Mountain top senior care and rehab

bearddit: the chin of the internet -- news before it grows

2008.09.29 13:34 bearddit: the chin of the internet -- news before it grows

In which we dedicate ourselves to the fine art and discipline of engineering the male facial form. We're here to celebrate beards, not to shame those without.

2008.09.18 17:45 Moustache

A community for those who display their virility and personality on their upper lip. Moustaches come in all shapes, sizes, and styles; we encourage them all!

2013.10.14 01:50 chocolatehistorynerd Australia & NZ: Makeup, Skincare & All Things Beauty!

Australian and New Zealand discussion about makeup, skincare, hair care, fragrance and more. Share reviews, product questions, hauls, sales, and all things beauty.

2023.04.02 10:03 Peter_Mannion- #GEXIX [Sussex and East Surrey] Peter_Mannion- goes for a seaside walk in Brighton

Good day, my name is Peter_Mannion- and I am absolutely overjoyed to have the opportunity to kick of my election campaign in style in the fantastic constituency of Sussex and East Surrey, and where better to start it off than the pulsating city of Brighton - a favourite place to holiday of many senior members of the Conservative and Unionist Party for obvious reasons. Brighton was historically a favourite destination for Conservative Party Conference as many of you will know, and it was a great place for Tories from around the Country to come together and support the local economy.
And that is exactly why I am here in Brighton today - to tell you about how the Conservative and Unionist Party are promising to boost the economy if we are elected into Government at this crucial election. We have, naturally, put the economy at the dead centre of our manifesto - right at the top after the introduction - we need to return some economic competence to the United Kingdom, after it being clear that the country is being run by numerically illiterate toddlers who lose tens of billions due to errors. This party, the Conservative Party, will put our focus into building a strong economy though measures such as a new Regional Development Fund to improve economic activity in targeted regions of the UK; we'll re-evaluate our tax system in its entirety; and we'll deliver responsible economic change such as Green Export Finance to fund sustainable economic growth. You can be certain that we will take the economy very seriously.
In this election your choice could not be more clear - either choose to continue down the road of economic incompetence with the lefties, or choose a strong and stable team who will look out for your interests with the Conservatives. So please lend me your vote in this election and vote Conservative!
submitted by Peter_Mannion- to MHoCCampaigning [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 10:00 LogEducational2297 my husband is OBSESSED with me

(kinda of long)
so i met him about 3 years ago and moved to the USA from a third world country.
there is a big age difference (I am 22 and he is 49). I met him when I was 19. at first we had a long-distance relationship where he traveled at least twice a year and everything was going relatively well, until he started to get more and more jealous to the point that one of the last times we saw each other in my country I had to call security and leave the hotel we were in because he was drunk and aggressive.
After that he apologized and let's say that he tried to make up for it and then we continue. In my country I did not have many opportunities, so when I met him, in addition to the emotional connection, I saw a better future for me with him. after that there were several calls where he called me drunk insulting me and rubbing things he did for me in my face, more and more red flags that I kept ignoring.
When I moved with him to the USA at first everything was going well (let's say the first 3 months) but after that everything went downhill. accusations, paranoia, I realized that he was an alcoholic and that made everything even worse. also aggressive to the point that I had had to call the police on several occasions. He can't keep a job because he's always calling me and paranoid that I'm cheating on him and got to the point that he hasn't worked for months now and he just gets drunk EVERY day, to the point that he starts suffering from “delirium tremens” when trying to quit and he even had to go to rehab but the same day that he comes out he drinks again, even forced me to pee on bottles to past his drug test for work. i don’t even go out of the house cause i’m afraid he is going to accuse me or do something. also we live with his mother and she doesn’t help, she even gives him money to keep drinking and making my life impossible EVERY DAY.
I recently found out that he might be suffering from severe OCD because of something that i saw on his phone. I have never known about his actual mental state since he always told me that he only took medication for anxiety, but a few days ago I saw that the medication he was taking was for people with OCD, so he's literally obsessed with me and this relationship. also this is the first and only relationship he has had in his 49 years of life.
right now he has made holes in our bathroom to watch me when i’m using it, i can literally hear him watching me. he records my phone conversations, he follows me in his car when i’m driving somewhere, wanted to put a gps on my car, hides my mail. it’s a very crazy situation where im even paranoid to sleep.
i’ve asked him to get help but he doesn’t want to, and everything he does is drink and apologize and shortly after that he starts accusing me or repeating same arguments all over again. i feel like i’m loosing it myself.
at this point i don’t know what to do, i’m alone in this country without a job or resources. i’m also depressed because of this situation and i feel like i’m stuck because i also haven’t got my residency and my options are very limited. my dream is to go to college but he won’t even let me do that and i can’t because of my immigration status. i’m even afraid of leaving the house because he thinks im going to do that so he is always here like watching me, i have no privacy at all.
I feel like no one cares about this situation and it’s very sad. just needed to get this out cause it’s driving me crazy.
submitted by LogEducational2297 to offmychest [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:59 vertexholiday1 How I Felt Standing At The Top Of Everest Base Camp Trek

How I Felt Standing At The Top Of Everest Base Camp Trek
As a climber, standing at the top of Mt. Everest at an elevation of 29,029 feet (8,848 meters) is an extremely overwhelming and remarkable experience. Mt. Everest becoming the highest viewpoint on the earth, and the view from here is amazingly breathtaking. We saw miles of panoramic views of the snow-clad mountains on the Himalayan range in every direction.
The trek up to Mt.Everest took us several weeks, as we got closer to the summit, we need to use supplemental oxygen to help us breathe in the thin mountain air.
It is actually not an easy summit that's why good physique stability and a fine state of mental health are required for climbers in order to enhance their trekking experience with the extreme altitude, sub-zero temperatures, and other hazards like avalanches and frostbite.
Reaching the summit of Everest is a memorable achievement but still, it is important for climbers to remember the risks involved and to take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety.
submitted by vertexholiday1 to u/vertexholiday1 [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:58 WWE_Network_Bot This Day in History: 04/02/2023

The following events happened on this day in history!
What event was your favorite in this list?
submitted by WWE_Network_Bot to wwe_network [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:57 Cake_Eater26 Rifle and Knife: Ep.4 "Laboratory" part 2

Part 2, opinion/criticism into the comments, thanks. ---
Memory transcription subject: James Wilson, Private, 53rd Infantry Division, Squad "Thunderbolt". ---
“Take a deep breath, that should help.” He said I followed his advice. After some time we both recovered our breath as I stood up and looked at the door. I opened it, peeked out and looked around.
The hallway was even a bigger mess, ranging from dead bodies to broken doors and dried up blood on the walls and floor. I stepped in and slowly moved down the hallway, I looked at Ethan as he pulled out a C-5 and attached it to a wall.
“Are you sure it will make the whole facility explode??” I asked him, looking around for an enemy.
“Of course I do, we just need to install on several bearing walls then this whole facility will collapse under its and the mountain weight.” He checked the connection to the detonator then stood up and came to me.
“I’ll lead the way you will cover, move carefully and don’t fall again.” He said and moved forward, I followed him.
As we took the turn we spotted an Arxur at the end of the hallway then Ethan noticed an opened door on the right. We carefully walked inside this room and closed the door. I looked around the room and spotted another door which was leading to another hallway.
The room was cleaner than most of the laboratory as there was a dead Venlil body. I approached it, and this body looked identical to a Venlil, but something was off. I inspected the body as Ethan walked to the table and looked at various papers and documentation.
“I think this is one is interesting,” he said in half-whispering tone as he came closer to me and stood in front of me
"This is experiment number 47, the attempt to give predatory thinking and abilities, such as stronger jaws and claws, to a prey species. This one was diagnosed with some predator disease…blah, blah, the experiment was successful, but…its brain couldn’t stand…predatory feelings, which resulted in a heart attack and, later, death." He said and put the document on the table near Venlil's hand.
“Well that’s really interesting.” I said and put hand on Venlil mouth then I lifted his lip, Venlil teeth had quite large and sharp looking fangs.
“Alright, let’s move on. I hope they didn’t developed something here that can revive dead people.” I said and walked to the other door then slowly opened it and looked around. The hallway was clear and we walked out of the room then he placed another C-5 charge on the wall.
“Three more to go.” He said and walked forward then he came near the corner and checked the hallway on the right then peeked around the corner and checked the other hallway. He quickly came to another wall and placed the charge. I looked at the hallway and spotted Arxur then I patted Ethan’s shoulder and we moved.
As we took the turn we stumbled upon several of those damned creatures, it was clear that they spotted us and I quickly raised my shotgun and shot at one of them killing it then we both ran away from them.
One Arxur came out of the corner and I shot but missed him as Ethan took me by hand and we both ran through the room. We quickly moved as Arxurs broke down the doors and followed us, I could tell that it’s getting more of them. Ethan stumbled and fell down.
I quickly rushed to him and shot at Arxur his body fell on the floor as other Arxurs pounced on that body and began to rip it off and eat. Other one lunged at me and hit me in the chest. The hit ripped off my vest and badly injured me.
I managed to aim and pull the trigger, killing him as Ethan took me by hand and lifted me, placing me on his shoulder. He threw a C-5 on the wall, then quickly ran, taking several turns and searching for the staircase.
I felt shitty as I saw my blood flowing on his shoulder, painting it in my red blood. It feels hard to keep my eyes opened, I am fighting myself to not just die on his shoulder right now. He took the final turn and found the door to a staircase. He picked up a mop and ran inside, blocking the door with a mop and putting me on the floor near the wall.
“Aw fuck, that shit is painful.” I said and put my hand on my chest, Ethan took a look at my injury.
“You got injured pretty badly, I guess you won’t make it.” He said in a dead, cold tone looking at my face. He looked at his PDA and did something on it then connected it to my helmet.

Memory transcription subject: Ethan Smith, Corporal, 53rd Infantry Division, Squad "Thunderbolt".
Date [Standardised human time]: July 14th, 2137, 0220 a.m.
I copied James' last 24 hours memory transcription and put away my PDA, then I took off his helmet and put a cigarette in his mouth and lit it.
“Thanks, I didn't know I would die here.” He said as I thought, remembering how we met in boot camp and our past missions.
“Well, then, take this one.” I reached into my bag and pulled out a C-5 and gave it to him, he grabbed my hand and looked at or I would say… looked inside my eyes and soul.
“Take my shotgun, send it to my mother, I want to surprise her with a gift…heh.” He said and coughed then grabbed the charge as I took his shotgun and put it inside my bag, he pulled out his pistol and put it out from safe mode. We nodded to each other as I heard Arxurs behind the door then I quickly started to run upstairs.
I ran past the 4th, 3rd, 2nd floors, arriving at the 1st floor. I quickly looked around as I remembered the path back. I heard loud roaring downstairs and shooting, then I ran down the hallway finding the way as I saw other squad mates and quickly approached them.
“Where is James?!” Sarge asked as I looked at him.
“Judging by his injuries, roaring sound and pistol shooting sound I think he’s already dead, however we managed to plant charges.” I said as I looked and saw Christopher raising his rifle and shooting at somebody.
I quickly turned around as Arxurs body fell on the floor at the end of the hallway and more of them started to approach. We quickly ran to the outside and I pressed the detonator button.
The charges exploded as their loud explosion noise could be heard even outside. The facility started to shake and eventually collapsed, killing survived Arxurs and burying the dead one. I stepped back and looked at the collapsed entrance. Looking at it made me feel empty, James was the one I’d liked for his rather stupid jokes but sometimes he could make us laugh.
My thoughts got consumed by guilt, that if I didn’t fall, he wouldn't have to save me yet it is still my fault that I didn’t shoot at least two of them. If I did he would be alive and standing near us, me…maybe telling a joke.
I pulled out his shotgun from my bag and inspected it, it was decorated with marks and some words that were slurs to federation troops. It also had a writing on the right side of a shotgun which read “Have a good day!” My thoughts suddenly were flooded with memories of him shooting enemies with it. I even sometimes looked at him and saw this writing.
I felt somebody put his hand on my shoulder then I quickly turned around and found no one closer to me. I looked at squadmates yet they are far from me. I slowly felt better as I pushed my dark thoughts away. I put the shotgun into the bag and quickly approached my squadmates.
“Gold Eagle respond….Red Rose respond…something is blocking the communications.” Sarge said, holding the radio on his vest. I saw John and Christopher being sad about losing James.
“Gold Eagle respond….Red Ro-”
“All UN troops on the planet proceeded with the plan ‘Sleeping Eagle’, the Federation fleet attacked our fleet, we must retreat however we will come and save you. All you need is to hold on till we come, if it goes very bad…you’re a heroes to us and Earth. Gold Eagle out.” The voice from the radio said, I recognised it and looked in the sky.
“What does that mean sir?” Christopher said as I looked at him.
“This means, we’re now a guerrilla unit and doing guerrilla warfare, it will be a tough time and situation for us…but we will stand and survive. We’ll be fine as long as we stay together.” He said and put hand on his shoulder.
“All present UN troops retreat to the rendezvous point, this will be our current main base. The point coordinates are sent to your PDA. Make sure you will survive, Red Rose out.” We heard from the radio.
“Sir, I suggest that we should get to the humvee, the sooner we get to the rendezvous point the better it will be for the remaining troops on the planet and for us.” I said, Sarge nodded and we followed him to the humvee.

submitted by Cake_Eater26 to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:52 TheWeirdoWithCoffee Favourite post apocalypse media?

