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Release Date: Nike Dunk Low GS Blue Iridescent
2023.06.01 08:26 FormalSmoke Release Date: Nike Dunk Low GS Blue Iridescent
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Release Date: Nike Dunk Low GS Blue Iridescent
Dropping in the coming months, here are official images of the Nike Dunk Low
GS Blue Iridescent.
This grade-school colorway of the Nike
Dunk Low is given a leather upper consisting of a White base and contrasted by the Muted Blue overlays. More Blue hits land on the laces as well as the mesh tongues and lining. The sneaker is is highlighted by the iridescent hits on the Swooshes, tongues, and heels. A Nike Grind two-tone rubber outsole and insoles housing Nike’s pinwheel logo complete the look.
Enjoy official images of the Nike Dunk Low GS Blue Iridescent below and look for a release to take place on nike.com and select retailers on June 13th. For a complete guide including official photos, release dates, pricing and where to buy, visit: Nike Dunk Low GS Blue Iridescent
In release news, will you be going after the Air Jordan 1 High OG Washed Black
on June 10th? UPDATE (6/1): The Nike Dunk Low GS “Blue Iridescent” will be releasing via nike.com and select retailers on June 13th for $90.
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2023.06.01 08:26 FormalSmoke CLOT x fragment x Nike Dunk Low Releasing On SNKRS
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CLOT x fragment x Nike Dunk Low Releasing On SNKRS
It looks like we got a CLOT
x fragment x Nike Dunk Low
collaboration dropping later on this year. This three-way collab apears to be celebrating Clot’s 20th anniversary.
The CLOT x fragment x Nike Dunk Low comes equipped with a White tearaway silk upper that’s very similar to the ones we’ve seen on the CLOT x Nike Air Force 1 Low collabs we’ve seen a few years back. Other details include the Black leather eyelets with matching sockliners, atop a translucent outsole. Other details include “FRGMT” branding embroidered on the heels and co-branded Clot and Fragment
logos stamped onto the insoles. The shoe will also come housed in special packaging.
It has been announced that the CLOT x fragment x Nike Dunk Low “20th Anniversary” ($150) will be releasing on May 19th via raffle on the Juice Store app. Raffle details will be announced on both @CLOT and @JUICESTORE social media. A release on SNKRS will then take place on June 14th. For a complete guide including official photos, release dates, pricing and where to buy, visit: CLOT x fragment x Nike Dunk Low
In release news, will you be going after the Air Jordan 1 High OG Washed Black
on June 10th? UPDATE (6/1): Following an exclusive release via Juice, the CLOT x fragment x Nike Dunk Low will now be releasing via SNKRS on June 14th for a price tag of $150.
In celebration of CLOT’s 20th anniversary, Founder and Creative Director Edison Chen and long-time collaborator and friend Hiroshi Fujiwara have teamed up with Nike to produce a new collaboration sneaker: the Dunk Low x CLOT x Fragment Design. Inspired by Hiroshi Fujiwara’s favorite CLOT shoe of the last two decades—the Air Force 1 x CLOT, also known as the “White Silk” from 2018—the Dunk Low x CLOT x Fragment Design features an all-white silk-inspired upper patterned with CLOT’s iconic Silk Royale, set on a cream-white opaque sole for a clean look. The tongue, lace stay, and heel tab are rendered in black, resulting in the striking black and white colorway inspired by pandas, which Fujiwara fondly recalled visiting with Chen at the Chengdu reservation. The insole, meanwhile, features the CLOT20 logo, marking this a special release. Each pair of Dunk Low x CLOT x Fragment Design comes with black and blue laces for styling purposes.
UPDATE (5/8): It has been announced that the CLOT x fragment x Nike Dunk Low “20th Anniversary” ($150) will be releasing on May 19th via raffle on the Juice Store app. Raffle details will be announced on both @CLOT and @JUICESTORE social media.
“Contrary to what some may think, our conversations rarely revolve around work. Most of the projects that come from me and Hiroshi, they’re very organic. This project is very rare. I think we trust each other enough that we have a level of standard, and it just moves,” Clot founder Edison Chen said about the project.
UPDATE (3/10): Here are official images of the CLOT x fragment x Nike Dunk Low. Retail is $110. A release date has yet to be announced.
UPDATE (3/3): Here’s out best look yet at the CLOT x fragment x Nike Dunk Low courtesy of Private Selection. No official release date has yet to be announced.
UPDATE (3/2): Here is a first look at the CLOT x fragment x Nike Dunk Low via felexyee. Our first look shows that the sneaker comes equipped with a White tearaway silk upper that’s very similar to the ones we’ve seen on the CLOT x Nike Air Force 1 Low collabs we’ve seen a few years back. Other details include the Black leather eyelets with matching sockliners, atop a translucent outsole.
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2023.06.01 08:26 FormalSmoke On-Feet Images of The Nike Dunk Low Industrial Blue
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On-Feet Images of The Nike Dunk Low Industrial Blue
Arriving later on this year, here is a first look at the Nike Dunk Low
Industrial Blue. This Dunk Low differs from other Dunk Low for the simple fact that it comes with new branding on the insoles. Let take a closer look.
This Nike Dunk Low Industrial Blue opts for a mixed material upper. It starts off with a White leather base that’s then offset by the Black nubuck overlays as well as the Industrial Blue overlays. Other defining features include the Industrial Blue leather heel tab, tongue branding and burnished-like Swooshes. When it comes to the new branding, the insoles house Nike Basketball branding, which leads us to believe that this pair may be a part of a wider collection. A White midsole and Black rubber outsole round out the main features of the shoe.
Dunk Low Industrial Blue is currently expected to release in the coming months at select retailers and Nike.com for the retail price of $110. For a complete guide including official photos, release dates, pricing and where to buy, visit: Nike Dunk Low Industrial Blue
In release news, will you be going after the Air Jordan 1 High OG Washed Black
on June 10th? UPDATE (6/1): Check out on-feet images of the Nike Dunk Low “Industrial Blue” via yankeekicks. A release is expected soon.
UPDATE (4/6): Official images of the Nike Dunk Low “Industrial Blue” that will be releasing in the coming weeks.
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2023.06.01 08:16 Sand_cham Famous actor Danny Masterson convicted for raping three women, including his longtime girlfriend.
| || | submitted by Sand_cham to Hollywoodlifes [link] [comments]
Danny Masterson famous American actor, 47, was led up to 30 years to the prison by putting handcrafts. This famous star is found guilty in raping three women between 2001 and 2003. Danny has declared as the convict in Los Angeles court. There were seven women and five men in the jury, they have come to the decision after considering this serious case on a famous star for seven days that spread over two weeks. Among from these women one is his longtime girlfriend. However they had given their statements to the court to catch up the Danny smartly. It is said that he raped these three women in a retail. There the Church of Scientology played a major role. That was highlighted during the case frequently.
Danny’s wife is also a famous actress and a model, there she also had face to a great convenient because of her husband. His wife Bijou Phillips, 43, sobbed while he was accusing as the convict person for this raping case. She had wept while the jury was reading the verdict in courtroom. The other family members also were there. All of his familiar ones’ faces were filled up with sad. However, the court in the Los Angeles has given him a punishment for 30 years’ imprisonment. When the judges taking statements from victimized women, two of them had said that Danny gave drug with their beverage to intoxicate. Danny had raped them forcibly in his Hollywood Hills home. He had given drug to these women to rape them easily without any obstacles. Because of his prominence in the Church Danny had done this to these three women without any doubt. However, all of three women had given statements in front of the court very bravely. So the lawyer has praised their strength and braveness at that time. They did not appear in front of the court only for them, actually they put their steps forward to preserve all women from like this way terrible situations bravely.
These all three women also members of the church. The first accuser had said that Danny raped her by giving a drugged-drink when she went to his home to take some keys. She has further reveled that he had raped her in his house upstairs bedroom. And the second victimized woman is his former girlfriend. She said that he had raped her during their years together. Also she declared that he abused her both physically and sexually. The third accuser also had reveled this dark character to all. She had got to know about this Danny Masterson via his mutual friends. One time he had invited her to his home while he was spending time in his home lonely. He had raped her there without any willingness of her. She had said strictly to the court that she didn’t has any idea about having sex with him. However, with all the factors and statements of women the famous actor had arrested and had sent to the prison for 30 years. As I think the law has taken the right side of the case without giving priority to any party. Also as an actor he has to be somewhat polite in his behavior, otherwise he can’t live in people hearts forever. Because an actor has to be a great character which can show the right path to the life. Not as the Danny Masterson.
2023.06.01 08:09 luxurytempotravelers Maharaja Tempo Traveller Rental Jaipur
| || | submitted by luxurytempotravelers to u/luxurytempotravelers [link] [comments]
Are you planning a group trip or a family outing in Jaipur? Look no further than Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental
, your perfect companion for comfortable and convenient travel in the Pink City. With its fleet of well-maintained tempo travelers and a reputation for excellent service, Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental is the preferred choice for travelers seeking luxury and reliability.
https://preview.redd.it/n7s2s0bqjc3b1.png?width=768&format=png&auto=webp&s=5031dfc355f06463f089b8eecb593cc95fdc8b4f Features of Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental
When you choose Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental
, you can expect a host of features that ensure a pleasant and enjoyable journey. The tempo travelers provided by the company are designed to offer spacious and comfortable seating arrangements, making long trips a breeze. Whether you are traveling with a small group or a larger party, Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental has a vehicle that suits your needs.
Moreover, the tempo travelers are equipped with luxury amenities and facilities that enhance your travel experience. From plush interiors to entertainment systems, the vehicles are designed to provide a premium travel experience. Additionally, the company maintains its fleet diligently to ensure that you receive a vehicle in excellent condition for your journey. Accompanied by experienced and professional drivers, your safety and comfort are their top priorities. Types of Tempo Travelers Offered
Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental offers a range of tempo travelers to cater to different group sizes and requirements. They provide various variants, each with its own seating capacity, features, and specifications. Whether you need a compact traveler for a small group or a larger vehicle for a bigger party, Maharaja Tempo Travel Traveler Rental has got you covered. Here are the types of tempo travelers offered by Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental: Standard Tempo Traveler:
Ideal for small groups or families, the standard tempo traveler can accommodate up to 9 passengers. It offers comfortable seating, air conditioning, and basic amenities to ensure a pleasant journey. Deluxe Tempo Traveler:
With a seating capacity of 12 passengers, the deluxe tempo traveler provides additional space and enhanced comfort. It is equipped with luxury amenities such as reclining seats, LED screens, and a music system for entertainment. Luxury Tempo Traveler:
For those seeking a truly lavish experience, the luxury tempo traveler is the perfect choice. It can accommodate up to 16 passengers and offers a spacious and opulent interior. With features like leather upholstery, individual charging points, and a mini-fridge, this variant ensures a first-class travel experience. Premium Tempo Traveler:
The premium tempo traveler is designed for larger groups, with a seating capacity of up to 20 passengers. It provides ample legroom, comfortable seating, and advanced amenities like Wi-Fi connectivity and a television for onboard entertainment.
