Joann fabric locations

Flower Crowns

2014.07.24 23:26 eggpl4nt Flower Crowns

A subreddit for flower crowns, flower tiaras, flower kokoshniks, flower headwear. Crowns of flowers. For your pretty head.

2012.02.25 05:57 Tweed Cloth and Clothing

We've got a need for tweed. /Tweed is a community dedicated to celebrating Tweed cloth and clothing. From Harris to Donegal, from Gamekeepers to Thornproofers, tweed is a wonderful fabric.

2023.03.24 02:17 NorthStarProject Gary William Fisk Case Update

Hi. My name is Friendly Alien, and this was a case covered by a Field Analyst and friend of the North Star Project. I have no idea why AKST or any officials have not updated the information, as this was discovered in August last year... But here's an overview of what we've found and what our unnamed Field Analyst wrote while he was out there:

Crow Pass, Missing Person: Case Report

-FA, "Maketa". N.S.P. (North Star Project)
A 74-year-old Gary Fisk, Departed on the Crows' pass hike from Girdwood to Eagle river on September 21st, 2021. After a bout of Adverse weather, including snow and high winds, Fisk was never heard from again. Aircraft and mountain rescue crews were unable to locate Fisk or recover a Cadaver. This area is known for avalanches and Blizzards, as are most of the mountains surrounding the Mat-Su Valley during the winter and spring months.
Running theory:
AKST and Rescue crews were unable to locate Mr. Fisk, finding no signs and publishing minimum circumstances regarding his disappearance. However, heavy snowfall likely played a significant role. It was likely causing him to become lost or seek shelter in one of the many Abandoned mines in the area. Trained rescue crews often do not enter Dilapidated mines due to the risk of Poisonous gas, Cave-ins, and/or improperly disposed of ordinances. I and a local guide have Formed the hypothesis that Fisk departed Girdwood, and traveled an Undetermined distance. (will be estimated through interview with AKST) Mr. Fisk was unable to travel further or backtrack due to increasing weather severity, seeking shelter inside the lowest point near his position. Some period of time had passed and an avalanche/or snow had buried the trail or if sheltering in a mine entrance bracing may have failed to cause a cave-in. It is estimated Fisk is likely Deceased due to Exposure and/or starvation
Planned Field Investigation:
Beginning in August 2022, the Investigation will be conducted by Bridger Maketa, Assisted in the field by Nathaniel Caole. Time of departure/ weather conditions and Geological activity will be determined through interview With AKST, NOAA and or Family Members, then be cross-referenced to determine distance traveled. All Underground cavities in the area will be searched, for signs of Fisk, snow coverage, and/or Recent collapse within the past 2 years. If Mr Fisk is Located and ID’d, measurements will be taken of Radiation, gas levels, signs of injury and location. Outcome to be forwarded to family, And AKST.
Screenshot Of Location Of Discovery And Paths.
Investigation outcome:
Aug 18th 2022: our party Departed Girdwood at 12pm, traveling up the lower and upper trails. Multiple slide locations into thick unsearchable foliage were spotted, as well as one of two accessible mine entrances due to time constraints. There were many places to fall including a large canyon on the southern incline towards the summit, which all locations prior to the summit would make recovery unlikely/implausible. We also encountered record rainfall combined with 60mph+ as we crossed by Beaver Glacier. After the descent time had degraded the trail causing us to lose it temporarily. We decided to make camp at the bottom of the valley behind the bluff for wind protection.
Aug 19th 2022: upon departure, we were unable to progress on the lower valley, upon backtracking to enter the trail, we spotted an aluminum rod deep in the brush, No other items seen. We Completed the first river crossing with ease, with the water just above ankles. And continued down trail, checking low areas where a lost person would be attracted towards. A footbridge over a canyon had damaged railing, if someone fell they would be likely non-recoverable, another location shorty after involved a slippery ledge over the canyon. Upon entering the bushwhacking section of the trail we were hindered by a cow and calf (female Moose with calf), refusing to exit the trail in front of us while traveling through tall grass and thick foliage. In 14 miles with an additional 4 in detours we arrived upon the bank of Eagle River. We had immediately noticed water levels were far higher than typical. Much of the trail to the fjord sight was immersed in ice cold glacial water causing us to detour along the higher sections of floodplain. Upon arrival to the fjord sight, we concluded Eagle River was in-cross able. Our choice was either 15 miles of steep muddy slopes followed by a treacherous mountain climb, or to attempt to travel south to cross the headwaters of the lake. Upon choosing to travel the shorter path, the trail dissapeared replaced by rough terrain and thick foliage. We continued for two miles until we were half way around the lake. Upon then we found a piece of Grey pants on the ground, we were surprised someone had been here before us, however 50 feet the terrain was completely impassible, down to the left in an indent, our search took a eventful and solemn turn, as we spotted a bright yellow backpack. A floral water bottle was attached outside, while a lighter lay upon the ground 3 feet away. We searched the bag for ID, eventually identifying it as belonging to Gary Fisk. Being careful to not disturb evidence we left the bag and all other items in position. Noticeably the backpack had a foam pad yet no sleeping bag, a bear canister (food storage canister) had teeth marks upon it, however the yellow bag had not been opened upon discovery. We determined to visually search for a few more minutes, finding a turned over tree with a can of bear spray, which had a bite taken out of it. 20 ft left from the pant leg.
Upon departure we spotted tattered red fabric 50 feet above us on the canyon to our western side.

Photograph Of The Discover Of Fisks' ID
The weather quickly declined, resulting in many slips and falls upon our return. Water began flooding the valley, turning most trail sections into flowing streams and deep mud pits. We were determined to return to the summit cabin before dark, due to the danger of climbing at night, and our camping gea fire starting kits becoming waterlogged. We kept moving taking minimum breaks to stave off hypothermia making it 10 miles uphill before the first river crossing. Upon a short discussing we knew our only way was across, as the record flood would continue for weeks. The river had risen to waist height, moving fast enough to send boulders crashing downstream. We found a fjord sight and barely crossed, due to a single trekking pole I became completely wet, and hypothermia quickly set in causing my legs to tense and losing my ability to move.
Aug 20th 2022: We made an emergency camp, utilizing a bivy bag and wet gear. Mr Caole completed the last 2 miles to the cabin to call for help. I was inside the bivy bag unable to move for 12 hours until ANG Hilo arrived, being airlifted to Providence Anchorage with severe hypothermia.
August 21st 2022: AKST and S&R crews traveled to the sight but were unable to find any remains or the clothing we found. Only recovering the backpack and bearspray
The location of Gary Fisk’s campsite being Miles ahead of where S&R crews suspected. From the evidence found the story is assumed to be, Gary departed on September 21st 2021, traveled down to the rear of the summit as weather degraded, continuing downhill to avoid deep snow.
Upon reaching the river crossing a day behind in progress, and wet from slush and snow, Gary traveled quicker and lost the trail to the fjord sight and continued to travel south. The terrain was more and more difficult to pass before finally reaching the dead end beside the lake. Garry was fully hypothermic and had no choice but to make camp and attempt to start a fire, however, as evident from the lighter and attempted fire, he was unsuccessful due to either the loss of dexterity, or the wetness of the area. It is unknown what happened after this, though it is possible that after hypothermia led to the removal of his clothes. Upon hearing the snowmachines used by S&R crews on the eastern lake side. Gary either A: climbed up the Cliff to signal for help, Following death by exposure. Or B: gary attempted to swim across the lake, the 38 degree water immediately causing Cardiac arrest.
Second theory of the nature of presumed death is, Gary, being stalked by a bear and mauled/Buried. This theory is supported by the numerous black and brown bear population in the area, His Bear mace being located 50 feet away from the campsite, with multiple punctures to the can, indicative of large teeth. As well as the torn clothes. (as opposed to neatly removed which is more typical to hypothermia)
However It is more likely a bear was attracted to the Capsacin and removed it from the bag to chew on, and there would have been one or more cadaver remnants from a bear mauling leaving the lack of a body improbable.

NOTE: Please know that we take this seriously and do not mean any of this information to be satire.
submitted by NorthStarProject to Missing411 [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 00:57 avowin [USA-TN] [H] 8BitDo SNPro30+ & Xbox Wired, Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller, Nacon Revolution Unlimited PS4 Controller; Steelseries Arctis 9X, Corsair Void RGB USB Headset, Razer Kraken Ultimate Headset; Coolermaster SK650 keyboard, Razer Viper Pro v2, corsair M65 Ultra Wireless [W] Paypal, Local Cash

Hey all,
Lengthy title, but all those items are for sale. All items are open box with all original accessories unless specified otherwise. Local cash can be negotiated further than shipping due to shipping costs, and multiple items together can be negotiated. Next week will have a couple other items listed that I could not fit into the title/get photos of today as I need to offload some more personal items. Local is East of Nashville
Timestamps: (click load more to see xbox and ps4 controller)
8BitDo SN30+ Wireless - Perfect condition, came in a Pro2+ box. 35 Shipped
8BitDo Xbox Wired - Perfect condition, 30 Shipped
Nacon Revolution Ultimate PS4 Controller - All accessories included, perfect brand new condition. 80 Shipped
Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller - Everything included and working, may have been used once, but perfect condition. 105 Shipped
Steelseries Arctis 9X Wireless - Slight box damage on the corner of the front, but unused. 80 Shipped
Razer Kraken Ultimate USB - Perfect condition, all accessories included. 40 Shipped
Corsair Void RGB Elite USB - Perfect condition, all accessories included. 40 Shipped
Corsair M65 RGB Ultra Wireless - Box is damaged on top, but the mouse is in perfect condition with all accessories. 75 Shipped
Razer Viper Pro v2 Wireless white - Perfect condition with everything included. - 105 Shipped
Coolermaster SK650 Keyboard - Perfect condition, includes the fabric drawstring bag for the keyboard, and has the factory yellow plastic covering the corners of the metal casing. Cherry Red switches. - 50 Shipped

I think that's everything listed, if you have any questions let me know. All photos are timestamped :)

edit: added location and update to timestamp
submitted by avowin to hardwareswap [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 23:28 Mango_chico [In Progress] [4213] [Mystery/Fantasy] Murder Woods.

Day 1: Field Trip
My class went to a campsite in the woods today. We’re going to camp there for a week, to learn about the environment or something. Julia, Jack, Athena, Luka, Jesse, Charlie, Erin, Annie, Ellie, and Alton are there. Our teacher, Miss Klover, is also staying with us.
I don’t like any of them. How am I going to stay here with them for an entire week? Jack is the closest thing I have to a friend, and Jesse loves to annoy me, but she is a great baker and loves to bake muffins for our class, so it makes up for it.
Athena creeps me out sometimes and is obsessed with dark magic and stuff. Luka is a walking ‘jock’ stereotype, like the ones you see in every high school teen drama. Charlie is a bookworm and is terrible at doing anything physically. Julia hopes to be a doctor when she grows up, yet she hates the sight of blood. Erin gossips all the time – nobody knows how he knows everything about the students at the school.
Annie is obsessed with ghosts and astrology. She wants to be a ghost hunter - or something like that. Ellie is a streamer, and she got special permission to take photos and record us over the week - it's for the school yearbook, I think. Alton and I used to be friends, but over time, we began to drift away from each other. We stopped being friends a few months back.
Max was a troublemaker. He was always making trouble, and he always had detention. But he didn’t care at all. Over time, people just got used to the fact that Max was a troublemaker.
Miss Klover is our supervisor. She wanted to stay with us since nobody else wanted to stay with our class. She’s not that good of a teacher. She separated our class into different tents.
Tent 1 has Athena, Luka, Jesse, and Alton.
Tent 2 has Annie, Jack, Julia, and me.
Tent 3 has Erin, Ellie, Charlie, and Max.
Whatever, it’s getting late. Jack wants me to help him set up his tent.

Day 2: Murder
Holy crap. Miss Klover was murdered last night. She died. Someone killed her. Julia said it was a bear. There are no bears for miles. One of us killed her. Now we’re stuck here. There are no other teachers. Miss Klover’s compass is broken. We can’t do anything anymore. We’re trapped here. We have to find the murderer.
Jack and I stayed together. Everyone else stayed away from each other. Jack said he thinks the murderer was Luka. He said that Luka could easily kill Miss Klover – which I guess is true. But Luka was terrified when he heard that Miss Klover died.
I hope we can find a way to call 911 soon.

Day 3: Suspicions
I woke up at 4 am to see Julia breathing heavily, staring at me in horror. She was scared that she was going to die tonight and was staying awake to spot the killer. She thought it was me when I woke up but then realized that she has probably woken me up.
Julia and I talked about who we think the murderer is. She said she thought it was Ellie. She thinks Ellie did it for fame. I told her that I think it might have been Alton, but Ellie called me out for still hating Alton after all these years.
She was right. I had no reason to suspect Alton.
Then there was the scream.
I will never forget it. How loud it was. How afraid it made me, how everyone around us woke up when they heard the scream.
Annie, Julia, Jack, and I quickly ran out of the tent. We saw a body lying on the floor, and a figure crouched by it. It was very dark. We couldn’t see a thing. But I could make out it was a girl.
Suddenly, Ellie came out of nowhere, shining her phone’s light on the figure. It was Jesse. She looked terrified, and her hands were bloodied. Then I noticed who was on the floor.
Jesse was the one who screamed, I realized. She was pressing onto the wound, trying to stop Max from bleeding. Julia pushed Jack and me out of the way. She pushed Jesse onto the floor and tried to save the victim.
But it was too late. Max was dead.
We went back to sleep. I couldn’t stop thinking about Miss Klover and Max’s Murder.
In the morning, most of us didn’t talk to each other. We just stayed in our tents trying to save our sanity.
If we didn’t lose it already.

Day 4: Curse
Athena’s going insane. She’s been chanting something in her bed all day now. Her eyes are wide open, but it doesn’t seem like she’s awake. I don’t know what it is, but it sends chills down my spine.
Annie doesn’t like it either. She says it's a witch's curse. But if it were a witch’s curse, who is the witch? And why Athena, of all people?
Athena has been the least bothered of all of us. She wasn’t fazed by any of the murders. I think she finds them funny. And now she’s cursed. Jack says he thinks the murderer was Jesse. Maybe she was killing us off to put us into her food.
Luka and Alton have been staying up on guard. Nothing’s been happening, so it seems that the murders have stopped for now.
But it’s always calm before the storm.

Day 5: Disappearance.
She’s gone. Athena has disappeared. Luka and Alton had fallen asleep and then Athena wasn’t there. They both said she was still chanting during the night and wasn’t doing anything else. She didn’t even get out of her bed.
Jack, Ellie, and Julie went out to the forest to look for any clues. They hadn’t come back yet. I don’t think any of them died. If they did, then one of us would have gone missing as well.

Day 6: Lost and Found
They came back screaming in the middle of the night. Jack, Julie, and Ellie. They found Athena, they said. They said she was running around the forest with a strange book in her hand. They said that they were following her for a while, but then she disappeared.
Charlie has been treating this like a fairy tale. He’s acting as though nothing had happened. He barely shows emotion anymore.
Jesse’s been cooking food for us with whatever resources we have left. She’s an amazing cook, and she’s keeping her calm pretty well.
Luka and Alton have been keeping us safe as we slept, but Luka has been working especially hard. I offered to take his role, but he said that he and Alton could do it alone.
Julia says that the murder wasn’t a murder. She said it was a bear attack. She said the wounds on Miss Klover and Max matched that of a bear. Ellie believed her, and I did too, because I didn’t want to believe that one of us was a murderer.

