Food near deadwood sd

I hate my dad and his girlfriend

2023.06.01 21:51 Patheticmeowmeow I hate my dad and his girlfriend

My dad and his girlfriend really had the nerve to tell me I’m unproductive and lazy and sit on my ass because I’ve been inside working tirelessly on this screenplay instead of lounging in the pool with them for a week. They pointed out I wear pajamas during the day despite that his girlfriend does the exact same thing. Theirs not a moment I don’t feel like I’m in a cage with his girlfriend breathing down my back. Their kettle boiled over and it was my fault despite that I didn’t touch it, I don’t go out and they never asked but kept berating me and calling me lazy so I avoided them, the one day they kindly and calmly asked me if I wanted to I did then they berated me more once I actually went outside mocking me for my the hair on my legs and talking about how I’m usually a hermit for being inside an entire week. The one day I went out I was exhausted because they woke me up at 6am playing music and screamed at me until got up at 9am despite that I kept telling them I was tired because the cats kept me up. I fell asleep in the pool and they acted shocked that night when I went to bed at 8pm.His girlfriend complained that I was on “her floatie” and kept trying to push me off and when I told her not to touch me and nearly had a panic attack she called me a brat and told me “go run to daddy.” And my dad promised her he’d by her a new pool floatie and all the floatie she wanted until she dropped it. Since the first hour I arrived they called me a hermit for being indoors so I just avoided them. I was told I could have anything in the fridge or cupboards but they complain every time I eat, either that I’m eating everything or that I ruined the pan, but the one day I told my dad I wouldn’t eat what his girlfriend made because I didn’t want to eat their food (I brought my own) he got snappy and told me to eat it. I went out to the pool alone to get away from his girlfriend and she got mad I went without telling her and claimed I was sneaking out and didn’t want her to know (because I went out the back door which is closer to the pool). It’s become apparent theirs not a single thing I can do without it being a problem for them. I don’t even want to go to their wedding at this point. Every time I’ve brought it up to them that I didn’t want to be around them because of how they’re treating me they lash out more either telling me they were just teasing or defending their behavior.
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2023.06.01 21:45 dangerrrmuffin Birthday recs?

It’s been a really busy past few weeks and I just realized my birthday is this weekend. It’s my first birthday since my celiac diagnosis. Usually we celebrate with dinner, but there are zero restaurants anywhere near here that would even potentially be safe, so restaurants are a hard no.
What are your favorite non-food-related ways to celebrate birthdays? Maybe it’s the mental exhaustion but I can’t come up with anything that might be fun to do :/
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2023.06.01 21:43 BerryMochi19 The Enchanted Ones “Journey of the Believers”

Chapter 1
The Villager’s Warning
In the North near the tempestuous mountains and the groves of the Relum trees, which grow relum, which are like sweet pears, was a prosperous village called “ Alestra”. Alestra is a medium-sized village known for its cloying relums and its soft and crumbly soil perfect for the trees and gardens. They lived a humble and healthy life supplying themselves with veggies and meat from the boars they hunted. The water from Rivenile was the source of their agricultural success and survival. The sound of little children having fun exploring the fields of grain while their family works diligently on the farms. Most of the children spend their time outside either helping with their family's farm or playing near the grains and on the trees playing fun games. All except one particular boy who will spend his days indoors writing stories and reading about the fascinating creatures he wishes to discover. His name was Aran Yearwood, a 12-year-old with red hair living with his parents who helped the village by transporting their food and veggies to nearby villages. Aran eagerly followed his father, perpetually saying “Father, can I hear the story about the Rift Creators of the Coliseum again please?”. The father replied, “ How about tonight when your mother is back for dinner, is that alright?”. “ Yes Father,” said Aran. Aran rushed to his room whose walls were covered with sheets of drawings and a portrait of his family right in the center of his room. His desk was piled with books and maps slightly torn and dirty. His bed was big enough for him, and a little chest lay at the end of the bed to store the items he cherished. Aran sat on his chair and picked up a book labeled “ Creatures of the Night” and he sat on his bed and read from where he began. Meanwhile, the Father went near his stable and put the ponderous goods on the wagon when he smelled a putrid stench of a rotting corpse. The father looked around to find the smell and discovered a Villager riding a horse carrying a wagon with numerous dead bodies disfigured and all missing body parts. “ What happened to them!?” stuttered the father in shock. “ To be honest I don’t know?” said the villager. “It might be a wolf or a bear,” said the villager. “That can’t be bears since it's winter,” said the father. “We might have to stop shipment to other villages,” said the villager. “Why, though, it's only a few animals we can take care of,” said the father. “Well, that depends if the mayor agrees,” the villager says. “Shouldn’t we mail this to animal control, maybe they can control these beasts,” the father said. “Already mailed it to them, should be arriving in a few weeks or so”. The villager rode his horse to the village square leaving the father worried. When it was nightfall the family was at the dinner table eating their food. They had a hot and warm meat pie filled with lamb and pork all mixed with gravy with a side of pan-fried spinach. After their dinner, Aran rushed towards his room with his father following him. “ Are you gonna tell me the story Father?” asked Aran. “ Alright, hold your patience,” said the father as he sat down on the bed. “ The story of the ..colosseum begins with the Greater wills, gods who judge the realms and serve as the way of evolution”. “When these gods see someone they love they give birth to the demigods. “ Each demigod ruled the realms and served as a ruler for their realms,” asked the Father. “ They had abilities like gravity, time, War, pestilence, and even death, while others had less powerful abilities like sand,” said the father. “ Each of the demigods is known to be the best and the most revered in their worlds.,” said the father in a Joyous mood. '' “All had everything they could need in their lives, but some wanted more”. The father looked outside the dark knight. “ Well it's getting late. The father replied with a tired tone “ Sleep well Aran”. “Can you finish the story tomorrow? " asked Aran, resting his head on the pillow. “Of course,” said the father. Aran closed his eyes and dreamed of himself in the stars, seeing the planets go by as he feels the
5 years later
Aran who was now 17 got off his bed with his room no longer having the drawings he used to have and the desk he still had an accumulation of books. He passed his parent's room and went into the kitchen to make his parents some breakfast. Aran's parents were always tired of the number of resources needed for other villages and Aran’s mother sprained her knee when running back to the village. Aran grabbed a few thick pork slices and chopped them to put on the ardent sizzling pan. Aran proceeded to crack a few eggs, mix them with scallions, and place them on the pan with the pork bits until they were cooked well. The sound of the sizzling food awoke the father as he peeked through the kitchen to see his son cook. The father asks” Son it's still dark outside why are you up this early”. “I wanted to give you something to eat while I’m gone with the delivery for the next town,” said Aran. “ Alone, you can’t be alone when Wendigos are out on the road”. “ Let me come and help you deliver the food..” but as the father said that he was cut off and the Aron said, “ It's alright I brought a knife with me and I’ll be cautious”. Aran exited the house and went near the stable to ride his horse carrying the fruits and vegetables on his side. Aran rode his horse down the road to the village square. The village square had big houses with markets surrounding the houses and farms surrounding the Relum trees growing ever so long behind the village. The villagers look depleted and worn out. Aran rode his horse to the other houses to ask for resources and food they offered them all saying “ Tell Newberry to stay strong”. After Aran was finished taking the villager's supplies for Newberry he went to the village chief to gather his resources. He knocked on the door of the Mayor's house and saw him with a pile of water buckets, a few bags of gold, and Packs of wood. “ Ah Aran, please put this on your cart and tell Newberry to stay safe and have hope”. “Of course chief,” said Aran. Aran rode his horse to the village gate next to the tower post. When Aran was next to the post a Knight went outside of the tower replying “ What is your business of leaving Alestra '' . “ I’m transporting my family’s food to the village of Newberry, “ said Aran. “ The village of Newberry isn't doing well since the Wendigos raided them, they're going to need those supplies” said the knight. Aran was permitted to leave Alestera and Aran continued his journey on the path. Aran passed through from a few corpses to an abundance of them until Aran saw the village. The village was burned and ravaged with dark smoke covering the sky and the stench of burning flesh still in the air. Aran rushed to the village to see if anybody survived but found none survived. When Aran was about to leave he saw smoke coming out of the forest, Aran rode his horse swiftly and came to the source of the fire. He saw a few villagers and a small number of children near the fire scared and tired from the raid. “ Are you the villagers of Newberry?” asked Aran. “ We used to be until the Wendigos attacked,” said an elderly lady. Aran with a shocked look on his face asked: “ What about the knights”. “ Most of them died fighting while some died running,” said the old man next to the lady. “ Some more knights tried to help but those insidious beasts forestalled ”. Aran was worried for the villagers of Newberry and shouted“ I have resources from the town of Alestra and we have come for your help!!!”. All the villagers looked at Aran as he continued to shout “ Please gather any resources you need and help yourself to the food you need to survive with!!!”. The Villagers filled with hope and joy rushed to the cart and gathered all the supplies. They were all eating and drinking and covering themselves with blankets making them feel just a little bit safer. “ We don’t know how to thank you, young sir,” said a man with his children next to him. “ Please sir you don’t have to do anything, but if you and the others need help we're just a few miles away south,” said Aran. Aran left with an empty cart and a feeling of beatitude when he saw the villagers of Newberry full of bliss and hope. Halfway through his trip back to his village the horse instantaneously stopped and nearly threw Aran off the horse. “ Stay here Becky,” said Aran smoothly. He jumped off the horse and looked all around to see if anything would jump out and attack him. Suddenly he heard a large screeching sound mixed with screeching. He heard rustling and sticks being broken. He heard the noise again except it was teeth chattering and the sound of a loud sharp horn was closer. “ We have to go, Becky,” said Aran urgently as he jumped on his horse and rode as fast as he could. Aran heard the sound come closer and faster towards him. Aran had the sudden urge to stop the horse midway. Aran stopped his horse and soon after a dark wendigo jumped out in front of him and crashed near some trees and was unconscious for a few seconds. Aran used that time to ride away while horrified by that chase. The wendigo screeched in anger as Aran was out of its sight. Aran returned to the village sweaty and scared and opened the doors only to be on his knees. The father rushed up to him with the mother following him slowly. “ Aran what happened to you?!” asked the father in a frightened manner. “I escaped from a wendigo,” said Aran panting. “ How in this world did you survive?!” asked the father. “ Raranold, let the Aran rest now,” said the mother. “ Aran is traumatized enough for today, we can ask when he is ready but for now let him sleep and rest”. The father took a deep breath and said to Aran “ You can go upstairs and we’ll cook something for you, is that okay ''. “That's okay,” Aran replied. Aran went upstairs to his room and went to his bed to sit. Aran heard voices from downstairs wanting to hear what his parents were talking about. Aran opened the door quietly, walked on the stairs sneakily, and peered through the kitchen to hear what they were saying. “ 7 people died on that road and were eaten, there is no way our son could survive one of their attacks,” said Raranold. “ I think it's time for us to leave the village”. “But where will we go, Raranold,” asked the mother. “ We could go to the city of Elistar and maybe there we can be safe,” said the father. “I don’t know what to do now Elizabeth”. “ We can leave tomorrow when we pack all our stuff and leave while we still have light, and maybe we can reach an inn,” said Elizabeth. “ But what about Aran, how will he handle this?” asked Raranold. “He might be upset about it but I’m sure he’ll love the big city and all its fancy buildings and all the new stuff he’ll like”. “ Plus we have a good amount of money to survive in the city”. “ Now then, we should be cooking dinner at Raranold”. “ Please pass me the mushrooms on your right, we're going to be making some skewers” Aran walked to his room quietly shocked by the fact that he will move from the village he grew up in. Aran looked out the window gazing at the village thinking about how he will never get used to the city. Aran suddenly saw something big and tall in the bushes. It was the same wendigo that was chasing him through the path. Aran quickly fell over in terror and when he got back up, the wendigo was suddenly gone in an instant. “ Oh lords,” said Aran. The wendigo rushed deep into the forests crossing through the dry trees and the murky puddles towards an abandoned camp. The abandoned camp was full of wendigos either resting or fighting each other for food. Near the big stump sat a tall wendigo with various skulls and aches full of bottles and ashes on his sides. The wendigo held a staff with a large skull. The wendigo went towards the large wendigo and shrieked “ Shouldn’t we attack the village now”. The tall Wendigo stood up and said “ We attack when the sun is dim”. They heard horses coming through the road with knights packed with weapons passing by them. The tall Wendigo screamed in the sky letting every Wendigo know that they would attack the village of Alestra.
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2023.06.01 21:42 reluctantleaders Questions for trip this summer

