Grouplove tongue tied lyrics
Read Charming You - Chapter 60 - MangaPuma
2023.06.10 03:52 LoveMangaBuddy Read Charming You - Chapter 60 - MangaPuma
Jimin’s new goal in life is to get her hands on her crush’s underwear, but not for the reason you might think! She has been advised by her fortune teller that she’ll have a chance with him if she manages to stick a charm on his underwear. But how’s she supposed to do that when even just looking at him makes her tongue-tied? Luckily, Jimin has a plan, but will things go the way she wants, or will s ... Read Charming You - Chapter 60 - MangaPuma. Read more at https://mangapuma.com/charming-you/chapter-60
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2023.06.10 03:08 ifuccedgod The Cost of Art
I long to sever my ties with all needles and vice
whilst wondering if I’ve over-idealized
keeping my eyes on the prize.
I’ve pondered the absurdity of the life that I’ve realized
and drawn the only true conclusion
that the immeasurable, fucked up daily confusion
is only here to watch me write poems
in which time flows with lyrical prose,
while the ideological conveyal of tone is just too on the nose.
I’ve captured flowers in frame
and painted over and over again
trying to capture a the beauty of
the raging cold rapids I’ve learned to appreciate.
In the depths of heart, I seek inspiration's spark,
Transforming pain to art, scars become my ink,
Through creation, my soul finds its link.
So I'll write a song, to decorate
a four-minute block of time
where the world can hear me cry
about how I'd be able to fly
if I could just get it through my head
that art will quickly manifest instead,
a timeline in which I end up dead.
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2023.06.10 02:32 ReadyForTheFall0217 Looking for tattoo suggestions.
I recently had to send my dog across the rainbow bridge. She was born in 2009, passed in 2023. The first time I attended a ritual was September 23rd. Due to the coincidental 9-23 dates, I would like to get a memorial tattoo with her paw print and a lyric from a Ghost song. I am completely open to suggestions from any Ghost song, but would like it to tie to remembering something or saying goodbye.
For example: "I'm with you always" from Darkness at the heart of my love
"Can you hear me say your name forever" from life eternal
"Nothing ever lasts forever" from Respite on the Spitalfields , just for some examples.
Thank you in advance!
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2023.06.10 02:28 alwayssstudying Would love some encouragement - baby is struggling to feed effectively
My LO is about to turn three weeks (already!) in two days, and we have had a bit of a rocky breastfeeding journey. He was born at 40+3 with no complications. I’m looking for some encouragement to keep going, and hopefully some success stories from others!
The background is we started off EBF but this caused a lot of nipple damage due to little man’s shallow latch, so I decided to start pumping and bottle feeding for a few days. We re-introduced the breast but with a nipple shield because of the nipple damage, and everything seemed to be going well. However, little man wasn’t putting on weight and was super unsettled. I was concerned about a tongue/lip tie but after an assessment with a LC we realised that he was a fantastic suckler, but was hardly swallowing - just letting most of the milk sit there and only swallowing after 6, 7, sometimes 10 sucks (with or without shield). Basically, little man is having trouble efficiently draining my breasts and my supply may have been impacted as a result. Apart from this he is a breast enthusiast (lol) and has great rooting and latching instincts.
Our current plan (worked out with the LC) is to BF at every feeding and then top up with a little expressed breastmilk to keep his tummy full. Then, I am to pump after every feed to make sure my breasts are drained. Everyone around me (LC included) is being really supportive and telling me that everything will resolve with time, because as little man gets bigger and older he will improve his sucking and swallowing at the breast. I, however, am in the trenches and I’m struggling to see how this will get better.
Does anyone have any success stories of transitioning to EBF after a rocky start? Did anyone else’s baby struggle to feed in the beginning but got better at it? I just really need to hear that this can resolve! Love from a tired FTM.
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2023.06.10 01:04 Hedgehog_5150 Janissary: The Joy Ride Ch8
Credit to u/bluefishcake
for writing the original SSB story and building the sandbox for us to play in.
And a big thanks to the authors and their stories that inspired to get off my ass and put my fingers to keyboard. RandomTinkerer (City Slickers and Hayseeds), Punnynfunny (Denied Operations), CompassWithHat (Top Lasgun), Rhion-618 (Just One Drop), UncleCieling(Going Native), RobotStatic (Far Away), Kazevenikov (The Cryptid Chronicle), Also to the editor # Fan Beta Readers and KLiCkonthat .
As always comments, complaints, and suggestions are welcome.
This is a fair use notice. Any and all aspects of this may be used on and within this subreddit only, with attribution. All other uses are exclusive to the author.
Nanorix took the news from the advocates in stride, better than Linda. They had spent the night mutually venting at the injustice of the situation while putting away bottles of gin. Max sounded almost broken by the news while Nora the optimist in the family, firmly held to the belief that things would work out. Rufus was, well, Rufus. Intuitively compassionate, which is why he was laying in the front seat of the truck with his head on Linda's lap as they drove up to Flagstaff.
Linda was trying to sleep off her hangover, her eyes closed but not asleep. Alila had been honest that the only reason Garquile was not tied up in this was that he had her direct protection as a territorial governess. Tommy did not have that level of security and without it, he was in more danger than Robert. From what Alila had said, elements in the Interior wanted Robert dead, other interested parties wanted him alive because of his potential. The situation was so bad the Planetary Governess had stepped in and ordered the house arrest of six high-ranking members of the Interior and let it be known that if anything happened to young Mr. Pierce they would die publicly.
Neither Alila nor the planetary governess knew why the Interior wanted Robert dead, she did. After she heard that the pod found the children and what was being done to them. Her lieutenant had completely lost it, she rounded everyone operating the orphanage and lined them against the wall, and had them shot. The Interior had come in and had done what they always did, cleaned up the mess, and protected those who were important and connected. Before the interior got there one of the girls found a large data server and they made copies. There were four full copies still on Earth and one that she knew was off-world, and she had one of them. It had been too dangerous to keep at home so she had setup a remote server that would once a week send out a heartbeat signal. There were major safety measures in place to prevent access.
She had managed to go to Flagstaff for brunch about once a month to establish a pattern of behavior. Those trips with Robert and sometimes Tommy had always been good, nothing special just good days. She and Linda would have brunch and she would trigger a download to her server buried under the barn. When they had spoken with Alila, Max, and Nora, Max had commented that if anybody could stack the deck and pull inside straight now was the time to do it. She did not tell Linda why they had to come, just that she needed to come up and check on something.
She and Linda had a quiet brunch on the patio of the restaurant to allow Rufus to join them. As they ate she triggered the data transfer. The data transfer would take at least thirty minutes to complete, so they would have a nice long brunch and talk about anything but the boys, she even took a couple of selfies of the two of them to cover what she was doing. Rufus camped out under the table but never relaxed, she was not sure if he sensed her unease or something else was going on that she could not see.
They stayed and chit-chatted until Linda finished her third cup of coffee. She did not want the third cup but they needed the extra time to let the data transfer complete, and by that time Linda's hangover had started to subside. The drive home was uneventful, but traffic was horrible due to the festival of colors going on, it was the 4th of July after all.
Ishani was tired and hungry but had little interest in eating. She and Ensign Tha'xur had been up half the night working to translate the new equations that Robert had created yesterday, with a new understanding of how the translation needed to work. Thoughts of Robert consumed her mind, and she had to fight the urge to look over and watch him, the singular human male. His name seemed to roll off her tongue, lingering from her dreams the previous night as she drifted off to sleep. Those dreams had been far from innocent, filled with exotic and seductive images of him, even in his baggy exercise clothing.
Returning her attention to her food, Ishani shifted uncomfortably. She would need to change her underclothes if she continued dwelling on him like this. Taking another bite of the fruit, nut, and sauce mixture, she tried to enjoy it, but it did little to distract her from watching him. He moved slowly, almost as if dancing, though she couldn't grasp the purpose behind his movements. Ensign Tha'xur's timely arrival saved her from making an obvious fool of herself by staring at a boy nearly two years her junior. It always felt like she was the only one looking.
Ensign Tha'xur sat down with a tray of food and jokingly said, "Ground control to Crewwoman Vevreix, are you awake?" Ishani returned her gaze to her food and responded, "Yes, ma'am, I am awake, just..." Before she could finish her sentence, Ensign Tha'xur interrupted, "Distracted?"
Signing without looking up and absentmindedly playing with her food, Ishani replied, "Yes, ma'am, horribly. It's just... he's just one boy. I have enough common sense to know that there is no way I should even consider... why couldn't he be old, wrinkled, and fat..."
Ensign Tha'xur completed Ishani's thought, saying, "Instead, he's young, fit, and I would even go as far as to say he's attractive in a very unmasculine way, with that wounded, sad boy aura."
Looking up, Ishani was taken aback and asked, "What do you mean 'you could call him attractive'? Are you blind? I mean, he may be a little short, but other than that, he is..." She trailed off, unable to find the right words.
Smiling and taking a bite of her burrito, Ensign Tha'xur replied, "He is desirable, and deep down, I believe you could take away all his pain and sadness... but please don't go there." Shifting into a serious tone, she continued, "I overheard Cmdr Norroe and Lt Cmdr Ashix talking about him the day we arrived. What caught my attention was Cmdr Norroe mentioning his thousand-yard stare that is measured in miles. There are significant parts of his life that we don't have access to because they've been redacted by the interior."
Ishani looked over at Robert, who appeared to have finished his morning workout and was heading towards the mobile kitchen. She murmured, "No one is ever so lost in the deepest of caves that they cannot be found by the beating of their heart. There is always hope and always a way out."
Ensign Tha'xur wiped her face clean of the red sauce that had dripped from her burrito and commented, "You, Crewwoman, are an optimist."
"With all due respect, ma'am, have you looked?" Ishani responded quizzically.
With a wry smile En. Tha'xur replied smoothly "I am technically a married woman and my husband and kho wives are going to be here in three days. I am hoping that my leave request will be honored, we were supposed to go to Tel Aviv for 14 days." Frowning slightly with the last statement.
Ishani gave an understanding smile "Well, that explains why you are not interested. You know, if you want to get the time off then ask for help. What is the worst he can do to say no?"
En. Tha'xur almost laughed at that, "So what should I do ask him over here for you to ogle him and for me to get a chance to go on leave, I do not think he would like that, being that he is here under guard."
Ishani took another bite of her food, ‘alright girl put up or shut up’ she thought to herself, before standing. "Ma'am if you never ask for help you will never get any." This is not a good idea, turning to find Robert who was looking for an open table to eat at. "Robert, can you join us over here, please?" Blessed Nest mother, that sounded so bad she inwardly cringed.
Robert had gotten his food-laden tray and was looking for an empty place to sit. It felt a little weird not having a personal shadow always with him. The petty officers had told him last night that he would be given some space and an opportunity to interact with the people here. "Go out, mingle, talk to people, that's a winning idea," he thought sarcastically. Yup, everything was normal again. Alone in a room full of people and completely clueless about how to do the most basic of things, like talking to anybody.
Now, the people he could talk to were a problem. Being the only male and the only human, he received looks. The looks could be categorized into three groups: lust, curiosity, and pity. Dealing with lust was easy; he just chose not to care, and thankfully, they were discreet about it for now. Pity, on the other hand, infuriated him because most of the time, it was fake. Whenever someone expressed their sympathy for all the things he had been through, he wanted to scream. At best, it was a polite social convention, and at worst, it was a selfish and internalized burden of guilt that had nothing to do with him.
Just as he spotted an empty table at the far end, somebody called out his name. "Can you join us over here, please?" Shit, it was Ishani, the one person in the whole damned place who had a very unsettling effect on him. She was the only one here who scared the shit out of him. Taking a breath to collect himself, he acknowledged her with a nod and proceeded to join her and the Ensign at their table.
He noticed that when he acknowledged her, she just beamed and got all bubbly. That was the best word for it. Her glowing tattoos seemed to brighten for just a moment before she sat down, leaving him to wonder what those tattoos looked like on the rest of her body. He made it to the table and sat down on autopilot while his mind indulged in a little fantastical daydream, leaving him noticeably flushed and uncomfortable in ways that only men could be.
Setting his tray and bottle of maple syrup down on the table and taking a seat, Robert tried to say thank you, but neither Ishani nor the Ensign had their translators running.
En. Tha'xur noticed him stop trying to use hand speak and realized that they had just messed up a little. "I am sorry, that was rude of us," she said as she tried to get her translation app up and running. Meanwhile, Ishani was no help; she was head down in her food, blushing and trying very hard not to be noticed. "There, we're set."
Robert was relieved when En. Tha'xur got her translation app running, so he wouldn't have to stare at Ishani across the round table from him. He returned his attention to En. Tha'xur. "I was trying to say thank you for asking me to join you, and it's okay. You at least figured it out."
Ishani looked up from her half-eaten food when En. Tha'xur's translator started speaking. Fuck, she thought, this is so embarrassing. Inviting a boy to come over and eat with you only to ignore him when he gets here. Idiot. Turning to face him, her brain failed as she smiled stupidly and took another bite. "Hungry?"
En. Tha'xur couldn't help but cringe. The situation unfolding before she seemed straight out of a cliché "coming of age" story, where a girl meets a boy and the universe seems to pause just for them. It reminded her of the sentimental videos her older brother and his friends would tear up over. Poor Ishani, the other girls around her would roast her mercilessly, yet she remained oblivious to the fact that she was being watched. En. Tha'xur couldn't decide if it was cute or tragic. Determined to intervene and save Ishani from herself, she spoke up, "Robert, the reason Crewwoman Vevreix invited you over is that I need your help."
"Hungry?" Robert was caught off guard by Ishani's question. Did she even understand what she was doing? He found her confusing, and he just wanted to finish his meal quickly and GTFO. En. Tha'xur was speaking, but he had missed what she said. He decided to play dumb and replied, "OK."
En. Tha'xur thought to herself, "This is good." She then explained, "Well, my husband and my three kho wives are going to be arriving on Earth in three days. I had scheduled a 14-day leave, but then I received an emergency assignment here, and I don't know if they will honor my leave request."
Robert had managed to pay enough attention to understand that she needed a favor. He had two basic choices: give a hard no and explain that the advocates wouldn't allow him to help until they gave the go-ahead, or try to answer her questions. His best option was to listen and see if he could offer some hints. "I am quite restricted by what my advocates have told me to do, but I will try to point you in the right direction."
Finally, Ishani managed to gather her thoughts and interjected, "See, I told you, all you need to do is ask."
En. Tha'xur rolled her eyes, silently expressing her frustration towards Ishani. She replied, "Thank you, can you help?"
Talking with his mouth full wasn't polite and attempting to gesture while eating proved to be a challenge. Robert sighed as he reluctantly set down his fork, his stomach growling in protest. "Yes, I will genuinely help you. And if you're wondering why," Robert paused, trying to understand his willingness to assist, "it's because you asked. Now, the big question is, do you even know what you want to ask?"
Ishani eagerly jumped in, unknowingly giving En. Tha'xur some time to formulate a proper question to ask. "Okay, if I can ask one too, please?"
Robert held up one finger as he obeyed the demands of his stomach and shoved a load of runny fried eggs and hash browns in his mouth. "Sure, since you saved me from eating alone." Robert swallowed hard after he finished speaking, realizing he had just unintentionally flirted with her. Thinking inwardly, "Shut up, dumb ass. You are going to get yourself in trouble."
Ishani sputtered like Joe Pesci for just a couple of seconds before getting to her real question. "Ok, ok, ok, ok." Pointing to the work area where the Charger was, she asked, "Why is the car so important? Why did you build it?"
Robert shoveled another load of eggs and hash browns into his mouth. "Why would a human boy on Earth, living in North America, want to build a fast car and one that could fly?" Pausing to inhale the bite of his eggs and hash browns, he continued, "Because it was fun, and it would have been cool to have a hotrod and be the only one to fly. Well, that would be a show-off, a little, and to have a shitload of fun flying around in it."
En. Tha'xur cluelessly responded, "What is a 'hotrod,' and why would a flying car be 'cool'? I guess that means good?"
Robert had to roll his head back before responding, to the idea of attempting to explain custom car and motorcycle cultures. "Humans like to personalize cars and other things as expressions of their personalities and rolling pieces of art in some cases. For a human boy to be able to build a car and go fast is a dream. Hotrods are the result of those builds."
Taking another break to move the French toast in front of him and pour on the maple syrup, he continued, "Back to the first part of your question, 'Why is it important?' Other than a personal attachment to the memories connected to it... it is not, in the grand scheme of things, it was a mistake. A very valuable mistake, it disproved one of my approaches to a bigger challenge."
En. Tha'xur and Crewwoman Vevreix just looked at each other and mouthed the same words, "It was a fucking mistake!!"
Robert tried to hide his smug satisfaction. Nobody ever considered just how much of his work was critical and applied to his big challenge. Ishani looked at Robert as he dug into his French toast. "If that was a mistake, what is the prize?" Robert just smiled and shrugged in response to the question. En. Tha'xur sat dejected, "Well, that did answer one of the big questions. The car is a stepping stone to the bigger thing."
Watching the Ensign sit dejected and look a little lost made Robert feel like a little shit. Flipping the bird to the bureaucratic machine that was the Imperium always felt like a "fuck yes," but trolling a person was different. She had asked him for help, and he had used it to be petty and spiteful. "You don't need to ask right now, and if you loan me your data slate, I will give you a couple of hints," he said, reaching out for the device.
En. Tha'xur handed over the data slate wordlessly. Robert opened a new document and wrote:
"If you have 'The Right Stuff,' you can connect the dots."
"Space-Time Gravity is not the same as Gravity Space-Time."
When he finished, he handed the data slate back to the ensign and returned to his food. En. Tha'xur picked up the data slate, read the hints, and found the first line to be of no use other than some devotional wisdom that would be preached in a temple. However, the second line held interesting possibilities. Grabbing the data slate, Ishani quickly scanned the text and handed it back to En. Tha'xur. "Thank you, I think we can work with this," she said. Turning to En. Tha'xur, she added, "Ma'am, I think we need to work in conference room 2 today. It has the other digital whiteboard, and I think we need the space."
En. Tha'xur picked up the data slate and looked right at Robert. "I don't get the first one. The second one could be applied in a dozen or more places."
Finishing his first piece of French toast, Robert tried to remember the order of the equations to point her in the right direction. "Show me my work from last night, and I will show you the one to work against. Don't try to finish it, just try to understand it."
En. Tha'xur handed the translated copy of Robert's work back to him, and he looked at it with a mixture of fascination and difficulty. It was strange to see his work presented so neatly, but it was also challenging to read. He had to mentally retranslate it to the original version he had written. Working through the problem brought his headache back in full force, making the surroundings too bright and diminishing his appetite. Robert tried to hide his discomfort, squinting his eyes and taking deep breaths.