Day 7: Dark Magic
Jesse had a mental breakdown. She began yelling during dinner and threw her plate on the floor. She ran out towards the forest, crying.
Along with everyone else, I got out of my seat and began to chase after her. I lost track of her and found myself in the middle of the forest with nobody around me.
I heard footsteps behind me and turned around. It was Athena. She had this… maniacal look on her face and was holding a book open. She looked at the book and then looked up at me. She began to chant.
I began to get dizzy. I felt my soul leaving my body. She was removing my soul from my body. Then, I felt myself floating. I looked down. Athena was staring at me, laughing erratically. I was beginning to feel weak.
Then I fell back down. I heard a bunch of grunts and groans from Athena and someone else. I looked up and saw Luka. He was beating the hell out of Athena. Deserved. He punched her in the face, making her bleed. Athena began to move her arms toward Luka, and she flung him across the ground.
I gasped, then acted quickly. I ran to Athena’s book and took it away from her. She scowled, then yelled out in fury as I held the book away from her. Without the book, she was powerless.
All the fury in my body took over. I held the book high above my head and swung it down on her face.
There was blood everywhere. I remember that. I remember she was bleeding from her nose and had a black eye. I also remember that when she was passed out, her eyes were still open wide, but they were completely white.
I helped Luka up. He wasn’t too severely injured; just a minor cut. We roped Athena to a tree and promised not to tell another person about where we put her.
We didn’t need to; someone was watching us.

Day 8: Book
Jack and the others managed to find Jesse and helped calm her down. She was stressed out that she was going to die next, and wanted to find civilization. They told her that we were going to find a way to go back home safely.
But it brought up a good question: why was nobody coming to save us?
Luka and I went back to Athena that afternoon when everyone else was going to collect resources and look for a way out of this campsite.
Athena didn’t speak. She just grunted and moaned. Luka had brought some food and water with him to keep her alive. We didn’t want to kill her. We just wanted answers.
Luka keeps the book hidden in a tree. We looked at it a few times, but it was just gibberish and random meaningless symbols. At least to us. To Athena, it seemed, she could read it well, and cast spells – or something. Luka said it was dark magic.
Something that we did make out from the book was the name Annie written on the cover. But what she had to do with dark magic, we had no clue.
I want to confront her about it, but I don’t think it is ever a good thing to mess with magic. Especially when it's dark magic.

Day 9: Secrets
Julia had been killed during the day. We were all doing our usual things – Jesse cooking, Ellie and Jack looking for a way of communication, Charlie and Erin getting resources, Alton performing maintenance on the tents, and Julia collecting berries and fruits to make a stew for Luka.
She was killed by someone on her way back to the tents; we found her bloody body lying down on the grass right by the forest.
While everyone else was talking about the murder, Luka and I headed to Athena again.
We told her that Julia had died. Athena didn’t look too surprised, but I thought I saw a tear rolling down her cheek. She still hasn’t spoken to us. But she’s getting more aggressive.
The book is still illiterate. I want to ask Annie about it, but Luka keeps shutting me down.
Erin has been a bit suspicious of us since Luka and I was never really close in school. He didn’t outright say it. We just kinda noted his behavior with us around. He huffs, grunts, and sometimes tuts at us whenever Luka is near me.
We didn’t tell anyone what happened to Luka. We just said we got lost, then Luka fell on a rock and got hurt. We didn’t mention Athena, and in my opinion, the less they know about her, the better.
At least for now.

Day 10: Discovery.
Annie followed us into the forest today. She said she was watching us all this time. She discovered Athena on Day 8. She asked us what we were doing to her now. Luka and I had to explain what happened between us. Annie was skeptical, but we had the book, which was evidence enough.
I handed her the book, despite Luka telling me not to. Annie was surprised. She said this was her book when she was younger. Her mother had given it to her, trying to get her into Dark Magic. Annie said she wasn’t. She said she was interested in Light Magic instead. Annie said that she lost the book on the way here. She said she wanted to burn the book in the forest. Annie also said that the more Dark Magic you used, the more your brain burns up.
Athena was growling at Annie. Annie wasn’t fazed. She took the book and opened a page. She translated the words. She said that the book was talking about puppet masters and summoning demons with sacrifices. About controlling people.
Annie asked me if I ever saw Athena with white eyes. I told her what happened that night, and Annie informed us that she was indeed under the Puppet Master’s spell. She asked us to tell her if we knew anyone who can suspect.
I couldn’t think of anyone. But Luka went pale.
I don’t know who he was thinking of, but I know that at that moment, I realized that it was one of the campers.

Day 13: Magic
Nothing eventful has happened over the past few days. Nobody died, and Athena is still in the forest. Annie has been visiting Athena a lot ever since we gave her the book.
Annie found out that there is a way to snap a puppet out of a puppet master’s power. But it requires a few things: Highlighter ink, blue poison – made from mushrooms mixed with poison ivy – and a mixture of fire extinguisher foam and blood called “Floam”.
We spent most of the day collecting the ingredients. It was easy to find highlighter ink – we had highlighter pens in backpacks – and mushrooms. Since I helped Jesse find mushrooms before, I knew where to find them.
So we split up. Me to get mushrooms, Annie to collect Floam, and Luka went to collect Blue Poison.
It was surprisingly casual, collecting the mushrooms. Annie and Luka said that it was simply collecting their items too. Annie was a bit worried that Luka had touched the poison ivy with his bare hands, but Luka said that he hadn’t.
Now, however, we had to free Athena from the Puppet Master, whoever they are. Luka still won’t tell us anything, and Annie and I are trying to find clues.
But by the time we reached Athena, we were too late.
She was passed out, and the book was missing.

Day 14: Passcode
Annie and Luka freaked out, which was understandable. I didn’t react at first. I believed it was a prank. It had to be. Right? No. I was wrong.
Soon, all three of us were freaking out.
I tried to reason that it was probably a wild animal that took the book. But Annie said that animals didn’t like witches’ books. She said that animals will do anything they can to avoid witches’ books.
Luka, Annie, and I returned quickly to the campsite after that. We didn’t talk to one another; we didn’t even bat an eye at each other.
We went to sleep, and in the morning, Ellie was dead.
Of course, Ellie always keeps her phone on her. Or so Jesse said. Jesse went to Ellie’s body and reached into her jean pocket, pulling out a phone.
But a good streamer always puts a passcode on her phone.
The rest of the day was trying to write codes into Ellie’s phone. Her finger was bloodied, and we didn’t know if the fingerprint sensor senses bloody fingerprints, but we didn’t have time to try.

Day 15: First Words
Athena said her first words today. Luka, Annie, and I headed to the forest, as usual, making sure nobody was following us. Then, we headed to Athena’s tree.
She was still there, roped to the tree. But she looked tired; worn out. She also was more cooperative today.
She even said hello to us. And she also said a word. I heard Charlie. Annie heard Neptune. Luka heard Murderer. It's confusing. But after she said that, she passed out again.
Nothing interesting happened for the rest of the day.

Day 16: Puppet Master
Athena spoke yet again. She said three words this time. Charlie, Puppet, and Master.
Annie and Luka looked shocked. I did too. Did this mean Charlie was the Puppet Master this whole time? The quiet kid?
We should have expected it.
Luka ran straight to the camp. Annie followed closely. I followed them both, leaving Athena in the forest.
When I reached the camp, Luka was beating up Charlie. Annie was searching through his stuff, and Jack and Erin were watching in shock. Alton and Jesse were nowhere to be found.
Jack and Erin tried to stop Luka from punching Charlie, but I told them to let Luka let his anger out. I explained what happened to Jack. He was understandably mad about me keeping a secret from him, but he was glad that we found the killer.
Then Luka stopped punching. Because someone, somewhere out in the woods, had screamed.
All of us ran towards the scream, except for Annie and Luka, who had decided they wanted to interrogate Charlie – and Annie wanted to find her book.
We arrived in the forest to see Alton standing over Jesse’s body. Jesse was stabbed in the chest in multiple locations. Alton stabbed Jesse once more before he noticed us standing right next to him.
But he didn’t look scared. Instead, he ran straight toward us and charged at Jack. Alton hovered his knife above Jack’s head, before bringing it down. I was about to watch my best friend die. I didn’t realize it until the moment that Jack looked up, and Alton began to bring down his knife to Jack’s face.
But Erin pushed Alton out of the way. Alton lost grip of his knife. His knife landed on the ground by Jack. Jack stood up and grabbed the knife. Then, he limped towards Alton.
I ran towards Erin, who was fistfighting Alton. They were both very aggressive and it looked like Erin was going to lose. I then sneaked behind Alton. I extended my foot underneath Alton’s leg. He lost his balance and fell over.
Meanwhile, Jack was still limping slowly toward us.
Erin was punching Alton as I held Alton down, making sure that he couldn’t fight back.
Jack walked up to us, knife in his hand.
Then he stopped in front of Alton.
And stabbed him in the chest.

Day 17: Good and Bad
But it wasn’t over yet.
As we raced towards the camp, I had a gut feeling that something was wrong.
And that Charlie was innocent.
I don’t know what it was, but I felt so sure that Charlie was innocent. But that would mean Annie or Luka were evil.
We entered the Camp to see Charlie’s body lying on the ground motionless, with a hole in his chest. I looked up from the body to see someone tying somebody to a tree, with someone else standing by them. I couldn’t see anyone’s face, but I just knew what was going on.
Annie was tying Luka to a tree with the rope we used to tie Athena to the tree in the forest. And Athena was watching both of them. Annie was the Puppet Master. And Luka and I were just pawns in her plan.
She needed us to believe it was Charlie so that she could be deemed innocent. She needed us to find Alton standing over the dead body to clear her name. We had a Puppet, a Puppet Master, and a murderer. But the Puppet Master wasn’t Charlie.
It was Annie.
I didn’t have time to think before I felt a cold sting on my left shoulder. I refocused on real life to see Annie by the tree, holding a pistol.
A pistol was pointed at my left shoulder. Before I knew it, I was disorientated and lying on the floor, the taste of blood filling my mouth.
I don’t remember what happened after. But what I recall seeing was everything was in slow motion. Erin and Jack were trying to unarm Annie. They kept punching and dodging her bullets successfully. Jack eventually disarmed Annie as I groaned out in pain, crying out for help.
I remember seeing something else, though.
Blood. And I remember seeing blue and red lights flashing. I also remember hearing sirens.

Day 18: Aftermath
I woke up with a bright light burning into my eyes, soft fabric pressing against my back. I felt like I was on a plane through turbulence. I saw the trees of the woods moving away from me through a window in front of me.
I looked to my right to see Jack sitting there, half asleep. He looked exhausted Erin was sitting next to him, holding an ice pack to his bleeding nose. I looked down and saw my entire body covered by a white sheet.
I still could feel the pain in the bullet hole. I saw that it was patched up with a bandage, but I wasn’t sure by who.
I sat up on the bed. There was a white wall behind me and a green plus on the wall. I saw a first aid kit hanging on the wall. Looking down at the bed, I could see that I was laying on a gurney. I was in an ambulance. Erin noticed me standing and smiled at me. He was happy that I was still alive.
Jack was fully asleep, though. I wanted to thank him for disarming Annie, and I wanted to apologize for not telling him about Athena.
But then I noticed that Luka wasn’t in the ambulance. I asked Erin about it, but he didn’t respond.
I was scared that Luka had died.
The ambulance came to a halt – eventually – and I got to meet my savior. Her name was Doctor Maples, and she was a nurse who was taking care of me.
She thanked Erin and Jack for staying in the ambulance. I learned quickly that Jesse had broken into Ellie’s phone and had called for help – because Ellie had airplane mode switched on, and had internet the entire time we were in the forest.
Either she was very stupid, or she wanted the content to upload on her Channel.
Probably a mixture of both.
Anyway, Dr. Maples was telling me about my full recovery, and when I can expect to go back to doing sports. She also was telling me about how I needed to not use my shoulder much.
But I didn’t care. I wanted to know if Luka was okay.
I asked her. She said that he was shot in the chest twice. She told me that she doesn’t know if he will make a full recovery or not, but he’s in another ambulance right now.
To be honest, I felt kind of guilty for having both Erin and Jack in my ambulance while Luka had nobody.
Dr. Maples informed me that they had found Athena. She was shot in the chest twice by someone and might not make it.
To be honest, that was fine by me.
Dr. Maples rolled the gurney out of the ambulance trunk. I was relieved to see houses. And other people. Shops, supermarkets, the park, I was even happy to see my school!
But most of all, I was happy to see my house.
My parents were out on the porch already. They immediately began to hug me and reassure me. My brother was happy to have me back. He said he missed me and told me never to go on another field trip again.
Dr. Maples helped me out of the gurney, Jack was startled awake by the sunlight. My parents thanked her for ‘saving’ me, even though I was sure that I would have been alive whether Dr. Maples had helped me or not.
Before I entered my house though, Jack had caught up to me.
He told me something I would never forget. He told me that Annie wasn’t found when the police searched for her. She vanished.
A week later, Jack and Erin went to the Hospital to check on Luka. They invited me, too. Luka was okay. Sure, he had a bullet hole in his chest, and his lungs had taken most of the damage, but other than that, he was fine.
Now, three years later, I sometimes catch glimpses of Annie in the woods behind my house. I’m not sure if it’s her, but I see something that looks like her. Jack and Erin are always by my side though. We four are ready for the day that Annie returns. If she ever does.
But for now, I think I’ll make sure not to enter any woods without bringing a gun with me.
submitted by Mango_chico to BetaReaders [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 22:26 Lindaeve Did I need any more fabric? No. But Joann's remnant bin called my name. NOT MY FAULT!