Hello! My family and I (everyone is at least 25 years old, there will be 4 of us total) are going to Vegas for about a week around July 4th. I have been lurking this subreddit for a while and have gathered some questions I would appreciate any input on! We are staying at the Palazzo for reference.
We'll be landing in Vegas around 10pm. Is it better to pre-book transportation to the Palazzo or just try and get an Uber? Also, any tips on where to get some late night drinks and food near the Palazzo, especially when we're tired from traveling?
I've heard that things like bottled water are crazy expensive in the hotel. Any tips on cheapest place to get some bottled water and maybe liquodrinks to pregame and save some money? Bonus points for somewhere close to the Palazzo.
In terms of shows, we're pretty sure we're going to see Michael Jackson One (mom's choice) and Mac King. I've also suggested "O" by Cirque du Soleil. Mom shot down Absinthe so that's not happening. My sister wants to see "Vegas! The show" to see "show girls". It looks fine to me but nothing amazing, would appreciate insight or alternatives. I also suggested Shin Lim or Mat Franco.
In terms of restaurants, my mom really wants to go to Milos and Piero's. I have a reservation alert set for Piero's but none available right now for our dates. These are other restaurants that have been suggested to us and I would love input-
Capo's Italian, Golden Steer, Delilah, Esther's Kitchen, Bouchon, The Pepper Mill, Bardot (brunch), Cut, SW Steakhouse, Giada's. Also have been recommended to check out Mon Ami Gabi and Yardbird - these are chains that exist where we live already, are they worth visiting in Vegas too?
Any other tips are appreciated! My sister is looking into options for a spa day/afternoon and she's a big pool person so any advice on Palazzo/Venetian pools would be great.
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2023.06.01 21:42 m_halo Finely single and dog free

This could have easily been a book but I’ll try to be vague.
It’s long overdue but I finely ended things with my gf. It’s been a two year long rollercoaster of misery, misplaced anger, humiliation and …dog semen.
I won’t elaborate too much on ups and downs of our relationship (that’s whole another story) but the final straw was her saying that if she had to choose saving human life or a dog she would have chosen a dog, thousand times over, even if it were my son’s.
Dog runs this house.
I should have known this the very minute I stepped inside my gf’s tiny two bed apartment. Filthy couch with throw covering up dog filth from when poor little pooper had “an accident”. Dog necessities everywhere, not one, not two but 5 dog beds including a crusty old pillow on which the shit beast relieves itself 🤢
This miserable creature was literally allowed to do whatever it please. Jump on furniture, on her bed, scratching itself on a wall leading to her apartment, leaving brown trail of dog filth. It would follow her around the apartment, always begging for treats. Whenever someone was in the kitchen, it would climb up on a couch backrest, nearly falling off or it and literally with its face in the cooking pots. Hair and dander everywhere and shitty asshole on where humans would later sit down. It’s a smartest and most intelligent dog on Earth (and handsomest one of course) only whenever it’s cleaning time and she starts vacuuming, it would flip a switch in his pigeon brain and it would start humping the Dyson. All humans have urges am I right?
My gf allowed this behaviour and let it finish itself off on a aforementioned crusty old pillow. That obnoxious creature would after walk around the apartment with his thing still dripping cum.
Going walkies was always stressful for me as she kept refusing to leash her dog. She would ger told off by passers by almost daily as her dog would always get in someone’s way on walk or bicycle paths or it would run up to other dogs even without the other owner’s consent. She would blatantly allow her dog to invade people’s personal space, piss and shit where “no dog toilet” signs were up, on communal lawns or next to children’s playground and would argue with anyone who would reprimand her. How dare you!
Going somewhere with a car wasn’t any different. This neurotic dog was allowed to roam freely around the car without harness. It would maybe sit on the back seat for 1.5 minutes before deciding it likes it more in the front, on a drivers knees. It’s illegal here to be holding a dog on drivers knees while driving l, at highway speeds especially, but law doesn’t apply to my dog, right? We’re special. Gangway! Fido behind the wheel.
Same goes to leash laws in and around forests, my doggo loves animals and wouldn’t hurt a fly. Why wouldn’t it be allowed to play with them? It’s favourite thing is digging up rodents holes. Bonus points for finding a nest and manage to kill few. Those damn instincts. Everyone is allowed to have a hobby.
You can’t own a dog if you’re not an animal lover and an activist yourself. And by animals you mean your dog, of course. After all you single handily saved this gods creature from an evil puppy mill. You’ve taken it from its birth mom to your tiny apartment to keep it for your amusement, ehm friendship. You’ve given it shelter, fed it human food (because of its special dietary needs and multiple food allergies). You’ve pumped it with meds because of its genetic disorders from birth. You’ve called it family member and everyone who says or thinks differently is a dog hater and you showed him the doors. You’ve kept pushing people visiting your house to worship it by petting and letting it lick them, it loves you and is happy to see you, see. You’ve corrected everyone who dared calling it a DOG.
Yeah nah, I’m good
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2023.06.01 21:24 calista0613 26/F/USA: Looking for friends to just talk about life with~!

Hey y'all, I'm from Texas, born and raised. I'm Mexican-American. I can speak both English and some Spanish. I want to learn Korean and Japanese. I love envelope art, snail mail, and decorating handwritten letters. I'm a stationery addict and have too many stickers, papers, etc, that I want to use on a penpal's letter.
I tend to be outside a lot; walking or biking. It's hot here in Texas most of the year, so I have to be near a body of water in the summer time, like a lake or a pool for wading or swimming. I love food and animals and plants and tend to explore new music. I would appreciate music recs/playlists in our correspondences, regardless of language or genre.
That being said, I'm a bit of a nerd and interested in East Asian cultures. I love Korean Hiphop and Krnb. I enjoy K-pop as well (since I'm a multi to the core and stan most groups. I follow a lot: BTS, SVT, SHINee, ATEEZ, KARD, & more). I'm also into K-dramas and anime, and Thai BLs and manga/manwha, webtoons, etc. Starting to get slowly into C-dramas as well. I'm a reader and have started a ton of books and hoping to slowly finish them. I like fantasy romance and adventure. I will also pick up a good self help book or autobiography here and there.
I don't limit myself to just Asia, I love to learn about new cultures in general and don't mind a penpal from the states or from another part of the world. I would prefer someone who is close to my age.
Please DM me if interested~!
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2023.06.01 21:24 RandomAppalachian468 Don't fly over Barron County Ohio. [Repost]

