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Jersey Mikes looking for locations in Canada?
2023.06.05 12:27 OkPomegranate8387 Jersey Mikes looking for locations in Canada?
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I’ve eyed that on the Commercial Real Estate site Urban Reality, which represents the Canadian expansion of Five Guys, Chipotle, Chick Fil A among others that Jersey Mikes is looking for 12-1500 locations in all formats in Canada submitted by OkPomegranate8387 to jerseymikes [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 12:00 WaveOfWire One Hell Of A Vacation - Chapter 88
Next Royal Road
providing the Trash certification of quality!
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The maw of the moss-wolf chomped down on the treat, its partner patiently waiting its turn, an eye trained on the Human providing the sustenance. Joseph reached into the pouch, counting out what he had left and mentally setting a few aside for the raven-like birds that Scarlet had trained to bother him.
Well, ‘bother’ might be a strong word. They would whistle at him and wait for food. Upon getting their hard sought quarry, they would return to share it with the rest. Surprisingly cooperative, all things considered. Scarlet had apparently been getting them to associate certain short melodies with members of the pack, allowing her to send the avians after whoever she wanted for more snacks.
If they didn’t get any, then they would yell something not dissimilar to a caw until either food was procured, or they grew bored. Given that they had taken to humouring Violet in her attempts to be a mobile perch, that usually took a while.
It drove Nalah nuts, which seemed to be part of the reason the blond-furred female was included in the ritual at all. Harrow was apparently the favourite target of the nuisance when she was outside the base, but he couldn’t say why.
The tell-tale scratching had been somewhat muted since the shift in medium, but Violet’s writing was always something he kept an ear out for, his daughter presenting her tablet excitedly. [It blinked!]
He turned his head to the cow-looking thing, the unwavering stare held until he gave up. “I swear you guys are just messing with me.”
“Or we merely enjoy your suffering,” Sahari suggested with a smirk, the black-furred female standing taller than him for a moment as she stretched her legs out. Settling into a height that was level with him, she attempted to offer the wolves food. Receiving a fearful retreat instead, the black-furred female frowned, the two canines shifting in their enclosure to be closer to Joseph and Violet. “They still seem to distrust any but yourselves.”
He shrugged, taking the scrap from her and giving it to the young Atmo to pass along, her chittering laugh when the wolves accepted the morsel breaking the soft sound of trickling rain outside the barn. “Faye was the one who started this. I guess they treat her like an alpha of sorts, and seeing her bow to the two of us so often told them that she’s lower on the pole. That’s my guess, anyway.”
“That is….rather intelligent of them, if so,” Sahari commented pensively.
The Grand Hunter tipped his head in agreement. If anything, it was an understatement. The six-legged canines were remarkably receptive to taming, though he couldn’t say how much of that was due to Faye taking to his suggestion so seriously. He had only offered it as a passing thought, but she had set to it like their god had mandated it.
He fought back a sigh at the reminder of his placement in the whole thing, his foot kicking the ground to adjust the new sandals he was wearing until Pan finished proper shoes.
One day, he was a divorcee flirting with random women on a cruise ship so that the rejection validated his own self-esteem issues. The next, he was a guy in charge of a settlement nearing one hundred people and had become a manifestation of religion condensed into the form of some random moron.
He snorted at a morbid thought. How would Emma react to his ‘rise to fame?’ His acquisition of more than they had ever thought for themselves back on Earth?
Owning a territory? They could only manage a nice apartment that could fit several times over inside the base. Friends? Hell, he had a group of people who have helped him through some of the worst the planet had to offer. Kids...well, nothing could replace Violet. He doubted Emma would see it the same way, though.
A paw enclosed his shoulder, dragging his mind from more sombre thoughts. It had been quite a while since everything fell through and he had moved on, but it still stung every now and again.
“What ails your mind, Joseph?” Sahari asked with a concerned inflection. He looked over at her, a smile becoming easier after a moment.
“Just wondering how my ex-wife would react to seeing what I’ve turned into. What she’d say to all of this,” he admitted honestly with a wide gesture to everything. She patted his back, a small pride in her gaze.
“You continue to heal, Grand Hunter, but you are still scarred. Your previous mate would curse her decisions were she to see what you have accomplished.”
He snorted, a wide dry grin breaking out. “I’d love to see her face going back with two alien wives and this sweetheart as a daughter,” he teased, giving Violet a thorough rub on the head. She purred, chittering between breaths as she fought off the rough affection playfully while keeping her blades tucked for safety.
The black-furred female tilted her head and shifted her weight to her other foot. “You’ve mentioned that there is a specific procedure for binding the lives of your people, no?”
