Buzz cut snapchat filter
[tomt] [movies] My friend is on the hunt for a straight-to-TV vampire/action flick circa late 2000s, early 2010s. Low budget, nobody famous, aired on one of those channels that shows only movies that was available in Virginia around 2016/17.
2023.05.29 18:22 spacealexander [tomt] [movies] My friend is on the hunt for a straight-to-TV vampire/action flick circa late 2000s, early 2010s. Low budget, nobody famous, aired on one of those channels that shows only movies that was available in Virginia around 2016/17.
"the plot follows this real Action Movie Man who either is a vampire or has the potential to become a vampire. his estranged brother is the vampire king, and it is up to our protagonist to kill his brother because, vampires. i believe the film takes place in the american south because voodoo may have been used as a means of divination, but the most memorable aspects of the film were thus:
frequent nighttime car chases a scene in which the protagonist and sidekick pick up two scantily clad girls from a rest/truck stop (at night) that struck me as highly unrealistic a shot of the protagonist (buff, buzz cut) walking across concrete with his back to the camera, clearly filmed in daylight but filtered to hell and back to make it appear as though it is nighttime
the film culminates in a physical fight between the protagonist and his brother, though i do not remember the outcome of that fight
it is truly more of an action movie with vampires than a vampire action movie, and was clearly trying to be "fast & furious but there's vampires" "
My friend also confirms the film is NOT Daybreakers, any of the Underworld films, Near Dark, or Fright Night.
submitted by spacealexander
to tipofmytongue [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 18:15 itsallbeengravy Coach Ben, season 2, and cut scenes from season 2.
| || |
Here's the link to the full interview with Steven Krueger for anyone who's interested! But here's some bits I found interesting. submitted by itsallbeengravy to Yellowjackets [link] [comments]
Regarding Jackie and the cannabilism and whether he would have participated:
"It's certainly possible. I don't think Coach Ben was judging the girls for what they did. At the end of the day, it's about survival. What was so terrifying about what went down at the end of the second episode was not the fact they ate Jackie. It's the way they went about it. In hindsight, if there had been some logical discussion amongst the group about whether they should eat their friend to survive, I don’t think Ben would've opposed that. He could have been talked into that. What really horrified him was this sort of animalistic instinct that took over these girls without a discussion. I think there's a chance he snuck off while the girls were sleeping to have a bite or two just to keep himself going."
Regarding a cut scene from episode 6:
"After his initial encounter with being unable to help the birthing process, he disappears into his room and goes into his dreamscape that we've gotten used to seeing him in throughout Season 2 with Paul. There was a second half to that scene where he snaps out of it and essentially realizes his purpose here is to do something. He may be unable to help with the birth itself, but he can do something, and he can't just sit back in his room and let these girls fend for themselves in this dire situation. He immediately goes to the door to go out into the main room to try to help the girls somehow, and Javi is standing at the door, very freaked out about what's going on with all the screaming and yelling. Then Ben’s purpose for the entire episode becomes taking care of Javi. He was making sure he was okay and protecting this young child."
I personally found it really interesting to know he was suppose to have a bigger role during the birth of Shauna's baby, especially as that's been one of the biggest criticisms I've seen people bring up. And the fact he was supposed to look after Javi, or as Steven says "protecting his young child", makes his reaction to Javi's death sadder.
Steven also said regarding cut scenes "There were so many. I don’t know how much I’m allowed to talk about that". I'm wondering if the "buzz" scene that was seen in that one S2 promo was also a cut scene? It seems likely, especially as he still had his beard in the small clip we saw.
And finally, relating to the finale:
"In the finale and last couple of episodes of Season 2, we saw a world where Coach Ben starts to break bad. You begin to see Coach Ben realize if he's going to survive this, he has to, at a certain point, abandon any feelings of responsibility for taking care of these girls. If he's stuck to those feelings, those girls will quickly turn on him. There's a cool element to explore where Coach starts looking out for himself more than anybody else. That may end up pitting him against some of these girls. The consequences may be catastrophic."
2023.05.29 18:05 anon172649 Weird guy outside my apartment at 4 am
When I was younger, I got a job in a major city across the country, so I got an apartment. I'm a country girl, so I loathe the city and all its glass and stone, and therefore I happily paid the premium for the one apartment complex I could find that actually had greenery in that it had small green "fields" around it. Like a 10 foot strip of green between the building and the road, but it was better than pavement.
The layout of the place is somewhat relevant, and to make it easier I'll use compass directions to give you an idea. The apartment building was your typical skyscraper, on the corner of a highway access road and a regular street that went downtown. The highway was north of the building, traveling east to west. The side street was to the east, running north to south. South of the apartment building was the surface parking lot, which sat on top of an underground parking garage. Between the apartment building and the southern parking lot was a small green island, basically the side of a hill as the land sloped up from the underground garage entrance up to the surface lots on top of it.
The main door of the apartment faced the side street (across which was a well-lit square where neighborhood holiday events took place, and a bunch of small boutiques and further down a mall, so it was bright and busy almost all the time. It sucked but it meant the place wasn't creepy at night). The apartment also had a side door on its south end, through the basement (not a creepy basement, well lit and also where the gym, laundry room, and party room were. The apartment was on a hill so the entrances were on different levels). The side door let out toward the parking garage and the parking lots.
There are two entrances to drive onto the property from the side street, one at the north end of the building and one at the south end. Between the apartment and the side street was a drive-thru like lane, with street-facing parking on one side but no room to park on the apartment-side. This drive-thru lane went from the north street entrance to the south street entrance (a stoplight intersection), which was also where the parking lot split. The south street entrance was convoluted. If you were driving onto the property from there, you could either take a right onto the drive-thru lane, go straight to turn into the underground garage entrance, or go left to drive up onto the surface lot.
My typical routine would be to get up at 4 and let my dog out to pee. I would take him out the south side door, cross the little lane that led to the parking garage, and let him pee in the little island of grass between the entrance to the garage and the surface lot. Sometimes I'd go further, crossing to the sidewalk beside the actual street, since there was a strip of green there between the parking spots and the sidewalk.
That morning, I had stayed in the island next to the parking garage, letting my dog do his thing. I tend to pace, so while he was sniffing about, I was casually strolling back and forth. I do this out of general restlessness, but it doubles as an excellent way to keep a good 360 degree awareness of my surroundings.
During one turn, I glimpsed something between the cars parked facing the street on that thru-lane. It was a lone figure on the sidewalk by the side street, shoulders slightly bent against the cold, head down, walking south, hands in the pockets of his dark jacket/hoodie. I'm often out this early to go jogging, and I've seen the occasional early bird doing the same, so I had no qualms about a guy walking on the sidewalk. I literally notice nothing else about him except the dark jacket and his location.
I turn away, and my dog is still taking his sweet time, so my slow pacing eventually turns me back toward the street. I notice the guy on the sidewalk cut across the green strip and between the cars parked facing the street on that drive-thru lane. This is the first time I really take note, because that particular area is a short albeit steep incline from the sidewalk to the parked cars. He easily could have been taking a shortcut to get to the south side door of the apartment, but the actual sidewalk turnoff (at the south car entrance) was like 10 feet away from him, so it was a relatively unnecessary shortcut. Whatever, he crosses the drive-thru lane toward the south side entrance, so I pay it no mind. My pacing is slow, so even as I'm turning, I still have him in my peripherals. He definitely heads to the door, so I proceed to ignore him as I turn back to my dog, who is still taking his sweet-ass time sniffing a particularly interesting spot in the grass.
As I'm looking at my dog, he suddenly stops sniffing and lifts his head slightly, ears pricked as he stares at something behind. He had seen the guy crossing the thru-lane earlier and ignored him, and he posture wasn't any more defensive than it usually is, but I just notice. That's when I realized I hadn't actually heard the side door open. You need a key fob to enter any of the entrances, which makes a loud beep, and I hadn't heard that.
My pacing turned me around again, and that's when I see the guy walking away from the door, as if back toward the street or parking lot. But the second I catch sight of him, he stops. And he's just standing there on the curb of the little lane to the garage, opposite me where I am on the green island. He's just standing there facing me, hands in pockets, looking right at me, me standing there looking right at him.
(I always carry pepper spray on a strap that wraps around my hand, so it's always secure in my palm, and since I was using that hand to hold my jacket closed since the zipper broke, the mace can was clearly visible. Looking back, I wonder if that's why he stopped walking when I turned).
I'm normally dumb and absentminded enough to not feel anxious in situations when I should. That whole "Gift of Fear" thing simply doesn't exist in me. I didn't get any chills, no queasy feeling, no hair raised on the back of my neck. But I did have a very loud and decisive voice speak up in my head that just said, "Nope."
So I tug the leash and start out for the sidewalk, crossing the convoluted "intersection" of parking lot lanes, intending to make my way to the north main door. The second I move, though, so does the guy! He steps out sideways, stepping off the curb and crossing the convoluted "intersection that isn't an intersection," perfectly angled to cut me off right in the center. So I do another "Nope" and spin on the ball of my foot to head for the other sidewalk, south of the intersection, as if to let my dog pee over at that green strip instead.
In my peripherals, the guy changed direction, too. He took a left, heading back toward the sidewalk to head north, literally going back the way he came. I could see him the whole time from my vantage point next to the sidewalk now, so I know for certain he did not go to the north main door of the apartment building. He just kept walking along the street until he was gone. That's ultimately the only reason I'm putting this here, because up to then, a large part of me had rationalized this behavior as that of a guy simply trying to get home but had forgotten his key fob (the north main door has a desk person who can buzz you in).
But he didn't go to the main door of the apartment, and the brief moment of him just standing there staring at me, and nearly cutting me off, then changing course... I don't know what to make of it. Like I said, I wasn't panicked, but then I usually don't get that way because my first instinct is to drop all emotion and face weird situations analytically. But the event always really stuck out in my mind, and I honestly can't determine if that instance really was "weird" or I'm making a bigger deal of it because it was 4 in the morning and I was tired and wired.
submitted by anon172649
to creepyencounters [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 18:01 suhermansahid [FNV] Crashing every 30 minutes, while saving also when fast traveling , help...
crash log :
Cobb Crash Logger Version 3.0.0, build 0.
If this file is empty, then your game didn't crash! Probably!
Exception C0000005 caught!
0x0044DDC0 ==> EntryPoint+0xFFFFFFFF in FalloutNV (0x0019F338)
0x004BCB01 ==> EntryPoint+0xFFFFFFFF in FalloutNV (0x0019F360)
0x004C93A9 ==> EntryPoint+0xFFFFFFFF in FalloutNV (0x0019F3B8)
0x005755F3 ==> EntryPoint+0xFFFFFFFF in FalloutNV (0x0019F3D4)
0x00776CD4 ==> EntryPoint+0xFFFFFFFF in FalloutNV (0x0019F92C)
0x0070C374 ==> EntryPoint+0xFFFFFFFF in FalloutNV (0x0019FAC0)
0x007034BB ==> EntryPoint+0xFFFFFFFF in FalloutNV (0x0019FAC8)
0x0086F7ED ==> EntryPoint+0xFFFFFFFF in FalloutNV (0x0019FAE4)
0x0086EE67 ==> EntryPoint+0xFFFFFFFF in FalloutNV (0x0019FB3C)
0x0086B3E8 ==> EntryPoint+0xFFFFFFFF in FalloutNV (0x0019FEC0)
0x665B2204 ==> EntryPoint+0xFFFFFFFF in nvse_steam_loader (0x0019FEE0)
0x00ECC470 ==> EntryPoint+0xFFFFFFFF in FalloutNV (0x0019FF70)
0x767100C9 ==> BaseThreadInitThunk+0x19 in KERNEL32 (0x0019FF80)
0x773F7B4E ==> RtlGetAppContainerNamedObjectPath+0x11E in ntdll (0x0019FFDC)
0x773F7B1E ==> RtlGetAppContainerNamedObjectPath+0xEE in ntdll (0x0019FFEC)
Instruction pointer (EIP): 0044DDC0
0x0040FE5F 0x154E5460 0x00000005 0xFF7FFFFF
0x0019F360 0x004BCB01 0x0019F35C 0x0D430A04
0x00000018 0x0D430A4C 0x154E5460 0x3A0E0001
0x00000001 0x00000000 0x0019F3B8 0x004C93A9
0x004102C5 0x00000018 0x00000034 0x128E1714
0x0019F38C 0x00418533 0x3A0E4830 0x0D430A04
0x0133B0A0 0x0D5E10F4 0x00000001 0x0D28242C
0x1C218450 0x00000001 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x00000004 0x0119F920 0x0B768EA8 0x00000001
0x0019F3D4 0x005755F3 0x00000000 0x3E4D6400
0x128E1714 0x00000000 0x41204BE4 0x0019F92C
0x00776CD4 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x2A831EED
0xB2186A00 0x00000000 0x361A8600 0x361A8600
LISTING MODULE BASES ...