The whirring blades of my MD-902 throbbed against the warm evening air, and I smiled.
From 5,000 feet, the ground flew by in a carpet of dark forests and kelly-green fields. The sun hung low on the horizon in a picturesque array of dazzling orange and gold, and I could make out the narrow strip of the Ohio River to my left, glistening in the fading daylight. This time of year, the trees would be full of the sweet aroma of fresh blossoms, and the frequent rains kept small pockets of fluffy white mist hanging in the treetops. It was a beautiful view, one that reminded me of why being a helicopter pilot trumped flying in a jumbo jet far above the clouds every day of the week.
Fourteen more days, and I’m debt free.
That made me grin even more. I’d been working as a charter pilot ever since I obtained my license at age 19, and after years of keeping my nose to the grindstone, I was closing on the final payment for real-estate in western Pennsylvania. With no debt, a fixer-upper house on 30 rural acres all to myself, and a respectable wage for a 26-year-old pilot, I looked forward to the financial freedom I could now enjoy. Maybe I’d take a vacation, somewhere exotic like Venice Italy, or the Dominican Republic. Or perhaps I’d sock the money back for the day I started a family.
“Remember kleineun, a real man looks after his own.”
My elderly ouma’s voice came back from the depths of my memories, her proud, sun-tanned face rising from the darkness. She and my Rhodesian grandfather had emigrated to the US when they were newlyweds, as the violence against white Boer descendants in South Africa spiraled out of control. My mother and father both died in a car crash when I was six, and it had been my grandparents who raised me. Due to this, I’d grown up with a slight accent that many of my classmates found amusing, and I could speak both English, and Afrikaans, the Boer tongue of our former home.
I shifted in my seat, stretched my back muscles, and glanced at the picture taped to my console. Both my parents flanked a grinning, gap-toothed six-year-old me, at the last Christmas we’d spent together. My mother beamed, her dark hair and Italian features a sharp contrast to my father’s sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. Sometimes, I liked to imagine they were smiling at me with pride at how well I flew the old silver-colored bird my company had assigned to me, and that made the long, lonely flights easier to bear.
A flicker caught my eye, and I broke my gaze away from the photograph.
Perched in its small cradle above the controls, my little black Garmin fuzzed over for a few seconds, its screen shifting from brightly colored maps to a barrage of grey static.
Did the power chord come loose?
I checked, ensuring the power-cable for the unit’s battery was plugged into the port on the control panel. It was a brand-new GPS unit, and I’d used it a few times already, so I knew it wasn’t defective. Granted, I could fly and navigate without it, but the Garmin made my time as a pilot so much easier that the thought of going blind was dreadful.
My fuel gauge danced, clicked to empty, then to full, in a bizarre jolt.
More of the gauges began to stutter, the entire panel seeming to develop terrets all at once, and my pulse began to race. Something was wrong, very wrong, and the sludge inside my bowels churned with sour fear.
“Come on, come on.” I flicked switches, turned dials, punched buttons, but nothing seemed to fix the spasming electronics. Every gauge failed, and without warning, I found myself plunged into inky darkness.
Outside, the sun surrendered to the pull of night, the sky darker than usual. A distant rumble of thunder reverberated above the roar of my helicopter’s engine, and I thought I glimpsed a streak of yellowish lightning on the far horizon to my left.
Calm down Chris. We’re still flying, so it must just be a blown fuse. Stay in control and find a place to set her down.
My sweaty palm slid on the cyclic stick, and both feet weighed heavy on the yaw pedals. The collective stuck to my other hand with a nervous vibration, and I squinted against the abyss outside.
I jumped despite myself, as the little Garmin on my panel flared back to life, the static pulling aside to reveal a twitching display. Each time the screen glitched, it showed the colorful map detailing my flight path over the ground below, but I noticed that some of the lines changed, the names shifting, as if the device couldn’t decide between two different versions of the world.
One name jutted out at me, slate gray like most of the major county names, appearing with ghostly flickers from between two neighboring ones.
Barron County.
I stared, confused. I’d flown over this section of southeastern Ohio plenty of times, and I knew the counties by heart. At this point, I should have been over the southern end of Noble County, and maybe dipping lower into Washington. There was no Barron County Ohio. I was sure of it.
And yet it shown back at me from the digital landscape, a strange, almost cigar-shaped chunk of terrain carved from the surrounding counties like a tumor, sometimes there, sometimes not, as my little Garmin struggled to find the correct map. Rain began to patter against my cockpit window, and the entire aircraft rattled from a strong gust of wind. Thick clouds closed over my field of vision like a sea of gray cotton.
The blood in my veins turned to ice, and I sucked in a nervous breath.
Land. I had to land. There was nothing else to do, my flight controls weren’t responding, and only my Garmin had managed to come back to life. Perhaps I’d been hit by lightning, and the electronics had been fried? Either way, it was too dark to tell, but a storm seemed to be brewing, and if I didn’t get my feet on the ground soon, I could be in real trouble.
“Better safe than sorry.” I pushed down on the collective to start my slow descent and clicked the talking button for my headset. “Any station, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, over.”
“Any station, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, requesting emergency assistance, over.”
Still nothing.
If the radio’s dead, I’m really up a creek.
With my hand shaking, I clicked on the mic one more time. “Any station, this is—”
Like a curtain pulling back, the fog cleared from around my window, and the words stuck in my throat.
Without my gauges, I couldn’t tell just how far I’d descended, but I was definitely very low. Thick trees poked up from the ground, and the hills rolled into high ridges with flat valley floors, fields and pastures pockmarking them. Rain fell all around in cold, silvery sheets, a normal feature for the mid spring in this part of Ohio.
What wasn’t normal, were the fires.
At first, I thought they were forest fires for the amount of smoke and flames that bellowed from each spot, but as I swooped lower, my eyes widened in horror.
They were houses.
Farms, cottages, little clusters that barely constituted villages, all of them belched orange flames and black pillars of sooty smoke. I couldn’t hear above the helicopter blades, but I could see the flashes on the ground, along the road, in between the trees, and even coming from the burning buildings, little jets of golden light that spat into the darkness with anger.
Gunfire. That’s rifle fire, a whole lot of it.
Tiny black figures darted through the shadows, barely discernable from where I sat, several hundred feet up. I couldn’t see much, but some were definitely running away, the streaks of yellow gunfire chasing them. A few dark gray vehicles rumbled down one of the gravel roads, and sprayed fire into the houses as it went. They were fighting, I realized, the people in the trucks and the locals. It was horrific, like something out of war-torn Afghanistan, but worse.
Then, I caught a glimpse of the others.
They didn’t move like the rest, who either fled from the dark vehicles, or fired back from behind cover. These skinny figures loped along with haphazard gaits, many running on all fours like animals, swarming from the trees by the dozens. They threw themselves into the gales of bullets without flinching, attacking anyone within range, and something about the way they moved, so fluid, so fearless, made my heart skip a beat.
What is that?
“Echo Four Actual to unknown caller, please respond, over.”
Choking back a cry of shock, I fumbled at the control panel with clumsy fingers, the man’s voice sharp and stern. I hadn’t realized that I’d let go of the talking button and clicked it down again. “Hello? Hello, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot out of Pittsburgh, over.”
An excruciating moment passed, and I continued to zoom over the trees, the fires falling away behind me as more silent forest took over.
“Roger that Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, we read you loud and clear. Please identify yourself and any passengers or cargo you might be carrying, over.”
Swallowing hard, I eyed the treetops, which looked much closer than they should have been. How far had I descended? “Echo Four Actual, my name is Christopher Dekker, and I am alone. I’m a charter flight from PA, carrying medical equipment for OSU in Columbus. My controls have been damaged, and I am unable to safely carry on due to the storm. Requesting permission to land, over.”
I watched the landscape slide by underneath me, once catching sight of what looked like a little white church surrounded by smaller huts, dozens of figures in the yard staring up at me as I flew over a towering ridgeline.
“Solid copy on that Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot. Be advised, your transponder shows you to be inside a restricted zone. Please cease all radio traffic, reduce your speed, climb to 3,000 feet and proceed north. We’ll talk you in from there. How copy, over?”
My heart jumped, and I let out a sigh of relief. “Roger that Echo Four Actual, my altimeter is down, but I’ll do my best to eyeball the altitude, over.”
With that, I pulled the collective upward, and tried my best to gauge how far I was by eyesight in the gathering night, rain still coming down all around me. This had to be some kind of disaster or riot, I decided. After all, the voice over the radio sounded like military, and those vehicles seemed to have heavy weapons. Maybe there was some kind of unrest going on here that I hadn’t heard about yet?
Kind of weird for it to happen in rural areas though. Spoiled college kids I get, but never saw farmers get so worked up before. They usually love the military.
Something moved in the corner of my eye, and I turned out of reflex.
My mouth fell open, and I froze, unable to scream.
In the sky beside me, a huge shadow glided along, and its leathery wings effortlessly carved through the gloom, flapping only on occasion to keep it aloft. It was too dark for me to see what color it was, but from the way it moved, I knew it wasn’t another helicopter. No, this thing was alive, easily the size of a small plane, and more than twice the length of my little McDonald Douglass. A long tail trailed behind it, and bore a distinct arrow-shaped snout, with twig-like spines fanned out around the back of its head. Whatever legs it had were drawn up under it like a bird, yet its skin appeared rough and knobby, almost resembling tree bark. Without pause, the gigantic bat-winged entity flew along beside me, as if my presence was on par with an annoying fly buzzing about its head.
Gripping the microphone switch so tight, I thought I’d crack the plastic, I whispered into my headset, forgetting all radio protocol. “T-There’s something up here.”
Static crackled.
“Douglas Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, say again your last, you’re coming in weak and unreadable, over.”
“There’s something up here.” I snarled into the headset, still glued to the controls of the helicopter, afraid to deviate even an inch from my course in case the monstrosity decided to turn on me. “A freaking huge thing, right beside me. I swear, it looks like a bat or . . . I don’t know.”
“Calm down.” The man on the other end of the radio broke his rigorous discipline as well, his voice deep, but level. “It won’t attack if you don’t move too fast. Slowly ease away from it and follow that course until you’re out of sight.”
I didn’t have time to think about how wrong that sounded, how the man’s strict tone had changed to one of knowledge, how he hadn’t been the least surprised by what I’d said. Instead, I slowly turned the helicopter away from the huge menace and edged the speed higher in tiny increments.
As soon as I was roughly two football fields away, I let myself relax, and clicked the mic switch. “It’s not following.”
“You’re sure?”
Eyeing the huge flapping wings, I nodded, then remembered he couldn’t see me. “Yeah, I’m well clear.”
“Good. Thank you, Mr. Dekker.”
Then, the radio went dead.
Something in my chest dropped, a weight that made my stomach roil. This wasn’t right, none of it. Who was that man? Why did he know about the thing I’d just seen? What was I supposed to—
A flash of light exploded from the trees to my right and shot into the air with a long finger of smoke.
What the . . .
On instinct, I jerked the cyclic stick to one side, and the helicopter swung to avoid the rocket.
My world shook, metal screeched, and a dozen alarms began to go off inside the cockpit in a cacophony of beeps and sirens. Orange and red flames lit up the night sky just behind me, and the horizon started to spin wildly outside. Heat gushed from the cockpit door, and I smelled the greasy stench of burning oil. The safety belts dug into my shoulders, and with a final slip, the radio headset ripped free from my scalp.
I’m hit.
Desperate, I yanked on the controls, fought the bird even as she spun toward the ground in a wreath of flames, the inky black trees hurtling up to meet me. The helicopter went into full auto-rotation, the sky blurring past outside, and the alarms blared in a screech of doom. Panic slammed through my temples, I screamed at the top of my lungs, and for one brief second, my eyes locked on the little black Garmin still perched atop my control panel.
Its screen stopped twitching and settled on a map of the mysterious Barron County, with a little red arrow at the center of the screen, a few words popping up underneath it.
You are here.
Trees stabbed up into the sky, the belts crushed at my torso, glass shattered all around me, and the world went dark.
Copper, thick, warm, and tangy.
It filled my mouth, stank metallic in my nose, clogged my throat, choking me. In the murkiness, I fought for a surface, for a way out, blind and numb in the dark.
This way, kleineun.
My ouma’s voice echoed from somewhere in the shadows.
This way.
Both eyes flew open, and I gagged, spitting out a stream of red.
Pain throbbed in my ribs, and a heavy pressure sent a tingling numbness through my shoulders. Blood roared inside my temples, and stars danced before my eyes with a dizzying array. Humid night air kissed my skin, and something sticky coated my face, neck, and arms that hung straight up toward the ceiling.
Wait. Not up. Down.
I blinked at the wrinkled, torn ceiling of the cockpit, the glass all gone, the gray aluminum shredded like tissue paper. Just outside the broken windows, thick Appalachian bluegrass and stemmy underbrush swished in a feeble breeze, backlit by flashes of lightning from the thunderstorm overhead. Green and brown leaves covered everything in a wet carpet of triangles, and somewhere nearby, a cricket chirped.
Turning my head from side to side, I realized that I hung upside down inside the ruined helicopter, the top half burrowed into the mud. I could hear the hissing and crackling of flames, the pattering of rain falling on the hot aluminum, and the smaller brush fires around the downed aircraft sizzling out in the damp long grass. Charred steel and burning oil tainted the air, almost as strong as the metallic, coppery stench in my aching nose.
They shot me down. That military dude shot me out of the sky.
It didn’t make sense. I’d followed their orders, done everything they’d said, and yet the instant I veered safely away from whatever that thing in the sky had been, they’d fired, not at it, but at me.
Looking down (or rather, up) at my chest, I sucked in a gasp, which was harder to do that before.
The navy-blue shirt stuck to my torso with several big splotches of dark, rusty red. Most were clean slashes, but two held bits of glass sticking out of them, one alarmingly bigger than the other. They dripped cherry red blood onto my upturned face, and a wave of nausea hit me.
I gotta get down.
I flexed my arms to try and work some feeling back into them, praying nothing was broken. Half-numb from hanging so long, I palmed along my aching body until I felt the buckled for the seat belts.
“Okay.” I hissed between gritted teeth, in an effort to stave off my panic. “You can do this. Just hold on tight. Nice and tight. Here we go . . .”
Everything seemed to lurch, and I slid off the seat to plummet towards the muck-filled hole in the cockpit ceiling. My fingers were slick with blood and slipped over the smooth faux-leather pilot’s seat with ease. The shoulder belt snagged on the bits of glass that lay just under the left lowest rib, and a flare of white-hot pain ripped through me.
I screamed, my right knee caught the edge of the aluminum ceiling, and both hands dove into a mound of leaf-covered glass shards on the opposite side of the hole. My head swam, being right-side-up again enough to make shadows gnaw at the corner of my eyes.
Forcing myself to breath slowly, I fought the urge to faint and slid back to sit on the smooth ceiling. I turned my hands over to see half a dozen bits of clear glass burrowed into my skin like greedy parasites, red blood weeping around the new cuts.
“Screw you.” I spat at the rubbish with angry tears in my eyes. “Screw you, screw you, screw you.”
The shards came out easy enough, and the cuts weren’t that deep, but that wasn’t what worried me. On my chest, the single piece of cockpit glass that remined was almost as big as my palm, and it really hurt. Just touching it felt like self-inflicted torture, but I knew it had to come out sooner or later.
Please don’t nick a vein.
Wiping my hands dry on my jeans, I gripped the shard with both hands, and jerked.
Fire roared over my ribs, and hot blood tickled my already grimy pale skin. I clapped a hand over the wound, pressing down hard, and grunted out a string of hateful expletives that my ouma would have slapped me for.
Lying on my back, I stared around me at the messy cargo compartment of the MD-902. Most of the medical supplies had been in cardboard boxes strapped down with heavy nylon tow-straps, but several cases had ruptured with the force of the impact, spraying bandages, syringes, and pill bottles all over the cluttered interior. Orange flames chewed at the crate furthest to the rear, the tail section long gone, but the foremost part of the hold was intact. Easily a million-dollar mess, it would have made me faint on any other trip, but today it was a godsend.
Half-blind in the darkness, I crawled along with only the firelight and lightning bolts to guide me, my right knee aching. Like a crippled raccoon, I collected things as I went, conscious of the two pallets of intact supplies weighing right over my head. I’d taken several different first-aid courses with some hunting buddies of mine, and the mental reflexes kicked in to help soothe my frazzled mind.
Check for bleeds, stop the worst, then move on.
Aside from my battered chest and stomach, the rest of me remained mostly unharmed. I had nasty bruises from the seatbelts, my right knee swelled, my nose slightly crooked and crusted in blood, but otherwise I was intact. Dowsing every scratch and cut with a bottle of isopropyl alcohol I found, I used butterfly closures on the smaller lacerations that peppered my skin. I wrapped soft white gauze over my abused palms and probed at the big cut where the last shard had been, only stopping when I was sure there were no pieces of glass wedged inside my flesh.
“Not too bad.” I grunted to myself, trying to sound impassive like a doctor might. “Rib must have stopped it. Gonna need stitches though. That’ll be fun.
Pawing through the broken cases, I couldn’t find any suture chord, but just as I was about to give up, I noticed a small box that read ‘medical skin stapler’.
I tore the small white plastic stapler free from its packaging and eyeballed the device. I’d never done this before, only seen it in movies, and even though the cut in my skin hurt, I wondered if this wouldn’t be worse.
You’ve gotta do it. That bleeding needs to stop. Besides, no one’s coming to rescue you, not with those rocket-launching psychos out there.
Taking a deep breath, I pinched the skin around the gash together, and pressed the mouth of the stapler to it.
A sharp sting, like that of a needle bit at the skin, but it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as the cut itself. I worked my way across the two-inch laceration and gave out a sigh of relief when it was done.
“Not going to bleed to death today.” I daubed ointment around the staples before winding more bandages over the wound.
Popping a few low-grade painkillers that tumbled from the cargo, I crawled wriggled through the nearest shattered window into the wet grass.
Raindrops kissed my face, clean and cool on my sweaty skin. Despite the thick cloud cover, there was enough constant lightning strikes within the storm to let me get glimpses of the world around me. My helicopter lay on its back, the blades snapped like pencils, with bits and pieces of it burning in chunks all around the small break in the trees. Chest-high scrub brush grew all around the low-lying ground, with pockets of standing water in places. My ears still rang from the impact of the crash, but I could start to pick up more crickets, frogs, and even some nocturnal birds singing into the darkness, like they didn’t notice the huge the hulk of flaming metal that had fallen from the sky. Overhead, the thunder rumbled onward, the feeble wind whistling, and there were other flashes on the horizon, orange and red ones, with crackles that didn’t sound quite like lightning.
The guns. They’re still fighting.
Instinctively, I pulled out my cellphone, and tapped the screen.
It fluttered to life, but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get through to anyone, not even with the emergency function designed to work around having no service. The complicated wonder of our modern world was little better than a glorified paperweight.
Stunned, I sat down with my back to the helicopter and rested my head against the aluminum skin of the craft. How I’d gone from a regular medical supply run to being marooned in this hellish parody of rural America, I didn’t know, but one thig was certain; I needed a plan. Whoever fired the missile could have already contacted my charter company and made up some excuse to keep them from coming to look for me. No one else knew I was here, and even though I now had six staples holding the worst of my injuries shut, I knew I needed proper medical attention. If I wanted to live, I’d have to rescue myself.
My bag. I need to get my go-bag, grab some gear and then . . . head somewhere else.
It took me a while to gather my green canvas paratrooper bag from its place behind the pilot’s seat and fill it with whatever supplies I could scrounge. My knee didn’t seem to be broken, but man did it hurt, and I dreaded the thought of walking on it for miles on end. I focused instead on inventorying my gear and trying to come up with a halfway intelligent plan of action.
I had a stainless-steel canteen with one of those detachable cups on the bottom, a little fishing kit, some duct tape, a lighter, a black LED flashlight with three spare batteries, a few tattered road maps with a compass, a spare pair of socks, medical supplies from the cargo, and a simple forest green plastic rain poncho. I also managed to unearth a functioning digital camcorder my ouma had gotten me for Christmas a few years back, though I wasn’t sure I wanted to do any filming in such a miserable state. Lastly, since it was a private supply run from a warehouse area near Pittsburgh to a direct hospital pad in Ohio, I’d been able to bring my K-Bar, a sturdy, and brutally simple knife designed for the Marine Corps that I used every time I went camping. It was pitiful in comparison to the rifle I wished I had with me, but that didn’t matter now. I had what I had, and I doubted my trusty Armalite would have alleviated my sore knee anyway.
Clicking on my flashlight, I huddled with the poncho around my shoulders inside the wreck of the chopper and peered at the dusty roadmaps. A small part of me hoped that a solution would jump out from the faded paper, but none came. These were all maps of western PA and eastern Ohio. None of them had a Barron County on them anywhere.
The man on the radio said to head north, right before they shot me down. That means they must be camped out to the north of here. South had that convoy and those burning houses, so that’s a no-go. Maybe I can backtrack eastward the way I came.
As if on cue, a soft pop echoed from over the eastern horizon, and I craned to look out the helicopter window, spotting more man-made flashes over the tree tops.
“Great.” I hissed between clenched teeth, aware of how the temperature dipped to a chilly 60 degrees, and how despite the conditions, my stomach had begun to growl. “Not going that way, are we? Westward it is.”
Walking away from my poor 902 proved to be harder than I’d anticipated. Despite the glass, the fizzling fires, and the darkness, it still held a familiar, human essence to it. Sitting inside it made me feel secure, safe, even calm about the situation. In any other circumstance, I would have just stayed with the downed aircraft to wait for help, but I knew the men who shot me down would likely find my crash site, and I didn’t want to be around when they did.
Unlike much of central and western Ohio, southeastern Ohio is hilly, brushy, and clogged with thick forests. Thorns snagged at my thin poncho and sliced at my pant legs. My knee throbbed, every step a form of self-inflicted torture. The rain never stopped, a steady drizzle from above just cold enough to be problematic as time went on, making me shiver. Mud slid under my tennis shoes, and every tree looked ten times bigger in the flickering beam of my cheap flashlight. Icy fear prickled at the back of my neck at some of the sounds that greeted me through the gloom. I’d been camping loads of times, both in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, but these noises were something otherworldly to me.
Strange howls, screeches, and calls permeated the rain-soaked sky, some almost roars, while others bordered on human in their intonation. The more I walked, the softer the distant gunfire became, and the more prevalent the odd sounds, until the shadows seemed to fill with them. I didn’t dare turn off my flashlight, or I’d been completely blind in the dark, but a little voice in the back of my head screamed that I was too visible, crunching through the gloomy forest with my long beam of light stabbing into the abyss. It felt as though a million eyes were on me, studying me, hunting me from the surrounding brush, and I bitterly recalled how much I’d loved the old Survivor Man TV series as a kid.
Not so fun being out in the woods at night. Especially alone.
A twig snapped somewhere behind me, and I whirled on the spot, one trembling hand resting on the hilt of my K-Bar.
Nothing. Nothing but trees, bushes, and rain dripping down in the darkness.
“This is stupid.” I whispered to myself to keep my nerves in check as I slowly spun on the spot. “I should have went eastward anyway. God knows how long I’m going to have to—”
A groan of metal-on-metal echoed from somewhere to my right, and I spun to face it, yanking the knife on my belt free from its scabbard. It felt so small and useless in my hand, and I choked down a wave of nauseas fear.
Ka-whump. Creak. K-whump. Creak.
Underbrush cracked and crunched, a few smaller saplings thrashed, and from deep within the gloom, two yellow orbs flared to life. They poked through the mist in the trees, forming into slender fingers of golden light that swept back and forth in the dark.
The soldiers . . . they must be looking for me.
I swallowed hard and turned to slink away.
Ice jammed through my blood, and I froze on the spot, biting my tongue to stop the scream.
It stood not yards away, a huge form that towered a good twelve feet tall in the swirling shadows. Unpolished chrome blended with flash-rusted spots in the faded red paint, and grime-smeared glass shone with dull hues in the flashes of lightning. Where the wheels should have been, the rounded steel axels curved like some enormous hand had bent them, and the tires lay face-down on the muddy ground like big round feet, their hubcaps buried in the dirt. Dents, scrapes, and chips covered the battered thing, and its crooked little radio antenna pointed straight up from the old metal fender like a mast. I could barely make out the mud-coated VW on the rounded hood, and my mind reeled in shock.
Is . . . is that a car?
Both yellow headlights bathed me in a circle of bright, blinding light, and neither I nor the strange vehicle moved.
Seconds ticked by, the screech-thumping in the background only growing closer. I realized that I couldn’t hear any engine noises and had yet to see any soldiers or guns pointed my way. This car looked old, really old, like one of those classic Volkswagen Beetles that collectors fought over at auctions. Try as I might, I couldn’t see a driver inside the murky, mold-smeared windows.
Because there wasn’t one.
Lightning arched across the sky overhead, and the car standing in front of me blinked.
Its headlights slid shut, as if little metal shades had crawled over the bulbs for a moment and flicked open again. Something about that movement was so primal, so real, so lifelike, that every ounce of self-control I had melted in an instant.
Cursing under my breath, I lunged into the shrubs, and the world erupted around me.
Under my shoes, the ground shook, and the car surged after me in a cacophony of ka-thumps that made my already racing heart skip several beats. A weather-beaten brown tow truck from the 50’s charged through the thorns to my left, it’s headlights ablaze, and a dilapidated yellow school bus rose from its hiding place in the weeds to stand tall on four down-turned axel-legs. They all flicked their headlights on like giants waking from their slumber, and as I dodged past them, they each blared their horn into the night in alarm.
My breaths came short and tight, my knee burned, and I crashed through thorns and briars without thought to how badly I was getting cut up.
The cheap poncho tore, and I ripped it away as it caught on a tree branch.
A purple 70’s Mustang shook off its blanket of creeping vines and bounded from a stand of trees just ahead, forcing me to swerve to avoid being run over, my adrenaline at all-time highs.
This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening.
Slipping and sliding, I pushed through a stand of multiflora rose, and stumbled out into a flat, dark expanse.
I almost skidded to a stop.
What had once been a rather large field stood no taller than my shoestrings, the grass charred, and burnt. The storm above illuminated huge pieces of wreckage that lay scattered over the nearly 40-acre plot, and I could just make out the fire-blackened hulk of a fuselage resting a hundred yards away. The plane had been brought down a while ago it seemed, as there weren’t any flames left burning, and I threw myself toward it in frenzied desperation.
Burned grass and greasy brown topsoil slushed underfoot, and I could hear the squelching of the cars pursing me. Rain soaked me to the bone, and my lungs ached from sucking down the damp night air. A painful stich crept into my side, and I cursed myself for not putting in more time for cardio at the gym.
Something caught my left shoelace, and I hurtled to the ground, tasting mud and blood in between my teeth.
They’ve got me now.
I clawed at the mud, rolled, and watched a tire slam down mere inches from where my head had been. The Mustang loomed over me and jostled for position with the red Volkswagen and brown tow truck, the school bus still a few yards behind them. They couldn’t seem to decide who would get the pleasure of stomping me to death, and like a herd of stampeding wildebeest, they locked bumpers in an epic shoving match.
On all fours, I scampered out from under the sparring brutes, and dashed for the crumpled airplane, a white-painted DC-3 that looked like it had been cut in half by a gargantuan knife blade. I passed a snapped wing section, the oily remains of a turbo-prop engine, and a mutilated wheel from the landing gear. Climbing over a heap of mud, I squeezed into the back of the ruined flight cabin and dropped down into the dark cargo hold.
No sooner had my sneakers hit the cold metal floor, and the entire plane rocked from the impact of something heavy ramming it just outside. I tumbled to my knees, screaming in pain as, once again, I managed to bash the sore one off a bracket in the wall.
My hand smeared in something gooey, and I scrabbled for my flashlight.
It clicked on, a wavering ball of white light in the pitch darkness, and I fought the urge to gag. “Oh man . . .”
Three people, or what was left of them, lay strewn over the narrow cargo area. Claret red blood coated the walls, caked on the floor, and clotted under my mud-spattered shoes. Bits of flesh and viscera were stuck to everything, and tatters of cloth hung from exposed sections of broken bone. An eerie set of bloody handprints adorned the walls, and the only reason I could tell it had been three people were the shoes; all of them bore anklebones sticking out above blood-soaked socks. It smelled sickly sweet, a strange, nauseas odor that crept into my nose and settled on the back of my tongue like an alien parasite.
Something glinted in the beam of my flashlight, and my pulse quickened as I pried the object loose from the severed arm that still clung to it.
“Hail Mary full of Grace.” I would have grinned if it weren’t for the fact that the plane continued to buck and roll under the assault from the cars outside.
The pistol looked old, but well-maintained, aside from the light coating of dark blood that stained its round wooden handle. It felt heavy, but good in my hand, and I turned it over to read the words, Waffenfabrik Mauser stenciled into the frame, with a large red 9 carved into the grip. For some reason, it vaguely reminded me of the blasters from Star Wars.
I fumbled with a little switch that looked like a safety on the back of the gun and stumbled toward a gap in the plane’s dented fuselage to aim out at the surrounding headlights.
The old gun bucked reliably in my hand, its long barrel spitting a little jet of flame into the night. I had no idea if I hit anything, but the attacking cars recoiled, their horns blaring in confusion.
They turned, and scuttled for the tree line as fast as their mechanical legs could go, the entire ordeal over as fast as it had begun.
Did I do that?
Perplexed, I stared down at the pistol in my hand.
A large, inky black shadow glided down from the clouds, and the yellow school bus moved too slow to react in time.
With a crash, the kicking nightmarish vehicle was thrown onto its side, spraying glass and chrome trim across the muddy field. Its electro-synth horn blared with wails of mechanical agony, as two huge talon-like feet clamped down on it, and the enormous head of the flying creature lowered to rip open its engine compartment.
The horn cut out, and the enormous flying entity jerked its head back to gulp down a mass of what looked like sticky black vines from the interior of the shattered bus.
At this range, I could see now that the flying creature bore two legs and had its wings half-tucked like a vulture that had descended to feed on roadkill. Its head turned slightly, and in the glow of another lightning bolt, my jaw went slack at the realization of what it was.
A tree trunk. It’s a rotted tree trunk.
I couldn’t tell where the reptilian beast began, and where the organic tree components ended, the upper part of the head shaped like a log, while the lower jaw resembled something out of a dinosaur movie. Its skin looked identical to the outside of a shagbark hickory but flexed with a supple featheriness that denoted something closer to skin. Sharp branch-like spines ranged down its back, and out to the end of its tail, which bore a massive round club shaped like a diseased tree-knot. Crouched on both hind legs, it braced the hooked ends of its folded wings against the ground like a bat, towering higher than a semi-truck. Under the folds of its armored head, a bulging pair of chameleon-like eyes constantly spun in their sockets, probing the dark for threats while it ate.
One black pupil locked onto the window I peered through, and my heart stopped.
The beast regarded me for a moment, with a curious, sideways sniff.
With a proud, contemptful head-toss, the shadow from the sky parted rows of razor-sharp teeth to let out a roar that shook the earth beneath my feet. It was the triumphant war cry of a creature that sat at the very top of the food chain, one that felt no threat from the fragile two-legged beings that walked the earth all around it. It hunted whenever it wanted, ate whatever it wanted, and flew wherever it wanted. It didn’t need to rip the plane apart to devour me.
Like my hunter-gatherer ancestors from thousands of years ago, I wasn’t even worth the energy it would take to pounce.
I’m hiding in the remains of the cockpit now, which is half-buried under the mud of the field, enough to shield the light from my screen so that thing doesn’t see it. My service only now came back, and it’s been over an hour since the winged beast started in on the dead bus. I don’t know when, or how I’m going to get out of here. I don’t know when anyone will even see this post, or if it will upload at all. My phone battery is almost dead, and at this point, I’m probably going to have to sleep among the corpses until daylight comes.
A dead man sleeping amongst friends.
If you live in the Noble County area in southeastern Ohio, be careful where you drive, fly, and boat. I don’t know if it’s possible to stumble into this strange place by ground, but if so, then these things are definitely headed your way.
If that happens . . . pray that they don’t find you.
submitted by RandomAppalachian468 to u/RandomAppalachian468 [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:24 Dramareader75 I am so sick and done with my mother and sister