Concerned, Ishani noticed his strained expression and asked, "Are you alright? You don't look well."
With a weak smile, Robert replied, "I shouldn't have done that. I usually take a couple of days off after my little flying trips. It's like working out too hard and feeling extremely sore the next day, then trying to work out again. Not fun."
En. Tha'xur felt uneasy knowing that Robert was enduring pain to help her. She thought of her father and how he would be disappointed in her. "Are you sure you don't need a doctor?" she asked, genuinely concerned.
"I'll be fine, I just need some sleep," Robert reassured them, pushing his plate of food away. "If either of you wants to finish this, go for it. At the very least, don't waste the bacon."
Ishani reached for the plate and admitted, "I've heard about bacon, but I'm a little afraid to try new foods. I don't want to be disappointed."
En. Tha'xur reached for a piece of bacon, saying, "I love bacon. I'll even taste-test it to make sure it's okay." She smiled at Ishani and took a bite.
Robert observed as En. Tha'xur's eyes widened in shock. Oops, he remembered that he had coated the bacon in maple syrup. However, she didn't spit it out, which was a good sign. His mom loved crispy bacon dipped in maple syrup. Sometimes, she would devour an entire package of bacon if there was maple syrup in the house, and then she would try to conceal the fact that a pound of bacon had disappeared. She would even do her dishes, a chore that was usually Robert's.
En. Tha'xur bit into the bacon, expecting a salty taste but experiencing the combination of sweet and salty. The flavor was incredible. She paused to savor the taste before chewing again. "You have to try this!" she exclaimed.
Ishani, with anticipation in her eyes, sniffed the remaining piece of bacon. "Here goes nothing." She cherished this moment, as it was the closest she had come to tasting her nest mother's nectar. Grabbing the plate, she declared, "I'm finishing this!" and devoured the last piece of French toast without bothering with utensils.
Despite his throbbing headache, Robert couldn't help but smile as he rose from the table. "Enjoy. I need some sleep."
Tommy had to roll his eyes at Valenlina's latest attempt to "improve" his wardrobe with a purple satin shirt with a matching sea green scarf. No matter how many times Valenlina tried to have Tommy dress like a proper male, Tommy always simply said no. Early on in the dating, Valenlina had gotten so frustrated that she also broke up with him, not that she ever told him. Her father and kho mother Tearhart had stepped in and explained that she could not make a human be like a Shil. The Imperium still tried, and the Humans resisted more. There were several semi-celebrities on the data-net that advised Shil’vai women on dating human males and females. The most common rule for dating a human male is not to try and change them to be acceptable in your circle because they will resent you for it. You have attracted a human male for a reason, embrace it.
Their walk through downtown Prescott was a moment the Tommy did not have to think about the meeting tomorrow. Early this morning he and his mother had gotten almost an hour of one on one time with Advocate Roskin and she was able to explain in greater detail what was expected of him tomorrow and how things could go right or wrong. Withholding information was one of the worse things he could do. After the meeting, Valenlina noticed the additional stress in Tommy. It was so bad that physical affection had no effect. There was only one thing other than sex that could distraction, window shopping.
Their window shopping trip started as a serious attempt to make him presentable in Shil’vati society, ow her attempts to help him look more presentable were just something they did to have fun. In many ways, it was closer to foreplay now, as Tommy now attempts to have Valenlina dress like a human girl. Tommy did have one big win, a pair of 4-inch-high heels, he had said they improved the view coming and going. Her big win last year was a shirt and tie set for his tailored charcoal suit, he was finally willing to wear formal attire with a splash color.
Valenlina could see her best effort to pull Tommy out of what his mother called a 'funk' were not working. He was still not willing to talk to her about it, she could understand that he was pissed but his silence bothered her. While he had not pushed her away, he still felt distant. Last year's fireworks had been the warmup act for what had followed. She could never look at Mr. Scott's old Ford pickup without blushing just a little bit.
Tommy smiled with a wicked little smile, "Thinking dirty thoughts again I see." he said holding up a pair of women's cowboy boots in hot pink.
Playfully Valenlina put on her pouty face, "What would you wear with them?"
Taking his turn to think dirty thoughts and hoping to see her turn dark blue Tommy put on his most innocent face, "First this is a girl's color, and they would be for you, but what would I wear if you wanted me to try them on? Nothing?" Emphasizing the last word.
With a facade of indignation, "Why Mr. Sandoval, are you implying that the Governess's daughter would be involved in anything so uncouth as to make a respectable male present himself for inspection with only what the Goddess endowed him with?"
Tommy returned the boots to the display and stepped forward to steal a kiss."My Dear Miss Seskie, you know dammed well that you would take full advantage of that situation."
Returning the kiss, Valenlina smiled. "Yes, Mr. Sandoval I would." She bent down to whisper into his ear. "I think we both need to cool off or we will never make it to the fireworks show."
Tommy took her by the hand." Looks like I'll have to settle for mint chocolate chip ice cream."
Valenlina put on a hurt expression. "You are so cruel."
They left the window shopping and continued walking back to the courthouse square. The roads around the court were closed for three days for Frontier Days and the Festive of Colors. This opened the court square up for a giant art show and sales venue. This was the change for local artisans to show off their wares in the hopes of making one or selling to a noble patron and then getting follow-up commission work. The north side of the courthouse was dedicated to custom motorcycles and the east side was for classic custom cars. The west side, known as "Whiskey Row" is where the food vendors and their destination Jacksons Ice Cream was set up right in front of the Palace Restaurant and Saloon.
Turning the corner to walk up Whiskey Row Tommy could not help but feel he was being watched. Tommy had to keep Valenlina from heading off to go look at this or that. He had to remind her, that ice cream was first or he would have to give her a spanking. Valenlina would always retort with, "Promises, promises".
When they were getting their ice cream Valenlina nudged Tommy and told him to look across the street. Standing in front of a face painting booth was a short portly balding human male with a puggy round face. He wearing a well-made black suit, the only thing missing from the 1930s gangster getup was a fedora hat.
Taking their ice cream and heading off to a wood sculptor's booth Tommy kicked himself mentally for not seeing him earlier, he was the only person wearing a business suit. He should have stood out like a sore thumb, but he just seemed to blend in. The booth was impressive, boasting several pieces commissioned by various members of the nobility. Tommy ate his ice cream and kept an eye on the gangster while Valenlina inspected the various pieces and got sticker shock.
Tommy tried to get Valenlina's attention when the gangster entered the booth and proceeded to the cane rack. By the time Valenlina noticed, the gangster was already paying for the cane he had selected.
When the gangster finished his transaction, he turned to Tommy and Valenlina." Well if it isn't the young man of the hour, Thomas Sandoval. It's a pleasure to meet you. As well as you, Miss Seskie."
Flustered, Tommy stuttered out, "Who the fuck are you? Have you been watching me?"
The man smiled, but it felt unnerving, maybe a little malicious, too., "My name is Mr. Rojo and I watch everybody. It's my calling, but I will admit that you and your brother have piqued my interest. I go through life watching the world go by, I enjoy the shifting mosaic of peoples' lives, and how they interconnect. For example, the car that you and your brother build was a 69 or 70 I could not tell with what is out on the news media.”
Tommy waited to tell this to go pound sand, but he need to talk and tell Mr. Rojo what even he needed, Tommy forgot Valenlina was listening as he spoke.” It is a 69, why is that important?”
The gangster slowly dropped part of his smile as he replied, ”It is not important, it is merely a curiosity just like why not use the Confederate battle flag and why the name Valkirey?”
Eagerly Tommy responded, “The Betsy Ross over the Stars and Bars, because it is more appropriate at this time and the Shil’vati Imperium has no idea what it means, instead of erasing human history maybe the Shil’vati could try learning from it.” almost quoting Sean Connery about goose stopping morons and burning books. “ Now for Valkire over General Lee, that is easy, Valkire’s are sexy and cool. and General Lee would get us in trouble, just like the Stars and Bars.”
The gangster's smile was completely gone, and his expression and tone had changed to serious but neutral almost professorial, “But I have a simple question for you, and I'd greatly appreciate it if you would give me an honest answer, Thomas what is gravity?"
Thomas could not stop himself and replied without hesitation. "Gravity is a higher dimensional construct. When projected from a higher dimension it appears to be a force, but to use it as a dimensional construct the space-time gravity interpretation must be inverted to be the first-dimensional construct so that space-time gravity becomes gravitational space-time with an indeterminate number of dimensional constructs between gravity and space."
The gangster looked surprised, while Valenlina looked utterly confused. "Is that your brother Robert's words or yours?"
Thomas hesitated only slightly before he replied. "Mostly Robert's, I can't dream up the shit he does but once he explains it, I can see it. He uses me as a sounding board." Tommy suddenly realized what he was saying. "Who the fuck are you?"
The gangster took Tommy's hand to shake it. "Mr. Sandoval, I told you I am a watcher and now I get to watch you. Have a glorious life Mr. Sandoval" nodding to Valenlina, "and you too, Miss Seskie."
Tommy watched as the gangster walked out of the booth noting that nobody noticed his passing.
Valenlina had been too engrossed in Mr. Rojo and Tommy's conversation to say or do anything, but now that Mr. Rojo was no longer there she angrily turned to face Tommy."Thomas, you have some explaining to do!"
Tommy would not realize until much later, that the gangster had placed the cane in his has as he left.
First: Janissary: The Joy Ride Ch1 : Sexyspacebabes (reddit.com)
Previous: Janissary: The Joy Ride Ch7 : Sexyspacebabes (reddit.com)
Extra: Janissary: The Son Of War : Sexyspacebabes (reddit.com) Janissary: Vision from Zy'Verila : Sexyspacebabes (reddit.com)
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2023.06.10 00:59 peeaches M(31) Odd urinary symptoms for the past 12-18mo. Prostatitis/UTI/Candida/Diabetes/Cancer/Microbiome? Full info in post.
Admittedly, I'm sure that I've waited way too long to bring this up with...anyone, but, here we are. I will try to be concise.
Male. 31 Years old. 5'8", 180-190lbs. Caucasian. Medications:
Vyvanse (50mg) AM + Adderall 10mgIR PM, for treatment of ADHD. Other drugs/addictions/vices:
Caffeine (typically in the form of caffeinated sparkling water beverages like Bubly/AHA and the occasional diet-soda, less frequently coffee and low-sugar energy drinks) and Nicotine (vapes, switched to electronic cigarettes from conventional in 2018 after smoking for 3 years) Diet:
Admittedly, not great. I eat a lot of take-out and fast food, albeit much less than I used to. I was ~250-260lbs in 2017 but was able to slowly and steadily lose weight. Have been stable in the 180s-190s for the past 2-2.5 years Recent Bloodwork:
- A1C: 5.2 (ref <5.7)
- CBC(Incl DIFF/PLT): All within reference range, aside from hemoglobin/hemocrit which were 17.2 (ref 13.2-17.1) and 50.6 (ref 38.5-50.0), respectively.
- Chem Panel: Everything within reference range, including Glucose 86 (fasted) and EGFR 91
- D25 Hydroxy: 32 (ref 30-100)
- Lipid panel: All within reference, Total Chol 136, HDL 41, Triglycerides 132, LDL 73
- TSH: 1.77 (ref 0.40-4.50)
Last summer (after my symptoms had already been around for a while) - Clear (herpes, HIV, Gonorrhea, Syphilis) I don't remember what it tested for in entirety, but I do recall trich not being one of the tested-for STIs as I couldn't afford the full panel at the time. Everything that was tested for came back negative. Symptoms:
Possibly unrelated symptoms:
- Frequent, urgent urination. There are times when I can't seem to make it more than even an hour without having to use the restroom. It's not as if I struggle to pee, and it comes out easily enough with an uninterrupted flow, but I feel like I have more capacity in my bladder than what comes out, despite the pressing "gotta go NOW" feeling. Usually it's still a good amount (I drink a lot of fluids) but there are times where it feels very urgent and I only end up peeing 4-8 ounces. This can happen this way a few more times before settling down, and it's not every time. I do drink a lot of fluids, and am often thirsty. At least some of this I attribute to my medication, but every now and then I'll go a few days without it and issues don't disappear though I haven't quantified if there's any difference or how much.
- Sediment(?) in urine. Often when I go to the bathroom, after peeing, I can visibly see what appears to be white particulates/crystals/powder floating on the top of the water. Also creates a wavy/shimmery shadow across the bottom of the bowl. There are virtually always bubbles, but the quantity/severity of the bubbles seems related to how hydrated I am. Sometimes they can cover nearly the entire surface of the bowl, sometimes it's just a few that hang around near the edge of the bowl. Two days ago, I urinated into a clear container in an attempt to see better if there was anything floating around in there, and there was what looked to be like stringy white/off white-colored mucous floating around and something that could pass as similar-colored tissue, more congealed. I have no idea what it is or how to test it, but I did take a video that I will try to link here when I get home along with a video of the sediment/reflections in toilet bowl
- Occasional discomfort in genital area. Notably the area at the base of the bottom of my penis where the scrotum connects to it, the loose skin area. I don't really know how to describe the discomfort, only that it often feels uncomfortable and I feel the need to move it around a lot as well as my scrotum. Almost feeling like I need to stretch things out. None of it is painful. I did have some minor pain/discomfort in my left testicle 12.26.22, but had gotten the covid booster vaccine on the 24th, was on vacation where my health insurance would not work, and that pain/discomfort subsided by the following day
- Ejaculation not like it used to be. I feel like my ejaculate is lower in volume than it used to be, but thickewhiter, and where it used to shoot out at least a few inches, now it mostly just dribbles out. Orgasms feel much stronger than the ejaculate would signify, if that makes any sense, like they feel very strong and forceful as if there should be a lot, but there just isn't
- Blockage feeling? Some of the discomfort almost feels like a restriction or blockage or something in my urethra, after looking into it it made me think like urethral stricture or something but it doesn't seem to affect my ability to urinate with a steady stream and sometimes the stream is strong, but I think that generic discomfort feeling I mentioned earlier ties into this as it is in that same area between the base of my penis and scrotum
- White coating on tongue. Sometimes worse than others, can scrape it off with tongue scraper and sometimes it will bleed, sometimes tongue looks better, I do try to brush my teeth at least once a day and do use mouthwash, My girlfriend says I snore quite a bit so I imagine it might be from dry mouth/snoring if its not attributable to anything else.
- Toenail Fungus. I've had this for many years, probably over a decade at this point. Mostly contained to my right foot, once went to podiatrist who said it was onychomycosis. Was supposed to get liver profile done to see if I could handle the oral medication for it and then just never did. Over the past year or two, it seems to have made its way to my left foot, albeit not to nearly the same degree and I'd say its mild on left foot.
- Skin issues. Not sure if keratosis pilaris or fungal acne, but affects mostly my upper arms/tricep side, shoulders, upper back, lower trunk, chest to mild degree, neck at the hairline, forehead, and a bit on my cheeks where facial hair grows. The uppeouter arms have been an issue for me since adolescence and has never gone away, though its severity has varied up and down a lot over the years, but it's always been there.
- Tiredness. I'm often quite fatigued, issue was worse before I began my adhd medication (ive taken them on-and-off since 2014) but I would say tiredness is often excessive, when not on meds I had a job where, without fail, I would fall asleep in every single department meeting or presentation and would frequently nod off at my desk, virtually daily. That is not an exaggeration, was there for two years and did not make it fully through a single meeting. Falling asleep at home while watching tv, or just getting home after work, returning from any activity, etc, just very sleepy. I am always groggy and tired in the morning almost regardless of how much or how good i've slept. There are outliers here and there but for the most part on days where I don't take my adhd medicine I am basically useless and only want to eat and nap all day and do nothing and will still be tired after all of it. Also a natural night owl it seems, regardless of whether I'm on or off my medication, but generally just more sleepy without them
- Syncope. Sometimes after a big stretch, which I do quite often, I will begin to feel very lightheaded and on the verge of losing consciousness. This seems to be a blood pressure issue and due to the autonomic nervous system, when I stand up my heart rate generally shoots up, and often after a stretch my blood pressure drops to where I'm on the verge of losing consciousness. I've only actually fainted from it a few times but have had this occasionally for years now. In 2020 I had been off my adhd meds for 5 months and wanted to re-start them but my resting heart rate was too high at my doctors office and he was concerned. Had a holter monitor, an echocardiogram, and a stress test done and all showed that my heart was healthy enough to handle the stimulant meds, and my resting HR is around 80, but my blood pressure is usually between normal and low. Holter showed a HR range of 50s-160s (without doing exercise), but response to stress test was fine and echo came back fine and when truly at rest heart behaves fine. Not sure if that relates to any of this stuff, but is something I do deal with generally so figured might as well throw it in.
I'm just not really sure what any of this means, and I'm a bit timid/shy and never really felt like I had the time or the comfort level to discuss all of this with my GP that I see every few months.
I just want to know what is wrong with me and feel overwhelmed.
Thank you in advance. Apologies for the profound wall of text, but figured I might as well try and include all of the information I have at my disposal right off the bat in case any of it is relevant.
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2023.06.10 00:35 GremlinBay I (18f) think a guy (26m) likes me
Hi, I don’t know what to do. I met this guy today at a business picnic. My mom invited me because she works for the sponsoring company, and free food is free food. So I go, and I notice that there’s a musician. I really like the guitar, and this guy was playing it. It sounded really good so I stood and listened. He was looking at me throughout the song. Eventually, I went and got my food. After eating, I stand by and listen again. He’s singing love songs. I can’t remember the names, but one was the “girl put your records on”, and another had lyrics like “there’s no warmth when she’s gone”. During this, he was looking at me and smiling. I sat down and we had a conversation, where I tell him I like rock music. He then plays a song that he says is slightly metal. “Tied to the Whipping Pole”, I think the name was.
I had to leave to watch my siblings swim, and I got his Facebook. I like messenger better than text. I shot him a text, but he hasn’t responded.
Here’s the thing: I overthink, and I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I can’t read people that well. So, please tell me if I’m thinking too much about this. Do you think he likes me?
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2023.06.10 00:25 BlueLagoonSloth I feel like you guys would love this - Paper Cut From The Orbit by Celestaphone
2023.06.09 23:52 MissBeckyBoo Explaining Blaine [Part 1]
Alrighty. There are so many people saying they hated or didn’t understand Blaine’s character, or the ways he changed over time, the horrible cheating stuff etc. And I get it - especially the cheating, it makes me angry to think about.
So, I have begun to write a bit of a character background for him, in an attempt to try and tie everything together and reconcile it all. It’s going to be massive, and will be posted in several chunks. Here is the first snippet, I guess:
Blaine Devon Anderson was an intelligent kid. Adults listened to him talk and were amazed at his perspective on the world. On his first day of school, he asked all his classmates and his teacher if they saw red the way he saw red. His teacher taught him about colour-blindness that day, but no one actually understood what he was asking. He tried to find words to describe every colour, but realised there was no way he could explain colours without using words that already had a shared meaning in the world. And by that logic, there was no way Blaine could ever communicate his experience in life to anyone else.
