can notice I am of half Japanese heritage, a hafu if you will. I am dressing in the traditional fashions of my people. The armor, the katana, and the wakizashi are all hallmarks of the samurai I am descended from. None of these are worn for anything beyond cultural heritage. And for that matter, my crew wear the same to honor my ancestry.”
The Arbiter sighed. Astarte’s defense, though blatantly false, was airtight. Arresting her now would only give her ammunition to legally strike back. And with the recent backlash of the Deathworlder crack down the Arbiter could doom Judge’s career. It had been a celebrated move of the last chief, but the knock-on effects of it had resulted in several months of rioting, looting, and political discourse in the heart of the Union. The last chief was forced to step down and Judge took his place and was still trying to reverse the damages. Which was hard with all the precincts fighting him on it. Those officers had too many friends torn apart by Terran criminals to ever let that grudge go.
“Then you may leave the arm behind and be one your way.” The Arbiter ordered.
Astarte blinked, “the arm?”
The Arbiter pointed to the severed arm still within the pirate’s grasp “That is evidence in an on going investigation. LEAVE. IT. BEHIND” The Arbiter explained, growling out the last words slowly. Just because Astarte had likely saved the Arbiter’s life with some quick thinking didn’t erase the fact that she was a person of interest/suspect in the same case.
Astarte glanced down at the severed arm and blinked as if surprised she was still holding it. Then tossed it carelessly onto the ground. “All yours, make sure to check for bugs before plugging it in.”
“Computer viruses hidden in its OS. Thing could have all sorts of things hidden within.”
“And how do you know?”
“I don’t. It’s just the sort of thing I would do myself. Try loading it onto a separate server. Oh, and check for small explosives.”
“Danm Deathworlders” the Arbiter growled as they now considered the severed arm on the ground next to a small splatter of Astarte’s blood. She was right, Deathworlders were known for their tricks and traps. Humans especially. During one investigation a load of seized morphine from an illegal clinic had been stored next to an unstable chemical that reacted poorly to the jostling of the transport and destroyed the evidence in a fiery explosion.
Astarte chuckled “Glass stones Arbiter.”
“Glass stones, it’s a human malaphor of sorts. I’ll leave the details for you to figure out. Good luck with tracking down Zera, I’d recommend starting with the prison records on Union Station Parox.” She said as she turned aways and strode off. Walking in the opposite direction of the arriving officers, half of which were missing their weapons or shields.
The Arbiter let out a sigh as she observed the most incompetent idoits she had ever seen strut onto the lot without a care in the universe.
“You called us Sir.” The lead Voral said.
The Arbiter took in a deep breath “Yes I did. Ten minutes ago.”
“It was a long walk.” The officer said defensively, no care for the Arbiters growing anger.
“Its only a few hundred standard meters. But that doesn’t matter I encountered an assassin in the midst of their crime. That’s their arm.”
The Voral looked panicked and began to look from side to side.
The Arbiter felt an involuntary eye twitch and clenched her fist. “The assassin is gone.”
The Voral relaxed “So you want us to secure the evidence?” he asked.
That had been the Arbiters plan, but now seeing them mill about aimlessly they changed their mind. “No, secure the area and stay out of CSI’s way. Understood?”
The officer looked offended. “Sir, its just an arm. We don’t need to wait around for CSI, one of my men can bag it right now.”
Patience wearing thin the Arbiter marched right into the Voral’s face. The fact the Officer loomed over her by two meters did little to diminish the Arbiter’s menacing aura. “AM. I. UNDERSTOOD?”
“Yes Sir.” The cowed Voral officer answered with a nervous buzz of his wings.
“Then go.”
Ten minutes later six medium shuttles from the CSI unit, and two small shuttles from the ADCU were on the scene of the lot and in the alley where the Arbiter had stumbled upon Astarte. Edict and Prosecutor began to jump along the rooftops, recreating the assassin’s movements and collecting more evidence.
The assassin’s arm, and the dried sample of Astarte’s blood was collected. As well as fragments of what looked to be a broken glass eye with a micro camera.
They lost the assassin’s trail after they ducked into the inner hull of the station and escaped across the pipes, wires, and support structure of Unity.
Thirty minutes after that they departed for the central precinct. The Arbiter within the darkened confines of the ADCU shuttle felt safe enough to take off the hood. Caleb and Bartolv did the same. They noticed her pensive mood and didn’t disturb her.
It wasn’t lost on her that Astarte knew exactly who this assassin was. And if she hadn’t left those pretty blatant clues about how to identify her then then Rachel would be trying to acquire a warrant to bring her in for questioning. But that still left her with a lot of questions.
And despite the answers she might get, she had the sinking feeling it wouldn’t be enough to see the whole picture. How big was this whole thing?
submitted by Objective_Campaign82 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 04:37 lost_library_book The Cuckoo's Calling Re-read: Part 3, Chapters 3 & 4

Welcome back, everyone. With this installment, we get a Strike/Robin (Strobin?) chapter and it's certainly a great one. Actually one of my favorites for this book, not the least because of a certain green dress. This ended up being longer than I originally expected, but I think you'll forgive the extra digital ink spilled as this is a pretty fun one.
If you're looking for the previous installment of this re-read, here ya go.
Chapter 3.03 - Contemplation of Modern Day-Wear
What happens:
Strike is awoken on Sunday to Bristow returning his call of the previous day. John tells him that he is occupied today caring for his sick mother but that he can arrange to meet on Monday. Strike asks about the whereabouts of Lula’s laptop which, fortunately, Bristow has and he promises to bring it to their meeting so that the detective can go through it.
Strike eventually manages to get Wilson on the phone later that evening. Wilson says that, with Freddie Bestigui frequently present around the apartments, it’s too risky for him to let Strike in for now, but promises to call him when an opportunity opens up. Before the security guard hangs up, Strike asks him to go through the visitor logs to check for any entries for Rochelle and is rewarded with finally obtaining a last name: Onifade.
With his call concluded, Strike returns to perusing the offerings on Guy Some’s website.
Yeah, I think this is the shortest chapter thus far and I got nothing. Time to move along to something way more of interest.
Chapter 3.04 - A Serpentine Goddess in Viridian
What happens:
We open on Monday with Robin examining another of the strongly worded letters destined for the Nutter Drawer, pleading, once more, for Strike to read it. To no avail.
She then lets Strike know that Temporary Solutions called and asked for her, suspecting she was still working there and, she feels, possibly looking to shake him down for a “recruitment fee” if they confirm it. Robin says she pretended to be “Annabel”, prompting Strike to remark that, when people have to come up with a fake name quickly, they often choose one starting with ‘A’.
Robin remains concerned that Temporary Solutions might try and send someone to actually check the office. Strike decides to go ahead and modify his plans for the day, inviting her to join him on his trip to check out Vashti, the upscale store Lula visited on the day before her death. She would be his sister ‘Annabel’, helping him pick out a gift for his wife. Robin is more than willing to come along.
Riding in the tube on their way, she finally gets Strike to give the background on the man obsessed with sending him threatening letters. After all the other things she’s refrained from prying into, she should at least be owed this.
The letter writer, Brian Mathers, was a client of Strike’s from last June who suspected his wife of infidelity, particularly concerned that she was stepping out on her Thursday bingo nights. After a month of surveillance, Strike is confident that the wife is deliberately staying out later than expected on those nights to inject some drama into their dull marriage. She was all too successful. Mathers refuses to believe Strike’s conclusions and, seeing his client increasingly worked up with his unhinged talk of conspiracies, the detective began to fear that he could become violent. This prompted Strike to phone the wife, telling her about his investigation and warning her about her husband. Unfortunately, the paranoid Mathers regularly went through his wife’s phone and, upon seeing Strike’s number, came to the very-logical conclusion that he was seduced by his wife and now in on the conspiracy. Cue obsessive harassment.
Discussion of this Nutter Drawer resident prompts Robin to finally ask about Strike’s take on Bristow’s own mental stability, confessing that she had overheard some of their conversation that first day. To her surprise, Strike reveals that he may have changed his mind as to whether their investigation was anything more than indulging the delusion of a wealthy man. He says nothing more to elaborate on this, though, as they exit their train and walk up to Vashti.
Robin contemplates the job offer she had received that morning but had yet to inform Strike about. She had only two days to accept or decline and it had many advantages: well paid, attractive workplace, close to Matthew’s job so they could meet at lunch. Yet, instead of seeing this as a pleasant prospect, she had a visceral negative reaction, reaching even to dread. She can’t help thinking about her excitement at just hearing that the Landry case may be real and how, if she took the human resources job, she’d never know the outcome unless it somehow got in the paper.
Entering the ground floor of this palace of conspicuous consumption, Strike reminds Robin of the act they will put on and lets her know that their objective is to find out anything they can about what happened when Landry and Onifade met up the day before the model’s death. To the surprise of Strike-and Robin herself-the temporary secretary immediately throws herself into her role and asks an attendant about trying on one of the ostentatious jackets in the window display.
The assistant runs into far more trouble getting the jacket than expected and ends up calling up two of her fellows for aid. The trio accompany Robin, who had used the delay to select a number of other high-priced items, into one of the be-curtained changing rooms. Strike positions himself close enough to overhear what happens inside, struck again by Robin’s abilities.
Hauling more than 10k pounds worth of merchandise into a dressing room would ordinarily be unthinkable for Robin, however, emboldened in her act and desire to prove herself, she carries this off with confidence. In this mode, she is also able to fluently fabricate character details and dialogue to serve her performance.
She tries on the sequined jacket that first so occupied the assistants and Strike finds it far less objectionable on her than he did on the dummy. Then a “clinging poison-green dress” which makes her “a serpentine goddess in glittering viridian.” [Wait, does she have secret Slytherin tendencies!??]. Seeing the reaction of Strike, who studiously avoids giving her more than a glance, Robin realizes she may have gone too far in showing herself off and focuses back on the investigation.
Robin is able to smoothly transition her conversation with the assistants to Landry without raising suspicion. They bring up, unprompted, an incident that had happened during Lula’s visit the day before her death. They had overheard Landry on the phone to someone they assumed to be Duffield. She was apparently begging the person on the other end of the call to come to her flat even if it would end up being very late. The junior assistants held that they should have told the police about what they overheard, but their senior, more conscious of being perceived as spreading celebrity gossip, insisted that it didn’t matter since Duffield wasn’t at Landry’s apartment the night of her death and Rochelle, who also heard the call, could have told the police if she thought it mattered.
Having got the information they were after, they depart with a false promise to return later for the jacket and Strike sincerely compliments Robin on her skillful performance.
Ok, you know how I said I had nothing for the last chapter? Opposite here. I really love this chapter, and not just for the green dress, although that moment is important. I pretty much love any time Robin is able to advance as a detective and, while I can’t call this quite spreading her wings, it’s her flexing her wings? Hey, I’m not a wordsmith, I just think it’s a cool scene.
First, small thing, but I appreciate this starting off with actually giving us a sample of the ridiculous and unhinged letters that Strike has been consigning to the Nutter Drawer. Also, that he finally tells Robin the story behind them. You could probably say he should have given her this information earlier but…it’s easy to get into the mode, as a reader, that characters should info dump on the regular and it’s also not that far fetched to imagine that Strike would assume that Robin wouldn’t find the story all that interesting.
Robin’s contemplation of her job offer and how it pits passion against sensibility is pretty critical. It genuinely seems to be a good prospect for her and, as much as I will relentlessly attack Matthew, this:
It paid exactly what she and Matthew had agreed she ought to aim for.
is not something I find out-of-line. It’s perfectly reasonable for two people who are trying to share their lives and resources with each other to talk about earning potential WITH the caveat that they should also be considering respective life goals. Negotiations based on mutual trust and consideration is just one of those things that underpin good long term relationships between adults. Yet, it’s clear that Robin has a passion she viscerally wants to pursue and it’s one that Matthew finds absurd. Robin certainly isn’t anywhere near dismissing Matthew, he’s already in her head:
Robin noted that he was now staring hard at this massive assemblage of fripperies as though they might be able to tell him something important, and this was surely (for a moment she saw with Matthew’s eyes, and thought in Matthew’s voice) a pose adopted for effect, or show. Matthew kept hinting that Strike was somehow a fake. He seemed to feel that being a private detective was a far-fetched job, like an astronaut or a lion tamer; that real people did not do such things.
And, yet, we also are given that:
To prove, to solve, to catch, to protect: these were things worth doing; important and fascinating. Robin knew that Matthew thought her somehow childish and naive for feeling this way, but she could not help herself.
  1. My girl!
  2. This is a faultline that exists between them regardless of Strike and wasn’t just going to go away if she wasn’t with the agency, even if the potential tension from it would be different. It’s a matter of values and priorities fundamentally mismatched.
I also have to love Instant Improvisation Robin in this scene. Seeing someone discover and flex an ability is always fun in fiction and it’s well done here. This lady would be wasted in HR, although in an alternate timeline she could definitely be Internal Affairs.
Miscellaneous bits:
Love the cute in-joke of Robin ad-libbing “Sandra” as the name of her fictional sister-in-law. It also has a little bit too much of the personal to be 100% innocent, in my opinion. Additionally, Strike gives the fake name of ‘Andrew Atkinson’ to the shop assistant and am I just reaching too far thinking this is a cheeky in-joke in return, given his previous observation about people choosing ‘A’ names?
The Green Dress:
The reaction:
His only comment on the green dress was ‘Yeah.’ He had barely looked at her.
I see.
The price:
'How much?' Robin asked the redhead.
'2,899,' said the girl.
Ok, doing currency conversion, adjusting for inflation since 2010…*cough* $6.2k!? JFC Strike!
Also, always chuckle at this line:
‘...Sandra’s a bit bigger than me, if anything,’ said Robin, ruthlessly sacrificing her fictional sister-in-law’s figure.
Finally, this line prompts an interesting question:
Robin reflected that if she took the human resources job, she might never know (unless she saw it, one day, on the news) how this investigation turned out.
Following a timeline where Robin departs mid-case but Strike nevertheless solves it, what would be her reaction to this in the news? And would she potentially try to get back in contact with Strike? I want your thoughts!
submitted by lost_library_book to cormoran_strike [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 03:46 Both_Canary1508 Used to live up a mountain that was mostly abandoned with an eerie past/history

I grew up on the top of this mountain that was mostly abandoned since the 60s when an old ski kill burnt down. There were 2 other full time residents up at the top where we lived. The rest of the houses stood empty the majority of the time, or were abandoned. The history of this mountain dates far back, hundreds of years ago, before the colonization of Canada, there were two native communities at war. One lived on top of this mountain, one lived in the valley below. At the base of the mountain the two communities were supposed to meet for battle. During the journey down, the valley tribe snuck up behind the mountain tribe and slaughtered all their woman and children. When the mountain tribe returned home, they were apparently slaughtered too. On the entire mountain side these vining wild strawberries grow and its said they grow from the spilt blood of the mountain tribe.
Many people have died on this mountain. When i was growing up there were hundreds of old crosses littering the twists and turns up the mountain. My father later became one of those crosses.
In a small meadow surrounded by trees sat a small cottage, no driveways and only an overgrown pathway to lead you to it. If you looked inside their breakfast sat still prepared, oatmeal and eggs, untouched for years. The man that lived there was supposedly a fugitive who disappeared further into the mountains when the police came up and found him one day.
We had these weird neighbour’s who would come two weekends a month from the city with their daughter who was my age. They would bring friends over, get high, drunk, and naked, and have orgies in their yard or the forest.
There was this eerie feeling you had while on this mountain, which was aptly named ‘forbidden’. I stood looking out my bedroom window at night, i swear i could see things moving in the forest below.
We had the highest concentration of mountain lions in the world and i was often stalked home. One night my mother woke to the sound of the sliding door opening and closing. She walked downstairs and my sister was standing there sleep walking, whispering over and over ‘here kitty kitty’. My sister had never been a sleepwalker until this. My mother grabbed her, closed and locked the sliding door, then flicked on the lights, and right there on the deck pacing back and forth was a cougar.
My father also became a violent sleepwalker while living up there. He would have screaming matches with the wall, sometimes ended up throwing items around. This wasnt something he did until the last few years of his life. My father was a skilled driver and had driven up this mountain, (and many narrower, steeper logging roads around the area) many times. A few months before the accident i started having waking nightmares of my fathers death. Something was telling me he was going to die. I remember waking up frequently and looking out the window into the forest during this period and feeling like something was communicating with me that he would die.
He kissed me goodnight one night and went out the door to go to town with his friends. They left in separate vehicles, him first, from the accounts of what happened it was a freak accident. They were driving below speed limit down a straight stretch nearing a cliff/corner when my dads truck suddenly lost traction and started skidding sideways towards the cliff. My dad opened the truck door and jumped out. And the truck suddenly veered the other way and flipped onto him on the ground. Something that physically shouldn’t have been possible. It crushed almost every bone in his body. He survived for 8 days in hospital after being airlifted. The day he died i knew again. I knew he was dead and it was like this feeling that something was communicating this to me. I didnt need to be told, i was so sure of this feeling that i collapsed onto the ground the second i got this feeling and starting screaming hes dead isnt he, hes dead isnt he, over and over again. I was 8. I had never experienced death before.
Theres alot more that went on up there to alot of different people over the years. Its known locally as a haunted, and weird place. Nothing good ever happens there, people do weird and crazy out of character things, commit heinous crimes, die, or just loose their minds. We moved when i was 9. I never felt that feeling again anywhere else, that feeling of something insidious all around you. Ive only been up there a handful of times since, and every-time i do that feeling returns.
submitted by Both_Canary1508 to BackwoodsCreepy [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 02:49 Vision-Quest-9054 The Forgotten Family