Be it zombie media, nuclear annihilation, Drakenguard Ending Es, alien eradication, whatever you can think of- be it film, book, game, etc., what are your favourite post apocalypse stories or settings, and why?
I'm a big fan of The Long Dark's "quiet apocalypse". Set in Alaska, the earth gets hit by a solar flare so massive it creates a planetary electronics black out. Any and all technology is just dead, immediately. You're stuck in Alaska, you need to hunt for food, keep warm, and be careful of wild life. There's no monsters, no zombies, no radiation- it's a quiet apocalypse.
A more traditional apocalypse, I'm in love with the setting of Metro, more so before Exodus kinda soiled it for me- nuclear annihilation so bad the top side doesn't even have breathable air. The only ones who survived as far as we're made aware, were the few that were inside the Metro train systems of Russia thanks to the authors ACUTE knowledge on how they worked and he created an entire setting of people living in these Metro and subways. Outstanding setting.
So what are your guys's? Spoilers are okay.
submitted by TheWeirdoWithCoffee to TwoBestFriendsPlay [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:50 Borchert97 Explaining the Jōgan for Manga Onlys

I've seen a lot of confusion/misinformation regarding the eye referred to as the Jōgan ever since the past few chapters got a few more people catching up on the series, so I'm going to try to fully explain what the Jōgan is for those people so they don't need to watch the ENTIRE anime if they don't want to (although I still recommend most arcs). Since the Jōgan is only referenced in the anime, this is obviously spoiler-free besides one manga spoiler that's hidden.

The Jōgan is essentially an Otsutsuki clan dojutsu, if you think of dojutsu you know from the manga, like the Byakugan, Sharingan, and Rinnegan, or the Tenseigan from Naruto The Last, the Jōgan appears to more or less be what the Rinnegan is to the Sharingan, it's the eye's "final form" so-to-speak. Boruto was born with the genetics to awaken the Byakugan, but because of his close lineage to the Otsutsuki clan and because of who his parents are, this manifested at a level far beyond that of a simple Byakugan. It's funny because a lot of people ask for Byakugan lore without realizing that it's being given to us. If the Byakugan and the Sharingan are both stage 1 dojutsus, and the Mangekyo Sharingan is stage 2 of the Sharingan, then the Tenseigan is basically the counterpart to that but for the Byakugan. The Jōgan is like the Rinnegan, it's the highest stage of dojutsu linked to the Byakugan the same way the Rinnegan, or even the Rinne Sharingan, is to the Sharingan. So the Jōgan is probably Rinne Sharingan-level in the endgame of the Boruto series, BARE MINIMUM. I'd say the Rinne Sharingan, Jōgan, Senrigan, and maybe Isshiki's dojutsu all kind of exist at a level above Six Paths level like the MS, Rinnegan or Tenseigan.

As for what powers the Jōgan has, that has yet to be thoroughly determined, but we can draw some conclusions based on the limited showings it has in the manga. It has similar abilities to other dojutsus from Kaguya's bloodline. It has the ability to see the chakra network like a Byakugan which is confirmed in the Nue Arc. It also has a Sharingan-type of copying ability which is sort of hinted at in the Mist Field Trip Arc, where Boruto with virtually zero experience is able to grab half of the Hiramekarei in tandem with a Mist Chunin who was basically being brought up as a future Mizukage and was trained for wielding the Mist blades. The only way this was possible was if he used the Jōgan like a Sharingan to copy Chojuro's movements and wield the blade by borrowing on his experience, or the Jōgan has a sort of wish-granting ability where if a situation you're in requires you to have a certain level of experience, you can call on some level of an Otsutsuki's experience, something similar to the Karma's ability to call on the experience of the Otsutsuki who placed it, so basically, it's possible the Jōgan has some sort of experience-granting ability if it's not the Sharingan's ability to copy, but it's a known feat of the Jōgan either way you want to look at it. Another Sharingan ability is the Sharingan's eye of insight, which is the ability to predict and discern the enemy's movements, as he was able to skillfully deflect an attack from Momoshiki and land a Rasengan thanks to the Jōgan. The last ability is similar to the Rinnegan and Rinne Sharingan's ability to have timespace abilities. Boruto has used the Jōgan in the Nue Arc to view other dimensions and punch a portal through timespace to transport himself and others, and in the One-Tailed Escort Arc against Urashiki, he used it to sense and predict where Urashiki was going to open a rift in timespace, before he had even done it, sort of like the Sharingan's ability to predict things. Some of these are a little more vague than others which are pretty direct like the timespace abilities but they are all very much implied abilities.

As for why Boruto has the Jōgan, if you remember from the movie, the way you make a Tenseigan is by having an Otsutsuki take a human's Byakugan and implant it in themselves. It's actually more similar to the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan, since it requires the change of ownership and the transplant of an entire set of eyeballs. The prerequisites for the Jōgan seem to partially be close genetic ties to the Otsutsuki. The last person to have the Tenseigan was only 25% Otsutsuki, and that was Hamura Otsutsuki, the grandson of Kaguya. So to reach an eye above the Tenseigan would require even closer ties than that. Luckily, Boruto's genetics and where he gets his chakra from were basically the perfect storm for this manifestation, with a little help from, guess who, Toneri, the guy with the Tenseigan from The Last. Firstly, directly from his parents, he is a Hyuga which has remained a somewhat pure bloodline until recently, so properly speaking, he is half Hyuga. But he not only has some of Hamura's blood, he also has Hagoromo's through Naruto, who is a descendant of Asura and by extension Hagoromo. On top of that, Naruto received chakra from Hagoromo during the Fourth War and Hinata received chakra from Hamura during The Last in order to stop Toneri.

Besides Boruto's genetics, we know for a fact from statements from Toneri in the anime that he was at least partially responsible for helping Boruto manifest the Jōgan, even if Boruto would've done so naturally later on. This first happened during the Nue incident, which was the first arc of the Boruto anime and is a must-watch imo, it's a phenomenal introduction arc. In it a Foundation-grown pseudo-tailed beast hosted inside of an undercover enemy living as an Academy student threatened the Leaf village, and in order to fight this threat, Toneri first caused Boruto to manifest the Jōgan. Toneri would tell Boruto his eye is the star of hope against destruction that will eventually come to pass, another Otsutsuki prophecy and I believe this prophecy hasn't happened yet, since no destruction has passed yet, he also mentioned Gods descending upon the land, which I also don't think has happened yet, since when Momoshiki, Kinshiki, and Urashiki did arrive, he referred to Urashiki as a Celestial Being and didn't initially believe the Otsutsuki clan main family even still existed, he says himself that he thought the fate of the Otsutsuki clan would die with him, so why would he give Boruto a prohpecy about Gods descending if he wasn't referring to Momoshiki's group? In my opinion it's entities like Shibai Otsutsuki that he was actually talking about, but that's just my theory. We also have confirmation from Urashiki that Toneri "did something to that boy", referring to Boruto. He confirms his suspicions when he encounters Boruto himself in the One-Tailed Escort Arc and Boruto manifests the Jōgan for the first time since his encounter with Momoshiki in episode 65 which was animated from chapter 9 and 10, so the anime actually retcons Boruto into using the Jōgan in several parts of the Momoshiki fight where he didn't in the movie and manga, but the retcon is definitely canon as they have confirmed to us that Boruto's chapter 1 eye is the Jōgan via the animation of that sequence as well.

I'm sure everyone is connecting the dots by now, it's the recreation of Kaguya's chakra that seems to have caused the Jōgan to manifest, something she herself was trying to accomplish but she failed to do so when she was revived because the strongest chakras on the planet still weren't her's, those being Naruto and Sasuke who had access to all of Hagoromo's chakra. My personal theory although this also doesn't necessarily have to be true, is that we haven't seen full power Kaguya, and maybe she originally had the Jōgan before dispersing her chakra amongst the world. If you think about it, it's the only logical explanation for how she meant to combat the entirety of her clan by herself, there's no way she could've fought her entire clan by herself unless she had some Godly ability like the Jōgan or Senrigan or something. Momoshiki even hints at this when he says the memories of humans have been altered by Otsutsukis in the past, Kaguya did this at least one time that we know of so that is specifically one such incident where this occurred in the past. She turned on Isshiki, claimed Earth as her domain and her's alone, never reported back to her clan, grew an army meant to fight off any who attacked her such as Momoshiki, Kinshiki, and Urashiki AND spread her chakra out amongst humans. It's almost like she meant to nurture Earth into a world of chakra superhumans meant to combat the Otsutsuki clan. If I REALLY tighten the tinfoil hat, I'd almost say this is all going according to somebody's secret script. Expect another Black Zetsu-type twist, but this time the master manipulator is Amado, who carefully directed the past few decades of Shinobi history in order to achieve the current state of events of having a Jōgan-wielding Shinobi and an Isshiki V2, he essentially recreated Kaguya in Boruto, and Isshiki in Kawaki. But that's all just a theory.
submitted by Borchert97 to Boruto [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:48 tinyghost Nothing in my birth went as planned, and it still ended up being a positive experience

I wanted to make a quick post, hopefully this will maybe help alleviate some fears some of you might have.
I am FTM, and my loose birth plan was: no induction, epidural or laughing gas if possible, labouring standing and in a tub and giving birth on a birthing stool.
Well, it all went wrong lol. I had to be inducted because I tested positive for GBS and was qushing amniotic fluid without any contractions. When the contractions finally hit I couldn't stand up so spent time curled up on a bed with a TENS machine hooked to my back and squeezing a comb in my hand (that was basically the only thing in my birth plan that went as planned).
I was at 10cm in a couple of hours, taking everyone by surprise, and was whisked to labouring room from the induction department. I had back labour and epidural seemed like a great fucking idea at this point. The epidural didn't take on my right side, so I felt everything on my right buttcheek and thigh. My baby’s heartbeat started dropping while pushing, so I had an episiotomy and he was assisted out with a vacuum. On top of that, I tore. No idea how badly, I asked the midwife how many stitches I got and she just answered solemnly ‘we don’t really count them’ lol. But she did sew me up for some 45 minutes so…
Sounds like a horror show, right? Well - good news. Feeling the contractions on one side helped me time my pushes a lot. I was numbed for the episiotomy so I didn't feel a thing, neither did i feel he tearing or sewing up. I was up and taking a shower two hours after giving birth. Going to the bathroom didn't hurt a bit, nor did I need any pain medication. I had to be a bit careful when sitting down for a week but five weeks after I’m completely healed.
I have no intention on downplaying other people’s experiences, or handwave away potential complications or pain. But I encourage you to not borrow trouble from future - educate yourself on what might happen, but try not to spiral into thinking it will 100% be a horror show if unexpected things happen. My experience ended up being surprisingly positive, despite everything going a bit pear shaped, and I wanted to share that.
(English is not my first language, so sorry for any mistakes.)
submitted by tinyghost to BabyBumps [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:44 creatorunknown67 My abusive parents are getting back together and it's going to ruin the progress we've made, can I do anything at all?

All my life both of my parents have been abusive to not only the children but to eachother as well, they were never a good combination and caused eachother to be the worst version of themselves.
My mom was different than my dad, she was an alcoholic and booze fuiled everything she did, it caused her to become an awful person and treat me and my siblings like shit, if there wasn't enough money, she would always choose booze over food for us.
My dad was just an asshole, he wasn't drunk but he was cruel, constantly critical of everything we did and he took his anger out from my mom onto us kids. Nothing I ever did could be enough to satisfy him.
Essentially my whole life was spent taking care of him and my mom because they were grown up children. They hated life itself and it showed.
But something changed a year and a half ago, my mom left my dad and actually went to rehab which she had never done before. She became sober and even my dad without my mom became a better person (still a very victim mentality) my mom got a job for the first time in like 20 years and started to live again. My dad learned how to live on his own and to live with what happened because of him.
I grew closer to both of them in this year, and after my mom got out of rehab she moved in with my grandma which I was also living with. I spent a lot of time with her and watched her grow into a different person, still not perfect but better and trying to work on things.
Things started going poorly a few months ago, my mom went on a date with a different man and my dad found out and flipped out. He threatened my mom with suicide and asked her to spend every waking hour with him to prevent him from doing anything to himself. She did. She complained all the way through until all the sudden she stopped and started saying things like "what if he's really changed?" I can tell by his actions that he hasn't really.
Now they keep asking me if they should get back together (my brother is no contact and my sister is low contact so I'm basically the only option) I say no firmly everytime. I saw my whole entire existence that they are toxic to eachother and everyone around them. I can see them changing again, for the worse, some of those sneaky manipulate behaviors are coming back and I can't stand it.
My sister says to just let them dig their grave but I just can't. I saw a glimpse of who they could be without eachother, I finally felt an ounce of hope and now it's just going to be destroyed. Memories of my childhood keep coming back to me and I hate it.
Why are they doing this? And in a worse turn of events my grandma said she is going to kick my mom out if she keeps seeing him as she can't stand to see her daughter go down that path again. Kicking her out will cause her to go right back into him but I can't disagree with my grandma because I understand how she feels. But the only reason I see my mom so often is because she lives here, if she's gone then all the progress we've made is just done. There will be nothing more, I don't want to watch my parents destroy eachother all over again.
What do I do? Should I just listen to my sister? Im so lost right now.
submitted by creatorunknown67 to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:38 Interestedmillennial How do some men justify their sexist and abusive behaviour at work?