- 0x00400000 - 0x014089E4: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\FalloutNV.exe
- 0x77390000 - 0x77534000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ntdll.dll
- 0x766F0000 - 0x767E0000: C:\Windows\System32\KERNEL32.DLL
- 0x75510000 - 0x7574A000: C:\Windows\System32\KERNELBASE.dll
- 0x64C20000 - 0x64CC0000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\apphelp.dll
- 0x76550000 - 0x766EC000: C:\Windows\System32\USER32.dll
- 0x75CB0000 - 0x75CC8000: C:\Windows\System32\win32u.dll
- 0x708A0000 - 0x7092D000: C:\Windows\WinSxS\x86_microsoft.windows.common-controls_6595b64144ccf1df_5.82.19041.1110_none_c0da534e38c01f4d\COMCTL32.dll
- 0x75A60000 - 0x75A84000: C:\Windows\System32\GDI32.dll
- 0x76A70000 - 0x76AEC000: C:\Windows\System32\ADVAPI32.dll
- 0x5B920000 - 0x5BAAF000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\d3d9.dll
- 0x76800000 - 0x768E5000: C:\Windows\System32\gdi32full.dll
- 0x76900000 - 0x769BF000: C:\Windows\System32\msvcrt.dll
- 0x76AF0000 - 0x76B6B000: C:\Windows\System32\msvcp_win.dll
- 0x76330000 - 0x763A6000: C:\Windows\System32\sechost.dll
- 0x76B70000 - 0x76C90000: C:\Windows\System32\ucrtbase.dll
- 0x763B0000 - 0x7646F000: C:\Windows\System32\RPCRT4.dll
- 0x76C90000 - 0x76F10000: C:\Windows\System32\combase.dll
- 0x75CE0000 - 0x76296000: C:\Windows\System32\SHELL32.dll
- 0x72550000 - 0x7255F000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\kernel.appcore.dll
- 0x75800000 - 0x758E3000: C:\Windows\System32\ole32.dll
- 0x711E0000 - 0x717ED000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\windows.storage.dll
- 0x64110000 - 0x64136000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\dwmapi.dll
- 0x66840000 - 0x668B1000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\GalaxyWrp.dll
- 0x66970000 - 0x6697E000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\d3dx9_38.dll
- 0x73420000 - 0x73428000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\WSOCK32.dll
- 0x762C0000 - 0x76323000: C:\Windows\System32\WS2_32.dll
- 0x662B0000 - 0x662E7000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\DINPUT8.dll
- 0x5F1C0000 - 0x5F23F000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\DSOUND.dll
- 0x18000000 - 0x18068000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\binkw32.dll
- 0x72560000 - 0x72588000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\WINMM.dll
- 0x66820000 - 0x66840000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\libvorbisfile.dll
- 0x70DF0000 - 0x70E15000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\Wldp.dll
- 0x7ACE0000 - 0x7B121000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Galaxy.dll
- 0x666C0000 - 0x66745000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\MSVCP110.dll
- 0x665E0000 - 0x666B6000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\MSVCR110.dll
- 0x729A0000 - 0x729B5000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\VCRUNTIME140.dll
- 0x723D0000 - 0x72414000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\powrprof.dll
- 0x64180000 - 0x6419D000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\winmmbase.dll
- 0x762A0000 - 0x762B9000: C:\Windows\System32\bcrypt.dll
- 0x66490000 - 0x66555000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\libvorbis.dll
- 0x70840000 - 0x70892000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\MSWSOCK.dll
- 0x751F0000 - 0x75223000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\IPHLPAPI.DLL
- 0x05A40000 - 0x05A56000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\XINPUT1_3.dll
- 0x76F40000 - 0x77374000: C:\Windows\System32\SETUPAPI.dll
- 0x75AF0000 - 0x75B2B000: C:\Windows\System32\cfgmgr32.dll
- 0x7A6B0000 - 0x7AA78000: C:\Windows\System32\d3dx9_38.DLL
- 0x76F10000 - 0x76F35000: C:\Windows\System32\IMM32.DLL
- 0x649A0000 - 0x649B1000: C:\Windows\system32\napinsp.dll
- 0x647F0000 - 0x64806000: C:\Windows\system32\pnrpnsp.dll
- 0x64770000 - 0x64780000: C:\Windows\system32\wshbth.dll
- 0x6E3F0000 - 0x6E406000: C:\Windows\system32\NLAapi.dll
- 0x6E350000 - 0x6E3E1000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\DNSAPI.dll
- 0x75CD0000 - 0x75CD7000: C:\Windows\System32\NSI.dll
- 0x64760000 - 0x6476E000: C:\Windows\System32\winrnr.dll
- 0x66800000 - 0x66814000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVHR\nvhr_avx2.dll
- 0x71840000 - 0x7184D000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\UMPDC.dll
- 0x66330000 - 0x66483000: C:\Modding\MO2\usvfs_x86.dll
- 0x75C50000 - 0x75C95000: C:\Windows\System32\SHLWAPI.dll
- 0x75310000 - 0x753A6000: C:\Windows\System32\OLEAUT32.dll
- 0x649C0000 - 0x64AAD000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\inputhost.dll
- 0x75BC0000 - 0x75C47000: C:\Windows\System32\shcore.dll
- 0x6A9B0000 - 0x6AA4B000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\CoreMessaging.dll
- 0x70770000 - 0x70832000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\PROPSYS.dll
- 0x6AF20000 - 0x6AFFB000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\wintypes.dll
- 0x6AA50000 - 0x6ACCE000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\CoreUIComponents.dll
- 0x75A90000 - 0x75AEF000: C:\Windows\System32\bcryptPrimitives.dll
- 0x6AEF0000 - 0x6AF19000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ntmarta.dll
- 0x717F0000 - 0x71808000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\profapi.dll
- 0x665B0000 - 0x665DD000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\nvse_steam_loader.dll
- 0x724F0000 - 0x724F8000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\VERSION.dll
- 0x40350000 - 0x4049B000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\nvse_1_4.dll
- 0x18B90000 - 0x18BA7000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\ActorCauseSaveBloatFix.dll
- 0x404B0000 - 0x404D6000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\Alpha Fixes.dll
- 0x404F0000 - 0x4051F000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\AnhNVSE.dll
- 0x40530000 - 0x40564000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\BetterCaravan.dll
- 0x66590000 - 0x665AA000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\ClimateControl.dll
- 0x5B870000 - 0x5B8DD000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\MSVCP140.dll
- 0x66570000 - 0x66590000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\CloudUpgrade.dll
- 0x667F0000 - 0x667FB000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\CobbCrashLogger.dll
- 0x72A50000 - 0x72BD8000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\dbghelp.dll
- 0x405B0000 - 0x405C7000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\DoF-Fix.dll
- 0x405E0000 - 0x40604000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\DynamicPipBoyLight.dll
- 0x40620000 - 0x40644000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\ExternalEmittanceFix.dll
- 0x40660000 - 0x4067B000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\FogCulling.dll
- 0x40690000 - 0x406A6000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\HDPipboy.dll
- 0x406C0000 - 0x406D9000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\HighResBloom.dll
- 0x406F0000 - 0x40706000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\HighResLocalMaps.dll
- 0x40720000 - 0x40746000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\ImprovedLightingShaders.dll
- 0x40760000 - 0x407E1000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\jip_nvse.dll
- 0x40800000 - 0x40852000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\johnnyguitar.dll
- 0x75CA0000 - 0x75CA6000: C:\Windows\System32\PSAPI.DLL
- 0x40870000 - 0x408E9000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\kNVSE.dll
- 0x40900000 - 0x40932000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\MCM.dll
- 0x40950000 - 0x40956000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\mlf.dll
- 0x40970000 - 0x40996000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\MoonlightNVSE.dll
- 0x409D0000 - 0x409E7000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\MuzzleFlashFix.dll
- 0x409F0000 - 0x40A10000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\nvse_console_clipboard.dll
- 0x40AC0000 - 0x40B9F000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\nvse_stewie_tweaks.dll
- 0x72BE0000 - 0x72D47000: C:\Windows\WinSxS\x86_microsoft.windows.gdiplus_6595b64144ccf1df_1.1.19041.2251_none_d9513b1fe1046fc7\gdiplus.dll
- 0x40A30000 - 0x40A5F000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\NVTF.dll
- 0x7B130000 - 0x7B32F000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\d3dx9_43.dll
- 0x40A70000 - 0x40A88000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\PipBoyShadingFix.dll
- 0x40CA0000 - 0x40DD6000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\ShowOffNVSE.dll
- 0x5A000000 - 0x5A131000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\supNVSE.dll
- 0x72F40000 - 0x73396000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\WININET.dll
- 0x40FF0000 - 0x40FFB000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\ui_organizer.dll
- 0x5A1E0000 - 0x5A1E6000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\weapon_lag_fix.dll
- 0x5A200000 - 0x5A268000: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins\yUI.dll
- 0x72810000 - 0x72884000: C:\Windows\system32\uxtheme.dll
- 0x71180000 - 0x711A1000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\SspiCli.dll
- 0x5A370000 - 0x5A3C9000: C:\Windows\System32\fwpuclnt.dll
- 0x662F0000 - 0x662F8000: C:\Windows\System32\rasadhlp.dll
- 0x71850000 - 0x7185E000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\msasn1.dll
- 0x64780000 - 0x647A6000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\cryptnet.dll
- 0x753B0000 - 0x754B0000: C:\Windows\System32\CRYPT32.dll
- 0x711D0000 - 0x711DA000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\cryptbase.dll
- 0x769C0000 - 0x76A0C000: C:\Windows\System32\WINTRUST.DLL
- 0x767E0000 - 0x767F9000: C:\Windows\System32\imagehlp.dll
- 0x6E4F0000 - 0x6E503000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\CRYPTSP.dll
- 0x6E4C0000 - 0x6E4EF000: C:\Windows\system32\rsaenh.dll
- 0x5BAB0000 - 0x5EF49000: C:\Program Files (x86)\RivaTuner Statistics Server\RTSSHooks.dll
- 0x75230000 - 0x75304000: C:\Windows\System32\MSCTF.dll
- 0x6ACD0000 - 0x6AD8A000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\textinputframework.dll
- 0x723C0000 - 0x723CA000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\HID.DLL
- 0x6E700000 - 0x6E724000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\DEVOBJ.dll
- 0x76470000 - 0x764EE000: C:\Windows\System32\clbcatq.dll
- 0x5F150000 - 0x5F1BB000: C:\Windows\System32\MMDevApi.dll
- 0x5F790000 - 0x5F8C6000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\AUDIOSES.DLL
- 0x5ACA0000 - 0x5ACAF000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\resourcepolicyclient.dll
- 0x5FD10000 - 0x5FDA6000: C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\nvmdig.inf_amd64_3412f856dd9f8e1c\nvldumd.dll
- 0x63310000 - 0x63410000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\drvstore.dll
- 0x5FDB0000 - 0x62933000: C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\nvmdig.inf_amd64_3412f856dd9f8e1c\nvd3dum.dll
- 0x6E330000 - 0x6E34E000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\gpapi.dll
- 0x6D4C0000 - 0x6D4EC000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\dxcore.dll
- 0x6E640000 - 0x6E6D4000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\TextShaping.dll
- 0x66100000 - 0x66264000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\dcomp.dll
- 0x637D0000 - 0x63E6E000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\nvapi.dll
- 0x6D290000 - 0x6D42A000: C:\Windows\System32\quartz.dll
- 0x5A1A0000 - 0x5A1B8000: C:\Windows\System32\devenum.dll
- 0x6DB90000 - 0x6DD73000: C:\Program Files (x86)\K-Lite Codec Pack\Filters\DirectVobSub\vsfilter.dll
- 0x64920000 - 0x64993000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\WINSPOOL.DRV
- 0x64BB0000 - 0x64BF2000: C:\Program Files (x86)\K-Lite Codec Pack\MPC-HC\LAVFilters\LAVAudio.ax
- 0x725D0000 - 0x727E0000: C:\Windows\WinSxS\x86_microsoft.windows.common-controls_6595b64144ccf1df_6.0.19041.1110_none_a8625c1886757984\COMCTL32.dll
- 0x6DD80000 - 0x6E26F000: C:\Program Files (x86)\K-Lite Codec Pack\MPC-HC\LAVFilters\avformat-lav-59.dll
- 0x70930000 - 0x70B19000: C:\Program Files (x86)\K-Lite Codec Pack\MPC-HC\LAVFilters\avutil-lav-57.dll
- 0x794E0000 - 0x7A675000: C:\Program Files (x86)\K-Lite Codec Pack\MPC-HC\LAVFilters\avcodec-lav-59.dll
- 0x66300000 - 0x66327000: C:\Program Files (x86)\K-Lite Codec Pack\MPC-HC\LAVFilters\swresample-lav-4.dll
- 0x71810000 - 0x71832000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ncrypt.dll
- 0x647B0000 - 0x647D8000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\NTASN1.dll
- 0x71860000 - 0x71C5A000: C:\Program Files (x86)\K-Lite Codec Pack\Filters\ffdshow\ffdshow.ax
- 0x75750000 - 0x757FF000: C:\Windows\System32\COMDLG32.dll
- 0x66270000 - 0x66296000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\DINPUT.dll
- 0x64C00000 - 0x64C09000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\msdmo.dll
- 0x66790000 - 0x667B2000: C:\Windows\System32\qasf.dll
- 0x70E20000 - 0x7102D000: C:\Windows\System32\WMVCore.DLL
- 0x668C0000 - 0x668FD000: C:\Windows\System32\WMASF.DLL
- 0x70CC0000 - 0x70DC6000: C:\Windows\System32\mfperfhelper.dll
- 0x667C0000 - 0x667D7000: C:\Windows\System32\mp3dmod.dll
- 0x71C60000 - 0x71DD9000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\mfplat.DLL
- 0x66900000 - 0x66929000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\RTWorkQ.DLL
- 0x66930000 - 0x66949000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\MSACM32.DLL
- 0x6AE90000 - 0x6AEC3000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\l3codecp.acm
- 0x71030000 - 0x71104000: C:\Windows\System32\msmpeg2adec.dll
- 0x66560000 - 0x66568000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\avrt.dll
- 0x6D430000 - 0x6D491000: C:\Program Files (x86)\ReClock\ReClockDS.dll
- 0x71DE0000 - 0x71EC9000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\DDRAW.dll
- 0x72420000 - 0x724E2000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\dxgi.dll
- 0x66950000 - 0x66957000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\DCIMAN32.dll
- 0x6E270000 - 0x6E2A3000: C:\Program Files (x86)\ReClock\AC3Lib.dll
- 0x6A980000 - 0x6A994000: C:\Program Files (x86)\ReClock\Compressor.dll
- 0x6AED0000 - 0x6AEEB000: C:\Program Files (x86)\ReClock\Resampler.dll
- 0x6E2B0000 - 0x6E2D2000: C:\Program Files (x86)\ReClock\Timestretch.dll
- 0x6E410000 - 0x6E44A000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\wdmaud.drv
- 0x6E2E0000 - 0x6E2E7000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ksuser.dll
- 0x6E310000 - 0x6E31A000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\msacm32.drv
- 0x6E320000 - 0x6E328000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\midimap.dll
- 0x72D50000 - 0x72E43000: C:\Windows\System32\Windows.UI.dll
- 0x71ED0000 - 0x71F43000: C:\Windows\System32\WindowManagementAPI.dll
- 0x74400000 - 0x7458F000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\twinapi.appcore.dll
- 0x6D900000 - 0x6D993000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\mscms.dll
- 0x6D9A0000 - 0x6D9C5000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\USERENV.dll
- 0x6D9D0000 - 0x6D9DC000: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ColorAdapterClient.dll
- 0x6D9E0000 - 0x6DA11000: C:\Windows\System32\Windows.Internal.Graphics.Display.DisplayColorManagement.dll
GAME CRASHED AT INSTRUCTION Base+0x0004DDC0 IN MODULE: C:\GAMES\Fallout - New Vegas\FalloutNV.exe
Please note that this does not automatically mean that that module is responsible.
It may have been supplied bad data or program state as the result of an issue in
the base game or a different DLL.