The Forgotten Family
By Vision-Quest-9054
With trembling hands, Liam gingerly lifted his father’s reading glasses off the surface of the small upstairs office desk. He knew he couldn’t keep his father, Gordon, waiting very long lest he fly into another rage. Gordon’s request was simple: retrieve the glasses within ten seconds or face the consequences. With his arms stretched out before him and both hands cupped together, holding the reading glasses, the pale-faced twelve-year-old boy descended the narrow staircase. “It’s all right,” He reassured himself. “It’s just a few steps down. I won’t fall this time.” Liam took another cautious step. And another. The musty odor of rotted wood and decay permeated the air with each creak of wood. The last five steps were in sight, giving the boy a sign of relief. The relief was short-lived when Liam’s left foot fell upon a small wet slippery patch of mildew, throwing him off balance. With a shriek, the boy painfully tumbled down the staircase and onto the main hardwood floor. Dazed and throbbing with pain from head to toe, Liam slowly raised himself up from the ground to meet his father’s furious gaze.“You careless little shit! Look what you’ve done!” Liam’s father, Gordon, pointed to the broken glasses on the dusty wooden floor. “You never take care of people’s possessions! You’re wreckless…!” “It was an accident!” Liam attempted to plead with him only to be sharply interrupted. “No, it wasn’t; there are no accidents in my home! I do not tolerate carelessness!” Gordon grabbed Liam by the ear and dragged him outside to a wooden shed in a barren corner of the backyard. “This will only hurt a little!” A smile formed across Gordon’s olive-skinned face as he tore off Liam’s shirt and seized a horsewhip before lashing out. “Please. No.” The boy pleaded in a weak sobbing voice as he hugged a nearby tree and forced his eyes shut. His cries of pain echoed to heaven as the whip tore into his bare flesh. To distract himself from the pain, he reminisced of the good past times when his mother was there to watch over him. There was also the soft, comforting nature of his sister, Marija (Maria), who was always there to console him amid physical discipline. His mother and father had been divorced for some years. Unlike many abusive fathers and husbands, Gordon was not an abuser of drugs or alcohol. Because of this, Liam had difficulty identifying the root cause of his father’s violent temper. He wasn’t sure if it was a form of mental illness or a history of intergenerational abuse. He recalled the time when Sonja, the wife, and mother of the family, was forced to leave. Liam remembered her tearful departure from their home. By their old countries’ laws, it was required for a father to retain custody of his children in any divorce proceeding. The loss of Sonja was a devastating blow to Liam’s morale. Tearfully gritting through the pain, he asked himself why these laws remained mandatory, for he did not understand the court ruling in Gordon’s favor. Why was it upholding such archaic separation policies? He longed for his mother’s touch, warmth, comfort, and protection from harm.
When the flogging was finished, Gordon put the whip in its place near the shed and glared once more at Liam. The boy fought back the tears in his eyes as his heavier middle-aged father seized him by the shoulders and pushed him against a tree. Liam winced as his lacerated skin clung to the bark. “You’re staying outside! Toughen up and stay put. That should learn ya.” With a grunt, Gordon wiped the sweat from his jet-black hair and mustache before shuffling back into their small, dilapidated home. Liam staggered forward to gather an old, dirtied shirt strewn across the tiny backyard to replace the previous one Gordon had just torn from him. Though It was one of his father’s more oversized shirts, it would have to suffice against the freezing crisp evening air. Struggling to fit himself into the dirty rag amidst the painful sting of his open back wounds clashing with the cold breeze, he shifted his woeful gaze towards his once vibrant family house. The house was practically a cottage, with only three main rooms. The tiny office space located in an upstairs loft was Gordon’s space. Beside his desk lay a small cot for him to rest upon. Liam and his sister, Marija, shared a filthy blanket on the hard floor near the main entrance. The last room was the kitchen. There was a broken outhouse behind the cottage for toiletry usage. The family had lived an impoverished lifestyle ever since Liam was born. Sonja managed to work for a minimum wage, while Gordon could not hold down a job due to his violent outbursts in the workplace. Once their mother was separated from the family, living conditions deteriorated even further. Food and clean water became ever more scarce with each passing day. Liam and Marija’s misery, including inadequate food and shelter, was compounded further by their father’s physically abusive nature. Once their mother was forced to leave, the beatings became almost routine.
“Are you okay?” Liam flinched as a familiar voice abruptly ended his thoughts. Marija’s soft gaze met with her brother’s. The ten-year-old girl’s blonde hair shifted in the breeze as her gentle blue eyes welled up in tears. “I’m not okay!” Liam choked as he, too, broke into tears. The siblings shared a sympathetic embrace until Liam broke the silence. “We have to get out of here.” “Oh no! Don’t do it!” Maria begged him frantically. “ You know what Father would do to you if you tried to do that. Last time when you tried to run away, the police caught you and brought you back here. Father was outraged! I thought he was going to kill you!” “I know,” Liam began. “But we can’t stay here forever. You must come with me! I can’t go alone.” Marija gave him a skeptical look as he continued. “We have to stay together, Marija, even if it means running away! We can’t go on living like this.” “No, I won’t do it.” She refused. “Father will really punish me. He will do the same to you.”
A foreboding memory entered Liam’s mind at that instant. Yes, he remembered it all too well. The flight from home, the missing person report filed by one of the ‘good neighbors’ to the local authorities, the manhunt, Liam’s capture, and the agonizing torment inflicted upon him by his father as a reward. As if reading his mind, Marija shuddered with fear. “Father spoke of the many punishments I would suffer too if you ran away again. Just think of what he’ll do if he catches both of us. The neighbors in our village keep watching us. They wait for us to move because they always side with father. They always hated us just like they hate Mother for leaving Father behind.” “Shit.” Liam cursed while banging his clenched fist against the dirt ground. Marija put a comforting hand on his shoulder. “I guess you’re right.” He conceded. “If we ran away, the police would bring us right back.” “Let’s go gather some firewood,” Marija suggested.
The brother and sister’s crunching footsteps through the fallen leaves broke the silence of the quiet forest as they ventured several meters beyond their property. The outer layer of the forest was ripe with dead branches strewn across the forest floor. A shard of dried brittle bark was perfect for kindling. Gordan had returned outside to keep watch over the children. Perched in a rocking chair, he smiled as he struck a match against the sole of his shoes to light a cigar. With a few puffs of smoke into the dusk air, he reclined in his seat while maintaining a menacing gaze. Peering over her shoulder with bundled sticks in her arms, Maria shook her head. “Father will always watch us like a hawk. I could never run away.” The cold crisp air stung Liam’s cheeks as he gathered firewood. The sound of trees shifting and shuffling in the slow breeze juxtaposed with dark overcast clouds provoked an almost disquieting ambiance. A growing sense of dread slowly worked its way into Liam’s chest. “Why should this evening be any different from any other typical evening?” He thought to himself.
Darkness had fully set in. With a sigh, Liam looked into the fire they had built; it's radiating luminescence gave him a sense of comfort and warmth. It did not cause harm unless touched. Rather than fear or rage, the entity was known for its stoic nature against adverse conditions. To him, it was almost like a distant friend. “You and I, we are alike.” Liam struggled to divert his focus towards the flames, away from the rippling pangs of hunger in his belly, the sight of Gordan greedily finishing a cooked fish fillet, and his sister shivering in the breeze. “No food, no shelter, and no clean water for you for the rest of the night!” Growled Gordon as he approached the doorway of the cottage. Marija nervously followed him since she was allowed to sleep inside that night.
Liam shivered in the cold night air as Gordan shut the door with a bang. Starvation was nothing new to him. The small family was forced to fast from meals almost every day intermittently. Liam closed his eyes and shielded his face against the frigid air with both arms. Despite being exposed to the harsh hands of nature, he knew he would not be subjected to his father’s excoriating demeanor or his brutish chastisements in this temporary environment. Here, in the presence of nature, he could find a place of refuge. Finally drifting into a dream state, he found solace in his temporary departure from the real world. The visions he saw contained imagery of long-past memories almost forgotten, memories of his mother, Sonja’s intervention in times of distress. These visions were often interrupted by an overshadowing figure, a creature of practically enormous proportion that lacked any distinguishing features upon its form. It was initially difficult to decipher this being’s nature and purpose. The creature was truly amorphous in its appearance and was solely defined by a malevolent blackness that composed its entire form. It descended upon his parents with incredible swiftness and agility. The being enveloped Gordon, transforming his outer appearance to that of a raving madman, foaming at the mouth. His eyes changed from black to gray, then to a reddish-blue tint. Overcome with a fit of rage, he attacked Sonja with a stone and proceeded to bludgeon her to death. Liam pleaded for Gordon to stop but to no avail. The specter departed from Gordon and approached Liam with a summoning voice. “There is nothing left. Take refuge in me.” Though petrified with horror and trepidation, Liam found the tone of its voice alluring for reasons unknown. In its inhuman voice, he found purpose, however incredulous that may have seemed to him at first. Liam had witnessed this recurring nightmare since he was three years old. The increasing frequency of this dream coincided with his father’s growing cruelty over the years. He hypothesized that this nightmare was, in fact, a cruel joke played upon him by his subconscious mind, given its constant interaction with the outside world. Its poor interpretation of his adverse social environment was quite unreassuring at best.
The sharp crack of a twig caused Liam to jolt awake from his near-unconscious state. He sat upright to observe his surroundings. Squinting throw the darkness, he could make out the silhouetted figure of his sister in the moonlight. Marija rushed over to Liam and sat by his side.“I brought you some food.” She said in a soft low voice. “Where did you get it?!”Liam inquired. “I stole it from a neighbor’s house.” She explained. “Don’t ask me how I did it! Just take the food that I brought you.” Marija dropped a small sack next to Liam and hurried away. Liam unwrapped the food sack to find a loaf of bread, an apple, a baked potato, a vine of grapes, and a small slice of cake. Overcome with relief and hunger; he eagerly ate every bite. Finishing the meal, he turned on his side to feel a soft blanket beside him. “Bless you, Marija.” Liam thought with a smile while unfolding the blanket and wrapping himself in it. The overhead moonlight slowly faded behind the oncoming black clouds.
The following day, Liam awoke with a sudden jerk. Gordon was holding Liam by the arm. “Happiness and warmth all night, huh? When I gave her strict orders to stay inside, your sister brought you food and a blanket!” The older man cried out in anger. Gordon back-handed Liam across the face and dropped him. He marched into the cottage and returned with Marija, dragging her by the hair. The girl begged, pleaded, and screamed as Gordon threw her delicate form up against a tree. “Stealing?!” Gordon roared as he grabbed Maria by the wrist. “Mrs. Jacevich told me that she saw you taking food in her kitchen last night. This is what I raised? You are lying, thieving little bitch! You were told to stay inside! You will both pay the price!” Pinning Maria down to a tree stump with his elbow, Gordon snatched up a nearby rod and pointed it at Liam. “I’ll deal with you in a minute.” Gordon raised the rod and struck Marija in the face twice. He pivoted towards Liam and kicked him in the stomach, knocking him to the ground. Gordon continued striking Marija with the rod again and again as she screeched. Griping in pain, Liam supported himself with his hands and got up off the ground. “Stop!” He shouted, running towards Gordon. With a quick fist swing, Gordon struck Liam hard in the jaw. The boy lost his balance and collapsed to the ground again. Still determined, Liam charged forward a second time. Gordon swung the rod, knocking Liam off his feet a third time. Blood trickled down Liam’s face as he staggered to his feet, his wounds throbbing. The excruciating sensation of burning pins and knives coursed through his body. Through the pain and disorientation, Liam could vaguely make out a terrifying manifestation; Gordon’s pupils’ color began to alter into gray, black, blue-tinted red, and a plethora of illusory shades and tones he had never seen before. No. It wasn’t real. The disorientation was causing him to visualize images that were not there…
Gordon stood tall and began laughing like a madman. “The price for your crime will be paid in full. God damn you both!” Liam stared in horror as Gordon tossed aside the rod and drew out a long sharp knife. Raising it above his head, he trained it upon Marija’s throat. “Never again will you burden me and the people of our society. You are not my flesh. You are worthless! To hell with you both.” This couldn’t be his father. For the first time in his life, this man was threatening murder. Whatever was happening, it had to be stopped. A whistle in the wind and a whispering command inexplicably restored a vital amount of physical energy to Liam’s body. Up! Save her life. Extirpate the threat. The transcendental experience lasted for but a second. Channeling his hatred alongside this newfound energy into strength, Liam made one last desperate charge forward. Gordon’s mouth dropped as Liam managed to catch him off guard. Slamming into his thighs, Liam pushed Gordon off balance into a backward summersault down a small knoll leading into a neighbor’s yard. Recovering for a minute, Gordon partially rose to his knees before coughing up a mouthful of blood and collapsing to the ground. Liam staggered backward in shock at what he had just seen. The long knife’s handle jutted upwards as the red blade remained buried in Gordon’s chest. The last expression on Gordon’s face was one of horror and disbelief as the life slipped out of his eyes.
Liam climbed up the hill to meet Marija as she sat on a tree stump, crying hysterically. “It’s okay,” He said reassuringly. “It’s all over.” Liam held her in a total embrace before stealing one final glance over the hillside. Mrs. Jacevich emerged from her house to see her next-door neighbor’s lifeless body. She puckered up her lips and screamed before turning her frantic gaze towards Marija and Liam. “Help! Help! Murderers! Murderers!” The women cried out and pointed in their direction. Within seconds, neighbors were rushing to the scene. “Let’s get out of here!” Liam snapped. Hand in hand, the siblings hastily fled into the woods.
“Let’s rest first.” Suggested Marija. Knowing that they had been traveling by foot for hours, Liam nodded in agreement as he sat down on a nearby rock. “All right.” The two sat quietly for a moment watching the birds sing in the conifer trees. “Why did Mrs. Jacevich accuse us of murdering father?” Said Marija taking a breath. “You know that Mrs. Jacevich is father’s biggest ally, right? They might have been having an affair. It’s her word against ours. We won’t stand a chance. Our country has no fair laws.” Answered Liam. Hello. I’m here. Follow my voice. A message softly whispered through Liam’s mind. “Did you hear that?” Marija nodded in surprise. “Yes, I heard it too.” Keep moving forward and go left. A bit unnerved, Marija anxiously glanced at her brother. “Liam, I don’t think we should follow it.” “Wait.” He interrupted her. Listening attentively, Liam experienced a euphoric sensation manifesting in his mind and heart. “It’s telepathy. And I think it might have been the voice that helped me stop Dad from killing you!” “What?! No, Liam! This isn’t right!” Marija seized his arm in a panicked act of protest. Her brother gently but firmly took hold of her hand to lead the way. “Marijah. Please. You need to trust me on this. Would I ever lie to you?” Marija shook her head reluctantly as she followed her brother’s lead. You’re almost there. After circumventing a cluster of shrubs and spruce trees, they came upon a clearing. Before them was a vast hillside complete with a paved road and five medium-sized houses interspersed along the roadside. Dirt pathways interloped between each house and the main throughway. The two looked on in sheer astonishment at such a scene. “I’ve never seen a paved road before,” Liam commented. The telepathic voice continued its instructions a second later—the fifth house along the road. You will find me there…
A sizeable white home with a single gable and double-paned window rested atop the roof, which loomed over the approaching children. The yard was small but adequately spaced for a vegetable garden. The front porch railing was a contrasted yellow meringue. A thin, familiar blonde-haired woman smiled at them from the front porch. “Mom!” They both exclaimed in unison. Marija and Liam hurried into Sonja’s outstretched arms. “Is it really you? How is it possible? How did you reach us?” Liam was rambling excitedly. Sonja smiled again as Marija buried her face into her mother’s long wool dress. “You will find out soon enough. In time, you will know. I am just so overjoyed to see the two of you for the first time in years. You’ve both grown up so fast.” Between tears and laughter, mother and children continued their embrace. Sonja’s face fell saddened at seeing gashes and scratches on Liam and Marija’s faces. “My God, what has Gordon done to you? Both of you come in.” Sonja ushered them both into the Fourier. “I need to give you both medical attention and food. Ladies first.” She took Marija by the hand and led her into a small bathroom. From the corner of his eye, Liam noticed the same grey-blueish-red tint that he thought he saw in Gordon’s eyes. Another sign caught his eyes: a small trail of black soot leading into the main bedroom. The smell of mildew emanated across the halls. Liam shook his head in disbelief. “This can’t be right,” He thought to himself. Smelling mildew, mold, and rotting wood in a poorly maintained house was typical. However, this home’s interior showed no signs of deteriorating organic matter.
Sonja and Marija stumbled out of the bathroom slowly and methodically. Though Marija’s wounds had mysteriously vanished, her eyes were notably different. Her once vibrant blue eyes appeared to have an absence of color. Everything about her seemed different. Her pupils had faded from blue to gray and now dark black. Sonja’s eyes mimicked a similar pattern. She smiled and beckoned for Liam to come forward. “It’s time we have a look at those scrapes and bruises on you.” Liam took a step back. “Who are you?” Sonja tilted her head slightly and responded in a calm tone. “Liam, it’s mom. I’m here to help you. Are you all right?” He took another defiant step back. “No! I can see right through you just like I started to with Dad. Who are you?” Silence ensued as Sonja’s smile quickly faded into a disquieted expression. “Your eyes are different. Her eyes are different. Who the hell are you? What have you done to Marija?” Liam demanded once more. At this, Sonja’s tone shifted to a firmer one. “So now you see who I am. Unfortunate.” “Where’s my real mom?” Liam shouted. Sonja tilted her head once more. “She once lived here. She inherited the house from your dead aunt. But I have claimed her mind as my own. She and I are one, just as your sister shall be.” With a swift stroke of its hand, the being impersonating Sonja drove an incorporeal blackened hand through Marija’s head. A brilliant flash of light was immediately followed by Marija’s lifeless body crumpling to the floor, her eyes now pure white and devoid of color or pupils. Liam cried out in disbelief. “This can’t be real! You tricked us. It was a trap! You stole my mother and sister’s minds. You destroyed who they were!” “No.” The entity began. “They were absorbed. Did I not save you both from a tortuous existence? I cannot absorb you if you are deceased. Your mind must be whole when I consume it. The world will seek you out. It will destroy you. I provide refuge from the world.” Liam backed himself to the entrance door. “No,” He objected. “You must have been the cause of father’s madness. It all makes sense now. Maybe you were the affliction, the sickness. You destroyed my family.” “Your presumption is correct.” The being interjected. “However, your parents invited me in. They made a covenant so that their lives would see improvement. Every time they relinquished an ounce of willpower, I became stronger. The world offers you no hope. The void is your refuge.”
Within seconds, Sonja’s human form disintegrated into ashen soot and mildew. A dark, amorphous mass emerged from her place. Within seconds, it fully enveloped Liam’s head, torso, and legs as he struggled and kicked with every fiber of his body. Each desperate act of defiance the boy made was countered by the entity’s overwhelming vigor and might, which facilitated An intoxicating atmosphere, one that offered no respite, a blinding trajectory devoid of light, and a suffocating preternatural aroma poised to extinguish even the sanest person’s consciousness. The entity had lured his parents into a false state of comfort and hope, only for these emotional beliefs to be extirpated upon the revelation of the entity’s true nature. With his final parting thoughts, Liam wondered why so many men and women in the world could be seduced by the lies, deception, and feelings of despair that satiate this otherworldly being’s appetite, but most of all, how many more souls would unknowingly make a covenant with such an entity? Regarding those who embrace its false promises, their fate is sealed: In nihilum.
submitted by Vision-Quest-9054 to submitcreepypasta [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 23:49 IHATECINNAMONKEY DC Van Ness shooter posting to 4chan before and during his shooting which was live-streamed through his scope camera. He would injure 4 before committing suicide

