Nail salons in wake forest nc

Wake Forest sports

2012.04.24 01:02 bytor_2112 Wake Forest sports


2008.04.14 16:03 Triangle - Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Research Triangle, or simply The Triangle, is the combined NC area of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. It is anchored by three major research universities.

2009.06.24 17:21 Geminize For the Raleigh, NC and surrounding areas.

Raleigh is the capital of the state of North Carolina as well as the seat of Wake County. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees.

2023.03.29 10:42 beautysourcing1 We Look Forward to Beauty Düsseldorf 2023... And Not Just Us!

We Look Forward to Beauty Düsseldorf 2023... And Not Just Us!
From 31 March to 2 April, the time come again - BeautySourcing and our 18 partner suppliers will meet you in the Düsseldorf exhibition halls. Come visit BeautySourcing at booth 10F29-3 and 16E46-2.
Booth 10F29-3 will open the doors for the supply chain. We will show you most groundbreaking one-stop beauty sourcing service and new innovations of packaging, nails, eyelashes and skin-care products selected from over 3000 premium suppliers of BeautySourcing, including 100% PCR lotion pump from Beyaqi, new developed anti-aging series from Anewcos and latest award-winning products from Onuge.
And there is more...A special booth composed of 6 co-exhibitors dedicated to the hair sector. BeautySourcing join other 5 suppliers to present hair products, salon furnishings and overall services meant for the salon professionals at 16E46. At BeautySourcing’s booth 16E46-2, displayed products includes dozens of 2023 trendy wigs, revolutionary intelligent hair dryer and other hair products which are well-chosen from platform. Other 5 exhibitors also ready to display their wide range of products in incredible quantity and quality which will surprise you at booth 16E46.
See you at our stands, we can’t wait to meet you in person! If you can’t make it, don’t worry...Keep following us on our online platform, we will bring you with us on these days of the fair.
Click the link to get our full exhibitors list, and contact with them ahead of time to arrange your trip:
Don’t miss the news! Follow Beautysourcing on LinkedIn
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2023.03.29 10:34 ronikigel How to Do Cat Eye Manicure? Procedures for Cat Eye Polish

How to do cat eye manicure? Procedures for cat eye polish. There are many ways to do nail art, from henna to gel polish. Manicure styles have evolved from solid colors at the beginning to palette colors to floral and diamond-encrusted prints and now cat eyes, all the while catering to the needs of women. Cat eye manicures are a very popular style and many women choose to have cat eye manicures in nail parlors. Cat-eye nails are created by magnetic nail polish and… you guessed right – a magnet. You can go to your favorite nail salon and ask for a cat-eye gel mani, or, do it yourself with the regular nail varnish. There are so many mesmerizing color combis for the cat-eye effect, like a classy black and gold, or even softer shades with pink or nude and gold.

How do you do cat eye manicures?

As the manufacturer of Colorful Cat Eye Gel Polish, we recommend the following:
Step 1: the disinfectant first disinfects its own hands on the hands of the customer.
Step 2: carefully observe whether the customer's hands have residual nail polish glue and remove clean oh.
Step 3: disinfectant finger skin push and finger skin scissors.
Step 4: push the finger skin in a circle, each step should start from the left pinky.
Step 5: finger skin scissors finger skin, do not cut off the finger skin on the pull finger skin oh.
Step 6: shape the nails. Ask the customer what shape and length the nails should be.
Step 7: polish and rub the nail surface, be sure to carve and grind in place, or nail back edge is easy to strange oh!
>>Shop for RONIKI cat eye gels here
Step 8: Apply a thin layer of primer over the nail.
Step 9: Place your hand in the LED light for 60 seconds.
Step 10: Apply the first coat of cat eye polish to your nails.
Step 11: Place your hand in the LED light for 30 seconds.
Step 12: In besmear 2 times cat eye nail oil glue does not shine the lamp, magnetic attraction with magic is put on fingernail above 1 centimeters tall, do not touch fingernail above ok, put 10 seconds to be able to appear a cat eye line.
Step 13: Place your hand in the LED light for 60 seconds.
Step 14: Apply a coating of adhesive to the nail body.
Step 15: Place your hand in the LED light for 90 seconds.
Step 16: dip the cotton sheet into gel cleaner and brush the floating glue on the nail surface.
Step 17: sterilize the towels and wipe the customer's hands.
Step 18: apply finger edge essence to the nail back edge and massage it to help absorption.
These are the steps and methods for Laser Cat Eye Gel Polish manicures in nail parlors. Cat eye manicures can also be done at home. Buy your own cat eye polish and some essential nail polish tools and make them at home.

How to Use The Regular Magnetic Nail Polish?

For the regular nail polish (not gel!):
Prepare your nails with the base coat, and wait for it dry. Any base coat will do.
Apply the first color coat and wait for it dry, then the second coat, and wait again (this coat is not magnetic).
Apply the magnetic nail polish and immediately hold the magnet stick close to the nail for at least 30 seconds. The closer the distance, the more obvious the effect (but keep the stick away from the polish). The effect is decided on the line of the magnet stick and the direction you put it.
Apply a top coat, and use the magnet stick again, close to the nail for at least 30 seconds.

Roniki's cat eye gel manicure

As a manufacturer of cat eye gel manicure products, Roniki is focused on providing high-quality, long-lasting nail polish that creates a unique and eye-catching effect. The cat eye gel manicure is a special type of nail polish that contains tiny magnetic particles, which can be manipulated with a special magnetic tool to create a distinct, swirling pattern that resembles a cat's eye.
To create the cat eye effect, the gel polish is applied to the nails like traditional nail polish and cured under an LED or UV lamp. While the polish is still wet, a small magnetic tool is held over the nail, which attracts the magnetic particles in the polish and creates the cat eye pattern. The pattern can be customized by adjusting the position of the magnet and the angle at which it's held over the nail.
Roniki's cat eye gel manicure products are formulated with high-quality ingredients that are free of harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP. The polish is designed to be long-lasting and resistant to chipping and fading, ensuring that customers can enjoy their cat eye manicure for weeks without needing to touch it up.
Roniki's cat eye gel manicure products are designed with both quality and creativity in mind, providing a unique and eye-catching nail polish option for customers who want to stand out from the crowd.
Check out RONIKI new magetic cat eye gel with pixel and peacock effects. The magnetic particles are upgraded into better functioning. This video shows completely amazing chameleon cat eye effect, but unlike regular chameleon cat eye, this product is with much more phase. Certainly it is your very best choice now.
RONIKI iridescent peacock cat eye magetic gel comes out with 12 favorable colors. The iridescent glitters are mixed with the cat eye gels so perfectly. You will get different effects from one product, so don't hesitate to inquire for the best offer.
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2023.03.29 09:41 Jejjick Too Sensitive (Prologue) [By: Jejjick]

Too Sensitive (Prologue):
In a sleepy forest just outside of town by the old industrial park, a fluffy family is beginning to stir from their slumber. Their humble nest was laid out inside a thick bush, within which dwells a lavender purple earthie mummah with a forest green mane. She awakens in her safe nestie to the hungry peeps of her children. She’s delighted by the sound as all mummahs are and greets them cheerfully with a “Gud bwight time babbehs! Nu wowwy, mummah haf wots ob miwkies fo aww babbehs!”.
With that picks up the two closest within her reach to place on her teats, nursing them in no particular order; she’s a good mummah after all. The two up first suckling away are a caramel brown colored earthie and a red unicorn, both fillies. Three foals remain waiting to be fed, peeping but content to be in their mummah’s presence waiting for their breakfast. These little ones are a royal blue pegasus colt, its tiny wings buzzing with great excitement for the day, and two more unicorn colts, one gray and the other a slightly chubby powder blue.
While looking over her litter beaming with happiness as the first two are nursing, the gray unicorn colt slowly opens his tiny see places. Revealed are two precious baby blue eyes, staring blearily but lovingly up at mummah as it adjusts to the bright new world. The mare squeals with joy. This is one of the most precious moments for a fluffy mummah. With careful movement so as to not disturb the currently nursing foals, mummah reaches to pick up her newly seeing foal and gives it loving lickie cleanies and huggies, telling the little one how much she loves it and how proud she is that it opened its eyes for her.
Then, in an even more miraculous moment, the little one peeps happily and says “wub mummah!” Its first words! The mare is so overjoyed at this that she gives it the biggest huggies and reaffirms to it “das wight babbeh, am youw mummah!”, with happy tears soaking her fluffy face. Soon another word is heard, as a tiny voice squeaks out “mummah?”. It’s her precious blue wingie babbeh! In her elation she scoops it up to also receive upsies and huggies. Pegasus fluffies love upsides oh so much, with mummah cooing proudly over her two talkie foals as they hug her back with all their might. This process repeats another two times, first with the red unicorn once it finishes its meal, and finally the caramel earthie. All that remains is the powder blue unicorn colt, getting its turn to suckle at last.
He wasn’t as rambunctious as his siblings, typically preferring to stay perched in mummah’s fluff to wiggle around and chirp, joyously basking in her warmth. Him being last to feed was the only conscious choice in ordering her foals this mare would make, as the baby unicorn was a hungry growing boy and was always eager for as much milkies as he could drink. If he went first there might not be enough to fill the bellies of the other babbehs! That was absolutely unacceptable, so he had to wait his turn. She didn’t have the heart to pull him off her teat before he was satisfied, so she was content to spoil him a bit with his extra long feeding sessions when everyone else had gotten their fill. He remained latched on for a good few minutes longer as his siblings were enamored by the world around them, eager to “spwouwe” the vast foliage that was their small bush home.
Mummah was overcome with joy by the events of the day, watching over her exploring brood and crying more happy tears. She was absentmindedly humming a mummah song to all the foals as she waited for her last little babbeh to open up his eyes. He had just finished his milkies and waddled blindly to her front to nestle below her, evidently not feeling up to playing with his siblings. His mummah wanted so badly for him to be able to see her, who loved him so very very much.
Unfortunately, today would not be the day. As the family lazed about enjoying their time as a happy little herd, mummah couldn’t help but feel anxious that her last foal hasn’t opened his eyes yet. All the others had opened theirs very soon after one another… Was something wrong? She would be lying if she said she wasn’t disappointed and maybe a bit scared, but some remnant of her ancestors’ factory breeder programming told her that babbeh just wasn’t ready yet to see the beautiful world of huggies and wub around him.
With this knowledge applied unquestioned, mummah looked down to the foal nestled below her and embraced it, whispeing “Iss otay babbeh, yu nu open see pwaces tiww yu weady. Mummah and bwuddas an sissies wub yu su bewy muchies, can’ wait fo yu tu see an pway!”. The mare cooed the last part softly as encouragement, with her sleepy little blue babbeh resting happily with intermittent chirps in between her front hoofsies. She laid comfortably on her belly where she could look down at her sightless babbeh, allowing him to bury himself as best he could in her warm chest fluff. As much as she wanted to stay like that forever, she had other babbehs to watch too and shifted her gaze back and forth regularly to make sure all was well.
After such an eventful day it was getting near dawkie time and everyone was feeling tired, so mummah called out to her straggling foals who wanted to play around the nest after dinner. The toddling balls of fluff made their way over as quickly as they could at the call, climbing awkwardly up mummah’s side to curl up in a fluffpile on her back. Fluffies all had it ingrained in their programming that mummah’s back was the bestest safest place for a babbeh to be, depsite how obviously flawed this idea was. The blue unicorn was the only one not in the pile, still tuckered out from a whole lot of nothing and remained resting in front of his mummah. She curled her front weggies around him into a big bed time huggie, eliciting sleepy peeps of bliss as she began to sing a sweepie time mummah song for all the foals:
“Mummah’s wittwe babbehs nee dey sweepies, gwow su big an stwong fwom pwayin aww day. Mummah nu wet da munstahs com an git you, safe in da nestie fo aww dawk time.”
It predictably had no tune to speak of and barely counted as a song. Mummah’s wonky vocals weren’t in anything resembling a key, but to the slumbering fluffs this was the most calming thing imaginable. Just hearing their mother’s voice was enough to lull them into a sense of safety and happiness, only matched by the feeling of having a human mummah or daddeh. Mummah briefly worried that maybe her last babbeh would open his see places in the night when everyone was sleeping and she’d miss it! This worry was quickly dispelled as she giggled to herself, thinking “mummah so siwwy, nu can open see pwaces when makin sweepies!” As the mare felt her fluffpile babbehs on her back breathing in sleepie rhythms, she looked down to her special unicorn who was snoozing away, drooling all over his face as he dreamed. She smiled with soft coos escaping her lips, giving his rotund baby face a gentle wipe so as to not wake him before closing her eyes herself. She rested her head beside the unicorn, nuzzling him into her cheek while keeping him netsled in her chest fluff. As sleep finally took her, she whispered sweetly in his ear: “Nu be scawed babbeh, mummah nu wet babbehs hab huwties ow scawdies. You awways be mummah’s pweshus wittwe sensitibe babbeh.”

(I was initially writing this to brainstorm ideas for an upcoming comic, but it ended up being more fun to just write this as a bit of a prologue. Hope you guys enjoy the read regardless, it’s pretty short and sweet. This is not going to end well.)
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2023.03.29 09:15 ezm_ob How to mute sound completely

Hi everyone, I've major sounds sensory issues (+ minor smell/touch ir whatever its called), anyways i need help finding anything that can mute sounds completely, i basically live 24/7 with ear plugs, and for the last 5 months ive been sleeping in bless cuz i didn't need the fan of A/C , i would rather sleep without a blanket than turn them on.and im a light sleeper i can tell how is going up the stairs while im asleep even tho there is a door between us, ill also wake up if anyone touched the door handle. The issue is , its summer, im over heating, and i naturally run hot, and i sleep naked regardless or it being hot or freezing.
The problem is after 5months of bless, i can not sleep with this nails scratching devil called an A/C , its driving me crazy, i can literally feel the sound on my bones and it physically hurts.
I tried tying a scarf around my face barred my head under pillows, nothing works , i can not sleep unless it off. So my solution is to put it on the freezing settings, wait 5 mins turn it off go to bed wake up boiling 3hs later do the same thing and go to bed.
Im on the verge of putting my head throw a wall. Headphones are just too big to sleep with. If there is anything else that i can buy , please tell me.
Sorry if this is long first time on this sub.
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2023.03.29 08:11 Noa-Sukotto Looking for a specific manga.