0 0 FalloutNV.esm
1 1 DeadMoney.esm
2 2 HonestHearts.esm
3 3 OldWorldBlues.esm
4 4 LonesomeRoad.esm
5 5 GunRunnersArsenal.esm
6 6 ClassicPack.esm
7 7 MercenaryPack.esm
8 8 TribalPack.esm
9 9 CaravanPack.esm
10 a YUP - Base Game + All DLC.esm
11 b NavmeshOverhaul.esm
12 c Vanilla Enhancements.esm
13 d Navmesh Overhaul VNV Patch.esm
14 e BraveNewWorld.esm
15 f New Vegas Landscape Overhaul.esm
16 10 Uncut Wasteland.esm
17 11 NVInteriors_Core.esm
18 12 Simple Open Freeside.esm
19 13 New Vegas Redesigned II.esm
20 14 Monster Wars.esm
21 15 AWorldOfPain(Preview).esm
22 16 TLD_Travelers.esm
23 17 Momod.esm
24 18 NVInteriors_ComboEdition.esm
25 19 vault22FloralOverhaul.esm
26 1a Mojave Wildlife (Vanilla-Style + No Chanced).esp
27 1b Mojave Raiders.esm
28 1c Simple Open Strip.esm
29 1d AWOPDeadMoney.esm
30 1e VanessaFollowerNV.esm
31 1f Cyberware.esm
32 20 Better Character Creation.esm
33 21 Functional Post Game Ending Lite.esm
34 22 Helmet Overlay.esm
35 23 Animated Player Interactions.esm
36 24 WMVM.esm
37 25 DYNAVISION 3.esm
38 26 IntimacyOverhaul_v1.0.esm
39 27 YUP - NPC Fixes (Base Game + All DLC).esp
40 28 Unofficial Patch NVSE Plus.esp
41 29 JSawyer Ultimate.esp
42 2a ExRB.esp
43 2b JSawyer Ultimate - Push's Tweaks.esp
44 2c Little More Lamplight.esp
45 2d DLC Enhancements.esp
46 2e Mojave Raiders.esp
47 2f NVR2 - YUP Patch.esp
48 30 DNWeathers.esp
49 31 ArizonaArmy.esp
50 32 Atmospheric Lighting Tweaks.esp
51 33 Casino Crowds.esp
52 34 Monster Wars - Epic Battles Plugin.esp
53 35 mil.esp
54 36 AWOPDeadMoneyVendorPatch.esp
55 37 NVMIM.esp
56 38 Crafting Consistency Fix.esp
57 39 ExRB_Cut-Sewers.esp
58 3a The Mod Configuration Menu.esp
59 3b Vanilla UI Plus.esp
60 3c CPI Icons.esp
61 3d JustAssortedMods.esp
62 3e NPCsSprint.esp
63 3f Real Recoil.esp
64 40 Real Recoil Tweaks.esp
65 41 Follower Tweaks.esp
66 42 FO3WeaponsRestoration.esp
67 43 BraveNewWorld-YUP.esp
68 44 T4-plugin.esp
69 45 FalloutNVCheatTerminal.esp
70 46 Companion Sandbox Mode3.esp
71 47 More Perks v3.esp
72 48 NVR2 - BNW Patch.esp
73 49 TrooperOverhaul-Dragbody.esp
74 4a NCRTrooperOverhaul.esp
75 4b DelayDLCRedux.esp
76 4c Mojave Arsenal.esp
77 4d Famine.esp
78 4e Famine - Flora.esp
79 4f Food Effect Tweaks.esp
80 50 Player Combat Priority.esp
81 51 PCP Reduced Chance To Attack Doggo Patch.esp
82 52 NVR2 - Mojave Raiders Patch.esp
83 53 NVR2 - JSUE Patch.esp
84 54 EVEM - YUP Patch.esp
85 55 EVEM - Crafting Consistency Fix Patch.esp
86 56 EVEM - JSUE Patch.esp
87 57 Vanilla Enhancements - JSawyer Ultimate Push Tweaks Patch.esp
88 58 EVEM - Mojave Arsenal Patch.esp
89 59 Uncut Wasteland - YUP Patch.esp
90 5a Functional Post Game Ending Lite - JSUE Patch.esp
91 5b Essential DLC Enhancements Merged - JSUE Patch.esp
92 5c Mojave Raiders Tweaks.esp
93 5d Mojave Raiders - JSUE Patch.esp
94 5e Mojave Raiders - EVEM Patch.esp
95 5f Hitstop.esp
96 60 B42Inertia.esp
97 61 Street Light Corrections.esp
98 62 Classic Fallout Weapons Remastered v1.2.esp
99 63 mil_Add-On.esp
100 64 MCPipBoy2000MK6.esp
101 65 BraveNewWorld-JSU.esp
102 66 mil-Shop.esp
103 67 The Groovatron NV.esp
104 68 Strip Lights Region Fix - Uncut Wasteland.esp
105 69 Cloud Shadows.esp
106 6a Interior Rain.esp
107 6b Quick Grenade Hotkey.esp
108 6c Enhanced Vision.esp
109 6d Simple Explosive Entry.esp
110 6e Cyberware OWB.esp
111 6f Quickthrow.esp
112 70 Cyberware-Quickthrow Patch.esp
113 71 Economy Overhaul.esp
114 72 JIP Companions Command & Control.esp
115 73 JIP Improved Recipe Menu.esp
116 74 JIP MiniMap.esp
117 75 JustLootMenu.esp
118 76 NewVegasTrueScopes.esp
119 77 FPS Weapon Lowering.esp
120 78 Bouncing Natural Breasts.esp
121 79 JustHitMarker.esp
122 7a VK_VGExtraIcons.esp
123 7b LiveDismember.esp
124 7c Animated Ingestibles.esp
125 7d JSRSforFNV.esp
126 7e MojaveDelight.esp
127 7f CC - Rain.esp
128 80 WAP Year One and Bonus.esp
129 81 Bash_Spread.esp
130 82 IntimacyOverhaul Vanessa Patch.esp
131 83 Strip Lights Region Fix.esp
submitted by suhermansahid
to FalloutMods [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 18:01 KingDominoTheSecond Chronic fuel pump issues, replaced pump several times, still losing fuel pressure (1994 Nissan Altima)
My car loses fuel pressure by the time it warms up, I'm starting to think there has to be something electrical going on. I cleaned out the tank (which was super dirty actually), changed pumps 3 times now, replaced fuel lines, tested the fuel pressure regulator, fixed a leak, and replaced the fuel filter, but every time this issue comes back. The car runs fine at first, but loses fuel pressure once it warms up. I tested this with a fuel pressure gauge. With vacuum to the FPR, it stays at 33 PSI (stock spec), and once it warms up the needle seems to jump around a lot around 28-34, almost as if it's vibrating, then when it goes under load, the pressure can drop as low as 10 psi, 5 psi, or sometimes it cuts out entirely and the car stalls. I recently cleaned out the tank, replaced the filter, and I even put a much more expensive DW200 fuel pump in that has over double the flow rate at the same voltage, amperage, and PSI as the OEM pump, but the issue still persists. When I prime the pump after stalling or when the car has already warmed up, the pump sounds like it's struggling to prime, almost as if it's under load. I think I'm going to replace the relay, do you guys think I should just rewire it to its own relay and wiring completely using a kit like the one DW (short for Deatchwerks I think). I've been dealing with this issue for months and I just want to be able to drive this car around again.
submitted by KingDominoTheSecond
to MechanicAdvice [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 17:51 LostInTheForest93 Am I experiencing hair loss?
| || |
I'm 15 years old, and use dry matte high hold hair clay to style my hair every couple of days, I shampoo and conditioner it around every 2 days, and whenever I put the product in, and style it, hair strands fall out of my hair. I use to style my hair to the right, but now I try to center it and at the right side I'm seeing less hair there than anywhere else. There is also occasionally little hair strands that fall down from my scalp onto my forehead which doesn't look good and annoys me a lot. My hair is naturally fine and thin, and I use this clay to get a thicker, fluffier, and wavier look. Should I just get a buzz cut and try to treat it as well as I can or what? submitted by LostInTheForest93 to malehairadvice [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 17:44 EffinLawnNome High CBD ratio gummy recs?
Hope this is the place to ask, searched and didn't find anything in the archives:
37 and returning to the fold (quit smoking 15 years ago due to anxiety and motivation issues). I live in a legal state and started enjoying gummies and homemade tincture recreationally about 6 months ago, but I'm still pretty sensitive to THC (10mg gummies spin me out for hours, cut most 5mg doses in half).
I've recently found that I enjoy 1:1 THC:CBD and want to find something with a high CBD % and THC around 2.5mg. Most all of the dispensaries and service folks I talk to are oriented towards max THC and I get the impression they think of CBD as gas station nonsense. Lots of dispensaries in my city, but I really want to just place an order online and go pick it up.
Mostly trying to see if folks have recommendations for 1:3 type edibles or tincture that are going to prioritize body buzz and relaxation over head high.
submitted by EffinLawnNome
to trees [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 17:10 2fences Ghosted and federal ev credit lease
A local dealership is running a Memorial Day lease special on an jeep GC 4xe EV that qualifies for the $7500 federal tax credit. Despite what I’m reading about income caps that would disqualify me and that $7500 now being $3750 on that model, the dealership is claiming they have a work around for both. How does that work?
And second, I sat in the vehicle on Sat, confirmed it was still on the website Sat night, emailed the sales person that was working with me late that night to find out if I could come in this morning (Monday) to close the deal, crickets. I don’t even want to negotiate, I’m cool with their advertised prices, I’m open to which exact vehicle it ends up being off their lot (including any number of 2022s they already have duplicate of 2023s on their lot) I have tier one credit and my trade is paid off and straight forward on the price, they can take or leave it at $10k. I texted him mid afternoon yesterday to let him know that the email was in his inbox in case it got caught in a spam filter, still crickets. Have I given that sales person enough time? I couldn’t care less, but as someone who also does sales, I wouldn’t want to cut the guy out just because he wanted a day off, I have all the time in the world as long as I still get the Memorial Day sale deal or something close to it, but no response from two main forms of communication over a holiday weekend makes me think he’s just too busy selling cars to care. What’s good customer practice in a situation like this?
submitted by 2fences
to askcarsales [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 16:56 bimbo_wannabe_ [I Accidentally Joined The Mafia In South Brooklyn] Chapter 6: On The Organizational Habits of Unrested Spirits and The Taste of Demon's Blood, Part 1.
| || | submitted by bimbo_wannabe_ to redditserials [link] [comments]
Previous Part: https://www.reddit.com/redditserials/comments/13trg6g/i_accidentally_joined_the_mafia_in_south_brooklyn/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=android_app&utm_name=androidcss&utm_term=1&utm_content=share_button
Becca invited me to her apartment when we made it back, sent me through the alley behind the building to keep the prying eyes at the minimum. That was fine with me as I was a lot more noticeable than I liked to be, at the moment. I had already lit a cigarette by the time she opened the back door of the stairwell to let me in. It was the last in the pack, and I'd only opened it this morning. The temperature on my phone screen had finally hit zero.
"You're gonna have to give me a second, B, I don't wanna smoke around you in your condition but I really need one."
She gave me another watery grin.
"Little too much blood in the nicotine system, huh?"
"Exactly, my young friend, exactly that."
She propped the door open and sat herself down on the ground. I could tell the high heels were starting to hurt her because she kicked them off and set them neatly to the side, though I knew the concrete had to be freezing her feet off. She tucked her skirt between her legs and sat with her back against the wall, her elbow propped on her bent knee, the other leg stretched out straight before her. It was exactly how what was left of Antoni had been sitting beside me less than two hours ago.
I was getting a little tired of all the patterns appearing in my life these days.
I flipped to my news app, as was my habit. There was an article at the top of page about the preparations the SDNY were making to get ready for the coming storm, but frankly I didn't really give a fuck so I just kept scrolling.
"Your old neighborhood is in the news, B."
"You ain't had enough bad news?" Beccs asked with a rueful laugh.
"Eh, I like to stay abreast of current events. I mean, you got me pegged, B. I'm a nosy fuck. But, uh, fifteen years on the inside, you learn that it pays to pay attention to the shit other people don't notice, cause you never know when the information you pick up is going to end up being the information you need."
She gave me a look that said she had to yield to my point.
"So what's the news from Koreatown?".
"Somebody shot a wedding up, apparently. Says seven were killed, including the bride and groom and the bride's father, as they was leaving the reception. You know, most of these names are Rhees. Ain't nobody you know, is it? Kinda feel like you've had enough death for the day, kid."
There was another look on her face, one I couldn't quite read even with all my people-watching prowess.
"Lemme take a wild stab at it. Two of those names are Rhee Seong-Min and Rhee Bong-Cha."
"Yeah," I nodded. "You do know 'em. I'm sorry, B."
She gave a low, almost rumbling, chuckle. It gave me a little shiver, not from the cold, and not one of enjoyment, either. She flashed a sign, one I'd seen her flash before, but it wasn't from any gang I knew personally, and lacking any official affiliation of my own, I'd dealt with my fair share of different gang members in the Upstate Correctional Facility. Double E's, one backwards, one forwards, three quick shakes of each hand.
"God bless old K-town. But you ain't got to worry about it. I'll not shed a tear over any of them. They's family, but they ain't exactly family
, you know. I might tell you about it one day."
The last sentence had a note of finality to it, so I didn't ask any further questions in that regard, but I was still as curious as always.
"If all your family has Korean names, how the hell did you end up as Rebecca and your Dad as Sam?"
"My Dad's name is Park Kyung-Sam. Just Sam was easier to tell people and he, uh, he wanted me to have the same benefit of blending in in American society, and he liked the name Rebecca. So, Rhee Rebecca Hyo-Jin. My Mom's name was Rhee Chung-Cha, but everybody just called her ChaCha, like from Grease."
"So your Mom was the Rhee?"
She made an affirmative noise and nodded.
"She didn't exactly wanna give up her family name, and… my Dad didn't exactly give a fuck cause he was in love with her crazy ass. You know, that's where I get this from. Except my Moms, if she was still around she'd make me look like I grew up to be a calm, quiet girl."
I'd hate to see what was worse than Beccs.
"You done?" Becca asked. I nodded, tossed my cigarette into the sand-filled bucket we kept here for just that purpose. I followed B inside and we climbed the stairs to the third floor. I leaned against the wall as she pulled a ring of keys from her coat pocket and waited while she unlocked the knob and the three deadbolts on her door.
"Pretty serious about your home security, B?"
She shot me a look but didn't say anything as she opened the door. A steady beeping greeted us, and Becca stopped just inside and punched in a code on a security panel. As I stepped around her and entered the apartment, I understood why.
Do you know that part in Coming To America
where Akeem comes home to his dilapidated Queens apartment and realizes Semmi has filled it with expensive furniture? Well, it was exactly like that. Becca locked the door back behind her, threw her stilettos onto the shoe rack, and hung her coat on the brass tree beside it. I did the same, removed my boots to place them on the rack as well.
"Jesus Christ, B, this place looks amazing."
There was a gray suede sectional in the center of the living room, a 152 inch Panasonic plasma bolted to the wall. The coffee table, the wool Oriental rug beneath it, and the end tables looked antique, as well as the green velvet chaise set near one window. There were three ornately-carved bookcases set against the far wall between the two windows facing the street, one filled with DVDs, and on the other two almost all the books were old and leather bound. The kitchen was open to the room, separated by a butcher block bar from the living room, all matching stainless steel appliances and black marble countertops. All along the walls were family pictures dotted between massive paintings held in golden Baroque style frames.
They were… stunning was the only word I could think to describe them. Most of them were portraits done in a slightly impressionist style, impasto if my memory served me, seemingly random strokes of thick paint that somehow managed to form the perfect images of faces and a few nudes.
"Jesus Christ, these paintings must have cost a fortune alone."
Becca stepped beside me, her arms crossed over her chest as she surveyed the painting I was looking at. It was done in mostly black and red, the image of a sleeping nude man, one arm tucked behind his head, his other draped across his stomach, his hips and legs covered with a sheet. If I touched it, I could have felt the wrinkles in the bunched fabric. There was something oddly familiar about it.
"They didn't cost shit," she answered.
That made me look away from the painting and back to Beccs.
"What the hell? Did you rob a gallery?"
"No, you mook, I
painted them. They didn't cost anything but the price of the canvas and the paint, which, you know, I stole most of that from school."
"You painted them," I repeated, looking back.
As I looked closer at the canvas, I realized why it was familiar. The sleeping man was our dear friend Antoni Zabrowska. I had mistaken his tattoos for shadows, though I had to admit I had never seen him look quite so relaxed. As I glanced around the room, I realized I recognized many of the paintings. I was able to pick out her father's face, Rossi's, and I realized the model for the two female nudes was none other than Nia Bianchi. There was one of a woman in white with bloody skeletal wings that bore a strong resemblance to Becca and I imagined that was the infamous ChaCha.
"That's what I go to Columbia for. Visual Arts."
"You're a goddamn genius, B."
"No, I'm fucking serious, kid. My sister collects art, and she refuses to go for the big names. Shit like this, she pays 10 to 20 grand for a painting half this size, more if it's one of the artists she likes."
Now she snorted.
"What? Your sister got a money tree?"
"No, my older sister Aurie's a writer. She wrote her first book when she was ten. She's published 20 so far, but she's got 30 or 40 more in backlog that she's still tweaking. She's kind of a perfectionist when it comes to writing, but I guess it pays off. Her books sell like fucking hotcakes everytime she puts one out, two of her series got picked up by Netflix, and Lion's Gate turned her seventh book into a movie. She even got to be involved in the productions.
"She's got a penthouse on the Upper East Side that she bought about six years ago. That's where I lived when I got out of the Upstate. Aurora, she's a fucking Saint, you know. I mean, I had a shitty PO that was up my ass every five minutes but Aurie never said a word about it. She just… always told me she was glad I was home, which, you know, was nice to hear considering that according to my grandparents I died 19 years ago. She was the one that helped me get this place down here, paid in full for a two year lease."
Becca raised an eyebrow at me.
"No offense, Tony, I can tell you're crazy about her, but she couldn't have picked a better place for you than this hell hole?"
I laughed as softly as I could, to save the muscles in my stomach.
"I picked this place myself, B. Cheapest apartment I could find in any of the boroughs, and it even had three bedrooms. I was thinking about having space for a library and a home gym."
"Yeah, it's cheap cause the fucking place is about 90 years old. Nobody's been able to get a hold of the slumlord who owns it for repairs in 8 months, but I bet you the motherfucker still collects the rent checks we deposit in his fucking bank account every month."
"Yeah, I figured that out just about as soon as I moved in, but beggars can't be choosers. Besides, Antoni always used to help me out whenever something broke."
Becca gave a small smile.
"They did that for everybody. I used to call them the apartment elves, cause instead of making shoes they were skittering around fixing fucking toilets and sinks, and rewiring burned up outlets and bringing in new refrigerators and stoves when shit broke in everybody else's places. And they bought it all with their own money. Everybody tried to pay them, but they never took a dime for any of it. Ironically enough, Pops used to talk about Antoni all the time because of all the money he'd spend over there every week. Said he had a good heart, just no good sense when it came to what was his responsibility and wasn't. You know, I had my own opinions about Antoni's heart, but I kept them to myself."