He blinked, his mind flickering to the two rings he had prepared, yet held some modicum of expectation around before he whipped them out. Not least of all was the foreign sensation of doing it again twice
, nor finding an appropriate time to do it. It was hard to pick a picturesque moment when each day was paperwork, punching people in the face during spars, and orchestrating the well-being of such a large group. Given that the closest thing he could get to a romantic occasion was laying down on the grass while Nalah barked orders at the construction crews in the distance, he didn’t feel like it was ever a good time to ask. It was even harder picturing himself doing it to the two of them, as if it cheapened the gesture in some way.
Then there was the part of himself that feared rejection—as stupid as it sounded. They could deny the alien practice, not share the same sentiment, or any number of disagreements that would render him kneeling like an idiot. As unlikely as it was, it could even be too great a commitment for them, the implication of their entire lives being pledged solely to him being a crushing weight, rather than a promise of mutual loving dedication.
they were speaking as if it was the case, but the circumstances as they were lent themselves to it being a product of necessity. Who was to say that it would remain the same once they got off this rock and—hopefully—in touch with their own people again. Would they still feel the same way with an entire species back on the table as possible romantic partners? Would he still be enough?
“Joseph,” Sahari called out with worry and irritation in equal parts. “You are making me anxious.”
“Hm? Oh, sorry,” he apologized sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck as he was reminded that more than one person could be afflicted by his emotional state. She placed a paw to her hip.
“Are the proceedings really such a means for strife?”
“Ah, no, it’s just…” He averted his eyes, offering Violet a token smile when she seemed to be concerned about him. He inhaled deeply. “It’s just…I have reservations about it.”
She raised a brow. “I need not a bond to know you care for them deeply enough to toss your life to the Void for them.”
His weak smile faltered further. “Well, yeah. They mean everything to me, but I cant help but remember how things went last time, I guess. There’s a million and one ways it could go up in smoke, and I…” He fell quiet for a moment, Violet pressing herself into his side in an attempt to cheer him up. He rested a hand against her back, the texture comforting in a way. “I want it to be an important moment in our lives, rather than some disposable token that they accept without thinking much. It’s not like they’re swimming in potential romantic partners here, so it feels like they’d be agreeing for lack of options.”
She stared at him with a hesitant expression, her cheek pinched between her teeth and eyes narrowed in thought. “Pan would sooner end her own life than be separated from you, and Tel would end any who so much as suggested such,” she stated finally. “To you, the mark upon your flesh is but a sting that fades. To them, it is their declaration that they have found their reason to live. A declaration that is shown to all others of our people the moment they draw near. Though Pan lacks the means to impart her own, she is rather pleased that another is able to in her stead and treats it as her own for all intents.”
She grabbed him roughly by the arm, pulling him into her breast as she stood to her full height, a surprised yelp stifled by soft clothing and fur.
“Unfortunately for you, openly voiced or not, we all feel as such. Though you bear not the mark of everyone in the den, I assure you that to be removed from you would leave us lesser, regardless of bond.”
He shut his mouth at the last addition. There was a weight behind knowing that people were likely to simply give up
on living if you were away for too long. It put the relationship in front of a loaded gun for both parties. They couldn’t afford to break it off from him because existing would become a living hell, and he couldn’t change his mind for any reason because it would be the same as killing them.
What kind of marriage was one built upon such fragile pillars? How could they be happy when every fight was tempered by the threat of the end of everything? What about Sahari? Could she ever pursue her own life with Nalah when she had the bond shackling her to him? How long until that became a stinging poison, rotting away the veins and arteries of her psyche? How long until death became preferable to being around him?
A strong impact to his stomach winded him, though the unnoticed hyperventilating left him little to eject as he fell to his knees. Violet clicked in surprise, the wolves backing away at the unexpected violence.
He coughed, sputtering spittle as he fought the urge to evacuate his breakfast. A pained glance up revealed Sahari still clutching a fist, her expression just as hurt.
“You hear my words and twist them, Joseph,” she chastised softly, crouching to look at him better. “We pledged our lives to you. Not because we had no choice, but because we believed you to be our future. From that moment on, our desire was to remain with you.” Her voice grew weak, almost pleading. She placed her forehead to his, the contact an intimate touch. “Your experiences may suggest our bond a prison, but for us, it is an ambrosia for our soul. It completes us like no equal. Jax and Harrow care for you immensely, Nalah and myself owe you everything that we are, and your mates will fight the Hunt Mother herself if it would mean even one more sun with you.”
He found himself speechless, wading through the emotions behind her words a syllable at a time. The feeling of Violet pressing into his back in an embrace stung as much as soothed, his mind rejecting the idea, yet so desperate to accept it.
“Do not desecrate our affections because you had been scorned by one who did not see within you that which we covet,” she implored sombrely, raw emotion oozing through the confines of speech. “Though you doubt it, none would know how much value you place in the ‘mark’ of your people more than your mates. If merely thinking about the unlikely event that they refuse tortures you so deeply, than the elation they would share with you when they agree would likely see Pan unable to contain herself for many suns after.”