How could he explain what laughter, sadness, or confusion felt like to him, without using words people already had meaning attached to? Was he just expected to trust that everyone saw the same blue sky? Trust that joy and pain feel the same to everyone? Blaine realised he would never quite know what it’s like to see through other people’s eyes, and no one would ever know what it’s like to see through his.
This realisation made five-year-old Blaine desperately lonely. And he didn’t have the words to explain why.
The one thing that helped him was music. He found he could somehow express more feelings through three piano keys pressed over and over and over again than was ever possible through words. Music was the language of his soul, and it bypassed every limitation of the tongue. Music could translate his feelings to the outside world - he just needed friends who communicated the same way.
Unfortunately, not many people in his life were tuned into the language of music the way he was. And those few that were, didn’t seem to want to get to know Blaine. He wanted so desperately to believe that someone else out there would one day be not only able to comprehend the language of his soul, but be equally willing to bare their soul the same way.
[Part 2] - will link when ready
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2023.06.09 23:03 xtremexavier15 TSROTI 8 (pt 2)
The episode resumed on the giant octopus with its spiked tentacle held menacingly over the Maggots. It growled and reared the appendage back, prompting Geoff to quickly jump to the back with his teammates just before the front was slammed down upon, launching all four into the air.
They flew screaming across the lake, their shadows passing over the swimming Rats, and finally they crashed down onto the rocky beach of Wawanakwa. They groaned in pain, and Anne Maria was the first to lift her head and look around.
"Hey," she said, "we're in first place!"
"Rad," Geoff weakly groaned.
"The Maggots win," Chris called down from above, leaning out the open door of the helicopter, "and get these as a reward!"
He dropped down two objects, which Molly quickly caught – one was a compass, and the other fell open to reveal a map of the island. "A map and compass," the indie chick said flatly as her teammates looked at their reward.
"I'll keep those so I can navigate us better," Scarlett said, swiping the objects away from Molly.
"Weellll, look who just washed up!" Chris said, turning his attention to the edge of the water as the Rats finally swam ashore.
"I blame the octopus for leaving us like this," Sierra said.
"You can say that again," Scott responded.
"Put a sock in it!" Chris called down to them. "Now, the second part of today's challenge started off as a practical joke involving classic Total Drama competitor Amy. Buuuut, it's turned into more of a rescue mission," he said, pointing a remote down at the beach and pressing the button.
The shot cut to both teams on shore as they turned and looked at a television cart that had just been wheeled over by a long-haired white male intern. The screen cut from static to none other than Amy trapped inside what appeared to be a somewhat spacious wooden coffin. She woke up and bumped her head on the lid. "What? Where am I?" she asked, looking around in confusion. "I'm buried alive?!" she exclaimed and pounded on the low ceiling with her fist in a rather panicked fashion. "GET ME OUT OF HERE!"
"Burying someone alive is super dangerous," Trent scolded, "even by your standards."
"That's why we're using the buddy system," Chris told them. "And instead of letting last year's losers have all the fun, we brought in one of this year's duds!"
The cast's direction moved back to live feed of Amy as the sound of snoring was heard coming from within her prison. The camera zoomed out to show Katie curled up and asleep in the coffin with her.
"Katie! She's back!" DJ exclaimed excitedly. "What happened to her?"
"She ate a lot of Chef's buttolini," Chris explained as the focus cut back to the beach, "so she's gonna be out for a couple more minutes," he laughed.
"That is just messed up for you to do!" DJ scowled.
"Is it just me, or does Chris become more and more deranged with each passing season?" Sammy talked to the camera.
Chris carried on. "Maggots! You've got your compass and your map to the general vicinity of the chests at the other side of the island. First team to rescue the girls wins the challenge. Now go!"
Geoff, Molly, Anne Maria, and Scarlett ran off into the woods without another word, but as the Rats moved to follow, Chris landed his helicopter on the sand in front of them. "Uh-tu-tut-tut," he said, "not so fast. To the losers go the penalty belts. Chef," he turned to his grinning assistant, "lock 'em in!"
The cook stepped out of the pilot's seat and walked over to the five Rats, and the footage skipped ahead to him locking a metal belt around Trent's waist, with handcuffs attached to each side to keep his arms in place. The camera zoomed out and revealed that identical belts had already been locked onto his teammates.
"These things must weigh a hundred pounds!" Trent complained.
"120 pounds to be exact," Chris replied before slotting a metal detector onto his back.
"How is a metal detector supposed to help us find a chest?" Sierra asked in confusion.
"It's not," Chris smiled, taking out a red megaphone and shouting "Now GO! GO-GO-GO-GO-GO-GO!"
The Rats promptly ran off into the woods.
"We're behind the Maggots and disadvantaged, and I'm going to keep it that way," Scott grinned.
The camera moved to a nondescript patch of ground somewhere, a muffled pounding sound coming from below it. Amy was then heard grunting in annoyance, and the scene cut inside her chest as she frantically pulled out a cellphone. "Chris and his crummy show can just burn to the ground," she complained as she started dialing.
A ringing came over the phone, and the screen split down the middle to show Chris answering on the left. "Hello~?" he opened with an almost mocking singsong voice.
"You've gone too far," Amy said. "You can't just-"
She was interrupted by a loud snore coming from within the coffin.
"Was that you?" Chris asked.
"No it wasn't," Amy responded. "This girl's a heavy snorer, and it's driving me nuts."
Chris shrugged as he stowed his phone back in his pocket. "I'm sure she's fine," he said to himself.
The scene moved to the Maggots, the four of them arriving at the edge of what the camera soon panned over to show was a massive swamp with smelly, bubbling green water dotted with toxic waste barrels.
Immediately the four began to cough. "This smells like gym socks and skunks in one big burrito," Molly griped.
"According to the map, there's a path around the swamp," Scarlett said, looking at the map in her hands, "but it'll take too long, though."
"We'll just have to go through the stink," Geoff shrugged.
"As long as the Rats don't follow us, I'll go along with it," Anne Maria said before they ran into the swamp.
A large purple dragonfly landed atop a stump in another part of the swamp. A pale purple frog sitting on a lilypad nearby promptly shot its tongue out at the dragonfly, only to yelp as the insect caught the tongue in its mouth and bit down hard.
The camera panned to the left, showing the edge of the swamp again as the Toxic Rats arrived.
"Ugh," Sierra immediately complained, her face scrunched up in disgust. "That smell is disgusting!"
"Smells like home," Scott sighed happily.
"We have no other choice. We have to go through here," Trent said.
"Now you're speaking my language," Scott smiled before the two ran through the swamp.
DJ and Sierra were about to jump in, but were stopped by Sammy holding them. "Why did you stop us, Sammy?" Sierra asked.
"You may or may not believe me before, but I need to tell you to vote Scott off if we lose," Sammy begged.
"Why do you want Scott gone?" DJ wondered.
"I've been thinking about it, and I eventually realized that Scott's the one who framed Leshawna," Sammy said. "And I also realized he's the one who paralyzed me with the seagull."
"Why would Scott do that?" DJ asked curiously.
"I don't know, but he's probably trying to sabotage us and pick us off one by one," Sammy replied.
"Scott did try to leave during the trivia challenge," Sierra remembered.
"Are you sure you're telling the truth?" DJ asked the cheerleader. "I wasn't on this team to start with."
"If you don't believe me when I say he's throwing the challenges, then just help me vote him off," Sammy pleaded.
"To be fair, he's super obnoxious and rude," Sierra considered. "I'll definitely vote for him next."
"So will I," DJ agreed. "Mama always taught me to stay away from negative influences." The three jumped into the swamp when their conversation ended.
The camera lingered after they left, just long enough to catch the the dragonfly from earlier buzzing out of the swamp still carrying the frog by its tongue.
The scene moved back to the Maggots, Molly and Geoff trailing behind their teammates.
"I say we dispose of Molly should we lose this round," Scarlett said to Anne Maria. "She's not the most supportive player here, and I know you don't want to separate from Geoff."
"Well, Molly hasn't left us behind again, and I'm not going to hold that over her," Anne Maria said, looking back at her map...and unwittingly walking up onto something rough and green and scaly.
She was cut off by an ominous growling below her, and looked down and ahead just as the small, beady eyes of an alligator rose above the surface of the swamp.
The mutant beast promptly reared up, revealing its long tusks, spines, and tentacle-like forelimbs and tossing both Anne Maria and the map into the water. She and Scarlett quickly went back and regrouped with Geoff and Molly, and all four screamed and ran forward just before the mutant alligator pounced onto the spot they'd just been standing in.
"We can hide in that tree!" Molly exclaimed, the camera following to a large tree in the swamp ahead of them. The four quickly ran over to it, Molly giving Scarlett a boost into it before scrambling into the branches herself.
"It's coming back!" Scarlett told them as Geoff pulled Anne Maria up into the tree next. The tanned girl looked back over her shoulder and gasped in fear as the shot quickly cut to the massive mutant swimming towards them, then roaring and pouncing. Anne Maria was pulled up just in time and the alligator slammed head-first into the tree's protruding roots. The whole tree shook, but the camera panned up to show that the Maggots had managed to hang on.
"You're a lifesaver, Party Hat," Anne Maria told the boy who'd pulled her up.
Confessional: Anne Maria
Whenever we're together, Geoff tends to act cool or dumb around me," Anne Maria stated to the camera. "And who can blame him? Check me out. The tan, the hair. Look at me, I'm hot!"
"We better leave before that thing wakes up," Anne Maria said, the camera panning up from a shot of the stunned mutant alligator lying at the base of the tree.
"Good idea," Geoff told her before dropping back down into the water. His teammates joined him, and the shot quickly focused on Anne Maria as she pulled out the tattered remains of the map.
"The map's ripped," she spoke.
"That's not a big deal," Molly told her. "We still have our compass, so we'll know where we're going."
"And lucky for us, I kept a hold of the compass," Scarlett said as she held up the object.
"I let Anne Maria hold the map for us so if it got ripped, it'll give Molly a reason to try and convince Geoff to vote for me," Scarlett confessed. "Irresponsibility is a big factor as to why previous players got eliminated."
The static cut to the five Rats watching the alligator looking around from behind a tree.
"Okay," DJ said, "if we circle around a bit, we can avoid the alligator."
"I don't think we can avoid all of them," Sammy spoke nervously, drawing the team's attention behind the group to a pair of smaller, paler alligators that were swimming towards.
Sierra turned around and smiled confidently. "Don't worry, I'll take care of them," she said. "You guys go get that chest!"
"But-" Sammy said.
"Just go!" Sierra demanded, prompting her teammates to leave.
The two smaller alligators hissed menacingly while Sierra stood her ground and said "I'm not going out without a fight!" The two alligators pounced on her as she let out a scream.
"So which way do we go next?" Geoff asked his team.
Scarlett walked ahead a bit. "Moss grows on the northern side of trees and Chris said our goal is to the north, so we need to go that way," the brainiac pointed to the right.
The camera cut to the outskirts of a massive forest of thorn bushes. "We have to go through a thorn bush forest?" Geoff asked in shock and horror.
"Of course not. We go through there," Scarlett pointed to a route closer to the camera and around the thorns.
The Maggots shared a look of wide-eyed shock. "Okay, that's better," Anne Maria nodded.
She, Scarlett, Molly, and Geoff quickly ran off to the right.
A flash took the scene to the edge of a clearing with the thick thorn bush forest visible a little ways in the background. The Maggots arrived from the left, and immediately looked around.
"This clearing is just like the one on the map," Anne Maria said as the group moved further into the clearing and started digging.
The Rats were shown arriving later. "The Rats are already digging!" Scott complained.
"And where's Sierra?" Trent asked.
As if of cue, the obsessive uberfan -now sporting a black eye and tattered attire - arrived. "I told you I could fend them off," she woozily bragged. "They gave up after I lost most of my blood." She then passed out and fell near a rock that caused her metal detector to go off. DJ smiled and kicked the rock away to reveal a ring with two keys.
"Two keys?" DJ mused. "The small one must be for the cuffs!"
The footage skipped ahead to an unlocked penalty belt falling around DJ's feet. The camera panned up to show him and Sammy examining the other key.
"This one must be for the treasure chest," DJ said.
"Hey guys, I can feel Amy pounding below me!" Scott lied to his team. "We must dig here!"
"Got it," Sammy nodded.
As Sammy and DJ used their metal detectors to dig through the dirt, and Sierra still looking passed out, Scott dragged Trent to a distance away from the team.
"If I tell you something, do you promise to keep it a secret?" Scott whispered.
"Of course. What is it?" Trent pondered, to which Scott took out the invincibility statue. "The invincibility statue?"
"I still can't believe I found it," Scott said. "I looked up a tree and the statue was hidden in the leaves."
"And why are you showing me the statue now?" Trent wondered.
"I just wanted you to trust me," Scott followed up. "Our teammates are obviously going to vote for me, and if I use this, it'll cancel out the votes against me."
"I'm not ready for you to leave yet," Trent smiled. "Thanks for letting me know you'll be safe."
The shot cut to the Maggots digging their hole with Scarlett poking her head out. "The Rats are here, so we need to hurry!" she called out. "How deep did Chris bury them?"
"You don't need to worry about that anymore, because we just found the chest!" Molly said as the lid swung open and Amy quickly hopped out.
"That was insufferable to go through!" Amy panted before walking away from the scene.
"And the Maggots win," Chris called down to them all as he arrived in the helicopter.
With the exception of Scott, the Rats gasped in disappointment while in their hole. "You said you heard them here!" Sammy told the devious boy.
DJ pulled himself out of the hole and ran over to where the Maggots were standing. "Don't worry, Katie! I'll get you out of there!"
He jumped into the Maggots' hole and held Katie in his arms. "Katie! Are you fine? Please wake up!" he told her.
Katie's eyes began to open up, and when she saw DJ holding her, she smiled joyfully. "DJ? Is that you?"
"If eating a lot of turkey makes me fall asleep and wake up into the arms of a really cute guy, I'm ordering 100 packs of turkey when I get home!" Katie confessed.
"Scott told me to vote off DJ with him so we wouldn't be dealing with a threat," Trent admitted. "I don't want to do this to a past and current teammate, but Scott does bring up a good point."
It was now night time, and after a brief focus on the moon accompanied by a hooting owl, the camera panned down to DJ and Katie sitting together on the steps of the Rats' cabin.
"Sorry you had to go through being buried underground like that," DJ talked to the perky influencer.
"Chris is very underhanded. I'll tell you that," Katie responded.
"I remember you telling me you liked me the day you got hurled out of the island," DJ smiled awkwardly.
"You do?!" Katie's eyebrows raised up.
"Yep, and I never got to respond to you about that," DJ said.
"Well, if you feel differently about what I-" Katie tried to say, but got cut off by DJ touching her lips with his own.
They kissed for a few seconds before they stopped, the two of them looking awkwardly happy.
"That was my way of saying I love you too," DJ said. "I'll have to talk to Mama about this, but once she approves, we can begin our relationship."
"Oh, definitely. I have to go now, but I want you to know I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines," Katie eagerly replied back before they hugged each other affectionately.
The scene flashed to a long-distance shot of the island. Another flash, and the camera cut to the campfire pit where the Rats - except for Sierra - were waiting nervously. Chris was in his oil drum podium bearing not a tray of marshmallows, but four slips of small, yellowed paper.
"Okay, players," Chris opened. "The votes are tallied. And by a tied vote, tonight's losers are none other than..."
"Wait," Trent interrupted. "Where are the marshmallows? And more importantly, where's Sierra."
"The marshmallows were eaten by a hungry me," Chris bragged, "and Sierra was deemed too injured and woozy from the alligator attack, so we had her evacuated from the game for good."
"Really?!" Sammy's eyes widened. "Aw. I hope she gets better soon."
"Regardless, I'm still carrying on with the ceremony," Chris continued and read from his slip. "The people with the same amount of votes are…"
Sammy looked at DJ nervously, and DJ took a look at Scott narrowing his eyes at them, to which Trent started feeling worried.
"DJ and Scott."
Trent gasped at the news while Scott looked taken back at first. The dirt farmer soon composed himself and said "Sorry. But I ain't going nowhere." Scott pulled out the statue and flipped it on his hand.
"What!?" Sammy yelped in surprise with DJ gaping as well.
"The invincibility statue! Nice! That means Scott is safe," Chris announced jovially. "This also means that the tiebreaker will be avoided, because tonight, thanks to Trent and Scott, DJ is going home!"
DJ was stunned to hear the news and looked down in disappointment.
"But... no hard feelings, dude. You will be missed," Chris reminded the eliminated contestant.
Trent stood up from his seat. "Sorry for eliminating you, but maybe a group hug can sort things out."
Scott and Sammy followed suit, and eventually, DJ, Sammy, Scott, and Trent were all embracing each other and hugging happily.
The scene cut to the docks, where DJ was on the Hurl of Shame as Chris and Chef watched on.
"Ready to fly, DJ?" Chris asked the gentle giant.
"The sooner I'm out of here, the sooner I can talk to Mama about Katie," DJ confirmed, and then, without warning, he was sent flying into the night with a scream.
The camera panned to Chris as he faced the camera with his usual smiling demeanor as the usual cymbal beats opened the series' capstone theme. "And that's another loser out of the game. Come back for even more painful awesomeness, next time, on Total! Drama! Revenge, of the Island!"
(Roll the Credits)
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2023.06.09 22:56 bigM337 My spouse wants a list of the issues that make my belief in the truth claims impossible
So I wrote this. Recycled ideas, but eventually all of this will be cited. It's basically my own CES Letter. The formatting is weird because this is coming over from Notion.
I had to write this out to start my own deconstruction anyway, but giving it to my spouse will be interesting. Read it if you want. Critique it if you want. I just had to get this out into the universe.
Disavowed teachings and behavior of former prophets and leaders.
- The concept that the Church can lie to you
- Rather than being told the entire truth about Joseph Smith’s death, we are told that he is innocent of any crime and that he went to deliver himself up. The truth of the matter is, Joseph Smith was in jail for destroying the property of William Law, who was creating a newspaper called the Nauvoo Expositor. He ordered the printing press be destroyed and violated the first amendment, as well as destroying another’s property. The newspaper exposed polygamy and many of the other immoralities of the Church. On the surface, this lie doesn’t seem egregious, but D&C 135 section mentions that Joseph was a martyr for the religion, and I was always taught this. However, he didn’t deliver himself up to be killed and it wasn’t because he was a “mormon”; it was because he broke the law and had angered a mob. All of this was a direct result of him practicing polygamy and yielding so much power.
- The method of translating the Book of Mormon was largely misrepresented to me as a youth, missionary, and young adult. I was always taught, whether through art or articles, that Joseph used the Gold Plates to translate the Book of Mormon.
