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The Birds Hate Me for What I Have Done

2020.09.22 20:13 MikeJesus The Birds Hate Me for What I Have Done

I have made a powerful enemy.
There’s approximately eighty thousand pigeons that roost within Prague city limits. They roam through the farmer’s markets looking for drops of food, they sit on the Art Noveau windowsills that loom near the city center, every figure of Czech history who has been rewarded with a statue is also rewarded with a pigeon patron who will sit and shit on top of their heads for all eternity. Every inch of the city is filled with those gray birds.
But not today.
As the farmer’s markets get set up the peddlers mumble to themselves about the surprising lack of avian companionship. The twilight commuters look up at the bare windowsills and try to figure out what has changed in the architecture of the city overnight. The layer of droppings on Winston Churchill’s head is at least a day old. This morning, as the city slowly rustles awake to the midi tones of cellphone alarms, the pigeons are gathering outside of the main train station.
They’re here because of me.
The birds hate me for what I have done.
For weeks I have only traveled by night, for weeks I have been avoiding the inevitable, for weeks I had hoped they would simply forget. But they didn’t and I know they won’t. The birds will not let me live freely until I pay for what I have done.
I set out this morning to bring the feud to rest, but as I emerge out of the subway and see what awaits me beyond the Plexiglas windows I get second thoughts. The park outside the automatic doors of the train station has been swallowed up in feathers. From the sea of gray, hateful beads of crimson stare at me. They’re waiting.
There’s two bags filled with Bohemia Bakery croissants in my hands. I can’t control the shaking. I can’t deny the inevitable. As the loudspeakers squawk out announcements of delays in a dozen muffled languages I can’t help but to think about how I got here.
There has to be a better word for it than break-up. We were engaged for the better part of a year, sharing a bed for five, dating for seven. A break-up sounds like a cracked plate, a minor inconvenience, something that you shrug off and carry on with your life. What happened between Julia and me was a multi-ton hydrogen bomb.
She said I never introduce her to work friends. So I did. I introduced her to the IT guy who I would occasionally grab beers with after work. She got to know him more intimately than I ever did. Much more intimately.
Suddenly, the person who was my one constant over the past seven years was telling me we could still be friends. Suddenly, the comfortable pad in the center that was affordable from two paychecks was replaced by a five person flat share in the housing projects. Suddenly, I couldn’t show my face in the office anymore.
He set up the remote-work software on my laptop. It took fifteen minutes but that moment dragged on for eternity. He mumbled an apology. My hand tightened into a fist, the uncapped pen on my desk gleamed with sharpness but I remained impotent. He regularly went to the gym. I didn’t.
When he finished the set-up he offered me his hand and without thinking I shook it. I even mumbled a “Thank you.”
I wanted to rip off my tongue and throw it out for the birds to devour.
Working from home was impossible. Not only was I in the midst of a personal cataclysm, but my four roommates had social lives so loud and amorous that they seeped through the paper-thin walls every second of the day. Whenever they brought someone home there was no escape from the echoes of lovemaking. I knew that back in my old apartment, in that cozy flat in the center, Julia was screaming the IT guy’s name. I had been with her for long enough to be able to imagine it all so vividly.
I needed to get out of that house.
‘Bohemia Bakery croissants, that’s a good treat right there, brother.’ The voice, followed by a familiar smell of distillates and festering bandages, drags me back into the present moment. Outside, the congregation of pigeons is slowly growing. In front of me, a Prague train station vagrant. ‘Got a lot of those croissants there, brother. Mind helping a hungry fella out?’
He looks like he’s been through a war-zone, his tattered rags the uniform of an army that loses in perpetuity. Beyond the Plexiglas the pigeons stare. I give the homeless man one of the croissants. I do this partially out of human kindness, but mainly in hopes that the pigeons see that I am not a monster, that the pigeons take pity on me.
The sea of beady eyes doesn’t flinch. They don’t care.
‘God bless, brother, God bless,’ the vagrant says as he starts to walk away. He stops. After considering the crowd of pigeons he turns back to me. ‘A lot of pigeons, eh? God bless, brother.’
He sets off towards the doors and I know I should follow him. I know it’s time for me to pay the price for my sins. I know there is no other way to get rid of the birds. But my legs are frozen.
When the homeless man is a couple of steps away from me a dark thought enters my mind. Maybe I can trick the pigeons into taking their revenge on someone else. They’re pigeons, how smart can they be? I open my mouth to yell out to him –
I want to give him another croissant. I want to suggest he take both the bags of offerings. I want to make him the target of the avian hatred.
But before I can vocalize my offer the plan falls apart.
The vagrant walks past the automatic doors into the park outside. The pigeons pay him no mind; he is completely invisible to them. They’re here for me and they’re getting impatient.
As the automatic doors grind to a close three pigeons fly into the station. I reach into my Bohemia Bakery bag and start turning croissants into crumbs between my fingers. The birds are getting restless.
Walking into the Bohemia Bakery on Michalská Street and setting up my laptop for a day of excel scrolling was a completely arbitrary decision. There’s hundreds of corporate owned coffee shops in Prague that have stable wi-fi and inoffensive Spotify playlists for ambience. I ended up there completely by accident. Yet as soon as I got settled I knew I wouldn’t be leaving any time soon.
Bohemia Bakery had all the makings of a coffee shop office. The refreshments were cheap enough to be drunk without a second thought, the neighborhood was safe enough to quell any fears about my laptop being stolen and the majority of the customers were locals. I have no qualms with tourists or immigrants, but American clientele does have a tendency to turn their private conversations into public three act plays. The chatter in the coffee shop was limited to complaint-filled grumbles, as is Czech custom.
The good work environment that Bohemia Bakery provided, however, was completely irrelevant to why I kept on coming there day after day. From the moment I saw her my visits to Bohemia Bakery ceased to be work related. I kept on coming back for Bára.
I was in a dark place. Every other morning I woke up to messages that I had sent to Julia in the middle of the night and forgotten about.
“I’m scared I’ll forget the smell of you.”
“You’re a scab I can’t stop picking.”
“Remember when we made love in the mountains?”
The response was always the same:
“Jesus, Mark, stop sending me these weird messages.”
The texts were desperate attempts to change her mind about moving on. Somewhere, in the depths of my soul, I was still sixteen and believed that one poetic message could turn back the clock on years of a stagnant relationship. I was sick with heartbreak, there was no one out who could make me happy like Julia did. The moment I saw Bára I knew that was a lie.
She made the question “Cash or card?” sound like a line of sensuous poetry pried from the throats of love-struck bards. When she prepared orders she didn’t move like a twenty-year-old barista, she floated behind her counter like a goddess examining the offerings that were being burnt in her temple. That unflattering gray and gold uniform that Bohemia Bakery would force on their employees to wear looked downright erotic on her. God forbid when the milquetoast music the coffee shop had turned to something with an actual beat. If there weren’t any customers Bára would quietly dance.
I tried not to stare. I wasn’t very good at that.
She didn’t mind. The moment when she winked at me I knew I was in love.
I stayed in the coffee shop for much longer than my job demanded. When I was around her all thoughts of Julia seemed absurd. Bára kept on smiling and winking and occasionally she would stick out her pierced tongue at me. After a week of nervously sneaking peeks at the coffee shop Venus I asked her out. After her shift was over we went to sit down in a nearby park.
There are so many parts of that night that have made themselves permanent in my memory; the way her hand slipped into mine before we even reached the park, the smell of cherry blossom and bubble gum that stemmed from her neck, the way her piercing clinked against my nervous teeth, the way she looked up at me when we made love. But none of the memories are as permanent in my head as the words she said when she threw out crumbs of stale croissants to the pigeons that gathered around us in the park.
“Ever looked a pigeon in the eyes? They’re angry creatures. And they talk. Always better to stay on their good side.”
Even as those tiny beaks pick at the droplets of dough scattered through the dirty tiles of the train station the pigeons keep their beady eyes locked on me.
There are more than a few of them now. The out-of-towners who come to Prague for work from the countryside are keeping the automatic doors opened wide. For each person that leaves the train station a pigeon sneaks its way in. The people might be leaving for different jobs but the aim of the birds is singular. Their aim is revenge.
An Uber Eats driver waiting for his next order plays a beautiful melody on one of the pianos that the city council has strewn across the city. He stops as I walk by him. The procession of pigeons behind me is impossible to ignore.
People keep on looking at me. I’m sweating. I know what’s coming. I know that there’s only so long that the pigeons are willing to wait for justice. I know how this all ends.
But still, there’s a part of me that wants to ignore the reality of my situation. Out of habit I take out my phone and text Julia.
“There’s a group of pigeons chasing me through the train station. They mean me harm. Help!”
Her living situation could have been better. Bára shared her two bedroom flat with three other girls from her hometown. On most nights the only thing that kept our lovemaking sessions out of Bára’s roommate’s eye-line was the sheet we draped from the bookshelf.
She moved out from the countryside with her three bestest friend to go live the crazy, cosmopolitan life out in the capital. I don’t think Bára’s roommate felt very cosmopolitan on the nights I stayed over.
There were also the pigeons. The mattress that Bára slept on was propped up against the window to the balcony and every morning I would wake up to the cooing of sky-rats. They usually managed to catch me about fifteen minutes before my alarm clock went off, and they were a gentler welcome to the waking world than the blaring of midi tones off my phone, but the constant cooing definitely made the Sunday morning cuddles less romantic.
Pigeons and roomates aside, the first couple months of our relationship went smoothly. All thoughts of Julia floated away. I felt no need to send her weird texts or obsess over whether she was still thinking about me. I was just enjoying my Bohemian Bakery beauty.
An old classmate of Bára’s came to visit. She knew all about me, Bára had spent the past couple of weeks preparing this girl to meet her “Super cool boyfriend” and whilst meeting a person who knew more about me than I knew about them would have intimidated me back when I was dating Julia, I didn’t mind by then. I had grown into my role. I didn’t know what made me cool or even what made Bára like me so much, but after months of living in my new, lucky reality I stopped questioning it.
Bára stole a couple of bottles of wine from the bakery and invited me over to get drunk with the rest of the apartment. I had the most minor of moral qualms about Bára’s theft, but after a couple of glasses my dislike of stealing became a purely hypothetical topic rather than an actual source of bother. I listened to the four girls drunkenly tell stories from the countryside.
‘Holy shit,’ Bára’s visiting friend said after the fourth bottle of wine had been drained, ‘We’re the only ones from our graduating class who don’t have any kids yet.’
I laughed. Hard. I was etching towards my early thirties and the thought of producing offspring seemed like something that wouldn’t happen for a long, long time. The idea that somewhere out in the countryside people were getting married at twenty seemed absurd to me.
As I laughed Bára kept her glass pressed to her lips. She drained it, poured another and topped me off in the process. We drank more. The other roommates went out clubbing. I was left alone with Bára and her visiting friend. We drank more. The three of us got drunk enough to lay down on the mattress.
One moment I was splashing water on my face trying to sober up and the next I tasted a kiss drenched in menthol cigarettes and red wine. The tongue that was caressing mine felt different. There was no piercing.
I opened up my eyes in terror realizing that I was not kissing my girlfriend. Bára’s friend looked up at me sheepishly. A familiar hand ran down my back.
‘It’s okay honey, it’s not like we’re married yet, we can share.’
I woke up with a horrible hangover the next day, it felt like my eyes were about to pop out of my skull and take everything I had ever eaten in the past 24 hours along with them, but the two naked bodies next to me assured me that my pain was temporary.
Overall, my life was good. With the help of the gentle cooing from the balcony I went back to sleep.
Then things changed.
We were sitting on the tram riding out to the farmer’s market to grab something to eat. There was a lull in the conversation, the type of lull where you throw out a random observation or a Facebook article headline in hopes of having something to talk about. She mentioned it as if it was the most casual thing in the world, as if it wasn’t a matter of any importance at all.
‘Missed my period three days ago.’
I think the lady at the ticket office is calling animal control. There’s a good thirty pigeons behind me now.
I have been mobbed by them before. Back in the early days, before I knew they were after me, they’d chase me while I was going out for groceries, or out drinking. There would always be a confused driver or a subway to help me escape. I have never tried to face the pigeons.
I start making my way towards the doors. This charade has been going on for long enough. I try to trick myself into believing that the pigeons will go easy on me, that they won’t really hurt me.
Yet as I walk towards the automatic doors one of the birds jumps up and pecks at my jeans.
Those beaks are sharp. Sharp enough to give me second thoughts. Sharp enough to make me think that maybe the solution to my qualm with the pigeons is to pack up and move.
I try to think of a country without pigeons, I can’t, but I presume there is one. There has to be one.
Deciding to move my life instead of paying for what I’ve done, I start making my way down into the subway. They follow.
But that’s fine. I convince myself that’s fine. As soon as the subway is about to arrive I can just break into a sprint and hop on. No way all thirty of them can follow me. Worst case scenario I’ll be locked up in a metal tube with two or three angry pigeons. I could take those on if needed.
I have killed pigeons before. Well, theoretically at least.
We didn’t talk about it. Well, we did, but not really.
‘Missed my period three days ago.’
‘Oh shit.’
‘Oh, don’t worry.’
‘You sure?’
‘Yeah.’
Then we moved on to talking about something else. For the whole day there was no discussion of Bára’s potential pregnancy, but from the moment that she mentioned it a cold sweat broke over me. Somewhere in the back of my head I started to imagine her as a lifelong partner.
I didn’t like what I saw.
What I once thought of as a face of perfection was now just a disparate collection of sharp facial features with crooked teeth. Her voice, her laugh, it all droned in my ears in a horrible, annoying way.
I tried to remind myself not to be shallow, not to judge the woman who I had been dating for nearly half a year based on her looks. That made the situation significantly worse.
As we were walking around the farmer’s market Bára started eating a sandwich. I knew that she didn’t buy it. I knew that she didn’t bring one. I knew she stole it.
Bára liked to steal shit. I didn’t mind her swiping stuff from the bakery, didn’t have empathy to spare for corporate owned franchises, but Bára stealing stuff from old folks got under my skin.
‘Hey, where did you get that sandwich?’
‘Found it on the floor. Ha-ha!’
She gave me a smile and a wink. I started to miss Julia again.
By the time we got back home the feverish dislike that I was starting to develop for Bára had turned physical. My head throbbed with some horrible strain of the flu that had crept into my system. I considered going home, but Bára assured me that the wave of fatigue I was feeling was just sleep deprivation. All I needed to do was take a nap and I’d be right as rain. I was too tired to argue.
By late afternoon I was fading in and out of consciousness on Bára’s mattress as she piled more and more blankets on top of me.
‘Ah, c’mon, just sweat it out babe. Quit complaining, you’re a real man, aren’t you?’
Her voice cut through my migraine like the stolen cutlery she had in her kitchen. What made the sickness induced delirium so much worse were the pigeons on the balcony. They just kept on cooing. Even as I drifted off into frenzied fever dreams I could sense their dirty, feathered bodies rustling behind the paper-thin walls.
‘What if I actually am pregnant?’ I heard a voice ask out of the darkness. I was far too deep in the sweaty, lethargic limbo to identify the source but through context clues I figured out who was asking. I pretended to be asleep.
‘What if I actually am pregnant?’ Bára asked, again, this time prodding me with her frigid foot.
I let loose a torrent of mucus filled coughs, hoping to dissuade her from trying to talk to me. It didn’t work. Her cold toes ran across my burning abdomen.
‘Mark, what if I actually am pregnant?’ She asked, sweetly.
‘Can we talk about this tomorrow?’ I groaned.
‘Sure,’ she hissed with the intensity of a silenced pistol.
Bára’s roommate was snoring, the pigeons outside were cooing and just as I started to get used to the jarring soundscape of the bedroom Bára started to sob next to me.
I pretended to be asleep, and eventually, I was.
I make my way down the stairs to the subway platform with dreams of escape glowing in my heart.
I could grow a shitty beard and live in some cabin in the woods, or lounge around on some exotic beach, or I could be freezing my ass of in the arctic. The only important thing is getting on that subway and riding off to somewhere where there are no flying rats that demand vengeance.
The screeching of metal. Below me, the subway has just arrived. I hold on tight to the railing and start jumping down the stairs two at a time. I’m praying that the doors of the train will stay open long enough for me to make my escape.
Some of the birds stop hopping down the stairs and ascend into flight. The feathers of the pigeons fit right into the metallic gray of the subway station in the worst possible way.
There’s a new mom who doesn’t quite know how to handle a stroller stalling the doors to the subway. I still have a chance, I can still run in and make my escape – but just as I am descending the last three steps towards the platform one of those beady eyed vermin dives straight at me.
I lift my hand off the rail to shoo the pigeon away, shifting my balance. Suddenly, I’m falling. Suddenly, my head crashes against the concrete. Suddenly, I’m back on my feet, running towards the subway, screaming past the burning pain that has materialized in my ankle.
I slam into the closed doors. Everyone on the train stares at me and my bizarre pursuers in horror. Except for the baby. The baby points and giggles and laughs from its carriage as the train slowly rumbles into life and disappears in the dark tunnel.
The next train is coming in eight minutes.
I’m at the edge of the platform and there’s a good fifty pigeons staring at me.
‘Jesus, you’re still here?’
I woke up to the sound of Bára’s roommate angrily stomping around the bedroom. My fever was gone, but somehow it had managed to carry me into the late afternoon.
‘It smells like a frigging sex dungeon here dude. Least you could have done was pop open a window.’ She towers over me, eyes filled with disgust, as she cracks open the balcony windows. ‘And you should definitely talk to Bára. It’s none of my business but when she left to work today she was… Gross! Eeew!’
‘Gross?’ I sat up on the mattress. The roommate didn’t look at me, she just kept on staring out of the window. ‘Bára was… gross?’
‘No, you idiot. Look outside. No wonder those birds have been waking us up every morning. There’s a goddamn nest on the balcony.’
As soon as the moist covers slid off me the dizzying stench of sweat overpowered any amount of fresh air coming in from the window. Bára’s roommate jumped back in disgust and with a barrage of comments about how disgusting I am, she left.
Among the discarded plastic bags and cigarette butts there was a roughly picked home of straw. In it there were three little eggs that looked like dirty oversized tic-tacs.
Bára’s roommate pressed a broom into my hand.
‘Go.’
‘Go where?’
‘Go push that shit off the roof. They carry diseases, you know.’
‘Why me?’
‘Why you? Because you’re a frigging man, act like it.’
Memories of the IT guy setting up my remote working software crawled through the back of my head. I grabbed the broom and went out to the balcony, intent on proving my masculinity. All I had to do was just push the nest off into the street below and Bára’s roommate would get off my back.
Yet as soon as I got outside on the terrace I realized I wasn’t alone. On the neighbor’s windowsill, just a meter or two away from the nest, was a pigeon. The bird’s feathers were fuller than any other pigeon that I had ever seen, it’s eyes shone in a blood red, hateful glow. This was no ordinary pigeon.
And it was watching me.
I moved up the broom to the edge of the nest, but my arms froze. Something about that animal’s blank expression was telling me that I was about to take a step into a world from which I could not return, something was telling me that I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life. An ancient, Hammurabi-era truth loomed behind those red orbs.
An eye for an eye,
A tooth for a tooth,
You harm my young and we will harm yours,
The front door opened. I could hear Bára’s tired voice.
‘Is my man still here?’
‘Yeah, your middle management looking dude is out on the balcony, trying to work up the balls to get rid of a pigeon nest,’ I heard her roommate say.
The passive aggressive insult didn’t even register with me. I was lost in the showdown with the pigeon. Those eyes meant business, and that beak looked sharp enough to break the skin.
I could pick up the nest and take it outside, I could put it in a tree, I could google how to deal with this situation, there were so many things that I could have done but, before I knew it, there was a pair of cold hands wrapped around the broom. Bára pressed her body against mine and before I knew it the broom did its job.
The pigeon’s eyes went wide. Like a paper airplane covered in gravel the nest tumbled down into the street with the gentlest crunch. Within seconds it went from being a bastion of blossoming life to being some leash-less dog’s dinner.
‘Come inside. We need to talk.’ No kiss. She was angry.
The pigeon’s eyes were still locked on the crushed eggs running over the pavement. A wave of self-loathing washed through my chest. It was time for an apology.
I cleared my throat. The pigeon’s eyes quickly darted back to me. That wide-eyed expression of shock quickly faded away. The balls of red that dwelled in the creature’s skull turned into focused, hate-filled dots.
“Look, I’m so-“
The bird launched at my tongue.
My avian predicament catches the attention of a group of Chinese tourists gathered on the other side of the platform. For a split second the shuttering of cameras rises above the cooing, but as the pigeons get closer the clicks and flashes became imperceptible static.
The pigeons have me cornered. I’ve started throwing the croissants from Bohemia Bakery at them wholesale, but for every pigeon I distract there are five more that are thirsty for blood. They’re thirsty for revenge.
The birds hate me for what I have done.
With my back up against a map of the Prague subway system I look up at the ‘Next arrival’ board. The red numbers glare: five minutes thirty-six seconds and counting.
I fire off another text to Julia:
The birds will punish me for what I have done.”
I look out into the sea of gray and see a familiar set of red dots. The bird who’s children I killed leads the march.
I don’t have five minutes. I don’t even have thirty-six seconds.
Wings flutter, the birds take flight. With closed eyes I pray that my punishment will be swift.
It isn’t.
My skin burns with blood as the razor beaks bite into me. My hands barely cover my eyes as the pigeons try to claw at my face. They drag at my hair, they tear at my clothes, they peck at my jeans.
My agony reaches incomprehensible heights. With each bite of flesh they take, however, a sliver of my consciousness fades away. Before the pigeons get to the worst part of their punishment, I black out.
We sat in her kitchen; me, pressing a packet of frozen peas to my tongue and her, nursing a cigarette lit off the stove. Smoke drifted from her nostrils as if she was a passive-aggressive dragon.
‘Thanku, don’t kno wha got into that brd.’ My numb, bleeding tongue didn’t get my point across very eloquently but Bára understood what I meant. Those hazel eyes burrowed into me, watching every twitch in my face.
‘Not pregnant,’ she finally said, ‘Had my period this morning.’
‘Tha’s grea!’ I yelled, sending a trickle of iron into my mouth. I grinned. That was the first good news I heard all day.
She wasn’t smiling.
‘What if I actually was pregnant?’ She took a drag and looked away from me. Whatever nuanced reaction my face made wasn’t to her liking.
The conversation dragged on into eternity and at each turn I said the wrong things. Even if my mouth wasn’t slowly filling up with blood, even if my tongue didn’t have a beak-imposed lisp, I don’t think I could have salvaged that relationship.
I didn’t notice the bird at first, but as soon as I became aware of him it was impossible to fully focus on what Bára was saying. Right behind her, with my blood on his beak, was my red-eyed enemy. Soon friends joined him. The longer Bara and me spoke, the bigger our audience got.
Those beady eyes burnt with hatred.
I left the apartment, newly single, with blood in my mouth and a toothbrush in my pocket, and started making my way towards the bus station. I was about to fire off a text to Julia to let her know I was still in love with her but before I could unblock her number-
Peck!
Something small and sharp snapped at my scalp. The flock of enraged pigeons descended me from the windowsills of the Soviet-era housing projects. If there wasn’t a subway station nearby I probably would have lost an eye.
At first I had hoped that the assault from the pigeons was simply a rare occurrence of an angry parent, yet they followed me everywhere. For months I lived my life in fear, desperately hoping that they would tire of chasing me, but it became clear that the birds would not leave me alone.
They wouldn’t leave me alone until I paid the price.
I keep staring out of the window. This makes the doctor visibly uncomfortable. He tells me about how my body was rushed into surgery, about how there is a good chance I have contracted a fair amount of diseases, about all of the permanent damage that the pigeons had inflicted on me, but I just keep looking out of the window.
I had an educated guess on the extent of the pigeon’s revenge.
An eye for an eye,
A tooth for a tooth,
You harm my young and I will harm yours,
The doctor eventually gives up on trying to elicit a reaction out of me and leaves me alone in my room. And I am alone. The windowsill is empty. The pigeons have had their revenge.
I breathe out a sigh of pained relief.
Ding!
I get a text from someone who makes my heart flutter.
I look back at the conversation.
ME – 5:16AM: “There’s a group of pigeons chasing me through the main train station. They mean me harm. Help!”
ME – 5:24AM: “The Birds will punish me for what I have done.”
JULIA – 7:02PM: “What???”
In the stillness of the hospital room I type out my reply, my explanation. As soon as my scarred thumbs punch the words into reality a weight is lifted off my chest. A chapter of my life has ended. I am free now.
Ding!
ME – 7:02PM: “It’s okay. The pigeons have punished me for my misdeeds. I am scarred and will never be able to have children, but I am a free man. I love you.”
JULIA – 7:03PM: “Jesus Mark, stop sending me these messages.”
submitted by MikeJesus to libraryofshadows [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 15:39 cdf21882 I Find Things (Part 2)

( Note: This story was originally titled 'I Found a Healthy Respect for the Outdoors')
My name is Jack. I find things. Usually, I find things like keys and other random shit for people, but recently I have branched off into more unusual items. Case in point, when I helped my new GF Kara look for her grandmother’s locket. I found it alright, but I also found the pissed off, child, ghost of her Great-Aunt Patricia too.
Speaking of Kara, what a little vixen. For those of you wondering how things with her are going, they’re great. We’ve been spending lots of time together, and now that her house is free of angry spirits, she has decided that it would make an awesome B&B, and I can’t agree more. Can you believe Great-Aunt Patricia is even on board with the idea?
Let me tell you, that kid, she has really turned over a new leaf. If only someone had given her a shiny, new pretty sooner. Am I right? She and Kara are like two peas in pod now. Kara says she’s like the little sister she never had, which is weird considering she’s her aunt and a ghost, but stranger things, right?
So, enough about all that, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I mentioned at the end of my last post how I had figured out I could use my talent to find more than just everyday items. Followed by a statement about helping anyone find things, just to let me know and all that. Well to be perfectly frank, I kinda made that declaration in jest. I know, assy move. It’s not that I don’t want to help you guys, but after the locket debacle, I really just wanted to stick to finding mundane stuff. I said what I did, just trying to be nice since you put in the time and effort to read my post, but like Jeff Goldblum said, “Life finds a way.” Let’s just say it found a way to bite me in the ass for making false statements, and it used my sweetheart Kara to do it.
Apparently, she’s on reddit too, and she has a huge following. Well, long story short, Kara came across my post, and not only took my words to heart, but thought it was really sweet how I put myself out there like that to help people. Then, supportive gf and all, she went on to share my post with all of her reddit friends and followers, FB friends, and well you can see where this is going.
When Kara told me what she had done, and how proud of me she was, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was only being nice, so I sucked it up, owned my mistake, and here we are; a second post. That’s right, I have more scary shit to tell, and guess what? It’s a camping story.
I will put this out here right now, I am not an outdoors kind of guy. I respect the outdoors, and people that are outdoorsy, but it isn’t for me. As you know, I recently found out that ghosts are real, and if they are real, there is no telling what the hell else is real, especially in the outdoors.
So, a few days ago, Kara caught me in the break-room at work. She was smiling really big and looked kind of excited, so it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She has a great smile by the way. She told me she had some good news. I asked her what it was, and when she told me, let’s just say my warm fuzziness disappeared pretty damn quickly.
She told me she has a friend on reddit named Dale, and he owns a public campground a couple of hours away. Before she could go any farther, I told her no way I don’t do camping or anything else in the out of doors.
“But Babe, I love camping,” she said all doe-eyed. “Besides, Dale needs you to help him find something.” I looked at her with my best “do I have to” face, but her expression told me this was an argument I wasn’t going to win. I let out a big sigh. “Okay, what does he need me to find?” Victorious, she smiled wryly. “He said he would fill us in when we got there this weekend.”
Word of advice for all of you guys out there, stay single, women can be trouble.
I stuck my tongue out her and went back to my desk.
In all honesty though, I wasn’t mad at Kara for pushing me to help Dale. She is one of the best people I know, and as I’ve said before, I would do anything for her. Besides, who could stay mad with that amazing smile of hers, I’m just saying.
Saturday morning, I pulled up in front of Kara’s house. As I got out of the car, I noticed Aunt Patricia looking down at me from one of the second-floor windows. We waved to one another, and I headed up the walk and went inside.
Kara was in the kitchen making coffee, and she was in full blown camping mode. She wore a pair of khaki shorts that were rolled up at the legs, and what I can say was the most disturbingly, appropriate t-shirt I could have imagined for a camping trip; a Camp Crystal Lake counselor shirt.
She greeted me with a kiss. “Morning handsome. You ready for your first camping trip?” she asked.
“Not particularly,” I told her. “Interesting wardrobe choice by the way.” She grinned maliciously. “I thought you would appreciate the humor of my shirt.” I rolled my eyes. “I swear, if your friend mentions anything about looking for missing campers in the deep, dark woods, I’m out.” “Poor guy,” Kara said with a pouty face. “I’ll protect you from the big, bad monsters in the woods.” She busted out laughing. I just stood there mentally updating the list of deal breakers for my next girlfriend.
Before long, we had the car loaded and were on our way to Dale’s campground. It was our first extended car ride, and it was a blast. We spent a while playing Guess That Tune. For anyone that has seen Twilight Zone: The Movie, just know, our game at least, didn’t end with a horrible death, just Kara winning nearly every round. Besides playing car games, we found we both have a passion for car karaoke, and just so you know, I’m the better singer.
Around noon, we arrived at our destination. I took one look at the sign and shook my head; it read Crazy Acres Camping. Kara, on the other hand, was amused and said she thought it was a cute name. The thing ladies think are cute, I swear.
We drove down a winding, tree-lined road and parked in front of a rustic looking building. The sign hanging above the door read Camp Office. Kara and I were just getting out of the car, when a man rode up on a four-wheeler.
He was in his early to mid-fifties, and he wore the quintessential camp uniform: boonie hat, khaki shorts, and olive drab polo with the camp name on the pocket. “If this wasn’t Dale,” I thought. “I would eat tree bark.” The man dismounted and held out his hand. “Afternoon folks. Thanks for coming. I’m Dale.”
Nailed it.
We both shook hands with him, and then he showed us into the office. The inside was just as rustic as the outside, and the walls were adorned with all sorts of woodsy items, the grandest of all being a massive moose head mounted above the desk.
Being a reddit friend, Kara and Dale only had a passing acquaintance, so we spent the first little while making general chitchat. Dale was obviously a nice guy, and he exuded a sort of crazy uncle vibe. Who doesn’t love a crazy uncle?
The property had been in Dale’s family for a long time, but it wasn’t until he took it over, that it became a public campground.
“I grew up loving the woods, and loving camping,” he told us. “It was only natural for me to share that love with as many people as I could.” Kara said she understood completely, but I didn’t get it at all. I guess I was just too fond of AC and indoor plumbing. There was a little small talk, then we got down to brass tacks.
Over the last couple of months, Dale had received numerous reports from campers who had things come up missing from campsites in a certain area of the grounds. It started out as food, which wasn’t too out of the ordinary due to the amount of wildlife in the surrounding woods. “Raccoons can be some damn crafty SOBs,” Dale told us. Then things escalated. Entire coolers filled with food, drinks, etc. started disappearing, and after that, everything from hammocks, sleeping bags, water containers, and even tents themselves joined the growing list of missing things.
“Beat any damned thing I ever saw,” Dale finished, leaning back in his chair. “But that’s still not the worst of it. There used to be rumors of a hermit living in the deep woods around here. Well about a week ago, I made the mistake of mentioning this to my assistant manager, Rick, and being the great woodsman, he sees himself as, the damned fool decided he would go looking for the ole bastard. Ricks an okay guy, but he’s young and full of himself, and he knows about as much about surviving in the woods, as I do about being a brain surgeon.” “Did he find anything?” Kara asked Dale. The man took off his hat and rubbed the top of his head. “Well let’s just say Rick’s been added to that list of things that have gone missing around here,” he said wringing his hat in his hands. “And if I don’t find him, who knows what will happen to this place.
Kara and I looked at each other. I was getting a sinking suspicion that I knew what it was I was here to find.
“What exactly is it you want me to find Dale?” I asked him hesitantly.
He laid his hat on the desk. “If you can, I would like for you to find my missing employee, and maybe while you’re at it, find where all the missing stuff is going.” I looked at the man then looked at Kara. Her eyes told me she understood exactly what I was thinking. This was far beyond anything I had ever done with my talent, and I had to be honest with Dale.
“Look Dale, I want to help you, but I don’t think you really understand what it is I do,” I told him. “I find lost wallets, misplaced jewelry, or other random items for people, and the only time I have ever looked for anything outside, was when my cousin lost his wedding ring in the back yard while he was ogling the neighbor’s wife while she was sunbathing, which is a whole story in and of itself by the way. The point is, I think this is a job for law enforcement, not an office worker with a talent that is probably more luck than anything.”
The poor man still just sat there looking at me with his hopeless expression. “That’s the thing Jack, the cops are just as baffled as I am, and some of them are better in the woods than me. I’m at the end of my rope here, and if you say your talent is just luck, well I can use a little bit of that right now.”
I didn’t really know what else to say. I felt for the guy. I really did, but I wasn’t sure if I could help him, and God only knows I wanted to. In the end, it came down to two things. One, there was a person lost in the woods, or worse dead. Not only did Dale need to know where Rick was and if he was ok, but the same went for Rick’s family. The second this was I didn’t want to disappoint Kara. She had thought enough of me and my talent, to shout it to the extremes of the internet, and I had step up for her.
“Alright Dale, I’ll give it a shot, but I can’t promise you anything,” I told him. He considered this for a moment. “Fair enough,” he said finally. “I can live with that.”
He pulled out a map of the grounds and showed us where everything had been happening. The vastness of the area only added to my despair, but I pushed the thought out of my mind. After we finished studying the map, Dale mentioned that it would probably be a good idea for us to setup camp in the affected area, so that maybe the thief would make an appearance, being that we would be the only campers in the vicinity.
With a game plan made, Kara and I headed back to the car, and drove to the site Dale had picked out for us. “I’m sorry I got you into this,” she told me. “If I had known what this was all about, I would never have let it get this far.” I smiled at her. “Don’t worry about it, Kara,” I said to her squeezing her hand. “There’s nothing for you to be sorry about. Besides, it’s not that I don’t mind helping Dale, I am just unsure of my ability to do it.” “I believe in you Jack,” she reassured me. “I know you’ll do your best.”
We arrived at the campsite a few minutes later, and I was surprised to see something at least was in my favor. Instead of a tent, Dale had set us up with a small cabin. We parked the car, and got out to inspect our accommodations for the night.
The structure wasn’t much bigger than a large tent, but it was hardened on three sides, with the fourth side being mostly screen. Inside were two cots and hanging from the ceiling, was a gas lantern. “This doesn’t look so bad,” I said looking around the cabin. Kara grinned, “I’ll remember that statement when you need to use the bathroom tonight and have to walk out into the woods.” I looked at her with disdain while she laughed like a mad woman.
We finished unpacking the car and setup a late picnic lunch. Once we were done eating, we began searching the woods in the immediate vicinity of camp.
I tried to be thorough, but there was just too much area, and everything looked the same. After a couple of hours, I was beginning to feel like all I was doing was wasting time. I sat down on a fallen long.
“This is no use,” I told Kara exasperated. She sat down next to me. “You can do this Babe,” she said putting her arm around me. “Trust me and believe in yourself. I believe in you.” She leaned in to kiss me, and as I leaned in to meet her, I saw it.
It was a faint trail beaten into the forest floor. “I think I have something,” I said excited. “Look.
I pointed to the trail. “Jack you did it,” she said kissing me. I have said before that I feel like my talent is more luck than anything, this was why. I would have never seen the trail if I hadn’t sat down on the log.
We inspected the trail for a few minutes. In one direction, it led back towards camp, and we were both fairly confident that this was the trail the thief had been using to get to the campground.
We followed the trail deeper into the woods. After another little while, we came to a massive cliff face.
“Looks like the end of the road,” Kara said looking up at the top of the cliff. It went off in both directions for as far as we could see, and rose above of us at least sixty feet straight up. There didn’t look to be many handholds, so climbing it was out of the question. “Let’s look around,” I said. “Maybe we’ll get lucky again.”
We started down one direction, finding nothing but sheer rock on one side, and forest on the other. After a while, we went back the other direction and it wasn’t much better. My lifted spirits from my discovery of the trail, were starting to crash and burn.
I picked up a stone. “Damnit,” I yelled as I hurled it at the rocky face of the cliff. It hit with a loud report. “Is someone out there?” a faint voice called.
Kara and I looked at each other with wide eyes. “Did you hear that?” we both asked in unison. “Hello out there,” came the voice again. “I need help.” The voice was coming from a little further up the way. “Hold tight,” I called back. “We’re coming.”
We followed the sound of the voice, and after a couple of minutes, we arrived at a large group of boulders, bunched at the foot of the cliff. “Hello, we’re here,” Kara called out. “Where are you?” “In the cave,” the voice replied. “You have to climb up and over the boulders. The entrance is behind them.”
“Maybe you should wait right here,” I told Kara. “That way, if someone really does live here, you can keep a lookout for them.” She shook her head. “What if you need me?” she asked. “I’ll call you, but until then, stay here and keep watch. I would hate to be blindsided by some creepy ass mountain man.” She sighed, disappointed. “Alright, but be careful.” I kissed her, then climbed up the boulders.
Once on top, I saw that there was a hollow space behind the rocks along with the entrance to the cave. It was almost like someone placed the boulders there to purposely hide the cave from passers-by. I climbed back down and approached the entrance. It was dark as shit in there, and I hadn’t even thought to bring a flashlight. The light on my crappy iPhone would just have to do. I turned it on and entered the darkness.
I walked for about a minute when I started to come across empty food wrappers, then as I entered a large chamber, I found the rest of the missing hoard of camping items. “Holy shit!” I exclaimed looking at it all. Dale sure wasn’t kidding when he said a lot of stuff had went missing. “Hey over there,” the voice said. “Get me out of here.”
I walked to where the voice was. There was another chamber, but the entrance was blocked off by a large rock. “Please tell me you’re Rick?” I said to the man behind the rock. “Yeah,” he said. “It’s me. You search and rescue?” I grinned. “Something like that. How in the hell did you get in there?” “Damned bitch grabbed me while I was in the woods, then trapped me in here. Look man, if I were you, I would make this quick. If she comes back and finds you here, there’s no telling what she’ll do.”
I used the phone’s light to survey the rock. While I did this, I wondered who the “she” was that had brought Rick here. “I might be able to tip this rock over, but I am going to need help,” I told him. “Hold on.”
I dialed Kara. Considering I was in a cave, the call surprisingly connected. I told her the situation, and she said she was on her way. In the meantime, I would try to get some more answers from Rick.
“So, you’re telling me some lady abducted you and trapped you in this cave? You sound like a pretty big guy based on Dale’s description of you. She must have been some woman.” Rick chuckled. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. How much longer till your friend gets here. I really would like to be gone before she comes back.” “She should be here soon,” I told him.
Shortly, I heard footsteps coming from the entrance of the cave. “I’d say you found the missing stuff.” Kara’s voice said from behind us. Look at all this shit. Is that Rick?” “Yes it’s me,” the voice on the other side of the rock said impatiently. “Now can we move this thing? I’m telling you guys, we do not want to be here when she comes back.” Kara looked at me with one eyebrow raised. “She? Who is she?” I shrugged. “That’s what I’ve been trying to find out.” “Guys please. Can we do this already?” “Right,” I said. “We need some rope or something to put around the top of the rock.” “I got you,” Kara said.
In a moment she returned with a length of tie down strap. I positioned it around the top of the rock and Kara and I pulled both ends tight. “Okay, we’ll pull, and you push Rick,” I called. “Hopefully this works. On the count of three, one, two, three.” We pulled hard. At first there didn’t seem to be any movement, but then it started to tip. “It’s going,” Rick shouted. “Hope you guys are out of the way.” We let go of the strap and moved out of the way of the falling rock.
Rick’s large frame crawled out of the opening and joined us. In the light from the phones, I could see his clothes were fairly ragged, and he looked like he’d had his ass kicked. “A woman did that to you?” Kara asked him. “Later,” Rick told her. “Let’s go ASAP.”
We turned to leave the cave, but were stopped dead in our tracks. Rick’s mystery “she” stood there blocking our way.
Rick had said I wouldn’t believe him about his captor, and as I stood there looking at the huge, hair covered, seven foot tall figure, I wasn’t sure to feel disbelief, or just be plain scared shitless. “Are you fucking kidding me?” Kara said from beside me. “It’s an effin sasquatch.” It was an effin sasquatch, and she looked pissed off. “Oh shit,” Rick said. The creature roared with rage. Yep, she was definitely pissed.
I didn’t have a clue what to do here. I had just barely found out ghosts were real, and at least there was a way to reason with a ghost, but there didn’t appear to be any reasoning with this thing. She just stood there roaring. “Rick, you’ve spent some time with her, what do we do?” Kara asked him. Rick scoffed. “Look at me. Does it look like we had afternoon tea and shit?” Rick was right. He looked more like he’d been worked over by madam big-foot.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, the thought of a big burly guy like Rick getting man handled by a female sasquatch, was kinda funny. She probably just wanted some loving, and he was the closest thing she could find to mister big-foot, but before I could ponder on the image any further, the lady of the hour picked up a cooler and hurled it at us. The three of us scrambled out of the way of it, and beer, lunch meat, pickles, etc. went everywhere.
“She’s acting like a crazy ex-girlfriend,” Kara yelled. “What’s her problem?” I looked in Kara’s direction. I have always heard women see things that men don’t sometimes, and what she had just said, made me return to my previous thought. I had thought it a funny joke that Rick had been the victim of a lonely, amorous lady-squatch, but what if that was exactly the case?
“Rick,” I yelled at him. “Was she violent with you from the beginning?” He didn’t answer at first. “You know,” he said. “She started off nice, hugging on me and rubbing me like I was a damned dog or something, but it was when I tried to leave, that she got mad and locked me up. I figured she was trying to keep me as a pet.” I shook my head. Dale was right about Rick. He didn’t know crap about the outdoors, but apparently he didn’t know crap about women either. “She wasn’t trying to make you her pet you nimrod,” I yelled at him. “She was trying to mate with you.”
It must have taken a moment for this to sink in for Rick, because it was a good bit before he responded. “You mean she wanted to screw me?” he asked shocked. “That’s exactly what he’s saying,” Kara told him. “And apparently she didn’t take rejection very well.” “That’s the understatement of the year,” he said.
I couldn’t believe we were having this conversation right now. A pissed off ape lady was about to rip us all to pieces, and we were discussing domestic issues, but something was coming to me. “I think I have a plan,” I said. “Rick, since she sees you as her boy toy, we’ll try and get her attention long enough for you to get by her. Then once you do it, get her attention and see if she will follow you out. After that, we’ll leave. Once everyone’s out of the cave, maybe we can all make a run for it.”
“I don’t know if I like that idea,” he said. “She’s pretty quick.” “Well hopefully your desire to not play sugar daddy for a sexually frustrated big-foot for the rest of your life, will cause you to be quicker,” I told him. “It’s all I got so take it or leave it.” Rick thought on it. “Fine,” he said finally. “Let’s do it.”
I found Kara’s hand, and squeezed it. “Ready?” I asked her. She laughed nervously. “Not really,” she said. “But what can you do?”
Together we approached the creature, yelling and screaming at her. I hoped the creature wouldn’t kill us, but luck was on our side. She turned her full attention on us and moved to meet our approach. As planned, this opened up things up for Rick to be able to get around her, but that’s where the plan went to shit.
Instead of getting around the creature and gaining her attention so that he could lead the sasquatch away from us, Rick just bolted. The big-foot took one passing glance at him, and returned her focus on us, me in particular. “What the hell?” I asked Kara. “Why isn’t she following him?” “I think we screwed up,” she replied. “She saw Rick run away like a coward, and because you showed aggression to her, she’s decided you’re the better mate.”
I just stared at her, jaw on the floor. “What can I say?” she said to me. “She has good taste.” I personally didn’t see any humor in the situation, but we had to get away, and I think I knew what to do. “Kara, you said she was acting like a crazy ex, well let’s play that up. I’ll give her what she wants, and then you play crazy new girlfriend and confront her.” She looked at me skeptically. “How is that supposed to work?” she asked. “She could use me as a toothpick. How am I going to intimidate her?” I smiled at her. “You’ve been possessed by an angry ghost, and let me tell you, if you had any cognizance during that, you know how to be intimidating.” Kara rolled her eyes. “I’m not too sure about this, but I’ll try.” I smiled at her. “You can do it, besides the worst case scenario is I live in a cave for the rest of my life and learn to braid sasquatch hair.” Kara was still not amused. “Well here goes,” I said.
I approached the creature. “Hey sweetheart, I’m Jack. Aren’t you a gorgeous lady?” The big-foot looked at me confused, then she looked back at Kara and uttered a warning grunt. I motioned for Kara to stay back. “Don’t worry about her darling, you’re the one I want.” I was now standing within arm’s reach of the sasquatch. She looked at me, still unsure. “Come on, it’s okay. I just want to give you a big ole hug.” I reached out and put my arms around her. She stiffened at first, but then she relaxed and put her arms around me. She started making a cooing sound as she stroked my back. I patted her back in return. “You’re so sweet,” I told her with my best lovey voice.
For all of you that have seen Harry and the Hendersons, this must sound funny as hell, but it was freaking terrifying. One wrong move, and this furry lady could squash me like a bad zit, but I kept up the act. I should have gotten an Oscar for my performance. I had her eating out of my hand. Now it was time for Kara to join the show. I gave her a thumbs up.
“Get your hands off of him you hairy BITCH,” she yelled from behind me. The lady-squatch raised her head in Kara’s direction, making a confused sound. “You heard me,” she yelled at us. “He’s mine.”
Something whizzed over my head, hit the creature between the eyes, and fell to the floor. It was an unopened beer. The creature touched its head, looked down at the can, then looked back at Kara. She roared as she threw me aside, then stormed off towards my girlfriend. I looked at Kara. I could see the terror in her eyes, but there was also determination. She threw another beer at the sasquatch. It hit her in the chest and fell to the floor, exploding from impact with the ground. The sudden bursting of the beer surprised the creature and she stumbled backwards, falling over the scattered camping gear. I used the opportunity to grab Kara and we started for the cave exit.
The big-foot roared with fury, got to its feet, and began to come after us. As hard as she could, Kara threw her last beer at the creature’s feet. Its explosion drove the sasquatch back once again as we made the exit. Without even skipping a beat, we scaled the boulders and jumped off the other side.
We continued running in the direction of the campground, but I took a moment to look back. I know, this goes against everything they teach you in horror movies, but I had to.
She stood on top of the rocks watching our escape, and I swear she had a look of sorrow on her face. I have to admit, I felt bad for her. She was just a lonely creature who wanted a companion. I felt the same way before I started dating Kara, although I would have never abducted someone, but hey I’m not a sasquatch either.
Needless to say, she didn’t follow, and when we eventually got back to the campground, Dale and Rick were waiting on us.
“Glad to see you guys got out,” Rick said to us grinning. “No thanks to you,” Kara told him. She looked at Dale. “Your assistant here took the first chance he got, to escape, rather than help us all get away. We could’ve been killed by her.” Dale turned to Rick. “What’s she talking about?” he asked him. Rick shook his head. “They’re just mad I made it out before they did.” I couldn’t believe this guy. “No, we’re mad because we saved your ass from being a lifetime concubine to a horny ape woman, then left us there to deal with her once you had your chance to bolt.”
Rick scoffed. “Whatever,” he said. “You weren’t the ones that spent days trapped in a cave by a damned monster. What did you expect me to do?”
“That’s enough,” Dale said before I or Kara could say anything in response. “Rick, get your shit together and leave my property. These good folks put their lives on the line to help me, not to mention save your ass, and you didn’t even have the decency to stick by them when they needed you. I want you gone now.” Rick threw his hands up. “Fine, I didn’t need this job anyway,” he said.
We watched as he walked to his truck and sped off, slinging gravel. After a minute, we went with Dale back to his office and told him the whole story. “I just can’t believe it,” he said. “My daddy always said they were real, but we all just thought he was about halfway crazy. Question is, what am I going to do about her?” I looked at Kara, who shrugged. She wouldn’t be any help with this, so I stepped out on a limb.
“I don’t think she wants to hurt anyone,” I said. “She’s just lonely. Maybe you should make friends with her.” They both looked at me like I was crazy, but I pushed on. “For whatever reason, she’s alone in this area, and being alone sucks for anyone, man or sasquatch. I think she started taking things out of hunger at first, then out of curiosity. As far as Rick goes, he’s a big hairy guy, she just mistook him for one of her own kind. So take her a gift once in a while and make friends with her. Eventually, maybe she can become a valuable asset to your campground.” Dale thought it over for a moment. “Well I guess it’s worth a shot,” he said. “Anything is better than having to close this place down.”
With things settled, Kara and I left the office to go back to our campsite. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the great outdoors, and that night we did a fair amount of star gazing. Other than our brush with the lady-squatch, I could see what Kara loved so much about camping. There’s a lot of beauty out there.
On the ride home the next morning, we played more car games, sang, and laughed about our time with the hairy woman of Crazy Acres Camping. Kara said she was looking forward to the next camping trip, and that with my talent, there was no telling what we would find next time. I laughed and told her I planned to stick to finding the easy stuff from here on out, but as I have said in the past, I think my days of finding the easy things, are over.
My name is Jack, and I find things. Key’s, jewelry, the occasional ghost, even a sasquatch, I find it all, but this time I found out I kinda like camping. Yeah I know, who would have thought.
submitted by cdf21882 to realhorrifying [link] [comments]