Its a real shame since it was a diamond in the slop. Im looking for a dark fantasy ?martial arts? manga where a guy wakes up in another world butt ass naked in a dangerous forest. >! he after several months runs into some girl who treats him after getting severly injured and ends up later killing a knight and aphew villagers who want him dead and gets away. Also a little plot twist thats mentioned is that hes technically an advanced form of goblin and can gain XP from killing people/humans as normally one gains no XP from killing one of their own species !<
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2023.03.29 07:49 pramiemen Pedicure for Men in Dubai

At Pramie Gents Salon in Dubai, we offer professional pedicure services for men. Our experienced technicians will help you relax while taking care of your feet with a range of treatments, including nail trimming, buffing, and moisturizing. Come and indulge in a refreshing and rejuvenating pedicure experience. Book your appointment today!
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2023.03.29 07:47 Queasy-Common9735 20 best fragrance for teenage girls

20 best fragrance for teenage girls
Finding the right perfume is like finding the perfect partner. You are really going to know What are you looking If we are talking about perfume for teenage girls there are many of them.Finding the right perfume is difficult for us especially if we are looking for best oneWhich perfume is best for us depends on us and which perfume we like depends on our choices. The factor which is most important is that what type of scents you likeAre you like fruity one like mango, orange etcIf we talk about our personality wise it is also matter for our personality to choose right one because perfume also describe our personality
Some perfumes are costly so many people can’t afford them but some are not too costly and the best oneIf we talk about the best perfume for teengers in 2023. We are picked some of you
1. Thank you next perfume by Ariana Grande
If you are teenager and looking for best perfume for school/collage and party Then you can go for thank you next by Ariana Grande It is a juicy and fruity perfume which feels fresh and soft & sweet.
2. Princess by Vera Wang
Vera creates this fruity and strong perfume for girls. It is that type of perfume which almost everyone likes. It’s popularity is grown in too short time
3. Viva la juicy by Juicy Couture
Viva la juicy is one of the most favourite perfumes in 2023. This perfume has too much fan following by teenage girls. If you go through it then you will never be regret
4. 1981 by Guess
1981 by Guess is my most favourite classic perfume. If you are going to buy it will be your new favourite one. It is simple and delicious smelling perfume
5. Perfect by Marc Jacobs
Perfect by Marc Jacobs is the right perfume if you are looking for the best one. This perfume is defined by notes of amber, cashmere and cedar. If you are going to search perfect one we highly recommend it
6. Tommy girl by Tommy Hilfiger
This fragrance is released in 1996 after that it has huge popularity in cosmetic field tommy girl by Tommy Hilfiger is a perfume collection for all teenage girls. This fruity Fragrance is the mixture scant of apple tree blossom, mandarin orange, lemon, and Rose. if you buy the fruity one than you have the best one
7. Heat Rush by Beyonce
We all heard the name of Beyoncé. She is the official Queen of music, fashion, and perfume and there is no denying that. This perfume is sweet and the perfect reminder of summer. It has the notes of orchid, mango blossom, orange, and honey amber It is perfect for teenage girls looking for a trendy perfume and will smell delicious all day long
8. Dior J’adore In joy
This perfume is for teenage girls and it is a classic and popular Dior J'adore perfume. Whenever you are going to school/college or your first date it will be your best choice.
9. Lucky you by Lucky Brand
It is the best example of combination of citrus and flower that’s why it is best for teenage girls. It’s a strong fragrance so that it is not for every teenage girl. That is made specifically for those girls who love the sweet floral perfumes. So you should try it once
10. Daisy by Marc Jacobs
It is my most favourite perfume in the list of Marc Jacobs perfumes. This perfume is for teenage girls and young will be completed almost 20 years from now. And now a days it is also popular and mostly recommend for teenage girls
11. Elish Eau De Parfum by Billie Eilish
It is a warm, enveloping fragrance in a combination of vanilla, cocoa, and sugared petals. It is an excellent perfume for young girls. It was very popular in those past years. We highly recommend it because of its notes. If you buy it you will never lose it.
12. MOD Blush Eau De Parfum by Ariana Grande
Ariana is the rising Queen of Perfumes and Ariana herself describes MOD Blush Eau De Parfum as lighter and sweet. And it has two new fragrances. If you are going through it you have no one to deny it
13. Victoria's Secret Bombshell Seduction Eau De Parfum
Victoria’s secret bombshell seduction eau de parfum is the best seller bombshell. It has a light scent with attractive packaging. As we like a bit more grown-up than bombshell this perfume is the best package for it
14. Walk On Air by Kate Spade
For the girl who’s sophisticated, a kate spade fragrance could be a surprise gift of a nice addition to her beauty routine. It still has a youthful, fresh flare great for teens. It has layers of magnolia, lily of the valley, jasmine, and crinum lily. It feels more fresh then the most of. So go for it.
15. Lovely by Sarah jessica parkerVi
Launched in 2005, this perfume has notes of mandarin, rosewood, apple martini,bergamot and lavender. As this name truly smells like that: lovely. It is the perfect package of sweetness and more attractive. The most loved thing is that this fragrance smells much more expensive than it cost.
16. Glow by Jennifer Lopez
It was released in 2002, Glow by Jennifer Lopez is the best budget fragrance. It smells clean and soapy. Lopez created this fragrance 20 years ago and from then this perfume's popularity was increasing day by day and still on. If we talk about prizes this is perfect in budget. While we admire the fresh scent, it is the best one.
17. Fenty Eau de Parfum by Rehana
The name we all know Rehana has once again nailed another category in the cosmetic industry. This fragrance has the top notes including magnolia, tangerine, musk and Bulgarian rose. This perfume is costly for most teenagers but it also smells costly. If you go for it you have to look at your budget first but still you chose this you will always like this one.
18. From Above by Dolly Parton
If you love very sweet smelling fragrances then From Above by Dolly Parton may be your next scent. This fragrance is not for every teenager because it is very sweet smelling compared to others. If you like its smell then you can buy it. It is not much more costly than other celebrities fragrances.
19. Killer Queen by Katy Perry
This fruity pick from katy perry includes top notes of forest fruits,bergamot and plum. This fragrance bottle has the royal shape and smells will also feel like royalty. If we talk about its price then it will be in your budget. You should try it once.
20. Love Rush by Paris Hilton
This fragrance was released in 2004. From then it has a huge fan following and from then this fragrance is the most favourite for millions of teenagers. The top notes in this fresh floral fragrance include italian bergamot, mandarin zest and white apricot nectar. It has great looking packaging. One of the drawbacks of this fragrance is that it’s currently only available on her website. If you like this one you should buy it.
If you are confused about choosing perfume, We described the best fragrance of all time. There are some in your budget and few are not. Here we described in all of their notes and it's on you which one you prefer. They are all time favourites for teenage girls for school, collage, parties, weddings etc. . they all are amazing perfumes. You should go to one of them of your choice.
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2023.03.29 07:02 JamesCaligo The Lockhill Rd. Disappearances