Did I need any more fabric? No. But Joann's remnant bin called my name. NOT MY FAULT! submitted by Lindaeve to quilting [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 22:06 renegadepony Solomon, the Wastelander




Growing up on the streets of Zaun, Solomon was fascinated by all the technology that could be created from mere scraps, and even more impressed by what the Piltovians could produce with hextech. Unlike everyone else, however, Solomon watched with more than just awe. With only a single observance, he could mentally reverse-engineer anything he saw and understand how it functioned, both machine and magical. He would often sneak into shops to steal tools and materials so he could build gadgets that almost perfectly emulated these spectacles. He even went as far as trespassing and getting into fights - both in Zaun and above in Piltover - to deliberately get caught and thrown into holding cells so he could steal whatever he could carry during his countless breakouts after figuring out how the locks and security worked.
Over the years as the political spheres of Zaun and Piltover became uncontrollably chaotic and volatile, Solomon bore witness to more weaponized technological feats. He opted to help arm Zaun's people with his talent, but resources to build his gadgets were more scarce now, and he frequently had to wander outside the cities to find what he needed. He would make increasingly longer treks to increasingly farther territories, and returning each time to an ever-declining home. It seemed nothing he provided could sustain his people for any meaningful amount of time, as Zaun's entire economy - and way of life - was on the verge of collapse, especially with the meddling of Singed turning the city's own citizens into monsters, and the likes of Piltover enforcers' encroaching presence on the streets. Solomon needed a way to end the fighting permanently.
In his search for an answer, he learned of a mage called "Zilean". Solomon journeyed to the dangerous heart of Icathia, imploring the chronomancer to aid him in his quest for peace. He needed to know what he could do to stop the impending war. Zilean's response was cryptic, offering only a single glimpse into the future. What Solomon saw was nothing less than utter horror - an infestation of purple death, the likes of which he could never have imagined. He saw his city toppled, endless fires, countless dead, the streets crawling with... things. He peered closer at one of them. It had a unique texture to its hide, refracting the light that touched it in a way that made it appear translucent. "Camouflage?", he thought. The creature suddenly snapped its gaze toward Solomon, seeming to stare directly at him as if it could see him through the vision. After a tense moment of pause, it lunged toward him with blinding speed, outstretching its massive scythes for hands and -- Zilean pulled Solomon back to the present reality.
"This is the true threat on Runeterra", the mage explained. "Your war is no war. It is only a petty squabble compared to what is to come. Every conceivable path leads to the same end. I don't yet have a solution to this problem."
"Show me more." Solomon implored. "I saw one of those creatures, what it could do. I can arm a whole city with tools to replicate it. If you show me more --"
"I will not." Zilean interjected. "I cannot. Even the act of allowing you a single glimpse may have already created disastrous alternate timelines. I cannot risk further chaos... however..." he pondered, "...your gift may yet prove to be a boon. I will scour through time to see what that boon might be."
With that, Solomon had his answer. In his search for Zilean, he had come across stories of monsters around the lands of Shurima with descriptions similar to the ones he saw in his vision. And so he wandered deep into the deserts and wastelands, hoping to learn what makes these beasts tick so he can build weapons to fight back. But first he has to find them...


Solomon's original conception was as the grandson of Ekko in a distant future where Singed & friends unleashed chemical warfare, rendering Runeterra post-apocalyptic. He took Ekko's Z-drive and go back in time to try to prevent the causal events. As such, he was always intended to be a scrappy fighter with an arsenal of makeshift gadgets. His kit has undergone several iterations due to lore adaptations, but his first iteration was as a "trap master", with a variety of trap-based abilities to catch and lockdown enemies. This (3rd) version of his kit preserves a little of that, but mostly transitioned into "emulator" abilities reminiscent of other champions he's interacted with in the lore.
Solomon is a guerrilla fighter, meaning he prefers to catch enemies off-guard, engaging from stealth or a bush. He's got a variety of ways to close or create distance between him and his opponent, so his abilities can be used in almost any combination and work well together. He specializes in positioning: putting himself in just the right spot at just the right time encourages enemies to separate; and if they don't, he can force them out of position anyway. If things go wrong, those same abilities can double as escape tools. He's not very tanky though, so he has to position himself carefully in order to survive long enough for his spells to trigger.



Solomon's trinket is replaced with Gravity Drones. They have 4 HP and project a perimeter around them. The first time an enemy champion crosses the perimeter, the drone becomes permanently visible, intensifying gravity within the area. All enemies within the perimeter become grounded and slowed by 10-20% (based on level) until they leave. At level 9, the cast range of Gravity Drone is greatly increased to match Farsight Alteration.
Flavor: Solomon needed a way to trap these "Void" creatures after he found them. He couldn't match their unnatural speed, but he could slow them down.
Vision Radius: 900 (identical to totem wards)
Perimeter Radius: 450

[Q] Hook, Line and Slicer

First Cast: Solomon slides in a target direction, slicing enemies with his dagger as he passes through them to deal physical damage. This ability can be recast within 3 seconds.
Damage: 40/65/90/115/140 (+ 40% bonus AD)
Cost: 40/45/50/55/60 Mana
Cooldown: 11/10/9/8/7 seconds
Recast: Solomon grabs the closest enemy with his hookblade (prioritizes his most recent attack target and champions) to deal physical damage and pulls them a short distance in a target direction.
Damage: 40/65/90/115/140 (+60% bonus AD)

[W] Monster Hunter

Passive: Solomon's first basic attack or Hook, Line and Slicer (Q) within 2 seconds of stealth or being unseen by enemies is guaranteed to critically strike for 40/55/70/85/100% bonus damage. This bonus is always applied against jungle monsters.
Active: (2 Charges) Solomon triggers a cloaking device, becoming invisible for 1.25 seconds.
Flavor: After observing Kha'Zix in his vision, Solomon created a device that could replicate the creature's ability to hide in plain sight.
Cost: 50 Mana
Cooldown: 18/16.5/15/13.5/12 seconds per charge

[E] Erasure Bomb

Solomon throws a time-delayed explosive orb to a target location, attaching to an enemy instead if it contacts them. After 2 seconds, the orb implodes to destroy enemy shields in the surrounding area and deal physical damage. It also releases a pulse in a larger area that grants ally champions hit a shield for 4 seconds.
Flavor: Solomon had a bit more difficulty figuring out Zilean's reality-warping magic. The best he could muster was getting the fabric of space to collapse in on itself.
Damage: 10/20/30/40/50 + 12/14/16/18/20% (+3% per 100 bonus AD) max health
Shield: 40/80/120/160/200 (+45% bonus AD)
Cost: 60/70/80/90/100 Mana
Cooldown: 20/19/18/17/16 seconds

[R] Flash Point

Solomon marks a target location. After a 1 second delay, he blinks to the marked location, teleporting all surrounding enemies with him. On arrival, Solomon releases a shockwave that deals magic damage in an area around him, slowing enemies hit by 40% for 1 second.
Flavor: Seeing a prodigious mind in Ekko within the next generation, Solomon watched carefully to gleam the secrets to his tech. He always had a hard time (no pun intended) trying to replicate the space-time powers of the Z-drive, though. The space part was easy. The time part - not so much.
Damage: 200/300/400 (+100% AP)
Cost: 100 Mana
Cooldown: 130/110/90 seconds
submitted by renegadepony to LoLChampConcepts [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 21:14 JustAnotherMaineGirl Clothes: Beyond Basic Decluttering

It's relatively easy to go through an initial sort through your closet, to discard or donate anything that is getting too ratty, doesn't fit your current body, or no longer suits your current tastes or lifestyle. But what about all the clothes that you still like and still want to wear, and it's still way too much stuff to store in your available space? If you're struggling to fit too many wearable clothes into too little space, here are a few tips I've found useful over many years of living in small spaces.
  1. Choose your colors. One of the easiest ways to further declutter your wardrobe is to identify colors you like that match well with your individual hair, eye, and skin color, and discard anything that clashes with them. Neutral tones like black, white, navy, and beige are great as mix-and-match coordinates for your colored items, but even among the neutrals, there are certain shades that will flatter while others will make you look washed-out. Don't keep ANYTHING if the color doesn't make you look and feel awesome!
  2. Shop your closet. At the beginning of each new season, try on EVERYTHING that you typically would want wear in that season, from outerwear to underwear. (For convenience, I'll typically wear a white T-shirt while I try on all my skirts and pants, then a single pair of black pants while I try on blouses, tees and sweaters.) For each item in wearable condition that you still like, ask yourself: would I pay full retail price to buy this again today? If no, that's an easy toss into your discard pile, although not without regrets and gratitude for making you look great in previous seasons. If yes, toss it in a "Want to keep" pile. More about that in Item 4 below.
  3. Remove and store out-of-season clothes...judiciously. Your closet and bureaus should be reserved for in-season clothes that you look forward to wearing soon. So pull out all your out-of-season stuff, stow it in rodent-proof containers, and move the containers to a less-convenient location. (I'm not proud of this, but I once used my car trunk to store out-of-season items I couldn't bear to let go, when I didn't have any other place to stow them. And they were in fine shape, when I took them back out.) Before storing them away, do a quick cull to discard or donate anything that no longer merits the extra work of storing and moving it in and out of seasonal rotation. If your favorite everyday-wear leggings are starting to pill and the fabric is wearing thin in spots after several winters of heavy use, swallow hard...then out they go!
  4. Compare similar items in your "Want to keep" pile. Chances are good that you've got similar items in your "keep" pile, and you have neither the room nor the need to keep them all - especially if it means crammed-up storage space that wrinkles everything and makes it harder to select what to wear. So before putting all those wanna-keep items back and deferring the hard decison-making for another year, bite the bullet and make each item compete against at least one other. If you only get to keep one, will it be the blue T-shirt from your favorite concert, the green one that matches your eyes, or the black one with the sassy quote? Do you want to keep the jeans that make your butt look amazing, or the pair that is more comfortable? The corduroy skirt, or the wool plaid? And how many times have you actually worn a dress and spike-heeled shoes in the past few years, regardless of how pretty they are and how great you look in them?
I hope that some of you will find these suggestions helpful. Please feel free to add your own favorite tips to this list!
submitted by JustAnotherMaineGirl to declutter [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 19:04 OrangeSpaceProgram The Battle for the Blue Planet Part 6: At What Cost

Cracked 5000 words on this one. Enjoy.
Warning: Suicide.
<<First <Previous Goodbye

Ships from the Home Fleet descended on the Red Spark like a pack of hungry wolves when they found her adrift. Human and Dlamisan medics were the first to board and immediately began a medivac of the wounded and dead to the fleet’s hospital vessels. Next came the engineers. Almost every ship in the fleet sent their best and brightest to the Red Spark to keep her space worthy. In mere hours her engines and hull were repaired. Then as suddenly as all the help arrived, they all left.
Down on the planet, there was a titanic rescue effort going on. Cities and towns had been struck by falling debris and everyone able was ordered to assist in the operation to save as many lives as possible. Unfortunately, that meant that for the next several days all comms traffic was dedicated solely to emergency response as most of Earth’s communication satellites had been destroyed in the fighting. Communication with friends and family had to wait. But fortunately, the celebration on the Red Spark didn’t.