"I really wish I had paid more attention when Antoni was working on the boiler, though. Instead of just passing him tools and running my mouth."
"Yeah, you're good at that," she replied with a smirk.
"And fuck you, too, Miss Rebecca. You might be the strong type, but you're not exactly silent yourself."
"Make yourself comfortable. I'll be right back."
I nodded and obeyed as she exited into what I saw was the bathroom as she opened the door and closed it behind her.
The sectional was goddamned heaven, and she'd said make myself comfortable so I kicked out the recliner and leaned back. I closed my eyes for a moment and sighed, and when I opened them I nearly jumped out of my skin. I barely managed to stop myself from letting out a yell as I jerked back up to sitting.
Antoni's corpse was standing by the picture wall, looking intently at a photo of a child Becca wearing a ruffled, cream colored dress with a ribbon in her long black hair. It was the picture of her first Communion.
"Goddamn, you can't give somebody a warning before you do that?"
He neither answered me nor turned to look at me because he was using the stumps of his wrists to adjust several of the frames back straight again.
"Fucking neat freak," I laughed. "She wasn't lying."
He finally turned toward me.
You ever seen a corpse try to look annoyed when he's missing about a quarter of his face? I mean, what am I saying, you probably haven't, but suffice to say, it's pretty fucking funny. He raised his left wrist, and if he had hands, he'dve been shooting the bird.
Almost hysterical laughter burst out of me as Becca exited the bathroom.
"Least the pipes ain't frozen yet," she muttered.
She gave me a strange look.
"Who are you talking to out here? And what's so funny?"
I glanced back to Antoni, but he was gone again.
"Don't mind me, B, I'm pretty sure I got a concussion. I'm pretty much seeing pink elephants at this point." Or, you know, the mutilated corpse of my best friend, but it's probably best I leave it at elephants.
"Yeah," she answered, and crossed the room to hand me something. "Speaking of."
It was a mouth guard.
"What is this for?"
She didn't answer me, but headed to the kitchen and opened a cabinet, withdrawing a cut crystal scotch glass and then opening the refrigerator and withdrawing… two bags of blood. Nia's blood, to be exact. She unscrewed the cap at the bottom of one, punctured the seal with a fresh insulin needle, and to my supreme discomfort squeezed some into the glass. The mouth guard suddenly made sense. It was so I wouldn't break my teeth or bite my tongue off when the convulsions started and my jaw locked down from consuming demon blood.
"Oh no, B, I don't want that."
"Yeah. That's why I didn't tell you why I wanted you over here, cause I knew you was gonna be a pussy about it."
I tried one more last-ditch effort.
"You need that more than me, B."
"I can just take my next dose early, but you, you can't go down and see Ma looking like that. She's gonna ask too many questions."
That one stopped me.
"I've had enough of interrogations for one day, B."
"There ain't no interrogation when it comes to Ma. She just puts it in your head that you ain't got no choice but to tell her the truth, and you do. She's made state witnesses get up on the stand and confess their own crimes, pleading the fifth be damned."
She screwed the cap back onto the bag and carried them and the glass over to the coffee table and set them down. She walked over and opened a closet door, pulling out an IV pole with a little box attached to it, and grabbed a small cardboard box from off a shelf and what looked like a tackle box. She set it on the coffee table after she pulled the pole over to the sectional and plugged it into the wall, opened the cardboard box and removed a cassette from inside and inserted it into the box on the pole.
"It's a blood warmer for rapid transfusions, so I don't go into hypothermia or hemolysis. Little bastard cost 137 thousand, but at least you can buy them online. You put a fresh cassette in every time, the blood runs through it, by the time it gets to my arm it's body temp."
She opened the tackle box and removed two fresh lines, attaching one to the bottom of the warmer and one to the top, hanging the bags of blood but not connecting the first of them yet. The top had a drip chamber with a filter, and the bottom held the flow regulator and the hypodermic needle with the cannula inside.
"You know, it's not fucking fair, B, you shouldn't have dealt with half the shit in your life that you have."
She snorted and her lips pursed with anger as she sat down beside me.
"You sound like Rossi with that shit. That's why he wouldn't let me die, said it wasn't fair
. I was ready to go into hospice, fuck it, I was ready to see my Mom again. But I'll tell you the same thing I told his stupid old ass. Life ain't fair. Cause if it was I'd have my mother and my baby's father and Jimmy's ass would be the one laying in the morgue. You think it's fair you almost lost a finger because of what he ordered?"
"No, I actually think that's pretty fair. That's karma, B. I was usually the one doing the beating. How do you think I ended up in prison?"
She looked hard at me for a moment.
"I mean, you never told me. You were pretty open about having gone to prison, but you never said why."
"Well, I learned to be open about it. Some people get real upset when they find out they're dealing with someone who's been through the system, so I didn't really wanna go through that again. So now I just tell people up front, let them decide for themselves if they wanna deal with me or not. That way they can't throw it back in my face, say I lied to them."
Becca let out a bitter chuckle.
"So what's your story?"
"Well, we still ain't finished your story, yet, but we'll take a detour. The whole thing started my Senior year of high school. First game of the year, I blew my knee out, big as a bitch, tore everything there was to tear, shit was basically hanging on by the skin alone. Orthopedics said I had two choices, keep playing football or, retain the ability to walk on that leg, so… there went all my big dreams of college ball and making it onto the Giants."
I nodded. "Middle linebacker. I was good at it. 6'7, 265 pounds but light on my feet, all muscle. Back then I was running 7 percent body fat, and wasn't even trying. Shit just… all came natural to me. It all blew up in my face. Shitloads of surgery and physical therapy, and then one day the pain pills stopped but the pain didn't. Everyday, every night, I was still hurting."
"I know about bone pain. I could always tell when I needed to up the dose when my bones started hurting. When I started out all it took was an insulin needle. Now I take so much, I'm not even sure I qualify as human. But I guess I won't be much longer. That's always been the plan. Just keep me alive till 30 and Ma's gonna make me like her. That's the preferred age for the Entrance, something to do with the Trinity."
"I started asking around school if anyone knew where to get some Percs but pain management keeps that shit so tight I could only get a few at a time. Not only was they expensive, it wasn't enough. I got hooked up with this kid named Alessandro, he told me if I really wanted to control the pain, he could get me something better and cheaper. He took me to meet his uncle, Colombian guy named Marco. First shot is free and it was… it was beautiful. Everybody always gets sick the first time, but I didn't. And then after that, all my free money from my after school job started going to horse, and uh, I got my last six months off school. I already had all the credits I needed from AP classes, started working full time. They didn't piss test. But, my tolerance was rising faster than my income was."
I took a deep breath.
"I'd been buying enough that Marco was offering me fronts but I never took it. So next time I went, I asked him for my usual and I asked how much it would be for two O's on the front, cause I knew a lot of other users and I was thinking of starting to sell myself. So, he told me he'd give me a pound, and we could settle up at the end of the month."
"Jesus Christ, if you were selling a pound a month you must have been making bank."
I shook my head.
"I wasn't in it for the money. I was in it to keep myself supplied. If I kept my prices right, I could use for free, and I had enough left over to pay my portion of the rent and help pay for the groceries. I got good at it, I'd take a shot, and nod out for a few minutes, then get up and start walking the streets."
"You wasn't standing on a street corner?"
"Fuck no. Too visible. I did all my business by phone. I had a burner and gave everyone the number, and when they needed some they'd give me a call and I'd meet them or they'd meet me. I had ethics. I used to have people offering me fucking blowjobs for a bag, but I always said no, shit felt wrong. All they had to do was pay me by the end of the month but, sometimes…"
She gave a grin.
"But sometimes, 'Bitch, where's my money?'"
"Yeah, sometimes people would try to skip out, so I had to apply a little pressure to persuade them to pay. I never killed nobody, it's hard as hell to get money out of a dead man. But, black a few eyes and break a few bones and suddenly they had money they didn't before. Being my size, there wasn't many of them that could fight back. But, I fucked up the wrong lowlife.
"There was this prick, he'd been dodging me for weeks. He owed me like two grand, I'd given him that much because I knew he had money, so when I finally caught up to him, I was pretty mad and, the bitch, he told me he wasn't going to pay me. Thought he was better than me, thought he could fuck me and get away with it. So I beat the mortal hell out of him, took his wallet. He had five grand in there but I figured, 3K surcharge for wasting my time."
I shook my head.
"But I should have done some better research on who I was going after. Turned out the little prick had a socialite for a mother and his Daddy was a hedge fund manager and… I'd hurt him pretty bad. First three months, not only was I dealing with DTs, I was waiting to see if they were going to add Murder to my charges. He was in a coma for that long, and when he woke up, he had to learn to walk again, how to feed himself. I beat him so bad I gave him brain damage."
"Apparently his parents knew their son's habits and knew exactly who I was, cause they went straight to the police, and two days later SWAT showed up, turned the house upside down. I smashed my phone into pieces, flushed it so they couldn't get my contacts, but I didn't think about the fact I still had the wallet with his driver's license in it. My grandparents disowned me, right then and there. I had just reupped so they caught me with 14 ounces, all it takes is 8 for Class A felony possession. I spent 13 months in Rikers, but my sister got me a good lawyer, he knew the judge and the prosecutor personally, golfed with them, so he got me a plea deal. I was looking at life in prison, but he argued that I was a good student that had made a bad mistake because of a chronic pain issue, and they were both first offenses, so if I pled guilty, agreed to go through a substance abuse program and anger management, then they'd give me the minimum sentence.
"15 years, Class A Felony Drug Possession, 3 years, Class B felony First Degree Assault, intentionally causing grievous bodily harm while in the commission of another felony. But, at my sentencing, the judge said I was a big guy, with a big anger problem. I hadn't killed anyone, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Said I was a danger to society, so when I got to the UCF, they put me in dark red."
"23 hours a day in a box by myself, no visitors, barely saw the guards. But, I stayed quiet, made no problems. Prison was overcrowded so I ended up with a cellmate, and I was glad to see him. It could have been Hannibal Lecter and I would have gave him a hug. He might have been a murderer but he was actually a decent guy. Him and his crew had knocked over some jewelry stores in Manhattan, last job went bad. He'd killed three cops, so he wasn't never getting out. Neither was his wife. Life in Bedford Hills."
"That's where they was gonna send me if Ma hadn't got the jury to give me a Not Guilty verdict."
I knew Becca had a tendency to get in trouble because beside the cheerleading pictures in the bodega, there was also a mugshot.
"What did you do?"
She gave a bitter chuckle again.
"Unlike you, I killed someone. 2021, this fucking crackhead tried to rob the store. He shot the customer that was in there, old guy named Mickey, killed him. He used to live in your apartment. Tried to shoot me, too, but the gun jammed and I had the aluminum baseball bat under the counter. I just started swinging. He went down, but I jumped the counter, and hit him again. Blood lust is a real thing. Once I saw he was bleeding, I wanted to see more. I beat his brains out, literally, he was dead long before the cops ever got there. Bat looked like a toothpick when I was done.
"They arrested me, and the DA himself showed up at my arraignment. Said self defense didn't apply, sent me straight up to Murder 2, requested I be denied bail because I had a passport and plenty of money so I was a flight risk. But we all knew the truth. He was still pissed that he hadn't been able to send Rossi away for longer, and I was the next best thing. Ma had to pull a lot of strings to make sure I still got my transfusions when I was in lockup. I was in Rikers for four months, had my eighteenth birthday sitting in the Singer Unit."
"Goddamned patterns," I muttered, then raised my voice again. "You, me, and Antoni all got that in common, except he wasn't like us. He was already in prison. That's what the rose meant, turned eighteen in prison. Life sentence, triple murder."
"He told you that?" She looked betrayed, so I was quick to answer.
"No, the tattoos told me that. Google is my best friend, B. That's what the skull and crossbones, and the coffins on his arm meant."
She swallowed, and nodded again.
"But, I moved down," I continued. "Went to orange when they moved me to Gen Pop, and I had friends waiting for me. Marco was very appreciative of me keeping quiet about my source at trial, so outside Abuela Bogota's
was where I hung out the most. But I had friends all over. My sister was smart. She always put way more in my account than I could spend, so whenever I heard that somebody needed something, I'd go to the canteen and buy it myself and pass it to 'em. Nobody had to owe me shit. All I wanted was to be left alone, so I had people watching my back from all sides. I ended up in blue, got moved to the dormitory, started working in the kitchen, ended up running it, cause I was a 'model prisoner.'"
"You ever fool around with any of your cellmates?" Becca asked with a grin. "Cause I did."
I gave an uncomfortable laugh.
"I mean, yeah. 15 years is a long time to be alone. I don't consider myself bisexual even, but if somebody offers, you know…" I shrugged.
"I think the word you're looking for is heteroflexible. That's how Antoni referred to himself. He had a thing for you, you know."
That stopped me dead.
"You're fucking with me, B."
"Nope. He asked me once if I'd mind if he ever got the chance to hook up with you, and I told him no, as long as he didn't mind I still hooked up with my old girlfriends from high school. But he never asked you, said he loved you too much, was afraid of ruining your friendship."
"Jesus Christ," I shook my head, finally decided I needed time to process that, and moved on. "But, my last year there, Covid hit, and, I volunteered to work in the infirmary, but pretty soon the infirmary was filled, they started keeping people in the hallway, and finally they just ended up leaving them in their beds, I was all over the place. People dropping like flies. Everytime someone coughed or sneezed, everbody'd get nervous. I been smoking since I was 16, so I cough my lungs out every morning.
"People was looking at me like I was Death Incarnate. But I never caught it, not even once. And I was all around the sick, I was taking the bodies out to the truck outside the gate. Could've run but I didn't. Only had a few years left. It worked in my favor. They cut the last three years off my sentence, put me on supervised release and now, here I am, 36 years old, and just starting my adult life."
"Rossi got let out of lockup right before lockdown, poor bastard. Me, him, and my Dad all quarantined at Ma's, but of course, you know, me and Dad was essential workers so at least I got to get out of the house everyday. I graduated early, at 16, been working seven days a week since."
I glanced at the glass on the table.
"So let's get back to your story."
She shook her head, lips pursed again.
"Uh-uh, you're not wasting anymore time. Take the blood, but first," she reached out, quicker than I could even register, and used her thumbs to set my broken nose back straight.
I let out a yell, momentarily unable to see as my eyes filled with tears.
"Jesus wept, Becca, fucking hell, goddamn."
"Sorry. It would've hurt more if you'd known it was coming. Besides, you're a good looking guy, Tony, you don't wanna ruin your face."
"Thanks, B," I muttered as I pressed the toilet paper back to my freshly bleeding nose, tears streaming down my cheeks. "Need a haircut though."
"Nah, you oughta keep it. It's very The Dark Knight
Joker, just black, not blonde and green."
I laughed quietly.
"Not sure that's the best association, B. A little too psychotic and violent."
She raised an eyebrow at me.
"Alright, alright. It's probably an accurate association, just a little less arson and murder." I sighed and looked at the scotch glass. "So how do I do this, B?"
"Think about it like a tequila shot. Take the shot and then slip the guard in quick. Then sit back, try to relax."
I nodded and grabbed the glass before I lost my nerve. I raised it in her direction.
." She responded.
2023.05.29 16:56 girl_from_the_crypt Stuck on earth and looking for a job: There's something in the caves
I spent the remainder of the evening after the "hike" sorting out my thoughts. Trying to, at any rate. Writing it all down helped, but I was still exhausted and confused.
I woke up in Frankie Preston's bed the following morning. I instantly knew it wasn't mine due to the lack of Dorito crumbs in the sheets. Even so, it took me a while to come to. Once I'd rubbed my eyes and untangled myself from the blanket, I found the man himself sitting upright beside me, fully dressed with his shoes on, presently reading a book. "Morning, Sunshine," he muttered, not looking up. "There's water on the nightstand for you. A muffin, too. I wasn't sure what to get."
