Hidden camera at public toilet

He would never just be Harry. Even his family, who he was supposed to spend yet another summer vacation with, didn't see him as Harry. To them he was a freak. An abnormality. Someone who took up space in their house and they would rather treat him like a houseelf, though they did not know what it was, than as a part of the family. Chapter 12. Summary. The monster notices the care and concern the family has for each other, and he senses that there is a mood of despair among the younger family members. The family suffers from poverty and a lack of food. Originally a well-to-do family from France, the De Lacey's have been exiled from France to Germany. In this book, the protagonist Mia, finds herself in North Korea for a family vacation with her older brother Simon, and her dad. On the first day of North Korea, she receives a present. She becomes bored, and decides to Over the summer, I have had the privilege to read the amazing book, In The Shadow Of The Sun by Anne Sibley. On Christmas day Samuel Heckler comes to visit Lindsey, beginning their romance. Meanwhile, Jack tries to teach Buckley how to play Monopoly and explain to him that his sister is dead. Susie remembers hanging out with Ray for the first time, and meeting Ruth, after Ruth is harassed by teachers because of her realistic drawings of nude women. (A) IN GENERAL.--An eligible employee may elect, or an employer may require the employee, to substitute any of the accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, or family leave of the employee for leave provided under subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (E) of subsection (a)(1) for any part of the 12-week period of such leave under such subsection. BOOK the First THE BAD BEGINNING by LEMONY SNICKET HarperCollinsPublishers To Beatrice---darling, dearest, dea. Chapter One If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle. (vii) Veteran's Day holiday beginning 6 p.m. the day before the holiday until 7 p.m. on the holiday; and (viii) the first portion of the Christmas school vacation as defined in Subsection 30-3-32(3)(b) including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, continuing until 1 p.m. on the day halfway The Beginning After The End Manga, King Grey has unrivaled strength, wealth, and prestige in a world governed by martial ability. However, solitude About The Beginning After The End Manga King Grey has unrivaled strength, wealth, and prestige in a world governed by martial ability. Group sessions begin at 12 to 16 weeks of gestation and end with an early postpartum visit. Before the group sessions, the client has an individual assessment, physical examination, and history. At the beginning of each group meeting, clients measure their own BP, weight, and urine dips and enter these findings in their record. Jurgis' relationship with his family demonstrates that the capitalistic system, of which he is enslaved, is contrary to and in fact destroys the family unit. Jurgis' personal loss of family leads to his own rebellion. His first action — destroying peach trees — is reactive, striking out against the farmer's insults.

2020.09.17 15:41 Samara_Buckley_Derby Hidden camera at public toilet

Summary: Fighting immortals is a sweetheart job for someone obsessed with the afterlife. Dying on the job, however, is cutting it too close. However, Julian's curiosity with the great beyond pushes him a little too far, back to the land of the living and cursed with a damned soul, just like the immortals he's sworn to fight...
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Julian could already tell that Matti and Luli were amused at his reaction but he couldn’t help being more than a little apprehensive about playing a father role to the sniper. The two agents shared looks in the back seat of the rental car Julian was driving.
“Do you think I need an accent? It’s Russian, right? I can try a— hold up.” Julian cleared his throat and centered himself, trying his best to adopt the accent of one of the Russian agents. “Ok, how’s this?”
“God no. Please no.” Matti exchanged another look with Luli. Julian hadn’t dealt much with the agent since they’d first flown to Fleur, an experience Julian wanted to leave far behind him, but she was a lot more pleasant when she wasn’t holding a gun to his head.
“You’ll blow our cover immediately.” Her voice, meanwhile, had shifted from its previously Chinese accent to a completely American accent. “Keep your American accent. In case you haven’t noticed, both our passports are American. His is Russian. You immigrated to the states young and lived there your whole life. You met your wife, a Russian woman, but after your relationship went poorly, she took the kid and moved back to Russia. She sends him over to you for summers and other various breaks. It was during one such visit that he met me.”
“The three of us are spending holiday in Russia,” Matti said. “After the trip, Luli and I are staying with my mom in Moscow.”
It took Julian a moment to internalize this. “Why wasn’t I told any of this?”
“It’s in your briefing.” Matti pointed to his phone. “You probably didn’t scroll. Don’t worry, most people actually don’t ask about your backstory.”
“Yeah but in case—”
“Look at it this way,” Luli said. “Lapinsky and I are far more likely to be given side eyes or comments. This was intentional, to draw attention from you.”
“Just be a disappointed father.” Matti glanced at his phone for another moment before tapping a few buttons. “Ok, now, names. I need you to recite them, learn them by heart.”
It was kind of weird taking orders from someone who was supposed to be his son. The two were probably only ten years apart in age. Luli was even closer, probably less than five years younger than him.
“Ok. Ok, you’re Alexi. She’s Tara. Alexi and Tara. Alexi Petroff and Tara Wang.”
“Mr. Pertoff? Mr. Pertoff, Alexi says it’s ok if we get Starbucks. We’ll be right back.”
“Mom says it’s ok if I get snakebites and you said I could get anything I wanted for my 17th birthday if it was under 50 dollars. I know this one place that does them for cheap and she’s ok with it.”
The two went back and forth, with Julian’s knuckles getting whiter on the steering wheel each time one added a new line to their newfound family’s canon.
“I’m uh, just not gonna say much, ok kids?”
The two grinned back at him in the rearview mirror, clearly very into their roles.
“Whatever dad.”
~~~
They spent the remaining half hour of their trip going over all the signals that he’d have to remember. It didn’t sound half bad while they were driving, chatting lightly about the operation, but the minute they stepped from the car and entered the airport, the giggles stopped. Alexi and Tara were apparently the brooding type of teens who didn’t say much but stayed weirdly entwined with each other. Julian was ok with that. His palms were already damp and he was going to probably give away his nerves when he had to raise his hands during security.
A million ‘what ifs’ flashed through his head as the three clunked through security. Previously Julian had been primarily in hot water just with AngelThana but with this little stunt he also marked himself as a legitimate felon.
Yet they cruised through without a hitch, not even when examining their various backpacks or cases of randomly assorted goods. Julian’s nerves were hopefully explained by the outlandish appearance of his traveling companions. No crew-cut sporting dad wanted to be seen in public with his offspring looking so… alternative.
As the three made it to their gate, Julian’s mind immediately jumped to the others. After all, there were six groups that had to make it through without any suspicion. Any one of them getting caught could spell disaster for the whole operation, casting unneeded attention on the whole area. Not only would local authorities get involved, but AngelThana’s watchful eye might fall on them. Even worse, Lady Helga would likely abandon her efforts, leaving them no closer to apprehending her and now completely in the dark about her next plans.
It had to go without a hitch.
“I need to pee.” There was a distinct whine to her voice and Julian was struck with how easy it was to remember that the woman pulling a dramatic pout with heavy lipstick was a grown adult who had killed and probably watched her fellow agents die. “Where’s the closest bathroom?”
This was a signal and Julian grunted, getting to his feet. “Should probably all go.” Every word in Julian’s mouth felt unbelievably forced. He scrutinized every sentence. Why would a father want to accompany his son and son’s girlfriend to the bathroom? Was that weird? Creepy? Did it make sense at all?
The casual shrugs and eyerolls from his charges smoothed over his rocky sentence but he still felt the eyes of the airport on him as they strolled down the hallway to the restrooms.
“Take your time,” Luli said before disappearing into the ladies’ room.
The mens’ room was, thankfully, empty.
“No cameras,” Matti said, after doing a thorough search. “I’m splitting off soon, once I get my toys. If you see me, something’s gone wrong.” He grinned and Julian had no doubt that the sniper couldn’t picture a world where something had gone wrong. “Tara will stick with you, so continue to take your lead from her.”
Julian took the momentary privacy to let out a long breath and shake out his hands. “I hate this.”
“I, on the other hand, love it.” Matti was peering at himself in the mirror, eyes glinting over the various changes in his appearance. “You’ll have to get used to it.”
“I’d rather not have to do this again,” he muttered, staring at his face next to Matti’s. It was a lot greyer than the renegade’s.
“We’re not getting more operatives, so anymore injured or lost, and your attendance will be mandatory.”
Julian shook his head. “If I get caught in one of those things, I’ll get trapped in limbo for god knows how long. I’m not risking that.”
“Oh yes, comparatively the rest of us have nothing to risk.” Matti looked at Julian’s reflection, eyes unexpectedly hard. “None of us want to die. We’re not disposable grunts or whatever narrative you’ve constructed in your head. Any one of Kyline’s soldiers would take a bullet to save you from capture but just remember, they’re losing more from that than you. Their sacrifice is because you’re of more strategic value but don’t think for a minute that you’ve got more intrinsic value.” Then the look vanished, replaced by a casual smile. “Humanize your teammates. Keeps people alive.” He glanced at his watch. “Oh good, Tara’s almost here.”
Julian, briefly forgetting who Tara was, stared at Matti blankly in the mirror for another second before the younger man rolled his eyes and headed for the door.
“Right. Tara.” The scolding had hit him from left field but it was a valid point and Julian felt a little sick at how self centered he’d gotten. Military operations weren’t fun in the slightest. “She’s coming in here—”
His question was truncated by the door bursting open. A woman entered, pushing a cleaning cart. She turned, slapping down a ‘cleaning, don’t enter’ sign, before shutting the door behind her.
It took the woman sliding open the cart and unloading a pistol for herself, a pistol and sniper rifle for Matti, and thrusting a pistol into Julian’s hands for him to recognize Luli.
“I didn’t realize you’d be changing,” he said, still staring at the gun.
“Take your weapon. Lapinsky did say I’d be bringing the weapons, yes?” She glared at the sniper for his lack of communications before pulling out a number of guns, including one of the venojets Julian recognized from Sofia’s lab.
“Thought it was obvious.” Matti wasn’t paying them much mind as his fingers danced over his rifle, before snapping off a few components to fit it in his backpack. “MY apologies, Luli.”
Luli seemed to think better of scolding him. “Just take this… dart gun thing and get into position.”
He saluted. “Copy that Specialist.” He looked at Julian, that serious look back in his eyes. “You’re on civilian protection duty. Remember that.”
Then he slung the bag over his shoulder and disappeared from the bathroom.
Luli pulled out a spray bottle. “Alright, give me a second to clean a bit. Make it look convincing. You know how to hide that thing—Blake! Point it at the ground!”
Julian fumbled the gun before pointing it down. Trigger control was a lot easier to forget than he’d thought.
“Uh, just like, in my waistband?”
She sighed. “Let me finish getting the mirrors. Just don’t kill anyone while I’m at it.”
Soon the room was filled with the acrid scent of cleaners and Luli put back the chemicals.
“Here, change out your clothes. Careful not to dislodge your hair.” Her own transformation had been dramatic: makeup gone, hair now in a bun that hid the red streak, she could have been a different person.
Julian felt like his own disguise was not as effective. He still looked like Pieter Petroff but in a janitor’s outfit. It wasn’t until Luli plopped a hat on his head that he felt better.
“Alright, we’re on bathroom duty,” she said. “We’ve got four more to hit before everyone is armed. Ready?”
What followed was probably the most fun he’d had on the whole operation. No one looked twice at the two of them as they coasted down the hall with their big cleaning cart. They slipped into the first bathroom, halfway down the hall, where Shanti and LaForge were shooting the shit.
They both jumped to attention and Julian and Luli burst in, bearing gifts. Both rewarded the pair with face splitting grins as they received their gifts.
“Felt naked without this,” LaForge said, holstering his.
“Ew, not something anyone wants to see.”
“Shut up, Shanti.” This one surprisingly came from Luli, who had a wry grin on her face. “Now get to your positions and radio in the Colonel when you get there.”
They both saluted. “Copy that Specialist.”
The next bathroom was a little harder cause the spring breakers crowd was coed. Nisslon and Bruni were both in the women’s room, which Julian and Luli hit first, only to find it occupied with more than just the soldiers.
An older woman toting a six year old girl was loudly discussing Bruni’s piercing.
“Ma’am—” the private started, but the woman wasn’t having too much of it.
“And you’ve got the nerve to tell me and my child to leave when she has to go potty. You, looking like that.” She gestured at Bruni.
Nisslon, who wasn’t known for her patience, was looking about ready to go when Luli cleared her throat.
“Well you’re all going to have to continue this at a different restroom because this one is closed for cleaning.” The four paused mid argument and turned to Luli. Julian could see both soldiers’ eyes scan over her, puzzlement creasing their brows. Then Bruni’s eyes landed on Julian and she rolled them hard.
“Eurgh. Fine. Let’s just go to the one by the fucking gate,” Nisslon said.
“My child!” shrieked the woman.
“Mommy I don’t have to go potty. Can we go on the plane now?”
Julian watched as the four left, each in a different state of annoyance. Luli watched them leave before sighing.
“Clear the restrooms. How hard is it to clear the restrooms?” She massaged her temples for a moment before pulling out her spray bottle and dousing the room in a lethal amount of cleaner.
“Why are you doing that?” Julian asked, coughing.
“Gotta make it look like we were here.” She emptied what looked like an entire container of bleach into one of the toilets. “Hate cleaning bathrooms. Anything but bathrooms. Haven’t cleaned one since I was seven.”
Julian wanted to offer his assistance but he was afraid to get in her way. Not to mention, he didn’t want to mess up his hair or makeup.
It took Luli another five minutes to make the room look, well, not clean, but maybe cleaned. Once they made it to the men’s restroom, the weapons drop went smoother.
“Took your sweet time,” Howard grumbled as he loaded up his guns.
“You can bring that up with Nilsson and Bruni.” Luli shoved some extra guns into his hands. ”Those are theirs.”
“They got caught up with a mom who wouldn’t leave,” Julian said, trying to provide some context. “So we just kinda kicked them all out. They’re at the bathroom by the gate.”
“Copy that, zombie.”
Julian pulled a face but didn’t say anymore as the four soldiers filed from the room.
The other drops went more smoothly. At one point Luli even trusted Julian to drop the guns off with Grace.
“I need to take a call. Ditch those with the Sergeant and meet me at the bathroom by Gate A8.”
She wasn’t supposed to have left him but he was confident in his ability to pull off the task. He knocked twice on the women’s restroom door.
“In here!” He could recognize the dulcet tones of the Sergeant anywhere so he cleared his throat and shouted back.
“Maintenance! Uh, cleaning, rather.” Off to a brilliant start but there was no time to kick himself. Instead he pushed the cart in, slapped down the sign, and wheeled around to face a tense looking Grace. Her disguised covered her shockingly blond hair with a brown wig and her scars were masterfully hidden.
“Just you?” she asked. “Where’s… Tara?”
“I think cleaning lady is Milly. Tara was my son’s girlfriend.”
She nodded and a corner of her lip lifted in a smile. “You following along fine?”
“Yeah I think so! We had some trouble with two of the spring breakers. Couldn’t get the civies out of the restroom so we had to improvise.”
She bit back a smile for about a half second before laughing. “Damn kid, we really got our top agent out there.” Then she looked over his shoulder. “Where is Milly?”
“She had to take a call.” Her look worried him for a second and he looked over his shoulder, as if also expecting to see Luli. “Is that weird?”
Grace shook her head as she set to work pulling her guns out of the cart. “Just means the Colonel’s got more shit to chat about than she can text. Probably got eyes on Von Martwitz.” A grin spread across her face, either at the idea of facing down the immortal or at the large gun she’d unsheathed from the cart. “Hello again, girl.”
Julian wasn’t really a pacifist but he didn’t like how much the soldiers loved their pet guns. It shouldn’t bother him but when he looked at the guns, he felt uneasy, knowing that every single one of them had killed a human being. It seemed downright ominous to dote on something that had killed so much.
“Right. So does that mean we’re pressed for time?”
Grace looked at him. “Honestly, couldn’t tell you. I’d ask Luli when you get outside.”
“Right. Alright.” He hovered, wanting to say more. The idea that Lady Helga could be arriving any minute made him suddenly realize how real this mission was. If it went ugly, there were a lot of people he might just never see again.
“You got that look on your face.”
He looked back at her, whatever look she’d referred to now replaced with a wry, if tired, smile. “You think this thing is gonna go sideways?”
“Mmm, no. I think it might be unsuccessful because of how much could go wrong, but it’s not going to end with everyone dying. Worst case scenario…” She looked back at her gun. “We just call Omicron and give them the head’s up.”
He nodded, still tense, so she put a hand on his shoulder. “I know I shouldn't worry,” he said but she shook her head.
“You’re not a soldier and you shouldn’t be here. So yeah, second combat situation in a few weeks for someone who should be in a lab or whatever, I get it.” Her eyes were that same earnest blue that burned when they got into a discussion about immortality and religion or when she was kicking his ass in training. “You’re handling it well. Trust the process.” She slung her gun over her back and pulled her long coat over it before striding to the door. “Oh, and Julian?”
“Hmm?” He looked over from his cart at her.
“Give ‘em hell if they do come for you. You know what it’s like.” With this, and final grin, she was out the door.
Will we get our first peek at the elusive Lady Helga next chapter? Or will Julian blow his cover?
Also since we're, idk, maybe halfway through the story, I want to remind you that this story is part of a greater competition, the Publishing Derby! There are other stories that have been submitted as a part of the derby so feel free to check out some of the others.
See you all tomorrow!
Previous Chapter
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2020.08.20 21:06 IAmABearOfficial Hidden camera at public toilet

SharonKaren is typing…
Hi honey!
MikeGold436 is typing…
MikeGold436: Hi, Sharon! So have u found ur car yet?
SharonKaren: Not yet, but I think I will find it today!
MikeGold436: Ok! I hope u can find it. Pls dont tell me u left ur wallet in there.
SharonKaren: Sorry honey, but I think I did leave it in there.
MikeGold436: I hope that it is still there, but the problem is, I think that it would’ve gotten stolen already.
SharonKaren: True… but I hope I at least find my…
MikeGold436: What. Whats up?
SharonKaren: OMG!
MikeGold436: What, did you find it yet?
SharonKaren: OMFG! ITS DESTROYED!
MikeGold436: What do you mean its destroyed?
SharonKaren: MY CAR! IT LOOKS LIKE A LOCOMOTIVE HAD JUST RUN OVER A CAN OF MONSTER!
MikeGold436: WTF? 4 REAL?
SharonKaren: YES! NOT ONLY THAT, BUT THE SEAT IS OUT AND THERE ARE LITTLE STONES ALL OVER IT!
MikeGold436: Stones? How the hell can someone cause that much damage with a bunch of stones?
Sharonkaren: Not only that, but there is moss growing all around the steering wheel.
MikeGold436 is typing…
MikeGold436: How can there be moss growing on the steering wheel? That stuff is made of synthetic materials.
SharonKaren: Uh, Mikey. What time is it?
MikeGold436: It is 1:37 PM, hon
SharonKaren: Well, its getting really dark. It is as if there is a shadow being cast over me!
MikeGold436: Shadow? What shadow?
SharonKaren is typing…
SharonKaren: The shadow, its round. It’s like something is comin towards…
SharonKaren is typing…
MikeGold436: Honey? Are you ok?
MikeGold436: SHARON! PLS TELL ME UR OK!
MikeGold436: SHARON????
MikeGold436: SHARON! CALL ME BACK WHEN UR OK PLEASE.
Chapter 1. Mother Nature’s Sky-High Beauty
2 Years Later
“What’s wrong Michael?” asked my brother John. “Oh, I am not doing good. I miss my wife Sharon.” I replied back. “Oh my gosh! Did they find her yet by the way? Like did they ever find her body or anything?” I sighed and replied back, “No. They don’t know if she is still alive. They never found her body, and they never found a suspect. The only thing they found was her cobweb-covered car full of spider eggs and moss. The car looked like a train had just driven over it.” “Oof” replied John.
“So, are you ready to go to the Redwood Forest to find Hyperion?” John asked. “Yeah, sure. I’m ready alright.” We got in the car and started driving over to the Redwood Forest. “Hey, John. I forgot about this. I wrote a poem about the redwood trees. Want me to read it?” I asked. “Sure, Mike. Read it to me” I picked up my little sheet of paper and read.
Oh, how beautiful! That is such a majestic and mind-blowing jolt to the human eye that again and again, you’ll want to stop by. Something that you will not want to look away from; something that is caused by the coolness and goosebumps will make your body numb. Something that you will remember for the rest of your life. Something that, unfortunately, the majority of the population of the world will never get to see, including my wife. (She went missing a few weeks ago.) Something that truly showcases the true beauty of nature. Something that with a camera, your brain will force you to capture. Something that some people don’t even know exists; which hopefully, some of them will eventually find out about them and add traveling to see them on their vacation list. What am I talking about? Trees; specifically, the ones that out of the grounds of California and the Sierra Nevada, they sprout. What kind of tree? None other than the king of the giants in the world; the redwood tree!
“Woah, Mike. I loved your little poem!” replied my brother. “Thanks, bro,” I said.
Now there isn’t just 1 type of redwood tree, but there are 3 types of it, in fact. I do not expect you to read the scientific names, which are in parenthesis, but 2 of the most well known are the giant sequoias, (Sequoiadendron Giganteum) which are the largest trees in the world, and the coastal redwood, (Sequoia Sempervirens) which are the tallest trees in the world. The third lesser-known tree is the Dawn redwood, (Metasequoia Glyptostroboides) and they are smalleshorter than the giant sequoia and the coastal redwood. Unlike the giant sequoias and the Coastal redwoods, the Dawn redwoods are deciduous trees and change color depending on the season unlike the other 2 redwoods, which are coniferous evergreen trees. Yes, there is a difference between height and size. Height is just how tall the tree is, and the size is the girth (which is the width of the trunk) and height can also play a role in determining the tree’s height, but the largest tree in the world is not the tallest. Anyways, I will not explain a whole lot since I do not want to make this boring so that by reading this story, by being entertained, you’ll be scoring.
My name is Mike Hawk, and I am an explorer who explores the redwood forests to study them. I explore both the Coast Redwood Forest and the Giant Sequoia Forest, which are both on opposite sides of California from each other. From east to west were the 2 forests. The coast redwoods are on the west side of California near the coast, hence their name. The giant sequoia is on the east side of California and also on the west side of Nevada. Not too long ago, I saw General Sherman, which is the largest tree in the world. Not only is it the largest tree in the world, but it is also the largest living organism since trees are the largest living organisms on the planet. It is a giant sequoia that is located in the Sequoia National Park that is 275 feet tall (which is about 84 meters) and has a trunk diameter of 25 feet (Which is about 7.6 meters). If you think the big tree in your town or in your yard is big, it will be an ant if you compare it to General Sherman.
Now the tallest known tree in the world is or possibly was Hyperion. Hyperion is a coastal redwood that is 381 feet tall, or a little more than 116 meters tall. That is taller than the Statue of Liberty, which is 305 feet, or about 93 meters tall. Unfortunately, Hyperion is hidden in a secret location and they will not tell the public where Hyperion is. That’s because they want to protect it, or at least, that’s what they say. So if you want to see the tallest tree in the world, then you have to look for it. Good luck though since apparently, only 3 groups of people have been able to find this tree. Luckily, I have been one of the few people to have been able to find the Hyperion, so I can tell you my story of my experience with the tallest tree in the world! This might or might not encourage you to pay a visit to these natural skyscrapers if you haven’t already, but I hope it does! It’s possible that this will actually discourage you from visiting them. There is one thing, though. From my experience, I don’t think it is exactly a good idea to climb them.
Chapter 2. Hyperion.
Now I have been skeptical about whether or not Hyperion really was the tallest tree in the world since there are more trees on Earth than there are stars in the entire Milky Way Galaxy. Yes, you heard that right; more trees on Earth than there are stars in the entire Milky Way! Not the chocolate bar, but the galaxy. If you don’t believe me, look it up. Because of the fact that there were more trees on Earth than there are stars in our galaxy, I was sure that mankind has not discovered all the species of trees in the world, nor did we even see all of them. I was pretty sure that there were probably islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific Ocean, or generally, any ocean that may have tiny, isolated islands that not a person has stepped foot on nor seen that may have trees that were taller than Hyperion.
Also, the redwood forest was big, and there are trees that are said to have a higher height than Hyperion, but those have not been confirmed to the public. Therefore, Hyperion is the tallest CONFIRMED tree in the world. There was one thing, I read somewhere that there were rumors in the past that there was a tree in the middle of the Redwood Forest that was the height of a skyscraper, but it had not been proven. There was no proof that it existed, but there was also no proof that it did NOT exist. The book I read it from? It was a book that was about old hoaxes from the past. The tree had a nickname, but I forgot what it was.
Now, more than 100 years ago in an area of the state of Washington, there were douglas fir trees that were taller than the redwoods. Apparently, there were fir trees that were over 400 feet tall; that is more than 120 meters tall. There was thought to have been a tree in the Nooksack River Valley that was 141.7 meters, or 465 feet tall. To prove how evil, selfish, and greedy humans are, those amazingly tall trees were logged all because douglas fir was really good wood, but why couldn’t they just chop down the shorter ones? Humans are literally the worst sometimes when it comes to respect for nature. There is another bad thing going on all because of the evil of mankind.
Human greed is also the reason why the Amazon Rainforest is being burned right now and possibly, why the Australian bush fires were burning earlier this year. People are setting those forests on fire on purpose, not by accident. Farmers set fire to the Amazon Rainforest to clear land for crops and cattle. Also, about the douglas fir. No matter how tall or beautiful a tree is, human greed will cause it to be logged. So, therefore, Hyperion was only the tallest because it somehow wasn’t logged. It’s illegal to cut down redwoods by the way because they are an endangered species. The Amazon rainforest and the forests in Australia were not burning, but rather, they were being burned!
Ugh, how depressing! Let’s move on now because there is nothing that I can do about the forest fires. Plus, what is the point of making yourself sad over something that you cannot control or something that was 0% your fault? All that does is take a toll on your good mental health. Now the day that we found the “Tallest Tree in the World”, I was not alone, of course. I was with 3 other people: my brother John Hawk, his best friend Oliver Klozoff, (Close-off), and Oliver’s brother Gordon.
Oliver is a really forgetful person who occasionally forgets the things that are the worst things to forget. Like when he was in school, he would remember to do small assignments, but he would always forget about very big and vital projects. In fact, on our way to the Redwood Forest, he forgot where we were going midway there. He even asked us 5 times what the name of the tallest tree in the world was again. I am trying hard not to mock or shame him, but he is a little close to the level of forgetfulness as Dory. In case you live under a rock, Dory is a Pacific blue tang fish from Finding Nemo & Finding Dory. She suffers from short-term memory loss.
Gordon suffers from FOMO. Whenever he is traveling in a car, he spends hours looking out the windows looking side to side so much that he would complain about neck pain. Whenever he sees a movie trailer shown on TV, he immediately searches to buy a ticket. Whenever he goes to an amusement park, he wants to ride every single ride that he sees. A lot of times, he can make trips 5 times longer because he wants to see every single thing at once. I wonder what he thinks of the phrase “Curiosity killed the cat.” I wonder if his irrational fear of missing out will actually cause his demise. One of these days, he might experiment with hard drugs because of his irresistible urge to see and experience everything. Then, he gets addicted to many drugs and then he will end up taking multiple at the same time which will mess up his brain and he could overdose and die. He says that drugs are bad and that he will never try them, but I am pretty sure that is what almost everyone has said. Even though almost everyone agrees that drugs are bad, people end up taking them anyways and they get addicted.
Another thing about Gordon is the fact that he is such a funny prankster. He just loves to pull pranks on people, especially when they least expect it. Sometimes people get really mad at him for his pranks since they can seem too real, but they never get so angry that things get physical, which is the good thing. I have a feeling, though, that one of these days that is going to change and that people will get so angry that they get physical with his pranks. After all, Americans can never take jokes; they are all unhappy people who get butthurt over every little thing and sometimes even call the cops on someone doing a perfectly harmless prank.
John is a really smart person. He also always looks out for any danger that could be out there. He is also extremely tech-savvy and is tech-savvy to the point that he can recover files that have been deleted a long time ago. He is also very protective; he was like my guardian big brother when I was younger. He would always watch me even if I am in no clear danger. I guess his protectiveness of me meant that he possibly had a minor case of paranoia. My guess is, he probably saved my life at least once when I was younger, and either I don’t know about it or I just don’t remember.
When we arrived at the Redwood Forest, we went on a long hike on several trails in the forest, with our feet crunching some of the needles that have covered the trails. We looked far and wide for anything that we guessed would be it. During our search, we found some trees that looked like they could have potentially been Hyperion but were not. Our guess was that the tallest tree in the world would be fatter than all the other coast redwood trees around us. The thing was, every time we found a potential candidate, we would always find a tree that had a fatter trunk, which likely meant higher. We weren’t sure if we were going to find it. Maybe it had already fallen over or got struck by lightning, or it’s not real! Nah, I know it’s real.
When it seemed like we wouldn’t succeed, we found something very tall and wide. The scenery around us seemed to fit the description that this tree was said to be in. We were sure that this was it! It took us many attempts to try to find it. We finally succeeded! It is in a very, very remote location of the Redwood Forest and its location is only known by very few people, including me and the gang. I won’t disclose the location of the tree since I support the people trying to hide it from the public for its own good, but I will tell you that it is very close to a river. A beautiful river that flows throughout the Redwood Forest. A beautiful river that would fascinate any hikers that walk by and come across it. I couldn’t tell you the name of the river, but I will tell you that it was beautiful and majestic. This river must be feeding the tallest tree on earth, I mean, why wouldn’t it be? The Hyperion tree was right next to it after all; absorbing water and transporting it up itself so tall.
Once we found the tree, we examined it to make sure it was what we were looking for, and proceeded to climb it. Obviously you can’t climb these trees with normal means. You need to basically use ropes that window cleaners of skyscrapers use. In order to get the rope up the tree, you need to use a crossbow. You need to aim the crossbow towards the top of the tree and pull the trigger. That will shoot the rope up the tree. I aimed the crossbow up at a branch and fired. A few coniferous needles and sticks came falling down around 10 seconds later. We all cheered and roared. Once we got our ropes hooked towards the top of the tree, we wore our climbing equipment and began the long 380 foot (116 meters) climb.