Deep in the belly of the Red Spark laid a bar. A bar not made of metal alloy like the rest of the ship, but more like something you’d find in one of the old cities of Earth. The walls were paneled with wood from the worlds that the Red Spark had visited, giving the bar an almost plaid-like pattern. Against that plaid wall laid nearly a dozen restaurant-style booths with their wood paneling being almost as varied as the room itself.
As stunning as the rest of the room was, it was nothing compared to the bar that filled the center of the space. It went nearly from wall to wall before curving in an L shape, making it seem like it stretched for miles. Nearly a dozen different woods from the Dlamisan homeworld made up just the countertop. Each wood on the countertop seemed to correspond with the wood of five stools that were carefully matched from Earth’s native trees. In all there were nearly seventy stools across the bar, which combined with the booths would total just enough seats for the entire crew of the Red Spark. Sadly, the entire crew of the Red Spark would never fill them again. Instead, the only ones at the bar counter currently were three crewmembers. Sunny, McCoy, and the bartender himself.
McCoy Sat down next to Sunny and looked at the bartender who was still righting bottles, glasses, and other utensils that were knocked about during the fighting. He made to speak up and order when suddenly the bartender turned and stared at him. McCoy had cleaned himself up since the battle. No longer was he sporting a blood-soaked uniform that covered an equally drenched set of fur. He was wearing what could only be described as a pirate’s best. But despite his fine wears Jack’s gun could still be seen poking out from his pocket.
McCoy opened his muzzle to place his order to the staring bartender, “A scotch, please. And not just that stuff we keep around for mixing with those human sodas. Let me get a glass of the stuff from before the war.”
The bartender had gotten a good look at McCoy and noticed the shape of the weapon and handle poking out of his pocket. So instead of turning back to the bar and making the requested drink, he instead pointed his hand to a sign hanging up on the wall behind the counter. “All weapons must be turned in before receiving service.” Apparently, there had been an incident several years prior where some humans and dlamisa were bored and tried to use plasma pistols on low power rather than darts on one of the bar's two boards. Needless to say, it hadn’t gone well the burn marks that still hung on the wall proved it. The bartender never forgave the incident and forced all his patrons to hand over all their weapons before being allowed to drink, on pain of sobriety those who dared not to obey.
McCoy not wanting to make a fuss reached into his pocket and pulled out the pistol, he looked at it mournfully before setting it on the counter for the bartender to take. Professionally the bartender picked up the weapon, cleared it, and took it to a secure back room hidden from view of the bar.
While both the bartender and McCoy had handled the interaction with silent professionalism, Sunny hadn’t. She had been one of the few officers gifted with one of those weapons and was shocked to see McCoy had one in his possession.
Picking her jaw up from the countertop she asked the question that seemed to have been overlooked by the bartender. “McCoy, where did you get that gun?”
McCoy looked at Sunny and took a deep breath he spoke, “It was Jack’s. It’s mine now. That’s all that matters.”
“McCoy he wouldn’t have given that gun up to anyone less than his mate! Not to mention that he still wouldn’t do it so long as he could still breathe!” Sunny interjected, apparently not satisfied with his previous answer.
McCoy in response just looked at the bartender as he returned from storing the mentioned firearm. The bartender cocked his head in an unspoken question that McCoy answered with a small nod. The bartender then turned and made the medic’s requested drink before looking at Sunny.
“McCoy and Jack are mates. I’m not aware of the specifics, but they’ve been together for several decades at this point,” The bartender explained.
“Were mates… We were mates… He was the first to die, and he did it in my arms,” McCoy muttered, correcting the bartender.
“McCoy… Why didn’t you tell me you two… We’ve been friends for…” Sunny stuttered out before taking a breath, switching to Enkanti. “To say I’m sorry for your loss would not be a suitable response. You’ve been my friend for so long, you deserve better than that. Whatever you need I am here to provide,” Sunny said staring at the depressed medic.
“The only things I need are a few more of these,” McCoy said swirling his glass before continuing, “And a bottle to take back with me,” he finished huffing in sarcastic amusement.
“Then whatever you want I’ll pay for. I’m not leaving you to drink alone,” Sunny responded, putting a paw around the medic’s shoulder.
“Nobody here is paying for anything. My bar is open. Anything you want is yours, even from my personal collection if you’d like,” the bartender said switching the conversation back to English.
“Thank you both, as enticing as it sounds I’d really just like to finish this one and take a bottle back to my office. I need some time alone…” McCoy trailed off.
Sunny hugged him a little tighter before responding, “That’s ok McCoy. Both of us will be here for you whenever you’d like to come back.”
So there the three sat in silence for nearly an hour as they each downed their respective drinks. Eventually, McCoy found himself staring at an empty glass that was held in his shaky paws. Sunny and the bartender watched him as he carefully set the glass down and made to get up from the bar.
“Can I get that bottle now? I feel like it's time for me to go,” McCoy said quietly.
“Of course, you can,” The bartender responded before reaching up to the very top shelf and pulling down an old unmarked bottle of brown liquid. “Scotch from before humanity played with Nukes. Same brand as the one we had back when we first met,” He finished, gently placing the bottle in front of McCoy.
McCoy carefully picked up the bottle and stared at the bartender. Thoughts raced through his head as he felt the weight of the bottle in his paws. Every memory he had with the pair across from him flashed in front of his eyes. Every happy and sad day blended together in one long stream before abruptly ending as the bartender reached over the counter and wrapped up McCoy in a hug that felt strong enough to bend steel.
“Thank you. Thank you both,” McCoy said nodding to Sunny and the bartender before continuing. “One last thing before I go. I need Jack’s… no, my, gun back.”
The bartender’s eyes fell and his small smile turned into a deep frown. It seemed like he hoped McCoy would have forgotten. Quietly he got up and went to the back room to go fetch it. Seconds turned to minutes as the bartender still hadn’t returned with the gun. McCoy briefly began to consider getting it himself before suddenly the bartender returned holding the small silver weapon.
He placed it on the counter and slid it across, never taking his hand off of it. McCoy grabbed for the weapon, but it didn’t budge under the hand of the bartender. McCoy was about to ask why when the bartender suddenly began speaking.
“McCoy, promise me something,” He said.
“Promise you what?” McCoy responded, confused.
“Tell me if there’s anything I can do to convince you not to pick up this gun,” The bartender said almost pleadingly.
“...No,” McCoy muttered after a moment of silence.
“Please don’t make me regret this,” The bartender begged.
McCoy pulled his eyes off the gun and looked at the concerned bartender in front of him and answered, “It’ll be ok…”
The bartender then silently lifted his hand off the gun and watched as McCoy put it back in his pocket. No more words were exchanged between them, but a feeling of finality filled the room as McCoy turned to head for the door.
Sunny was confused at what she had just witnessed. The conversation between the two made nearly no sense to her. She was just about to ask the bartender what the hell they had been talking about when suddenly the door to the bar opened and in stalked a very angry Bonny. Her eyes immediately locked onto McCoy who was trying desperately to make himself look small. His ears were down and his tail wrapped around his legs, but still, he tried to maintain some kind of bearing and gave a sloppy salute. That seemed to make Bonny even angrier. Her tail lashed back and forth behind her as she stared at McCoy from just inside the doorway.
“Drop the gun McCoy,” she growled out.
McCoy stood up a little straighter and placed the precious bottle on a nearby table. “Why? What’s the issue?” He asked, feigning ignorance.
“Why!? WHY!? DO YOU REALLY THINK AFTER ALL THIS I WANT TO LOSE MORE OF MY FRIENDS?” Bonny barked out angrily, before taking a deep breath, settling herself. “Cookie told me about your plan McCoy, it’s over,” she finished.
McCoy shook and panted nervously as he slowly stepped back from the captain. “Please Bonny, I can’t do it anymore. Too many bodies, too much loss. I just can’t do it. My mate meant everything to me, Bonny,” McCoy stuttered as he reached into his pocket.
“Mate? You and Jack were… I never thought…” Bonny muttered, just as shocked as Sunny that they’d managed to hide that information from her and the rest of the small crew.
“We were going to tell you. Just as soon as we had saved enough to leave. He and I planned on making a new life together. It's all I’ve thought of for decades Bonny! Now he’s gone and so is our future,” McCoy said, his voice dropping to nearly a whisper as finished.
“You can make a new future McCoy! We’ll all help you do it,” Bonny begged.
“A future without Jack isn’t a future I plan on being a part of,” McCoy spat out drawing the gun from his pocket.
McCoy closed his eyes as he raised the gun, stopping only when he felt the cool metal of the barrel under his chin. His finger wrapped around the trigger and felt the roughness of the metal against his paw pads. As he began to squeeze he felt a sudden pain in his chest and then all of the sudden the world went tumbling.
Sunny slammed into McCoy like a golden bullet. She let out a howl as she made contact with him, sending the gun clattering to the feet of Bonny Red. The small communications officer was crouched atop the medic as he struggled to break free. Sunny was not having it and pinned McCoy's arms to the deck and stared into his eyes. His eyes displayed the pain in his heart, and this time Sunny didn’t miss it. Clinging to his arms Sunny let loose a sad howl that echoed through the halls. Briefly, McCoy fought, but it became quickly apparent that Sunny had the upper paw and was not going to lose it
The bartender walked out from his station and sat down on the floor next to McCoy’s head and began scratching the ears of the struggling Dlamisan who stilled quickly. He seemed about to speak before Sunny interrupted.
You don’t get to leave me like this,” barked Sunny with a growl that turned to a near whisper as she continued, “We love you, I love you. You’ve been my friend for over a century. That’s not something you get to just walk away from.”
The bartender piped up as he scratched just behind McCoy’s ears, “She’s right bud. You mean the world to us. Every day you’ve brought joy to the folks around you. Losing you would hurt us too,” He said as he slowed his scratches, pausing in silence before resuming, “It hurts now, I know. It’s going to hurt tomorrow, the next day, and the day after that. It’s going to keep hurting for a long time, but the hurt will change. It will get easier my friend. Some day the pain will become bearable enough that you’ll stand on your own again. Until then you have us here to help you. I know we’ll never fill the hole left behind, but we’re going to do our best to try,” The bartender finished speaking and returned to his gentle scratching.
Bonny Red picked up the gun from the floor and set it next to the bottle before kneeling next to the still-pinned despondent medic. Motioning Sunny off of him, sending her and the bartender away, she leaned down and grabbed McCoy in a hug, pulling him off the ground and leaning him back against herself. Not unlike how a parent would hold a child on their lap, except the ‘child’ was a Dlamisan scout medic, and the ‘parent’ was a brightly dressed pirate captain.
“McCoy back when we decided to leave the empire, you were my rock. You sat with me just like this as I grieved over the crew that died. You even stood by me as I proposed obtaining the Red Spark. You’ve been behind me for every tough decision I’ve ever made. Now, I’m here to stand behind you,” Bonny said, leaning back onto the wall.
There they sat together on the floor until the bartender returned. In his hands were four glasses which he gently set on the ground, one glass for each of them. He then reached over to the table and grabbed the bottle of scotch, cracking it open. Pouring deeply into each glass, he corked the bottle and took a seat next to Bonny and McCoy, prompting Sunny to do the same on the opposite side, sandwiching the two between them.
The four didn’t move for nearly an hour as they reminisced over time long gone last. Even McCoy managed to join in as the bottle slowly drained. Eventually, the bottle ran dry, but no one wanted to risk the fragile feeling of satisfaction that had slipped into the room, so they continued to talk for some time. Tears were shed by those who could, hugs were exchanged, and in between all the misery, some laughter began to break through.
The first giggles came from Sunny after she tried to stand up too quickly and lost the battle with booze and gravity, coming back down across the laps of the three who remained sitting. Her small huffs of laughter only increased in volume when the bartender began scratching her head, causing her tail to begin wagging. It wagged so hard it smacked straight into the muzzle of Bonny Red making her start huffing with laughter. Sunny’s tail rapidly became a projectile, smacking into both Bonny and McCoy as it sped up. Even McCoy wouldn’t help, but let out a small huff at the absurdity of the situation as his friend’s tail battered him and the captain while Sunny was happily getting her head scratched.
But all good things come to a close, which was made apparent when Bonny’s datapad chimed alerting her to a message from the bridge. As she looked at it her huffs of amusement died rapidly and she sighed, letting go of McCoy and standing up. Turning to look back at the three she saw their looks of concern and confusion. Seeking to alleviate their worries, she told them what she had received, “I’ve got to go back to the bridge, the Oberon says there are reports I need to check out. I’ll be back when I have it all taken care of. Until then you two,” she points at Sunny and the bartender, “Are responsible for taking care of McCoy. And you,’ she turns her gaze to the medic, “I always have time for you. If you ever, ever, think you may want someone to talk to, then call me,” Bonny finished and left the bar pocketing the gun as she passed the table.

Bonny Red stalked angrily through the doors to the bridge of the Red Spark. She was looking for Oberon, the XO, as he was the one who dared to interrupt her time with her friends due to some ‘reports.’ She found him sitting in his chair dutifully going over his datapad which must’ve contained something interesting as he failed to notice the disgruntled captain in front of him. Bonny decided to make her presence known to the XO by clicking the claws of her hind paws on the ground intimidatingly, almost like an impatient human would tap their foot.
Oberon looked up upon hearing the sound and barked out an order, “Clear the bridge, I need a minute with the captain.” Like ants, all the other officers shuffled out in a line to go carry out their tasks elsewhere as best as they could.
Bonny turned to Oberon confused. “What reports are so important that you call me back after I specifically asked not to be disturbed? Not only that, but you clear the bridge for it” Bonny asked, annoyance still evident.
Oberon held out his datapad and explained, “I have here the impact locations of large pieces of debris across the planet.” He then stood up and took off his hat, and switched to Enkanti, “Bonny Red, I regret to inform you…”
Bonny froze. She knew those words. She had said them nearly a dozen times to the family of her fallen crew over the years. Never in a million lifetimes did she think that they’d be turned back to her. She began to shudder and pant as Oberon continued, “Your home was among those hit by debris from the battle…”
Her hearts stopped and time seemed to freeze. Everything she had fought for. The lives she had thrown down in the path of the Zenti. This couldn’t be it, it just couldn’t be, something had to be wrong. Not her Bailey and pups, anyone but them. They couldn’t be gone.
Oberon kept his decorum as he finished, “Your family remains unaccounted for… I’m so sorry Bonny.”
Bonny felt her chest tightening, each breath was coming faster than the last, but it still felt like she couldn’t breathe. She felt her hearts start again, slamming like three hammers against her chest. Her vision began to fade as she reached out for something, anything to hold onto. Her paws found Oberon as he grabbed and then lowered her gently into the Captain’s chair. “No, no, no…” Was all Bonny could say. She didn’t believe it. No, she wouldn’t believe it. She needed to see for herself.
Standing back up, she staggered to the door, past a shocked Oberon, and into the hallway filled with her officers. She pushed past, uncaring, making her way to the elevators. Down she went, straight to the hangar decks. The lights were still broken in many places, but she knew these halls like the back of her paw, so she pressed forward. Reaching the hangar bay she entered one of the Red Spark’s few working shuttles, cranked the engines, and pointed it toward Earth.

In a small room of a house in the countryside of Kentucky two old friends sat around a radio listening to the emergency frequency, waiting for updates on the state of the planet.
“Byron, I’m hearing reports there’s been a shuttle launch from the Red Spark and it’s coming towards Louisville,” Boatswain said.
“Well shit. That must be Bonny. Run and grab Bailey. I’ll track her position and keep you updated. You meet her when she lands. We can’t hail the shuttle through this old piece of junk,” Byron responded, tapping the top of the machine.
Boatswain moved through the halls of the house and tapped a red and black Dlamisa on the shoulder, distracting him from watching two pups chasing after a thrown ball through a window. Boatswain then explained the situation causing Bailey to stand up and begin moving. Together they went to a car parked out front and tore off down the driveway towards the glow of flames in the distance.

Bonny Red was piloting like a mad woman. To describe her flight as ‘erratic’ or ‘unsafe’ would do it no justice. To this day several speed records for vessels of the shuttles weight class are still held by her thanks to her sprint to the surface.
Breaking through the atmosphere Bonny flew the shuttle over her neighborhood. Below all she saw was destruction. The shockwave of a cruiser slamming into the ground nearby had leveled many of the houses, turning what was once a beautiful place to live into matchwood. Flying to her street she saw nothing good. All the houses were almost completely demolished. Desperately she looked for somewhere to set the shuttle down. Finding some clear space in the cul-de-sac at the end of the road, Bonny dropped the landing gear and let the shuttle fall unceremoniously to the ground.
Jumping out she immediately began moving through the rubble toward her home. The street itself was littered with bits and pieces of the lives of her neighbors. She passed the park that the pups loved to play in, now scorched. She stepped around a crushed vintage car, the pride, and joy of her next-door neighbor. Finally, she walked over the remains of a little bicycle, bent and broken from the shockwave, before stepping onto what remained of the front porch of her home.
The first thing she saw was the splintered remains of the swing that Bailey and William had built together in William’s later life. It had been one of the first things they shared together when Bailey reached Earth. It was only fitting that they shared it again before he passed.
Bonny then turned her eyes to where her front door once stood, now blown in and shattered, stepping through what remained of the frame. Picking through the debris was made much more difficult as the roof had caved in, forcing her to begin digging frantically through the rubble in search of her family.
As she dug her way further into the house personal item began to surface. The clothes came first, the little ones always left theirs strewn around the house and neither she nor Bailey could keep track of them all. Pushing past the memories Bonny scrabbled deeper into the rubble, stumbling onto what once was the kitchen. Immediately plowing through to reach the bedrooms she stumbled upon a cabinet that had fallen off the wall. Inside its shattered glass door, she saw what remained of her mate’s most prized possession. Bailey’s mug, his first gift from Fauve, was shattered into a dozen pieces. Her hearts sank, she knew he’d never voluntarily leave without it.
Placing the pieces into a jacket pocket, she pushed on. Deeper and deeper into the rubble she tunneled until suddenly a smell hit her nose like a freight train, smoke. Something was burning, and it was spreading fast. The wood frame of the house had become the kindling to a bonfire that she was squarely in the center of.
Her frantic digging became haphazard. She had to get to the pup's bedroom. She knew they’d be there, they all would be. Every time they had a nightmare they’d hide under their little beds. Bonny was certain that’s where she’d find them. So she dug. She dug while her paws bled and her lungs screamed from the smoke. She dug even as the heat of the fire began to become unbearable. She kept telling herself that they had to be there.
Bonny felt a bundle of fabric in her hand, she’d found something. Unable to see it through the smoke she put it up to her nose and took a deep smell, hoping against hope that it’d tell her something. It did, through the acrid smell of the smoke she smelled her son and daughter. Shoving the fabric into her jacket she kept digging, but the heat was too much. Her lungs screamed for fresh air and her fur was burnt in patches across every exposed limb, she had to get out. Bonny stumbled through the tunnel she had dug getting there as flames licked her jacket.
Bursting out into the cool air Bonny turned to look at what was left of her home. It was a flaming ruin. So many memories of everyone she loved, gone. Up in smoke before her very eyes. Reaching into her jacket she pulled out the fabric she had saved from the blaze. In her paws were a little tricorner hat and a tiny little red necktie.
At that moment Bonny thought back to what McCoy had said and she understood. She felt the soul-crushing thought of a life without her family and made her decision. She let out a miserable howl and drew her weapon, the very same silver pistol she had taken from McCoy not but an hour before.

Boatswain pulled onto the road leading to Bailey’s house. The rubble was thick and the road was becoming nearly impassable, but still, they pressed on. The armored car drove over the lives and memories of entire families as they tried to reach their destination.
Both turned their heads as they heard a mournful howl, but before Boatswain could utter even a word of warning to Bailey he was out the door and tearing down the mess of a street. Turning the corner he saw her. Kneeling on what remained of their front porch was a scorched and bleeding Bonnie Red with a silver object pressed beneath her chin.
At 100 yards, the object came into focus. Dropping to all fours he ran faster than he ever had before. Bailey’s legs burned as he sprinted, but he wasn’t closing the distance quickly enough.
At 50 yards he saw Bonny’s whole body tense as she slipped her finger onto the trigger
At 30 yards he let out a desperate choked howl as put every ounce of willpower into making his legs move faster.
At 20 yards he saw her ear twitch, turning towards him at the sound of his howl.
At 10 yards he was just close enough to see the trigger move back as Bonny’s eyes opened in shock and recognition.
At 5 yards Bailey Walker saw the hammer make contact with the rear of the gun. The barrel of which was still firmly beneath the chin of his mate.