He stayed on his knees, the warmth surrounding him from both sides seeping within and thawing the frozen excuses he held onto to prevent exposing himself to potential rejection. Every step of the way since he had met them, it had made him fearful of losing their company. At first, the thought of being left alone to brave the planet was too much to bear, but he would try. Now? Now he felt like he understood where the minds of those bonded Lilhuns had been. Even considering being away from his new loved ones pulled at a primal part of himself, each tug stronger than the last, each suggestion fanning the flames barricaded behind morals—the depths he would trudge to see it never come to pass.
Sahari nuzzled into his neck for a moment before parting, a somewhat satisfied smile given towards the emotionally fragile Human they had taken to depending on. He returned his own, though it was tinted with a bit of embarrassment.
Violet stepped back to allow him room to stand, the extended joint of her blade asking to be held like he did with her adoptive mother. His expression softening, he did as requested, lightly rubbing the smooth surface with his thumb. It soothed a part of him to be holding his daughter’s ‘hand’ while they watched the wolves slowly approach the front of their enclosure again, now that the momentary intensity had faded.
With a self-deprecating roll of his eyes, he nodded, promising himself to follow through with his small wish the next time the chance revealed itself. It didn’t need to be perfect, but it would be nice if it was at least private. The dull ache in his stomach would be a reminder not to second guess himself anyway.
The wolves yipped, ignoring Sahari as they moved towards the other corner. Joseph glanced at where they were focused, his curious gaze replaced by surprise, then shock.
Raine supported Faye over her shoulder, the deep gold-furred female’s breath short as she rested her weight over her brown-furred counterpart, their black leather coats dripping water onto the floor as it wrapped tightly around them, concealing their armour. A steady trickle of blood flowed from a long gash on Faye’s leg, her free arm clutching across her breast to keep her coat closed.
Without waiting for either to speak, he ran to pick up the Wraith, slinging her across his shoulders and tearing off to the base. He could barely hear Sahari over the rain and his own blood pounding through his ears, his heart hammering in his chest. Though they had established something of a clinic for minor injuries that were sustained constantly, his singular focus was getting Faye into the medbay.
Pack members cleared the way, some jumping to the side as he barrelled through the sparely populated routes between home and workplace. More than one tripped over themselves in shock, the Human never having a reason to go at a full sprint before. He was slower than a Lilhun like this, but he could make it the full distance before them. He didn’t need to slow down.
Harrow pushed open the doors to the hub, her distant expression as she examined thin ironwood tablets perking, his rapid heavy footfalls telling of his arrival before she had the chance to see him. Her eyes lit up, her brows furrowed, and a hurried pull of the door kept it open for him, all in sequence. He didn’t have the spare breath to explain or thank her.
The orange-furred female bolted across the hub, slamming into the crash-bar installed into the facilities wing entrance to force it open, only barely outpacing the Grand Hunter in his rush. She staggered to her feet behind him, rushing to collect herself and assisting in tearing the pants off of the injured female when Joseph laid her on the bed.
Modesty being the least of his concerns, he braced an arm across her pelvis to stop her hips from bucking as Harrow wiped off any dried blood to see the extent of the damage on her thigh.
He tightened his hold on Faye as his friend tentatively spread the wound to check for debris. “Don’t know. Didn’t ask. Saw her bleeding, rushed her here,” he answered through deep breaths, each strike of his adrenaline-fuelled heart pressing against his lung capacity.
Harrow frowned, grabbing some sterile water to pour over the wound and picking out a stray splinter of wood that looked to be from her missing leg armour. Faye let out a small whine, but didn’t have it in her to talk yet, signs of exhaustion and pain unfocusing her eyes.
The Head of Technology—and current medical expert in the room—pursed her lips against her muzzle. “We need to stitch it. It’s too big for just healroot.”
Joseph nodded, easing his weight off the Wraith and wiping his sweat from his brow. “Pan!”
Noticing the urgency in his voice, he could hear her throw the door to the sewing room wide open and jog to the medbay, her wide eyes steeling as she assessed the situation.
“Idee with you?”
She nodded, ears turned perfectly towards him.
“One of you boil off some palm string, the other sterilize the thinnest quill you can get away stitching a wound closed with. I don’t care who, but we need one of you to close this up.” He glanced at Harrow. “Grab some alcohol. I keep a bit in the closet in my room, next to the old crossbow prototypes. We need to flush this out and kill off anything that might have gotten in.”
The orange-furred female tipped an ear in confusion as Pan took off to do as he asked. “I thought you didn’t have medical-”
“I’ve been around enough workplace injuries, okay? Go
His shout jolted her into action, a few steps required to gain traction as she ran out the door. Applying solid pressure to the wound with one hand, he used the other to lightly tap Faye’s cheek.
“Faye? Faye, you with me?”