Hi, for context ages will not be shared just know I am a former sophomore going into junior year and my sister is a upcoming freshman.
As the title stated I am so sick of my deadbeat mom and entitled brat of a sister, today I woke up and went to say hi to my aunt(my should be legal guardian) and saw my sister wasn’t in the room so I asked my aunt where she was and found out that my mom was told that me and my aunt were asleep and she took it upon herself to pick up my sister and take her out god knows where. Now for context and background information my mother does not live with me and my aunt or dad, she moved out back in the middle of 2022 because she believed my aunt and dad were targeting and bullying her for being a deadbeat mother and god forbid she help my aunt pay bills. Now for those who probably wondering why I’m posting this is because I need opinions to help convince my aunt to kick my sister out since she tells my mother everything that happens in the house.
Now my sister is entitled, she gets what she wants and all the new electronics she finds amazing, for example she got an animal crossing gen 1 switch for Christmas in 2019 and didn’t use it for three years until I started using the joycons for my switch since my control didn’t have that rubbery part on the levers and I have sensory issues to plastic touching my fingers when I’m playing video games.
Now back to the present, my mother had picked up my sister to take her out, I don’t care if she took her out it’s the fact that my sister didn’t tell my aunt that my mother was planning to take my sister out. My sister had told my mom that me and my aunt were asleep and my mom tends to do things with my sister more when my dad is out of the house, my aunt was mad and upset when she found out, makes sense. My mother was always stingy with giving my aunt money to pay bills or to even buy me clothes or anything I need but once my sister barks and commands my mom uses a lot of money on her just because she’s bigger, meaning she’s on the heavier side and she’s autistic.
My aunt already plans to leave money and jewelry to me and my sister when she dies but now plans to give only me and my dad everything since me and her believe that my sister would only share money with my druggie and drunkie of a mother, I know most of you are going to comment saying that I shouldn’t talk badly about my mother, but here’s some context that y’all should know. After my mother gave birth to me back in 2007, it only took her a week a week of having me out of the hospital for her to realize that she didn’t want to take care of a baby and don’t me basically on my aunt Uncle and Dad basically anyone who would take care of me instead of her she was asleep 95% of my childhood because she didn’t want to be a mother more of a friend a friend who dresses provocatively, and always has her boobs or thighs flashing, because she feels like she should, and not cover up her body, I was always embarrassed for her to be my mother because she would dress provocatively at school events and I would be embarrassed because my friends would tease me about it and teachers would make snide remarks about me and dressing like that when I’m older, I do dress like that but I only dress like that when I’m out with friends other times I dress in jeans, a plaid shirt or jacket and a band shirt basically 80s look. my mother never was really there for me more in there for my sister and she would never get me things I need just recently back in let’s say January my aunt had took me to an eye doctor and I got prescribed contacts so my aunt need a money so she can pay off the 40 bucks that my aunt had to pay to give me my contacts every three months.
My mother caused a lot of trauma through my life and doesn’t commit it or own up to her mistakes but it says that it was my dad‘s fault for causing that trauma. He did cheat on her back in 2008 I believe or 2007 hence bringing in my half brothers . And my dad I guess was just sick of my mother.
Now, my sister acts like my mothers in so many ways doesn’t do dishes doesn’t do basic chores complains when looking after the dogs the planes are doing anything has horrible hygiene and always says that she might take over my room since I do a horrible job and taking care of it when she sleeps in my aunts room and refuses to do what I did back in 2019 and split it one corner of the room to be a little tiny corner where I can have a bed a desk and a TV so I can be comfortable more when I get my own room silly I know but it worked for me. I have told my aunt that she needs to take my sister out the wheel because my sister does not appreciate anything her or my dad do for her for example, my aunt spend so much money on Funko pops and electronics for my sister every Christmas, and she only uses one thing or causes a mess. What’s worse is not my grandmother’s poor jewelry box is being wasted and being destroyed because my sister has constant cups on it and the residue leaves markings on the wood. It was my grandmothers jewelry box and I cherish it every moment of my life. It sucks that she’s gone , but I feel like I deserve the jury box because I take better care of my jewelry while my sister does not even like jewelry
I want to convince my aunt to kick out my sister, so my sister can understand the struggles and actual proof that my mother is a deadbeat and that she has no where near a good person nor the good enough mother to spend basic money for food and clothing I am just so sick and tired of my mother and my sister . Please separate uses of Reddit help me convince and point out reasons to kick out my sister so she can live with my mother since she appreciates my mother more than my aunt and father.
submitted by Dramareader75 to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:21 ProposalEcstatic3944 URGENT ADOPTERS Needed- North Carolina (Raleigh-Durham area)- Help Jax, Chaz and Princess Find Homes