No matter which variant you choose, Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental ensures that you have a comfortable and enjoyable journey with your group. Benefits of Renting a Maharaja Tempo Traveler
Renting a tempo traveler from Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental Jaipur
comes with numerous advantages, making it the preferred choice for group travel. Here are some key benefits: Convenience for Group Travel:
Traveling in a single tempo traveler allows your group to stay together throughout the journey. You can enjoy each other's company, have conversations, and create memorable experiences together. Cost-Effective Option:
Renting a tempo traveler is often more cost-effective compared to hiring multiple individual vehicles. It helps save on fuel costs, toll charges, and parking fees, making it an economical choice for group outings. Safety and Security:
Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental prioritizes passenger safety. Their drivers are experienced professionals who ensure a smooth and secure journey. Additionally, the company follows stringent maintenance procedures, ensuring that the tempo travelers are in optimal condition. Flexibility and Customization:
Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental offers flexible rental options to suit your specific needs. Whether you require a vehicle for a few hours or several days, they can accommodate your requirements. Moreover, they provide customization options such as adding extra facilities or arranging specific itineraries based on your preferences. Comfort and Convenience:
With spacious interiors, comfortable seating, and luxury amenities, renting a Maharaja Tempo traveler guarantees a comfortable and convenient travel experience. You can relax, unwind, and enjoy the journey while leaving the driving responsibilities to the experienced chauffeur.
By choosing Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental Jaipur,
you can ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable trip with your group, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Popular Destinations and Packages
Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, is a city steeped in history and culture, with several captivating tourist destinations in and around it. Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental offers pre-planned tour packages to some of the most popular attractions. Here are a few of the must-visit destinations in Jaipur and the surrounding areas: Hawa Mahal:
Known as the "Palace of Winds," Hawa Mahal is a stunning architectural marvel with its unique honeycomb-like structure. Enjoy the breathtaking views from its windows and immerse yourself in the grandeur of Rajputana architecture. City Palace:
Explore the opulent City Palace, the residence of the Jaipur royal family. Marvel at the intricate craftsmanship, beautiful courtyards, and royal artifacts housed within the City Palace. Amber Fort:
Visit the majestic Amber Fort, located just outside Jaipur. This magnificent fort showcases the rich history and grandeur of the Rajput dynasty. Explore its intricate carvings, expansive courtyards, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Jantar Mantar:
Discover the fascinating Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory built in the 18th century. It houses a collection of architectural and astronomical instruments that were used for precise astronomical calculations during ancient times. Nahargarh Fort:
Enjoy panoramic views of Jaipur from Nahargarh Fort, perched on the Aravalli Hills. This fort offers a serene escape from the city and is a popular spot for witnessing beautiful sunsets.
Apart from these iconic attractions, Maharaja Tempo Traveler Rental also offers packages to other nearby destinations like: For More Information Visit Our Location:
- (37 Ganga Ram Nagar Gopal Pura By Pass Near Riddhi Siddhi Jaipur 302019)
2023.06.01 07:29 redditop17 Need Advice on 'Selling" or "Renting" A Condo I own in NY
Hello Reddit Community. First time I’m posting via this Reddit channel and I could use your advice! Your insights and comments will be appreciated
Here is my situation:
I own a condo in NY (Queens borough) since 2002 that I’ve lived in and still live in for most of those years. From that perspective its been good for me. However, I purchased a condo specifically to have flexibility with renting when and if I needed to. I had moved out for a few years but had to return and I then had to deal with my tenant who would not get out and so it turned into a whole eviction process. An eye opening process especially here in NY.
I know that I want to move on from living in the condo as I have contemplated a change for a while. I’ve lived here many years and feel its just time for a change. Additionally, my immediate family who live in pretty close proximity to me (Parents & brother) are all moving to Florida soon. Being close to them was a pretty good reason to be nearby but with them leaving, that’s one less reason to stay where I’m located specifically. With that said, I have been on the fence about my options:
#1) Sell the Condo – Sell it outright and use the proceeds to rent temporarily somewhere until housing prices cool and buy then or buy investment property
#2) Rent the Condo – This would mean I move out, buy a new house but keep the condo and rent it again
In either scenario, I would be moving to Long Island, NY to be closer to my kids. There are pros and cons for each option which I will spell out below. I have been leaning towards a sell and getting out before what seems like an eventual downturn in the market. I want to make a decision by June2023 which is less than a week away
|Info ||Notes |
|Year of Home Purchase ||2002 |
|Year of Mortgage Payoff ||2032 |
|Mortgage Payoff Amount ||~$54K |
|Unit ||2 BR / 2 Bath + Balcony (1050 Sq ft) |
|Building Complex ||5th Floor of a 6 Story Condo (Part of a 2 Building complex) |
Note: Refinanced to a better rate when 20 yrs was left on mortgage to a 20 yr loan (rate of 3.875%)
Costs While I Live in Condo
|Item ||Amount ||Notes |
|Mortgage ||$933.00 ||PITI (Principal/Interest/Taxes/Insurance) per month |
|HOA ||$1,256.00 ||Covers Building Insurance, SupePorters; Garbage/Snow Removal/Landscaping/Cleaning of Interior & Hallways; Covers Water Usage & Home Heating/Cooking (per month) |
| || || |
|Total Cost ||$2,189.00 ||Total Monthly Cost (minus Utilities) while Live-In Unit |
Costs If I Rent Out Condo
|Item ||Amount ||Notes |
|Condo Costs ||$2,189.00 ||Condo Costs Listed Above |
|Condo Sublet Fee ||+$250.00 ||Condo Sublet Fee** |
|Vacancy ||+$183.00 ||10% |
|Renters Insurance ||$10.00 || |
| || || |
|Total Cost ||$,2,632.00 ||Total Monthly Cost (minus Utilities) if I Rent Unit |
**Note: The Condo requires a $250 sublet fee if I rent out my unit; They do this to discourage renting and maintain mostly owner occupied units
Decision - Keeping Condo & Rent It
- Through Rental, tenant will pay off my mortgage over time (10 years remain)
- In 5 years when the mortgage is down to half amount for example, I will prob have the flexibility to just pay the remainder outright and have a unit free and clear
- The maintenance costs are a bit crazy to me but not necessarily out of the norm; There is an assessment that has just been levied for some major repairs and a 10 year loan has been taken out to do the repairs and minimize the per unit owner cost to a manageable size; That assessment is increasing maintenance to $1,256 p/month. A lot more than my PITI costs combined.
- The condo charges a $250 sublet fee for renting out my unit; That would bring my total monthly expense over $2600; Based on what I researched I could get for rents in this area, not sure I can get $2600; Even if I could I would just be breaking even with no cash flow; Wont include amount needed for potential vacancy; The sublet fee kills my flexibility
Decision - Sell Condo
- Would probably get top dollar on sale of home selling now; if there is a downturn it can be MANY years before I can get the money I would be able to get now (anticipate $425k to $450k)
- Sell and use part of the money to buy new home for myself and/or use the money on alternate investment(s)
- Keep the money liquid for opportunities that come up in the next 1 to 2 years
- Free myself from the politics of the condo board and how the complex operates; A lot of the issues are financial in that over the years money has been collected and not well managed or spent which is why HOA fee is so high; this provides a level of inflexibility on managing expenses which I have limited control over
- Don’t have that much left on mortgage; selling now would mean investing elsewhere via new long term mortgage at todays higher interest rates (albeit at smaller mortgage amt since I would be able to put down a larger down pymt); Additionally, at todays market prices, I would not be able to get a unit like this one for the price I paid over 2 decades ago and for the interest rate I have now
- I have been wanting to build a real-estate portfolio and my thought has been that this would be my 1st unit in that portfolio and I should keep it & build from there; Selling would mean starting from scratch instead of building; However is this Condo Unit really a good investment? I'm doubting that based on numbers
I'm hoping the amount of info I posted doesn't turn anyone off from responding. I tried to give the full story so that you knew where I was coming from. Again your insights and comments are welcome! Please help!!
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2023.06.01 07:24 FullResponsibility63 The Complete Guide to Land Loans
| || | submitted by FullResponsibility63 to u/FullResponsibility63 [link] [comments]
Consider this article your ultimate guide to land loans. It intends to clear all your doubts.
Whether you're a novice or a seasoned home buyer, loans are one of the first things you should know about before starting the home-buying process and finalising any decision.
While many people prefer to purchase a house or apartment that has already been built, many others opt to purchase a plot for investment or to build a home of their design. If you plan to opt for the latter, you might want to consider a loan for land purchase
to ensure that your dream is carried out successfully. Some Key Factors to Consider While Applying For a Land Loan in India
Below are the foremost things to consider before applying for a land loan in India:
Documents Required For Land Loan
- Land loan tenures are shorter than traditional home loans – the standard tenure is up to 10-15 years. Only a few lenders in India extend the tenure up to 20-30 years.
- The interest rate of land loans is higher than traditional loans, and borrowers are required to pay at least 20% of the loan amount as a down payment.
- The obtained loan amount cannot be used to purchase agricultural land.
- The property must be situated within the boundaries of the municipality or corporation.
Similar to documents required for home loans, here are the primary documents required for land loans:
- The plot's title deed
- Sale deed from house architect
- The approved layout of the property
- Proof of identity
- Copy of the allotment letter
- Sale agreement
- Proof of income
- Photographs of the borrower
- Tax receipts
- Cheque of the loan processing fee
Now that you have everything you need in one place – it's time to start planning. Buying a home is a big financial decision and an achievement of a lifetime. Everyone wants to achieve their dream home, and getting a loan for land purchase is a great way to start.
Also Read : A Comprehensive Guide on Home Loans in India
2023.06.01 06:56 GlitteringFunction5 What does offers over xyz mean in reality with houses for sale?
If a place is advertised saying offers over $440k does this mean the owner expects a few people trying their luck with $450, $460, $445 and then they get to negotiate and choose? Or does the owner put this number and they are expecting offers maybe $420 or so but are trying to set some expectation so they aren't offered $360?
I understand this might even depend on the market at the time.
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2023.06.01 06:42 Caden_Cornobi Tonight I went on a walk that I didn't think I would be coming back from.
I have had intense high-functioning depression for the past year, and have tried to end my life 26 times. But this time it was different, and I felt like it was finally going to happen.
I was feeling extra angry, or restless, or claustrophobic, I'm not sure. These past few months have been the first time in my life where I feel like I am cooped up in the house too much and want to get out. So I grabbed my dog's leash and we headed out to go somewhere... anywhere. I usually walk my dog around my neighborhood and sometimes go up to the water towers that are positioned on a hill a few hundred feet behind my dad's house. However, I rarely leave that area. This time I wanted to walk for much longer than usual, and I decided to go to a nearby school. This is an elementary school about a mile from my dad's house which normally bears no significance to me. But about six months ago, one of my good friends died right behind that school. He was running on a dirt trail between the school playground and a row of houses when his heart stopped suddenly. So, I decided to pay him a visit. Or his memorial site, rather. There is a few posters and a bunch of flowers sitting in that dirt trail, and they had a bench put in opposite to it after he died.
I walked for around 30 minutes, all the while contemplating everything in my life. I was tired. I am tired. Of life. During that time I was looking for ways I could end it. Maybe jump in front of a car, or find a tall building to dive off of. Finally, I made it to this little trail and talked to my friend for a while. His face is plastered all over a wall opposite the bench, so he can live on I guess. People like to remember, and they don't like to let go. I'm the same way.
I sat in solitude for about 15 minutes, just thinking and thinking. Trying to convince myself that my life was worth living, that I had things to look forward to. I didn't feel any better. I wished I had that strange heart condition my friend had, and I could just drop dead right there on the spot. But no... I have to be just a "beautiful, healthy young boy" (I have extreme gender dysphoria, and am a female trapped in a male body, so that is a major contributor to my ongoing depression).