A call came in that there was another disappearance on Lockhill Road. My whole town was buzzing about a person named Josephine, an old lady that had the tendency to be a little bit of a pain in the butt for cashiers, but otherwise a quiet one in town.
Apparently, the patrol that frequents near that road found her car in a ditch and saw no traces of her anywhere. The police went to check her house and saw that she wasn't there either. There was only one conclusion we all had to come to. The road has claimed another victim.
As for my name, I'm only going to tell you that it's Adam, and I'm here to explain to you that there's something absurdly bizarre about the road.
Lockhill Rd. is one of the oldest roads in Illinois. There isn't anything significantly special about it. On the surface, it's covered in large cracks, grass overtaking the edges, and it's surrounded by an unusually swamp-like environment, something a little bizarre given how up North I am.
But it's also got a rap sheet that would make Ted Bundy jealous.
From what I've learned in my twenty-eight years of living in this town, over the last two hundred years or so, around three hundred people have mysteriously disappeared. That's a significantly high number and you're probably wondering why people would want to drive on it?
Here's the thing, nobody typically uses that road. They just find themselves on it.
It's really weird but you can find yourself suddenly on that road without warning. One moment you'll be on the highway that's near my town, and right as you get off, you'll find yourself driving on that road. But this only happens at night. As a rule, driving at night is strongly prohibited. The only issue is that cops are less inclined to go about driving themselves. And this happens at completely random moments as well.
The next question I know you all are asking is "why would any of us want to live here then?"
Well, the thing is there's a mine nearby. It's a salt mine and a lot of money is gained from it. You have to weigh in the risk and reward factors here. There are people here who— despite the danger— are making bank. I don't know how much a typical salt mine will pay, but I think the extra danger of the road is the reason why the income for locals is so much better here. So for the most part we prefer not to talk about it.
Now you're probably wondering why am I here? I clearly don’t work at the mine, but instead, I am a neighborhood watch patrolman.
Since disappearances can happen if people are caught driving, I— as well as others— found ourselves working alongside the local police to keep people off of the roads for their own safety. It seems that whatever effect the road can create, it doesn't work if you're walking on two feet.
So my job is relatively safe. Sure, I don't get any weapons training other than a baton and mace, which is why I prefer to regularly work out and make sure that criminals, usually rowdy teenagers, don't have a good advantage over me or any of my partners.
But I'm here to tell you about how I got sloppy and nearly paid the price with my life...
It was your typical Wednesday, and I was with my friends at the police station, getting ready to sign in to let the department know that we were going to be working today.
That's when officer Smith (not his real name by the way) approached me and said in her smooth, southern voice, "Now you boys try to have a good night. We've been getting some reports that there's been a gang of kids that keep breaking house windows. So far they haven't entered any, but I think they're just trying to create an atmosphere of tension."
I stood there silently, always having difficulty talking to her. She was serious about her job and wasn't too kind to anyone who was caught slacking. But she cared to a great degree.
I mustered up the courage to say, "Will do. We got our mace and batons ready."
"Good, but still, if they turn out to be more hostile than usual, I need you fellas to call us ASAP."
It wasn't lost on me that even if we did call up for the actual police officers, it would still take a good while for them to arrive, giving any of these troublemakers a chance to escape from us. No cars at night, remember.
One of my partners, Derek, replied with his usual enthusiasm, "Don't sell us too short ma'am, Adam and I have been doing this for two years now. We're basically experts at this point."
She noticed his smug expression and quickly shot it down.
"I've been a cop for seven years. In that time I believe thirteen people have gone missing. And many of you neighborhood watch patrolmen have been hurt, sometimes severely, by these thugs. Call us." she ended it with a stern warning.
Derek always had this issue with over-confidence and I often think that's why he was never able to get a girlfriend. I think he’s just overdoing it half the time, thinking that it impresses people.
Still, this is the first time I've actually known this much about officer Smith. Seven years is a long time, and for that many people to have gone missing, I can tell that's got to weigh heavily on her mind.
But our patrol went on as usual. We did our regular routine for the first few hours with nothing more than warning people that they can't get in their cars because, in about an hour, the sun would've completely set by then.
Sure that's an entire hour, but why take the chance?
But around the time when the sun had already descended, I got a call on my radio by a woman that said:
"Neighborhood Patrol Unit #9, do you read me?"
"Neighborhood Patrol Unit #9, we hear you loud and clear."
"Number Nine we've been getting some odd reports of a car that is driving around. It was reported by a civilian caller, but all police officers who responded to the area haven't been able to track their location. We need you to stay alert, the last coordinates of their whereabouts were in your general location so keep your eyes peeled."
"Dispatch, we'll keep our eyes on the lookout for the driver. We'll have to flag them down and hope that they stop."
"Copy, good hunting."
It was always anxiety-inducing to hear that someone was driving around. They had to be someone who had come off the highway.
"Well, looks like we got to chase someone down on foot today." Derek happily said.
"Come on man, I don't even want to think about going after someone in a car."
"Yeah, but at least it's something to do." he chuckled.
I wasn't amused. Frankly speaking, this was only a job for me. Sure I don't get paid as much as a cop, but it's less dangerous. Now that I'm being tasked with stopping a vehicle, this is going to prove way above my pay grade. I almost can’t remember the last time I had to deal with a driver.
But the night dragged on as usual and still no sign of the vehicle. I was pretty much convinced that they must have gone off on some other section of the town, but Derek was remaining vigilant. He took this job way too seriously. Or perhaps he wasn't taking it seriously enough?
"You hear that?" he abruptly said.
We both quieted down and tried to listen carefully.
There was nothing for a brief few seconds, other than the sound of crickets in the distance and an owl hooting.
But then there was a sudden screeching of tires nearby. We had our driver and quickly started running towards whatever direction it was that we heard it from.
Despite having flashlights and reflectors on, I somehow found myself alone. I shouted out for Derek at the top of my lungs.
I heard his distant reply, "Adam! Adam, where'd you go?"
I followed his voice and saw that he had gone down the next street over.
"Derek, what are you doing over there? You were supposed to stay with me the whole time?" I shouted.
I was trying my best to hide my anger from him. He shouldn't have broken off just to chase down a car.
"What do you mean? You broke off from me?" he shouted back.
"You were supposed to go with me down Amberg Street!"
He was about to respond, but the screeching of those tires could be heard coming down my road.
I looked to my left and saw a large Chevrolet speeding toward me. I jumped out of the way just in time before they hit me. They knocked over some trash cans and a mailbox and appeared to be driving with delirium. Now I was having suspicions about this person.
"Derek, I saw the driver. I think they're drunk and they're taking their car out for a joyride since no one else is around."
He sounded confused, "Eh, what's the protocol for this again?"
I ignored his forgetfulness and pulled out my radio to call dispatch again.
"Neighborhood Patrol Unit #9 to Dispatch, we have a red Chevrolet driving erratically on Amberg Street and the local area, over."
"Dispatch to Unit #9, where are they heading, over?"
I took a look at my compass that I always keep with me, and replied, "Dispatch they're heading towards the North and don't appear to be stopping anytime soon, over."
"Dispatch to Unit #9, do not engage with the driver. We're sending over a bicycle unit to try and slow them down the best we can. We can't take risks with a vehicle, over."
"Okay, we will not engage any further but will keep you updated, over and out."
Derek soon approached behind me and said, "I get so tired of always having to use those police codewords."
"It's so that there's no confusion. You do realize there are police officers on this channel too, right?"
"Yeah, yeah. Don't lose your hair over it. I was just complaining a little."
I gave him a smirk and the two of us continued on our way. Since we didn't have the responsibility of chasing after the driver, we went about our usual patrol but with a little more alertness in mind.
But we made a bad decision to be passing by that dreaded road. It was part of our routine, and usually passing by never caused any problems.
The only problem is that as we were going by, we saw the truck. It ran off the road and crashed into a tree.
From what I could see, the silhouette of the guy was inside.
I gave Derek my radio and told him to call and tell them that we had found the driver and that they appeared to have been trying to go down Lockhill Road.
I ran over to the left side of the road where the car laid wedged up against the side of the tree. The driver's door was smashed in and I would have to climb in from the passenger side to try and save them from burning to death.
When I went for the door, I briefly hesitated. The idea of getting in a car at night and being directly on Lockhill left me with this gut feeling that kept telling me that I should just turn back and wait for First Responders to arrive.
But given that they were going to be arriving not by ambulance, but by bicycle, and with the car slowly starting to burn, I took a deep breath and opened the door, climbing inside and reaching for the man as quickly as I could.
He was knocked out cold and I grabbed hold of his arm and shook him as much as I could to wake him up.
The fire was growing and I unbuckled his seat belt, wrapped my arms around him, and used my legs to forcibly pull him out of the vehicle. This man was fat and a pain to try and pull out.
At last, I felt the weight release and both of us fell onto the grass below. I breathed a sigh of relief, thankful that I was able to save him just in time.
I got myself back to my feet and looked over to the exit of the road.
I must have fallen into a state of disbelief because I saw that there was nothing but a long stretch of road surrounded by marshland under a red moonlight.
I turned over to the other side, a soon to be fleeting hope already starting to take hold of me, and saw that it was the same in the other direction.
"No, no, no!" I shouted. "I wasn't even driving the car! The car wasn't moving!"
How could this have happened to me? This wasn't supposed to happen. As far as we all knew, if you're driving, you become snatched up by the road. At least, that's what I think the town's consensus was. Maybe everyone just assumes that that is the likely scenario. It's not like anyone's ever returned to tell us that simply being inside your car is enough to warrant whatever unusual forces are at work here.
I kept pacing myself, running from one end to the other, hoping that maybe I just misjudged the distance and I can easily still walk out and find Derek.
But besides the eerie red light coming from above, all I saw was darkness.
The drunken man groaned. This quickly caught my attention and I ran back over to him.
He was still alive but not fully awake yet.
Then I remembered my radio and reached for it. I felt nothing in my pocket and instantly remembered that I handed my radio off to Derek.
Seeing that that wasn't going to work, I went for my phone next. But there was no signal. I was completely stranded.
In a fit of rage, I started swearing up and down out of the frustration of being caught in this. I guess it's true what they say, no good deed goes unpunished. I should have listened to my instincts and told myself not to intervene. I should have left this guy and waited for backup like they always tell us. And now I'm trapped on this road with a drunkard, who I was now more than happy to abandon.
He started moving around and his eyes opened. He was awake and clearly saw the burning wreckage that was his truck.
His voice was rough, having a noticeable smoker's voice. "Hey, what happened to my piece of junk?"
"You crashed into a tree, you idiot," I alerted him to my presence.
He turned around and became instantly belligerent with me.
Holding up both of his fists at me, he fiercely said, "Who are you calling an idiot?"
I wasn't intimidated. The fact of the matter is that I work out regularly and when I was five, my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to take self-defense classes. Thank you, Mom and Pop.
He threw one of his fists my way and I was able to dodge it, backing up and having my own fists ready. When he saw that he missed, he threw his other one, only for me to grab it and easily pull them inwards with my back turned and flipped him over me, letting him hit the ground hard.
Even though he was drunk and probably didn't feel the pain all that much, his body was too heavy for him to have any decent motor function and I believe he passed out again.
Seeing that he wasn't going to be a problem anymore, I walked around— staying relatively close to the man— trying to see if I could get a signal by changing location.
This went on for about twenty minutes or so, and despite my best efforts, I was left with nothing. The unusual silence was broken by a few sharp coughs. I guess he was due to wake up again.
I stood over him, expecting him to go into another rant about what I had said earlier, but he seemed to have had a mental reset.
"Eh, who are you?"
"My name is Adam. I'm part of the Neighborhood Patrol. You had a car wreck because you were drunk, am I correct?" I said in my best stoic voice.
He got back to his feet quickly and smelled horrible. I only just now noticed because I was distracted by my situation. The sting of his alcoholic breath was much too strong for me, forcing me to take a few steps back.
"I only had a few drinks," he slurred.
"Only? How much is only?" I let my anger slip out.
"Five... seven maybe?"
"Of what?" I ordered.
This guy was a moron. Now I was trapped on this god-forsaken road with a man who had only half a brain functioning.
I walked to one side of the road and had to take a wild guess as to which way would be best. I wasn't about to sit out here in the dark with this guy. I could only rely on the illumination of the red moonlight. I wanted to save the battery on my flashlight, so I thought it best not to use it at this moment.
"Look," I said. "We need to start walking in a direction to get out of here. Maybe there is a way to escape, but we have to come to a decision on which way."
I guess he remembered my remark from earlier after all because he said, "I ain't going anywhere with you kid. You call me an idiot."
I rolled my eyes. This guy was as petty as a child, and yet calls me a kid.
"Listen closely. You're on that road we're not supposed to be on. You got me roped into this, and I'm going to make a decision. Either come with me or stay here and wait for rescue. Not that they will be coming."
He turned around and went back to the car. At first, I was confused as to what he was up to, but I almost had a quick heart attack when I briefly thought that he was going to pull a gun out on me. I was already preparing myself to start running when he turned around and had a beer bottle in his hand.
"I ain't going with you anywhere,"
He threw the bottle at me, narrowly hitting me in the head. It shattered on the other side of the road and for a brief moment, I thought I heard something skitter away. Since I've been here, I haven't heard a single animal so the idea that something was back there silently observing us made my skin crawl.
"Fine!" I said. "Stay here. I can't make you come with me. Let's hope that we can find you by tomorrow when the sun comes up."
The heavy man flipped me off, signaling my cue to leave. I was quick to put as much distance between us as I went to the right end of the road and started my journey with only a flashlight in hand.
For the most part, nothing had happened in the last five minutes and I was content with the silence that surrounded me. Better to hear nothing than to hear something. But I would rather hear my radio crackling to life at this moment.
Going a little further on, the silence was broken again. But this time, instead of the groaning coming from that guy, I heard a blood-filled screaming coming from way back. That man had stayed behind and now he was being attacked by something. It was so guttural and wrapped up in agony that already the hairs on my body were standing up.
A part of me was screaming that I needed to go back and check on him. But whatever it was, it likely had already done the deed. Plus, if I go back, who's to say I won't become the next victim. There's always been something odd about this road and I have to approach it with the highest end of paranoia.
My only other option was to keep pressing forward and hope that salvation is at the end. Running was starting to feel like a better option, but I refrained from it. I could easily tire myself out and I didn't want to be stationary. It clearly didn't provide any safety for that drunkard. I just had to keep pressing forward at a modest pace.
Something has changed. It's been about three hours now and the moon hasn't moved. And that blood-red color is hurting my eyes. I don't like to keep my eyes shut, for fear that something might come out from nowhere and attack me, but the soreness is starting to get to me.
What's worse is that I can hear footsteps behind me. They're light on their feet, but each step is almost echoing my pace. I sped up just a little to test out my theory and whatever it was, it simultaneously matched me. I heard it lingering always behind me. My paranoia is starting to overtake any rational thinking that I have. But then again, nothing about this road is rational.
The steps seemed to be speeding up even though I had been going at the same pace for the last ten minutes. My breathing was starting to betray me, growing louder and more hoarse with each intake of the unseasonably cold air. And then there was a steadily growing whispering that was surrounding me.
Finally, having had enough of the pursuit, I turned around, pointing the flashlight at as many parts of the road as I could to get a glimpse of who was following me. But it was empty.
"No, no, I heard something... someone..." I whispered to myself.
Turning back in my original direction, the steps began again. And the whispering was only growing louder.
Without a second thought, I started charging forward, done with whatever it was that was messing with me. I wanted to get away from them, but I could faintly hear their footsteps behind me. It was growing closer even though I was now running at full speed.
In my mind, I thought maybe I could fight it. Perhaps the drunkard was caught off-guard and that's how it got him. But my legs kept moving forward, a sense of dread was keeping me in flight mode, preventing me from wanting to switch to fight mode.
No matter what, one thing was for certain. I wasn't alone on this lonely road. That's perhaps one of the worst feelings.
Up ahead, I saw a distant flashing. They were police flashes. As I drew closer, my pursuer's footsteps quieted down and the whispering ceased.
Standing in front of me was a police officer and his vehicle behind him.
"Oh thank you, I've been trapped on this road for hours." I called out to him.
His voice was low and had an echo to it which was an immediate put-off. "It's okay son. We got reports of a disappearance happening here earlier today. They sent me to try and get you."
I replied, down on my knees due to exhaustion. "Who? Dispatch?"
Upon further inspection, I started noticing some irregularities. His voice and the way he spoke sounded cold and indifferent. I would think a police officer would be happy to have found someone who was lost on this road for the first time.
Another thing that was making me nervous was how unprofessional he was behaving. His answers were vague, and his appearance looked worn-out. His uniform was tattered and his hair messy. And despite there being light from the moon, the police cars headlights, and my flashlight, his face was shrouded in a dark shadow that purposely was making sure that he was obscure for me to identify any details.
I got back onto my feet and quickly looked down near his waist. I didn't see a holster.
"Where's your gun?"
"Not important." he replied harshly.
I leered at him, my body instantly going into high alert mode again. "It's very important."
"Come with me. I'll give you a drive back home."
I did another quick analysis of his appearance and saw that there was no radio, no gun, and no badge. That would mean this was no cop.
"How about we see your face first," I flashed my light up to his face, something I had been avoiding because that would be rude. And this was an instant regret.
His eyes were glazed over with a red glow coming from them. The mouth was full of razor-sharp teeth, and the skin appeared to be leathery and pale.
He echoed, "Lunchtime."
He jumped me, throwing me back to the ground, and kept trying to bite me. It took all my strength just to keep him from getting close to my face. I kept hearing the snapping of his teeth right into my ear, and a desperate struggle ensued.
I had no weapon on me, only basic self-defense skills and my baton but I couldn’t reach for it, and this guy had some inhuman strength. Despite his body looking frail and emaciated, his strength was more than on par with mine.
"I need food," he— it growled.
I gritted my teeth, getting ready to take a huge risk. Removing one of my arms just for a split second, I punched him as hard as I could in his head.
Despite the bizarreness of this man, pain was still something that he experienced. His grip released and he held on to his face.
I got back up to my feet and grabbed my flashlight to keep my eyes on him. Now I could see what it was that I did. The entire right side had been caved in.
"My God, what are you?"
Despite the impact to the side of his head, he smiled through bloody teeth and said, "Merely a puppet."
At that, his body started to disintegrate into a pile of dust, and red light streaks shot up into the air and dispersed back into the surrounding forest.
I looked around, convinced that what I had experienced was my mind psychologically breaking at this point. When I turned back towards the police car, I thought maybe I could start driving it back. Only to be met with a long-abandoned Lincoln car.
"Looks like I'm still stuck on the road." I sighed.
Exhaustion, thirst, and hunger were starting to take their toll on me. I was desperate for something and now I'm regretting my decision not to have protein bars on me at all times.
Every passing minute was a grim reminder that my time was running out. The human body can only survive for three to four days without any water and from what I could tell, I'm well past the first day. And I'm certain that constantly moving is only lessening those precious days that I have left.
I could hear them whispering behind me again. The footsteps had grown numerous; like there was a crowd behind me. I was so tired. I needed a moment to rest but I was too afraid that that would be the last thing I would do.
Out of sheer frustration with my followers, I turned around, half expecting that there would be nothing again.
What a regretful decision that turned out to be.
This time I could see who it was. It was a crowd of people. All of their eyes were glowing red, and their bodies looked like they had shriveled up, walking limply at me. In the crowd, I saw a familiar face. The drunk driver from earlier was among them. His eyes are glowing red and his body already looked like it had been drained of all fluids, same as the rest.
I turned back and started running as fast as I could. The sweat that grew on me only managed to slow me down as it sapped away more water from my body.
I thought for sure that this was a sign that I was going to end up becoming one of them. Becoming some sort of shriveled puppet for whatever it is that has a hold on this road.
They were still chasing after me, running as well, and not too much longer, I ended up losing steam and collapsing on the side of the road. I was out of breath, drenched in sweat, and my legs were numb.
If they reached me again, there's no way I could escape.
I heard the sound of a gate grinding shut. Then it opened again. Then closed again.
Looking up, I saw an old, run-down Victorian Manor. There was an eerie red glow coming from inside, but what wasn't having a red glow today.
Feeling a sudden surge of adrenaline kicking back in, I found the strength to climb up the small hill to reach the front door of this suspiciously abandoned home.
Before I receive any judgment, anyone who was desperate for shelter would have done the same thing regardless of the obvious red flags, pun not intended.
Kicking the door in, I wasted no time entering and checking behind me to make sure that my fan club wasn't following in. To my surprise, they were back on the road but stood there watching me as I entered.
I honestly couldn't tell if that was a good sign or a bad one.
Closing the door behind me, I was greeted with chilly, dusty air that kept forcing me to cough.
I pulled my shirt over my face and moved inside, wondering where that red light was coming from. Inside was a variety of dull, neutral colors of furniture and walls. What was more jarring was the number of taxidermied animals that were littered everywhere. From the walls, to lampstands, to bear rugs, everything about this house was dead, gloomy, and sinister.
I went into the kitchen and sure enough, nothing could be found in terms of food. But I did find water. There was a dirty puddle of it in the sink, and out of desperation, I started drinking it, regardless of the health risks. And it was as bitter and rusty tasting as I should’ve expected. I could only hope that it doesn’t come back to kill me.
Wiping my face with a raggedy towel nearby, I briefly heard something rustling underneath the floorboards. That was enough to tell me that I wasn't alone in the house. But now I was trapped. My only other choice was to take my chances with the outside where that menacing crowd was waiting for me, or use whatever strength I had left on whatever was hiding in here.
I inspected each of the other rooms on the first floor, not even bothering to check the second one. So far nothing seemed terribly alarming, but I could still hear the sound of footsteps beneath me. They were loud, walking on gravel. I had this sinking feeling that they wanted me to know that they were here.
Seeing that I had no other choice, I found one last unopened door. I took a deep breath, and it slowly creaked open leading to a flight of stairs that descended into a reddish glow that was surrounded by an overwhelmingly sinister blackness that threatened to envelop me should I be brave enough to proceed forward.
With a single gulp, I took my first step down and felt the first few droplets of cold sweat. I also felt a nauseating pain in my stomach, but that could be from the water.
I took each step cautiously, believing that any moment now the door upstairs would suddenly close like a cliche horror movie.
When my foot finally hit the floor, I was surprised that the door remained open. But I was met with a hallway. A long, red wallpapered, red carpeted hallway. At this point, I'm starting to become sick of the color red. At least the colors here were a dull shade.
Pulling out my flashlight again, the flickering that I was receiving from it was alarming and I had half a mind to run back up. But I had to know if I was going to be able to live in this house for some time. And the idea of someone else being in it wasn't comforting.
I held my flashlight up like a weapon, preparing to hit whatever decided to jump out at any corner that I approached.
But no matter how many corners I reached, I was met with another long hallway that stretched roughly 20 ft.
My breathing was becoming heavier and the air was getting warmer. The hallways were growing more vibrant with each turn, and they seemed to change from right to left a lot.
At the end of each turn though, I started to notice something move just out of sight at the next turn. At first, it was tiny, like the back end of a mouse. But each time I reached the next turn, it was getting taller and I was starting to see more of what it was.
Seeing that it was trying to avoid me, I gave chase and prepared myself to start my assault on whatever it was. Out of desperation, all I could think of was to fight everything. My every thought was aggression and survival.
And yet it managed to stay ahead of me at all times as if it was teasing me. And then it finally dawned on me that I had run quite some distance.
Turning back, I realized that I had made a foolish decision. Everything was getting cleaner and more vibrant still. I had gotten myself trapped. Now I was stuck in this maze with something always ahead of me, managing to move out of sight before I could get a good look at it.
Frustration, starvation, and an overwhelming sense of dread made me want to do anything to get out of this maze and not see what was at the end of it.
I looked at the wall and used the butt end of the flashlight to start digging a hole through it. I didn't care anymore, I wanted out.
I kept chipping away with frantic speed, struggling to tear apart the solid wooden wall until it finally collapsed outwards and revealed a monstrous void on the other side. I poked my head out and saw that there was nothing out there. A cold, unfathomably deep void that was a grim choice that if I was ever going to get out of here, my only other choice was to keep pushing forward through the maze, or I could take my chances of falling into oblivion.
Seeing what my choices were, I took a few steps back, slumped against the other side, and started to cry. I never normally did something like that but the stress, the feeling of entrapment, and this whole situation that stemmed from an act of kindness has led me to an increasing sense of hopelessness that seized every one of my thoughts.
I must've kept crying for who-knows-how-long anymore. It no longer matters. No matter what happens today, I'm going to die. I just want to lie here and finally get some sleep. It wasn't the most comfortable bed, but I needed this.
I was alerted by the sound of footsteps approaching. My eyes darted open and I saw that the crowd of red-eyed people were following in after me. They were already at the other end of the hallway, staring me down.
Natural instincts kicked in and I got back on my feet and started running as fast as I could to whatever it was that they were cornering me in. If there is a chance of getting out, I have to take this.
I ran and ran, never once taking a moment to catch my breath. I still wanted to sleep, but survival was pushing me forward.
It took me a few minutes to realize that something odd was going on in the hallway itself. It was starting to become warped, blindingly bright in its red colors, and inducing petrifying fear into my heart.
But then the red wallpaper was peeling off, the wooden walls breaking up into shards, and the red lamps that hung on the sides were falling apart. It was slowly getting darker and darker. I turned on my flashlight just to make sure that I didn't run into a wall, but it flickered erratically, making the way ahead obscure and unpredictable.
It didn't matter for too long because I made it to the end.
At the far end of the last hallway was a swirling vortex of black mist, an eerie white glow around the edge, and red eyes. Of course...
They stared at me as if they were awaiting my arrival. On the ceiling was a black slime that was morphing together and splitting apart, dripping down to the floor. From the vortex of eyes and mist, five long pincers were stretched out, reminding me of praying mantis’ pincers.
When I moved in closer by a few steps, I was compelled to stare into a cosmic maelstrom of impossible depths, and through the swarming array of red lightning at the other end of this unfathomable creature, a pulsing organ, shaped like a heart but covered in wiggling strands of hair and misshapen eyes. The pupils were like that of a goat, and— you guessed it— red.
I was disturbed by the crowd of red-eyed people behind me. They stopped their advance as I was making my approach to the anomaly.
"You have made it," it whispered with a slow and calculated voice.
"I have," I said, unsure about what to do next.
"You ran from my grasp outside, entered my home, and your perseverance has brought you this far so that you may see my true form."
I took a few more steps forward, peering at the entity with a sudden rush of curiosity. Upon my even closer observation, from behind the deathly heart, I swear I could see three figures shrouded in a veil of shadows behind it.
But instead of asking any questions, I begged, "Let me out!"
"Why should I? I have no reason to spare you. As you can see behind you, I feed on the minds of those who enter my domain."
Once again, my fight or flight instincts were kicking in and I was ready to do what I must. But it would be crazy to attack something as abstract and out of this world as this creature was. And then I thought for a moment. Could a deal be reached?
"Perhaps—" I swallowed. "Perhaps we can come to an agreement."
A jarring long pause followed before it said, "How so?"
"I'll uh..." I tried to think about what I was going to do. If it's anything that I've learned from movies and TV shows where these types of deals happened, this thing will want me to bring more people and encourage them to drive so that it can snatch them up onto the road. But I wasn't about to sell out my own race. I rationed with myself that I could do something else. Perhaps I should ask it what it wants.
"Is there anything that you want? Something that doesn't involve me selling out people to you?"
"If I say no, are you still willing to offer me people to feed on?"
I took a deep breath and exhaled loudly. If this was going to be where I would die, I was going to go out with a shred of dignity intact. Even if that meant having to give up my own life to save others. I don't think I could live with myself by tricking people.
"No. I care about other people's lives more than my own. I wouldn't be able to live with myself or look my mother in the eyes if she ever found out."
I stood there defiantly, but inside I was shaking and having a horrible case of butterflies in my stomach.
"How noble," it said softly. "All right then, I will make another deal for you. I can see that you will be most valuable in the future. I'll let you go on the condition that you bring me more creatures like me."
"What, disturbing?" I thought.
But what I said was, "Another like you?"
"I am a being known as a Primordial. There are many like me on this planet and I wish to devour them."
"How am I supposed to do that?"
"I'll give you a helping hand. Plus, there's a war between them and I'd rather not have my territory and peace disturbed or my human snacks wiped out over their infighting."
"That's more doable I guess." I said, believing it much less morally wrong to sell out another one of these "Primordials" and sacrifice them to this monstrosity.
"And to make sure that you don't go back on your word—"
Before I had time to react, one of its pincers extended out too quickly for me to dodge in time, drilling itself into my shoulder and leaving a nasty blackened puncture wound.
"Now you'll be forced to bring me my prize. Don't go running away. I have planted myself inside your body and could easily bring you back here should you betray me."
I should have guessed there was going to be some insurance for this creature. I was trapped and had to go through with this deal. Now the next means of action was to find another creature like this.
The creature's pincers all extended outwards and a loud flashbang hit me before I could look away. My mind left spinning, and in utter confusion. And then I heard my name being repeatedly screamed out to me.
I awoke, shocked to see that Derek was pulling me out of a car. He dropped me onto the ground and we both were breathing heavily.
"Man, you sure are a heavy guy," he remarked.
I was quick to realize where I was and quickly got back to my feet to look for the drunk driver. He wasn't in the driver's seat.
"Where did the driver go?" I asked.
Derek slowly got back on his feet and said, "You're welcome, and I don't know. He must have run off by the time you got over there."
I was smart enough to know that that wasn't the truth. I had to play the part that I was not aware of what truly happened to him.
I had to fill out a report to the police department and tell them everything that I knew. Well, a manufactured story that would coincide with Derek's side of the story. I took it upon myself to have the next week off, desperately trying to drown out my frequent nightmares of whatever it was that I saw with bottle after bottle of vodka and whiskey.
But one night, after a rough night of trying to get some sleep, I was disturbed by the sound of an owl. I don't know why this particular owl was able to get me out of bed, but when I went to the window to see how such a creature could be so loud, I was given a grim reminder.
That bird had that particular pair of velvet-colored eyes that I had grown to disdain. And it was a warning to me to get to work.
A sudden rush of piercing pain struck me in my shoulder. When I pulled my shirt down to check it, I could see the black, veiny markings exactly where the puncture wound happened. Weird, this wound disappeared when I got back to town. But that was a warning shot to get to work on finding more of those foul, lowlife primordial things that this... thing wants.
And right before I closed the blinds, I heard it whisper to me once more with a mocking tone. "I'm waiting. Get moving now. Or perhaps you'd like to get your mom in a car next?"
It seems that there would be no rest for the weary today. I have to get ready now, I have to find something out there. Until I'm able to update, take care and for the love of God, don't drive at night in a town with a street called "Lockhill Road."
submitted by JamesCaligo to ThresholdofEvil [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 06:28 SuzieQbert Estranged mom wants to talk about her will