2020.09.13 05:05 yeehaw1084 Getting more involved with a poly-amorous partner, I'm open to it and have been interested in it for a while, but there's a little bit of an obstacle.

I've recently become involved with someone that I've known for a while, over 7 years, and she is relatively poly-amorous. I'm really into this girl, shes into me, were really good at communicating with each other and being transparent, and I've always been sort of interested in trying out a poly-amorous, open-relationship type thing. Were most likely gonna become exclusive (relatively speaking) but there's 2 things I'm a little concerned about:
I've been in a couple... non-consensual open relationships (cheated on.) and have incredibly low self esteem in romantic relationships because of this. I, unfortunately, become a little bit jealous because of these unsavory past experiences, not in a "you cant have male friends" kind of intensity, but more in a "you and him were sitting kind of close and you laughed a lot and now I'm questioning if you still enjoy my company, or me in general" kinda way. So with this, the idea of having other sexual partners available, and expected, to her puts a little bit of an anxiety-knot in my stomach.
I'm going to therapy to sort through these feelings, so I'm not looking for a free session from anyone, but I'm curious if anyone else has had this experience and this lack of... trust(?), not resulting from shady behavior by your partner, but from personal trauma and past experiences, and how you figured it out.
The second one is a fun little cherry on top. I have pretty severe high functioning autism (fka Aspergers.) One symptom of this, that i struggle with in just about everything, is an intense interest or dedication to one topic/item/person/etc. When I date someone, I don't really waver. Again, not in a "you're all i need and want in life i love you" on the 3rd date kinda way, but I am very dedicated, interested in, and passionate for who I'm dating.
Somewhat unrelated, but still on the spectrum of the spectrum, I have poor very social skills because of my autism. Finding people outside of the girl I'm involved in is a pretty god damn high hurdle to say the least, and I kinda fear becoming this guy (minus the general... scum bag nature he shows,) and don't want this to become a super one sided situation for both of our sake. Again, therapy, but wondering is this is something that other folks have gone through and can give some perspective on.
All in all (also tl;dr) I really like her, I'm into the idea, i trust her, were already very open with each other, but I'm just a little apprehensive because of past experiences with being cheated on, and neuro-divergence that causes me to be very closed off to most people, and dedicated to a select few.
Really anything helps. Stories, readings, other posts, forums, all of that jazz.
Thanks for reading all of this if you did, sorry about the text block.
submitted by yeehaw1084 to polyamory [link] [comments]


2020.09.08 23:09 cdf21882 I Found a Healthy Respect for the Outdoors.

My name is Jack. I find things. Usually, I find things like keys and other random shit for people, but recently I have branched off into more unusual items. Case in point, when I helped my new GF Kara look for her grandmother’s locket. I found it alright, but I also found the pissed off, child, ghost of her Great-Aunt Patricia too.
Speaking of Kara, what a little vixen. For those of you wondering how things with her are going, they’re great. We’ve been spending lots of time together, and now that her house is free of angry spirits, she has decided that it would make an awesome B&B, and I can’t agree more. Can you believe Great-Aunt Patricia is even on board with the idea?
Let me tell you, that kid, she has really turned over a new leaf. If only someone had given her a shiny, new pretty sooner. Am I right? She and Kara are like two peas in pod now. Kara says she’s like the little sister she never had, which is weird considering she’s her aunt and a ghost, but stranger things, right?
So, enough about all that, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I mentioned at the end of my last post how I had figured out I could use my talent to find more than just everyday items. Followed by a statement about helping anyone find things, just to let me know and all that. Well to be perfectly frank, I kinda made that declaration in jest. I know, assy move. It’s not that I don’t want to help you guys, but after the locket debacle, I really just wanted to stick to finding mundane stuff. I said what I did, just trying to be nice since you put in the time and effort to read my post, but like Jeff Goldblum said, “Life finds a way.” Let’s just say it found a way to bite me in the ass for making false statements, and it used my sweetheart Kara to do it.
Apparently, she’s on reddit too, and she has a huge following. Well, long story short, Kara came across my post, and not only took my words to heart, but thought it was really sweet how I put myself out there like that to help people. Then, supportive gf and all, she went on to share my post with all of her reddit friends and followers, FB friends, and well you can see where this is going.
When Kara told me what she had done, and how proud of me she was, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was only being nice, so I sucked it up, owned my mistake, and here we are; a second post. That’s right, I have more scary shit to tell, and guess what? It’s a camping story.
I will put this out here right now, I am not an outdoors kind of guy. I respect the outdoors, and people that are outdoorsy, but it isn’t for me. As you know, I recently found out that ghosts are real, and if they are real, there is no telling what the hell else is real, especially in the outdoors.
So, a few days ago, Kara caught me in the break-room at work. She was smiling really big and looked kind of excited, so it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She has a great smile by the way. She told me she had some good news. I asked her what it was, and when she told me, let’s just say my warm fuzziness disappeared pretty damn quickly.
She told me she has a friend on reddit named Dale, and he owns a public campground a couple of hours away. Before she could go any farther, I told her no way I don’t do camping or anything else in the out of doors.
“But Babe, I love camping,” she said all doe-eyed. “Besides, Dale needs you to help him find something.” I looked at her with my best “do I have to” face, but her expression told me this was an argument I wasn’t going to win. I let out a big sigh. “Okay, what does he need me to find?” Victorious, she smiled wryly. “He said he would fill us in when we got there this weekend.”
Word of advice for all of you guys out there, stay single, women can be trouble.
I stuck my tongue out her and went back to my desk.
In all honesty though, I wasn’t mad at Kara for pushing me to help Dale. She is one of the best people I know, and as I’ve said before, I would do anything for her. Besides, who could stay mad with that amazing smile of hers, I’m just saying.
Saturday morning, I pulled up in front of Kara’s house. As I got out of the car, I noticed Aunt Patricia looking down at me from one of the second-floor windows. We waved to one another, and I headed up the walk and went inside.
Kara was in the kitchen making coffee, and she was in full blown camping mode. She wore a pair of khaki shorts that were rolled up at the legs, and what I can say was the most disturbingly, appropriate t-shirt I could have imagined for a camping trip; a Camp Crystal Lake counselor shirt.
She greeted me with a kiss. “Morning handsome. You ready for your first camping trip?” she asked.
“Not particularly,” I told her. “Interesting wardrobe choice by the way.” She grinned maliciously. “I thought you would appreciate the humor of my shirt.” I rolled my eyes. “I swear, if your friend mentions anything about looking for missing campers in the deep, dark woods, I’m out.” “Poor guy,” Kara said with a pouty face. “I’ll protect you from the big, bad monsters in the woods.” She busted out laughing. I just stood there mentally updating the list of deal breakers for my next girlfriend.
Before long, we had the car loaded and were on our way to Dale’s campground. It was our first extended car ride, and it was a blast. We spent a while playing Guess That Tune. For anyone that has seen Twilight Zone: The Movie, just know, our game at least, didn’t end with a horrible death, just Kara winning nearly every round. Besides playing car games, we found we both have a passion for car karaoke, and just so you know, I’m the better singer.
Around noon, we arrived at our destination. I took one look at the sign and shook my head; it read Crazy Acres Camping. Kara, on the other hand, was amused and said she thought it was a cute name. The thing ladies think are cute, I swear.
We drove down a winding, tree-lined road and parked in front of a rustic looking building. The sign hanging above the door read Camp Office. Kara and I were just getting out of the car, when a man rode up on a four-wheeler.
He was in his early to mid-fifties, and he wore the quintessential camp uniform: boonie hat, khaki shorts, and olive drab polo with the camp name on the pocket. “If this wasn’t Dale,” I thought. “I would eat tree bark.” The man dismounted and held out his hand. “Afternoon folks. Thanks for coming. I’m Dale.”
Nailed it.
We both shook hands with him, and then he showed us into the office. The inside was just as rustic as the outside, and the walls were adorned with all sorts of woodsy items, the grandest of all being a massive moose head mounted above the desk.
Being a reddit friend, Kara and Dale only had a passing acquaintance, so we spent the first little while making general chitchat. Dale was obviously a nice guy, and he exuded a sort of crazy uncle vibe. Who doesn’t love a crazy uncle?
The property had been in Dale’s family for a long time, but it wasn’t until he took it over, that it became a public campground.
“I grew up loving the woods, and loving camping,” he told us. “It was only natural for me to share that love with as many people as I could.” Kara said she understood completely, but I didn’t get it at all. I guess I was just too fond of AC and indoor plumbing. There was a little small talk, then we got down to brass tacks.
Over the last couple of months, Dale had received numerous reports from campers who had things come up missing from campsites in a certain area of the grounds. It started out as food, which wasn’t too out of the ordinary due to the amount of wildlife in the surrounding woods. “Raccoons can be some damn crafty SOBs,” Dale told us. Then things escalated. Entire coolers filled with food, drinks, etc. started disappearing, and after that, everything from hammocks, sleeping bags, water containers, and even tents themselves joined the growing list of missing things.
“Beat any damned thing I ever saw,” Dale finished, leaning back in his chair. “But that’s still not the worst of it. There used to be rumors of a hermit living in the deep woods around here. Well about a week ago, I made the mistake of mentioning this to my assistant manager, Rick, and being the great woodsman, he sees himself as, the damned fool decided he would go looking for the ole bastard. Ricks an okay guy, but he’s young and full of himself, and he knows about as much about surviving in the woods, as I do about being a brain surgeon.” “Did he find anything?” Kara asked Dale. The man took off his hat and rubbed the top of his head. “Well let’s just say Rick’s been added to that list of things that have gone missing around here,” he said wringing his hat in his hands. “And if I don’t find him, who knows what will happen to this place.
Kara and I looked at each other. I was getting a sinking suspicion that I knew what it was I was here to find.
“What exactly is it you want me to find Dale?” I asked him hesitantly.
He laid his hat on the desk. “If you can, I would like for you to find my missing employee, and maybe while you’re at it, find where all the missing stuff is going.” I looked at the man then looked at Kara. Her eyes told me she understood exactly what I was thinking. This was far beyond anything I had ever done with my talent, and I had to be honest with Dale.
“Look Dale, I want to help you, but I don’t think you really understand what it is I do,” I told him. “I find lost wallets, misplaced jewelry, or other random items for people, and the only time I have ever looked for anything outside, was when my cousin lost his wedding ring in the back yard while he was ogling the neighbor’s wife while she was sunbathing, which is a whole story in and of itself by the way. The point is, I think this is a job for law enforcement, not an office worker with a talent that is probably more luck than anything.”
The poor man still just sat there looking at me with his hopeless expression. “That’s the thing Jack, the cops are just as baffled as I am, and some of them are better in the woods than me. I’m at the end of my rope here, and if you say your talent is just luck, well I can use a little bit of that right now.”
I didn’t really know what else to say. I felt for the guy. I really did, but I wasn’t sure if I could help him, and God only knows I wanted to. In the end, it came down to two things. One, there was a person lost in the woods, or worse dead. Not only did Dale need to know where Rick was and if he was ok, but the same went for Rick’s family. The second this was I didn’t want to disappoint Kara. She had thought enough of me and my talent, to shout it to the extremes of the internet, and I had step up for her.
“Alright Dale, I’ll give it a shot, but I can’t promise you anything,” I told him. He considered this for a moment. “Fair enough,” he said finally. “I can live with that.”
He pulled out a map of the grounds and showed us where everything had been happening. The vastness of the area only added to my despair, but I pushed the thought out of my mind. After we finished studying the map, Dale mentioned that it would probably be a good idea for us to setup camp in the affected area, so that maybe the thief would make an appearance, being that we would be the only campers in the vicinity.
With a game plan made, Kara and I headed back to the car, and drove to the site Dale had picked out for us. “I’m sorry I got you into this,” she told me. “If I had known what this was all about, I would never have let it get this far.” I smiled at her. “Don’t worry about it, Kara,” I said to her squeezing her hand. “There’s nothing for you to be sorry about. Besides, it’s not that I don’t mind helping Dale, I am just unsure of my ability to do it.” “I believe in you Jack,” she reassured me. “I know you’ll do your best.”
We arrived at the campsite a few minutes later, and I was surprised to see something at least was in my favor. Instead of a tent, Dale had set us up with a small cabin. We parked the car, and got out to inspect our accommodations for the night.
The structure wasn’t much bigger than a large tent, but it was hardened on three sides, with the fourth side being mostly screen. Inside were two cots and hanging from the ceiling, was a gas lantern. “This doesn’t look so bad,” I said looking around the cabin. Kara grinned, “I’ll remember that statement when you need to use the bathroom tonight and have to walk out into the woods.” I looked at her with disdain while she laughed like a mad woman.
We finished unpacking the car and setup a late picnic lunch. Once we were done eating, we began searching the woods in the immediate vicinity of camp.
I tried to be thorough, but there was just too much area, and everything looked the same. After a couple of hours, I was beginning to feel like all I was doing was wasting time. I sat down on a fallen long.
“This is no use,” I told Kara exasperated. She sat down next to me. “You can do this Babe,” she said putting her arm around me. “Trust me and believe in yourself. I believe in you.” She leaned in to kiss me, and as I leaned in to meet her, I saw it.
It was a faint trail beaten into the forest floor. “I think I have something,” I said excited. “Look.
I pointed to the trail. “Jack you did it,” she said kissing me. I have said before that I feel like my talent is more luck than anything, this was why. I would have never seen the trail if I hadn’t sat down on the log.
We inspected the trail for a few minutes. In one direction, it led back towards camp, and we were both fairly confident that this was the trail the thief had been using to get to the campground.
We followed the trail deeper into the woods. After another little while, we came to a massive cliff face.
“Looks like the end of the road,” Kara said looking up at the top of the cliff. It went off in both directions for as far as we could see, and rose above of us at least sixty feet straight up. There didn’t look to be many handholds, so climbing it was out of the question. “Let’s look around,” I said. “Maybe we’ll get lucky again.”
We started down one direction, finding nothing but sheer rock on one side, and forest on the other. After a while, we went back the other direction and it wasn’t much better. My lifted spirits from my discovery of the trail, were starting to crash and burn.
I picked up a stone. “Damnit,” I yelled as I hurled it at the rocky face of the cliff. It hit with a loud report. “Is someone out there?” a faint voice called.
Kara and I looked at each other with wide eyes. “Did you hear that?” we both asked in unison. “Hello out there,” came the voice again. “I need help.” The voice was coming from a little further up the way. “Hold tight,” I called back. “We’re coming.”
We followed the sound of the voice, and after a couple of minutes, we arrived at a large group of boulders, bunched at the foot of the cliff. “Hello, we’re here,” Kara called out. “Where are you?” “In the cave,” the voice replied. “You have to climb up and over the boulders. The entrance is behind them.”
“Maybe you should wait right here,” I told Kara. “That way, if someone really does live here, you can keep a lookout for them.” She shook her head. “What if you need me?” she asked. “I’ll call you, but until then, stay here and keep watch. I would hate to be blindsided by some creepy ass mountain man.” She sighed, disappointed. “Alright, but be careful.” I kissed her, then climbed up the boulders.
Once on top, I saw that there was a hollow space behind the rocks along with the entrance to the cave. It was almost like someone placed the boulders there to purposely hide the cave from passers-by. I climbed back down and approached the entrance. It was dark as shit in there, and I hadn’t even thought to bring a flashlight. The light on my crappy iPhone would just have to do. I turned it on and entered the darkness.
I walked for about a minute when I started to come across empty food wrappers, then as I entered a large chamber, I found the rest of the missing hoard of camping items. “Holy shit!” I exclaimed looking at it all. Dale sure wasn’t kidding when he said a lot of stuff had went missing. “Hey over there,” the voice said. “Get me out of here.”
I walked to where the voice was. There was another chamber, but the entrance was blocked off by a large rock. “Please tell me you’re Rick?” I said to the man behind the rock. “Yeah,” he said. “It’s me. You search and rescue?” I grinned. “Something like that. How in the hell did you get in there?” “Damned bitch grabbed me while I was in the woods, then trapped me in here. Look man, if I were you, I would make this quick. If she comes back and finds you here, there’s no telling what she’ll do.”
I used the phone’s light to survey the rock. While I did this, I wondered who the “she” was that had brought Rick here. “I might be able to tip this rock over, but I am going to need help,” I told him. “Hold on.”
I dialed Kara. Considering I was in a cave, the call surprisingly connected. I told her the situation, and she said she was on her way. In the meantime, I would try to get some more answers from Rick.
“So, you’re telling me some lady abducted you and trapped you in this cave? You sound like a pretty big guy based on Dale’s description of you. She must have been some woman.” Rick chuckled. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. How much longer till your friend gets here. I really would like to be gone before she comes back.” “She should be here soon,” I told him.
Shortly, I heard footsteps coming from the entrance of the cave. “I’d say you found the missing stuff.” Kara’s voice said from behind us. Look at all this shit. Is that Rick?” “Yes it’s me,” the voice on the other side of the rock said impatiently. “Now can we move this thing? I’m telling you guys, we do not want to be here when she comes back.” Kara looked at me with one eyebrow raised. “She? Who is she?” I shrugged. “That’s what I’ve been trying to find out.” “Guys please. Can we do this already?” “Right,” I said. “We need some rope or something to put around the top of the rock.” “I got you,” Kara said.
In a moment she returned with a length of tie down strap. I positioned it around the top of the rock and Kara and I pulled both ends tight. “Okay, we’ll pull, and you push Rick,” I called. “Hopefully this works. On the count of three, one, two, three.” We pulled hard. At first there didn’t seem to be any movement, but then it started to tip. “It’s going,” Rick shouted. “Hope you guys are out of the way.” We let go of the strap and moved out of the way of the falling rock.
Rick’s large frame crawled out of the opening and joined us. In the light from the phones, I could see his clothes were fairly ragged, and he looked like he’d had his ass kicked. “A woman did that to you?” Kara asked him. “Later,” Rick told her. “Let’s go ASAP.”
We turned to leave the cave, but were stopped dead in our tracks. Rick’s mystery “she” stood there blocking our way.
Rick had said I wouldn’t believe him about his captor, and as I stood there looking at the huge, hair covered, seven foot tall figure, I wasn’t sure to feel disbelief, or just be plain scared shitless. “Are you fucking kidding me?” Kara said from beside me. “It’s an effin sasquatch.” It was an effin sasquatch, and she looked pissed off. “Oh shit,” Rick said. The creature roared with rage. Yep, she was definitely pissed.
I didn’t have a clue what to do here. I had just barely found out ghosts were real, and at least there was a way to reason with a ghost, but there didn’t appear to be any reasoning with this thing. She just stood there roaring. “Rick, you’ve spent some time with her, what do we do?” Kara asked him. Rick scoffed. “Look at me. Does it look like we had afternoon tea and shit?” Rick was right. He looked more like he’d been worked over by madam big-foot.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, the thought of a big burly guy like Rick getting man handled by a female sasquatch, was kinda funny. She probably just wanted some loving, and he was the closest thing she could find to mister big-foot, but before I could ponder on the image any further, the lady of the hour picked up a cooler and hurled it at us. The three of us scrambled out of the way of it, and beer, lunch meat, pickles, etc. went everywhere.
“She’s acting like a crazy ex-girlfriend,” Kara yelled. “What’s her problem?” I looked in Kara’s direction. I have always heard women see things that men don’t sometimes, and what she had just said, made me return to my previous thought. I had thought it a funny joke that Rick had been the victim of a lonely, amorous lady-squatch, but what if that was exactly the case?
“Rick,” I yelled at him. “Was she violent with you from the beginning?” He didn’t answer at first. “You know,” he said. “She started off nice, hugging on me and rubbing me like I was a damned dog or something, but it was when I tried to leave, that she got mad and locked me up. I figured she was trying to keep me as a pet.” I shook my head. Dale was right about Rick. He didn’t know crap about the outdoors, but apparently he didn’t know crap about women either. “She wasn’t trying to make you her pet you nimrod,” I yelled at him. “She was trying to mate with you.”
It must have taken a moment for this to sink in for Rick, because it was a good bit before he responded. “You mean she wanted to screw me?” he asked shocked. “That’s exactly what he’s saying,” Kara told him. “And apparently she didn’t take rejection very well.” “That’s the understatement of the year,” he said.
I couldn’t believe we were having this conversation right now. A pissed off ape lady was about to rip us all to pieces, and we were discussing domestic issues, but something was coming to me. “I think I have a plan,” I said. “Rick, since she sees you as her boy toy, we’ll try and get her attention long enough for you to get by her. Then once you do it, get her attention and see if she will follow you out. After that, we’ll leave. Once everyone’s out of the cave, maybe we can all make a run for it.”
“I don’t know if I like that idea,” he said. “She’s pretty quick.” “Well hopefully your desire to not play sugar daddy for a sexually frustrated big-foot for the rest of your life, will cause you to be quicker,” I told him. “It’s all I got so take it or leave it.” Rick thought on it. “Fine,” he said finally. “Let’s do it.”
I found Kara’s hand, and squeezed it. “Ready?” I asked her. She laughed nervously. “Not really,” she said. “But what can you do?”
Together we approached the creature, yelling and screaming at her. I hoped the creature wouldn’t kill us, but luck was on our side. She turned her full attention on us and moved to meet our approach. As planned, this opened up things up for Rick to be able to get around her, but that’s where the plan went to shit.
Instead of getting around the creature and gaining her attention so that he could lead the sasquatch away from us, Rick just bolted. The big-foot took one passing glance at him, and returned her focus on us, me in particular. “What the hell?” I asked Kara. “Why isn’t she following him?” “I think we screwed up,” she replied. “She saw Rick run away like a coward, and because you showed aggression to her, she’s decided you’re the better mate.”
I just stared at her, jaw on the floor. “What can I say?” she said to me. “She has good taste.” I personally didn’t see any humor in the situation, but we had to get away, and I think I knew what to do. “Kara, you said she was acting like a crazy ex, well let’s play that up. I’ll give her what she wants, and then you play crazy new girlfriend and confront her.” She looked at me skeptically. “How is that supposed to work?” she asked. “She could use me as a toothpick. How am I going to intimidate her?” I smiled at her. “You’ve been possessed by an angry ghost, and let me tell you, if you had any cognizance during that, you know how to be intimidating.” Kara rolled her eyes. “I’m not too sure about this, but I’ll try.” I smiled at her. “You can do it, besides the worst case scenario is I live in a cave for the rest of my life and learn to braid sasquatch hair.” Kara was still not amused. “Well here goes,” I said.
I approached the creature. “Hey sweetheart, I’m Jack. Aren’t you a gorgeous lady?” The big-foot looked at me confused, then she looked back at Kara and uttered a warning grunt. I motioned for Kara to stay back. “Don’t worry about her darling, you’re the one I want.” I was now standing within arm’s reach of the sasquatch. She looked at me, still unsure. “Come on, it’s okay. I just want to give you a big ole hug.” I reached out and put my arms around her. She stiffened at first, but then she relaxed and put her arms around me. She started making a cooing sound as she stroked my back. I patted her back in return. “You’re so sweet,” I told her with my best lovey voice.
For all of you that have seen Harry and the Hendersons, this must sound funny as hell, but it was freaking terrifying. One wrong move, and this furry lady could squash me like a bad zit, but I kept up the act. I should have gotten an Oscar for my performance. I had her eating out of my hand. Now it was time for Kara to join the show. I gave her a thumbs up.
“Get your hands off of him you hairy BITCH,” she yelled from behind me. The lady-squatch raised her head in Kara’s direction, making a confused sound. “You heard me,” she yelled at us. “He’s mine.”
Something whizzed over my head, hit the creature between the eyes, and fell to the floor. It was an unopened beer. The creature touched its head, looked down at the can, then looked back at Kara. She roared as she threw me aside, then stormed off towards my girlfriend. I looked at Kara. I could see the terror in her eyes, but there was also determination. She threw another beer at the sasquatch. It hit her in the chest and fell to the floor, exploding from impact with the ground. The sudden bursting of the beer surprised the creature and she stumbled backwards, falling over the scattered camping gear. I used the opportunity to grab Kara and we started for the cave exit.
The big-foot roared with fury, got to its feet, and began to come after us. As hard as she could, Kara threw her last beer at the creature’s feet. Its explosion drove the sasquatch back once again as we made the exit. Without even skipping a beat, we scaled the boulders and jumped off the other side.
We continued running in the direction of the campground, but I took a moment to look back. I know, this goes against everything they teach you in horror movies, but I had to.
She stood on top of the rocks watching our escape, and I swear she had a look of sorrow on her face. I have to admit, I felt bad for her. She was just a lonely creature who wanted a companion. I felt the same way before I started dating Kara, although I would have never abducted someone, but hey I’m not a sasquatch either.
Needless to say, she didn’t follow, and when we eventually got back to the campground, Dale and Rick were waiting on us.
“Glad to see you guys got out,” Rick said to us grinning. “No thanks to you,” Kara told him. She looked at Dale. “Your assistant here took the first chance he got, to escape, rather than help us all get away. We could’ve been killed by her.” Dale turned to Rick. “What’s she talking about?” he asked him. Rick shook his head. “They’re just mad I made it out before they did.” I couldn’t believe this guy. “No, we’re mad because we saved your ass from being a lifetime concubine to a horny ape woman, then left us there to deal with her once you had your chance to bolt.”
Rick scoffed. “Whatever,” he said. “You weren’t the ones that spent days trapped in a cave by a damned monster. What did you expect me to do?”
“That’s enough,” Dale said before I or Kara could say anything in response. “Rick, get your shit together and leave my property. These good folks put their lives on the line to help me, not to mention save your ass, and you didn’t even have the decency to stick by them when they needed you. I want you gone now.” Rick threw his hands up. “Fine, I didn’t need this job anyway,” he said.
We watched as he walked to his truck and sped off, slinging gravel. After a minute, we went with Dale back to his office and told him the whole story. “I just can’t believe it,” he said. “My daddy always said they were real, but we all just thought he was about halfway crazy. Question is, what am I going to do about her?” I looked at Kara, who shrugged. She wouldn’t be any help with this, so I stepped out on a limb.
“I don’t think she wants to hurt anyone,” I said. “She’s just lonely. Maybe you should make friends with her.” They both looked at me like I was crazy, but I pushed on. “For whatever reason, she’s alone in this area, and being alone sucks for anyone, man or sasquatch. I think she started taking things out of hunger at first, then out of curiosity. As far as Rick goes, he’s a big hairy guy, she just mistook him for one of her own kind. So take her a gift once in a while and make friends with her. Eventually, maybe she can become a valuable asset to your campground.” Dale thought it over for a moment. “Well I guess it’s worth a shot,” he said. “Anything is better than having to close this place down.”
With things settled, Kara and I left the office to go back to our campsite. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the great outdoors, and that night we did a fair amount of star gazing. Other than our brush with the lady-squatch, I could see what Kara loved so much about camping. There’s a lot of beauty out there.
On the ride home the next morning, we played more car games, sang, and laughed about our time with the hairy woman of Crazy Acres Camping. Kara said she was looking forward to the next camping trip, and that with my talent, there was no telling what we would find next time. I laughed and told her I planned to stick to finding the easy stuff from here on out, but as I have said in the past, I think my days of finding the easy things, are over.
My name is Jack, and I find things. Key’s, jewelry, the occasional ghost, even a sasquatch, I find it all, but this time I found out I kinda like camping. Yeah I know, who would have thought.X
submitted by cdf21882 to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.09.04 04:22 ChippyGal Separated / Still Married / Never Divorce - Cautionary Tale

Hello, all. I've been debating for a few months whether to post this, but I'm going to in the hopes it helps someone else. Somehow I fell into someone else's never-ending drama of wedded hell about eight months ago, and now I am realizing my life is so much better without it.
Mark (not real name) and I had known each other for about 15 years, as well as his wife. Active throughout the community, I actually knew his wife more than him at first. More contact with him started about a year ago through, of course, Facebook. The occasional messages here and there. Then chats. Finally he asked me to proof his Match.com profile, as he was going through a divorce. Seeing as I was doing this professionally, I didn't mind. He told me they were separated and working through a divorce. He was living a few towns over in an apartment.
At this point I see myself as the idiot. What was I thinking? Of course he was trying to rope me in by asking me to edit his profile! That led to multiple text exchanges, a date, another date, and then a whirlwind relationship. Did I see this as red flags? Most certainly. But as someone going through cancer treatment at the time, I guess I didn't have the energy to put on the breaks.
I wish I had.
I had a few great months with this person - wonderful memories, laughs, experiences. But then then I found out the truth. Not going through a divorce, after all. Me - the person with higher degrees and all that - was taken by some schmuck. He planned for the future, too - let that be another red flat to you, because that did hook me in. I get the breakup text then calls on a Friday afternoon, and since then all fell apart. I am proud to say I have since blocked him on everything - Insta, etc. He would leave comments for me there with little emojis. Seriously? WTF? This after horrendous messages as well.
I guess my whole point in this is be careful who you fall for. I thought I knew this person - from his background, etc. It ended up being one of the most degrading and humiliating experiences of my life. It messed me up big time. He and his "spouse" still walk around the area like nothing has ever happened - including in the local church. There ya go...
UPDATE 9/4/2020 9:00pm (more or less) - Thank you all for you all for your amazing comments that not only supported me, but made me think. I've been a Redditor for years, but this is the first time I've posted like this. Wow. El amor!
I did a lot of driving today (when I think) and have decided to just move forward - his things are his. My amazing things are my own. I need to own them. And I also need to own my own faults for when I slip and allow bad situations into my life. Word. I cannot save the world, as much as I would like to.
Above all? What I got out of this is that we are all human, myself included. I can't tell you how much I cried over these stories. Please - those who shared stories - reach out to me via personal message (I forget what it's called!).
Life is meant to be lived with those who can live it with us. xoxo
submitted by ChippyGal to datingoverforty [link] [comments]


2020.09.02 00:09 SelfPlugDave Homeless and nowhere to go what would you do?

Preface; This is some out of pocket, grade A ridiculous shit and frankly I don’t know what do or wether or not I will survive the coming weeks. There’s a boat-load of context needed so bear with me please. I’ll also post some screenshots with supplementary information to back up my claims.
 
I’m no longer safe in my city. Frankly this all happened on accident and I’ve exhausted every support system I have and all that I can do now is keep running. I live in a dangerous place. A high murder rate that keeps on rising and as a result of my own actions and some incredibly poor luck I’ve now got a target on my back that may never go away. So let’s start at what I !think! is the beginning.
 
I was dating this girl for a few years. It wasn’t bad, or at least I didn’t realize how bad it truly was until it all ended but that’s not really the point. Towards the end of our relationship- while trying to fix things- for a brief moment (a day) we considered a poly amorous relationship. We entertained a girl from our work who (although we didn’t realize she was lying) was at the time moving on from her ex. I didn’t believe the things she said about him which was a mistake on my part. Some of the things that were thrown out there included; diagnosed ASPD, murderer, stalker, psychopath, gang member, etc, etc. I now realize that this had been a setup the whole time and things are getting worse by the day. Long story short he kicked her out and we allowed to her to crash on our couch for a few days before she could get her stuff to her family’s house. (I actually never even saw her at our house but that’s beyond the point.) This may have been a ploy just to get our address but I doubt that, I think she just didn’t feel safe.
 
See with the advent of social media, stalking/tracking has become easier than ever and the individual in question has already admitted to stalking me at the time (when the aforementioned situation was ongoing.) my apartment complex where I was living started putting up signs about suspicious individuals skulking around at night. Despite all of this I was none the wiser to the position I was really in.
 
After my relationship ended (cheating, thanks ally) I started to look for some solace (vagina) and out of nowhere a very hood girl from high school started to hit me up. We hooked up once in the back of her Saturn and then she asked to move in with me. Again I wasn’t paying attention as I’m a little white boy who didn’t know shit about shit and didnt think much of it when she told me she was actually in ms-13 (she was actually part of a different gang but again, beyond the point it’s just another example of me being oblivious.) I was a little unsettled by how interested in me she was becoming so I cut contact relatively quickly and moved onto the next one.
 