DC Van Ness shooter posting to 4chan before and during his shooting which was live-streamed through his scope camera. He would injure 4 before committing suicide
“Police continue to look for damage in the wake of Friday’s shooting near Edmund Burke School in Northwest Washington. Four people were hit by “sniper-style” gunfire, including a sixth grader who was grazed by a bullet. Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey has the story.
At least four people, including a 12-year-old girl, were shot when a gunman unleashed more than 100 rounds of bullets in the nation's capital Friday, leading to lockdowns at several schools and leaving a community on edge before the suspect was found dead hours later.
The suspected gunman was found dead Friday night inside an apartment at the scene as Metropolitan Police Department officers conducted door-to-door searches of buildings in the area.”
This shooting could have been so much worse, he opens fire before the school lets out so there’s very few people visible, also he can’t really control the automatic fire of the rifle so he’s just shaking it violently around.
submitted by IHATECINNAMONKEY to masskillers [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 15:28 gf120581 1993's "Body Bags" is a gleefully dark and over the top EC Comics-style film that makes you regret it never led to a series as planned.

Yes, the Showtime produced anthology film was intended as the pilot movie for what would be their answer to "Tales From the Crypt", then at the height of its popularity on HBO. For whatever reason, they didn't proceed with a series, but thankfully what we did get is an energetic, gory and darkly humorous romp courtesy of John Carpenter (as well as the first major horror credit from writers Billy Brown and Dan Angel, later to bring us the "Goosebumps" TV series and "The Haunting Hour" as well as the underappreciated "Night Visions"). Carpenter, in pure Crypt-Keeper mode and clearly having an absolute blast, plays a cackling, ghoulish mortician who takes on a tour of his mortuary's residents, or as he calls them, "the arriving departed." (The fact that his opening scene shows him guzzling formaldehyde in a martini glass is a big hint he's not what he seems.) Death by natural causes bores him, so he shows us the residents of body bags, i.e. those who die in horrific fashion, leading us to three horror tales:
"The Gas Station" - Directed by Carpenter, this is him riffing on his masterwork "Halloween" is fun style (seriously, the film is even set near Haddonfield). College student Annie (Alex Datcher) is starting her new job as the night shift attendant at a remote gas station, which would be creepy enough on its own. Except there's also a serial killer prowling the area (no, contrary to what you may think, it's NOT Michael Myers this time) and there's no shortage of red herrings in the parade of odd customers who show up. Even the previous shift's attendant (Robert Carradine) is not above suspicion. Can Annie figure out who the killer is and make it through the night? It's fun watching Carpenter basically do a new take on his most acclaimed film, but also you get a wide variety of genre names making appearances, including Wes Craven, "An American Werewolf in London's" David Naughton and Carpenter regulars Peter Jason and George "Buck" Flowers" among the parade of suspicious customers. (Craven in particular is a memorable creeper.) And you also get a most unexpected Sam Raimi cameo that plays into the story's twist.
"Hair" - Carpenter again handles this cautionary tale about men who won't accept their receding hairlines. Stacy Keach stars as an affluent businessman obsessed with his thinning hair, to the point that it's affecting his relationship with his girlfriend (Sheena Easton...yes, that Sheena Easton), who could care less. This obsession leads him to a mysterious clinic where the shady doctor (David Warner) provides him a miracle cure that ends up working wonderfully...but perhaps he should have checked to make sure where his new hair originated from. The twist is wonderfully bonkers and Warner in particular is in his element (aided by Deborah Harry as his loyal nurse). And yes, that's Greg Nicotero showing off his own flowing locks in one scene.
"Eye" - Tobe Hooper takes the director's chair for this one (he later appears onscreen himself with Tom Arnold as fellow coroners) which features Mark Hamill (yes, really) as an aging pro baseball player who loses one of his eyes in a car crash and, unwilling to admit his career is over, undergoes an experimental procedure that has his eye replaced with that of a recently deceased donor. The procedure works, but Hamill soon starts receiving horrible visions and dreams of murder and necrophilia and he realizes the eye came from a very evil source that isn't quite gone, which puts his wife (Twiggy) in serious danger. Very much the darkest of the stories, with Hooper in his element and Hamill in excellent form as a nice guy slowly being twisted into something monstrous (by the climax, he's basically doing his Joker). Also for MST3K fans, the two doctors who do the surgery are played by none other than an aged John Agar and Roger Corman himself. Now that's a combo.
Any fan of "Tales From the Crypt" will want to check this one out. And if nothing else, it will make you wish we had a series to enjoy Carpenter's Crypt-Keeper expy chewing the scenery whole.
submitted by gf120581 to horror [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 12:19 TheGeekyZoologist Jurassic World: The Hegemony of Biosyn (JWD rewrite) - Act IV (2/2)

Here's the second part of Act IV. Sorry for the double post but I had no choice due to the website's limitations.

Act IV: The Clouds Burst (2/2)