TLDR: My estranged mother keeps trying to use emotional shrapnel to try to lure me back in to a relationship - most recently claiming she needs to discuss her will with me. I feel like it's time to extinguish her hope once and for all, but I'm not interested in being cruel to her. How do I get her to just leave me alone?
So, trying to keep this short, I've been estranged from my mother for years. She has always been incredibly difficult, and I knew from an extremely young age that I would never have chosen to know her if I had any choice in the matter. Lots of emotional neglect, bullying, weaponized shame and physical abuse in our house.
My older sibling (mid 40's) has never been employable, and had lived with our mother off and on (mostly on) for about 20 years. Almost 7 years ago sibling got full custody of their school age child. One family dinner was all it took for me to know that I could not watch this child have the same childhood my siblings and I did.
Looking at the situation, the only influence I had was my presence. So I wrote a long letter telling my mother how traumatic it was growing up in her home, and letting her know I would not be present to see another childhood shredded by her parenting.
The ultimatum was this: Take parenting classes, and get therapy, and attend family counselling. OR I simply will not see her again and our relationship would be completely over. Either way I wouldn't watch my nibling suffer.
Predictably, she refused to acknowledge the letter to me and disposed of it, but went around crying about my cruelty to everyone who would listen. Nearly a year later, she realized that I was serious, and arranged a counselling session for the two of us. I went, out of a sense of obligation, but by then I had realized how much better my life was in every measurable way. My blood pressure had returned to normal and I got off meds, my self esteem had shot up, I was smiling and humming to myself nearly every day... before cutting her out, I had no idea that people could just wake up happy, like, all the time.
So I went to the session because I'd said I would in that letter from a year earlier. And it was the craziest thing. In 90 minutes we plowed through the full cycle of abuse. Started with the nicey-nice behavior, then as soon as she was uncomfortable everything was "that never happened," then by the end she was telling me that everything I said was a lie, I was evil and she's ashamed of how I turned out to be.
Decision made - obviously this estrangement became permanent that day.
(For anyone wondering about my nibling, child came to my home every weekend for years so that my sibling could have a break and child could see what a stable home looked like. I registered them in weekend activities alongside my own kiddos, and treated them all equally. NC with my mother didn't mean NC with sibling or child. I take care of my people.)
So since then, my mother (who can only contact me through email but my husband has never blocked her) keeps trying to find something emotionally compelling enough to lure me back in. One year at Christmas its "here's one cup and saucer from a set that belonged to your grandma. Call me for the story about these dishes." Then for a birthday, she'll send over my deceased dad's high school yearbooks with a note that says "I have lots more of your dads things. Just come over and we can go through things together." Just always some bullshit trying to pull at my heartstrings.
Most recently, she called my husband asking him to pass on the message that "we need to talk about my will."
The truth is I don't give a rats ass what she does with her meager belongings. As I kid she used to refuse to buy me shampoo because apparently I used too much of it - so I went to school having just rinsed off in the shower because I had nothing to wash with. I started working the summer I was 15, and never relied on her money again. Why would I want her leftovers now? So there is no discussion to be had about her will. She can do whatever and I couldn't care less.
So anyway, here's my question: obviously she is still holding out hope that our relationship can be healed, but there's no fuxking way that's happening. The way I see it I have two options.
  1. Ignore her as I've been doing for all these years. Dead silence from me.
  2. Send an email stating plainly that she missed the boat for reconciliation. That she needs to stop torturing herself with hope, and she needs to stop harassing me with these things. Then block her email address.
I'm not feeling great about either of these things. My goal is to just be left alone. What can I do to get there? Any advice?
submitted by SuzieQbert to raisedbynarcissists [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 06:26 Educational_Newt_638 The other day when she was doing his nail he like kicked his feet all crazy but then he says he feels trapped cause he can’t use his hands but he gets his nails done and doesn’t act like that in a salon…. She only did his nails cause she needed clips for an ad

submitted by Educational_Newt_638 to icywyattsnarkk [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 06:23 MasterLiberator Fitting punishment

In an honor based religious system, where a goddess's highest virtue is boldness/courage, what is a fitting punishment for someone guilty of cowardice? (In accordance with the afterlife)
The goddess in question feeds man's ambitions. She would see everyone fulfill their heart's purest desires and fulfill their mind's curiosities. Based in a society where exploration and war are two of the most common endeavors. Young boys dream of magic that let's them dominate a battlefield. Men dream of testing the horizon's boundaries. In the setting, it isn't really possible for just anyone to reach the heights of the hierarchy.
I've been stuck on this thought train for awhile. I can't seem to find a satisfactory answer. The idea is kind of esoteric to me. It's hard to nail down something concrete. The other gods' ideals are a little easier to manage. For instance, the forest god punishes wastefulness by locking the person's spirit in a tree.
Any feedback is much appreciated. Thank you.
submitted by MasterLiberator to worldbuilding [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 06:02 Adam-best PolyGel Nail Kit The unique putty-like viscosity ensures smooth, flawless nails and color. PolyGel's formulation combines acrylic powder for strength in a gel base with photo initiators providing workability without any unpleasant odor. Stop wasting time and money at salons, and get the PolyGel

submitted by Adam-best to BestDealsOfTheDay_ [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 06:01 strangerpie Accidentally agreeing to a "contract" with djinn?

My parents bought a resale flat that had a lot of entities in it back in 2008, and I often had dreams of snakes while staying at the place. Other family members often saw shadow figures flicking around and I've also dreamt of shadow figures a few times there.
Back in 2017, there was a period of time when I kept waking up with fresh scratches and big bruises on my arms or legs. I also often felt cold and dreamt of this big green snake sitting in a corner of the kitchen. At that corner, there was one night when I heard a lot of birds chirping there, like a chicken coop. It was around 2am and lasted for around 10-15 minutes. A sign of a trident appeared on the wall. I was having dreams about this ancient town every other night, there were a lot of hills and sometimes I'd see tombstones on some of them and women wearing long dresses praying there.
This one night, I dreamt that I was taking lessons in one of the huts inside that ancient town when suddenly a dead bird appeared on the table and the scene swirched to a hill. I was walking towards the hill and there was a patch of forest on top of the hill. A patch of mist descended down onto that forest and those people wearing long dresses and black hats started running out of the forest, what's weird is that they were all holding towels to cover their faces and I felt like I shouldn't be there so I tried to wake up.
I managed to open my eyes but I was having sleep paralysis and I saw this semi-opaque blueish figure sitting on top of me, like its torso was around the middle of my body, it had thin body and thin limbs and a big head, one of the arms was stretched towards my forehead. I closed my eyes again and prayed to whatever god or deity I could remember and managed to wake up quite quickly.
A few weeks after that, I told my mum about the dream and she said she also had a dream about some floating blue entity around the same period of time.
The thing is that around that period of time, there was another night that I heard this voice speaking in a formal tone asking me to undertake some kind of contract and I agreed to it thinking it was something good. It was something like telling me to help save and heal the world etc. After agreeing to that, I had a dream about signing a work contract sitting opposite a white entity that I've dreamt of several times in other dreams. I often had the feeling of familiarity when I came across that white entity in the dreams.
I also had another dream where I saw two white snakes intertwining in some sort of position, and then I was inside some dusty chamber where a group of people were gathered, and this entity gave me a green amulet telling me that my task was transmutation.
In yet another dream, I also dreamt of that white entity showing me around some office place with white furniture and interior decor, and on the very last scene in that very last dream I've had of those things, he showed me this light portal inside one of the rooms in that office, and told me to walk into it.
All these weird dreams happened back in 2017 and I haven't had such dreams since then, but I still see shadow figures flicking past the top of my head or the side of my eyes occasionally. It often occurs right when I'm feeling happy about stuff and then bad luck and family conflicts often occur right after that.
I'm just wondering if I accidentally agreed to anything that caused some kind of entity to follow me after those stuff in 2017? I haven't had any dreams about snakes since then and there was some spiritual master who came to cleanse place but I still see those shadow figures flicking past sometimes.
I've been doing research about these entities since then and I feel like it was djinns at this place which gave me those dreams and weird experiences before.
submitted by strangerpie to Djinnology [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 05:39 Cribo-83 SIRED OF FIRE- CHAPTER 24: A CIVIL DISCOURSE

We, however, won’t be going there just yet. No, we’ll be taking a trip in the other direction. To a different castle, one where human’s aren’t welcome. Worry not, we’ll be safe, or at least I will, I can’t guarantee anything else. So, let us proceed if you dare, into a forest that surrounds an even darker fortress.

Within the fortified though decrepit interior are certain creatures that prefer the night. Inhuman, yet, human all the same. I am referring to vampires, if you haven’t already guessed. We pass the corridors and enter a dining hall. There are three gentlemen of class and distinction, talking amongst themselves.

“Ohhhh,” one of them groans, who goes by the name Razzal, as he reclines in his chair. “I drank too much.”

“I told you not to be so gluttonous,” another man, who wears a monocle and is named Duhamah, chides the first. “Now where was I? Ah, yes, the rumors of the eradication up north.”

“I put no stock in it,” offers the one who is quite familiar to us, he being Samuel. “I simply cannot believe that an entire hive was eliminated. It’s simply impossible.”

“I don’t know,” Duhamah starts as he scratches his chin. “I have seen far greater deeds done. What say you Razzal?”

The gluttonous one belches. “I haven’t an opinion one way or the other,” he responds as he rubs his distended belly. “And I shan’t have one until I have seen it with my own eyes. Which is why I plan to depart next evening. That is if my belly doesn’t, mmm, keep me.”

“You know,” Samuel begins as he leans forward. “I have half a mind to join you.”

“Well,” Duhamah adds as he leans forward. “I think-”

“Victor! You have a lot of explaining to do!” a bellowing voice cuts him short.

Samuel, or Victor, this is getting confusing, greets this new fellow. “Your Grace,” he speaks as he rises from his seat.

“You will not dissuade me with pleasantries!” his Grace, one Turrel barks. “What have you to say about the theft of my relic?”

“Why, I have no idea what you are talking about,” Samuel, okay let’s just call him Victor, assures his master as he rounds the table.

“I thought you might take that angle with me, and had I no proof I would have to capitulate,” Turrel starts, seemingly defeated, but soon rallies. “But I have proof and I know who the guilty party is. You see, I always safeguard my most precious possessions and the Soul Nail is no exception. I can sense its power and I know it has been used and I can sense its presence in the vicinity of your old home.”

Victor swallows, but keeps a calm disposition. “I can assure your grace, its proximity to my former dwelling is sheer coincidence,” he speaks as he tries to stay composed.

“Coincidence?!” Turrel booms as he gives a laugh. “I do not believe in coincidences.”

“How can I possibly prove my innocence to your grace?” Victor grovels as he lowers his stature.

Turrel takes a moment to think. “If you retrieve the Soul Nail and return it to me, I will consider you, absolved,” he lays down the parameters for innocence as he stares intensely upon his subordinate.

“Then I shall leave post-haste,” Victor relays as he bows before departing, under the watchful gaze of his peers.
submitted by Cribo-83 to u/Cribo-83 [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 04:56 crystal912344 I need advice for my short, 4c, high porosity hair.