I let out an incoherent murmur to which he huffed a laugh and rested his hand on the side of my face. "You were still as a rock, you know."
"I'm sorry for messing up last night," I said, my voice cracked and dry from sleep. "I shouldn't have gone looking for trouble. I should've stayed low and just watched those two."
"What's with that tone? I'm not about to lecture you. I get wanting to take revenge. You did fine as far as I'm concerned. And I think Markov is okay with everything, too. After all, any proceedings against the Collective are highly legitimate now or whatever. Plus, she got that lady cultist in custody now, and she's looking forward to the interrogation. She called and explained it to me on the phone earlier, but I wasn't paying attention." He shrugged to himself and I reached up to tug aside his book's cover. "It's Wuthering Heights
," he told me, gently removing my hand. I tried to grab it again, but he pulled it out of my reach. "Oh!" He sounded amused as he finally set the book aside to hug me. "You could have just said something."
"Don't you have to work today?"
"I called in sick. Of course, my six moms know I don't actually get sick so they'll suspect something's up. They're probably gonna be all over me."
"You never get sick?" I inquired.
"No. It's one of the nicer aspects of inhuman nature."
"I'm still not getting any answers on that?"
"Don't worry, you will. Sooner or later."
We went out and took a walk in the park, which was equally weird and nice. It seemed such a normal thing to do. It was a bright, nearly windless day, and the sun shining down on us provided a gentle warmth. The previous days' rain had left the trees heavily laden with drops of water. Occasionally, some would dislodge from the leaves and branches they occupied and plop down on our heads.
I asked Frankie whether he would be alright with checking in on Nettie Peterson together. He chuckled, joking that she would probably just love
to see him, but ultimately agreed. Once my best friend was due to be off work, we went around to her house.
Strangely enough, the most drastic changes in other people seem to happen without me really being there to witness them. Kit Sutton had somehow turned into a somewhat responsible roommate without me even noticing. Before I knew it, we had become friends. When my savior human opened the door for us, I felt distinctly reminded of that other development. Nettie, not unlike a butterfly emerging from whatever they call that odd little sleeping bag caterpillars make for themselves, had apparently come out of her dark state of mind all by herself. Her eyes lit up when she saw me and she wheedled us inside with much the same enthusiasm I was used to. She had us sit down in the garden while she tended to her flowers.
I watched her closely. Her skin had regained much of its healthy glow, her hair was washed and shiny, the clothes she wore clean—a flowing blouse, mom jeans and sneakers. She had clearly picked them out with care, like she normally did. It was good to see her restored to her old self, but I couldn't help but feel like something was wrong.
"Are you sure you're okay?" I asked.
"I have to be, don't I?" she replied, her cheerful tone coming out more forced than she'd likely intended. She was cutting away crushed and wilted leaves from one of her small bushes, shaping it in the process. "It's over. Life goes on."
"Does it?" I tilted my head at her.
"Can we talk about anything else? Literally anything?" The snapping movements of her garden shears came faster; more forceful. Frankie Preston and I exchanged uncomfortable looks. Figuring it would make for an interesting topic, I proceeded to tell Nettie about our exploits the night before. Halfway through my story, she had ceased her plant styling activities, blankly staring at me from where she sat on the ground. By the time I was done, she had taken off her rubber gloves and was slowly massaging her temples.
"One of these days, Eva. One of these days, you're gonna give me a heart attack. I don't even want to ask about what you get up to anymore, I think. I'm afraid of the answer." She threw Fran a grateful glance. "Thank you for getting her out of there safely."
The waiter smiled placidly. "Sure." Turning to me, he added in a whisper, "So we're not going to mention that you saved me from the FunFlair guys twice before this?"
I grinned mildly and shook my head before assuming a more serious tone. "Nettie, it's great that you're all better, but you were really down before. If this is just an act, I'd prefer you didn't put it on."
"It's not an act," she said sternly, raising her hands to her hips. "I've resigned myself. That's all. There's nothing to be done, I've accepted it and I've moved on."
"That can't be healthy," Frankie remarked. "You know what would help? Punishing the world in some way. You could take it out on your kindergarteners. Tell them a scary story so their parents have to stay up all night with them. Incite a dirt throwing fight and send them home all muddy. Set up a boxing ring and have them go at each other like in a dog fight. Wouldn't that be far more rewarding than sucking it up?"
Nettie Peterson looked unimpressed. Her dark eyes roamed the young man like she was trying to gauge whether or not he was serious. "You're some kind of sociopath, aren't you?"
That she shouldn't have said. Frankie's serene expression morphed into his customer service smile. I don't know when I started deciphering this being's voice and countenance, but there I was, picking up on the spiteful undertone in what he said next.
"I'm just saying, if the woman I
fancied disappeared in such a way, I'd find outlets for my grief." His eyes darted over to Nettie as if to ensure she'd heard him correctly before settling on me, observing my reaction. All I could do however was stare at my best friend.
Her glossy lips had parted. She met my gaze, her thick, expressive brows rising a good deal. "I…" she began, faltering and starting to fumble for words. "That's to say, Kit was… we, um…"
"Oh, Eva didn't know?" Frankie asked, perfectly flat and monotonous. "I had no idea it was a secret. I'm sorry, it wasn't my place to say. I wouldn't have mentioned it, really."
Something about that sent a chill down my spine. I shot him a glare, to which he drew himself up and turned away. Meanwhile, Nettie finally broke from her stupor and blurted out, "We were together, okay?"
For a moment, I sat quietly. “Frank, please go home,” I said at length, not quite looking at him. “We’ll talk later. We will.
He looked like he wanted to say something, but quickly thought better of it, rising to his feet and storming off. Ignoring the queasy feeling in my stomach, I walked over to Nettie and plopped down on the ground beside her. “So that’s what this was about,” I began.
My savior human nodded meekly. “We… we didn’t want to tell you. Not for the time being, at least. We hadn’t defined the relationship yet, i-it was all so new and weird, I felt weird
, but it was good, you know? I just wasn’t ready to think about it that way yet. And you’ve only ever seen me date guys, I didn’t know what you’d think…”
“I wouldn’t have thought anything,” I replied. “How long has this been going on?”
“Not long. She called me up before she came back to you a couple weeks ago. That’s kind of when we started seeing each other in… in that
I hesitantly extended a hand to caress her upper arm, locking eyes with her. There was a profound sadness in her expression, a watery gleam. She took a deep breath. “Before that, we used to text back and forth occasionally. I always felt kind of weird about her. Somehow, she got under my skin everytime she was goofing off, what with her little jokes and all. We kept talking, though. I was always so irritated when she was around, and that’s so unlike me, I just ended up wondering… And then when she showed up here, it all kind of came together. W-we did. She stuck around and we spoke and everything simply made sense
all of a sudden. I didn't know she liked me, too.” She swallowed audibly, her voice brittle and husky as she went on. “Kit isn't like anyone else I’ve ever had feelings for.”
“Not like anyone else, as in… a woman?” I prompted, raising a brow.
Nettie grunted. “Oh, shush! Don't make me feel guilty for being hesitant at first. I know it’s not a big deal to you
, but try going through life believing you’re straight and suddenly running into some cute ditzy punk girl and realizing you’re not
. It’s all sorts of confusing, believe me. I was scared it was gonna be weird because it was my first time with a woman but Kit somehow made it easy. It was a bit of a whirlwind, sure, but it felt natural and… just good
“Did you tell Eli?”
“No. But I think he suspected. That man knows me like the back of his hand. We’re basically siblings, remember? He was always tactful, never really pressured me into admitting anything, but he made a couple puns here and there, so… I do believe he knew.” She fumbled with her limp gloves, fixing me with a wavering smile. “So?”
“What do you say?”
“Is there something you want me to say?” I shrugged. “I’m only glad I understand now. I wish you’d told me sooner, but that’s your business. Also, I didn’t tell you that I’ve been running around with our waiter, so I guess we’re essentially even. By the way, I’m sorry he put you on the spot like that. You didn’t deserve that. How did he know about you two anyways?”
Nettie pursed her lips. “He might have seen us around the diner or something. I’m not sure. I’m, uh, not gonna comment on whatever you two got going on. You know what you’re doing. Hopefully.”
“Ah, thanks. Then I won’t be giving my opinion on whether or not I consider that deadbeat dork Kit to be worthy of you.”
My savior human snorted. “Much appreciated. Though I guess it’s not really an issue anymore either way.”
I shook my head. “Don’t think like that. We can’t let her go. I certainly won’t, not after this.”
“What do you mean?”
I rose to my feet. “I’m going to drag her blue ass back out of the ocean and have her make an honorable woman of you.”
I don’t believe she thought I was serious. The realization had set in by the time I’d dragged her down to the beach with me, though. We had taken Wammawink for the drive. Wammawink is the name of Nettie’s pastel pink motor scooter. It has a sidecar, which she straps me into with great care whenever we ride. It took her about twenty minutes to get us down to the shore. The more I talked about possibly retrieving my roommate, the brighter and realer the shine in her eyes became. Hope was not yet dead, that much was for certain. I led her down the cliffside and past the rocky expanse to where the concert had been held. It seemed ages ago. Some wistful part of me thought I could hear the faint sound of Kits singing above the gentle murmur of the waves.
The beach was golden in the afternoon sunlight. The sleepy tide sent water steadily dribbling into the sand beneath our feet, the drier patches giving way ever so slightly as we walked along. The faint outline of a plan had taken shape in my mind. We headed for the grotto.
"It makes sense now," I thought aloud. "The creature we fought at the concert was targeting you. The deep ones must have known that you two had a bond."
"I guess so," she replied uncertainly, eyeing the maw that opened up in the natural stone wall before us. "Going spelunking will help us how, exactly…?"
"I figure it tried to take you in there for a reason. This place has to be special. If you want, you can always wait here, but I'd prefer to have you with me. I only want to look around a bit. Maybe there's a clue of sorts on how we can contact Kit."
She sighed. "Now I know why you wanted me to bring my flashlight." She produced the object in question and handed it over before linking arms with me. "Of course I'll stick with you."
The inside of the cave was far too quiet for comfort. The eerie silence was only broken by the occasional plinking of water dripping from the walls and ceiling. We made an effort to step around the puddles glittering on the bumpy ground as we proceeded into the dimness. The sunlight threading through the grotto's mouth didn't reach very far, so we were glad for the bright beam of our torch. I let it travel the hollowed rock, the light crinkling oddly as it reflected off the pools of water that seemed to grow larger the further we got. Nettie Peterson was hanging onto my arm, her grip growing a little tighter with every passing minute. Her face was a set mask of grim determination, belied by the nervous twitch of her eyelid and the occasional quiver of her lower lip.
My own discomfort was undeniable as well. My heart was thundering in my chest and clammy beads of perspiration were running down my face. Every step we took caused a dull thud, the echo of which bounced off the rough stone walls to be funneled by the length of the cave. There were several smaller passages leading off into all directions, but Nettie and I agreed on always picking the largest entrance. This way, the path we took was far easier to memorize and there was little possibility of getting lost. After the third or fourth time we ducked through one of the doorframe-like archs, we were met with an imposing sight. A large room with high ceilings opened up before us. There was natural light seeping through several small cracks overhead. Stringy, pale plant life hung down or clung to the walls. A round lake filled up its entire bottom half.
Both Nettie and I stopped in our tracks. There was no solid ground to walk on anymore. On top of that, the beauty of this subterranean body of water had literally stunned us. Ripples were rolling off the center of its surface, casting a faint shimmer onto the ceiling. The stone-filtered light from outside set the lake aglow, bright speckled dancing across it like sprightly wisps. All I could do was taken in a soft, reverent breath while the very thoughts running through my head escaped Nettie's trembling lips.
"Have you ever seen something so beautiful?"
I would have told her yes, but I truly could not remember when. Unfortunately, the lake also appeared to form something of a dead end. I considered turning and checking out another passage, only for my savior human to point out a ledge running along the side of the room. It was narrow, but no doubt wide enough for the two of us to walk it single-file. We clambered up the shelf-like protrusion and, hand in hand, began to move along. It was bumpy and wet, and I almost regretted continuing this way. I couldn't seem to properly place my feet, my soles slipping a few inches with every step. Glancing over my shoulder, I could tell from Nettie's grim expression that she was experiencing similar difficulties. My pulse was racing, my lower lip caught between my teeth as I attempted to focus on safely making it across.
The cold sweat that leaves my palms was actively working against me at this point, and before I could react, the flashlight had slipped through my shaking fingers. It bounced off a bump in the shelf, then rolled off the edge entirely to disappear in the dark water with a thick, loud plop
. I cursed, turning to Nettie with an apologetic expression.
"It's fine," she assured me, squeezing my hand. "It's bright enough here as it is and we'll still have our phones for light later."
I smiled gratefully, about to take my next step when a deep, guttural gurgle came rumbling up from the depths of the lake. The sound hovered in the damp, salty air for a moment or two. My best friend and I froze in place, her grip on my hand turning into an iron vice. For a split second, I believe even my own heartbeat stilled.
"What was that?" Nettie Peterson whispered, her voice barely audible over the sudden charged hum of the water below. Her question would not remain unanswered for long. The droning noise of vast water masses shifting began to fill the air as from deep, deep beneath, something made its way up. My savior human and I helplessly pressed our backs up against the wall, trying to keep steady against the force of the vibration shuddering through the rock. The ledge we were standing on was quaking as though the cave itself had come alive and was trying to throw us into this growling, cold abyss.
Within seconds, the thing
broke the surface, causing enormous splashes and sending countless drops of water raining down on us. I blinked them out of my eyes just in time to see it unfurl
It was not a living being in its entirety, merely part of one. That however only made the sight before us all the more terrifying. Simply put, it was a human arm. Just not of any human I had ever encountered. It was enormous; every webbed finger of the hand it ended in was about my size. There were six of them, each bending in far too many places—I thought I could count as many as eight joints on the longest one. Its nails were more like claws, long and sharp with what looked like barnacles growing underneath them. The thin, nearly translucent skin between its fingers was stony gray, just like the rest of it. The hand slowly began to grope around, searching the walls of the cave. I knew right then and there that I couldn't possibly fight it. If it came to it, I'd try to hold it off with everything I had, but something this huge couldn't possibly be defeated. We had to flee, as long as we still could.
"Oh God," Nettie breathed. "Oh God, oh God, oh God…" Her hand was trembling in mine.
"Quick," I hissed. "Turn around, we gotta get out of here!"
She nodded helplessly, her eyes blown wide in terror. When she began her retreat from the ledge, she nearly took up running. I pulled her close just in time to prevent her from slipping. "Watch out!" I uttered, unable to suppress the fear in my tone. "Don't slip, we're dead if we fall in."
My savior human let out a whine, then took a deep breath and bit her lip. Slowly but steadily, she placed each foot in front of the other, leading us off the ledge. My ears were ringing. I couldn't tear my gaze away from the gigantic arm as it blindly felt along the walls, its nails coaxing a grating sound as they scratched upon the rocks. It was getting closer and closer, the side of its thumb nearly brushing the top of my head for a split second before I could withdraw. I had to press my eyes shut for a moment as my chest tightened painfully. Finally, we had reached the end of the shelf and wasted no time in jumping off.
We didn't even bother with any cell phone flashlights. As soon as we were on solid ground again, we darted through the entrance of the room, back through all of our carefully chosen passages before finally staggering out the mouth of the cave into the sunlight. We were panting like dogs; Nettie was forced to crouch down and sit still for a while to catch her breath. Meanwhile, I was seeing stars. Colorful dots and sparks of lightning seemed to dance before my inner eye as I blinked furiously into the afternoon sun.
"What the fuck was that?" my best friend, having regained her ability to speak, rasped out.
I turned to face her, my knees wobbling like jello. "I have no idea."
"You think it… you think that fish person from the concert was trying to take me there? Dump me into that lake?" She lowered her voice. "It would have fed me to that giant thing, wouldn't it."
I held her gaze, my mind racing. "I don't know. Maybe the giant's different."
"What do you mean?"