“Holy smokes!” John said. All of a sudden, I couldn’t resist saying “We should all shout out ‘Stop it, Hyperion! You’re Barking Up the Wrong Tree!’” I was the first to start laughing, but then milliseconds later, everyone else started laughing so hard that they risked busting their ribs. Then, Gordon asked, “Wait, why is Hyperion barking up the wrong tree?” I answered, “Because Hyperion is full of bark, is a tree, and it is growing so tall that it will get struck by lightning. Therefore, it is barking up the wrong tree because growing tall is a mistake. It has been mistaken by thinking that growing tall would be safe and cool, but that is the opposite. Hyperion is more likely to get struck by lightning and is also more likely to get blown over by the wind! This thing is much much taller than the Statue of Liberty!”
“Mike, I don’t think that is what ‘barking up the wrong tree’ means. I think it means something else.” Gordon replied. “Oh Gordon, I thought you were a comedian or something. You’re not supposed to ruin jokes.” Gordon then replied, “Well, if you try to make jokes that don’t make sense and don’t add up, then you’re the one who is barking up the wrong tree!” John then said, “Oh, Gordon. We did not see that coming!” We were laughing even harder after Gordon’s reply.
At this point, we were about 200 feet up, yet we were still on the trunk of the tree. That’s how tall this tree is. The trunk is as tall as a 20-story tall building; taller than a water tower. When I looked down, I could not really see the ground. All I saw was tall trees for miles around me. There were a few big hills too. I had now reached the bottom of the crown. It was fairly tricky trying to get around branches and all those needles on the branches. But in the end, we made it. After what seemed like all day of climbing, we eventually reached the top. 380 feet above the ground we were; that is 75 feet higher than the Statue of Liberty. That is 115 meters, which is 22 meters taller than the Statue of Liberty.
So I and my buddies were now on top of Hyperion. We got a sight that only a handful of people will ever get to see. We all looked around in disbelief and astonishment as smiles lit up on our faces. We were all pretty exhausted though, climbing that tree took more energy than we expected. I was feeling pretty tired and told my buddies that I think we should take a quick power nap up here. They were all tired too. I yelled out “Look! There is this little flat wooden platform right there! Why don’t we go over there?” Gordon looked over there and then said, “It looks like the floor of a treehouse or something! It certainly looks pretty big! We can prolly nap there!”
John then asked, “Wouldn’t it be dangerous?” Gordon then said, “No, it won’t be too much of a risk since we will be hooked onto cables and we will be sitting on a giant patch of wood where we would have to roll a long distance to fall down. The other thing is, I typically wake up in the same exact position that I fall asleep in. See, when you go to sleep, your body actually gets paralyzed once you reach the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of the sleep. Besides, the little strap that is hanging onto the branches looks pretty strong!” We then took his word and went over to that wooden platform. We all lied down and relaxed. I fell asleep within a few minutes while listening to the hypnotizing rustling noise produced by the breeze.
I don’t know how much later it was when I woke up, but I opened my eyes and somehow, my comrades were waking up at the same time that I was waking up. All of them were beginning to sit up as I sat up. I felt pretty rested, so that nap really helped out. I woke up fairly thirsty, so I popped open my delicious can of Coca-Cola and took my first sip. I ignored the fact that Coca-Cola actually dehydrates you because I was so thirsty that I just wanted something wet and delicious in my mouth. The famously delicious jolt of tastes of sweet, cold, fizzy, carbonated liquid mixed with citric acid, sugar, phosphoric acid, vanilla, and natural flavors got absorbed into my thirsty mouth just like a storm drain on the side of the road after the rain. Just the thought of the taste of soda pop can make one’s mouth water.
I then heard more hiss sounds that were accompanied by metallic popping noises coming from where all my buddies were sitting. The sips I took from the Coke turned into gulps, and the more times I sipped/gulped the soda, the angle that the can was required to be in for me to drink increased. The other thing I noticed while I was drinking the Coke was that my hands looked weird. They looked bigger, and the length of the fingers next to the other fingers was weird. It seemed like my index finger was longer than the middle finger. I was sure that I was not born with any deformities in my hands or anywhere in my body. After a few seconds of observing the altered shape of my hands, I kept drinking.
Eventually, the angle of the can turned to 180 degrees; & by that, I mean that it was pointing straight up towards the sky. A disappointing feeling took over my body as I heard a hollow sucking sound echoing inside my can, yet no liquid came in my mouth. I put the can back in my bag rather than just throw it out of the tree because I am not a litterbug. Littering would be even worse here because these trees are special and endangered. I do not wish any form of harm to these trees. In fact, I feel strong feelings of hate and anger whenever I think about what happened to these trees around 100 years ago and why these things are now endangered because of my own species! I looked around, and Oliver was done drinking too, but John and Gordon were still drinking. When Gordon finished drinking, he was just about to pitch his can when I stopped him and explained to him the bad things that littering would do to the environment. This was a forest full of ancient supertrees, for God’s sake!
When we finished drinking, we looked around and observed the view once again. Then, Gordon blurted out in a southern accent that he likes to imitate at times, “Woah Woah Woah Woah!!!!!! Hey guys, check it OUT!”
Chapter 3. A Breathtaking Discovery.
He points at something in the distance. We all turn our heads in the direction that Gordon was pointing at. What I saw made my jaw drop and my eyes pop out of their sockets, a similar reaction whenever you flush the toilet and the water won’t stop rising. There was a tree that was God knows how many times taller than Hyperion, the one that we were on top of right now. I looked up, searching for the top. But even from more than 110 meters up, I could not see the top. It seemed to reach up to the clouds. How could’ve no one else in the world known about this tree? I’m pretty sure that helicopters and airplanes have flown over this area and have probably seen Hyperion, but how has no one seen that astronomically tall one that was probably more than half a kilometer tall? It was probably taller than the Empire State Building, or probably even the Willis Tower!
Now I know what you are thinking. You are saying that it was impossible for a tree to be this tall and that it would’ve fallen over, but have you ever seen how fat redwood trees are? They are fat enough to hold up even during the strongest wind storms. Well, actually, coast redwoods grow until they fall over, but somehow this one had just not fallen over yet, but to me, it looked like it was about to fall over. But the thing was, I had no idea how this tree had not been found yet. I’m pretty sure that if this tree had been seen, everyone would’ve known about it, or did the park know about this ginormous tree, but they were trying to cover it up and not tell anybody at all because they really wanted to go that far in protecting it and instead told everyone that Hyperion was the tallest? I doubt that they could’ve covered up this tree so well that no one knows about it. Or is it that a lot of people know about it but I don’t? No, that’s not it, or at least I think it isn’t.
Then, while we sat on these branches speechless, Oliver asked us “How tall do you think that is?” None of us answered. We just sat there in awe gawking at the tree out in the distance looking straight up trying to look for the top. There is no way that what we were seeing was real, but I am pretty sure that it totally was. Yes, I am contradicting myself. I kept staring at this tree that seemingly had no top. It seemed like this tree reached space. It reminded me of one of those pictures that I saw on the internet portraying a possible space elevator that may be built in the near future. A space elevator you ask? A space elevator is exactly what it sounds like it is.
After like 15 seconds, I got a bit excited. I wanted to climb this tree too. The thing was, the trunk of the tree was taller than Hyperion. The trunk had to be at least 400 or 500 feet tall, or around 120 or 150 meters. From climbing this, we would surely have a ball. I had to look up like 45 degrees in order to start seeing the bottom of the crown.; it was taller than anything else around. Do you know those really tall radio towers that you see in the middle of nowhere? The main trunk was that tall. That would mean that if you were to climb that tree, you wouldn’t start seeing branches or needles until you got to the height of one of those radio towers that you see out in the country or on tops of mountains.
I had a feeling that this tree was probably taller than the Burj Khalifa building, which was the tallest building in the world. I was thinking to myself that I was just exaggerating to myself, but that was just a little thought. I then told everyone, “I think we should try climbing that to see how tall it is.” Everyone looked at me weird and started laughing. John said, “Are you crazy? That thing is like 800 feet tall. It will take forever to climb that thing!” I agreed with John, but I really, really wanted to climb the tree to see if we could reach the top, measure the height and size, and claim to have discovered the new tallest tree in the world. When I reach the top, I would surely get rewarded with a giant, delicious can of pop. Actually, I think that I could become rich from this discovery, meaning I could buy thousands of cans of pop! While up in the sky, we would easily see some beautiful planes and clouds nearby. This will be epic!
This would be a little too long if I explained the whole process of trying to climb down Hyperion, but I’ll say that it’s just like climbing up, except in reverse. Well, kinda; it’s a little different, but that’s not important. We just climbed down until we reached the base of Hyperion and went onto searching for this monster of a tree. We had a hard time looking for the tree. It took us hours going through the labyrinth of the giants of the world. There were also so many trees that had large girths and didn’t seem to have a top, but I knew deep inside of me that the base of the tree would somehow stand out from the rest and we would absolutely KNOW when we see it as if it were obvious. So I knew that I had to put my search skills to the test. I knew that if we found it after searching a ton, we would know which one.
After what seemed like all day of searching, bingo! We saw a tree that had a girth of like 40 feet, or 12 meters for the rest of the world that doesn’t use the customary system that I don’t like as much. I like the metric system better. The trunk of the tree that we were laying our eyes on was about as wide as the widest tree in the world, which is the Arbol del Tule, which is a cypress tree in Mexico. The town that the tree was in was named after the tree. Yes, the town of Tule in Mexico is named after the big tree. That’s how old the tree is. It is around 1,000 years old or more.
The girth of the tree was kind of expected because of the colossal height. Now, how has no one seen this yet? Did this just explode in growth and wasn’t the tallest tree in the world in the past but now it is? I mean, the Coastal redwoods are extremely fast growers, one of the fastest-growing conifers in North America. Or perhaps, did the rangers not explore the whole forest? Well, the forest is so vast and I guess no one would really explore the whole forest. Anyways, there are so many questions that are going through my head that I won’t list them all here. We approached the tree with our equipment and examined it.
Obviously, we couldn’t see the top. We couldn’t even see the top of Hyperion from the ground! In fact, none of the trees had visible tops! We examined it carefully and confirmed that it was a coastal redwood, though the size of the girth would tell that it was most likely a giant sequoia. We were 100% sure that it was a coastal redwood because of the composition of the bark and the wood itself. Also, it was in the Coastal Redwood Forest, so what would a giant sequoia be doing in the Coastal Redwood Forest? The giant sequoia would be like in the Sierra Nevada, hence one of the names for the giant sequoia, which is the sierra redwood. There was one problem; as we were searching for this tree, Oliver was not acting like himself. He started to act strangely while we were searching for this tree. He was… quiet. He was unusually quiet, which was not like him since he is usually very talkative, especially when we are searching for such interesting stuff. I just thought he was crashing from the energy drink that he was drinking earlier. John yelled, “Woohoo this must be it!”
John pulled out his cell phone to take a picture so that later, he could share it with his friends and family and potentially, other people. But I heard words come from him in a tone that was mixed with frustration and disappointment. “Crap! My phone is dead. Dammit! Why, why WHY?!?” I assured him that I would take a picture with my phone for him. The problem was, my phone was only at 2%, but I did not remember it being that low that long ago. Also, it felt warm, and I had the setting put on that it would never auto-lock; therefore, it was probably turned on in my pocket the whole time. Well, at least I had battery to take a picture of the tree trunk with it, right? Right! I got my camera out, and took a picture, planning to share it with my brother John once we recharge our phones after we climb this tree. The picture turned up perfectly.
After shooting a picture of the base, we pulled out our crossbow with the rope and tried to aim at a place where we could shoot the rope at. Oliver was the one who would shoot the rope. He scanned for a few minutes for a place to potentially shoot the rope. Now, this is dangerous. If we missed and the projectile went straight up, then it would come straight down straight at us. For that, I was questioning if deciding to try to get our ropes hooked on to this tree to climb it was wise. If we missed and it came falling back down straight at us, this would lead to our unfortunate, premature demise. A demise that would come to us before we even got the chance to climb a tree taller than Hyperion, the current known tallest tree in the world. We haven’t even climbed the tallest tree in the world. If we never returned to tell about our discovery, then no one would and the tree would fall over before anyone else discovers it. We would never become rich or famous; not that we would for sure anyways.
I held my breath as Oliver pulled the trigger. It took a few seconds until it appeared the crossbow latched on to something. A bunch of green coniferous needles came tumbling down like snowflakes like 30 seconds later. Oliver then shot 2 more ropes all around the first rope that he shot. They all landed and green needles came falling down each time he shot a rope. One landed on my hair and one landed right on my bottom lip that was slightly bulging out like a bulging rock on a cliff. I could smell the very faint fragrance of what seemed comparable to cedarwood emanating from it. Another one landed on the center of my palm, right on the callus that I got from ripping the skin open on monkey bars when I was younger. I noticed this, but I wasn’t focused on that at all, because we just stood there holding our breaths waiting to see if we had hit our target. It took us forever to release our breaths & finally realize our success. We cheered as we knew that all the ropes from the crossbow latched onto a branch! Woohoo! We did it! Hurrah! Ahhhh yeah!!! Victory! Celebration time Come on! Let’s go!
Story continues... will edit when I post Part 2

PART 2 https://www.reddit.com/mrcreeps/comments/idizt7/ive_climbed_the_tallest_tree_in_the_world_part_2/
submitted by IAmABearOfficial to mrcreeps [link] [comments]


2020.08.15 14:12 tastytots1 [Eclipse Online: [Spoon] the Dimension Thief] Chapter 62 – Signs of Death

Chapter 62 – Signs of Death
So this was the plan. The two SWAT guards were outside the bathroom, waiting for me to come out after I finished my business. I highly doubted that they would notice if I took a few minutes longer than usual. This was my window of opportunity. I just needed to take off the quarter-cylinder silver covering of the toilet paper dispenser, and stick it out the window so that I could see the reflection of the male restroom from the female restroom I was in right now, and finally confirm the reason behind the male restroom being out-of-order. My head wouldn’t fit through the window, but just an arm should be fine.
Simple enough, but I needed to consider a few things. First of all, if the first 30 year old patient did cause an incident at the male restroom that made it out of order, why didn’t they increase their vigilance around me?
If I was in the hospital or government’s shoes, I’d have me locked down like a lab rat, like I was during the first day… wait... I get it. Didn’t the doctor already say the reason why they were being more lax with me now? He said that during the first 24 hours after the seizure, patients were more volatile.
Makes sense. They didn’t see me as much of a threat or person of interest anymore, because more than 90 hours passed since my hospitalization. Whatever ‘volatile’ meant, they seemed to have ascertained that I was not volatile. In fact, if I stayed healthy for just a few more days I would be discharged from the hospital in good health.
Then, if they were being more lax now, there really wasn’t anything stopping me from snooping around a bit. After all, I currently had access to a section of the hospital kept so secret that the national government sent in special forces to keep it under lockdown from journalists and the media. As one of the four or so recovering patients on national news with access to the inside of the secretive hospital wing, I was in a unique position to take advantage of that.
I quietly removed the metallic cover off the toilet paper and walked towards the bathroom window, which was cracked open just enough for my arm to fit through. Clutching the metallic cover in my hand, I stuck my arm through the window.
After adjusting the angle of the cover so that it could reflect into the other bathroom, I squinted my eyes and took a close look at the reflection.

Huh?
The inside of the male restroom was blown apart, as if a small pipe bomb exploded in there or something. Bits of broken glass and blood surrounded what seemed to be an origin point for the explosion, in the middle of the restroom.
There were several dry patches in the bloody mess, in the shape of female bodies that were removed from the area. Probably nurses, by the look of it. The dry patches were in the shape of fitted medical scrubs, after all. It was unclear whether they survived the explosion or not, although judging by the smudges near one of those dry patches, I suspected that at least one of the nurses survived.
That must have been why the nurses caring for the first patient were hospitalized. They sustained injuries during some sort of explosive incident in the male restroom I was now peeking into through the reflection of an improvised mirror.
Overcoming my initial shock at the scene, I strained my eyes a bit more and examined the scene more closely, while trying to visualize what might have happened there.
So it seemed like the first patient was in the middle of the bathroom, when he started shouting or something, which got the attention of the two nurses attending to him. The nurses rushed in, only to get hit by the brunt of what seemed to be a pipe bomb explosion.
Or at least it seemed like the aftermath of a pipe bomb. I couldn’t tell for sure. But what else would be able to cause such an awful gory explosion? Nothing came up in my head as I racked my brain for answers. How the hell did the patient get his hands on explosives, in the middle of a hospital? It sounded more and more ridiculous the more I thought about it.
That was a mystery that I wouldn’t be able to figure out at the moment. Even if I managed to sneak past the guards and got to have a hands-on close up investigation of the taped off male restroom, I wasn’t some sort of trained detective or forensic investigator. All I could do was evaluate and guess based on what I saw. And what I saw right now was just blood all over the place, and damage on the sinks and stalls.
Anyway, regardless of what the cause of the explosion was, the patient could not have survived. After all, look at all the blood. There was no way he survived.
That must have been when the government stepped in and quarantined the hospital and blocked journalists and the media from entering. They wanted to cover up what I assumed to be some sort of terrorist incident.
So was that what the doctor meant by volatile? Emotionally volatile and irrational acting during the first twenty four hours after waking up from seizure? Were all the other patients acting crazy as well during the first twenty four hours?

It made some sense logically, but something was telling me that that wasn’t the whole story. I flashed back to the tear in my blanket from this morning. You know, maybe it really was my imagination… I could’ve just torn it during my nightmare…
I was reminded of something Bjorn said a while ago, that old sly fox… something about being alone and seeing strange phenomena like leaves falling upwards, but not knowing whether he could trust his senses because he had been alone and drunk for so long, that it was more than possible that he was just hallucinating.
That was exactly how I felt right now. The bloody mess in the male restroom next to the female one that I just saw was not a hallucination. That I was one hundred percent sure of. But the tear in the blanket? Was it really a dimension ripper tear? Could I really trust my senses?
I climbed down from the perch I was using to access the window, having seen enough for the male restroom. Putting the silver toilet paper dispenser lid back where it originally was, I flushed the toilet again and turned on the sink again, just to pretend that I just finished round two with the toilet.
Feeling satisfied that I gathered as much information as I could about my situation given the current tense circumstances, I headed back out of the female restroom and was greeted by the two SWAT team members who were assigned to guard me.
“Hands above your head.”
It seemed like they wanted to pat me down before they would escort me back to the room.
The SWAT member on the left brusquely patted down my pockets and shirt, as if I was going through airport security.
It seemed he was satisfied that I didn’t craft a weapon or anything in the bathroom. We headed back to the intensive care unit wordlessly.
The next three days passed rather uneventfully. I couldn’t do much without access to my phone, or any electronics for the matter, so I just sat there all day meditating and killing time.
On the third day, a government official visited me with a nondisclosure agreement, and news that the government was still imposing martial law on the quarantined section of the hospital.
I was given a choice. If I signed the nondisclosure agreement about what happened to me in the hospital, I would receive the 350,000 dollars compensation for my troubles.
Sensing that I was no longer in immediate danger, I decided to press the issue and negotiate for a higher compensation. After some insistence, I had the compensation increased from 350,000 to 360,000. Not bad at all.
Also, the conditions stated that I needed to visit the hospital once every two weeks for a mandatory check up. I was fine with those conditions.
Once everything was settled, the hospital gave me back my clothes and phone, and I was officially discharged. And so my hospital adventures ended without much conflict. That was for the better. This was real life, and it was better to live a peaceful life than an interesting one.
The first thing I did on the subway ride back home was check my phone. I had multiple unread messages from Euphemia, and a few messages from college and high school acquaintances that saw me on the news. No relatives, though. My relatives never really reached out, and the last time I saw them was for my parents’ funeral. Not that I minded much.
Although I had mixed feelings about Euphemia, it was kind of reassuring to know that at least someone cared about me to some extent, and lived close by enough to check up on me once in a while. And plus, she was very cute.
I read her messages first.
Euphemia sent me a ton of messages, especially after she saw me on the news. She wrote something about tidying up my apartment when I was gone. Her last message was a request for me to talk to her in person once I was out of the hospital.
I decided to head to Euphemia’s apartment before I went back home. For the rest of the subway ride, I closed my eyes and took in the sounds of the city, a far cry from the monotony of my hospital life.
Thankfully, the media did not publicize my face, so nobody on the subway recognized me as patient number two, Kim Taek-yong.
It took about an hour to get home. I passed through my apartment complex’s security, then headed up to my floor.
The door to Euphemia’s apartment was open like usual, although this time it was because she was expecting me. I walked into her apartment and called out for her.
“You there?”
“Coming,” she replied.
A moment later, Euphemia emerged from her room, wearing an oversized sweater. There was an unopened can of beer in her hand.
“Here,” she said to me, handing me the beer.
I nodded in appreciation. “Thanks.”
I sat down on the couch and opened the beer, taking a long drink of the icy cold beverage. After living off of nutrient meals for several days, I thoroughly enjoyed the ice cold beer. “So what did you need to talk to me about?”
Euphemia closed the front door, then walked over and pulled down the blinds as well.
Once she was done with that, she walked over to me. “Stand up first,” she said to me tersely.
“Hm?”
I stood up, and the girl circled around me a few times in her oversized hoodie, examining my clothes for some reason. “Hm...”
“What?” I asked quizzically.
“I need you to take off your clothes,” she continued. “All of them. There’s a fresh change of clothes from your apartment over here.”
She took a neat stack of a t-shirt and sweatpants from the side of the couch and handed them to me.
“Why? Do I smell bad or something?”
She shook her head. “Just trust me. And put your old clothes in the bin.”
I changed quickly in her room and came back out wearing the new clothes that she prepared for me.
“Hold on one second,” Euphemia said. She walked into her bedroom, and emerged a few moments later with my dirty clothes. She put them into the washing machine, and turned on the heavy duty cycle.
Once that was done, Euphemia turned to me and finally sighed with an exasperated look on her face.
“Let me cut to the chase,” she began. “You’re being watched.”
I frowned. “What do you mean?”
She shook her head and repeated herself. “I mean that the government has put you under surveillance. When I was cleaning your apartment, I found a hidden camera.”
“That’s why I threw your clothes into the wash.”
submitted by tastytots1 to redditserials [link] [comments]


2020.08.11 02:02 BillFany Camera at public hidden toilet

MOD STORY: THE HUMAN TRAFFICKER
https://preview.redd.it/smxlkf33cag51.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=25ea1b61f3d92199ab812b16ec939b35a229b9e9
Hello everyone
This is a story that I posted around a couple of years back, and it caused some heated debate that I didn't intend so I took it down. On the urging of my fellow mods, I am posting it again in this sub for those interested.
What's posted here did not happen to me, it happened to a second cousin who is also a friend, MJ.
MJ is a very interesting guy. He was a Military Police Officer in the CAF, and was deployed with Canadian and UN missions in places like Bosnia and Rwanda where he was part of criminal investigations and pursuing fugitives. After years of doing this, he resigned from the military and started working as a private security contractor and consultant.
He's usually very taciturn and wouldn't say a lot about the work he's done before in the military and in his current business; which I suppose makes sense since he wouldn't be very good at his job if he wasn't. But sometimes when we're having a chat he would tell me about his experiences on the job; some stories are fascinating, some are creepy, some are downright terrifying, and all are true.
There is one he told me that I want to share with other fans of the creepy and macabre, and I detail it below in his words with his blessing, minus information that he says is classified, such as personal identities and location. MJ tends to have a flourish for drama when he tells a story, making the story too vivid for the truth at times, but as it is not my experience I felt I should just leave it in his words as much as I can)
Again, this sub's management does not deny nor confirm the following account, readers can make up their own minds. What we WILL say that nothing in the chain of events is impossible and while we cannot speak to there being such a case, we are able to confirm that the people are real.
Mod D
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A few years back I met up with a buddy of mine from our military days who is now a mountie in the witness protection program. Gerry worked particularly as a coordiator with witness protection in the UK and other commonwealth countries. We were both in town for work, and he asked me if I was interested in looking at the case he was there for. Apparently a protectee has vanished in very strange circumstances, and the RCMP is turning rocks over trying to find him.
I had pretty much done what I came to do, and I got curious so I said sure. Next morning we were driving to where the witness was living some distance outside the city at the foot of the Rockies, and he was telling me about this guy on the way.
So this witness was someone they were looking after for the National Crime Agency in the UK. They would at times ask for assistance and send protectees over if it's considered too risky to keep them in the country, and the reverse happens sometimes too. Normally he would be spending the rest of his life in a British prison for being involved in human trafficking, if he didn't offer something to Brit authorities in exchange for immunity and protection.
It's not as big a problem on this side of the ocean, but in the UK there are some communities -particularly those with West African roots- who have entrenched beliefs in possession and witchcraft and the like; and if they think that a kid is possessed by a demon or is a witch (the signs can be as stupid as refusing to listen to parents)they would send them to the old country in order to be 'exorcised' or 'cleansed' by a religious quack or a shaman. These rituals are brutal and prolonged torture, and the kids in a lot of cases unfortunately even die, or even dismembered for body parts to be used for magic. Naturally the Brit authorities want to protect their young and vulnerable citizens and rescue them from this gruesome fate.
It turns out that along with human trafficking, this asshole also ran an operation for smuggling these kids in and out of Britain to African countries, mostly Liberia, Nigeria and Togo, and that in exchange for dropping charges and protecting him from those he would finger, he would testify against the people involved and the people who sent their children or were trying to. The government considered the safety of these poor kids and rescuing them from their guardians a priority, so they cut him a deal. A total of over 40 people were arrested and put on trial, and around 20 boys and girls aged between 7 and 15 were rescued. Needless to say, this made our friend Asshole very unpopular with a lot of people who now would like him very much to die in a horrible way, and the British government sent him to Canada under witness protection with a new identity. Things were OK until three days earlier, when he didn't show up for a meeting with RCMP officers and he just disappeared, and now they are scrambling trying to find him.
We arrived in the evening, and he exited the highway down a narrow country road cutting through what must have been the thickest woods I've ever seen in the Norhern Hemisphere for what felt like ages. If nothing else, anybody wanting to off Asshole would sure have a lot of trouble finding or getting to him. The road finally starts to widen as it breaks out of the woods into a wide clearing that ends at a sheer cliff face that must be at least 70 meters high, and ends at the building that must be where Asshole was now residing. He stopped the car and we both dismounted, walking towards it.
My first impression is that there must be serious money made trading in human flesh. There's no way the government is going to pay for a clearly custom designed country bungalow or the 4x4 Lexus in the carport, no matter what Asshole witnessed for them. My second impression is that I would make a better architect than whoever designed this, because it was at least 4 times as long as it is wide making it look like a very expensive trailer home; and one side of its length is stuck to the cliff face, so basically the house is only getting sunlight from one side of its silly length. My third and more important impression is that it would be next to impossible to sneak up on whoever is in that house, because it was on top of a rising incline and Gerry pointed out the three concealed high res FLIR security cameras placed on the front of the house and at the edge of the treeline facing the house from both sides of the road approaching it, so that they are fully covering the clearing. To approach without being seen, you'd have to jump off the cliff and fall in through the roof.
We stopped just outside the door to light up, we wanted to keep contamination to a minimum in case it turns out to be a crime scene at some point. While we smoked, it started getting dark and unusually quiet. There was a bit of wind, and the rustling of the trees at least made things less creepy. The whole atmosphere felt bizzare. I started to ask Gerry questions.
"Your fella sure made a nice setup for himself here. Did anything new about where he might be come up?"
"Nope. Still have no idea. Frankly people are getting really pissed off and saying just let him risk his ass, after all he's a criminal of the worst sort, and it's not like he's a big fish or still has something to offer, so if he wants to risk his ass we should let him and not waste taxpayers' money... But of course we know that's not how it works."
"It's not considered foul play then? He just ran off?"
"A lot feel that way. I don't know how I feel honestly... I met with him a few times and he was scared of SOMEthing. He was superstitious as f..., always having something tied around his neck or wrist, or a problem with meeting at certain place, or crossing over through doorways, all kinds of crazy sh.. that used to drive us nuts. Doesn't like it when new people show up and is suspicious of strangers, particularly black people."
"That's a novel approach to racism. I suppose you asked him if he was worried about anyone in particular?"
"It would be easier to list those he's NOT worried about. He's a nasty piece of work, and the people he f.... over when he snitched are even worse. He was acting paranoid about everybody, especially after a day when he said he received a call about a Juju-Marabout."
Hoo boy, I thought to myself. It was starting to get really dark, and memories from Africa started flooding back in with horror stories I heard around fires in the humid jungle nights.
"You look like you heard of it before?"
"When I was stationed in Rwanda and other places. Juju-Marabouts are sort of witch doctors, and they're supposed to be very powerful with black magic and demons and the like. It's a real serious thing over there and people are terrified of them. If any of the locals working for us stole anything, we didn't call in MPs or involve the local police, we would just threaten them with calling in the local Marabout and they would s... themselves and do anything so you wouldn't bring him in. People in some places buried their dead relatives at home to watch out for them, because they're afraid of the bodies being dug up to be used for magic if they left them in cemeteries. They supposedly can put curses on you, summon demons and raise the dead to harm and kill you. Real Blair Witch Project stuff. "
"...Right. So our witness you're thinking is scared that the people he hung up to dry in his place might use one of these Marabouts for revenge? "
"It's not as bad as it used to be, but fear of magic runs in the blood of whole communities over there, Gerry, and some governments literally have laws against it. There were times when even kids were killed because they were believed to be witches. It wouldn't surprise me if something or someone spooked him into running off to where even YOU guys don't know where he is and holing up with garlic and a stake or whatever the hell they use over there for protection."
Gerry grunts, crushing the stub of his finished cigarette. "Well, let's get you a look inside and get the f... out of here. This place is really starting to creep me out and grating at my nerves. If he's got the money for thermal cameras I don't know why he didn't put up any lights."
As I finish off my cig, he turns to the door and unlocks it. The loud consecutive clacks told me that the heavy door had reinforced locks, and I whistled as I walked in behind him when I saw the key panel for what was clearly an alarm system.
"Yeah I know. Wait until you see the inside." Gerry said, flicking a light on as we went in.