In the bar of the Red Spark McCoy looked at the bartender as he polished the counter, while he and Sunny drank. There was a question burning in his mind, one that he hadn’t been able to shake since the bartender had lifted his hand from the firearm.
Deciding to break his impromptu vow of silence McCoy asked, “You knew, didn’t you? You knew what I wanted to do and you gave me the gun anyway. Why?”
Sunny cocked her head upon hearing the question before leveling a glare at the bartender and following it up with a question of her own, “Wait. You knew!? How could you risk McCoy’s life like that!? You irresponsible piece of shi…”
The bartender interrupted her rant before it could really begin saying, “Yes I knew. I’m no fool, McCoy. I knew exactly what you wanted to do with that gun. What I didn’t know was if you’d actually do it.”
Sunny was about to jump over the bar and begin strangling the bartender before he suddenly placed a small and thin metal rod on the table in front of her and McCoy as he continued to speak, “I was in your shoes once. It may have been centuries ago, but I remember that feeling more vividly than any other. I tried it too, a gun, not unlike yours. It took me all day and a lot of liquor to work myself up to do it. I put that damn thing up to my head and screamed to the heavens as I pulled the trigger, but when the hammer fell all I felt was regret. At that moment I realized I didn’t want to die, my family wouldn’t want me to die, but the cards were on the table and there wasn’t a thing I could do.”
The bartender took a breath and poured himself a drink before continuing to speak to the two Dlamisans entranced by the story, “Well, the hammer connected, and nothing happened. I was shocked and confused by my still being alive for days until I figured out what went wrong. You see, the former owner of the firearm kept them partially disassembled, and in my haste to die, I’d forgotten to put the firing pin in.”
The bartender paused and sipped from his glass before finishing, “I realized something that day. Sometimes you don’t remember what you have until you leave it behind. I gave you that gun not to help you leave, but to give you the chance to come back.”

Not going to lie. I really felt like a bull in a china shop trying to write this. It was tough to write and I honestly just couldn't think of a suitable ending for nearly a week. I hope I did it justice.
On a recommendation of a friend, I made a ko-fi. If you'd like to fuel my caffeine addiction to make the words flow faster, that'd be the way to do it. Also, I'll try to post a link to a google drive folder with all the parts of the story there. Of course, it will stay free here, but it'll be more compiled there.
Thank you all for your comments and support throughout the story. This wouldn't have been possible without y'all.
submitted by OrangeSpaceProgram to TheWorldMaker [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 18:50 Unlikely_Issue Happy surprise - raspberry bramble! I had a fabric pot with a raspberry bush up until recently (moved the bush to a better location and into a large raised bed) and I found these little guys! I know they can get crazy but I want to leave them and see what happens!

Happy surprise - raspberry bramble! I had a fabric pot with a raspberry bush up until recently (moved the bush to a better location and into a large raised bed) and I found these little guys! I know they can get crazy but I want to leave them and see what happens! submitted by Unlikely_Issue to vegetablegardening [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 17:02 SamBegleyAuthor A Quiet Pint At The Smirking Stoat (Part 1 & 2)

There are few cities in the world like London.
London is a city of mystery, a city of contradictions, a city of love and a city of hate. Everyone you meet in England has a different view of the capital, for some it’s a pit of despair, Hell on Earth, for others it’s a paradise. But there is at least one fact about London that everyone can agree with: that city is ancient and that city is violent. Blood has coursed along the dirt tracks, cobbled streets and tarmacked thoroughfares of London since time immemorial. It’s a city where ancient druids, blue with woad, were slaughtered by armoured legionaries under the gaze of the mighty eagle. A city where Death has visited innocents regularly over the centuries. Londoners once came to know him in the form of a Northman’s axe. Later, he took on the form of a scourge of rodents, spreading pestilence through the great city. And after that he came in a Heinkel Bomber laying waste to the capital from the air. London may be many things to many people, one thing for certain is that it is a place of death.
As in any city where blood once ran in thick channels along cobbled streets, sinking into the mud below, a mark is left. An imprint of the actions that once occurred and occur to this day is made. A dark stain will always sully the reaches of the world where Death is most well-acquainted. And when one understands that, it becomes much easier to understand why the events that occurred deep in the bowels of The Smirking Stoat pub unfurled the way they did on that cold November evening.
Despite its location in the heart of the city, the Smirk – as the regulars called it – was very much a local boozer. It was the kind of place to fall silent and stare when a group of loud American tourists who’d taken one-too-many wrong turns somehow found their way through the door. The kind of place where cellar doors were quickly covered up when anyone who looked slightly too official walked past the crown glass windows that overlooked Richleau Close. It was the kind of place where a young chap who’d had one-too-many vodka-cokes certainly didn’t enter while asking for directions to Liverpool Street in the middle of the night.
But its reputation as a ‘local’, if it had any reputation at all, made no sense. The historic building of thick stone, wooden beams and thatched roof should have stuck out like a sore thumb against the skyscrapers of the city that it was nestled amongst, yet it didn’t. Surely The Smirking Stoat would be world famous, topping Time Out lists of London’s hidden gems and being featured in BBC documentaries about the old pubs of London, but the only people who ever really seemed to walk in and stumble out of that old wooden door were the same to be found every single day. And even then, not one person could ever remember any of the patrons leaving.
A great wooden bar carved from a mighty yew greeted visitors, while a fire that never seemed to be extinguished lightly crackled behind a cast iron grate in the corner. Heavy wooden tables were haphazardly spread around the pub, most accompanied by small round stools bedecked with musty red fabric. The smell of centuries of spilled drinks permeated the air, and any visitor to The Smirk was hit by a hoppy miasma that intertwined with the smell of burning wood and a certain sweetness that few could identify but that was most often put down to an errant pint of cider.
On a cold Saturday afternoon in October, a new face walked through the door of The Smirking Stoat and, rather than be put off by the overtly unfriendly atmosphere of the locals, seemed almost to embrace it. Darren Richards strode across the flagstone floor of the ancient tavern as if he owned it – as he did in whatever establishment he’d find himself in while on business. His Rolex flashed from beneath the cuff of his tight white button-up shirt as he made a beeline for the man standing behind the beer pumps, one Charlie Thorne.
The rickety wooden shelves behind the bar were lined with dusty green bottles that once held ancient spirits, though none that you’d choose to order now. Meanwhile, atop the counter sat a large brass cash register, covered in all kinds of levers and buttons. It was the kind of thing Darren had only seen in the Spaghetti Western movies that he’d watch with his dad as a youngster. The kind you’d only ever see sitting atop the bar in a dusty saloon before the inevitable gunfight.
He sidled up to the bar, flashed Charlie a smile and asked for a Guinness.
“We don’t do that ‘ere,” came the landlord’s reply, “this ain’t an Irish pub.”
Darren chuckled, he hadn’t been to a single pub in London since he moved here that didn’t have Guinness on draught.
“What’re you laughin’ at?” sneered Charlie.
“Nothing, I’m just surprised. You’re being serious right?”
At this questioning of Charlie’s veracity, the patron to Darren’s right who, up to this point, had been viewing the scene with a wry smile became rather more serious.
“He said no Guinness, mate,” venomously spitting the words at Darren, sending a glob of saliva sailing directly onto his tie, “We do bitter, mild and sherry for the ladies.”
The man’s spit had done nothing to damage Darren’s good spirits, and he replied by asking aloud if it was, in fact, 1973 – the patrons didn’t find this funny. Darren opted for a pint of bitter, choosing to remain standing at the bar while Charlie cleaned an ale mug with a frayed rag.
“So do you own the pub?” asked Darren, “It’s quite essential that I speak to the owner.”
“Well, I’m more of a substitute landlord,” a confirmatory murmur rose up from the other patrons dotted around the inn, “just a caretaker really. But whatever it is you need to say to the owner, you can say to me. He’s rarely around anymore.”
“Sorted then,” Darren’s Essex twang boomed around the pub at least ten decibels louder than Charlie’s archaic Cockney drawl “well, basically, I’ve got some news for you– for the owner, even.”
As a dirty mug of ale was pushed across the bar towards him, Darren proceeded to explain that the company he represented, Excelsian LLC, were prepared to make the owner an exceedingly generous offer for the land on which The Smirking Stoat sat. You see, he explained, despite the fact that the pub had been there for as long as anyone could remember, it had never been listed as being of particular “architectural or historic interest” by Historic England. In fact, not a written record of it could be found in any ancient almanack in the British Library. In other words, whoever owned the land could do whatever they wanted without recourse.
“... and we would, of course, ensure that the owner and his family would be very well looked after once the sale goes through.” Having finished his sales pitch – or, more accurately, demand – Darren flashed another blinding smile at Charlie who simply stared back stone faced for what felt like an eternity. Before long, however, the wizened landlord began to chuckle, a chuckle that rapidly grew into rapturous laughter as the pub's patrons joined in with the chorus of jeers like a pack of hyenas.
As the laughter grew, Darren – still smiling – took in the weird selection of characters around him. Though not dressed in any particularly odd way, there was a certain strangeness to every single one of the Smirk’s patrons. The faces of the crowd seemed to lack any real depth, as though whatever light was once behind their eyes had been extinguished long ago. Their teeth, clearly visible with heads thrown back in varying states of contemptuous guffawing, were all a deep shade of yellow-brown that encircled bulbous purple tongues.
“They’re all freaks,” he thought to himself, now joining in with a chuckle of his own, “every single one of them.”
Darren turned to address the room, clapping his hands together in that typically British fashion that signals to everyone present that you’re about to announce your exit.
“Well, ladies and gents, I’m glad you’ve had a good laugh, but I best be off,” he announced. Spinning on the spot to face the barman, he gave Charlie a knowing nod before about-facing and proceeding towards the door.
The patrons, again, were silent as Darren’s footsteps echoed around the tomb-like interior of the pub. As soon as he crossed the threshold, the door swinging shut behind him, the convivial sounds of revelment and merrymaking resumed. From the outside, all had returned to normal, and for the patrons, everything about The Smirking Stoat was in its place, as had always been the case.

It had been more than six weeks since the one-man comedy show that was Darren Richards had left a half-empty mug of bitter on the bar of The Smirking Stoat. The mug was gone, but for the regulars and Charlie Thorne, the heavy stench of an outsider still hung oppressively in the air. For days after Darren’s visit, the heavy oak trap door that led to the cellar had rattled, silencing any conversation among the patrons. Darren’s visit had made it angrier than usual, and no matter what Charlie tried to calm it down, the idea of someone trying to seize possession of the Smirk had made The Owner far angrier than it’d been in decades.
Over time, it seemed that the raucous evenings that left the stone-clad drinking den wet with ale and tears of laughter had returned to normal. The usual buzz had returned to The Smirk and even The Owner had calmed down, retreating into the background as he always had. But just as things truly felt back to normal, as the pub reached the apex of its calm, as Darren’s misadventure had become little more than a funny story rather than a threat to the existence of that ancient tavern, the door of the Stoat swung open once again. Hair slicked with rain, but still with a stupid grin slapped on his face, Darren Richards once again swaggered across the flagstone floor towards the bar.
There were no jests to be had at the Essex boy’s expense this time. In an instant, the cellar door swung open as though a hurricane had burst from below the bar. The main door into the pub slammed shut behind Darren, leaving him in a state of minor shock – all eyes were on him, and he felt it.
“It’s time for you to leave, lad.”
For the first time in years, Charlie left his post as guardian of the beer taps, hobbling around the bar, dragging his club left foot with him. He squared directly up to Darren, though almost a foot shorter than the property man, he still carried an imposing frame. Now in direct lighting, not sequestered behind the ale pumps nor cloaked in the shadows of the bar, Darren could make the most of the landlord’s face. Heavy wrinkles carved deep channels across a complexion of pallid greenish-white. Dark, beady eyes with yellowed whites peered out of sunken pits into Darren’s ocean blues. Around his temples and jaw, Charlie's skin clung tightly to the bone, giving him a distinctly corpse-like visage that Darren found truly repulsive.
“We don’t want your money, we won’t sell, we’ve always been here, and we always will be.”
Charlie snarled the words at Darren, whose smug smirk did nothing to alleviate the rage ferociously brewing in the landlord’s voice. The silence from the patrons who all sat in their usual spots observing the standoff was deafening.
Again, Charlie began to speak, raining a tirade of insults down on Darren, “... I don’t know how your people found us, I don’t know why they think they can buy this place, but there’s one thing you need to get through your thick fucking skull: We can never be displaced!”
At this, Darren dismissively raised his index finger directly to Charlie’s face, pushing it to his chapped lips.
“Nah, mate,” Darren calmly replied, “you need to understand that the ‘good old days’ are over and done with. Look at you all, who are you? Nobody wants this anymore, it’s a game of adapt or die that we’re all playing. Yeah you’ve got all your old shit that people like you seem to revel in, but where’s the appeal?”
Spreading his arms wide, Darren gestured to the strange wall paintings of red symbols, threadbare banners depicting golden chalices, and arcane trinkets that covered the windowsills.
“You offer nothing to the modern world, you offer nothing to the modern Londoner, you don’t even offer nothing to the tourists who flock to every other ramshackle boozer in Central. You’re a relic of a bygone age, but we don’t have time for weirdo relics anymore.”
With a look of dismay Charlie gazed around the cavernous interior, meeting the eyes of each of the regulars, sullenly he replied.
“It’s not about appealin’ to everyone, this is ours, it’s always been ours. Why can’t we keep it? Why should it be for every single person who fancies it? We don’t want your money, we just want a place to call our own, especially here. This is a city of millions, but it feels like everyone’s alone, and in here, we’re a family. You won’t move us… you can’t.”
“I’m not here to give you a second chance,” Darren’s smirk faltered, as though he actually felt something for the strange folk who spent all day here in the pub, “I’m here to give you fair warning that we’ve been given permission by the City to move ahead with the development work whether you like it or not. As far as the council’s concerned, you’re squatters. We can’t find any record of who owns the place, when it was built, or its purpose. Frankly, you don’t exist. They’ve assessed the land value and I’ve been told by my superiors to give you this cheque.”
Charlie looked at the crisp white envelope being held towards him. It contrasted with the chipped yellow fingernails he used to retrieve it from the unseasonably tanned hand of the developer.
The moment he took the cheque in his hand, the door to the beer cellar slammed shut before bursting open almost immediately. It slammed again, opening and closing over and over in a metronomic rapping that thundered around the pub. Darren looked around bemused, was this supposed to be funny?
The bottles on the shelves behind the bar began to rattle, the lids flying off and lodging themselves into the ceiling before the bottles themselves fell to the ground, shattering with a crash on the hard stone below.
“It should never have come to this” Charlie muttered under his breath, shaking his head as he looked down at the floor.
As whisky, rum, vodka and gin pooled together behind the bar, the horse brass nailed to the wizened beams of yew that propped up the ceiling glowed orange as though they’d been thrust into a forge.
“What’s going on?” Darren stumbled backwards, tripping over one of the stones in the floor, disturbed by the apparent calm on the faces of the drinkers around him. “What are you doing, you’re all a bunch of fuckin’ weirdos.”
Among the shattering of glass and slamming of the heavy trapdoor, a dissonant moan seemed to emanate from out of the very rock on which the pub was built. A droning hum that, though not human, was certainly organic. It was a moan of distress that seemed to permeate every fibre of Darren’s being, seeping in through every orifice and almost strangling him from the inside. Without warning, blood began to trickle from his nose, pumping scarlet liquid down his shirt, sending it splashing to the flagstone below.
“Bring… him… to… me…”
submitted by SamBegleyAuthor to scarystories [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 15:16 b_zar Is 900D Oxford Fabric thick enough vs snakebites?

