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I grew up with hippy, liberal parents who have friends who are hippy liberals and activists. As an adult, I am now friends with them too. They fight and march against Monsanto and Nestlé. They form environmental groups. One is a sheep farmer that lives in an underground house and tries to be as off the grid and self sufficient as possible. She's got close ties with the Amish. (Like farming relationship, not family). One tried to guilt trip me into letting my mom make my family our bread so that she could by special flour where the wheat wasn't treated with glyphosphate. (I said no, and as I predicted, my mom lost interest after a week). I love in a rural town in the USA....I got loads of bread I keep at the store, and when I need some, I go buy it.
Well, I recently bought a house and property that was not kept up. There are weeds worth deep large roots every where. Specifically burdock, pokeweed, blackberries and all kinds of 5to 10 year old trees. Each woman had individually whispered in my ear how I can get some glyphosphate herbicide and just paint it on or carefully apply it to my weeds. And then they explain how they do it.
I haven't done it myself yet bc I'm too busy painting spider poison around the windows of my house and just digging through it all. Maybe next year?
I'm a hipster, not a hippy FWIW. Also I have a master's in environmental science from GD Vanderbilt. I'm confident in my decision making abilities.
PART EIGHT HUNDRED AND FORTY-TWO [Previous Chapter] [The Beginning] [Patreon+2] Friday
Thomas had no idea how Miss Webber did it, but by the time his phone pinged with her message less than ten minutes later, he was directed to the resort’s front entrance, where a town car would be waiting for him.
Thomas had showered, shaved and packed his duffle within the seven minutes he’d said he needed and had spent the next few minutes moving silently through the resort. As a licenced bodyguard (albeit an out-of-work one), he still had a valid multi-state CCW licence for all of his weapons, some of which he wore, and others were stashed in his bags.
The first thing he’d done after leaving the apartment he’d shared with Donald with everything he owned in garbage bags was go to the nearest army surplus store and buy himself an oversized duffle and shoulder pack. The guy behind the counter barely glanced at his CCW licence, already knowing a war vet when he saw one. Thomas also loaded up on ammunition and spare knives because one could never be too careful. He was offered a substantial discount for his service, but he declined and paid for everything with a swipe of his card.
Later that day, he had booked into a hotel where he’d considered his next move. There were a couple of brothers from the military who had started a security firm in Chicago that would welcome him with open arms. He also had a few favours owed to him inside the military, provided those people were still in the service. He hadn’t exactly had a lot of downtime to chase up old friends working for the Portsmiths.
In the end, after drinking half a bottle of vodka, he decided an overseas vacation would be the best thing for his frayed nerves. Especially when he thought if he stayed, he might be running into Sam … or the monster that was watching over him. It had to be a monster. Before that day, he’d only ever believed in the two-legged kind of monsters. Even as a kid, he was convinced everything had a weakness and could be killed.
And every time he convinced himself he’d been drugged into thinking it (which only took seconds because the concept was insane), he’d look at his chest or a reflection of his chest, see the lie for what it was and freak out all over again.
Now wasn’t the time to think about that. So he’d covered his chest in a black t-shirt and pulled on olive-green cargo pants and combat boots. He knew it was a long way from what he would be expected to wear around Mr Portsmith, but the clothes he’d been assigned had remained with Donald right along with all his electronics since they’d come with the job.
Sure enough, a dark green sedan with tinted windows was waiting for him in the loading bay with a driver standing at the back door. “I’ll sit up front with you,” he said as he tossed the duffle and his pack across the back seat.
“Very well, sir,” the driver said, shutting the back door while Thomas opened the front passenger door for himself.
The drive across the island to Grand Bahama International Airport took under five minutes, and Thomas knew for the price Portsmith Electronics had paid for this fancy cab fare, he could’ve saved them that money and run that distance in thirty. Maybe longer since he was lugging his overweight kit and his days of hauling ass while fully loaded up were a decade behind him, but still, he shook his head at the excessive expense.
A woman in a sharply pressed flight attendant’s uniform stood at the foot of the stairs of a seven-windowed jet with Reno Air Express painted across the sides in green when they pulled onto the tarmac. As soon as the car drew to a halt, Thomas removed his seatbelt and climbed out of the passenger seat before the driver could reach the door. He went to the back door and hauled out his gear, throwing his duffle onto his shoulder and carrying the backpack by the straps out of habit since that left his strongest arm free to handle the rifle he wasn’t currently carrying. Some things were just ingrained like that.