To the Panic room
Frightened by the new attack, Biosyn's board of directors leave the auditorium and, guided by their escort, they head for the panic room. Meanwhile, the employees finally manage to rush out of the burning cafetaria and while some surrender to the Italians and the Austrians, others rush to the metro station or the garages in order to flee to the Biosyn village, and a fraction try to make a run for the panic room but their way is blocked by a group of guards.
On their way to the panic room, the board of directors is partly caught in a stampeding crowd. Zoe Murdoch is pushed on the ground, trampled and left behind while Nathan Quinn abandons his fellow board members.
The wage of treachery
While she also started heading to the garages, knowing that Dodgson must be there, Bigelow is attacked by Massoud. They fight but despite her skills, Massoud is a stronger opponent and he overpower Bigelow. But just as he is strangling her, the grey guard is tased by Kayla and falls unconscious. The smuggler helps the CIA agent get up and they hurry to the garages.
The raiders
Meanwhile, the mysterious soldiers have reached the laboratories, killing everyone in their path, be they Biosyn guards and mercenaries, scientists who tried to save their work, or besiegers (including Luis Olivares).
They cross the different labs. In Dr Lesser's, Wu hides from them as he is still locked up. The raiders ends up reaching their objective: The locusts' lab. When they see the nine empty rooms, the raiders seem worried and frustrated, implying they came to do something with the locusts. They then has the remaining group gassed and we see the locusts taking flight and then starting to drop dead on the floor. While some of the raiders then raid and destroy the rest of the Locusts' lab, other squad members then free the animals contained in the cages of another lab.
In the lower levels
While crawling and climbing in the vents towards the top of the Citadel, Claire sees Owen running past her as he rushes to the kennels. But the alarms' blare prevent The Raptor Whisperer from hearing his fiancée.
In the lower levels, Mia Everett is trying to capture Victoria, intending to save her from the chaos and Biosyn's clutches, but the young Achillobator attack her, biting and clawing at her throat. Grievously injured, the scientist fall and Victoria lets her bleeds to death. When Owen finds Mia, she just has the time of uttering a few words before passing away. The Raptor Whisperer sees a number of animals running in the hallways, including Victoria. But just as he plans to catch her, Biosyn employees are being chased by some of the most dangerous escapees (like the dilophosaurs). Some of those animals prevent The Raptor Whisperer from going after Victoria and he is forced to hide in the first room he can find.
Tu quoque mi fili
On their way to the garages, Ramsay and Dodgson have an argument, during which the first say he no longer want to follow the second due to his recent fits of madness (filling Maisie's head with lies; the locusts' threats; literally declaring war with the Italians and the Austrians; behaving like a dictator...), even though he believed in his vision when he was recruited years ago (Ramsay genuinely believed that Biosyn's breakthroughs could improve the world etc...). When Ramsay admits having helped Wu with discovering the truth about Charlotte's videos and breaking Maisie out of the Citadel, Dodgson seems genuinely hurt by the betrayal of his son-like figure. One too many, after those of Wu, Drummond, and Pellegrino. Their argument worsens, up until they come to blows. At one point Dodgson pulls out a pistol and shoots Ramsay in the belly by accident. While the younger man bleeds out, the CEO is dazed and runs away while predators' growls can be heard nearby.
Near the garages' entrance, Dodgson is found by Bigelow and Kayla. The CIA agent asks about Ramsay and he answers that he didn't make it due to an attack on the way. The three take the last available vehicle and exits the Citadel, driving into the valley. Their objective is the same mountain path towards which Maisie and Drummond are heading.
On the way to the courtyard, one of the mysterious soldiers has a sword fight with a grey guard (Cesare oand Papadopoulos). During it, his opponent tear a part of his sleeve, revealing a tattoo which depicts a snake hieroglyph (actually a symbol of the god Apep). The soldier manage to climb aboard their helicopter, which take off and leave the valley with one of the attack helicopters. Confused, the grey guard wonder who those attackers were.
The dam busters
Meanwhile, the other has moved to the other end of the valley, where it's in the middle of a fight with one of the Special Forces' helicopters, just by the dam. During their battle, the dilapidated dam is destroyed and its unleashed frozen waters follow the valley's main river, flooding everything in their path, including the battlefield on the road and the area just in front of the Citadel. A number of animals, Carabinieri and Biosyn employees aboard a fleeing vehicle are carried away and many of them drown while Dodgson's vehicle is almost caught by the waters.
The flood reaches the south-eastern limits of Biosyn's lands, where it's momentarily stopped by the wall found there and which separates the Sanctuary from the nearest village. But under so much pressure, the wall breaks down and the flood continues, destroying parts of a riverside village after that, catching some of the inhabitants.
With its main power source gone, the electricity goes off within Biosyn's lands and the surrounding areas, deactivating the invisible fences and stopping the metro full of passengers in the middle of the tunnels.
Road accident
While in the part of the valley spared by the flood, Dodgson's vehicle nearly collide with a loose black billy goat (the same which ran away in the prologue) and in its attempt to bypass it, it tumble down a slope (with Bigelow being ejected in the bushes in the process) and ends up on its roof (like the vehicle carrying the original trio and Maisie in Trevorrow's version).
The attackers gone and most of Biosyn troops neutralized or routing, Vuillier, Dougal, Nyamu, Viscontini, and the surviving grey guards, the officers of the Carabinieri and the Special Forces, along with Pellegrino and Nathan Quinn starts organizing the evacuation of the remaining Biosyn employees and taking the wounded (as the grey guards' medic, Papadopoulos will tend to them) to a provisional secure location within the Citadel (the auditorium could be such a place). In the control room, all the technicians but a few were killed or badly injured by the helicopter's attack while the grey guard's team dispatched there is in a hardly better state as Isabella Perez was also injured. Al-Damiri orders their comrade to take her out of the tower, and give similar orders to the uninjured technicians, asking only one to stay just in case. The Egyptian grey guard and the remaining technician then assess the damage.
As power need to be put back on for various purposes (allowing the three grey guards continue their search in the archives; deactivating the valley "aerial defense" to let helicopters come in the Citadel and evacuate people; reactivating the metro; reactivating the invisible fences to prevent the animals from leaving the valley...), people are sent activating the emergency generators.
They want to send men after Dodgson's but while the valley's known exits are watched, they fear he knows a secret one.
Dodgson's demise
When Bigelow awakes amidst the bushes, she notices that the vehicle is surrounded by a group of Nasutoceratops (or some other buffalo-sized herbivores). Inside the crashed vehicle, Dodgson and Kayla regain consciousness and know they have to wait for the herbivores to leave before exiting the vehicle. Suddenly, the herbivores get agitated and leave. They caught the scent of a predator and the latter shows itself: It's the InGen-bred Acrocanthosaurus.
Ensue a scene where Dodgson, just like his novel version with Sarah Harding, tries to save his own skin by pushing Kayla from the vehicle so the Acro can eat her instead of him, deeming her expendable, but the opposite happens. When the CEO is shaken between the jaws, his precious hard-drive falls on the ground and Bigelow sees this and tries to reach it before it's crushed by the animal. Kayla tries to hold the CIA agent back, saying she'll get herself killed and that the hard-drive isn't worth it. Bigelow rushes towards her objective anyway. When it takes a still screaming Dodgson in the woods, the acro steps on the hard-drive, destroying it.
The black billy goat responsible for the road accident watches Dodgson being devoured by the dinosaur.
Meanwhile, a depressed Bigelow is looking at the destroyed hard-drive and Kayla is forced to shake her so they can move away and head for the mountains in order to leave the valley.
Drummond's confession
Walking above the surface and not in the tunnels in order to not reiterate the traumatizing experience with the pectinodons even if it's equally dangerous due to the other valley's predators, Drummond and Maisie are heading eastward, following the peripheral rim of mountains.
During their trek, Drummond tells Maisie about the Hunting activity in the Sanctuary and how its profits financed his research at Biosyn, explaining part of his self-loathing. He admits he's glad that Claire put an end to it, even if he wished less blood was spilled.
To add some light amidst those dark hours, the teenager and the palaeontologist have a peaceful encounter with some dinosaurs (probably herbivores).
While watching them, Drummond tells Maisie about his late wife's wish of having children, implying to the teenager that she has a roof under which to sleep if she doesn't want to return to Orick and leave the Lockwood name behind her in order to finally have a normal life.
At the opposite end of the valley, they see fire and smoke rising from the Citadel and wonder what happened there.
Zobie la Mouche/Whac-a-Mole
Another danger is spotted near the Citadel. Coming from the now-flooded area at the base of the building, comes Brontes, one of the Argentinosaurus.
After the battle and the flood, he just seeks a place to have some rest and thinks the Citadel's courtyard would be a decent choice. The characters in the atrium hide as he crosses the now destroyed hall. It's seen during that scene that the sauropod has many scars on his skull, implying some human abuse (probably for medical experiments). The sauropod's suite of small carnivores take off from it and land in the atrium, investigating the hall as they caught the scent of dead or wounded humans.
On his way, Brontes sees something moving on the ground. It's Murdoch, who's trying to crawl away despite the injuries she got after being trampled by a crowd. Brontes looks at her with curiosity and then crushes her under his foot. Murdoch now squashed, Brontes loses interest in her and enters the courtyard while some members of his suite eat the remains of Biosyn's vice-president. The Argentinosaurus stands in the middle of the courtyard, just in front of the tower's entrance, and starts to sleep while standing (a bit like elephants). A part of his suite is on the lookout, hearing noise all around within the Citadel.
Distracting Brontes
Our protagonists are bothered as Brontes and his suite are preventing them from going after Dodgson by the shortest way and reaching the archives' entrance. They can either make a long detour through a series of hallways or confront the dinosaur. As time is running against them, they take the second option and while some of the grey guards (Cesare, Massoud, Kapakas) are attracting Brontes and his suite towards a ruined part of the Citadel (and from the control room, Al Damiri help them by shooting on the beast), Vuillier and Nyamu run to the tower and reach it in time. At the archives' entrance, they join Chapuy and his two comrades.
Burning the Hydra's heads
In the dark hallways, Claire stumbles upon Betty Chapman (or whatever her real name is), who's pushing a cart with hydrogen cyanide canisters. At that moment, the audience also notices for the first time that Chapman has the same snake hieroglyph tattoo on her arm as the soldier who had a sword fight with the grey guard.
Claire first intends to stop the guard and bring her to the invading force so she can be put with the other Biosyn employees, but Chapman tells her that they should be allies as she's also an enemy of Biosyn. Claire demands precisions and while pushing the cart, the guard reveal that she infiltrated the company and was the one who sabotaged the Sanctuary in the last few months, by temporarily deactivating the invisible fence and allowing one of the Quetzalcoatlus to escape in order to accelerate the destroying of Biosyn's reputation, and sending intel to the raiders, whose objective were to destroy the locusts before their shipping abroad. When Claire asks who she and the raider are, Chapman only gives an enigmatic answer (something like "Chaos in the service of a greater good"). When she tells Claire that Wu made those locusts, the former director of Jurassic World thinks about finding the geneticist and follow through with her threats from three years earlier.
On the way, Claire has to scare off some escaped predator which wanted to attack them. Chapman tells her she's heading to the panic room, where the board of directors so foolishly trapped itself. The felon guard explain Claire they can't take the risk of having the board members leaving the panic room and escaping the valley and that she could help her giving a deadly blow from which Biosyn will never recover while they still can. Claire agrees to help her and looking at the canisters, she remembers what Doctor Karim Depéret, one of InGen's geneticists, told her during the Lockwood Estate incident, that Hydrogen Cyanide is a poison.
The emergency generators
As having a full suspenseful scene dedicated to restoring power like in Trevorrow's version would be too much of a retread of JP's bunker scene, the scene where power is restored is either much shorter or happening off-screen.
However, the emergency generators alone are not enough to provide power for all the needed tasks (the invisible fences and the aerial defense system are quite energy-intensive) and another black-out occurs. Power is once again put back on but our protagonists are forced to make choices. In order to keep the invisible fences on and the archives' power running, they are forced to keep the "aerial defense" system on and stop the evacuation's helicopters from going and coming between the Citadel and the camp outside the valley in order to not trigger pterosaurs' attack.
Reaching the part of the Citadel where the panic room is located, Claire and Chapman bring the cart to a maintenance tunnel, prepare the canisters and neutralize the guards in front of the panic room, using darkness to their advantage. They block the door, preventing the board members from escaping. They return to the maintenance tunnel and Chapman lets Claire introduce hydrogen cyanide in the panic room's aeration, poisoning the board members. Finally, the Chapman gives Claire a box of matches. She takes it, lights a match, throws it in the right vent and while the gas catches fire, the two women run away. The panic room is destroyed in a violent explosion which finishes the board members off. It's heard and felt within most of the Citadel.
A wounded Biosyn guard sees Claire fleeing the panic room's area and notices the blood on her clothes. When he discovers what's left of the panic room and the board members (charred corpses at best), he utters with dread the following word: Dracul (Dragon in Romanian. The guard, a minor character, is established to be a Romanian immigrant in an earlier scene depicting the daily life of the facility's employees).
Claire tries to find Chapman after that but the other woman disappeared like a ghost and is not seen for the rest of the Dolomites Incident.
In the Archives
Vuillier, Nyamu and the three grey guards with them are still searching the archives for every incriminating document.
After discovering that Victoria and other animals escaped the citadel through a door and are now in the valley, Owen heads for the control room, aware that it must have some sort of tracking system. On the way, he reunites with Claire and soon, they are found by Dougal. As the Argentinosaurus is still posing a threat in the central courtyard, they pass under it in order to access the tower. They climb to the control room, meet Al-Damiri and the last technician there, get access to the tracking system and Victoria's current coordinates. They find a tracking tablet and Claire volunteers to stay in the control room and be their eyes.
While Owen and Dougal grab some capture equipment in a room near the kennels, Claire searches through the CCTV footage and finds Wu in Maisie's cell, within Dr Lesser's lab. She heads for the laboratories, telling the others she found the geneticist.
Following Victoria's signal thanks to their tracking tablet, Owen and Dougal leave the Citadel and head for the nearby forest, crossing the flooded area between the two.
Wu-ing for redemption
Claire reaches Dr Lesser's lab and opens its cell. Wu steps out but his old enemy brutally grabs him and interrogates him about the locusts. As he once again fucked up, she's about to strike him when pity hold her hand back. Wu tells her that they can still cancel Dodgson's apocalypse, by passing as the CEO himself and giving Biosyn's abroad agents the order to destroy the locusts, and just begs her to offer his help. After a moment of hesitation, Claire help the geneticist stand and give him his cane, the one Lockwood offered to him at the end of TRQ. Together, they then head immediately to the central tower and once in Dodgson's office, Wu turns the CEO's computer on but discovers it's empty. Claire's aggressiveness starts to return when Wu remembers that Dodgson kept some of his most precious information on paper and not necessarily on his computer as he feared being hacked. They start searching the office and the adjacent bedroom. Wu notices a framed picture of Dodgson as a child with his mother at some science fair (in an earlier scene, before he sent the containers, Dodgson could be seen closing the frame while Wu just stepped in his office). Wu opens the back of the frame and discover that Dodgson hid small pieces of papers between the picture and the frame itself. When he sees one paper with Hexapod Allies written on the top; a series of names, phone numbers and email addresses below; and a series of secret codes for the different orders on the back; he knows they put their hands on the jackpot. Wu and Claire hack Dodgson's email account (the password is Liddell, the maiden name of Dodgson's mother) and write the message to the agents involved in the Hexapod Allies operation, including the secret code for the Destroy order, but when they want to send it, the computer notify them that they can't due to internet connection issues. Wu realizes it's because the antenna on top of the control room might have moved following the helicopter's attack. Someone has to climb on the roof to properly realign it and since Wu can't because of his lame leg, the task goes to Claire.
Tracking Victoria
In the woods, Owen and Dougal hear Victoria's calls for help. The young Achillobator still thinks her mother might show up.
They find her and try to capture her but fails. They wander deeper in the woods.
Realigning the antenna
Claire climbs on the control room's roof and communicates with Wu through the radio, she ends up finding the right antenna.
However, just as she begin fixing it, the Argentinosaurus' suite start harassing her as the sauropod is just below. From the auditorium's entrance, Viscontini notices that. Learning through Wu what Claire is doing, Viscontini orders the grey guards to attack the Argentinosaurus so his suite will turn away from Claire to instead defend him. Wu also urges the AISI head to send men after Theo, Maisie and Drummond, as they're carrying very important data about the locusts, enough to destroy Biosyn.
Defying a Titan
Round two between the grey guards and Brontes start, and most of Claire's harassers go help him. This time, the sauropod actively chases his human attackers across parts of the Citadel, destroying walls and roofs with his sheer weight, letting out deafening bellows, passing his neck and head into breaches to try get access to the characters while his suite can reach them where he can't. Massoud ends up grabbed by the herbivore mouth and then thrown against the tower or any other surface, killing him instantly. An additional idea could be the titanosaur provoking small "earthquakes" when he strikes the ground with his forefeet, destabilizing Claire on top of the tower (she even almost falls).
Depending on the pace, there could be at the same time a suspenseful scene in the archives involving some creatures from the labs or the kennels. If the archives are low enough, maybe they'll get inundated because of the flood and the threat could be a semi-aquatic creature contained in the Citadel or brought by the flood (like the temnospondyl; while Nothosaurus, which had a small appearance in my JW rewrite, could be an alternative choice, with individuals housed in the kennels).
Prometheus' fate
After giving a few kicks while repelling her last harassers, Claire manages to properly realign the antenna and Wu successfully transmit the Destroy order to the Hexapod Allies agents. We cut to them as they destroy the locusts in their containers. When he receives their confirmation, the geneticist is relieved. But just as Claire is about to return to Dodgson's office, she sees a *Variraptor (*if it's chosen as Brontes' suite. If not, it will be some relatively large feathered coelurosaurian from the labs in order to make the parallels with Prometheus work) getting to its entrance first. Wu just has the time to barricade himself in the bedroom adjacent to the office but he knows the door won't hold long. Something (Brontes passing his head through a window and trying to attack her?) prevents her from reaching the office. She tells Wu to hold while she tries to save him but he asks her to instead save herself, wishing her a long and happy life. He bids her farewell and wait for his death while Claire escapes the tower. The raptor ends up breaking through the door and it pounce on Wu. While the predator starts devouring him, his cane falls on the ground and its amber pommel shatters.
Owen's decision
Just as the Owen and Dougal are about to start a new attempt in capturing Victoria, a pack of Achillobators (the same one which allied with Claire in the previous night) shows up and our duo hide while the raptors spot Victoria. At first, Owen fears they'll hurt or even kill her. He thinks about intervening, even if he might risk his own life, but after sniffing the young and scared Achillobator, the pack leader gently guides her towards her pack. Owen and Dougal watch the raptors disappear in the darkness. Dougal ask Owen if he'll do something but the Raptor Whisperer says nothing, willing to let Victoria live with a pack and without unnecessary human interference in her life. They head back to the Citadel.
The tower and the tyrannosaur
Kayla and Bigelow arrive by one of the observation towers, the one closest from the mountain path they're heading to. Nearby, the Special Forces' helicopter shot down by that of the raiders and the surrounding vegetation still burns. Just as they are about to climb to its observation bay in order to raid the tower for anything useful before starting the mountains' ascent, they are surrounded by a pack of small carnivores (just like Claire with the dilophosaurs in Trevorrow's version). Before they attack, a horn blast is heard. It's Drummond and after the palaeontologist insists with his portable horn (similar to the one Nigel Marven use against the velociraptors in The Giant Claw), the small carnivores scatter. He asks the two women if they're friends or foes, if they count among Dodgson's friends. Kayla answers that since Dodgson tried to sacrifice her to an Acrocanthosaurus, the answer is no for her, before adding that it ate Dodgson instead. Drummond is glad to hear that and he tells Maisie she can come. The teenager, hidden until there amidst the vegetation, joins them. Having heard Dodgson complaining about Maisie's escape, Bigelow is aware she must be very important but still wary, Drummond whisper to Maisie to not say a single word about the flash drive she's carrying. The two duos talk about their objectives and discover that they're the same. For better chances of survival, they decide to head together for the mountain's path.
But a tyrannosaur, the same one which Claire released earlier, makes its appearance while they're walking away from the tower. It saw them and they know that they better seek refuge in the tower than attempt to run from the predator. At first, they try to stay still, in order to not trigger its attack, but when he notices that the predator wouldn't mind eat one or two of them, Drummond tells Maisie and the two women to run. While they rush to the tower, he distracts the rex by agitating a burning branch. Afraid of the fire, the rex seek to avoid the branch and see the three other humans climbing the tower's ladder. The predator bypass Drummond and in its dash towards the tower, it sends the palaeontologist flying away with its tail. As such thing would have easily killed someone, Maisie fears the worst for him and when his motionless body falls into a ravine, the audience think it's over for him. Maisie panics while the rex has its jaws locked around the ladder's protective cage. What follows is pretty much similar to the Giganotosaurus' attack on the tower scene from Trevorrow's version, except that the final outcome will be quite different. As the observation towers' power has been turned off from the control room in order to save power for more urgent systems, our three protagonists can't have the observation bay rise to the top of the tower, where they would be safe from the rex. To make matters worse, another threat arrive.
I haven't decided which yet but the idea I'm having now is a group of pterosaurs, probably pteranodons, which targets our trio and chase the rex away from the tower by pecking at his head. Another manages to grab Maisie and take her out of the tower. However, the pterosaur let her go before it can be above the canopy due to some incident (another harassing it probably) and Maisie falls into dense bushes at a certain distance from the tower, out of the two women's sight. In the meantime, a mist has started descending from the mountains. Bigelow and Kayla exit the tower and begin searching for Maisie in the area, fearing she got herself hurt in the fall. To cover a maximum of ground before the mist reaches them, they decide to split up.
The end of a line
We see Maisie managing to stand up and while she got bruises**,** she seems relatively fine and still in walking condition. Now lost and alone in the middle of the woods, she's very scared though and starts screaming to help. In the silent forest, Kayla hears her voice and follows it. Just as the mist is about to reach Maisie, the smuggler sees the teenager in the distance and calls for her. But when she hears heavy footsteps and a rumble coming from just behind Maisie, in the mist, her heart stops and she's aghast when she sees the tyrannosaur's silhouette closing to the girl's. Before Maisie can flee, the predator open its maws, grabs her and swallow her whole before disappearing in the forest's shadows (the scene is meant to be a mirror of one from my JW rewrite, where the death of a little girl during the pterosaurs' attack on the main hub is concealed by smoke while Claire watch helplessly). Thus ends Lockwood's line, indirectly destroyed by Claire Dearing.
Bigelow arrives in her turn and sees the smuggler kneeled on the ground, speechless, too shocked by the scene she just saw. Understanding what happened, the CIA agent has an "Oh. Shit..." face and tells Kayla they have to leave the valley while they still can, as she doesn't know what the Italians will do with it once it's taken, even fearing that it might be firebombed in order to destroy the perpetrators of the various incidents of the past months.
While the two women head for the mountain's path and the mist passes away, Drummond is seen climbing out of the ravine and starts to call for Maisie, in vain. Seeing the destroyed observation bay empty, he looks around for clues about Maisie's or the women's whereabouts. He ends up stumbling on the rex's tracks and follows them up to the spot where the teenager last stood. There he finds Wu's flash drive and seeing some blood stains around, he realizes she is no more. This deeply saddens him and this loss and failure just add another load on his self-loathing, as he would have gladly died between the jaws of the king of the dinosaurs if it could have saved Maisie's life. Instead of trying to follow Kayla and Bigelow, he goes in the opposite direction, towards the valley itself.
Leaving the Sanctuary
While looking to reach the auditorium, Claire is forced to hide in one of the labs from dilophosaurs roaming in the area.
In the archives, Vuillier and Nyamu finally put their hands on the documents they were looking for and take them. They and the grey guards' archives team then leave the room and head to the auditorium, in order to reunite with Viscontini and co. On the way, they have to pass between the legs of Brontes while he's distracted by the grey guards. When they reach the auditorium, Viscontini tells them that helicopters are waiting for them. One of the aircrafts is on its way to pick up the Owen and Dougal.
Escorted by the Carabinieri and the Special Forces, the surviving Biosyn employees are evacuated from the Citadel and when the grey guards retreat from their confrontation against Brontes, Vuillier asks them if they've seen Claire coming back but they answer that no. He contacts her and she tells him that she's being delayed.
We see her evading the dilophosaurs which were about to discover her and leaving the labs. Now, start for her an Uncharted-esque race through the Citadel where she has to cross various obstacles and avoid/outrun the loose creatures within it (including the dilophosaurs mentioned above). Still pissed, Brontes targets her and chases her up to her extraction point. Before the Argentinosaurus can close his mouth on her, she jumps into one of the helicopters where Owen and Dougal are waiting for her. The two men help her get inside and their helicopter fly away from the Citadel while the sauropod lets out a mighty bellow.
The protagonists leave the valley and the helicopters which drop them off at Biosyn employees' village, which has been taken over by the Italians and the Austrians in the meantime.
A bitter dawn
While the first sun rays reach the valley, Drummond stumble upon the monstrous Acrocanthosaurus Quasimodo in the area devastated by the flood, in sight of the now destroyed south-eastern wall. Surprised by the waters near the road battlefield, the predator was carried on a certain distance before ending up blocked by rocks and then impaled by a tree. When the palaeontologist finds him, he's dead. Disgusted by the animal, Drummond first tries to ignore him and continue towards the wall, intending to reach the village beyond it, but he turns back and carefully approach him. Tired from his night-long trek, Drummond sit on a rock just next to Quasimodo's head and still quite shaken by Maisie's death and the disaster, Drummond start to ramble about various topics (about the evolution of palaeontology since the San Diego incident, his wife, working at Biosyn, Theo's and Maisie's death...) before breaking down in tears and he can't hold himself from calling Quasimodo a Manmade abomination which deserved to be destroyed by Nature. While looking towards the destroyed wall, the palaeontologist start to regret those harsh words and pulls out a flask of whisky from his bag. After drinking a sip, he puts it back in the bag and just sit silently by the dead animal for a few minutes, up until some Quetzalcoatlus land nearby. The gigantic pterosaurs walk up to the dead Acrocanthosaurus and ignoring Drummond as a way bigger meal is just in front of them, they start feasting. While they do so, Drummond follows the flood's desolation towards the Citadel and he is soon spotted by the men tasked with finding him.
Of rivalries and world-saving
In the morning, Claire steps out of the accommodation assigned to her and Owen within Biosyn's Village. She sees Drummond giving Wu's flash drive to Vuillier before taking his leave. After joining her boss, Claire ponders about her relationship with Wu, on how both destroyed Jurassic World five years ago and how they pretty much saved the world that night. She and Vuillier have a respectful moment of silence for their deceased enemy.
In the abandoned citadel, it's revealed that one of the locusts survived. It's seen crawling on the ground, towards one of the vents. But just before it could reach it, a Mononykus (freed from one of the cages during the raid) swoops on it and devours it.
League of Dragons
As she is crossing the village, Claire passes by one of the remaining Biosyn guards. It's actually the Romanian one, the one who saw her by the panic room. Frightened as hell, he moves away from her while yelling "Dracul! Dracul!", still traumatized by the past night's events. Claire briefly wonders why he is yelling and running away before she gets surrounded by other Biosyn guards and Lucrezia Pellegrino. The Citadel's head of security explains that he called her a dragon because of what he saw and some of the guards start throwing insults at Claire, calling her a monster and a butcher, and she realize that they and their superior want to avenge those she killed. Pellegrino adds that by sending dinosaurs on people who oppose her, Claire is no better than Dodgson on that matter.
Nearby, Owen sees his fiancée surrounded and when one of the Biosyn guards throws a stone at Claire, he gets furious, tackles him on the ground and starts to beat him up. As another guard pulls out a knife (which he hid when they had to give their weapons to the authorities) and is about to stab Owen, the surviving grey guards suddenly intervene, getting the couple out of the Biosyn ambush and then confronting the attackers, standing by Claire's and Owen's side. The grey guards retort to their opponents that their comrades could have denounced the Sanctuary's illegal activities, surrendered, deserted or arrested Dodgson while they could but did nothing, before adding that without Claire, they would have all eaten nothing but locusts in a near future. The Biosyn guards feel insulted however and as an ugly fight is about to break out between both groups, the Carabinieri are forced to intervene and assign them to opposite parts of the village.
The press, who just entered the Biosyn's lands, has witnessed the confrontation and so did Vuillier and Nyamu. The latter tells the Frenchman that since Claire pretty much saved the world, Odegaard could give her a well-deserved break, literally and figuratively.
In the village's equivalent of a community centre, a meeting about the incident's consequences and what to do with the Sanctuary and its animals is held. Among the attendees, are:
- The WDMC and the people directly affiliated to it: Claire, Owen, Dougal, Vuillier, and Nyamu.
- Representatives of the Italian government: Viscontini, Giovanni Pazzi, and a few local politicians.
- The surviving Biosyn executives and top researchers: Drummond, Pellegrino, Quinn.
During the meeting, we learn that:
- Dodgson was found, or at least five or six pieces of him.
- Some of the Sanctuary's denizens managed to flee the valley and are now somewhere in the Italian countryside. Among the escapees are Victoria and her new pack of Achillobators.
- Exterminators led by the surviving grey guards are about to be sent in the amber mines to slaughter the pectinodons down to the last individual and the species will be soon classified as a pest in Italy, Austria and probably other countries.
Several solutions for the valley, its denizens and the Citadel are discussed:
- Cull the animals, cleanse the valley of Biosyn's traces, and give it back to the inhabitants expropriated by the corporation when it decided to have the entire valley and some of the surrounding lands for itself and no one else.
- Abandoning the valley, let the animals fend for themselves and hope that "life will find a way", even if it poses huge risks for the local populations and ecosystems.
- Dispatch the surviving animals to zoos and other entities which can legally house dangerous captive animals. Proceeding like this will allow de-extinct creatures to no longer be in the ownership of a single entity like Biosyn or InGen.
- Round up the loose animals, cleanse the battle's and the flood's damages, and turn the place into a real Sanctuary for de-extinct animals. Not a "Kruger with dinosaurs" like the Five Deaths but more like a non-profit place with enclosures (akin to many sanctuaries for wild animals across the globe). It will be a public-private joint-venture, with the sanctuary co-managed by the UN's WDMC and the Italian government while private partners will help finance it (Nathan Quinn propose to be one of those but Vuillier, Dougal and a few others distrust him and prefer to not have some of Dodgson's former collaborators on the project). And in order to ensure good relations with the local communities, jobs will be offered to the area's inhabitants and some lands given back to them. Shall this solution be adopted, Vuillier proposes to have Claire Dearing as its manager, Owen Grady its head warden, Rod Drummond its chief researcher, and Laurenzo Cesare as head of security, if they accept. Pellegrino storms off at this moment, disgusted that they're about to leave her without a job and rewarding Claire, an unrepentant psychopath in her eyes. In a moment of consultation amidst the meeting, Claire tells Vuillier she'll probably refuse becoming the sanctuary's manager if this solution is adopted, telling him that she has the feeling that her future lies elsewhere and that she'll continue work as a field agent if he don't mind. Vuillier, who clearly saw how Claire evolved since she started playing spies back in 2019 and decided to close his eyes on her exactions, suggest her to settle for a quieter less-violent life and declares that managing the Sanctuary could be the ultimate redemption for her. Still shaken by the amount of violence she had to commit in order to stop Biosyn and desiring to spend more time with her son, she ends up being persuaded and accept the idea.
The different solutions are being debated for weeks if not months within the Italian government and the UN.