- However, upon widespread discovery of further quotes and scrutiny, in 2014 the Church admitted that the translation was done through a rock and a hat. This is justified by quoting the Book of Mormon where it talks about bringing forth a stone to shine forth in the darkness. (Alma 37:23-24). The methods of translation accounts differ from each other. Martin Harris saying they were done by sitting across the table. Oliver Cowdery saying it was done by the urim and thummim or two stones and spectacles. To be clear, I am okay with some ambiguity surrounding the translation, or it being by the power of God. What I’m not okay with is the church deceiving how it was done until the internet era forced them to release the Gospel Topic Essays on this subject.
- The implementation of polygamy. a. Left ambiguous for a reason. How Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, Heber C. Kimball and many other high ranking church members took many wives including teenage wives. The church’s essay on this topic refers to Helen Mar Kimball, a 14 year old, as “several months before her 15th birthday.” In fact, they even say that Helen said it was for “eternity alone” but that is an out of context poem from Helen’s journal. There is no proof of sexual relations, but there are proof in many other relatoinships, including Fanny Alger, Joseph’s first “wife” that Oliver Cowdery called a filthy affair. He was excommunicated partly due to that statement. b. Joseph Smith wrote a letter to 19-year old Nancy Rigdon propositioning her to marry him after she denied his appeal in 1842. This letter is quoted in General Conference many times over the years, “Happiness is the object and design of our existence, and will be the end thereof if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.” He then goes on to tell her that we cannot obey the commandments if we don’t know them and what seems wrong, can actually be right in certain circumstances. He quotes the times God has contradicted Himself in the scriptures. This letter is gross. Note that it comes right before the plural marriage revelation D&C 132. c. Joseph claimed that an angel with a drawn sword made him marry Zina Huntington Jacobs, despite her engagement to Henry Jacobs. He sent Henry on missions. She did stay faithful and was eventually sealed to Brigham Young, who also subsequently sent Henry Jacobs on missions. d. This doesn’t even take into account the actions of preceeding prophets who were married to dozens of women, sealed to hundreds, and many of them were underage. Wilford Woodruff for instance sealed himself to a 6 year old girl who had passed away, inexplicably. Maybe he didn’t know? Maybe he did? Who knows.
- D&C 132- Joseph Smith was sealed to over 20 wives before being sealed to Emma. He denied being polygamous publicly multiple times and the relief society (of which, Emma was president) wrote a letter condemning polygamy, while one of the presidency members was sealed to Joseph.
- Law of Sarah was violated before it was ever implemented
- Joseph performing a second marriage to the Whitney sisters after Emma approved it.
- Women must be virgins, while Joseph was married to other married women (at least 2).
- Abraham was not commanded by God to practice plural marriage, he was asked by Sarah to marry Hagoth because Sarah was barren.
- Additionally, Jacob condemns polygamy in the Book of Mormon but then God okays it in the D&C 132, both of them specifically citing the examples of Soloman and David.
- Plural marriage is the “new and everlasting covenant” implying that plural marriage in the celestial kingdom will be the new and everlasting covenant and required.
- 5. Historicity of the Book of Abraham There is an entire Gospel Topics Essay on this but the background is as follows. A guy named Michael Chandler shows up in Kirland with mummies and a bunch of scrolls. They were unearthed by Napoleon’s raiding of the Egyptian catacombs. Joseph believes that they are scrolls that contained writings of Abraham. He begins translation in 1835 and publishes it in May of 1842. The odds that these mummies, coming from a salesman who had a lot to gain, containing the written word of Abraham has always seemed really fortunate. In the Pearl of Great Price, the heading says they are penned by “the hand of Abraham” but according to scholars in and out of the church, they were written much later. “These fragments date to between the third century B.C.E. and the first century C.E., long after Abraham lived.” Not only is it not written by Abraham’s hand, it is also not anything to do with Abraham. In Joseph’s time, the Rosetta Stone had not been widely discovered. He began translating this book and now, experts know that these are standard funerary texts. The Facsimiles (pictures) have nothing to do with the sacrifice of Abraham. Everyone virtually agrees that what is on the remains of the scroll (most of which was lost in the Chicago fire but then recovered), is not what Joseph translated. This casts a large shadow of doubt on Joseph’s ability to translate. The Church is admitting that Joseph translated incorrectly. The only way to reconcile this is that Joseph used these scrolls to channel the Spirit to record what is in the Book of Abraham today. The doctrines in Abraham largely expand on the Genesis story but go deeper in doctrines about plurality of Gods and the creation of the universe and stars. Some of this goes against the Book of Mormon’s view of God. The Authenticity of the Book of Mormon
- This is arguably the largest domino that needs to stay in place. Here are a few quotes demonstrating the absolute necessity of the Book of Mormon being an authentic history of the peoples on this continent.
- “The Book of Mormon is God’s compelling witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ, the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith, and the absolute truth of this Church.” - Tad R. Callister
- “The Book of Mormon is the most important religious text to be revealed from God to man ‘since the writings of the New Testament were compiled nearly two millennia ago.’ Joseph Smith declared the Book of Mormon to be “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion.” It is the only book that the Lord Himself has testified to be true.” - President Nelson
- “I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this latter-day work—and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these, our times—until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it testifies…and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: “a stone of stumbling, … a rock of offence,” a barrier in the path of one who wishes not to believe in this work.” - Jeffrey R. Holland.
- "All that we have, all that we do hinge on the truth of that account of the boy Joseph Smith. If it is true, then everything that we have in this Church is true and is more precious and worth more than anything else on earth. If it is false, we are engaged in the greatest fraud that was ever perpetrated on earth.” - Gordon B Hinckley
- So with all that being said, this is my biggest stumbling block. I will begin with my own issues with the book that happened long before I was ever introduced to anything outside of approved Church material.
- The Sermon on the Mount given to the Nephites in 3 Nephi matches almost exactly to the one given in Matthew, with slight changes. He sets up a church similar to the one set up with Peter. But, the only issue is years later, Joseph Smith writes the JST and corrects different things in the Matthew version of the Sermon. But, if the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth, wouldn’t the writings have been exactly what the Savior meant?
- 2 Nephi 3 - Book of Mormon writes Joseph into the text relating a prophecy given to Joseph in Egypt, saying that a choice seer will be raised up and he will be named the Joseph after his father. 2 Nephi 3: 14-16
- There is a huge time lapse between Jarom and Omni to get us into Mosiah. 399 BC to 130 BC. The prophets basically write nothing and it seems like it’s just a transition to get to Mosiah.
- Ammon chopping off a ton of arms and all the people bring them to the king. The story of Ammon in general is crazy. The King is struck down for 3 days and his wife thinks he is dead. Then, Ammon converts this king who then goes and rescues Ammon’s brothers from another king.
- Other direct copies from the New Testament and Paul specifically found in the Book of Mormon. Moroni 7 is basically the same phrasing and concepts taught in 1 Corinthians 13. 2 Nephi 4:17 says “O wrteched man that I am” matches exactly to Romans 7:24.
- Alma the Younger’s story mirrors Paul the apostles history almost exactly. Both are destroying the church, get struck down by an Angel, go on to become amazing missionaries and even both appear before King’s and wicked people.
- The concepts taught in the Book of Mormon are basically christian. They are practicing Christianity as soon as middle of Mosiah, which is like 100BC. They are baptizing and confirming with the Holy Ghost. However, since Christ hadn’t fulfilled the law of Moses and they should’ve been practicing the Mosaic law. The book contains basically zero Mosaic and Hebrew traditions, which Lehi and his family would have been sharply familiar with. Instead, they practice Christianity before Jesus had even been born or practiced the Atonement.
- Joseph Smith almost never quotes from it. In fact, I’ve searched and searched and only found him reference it maybe once or twice. If this book is so important, shouldn’t it had been quoted from extensively. It doesn’t become a huge focus until basically the 1980s with Ezra Taft Benson started “flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon.” I’ve read Brigham Young’s entire Discourses of Brigham Young and he rarely mentions the Book of Mormon. While this proves very little, it just intensifies the idea to me that Joseph wrote it and did not consider it authentic scripture, even for himself.
- King Zedekiah Problem - The timeline of when Nephi left Jerusalem in the reign of King Zedekiah in preparation for the destruction of Jerusalem. But, King Nebuchednezzar had already invaded Judah twice by 599BC., two years prior to the Book of Mormon. He then Installed Zedekiah (formerly known as Mattaniah) as King of Jerusalem (2 Kings 24:11-18). So what does this mean?
- I will leave out the potential influences here because I do not think they are helpful nor likely to be true source material for the Book of Mormon. I think they are largely speculation and created just to create doubt without much validity or true sources. Do we know if Joseph accessed these works? Not really. But, it’s possible. There are a myriad of other problems with the Book of Mormon when examined scientifically, but that doesn’t really bother me so much. The church has an essay on DNA of Israelites not being in “Lamanite” or native american blood, despite many church leaders preaching that for years. It’s even included in the Book of Mormon title page until like 2006 or something. Additionally, Joseph Smith almost never quotes or teaches from the Book of Mormon. If it’s the most correct book of any on the earth, why is he not basing his sermons off these stories and scriptures?
- The Book of Mormon require that 3 key events from the Bible be literal events: a global flood in the times of Noah that covered the entire earth, Adam and Eve in the garden, and different languages occuring because God cursed people at the Tower of Babel.
- When I read the Book of Mormon, if I view it from a purely protestant view, it matches up doctrinally. In fact, it matches more purely with a presbyterian or methodist view of the atonement and doctrines (including the original trinitarian concepts taught in the Book before changes by Joseph Smith in 1837, eight years after the Book of Mormon was published and his first vision account that mentions God and Jesus being separate beings)
- The Charles Anthon Story is posed as a faith promoting story and prophecy fulfillment of Isaiah 29:11-12, where the learned wouldn’t be able to read a sealed book. So here’s the Church Narrative as found in JSH.
- Once i take off my believing member hat and look at this story objectively, it looks to me like complete and total BS. I am honestly insulted that this was taught and passed off to me as some amazing prophecy of Isaiah that was passed on to me.
- Brigham Young
- Adam-God theory was taught in the temple and considered straight doctrine by the “prophet” Brigham Young.
- Blood Atonement was also taught in the early Utah days
- Brigham taught that no man can receive the highest exaltation without taking on extra wives.
- Brigham young definitely was in approval (either before or after) of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, which is the slaughtering of innocent immigrants heading west. They luckily spared the smallest children and raised them Mormon. He scapegoated John D Lee who suffered the death penalty, despite being rewarded with “wives” by Brigham Young prior to that. Hmmmm
- Blacks and the Priesthood
- So so so many quotes could go under here talking about how black people would never receive priesthood or temple covenants. The list could go on. I don’t need to repeat them all but in the Gospel Topics Essays, the Church disavows all racist teachings from the past.
- Book of Mormon and Abraham still talk about the curse of dark skin. The Lamanites are cursed but then will become “white and delightsome” as they repent (according to Spencer W. Kimball)
- How many prophets were completely wrong on this topic? Even after the Civil Rights movement which was going on 15 years earlier. The Church always seeems to be a step behind.
- Again, I could write a book on how much early leaders emphasized the heavenly requirement for a man to have multiple wives.
- Wilford Woodruff was sealed to like a 200 something wives on his birthday, including a six year old who had passed away. This can be found on FamilySearch
- The leaders of the Church didn’t stop practicing polygamy until around 1910, which is 20 years after the Manifesto, forced upon them by the US Government. This policy change wasn’t inspiration — to was a matter of the Mormons keeping their stuff or not.
- Age of the Earth — Joseph Smith says that the earth has a temporal existence of 7,000 years before it will receive it’s eternal glory. This was a common thought back then and ties back into the Old Testament timeline. I was taught this in Seminary. Going back to Adam and Seth, then to Abraham and to modern day. It all lines up so that the Second Coming will be happening soon.
- Adam + Eve — This one is very hard for me to get past because the proof is indisputable: human life did not begin 6,000 years ago by two human beings. There was physical death long before it was introduced by the partaking of the forbidden fruit. It is fact. To deny it would be like denying that the Earth is round or orbits the Sun. So is this an allegory? Well Joseph Smith down to current general authorities have taught that this is LITERAL. The temple clearly emphasizes this. This is something BIG to get wrong. Considering Joseph Smith taught that it happened in the garden of Eden which was in Missouri.
- Noah’s Ark — This has to be literal as it is in the Book of Mormon as a fact. It’s also been “revealed” to have been a literal, global flood that covered the earth and cleansed the earth of all inhabitants. We also have doctrine in our church that says modern day revelation has confirmed this fact. But, this “story” is largely based on the Babylonian tale “The Epic of Gilgamesh.” It was recorded before the Hebrew Bible recorded the tale of Noah. The stories are earily similar and there are so many throughout other cultures of a great flood. Maybe that makes it more likely? Or maybe it was just a prevailing thought in that time period. Either way, scientific evidence knows that Noah’s Ark never happened because a huge flood never happened. And ask yourself, how in the world would they get all the animals on a boat? Is this really realistic?
- Tower of Babel — This is the genesis of the Jaredites. The Lord was confounding the language of the people, so the Brother of Jared goes and asks that they are spared. Eventually they are led to the Americas (which has a host of other problems). But, this story has to be literal because that’s exactly what’s happening in the Jaredite civilization to lead them to cross the ocean. But language evolved over tens of thousands of years and had nothing to do with a tower in around 2500 BC.
- Evolution — This fact goes along with Adam and Eve. Modern day prophets have disavowed this fact. In fact, Joseph Fielding Smit said “If evolution is true, the church is false” in Doctrines of Salvation, which was written while he was the prophet.
- Sexual Assault Cover Ups - This one is pretty self explanatory. There are hundreds of occasions and the most recent ones in the news are pretty disgusting. The fact that the Church didn’t report, and had systems in place to protect itself rather than the victims, makes me sick.
- First Vision Accounts - In many Church media films and the way I was taught at a young age, Joseph had the first vision and then was mocked by the people of Palmyra for believing in visions. I had not idea that this was not the case. In fact, Joseph never wrote anything down until 1832. The accounts from 1832, 1835, 1838, and 1842 paint a picture of someone who was expanding, molding, and letting this vision evolve. The reasons why he went out to pray in the trees changes. First, it’s to receive a remission of his sins. He also says in that account that he’s already concluded that the church’s of his day are fallen. Then it evolves. He also says the Lord appears. Then it’s angels. Then it’s the Lord and His Father. He mentions that it had never entered his heart that they were all wrong in the Canonized JSH we have in the Pearl of Great Price. But, then he says he already knew they were wrong in earlier versions? In fact, Asa Wild and Norris Stearns have visions in 1815 and 1823 in the same area as Joseph Smith and the verbiage used is similar. Norris Stearns says, “At length, as I lay apparently upon the brink of eternal woe, seeing nothing but death before me, suddenly there came a sweet flow of the love of God to my soul, which gradually increased. At the same time, there appeared a small gleam of light in the room, above the brightness of the sun, then at his meridian, which grew brighter and brighter: As this light and love increased, my sins began to separate, and the Mountain [of sin] removed towards the east. At length, being in an ecstasy of joy, I turned to the other side of the bed, (whether in the body or out I cannot tell, God knoweth) there I saw two spirits, which I knew at the first sight. But if I had the tongue of an Angel I could not describe their glory, for they brought the joys of heaven with them. One was God, my Maker, almost in bodily shape like a man. His face was, as it were a flame of Fire, and his body, as it had been a Pillar and a Cloud. In looking steadfastly to discern features, I could see none, but a small glimpse would appear in some other place. Below him stood Jesus Christ my Redeemer, in perfect shape like a man-His face was not ablaze, but had the countenance of fire, being bright and shining. His Father’s will appeared to be his! All was condescension, peace, and love!”
Ultimately, all of these issues paint a picture, right? The character flaws and mistranslations of Joseph Smith, along with the setting in which he was raised all take away from his prophetic ability. There are more issues that I haven’t even touched on. LGBT issues, the treatment of women, the kinderhook plates, etc. There are more issues touched on in the CES Letter. But, these are things that stick in my mind when I try to imagine believing the Church is true again.
I believe Joseph Smith started writing the Book of Mormon to make money. Then, when it got close to publishing, he decided to start a religion. With the help of Sidney Rigdon, the Church grew and he introduced different aspects of "the Restoration" and eventually the power went to his head.
Being "prophet" brought him three things key for cult leaders. Money. Sex. Power. He got his living taken care of and people built him a house. He had around 40 polygamous wives and preyed on underage girls. He was dubbed king of the world by the Council of the 50 and was Mayor of Nauvoo.
How can I conclude anything other than him being a cult leader? This barely even touches on Brigham and the subsequent prophets that made huge mistakes.
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2023.06.09 22:35 Sufficient_Career713 You never think it will happen to you: A Labor Story
CW: Birth Trauma, Medical Trauma, NICU Parent, PPD, and boundless joy
Hi all, FTM (35F) of a wonderful, perfect 3 month old baby girl.
This will be a long post but I wanted to write somethings down for my own processing and to simply share some of the things that we've gone through since LO arrived. My intention is not to scare or trigger anyone but rather share my story in the hopes that others might find some normalcy and support.
If you're anything like me I was scouring the internet prior to delivery. LO was ultimately delivered at 41w1d and I was HUGE. I'm 5'3" and I had gained over 50 lbs almost entirely in my belly. I was curb walking as much as possible and I did all of the things - eating dates, raspberry tea, exercises, stretches - anything to get baby to come on her own. I was having contractions for weeeeeks but nothing that ever escalated into true labor. I was exhausted despite my entire pregnancy being pretty textbook. There were no red flags at any point despite having done all of the standard tests and ultrasounds. Everything was pointing towards an easy delivery and healthy baby.
I was very done with pregnancy and, against my original plans (a theme), I decided to get induced. Went into the hospital on the evening of Feb 27 and had cervidil (sp??). It's supposedly more chill than pitocin. Things started happening around the morning of Feb 28. I was having real contractions and things were moving! The midwives were stoked that I responded so favorably without pitocin. Then things really started to ramp up. I was in triage waiting to be transferred to L&D (another theme) and was having really intense contractions. I finally (against what I had initially wanted) decided to take a narcotic. I needed a break and I was many hours away from full dilation plus I couldn't get an epidural until I was in L&D. Oof huge mistake. My contractions were just as intense as ever except during the in between I was having hallucinations. Luckily I had experienced drugs similar before so I knew what was going on but it worried my partner a lot (another theme). At this point I'm vomiting, my nurse is trying to get me transferred asap, my doula shows up and is trying to help me, and I'm wavering between screaming pain and having wild (and hilarious?) hallucinations.