URGENT ADOPTERS Needed- North Carolina (Raleigh-Durham area)- Help Jax, Chaz and Princess Find Homes
📷 PLEASE share this post 📷
These 3 dogs are hanging at Charley's House for their rescues and they REALLY need your attention NOW.
As everyone now knows, Charley's House could possibly go up for sale. In order to secure the house, they want $10k due diligence money. I'm halfway there. 📷
The ONLY way I can save Charley's House is working my ass off to take more training clients for rescues so that I can get this due diligence money that secures the house. (I currently have a waitlist)
Unfortunately this means that dogs that finished their training program and live here for "maintenance" NEED to be placed.
The first dog is Jax. I have had Jax in my home since 7/30/2022. He completed his 8 week behavior program and has been waiting MONTHS for someone to notice him. His rescue pays $100/week to keep him here and keep him safe. So what does Jax need? Jax needs a fully fenced yard so he can run and play. He has a VERY high mental energy. Jax's bare minimum should be two walks a day, fetch in the yard, structured feeding event, and he even likes to do command work. He's dog friendly, house trained, and crate trained. He doesn't care about my cats. He's highly treat, food, and toy motivated. He loves to "trade up". He does GREAT in public. I've only seen him with my kid and he's 11+.
The next boy is Chaz. Chaz finished his behavioral program on May 5th. He's an incredible amazing dog. He's house trained, crate trained, snuggly, sweet. He grunts to talk to you when he sees you. He rarely jumps on me, has GREAT recall and he's met a few of my personal pack members with ease. Chaz is a dream to walk on leash. He has done beautifully in public. He wants to please and make you happy. He prefers to meet humans on walks so he needs special introductions but he's happy to sit in his crate while you have guests over if there's no time for proper introductions.
And then there's Princess. I don't know how the hell Princess is still available. I don't get it one bit. First of all- SHE'S BEAUTIFUL. Second of all- she loves everyone she meets. Princess is amazing on leash, does wonderfully in public, and she knows basic obedience commands. She also does this cute little "awoo" when she has something to say. She's also dog friendly but does much better with males. She hasn't really been around kids and she doesn't like the resident cats but after 571 days in the shelter and over a year in rescue... COME ON!
If you know me, then you know telling these rescues yesterday that they have to find another place for their dogs absolutely devastated me. I invest my heart and soul into these dogs. Like truly love these 3 dogs with my entire life. I'd adopt them myself but I already have 6 of my own.
These dogs must leave Charley's House by 6/15 so I can continue to work to secure the house. Charley's House has helped nearly 550 Charley's dogs plus close to 50 dogs for other rescues. That's nearly 600 dogs we have impacted since we moved here the end of October 2020. Top that off: that's nearly 600 pitbulls we've impacted.
This house has helped whelp litters, helped adopter's have a safe and reliable option for vacations, helped rescues with their hardest dogs, taught my son to bottlefeed pups, and been the reason we very rarely have to use boarding. We need to be able to continue our work so I need to be able to take more training clients to get the last $5k. You can't donate to this for a tax write off because the house is being secured in my name, not the non-profits for a ton of tiny, legal reasons... but if you have $5k and don't care about a tax write off, just go ahead and PM me. 📷
Anyways, June 15th... 3 dogs I have worked my butt off with will need to find fosteadoptive families. I very much prefer they stay in the Raleigh/Durham area, as the package these rescues paid for includes adopter's home integration help as well.
Original post-
Jax is with Tails of the Unwanted
Chaz is with Operation Save a Shelter Dog
Princess is with Chasin' Tail Rescue
submitted by ProposalEcstatic3944 to AnimalRescues [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:17 DaCoffeeKween Is it the cat or the dog?