End of Act IV.
See you tomorrow for the final Act and the Epilogue.
submitted by TheGeekyZoologist to JurassicPark [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 09:13 Kashmir_Haze Hope & Reality

Trigger Warning: Stillbirth, miscarriage, IVF
I'll start with the old cliche - long time lurker, first time poster. So thank you to anyone who reads and/or comments, and hopefully my current story may help in some way. I have just added anything that may be relevant.
I'm a 37 year old Australian female, with a history of endometriosis and cysts that ran up and down my the outside of my fallopian tubes. Unfortunately, those cysts started twisting, turning blue and bursting, which caused horrific and debilitating pain. I was in my early 20's when this first started occurring. This led me on a six year journey (unfortunately I encountered a lot of dismissive doctors - 'It's just period pain'), before an incredible gynaecologist organised a laparoscopy for me immediately, and she discovered extensive endometriosis and the cysts. She lanced and burnt her way through like an epic warrior, inserted a Mirena, and my quality of life improved instantly with no complications.
Fast forward to me at 32 and TTC with my partner. Fortunately, it only took us 3 months to see those glorious double lines on a pregnancy test. I had a blissful (and quite ignorant) pregnancy, welcoming our daughter at 39 weeks with an uncomplicated, spontaneous vaginal labour. My daughter was quite light at 2.6kg, but long at 51cm. I remember the midwife inquiring as to whether I smoked whilst looking at the placenta. I used too, but hadn't in 8 years. She shrugged and being that I had just laboured and we had a healthy, albeit light, baby in our arms, we didn't think anything else of it. My daughter thrived and is now a four year old ball of gorgeousness that we are so grateful for.
When Number 1 was about 16 months, we conceived our second child - very quickly might I add! One weekend of fun and the deal was done. Lucky us! Once again, a very unremarkable, straightforward pregnancy. Until it wasn't. At 35.5 weeks, I went to the the hairdresser, returned home and realised I hadn't felt her kick for a while - she was another little girl. Number 2 was much more of a kicker and squirmer than Number 1, so I knew something wasn't right. Later that night at the hospital, those horrendous, life-altering words were said, 'There is no heartbeat'. I delivered her vaginally, a far more physically gruelling and emotional labour than my first. Unfortunately, we have never had any definitive answers as to why there was a partial placenta abruption - her autopsy revealed that she was utterly perfect anyway. She was the same weight and height as her sister at 35.5 weeks. It was discovered that I have a prothrombin mutation that makes my blood a little more prone to clotting. However, we've been told that this condition can either affect pregnancies or not (hence Number 1 doing so well). The strongest theory is that perhaps a clot did disrupt the umbilical cord/placenta, but no one can say for sure with the lack of evidence.
Those of you who are sadly in the baby loss club (but don't want to be of course) will know what that grief journey looks like after the rug has been pulled out from under you and your life splinters into this new world that you have to suddenly adapt too. I won't get too bogged down here except for this - I see you. I see your baby. I see your loss, and I am so sorry you have to live the rest of your life with that complexity of emotions and longing for your little one. You are an incredible human being and I send you all the virtual love 💜
Nearly six months after our loss, we began trying again. After 5 months and no positive, we turned to IVF. I was aware of my age and I didn't want to wait after we had previously been so lucky with two quick conceptions. The fertility doctor had me do a HyCoSy scan to check my tubes, before we began an IVF cycle. Lo and behold, that scan was therapeutic as we become pregnant naturally on my next cycle! We were ecstatic that we didn't even have to begin IVF but also incredibly trepidatious of being pregnant again in general. As part of my stillbirth interventions for pregnancy, I immediately started injecting Clexane (a blood thinner) to avoid any potential clotting issues.
At 8 weeks, I began violently miscarrying at work. Due to the Clexane, there was a huge amount of blood and a lot of very large clots. Over the course of 2½ weeks, I was in and out of hospital every couple of days with extremely heavy bleeding. At the end of that period, I finally passed my baby and had a D&C. Salt to the wound is an understatement. The anger, grief, devastation, guilt, etc., of having to endure another loss after we had already been so awfully robbed, was just horrendous. Our fertility doctor let us know the 1 in 4 figures for miscarriage and that it was likely a chromosomal issue. Great.
Two months later, I had another laparoscopy to remove a small amount of endometriosis. Two months after that, I was injecting hormone stimulants for my first round for an IVF egg retrieval. We got 7 eggs, 4 fertilised, and 2 blastocysts but they could not be biopsied for chromosomal issues unfortunately. Our doctor believes that the low egg count could be endometriosis related, as my egg reserves are average for my age. Frustratingly, our egg transfer was delayed due to the Christmas break, then we had Covid for a second time and it was delayed even further. Finally, we had the transfer - one blastocyst did not survive the thawing process, the other failed to implant.
After researching even more, eating even better than I did before, starting reformer pilates three times a week and taking all the vitamins/supplements (for him too), I recently had another egg retrieval: 6 eggs, 1 fertilised, 1 blastocyst that could not be biopsied. What. The. Actual. Fuck. Here we are, the healthiest we have ever been, no caffeine, no booze and we get such a poor fertilisation rate? It has perplexed the fertility doctor and lab techs. We have talked about interventions for next time (adding calcium to the culture medium), if this little eggo doesn't a) survive the thawing process, b) doesn't implant, c) implants but miscarries, or d) implants but ends up stillborn - I sincerely hope not for those latter two.
So this is where I am currently at - prepping for my second egg transfer that should hopefully happen next week or early the week after. I guess I have written this essay (apologies about that!), to seek any input really - does anything in my story resonate with yours? Tales of hope? The reality of hope being stomped on? Have you been down the IVF path and it didn't work? It's only been two and half years since Number 2 was taken from us and we started this whole journey, but I'm exhausted and feeling a bit indifferent about it all. It honestly feels like we have so much more bad outweigh the good, that how on earth could this little eggo even make it?
Thank you for reading and hearing me out. Love to you all ❤️
(I have posted on Baby Loss and IVF subreddits)
submitted by Kashmir_Haze to IVF [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 09:11 Kashmir_Haze Hope vs. Reality

Trigger Warning: Stillbirth, miscarriage, IVF
I'll start with the old cliche - long time lurker, first time poster. So thank you to anyone who reads and/or comments, and hopefully my current story may help in some way. I have just added anything that may be relevant.
I'm a 37 year old Australian female, with a history of endometriosis and cysts that ran up and down my the outside of my fallopian tubes. Unfortunately, those cysts started twisting, turning blue and bursting, which caused horrific and debilitating pain. I was in my early 20's when this first started occurring. This led me on a six year journey (unfortunately I encountered a lot of dismissive doctors - 'It's just period pain'), before an incredible gynaecologist organised a laparoscopy for me immediately, and she discovered extensive endometriosis and the cysts. She lanced and burnt her way through like an epic warrior, inserted a Mirena, and my quality of life improved instantly with no complications.
Fast forward to me at 32 and TTC with my partner. Fortunately, it only took us 3 months to see those glorious double lines on a pregnancy test. I had a blissful (and quite ignorant) pregnancy, welcoming our daughter at 39 weeks with an uncomplicated, spontaneous vaginal labour. My daughter was quite light at 2.6kg, but long at 51cm. I remember the midwife inquiring as to whether I smoked whilst looking at the placenta. I used too, but hadn't in 8 years. She shrugged and being that I had just laboured and we had a healthy, albeit light, baby in our arms, we didn't think anything else of it. My daughter thrived and is now a four year old ball of gorgeousness that we are so grateful for.
When Number 1 was about 16 months, we conceived our second child - very quickly might I add! One weekend of fun and the deal was done. Lucky us! Once again, a very unremarkable, straightforward pregnancy. Until it wasn't. At 35.5 weeks, I went to the the hairdresser, returned home and realised I hadn't felt her kick for a while - she was another little girl. Number 2 was much more of a kicker and squirmer than Number 1, so I knew something wasn't right. Later that night at the hospital, those horrendous, life-altering words were said, 'There is no heartbeat'. I delivered her vaginally, a far more physically gruelling and emotional labour than my first. Unfortunately, we have never had any definitive answers as to why there was a partial placenta abruption - her autopsy revealed that she was utterly perfect anyway. She was the same weight and height as her sister at 35.5 weeks. It was discovered that I have a prothrombin mutation that makes my blood a little more prone to clotting. However, we've been told that this condition can either affect pregnancies or not (hence Number 1 doing so well). The strongest theory is that perhaps a clot did disrupt the umbilical cord/placenta, but no one can say for sure with the lack of evidence.
Those of you who are sadly in the baby loss club (but don't want to be of course) will know what that grief journey looks like after the rug has been pulled out from under you and your life splinters into this new world that you have to suddenly adapt too. I won't get too bogged down here except for this - I see you. I see your baby. I see your loss, and I am so sorry you have to live the rest of your life with that complexity of emotions and longing for your little one. You are an incredible human being and I send you all the virtual love 💜
Nearly six months after our loss, we began trying again. After 5 months and no positive, we turned to IVF. I was aware of my age and I didn't want to wait after we had previously been so lucky with two quick conceptions. The fertility doctor had me do a HyCoSy scan to check my tubes, before we began an IVF cycle. Lo and behold, that scan was therapeutic as we become pregnant naturally on my next cycle! We were ecstatic that we didn't even have to begin IVF but also incredibly trepidatious of being pregnant again in general. As part of my stillbirth interventions for pregnancy, I immediately started injecting Clexane (a blood thinner) to avoid any potential clotting issues.
At 8 weeks, I began violently miscarrying at work. Due to the Clexane, there was a huge amount of blood and a lot of very large clots. Over the course of 2½ weeks, I was in and out of hospital every couple of days with extremely heavy bleeding. At the end of that period, I finally passed my baby and had a D&C. Salt to the wound is an understatement. The anger, grief, devastation, guilt, etc., of having to endure another loss after we had already been so awfully robbed, was just horrendous. Our fertility doctor let us know the 1 in 4 figures for miscarriage and that it was likely a chromosomal issue. Great.
Two months later, I had another laparoscopy to remove a small amount of endometriosis. Two months after that, I was injecting hormone stimulants for my first round for an IVF egg retrieval. We got 7 eggs, 4 fertilised, and 2 blastocysts but they could not be biopsied for chromosomal issues unfortunately. Our doctor believes that the low egg count could be endometriosis related, as my egg reserves are average for my age. Frustratingly, our egg transfer was delayed due to the Christmas break, then we had Covid for a second time and it was delayed even further. Finally, we had the transfer - one blastocyst did not survive the thawing process, the other failed to implant.
After researching even more, eating even better than I did before, starting reformer pilates three times a week and taking all the vitamins/supplements (for him too), I recently had another egg retrieval: 6 eggs, 1 fertilised, 1 blastocyst that could not be biopsied. What. The. Actual. Fuck. Here we are, the healthiest we have ever been, no caffeine, no booze and we get such a poor fertilisation rate? It has perplexed the fertility doctor and lab techs. We have talked about interventions for next time (adding calcium to the culture medium), if this little eggo doesn't a) survive the thawing process, b) doesn't implant, c) implants but miscarries, or d) implants but ends up stillborn - I sincerely hope not for those latter two.
So this is where I am currently at - prepping for my second egg transfer that should hopefully happen next week or early the week after. I guess I have written this essay (apologies about that!), to seek any input really - does anything in my story resonate with yours? Tales of hope? The reality of hope being stomped on? Have you been down the IVF path and it didn't work? It's only been two and half years since Number 2 was taken from us and we started this whole journey, but I'm exhausted and feeling a bit indifferent about it all. It honestly feels like we have so much more bad outweigh the good, that how on earth could this little eggo even make it?
Thank you for reading and hearing me out. Love to you all ❤️
(I have posted on both Baby Loss and IVF subreddits)
submitted by Kashmir_Haze to babyloss [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 07:53 faded_imagery my ten year anniversary is coming up and i am struggling TW:intimate details.

it is two weeks away from the ten year anniversary of the night i was raped. it feels surreal it doesn’t feel like anything most of the time and yet it feels awful sometimes. i’ve been staying incredibly busy which gives me less time to think about it.
i’ve been self medicating i have been for ten years. booze, drugs, sex. i know it’s bad but i can’t stop. especially right now.
the change in weather always triggers me. i work with elementary kids and missed the last week of school because i was manic but also because i feel disgusting and that someone like myself should not be allowed to be around them. they’re so innocent and i feel so tarnished. i know i am self sabotaging but the idea of going back in the fall feels so fucking scary.
i am terrified of seeing him. we don’t even live near each other but a man who came into my place of work looked like him and it terrified me. i hate that i’m still scared of him.
he took my virginity at my first party when i was 15 and groomed me for four years after that. i had a virginity ring on because of my religious parents. i thought i loved him, he destroyed my ability to view relationships for such a long time. i still struggle with it now.
they told me i had ptsd; they told me i was raped and i didn’t believe them. they involuntarily hospitalized me which traumatized me more but what were they supposed to do? what would i do in their situation? did i deserve it or do i make excuses for them. i don’t know.
i have been craving pain lately, whether through violent sex or self harm. i don’t know if it’s to feel something or punish myself.
i carry so much guilt around my behavior after my assault. i was hyper sexual and suicidal and unhinged. i’m from a small town so this reflected on my religious family.
i still think i am undeserving of love and am terrified of being left. deep down i know this negative belief about myself is not true but it feels so real right now. i clung to him when he would give me attention because he was my sense of self worth and after him i jumped from relationship to relationship.
he used to sleep inside me because “he wanted to start a family with me” i realize that now he just wanted to own me. my body, my mind, my sexuality. and he did. for a long time.
sometimes i try to explain things to my friends but then everything comes flooding back and it feels like it would take ages to explain things with him and how it affected my relationship with my family, myself, my friends for so long. especially my siblings. i was the older sister i was expected to be the role model, the caretaker. i know these expectations are unfair now but still feel like i failed.
i’ve been called a slut, whore, cunt, town bicycle. all these and more. but never anything about the men who used me and left. who denied even having sex with me because i was an embarrassment to them. every teenager keeps a body count list but i stopped counting at 20. i was 16.
i moved away with my dad, neither of my parents were home much and my grandparents raised me when i was a mess. it feels unfair, my grandpa was my dad and i loved him so much we didn’t speak for years until he was on his death bed because i hated myself and resented my family. i hate that.
i don’t have a hometown and sometimes that feels best but god it hurts to visit my family. and i have trouble admitting it because they worry. but them “worrying” only adds to the guilt and the anger.
i seek out men who are emotionally unavailable and relationships that are chaotic because it feels normal. i feel like i deserve it and it feels uncomfortable to have healthy boundaries. i want to take care of them and prove that i am worthy of the love they will never give me. i know all this but cannot stop it.
recently i saw someone for a month who is one of my close friends. he did not treat me very well and it feels like a confirmation of all of these thoughts and beliefs.
i will be okay. i always am, i know i am strong. but sometimes it’s just so fucking hard to be. i want to say so much more but it would be a novel. i don’t need advice or anything, i am safe, i think i really just needed to share. so if you’ve read this far thank you.
submitted by faded_imagery to sexualassault [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 01:27 PeaceSim I attended my high school’s ten-year reunion. There’s something terribly wrong with the rest of my graduating class.