Now as I was unknowingly being set up and stalked, I met my next actual girlfriend on accident. I invited a girl who I was facebook friends w over and unfortunately when I went to pick her up my car broke down in my driveway. When I asked her if she could get a ride she actually mentioned asking my stalker BY NAME and I still didn’t get the fucking picture. In the end she asked her friend (my next gf) for a ride to my place and that ended up being my downfall. Her BF at the time came and we all hung out at my place and smoked some, had a good time, and that was the night. Now you might be thinking “so hey when is your life going to be put at risk?” And I promise you we’re getting there. Unfortunately how elaborate the scheme was means I can’t really emphasize the gravity of the situation without all of this context.
 
New girl and me start hanging out every single day (from the first day we met, although she had a bf, we didn’t spend a day apart until we broke up.) I ask her if she’s gang affiliated, she says no. While hanging with her and her man at the time I see some odd symbolism on his wall. Tree of life, roses everywhere, and the interesting fact that he used to be roommates with my stalker (when they lived together with roughly 12 people a body was found in one of their roommates trunks, and that person went to jail and eventually killed themselves.) A few weeks later she broke up with her boyfriend for me out of nowhere and that lead to our relationship.
 
Fast forward a week or two and I help her move out of his house. I ask her new roommate if he’s gang affiliated, he says not anymore but the red symbolism in his house and wardrobe tells me a completely different story. Now low key behind my back she was fucking my stalker, her ex, and her roommate, but honestly right now that’s the last thing on my mind- it’s just another point to be made about the ridiculous level of manipulation I’ve been put under here.
 
Now long story short I met her “step-dad” who ran a trap where gang member would regularly hang out. I know for a fact he is in a gang and multiple times he and the people he was with made large references to gang activity that I let slip my mind, or rather willfully ignored. He made a comment in passing that the area she lived was “hot” with activity but I figured I’d be safe considering my (perceived) relationship w her and those around her and the fact I was keeping my nose clean and focusing on my relationship.
 
Now for the really scary part. I pull up to drop her off at her apartment at roughly 3am. She gets out, goes inside, and that’s that. I turn my head to back out and I see someone walking towards me. It’s someone I’ve seen hanging around before, flashing guns at us while we’re outside, but I’m schizotypal (non-psychosis, just flat affect and general non-social tendencies) and again I didn’t have much of a reaction other than “oh I’ve got these gang people around me I’m probably fine.” I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I look over my shoulder to back up and I see him pull out the same pistol he shook at us before and cock it while staring me dead in the eyes. Whoop fucking whoop. I hit the gas to back and hide in her building until they finally let me in. Keep in my I sent her about 40 messages BEGGING to let me in. BEGGING to save me. No response. Not until 30 minutes later do I hear anything back. One of my friends from out of town actually messaged her roommate and told him to go and unlock the door but he just blocked her.
 
Obviously this left me a little shaken. I didn’t feel safe there anymore but I still wanted to pursue the relationship so the next day I made a plan to drop her off from the side building. It worked one time. The next day I went to do the same thing and there’s a suv blocking the path. I’m in the car with my gf and she’s shaking and freaking the fuck out. We’re arguing, and a white sedan pulls up beside us. I feel my stomach drop because I now realize I’m blocked in from two sides. I hit reverse and whip back the way I came. As I’m leaving the neighborhood I peek out of my side window and the the person in the sedan is lining up a shot at me, this time w a underbarrel flashlight on his pistol. I’m gunning it 50 out of the neighborhood and pull up to the nearest gas station and break down. My gf says “I can’t do this anymore” and flags down a cop car to take her home. I’m too shaken to take her home so I hide in my car laying down. We don’t talk for 3 days until she says she doesn’t want too but for reasons unexplained we need to break up. I’m hurt but I’m more concerned about my safety and I fully understand.
 
I hide out for a few days in my new apartment. See unfortunately I moved to the hood in the center of the city and signed a lease only a week or two before all of this went down. Genuinely the most dangerous area in the city. What a genius right? Now I can’t leave the house without having a panic attack so I decide it’s either the bridge or the hospital for me. I go to turn to jump but at the last second I admit myself to the local psyche ward on the grounds I don’t want to fucking die.
 
I met a lot of people in there that were very nice. I also met a lot more gang members in there who I- thanks to my medication making me significantly more trusting, leads to me giving them my contact information. Yeah, great job Dave. Now I get out and I briefly take a look at my ex stalkers page. I’m confused to the point of panic. See half of my life secrets I told are now his page, layered relatively subtextually but obvious enough to get the message.
 
I’m suspicious. I message him on Snapchat playing a good game of “oh I need some advice” and he acts very buddy buddy. He admits to stalking me in the past and says “oh if I had a problem with you you’d know” but when I call out the cars following me daily with the same plate numbers he makes a thinly veiled threat along the lines of “if you don’t want to die don’t live in the hood.” Okay then. I’m on guard 24/7. I only leave the house when the coast is clear. All of a sudden I remember this guy has an obscure YouTube channel, and i go to check it out. Keep in mind he made a post about his birthday as well, and invited me to come. Telling me multiple times I’d be safe w him. But at the time I was suspicious, so I went and took a peek at his channel. This is where things start to get wild. I go back to when the whole situation started, early June, when he’d been messaging me on fake accounts. Keep in mind my ex is trying to get me to come to her apartment or her stepdads to give her some of her things I still had.
 
Now I find an interesting little podcast on his page where he talks about what I assumed would be the state of the world. I couldn’t have been more fucking wrong. In the video he talks about how he can figure people out by gauging their mannerism and watching them for a few weeks. Followed by this he says me and my exes name verbatim. This throws me into a state of shock. I pull-up more videos of his and find him literally detailing the situations I’ve found myself in, as well as him posting videos about the various murders he’s committed. He talks about how his friend hurt his feelings by simply eating his hot-pocket and he set him up with a girl who had hiv. (I recently found out he was talking about ms-13 girl, thank god I didn’t catch it.) In his next sociopath video he tells how he invited he friend over on a Friday and killed him “on accident” by poisoning him.
 
Now things start to go off. He invites me to his birthday party over Snapchat. My ex’s roommates toxic ex starts messaging me out of the blue and asks if I want to go to the party with her, weird right? I check the information on the post and it’s right down the street from my house, right when I’m supposed to be getting off work. Sounds fishy right? I know he runs with gang members and he’s admitted it on his page. After I say I might come I skip town and stay with my parents for a few days. He goes off grid on his channel but posts taunting messages on his Facebook. He’s also been inviting me to his house saying that I can come over whenever and I’ll be safe with him. My ex has been messaging me saying she can’t divulge but I need to run away and get out of the city and she’s sorry it’s all her fault.
At this point I’ve lost my job because I can’t go into the city anymore. I have nowhere to stay and I’ve been hopping from campground to campground sleeping in my car. I’m living an actual nightmare and I need to get out of the city but I just don’t have the capital or the connections. Ive put my family in danger just staying there. (One of the cars that was following me did a hit an run on my moms car. Same description same plate.)
&nsbp;
TLDR: Got caught up in some gang shit on accident. Been manipulated into a corner and have nowhere to go. I’m on edge, I have to leave or I might literally be killed. I’ve deleted all my social media, discovered fake account rings for gangs to hit unsuspecting individuals, been the target of attempted murder, received countless death threats.) I haven’t told anyone where I’m staying and I’ve disabled location services on everything since I know he’s hacked into at least one of my emails.) WhAt the fuck would you do? Can someone help me? I’m thinking of packing up what I can and being homeless for a while until I can find a new job. I have almost no savings, I’m stuck in a 300/m lease somewhere I can’t go. Help. Also when I mentioned to my ex’s stepdad I got pulled on twice he said “no wayyy” in his usual sarcastic tone which makes me think he either knew or is less than concerned.
 
Honestly at this point I don’t give a fuck. This dudes YouTube channel is .D.o.g.p.o.i.s.o.n. (Without the dots) if you want to see him calling me out watch lactose tolerant 3 and skip to 33:06 and watch for 2 minutes. If you want to see him detailing the sneaky shit he’s been doing watch tales of a sociopath. If you want to see him call me put subtextually watch his final boss videos, how to get out of being robbed, anything where he’s in the white collared shirt with his hair waved back. The boxer reading is literally just him threatening me. (He’s told me some of this, I figured out some on my own) I’m on borrowed time and I need help.
https://imgur.com/gallery/NN7djBa
submitted by SelfPlugDave to helpme [link] [comments]


2020.09.02 00:06 SelfPlugDave I’m now homeless and my life is at risk

Preface; This is some out of pocket, grade A ridiculous shit and frankly I don’t know what do or wether or not I will survive the coming weeks. There’s a boat-load of context needed so bear with me please. I’ll also post some screenshots with supplementary information to back up my claims.
 
I’m no longer safe in my city. Frankly this all happened on accident and I’ve exhausted every support system I have and all that I can do now is keep running. I live in a dangerous place. A high murder rate that keeps on rising and as a result of my own actions and some incredibly poor luck I’ve now got a target on my back that may never go away. So let’s start at what I !think! is the beginning.
 
I was dating this girl for a few years. It wasn’t bad, or at least I didn’t realize how bad it truly was until it all ended but that’s not really the point. Towards the end of our relationship- while trying to fix things- for a brief moment (a day) we considered a poly amorous relationship. We entertained a girl from our work who (although we didn’t realize she was lying) was at the time moving on from her ex. I didn’t believe the things she said about him which was a mistake on my part. Some of the things that were thrown out there included; diagnosed ASPD, murderer, stalker, psychopath, gang member, etc, etc. I now realize that this had been a setup the whole time and things are getting worse by the day. Long story short he kicked her out and we allowed to her to crash on our couch for a few days before she could get her stuff to her family’s house. (I actually never even saw her at our house but that’s beyond the point.) This may have been a ploy just to get our address but I doubt that, I think she just didn’t feel safe.
 
See with the advent of social media, stalking/tracking has become easier than ever and the individual in question has already admitted to stalking me at the time (when the aforementioned situation was ongoing.) my apartment complex where I was living started putting up signs about suspicious individuals skulking around at night. Despite all of this I was none the wiser to the position I was really in.
 
After my relationship ended (cheating, thanks ally) I started to look for some solace (vagina) and out of nowhere a very hood girl from high school started to hit me up. We hooked up once in the back of her Saturn and then she asked to move in with me. Again I wasn’t paying attention as I’m a little white boy who didn’t know shit about shit and didnt think much of it when she told me she was actually in ms-13 (she was actually part of a different gang but again, beyond the point it’s just another example of me being oblivious.) I was a little unsettled by how interested in me she was becoming so I cut contact relatively quickly and moved onto the next one.
 
Now as I was unknowingly being set up and stalked, I met my next actual girlfriend on accident. I invited a girl who I was facebook friends w over and unfortunately when I went to pick her up my car broke down in my driveway. When I asked her if she could get a ride she actually mentioned asking my stalker BY NAME and I still didn’t get the fucking picture. In the end she asked her friend (my next gf) for a ride to my place and that ended up being my downfall. Her BF at the time came and we all hung out at my place and smoked some, had a good time, and that was the night. Now you might be thinking “so hey when is your life going to be put at risk?” And I promise you we’re getting there. Unfortunately how elaborate the scheme was means I can’t really emphasize the gravity of the situation without all of this context.
 
New girl and me start hanging out every single day (from the first day we met, although she had a bf, we didn’t spend a day apart until we broke up.) I ask her if she’s gang affiliated, she says no. While hanging with her and her man at the time I see some odd symbolism on his wall. Tree of life, roses everywhere, and the interesting fact that he used to be roommates with my stalker (when they lived together with roughly 12 people a body was found in one of their roommates trunks, and that person went to jail and eventually killed themselves.) A few weeks later she broke up with her boyfriend for me out of nowhere and that lead to our relationship.
 
Fast forward a week or two and I help her move out of his house. I ask her new roommate if he’s gang affiliated, he says not anymore but the red symbolism in his house and wardrobe tells me a completely different story. Now low key behind my back she was fucking my stalker, her ex, and her roommate, but honestly right now that’s the last thing on my mind- it’s just another point to be made about the ridiculous level of manipulation I’ve been put under here.
 
Now long story short I met her “step-dad” who ran a trap where gang member would regularly hang out. I know for a fact he is in a gang and multiple times he and the people he was with made large references to gang activity that I let slip my mind, or rather willfully ignored. He made a comment in passing that the area she lived was “hot” with activity but I figured I’d be safe considering my (perceived) relationship w her and those around her and the fact I was keeping my nose clean and focusing on my relationship.
 
Now for the really scary part. I pull up to drop her off at her apartment at roughly 3am. She gets out, goes inside, and that’s that. I turn my head to back out and I see someone walking towards me. It’s someone I’ve seen hanging around before, flashing guns at us while we’re outside, but I’m schizotypal (non-psychosis, just flat affect and general non-social tendencies) and again I didn’t have much of a reaction other than “oh I’ve got these gang people around me I’m probably fine.” I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I look over my shoulder to back up and I see him pull out the same pistol he shook at us before and cock it while staring me dead in the eyes. Whoop fucking whoop. I hit the gas to back and hide in her building until they finally let me in. Keep in my I sent her about 40 messages BEGGING to let me in. BEGGING to save me. No response. Not until 30 minutes later do I hear anything back. One of my friends from out of town actually messaged her roommate and told him to go and unlock the door but he just blocked her.
 
Obviously this left me a little shaken. I didn’t feel safe there anymore but I still wanted to pursue the relationship so the next day I made a plan to drop her off from the side building. It worked one time. The next day I went to do the same thing and there’s a suv blocking the path. I’m in the car with my gf and she’s shaking and freaking the fuck out. We’re arguing, and a white sedan pulls up beside us. I feel my stomach drop because I now realize I’m blocked in from two sides. I hit reverse and whip back the way I came. As I’m leaving the neighborhood I peek out of my side window and the the person in the sedan is lining up a shot at me, this time w a underbarrel flashlight on his pistol. I’m gunning it 50 out of the neighborhood and pull up to the nearest gas station and break down. My gf says “I can’t do this anymore” and flags down a cop car to take her home. I’m too shaken to take her home so I hide in my car laying down. We don’t talk for 3 days until she says she doesn’t want too but for reasons unexplained we need to break up. I’m hurt but I’m more concerned about my safety and I fully understand.
 
I hide out for a few days in my new apartment. See unfortunately I moved to the hood in the center of the city and signed a lease only a week or two before all of this went down. Genuinely the most dangerous area in the city. What a genius right? Now I can’t leave the house without having a panic attack so I decide it’s either the bridge or the hospital for me. I go to turn to jump but at the last second I admit myself to the local psyche ward on the grounds I don’t want to fucking die.
 
I met a lot of people in there that were very nice. I also met a lot more gang members in there who I- thanks to my medication making me significantly more trusting, leads to me giving them my contact information. Yeah, great job Dave. Now I get out and I briefly take a look at my ex stalkers page. I’m confused to the point of panic. See half of my life secrets I told are now his page, layered relatively subtextually but obvious enough to get the message.
 
I’m suspicious. I message him on Snapchat playing a good game of “oh I need some advice” and he acts very buddy buddy. He admits to stalking me in the past and says “oh if I had a problem with you you’d know” but when I call out the cars following me daily with the same plate numbers he makes a thinly veiled threat along the lines of “if you don’t want to die don’t live in the hood.” Okay then. I’m on guard 24/7. I only leave the house when the coast is clear. All of a sudden I remember this guy has an obscure YouTube channel, and i go to check it out. Keep in mind he made a post about his birthday as well, and invited me to come. Telling me multiple times I’d be safe w him. But at the time I was suspicious, so I went and took a peek at his channel. This is where things start to get wild. I go back to when the whole situation started, early June, when he’d been messaging me on fake accounts. Keep in mind my ex is trying to get me to come to her apartment or her stepdads to give her some of her things I still had.
 
Now I find an interesting little podcast on his page where he talks about what I assumed would be the state of the world. I couldn’t have been more fucking wrong. In the video he talks about how he can figure people out by gauging their mannerism and watching them for a few weeks. Followed by this he says me and my exes name verbatim. This throws me into a state of shock. I pull-up more videos of his and find him literally detailing the situations I’ve found myself in, as well as him posting videos about the various murders he’s committed. He talks about how his friend hurt his feelings by simply eating his hot-pocket and he set him up with a girl who had hiv. (I recently found out he was talking about ms-13 girl, thank god I didn’t catch it.) In his next sociopath video he tells how he invited he friend over on a Friday and killed him “on accident” by poisoning him.
 
Now things start to go off. He invites me to his birthday party over Snapchat. My ex’s roommates toxic ex starts messaging me out of the blue and asks if I want to go to the party with her, weird right? I check the information on the post and it’s right down the street from my house, right when I’m supposed to be getting off work. Sounds fishy right? I know he runs with gang members and he’s admitted it on his page. After I say I might come I skip town and stay with my parents for a few days. He goes off grid on his channel but posts taunting messages on his Facebook. He’s also been inviting me to his house saying that I can come over whenever and I’ll be safe with him. My ex has been messaging me saying she can’t divulge but I need to run away and get out of the city and she’s sorry it’s all her fault.
At this point I’ve lost my job because I can’t go into the city anymore. I have nowhere to stay and I’ve been hopping from campground to campground sleeping in my car. I’m living an actual nightmare and I need to get out of the city but I just don’t have the capital or the connections. Ive put my family in danger just staying there. (One of the cars that was following me did a hit an run on my moms car. Same description same plate.)
&nsbp;
TLDR: Got caught up in some gang shit on accident. Been manipulated into a corner and have nowhere to go. I’m on edge, I have to leave or I might literally be killed. I’ve deleted all my social media, discovered fake account rings for gangs to hit unsuspecting individuals, been the target of attempted murder, received countless death threats.) I haven’t told anyone where I’m staying and I’ve disabled location services on everything since I know he’s hacked into at least one of my emails.) WhAt the fuck would you do? Can someone help me? I’m thinking of packing up what I can and being homeless for a while until I can find a new job. I have almost no savings, I’m stuck in a 300/m lease somewhere I can’t go. Help. Also when I mentioned to my ex’s stepdad I got pulled on twice he said “no wayyy” in his usual sarcastic tone which makes me think he either knew or is less than concerned.
 
Honestly at this point I don’t give a fuck. This dudes YouTube channel is .D.o.g.p.o.i.s.o.n. (Without the dots) if you want to see him calling me out watch lactose tolerant 3 and skip to 33:06 and watch for 2 minutes. If you want to see him detailing the sneaky shit he’s been doing watch tales of a sociopath. If you want to see him call me put subtextually watch his final boss videos, how to get out of being robbed, anything where he’s in the white collared shirt with his hair waved back. The boxer reading is literally just him threatening me. (He’s told me some of this, I figured out some on my own) I’m on borrowed time and I need help.
https://imgur.com/gallery/NN7djBa
submitted by SelfPlugDave to Advice [link] [comments]


2020.09.01 23:41 DepravedBlackguard Backed into a corner, nowhere to stay. What would you do?

Preface; This is some out of pocket, grade A ridiculous shit and frankly I don’t know what do or wether or not I will survive the coming weeks. There’s a boat-load of context needed so bear with me please. I’ll also post some screenshots with supplementary information to back up my claims.
 
I’m no longer safe in my city. Frankly this all happened on accident and I’ve exhausted every support system I have and all that I can do now is keep running. I live in a dangerous place. A high murder rate that keeps on rising and as a result of my own actions and some incredibly poor luck I’ve now got a target on my back that may never go away. So let’s start at what I !think! is the beginning.
 
I was dating this girl for a few years. It wasn’t bad, or at least I didn’t realize how bad it truly was until it all ended but that’s not really the point. Towards the end of our relationship- while trying to fix things- for a brief moment (a day) we considered a poly amorous relationship. We entertained a girl from our work who (although we didn’t realize she was lying) was at the time moving on from her ex. I didn’t believe the things she said about him which was a mistake on my part. Some of the things that were thrown out there included; diagnosed ASPD, murderer, stalker, psychopath, gang member, etc, etc. I now realize that this had been a setup the whole time and things are getting worse by the day. Long story short he kicked her out and we allowed to her to crash on our couch for a few days before she could get her stuff to her family’s house. (I actually never even saw her at our house but that’s beyond the point.) This may have been a ploy just to get our address but I doubt that, I think she just didn’t feel safe.
 
See with the advent of social media, stalking/tracking has become easier than ever and the individual in question has already admitted to stalking me at the time (when the aforementioned situation was ongoing.) my apartment complex where I was living started putting up signs about suspicious individuals skulking around at night. Despite all of this I was none the wiser to the position I was really in.
 
After my relationship ended (cheating, thanks ally) I started to look for some solace (vagina) and out of nowhere a very hood girl from high school started to hit me up. We hooked up once in the back of her Saturn and then she asked to move in with me. Again I wasn’t paying attention as I’m a little white boy who didn’t know shit about shit and didnt think much of it when she told me she was actually in ms-13 (she was actually part of a different gang but again, beyond the point it’s just another example of me being oblivious.) I was a little unsettled by how interested in me she was becoming so I cut contact relatively quickly and moved onto the next one.
 
Now as I was unknowingly being set up and stalked, I met my next actual girlfriend on accident. I invited a girl who I was facebook friends w over and unfortunately when I went to pick her up my car broke down in my driveway. When I asked her if she could get a ride she actually mentioned asking my stalker BY NAME and I still didn’t get the fucking picture. In the end she asked her friend (my next gf) for a ride to my place and that ended up being my downfall. Her BF at the time came and we all hung out at my place and smoked some, had a good time, and that was the night. Now you might be thinking “so hey when is your life going to be put at risk?” And I promise you we’re getting there. Unfortunately how elaborate the scheme was means I can’t really emphasize the gravity of the situation without all of this context.
 
New girl and me start hanging out every single day (from the first day we met, although she had a bf, we didn’t spend a day apart until we broke up.) I ask her if she’s gang affiliated, she says no. While hanging with her and her man at the time I see some odd symbolism on his wall. Tree of life, roses everywhere, and the interesting fact that he used to be roommates with my stalker (when they lived together with roughly 12 people a body was found in one of their roommates trunks, and that person went to jail and eventually killed themselves.) A few weeks later she broke up with her boyfriend for me out of nowhere and that lead to our relationship.
 
Fast forward a week or two and I help her move out of his house. I ask her new roommate if he’s gang affiliated, he says not anymore but the red symbolism in his house and wardrobe tells me a completely different story. Now low key behind my back she was fucking my stalker, her ex, and her roommate, but honestly right now that’s the last thing on my mind- it’s just another point to be made about the ridiculous level of manipulation I’ve been put under here.
 
Now long story short I met her “step-dad” who ran a trap where gang member would regularly hang out. I know for a fact he is in a gang and multiple times he and the people he was with made large references to gang activity that I let slip my mind, or rather willfully ignored. He made a comment in passing that the area she lived was “hot” with activity but I figured I’d be safe considering my (perceived) relationship w her and those around her and the fact I was keeping my nose clean and focusing on my relationship.
 
Now for the really scary part. I pull up to drop her off at her apartment at roughly 3am. She gets out, goes inside, and that’s that. I turn my head to back out and I see someone walking towards me. It’s someone I’ve seen hanging around before, flashing guns at us while we’re outside, but I’m schizotypal (non-psychosis, just flat affect and general non-social tendencies) and again I didn’t have much of a reaction other than “oh I’ve got these gang people around me I’m probably fine.” I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I look over my shoulder to back up and I see him pull out the same pistol he shook at us before and cock it while staring me dead in the eyes. Whoop fucking whoop. I hit the gas to back and hide in her building until they finally let me in. Keep in my I sent her about 40 messages BEGGING to let me in. BEGGING to save me. No response. Not until 30 minutes later do I hear anything back. One of my friends from out of town actually messaged her roommate and told him to go and unlock the door but he just blocked her.
 
Obviously this left me a little shaken. I didn’t feel safe there anymore but I still wanted to pursue the relationship so the next day I made a plan to drop her off from the side building. It worked one time. The next day I went to do the same thing and there’s a suv blocking the path. I’m in the car with my gf and she’s shaking and freaking the fuck out. We’re arguing, and a white sedan pulls up beside us. I feel my stomach drop because I now realize I’m blocked in from two sides. I hit reverse and whip back the way I came. As I’m leaving the neighborhood I peek out of my side window and the the person in the sedan is lining up a shot at me, this time w a underbarrel flashlight on his pistol. I’m gunning it 50 out of the neighborhood and pull up to the nearest gas station and break down. My gf says “I can’t do this anymore” and flags down a cop car to take her home. I’m too shaken to take her home so I hide in my car laying down. We don’t talk for 3 days until she says she doesn’t want too but for reasons unexplained we need to break up. I’m hurt but I’m more concerned about my safety and I fully understand.
 
I hide out for a few days in my new apartment. See unfortunately I moved to the hood in the center of the city and signed a lease only a week or two before all of this went down. Genuinely the most dangerous area in the city. What a genius right? Now I can’t leave the house without having a panic attack so I decide it’s either the bridge or the hospital for me. I go to turn to jump but at the last second I admit myself to the local psyche ward on the grounds I don’t want to fucking die.
 
I met a lot of people in there that were very nice. I also met a lot more gang members in there who I- thanks to my medication making me significantly more trusting, leads to me giving them my contact information. Yeah, great job Dave. Now I get out and I briefly take a look at my ex stalkers page. I’m confused to the point of panic. See half of my life secrets I told are now his page, layered relatively subtextually but obvious enough to get the message.
 
I’m suspicious. I message him on Snapchat playing a good game of “oh I need some advice” and he acts very buddy buddy. He admits to stalking me in the past and says “oh if I had a problem with you you’d know” but when I call out the cars following me daily with the same plate numbers he makes a thinly veiled threat along the lines of “if you don’t want to die don’t live in the hood.” Okay then. I’m on guard 24/7. I only leave the house when the coast is clear. All of a sudden I remember this guy has an obscure YouTube channel, and i go to check it out. Keep in mind he made a post about his birthday as well, and invited me to come. Telling me multiple times I’d be safe w him. But at the time I was suspicious, so I went and took a peek at his channel. This is where things start to get wild. I go back to when the whole situation started, early June, when he’d been messaging me on fake accounts. Keep in mind my ex is trying to get me to come to her apartment or her stepdads to give her some of her things I still had.
 
Now I find an interesting little podcast on his page where he talks about what I assumed would be the state of the world. I couldn’t have been more fucking wrong. In the video he talks about how he can figure people out by gauging their mannerism and watching them for a few weeks. Followed by this he says me and my exes name verbatim. This throws me into a state of shock. I pull-up more videos of his and find him literally detailing the situations I’ve found myself in, as well as him posting videos about the various murders he’s committed. He talks about how his friend hurt his feelings by simply eating his hot-pocket and he set him up with a girl who had hiv. (I recently found out he was talking about ms-13 girl, thank god I didn’t catch it.) In his next sociopath video he tells how he invited he friend over on a Friday and killed him “on accident” by poisoning him.
 
Now things start to go off. He invites me to his birthday party over Snapchat. My ex’s roommates toxic ex starts messaging me out of the blue and asks if I want to go to the party with her, weird right? I check the information on the post and it’s right down the street from my house, right when I’m supposed to be getting off work. Sounds fishy right? I know he runs with gang members and he’s admitted it on his page. After I say I might come I skip town and stay with my parents for a few days. He goes off grid on his channel but posts taunting messages on his Facebook. He’s also been inviting me to his house saying that I can come over whenever and I’ll be safe with him. My ex has been messaging me saying she can’t divulge but I need to run away and get out of the city and she’s sorry it’s all her fault.
At this point I’ve lost my job because I can’t go into the city anymore. I have nowhere to stay and I’ve been hopping from campground to campground sleeping in my car. I’m living an actual nightmare and I need to get out of the city but I just don’t have the capital or the connections. Ive put my family in danger just staying there. (One of the cars that was following me did a hit an run on my moms car. Same description same plate.)
&nsbp;
TLDR: Got caught up in some gang shit on accident. Been manipulated into a corner and have nowhere to go. I’m on edge, I have to leave or I might literally be killed. I’ve deleted all my social media, discovered fake account rings for gangs to hit unsuspecting individuals, been the target of attempted murder, received countless death threats.) I haven’t told anyone where I’m staying and I’ve disabled location services on everything since I know he’s hacked into at least one of my emails.) WhAt the fuck would you do? Can someone help me? I’m thinking of packing up what I can and being homeless for a while until I can find a new job. I have almost no savings, I’m stuck in a 300/m lease somewhere I can’t go. Help. Also when I mentioned to my ex’s stepdad I got pulled on twice he said “no wayyy” in his usual sarcastic tone which makes me think he either knew or is less than concerned.
 
Honestly at this point I don’t give a fuck. This dudes YouTube channel is .D.o.g.p.o.i.s.o.n. (Without the dots) if you want to see him calling me out watch lactose tolerant 3 and skip to 33:06 and watch for 2 minutes. If you want to see him detailing the sneaky shit he’s been doing watch tales of a sociopath. If you want to see him call me put subtextually watch his final boss videos, how to get out of being robbed, anything where he’s in the white collared shirt with his hair waved back. The boxer reading is literally just him threatening me. (He’s told me some of this, I figured out some on my own) I’m on borrowed time and I need help.
https://imgur.com/gallery/NN7djBa
submitted by DepravedBlackguard to povertyfinance [link] [comments]


2020.08.30 15:33 jw_mentions /r/TheRedditSymphony - "Weekly Project Update Thread! - Aug. 29, 2020"

I am a bot! Please send NotListeningItsABook a private message with any comments or feedback on how I work.
EDIT: As of Mon Aug 31 06:13:03 UTC 2020, the post is at [26pts2c]

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--- --- Notes
Submission Weekly Project Update Thread! - Aug. 29, 2020
Comments Weekly Project Update Thread! - Aug. 29, 2020
Author AutoModerator
Subreddit /TheRedditSymphony
Posted On Sat Aug 29 06:07:05 UTC 2020
Score 26 as of Mon Aug 31 06:13:03 UTC 2020
Total Comments 20

Post Body:

This is the weekly update thread! Any active projects, both official and community-run should be updated here!
You should reply to individual update-comments to ask questions, or show interest in any parts.
We encourage all community project organizers to comment in this thread with a list of instruments they still need, as well as any other important changes!
Please remember, even if someone has submitted your instrument/part, that doesn't mean you shouldn't also submit!

Related Comments (2):

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Author FluteOfTime
Posted On Sat Aug 29 14:05:43 UTC 2020
Score 6 as of Mon Aug 31 06:13:03 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 2
Body link

CONCERTO D'AMORE (Project Finished) - Check you are credited correctly!

  • Flutes: 3pi1415 [1, 2] · Anne_CZ [1, 2] · covertCharisma [1, 2] · FluteOfTime [2] · Glacier670 [1] · Hopeless Eternity [1, 2] · John L [1]
  • Oboes: oboejdub [1, 2] · That_Oboe [1, 2]
  • Bassoons: T5U99 [1, 2]
  • Clarinets: bukwirm [1, 2, 3] · InsomniaEmperor [3] · joeld9919 [1, 2, 3] · Luchs [1, 2, 3] · RachTw0 [2] · Saxing Engineer [1, 2, 3] · T5U99 [Alto, Contra-Alto] · waluweegee [Bass] · zmand97 [2]
  • Saxophones: 3pi1415 [1, 2] · Hopeless Eternity [1, 2] · marcuszyy [1, 2] · Olive [1, 2, Tenor] · Saxing Engineer [Soprano, Tenor, Baritone] · T5U99 [Soprano] · Tinnitus [Baritone] · TK [1, 2]
  • Trumpets/Cornets: blackdiamand [3] · Derek Gong [1, 2, 3, Eb Cornet] · T5U99 [1, 2, 3]
  • Flugel Horns: Derek Gong [1, 2]
  • French Horns: Max D [1, 2, 3, 4] · theskyfury1 [1, 2, 3, 4]
  • Trombones: Bilbeez [1, 2] · T5U99 [1, 2, 3]
  • Euphoniums/Baritones: Bilbeez [1, 2] · Glacier670 [1, 2]
  • Tubas: relytvn [Double Bass] · TheBaldFish [1, 2] · T5U99 [Double Bass]
  • Timpani: Saxing Engineer
  • Percussion: Benjamin Barham-Wiese [Percussion] · joeld9919 [Glockenspiel] · John Wallar (JYDM) [Drumset] · Saxing Engineer [Glockenspiel, Percussion]

If you have already recorded it but hasn't submitted, I still have the Dropbox link open. If your recording has been lost in the submission process, you can also send it again!

--- --- Notes
Author KestrelGirl
Posted On Sat Aug 29 06:15:32 UTC 2020
Score 4 as of Mon Aug 31 06:13:03 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 0
Body link
MacCunn - The Land of the Mountain and the Flood
I'm back on the Discord. Missed y'all.
Due date is September 21.
I now only really need strings and piatti! All instruments that are crossed out are effectively covered, but I will still take submissions, since there's a bit over three weeks to go, and a few people who committed earlier haven't sent recordings yet. If the covered part you're submitting has a solo, and you are not one of my preexisting volunteers (you know who you are), it's okay to just tacet for marked solos since I already have very strong candidates for almost everything.
Recordings last updated on 8/29.
Woodwinds
  • Flute (1, 2) (x1,x1) (3 more pairs to come, so I'm cool just having those 3 people alongside the one pair that's been submitted.)
  • Oboe (1, 2) (x1,x1) Note: I fixed (another) error in oboe 2 on 8/26. Please redownload as needed. (jdub is excellent and should have solos covered, but it'd be cool to see him get some competition.)
  • Clarinet in A (1, 2) (x3,x3) (More than covered; all three people get solos.)
  • Bassoon (1, 2) (x1,x1) (Two more pairs and a tenor sax bassoon 1 to come - those people can submit and we'll be all good.) Note: I fixed an error in bar 50 of bassoon 2 on 8/30. Please redownload as needed.
Brass
  • Horn in F (1, 2) (x1,x1)
  • Trumpet in C (or D) (1, 2) (x1,x1)
  • Trombone (1, 2, bass) (x1,x1,x1) (Two more possible bass trombones, but otherwise we're all good. The existing trombone submitter did awesome on all 3, but was okay having his bass 'bone recording replaced because he did it on tenor, lol.)
  • Tuba (x1) (One more to come.)
Percussion
  • Timpani (x1, covered)
  • Cymbals (technically x2, but this part is still open)
Strings
  • Currently 4/1/0/5/0 - As of 8/29, I am recording 2nd violin, then 1st. Still no violas or basses.
  • HOWEVER: With all recordings from people who I know will submit, including myself, I'll have 10/10/8/7/1, give or take one of each violin. I've posted on /doublebass to get some more bassists and hopefully fix up that lonely 1 a bit. I would also appreciate some more cellists, because one person (ty Darth) did four of my current five recordings, but heads up that both the cello and bass parts are reasonably difficult and the cellos have divisi.
  • Violin 1 was last updated on 8/14. Cello was last updated on 8/18. Please redownload if necessary.
submitted by jw_mentions to jw_mentions [link] [comments]