I pet my dog and got back up, trying to figure out where to go next. I looked to my left towards the street... maybe I could see about throwing myself into it? But no, its only a 25mph zone, so people would brake before hitting me. Even if they didn't I would likely only get scars and deformations, but not the death I was looking for. So, I turned to my right instead. The dirt trail lead behind the unseen side of the school, and I chose to follow it. Another 30 minutes of walking, searching for high buildings and rooftops. There were many two story buildings, and they seemed to be climbable so I could get up to the roof. However, I felt they were not high enough. I needed something instant, splat on the concrete and all the pain could leave my body. I continued my search until I came upon those water towers behind my house. Now there's a thought.
A large fence with barbed wire was erected around the water treatment facility, so it would be a rough climb to get in. But the water towers were 20, 30 feet high with a hard surface to land on. That should do it, right? I noticed a ladder going up the side of each tower, and saw my chance. I continued to scope out the best place for me to climb the fence. Another 5 minutes of thinking. But I was starting to feel a subtle shift, like I didn't want to do it anymore. I wasn't getting cold feet. It was more of a slow end to a depressive episode at just the right time. Then, my dad texted me. "Hey, could you turn the dryer on to another 20 minutes when you get back?" I decided to walk home.
Took a bit to get back, and I had the strangest feeling when I rounded a corner in my neighborhood and turned to my house. Like I hadn't been there in ages. Something about returning back from a walk I didn't expect I would return from. I opened the door and unhooked my dog's leash. I realized that might have been why my depressive episode ended at that perfect moment... I didn't want my dog to see that.
I turned the dryer on and sat back down on the couch. Next time I'll not take my dog with me.
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2023.06.01 06:37 Pichu737 Robin Royce, Lord of Runestone, Wielder of Lamentation, Runescar
PC Discord Username:
jade#8765 Character Name and House:
Robin Royce Age:
There is a roguish charm to Robin Royce
, or at least there was
. It's the kind of charm that shocks those who see it. His face is scarred, and when he rarely smiles those scars shift and crease. Brown, shaggy hair falls down over his head and his jaw is marked with a thin beard, a sign of a lack of focus on his appearance.
He stands at six feet flat, with broad shoulders and a muscular frame that is constantly hidden beneath thick clothing and plate armour. It is almost as if he has something to hide - and he does, with his back covered in runes reading 'Run Before Your Blood Runs'
, the words inscribed around the sigil of his house, and a reminder of his time in the captivity of the Mountain Clans. Gift:
Swords (o), Berserker, Defender (e), Logistician Talent(s):
Walking in Nature, Drinking, Training Regimens Starting Title(s):
Lord of Runestone Starting Location:
King's Landing Family Tree: Here Alternate Characters:
AC Character Name and House:
Deana Royce Age:
If her brother's roguish charm is diminished by loss and grief, it is like Deana
has never experienced a bit of that in her life. If her face is ever absent a smirk, it is because she is grinning, or has her lips together to kiss some pretty woman. Brown hair covers nothing - it frames small features, sharp like knives - pulled back as it is.
She is five feet and nine inches, with a slight and soft build. Deana oft dresses well, in rich fashions purchased at Gulltown markets and commissioned from tailors renowned the world over, but so too does she dress in cloaks and jerkins and other clothes that allow for freedom of movement. After all, you can't sneak into a girl's bedroom in a ballgown, can you? Gift:
Burglar, Cautious, Espionage, Beastmaster (Cat) Talent(s):
Swimming, Writing, Drinking, Singing Starting Title(s):
Scion of Runestone Starting Location:
- 184 AC - Robin Royce is born to Ser Gilwood Royce and his wife Aemma Grafton, their eldest and only son.
- 185 AC - Only a year later, Deana Royce is born.
- 187 AC - Ser Gilwood and his brother Ser Godric go to war in Dorne, answering a request from the elder brother’s friend - the then-Crown Prince Maelor Targaryen. Both men prove themselves in the conflict. Gilwood retains the respect of his brother-in-arms, commanding the small detachment of Valemen in the Red Mountains, whilst Godric proves himself as a swordsman. It is not all glory, however - Godric’s legs are wounded in a charge, and he will never walk again. When they return, they are heroes. Those who are left, at least.
- 189 AC - In the wake of the conflict, another child is born, a sign of the restored peace. She is named Arwen Royce.
- 193 AC - Yorwyck Royce, Lord of Runestone, passes. Gilwood inherits his title, and only moments after his ascendance puts a sword in his son’s hand and tells him to use it. Robin begins his training, and at a young age is put on a path for violence.
- 197 AC - Gilwood is more a commander than a swordsman, and with his brother’s injuries failing to heal, he chooses to end his son’s stay in Runestone. Robin is sent off to squire for Ser Elys Corbray, a man who he knows can teach the skills required to wield Lamentation. At Heart’s Home, the young man meets and befriends Rolley Grafton and Roslin Corbray. They become an inseparable trio, though Rolley and Roslin are far closer. Robin finds himself drawn to the daughter of House Corbray, but knows his limits. He finds himself drawn to other pursuits, along with honing his skill at arms.
- 199 AC - Deana listens to her sister talk her ear off about a boy she met, and realises she has never felt the same. Instead, the eyes of serving girls have met hers for far too long. She fails to come to terms with it quite then.
- 199-202 AC - Robin finds his ability to fight outmatches those of his friends, and builds a confidence bordering on egotism. He begins to drink, and by the time he is of age, he begins to sleep around. On a return to his home, he finds himself embroiled in more than a few arguments with Ser Roland, a knight of Coldwater Burn. The two become fierce rivals.
- 202 AC - Ser Elys knights his squires. Roslin and Rolley are betrothed, and Robin congratulates them - in a note, that is, as the newly minted Ser Robin leaves Heart’s Home in the night. He does not return home for a while. Deana is betrothed to Alesander Hawthorne, of the West. She is quite unhappy with the arrangement, but Gilwood promises her it is for her own good.
- 202-203 AC - Robin tours Westeros, using his absence and his relative lack of fame to get away with everything. He drinks, he fights, he spends nights in the beds of women all across the realm. Some adventures are successful - lovers across the realm remember his name and rivals remember the bite of his sword - and some are not. One particularly poor example happened on a visit to the capital, where an attempt at seducing Princess Daena turned into the first scar upon his face. It would be one of many. In the meantime, in the Vale, Deana Royce avoids the danger of the Remonstrance, visiting a friend in Gulltown. She is shocked by the event, and thanks the gods for her survival.
- 203 AC - News of the Remonstrance finally reaches the knight, and he is distraught. Present in King’s Landing at the time, a letter is sent from Runestone summoning him home. Irresponsible though he is, Robin does not deny his father’s demand.
- 203-204 AC - The reason for his summoning becomes imminently clear. Lord Gilwood is gathering armies for a war against the Mountain Clans with the approval of the High Steward, and men from all across the Vale gather at Runestone. For the first time in a few years, Robin finds himself reunited with Roslin and her betrothed. He finds himself a section of the army as far away from the pair as possible, initially, but cannot stay away. They remain his friends, and they fight together. WIthin only a few battles, things become a terrible mess. As the first of many tragedies, Ser Rolley is slain by a man of the mountains. He is quickly avenged, but saving him becomes impossible. Both of the surviving members of the trio have little time to grieve, as Roslin is almost captured. Only Robin’s self-sacrifice, surrendering himself in her place, saves her from a grim fate. Beaten, bruised, and bleeding, the young heir to Runestone is carried off into the hills. Meanwhile, Lord Gilwood fights his own battle. Lamentation keeps him strong, but the ageing man cannot match up to his many foes. Hearing of the capture of his son, the Lord of Runestone is distracted and distraught. He is fatally wounded. As he lies bleeding, he summons his son’s rival to his side. Bestowing the Valyrian Steel of his house upon Ser Roland, he bids the knight to save Robin as he passes. He follows his duty. Sneaking into the clan’s camp, the knight of Coldwater Burn finds the newly ascended Lord of Runestone caged and battered. He looks unrecognisable, besides a few consistent scars upon his face. And, branded into his back, are the runes written around the edge of his house’s sigil - in the old tongue, ‘Run Before Your Blood Runs’. Lamentation is placed into his hand as they make their escape, and he proves that not even a thousand wounds can stop him from fighting. In the wake of his saving, Ser Robin apologises to the knight for his previous actions. From that day onward, he begins to change.
- 204 AC - Now a quieter, more caring man, Robin assumes his duties as Lord of Runestone well. He does his duties, and carries his grief upon his shoulders. United in loss, Robin finds himself growing closer to his old friend, Roslin Corbray. His old affection turns to something more as he trains her beyond even the lessons Ser Elys taught them. No longer does he travel the realm, searching for pleasure in distant places. He finds his purpose in the mountains of his home. In the meantime, his sister does travel. Grief affects Deana differently. Her brother dissolves her betrothal, much to the amusement of her betrothed and the anger of her betrothed’s father. Instead, he arranges a betrothal between their younger sister Arwen and Garlan Crane, son of the Warden of the Prince’s Pass. In the meantime, Deana seizes her newfound freedom. Her tour is narrower and less violent than her brother’s, but the purpose is much the same. She spends much of her time in Gulltown, though sails down to Driftmark and the capital when she can.
- 207 AC - Very little changes for the Royces. Robin finds himself building the confidence to admit the truth to his student and closest companion, and Deana finds herself torn between her freedom and her budding love for one of her many flings. As they head to King’s Landing, the lives they have led threaten to close in on them. What matters, mostly, is that they are ready to confront them - well, Robin is. Deana… is like to be taken unawares.
- Ser Godric Royce - b. 162 AC - Skill: Tactician - Once a phenomenal fighter, and the wielder of Lamentation, Ser Godric suffered an injury to his legs in the Red War that forced him to give up the sword for good. That has not made him a docile man, however. Spending time with his brother has honed his mind for battle, and now Gilwood is gone he has stepped into his position. With a specially constructed saddle, the ageing knight of the realm has once more returned to the battlefield as a commander.
- Lorra Royce - b. 188 AC - Skill: Architect - House Royce’s position as one of the realm’s powerful houses gives them the opportunity to undergo some of the greatest education known to Westeros. None have utilised that more than Lorra, the only daughter of Ser Godric. She has a perceptive and sharp mind, and as her cousins find themselves distracted by their passions and own talents, it has started to fall on the young woman to ensure Runestone keeps up with a developing realm.
submitted by Pichu737
to FieldOfFire [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 06:16 failing4fun WTS [NJ 08648] Selling New and Used Games Including Twilight Imperium: Prophecy of Kings, Unmatched, and Cyclades
Twilight Imperium: Prophecy of Kings (Still in shrink) - $55
Flick Em' Up - $40
Cyclades + Cyclades: Titans (Selling together only) - $75
Unmatched: Jurassic Park (Raptors + Ingen) - $15 [I have other Unmatched sets, would be willing to let more go depending on the deal, PM for deets]
Undaunted: Reinforcements -$35 (Box not in shrink, but cards and tokens still in shrink, never played)
Betrayal at House on the Hill 2nd Ed. + Widow's Walk expansion - $50 [Only selling together]
Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game - $15
All games below go for $5:
Rock, Paper, Wizard
Local always preferred. Buyer pays shipping. Bundle buyers always preferred, first come first served.
submitted by failing4fun
to BoardGameExchange [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 06:01 AthreosLux Same place but different Scenarios
I have had dreams that appear in the same location multiple times throughout different times. It is a gloomy swamp with a hill in the middle of the woods. Surrounded by swamp and deep forest like trees. And on top of the hill is a old small ranch house. With a caved in roof and siding that is weathered. The weather is always cloudy out giving a grim atmosphere.