I live in Southeast Asia, starting a homestead in a pretty remote location. I encountered a Samar Cobra, and then a King Cobra recently in my farm. They are generally afraid of humans and easy to shoo away, however there's always chance to get bitten if I accidently step on them under thick vegetations. Now I am looking for gaiters for protection, and found one with 900D Oxford Fabric as its base material. The product information claims it is thick enough vs thorns, snakebites, and abrasions when hiking. I am not familiar with fabrics, is this really effective vs snake bites?
submitted by b_zar to snakes [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 13:32 b_zar is 900D Oxford Fabric thick enough vs snakebites?

I live in Southeast Asia, starting a homestead in a pretty remote location. I encountered a Samar Cobra, and then a King Cobra recently in my farm. They are generally afraid of humans and easy to shoo away, however there's always chance to get bitten if I accidently step on them under thick vegetations. Now I am looking for gaiters for protection, and found one with 900D Oxford Fabric as material. The online seller claims it is thick enough vs thorns, snakebites, and abrasions when hiking. I am not familiar with these fabric materials, is this really effective vs snake bites?
submitted by b_zar to homestead [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 13:05 Xiazn Batik in everyday fits

Batik in everyday fits
I've got some history disliking batik and other traditional wear. It always seemed old-fashioned, 'lame' and another thing my mum tried to force me to enjoy. I'm 23 now, and have come to truly appreciate this method of fabric printing and dyeing! I'm trying to wear them with more enthusiasm in my everyday fits.
I got these specific pieces for USD 10 and USD 15 approx respectively from Jogja. You may know that city as the location of Borobudur. The left dress is batik cetak I think (stamped) or batik campur (a mix of stamped patterns and hand drawn patterns), and the right shirt seems to be batik tulis (hand-drawn).
I highly recommend you buy some batik and support this beautiful art form!
submitted by Xiazn to OUTFITS [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 11:55 Princess_Butt_Kick My (26F) coworker (60sM) always has his head up my a**.

My (26F) coworker (60sM) always has his head up my a**.
Okay, this argument is the most irrelevant shit you'll read all day. I think I'm more pissed off at the fact that this whole situation is taking up space in my head.
So on Monday I go up to the break room to drop my lunchbox off at my usual spot. There's a used paper plate kind of in my spot, then adjacent to that is a plastic wrapped case of Gatorade that is this guy's. I set the plate aside, which happened to be on his case of Gatorade. I literally didn't think anything of it.
I've been upstairs (re)moving a generational mess of metal parts from storage because our shop is moving locations (weldefabricator shop). I've been up here for almost 2 weeks. That morning I was talking with my foreman catching him up on my progress. That twat walks up and it goes"
"Did you move that paper plate into my Gatorade?"
"Oh uh (me remembering that I did that), yeah I did."
"Why didn't you throw it out?"
"Well it's not mine."
"Why didn't you throw it out then!"
"Dude, a PAPER PLATE is the LEAST of my concerns rn!"
"But why did you put in on my Gatorade!"
I jab my thumb and look to my foreman who is looking at the floor "Are you fucking kidding me?"
I notice his lip is quivering and I just laugh in his face and he walks away.
Me and my foreman just sit for a minute is disbelief over this absolute bullshit. What the fuck! And the thing is, he comes in early and hangs out in my seat before I come in, so he very well saw that plate before I did. He must be getting bored downstairs because his butt buddy is out on vacation, and I'm not down there for him to glare at and torment.
I have never wish such I'll of someone in my life. There's much more to this guy that makes him even worse. I just needed to get this shit off my chest. Wow, a fucking PLATE. From now in I'm just going to tell him to fuck off. Always has to start some fucking bullshit.
submitted by Princess_Butt_Kick to rant [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 11:44 Most-Perception419 How to protect yourself from attacking fingerprint fingerprints

Graphid fingerprint technology is a method of tracking users online. It uses the browser canvas API to collect information about the computer and network environment to create a unique identifier, called "canvas fingerprint". This identifier can be used to identify and track users' online activities, and can even be used to deceive and attack. Here are some ways to protect yourself from scamming with fabric fingerprints.
Install anti -painting fabric fingerprint plug -in: There are some browser plugins to prevent the use of cloth fingerprint technology, such as Canvas Defender and Canvas Blocker. These plug -in can simulate different canvas fingerprints to prevent the website from identifying your true identity. Installing these plugins can help you protect privacy.
Using privacy mode: Using the privacy mode of the browser can prevent the website from leaving any traces on your computer. This includes canvas fingerprint information.
Update your browser: Update your browser to ensure that your browser has the latest security and privacy protection functions. Update usually includes repairing known vulnerabilities and enhancing privacy controls.
Disable JavaScript: Although the disable JavaScript can prevent the use of cloth fingerprint technology, this will affect the normal function of the website. In addition, many websites need JavaScript to run normally.
Use Clonbrowser: Clonbrowser can hide your real IP address and change your geographical location, making it difficult for the website to track your position and identity.
In general, using multiple methods to protect your privacy and security, including installing anti -painting fingerprint plug -ins, using privacy mode, updating browsers, disable JavaScript, and using Clonbrowser. These methods can help you protect yourself from attacking fingerprint fingerprints.
submitted by Most-Perception419 to u/Most-Perception419 [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 11:40 Money_Feeling_3016 Gotic fingerprint technology: How to use browser fingerprints to monitor your network behavior

In the digital age, privacy and security issues are increasingly valued. However, although people's concerns about hackers and data leakage have increased, few people notice the risk of drawing fingerprint technology. Graphite fingerprint technology is a technology that collects browser context information, such as browser versions, operating systems, graphics cards and other hardware information to identify identity recognition. This article will introduce the working principle of the fabric fingerprint technology and how to use this technology to monitor your network behavior. Finally, the clonbrowser anti -detection browser protects your privacy.
Working principle of canvas fingerprint technology
The canvas fingerprint technology creates a "canvas fingerprint" by processing APIs in the graphics in the HTML5 Canvas element, and then collects detailed information about the client browser. This information can include information such as the user's IP address, screen resolution, operating system and browser version. Because the hardware and software configuration of the browser is unique, each user can generate unique fingerprints.
The attackers of canvas fingerprint technology usually collect and send this information through the JavaScript code to the remote server so that they can track and identify the user without using cookies or other authentication methods. In addition, attackers can also use these fingerprints to perform browser fingerprint recognition attacks. This is a malicious technology that is designed to determine the user's browser and operating system and use this information to attack the user's computer system.
How to use the drawing fingerprint technology to monitor your network behavior
Gotic fingerprint technology has become a widely used online tracking tool. Advertising companies, data analysts, and hackers can use this technology to monitor your network behavior. For example, advertising companies may use drawing fingerprint technology to track your browsing behavior on the website to understand your hobbies and purchase behaviors, and use this information for targeted advertising.
In addition, hackers may also use a cloth fingerprint technology to collect users' browser fingerprints and perform browser fingerprint recognition attacks. This attack may lead to the installation of malicious software or the theft of the user account, so it must be prevented.
Clonbrowser anti -detection browser protection
Due to the widespread use of canvas fingerprint technology, many users have begun to find methods to protect their privacy. One method is to use anti -detection browsers, which aims to prevent fingerprint recognition and other browser fingerprint technology.
Clonbrowser anti -detection browser use random technology and false data to confuse the fingerprint detection program of the website and advertisers. These browsers can also hide users' real IP addresses and locations through multiple technologies (such as IP address confusion, proxy server, TOR network, etc.).
submitted by Money_Feeling_3016 to u/Money_Feeling_3016 [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 11:00 johnnyd36 Essential Digital Marketing KPIs and Metrics You Should Know

Essential Digital Marketing KPIs and Metrics You Should Know
14 Important Digital Marketing KPIs and Metrics You Should Know
Dear reader! You have hit the jackpot with the aid of discovering this article. We'll use a few charming algorithms to assist you in picking out your marketing, advertising, and advertising and marketing flow. It is solely now and then handy to believe. However, human beings may also favour being corrected about how they do the things they do daily.
Let's look at some digital advertising industrial agency business enterprise corporation KPIs and replicate them today. You may additionally locate integral problems with your techniques that you choose to be mindful of.
What differentiates metrics from KPIs?
You can count on a metric, such as matters to do or actions, such as tapping the go away message button, which is the big difference between them. A metric is a number, and it is up to you to guardian out how to interpret it.
What Makes These Digital Marketing Formulas So Crucial?
A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) offers insights. KPIs commonly have shared values, and evaluating the vast variant to the favoured price may expose your company's data. For example, digital mail marketing on hand expenditures is envisioned for more significant than a few industries. So, ought you be at them as an alternative to setting up your very personal standards?
You choose to show off the stats to be cosy that your business organization company is doing well.
Although rising graphs and cash flows make your time out sound, they must be more appropriate for growing and bettering your business.
Numbers are reliable. Only some can stay away from analytics scrutiny if the computations are accurate.
You want to pay hobby to relevant archives that commonly point out your digital advertising, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, and generic frequent overall performance standards. Depending on your industrial corporation and aims, there is a range of necessary metrics for digital advertising and marketing that you ought to monitor. These days, we will show off a few that examine most organizations.Data collection desires to be carried out with care. So here are three issues to think about earlier than opening to use formulas.
Reduce human problems with the valuable resource of cautiously and usually gathering your data. To keep your enterprise on track, cautiously and mechanically expose your statistics.
Use Google Analytics to hastily accumulate and analyze your
digital marketing data , create your first custom-made report, and lengthen your audience.
You'll enhance your digital advertising and marketing Analytics benefit to prevent sampling as unexpectedly as you have extensive data.
Sales and Marketing Performance Metrics
Conversion Rate (CR
The most reachable metric is conversion rate. However, it's, on the exceptional hand, significant. The share of consumers who extend the favoured challenge is the conversion charge (purchase, download an app, put up a contact form).
CR = Amount of conversions / Amount of net website online net web page website traffic x 100%
You can see the daily extent of visits and the conversion fee in Google Analytics
Click-Through Rate (CT
This internet web page metric is used. In some cases, clicks flip into sales. The click-through cost is the ratio of shoppers who click on a hyperlink to all customers who view it
CTR = Number of clicks / Number of impressions x 100%

CTR is frequently used to into the effectiveness of internet ads. But extraordinary metrics are used to show up as the component of PPC ads.

Costs per Click (CPC)

This KPI reveals whether or not or now not you can no longer preclude expenses on sponsored advertising—the Cost per click suggests what you pay each time your employer clicks. The cost-effectiveness of an advertising and marketing and advertising and advertising and marketing and advertising marketing campaign is evaluated thru CPC. = Ad Costs / # of Clicks
You can natively mix Google Ads with Google Analytics and then use OWOX BI to quit integrating with terrific advert platforms.

Cost per movement (CPA)

CPA is a metric that illustrates the charge of carrying out the intended action. You can use it to consider how the digital marketing funnel works appropriately. Which action you replicate on consideration desirable—subscribing to a newsletter, asking for a callback, or doing something else—is up to yo
CPA marketing, in which you are paid for each conversion from an affiliate source, is based totally on this reachable measure. However, this approach has a downside: dishonest associates might trick you with traffic.

Cost per Lead (CPL)

Compared to the prior KPI, this one is even accelerated popular! The Cost per lead is identical to the charge per action, barring that you are paying for a doable customer's contact information.

CPL = Cost of labelled commercials / Number of leads

To decide this measure, add up all your digital advertising expenses, such as those associated with gated content material cloth fabric registration, and divide the full use of the Number of leads attracted. This indicator will divulge whether or not or no longer or no longer or no longer your lead technological know-how expenses are longer inner your set limits. Remember that a chief is no longer a committed following; they are midway to becoming clients.
Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC)
Buyer acquisition charges cash spent on advertising, marketing, and digital advertising. CAC is the charge of persuading everyone to purchase your pinnacle or service. It can be challenging. However, calculating the everyday marketing and advertising and marketing expenditure is worth the effort. In addition, it can be a precious aid for figuring out the device bottleneck values.
Drop-Off Rate
Within find-out centres: Abandon price = extensive range of calls now not answered/vary of calls acquired x 100
For retail stores: Abandon Cost = fluctuate of purchasing for carts left empty/total to differ of transactions commenced x 100
The full-size gold exercising continuous video exhibit devices the abandon Cost, exceptionally based on traditional industrial company enterprise values and intended goal market cohorts.

Return on Ad Spending (ROAS)
This is one of the quintessential digital marketing and advertising and marketing warning symptoms for gauging the effectiveness of labelled advertisements because it is straightforward. You can see the big difference between fantastic and unsuccessful efforts if you use it as the only statistic for each digital and marketing advertising and marketing campaign.

The KPIs and warning signs and symptoms and signs and symptoms stated in this article are the guidelines of the measurement iceberg for your digital advertising and marketing and advertising and marketing and advertising and advertising and marketing activities. Knowing them is essential, so you would not be as taken aback as the Titanic's crew when you run into troubles in the enormous business agency world.
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2023.03.23 10:58 gurumauli Best Kurta and Clothing Manufacturers in Ichalkaranaji

Best Kurta and Clothing Manufacturers in Ichalkaranaji

Best Kurta and Clothing Manufacturers in Ichalkaranaji
Ichalkaranji is a city located in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, India. The city is famous for its textile industry and is often referred to as the "Manchester of Maharashtra". Clothing manufacturing is one of the primary industries in Ichalkaranji, and the city is home to numerous clothing manufacturers who produce a wide range of garments. The clothing manufacturers in Ichalkaranji produce a wide range of kurtas for men.
One of the key factors that have contributed to the success making it the best kurta manufacturers in Ichalkaranji is the availability of skilled labor. The city has a large pool of skilled workers who have been trained in textile manufacturing and garment production. These workers are highly skilled in various aspects of the manufacturing process, from fabric weaving and dyeing to stitching and finishing.
In addition to skilled labor, the clothing manufacturers in Ichalkaranji also benefit from the city's well-developed infrastructure. The city has excellent connectivity with major cities in Maharashtra and other parts of the country, which facilitates the transportation of raw materials and finished goods. The city also has access to a reliable power supply and adequate water supply, which is essential for textile manufacturing.
The clothing manufacturers in Ichalkaranji are also known for their ability to produce high-quality garments at a competitive price. This is due to the fact that the manufacturers have access to the latest technology and machinery, which enables them to produce garments efficiently and cost-effectively.
Another factor that has contributed to the success of the best kurta manufacturers in Ichalkaranji is their ability to adapt to changing market trends. The manufacturers are constantly innovating and introducing new designs and styles to meet the evolving needs of their customers. They are also adopting sustainable practices and using eco-friendly materials to produce garments that are not only fashionable but also environmentally friendly.
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2023.03.23 09:13 rollerfabric Indoor Zebra Roller Blinds For Bedroom Shade (Z1605)

Indoor Zebra Roller Blinds For Bedroom Shade (Z1605)
Get two stunning styles in one blind with a day and night vision blind. Whether you're looking to let in the light or shut down for sleep, these blinds allow you to do so with their inventive design. As you roll it down, alternating strips of fabric slide against one-another to switch between a block of colour and a stylish set of stripes.