Finally I'm cleared to transfer to L&D. Puke cup in hand, my nurse is running with me barely sitting in a wheelchair. I was so hot at that point that I remember it felt like a welcomed cool breeze. Partner is chasing behind us with far too many pieces of luggage in tow. We burst in the room and I was demanding to sit on the toilet but mostly was so blinded by pain I didn't really know what was going on or what I needed. Once again the doulas did their best to help me calm down and get through it. One of the nurses looked me dead in the eyes and was like "You can sit on that toilet but DO NOT push." I'm like 6 centimeters at this point and I couldn't believe the sensations pulsing through my body. I had wanted to wait for an epidural but I knew then that I needed it asap. I was able to miraculously sit still and felt the numbing cold take over. It was amazing. The next few hours were spent hanging out and getting to know the doulas. The nurse told me that my contractions were off the charts. Apparently they were lasting for two minutes and were shaped like a plateau instead of a gentle curve. My midwives were great and everyone was very encouraging and happy with my progress. I was almost fully dilated and we decided to burst my waters.
I was excited. There was A LOT of amniotic fluid. Unfortunately it was brown which indicated that baby had passed meconium which, given how over due I was, wasn't out of the ordinary. It also meant that NICU staff would be present for the delivery once the time came. I was finally ready to start pushing. Minutes turned into hours. My baby's head was through my cervix but she seemed stuck. 4 hours went by with no progress so we made the difficult decision to have a C section. It would be another 2 hours before an OR would open up so I just had to wait. By this point the epidural was wearing off and I was having break through contractions but I couldn't do anything with them because we knew the baby wasn't coming any other way.
This is where things really go south so stop reading if you need to <3.
Once I'm finally in the OR it's like 4AM. I'm strapped and straddled on the operating table and I can't stop shaking. It was terrifying. My partner is there with me but all I remember is fear. I also remember double checking with my nurse that NICU staff was in the room. The surgeons then test to see that I've had enough anesthesia which I hadn't so they had to give me fentanyl so things could get a move on. Eventually I felt no pain, just the movement of the procedure. I was laying there waiting to hear my baby's cries and to finally have her on my chest. I felt a lot of movement in my abdomen and I remember asking "Is that the baby? Is she dancing?" and the anesthesiologist said "No they're delivering your placenta and performing a fundal massage to prevent hemorrhage." This is when I knew something was really wrong. Those are the things they do after the baby's been born but I didn't hear my baby nor did I see her. I begin asking what's going on, I ask my partner if he can see her. He can't. All he can see is a lot of movement from different doctors. They finally tell us that she needs to be admitted to the NICU. I ask to at least see her and she's wheeled by me in a bassinet already swaddled and en route. We found out much later (when we were ready to hear what happened) that when she was born she had aspirated a lot of meconium and wasn't breathing. Her APGAR score was a 3. She was immediately intubated and it took around 10 minutes to resuscitate her (miraculously she didn't suffer brain damage).
Afterwards we were taken into a recovery room. We had been awake for over 24 hours at this point and were exhausted, devastated, and confused. We didn't know what happened and were waiting for news while I had to endure more fundal massages. A NICU doctor came to my bedside to inform us that they suspected she has having seizures, was at high risk of a blood infection, and may have some kind of genetic issue. We were in hysterics. Just totally beside ourselves. The nurses that had been with us came to say goodbye with tears in their eyes. They knew we had been traumatized and I think they may have been too.
They told us they were waiting for a postpartum room near the NICU to open up so we were just waiting. At this point, my baby was still very abstract to me. I was much more concerned about my very exhausted partner who had witnessed all of the trauma that happened. And was still carrying all of our stupid bags that I had packed. I sent him to the NICU to go see the baby. She was on oxygen and in an incubator. Her face was swollen from being stuck in the birth canal for 6 hours. I got to see her a few hours later but I could only touch her cheek. As I was leaving she was being hooked up to an EEG to check for seizures. We finally, after many hours, were moved into our postpartum room where I insisted we both take a nap before returning to the NICU. By this point we had delivered the news to our friends and families and let people know to please not reach out. It's hard to communicate the complexity of feelings we had. It was so devastating yet he and I felt so bonded together. Nothing else mattered but the three of us.
I'm told the weather was beautiful that day. I hadn't even considered a world existed outside of us. I didn't remember an outside until days had gone by. He pushed me in my wheelchair to get some food one morning and I saw the sun. I didn't remember there was a sun or that other people were just going about their days.
While LO was in the NICU she had every test under the sun and all of them kept coming back favorably. She wasn't having seizures, her brain looked great, her heart looked great, etc. Except there was still a question of a possible genetic issue but no one knew for sure. Her eyes were bulging but it could have been because of birth trauma or she just sort of looked like that. It wasn't until she had her hearing test that something went wrong again. I found solace in knowing failed hearing tests are pretty common and we'd just have to wait to meet with an audiologist for confirmation. During our stay I became a breast pumping machine. It was the only thing I could do on my own to help. I was immobilized from the C section and I felt so very hopeless that pumping was the one thing that gave me some satisfaction. LO had a significant tongue tie so latching proved impossible. My partner bonded with the baby immediately - he did the bulk of her care while in the NICU. For me, however, it took time. It's hard to admit but if I'm being honest it took me a few weeks to really fall in love and bond with her. I think part of it was the delivery and because I wasn't physically able to do the bulk of her care in the NICU. Also, I was in a grieving period. I was grieving the labor experience I hoped for and I was grieving the child I thought I was going to have.
After 5 incredibly long yet miraculous days we were both discharged together. We had a long list of follow up appointments but we didn't care. We were going home and it was a beautiful day. We laugh/cried the whole way home.
Close friends and both of our parents were there when we arrived home with an overwhelming amount of food. We were grateful. But also, hearing the excitement from others was really difficult for a long time. It took awhile for us to appreciate being congratulated. It felt like a stab every time.
That first week we had a number of doctors appointments. When she went to get her tongue tie snipped, her ENT discovered that she didn't have ear canals. Her external ear was fully formed but her middle ear was a closed pit. There were a lot of tears that day. It was the first time something was decidedly "wrong" and it was the first time there was a strong hint towards a genetic issue.
I don't remember the sequence of events and diagnoses - it was an emotional whirlwind. We learned that she has two chromosomal deletions of which the symptoms and severity vary greatly and we won't know the full extent of her disabilities for years. She does have conductive hearing loss (though I generally say she's deaf because its true and its a little easier to explain) and will be receiving a bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA). We're also invested in learning ASL so that she will have access to both spoken and signed language. She has strabismus (lazy eye) and ptosis (droopy eye) as well as craniosynostosis. She will be undergoing intense skull surgery later this year. Despite all of this she is thriving.
During the early weeks of postpartum I was not well. My partner had no time off and my family, while good intentioned, didn't really know how to talk about or meaningfully support a special needs child. It became clear that I needed some medical intervention so I enrolled in intensive therapy and began taking SSRIs. It may have saved our lives. I was not well and I knew it. I was struggling to bond and I was so devastated by her health outlook on top of all the normal lack of sleep, breast pumping stress, and lack of familial support that I needed to actively make a change. I did and I'm glad for it. I'm in a much better place now!
The love and joy I feel towards my child is unbelievable. People say that children bring joy to your life and it's really true. I love her with my whole heart. I am and will probably always be saddened by some of the trials she will be forced to endure in this world - her life will not be easy. But I am so committed to being at her side every step of the way. I love her totally and completely. Its hard to explain in words the depth of love I have for her. She's not what we imagined but no child ever is. Prior to her being born we always said we'd love and support her no matter who she became and that remains the case.
submitted by Sufficient_Career713
to beyondthebump [link] [comments]
2023.06.09 22:35 babdel22 Lip and tongue tie recovery. Help!
Hi parents. My son is 7 weeks old. He has been very fussy the last 2 weeks. We thought it was from gas then a gross spurt but it turns out it’s a lip/tongue tie that’s been bothering him. Today we got the procedure done and everything was fine until a few hours later when he absolutely lost his sh-t. I feel so terrible watching him cry out in distress. Nothing I do soothes him. I tried breastfeeding and he refuses, bottle feeding and refuses, pacifier, holding in many positions, NOTHING works. After all the crying he ended up throwing up. I’m concerned this will continue for longer than a few days. He’s already lost weight from the last two week and now he refuses to eat.
Is this normal? Am I being paranoid? Has anyone gone through something similar? Please reassure me 😞🥺 TIA
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2023.06.09 22:15 HorrorJunkie123 I Work at a Small Town McDonald's. My Manager Makes us Follow a Strange Set of Rules - I Think I'm in Way Over my Head.
If you need to catch up, you can do so here
A couple of college kids stumbled in, trying to hide the fact that they were obviously stoned out of their minds, and retrieved a pickup order. I watched as they clumsily staggered out the door. One of them held it politely for a small old lady. An old lady wearing a shawl. She didn’t utter so much as a thank you, beelining up to the register with purpose. I was exhausted, up well past my normal operating hours, so I had completely forgotten about the rules. Big mistake.
The woman glowered up at me, face obscured from view. Her head covering was black as well as the rest of her outfit, not unlike a ninja you’d see in a movie. The aura she radiated frightened me, but not enough to release me from my sleepy haze.
“Hello, how can I help you?” I yawned, lazily covering my mouth.
The woman didn’t move a muscle. She scowled at me, yellow reptilian eyes piercing my psyche and sending my heart into overdrive.
“Ma’am? Would you like to order something?”
Nothing. The longer we continued our staring match, the more sedated I felt, and not just due to the lack of sleep. She had some sort of strange pull over me. I nearly nodded off, my mind wandering back to the instructions.
Before I passed out, I murmured, “where’s Tony?”
Suddenly, I was released from my trance and the woman was nowhere to be found. Like she had simply vanished into thin air. My eyes widened. That was close. Too close. I trudged to the sink and splashed some cool water in my face, then poured myself a large cup of coffee. I knew it would probably keep me up well past closing, but hey, if it helped me avoid another incident like that, I was all for it.
I had just finished dumping the dustpan into the trash when I felt it. A peculiar sensation crept over me like bugs crawling on the back of my neck. I was being watched. But from where? I sensed it coming from the drive thru. I whipped my head in its direction. Empty. It shifted to the dining area. No one was there. I grew lightheaded and panic began to surge through my system. A breeze swept past my ear, and I swear I could hear a soft almost imperceptible voice whisper, “Blair.”
I bolted to the office, slamming the door shut as quickly as I could. What was
that? I paced around the office like a caged animal, anxiously waiting for something, anything to happen. After what felt like an eternity, it began to dissipate without incident. I sat there for a moment, contemplating if this was really the right career path for me.
Was every night like this? I was snapped back to reality by static emanating from my headset. I ripped it off until the noise stopped. A bumbling male voice crackled through it.
“Hey, uh, is this place open?” he slurred, obviously under the influence.
“Yeah. What do you want to order?”
I was beginning to lose my cool. Between all the strange occurrences and the inebriated customers, my patience was wearing thin.
“I’ll have a filet-o-fish meal.”
“Coming right up.”
I made my way back to the kitchen and began preparing his order.
“Who the hell comes to McDonald’s at one-thirty in the morning for a freaking filet-o-fish?” I grumbled, purposely dousing his sandwich in sauce.
I served the man, hoping to be rid of him as soon as possible.
“Thanks. Hey, is that a kid at the counter?”
I turned my head and sure enough, there he was. A mess of blonde tangles and deep blue eyes peered at me from the register. I sighed.
“Yeah, I’ll take care of him. Have a good night.”
A child. Unaccompanied in my restaurant. Just what I needed. I began to approach the counter when rule seven blared in my mind like a tornado siren. I froze mid-stride.
“Just ignore him, Blair. It’s almost two. You got this,” I reassured myself, starting my closing duties early.
That was easier said than done. The child began wailing, shrill high-pitched screams reverberating off the walls. He ran into the kitchen area, allowing me a full view of his tiny frame. The boy couldn’t have been older than six. His Pac-Man T-shirt looked well outdated, and he was filthy, as if he hadn’t showered in years. He began tugging on my shirt, begging for attention.
“Please help me, lady. I can’t find my mommy,” he cried, tears streaming down his rosy cheeks.
He was relentlessly pulling at my clothing. That was it. I’d reached my breaking point. If this child, monster, demon, whatever he was, planned on killing me, he could go ahead and put me out of my misery. I was done.
“Get out! Just screw off and leave me the hell alone!”
He immediately quit sniffling and straightened up as if I’d flipped a switch. Red tinged his striking pupils. Dread began sinking into my gut. A malicious grin blossomed across his lips.
“You made the right choice,” he growled as he headed toward the exit.
“Weirdo kid,” I mumbled, returning to cleaning.
I finished up and waited around for two to hit, praying for a quiet, uneventful end to my first nightmare closing shift. Of course, my prayers went unanswered. I had a mere three minutes until I was supposed to clock out when I spotted it. A dark red viscous liquid oozing from beneath the stove.
“Great. Awesome. Just what I needed.”
I filled up a mop bucket in the storage closet and began sopping up the mystery fluid. If it wasn’t blood, you could’ve fooled me. A persistent copper taste assaulted my tongue every time I opened my mouth. I gagged, forcing vomit back down my throat. The stuff just wouldn’t stop coming. On my third bucket-full of sloshing crimson, I finally started gaining an upper hand.
I mopped fervently as blisters erupted across my hands from the friction of the wooden handle. All the not-blood had been disposed of. I breathed a sigh of relief, careful to avoid splashing myself as I dumped the last of it down the drain. I’d done it.
“Take that, bitches! I win!” I cheered as if I’d just claimed first prize at the Indy 500.
My celebration was short-lived once I glanced down at my phone. 2:35 A.M. I bolted to the freezer, scooping up a couple bags of frozen patties. I slashed them open as quickly as I could, hoping in vain that I’d be able to make it out in time. I dumped their contents on the grill, then turned to toss the packaging in the trash. My heart plummeted into my gut.
A man stood before me. His black dead eyes matched that of the small mask encompassing the top half of his face. Wispy red hair sprouted from his floppy hat. A matching tattered black and white striped uniform framed his features, accompanied by a dingy red tie dotted with images of burgers. He grinned at me, jagged rotten teeth sending a chill undulating through my entire body. He spoke, a rough gravelly voice shattering the tense silence.
“Look, I know you’re new here, so I’ll spare you this
time. But if I ever catch you in here this late again, I won’t think twice about increasing my calorie intake.”
His wicked smile exuded a malevolent hunger that still haunts my nightmares. A wet gray tongue wormed its way around his cracked withered lips. I felt like a mouse about to be devoured by a rattlesnake. He scowled at me.
“What are you still doing here? GET OUT!”
I suddenly regained my mobility. I tore through the dining area and burst into the cool night air. The Hamburglar’s soulless stare followed me into the vacant parking lot. I hurriedly locked him inside and raced to my car as a torrent of emotions flooded through me at once. Fear, anger, and confusion were all prominent on my desolate drive home. In the end, rage won out.
I wasn’t scheduled the next day, but I was determined to make that smug prick in charge at least
give me some sort of explanation. I returned to the golden arches around four hours later running on zero sleep and a whole pot of Maxwell House. With fire in my eyes, I flung the door open and marched straight to Dave’s office.
“Oh, yeah, it was great. Had his car repossessed and everything. Oh, hey Blitz. Uh huh. Yep. I-”
“For the last freaking time, it's Blair! B-L-A-I-R. Not Blitzen, not Blaziken, not Blakely. BLAIR.”
Dave furrowed his brow, mouth slightly agape.
“Yeah Jim, I’ll have to get back to you.”
He ended the call and furiously pocketed his phone.
“Do you even know who that was? I mean, why the hell
do you think you can just storm into my office like this-”
“No, you listen to me, Davey boy. I just had the worst night of my life. Every weird thing that could’ve happened, happened. And you don’t care one bit.”
“I see you’ve become acquainted with our more… troublesome clientele.”
“Yeah. I have. And I’m not dealing with that crap again. I quit,” I hissed, dramatically slapping my hat onto his polished cedarwood desk before turning to walk out the door.
“Wait! Twenty-five an hour.”
I stopped dead in my tracks. I reluctantly faced him. A sly toothy grin was stamped on his greasy face. I mulled it over. That was almost double what I was currently making. I could have my college paid for in no time.
“Twenty-seven and you’ve got a deal.”
“You drive a hard bargain, Mrs. Blair.
I accept,” he said, extending his hand.
I begrudgingly shook it, cringing as his sweaty palm gripped mine.
“I’m glad you were able to see reason. Welcome to the night crew.”
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2023.06.09 22:06 konforming I haven’t felt like this in a while. Please read.
There’s this girl (24f) I’m (29m) sort of crushing on (both in same college) because I felt like she was/is showing interest in me. She’s way out of my league and I’m sure she has many options, but it seems she is quite nice with me which is a bit rare I feel. I compare with the friendships I have with other girls. I just don’t want to confuse kindness with interest so its really difficult. Long story short, I get butterflies and can’t stop thinking about this. Been a while since I dated.
- She likes my instagram stories and occasionally commented on them
- she sends me voice messages, asks me how i was feeling when I was sick (again I feel like this might be her kindness) - but she calls or sends voice messages/texts.
- She faces me when we talk, plays with her hair, smiles, and doesn’t look at the phone too often.
- she has asked me if I’m coming to an event where she’ll be at. She’s invited me 2 times over to her place to talk before going out to the club. One time by myself, the other with another dude who’s a friend. She’s excited to go to these events it seems, but she could also be the same with others.
- she’s told her mom about me
- her voice/pitch gets high and cute before she says bye to me on the phone.
- we always “fight” over the bill and she has always offered to pay, but I usually get it (this is a cultural thing though). But she could also not offer if she wasn’t interested despite our culture/traditions?
- in our culture, we are too nice and sometimes this can be perceived incorrectly - that’s why I can’t tell. We are both from the same country, but I was born and raised in America so my perception is skewed if that makes sense.
- I’ve told her I like spending time with her and would like to get to know her better and she said she feels the same, she hugged me and said that we’d talk about it soon. But luckily, that wasn’t the end of it. She doesn’t ignore me. We just haven’t talked about it yet. What could this mean?
- after I told her that, she came to have coffee with me and we ended up talking for 2 hours until the coffee shop closed. Before the coffee “date” she kept saying she wanted to go home to finish doing her chores before I told her I wanted to get to know her better, but seemed to have a change of mind after I said I was interested. So she made time to spend with me.
- I didn’t say the word “date” so I felt like it was implied. I asked her out to have lunch with me, she said yes, I also asked her to walk with me, and she also said yes (but seemed like she also had some shopping to do for a friend so we did that together). We’ve done a decent amount of things over the past 2 weeks since I moved to this city. I’m a very quiet and shy person and my emotions/anxiety seem to take over sometimes so I barely talk or get flirty. She’s usually the one keeping the convo going and I actively listen and follow through based off surroundings and what she’s saying. Never seen a girl more beautiful so I get tongue tied and lost for words sometimes too.