When I cross the threshold into a foyecloakroom and look in, I suddenly know why the house looks like a trailer from the outside. The foyer opens into a reception/living room via sliding door, and as we walked to the same kind of door on the other end and slid it open we walked into a kitchen and dining room, with yet again the same kind of door at the far end. The rooms in this house are in a consecutive row, on after the other, separated by sliding doors that have locks only on the side going in. All windows were on the wall away from the cliffside, with an iron grille I was sure the security system covered them as well.
(OP's Note: Below is a diagram MJ made on his computer describing the house's layout and showed me.)
House floorplan & approach
Another thing was that as we entered every room, there was a camera above the door opposite, and some strange and familiar bundle of what looks like a clumsy made small doll wrapped with a pouch stuffed with what looked liked grass or herb with a thong from which some sort of tooth or claw dangling from it. Gerry asked me if I noticed it, and I said I did. Reminds me of charms and talismans I saw being sold on the streets back in Rwanda as protection against bad juju and lucky charm.
After the kitchen and dining room we crossed into what looks like an office including a desk with a computer, and some sort of skull next to it. Looked like a monkey's. Next to that there was a primitive brazier that contained something Asshole burned in it giving off a pungent dung-y smell, and a pile of notes. Some melted candles on the desk told me that whatever it is he did here he tried to do in the dark, suggesting a ritual of some kind. All of this is starting to get uncomfortably familiar.
Gerry turned to me. "If you thought all this was freaky, wait until you see what's in his bedroom." He slid open the door to the last room in the house and as we walk in he flicks the light switch on.
All the other rooms looked relatively tidy, but the bedroom looked like a bar after a brawl. A dresser was turned over with drawers' contents spilling out. The bed misaligned with the wall it was against and the mattress, sheets and pillows half off it, and in the tangle I saw what looked like a gun holster. The closet looked like it was blown open and his clothes, boxes and papers were all over the floor. A full length mirror hanging from the wall sported a large crack, and a large towel was hanging off a corner suggesting it was used to cover the mirror at some point. On another wall was a large HD screen, split with the three thermal outside cams at the top and the indoor cams covering the approach to the bedroom at the bottom. In addition to only have a lock on this side of it, the bedroom door also had heavy bolts. An awful smell was giving me the urge to gag.
Gerry pointed with his chin at a rumpled plastic bag in a corner. "Try not to touch anything, but there's dead cat in that. Neck's broken." That explains the smell. I could see an eye, wide open and milky, and its lower jaw misaligned with the top tongue sticking out. There is a snapped cord tied around the bag. It was hanging from somewhere.
"Again, careful not to contaminate anything in case crime scene people will come. Look in here." He was in a the bathroom that was connected to the bedroom. I gingerly walk over.
Yet more stink fighting over my nostrils with the dead cat. It was coming from what was clearly vomit in the toilet seat. You don't need too much detail, but it included what looked like maggots and flies. I barely stopped myself from adding my own lunch to it.
"Jesus..."
"There's blood at the sink too. At least that's what it looks like."
By now curiousity and interest was quickly dissipating, replaced by edgy discomfot and some nausea. I reluctantly look at the sink, and sure enough it was covered with it. It didn't look enough to be a life threatening amount to bleed, but it looked like it was sprayed over the sink.
I follow droplets to the bathtub, and inside it was a Beretta M9 semiauto. That explained the holster in the bedroom. There were two spent bullet casings in the tub. I'd need a closer look to be positive, but they looked like bullets from the gun.
Gerry caught me looking at it. "Notice anything strange? Besides all the obvious."
I looked at the walls, floor, ceiling and line of sight into the bedroom. Nope. "Where the f... are the bullets?"
"Don't know. We didn't want to move anything so I can't be 100 percent sure, but it looks like we have two bullets fired that are unaccounted for."
"Jeez Gerry, you sure you don't have enough for a criminal investigation? This is too f...ed up to be explained away by him going on a spur of the moment vacation."
Gerry shook his head "Nope. I know, but there is nothing here from a law enforcement perspective: No crime, no probable cause, no sign of forced entry... Hell if I wasn't Witness Protection dealing with this guy we'd be breaking and entering right now. Here, there's one more thing you should see in the bedroom."
I followed him back into the bedroom... He stepped behind the bed and I heard a loud double CLACK of deadbolt lock and he slid another door open, the muffled night noise and night draft filling the room. I hadn't noticed it at first because of the mess, and it opened outside into the carport right next to the truck. If he wanted to, Asshole could have rolled out of bed straight into the driver seat and take off.
Gerry slid the door shut, locking it again."That's the end of the freakyass tour, MJ, and that's the last but not least bit of freaky: Wherever he went, why the Hell would he leave without his ride? I don't see him riding in someone else's car. He trusted nobody. And the way he set this place up so nobody gets here."
The location. The way the house was built. The thermal cameras outside and the ones over the doors inside, but not the bedroom itself. The voodoo sh** hanging alongside them. The locks. The gun. The doorway from bedroom to the car. I've seen this kind of half-mad paranoid fear before and I shook my head."No Gerry. He set it up so somebody doesn't get here, realized he couldn't stop them, so instead he set it up so he can see them coming."
Gerry frowned, nodded after what I said sank in. "Let's get out of here. This stench is making me seriously sick."
I followed, closing the doors locked behind us, thinking what it would feel like with this guy looking through his cameras at whoevewhatever is after him struggling through the barricade, getting ready for fight with his weapon or flight with his truck as the threat gets closer. The fact that we cannot touch any of the recorded camera footage to see what might have happened was maddening.
The night has fallen completely, and the stars were out but no moon, so Gerry turned on a flashlight he carried on him so we could see. The cool air was somehow claustrophobic, night noises seemed subdued and muffled and I can feel myself perspire. I just wanted to leave this place and go get a drink somewhere and get the nasty out of my nose and mouth.
... Then it occured to me as Gerry was punching the code to lock the alarm. "Gerry, on the screen in the bedroom, did you see the carport?"
"The carport? No."
"Why the f... not?"
Gerry's eyes widened. Of course why the f... not. Every inch of the house and area around it was covered, why the hell not the escape route? We dashed around the corner to the carport...
... And I grab his arm pulling him back violently as his light hit a the shimmering length of a snake's body, maybe two. Not any old snake(s) either. I remember the look very well from manuals and guides the UN provided, and the open mouth of the visible head was clearly dark colored. F...ing African Black Mamba.
Not sure if it/they were still alive, but I shush Gerry and pull him further back. These f...ing things are the only snakes on earth that chase you to kill you. What the hell was that doing here??? A hissing noise confirmed that there is at least one snake that is alive, it cut through a loud cricket chirping and whistling that was of a tempo, volume and speed that I am not familiar with at all, definitely not on this side of the world.
There was also a chair lying on its side on the ground and some scattered tools under the camera we were expecting to find. The nightmare scene also included what looked like a bloody handprint in a dent on the side of the truck, and dragged along its length. There was a dent and crack on this side of the hidden sliding door too. Gerry can think what he likes, but my brain was screaming at me what it saw: Asshole was trying to fix this camera when something happened, and by the look of things here and in his bedroom it's something pretty bad.
A puddle of what looked like the vomit we saw in the toilet was also by the back tailight of the truck, except it now also included what was clearly teeth and molars. Another handprint was on the taillight. A few yards past there was a single flip-flop, and a small satchel from which some sh.. spilled out, most notably what looked like an old finger with a cracked yellow nail.
There was a patch of weeds and grass growth nearby, and the way they were flattened hinted that what lost the slipper and satchel was dragged that way down the incline towards the treeline. The crickets or whatever the f... they were are screeching louder, and I heard the Mamba hissing behind us. This was enough for Gerry and we ran down back to the car and he phoned for backup.
I can't tell you anything more right now. The RCMP as a rule does not give out details or comment on investigations early, and whatever they saw in the camera videos is still pretty much classified, so Gerry can't really tell me anything yet. I might be able to tell you more later if you're still interested.
I am interested, but this kind of freaked me out. I've always wanted to go on holiday in Africa for a Safari trip, but this crap is sort of putting me off the idea! I hope you enjoyed it.
UPDATE (09-June-2018):------------------------------------------------ Today MJ sent me something he got. It's a still from one of the outdoor night vision cams(or FLIR, I'm not sure what the difference is) showing the side of the house on the night where they suspect something happened. If you look under the front of the truck, you can see what I think is the Black Mamba(s) or whatever kind of snake it was. It's not very bright compared to the lights. but maybe that's because snakes are cold blooded:

Night vision still of house
I'll post here or in another series page any other updates I get.
UPDATE (13-June-2018):----------------------------------------------- It turns out the snake -there was only one found- actually WAS a Black Mamba. It was confirmed by a toxicologist who specialized in snake venom. MJ sent me a picture of the critter:

The Black Mamba
Apparently they had to wait for some pest control people specializing in snakes to remove it before they can process the place: Black Mambas are big, this one is over 2 meters in length (probably why MJ thought there was 2 of them), and they are one of the most aggressive species in the world known to attack people. It's native to Africa, so how it got there at the scene is another mystery.
What MJ is sure of is (A) It can't have been there very long before it was found, because it wouldn't likely have survived the cold; and (B) It did not bite anyone, because Black Mamba bites kill within minutes and there's no body around the area. Unless the body was taken somewhere else.
This is getting very bizarre as well as creeping me the fuck out.
UPDATE (17-June-2018):----------------------------------------------- Just heard from MJ again. Apparently, the two bullets from Asshole's gun were actually found. They were outside the house, one at the bottom of the incline beyond the carport, the other further on near the treeline.
The bullets were hollow point, and have 'flowered', meaning that they were all blown out and crushed. So they hit something and didn't just get spent, and they fell off whatever they hit first one then the other.
He doesn't know what investigators think of this and I know almost nothing about guns, but even I know that bullets only fly in a straight line until they hit something and they don't fucking turn corners and open doors and shit. Something was shot in that bathroom at close range, and the bullets fell off it outside. That's the only explanation I can think of. Unless the RCMP would finally stop with that 'investigation ongoing' crap and tell me something I don't know.
UPDATE (19-June-2018):----------------------------------------------- While waiting to hear back from MJ, I thought I might try to find some info by myself.
I know a foreign student from Senegal, his name is Bassirou, who came to study in university here and we became friends, even after he went back we stayed in touch by email and skype. Since he's from that part of the world where Asshole was plying his 'trade', I thought he can tell me something about all this Juju stuff; so I forwarded MJ's account and asked him if he can tell me something about it.
He actually gave me a Skype call. He was very worried for me and wanted to know how am I involved in this shit. I assured him that I wasn't and that I'm only getting this stuff second-hand at best because it morbidly fascinated me. He laughed when I told him I'm just posting a story on Reddit.
His concerns allayed, he said he'd talk to a relative of his who is actually a Marabout 'expert' and he'll send me any explanations this guy gives him. The day after he sent me an email that details the significance of some of the stuff described, which I put in below after I edited some grammar and spelling mistakes:
The talisman pouches hanging around the house: Based on the description given by MJ, it sounds like a charm used in West African countries to protect against black magic. He sent an example of the sort of thing.
Talisman for protection
Usually it's just one worn on someone's person, so no clue as to why Asshole had so many and over the doors. Maybe he thought it afforded more protection.
The smelly brazier and skull in the office/den: There are some items missing/not mentioned, but a setup like this is used in some regions to induce a sort of trance for the purpose of divination or get communication from spirits or ancestors.
The dead cat bag in the bedroom: This is a bit puzzling as well as disturbing. In African Juju, a dead animal is a way to put a curse on the people who live in the dwelling where it was placed (he said usually with a talisman of some kind attached, so I guess that's why it was in a bag). Cats are commonly used.

Credit to www.newsbite.it
But in that case, Asshole wouldn't have done it to himself, so how did it get there then?
Foul vomit with maggots in toilet, outside containing teeth: Apparently barfing is a frequent prop in Juju tradition. A ritual resulting in a person vomiting can be proof of guilt, or divine punishment for an affront against spirits. The maggots are supposed to mean being eaten alive from the inside by your misdeed, and the teeth show the person's rotting and decay.
The Black Mamba: Like cats and crows in Western witchcraft, Snakes are linked with sorcery and malice. In Juju folklore and religion, they are frequent agents in curses and killing enemies. The Black Mamba -along with its cousin, the Green Mamba- is one of the most frequently summoned by the Marabout or Witch because of its very deadly bite, aggressiveness and not being afraid of people. They are used both practically as a murder weapon and as part of ritual, and Bassirou says his relative can't really tell which is it here.
This is starting to go way out there in the occult and supernatural, and honestly I don't know what to think. I don't really believe in all this magic stuff, but that doesn't mean the belief and myth are any less dangerous and deadly. Jonestown, anyone?
I hope I hear from MJ again soon.
FINAL UPDATE (30-June-2018):-----------------------------------------------
MJ got in touch. He said this will be the last thing he's going to be able to get, as any more would need to be cleared by someone higher up than Gerry. I'm going to put in his exact words as in the email he sent me:
... I've attached two more stills from the outdoor cam. That's all that I can get.
https://preview.redd.it/50kaoztr3ag51.png?width=498&format=png&auto=webp&s=e632574471987c51fad6d5e694f3909741b81fb6
Stills from later that night
Right now this affair is being treated as a possible homicide, based on what you can sort of see from the stills, of course they have a lot more material they're not sharing.
The reason for the possible homicide is the brighter trail you see in the left of the second still. When they checked they found traces of blood on the ground right where the trail is, and that's a lot of blood. The small bit near the top is where they found the vomit with the teeth.
From the first still they got a description for a suspect, based on geometry and the camera angle of a figure at the bottom right of the first image: Male, very lean almost emaciated, unusually tall (measurements show close to over two meters), quite long-limbed, a larger head with an extremely heavy (possibly deformed) jaw and high neck, and either slightly hunchbacked or with a curved spine. They might issue a statement asking for the public to help once they can provide more details.
You'll notice this 'suspect' is very dark in the image instead of bright. They believe the reason there was no heat signature is because he was aware of the cameras and was wearing a sort of outfit that trapped in body heat and obscuring it from the infrared. To me this makes no sense. I've worked in location security for a while now, and I've never heard of a body hugging suit against thermal vision (no before you ask wetsuits can't do that). Also, even if that existed, you can't wear it for very long because you'll die from overheating and suffocation.
In the first still you can also see in the carport a figure that looks like is fiddling with the camera over the concealed doorway to the bedroom. Probably Asshole working on it when he found out it wasn't online.
RCMP are usually tight-lipped about theories as to how a crime went down, and without any other information they have I can't really give anything more than guesses, but this is what to me it looks like:
-Asshole clearly disappeared/died the same night these images and the one I sent you earlier were taken.
-At one point he saw the camera in the carport wasn't working, so he went out to fix it, which explains the chair and tools.
-While he was doing it, the 'suspect' showed up. Asshole tried to escape back inside, but either he saw 'suspect' too late or 'suspect' was very very quick and followed Asshole inside before he can lock the hidden door and get his sidearm.
-A struggle happened that trashed the bedroom to hell and Asshole ended up in the bathroom and he fired at 'suspect' twice.
-Minutes later, Asshole was dragged outside and towards the treeline, probably by 'suspect' who if he was wearing some kind of suit it must have been some very sexy kevlar, because apparently the spent bullets hit him and fell off him as he was pulling Asshole away (the crushed bullets were found along the drag line). It's not clear who dropped the satchel with the finger.
-It's also not clear if the Mamba bit Asshole, though my guess is that he was bitten because vomiting is a symptom of a Black Mamba's bite. I can't dwell on the maggots or the teeth because they give me nightmares. It would also make sense because the vomit outside means that he being dragged alive, and the trail is too smooth for a struggle so he must have been unable to as he was pulled away.
You must leave it at that Billy, trust me on this. I can't really say what else happened, but I've been in that part of the planet for a long time and saw some very bad things some people there are capable of that would make you sick to your stomach. This person was not a nice man who did evil things for others worse than he is from a place that in many ways is still primitive, dark and people live and die by rules and nature we do not understand and I think would be too dangerous for us to try. I know enough to want to stay away, and so should you. ...
That's it. I got this from him the day before, and I slept badly after reading it and I had a nightmare that I can't remember other than it being horrible!
I am still curious though, so if anyone by any chance hears more about this from somewhere or has any ideas, please let me know!
Cheers
B
submitted by BillFany to spookedhelpdesk [link] [comments]


2020.08.10 16:31 throwawayaracehorse Camera hidden at public toilet

The following contains a transcript from a short radio broadcast that has been picked up by various listeners across the continental United States. Many have been perplexed by its sudden appearance and how it seems to preempt whatever song or radio program they are listening to at the time. It has even been known to appear on streaming programs such as podcasts or Spotify. Listeners have described hearing different episodes and there have been many situations and incidents.
A 23 year old college student named Yuvisela contacted me with her account of hearing the broadcast. She and her boyfriend had encountered the broadcast while driving one sultry summer afternoon from Austin, TX.
So I have this thing with waterfalls. I’m a little obsessed with them. In my free time and when I’m not paying attention in lecture, I like to look on the internet at pictures of them and daydream that I’m there: the roar of the splashing water, the white foamy spray, my bare toes dipped into the icy spring. I’ve got a Pinterest page with hundreds of falls that I would like to visit one day. Niagara, Havasu, Victoria Falls, Gullfoss, Iguazu; they’re all on there. I keep them all catalogued for my bucket list.
Yet, how many people go to the grave with their bucket list hardly finished? I bet a lot.
My boyfriend, Gabriel, likes to mess with me about my obsession. He’ll come up behind me while I’m on my computer or look over my shoulder at my phone and see that I’m looking at waterfalls.
“Don’t go chasing waterfalls, stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to,” he’ll sing when he catches me. It’s this old song he knows, TLC or something. He’s about six years older than me. I’ll joke with him to leave me alone and quit singing that old music, ask him if he used to listen to that on an 8-track or something.
“No, my older sister listened to it on CD. You know CD’s? Those little plastic things with the holes in them? That little slot in your car’s stereo, a CD goes in there. They don’t make ‘em in the new cars anymore.”
We’ve had a variation of this same conversation a bunch of times. It’s kind of a running joke between the two of us—him poking fun at my waterfall obsession and me making fun of how old he is—and while he thinks the waterfall thing is a cute little quirk of mine, he also has been supportive of my passion. That’s why he surprised me with the trip that summer. He knew that I was yearning to see some of these places. He knew that he wanted to make me happy. He knew that my resources were limited. He knew that we weren’t getting any younger; I was 23 and still had a semester to go.
But he also knew that we weren’t getting any richer, either. At least not anytime soon. I know I’m a little bit older for a college student, but it’s taken me a bit longer on account of having to work and stuff. I can’t take a full load every semester. Money’s always tight. I work full time and barely stay ahead, even sending some of my money to help my mom out. Gabriel offered to help me out some and we’d even talked about moving in together, but we had only been together a year at that point and I wasn’t quite ready.
Before my dad had passed, I’d promised him that I was going to get my college degree and I wanted to do it all on my own. While I loved Gabriel and could see myself marrying him, I didn’t want to deal with a transition like that so close to the finish line. Besides, we were getting along so well as it was. Why mess with a good thing?
And it was a good thing that kept better. Just when I thought that I couldn’t love Gabriel more, on my birthday he surprised me with the best present I’ve ever gotten. It was a little black notebook with this kind of leathery cover. While the notebook itself was nice, it was what was inside that was the true present. At some point, he had gone onto my Pinterest page and written down page after page of waterfalls, organizing them by country and state. He had put little squares beside them, boxes to check off. The last two pages were Texas and Oklahoma. He had written a note there. It read:

“Let’s start now...”
-Gabriel
* * *
So far, the trip had been a blast. We had started out in Abilene where we both lived and where I attended college. From there, we went to a place called Gorman Falls at this state park. It was one of the tallest waterfalls in the state and all of the foliage and moss around it was lush and green and for a while, if I crossed my eyes just right it was like I wasn’t even in Texas.
We couldn’t hit all the sites in a day. It was a road trip with multiple nights in hotels. After Gorman Falls and staying at a hotel, we headed towards Austin and stopped off at Hamilton Pool Preserve. The waterfall wasn’t as tall as Gorman, but I have to say I liked it better. The water formed a curtain as it poured off of a rocky shelf and into this sunken grotto of blue green water.
We stayed at this magical place for hours, swimming in the water and soaking up the sun. I could’ve stayed longer, but it was starting to get crowded, so we headed to Austin for a night on the town on 6th Street.
The next day we slept in and got a late start on the road. Lunch was at a Whataburger outside Waco. We sat and ate our food and looked at our phones. I browsed Instagram and my eyes skimmed over a gorgeous site. Yep, another waterfall. I slid my phone over to Gabriel.
“Look!” I said.
“Am I supposed to be looking at the butt or the waterfall?” he asked. An Instagram model was standing with her back to the camera, looking up at the water in awe.
“The waterfall, silly.”
“Seriously, that skinny white girl ain’t got nothing on you. Better let me take a look, just to be sure.”
I stood and twirled around quickly, teasing him. “Ok, so back to the waterfall. Did you look at it?”
“Yeah, it’s beautiful babe. Where was this one?”
“Iceland,” I sighed.
“Oh, right.”
“It’s not looking good for the time being. Maybe in a few years, yeah?”
“Just gotta see how the election goes. I ain’t holding my breath.”
See, neither of us were U.S. citizens. We were what you call DACA recipients. Both of us had wound up in America via illegal means on behalf of our parents, back when we were kids. This was when we were too young to have any say in the matter. I can hardly remember my life before, my life back in Mexico. I grew up here, went to school here. Texas and America is the only home I’ve ever known. Gabriel, he was originally from Guatemala. His situation is more or less the same.
If we were to leave the country, then we might risk not being able to get back in. You could apply for eligibility to travel if you had special circumstances, but they didn’t allow travel for leisure. We didn’t even have passports. Until then, our dreams of traveling—something we both wanted to do—were just that: dreams.
There was a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Obama and that DREAM act, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. You know, the dreamers or whatever? That’s what they call us. I guess they call it that because it’s just a freaking fantasy that disappears at the slightest thing—the sunrise, your phone alarm—out of your grasp as soon as you start your day.
Anyways, I applied for the DREAM act, but it hasn’t been a guarantee. We’re all stuck in a sort of limbo, waiting for the people in Washington to figure out what the hell to do with us, using us as a bargaining chip.
Not Gabriel though, he didn’t apply for the act. Part of it was that he was bad about procrastinating. The other part was that he was paranoid about signing up. I told him that he was an idiot and if he blew his chance to become a legal permanent resident, then I wouldn’t follow him to Guatemala if he got deported. He told me that he didn’t trust the program, that once they had you in the system they could track you easier, keep tabs on you. Said he knew a guy that got deported this way. I told him that the guy must’ve gotten into some legal trouble, a DUI or something, to have been deported.
“We’re all just one slip up from some legal trouble. Hell, some people consider us illegal right now,” he had said.
It was hard to argue against that, I guess. At least he knew where he stood, didn’t have that false hope. Sometimes I think it’s the hope that gets you, makes things worse.
Gabriel frowned and handed the phone back to me, looked out the window and took a sip of his Coke. I suddenly felt bad and ungrateful. Here was this amazing man that had planned out an awesome road trip just for me and I was busy looking at other far off adventures, not appreciating what I had right in front of me, the moment I was living in right now.
I leaned forward and kissed him. "I don't care where I'm at as long as you're with me," I said and he smiled.
What I told him just then, it was true. That didn’t mean I was going to grow complacent and quit dreaming.
They did call us dreamers after all.
It was one of those giant truck stops, the kind that was a little smaller than a Wal-Mart or Target, but just barely. We filled up and paced around inside and looked at the aisles and aisles of candy, the funny toys and souvenirs, and the tacky t-shirts.
“Hey Yuvi, whaddaya say? It’s your size.” Gabriel asked, holding up a black t-shirt with glittery letters. “PROUD TRUCKER WIFE” it read.
“Only if you get that one,” I said, pointing at a T-shirt with a semi-truck on it that read “I JUST DROPPED A LOAD”.
“Eww,” Gabriel said, laughing.
We both wandered around on our own. They had a huge candy section and I was looking to see if they had any vero elotes candy. I had just found a bag on a bottom shelf when Gabriel came skipping up.
“We are so getting this,” he said, holding up a plastic CD case.
“What is it?”
“Best of the ‘90s. It’s got your song on there, see? ‘Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls.’ Can we get it? It’s only 3.99.”
“Ha, ok. But only if you buy me this,” I said, handing him the candy.
There was traffic from hell just south of Denton on account of construction and a car wreck or two. We were stop-and-go for what seemed like an hour. I was passenger side and Gabriel idled along.
“Ok. I think now’s the time to break out this bad boy,” Gabriel said as he started tearing at the plastic wrap around the CD case.
“I think this is the first time I’ve even used the CD player in this car.”
“Aw hell yeah,” Gabriel said as the first song started playing. “Gettin’ Jiggy With It.”
“Getting what, now?”
“It’s your boy, Will Smith. Y’know the Fresh Prince? Betcha didn’t know he had a little music career.”
“That guy from I Am Legend and Aladdin?”
Gabriel rolled his eyes. “I guess. His older work is much better.”
“Well I don’t know. You act like you're this old and wise millennial. You’re not that much older than me, y’know.”
“I’m telling ya, my Gen-X sister raised me on all of this stuff. I think she was Gen-X. I don’t know the damn cutoffs. Anyways, she babysat me a lot growing up while Mama was working and stuff. She cultured my little ass. Ooh, here it is!”
A new song started playing. I couldn’t help but laugh at how it started. “It sounds like porn music!”
“Nah, shhhh. Shhh.” Gabriel bobbed his head along to the beat.
The chorus started to worm it’s way into my head. The song was ok, I guess. I still can’t really listen to it to this day.
“You gotta listen to this dope rap coming up,” Gabriel said.
There was the sound of hissing and popping, wet logs burning in a fire. Whispers intermingled with the sound effects. One of the voices rose above the others and said “Listen!” harshly in Spanish, you know, “Escuchen! Escuchen!”, several times.
We both looked at each other with wide eyes. The traffic crept forward slowly and Gabriel kept his hands on the wheel and I kept mine in my lap and that’s when he started to talk. It was this happy sounding older guy, talking right there on my car’s speakers.
Gooood afternoon folks, Buck Hensley here with a special rush hour edition of “The Rules of the Road”. Hope ya’ll are doing alright out there while you’re idling on the clogged arteries of America’s highways and byways, breathing in those delicious exhaust fumes. I know that good ol’ Mother Earth likes to take a big fat rip of that stuff from time to time, although as of late she seems to be getting quite a contact high from that delicious Co2 and starting to feel the effects just a little too much.
And yet you all keep puff-puffing and passing, never slowing down. What with your jet planes and your driving and your travel and your neverending consumption and your cow farts and whatnot. All I’m saying is that you folks might wanna slow down a bit on that stuff, because I’ve seen the end results and all I can say is that they are hilarious. But I understand if you wanna keep on keeping on and having a good time. All I can say is smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.
Speaking of good times, that reminds me of today’s special “Rule of the Road”. You’re gonna want to listen to this one as it’s all about good times. Why that was Carla’s favorite sitcom for a spell there, “Good Times”. She’d watch reruns on into the night, the TV casting a pale glow that was kinda comforting across the bed, and I’d wake up to live studio laughter and her snoring softly beside me, the serene look of slumber on her face and the years I’d wasted.
Gabriel and I both looked at eachother. He shrugged and reached for the stereo. I shooed his hand away. I wanted to listen to it. The voice continued.
But I digress...well now, on to today’s “Rule of the Road”. If at any point during your journey you stop off for a pitstop or a potty break and you enter a public restroom to do your business, take note of the writing on the stalls. You might notice some graffiti that reads, “For a Good Time, Call” and then a phone number listed after it. If you do notice this, then take the number down for later use. Whenever you are in dire need of a good time, then give that number a call.
Now before you go off with a bee in your bonnet and tell me how you ain’t gonna call no sketchy phone number taken off a lady’s or men’s room wall, let me just tell you that this will be worth it. You can trust me. When has old Bucky ever let ya down?
I know what you’re gonna say next though, you’re gonna say, “Buck, I don’t ever call no numbers on my phone. I’m deathly afraid of voices on the other line. If I can’t text and send little emojis and the like, then forget it. If I can’t use an app to order Thai food or a pizza, then I go hungry that night. I haven’t even made an appointment to a doctor since I’ve lived with my parents. What if since we can’t see each other’s faces we start talking at the same time and we talk over each other and then say, ‘oops sorry, no you go ahead’ and then we both say it again at the same time and then we both start trying to talk again and then get stuck in some sort of infinite loop?”
And to that I say, “fair enough.” Don’t use the phone. The consequences of not following this rule are a little less dire than previous rules you may have heard. If you don’t follow this rule then you will simply miss out on a good time. That’s it. But you wouldn’t want to miss out on anything, would ya?
Welp. That’s all I’ve got on this fine late afternoon. May the wind be always at your back, your picnic basket full of snacks, and your cheese ever be pepper jack. Ya’ll stay sane out there. Stay symbiotic. Stay lonely. I'm Buck Hensley and these are "The Rules of the Road".
The voice instantly stopped and the song returned playing. Gabriel had a dumbfounded look on his face.
"What the hell?" he said and tried to rewind the CD.
"Umm, was that part of the song? Maybe a different version?"
"No way," he said and kept rewinding and playing the song over. The little skit that we heard never returned.
“Weird,” I said.
“Beats the heck out of me.”
“Maybe the CD is haunted. That was pretty spooky, y’know? That voice telling us to listen.”
“Maybe it was like a hidden track or something. They used to put those on CD’s back in the day. And this CD was pretty cheap and has all these songs on it. Could’ve been like a pirated deal.”
We weren’t really scared by the broadcast or whatever it was, just more confused. It was only looking back that we saw the importance of what we had heard and how from there our path seemed to be led a certain way.. At the time it was just this weird little thing, a funny little mystery that was forgettable for the time being.
We crept along for a while without incident, the traffic slowly gaining momentum. The music on the CD played on as usual and we heard no extra voices. The songs played like they were supposed to. Everything was fine.
Of course, outside of Gainesville, it hit me. I had been trying to ignore it and power through until we stopped for the night, but I had the sudden urge to pee. All that slow traffic and iced tea and a bottle of water must’ve caught up with me. This was intense. Usually I could hold it pretty good, but I had to get Gabriel to stop at the first exit we saw.