Company Name:Shaoxing Hengfeng Curtain Factory Co.,Ltd.
ADD:Hutang Industrial Zone,Shaoxing City, zhejiang Province,China
[Email:[email protected]](mailto:Email:[email protected])
Profile:Hengfeng commenced trading in 1998 from a roller blind factory located in Shaoxing-- the largest textiles distributing center in Asia. At that time, Hengfeng specialized in printed roller blind fabrics for wholesaling to curtain shops and blinds stores.
The next 15 years saw Hengfeng grow through its National Franchise network to become one of the leading manufacturers of quality window blinds in China.
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2023.03.23 08:40 bapehoodies12 CAMO PINK BAPE HOODIE

Despite its iconic status, Bape's Pink Camo hoodie wasn't always popular. It was originally designed to troll cops. Whether you love it or hate it, the Pink Camo hoodie is one of the most iconic pieces in the brand's history. If you're looking for fashion or just for style, we can help you choose the right color and size. We'll show you how to buy the BAPE Camo Pink hoodie online and what size to choose. Be one of the legions of fans who love this iconic piece of clothing today!

BAPE Hoodie in Pink Camo

The jacket is one of the newest pieces in the Bape collection and is made of soft and comfortable material, with a large military green camo pattern all over. It is a great piece for everyday wear or for colder days, since it has a zipped-up front. Two lower pockets on the waistband are perfect to hold your phone or wallet. Select retailers and online stores are currently selling the BAPE Pink Camo Hoodie.

Pink Camo BAPE Hoodie History

There's no denying that the Pink Camo Hoodie from Bape has been one of the biggest hits since it was released in February. Featuring a Bape logo on the front and a camouflage print on the back, this hoodie is made of heavy-duty cotton. Originally available only in large sizes, the hoodie has now been released in medium and small sizes as well.

This is the history of Bape's Pink Camo Hoodie:

It was released at the end of February as part of the brand's Spring/Summer 2016 collection. Due to high demand, the hoodie was initially only available in large sizes, but is now available in medium and small sizes as well. Bape's logo is on the front of the hoodie, while the camo print is on the back. It's made from a heavy-duty cotton blend.

Pink Camo Hoodie by BAPE - Detailed Description

BAPE Pink Camo Hoodie is now available at select retailers! The hoodie features a pink camo pattern on the front and back. And an embroidered BAPE logo on the chest.
This BAPE Pink Camo Hoodie will definitely make you stand out from the crowd because it will give you a unique look that will set you apart. This hoodie is made from a durable and comfortable polyester fabric. Which makes it ideal for any weather condition. Additionally, the drawstring closure at the waistline ensures that it fits perfectly.
Now is the time to pick up your BAPE Pink Camo Hoodie.

This Pink Camo BAPE Hoodie has the following features:

With a thick, durable cotton fabric, the Pink Camo A Bathing Ape Hoodie was made in collaboration with Japanese clothing brand BAPE. Featuring a front pouch, drawstring hood, and zip-up closure. The hoodie is perfect for any occasion. The designers at BAPE are well known for using camouflage patterns, and this Pink Camo BAPE Hoodie is no different. This pink camo BAPE Hoodie is available at select retailers worldwide, blending in perfectly with any environment because of the military green pattern on the hood and sleeves.

Would you mind telling me a little more about the Pink Camo BAPE Hoodie?

The Pink Camo A Bathing Ape Hoodie features a camouflage print and is available now online from the Japanese streetwear brand BAPE.
Its cotton-blend fabric comes with rib-knit cuffs, a waistband, and a pink colourway. In addition to its cotton-blend fabric. The hoodie has camouflage print designs on the front and back, while the logo is printed in white against a green background on the back. It is fitted with a drawstring closure at the neckline.

Which is the best way to buy BAPE's Pink Camo Hoodie?

You might find the Pink Camo A Bathing Ape Hoodie to be the perfect way to show your support for your favorite team in a unique way. This hoodie is made from a durable and comfortable fabric and features a special printing design that gives it the appearance of a military uniform.
You will need to locate an authorized retailer that sells this hoodie first. And then you can order it online from that retailer. This product is only available in sizes medium through 4XL, so make sure you order your hoodie in the correct size when ordering.
Once you receive your Green Camo Bape Hoodie. You can be sure to wear it with pride on game days and every other occasion when you want to show your support. Be sure to let everyone know where they can find their perfect Green Camo Bape Hoodie!

BAPE Hoodie review: Pink Camo

For fans of Japanese streetwear, the Pink Camo A Bathing Ape Hoodie is a must-have. This camouflage hoodie features a camouflage design that is both stylish and functional at the same time, paying homage to classic Japanese military uniforms. Since the hoodie is made from a comfortable, breathable cotton blend, you can wear it all year round. A drawstring waistband adds to its ease of wear, as well.
If you are looking for a piece of Japanese streetwear that is iconic and sought-after, check out the Pink Camouflage A Bathing Ape Hoodie from our online shop.


If you are looking for something comfortable and stylish, look no further than our Pink camo A Bathing Ape hoodies. We offer a wide variety of sizes and styles to choose from. Our selection of hoodies will help you find the perfect one. Therefore, whether you plan on dressing up for a night out. Or you just want a piece of clothing that will keep you warm on cold days. You will find that our Pink Camo Hoodie is the perfect option.
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2023.03.23 08:04 mrgeorgefranker Broadband Data Collection, Mapping, Submission BDC Filing FCC BDC Format BDC Portal Broadband Serviceable Locations BSL Fabric, Database Form 477

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2023.03.23 06:45 anonymoustryingtothi Finally have taken my life & strength back from my abusers

TW: abuse and sexual abuse
Throwaway because main has too many posts related to me. This is gonna be a long rant essentially, just trying to write to examine my thoughts through writing for healing/having revelations.
I am 22 year old girl. My parents are divorced since before I could remember, both remarried. My dad & his wife were always very down to earth people, lived in the middle of no where, had a lot of fun but never cared about too much-just easy going good folk. On the other hand, my mom & her husband destroyed my life up until I recently when I have somehow been strong enough to take it back. They were my abusers as a child, but when I was 19 I was at risk of being homeless and moved in with them for a little. Part of that deal of moving in was to apologize for what happened when I was 16 (I’ll get into)…which ended up creating cognitive dissonance from what happened in my childhood to reality. Slowly, from 19-22 I let them control my life again, abuse me, & am finally realizing this and cutting those emotional ties. I have one blood sister I grew up with. When we were younger I remember my mom & her husband screaming, my sister & I going & hiding in my sisters room because we were scared. I remember my stepdad yelling at my mom awful things. I remember him commenting on how sexy I looked in a dress when I was 16, & how great my tits looked. I remember how disgusting it made me feel and the fear I felt. I remember watching him try caress & kiss my sister when she was 12. I remember us telling my mom & her telling us we were making it up. I remember when I was 16 my mom was out of town, him telling me he’s had a dry spell without a woman around & insinuating he wanted to have sex with me. I remember running to my room & locking the door & him knocking what was wrong. I remember moving in with my dad. I remember my sister started doing drugs at 11. I remember all the lies my abusers told me of my dad, I now realize they’re reflective of themselves. So what does it mean when they tell me “oh yeah, when your sister was young your dad and her had a really WEIRD maybe inappropriate relationship.” What does it mean when I realize that connection, and my sister tells me she remembers sleeping in jeans as a kid because they’re harder to take off. What does it mean when she tells me “I remember not wanting to lose my virginity to my stepfather” She now has schizophrenia, so how can I know what really happened to her? I remember my stepdad asking me all about my sex life when we were alone in their house when I was 19. I remember his words that I have not been able to say out loud, “Do you like eating girls out, or getting eaten out? Do you like swallowing cm or having cm in you? I like eating c*m out of my wife’s * slur for lady part *- a hot wife fantasy” I remember being frozen stuck, scared to leave, & back being a little girl. He knew the truth I had forgotten. He knew I had given everything to try to make them love me. He knew my mom would never believe me. I remember him telling me at 21 how sexy I am & if he were my age he’d be with me instead of my mom. I remember him telling me I have inferior genetics because my dad is my father. I remember him telling me I’m worthless & a fucking monkey could do my job. I remember my mom laughing at me & telling me “I had a college fund for you, but I cashed it in to pay off my Porsche”. I remember them telling me to never expect shit from them. I remember them bringing up the will so many times over the years. Recently I found out my mom was bragging to her friend about removing me from the will because I stopped sharing my location with her when she ambushed me unannounced. Recently, her husband told me “You’re getting the same thing your sperm donor (what he calls my dad) gives you- nothing.” Recently my mom got me a ticket to a golf tournament & wanted me to stay at their house & go with them the next day. When I told her no, her demeanor changed. I saw a glimpse of the monster I convinced myself wasn’t there.
I realized my mother was complicit in allowing the abuse to occur. When my sister & I confined in her, she gaslit us. Then she fabricated lies & projected the issues on my father. Now, my poor sister has schizophrenia, is a drug addict, & her mind is scrambled. I’m trying to pick up the pieces, but I shouldn’t have ever stopped talking to her. I will always regret that but I hope there’s hope for her. I realized tonight she started doing drugs so young to cope with her sexual abuse. My mom lied about the inappropriate relationship with my father, it was in fact her husband.
The only tie I have to them, is I co-signed my car loan with my mom. It’s my name or her name. I’m scared she’s going to steal it & sell it even though I’ve made all of the payments on it- my dad agrees. However, I will be moving soon where she doesn’t know. I can’t wait for that day, it’s only a couple months away. When that happens I’ll be blocking her number. I already blocked her husbands.
I can’t believe it took me 22 years to realize & grasp the abuse I’ve endured. I know it’s nothing compared to some, but it’s been a really tough journey. I finally am strong enough where I understand they are not my family, I must make my own. They do not love me, I now understand that my mom is not a victim she is complicit & never loved me. I am happy in life & have a clear mental state. It took a lot of introspection but I somehow made it without killing myself, & now my suicidal thoughts are gone.
I hope my sister is okay & my car doesn’t get stolen and sold from me. I will never allow my future kids to be around those people. As soon as my car is sold, I’m never talking to them again.
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2023.03.23 05:05 Determination7 An Outcast In Another World (Subtitle: Is 'Insanity' A Racial Trait?) [Fantasy, LitRPG] - Chapter 182 (Book 5 Chapter 8)