- she seems to say yes to everything I ask even though she has plans, she tries to coordinate so that she can hang with me too.
My only issue is that there might be another guy she’s seeing, but I don’t know if they’re together. I’m too afraid to ask. He’s good looking while I think I’m average so I feel intimidated. He has a car, I don’t because I just moved to a new city. He can take her places, etc.
I asked her to come meet me today because I had a surprise for her. She had plans, but squeezed me in. She even tried to change the timing of her other plan so she can come to mine. She told me a while ago that she wanted to be in a certain professors class in uni. That certain Professor invited me somewhere for a college-run event and I’m taking her to meet her so she can network, etc. after that, we’re heading to a rave.
TLDR: Sorry if this was long. I’m just basically saying she’s showing signs of interest in me, and I’m intimated by this guy she may or may not be seeing. I never ask her if she’s seeing someone, because I feel weird about it. I like to make subtle moves and play the long game so I can get to know a person. I don’t like mind games, manipulation, and touchy flirtation because I respect her boundaries. I also don’t want to intrude on her private life.
I don’t believe in friend zone because I believe you have to be a friend to a girl first before you start dating. You just have to make the right moves and not take too long, otherwise you’ll lose your chance.
Having said that, what do you think my next move should be?
Grateful for your time and help. Please go easy on me. I’m not afraid to say I’m a bit fragile/vulnerable and stressed at the moment. I’m overthinking this and need advice on how and what to do rather than what position I’m in right now with her.
submitted by konforming
to dating [link] [comments]
2023.06.09 21:00 Trash_Tia There’s been a secret ongoing war between the Starbucks stores in my city where employees are bloodthirsty for coffee— and they will do anything to get it.
Does anyone know how to get out of a Starbucks contract?
I just started my new job and I already want to quit. I REALLY want to quit. Because this shit isn’t normal. I mean, is it? Do you guys have experience with this type of shit, or is it a normal thing when moving to the city? I’m a small-town girl so I’m not used to this. We didn’t even have a Starbucks. Just a diner that had been broken into multiple times over the years.
Do you know the bad feeling you get when something bad is going to happen, but you ignore it for the sake of staying sane? .Yeah.
It was one of those situations.
But I needed cash. I needed a job. College in the city is expensive, especially in my mid-twenties. Uber Eats every night and various subscriptions, such as Netflix and Spotify—as well as basic living needs required cash. So, naturally, I looked for part-time jobs I could use to fill up my weekend and nights. When it came to job hunting, I was fairly lazy. So, the Starbucks job kinda came out of nowhere.
I wasn’t even looking for it. I was applying for a job in the local music store when it caught my eye. Someone to work late evenings and nights on weekdays and Saturdays. The job description didn’t say much, just basic pay details and a full paragraph dedicated to talking about “The Starbucks Family”. Skim reading it, I skipped to the APPLY NOW button and sent in my resume via email. Two hours.
It had taken two hours to get an email back offering a video interview the next day—and a guaranteed job if I didn’t screw it up. The video interview went well to my surprise. The woman who conducted it acted more like a friend, asking me what my favorite movies and TV shows were, and then going into detail about her own.
It didn’t even feel like an interview. More like a chat. Which was exactly what the email said it was going to be. The interviewer was my mom’s age, a total mom-like persona. She offered me iced tea before laughing and realizing we were on a video call. Her cat popped up halfway through her introducing several staff members by name. A large tabby whom she picked up and hugged to her chest. I wasn’t sure what to do except repeatedly say, “Aww.” and force an even bigger smile.
The woman who for some reason did not introduce herself finished the interview with a more formal and thorough talk-through of rules and regulations. Which went in one ear and out the other. I think I was too excited about the job as a whole. There’s something almost mythical about working at Starbucks. I’ve seen barista TikTok complaining about customer service and harping about in the back rooms. It looked fun. Plus, free drinks? I figured working at the famous coffee chain would at least have benefits and freebies.
The woman spoke to me for almost two hours about certain drinks, telling me I would be trained up, and then going on to explain the dos and don’ts in a working environment. It was kind of patronizing, but I figured she had to be to remain professional. I tuned out when she started talking about a certain “feud” they had with another store down the road. The woman didn’t go into detail, but her expression did darken significantly when she leaned closer to her screen and repeated the phrase, “Do you understand me?” I had to backtrack and try and go over what she had been saying, but I had found myself mesmerized by the gilded sword in the background. It hung from the back wall in all of its glory, and I was having a hard time trying to figure out why exactly a Starbucks manager had a sword hanging from her wall.
“Sim?” Inclining her head, the manager cleared her throat. “Did you hear me?”
I did. Sort of. Under no circumstances must I visit or go near 2nd Street Starbucks. If I did there would be dire consequences and I would face losing my job, or worse.
I wasn’t sure what “or worse” was, but from the way her expression twisted from funny-cat-lady to a potential employer, I didn’t want to ask.
“Uh, yeah,” I said. “I can’t go near the 2nd Street store.” I almost choked on a glass of water I had been slowly sipping throughout the interview. I had been sweating most of the day, dying in the intense June heat. It was a lot cooler in the evening in the city, but I was used to draining at least ten glasses a day. “Is that real?” I couldn’t help asking, pointing to the sword behind her.
I know you are supposed to maintain a certain professional persona and façade during professional work interviews with potential managers. However, I really wanted to know if that ancient thing was real, it was driving me crazy. Because questions were arising in my head: How did she get it? Was it hers? Was it for some kind of aesthetic and feng-shui, or was there more to it? From the look on the interviewer’s face, she seemed startled.
Whipping her head around, her strict grey ponytail hitting the screen, she nodded before turning back to me, her gaze flicking down to what I presumed was a script she was reading off—or maybe she was skimming through my printed-out resume. I wanted to ask her more about the elephant in the room, but she seemed satisfied with answering my question with a nod. She asked me more questions, mostly about my work ethic and if I enjoyed working in a team and independently, if I had any special requirements, and oddly—if I had ever held a firearm. Now, that caused alarm bells. Along with the gilded sword dangling from this forty-something-year-old’s lounge wall, I was definitely starting to question the exact nature of what I would be doing at this job. Serving coffee was an obvious one, though I was pretty sure Starbucks barista's didn’t require military-style training.
When I didn’t know what to say, she seemed to back-pedal. “Oh, it’s in case of a robbery.” She said. But her expression stayed stoic. Speaking in the tone of being joking, but not being joking. “It is rare. However, it is a precaution we must take.” Choosing her words carefully, the interviewer steepled her hands in front of her face, leaning her chin on her fingers. “Our employees are given basic fire-arm training in the instance that one day we may face a difficult situation. Now, I am not saying it is inevitable, but due to certain behavior throughout the years, it is, of course, better to be safe than sorry.”
“Oh.” I tried to smile. “No, I haven’t,” I paused, hoping my lack of ability to hold a gun wouldn’t screw up my chances. “But I can learn?”
I said it like a question because it was a question. I was questioning myself why exactly I would take up my time learning to shoot a gun I most likely never would need. To my surprise though, the woman’s smile brightened and she looked down at whatever she was writing.
“Of course,” she said. “Sim, I am very happy to hear that. We love employees who do their best to learn and thrive in our working environment,” she paused and typed something on her laptop before her gaze found mine. “I’ll put you down for lessons on Friday mornings. How does that sound?” Before I could answer her—because I was starting to seriously question why she was so obsessed with training me to use a goddamn gun—she was nodding to herself. “I will put Jude in charge of you. I think he is working on Friday, so your induction and welcome can be completed in the morning…”
She trailed off into her own murmured conversation to herself before clearing her throat. I jumped. I didn’t mean to jump, but her whole presence was putting me on edge. The lady had been nicer on the phone, and earlier on in the interview when she was grilling me on which Frozen character was my favorite.
“Okay!” The interviewer gathered up her paperwork, beaming at me through the camera. “Can you start tomorrow? Let’s say…” her eyebrows furrowed together. “5:30? I will not be there for the first hour due to certain obligations,” she traced her lip with the tip of her index. “However, I have four employees working the front desk, I’m sure they will give you a warm welcome.” I noticed something twitch on her lips. It was almost like she was trying to stop herself from laughing—which was childish from a standpoint where I was the younger one, while she was the senior. She was supposed to be setting some kind of standard, and yet for some reason was more inclined in teasing me about workplace friendships, and apparently how “close” my colleagues were. I wasn’t stupid, I knew what friendship was like in the workplace. It’s not “real” because you’re all there to do a job, not making lifelong friendships.
“I’m looking forward to meeting them,” I said when she snorted out a laugh that twisted up my gut.
"Absolutely," she responded. "The team is very close, so don't take it personally if they're initially cautious. I'm confident that you'll all become great friends! Kai is a kind-hearted sweetheart, while Ana may seem standoffish initially, but she'll warm up to you once you get to know her. Jude, on the other hand, will be your guide during the orientation, so it's best to stay close to him. In fact, it's recommended to shadow him during your first few hours since he's our top performer! Frankly, Sim, I can hardly wait for you to meet them! They're a great group!" This woman seemed to suddenly discover the use of expletives, or maybe she had noticed I visibly wanted to crawl into the ground. The way she was describing the other employees, I was expecting cartoon characters when I walked through the door.
“Right,” I said. I was starting to regret applying. “I’ll be there.”
She ended the call with a bright smile, and her stupid cat walking on the keyboard, causing her to squeak out in horror. I shut my laptop, my cheeks burning. Well, that went…? Well? Could I really say it went well when the manager had spent the last five minutes implying my work colleagues were going to hate me? Fuck.
I didn’t want to go. I trashed my application and deleted her number from my phone. But the morning after, however, I came to the quick realization through precious morning caffeine, that I needed cash. So, no matter how much I didn’t want to go—I had to. So, I headed to classes and tried not to think about it. It was 5:34 when I stepped into the familiar glow of the famous store—not before being stopped in the middle of a crowed by a girl wearing bright pink ray-bans and a scowl. “Do you work there?” she turned and pointed to the store.
I shrugged. “I guess.”
She scoffed, slipping off her ray-bans and fixing me with a bitchy smile. “Your funeral.”
Normally, in situations when strangers say odd things to me on the street, I just laugh it off. But this? This seemed personal.
The girl didn’t say anything before turning and walking or rather running away.
Well, that was weird.
After that encounter, I was weighing the positives and negatives of taking up the job. The positives would be cash and something to occupy my mind away from classes, and the negatives were being stuck with insufferable colleagues and a manager who was the embodiment of unprofessional. The store was pretty empty when I stepped through automatic doors, reveling in the cooling fan blasting icy cold air in my face. A dark-haired college girl had her back to me, cleaning tables. But I noticed her stiffening up when I took a step forward. She straightened up like a cat going into territorial mode, before relaxing and holding a two-fingered hand up.
The store was empty so I had no idea who she was signaling to. It wasn’t a greeting to me—I had no idea what it was. I was halfway to the counter before a guy popped up out of nowhere, mid-way through drying a cup with a washrag. His hair was the first thing I noticed. Bright red.
In contrast to his pasty skin, this guy would definitely stand out in a crowd. He was my age or maybe a little older, mid twenties, with a wide smile and not much of anything else, kitted in a short-sleeved shirt, and a Starbucks apron over the top.
I expected quirky cartoon-like weirdos and I got an average Joe. I wasn’t complaining.
Initially, I thought this guy was just another jock-like college guy. But looking closer, the friendliness in his eyes wasn’t sincere, and his smile was strained. Keeping up a professional attitude, he regarded me with a smile, leaning across the counter. But his eyes kept flicking to the door in quick succession like he was waiting for a certain someone to come in. “You.” He pointed at me, trailing his finger to the door, swiping hair from his face with his hand. The guy was bouncing on the heels of his toes, I noticed. He couldn’t stand still, like a hyperactive child. “You’re Sim, The newbie I’m supposed to be training.”
I nodded, offering a nervous wave.
“Jude.” He introduced himself, though clearly distracted, his gaze flicking to and from the door. His facade was friendly enough, but very fake. It was the same smile I presumed he flashed at customers who complimented his looks. “Hey, Sim.”
Instead of holding out his hand for me to shake, he folded his arms across his chest. Jude cocked his head, drinking me in before his lips broke out into a beam.
"Shall we get started?"
Jude started the tour, showing me the store itself, then the back, the storage room, the staff room, and bizarrely, a wooden door which he referred to as, “The Drink”. I had no idea what that meant, but I made a mental note to steer away from it.
The backrooms of the store turned into a labyrinth. The place was covered in mold, peeling paint on the doors and old rugged floor tiles. Jude spoke way too fast like he was intentionally trying to confuse me. By the time I was struggling with my apron, he was turning on his heels with a brow raised. “Your hair is too long so you need to tie it up. You can shadow me this evening but don’t get in my way. We have two twenty-minute breaks and during them, we are contractually obligated to go down to the Second Street store and throw eggs at their windows—ooh, and the girl you just met who didn’t say a word? That’s Ana. You will get used to her.” His smile reached a level of fake I didn’t think was possible. “Why don’t you follow me?”
“What?” I managed to hiss out when Jude was leading me down a long, winding corridor that dipped into various rooms, out-of-order elevators, and the creepiest set of stairs I had ever seen leading into the pitch dark. I was still trying to register his words.
Jude twisted around with a frown. “What’s up?” He nodded at a passing blonde girl who shot me a smile, and hive-fived Jude before disappearing through a door.
“You throw eggs at the store down the road?”
The guy’s lip twitched into the start of a smile. He turned around, quickening his pace. “Did I say that? Obviously, I was joking.”
I stumbled after him, knocking into a dark-haired younger guy carrying a tray of cupcakes. He and Jude seemed to exchange words without speaking before Jude gestured to the stranger. Somehow, I figured out their telepathic conversation through eye movements and strained smiles, they weren’t talking about me. “That’s Kai,” Jude said, pushing through the doors back to the main storefront. He took a customer’s order, retaining that stupid smile. “If you need any help with making those annoying TikTok drinks that take a millennia to make and have probably broken several Geneva convention rules?” He playfully knocked into me while preparing a drink, his hands knowing where everything was, preparing and serving a latte in a matter of minutes, “Kai is your guy! He runs our social media page and is practically a connoisseur on the next big trend. He'll deal with zoomers."
I was slowly starting to ease my way into this job, and my colleagues seemed pretty cool. Jude actually helped me all the way through the evening, introducing his home life and how he grew up as he cleaned tables and conversed with the others—always throwing me into their chatting so I didn’t get left out. I ended up sorting through cookies and making price labels with Aurora, the perky blonde who high-fived Jude earlier. She spoke to me like we had been best friends for years, and that part of her charm made me instantly adore her. She was tiny for her age, but a menace when it came to her sharp tongue and language. I didn’t think a tiny thing like her could swear like a goddamn sailor, but it was cute. Jude and Aurora had a sibling-type thing going on, though every time I caught Kai’s eye, he was smirking. It seemed everyone knew they had a thing except them.
I was actually having fun with the others, bobbing my head to the radio while serving a group of kids, when Jude, who was next to me, seemed to go rigid all of a sudden. His laughing smile carved into something else. I had never seen an expression change so fast.
But he wasn’t the only one. Aurora, cleaning tables and giggling at Jude’s joke, straightened up, her eyes flashing to the door. Kai’s head snapped up from where he had been grinding coffee. Following their gaze, I found myself face-to-face with the manager who interviewed me. But unlike the night before, she was not smiling. The woman dropped her bag at the door before marching towards the counter. Jude leaned over; his expression apprehensive.
His eyes as well as his tone had darkened significantly. All of my colleagues had taken off these masks, these facades of joking smiles and bright eyes, and now I was seeing a glimmer of what they were hiding. What Jude had been looking for all evening, sneaking glances at the door. I watched his gaze follow the manager as she paced back and forth, chewing her nails. “Where is he?”
“I don’t know.” She finally said, lifting her head. Her lips were twisted. “But.” She said, spitting each word, as she rounded the counter, helping herself to coffee. “You’re going to pay a visit to them right now, and…and sort this out once and for all.” Her voice resembled that of a mother talking to her children. She was assertive to them, her eyes piercing. Do you understand me?” The woman nodded at Jude. “You can go.” Her eyes found mine. “Take the new girl, she needs to be inducted.” Finally, she turned to Ana, who was standing in the corner silently. “You are too. I need brains, and Jude is just brawn. Keep him on his toes, young lady."
With a hint of sarcasm in his tone, Jude uttered a brief "Thanks," and then proceeded to take a coffee cup and a Sharpie. Swiftly, he scrawled some words on the side of the cup, before placing it inside a bag and plonking it in front of me. As Jude reached for his coat at the back, he put it on over his green Starbucks apron, creating a striking contrast with his denim blue sherpa. With his mop of red curls, this guy was in no way going to be as incognito as he thought. "We'll manage the conversation,” he said hurriedly, visibly excited. Jude seemed to lead the others in their expressions, his confidence and wit causing them to brighten up, adapting wide smiles. He shoved his hands in his pockets, “All you gotta do is hand them this, okay?”
“Is that a good…” Kai drifted off on whatever he was about to say, ducking his head when Jude shot him a glare.
“I think it’s a perfect idea!” The manager beamed at me. “What a way to fully bring you into our family!”
I took the coffee cup (the empty coffee cup) hesitantly. “What is it?”
“It’s a gift!” Jude said, moving towards the door in long strides. It was all too noticeable that this guy was practically vibrating with an energy I had never known. It was almost manic. “I want to let them know we appreciate them! Y’know! Rival to rival.”
Kai stepped in front of him on the way out.
“Be careful,” he said in a low hum. Aurora joined him, but she wasn’t speaking, her left-hand tugging at the waistband of her jeans. “Keep your head down when you go in because they’ll be expecting you—and they’ll be expecting a retaliation.”
“Relaaaaax, it’s Cora! We used to date!” he cocked his head. "I think."
“I mean it. "
Jude’s gaze found mine for a moment before his smile grew. “Well, we have enough eggs don’t we?” He grabbed my arm, pulling me along. Ana was already gone. I could see her figure already slinking down the street, bleeding into the shadow.
When the two of us hit the cool night air and Jude quickened his pace into a power-walk, his eyes set forwards, jaw set, I figured I should ask what his deal was. If this guy was serious about vandalizing a rival Starbucks, and not just that, urged by his manager, then I had to say something.
The thought of ending up in jail being petty over a rival store made me feel nauseous.
“So, what is this about?” I asked, catapulting myself into a half-run to keep up with him. The guy had abnormally long legs, so he was halfway across the sidewalk while I was barely two steps in front. “Aren’t you taking this a little too seriously?”
Jude didn’t reply, instead remarking on the sky being filled with stars.
“Hey, Ana!” He shouted. “Wait up!”