I need advice for my short, 4c, high porosity hair.
(photo of my hair in February of 2023 after taking about my braids)
my hair has been the exact same length for years and its always been dry, brittle, and I have so much breakage and I have been crying over this. I've seen girls with my hair type with huge afros and healthy, shiny hair. And I wonder why I dont and it doesnt even seem like they try hard. My sister barely does anything to her hair and she has way more hair than me.
I dont even know how to wash my hair properly. I have recently gone natural and when I wash my hair when I wash my hair with no braids it shrinks so much that Im forced to use heat to get it bwck to normal. When I wash my hair with cornrows in it never gets completely cleaned.
(I also have dandruff which make this even worse and I haven't trimmed my hair because there are literally no salons near me that do 4c hair)
I have no Idea what im doing and I've tried using all these different products, but nothings working and I have been thinking about shaving my head or maybe relaxing it because it's just too much and its affecting my mental health.
Any advice for this? Also my hair is always dry like 90% of the time because I have high porosity hair and I have no idea how to retain moisture I literally just spray my hair with water then add oil, put a bonnet on, go to sleep and I wake up with dry hair.
submitted by crystal912344 to Naturalhair [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 04:52 JamesCaligo A Cabin vs a Killer from the Stars

Frost collected on the windows as we drove further into the woods. Next to me, my wife of eight years and bringer of many headaches. Now I'll be fair, I contributed to some of those headaches for her as well. But let's face it, we were having marital problems. I know, a cliche sort of story, but a common one in today's modern society.
We were heading to my grandparents' old cabin up north. My aging ancestors said that it would be the best place for us to "reinvigorate the romance" as they put it. Lovely.
But that's not why I'm recording these papers. No, it was something far graver than a failing marriage.
It was 2012 and we had our typical routines. I was an entrepreneur, investing in the stock market with the hopes of making it big. To make the money in this risky scheme of mine, I had to work a regular job just like everyone else. I worked in a factory for cars while my wife, Cassie, was trying to become a hairdresser.
The topic of money was always a strenuous issue for us. Constantly we fought about where the money should be going. Cassie believed that we should save as much as we can, while I was more willing to take the plunge into the market and try to milk this capitalist engine for all its worth.
As you can see, putting those two together created a nasty scenario where two people who wanted to have the best of youthful intimacy, slowly got destroyed by the years of conflicting interests. I still thought she was the most beautiful woman in my life, but the way that she stood in the way of my goals for a better life was starting to make me question this relationship to go on. Hence the cabin.
Now it is December and it's getting close to that date everyone seems to be obsessed over. The end of the world. What a load of baloney.
So that's a little background as to why we're going out to the woods.
But the drive itself was unbearably quiet. Not once did Cassie say anything. She didn't put up much of a fight either when I suggested that we go out to the cabin. Deep down, I think a part of me wondered if maybe she thought this was all in vain and wanted to get it over with. I believe a part of me believes that as well. Perhaps this is all a wasted effort and the ending result will be our inevitable divorce.
But who knows, there's always that slim chance. And when I looked up at the sky, I saw that there was a meteor shower already happening above.
"Hey Cassie, look," I said with childish delight.
She looked up from her window with a stoic expression. But I noticed a slight twinkle in her eye. From what I could tell, she was surprised to see such a glorious display from the beauty of the stars above. Although astronomy was always more of her thing, I still found joy in the little things.
"I'll admit, I wasn't expecting that."
"Right, and once we're at the cabin, we could—"
It just hit me when I realized it. I had no plan going forward. My goal was to get her out of the house. What are we supposed to do the moment we get to that cabin? It's not like I'm going to ask to be intimate right then and there. You got to work things up to stuff like that; especially with how strained our relationship is.
This was going to be more debilitating than I thought. No matter what scenario I thought of, nothing seemed appropriately timed. Make her dinner, watching TV sounded kind of stupid considering that we did that a whole lot back at the house, and frankly I'm not the most creative when it comes to trying to mend a relationship.
"You want to go for a walk later?" she cooed.
My eyes drifted over to her. Looking at her as she fidgeted with her long, light blonde hair.
A small smile grew on my face. At least she was trying to make an effort too. Perhaps there is hope after all. "Sure thing Cassie. I don't mind."
Once we arrived at the cabin, it was within no time that we settled in. Although fully furnished, there was dust everywhere. Surprisingly few cobwebs, so spiders weren't going to be an issue. The old, cabin-like aesthetic with furniture that looked like it dated back to the 1800s and was handcrafted made the entire home feel like it was holding some dark secrets of a mysterious past.
Thankfully my grandparents had been smart enough to remove any food from the house before we arrived. The last thing I'd want is to see year-old spoiled food everywhere, forcing the two of us to clean up any more than we had to.
The only thing I was concerned about was that I spotted something in the closet of the bedroom. My grandfather's guns.
"Couldn't you buy a gun safe old man?"
Cassie peeked over my shoulder and said, "Ugh, why is that even here?"
"Hey, my grandpa was a gun lover. What did you expect to find here?"
"Those things should be melted down."
My wife, though I still love her, was heavily against guns. She believed that they could all be taken away from the civilian population.
Frankly, I thought the exact opposite. I believe that it should be every person's right to get one. Maybe not a semi-automatic or shotgun, a good pistol or revolver would be satisfactory enough for me.
I quickly moved her away from the stash and we returned to our usual business, not thinking about anything else.
The walk would have to happen tomorrow morning. And after driving for the last ten hours, I can safely assume that we wanted to sleep in.
As we were getting ourselves ready for bed, I looked at my wife with hopefulness bubbling in my heart. She always tried to do everything So graceful, considering she came from a family that was quiet, elegant, and frankly made more money than I could ever hope to. Why she wants to become a hairdresser, I had no idea. Perhaps a change of pace or out of spite for her parents.
I thought about saying something to remind her that I still loved her. But before the words could even escape my mouth, there was a flash of a bright light coming from the window.
She looked up and our eyes widened with a fearful stare.
I turned around, wondering what was causing that. It was too bright for me to even see out the glass. Then a loud bang followed afterward, making me believe for a moment that something disastrous was going on. Was it a nuclear war? A random volcano? A freak storm? My mind was racing with every possible scenario. But as quickly as it came, both the sound and the light vanished into the woods.
"Are you okay?" Cassie said, hunkering down behind the bed.
"Yeah— I was afraid I was going to go blind there for a moment."
"I tried to look away as quickly as I saw it. But I was afraid I might go deaf from that sound."
Despite it being freezing outside, I opened the window and looked around. There was no smoke anywhere. Nor was there even a remnant of the light flickering somewhere off in the distance.
I caught the smell though. It smelled like burning rubber. Or perhaps it was more like plastic burning. Either way, it was awful and I quickly shut the door, not wanting any of that to get in.
"That was weird,"
My wife agreed and surprisingly, she wanted me to come to bed. This was a bizarre turn of events for me considering that she never once cared. But perhaps it was because she was scared. Reasonable response.
The next morning, we went about our habits and freshened up. After eating a light breakfast, we finally managed to put on some snow clothes, and go for that walk.
The brisk air and gentle breeze was more than I expected to handle. But I feel like the nervous tension was definitely keeping us warm. I never realized how hard it was to talk to her.
"Cassie... what do you think was that strange light last night?"
Another brief moment passed before she replied, "I don't know. I couldn't get a good look."
Oh well, at least we got to go on this nice walk. Thankfully both of us wore boots because the snow was unusually high.
Not too far down the road though, we spotted a house. There was already a family outside. A man, a woman, and three kids. Two boys, one girl. They were playing in the snow, building snowmen and forts. They waved to us, and it was a bit of a bitter reminder about how we had squandered our marriage with our short-term goals in mind.
Cassie had this longing in her eyes. I could tell she wished that we would have done the same. And if I'm honest with myself, maybe parenthood would've been something nice.
We waved as we passed by, but neither of us wanted to talk about the matter.
Moving further down the road, I could spot some smoke rising from deep within the forest. I looked at Cassie, but she hadn't noticed it yet. I pointed it out to her and we were both curious about what could be causing a fire in the woods?
"Want to check it out?" she asked.
"Only if you want to?"
"Do you or do you not?" she said more forcefully.
"Yes! God all right," I replied back in my own angered way.
I led the way, she followed behind as we trudged through the snow away from the road.
As we got closer, I could smell that horrible stench again. Now I was certain we were getting close to whatever it was that caused that late last night. Perhaps it was a meteorite or a satellite.
Finally, we cleared past the last batch of pine trees and saw what it was. But a huge crater with something metallic in the center.
"Is that a ball?" Cassie remarked from behind.
I moved closer to the edge of the crater, looking down at it. Every time a snowflake touched the metallic surface of the orb, it instantly turned into steam.
I decided to circle the edge of the crater, willing to see if there was a way to get a full view of what it was. Just out of curiosity. I wasn't sure what it was actually; it was a gray orb, no unique details other than that it was 6 ft tall I believe, and that was it.
Well, that's what I thought until I moved over to the other end of the orb and saw that there is an opening to the inside. It looked like a seat. Which made me come to the conclusion that it was a space pod.
"Does NASA build space pods, Cassie?"
"Not to my knowledge. I don't keep up with space stuff."
As I kept inspecting the pod, I noticed that there was some green liquid that was trailing off into the snow up to the crater until it vanished into the woods.
"What in the world?"
Suddenly the piercing sound of children screaming as well as a man and a woman broke through the forest, causing my heart to beat erratically like a pounding drum. Those are sounds I never want to hear.
Cassie's face ran white like the snow around her. She looked almost like she was about to faint just from how sickening those screams were. They had such an oppressive fear behind them, something that may my blood run like freezing water through my veins.
I went back to Cassie and wrapped my arms around her as we kept looking around frantically. Both of our minds raced about what could have caused that sound. But then I remembered that the other cabin was not too far from us. The one with the family.
I managed to convince Cassie that we needed to run back to the house. But in actuality, I just want to get over to the other cabin to make sure that family was safe.
We kept running as fast as we could until finally when we reached near that cabin, I saw with all my despair-inducing horror why they made such a tormented display of shrieks.
Bile came fast up my throat, and I had to hold myself back from throwing up by the horrific display.
My wife also gave way to shrieking, so loud it was that it was actually more irritating for me but I couldn't blame her.
The poor family. That poor, poor family...
We moved on but I couldn't stop thinking about how every single one of them had been torn apart like mincemeat. Scattered about and indistinguishable. There was a hand here, a few toes there, something had shredded them until they were nothing more than a gruesome display of carnage.
We quickly left the scene.
When we got back to the house, I quickly decided to call 911. I told them everything about what we had seen and they said they would send over a squad car to the house.
But that wasn't the whole truth that I gave them. All I told them was about the massacre that happened over at that family home. I didn't tell him about the spherical thing that we found in the woods.
My wife was still anxiously walking around in circles, checking every window as she went.
I ran out to the car, thinking that it would be better if we just left right now. I tried starting the car, but it just kept sputtering but no life. Something was wrong, the car should work, I gave it a full tank of gas.
I got out and noticed that there were some bolts and scraps of metal half-buried in the snow. When I bent down to look underneath, I saw that the entire fuselage had been torn open. Something had deliberately destroyed the car.
Running back inside, I slammed the door shut, and locked it. I went even further to place a chair and wedge the doorknob. Now I was desperate. We had no car, and there was no way I was planning on walking out there again. All we could do was wait for help. At least I was able to make that call on a cell phone because when I went to turn on one of the lights, there was no electricity flowing through. The wires had been cut as well. Whatever did this, it was smart and it was targeting us.
Cassie had at this point started breaking down into tears. She was scared. I was scared. But I knew that I needed to be there for her. Even though our marriage isn't so good right now, there's no way I could leave her in such a vulnerable state.
I felt that maybe I should do something to comfort her, what else could I do? What could either of us do? The only thing that we were able to do was to wait for assistance.
I stretched my hands out to her and pulled her in towards my chest. She didn't even try to fight back, but rather she buried herself. This was probably the most affection I've gotten from her in a long time.
Hopefully, the police can handle this. I wasn't too sure if we could make it all night. Every little cracking sound from the cabin was enough to get my hair standing up. Nothing seemed to have been damaged, so I had to come to the conclusion that whatever "it" was didn't come inside.
It would seem that we were in for a night of no sleep.
The next day, there was a knock on our door. I was disturbed from my rest on the couch with my wife next to me.
I tried my best to get up without disturbing her and made my way towards the door. But I stopped before I went to open it.
"Who's there?"
"Police," a voice said weakly.
I took a deep breath and exhaled. How reassuring.
I opened the door and I saw that a bloody police officer was standing in front of me. He had his hand covering over his abdomen which was dripping with it.
"Geez, what happened to you?"
He was practically about the stumble over until I caught him. Wasting no time, I brought them over to the armchair and I knew my wife would not like to wake up to this.
"Cassie wake up," I ordered, panicking.
When she opened her eyes and saw who was sitting near her, she just about screamed but I quickly covered her mouth, much to her shock until she saw it was me.
"Ben, what is going—"
"No time to explain yet, I need you to go and get me some water!" I cut her off.
As much as I hated bossing her around, time was of the essence. I didn't want to say anything to her but I didn't think this poor fella was going to last.
She quickly got up and ran to the kitchen, faster than I would've expected her. Perhaps it was just the adrenaline rush.
I turned to the poor guy who was wheezing and coughing blood.
"Hey, pal listen, I'm going to need you to tell me what happened?"
"Don't worry, I know this looks bad but I didn't walk all the way over here for no reason. I need you to warn the station,"
"About what?"
Cassie came in with some rags that were soaked and gently pressed them onto his abdomen.
He winced quite loudly, but we both knew this was the best.
"Tell them it's a code Protectorate situation— I... me and my partner, we went to the house as instructed. When we got there, we both nearly lost our sanity. It was so gruesome what we saw.
I could relate to what he's describing. It was a messed up sight and I wished I could unsee that.
"When we went into the house to investigate, something lunged out from the darkness. It cut clean through my partner before he could even have time to react. I fired eight shots into that thing. It was so mortifyingly alien."
"So we're dealing with an alien?"
"I don't know if you can count that thing as one. It was so savage, so brutal. Naked and abominable. I quickly got out of there but that thing managed to get me in the stomach. I fired one more shot near its head and that seemed to scare it away. Then I came here."
Both my wife and I were awestruck. So there really was an alien in our area. And it's killing people, how original. But my biggest concern at this moment was the fact that we were now caught in the middle of it.
The cop coughed a few more times— drips of blood coming down his chin.
My wife quickly rushed over with the cloth to try to clean it out so that he could breathe properly, but he just grabbed hold of her wrist, and through more agitated coughing, he choked, "Leave if you can,"
His eyes quickly went lifeless and he fell limp in the armchair.
His hand released my wife and she quickly backed up into me. Held her in my arms as we both stared at the lifeless man who gave us the only advice I think he could say to us.
But I had to honor what the fallen cop had asked me and I got back in touch with the police to tell them that the cop died after investigating the murder scene. I gave them his name and they were ready to send more help until I cut the lady off and told her that he requested Protectorate. They cut the line after that and I had to deal with questions I had no answers to.
But then a new voice answered, " Please evacuate the area. Your area has been labeled by the Protectorate Extermination Committee as a targeted zone. You have less than one hour to comply with this direct order."
Well, that wasn’t what I was expecting to hear.
No sooner after hearing those words, Cassie ran back to the kitchen and started washing the blood off of her hands. I took a blanket and covered the officer. But I was going to heed his words.
I went upstairs and quickly started grabbing what I could and throwing them back into our bags. We were leaving and that was not up for any discussion. Thankfully Cassie was on the same page as me.
After about ten or twelve minutes had passed, I finished packing, only to hear the pounding beat of a rotor. That was a helicopter flying overhead.
Quickly I went outside and tried to get a good look at it. It was a Blackhawk helicopter flying rapidly.
Out of desperation, I started waving my hands, hoping that maybe they'd land and get us out of here much sooner than what my car could manage for us, but they flew off. I know they saw me, but they simply ignored me.
Cassie came out of the house and asked, "Did they just leave? I heard them flying by and thought that maybe they'd land?"
"I don't think they're looking for survivors. They don’t look like any military group that I recognize."
"What did they look like?" her voice trembled.
"I don't know who they are, but their helicopter was painted black and there was a symbol on the side. It looked like a shield with six wings coming out from the side and an eye in the center of the shield."
We heard the sound of distinct gunfire off in the distance. Whatever it was, I doubt it was military engagement. There was only one firing and it was followed by deafening screams of a man. Only to be drowned out by something unnaturally low and clicky. But this roar boomed across the land.
That was coming from another cabin not too far from us. Whatever it was, surely we were going to be next in the line of fire for this thing. It must have been going around destroying people's vehicles if there were still people around after what happened to that first. I can't imagine all of our neighbors still being here willingly.
I ordered Cassie back in the house, knowing full well that something bad was about to go down when I saw three more of those Blackhawks flying into one single location.
I shut the door again and told Cassie to get down as low as she could. I didn't want a stray bullet hitting either of us, but I couldn't help but remain curious to see if they could get it.
I was expecting them to rain down machine-gun fire, but instead, I saw three huge plumes of fire shoot out from each of the choppers. They were trying to burn this thing. They were hitting it hard too. The amount of flames coming down at such a rapid speed made me think that it could catch the entire woods on fire. Thankfully it's winter, so I don't think a forest fire is likely to happen.
But they never stopped firing and it also seems like they were chasing after whatever it was. My eyesight's not so good, so I wasn't able to get a visual of what it was. But I saw something running on all four, darting through the woods as the Blackhawks chased after it.
"What's happening!" Cassie cried.
I had forgotten about her. I was expecting bullets but I guess it wasn't so dangerous after all.
"They're trying to burn that sick monster."
"Is it working?"
I didn't have the heart to tell her that I think the thing is getting away. Whatever it was, it was weaving fast enough to where the helicopters couldn't keep up. But at least it seems like it couldn't hurt them either.
"They're driving it away. It's moving far away from us. Maybe we could leave right now."
Cassie started panicking and stuttered, "We— we are not going out there,"
"Cassie don't be stupid, we have to get out of here. That creature might come back for all we know—"
"And I don't want to be outside all vulnerable when it gets here!"
That was always something I hated about her. Once she made up her mind on something, there was no way you were going to get her to change her mind.
"It's always about your issues, it's always going to be your way! Don't you realize that there is something that we cannot handle, running around willy-nilly, we've got helicopters outside blasting it with fire that doesn't seem to be doing too much, and you want us to stay here like a bunch of sitting ducks because you're too scared to try and Escape like the officer who died for us, said so!"
"YOU THINK I WANT TO STAY HERE AND GET TORN APART BY THAT SAVAGE!" she got up from her hiding place and pushed me as hard as she could.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't fall down to the ground, but when she gets angry, she's a little extra forceful than you would expect.
She tried doing it a second time, but I caught her arms and threw her back, but not hard enough to make her fall.
"How about you calm down, and THINK!" I shouted back at her with increased ferocity. I was at my limit and I was having thoughts of leaving her here. We were on the verge of divorce anyway and the last thing I should care about is someone who will become a stranger to me and no time.
"I did, I want to hide and not be an open target!"
"And I don't want to sit here like an all-you-can-eat buffet for that thing!"
Before the argument could continue down this heated path, one of those flamers happened to be coming by, burning everything nearby. Thankfully it didn't hit the house or even the yard for that matter, but it was enough to leave me with a shaking stomach.
We both dropped to the ground but I was still curious about what was happening outside.
I crawled up to the front window again and my eyes went wide as I saw one of the helicopters blasting its flamethrower down. Inside the inferno, that creature was walking about untouched by the heat.
I whispered to myself, "It's immune to the fire? How?"
The flames eventually stopped raining down. I think they got the idea too.
I looked up at them as one of the soldiers was changing their weapon of choice from a flamethrower, to something a little more ballistic...
"Run!" I ordered. "To the bathroom!"
Both of us got up and as we got into the first-floor bathroom, the sound of explosions rained down from above. Small-scale explosives were now being used against this alien. It let out another one of those guttural bellows, apparently, this actually hurt it more. I also could hear the constant firing of bullets raining down.
But this was all that I could interpret. Cassie and I were both huddled in the bathtub, praying to whatever God exists that we don't end up being shredded by bullets in the process.
Already I could hear parts of the house getting hit by stray bullets as it seemed like the helicopters were moving more erratically as they chased after this creature again. At least it seems like they were moving away from us, but those were the most intense 30 seconds of my life.
Finally, everything fell silent other than the distant explosions that slowly toned down.
Both Cassie and I were breathing heavily, I even found myself wrapping my arms around her instinctively.
"Are you okay?" I asked.
She wouldn't quit crying. She never responded to my question. Granted it was a stupid question. Nothing about this was okay.
I decided to concede. Perhaps we should just hunker down and hope for the best. Although I was still completely on board with up and going, Cassie was partially right. We would be caught out there in the open and there was no guarantee that these people who were fighting the monster were even going to care about civilian casualties. They certainly didn't mind incinerating entire sections of the woods away, regardless of whatever houses happened to be nearby.
"Cassie, we'll stay here tonight. But I'm using my grandpa's guns."
"I don't care, I want that thing dead. I'll take one myself."
Well, this was a sudden change of heart. Someone who is always against this stuff suddenly wants one. Though I should have known better when I saw her only pick up the pistol.
"If you fail, I would much rather be able to take the easy way out of this mess."
Honestly, I'd rather have that option as well. But I have to try. Plus, if I was to die today, at least I can go down with this beautiful shotgun in hand.
So that would be the update so far. A black ops group is currently leveling the area as best they can to try and kill this thing, my wife is ready to do what she can to avoid a painful way of dying, and I've got a shotgun, scared out of my mind as I wait for this thing to eventually try and get us as well.
And thus began another long night of no sleep.
The clock had now turned to 12:43 p.m. I was dead tired and the exhaustion of staying up for two days without getting any consistent sleep was starting to take its toll.
Thankfully the sun had come up and this creature did not attack during the night. I'm telling you, that is probably the most luck we're ever going to get out of this.
Cassie was getting more sleep than I was, but she refused to leave the bathroom. She stayed in that tub the entire night, while I made myself a little pillow fort in the living room. And before you start getting judgemental of childish behavior, if I'm going to die, I'm going to die in comfort.
All throughout the night, I heard the occasional bursts of gunfire far off in the distance. I tighten my grip around the shotgun, preparing myself for whenever I would need it.
This particular shotgun was a special type that my grandfather was obsessed over. And it packed quite a wallop. A Browning BPS. With sleek, black metal, this high-powered shotgun is all that stands between a ravenous, deadly alien that came from outer space, and me getting torn in half.
And so began the wait.
Hours were going by. Every moment that I heard them chasing that thing out there, was another moment that told me that it wasn't over yet.
I was drenched in sweat, despite the temperature getting increasingly cold with every passing hour. How we managed to survive this whole time is beyond me. I guess the tension alone was enough to make sure that we stayed warm throughout the whole thing.
Then I heard a rumbling sound outside. Then I heard multiple rumblings. And then suddenly a blast of sound exploded so loud that it shattered all of the glass in the house. I was so scared that I almost fired off a shot.
I quickly got up from the pillow fort, Cassie was looking out the bathroom door. She was as confused as I was.
"What are they doing now?"
When I took a look outside, I had a surge of hope. Outside were 8 tanks, as black as the Blackhawks. They were firing off at a distance, firing off their machine-gun fire at the same time as they tried to destroy whatever this thing was with cannon fire from their turrets.
When I peered further out at the patch of woods that were being shredded to pieces by the barrage, I saw that the alien was moving as quickly as they could to avoid. But it kept stumbling around, and explosives kept burning away layers of its skin. There were more helicopters outside that were trying to flame it as well as firing explosive rockets at it.
I was cheering them on. The creature was definitely taking a beating from the constant attacks and it was only a matter of time before that thing would get too worn down. Already I could see parts of its flesh burning off.
"Come guys, get 'em!" I shouted instinctively by the hype of us actually winning. Maybe I would get out of this alive.
From my distance, I had to wear my glasses to get a better view. But my god the battle was intense.
"I think they've nearly killed it!" I shouted in early triumph.
Cassie came out of the bathroom and crawled next to me, wanting to join me and watching as they finally killed that alien. We both watched with anticipation as they finally seemed to be destroying its tough outer exterior.
The animal looked disgusting. That barbaric creature had two long arms with five fingers that looked about as long as a human forearm, it had a triangular-shaped head, rounded around the edges. I distinctly remember seeing it have bluish-gray skin earlier, but I guess after all of the flaming, bullets, and bombings, now it was reduced to a muscular frame.
It staggered after getting hit for over a day's worth and I was surprised that they were willing to keep pounding this thing so hard for that extended time.
Suddenly the sky overhead had a long, loud engine noise burst through the sound barrier.
We both looked up and my heart sank into what felt like ice-cold water because those were F-22s coming down fast from the sky.
I looked over to Cassie who looked like she had frozen over. Without much rational thought, I grabbed hold of her and we both ducked low to the ground.
The glass exploded above us as I heard missiles coming down, explosion after explosion detonating and leveling everything nearby. They were going to keep hitting this thing till it was either ash, or the entire area had been left in ashes.
Cassie kept crying but I also felt a huge overwhelming feeling of dread laying on top of me. I hugged her tightly, wanting to give myself some warmth from the otherwise cold, apathetic attack that we had found ourselves stuck in.
She kept whispering through choked up words, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry,"
"Cassie, listen, we're going to be alright. You hear that! We are going to live!"
The last explosion was so close to our house that I think part of it was coming apart at that point. The whole house shook violently and Cassie and I were even momentarily lifted off of the ground by how much power was behind that last explosion.
I slowly got back to my feet, my ears ringing exceedingly loud. I can barely hear whatever Cassie was saying to me. I still had the shotgun in hand. I was clutching that thing as my life depended on it.
Everything was a blurry mess, I was so dizzy I couldn't even focus entirely on anything.
Cassie was trying to tell me something. She kept pointing around me, her face full of fear.
Finally, things were going back to normal quickly and I was able to understand what she was trying to say.
My eyes widened and as I turned around, the entire wall exploded inwards. I found myself being tossed over the couch and Cassie was quick to try and crawl back to the bathroom. I think she left her pistol there.
When I got a good look at it, I realized it was at death's door. It was all bloody, muscular, one of its eyes had fallen out. And it had this blood-filled shrill escaping from his mouth that made your skin curl in itself. Frankly, it sounded like no animal on Earth.
Bullets started raining in, a little too close for comfort for me.
I had to make a decision, the thing was eyeing down my wife. She turned around towards me, her eyes filled with tears.
Without much hesitation, I pumped the shotgun and unloaded an entire blast into its chest while it was distracted.
It screamed out in a horrific shrill, probably more stunned that a simple firearm is enough to finally get this thing injured at this point.
I kept blasting, pumping, blasting, pumping, repeatedly doing this while screaming as I kept shooting that sick animal. It swung its broken fingers at me, cutting a bit of my leg in the process. I fell down for a moment, but I knew I had to get back up for Cassie. It didn't do so well when I finally was able to get close enough to it, point the double-barrel right at its head, and blast straight into its mouth.
Strangely enough, that wasn't even enough to kill it. It fell back, squirming around in writhing pain, and I was shocked when I saw Cassie come out with her pistol and unload all eight bullets into the creature as well. I joined her in the attack, and we kept shooting at it until it finally stopped moving.
We both were out of breath, completely in shock, and frankly just wanting to go home. Maybe even see a therapist.
I rested on the floor next to Cassie who had lost her strength as well. We were just too tired to even run and I had no intention of getting out on my own.
Through the smoke, four soldiers in full body armored gear painted black entered through the gaping hole in the wall.
I was so tired I was sure I'd lose consciousness. Sure enough, everything faded to black. I could briefly hear the chatter of radios, but what they said I could not remember.
When I woke up, I was sitting in a hospital bed. I looked around in frantic movements, wondering where Cassie was— where my wife was?
I saw her completely passed out in the bed next to me. I was so relieved to see her safe and sound.
When I looked around, I saw that we were in a military infirmary tent. It was still snowing outside, but thankfully these tents know how to keep you warm.
But as I was about to get comfortable in my bed, two guys in suits- not black suits, thankfully they weren't going to be so cliche— walked in with two guards in uniform behind them.
The man who appeared oldest, complete with a bald head and big, bushy, gray mustache said, "Good morning soldier."
I chuckled a little bit. "Soldier? I wouldn't say I'm a soldier."
He had a charming laugh that I could tell you enough that he was more of a ladies' man in his spare time when he wasn't working to be some high-up government official.
"Ah, but weren't you the one who managed to kill that extraterrestrial?"
Clearly, he knew what I had done, so there was no point in lying. "Yes sir,"
"That makes you a soldier I guess. You may be just a civilian, but anyone who has the guts to take on something that took tanks and Blackhawks an entire day's worth of fighting to kill is deserving of such a title."
"I'm honored," I responded with unease.
"Well, I feel like it's the least we can do considering that even though we did most of the work, the fact that you managed to kill that thing with a shotgun and revolver is my definition of bravery. So we will be needing you to do a few favors for us in return for some added benefits for your heroism today."
I was well-versed in this kind of stuff. You watch enough movies, read enough books, you learn a little bit about what they're going to tell you next. Of course, I had to sign the documentation that neither of us would ever talk about what we had seen today. We were to never acknowledge any information that was related to what had happened today. And we were to tell anyone we came across that we had a lovely second honeymoon trying to rekindle our marriage.
But in return, I did get some financial help from these guys. They gave me a reward of $100,000 each. Although I'd like for more, I'm not going to pester them with that feeling. Beggars can't be choosers, right?
Although after all of that happened, I and Cassie did manage to recover somewhat of our marriage for the time being. What happened that day wasn't going to save it though. In 2018, we decided to go our separate ways. But we still get together occasionally to talk about what happened on that fateful winter day in 2012. She says that she still has nightmares of that thing chasing after her. I don't suffer from the nightmares of that thing, but I can understand where she's coming from.
The recent events have changed that. After everything that happened and now that I've been a single man for quite some time now, I recently became more interested in what's going on above us.
I started collecting information about aliens, thinking that they were nothing more than little gray men and the occasional giant monster creature. Oh, how I was wrong. I was extraordinarily wrong about what was really going on in the stars.
But I suppose that isn't relative to this story. Despite all of the horror that I experienced, the horrors I experienced now are far worse, but I think it's time I sign off on this message. And so I will go back to a night of no sleep.
submitted by JamesCaligo to ThresholdofEvil [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 04:09 NotPraisedNotABother Hope is a Heart-Killer