It was this gas station kind of off by itself and it was all dingy and old and faded and didn’t look the cleanest. Gabriel parked and my lower stomach and bladder ached as soon as I stood up and got out of the car. I burst into the place and made a beeline towards the restroom, over in the corner past the ATM and the glass fridges down a hall with burnt out fluorescent lights.
They were singles that you could lock, one for men and one for women. The floor was sticky and paper towels piled out of a trash can and a strip of toilet paper floated in a pool of standing water. A condom dispensing machine was on the wall opposite the toilet.
It wasn’t the worst public restroom I’d ever used and I didn’t have many options; I was literally about to piss myself. I would have to do the hover move over the toilet seat. No seat covers in a joint like this and I didn’t have time to prep it with toilet paper anything.
So I was doing my business, my thighs burning from the squat, and kind of laughing to myself at the condom dispenser machine with its brands like the “FRENCH TICKLER” and that’s when I saw it, the graffiti written in Sharpie, right there on the vending machine. It said, “For A Good Time, Call 9xx-XXX-XXXX [Redacted]”.
After I finished and had washed my hands, I snapped a pic of the graffiti. I figured Gabriel would get a kick out of it.
“You’re supposed to call it. That’s the rule,” Gabriel said when I showed him.
“I’m too nervous. You call. You heard it, too.”
“Chicken.”
“Yep.”
“How many of those things do you even see? I’ve seen them all the time. I bet it’s just dudes pranking each other or fucking with their ex-girlfriends.”
“Well I found it in the ladies room, so hopefully it wasn’t dudes.”
“Okay, you enter it in your phone and I’ll dial. I’ll try to do a caller ID block or something. Let’s just see what happens.”
“Are you sure?”
“Eh come on. Maybe it’s fate.”
The Texas travel center appeared on the southbound side of the interstate and we were soon crossing the Red River on into Oklahoma as I transcribed the numbers from the picture to the keypad on my dialer.
A large casino came into view. It was ginormous with this sort of facade of all these famous buildings on its outside. I could see Big Ben and that Roman coliseum and all these other world architecture things. The casino just stretched on and on.
“Aw, not again,” Gabriel said.
I had just finished transposing the number into the phone. The crazy casino had distracted me. “What is it, babe?”
“Another jam.”
The traffic was veering into the right hand lane, but it was still moving at a decent clip, like 45 mph or something. After a mile of this, I could see a couple of highway patrol cars parked across the interstate, blocking both lanes of traffic. A state trooper stood out in the middle, waving a flashlight thing and directing traffic to take the exit. There was still about an hour of daylight left and you couldn’t even see the light. He was just using it as a baton. Somewhere off in the distance there was a thick wall of smoke filling the evening sky with this surreal haze.
“Wonder what’s going on?” I asked.
“Who knows? Grassfire, maybe.”
We followed the other cars and trucks down the exit ramp. Some turned right, some turned left.
“Right or left? Right or left?” Gabriel asked.
There seemed to be more cars turning left. Maybe they knew something we didn’t. But then, we would be stuck behind them and it was getting dark and we were already behind schedule. I wanted to get the hell out of the car.
“Um, right! Right,” I said, trying to pull up the GPS on my phone. It was lagging and my service had kicked over to 3G. “Freaking Verizon,” I muttered.
We drove down a highway past empty fields fenced off by barbed wire. There were houses and barns and oilfield pump jacks every so often, but not much else. No gas stations or a sign of a town or much else, really. After driving into all this nothingness for a while, my phone completely lost all signal. The cars around us thinned out and there was only a black SUV in front of us.
“Hey babe, I have no service and can’t pull up the GPS. Wanna turn back around?”
“Nah, let’s just keep going. We’ve come this far, yeah? We’ll hit a main road eventually, get some service.”
I sighed in response as he kept driving, let him know I didn’t approve.
“We’ll turn north soon, ok? All roads lead to Turner Falls.”
I checked my phone every fifteen seconds, looking for a signal.
“C’mon Gabe, we’re gonna get lost out here. Let’s just go back, follow the other cars or see if they’ve opened up the interstate again.”
“Look, this looks like a good road. We’ll cut north here and drive aways and then cut back west towards the interstate. It’s literally impossible to get lost out here. Just trying not to lose any more time.”
But it wasn’t so simple and the nervous feeling in my stomach was validated when the road we drove north on turned to gravel. The sun was long gone and our headlights cut a tunnel through the night as barbed wire whizzed by, separating us from pastures that were elevated above the road on grassy rises. I started to fear the worst, thinking of every horror movie I’d ever seen that had started out this way: the headstrong man refusing to admit that he was lost and didn’t know where he was going and the increasingly pissed off and worried girl that was with him.
Babe, please just turn around,” I pleaded.
“Ok, ok. Still no signal, eh?”
I looked down at my phone. Finally, there was one bar of service. “Yes! Hang on.”
“Oh fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck,” Gabriel said, his voice growing louder.
My stomach dropped as what appeared in the rear view mirror was just as scary as any sort of Freddy or Jason or Leatherface from the big screen.
Part 2
submitted by throwawayaracehorse to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.08.09 22:45 welcometosouthapp Hidden public camera at toilet

Welcome to South App #2: https://preview.redd.it/yjkwcmvc22g51.jpg?width=2365&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1aeb599b9653585277e9c705c7d6a935c1a144da
Sunday, August 9th, 2020
“Hall check! Wake yo' dumb asses up.”
Winston wiped the grit out of his eyes and checked his phone. 6 AM. He sucked last night’s Cheeto dust off his fingers and ripped a violent fart, causing Tai to spring up from his bed.
“What was that?!” Tai piped up. “And...what’s that smell?”
“Armadillos,” said Winston, lighting a cig. “Liberal town stinks of ‘em.”
Somebody pounded the hell out of the door. “Winston! Tai! I said hall check!”
“Fuuuck,” Winston slurred, hopping off the top bunk. He smacked his head on the way down, landed on his ankle, and dropped his cigarette.
“And that would be the new R.A.,” Tai sighed, shuffling to his feet. “Voice sounds kinda familiar. Welp, our shenanigans were fun while they lasted.”
They emerged into the bright hallway in pajamas. And to their surprise, every student stood next to their door at attention. Some were swearing. Others were sweating. And strangely, there was no R.A. in sight.
“What the hell’s going on here?” Winston muttered.
“Dude, get to attention before he comes back!” hissed Connor: a lanky, nerdy guy with a bowl cut and glasses.
“Is this some kind of joke?” asked Tai. “Somebody must be playing a prank on us or-"
Suddenly clothes, shoes, snacks, beer bottles, and a sex doll flew out of the room at the end of the hall. “Jackpot!” bellowed a voice from inside. “That’s a fuckin’ minor-in-possession charge right there!”
Then, it occurred to Winston: that voice was familiar. Suddenly, his taser mark burned like Spidey Sense. Winston jogged between rows of trembling students, ignoring the suffering cries of “Don’t do it!” and “He’s bigger than you!” In the doorway, Winston saw him: Lionell the bus driver. He sat with his back turned in a swivel chair, browsing his hallmate’s laptop. He appeared to be making himself right at home, his combat boots crossed on top of the desk.
“Looks like the simps in this room are fond of big-titty goth bitches!” he yelled out, scrolling through the browser history of 4K porn.
Winston took a deep breath. “Hey, uh...Mister Lionell?”
Lionell swiveled around to face him. His eyebrows furrowed like two lightning bolts beneath his freshly-waxed head. “Ah, Winston Panty-Pissin’ Beavers. Care to tell me why the fuck you ain’t in formation?”
Winston would rather swallow his own vomit than his pride. “Uh, yes sir. First of all, I wanna apologize for the way I acted on the bus. I was a bonafide douchebag. But I also wanted to ask: can I please get my gun back? My dad gave it to me, and-”
Lionell shot to his feet. He marched over to Winston like a true Marine. Slowly, he reached into his BDU pocket and withdrew the Colt Single-Action Army, cradling it in his calloused hands like Oliver Twist asking for porridge.
“Is, uh…this whatchu want, Mister Beavers?” Lionell mocked in a high-pitched voice.
“Yeah, man!” Winston chuckled nervously. “I’d mighty appreciate it.”
“Go on then!” Lionell snapped. “Take it. But if you do, I’m gonna charge yo’ ass with discharging a firearm near a public highway, destruction of private property, and attempted hijacking of a motor vehicle! And Lionell’s my government name. It’s Deputy Hardy to you.”
Lionell snatched Winston’s hand and placed the gun inside it. The warm muzzle fit his hand perfectly - exactly why his dad had chosen it for him. And it pained Winston that much more to hand the Colt back to Lionell. Winston had reluctantly made up his mind.
“That’s what I fucking thought,” Lionell sneered. “You’re a pussy, and daddy would be ashamed." Lionell pocketed the gun and marched out of the room, down the hall of petrified students. “Ya know, I’d say daddy shoulda left yo’ ass on a tissue. Then again, why waste a perfectly good tissue, ya dig?”
Lionell reached Room 309 and stepped inside.
“We gotta do something about this son of a bitch,” whispered Tai, as a seething Winston came to attention next to his room.
“Dude, there’s not shit we can do except comply,” whispered Connor, shaking his head. “Most of us have shit in our room way worse than alcohol." Connor pressed his finger against his nostril and pretended to snort cocaine. “Look, the way I see it: we just gotta let the R.A. do his thing. Let’s face it: we’re Lionell’s bitch.”
Holy fucking shit!” Lionell cheered. “I gots me some goodies in this room.” He walked out with a bag of Winston’s hand-cut tobacco, a jar of moonshine, and a few boxes of .45 ammo. But Winston’s anger paled in comparison to the sheer horror on Tai’s face. Under Lionell’s arm was a binder with big, bold letters reading HAWT BOOK. Tai’s eyeballs nearly popped out of his skull.
“He cannot...read...that book!” Tai whispered, gripping Winston’s shoulder.
“Sheesh, dude,” Winston said with a shrug. “Quit your bitchin’. He done took my Alabama moonshine. A few inbreds died making that batch.”
“Mine’s worse, roomie,” Tai’s voice cracked. “Much worse.”
***
Four floors up, Gigi opened her eyes to the sun in her face. She stared up at the ceiling, a visible heatwave cooking the room. One of these days, the paint would melt off the ceiling and coat her entire body while she slept.
Like Winston, Gigi was a member of the Top Bunk Club. And she too had rolled off the bunk and twisted her ankle more than once. On this day she sat up too quickly, feeling a rush of hard cider to the head. She felt herself tumbling down, down, down - landing squarely on the bean bag chair below.
The room spun above her head, her heart pounding in her throat. She slumped over, crawling across the soft, white shag carpet. Gripping the towel rack, she pulled her body up, bent over the sink, and threw up. She flopped onto the cold tile floor, smiling as the nausea left her body.
Somebody gently tapped on her door.
“Sarah?” Gigi called out, her voice hoarse and dry. “Um...can you grab me a Sprite?”
“Oooh, my-a Gigi!” called out an Asian lady. It was Kim Moon: Gigi’s mom. “How are you? Did you have much drink? I cannot wait hear everything!”
Gigi lay in a fetal position, covering her mouth. “M-mom?!”
“Yes, my-a Gigi!” replied Kim. “Please open door for hall check. I am your new R.A!”
Gigi projectile vomited on the shag rug.
Minutes later, Kim was on her knees scrubbing the rug while Gigi sat on the futon. Kim had raided Gigi’s cabinet for rubber gloves, bleach, and an old towel. She aggressively scrubbed the carpet until that one spot was much cleaner than the rest of it.
“Like I always tell-a you,” Kim said, looking up. “Cleanliness next to godliness." She smiled, displaying a row of pale yellow teeth. Her black, thinning hair draped down the back of her neck. She was even shorter than her daughter.
“Um...yep!” Gigi laughed nervously. She sipped a Sprite, pulling her knees to her chest. “So...what exactly is going on?”
“My-a Gigi,” Kim cooed, cradling her daughter’s face in her gloved hands. “My heart-a broke when you leave. I cry and cry, then I finally close up shop be with you!”
Back in suburban Atlanta, Kim ran a small farmer’s market out of a shed on her property. Gigi spent her adolescent and teenage years harvesting vegetables and selling them in exchange for a weekly allowance. Kim always swore that Gigi (or possibly her bratty little sister, Catherine) would someday inherit the house and family business.
“Why-a don’t we start our hall check? I bake-a cookies for all you ladies while we tell story of baby Gigi!”
***
Tai and Winston stood at attention, while Lionell paced the hallway with Tai’s HAWT BOOK in hand.
“I told y’all motherfuckers I done struck gold!” Lionell bellowed.
As Lionell approached, the students’ faces burned red. Lionell stopped in front of the room across the hall. “Now what’s...yo name?”
“C-C-Connor,” said the bowl-cut kid.
“Ah, mah’fuckin’ Connor! That right there’s a hwhite boy name." Lionell flipped through the binder. And while the other students stared in horror, Winston was the only one fighting to hold back a laugh.
“Ah, Connor in Room 308!” Lionell read from the binder. “Pros: tight ass; confirmed six-pack. Cons: probably not bi-curious; probably a top. Overall rating: 7/10.”
Winston exploded into laughter. “Damn, Connor, you’re tied with Fat Will!" William, the chunky neckbeard down the hall, gave a hesitant thumbs-up. In Tai’s binder, Will had also scored a 7/10 for having a size-13 shoe size and being a sloppy eater.
“I ain’t done yet, funny boy!” Lionell yelled in Winston’s face. “I done saved the best for last. The mah-fuckin’ creme-de-la-creme. Wiiinston Beavers!”
“Ha!” Winston interrupted, pointing at the 3/10 Leftward-Sloping-Penis-Rick down the hall. “That means you’re officially in last place, bitch!”
Earlier, Tai had been sweating bullets. But after having his deepest, darkest secrets broadcasted so theatrically, his expression was dull and lifeless.
Winston Beavers: my temporary college roommate,” Lionell read. “Cons: leaves his dirty boots on the carpet, doesn’t wash his sheets, doesn’t wash his scrotum, drinks milk from the carton, everything he touches turns into Cheeto dust, and the room smells like dead armadillos when he’s around.”
Winston stopped laughing.
Pros: good snacks,” Lionell sneered. “Final score: 0.5 out of 10.”
“This is horse shit!” Winston yelled, punching the wall. He stomped down the hall of cringing students. Tai trailed behind while the thunderous laughter of Deputy Hardy faded behind them.
“Wait, hold up!” Tai called out in the stairwell. “Just let me explain."
“Ain’t nothin’ to explain!” Winston shot back. “Apparently, I’m a temporary roommate. So I ain’t gonna show my armadillo ass around Firewater much longer.”
“Okay man, I admit it,” Tai said, throwing his hands up. “I’m not sorry for writing that, but I am sorry you had to hear it. Besides! It’s not like it’s something that can’t be fixed. I have a wide array of hygiene products that’ll help with at least a quarter of the things on that list!”
Winston scoffed like a wild hog. But his expression softened as he mulled it over. “You got any of that...sandalwood cologne?”
“Hell yes I do!” said Tai, perking up. “I’ve got creams, lotions, salves, colognes - you name it! Roomie, allow me to become your personal fabulous assistant! Why, I’ll have you looking spiffy for Miss Claire Dansby in no time.”
“Now you’re talking my language,” Winston said, shaking on it. “Deal.”
They entered the 700 Hall to the sound of giddy laughter. The ladies gathered around the petite Miss Kim, who sat in a stool in the middle of the hallway. Like Kindergarteners, they watched earnestly while the woman held a photo album.
“And dis one,” Kim squeaked, pointing at one of the photos, “is my-a Gigi during first birthday. She eat-a cake, and eat, and eat. She get very, very fat! And you no notice now, because she smaaall as Oompa Loompa now.”
The women howled with laughter while Gigi sat slumped against the wall, wishing she would melt into it.
“And how-a can we-a forget!” Kim gasped. “Dis one is my-a Gigi dressed-a like Neenja Turtle. She has-a Neenja Turtle jammies, Neenja Turtle bedsheets, and even-a Neenja Turtle potty!”
“Sorry Ma’am, we gotta go!” announced Winston, grabbing Gigi’s hand. “Sunday brunch is about to start.”
“Oh!” cried Kim. “Why, hello! Handsome gentlemen stay for my-a cookies?”
But the three freshmen were already out the door.
***
The Chubby Beaver Cafe rewarded Sunday brunch to hungover early birds on campus. A full spread of “Beaverific” entrees: bourbon maple chicken and waffles, crepes stuffed with fresh fruit puree, and virgin screwdrivers (i.e. BYOB). The main attraction: a giant hand-carved ice beaver statue.
But the distraught Winston, Gigi, and Tai were sickened by the thought of fine dining. Instead, they drowned their sorrow in a mile-high stack of bacon on a plate. While they silently munched on sadness and grease, Sarah swept by with a crepe and a screwdriver. She plopped down in the seat next to Winston.
“Helllo, lovelies!” she greeted. Unlike the other three pajama slobs, she wore a long, purple skirt and newly-braided dreadlocks. Sarah was rushing a week early, having spent the night stargazing with a co-ed hippie fraternity.
“What’s with the plate of animal carcasses, bro?” Sarah asked, sipping her drink. “Does a pig have to die for you to live?”
“Fuck it, I’m full,” growled Winston, pushing his plate across the table. Tai and Gigi turned away like dogs refusing to eat.
“Geez, who rained on your parade?” Sarah asked, cracking open a shot bottle of vodka and discretely pouring it into her orange juice.
Winston pointed at the entrance. “See for yourself.”
The freshmen watched a group of men and women stroll into the cafe, dressed in their Sunday-best attire of black tailored suits and dresses. And yet, in context, it seemed like they were marching to a funeral.
“Wait,” Sarah whispered. “That’s the-"
“Campus 5-0,” Winston finished. He stood on top of his chair. “Code red!”
Immediately, every student scrambled to hide their weed, mini liquor bottles, and pain pills. Several students pulled their hands out of their girlfriends’ panties. And the conversation shifted from scoring molly to scoring into the South App Honors Program.
“Wait, that’s the bus driver, right?” Sarah asked, pointing out the freshly-waxed bald head in the crowd. “God, tell me he’s not your R.A!”
“He is, oh God he is!” Tai moaned dramatically. He grabbed a handful of bacon, stuffed it into his mouth, and crawled under the table.
Lionell reached into his pocket and made his hand into the shape of a gun. He aimed it at Winston, shut his left eye, and "fired." Winston didn’t so much as move a muscle while Lionell blew on his hand, placed the “gun” in his pocket, and got in line for waffles.
“Um...I’ve got it worse - tenfold!” Gigi laughed nervously. On cue, Momma Moon approached their table wearing a long, black dress.
“O-a, my-a Gigi and friends!” Kim greeted, folding her hands in front of her waist. “When you-a leave, I unlock your-a door and do all your laundry!”
“What?!” Gigi choked. “You have a key to my room?”
“My dear-a, I need keep an eye on you as your R.A! I not go anywhere! I need make sure you safe and clean. All your thong-a, and even your granny panty.”
With that, Gigi grabbed a handful of bacon, stuffed it into her mouth, and slipped under the table to join Tai.
And now only the two siblings remained. Kim reached over and stroked Winston’s beard. “It’s-a been long time since my-a Gigi have strong American friend take-a care of her. You make sure she-a be good girl while she get teeth degree.”
“Uh, sure thing ma’am,” Winston replied while Kim gave him a boop on the nose with her finger.
“You-a fluffy man. You look handsome if you no fat.”
Sarah burst into laughter, downing the rest of her screwdriver. But Kim picked up Sarah’s empty glass, traced the rim, and placed a finger in her mouth. “Oooh, naughty, naughty. I think you put alcohol in there-a. That means-a I impose 7 PM curfew for week.”
“What?!” screamed Sarah. “You bitch!”
“Oooh, careful,” Kim cooed, picking up a slice of bacon and pointing at Lionell across the room. “If you no comply, I tell big cop man that you minor in possession." She spun around and walked off, nibbling on the bacon like a chipmunk.
Sarah snapped the glass at the stem. “Let’s sabotage these fuckin’ R.A.'s!”
Winston narrowed his eyes, watching as Lionell poured a cup of runny batter into the waffle iron. He rotated the handle to start the timer, and his carb cake began to cook.
“Now’s our chance,” Winston said, springing up from his chair. “Follow me, sis.”
“What about them?” Sarah asked, pointing under the table.
Winston grabbed the plate of bacon and lifted the tablecloth. Tai and Gigi immediately snatched it up like cave trolls, feasting in their underground lair.
“All that pork and they’re skinny as rails,” Winston muttered to Sarah.
“Ah, I see Momma Moon hit a nerve with you,” Sarah teased, rubbing his belly. “Are you out to impress her now? Or is it her daughter you seek?”
Winston scoffed as he and Sarah weaved through tables of hungover students. “Nah, just Claire,” he replied.
“Ah, I knew it!” Sarah laughed. “Your southern damsel in distress. So, you wanna know a secret that only a woman would know?”
“Hit me.”
“It’s gonna take a lot more than good looks to score with a woman like her.”
“Explain.”
“The solution...is that there is no solution. You have to be born into it. Sorry!”
At the waffle station, Lionell lifted the handle and grabbed his waffle, imprinted with the S.A.U. Beaver logo. And as he searched for the maple syrup, Winston dangled it in front of his face.
“Got a wager for ya, Deputy,” Winston proposed, dousing his waffle with syrup while Lionell furrowed his brow. “And the stakes are mighty high.”
“You got ten seconds,” Lionell snarled, “Before I stomp yo’ ass in front of your sister." Sarah took a sip of her fresh screwdriver, middle finger up.
“Whoa, easy tiger,” said Winston. He poured a scoop of batter into the waffle iron and slammed it shut. “I’ll put it like this: you look like you’ve eaten from a pig trough once or twice in your life.”
“You got some fuckin’ nerve.”
“Hey, I have too! Nothin’ to be ashamed of. Your colleague over there called me out on my weight too. You’re an American. I’m an American. So let’s do what we Americans do best: have a good old-fashioned eating contest.”
Lionell paused. He swiped a knob of butter with his knife and slathered his waffle. “Now what’s in it for me?”
“Simple. If you win, you get to give me a 7 PM curfew for a month." Sarah suddenly spat out her screwdriver, clutching Winston’s sleeve. “And if I win, you get the fuck out of my hall.”
A gleaming smile washed across Lionell’s face. Students began setting their phones down to eavesdrop. The waffle iron alarm went off. Lionell swiped the fluffy waffle and dropped it on a plate.
“Aight, Beavers. But I get to decide what we eatin’. Annnd march!”
Lionell snapped to attention, about-faced, and marched down the buffet line. Winston quickly slathered his waffle with syrup and butter, following behind. At the chicken station, Lionell grabbed the tongs and swiped a piece of growth-hormone fried chicken for both of them. Five slices of bacon to top it all off.
That’s it? Winston thought. This is just any given Tuesday for me.
But instead of heading back to a table, Lionell about-faced to the waffle station again. “I ain’t through with you by a damn sight,” Lionell warned. “I’m about to get diabetic on yo’ ass!”
Lionell and Winston cycled through the buffet line, layering the waffles, chicken, and bacon three more times. By now, Gigi and Tai had joined the crowd of gossiping students. When Sarah recapped the challenge, Gigi crossed her arms, containing a large belch in her throat.
“Wow, how can Winston eat all of that?” Gigi groaned. “Is he from this world?”
“You’d be surprised,” Sarah chuckled, shaking her head. “My brother is a bonafide carnivore. Hell, he used to have this YouTube channel. What was it...ah, Feng Shui of the Gut. He’d upload these crazy eating challenges once or twice a week. My parents couldn’t keep a full pantry. And let’s just say it got to the point where they made Winston buy his own toilet paper.
That mental image seared in Gigi’s mind as the two competitors sat down with their two-foot-tall stacks of grease. And since Winston’s gut would certainly be “feng shui’d” this afternoon, Tai thanked God that their dorm bathrooms were down the hall instead of in their room. All eyes were on them. Not to mention, several live video feeds. Winston and Lionell placed their paper napkins on their laps, gripping a knife and fork in their fists.
“One last finishing touch,” Lionell declared. “Waiter! Bring me some ranch.”
Magically, a student worker swept by with a ladle of ranch dressing. Lionell drowned their chicken and waffles with the stuff. The color drained from both Winston’s and Sarah’s face. Even she knew he was doomed.
When Winston was a wee lad in Trinity, he’d grown up pouring ranch dressing on his school pizza, corn nuggets, and hot dogs. But all of that had come to a halt in middle school. One day, he’d brought a cobb salad for lunch to impress the football cheerleaders. And after taking his first bite, he had pulled a long strand of gray hair out of his mouth. Courtesy of a lunch lady who had always refused to wear a hairnet. Needless to say, Winston had never touched ranch dressing ever since.
“Go, fat boy!” Lionell barked.
Winston shook the memory and dug in. He tried to saw the soggy waffle stack with a butter knife. Lionell simply grabbed a handful of food and stuffed it into his mouth. So Winston tossed his silverware aside and went to town. The syrup, ranch, butter, and chicken grease coagulated in his stomach. But he trucked through, sickened by the thought of a sunset curfew. And by now, there was a clear divide in the crowd: the faculty and staff backing Lionell and the students cheering for Winston.
“Gonna beat that bitch ass!” Lionell scoffed between bites.
Lionell was a food machine, shoveling down the first layer like he was born for it. Now Winston could eat his way out of trouble too. But the watered-down expired ranch stuck to the back of his throat. He switched his approach, fetching his napkin and wiping off each piece of bacon and chicken. He scarfed those down with ease. But the longer the waffles sat there, the more they puffed up in size as they soaked in the ranch.
“Fuck me,” Winston groaned, washing his food down with a glass of Mountain Dew. Meanwhile, Lionell looked like a mental patient, his cheeks and chin coated in grease and dressing. Winston looked down at the sweet, salty, gooey, gelatinous pile of batter. His stomach churned as he felt something rise from his stomach to his throat...
“Drink this, bro!” Sarah yelled, tilting Winston’s head back. She poured a steady stream of Pepto-Bismol into his mouth. And now, the flavor of stale bubblegum was added to the milky, tangy ranch. Time stood still. Winston suddenly imagined a tiny lunch lady sitting in that pink bottle. Holding a fishing pole. Casting a fishing line down Winston’s throat. A line made of her own hair.
Winston turned to his side and threw up on the floor.
It was over. Lionell stood to his feet, holding up a clean plate and dragging his tongue across it. Winston panted on hands and knees while Sarah and Tai lay hands on him. Gigi rushed back with a refill of Mountain Dew.
“On the bright side...I got the whole thing on video so we can still put it on your YouTube channel!” Gigi cheered.
“Wh-what? Who told you about that?” Winston looked up, feeling a second wave coming.
Before Gigi could answer, Kim came by with a mop and a bucket full of chemicals. “I clean, I clean! Remember, my daughter: cleanliness next to godliness!”
***
At 6:55 PM Sarah lay on her bunk reading an H.P. Lovecraft novel she borrowed from Evelyn. Gigi was organizing the massive pile of clean panties on the futon, courtesy of Kim. At the age of 18, she couldn’t bear the thought of her mom sorting through the different shapes, sizes, and colors. Once again, she wished lightning would just strike her dead where she stood…
Somebody knocked on the door.
“Oh, looks like curfew check,” Gigi said. “Good thing you’re already in the room!" Without looking up from the book, Sarah flipped her off. Gigi grabbed her comforter and draped it over Panty Mountain. But when she opened the door, it was Winston. He was holding a 6-foot metal pole.
“Howdy,” Winston said, slipping in and closing the door. “I heard you’re part of the Top Bunk Club, so I got ya a safety bar.”
“Oh, cool! That’s very thoughtful of you, Winston! I almost died this morning when I fell off.”
But Sarah saw right through his brother’s facade. “That’s obviously not why he’s not here,” she muttered, bookmarking her place and sitting up in bed. “He’s trying to avoid his curfew. Look, bro, can’t you just admit defeat every now and then? It sucks. But if I’m following the rules, then so can you.”
“Hey check this out, sis,” Winston proposed. He propped the safety bar against the wall and sat next to hidden Panty Mountain. “All I gots to do is hang out here for a little bit, and then we can all sneak out and go to trivia at that pizza joint downtown.”
Before they could consider it, there was a single, thunderous pound on the door. “Winston, I know yo’ ass is in there!” Lionell yelled.
“Shit,” Sarah hissed. “Quick, get in the closet!”
“Hey, I ain’t like my roommate, ya know." But Sarah grabbed Winston’s shoulders and shoved him in, closing the rasta sheet. Gigi took a breath and opened the door.
“Deputy!” Gigi greeted. “Quite the lovely post-curfew evening on campus. What say ye?”
But Lionell walked straight past her into the center of the room. He put his hands on his hips, admiring the clean and tidy living space. Sarah’s prog-rock band posters. Gigi’s bulletin board containing OCD-level to-do lists.
“Ya know, for such a cozy girls’ room,” Lionell pondered, “it sho’ smells like a boy came up in here and took a giant steamy shit.” He eyed the massive pile on the futon and grabbed a corner of the comforter. “There you are! So you think you can do whatever you want like you fucking own South App! Well, you’re fixin’ to have bruises on yo’ knees when I’m through with ya!”
Lionell flung away the comforter, revealing Gigi’s entire collection of panties. Her jaw hit the floor, and Sarah shot to her feet.
“Look, he’s not here!” Sarah asserted. “He’s back over at the cafe for wing night, stuffing his face as usual. Matter fact, he wants to meet ya there for a rematch, if you-”
But Lionell heard none of it. For the first time, the lines on his face softened, and his eyes nearly teared up at the beautiful sight. He picked up a pair of frilly, blue panties and held them in front of his face. Gigi stammered in absolute horror.
“G-get the fuck out of here, you f-fucking asshole!" Gigi spat.
Sarah lunged for the panties, but Lionell’s giant hand shoved her back onto the bed. He whipped out Winston’s revolver and pointed it square at Sarah’s forehead. “Now, now. This is between me and this little Asian piece of ass directly adjacent to me." Lionell casually gestured to Gigi with the gun before pointing it back to Sarah. “Now, Miss Gigi. Allow me to make a proposal.”