My first experiences with this place were from the ages of 6 to 10 ish. It would always begin with me on top of the hill and at the bottom of the hill would be large quantities of alligators/crocodiles. For some weird reason I could tell it wasn’t reality so I followed Inception rules and leaped into the maws of the reptiles; killing myself and waking up in a sweat.
The second experience I had with this place was more of a horror film. The house was floating in the air and a ladder descended from it’s front steps. I remember appearing in the house and in dream like fashion the house’s interiors became infinite. Then a horror like skinny monster appeared and began chasing me throughout the house. I recall seeing friends and family with me. (They were also running from the creature) The dream finally ended when I turned a corner and a knife was thrusted into my stomach.
I think that this place that I dream of is one of my scariest dreams that I have had.
submitted by AthreosLux
to Dreams [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 06:00 Analypiss Respect Juggernaut! (Marvel, 616)
This won’t hurt me! Nothing can! ♫Theme
Cain Marko was the son of nuclear scientist Kurt Marko, who worked in Alamogordo, New Mexico with Brian Xavier. After Brian died in a lab accident, Kurt married Brian’s widow Sharon for her family’s money, resulting in Cain becoming the stepbrother of the Xavier’s son Charles, the eventual founder of the X-Men. Kurt proved to be an abusive father to both Cain and Charles, which combined with Cain’s jealousy over his brother’s telepathy, fostered a lasting resentment between the two of them. After Kurt died saving them from another lab accident, Charles and Cain would end up serving with the army together in Korea. During their service, Cain would stumble across a cave that had a temple dedicated to the powerful mystic being known as Cyttorak. Touching a crimson gem at the heart of the temple, Cain was transformed into Cyttorak’s avatar on Earth, an unstoppable human Juggernaut. Shortly after, the cave collapsed, with Xavier barely managing to escape. Years later Cain would dig his way out and seek revenge on Charles for the perceived slights he had inflicted upon him. In doing so, Cain would come into conflict with the X-Men, Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, Doctor Strange, and many other superheroes before eventually burying the hatchet with his brother. However, despite joining the X-Men and later Thunderbolts, Cain would return to being a villain each time. Throughout his life and various goals and motivations, only one constant has remained for Cain Marko. No matter the obstacle, he will never stop.
This respect thread is abridged due to Juggernaut’s large number of appearances. A full version is available on the Juggernaut Mega Respect Thread, with links to the unabridged sections posted where appropriate.
Key and explanation of periods where Juggernaut was stronger or weaker than normal
Lifting, pushing, pulling, throwing, grip, etc.
Durability w/ Force Field/Armor
Durability w/o Force Field/Armor
Endurance and Regeneration
Kuurth Once upon a time, there was a man. A man who got everything he wanted. In the end it wasn’t enough. In truth, it could never be enough. No amount of power could change who he was. It could never quench his thirst for power. He was now and forever the Juggernaut. And he would never stop.
submitted by Analypiss
to respectthreads [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 05:59 Mitrade_Official Today's forex news: US House passes debt ceiling bill
| || |https://preview.redd.it/bz6wdz4byb3b1.jpg?width=1081&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=5a5ff32798e3c6b75c6d0ed4560675101a9e8814 submitted by Mitrade_Official to u/Mitrade_Official [link] [comments]
Despite earlier reservations from several Republican House members, the proposed bill to raise the debt ceiling has been passed with 314 supporting votes - an overwhelming majority. The Senate will be the next hurdle before the bill is signed off by President Biden.
The JOLTs Job Openings increased by 10.1 million in April, which will boost estimates for Friday's Nonfarm Payroll figures. USD/CAD slipped 28 pips to 1.3575, and USD/JPY declined 46 pips to 139.34. GBP/USD added 27 pips to 1.2441, and EUUSD fell 46 pips to 1.0689. Australian retail sales in May stagnated without growth or contraction. AUD/USD slid 11 pips to 0.6503.
Spot gold gained $3.32 to $1,962.67 an ounce, and WTI oil futures fell $1.37 to $68.09 a barrel. Bitcoin and Ethereum both slowed to $27,096.0 and $1,872.20 respectively.
The US stock market closed red, with the Nasdaq 100 dropping 100 points to 14,254. The S&P 500 closed 25 points lower at 4,179.83, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 134 points to 32,908.
The US economy seems to be getting back on the right track, but how will the greenback fare in the forex market? Get Mitrade’s trading strategies here → https://mytd.cc/7z4
*Not Personal Advice. All trading involves risks. This information is not intended for distribution where it is contrary to local regulations.
#crypto #finance #forex #investing #trading
2023.06.01 05:56 Prestigious_Shine_73 iPhone scanner has access to fido/rogers call centre.
I got a call from a guy claiming to be a rep for Rogers offering me a deal to switch from Fido to Rogers.
The deal was iPhone 14 Pro 128gb with unlimited calling and texting +30gb Data with a 2 year contract.
Seems like a good deal not too over the top…
I never gave this guy anything other then my email, address and name.
I never gave him any codes.
First he says that he will set me up and ship me the phone, when I get it I am to call in and actives it and at that time they will apply the rebate for the phone and the plan.
He says to me at one point he made a mistake and if I see a email from Fido I am to ignore them just delete them, a email from Rogers will also come just follow that email. Oh and he will remove my Fido account online so I won’t have access to the MyFido until I get my new phone.
The first email o get from Fido says my password has been changed. Ok that’s fine I expected that.
So far so good.
Except things don’t feel right, I read the email from Fido and Rogers and have a closer look at the email it was sent from.
So at this point I am getting a little worried but hey if the phone showed up then maybe it was just a error and this really is a special promo.
The next morning I get two more emails from Fido, the first says my plan has been changed again to a much more expensive plane 100gb data.
The next email says a iPhone 14 pro max 1tb has been added to my account..
Wait a second that’s not what I ordered.
So I call him back with the number he provided me for activation, and he answers with his name, not the usual sales pitch when your call a call centre “Hello, thank you for calling Rogers how may I help you today”
So right away the red flag goes up in my mind, but I play it cool and tell him I got a email from Fido saying I was getting the wrong iPhone.
“ NO NO NO sir that’s not correct our system is not setup yet, but Rogers and Fido are the same company so they share a distribution centre and all phones are sent out from the same place”
“You will get the correct phone no worries, you see Sir ok?”
Ok so at this point I am sure this is some sort of scam but can’t figure out what it is yet.
I call Fido support and spend 20min trying to get though to someone, end up hunting up and calling Rogers support same deal, I try Fido again and I have to wait for a callback…
Finally get though to a Fido representative and they are dumb as shit.
I explain that I think there might be some sort of scammer, and now it looks like I am on the hook for a $2500 iPhone..
The lady on the phone says she can’t stop the phone it has already been ordered, well wtf, she says she will lock out my account until it is resolved and she will send my issue up the ladder for an investigation but it will take 2-4 days.
Well what happens if I get the phone tomorrow I say to her and she says don’t worry just send it back you won’t be charged OK fine that kind of made me feel OK.
The next day I get the phone and it is an iPhone 14 promax one terabyte model worth $2400 Canadian so I called up the “activation number” and and tell the guy I got the wrong phone he says no that’s not right sir let me check into it I’ll get my manager put me on hold, another guy gets on who sounds exactly like the first guy says. Hi sir I am the manager how can I help you I explain to him, I got the wrong phone and he says oh sorry sir. Well I’ll send you a shipping label and you can print it out and will ship it back in your proper phone will come on Saturday.
OK, OK so maybe this is a scam and this was just someone who fucked up and sent me the wrong home still don’t know if this was a real deal or not.
But then I’m like let me check on the return shipping address oh wait, this isn’t going to some warehouse. It’s going to someone’s house.
Oh here it is. Here’s with a scam is she sends me a shipping label and I ship out the really expensive phone to this guys house and as soon as it gets shipped, he disappears telephone numbers disappears. I can’t get a hold of him but lo and behold I’m now responsible for this phone and I have to pay for it.
But I’m not shipping that goddamn phone out to anyone. I’m gonna walk right into Rogers or Fido fucking corporate head office and put it down on their desk and say give me my goddamn money back and you got a find out who in your call-center is scamming your customers out of high-end top-of-the-line iPhones
Because there’s no way this guy was able to do this unless he had access to the Fido or Rogers activation system internally because the reset my password and I have two factor if indication on my password for my photo, so the only way to reset it without me having to approve resetting through authentication is if he could override that internally.
So this point I have his address I have two telephone numbers associated to him. I’ve looked up both telephone numbers and they’re associated to a nonexistent call center. Basically a company that sells numbers to people and re-sells numbers to people so these are all fake numbers OK.
At this point I have still not got a callback from either Rogers or Fido in regards to this whole issue so because I live in Vancouver and because the addresses in Ontario, then I should be contacting the RCMP and getting them involved with commercial crimes.
And since I’m really frustrated and I know that there’s gonna be a lot of people out there that can get scam by this guy. I’ve gone to Reddit to let you all know that this is going on right now because trying to get any help from Rogers or Fido is fucking ridiculous.
submitted by Prestigious_Shine_73
to Rogers [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 05:42 InvestWithTribe All you need to know pre-market
2023.06.01 05:42 InvestWithTribe All you need to know pre-market
2023.06.01 05:42 Guilty_Chemistry9337 Hide Behind the Cypress Tree, pt. 2
They didn’t tell us the name of the next kid that disappeared. They didn’t tell us another kid had disappeared at all. We could all tell by the silence what had happened. It spoke volumes. I’m sure they talked about it in great detail amongst themselves. In PTA meetings and City Councils. My parents made sure to turn off the TV at 5 o’clock before the news came on, at least in my home. They’d turn it back on for the 11 o’clock news, when were were in bed and couldn’t hear the details.
The strange thing is, they never told us to just stop going outside. They told us to go in groups, sure, but they never decided, or as far as I could tell even though, to keep us all indoors. I guess that sort of freedom wasn’t something they were willing to give up. Instead, they did the neighborhood watch thing. For those few months, I remember my folks meeting more of our neighbors than in all the time previously, or since. Retirees would spend their days out in their front lawns, watching kids and everybody else coming and going. They’d even set up lawn furniture, with umbrellas, even all through the rains of spring. Cops stopped sitting in ambushes on the highways waiting for speeders and instead started patrolling the streets, chatting with us as we’d pass by. Weekends would see all the adults out in their yards, working on cars in the driveways, fixing the gutters, and so on. They had this weird way of looking at you as you’d ride by. Not hostile stares, but it was like they were cataloging your presence. Boy, eight years old, red raincoat silver bike, about 11:30 in the morning, heading south on Sorensen. Seemed fine.
The next time we saw it, it wasn’t in our neighborhood, and I was the one who saw it first. We were visiting Russ, a sort of 5th semi-friend from school. We rarely hung out, mostly owing to geography. His house wasn’t far as the crow flies, but it was up a steep hill. We spent a Saturday afternoon returning a cache of comic books we’d borrowed. The distance we covered was substantial, as we had decided to take lots of extra streets as switchbacks, rather than slowly push our bikes up the too-steep hills.