This story contains existential material some readers may find distressing. Please be advised.

Nine o'clock on the dot on a Sunday morning, James Newton put on his suit and tie—tweed and checkered yellow, the ones he wore to his parents' funeral—and spent fifteen minutes in front of the mirror psyching himself up. "Come on, James," he urged his reflection. "A miracle, that's what you need. Gimme a miracle, somethin' that'll make this whole thing go away!"
He told himself that, and he got excited for the good news he would surely receive, and he got ready to go out the door. Three times he did this, and right as his hand touched the knob, he suddenly found he had to go back for another go at it.
Eventually, though, there was only so much psyching up he could muster. He finally left his apartment, walked down many flights of stairs, and got on his way walking down the street to his appointment.
It was a beautiful day. The sky was clear of any clouds or smog, a rare thing indeed, and the sun was merrily shining. Birds chirped, though their song was somewhat obscured by the roar of passing aeromobiles as they zipped by in the skyways. Below, where roads were needed no longer, the people were out and about on the promenade in their Sunday best, going about their business and having a grand old time.
James fit right in, a smile plastered on his face and a nod for everyone he passed. He swung his arms easily and let his gait fall into a comfortable strut, and no one would suspect a thing was wrong; no sir, no one at all.
James' path took him right into the heart of the city, where buildings rose to two and even three stories tall, brick-built all of them, with a marble state building here and a library there, and the sky was filled with aeromobiles. Trees grew in their little holes in the center of the promenades, and small gardens and parks littered the places where parking lots used to be. A flock of pigeons pecked at the ground around the garbage bin for people's leftovers. James scattered some crumbs from his pocket that he'd prepared just for them. "Good will to all the world!" he said heartily to the flying rats. "Good will, or who knows what might happen? Ha ha!"
His destination was a private practice in the middle of a lot park, fenced in with a tree in each corner, ferns and vines imported from somewhere stretching from leafy branch to leafy branch. The building itself was brick, of course (God's chosen building material, that), and space enough for only one corridor and three rooms—a waiting room, the good doctor's office, and the operating room. Humility was all anyone needed these days, and by God the owner of this establishment was practically drowning in it.
James pushed through the glass door into the waiting room with gusto. "Morning, Caroline!" he greeted the secretary by her desk. "I'm here for my appointment!"
She smiled up at him. Caroline was a sweetheart to be sure. "Hello Mister Newton," she told him. "The doctor's in if you want to get to it. You know he doesn't have anyone else to see."
"That I do, miss, that I do." James unbuttoned his suit and went to hang it on the coatrack in the corner. "Don't mind if I leave my jacket here, do you, Miss Caroline?"
"Please do!"
"Thaaank you kindly." James cleared his throat. "I'll just be on my way back then!" He stepped back into the corridor and strode to the good doctor's office with a whistlin' tune and readjusting his tie. Good thoughts, James, he reminded himself. Good thoughts and good will only, and you're sure to get good news in return!

"I'm terribly sorry, Mister Newton." The good doctor's voice was tinny and cool as his steel exterior. "Your diagnosis has not changed. I predict you have six months to live, possibly less."
James couldn't look at him. He couldn't look anywhere 'cept the linoleum beneath his best brown dress shoes. The ones he wore to his parents' funeral.
He didn't know if he could speak. He tried anyway. "I thought—" He swallowed the frog in his throat. "I thought I was gettin' better."
The good doctor leaned forward across his desk, his metal hands folded in front of him. "Mister Newton, I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that your chances were good, even probable. The truth is that very few people with your diagnosis live long after symptoms begin to appear, and you are well on your way to showing symptoms. I believe you were told—"
"I remember," James said hoarsely. He chanced a look at the wall to his left, then had to look away again. It had a poster of a cat hanging to a branch that said, Hang in there! in a speech bubble. It didn't make him feel better.
He tried looking at the good doctor instead. That was a mistake as well; James couldn't help it, and he knew it weren't fair, but something about the doctor's unmoving expression and cold lamplit eyes gave him the chills something awful.
He looked back down at his shoes. "What can I— what can I expect?" His voice wobbled. "Is it gonna hurt? When the symptoms start showing up?"
"Oh, I imagine so," the good doctor replied. He stood and went to pull a projector screen from its holster in the ceiling, as wide as man's wingspan. The doctor touched something at the top, and graphs and timelines filled the screen. It was one of those special screens; the ones that didn't need light shining on them to show pictures.
"See here," the doctor said, pointing to one of the graphs. "Around this time, about a week from now I'd say if my projections hold, your throat will begin to constrict and lose some of its elasticity, making it harder to breath and swallow food and drink. It will only take a week more before you're completely unable to do either. I suggest seeking hospice before then, the medical professionals should be more than capable of providing equipment that can ease the burden on your body to perform these functions. During this time, however, you'll have these symptoms to start looking out for as well…"
The good doctor's voice blurred and became background noise. James clenched his hands tighter and tighter together between his knees as the robot droned on and on about the terrible, painful things he would endure before he finally died.
Good things, James, he thought to himself desperately. Good will and good news will come to you eventually. Good will and good news will…
But the good doctor just kept droning on.