Her eyes languidly turned to him, slow blinks and meaningless mouthing ceased, a soft smile forming under her pained expression. “Hello, sir.”
He exhaled a relieved huff. “Welcome home, Faye. What happened?”
She seemed confused by his question, glancing down to her leg after a few seconds. With widened eyes, she struggled to sit up, Joseph forcibly pressing her to the bed.
All resistance disappeared in an instant, her body complying despite the obvious urgency. He hardened his expression.
She breathed deeper a few times before speaking. Each word was hesitant, as if the memory was hazy and diluted, though he couldn’t tell if it was due to blood loss or exhaustion. “A large grey beast…teeth, large mouth...attacked wolves...”
His brow knitted, Faye’s coat moving. A small whine came from her again…no. Not her.
A small yellow canine head freed itself from the confines of black leather, a weak keening produced from a tiny moss-wolf. Faye looked at him guiltily, a pleading look in her eyes given as she composed herself.
“It lost its parents…”
His protest died in his voice, a distant memory of a wolf being torn in two came to mind. The time before they had even moved to the pod, let alone met the Lilhuns, him and Violet checking snares shortly after his ankle had healed. A time so long ago, yet remained with him under the surface.
“You saved this little guy, huh?” he asked gently, wincing in tandem with her own when he leaned heavier on the massive gash in her thigh. She nodded, averting her eyes. “Did you get the ‘beast?’”
Faye shook her head. “Raine lured it away, but it still remains.”
“That’s fine. You’re back, that’s all that matters right now.”
Harrow bumped into the doorway, failing to shed all of her speed as she returned from fetching a smaller container that Joseph kept in case the rest of the pack burned through their stores of alcohol. Her eyes flicked to the wolf pup before disregarding it to hand him the ethanol. He lifted his hand, Harrow pouring some water to wash off the blood. Volta would be busy later, it seemed.
Gesturing for the orange-furred female to hold the leg down, he poured the alcohol into the wound, grimacing at Faye’s pained gasp. They didn’t have anything for her to bite into, but that would be a future consideration.
Pan and Idee entered the medbay, the former moving like a machine with purpose while the visiting seamstress took a moment to size up the situation. The Paw fetched a tray from the shelf, laying out several strings of softened palm and a few thin quills, threading one and passing it to Idee. The light brown-furred female accepted it, Harrow making room as she stood next to Joseph.
Pan handed him a tough leather strip as wide as his palm. Seems like she saw the problem before he did.
“Open up,” he prodded, placing the leather between Faye’s teeth. “This is going to fucking suck. We don’t have anything to numb you, so you need to stay as still as possible, okay? I’ll be here the whole time.”
The Wraith nodded, staring at him for a moment before closing her eyes in acceptance, her grip on the pup firming.
“Want me to take the wolf?”
She lightly shook her head, him exhaling hesitantly in response. Idee readied herself, looking to him for confirmation, Pan holding Faye’s ankle flat to the bed.
“You’re good,” he responded, pressing an arm to Faye’s chest and hips to hold her down.
The deep gold-furred female managed a quiet muffled groan of pain as the quill pierced her flesh.
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He entered the hub, dropping himself on the couch and ignoring the sweat on his brow. He had only just managed to get the blood off of his hands after Idee finished, but it was still staining his clothing. Pan was off to rinse it out of her fur while Faye slept off her exhaustion. As far as they could tell, she had avoided any infection thanks to Raine half-dragging the female back to them as quickly as she did. The wolf pup was staying with her for now, since—even in her sleep—she refused to let it go. The little guy didn’t seem to be complaining, so they just left it where it was comfortable. Ferra would be by later to check it out, apparently, and he didn’t see a reason to complain; she was their animal expert.
Scarlet offered him some tea, the warm liquid whetting his pallet that had since dried. Sahari had checked on them during the process, leaving to keep anyone who had questions in the loop. Given that half the damn pack either saw or heard about the Grand Hunter running like a bat out of hell, pretty much everyone was worried. Either about some urgent threat that might befall them, or about one of the quiet servants they had grown used to seeing around.
Looked like the Wraiths had taken to offering small services and assistance to people who needed it when they didn’t have anything better to do, so the pack was curious about what had happened. It was a small blessing that the usual armour they wore when ‘on duty’ was covered by the cloaks, otherwise he would have more questions coming that he didn’t want answered.
Raine stood a few paces in front of him, her bowed posture holding a hint of fear under his unwavering stare. He waited for whoever else was going to show up for the report, Tel and Pan insisting that they be involved. Harrow followed behind the two entering from the facilities wing, either because she had gotten wrapped up in the whole thing, or because she wanted to be included.
Pan sat to his left, Tel taking a place behind him to remain standing. Harrow surprised him, her recently elusive presence firmly displaced as she dropped onto the couch to his right, her tail curling around his calf—not that she seemed to notice.