Winston watched everything unfold from behind the rasta sheet. With the closet being a few long strides away, he had no opening for a surprise attack. Especially against a Marine. He watched Lionell bring the panties up to his face and inhale deeply.
“You see,” Lionell casually explained to a mortified Gigi, tears welling up in her eyes. “I must admit, you have some mighty fine taste, as evidenced by the smorgasbord in front of me. But all I smell is detergent. Now say you...wore one of these for a few days, and then gave it back to me? Matta fact, how would you like to have your first year of tuition and books paid for? Why I’ll even sweeten the pot!" Lionell tightened the grip on his gun to remind Sarah not to try anything. “I’ll disappear from Firewater, and your two retarded boy-toys will neva have to see mah ass again. Thass right. Gigi Moon, yo’ entire tuition, fees, football tickets - everything paid in full. And you won’t eva have to work a day in a greasy dish pit or stocking shelves at Walmart. All’s you have to do is live with me in my apartment...and be my little yellow-bone slut."
Lionell reached into his tight pants and began touching himself. Winston crouched down behind the curtain. Lionell gritted his teeth, pressing the gun more firmly against Sarah’s forehead. Suddenly, Winston pushed off on his heel, emerging from behind the rasta sheet. As Lionell gasped, Winston speared him in the gut, tackling him to the ground. The gun flew out of Lionell’s hand, sliding under the futon.
“Fuck you, cunt!” Winston yelled, straddling Lionell and throwing punches at the face. Lionell struggled to free his hand, which was still stuck in his tight pants. But he caught one of Winston’s punches and rolled with him on the ground. Now Winston had a 300-pound man on top of him. Lionell struck him repeatedly with a ham-bone fist. All the while, he struggled to free his other hand from his pants.
“I take krav maga, bitch!” Sarah yelled as Gigi and Sarah took turns kicking Lionell in the ribs from either side. But Lionell shook them off like fleas, convulsing with anger in a steroid rage.
“Gigi...the gun,” Winston muttered through bleeding lips. Lionell flung Sarah against the wall, apparently knocking her out. Gigi nodded, dashing toward the futon, while Lionell finally freed his hand from his pants.
“Open yo’ mouth, motherfucka,” Lionell roared. He gripped Winston’s throat with one hand while raising that other smelly, sweaty hand to Winston’s mouth. “You gonna learn today,” Lionell whispered, jamming his entire fist, finger-by-finger, into his mouth. “You gonna taste what it means to be conquered by a motherfuckin’ BBC, you filthy little - *OOOF*!”
Lionell froze, his eyes shooting wide open. And slowly, he leaned to the side, capsizing like a ship. He fell unconscious. Through blurry eyes, Winston saw Gigi gripping the safety bar like a katana.
“Um...turns out that was a pretty thoughtful gift!” Gigi cheered.
***
An hour later, half of Firewater Hall congregated in the main lobby. They gossipped among themselves while a cop car drove off with former Deputy Lionell Hardy. The four freshmen sat on a sofa in the corner, sipping Starbucks.
“Holy shit,” Tai reacted after the others recapped the fight. “That asshole must have been roided up to be able to take all you guys on!”
“Tell me about it,” Winston groaned, pressing his Frappuccino up to his swollen cheek. “I don’t know if I’d be here if Gigi hadn’t gone Mark McGuire on his ass.”
Gigi sipped her Frappuccino as she tried to figure out whether that was the name of a Renaissance painter or NASCAR driver.
“Well, I would’ve saved the day with my deadly roundhouse kicks,” Sarah declared proudly, standing to her feet. “If only Gigi would have distracted him like I asked.”
Gigi took her shoe off and threw it at her. The four freshmen laughed. And interrupting the playful banter was a middle-aged blonde lady with a short bob haircut. She stood on top of a chair and cleared her throat.
“Excuse me, I need everyone’s attention, please. I’m Karen, Director of the Resident Assistants Program here on campus.”
“She totes looks like a Karen,” a sorority girl whispered. Another smart-ass in the crowd made a police siren noise with his mouth.
“Why, yes,” Karen continued. “Sometimes known colloquially as the, um...Campus 5-0. Now then! I see we have had quite the eventful evening in Firewater. And that is why I want to address the status of our…unmonitored 300 Hall." Winston and Tai suddenly perked their ears up. “Effective immediately, the 300 Hall will no longer be under direct R.A. supervision.”
Winston’s and Tai’s jaws dropped to their floor as they exchanged goofy-ass smiles.
Karen held her hand in the air to stop the commotion. “Yes, yes. I do want to advise you. That doesn’t mean that there will be no law and order on the 300 Hall. Underage drinking and weed are serious offenses that could have you expelled and put away in prison for the rest of your life. I assure you that the other R.A.’s are liable at any time to monitor the 300 Hall at their own discretion. Have a good night, and be safe.”
Most students began filing back up to their rooms. But an all-too-familiar face pranced up to Gigi and crossed her arms in front of her slim waist.
“Oh! My-a poor Gigi!” Kim cooed, wrapping her arms around her daughter and kissing her forehead. “I wish I still be here protect you from bad man. But it look like mah service no longer needed anymore.”
Gigi tilted her head to the side, staring at Kim’s cheerful expression. Then Gigi slowly panned over to Sarah, whose face tensed up, trying to hold back a laugh.
“What’s...what’s going on?” Gigi asked them.
“It worked!” Sarah snickered. “Oh, my God, it fucking worked!" Winston and Tai stopped discussing hallway Slip-and-Slide plans to listen in.
“I’m so confused?” Gigi laughed nervously.
“Oh, Gigi...you are almost as naive as you are kind!” Sarah said condescendingly. “Why, Kim was never your R.A. in the first place. Alas, t’was all a masterful plan concocted by yours truly. And Kim played the part beautifully, I might add.”
Sarah gave Kim a golf clap while Kim crossed her legs and gave a polite curtsy.
“But Mom! If you’re not my R.A….then who is?”
“I am,” interrupted Evelyn, the front desk security. She set down her book and walked over to them. She was looking a little less emo than usual with her curly jet-black hair. Yet, she still found it in her heart to don ripped jeans and grey painted nails. “Now don’t you worry, kid,” Evelyn said, putting her arm around Gigi’s shoulder. “If you’re gonna smoke and drink, just keep it out of plain sight. If I see it, then you have to share it. Capiche?"
Gigi slowly nodded her head, her throbbing head trying to process it all. “Oh, and one more thing,” Evelyn added. “No threesomes in the bathroom, please. We don’t have HAZMAT suits, ya know. Just keep that shit in the room, and we’ll be good." Evelyn gave Sarah a side-eye. “Unless it’s a female threesome, of course.”
***
Back in the girls’ room, Gigi’s laundry was put away, Winston’s blood was cleaned up, and the safety bar was secured on the top bunk. At her desk, she typed away at her Honors Program admissions essay. Sarah and Evelyn lounged on the futon, swearing at each other over an intense Mario Kart race. And as Gigi tried to form a thesis on why dental hygienists were more important than brain surgeons, her phone buzzed. A text from Winston.
Hey, can you come down here and bring me my gun? My hands are tied right now. It’s under the futon, right?
Gigi walked over to the futon and got down on hands and knees, blocking the gamers’ view of the TV. Sarah scoffed while Gigi crawled under the futon and reached as far back as she could, feeling around for the gun.
“Damn it, Gigi - you messed up my blue shell!” Sarah complained, flinging her controller across the room.
“Aww, don’t fuss at her,” Evelyn teased, staring down at Gigi’s smooth, toned legs that stuck out from beneath the futon. “She’s so fun-sized!”
Gigi crawled out and shot to her feet with the revolver in hand. “Careful what you say, roomie,” she said. “You were knocked out, so you didn’t bear witness to my epic sword skills! I don’t think you wanna provoke a ninja with a gun!”
“You’re holding it upside down,” Sarah sighed.
“Oh.”
Gigi stashed the revolver in her purse and headed down to the 300 Hall. She raised her hand to knock...then decided that, after today, the four of them were officially on a “no-knock” basis.
“Hi, boys!” Gigi cheered, opening the door. Winston sat in a chair in front of the mirror while Tai stood behind him, styling his hair to the side with pomade. Winston was dressed in a white collared shirt, a grey tie to match his dress pants, and snakeskin cowboy boots. “Wow, Winston,” Gigi mouthed in awe. “You look....um, different! Is that sandalwood?”
“Yeeep,” Tai answered, pulling out a razor and trimming Winston’s beard. “Our man no longer smells like a gym locker room. And I’m sure she will appreciate that.”
“Oh...and who might that be?” Gigi asked suspiciously.
“Miss Claire Dansby,” Winston answered, lighting a cigarette while Tai worked behind him. “I reckon we’ll be running into her tonight.”
“Oh, um...cool! Is she going to be on our trivia team? I mean, after today I think the four of us make a pretty good team, but another brain couldn’t hurt!”
Tai and Winston averted their eyes. An awkward silence while the razor buzzed.
“Yeah, Gigi,” Winston trailed off, taking a drag. “There’s been a change in plans. Claire is actually hosting karaoke at a bar downtown. It’ll just be me and Tai tonight. We’ll have to take a rain check on trivia. Sorry ’bout that.”
“I’m his wingman for Claire!” Tai interjected, wiping Winston’s face with a hot towel.
Gigi just stood there as Tai worked his magic, transforming this good ole country boy into a future country star. And as the scent of sandalwood flooded her nostrils again, she knew she had to leave the room. Not because she hated it, but because she was afraid to admit that she loved it.
“Well, in that case,” Gigi began, placing her hand on the doorknob. “I hope you find immediate gratification in crafting twangy southern anthems for a bonafide like-minded Alabama ten! I do regret to inform you that the proper authorities have confiscated your metal-projecting apparatus!”
Blank stares from Winston and Tai.
“I mean...have fun with your woman! And it looks like the police took your gun as evidence.”
Before Winston could respond, Gigi was already in the stairwell, heading back up to her room. Sarah and Evelyn were on their feet with controllers in hand, screaming at Mortal Kombat.
“Get over here, you fucking asshole!” Sarah yelled, mashing buttons.
“I don’t think I shall!” Evelyn retorted in a British accent. “Looks like you’re…frozen in fear!”
Gigi silently walked past them. She sat down at her computer and typed the first thing that came to her mind: My name is Gigi Moon, and I should be in the Honors Program because I have no fucking social skills whatsoever. But tonight, I proved that I can make up for it with my epic ninja skills!
Only 4,963 words to go, she thought.
But very little writing was done that night while Sarah and Evelyn mashed buttons and took turns screaming “Fatality!” at the top of their lungs. Finally, Gigi put her headphones on. She pulled up YouTube and searched for Feng Shui of the Gut. A hundred videos of Winston’s old ridiculous eating challenges.
One of the most popular videos caught Gigi’s eye: I F@#KED UP! STRANDED ON THE TOILET. She clicked Play. Right away, there was a close-up of a younger and skinnier Winston, no older than 16. The camera was zoomed on his clean-shaven face. And yes, he was clearly sitting on the toilet.
Yee-haw, fellers!” greeted Young Winston, sweat dripping down his forehead. “Welcome back to Feng Shui of the Gut. Earlier today, I decided to scarf down a five-pound bag of Sugar-Free Haribo Gummy Bears! I’m sorry, did I say today?" Winston leaned forward until his face filled the entire frame. “I meant yesterday! I’ve been stuck on this (BLEEP)ing toilet for 24 (BLEEP)ing hours!
Maybe it was procrastination that kept Gigi glued to the screen. Maybe it was morbid curiosity. But while Sarah and Evelyn took turns ripping each others’ spines out and lighting each other on fire, Gigi binged through all 100 of Winston’s old videos. Most revealing were dozens of fast food reviews. In these videos, Winston would eat a burger in his truck while talking about politics, religion, and women. He even went on a 10-video spree chronicling his war against a yellow jacket colony at his mom’s place.
When Gigi’s head hit the pillow at 3 AM, she felt as if she knew Winston Arnold Beavers better than she knew herself. Most notably: chicken wings was his favorite food, curry would make him dig a hole if there wasn’t a toilet nearby, and he absolutely positively despised ranch dressing.
submitted by welcometosouthapp to welcometosouthapp [link] [comments]


2020.07.24 16:20 Percybhowal Hidden camera at public toilet

Jessica and I dreamed of being parents ever since the day we got married. I have fond memories of all the merry preparations we newly-weds made to welcome the latest addition (additions, even better, were we as fortunate) to our warm, nuclear family of Chase’s.
I laid off my plans for the indoor, foosball parlor that I had wanted so badly- Jessica insisted that we reserve the room downstairs for the baby’s nursery. The soon-to-be Daddy in me happily complied. The soon-to-be-Mommy, meanwhile, spent her time mulling over the perfect wall shade for the said nursery. The two of us would stay up late, each concerning ourselves with some baby-related business or another. Jess would doze off first, usually; exhausted from all her extensive research on baby products. I used to smile as I returned home from work, gently draping the duvet over my lovely wife’s resting body. Her asleep face flashed a bright glow as I joined her on the bed, drifting off to my humming, lullaby-practicing voice.
Those few weeks of Jess’ pre-pregnancy, and the nine-months of wait that followed- it was utter, marital bliss. We were euphoric, the two of us- living on an otherworldly sense of hope and joy, that stemmed from the gleeful prospects of our upcoming parenthood. Our every conversation went like, Patrick’s gonna so love this, or, Vivien’s gonna be so glad that. We were beyond excited.
By the end of the seventh month, I had completed this cozy, king-sized, cherry-colored wooden crib, equipped with a whole assortment of toys, plushies, and a baby-monitor conveniently set-up at the cot’s upper edge. My wife giggled as she watched me struggle moving that giant cot into the nursery. Jess had ultimately settled on a soothing, lime-green shade for the walls, with golden crescents and stars decorating the foreground. Despite my prolonged insistence, my pregnant wife took the whole paint-job duty upon herself. “You’re too messy, Marcus,” she would tease, playfully flicking paint drops on my face. I sheepishly smiled, as I watched my better-half etch thousands of wondrous, celestial nuggets on the plywood walls.
We were happy, me and Jessica. The happiest we had been in the few years we had known each other.
I’d have savored that happiness more, if I had known the kind of remission it was fated to enter someday.
The first time was the only time I showed any semblance of ideal-spouse behavior. I was there by my Jess in the operation theatre, gently gripping her cold hands as Dr. Crawford delivered the heartbreaking blow.
“Marcus. Jessica. I am so sorry”
Neither of us paid considerable attention to the doc’s descriptions about our late, dear Vivien's neonatal demise. Jess was too busy bawling the living hell out of her eyes and lungs. I was there, drifting in and out between awareness as Dr. Crawford walked me out of the OT and explained that Jessica had developed an inherent hormonal imbalance problem that would make any future conceptions difficult.
It wasn’t an explanation, really- it was a warning. A warning, that any subsequent attempt towards parenthood could be fatal for my wife.
But processing Crawford’s warnings was the last thing on my mind. At the time, baby Vivien’s empty crib was the only thing that flashed before my teary eyes. Those myriads of stars and moons that Jessica had sketched, about some 50, 000 of them- they all aligned to spell something on the lime-green background of our nursery wall. Something that my mind, had it been sane, would’ve vehemently repulsed.
Your wife failed.
But I was soon losing hold on my sanity. I was trampling over my conscience that day, as I drove us back home from the hospital, ignoring the sympathetic gazes my wife flicked at me.
It was her fault. She wasn’t worthy of my sympathy.
We tried two more times, each attempt more taxing on Jess’ frail anatomy than the former. My wife didn’t know about her biological impediment, but she knew how passionate I was about being a father. She nearly succeeded in confiding the negative test-results from me the first time, but by this point, I had already become the paranoid husband who stalked each and every one of his wife’s actions. I still remember how she fell on her knees, begging me forgiveness as my angered avatar thrashed about the toys in my lost child’s crib.
We were more hopeful the second time- at least I was. A couple hours after we had finished, Jess rushed and threw up in the toilet. She stayed sick that entire fortnight, lying weak on the bed, her body burning up, while I tended to her oddly fluctuating bulimic and anorexic needs. Despite her condition, she kept smiling the whole time. I did too- with everything that was happening, it was impossible for me to not think what the doctor had gravely warned me not to think of.
Speaking of whom, Dr. Gareth started to pry when Jess didn’t show up to his spouse’s ‘nerdy’ book club meets, asking me if all was fine. I tried lying but he and his hubby Fred turned up at our house a few days later anyway. Just checking out your delicious house, Marcus. They were a staircase away from chewing my head off about how obtuse and potentially dangerous a husband I was when Jess rushed in to greet them, faking some story about returning from her mothers’. The Crawford’s left shortly after with convinced expressions on their faces.
She saved me back there. She had this shy, knowing smile on her face- one that seemed to tell me, I got this, Love.
I should’ve been thankful to her.
And I was, for the briefest moment of time. Until she broke down and broke me with the news of her second failure.
I didn’t thank her- let alone console her. Instead, I walked off to the kitchen and grabbed a drink, wordlessly watching my wife mourn.
This one drink would be the start of my blatantly-public rendezvous with my new-found mistress- booze.
To now think how comically it all started. I was chugging down a beer while watching this Family Guy clip where some guy joked about how alcohol made women look attractive. My amused mind instantly pictured a smiling Jess, painting the nursery, wearing that hideous, grey robe of hers. I took a long sip and sighed.
I had had such high hopes for our beautiful, Chase family heir. We’d have camped our weekends at some picturesque lake where I’d acquaint my child to all the marvels of nature. I could have been the Dad who lulled his child to sleep with cuddly bedtime stories. Oh, how much I wished to be able to come up with painfully dull dad-jokes for my dear kid?
Every sip of the ice-cold beer helped me cope better with the grief of my loss. And with every passing bit of grief, my contempt towards my wife grew. I’d take another sip, to cleanse me off the disgust I felt towards her. Another sip, to convince that I wasn’t a shitty spouse for loathing her. That’d make me feel better. Another sip.
That’s how I got myself into this vicious cycle.
Jessica wasn’t repulsed by my new-found drinking-problem; to her, I was just going through a tough-break. Full credit to her; she tried her best to get me back on track. I remember this one time when I was fumbling with Sabrina’s gym on Let’s Go, Eevee, when Jess walked up to my couch and proposed, “Marcus, I know things have been tense lately. I know how much fatherhood means to you, and you know I feel the same way.
But we’ve got to be realistic about the biological scenarios involved here. And I’m not sure if natural pregnancy is going to work anymore. So I thought it would be good if we explored some alternate parenting options. Now, here, if you will just take a break from what you’re doing, I have looked up this adoption agency in the town over, and… “
Deep down, I know there is a good husband figure within me, who’d have taken his vulnerable wife in a sweet embrace and assured her, It’s all gonna be fine, baby. The wife would then plant a loving kiss on his cheek, as they’d explore the myriad alternate parenting options available. Everything would’ve been jolly. Cozy. Intimate.
The way good marriages are supposed to be.
But in my inebriated state, my mind no longer had the capacity to focus on my paternal dreams- let alone the woman who’d help me realize them. The only thing going on in my head was if my level 35 Alolan Marowak could OHKO Sabrina’s Alakazam; and this droning woman-voice next to me, talking about some cross-town orphanage we should visit next week, was really putting me on edge. I grunted, paused my game, and asked Jess to get lost and leave me alone and miserable.
At least I think that’s what I said. Jess just stood there, silent, for the longest moment of time before she spoke: “I understand. I don’t deserve kids.”.
That’s how most of our conversations went.
Alcoholism is quite the slippery slope, don’t let those extravagant, indulgent, party-lifestyle TV shows and movies fool you. I speak from experience. It wasn’t long after our adoption discussion that I stopped turning up for work and lost my job. I wish I could pin the blame on my colleagues, my mostly-distant relatives, and, obviously, Jess; for not trying to drag me out of this ever-depressing quagmire.
But they tried- a lot of them counseled, signed me for AA, sobriety campaigns, and stuff. Jess did too- well, at least she tried coaxing me into seeking help, when she wasn’t working her new job or locking herself into the bedroom to cry about how awful she had made our lives. I’m guessing that’s what she cried about- I never made the effort to find out.
But I couldn’t break the habit. I had become cooped in the very glass-bottle of the booze I was consuming. No matter how much anyone tried to find me a way out of this bottle to the open-top, my hands always slipped at the alcohol-drizzled glass surface.
I am proud of this euphemism. It’s amusing; I think the alcohol unearthed some poet/ social-commentator hidden deep inside me (Not that this artist did anything worthwhile). Occasionally, in some limited spells of sobriety, when I wasn’t retching my guts out or being tortured by some head-splitting hangover; I’d theorize that maybe drinking more was my way out of this rut. Maybe I’d get plain bored of the taste someday. Maybe I’d feel bad about my Jess. Maybe the alcohol would tap some dormant, self-respecting part of my brain that’d get me to clean up my mess.
Sure, call me crazy now- but hey, at the time, it made sense. Metaphorically, at least- maybe adding more booze to the bottle would, eventually, float my body up to the surface.
A good theory, but it had its flaws. There was no taste, smell, or absorb- all my olfactory senses were good as gone. And there was no feeling involved- none for my wife, none for me, none for the child I had once dreamed of rocking in my big, Daddy arms. My drinking wasn’t about me trying to alleviate my sorrows or uplift my soul or have a good time. I had long lost the ability to feel any feelings. My life, by this point, was all but a routine of getting wasted on every dime my wife earned. Every moment I was conscious, I was getting wasted in some bar. The few moments I wasn’t, I kept thinking why I wasn’t getting wasted in some bar.
And as you might have guessed, thinking was no longer my strong suit. Acting was. So act I did- by driving myself over to the said bar(s), and getting wasted. Simple and easy.
I was drinking from the very well that was supposed to buoy me. And with every passing drink, I was sinking- deeper, and deeper, until I drowned to my doom.
It took a nosedive to the deepest point of my bottled-life when I finally came to senses.
I was in this bar on some far, isolated, outskirt part of my town. Most of the downtown bars I used to frequent had had enough of my drunken antics, I was banned from them. Thankfully, this bar hadn’t seen me at my worst, yet. Still, by the time I rose to leave, I was, unsurprisingly, pretty hammered. A special kind of hammered, where I was hammered enough to know that I probably shouldn’t have driven, but I had to, because- I mean, come on, I had to get my car home, right?
I knew for a fact that I wasn’t the only person who had made this decision in a similar dilemma.
The drunken-drive started as innocuously as any drunken-drive you’d imagine. A placebo, sobriety-inducing piece of bubblegum grinding in my mouth; radio tuned to some country station that was supposed to aid my coherent thinking, as such. Just your average drunk-driving precautions, you know, should you come across a patrol car or anything.
Halfway into the ride, it became clear that I wouldn’t be dealing with any police. I was on this remote, unknown area called the Hilly Hedgeson Road, with nothing but dark forest surrounding me on both sides. Normally this would’ve made for a pretty unsettling drive- particularly so at that untimely hour of the night. But in my semi-conscious, semi-ecstatic, booze-boosted state, none of that mattered. I was contently singing each word of John Denver’s Country Roads out loud; right foot revving hard on the accelerator, as I callously sped across the linear country-road that would take me home.
The drive became painfully long; half an hour into the ride, I lost all my vigor. My tipsy high was starting to wear off. I drove haphazardly, but there was zero traffic and no cops, so long as I didn’t crash into a tree, I couldn’t care less. Truthfully, I was too tired to care. My drunk, vocal exploits had drained all my energy and my ailing body demanded sleep. I blinked multiple times, hoping to shrug off the lethargy but it didn’t work. At some point, I muted the irritating stereo-music and put my whole foot down on the pedal. This was one ride I wanted to be over with ASAP.
Is it just me, or does pressing the whole foot plumb on the pedal fills everyone with this…overwhelming, comfy feeling? I don’t know what it was- maybe because I am short, and stretching my legs to full length inclined me at a comfortable position on the warm, leather seat. Maybe I was just tired, and felt comfortable decompressing, literally, on the race pedal.
I have no clue what it was. But at that moment, pressing my right foot full on the accelerator, watching the speedometer rapidly wave its spindly little arm- it felt so good. So relaxing.
Like I was back home, unwinding myself on the massage chair I had bought from the money off my lost child’s crib. Some chic hotter than my Jess plugged on my headphones, whispering in her siren, ASMR voice, Shh, shh, shh, you just sleep, honey. It’s mommy’s turn to babysit.
Ah, now that’s something you don’t want to be over soon.
My eyes were almost glued shut from my mini, make-belief, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response joyride; when they started to process a pubescent pedestrian charging across the road. But by the time I frantically shifted my foot to the brake, it was already late.
THUMP!
The sickening sound of the young body crashing on asphalt shot consciousness straight into my befuddled brain. My Chevy Spark came to a screeching halt as I looked, devastated, outside the shotgun window.
A boy, aged around twelve, his baseball-jersey wrinkled from the collision. Even in the dark, I could see his lifeless, brown eyes peering straight into my soul, accusing me of my crime. A giant pool of blood forming around his prostrate body; confirming what the ghastly pallor on his tanned skin already did.
He was dead.
I couldn’t get out of my car- my brain was way too loaded to perform even the most basic, mechanical tasks. It was hosting this busy, three-way, emotional traffic-jam at the T-point of my conscience. There was guilt on the left side, wildly honking the horn of her luxurious Civic. Criminal! Criminal! each beep screeched in my ears. Parked opposite to her was remorse, gloomily sitting in a beatdown Jetta. His horn urgently blared, 9-1-1, 9-1-1.
And then in the middle-lane, there was panic. Head bowed down in shame, as his Spark’s buzzer whispered a solitary word in a low, almost- inaudible voice.
Run.
And like a fool, I took the road not to be taken.
It was not easy. You think it’s just a matter of telling your head to fuck it, forget it, and*, floor it*, and, voila! – there’s your six-F-worded guide on How to pull-off a Hit and Run. But it does not happen that way. Not when the gullible face of your twelve-year-old victim constantly flashes before your teary eyes. Not when your head can’t stop picturing the distraught face of the father you had just killed. Not when there’s a culpable father lurking at some quiet corner of your own, dark heart. Not when you’ve crashed just about every ambition in your miserable life. Not when you’ve run from every responsibility you’ve ever had.
It isn’t not easy. It’s impossible.
I blame booze for what happened next. The general, directional-disarray that’s so typical of every drink-and-drive accident- yup, that’s gotta be it. Because there’s no way a coward like me would’ve wittingly done what Marcus Chase did that night- never in my right mind! I know, how ironic, given all my drunk-shenanigans up until this point- but I digress.
No, I don’t believe that I detoured on purpose. It was bad judgment- a mishap decision, that I attribute to my hurting conscience and languidness overlapping. Amidst all the ensuing panic and confusion, my brain couldn’t register how much I had veered to the right. Every bit of my energy was expended, so much so that I couldn’t lift my foot off the gas to the brake as my Spark speedily approached dangerously close to the tree line.
I like to think that I tried my best to get out of the crashing car, even though I failed. I need someone to tell me that what happened on Hilly Hedgeson Road that night was just your typical, drunk-drive car-accident.
Not some appalling, half-hearted, half-witted, unsuccessful attempt at ending my pathetic life.
Whatever it was, it should’ve been the end of my road. Glass shards were poking at all corners of my blood-stained body. My lower-jaw terribly dislocated from the collision’s impact. Both my lungs crushed, each struggling to respire their dying breaths.
And in those final moments of life, I sat there with my fatal injuries, plain, waiting. Waiting, for the tall, dark and imposing entity that I had envisioned Death to be. He’d arrive at the wreckage, a reproachful look on his face as he’d claim my pathetic soul. Shortly after, I’d be banished to some damnable, after-life realm, where I’d be tortured to atone for my sins.
That’d be my sweet, sufferable, sanguine release of Death.
It wasn’t long before my barely-functioning ears picked up the ominous sounds of footsteps. The passenger door clicked open. Slam! I tried turning my head to get a look, but the searing pain in my neck withheld me.
“I always thought men drove better than women, you know.”
There was something wrong about that voice. It sounded- too innocent, too naïve. It couldn’t belong to Death.
“You know, it’s rude not to look. Man, haven’t you learned anything?”
The life-ending pain that was my body was burning in- suddenly, it was gone. No longer could I feel those prickly little glass swords on my body. Because they had realigned to form my former vehicle’s windshield. My whole car, in fact, was resurrected.
And I could turn my neck now. Which I did. Only to be faced with pure horror.
“Peekaboo!”, merrily exclaimed the kid I’d crashed my car into a few moments back.
“You…”, I would’ve said, horrified, were it not for the cruel agony of my dislocated jaw.
“Oh, give it a rest, Marcus. You didn’t think of making a sound to the cops when you hit me with your car. And now, you wanna talk? Ha! Serves you correct.”
Fair enough. Marcus-0, ghost boy-1.
“Hey, no fair! The only reason I’m ghost boy is because some drunk jerk like you hit me with their car. Call- well, think me Tyler.”
How did he read my mind? What was going on here? Was I alive or dead? Why-
“Man, you guys are so weird! You can think of so many questions when your body has been cleansed of every drop of alcohol. What happens to your thoughts when you’re drunk, huh? The least you can do is call an ambulance. But do you do that? No. Why? Because your drunk mind has these ‘emotional traffic jams’? God, you’re awful!”
If I was somehow alive, I wasn’t gonna be trash-talked by some junior-school brat. I smacked Tyler on his face.
I didn’t hit. My palm just phased right through him.
“Hit. And miss.” Tyler chuckled.
This was crazy. I tried unlocking the now, seemingly-functioning door. It didn’t budge.
“Oh, no, wait. It’s hit and run, after all. Story of your life. Ain’t that correct, Marcus?”
Enough with the slander! What was this kid’s deal? Why wasn’t I rotting in some dark, hellish corner?
“Oh, believe me, Marcus. This is hell, if I want it to be.” As if on cue, the car’s heating instantly hit the roof. Tyler glared at me. “And you really wanna know my deal? After everything you’ve done, you’ve got the audacity to ask what’s my deal?”
Awkward silence. I didn’t know what to say. Tyler did.