The drink plunked down on the bar before him. "There you are, chum, your fifth Molly's Got It All of the night! You sure are looking to forget something fierce, aren't ya?"
James pushed up his head and looked at the robot serving drinks at an awkward angle. The bartender's voice was just as unnatural as the good doctor's; only, where the doctor was cool and neutral even with a scalpel in hand and a terminal diagnosis in his processor, the bartender was painfully, infinitely cheerful.
He took his drink and swallowed half of it. "Thanks barkeep," James slurred. "Y' really know how to take care of a guy." He sluggishly raised his glass in celebration, but the bartender had already moved on to the next customer, that tinny, unnatural cheer stabbing James' ears.
He shook his head and scoffed into his glass before he took another drink. Good news and good news and good news.
"Bartender's right," a voice to his left said. A human voice, teasing. "You really are lookin' to forget."
James listed that way and looked at the person up and down. The lady was dressed in oversized overalls, big black construction boots and a button-up beneath it all, flatcap pushing her unruly curls into submission. Construction worker chic. She had a smile on her face just shy of a smirk.
James looked for a moment more before grunting and turning back to his drink. "I got my diagnosis back today," he said, not caring who heard. "I'm on my way south."
"Aw, shoot," the woman said sympathetically. "Well that's too bad, I'm sorry to hear it."
"Yeah." James polished off the last half of his drink and raised his hand to get the bartender's attention. "Same thing that killed my daddy." And my mama, he added in his head, but she din't have the same disease. Naw, it was his daddy dying from it that killed her. She couldn't live without him.
"Nothing the doc can do?" the woman asked gently as the bartender came over.
"Naw." James ordered another Molly's Got It All. Dangerous, he knew, but he was already going to die, so he might as well splurge. No one to take care of at home, no one to take care of him, so he din't have to care.
"You be sure to drink some water now, friend," the barkeep said even as he made a new drink and set it before James. "You're deep in your cups now."
"Yeah, yeah." James waved the bartender away and sipped from his sixth Molly before realizing the woman was still looking at him. "What?" The question came out ruder than he meant.
Her eyes sparkled in the low-key bar light. "I find you interesting." Her smirk stretched into a smile of the same kind.
James flushed. He liked her attention, but… "Sorry," he said, looking into his cup. "I don't think you want to get mixed up with me. Dying and all."
"Oh, who said anything about anything?" the woman dismissed. She scooted her stool closer to James' and leaned her chin on her hands, looking at him with that smile of hers. "Annabelle," she introduced herself, "if you'd like to know. And if you'd want to return the favor…" she trailed off expectantly.
James flushed deeper and found himself smiling back. "Jem—" He cleared his throat and tried to focus his drunken brain. "I'm James." He thrust his hand towards her for a handshake without thinking about it and felt stupid.
Annabelle looked at his hand with raised eyebrows, then took his hand in hers and shook it. "It's very nice to meet you, Mister James," she said in a serious tone. It was the twinkle in her eyes what betrayed her. "Now why don't you tell me what's going on?"

They talked for hours after that. Well, James talked, mostly, but whenever he tried to direct a question at Annabelle she returned the prompt to him, asking a deeper, more thoughtful question than a heavily inebriated man could come up with, so of course he went along with her. They talked so late nearly everyone else had gone, but there were no closing hours courtesy of the barkeep, so there was no rush. James couldn't get anymore Mollys after a time, though, owing to the alcohol limit law programmed in the bartender's processor and all.
But he didn't care. He was enthralled with Annabelle and her thoughtful questions and her genuine interest in him. At least, she seemed genuine, but James was too drunk to tell. All he knew was that it felt nice to have someone to talk to, finally.
And he did talk a lot. He told Annabelle things he hadn't told anybody, alcohol loosening his lips. He talked about his mama and his daddy, his childhood home out in the boonies where they didn't have no aeromobiles or robot doctors, his friends growing up and the games they used to play. He talked about school, and neighbors, and hopes and dreams, and sorrows, too.
He told her about his parents' deaths. That wasn't the first or last time he'd cried that night. He told her about his daddy's affliction, the thing what put him in the grave, and the thing that would put him there too. "It was so hard, watchin' him those last few days," James said, wiping at his eyes with his sleeve. "He couldn't get out of bed, with all those tubes in him and what not, and he couldn't talk, obviously, and Mama couldn't stand it either even if she didn't say so, but the doctors said, they always said, 'It's our oath to help people, ma'am, if there's even a percent of a chance we can save them.'" He shook his head. "My mama used to say to that, she used to say," he gave a snort of amusement, "'doctors: they're gonna help you, even if it kills you.'"
Annabelle smiled at that and rubbed his back. She'd gotten real close to him over the night's conversation. So close James could feel her there even when he wasn't lookin'. It made him flush and blush and gave him the butterflies, the amount of attention she was giving him. Thoughts of his impending demise were banished by her wonderful smile.
He didn't want her to go away. He didn't want to think about death again. "Hey," he said hesitantly, wondering if his request was appropriate. "D'you think… well, do you think we could—"
Annabelle smiled wider and put a hand on his arm and gave it a squeeze. "Honey, I was thinking the exact same thing." She patted his hand. "Just let me freshen up in the ladies' room and we can get going, yeah?"
James' heart leapt into heaven. He agreed enthusiastically, and Annabelle slipped off her stool and went into the back to the ladies' restroom, leaving James by himself positively brimming with joy.
Ten minutes went by. Then fifteen. Then twenty.
James started to get anxious. He wanted to go and check on her, but, well, was that too much? The bartender asked him if he wanted to pay his bill, but James distractedly said he'd pay while he was heading out with Annabelle.
Thirty minutes passed. Forty.
"Y'know," he said aloud, mostly to himself as he got up from his seat, "I think I will check on her, y'know, in case something happened to her." He wouldn't go in, obviously, but he could always knock, right? So James went to the back of the bar and knocked on the door to the ladies' room. "Annabelle? You okay in there?"
There was no answer.
James' fear peaked. "Barkeep," he called, "can you check the ladies' room with your sensors? I think my friend might be hurt."
The metal man behind the bar looked up from the glass he was polishing. "I'm sorry, mate, I didn't want to say anything according to how much I saw you enjoying her company, but I'm pretty sure your lady friend up and booked it from my establishment almost an hour ago. My scanners are only picking up one body signature, and that's yours." Analytical words, all spoken with the stupid cheer of an empty-headed tin man.
Fear became disappointment. "You sure?" James asked, hoping against hope.
"Scanners don't lie!" the bartender replied.
Peachy. Just excellent. Good news and good news, James thought bitterly. Crestfallen, he slumped back to the bar and sighed, "Guess I'll pay my bill, then."
"Right-o!" The bartender whipped over to the cash register and waited for James to sullenly follow him there.
He reached into his suit pocket. Then his other one.
Where was his wallet?
"Something the matter?" the bartender pipped.
James couldn't handle the robot's overly happy voice right now. "Yes, just—give me a moment," he nearly growled, reaching inside his suit jacket to the pocket there.
Nothing. He patted his pants and the back of his pants. Nothing. James crouched low to look at the ground beneath his stool and nothing. "I—" He didn't know what to say. He'd had his wallet walking in. Had to; needed his worker card to get served. Where could it have—
By now the alcohol had worn off enough that James could mostly use his brain. He put two and two together and realized what had happened. "I'm sorry, but I think my wallet was stolen," he told the bartender, stricken. He hadn't noticed; but of course he hadn't noticed. He'd been drunk. Very drunk. And Annabelle had known that, if that was even her real name.
"Well, I'm sorry to hear that!" Again, the unnatural cheer, especially considering his next words. "And I'm sorry to say that if you can't pay, I'll have to be calling the sheriffs!"
"What?" James stared at the bartender. "I can't just open a tab and pay it off later?"
"Sorry, no can do!" The robot was already moving towards the rotary phone on his side of the bar. "My processor isn't powerful enough to retain information longer or more complicated than my regulars' names and the laws I was programmed with, and I'm afraid I wasn't programmed to read or write! If you want to blame anyone, blame the Howie Blayton Manufacturing Company!"
Good news and good news and good news. James felt a horrible sinking feeling in his stomach. Stranded in the local detainment center while his body collapsed in on itself? No way!
"Hey there officer!" the bartender said brightly into the transmitter. "I'd like to report a miscreant here at—hey, where are you going?"
The door was already closing behind James as he fled into the night.

He ran until he was sweating through his nice tweed suit and breathing so heavy he wheezed. He hadn't made it as far as he would have just weeks ago. It felt like his throat was caving in.
James looked around. He was standing on a little bridge that spanned a creek to a forest path, an overgrown jungle of a place. The grass was so long it hung from the lip of the creek bed to the still water below.
He was still in the heart of the city, but the roar of aeromobile traffic was far away. He must be at the edge of one of the city's massive replanting projects.
He sat down heavily on the bridge, letting his legs dangle. Good news, his mama always said. Good thoughts and good will, and good news will come to you. She said that while daddy was sick in bed and she sat by his side. She never left his side, really. James had had to work double shift at his delivery job just to keep things afloat, there.
And now he was soon to be right where his daddy was, and no one like his mama would be there for him.
James thought he had cried all he could cry that night, but tears began to form in his eyes and spill down his cheeks nonetheless. He put his face in his hands and let the sobs wrack his aching throat once again.
As he cried, a secret memory unearthed itself in James' mind. It was a memory from long ago, back when his daddy was dying, on one of the rare moments his mama left to go to her job and take care of things on her own instead of relying on James. James, like his mama, barely left his daddy's side when he could manage it.
And on that day, while his mama was far away, James watched as his daddy suddenly began to thrash and writhe, flinging the tubes in his mouth and his stomach and his private parts every which way, his eyes rolled back in his head. Little ten-year-old James didn't know whether his daddy was awake or half-comatose, but he knew he was scared, and he couldn't be scared. Scared weren't a good thought, and James needed to think good thoughts.
So he tried to calm his daddy by telling him how brave he was, how everything was gonna be alright and mama would be home any minute—but his father couldn't hear him.
"Shauna!" his daddy shouted, voice obscured by the tube jammed down his throat. "James! I can't see, Goddammit—Shauna! Shauna, where are you?!"
James was terrified. He reached to grab his daddy's hand before remembering that he couldn't touch him 'cause it would hurt him. "Daddy," James cried. "Daddy, it's alright, I'm here!"
"Shauna! Shauna!" Tears were rolling down Daddy's cheeks, his unseeing eyes staring terrified at the ceiling. "Shauna!" he sobbed. "Shauna, I'm scared! I'm scared!"
"No!" James shouted over his daddy. "No, you can't say that, daddy, good thoughts! Only good thoughts, you gotta—"
His father's thrashing grew more violent as he continued to be unable to hear his son. One of the tubes lashed James across the face, and he fell to the ground screaming. On the floor, James could only see the writhing blankets and the occasional flash of a hand, all while his daddy sobbed and screamed like a child having a nightmare he couldn't wake up from.
Mama came home to find James sobbing on the floor and her husband dead under the covers.
A secret memory, and a secret fear. James remembered the terror on his daddy's face as he died. He remembered his father's blindness, his father's deafness, all caused by his disease. He remembered his father, unable to be touched, machines surrounding him, nothing anyone could do for him.
James remembered his daddy crying for his wife, unable to tell that his son was right next to him. Even with someone there, his daddy had died alone.
Alone. And there was nothing anyone could do.
James clutched at his hair and breathed through gritted teeth. He didn't want to die alone. He moaned in fear, his teeth chattered, he rocked himself back and forth on the edge of that little bridge. He didn't want to die alone.
But he would. Even if he wasn't, he would die alone, and all the good intentions and good thoughts in the world wouldn't save him. Everyone dies alone. No one can share in your last moments, even if they're right next to you. No one will know, even if they care so much for you they'd die without you. You're trapped in your head until the bitterest end.
James wailed and beat at his legs with his fists and screamed at the unfairness. He didn't want to die alone!
"I don't want to die alone!" he shouted into the night. The night did not respond.
He continued to sob and scream and wail, all alone.
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2023.03.29 03:38 zhansoul APPLY THE LOA