In my former workplace, almost all of the senior permanent positions are held by men. The women, who do a lot of the day to day project and task delivery, are kept on short term contracts. I would frequently be told by other women that they weren't sure if they'd have their contract renewed. Sometimes they'd even have to reapply for their same job! I was in the same position. Some of the senior men would touch me in inappropriate ways because they knew that I wouldn't be believed or helped if I reported them. One man made innuendo non stop the entire time I worked with him, including in meetings with others present. No one spoke up. He used his position to get opportunities to hit on women. There was strong evidence he was carrying out an affair with another staff member (a woman) for whom he pulled strings, and some evidence of an affair with another. He tried to set up an affair with me. I felt like I was in a harem rather than a workplace. He tried to convince others I was bullying him to damage my reputation in case I reported him. It was very difficult to get my head around.
It wasn't just him. The other senior men used their positions to get opportunities to hit on women and those that didn't, frequently were abusive in other ways.
This ill treatment of women in this workplace damaged the mental health of my female colleagues, with at least one of them being hospitalised for work related stress.
Credit for work that I contributed to significantly was given to the senior men. After I left, due to the ongoing abusive treatment, I found out that the project team I had previously led towards success were unable to make progress.
I sometimes wonder how these men justify this abusive behaviour? Is it just that they are so narcissistic that they entirely lack empathy? Why don't they care about all the people they hurt?
submitted by Interestedmillennial to WitchesVsPatriarchy [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:36 ThrowRA_0207 AITA for choosing to leave when he's chosen to change or so he claims

I 28F my husband 33M we have been together for 9 years we have 4 children together. Oldest is 8. In 2020 he cheated with someone at his job. Once she called and I answered, she didn't say a word and just hung up. She then says (my HB says she said) that she wants to call me and explain because her HB name is the same name as my HB. I said so she has her HB name listed as his actual name and not a pet name like most couples, if not all. He didn't respond. Dec. 23 I decided to drive down to his job I see him hugging her and kissing her. They went to her truck to have s. I didn't stop him nor say anything. He came clean on Jan 14 he said he need to make sure she wasnt pregnant. I told him i was. On Jan 17 2021 they left to TJ to go see a doctor because he didn't want her to go alone in case she was. He took my kids with him, didn't want me to leave while he was gone. I called many times he never picked up he showed up 24hrs later. My kids kept telling me they crashed I asked him he denied it. I left to think. My kids kept telling me daddy was hugging and kissing another woman, they crashed the blue truck and were so scared. I confronted him and he finally admited it. I ended up having a miscarriage. I came back a few days later and he told me he loves her and that if I want my divorce to tell him where to sign. he stayed for a few days until I told him I cudnt stand it, to get out. He moved in with her and her HB. After a bit he wanted to try and fix things. He kept leaving on weekends to TJ with her. She kept trying to force her way to be around my kids. She would show up at my house to pick him up for work. I would come home from work, and they would be outside hugging and kissing for all our neighbors to see. I had told him again that I didn't want her here or near my kids. He didn't care. I ended up losing my temper and destroying her car with both of them in it because she just kept showing up. They broke things off after that, or so I thought. After a few months, I was pregnant again(2021) she found out made a scene. I told him to quit, but since we were so tight on money, he couldn't. After my last son was born (2022), he went on PFL, and she was calling private. He was looking for work elsewhere but with no luck. He returned to work, and then after a bit, they started hooking up again. I got a message saying he had gotten arrested for DV. I already knew it was her again. He finally called me, begging me to bail him out. I told him no. His brother got him out. He quit his job and told me everything begging me to forgive him. I said so while I was recovering from my c section and taking care of his NB he was fking her. I found out he would take my 3 older children to her house any chance he got. he would take them to the mountains (off roading), and she was there. It's been a few months and he has changed but I don't trust anymore, and I want to leave. Now I am being called an A.H because i want to leave. I want to break up this family.
submitted by ThrowRA_0207 to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:33 lilbaddie92 Ramifications of leaving a narcissist suck…..

So despite wanting to do the typical avoid/hide/forgive thing I took action against my narcissist. We have the same employer, and despite his seniority I told our boss how he was threatening me and being very verbally insulting. “Your ex was right to beat tf out of you”. I said I didn’t want to continue working with him but did not want to have to abandon the opportunity. My boss said he was planning on firing him already but that this is terrible and that I could go through him. I was offered a promotion.
Fast fwd two hours and narc coworker guy is stalking my Instagram stories, commenting to other ppl and eventually requesting to join my live. Instead of hiding, once again I decided to stop avoiding standing up for myself. He was super passive aggressive, and I just pretended I was content because I was scared of the things he would do if I blocked him or ignored him. I expressed to my boss the fear of retaliation.
After the incident I tried to contact my “boss”and found out that he blocked me. Maybe to avoid liability? But he is completely liable as it is a staff of his company.
Obviously being blocked by my boss and pursued by my Narc has confused me. Maybe my Narc does care and my boss doesn’t. And I can’t help but feel so rejected by my BOSS (no feelings there intimately). He has an promotion interview scheduled with me tomorrow and I don’t plan on attending the zoom. I feel shame, rejection, guilt and intense paranoia. I felt really liberated at first, but when action wasn’t taken and I wasn’t believed it was crushing.
I don’t know what to do. We have company policy like most and this has broken way too many rules. My next move was taking it to corporate and seeing what they would do. But now I’m back to the narrative that retaliation against a Narc = punishment. I’m scared if I speak up against him again I’ll get fired from my current smaller role. But as a victim of Narc abuse; I feel myself shrinking to accommodate abusive behaviour again.
Move on or fight for what’s right? And before you say block him or why haven’t I, I don’t want to be targeted when he finds out he’s getting let go. The job itself is also a social media job, makes it hard to avoid seeing them.
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2023.04.02 09:23 Dai_Tian-Ci 2023 Football Player Breakdown: Alex Orji

Alex Orji is a 6'3" Sophomore (rs Freshman) QB. He came to us as a 3 star prospect from Sachse Texas with offers from lots of other P5 schools like Oklahoma, Nebraska, TCU and others. He flipped to us from an original commitment to Virginia Tech. He threw for 2056 yards and 28 touchdowns completing 127 out of 247 pass attempts (51%) while rushing for 1187 yards with 23 touchdowns on 160 carries (7.4avg) during his senior year of High School. Here's a little interview from him then.
His ability as a runner and Boulder like physique at nearly 240lbs have led many to be excited about his potential. His brothers Alston and Anfernee played at Vanderbilt, so he has a family tradition of great student athletes that he's now carrying on with us.
He appeared in three games at QB last year as a true freshman; rushed for two touchdowns on six carries totaling 37 yards and completed one pass for five yards to earn his first varsity letter. His logs are below with some highlights attached.
• Named Offensive Freshman of the Game following his performance against UConn • Named Scout Team Offensive Player of the Week for his role in preparing the defense for Nebraska • Made his U-M debut against Colorado State (Sept. 3) and scored his first career TD, a four-yard run • Scored a rushing touchdown among three carries while playing relief action against UConn (Sept. 17) • Entered the game at Indiana (Oct. 8) and ran once for three yards
He just balled out in the Spring Game making some sweet highlights going 4/6 for 47 yards with a touchdown and adding 5 carries for 19 yards. His dime to Freddy Moore was especially impressive. He seems to be getting better as a passer which is encouraging, if he were to develop into a decent thrower of the football his skills certainly make him a huge threat for opponents.
With JJ McCarthy, Davis Warren, Jack Tuttle and others on the roster in addition to Jadyn Davis coming next year he has no shortage of competition at his position, but if he can continue to develop and work hard at being the best version of himself he can be, I believe he has great potential.
As for some lighter stuff, from his tiktok he is a big fan of the all Maize uniforms and here's his journey so far according to himself. He grew up a fan of Mike Vick, RG3, Cam Newton & Johnny Manziel.
This is the second post in a series with lots of info about our players going into 2023's season, the first was AJ Henning which you can find here. Hope you enjoyed!
submitted by Dai_Tian-Ci to MichiganWolverines [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:22 Reasonable_Peace_983 AITA for not giving my soon to be ex husband our dog?

A long story short.. my soon to be ex has been getting very vicious and aggressive as of lately. From demeaning me and slandering me and calling me names and telling me if I don’t do certain things he will threaten me or take things away.
He hasn’t been living in our home for almost 3 months now..
He has become more aggressive as time goes on.. from screaming at me at the top of his lungs on the phone or telling me I’m a gold digger and will make the whole town hate me.. to calling me every name in the book..
I told him the other day I didn’t feel comfortable with him coming and getting the dog with how aggressive he was being and that I was going to leave the house for a couple of hours so he could get what he needed.. and he said if I leave the house with the dog for coffee he will lock all of the doors so I can’t get back in.. my name is on the deed of the house and I’ve been taking care of it since he left and always have done all of the house duties.
He called me this morning 8 times while I was sleeping and became enraged I didn’t answer.. my phone was on silent. I woke up to him screaming in my face while I was sleeping.. I was a little scared.
He took our dog to the groomer today and the groomer said they called him 4x and he didn’t answer, so I went and picked up our dog.. I let him have our dog every two weeks even though I have a certified letter my dog is my emotional support animal and my name is the only name on the contract when we adopted the dog 4 years ago..
He was waiting at the house for me when I didn’t answer my phone in the store but said I had the dog. He said he was taking the dog and I said no.. he didn’t pick the dog up from the groomer and refused to go to his vet appointment. Our dog was cowering behind me when he was screaming at me.. so I said no, he couldn’t take the dog and was scaring me and the dog. He pulls out his phone and video tapes me that I won’t let him take the dog and says I’m holding the dog back away from him even though our dog was standing behind me ..
I said I didn’t want to give him the dog while he was angry and aggressive.. he storms out and cusses me out and tells me he is cutting off my cellphone and insurance and internet.. it was his turn to have the dog so maybe I should have just let him take the dog.. I just thought he was being aggressive and was scared how he would act..
TLDR: it was my separated spouses turn to have the dog and I didn’t let him have the dog because he failed to pick the dog up from his appointment and pay and was very aggressive and yelling and throwing things..
submitted by Reasonable_Peace_983 to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:17 AnaWolfbay1412 Tampa Cuban 😋

Tampa Cuban 😋 submitted by AnaWolfbay1412 to ideasforana [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:16 Filberto_ossani2 Jack Horner

Jack Horner submitted by Filberto_ossani2 to namesoundalikes [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:15 AutoModerator [Get] Jim McKelvey (Foundr) – How To Build An Unbeatable Business

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2023.04.02 09:14 cesly1987 Despair's Peak (complete story chapters 1-4 linked)