“Mister Cole,” she said as he approached her.
“Yes,” Thomas answered, snapping back into the professional façade he’d been using for almost a decade. He walked past her and climbed the stairs, ducking inside. As his eyes scanned the nineteen seats of the small cabin, he found himself biting the inside of his cheek in amusement. For the last nine years, he’d been flying in private jets set up for those who had more zeroes in their bank accounts than some small countries. After all that time, it was something of a step back to go from that to a basic commercial model.
“We’ll be taking off just as soon as you’re buckled in, sir,” the flight attendant said, hauling the stairs up and locking them into place. “Would you like me to stow your bags?”
Thomas shook his head, tossing his duffle across the two seats on the opposite side of the aisle from the pair he claimed for himself. As ingrained as it was for him to keep his gear with him wherever possible, it was just as hammered in to put himself as close as possible to the cockpit and the door in case of a problem.
Besides, with the equipment he had in that duffle, there was no way she could lift it. The two chairs groaned and sank under the weight. It was why he’d gone to the army surplus store to buy it. That sucker could carry over four hundred pounds without breaking if it had to. In comparison, the commercial versions fell apart just thinking about triple-figured weights.
After clipping the seatbelt through the handles and under the duffle to secure it to the seat, he threw his smaller pack in the overhead storage and took his front aisle seat. He strapped himself in, then watched the flight attendant do likewise in a rear-facing seat beside the cockpit door. She pressed a button on the wall that probably notified the pilot they were ready, and within seconds, they were taxiing onto the main runway.
“Where will we be putting down?” he asked just as soon as the jet leveled out and both he and the attendant unbuckled for comfort.
“We’ll be flying directly to the Pensacola International Airport and landing just before seven-thirty, sir. A car will be waiting for you there.” She stood up with a smile. “Are you hungry, sir? A hot breakfast has been supplied by one of the local hotels.”
Thomas tried really hard not to let his surprise show. Clearly, whoever wrote Marvel’s Pepper Potts character had met Miss Webber! Within ten minutes, she had a car and jet and a hot breakfast ready to go … on an island soooo not set up for any of that! Note to self … stay on Miss Webber’s good side,
Thomas reminded himself, for perhaps the millionth time since first meeting the scary executive assistant that had not been given her position to sit on the boss’ knee and look pretty. Tucker Portsmith and Martin Laurier were dangerous in their own right, but Miss Webber was like so many staff sergeants he’d worked with. Fuck with her at your own peril.
“Breakfast would be great, thank you.”
The woman beamed and moved down the seats, stopping in the hallway to open some manner of bag that had been strapped into the seat like a passenger.
She returned with a large tray with two domed lids. “Apple juice or coffee, sir?” she asked as he lifted the first lid and breathed in the sausages and scrambled eggs on toast.
He paused mid-whiff and suspiciously lifted his eyes to her.
“We were informed of your beverage preferences, sir.”
It was more than a preference. Thomas was allergic to citrus fruits. It was why he always carried at least two epi-pens on him, even though he was able to use the excuse of carrying it for Miss Geraldine since she had her own food allergies. He huffed without a word and went to work cleaning up the meal before him.
“Also, in case you wish to change before our arrival…” the woman stood up and made her way to the rear of the plane, returning with a sealed garment bag. “I believe these are your measurements.”
Thomas fought hard to curtail his reaction. Jesus Christ! A car, a jet, a breakfast that took his allergies into consideration, AND a semi-fitted suit?! The fuckin’ US military isn’t this organised!
It was novel to be the sole focus of the flight attendant. Normally he was the muscle that the plane staff ignored in favour of the family, so having her offer a range of beverages and even a few simple snacks like he was a VIP, despite the journey only taking a little over two hours, was a treat.
The ascent and descent were the most time-consuming parts of the flight, and about five minutes before he’d need to be buckled in for the second time, Thomas stood up and took the suit that had been draped over the back of the second set of seats.