The descent was going to be the highlight of the trip, up until I saw the Hidebehind. We were on a curving road, a steep forested bluff on one side. The uphill slope was mostly ivy-covered raised foundations for the neighborhood’s houses. That side of the road was lined with parked cars, and the residents of the homes had to ascend steep staircases to get to their front doors.
I was ayt the back of the pack when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. Movement, something brown squatting between two closely parked cars. My head snapped as I zoomed past, and despite not getting a good look, I knew it was that terrible thing. “It’s behind us!” I shouted and started pedaling hard. The others looked for themselves as I quickly rushed past them, but they soon joined my pace.
Ralph’s earlier idea of directly confronting the thing was set aside. We were moving too fast, and down too narrow a street to turn around. Then we saw it again it was to our left, off-road, between the trees. Suddenly it leaped from behind one tree trunk to the next and disappeared again. That hardly made sense, the base of the trees must have been thirty feet below the deck of the street we rode down. One of us, I think it was India, let out one of those strangled screams.
There it was again, back on the right, disappearing behind a mailbox as we approached. That couldn’t have been, it must have outpaced us and crossed in front of us. Logic would suggest there was more than one, but somehow the four of us knew it was the same thing. More impossible still, the pole holding up the mailbox was too thin, maybe two inches in diameter, yet that thing had disappeared behind it, like a Warner Bros. cartoon character. It was just enough to catch a better glimpse of it though. All brown. A head seemingly too bulbous and large for its body. Its limbs were thin but far longer, like a gibbon’s. Only a gibbon had normal elbows and knees. This thing bent its joints all wrong like it wasn’t part of the natural order. We were all terrified to wit’s end.
“The trail!” Ralph shouted, and the other three of us knew exactly what he meant. The top of it was only just around the curve. It was a dirt footpath for pedestrians ascending and descending South Hill, cutting through the woods on our left. It was too steep for cars, and to be honest, too steep for bikes. We’d played on it before, challenging each other to see how high up they could go, then descend back down without using our brakes. A short paved cul-de-sac at the bottom was enough space to stop before running into a cross street.
Ralph had held the previous group record, having climbed three-quarters of the way before starting his mad drop. India’s best was just short of that, I had only dared about halfway up, Ben only a third. This time, with certain death on our heels, the trail seemed the only way out. Nothing could have outrun a kid on a bike flying down that hill.
We followed Ralph’s lead, swinging to the right gutter of the street, then hanging a fast wide left up onto the curb, over a patch of gravel, between two boulders set up as bollards, lest a car driver mistake the entrance for a driveway, and then, like a roller coaster cresting the first hill, the bottom fell out.
It was the most overwhelming sensation of motion I’ve ever had, before or since. I suppose the danger behind us was the big reason, and being absolutely certain that only our speed was keeping us alive. I remember thinking it was like the speeder bike scene from Return of the Jedi, also a recent movie from the time. Only this was real. I didn’t just see the trees flashing past it, I could hear the motion as well. Cold air attacked my eyes and long streamers of tears rushed over my cheeks and the drops flew past my ears, I didn’t dare blink. Each little stone my tires struck threatened to up-end me and end it all. Yet, and perhaps worse, half the time it felt like I wasn’t in contact with the ground at all. I was going so fast that those same small stones were sending me an inch or two into the air, and the arc of the flights so closely matched the slope that by the time I contacted the trail again, I was significantly further down the hill.
At the same time, I had never felt more relief, as the thing behind us had no way of catching us now. Somehow, maybe the seriousness of the escape gave us both the motive and the seriousness to keep ourselves under control. Looking back, I marvel that at least one of us didn’t lose control and end up splitting our skulls open.
We hit the pavement of the cul-de-sac below, and didn’t bother to slow down. We raced through the cross-street, one angry driver screeching to a halt and laying on his horn. This brought out the neighborhood watch. Just a few of them at first. Still, we didn’t slow down, our momentum carried us back up the much shallower slope of our neighborhood. Witnesses saw us depart at high speed, and this only brought out more of the watch. We heard whistles behind us, just like our P.E. teacher’s whistle. We figured that was the watch’s alarm siren. Regardless of what happened to that thing, it was behind us. We returned to our homes, shaken, but safe and sound, our inertia taking us almost all of the way there.
Another kid disappeared that Sunday, up on South Hill. We’d suspected it because we could see the lights of the police cars on a high road, surrounding the spot where it would turn out later, one of the kid’s shoes had been found. Russ confirmed it at school on Monday. It was a kid he’d known, lived down the road from his place, went to private school which is why we didn’t recognize his name.
I remember seeing Ralph’s face the next day when he arrived at school. He looked angry. Strong. Like he’d been crying really hard, and now it was over and he was resolved. He said he’d felt guilty because the thing we’d escaped from had gotten the other kid instead. He tried to tell his old man about it, then his mom, then any adult he could. He’d tell them about the monster who hides behind things. They needed to focus on finding and stopping that instead of looking for some sort of creeper or serial killer. Of course, nobody had listened to him. They hadn’t listened to the rest of us either when we’d tried to tell.
So he’d devised a plan. He was calling it the “Fight Patrol,” which we didn’t argue with. If the adults wouldn’t do something, we would. We’d patrol our neighborhood on our bikes, the four of us, maybe a couple more if we could talk others into it. We’d chase it off like that first time, maybe for good, or maybe corner it. Clearly, it could not handle being caught.
Naturally, we brought up the scare on South Hill. He argued that was a bad place. Too isolated, couldn’t turn around easily. We needed to stay on our home turf, lots of visibility, and plenty of the Neighborhood Watch within earshot. Maybe we and the adults working together was the key, even if the adults didn’t understand the problem.
Well, that convinced us. Our first patrol was that afternoon, after school. We watched everybody’s back like hawks. Nothing had a chance to sneak up on us. Nothing could step out from behind a bush without getting spotted. By Friday afternoon there were eight of us. The next week we split up to extend our territory to the next neighborhoods over.
Nothing happened. We never saw anything. Ben thought it was because we were scaring it away. Ralph just thought we were failing, and took it personally. I myself thought the thing had just moved to different parts of town, where the new disappearances were taking place. I told him we should keep it up until the thing was caught.
It was all for naught.
One day, India didn’t show up for school. I asked everybody, the teachers, the office staff, the custodian, my parents. All of them said they didn’t know, and it was so easy to tell that they were lying. That would mark the end of the Fight Patrol.
Ben didn’t show up a couple of days after that. When I got home and collapsed into bed, my mother came in to tell me that Ben’s mother had called. She’d taken him out of school and they were moving elsewhere. I called up Ralph to let him know the news, and he was relieved too.
My last day was Friday, and then I was taken out. Again, I called Ralph so he wouldn’t worry. I guess when there were only two weeks left of school, and it was just grade school, a couple missed weeks don’t amount to much. So I ended up spending the bulk of the summer out in the country, with my grandparents, which was why I brought up my grandpa in the first place.
I suppose I did fine out on their farmhouse. I was safe. There was certainly no shortage of things for a kid to do. I think my mom felt a strong sense of relief too. Things slipped through the cracks.
My grandparents didn’t have cable, too far out of town. They just had an old-school antenna and got a couple of TV stations transmitting out of Canada, Vancouver specifically. I remember one July day, sitting in their living room. My grandmother had just fixed lunch for me and my grandfather and had gone out to do some gardening as we watched the news at noon.
My grandfather was already being ravaged by his illnesses. He was able to get around, but couldn’t do any real labor anymore. He’d lounge in front of the TV in a special lounge chair. He hardly talked, and when he did he’d just mumble some discomfort or complaint to my grandma.
The lead story on the news was the current situation in Farmingham, despite being in the neighboring country, it was still big news in Vancouver, and the whole rest of the region. It seemed the disappearances were declining, but the police were still frantically searching for a supposed serial killer. I didn’t pick up much about what they were talking about, I was a kid after all, but my grandfather was watching intently, despite his infirmity.
He mumbled something, I didn’t catch. I asked him was he said, and as I approached I heard him say “fearsome critters.”
He turned his eyes to me and said again, distinct and in a normal tone of voice, “fearsome critters,” then returned his attention to the screen. “I don’t know why they call them that. Fearsome, sure. But ‘critters?” Makes it sound silly. Like it's some sort of fairy tale that it ain’t. Guess it’s like whistling past the graveyard. Well, they don’t have to worry about them no more, guess they can call them what they like.”
Then he turned to me. “Do you know what it is?” he asked. “Squonk? Hodag? Gouger? Hidebehind?”
“Hidebehind,” I whispered, and he turned back to the TV with a sneer. I had no idea what on earth he was talking about. Remember, this would be years before I learned he spent his youth as a lumberjack. And yet, somehow, I knew exactly what we were talking about.
“Hidebehind,” he repeated. “That will do it. They give them such stupid names. The folk back East, that is. Wisconsin. Minnesota. Ohio. Way back in the old days, before my grandfather would have been your age. Back when those places were covered by forests. They didn’t give them silly names back then, no. Back then they were something to worry about. Then they moved on, though. They all went out West, to here, followed the loggers. So as once they didn’t have to worry about them anymore, they started making up silly stories, silly names. “Fearsome critters,” they’d call them. Just tall tales to tell the greenhorns and scare them out of their britches. Then they’d make them even sillier, and tell the stories to little kids to spook them.”
“Not out here they didn’t tell no stories nor make up any names. It was bad enough they followed us out. I had no clue they even existed until I saw one for myself. Bout your age, I suppose. Maybe a little older. Nobody ever talks about them. Not even when they take apart a work crew, one by one. They just pull the crews back. Wait till mid-summer when the land is dry but not too dry. Then they move the crews in, a lot of them. Do some burning, make a lot of smoke. Drives them deeper into the woods, you know. Then you can cut the whole damn place down. But nobody asks why, nobody tells why. The people who know just take care of it.”
“I guess that’s why they’re coming to us now. All the old woods are almost gone. So they’ve got to. Like mountain lions. I supposed it’s going to happen sooner or later.”
We heard my grandma come into the back door to the utility room, and stomp the dirt off her boots. My grandfather turned to me one last time and said, “Whichever way you look at it, somebody’s just got to take care of it.” Then my grandmother came in from the utility room and asked us how our lunch had been.
Now that I look back at it, that might have been the last time my grandfather and I really had a meaningful talk.
We moved back home in late August. I had been having a fantastic summer. Though looking back, I suppose it could be rough for a still-young woman to be living in her aging parents' house when she’s got a perfectly good husband and house of her own in town.
First thing I did was visit Ralph. He’d been busy. He’d fortified his treehouse into a proper, well, tree fort. He’d nailed a lot of reinforcing plywood over everything. He hadn’t gone out on patrols by himself, of course, but the height of the tree fort afforded him a view of the nearest streets. He’d also made some makeshift weapons out of old baseball bats, a hockey stick, and a garden rake. The sharp rocks he’d attached to them with masking tape didn’t look very secure, but it’d only take one or two good blows with that kind of firepower. He also explained he’d been teaching himself kung fu, by copying all the movies he saw on kung fu movies late at night on the unpopular cable channels. That was classic Ralph.