The Restless God lies trapped, but not idle in its sealed off realm. It writhes and yearns for the day it may again take pleasure in the pain of mortals. To once again play in the blood and baske in the terror only finite creatures can produce.
Many worlds it's fed upon, but never satiated. But the world that fought back against its attacks long ago are the ones it wants all the more. It has become an obsession.
So it waits, and it feels, searching for weaknesses between the borders of our world and itself. Hungry and anxious it salivates at the thought of breaching into our world again. It will be its greatest decadence and pleasure, and our darkest days. Despite this, we must pray to Her Divine! We must beg for mercy and the return of Her light.
-Grand Mage Tellomon the IV on the prophecy of the Dark God's return (Second Age)
Pitch blackness. Pure darkness. A thick void of nothing completely swallowing me up, like a fish in the depths of an ocean.
I was crouched low in a ready position, using my right hand to balance by holding onto the wagon's wheel beside me. My legs burned from forcing myself to remain completely still. But pain had become a constant in my life now.
But I was grateful for the adrenaline burst that would always dampen the ever present burden of hunger and fatigue. At least it helped for a little. But the pain found its way back to me faster and faster each time.
It was hot and humid, almost like the swamps of the eastern bog a good 3 weeks journey from here. The cold wind stopped when the darkness befell our remote town. The breeze no longer ran its cold tendrils across the barren streets.
I grabbed the thin string tied around my neck and pulled out a heavy monocle hanging from it. I held the cold metal up to my eye, to look through the green tinted glass.
The magically infused monocle always remained cool to the touch, with a static shock feeling emanating from it.
I held it to my eye to see the world around me clearly, yet tented in bright shades of green. My eyes roamed across the quiet, motionless street.
Debris and bloated corpses littered the street. With no wind and the unnaturally heavy darkness, this somehow had a dampening effect on the stench coming from decaying bodies. They could only be smelled once you were almost on top of one of them or a meter away. But my dead kinsmen helped even in death, making good landmarks to navigate through the darkness.
There were monsters that accompanied the dark fog. Twisted figures that were the void itself. Maybe they were the cruel thoughts of the Restless God made manifest.
Humans long ago, in the First Age had named them rippers. We all hoped they were just a myth, not actual walking nightmares
The rippers swarmed the town in the blinding dark. They seemed to only kill for killing's sake. They never ate the people they killed, almost like it was just for fun instead of survival.
It made sense in some twisted way. The Restless God must have returned to our realm, and brought these hateful things with it.
Prophets had long told of The Restless One's return by it sending nightmares through the veil of reality, to infest in the minds of our leaders. Centuries of slowly chipping away at the barrier separating us, chipping away at our sanity.
The Restless One birthed itself into our reality like an already dead stillborn abomination. Like a newborn giant, deformed with extra limbs and already rotting from death.
But it was alive! As alive as this strange creature could be. Now it was free, and this did not bring the thing elation, just more anger and restlessness.
How do I know all these things? The nightmare visions sent to all mortals across the realm since the Restless One's returned. Actually there were nightmares for most of the town leading up to the event. I guess it was our omens for being so close to the epicenter of its invasion.
One omen would have been terrible enough, but something this perverse stacked on the misfortune.
Dark signs of its arrival showed themselves all over the Kingdom of Maldune. The signs stretched further across to the neighboring kingdoms. The wretched god's birth pains were so terrible, I wager they were felt thousands of leagues away on The Wild Continent.
But the other Kingdoms didn't have the vast magical communication network like us Modunians, so reports of bad omens tampered off dramatically outside of our borders.
The misfortune of my town was like I said, we were the closest to the epicenter of the entities push into our reality, closest to the cradle of the spoiled god.
An entire mountain range protected us from the shock wave of magical energy, but all livestock siezed up and died. All birds fell from out of the air. All rodents died in their holes. And our very young died in their cribs.
It was a terrible event to have the town's children instantly killed, but now I see it as a mercy for the little ones. The innocent children got to go to Our Divine in their sleep peacefully, or at least quickly. They didn't have to die in the suffocating dark, or by the diseased claws of the rippers.
The town's guard fell quickly. A group of 16 men on loan from The Capitol, to keep peace and protect the trade routes. Our peacekeepers were more used to using words to settle disputes among merchants, or occasionally throw a drunk into a cell overnight.
They were ill equipped to handle the inky blackness that engulfed the town, rolling down from the mountain like a fluid landslide. The confusion of the townspeople quickly turned to pandemonium as the screams began.
That's when we realized we were not alone in the dark. Things moved quickly in the blackness. The Rippers began to slaughter everyone in the pitch blackness.
The first few days are a blur to me even now. But that's how I remember the beginning of the horror, the beginning of the end. I remember the dark engulfing the town, the adrenaline of fear. My last sight was of silent death spilling down from the mountains like a boiling pot overflowing with a viscous poison.
When the black fog first swept over me, my first few breaths of the miasma burned my eyes and lungs. The taste of metal on my tongue. The smell of sulfur and something sweet. Something sweet and rancid. Decay and corruption.
But now I had to shake the fog out of my head and return to the terrible present. I had to embrace the hopeless situation without falling to despair.
My magical sight gazing through the monocle finally spotted the rest of my group. Jillsophie, Tagert, and Fellip. Tag and Fel carrying the heavy burlap sacks of animal feed, while Jill led the three of them through the darkness with her own magical monocle.
We spotted each other from across the corpse littered roadway. The General Goods store had caught on fire early in the supernatural invasion. Somehow the strange darkness had put out the fire, snuffing it out like a heavy blanket thrown over a weak flame. That's why we were back, looting the store, trying to keep from starving to death before the rippers could kill us first.
Jill gave me a series of quick hand signals I had recently taught her. They had scavenged three bags of feed. Fil was carrying two big bags and Tagert one of them, but they were heavy and we were all weak. Jill wasn't carrying anything. She was too busy leading the two of them by pulling on the corded string she had tied around both their waists.
Before I waved the three of them to hurry over, I turned to Caville, my partner in crime on this side of the road beside me. He blinked wide eyed in the darkness, one gloved hand twisting the ends of his graying mustache while the other held a death grip on the pommel of his sheathed short sword.
I had to remember I could see him clearly through my monocle, but he only saw and felt the oppressive darkness. He was just waiting for a claw or fang to strike him from the darkness.
Because of this I lightly placed my hand on his shoulder. The light touch didn't stop Caville from almost jumping out of his boots. He quickly calmed when he realized it was me. The old warrior steadied himself once more.
I place my hand on the flat of his chest so he could feel my finger placement through his light shirt. I signed the question to him through a series of light thumps separating the words.
"Another bag. 40 LBS. Can carry?" I finished my signing by holding the hand placement designating a question mark firmly against his chest. I saw his eyes widen and he grimaced in doubt. His old frame shook a little as he prepared his answer.
Of course he answered back that he could carry the load, but I knew the real answer. It's amazing how much we communicate through non-verbal cues, and how much more when we think we are concealed in darkness.
He was barely standing on two feet. Starving and aching. He was pushing his late 50's, and his joints and muscles carried the pain of being a veteran soldier for over 30 years. He would collapse under the weight of his light armor and newly added bag of feed. No way he could keep quiet or climb back up into the attic we were all hiding at.
But Caville's years of being a proud soldier almost assured me that he would take on the task regardless of his disposition. So I signed back to Jil, "Drop 3rd bag. Later."
I lied and informed Caville that I was incorrect in my assessment. There wasn't an extra bag of feed, and we would be returning to the relative safety of the windmill.
Jil quietly led Fil, with Tagert close behind, across the road. Her own magic monocle making it possible to maneuver around the maze of debris and bodies. They all moved slow enough for Jil to communicate with sharp tugs on the string fastened around both of them. Stealth was key.
When I first saw it I didn't know how to react. I knew what the rippers looked like through my monocle, and I knew the placement of all the dead town-folk. But as I watched my three companions snake around the bloated body of Mr. Dredge, the blacksmith, I saw the faintest quiver of motion within the corpse.
Normally, that would mean some sort of vermin or carrion feeder had nestled within the body. But in this nightmare world we lived in, the Rippers killed everything that wasn't already slaughtered when The Restless One re-emerged into our reality, sending out It's shockwave of death.
To my horror I realized something else. Upon closer inspection of Mr.Dredge's body. I noticed it had somehow moved a couple feet to the left since last time I had seen him. I could even see the wet smear marks in the dirt from where it dragged itself over.
My magical monocle could also detect other magic. It wasn't very good at it but still could. My vision was bathed in illuminating green, but magic showed up white.
That's what I saw rising out of Mr.Dredge's body. Four bright spider-like legs protruded out of the back of the corpse, and hooked into the ground, lifting the stiff dead body into the air slowly, quietly.
Jil in the others were completely unaware of the horror looming up behind them. The jaw of Mr. Dredge fell off with a soggy "plop" into the dirt. What looked like a large inverted scorpion's tail writhed out the body's mouth. The scorpion tale hung down around the body's bloated chest. The tail curling up to point a large stinger at the group.
I could see that Jil had heard the "plop" of the jaw falling off the corpse behind her. She raised her eyebrows, sniffed the air, and froze in an alert state, her two companions bumping into her.
I had temporarily frozen too. I had never seen a monster like this before. Its spider legs lifting the body up to let its human feet brush its toes lightly on the ground. The whole body was ridged from rigor mortis. The body's hands curled to its chest, making fists, stiff legs swaying like the awkward pendulum of a clock. Still bodily juices and blood oozed profusely from hismouth and ripped open guts.
A surreal thought came into my mind. Maybe it was my mind trying to make sense out of nonsense. Mr.Dredges stiff body reminding me of toy soldier from my childhood. They were always stiff jointed when brand new, not dead.
I finally snapped out of my daze when glowing white spikey tendrils pushed the body's guts out with another wet impact noise. The many spiked appendages snaked out slowly towards the back of the unaware Tagert.
"Jil!" my voice boomed out, breaking the silence like a cannon burst. Everyone jumped in surprise. "Run! Run!"
With my off hand I quickly dug into my pocket and produced a phlare, the phosphorus filled stick. I quickly pulled the cap off with my teeth, igniting the flame dangerously close to my face. I didn't care, and barely felt the heat.
Holding out the phlare to signal to Jil and the others, producing a blinding light in the dark. But the blackness was unnatural and dampened the burning flame into a muted orange glow. Regardless, the phlare was still bright enough to signal the unsuspecting trio crossing the street.
Through the monocle I saw all three of them lock eyes on the light and begin to hurry towards me. It was against human instinct to run unaware in darkness. This made them not fast enough, because the Dredge-thing shot out a torso tendril to stab Tagert in the upper back.
Tagert let out a cry of pain, but kept coming. The cry of pain causing all three to break out into a full run. The need to live finally overriding the need to see.
I dropped the phlare as Jill led the other two up to me. They almost ran her poor soul over as she braced to stop them. The Dredge monster seemed to be slow. Her Divine was still blessing us!
I grabbed Caville's shoulder and Jil grabbed the tail of my shirt. We all took off together, back to the windmill.
We tried to go as fast as we could the couple blocks back to our hideout, but It was hard going. Caville lagged beside me, with Tag and Fel huffing as they carried the 40 pound feed bags.
I looked back at Dredge to see it had fallen on its stomach and was skittering after us like a centipede. It was considerably faster now!
I lowered the monocle to put both hands on Caville's shoulders and push him in front of me. Even if I pushed him we still wouldn't be fast enough.
My mind raced, like it had so many times since the birth of the Restless One. My mind swirled with anxious thoughts of decisions and counter-decisions. My sleep deprived and starving brain hallucinated the faces of my people alongside the terrible silver teeth of the Rippers lunging towards me out the colorless backdrop.
But like always, I made a desperate choice. "Drop the feed bags! Its gaining on us!
I expected to hear the "Thump! Thump!" Of the bags hitting the dirt, but I got what I least expected instead.
"No Jack! Don't drop the feed! I'll buy you time!" Caville said as he shrugged free of my grasp on his shoulders and started in the opposite direction towards Dredge.
"I'm so t-tired of running away! A-and I miss my daughter and grandkids!" the old warrior declared, his voice cracking at the end of his statement.
He held out an outstretched hand and fingers. When the tips of them made contact with Jil's dirty clothes, he easily side-stepped around Jil and the other two with grace as they hurried past him in the dark. These were skills long honed from blindfold training to heighten a soldier's situational awareness level.
Jil was the only other to see what was happening. She reached out for him as the other two pushed her forward. She stifled a cry and pushed ahead.
I was glad Jil wouldn't see this, but I felt I had to watch. I had to witness his sacrifice in the depths of this hell.
I saw Dredge's corpse crawl its way up to Caville, one of its longer talons hooking into Caville's upper knee. Caville screamed and sliced horizontally instantly. The sword cut through the air harmlessly over the monster.
Caville took this information and countered quickly as more sharp tendrils stabbed into his lower body. He rose the blade high over his head and let out a final death blow, plunging the sword downwards to impale the monster, staking it to the ground.
The monster pulled the old soldier down and tore into him. Caville's screams echoed out as I turned to run. Worse is when his screams finally choked out and fell silent.
The group of us made it un-accosted for the rest of our journey. We hurried in silence just like we were in mourning. We made it to the edge of town where the river and the watermill stood.
We climbed up the stacked boxes on the side of the building to slide open a wooden panel into the attic.
The inside of the attic had the low glow of multiple lanterns and the stuffy smell of multiple unwashed people living in tight quarters together for a long time.
We piled in quickly to close up the entrance behind us. There were 8 of us now. Me, Jil, Fil, Tag, Mama Denise, her two kids, and Harper sleeping in the corner.
All eyes met mine as they counted the three of us. No one had to ask what happened to Caville. They all knew. I think even the kids knew.
By the best we could reckon, it had been a month since death swept over our town. The rippers patrolled the streets and buildings constantly, searching for survivors to kill in the beginning. They also destroyed any cache of food or weapons they came across.
There was a deeper intelligence behind the rippers. They were vicious and animalistic when encountered, but they would carry out complicated tasks relentlessly, like soldiers receiving orders. It had to be the malicious influence of the Restless One speaking to all of them, like they were the claws at the end of his corrupting grasp.
It was Jil that had the idea for the feed bags at the General Store. Yes, they were for cows and horses, but they had been magically enhanced and would give the human body what it needed also.
It would give us enough strength to try and escape this Divine forsaken town, and hopefully leave the darkness to flee to the safety of the Capitol.
I knew the thought of making it all the way to the Capitol was ridiculous. The longer we headed east, the more likely we ran into the army of rippers that left the town at least two days ago.
It had been hundreds of them! Me and Jil were out scouting the General Store for the feed bags we had just now retrieved.
The going was slow, because the enemy was everywhere. But we knew how to maneuver from rooftop to closely packed rooftop. And the grew closer togeher the closer we got to the center of the town.
From where we started, the watermill in the outskirts of town, it seemed like the town was suspiciously empty of the monsters. But we soon realized that was the opposite. We didn't see any Rippers on the outskirts because they were all gathering together in the town square
The bright figures of humanoid shaped demons clustered together in a giant group. The magical vision of the monocle causing them to glow from whatever evil sorcery created them. So many of them huddling together created a glowing sea, flooding the courtyard.
Rippers were rumored to have always existed. Even before The Restless One returned. But they were rare and only inhabited places of great tragedy and a history of dark magic. Now there was an army of them, amassing to March East towards The Capitol.
Some said The Rippers were phantoms created by The Restless One. They were his only way to reach through dimensions and torment the living.
More scholarly Old-timers theorized the Rippers came from the vengeful spirits of the long extinct elves, hunted to extinction by Man a millennium ago.
Ancient texts mention the long extinct Legacy Elves had a bad habit of dabbling in dark magic, causing The Restless One to specifically target them, repeatedly using the elves innate affinity with magic to breach into our reality to cause havoc.
Many believe Man's genocide against the elves was not entirely warranted, it had help seal The Restless One away. But not all elves worshipped the Restless One. Many of them worshiped Her Divine like we humans do. But relations between elves and humans had always been strained, and this was the excuse humans needed to eliminate their rival for dominance over the lands, once and for all.
"Why must we be punished?" I remembered Tehama asking when all this first happened, back whe. She was alive.
"It's not our fault! It's the fault of our long dead ancestors! The kingdom that commited the atrocity doesn't even exist anymore!" Tehama said in a fit of nervous mania.
We had to hush her for getting too loud. But the truth is, we had no answer. There was no clear reason why we were all being subjected to such anguish.
Like I said, Tehama didn't make it anyways. On a supply run she had grabbed a doll from her old home to bring to Mama Denise and her two girls, but had dropped it in the street when Jil spotted a group of Rippers scaling the rooftops a block away.
We all scrambled to hide, hoping the Ripper patrol moved along. But they spotted the dolly laying in the dirt. And some sort of supernatural intelligence recognized this wasn't here on their last patrol. They knew humans were moving around.
The five of the Rippers in the patrol circled the doll, all letting out a high pitched squeals, like an alarm calling to others.
Me and Jil hid in a nasty bale of hay next to a gutted horse laying beside it, hopefully masking our scent. Our terror rose as we watched more and more Rippers coming out of the shadows. They slid down buildings, out of doorways, from under debris, and they all were all screaming, almost deafening to us.
There were three magical monocle's during this time. All of us had one. And we could all see the count of Rippers going into the hundreds!
They would find us! By flooding every corner of the street, they would come across us eventually!
That's when Tehama made her decision. I didn't see exactly where she hid, but she wasn't hiding anymore. She broke cover and ran directly into the streets, into the crowd of monsters. She tossed her monocle behind her towards our direction, maybe for us to recover later.
Of course they glowed brightly through the monocle, but to the naked eye they were an inky black. A black blacker than their surroundings, making it almost impossible to see them.
When the Rippers got close to their chosen victim, they allowed their prey to see their shiny silver teeth.
The sharp protruding teeth stand out bright and glistening, almost like silver, against the backdrop of darkness. as they moved in to kill the hapless human.
This is all Tehama saw as she dropped to his knees and searched blindly for the dropped dolly. She screamed and cried as the teeth sank into her tearing off little bits of her flesh.
The Rippers began to whoop and laugh like hyenas as they snatched piece by peice of her away. From the little I knew, the Rippers didn't need to eat. They just bit her for the joyful cruelness of it.
Blood soaked, mostly skinless hands of poor Tehama found the dolly that had started all of this horror. She hugged it close to her skinless chest and let out a gurgling scream before tipping over, most likely dead from shock.
That very second! That truly horrid moment! I decided I wasn't going to die in this town. I wasn't going to "wait it out" like all the old-timers advised. They are all dead now anyways! They didn't wait it out.
The King's armies hadn't made it in time. No fireballs from battlemages to shatter the darkness, no royal purple knights lead by The Heroic Prince Julian, no salvation from Her Divine!
If we waited we would all die in the dark. No doubt the King was coming with his armies, but how many days, or years will it take to Him to reach our settlement?
No, I would not die here. I had promised myself this years ago! I would survive like I had also promised! I would save Jil the way she saved me!
Then the army of rippers moved out East towards the Capitol. But there were still wicked things left behind to kill us. But this was our best chance!
As I sat in the darkness of the attic my mind was free to visualize in wonderful colorful detail my last memories before the Restless One tainted our town with its sightless void.
I remembered walking through the town, going towards the training academy. I was going to climb the mountain behind it. I was going to climb it again and again until I graduated and became one of the Royal Warden's Squires. The academy started soon and I never made it to the top without resting and without dropping my pack.
This is why I was one of the first to see our oncoming doom. The inky blackness spilled out from around the mountain to flood towards the town.
I knew I had to run and give warning to the town's guard. I wasn't a Warden's Squire yet, but I still had a duty to protect the people.
Tears heated up my cheeks as I sat in the dark, greatfull Jil and the others couldn't see me crying, as I remembered the death that followed.
But one of my last memories gave me the tiniest blink of hope. I remembered the peak of the mountain stabbing through the blackness. The mountain was tall enough to escape the flood of hell filling the valleys and town around it.
There was a ceremonial watchtower at the top of the mountain, filled with supplies. It's where the academy cadets earned their badges and completed their training. The mountain was the last test to becoming a Warden's Squire. A grueling uphill climb with a nickname given to the mountain by past cadets that like to boast over their hard earned accomplishments.
The mountain was affectionately called Mt. Despair, and it would be our salvation.
Part 2
Part 3:
Part 4:
submitted by cesly1987 to SLEEPSPELL [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:08 throwawaycollege091 asian male with not so great grades bombing ap chem gets slammed this season but satisfied with where he ends up