I have a 9 month old border collie lab and 2 cats, ones 3 and ones 13. The main issue is with the 13 year old cat, his name is Marvin.
Tl;dr: Cat hits the dog but dog also tries to play rough with the cat, who is to blame and how do I get the dog to understand the old man can't throw her ball and doesn't want to play? How do I get the cat to understand he can go to the basement to hide if the dog is being too much?
I'm getting tired of constantly saying "no" when they get near each other. Or trying to get my dog into her kennel just so Marvin can sleep in peace (even though he has every chance to leave and knows this!) The puppy wants to play and it just annoys the old man. Though sometimes they can sit in the same room and play and sleep with no issue!
Marvin was a farm cat and he is used to being where he wants when he wants and has several favorite sleep spots in the living room. Well when we decided to get the dog we made the basement a cat safe haven. We put in a cat door (cut off a door corner and added hinges nothing fancy. Just something to keep the dog out while letting the cats in) and put their food, litter box, and toys down there and added tons of cozy spots to hide. The younger cat loves it and rarely leaves now but my older cat continues to stay upstairs in his favorite spots.
Well my puppy is active. She wants to play! She chases the little cat and that cat has learned not to come up if she's out acting wild. Marvin though will swipe and hiss if she gets too close. I don't ever see who starts it but sometimes she'll just sniff him and walk on, other time she gets into play position and barks and pounces. This results in a grumpy, tired, old man cat slapping her with claws. She continues though! And I can't pull her off it and if I tried picking up the cat she would jump to get him and I'd be turned into ground beef.
The cat door is broken to where I can't just lock him down there..or I would. I've taken to bribing the dog with treats to get into the kennel (part of the kennel training, she doesn't yet know the command) but it's hard to get her attention off the cat. Marvin isn't bothering anyone by just sleeping but I've seen him slap her as she walks by for no is the dog too much for the cat or is the cat just an AH?
submitted by DaCoffeeKween to puppy101 [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:16 TheBullpupGuy How I (28m) ruined my life chasing my (25f) ex

This ones gonna be a long one so I'm sorry, but this is also for me to put this out into the world so I can be over it and move on with my life.
Tldr at end.
Let me give you backstory prior to meeting my ex. I was always a go getter, always had multiple things going on in life (played for a band and did local tours, did home rennovation, worked on cars, had multiple hobbies, played video games with friends etc.) And always was pushing myself to be better. 1 1/2 years before I met my now ex, I broke my neck. This hampered my lifestyle for about 3 months. My Stepdouche kicked me out of my house because I refused to put up shelving in the garage because and I quote "if you are able to play guitar you can easily put a shelf up." Mind you the day after surgery I had my parents bring me my acoustic guitar so I could make sure I still had normal function of my hands and muscles. And the doctors gave me a strict 10lb lift limit and not to raise my hands over my neck until I was healed from my fusion. Much to my and my moms pleading, the stepdouche wouldnt see it any other way.
So 3 months out of surgery I end up getting a full time job and end up working anywhere from 60-75 hours a week in the auto industry. My healing was going remarkable and I was getting my life together. Found a place to live, dumped my cheating ex, and was still playing gigs with my band and doing all my hobbies inbetween the busy workload. All seemed to be okay at this point and I seemed to be a fully functioning/never broken adult.
After about a year of this crazy workload, enter meeting my ex.
Almost 6 years ago I met my ex (July 2017). She was 19 and I was 22. For our first date I picked her up near her parents house at about 6ish. I dont remember all the details of the date, I wish I did (Ill explain soon) but theres two major things I remember. We clicked almost instantly had very similar views on life and what we expected out of eachother and ourselves. And secondly that I dropped her back off at her house at 6am. I had work in 30 minutes and that was the only reason I cut the date off.
So we started dating. Every day we would see eachother. And things went very well for a long time. I bought her food every night we would go and do things multiple times a week, and we generally had a very very healthy and good relationship. I tried to get her to come to car meets with me and my friends but she ended up just sitting in the car for hours by herself and when I would ask her to come out and hang out she would refuse. Nbd, I eventually stopped bringing her along because she was just sitting in the car. Figured that wasnt her scene so I figured id just keep that as guy time. I asked her out in early sept to be my girlfriend and she said she wasnt ready. We talked and she agreed to be exclusive to me however. A few weeks later she came back and asked me about being together and than we were official.
Our first major challenge came in January.
She went to a trade school for 2 months 4 states away. She was thankfully only gone for 2 months and I told her not to worry its only 2 months and I love her alot so Ill be right here when she got back. Thanks to my awesome boss and coworkers I planned it so I flew out to see her every 3 weeks. So she left, was alone for 3 weeks than I flew out for the weekend, than she was alone again for 3 weeks than I flew out to see her again for a weekend than she had 3 more weeks alone than she came back.
The first time I went up to visit her (it was a suprise) her mood completely shifted like she was a new person. She wasnt all lovey dovey like we had been, she was cold and distant. I chalked this up to her being alone and away frok everyone and its just part of her growth. It wasnt but well get to that.
During one of those weekend visits she took me to the shop to introduce me to her teacher and some of the other people. I remember one thing in particular happened. She was introducing me to everyone and all seemed good. The teacher was awesome, his wife was super nice and a few other older gentlemen I met were cool to talk to. Than we walk into the back of the shop and there was a guy probably 2 years older than me back there. She went up and introduced me as following "This is my friend, anon." I shook the dudes hand but he didnt seem interested in knowing me or even wanting to meet me.
Our first fight was here. I asked her why she was ashamed of calling me her BF and she had a million excuses. She was a bit eccentric (which is why I liked her) so I figured thats just the way she is. Nbd.
Now inbetween my two visits to her, I had got sent in a car from work to pick up another car and the rideshare I was in got hit and my neck fusion came loose. I essentially lost my job, lost my paycheck, lost my housing and lost all my hobbies and band over the next 2 months.
Her odd bevahior continued when she got back however and I noticed during the group photo of her class, she and the other young dude were standing close together. (Mind you I probably was over reacting given I was just cheated on but all the circumstances just seemed too much fir me at the time.) I tried to talk to her about what was going on but she was just cold and distant. I told her how I didnt appreciate being called a friend and made to seem like Im just some dude she knows and not someone who she is in a committed relationship with.
I dont remember when this conversation happened but I remember my ex finally telling me that she overheard a women giggling while I was on the phone with her the day before I left on the first trip to see her.
Long story short one of my good friends from middle/high school got a job working with me and she was kind enough to swing me by the airport on friday mornings to see her and pick me up when I got back sunday night. Thats who she heard giggling.
I told her if that was what is causing all this why didnt she talk to me about it and it could have been cleared up right away. She said she over reacted and thought it was much worse but said she can get over it (paraphrasing)
Well after that life went to crap for a while. I moved in with my grandparents. Couldnt do anything fun, couldnt take her out on the dates we used to do multiple times a week and I was in a sour mood a lot. Always in and out of doctor appointments etc. She had pulled away from me physically and it just hurt. She was still there sometimes emotionally but I felt like she just didnt physically see me as a partner.
My second surgery was in September I think. Instead of going through the front of my neck like the first time, they went through the back and my nervous system. This surgery happened about 8 months after the crash. I saw hell. No other way to describe it. 2 of the worst weeks of my life. I remember 3 very vivid things about those 2 weeks. One was literally hell. The second was a nurse aggressively rolling me on my side while I was asleep jarring me awake and sending a tremendous amount of pain throughout my body. The third was me getting up out of bed to go to the bathroom and having one of the loudest and longest farts I think Ive ever laid. I could hear people in adjacent rooms laughing. I use to have the video of this fart but I dont anymore.
This second surgery messed me up beyond belief. Physically, mentally and emotionally. The worst part is that my brain was running on like half power. Ive always been a smart guy, decently high IQ, and while memory was never a strong suit for me my memory was now nothing. Id forget things people told me just minutes after them telling me it... This was one of my biggest hurdles.
When I got home I refused pain pills and ended up throwing up blood. My ex was there by my side through this. She later told me that she was very mad at me because when I was heavily sedated for those two weeks I didnt acknowledge her. To be fair, I dont remember a single person who visited me that second surgery.
A little less than a week back from surgery I had my bearings set a little more straight and was depressed with where I was. I broke up with my ex and told her I cant provide her the life that she deserves. I was expecting pre surgery to be up and running in another 3 months like the first surgery but this was a completely different animal. I knew this wasnt going to be a quick recovery.
So I told her to go find someone better who can take care of her and her needs and spoil her like (i thought) she deserved. She begged and pleaded and after a few months I took her back because I loved her so much and if she was really willing to stick by my side than I would give her everything I could.
The recovery road was long. Little over 3 years. It took a huge toll on not only me but on my Ex. I hit new levels of depression, all my ways of letting out my emotions were now gone (playing music, drawing art, racing cars, etc) I lost my purpose in life, lost my will to push forward and overall just became super lazy about everything. I was sick of hitting rock bottom and starting iver again (this was about the 5th time Ive had to start over from nothing)
Our relationship definitely had its ups and downs during this time. For instance we went on multiple road trips to over 14 states, but she also would hold any physicalintamacy back from me for extended periods of time for seemingly no reason. She lived alone and I lived with my grandparents still. I would be over at her place at least once a week. And wed watch movies or go out and do light activity dates. Though, I was a bit of an ass and constantly would complain if something was too much or if I was in a bad mood and just didnt want to do anything.
Throughout this entire time Im fighting to get disability and settle my lawsuit with the insurance company for my injuries.
Well we hit a crossroads 2 years ago. I just got my disability and got screwed out of my backpay so I didnt have as much as I should have got.
During this time I find out my exs first BF had treated her in a way that was very forceful when they were together and commitied unalived recently. And our rocky physicallove life went nearly to zero at this point. I figured its no big deal shes just dealing with this bombshell of not ever being able to get closure and is probably just not taking it well.
I than find out my whole family was moving out of state. And my GF is highly considering moving out of state aswell. So we take another road trip because I wanted to find a place I could buy a house with a downpayment from my settlement and have a stable living situation for the first time in my life.
My exs parents had moved to a new state about a year after we started dating. So they offered to out us up while we found a place to live/rent. We had gone there a few times to visit over the years and thought that would be a good idea.
So this is where the crossroads were.
I had 3 options.
1) Build out an RV and live the nomadic wandering life I always wanted to live. (I told my ex about this many times and she seemed luke warm at best to the idea)
2) Move with my moms side of the family to State A
3) Move away from everyone I know and love to be with my GF and move to State B where I know no one.
I obviously went with 3. I spent A LOT (over half my settlement) of money moving to this state with her. She moved 2 months before I did and I drove up with her to move her. She ended up making a friend at her new job and I was happy for her because we both are pretty anti social. I got up there right before halloween. So she took me out with some coworkers on Halloween. She just sat at a table and didnt say much. Didnt introduce me to anyone and overall it was a pretty crap night.
At this point we had zero physicalintimacy in the relationship. We moved out of her parents place in 3 months and I figured that might help fix a little bit of the intimacy issues... it didnt. I suggested she see a therapist so she can work through this stuff and maybe we see a couples therapist so that we can work on us a bit more. I was still head over heels for this women and did everything I could to help her.
My depression took another turn for the worse at this point. I now had no friends. No family. I was all alone with this girl that I love that doesnt hold my hand or give me kisss on the cheeks or even a hug anymore. Id take her on dates and not even get a thanks. My already bad habits got worse. I kept pushing however to try and be better for her but it was never enough.
I am HORRIBLE at doing chores. Ever since I was a kid. I got better at them as I grew up but I aas back to a little kid by the time we were in our new place. We tried lots of things. I was working every day to be better at them and be mindful of them. I simply would just forget. Or maybe my blinders were on and I just wouldnt do them. However even if very little I was doing more and more every day. My body was giving out on me though and some days I couldnt do more than a hour before I was exhausted. She came to me a few months back and said "you need to do more " so I did. I pushed myself harder and harder. It was never enough.
Around this time she brought up that she wanted to go bear hunting with 3 of her guy co workers. I flat out said no. Not only is it innappropriate but I dont know a single one of those coworkers, dont know if she even told them shes in a relationship, and my ex is avidly against ever using a gun herself. This was a fighting point thats been getting brought up for months now. She seems to think its perfectly okay and I dont see it that way.
She always had something to tell me how I was wrong. She told me she hated that I was home all the time (we both are homebodies) she hated that I never let her go out with her co workers (I told her multiple times to go out aand hang out with them. Just let me know whats going on and occasionally invite mee out with you all so I can make some friends too) she said I never did chores even though she agreed I was doing a lot better and picking uo my slack. It just hurt a lot because I feeel like I absolutely had things I needed to work on but at least I was putting in the effort. Meanwhile she has never once tried to fix our physical love side which is the ONLY thing I have ever asked of her.
Well a month ago she broke up with me. I begged and pleaded that we could make it work but she was set on it. The next day I caught her on a backroad going on a date with a guy. She swears "its just dinner with a co worker." She did this 3 days before I had a trip for my Bday back to my home state. Long story short my trip that should have been about $1.2k and 2 weeks long ended up costing me $4.5k and I cut it short to get home.
When I get home I find other guys laundry in my house... than I find out my now ex doesnt come home until 4am drunk. (This really makes me mad because shes been curious about drinking and weed and I told her we could do it so she hhas a safe place at home to get as crazy as she wants. She always had a excuse why she didnt want to do it.) At this point im livid. Its clear shes been setting up another relationship/fwb situation and just stringing me along. Theres a lot of details that have happened over the last month but its mostly just her saying "we might work out but you have to leave the house for me to find out."
I also find out that she got a therapist and did everything I had asked of her for the past 2+ years the second she broke up with me.
My heart was broken. Im completely alone. I got no where to go. Every night now she is out til 2am with this dude, going on dates and even sleeping over at his place multiple times a week. She also is trying to kick me out of the house although we agreed that she would move out since I have 9 vehicles and the place we are staying is on mulitple acres. She flipped this and got her parents involved and they are all now trying to kick me out of the house. Even though her parents have more than enough room for her to stay with them for a while. But nope Im the bad guy and I need to move. And trust me, I want to move but sadly theres nowhere to rent. In a 60 mile radius there is 1 rental. Yes just one. All apartments waiting lists are 1 1/2 years +. My life is in shambles and I now have to start over once again.
Theres two major things that came up in our conversations over this past month that really completely destroyed me. 1) I was only 19 when we got together I shouldnt be locked down by you and stuck with you. 2) I dont date my best friend, and you never were my best friend.
I know a lot was said in here but there also was a lot not said. Im not a perfect person. No one is. We all have our flaws. And I made many mistakes in this relationship. But I also own up to those which my Ex never would admit she ever did anything wrong. But If you made it this far I just want you to know. If you see red flags stop ignoring them. Do NOT move your entire life for someone and most importantly give up your material possessions.
Im just so devistated about how quick she moved on like a light switch and how awful she is being to me and how Im stuck here in this house while she already is shagging up with another person. It just really hurts and theres nothing I can do about it. I know this is for best in the long run. And we never would have worked out. But that doesnt stop it from hurting this bad. I just wish I didnt uproot my life for her and give her as much energy as I did.
submitted by TheBullpupGuy to relationships [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:15 Optimal_Ad_1847 25 [M4F] Houston, TX/Anywhere - Seeking a Relationship