I recommend reading this only to those familiar with Neville's teachings. Who has read at least one of his books. Newcomers, please run to read his book, the main menu of this subreddit has all the links and information. Read it first.
Hello everyone !
I recently wrote this post []
and I highly recommend you to read it first if you haven't read it and come back here later, but for those who have been waiting, let's continue our little journey, yes little, even if you have a little more to read, because I will try to explain to you in more detail, so after this post I hope you will go to build your BIG life. I mean actually. It’s time. It’s time to live now.
After writing my last post, I received messages from people asking for help in their specific situation and how exactly to use the law to feel the wish fulfilled [“cuz it’s so hard to me! IAm not able to do that”] how exactly to imagine, or what to do in general? What's the best? Even after I wrote about IAM, people wrote “but the situation is like this, because I have such circumstances and ..,I can’t that and this because.., but my past was like this and because of this I can’t …… “ And more.
“A little knowledge if carried out in action is more profitable than much knowledge which you neglect to carry out in action. If you had all the knowledge in the world and you didn’t put it into practice, you wouldn’t awaken.” - Neville Goddard.
Look, no matter what your situation in life is, no matter what your past is, no matter what happened yesterday, no matter what happens tomorrow, no matter what is happening now in your 3D, I promise you, it doesn't matter.
The law works in all situations, literally. Even if you were on Mars right now, and your desire was to be on planet earth, you would end up on earth.
A LOT of users on here have already written a million times about how to successfully imagine, but the most important success is to actually imagine and persist and it's easier than ever, just apply the loa!!!!
“So, how to imagine to actually get my perfect life?”
To perfectly use the loa, you need to understand, that your 3D world is not a bad guy. Many here yell at him, calling him bad and making him look terrible and just telling you to ignore him. In a way, yes, you may need to ignore it in the beginning, just a little.
But to be honest, as soon as you start applying the law, you will feel that your wish has already been fulfilled, and somehow you will not even pay attention to the external world.
But this little poor thing is not a bad guy.
3D simply reflects your self. Your inner world. Your imagination. 3D literally repeats after you, and not because of bad thoughts. Nobody wants to harm you at all. I would even boldly say that 3D loves you so much that it repeats after you like a child who repeats after a parent. In any case, the day will come and you will understand that there is no external and internal world. There is only one. Consciousness is the only reality. And this 3D world is IN YOU.
Don't worry about whether your desire is possible. It is possible.
Can you imagine it? Yes? Then it's possible. Everything you see in your mind exists as a lifeline that you can jump to if you want to. Creation is finished. These are all states. And You are IAM who can occupy states.
But for now, let’s start to apply the loa.
  1. Define a desire.
We are looking for a state. Is it perfect body? Talent? A state who got specific job? Perfect face? Maybe all ? Perfect life all included?(body,face,wealth,sp,fame,idk pink cats??)Yes, you can choose the state that has all of this rather than doing it all one by one, but You can do whatever you want.
  1. Fulfill your desire.
“How would I feel like ?”, “ How would I feel like, If I had my desire ?” Now. And Be it. Experience your desire in your mind. Be the person who has it now. Occupy this person. Where would your mind be if you were the person you wanted to be?
Fulfill your desire in your imagination. We use imagination to fulfill desires, not to desire. Remember this.
There is no trying to get your desire, when you imagine you see it as now, am I wrong ?:)
Your imagination sees everything as it is NOW.
[Let’s test this right now.
Think of the yellow rabbit, don't you see him now in your imagination? That’s what I’m talking about. It’s already exist.
See the rabbit ? You didn't search the forest in your imagination to see it, you saw it as soon as you wanted to. You didn't imagine how you were walking around looking for him.]
Your goal is not to try to get it, but to be the person who have it all in your imagination. The person who is trying to manifest it, will only try to manifest it.
  1. Persist.
Oh Jesus! How scary this word sounds if you don't know what it actually means.
Remember. Persistence is not in trying to become, but in being the new state.
“Then we persist in the new state until it becomes our new natural way of being. Then in the most natural way, it will come into your world. You may not feel natural about being it immediately. You might, but if you don’t, then persist. There is no fulfilment in trying to be, the only fulfilment is IAM” - Edward art, from his video “Though false”
Be it in your imagination only! That’s it. All you have to do is experience your desire.
If your wish came true right now, what would you do? You would just experience it. So experience it right now in your imagination, this is thinking from the end. This is the wish fulfilled. See? It’s not hard. It’s a joy. Relief.
You don’t need to change your thoughts, gait, lifestyle, the way you eat. You don't have to do anything in 3D. Leave it alone. Leave the world alone and change yourSELF. Your IAM. As soon as you enter the state, your thoughts, gait and everything in your 3D will change automatically. It will reflect your imagination. This is the law.
Just continue being this new state in your mind only .
You can’t fully be immersed in your new state, if you are still keeping your focus on the external. Leave it alone.
You don't have to repeat affirmations a million times a day, You know , not eating bread , so the universe will grant your wish, beg your sp to speak to you, drink a million pills to heal (oh I was there and it was hell) all this stuff. You don't have to do it all. As Neville said “ You don’t have to lift a finger”. Leave the world alone. All you can do is to assume that you are who you want to be in your imagination only.
Don't worry about how it will come into your world. This is not your concern. Not yours at all. If the mountain needs to move to fulfill your desire, it will move. You just have to enjoy your desire. Don't worry about anything else. Your only job is to be who you want to be in your imagination. Honestly, that's all you need to do.
So, again.
  1. Define
  2. Fulfill
  3. Persist/Be
I understand how hard it was for you, and how much you tried and how much you worked and bled and sweated to get what you wanted.
I feel you.
Now put everything in the hands of God.
You know who Jesus Christ is. Who is god.
He is your wonderful human imagination.
Trust him, he gives you everything. He forgives everything. Even if you have done something bad and think that now you do not deserve a good life, look at God. Can you still imagine your desire?
See! He gives you everything no matter what. Despite what people have told you about your past, maybe you think that you have no talents, no teeth, no hair, no health. He gives you everything and right now.
You no longer have to fight to get a place under the sun. Your imagination gives you everything. Take it. And just enjoy being a human being. Enjoy your states. This is your purpose of life. Remember, we are here to wake up individually. Don’t worry about others. Think of yourself first.
As Neville said “everyone is you pushed out”.
If you don’t understand this now, you will. Just apply the loa.
Stop looking, stop worrying, stop reading and trying to learn more and more. Enough is enough. It's time to live. Let go of the past and be who you want to be right now in your imagination, don't try to change your 3d world, it just repeats after you.
Right now, in your imagination, just be who you want to be. Don't worry about anything, just be who you want to be. You will only have time to open your mouth, as your 3D will begin to change rapidly.
So, as someone said here “You can either be the person that has it and the person that has it doesn’t go look for it or try to get it“. You can’t serve 2 Gods. There is only one. Your imagination. So it’s done. You have it.
You can be whoever you want, have any life. It doesn't matter what it is, the best football player in the world, the best singer in the world, the president, the healthiest human being alive, the most beautiful human being on the planet, the richest human being on the planet, the happiest on the planet, the smartest human being, anyone. The main thing is to choose what you really want. It will express. I promise. It will express. Just be it in your own imagination and leave the world alone. You don’t need to wait for your desire. You have it now in your imagination. Continue having it. Continue being the person who has it. Yes it is that easy. Don’t complicate it. Don't look at others, don't ask for their stories, don't compare yourself. You can do everything. Your success will be the best proof.
You are in Barbados and you went first class:)
Now, apply the loa. 🕊️
P.s English is not my first language, so please don't pay attention to minor missteps.
I think this is my last post and I won't be posting again. I'm leaving to live my life:D
You have all the knowledge, it's time to start practicing otherwise you won't change anything. Simply reading will not help you. If you have any questions about EIPO, then please go to my previous post and read my comments there, I wrote about it. I also kind of wrote about it in the comments under other posts, you can see it in my profile. There aren't many of them.
There is only one thing that I recommend you to read, Nevill's lecture " The coin of heaven"( I beg you to read this )
and apply the loa. That’s it.
You are a beautiful creature who has forgotten about it. You have every right to be what you want in every sense of the word. Perhaps now you do not see all your beauty, but believe me, there is nothing more beautiful than you. The moon will envy your beauty, and the sun your radiance. You are beautiful. You are complete. You are love. You are God. You are a Light. It is all about you and it is all for you.
I wish you all the best and I know that everything will be fine with you.
I will water your garden, but YOU are the main gardener.
So, enjoy your human experience 🕊️
submitted by zhansoul to NevilleGoddard2 [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 03:33 Ralfop PolyGel Nail Kit The unique putty-like viscosity ensures smooth, flawless nails and color. PolyGel’s formulation combines acrylic powder for strength in a gel base with photo initiators providing workability without any unpleasant odor. Stop wasting time and money at salons, and get the PolyGel Nai

submitted by Ralfop to HANITSYPRODUCTS [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 03:22 IcyMaj07 I was fired during my two week notice of my resignation.

I was working for this car wash company, not specifying further, for over a year. It would've been two years in May. I put in my two weeks notice of my resignation on March 16th due to the fact that I got a job offer from a certain hospital and I had the mentality that I was going to continue my same level of work, so I could leave on good terms with my current employer and so I wouldn't stress out my coworkers because even though I was leaving I still cared about them. Fast forward to yesterday. I had been called into the office at the start of my morning shift at 7:00 AM by my GM (general manager) who wasn't scheduled to open with me. He sits me down and tells me that I'm being "let go early". The reasons being extended bathroom breaks, which have NEVER been addressed. On top of that I have a condition called Hidradenitis Suppurativa. It's a medical condition that causes cysts/boils to grow in moist areas of the body and there's all kinds of conditions that tag along with them. Some of which are gastrointestinal issues which I was believed to have and have talked about with my GM so he knows why my bathroom breaks are extended. Next being that I took an extended lunch break without communication that I was. This one is more reasonable. I went out to lunch with my fiancée and she had our son with her so she wanted some extra help and a bit of a break while I was with her. I was gone for an hour and I didn't text any of my coworkers or my managers, but I did apologize when I came back which I understand doesn't fix the issue. I had a smoothie bowl that I didn't get to finish, so I finished it in our booth and then got back to work once I was done. Again, an issue that wasn't communicated with me. The final nail in the coffin was me being late twice in the last week. One instance was me over sleeping due to my alarm being incorrectly set, so I didn't wake up at the right time. When I realized my error I communicated with my AM (assistant manager) what had happened and that I'd be on my way shortly. No conversation or communication after that. There was also a "plethora of complaints from employees" which doesn't make sense. There's been one employee who's hated and been actively trying to get me in trouble instead of communicating his issues with me since I transferred to this location and all of my other employees I'm amicable with, but that doesn't necessarily exclude them from complaining about my work ethic. So now I'm faced with 3 issues that I have not been talked to about, but I'm being fired for during the last 4 days of my two weeks before my resignation. It has been brought to my knowledge that these issues were discussed without me being present and that's when this decision was decided. I believed being "let go early" was me not having to come into work for the rest of my two week period, they sent me home after the conversation, but I believed that I'd still technically be an employee until my effective resignation date. With this belief I put in my PTO for the days that I was going to work but was now unable to, but it didn't go through due to me being terminated so I no longer had access to any of my employee benefits. Mind you that I had 46 hours of PTO that I was unable to use due to the fact that I was scheduled 9 days in a row and I could only use my PTO on days I had off. I was told to look into the legal side of things to see if there was any foul play involved, is that the right thing for me to do? Please let me know. I really enjoyed working for this company until they randomly decided to fuck me over. I'm looking forward to hearing your opinions.
submitted by IcyMaj07 to antiwork [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 03:01 SilentFlyingZebra B deficiency

( Excuse my horrible English) My stomach lining was screwed up when I got sick 18 months ago, and it affects my absorption with certain things I noticed, not until like 6 weeks I got sick with neurological symptoms from taking metformin and not until like 2 weeks ago I figured out it was a vitamin deficiency of some sorts. i scheduled an appointment and tried to go to urgent care and they told me to schedule with a pcp physician and next available appointment is like 1 month out they said. I took some b-12 and felt my symptoms flare up then the next 2 days subside a lot fast forward last night felt like they all came back, and I feared b-12 toxicity after taking 6000mcg of b-12 so I toned it down. Last night I also ate whole avocado the potassium affected my b-12 deficiency I suspected hence why last night I felt sick. The latest symptoms when I woke up I felt like could not breathe, aching pain in my head, tingly in my extremities, very visual dreams where I felt like I was being suffocated and then waking up feeling out of breath. I did take a sublingual natures bounty 2500mcg b-12 pill that I cut in half and did feel a little better after about an hour. Why is it I feel out of breathe? the last 6 months I noticed I have more gray hair, when i got sick 6 weeks ago had tinitus, adhd like symptoms,I just noticed today my nail cuticles are gone. Im thinking of getting a supplement of each of the b vitmains so I can manage each dosage better, besides the b vitmains anything else maybe I should take? and what test should I order? i don't want to wait another 5 weeks for my appointment.
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2023.03.29 02:42 AwakeSleepMeditation Stillness & Motion - A Scientific View of Meditation (8)

As previously mentioned, the essence of meditation is to keep the mind awake while allowing the body to enter into a state of sleep. The specific method for achieving meditation is to maintain stillness in the body so that the body’s built-in “sensors” cannot detect any muscle movement. With enough practice and time, your brain (more accurately, your unconscious brain), mistakenly believing that you have fallen asleep, will gradually shut down both your motor and sensory nerves, inhibiting the sympathetic nerves while stimulating the parasympathetic nerves. This ultimately leads your body into a completely relaxed state of sleep.
That is why I have repeatedly emphasized that maintaining stillness is the first key element of meditation, and I can even assert that it is the only key element of meditation. Moreover, through simple logical reasoning, I can make a bolder guess that any human activity that is achieved by maintaining stillness in the body is essentially meditation. For example, Zhan Zhuang, Neidan, and various “static exercises” in Qigong, including “Tuna” and “Xingqi” through breath adjustment. Although they may superficially appear to be vastly different, some standing, some sitting, and some lying down, with different internal focusing points as well, they all essentially achieve meditation by maintaining stillness in the body.
However, although most meditation methods are achieved by keeping the body still, there are nevertheless some very special methods that achieve meditation through bodily movement. For example, in addition to “sitting meditation,” Buddhist practitioners sometimes choose an outdoor space, focus their minds without any distractions, and walk back and forth in a straight line with very slow steps, called “walking meditation.” In fact, the slowness of the pace is not necessary, because some experienced practitioners can achieve the same effect with faster speeds. That is to say, slowness is not the key to “walking meditation,” but maintaining a “constant speed” and moving in a “straight line” are the keys. So, what is the connection between moving “at a constant speed in a straight line” and maintaining “stillness”?
People who have studied physics know that Newton’s first law states that when an object is not subjected to an external force, it will remain at rest or move at a constant speed in a straight line. It is common sense and relatively easy to understand that an object that is not subject to external forces remains at rest. However, an object that is not subject to external forces can also maintain constant speed in a straight line, which is a discovery that contradicts common sense and also underlies Newton’s greatness. So again, what is the inherent commonality between maintaining stillness and moving at a constant speed in a straight line, or uniform linear motion? In other words, what is the essential difference between stillness/uniform linear motion and other forms of motion (that is, nonlinear motion and non-uniform linear motion)?
The answer is simple. That is, the acceleration of stillness and uniform linear motion is zero, while the acceleration of nonlinear motion and non-uniform linear motion is not zero. The “sensors” in your body, mentioned earlier, like the “sensors” in smartwatches, are actually “acceleration sensors,” or “accelerometers,” not “velocity sensors.” That is to say, stillness and uniform linear motion are the same for them because the acceleration is zero. This explains why uniform linear motion (like “walking meditation”) and stillness have the same effect, since your unconscious brain mistakenly thinks you are asleep because it cannot detect any “acceleration” of your muscles and thus lets your body go into a sleep state.
In addition, the “sensors” in your body are not as sensitive as you thought. That means that as long as you keep the acceleration of your body movements within a small range, even nonlinear or non-uniform linear movements may cause your unconscious brain to mistakenly assume you are asleep because it cannot detect sufficient “acceleration.”
So, how can you keep the acceleration of your body movements within a small range? You just need to slow down your movements! Tai Chi is a perfect example. Most of the movements in Tai Chi come from Chinese martial arts, but the biggest difference between Tai Chi and other martial arts is the speed of the movements. Therefore, although most of those movements are nonlinear, due to the slow and uniform speed of each movement, and the seamless and continuous transitions between movements, the acceleration throughout the entire flow can be almost ignored.
Also, in various “moving exercises” of Qigong, most (if not all) use very gentle and slow movements based on the same principle. That is to say, whether it is Tai Chi or Qigong, so long as you truly practice “slowly,” you can achieve the effect of meditation. Or to make the point more bluntly, Tai Chi and Qigong are essentially forms of meditation.
Moreover, Newton’s first law is also known as the law of inertia. The so-called “inertia” refers to the property of an object resisting changes to its motion state. By applying this law, we can not only better understand the relationship between stillness and motion, but also unlock the principle behind the “progressive muscle relaxation” method mentioned in Chapter 1, “Awake Sleep.” We already know that this method deliberately tightens and relaxes different muscle groups in the body progressively, thus gradually eliminating the tension and inducing a sense of relaxation. But how exactly does that work?
Suppose the degree of muscle tension ranges from 0 to 10, with several levels in between. That is to say, when we engage in intense physical activity, the muscle tension can rise to 10, whereas when we are asleep, the muscles are completely relaxed, and the tension drops to 0. When we wake up, under normal circumstances, our muscle tension level is not 0 or 10, but rather stays at a value between 0 and 10. Let’s assume that that value is 3, although it may vary slightly for each person.
Note that, under normal circumstances, it is difficult to experience the feeling of muscle relaxation below that normal value of 3. However, if we deliberately tighten our muscles and maintain this for a while, and then suddenly relax them, the muscle tension will quickly drop from 10 to 3. However, it will not stop there, but due to the “inertia” effect mentioned earlier, it will continue to decrease to 2, then 1, and even 0. Of course, after reaching the lowest point, the muscle tension will rebound, and rise back up to 1, and then 2, before finally returning to the normal value of 3 and staying there.
Although this relaxation of muscles below 3 is not long-lasting, usually not exceeding half a minute, it allows us to experience the physical changes that occur only after falling asleep even when we are awake. It can be said that Dr. Jacobson’s invention is truly remarkable. This is also why in Chapter 6, “A Thousand Hours,” we considered achieving full-body muscle relaxation as the criterion for completing the initial phase of learning meditation, because not only is it a very clear and explicit goal, but, more importantly, it is a goal that we can partially experience through the “progressive muscle relaxation” method.
Also, the series of movements in yoga share similarities with “progressive muscle relaxation.” The principles behind both are exactly the same. In fact, the founder of yoga, Patanjali, explained in detail the “Eight Limbs of Yoga” in his book Yoga Sutras. What we typically practice today in the gym is only the third limb, which is the “asana” or posture yoga. The later “pranayama” or breathing yoga is similar to Qigong’s “Tuna” or “Xingqi.” As for the seventh limb, “dhyana,” it is an extremely deep meditation, and the eighth limb, “samadhi,” is the highest state that meditation can bring us to—the unity of Heaven and humanity.
In short, stillness is meditation, as well as uniform linear movement. Slow and continuous nonlinear movement and non-uniform linear movement can also be forms of meditation. As for the various muscle relaxation techniques, they are excellent warm-up exercises for meditation. They help us set meditation goals, experience or partially experience the wonderful feelings that come with achieving those goals, and always have a firm belief and a lively hope.
In many Eastern temples, you will find a stone tablet or plaque inscribed with the words “Entering Samadhi.” It means that no matter who enters there, they must put aside their distractions and purify their minds to discover their true selves. However, most believers do not know that Samadhi is not in the temple or in the wild forests, but in everyone’s own hearts. Instead of looking for immortals and seeking the Tao far away, it is better to sit quietly at home or walk slowly in the yard to find the mysteries of life in the joy of meditation.
May each of us find our own Samadhi and enter it whenever we want to, whenever we need to, and whenever we have to.
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