Intended Major(s): Biology/Biochemistry
Standardized Testing
List the highest scores earned and all scores that were reported.
List all extracurricular involvements, including leadership roles, time commitments, major achievements, etc.
  1. Policy Advocate for Graduate-Level Initiative at Harvard School of Public health
  2. Lead ResearcheOutreach Coordinator for Globally-Recognized NPO on refugee relocation
  3. Summer Research Intern at Molecular Biology Lab at T5 Research University
  4. Researcher at organization under T10 universities, working on multiple different projects
  5. Run org providing students opportunities to break into research/academia
  6. Certified Nursing Assistant/Clinical Hours
  7. Independent Research on a mental health topic + advocacy raising awareness for same topic
  8. Research Intern @ MedTech Startup
  9. Medical Shadowing x2 Clinics
  10. HOSA Club President
sent updates to my RD's talking about notable advocacy efforts, a presentation of my independent research work, a couple of small competition wins, some partnerships with global organizations in one of my ec's.
forgot to update them with a new research assistant position at a UT Southwestern lab near me, happened the week after I sent updates sadly, hope it didn't bite me in the bacm 😭😭😭😭😭
List all awards and honors submitted on your application.
  1. National Merit Semi-Finalist
  2. National Qualifier for a Medical Coding Event
  3. USABO Honorable Mention (1 off semifinals, winged the test)
  4. State Winner for HOSA Event
  5. State Competitor for some Science Olympiad Events
Letters of Recommendation
AP lang - 7/10? nothing bad for sure, just not sure if it was anything special, probably average
a STEM teach - 8/10, I saw the rec at a later date, kind of short, but to the point and was very specific on things I had done in the class, so seems pretty good
Professor at t5 - absolutely no clue, just added in because of her reputation as a professor, doubt it was bad but doubt it was great cuz I got rejected from her university 😭
Rice - was okay, nothing special, didn't help
Cornell - missed my interview...
Personal Statement - 8/10? can't really judge my own essay, i thought it was okay, my mom hated it, some of my friends didn't understand it, others thought it was really good
Supplementals - 7/10, reused a lot, some were really good imo (duke, UT, maybe some more) some were really ass (rice 😭) mostly depended on the prompt and word count allowed
Decisions (indicate ED/EA/REA/SCEA/RD)
Additional Information:
started the grind too late, ecs ended up being pretty decent but grades were not astounding for most of these schools, happy with UT Austin though, would've gone over half the privates because its so much cheaper and im medicine, and they gave me honors so big dubs, starting the premed grind so I don't have to bomb like i did this season!
submitted by throwawaycollege091 to collegeresults [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:07 iwanttobeabutterfly I’m so lost I don’t know what to do

I’m 16 mtf, been socially transitioning since I was around 10, and started hormones at 14. Prior to hormones, my endocrinologist made it very well known to me that I’d be sterile and most likely won’t be able to have children.
I didn’t care cuz an ethical adoption is something I’ve wanted to do given the opportunity. Also didn’t care much for bio kids at the time and I was extremely eager to start HRT so I wouldn’t further go through male puberty.
Now at 16, I can’t get the fact out of my head that I’ll never be able to have a biological kid of my own, If I stop hormones, I risk my voice dropping and going through male puberty (which does not sound like an option to me AT ALL) neither does having to 🤮 in a cup and literally having another person (my doctor) see it, on top of knowing that fact that my mom would know what I’m doing while trying to save my dna.
Makes me feel so dysphoric and “manly” to even associate with a dick, but I really want kids. Yet again, the male puberty part sounds so traumatic to me, I already have a high pitch voice and having it possibly drop even though I have access to hrt just to have bio kids sounds unbearable to me.
I just wish there was a certain pill I could take that would just prevent me from getting male sex characteristics but still allow me to be fertile enough to save my dna. :((
Does anybody else feel the same? Have any suggestions for me?? I feel like sobbing, no other cis girl has to worry about this :(
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2023.04.02 09:07 -Bonjour-- Corse, je t'aime