I was invited to this bustling community, so I hope to find someone. I am from Houston, Texas. Well, I live just outside of Houston, but people who live near Houston usually say they are from Houston.
Anyway, I am 25 years old, and I was studying medicine overseas. I have permanently returned to the USA to continue my education. I work part time as an uber eats driver. I spend most of my time studying. This might be a relatively long post.
Hobbies/Interests: My hobbies are similar to most people, and we don't have to share the same hobbies or interests. - Movies and TV (Sci-fi, horror, and crime) - Exercising, especially running - Food (Thai, Mediterranean, and Indian) - Reading - Boardgames and videogames - Nature-y stuff. Walking outside. - Music (Instrumental, orchestral, and rap). I listen to songs from each genre. - Investing
I want to pickup more hobbies and interests. I would like to learn how to play the piano and violin. I want to learn a new language. I want to do outdoor activities such as hiking and maybe even camping. I have always wanted to learn video effects. It's great if you do one or multiple of these things, so I can learn or participate too. We can pickup a joint hobby too. However, I am a homebody. I would describe myself as reserved, calm, but adventurous. I like to tease when I feel comfortable around someone.
submitted by Optimal_Ad_1847 to DatingAfterTwenty [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:11 rrrreeeeeeeeee A First-Timers List of Stuff

Lots of notes from my first trip to Italy in late May. Maybe this will help other first-timers. We did Rome - Pompeii - Sorrento - Positano - Florence over 10 days.
Rome: Get out early in the day. On our best day, we strolled to Trevi fountain before most of the shops had opened. We got to see them clean out the money from the fountain and that was oddly satisfying. By around 10 am...all hell breaks loose. It goes from kind of quiet to 'Where did they all come from?'. If there is a restaurant that you have heard of from Instagram...good luck getting in. Call or visit to put your name down. But here's the deal...we found lots of food options and I swear I never had a bad meal. Some were better than others but...good grief, it's all so damn good.
Vatican: I want to start an online petition to change the name to Catholic Disneyland. We booked a 3-hour tour and from the moment we arrived to the moment we left we were shoulder-to-shoulder with people. It was ridiculous and it made the day very very long. There is so much to take in and you are constantly being jostled by people…I can say I did it and I’d never go back.
Colosseum: We booked an underground tour as well as the main tour and that was amazing. You see where the gladiators came in and how they used to flood the floor of the Coliseum and do naval battles! The tour underground was small and you really got a chance to see how it all worked. Romans were impressive engineers and this spot showcases that.
The Forum: Our Colosseum tour included the Forum and…I liked it better. The view from the top of the Palatine Hill was worth the steps. Our guide really helped to bring this area alive for us.
Pompeii: Book a tour. There is so much and you’d miss half of it if someone wasn’t walking you through. We took an archaeologist tour and it was amazing. 2 hours and it felt like it was over in 20 minutes. You can take a regional train line directly to Pompeii and walk to the entrance. There is free (!!) luggage storage at the gate and the restaurant across the street was pretty good...but 'pretty good' in Italy is still 200x better than 'good' in the US.
Positano: Beautiful to look at…not much to do. Lots of shops…but they’re the same shops you’ll see all over this area. The restaurants were…ok. We went to a beach club, got 2 seats ($70), and paid too much for drinks. It was heaven.
Florence: Recommend walking to the top of Michelangelo Hill for the view. I think I should have been more impressed but by the time we got here it was 'ok...another'
Weather: It rained every day we were there. Most of the time it rained in the afternoon. Also, most days the weather forecast never said rain was an option. Not a big deal, but bring a jacket.
AirBnB: Both our AirBnBs were great and hosted by fantastic people. Both were located near Piazzas and the listings did say 'some noise at night'. Ummm....yeah...that 'some noise' lasted until 2 am at both places. Bring. Ear. Plugs. Italians like to have a good time...for a long time.
Crime/Scams: This freaked me out a bit before we left. We bought cross-body bags and kept everything zipped up. Maybe it was too much but we made it through without incident. In Rome if anyone offers you a bracelet or says 'nice shoes' or 'Hey American!', put on your best impression of a new yorker and blow right past them. One guy through a bracelet to my son who instinctively caught it...and threw it back.
On the train from Naples to Pompeii it was standing room only...and about 90 muggy degrees. A guy in a down jacket was eyeing the young woman in front of me and paying very close attention to her bag. Her friends noticed and maneuvered him away from her but it was a reminder that you need to keep your eyes open...especially in crowded situations.
Verizon: We used their TravelPass for $10 a day; unlimited text and data. Having Google Maps and Google Translate whenever we needed it was worth it! Check your Verizon account…we found that we had ‘credits’ for 5 days that we could use!
Viator: We booked all our tours through this app and I could not be more pleased. Maybe we were lucky but all of the 5 tours we booked were fantastic. Would highly recommend it.
Ferryhopper: I would be careful here. We showed up for our trip from Sorrento to Positano. The boat hand looked at our ticket and said ‘I don’t know this ticket, I cannot take it’. There were a few exchanges and they let us on. I asked about it when we left and they said ‘It is best to book with us and not this application. We’ve had trouble’. Thankfully we did not book a return trip and could buy tickets at Positano. Take it for what it is…a warning. You don’t want to be stuck trying to find a ride to or from your destination.
ItaliaRail: Fantastic. Clean trains that were always on time for us. Booked directly through their site and it was effortless. Check the price of business class vs. coach. For us, it was well worth the extra $18 per seat.
Uber: Total bust. You are limited to Uber Black and even then…they may not come and pick you up.
FreeNow in Rome: We used this to book taxis in Rome to pick us up and take us to the train station. Scheduled in advance and the driver showed up without a hitch.
AppTaxi, itTaxi & FreeNow in Florence: So frustrating. I think it might have to do with where we were and the time of day but it was frustrating. Wasn’t feeling my best and a taxi ride would have been helpful. I waited over an hour trying to get someone to pick us up…nothing.
And finally...I’d like to kiss the person on this sub who mentioned Mobile Passport Control. This is an app you use when you return home from Europe. You answer the standard questions, take your photo and the app creates a QR code to use during customs checkout. When we got back to JFK there was a line specifically for MPC users. Our line: 5 people….those who did not use it: 125 people and growing fast. This saved us at least an hour at the end of a 10-hour flight. DOWNLOAD IT NOW!
Ok, that's rambling but I wanted to get it out there. I really appreciate this sub. Reading about other experiences helped me make our 10 days special.
submitted by rrrreeeeeeeeee to ItalyTravel [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:07 radiantrecipes [TotK]Made a monster feast for TotK!

[TotK]Made a monster feast for TotK!
Monster Curry-Purple Potatoes and chickpeas Monster Cake-Chocolate cake, chocolate and ube frostings Monster Rice Balls-Purple food coloring (because I couldn't find purple rice near me) Fairy Tonic-Watermelon juice and pink luster dust
submitted by radiantrecipes to zelda [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:58 Notsurewhatididwrong Want to shout out a hidden gem of a North Jersey organic food joint: Fudgarten

I spend a lot of time in Fort Lee and a few months ago I kept seeing this little “fast casual organic eatery” place near Cafe Bene where I’d usually go for coffee. The outside of the eatery was really unassuming so I had passed it up until one day I was hankering to try something new and I remembered the place.
Boy, was I glad I went there! I had a burger with potato wedges and IDK what it is about how they cook it but it tasted so fresh almost like I was biting into steak instead of burger. There was a nice slight charred flavor, with guacamole and jalapeños and a few other toppings that did not “scream” in my face with crazy overpowering flavor but rather was quite light and pleasant on the palate. As weird as it is to use a term like “refreshing” to describe savory food, that’s the best way I can describe it. The burger was so fresh that I felt really good and light after eating it (as opposed to some places where I eat and feel bloated/sweaty).
Not sure if it’s their ingredients or what but Fudgarten has sandwiches and bowls and shakes and a whole host of other things I have yet to try. I usually hit them up like twice a month and it’s been very consistent. It describes itself as “fast casual” and I’d say it’s close to that — it’s a bit slower than say a Chipotle but it’s definitely not long like ordering at a sit-down restaurant. For the quality of the food, I found it to be really worth it.
It should go without saying, this post is not sponsored or anything. In this world where it seems like every big successful restaurant is somehow associated with some kind of corporate chain, I like bringing attention to small unassuming places like this that are true and honest to what they purport on their cover and don’t really try to be more than they are. I have no idea if this place has been known/talked about for a while and I’m just only now discovering it, or if people just don’t know about Fudgarten, but if you live in Bergen County I’d recommend the trip over to Fort Lee to try it. Plus, they have their own parking (thank God!).
submitted by Notsurewhatididwrong to newjersey [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:56 Optimal_Ad_1847 25 [M4F] Houston, TX/Anywhere - Seeking a Relationship