Given that both Tel and Pan trapped a limb or two with their tails regularly, he didn’t stop to put thought into it, the encapsulating appendage crossing him as a common occurrence.
“I don’t know how accurate it was, since she’s still pretty out of it, but Faye said one of those grey bear-deathtraps attacked some wolves before she stepped in to save the pup,” he opened, glancing at Scarlet. The almost black red-furred female was maintaining a surprisingly commanding presence, her attention laser-focused on Raine. The brown-furred Wraith kept her gaze fixed to the floor, too ashamed or nervous to move it.
“I apologize for her error in her stead,” she announced, the slightest of grip in her folded paws digging her claws into her skin. “The fault is also mine for not preventing her misstep. I will accept any punishment for our mistake.”
He exhaled heavily. “I’m not mad that you guys had an original thought, Raine. I’m worried about those iron-maiden-looking fucks being around again, and I’m concerned about you getting hurt.”
“Of course, sir. Forgive me for the arrogance of assuming your priorities.”
He pinched the bridge of his nose, Pan squeezing his thigh in support. Tel rested her head on his, the weight somehow comforting despite the grin at his annoyance. “We can talk about not getting yourselves killed later. Are you injured at all?”
Raine’s ear twitched. “No, sir. I am whole.”
“Good,” he sighed, nodding lightly. “That’s good. Faye’s patched up for now, but she’ll be under observation to keep on top of any possible infection. How did the ‘mission’ go?”
The Wraith perked up a bit, the conversation moving away from her perceived failure. She produced a satchel, pulling a rather thick stack of tablets from it and passing them to Scarlet, the latter ferrying them to Harrow. He thought it was an odd choice, but the orange-furred female started giving him an abbreviated translation of the text.
Line after line of transactions. What was offered and received, any debts and who owed them, as well as small notes about what should be brought next time. It was a comprehensive copy of the ledger that the trading caravan kept. His brows raised at the sheer density of information, and for them getting it from something he was only partially sure existed.
“You managed to get this much?” he asked in disbelief. “Jesus. Were you caught?”
Raine shook her head. “If we were to be seen by them, we would be nothing more than a stain against our Blademaster.”
Compliment or boasting, doing this much was damn impressive. Especially with just the two of them.
“Shit. Well, good fucking job, I guess,” he managed, still reeling a bit from the unintended scope of the task. Harrow continued to dig through the report, though stopped voicing it aloud. Joseph turned his attention back to the Wraith. “Anything else of note? Rumours?”
The Wraith grew pensive. “Though we returned partially through their return trip to Grand Hunter Pernel, we did overhear some conversations. There were discussions of other packs simply no longer occupying their settlements.”
He leaned forward in his seat, dislodging Tel as his elbows rested against his knees. “What do you mean?”
“Some of their usual trade locations were purportedly burned down, others merely abandoned. A few were apparently littered with corpses,” she explained more steadily. “From what we could gather, the reason they came to trade with our settlement at all is that the others along the way were in such states. It seems they intended to restock and head back out immediately to accommodate the loss in trading partners.”
He bit his lip as he thought about it, letting himself fall back against the couch.
“What do you guys think of it?” he asked with a glance to his mates. Pan seemed to be mirroring his own apprehension openly, while Tel kept a more serious expression.
“I believe there is something larger happening,” Tel concluded, taking a few seconds before returning to using him as a headrest. Pan nodded her agreement, but didn’t have much to add to it otherwise.
“It would explain how desperate they were for food,” he mused aloud, raising a brow when Harrow shifted to lean against him, one foot placed on the edge of the seat forcing the posture. “Any details of interest, Harrow?”
The orange-furred female jolted, only just stopping from moving her foot back to the floor before committing to using him as a backrest. She turned back-on fully, stretching her legs over the remainder of the seat and placing tablets she had finished with on her lap.
“It didn’t take very long for the methods you sold to propagate,” she responded, holding up a few of the tablets before laying them in their own pile. “Looks like Pernel has been spreading it around by buying some from places that have bows and snares to sell where they don’t.”
“Supply and demand, or arming people with the tools that would help them survive?”
“Hard to trade with the dead,” Harrow commented dryly, starting a new pile. He nodded in exaggerated fashion.
“What about the Atmo?”
She tapped the small stack she just started. “I’m trying to separate these by inventory type. Give me a bit.”
Deciding to trust the woman in charge of managing this kind of thing while she was on the ship, he glanced back to Raine, the female easily mistaken for a statue if not for the subtle sway of her breathing. “The grey-bear-thing. How far away is it?”
“Too close,” she responded firmly. “We did not get a chance to verify their numbers, but there was evidence of at least that singular beast making our territory its hunting ground.”
“Fuck,” he muttered through gritted teeth. “We’re going to need to hunt that thing down.”
Pan looked worried at the prospect, Harrow stiffened in her sorting. The Wraiths were the only ones who seemed completely at ease with the suggestion, Tel not so much as twitching. Harrow laid down the tablets she had yet to categorize, her gaze aimed at her lap.