We have been to Corsica several times, and there are several ways to travel to Corsica by ferry: We went to Nice, took the afternoon ferry and were in Bastia in the evening. The next time we took the night ferry from Savona and arrived in Bastia the next morning. And we also went to Livorno once, took the early morning ferry and were in Bastia by noon.
From Bastia, we first headed north on a 110 km coastal road with small villages and breathtaking views. First we came to ERBALUNGA with its massive tower on a rock by the sea has a picturesque location. Then we passed Maccinaggio, Cap Corse, Centuri-Port - a small romantic fishing port and center of lobster fishing - and continued via Pino to Nonza.
In NONZA the houses cluster around a rock that rises 160 m from the sea. We walked up to the Tour Pouline - a fortified tower from the 16th century. From there you can see the black beach, which makes a great contrast to the turquoise sea.
After we had explored the north, we drove from Bastia down the whole east coast - we made a stop at Moriani Plage with a beautiful sandy beach - to Porto Vecchio.
PORTO VECCHIO has a fantastic location and has a lively old town: the Genoese fortress from 1539 is situated on a hill. Porto Vecchio is the third largest city of Corsica, besides the flourishing tourism there is still the traditional salt mining and other trades especially in the suburbs. The malaria mosquitoes were wiped out in the 1950s, so that even in this area could be built without further ado. The old town consists of only four longitudinal and ten transverse streets, it is closed to traffic in the summer. At the Place de la République people like to drink their Pastis or Kir in the evening. In the old town there are many restaurants in various price ranges and boutiques partly with typical products of the country.
Many people come to Porto Vecchio for its beautiful beaches. BENEDUTTU PLAGE - a long fine sandy beach with a view of Punta di Chiappa and also of Porto Vecchio. A part of PLAGE CALA ROSSA is occupied by a luxury hotel, therefore the fine beach is accessible only from the western side. PALOMBAGGIA PLAGE with white sand and turquoise calm water - one of the most beautiful beaches of Corsica - is surrounded by red rocks. At ST. GUILIA PLAGE some hotels are settled in the meantime. Thus, the once paradisiacal bay has now become more of a commercial place. But the beach is still wonderfully bright and the water crystal clear. RODINARA PLAGE - a dreamlike round bay - one of the most beautiful of Corsica. Once only a dirt road led to the lagoon. Since a real road was built, this bay is very busy in the season.
From Porto Vecchio we made a tour to COL DE BAVELLA (1218 m high) - an impressive landscape. There are good hiking trails, e.g. to the Cumpudella (Trou de la Bombe), a huge hole in the rock face, where you are rewarded with an incredible view after a scramble. In season, of course, it is very busy there, and the "real" hikers come as early as possible in the morning.
Near the small village of L'Ospedale is the drinking water reservoir BARRAGE DE L'OSPEDALE. From there you can hike up to the 70 m high waterfall Piscia di Gallo - but it is more worthwhile in spring, when there is still enough water.
From Porto Vecchio we went on to BONIVACIO, one of the great attractions in Corsica - despite the many visitors. The upper town, where we stayed, is built on a 60 m high chalk rock plateau and still has a historical structure. We could see all the way to Sardinia from our hotel - it was beautiful weather.
The harbor is at the end of the long, narrow inlet. From there it is best to make a tour on foot. From the fortress walls you have a fantastic view of the city, the coast and the sea and all the way to Sardinia. On the harbor promenade there is a sea aquarium in a natural grotto. The shore road leads to the fishing port and the ferry port,
The upper town is reached through the 16th century Porte de Gênes. From the Jardin des Vestiges one has the most beautiful view over the harbor. It is hard to walk from the lower town to the upper town, because it is quite steep and with many stairs.
The journey continued to the extreme southwest, the land of blood vengeance - still until 1840. SARTÈNE - the "most Corsican of all Corsican towns" - is an interesting old town, which is virtually stuck on a rock. Almost no ray of sunlight reaches the winding narrow streets, and the narrow multi-story houses sometimes have window holes like sinister defense towers. The center of the old town is the Place de la Libération with some restaurants where you can sit outside and enjoy your drink.
From Sartène we drove to PROPRIANO. This place was discovered late by the tourists, there is a nice promenade between the marina and the pier, where it is lively especially in the evening. Propriano is located on the Gulf of Valinco, here the rivers Taravo, Baracci and Rizzanese flow. Right next to the lighthouse is the beautiful beach Plage du Lido.
On a scenic coastal road you drive from Propriano to PUNTO DE CAMPOMARO. Here is still an unspoiled stretch of coast with calm turquoise water and bizarre granite rocks. Above the small village of Campomoro you can see a 16th century watchtower.
AJACCIO is the administrative center and capital of Corse du Sud. The city with its southern flair has a beautiful old town with the citadel and many restaurants and stores. Ajaccio is probably best known as the birthplace of Napoléon, whose statue can be seen at Place Maréchal Foch. In the evening it becomes lively in the alleys of the Genoese old town with many bars and restaurants.
Unfortunately, the citadel can only be visited as part of an organized guided tour. Worth seeing is the church "Notre-Dame-de-la-Miséricorde" with a large dome, where Napoleon I was baptized. There is of course also a Casa Bonaparte. In the new town, you can still find some magnificent houses on the Avenue de Paris or the Cours Grandval, where there are often stores and boutiques.
Northwest of Ajaccio one comes to the POINTE DE LA PATARA. You can easily walk to the Genoese tower from 1608 from the parking lot. From there you have a beautiful view of the Iles Sanguinaires with the lighthouse. From the parking lot you can also make a coastal hike to the north. There are beautiful views of the sea everywhere and you can walk down to the beach at Capo de la Fena to cool off. However, the surf is quite strong.
The view was magnificent on the CHEMIN DES CRÈTES, but it was also very difficult to even find an "entry" to this trail. And besides, the Macchi was partly so dense that you had to be careful not to hurt yourself on the thorny bushes.
Especially in the south of Ajaccio there are beautiful beaches. First of all there is PORTICCIO with its long wide beach. Porticcio is now a large seaside resort with good infrastructure.
Then comes the bay with the long PLAGE D'AGOSTA with a view of the Isolella peninsula. In the next bay there is the fine sandy Plage de Ruppione between rocks with quite high waves.
And then comes my absolute favorite beach with fine light sand and crystal clear water - SOLE E MARE, and I hope that there will not also be larger hotel and apartment buildings there.
A beautiful small lonely sandy bay with calm water can be found at PLAGE DE PORTIGLIOLO. North of Ajaccio are the beaches PlLAGE SCUDO and PLAGE MARINELLO, very popular with the locals because they are not too far from the city.
From Ajaccio you can make an excursion to PORTO POLLO. On the way we went through the mountains, where we "got lost" a few times, because there were no signs, and we could only drive by "feeling". Porto Pollo is located on the Gulf of Valinco and has a fine sandy beach with many picturesque round rocks. In summer, a lot of people come here. At the end of September however many things are already closed or will be closed.
A recommendable tour south of Ajaccio is the ROUTE DES COLS. Over various passes and through the largest eucalyptus forest on the island, you come to the small village of Coti Chiavari, 486 m high, with a pretty little church. From there you also have beautiful views of the mountains to the sea.
On a hiking tour, we headed towards Corte and then to the small village of Cuttoli-Corticchiato, continuing to the idyllically situated hamlet of San Petru at 888 m above sea level. From there we went to the MONTE ARAGNASCU, a somewhat arduous tour in the blazing sun. But we were rewarded with a beautiful view of Ajaccio, the Gulf and the Gravonatal.
In the GRAVONA VALLEY is the village of Bocognano, from where you can also hike well. We came on the poorly signposted "Chemin", whereby we were also surprised by rain.
Interesting was that we were accompanied all the way first by several dogs, then later one remained. When we eventually had enough of the rain and the bad path and walked back, we encountered some wild boars which did not look very "friendly". The dog started barking at them. And indeed, they sought the distance. It looked like the dog was trying to protect us somehow. Down in the village we met the owner of the dog - the older man invited us spontaneously for coffee - and he told us that his dog was often on the way as a "companion" for hikers.
Another hiking tour led us first to the GORGES DE PRUNELLI and to the reservoir Lac de Tolla, which supplies Ajaccio with water. From there we went to the large farming village of Bastelica, the gateway to the high mountains. From here, many hiking trails lead into the mountains and to some waterfalls.
Another excursion we made towards the north over the Col de San Bastiano to the Golf de la Liscia to CARGÈSE. This place with a small harbor is located on the southern slope of a headland. Worth seeing is the Greek church "Eglise greque" from the 19th century with old icons. North of Cargèse are of course again beautiful sandy beaches.
From Ajaccio in the direction of Corte we looked at the CASCADE DU VOILE DE LA MARIÉe, where the water normally plunges 150 m into the depth. It was quite a climb and then, unfortunately, the waterfall didn't even have too much water at the end of September.
Through beautiful pine forests we came towards Corte past the famous PONT DU VECCHIU, built in 1927 by Gustave Eiffel. Until 1999 this was the only connection across the gorge, but now there is a modern bridge.
CORTE has the only university in Corsica with about 4000 students. The old town, rich in tradition, is situated below a rock with an old fortress built in the 11th century. In 1962-83 this fortress was used by the Foreign Legion. From the Belvedère viewpoint near the citadel, there is a beautiful view of the mountains and the surroundings of Corte.
Also worth seeing is Fontaine des Quatre-Canons, a colossal fountain that served as a water supply for the upper town in times of siege. On Cours Paoli you can find restaurants, bakeries and many other stores. On the Cours Patrimonial, there are some arts and crafts stores. The 17th century church Eglise de l'Annonciation is one of the oldest buildings in Corte.
From Corte we drove along a narrow road through a beautiful mountain landscape to the RESTONICA VALLEY, a nature reserve with many Corte pine trees. By car, you can drive to the parking lot at the Bergerie de Grotelle. The ascent to Lake Melo was quite difficult, you had to climb over many large stones, sometimes you didn't know at all how to continue and had to climb back, and so on. After about 2 hours we had made it and were at the Melo mountain lake. After a 30-minute rest in the sun, we then needed for the descent again 2 hours. Because with one of my trekking shoes the sole loosened, and I had to hold them together in a makeshift way with the shoelace...
From Corte we went first through the NIOLA VALLEY with numerous hiking trails. For a long time this area was only accessible by mule trails. Here wild boars ran across our path. You can see them especially in autumn when the chestnuts fall from the trees.
The large village of EVISA is located in the middle of chestnut forests and is a popular destination. Here begins (or ends) the hiking trail through the wild gorge of Spelunca. Through a beautiful mountain landscape and a 14 km long granite gorge we came to the GORGE DE SPELUNCA, an impressive gorge where you can hike very well - either from Evisa or from Ota.
In the small very popular town of PORTO at the mouth of the Porto River, we had a beautiful view of the Genoese Tower, the Gulf and the mountains from our hotel. The angular Genoese Tower on a headland is the landmark of Porto.
From Porto we drove to the CALANCHES DE PIANA, which start 8 km behind Porto. The granite rocks here are eroded by wind and water into the most bizarre shapes. The colors vary depending on the time of day, in the evening for example bright red. From the old mule trail - Sentier Muletier - you have great views of the rock world. There are also other trails - e.g. La Corniche.
Then we drove to PIANA, perched on a 434 m cliff, which can call itself "un des plus beaux villages de France". The only sandy beach in the area is the Plage d'Arone in a beautiful crescent shaped bay with only a few people.
From Porto, the best way to get to CALVI is to take the coastal road, which is very winding but takes you through some beautiful scenery on the Gulf of Porto. From our accommodation in Calvi we had a great view of the fortress and the Gulf of Calvi.
Calvi, the pearl of the north, is a well known and popular vacation center. Very nice are the lively alleys in the lower town and the harbor quays. In the alleys of the lower town and the harbor quay you can stroll nicely and also find restaurants and stores. The church "Sainte Marie Majeure" with a polygonal ground plan is striking. The first Christian chapel on this place was built already in the 4th century, subsequent churches were destroyed several times. The present church was built in 1774. Outside the town on the Gulf of Calvi there is a long narrow sandy beach, the water here gets deeper only slowly - ideal for small children.
The citadel "Bastion Spinchone" is the landmark of the city, you can walk around it on a ring of walls and have beautiful views of the city and the sea. The citadel was built on Roman foundations and is the oldest fortified building in Calvi.
Worth seeing is the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in the center of the citadel. Originally built in the 13th century, the church was largely destroyed by the explosion of a powder tower in 1567 and subsequently rebuilt in the Baroque style.
A beautiful beach near Calvi is the Plage d'Argentella, about 1 km long, in the bay of Crovani. You can get to the peninsula on a dirt road. You can make a nice but strenuous hike there. From a parking bay you have a beautiful view of the peninsula.
A nicely situated and rather quiet place is l'ILE-ROUSSEL with a small harbor and the Genoese tower and lighthouse on the peninsula "La Pietra". The village owes its name to this offshore island, which has now been turned into a peninsula by a dam and turns red at sunset.
L'Ile Rousse was laid out in 1765 in a rectangular street pattern around the harbor and is said to have the mildest winter climate in Corsica. In the alleys of the old town of L'Ile-Rousse there are several small shops selling souvenirs, jewelry, clothing, wine, etc. In the Marché Couvert there is a market in the morning. In the surroundings of Ile-Rousse there are many light sandy beaches.
Between Calvi and L'Ile-Rousse in the small village of Algajola there is a very beautiful wide and 1.5 km long beach - PLAGE D'AREGNO. In high summer, the beach is apparently very crowded. When we were there in mid-September, we had the beach to ourselves.
SAINT FLORENT is located in the north of Corsica on the wide bay of the same name - in winter an idyllic fishing village. Since the place is very popular, the population increases tenfold in the summer. A point of attraction for tourists is the large marina. In the center you can find bars, restaurants and many souvenir stores. St. Florent is also called "St. Tropez of the island" because of its special flair. On a panoramic road above Saint Florent one has again and again beautiful views of mountains and sea.
On the way to Bastia you can make a detour to the local mountain of Bastia - the 960 m high SERRA DI PIGNO. On a clear day you have a good panoramic view over both sides of Cap Corse .
BASTIA is the most important port for ferries from the French and Italian mainland and also for freight traffic. Bastia is the biggest commercial and economic center of Corsica with an industrial zone. But Bastia is also a busy center of Corsican everyday life. The Place Saint Nicolas with plane trees and palm trees is 300 meters long and 90 meters wide, making it one of the largest squares in France. The beach Plage Arinella, located south of the city, is very wide and long, but unfortunately not very attractive.
The heart of Bastia's Terra Vecchia district is the horseshoe-shaped Vieux Port with the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in the background. Walking north through the narrow streets, you come to the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, where a market is held on weekends.
Around the dock there are many restaurants in all price ranges. When we are in Bastia, we always have our aperitif at a bistro where we have a nice view of the small harbor and the church.
The citadel was built by Genoese in 1380. There are the magnificently renovated Governor's Palace, the Cathedral of Sainte-Marie-de l'Assomption - a Genoese Baroque building erected in 1604-1619 - and the small chapel Oratoire de la ConfrIère de la Sainte-Croix, where you can see a cross made of black ebony in a side chapel.
The palace was the seat of the Genoese governors between the 15th and 18th centuries, today it houses the Ethnographic Museum.
submitted by -Bonjour-- to ThornTree [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 09:03 Righteous_Fury224 Sympathy for a Succubus - Meridiana’s Story. Part 6