As for the monster, it seemed to be going away. Its last victim had disappeared weeks previously, part of the reason my mom felt it was time to go back. This had been at night too. What’s more, the victim had been a college student, a very petite lady, barely five feet tall, under a hundred pounds. The news had speculated that their presumptive serial killer had assumed she was a child. I remember thinking the Hidebehind didn’t care. Maybe it just thought she couldn’t run fast enough to get away or put up a fight when he caught her. Like a predator.
At any rate, the college students were incensed. Of course, they’d been hyper-alert and concerned when it was just local kids going missing. Now that it was one of their own the camel’s back had broken. They really went hard on the protests, blaming the local police for not doing enough.
They started setting up their own patrols, and at night too. Marches with sometimes dozens of students at a time. They called it “Take Back the Night.” They’d walk the streets, making sure they’d be heard. Some cared drums or tambourines. They’d help escort people home, and sometimes they’d unintentionally stop random crimes they’d happen across. I felt like this was what the Fight Patrol could have been, if we’d just been old enough, or had been listened to. This would be the endgame for the Hidebehind, one way or another.
I stayed indoors the rest of the summer, and really there wasn’t much left. It doesn’t get too hot in the Pacific Northwest, nobody has air conditioners, or at least we didn’t back then. It will get stuffy though, in August, and I liked to sleep with my window open. I could hear the chants and challenges from the student patrols on their various routes. Sometimes I could hear them coming from far away, and every now and then they’d pass down my street. It felt like a wonderful security blanket.
I also liked the honeysuckle my mother had planted around the perimeter of the house. Late at night, if I was struggling to fall asleep, the air in my bedroom would start to circulate. Cold air would start pouring in over my windowsill, bringing the sweet scent of that creepervine with it, and I’d the sensation before finally passing out.
This one night, and I have no knowledge if I was awake, asleep, or drifting off, but the air in the room changed, and cooler air poured over the windowsill and swept over my bed, but it didn’t carry the sweet smell of honeysuckle. Regardless of my initial state, I was alert pretty quickly. It was a singularly unpleasant smell. A bit like death, which at that age I was mostly unfamiliar with, except a time some animal had died underneath the crawlspace of our house. There was more to it, though. The forest, the deep forest. I don’t know and still don’t know, what that meant. Most smells I associate with the forest are pleasant. Cedar, pine needles, thick loam of the forest floor, campfires, even the creosote and turpentine of those old timey-logging camps. This was none of those smells. Maybe… rotting granite, and the spores of slime molds. Mummified hemlocks and beds of needles compressed into something different than soil. It disturbed me.
So I sat up in bed. I hadn’t noticed before, but I’d been sweating, just lightly in the stuffy summer night heat. Now it was turning cold. Before me was my bedroom window. A lit rectangle in a pitch-dark room. To either side were my white, opened curtains, the one on the right, by the open half of the window, stirred just slightly in the barely perceptible breeze.
Most of the rectangle was the black form of the protective cypress tree. Only the slight conical nature of the tree distinguished it from a perfectly vertical column. To either side was a dim soft orange glow coming from the sodium lamps of the street passing by our house. It was perhaps a bit diffuse from the screen set in my window to keep out mosquitos. In the distance was the sound of an approaching troupe of the Take Back the Night patrol. They were neither drumming nor chanting, but still making plenty of noise. They were, perhaps, three or four blocks away, and heading my way.
For some reason that I didn’t understand, I got up, off of the foot of the bed. The window, being closer, appeared bigger. I took a silent step further. The patrol approached closer. Another step. I leaned to my right, just a bit, getting a slightly wider view to the left of the cypress tree. That was the direction the patrol was coming from.
That was when it resolved. The deeper black silhouette within the black silhouette of the cypress tree. A small lithe frame with a too-bulbous head. It too leaned, in its case, to the left, to see around the cypress tree as the patrol approached. They reached our block,on the other side of the street. A dozen rowdy college students, not trying to be quiet. None of them fearing the night. Each feeling safe and determined, and absorbed in their own night out rather than being overtly sensitive to their surroundings. They were distracted, unfocused If they had been peering into the shadows, if just one of them had looked towards my house, behind the cypress tree, they might have seen the Hidebehind, poking its face out and watching them transit past. But they didn’t notice.
It hid behind the cypress tree, and I hid behind it, hoping that the blackness of my bedroom would protect me. I stood absolutely still, as I had done once when a hornet had once landed on the back of my neck. Totally assure that if I made the slightest movement or made the slightest sound that I’d be stung. I hardly even breathed.
The patrol passed, from my perspective, behind the cypress tree and temporarily out of view. The Hidebehind straightened, ready to lean to the right and watch the patrol pass, only it didn’t lean. Even as I watched the patrol pass on to the right, it stood there, stock still, just as I was doing.
It was then I became aware that my room had become stuffy again. The scent was gone. The air had shifted and was now flowing out through the screen again, carrying my own scent with it. I knew what this meant, and yet I was too paralyzed to react. The thing started to turn, very slowly. It was a predator understanding that it might have become victim to its own game. It turned as if it was thinking the same thing I had been thinking, that the slightest movement might give it away.
It turned, and I saw its face. Like some kind of rotting desiccated, shriveling fruit, it was covered in wrinkles. Circles within concentric circles surrounded its two great eyes, eyes which took up so much of its face. I couldn’t, and still struggle, to think of words to describe it. Instead, I still think in terms of analogies. At the time I thought of the creature from the film E.T., only twisted and distorted into a thing of nightmares. Almost all eyelids, and a little drooping sucker mouth. Now that I’m more worldly, it reminds of creatures of ancient artworks. The key defining feature were the long horizontal slits it had for eyes. You see that in old masks carved in West Africa, or by the Inuit long ago. You see it in what’s called the “slit-eyed dogu” of ancient Japan.
As I watched the wrinkles on the face seemed to multiply. Then I realized this was the result of its eyes slowly widening. It’s mouth, too, slowly dilated, revealing innumerable small razor-sharp teeth. A person, standing in its location, shouldn’t have been able to see in. Light from the sodium streetlamps lit the window’s screen, obscuring the interior. It was no person. It could see me, and it was reacting to my presence. Its eyes grew huge, black.
My own eyes would have been just as wide if not for my own anatomical limitations. I was still watching when it disappeared. It didn’t see it move to the right. I didn’t see it move to the left, nor did I see it drop down out of view. It simply disappeared. One fraction of a second it was there, and then it decided to leave, and so it did. It was not a thing of this world.
There were no more disappearances after that poor woman from the university. I don’t think it had anything to do with me. The media and police all speculated their “serial killer” had gone into a “dormant phase”. There was no shortage of people who tried to take credit. Maybe they deserve it. The thing’s hunting had been on the decline. All the neighborhood watches and student patrols, I think that maybe all that commotion was making it too hard for the Hidebehind to go about its business. Maybe it had gone back to the woods.
Then again, maybe Ralph had been right the whole time. Maybe it really, really, really didn’t like to be seen.
Now I’ve got some decisions to make. I think the first thing I should do is look at social media and dig up Ralph. It’s been a good thirty years since I last talked to him. He ought to know the Hidebehind is back. He’s probably made plans.
Then, there’s the issue of my son. He’s up in his bedroom now, probably still mad at me. Probably confused about why I’d be so strict. Maybe he’s inventing explanations as to why.
I’m not sure, but I’m leaning toward telling him everything. He deserves to know. It’d probably be safer if he knows. I think people have this instinct where, when they see or know something that they’re not supposed to know, they just bottle it up. I think that was the problem with grown-ups when I was a kid. It was the issue with my grandfather, telling me so little when it was almost too late. I think people do it because we’re social animals, and we’re afraid of being ostracized. Go along to get along.
Hell, my son is probably going to think I’m crazy. It might even make him more mad at me. And even more confused. He knows about the disappearances. “The Farmingham Fiend” the media would end up dubbing the serial killer that didn’t really exist. It’s become local “true crime” history. Kids tell rumors about it. It was almost forty years ago, so it probably feels safe to wonder about.
So yeah, I suppose when I say I know who the real killer was, a magical monster from the woods that stalks its prey by hiding behind objects, then impossibly disappears- that I’m going to look like a total nut. I’d think that if I were in his shoes.
Except… people are going to start disappearing again, it’s only a matter of time. The media will say that the Farmingham Fiend is back in the game. Will my son buy that? He’ll start thinking about what I told him, and how I predicted it. Then he’ll remember that he saw the thing himself, he and his friends, even if it was just out of the corner of his eye.
I hope, sooner or later, he’ll believe me. I could use his help. Maybe Ralph is way ahead of me, but I’m thinking we should get the Fight Patrol back together. Father and son, this time. Multigenerational, get the retirees involved too.
Old farts of my generation, for reasons I don’t understand, like to wax nostalgic over their own false sense of superiority. We rode our bikes without helmets and had distant if not irresponsible parents. Yeah, yeah, what a load. I think every new generation is better than the last, because every generation is a progression from the last, Kids these days? They’ve got cell phones, with cameras. And helmet cams. GoPros you can attach to bikes. Doorbell cameras.
It seems the Hidebehind loathes being seen. This time around, with my grandfather’s spirit, my own memories, and my boy’s energy? I think this time we’re finally going to beat it.
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2023.06.01 05:40 Guilty_Chemistry9337 Hide Behind the Cypress Tree, pt. 1
There are instincts that you develop when you’re a parent. If you don’t have any children it might be a little hard to understand. If you have a toddler, for example, and they’re in the other room and silent for more than a few seconds, there’s a good chance they’re up to no good. I take that back, most of the time they’re doing nothing, but you still have to check. You feel a compulsion to check. I don’t think it’s a learned skill, I think it’s an actual instinct.
Paleolithic parents who didn’t check on their toddlers every few minutes, just to double check that they weren’t being stalked by smilodons were unlikely to have grandchildren and pass on their genes. You just feel you need to check, like getting goosebumps, a compulsion. I suppose it’s the same reason little kids are always demanding you look at them and what they’re doing.
I think that instinct starts to atrophy as your kids grow. They start learning to do things for themselves, and before you know it, they’re after their own privacy, not your attention. I don’t think it ever goes away though. I expect, decades from now, my own grown kids will visit and bring my grandkids with them. And the second I hear a baby crying in the earliest morning hours, I’ll be alert and ready for anything, sure as any old soldier who hears his name whispered in the dark of night.
I felt that alarm just the other day. First time in years. My boy came home from riding bikes with a couple of his friends. I’m pretty sure they worked out a scam where they asked each of their parents for a different new console for Christmas, and now they spend their weekends traveling between the three houses so they can play on all of them.
We all live in a nice neighborhood. A newer development than the one I grew up in, same town though. It’s the kind of place where kids are always playing in the streets, and the cars all routinely do under 20. My wife and I make sure the kids have helmets and pads, and we’re fine with the boy going out biking with his friends, as long as they stay in the neighborhood.
You know, a lot of people in my generation take some weird sort of pride in how irresponsible we used to be when we were young. I never wore a helmet. Rode to places, without telling any adults, that we never should have ridden to. Me and my friends would make impromptu jumps off of makeshift ramps and try to do stupid tricks, based loosely on stunts we’d seen on TV. Other people my age seem to wax nostalgic for that stuff and pretend it makes them somehow better people. I don’t get it. Sometimes I look back and shudder. We were lucky we escaped with only occasional bruises and road burns. It could have gone so much worse.