“Joe, don’t think that taking one out is easy.”
“We have ranged weapons and more than a few people who can use them,” he pointed out with a breath. “Ideally, we go as a larger hunting party and take the damn thing down through sheer volume of fire.”
“Their skin is tough,” Harrow replied with a shake of her head, her ears pivoting back towards him. “I don’t know if our bows could pierce it as easily as we might like.”
He furrowed his brow. “So, what? Let it close in until it eats everything and starves us out? Until it thinks we look tasty?”
“I don’t know. I’m just saying that this won’t be as simple as firing a few arrows and patting ourselves on the back for a job well done.”
Joseph felt the stiffness of his brow start to hurt from how tight they were knitted. A deep breath centred his thoughts. “We’ll arrange an armoured hunting party soon. Better to take it down before it becomes an issue.”
The orange-furred female nodded, quickly leafing through the remaining tablets and only pulling two more out for the pile she indicated earlier.
“Here,” she said, tapping the stack. “These are records for trading Atmo.”
He suppressed the sigh when he genuinely tried to read the mess they called a language. “How many? Who bought them?”
She hesitated, reforming the copy of the ledger—sans the relevant tablets—and placing it on the floor. The remainder in paw, she held them up over her shoulder, Tel accepting it and going over the contents with an interested tilt of her head.
“From what I can see here, Pernel traded two hundred.”
“Two…” he squeaked, his eyes wide. “Two hundred?”
She nodded, pacing around the couch to stop in front of Pan. “It seems others heard of his willingness to barter for them. He accepted quite a few deals before selling them off again.”
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The door to the ship closed with a hiss, Willin shaking his head at Nav’s questioning gaze. “Nothing.”
Tech removed her CARDs, storing them in the weapons locker before shrugging off her AMR to place in its own unit. “Nothing living, anyway.”
“That bad?” Nav asked, deflating after yet another failed attempt to contact a settlement. The dark green-furred male stored his rifle, seating it into its receptacle with a click.
“Tell Comms to add another eighty to the count.”
“Four hundred eighty-two,” the purple-furred female supplied as she walked past Nav to enter the ship proper. Willin followed after, hanging his pistol holster on the side of his chair as he dropped into it.
“Thirty were covered in wounds, twenty or so were executed, twenty-five looked to have died of accumulated trauma, and the rest were found with singular cuts to the throat.”
“Not quite,” Tech remarked, interfacing with the systems. “Only eight of the ‘executed’ seem to have been done up close.”
“Sniper?” Comms asked as he entered the room, nodding his greetings and taking a seat at his station. Nav crossed their arms and leaned against the doorway as Tech Ops ran some numbers on her screen.
“Wounds are consistent with Anti Material Rifles, and debris suggest they took the ‘material’ part into consideration with their shots. There were a few holes in the buildings that didn’t quite get removed by the fires.”
“Covering evidence?” Willin mused aloud, receiving a thoughtful shake of her head.
“No, I don’t think so. My guess is that the buildings were already on fire when they did it, based on the splinters around the exit holes.”
Comms’ eyes widened in surprise. “Shooting through a burning building? That is rather impressive.”
“Blades?” Nav suggested. “Avalon is required to act against those who break the treaty, no?”
“Maybe,” Tech allowed tentatively. “If it was
them, then that would explain the lack of targets.”
Willin scratched at his ear, furrowing his brow as Comms ran another scan for any communications being made. Though a few suns had passed since they had unwittingly agreed to involve themselves in what was likely the first case of war that this planet had ever seen, nothing was being sent anywhere. Regardless, the male kept the scans regular, just in case.
Nav switched the foot they were resting on. “Why not just dispose of everyone breaking the treaty?”
“Maybe they did,” Comms commented, turning back to the conversation as the program ran in the background. “Blades typically function under strict conditions. If they removed anyone who was commanding the hostile action, then they did as required of them. The moment the attack stopped, they completed the terms of the treaty.”
“Or if the Grand Hunter here surrendered and allowed their pack to be subsumed,” Willin proposed, the others glancing at him in curiosity. He waved a paw dismissively. “If everyone in the conflict becomes a single pack, then any fighting from those who still disagree with it is now an internal dispute, thus outside of the purview of the Blades. Check the notes on Grand Hunter Toril and High Hunter Bratik.”
Tech’s eyes unfocused for a moment as she accessed the system. “Avalon is forbidden from interfering with internal politics. Toril was sheltered by Bratik. Since Bratik was from outside of Toril’s pack, it counted as acting against their right to manage their own affairs. Hasen was given a perfect reason to take over, and it forced Grand Hunter Trill to exile the both of them to adhere.” She looked around the room aimlessly as she thought, her eyes snapping to Willin when he spoke.