Ahh, dear reader, hello there! So lovely to see you once more... well figuratively speaking that is… or is it?
After all, I am exceedingly well versed in The Arts. Maybe I am watching you at this very moment, with Clairvoyance or perhaps a Scrying Spell or maybe an enchanted object like the good old fashioned Crystal Ball? The Magus has one you know…
Just teasing… or am I? …teeheehee…
Anyway, this latest instalment comes to you courtesy via a Voice to Text application my Magus recently acquired for me, as he said listening to me speak aloud while typing is too distracting for him. I find that interesting considering his immense mental discipline yet understandable at the same time. After all, extoling ones inner monolog to an uncaring audience would be tedious to experience. Hmm… I’ve just thought of a new torture for the souls of the dammed, specifically for writers who think they are better than everyone around them. How ingenious of me!
In any case, I would prefer to distract him in other ways, mark you.
I also must say what wonderfully inventive creatures you humans are! An application of mathematical code, the base language of reality. It is very much like a spell in its function and nature I would say, that it allows my phone, yes the Magus got me one, to record all I say and transcribes it into neatly typed words on its electronic pages. It’s like having a monk-scribe in your pocket! Unquestionably wonderful!
So as I relax in my fabulously hot, luxurious scented, oiled bubble bath, I can easily regale you with further tales of the adventures I have had thus far on this wonderous blue and brown spherical rock that is third in line from our star. And I do not have to type with two fingers either, which is a massive bonus let me tell you!
If memory serves… ahh yes, we had just returned to the car where I saw a sign of my Magus’s humour on display in the form of his licence plate.
I do have to admit dear reader, I was indeed highly amused. He knows he’s going to hell, he just insists that it be on his terms! I love it! Such confidence, such audacious willpower.
That is exceedingly… stimulating for Succubi.
Ok dammit, it makes me tremendously horny, and I’m not talking about the ones on my head either you know! We are incredibly lusty beings, us Succubi, after all.
I was already in a highly ‘excited’ state when we got to the car, so much so that I had to use my Cell Adjustment Psionic discipline to tremendously dull down my inflamed senses as I did not wish to leave the tell-tale mark of my inflamed passion on the lower back portion of my new dress and also not on the car-seat when I sat back down in the vehicle.
After a few moments, which caused the Magus to glance up at me with a slightly puzzled expression, of standing outside the car (he had no idea nor cared… hmmph!) I opened the door and folded myself back inside the vehicle and resumed my seat. I later learned that I could have mostly avoided this… embarrassment… by actually wearing what you call absorbent lined underwear! I wasn’t wearing panties at the time as I was totally unaware of their existence. I do so now as its much more comfortable in lots of ways and in addition, stops the shiver when an errant chill wind blows unexpectedly up your gusset!
Moving on…
Getting into the car, the Magus paused until I had done up my seatbelt before starting the engine, waiting for another car to pass us by before safely pulling out and sedately driving off. I later learned that we could have gone screaming down the road in a cloud of burning rubber if the Magus was of a mind to. I would have if given the opportunity! Something to look forward to dear reader.
Instead, we drifted slowly through the placidly moving traffic as I watched the sun descend below the horizon of the ocean. I had only been back here on Earth for a few hours but every second was total bliss. I do not think that most of you humans realize how good you have it here. Even those who do not reside in the more developed and advanced nations, being on Earth is special.
There are infinity more worse places you can be, let me assure you of that.
We drove back mostly the way we had travelled to this particular beach. This time though it was much later in the day, heading in the opposite direction, I became aware of many more things that had escaped my attention earlier on.
We passed by denser zones and clusters of buildings where I could see various shops, food outlets, restaurants and varying vendors, all brightly lit up now as the daylight was fading. I saw incredibly tall metal poles with blazing, glowing lights illuminating the surrounds with a warm yellowy orange glow making it still easy to see. Electric lighting will never cease to amaze me. Yes dear reader, I can experience a sense of wonder and joy at simple things, even beyond the act of slaughter and soul draining. Would it astonish you that I like flowers? Such strange lifeforms that had developed aromas they use as a method of propagation. Delightful.
Anyway… we shortly crested the hill that we had previous ascended westwards earlier on the way to the beach and then I saw it!
I was awestruck once again.
Towering edifices, glittering, shining buildings monstrously higher than Hagia Sophia was, the most immense human made structure in the world when I was last in it. These glistening towers of glass, metal and stone made that church look like a feeble children’s toy. I could see over a dozen of these buildings of varying size, clustered together in less than a square mile.
The Magus glanced to his left and saw me gaping at them.
“They’re called Sky Scrapers Meridiana. They’re generally office buildings, places of business where people daily work in their wage-slave jobs then go home at night. The buildings are left vacant but light up at night as you can clearly see.”
I turned and gawped at him.
“They’re empty at night?”
I could not comprehend why such space, that had amazing views, would be left empty of an evening?
“Yep. Well most of them are. There will be some that still have people in them, conducting various types of business overnight because its what they do for a living.”
“What do they do?” I asked in a murmur as I turned back to see the vista be obscured by a large set of commercial and residential buildings that we were currently passing.
The Magus shrugged.
“They’ll be doing all sorts of things, financial trading, working back late to do their jobs… various affairs of commerce and such. It’s not that important really Meridiana. I’ll take you into the city another day when we have time for you to be a tourist. Now, if I may, I want to know more about your Telekinesis. I got an idea of how much you can lift, probably over 1400 kilograms at least if my guess as to how much a warhorse in armour with a rider would weigh… maybe more? Probably more but we’ll test that later. Anyway, it’s your fine control skills I’m interested in.”
I turned back to the Magus who was looking ahead, driving us through the busy traffic that had become a factor. I later learned that it was a time of day called ‘rush hour’.
“I am capable of very delicate manipulation with my Telekinesis, especially in regards to the erotic arts,” I said to him with a husky, low, salacious purr.
“That’s cute but I really want to know if you could snatch out of the air and control a very small, fast moving bouncing ball, say the size of your thumbnail?” he asked in an offhand manner as he slowed down due to the traffic which was banking up in front of us.
I inwardly sighed once more. Such a challenge he was!
“Yes I can but why?”
He briefly turned to me and broadly grinned before returning his attention to driving.
“There’s a game that we will ‘play’ after dinner. It is called Roulette. The game features a spinning wheel with thirty seven little slots. Into the spinning wheel a little white ball is spun in and circles around, eventually slowing and bouncing into once of the numbered slots. The slots are alternately coloured red or black and all are numbered from 00 to 36. You can bet where the ball will land, either in red or black and specifically in a numbered slot. If the ball lands in a slot you bet on, you get a payout of thirty seven to one. Ever dollar you bet wins you 37 back. You can also just bet on which colour the ball will land in giving you your money back plus it’s value as a reward. Bet $100, you get your $100 back plus another $100.”
“Dollar... that’s money right?” I said as the implications slowly dawned on me. You could make a fortune from this!
“Yes Meridiana. Dollars are what we use as currency these days. Gold is still used but not in the way you were used to. It’s still valuable as are other precious metals but that’s going to take a long explanation which is a distraction for now. So, do you think you could perhaps catch the bouncing ball with your power, directing it into the number we bet on?”
I thought about it for a few moments.
“I will have to see how the ball moves but I think I could, yes.”
“Excellent. You stand to make us a lot of money tonight. There are other games like card games, slot machines which I’m uncertain that your powers would be able to mess with. Roulette is our hunting ground. We must be careful though.”
I was surprised by his tone of caution. We were power incarnate! What could possibly touch us?
“Casinos hate losing money. Roulette is going to be the hardest one they can prove that we’re cheating on if you use your Telekinesis. We will be closely watched the entire time we are in the casino. There are devices called cameras, similar to Crystal Balls, that observe everything they see, relaying the images back to people in other rooms whose task it is to spot potential cheaters in the casino. They also have people walking the floor, disguised as ordinary folk, always watching everyone else. And I want to avoid the eyes of any infernal beings who may be in the casino.”
“Ahh… I see… a healthy paranoia then, for them and us hmm?”
He nodded once, emphatically.
If you have a fortune, you need to protect it, especially from people like me. His caution in regards to our identity was also most prudent and he was correct that there was a possibility that there may be others of my ilk lurking in the shadows, walking in human form as we often do.
I have to confess dear reader, that I am a master thief as well as an expert assassin, in addition to being an accomplished warrior although I rarely fight in hand to hand combat, preferring seduction, subterfuge and skulduggery as my main methods of killing. Yet still, I can fight and kill extremely proficiently with many weapons, being skilled at one of the highest levels of melee combat, the use of weapons and ways of fighting with them. I’ve been around a while you know? You pick up on things like that if you wish to live as long as I have.
Besides… stabby, stabby, stabby, bash, slash and smite can be loads of fun when you’re doing the stabbing and bashing with a well-balanced blade or mace in your hands. But I digress…
“You have it Meridiana. Yes the casinos’ management are extremely paranoid. We will have to alter our appearance as well before we enter the casino. I shall use a minor low level spell while you can take a new face. We will do so after dinner.”
I nodded then a thought came to me. I asked,
“You said we were going to something called a buffet? I know what the word means as my abilities allow me to understand any spoken language, much like the enchantment known as Tongues. Yet I’m finding it hard to match the word with the concept.”
The Magus raised an eyebrow in interest at this revelation.
“Oh right. Just because you know a word doesn’t mean you automatically understanding it conceptually and in context either. Good to know. Well, a buffet is an enormous array of various foods, hot and cold, sweet to savoury, where you merely help yourself and consume as much as you wish. You pay for the privilege of course.”
“Truly? How much will this cost you?” I inquired wide eyed.
I noticed that we had moved through the traffic and had turned down a descending road and were now going into a massive concrete tunnel along with hundreds of other cars, all slowly moving in the same direction. It was quite honestly astounding that everyone was not smashing into one another. All the drivers were…well mostly were, attentive to their immediate surrounds and situation as we gradually merged our car into the main lane of traffic which was making its way under the earth via the huge yawning tunnel ahead.
Such staggering feats of engineering and construction which would have made the Emperor Justinian weep copious, bitter tears of pure envy. Oh how I wished I could make him see this and realise his idiotic boast was pointless when he finished Hagia Sophia. He bragged that he had surpassed Solomon himself with his church. He had but it wasn’t worth it. Justinian nearly bankrupted the Eastern Roman Empire, all for a useless church and his own vanity.
Still, I shouldn’t care, his hubris ended up sending him to hell anyway so... yay! His actions also exacerbated the effects of the famine and plague that swept the through the empire and western Europe in the year 535 with his stupid desire to re-unify the Roman empire under his rule. You will be pleased to know dear reader, that he is burning in eternal torment for his multitude of sins so it is all good. My thoughts of deceased, vainglorious emperors and their fate were interrupted as the Magus spoke again,
“Hmm? … it should set us back about $80 each I’d should say? A small price to pay in all honesty when you see what is on offer. Drinks will be on top of that price, unless you just have plain water but tonight Meridiana, I shall introduce you to Champagne, one of humanities greatest achievements.”
This was enticing to hear!
“If you say so Magus. I completely believe you as you will not be lying to me,” I said, nodding and trying to think about Champagne.
So many new concepts were entering my mind, it was hard to keep my mind and thoughts in order. I understood that Champagne was a special type of wine, one which had a fizz embodied within it, making it highly regarded but that’s all I could deduce for now.
Also… I had a thought: the Magus could and would never lie to me. The feeling I had earlier, in being able to trust everything he said to me because of the oath he gave to me, was an unfettering sensation.
All my existence I have dealt with bare faced lairs, deceivers, misshapers of the truth who twisted words to suit their own selfish ends. With the Magus, all I had to be concerned with was his agenda, which actually had my interests aligned with his own. Truly remarkable.
I needed that champagne now!
We emerged from the tunnel, traveling with the traffic over wide dark river, again on another immense concrete bridge this time. There was a gigantic colosseum off to our right, all lit up with multiple coloured lights that ran around the circumference of the structure. It was like as though it was enveloped in a rainbow. Frankly, it was amazing to behold.
Beyond that, I could see many more large towers and structures, lining the sides of the vast road we were hurtling along now. The Magus had increased our speed as traffic had thinned out. Never in my life had I moved so fast, well unless I was using a Haste spell to briefly increase my physical speed, which I use in combat if necessary.
I barely had the sense we were travelling in the car at roughly 80kph. Such an odd experience to have for the first time. There was no rushing of wind, no press of air on my face, just comfort and air-conditioning. Marvellous!
After a few minutes later I saw our destination.
Again I was nearly stupefied by the gigantic structure. Multiple massive buildings, all surrounded by lush green, well-manicured and maintained gardens made my jaw go slack with disbelief.
“That’s Crown Casino, Towers and hotel Meridiana. I can see you are impressed. Let me just say that if you think this is amazing, wait until we go to Las Vegas…” he said as he turned the car into the driveway of the complex.
“There’s even more impressive structures than this?”
My mind boggled dear reader. It was almost too much to take in.