Second Street Starbucks was like walking into a palace. I could tell why these guys were rivals. The place was a three-floored beast, a glass building made up of a Starbucks downstairs, a library, and a private apartment. I found myself mesmerized by the twinkling lights on the door, the mini water fountain through large windows showing an even bigger storefront with rich-looking wooden tables and reclining chairs. The store was closing. When we stepped in front of the door, there was a sign which clearly said CLOSED on the front.
Still, though, Ana pushed her way through it, followed by Jude, pulling me along with him. Two employees were working, a guy with short blondish hair mopping the floors, and a girl standing at the counter, going through the register. The moment we stepped inside, the guy cleaning up stopped mopping from side to side, his fingers visibly tightening around the mop handle. “Hey there!”
With one of his best fake smiles, Jude raised his arms in surrender. “We’re from the Starbucks down the road. We come in peace, don’t worry!” He gestured to me.
“Can we talk to your manager?”
He took a step, his lip twitching, eyes glinting, which caused a stir in the air. The girl at the counter stopped flicking through a wad of cash in her hand and delicately put it down, and the guy turned to face us with wary eyes.
As Jude took another stride forward, his movements resembled a dance, and I noticed he was having fun teasing them. His eyes sparkled with a childlike glee that was unexpected for a person in his twenties. "Would you like to try our latest coffee recipe? It's like sipping on liquid sunshine." He nonchalantly brushed his jeans, and I half-expected him to pull out an egg. “But…” Jude took another step, and Ana situated herself behind the blonde boy, her expression blank. “You’ve already tasted it, haven’t you?”
The girl behind the counter finally stopped counting cash, delicately placing a wad back inside the register before leaning forward, an amused smirk curving on her lips. “Jude.” Her voice was a low murmur. “I didn’t think I would see you here so soon.”
“Cora.” Jude’s lips quirked. “Trust me, I don’t want to be. But hey, it's the boss's orders.”
She inclined her head, her eyes drinking all of him in. The girl rested her fist on her chin. She was surveying him like a piece of meat. “And you obey her?”
His grin widened, and I saw his hand once again brush the front of his apron. “Like a dog.”
“You know her?” I hissed out, grasping hold of the coffee cup in my hand.
“Cora?” Jude turned to me. “Oh yeah, we used to be the Romeo and Juliet of coffee shop rivalry — back when we were both newbies, and our store kidnapped me as a last resort. To keep the peace, I stayed.” He shrugged. “That’s what I’m told, anyway.”
Starbucks lore was getting dark.
These guys had to be joking around.
I took a step back, eager to head towards the door and be as far away as possible from what I was pretty sure was going to be a lot of eggs, and several arrests. “You worked here?” I couldn’t believe my mouth was still moving and forming words as I took slow steps back. Before Jude caught my arm.
“Apparently.” He said, dragging me back by his side. “Why don’t you give ‘em’ their gift?”
Unwrapping the bag and pulling out the cup, I nodded and took slow strides toward the counter, placing it down in front of her.
Cora frowned, before picking it up, her gaze going to the side.
“Go fuck yourself 2nd street bloodsuckers.” She read out loud, her brow raising into her hairline.
“I should probably go.” I managed to say, backing away. “I don’t think is the job for me—”
The latter half of my words exploded in my head when something slammed into my ears, a physical force sending me to my knees. Initially, I didn’t know what it was. It sounded like a nuclear bomb had gone off. When the ringing in my head subsided, I was aware I had my head buried in my knees, my hands clamped over my ears.
But when I tried to listen past the relentless shrill ringing in my skull, I heard them one after the other. Pop, pop, pop! Gunshots. The crack of each bullet ricocheted in my skull. It was a robbery, I thought dizzily. We were being robbed. No, Second Street was being robbed. When I lifted my head to try and find Jude and Ana to see if they were okay-- I expected them to be cowering like me, Jude, under the table, muffling yelling into his hand, and Ana, calmly pulling him to safety. But that wasn't what I saw. Instead, I must have been fucking imagining things. Jude had not moved from his spot-- and perfectly melded into his hand, was a gun. A gun he was holding like a pro, his hands wrapped around the butt, index teasing the trigger.
His trajectory was directly between Cora's eyes. Jude had not been the one who shot the gun. In fact, neither had Ana, who was still standing stiffly behind the blonde guy.
It was a girl behind the counter who had come out of nowhere wielding the type of gun I expected to see in movies. I noticed from his stance Jude had maybe stepped to the left and then the right to avoid being hit, but the way his demeanour was fully and completely relaxed sent shivers creeping down my spine. "The deal is off, Cora," he murmured. "You fuck with us, so we fuck with you." he lowered his gun slightly, his eyes darkening. "Where's Ren? He came here to sniff you out, so where is he?"
Cora seemed remarkably calm. She started to raise her hands, her lips forming the words, "I don't know what you're talking about" before she stopped, her body going limp. It took me a disorienting moment to realize Jude had taken the shot, followed by another, both landing right between her eyes. When Cora hit the ground, the whole world around me exploded.
I was dragged to the ground by Jude, as he dived across the floor, pressing himself into the back of a table, twisting around, and taking out the barista who almost shot me in the face. There were five of them, all of them good shooters. Too good. Ana easily took out a blonde and brunette with her own magnum, followed by a bald guy who crashed through the counter which collapsed under him.
Jude fell into a manic shoot-out with a guy who would not give up, and after several attempts, re-loading, and attempting to finish him from the ground, my colleague got tired and stood up, dropped his gun, and leaped across the counter. I didn't know what to watch. Ana, who was destroying their coffee machine, or Jude, who snapped the boy's neck with a single twist of his fingers, before ripping out his eyes. He hauled the dead guy over his knees, grazing his teeth across the pasty flesh of the boy's neck, his eyes flickering. I wouldn’t say they turned a different color, but there was something inhuman about them, a certain tint around his iris. "Urgh."
He shoved the corpse away, jumping up. "He reeks of it." Treading through broken glass and pooling red on the floor, my colleague grabbed a cup, downed it, and then spat it out. “That.” He sputtered. “Is the worst fucking thing I’ve ever tasted.”
Ana stepped in front of him, handing the boy his gun. “When one of any clan is murdered for with no reason, there is an imbalance, and the coffee is tainted. We must restore the balance before this gets out of hand,” she surprised me by speaking, with a tinge of an Aussie accent. The girl side-eyed me before shooting Jude a knowing look. “Don’t let her get in our way.”
“Aye, aye, captain.” He mocked a salute before nodding to me. “All right! Sim, you grab a sample. We’ll go find the altar.”
Something ice-cold slipped down my spine.
“Cool it. It’s more fun than it sounds,” was all Jude responded with. “Grab the samples.”
I was running on adrenaline, doing exactly what he said. I grabbed two coffee cups. “What do we do now? We go home, right?”
He swiped at his lips with a sound of disgust. “Are you kidding? No, man. We get coffee which ain’t tainted.”
Ana took out two guards in the back before leading us both through a heavy metal door that led into tunnels, tunnels, illuminated by candlelight. “You just killed multiple people,” I finally managed to choke out, following the two of them deeper into the dark. “Over coffee.” I couldn’t resist a nervous laugh that spluttered into a cry. “You just murdered seven baristas over fucking coffee!” I found myself backing away at points, scanning for a way out, an exit away from this fucking nightmare.
Jude turned to me, the glitter in his eyes reflected in the candlelight. “Oh, please,” His voice echoed down the tunnel in a chuckle. “Do you really think this is just about coffee?”
I didn't understand what he meant until we came to the end of the tunnel, which dipped into an alcove leading us into a large cave-like room. Drawing his gun, Jude scanned the dark. "Anyone in here?" He said, and Ana hit him. Silence answered, and I found myself paralyzed to the spot. I didn't know what to stare at first. The ten-foot-tall Starbucks Siren looming over us, illuminated in flickering orange candlelight, or the old swimming pool filled to the brim. When I took a step forward, my foot sunk into something soft, and I made the mistake of looking down. Bodies.
I guessed that was "The Drink".
I felt myself fall back, but Ana's warm arms were guiding me away from decomposing flesh which decapitated heads poisoned in a way that I could almost call ritualistic. There were bodies everywhere, all of them curled up or had died in a position of prayer. Jude crouched in front of a guy still in his Starbucks apron. His eyes had been cleanly plucked from his skull. Jude's expression was beautifully sombre in the candlelight. "Fuck, dude," he whispered.
"Looks like they got you."
“Which explains how they got their hands on our recipe.” Ana pulled out her gun and clicked off the safety. The girl’s eyes were suddenly sad, her lip wobbling. I had a hard time believing a girl who had taken out three baristas at point-blank range was crying.
“What is this place?” I whispered. "What the fuck are you doing in here?”
Jude straightened up. Ana moved behind him, and I noticed her hands holding her gun were trembling. She raised her arm, pointing it at the back of his head. Jude didn't retaliate, only sending me a sickly smile. "It used to be ours," he said. "Until other stores started opening, and it became a fucking free-for-all." Jude sighed, rocking back and forth on his heel. Ana's trigger finger followed his movements. "We have a peace treaty..." Jude trailed off. "Sorry. HAD a peace treaty." He nodded to his colleague. "Second Street has always been obsessed with this particular blend we have that other stores don't." His lips curved. "They're greedy, and thought they could fuck with us. First, they took our last manager. He was like a dad to us. Sliced him up and sent us his head." He gestured to his friend. "And then they took Ren. They brought this shit upon themselves."
As he spoke, Jude dropped to his knees and closed his eyes, bowing his head in front of the Siren. Ana didn't move. "Are you ready?"
I screamed, slamming my hand over my mouth when this time when Ana shot Jude point blank in the back of the head. When his body crumpled to the ground, something inside me snapped in two, and I couldn’t breathe suddenly. I thought the two were playing some kind of sick game before I caught unmistakable seeping black pooling across the alter.
In the blur of orange candlelight, it was almost a mesmerizing sight. “Shush!” Ana sent me an annoyed look, before gathering his body in her arm. “Make yourself useful and grab a bucket,” she said, stumbling towards the pool. I watched her, my heart diving into my throat. When I didn’t move, Ana hissed out and twisted around.
“Did you not hear me?!” she yelled. “Get a bucket and start collecting it!” The girl gestured towards a large, rusted pipe looming over the pool, a stream of murky brown water leaking into the pool. When I started forwards, the girl shook her head. “Not yet.” She said, before heaving Jude’s body and throwing him into the darkness. I heard the splash, but I didn’t even see his body hit the surface. Part of me wanted to demand what the fuck she was doing, but I did what I was told, with trembling hands, grabbing a bucket and shuffling over to the pool edge. Ana hissed out again. “I said not yet!” Before I could speak, she held a finger to her lips. “Do it now!”
“The pool water?!” I shrieked.
She raised a brow. “You think that’s water?”
Before I could coerce some kind of speech, I was interrupted by what felt like a sudden earthquake. The ground rumbled under our feet, and I hesitated before dropping the bucket into the water and scooping up as much as I could. I quickly realized it wasn’t water. It was thick with the constancy of blood, coffee brown and yet sticky and warm like blood.
Above us, the pipe seemed to come to life, a brand new stream of murky brown solution coming down in a waterfall. I didn’t think about the pieces of flesh floating on the surface, the decomposing heads I caught bobbing around, or the fact that I was dipping my hands in blood. Coffee and blood. My stomach was trying to projectile my lunch, but I swallowed it down. I took advantage, managing three buckets before Ana was grasping my shoulders and pulled me back. I didn’t realize I was sobbing until she was handing me a handkerchief, and I was staring at her and it, like, “What do you expect me to do with this?!”
Still in shock, I tried to get another bucket full before she dragged me from the pool edge. “You can stop now,” she said. “We have enough.”
I staggered back when the surface of the pool rippled. I don’t know what I expected to come out.
Not Jude, covered in the brown murky shit I had filled the buckets with. When he broke the surface, I almost threw one of the buckets at his head. Despite being covered in coffee and blood, his skin was oddly free of flaws. The guy was also really naked, which should have been a minor problem compared to what I was seeing, which was a real resurrection in front of a ten-foot statue of the Starbucks siren. Which was completely normal.
But I still found my cheeks heating up. Jude ran a hand through soaked curls sticking over his eyes, shaking them like a dog before pulling himself out. I couldn’t help noticing there was no gunshot wound. It was almost as if his body was completely new. I took in abnormally grey-looking skin, like dead flesh, before averting my gaze. “Did we do it?” He gasped out, immediately covering himself. Once out of the pool, he knelt on the ground, sucking in breaths of air before seemingly realizing the state of himself.
“Fuck. I didn’t think this through.”
“I did.” Ana reached into the backpack she had brought, pulling out a shirt and jeans, reverting her eyes, and throwing him the bundle. “Get dressed.” She said, But there was a slight smirk on her lips. “Yes. I think we managed to appease them.”
“Sweet!” Jude grinned, dressing quickly. He sucked the tips of his fingers. “Mmm.” He nodded at Ana. “That tastes a lot better.”
He gestured to her, and to my disgust, the girl delicately licked his fingers and nodded with her own smile. “It tastes like cherry blossom.”
His eyes fell on me, and I saw that inhuman gleam in his eye—that had been very much there before he was resurrected in a pool of coffee. His lip quirked. I could still see coffee-- or blood dripping in thick rivulets down his temples and cheek. “Should we?”
Jude turned to Ana. “I mean while we’re here, right? We can induct the newbie.”
Immediately, I knew what he was talking about. I stepped back, but he was following me, getting closer and closer until his breath was in my face, and I was teetering on the edge. I sensed something in his eyes, something I never expected from a man who knew exactly what he was doing. Envy. Another step, and I would be falling into what I was sure was a pool full of decomposing bodies and resurrecting coffee. “Not now,” Ana murmured, and Jude snapped out of it, taking a step back.
“Buzzkill.” He muttered.
But he did step away, allowing me to inch away from the pool.
“Later,” Ana said. “She’s shaken up. We can do it first thing tomorrow.”
To my surprise, there were no cops at the scene at Second Street. Because there was no scene.
The store was back to normal, and I didn’t have the energy to question why. When we returned, Aurora wrapped me into a hug I tried to get out of as quickly as possible, eager to get the fuck away from that place. But. I had to finish my shift. I had watched a man resurrected by coffee in a fucking Starbucks shrine, and yet somehow I had to keep making drinks until my shift ended. It was nearing closing time when the doors opened, and I found myself face-to-face with the girl from earlier. The one wearing the pink ray-bans.
She didn’t say anything, but the blade of her knife grazing my gut told me everything I needed to know. With a knowing look when she slipped off her raybans, she pressed something into my hand before leaving, and I handed it to the manager, who opened it up, almost died laughing, and then threw it in the trash.
“You work for psychopaths.” I managed to get out, sidling in front of Jude while he was clocking out.
“Also, didn’t you… didn’t you fucking die?”
Jude didn’t look up from his phone. “It’s complicated.” His lip quirked. “You’ll find out tomorrow during your induction.”
“But… you work for these people!” I lowered my voice. “And you’re not trying to get away?” I gestured to Kai and Aurora standing by the door, the two of them locked in conversation. “None of you?”
Jude frowned, and I caught the first hint of annoyance. I had only seen this guy smiling, so seeing him scowling was quite the change. “I’m sorry, do you… do you think I have a choice?”
He surprised me with a laugh. “Me? A choice? You really think I wake up every morning and WANT to do this shit?” He got close, his breath in my ear. “You came here willingly. I didn’t. In fact? I don’t even remember coming here. My interview, my first day? Nothing. I don’t even remember my time at Second Street.” He threw a towel at me before I could coerce words. “Finish clearing up, all right? I’ll see you tomorrow for induction.”
There was something cruel in his smile like he was waiting for whatever my induction had in store for me.
I couldn’t help myself. When everyone was gone, and I was tasked with locking up, I picked the discarded note out of the trash, smoothing it down.
“You pieces of shit just declared war. Sleep with one eye open! 😊”
I cut my finger with a knife this morning. When I sucked it and grabbed a band-aid, I tasted coffee. I went home and threw up coffee.
I am peeing coffee.
I showered 8 times and I still fucking smell of coffee.
I don’t think I’m going to go to work tomorrow.
Edit: There’s been a break-in— and the manager wants me to come in early. Jude and Ana woke me up in the middle of the night to go over tactics. We are taking down Second Street during closing time.
I guess I am going to work tomorrow.
Does anyone know how to use a gun?