“And a perfect loop-hole to exploit. Toril loses his supporters, Trill loses a member of his command structure, and Hasen rises in power while leaving Avalon to grit their teeth.” He shook his head, both impressed and disgusted. “Once he attacks another pack, he just forces a vassalage and subsequently executes the new High Hunter for whatever reason he wants. The Blades can’t act on a technicality.”
“So Grand Hunter Pernel….”
Willin nodded at Comms' unfinished question. “In the count.”
“There was a bit of a weird holding area,” Tech added after a moment. “Seemed like somewhere to hold livestock, but even then, it was a bit big. I’m not sure what used to be there, but tracks suggest carts left with whatever it was not long before everything went down, so probably a trade caravan.”
“Well, at least someone made it out,” Nav sighed, pushing off the wall to resume their station. “Where are we going next?”
Willin toyed with the odd silver tablet in his paw, the two unrecognizable scripts curious and alien. “The only pack left before we see what all the fuss is about. Let’s pay a visit to Grand Huntress Sunundra. Hopefully she knows something we don’t.”
Next A/N: Been a while since we’ve had a proper A/N, huh. Welp, here’s this one. Patreon is currently set to ‘per post’ because i made the account ages ago. Waiting on support to help me switch it to monthly, then I’ll post the Silva render i have. RR is at 30k views and 100 followers. Figured I’d ask how you guys are liking this arc, hows Willin’s team coming across, etc. Final note: I’m thinking about rewriting the first ‘book’ so i can get it edited and published! Problem: i have no fucking clue where to cut book 1, and editors are expensive. Where should book 1 end? All i know is that I’d prob end up adding extra chapters to it, as well as lengthening the OG chaps. RR is a ‘touch-up’, not a final product, so those don’t count!
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2023.06.05 10:48 whisperinghomes From Classic to Contemporary: The Latest Crockery Trends for Your Dining Table
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The sheer thought of ‘fine dining’ instantly makes our minds happy and excited! This concept is something that we have only come across in restaurants and cafes where everything is top notch. Starting from the vibes of the place to the crockery sets
that have been used on the tables during meal times, everything seems to be in its best impression!
Making a similar thing at your home is something that you could never think of but when you have Whispering Homes by your side to help you go through it, you will know how easy and fun everything is! Making your living rooms and bedrooms beautiful with classy home décor products
is not the only thing that makes your home look pretty. It is also the small things like having a tidy and clean kitchen with classy crockery
set that plays an important role in decking up a home! Having good storage boxes
or having an open kitchen with ambient lighting is not the fullstop to it. Crockery is something that plays a major role even if you think it to be otherwise!
It is a pleasure to have hearty meals with your family and friends after a hard day of work or during events and occasions in your home. It is not just the food that makes a whole difference on the dining table but the way it is presented in the trays and bowls that has a significant impact on the people. Getting to check out the classy bowls, chapatti boxes and the plates and trays is something that will instantly light up your mood and make you feel that your food is way tastier!
While your dining table can only not be decorated with vases, flowers and candles, having crockery sets on display is also one of the ways to deal with the enhancement of the style statement of your place! If you are wondering how and what type of crockery sets will be helpful in this process, then Whispering Homes is more than happy to guide you through it!
From classic vintage thalis to the contemporary shaped serving trays, your dining table and kitchen will have a redefined collection of items that will not just make your heart go happy but also, make it to a point where your home will have the most beautiful and complete interiors! What are the trends in the tableware collection that will be the best suited for my home https://preview.redd.it/unei9qqcx54b1.jpg?width=900&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=05a3bb642eefc17b3438d807bb1003c188be963b
In recent years when the home décor industry is taking a toll with new and classy home décor products, the kitchen and tableware décor is going nowhere less! Undergoing some exciting changes and inclusions in the tableware collection, it is time for you to have a revamped dining table that will satisfy and soothe your heart and mind at the same time. To be in the trend or to make your home look pretty and beautiful, there is no way other than hopping on to the changes to make your home look and feel trendy and elegant!
So, watch out some of the classy trends in the tableware that will remain in the top list for the years to come! No matter what type of crockery set you are already into, from classics to modern, you can find everything right on your table!
- Bold colors – shifting the focus from a minimalistic approach to a color palette that is bold and bright, your tableware needs to be cheerful and lively! The vibrant hues of the plates, bowls and trays create an atmosphere that makes sure that the ‘meal time’ is happy and sound! Also, the bright and bold colors show that your personality has a side that is filled with new and enchanting things apart from the subtle hues of minimalist approach.
- Geometric or unique shapes – while it was just the round and rectangular pieces of crockery that ruled the kitchens and dining table in the previous time, it is now time to take a turn into the beautiful geometric and unique shapes! Unusual shapes of the serving trays and bowls are an attractive way to steal the attention of the people coming over to your place. Your dining table will be ushered by the beauty and elegance of the kitchenware – filling your home with aesthetics!