I am from Houston, Texas. Well, I live just outside of Houston, but people who live near Houston usually say they are from Houston.
Anyway, I am 25 years old, and I was studying medicine overseas. I have permanently returned to the USA to continue my education. I work part time as an uber eats driver. I spend most of my time studying. This might be a relatively long post.
Hobbies/Interests: My hobbies are similar to most people, and we don't have to share the same hobbies or interests. - Movies and TV (Sci-fi, horror, and crime) - Exercising, especially running - Food (Thai, Mediterranean, and Indian) - Reading - Boardgames and videogames - Nature-y stuff. Walking outside. - Music (Instrumental, orchestral, and rap). I listen to songs from each genre. - Investing
I want to pickup more hobbies and interests. I would like to learn how to play the piano and violin. I want to learn a new language. I want to do outdoor activities such as hiking and maybe even camping. I have always wanted to learn video effects. It's great if you do one or multiple of these things, so I can learn or participate too. We can pickup a joint hobby too. However, I am a homebody. I would describe myself as reserved, calm, but adventurous. I like to tease when I feel comfortable around someone.
submitted by Optimal_Ad_1847 to r4r [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:56 WinAny6955 parents crossing boundaries with hubby & i

hiii. this is gonna be long i’m so sorry — first time mama here at 23 years old now. i had my son a year ago, and a few months in we lost the place we had been staying at so that resulted in us needing to move in with my parents — which at first was ok, we were able to save money and my parents were able to see their first grandson grow at the most precious age / time of their life. Some info about my hubby && i — i’m a stay at home mama & my hubby works in warehouses 40+ hours a week night shift to get by, we also qualify for food stamps but that covers maybe 25% of what we spend a month on food. we have a one year old and an elder boy whose my hubbys son (my stepson) whose not always with us.
Well after a few months issues started arising with some of our food, drinks, and socks and other random misc items going missing/ breaking or being used without being asked or letting us know that they used the rest of something etc etc etc. that then began leading to my dad hardly stocking up the fridge for my brother (21 - works and makes just as much if not more than us) and my mom (who is handicapped and sick). This is a huge issue because we can afford food for our family of four, but we cannot afford to feed 2-3 extra people all the time. i’ve told both my parents that their son can buy his own food & nothing gets done abt it ; side note, they BABY the fuck out of him he does nothing for himself no laundry dishes nothing. my dad also gave up on cleaning the living area & they have damn near a zoo in here with animals — it’s being put on me the sweeping and mopping, and yknow it has to be clean and safe for my son to crawl around, to say the least if i don’t mop it’ll go over a week maybe two without being done and it gets pretty disgusting. i already have so much to do (cooking cleaning laundry watching my son whose running around & getting into everything) it’s hard to keep up on a house of 7 people and two adults are just not doing anything to clean or help around here. (brother and dad) my mom helps with the dishes and whatever she can which i really appreciate that’s also why i try to give her whatever bc she truly does try.
Months have gone by with the same issues, i approach them and ask them to let me know when they use something or ask and sometimes they do but i’d say about 90% of the time esp with my mom there gets to be no communication & i’ll notice stuff missing when i go to cook dinner and whatnot … this leads to me running out and grabbing more food bc what i thought i had stocked up is now gone or not enough to make what i am doing. My dad doesn’t give my mom any money or anything so i try my best to give her whatever I can and get her whatever she wants too whenever I can but it ends up being taken advantage of because she’ll ask for 3x the amt i offered or start doing it consistently and on top of that takes things behind my back and lies about it or says “i’m sorry i didn’t know” when in fact she does & i’ve told her several times over and over again. this almost feels like i have an extra kid on my hands & we in fact can’t afford that , i feel like we haven’t been able to save money whatsoever because we have our normal bills // rent , car,gas phone & child support & on top of that spending like damn near 800 a month too for just food alone because of the situation i’m in. i feel so shitty even getting angry about this because it is just food BUT my kiddos eat a lot and so do we, and it’s become so expensive now a days to just simply get by, we are struggling in a sense and she knows that. otherwise we’d be out by now because we hate it here & me exclusively breastfeeding my son due to him not taking bottles or sippy cups after a few months has made it so difficult to even consider working.
now my predicament, what do i do? how do i go about getting this fixed besides returning to work and leaving my son with my mom (who i now in fact don’t trust too well because she lied straight to my face several times now abt shit) . i’ve been wanting to return for awhile and have been confident in her watching my son as they have a great relationship but as of recently i’m concerned that she’s feeding him things my hubby & i wouldn’t normally, putting things on we don’t want him to watch and just simply not being very interactive w/ him letting him sit in front of the TV which she knows we severely dislike. we put it on here and there but just for very specific things & def not for hours on end. i’m about to lose my damn mind and i went off on my mom for the first time ever about all of this, and it’s had me up all night stressing out. i can go back to work but i worry my son will just be sitting around, my bf isn’t home til 1-2pm daily 5x a week && sleeps very early at like 7/8pm bc he goes in at like 1-2am. he can maybe watch him while i work but i work food industry as a server so you know how crazy and inconsistent / late those schedules can be and i don’t want him to burn himself out as he’s the main income & i love him too much to have him burning himself out like that…. we have the opportunity to move out later this year as my bfs mom is trying to buy a place and have us take over her apartment, but idk how much longer i can wait because all of this is also getting in the middle of my hubby & i causing arguments between us too. also should note i sold my car a while back because the ac sucked and i was essentially paying for it to sit since i couldn’t drive it w a newborn or baby. so now we only have one car til i return to work and get another one… so i have to go around his crazy schedule & nap / sleep time or interrupt it if we decide to have him watch him fully & not my mom.
help // advice pls. am i in the wrong for yelling at her & them for in my eyes crossing my boundaries that i’ve set like 10+ times?! or thought i have because they love crossing it. or am i being a bitch?😭 like i swear i’m trying my best to not lose my shit but ya can only handle so much before exploding right?😭 sorry this is so much i’ve been up all night thinking abt this. i feel like i’m being taken advantage of and that no one respects me here.
submitted by WinAny6955 to beyondthebump [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:54 brighttobrighter Friday 6/2: Sunnyside Pride Fest

I don't actually live anywhere near Sunnyside, but it's finally Pride month and I'm itching to attend some festivals! If you feel the same way and want to meet some other queer folk, let's get a group together and hit up SunnyPride around 6. We can take in the fest as much as we feel like and maybe get some Filipino food after because it's also getting warm and I could go for some halo-halo.
submitted by brighttobrighter to nycmeetups [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:47 Quick_Rest_3377 What are the consequences for neglecting a cat?

Long story but I’m in the UK and a cat in our neighbourhood has always looked like it’s barely cared for.
Last time I saw it, it’s eyes were stuck together with puss, extremely red and swollen and it’s stomach was hugely bloated. It was also covered in fleas with missing fur due to the flea activity. It was stuck in the road visibly in pain and was nearly hit by several cars.
I knocked on the owners door and informed them and they said “ok” before shutting the door in my face. I sat outside for 3.5 hours with the cat and not once did they check on it. I fed it some food and it seemed starving. RSPCA arrived later and took the cat into their care.
Due to GDPR, they can’t tell me anything but did keep referring to the cat in past tense, so I’m assuming it was PTS. I was told the month long investigation was coming to an end and reassured it was not being dealt with lightly and that the appropriate consequences would be given to the owner.
Out of interest does anybody know what sort of action will be taken against the owners for failing to have vet treatment for the cat (it was getting worse over about 2 years) and failing to act when told it was in pain, if there are any consequences?
submitted by Quick_Rest_3377 to AnimalRights [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:42 pakurilecz Lockhart Smokehouse owners file series of lawsuits against former pitmaster and his family

Food Fight
A new legal clash has unraveled in the Texas barbecue sphere, this time involving well-known Dallas restaurant Lockhart Smokehouse and newcomer Crossbuck BBQ in Farmers Branch.
The owners of Lockhart Smokehouse, Jill and Jeff Bergus, recently filed a series of lawsuits against Tim McLaughlin, Lockhart’s minority owner and former pitmaster, and his family.
McLaughlin, who opened Crossbuck BBQ in 2022 after running Lockhart’s kitchen for nearly a decade and being terminated in 2020, is being sued for damages and is accused of having “created a strategy to try and destroy” the Lockhart business, according to the filings.
submitted by pakurilecz to Dallas [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:34 ExpertOriginal6417 A person we all tought was coldhearted is actually the sweetest guy I've met

I live in Florida, near Orlando. My school is mostly peaceful and welcoming but there are some bullying sometimes.
Last year we had a new kid joining our school. He and his family moved here from Croatia. When he came in class to introduce himself, he had a coldhearted face expretion. Like he didnt care. He is tall (6'2 or 190 mm), muscular and has a short full beard. He was 17 when he joined our school.
He seemed like a normal dude. He would ask questions to teachers, ask help for homework and help others. He is very smart and productive. But, we all stood away from his way because we all feared him. He wasnt a bully or a hot shot. He just stood quiet and silent during lectures.
One day, at the hall I was walking with him to our next class and a group of jocks who were bullys noticed him and one of them came to him and slapped his books on the floor. He turned around and he leg kicked the bullys back. The bully fell on his face bleeding.
He was sent to the principals office after one of the bullys snitched. Both got a week suspension. He and his parents seem not to care since he claims its self defence and everyone has right to defend theirsleves
After the incindent everyone knew of the new guy from europe who stood againts the jocks. No one has ever stood againts them. He got nicknames that some of them were actually cool that I started to call him that.
I began to talk to him more and we became friends. He would tell me about himself, his culture and his country.
Apperantly, him looking colhearted is normal way to look everyday. He doesnt feel that way at all. He is happy but he doesnt show trough his expretions. He was born and raised in a slavic country which slavs are known for not showing emotions. He also does bodybuilding and martial arts which makes sense on why he looks big and knows how to fight.
I was also in his house. I met his family and they are very welcoming. Everytime I would visit they would offered me to drink or during night offer me dinner. He is also a family man. He helps his family when it comes to cooking food, yard work, fixing leaks, ect.
He's a good student. He plans to attend college in IT course since he is into computers.
submitted by ExpertOriginal6417 to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:30 Wise_Bed_4009 How many older ladies are doing this?

I’m in my 60’s and I’m curious to know how much you older ladies are consuming in a day.
I’m 5’4” and currently with 157 so definitely have more weight to lose. I’m also T2 diabetic with at least a couple of autoimmune diseases that I’m trying to tamp down or if possible eliminate with this way of eating, exercise, and increasing water.
My struggle is eating enough. At least that’s what I’m wondering. A typical day is 2-3 eggs with butter and 2-3 slices of bacon. I also drink butter coffee. It’s hard to give up the coffee and I’m sure some will scold me for that. 😬
Dinner is usually half of a big steak so roughly a half pound is what I eat with butter and salt. Or a grilled burger, typically with cheese but I’m omitting cheese for now.
I’m not a huge fan of eggs so that’s about as much as i can eat without gagging. It’s the salty bacon that limits me to only 2-3 slices. This bacon is from a hog we purchased from a farmer so not nearly as salty as the store bought stuff.
I should also add that I’ve always had a milk and cream intolerance but I’m fine with butter and hard cheeses but I’ve eliminated cheese for awhile to see if I notice anything.
I’ve been at a weight loss stall for I think it’s a couple of months now but I’m maintaining my current weight. So far I’ve lost 25# but need to lose at least another 20
I don’t feel very hungry except on occasion and then I increase my food.
I’m not sure how you measure out the amount of fat I need per meal. I do eat the soft fat on the steak and I add tallow to my burgers and then i use butter in and on everything.
submitted by Wise_Bed_4009 to CarnivoreForum [link] [comments]