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2023.06.09 20:58 writeoutthebox Blood, Sweat & Tears
“Blood, Sweat & Tears” I stare at the cracked mirror in the dimly lit backstage room, trying to recognise the person staring back at me. The once vibrant eyes now carry a weariness that no amount of success can erase. My name is Jake, and I've poured every ounce of my being into becoming a rock star, but lately, I've begun to question if it was worth it. Our band, "The Fallen," was born in the dingy basement of a rundown apartment building. We were just a group of misfits with a shared dream and an insatiable hunger for music. Countless hours were spent rehearsing, writing songs, and playing in empty dive bars, hoping for that one breakthrough that could change our lives. And finally, it came. We secured our first tour, hopping from city to city in a rickety old van, living off fast food and cheap motels. The late nights and endless miles became our companions as we played our hearts out in front of dwindling audiences. But perseverance paid off when we caught the attention of a record label executive who saw the raw potential in us. Our first album, "Blood, Sweat & Tears," became an instant hit. It climbed the charts, and our faces adorned magazine covers. The relentless touring took its toll, but we revelled in the adoration of fans, the exhilaration of sold-out concerts, and the euphoria that surged through our veins with every chord struck on stage. However, the dark side of success soon reared its head. The constant pressure, the unrelenting expectations, and the ever-mounting stress began to wear us down. I, in particular, felt the weight of it all crushing my spirit. The exhaustion led to sleepless nights and moments of crippling self-doubt that turned into bouts of depression. And then came the blackouts. I wake up in unfamiliar places, covered in sweat, my heart pounding against my ribcage. My mind is blank, unable to account for the hours that slipped away. Panic grips me as I frantically search for clues, wondering what I might have said or done during those lost moments. The fear of becoming a stranger to myself consumes me, and I'm left questioning my sanity. Inside the band, tensions rise. The arguments that used to be minor disagreements now escalate into full-blown fights. Trust begins to erode as egos clash, and resentment festers beneath the surface. The harmony we once had as a united force of music becomes distorted, replaced by discordant notes that threaten to tear us apart. As the fame grows, so does the darkness that lingers around us. I can't help but wonder if this is the price we pay for chasing our dreams. The success that once felt like salvation now feels like a curse, and I'm left wondering if there's any way to escape the shadows that haunt us. The once vibrant energy of "The Fallen" now hangs heavy with an ominous tension. We've reached a crossroads where the very foundation of our band threatens to crumble beneath the weight of our personal demons. As the second act of our story unfolds, the true horrors lurking in the shadows are about to be unleashed. The strain on our relationships becomes unbearable, like a frayed guitar string on the verge of snapping. Each member of the band carries their own burdens, and the pressure cooker of emotions can no longer contain the mounting resentment. Arguments turn into bitter confrontations, hurling accusations and insults that cut deep into our souls. But the dissonance within us pales in comparison to the malevolent presence that seems to infiltrate our lives. Strange occurrences haunt our days and nights, testing the boundaries of our sanity. Instruments mysteriously detune, creating discordant melodies that grate on our nerves. Eerie whispers echo through the corridors of our tour bus, leaving us trembling in the darkness. My blackouts intensify, their duration stretching into hours, and the fear of what I might become during those lost moments gnaws at the edges of my consciousness. It's as if a malevolent force takes control, using my body as a vessel for its own nefarious desires. I wake up with bloodstained hands, surrounded by shattered glass and broken memories. Paranoia takes hold, and we start to suspect each other. The camaraderie we once shared is replaced by a toxic cocktail of suspicion and fear. Our music, once a means of escape and expression, now becomes a conduit for something darker. The lyrics we pen are laced with sinister undertones, haunting melodies that seem to summon an otherworldly presence. As we delve deeper into the abyss, we discover a disturbing truth. Our rise to fame was not simply a product of talent and hard work but a pact we unknowingly made when we were desperate for success. The price we paid for our dreams was steeper than we ever imagined. An ancient curse, tied to the music we create, has awakened forces beyond our comprehension. Our very souls are entwined with the darkness, and it feeds on our anguish, our struggles, and our desperation. The success we once craved has become a prison, a never-ending nightmare from which we cannot escape. With each passing day, the malevolent presence grows stronger, its grip on our minds and bodies tightening like a vice. It's clear that we must confront the origins of this curse and find a way to break free, or risk losing ourselves entirely to the abyss. But can we find the strength to overcome the horrors that surround us and reclaim our lives, or are we destined to become mere instruments in a symphony of madness? The depths of despair have claimed my bandmates, leaving me standing amidst a gruesome tableau of carnage and unanswered questions. The discovery of their lifeless bodies shocks me to the core. Crimson splatters paint the walls, turning our once vibrant sanctuary into a macabre canvas. Their eyes, once filled with dreams and determination, now stare into the abyss, their souls forever silenced. How did it come to this? Did our pact with the shadows consume them, or is there a more sinister force at play? The room whispers secrets, but they remain locked within the shadows, refusing to reveal their dark truths. Fragmented memories of our recent days together haunt my mind, merging with the echoes of my blackouts. Did I become an unwitting puppet, dancing to the malevolent tune of the curse? Or was I merely a witness to a horror that defies comprehension? The weight of guilt presses upon my shoulders, threatening to break me. The once unbreakable bond we shared, the brotherhood forged in music, now feels like a curse. Doubt seeps into the cracks of my sanity, intertwining with the tendrils of the darkness that has plagued us from the beginning. How could I have let it come to this? Was there any way to save them, or was their fate sealed from the moment we struck that infamous bargain? As I stand amidst the wreckage of shattered dreams and shattered lives, the truth remains elusive, buried deep within the haunting melody of our story. The horror of the unknown lingers, forever shrouding our final chapter in mystery. Was it the curse that claimed their lives, or was it my own hand stained with their blood? The echoes of their music resonate within me, their voices mingling with the haunting questions that will haunt me until my last breath. So, as I stand above the four dead members of my band, covered in blood, I wonder, was it all worth it? The End.
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2023.06.09 20:58 Accomplished-Match50 Does anyone else have a tongue tie with arfid?
I’m not sure if the two things are related but I’ve seen some people mention these going hand in hand in terms of feeding issues as a baby and reflux issues. I feel like I have always swallowed a little weird because of it, or even swirling drinks around in my mouth before swallowing, maybe chewing slightly different to people? I wondered if anyone else experienced this? If anyone else has got theirs cut and if it made any difference to eating and taste?
Appreciate any responses, thanks.
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2023.06.09 20:51 colorsofthestorm Music/sound in sessions, what do you do and recommendations?
Soon-to-be first-time DM here, how do you (if at all) incorporate music into your sessions? Do you have any good songs/sources? What I'm leaning towards doing is having one traditional song (with lyrics and the like) tied to each story arc that plays at the start and end of sessions, then probably use a video game soundtrack song for the background ambiance music, with another video game track for fights. This seems to be roughly how other DMs I've played with have approached it, sometimes no ambiance music, and/or session start music. Thoughts? Good songs to use?
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2023.06.09 20:41 Justhegirlnextdoor I think I've got a stalker... And he sends me sticky notes PART 4
Those of you who have been following my posts know that I’ve been getting sticky notes from a stalker, so you already know what to expect when I post. This time though, I need you to expect the unexpected…
I received another sticky note (a purple one again) and it came with another strange marking on one of the corners… “You’re running out of time, little mouse...”
Purple Sticky Note #2: https://imgur.com/a/xB0E0vb
All 3 Sticky Notes: https://imgur.com/a/mpihXK8
One of the comments on my last post mentioned that it may be a puzzle, and that maybe I should connect the sticky notes to see if it makes a picture? Since receiving this new sticky note, I think they might just be right… I also need to address the note I got from my neighbor across the hall from me, but I’ll get to that in a few paragraphs. Just bear with me and be patient... You'll understand why I saved that whole interaction for the ending of my post.
So, I finally took some time out to meet some of the other tenants on my floor. I’ll document what I thought about each of them individually, and maybe some of you can help me figure out if any of them might be a suspect? Someone in my last post mentioned my landlord (Jack), but for some reason I just can’t fathom him doing anything sinister? But then again… I really don’t know who I can trust, can I?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ YESTERDAY, 4:30 PM Mrs. Kirtley & Derek _______?
“Can I help you with something?”
“Hi! I’m the new tenant that just moved into 13B, I just wanted to introduce myself!” Handing the woman the neatly wrapped box of cookies, I smiled and said, “I’m Anna, nice to meet you.” I figured if I was going to meet (interrogate) my neighbors, the best course of action would be to sweeten them up first.
Yanking the cookies from my grasp, the woman threw them on the ground and looked me right in the eye before saying, “Stay away from me. I don’t want anything that’s touched you or your apartment in my space.”
With a nod, I backed away and quickly apologized before she slammed the door. Confusion bubbled within me and my eyes couldn’t help but water when I saw the box on the ground. The cookies had all toppled out, some of them broken. The twine had come loose during the tumble. Crouching down, I scooped up the pieces and the crumbs and shoved them back into the box. Embarrassment burned at my cheeks as I scrambled to do so as fast as I could. Most of them fell onto her welcome mat which looked incredibly pristine before my unwanted cookies landed on it. Maybe she just didn’t take kindly to visitors? I know I certainly didn’t feel very “welcome”. My first impression of this woman was that she wasn’t very pleasant in the slightest. I didn’t even get her name. She was a willowy looking woman with thin gray hair and unusually blue eyes. Upon first glance, she didn’t even look as if she could hurt a fly, but her words said otherwise.
Before I could stand back up though, I felt a hand on my shoulder. A gasp escaped my lips and I jerked, the touch catching me off guard. Before I knew it, my elbow connected with a face and in the same instant I heard a slight groaning sound. Dropping the cookies, I turned around to see a man. I cringed when I noticed his hand clutching his nose, blood continuing to seep out from beneath his fingertips.
“Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry!” Rushing across the hallway to my door, I hurriedly pulled it open and called out to him, “Stay right there!” Grabbing a handful of napkins, I ran back out into the hall and handed them to him, guilt clawing at my insides. If only he knew why I was so jumpy. I’d been on nothing but high alert for days… “I’m so sorry! I didn’t even hear you walking up to me.”
A small chuckle escaped his lips as he took the napkins from my hands and held them up to his nose. “You sure are a lot stronger than you look, that’s for sure. I think you broke it.”
A million more apologies danced on the tip of my tongue and I started to recite them all before he cut me off and said, “It’s alright! It wouldn’t be the first time after all.”
I looked up at him curiously and he was quick to answer me.
“First time was during a boxing match with a buddy.” His hand applied steady pressure to the area, but the napkin was quickly filling up as he continued to speak. “I didn’t mean to scare you, but I caught the tail end of your encounter with our friendliest neighbor, Mrs. Kirtley.” The sarcasm in his voice was enough to make me crack a little grin. After my incident with that woman, I could really use a kind face. Before I could respond though, he was introducing himself. “I actually live right across from Mrs. Kirtley. My name’s Derek.”
Derek was tall and slim and athletic looking. He looked like the type that probably ran track in highschool?
“Well it’s very nice to meet you, Derek. I hate that your first impression of me wasn’t exactly…” I trailed off again before I continued, embarrassed that I let my paranoia get the better of me. “I, um, just moved in right across the hall here, do you want to come in for a bit? I’ve got a first aid kit -”
“Oh I’m fine! Really!” His eyes darted in the direction of my apartment. The look on his face mirrored the same look I received from Mrs. Kirtley… Fear?
I didn’t want to be pushy, but I also felt the extreme need to atone for my actions. Looking at the ground he shuffled his feet some as I spoke. “Please? I feel horrible about your nose. I’ve already made one bad impression, and the last thing I’d want is for another one.”
Glancing up at me, he looked at his watch and then finally relented. “I guess I could come in for a bit. You did hit me pretty hard after all. Not the nicest way to greet a neighbor…” My cheeks once again burned red before I broke out into laughter. His sarcasm was much needed and my laughter only seemed to push him onward. “I mean, if you greet all your neighbors like that-”
“Only the nice ones.” I interrupt, the corners of my mouth tugged up into a cheeky grin. His face mirrored mine as he made his way into my apartment.
“You’re witty.” He responded, “I like it. We could use a little of that around here. Most of the other neighbors are pretty dry.”
“Well,” I said as I grabbed the first aid kit from my bathroom, “I’m glad that I’ve offered some much needed change around here then.”
Opening the kit, he pilfered through it till he found the gauze. Shoving some of it into his nose, he looked over at me and pointed to my freezer. “You got a bag of frozen peas or somethin’?”
“I think I actually might!” Handing him the peas, he winced a little as he held the bag to his nose.
“Thanks…? Sorry, I never caught your name?”
“Oh, it’s Anna! I was too busy trying to knock you out to introduce myself, I guess.” A small laugh slipped past my lips when he shook his head and smiled back.
“Injury aside, you seem like a nice girl, so I’ll forgive ya this time!” Once again, his words were coated in just the right amount of sarcasm. Setting down the peas, he rubbed the bridge of his nose gingerly.
“Well..” I started awkwardly, “I would have brought you some cookies too, but unfortunately those all ended up on Mrs. Kirtley’s welcome mat…”
“You mean these?” Setting on my coffee table was the crumbled box of broken cookies. I’d forgotten to even grab them after all the commotion.
“Yes, actually! Thank you for grabbing those for me.”
“Of course. I ate a piece of one while you were looking for the first aid kit, and I’ve gotta hand it to ya, you’re a pretty decent baker.”
Brushing back a strand of my hair and tucking it behind my ear, my face lit up just the tiniest bit at that remark. Having a friend would be nice… But could I trust him??
The person I needed to meet the most lived right across from me and right beside Derek. He was the one that left me the note… And he was also the neighbor I was the most hesitant about meeting for that exact reason.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ YESTERDAY, 5:00 PM Dr. Matt Pryor
Knocking on his door took me at least a good 5 minutes. 3 minutes trying to figure out what I would even say and 2 minutes trying to convince myself to knock. But when I finally did, he was quick to answer.
“Hi, you were the one who left me the-”
The abrupt way in which he cut me off was slightly unnerving. I knew he’d probably been expecting me since he left that note on my doorstep, but I didn’t expect him to be so eager to see me?
The first thing I noticed when I stepped into his apartment was how insanely clean it was? It almost looked as if no one lived there at all. His apartment was very modern and everything was either in a shade of gray or black. It felt very... Sterile?
“Take a seat.” He said, instructing me to sit on one of the couches in the living room.
His strange demeanor was only proving to make me more nervous and uncomfortable, but despite his off-putting way of speaking, I knew I needed to hear him out.
“I apologize for coming across so…” He trailed off before changing the subject and holding out a hand in my direction. “Dr. Pryor, but you can just call me Matt.”
Matt looked to be of Italian descent. His hair was thick and dark and his face sported a couple of wrinkles above his forehead that led me to believe that maybe he was in his 40’s or 50’s? And he was dressed in formal attire. He donned black slacks, a white dress shirt with sleeves rolled up to his elbows and his tie was slightly loosened.
Shaking his hand, I tried to paste a smile across my face and offer my own pleasantries. “I’m Anna, nice to meet you.”
Nodding, he sat back in his chair and steepled his fingers together in thought for a few moments before he finally broke the silence. “I’m sure you’re wondering why I left that note on your doorstep. I didn’t mean for it to come across as strange, and I hope you didn’t take it that way, but I felt like I needed to warn you.”
“Warn me of what, exactly?” My own fingers fidgeted with a stray piece of string that had come loose at the bottom of my blouse.
He sucked in a quiet breath and appeared sort of apprehensive. “I’m not exactly sure how to say this without it sounding strange, but… I’ve been keeping an eye on you.”
“Excuse me...?” My breathing stilled for a moment and my eyes darted towards his door.
He instantly noticed my change in expression. “I- It’s not like that.” Stuttering over his words, he rubbed the bridge of his nose before saying, “What I mean is that I’ve noticed someone exiting your apartment… But I’ve never seen them enter.”
Every hair on my body stood on end at his words. “What… What do you mean?”
“What I mean is that I find it incredibly concerning that this person is somehow able to get into your apartment other than using your door…” His eyebrows were knitted together in worry. “Have you…” He paused. “Have you been noticing anything strange? Things moving in your apartment perhaps??”
I instantly paled. “I’ve been… Receiving strange notes. Sticky notes left in different places. Up until recently, they have only ever been in my apartment.”
“Well I just… I wanted you to know that I’m looking out for you. Whoever it is has been incredibly good at hiding their identity, because I cannot explain to you for the life of me what this person looks like.”
I watched as his hands carded through his hair. This man was just as on edge as I was, and in a way, it was almost sort of comforting to know that I wasn’t alone in feeling absolutely terrified.
“And you can’t recall any details about what this person looks like?” I questioned.
Scratching the stubble on his chin, he sat quietly for a few moments before commenting. “I honestly cannot tell you anything appearance wise. Every Time I’ve seen them leave, they have always been covered. Black hoodie, black pants, black shoes. I can only guess based on the height and build that it might be a man?”
“The handwriting on the sticky notes makes me believe that he is a man as well.”
Nodding, he sat in silence for a beat or two before he looked down at his watch. “Well, I’ve got some errands I need to run so I will see you out, but I just wanted you to know that I’d be on the lookout for any more suspicious activity.”
Reaching out, I shook his hand again and thanked him before leaving.
In the end, I don’t know if meeting my neighbors really shed any light on the situation, but it was a relief to have my suspicions validated and to know that I wasn’t absolutely crazy. That someone had really been in my apartment. But then there was the chilling statement I’d heard him say that still continued to bother me… It was playing over and over in my head like some sick mantra. “What I mean is that I’ve noticed someone exiting your apartment… But I’ve never seen them enter
Somehow, whoever this psycho was, he was accessing my apartment… From the inside.
If you missed PART 3: https://www.reddit.com/nosleep/comments/144i2aw/i_think_ive_got_a_stalker_and_he_sends_me_sticky/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
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2023.06.09 18:47 Pizzapunk182 Should I pursue a diagnosis?
I have struggled with chronic joint/muscle pain/tension for years, mostly about 6 years, since adulthood really. I am passionate about fitness, partially because I have been constantly seeking relief from the pain and tension and trying stretching, yoga, and strengthening to try to find relief. But often times it made things worse in a way. I recently pursued medical assistance for answers because I realized it was not normal to have this level of difficulties and pain. I learned I have minor scoliosis and was told I had some hypermobility. I learned more about hypermobility and its like a light bulb went off. It describes my experience so well and I'm so glad to have answers and a better understanding of what my problems are, and how to accommodate for them. This alone has brought me some progress and relief, because I have been more mindful of it and adapting my exercise routines for it, focusing less on yoga and stretching and more on strengthening, although definitely still stretching because it does help but just not overdoing it like I believe I was before.
My question is if I should pursue a more formal diagnosis of hypermobility, such as hypermobility spectrum disorder or EDS. My dr and chiropractor told me I have some hypermobility but they didn't make it seem like a major issue, but my personal research has made me realize how much it describes my problems. Some things I experience that fit a diagnosis or are often commorbid with hypermobility from what I understand are:
• Joint and muscle pain and tension and instability
• Chronic and debilitating TMJ problems, which I have gone to a craniofacial physical therapist for, which has helped, but it is still chronic, which I think is consistent with hypermobility, bc it won't really go away
• Scoliosis, which my chiropractor believe is "compensatory", which I think is consistent with hypermobility
• A winged scapula
• A tongue tie
• A vitamin D deficiency, and being low in other micronutrients like iron, magnesium, potassium, b12, and also protein, despite working hard to eat a balanced diet that is especially high in protein bc I was working out a lot
•Higher than average number of breaks and strains, I'd say, including breaking each of my wrists twice and rolling ankles countless times
• Having a hard time building muscle and having structural Instability and core weakness, despite focusing on fitness and strength for years, especially yoga, which has a focus in posture, yet I struggle finding a comfortable posture every day
Thank you so much for anyone who has taken the time to read. I'm just wondering if anyone thinks I am a candidate for pursuing a diagnosis of either hypermobility spectrum disorder or EDS.
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2023.06.09 17:47 chadders404 Nerve/tooth pain following ortho appointment 3 weeks post op
Looking for anyone with a similar experience or advice.
I had Lower Jaw Surgery 6 weeks ago (3.5mm advancement to fix bite). All the usual business with swelling and bruising, as well as a small area of numbness on my lower left lip and chin which is normal. My surgeon said that the nerve was in tact when they put me back together and expects sensation to return in a few months.
3 weeks post op, I had my first orthodontist appointment since the surgery. When they changed the wire, I felt pain in my teeth when they were tying the wire onto the brackets on the lower left numb side. I flinched and told them it hurt and they apologised for causing me pain but weren't concerned which was reassuring at the time. However, ever since this appointment I've had occasional dull pain in my teeth in the same place. If I push my tongue against the teeth, it hurts. I can't eat on that side of my face. It makes brushing that lower side of my teeth difficult because they're so sensetive. I cannot use an electric toothbrush near those teeth. It feels like the kind of pain you get when you eat something really cold, except it's inside my teeth. It only effects the teeth on my lower left side, everywhere else feels fine.
My orthodontist has been good so I'm sure they'll put me right at my next appointment but in the mean time I was wondering if anyone had any medical explanation or advice. Have you been through anything similar? Did it go away?
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