"I think we might have just seen Kit's father." X 1 2: deadbeat roommate 3: creepy crush 4: relocation 5: beach concert 6: First date 7: Temp work 8: roommate talk 9: a dismal worldview 10: warehouse 11: staircase 12: explanation 13: hurt 14: hospital 15: ocean 16: diner 17: government work
submitted by girl_from_the_crypt
to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 16:55 honkahonkatonkatruck I need an alibi
My 2.5yo wouldn't hold still while my husband was cutting his hair so he just BUZZED IT. I'm trying to be cool and holding back tears because obviously I can't put it back but FUCKING WHY.
submitted by honkahonkatonkatruck
to breakingmom [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 16:31 SleeplessFromSundown The Séance Club - The End of Windhaven Manor [Final]
This post is the final part of this story. Sorry it has taken so long to get through. And I'm not sure I even understand all of it yet. If you're new, this all started here
. The previous part (Part 7) is here
. Thank you to everyone who followed along.
“Do you see her?” I asked in a meek voice.
“You mean that girl in black?” Harvey answered.
It was her, in the flesh. Her lips parted and formed a malevolent smile. Her dark eyes fixed on mine. My legs turned to solid lead. My feet refused to move. The anxiousness to reach Parker and Juliet and Beth in the cellar crumbled like the wood turning to ash behind us. She demanded my attention.
A hand rocked my shoulder. Harvey. I pushed him away.
“You have to go. Help them. I’ll take care of her.”
“What about you?”
“I’ll be right behind you.”
A mirage of Harvey flitted past Ally and disappeared into the kitchen. Everything blurred, everything but her.
She tilted her head to one side and bridged the gap between us with four slow and deliberate steps. She pushed her right hand out from a long sleeve and ran the black painted nail of her index finger across my cheek, the smooth lacquer cold against my skin. I shuddered as the chill spread like ice creeping up a window.
“It is such a shame to be losing you so soon. We’ve only just met, and yet I feel like we’ve known each other our whole lives. Do you feel it too?”
I shook my head. “Let me go.”
“We’re past that now Sam. I considered if we could coexist, you and I. It gave me a thrill knowing there is another one out there like me. But you insist on meddling with my work.”
“You mean locking all those girls in that filthy dungeon where they met their end? And Jane here.”
“The work is sometimes unpleasant.”
“But the pay is good?”
“This isn’t about money Sam. You and I are the same. The pain you felt from not fitting in. The lonely nights lying awake, wishing you could be like everyone else. The stares and the whispers. The rejection from those who are supposed to love us the most. I too know. But where you hid, I searched out a path where my talents were appreciated and rewarded. You don’t hate me Sam. You hate yourself for not thriving like I have.”
“Thriving? Is that what you call it?”
“By all measures yes. I am good at what I do. The best. The only. Or so I thought. And then there is you. A naïve, sheltered little boy who can barely put on his own pants in the morning. It is such a shame. And these so-called friends of yours, that was always doomed to failure. Oh and if you harbour any thoughts of them escaping, know that we blocked the little secret entrance the stable boy showed you. There’s no escape except through the fire. When they pick through the ashes of this building they will find their bones, and yours. Is this how you imagined it turning out?”
I flexed the muscles in my legs, but they refused to move. Ally smiled.
“It’s useless now Sam.”
I heard the faint whisper of Juliet’s voice in my head. She pleaded with me. Come on Sam, you can do this. I remembered the last encounter with Ally, outside the wall separating Windhaven Manor from the world. Ally had put me in the white room. I had broken free. I had overcome her power once. I had to do it again.
I took a deep breath in through my nose and cried out and willed my feet to move. Electricity coursed through my body and I directed it down to the floor. My left heel separated from the floor and that set the whole thing in motion. The dam burst. I lurched forwards and overbalanced and sprawled to the floor.
Ally crouched beside me and chuckled. “Some would call it a tragedy for a child to die so soon after learning to walk.”
I looked back towards the front of the house. The fire burned hot. Thick black smoke circled up the huge open space of the gallery. Portraits hanging on the wall bubbled and curled as flames consumed them.
A figure appeared at the foot of the staircase. The spectre of Crown. The goons had dragged his lifeless corpse out of the house, but stood before me was the spirit with unfinished business. The ugliness of his actions showed through now in death. His skin was sallow and wrinkled. His head too big for his body and his teeth yellowed. A grotesque monster made worse by his mortal demise.
Ally whispered in my ear. “He knows it was your meddling that brought about his end. I’ll leave you two alone.”
She brushed my cheek with the back of her hand and stood. As she walked away leather straps materialised out of thin air and pinned my body to the floor.
The spectre of Crown grew before me, swelling in size until he had to crouch to stay below the chandelier. He clenched his fists and with burning red eyes let out a guttural growl that skipped my ears and penetrated directly into my skull.
I tried to pull my hands to my ears but they would not come. It made no difference. The roar coming from Crown stabbed the inside of my head like a thousand daggers. I lifted my head and the growl grew to a scream that ricocheted around the inside of my skull. I couldn’t take much more. It felt as though my head would explode.
Guilt bubbled up and mingled with the fear and I shrank into the floor and wished for it to swallow me. They were down there, the only friends I had known, banging against a locked door denying their escape. I sobbed. I sobbed like I had the night my parents turned from me.
In the pit of my stomach something else grew. A seed of frustration born of a lifetime existing in a world that didn’t make sense. A world where I had no idea who I was and what I could or should do. A world in which I hid. I couldn’t do that now.
Juliet’s voice as clear as day, cutting through the racket of Crown’s scream. Do it Sam. I gritted my teeth and electricity buzzed somewhere deep inside, at first dull and imperceptible, and then amplified and resonating until it peaked into a deafening roar.
Above Crown the bulbs in the chandelier glowed white. He swivelled his head and watched them dumbly.
I concentrated, felt the energy forming an extra limb. Like the arms and legs of a newborn it flailed spasmodically. I fought to control it, to turn it to my will. I focussed on the straps pinning me to the floor. The electricity fed into the straps and turned them hot. For a moment I feared they would scold my skin, and then in a moment of release they split and flung upwards.
I picked myself up off the floor and faced the spectre of Crown. Like a spent boxer throwing one final punch I threw out my hands and screamed, willing Crown to be quiet and be still. Demanding he be so.
The floor shook. The dozens of bulbs in the chandelier shattered. The giant spectre of Crown diminished and the screaming inside my head softened until it was no more. Crown’s eyes opened wide as his mouth stitched together and his arms wrenched behind his back. I flicked my hand like I was swatting a fly and Crown flew into the corner of the room and slumped to the floor.
I bent over and rested my hands on my knees. My muscles ached, like I had run a marathon. Shadows played on the floor. I sucked in air and smoke and spluttered and coughed.
In the hallway the silhouette of Ally. She turned and shook her head. The heat of the fire intensified and crackled at my skin. If we were to make our escape, she could not be here to block us. I straightened and strode towards her.
I cycled furiously through the events of the last few days, searching for something to defeat Ally. I had to do to her what she had done to me. The time for running and breaking her spells was through.
I closed my eyes and concentrated. I stripped away everything except for the two of us. The crackle of the fire replaced with silence. The smell of the smoke disappeared. The heat washed away. One by one I shut down all my senses. When I opened my eyes a monotone room of white. Sterile calm had replaced the burning insides of Windhaven Manor.
Her eyes scanned the room and she giggled. “Cheap tricks won’t get you far,” she said. “And you learned this one from me.”
The white rippled as if the walls were made of water. She was fighting it. I concentrated, focussing all my energy, all my will. The ripples slowed and then stopped.
“You’re a fast learner,” she said. “But I have been doing this for more than a weekend.”
Strips of colour permeated the white. A rectangle of tile appeared on the floor. And then some blue from the curtain. Enough of a smouldering wall to let in some smoke. The acrid smell reached my nose and I spluttered. As each wedge of colour appeared, I filled it back in white. But it was a sinking ship and the pail I held to bail out the water would not be enough.
Ally grunted under her breath. A grunt of frustration. The white room shook and made a sound like a train bearing down.
I had to bind her. I raised my palm and coils of rope rose from the ground and oscillated like snakes around her. She swatted them away and wrenched them from the ground and flung them at my feet, limp and unmoving.
“It won’t be that easy,” she sneered.
My arms jerked behind my back. She bound my wrists and then my ankles. She pursed her lips and blew as if extinguishing a single candle on a birthday cake, and it was enough to send me to the floor. I couldn’t do this on my own. I needed help.
I shut my eyes and concentrated my energy not on my bindings, but on the woods at the back of Windhaven Manor. On the girls who escaped the dungeon and now roamed the forest, watching the house burn from behind the barrier Ally constructed.
I fed the energy coursing through my body into the giant snowdome structure until it burned hot and then like the globes in the chandelier, it cracked and exploded into the night sky. The spirits of the girls watched the shards disappear and then strode towards the Manor.
I turned my attention to the tiny room beside the pantry, where Jane Laughlin lay bound to the bed. I stood beside her and lay my hand on the shackles binding her to the bed. She shuddered as the mask came free from her mouth and then stood as the shackles broke.
I opened my eyes and the white of the room flickered off and then back on again like bad reception on a television. I had to keep the white walls up long enough for them to draw near. For them to be ready when the façade fell. Ally strode towards me, exuding confidence.
“You can’t beat me Sam.”
Ally squeezed her hands into fists and screamed. In a burst of energy she wiped the white room clear and we were back in the burning house. The air was thick with smoke. Behind me a timber beam tumbled from the ceiling and crashed to the floor. The heat and smoke sucked the moisture from my insides and I heaved out a series of coughs.
Ally opened her eyes and smiled. She had bested me. But then they came. The girls from the dungeon and Jane Laughlin surrounded her. The sum total off all the pain and hurt inflicted in this place. Everything Ally had worked to keep hidden from the world.
They lurched at Ally. She raised her hands and pushed them back one by one as they went for her. She spun on the spot, trying to keep them at bay. She could not hold them all back. The sheer weight of numbers overwhelmed. They leaned in and pushed their heads into hers and showed her what those men had done. Made her feel it. The fear and despair and anger of each individual stacked together and Ally crumpled to the floor holding her head.
“Make it stop,” she said.
They kept at her.
Jane Laughlin sidled over to the base of the stairs where Crown sat, bound and with his mouth stitched. She considered him, restrained and helpless on the floor as she had been. He fought with his restraints, and then whimpered, as she had. As I ran for the pantry and the wine cellar, the corridor filled with the muffled sound of his screams.
The door to the cellar stood open and I made the descent of the stairs in three leaps. The enclosed space already full with smoke. At the end of the long corridor leading outside, Parker and Harvey shouldered the door. Juliet and Beth screamed encouragement. The door would not budge.
“We can’t go that way,” I yelled.
They raced back up the long corridor. A sudden rush of emotion bubbled up to the surface. I was so happy to see them all still alive. My lower jaw rattled and my hands shook. I fought to hide it.
Beth reached me first. “Sam, you’re ok.”
I blubbered a response and took in a lung full of smoke. We had to get out.
The fire raged outside the kitchen door. A wave of flame climbed up and spread across the ceiling. A subtle cracking sound from above intensified and a chunk of the upstairs floor came crashing down through the ceiling, blocking the rear door. We couldn’t get out the back. The only way now was back through the house. A ball of flame whooshed through the doorway and I put my arm up too late, my eyebrows wilting in the heat.
We crouched together in the middle of the kitchen, lowering our heads to get the last of the remaining oxygen. Malicious red flames and choking black smoke surrounded us on all sides.
“Where do we go now?” Parker’s words came out between coughs. Tears streaked down his cheeks. Soot covered his brow. I wished I had an answer.
Then he was there, standing over Parker’s shoulder. Leon. With the protective bubble gone, he too was free to come in the Manor.
“The fire has not yet consumed the dining room. But you don’t have long.”
I looked vaguely in the direction of the kitchen door and blinked back the stinging from the smoke. “I don’t think we can find it in this.”
I pulled my shirt up over my head. “We have to go. The dining room, we can make it. All together on three.”
I shouted out the numbers, the sound drowned out by the roar of the fire. I grabbed Beth’s hand and yanked her into action. Leon led the way and I kept my eyes on his heels. Together we were a flurry of arms and legs bounding for the dining room. I gritted my teeth against the heat. We burst through the doorway and everything turned orange.
From below the sweater pulled tight down over my hair, I shot a glance over to the floor of the grand gallery where I had left Ally writhing on the floor. She was not there now. Nor were the spectres of the girls.
I followed Leon’s heels into the dining room. The great wooden table smouldered in the centre of the room. Brilliant orange flames consumed the thick curtains. Parker spotted his camera still atop the tripod and set to pulling the camera free before Harvey grabbed his arm and yelled something that sounded like ‘leave it’.
Harvey grabbed one of the heavy chairs with their high backs and velvet cushions and heaved it at the window in the back corner of the room. The chair disappeared into the darkness of the night and Harvey kicked at the glass shards left behind. Parker joined. We piled out the opening.
I drank in the fresh cool air of night, staggering over the narrow path beside the house and to the small strip of grass beyond. Parker collapsed beside me and pulled the laptop out from under his shirt. He tapped at the casing and for a moment a brief smile flashed across his face, but it did not last long. He wiped soot and sweat from his face with shaking hands.
Harvey checked us all in turn, like a parent fussing over their children. We had scrapes and bruises and our skin was red and raw, but we were alright. We had survived. He ran to the front of the house and came back with palms held out by his sides. The man in the black suit, the goons Ponytail and Beanie, and Ally were all gone, along with the black van and the BMW.
Huddled together, we watched the fire consume Windhaven Manor, bright reds and oranges lighting up the windows and thick black smoke tumbling into the purple haze of sky. It was almost morning, the horizon signalling the coming of the sun.
Leon stood apart on the grass. I went to him.
“Thank you for coming back for us.”
He shrugged. “It’s something. It isn’t enough to make up for the rest.”
“You saved our lives. And those girls, they had their chance to meet their tormentors. That’s something too.”
He nodded. “What happens now?”
I turned my head sideways. “I’m still learning how all this works.”
The red of the fire reflected in his eyes. “Me too. I might go for a walk in the woods. I always liked it out there.”
He glided across the lawn and entered the trees and was gone.
The sound of sirens fought with the crackle of the fire. The fire brigade and the police. I got to my feet and shuffled to the front of the Manor. The burnt out carcasses of our cars stood by the low height wall. Black soot smudged the stone façade above the windows and the doors.
By the oak tree on the ocean side of the house stood Jane Laughlin. She peered down into a hole dug at the base of the tree. A pale and withered hand poked up out of the dirt. Her hand. They had meant to remove the body, but had aborted the task and fled.
A fire truck appeared at the head of the driveway and then another. They sped down the gravel and came to a sliding stop. A lone police car followed. Harvey sidled over.
Jane looked to the horizon. Out on the cliff edge stood a figure in a red dress. She recognised her sister Kylie immediately and ran down the slope. The two sisters embraced in the first light of the sun. I turned to the whoosh of water through a hose from the fire trucks and when I turned back, the Laughlin sisters were gone.
The members of The Séance Club, which I now consider myself a part, sat together on the low-height stone wall as the firefighters extinguished the flames consuming Windhaven Manor. The house was quiet now. The nausea and vibration I had felt that first night replaced with calm.
The police stripped the compound clean for the best part of a week. They identified Kyle the sketch artist and Hugo from the teeth that survived the fire of the hovel built over the dungeon. Hugo’s wife lay on the back lawn where Beanie and Ponytail had left her. But as to specific evidence of the crimes that occurred, they could not find enough to put a case together.
The two fires and the disappearance of Crown made some headlines, but there wasn’t enough to hang anyone else. The police claimed publicly that there was no link between the fire at Windhaven Manor and the fire at the squalid residence over the back fence. At Harvey’s behest they searched the area with cadaver dogs for the remains of the girls, but they found nothing.
Parker turned his laptop over to the police. They identified the two goons, Ponytail and Beanie, low level thugs who had disappeared from the streets years earlier. Those in the know presumed them dead. It made tracing them almost impossible. Tracing their vehicles lead to a dead end.