“Yep. My city is a small one compared to others around the globe. We will travel to them, in due course. I know you can use your powers of Dimensional Walking, moving through other planes of reality and appearing on a different part of the planet. However, there will be times when we will need to travel together conventionally. Perhaps one day, if I learn the right spells, we will be able to avoid having to fly in an aeroplane and by-pass the utter tediousness of baggage check-ins, airport security and so on…” he muttered darkly.
“HUMANS CAN FLY!?!” I said in a loud strangled astonished voice.
The Magus chuckled with genuine amusement.
“Think back Meridiana. I said humanity has been to the moon and back. I said we can travel safely and comfortably in a machine, called an aircraft, across the planet. Some ‘planes are huge while others are not much bigger than the car. Oh, that reminds me, we will have to construct an identity for you. We will begin that process tomorrow. You are going to need a passport soon enough,” he said as he found a relatively unoccupied parking area west of the massive structures.
He saw my puzzled expression and mistook it for wondering why we had parked here.
“It’s free to park here and there are hardly any security cameras in the vicinity.”
I nodded dumbly.
“But of course Magus…”
He saw my expression as he switched off the engine. A tiny look of… sympathy appeared on his face. He spoke to me in a soft, calm, soothing tone,
“Take a breath Meridiana. Close your eyes and focus upon the stillness within the vehicle. You are safe here with me. Nothing will harm us. Just breathe and relax, let each breath calm you. With every breath you are at peace within yourself and the world around you.”
I did as he said and instantly sensed my whirling mind begin to centre itself, become still.
I may be an ancient and powerful demon dear reader, however I have been imprisoned for nigh on a thousand years and now have been released into a world that I was unable to recognise at all.
The Magus later told me I was suffering from a psychological malady called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Yes dear reader, even us demons can get mentally fucked up. I mean, compared to the average human, we’re all demented, tormented psychopaths which explains a lot about ourselves but still… even a psychopath can suffer from mental trauma. Demons can go insane.
I breathed rhythmically, each exhaling breath calming me. With one final exhalation, I opened my eyes, turned to my Magus and softly smiled at him.
“Thank you,” was all I said. I meant it.
He nodded briefly, his intensely burning eyes boring into mine, deeply searching, looking for signs of any madness that may still be lingering within. Well, there’s always the hunger for sex and mayhem, but that’s natural for me.
“Come on, you look fine now, let’s go,” he said as he got out of the car.
I followed his example, releasing my seat belt and stepping out of the car. Closing the car door behind me, walked over to the Magus then I threaded my right arm around his left as we walked off like a normal couple, casually strolling through the car park towards the casino and hotel.
I could hear the noise of all the adjacent traffic all still travelling busily along the massive road that went past the enormous complex. There was the calls of various birds I’d never heard before, the waft of scented flowering plants and the heavy aroma of moisture in the air from the nearby river. I closed my eyes for a second just to let it all wash over me as I sedately walked along with my Magus.
Soon we came to the entrance. Huge dark glass doors magically opened for us upon our arrival. To my right I could see various coloured signage, advertising the types of ‘fast food’ eateries that people could choose to dine at. They were all brightly lit and mostly clean.
It was at that moment I saw my first wretch.
A dishevelled, unkempt, shabby man sat listless outside the fast food eateries upon the low stone wall that contained a small, well-kept garden. He looked up at us as we approached, his eyes full of misery and despair.
“Got any spare change?”
“Sorry mate, no one carries cash anymore,” lied my Magus to him with a conciliatory voice, a sad but brief compassionate smile appeared briefly on his face.
The wretched man’s face became even more resigned. He nodded back in understanding, returning his fallen face back to morosely contemplating the ground at his feet.
We kept walking, leaving the broken man behind us.
I was about to congratulate the Magus in his treatment of the beggar when I had to stop as I was confronted by an incredible sight.
Before us, in the huge well-lit lobby of the building, was a huge pair of MOVING METAL STAIRCASES!
One staircase ascended while another came down from the landing some 50 feet above us. On either side were normal, marble clad stairs that some people were using. Yet many other people were on the moving metal stairs, all just taking the experience of being raised or lowered completely for granted.
“It’s just an escalator Meridiana. A simple machine that makes life a little more comfortable. Take it, go for a ride. I’m taking the stairs as I need the incidental exercise,” he said to me as he pried my clutching hands from his arm. I had been unconsciously gripping him tightly in my amazement at seeing such a machine.
The Magus walked off to the left, climbing the steps briskly while I gingerly walked forwards, watching the metal stairs endless appear and ascend upwards. The hand rail also moved in synchronicity with the metal stairs. I observed as a pair of young women, chatting intently to each other, walked past me and up to stand upon a metal stair which was part of dozens of metal stairs it seemed. I saw them be lifted by the moving stairs, rising above and away from me.
Summoning my courage, I stepped forwards onto a moving stair, wobbled slightly as I was not used to the speed which it moved, making me grab the moving banister tightly to steady myself as I rode my way upwards. I let out a small laugh as it was such a novel experience. The young women in front of me turned around at my laugh, raising their eyebrows at me as well as actually truly seeing me for the first time. Their smiles faded as I grinned back at them.
The young women could see my infinitely superior beauty on full display. They looked hesitant, now uncertain of themselves as they mistakenly believed themselves to be beautiful. They were, passible, not ugly but not worthy of a harem to be perfectly honest. I later learned dear reader that many foolish young women, especially in what you call the western world, regard themselves as queens, rating themselves ten out of ten on a scale of dazzling good looks. These sad women are delusional. I mean, if they were that beautiful, why weren’t their faces on the covers of the glossy magazines I see in various ‘supermarket’ check outs? No matter, vanity and hubris are all ways to damnation and misery. So many people sending themselves to eternal torment simply because they were raised by idiotic parents who never properly taught their children the need for humility. It’s all win-win for the pits you know…
My Magus met me at the top of the stairs, holding out his hand to me and then leading me through the vast interior of the complex.
“That’s the casino,” he indicated to our right.
Looking, I could see dozens of people making their way inside into the brightly lit and noisy interior of the casino. I caught the whiff of desperation, despair, avarice, lust, elation and a strong aroma of human urine. I wrinkled my nose in disgust. Yes, even I have some standards dear reader.
“Magus, why does it reek of piss?” I asked as we strolled by and proceeded into the most immense, glass covered atrium I have ever seen.
“Oh, you can smell that?” He looked intrigued.
I nodded with a mild look of disgust.
“Hah… interesting. Well… some gamblers get stuck on a poker machine. They sit there for hours, desperately hoping that the machine they are playing on will pay out. The poor fools stupidly believe that if they play at the machine long enough, they’ll win big. So they stay seated, ignoring the need to relieve their bodily urges, to the extent that they prefer to piss themselves rather than abandon the machine that is draining away their money. The poor fools are incapable of understanding that the machine is designed to rarely pay out. Every time they play, it has a simple algorithm that calculates the chance of a payout. Most machines will payout a small amount of money occasionally, thus keeping the gambler hooked in the mistaken belief that the big one is just around the corner. It rarely, if ever, is.”
I stopped, stunned at what I just heard. The Magus stopped and looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
“That’s… diabolically genius!” I stuttered as I considered the fiendish brilliance of the whole concept.
Someone had made hell on earth not only possible but also could make a fortune from it as well as breaking people’s souls and spirits in the process! The concept of dangling hope in front of a damned soul, then snatching it away was one of the oldest known tortures of hell. This was a magnificent, a culmination of the perfection of thousands upon thousands of years of the torture, all neatly packaged in a fairly simple machine designed to beggar it’s user and turn them into slaves to it. Gobsmacking was the only word I could think off that fully encapsulated the way I felt at that moment.
“Yes it is, isn’t it? I have always suspected that those machines were most likely invented by a demon. It makes perfect sense,” he said as he shrugged, then tilted his head, indicating we should proceed onwards.
I noddled dumbly as again, I had been totally overwhelmed by the latest piece of information the Magus informed of. I barely registered the hundreds of people all wandering around the massive lobby of the hotel atrium. Many were dressed finely while others, mostly men, were dressed casually. My Magus was one of them, still wearing his novelty T-shirt and hemp pants. They were clean though and his shoes, a brand known as Babuuk, made him look somehow better dressed then the other men who were similarly attired. Maybe it was just his subtle aurora of power, his sheer confidence and his towering Will that made him stand out from the mouth breathers all around us? I guess it was.
We arrived at the entrance of the restaurant and the Magus was greeted by a short Asian woman, dressed neatly in the hotels livery.
I started to realise that there were people from so many different races of humanity all around us. I had come from a time where only what was left of the Eastern Roman Empire was this diverse, and even then it was but a shadow of the heyday of the full glory that was Rome. Here were people from almost all the lands of earth, all happily co-mingling, getting on with having dinner with family and friends. Very surprising indeed.
The Asian woman at the reception counter spoke to us with a friendly smile,
“Good evening sir, madam. A table for two for you then?” she asked politely, her voice tinged with a broad accent I had not heard before. She spoke English yet I could tell that wasn’t her first language.
“Yes please,” politely replied the Magus.
This was something I did not expect. Despite his and my obvious power, he was respectful and even kind to the servants. All of them. He didn’t condescend nor sneer down at the servants of the hotel. It is still something I have difficulty reconciling. I said nothing, just observed. Oh, he has since instructed me not to call them servants, they are members of staff and will be treated with respect until they show they do not deserve it, then they are fair game. I can live with that.
“Table seventy one is ready for you both, have a lovely evening.”
She actually meant it! I could see it in her eyes, she was truly enjoying her task. She was smiling and joking with her fellow staff members, politely greeting the next people behind us with her cheerful friendly demeanour.
In my prior experiences, servants and slaves were a miserable lot but then again, that was understandable. They had no choice as to their circumstances. They had to obey lest they suffer harsh punishment.
As we proceeded into the large dining room, with over a hundred tables of varying sizes, I could see off to my left where the food was.
I stopped again and stared dear reader.
I have been to banquets with Emperors and Kings, Popes and Princes, all sumptuous feasts but nothing was like what I saw before me. Dozens upon dozens of people had plates in their hands, all calmly wandering around the incredible cornucopia of varieties of food that were on display, all brightly lit up for them to simply help themselves to as much as their plate could hold.
Roasted meats, all neatly carved by expert chefs, freshly shucked oysters all seated in enormous silver ice-filled serving bowls, trays upon trays of cooked vegetables of kinds I had never seen before and… a dazzling array of sweet desserts and treats that made me almost go weak at the knees at the very sight of them.
“Come on Meridiana, you’re starting to drool,” whispered the Magus gently into my ear as he dabbed my wet lips with a soft piece of paper that he withdrew from his pants pockets.
Once again I nodded dumbly as I allowed him to escort me to our table. He even seated me, pushing me and my chair in one I had sat down. After he had taken his seat, a young man, quite a handsome one from the Indus I believed?... came over to us, again dressed in the livery of the hotel.
“Good evening, sir, madam. Would you care for something to drink?” he inquired ever so politely.
“And good evening to you sir. Yes indeed, may we please have a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, two glasses and a bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling water?” he asked with a real smile to the servant… no member of staff.
“Of course sir, I shall get that for you immediately,” replied the waiter with a pleased smile at being spoken to so politely.
“Thank you,” said the Magus then he turned to me and asked,
“Do you need a moment Meridiana? I understand this might trigger you again…”
I shook my head.
“No. It is overwhelming… but in a good way Magus. I have to ask, how can a place like this provide so many people with so much food? Even in the height of the Empire, there were magnificent feasts to be sure but… you say this happens everyday, that this is just a Tuesday and not a busy night?”
He nodded.
“This is the age of abundance Meridiana. Many of us, who live in what is known as The West, have dwelt in an age of such wealth and richness that almost all here never think on their incredible luck and privilege to live in such times. They do not know that it will come to an end. Maybe that is a small mercy. All golden ages end as you well know. So I say, let them dwell in ignorant bliss for now. We can enjoy it while it lasts.”
“Huh? Why do you believe that your golden age will end Magus?”
“It’s a long explanation and one I do not wish to go into detail here and now Meridiana but later, I will share my thoughts with you on this. Ahh, here comes our champagne.”
The waiter and another staff member had returned, with one carrying two bottles while the other had a metal bucket partially filled with ice. The waiter from the Indus placed both bottles on our table, displayed the label to the Magus who briefly nodded. Then, the waiter removed the cork from the bottle with an adroit twist of his wrist. It made a pleasing pop and I could see a little haze of cold… smoke? lightly emanate from the neck of the bottle. He poured the brightly bubbling and fizzing wine into both our glasses, carefully making sure the foam did not overflow them. He was very good at his task.
“Thank you good sir,” said my Magus to the waiter who beamed back at him with a happy smile. He placed the bottle into the bucket of ice and withdrew, leaving us alone, amidst the crowed dinning room.
The Magus took up his glass, holding it in front of him. I mirrored him.
“Here’s to a good dinner with interesting company and later, ripping the shit out of a casino Meridiana.” He pushed his glass gently forwards, lightly clinking it against mine. I wasn’t familiar at the time with that form of salute and toast but went with it anyway, after all… when in Rome as they used to say.
“That sounds… delightful Magus. I am eager for it all.”
I then took a sip of my champagne and was transported into a realm of heavenly bliss.
It was exquisite.
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