2020.08.25 20:34 MikeJesus The birds hate me for what I have done

I have made a powerful enemy.
There’s approximately eighty thousand pigeons that roost within Prague city limits. They roam through the farmer’s markets looking for drops of food, they sit on the Art Noveau windowsills that loom near the city center, every figure of Czech history who has been rewarded with a statue is also rewarded with a pigeon patron who will sit and shit on top of their heads for all eternity. Every inch of the city is filled with those gray birds.
But not today.
As the farmer’s markets get set up the peddlers mumble to themselves about the surprising lack of avian companionship. The twilight commuters look up at the bare windowsills and try to figure out what has changed in the architecture of the city overnight. The layer of droppings on Winston Churchill’s head is at least a day old. This morning, as the city slowly rustles awake to the midi tones of cellphone alarms, the pigeons are gathering outside of the main train station.
They’re here because of me.
The birds hate me for what I have done.
For weeks I have only traveled by night, for weeks I have been avoiding the inevitable, for weeks I had hoped they would simply forget. But they didn’t and I know they won’t. The birds will not let me live freely until I pay for what I have done.
I set out this morning to bring the feud to rest, but as I emerge out of the subway and see what awaits me beyond the Plexiglas windows I get second thoughts. The park outside the automatic doors of the train station has been swallowed up in feathers. From the sea of gray, hateful beads of crimson stare at me. They’re waiting.
There’s two bags filled with Bohemia Bakery croissants in my hands. I can’t control the shaking. I can’t deny the inevitable. As the loudspeakers squawk out announcements of delays in a dozen muffled languages I can’t help but to think about how I got here.
-
There has to be a better word for it than break-up. We were engaged for the better part of a year, sharing a bed for five, dating for seven. A break-up sounds like a cracked plate, a minor inconvenience, something that you shrug off and carry on with your life. What happened between Julia and me was a multi-ton hydrogen bomb.
She said I never introduce her to work friends. So I did. I introduced her to the IT guy who I would occasionally grab beers with after work. She got to know him more intimately than I ever did. Much more intimately.
Suddenly, the person who was my one constant over the past seven years was telling me we could still be friends. Suddenly, the comfortable pad in the center that was affordable from two paychecks was replaced by a five person flat share in the housing projects. Suddenly, I couldn’t show my face in the office anymore.
He set up the remote-work software on my laptop. It took fifteen minutes but that moment dragged on for eternity. He mumbled an apology. My hand tightened into a fist, the uncapped pen on my desk gleamed with sharpness but I remained impotent. He regularly went to the gym. I didn’t.
When he finished the set-up he offered me his hand and without thinking I shook it. I even mumbled a “Thank you.”
I wanted to rip off my tongue and throw it out for the birds to devour.
Working from home was impossible. Not only was I in the midst of a personal cataclysm, but my four roommates had social lives so loud and amorous that they seeped through the paper-thin walls every second of the day. Whenever they brought someone home there was no escape from the echoes of lovemaking. I knew that back in my old apartment, in that cozy flat in the center, Julia was screaming the IT guy’s name. I had been with her for long enough to be able to imagine it all so vividly.
I needed to get out of that house.
-
‘Bohemia Bakery croissants, that’s a good treat right there, brother.’ The voice, followed by a familiar smell of distillates and festering bandages, drags me back into the present moment. Outside, the congregation of pigeons is slowly growing. In front of me, a Prague train station vagrant. ‘Got a lot of those croissants there, brother. Mind helping a hungry fella out?’
He looks like he’s been through a war-zone, his tattered rags the uniform of an army that loses in perpetuity. Beyond the Plexiglas the pigeons stare. I give the homeless man one of the croissants. I do this partially out of human kindness, but mainly in hopes that the pigeons see that I am not a monster, that the pigeons take pity on me.
The sea of beady eyes doesn’t flinch. They don’t care.
‘God bless, brother, God bless,’ the vagrant says as he starts to walk away. He stops. After considering the crowd of pigeons he turns back to me. ‘A lot of pigeons, eh? God bless, brother.’
He sets off towards the doors and I know I should follow him. I know it’s time for me to pay the price for my sins. I know there is no other way to get rid of the birds. But my legs are frozen.
When the homeless man is a couple of steps away from me a dark thought enters my mind. Maybe I can trick the pigeons into taking their revenge on someone else. They’re pigeons, how smart can they be? I open my mouth to yell out to him –
I want to give him another croissant. I want to suggest he take both the bags of offerings. I want to make him the target of the avian hatred.
But before I can vocalize my offer the plan falls apart.
The vagrant walks past the automatic doors into the park outside. The pigeons pay him no mind; he is completely invisible to them. They’re here for me and they’re getting impatient.
As the automatic doors grind to a close three pigeons fly into the station. I reach into my Bohemia Bakery bag and start turning croissants into crumbs between my fingers. The birds are getting restless.
-
Walking into the Bohemia Bakery on Michalská Street and setting up my laptop for a day of excel scrolling was a completely arbitrary decision. There’s hundreds of corporate owned coffee shops in Prague that have stable wi-fi and inoffensive Spotify playlists for ambience. I ended up there completely by accident. Yet as soon as I got settled I knew I wouldn’t be leaving any time soon.
Bohemia Bakery had all the makings of a coffee shop office. The refreshments were cheap enough to be drunk without a second thought, the neighborhood was safe enough to quell any fears about my laptop being stolen and the majority of the customers were locals. I have no qualms with tourists or immigrants, but American clientele does have a tendency to turn their private conversations into public three act plays. The chatter in the coffee shop was limited to complaint-filled grumbles, as is Czech custom.
The good work environment that Bohemia Bakery provided, however, was completely irrelevant to why I kept on coming there day after day. From the moment I saw her my visits to Bohemia Bakery ceased to be work related. I kept on coming back for Bára.
I was in a dark place. Every other morning I woke up to messages that I had sent to Julia in the middle of the night and forgotten about.
“I’m scared I’ll forget the smell of you.” “You’re a scab I can’t stop picking.” “Remember when we made love in the mountains?”
The response was always the same:
“Jesus, Mark, stop sending me these weird messages.”
The texts were desperate attempts to change her mind about moving on. Somewhere, in the depths of my soul, I was still sixteen and believed that one poetic message could turn back the clock on years of a stagnant relationship. I was sick with heartbreak, there was no one out who could make me happy like Julia did. The moment I saw Bára I knew that was a lie.
She made the question “Cash or card?” sound like a line of sensuous poetry pried from the throats of love-struck bards. When she prepared orders she didn’t move like a twenty-year-old barista, she floated behind her counter like a goddess examining the offerings that were being burnt in her temple. That unflattering gray and gold uniform that Bohemia Bakery would force on their employees to wear looked downright erotic on her. God forbid when the milquetoast music the coffee shop had turned to something with an actual beat. If there weren’t any customers Bára would quietly dance.
I tried not to stare. I wasn’t very good at that.
She didn’t mind. The moment when she winked at me I knew I was in love.
I stayed in the coffee shop for much longer than my job demanded. When I was around her all thoughts of Julia seemed absurd. Bára kept on smiling and winking and occasionally she would stick out her pierced tongue at me. After a week of nervously sneaking peeks at the coffee shop Venus I asked her out. After her shift was over we went to sit down in a nearby park.
There are so many parts of that night that have made themselves permanent in my memory; the way her hand slipped into mine before we even reached the park, the smell of cherry blossom and bubble gum that stemmed from her neck, the way her piercing clinked against my nervous teeth, the way she looked up at me when we made love. But none of the memories are as permanent in my head as the words she said when she threw out crumbs of stale croissants to the pigeons that gathered around us in the park.
“Ever looked a pigeon in the eyes? They’re angry creatures. And they talk. Always better to stay on their good side.”
-
Even as those tiny beaks pick at the droplets of dough scattered through the dirty tiles of the train station the pigeons keep their beady eyes locked on me.
There are more than a few of them now. The out-of-towners who come to Prague for work from the countryside are keeping the automatic doors opened wide. For each person that leaves the train station a pigeon sneaks its way in. The people might be leaving for different jobs but the aim of the birds is singular. Their aim is revenge.
An Uber Eats driver waiting for his next order plays a beautiful melody on one of the pianos that the city council has strewn across the city. He stops as I walk by him. The procession of pigeons behind me is impossible to ignore.
People keep on looking at me. I’m sweating. I know what’s coming. I know that there’s only so long that the pigeons are willing to wait for justice. I know how this all ends.
But still, there’s a part of me that wants to ignore the reality of my situation. Out of habit I take out my phone and text Julia.
“There’s a group of pigeons chasing me through the train station. They mean me harm. Help!”
-
Her living situation could have been better. Bára shared her two bedroom flat with three other girls from her hometown. On most nights the only thing that kept our lovemaking sessions out of Bára’s roommate’s eye-line was the sheet we draped from the bookshelf.
She moved out from the countryside with her three bestest friend to go live the crazy, cosmopolitan life out in the capital. I don’t think Bára’s roommate felt very cosmopolitan on the nights I stayed over.
There were also the pigeons. The mattress that Bára slept on was propped up against the window to the balcony and every morning I would wake up to the cooing of sky-rats. They usually managed to catch me about fifteen minutes before my alarm clock went off, and they were a gentler welcome to the waking world than the blaring of midi tones off my phone, but the constant cooing definitely made the Sunday morning cuddles less romantic.
Pigeons and roomates aside, the first couple months of our relationship went smoothly. All thoughts of Julia floated away. I felt no need to send her weird texts or obsess over whether she was still thinking about me. I was just enjoying my Bohemian Bakery beauty.
An old classmate of Bára’s came to visit. She knew all about me, Bára had spent the past couple of weeks preparing this girl to meet her “Super cool boyfriend” and whilst meeting a person who knew more about me than I knew about them would have intimidated me back when I was dating Julia, I didn’t mind by then. I had grown into my role. I didn’t know what made me cool or even what made Bára like me so much, but after months of living in my new, lucky reality I stopped questioning it.
Bára stole a couple of bottles of wine from the bakery and invited me over to get drunk with the rest of the apartment. I had the most minor of moral qualms about Bára’s theft, but after a couple of glasses my dislike of stealing became a purely hypothetical topic rather than an actual source of bother. I listened to the four girls drunkenly tell stories from the countryside.
‘Holy shit,’ Bára’s visiting friend said after the fourth bottle of wine had been drained, ‘We’re the only ones from our graduating class who don’t have any kids yet.’
I laughed. Hard. I was etching towards my early thirties and the thought of producing offspring seemed like something that wouldn’t happen for a long, long time. The idea that somewhere out in the countryside people were getting married at twenty seemed absurd to me.
As I laughed Bára kept her glass pressed to her lips. She drained it, poured another and topped me off in the process. We drank more. The other roommates went out clubbing. I was left alone with Bára and her visiting friend. We drank more. The three of us got drunk enough to lay down on the mattress.
One moment I was splashing water on my face trying to sober up and the next I tasted a kiss drenched in menthol cigarettes and red wine. The tongue that was caressing mine felt different. There was no piercing.
I opened up my eyes in terror realizing that I was not kissing my girlfriend. Bára’s friend looked up at me sheepishly. A familiar hand ran down my back.
‘It’s okay honey, it’s not like we’re married yet, we can share.’
I woke up with a horrible hangover the next day, it felt like my eyes were about to pop out of my skull and take everything I had ever eaten in the past 24 hours along with them, but the two naked bodies next to me assured me that my pain was temporary.
Overall, my life was good. With the help of the gentle cooing from the balcony I went back to sleep.
Then things changed.
We were sitting on the tram riding out to the farmer’s market to grab something to eat. There was a lull in the conversation, the type of lull where you throw out a random observation or a Facebook article headline in hopes of having something to talk about. She mentioned it as if it was the most casual thing in the world, as if it wasn’t a matter of any importance at all.
‘Missed my period three days ago.’
-
I think the lady at the ticket office is calling animal control. There’s a good thirty pigeons behind me now.
I have been mobbed by them before. Back in the early days, before I knew they were after me, they’d chase me while I was going out for groceries, or out drinking. There would always be a confused driver or a subway to help me escape. I have never tried to face the pigeons.
I start making my way towards the doors. This charade has been going on for long enough. I try to trick myself into believing that the pigeons will go easy on me, that they won’t really hurt me.
Yet as I walk towards the automatic doors one of the birds jumps up and pecks at my jeans.
Those beaks are sharp. Sharp enough to give me second thoughts. Sharp enough to make me think that maybe the solution to my qualm with the pigeons is to pack up and move.
I try to think of a country without pigeons, I can’t, but I presume there is one. There has to be one.
Deciding to move my life instead of paying for what I’ve done, I start making my way down into the subway. They follow.
But that’s fine. I convince myself that’s fine. As soon as the subway is about to arrive I can just break into a sprint and hop on. No way all thirty of them can follow me. Worst case scenario I’ll be locked up in a metal tube with two or three angry pigeons. I could take those on if needed.
I have killed pigeons before. Well, theoretically at least.
-
We didn’t talk about it. Well, we did, but not really.
‘Missed my period three days ago.’
‘Oh shit.’
‘Oh, don’t worry.’
‘You sure?’
‘Yeah.’
Then we moved on to talking about something else. For the whole day there was no discussion of Bára’s potential pregnancy, but from the moment that she mentioned it a cold sweat broke over me. Somewhere in the back of my head I started to imagine her as a lifelong partner.
I didn’t like what I saw.
What I once thought of as a face of perfection was now just a disparate collection of sharp facial features with crooked teeth. Her voice, her laugh, it all droned in my ears in a horrible, annoying way.
I tried to remind myself not to be shallow, not to judge the woman who I had been dating for nearly half a year based on her looks. That made the situation significantly worse.
As we were walking around the farmer’s market Bára started eating a sandwich. I knew that she didn’t buy it. I knew that she didn’t bring one. I knew she stole it.
Bára liked to steal shit. I didn’t mind her swiping stuff from the bakery, didn’t have empathy to spare for corporate owned franchises, but Bára stealing stuff from old folks got under my skin.
‘Hey, where did you get that sandwich?’
‘Found it on the floor. Ha-ha!’
She gave me a smile and a wink. I started to miss Julia again.
By the time we got back home the feverish dislike that I was starting to develop for Bára had turned physical. My head throbbed with some horrible strain of the flu that had crept into my system. I considered going home, but Bára assured me that the wave of fatigue I was feeling was just sleep deprivation. All I needed to do was take a nap and I’d be right as rain. I was too tired to argue.
By late afternoon I was fading in and out of consciousness on Bára’s mattress as she piled more and more blankets on top of me.
‘Ah, c’mon, just sweat it out babe. Quit complaining, you’re a real man, aren’t you?’
Her voice cut through my migraine like the stolen cutlery she had in her kitchen. What made the sickness induced delirium so much worse were the pigeons on the balcony. They just kept on cooing. Even as I drifted off into frenzied fever dreams I could sense their dirty, feathered bodies rustling behind the paper-thin walls.
‘What if I actually am pregnant?’ I heard a voice ask out of the darkness. I was far too deep in the sweaty, lethargic limbo to identify the source but through context clues I figured out who was asking. I pretended to be asleep.
‘What if I actually am pregnant?’ Bára asked, again, this time prodding me with her frigid foot.
I let loose a torrent of mucus filled coughs, hoping to dissuade her from trying to talk to me. It didn’t work. Her cold toes ran across my burning abdomen.
‘Mark, what if I actually am pregnant?’ She asked, sweetly.
‘Can we talk about this tomorrow?’ I groaned.
‘Sure,’ she hissed with the intensity of a silenced pistol.
Bára’s roommate was snoring, the pigeons outside were cooing and just as I started to get used to the jarring soundscape of the bedroom Bára started to sob next to me.
I pretended to be asleep, and eventually, I was.
-
I make my way down the stairs to the subway platform with dreams of escape glowing in my heart.
I could grow a shitty beard and live in some cabin in the woods, or lounge around on some exotic beach, or I could be freezing my ass of in the arctic. The only important thing is getting on that subway and riding off to somewhere where there are no flying rats that demand vengeance.
The screeching of metal. Below me, the subway has just arrived. I hold on tight to the railing and start jumping down the stairs two at a time. I’m praying that the doors of the train will stay open long enough for me to make my escape.
Some of the birds stop hopping down the stairs and ascend into flight. The feathers of the pigeons fit right into the metallic gray of the subway station in the worst possible way.
There’s a new mom who doesn’t quite know how to handle a stroller stalling the doors to the subway. I still have a chance, I can still run in and make my escape – but just as I am descending the last three steps towards the platform one of those beady eyed vermin dives straight at me.
I lift my hand off the rail to shoo the pigeon away, shifting my balance. Suddenly, I’m falling. Suddenly, my head crashes against the concrete. Suddenly, I’m back on my feet, running towards the subway, screaming past the burning pain that has materialized in my ankle.
I slam into the closed doors. Everyone on the train stares at me and my bizarre pursuers in horror. Except for the baby. The baby points and giggles and laughs from its carriage as the train slowly rumbles into life and disappears in the dark tunnel.
The next train is coming in eight minutes.
I’m at the edge of the platform and there’s a good fifty pigeons staring at me.
-
‘Jesus, you’re still here?’
I woke up to the sound of Bára’s roommate angrily stomping around the bedroom. My fever was gone, but somehow it had managed to carry me into the late afternoon.
‘It smells like a frigging sex dungeon here dude. Least you could have done was pop open a window.’ She towers over me, eyes filled with disgust, as she cracks open the balcony windows. ‘And you should definitely talk to Bára. It’s none of my business but when she left to work today she was… Gross! Eeew!’
‘Gross?’ I sat up on the mattress. The roommate didn’t look at me, she just kept on staring out of the window. ‘Bára was… gross?’
‘No, you idiot. Look outside. No wonder those birds have been waking us up every morning. There’s a goddamn nest on the balcony.’
As soon as the moist covers slid off me the dizzying stench of sweat overpowered any amount of fresh air coming in from the window. Bára’s roommate jumped back in disgust and with a barrage of comments about how disgusting I am, she left.
Among the discarded plastic bags and cigarette butts there was a roughly picked home of straw. In it there were three little eggs that looked like dirty oversized tic-tacs.
Bára’s roommate pressed a broom into my hand.
‘Go.’
‘Go where?’
‘Go push that shit off the roof. They carry diseases, you know.’
‘Why me?’
‘Why you? Because you’re a frigging man, act like it.’
Memories of the IT guy setting up my remote working software crawled through the back of my head. I grabbed the broom and went out to the balcony, intent on proving my masculinity. All I had to do was just push the nest off into the street below and Bára’s roommate would get off my back.
Yet as soon as I got outside on the terrace I realized I wasn’t alone. On the neighbor’s windowsill, just a meter or two away from the nest, was a pigeon. The bird’s feathers were fuller than any other pigeon that I had ever seen, it’s eyes shone in a blood red, hateful glow. This was no ordinary pigeon.
And it was watching me.
I moved up the broom to the edge of the nest, but my arms froze. Something about that animal’s blank expression was telling me that I was about to take a step into a world from which I could not return, something was telling me that I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life. An ancient, Hammurabi-era truth loomed behind those red orbs.
An eye for an eye, A tooth for a tooth, You harm my young and we will harm yours,
The front door opened. I could hear Bára’s tired voice.
‘Is my man still here?’
‘Yeah, your middle management looking dude is out on the balcony, trying to work up the balls to get rid of a pigeon nest,’ I heard her roommate say.
The passive aggressive insult didn’t even register with me. I was lost in the showdown with the pigeon. Those eyes meant business, and that beak looked sharp enough to break the skin.
I could pick up the nest and take it outside, I could put it in a tree, I could google how to deal with this situation, there were so many things that I could have done but, before I knew it, there was a pair of cold hands wrapped around the broom. Bára pressed her body against mine and before I knew it the broom did its job.
The pigeon’s eyes went wide. Like a paper airplane covered in gravel the nest tumbled down into the street with the gentlest crunch. Within seconds it went from being a bastion of blossoming life to being some leash-less dog’s dinner.
‘Come inside. We need to talk.’ No kiss. She was angry.
The pigeon’s eyes were still locked on the crushed eggs running over the pavement. A wave of self-loathing washed through my chest. It was time for an apology.
I cleared my throat. The pigeon’s eyes quickly darted back to me. That wide-eyed expression of shock quickly faded away. The balls of red that dwelled in the creature’s skull turned into focused, hate-filled dots.
“Look, I’m so-“
The bird launched at my tongue.
-
My avian predicament catches the attention of a group of Chinese tourists gathered on the other side of the platform. For a split second the shuttering of cameras rises above the cooing, but as the pigeons get closer the clicks and flashes became imperceptible static.
The pigeons have me cornered. I’ve started throwing the croissants from Bohemia Bakery at them wholesale, but for every pigeon I distract there are five more that are thirsty for blood. They’re thirsty for revenge.
The birds hate me for what I have done.
With my back up against a map of the Prague subway system I look up at the ‘Next arrival’ board. The red numbers glare: five minutes thirty-six seconds and counting.
I fire off another text to Julia:
The birds will punish me for what I have done.”
I look out into the sea of gray and see a familiar set of red dots. The bird who’s children I killed leads the march.
I don’t have five minutes. I don’t even have thirty-six seconds.
Wings flutter, the birds take flight. With closed eyes I pray that my punishment will be swift.
It isn’t.
My skin burns with blood as the razor beaks bite into me. My hands barely cover my eyes as the pigeons try to claw at my face. They drag at my hair, they tear at my clothes, they peck at my jeans.
My agony reaches incomprehensible heights. With each bite of flesh they take, however, a sliver of my consciousness fades away. Before the pigeons get to the worst part of their punishment, I black out.
-
We sat in her kitchen; me, pressing a packet of frozen peas to my tongue and her, nursing a cigarette lit off the stove. Smoke drifted from her nostrils as if she was a passive-aggressive dragon.
‘Thanku, don’t kno wha got into that brd.’ My numb, bleeding tongue didn’t get my point across very eloquently but Bára understood what I meant. Those hazel eyes burrowed into me, watching every twitch in my face.
‘Not pregnant,’ she finally said, ‘Had my period this morning.’
‘Tha’s grea!’ I yelled, sending a trickle of iron into my mouth. I grinned. That was the first good news I heard all day.
She wasn’t smiling.
‘What if I actually was pregnant?’ She took a drag and looked away from me. Whatever nuanced reaction my face made wasn’t to her liking.
The conversation dragged on into eternity and at each turn I said the wrong things. Even if my mouth wasn’t slowly filling up with blood, even if my tongue didn’t have a beak-imposed lisp, I don’t think I could have salvaged that relationship.
I didn’t notice the bird at first, but as soon as I became aware of him it was impossible to fully focus on what Bára was saying. Right behind her, with my blood on his beak, was my red-eyed enemy. Soon friends joined him. The longer Bara and me spoke, the bigger our audience got.
Those beady eyes burnt with hatred.
I left the apartment, newly single, with blood in my mouth and a toothbrush in my pocket, and started making my way towards the bus station. I was about to fire off a text to Julia to let her know I was still in love with her but before I could unblock her number-
Peck!
Something small and sharp snapped at my scalp. The flock of enraged pigeons descended me from the windowsills of the Soviet-era housing projects. If there wasn’t a subway station nearby I probably would have lost an eye.
At first I had hoped that the assault from the pigeons was simply a rare occurrence of an angry parent, yet they followed me everywhere. For months I lived my life in fear, desperately hoping that they would tire of chasing me, but it became clear that the birds would not leave me alone.
They wouldn’t leave me alone until I paid the price.
-
I keep staring out of the window. This makes the doctor visibly uncomfortable. He tells me about how my body was rushed into surgery, about how there is a good chance I have contracted a fair amount of diseases, about all of the permanent damage that the pigeons had inflicted on me, but I just keep looking out of the window.
I had an educated guess on the extent of the pigeon’s revenge.
An eye for an eye, A tooth for a tooth, You harm my young and I will harm yours,
The doctor eventually gives up on trying to elicit a reaction out of me and leaves me alone in my room. And I am alone. The windowsill is empty. The pigeons have had their revenge.
I breathe out a sigh of pained relief.
Ding!
I get a text from someone who makes my heart flutter.
I look back at the conversation.
ME – 5:16AM: “There’s a group of pigeons chasing me through the main train station. They mean me harm. Help!” ME – 5:24AM: “The Birds will punish me for what I have done.” JULIA – 7:02PM: “What???”
In the stillness of the hospital room I type out my reply, my explanation. As soon as my scarred thumbs punch the words into reality a weight is lifted off my chest. A chapter of my life has ended. I am free now.
Ding!
ME – 7:02PM: “It’s okay. The pigeons have punished me for my misdeeds. I am scarred and will never be able to have children, but I am a free man. I love you.” JULIA – 7:03PM: “Jesus Mark, stop sending me these messages.”
submitted by MikeJesus to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.08.25 05:14 Orpherischt Monolith

This document is an attempt at an executive summary of my activity here - in essence, an attempt to answer the question:
'what is this and what are you doing here?'
I have written multiple essays and posts that attempt to introduce the topics at hand from various perspectives and directions - this is the latest foray.
It is 4am local time where I am at the moment, so I don't intend to complete this piece now. It, as with others like the Spellbinder tutorial (still not complete) will grow over some days as my attention allows. The initial component will be relatively short and to the point.
The focus on this forum began and remains the study of language and meaning, and the potential of 'hidden' semantics lurking beneath the lexicon of English (primarily) and those languages that contributed to it's development. This hypothesized hidden meaning or meanings being encoded via gematria (ie. alphabetic numerology), in tandem with other facets of language such as etymology, metaphor, allegory, innuendo, and word-plays such as vowel-shifting, and consonantal roots and their drift.
The title of this piece, Monolith, hints at my overarching primary theory: that at it's core, Language carries a singular root of 'truth' - that there is a hidden message, or protocol, or understanding, lurking within the lexicon, to be found by those willing to delve for it.
Call it hubris if you will, but I believe that what is dubbed 'the Holy Grail' and/or the 'Philosopher's stone', is that message, and it is not to be found within this or that Cathedral catacomb, or Temple shrine, or forgotten tomb, but is continually being passed around - unwitting - from speaker to listener, and from writer to reader, all the time, every day.
I suspect that while indeed the words and structure of any language carries an outer meaning, understood by all those familiar with it, and which allows them to achieve their everyday tasks, and communicate their practical intentions and desires - that the language is also a carrier signal, upon which this 'grail' or 'alchemical stone' is transmitted.
I see, in the canonical catchphrase, 'read between the lines', or the ostensibly rhetorical question 'what is in a name?', clues to this possibility.
I was prompted to write this article because of this headline:
https://science.slashdot.org/story/20/08/24/1959234/a-tiny-space-rock-holds-clues-about-the-evolution-of-life
A Tiny Space Rock Holds Clues About the Evolution of Life
... which caused me, upon reading it, to smile to myself, because it chimes nicely with the notions I have about this research and my hypotheses thereof.
If you've been reading along here for a while, you know I've been working with the Arthurian myth as a touchstone (and I don't use the word 'touchstone' lightly). A key component of the Arthurian tales is the notion of the True King pulling the Sword from the Stone, and I've documented many times that (in alphabetic gematria):
...and that...
The Greek word for alphanumeric encipherment is 'isopsephy', which has at it's etymological root the notion of the 'pebble', the counting stone.
Meanwhile, the like Hebrew tradition is called 'gematria', which has been interpreted multiple ways (which I've dealt with in many other writings), but contains, naively, the word 'gem' (ie. crystal / stone / rock ).
A rock is a crystal matrix... and the 'matrix code' of The Matrix films refers to a world built in code.
So - what is a Monolith?
Most people, hearing that term, will likely picture the great black slab from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Many are familiar with the notion that the appearance of this monolith, in terms of the film, acted as an evolutionary primer - that it's appearance to the apes of long ago began the movement towards increasing intelligence and beginnings of tool-wielding, and thus technology itself. It may be viewed as an analogy of the Promethean Fire given to man.
The first appearance of the Monolith began the mental journey of the Ape towards the 'unnatural' - removing him from a purely animal state and leading to the flowering of the abilities of examination and 'new application' of the environment and it's contents.
The second appearance of the monolith, in 'modern times' continues this evolution, and takes technology-wielding man to the next level, ultimately leading to the enigmatic 'starchild'.
One might argue that the first appearance, that to the Apes, required nothing more than simple fact of the monolith itself appearing to the observing creatures. For the first time, they saw a 'crafted thing', square, perfect, and 'not of this world' (ie. something unexpected and unlikely and completely out of their experience). Arguably, no other impetus was necessary - no sound, strange mind-control frequency, or such like, was needed to begin the first phase. The simple appearance of something made, and not grown or fundamental (such as the ground upon which they walked) was enough to provoke 'using' and 'making'.
The second appearance of the monolith, to modern technological man, featured a deafening high pitched sound that touched the hearts and minds of those present (or perhaps one alone, and specifically, to the quick).
This additional impetus was necessary because man, at the technological level, was already familiar with cubic forms and 'crafted things'.
Reviewing the headline linked above, and asking a question of the lexicon via perhaps some of the most important (relatively) well-known ciphers:
A Tiny Space Rock Holds Clues About the Evolution of Life
Q: what kind of rock?
"A Space Rock" = 303 jewish-latin-agrippa
This is a match, in what I deem is perhaps the major cipher we might use to access this 'code' (at least within English), for:
...and which happen to match:
Ideas are transferred from mind to mind via words and symbols. Some ideas are more viral than others, but they spread like a virus all the same.
See this post from a while back called 'The Language Virus', based on a song from the 80's called 'Language is a Virus'.
It also matches:
... which is a figure of speech. When I say that the lake is smooth as glass, I have created a simile. I have described something by relating it to something else.
The simile is closely related to the metaphor and the allegory - the metaphor being slightly more obtuse or 'poetic', we might say, compared to the simile, but which nonetheless relates one thing to another for descriptive purposes.
Numerologically-speaking, the number 303 is an avatar of 33.
... which is the most naive possible cipher we might construct.
Every word (ie. spell) in the lexicon of a language is a name - a title given to some thing, or some action or some relationship. All names encode meaning.
The human spine, the core of the skeletal scaffolding of a person, has 33 vertebrae.
The study of meaning is the study of...
ie. another code-33, which includes a trailing circle.
The circle is used, in the 'modern' sphere to represent the letter O, or the zero. The word zero, if you look it up, has close connections with the word 'cipher'. I personally take the appearance of a zero as representing a sigil of the circle. It implies the encipherment of 'that which goes in circles' - like disorganized (or perhaps very organized) conversation or argument.
...
So, what is the definition of the word 'monolith'?
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/monolith
Borrowed from French monolithe, from Latin monolithus (“consisting of a single stone”), from Ancient Greek μονόλιθος (monólithos), from μόνος (mónos, “single, alone”) + λίθος (líthos, “stone”); synchronically, mono- +‎ -lith.
A single stone.
I argue, a philosopher's stone. A stone containing a sword, named Excalibur (ie. X-calibrate)
"Sword" is an anagram (ie. contains the same letters, swizzled) of "words", and as mentioned elsewhere, when speaking mythologically, the finest swords undoubtedly come with magic runes running down the blade, and sometimes a gem or two is embedded in the hilt or pommel.
The word 'lith' (ie. lit, stone) glitters within the words 'literature' and 'light'. A prism is a crystal that refracts light into a spectrum of colours and tones.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithograph
The word 'tones' is an anagram of 'stone' - and also of 'notes' (and this art of anagrams, I deem, is a major component, amongst others, of the spell-play required to decode the hypothesized hidden message).
Mono implies One... One Stone. One Message. One hidden signal. The singularity.
...and...
...while...
Thus, while not being the only avenue of research here, perhaps the most important to me is that of attempting to decode a single notion, concept, idea or protocol underlying all language.
You might have heard of the following terms:
These are various names for 'cryptolects' or 'secret languages', hidden means of communication or of conveying ideas.
Some people might consider subsets of that list above to be separate things - and indeed, they may very well refer to different techniques or understandings of certain practitioners - but I argue they should all be grouped together as ultimately constituting the shards of a single crystal.
The Dark Crystal, to be particular - an occult gem. (*)
You might be familiar with the ideas spoken of in the Bible, regarding the Tower of Babylon ( or Babel ), the fall of which is synonymous with the 'confusion of tongues' when God splintered the languages of mankind in order that they not achieve feats beyond their station.
This theme was taken up in the 2016 film Arrival (also a major touchstone in my own studies) in which 12 alien spaceships appear over different countries of the world (in 'modern' times), and gift humanity with 12 separate pieces of a singular geometric language, written in the form of Ouroboros-like circles (reminiscent, it must be said with the Corona of the sun, the Halo after which the Coronavirus is named). It is then up to the nations of earth to overcome their differences and work together to put the puzzle together. It turns out that learning the language of the aliens modifies the human brain such that it begins to perceive time differently, and the main character, the lead linguist of the story, gains the ability to view the future and the past simultaneously. (*)
You've probably heard the phrase, "speaking in circles".
The idea of the intentionally splintered language, to me, is a clue that we have to look beyond just English alone as the substrate of the hypothesized message - and this naturally implies examining the etymological roots of all languages.
It is a theory of mine that many 'sci-fi' movies set in the future or near-future, are allegories of things that happened already long ago - for example, the film Avatar, I believe is a retelling of the Garden of Eden story, and of the 'fallen angels' and of the 'sullying of mankind' (the main character is named Sully, after all). The giant trees represent the Cedars of Lebanon, and a key component in that story is the ability of the natives to commune via organic hivemind.
Similarly, I suspect that the film Arrival is telling us that our own languages are already thus-encoded - that the 'arrival', has already happened, and that there is a message, or a treasure to be found therein.
Anyway - these avenues perhaps read as overly-fanciful notions to be chasing, and it is not my thesis, or intention, or hope to gain time-viewing abilities or create a hive-mind (though I would not necessarily be against such possibilities, nor do I discount them entirely) - but nonetheless - I suspect that something is there to be found - and I believe that it is within language that it is most likely to be found.
Here is the cover of a book, of which I own a copy. It's title is:
The Alphabet: A Key to the History of Mankind
I take that title very seriously, in ways that most people will not.
I have come across statements by other esoteric investigators, to which I generally agree, that the root of all occultism, all alchemy, all witchery and other forms of mystical arts, is to do with, A) the 'nature of the world', and B) the 'nature of man' (ie. biology and the mind).
One particular lens through which I've done much examination of the alphabet codes is that of the Cycle of Life - the notion of a procreation code: an 'instruction set for Adams and Eves', as it were - and this has borne much fruit (ha!).
Many people are familiar with the "matrix code" of the Matrix films, though they are unaware that the original Latin word 'matrix' means pregnant female. If you rewatch the film with that knowledge - all sorts of symbolism makes much more sense.
In key alphabetic ciphers:
...and having a baby involves dealing - more so than usual - with ...
What is it that fertilizes the grazing grounds of the cattle, and enables the growth of the next generation?
That said, naughty innuendo I suspect to be a major key, enabling access to the central biological aspects of the coded message.
... while pluralizing...
These two numbers, read as years AD, will be a familiar to many. The Great Fire of London occurred in 1666, while the founding of the United States of America, which I argue is simply Amor-ica (ie. the Land(ing) of Love), happened in 1776.
1776 was also the year the historically-acknowledge Bavarian Illuminati was founded by Adam Weishaupt.
We note that:
The cycle of life involves death, obviously, and that is another aspect which I suspect the codes have lots to say about, but being mostly averse to the morbid, I've not strayed too far down that road. Other investigators of alphabetic codes spend a lot of time examining the possible ritual deaths of celebrities and politicians with regards to planned alphabetic assassination (or perhaps the faking of death to assume new identities). Much of this material is interesting and intriguing, but hardly, I think, the core message of the Monolith.
Monolith @ One Writing
So - this document will expand - like a pregnant woman, laden with meaning - but I hope that so far it provides the beginnings of a means to interpret my usual, much more confusing and number-laden writings.
Thanks for reading.
PS. I intentionally waited to 3:14 am UTC to post this piece, since it represents pi, symbolic of the mathematics of the circle, which is perhaps one of the major gateway notions to understanding what is going on with language.
It is perhaps an enigma machine, each word consisting of a set of cogs that can be rotated. Shift a vowel here, drift a consonant there, and you have a new word - but perhaps, I'd argue, one entirely related to the original - one leaf on the tree of language is related to the others nearby - and ultimately all those leaves sit upon branches which coalesce down to a single trunk and a deep tap root.
PPS:
  • "Space Rock" = 711 trigonal 1331 squares
  • ... .. .. ... .. .. ( "The Writings" = 1331 trigonal )
When I see the word 'space', my mind goes often to 'speculation'...
The number 711, as I've written elsewhere is - due to the oddities of the Gregorian calendar - synonymous with 911, since these days, September is the 9th month, but it's name (and history) tells us that it was once the 7th month. ie. September is the 7-ember: the fire of 7. Moreover one might see the duality of fire and shadow, since we might read September as 7-umber. In the same fashion we can read the word 'number' itself as "n-umber", or "in-umber" (ie. in shadow). The numbers are hidden in the shade of the letters.
The calendar also provides what we might read as clues (and certainly provides 'ritual leeway') in that the date written 9/11 in the US is written 11/9 in most other places, and...
  • "The Mirror" = 119 in the reverse alphabetic cipher.
What do you get if you read 119 backwards?
  • "Church" = 911 squares
  • ... "Society" = 911 trigonal
  • "Countdown to the Garden of Eden" = 911 primes ( "Coronavirus Conspiracy" = 911 primes )
You might have heard the Bible quote:
On this rock I will build my church.
The word 'rock' is built upon the consonantal root RK (think: rook @ chess castle), which if you reverse it, gives you KR (ie. Kore or Core).
ie. the root of things.
  • "The Root" = "Tradition" = "Accurate" = "Count" = 393 jewish-latin-agrippa ( = "Regular" )
  • ... ( "Accountancy" = "Survive" = 393 primes )
  • ... .. .. ( "The Symbol" = 393 primes )
  • "The Starchild" = 393 primes
Of the space rock:
A Tiny Space Rock Holds Clues About the Evolution of Life
Using the definite article (ie. 'the'):
  • "The Tiny Space Rock" = 617 primes
  • ... ( "The Official Narrative" = 617 primes )
  • ... .. ( "Textbook" = 617 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. .. ( "Recommendation" = 617 english-extended )
Back in 2012, a team of Japanese and Belgian researchers in Antarctica found a golf ball-sized space rock resting in the snow. Now, NASA astronauts have had a chance to study a piece of that meteorite, Asuka 12236, and they say it may hold new clues about the development of life.
The number 12236 contains centrally, the number 223.
[...] meteorite, Asuka 12236, and they say it may hold new clues about the development of life.
  • "Development of Life" = 555 primes
  • ... ( "The Great Symbol" = 555 primes )
  • ... .. ( "The Turn of Time" = 555 primes )
...and not forgetting:
  • "Entertainment" = 555 jewish-latin-agrippa
Surely you are aware of how all the Hollywood movies use phone numbers beginning with 555?
... ( see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/555_(telephone_number) )
If we simplify the spell, 'the development of life' closer to it's core components, we have:
  • "Life Development" = 919 english-extended
  • ... ( "Great Pattern" = 919 english-extended )
... which is an inversion, in the same cipher, of ...
  • "The Secret" = "Pattern" = 616 english-extended
  • .... ( "Perfect Number" = 616 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. .. ( "Number" = "The Law" = 616 trigonal )
  • ... .. .. .. ( "Garden of Eden" = 616 trigonal )
  • ... .. .. .. ... ( "The Key Principles" = 616 primes )
The number 616 might be the original Biblical 'Number of the Beast', known to most as the familiar number 666 - since the oldest known papyrus snippet of the original text contains the former number. (*)
Again:
[...] meteorite, Asuka 12236, and they say it may hold new clues about the development of life.
Note that the word 'development' contains the particle 'Eve'.
In terms of the name of the space rock - without augmentation by 'A' (as used earlier in this document), we get:
  • "Asuka" = 302 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • "Space Rock" = 302 jewish-latin-agrippa
The number 32 is that of..
  • "Life" = "Eve" = 32 basic alphabetic ( Life @ File )
So... good evening to you, and a welcome sonrise.
Örpherischt
Extra notes:
Rotating the enigma machine - quoting from my Spellbinder tutorial:
You may have heard of the Great Vowel Shift:
This 'event' represents a major historical change in the use of vowels within the English Language, but I prefer to view it as a clue, indicative of an ongoing tradition of vowel shifting as a component of the 'Green Language' (arguably another name for the Language of the Birds, an esoteric tradition of understanding and using language to hide double-meaning).
Hence, one takes a word or phrase, and removes the vowels, experimenting with replacing them with other vowels, and seeing what new words appear:
  • Bird @ BRD @ Brooding @ Bearded @ Bard @ Bride @ Breed @ Bread
Then one can perform consonantal drift (of which perhaps continental drift is a metaphor):
  • Bird @ BRD @ [ D is a voiced T ] @ BRT @ Bright @ Bart @ Breitbart
One important such example:
  • Church @ ChRCh @ [ Ch hardens to K ] @ KRK @ Kerk @ Crack @ CRK @ GRG @ Gorge @ Greg-orian
Or another example combining vowel and consonant rotation:
  • Snake @ SNK @ Sneak @ Snack @ Sink @ [ K is an unvoiced G ] @ [ silencing of G ] @ Sing @ Singe
Links and Reference:
One cannot be ... told.. what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself
Here is a recent attempt at a document that may aid people in beginning the journey of examining the ideas of 'spell-casting'.
Here is my oldest and original attempt at an introduction to the topic.
Here is a short essay on interpreting 'numeric loadings' found within words and phrases, and here is another slightly longer one.
Here is my second major attempt at an introduction.
Here is yet another (when meaning is circular, and when we talk in circles, there is no obvious starting point)
Here is another attempt at discussing the 'reading of the code'.
Here is an essay about the possible 'intentions' behind the code, presuming they exist.
Here is a collation of various theories and thoughts about how the alphabetic codes might have been constructed, or the thoughts that might have been on the minds of the original hypothetical architects (perhaps a bit complicated as a starting point)
Here is one of a number of poems I wrote wherein each line has at least two 'loaded' numbers' encoding into it - to prove that everyday human beings are capable of such feats.
Here is an index to all my pages dedicated to specific numbers.
Here is the contents page of my wiki.
Here is a disclaimer to the arts of spell-casting and interpretation.
Space Rock @ Special Rock @ ONE Special Rock...
  • "1 Special Rock" = 343 primes
  • "A=1 Special Rock" = 393 english-extended 333 jewish-latin-agrippa 345 primes
The three numbers, 333, 343 and 393 ( along with 474 and 747) are, to me, some of the most important keys (outside of the obvious ones like 123, or 1234, 666, 777, or 911 etc).
Monolith @ MNLTh @ "Moonlight" = 314 jewish-latin-agrippa 345 primes
  • "The Moonlights" = "The Moon's Light" = 777 english-extended
The golden ratio, accurate to three decimal places, is 1.618...
  • "The Moonchild" = 1,618 squares
Links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHWs3c3YNs4
2001: A Space Odyssey, black monolith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSo6s_xrj4c
2001: A Space Odyssey :: Meaning of the Monolith Revealed
submitted by Orpherischt to GeometersOfHistory [link] [comments]


2020.08.24 20:31 Spin_Liquid Unofficial 2020 TIFF OFFSALE List

********** UPDATED *************
With TIFF365 Members purchasing today most in person screenings are already offsale.
***********************************
Lots of screenings going OFFSALE today with Contributors Circle buying tickets. I will try and keep this list as up to date as possible.
**********************************
After the first day of ticket sales, lots of movies go OFFSALE including some digital screenings. Let me know if I missed any or if there are any errors between this post and the tiffr account as well.
**********************************
https://tiff.net/available-tickets
It looks like TIFF has already put in place their official availabilty list. I will still keep an eye on the comments here and any other crowd sourced information, but I suggest people check the official TIFF availablity list.
**********************************

TIFF 2020 will look very different than previous iterations of the festival. There will still be in-person screenings and drive-in screenings. Digital at-home screenings will also be available in limited quantities. I don't know if this post will be of any use since there are no ticket package redemptions, but since there still is a tiered system for ticket purchasing and limited quantities, I thought I would still maintain this thread. I will update this list with any comments posted to this thread as well as any info posted in the comments of tifftalk.blogspot.com. If tiffr.com goes online for 2020, I will keep an updated offsale list on there as well.
https://2020.tiffr.com/schedules/tiff_offsale
*** There is currently a problem with tiffr.com where digital screenings aren't listed properly. I will add them to the offsale list when the problem is fixed.