The man in black the suit on the other hand might as well be a ghost. On him they found nothing. They have a face, but nothing else.
As for Ally, the girl somehow managed to always turn her face away from the cameras, as if she knew where they were.
I sat in a small room at the police station for three days with Harvey putting the pieces together. He showed me a photograph of an old and gaunt man with a bent back, the last owner of Windhaven Manor before it was sold after his death. He had to be the man with the bent back from the ceremony in the dungeon, but I could not be certain. I never saw his face. Of the faces I did see, we knew Crown and Kyle and Hugo, but the others were harder to pinpoint.
At the end of it all Harvey sighed. There was nothing more we could do. But we could rest on the knowledge that the key players in the ceremony were all now dead.
Questions nagged at me. Where was Ally and what was she doing? Would she try to find me? Who was she working for?
That was the biggest question of all. Who was at the top and pulling the strings? Harvey wasn’t giving up. He was a dog with a bone at the best of times, and now he had a taste of blood. He refused to go back to the police even after Crown’s departure, which he described as the removal of a cancerous limb.
Harvey called me after the dust settled on everything. I told him that the trail had gone cold and I had no idea where Ally was. For all I knew she had evaporated into thin air. Harvey thought it unlikely, and I agreed. He told me it was time for some old-fashioned detective work. The names of the goons would be a start.
And there was something else Harvey mentioned, something that I had almost forgotten. He had always believed that his investigation into the disappearance of the girls was the reason one of his colleagues was murdered. Crown confirmed as much in the bedroom right before he was shot. Harvey thinks there is something to it. Another thread to pull, and he has a hunch. For now he’s keeping his cards close to his chest until he has some proof. I almost pressed him on the issue but decided I’d rather put it all behind me.
The story made headlines in the local press for a while, but ultimately it fizzled into a non-story, quickly forgotten by a public with a short attention spans. We all waited for a reckoning from within the police ranks, but it never came. Harvey predicted that’s the way it would go, and he was proven right.
The one item they did recover was a gold necklace with a heart pendant. The necklace Jane Laughlin wore the night of her death. The police found it where the black van had parked. After a few days in the possession of the police, Harvey arranged to have the necklace released to the family of its former owner.
The following day Mr. and Mrs. Laughlin appeared on the local news, thanking the efforts of those who recovered the remains of their daughter. It was closure, though not the kind they had hoped for. Both their girls were dead.
A week later The Séance Club convened in Beth’s apartment. Parker and Juliet were already there when I arrived. It was cathartic to talk about the events at Windhaven Manor, to compare stories and scars. I guess that’s why they have the saying about a problem shared.
After a brief silence, Beth asked, “Are you going to talk to the parents of Jane and Kylie?”
I shook my head. “What will I tell them?”
“That their daughters found each other out by the cliff edge.”
“And what about the agony of their deaths? Should I tell them that too? Besides, it doesn’t feel right. None of this feels right to me yet. And what weight do my words hold over those of some Priest talking about how he knows their souls are at rest.”
“Because you really do know.”
I shrugged. “I can’t prove any of it.”
Truth was I had no idea how to integrate the things I could see and do into my life. From childhood all I had wanted was to be like everyone else. For people not to stare or whisper as I walked by. To find acceptance. Sitting with my three new friends at Beth’s tiny kitchen table, with our shared experience behind us, I finally had it. This could be the start of something.
Parker was already planning the next Séance Club trip. An abandoned farm up north with mysterious sightings going back centuries. Juliet was already on board. I told them to wait. I couldn’t jump back in right away.
I was the last to leave, Beth and I sipping mug after mug of coffee and sharing comfortable silence. When I sighed and told her I should go, she grabbed my arm.
“I’ve never had a real family, and then I found Juliet and Parker. The Séance Club became my family. Whatever happens we are there for each other. And we mean it when we say we want you to join.”
I thought about that all night, unable to sleep.
The next morning I called Parker.
An abandoned farm up north you say?
* * * *
I navigated to the narrow alley and checked the time. The Exchange should be open. It looked out of context in the Saturday morning light. No bright light spilling from the window. No surge of Friday night after work traffic.
I slipped in the front door. A lone man lifted upturned stools down from the bar. He had his back to me and I crept across the hardwood floor in the direction of the stairs down and the bathrooms.
The vibration swelled in my chest, but I did not fear it. A dull pain rose in the base of my skull, but I gritted my teeth. A man wearing a pair of rough leather shoes came from the other end of the corridor and stopped before me.
“Are you here to help?”
I nodded. X
submitted by SleeplessFromSundown
to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 16:24 Hardcore_Aim Buzz cut?
| || |
Whats up guys, should you go buzz for this summer? I have a pretty big forehead and corner, but for gym and running, short hair ist very useful for me. submitted by Hardcore_Aim to malehairadvice [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 16:22 PinocchiosNoseHair Mirror trip
I’ve always enjoyed mirror tripping on lsd or mushrooms, so last night I tried something different. Lit a few candles and turned off all the lights in my bathroom. Stared at myself in the mirror for a couple minutes practicing my breathing techniques, turned on some Native American chants, and proceeded to hit my vape. First hit, nothing too crazy. After the second hit things started to get a little shifty and wavy but again, nothing too crazy.
As I was holding the third hit, my face floated off my head, and my whole being was replaced by an entity I’ve never seen before. It was very tribal/warrior looking. It looked tattered and abused. I felt sorrow. It mirrored my movements, like using a dmt entity Snapchat filter. It started to become increasingly difficult to stand up, my legs wanted to give up. The candles cast shadows behind me, towering over me. The shadows also took form of entities, they were just dancing and being goofy. I became hyper focused on my face, just staring into my own eyes. Then, everything around me went completely black. It was just my face floating in an empty void, no body or anything.
Then (this part kind of freaked me out at first) I burst back into my bathroom in a ball of black flames. After the initial shock of seeing myself on fire, I really enjoyed this part. I felt so confident and just like an all around badass, like I just went super saiyan or some shit. These parts stand out the most, lots of other crazy things happened but it’s hard to recall a lot of them.
At one point I was a lion. There was a point where my entity self came out of the mirror and reached into my brain. 10/10, will definitely be exploring mirror trips more often.
submitted by PinocchiosNoseHair
to DMT [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 16:10 gunther12344 Motor help
| || |
I have a 15 hp outboard Yamaha that keeps cutting off when given gas. I've cleaned the fuel filter 3 times but it keeps doing this. Anyone have any ideas as to what could be causing this? submitted by gunther12344 to boating [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 16:04 RiyadDKraken How to remove all history of edited pictures?
For context, I am a software engineer. If you comment, please do not say "remove the exifdata". I already did, it's not the solution.
Objective: The picture must pass a 3 or a 4 on JPEGSnoop (this is a mandatory test).
The goal here is to pass an edited/photoshopped picture as legit. However, there is a problem with the actual data. When you pass it through JPEGSnoop, it will say it is edited for any conversion or transformation. Even when you just pass a legit picture though messenger or Outlook, it will says it is edited (since it went through libraries to convert files).
This seems to be the issue:
Searching Compression Signatures: (3347 built-in, 0 user(*) )
EXIF.Make / Software EXIF.Model Quality Subsamp Match?
------------------------- ----------------------------------- ---------------- --------------
SW :[IJG Library ] [045 ]
The following IJG-based editors also match this signature:
SW :[GIMP ] [045 ]
SW :[IrfanView ] [045 ]
SW :[idImager ] [045 ]
SW :[FastStone Image Viewer ] [045 ]
SW :[NeatImage ] [045 ]
] [045 ]
SW :[Photomatix ] [045 ]
SW :[XnView ] [045 ]
Based on the analysis of compression characteristics and EXIF metadata:
ASSESSMENT: Class 1 - Image is processed/edited
It detects a "IJG Library" which I guess is a library for editing and using JPEG files.
In order to bypass it, I tried taking a screenshot of the picture with Windows' PrtSc, but it counts as an edit. I tried to use Python's screenshot library as well, but it did the same thing. I tried to upload it as a filter on Snapchat, but it does the same thing.
I think the best solution would be to use a Virtual Camera with OBS and make a picture using a Camera app, or use a screenshot software. Better would be to remove this data directly.
submitted by RiyadDKraken
to hacking [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 15:30 ThisIsNotMyName0 Levoit: Core 400s v Vital 200s?
I'm trying to decide between these two. My space is 500 Sq feet so I know I’m pushing both a bit. Has anyone directly compared the two in actual use and not just specs?
I’ve been using the 200s for a week and it works well but the jump in volume between fan 2 and 3 is significant and it throws air off to one side, which cuts down on where I can place it. I have a pet and have noticed I need to clean the pre-filter every couple of days.
The 400s looks to push air straight up, which would be better. And it has a slightly higher CADR. But I’m concerned about needing to get to the pre-filter to keep cleaning it. Does less pet hair make it to the pre-filter (and instead just get stuck to the grille outside of the unit) because it doesn’t have the U-shaped opening the Vital has?
submitted by ThisIsNotMyName0
to AirPurifiers [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 15:26 qeidg Side buzz cut
2023.05.29 15:25 Think_Sample_1389 Does circumcision have a political protector
I have heard some people say conservatives are more in line with intactivism. But does the evidence back that up or does a political color mean you would be more likely to support or disparage MGM?
I think AI would call this s highly sensitive and complex issue. But if we disregarded that, and tried to get collimation would it be more blue than red? I am a philosopher and a quasi-socialist along the lines of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Sanders knew he couldn't really kowtow to either highly self-interested party so he operates as an independent. As such would an open mind person be more likely to stop and listen to an intactivist's views? History shows us, I think, the younger right-of-center men are very likely intactivists. One dude who used to live in cutter center, Rutland Vt, and admits be was cut, is very outspoken and calls it rape. That strong. The demo-RATS have usually played themselves falsely as intellectuals and going along with the flow, for example, the AAP, and ADL, stomping on any beliefs that seem out of the so-called liberal central zone. Look at what treatment Andrew Yang received when he simply said parents should realize they do not have to cut into their newborns. And where did the strange buzzing of anger come from or seem to come from? The same paranoid sources that have never gotten beyond a holocaust of almost a century ago.
We know both Clintons supported and even gave cash to the VMMC program and just ate up the strange idea they could export circumcision to Africa and not clean water. Clinton was cheered when she said, and we're sending circumcisions! I hated her after that, although I was always suspicious of the Clintons. So what is your view, is circumcision more protected by blues? Well, the liberal northeast has the highest cutter rates after the allegedly conservative Midwest. Does that mean anything?
BTW Biden is way too old to run again for President and recently he has hopped into making laws against free speech because he wants that Jewish vote. He has accepted ADL with all its claims and wants a law passed. It is very telling, Biden has not done a thing for seniors or SSI and has not actively backed Sanders and Warren. I dread he may have another term, and he probably will not live through it. Eighty years old is way too old.
submitted by Think_Sample_1389
to Intactivism [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 15:19 Shryquill Is this a ridiculous idea?
| || |
Seems like internal Heat Pump Water Heaters require ducting to effectively be fed with ambient air, and HRV systems happen to require a lot of ducting also. submitted by Shryquill to PassiveHouse [link] [comments]
The idea is that all the house's air intake is filtered and heated by the HRV, then the HPWH stores as much of the heat in that air as it can/needs to, the resulting fresh air is now partly cooled and is supplied to the household rooms where it can circulate, be warmed by sunlight or space heaters if necessary, then eventually be extracted and exhausted after any heat is recovered.
I figure this would cut down on an additional pair of wall penetrations to supply the HPWH in an otherwise standalone configuration, would hopefully make the HPWH run more clean and efficiently with air being filtered and supply being plentiful, and additional space heating should only be necessary if the HPWH is in hearing mode, as I assume when they're up to heat then won't be taking any warmth out of the HRV loop.
Obviously the technology isn't perfectly efficient, but I figure so long as the heat stays within the house's thermal envelope, the HRV system should be able to recapture most waste/excess heat and put it back in the HPWH with this routing.
Is this a really dumb idea? Please let me know why.
2023.05.29 15:18 Impressive_Read_7412 [Excerpt: Shadowsun, The Patient Hunter] Shadowsun meets the Death Guard
Context: Hi. Long time lurker, this is my first excerpt posting on this subreddit so excuse me if I mess it up. That being said, I really liked the Shadowsun book and it was great reading the wider T'au Empire (and not just the Enclaves) truly making contact with actual Chaos forces in a widespread manner for the first time. Shadowsun's cold logic is well contrasted vs the hellish joviality of the Death Guard Legion Astartes she confronts.
The Death Guard had finally shown their hand.
Shadowsun focused her ballistics suite as the invaders came within range. She made out a robed figure in the newcomers’ midst, hunchbacked and twisted as he leant on a staff like the limb of an ancient tree. A twisted, hideous thing that appeared to have a helm cast in the image of a blowfly loomed behind it. On one side was a three-horned giant in exaggerated armour that looked more like a set of cracked and seeping scabs than a functional assemblage of metal, and on the other was a huge, broad-shouldered warrior wielding a primitive but enormous scythe. The last of this foul quartet was laughing at her, pointing at her with one giant hand.
‘– – AH – – AND THERE SHE IS – – ’ spooled the autotrans, rendering the guttural Imperial Gothic of the gue’ron’sha into intelligible screeds of t’au. ‘– – THE QUEEN OF THE TECH-HIVE – – COME BROTHERS – – LET US TEACH HER WHO TRULY REIGNS HERE – –’
The gue’ron’sha moved with a slow, powerful certainty, spreading out into a wide diamond shape. Shadowsun cast a glance at her disposition suite, sketching the Projection of Force an intercept course. The bait was taken.
‘Come on,’ she said. ‘Come in nice and close.’
They were the leaders of the enemy fleet, she would stake her life on it. Gue’ron’sha commanders were famous for wanting the choicest kills for themselves, respecting only displays of raw strength.
Sure enough, the scythe-wielder who had addressed her lumbered towards her with his weapon raised. The warrior was huge, his blade swinging in front of him like a pendulum as if in challenge. She sent a blinding double beam of fusion energy to greet him, but it sizzled to nothingness as it hit an invisible shield.
‘– – TRY HARDER – – LITTLE PREYLING – –’
Gritting her teeth, she feigned a withdrawal, backing off at a measured pace to keep the newcomers’ focus on her. Already her suit’s systems were reading them, delving into the T’au Empire’s records and cross-correlating the results from Kellik and Calendula.
‘You defile this place with your presence, warriors of the Death Guard.’ Her autotrans relayed it from her suit’s speakers in the water caste’s best Imperial Gothic. By their laughter, these bloated horrors understood her just fine.
She felt the acid of scorn rise within her in response. They thought their technology advanced? Their brutish weapons were solid-shot ballistics, powered gauntlets and blunt instruments. Oe-hei was more than capable of dealing with such primitive tools of war, and if not, her armour would be up to the task.
‘This world does not belong to you, nor your infected kin. Leave now, or feel the full force of our wrath.’
‘– – WHO ARE YOU TO WELCOME YOUR NEW KING IN SUCH A MANNER – –’ said their leader. He was stalking forward, toying with her as if he had all the time in the world. Hobbling up to join him at his side was a cowled and hunchbacked grotesque. His puffy face had something like a sinkhole in its middle.
‘I am called Shadowsun, high commander of the Fifth Sphere Expansion.’ She planted her feet and stood her ground, guns raised. ‘I am well versed in the inadequacies of your kind.’
‘– – YOU MAY CALL ME LORD GLURTOSK – –’ said the scythe-wielder. ‘– – OH – – SUCH GIFTS WE HAVE BROUGHT YOU – –’
‘– – THE EMBRACE OF ENTROPY IS A BLESSING – –’ said the cowled, bent elder. ‘– – LET US FREE YOU FROM YOUR CLEAN WHITE SHELL AND GIVE YOU A GLIMPSE OF WHAT WE BRING TO YOUR LITTLE EMPIRE – –’
Blinking through her suit’s weapon suites, Shadowsun brought up the symbol of a halo made of lightning – that of her suit’s emergency electroparalysis field. It was draining to her power source, but in theory it could be devastating against foes in powered armour, crippling them then and there. She triggered it, and a pulse of electromagnetic energy pulsed outward.