There’s a saying in my hometown: “Nobody leaves Copper Hill for good.”
For years, I’d mostly managed to defy it. In the decade that followed my graduation from Copper Hill High School, I hardly set foot in its vicinity.
Instead, I absorbed myself in my studies at an out-of-state university and, eventually, my career. I spent the little free time I had with my girlfriend, who I’d met as a sophomore in a chemistry lab, and her friends. When we eventually broke up, I lost not only her, but also what little social life I had.
It was in this state of loneliness that I found a letter from my old high school in the mail. This surprised me, as I hadn’t realized that anyone there even knew my current mailing address.
I opened the envelope to find an invitation inside. Its design was fancier than I’d expected, complete with gold-colored glitter, a royal blue background, and a finely-drawn silver border. It read, in cursive letters: Cheers for 10 Years! Zachary R. ___, Please Join Us for the CHHS Class of 2013 Official Reunion. It went on to list a start time and the school’s address.
On its back, it even contained a personalized handwritten note: I know you live far away, Zach, but it would mean so much to me if you can make the trip. Paul and I will be there, and Arthur may fly in as well. I’d love to catch up! Hope to see you soon – Vince K___, Co-Chair, CHHS Reunion Planning Committee.
Vince had been one of my best friends, once. You see, Copper Hill is one of those rare small towns where you can easily graduate from high school alongside the same friends you first made in kindergarten – in my case, my buddies Arthur, Paul, and Vince.
I’d spent most of my youth with them. The four of us were in the same scout troop, played on the same sports teams, and took mostly the same classes. On weekends – and on weeknights, when we felt like sneaking out without permission – we often stayed up late together playing video games and drinking whatever cheap beer we managed to keep hidden from our parents.
We’d meant so much to each other once. So why, since graduation, had I neglected them so badly? I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d talked to any of them.
Perhaps this reunion could serve as an opportunity for me to reignite friendships I’d let fade. At a minimum, I knew that spending time – even just one evening – with my old pals would do me a lot of good, especially considering how lonely I’d been lately. Accordingly, I resolved to attend.
By the time I reached Copper Hill, I was an hour behind schedule due to congestion caused by an accident. As I approached town, I observed amidst the fading evening light that it appeared even quieter and more deserted than I remembered. Bars that had reliably drawn decent crowds on a Friday night ranged from boarded-up to barely occupied. Meanwhile, the few other cars on the street drove lethargically at speeds far below the limit, and I spotted no pedestrians.
In my memory, the school was only a short distance from the courthouse, city hall, and post office that formed most of ‘downtown,’ but my GPS took me down a long, unfamiliar route bordered on both sides by tall cornfields. I was about to pull over and double-check the address I’d entered when, sure enough, my headlights illuminated a sign in the school’s distinct black and red colors that stated: CHHS: Home of the Patriots.
The brick building that loomed behind it was just as I remembered, from its tall, towering middle section to the two narrower wings that stretched out to the left and right. Through the rectangular windows that lined the main building, I made out indistinct, shadowy figures milling about inside.
A banner displaying Welcome – 10 Years – CHHS Reunion stretched over the stairs that led to the main entrance. Underneath it, a familiar figure scurried towards the main entrance. “Arthur,” I said to myself with a smile.
Seeing Arthur improved my mood. He was the only other member of our class to leave town after graduation, and I suspected that he might share somewhat of an outsider status with me.
It’ll be just like old times, I reassured myself as I approached the building. Strangely, though, it still didn’t feel that way.
For one, the air had a staleness to it that was difficult to describe. It felt artificial and thin such that, as I climbed the front steps, I found myself needing to breathe in more of it than usual to avoid getting winded.
Plus, the school’s location still seemed off somehow. It didn’t make any sense – it’s not like a building this large could have been relocated. But, amidst the eerily quiet surrounding countryside, everything felt more isolated and remote than I remembered it being.
I tried to stop worrying. After all, with any luck, I’d soon be laughing and reminiscing with old friends who’d be happy to see me.
Inside, balloon garlands, multicolored streamers, triangle flags, and small banners welcoming attendees decorated the main corridor. I observed tables stocked with snacks, pamphlets, and information about fundraisers.
The only noise came from the intercom, which planned an era-appropriate Calvin Harris song. Everything necessary for a reunion was there, with only one notable exception: the people.
As I approached an unmanned table marked “Check In,” I wondered where everybody had gone. Perhaps the event had moved to a different room? I was late, after all.
As I added my signature to a sign-in sheet, my eyes scanned the list of other attendees who were marked as having already arrived. I recognized many names on it.
Like Alice, who’d shared a stand with me in orchestra. Our conductor was a hard-ass, a real disciplinarian who snapped at us constantly, and Alice was one of the many students he’d driven to tears on a semi-regular basis.
I’d had this petty fantasy of comforting her after class, and then mustering the courage to ask her out. But I never did it. It was Vince, actually, who’d ended up with her.
That had always annoyed me. I’d confided in Vince about how I felt about Alice and, soon after, the two of them were together. It felt as frustrating as it sounds. But, oh well, that’s what I get for hesitating for as long as I did.
Drifting down the hallway, my eyes caught the words “Reception” displayed over double-doors that led to the gymnasium. It made sense as the main location for the event – that’s where homecoming, prom, and plenty of major sports events were held, after all.
I could hear chatter, laughter, and the loud thump of dance music just beyond the gym doors. I approached it excitedly.
But, when I stepped inside, all the noise instantly cut out, leaving me in an eerie silence. Even more perplexingly, the room before me, like the entrance corridor, was entirely devoid of people.
A party had just been here, no doubt. I spotted a makeshift bar stocked with a standard assortment of liquor, tables holding half-finished drinks and refreshments, and an area cleared for a dance floor in the room’s center, but there were no people around. Had I missed everyone again? Where had they gone?
“Hello?” I called out, to no avail, as I drifted around the room in a state of bewilderment.
As I did so, I came across the entrance to the boy’s locker room. Just a whiff of the musty, sweaty smell emanating from it unlocked long-buried memories of the time I’d spent in there.
I remembered one occasion, in particular, where Paul had gotten pissed at me. Paul was usually a pretty low-key guy, but when he lost it, he went wild. On that particular occasion, he’d been angry with me, hadn’t he? But why?
I recalled his hot breath as he got in my face and screamed at me. When I gently nudged him away, he responded by slamming a locker door into my head.
My memories from that moment forward were hazy. There was a growing pool of blood, the pain of his fist against my cheek, and the cheering of the classmates who had encircled us. They were egging us on to continue the ‘fight,’ as if my beating could be called that.
I hadn’t thought about this event in years. How could I have forgotten something like that? My mind churned in confusion. Feeling dizzy, I took a seat on a bench that appeared to be part of a crude photobooth setup as my mind continued to replay this repressed memory.
As Paul had continued to pummel me, I’d spotted Vince among the gathered crowd. I’d begged for him to intervene. But neither he, nor our strangely absent instructor, had done anything to help me. It was only when Arthur got between us that Paul had reluctantly cooled off.
It had taken weeks for those bruises to heal. Had Paul ever been punished for it, or even apologized? Surely he must have. We’d remained friends, after all.
A strange pressure around my shoulder and a sudden bright light jolted me back to the present. The flash on the camera facing the bench I was sitting on had…gone off, somehow, even with nobody around to operate it. How was that possible? Maybe it was automated to go off every so often?
It didn’t make sense, just like so much else that was happening. Where was everybody, and whose voices had I been hearing? I’d seen people from the road, and I’d even watched Arthur come inside, but, as far as I could tell, the event was deserted.
I texted Arthur asking if he’d found anyone. For all I knew, he could have changed his number in the many years that had gone by since I’d last used it, but I figured it was worth a shot. To my relief, he responded right away.
Hey man, long time no see! Paul just called me. He says everyone’s up on the third floor, in Mr. Minelli’s old room. I’m on my way there now. Meet you there soon.
I couldn’t fathom why the entire event would relocate from the area clearly designated for it to the third floor. There wasn’t much up there, after all, aside from classrooms and a few administrative officers.
Nonetheless, I resolved to head up there. Arthur was there, after all, and hopefully the rest of my friends would be as well.
Navigating off my memory of the building’s layout, I hopped up a small set of steps that connected the gym to the second floor. From there, it would just be a short walk past a few classrooms before I’d arrive at the central staircase, which would take me to my destination.
I’d never seen the school quite this gloomy before. Each footstep echoed through the halls. The classrooms were weirdly empty, too, bereft of any decorations or other signs of use.
I recognized one as my calculus classroom. I remembered how, after class had ended one day, I’d come across a group of students congregating in the hallway.
Mary, Michelle, and Abby, like so many of my classmates, had grown up with me, and I’d always gotten along with them. But that day, they were harassing a shy girl – Morgan, I think. Calling her all sorts of names – ‘slut,’ ‘whore,’ ‘bitch’. She was trying to get away from them, but they wouldn’t let her leave. Their taunting of her became a regular thing, and it often left Morgan in tears.
What ever happened to Morgan? Like most of my friends, I’d known her since I was a little kid. She was quiet, but she was perfectly nice.
Then, one day, gossip about her started to spread. The type of nasty, embellished rumors that often make their way through high schools, full of sexist undertones and double standards. Her former friends shunned her, and she’d been subjected to taunting and ridicule as she walked to class and sat alone at lunch. And, one day, she was just…gone. I’d always assumed that her family had moved away, but was that true?
Growing up, Mary, Michelle, and Abby had always been sweet girls. I’d never seen them treat another person the way they’d treated Morgan. But Copper Hill High School had a way of bringing out the worst in people. There was just something about this building, this place, that ate away at their – at our – souls.
Had I bullied Morgan, too? Maybe not, but, once her mistreatment started, it’s not like I’d made an effort to be kind to her, or ever invited her to sit with me and my friends in the cafeteria. I could have done more.
I reached the central staircase. With each step that I took up towards the third floor, a feeling of dread ran through me. I’d seen something terrible happen up here, hadn’t I?
It was Paul and Vince. Arthur had done something to offend them. It could have been the rumors spreading about his reasons for never having a girlfriend, his diminutive size, or the way he’d reacted when Paul had beaten me half to death.
Whatever the reason, Paul and Vince – without my knowledge – had decided to subject Arthur to a cruel prank. After school one day, they’d lured Arthur up to the third floor, where they’d taken hold of him and tried to wedge him into his own locker.
Now, there’s a reason this sort of thing occurs primarily on 90s sitcoms: most people simply can’t fit inside of a locker. Arthur, as short and skinny as he was, turned out to be no exception, but this only made things worse for him.
As Arthur later related to me, Paul and Vince laughed rowdily as they slammed him repeatedly into the metal frame. By the time they finally relented, Arthur had bruises all over his body.
There were other horrible acts, too. Other victims, other beatings. It dawned on me that this place had been an absolute hellhole. It’s no wonder I – and Arthur, too – had gotten as far away from it as we could at the first opportunity.
The peculiar thing was that, in the years that had passed, I’d somehow forgotten all of this until just now. Instead, my recollections of high school were all happy, all positive. Had false memories of camaraderie and friendship drawn Arthur back as well?
Finally, I reached the third level. The overhead fluorescent light fixtures flickered sporadically, revealing, in brief spurts, dilapidated lockers, litter, and layers of dust and dirt that coated the floor.
I approached Mr. Minelli’s classroom. Through the shaded hallway window, I could discern the outlines of roughly a dozen figures inside. I heard a voice, too. It was muffled and indistinct, but I could tell that the speaker was giving some kind of speech. She stopped, and a loud round of applause followed.
I reached for the door handle, unsure of what to expect. Hopefully, it would just be the people I’d driven four hours to see. But, after the events thus far, I half-expected the room to be empty. If so, I was jumping ship and going home.
To my surprise, just before I made contact with it, the door slowly opened on its own. The brightly-lit room before me was filled not with people, at least in the general understanding of the word. Rather, the still, bony forms before me resembled the kind of props a biology teacher might use to teach human anatomy.
The skeletons that stood silently throughout the room – that stood posed with drinks, that sat at desks, and that had assembled around a speaker - had to be props, right? Even though Mr. Minelli was a history teacher?
My mind searched desperately for some kind of explanation. This had to be an elaborate prank, right? Had Vince and Paul lured me, and maybe Arthur, too, out here just to freak us the fuck out? I wouldn’t put it past them – it’s precisely the kind of thing they’d do, even if the whole set-up, complete with an array of prop skeletons, was a bit extreme.
But, then, who was making all the noises I’d been hearing? Was that part of the prank, too?
Fuck it, I thought. If this was a big gag at my expense, then I’d just have to deal with the embarrassment later. I was getting out of there.
Zach,” called a strained voice in the hallway.
“If this a joke, then it’s not-”
The voice interrupted me. “Zach, help me, please!” It was Arthur’s voice, and it was coming from the hallway nearby.
He sounded like he was in serious trouble, so I hurried after him. Eventually, I found myself in a corner of the hallway – one where, if I remembered correctly, he and I used to have lockers. But, once again, I found myself alone.
I yelled out his name several times: “Arthur! Arthur!” It was no use. I appeared to be at a dead end.
That’s when the locker next to me shook. I jumped back, surprised.
It was shut, but not locked. I gripped the handle and pulled it open.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw inside: it was Arthur’s torso. The rest of his body was gone, and something was dragging what was left of him further away, further back into a dark abyss where the wall should have been.
Blood gurgled out of his mouth as he gasped my name one last time. He reached out a red-stained hand. Hoping to somehow pull him out, I tried to take it, only for whatever unseen force had taken hold of him to pull him away, leaving behind a wide hole in the back of the locker. More blood gushed through it, leaking onto the hallway floor.
So glad you could make it,” said a monotone voice behind me. I whirled around to see two fleshy arms emerge from another locker across from me. The skinless figure left wet, red stains on the white surface as she got to her feet and stepped towards me. “Don’t you recognize your old crush? Surely ten years haven’t been that rough on me.”
“A-alice?” I stuttered, stepping backwards.
Lockers all around me started opening, each accompanied by a new pair of bloody, seemingly boneless arms of figures that slowly crawled outwards.
My survival instincts kicked in. I sprinted away, my legs frantically carrying me towards the main staircase. All around me, figures emerged, reaching out to me as I passed by. Through an open door, I noticed that another classroom was filled with skeletons, just as Mr. Minelli’s had been.
When I reached the main staircase, it was guarded by a tall, fleshy figure. “Don’t you want to be with us?” it asked in a familiar, deep voice that I knew to be Paul’s. “We can be complete. A full class. All of us, together again. Like old times.”
He lurched for me. Just barely, I managed to dodge him, but I lost balance in the process. Before I knew it, I was tumbling down the stairs. Pain shot through me as I collided with step after step.
Finally, I landed on a level surface. Dizzily, I climbed to my feet and did my best to ignore the soreness that spread throughout my body.
A quick glance upwards confirmed that the bloody figures – the ones that somehow resembled my old classmates – were, indeed, heading towards me.
Meanwhile, the temperature inside was rising noticeably, and the walls around me were steadily changing in color from a dull gray to a deep red.
As I scrambled down the rest of the stairs and across the main corridor on the first floor, an intense tremor ran through the building, sending me sprawling to the ground. Despite a sharp pain that spread through my ankle, I hobbled as quickly as I could to the exit.
I didn’t look back as I made my way across the parking lot to my car. I started the ignition, backed out, and headed towards the long road I’d used to get there.
In my rearview mirror, I chanced a glance back at the school. It was shaking violently, like it was being struck by an earthquake.
My car lurched in different directions as the ground underneath me also started to rumble. In an effort to avoid my car being sent off the road and into the neighboring fields, I frantically steered it to the center, between the lanes heading into and out of town.
When I looked back again, the school was, somehow, even closer to me than it had been before. How was that possible? Was it following me?
I floored the accelerator. Row after row of cornfield flew by me as I drove at the fastest speed of my life.
I was on the edge of town, close to the nearest interstate ramp, when local police pulled me over.
As the officer approached me, I stared into the rear view mirror. At the first glimpse of whatever it was that had chased after me, I’d hit the road again, law enforcement be damned. In truth, I hadn’t seen my pursuer since I’d exited the cornfield a few minutes ago, but I hardly felt safe.
“Clocked you going nearly a hundred, son,” said the officer.
I stayed silent. My baffled self was unsure of how to best handle the situation.
The officer gave me a quizzical look as he examined my ID and registration. “You’re Don and Fran’s son, aren’t you? The one who left town?”
I nodded.
“Why’d you come back?”
“There was, uh, a ten-year reunion. For my graduating class.”
He shook his head. “I doubt that.” He looked down, then at my perplexed face. “Where, exactly, was this ‘reunion’?”
“At the school,” I said. I struggled to understand his reaction. What about my story didn’t make sense? And, regardless, was I about to be booked for driving fifty miles over the speed limit? Is that something they throw you in jail for?
“Wait here,” barked the officer. He went to his car where he proceeded to have a long conversation over his radio. After a few minutes, he returned to me. “Get out of here, son. Leave, and don’t come back. Don’t do something like this again. You hear me?”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s fine,” I said, astonished.
“Then scram,” he ordered.
I obliged and began the long journey home.
I had no idea what to make of what occurred. I can hardly find anything at all online about Copper Hill High, or any of my classmates who went there, and I’m not exactly eager to reach out to any of them.
I can’t make much sense of what happened, but I am sure of one thing: that I barely made it out of that situation, and that I shouldn’t press my luck much further.
My ankle needs some more time to heal. Once it does, I’m going to try joining a social club and making new friends. After what happened to me in Copper Hill, I decided that the past is not a place where I need to dwell any longer.
Two weeks have passed since the reunion. Today, an envelope with no return address arrived with my mail. It contained a single photograph on glossy paper with a short note written underneath.
The image featured me on the bench in the photo booth. Sitting to my side, with his arm over my shoulders, was Vince. He wore a blue collared shirt and looked…normal. No missing skin, no bloody imprints on the surface around him.
Paul crouched behind us, a dopey grin on his face. He, too, looked just as I’d imagined he would in his late twenties. To Paul’s right, Abby, Morgan, and Michelle posed together with their arms around each other.
It was…a perfectly ordinary image - the exact kind of photo you’d expect to be taken at an event like that.
The handwritten caption underneath read, “Although your visit was briefer than we preferred, we all had a splendid time catching up with you, Zach! Please feel free to come by anytime! Nobody truly leaves Copper Hill, after all. – Vince K___, Co-Chair, CHHS Reunion Planning Committee.
P.S., the note continued, We are delighted that Arthur has finally joined us. Maybe you will, too, at our 20th.
The writing up to this point was cursive font in traditional black ink. The last few words, however, were larger in size, messily scrawled, and colored a deep shade of red: See you then, buddy, if not sooner.
submitted by PeaceSim to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 23:53 dumbesttimeline MPLS Police Officers Will Go to Where Crime Is in Bold New Initiative

Dozens of officers get marching orders as part of 'Operation Safe Summer' in Minneapolis

The officers learned when and where they will focus their attention as the warm days and nights set in.