UNOFFICIAL TIFF 2020 OFFSALE SCREENINGS

THU SEPT 10
ENEMIES OF THE STATE - 3:00 PM TBLB4
NIGHT OF THE KINGS - 3:00 PM TBLB2
GAZA MON AMOR - 4:400 PM TBLB1
UNDER THE OPEN SKY - 7:00 PM TBLB2
SPRING BLOSSOM - 7:00 PM TBLB4
NO ORDINARY MAN - 8:00 PM TBLB1
DAVID BYRNE'S AMERICAN UTOPIA - 9:00 OpenAir OP
GET THE HELL OUT - 11:45 PM TBLB1
GET THE HELL OUT - 11:59 PM TBLB2

FRI SEPT 11
FALLING - 4:30 PM TBLB1
THE DISCIPLE - 4:45 PM TBLB2
THE DISCIPLE - 5:00 PM TBLB4
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI - 7:45 PM DRIVE-IN CV
AMMONITE - 9:15 PM TBL1
NOMADLAND - 9:15 PM DRIVE-IN OP
AMMONITE - 9:30 PM TBL2
BEGINNING - 9:30 PM TBLB4

SAT SEPT 12
PIECES OF A WOMAN - 12:00 PM TBLB1
LIMBO - 12:00 PM TBLB2
PENGUIN BLOOM - 12:30 PM TBLB4
INCONVENIENT INDIAN - 4:45 PM TBLB1
LIFT LIKE A GIRL - 5:00 PM TBLB4
INCONVENIENT INDIAN - 5:15 PM TBLB2
AMMONITE - 6:00 PM DIGITAL
BRUISED - 6:00 PM DIGITAL
ANOTHER ROUND - 9:00 PM TBLB1
ANOTHER ROUND - 9:15 PM TBLB2
VIOLATION - 9:30 PM TBLB2
PREPARATIONS TO BE TOGETHER FOR AN UNKNOWN PERIOD OF TIME - 9:30 PM TBLB4
I CARE A LOT - 9:30 PM DRIVE-IN OP

SUN SEPT 13
ANOTHER ROUND - 12:00 PM TBLB4
BEANS - 12:00 PM TBLB1
BEANS - 12:30 PM TBLB2
THE DISCIPLE - 4:30 PM TBLB1
QUO VADIS, AIDA? - 4:30 PM TBLB4
FALLING - 4:45 PM TBLB2
THE NEW CORPORATION: THE UNFORUNATELY NECESSARY SEQUEL - 9:00 PM OpenAir OP
CONCRETE COWBOY - 9:00 PM TBLB1
NIGHT OF THE KINGS - 9:00 PM TBLB4

MON SEPT 14
AMMONITE - 12:30 PM TBLB1
180 RULE - 12:30 PM TBLB4
76 DAYS - 5:00 PM TBLB1
76 DAYS - 5:15 PM TBLB4
VIOLATION - 9:00 PM TBLB1
NO ORDINARY MAN - 9:00 PM OpenAir OP
GOOD JOE BELL - 9:15 PM TBLB4

TUES SEPT 15
TRICKSTER - 12:30 PM TBLB1
THE BEST IS YET TO COME - 4:30 PM TBLB1
MLK/FBI - 5:00 PM TBLB2
MLK/FBI - 5:15 PM TBLB4
NOTTURNO - 9:00 PM TBLB1
NEW ORDER - 9:15 PM TBLB2
NEW ORDER - 9:30 PM TBLB4

WED SEPT 16
THE NEW CORPORATION: THE UNFORUNATELY NECESSARY SEQUEL - 11:30 AM TBLB1
BANDAR BAND - 12:30 PM TBLB4
TRUE MOTHERS - 3:45 PM TBLB1
TRUE MOTHERS - 4:00 PM TBLB2
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI - 4:30 PM TBLB4
FAUNA - 9:15PM TBLB2
NEW ORDER - 9:15 PM TBLB4

THURS SEPT 17
SHIVA BABY - 12:00 PM TBLB1
TRUE MOTHERS - 12:00 PM TBLB4
INCONVENIENT INDIAN - 5:00 PM TBLB2
PENGUIN BLOOM - 8:30 PM TBLB1
PENGUIN BLOOM - 9:00 PM TBLB2
SUMMER OF 85 - 9:15 PM TBLB4

FRI SEPT 18
WILDFIRE - 12:00 PM TBLB2
PREPARATIONS TO BE TOGETHER FOR AN UNKNOWN PERIOD OF TIME - 12:00 PM TBLB4
MLK/FBI - 4:30 PM TBLB1
THE BEST IS YET TO COME - 4:30 PM TBLB4
PIECES OF A WOMAN - 9:00 PM TBLB1

SAT SEPT 19
ANOTHER ROUND - 12:00 PM TBLB4
GAZA MON AMOR - 4:30 PM TBLB4
GOOD JOE BELL - 8:00 PM TBLB1
CONCRETE COWBOY - 9:00 PM TBLB4
submitted by Spin_Liquid to TIFF [link] [comments]


2020.08.21 18:10 PetitIdeomondeDosei A (more or less) brief presentation of jeinai

Hello, there!
Soooo as a lot of people are presenting their conlangs here, I thought of doing it too. I decided to begin with jeinai because it's one of my most complex projects. In fact it is DESIGNED to be complex (exactly like another one, called drithgalish). I'm not going to say a BIG lot of things here, because I'd like to keep it as brief as I can, but I'll try to put the essentials.With that said, I think we can jump right into it, with the phonology!

I. Phonology


Bilab. L-den. Dent. Alveo. Retro. Palat. Velar Uvul. Glott.
Nasal m n (ɳ)
Stop p b t (ʈ) d (ɖ) k g hʼ (ʔ)
Fricat. f v ṡ (s) ż (z) s (ʂ) z (ʐ) r (ʁ) h
Trill pp (ʙ̥) bb (ʙ) rr (r)
Lat. Ap. l
Ejecti. tʼ (ʈʼ)
Clicks ṁ (ʘ) ṭ (ǀ) q (ǃ) ḳ (ǁ) c (ǂ)

Front Back
Close ı (i) ıı (iː) ı̤ (i̤) ı̤ı̤ (i̤ː) y (ɯ) yy (ɯː) ÿ (ɯ̤) ÿÿ (ɯ̤ː) u uu (uː) ṳ ṳṳ (ṳː)
Close-mid ȯ (ø) ȯȯ (øː) ȯ̤ (ø̤) ȯ̤ȯ̤ (ø̤ː)
Open-mid e (ɛ) ee (ɛː) e̤ (ɛ̤) e̤e̤ (ɛ̤ː) o (ɔ̃) oo (ɔ̃ː) o̤ (ɔ̤̃) o̤o̤ (ɔ̤̃ː)
Open a aa (aː) a̤ a̤a̤ (a̤ː) ȧ (ã) ȧȧ (ãː) ȧ̤ (ã̤) ȧ̤ȧ̤ (ã̤ː)

II. Grammatical Cases

Jeinai's nouns are ranked in a total of 16 declensions (Divine (4 forms), Spiritual (5 forms), Mortal, 1st Inanimate (2 sub-forms), 2nd inanimate, Fallen (3 forms)), each separated in 44 cases. They are:

III. Brief Conjugation

In fact, I'm just going to introduce briefly all the tenses. It would be too long to show them precisely.
Finally we're done with all these tenses! I suppose you understand why I said it would be to long to introduce conjugation more precisely ;o;
We're almost done with this post! Just two sentences I translated a few weeks ago now:

IV. Two Sentences

Here are two sentences I took from songs I like. (Don't hesitate to send me sentences from your favorite songs in the comments, so I can translate them in jeinai too!):



WOW! Did you REALLY read everything??? Thank you so much!!! Have a nice day/evening, and happy conlanging!
EDIT: Retroflex and alveolar fricatives have been modified after an advice from Pelokdog. You can find his account here. Thank you, again, Pelokdog! ^^
submitted by PetitIdeomondeDosei to conlangs [link] [comments]


2020.08.08 18:43 Test_bank_Solutions Gloria Solutions manual( SOLUTIONS MANUAL+ TEST BANKS 2020-2021)

Gloria Solutions manual( SOLUTIONS MANUAL+ TEST BANKS 2020-2021)

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Analysis with an Introduction to Proof, 5th Edition Steven R. Lay, Instructor’s Solutions Manual
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2020.07.28 20:02 Gutza Zece argumente să-ți ștergi conturile pe rețele sociale chiar acum (cartea)

Zece argumente să-ți ștergi conturile pe rețele sociale chiar acum (cartea)
Ieri am terminat de citit cartea lui Jason Lanier Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now – dar îmi abandonasem deja contul de Facebook și renunțasem la WhatsApp încă în vreme ce o citeam. Cartea nu e nici prea nouă, nici prea veche: a fost publicată în 2018 și este recomandată de atât de WIRED (All-Time Favorite Book) cât și de Financial Times (Best Book of 2018).
Până să ajung la povestioara pe care vreau s-o spun din carte aș vrea să vă vorbesc un pic despre vibe. Mi-a plăcut foarte mult ethos-ul lui Lanier. Tipul e un nerd punkist, după cum se vede din poza asta, însă e genul de om care s-a învârtit toată viața în jurul computerelor și în mediul din Sillicon Valley. Lanier are acum 60 de ani (da, exact, în poza de dedesubt avea spre 50), iar în 1983 s-a angajat la Atari, este considerat unul dintre fondatorii realității virtuale, în 2000 se învârtea pe la Silicon Graphics, iar din 2006 lucrează la Microsoft.
Jason Lanier, 2009 (sursa: Wikipedia)
Mi-a plăcut mult faptul că autorul e tipul ăsta și nu vreun jurnalist sau scriitor umanist care își dă cu părerea din punctul de vedere „uman”, „social” sau „antropologic” dar nu pricepe mai nimic din domeniul tehnic. Tipul ăsta e fix invers: vine exact din zona super tehnică, a fost el personal implicat în pionieratul tehnologiei și Internetului, se cunoaște personal cu oameni înfipți adânc în industrie (vorbește deseori despre asta în carte) – și nu îi face de ocară. If anything, dimpotrivă: toată cartea îți vorbește cu căldură despre oamenii din Silicon Valley, despre tehnologie și despre idealismul care i-a mânat în luptă.
No, acum că v-am oferit un pic de background, hai să vă zic povestea pe care am venit de fapt s-o spun. O iau de la zero, așa că pentru unii dintre voi începutul va fi un pic plictisitor, însă promit că până la coadă e interesant.
Imaginează-ți că ai un business precum Facebook. Ai toți banii din lume și ai acces la cei mai buni programatori din lume. Ce faci cu banii și programatorii ăștia? Încerci să maximizezi numărul de reclame vândute către clienții afacerii tale – ceea ce e totuna cu a maximiza timpul pe care-l petrec utilizatorii pe platformă. Dacă utilizatorii ies după 20 de secunde n-ai timp să arăți prea multe reclame, deci nu vinzi prea multe vizualizări/click-uri, deci nu câștigi bani. Deja avem o mică revelație, cu toate că în 2020 e deja destul de fumată: (1) clienții Facebook sunt advertiserii, iar produsul comercializat de platformă sunt utilizatorii ca mine și ca tine.
Bun, deci vrei să maximizezi timpul pe care-l petrec utilizatorii pe site. Cum faci asta? Răspunsul intuitiv este că te asiguri că «X» – unde X poate fi „conținutul e interesant” sau „te conectezi cu prietenii” sau orice altceva găsești intuitiv. Însă abordarea asta scapă din vedere câteva detalii esențiale: ai acces la cei mai buni programatori din lume care pot face A/B testing în timp real cu miliarde de postări pe miliarde de utilizatori. În momentul în care ai la dispoziție o masă atât de mare de conținut și utilizatori devine foarte repede clar că nu mai este omenește posibil să imaginezi vreun algoritm care să impună judecăți de valoare asupra conținutului.
Singura cale pentru maximizarea timpului petrecut pe site este implementarea celui mai performant sistem automat posibil de A/B testing în timp real. Or prin definiție cel mai performant sistem automat de A/B testing va trebui să țină cont de cât mai multă istorie a utilizatorului. Facebook este notoriu pentru cantitatea uriașă de date pe care o colectează despre fiecare utilizator – platforma știe ce postări ai văzut, la ce oră, cât timp ai zăbovit pe fiecare postare, unde te aflai atunci când ai văzut postarea, dacă ai dat like și/sau ai comentat, precum și ce ai făcut după ce ai văzut postarea respectivă – oare postarea anterioară te-a afectat în așa fel încât să petreci mai mult timp pe postarea următoare? Să dai click pe ea? Like? Comment? Ai sărit peste ea? Ce utilizator similar cu tine a dat click pe reclama la detergentul Ariel atunci când tu nu ai dat click? Ce văzuse el înainte de Ariel? Ce ai văzut tu înainte de Ariel? Ce ar putea învăța sistemul din comparația asta în așa fel încât pe viitor să crească rata de vizualizare și de click pe reclama la Ariel?
Și cu asta ajungem la următoarele două revelații. (2) Din punctul de vedere al platformei, utilizatorul este un black box căruia îi controlează atât datele de intrare cât și datele de ieșire. Platforma știe ce conținut ai primit (data in) și știe cum ai reacționat la el (data out). În fiecare secundă petrecută pe Facebook, participi fără să știi la un micro-experiment care învață platforma despre reacțiile tale și o condiționează să-și schimbe comportamentul în funcție de diversele fațete ale personalității tale, în așa fel încât în următorul micro-experiment din secunda următoare să primești conținut care să-ți mențină interesul.
Următoarea revelație este că (3) nu e nimeni de vină. Tot sistemul ăsta e construit de oameni pe care nu ai niciun motiv să-i consideri de rea credință. Nu există nimic intrinsec rău în sistem – el doar se adaptează cât poate de bine la felul tău de a reacționa la stimuli, în așa fel încât să maximizeze timpul pe care-l petreci pe platformă și să maximizeze timpul pe care-l petreci citind reclame și să maximizeze frecvența cu care dai click pe reclame. Voi reveni la subiect, însă acum era momentul de punctat.
Am văzut că din punctul de vedere al algoritmilor, utilizatorii sunt black boxes. Însă din punctul de vedere al meu și al tău, noi avem acces la studii psihologice făcute înainte să apară vreun Facebook pe lumea asta, așa că avem câteva insights în aceste cutii negre. Dacă tu și cu mine stăm de vorbă la o cafea și eu îți povestesc că în Amsterdam e o expoziție de lalele ai să fii, sper, politicos – probabil ai să spui „ce drăguț!” – și aici se cam termină implicarea ta. Dacă tu și cu mine stăm de vorbă la o cafea și eu îți povestesc că în Amsterdam un violator a ucis zece copii atunci e mai probabil că vom avea un subiect de conversație – ne revoltăm amândoi, tu îți amintești de dementul ălalalt din Austria, eu compar cu cretinul din Vaslui și tot așa. Știrile negative sunt mult mai engaging decât cele pozitive. Nu contează dacă ne place sau nu că așa stau lucrurile – așa e construit psihicul uman.
Ei bine, având acest insight în psihologia umană, ce crezi că învață platforma despre utilizatorii ei? Exact: nimic. Algoritmul nu știe că postarea X conține un mesaj pozitiv și postarea Y conține un mesaj negativ. Algoritmul constată că din punct de vedere statistic, oamenii tind să închidă Facebook după ce văd postarea X și tind nu închid Facebook după ce văd postarea Y. Algoritmul nu știe – și nu are de ce să știe – că tu ești plictisit când vezi postarea cu lalelele și nici că fierbi de draci când vezi postarea cu violatorul. Algoritmul este prin definiție inuman, amoral și rece. El știe doar că trebuie să manipuleze acest black box în așa fel încât să nu-l piardă de la postarea asta până la următoarea.
Cu asta ajungem la următoarele două revelații. (4) Algoritmul prioritizează postările negative. El nu „știe” că sunt negative – de altfel însăși ideea că un algoritm ar putea oferi judecăți de valoare în privința naturii unei postări este un nonsens. Algoritmul exploatează natura umană așa cum e ea – dacă noi am fi condiționați să preferăm știri despre lalele în defavoarea știrilor despre violuri atunci algoritmul ne-ar servi numai știri despre lalele.
Pe de altă parte, oamenii nu preferă știri despre violuri știrilor despre lalele. Oamenii sunt niște maimuțe mai deștepte, însă avem în continuare condiționările unui mamifer social nevoit să supraviețuiască în savana africană. Nu ne plac mai mult știrile despre violuri, însă ne interesează mai mult, dacă suntem puși să alegem o știre în defavoarea alteia. Știrea despre lalele este percepută de neocortex drept „ceva drăguț”, în vreme ce știrea despre violuri este percepută la nivel visceral drept „ceva periculos”.
Un algoritm înțelept ar crea un mix de știri, însă Facebook nu-și permite să facă asta. (5) Algoritmul judecă totul pe termen scurt. Nu contează cât de rău îți face avalanșa de știri negative, important e să stai lipit de mobil cât de mult timp posibil acum. Da, posibil că pe termen lung dai în depresie, însă algoritmii Facebook observă și asta și îți oferă reclame cu terapeuți chiar înainte ca tu să știi că urmează să treci printr-o pasă proastă. Win-win pentru Facebook – a vândut și Ariel când erai bine dispus, vinde și terapie acum că te-a pus în cap.
Revenind la carte, pentru mine punctele (2)-(5) au fost niște revelații majore. Mi se pare o ironie absolut incredibilă că niște algoritmi care operează la un nivel atât de superficial pot exploata natura creierului uman la un nivel atât de profund – și anume într-un sens atât de profund negativ. (Da, sunt conștient că algoritmii Facebook sunt departe de a fi superficiali – nu mă refeream la complexitatea lor, ci la lipsa de ambiție a creatorilor lor de a străpunge profunzimea psihicului omenesc.)
Toată povestea asta a mea, lungă pentru o postare pe Reddit, este doar una dintre fațetele pe care le exprimă Lanier în carte. Sunt mult mai multe, mult mai bine explicate și mult mai insightful. Dar, mai presus de orice, toate sunt povestite într-un fel cald și uman, cu empatie sinceră în privința oamenilor care au dezvoltat tehnologiile astea.
Vă încurajez sincer să citiți cartea. Nu e o carte substanțială, o terminați într-un weekend; curge bine și e plăcut de citit. Și, pentru că tot vorbeam despre psihicul uman, cea mai bună veste e că eu nu câștig niciun cent nici dacă o cumperi, nici dacă n-o cumperi.
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2020.07.17 16:29 Hamsterthedestroyer why do you follow me, oh btw here's the script of Shrek in Italian

Shrek
Scena 1
Narratore C’era una volta una Principessa bellissima, vittima però di un tremendo incantesimo che poteva essere spezzato solo dal primo bacio d’amore. Era rinchiusa in un castello, sorvegliato da un terribile drago sputafuoco. Molti cavalieri coraggiosi avevano tentato di liberarla da quella prigione, ma senza successo. Ella attendeva nella fortezza del dragone, nella stanza più remota della torre più alta il suo vero amore e il suo primo bacio di vero amore….
Shrek Si! Aspetta e spera! Che bella storia….
Gente1 E’ lì dentro. Prendiamolo
Gente2 Fermo: lo sai cosa può farti quel essere? Ti trita le ossa e ci fa il pane….
Shrek In verità gli orchi fanno cose peggiori: fanno un abito con la vostra pelle appena scuoiata, vi affettano il fegato, strizzano la gelatina dai vostri occhi….in effetti è squisita sui toast….
Gente1 Indietro, indietro bestia….
Shrek Ahhhhhh…….
Gente Ahhhhhh….…
Shrek A questo punto dovreste scappare…. Ricercate creature delle favole?
Guardia 1 I voli sono cancellati…. 20 pezzi per la strega…. Avanti un altro.
Ciuchino Non mi consegnare. Non sarò mai più testardo. Dammi un’altra possibilità…
Padrona Stai zitto!
Guardia 1 Cosa abbiamo qui?
Geppetto Un burattino di legno.
Pinocchio Non sono un burattino: sono un ragazzo vero!
Guardia 1 5 scellini per il giocattolo indemoniato, portatelo via…… avanti il prossimo. Che cosa avete?
Padrona Ecco, io ho un mulo parlante….
Guardia 1 Vale 10 scellini, se potete provarlo…….. ebbene?
Padrona Su, parla piccoletto….. Parla, zuccone ignorante….(Da un calcio al mulo)
Ciuchino Ahi! Ebbene si. Ma non mi prenderete, brutti idioti…. (Fugge inseguito)
Guardia 2 Inseguiamolo……(Appena le guardi vedono Shrek fuggono). Ehi, tu, orco…!
Shrek Si?
Guardia 2 Per ordine di Lord Farquad sono autorizzato a trarvi entrambe in arresto e a portarvi ….
Shrek Tu e….quale esercito?
Ciuchino Posso dirti una cosa? Sei stato una vera forza!
Shrek Stai dicendo a me?
Ciuchino Come gliele hai suonate… mi ha fatto davvero piacere vederlo….. ahhh, che bello essere liberi!
Shrek Allora perché non vai a festeggiare la libertà con i tuoi amici?
Ciuchino Ma …. Io non ce li ho gli amici! E non mi sogno di andar la da solo. Ehi, ho una idea: resterò con te. Sei una stupenda macchina da guerra verde.
Shrek Ahhhhhhhhhh
Ciuchino Oh, mamma mia, che spavento. Ma sai, se questa cosa non funzionasse li stenderesti lo stesso. Dammi retta: ti serve una scatola di mentine perché hai l’alito che puzza!!! Mi hai quasi bruciato i peli del naso…. Come quella volta che ho mangiato delle bacche marce. Quel giorno il mio sedere sparava gas a tutto spiano….
Shrek Perché continui seguirmi?
Ciuchino Adesso te lo spiego: io son tutto solo, i guai han preso il volo, mi sfottono soltanto……ma ci sono gli amici…..
Shrek Smettila di cantare! Non mi meraviglia che non hai nessun amico. Ascolta, piccolo ciuco, guardami bene: che cosa sono?
Ciuchino Ehhhh….un pennellone?
Shrek No! Sono un orco! Questo non ti disturba?
Ciuchino No, bello!
Shrek Davvero?
Ciuchino Davvero davvero. Come ti chiami?
Shrek Ehhhh…. Shrek
Ciuchino Shrek? Sai cosa mi piace di te? Quell’aria di non m’importa di cosa gli altri pensano di me…. Ma guarda la… chi vorrebbe vivere in un posto come quello?
Shrek Quello è il posto in cui vivo!
Ciuchino Oh! Ma è delizioso, una meraviglia. Sai, sei un grande arredatore. Stupefacente, date le tue modeste finanze. Non sei uno molto socievole, vero?
Shrek Mi piace la mia intimità!
Ciuchino Sai, anche a me. Questa è un’altra cosa che abbiamo in comune. Odio quando hai qualcuno tra i piedi. Speri che capisca ma non se ne va e piomba un grande silenzio imbarazzante…….. Posso restare con te?
Shrek Cosa?
Ciuchino Posso restare con te, per favore?
Shrek Naturalmente!
Ciuchino Davvero?
Shrek No!
Ciuchino Ti prego. Non voglio tornare li. Non sai cosa vuol dire essere considerati un mostro! Beh, forse lo sai. Ma perciò dobbiamo stare assieme. Tu devi farmi restare. Ti prego, ti prego
Shrek D’accordo, d’accordo, ma per una notte sola.
Ciuchino Grazie, sarà uno spasso, faremo notte fonda, ci scambieremo storielle da uomini e, quando sarà mattina, cucinerò…..ciambelle! Dov’è che dormo?
Shrek La fuori!
Ciuchino Ah…. Credo sia giusto. Io non conosco te, tu non conosci me…. La fuori penso che sia meglio…. Ci vado… buonanotte. Poi mi piace stare all’aperto, sono nato all’aperto
Scena 2
Shrek Ti avevo detto di startene la fuori!
Ciuchino Io sono qua fuori!
Shrek Ma chi c’è qua? Ehi, voi, cosa ci fate in casa mia? Andatevene subito! Coraggio. Forza, aria, andatevene dalla mia palude! Pussa via…..
Ciuchino Non guardare me, non li ho invitati io!
Pinocchio Non ci ha invitati nessuno! Siamo stati costretti a venire. Da Lord Farquad, ha firmato ingiunzione di sfratto…
Shrek E va bene, chi sa dirmi questo Farquad dove si trova?
Ciuchino Oh io! Io lo so dov’è!
Shrek Non è che qualcun altro sa dove trovarlo? Nessuno nessuno?
Ciuchino Io, io…. Ehi, scegli me, io, io
Shrek D’accordo, bene… attenzione voi, cosi delle favole. Non spaparanzatevi! Il vostro soggiorno è scaduto. Andrò a trovare questo Farquad all’istante e vi farò sloggiare dalla mia terra e tornare da dove siete venuti. (Urla di gioia dei personaggi)Tu, tu verrai con me.
Ciuchino E andiamo, questa è musica per le mie orecchie: Shrek e Ciuchino, due impavidi amici in una travolgente avventura in città. Mi piace…… Sulla strada ancora…. Impaziente di stare…… Sulla strada ancora….
Shrek Cosa ti ho detto riguardo al cantare?
Ciuchino Posso fischiare?
Shrek No
Ciuchino Posso canticchiare?
Shrek E sia…… a bocca chiusa!
Lord Farquad Vai vai vai, il più veloce che sai. Son Pan di Zenzero e acchiapparmi non potrai!... Ah, ah, ah… sei un mostro, tu e quella feccia di personaggi che sta avvelenando il mio mondo perfetto! Ora dimmi dove sono gli altri.
Zenzero Inzuppami!
Lord Farquad Ora la mia pazienza ha raggiunto il limite. Dimmelo o….
Zenzero No, i bottoni no. Non i miei bottoni gommosi. Parlerò. Tu conosci l’uomo focaccina…?
Guardia1 Mio signore, l’abbiamo trovato!
Lord Farquad Che cosa aspettate? Allora portatelo qui! …….. Specchio magico….
Zenzero Non dirgli niente!
Lord Farquad Zitto!.... sera… Specchio, specchio delle mie brame, non è forse questo il più perfetto di ogni reame?
Specchio Beh, tecnicamente non sei Re…
Lord Farquad Ah…. Guardia…. Dicevi?
Specchio Quello che intendo è che non sei re, ancora! Ma puoi diventarlo: devi solo sposare una principessa
Lord Farquad Continua
Specchio Allora, siediti e mettiti comodo, mio signore.. perché è il momento, questo, di conoscere le migliori scapolottine. Eccole qua! La scapolottina numero uno è una reclusa mentalmente plagiata di un regno molto molto lontano, le piacciono il sushi e l’idromassaggio a volontà. I suoi hobby, cucinare e rassettare per le sue due sorelle cattive. Signore e signori, Cene-rentola. La scapolottine numero due è una ragazza con la mantellina del paese delle favole. Anche se vive con sette uomini non è una ragazza allegra. Basta baciare le sue labbra morte e congelate per scoprire che si scalda subito. Coraggio, un bell’applauso per Bianca-neve. E infine, ma non meno importante, la scapolottine numero tre. È una rossa focosa che un drago sorveglia in un castello circondato da lava bollente. Ma questo non deve raffreddarti. È una bomba a cui piace la pigna colada e ballare la lambada. A te, per essere salvata, la principessa Fiona! Allora, quale scegli? La numero uno, la numero due o la numero tre? Confusione
Lord Farquad Va bene, la numero tre!
Specchio Lord Farquad, hai scelto la Principessa Fiona….
Lord Farquad Principessa Fiona, è perfetta. Devo solo trovare qualcuno che possa andare….
Specchio Devo solo dirvi di una cosina che accade di notte…
Lord Farquad Silenzio! Faro di questa Principessa Fiona la mia regina e Duloc avrà finalmente il perfetto re. Capitano raduni gli uomini migliori: noi daremo luogo ad un torneo d’armi.
Scena 3
Ciuchino Eccola, eccola li. Quella lì è Duloc. Te l’ho detto che la trovavo.
Shrek Allora, quello dev’essere il castello di Lord Farquad. Così alto, pensi serva a compensare qualcos’altro?............. entriamo…….. C’è calma, troppa calma. Dove sono gli abitanti?
Ciuchino Ehi, guarda lì. Per informazioni, tirare Canzoncina
Shrek Non azzardarti a canticchiarla o ti sculaccio!
Lord Farquad Questo campione avrà l’onore…. No,no… avrà il privilegio di partire per salvare la bellissima Principessa Fiona dall’infuocata fortezza del drago. Se, per qualche motivo il vincitore non avrà successo, il secondo arrivato prenderà il suo posto. E così via… alcuni potranno morire, ma è un sacrificio che sono pronto a fare. Che il torneo abbia inizio! …… cos’è quell’affare? È rivoltante!
Shrek Non siete molto gentile! È solo un ciuchino!
Lord Farquad Cavalieri ascoltate: colui che ucciderà l’orco verrà nominato campione. Prendetelo!
Shrek Non possiamo sistemare tutto con una bevuta? No? Allora si comincia! Battaglia
Lord Farquad Popolo di Duloc, il nostro campione! Congratulazione orco, hai vinto l’onore di imbarcarti in una nobile e grande impresa.
Shrek Impresa? Sto già affrontando un impresa. L’impresa di riavere la mia palude! La palude dove voi avete scaricato le creature delle favole.
Lord Farquad D’accordo orco, facciamo un patto. Affronta quest’impresa per me e riavrai la tua palude esattamente com’era. Fino all’ultimo limaccioso fungo ad ombrello!
Shrek Che tipo d’impresa? Chiude sipario
Ciuchino Dunque fammi capire bene: lotterai contro un drago e salverai una principessa solo per farti ridare da Farquad la tua palude dove non vivi da solo perché lui te l’ha riempita di fenomeni da baraccone. È proprio così?
Shrek Sai una cosa? Forse c’è un buon motivo per cui gli asini non parlano.
Ciuchino Avresti potuto sfoggiare il tuo repertorio, tritare un po’ di ossa per farci il pane…..sai, i soliti trucchi da orco…
Shrek Oh, so io cosa. Magari avrei potuto decapitare un intero villaggio, mettere le teste su un palo, prendere un coltello, squartargli le milze e bere i loro fluidi…. Così ti va a genio?
Ciuchino Eh…. No. Non direi…. No
Shrek Per tua informazione, gli orchi hanno dentro molte più cose di quanto tu creda.
Ciuchino Per esempio?
Shrek Per esempio….. gli orchi sono come le cipolle!
Ciuchino Puzzano?
Shrek Si…no!
Ciuchino Ti fanno piangere?
Shrek No
Ciuchino Ah… le lasci al sole, diventano marroni e poi spuntano i peletti bianchi?
Shrek Nooo! Strati, le cipolle hanno gli strati. Gli orchi hanno gli strati, le cipolle hanno gli strati! Capito? Tutti e due abbiamo gli strati.
Ciuchino Sai, non a tutti piacciono le cipolle… Torte! A tutti piacciono le torte! Anche le torte hanno gli strati!
Shrek Non mi interessa che cosa piace a tutti! Gli orchi non sono come le torte.
Ciuchino Sai cos’altro piace a tutti? Le lasagne! Hai mai conosciuto qualcuno a cui dici “Ehi, prendiamo le lasagne” e lui risponde “Non mi piacciono le lasagne”….
Shrek No! Ottusa e irritante bestia da soma in miniatura. Gli orchi sono come le cipolle. Fine della storia. Baci-baci!
Ciuchino Mmmm … le lasagne sono forse la cosa più deliziosa di questo accidenti di mondo… Ehi, hai un fazzoletto, anche di carta? Sto facendo un macello… basta la parola lasagne per farmi sbavare….
Ciuchino Uhhh, Shrek, sei stato tu? Amico, dovresti avvertire prima di spararne una, avevo la bocca aperta qui dietro.
Shrek Credimi ciuchino, se fossi stato io….saresti morto! Questo è zolfo, dovremmo esserci quasi… eccolo lì. Forza ciuchino, andiamo.
Ciuchino Sai quando dicevi che gli orchi hanno gli strati? Beh, ti faccio una confessione. Gli asini sudano le sette camice dalla paura!
Shrek Su, non mi dire che hai paura di un po’ di lava incandescente, un passettino minuscolo alla volta. Continua a muoverti e non guardare giù.
Ciuchino Continua a muoverti e non guardare giù….. Shrek, ho guardato giù! Voglio tornare indietro!
Shrek Ma ormai siamo a metà strada!
Ciuchino Si, ma so che quella metà è sicura!
Shrek E se faccio così, hai paura?
Ciuchino No ti prego Shrek, non fare così… Ohhh!
Shrek Molto bravo, Ciuchino, molto bravo.
Ciuchino Fico! Dov’è questa rottura di scatole con l’alito di fuoco?
Shrek Dentro, attende che noi la salviamo.
Ciuchino Parlavo del drago, Shrek!..... Hai paura? Perché avere paura con un drago in circolazione, che si pappa i cavalieri e arrostisce i loro destrieri…..
Shrek Fa silenzio. Ora va di la e vedi se trovi le scale…
Ciuchino Scale? Non cercavamo la principessa…?
Shrek La principessa sarà in cima alle scale, nella stanza più remota della torre più alta.
Ciuchino Come fai ad esserne sicuro?
Shrek L’ho letto in un libro una volta.
Ciuchino Ci sto. Tu pensa al drago, io penso alle scale. Ahh le trovo quelle scale, gli faccio il sederino rosso. Ehh si, dopo non sapranno più dove portano. ….. Le riduco a chiocciola….. Si sa, la vita è fatta a scale, c’è chi scende e c’è chi sale. Io le ho sempre salite. Vorrei avere un gradino qui ora, ci salirei sopra….. Ahhhhhh, Il dragooooo! …… Oh che denti lunghi che hai! Volevo dire, che denti abbaglianti! Lo so, te lo diranno tutti quelli che ti mangi, ma… sicuramente te li sbianchi perché non ho mai visto un sorriso così sfavillante e non è che sento una freschezza alla menta? E…. sai un’altra cosa? Sei…. Sei… un drago femmina! Perché tu trasudi bellezza femminile e … bella vorrei restare ma sono, sono….. Shrek, Shrek ....
Shrek Svegliati, sei tu la principessa Fiona?
Fiona Si, infatti. In attesa di un cavaliere così valoroso che possa salvarmi
Shrek Che cosa carina… ora andiamo!
Fiona Ma, essendo questo il nostro primo incontro, non dovrebbe essere un momento meravigliosamente romantico?
Shrek Si….! Scusa piccola, non c’è tempo. Andiamo a prendere il mio asino.
Fiona Un ciuco? Ma che razza di cavaliere siete voi? E non potreste recitarmi una poesia epica? Una ballata? Posso almeno sapere il nome del mio campione?
Shrek Shrek
Fiona Sir Shrek, vi prego di accettare questo omaggio in segno della mia gratitudine.
Shrek Grazie…
Fiona Ma non avete ucciso il drago?
Shrek E’ sulla mia lista delle cose da fare
Fiona Ma non è la procedura! Dovete affrontarlo, spada sguainata, vessillo al vento. Così hanno fatto gli altri cavalieri.
Shrek Si, prima di essere inceneriti
Ciuchino Penso bisognerà conoscersi bene prima…. Sai, io sono all’antica…… Siii, non voglio tuffarmi in….un rapporto fisico! Non sono pronto per un impegno di tale rilevanza. Prima dobbiamo cercare di conoscerci, magari come amici….
Shrek Scappa Ciuchino, a lui ci penso io…
Ciuchino Salve principessa
Fiona Ma lui parla!
Shrek Si. Il difficile è farlo stare zitto!
Scena 4
Fiona Ce l’avete fatta, mi avete salvata! Siete straordinario, siete meraviglioso , siete…….un tantino poco ortodosso, lo ammetto. Ma…. Il vostro gesto è grande, vi sarò eternamente riconoscente…… e dove andrebbe un audace cavaliere senza il suo nobile destriero. Potete togliervi l’elmo mio nobile cavaliere?
Shrek Ehmm.. no…
Fiona Perché no? E poi, come farete a baciarmi?
Shrek Cosa? Non c’era nel programma di lavoro!
Ciuchino Forse una gratifica?
Fiona No, è il destino! Vi avranno detto come va la storia: una principessa, chiusa in una torre e assalita da un drago, viene salvata da un audace cavaliere. E poi si scambiano il primo bacio di vero amore…
Shrek Con Shrek? Ferma ferma, per te Shrek è il vero amore?
Fiona Ecco… Si!
Shrek e Ciuchino ridono
Fiona Toglietevi quell’elmo! Subito!
Shrek Va bene, va bene. Calma, ai tuoi ordini, altezza.
Fiona Sei,…. Sei… un orco…
Shrek Ohhhh, ti aspettavi il principe azzurro, vero? Principessa, sono stato mandato a salvarti da Lord Farquad, chiaro? È lui quello che vuole sposarti!
Lord Farquad E perché non è venuto lui a salvarmi?
Shrek Ottima domanda, dovresti chiederglielo quando arriviamo lì.
Fiona Ma io dovevo essere salvata dal mio vero amore. Non da un orco e dal suo animaletto!
Ciuchino E tanti cari saluti al nobile destriero…
Shrek Senti, principessa, mi stai complicando il lavoro…
Fiona Puoi dire a Lord Farquad che se egli vuole salvarmi come si deve, attenderò il suo arrivo. Seduta qui!
Shrek Ehi, io non porto i messaggi a nessuno. Io faccio le consegne e basta!
Fiona Non oseresti….! Mettimi giù, o ne pagherai le conseguenze! Non è dignitoso, mettimi giù!
Ciuchino Allora, ecco un’altra domanda: tu sconfinferi ad una femmina ma lei non ti piace in quel“modo”. Come la smonti con gentilezza senza ferire i suoi sentimenti e senza finire croccante e pappato?
Fiona Basta che tu le dica che non è il tuo vero amore. Tutti lo sanno quello che accade quando uno incontra il vero amore… e il mio futuro sposo, Lord Farquad, come è fatto?
Shrek Beh, mettiamola così, principessa, di uomini della …. statura di Farquad si è….a corto, ormai!
Ciuchino Non lo so Shrek, c’è chi ha di lui una…bassa opinione!
Fiona Smettetela tutti e due! Siete soltanto invidiosi. Non potrete mai misurarvi con un grande condottiero come Lord Farquad.
Shrek Già, forse hai ragione. Ma prenderai tu le…misure quando lo vedrai, domani.
Fiona Domani? Voglio trovare un luogo per accamparci adesso!
Shrek E va bene, va bene. Possiamo fermarci qui.
Fiona Buonanotte a tutti.
Ciuchino Io non le capisco le femmine. Buona notte Shrek.
Lord Farquad Di nuovo, mostramela di nuovo specchio. Mostrami la principessa….perfetta…
Musica – Entra in scena Fiona che canta con uccellino che poi esplode. Esce di scena. Risveglio.
Ciuchino Si, lo sai che mi piace così… Ah piccola, si…fammi le coccole…
Shrek Ciuchino, svegliati, svegliati
Fiona Siamo partiti con il piede sbagliato, ieri. In fondo mi avete salvata.
Shrek Grazie. È meglio che ci incamminiamo… Rutto
Ciuchino Shrek! Non è il modo davanti a una principessa!
Fiona Rutto Grazie.
Shrek Lo sai? Non sei esattamente come pensavo.
Fiona Beh, forse non dovresti giudicare le persone prima di conoscerle…
Fiona Fermo, fermo! Cosa state facendo?
Robin Calmatevi, mon cherì. Sono il vostro salvatore e vi sto salvando da questa orribile.....BESTIA!
Shrek Ehi! Quella è la mia principessa. Trovatene un’altra.
Robin Ma per favore, mostro! Non vedi che sono un tantino occupato qui?
Fiona Senti bello, non so chi ti credi di essere…
Robin Ma certo, che scortese. Oh la la la …. Permettete di presentarmi. AMICI MIEI…. Ha ha ha
Cantato
Robin Io rubo ai ricchi per dare a chi non né ha.
Coro Con un piccolo guadagno, ma chi non lo fa?
Robin Io salvo damigelle belle. Vero raga?
Coro Vero, Monsieur Rou!
Robin Balliamo?! Donne e duelli e sono appagato.
Coro Ma non disdegno essere pagato. E poi…
Robin Se una donna ha paura qua dentro la radura
Coro E’ male, è male, è male
Robin Se la piglia la bestia io divento un criminale.
Coro E’ proprio un criminale, il suo cuore con la spada vuol trapassare.
Robin Tutti attenti a me che sto per cominciare.
Inizia la lotta
Fiona Andiamo
Shrek Orco mondo!
Shrek Eccola lì, principessa. Il tuo futuro ti aspetta.
Fiona Quella è Duloc?
Ciuchino Si, lo so. Shrek crede che per Lord Farquad sia una compensazione. Ossia credo io che…. Ahi!
Shrek Credo sia meglio che ci muoviamo.
Fiona Ma…. Shrek, sono preoccupata per Ciuchino. Insomma, guardalo, non ha un bell’aspetto.
Ciuchino Ma io mi sento bene! Sto una meraviglia!
Fiona Si, si, è quello che uno dice sempre. E poi….a un tratto….è sulla schiena! Morto!
Shrek Sai che ha ragione? Hai una faccia spaventosa! Ti vuoi sedere? Ti preparo un te?
Ciuchino Beh, insomma, non volevo dire niente…. Ho una fitta al collo e quando giro la testa, così, guardate, visto?...
Shrek Chi ha fame? Rimedio la cena…
Fiona Prendo la legna per il fuoco…
Ciuchino Ehi, dove andate? Oh accidenti, non mi sento più le dita. Ma io le dita non ce le ho! Ho bisogno di coccole…
Fiona Buono, ma che cos’è?
Shrek Topo di erbacce. Fatto a girarrosto
Fiona Non mi dire! Beh, è delizioso.
Shrek Sono ottimi anche nello stufato. Ora, non per vantarmi, ma mi viene benissimo, come lo faccio io..
Fiona Penso che mangerò diversamente domani sera….
Shrek Puoi venire a trovarmi, qualche volta, nella palude. Cucinerò per te: zuppa di rospo di palude, occhio di pesce alla tartara…. A tuo piacere.
Fiona Ci terrei tanto…
Ciuchino Però, non è romantico? Guardate la che tramonto!
Fiona Tramonto? È tardi. Devo andare a dormire! Buonanotte.
Ciuchino Beh, anche io avevo paura dl buio…. Ehi, io ho ancora paura del buio! Però ho capito sai? Tutte scuse, quelle di fermarsi. Tu e la principessa, eh….?
Shrek Anche se fosse? Io sono un orco e lei una principessa!
Ciuchino Ehi, dove vai adesso?
Shrek A prendere dell’altra legna.
Ciuchino Parlerò io, alla principessa!
Scena 5
Ciuchino Principessa…. Dove sei?.... è spettrale, qui. Non gioco ai quattro cantoni, bada… Ahhhh Aiuto….. Shrek, Shrek…
Fiona Shhhh sono io in questo corpo, non avere paura…
Ciuchino Oh mio Dio, ti sei pappata la principessa. Mi senti principessa? Ascolta, continua a respirare! Ti tirerò fuori da lì. Shrek, Shrek
Fiona Sono io la principessa….
Ciuchino Principessa?... Cosa ti è successo? Sei….diversa!
Fiona Sono….brutta?
Ciuchino Sarà stato qualcosa che hai mangiato… l’avevo detto a Shrek che i topi non andavano bene. Sei quello che mangi, lo dico sempre…
Fiona No, sono sempre stata così da quando riesco a ricordarmi.
Ciuchino Che vuoi dire? Senti, non ti ho mai vista così, le altre volte!
Fiona Perchè mi succede solamente quando cala il sole. Di notte in un modo, di giorno in un altro. Questa sarà la norma, finche non riceverai il primo bacio d’amore. Allora avrai dell’amore la forma. È un incantesimo. Quando ero piccolina una strega mi fatto un incantesimo. Tutte le notti mi trasformo così, in questa orribile bestia.
Ciuchino Ma tu sei così solo di notte! Shrek è orrendo 24 ore al giorno!
Fiona Se io domani sposerò Lord Farquad l’incantesimo sarà spezzato!
Ciuchino Beh, sai, tu sei una specie di orchessa. E Shrek … avete moltissime cose in comune…
Fiona …insomma, dai, chi amerebbe una bestia così orrenda e rivoltante? Principessa e rivoltante non vanno d’accordo. Per questo non posso stare qui con Shrek. È il solo modo per rompere l’incantesimo. Prometti che non dirai a nessuno il mio segreto?
Ciuchino Va bene, prometto. Ma tu dovresti dirlo a Shrek! Me ne vado. So solo che alla fine della storia mi toccherà andare in analisi. Guarda, ho già il tic all’occhio!
Fiona Shrek, ho una cosa da dirti. Ma va tutto bene?
Shrek A meraviglia! Mai stato meglio di così.
Fiona Ho una cosa da dirti…
Shrek Non devi dirmi niente di niente, principessa. Ho sentito abbastanza ieri sera. È ho capito abbastanza: come hai detto tu chi potrebbe amare una orrenda e rivoltante bestia!
Fiona Credevo che per te non contasse…
Shrek Si invece…… Ah ecco, giusto in tempo!
Ciuchino Mi sono perso qualcosa?
Lord Farquad Principessa Fiona… bene, orco, ecco l’atto di proprietà della tua palude. Sgombrata, come da accordo. Prendilo e sparisci. Mia splendida creatura, chiedo la vostra mano… sarete la sposa perfetta per lo sposo perfetto?
Fiona Lord Farquad, io accetto. Ma sposiamoci oggi, prima che cali il sole.
Lord Farquad Eccellente, farò iniziare subito i preparativi. Prima è meglio è. Andiamo, c’è tanto da fare. Il rinfresco, la torta, la banda, la lista degli ospiti….
Fiona Addio Shrek!
Ciuchino Ma cosa fai, Shrek? La lasci andare via? Ho parlato con lei ieri sera…
Shrek Lo so! Vi ho sentiti! E visto che siete tanto amici perché non segui lei? Te l’avevo detto, vero? Tu a casa non ci torni. Io vivo da solo. La mia palude, io, nessun altro! Hai capito? Nessuno! Soprattutto inutili, patetici, fastidiosi muli parlanti!........ Cosa vuoi ancora?
Ciuchino Non ho ancora finito con te!
Shrek Ma io ho finito con te!
Ciuchino Lo sai? Con te è sempre io io io! Beh indovina un po’, adesso tocca a me! Perciò sta zitto e fa attenzione. Tu sei fetido con me, mi insulti sempre e non apprezzi niente di quello che faccio…
Shrek Se ritratto così male perché sei tornato?
Ciuchino Perché gli amici fanno così, si perdonano l’un l’altro!
Shrek Hai ragione ciuchino. Io ti perdono…..di avermi pugnalato alle spalle!
Ciuchino Sei talmente ricoperto di strati, cipollino, di avere paura dei tuoi sentimenti.
Shrek Vattene!
Ciuchino Ecco che lo rifai. Proprio come con Fiona. E a lei tu piacevi. Magari ti amava!
Shrek Mi amava? Ha detto che sono orrendo! Una creatura rivoltante. Vi ho sentiti mentre parlavate!
Ciuchino Non si stava riferendo a te. Si riferiva a …..Qualcun altro…
Shrek Non si stava riferendo a me? Beh allora di chi stava parlando?
Ciuchino Niente da fare, io non fiato
Shrek Ciuchino ….. mi dispiace. Credo di essere solo un grosso stupido orrendo orco, vuoi perdonarmi?
Ciuchino Gli amici servono a questo vero?
Shrek Vero. Allora amici. Ma…. Cosa ha detto Fiona di me?
Ciuchino Perché lo chiedi a me? Chiedilo a lei!
Shrek Ohhh! Le nozze! Presto….
Ciuchino Non ti preoccupare, ho portato i rinforzi… deve essere il mio magnetismo animale…
Shrek Oh…. Ciuchino, vieni qui
Ciuchino Va bene, va bene, non fare lo smielato. Non mi piacciono i leccameli. Andiamo.
Vescovo Popolo di Duloc, siamo qui riuniti oggi per essere testimoni dell’unione del nostro nuovo re..
Fiona Non si può passare direttamente al Si?
Ciuchino Allora, vuoi farla bene questa cosa? c’è una frase che devi aspettare. Quando il prete dirà parlate ora o tacete per sempre tu dirai Io mi oppongo!
Shrek Non ho tempo per queste cose!
Ciuchino La ami questa donna, vero? La vuoi abbracciare? Compiacere? E allora dacci, dacci dentro con la tenerezza… alle donne piace questa brodaglia.
Shrek E va bene, ma piantala. Adesso controlla a che punto sono..
Ciuchino C’è tutto il paese! Sono sull’altare. Cassiopea, l’ha già detta!
Shrek Ohhh santo piripillo!.... Io mi oppongo!
Fiona Shrek?! Cosa ci fai qui?
Lord Farquad Già, cosa ci fai qui?
Shrek Devo parlarti!
Fiona Non ti pare un pochino troppo tardi?
Shrek Non devi sposare lui. Ti vuole solo perchè vuole diventare re. Lui non è il tuo vero amore.
Fiona E tu cosa ne sai del vero amore?
Shrek Beh, io…… insomma…..
Lord Farquad Questa è esilarante! L’orco si è innamorato della principessa… un solo bacio e vivremo sempre felici e contenti.
Fiona Shrek, è vero? Di notte in un modo, di giorno in un altro… volevo mostrartelo prima….
Shrek Beh, questo spiega tante cose.
Lord Farquad Guardie, prendeteli. Il matrimonio è valido, e questo fa di me un re! E riguardo a te, moglie mia, ti farò rinchiudere di nuovo in quella torre, per il resto dei tuoi giorni!
Ciuchino Serve una mano? Eccomi qua! Ho un drago qui, e non ho paura di usarlo. Sono un ciuco sull’orlo di una crisi di nervi.
Shrek Fiona, io ti amo.
Fiona Davvero?
Shrek Davvero davvero.
Fiona Ti amo anch’io.
Shrek Fiona, Fiona, stai bene?
Fiona Ecco… si…Ma non capisco, dovrei essere bellissima…
Shrek Ma tu sei bellissima!
Ciuchino Lo aspettavo da tanto questo lieto fine!
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2020.07.04 20:33 Dictarium Interrogating "Genre" as a Single Word: What MPB Can Teach Us About the Hidden Complexity of "Pop"