A shimmering force field flared around the Death Guard’s leader. It mingled with her energy pulse, a storm of tiny, writhing energy traces crackling around the newcomers before dissipating.
Another volley from her fusion blasters, their intensity at maximum. Still that writhing, greasy-looking shield of force protected them from its burning wrath.
Her battlesuit blipped a proximity alarm. A knot of slumberers was closing on her from behind. Her blood felt sluggish and hot. The intruders had been playing for time, just as she had.
Oe-hei bravely interposed himself, ramming one of them in the throat as he sent a shimmering shield of energy to hold back the others. One of the fallen lurched upwards and grabbed him, dashing him to the ground. The slumberers came forward as one, babbling half-cogent phrases, muttering and tutting as their eyes flickered behind mildew-gummed lids.
She leapt sidelong on instinct, blasting flechettes at the nearest slumberer. So many hit home they sent him reeling backwards with a full inch of flesh torn from his torso. Kicking out at a second with a jarring impact, she sent a fusion blast into the guts of a third, cutting her in two at the waist. Too close to evade, Oe-ken-yon rammed another, only to be caught by a lurching sleeper that looked no older than fifteen t’au’cyr. The human gripped the drone tight and dashed him into the stone lintel at the edge of the bridge before stumbling away as if drunk.
She heard more laughter, then. One of the diseased gue’ron’sha was chanting rhythmically in a language even the autotrans could not parse, tendrils of black smoke pouring from his filth-encrusted fingernails. The others were simply watching her as she fought for her life.
‘– – SHE IS FASTER THAN SHE LOOKS – – THIS ONE – –’ said the one called Glurtosk.
‘– – HARD TO SEE HER – – CLAD IN MIRAGES AS SHE IS – –’ said his cowled attendant. ‘– – MAYBE SHE NEEDS A MANTLE OF FLESH TO DRAPE AROUND HER SHOULDERS – –’
‘Shimmersky, the Manta is en route but I’m out of time here, and the Devilfishes are already away. If you can find a way to focus fire on the hostiles on the bridge west of your–’
A pair of slumberers yanked at her weapon arm, then, pulling her off balance with uncanny strength. ‘Now!’ she cried. ‘Shimmersky, now!’ Her damage control suite flared red in three places, the battlesuit’s arm twisted so badly it would hardly respond to her haptic link.
‘High commander, something is choking the engines, I–’
Shadowsun felt something slam into her helmet and went down onto one knee, her broken jetpack flaring. She batted her assailants away with the barrels of her fusion blasters. Her second blow connected hard with the temple of one of the sleepers, sending him veering away, but another attacked her almost immediately, fists hammering hard enough to dent the hyperalloy of her suit and send alerts blaring across the plexus display. She discharged her missile pod at close range as the smell of burning filtered in through the olfactory link, blasting another two of the sleepwalkers to messy chunks and bowling her backwards in the blast.
It bought her a moment, but a microdec later another of the gue’la sleepers fell across her from behind, pinning her arm at an awkward angle. She jerked hard in her control harness, the haptic links sending her battlesuit flipping almost upright as she tried to shrug off her assailant. It clung on tight until Oe-ken-yon burst from a tangle of corpses and rock dust to ram it away from her. More of the nightmare-things were emerging to encircle them, and the gue’ron’sha warriors, unhurried, were stamping in close.
Surrounded, cut off and earthbound, she rolled over the edge of the bridge’s ornate stone railings and dropped like a stone.
submitted by Impressive_Read_7412
to 40kLore [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 14:57 noiseartwork Something was watching me on the road.
Let's see? It all started when I was working for something like 7 months in the city of Coquimbo in Chile. Specifically, I was working as a journalist for a local newspaper and a small news channel, it was not the best job in the world but it was not so terrible if we consider that my dream was to be a writer. One day I was being required travel outside the city, particularly to Salamanca and do a report of those that you find at the very end of the newspaper or when you can't sleep and you're lying down watching TV in the middle of the night just to give visibility to small towns and communities, filled with some random ads and stuff, again, it was not the best job in the world, but I guess everyone else started with something like this.
I needed to be there in the morning so I mentally prepared myself with a good cup of coffee and some cigarettes, threw only what was necessary for the luggage rack and managed to say goodbye to my relatives, may sound like a dumb tradition but you never know ... on the road shit happens and for me, that isn't something new, I lived day by day in the office writing columns and sending reports where the number of deaths, the causes of the crashes and the photos, makes you wonder it could have been you or someone you know. But, despite that I preferred to go in my own car, I have never been able to fall asleep inside a bus on the road and moreover, it seems that almost all accidents occurred on these buses, in a certain way, my job was making me go all paranoid.
the car's engine started at 9:00 p.m. and there was a little drizzle but nothing serious, folk music on the radio was a good accompaniment while the city nightlife looked at me with his blinding lights in my attempt to escape the "fish smell" of Coquimbo. I drove for a while until I was entering the sister city of La Serena, and I stopped to eat some fast food, I tried to get in fast to avoid getting wet, I ordered another coffee and french fries to eat.
-Hey young man, where are you going at this hour with this rain, everyone else is at their homes sleeping and resting, do you want to catch a cold? I haven't noticed that an elderly woman was attending me. -I'm going to Salamanca. -And what do you intend to do in Salamanca? that's no place for nosy people or city dwellers The lady left me intrigued and I didn't even have to ask her to answer me. -some people there don't like to be disturbed you know, you can get an evil glance there, some "evil eye" stuff you know. - No, ma'am, I'm going to report a news story, I'm a journalist and besides that, I'm a little skeptical about that kind of thing.
The old-lady ended the conversation with a crooked smile and continued with his own things but deep down myself, the answer he gave me left me with chills, I was not a superstitious person but the seriousness of his face unsettled me. I took the last sips of coffee to wake up and said goodbye to my french fries trying to awkwardly get into the car. The conversation haunted me for a couple more miles, for some reason I was left with a feeling of latent nervousness and with the last lights of the city fading in the rear-view mirror, I began to remember the stories that my grandparents told me as a child... The witches of Salamanca, the cave of Manquehua, and other stories that were part of the folklore began to settle in my head. It was interesting to me to imagine these characters, covered in their black cloaks, walking hidden paths through the forests to celebrate within their covens in Manquehua in the middle of the night. Occasionally I was assaulted by the idea of running into a "Tue Tue *" bird of bad omen on the way to Salamanca, or that a "chupacabra" jumped from the bushes onto the road, it is curious how "ghastly" this can be yet so interesting at the same time despite causing us fear.
The electrifying sound of white noise coming from the radio interrupted my thoughts, I was reaching the famous dead zones of the road. From time to time I noticed that there were abandoned houses, fenced lands, among other things but nothing out of the ordinary; It is very common for people to live in these rural areas for a while and then leave to look for jobs in the big cities, especially considering that the urbanization and modernization of our country had only happened a couple of decades ago, more precisely in the year 1970.
I look at the time and it is already 11:30 p.m. This trip is getting too slow for me, to make things worse the rain got stronger, the hours go by and I pass through a couple of towns, so I decided to park my car to smoke a cigarette before reporting to my family by phone, it's funny how people automatically have an infinite amount of topics for conversation when you're away, but they hardly even speak when you are close, later than ever I cut the call and the lights where extinguishing behind the vehicle again and disappeared in the middle of the dark, again it's just me and the road. The headlights of my car were fighting to illuminate against the darkness. The clock arrives at 02:42 A.M and The yawns start to escape from my mouth, there is no radio or telephone signal anymore, at this time you only occasionally see buses passing by on the road, a couple of cars if you are lucky enough but most of the time the road is abandoned. The rain gives me an unpleasant sensation now that there is so little light. Again I picked up the wrongest moment to remember the conversation I had with that old lady...
-you can get an evil glance there, some "evil eye" stuff you know.
A shriek on the side of the road scared the shit out of me, I saw a shadow rushing against my car and I stepped on the brake with all my strength next thing I know was the sound of the car window crashing and everything went black... pitch black.
It felt like time has stopped and I could only hear the rain, I don't know how much time passed by but it felt like a dream or perhaps, maybe a nightmare? I woke up with a terrible headache but apparently my body was intact, the glass was shattered all around the car and the clock said that it was 03:00 A.M. drops are falling inside the car, I try to sit up still scared to look outside but I notice that the lights were destroyed, I see nothing but shadows. I feel a stabbing pain in my face and it seems that I cut part of my face in the accident. I get out of the car nervous and listen as the glass chips on the pavement creak, maybe I could have driven over a horse or maybe some farmer. I try to illuminate a little with the cell phone flashlight and I notice part of the front glass scattered on the asphalt, a slight dent but there are no traces of blood, I try to calm down and take a couple of steps through the rain to see further and between the rain and the nothingness I could see with my eyes a body in the middle of the road.
I thought I must help, maybe I broke one of his legs or worse. walking a little bit faster I managed to get close enough, I was shouting at the body expecting some reply or at least some whining but no one answered and I feared the worst. My heart stopped for a second, I took a step forward to see the face of this body and everything seemed so surreal, it was a mannequin with hollow eyes.
I didn't know what where happening, a mannequin dressed in an old poncho in the middle of the road away from everything, a fucking mannequin. Fear seized me, I looked in all directions searching and searching but I couldn't see anything, what the hell was a mannequin doing in the middle of the nowhere? My head was spinning, and the sound of the rain wasn't helping. until I realized something. The question was not, what was the mannequin doing on the road? But who brought it? For a moment I gazed at the mannequin's empty sockets and then I heard a breath close to me, I wasn't alone.
My heart was racing, maybe they wanted to rob me or some crazy shit, I tried to take a glass from the floor and use the phone light to see around me to get back into the car, the seconds seemed like hours as I slowly walked, I thought about running but I felt that it could be worse, I felt stalked and when my legs began to tremble It was not very helpful either. A little before I got to the car I noticed several footsteps moving around me, they were watching me closely. I heard a sound behind me and the mannequin had disappeared, I was definitely not understanding a shit and I couldn't overcome the anguish anymore so I ran desperately towards the car but someone pushed me. I hit my face with the cold ground and tried to get up as I could throwing punches into the air trying to hit whoever was there, but it was in vain. The radio of the car started emitting white noise again with some random mumbling, I was not seeing damn shit and while I was trying to place the cell phone shining directly in front of me something had gripped me by my hand. I felt another blow and this time my cell phone hit the wet asphalt, lighting someone's shoes, with one stomp they broke the phone. I could only notice my car thanks to the taillights and I was completely blind now.
The rain seemed to be falling in slow motion and every second seemed eternal to me. My hands trembled trying to prepare a decent punch, a decent cut, or anything to whatever it was out here to defend myself. My head was spinning and my heart was racing and then someone took me by the shoulder, I could not see anything but I threw punches and kicks that got everywhere, they tried to grab my feet and I tried to get free the fastest I could until I finally managed to nail that fucking piece of glass and I was released, I fell my back to the floor. A murmur began to sound louder and I could feel someone breathing and gasping around me; I ran as I could towards the car again with my heart beating a thousand times per hour. I almost plunged into the vehicle and without thinking I start the car. A groan of pain was heard along with a loud buzzing and I closed all the doors and I shit you not the damned car didn't want to start, the rain only became even worse and my nerves were about to explode when a hand smashed against the car windows, then two hands and seconds later all the windows were covered, they were trying to break into the vehicle, I could no longer bear the fear, I started screaming like a crazy, I jumped on the seat and I screamed until my mouth hurts; With a kind of tantrum I started to force the car to start with kicks and blows, the vehicle roared and I hit the accelerator. When I looked straight ahead I saw a figure that shouldn't have been there and my throat felt tight; wrapped in a black cloak, just where the damn mannequin was, someone was holding his shoulder where perhaps I had nailed the piece of broken glass. The lack of front light and the rain did not allow me to distinguish his face.
I accelerated as fast as I could, flailing inside the car from side to side, I didn't care about anything anymore, I rolled everything that was ahead. I heard a couple of crunches, a gasp, and the car started to jump until a dead silence was present, I turned to look back and all sense of logic disappeared while a death-cold chill was traveling my spine. The yellowish taillights dimly illuminated a highway full of motionless bodies that shouldn't be there, couldn't be there; They were a bunch of mannequins totally still, lined up in my direction. I put my head down and hid it between my shoulders so I couldn't look anywhere, I felt like a little boy, I felt tiny inside the car in the middle of the blackness of the road knowing that the mannequins were behind me, I kept like this several minutes trying to focus on anything else while the car kept accelerating, my back felt cold, the truth is that I was sweating cold, I did not understand anything and the stabbing pain in my forehead returned to me; It was a superficial but fairly long cut, it was a miracle I didn't pass out and was able to drive straight with all this shit happening.
The rain insisted on reminding me of the conversation with the old woman at the fast food place, maybe she was right. -Why the hell did I have to come to Salamanca, maybe the witches had something to do with it !? Lots of ideas pounded my head as the car lost into the blackness, now I was alone again. I thought about reviewing what had happened and recovering my composure, I tried to play dumb and ignore everything until I noticed little orange lights on the black horizon; I had arrived into Salamanca and I went straight to the 1st town police station to report what had happened. I Poorly parked the car and launched myself into the station to seek some help.
It was already 07:00 A.M and the sun was about to rise, I lost track of time completely, I don't know how long I was on the road or how much time I spent at the police station. I nervously told the officers everything that had happened, they looked at each other and took me to the local hospital to verify injuries; Throughout the process, I noticed that they were looking at me strangely but there was a certain secret look in them, those kinds of looks that as a journalist you can notice. The day was cloudy and the sun did not appear, the rain was losing strength and I tried to assert my right to report until they ended opening an investigation by sending a patrol. With 3 points on my eyebrow and bruised face I tried to find somewhere to rest and eat something to close my trip, there was a middle-aged gentleman who, while eating, took the opportunity to ask me what had happened to me, I told him almost everything, at least I could Let me vent more openly without looking like a drunk or crazy inside a police station.
After a while where the man listened attentively to me, he sighed and took out a pack of cigarettes, finished lighting him and said: -Maybe they wanted to rob you. Maybe he was right, but his face changed completely when I insisted on the mannequin again. He took a glance over my shoulder and then fixed his eyes with mines. -Son, look. These things are not discussed here, do what you have to do and leave later, lest you end up traveling in a box to Manquehua. Again a chill settled on the back of my neck, and I decided not to ask any more questions. I didn't want to make my situation even worse. –Hey, and don't you know where I can rest? He finished smoking my cigar and this time he offered one to me.
Standing still in a town in the middle of nowhere smoking a cigarette a fucked up car? at least things can't get worse, I could watch the smoke and forget everything for a moment.
I arrived at the hostel that the man with the cigarettes recommended to me and slept for a while but I was still nervous so I took advantage and realized that there was a mechanic nearby, got a deal with him and I left my car for a few weeks under repair, took everything I was carrying in the luggage rack and I went straight to the earliest bus back to Coquimbo, I was no longer interested in the news or the job, I just wanted to get away from this place as soon as possible and whatever the fuck the Salamanca people hides, I don't care if they were witches or someone wanting to assault me, I know what I saw.
The local police called me later that day because the investigation did not show anything more than the possibility of an attempted assault on the road, they dismissed everything for lack of imputable candidates, but the truth is that at this point I don't give a damn; I am cornered to the window of this bus trying to forget and the orange light that glimpses within the clouds that remain, reassures me a little and helps me not to think about what my bosses would tell me for not attending the report and arriving empty-handed. I lost myself looking at the landscape while it stops raining and I found a moment of peace but, for some reason, among all the things that can be seen on the road, my eyes fell directly on a small scruffy cabin in the middle of this vast nothingness and in its windows I got to see a lot of mannequins looking towards the highway, right to where I was now. There were a lot of hollow eyes waiting for me somewhere on the road of Salamanca.
submitted by noiseartwork
to nosleep [link] [comments]