“What difference does it make, really, hell or no-hell? This- “, he gestured around the car, “drunken mess of a life that you’ve been living. This isn’t the first time you’ve crashed, Marcus. And it certainly isn’t the first time you’ve run. And don’t you fool yourself- you and I, we both know that it won’t be your last.”
Silence again. My eyes started to well. Tyler pressed his cold palm on my arm.
“Hey, come now, buddy. I would’ve let Death do his thing if I knew you’d get emotional. Fun guy, you know- he’s got a thing or two for cars himself. Okay, seriously, stop it. “A seriousness in his voice. “Listen, Marcus. The reason I’ve come to you is- well, you’ve crashed your life! Literally. And at this point in life, that’s pretty much the only thing you’re good at. And I’ve a thing for crashers like you. Plus, you can drive. Well, legally, at least- let’s not get into the nitty-gritties for now. Anyway- I’ve got this job-proposal for you. I was thinking that- “
Oh? A customer. A hammered one? Ooh, goody. Well, looks like that’s all the writing I’m gonna be able to do for now. Trust me, I really don’t like to leave the story hanging. But hey- a man has got to do his job, right? I guess I’ll just have to type the rest later.
You know what’s funny? I’ve this gut-feeling that we’ll still complete this story here anyways.
***
“Wo-wo-would you mind turn-turning the rad-radio on, pl-please?”
The driver numbly obeys my slurred request. No nod, no grunt, no yes ma’am, no ma’am. Nothing.
I was kinda hoping to hear the sound of his voice. It has been a while.
“…lucky number for the day is 63. In other news, authorities are still investigating what they suspect to be the murder of local resident, Adelaide Smith. Adelaide’s body was found severely damaged from a collision with a tree at the forest bordering the Hilly Hedgeson Road. The area has been the center of a series of nasty, vehicular homicidal activities ever since the police discovered 12-year-old Tyler Paulson’s body in…”
Our cab speeds past the worn-down road-sign reading the forbidden road’s name. A casual smile pops on my face. I try looking at the front mirror to see the driver’s reaction.
That’s when I see it. Why he didn’t bother replying. The fault in his jaws.
I am in the right car.
“…the absence of any vehicle from the scene of crime, damaged, or otherwise, has further complicated the investigation process. Forensics have traced large amounts of alcohol in Adelaide’s body, leading authorities to suspect that her death is connected to the recent string of ‘drunk-runner’ murders in that area. Miss Smith happened to be the eighteenth victim since the police first…”
As good a time as any, I figure. I get the flask out of my purse. The mirror reflects a sharp gleam in the cabbie’s eyes.
“I hope you don’t m-mind. Feeling a bit under the wea-weather, that’s all.” I take a swig.
He shifts to the fourth gear. I rock my head back as our cab starts picking speed. The radio turns staticy.
“…the police haven’t… any cash… belongings. Further… the coroners … identify a star-shaped bloodied…deceased’s jugular. They suspect… stolen… in line with the other victims…”
Ah, yes. The star-crested necklace. Of all the gifts he has lately given, this is the most beautiful one. I keep it in my purse. Reminds me of the time we dated. We had this little game where we’d exchange gifts every week. Nothing expensive, really- none from my side, at least. But he always broke the bank on me, even though I begged him not to.
“…a gold watch…heeled shoes… a camera…”
Gifts that remind of the times he used to love me. That’s how I knew.
The Marcus I loved wasn’t dead.
Sure, I was the one who performed the burial on his brutally disfigured body after he ‘died’ from his accident. I was devastated, like any loving wife would be. I was planning on heading back to my hometown when the first gift showed up at my doorstep. A gold watch. Just like the one he’d gifted me on my twenty-second birthday.
Then I heard of the drunk-runner murders. That’s when it started to click.
The cabbie tinkers with the radio. The signal’s back. “… robbery seems to be a new-found motive. The authorities first ascertained that the perpetrators had been stealing possessions from the victims’ bodies when they found Monty Wilson. Mr. Wilson’s body was found at around the same spot as that of the victim who preceded him chronologically, Marcus Chase. Senior detective Daniel Fletcher believes…”
He mutes the radio and moves to the fifth gear. It’s not easy to hear someone call you dead when you aren’t actually dead. The police were fairly confident that it was a suicide attempt, but I refused to believe that. If he really did want to escape this world, his ghost wouldn’t have hung around to kill some drunk passengers and gift me their prized belongings. No, it’s like he was doing all with some new-found purpose. And I’ve known my alcohol-addicted husband long enough to know that he couldn’t have found this purpose all by himself. Someone must have helped him find it.
That’s when I figured Tyler was involved.
I have mixed feelings about that boy. I know he means- well, truthfully, I don’t have the slightest clue what he means! I guess I’m somewhat thankful to him for helping my dear Marcus redeem himself. I’ve found my loving husband back; a husband who doesn’t run from me, a husband who cares about the things I love. I know, there’s still much room for improvement, but for the time being- I’m just happy that my darling Marcus isn’t gone. And I am truly indebted to Tyler for that.
But then there’s all the lives he has taken. I’m not comfortable with that. Being dead, depressed, or estranged doesn’t give him, or anyone, for that matter, the right to wreck others’ lives. I don’t care whatever ‘redemption’ or ‘get-what-they-deserve’ crap he tries to feed me or Marcus. I won’t condone it. That boy is in urgent need of some manners, and I’m gonna ensure he gets them.
I’m not gonna have three homicidal adults in our alternate family.
Ah well. I can’t be too hard on him. Part of his behavior is a reflection on mine. I do still regret it, believe me. The one time I allowed myself alcohol, hoping it would get me over the trauma of my second failure. Yeah, right. I shouldn’t have been driving but I did, anyway, because- well, what do they expect me to do? Take the bus? Well, screw them. I had to get my car home.
And hence, on my drunken drive back, I ran into Tyler. Literally, ran into his bony, pre-teenage body. He could’ve been saved, probably- but, well, you know. I had this three-way, emotional jam in my head, and I chose panic.
Hmm. That wasn’t half bad. I really hope Marcus still has a thing for my lame, poetic expressions once this is all over with.
Speaking of whom, he stops the car. I haven’t been paying attention to the ride. We’re about 500 meters from some massive tree. I don’t think he normally stops before he- you know, does this whole crash thing.
But I’m special. I’m his wife, the woman he loves. I’ve the right to decline.
He faces me, silent. Jesus Christ, that broken jaw looks really gross from up this close. I wonder if I can get Tyler to change it sometime.
Names do have power. Just like that, Tyler’s here now, perched on the backseat. A frown on his face as he stares me from the rear-view mirror.
I realize something. This entire thing he has been doing, his after-life existence- he has been playing. Every drunk passenger that he asks Marcus to kill- they’re voodoo dolls. Mere puppets, supposed to vent the grudge he bears towards someone.
Someone who crashed him. Someone who abandoned him when they shouldn’t have had. Someone who had a responsibility towards him.
Someone, like his mommy.
Mommy is here now. And the first lesson she’s gonna teach her son- is that every mistake warrants a punishment. There’re other things I’ll teach him later- the value of life, common courtesy, growing from mistakes. But for now, this murderous madness has to end.
I look at Marcus, my lips curled in a smile that tells him, it’s okay, I get this, Love. My hands cup over his as we hold the gear. I cast one last, backward look at our family’s latest addition.
Tyler smiles. He approves.
We plunge the gear.
I turn the radio up. The least I am entitled to is a musical exit. The announcer’s voice trails off, “… mayor has appealed citizens not to venture in the Hilly Hedgeson Road until there’s more clarity on the situation. Until then, this is your host, Tricia Matthews, signing off the show with this awesome song. Stay tuned.
If I die young, bury me in satin,
Lay me down on a bed of roses,
Sink me in the river, at dawn,
Send me away with the words of a love song,
Uh, oh”
My darling husband crashes me to death.
submitted by Percybhowal to Odd_directions [link] [comments]


2020.07.21 07:44 21Julchatter Young Gir-ls Fu-ck Old Gu-y Por-n

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https://preview.redd.it/0d98ck4a06c51.jpg?width=297&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9fdf07e2ce3689f0334307e4ba9df9081c60f9d6
submitted by 21Julchatter to Home_Made_Fun [link] [comments]


2020.07.12 23:59 DarkySilverwing Hidden camera at public toilet

Warnings: potential sexual misconduct and drug use.
>> I honestly thought writing a segment about space bunnies would be fun, but honestly this felt more like a drag since i knew what had to happen in this segment but couldn't really find out how to connect A to C.
It was a Rorian mining vessel, except nowadays the words “mining vessel” were a bit of a misnomer since the vessel did very little in the way of mining. However, a “Rorian autonomous solar system cataloging and material redistribution bot delivery ship” was something that would not fit on a standard acquisitions form.
What this ship was in charge of was surveying a solar system for an object that had enough gravity for a bunch of little robots to climb down to it and set up a little base where the bots would then go around to the non planetary bodies such as moons and asteroids and smelt them down, separating the elements into useful and non useful. The useful elements would then be used to construct a separate ship, which would then be loaded up with even more useful elements before it flew back to one of the quadrant mining hubs where the material could be used in various projects including building more bots, spaceships, and anything else that required entire planets worth of raw materials.
The rest of the materials would be gathered up and sent towards the star in the center of the solar system. The materials with lower melting and boiling points typically flying off as it neared the star, forming an artificial comet. This artificial comet would fill the night sky of any nearby planets with a dazzling sight that would inspire curiosity for any level 2 or above species in a manner that was acceptable within Galactic Council guidelines. It was good to show creatures the glory of the universe, but not acceptable to reveal the fact that aliens exist.
Thus, to avoid alerting any low level species to the existence of the Galactic Council the individuals mining the materials had to be discrete. This proved to be difficult as normal life forms had a hard time keeping a low profile in situations such as this since they needed things like food, shelter and oxygen. This meant large structures needing to be built which could alert the low level species to their presence. Robots didn't need those things and thus processing facilities could be made as small and efficient as possible and reduce the probability of discovery to near zero.
The desire to stay hidden was especially strong with this solar system though, as long range scans have shown that the third planet from the star was considered a death world, yet still contained a potential level 3 species, meaning that any outside influence might accidentally propel them into level 4 status. This is exactly what happened to the rorians actually, which is still a mark of shame towards the rest of the Galactic Council and why the rorians, with their method of faster than light travel being the most discrete amidst the council, were now in charge of mining operations across the galaxy.
Speaking of the rorians there was exactly one who was having potentially the worse possible day out of the entire ship, and that was Mio 17. She had woken up late, missed her morning rations, discovered her personal water heater had broken resulting in her having to take a cold shower, forgotten her uniform helmet, locked herself out of her quarters by mistake, and missed a communications request from her overprotecting fluffmother. This resulted in a barrage of further text based communications requests that overloaded her outdated ocular implant to the point that she needed to deactivate it and restart it in safe mode to avoid entering a full on seizure. So for the day, until she could get a hard line connection with the Galactic Network to safely sort through the messages, she was unable to communicate on said network.
This was quite the daunting task since she was born after the Galactic Council accepted rorians into their society, meaning she had access to the network as soon as she was able to get connected. That constant buzz of information was hard to go without as being able to communicate with others on such a grand scale was not just considered a privilege in the Galactic Council, but considered a full on right. Mio simply had to grit her teeth and bear it for the day though, since one quiet day wouldn't kill her, so instead she focused on trying to keep a low profile so her supervisor might not notice her.
If her implant had been connected to the network she would have gotten the message from her co-worker, asking if she wanted to borrow his helmet since his more female presenting head shape would be a decent match for hers and he was heading off shift when she came in, but since she didn't respond and basically ignored him due to concerning herself with her own problems he simply left, as they were not that close.
So instead she sat at her station in what used to be the control room for the ship's mining faculties but was now retrofitted with new tech. She did her job, which was mostly busy work as she was instructed to manually go through the ship's coding and ensure various sensors and machines were working properly. Around her were about a hundred other rorians doing the exact same thing, as a ship this size had a lot of sensors and they all had to be triple checked on a ship this old pretty much daily. It was mind numbing work that normally Mio would have tuned out by browsing the galactic network as she automatically did her job, but today she had to focus on it due to her predicament.
She instead occupied her mind by listening to the breathing of her co-workers, the faint clicks of their hands pressing against the touch screens in front of them, even the almost silent sound of rorian feet walking through the rows of underpaid drones. Since they evolved from a prey species, being quiet was something that helped incredibly, which is probably why Mio didn't hear her supervisor coming up behind her until he suddenly grabbed her ear.
“Well well,” he said, pulling her to her feet by her ear in a way that applied just enough pressure so the feeling was bridging between the realms of pleasurable and painful. “looks like someone forgot their helmet.”
“I-I'm sorry sir!” Mio said, trying to apologize, but instead she was pulled along by her supervisor in that painful yet pleasurable manner that short circuited her brain and made her compliant. Her supervisor knew exactly what he was doing as it was his way to ensure those under him listened to what he said, as an aroused rorian was less likely to attempt to talk back or simply keel over from the stress of being told off by a supervisor. He pulled her towards the front of the room where instead of a fourth wall there was merely a large window which pointed out towards the blackness of space.
“now tell me my little rule breaker” The supervisor said, continuing to hold her ear dominantly, taking time to rub it a little between his fingers as he stepped behind her so she had no choice but to stare out into space. “what is your name?”
“M-Mio 17” our slightly terrified, slightly aroused rorian said, her pupils dilating a bit, both trying to adjust to the darkness she was seeing and also just reacting to the touch of her supervisor.
“Well Miss 17, do you know why we wear our helmets?” the supervisor asked, his grip loosening so his touch was mostly pleasurable.
“I-I...” Mia was trying to think of a response but her mind was clouded.
“its because of glass like this, this ship is just a little younger than I am, that's nearly three hundred solar revolutions, this ship has seen Space Pirates, interplanetary war, and even survived being retrofitted with Galactic Council tech, but it still has its flaws, like how this glass is only about as thick as your ear is long” he emphasized this point by using his other hand to slowly trace down her ear, causing her to shiver a bit and made even more paralyzed by animalistic cravings. “if this glass ever shattered, like say a small asteroid came hurling towards us at higher than average speeds, then even a small hole could result in an entire floor of rorians being shot into space, and without your little helmet or an improperly worn uniform you could end up getting sucked into space and dying well before we could send out a rescue ship to save you. And it would be such a shame to have such a pretty little thing like yourself dying in such an awful way.”
The supervisor then slapped her on her rear, placing a small device on her in the most embarrassing location possible. This served as a badge of shame while also fulfilling part of his supervisor duty. This device was designed to emit a small force field around an individual to ensure they survived in an environment unsuited for life, like space. The only issue with it was the fact that the field blocked all connections to the Galactic Network which made it incredibly unpopular for most individuals who had to work mindless tasks as their day to day jobs. Mio gave a sharp gasp as the device was placed and a vaguely pink force field formed around her and her supervisor, who then took off his helmet for a brief moment to look at her straight in the eyes.
“I expect better from you Miss 17, if I catch you breaking uniform code again I might have to temporarily reassign you.” he said before briefly sniffing the air, clearly detecting the scents of Mio's body broadcasting to the world that she was willing to be mated. His own pupils dilated as his body attempted to react before he quickly put his helmet back on, letting her ear go. “be sure to head to the infirmary after your shift to pick up some heat suppression, I don't need any of my workers needing emergency fluff leave. I'll let them know to expect you.”
With that he turned around and walked out of the bubble formed around Mio, once he was gone the bubble formed more nicely around her as she stood up, shaken, clearly noticing a few of her co workers watching her actions. She was embarrassed and rushed back to her desk, absolutely certain that she was being talked about behind her back.
Mio attempted to seem occupied for a few more minutes as her blood continued to pound, her mind raced as her animalistic urges tried to overpower her rational mind and make her present herself to her supervisor in the best mating display of her ability. According to her urges said supervisor already proved himself to be a powerful enough mate, his aggressive yet caring actions being exactly what her inexperienced body craved. It was a combination of instinct and embarrassment that resulted in her looking away from her work for a minute, towards the front of the room where those large windows sat.
Through that window she saw something abnormal, something that looked vaguely pod or ship shaped. Whatever it was it was certainly made by some sort of sentient species, its design was aerodynamic and looked large enough for a small crew to pilot. The most abnormal thing about it though was the fact that it was glowing a deep purple. She watched as the object sent out a small pulse which looked to be some sort of engine kickback or something. Whatever it was Mio assumed it must have been bad as the ship was seemingly radiating loads of heat all at once, as the surrounding rocks were melting into glowing sludge that began to revolve around the ship.
Our young rorian looked around to see if anyone else was seeing this, but no one was looking up. This small ship was potentially melting down right in front of them yet no one noticed. Mio had gone from scared to horny to confused to concerned all too fast, so she didn't really question when her mind brought back the memory of her Flufffather showing her how to work one of these old spaceships and with it an ingrained desire to help those in need. While they were retrofitted with new tech the old technology was right underneath it, thus Mio lifted up her touch pad to see what she was working with. Her station didn't have any hailing controls or flight abilities, but she did have access to a tractor beam.
She flipped a few switches, activating the old console under the one that was retrofitted right above it for the first time in potentially dozens of solar revolutions. Looking on the positively ancient screen she aimed and activated the tractor beam just as her Flufffather had told her. The old tech hummed to life, the safety features kicked in and sent out an electromagnetic pulse towards what she was aiming at. It was an old style safety measure back from when this ship actually was used for large scale mining operations. It was put in place just in case an asteroid they were bringing aboard happened to be a disguised space pirate ship. The ship would be deactivated along with any electronic weaponry that space pirates were known to use.
The ship Mio had seen stopped whatever it was doing, now surrounded in a shell of ice and debris right before the tractor beam shot out at a force far greater than Mio had anticipated, clearly resulting in the ship smashing into the side of the debris shell. She attempted to adjust the strength of the beam and only ended up pulling the ship faster, bursting out of its shell like a creature out of its egg. Without a doubt if any creatures were inside such forces would have resulted in potential injuries or loss of life as a result of this action. Mio cringed a bit but she remained firm in her beliefs as she reduced the force and sent the ship towards an opening. This lead to the ship's decommissioned refining room.
Her actions didn't go without notice though, as the opening sent a notification to the control room, and the control room had access to external sensors that could see exactly what was going on, thus resulting in the alarm being raised.
“ALERT! ALERT! WE ARE BEING BOARDED BY AN UNKNOWN VESSEL. ALL NON SECURITY OFFICERS PLEASE RETURN TO YOUR QUARTERS.” a robotic voice yelled out over the ship intercom, everyone got up and headed to their quarters, the emergency alert resulted in all the locks around the ship automatically unlocking to avoid any unessential hangups like trying to find keys. This meant that as everyone left their designated work stations and headed to their quarters Mio was able to sneak into her previously locked quarters and hide herself away.
It took her about a minute of self reflection before she realized exactly what she had done. All the ship regulations, all the galactic laws, all the civil guidelines she had broken over the course of about thirty seconds. Interfering with a potentially level 3 or below species, using outdated equipment without proper certification, inciting a potential panic, interfering with modern equipment she didn't have the clearance to relocate, potentially murdering sentient lifeforms, disabling a non hostile ship, and that's just to name the few she could think of at the top of her head.
With the anxiety growing she quickly rushed to her bedside table and pulled out a bottle of Lyfe tablets, a super popular recreational drug designed for situations like this which managed to flood the rorian brain with a special type of chemical designed to turn off all fear responses, which is super important with a species that dies if overly stressed. She took them to ensure she wouldn't pass out or suffer from cardiac arrest from all the stress and fear she was feeling. She popped the tablet and instantly the fear and stress vanished, allowing her to focus and not die. The only issue now was the fact that without that fear and stress distracting her she had no choice but to face her biological urges. They were attempting to take control of her and risked further embarrassment down the lines if she didn't deal with it. Thus she decided to take a shower, a cold one since her water heater was still broken.
About a minute into her shower her door opened once again, but Mio didn't hear it as she was in the shower. Entering inside her quarters came her supervisor, flanked by two security officers who traced the tractor beam incident to her after only about a minute. The security officers easily found Mio in her shower since it was on, and while one grabbed her and pulled her out other turned off the water.
“Mio 17, you're being detained on suspicion of crimes violating that of galactic law. As such you have been stripped of your rank and privileges and will be escorted to the holding area until the value of your guilt can be met.” the security officer who was holding her said, if Mio wasn't under the effects of the recreational drug then she would certainly have passed out at this point, but instead she was fearless and free of any stress. She knew she had broken the rules in this state and needed to be punished for them, so instead she glanced at her supervisor with a seductive look as she stood before him, fully exposed. Her supervisor stared back simply, his expression unreadable as he had his helmet on, but Mio's heat was returning so she assumed he was gazing with approval of her exposed form.
The four rorians then made their way out of the room, Mio being dragged along partially since she didn't know the way. There were still plenty of other rorians in the halls as they were heading to their quarters with no real rush as they figured it was just some sort of drill. Thus Mio was clearly visible and no doubt was being recorded as publicly indecent for her co workers to laugh at later.
Finally the four rorians made their way to the holding area,basically a small police station style area where they had cells to place troublemakers such as Mio. The cells were all empty though and covered in a fine layer of dust due to disuse, as usually the threat of demotion was enough to cause the rest of the crew to stay in line. Mio was then thrust into the cell closest the door so anyone walking in or walking by could see her, and also right in front of a security camera which would be monitoring her to ensure she didn't try to escape. Mio's supervisor was then taken off for questioning so they could attempt to get background information from him to ensure Mio wasn't some serial rule breaker.
Mio was left in her cell, with a toilet, a sink, a little bed and a hard line galactic internet connection point that she could use to stay connected to the outside world and also send out messages if she needed anything like food or Lyfe tablets to ensure she didn't worry herself to death. Since she had already taken a dose and was good for a decent amount of time she sat down on the bed and hooked the hard line galactic internet connection into her ear, which connected to her implants and allowed her to access the many messages sent by her fluffmother. Even if she wasn't stuck in a cell she'd probably be here for awhile.
submitted by DarkySilverwing to HFY [link] [comments]


2020.05.10 22:57 risocantonese Hidden camera at public toilet

In the late 90s and early 2000s, Italians living in Veneto and Friuli were in a panic: somebody was leaving expertly concealed bombs in crowded places, often disguised as household objects, which would explode as soon as they were picked up, severely injuring the victims.
It didn’t take long for journalists to name this unknown person «the Italian Unabomber», associating him to Ted Kaczyinski, the American terrorist who had killed 3 people and injured several others by mailing them explosive packages, between 1978 and 1995.
Not everybody found this nickname appropriate, especially since the similarities between the American Unabomber and the Italian Unabomber are very mild. A journalist proposed changing his nickname to Monabomber, where "mona" is a word that refers to female genitals, but it also means "idiot". He didn’t want the unknown bomber to feel "honored" by the association with Kaczynski.
Not everybody agreed with this idea, as they thought that the nickname did not fit the gravity of the attacks. That being said, I am going to use "Monabomber" in this write up to avoid confusion with the actual Unabomber.
(and also because "didckhead bomber" is funny and fitting)

CHARACTERISTICS
The attacks started in 1994 and ended in 2006, with a 4 year gap. They all happened in the regions of Veneto and Friuli, in the North East of Italy, most frequently in the comuni of Pordenone and Portogruaro.
The bombs are expertly made, with common, house hold items. His 90’s bombs are mainly pipe bombs — a plumbing tube filled with an azo compound, usually from fertilizers, fireworks and herbicides. After his hiatus, he comes back in 2000 with much more sophisticated bombs, this time made with nitroglycerin, and perfectly hidden in household objects like food jars, pens, and candles.
His preferred locations are very crowded places: churches, beaches, squares. He hits especially during festivities, where more people are likely to gather.
So, the first question is: why? What’s his motive? All of these 31 attacks seem completely random. He does not attack religious or ethnic minorities, nor politicians or law enforcement. He has never contacted police, he has never asked for a ransom or expounded any kind of political belief. Also, his bombs are small and designed to only wound, not kill. So what’s his goal? Wreaking havoc? Some have theorized a religious motive: many of the locations were churches, and most of the attacks happened on Catholic festivities — but it’s also likely that he chose them for their crowdedness.
Investigators assume he is a 35 to 50yo man, native to Friulian area, possibly living in Pordenone. He probably lives alone, allowing him to work on his bombs in peace, and might have an above average knowledge of chemistry and science in general. They also think he might have had some kind of trauma or mental illness.
His four year gap might help identify him. Some have pointed out that the hiatus coincides with the war of Kosovo (1996 - 1999), in which the NATO eventually intervened. Could he have been one of the many American soldiers stationed at the Aviano Air Base, only 15 minutes away from Pordenone, who fought in the Kosovo war?

That said, let’s get into the timeline of these attacks. I suggest you give it a read, as the way some of the bombs were concealed is crazy.
TIMELINE
1994
21 August (Sacile, in Pordenone). It’s the day of the Sagra degli Osei, an ancient fair dedicated to songbirds. The fair attracts around 50.000 people annually. At 10:45pm, Daniela Pasquali is enjoying the fair with her family when she notices a 12 inches long tube, on the ground near a bush. She picks up the tube and it explodes in her hand, injuring her and two of her children. Investigators immediately think of ALF, a Pordenonese animal rights group which had heavily criticized the fair for trading songbirds, and which had already committed "extremist" acts like mass freeing farm animals — but the group has always proudly reclaimed these acts by signing their name with graffiti. Local skinheads were also investigated, but nothing came out of it.
17 December (Pordenone). Another similar contraption, hidden under a hedge, goes off in front of a supermarket, at closing time. A girl is slightly injured by glass shards from a window.
18 December. (Aviano, in Pordenone). Another bomb hiding beneath a bush goes off in front of the church of Santa Maria e Giuliano, right as the parishioners are leaving mass. Nobody is injured.
1995
5 March (Azzano Decimo, Pordenone). It’s Carnival day and many people are partying on the streets. Two tubes explode, only 300ft apart, but they’re barely noticed due to the loud music. Nobody is injured.
30 September (Pordenone). Seventy years old Anna Pignat is cleaning the sidewalk in front of her house, when she notices a 10.000 lire banknote (less than 6 dollars) on the ground next to a metallic tube. She picks up the money and the tube explodes in her face, severely injuring her — she, unfortunately, lost her right arm and suffered horrible injuries to her face.
On the same day, a few streets away, another woman picks up a tube, which does not explode due to a malfunction. After hearing about Anna Pignat, she brings it to the carabinieri, who set it off without sending it to be analyzed.
11 December (Aquileia, Udine). A telephone cabin explodes. Nobody is injured.
24 December (Latisana, Udine). Another cabin explodes. Nobody is injured.
26 December (Bibione, Venezia). Another bomb goes off on the very popular beach of Bibione. Nobody is injured.
1996
2 April (Claut, Pordenone). Another attack. There’s little info about it.
22 April (Bannia, Pordenone). Another attack with little info.
4 August (Bibione, Venezia). At 6am, a lifeguard and his colleague notice a 20 inch tube on the ground. They pick it up and it, fortunately, doesn’t explode. One of them tries to open one of the sides of the tube, when suddenly a flame erupts. He throws it away, assuming it must be some childish prank, and only tells the police later that night, when he hears about another attack.
On that same day, on the beaches of Lignano Sabbiadoro (Udine), only 1.8 miles away from Bibiano, a tourist, Roberto Curcio, opens a public beach umbrella, from which falls a metallic tube. He picks it up and it explodes in his hand, mutilating his fingers and damaging his femoral artery, causing a severe hemorrhage. The tube was wrapped in a recent edition of a Pordenonese newspaper.
1996 — 2000
The Monabomber goes on a 4 year long hiatus.
2000
6 March (San Vito al Tagliamento, Pordenone). The attacks start again, with two new elements: the bombs are expertly disguised as normal objects, and the intended victims seem to be kids. An unexploded bomb is found inside a serpentine streamer, a party accessory, on the day of the city Carnival.
6 July (Lignano Sabbiadoro, Udine). Giorgio Novelli, a retired carabiniere, picks up a 12 inch tube on the beach of Lignano. He is severely injured and ends up in a coma, from which he fortunately recovers. The bomb did not go off immediately, but only after the man had already walked 1300 feet — it’s probable that it had some kind of timer, activated by movement. It also seemed to be water resistant. Once again children are assumed to be the intended victims: the area of the beach where the tube was found was close to a summer camp.
13 September (San Stino di Livenza, Venezia). Another tube bomb, hidden inside a vineyard, explodes during a grape harvest, injuring the foot of a woman.
31 October (Portogruaro). A man buys an egg carton at the supermarket "Continente" of Portogruaro. When he brings it home, he notices wires coming from the carton. He contacts the police, who find that one of the eggs had been boiled, cut in half, filled with an explosive device and glued back together before being put on the shelf again.
This egg is an essential piece of evidence, as it contained not only one of Monabomber’s hairs, but also his saliva, as he had probably cut the adhesive tape on the bomb with his teeth.
1 November (San Stino di Livenza, Venezia). Another tube is found in the same vineyard as the one before. Nobody is injured.
7 November (Portogruaro). Nadia Ros purchases a tube of tomato paste from the same super market, Continente. While cooking, she grabs the tube and tries to pour it in the pan, but nothing is coming out; she presses on it as hard as she can, and the tube explodes, severely injuring her left hand. The bomb was disguised extremely well — to avoid unsealing the top, Monabomber opened the tube from the bottom, and then rolled it up again to conceal it.
At this point, L.E. goes back to the Continente and searches it as best as it can, even employing a metal detector.
17 November (Portogruaro). Despite these searches, another bomb is found inside a product of Continente, this time inside a tube of mayonnaise. Fortunately, the customer noticed that the tube was "unusually hard", and informed L.E.
2001
2 November (Motta di Livenza, Treviso). On All Soul’s Day, 64yo Anita Buosi was asked to take care of the cemetery’s funeral decoration. She notices a votive candle that she didn’t remember placing, and that was different from all the other ones. She picks it up and it immediately explodes, severely injuring her hands and right eye.
2002
23 July (Porcia, Pordenone). A supermarket is attacked again, this time the IperStanda of Pordenone, where a woman purchased a jar of Nutella. As she struggled to remove the lid, she noticed smoke coming from the jar. She placed it on her windowsill, where it exploded without injuring anybody.