One Day Later
The Dwarves looked about as happy to see Rob as he was to see them. "My head is spinning," Nerasi grumbled, casting a baleful glare at him. "Fiend teleportation magic is-"
"Yeah, yeah, we get it." Rob spread his arms wide and perked his lips up into a facsimile of a smile. "Welcome to base camp. We'll be dismantling it for travel soon, so don't get too attached."
Nerasi and the Dwarves looked past him, examining the full breadth of the allied coalition. It was an impressive sight, comprising of 200 Combat Class users and 500 Utility Class users from five different races. Seven races, if you counted Rob and Meyneth for diversity's sake. While the number of soldiers was comparable to a standard army battalion, what they lacked in quantity, they made up for in quality. Their Levels were much higher than average, and that was without factoring in the Leaders and Riardin's Rangers.
"I almost want Ragnavi to attack us," Nerasi said, once she'd finished her appraisal. "We might actually stand a chance of ending her right here and now."
"Might?" Rob parroted. "Not 'definitely'? She can't be that strong."
"Correct, but she has an army to draw from. A fight would depend on how many troops she brings. If her retinue and the coalition have an equal number of Combat Class users, then our odds are favorable. If her retinue outstrips ours by 50-100 soldiers, then it would come down to a coin flip. Any more than that..."
Nerasi shook her head. "No matter. With luck, that situation shall never come to pass." She rubbed her temples with a poorly-suppressed irritation. "Where are the Leaders? The sooner I speak with them, the sooner I'll be able to rest. Personally, I find it utterly ridiculous that I've been saddled with the role of Dwarven representative simply because my allies are too craven to volunteer themselves."
She raised her voice for the last part, causing the Dwarves within earshot to wince. Rob was tempted to commiserate with her – being pushed into a leadership role wasn't super fun – but he doubted that she'd appreciate the gesture. The invasion of Dhalerune City was still a raw wound. None of the Dwarves were going to like Riardin's Rangers very much, and that went double for Nerasi. She'd been extremely unhappy over being strongarmed into covering up Keira's assassination attempt on the researchers.
It was why Rob was the only one who'd shown up to greet the Dwarves. As a sorta-Leader, he needed to make an appearance, but the full Party would just remind the Dwarven camp of what happened in Dhalerune. No point in ratcheting tensions first thing in the day. It was best if Riardin's Rangers steered clear for now, Keira especially.
Several minutes later, all the territory representatives had gathered in one place. Rob, Elder Alessia, a Grand Overseer, Seneschal Sylpeiros, King Cyraeneus, the Gellin Empress, and Nerasi. Seeing everyone together in-person – as opposed to hearing their voices over Message Crystals – was a bit of an odd feeling. Like meeting up with online friends for the first time. Not that I'd call most of us friends.
As if proving his thoughts, Nerasi immediately spoke up. "I'm surprised you're all still standing." She smirked. "Would've expected some of you to come to blows before my people arrived."
"Is that why you so graciously offered to arrive last?" Seneschal Sylpeiros remarked, in a droll tone.
King Cyraeneus cleared his throat. "Let's not bicker so hastily. Remember that everyone here is of one mind and purpose. Besides, any problems that arose were resolved without issue."
"So there were problems." Nerasi barked out a laugh. "Was it the Human? Or Seneschal Sylpeiros?"
Rob scratched the back of his head. "...Yes."
"Marvelous. This alliance is shaping up to be as memorable as I'd anticipated."
Message Sent From Party Member: Alessia Alessia: That one has a troublesome personality. Alessia: Most people would falter in her position. Her Level is by far the lowest here. Alessia: Despite that, she speaks her mind, unwilling to cede an inch of authority. Alessia: It is an illusion that would collapse if pressed, but she doesn't allow any opportunity for that to happen. Alessia: And I can't even discern if she's doing it on purpose. Alessia: If we aren't careful, she could prove to be a thorn in our side. Rob: Yeah. She kinda reminds me of you. Alessia: I will choose to interpret that as a compliment.
"If you're quite done provoking your allies," Sylpeiros stated, "then we have business to attend to. First, the Gellin Empress would like to formally introduce herself."
He gestured to the floating, purple, five-foot-wide jellyfish beside him. The Gellin Empress raised a single tentacle and wiggled it in something approximating a wave. She sent out a pulse of emotional intent that washed over Rob's mind, giving him the impression of warm greetings, like the sound of a doorbell on a cloudless summer day.
Unable to stop himself, Rob took an unconscious step back, positioning himself away from her. The last time he'd dealt with Mind magic, it was when he'd been imprisoned by the Dreamthieves of an aberrant Dungeon. That experience had...kinda poisoned the well.
Noticing his reaction, Sylpeiros continued. "The Gellin Empress has promised not to read our thoughts without permission. I believe she is telling the truth." He paused. "I also believe that she will unintentionally slip up now and again. Keep that in mind."
The Empress sent out another pulse of emotion, this time of mild indignation. Like she'd been accused of something she would like to deny, but couldn't, at least in good conscience.
Better than I expected, worse than I'd hoped for, Rob mused. Riardin's Rangers would need to be exceptionally careful when around the Gellin. His Party's secrets weren't for the faint of heart. Maybe if I flood my mind with earworm pop music, she'll put in extra effort not to go snooping.
As Rob picked out the catchiest, most obnoxious song in his mental playlist, Cyraeneus spoke next. "Representative Nerasi, will the Dwarves be ready to travel soon?"
Nerasi nodded. "As soon as this camp is packed up." Her eyes glinted. "Before that, though, how about a demonstration?"
Of what? Rob's question was answered when Nerasi called over some of her Dwarves, then asked for pieces of wood and metal to be set up in a line. He recognized the makeshift firing range long before the Dwarves pulled out their rifles and took aim. Nerasi gave the Leaders a few seconds to soak in the sight, and with a harsh command, ordered her soldiers to fire.
Cyraeneus and the Gellin Empress jerked back in shock. They'd been informed of the 1940s-era rifles – which Elatrans called Thunder Rods – but listening to dispassionate intel reports was different from hearing thunderous cracks of repeated gunfire. In contrast, Rob, Sylpeiros, and Alessia remained motionless as they watched the demonstration in grim remembrance. Their last interaction with Thunder Rods was the invasion of Dhalerune City, and that hadn't been a good time for anyone involved.
Once the dust cleared, the Thunder Rod wielders lowered their rifles and stepped back. The wooden planks they'd used as targets were gone, demolished into chunks of broken splinters. The metal sheets, less so, but their rifles had still left deep dents in the metal's surface.
"In addition to our Combat Class users," Nerasi began, with the confident poise of a showman, "we have brought along forty Thunder Rod wielders to supplement the coalition's ranks. I'm sure that you will find them to be an invaluable asset on the field of battle."
King Cyraeneus' body went rigid as he stared directly at the riflemen. A fierce internal calculus brewed within him, his eyes shining with unasked questions like: how fast are those attacks? Can they be dodged? Will they kill low-Level Combat Class users? Medium-Level? Even high-Level, if they were hit in a vital area? How does this change the flow of a large-scale battle? How can we work these weapons into our strategies? And how can we defend against them when they are inevitably turned on us?
It was the same turmoil Rob had witnessed all Elatrans go through upon learning the extent of what rifles were capable of. The Gellin Empress was probably going through it too, but she was a jellyfish, so he had no idea how to read her nonexistent expressions.
Even just based on King Cyraeneus' reaction, though, the demonstration was a clear win for the Dwarven camp. For all that Nerasi complained about being thrust into an unwanted leadership role, her smug expression indicated that some part of her enjoyed pulling one over the competition.
Which was why Rob couldn't help but take her down a peg. "So where's the radios?" he asked.
She blinked. "The...ah, yes. We've also brought radios to facilitate communication within the allied coalition. If it is necessary for our groups to split apart, radios will make it far easier to stay abreast of-"
"How many did you bring?"
Nerasi flinched. "Five."
Rob grinned. He'd been counting on them to be stingy. "Five radios for seven hundred people. If we need to split into smaller groups, we won't have enough to go around. And that's assuming they don't break or get lost."
"I am aware," Nerasi muttered. "Radios are a new technology. There weren't many available." She opened, then closed her mouth, struggling with how much to say. If Rob had to guess, she'd attempted to requisition more radios than just five – only to be denied by political bullshit in Dhalerune City. But if Nerasi admitted that, she'd be reminding the Leaders, that unlike them, she wasn't a Leader who could unilaterally command her people to do whatever she wanted.
Taking mercy, Rob clapped his hands. "Good talk, everybody. I think we can iron out any other details on the way." He smiled broadly. "Let's get this road trip started."
Four days passed without incident. It was similar to back when Rob had been traveling north with the Deserters; lots of walking, interspersed with random monster attacks that were easily repelled. The coalition factions found it awkward to travel together at first, but tensions decreased a little every day that there wasn't a repeat of the assassin fiasco.
Which didn't mean they lost their vigilance. All it would take was one Dragonkin scout spotting them and reporting back to Ragnavi for the coalition to be in a world of shit. While it was unlikely that they'd encounter Dragonkin until partway through Harpy territory, the chance was there, and it kept everyone's eyes glued to the horizon.
They maintained a steady pace, opting for a balance between speed and caution. The absolute safest choice would've been to travel to the eastern edge of Elatra, directly away from Dragonkin territory, and then travel south to enter Harpy territory from that angle. By then Ragnavi would've barbecued half of Harpy territory, though, so the coalition didn't have that luxury. Instead, they decided to head southeast to Arieda City, a Harpy settlement located near the border.
Hopefully, King Elnaril would respond to a Message Crystal call from one of his own cities.
Rob and Riardin's Ranger chose to spend their travel time by ingratiating themselves with the rest of the coalition. As best as they could, at any rate. The other factions were understandably wary when Level 60-plus Combat Class users sauntered up to ask how their day was going. Rob wasn't sure how much actual progress was made by his Party's efforts, but it was better than letting everyone stew in an awkward mire for the whole trip.
At night, the coalition would make camp and rest their tired legs. Watching light dim from the sky always set Rob's nerves on fire; it was like a countdown timer until his next checkup with the Soul Surgeon. Each night, he expected the Surgeon to give him bad news, and each night, his expectations were betrayed.
"You sure Leveling High's containment hasn't budged?" Rob asked, with undisguised suspicion. "I leveled up recently. You told me before that gaining Levels would weaken the seal."
The Soul Surgeon raised an eyebrow. "I also said that Leveling High's containment could last up to six months. Furthermore, expecting perfect accuracy regarding a new, unknown Status Effect would be ill-advised. Perhaps the seal is similar to an ability buff such as Step of the Wind, and will arbitrarily expire once a certain timer is reached. Perhaps it will remain until you hit a specific Level. Perhaps it will endure as long as your willpower holds. We simply do not know."
"Fair points," Rob conceded. It would make more sense for him to talk to Vul'to instead. As the one who placed the seal, he should be able to shed some light on the situation.
"I don't know," Vul'to said, after Rob approached him. "Any theory I could give you would be baseless conjecture. The nature of my Class is an enigma that I have yet to decipher."
Rob resisted the urge to run his hand down his face. "Was worth a shot. Thanks anyway, though."
"I'm sorry that I can't be of more help."
"Dude, you have nothing to apologize for. Without your containment seal, I would've been fucked six ways to Sunday."
Vul'to's frown quickly flipped upside-down. "Your gratitude is very much appreciated." He paused, hesitating. "If I may ask – why the interest in this topic? It seems to go beyond worrying about when Leveling High's containment will expire."
"I just feel like I'm missing something," Rob said. "Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but why does that Skill even exist? Your first Soul Guardian Skill blocked Corruption. The second sealed away Leveling High. I can't Sense any Corruption within Leveling High, that can't be the common element. Is it really just that Soul Guardian has a vague 'guarding your soul' motif, or is there something else to it?"
Vul'to slowly nodded. "I understand your consternation. You'll be informed the instant I learn anything new." He smiled. "Until then, I'll give my thanks for every day that Leveling High remains an impotent prisoner, as it deserves."
Rob gave him an enthusiastic high-five. "Same here, man. Same here."
The coalition reached Harpy territory on the eve of their fourth day of travel. It was easy to tell, as the white grass of Dwarven territory abruptly changed to the yellow grass of Harpy territory. Aside from its color, Harpyland's grass also appeared more lush and healthy, as if it'd drank from a heavier rainfall than the Dwarfland grass situated mere inches away.
Rob shook his head at the affront to all that was logical, letting out an exaggerated sigh. "I'll never get used to that."
"Earth is stranger," Orn'tol remarked. "Without grass to mark borders, how can people tell where their territories begin and end?"
"We set the lines ourselves, and then...sometimes respect them." Rob peered closer at the color-coded foliage, several ideas springing to mind. "You can grow plants from one territory inside a different territory, right?"
Meyneth nodded. "That is how Humans managed to eke out a living in their wasteland of a territory. You recall the underground farms that were infected by the Blight? Those were constructed from imported crops and soil."
"Then wouldn't it be possible for one territory to expand its borders by uprooting a second territory's native grass and replacing it?"
His Party members gaped at him in shock. "You suggest..." Zamira paused, then swallowed, as if her throat had gone dry. "You're suggesting altering a territory's borders?"
"Is that so bizarre?" Rob was becoming aware he'd stepped on a cultural landmine, but his curiosity egged him on. "On Earth, when one side wins a war, you usually take some land from the enemy nation. It's one of the main ways that territories back home get stronger."
His Party members were looking queasier the longer he spoke. "How about this," Rob continued, recognizing that it was time to pivot. "Human territory was an empty wasteland long before the Humans arrived. Why didn't anyone else try terraforming it? Make it less of a wasteland, I mean. Would've resulted in more livable land."
"You can't alter territorial borders," Keira stated, with a hint of disgust. "That would be obscene."
"If you say so," Rob shrugged, letting the topic drop. He wasn't going to get anywhere with this. Even his biggest friends weren't willing to entertain the idea whatsoever.
If the gods created this version of Elatra, Rob began, thinking further, then they might've instilled this mindset within the world's inhabitants. Would keep any one society from being wiped out entirely – until The Scouring screwed everything up, at least.
He kept staring at the divided grass, searching for inspiration. I also know that there are multiple gods, and each territory believes in its own patron deity, so there's probably one god assigned per nation. Maybe they created Elatra this way so each god would always have a place at the table.
Although he couldn't be 100% sure of that. Rob had met three gods in-person during his second trip to the divine planes: Kismet, Malid, and Vivacity. None of those names matched the ones that Elatrans gave for their gods. So far, he'd heard of Lothren for the Elves, Titan for the Dwarves, Tylrud for the Dragonkin, Odium for the Merfolk, and Argath for the Fiends. Either there were way more gods running around than Rob knew of, or the Elatrans were flat-out getting all their deities' names wrong.
"Diplomacy," Faelynn suddenly asked. "What do you think of our allies? Are we safe from any further assassination attempts?"
Rob was initially confused at the change in subject, but based on his friends' relieved expressions, none of them wanted to linger on the previous topic. Diplomacy immediately picked up on Faelynn's intent, responding quickly.
"Remember that I am not a mind reader," they said. "Discerning people's intentions – especially without speaking to them directly – is an inexact science. Only a Gellin would be able to answer your question with any degree of certainty, and even then, people change their minds on a daily basis."
Diplomacy lifted their fabricated Elven mouth into a smile. "With all that accounted for, I believe we should be safe. The Merfolk are fond of us, the Dwarves are afraid of us, and the Elves are embarrassed over their debacle with the duel gone wrong. As long as the coalition itself doesn't implode, they won't try to harm us."
"That's good." Faelynn hesitated, seeming restless. "Have Vul'to and I been doing an adequate job of appearing 'reasonable' to our new allies?"
"More than adequate." Diplomacy's eyes narrowed dangerously. "If there are still worthless cretins who treat you unfairly, come to me right away. We'll figure out the best way to shred their self-esteem into tiny ribbons."
Faelynn's restlessness faded as she offered Diplomacy a broad smile. The good vibes were infectious, causing Rob to grin as well. He wasn't sure when the two had become friends, but it was reassuring to see that Diplomacy was successfully integrating into Riardin's Rangers. While Rob hadn't been worried that his Party would outright reject the former Skill, if only for his sake, there was a stark difference between tolerating a friend's hanger-on and wanting to become friends with them yourself.
He knew that very well. Outside of Jason, Rob's attempts at making friends back on Earth were...mixed. Even among the people he hung out with, there were plenty of instances where he'd felt like the outsider looking in. As if everyone was happily sitting around a campfire, and for some reason, he was the only one who couldn't feel its warmth. Jason had always been happy to introduce Rob to his sports friends, but that usually didn't go anywhere either. Their lifestyles were too different. He'd ended up as the tolerated hanger-on, and that was a worse feeling than just being alone.
Rob massaged his head, dispelling the bitterly nostalgic memories. Doesn't matter. It's in the past. And that won't happen to Diplomacy – I'll make sure of it. Thankfully, they'd get their chance to shine when the coalition contacted King Elnaril. If anyone could get the reclusive Leader to open up, it was the living embodiment of a silver tongue.
Couple more days and we'll reach Arieda City. Rob gazed out once more into the fields of sweeping, yellow grass. After that...we'll just have to see where the dice fall.
Later that night, Rob found himself facing an urgent dilemma.
Currently, that dilemma was laying on top of him and drooling. He looked down at Keira's naked form, draped closely over him, perfectly beautiful in every way – as she snored like a clogged wood chipper. It wasn't the first time she'd done that, but usually it was quieter. Adorable, even.
Tonight? Not so much.
Rob felt himself being pulled in all directions, wracked with torturous indecision. Dare he try to move? Attempting an escape might wake her up. He didn't want her sleep to suffer like his was. Unfortunately, coffee hadn't been invented in Elatran yet, and the other coalition factions would look at him funny if he spent the next day stumbling around like a half-dead zombie.
On the other hand, he really enjoyed Keira being sprawled on him like this. It was almost worth setting fire to his sleep schedule. Laying here with her would certainly be the nicest all-nighter he'd ever pulled.
Maybe I can sneak out and grab some earplugs...which...also don't exist. God damnit. Would it be a waste of army resources if I asked some people to invent earplugs tomorrow? Eh, who cares, doing it anyway. In the meantime, I could...I don't know, pack some dirt together and shove it up my ears? That grosses out my delicate modern sensibilities.
Just then, Rob's thoughts were interrupted by a soft thwump coming from right outside their tent.
As if something had hit the ground.
Keira's eyes snapped awake. At once, the two of them hastily – yet silently – threw on clothes and grabbed their weapons. Rob took point in front of her and preemptively activated Dauntless Reprisal. Keira would've signaled him if Danger Sense was going off, so they weren't in any immediate peril, but it always paid to be prepared. Nodding to her, Rob yanked the tent flap open and peered outside.
A Harpy awaited them. He looked pretty much like the race had been described to Rob; long feathered wings, voluminous hair, talons for feet, and fingers that ended in taloned claws as well. The Harpy stared at them, unmoving, completely unperturbed at having been discovered.
"You know," Rob said, "if this is an assassination attempt, it's the sloppiest I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot."
The Harpy continued staring at them in silence, more placid than a wax figurine. Something indistinct flashed in Rob's memories, just enough for a sense of dread and unease to creep upwards.
"We must speak," the Harpy finally intoned. Rob cast Identify, confirming that the Harpy was a weak Utility Class user named Featro, and promptly sent alert Messages to the rest of Riardin's Rangers members. Even if this Harpy wasn't a threat, there could be more waiting in the wings. The coalition needed to be ready for an ambush from above.
"By all means," Rob said, stepping back. "Come right in. You aren't weirding me out in the slightest."
He and Keira watched Featro carefully as the Harpy entered their tent with stiff, robotic motions. They waited for him to start talking, exchanging wary glances when he just...stood there. "How did you find me, anyway?" Rob eventually asked. "Our tent is the same as everyone else's."
"Because we are drawn to you, Heartkiller."
Corruption flared from within Featro. Rob recoiled as if it was a forceful, physical blow. There'd been no warning; one moment, he Sensed nothing, and the next, a dense aura of Corruption was exuding from the Harpy.
So dense that Rob couldn't understand how Featro was still standing. Other people who'd been that infected with that much of Corruption were left bedridden, except for-
Rob's breath caught in his throat. The possessed Dwarf in Dhalerune Mines.
"Heed my words," Featro intoned, his eyes polluting with an impenetrable darkness. "You are walking into a trap."


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