My son and his buddies came bustling in the front door at about 2 PM on a Saturday. They did the usual thing of raiding the kitchen for juice and his mother’s brownies, and I took that as my cue to abandon the television in the living room for my office. I was hardly noticing the chaos, by this point, it was becoming a regular weekend occurrence. But as I was just leaving, I caught something in the chatter. My boy said something about, “... that guy who was following us.”
He hadn’t said it any louder or more clearly than anything else they’d been talking about, all that stuff I’d been filtering out. Yet some deeper core process in my brain stem heard it, interpreted it, then hit the red alert button. My blood ran cold and every hair on my skin stood at attention.
I turned around and asked “Somebody followed you? What are you talking about?” I wasn’t consciously aware of how strict and stern my voice came out, yet when the jovial smiles dropped off of their faces it was apparent that it had been so.
“Huh?” my son said, his voice high-pitched and talking fast, like when he thinks he’s in trouble and needs to explain. “We thought we saw somebody following us. There wasn’t though. We didn’t really see anybody and we’d just spooked ourselves.”
“What did he look like?” I asked.
“Nothing? We really didn’t see anybody! Honest! I just saw something out of the corner of my eye! But there wasn’t really nobody there!”
“Yeah!,” said one of his buds. “Peripheral! Peripheral vision! I thought maybe I saw something too, but when I looked I didn’t see anything. I don’t have my glasses with me, but when I really looked I got a good look and there was nothing.”
The three boys had that semi-smiling but still concerned look that this was only a bizarre misunderstanding, but they were still being very sincere. “Were they in a car?”
“No, Dad, you don’t get it,” my boy continued, “They were small. We thought it was a kid.”
“Yeah,” said the third boy. “We thought maybe it was Tony Taylor’s stupid kid sister shadowing us. Getting close to throwing water balloons. Just cause she did that before.”
“If you didn’t get a good look how did you know it was a kid?”
“Because it was small!” my kid explained, though that wasn’t helping much. “What I mean is, at first I thought it was behind a little bush. It was way too small a bush to hide a grown-up. That’s why we thought it was probably Tony’s sister.”
“But you didn’t actually see Tony’s sister?” I asked.
“Nah,” said one of his buds. “And now that I think about it, that bush was probably too small for his sister too. It would have been silly. Like when a cartoon character hides behind a tiny object.”
“That’s why we think it was just in our heads,” explained the other boy, “That and the pole.”
“Yeah,” my son said. “The park on 14th and Taylor?” That was just a little community park, a single city block. Had a playground, lawn, a few trees, and some benches. “Anyway, we were riding past that, took a right on Taylor. And we were talking about how weird it would be if somebody really were following us. That’s when Brian thought he saw something. Behind a telephone pole.”
“I didn’t get a good look at it either,” the friend, Brian, “explained. Just thought I did. Know how you get up late at night to use the bathroom or whatever and you look down the hallway and you see a jacket or an office chair or something and because your eyes haven’t adjusted you think you see a ghost or burglar or something? Anyway, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye, but when I turned there wasn’t anything there.”
“Yeah, it was just like sometimes that happens, except this time it happened twice on the same bike ride, is all,” the other friend explained.
“And you’re sure there was nothing there?”
“Sure we’re sure,” my boy said. “We know because that time we checked. We each rode our bikes around the pole and there was nothing. Honest!”
“Hmmm,” I said. The whole thing seemed reasonable and nothing to be concerned about, you’d think.. The boys seemed to relax at my supposed acceptance. “Alright, sounds good. Hey, just let me know before you leave the house again, alright?” They all rushed to seem agreeable as I left the room, then quickly resumed their snacking and preceded to play their games.
I kept my ear out, just in case. My boy, at least this time, dutifully told me his friends were about to leave. He wasn’t very happy with me when I said they wouldn’t be riding home on their bikes, I was going to drive them home. The other boys didn’t complain, but I suppose it wasn’t their place, so my boy did the advocating for them, which I promptly ignored. I hate doing that, ignoring my kid’s talkback. My dad was the same way. It didn’t help that I struggled to get both of their bikes in the trunk, and it was a pain to get them back out again. My boy sulked in the front seat on the short ride back home. Arms folded on chest, eyes staring straight ahead, that lip thing they do. He seemed embarrassed for having what he thought was an over-protective parent. I suppose he was angry at me as well for acting, as far as he knew, irrationally. Maybe he thought he was being punished for some infraction he didn’t understand.
Well, it only got worse when we got home. I told him he wasn’t allowed to go out alone on his bike anymore. I’d only had to do that once before, when he was grounded, and back then he’d known exactly what he’d done wrong and he had it coming. Now? Well, he was confused, furious, maybe betrayed, probably a little brokenhearted? I can’t blame him. He tramped upstairs to his room to await the return of his mother, who was certain to give a sympathetic ear. I can’t imagine how upset he’ll be if he checks the garage tomorrow and finds I’ve removed his tires, just in case.
I wish I could explain it to him. I don’t even know how.
Where should I even begin? The town?
When I was about my son’s age I had just seen that movie, The Goonies. It had just come out in theaters. I really liked that movie, felt a strong connection. A lot of people do, can’t blame them, sort of a timeless classic. Except I wasn’t really into pirate’s treasure or the Fratellis, what really made me connect was a simple single shot, still in the first act. It’s right after they cross the threshold, and leave the house on their adventure. It was a shot of the boys, from above, maybe a crane shot or a helicopter shot, as they’re riding their bikes down a narrow forested lane, great big evergreen trees densely growing on the side of the road, they’re all wearing raincoats and the road is still wet from recent rain.
That was my childhood. I’ve spent my whole life in the Pacific Northwest. People talk to outsiders about the rain, and they might picture a lot of rainfall, but it’s not the volume, it’s the duration. We don’t get so much rain, it just drizzles slowly, on and on, for maybe eight or nine months out of the year. It doesn’t matter where I am, inside a house, traveling far abroad, anywhere I am I can close my eyes and still smell the air on a chilly afternoon, playing outdoors with my friends.
It’s not petrichor, that sudden intense smell you get when it first starts to rain after a long dry spell. No, this was almost the opposite, a clean smell, almost the opposite of a scent, since the rain seemed to scrub the air clean. The strongest scent and I mean that in the loosest sense possible, must have been the evergreen needles. Not pine needles, those were too strong, and there weren’t that many pines anyway. Douglas fir and red cedar predominated, again the root ‘domination’ seems hyperbole. Yet those scents were there, ephemeral as it is. Also, there was a sort of pleasant dirtiness to the smell, at least when you rode bikes. It wasn’t dirt, or mud, or dust. Dust couldn’t have existed except perhaps for a few fleeting weeks in August. I think, looking back, it was the mud puddles. All the potholes in all the asphalt suburban roads would fill up after rain with water the color of chocolate milk. We’d swerve our BMX bikes, or the knock-off brands, all the way across the street just to splash through those puddles and test our “suspensions.,” meaning our ankles and knees. The smell was always stronger after that. It had an earthiness to it. Perhaps it was petrichor’s lesser-known watery cousin.
There were other sensations too, permanently seared into my brain like grill marks. A constant chilliness that was easy to ignore, until you started working up a good heart rate on your bike, then you noticed your lungs were so cold it felt like burning. The sound of your tires on the wet pavement, particularly when careening downhill at high speed. For some reason, people in the mid-80s used to like to decorate their front porches with cheap, polyester windsocks. They were often vividly colored, usually rainbow, like prototype pride flags. When an occasional wind stirred up enough to gust, the windsocks would flap, and owning to the water-soaked polyester, make a wet slapping sound. It was loud, it was distinct, but you learned to ignore it as part of the background, along with the cawing of crows and distant passing cars.
That was my perception of Farmingham as a kid. The town itself? Just a typical Pacific Northwest town. That might not mean much for younger people or modern visitors, but there was a time when such towns were all the same. They were logging towns. It was the greatest resource of the area from the late 19th century, right up until about the 80s, when the whole thing collapsed. Portland, Seattle, they had a few things going on beyond just the timber industry, but all the hundreds of little towns and small cities revolved around logging, and my town was no exception.
I remember going to the museum. It had free admission, and it was a popular field trip destination for the local school system. It used to be the City Hall, a weird Queen Anne-style construction. Imagine a big Victorian house, but blown up to absurd proportions, and with all sorts of superfluous decorations. Made out of local timber, of course. They had a hall for art, I can’t even remember why, now. Maybe they were local artists. I only remember paintings of sailboats and topless women, which was a rare sight for a kid at the time. There was a hall filled with 19th-century household artifacts. Chamber pots and weird children's toys.
Then there was the logging section, which was the bulk of the museum. It’s strange how different things seemed to be in the early days of the logging industry, despite being only about a hundred years old, from my perspective in the 1980s. If you look back a hundred years from today, in the 1920s, you had automobiles, airplanes, electrical appliances, jazz music, radio programs, flappers, it doesn’t feel that far removed, does it? No TV, no internet, but it wouldn’t be that strange. 1880s? Different world.
Imagine red cedars, so big you could have a full logging crew, arms stretched out, just barely manage to encircle one for a photographer. Felling a single tree was the work of days. Men could rest and eat their lunches in the shelter of a cut made into a trunk, and not worry for safety or room. They had to cut their own little platforms into the trees many feet off the ground, just so the trunk was a little bit thinner, and thus hours of labor saved. They used those long, flexible two-man saws. And double-bit axes. They worked in the gloom of the shade with old gas lanterns. Once cut down from massive logs thirty feet in diameter, they’d float the logs downhill in sluices, like primitive wooden make-shift water slides. Or they’d haul them down to the nearest river, the logs pulled by donkeys on corduroy roads. They’d lay large amounts of grease on the roads, so the logs would slide easily. You could still smell the grease on the old tools on display in the museum. The bigger towns had streets where the loggers would slide the logs down greased skids all the way down to the sea, where they’d float in big logjams until the mills were ready for processing. They’d call such roads “skid-rows.” Because of all the activity, they’d end up being the worst parts of town. Local citizens wouldn’t want to live there, due to all the stink and noise. They’d be on the other side of the brothels and the opium dens. It would be the sort of place where the destitute and the insane would find themselves when they’d finally lost anything. To this day, “skidrow” remains a euphemism for the part of a city where the homeless encamp.
That was the lore I’d learned as a child. That was my “ancestry” I was supposed to respect and admire, which I did, wholeheartedly. There were things they left out, though. Things that you might have suspected, from a naive perspective, would be perfect for kids, all the folklore that came with the logging industry. The ghost stories, and the tall tales. I would have eaten that up. They do talk about that kind of thing in places far removed from the Pacific Northwest. But I had never heard about any of it. Things like the Hidebehind. No, that I’d have to discover for myself.
There were four of us on those bike adventures. Myself. Ralph, my best friend. A tough guy, the bad boy, the most worldly of us, which is a strange thing to say about an eight-year-old kid. India, an archetypal ‘80s tomboy. She was the coolest person I knew at the time. Looking back, I wonder what her home life was like. I think I remember problematic warning signs that I couldn’t have recognized when I was so young, but now raise flags. Then there was Ben. A goofy kid, a wild mop of hair, coke bottle glasses, type 1 diabetic which seemed to make him both a bit pampered by his mother, who was in charge of all his insulin, diet, and schedule, and conversely a real risk taker when she wasn’t around.