2 September (Pordenone). The Monabomber becomes more and more bold in targeting children. A 5 year old boy is injured after he opened a bottle of soap bubbles. The toy had been purchased only a few moments before by his mother at a shopping center.
25 December (Cordenons, Pordenone). During a Christmas Midnight Mass, a tube bomb explodes on top of a confessional in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The church was immediately evacuated by off duty cops, and nobody was injured. It’s interesting to note that the bomb did not explode by being picked up, but by a timer, which set off at exactly 00:10, the start of Mass.
2003
24 March (Pordenone). A bomb goes off in the men’s bathroom of Pordenone’s courthouse, close to the office of Domenico Labozzetta, one of the people working on the Monabomber case — this is the first and only time the authorities are targeted. The bomb seems to have been set off by a timer, activated by the toilet flush. Fortunately, nobody was injured.
The courthouse was an easy target, as there were no checks at the entrance and no metal detectors. Not even the CCTV cameras were useful: the tape was too damaged. The only thing left are the sightings of a man in a dark jacket, of "middle height", hanging around the men’s bathroom.
25 April (Fagare della Battaglia, Treviso). The 25th of April is Liberation Day, a very important Italian holiday. Nine year old Francesca Girardi is at a picnic with her family when she notices a brand new yellow highlighter laying on the ground. She removes the cap, causing a huge explosion which maimed three of her fingers and permanently damaged her right eye. Once again, the location of the bomb was very popular with families and young children.
2004
2 April (Portogruaro). During the Easter period, a cleaning lady of the Church of Sant’Agnese notices that one of the kneeling stools has been cut open. She sticks her finger in the cut and retrieves a 2 inch object, which resembles a lighter. She shows it to the priest, who assumes it’s an April Fools prop, but eventually becomes suspicious and calls the police. Experts confirm that the object is a nitroglycerin based bomb, which was set to explode when somebody knelt on the stool.
2005
26 January (Treviso). While on a school trip, a middle school boy notices two Kinder Surprise Eggs laying on the ground. Him and his friends start playing soccer with them, when he kicks one of the eggs against a wall and it explodes, without injuring anybody. The bomb was set to go off after being opened; the other egg did not contain a bomb, but a normal toy.
13 March (Motta di Livenza, Treviso). At the end of Sunday Mass, six year old Greta is severely wounded after turning on an electric votive candle in the Church of San Nicola. According to the priest, the candles had been replaced that exact morning, giving the Monabomber little time to add his booby-trapped candle — unless he had access to the candles before they reached the church.
«If I find him, I’ll show him… You don’t do these things», said little Greta.
An interesting thing about this attack: R.I.S. Delitti Imperfetti is an Italian CSI/Law & Order style TV series, and their first season was loosely inspired by the Monabomber; only two months before, the second episode aired, in which a priest is injured after lighting a booby trapped candle. People were worried that the show might be "glorifying" his actions or even inspiring them — although this isn’t the first time he used a votive candle. In fact, he used a candle in this exact same town, in 2001. Maybe the Monabomber was trying to "respond" to the show?
16 March (Bacau, Romania — yes, you read that right). A Romanian Catholic convent from Bacau finds an explosive device in a can of mackerels — the bomb was fortunately defective. An year earlier, the nuns had received a few boxes of food and gifts from their sister convent in Concordia Sagittaria, Italy. The Italian nuns had purchased those boxes from a supermarket in Portogruaro, and the Romanian nuns were slowly eating through them, until they got to a box of mackerels which they struggled to open. When they saw the device inside, they contacted their sister convent who contacted Italian L.E.
9 July (Portogruaro). A woman picks up her bike from the train station’s bike rack, where she had parked it for more than a week while she was away. As she sits on it, something falls from underneath the saddle: a nitroglycerin bomb, which had been fortunately neutralized by the rain.
2006
6 May (Caorle, Venezia). The Monabomber targets a popular beach again. A couple walking on the beach picks up what appears to be a message in a bottle. The man, Massimiliano Bozzi, attempts to open it, and the bottle explodes, severely wounding him. It seems that Monabomber did not leave the bottle in that place specifically, but rather threw it in another side of the river and let the currents take it somewhere else.

SUSPECTS
Andrea Agostinis. On the August 5 1996, after the Lignano beach attack, the ANSA (a news agency) receives an anonymous phone call which claims that the attacks were done by "17 November" (or 17N), a Greek far left terrorist organization, which had recently (and falsely) claimed two other bomb attacks in the United States.
But before ANSA can break out the news, they’re surprised by someone else doing it before them: Andrea Agostinis, a 39 year old who teaches technical drawing in a high school in Friuli; Agostinis had mentioned the 17N’s declaration of responsibility during a radio show, before ANSA made it public. The man, who also dabbled in journalism and writing, was the only self proclaimed Italian expert on 17N — just days before the attack, he had published a lengthy article about the group.
The investigators look into Agostinis, believing he might be the Monabomber trying to mislead them, but they quickly realize that the teacher is just "eccentric": he claimed that he was being personally harassed by 17N, which had actually secretly turned into a Muslim extremist organization — one of their members had allegedly tried to shoot Agostinis while he was jogging. He also believed that they could find the culprit though a kabbalah analysis of the number 17 and 11. Agostinis was quickly dismissed as a suspect when no actual proof tying him to the case was found.
Elvo Zornitta. On 26 May 2004, investigators search the house of aeronautics engineer Elvo Zornitta from Pordenone, after another suspect had described him as a "bomb expert". They find household items that were compatible with items used by Monabomber, like empty BIC pens and bottles of a popular brand of vanilla essence, both of which had been used by the bomber. They also find firecrackers that were missing their gun powder — Zornitta justified them by saying that he had tried to DIY a firework fountain, which didn’t work out.
But the investigators’ hope is short lived: the DNA found in the egg from 2000 did not match Zornitta. Plus, the man had a solid alibi for at least two of the attacks.
L.E. doesn’t give up and instead theorizes that Zornitta had accomplices. They test his family, friends and colleagues, but none of them match the DNA. Zornitta and his family are put under tight surveillance, during which Monabomber commits five more attacks undisturbed.
In October of 2006, they think they have a breakthrough: the cuts on one of the component’s of the 2004 bomb are compatible with a pair of scissors that had been retrieved from Zornitta’s house.
Zornitta's defense lawyer requests another toolmark analysis, especially of the very first pictures taken of the bomb in 2004. What they find is shocking: no cuts were found in the first pictures - the cuts had been added after the scissors had been retrieved from Zornitta's house. The blame falls on Ezio Zernar, the investigator who had "found" the cuts in the first place. Zernar is sentenced to two years for forging evidence, and Zornitta is officially dismissed as a suspect in 2009.
The Monabomber remains unknown.
links
bare bones english wiki article)
quick italian article about it
first article about agostinis
a interview with agostinis(ok i really hope these links work. for some reason, they are now giving me an error while they were perfectly working before....i think my free trial expired?? please let me know if anything shows up when you click on them)
2005 church attack priest confirming the candles were changed that morning
article about the romanian nuns
article about ezio zernar's forgery
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2020.04.27 00:18 SillycybiN888 Hidden camera at public toilet

Mail and Parcels destined to all regions of the U.S.A. continue to be delivered. Changes to USPS operations and delivery processes to protect employees and the public from the spread of COVID-19 may impact delivery times.
Spores are tough, they can last a year in the dark.
::::These are the countries that I can send either a letter or parcel to:::::
AUSTRALIA
AUSTRIA      BARBADOS      BELARUS    BELGIUM       BULGARIA      CHINA PEO REP    CROATIA   CANADA  CZECH REP    DENMARK      ETHIOPIA    FINLAND      FRANCE       GERMANY       GREECE     HOLY SEE     HONG KONG       HUNGARY      ICELAND   INDONESIA      IRELAND      ITALY     JAPAN       JORDAN    KOREA SOUTH REP     LITHUANIA     LUXEMBOURG      MACAO     MEXICO      NETHERLANDS       NEW ZEALAND  NORWAY         POLAND      PORTUGAL ROMANIA      SERBIA      SINGAPORE     SLOVAKIA     SLOVENIA   SPAIN      ST PIERRE MIQLN     SWEDEN      SWITZERLAND     TAIWAN      THAILAND      UNITED KINGDOM    VIETNAM      
If your country is not on this list, check back in 4 weeks and hopefully I can serve you.
Send me a message with your COUNTRY and I will send you he appropriate MENU and payment methods.
I recently wrote a letter to the Valley Voice in BC and thought I would share it with you aLL.
Western Pandemic Failure
It's painful to see Western civilization respond so poorly and desperately to the COVID-19 pandemic. Asian countries, such as South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan had days to respond to China's bungling and they did good job and continue to do a good job against this hidden, lethal viral enemy.Europe, Canada and USA have had weeks to respond to the COVID-19 and they have failed miserably. Now we have a paralyzed economy, oil recently went into negative value and no one really knows how to proceed in a decisive, clear, safe way. Leaders like Trump and Trudeau should do the right thing and resign but FAT CHANCE of that. These egomaniac leaders are in hog heaven getting drunk on power, soaking up the cameras they both love so much. Justin and Donny have such great hair!
Canada has had over a decade to come up with a pandemic plan for its 37 million citizens. After we had SARS, MERS, Swine Flu and Bird Flu, its a no brainer to come up with a pandemic plan. There was a Pandemic Plan made up in 2006 but it was shelved with a shrug. This plan running 550 pages knew of a pandemic future. There is an old saying, An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Canada had the money and experts to pull off a good pandemic plan but failed. Now we need a pound of cure, as we hunker down in our homes in fear and confusion -- surrounded by toilet paper, canned beans, marijuana and booze; lit up by the Netflix glow of entertainment.
Canada has no magic piggy bank full of amazing Loonies to pull us out of this disaster. Instead, we will borrow more from the future generations to sort out this epic failure. Billions of dollars will be rushed out to help stem the flow of economic blood gushing from our Canadian economy. You can only borrow so much people, before your economy starts to tank and look like Venezuela, teetering on collapse.We all wait for our fearless Western leaders to turn on the economy taps again. COVID-19 isn't going to disappear in the sun's rays this summer, it will be with us for a few years if other viruses provide a clue. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) did die out after good health strategies of isolation and treatment in about 8 months. The COVID-19 virus has many more infections and has spread exponentially by cruise ships and jet airplanes. It is a tougher and deadlier virus than SARS. Don't count on COVID-19 to go quietly, especially with Donald Trump running the USA with his insane thoughts of getting the American economy and his reelection campaign running full steam. Donnie recently suggested that injecting disinfectant might potentially combat COVID-19 — when it would actually kill people.
Do I trust Trudeau and his COVIDIOT-19 cabinet? Not in the least. I will wait a long time before trusting any political rhetoric. The USA has the highest infections and death rate in the world due to COVID19. Mentally weak President Donnie Trump and the patchwork of 50 governors, each with his/her own ideas on opening “their” state up again for trade and commerce will only lengthen the assault of the virus on our lives in North America. About 90% of our trade is with USA and that 49th parallel is awfully long and unguarded against the COVID19 that will be a constant threat in the years to come. Had our western leaders implemented a stable pandemic plan we would not be in this lethal situation. The USA cares more about Wall St than Main St. I am not sure what Ottawa cares about, with their high debt and poor decision making to the COVID19 crisis.
My life is worth more than a handful of Loonies, now worth 70¢ US each. A 60¢ dollar could be in Canada's cards, with the world oil glut and Alberta gutted of their oil expertise. Alberta has a litre of gas for about 66¢, while a lot of BC is paying 90¢ a litre or more. This is simple price gouging. We are a Petrol Dollar after all. Don't expect oil futures to come roaring back and save the day! I expect more price gouging at the BC gas pumps for months to come.
This is what failure looks like: scarce jobs, dim future, no vaccine, weak government and a weak dollar. I call it Depression 2.0
Pan is the Greek god where we get the words panic and pandemonium (Hell) from. We need world leaders that won't panic in the pandemonium of our pandemic!

https://ibb.co/2Wdbbds Failed attempt at Curbing Methamphetamine!
https://ibb.co/zh7KJwPWorld Leaders In COVID-19 Crisis Meeting
https://ibb.co/7rr42SgMy Boy Floyd Says HI!
submitted by SillycybiN888 to SporeSwap [link] [comments]


2020.04.17 19:12 wanderlosttravel Hidden camera at public toilet

PART II: THE TRIP REPORT
Read Part I for logistical information.
Links to spreadsheets and photos:
1) Gear List
2) Cost breakdown
3) Elevation and Distance
4) Photos
BESI SAHAR: 760m (2490 ft)
We arrived in the small town of Besi Sahar around 3pm and were eager to be on our way. There didn't appear to be other trekkers or tourists here. We got our first permit stamp at a checkpoint near the edge of town. We then overpaid for a crowded jeep to take us further up the road. We initially had no idea we were agreeing to ride with eleven other people and ultimately paying for the entire jeep ride with our “tourist price” (the owner explained it all to us when we asked). The jeep was going up the road with or without us so whatever we paid was just extra. In the future I would request the jeep be less crowded, or that we pay the same as everyone else in it.
Since this rainy season was just beginning, we decided that skipping some of the lower elevated parts of the trek would be beneficial. We had been told of a rain shadow higher up that would potentially provide us with fairer weather.
Besi Sahar seemed to have a reasonable amount to offer including shops and decent hotels (some of which you can even book online). I’m sure it gets quite busy during peak season. Our cramped jeep soon had us bouncing and wincing our way up the rough road. Two hours later we had covered 22km and climbed 340m in elevation. Rain clouds hid our views but we did make out occasional quiet villages. There was one check point along the way where we had to show our passports and permits. I imagine walking this section could be quite beautiful when the weather isn’t so dreary.
SYANGE: 1100m (3610 ft)
This was our first village on the Annapurna Circuit. Our jeep driver offered us to stay in the guest house of someone he knew. Not being yet “seasoned trekkers” we took his advice before checking out the rest of the options. Ultimately, it was a perfect spot with beautiful views looking down the river. One small mishap occurred when the owners locked the place at night which resulted in guests being locked inside until the owners woke up. I would imagine during the busy season, with so many people wanting an early start, this would not be a problem. However, we were up well before they were and found ourselves wandering the quiet halls trying to find a way out and then knocking on several closed doors before finally finding our hosts.
Many people stop in Ghermu instead of Syange, across the river and up the hill. Since we’d have to backtrack to reach this town, we skipped it. Breakfast included what soon became one of our favorites, Tibetan bread with honey.
The weather at this point was warm and humid, around 80 during the day. The clouds hid the heat of the direct sun but also covered up the mountains and hillsides in moody swirls. Fresh rain drizzled down on us as we started our hike that first morning in the Himalayas. A few kilometers up the trail we came across some monkeys calling out in the rainforest. The foliage was thick and dense. Trees that appeared like palms dotted the steep slopes. A raging milky brown river tore into its banks often hundreds of feet below us.
At the village of Chamje we came across a sign indicating the Annapurna Circuit continued down a trail to the right of the road. Within ten minutes we were in thick foliage and picking multiple leeches off our legs so opted to turn around. If you go trekking during the rainy season, I would recommend using the road till at least Tal where the leeches begin to dissipate.
Much of the road is under construction or washed out due to the frequent mudslides. However, the limited summer traffic made it pleasant to walk on. Due to its higher elevation, it had better views than the actual trail had. Occasionally we ran into horses grazing on the grassy sides of the road. Waterfalls frequently fell cascading across the roadway. A surprising number of motor bikes were making their way up the challenging terrain.
TAL: 1700 m (5580 ft)
This is a small town in a valley with over ten guest houses. The town is off the main road, although not off the main trekking route. Some of the tea houses appeared quite nice and a few welcomed us to stay and eat. Cleanliness seemed lacking. We saw more flies here than anywhere else on the trek. However we were able to eat a good lunch at an outdoor cafe before continuing on our way.
From here, we stuck to the trail for a while rather than the road. It was wide open and mostly leech free. After noting a steep climb ahead, we took a suspension bridge across the flooded river to the main road again and continued winding our way up. Not once during this first day did any mountains peak out of the clouds, but the rain was not enough to be bothersome.
DHARAPANI: 1860 m (6100 ft)
Dharapani was quiet and didn’t feel welcoming when we showed up at about four in the afternoon. It actually has many nice looking guest houses but most appeared closed. One reason to perhaps stay here during peak season, is the possibility of day hikes and optional side treks. There is a police station and a check point where you must show your permits. By the time we arrived, we were done hiking in heat and humidity and so took a jeep from Dharapani to Chame where we hoped for better weather.
This jeep ride was about as exciting as it gets. Three people were in the front and four of us packed into the back row. A bed containing all sorts of goods in the back also had five adventurous Nepali trekkers riding on top of the luggage. This part of the road is perhaps the worst with frequent sheer drop-offs and slick deep mud. We crossed more than one cascade which stopped dropping just wide enough for a jeep to cross. During one river crossing nearly covering the jeep’s tires, I thought we might actually get stuck or be swept downstream over the cliffs. Luckily, our calm young driver was excellent at managing the vehicles and got us safely to Chame in about an hour and a half.
CHAME: 2670 m (8760 ft)
Chame was the first village that actually felt alive during the off season. Further up, Manang would feel similar but larger. Many people start trekking in Chame. With ten or more lodges to choose from, we wandered the entire village before picking Potala Lodge (we had eaten lunch in Tal at a lodge by the same name, incidentally owned by the kind host’s sister). This place was free with purchase of dinner and breakfast and even included a free gas shower, free wifi, charging outlets available in the room. The bathroom was shared but I think we were the only ones using it. The rooms had a rustic wooden cabin feel. Our host served the best tea on the trek and excellent food.
Here we met some other trekkers, though none at our lodge. There is a large well staffed police station in the middle of town which seems odd for a mountain village. There is also a local hot spring. During the afternoon the men use it for bathing. Our host told us that the women use it in the morning but that tourists could go any time.
I would recommend staying here at least one night and possibly two if you ride a jeep up from Besisahar. This was the first village that really gave me that feeling trekking through a mountain village in the Himalaya. While many people had great things to say about previous villages, it seemed they didn’t offer that warm mountain welcome that I was expecting or hoping to find. Here we were greeted by a smiling woman at the gate to her lodge who invited us to stay, which we gladly did after making a round through the entire town. This habit, which we cultivated after our first night, may seem a bit tiring after a long day's trek, but it really helps you get a feel for the village and what places and people are the most welcoming to you. Like so many other travelers suggest, don’t stay at the first tea house you come to. Check out a few and find one that you can really enjoy and relax in. This also helps spread the business especially during the off season when there are so few trekkers.
The next morning, upon leaving Chame, the road was noticeably quieter. Many jeeps and bikes continue up farther, but the volume is much less at this point. We eventually came to Brahtang which contains apple orchards and cider (when in season) and a beautiful but closed lodge called Farmhouse. Apparently it is quite expensive during trekking season, but looked absolutely lovely with exposed wood beams and a large gathering area. The lodge looked like something from a mountain resort town.
LOWER PISANG: 3200m (10,500 ft)
This is a quiet little town along the river with quite a few guest houses some of which were quite nice and modern with attached bathrooms. There are at least ten options here but many were closed for the season. We ended up staying at Eco Lodge and would definitely recommend it. Our clean room with a private bath was free with food purchases and included internet and charging. We paid for a much needed hot shower. The food was excellent and filling. We ran into a couple of other trekkers but otherwise the town was quiet.
UPPER PISANG: 3300m (10,830 ft)
Set about 100 meters in elevation uphill and across the river from Lower Pisang, this town appears to have three or four modern looking tea houses and several more traditional looking ones. We only found one that was open. They were charging 400 rupee per night plus dinner and additional charges for everything else (showers, power, wifi). We initially walked through Lower Pisang before coming up the hill to check out the Upper village. While Upper Pisang certainly has better views, during the off season we felt the Lower village offered more value and a warmer welcome. Most trekkers prefer the upper village for the mountain views which were still hidden for us.
Speaking of mountain views the next morning we awoke to parting clouds. I ran outside with my camera to capture the top of Pisang Peak coming out from behind the clouds. Turning around I could make out Annapurna II and possibly IV as well. This was the first view we had of the snowy glaciated peaks towering above us. It was incredible just how high they were. Hills that had previously appeared like small mountains disappearing in the clouds, now seem like minor foothills compared to what towered above them.
As we started trekking the clouds rolled back in and we didn’t manage too many more views that day. However, seeing the mountains so moody and the hills still so green was an unusual gift that most trekkers don’t get to enjoy. Since leaving Chame, the terrain had become more rugged and less like a jungle. By the time we left Pisang, the trees were shorter and appeared alpine in nature. Pines were more common and open meadows spread out in the valley.
During trekking season I would highly recommend taking the high route from Upper Pisang through Ghyaru and Ngawal and then either dropping down to Humde or continuing on the high route to Braka. At a guide’s recommendation and since there were still many clouds, we followed the road. Later we met another trekker who extolled the experience of visiting these remote areas as one of his favorites on the entire trek.
HUMDE: 3280 m (10760 ft)
This village appears to have multiple guest houses some of which appear quite nice. We did not stop here but did notice that it has an airport. There was a wedding celebration happening and the town was filled with joyful wedding guests rather than trekkers. I could see this being a charming stop on the way up during a busier season when everything is open.
A note about the distances. What I’ve found online indicates that from Upper Pisang to Humde going the upper route is about 12 km. From Lower Pisang to Humde by road is about 7 km. Thus depending on which route is taken, your total distance for the trek may vary.
Just outside of Humde we came across an alternative trail that left the road and wandered along an arid cliff side above a river. It crossed a long beautiful suspension bridge and passed a picturesque Tibetan school. Eventually the trail crossed back to the road near a town called Munchi that had a few closed guest houses. We continued on to the Tibetan town of Braka.
BRAKA: 3440 m (11280 ft)
This is another small village with a beautiful Tibetan Monastery on a hill overlooking the valley where a few tea houses stood, closed for the season. The town was interesting to explore and marks the trailhead to the Ice Lake day hike. The few stores advertising yak cheese and apple pie, were closed. The three or four tea houses looked relatively nice from the outside. Like Gunsang, Braka would probably be a great place to stay close to Manang while escaping the crowds during peak season.
We continued on to Manang knowing we could easily come back for a day trip since the two villages are barely 2 km apart. We ended up coming back twice, once to visit the Monastery and once on our way up to Ice Lake.
MANANG: 3540 m (11610 ft)
This important village is the most developed and largest on the Eastern side of the trek after leaving Besi Sahar. In fact, some people use this as their starting place for the trek. This was the first place we started seeing a fair number of other trekkers.
The town has many lodges (maybe 20, though not all were open) and quite a few had attached bathrooms with flushing toilets. Off season prices ranged from free to 300 rupee per night all with the assumption of meal purchases. Peak season prices were advertised as high as 600 per night. I would recommend eating your lunches in the town instead of the tea house. Local restaurants sold food at less than half the price of hotels and often had more character and personality to them.
Manang has many stores with packaged snacks. Outdoor stores offered trekking poles, warm coats, and other winter gear as well. There are a couple of “movie theaters” showing old climbing movies though all were closed this time of year. The town residents were busy building new lodges and cultivating crops. Lots of construction was going on.
The first part of Manang is full of tourist hotels, tea houses, and shops. In contrast the second part appears more like a Tibetan Village. The construction of this section appears like a medieval village or wood and stone. Stretching up the hills behind the village were terraced layers of cultivated land.
We spent much of our time at a local restaurant called Gyalzen Lodge & Restaurant . The food was incredibly delicious and there were nearly always other trekkers here. The prices were incredibly cheap, similar to those in Kathmandu. The people who owned the place were very friendly and hospitable. They have a couple of guest rooms up above for visitors. This seemed to be a true tea house in the way I imagine they were before these larger guest houses began popping up. One night we even joined in watching their favorite local tv show. We couldn’t understand the words, but the expressions on the actors' faces and everyone’s reactions told us enough to laugh along.
One of the nice things about Manang is that there are numerous day hikes nearby and even some mini side treks. Manang is the perfect village to spend a few days acclimatizing and resting. The altitude is high enough to help prepare for the summit, but not too high to significantly impair sleep.
Unfortunately for us during the off season it can be hard to meet other trekkers even here. We never had more than four other trekkers in our hotel at once. Many appeared to wish to be alone and some were quite busy with scheduled day hikes. We stayed at the Yeti Hotel which has nice private rooms with private flushing toilets. They had hot solar powered showers but without much sun the water was cold. Electric and internet were spotty at best. We found our hotel to be without either more often than not. Some other hotels did appear to use battery or generator backup in the evenings.
GANGAPURNA TAL, BRAKA MONASTERY 3800m (12470 ft)
Our first full day in Manang we decided to take a day hike to the Gangapurna Tal at the base of the Gangapurna Glacier. We descended from the hill on which Manang sits, across a glacial stream and up the moraine. The water braided its way down the slopes from the huge glacier into a milky blue lake which overflowed into the main river.
From here the trail continued up to a Stupa (Buddhist holy site) surrounded by prayer flags and a sweeping view of Manang village. One can purchase tea up here during peak season. Beyond there are more trails leading up the mountain slopes. Grazing high above us we could see yaks peppering the vibrant green hills. Below us were hoodoos eroded out of the soft dirt and below them the lush valley surrounding Manang.
After returning to Manang for a delicious lunch at Gyalzen, we decided to trek back to the traditional Tibetan monastery near Braka. There was significant construction going on here as the place appeared to be expanding. We also had one of our only run ins with an unfriendly dog expecting tourists to feed him.
KICHO TAL or ICE LAKE 4620m (15160 ft)
Our second day in Manang we decided to try a more ambitious acclimatization hike. Kicho Tal is a sacred lake surrounded by stupas and mountains. It rests over 1000m above Manang and would be our first time climbing above our previous highest hike, Mt. Whitney at 14,505 ft.
The trail starts at Braka, behind the monastery and quickly begins its steep ascent up the mountain. As we climbed, mountains peaked in and out of the clouds all around us. Finally exhausted and drenched with sweat we reached a grassy plateau with three yaks grazing and two men who appeared to be churning butter. Beyond them was the lake.
We walked around the entire green blue body of water which was ice free this time of year. If the clouds weren’t quite so heavy we would have climbed one of the surrounding hills for an even better view. Nearly a dozen different types of wild flowers were blooming in the high alpine grassland. This was probably one of the most exhausting days of the trek but much needed for acclimatization. We slept well on our last night in Manang.
The next day we were ready to resume our trek and push for the finish. Leaving Manang early that morning, the mountains were trying their best to peak out of the clouds. A bit of sun warmed our backs. This high up there is less atmosphere to protect from sunburn. Even though the outside temperature wasn’t incredibly hot, the sun felt intense. Climbing was slow. We were well above any trees and were now making our way through a long valley that spurred off the side of the main one in which Manang and most of the other villages sit.
GUNSANG: 3950 m (12960 ft)
Gunsang, the first significant sign of civilization since Manang, has a few guest houses perched on a cliff. While they were definitely not open in July, they did appear nicely kept. This wayside is used as an overflow for Manang and appears would be a good place to escape crowds during peak season. The views from here were lovely.
Beyond that we passed by several small huts and a few small herds of cows. The valley was getting narrower and towering above us were moody green peaks. Behind us the Annapurna Himal was increasingly showing its face above the clouds as we walked away from it.
YAK KHARKA: 4050 m (13290 ft)
Yak Kharka was the next village we came to and probably has the most lodging in any one place between Manang and Muktinath. This village is small and spread out in three distinct clusters. The landscape makes it feel quite charming, almost like the Alps, with incredible views.
Many of the lodges have beautiful blue roofs and white trim that stand out in the rocky landscape. In my opinion the second collection of lodges seemed the most appealing. This is the last place before crossing the pass that appears to have any new construction. We noted several trekkers stopping for lunch. Because we had such an early start, we opted not to stay here and continued to Ledar only a kilometer away. The terrain was quickly becoming more barren as we continued upward.
LEDAR: 4200 m (13780 ft)
Ledar made us wish we had listened to reviews we had read stating the Yak Kharka was nicer. We looked at all four open guest houses and none seemed to have much charm. Most of the rooms were dark and dirty with few amenities. The staff who greeted us did not appear as if they wanted guests. The views are not as good as the previous village either. I’m sure this place can be quite nice when it's busy. Perhaps the hosts were hoping for some time off to take care of other needs and prepare for the busy season.
At this point we could either turn around and lose the one kilometer back to Yak Kharka. Or we could just stay here and spend most of the afternoon in Ledar. Or since it was still early, we could hike the remaining 5 km up to Thorong Phedi. We opted for the latter and continued on our way up the hill after a good lunch by the side of the trail.
In retrospect we probably shouldn’t have continued as the total altitude gain for the day ended up being about 1000 meters (3200 feet). The rest of the climb crosses fairly sketchy boulder fields that look like it could start sliding down on top of you at any time. We weren’t feeling the most energetic at this moment and running didn’t seem like a good option to us here. Luckily we made it through the last five torturous kilometers.
THORONG PHEDI: 4530 m (14860 ft)
The Thorong Base Camp Lodge is rustic but friendly and welcoming. The staff were quite sociable, hanging out and playing guitar in the common area. This was one of three lodges in the village of Thorong Phedi, two of which were open. We ran into twelve other trekkers here which wasn’t as high as Manang but not bad for the off season. Most people seemed to be on a mission, ready to conquer the summit the next morning. Room prices of 200 with food purchase were not bad considering the altitude. They also offered clean water refills which we hadn’t seen elsewhere (we had seen signs but most stations are closed in the summer). Not quite the happening "village" that people make it out to be in reports that I’ve read but I could see it quickly becoming quite crowded during the fall. They do have the apple pie (only in season) and bakery people rave about, but the village itself lacks many of the comforts of lower villages.
After good food but restless sleep due to the altitude, we decided to stay in camp for the day and possibly stay another night. We didn’t feel like we had acclimatized to this altitude properly yet and wanted to wait it out. However, there really isn't much to do at Thorong Phedi during the slow season. The few people who ran the place were busy working all morning and we tried exploring side trails but eventually lost interest.