Interrogating "Genre" as a Single Word: What MPB Can Teach Us About the Hidden Complexity of "Pop"

By Dictarium

Musical References, (to set the mood):

Why MPB?

TL;DR: the thesis of this piece is bolded at the end of this section
The idea of categorizing of music into genres, buckets of same-traitedness that allow for a kind of fluid shorthand in talking about our favorite songs, albums, and artists, has been around forever.
"What's your favorite metal song?"
"This album feels like it's pulling in some dub and psychedelic influences."
"Disco revivalism probably peaked a few years ago now, right?"
The concept itself dates back to the Greek philosopher Plato positing that literature falls into the genres of Poetry, Drama, or Prose. Which, sure, is an easy statement to make when you just got finished writing the 9th ever poem last week, Plato, but that kind of simple riggidity doesn't quite cut it after 2,300 years of artistic evolution, convulsion, revoluation, and schism-making.
There was a post made on here (/popheads) the other day asking for examples of artists that make "100% pop" music. That is, artists that make, what NarcissusGrim described in that thread as, "radio electropop:" a brand of post-Madonna, synthetic, repetitive, hook-heavy music that's wallpapered the careers of everyone from Britney Spears to Lady Gaga and even Olivia Newton-John to Carly Rae Jepsen and almost every K-pop act that's grabbing control of social media channels today.
But, that quick description I had to give you, with artist references, historical context, and song motifs proves the point that no music is as simple as "100% pop". No music is 100% anything, especially anything as nondescript and needing-of-explication as "pop".
This got me thinking about genres that best exemplify the ever fractal, ever complicated, ever deeper-than-it-seems, and even ever political nature of popular music taxonomy. I landed on the one that this post is named for: Música popular brasileira (MPB), or "Popular Brazilian Music" if you don't wanna reach for the Google Translate.
Beyond what its name might imply, this isn't just a signifier for all top-40 hits in Brazil, but rather a distinct Brazilian genre that spans 6 decades and combines a political anti-fascist message, classic Brazilian genres like bossa-nova and samba, along with a distinct pop sensibility that brought those traditional genres to a massive national and international audience like nothing had before. I don’t have enough words to get into everything that happened after MPB danced onto the scene in 1965, but I would like to explore everything that went into its complicated inception.
Let's investigate what the story of MPB can teach us about how deceptively complex words like "pop" can be, and how they aren't often sufficient enough to cover the wildly interesting history behind musical genres and movements.

MPB Defined (Quickly)

Before we continue, we’ve got to define what exactly MPB is, formally. That way we have a basis of understanding as we move through our timeline. To pull a cardinal sin of even the most mildly journalistic writing, I'm gonna go ahead and hand it to Wikipedia for an establishing definition:
MPB is a trend in post-bossa nova urban popular music in Brazil that revisits typical Brazilian styles such as samba, samba-canção and baião and other Brazilian regional music, combining them with foreign influences, such as jazz and rock.
This alone begins to illuminate the complex inner workings of even the earliest iterations of MPB. And now, let’s travel back a few hundred years and a few dozen feet in the earth to get a sense of the deepest roots of MPB.

Before MPB: Samba’s Deep Roots in Brazilian Popular Music

Samba, a kind of rhythmically driving, percussion-heavy, acoustic guitar-backed, danceable music intrinsic to Brazilian culture came to the South American country by way of West Africa via the slave trade. Evidence of Samba emerged as early as the 17th century in the northeast region of Bahia, Brazil. Even the genre's name is derived from a Bantu word, "Semba," referring to an invitation to start dancing.
After being brought to Brazil by the African slaves and remaining largely traditional for hundreds of years, this style of music and dancing eventually evolved in the late 1920s with the invention of Samba schools, social dancing clubs that would eventually lead to the genesis of the parades that make up the Brazilian Carnival. In this time Samba began to migrate southward from Bahia to Rio de Janeiro as it became the sound of the city, becoming an urban-centric genre instead of a local delicacy.
In terms of Samba's direct influence on MPB, we need look no further than that deep connection Samba music has to Brazilian and African blackness. This slides to the fore in MPB entries like Jorge Ben Jor's 1976 record África Brasil, linked above. This album incorporates heavy use of African drum rhythms as well as influences from contemporary American black music like soul and funk to synthesize a kind of propellant samba rock that takes you on a ride at a million miles a minute, even when it takes time to slow things down.
When this innovative musical stew was peppered with Jorge Ben's always irresistibly singable melodies (language barriers aside), the result was one of the most critically celebrated Brazilian albums of all time. The music was so catchy that Rod Stewart, 70s British rock icon, upon hearing the song "Taj Mahal" dozens of times while partying in Brazil one summer, accidentally wrote Jorge's lead melody into the hook of his 1978 hit single "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?". Jorge Ben Jor sued Stewart for the lifted melody but didn’t ask for any money in return, just that Stewart put on a benefit concert for UNICEF as repayment.
What a sweetheart.

The Brazilian Jazz of Little Moments

João Gilberto, a native of Bahia, the birthplace of Brazilian samba, is the father of bossa nova. The genre is loosely defined as a kind of airy, bouncing, often-vocal Brazilian jazz, most popular through the mid 50s to the mid 60s. Gilberto invented the genre, specifically, with the song “Bim Bom”, written in 1956. The song was conceived of by Gilberto as he sat, a burgeoning, sometimes-working 25-year-old musician, and observed the sauntered steps of waterside washwomen along the São Fernando river, entranced by their soft swaying, like the ripples in the river at his feet.
Even with its obvious samba influences, the band Novos Baianos’ 1972 MPB record Acabou Chorare, linked above, shares much of this quiet pastoral sensibility that Gilberto plucked into the soul of those early bossa nova tunes, especially on the album’s title track. (Acabou Chorare was also ranked by Rolling Stone Brasil as the best Brazilian album of all time, so it miiiiight be worth a listen.)
Other early collaborators with Gilberto included Vinicius de Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim, the three of whom came together to orchestrate the music on the first ever bossa nova album, Canção do Amor Demais by Elizeth Cardoso, released in 1958, eaking out even Gilberto’s own solo debut, Chega de Saudade, from 1959 (linked above). Bossa nova quickly became one of, if not the most popular genre of music in Brazil. Over the next half-decade or so, the trio of Gilberto, de Moraes, and Jobim would collaborate or work independently on almost 20 albums of the bossa nova sound, producing relics of the style like Getz/Gilberto and The Composer of Desafinado, Plays.
Then, in early 1965, de Moraes would collaborate with a Carioca musician named Edu Lobo to write the song “Arrastão,” one that would change the course of Brazilian popular music forever, but not in the state it was first written. Listen to Edu’s original interpretation of this already fantastic bossa nova song here. The floating flute lines of the mononymous Bebeto prelude the quietly bouncing guitar and vocals of Lobo as he sings us a maritime portrait of a fishing boat net (an “arrastão”): as simple and as serene an image as Gilberto’s original river scene. But the water under that boat wouldn’t stay so static and perfectly painted for much longer.

MPB’s Explosive Coronation

On April 6th of that same year, Brazilian television station TV Excelsior was holding the finale of its first annual Festival de Música Popular Brasileira, a musical competition judged by a panel of popular musicians. The first of the final two contestants was our old friend Elizeth Cardoso. At that point in her career, she’d amassed another dozen LPs since Canção do Amor Demais and was a nationally renowned singer. On top of that half-decade of progress, she’d also been appearing on professional recordings since she was a teen in the mid 30s. For the competition, she would perform a composition by de Moraes entitled “Canção do Amor que Não Vem”, a slow, dramatic flevo song made popular by Claudionor Germano.
The other contestant is a moderately-known up-and-comer from Porto Alegre named Elis Regina. She’s fresh off of her 4th album, Samba - Eu Canto Assim, released in January of that year and will be performing another old friend of ours, “Arrastão,” but she won’t be performing it in the tradition of Edu Lobo. Hers will be decidedly more incendiary.
In my research, I can’t find who sang first that evening, but I’m going to assume it was Elizeth. It just feels right. She’s got the privilege of her position in the Brazilian musical community; she’s the local, as she was born in Rio where the TV Excelsior studio is located; and, beyond all that, Elis’ performance can’t be anything other than a showstopper; a finale’s finale.
Música Popular Brasileira was birthed from the volcanic eruption that occurred when Elis Regina performed "Arrastão" on April 6th, 1965. Right away, the tune is more lively and thick with fervor than Lobo’s original interpretation. Then, as the video cuts about halfway through to the original TV broadcast of Regin’s performance, watch as she screams a level of passion and life into the track inconceivable in Lobo’s rendition; how she flaps her arms and dances her way to the forefront of the Brazilian popular music conversation, throwing imaginary globs of lava into the audience with each enthusiastic flail; how she looks ready to cry by the end of the performance after dumping all of her heart into the microphone.
This was not João Gilberto’s bossa nova, and not even de Moraes’ intentions with the original version of the track. This wasn’t even the centuries-old tradition of samba. The fishing boat’s net was now on much more turbulent waters. The gaze of the Brazilian public was about to shift from the pastoral to the urban, the youthful, and was primed for a bend toward the political. This was an utterly pyroclastic moment.
This was MPB.
Hopefully this piece was able to convey just how much history, drama, and complexity can go into a genre, even one that, in its essence and on its face, can be defined so simply with a single “pop.”

Epigraphic Epilogue

Ms. Regina won the competition, of course, and would go on to incredible levels of fame in Brazil, enjoying the life of one of the most highly paid musicians in the country. However, just like the explosion that Elis concocted to bring MPB to the people of Brazil, her life, too, was over quickly. She died of an overdose in 1982 at the age of 36.
Listen to what I believe is her best album, 1972’s simply titled Elis, linked above, if you want to hear what made her such a phenomenal artist beyond this performance that announced her to the world.
As for another piece of the legacy of that 1965 performance, here’s a short write-up (in Portuguese) on the time that Bob Dylan decided to speak on the exhibition and Regina’s life more generally on his BBC 6 radio show in 2006.

Further Reading:

A sub-movement of MPB, Tropicália, steeped in psychedelia and aimed in political opposition to Brazil’s military dictatorship that took control a year before MPB was introduced to the masses. (A dictatorship so enthusiastic in its censorship, that Regina’s performance of “Arrastão” was almost censored for its utter lack of respect for tradition.)
Andy Beta at Pitchfork did a write-up on it that I can’t possibly hope to compete with, so go read his piece on the subject here.
To round out the intertext references to the links at the top of the piece, check out Gilberto Gil backed by bratty psychedelic radicals Os Mutantes on his 1968 self-titled record for some of the best combinations of MPB and Tropicália.
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2020.07.02 09:20 Angel466 [The Celestial Wars] The Long Way Home - Chapter 2.8

CHAPTER EIGHT

Avis stood alongside the curtained doorway, his hands clenching into tight fists. Why you motherfucking, poaching little ass-wipe, he fumed, even though the irony of the situation was not lost on him. Despite his own amorous history, if that boy said one more realm-damned word about making a move on Clarise, or so much as thought about brushing against her after this, he’d rip the cocky little shit to pieces. No question. He was already fairly certain he was going to anyway, but either of those would’ve guaranteed it.
Clarise also seemed to know where his mindset was, for she grew a third arm from beneath her cloak and reached back to intertwine her fingers with his. She made no movement of her body to indicate he was there, but her extra hand squeezed his and her thumb stroked his knuckles. He knew the meaning behind that gesture. She had this. Still, it pissed him off to be hiding in the shadows instead of stepping up and staking his claim.
“No, he is very close by,” she replied, and again Avis felt her squeeze his hand for patience. After everything they’d been through, Avis was more inclined to squeeze the little bastard’s neck until his fucking head popped off!
Lavender filled his senses, enough for him to get a hold of his murderous thoughts. Barely.
“Pity,” he heard Maui snort, and his free hand clenched into an even tighter fist.
“If you do not mind me asking, Maui, which branch of the hellions does your blood originate from?” Clarise asked.
Maui snorted in disgust. “I’m no hellion,” he snapped. “I can just change the shape of things.”
The simplistic statement sent Avis’ brain into a tailspin. Wait … what? It took a moment to process the moronic comment, and once he had, he closed his eyes and covered them with his free hand. Oh, for fuck’s sake! In the space of a day, they’d gone from meeting the oldest and most dangerous, to the youngest and most stupid. He shook his head in disbelief. I’m not a celestial at all. I’m just a god. Of all the fucking idiots ... Being a celest who could change the shape of others without a powerbase was the very definition of a hellion! Highborn Hellions also fit into that category, but since Clarise identified Maui as a hellion and not a member of her family, he accepted her judgement on the matter. But how could the kid not know he was hellion? Avis continued to shake his head. That boy needed to go back on his mother’s tit if he didn’t understand the basics of being a celest.
Unable to stay in the shadows any longer, Avis lowered his hand from his eyes, unwound his fingers from Clarise’s and stepped in behind her. At his full height he was easily head and shoulders over her, and he used every bit of it to stake his claim. Both hands went around her waist and once he had his fingers knotted together, he pulled her back to his chest in a possessive manner that not even this idiot could misinterpret. Then he looked down at the newcomer. Way, waaay down. Damn, and I thought Clarise was short. The midget was marginally taller than his elbow. Way too short to be flirting with married women … especially when their powerful husbands were within striking distance.
To the brat’s credit, Avis’ unexpected arrival did have him backing up a few steps.
“Maui, isn’t it?” Avis asked over Clarise’ head, in a way that implied the boy was on exceedingly dangerous ground.
Maui lifted his chin and squinted up at him, reminding Avis of every conversation he’d ever had with either Tal or Griffith—the two and a half metre giants of his family. So, this is what it feels like to be on the other side of those conversations.
“What of it?”
The boy was going to great lengths to lay on the bravado, but Avis had to admit Clarise’s first impression was accurate; she could’ve handled this pipsqueak without his involvement. “Here’s a piece of much-needed advice, kid. Don’t go making passes at married women unless you know exactly what they’re capable of and where their husbands are. A stunt like that’ll get you killed faster than taking a dump on Belial’s throne.”
The elbow of Clarise’s third arm slammed into Avis’ abdomen with enough force to nearly rupture his spleen, and he locked his teeth together in a tight grimace to prevent any sound from escaping his lips. A hand width or two lower and he’d have been in real trouble. So, the ladies of the Hellion Highborn took offence to the mere thought of their patriarch’s throne being desecrated like that. Or at least, Clarise did. Duly noted.
Ignorant of their silent interaction, Maui threw his head back and barked out a laugh. “Now who’s the fool?” he taunted, flicking both sets of fingertips at them derisively.
Confused by his reaction, Avis turned his thoughts inward and spent the next few minutes replaying the warning through his memories to try and ascertain the source of Maui’s amusement, only to come up empty. “I might not be the right one to ask that of, Maui,” he admitted after returning to the physical realm, his brow creasing in annoyance. “I doubt you’ll like my answer.”
“Why is warning you to take care such a foolish notion in your eyes?’ Clarise asked, snuggling comfortably against Avis’ chest as if she hadn’t just elbowed his guts through his teeth. Unified front to outsiders; she really was starting to get it.
“Because this is Rangi-Tuarea, and nothing can be killed here,” Maui’s words accompanied a shrug as if that should’ve been obvious.
Avis felt his right eye twitch. “Come again?” The statement was so mind-numbingly absurd that he could barely say the words. Without an establishment field, everything that lived had a potential expiration date. Even celests. “What in the realms do you mean nothing dies?”
Maui’s smug grin was really wearing on Avis’ last nerve. “Nothing can be killed here in Rangi-Tuarea. Except for me, everything lives forever.”
Avis scrambled to make sense of that. Immortality without an establishment field was only possible by being descended from those who were already previously established. Even that was only a potential immortality because while you could live forever, you could also be killed by any other means, in which case, you died. The only way to guarantee true immortality was to become established. Constructs that were brought into being by either side had whatever lifespan their creators wanted for them and still ran the risk of being killed, and everything mortal died, period. It was right there in the title. How could a realm have NO death? And what exactly did he mean by except for me?
“Don’t you eat things and use things that were once living?” Avis was completely baffled by the boy’s gibberish, and he hated puzzles that made no sense. “For the realm’s sake! How could you possibly live at all without having the things that came before you pass away?”
“Of course, we eat meat and use plants, but since they aren’t alive like us, they don’t die either.”
The vein in Avis’ temple began to pound unmercifully, and he swore by the Twin Notes that if this kid didn’t start making sense soon, he would scream!
“How do you keep your whole realm immortal?” Clarise asked, far more civilly than Avis had planned to.
Maui snorted derisively, but since he didn’t laugh outright, Avis let it go in favour of obtaining a rational answer. “We use incantations, of course,” he said.
Ahhh – magic. Okay, that made a little more sense. “Who’s your god of magic then?” Because in a realm like this, that had to be who was in charge. Magic also brought up another interesting point that had been bothering him. “Is that why you don’t think you’re a hellion? Because your shapeshifting is magically orientated?”
“He is a hellion,” Clarise whispered, through a mouth she created at the back of her head to prevent Maui from eavesdropping. Paying them no attention, Maui twisted and reached into the reeded foliage on his left hip, removing a hooked bone of some description with a small coil of leather rope tied to it.
“This is what enables me to shapeshift,” he declared, holding it up for them to see but ensuring they were in no position to take it from him. “It’s my grandmother’s.”
Avis looked at the curved bone in his hand. He’d heard of stranger things being talismans. “So, your grandmother is the magical goddess of this realm, and she imbued that hook with magic?” he asked, confirming what he thought was obvious.
He didn’t expect Maui to bark out another mocking laugh. “Don’t be dumb,” the pint-sized pipsqueak scorned, waving that stupid hook at them. “This is her. Her jawbone, to be exact. And with it, I get all her powers.”
Ewww…fuck. Avis was officially creeped out. They were making weapons out of the bones of their elders? “Hold on,” he frowned, as the two stories clashed. “How is your grandmother not dead if that’s her jawbone?”
“Because she never lived here, of course. She was with my papara.”
“Who?”
“My father.” He put the hook away. “Death happens all the time over there. I don’t know why they never fixed that.”
Avis scrambled to keep up. His mother was here in the Oceanics, and his father was … still in Hell? He needed to be sure. “So, where is your father?”
Maui shrugged, a little uncomfortable. “Not sure, really. I followed kowhaea once when I realised she was vanishing through the night. One second she was there, the next she wasn’t. I hung onto her dress hem, and the next thing I knew, she was introducing me to my father.” Maui patted his hip where his hook hung. “And he gave me this. With it, I can change anything I touch into anything else, including myself.”
“That is indeed a powerful gift,” Clarise said, picking up the conversation again.
Avis couldn’t stand the loopy explanation anymore and went straight into the kid’s mind. The limited spectrum of memories at the boy’s disposal meant he’d either had his mind erased or was even younger than he seemed. Going all the way back to the beginning, Avis saw flashes of the boy’s birth which confirmed the latter. A teenager. Sixteen or seventeen … maybe eighteen at best.
As Avis surfed through the limited memories, he began to understand what made the boy the way he was. Coming from the Nexus, Avis himself may have been abused as a child (and wished during those times he was dead), but no one had ever tried to discard him from the family like he was garbage. Maui was born premature, and in this pantheon it seemed that level of weakness was unacceptable. In a twisted way, he could almost make sense of that logic—if he were to believe a pantheon was only as strong as your weakest member; which he didn’t. From personal experience, he knew the runts often turned into the worst and best kind of pit-bull. Chance was living proof of it. Maui’s upbringing was different to Chance’s though, in that while he may have gotten some help along the way, nothing was given to him freely. He had to fight for every realm damned thing he had, which was why he knew and had so little. He didn’t know the right questions to ask or the right people who could answer them.
Avis watched as Maui—a young man of twelve or thirteen—crept back into his family home and reinserted himself into their lives. They recognised the familial connection that flowed between them, and while his brothers and sisters took him in, his mother needed much more convincing. The poor kid didn’t help his cause when he was smart enough to realise the matriarch of the family vanished for hours in the early hours of the morning, only to reappear before the dawn. Determined to find out for himself what Taranga was doing, he attached himself to her hem so that when she blood-linked with her husband, he went along for the ride.
But the name Taranga called as she created her blood-link caused Avis’ heart to freeze and his stomach to hit the floor all at once. Makeatutara. Master guardian of the fourth level of Hell, and very, very much established. Avis knew him and his love affair with poison and sharp blades all too well. A despicably nasty piece of work at the best of times that Avis couldn’t see as a family man. And since Makeatutara remained in Hell while Maui and his siblings lived in Rangi-Tuarea (two realms away), he knew he wasn’t wrong.
He cringed as the naive Maui went willingly to his knees before his father in reverence. Run kid! Don’t just sit there! RUN! There was no way this was going to end well for the boy, and once again Avis wished for the power to change a past event. Taranga and Makeatutara spoke in lowered voices to one side, and just from their body language alone, Avis knew they were up to no good. The fourth level master guardian of Hell was incapable of acting any other way.
He almost winced when Makeatutara placed his clawed hands on Maui’s shoulders and began reciting something in Oceanic. Maui’s point of view swung upwards as he stared at his father in horror, and the knowledge of what Makeatutara had done suddenly became clear to Avis. It was supposed to have been an Oceanic blessing—the incantation that gave the boy immortality, just as Maui had claimed. But Makeatutara’s wording turned it from an immortality blessing to a mortality curse. The bastard had just cursed his own son to be the first Oceanic to die!
Avis knew that was no fucking accident. Makeatutara didn’t make mistakes like that. None of the master guardians of Hell made mistakes like that. No matter how much he supposedly apologised afterwards, it was all a fucking lie. No wonder the kid was living like every moment could be his last. Thanks to that bastard, it might very well be!
And that was when Maui had been presented with his ‘grandmother’s jawbone’ as a magical compromise. With it, he was told he could shapeshift himself and anything he touched into anything he wanted. Oh, you lying sack of crap! Avis couldn’t believe what he was hearing, but the way Maui handled the precious scrap of bone that held no magical ability whatsoever, it was clear the boy believed every word of it.
The boy’s father was hellion. That made Maui hellion. Shifting themselves and anything they touched was their birthright, and Maui was being led to believe his power was unique because of a piece of useless fucking bone!
Glancing over other memories, Avis saw that up until three years ago, the realm of Rangi-Tuarea only had an hour of daylight each day. And of course, Maui’s mother constantly bitched about her inability to cook their meals and eat them within that hour. Maui’s brothers ignored her grumblings, but still thinking the sun still shone out of her … backside, Maui hung off every word. One day, with the hope of impressing her, he coerced his brothers into helping him snare the sun while he took to it with the magical jawbone. The boy had no idea what he was doing, but through his actions, Avis did. With the jawbone in his hand, Maui had subconsciously hardened the bone to the point where it would harm the solar deity, and when he swung it, it hurt. Maui beat the sun into a permanent pulp which was why it now crawled across the sky and the days were now as long as any other realm. It was an interesting side story, one which Maui’s people appreciated—even his mother. Too bad that didn’t happen before the bitch arranged his death.
Avis pulled back from the young man’s mind, more sympathetic than when he had first gone in. The kid was just making the best of a really fucked up situation. He of all people could relate to that. “He’s Makeatutara’s son,” Avis said, for Clarise’s sake.
“You know my father?” Maui asked as Clarise’s eyes snapped to her husband.
Avis barely refrained from rolling his own, though he felt the upper right corner of his lips curl into a dark sneer. “You might say we’ve crossed paths.”
Whether it was his condescending tone or what he’d said, Maui’s gaze suddenly narrowed, and Avis felt himself being scrutinised. “You’re Avis,” he said. Surprisingly there was no hostility in that statement. If anything, the little huff that followed as he shook his head implied he should have made that connection sooner.
Avis was ready to toss Clarise to the safety of the cabin and turn Maui’s mind into confetti, if he had to. His hands were already tightening around her waist. “That’s Lord Avis to you, kid, and are we going to have a problem with that?”
Maui snorted and waved the idea away as ridiculous. “Not with me,” he smirked, still shaking his head. “Your deranged antics got me out of a lot of trouble a few years ago.”
Avis knew he was going to regret asking, but did anyway. “And how exactly did I do that?”
“My ancient ancestors weren’t too happy with the thrashing I gave the sun, but after you came through and mentally tore up the place, I was the last thing they cared about.”
Three years ago. Just a few months before he was incarcerated. Okay. “So, what are your plans now?”
The boy gave a half shrug. “Haven’t decided. I only came over because I saw your ship getting tossed right out of Yaru and I wanted to meet whoever had managed to get them so riled up. For the most part, they’re pretty placid, so I knew it had to be someone big. I should’ve guessed it was you.”
“He genuinely has not decided what to do about us,” Clarise whispered through her second mouth.
Avis eyed the boy carefully. His base instinct told him to put a stranglehold on Maui’s mind and force his compliance for the rest of their time in Rangi-Tuarea; leaving nothing to chance. That’s what the old Avis would’ve done in a heartbeat. But seeing for himself the hell the boy had been through already, he decided to cut him a break. “Would you be interested in a deal?” he asked instead.
Maui tilted his head and folded his arms as if he had no clue how easily Avis could force his hand. “You’ve got my attention, trouble-maker.” He blinked and dropped his arms to his hips, emitting a loud, boyish laugh. “Kai a te ahi! Never thought I’d ever get to call someone else that for a change.”
Avis clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth a few times to prevent himself from taking the little shit’s head off. “Former,” he said, once he had his rising temper under control. “My only objective now is to take my wife and children home.”
Maui looked up at Avis. Then he dropped his gaze to Clarise and turned to probably look at Cora on the lower deck out the front. “You have more than one kotiro running around here?” he asked, bringing his attention back to Avis and Clarise.
Kotiro: girl. Amongst other things, Avis picked up the basics of the Oceanic language during his time in Maui’s mind. He turned and beckoned Columbine to his side but kept her tucked safely behind his leg and under his cape. “Two in total,” he said, as Columbine waved shyly at Maui.
Maui looked down at her and grinned at her. “Well, aren’t you a cute little thing?”
A growl reverberated through Avis’ chest as he pushed Columbine back behind his leg and lifted himself to his full, intimidating height.
Maui screwed his face up as if he’d tasted something foul. “Really, man? Ewwww … no! She’s just a kid.” Unfortunately, his innocence went up in smoke when he dropped one hand on his hip and rubbed the other across his chin thoughtfully. “Now if in a decade or two, your deal was to consist of a possible …”
Clarise cut him off with a succinct, “That will not be discussed at this time,” before Avis could take matters into his own hands. “The deal I believe my husband spoke of was information, in exchange for safe passage.” The hand of her third arm stroked his ribs under his cloak, and lavender wafted from her in waves, removing the distinct red tinge that was fast swallowing up his vision.
“What kind of information?”
“The kind you should’ve had if your parents weren’t complete assho …”
A better understanding of the realms around you, and your place in them,” Clarise sharply overrode, adding a light squeeze to Avis’ ribs to silence him. “Unfortunately, sweetheart, not everything in your life is as you have been told.”
Maui drummed his fingers against his tattooed lips, his eyes shifting between the two of them. Then, he pulled his hand away from his chin and held it out to Clarise. “I’ll get you as far as I can, but if anyone discovers us, you’re on your own.” He looked down at her unmoving hand and arched an eyebrow. “Well?”
Clarise slid her hand across his and locked her fingers around his wrist. Then she bowed forward, to which Maui leaned forward and pressed his forehead to hers. Avis stiffened at the apparent intimacy, but when the pair released each other a few seconds later and Maui stepped away, he realised it was merely the Oceanic way of sealing a deal.
“I suggest you stay inside as much as possible,” Maui said, and Avis had no doubt it was to him he was speaking. The native then went to the nearest rigging and scurried up into the sail with the same speed and ease of running across the deck. Taking a deep breath of the ocean spray, he hung off the top of the mast as if he were king of the realm, and at that moment, he might well have been. “Things may get a little … bumpy.”
* * *

CHAPTER NINE

((All comments welcome))
For more of my work including WPs: Angel466
For those who want to read from the beginning: Prologue of Book 2
submitted by Angel466 to redditserials [link] [comments]


2020.06.28 01:42 dietcoke97 [Review] LV Multi Pochette Accessoires from Non-TS Amy (evbag) and Nano Speedy TS Nina compared to AUTH Key Pouch

First things first -- I have developed an obsessive habit of checking this subreddit every day and creeping on all of your lovely purchases! I “ooh” and “ahh” way too much for my wallet to handle, but hey at least I’m not wasting my coins on the actual thanggg ;) This is my first review, so please let me know if I am missing any important details! I wanted to write an overview of my quarantine purchases and * just * got my authentic monogram key pouch in the mail today so I thought "perfect timing, lets get this bread and do the damn thing" aka write a wayyyyyy too long reddit review babbling on about bags. I know I have two very popular and “basic bitch”-esque bags, but wanted to write my own thoughts on them. Enjoy : )
Disclosure - Nothing to disclose since I was not paid for this review by either seller or offered any incentives/discounts on my purchases for writing a review.
MULTI POCHETTE ACCESSOIRES - KAKI STRAP
Order timeline:
5/7 contacted Amy with photo of the bag, she confirmed that it was in stock and I paid the same day
5/8 received first PSP and DHL waybill, GL based on the one photo of all included pieces
5/13 received DHL tracking number and shipping estimate of 15-20 days
5/27 lil trendy bitch arrived at my home in the US!
Photos:
Quality
Round key pouch: 9/10. -1 for dull canvas. Luckily though, the canvas feels great -- not too thick or too thin. Neat stitching. Hardware feels nice and doesn’t look cheap. Zipper runs smooth with no kinks or “sticking.”
Mini pochette: 9/10. -1 for dull canvas. Nice quality to the canvas again. Nice weight to it and not too thick or thin. Stitching is neat. Zipper runs smoothly and hardware matches other pieces.
Pochette Accessoires: 9/10. -1 for dull canvas. Surprise surprise, canvas feels good. Neat stitching. Zipper smooth. Hardware is good quality and matches with the other two main pieces.
Gold chain: 10/10. Just a gold chain, not much to say about it. Looks just like the PSPs/photos on Amy’s yupoo. Nice weight and color matches other pieces’ hardware.
Kaki strap: 10/10. This is the piece that impressed me the most (and also caused the most concern while shopping/browsing other reps before deciding to buy from Amy). The color looks spot-on. Webbing is sturdy without any kinks or loose threads. LOVE the strap.
No fufu leather smell on any of the 3 components. Gold chain does not smell like Forever21 rusty crusty metal, so that’s a plus for me haha
— edit: in the photos, my pochettes look nice and moist hehe. I conditioned them with Lexol today for a better sheen, so the dry issue mentioned in my quality deductions was fixed easily!
Accuracy 9.5/10
The measurements are correct if I did the math right, including the chain and strap drops! The hardware has a particular gold-tone to it that I am unsure if the authentic version has (-0.5). The gold looking “cheap” or “too yellow-y” is my biggest concern, as I feel like the hardware is the biggest call-out besides the fleurs on the corners of the Mini Pochette, which luckily, the bag I received matches spot-on to auth on the LV site. The stamping on the vachetta tabs, gold chain, and other hardware pieces are clearly legible and correct in depth on the leather. Date codes match each other throughout the 3 pieces. The monogram pattern and feel of the canvas also match really well in comparison to my authentic key pouch, and LV canvas varies so I’m not too pressed by it not being 100% the same in color. I’m new to accuracy/QCing, but basing it off of the factory photos, it looks spot on and maybe even better in person :-) Comparing it to auth LV MPA is a bit different, as this is obviously not the real deal, but it’s pretty damn close imo. If I’m missing anything, please let me know! Overall, I’m extremely happy with my version and I’m content with how accurate it feels personally, hence my rating.
Satisfaction 10/10
I am so in love with this bag! I know a shit ton of people own this bag, but from the moment I saw it, I knew I had to join in on the Multi Pochette Club. This bag is so damn versatile -- the number of ways you can wear it was enough for me to be tempted by it and ultimately led me to buy a rep. I even contemplated buying the authentic, but it is so hard to come by on the site and I don't have time to refresh the page every 15 minutes. Even when this bag is not seen as “trendy” anymore, all of these pieces separately are LV classics. Woo! I personally agree with my fave lux Youtuber though, Cassie Thorpe, in that she thinks this bag is iconic and isn’t just a trendy piece. The bag as a whole fits my vibe and it is not “callout-able” in my opinion. It is insanely practical and fits my necessities (iPhone XS Max, Laneige lip balm, cardholder, car key fob and keychains, wireless earbuds, and my newest addition, LV key pouch).
Seller Communication and Service 9/10
I loved working with Amy! Like many sellers, trusted and non-trusted alike, I swear she never sleeps. I messaged her at the most random CST of the day, and she responded within minutes 90% of the time. My only gripe (-1) is that she used Western Union with my purchase, but I saw on another RL post of the same MPA bag recently that she used Transferwise, which is so much easier for me and my bank, as BoA declined my attempted second purchase with her. I haven’t gone back to purchasing through Amy since she didn’t offer another form of payment, but I may follow up with her again since she is so sweet and customer-focused.
ON TO DA NEXT~~~~
LV Nano Speedy
Order timeline:
5/27 contacted Nina with photo of the bag, she confirmed that it was in stock and I paid the same day yet again lol
5/28 received PSPs, GL immediately
5/30 received Fedex tracking number
6/10 lil trendy bitch number 2 arrived at my home in the US!
Photos:
Quality 9/10
Canvas feels great! Maybe a bit on the dry side again (-1). Not too thick or too thin in my opinion/to my untrained LV eye. The hardware looks wonderful and sturdy. No zipper kinks or “stickiness” -- aka zipper glides without any problems. Glazing is straight without any wonkiness and looks really nice on the piece. No fufu smell. Alignment of the monogram looks 98% accurate to me, if not 1:1. Let me know if you think otherwise! 😀
Accuracy 9/10
This bag looks and feels pretty spot on to me. Granted, I haven’t felt an authentic LV piece in a long time -- my family members own a bunch but I haven’t caressed/molested their canvas in a few years haha. Each hardware piece has correct LV labeling (i.e. the zipper and the grommets holding the two lil straps fit for a child’s arm). The stamping on the interior vachetta patch is clearly legible and correct in depth, not too worried about that one though since it’s inside the bag. Date code is way off since the bag was released in 2015 (code is 12th week in 2010 lolllll) but also, I don’t care since it is a rep and I won’t be showing everyone the code for my bag haha. Not exactly a conversation starter that I would use. The monogram pattern and feel of the canvas match really well in comparison to my authentic key pouch, the same as the MPA mentioned above. Not too worried about color variations because I know it happens with authentic pieces, too, depending on the batch, etc. THE ONLY THING I’m iffy about on this piece is the glazing. I haven’t seen the infamous it-bag of IG hoes in person, but I can’t tell if it’s a smidge too red (-1). In my photos, it looks offensively red, but it really is “passable” in real life * I think * Let me know if you have an auth! I’d love to see if Nina’s Nano Speedy glazing is a bit on the redder side compared to yours. The correct tone appears a bit darker. Anyways, all in all, I’m so happy with it and know it’s a rep so I’m basing this particular accuracy rating on that fact and my overall happiness with the look of it. If I missed anything on this cutie tiny thang, please let me know!
Satisfaction 10/10
Again, another 10/10 purchase for me. I’ve been wearing this bag NON. STOP. during quarantine stunting on ze hoes in Target hahaha. It truly is a great lil piece and matches so many outfits and occasions effortlessly. I use a Zoomoni organizer (in my rep bag, yes it’s excessive, I know) and it holds all my essentials (card holder, key pouch, hand sani hehe, face mask, glucose tabs for #LowBloodSugar #DiabetesProbz, lip balm/lip stick/glawwwwsss, and also other various knick-knacks. I don’t squeeze my huge phone in here because it’s a pain to get out, but the XS Max does fit if you were wondering).
Seller Communication and Service 10/10
Nina lives up to all of her reviews on RL. I LOVED working with her. She is so quick to respond, also a member of the No Sleep Club I think lol. She also answers all of my questions. I’m planning on buying the hard-to-find Coin Card Holder in Jaune from her because, yet again, Cassie turned me on to it and Nina has great LV reps for even better prices. Her payment methods are so easy for me in comparison to Amy’s, and she’s truly just a gem to work with.
If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading my first and ~ lengthy ~ review! Let me know if you’re inspired to buy any of these pieces or if you own some of your own -- I’d love to see yours! Also let me know if you’d like to see a review on the Fendi Baguette Roma Amor ;) with the neon 👏🏻 green 👏🏻 piping. Yes. AHH! So excited. I have one coming from TS Linda. An A+++ gal as a sneak peek to my satisfaction with her.
CCW: I would appreciate any opinions or thoughts since I am new to RL and hope to be able to contribute more to you lovelies in the future! 💕
submitted by dietcoke97 to RepLadies [link] [comments]