By Paul Walsh Star TribuneJune 7, 2023 — 4:23
Crime hot spots in Minneapolis will be saturated with law enforcement at specific times under an initiative detailed Wednesday ahead of the warm summer days and nights ahead.
The "Operation Safe Summer" briefing Wednesday in the Police Department training center, with many of the top legal brass acting for the most part as observers along with members of the media, was complete with charts, graphs and maps on a big screen touting reductions in crime. The contingent included Minneapolis police officers and Hennepin County sheriff's deputies, many of them in plain clothes.
The officers learned when they will saturate targeted areas of the city — in uniform and undercover — with the focus on crime hot spots on the North Side, downtown and along and near E. Lake Street.
The operation, subtitled the "Greater Minneapolis Violent Crime Initiative," began Monday and is being deployed on specific dates during specific times through the end of August — though they were not publicly detailed.
A presentation of Police Department crime data comparing the first six months of 2023 with the same period last year showed 33% fewer homicides and 37% fewer gunshot victims. At the same time, gun seizures are up 18%.
On the first day of the initiative, detectives with the Hennepin County Violent Offender Task Force and Minneapolis police officers chased a 12-year-old boydriving a suspected stolen Kia until the vehicle crashed into and destroyed a Metro Transit bus shelter at Olson Hwy. and N. Penn Avenue.
The driver and his five older teenage passengers were injured to varying degrees. All six were arrested, the Sheriff's Office said.
The Kia struck another SUV on Olson Hwy. and Penn Avenue, then slammed into the bus shelter and also hit a man waiting at the shelter around noon, authorities said Monday. The vehicle was believed to have been involved in multiple armed robberies and being driven erratically through the North Side.
On Wednesday, the child, now 13, was charged with four counts of felony criminal vehicular operation and one count each of receiving stolen property and fleeing police. Because of his age, his identity and other details were not made public.
Along with Mayor Jacob Frey, other agency heads in attendance included U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, Hennepin County Sheriff Dawanna Witt, state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty and Alvin Winston, special agent in charge for the FBI's Minneapolis Field Office. They praised the efforts toward bringing down crime in the tumultuous years since the at-times violent and destructive unrest that followed George Floyd's murder by Minneapolis police officers in May 2020.
"We are focusing on the worst of the worst out there who are wreaking harm or causing havoc in the community," Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara said of the joint-agency initiative. "You are out there this week and every day and taking these people off the street."
submitted by dumbesttimeline to altmpls [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 23:41 jade_the_lost_one I think I might have schizophrenia

I read that this disease rewrites memories in the brain and I’m afraid I have it. For years I’ve ignored my misremembering of stuff, some pretty severe, entire conversations or things that never happened as truth.
My grandma has it and has been in a facility for nearly ten years she’s deteriorated so much. I think my mom has it. She believes demons are inside of her and has other concerning things. She also gets very violent at the drop of a hat. I hadn’t lived with her since I was 11.
I have visual hallucinations but thought that was a part of another mental illness I have but apparently that’s not a symptom of it. I’ve been on abilify for 8 years to help with “depression” but none of the depression symptoms ease up on it but the hallucinations and outbursts do. And when I forget to take my meds or let my scripts run out things get bad.
I really believed that a friend had messaged me the night before she passed away and I’ve avoided our messages because I hate that I never messaged her back… I looked at them after 3 years and there was never a message from that night. Our last convo took place ten days before.
There’s other things with other people, things I believed were true and they never happened. There’s no evidence of any of it. I truly feel like my brain makes up things and sees things or hears things that just aren’t there.
I want answers but I don’t know if I should get a diagnosis. I’m already on abilify which is apparently a medicine used to treat it. What can I do?
submitted by jade_the_lost_one to schizophrenia [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 20:39 Mysterious-Bat-6615 I (26F) am afraid that my boyfriend (28M) might implode under all the immense pressure he's going through. How do I help him?

This is a throwaway account because my boyfriend is an active Redditor, and we follow each other's accounts here, but he never goes to this sub.
This is also going to be a long post, but I hope you can bear with me.
I (26F) have been in a relationship with my boyfriend (28M) for 5.5 years now, and this is probably the healthiest relationship I've ever been in. For the purposes of this post, I'll call him Ben. We met in college, and Ben was the sweetest and cutest guy I've ever met. He's two years ahead of me, but he was a part of the welcoming committee at our university, and boy, were we lucky. He was such a charismatic gentleman with an awesome personality and looks to match. I think everyone in my friend group, including me, had a huge crush on him, but he had a girlfriend at the time. When they broke up (she cheated on him), I took my chance and confessed my feelings for him. At that time, I was still a dumb kid, and Ben turned me down politely. However, months later, the stars aligned for us, and long story short, we became a couple.
Before COVID (we were already two years into the relationship by this time), we started living together for a few months because we both worked at offices near each other, so we figured it would be easier and more cost-effective. When the pandemic happened, we went back to our homes. However, things happened with Ben's household. His brother (let's call him Paul) came out as gay, and their parents kicked him out. Ben decided to take Paul under his wing, and we decided to live together again with Paul. Another layer to this was Paul becoming suicidal at the start of his coming out journey (I mean, he was kicked out by his parents, so that was really tough), but he's thankfully in a much better place now. Of course, Paul's recovery was extremely difficult.
In 2021, I started my master's degree. I had to quit my full-time job and take on some freelancing instead. I told Ben that I could still take on more freelancing clients to help with the expenses, but he told me not to so that I could focus on my master's. Suffice to say, I couldn't contribute much to our expenses. While I'm still earning, it barely covers our bills. Paul also volunteered to take on jobs while he's studying, but Ben forbade him so that he could focus on his studies (Paul is actually a genius, who now has a full-ride scholarship in college, which was why Ben didn't want him distracted).
So, Ben took it upon himself to work three or four jobs at a time to support himself, me, and Paul (who was still studying but was essentially financially cut off from their family). Ben actually grew up in a rural farm area, helping out his family, so all his life, all he knew was to work hard to survive. He was the first in their family to go to college, and although he wasn't the brightest, he certainly gave his best. That was also why he was so determined to support Paul in his academics. I chip in whenever I can, and my parents would also contribute from time to time, but it was really Ben who supported our little trio through those times.
However, this is where my concern for Ben starts. Whenever I ask him how he is, he always puts on a huge smile, then he hugs and kisses me, saying that everything is fine. But I can tell how physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted he really is. It's like whenever I'm not looking, I can feel that he's often trying to catch his breath, thinking about something or always brooding, which is really not like him at all.
Then, last year, Ben got a new job that pays about triple his salary compared to his previous main employer, so he didn't have to work multiple jobs anymore. He was so happy because he could spend more time with us now. That was such a relief for me because I could feel his old self genuinely coming back.
However, late last year, we had another curveball. Paul was diagnosed with a heart condition and needed surgery urgently. Of course, that meant a ton of expenses. Ben was once again forced to work A LOT. He was working overtime at his company and took on two more side jobs. He also borrowed money from friends, took out some loans, and basically did everything he could to make sure Paul got the treatment he needed. My parents also gave him money, which he initially refused, but he eventually gave in because he was still short. He also swallowed his pride and begged their parents for money, which they eventually gave, but with a lot of guilt-tripping, shaming, and tongue-lashing. Not once did I hear Ben complain about any of this, and to this day, Paul doesn't know a lot of what his brother had to do and go through to come up with the money.
Thankfully, Paul's operation was a success, and he's now making a full recovery. However, one night last February, I woke up at around 2 am and saw Ben still at our dining table, doing a bunch of paperwork. He told me it was nothing, just routine stuff, but I saw that he was computing all the loans and debts he had incurred trying to come up with the money for Paul's surgery. He kissed me good night, but I saw in his eyes that he was panicking deep inside and was about to break down, but he didn't.
A lot of other things happened between then until now. Last month, Ben was at the center of a heavily traumatic event which I can't disclose here (it involved legal and police proceedings, which are still ongoing). But throughout all this, Ben has maintained a very composed facade, and he continues to do so. During our ride home after receiving the devastating news, he was really quiet. I can tell that he's hurting, but he just doesn't verbalize it. He also told me not to tell Paul about the whole incident if we can help it, but he still found out last week because of all the legal things we're going through. When he found out, Paul actually cried and gave Ben the tightest hug, and I bawled as well. However, Ben was just like, "Man, I really don't want all this attention."
Then, last night, something happened that prompted me to write this post. While we were sleeping, Ben suddenly woke up and rushed to the kitchen, around 1 am. The commotion woke me up too, and I asked him what was wrong. I was so worried because he looked so pale, his lips were dry, and he was drenched in sweat. He also seemed like he was out of breath and he was panting heavily, struggling to speak. He said he felt that he could feel his heart beating so fast and that there was ringing in his ears. He was also feeling dizzy and nauseated. He tried to pour himself a glass of water, but his hands were shaking badly, so I did it for him.
I then took him to the ER, and hours later, after some tests (thankfully, this was covered by his insurance), the doctor said that Ben had a panic attack. Then, what shocked me the most was that Ben said this was not the first time this has happened. He told the doctor that this has happened about 4 times since last month, but last night was the most severe one. Upon hearing that, I felt like I was being punched in my gut, and everything went silent. I didn't hear what the doctor prescribed him. My mind went blank, and all I could think of was how terrible of a girlfriend I am for not noticing this earlier. When we talked about it at home, he just told me that he didn't want me to worry about him, and that he thought it was just allergies or something (I know, lame excuse). I just wanted to cry because all this time, Ben had been keeping this from me and is going through all this alone. I tried to talk to him some more about what we should do, but he just said he's got it under control now and I shouldn't worry about him anymore.
I'm really, really, really worried about him, though, and I don't know what to do.
I've never seen Ben cry or curse or be mad or be violent throughout our entire relationship. Every time, he just says something to reassure me, then he blurts out a joke or a sarcastic remark. I know that sounds like a dream guy for many people, but I'm just really worried about him. I've told him a thousand times that he can talk to me about whatever he's truly feeling, but he never opens up. I don't know if it's pride, ego, toxic masculinity, or just how he was raised, but I've told him multiple times that I will never judge him or see him differently. I always talk to him about my problems, so he knows that I treat our relationship as a safe space, and I've told him that he could do the same. However, the only "problems" he shares are shallow issues like not liking the lunch served at work or being 2 minutes late due to traffic or spilling coffee on his shirt.
Every day, before going out for work, Ben kisses me and says "I love you," but there's just something different about him. It's like he's putting up this entire persona just to please me, but I can see right through it. I don't know if it's just the sadness in his eyes or the way he sort of fakes his smile. Don't get me wrong, though. I never once doubted that he loves me, and I still deeply love him, but the fact that he doesn't acknowledge his negative emotions really worries me that he might just implode one day.
I'm sorry if that has just been a long-winded, incoherent, rambling mess, but do you have any advice on how I can help him?
TL;DR: My boyfriend has been under a lot of pressure and is not opening up to me. He just had a severe panic attack last night, but he still doesn't want to acknowledge his emotions. What can I do to help him?
submitted by Mysterious-Bat-6615 to relationships [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 18:43 nomass39 You know those lists of rules everybody blabbered about? I'm the guy who writes 'em.