There is this strange feeling when you get to Thorong Phedi, especially during the slow season. Gone are the lively streets of Manang and what few trekkers are left are only focused on crossing the pass and leaving early. It's almost eerily quiet and still. You don’t want the trek to be coming to a close so soon and yet you feel it coming.
Half way through the day we decided to continue to the final camp. It's a big climb in just 1 km but would cut the altitude we had to gain during summit day. The trail switchbacked straight up the mountain side with long strands of Buddhist prayer flags stretched between rocks high above.
HIGH CAMP: 4925 m (16160 ft)
High Camp is aptly named. It is the highest place I have ever slept so far in my life. Much higher than the highest mountain in the lower 48 states in the US. The place is a camp, not a village. I doubt anyone would live here full time if not for trekkers. Many people skip high camp from Thorong Phedi and head straight over in one long day.
The camp itself has many rooms with thick blankets and comfortable cots. There is a shared outhouse outside which I can see being quite busy during peak seasons. I’ve read other blogs that complained of long lines. We were happy to meet about a dozen other trekkers here and settled in the common room for warm drinks and hot food. While more expensive than below, the food was surprisingly good tasting and they even had a generator to power the lights and a television for us to watch the World Cup. The building was old and sloped with the slope of the earth but overall cozy.
We met a trekking family that had formed along the way and ended up spending an enjoyable evening with them swapping tails of adventures and travels. This was truly what I had hoped to find along the trek, and while it had happened sporadically, it was not as frequent as one might hope. The comradery that you get from fellow travelers is a great boost to the moral.
The next morning, before the sun peaked its way through the intermittent clouds, we set out after a hearty breakfast in the last manned outpost before the crest. If it hadn’t been painfully clear the whole way up, this final push really hammered home how much we regretted our heavy packs. Our trekking partner for the day was the guy with only 7kg and we envied him.
The trail up to the top of the pass is well marked and easy to follow, but not easy. The terrain is a lot of moraine left over from ancient glaciers. The foreground is not that beautiful. The grassy slopes soon disappear and all that's left are occasional wild flowers appearing between rocks and a few hardy birds flying about. The backdrop is amazing. Huge mountains as high as the sky, glaciers pouring down their slopes, more peaks than you can count. Looking down you can see the grassy slopes that yak feed on far below.
THORONG LA PASS: 5416m (17769 ft)
Reaching the pass is exhilarating to say the least. After working so hard for the previous eight days, sweating and toiling our way up, it was such a relief to finally be on the top. We dropped our packs by a little cafe shelter that serves tea during peak season, and feeling light and free, explored this high alpine landscape. Many people probably miss the beautiful blue glacial lake just to the left of the main trail. Its deep blue waters glisten in the sun about 100 meters away. A trail leads to an overlook where you can see the valley that you just climbed up and the new valley you are about to jarringly stumble down. Manang to the East and Mustang to the West.
The glacier pouring off a nearby peak into the deep blue waters of this small lake was one of the most beautiful sites. I had never seen a photo of it before, so I wonder how many people explore the area after summiting. I wanted to climb around some more but we knew we had a long hike down so after about a half hour we picked up our packs and began the descent.
The trail drops into a much dryer and strikingly different world. The mountains have less snow and fewer glaciers, the rocks transition from grey to brown, distant valleys no longer beckon with greenery. And it's a long rough descent. Your joints, so used to the strain of ascending, are now suddenly carrying your weight downward over a mile in elevation loss. It's a long hike and in many ways harder than the climb up. The sun came out and the temperature increased. Along the way a small village tantalized with the promise of a tea house and a break, but nothing was open.
MUKTINATH: 3760 m (12340 ft)
Muktinath is the first real town after crossing the pass. It's a grueling mile of vertical descent down rocky rough terrain to get here. Here is where we began to wish we had trailrunners and trekking poles for better grip and support on the way down. Being sheltered from much of the rain and clouds due to the rain shadow, this area is much drier and sunnier. The landscape and atmosphere feels like a totally different world. Gone are the feelings of an idyllic alpine world of yaks and hidden villages. Muktinath feels strangely commercial and developed.
Muktinath is a holy site for both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions attracting many visitors who are not trekkers. Peddlers attempt to sell tourist trinkets and horse rides and “high rise” hotels at least five stories tall are popping up all around town.
Despite the commercialism, we found a wonderful hotel called Hotel the Paths of Dream which included hot showers and was free with purchases from the restaurant. We sat in their dining area most of the afternoon resting, drinking Everest beer and watching the World Cup. Our large private room was one of the nicest on the trek. After resting up we were eager to be on our way and left early the next morning. One of the trekkers we had met at High Camp opted to join us and our party grew to three for the next several days.
The journey presented us with two options. One was the slightly longer route following the new Annapurna Circuit Trail just to the north of town. The other followed a surprisingly well paved road down to Kagbeni. In retrospect we should have taken the trail. However, the road seemed more direct and we were beginning to tire of walking. One thing that stands out to me is the reduced sense of grandeur on this side. I think if one were to take it at face value, the western side of the trek has a lot of beauty. However, having just come over the pass and through some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes, this side just seemed ok in comparison.
This odd paved road was just being finished and ended abruptly at Kagbeni about 10 km away. From there the road turns back to dirt for many km to come. It's hard to grasp the logic of paving this one section so far out. We turned right and headed down a steep hill to the quiet town of Kagbeni for the night.
Kagbeni: 2810 m (9220 ft)
Kagbeni is generally highly rated. Trekkers liken it to a medieval town and talk about its charm. We found it to indeed have narrow stone walled streets and multi layered homes with animals running freely about (several goat herds passed us) that may be reminiscent of what we picture a medieval village to be like. However, not much about the town was actually charming. There was one picturesque scene of a woman drying fruit in her loft which comes to mind.
For some reason many of the hotels were completely full despite the town seeming quiet. Others were dark and uninviting. We ended up staying at the comically named Yak Donalds Hotel with signs that mimicked those of McDonalds, offering Yak burgers and comfy accommodations. This was the first lodge that did not bundle food with room prices. The room prices were set as was the food and independent of one another. The rooms were clean and the beds comfortable with hot solar powered showers that in this sunny climate were warm. What we loved about this place was all the public space for guests to mingle. There was a garden library, a cushioned sitting room, a large dining area, and a sunny rooftop terrace. All in all I think this would be a wonderful place to stay if there were more trekkers to mingle with.
We wandered about town and found a cheap little hole in the wall called Show Boat. It had great local food at local prices and also offers lodging. Several other restaurants in town looked appealing including a bakery but were closed. Very few trekkers came through this town other than a couple in our hotel preparing for the Upper Mustang trek.
The next morning we climbed out of the valley the village sits in and headed back to the gravel road to continue to the next town, Jomsom. The walk was uninspiring and dusty with increasing bus and jeep traffic. Eventually we hailed a jeep and finished the journey quite quickly, arriving well before noon.
Jomsom: 2720 m (8920 ft)
Jomsom is a very touristy town with shops, bakeries, cheese, dried fruit, and real hotels. There are flights from this town to Pokhara for $100-150 (some say they are dangerous). Buses leave from here to Pokhara and towns in between for $5-10. After milling about and eating some delicious dried apples and some stale baked goods, we opted for a bus. The town was not appealing to us and the road wasn’t desirable for walking on.
We passed through the apple town of Marpha a few km down in our rattling bouncing bus. Many people love stopping here due to the orchards that line the river in this area. As you head south from Jomsom the landscape becomes increasingly green again and slowly trees begin appearing around the road and the steep mountain foothills. During apple season, if there is a trail to avoid road walking, I would stay a day in Marpha.
Eventually, after the bus blew a tire and kept going as if nothing happened, we grew wary of this dangerous bus ride. Some of the seats were not even bolted down and our knees were pressed tight against the seats in front of us. The landscape was becoming more appealing and we asked the driver to let us out to walk. We had noticed a few trekkers making their way along the river and figured it was a good time to get back to what we had come here for.
We crossed a hanging suspension bridge and were soon leaving the dirty road behind and walking on a quiet green woodsy trail. Marijuana plants grew in abundance on the slopes around peoples homes. Beautiful trees stood tall above us. Towering waterfalls thundered from distance cliffs fed by glaciers hidden in the clouds. It was a quick change from the arid landscape we had woken up in that morning. The trek led us along the East side of the river while the road followed the West side. We left the river following signs for a lake called Titi Tal. This lake sits next to a tiny village that didn’t appear to see many visitors. It's green water was surrounded by a rain forest of trees.
From here we continued deeper into the forest, eventually taking a “shortcut” which got us lost on cow trails along steep banks before dropping down to a riverbed with a dirt road next to it. A few km farther and we were back to the New Annapurna Circuit again. We decided to stop in a small town called Ghasa which had quite a few guest houses and a checkpoint to show our passes. However, it didn’t appear that many people actually stopped in this town during the rainy season.
Ghasa: 2010 m (6590 ft)
The guest house we settled on ended up being quite dirty, mostly because it probably hadn’t been used (or cleaned) for quite some time. Our kind host made us apples pies which appeared much like an apple turn over and were so delicious we ordered more to go the next morning. We were excited to finally get something with apples in it. All along the trek, guest houses and restaurants advertised apple products. Other than the dried apples in Jomsom none of these places actually had any.
From here we followed the New Annapurna Circuit on the East side of the river for most of the next day only crossing back to the road when we grew tired of the many ups and downs that this trail seemed to have. Our next destination was Tatopani which we were hoping would have a hot spring. Here we would decide whether to head to Pokhara or back into the mountains to the popular view point Poon Hill.
Tatopani: 1190 m (3900 ft)
Tatopani was a nice little village but the hot springs were closed due to the high waters of flood season. We could see the pools which appeared man made but would have still been welcome for sore muscles. We found the hotels here to be a bit more expensive but not necessarily more inviting or luxurious. However, a great little restaurant called Bob Marley's was the perfect spot for some delicious afternoon lunch. The town is terraced as it climbs the steep hills alongside the river. We ended up meeting several other trekkers here and shared stories over hot meals.
Our trekking buddy parted ways with us the next morning for Poon Hill. Feeling tired and noting cloudy skies, we opted to keep heading out, ready to not be trekking anymore. After being promised a tourist bus, we were told that the bus couldn’t make it and crammed into a dinky little accident waiting to happen with everyone else in town. No designated seats here, as some people were literally laying on the floor. When we met a large landslide needing to be cleared, we opted once again to walk. Eventually the landslide was cleared and many kilometers down the road the bus finally caught back up to us, but we kept walking, arriving at the next major town of Beni that evening.
Beni: 830 m (2720 ft)
Beni is by far the largest town we had seen since leaving Kathmandu. Bustling with buses and shops and local life with several decent sized hotels and nicer restaurants to choose from. We inquired of the best way to head back from here and after assessing our mental state, decided on an overnight bus all the way back to Kathmandu. It was promised to have air conditioning and after seeing it we felt it would be nicer than our previous options.
While we waited for it to leave we explored the town. It's bustling market was a great place to stock up on snacks for the overnight journey. A restaurant high up on the hill was the perfect place to wind down and enjoy some delicious food. Our bus left on time, we had our own seats, and our luggage was safely stowed underneath.
At first this overnight bus journey seemed perfect. However, things begin spiraling down rather quickly. First of all, the bus driver stopped frequently to pick up more passengers despite it being a “nonstop” tourist bus. The driver's assistant insisted on playing on repeat the most awful music videos over a terrible sound system on a small TV cranked to maximum volume. Even as the sun set and we felt ready for some sleep, the bus did not show any signs of quieting down. Perhaps this was to keep the driver awake, or perhaps this is just how people travel in Nepal. For weary western travelers there is nothing welcoming about this on an overnight bus.
The rain came down hard on the winding road from Beni to Pokhara. Eventually we hit a landslide blocking the entire road. Unsure if it could be cleared the buses backed down the winding hillside in the torrential rain and waited out the night at a roadside rest stop. This “rest stop” was no more than a three walled metal lean-to with candles for light. Not once during the entire night did the occupants of the bus quiet completely down. Heated conversations and loud music continued throughout the night and the air conditioning was cut periodically to save fuel since we weren’t moving. Thus the temperature alternated from frigid to tropical over and over throughout the night. The next morning a couple of young guys with backhoes and bulldozers showed up to clear the rock slide while everyone looked on.
The journey was finally on it's way again and the bus made it to Pokhara by sometime around noon, stopping to drop off a few passengers before continuing to Kathmandu. The same bus driver drove the entire way amazingly getting us safely but exhausted to the city at about 6 pm. This overnight bus ride ended up being nearly 24 hours long. We couldn’t wait to settle into our air conditioned hotel with a comfy bed for some peace to unwind, recuperate, and plot our next adventure.

FINAL THOUGHTS
See my final thoughts on the trip in the first comment below. Thanks for reading :)
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2020.04.14 10:20 wisewizard My trip to the art gallery

Woke up Saturday morning with the resolve to do acid and go out in public, something i normally Hate doing, i am no good in crowds. I put on my big boy pants, took a quick run at the shops so i'd have supplies for my return, ate two tabs of unknown quality or strength and caught the bus into Sydney. Listened to The Presidents of the USA for the ride in.
[1st hour] Striding from the bus stop to the art gallery through Martin Place feeling like a twelve inch dick and grinning like a crazy person, my head in a real wavy kind of space. i've only really ever tripped out in the bush, at the beach or at home so seeing all the great architecture and the patterns of a city was very cool, every 150 meters there are collections of planter boxs with a patchwork of coloured flowers. Short cut through the hospital. Pandemic? who gives a fuck! There are people eating at the hospital cafe, i find their disregard astounding and accidentally laugh out loud, i get self conscious and leave quickly before someone tries to put me back on the ward.
The Domain is beautiful and i contemplate my place in time as i walk in the shade of giant Morten Bay Fig trees. The gallery awaits, a great sandstone temple on a hill flanked by bronze horsemen.I feel a hiccup of fear, i know inside the shaded entrance there is a man that will judge my worthiness for admittance, at his word my quest could come to a humiliating end and a shameful bus ride home, i am composed, i am steel, i stride right up to the security guard and ask him where the Japanese exhibition is, he points to the very obvious counter with the many hanging banners and line of people, i thank him and walk on victorious. Next i am expected to stand in line for 20 minutes and not fidget or giggle, i am sweating bullets but i have prepared for this, i pull out the small electric fan i bought specially for this expedition, it's shaped like a small grey penguin, i question the wisdom of this choice.
[2nd hour] The ordeal with the line is done with, and i descend towards my target. Japan Supernatural an exhibition of Japanese myths, ghosts and demons. the hallway darkens and paper lanterns light the ceiling, shadow puppet demons fade in and out along the black walls, i pass an alcove that looks like it's the elevators, i pass the gift shop, i pass the toilets, the atmospheric hallway has turned into a noisy cafe.... i have missed the entrance, i turn around and go back the way i came, stopping to wash my face and get my shit together. Onward! The deceitful elevator alcove is now the obvious entrance, i show my ticket and shuffle in. We are packed into the first chamber like tourists waiting for a roller coaster, i hate this, it feels cheap, it takes me five minutes of this shuffling cattle like existence to remember i have free will and freedom of movement, FUCK YOUR LINE, I'LL COME BACK LATER WHEN YOUR ALL DEAD BWAHAHAHA, i leave the herd gathered around the 10ft illustrated scroll and go look at some masks, the second room has another great scroll and less people HOORAH! It's called The night parade of 100 demons, the ink work and the sense of movement is fantastic, i stare at the multitude of weird creatures and their shapes are warping, the visuals are properly starting, a good thing too because in the next room is a mural 50 -60ft long and 10-13ft high done in a riotous graffiti style it's Takashi Murakamis: In The Land of the Dead Stepping on the Rainbows Tail.
I take in the spectacle of the gnarled twisted figures caught in the mass of bold colour until it feels like i've been standing still in the open for too long and it might seem suspicious,"what would the neighbors think if they found out!" i move on to the smaller alcoves and older works so as not to cause a Hurumph. I will take my time here, i will not be rushed off again, this is my house motherfuckers and the things in my house are old and beautiful and worthy of more than just a moments casual consideration, settle, i absorb myself in stories of bird people and river spirits, hellish courtesans contemplating the fleeting nature of youth and beauty, of sly fox women and no bullshit taking samurai. Kusunoki Tamonmaru is vanquishing the old badger with a lantern, chasing him back into the black back ground that at first seemed to be flat dead space but after a proper look reveals a gaggle of hidden demons in subtle dark grey outline. The styles are mostly cartoonish and expressive but there's a sense of rigid dignity to them, a practiced and masterful hand made these things. The spots are appearing on surfaces with little concentration, i don't know how long i've been here for, i sit in front of the rainbows tail again, trapped in the exploding point. the birth of a new universe, each extending line singing, long and deep, ancient vibrations with crystal clarity.
I used to do this all the time. I used to love art. i realize it's been over a decade since i've been in an art gallery and i'm more than a little ashamed with myself, what the fuck have i been doing for the last ten years that was better than this!! i make a mental note to find more acid and visit more galleries, i pull out my phone to make an actual note just in case my memory is fucky. I feel like a monkey with a hammer trying to operate this giant clunky dirty thing, oh god why is my phone so dirty, how'd i never notice that before, man am i sweaty, wheres my penguin? the penguins blades have bent in my pocket and make an obscenely loud thwipping sound in the relative quiet of the gallery, like a chainsaw in the forest, casual as fuck i'm moving on, oh good a dark room to hide in. A repeating movie is playing along the wall, eyes drip dark liquid from their pupil, long dark hair twists like a mobius strip, a white afghan hound with a long feathery tail runs in a perfect circle on a black floor in an infinite brush stroke, i like this place, it's cool and quite and serene but i've seen this movie about four times now, time to mossey. Outside there are staged photos, grim stuff and really well done, there's one of a young girl on the floor cradling a monstrous looking head, trying to shovel food into its mouth, i wonder if this is what teenage mothers feel like during pregnancy. Enough grimness, go back towards the colour.
AhHa! I've found the control room, the core, the beating heart of this thing, it's more Murakami. A mural of a giant white cat officiating a samurai battle is guarded on either side by two 13ft tall yokai weilding clubs,i look up at them and think this is how prey feels, these are the coolest things i've seen in ages, character radiates off these giant resin statues like a cartoon come to life, i pay my respects for fear of my squishy little self and move on to a room that feels like a prison from a movie. It's octagonal and somber with plate glass on each edge, behind each pane is a very old picture, all female it seems, it feels dangerous, a creeping sort of dread, ahh i get it, these are the kind of pictures that steal souls, forewarned is forearmed! I Fear Nothing! and yet
It draws me from the entryway and across the room as surely as gravity, in the other cells are the usual Ring and Grudge type girls with their hollow eyes and black streaky hair but whats got me is something in another league. Tsukioka Yoshitoshis: Ghost, a woman floating side on slightly hunched but noble looking, all in immaculate grey scale except for her eyes which are a serene blue and both stairing right fuckin at me! i get a chill up my back that i'm not sure is from the acid, i break off my gaze and focus on the detail of the fabric which looks textured and rough it's a marvel of technique, it looks like it has substance to it, depth of form and weight,like the picture isn't flat but embossed, it's not something that a photo can really reproduce, this is why you should see art in the flesh ,eventually i drift back to her face and those eyes and What The Fuck is going on with that mouth, she's grinning without emotion but is she also baring her teeth, is she licking her lips, are those even lips or are they caterpillars, my eyes are refusing to focus so i can make out the detail properly, i'm real close to the glass now, forewarned idiot, Hoookay time to nope the fuck out and say goodbye to ghost lady who i've definitely not been thinking about constantly in the weeks since the trip.
Final room and it's mostly modern ghost girl stuff and crowded, i wish i could've seen more of this room but the herd is pushing in again, it's hot, it's noisy with chatter, the snippets of it that come through make me think unkind things, time to go find some chill. Exit through the gift shop, just a quick stop for the art book so i know the things i've seen are real, just a quick stop.....quick....stop...FUCKING LINES!!! Take My Money Annoyed Looking Cashier Girl And Let Us Be Done With Each Other! Find some chill, the one thing i'll say about tourists is they tend to stay on the beaten path, the exhibition right next door is practically empty, it's theme is " In One Drop of Water" after the crush of the gift shop this space feels like a giant pool. Some bored kids play noisily infuriating the impotent security guard, a few couples stand close and whisper to each other, i plop down on a bench like a pile of wet clay and breath this place in, it's all very lovely and calm, it all has to do with water, my natural element, this is a good place. i sit and listen to abalone divers sing a traditional song in a language i don't recognize but i listen to the chorus of female voices for a long time, i'm not sure if the song is on an uninterrupted loop or if it's just really long, doesn't matter, it's beautiful. The penguin has returned and we go to look at more pretty things, there's a green ceramic bust of a man meditating covered in lily pads, like he was in the pond for so long they grew around him, yeah this guy gets it. A epic hanging tapestry shows a sea dragon fucking up some ships, i wish i'd kept in practice with my drawing. Something to remember for later.
The cafe is quieter now , hmm should i eat? why, are you hungry or is it just the correct designated eating time? ... i dunno. Then the answer is obvious. Fuck that noise? Fuck that noise. To The Esca-la-tor!! People die on escalators, not like A Lot but it happens, i bet none of them ever thought they'd be the ones to become that statistic, i bet it's cos their shoes got stuck, what kind of shoes am i wearing again? then again maybe they lost balance and fell because they were staring at their shoes, hand rail.
Giant black and white photos of....stuff, what stuff? can't say, there's a chaotic pattern in it and the visuals are reeeal fuckin bendy now but what the fuck it is......... oh, it's random stuff behind wet glass, the pattern is water droplets, hehe neat, Beeennddddy. goon. Ooo more rooms, More black and white, everything here is to do with shadows, Some of it's a bit too brain thinky for me right now, but the shadows cast interesting patterns across the walls and the visuals are cool as hell, it's like being in the negative zone, i do find one thing i think's a bit profound, a thing in a tiny frame it says something to the effect of
"Secure first the shadow lest you lose the light"
daaaamn, is that deep? i dunno, what's the blurb say? it says... that this was the slogan of an old camera film company, the thing in the frame is packaging. so it's advertising? yup. kinda takes some of the shine off it don't it. yup. maybe that's the point of it being here. what's the point? dunno, to ask the question? hmmm make a note of it and mull it over later, urrgggh dirty pocket brick comes out again. Lets go see some colour. Yesssss! Had this in the back of my mind all day. More death stairs into the bowels of the gallery! To the Indigenous art section.
If your not familiar with it Australian Aboriginal art is great for tripping, It's a lot of earthy contrasting colours, whites, browns, red ochres, blacks. Done in a dot pattern style that often repeats but has a wandering improvised very natural vibe, it feels like life seen under a microscope or if you had xray eyes and could zoom in on muscle tendons and cells while they're still at work in the body.If you've ever seen video of blood moving through arteries you get what i mean. I'm giddy watching the patterns churn and the dots climb the walls. i'm sitting 10ft from a security guard stareing at one piece for what feels like too long, i don't give a shit if i look suspicious this is too fuckin cool.
Ascension, and a quick look at this years top student works. Holy shit when did teenagers get talented?! There's some damn cool stuff here, there's also families so mind ya P's & Q's . there's a huge black web of what i think is extruded plastic like from a 3d printer pen, it's ruffled like a shower curtain so the picture in the pattern is unclear and shifts depending on where you stand, there's clearly an eye (move left) ..on a face (forward) ...of an old woman (diagonal right, mind the kids) ... and she's... giving me the finger?! What The Hell Man!!! There's some cool Kintsugi teapots that are growing little ceramic flowers from the repaired cracks, there's a bunch of other stuff i'd like to study more closely but i feel time slipping and the families are makin me nervous, besides there's the final wing to get to yet.
These are the guys they call Masters. i've seen a lot today, cool stuff, interesting stuff, thought provoking and soul nourishing, but this, feels, holy, like things out of legend. There's a vibration shift when you enter this place, there's a trepidation to start with, like a mouse before the mighty, but it quickly passes and you get it, you are welcome here, this is the house of a friend and while there are certain rules you are expected to abide by you are welcome at the hearth to share wine and bread. This is the oldest wing of the gallery, part of the original building before it began it's expansion down the hill side, the ceilings are high and decorated with patterned cornices, columned archways divide the sections of the wing, the floor boards are old and creak as if to reprimand you for hurrying through too quickly and not giving these works their due. It's not all to my taste but even the things i think are less striking radiate with a powerful energy, i'm absorbed in the slaughter of old soldiers putting up an obviously futile defense trapped in their killing box inside a burning village, it's all rendered in beautiful detail and a masterwork but it's in a massive gaudy golden frame that adds another 2ft on each side to it's already large size and it makes the dimensions of the picture as a whole object look like a thing that belongs on the mantle or night stand of some giant grandma and i wonder if this was an intentional choice by the artist, to make it seem trivial or mundane, commenting on how we treat those that suffer for us, like the sacrifice of the men in the picture is just something you can chuck on some empty space in your house and reminisce about if it happens to catch your eye.
Moving on to a flawless white marble statue of a man fighting a serpent, it's perfectly unnatural and a wonder. Nature for all its beauty can't do this, only mankind can. it's a thing too fragile and purposeful to exists anywhere but here. A colossal canvas of a gilded queen in some ancient court, the sheer scope of it, the detail is astounding, how do you even start something like this, i could've spent the whole day just in front of this one picture and still feel like i hadn't seen all it has to offer. My heart is breaking for 3 angelic children in a roman slave market when i sense the security guard approaching. Nooo can't be, i was so careful. The Gallery is closeing, please make your way towards the exit. !... really? oh wow it's 5:30, i've been here for almost 7 hours. we are being patiently herded out. I feel pangs of disappointment as we're move too fast through unexplored rooms. Spoilt, consider all you saw today.That's true we saw some cool stuff. And the Gallery is going nowhere. There will be other days. I emerge happily into the warm afternoon sun, the Gallery might be closeing but there's still a lot of day left. i recline on the sandstone steps leaning against a column and watch the clouds twist and boil in the blue afternoon sky above the needle points of the skyscrapers, i remember my green friend in the pond with the lilys, Serenity, that's what this feeling is, no demands, no obligations, a perfect moment.
[Hour 8?9?] Practicality politely intrudes, we are still a long way from home and i have no desire to be here after dark. Orders are given, the engines fire, the music swells and the ancient automaton rumbles back to life. eons of rust flaking off it's joints as it rises from it's slumber and plods a course back across the park. I come to the edge where the buildings begin. Huh, an interesting idea pops into my head, back the way we came in? to sit at a dirty cold bus stop with depressed people in suits ....or?
Air - Moon Safari comes on in my ears as i head down the hill towards the harbour and the ferry wharf, a tense walk past a line of cop cars and a somewhat awkward interaction with a ticket girl i'm privileged to be witness to a breathtaking sight. Sydney Harbor from the water bathed in the golden light of the setting sun. if you ever happen to visit my city i can not recommend enough that you do this, take the ferry from Manly or Circular Quay and see why this is known as one of the worlds most beautiful harbors. The lush Botanical Gardens along the foreshore, the armada of yachts crowding every cove, the city skyline backlit by the sun, the great shells of The Opera House, the towering Harbor Bridge, the majesty of human creation on display. In the quay today a towering cruise liner sits docked, bigger than an apartment block, a marvel of engineering, every line and detail considered and pained over from it's proud wave conquering bow along it's mighty super structure to the giant yellow jumping castle on its stern.... I break down laughing, it is not subtle, people are looking, i just lean back in my seat and grin, it's like god flicked my ear, don't take shit so serious bruv just enjoy.
I'm on the outside of the ferry in the seats faceing the ocean, there's a fair bit of water traffic, fishing boats and party barges, million dollar yachts and putt putts that look like they run on kerosene. On the far shore are suburbs i've never visited and couldn't name but i'm told that's where the rich people live, they've got a nice view, but right now mine is better, it's like the whole hillside is covered in molten gold with thousands of gems reflecting the light. The word of the day is "Sonder" i'm pretty sure it's a made up word but it's a perfect fit right now, a thousand golden houses, a hundred thousand bejeweled windows, and in each of them a person living a charmed life full of love and strife and pets and mortgages and afternoon BBQs and too much champagne and harsh words and forgiveness and soccer practice and secret affairs , it all seems so wonderful and mundane, the whirring gears of humanity, the vista seems limitless and their actions numerous but so finite and then the suburbs begin to fail replaced by desperate mansions scattered like the last bastions of civilization on the edge of the crumbling earth and all at once they're gone and all that's left is the great void of the open ocean.
We're passing the heads that lead out of the harbour, the swell has picked up and the ferry turns at a diagonal to better ride the peaks and troughs and for the first time i consider seriously the warning signs posted all around me, Caution slippery surface, Warning you may get wet, Dangerous in rough weather, a little black stick figure is plummeting over a rail to a grissley fate, but i'd be ok i was swimming before i could walk, Are You Fuckin Kiddin Man! it's a kilometer and a 1/2 to shore and you get winded walkin a flight of Fuckin steps Don't even THINK about going in that water You Will Fuckin Die! i cautiously peek down over the side, a dark green endless ancient and uncaring thing stares back at me, a thing filled with sharks and Krakens and a billion souls of dead mariners. Way out near the headland a motor boat is towing 4 small sailing boats on a line, they're so small they could only be meant for children, what the hell kind of reckless bastards are sailors, who the hell would be out here by choice, ...... , oh right, Amor Fati. The ferry dips and rises but doesn't crash and go down with all hands, the northern headland and it's great stratified cliffs are a comfort, everything we are is a blip in the great flow of time, your death will be unremarkable regardless of where it happens, so be cool ok. oooo more pretty houses.
[Hour: who cares i'm tired and want to go lie down] Manly Wharf, busy with the beginnings of night life and the stragglers of the day, families, drunks, tourists, blow-ins, party people,suits, tradies, all of em in my goddamn way, Dip, Dodge, Duck, Dive ,Nope bad idea, stick to Dodge, and finally a bus. It's full of drunk teenagers, they are abrasive, like a cheese grater, all hair and teeth. Weird i don't remember when the music stopped, Daft Punk- RAM to block out the noise and Sudduko so i don't have to make eye contact, Home driver, there is animated movies and garlic bread waiting for me.
Murakami
Ghost
More Japanese stuff
Aboriginal, Student and classic
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