When we first saw it…
No, wait. This was the problem with starting the story. Where does it all begin? I’ll need to talk about my Grandfather as well. I’ve had two different perspectives on my Grandfather, on the man that he was. The first was the healthy able-bodied grandparent I’d known as a young child. Then there was the man, as I learned about him after he had passed.
There was a middle period, from when I was 6 to when I was 16, when I hardly understood him at all, as he was hit with a double whammy of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's. His decline into an invalid was both steep and long drawn out. That part didn’t reflect who he was as a person.
What did I know of him when I was little? Well I knew he and my grandmother had a nice big house and some farmland, out in the broad flat valley north of Farmingham. Dairy country. It had been settled by Dutch immigrants back in the homesteading days. His family had been among the first pioneers in the county too. It didn’t register to me then that his surname was Norwegian, not Dutch. I knew he had served in the Navy in World War II, which I was immensely proud of for reasons I didn’t know why. I knew he had a job as a butcher in a nearby rural supermarket. He was a bit of a farmer too, more as a hobby and a side gig. He had a few cattle, but mostly grew and harvested hay to sell to the local dairies. I knew he had turned his garage into a machine shop, and could fix damn near anything. From the flat tires on my bicycle to the old flat-bed truck he’d haul hay with, to an old 1950s riding lawnmower he somehow managed to keep in working order. I knew he could draw a really cool cartoon cowboy, I knew he loved to watch football, and I knew the whiskers on his chin were very pokey, and they’d tickle you when he kissed you on the cheek, and that when you tried to rub the sensation away he’d laugh and laugh and laugh.
Then there were the parts of his life that I’d learn much later. Mostly from odd passing comments from relatives, or things I’d find in the public records. Like how he’d been a better grandfather than a father. Or how his life as I knew it had been a second, better life. He’d been born among the Norwegian settler community, way up in the deep, dark, forest-shrouded hills that rimmed the valley. He’d been a logger in his youth. Technologically he was only a generation or two from the ones I’d learned about in the museum. They’d replaced donkeys with diesel engines and corduroy roads with narrow gauge rail. It was still the same job, though. Dirty, dangerous, dark. Way back into those woods, living in little logging camps, civilization was always a several-day hike out. It became a vulgar sort of profession, filled with violent men, reprobates, and thieves. When my grandfather’s father was murdered on his front porch by a lunatic claiming he’d been wronged somehow, my grandfather hiked out of there, got into town, and joined the Navy. He vowed never to go back. The things he’d seen out in those woods were no good. He’d kept that existence away from me. Anyways…
Tommy Barker was the first of us to go missing. I say ‘us’ as if I knew him personally. I didn’t. He went to Farmingham Middle School, other side of town, and several grades above us. From our perspective, he may as well have been an adult living overseas.
Yet it felt like we got to know him. His face was everywhere, on TV, all over telephone poles. Everybody was talking about him. After he didn’t return from a friend’s house, everybody just sort of assumed, or maybe hoped, that he’d just gotten lost, or was trapped somewhere. They searched all the parks. Backyards, junkyards, refrigerators, trunks. Old-fashioned refrigerators, back before suction seals, had a simple handle with a latch that opened when you pulled on it. It wasn’t a problem when the fridges were in use and filled with food. But by the 80s old broke-down refrigerators started filling up backyards and junkyards, and they became deathtraps for kids playing hide-and-seek. The only opened from the outside. I remember thinking Tommy Barker was a little old to have likely been playing hide-and-seek, but people checked everywhere anyway. They never found him.
That was about the first time we saw the Hidebehind. Ben said he thought he saw somebody following us, looked like, maybe, a kid. We’d just slowly huffed our way up a moderately steep hill, Farmingham is full of them, and when we paused for a breather at the top, Ben said he saw it down the hill, closer to the base. Yet when we turned to look there was nothing there. Ben said he’d just seen it duck behind a car. That wasn’t the sort of behavior of a random kid minding his own business. Yet the slope afforded us a view under the car’s carriage, and except for the four tires, there were no signs of any feet hiding behind the body. At first, we thought he was pulling our leg. When he insisted he wasn’t, we started to tease him a little. He must have been seeing things, on account of his poor vision and thick glasses. The fact that those glasses afforded him vision as good as or better than any of us wasn’t something we considered.
The next person to disappear was Amy Brooks. Fifth-grader. Next elementary school over. I remember it feeling like when you’re traveling down the freeway, and there’s a big thunderstorm way down the road, but it keeps getting closer, and closer. I don’t remember what she looked like. Her face wasn’t plastered everywhere like Tommy’s had been. She was mentioned on the regional news, out of Seattle, her and Tommy together. Two missing kids from the same town in a short amount of time. The implication was as obvious as it was depraved. They didn’t think the kids were getting lost anymore. They didn’t do very much searching of backyards. The narratives changed too. Teachers started talking a lot about stranger danger. Local TV channels started recycling old After School Specials and public service announcements about the subject.
I’m not sure who saw it next. I think it was Ben again. We took him seriously this time though. I think. The one I’m sure I remember was soon after, and that time it was India who first saw it. It’s still crystal clear in my memory, almost forty years later, because that was the time I first saw it too. We were riding through a four-way stop, an Idaho Stop before they called it that, when India slammed to a stop, locking up her coaster brakes and leaving a long black streak of rubber on a dry patch of pavement. We stopped quickly after and asked what the problem was. We could tell by her face she’d seen it. She was still looking at it.
“I see it,” she whispered, unnecessarily. We all followed her gaze. We were looking, I don’t know, ten seconds? Twenty? We believed everything she said, we just couldn’t see it.
“Where?” Ralph asked.
“Four blocks down,” she whispered. “On the left. See the red car? Kinda rusty?” There was indeed a big old Lincoln Continental, looking pretty ratty and worn. I focused on that, still seeing nothing. “Past that, just to its right. See the street light pole? It’s just behind that.”
We also saw the pole she was talking about. Metal. Aluminum, I’d have guessed. It had different color patches, like metallic flakeboard. Like it’d had been melted together out of scrap.
I could see that clearly even from that distance. I saw nothing behind it. I could see plenty of other things in the background, cars, houses, bushes, front lawns, beauty bark landscape.. There was no indication of anything behind that pole.
And then it moved. It had been right there where she said it had been, yet it had somehow perfectly blended into the landscape, a trick of perspective. We didn’t see it at all until it moved, and almost as fast it had disappeared behind that light pole. We only got a hint. Brown in color, about our height in size.
We screamed. Short little startled screams, the involuntary sort that just burst out of you. Then we turned and started to pedal like mad, thoroughly spooked. We made it to the intersection of the next block when it was Ralph who screeched to a halt and shouted, “Wait!”
We slowed down and stopped, perhaps not as eagerly as we’d done when India yelled. Ralph was looking back over his shoulder, looking at that metal pole. “Did anybody see it move again?’ he asked. We all shook our heads in the negative. Ralph didn’t notice, but of course, he didn’t really need an answer, of course we hadn’t been watching.
“If it didn’t move, then it’s still there!” Ralph explained the obvious. It took a second to sink in, despite the obvious. “C’mon!” he shouted, and to our surprise, before we could react, he turned and took off, straight down the road, straight to where that thing had been lurking.
We were incredulous, but something about his order made us all follow hot on his heels. He was a sort of natural leader. I thought it was total foolishness, but I wasn’t going to let him go alone. I think I got out, “Are you crazy?!”
The wind was blowing hard past our faces as we raced as fast as we could, it made it hard to hear. Ralph shouted his response. “If it’s hiding that means its afraid!” That seemed reasonable, if not totally accurate. Lions hide from their prey before they attack. Then again, they don’t wait around when the whole herd charges. Really, the pole was coming up so fast there wasn’t a whole lot of time to argue. “Just blast past and look!” Ralph added. “We’re too fast! It won’t catch us.”
Sure, I thought to myself. Except maybe Ben, who always lagged behind the rest of us in a race. The lion would get Ben if any of us.
We rushed past that pole and all turned our heads to look. “See!” Ralph shouted in triumph. There was simply nothing there. A metal streetlight pole and nothing more. We stopped pedaling yet still sped on. “Hang on,” Ralph said, and at the next intersection he took a fast looping curve that threatened to crash us all, but we managed and curved behind him. We all came to the pole again where we stopped to see up close that there was nothing there, despite what we had seen moments before.
“Maybe it bilocated,” Ben offered. We groaned. We were all thinking it, but I think we were dismissive because it wasn’t as cool a word as ‘teleport.”
“Maybe it just moved when we weren’t looking,” I offered. That hadn’t been long, but that didn’t mean anything if it moved fast. The four of us slowly looked up from the base of the pole to our immediate surroundings. There were bushes. A car in a carport covered by a tarpaulin. The carport itself. Garbage cans. Stumps. Of course the ever-present trees. Whatever it was it could have been hiding behind anything. Maybe it was. We looked. Maybe it would make itself seen. None of us wanted that. “OK, let’s get going,” Ralph said, and we did so.
I got home feeling pretty shaken that afternoon. I felt safe at home. Except for the front room, which had a big bay window looking out onto the street, and the people who lived across it. There were plenty of garbage cans and telephone poles and stumps that a small, fast thing might hide behind. No, I felt more comfortable in my bedroom. There was a window, but a great thick conical cypress tree grew right in front of it, reaching way up over the roof of the house. If anything, it offered ME a place to hide, and peer out onto the street to either side of the tree. It was protective, as good as any heavy blanket.
submitted by Guilty_Chemistry9337
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2023.06.01 05:27 maya_loves_cows i’m so fucking mad!!
my car, my ladybird, my 95 dodge neon, my first car. she was much more than a car to me and i had her all decorated with so many bumper stickers and trinkets from places i travelled and things i liked. i had been decorating her since august. i have taken perfect care of her.
then this friday, i was t boned by a guy going at least 30 over the speed limit down a massive hill as i was making a left turn to go home, 5 minutes from my house.
thankfully, my uncle who’s a mechanic and my great uncle who loves dodge neons said that the parts were cheap and it was fixable, just a control arm issue and a bit of reshaping the metal. it would cost me a lot, but significantly less than a new car or going elsewhere. however because that friday was the start of memorial day weekend, we weren’t able to get a tow truck to tow her to our house till today.
she arrived and was parked in front of my house today at 3:00. then at 4:30, my severely mentally ill and probably demented neighbour who should have had her drivers license taken years ago, backs out of her driveway and crushes my car. in the initial crash she was hit on the side, so only the side was damaged. when she backed into me she crumpled my hood, knocked off my entire front bumper, shattered my radiator, and bent the frame. she’s basically unfixable now.
and my dad is mad at me for “acting like a victim” and having a “shitty attitude” like how else should i react to this? i don’t have the money to fix this? i don’t have money for a new car? and i have a job i need to drive to? he somehow is acting like i wanted to get into a car crash and then have my batshit neighbour total it. yeah. sure.
also polite advice/input are welcome and if you have any recommendations for cheap but good cars in the southeast missouri area/adjacent i’m all ears. ladybird was a great find, 4,000 entirely rebuilt even a brand new coat of paint and only 129 thousand miles on her which for a 28 year old car is incredible.
submitted by maya_loves_cows
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2023.06.01 05:17 __Ronn__ Is the natural hill behind my targets sufficient for a back stop? Or should I continue with my own dirt pile? No houses or anything for miles behind it just fields. I plan on adding some taller targets in between the two pictured. Thanks
2023.06.01 05:08 plakapum Me and my parents