“Rule #1: Guns don’t do jack.”
All the others vary, but this is always the #1 rule at every park in the country.
Personally, I would have added precisely four extra letters to it, but upper brass insists we need to uphold at least some modicum of professional decorum. Still, there are no words to describe just how frustrated it makes me every single time I see some jagoff standing there gormlessly unloading his magazine into some unfathomable nightmare creature who obviously isn’t going to feel a thing. Once I even saw someone run empty and then try to reload, instead of just, I don’t know, running away. I was almost glad to see him get exsanguinated.
Many folks have attempted to get creative with it. You name it, they’ve tried it. Silver bullets, 50 caliber high explosive incendiary ammunition, shotgun slugs cased in gold carved out from the Ark of the Covenant and pumped full of aglaophotis and blessed by the pope himself… and nothing. Nada. Zilch. As far as I know, throughout the entire history of the NPS, not a single bullet we’ve fired has even lightly tickled any of God’s half-finished rejects that stalk the wilderness.
I guess we just have trouble coping with the fact that our generation’s favorite hammer doesn’t work on this particular nail. In all fairness, though, there’s a psychological benefit to holding a gun, even knowing this foremost rule. It’s a lot more bearable to weave through trees in the pitch black wood miles from civilization when you have ol’ Remington’s gift to humanity gripped in your shaking hands. Venturing out with just your bare fists feels like you may as well give up, drop trou, bend over, and hope the thing with forty thousand eyes is feeling romantic.
I have to admit, even I keep my trusty old 1911 on my hip, even knowing it’d be absolutely useless for anything but putting a round through my own brain stem in case I get cornered by any of the things you really don’t want capturing you alive.
“Rule 2: Handheld UV lights are required when bushwhacking after midnight so fluorescent spider silk may be seen and avoided. If caught by a strand, or if you feel the earth beginning to part beneath you, throw down a circle of salt, recite the Gayatri Mantra, and clap exactly thrice.”
I’m sure you’ve wondered how we even come up with the really elaborate and specific rules like this one. The answer’s simple: a little bit of occult research, and a hell of a lot of deadly trial and error.
Sure, sometimes we get lucky and somebody else does our homework for us. For example, up at Isle Royale, an Ojibwe elder was kind enough to provide us with a few rules that help greatly when dealing with… well, you-know-what. Sorry, but never referring to them by name was one of the rules. In general, though, if you see a rule emphasizing that you have to clap exactly thrice, you can bet it’s because some poor bastard tried clapping two times or four times and ended up paying the ultimate price for it.
In this case, it was Annemary, or ‘Crazy Anne’. I worked by her side for twenty years, at least. She was a hell of a woman, the kind who made everyone hush into a terrified silence whenever she walked into a room. Still, even she wasn’t as scary as that spider-thing that kept her alive for a week in his web while he extra-orally digested her. He was a right bastard, and for a while I worried we’d have to write off Shenandoah as a lost cause… but since this rule was put into place, the evil cunt has been more or less left to starve. I consider it my magnum opus.
We only pulled it off because of you, Anne, you crazy diamond. Once you’ve conquered Hell, save a spot for me beside your throne, okay?
“Rule 3: If approached by a man with the head of a deer, offer to make him tea. He likes it strong with milk and two sugars. Sit with him as he drinks, and respond to him with absolute politeness and good manners at all times. Never ask him his name.”
You’ll be pleased to know that not every strange thing that lurks in these parks is the sort that yearns to tear your intestines out through your arsehole while you cry for mommy. Just like real wild animals, a vast majority of them just want us humans to leave ‘em alone… and a few even like us.
We’ve got a swell arrangement worked out with this peculiar deer-man who manifests in front of rangers on graveyard shift every once in a while. That 10 foot tall sonuvabitch has got the body of a man but the head of a stag with a rack any hunter would drool over, the digitigrade legs of a wolf, and he wears these flowing robes which look to be made of the night sky, glimmering stars and all. He talks all cryptic and posh, but all he asks us for is some tea time. In return, he opens that third eye on his forehead and glimpses into the future, giving us a few hints as to what sort of trouble might be brewing in the next few weeks. From our encounters, he seems like a nice enough fellow.
We only tell you not to ask his name because it’s beyond pronunciation and will just leave your ears bleeding. You know how it is.
“Rule #4: If you hear the wailing of an infant in the woods steadily drawing closer to the park office, open the red lockbox with code 0681. There is a living fetus inside on a bed of satin; pierce its heart with one of the provided golden pin needles until the noises cease.”
Another complicated mess of a rule we had to bring in a Goetic daemonologist to help cook up. I know what you’re thinking. Yeah, sure, if we knew more about these things, we could probably pare these rules down some more, come up with something simpler, easier. But the point is that the rules we have now have weathered the test of time and have been proven to keep us safe consistently. Once we’ve achieved that consistency, a rule pretty much never changes, since any propositions to study alternatives are always shut down by the question of “what happens if your hypothesis doesn’t work?”
Oh yeah, by the way. You recall how I mentioned there are certain entities out here you really don’t want to get taken alive by? This is definitely one of those. Cutting up that fetus is never very pleasant, but trust me, it’s worth the trouble.
But if you want to trail blaze and stake your life testing out some theory you cooked up… be my guest.
“Rule #5: When staying at the old barracks, always cover every mirror in a room before turning out the lights, and never remove or break-“
“Wait. Slow down a second.”
I had not even made it through five rules before the rookie sitting across from me at the cabin rudely interrupted. He was a young man who’d look more at home in Hollywood or Los Angeles than out here in the woods, his immaculately groomed jet black hair slicked to the side like all the posh celebs are doing it. I didn’t have a very good first impression of him, but hell, I always hated when I had to babysit a newbie through a night. Patience was never my strong suit.
“Can I ask why these are all so… infuriatingly vague?” He continued. “Like, what do I do if forgot to cover a mirror? What happens if I don’t clap three times or whatever?”
“Because there’s fifteen rules even just here in Shenandoah. That might not sound like a lot, but when you’re fighting fer your life ‘gainst something with more mouths than you have teeth, it’s a hell of a lot to remember. Got to keep details sparse, y’see. Make sure to drill in the important bits. And it wouldn’t help you none to know what happens if you break a rule - it’d only scare ya,” I explained. “Now shut your yapper while I finish reminding you of ‘em all.”
He groaned. “I’ve already heard them far too many times. At least a thousand today.”
I stared daggers through him. “There’s no such thing as ‘too many’ in this case, boy. People died to write these rules, and they’ll save your life.”
“With all due respect: how, exactly, are these supposed to protect me? Like… how is clapping and throwing salt around supposed to ward off anything? It’s complete nonsense!”
We got a lot of these types of guys: the “rational skeptics” who don’t believe in your silly rules. It’s either that or the fools with more muscle than brains who think they can kill a creature who can make your heart pop with a single thought. Usually, they get filtered out and fired quick. Usually. I made a mental note to beat the ass of whoever decided that this smarmy, cocksure rookie was ready for the graveyard shift. But it was too late to send him home; he wouldn’t make it out of the park alive, if he tried to traipse off through the woods at this hour.
“It doesn’t have to make sense. These things don’t work by our logic.” But I knew I couldn’t convince these types with words alone, so I stood. “C’mere, boy. Let me show you something.”
I led him to the huge window pane on the cabin’s wall, overlooking the forest down below, and checked my watch - only 20 minutes til the show started. It was a pain convincing him to shut up and wait, but that big mouth of his snapped closed the instant he realized something was emerging from the bushes down there.
It was a raccoon - not an unusual sight out here, if not for the fact that it was walking upright. And not the clumsy waddling on hind legs you expect from animals, but it seemed to stroll bipedally with all the grace of a man, as if its body had been unnaturally twisted and deformed to befit a style of movement that was never meant for it. It moved with purpose, crab walking across a mossy field with its upper body rigid as a statue’s would be, one ‘arm’ pointing towards the sky and the other to the ground below. It plodded along its set route for a minute before disappearing back into the shrubbery without ceremony.
He was baffled, slack-jawed. “What the hell was that?”
“Exactly what it looked like,” I told him. “If you’re lookin’ for a logical explanation, there ain’t any. Some places on earth, they aren’t run by our logic. They’ve got a different basis for their rules entirely.”
“And what’s that?”
“Symbolism,” I replied, as if it were obvious. “In our world, everything’s got to follow the laws of cause-and-effect. For what you’ve seen to have happened, two raccoons must’ve fucked at some point to birth the one we saw. Then somebody, probably me, would’ve had to surgically or genetically mutilate it in ways beyond current medical science, tame and train the wretched thing, and set it up to perform this exact routine at this exact time… and all for what? To mildly confuse a rookie ranger? Explaining it would require so much contrivance, so much pulling assumptions out your ass, that it would laugh in the face of Occam’s razor. For our logic, it is unexplainable. Impossible.”
“But symbolically, it made perfect sense. That creature don’t need a backstory or a cause - it prolly just came into existence a few minutes ago, and will pop out of existence once it’s sent its message. Its gesture was the hermetic mantra ‘as above, so below’ - reminding us that everything that everything that happens on the surface world is mirrored in the underworld. It happens every morning at 1:33 AM because that’s the exact time the Witch of Woodbridge killed ‘erself to become the intermediary between the two here in Shenandoah. And it’s a raccoon because...” I paused. “Well, actually, I haven’t really figured that part out yet.”
My words failed to comfort him. In fact, the more I spoke, the more horrified he seemed, eyes widening in confusion and horror as if I’d just sat down and told him that the voices in my head command me to lick the dandruff off of camels. “Oh my God. You’re crazy. You’re actually insane.”
I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Tell ya what. Think of, for an example you’d be familiar with, a voodoo doll. You use a strand of their hair or a toenail or something so that the doll comes to symbolize their physical vessel. By hurting the doll, you’re symbolically hurting their actual body, so the damage happens to both. That’s how the supernatural works.”
He blinked. “Voodoo dolls work?”
“In places like this, they do.” I raised a brow. “Does that surprise you?”
Suddenly, he stood and threw up his hands, as if realizing he’d been made the victim of some sick prank. “You know what? Screw this. I don’t know if this is some kind of hazing thing or what, but I feel like continuing this line of conversation would just leave me as batty as you are.”
My heart lurched with terror as he stomped to the front door and began undoing the numerous slide locks and dead bolts. “Wait! Hell are you thinkin’, boy?”
He’d only barely opened the door a crack before I’d wrapped him in a chokehold, but it’d been enough. He let out a startled yelp as I started violently pulling him across the cabin, practically clobbering him just to keep him from wrestling out of my grip. I was no spring chicken, and the younger man probably could have bested me, but I had the element of surprise on my side, plus a blow to the head that had left him drowsy.
I tossed him headlong through a hatch, down into a crawlspace under the cabin where sage burners and dried tobacco and protective talismans were waiting. I slammed the hatch shut behind him, restraining the squirming rookie with my weight and clapping a hand over his mouth to silence his protests. His face was twisted by confusion and rage, and he was just about to throw me off of him, but then he froze… eyes widening, as we both heard the unmistakable sound of… something walking in through the ajar cabin door.
We’d made it into the crawlspace just in the nick of time.
There was the heavy click-clack of hooves against the wood floor above us, interspersed with quieter thuds. It took him a moment, but I could tell when he’d figured it out. With one pair of legs, the creature walked with normal hooves… with the other, it walked on the knuckles of human hands. And as it stalked the house, knocking over plates and bookshelves, it growled and hissed and groaned not out of one maw, but three: one sounding high and avian, one low and reptilian, and another letting out the soft bleating of a sheep, all in unison like some unholy choir.
Just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, a fourth maw must’ve opened up, for a new sound filled the room “Daddy?” Came a little boy’s voice, desperate and whimpered, sniffling in a way that made me feel sorry for it even despite knowing better. “Why did you leave me out in the woods, daddy? It was so dark… and I was so scared. Please, daddy. I thought you loved me. Where are you?” The child’s voice devolved slowly but pitiful begging to outright sobbing and inconsolable weeping, downright screaming itself hoarse as the clock neared 2 and the creature’s searching grew frantic.
But the very instant the clock struck 2 o’clock, all the sounds ceased, all at once. We waited there for a moment, in that deafening silence… until I smacked the rookie across the back of the head. “Rule 11, you smug prick. You never open the door at this hour of the night. That… thing takes it as an invitation.” My voice made it obvious I was desperately holding back my simmering fury. I’ve beaten folks half to death before, and I’m not afraid to do it again. “If you want to get yourself killed tonight, have at it. But I am not letting you take me down with you.”
Once the nightmare had left, his brain had an opportunity to register what had just happened… which quickly escalated into a full-bore panic attack. “Fuck this, man. What in the hell was that!? Oh God, oh God, oh God, I can’t take this man, no, no, no, I’m not cut out for this, I need to go home, I need to, I can’t-“
I watched nervously as he jumped up and started frantically pacing the cabin. He was acting erratically, sloppily. This couldn’t end well. “Snap out of it, boy! No sense in braving the woods this late at night. Ya won’t be able to see more than a foot in front of your face. Just wait here until sun-“
He swung at me when I tried to restrain him again, almost breaking my nose. “No, man! I can’t take an entire night of this! I need to go! Jesus, let me go, you crazy bastard!”
I didn’t want to admit it, but this one was looking like a lost cause. There was no way I’d be able to overpower him again once he inevitably did something else stupid. Call me selfish, but at this point, my only concern was making sure he didn’t get me killed.
“Alright! God, fine! If it’s really so important to ya… you can go. Your shift’s officially over, rookie. But I ain’t goin’ out there with ya. You’ll have to brave it on yer own. As long as you follow the rules, you should be able to make it back to your car in one piece. You hear me? The rules!”
He pouted like a child being lectured by an overbearing father. “Yeah, yeah, Christ, old man, I get it! I’ll follow the damn rules!”
In my defense, I did furnish him with every single thing he’d need to survive out there. UV flashlights, salt boxes, obsidian talismans, volcanic ash, the dried and shrunken head of a lamb, and more… not that he appreciated any of it. He was just whining at me to hurry up, ignoring all my attempts to remind him of the rules, like he was in a rush to get out there and die horribly. Eventually, I just gave up, shrugged, and let him hike off into that pitch blackness.
To his credit, he made it farther than I’d expected. Twenty minutes of silence passed, and I started to wonder if he’d actually pulled it off after all.
That was about when the screaming started.
I’d heard it too many times before: the distinctive wailing of a man realizing everything he’d done and accomplished in his life had all just been leading up to this moment when a shambling abomination saw fit to deliver him to the afterlife kicking and screaming and missing a few body parts. It didn’t surprise me in the slightest, really, but it was still unpleasant to listen to.
Judging from what little of it was intelligible, he was crying about something pulling out his eyes. Must’ve broken rule 13. Poor, stupid bastard. That one’s so easy, you’d almost have to be breaking it on purpose.
I remember the first time somebody broke a rule and got themselves killed under my watch. It almost broke me. I blamed it all on myself, then. Sent me into a depression for months. But now, after all these decades… I’m just numb.
After all, my only job is to write the rules.
If they don’t want to follow them, well… it’s their funeral.
submitted by nomass39 to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 18:42 donewithconfusion What if God sees my marriage as failed and invalid? I'm scared and need help

Please be merciful towards me as I allow myself to be vulnerable and open up about my faults and my marriage- including drunkenness, bitterness, and infidelity.
I (29F) have been with my husband (30M) for about 11 years, married for almost 2 years. I was born into a Christian family and he was an atheist when I met him. During college when we met, I was going through a rebellious phase and was partying/doing drugs/etc with him. When we started dating, we were living pagan-like lives. A few years into our relationship, I made a choice to dedicate my life to Christ and I prayed earnestly for my then-boyfriend (now husband) and made every effort to bring him to church. He accepted Christ in 2015 and I was overjoyed. There was still a lot of struggle between us because I wanted to stop having sex before and to stop doing drugs but he was still living in a secular mindset so it was difficult for him. Because he was new to the faith, it was hard for him to change right away. He struggled with pornography addiction and I found sexts between him and other girls which shattered my heart and while I was away on a family vacation, I discovered that he was inviting girls that he had previous sexual relationships with to parties that he was holding. He says he didn't meet up with them because they did not show up, however, I was devastated that he tried to pursue them while I was gone and lied about it (I asked him about this) until I found proof and confronted him. We were in our early 20s during this time and it took a lot of maturing, forgiveness, and the grace of God where we were able to flourish afterward and deepen our love for each other (our pastor said he has never met a man who was so healthily obsessed with his woman which made me so happy). As he grew in the Lord, he began to depart from a sinful lifestyle. His family and friends all remarked that he has changed significantly, like 180 degrees- and I was very thankful because I had been praying for him for a long time.
We got married in 2021 and it was the happiest day of my life. I love my husband. He's a wonderful man. I remember telling my therapist that my marriage is the most wonderful thing in my life. However, I was dealing with other serious issues- I was diagnosed with PTSD because from 2018 till now, I struggled with my mother's (she's a Christian) suicide attempts where I had to desperately stop her from violently killing herself. She was also in the psychiatric ward for some time and after being discharged, she is now physically abusing my family including my little sister. I fell into a deep depression and anxiety, I cried out to God in tears and it seemed like He was silent because it just got worse. I was having horrible flashbacks of stopping my mom from killing herself and I needed help. My faith was shaken and I started slipping back into drugs and drinking. My husband knew that I was suffering but he didn't really understand how to help me and most of his time was dedicated to his work so I felt incredibly alone and in pain during this time especially because my friends all lived too far for me to feel their support.
During this time, I was going to exercise classes to help my mental health and an old friend from high school saw on social media that I was going to these classes so he reached out to me asking for information on pricing, etc because he was interested. He started to show up to the same classes as me and rekindled our friendship. I was open about my friendship to my husband and asked if he was okay with me going to the exercise classes with this friend and my husband said he is fine with it as long as this guy knows that I am married. Over the next few weeks, we grew closer because I would share about my family issues and the pain I feel from having PTSD and he offered a lot of emotional support and told me that he's always here to listen if I need an ear. He also started following my sisters on social media and we would talk about my family members together & I felt that he was really there for me as a friend which is something I felt I truly needed at the time. We never had a sexual exchange in any of our conversations so at this point I did not see any red flags (although looking back, I realize I should not have any male friends). My husband was away a lot of the time for business trips and bachelor parties and I didn't like being all alone dealing with my flashbacks so this friend of mine planned a night out at the local bar with me and his other friends (3 men, 3 women). I was happy about it because I wanted to be around other people and I asked my husband if he was okay with it and he said yes. So that weekend, I put on my wedding ring and met him at the bars. His friends found a lost credit card on the floor and kept ordering shots on someone else's credit card and they gave me more than I can handle. I blacked out that night, the last coherent memory I have is talking to his friends at the bar as they keep giving me shots and cheering. After that, I vaguely recall being carried out and all of a sudden I was in someone's truck and this friend of mine was on top of me with his hands in my pants. I was too incoherent to do anything, I just remember feeling extreme nausea. He carried me back to his apartment and I remember saying how sick I feel and he threw me on his bed and put a trash can near me. The next thing I remember is feeling him on top of me and inside of me, I have no idea who took off my clothes. I remember being in extreme shock. He brought me back home in the morning - I was still too sick and incoherent to walk properly at this point. When I was back in my own home, my heart felt numb. I couldn't believe what just happened. I called my friend and asked him to tell me how it all happened because I didn't remember anything and he said that at the bar, I "gave him a look" and he decided to kiss me (I don't remember this) and that I had to be carried out of the bar by the staff and his friends. They threw me into his friend's truck and he took me to his place. He then told me about how much he loved and cared for me and that if my husband truly was there for me, he wouldn't leave me alone so often. He swore to help me heal from the pain I feel from my PTSD and that he'll do anything to be able to love on me.
I was still in a lot of shock and fear to process it all, but by the time my husband arrived back from his trip - we were off the next day on a flight to a family ski vacation. This was so difficult for me. I felt like I needed to talk to my husband but he was so excited and distracted by all the fun that was going on. I should have immediately told him what had happened and stopped talking to my friend but I was very afraid. My friend continued to message me about how he'll do everything he can to make me happy, he will be present with me emotionally, he won't leave me alone to feel lonely, etc and I was starting to feel that maybe he does have a very passionate love for me that my husband might lack for me. When i got back from my family vacation, my friend begged me to see him. I didn't want any sexual contact but I did want more emotional support and affection so I told him that the only condition I have is that he must swear to me that sexual interaction is off-limits (yes I now know I was being stupid). He says he swears on his life he will not try anything, he just wants to bring me to his friend's get-together and show me a documentary afterward. I agreed but as expected, when I was falling asleep from being high and drunk, he came onto me but this time I was coherent enough to push him off. This is where it all came crashing down- I finally faced the reality that in my search & need for companionship, support, and affection, it spiraled out of control and I had put myself WAY too close to another man to this point. The next day, I cried on my knees at church and repented with my whole heart to God. Though it was difficult and I shed many tears, I sat my husband down and told him everything that had happened within the last 2 weeks. I asked for his forgiveness for my foolishness, my selfishness, for allowing myself to be in a position of receiving emotional validation from another man which led to something disastrous.
My husband was in shock and in pain but we clung onto each other and cried with each other, he said he wants to heal with me and even asked me for my forgiveness for the times he's neglected me when I needed him. We reached out to our pastor for counseling and we told him everything. Of course, I completely cut this friend out of my life but because he kept trying to contact me even by leaving love letters on my car windshield, I let the police know about this behavior and I asked my friend who knew him to tell him that if he approaches me again, I will take legal action to protect my marriage with my husband. For the next several months, even though my husband was willing to fully forgive me, I cried every night and I couldn't eat - I became underweight from the whole ordeal and I was even battling suicidal thoughts. I couldn't believe what had happened and I didn't recognize myself. How could I have put myself in that position? Every day, I try to read verses on my sins being washed away but I can't help but feel condemned.
Even though my husband and I are on a great path of healing and love towards each other like praying for each other at night, lots of hugs and snuggles, plans for the future, etc. I can't help but feel like a fraud. I am a fraud. I have this nagging thought that I'm simply a bad wife. I can't look at pictures of myself without feeling shame and disgust. I go to this subreddit to read stories to see if anyone is dealing with the same situation, but I see so many comments saying that the marriage covenant has been broken if a spouse steps outside of their marriage so their vows are no longer valid and he/she can divorce the wayward spouse and choose another woman/man. I am frozen with fear and sadness. Our vows are no longer valid? What is the point of reconciliation and healing then- if God doesn't see our marriage covenant as valid anymore? It feels like studying for a test knowing you'll get an F regardless. I love my husband and I am dedicated to him regardless, but I'm sad thinking of the fact that in God's eyes- even after we choose to reconcile, my husband can still divorce and leave me for another woman because of this incident. This is something I fear sometimes because of his past with pornography and sex addiction. All I want in life right now is to have a beautiful, VALID, pure marriage with my husband. However, I feel like God sees my marriage as less than other marriages out there. I have failed. No matter how much I work to be a biblical wife to him, I am always unpure and my marriage is unpure. It is violated. I feel like there's nothing I can do. I am so distressed about this. Please help me with biblical advice
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