“I’m about to get changed,” he said over his shoulder, more to give the woman time to do whatever the hell she needed to do. It wasn’t as if he was shy, though he’d react badly to being touched without being asked. That was a no-go.
He moved to the centre of the plane still facing the rear, unzipped the garment bag and unhooked it from the shoulders. As he expected, there was an undershirt, a long-sleeved grey silk shirt and a dark jacket with matching silk tie. Behind it were the long pants. “I assume there’s shoes somewhere too?” The combat boots he was presently wearing didn’t really cut it.
“Yes, sir. I have them in the overhead storage.”
With a nod of approval, he untied each shoe and kicked them off, then wedged his knees into the armrests on either side of the narrow aisle and hauled his t-shirt over his head.
Twenty minutes later, after taxiing into the private hangars, the stairs were lowered, and Thomas strode down them. In his left hand, he held the duffle over the thin rail that most would need for balance, while his right held the smaller backpack the same way. He still hadn’t allowed the hostess to kill herself trying to lift his duffle, and the pack offered him a small measure of counterbalance. He wouldn’t allow either to crease his suit. At the foot of the stairs stood two men, who broke apart as he descended with their hands up to relieve him of his bags.
One look at their sizes, and Thomas told them to switch.
“Why?” the much smaller of the two asked.
“There’s over a hundred and forty pounds in that duffle.” He knew that because it had cost him a small fortune to fly it to the Bahamas. “Are you good with lifting that kind of dead weight?” Tiny Tim?
the snarky part of his brain added.
The only person of minute stature who Thomas had seen hold his own without batting an eye was a little blond bullet from Texas who’d been temporarily attached to his unit back in '03. Kelsey could also toss the biggest of them on their asses too, but this guy clearly wasn’t him.
“One forty?” the bigger guy repeated, then looked at his colleague. But instead of switching as Thomas suggested, that guy took the small pack and slung it onto one shoulder, then went the other side where both men shared the weight of the duffle between them back to the SUV parked a short distance away.
Thomas shook his head at them. They were both in their mid-twenties. The bigger of them should’ve been able to handle that duffle on his own for the twenty feet they had to cover to reach the car. Wherever Miss Webber dug them up from, they clearly weren’t former military.
But then, that’s what he
was there for.
He followed them to the car, almost laughing when the bigger one put the duffle down (forcing his smaller companion to just about face-plant) and moved quickly to open the rear passenger door for him. “I sit in the front, bud. You take the back.” He actually preferred to drive, but that wouldn’t be up to him. Not when the company was paying him four-fifty an hour for however many hours he was needed.
* * * ((Author's note: I don't know how many of you are aware of this, but Reddit is attempting to force out 3rd party apps at the end of this month, and many, many sites across Reddit are undertaking a self-imposed posting ban from 12th June to the 14th June. I'm talking very big hitters as well as little ones are joining this fight. I don't personally agree with Reddit's decision to charge each of the 3rd party companies 20 million dollars a year to maintain their programs either, so for those three days, I'll be withholding BtH posts in solidarity with the heavy hitters. Every little bit helps. I'm not sure if it will only affect one or two posts yet, depending on if the timing of the 'strike' is all going to happen at the same time around the world or if everywhere is doing it according to their local timetable. I'll be watching some of the bigger AU sites to find out. I hope you all understand my reasons, and I'll be back soon after that, as per usual.))
((All comments welcome. Good or bad, I'd love to hear your thoughts 🥰🤗)) I made a family tree/diagram of the Mystallian family that can be found here For more of my work including WPs: Angel466
or an index of previous WPS here
. FULL INDEX OF BOB THE HOBO TO DATE CAN BE FOUND HERE!!
It probably doesn’t matter, but I’m in IL, USA. Basically, I’m not allowed to self harm. I did screw up and did it. My therapist typically asks because my psychiatrist does and he, the psychiatrist, actually cares about whether I do it but is out of town. Most don’t say anything about it so it’s weird territory. I’m afraid that my therapist can tell him or inform him because I sure as hell won’t.
I was out of town for a couple weeks, and when I came home, I discovered that someone abandoned a trailer in my yard.
Is there any possible way to claim it? I would like to be able to sell it to get something out of this headache. It has a VIN.
This is in the state of Georgia, USA.