2020.06.27 20:00 anoceandrop The Mani Ratnam Rabbit hole Part 4(a) - Power, Politics & Crime - Aayutha Ezhuthu(Yuva), Nayakan(Dayavan), Thiruda Thiruda - The Crime Trilogy

The desire to enter a criminal world most of us would take pains to avoid in real life & the desire to walk away from that world with none of its traumatic or fatal consequences make 𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐦𝐬 a popular genre among the niche audiences.
Films of this genre generally involve various aspects of crime and its detection. Stylistically, the genre may overlap and combine with many other genres creating several sub-genres such as Action Crime, Crime Drama, Crime thriller, Crime Comedy, Film Noir, Heist film, Hood Film, Gangster film, Mafia film, Police Procedural, Dacoit film etc.
In this unofficial 𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐓𝐫𝐢𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐲 we look at 3 films from 3 different sub genres - 𝑨 𝑷𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒍 𝑪𝒓𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝑻𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒓, 𝑨 𝑮𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝑭𝒊𝒍𝒎 & 𝑨 𝑯𝒆𝒊𝒔𝒕/𝑪𝒂𝒑𝒆𝒓 𝑭𝒊𝒍𝒎.
𝟭. 𝗔𝗮𝘆𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗮 𝗘𝘇𝗵𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘂(𝟮𝟬𝟬𝟰)/𝗬𝘂𝘃𝗮(𝟮𝟬𝟬𝟰)
The film was simultaneously shot in Tamil & in Hindi as Yuva with an entirely different cast, retaining Deol, while a dubbed version in Telugu (Yuva) was also released. The film was produced by Ratnam's home banner, Madras Talkies and was released on 21 May 2004 to positive reviews from the audience. It gained recognition over the years, becoming a cult classic film in Tamil cinema.
Aayutha Ezhuthu - title of the movie was taken from the name of a Tamil letter, ஃ – 3 dots corresponding to the film's 3 different personalities from 3 completely different strata of society. It is a Political/Crime Thriller Film but not really.
It's actually a movie about the 𝑭𝒐𝒓𝒄𝒆𝒔 & 𝑬𝒍𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝑵𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒆, it's based on the 𝑮𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑼𝒏𝒊𝒇𝒊𝒆𝒅 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒐𝒓𝒚(𝑮𝑼𝑻) & 𝑪𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒓 𝑺𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒔. Hang in there, this analysis is going to get a little scientific because the writing is artistry meets intelligence.
𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙖𝙧𝙚 3 𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙡 𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮 𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙞𝙡𝙢:
𝐈𝐧𝐛𝐚 𝐒𝐞𝐤𝐚𝐫/𝐋𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐡(played by Madhavan/Abhishek Bachchan), a goon working as a muscle for a politician. He loves his wife 𝐒𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐢/𝐒𝐡𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐢(played by Meera Jasmine/Rani Mukerji) but is also abusive towards her.
𝐌𝐢𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐞𝐥 𝐕𝐚𝐬𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐡/𝐌𝐮𝐤𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐣𝐞𝐞(played by Suriya/Ajay Devgn), an influential leader of a student organisation who wants to remove corruption in politics & encourage students to enter the field. His neighbor 𝐆𝐞𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐚/𝐑𝐚𝐝𝐡𝐢𝐤𝐚(played by Esha Deol) is his love interest.
𝐀𝐫𝐣𝐮𝐧 𝐁𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐤𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐧𝐚𝐧/𝐁𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐫𝐚𝐧(played by Siddharth/Vivek Oberoi), a carefree son of an IAS officer who wants to relocate to the US for a better future. He falls in love with 𝐌𝐞𝐞𝐫𝐚 (played by Trisha/Kareena Kapoor), whom he just met.
The film follows these 3 young men from 3 different spheres & how one fateful incident on Chennai's Broken Bridge/Kolkata's Howrah Bridge changes their lives forever. The narrative of the story is partially in hyperlink format inspired by Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon(1950).
𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒄𝒂𝒑𝒔 𝒐𝒏, 𝒍𝒆𝒕'𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒈 𝒅𝒆𝒆𝒑
𝙁𝙤𝙧𝙘𝙚𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙉𝙖𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙚/𝙂𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙐𝙣𝙞𝙛𝙘𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙤𝙧𝙮(𝙂𝙐𝙏):
From walking on the street, to launching a rocket into space, to sticking a magnet on your refrigerator, physical forces are acting all around us. But all the forces that we experience every day (and many that we don't realize we experience every day) can be whittled down to 4 fundamental forces:
1.Gravitational foce 2.Electromagnetic force 3.The weak nuclear force 4.The strong nuclear force
These are the 4 fundamental forces of nature & they govern everything that happens in the universe by controlling the world, and by extension, the visible universe.
𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐟𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞:
We have a theory which demonstrated that the electric and magnetic forces are aspects of a single electromagnetic force. We also have a theory to describe the big things in the world(why the planets orbit the sun) and we have a theory that describes the small things(why apples always fall straight to the ground), even at the atomic level.The problem is that they dont work together. The hints that there is a theory combining these forces where one equation can describe the big and small levels - This is the grand unified theory. 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒇𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒄𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒂 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒕’𝒔 𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒗𝒊𝒆𝒘 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒇 𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒆’𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒄𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒔 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒇𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒆, 𝒂𝒍𝒍-𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒄𝒆.
Mani Ratnam Aayutha Ezhuthu/Yuva aims to unify the three forces/story arcs by connecting them together using this particle physics theory. There's also an Easter egg hinting at this by way of a scene inserted in the film where we see Michael explaining the (GUT) to some students in a classroom - that there exists a single force to combine the 3 major forces. That everything (in this case each story) is co-related. The actions of one effect the consequences of the other & that there's something greater at work.
𝐄𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞/𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐫 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐦𝐞:
We've often heard the term "In my element". What does that really mean? It's meant to convey - 'You are where you should be and you fit in' or 'You're in your zone and no one can stop your game'. When you're not in your element, you're not at your best. This could also signify the qualities inherent to you/your nature.
𝑻𝒉𝒆 3 𝒄𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒍 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒍𝒎 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒑𝒉𝒚𝒔𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒍 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒇𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 3 𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒆 - 𝑭𝒊𝒓𝒆, 𝑬𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒉, 𝑾𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒓.
𝑰𝒏𝒃𝒂/𝑳𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒂𝒏 𝒊𝒔 𝑭𝒊𝒓𝒆 depicted in shades/hues of 𝑹𝒆𝒅. It is the color of extremes. It's the color of passionate love, seduction, violence, danger, war, anger & adventure. Our prehistoric ancestors saw red as the color of fire and blood – energy and primal life forces – and most of red's symbolism today arises from its powerful associations in the past.
This is depicted in the film in his various moods - his anger, his passion, his flirtation, his violence, his impulsive nature.
𝑴𝒊𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒆𝒍 𝒊𝒔 𝑬𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒉 depicted in shades/hues of 𝑮𝒓𝒆𝒆𝒏. It is the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy, is associated with meanings of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment. The color green has healing power. Often green stands for both a lack of experience and need for growth.
This is depicted in the film in many ways from Michael supporting the growth of the country, being an inexperienced student activist leader, meeting with an accident in the first half, healing in the second half. Helping local farmers, encouraging people around him to be meet their potentials.
𝑨𝒓𝒋𝒖𝒏 𝒊𝒔 𝑾𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒓 depicted in shades/hues of 𝑩𝒍𝒖𝒆. It represents both the sky and the sea, and is associated with open spaces, freedom, intuition, imagination, expansiveness, inspiration, and sensitivity. Blue also represents meanings of depth, trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, stability, faith, and intelligence. It helps with balance and self-expression.
Arjun is the balancing force between Inba/Lallan & Michael. He's calm/of cool temperament, sometimes troubled like the waves of water, he's confused. The climax depicts the dynamics between these 3 in perfect symmetry.
When the characters are in their elements they are portrayed in deep shades of red, green & blue. When they are out of their element/acting against their nature they are portrayed in lighter shades of their representative colors. As the story progress we see the characters go from wearing various contrasts of the colors as each of them goes through a varying gamut of emotions.
Therefore this film is a an exposition about the 𝑭𝒐𝒓𝒄𝒆𝒔 & 𝑬𝒍𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝑵𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒆. The Forces of nature make Earth a restless planet, but they also turned our ball of rock into a home for life. Our planet's ingredients, the chemical Elements of nature, came together & took that first crucial step to go from a barren rock to a living world.
(For a visual explanation of the above analysis check the links at the end.)
𝙋𝙧𝙤𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣:
The film began pre-production in early 2003 in a typical manner adapted by the director, Mani Ratnam, who keeps his projects under wraps until completion.The director chose to make two different versions of the film as he did not want the film to be dubbed, explaining that the essence of the script would be lost if they had done so.
Early reports indicated that the film was based on the 2000 neorealist Mexican film, Amores perros by Alejandro González Iñárritu, but eventually only the idea of hyperlink cinema was common in both films. However, Mani Ratnam revealed that the film was closer to Akira Kurosawa's 1950 Japanese film Rashomon as both films dealt with a cause-effect and a third-view called Rashomon effect.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙍𝙖𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣 𝙚𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙘𝙩:
Also known as ‘Kurosawa effect’, this refers to a phenomenon wherein the same event is interpreted in vastly different ways by different people. The Rashomon effect is named after the popular 1950 Akira Kurosawa movie Rashomon in which a murder is described in 4 different ways by 4 different witnesses of the same crime. It is often used to emphasise the point that people’s perceptions about an event can differ considerably based on their individual personal experiences. Thus it is entirely possible that an event may be described in different ways by different people without any of the witnesses consciously lying.
The narrative structure of Mani Ratnam's Aayutha Ezhuthu/Yuva is partially inspired by Rashomon's daring, nonlinear approach to narrative which shows the details of the crime as they are related, through the flashbacks of those involved.
𝙁𝙞𝙡𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙜:
Ravi K. Chandran was the cinematographer(who also did Dil Chahta Hai, Koi Mil Gaya, Fanaa, Black, My Name is Khan etc) & Sreekar Prasad was the editor.
For the art direction in the film, Sabu Cyril studied each character in depth, giving them a distinct colour, mood and background to suit their temperament. For Michael's house in the film, Cyril followed the arrangement in his own house and used some his own photographs for decorations. He also expressed that he had great difficulty in re-creating the streets of Kolkata for the Hindi version of the film in Chennai.
Anurag Kashyap was the dialogue writer of Yuva.(For a full description of Kashyap's take on the film check link at the end, snippets added here).
Kashyap stated "Mani Sir gave me the story and screenplay he had written. Everything was given to me completely in English. He gave me the opportunity to create a little atmosphere for Lallan's character because he is from Bihar. I know UP [Uttar Pradesh] and Bihar firsthand. So I gave a lot of inputs, the right lingo - Hindi language-wise and attitude wise.
A lot of it was clear in Mani Sir's head before it came to me...Mani Sir and Sujatha Sir - a very senior and great dialogue writer in Tamil - wrote the dialogues for Aayitha Ezhuthu. Sujatha Sir is a novelist who enjoys a cult following in Tamil Nadu. He writes the dialogues for all Mani Ratnam and Shankar films. So they [Ratnam and Sujatha] wrote all the dialogues in Tamil first. Then they were translated in English. Then they were given to me...In some places, he wanted me to stick to the original dialogue because it was making a point. At other places, I was given a free hand. I was allowed to change things. Then the process was reversed. Whatever I wrote in Hindi was translated into English. Mani Sir would check it and ask for changes. It was a long process for Mani Sir, not so much for me.".
Suriya(plays Michael), who made his debut in the 1997 Mani Ratnam production Nerukku Ner, revealed that he agreed "blindly" to star in the film without listening to the story or his character. Suriya stated that his character was based on a real person from Andhra Pradesh and to prepare, he read a lot of books and collected a lot of information before the shoot.
The character of Micheal Vasanth portrayed by Suriya was actually based on a real student union leader George Reddy. George Reddy was a student of Osmania University and was born on 15 January 1947 & died on 14 April 1972.
Madhavan was signed on to appear in Mani Ratnam's fourth successive project after playing the lead roles in his Alaipayuthey (2000) and Kannathil Muthamittal (2002) as well as his 2001 production, Dumm Dumm Dumm. The actor bulked up and sported a shaven look for the first time in his career to resemble his character of a ruffian. Initially actor Vikram was considered to do the role of Madhavan, but unable to sign in due to his other commitments.
Writer Anurag Kashyap was very disappointed with Abhishek Bachchan's performance as Lallan in the film they both were not on talking terms for almost a decade after the film Anurag at the time stated, "If John Abraham is a bad actor than Abhishek Bachchan is equally bad, but who has the b***s to write it? AB was great in Yuva to everybody except me. I am the one who wrote the goddamned lines. I wrote Lallan Singh and they were the best damn lines I ever wrote. And believe me, he didn't understand half of it. He never rose above the script, but he won all the awards. His talent, and his career, the way it has shaped up are two different things and I do not envy him that. He is loved by people. John is rising over the script in what I am doing.
Madhavan recieved more praise for the tamil version compared to Abhishek yet this was a turning point for Abhishek. Shah Rukh Khan was also offered Ajay Devgn's role but turned it down. Hrithik Roshan was offered the role of Lallan Singh, but had to turn down the role citing date issues.
Siddharth, who had previously apprenticed as an assistant director under Mani Ratnam in Kannathil Muthamittal before making his acting debut in Shankar's Boys, was subsequently signed on for the film. Prior to release, Siddharth felt he was cast as he "looked, talked and behaved like Arjun" and mentioned that the sync sound technique used worked in favour of him as he was an experienced theatre actor.
Esha Deol, was then selected to play the role in the Tamil version of the film after Suhasini enquired if she could speak Tamil. After finishing her work in Aaytha Ezhuthu, Deol was signed on for the Hindi version of the film too after Simran also opted out of that role and thus Deol became the only common leading actor between the versions. To prepare for her role, Deol worked on certain pronunciations of Iyer Tamil with Mani Ratnam's assistant Kannan mentoring her progress.
Relative newcomer Trisha was also signed on to play a youngster in the film and dubbed for her own voice for the first time.
𝙎𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙠:
The director initially opted against using songs in the film, but wanted to create an album with A. R. Rahman for the project. However, after the songs were recorded, Mani Ratnam had a change of heart and chose to include them. The song " Badal" was later sampled by Squashead for the song "Tasso".
𝟮. 𝗡𝗮𝘆𝗮𝗸𝗮𝗻(𝟭𝟵𝟴𝟳)/𝗗𝗮𝘆𝗮𝘃𝗮𝗻(𝟭𝟵𝟴𝟴)
"Whether it’s the story of Caesar or Gandhi or the Rotary Club, it starts off as something very small, without the respect it deserves. Nayakan was no exception. We never thought it would be selected as one of Time magazine’s 100 greatest films of all time, or that people will remember it after 25 years. We just wanted to be different."
'Nayakan' which translates to The Public Hero/A Leader also spelt 'Nayagan' is a 1987 cult classic Indian gangster film. Loosely based on the life of the Bombay underworld don Varadarajan Mudaliar, it revolves around the transformation of an ordinary slum dweller named Velu into a feared don through various stages of his life.
The Hindi remake 'Dayavan' which translates to 'The Compassionate' is a 1988 action film directed by Feroz Khan. Feroz Khan, Jeetendra and Amitabh Bachchan all of them had wanted the rights to remake the celebrated film in hindi. Feroz Khan at that time bought the rights to remake the film at a very high unheard price in those days. The film stars Vinod Khanna, Feroz Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Amrish Puri & Aditya Pancholi. The film was talked about for its passionate lovemaking scene between Vinod Khanna and Madhuri Dixit. Dayavan was one of the earlier films of Madhuri Dixit. It was released before Tezaab.Vinod played the titular role who avenges the death of his father. The film is remembered for Vinod Khanna's powerful performance.
Some time in the late 80s, Sanjay Gupta(Kaante) was an assistant on a film that Vinod Khanna was playing the lead role in. Sanjay's job was to get Vinod Khanna from his room to the set. During many of these instances Sanjay usually caught Vinod Khanna repeatedly watching certain scenes from a film on VHS. Upon enquiring about this Khanna said it's a film that will be be remade soon by Feroz. Sanjay took the VHS from him & watched it twice back to back without subtitles. He said of the film "No other film has had the kind of impact that Nayakan has had on Indian Cinema."
Nayakan was released on 21 October 1987. The Censor Board at Chennai initially refused to permit the release of the film, as it was based on a living person. When Srinivasan appealed to the revising committee at Bombay, they said that they would permit the release of the film if he produced a letter stating that it was not based on Mudaliar's life. Through writer Mathiolli Shanmugam, Srinivasan met Mudaliar, who gave him a letter, after which the censor appellate board at Bombay permitted the release of the film.
"The two years I studied in Bombay (1975–77), he [Varadarajan Mudaliar] was at his peak. People in the Matunga belt thought he was God. I used to wonder how anyone could treat a fellow human as God. I never understood why they would do this. It fascinated me. It was such a dramatic story, this man going from Tamil Nadu to Bombay and ruling the city. I outlined this thought to Kamal Haasan and he said fine. That's it. It was done. Decided." – Mani Ratnam on his inspiration to make the film
𝙄𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣
In Kamal Haasan's words -
"Perhaps due to my insecurity about dropping out of school, I’ve always surrounded myself with writers and thinkers, and one such person I met was Subramaniam, whom friends called Subbu and who eventually became Mani Ratnam. He was introduced to me by Kitty (Raja Krishnamurthy). Kitty was the manager at Chola Sheraton. Mani, then as now, was a quiet man, and Kitty used to explain Mani’s ideas. Slowly I started liking the silent man more— not that I liked Kitty less, but I thought this guy was deep.
This was the time I was writing Raajapaarvai, which came out in 1980. Mani wanted to know about the nuances of screenwriting. He used to love a Joseph Hayes novel called The Long Dark Night. He said he wanted to write something like that. We kept discussing various stories. We were all fans of Francis Ford Coppola and The Godfather. We kept saying how long could Tamil cinema keep showing the underworld as people with checked shirts and a kerchief knotted around the neck and laughing like the old villain P.S. Veerappa.
Then Mani said he was doing his first film in Kannada, Pallavi Anupallavi. I was busy with Raajapaarvai, and I was also getting into Hindi films, so I couldn’t do this film. But we kept meeting and talking.
A little later, the producer-director Muktha Srinivasan, with whom I’d made films like Simla Special, said he wanted to make another film with me. I suggested Mani Ratnam’s name. He was amused because the hero usually suggests the name of the heroine in the film, and here I was recommending a director.
Mani told me two stories. One was a gangster story. He said it was based in Bombay. I said that was the way to go, because the film, then, would have a national reach. Muktha Films had a reputation for being tight-fisted. When Mr. Srinivasan heard that we wanted to shoot in Bombay, he wasn’t happy. He just wanted us to make a film — any film — that would net him a profit of Rs. 5 lakh. That is how he was used to working. Films were a business. He wasn’t interested in films as art. But we said we’d shoot only part of the film in Bombay, and he half-heartedly agreed.
𝙁𝙞𝙡𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙜
Contd. Then, we wanted an international look for the action scenes. Unlike Tamil films of the time, Mani had marked out a separate budget for the action, around Rs. 12 lakh. We flew down Jim Allen, the action director and cinematographer, from England. He’d worked out the stunts for films like Sholay. But Mr. Srinivasan packed him off after three days, saying he couldn’t afford him. “We can’t keep spending like this,” he told me. “I think Hindi films have spoilt you.”
But in the three days he was here, he gave Mani and P.C. Sreeram (the cinematographer) many ideas. As he spoke, they actually took down notes about how to topple a car and how to show a bullet leaving a head and how you can shift focus and make a stunt look more effective. When Jim left, I was totally down. Mani doesn’t show his emotions. But I decided to use the props I’d got for other films, like polystyrene bottles that I could bring down and break on Inspector Kelkar’s head. We had gone into such details.
There was no budget for makeup, so I spoke to my guru, Michael Westmore. I’ve trained under him, and we worked together for the first time on Oru Kaidhiyin Diary. I learnt how to apply old-age makeup myself in front of a magnifying mirror, with just an assistant standing by with a fan to dry layer after layer of wrinkled-latex on my face. There was no budget for the costumes, so Sarika moved in.
At some point, I decided that to get into the character, I need ittar (floral perfume). I think I may have been getting ahead of myself. Sarika couldn’t find ittar, and I was getting angry because I was multitasking on this movie — doing makeup for myself, for others, getting props, even cutting the hair of the extras — and I was upset that she couldn’t find something as simple as ittar. Finally, she concocted something and made me believe it was ittar. I was very satisfied. I felt like the character and I knew I could perform well.
Mani had seen me play an old man in Kadal Meengal, Sagara Sangamam and Swathi Muthyam. He said he didn’t want me to look like that, with a wig. I said that, in that case, we’d have to shoot the film in sequence, and I’d have to pluck out my hair towards the end. Simply shaving off the hair wasn’t enough, as the shadow would show. It wouldn’t look like a real bald spot. We decided to make the character prognathic, so I brought in the dentist who’d fashioned my teeth for my role in Kalyanaraman. He made a piece to make my jaw bigger.
All of this was happening without fanfare. We could sense that we were hot on the trail of something good. We — Mani, myself, Sreeram, Thotta Tharrani (the art director whom I’d introduced in Raajapaarvai) — were all collaborating as a team. This wasn’t about showing up only as per the call sheet. As we weren’t allowed to shoot to the extent we wanted in Bombay, Tharrani built the Dharavi set in Madras. When we went to Bombay finally, we shot a few scenes in the real Dharavi — cutaways like me chasing the inspector.
The film was shaping up very well and I was very happy. I was bragging to everyone about what a good film we were making. One day, I was ready to play the scene where Velu Nayakan reacts to his son’s death. We rehearsed the scene. I told Mani I wanted some build up. I thought the junior artists should react to the death first, which would help the funeral pallor to set in. And by the time I came to the corpse, the grief would have seeped into me. I would be in gear to play the scene.
But when the time came, Mani was standing there glumly, and Sreeram was sitting with his head in his hands. I thought there was a technical glitch. I said, “What is the problem? I’m ready. Let’s go.” He showed me a small note from the producer saying that the day’s quota of film stock had been used up, and they had to wait till he sanctioned new stock. This was the producer’s way of making sure we shot responsibly, without going overboard with takes. I was livid. I called my office and asked them to bring the film stock they had in 20 minutes, and in those 20 minutes I was ready to cry. I really felt like my child was dying that day. So the producer probably helped my performance in the film.
He was also indirectly responsible for the scene where the man is garrotted in the car, which is just like The Godfather. I was helping out with the action scenes, and I had written this scenario that I later used in my Thevar Magan, where a truck, with a cargo of steel rods jutting out, reverses and rams into this car and kills him. But Mr. Srinivasan wouldn’t allow a car to be demolished; so we were forced to use the scene from The Godfather. He wasn’t a bad man. He was just from an older school. And he did help at times. I must give him his due. The scene where Velu’s future wife studies for her exams in the brothel was suggested by him.
Mani was not happy with the climax. I was not happy with it. By the time, I was tired. I wanted to get this film done. When we were in Bombay, we spoke to Varada Bhai (Varadaraja Mudaliar on whose life the film is based), and Mani had the audacity to ask him, “How do you foresee your death?” He said he would either die peacefully in a hospital (which is what happened) but left to the police, who couldn’t prove anything against him, they would bring him out of court and someone would slap him. This would cause a riot and they would then shoot him. This sparked the climax in Mani’s head.
The way Kelkar’s death was filmed (and later, the death of Velu Nayakan’s son), I knew Mani was making a really good movie. And also the kind of movie that we all dreamt of making. During the Holi sequence, I told Mani that Velu Nayakan should not dance. And Mani agreed. No director at that time would have agreed to this. Earlier in my career, I told Bharathiraja that the psychopathic killer in Sigappu Rojakkal should not be singing and dancing. But he deflected my objections saying that the song ( Ninaivo oru paravai) was a dream song, shot from the heroine’s point of view. At least that made sense. But other times, people simply wouldn’t listen to me, and here Mani simply said, “Of course Velu Nayakan doesn’t dance.”
We stumbled a lot while making this film. But Mani just got up and dusted himself off and went on to the next thing. He kept his cool. He was tethered throughout the shoot. He withstood storms. And he was not afraid to surround himself with strong contributors like the writer Balakumaran, whose ease with the local syntax and dialect helped to compensate for Mani’s urbanity. There were no egos on the set. Mani would shoot down ideas. He would also accept ideas. When Velu is taken to a brothel in a song sequence, I expressed my exasperation by rolling my eyes. Mani told me that this was a very Western thing, and asked if I could give a more Indian expression. That was a very happy day for me. Suddenly I had someone who noticed these small things that make up a performance.
Nayakan was one of the films — along with the films I’ve done with Balu Mahendra, K. Vishwanath and, of course, my guru K. Balachander — that made me decide that I should not be doing short-lived masala movies anymore. Except nostalgia, they added nothing to my career. I was fed up. I was nearing middle-age. I thought, “If I don’t do this now, then when will I do it?” After wrapping the film, I was so happy that I took Sarika and went for a walk around the empty set. I remember just sitting there with a satisfied sigh."
Nayakan was notable for using the frame-within-the-frame technique of filmmaking.
𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙨
Often wrongly cited as an inspired version of 'The Godfather'. Nayakan is an original film. The only similarity between the two films is the gangster genre. While The Godfather is a fictional tale about a don and his family based upon Mario Puzo bestselling novel, Nayakan is based on the real life don Varadaraja Mudaliar.
Although Kamal has acknowledged to Nayakan being inspired by The Godfather, Ratnam has denied this, stating, "It's easy to classify films in simple categories. Nayakan and The Godfather belong to the gangster genre. There's no similarity to The Godfather."
One scene in the film involves Velu and Selvam tying their illicit cargo to large bags of salt attached to rubber inner tubes which they then dump into the sea; the cargo sinks from the weight of the salt, but when the salt dissolves the cargo bobs to the surface, by which time they have passed the customs officers. This scene was described by Lalitha Gopalan in her 2002 book Cinema of Interruptions as an homage to Once Upon a Time in America, a view that was shared by S. Shiva Kumar of The Hindu.
Lalitha Gopalan notes that the film "attempts faithfully to re-create a historical period by carefully managing different aspects of the mise en scène. More than any other detail in the mise en scène, automobiles – different models of cars, jeeps, and vans – indicate the passage of time within the diegesis."
𝙎𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙠
The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja, this being his 400th film soundtrack. The music in Nayakan ties you with the character, when you see the character you hear the music associated with the character. Especially Neela's theme. This was Hollywood style of scoring, it had never been done in Indian cinema before until Illayaraja started this trend (now popular as BGM).
Reputed to be the world's most prolific composer, he is credited with introducing Western musical sensibilities in the Indian film musical mainstream. Being the first Asian to compose a full symphony, Ilaiyaraaja is known to have written the entire symphony in less than a month.He is a gold medalist in classical guitar from Trinity College of Music, London, Distance Learning Channel. His scores are often performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra.
Ilaiyaraaja is a recipient of five National Film Awards. American world cinema portal "Taste of Cinema" placed him at the 9th position in its list of 25 greatest film composers in the history of cinema, the only Indian in the list. According to Achille Forler, board member of the Indian Performing Right Society, the kind of stellar body of work that Ilaiyaraaja has created in the last 40 years should have placed him among the world's top 10 richest composers, somewhere between Andrew Lloyd Webber ($1.2 billion) and Mick Jagger (over $300 million).
𝙍𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣
The film was a commercial success, running for over 175 days in theatres and thereby becoming a silver jubilee film. This Movie ran 224 days in Bangalore Pallavi theatre at Karnataka. It was later dubbed & released in Hindi as Velu Nayakan. In 2015, Nayakan was screened at the Habitat Film Festival. This landmark movie was instrumental in establishing Mani Ratnam as one of India's premier directors.
The film received critical acclaim. At the 1987 National Film Awards, Nayakan won the awards for Best Actor (Haasan), Best Cinematography (P. C. Sreeram) and Best Art Direction (Thota Tharani). The film was India's official submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1988 at the 60th Academy Awards; however, it was not shortlisted among the final nominees.
"There was a screening of the film at Savera hotel. I urged Mani to go and talk to people but he just walked away saying that there was no glory in this. He was right. I told the producer that he was going to get awards. He said he hadn’t made the film to get awards, merely to make profits. And he was nervous about the film’s dark lighting and so on. He complained that I had spoilt his chances of making a profit, which is when I offered to buy the film from him. Later, GV bought the film. And after the film came out, what the producer feared became a fashion. Every Tamil film began to have under lit sequences. And the heroes began to gel their hair.
Had the producer been more cooperative and had he had more vision, Mani would have ensured that the film came out better. He would have also been a healthier man. His heart attack might have happened at a later stage. Mani was worn out by all the extracurricular activities, which are not part of filmmaking. I am always asked when Mani and I will work together again. I don’t know if we can summon up that same feeling of doing a film for the pleasure. Now there’s too much pressure. And I don’t blame Mani. He’s been so tormented by producers that now he wants to make films exactly the way he wants. And if I would be an impediment, he would be right in removing me."
𝙇𝙚𝙜𝙖𝙘𝙮
Nayakan became a "landmark" of popular Indian cinema. As a part of its legacy, the film has been acclaimed for being a box-office success whilst containing the critic elements of art.
English journalist Phil Hardy stated in his 1997 book The BFI Companion to Crime, "From the films that followed in the wake of The Godfather, the most interesting is Mani Rathnam's Nayakan (1987) starring (Kamal Haasan) in a fictional version of the Bombay gangster Varadarajan Mudaliar's life."
In 2005, the magazine TIME included Nayakan in its list of "All-Time 100 Best Films". After the film was selected by TIME as one of the best, insiders of the magazine spoke about Ratnam's work in the film, saying "Ratnam has no such difficulty blending melodrama and music, violence and comedy, realism and delirium, into a two-and-a-half-hour demonstration that, when a gangster's miseries are mounting, the most natural solution is to sing in the rain."The tagline given to the film by TIME was "A terrific gangster epic in the Godfather style." The film was also included in "Best Bollywood Classics" by TIME.
The film was ranked 13th in The Moving Arts Film Journal list of greatest films of all time. Nayakan was also included in NDTV's list "India's 20 greatest films". In April 2013, on the centenary of Indian cinema, CNN-News18 included the film in its list of "100 greatest Indian films of all time".
𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒄𝒂𝒑𝒔 𝒐𝒏, 𝒍𝒆𝒕'𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒈 𝒅𝒆𝒆𝒑
A recurring theme in Mani Ratnam films seem to be "The Circle of life". He tries to draw a full circle of life within the confines of a certain aspect ratio of a Projector Screen.
At the beginning of the film we see a child asking his father existential questions. He thinks he gets the answer & begins to confidently follow that principle. But at the end of the life he's forced re-evaluate his life long belief system. It all comes full circle when we see another child asking him the same existential questions & he answers with "I don't know".
The film also starts with a child witnessing the murder of his father & seeking vengeance. The film ends with a child avenging his father's death. Therefore one can say that Velu isn't let off easy. His actions have had consequences that come knocking at his door towards the end. Poetic justice has been delivered.This film captures the lifespan of a man's ascent to & descent from power.
We see the motif of Pigeons throughout the film. They seem to symbolise Velu's subjects. When he first climbs the power structure the scene depicts people at his door waiting to be heard meanwhile Velu is feeding the pigeons , this establises that he now has people dependent on him that he takes care of.
When we see the beginning of his fall from power it's a turning point in the film. The scene is with his daughter who's admonishing him & the pigeons in the background seem to shy away/cower in fear at the same moment as he raises his hand at his daughter, signifying his people moving away from him. There's also a beautiful shot of the pigeons taking flight at the Gateway of India when he meets his would be wife. There are many observations to be made in this regard, whether intentional or unintentional that remains to be answered.
A frame within a frame occurs when you use a visual element in the image to frame the primary subject. The purpose of using a frame within a frame is to help move the viewer’s eye toward that subject. The beauty of incorporating a frame within the frame is that it can be virtually anything you want - a doorway or window, a cave or tunnel, or even foliage, clouds, or areas of light and shadow.
In Nayakan we see several instances of this pioneering technique at the time put in good use by P.C Sreeram & Mani Ratnam using windows, doorways, archways, car windows etc. Not only did this improve the aesthetic of the film & give the film a never before seen fresh look it also worked for the backdrop the film was set in, the slum areas. Mani Ratnam's intention was to give the audience an experience of the compressed, congested lifestyle that the characters lead & this helped achieve the goal.
We also see that when Velu is rising to power all his interactions with his people happen through thresholds where he stands on the inside & the people are always on the other side requesting a favor or reporting information. This establises a power dynamic of who's in charge. It's not until Velu's eventual downfall we see that the people have started appearing inside the threshold without his permission which signifies a shift in power dynamics. Towards the very end it is Velu who is crossing & entering thresholds signifying his fall.
Nayakan is also among the first Indian films to establish the multi-linguistic identify of the country. There are scenes where Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Gujrati & English are used in dialogue.
"This film created a craze for cinematography. For an Indian film it was new in terms of craft. PC Sreeram created these high contrast light vs dark images. Those who came after this film tried to imitate & experiment with lighting to achieve the kind of effect P.C Sreeram did. It shattered what people would look for in terms of technical achievement. Even with the make-up, Kamal Hassan's aging , it was realism, these were the things never done before in Indian cinema. Kamal had dentures & realistic make-up for aging. People were gobsmacked, this was the kind of stuff that came out of Hollywood. The National awards committee that year which was headed by Shyam Benegal were releasing statement after statement saying that they were stunned by what had happened here(Tamil Cinema). They were stunned by the quality of films made here. They won most of the awards. It had a legendary score from Illayaraja. Satya(1998), Vastav(1999) all have influences of or scenes paying homage to Nayakan."
𝙇𝙞𝙣𝙠𝙨:
  1. AskBr on Mani Ratnam's Nayakan by Baradwaj Rangan, Film Companion -

    https://youtu.be/H2KtbafaffU
  2. Aayutha Ezhuthu Analysis of Colors & Story Arcs (Part 1) Video Essay by Moving Images - https://youtu.be/FBnB3IH_6Hk
  3. Aayutha Ezhuthu Analysis of Colors & Story Arcs (Part 2) Video Essay by Moving Images - https://youtu.be/Bvp0iCbXnyQ
  4. Aayutha Ezhuthu Analysis of Colors & Story Arcs (Part 3) Video Essay by Moving Images - https://youtu.be/mfqcRoldxO0
  5. Love of Cinema Podcast on Nayakan with Baradwaj Rangan https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5idXp6c3Byb3V0LmNvbS8yNTc3ODgucnNz
  6. Anurag Kashyap on Yuva - https://m.rediff.com/movies/2004/may/18anurag.htm
𝗦𝘂𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗿𝘆/𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀
Ref: Wiki, IMDb, Online articles, YouTube.
(Contd in Part b for Thiruda Thiruda)
submitted by anoceandrop to bollywood [link] [comments]


2020.06.25 02:28 Zithero Of Nite and Dei: [Chapter 6]

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Yuki groaned as she slowly felt herself coming back to reality.
A warm cloth lay draped over her forehead and eyes as a gentle hand lightly washed her face. She tried to open her eyes, only to see a dark damp close up of off-white terry cloth. She closed her eyes again and sighed.
Was she finally safe? Was she somehow rescued? Jax and Jophiel must have come for her! She knew she could put her faith in those crazy bastards!
“How long was I out?” Yuki asked, her mind racing, “What happened...?” Memories of the crash coursed through her mind as she tried to sit up.
As she did, her attention was drawn to the gentle hand that was rubbing the warm cloth over her forehead.
“Just a dream...” she said out loud.
The whole thing had to be a dream. She must have knocked her head when the asteroid collided with her ship and just been in some kind of coma since. Hopefully, she prayed, not too much time passed.
An unfamiliar voice answered her, in an even more unfamiliar language, more hisses, and growls! “Ah, ath 'er!”
Reality began to sink in for Yuki, this wasn't a dream at all! In a moment of panic, she snatched the cloth off her face and flung it away. As it slapped to the ground, Yuki blinked the moisture and the sleep from her eyes. Her arm felt weak, as did her legs, but still, her body tried to spring to life as it was flooded with adrenaline.
As she turned, she zeroed in on a red-scaled hand squeezing a fresh cloth into a basin of water. The tips of the fingers had claws. The claws were red, well-manicured, and apparently very sharp, though some seemed more sharpened than others.
Her gaze followed the hand up to the arm, which was clad in a very loose white sleeve above the forearm, a muscular one she noted. She then followed the arm to a shoulder, and soon a face. A dragon’s face, certainly male, the face stretched across a short muzzle, no more than 10cm from his actual head, his nostrils flared gently.
He smiled, sharp teeth showing his yellow eyes cheerfully looking down on her.
In his version of reality, he smiled warmly and spoke with compassion.
“Bvqr tvb 'elmh!” The red Nite said, which to him meant, “Good Morning, Miss!” - but to Yuki, it may as well have meant “I'm going to roast you, eat you, and suck the marrow from your splintered bones.”
Yuki jumped off the bed she was laying on as swiftly as she could, thanks to the adrenaline rushing through her bloodstream. As her eyes darted around the room she worked to get her bearings.
Before her was a seemingly normal examination table, where she had been laying moments earlier. It would have been a normal examination table, if not for its larger size, and what appeared to be a circular cut-out near the middle. There was sanitary paper on the cushion of the medical table. A portion of the sanitary paper was lying draped over the side in front of her, likely dragged from when she slipped off the edge.
Across from her, behind the red dragon, she spotted a counter with various medical supply jars, drawers, and cabinets. No windows existed in this room, leaving Yuki with no escape besides the single door that was behind the fearsome red dragon. He stood between her and the only exit.
Was this where she was going to be seasoned? She had no way of knowing and didn’t intend to find out. All she knew was that she had to get out of here somehow. Her heart hammered in her throat as her eyes roamed the shelves, looking for something she could use as a weapon.
Sensing her distress, the red Nite held his hands out to her, trying to calm her down. Unknowingly to him, this only made him look more menacing.
“Get the Oblivion away from me you monster!” she screeched, looking around nervously for any kind of tool or distraction. She was desperate to put distance between herself and the creature.
The room was very clean and quite well organized. All along the shelves were jars with various small sterilized needles, cotton balls, band-aids, and cotton swabs. Yuki noticed that everything was from the same company. A logo on all of them read ‘Niten Medical Services.’ At least, that is what she could have read if it was in a familiar language. She did, however, see a syringe in clear plastic wrap, and dove for it. As she grabbed it, it seemed almost comically large. The needle’s point was massive, the syringe material was thicker than what she was used to on Dei.
...
“Ut Oblivionis a me tibi monstrum!” The angel girl yelled to the red Nite, Serren. He may not have understood the language but he surely understood her emotion. He could sense her fear and panic, he just wasn't sure how to calm her down.
“Miss, please! I'm only trying to help- GRAH!” Serren yelped as the angel girl had grabbed the sterilized needle and rushed at him. He managed to jump up onto the examination table, his leap putting him on the far edge; he barely hung on by his toe-claws as the panicked angel shoulder checked the table, sending Serren tumbling ungracefully to the floor in a heap.
...
Yuki grinned wide and dashed out the door as she had managed to knock the dragon to the floor. With as much speed as she could manage she turned and shut the door tight behind her.
With her back to the wall, Yuki held the handle of the door shut. Yuki was certain she had trapped the red dragon inside. Inside where, of course, was the question. As she took in her surroundings, what she saw next made her blood run cold.
There were about twelve Nite dragons walking calmly about the hallways, all dressed in similar white nurses' gowns and garments, some wore light blue, some dark green, but all seemed to be the same style as the red Nite from inside.
Each of these Nite dragons had various colors and patterns on their scales. Some were striped with opposing colors, others had spots or blotches of slightly off-color scales on their bodies.
Their wings were all either wrapped around their shoulders or held tight against their backs, with tails held against their right or left legs as if to keep the hallway clear.
The hallway where Yuki had escaped held many doors, all with writing that Yuki didn’t understand. She glanced to her right, spotting a pair of double doors leading to still more hallways and doors. If she didn’t know any better, she would say she was in a hospital.
Is this still a dream? Yuki thought to herself.
To her left, she saw what looked like a lobby. Through the lobby, the light of the midday sun was shining through a series of pane glass windows and doors of various sizes. She was about to make a run for one of those doors, but something blocked her path.
Suddenly three other Nite, a yellow, a blue and a green, rushed by Yuki with another red Nite in a stretcher, he looked badly injured.
It looked like his arm, and the wing on his right side had been crushed by something. He was flinching in pain; two of the Nite, a man and a woman in white nurses’ gowns were talking to him, trying to calm him with soft hisses and growls.
Yuki’s hand slipped off the door handle as she pressed herself tight against the wall, hoping no one would notice her.
With Yuki’s hand no longer holding the door, Serren stepped out of the small examination room, searching for Yuki, checking his left and right as he did so.
The blue nite, wearing dark green clothing, faced Serren who had stepped cautiously out of the examination room.
"Hahvt Serren! Qh at alh vhthbr alyv! Tavnt tsyd!" she tossed him a necklace with two metals stamped on it. They looked like dog tags. Serren caught them and nodded, looking down the hallway
He looked to the tags in his hand, and then to the angel girl. He stepped toward her attempting to calm her, achieving the opposite.
The words seemed to send a shiver down Yuki’s spine, and it was then she realized that Serren had escaped!
He approached her once more. Without another thought, Yuki made a mad dash towards the lobby.
Serren called out after her as she ran, “Meyshhev y'etesver at hemlak hezh!”
They probably want to make me their next dinner... I've got to get out of this place!
As she rushed through the lobby, however, something grabbed her wrist.
“Al tezvez!” Lazzerlth shouted.
She turned to see the concerned face of Lazzerlth looking down on her. Yuki’s eyes widened in horror as she recalled the face of the dragon who had captured her. In a last-ditch effort to escape, she jabbed Lazzerlth with the needle.
Lazzerlth roared in pain and released her, allowing Yuki to dash out through the doors to freedom, or so she thought.
As Yuki passed through the glass doors of the hospital she was met with the grand sight of a massive skyline.
Glass and steel buildings reached high into the air shone brightly in the warm windy air as the sun beamed down on them.
Yuki staggered back, shocked by what she saw, unsure what to make of any of this as she craned her neck up, taking another few steps back to try and see how high the towers before her rose. Large, rounded skyscrapers and Niten dragons flying from spire to spire greeted her eyes, “this is a village?” Yuki sputtered out loud.
Yuki’s limbs began to ache, and this reminded her of her dire situation. She had injured the dragon that had captured her, now was her time to escape!
...
“Nurse Serren! Take these and log him in! Hunting accident!”
Serren had caught the tags, glancing at Yuki. She appeared like a frightened child before him. He moved towards her, but before he could say a word she rushed towards the lobby!
“Someone stop that angel!” Serren shouted.
That’s when Serren spotted the hunting party of Lazzerlth and Fezzick, who were waiting in the lobby. Lazzerlth rushed toward Yuki with blinding speed, grabbing her.
“Hold it right there!” Lazzerlth shouted before Yuki jabbed her with the needle.
In a flash, Yuki rushed out of the hospital.
Serren ran towards Lazzerlth, “Did she hurt you?!”
Lazzerlth glared at Serren, “no, I feel fine,” she said, showing the needle buried in her forearm.
“Let me get you cleaned up,” Serren offered sheepishly.
...
As Yuki’s eyes adjusted she shook the awe from her mind as she remembered what her survival book had told her. She was in the heart of a massive Niten city, albeit more advanced than she had expected. She wasn't prepared at all to handle this on many levels. Yuki took stock of what was on her, discovering she was dressed only in a hospital gown and did not even have shoes!
Nevertheless, she dashed down the sidewalk, dodging the few Nite she encountered along the way, her feet stinging with every footfall.
From out of nowhere, a Nite landed right in front of her.
The nite dragon towered over Yuki’s small form as he landed, looming over her. He gazed down at her with clear curiosity. Yellow scales glinted in the sunlight as he smiled warmly to her, showing off his teeth, “hev, terav zh Dei aneg'l!!”
Yuki saw his teeth and heard his voice, and she quickly ran past him, dodging his tail as she pushed by his large form.
For good measure, Yuki ran across the street, her feet burning on the hot asphalt as she ran.
I've got to get out of here and to the nearest forest to take cover! She thought as she panted heavily, not paying any of the Nite any more attention, hoping not to be caught. Her adrenaline was now wearing off, and she was feeling the fatigue in her limbs and body as she struggled to maintain her current speed.
Yuki’s vision began to tunnel as she tried to make her way down the now seemingly endless street towards the next intersection. The streets themselves were empty of any cars or trucks, she wondered briefly what they were for if no one was on the roads. The towers of glass and steel cast complete shadows over the street she ran down, giving her feet a welcome break from the hot concrete.
Is this street abandoned? Yuki thought to herself as she finally reached the corner of the block she was now staggering down. Crossing the asphalt was a marked set of lines, seemingly a crosswalk of some sort. A yellow light clicked on and began to flash, catching Yuki’s attention.
Yuki stopped, heaving, panting, and sweating profusely as she tried to catch her breath. Her hands-on her thighs, she looked down at her feet, which were dirty and may have had blisters.
The roar of a large engine drew her attention, and she looked upwards in time to see that there were, in fact, vehicles on the streets. Yuki was frozen in place as the truck sailed back, it’s thick tires rumbling over the asphalt street. As it passed by Yuki found her attention drawn to the back of the truck.
What she saw inside filled her with horror.
As the truck lumbered by, Yuki’s eyes were locked onto the open tailgate. As the truck shifted and bucked numerous animal carcasses shifted back and forth. Moving between the sides of meat were a pair of Nite dragons who wore leather smocks and gloves. Their feet clad in thick rubber-like boots that fit over their claws to protect from a fluid that dropped from the hanging corpses.
The nite dragons sprayed the meat in brine like substance, the salty and thick scent wafting out of the truck. The odor was enough to make Yuki gag, covering her mouth in shock.
As she had run, she had done her best to ignore the throbbing pain from the soles of her feet. The weakness in her legs was now reminding her that she had been poisoned not long ago. Specifically, her arm, which had been bitten, was weakest. She flexed her fingers, testing them. Her hand could barely close, and she wondered what she would do now.
Every corner she turned revealed a new horror to her, and her legs gave out under her. Yuki couldn’t help but whimper as the confusing and frightening scenery overwhelmed her.

Serren dressed Lazzerlth’s wound, wrapping her forearm in gauze after removing the large needle. “I’m sorry, I didn’t think she’d use the needle to harm you.”
Lazzerlth’s sighed, “I know, uh…?”
“Serren,” he introduced himself to Lazzerlth, grinning a toothy grin.
Lazzerlth noted his unusually white teeth and made the assumption he had a pretty stringent hygiene regime.
Fezzick spoke up, “now that Lazz is tended too we should probably get that angel woman back… I know she had the anti-venom but she’s probably not in the best state to be up and about.”
“At least she isn’t in the wilderness, she’s safe in the city,” Lazzerlth pointed out.
A woman in a white coat over hunter green shirt and pants marched over to the group, “Nurse Serren, please tell me where, exactly, you relocated the angel girl?”
“Doctor Terasuki!” Serren’s cheeks darkened as he turned to the blue nite, “uh, she… ran away.”
“She,” the doctor took a deep inhale through her nostrils, each flexing inward and out as she released her breath, “what?”
The three could feel the agitation from Doctor Terasuki, each staging back from the authoritative woman.
Lazzerlth spoke first, “Fezz and I have her scent, we’ll get her! We got her the first time!” and the pair rushed out of the lobby.
“Wait!” Doctor Terasuki shouted, her tail flicking in agitation as the hunting party left.
Serren frowned, “Doctor, I’m sure they’ll find her.”
“And terrify her further,” she turned to Serren, “catch up with them, and gently entice her to come back!”
“I don’t understand why she ran,” Serren frowned, “she seemed so scared.”
“If I had to hazard a guess,” Doctor Terasuki explained, “I would point to culture shock.”
“Pardon Doctor?” Serren asked, not grasping the doctor’s meaning.
“Well Serren what if you were suddenly thrust into an entirely different world, nothing familiar from the color of the sky to the shape of the buildings? I'm sure you wouldn't be calm.”
“I don't suppose I would be...” Serren nodded understandingly.
“Yes, and you, Serren, are an intelligent Niten being. The angel, however, is a primitive, so imagine how much more difficult it is for her. Nurse Serren, you've got to find her and bring her back here so we can put all of this slowly into context. If we can slowly bring her up to speed, then we can work on getting her acclimated.”
Serren nodded in understanding, “all right, I’ll get her.” his eyes lit up and he grinned wide, an idea popping into his head. Serren turned and rushed to an examination room, running out the door with a large sheet tucked under his arm.
Doctor Terasuki gave Serren an odd look as he rushed out the door. Whatever he was going to use the sheet for, he felt it was clever, that much she gleaned from his emotional state as he rushed by her.
Serren jumped into the air, flying after where he sensed Lazzerlth and Fezzick. He was concerned, however, as each of them seemed distressed.

Yuki was shaking, catching her breath, and slowly pulling herself up to her feet with help from the side of the building she had leaned against. A thud caught her attention, and Yuki saw a long shadow cast over her.
The shadow was cast by Lazzerlth, who had landed next to her. “Shelvem shevb, n'eret hemlak!” she exclaimed.
Yuki’s eyes went wide, and she screamed in fear, staggering back, stumbling as she rounded the corner, “no! Get away!” tears streamed down her face, “I don’t want to die!”
Lazzerlth took a step back in shock.
Yuki’s desperate scramble to get away was stopped as her back hit against someone’s legs. She looked up, eyes wide as she gazed up at Fezzick’s massive form. She tried to get to her feet and run forward, now barely standing, trapped between the pair of hunters. Yuki’s hands went over her head, and she closed her eyes tight as she hit her knees hard, “I can’t take it! Just make it quick for the love of the Guardian!”
Another thud now, and Yuki’s eyes looked up to see Serren standing before her. Before she could say anything, he tossed a white sheet over her.
Yuki’s breathing slowed as the cool sheet landed over her burning skin. It was a strangely calming situation, the sheet blocking out the strange landscape and hiding her from the dragons she was certain was trying to eat her.
Serren’s voice softly spoke to the other dragons, barely audible.
---
Lazzerlth frowned, “She’s terrified,” she noted as she looked at Yuki’s hands over her head, screaming something unintelligible to her ears.
“Non possum accipere! Lustus facere vivos pro amore Custos!” Yuki screamed.
Fezzick frowned, “Lazz-”
Lazzerlth interrupted him, “I didn’t want to terrify her!”
Fezzick forced a smile at her, "I'm sure it's just because she's never seen a Nite before, and she can’t understand us," Fezzick frowned as he tentatively approached her, “the language barrier is likely not helping.”
“She sounds like my mother did when she was killed by those rippers.” Lazzerlth was cut off by Serren as he landed in front of her.
Before anyone else could act, Serren tossed a large sheet over Yuki.
Fezzick grinned, giving an approving hand gesture to Serren.
Serren hushed both of them, “she’s overwhelmed, and frightened, let me try this if it doesn’t work you can carry her back.”
Lazzerlth gave a nod as Serren made his way to the edge of the sheet, slipping under it.
---
Yuki watched as the sheet’s edge lifted, and her breath hitched as Serren crawled under the sheet with her.
Yuki was about to bolt before Serren held both of his hands up, palms flat, approaching her slowly.
Her breathing was rapid as he gradually closed the distance between them.
Serren’s hand reached out to Yuki’s.
Yuki relaxed for a moment, but as Serren’s hand wrapped around her, she pulled back, gasping in pain as her withdrawal from Serren caused her arm to graze one of his claws.
Yuki fell to the concrete under the sheet and turned to Serren in shock, but for the first time, she wasn’t scared by what she saw.
A look of horror had crossed Serren’s face as he looked at the blood on his claw tip. He then turned to her wound, looking even more concerned.
For the first time, it wasn’t dread that gripped Yuki. Did she felt something from this dragon? Was it compassion?
Serren reached into his pocket, holding his hand up flat again. He pulled out a small med-kit from his pocket, showing her ointment and a rolled-up bandage, motioning to Yuki’s arm.
Yuki looked to the scratch on her arm as blood trickled over her skin, and glanced back to Serren’s hand. Yuki slowly offered her arm to him. Is he a good dragon? Is he trying to protect me? She thought.
Serren smiled at her, gently taking her arm in his hand. He applied the ointment first, causing Yuki to flinch as it stung her. “Test'er,” Serren said in apology.
Yuki looked to his reptilian yellow eyes, unsure how but knowing he was sorry he hurt her. “It’s okay,” Yuki whispered.
Serren’s eyes remained on hers as he bandaged her arm. He moved closer to her as he dressed her wound.
Yuki examined Serren carefully, for the first time up close to a dragon. She watched as his yellow eyes gazed into her own while he paid special attention to her arm. His straight horns dragged against the sheet as his head turned slightly.
She noticed the patterns of his scales, noting how they were arranged over his shoulders and neck. How the scales were smooth and covered his muscled shoulders and neck, she even noticed that, while the majority were red, little specks of black could be seen here and there. While still unnerved, this nite dragon eased her tension while caring for her wound.
But her exertion had caught up with her at last. Yuki felt herself fall forward, and as she did she held her hand out, stopping herself against Serren’s chest.
A chest that was surprisingly hard, with taut muscles.
Serren smiled warmly to her as he finished dressing her wound. “Zh besder, gebret hekl besder peshevt teyreg'e.”
Yuki didn’t understand a word he said, but the tone he used was soft, gentle, and soothing. She rested her head against his chest and gave a soft sigh of relief as his hand gently stroked her hair.
Serren’s arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her close to his body.
Yuki’s stomach dropped as Serren stood, lifting the small angel off the ground. His head vanished as he pulled the sheet around his neck, and Yuki felt herself getting pulled up higher so that Serren’s shoulder was now available for her to nestle her head against.
Without any more resistance, Yuki nuzzled her face into the crook of Serren’s neck, and relaxed, letting her mind drift.
----
“It's all right, miss. Everything is fine, just relax,” Serren said as he gathered the exhausted and terrified angel up in his arms.
He stood, pulled the sheet from his head, and made sure to get her as comfortable as possible. To his shock, the angel girl nuzzled her face between his neck and shoulder, causing his cheeks to darken.
Fezzick chuckled, “well that worked out pretty well.”
Serren nodded, “It helps if you treat her like a patient and not prey.”
“I was trying to get her back to the hospital as soon as possible,” Lazzerlth defended, “so I had to capture her. If she was a little worse for the wear, it was for her own good.”
A smile crept over Serren’s face, “hunter logic.”
“Excuse me?” Lazzerlth said, confused by Serren’s come back.
“Just like my mate, she was a hunter too, you know,” Serren explained.
Fezzick frowned, “Sorry for your loss.”
Lazzerlth sighed, “I lost my mother when I was young too. She was a hunter. When the angel was screaming it reminded me of how she died. We were ambushed by rippers,” she shuddered, “I barely got away, I owe her my life.”
“That’s why we honor you,” Fezzick comforted, “for your noble sacrifices for all of us. There’s nothing more selfless than a hunter.”
Serren’s smile faded, “Allia was less selfless than most.”
Lazzerlth’s eyes went wide, “Wait… did you say ‘Allia’?”
“As in the Allia Misho? Are you Serren Misho?” Fezzick mirrored Lazzerlth’s surprise.
Without a word, Serren took to the air, flying Yuki back to the hospital.
“Touchy subject?” Lazzerlth asked.
Fezzick shook his head, “I love you Lazz, but sometimes, you think too much like a hunter.”

Yuki opened her eyes and sat up with a start. Her heart was racing and she looked around, getting a bearing on her surroundings.
No strange examination table was there to greet her, though she was unsure where she was. She was in a soft bed, with comfortable white sheets. The floor was a hard tile surface, and on the far wall was a large mirror stretching the majority length of the wall. To the left of the mirror was a windowless metal door.
Harsh white light glowed over her from a fluorescent bulb in the ceiling.
To her left, she saw a glass of water and a meal waiting for her.
She reached for the water and drank it down quickly. She heaved a sigh of relief and leaned back against her pillow.
She looked at the tray next to her, pulling back some foil on the top back and sighed as the scent of the meat and gravy wafted up to her nose.
“Real cooked food,” she shivered and dug in. As she ate, a few questions lingered in her mind:
Where was she?
How long has she been asleep?
What was this meat?
While she was happy for a cooked meal, the meat had a taste and consistency she had never experienced before. She assumed it was some sort of processed patty in gravy and tried not to give it too much thought as she finished it.
She felt as if she had not eaten in days, and she searched the room for a clock or television which could confirm the date and time for her.
While she searched, however, she spotted her survival bag in the corner of the room! She got out of bed, finding she was far sturdier on her feet than she was the last time she woke up. Did she wake up?
She approached her bag and searched through it, confirming all of the contents were still there.
The ripper meat was missing, as were her rations. Inside she found the pistol, her flight suit, field guide, and all the other non-perishable items.
She looked at the pistol, and checked the magazine, finding it empty. “Damn it,” she cursed.
An intercom chimed, interrupting Yuki’s search.
...
Doctor Terasuki looked over a small tablet and rolled her eyes as she entered the room overlooking Yuki’s. She spotted Serren sitting at a table behind a two-way mirror.
“I called you as soon as she woke up,” Serren informed.
Doctor Terasuki heaved a sigh, “Fleeing from a hospital... running away from her rescuers… Of course, I’m saddled with this.”
Serren frowned at the doctor. “Dr. Terasuki? She seemed to calm down quite a bit after I covered her with the sheet.”
Dr. Terasuki nodded, “Sensory overload, that was an excellent idea, Serren.” She jotted a few more things down. “Amusing the sheet worked, I would suggest the same thing for a pet if they were panicking,” she grumbled as she watched Yuki get up and walk towards the bag with her possessions inside. “Glad to see the medication helped her recover while she rested.”
“When she woke up the first time it had only just been administered,” Serren explained.
Doctor Terasuki nodded, looking at the tablet, “Forty doctors in this entire hospital, and I’m saddled with the primitive.”
“Of those forty doctors,” Serren smiled, “You are the only one who speaks Evangelian fluently.”
Dr. Terasuki grumbled, “Regretting my thirst for literary knowledge already.” She looked through the two-way mirror at Yuki, watching her dig through the satchel that was found near her makeshift shelter. She took a deep breath and shook her head as Yuki eagerly checked the weapon. The doctor pressed a small button, activating the intercom connected to Yuki’s room.
....
“Miss? I'm Doctor Terasuki. How are you feeling?”
“Wait, someone speaking Evangelian?” Yuki looked around the room, first to the speaker and then the mirror, “I... I'm fine now... how did you get me out of the city? Where am I?” she noticed an odd accent to the voice. As if the doctor was speaking into a hollow cup with an ever so slight lisp. She let the pistol fall back into the bag.
Yuki’s heart leaped in her chest, “Did you rescue me?”
...
The doctor let go of the button, “Oh, so now she’s grateful for the rescue?” she glanced at Serren.
“Maybe because she cannot see us?” Serren reasoned.
Doctor Terasuki nodded, “Yes, of course. She probably thinks she’s back home.” She jotted something down onto her tablet “...hmm.” Doctor Terasuki pressed the button again.
...
“You're quite safe now Miss. You’re in an isolation room at the hospital to help you acclimate after your ordeal,” the Doctor explained.
Yuki smiled a bit, almost relieved, “Thank the Guardian... and it’s Mrs.”
There was hesitation from the voice before it chimed in, “We're going to make this as easy for you as possible Mrs… I’m sorry what’s your name?”
Yuki closed up her satchel, walking to the bed and sitting, “Yuki Karkade.”
“Well Mrs. Karkade, if there is anything you need just tap on the glass,” Doctor Terasuki explained.
Yuki stretched, taking note of how dirty she felt from her ordeal, “Uhm... Some privacy, if at all possible?”
...
Doctor Terasuki gave a look to Serren, “Sorry Nurse Serren, I need to study her physiology, please head out.”
“Are you certain?” Serren asked.
Doctor Terasuki narrowed her eyes, “Serren, the girl will be fine. Go assist another doctor for now, please.”
Serren’s cheeks darkened and he got up and reluctantly walked out of the room.
Doctor Terasuki pressed the intercom button once more.
...
“I'm the only one here Mrs. Karkade, and I'll need to study you to make sure you're all right. Now tell me if anything is bothering you,” Doctor Terasuki explained.
A look of confusion took Yuki as she undressed from her hospital gown. “Wouldn’t it be easier if you just came in here and examined me, Doctor? Oh... or would that incur a fee? I’m not sure if Fondsworth’s medical will cover this. Wait, aren’t you from the mining company?” she shuddered, “Oh! Are you from Dei Mining Incorporated?” Yuki grumbled, “I’ll never hear the end of it if our competitors are the ones who saved me.”
...
Doctor Terasaki stared blankly at Yuki through the glass, “...fee?” She looked down at her tablet and swiped over to a program showing a dictionary of Nite and Dei translations. “...Fondsworth? Nothing on Fondsworth… ugh…Fee, here we are. “Fee: A charge for services rendered,” Doctor Terasuki looked at Yuki strangely through the mirror, and for once in her life, she felt rather perplexed.
...
“This is a hospital, Mrs.Yuki, you won't owe anything. And if you prefer, I'll certainly come in, but you must promise me that you will not become frightened, try to escape or attack me. Nobody is going to hurt you. We can discuss the Fondsworth, and the recovery process too if you'd like.”
Yuki laughed a bit, “Doctor, I'm just fine... I'm not some mental patient.” She slipped out of her hospital gown and waited in her undergarments. “Though if this is some kind of free clinic, I’d want to know who’s backing you.”
Doctor Terasuki nodded and pressed the button again, “All right, Mrs. Karkade,” She moved to the door next to the mirror and opened it slowly, speaking into the room first. “Mrs.Karkade? It's Doctor Terasuki, I was speaking to you before... I’m going to be coming in now if that’s all right.”
Yuki raised an eyebrow, a bit frustrated now, “Yes, of course!” In the back of her mind, she noted that the voice still seemed to have the odd hollow sound and an even odder lisp like intonation that she couldn't place her finger on. Where is this doctor from anyway? Yuki's train of thought was halted suddenly, and she quickly regretted her invitation as she saw the large blue dragon enter the room. “...by the wisdom of Lucifer... I... I...”
Doctor Terasuki closed the door tightly behind her and smiled as warmly as she could at Yuki, her pointy teeth showing in her forced smile. “Now, now...Mrs. Karkade? You promised me you wouldn't be scared... remember?”
Yuki scooted backward and pressed herself up against the corner of the room, eyes wide as saucers. Her mind raced and she looked at her satchel, her pistol was still in the bag! It was over ten feet away, even if she made a mad dash for it, the Dragon stood between her and her only defense! She felt doom creep over her and her stomach sank.
Dr. Terasuki sighed heavily and very slowly walked over to her. “Mrs. Karkade, how many times must I tell you that I mean you no harm?” The irritation in her tone was noticeable. “We have done nothing but help you, why do you continue to insist upon fighting us? You must stop this at once!”
“A-are you with the red dragon?” Yuki stammered.
“Red Dragon?” Doctor Terasuki frowned, “oh, Nurse Serren? Yes, if that comforts you, he’s one of the nurses here.”
Yuki slowly got to her feet, “So… so you’re not with those hunter dragons?”
Terasuki hadn't expected this worst-case scenario and decided the best thing to do was to calm the poor trembling woman down. “Please calm down, Mrs. Karkade. The hunting party are the ones who brought you here initially,” she said softly as she knelt next to her. She placed her hand on Yuki’s shoulder, feeling her tense up. “Why are you so frightened?”
Tears leaked from Yuki’s eyes, “I-I don't want to die.”
“You’re no longer in any danger, Mrs. Karkade, you’re here in the city of Cairro, in a hospital. We’re here to make sure you’re perfectly healthy.”
Yuki's tears slowly started to dry at the idea of still living, “S-so you’re not going to eat me?”
“Eat you?” Doctor Terasuki scoffed, “There are no rippers here, Mrs. Karkade. What would be trying to eat you?”
“Y-you?” Yuki questioned.
The doctor's eyes went wide and her stomach didn't feel entirely stable as the sickening idea of devouring the small and defenseless being before her crept over her body. “No one wants to eat you here! You're a person! People don't eat people!” she spat out, trying to push shocking images from her mind.
Yuki's eyes now halted their downpour and she looked up at the doctor, confused, and not sure what to think now. “They don't?”
“Oh good heavens no! The thought alone makes me sick!” Doctor Terasuki explained as she calmed herself down. She knelt before Yuki to bring herself eye to eye with her. “Now, will you allow me to examine you?”
Yuki looked Doctor Terasuki in the eyes, confusion replacing her fear. Yuki nodded dumbly. “Where did you learn Evangelian?”
“College,” Doctor Terasuki said, placing a small device on Yuki’s finger while looking to her tablet, “It was an elective. I thought it would prove useful,” she grinned, “I suppose it did.”
Yuki’s brow furrowed, “I didn’t even know Nite could speak… let alone speak Evangelian.”
Doctor Terasuki lifted her own eyebrow, “I understand you’re an alien visitor, Mrs. Karkade, but that is rather insulting.”
“R-right, sorry!” Yuki apologized.
“Apology accepted,” Doctor Terasuki said shortly as she removed the device from Yuki’s finger.
Yuki glanced at her bag, How could the guide have been so wrong? Another thought occurred to her as she looked to Terasuki, Oh Guardian, if she was insulted by me thinking she can’t speak, she cannot see the field guide!
“Something on your mind, Mrs.Karkade?” Doctor Terasuki asked.
“No, no,” Yuki responded nervously, “I just-er, what are you doing?”
Doctor Terasuki had begun to examine Yuki’s wings, “how long was your mission, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“Uh, well can I ask why you’re looking over my wings first?” Yuki asked.
“Well it’s just that it looks like you’ve not used your wings for years,” Doctor Terasuki explained.
“Uhm, well I haven’t,” Yuki confessed.
Doctor Terasuki jotted something down on her tablet.
“What?”
“Well the first thing we’re going to need to rehabilitate,” Doctor Terasuki said, tapping Yuki’s wings, “are these.”
“Rehabilitate?” Yuki frowned, Great, Now what have I gotten myself into?
submitted by Zithero to libraryofshadows [link] [comments]


2020.06.01 14:15 DarthSatoris Reading New Testament For The First Time #6: Agitate Halation

Hi there. Miss me?
I did say I'd be more timely with the next entry in this series, and while 2 months isn't fast per se, it's definitely faster than half a year... hehe.
So, this time we're tackling NT7, known as the Agitate Halation arc. What is "Agitate Halation"? How does it work? Is it a person? A machine? A concept? The word itself sounds a bit gibberish, with Agitation being defined as "a state of anxiety or nervous excitement", and Halation being defined as "the spreading of light beyond its proper boundaries to form a fog around the edges of a bright image in a photograph or on a television screen." So it's nervous excitement spreading beyond its proper boundaries? Let's find out.
Volume Arc Page count Publication date
NT7 Agitate Halation 259 May 10th, 2013

The Story

It starts out with Touma waking up in a box that was mailed to a random locker room in the School Garden, the girls-only area comprised of five different girls-only schools. He's been tasked with finding a magician who can suck up knowledge with a transportable bonfire-thing, and it's located inside School Garden. However, since no males are allowed on those premises, chaos ensues as Touma is mercilessly hunted down by every girl in the area. Fortunately for him, he runs into a girl controlled by Misaki, who I believe has her proper debut in the novels in this one. I've checked the dates, and she was first introduced in Railgun chapter 41, which came out in 2011, and this novel released in 2013. Now, Misaki being readily willing to help Touma out without question does lead one to believe they have a past together, and you cannot be a part of this fandom without learning that they do have some history, which is explored in NT11. Luckily for me, the sub here and the many fans that browse it have been very diligent in not spoiling the contents of that novel, and for that I am grateful.
It doesn't take long beyond their meeting, however, until the novel goes PSYCH! and reveals that this entire mis-adventure in School Garden has been nothing but a farce constructed by Tsuchimikado Motoharu to keep Touma away from the real story: His step-sister, Tsuchimikado Maika, has been murdered, and he's out for revenge! We then follow Motoharu as he tracks down the killers throughout town, and they lead him to his primary target: one of the board members, in particular the one who has one of Motoharu's school mates as partner-in-crime. And let me tell you this: Motoharu plucking out his classmate's eyeball was not what I expected to read when I opened this book, but then again Kamachi did set the grotesque-ness bar pretty high all the way back in OT2 when he had Stiyl flayed and completely disassembled and hung up to dry. Following Kumokawa Seria and Motoharu's rather nasty confrontation, he meets up with the board member, and the novel goes PSYCH! again and reveals that Maika is still very much alive and Motoharu staged the whole killing himself. However, he realizes along with the board member that they've been tricked somehow by the people behind the "Agitate Halation project". Touma enters the scene and subdues Motoharu, and the board member tells him to go and save the day some other place.
Poor Fremea Seivelun now being hunted by some unknown assailant, and it's up to Kinuhata and Hamazura to go rescue her, but they're stopped by the project lead of the Agitate Halation project, who uses a swarm of cockroaches as her weapon of choice. While she's not a Kihara, her methods are definitely as insane as a Kihara's, I'll give her that. Kinuhata and Hamazura split up, and Fremea stumbles into Kuroyoru Umidori, who was actively trying to kill her back in NT1, so this could be interesting. But before they can exchange any pleasantries, Umidori is attacked by another cyborg, a very sophisticated variant called Rensa. Rensa has the ability to reconstruct her structure to ape the esper abilities of anyone in the near vicinity, or even the 6 most powerful espers in the whole city. This of course spells trouble for Umidori, as she's in the way of this killing machine. Fremea escapes, and Umidori and Rensa attack.
Umidori is badly hurt, and she lands next to Hamazura, and while they're both no match for Rensa, Touma comes to the rescue, but is also beaten by raw muscle. However, Rensa's ability to ape other abilities seems to backfire spectacularly when she tries to ape Imagine Breaker, and she completely short circuits. This gives the three an opportunity to escape and regroup. Meanwhile, Kinuhata is battling swarms of bugs, but looks on in shock and horror as the project lead, Yakumi Hisako, is eaten whole by her own bugs. However, Hisako had an ace up her sleeve and has somehow managed to manifest herself as an AIM being, similar to Kazakiri Hyouka or Aiwass, and she uses her ethereal existence to guide the destroyed Rensa to her next objective.
Since Fremea is the focus point for this thing called Agitate Halation, her innermost desire for some hero to come save her is subconsciously planted in every "hero"'s mind across the city through the AIM field, and they all start marching towards her location, and "defeating" everyone who gets in their way, including each other. Especially each other, which was the original plan for the Agitate Halation project: make all the so-called heroes of the city kill each other so they won't screw up any of the city's amoral and inhumane experiments anymore. A truly diabolical plan, if I have to say so. The heroes start robbing stores and stabbing thugs across town, even getting into fights with each other, all to save this one little girl. Fremea escapes into a fortified building, yet all these heroes still arrive and create absolute havoc outside, including every single Level 5 esper in town. Accelerator, Kakine Teitoku, Misaka Mikoto, Mugino Shizuri, Shokuhou Misaki, Sogiita Gunha, even the rumored #6 "Aihana Etsu" shows up, though Misaki doesn't recognize him as the real #6 and claims he's only a pretender, so I doubt he counts.
It all escalates and the final confrontation between a repaired Rensa, Touma and the "good" Kakine Teitoku is only thwarted because Fremea stops being such a scaredy-pants and stops wishing for a hero to show up to save the day. As a consequence, Yakumi Hisako is almost blinked out of existence, if she hadn't yet another contingency plan in the shape of the bugs mentioned earlier. But Fräulein Kreutune does the most Fräulein Kretune thing ever, and "eats" her ethereal body until only a tiny chunk is left.

New Characters

  • Shokuhou Misaki: I'm putting Misaki in the "New Characters" section because this is technically her debut in the novels. She is as scheming and playful as ever, and while she's never quite won me over with her snobby rich-girl attitude and almost careless use of her ability, she does seem like there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than she lets on. Being a mind-controller does come with certain perks, but also a fair amount of stigma, so I suppose one can excuse her "prim and proper" facade as a shield to protect herself from an unfair world. I am definitely interested in learning what exactly the story behind her and Touma is once I reach NT11. Plz no spoilers.
  • Yakumi Hisako: You could say she's a Kihara in all but name, seeing as she was even willing to "die" to reach that "realm of God" point that pretty much all experiments in Academy City have been leading up to in one way or another. The final scene with the Kihara and the dog hinted at them pushing Hisako in that direction themselves, so you could say it was still the Kiharas plotting and scheming once again. Also, I really liked the idea that she was super old but looked very young due to cosmetic surgery, as it once again ties into the whole "people's age in Toaru is a fucking mess, and don't even try and make sense of it, or your head will explode" shtick. And yeah, there are already many celebrities way into their 50's and 60's who look like they're still 30 years old or thereabout, thanks to copious amounts of plastic surgery (however, there's a way to spot people's proper age: look at their hands, you can't operate your way out of wrinkly hands).
  • Rensa: An interesting concept, though I hardly think it's a new concept at all. A cyborg body being controllable by multiple people who've been reduced to their most core essence just feels like a regular plot element in stuff like Ghost in the Shell or other cyberpunk settings. One movie in particular that comes to mind is the rather long forgotten movie "Surrogates", which was an action movie starring Bruce Willis, which happened in a world where people remotely controlled "surrogates" or entirely artificial bodies to do literally everything with zero consequence. In that movie, you could forcibly remote control other people's surrogates and pretend to be them, which of course made it difficult to find the real culprit of crimes. Rensa also being the "ultimate weapon", being able to replicate the abilities of other espers, was a novel idea and a logical next step after the "FIVE_OVER" robots, though I will say that giving that much power to a single individual is maybe a bit reckless.

Recurring Characters

  • Tsuchimikado Motoharu: Our favorite Hawaiian-shirt-wearing, double-triple-quadruple-spy is at it again. I was wondering when we'd see any of the old faces in action again, since NT1-6 have been mostly focused on Gremlin and their antics. Being back in Academy City, and with Gremlin having fucked off to somewhere, I think Kamachi thought it would be a good time to dust off a classic dude like Motoharu and have him play a bigger role again. And damn, when Motoharu's serious, he's really serious. Breaking people's legs, plucking out eyeballs, climbing up a 50 story building while suffering from open gunshot wounds... this guy doesn't mess around. He's an eccentric badass who will go to absurd lengths, I think that's all you can really say about him.
  • Fremea Seivelun: Scaredy-pants finally grew up and stopped relying on others to come save the day... which happened to save the day. Kamachi is not without his sense of irony. While I still think she's a bit of a one-note character without much characterization, and still just feels like a prop used in a play, she does seem to have potential as a character. If Kamachi starts using her as a real character eventually, only time will tell.
  • Kuroyoru Umidori: A much more fascinating character than Fremea if you ask me. Like Kinuhata and so many other disturbingly young people, she's one of the many people in the city with an actual kill-count, and though her cynicism is her primary motivator in all things, she does seem to start softening up to the members of ITEM a bit, Hamazura in particular. And I've seen the cover of a side story featuring Umidori and Hamazura here on this sub, so I wonder if that particular friendship is developed further.

Notes on the Novel

When Kamachi goes into science, he becomes very metaphysical at times, and with this novel especially it was a little hard to keep track of it all. Agitate Halation was what again? And how did they apply it to Fremea? And how did Hisako obtain AIM-being status by being eaten by bugs, exactly? When did she transition from a flesh-and-blood creature to a ghost? And how would killing Fremea "free" her from her ghostly prison? And was any of this shit sanctioned by the board chairman? One would expect a guy like Aleister to keep his board members from intruding too much on the DRAGON project and Aiwass, as it could possibly interfere with Aleister's own plans, whatever they may be.
That being said, it's nice to be back in "science" territory after a very long streak of magic, magic and more magic. I think the last science-only story we got was DRAGON, and even that one had Etzali and Aiwass as big players. Heck, even Battle Royale still had Etzali and Xochitl running around playing with magic. I guess it can't be helped, the story is called A Certain Magical Index after all.
This one was fun, though a little confusing. However, I think it will pale in comparison to what comes next. The next arc is comprised of three whole novels, and is all about this mysterious girl Othinus and her status as a Magic God. Something that has been teased since aaaaaaaall the way back in OT1, and something I'm very eager to finally learn more about, other than what little we glimpsed in NT4 and NT6. Hopefully it will have been worth the wait.
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5
submitted by DarthSatoris to toarumajutsunoindex [link] [comments]


The Single-Under - YouTube DS Singles Events in Kiev - YouTube Senior Open Mens Singles - YouTube US Open 2020 Men's Singles Trophy Presentation - YouTube Doo Wop Singles # 1 - YouTube Jordan Davis - Singles You Up (Official Audio) - YouTube How I Find Singles on Facebook - YouTube

=INITIAL D 掲示板= - 過去ログ (2008/06/23 18:11:13以降)

  1. The Single-Under - YouTube
  2. DS Singles Events in Kiev - YouTube
  3. Senior Open Mens Singles - YouTube
  4. US Open 2020 Men's Singles Trophy Presentation - YouTube
  5. Doo Wop Singles # 1 - YouTube
  6. Jordan Davis - Singles You Up (Official Audio) - YouTube
  7. How I Find Singles on Facebook - YouTube

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