- Minimalist design – like the minimalist design is ruling the interior home décor with its subtle vibes and pretty hues, your tableware can also emit the same vibes! The minimalist approach on the tableware includes having pieces of bowls, plates and other crockery that fits the table into the minimalist approach and lets your home get a breather! Focusing less on the table décor and more on the type of crockery pieces, you will just be top right at the changing tableware trends!
- Going vintage – vintage décor is something that brings in a feeling of royalty and a majestic approach in your home! Engulfed by the antique touches of kansa, copper and brass, your tableware will now find a redefined look along with some vintage vibes. Starting from the well-made kansa plates to the designer copper curve plates, everything will seem royal just like your personality and choices!
These are some trends of tableware that will catch your attention sometime in the future, so what is better than taking a look at it today? Whether you want to
create a dining space with classy and trendy vibes with touches of modernity or you simply want to embrace the long lost vintage and antique touch of the things, you are welcome to try them all! Types of crockery pieces suitable for any dining table décor: https://preview.redd.it/uf3q3ixfx54b1.jpg?width=900&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=758b87a078ead5d26c5eedfed58c757fa9452c7c
Taking a note of the type of crockery pieces that you would like for your table décor is an important part of choosing the right one for your home. Though there are various types available in Whispering Homes, you are to explore and choose the best suited one for your tableware. Whether it is the glass sets, ceramic bowl set or the vintage styled kansa plates and glasses for the go, you are the best to define what you need for your kitchen!
Coming up with some of the specific types of tableware, ranging from bowls to serving trays, take a look here to find out what you think might suit the best for you! Classy look or the modern contemporary look, you can get to see what catches your eyes and makes your heart go happy!
- Kansa plate – bringing back the vibes from the age old times, the kansa plates are a thing of pure royalty! Being excellent in its build up quality and material, there is no way that you can refuse to get one for your home. Planning to serve delicious food on events or on a daily basis, these plates will just be the right one for this purpose! Do not forget the shine and charm you get to see when you take the first look of the kansa plate!
- Triangular serving bowls – whether it is the dessert serving bowls or the wooden bowls for storing and keeping fruits, your dining table will have a profound look when you keep them displayed on it! The supreme quality and unique design of the bowls have been a true thing of beauty that will instantly catch the attention of your guests. Making sure that they look as trendy and beautiful as any other décor accent in your home, this takes care of your budget as well!
- Serving trays and platters – the combo set of two or three serving bowls and the uniquely shaped trays and platters are a great way to make your table look classy and trendy! Decorative trays with handles on either side covered in silver and golden tones of colors are well known to enhance the beauty of the table as well the food that is being served. The marble platters not only let you make your table look classy but also, make sure that your food presentation is impressive!
- Thaali set – bringing back the traditional way of presenting and eating food, the thaali set from Whispering Homes is going to sway you off your feet! With a big plate and small bowls by the side, this thaali set is the perfect thing that you need to make any of your guests feel royal. Pairing this set with a brass glass is undoubtedly going to hype up your tableware like nothing else!
Apart from the regular eating dishes, turn your tableware into a quirky and funky one with classy glass decanters and glass bottles to make it an eye catching thing of beauty. The display of cups and mugs along with straws and water dispensers will make this corner of your home an impressive and impactful one! Shopping of crockery from Whispering Homes:
Whispering Homes does not only promise you to deck up your living room or bedroom but also the way you arrange your table. From the vintage styled crockery pieces to the items of luxury and beauty, you can find things that will make your heart flutter with happiness and excitement! Being amazing in quality and easy on your pockets, these crockery pieces will never find a way to disappoint you!
Being one of the popular things in the trend now, be sure to have these things as an example of timeless elegance and beauty at your place! Be it for yourself or for the way you present your delicacies to your guests, having top notch tableware items is something that you should never let go of!
2023.06.05 09:47 icestormstickstone Chick Fil a Verizon Discount
Use the link for Chick Fil a Verizon Discount
. The website features a wide selection of coupons, promo codes, and discount deals that are updated regularly for you to choose from and make your purchase more affordable.
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2023.06.05 07:10 nihilistrainbow Food Guilt
So I had fast food for dinner the past two days and I'm struggling with immense guilt. Yesterday I had a spicy chicken sandwhich and large fries from Chick-fil-a. Today I had McDonald's: a 6 piece nugget, McChicken, and large fries. I even had an ice cream sandwhich for dessert.
I've been so good about not tracking calories and I've been trying to eat more but this guilt is just making me want to restrict again. I've been having intense cravings for fast food, but I think I went overboard. I still body check everyday and looking at myself I feel like I gained even though I know that's not possible in just two days. Logically I know it's just mild bloating from eating, but the ED brain does not like being logical. I think a lot of my guilt is because I used to be overweight and at one point medically obese. If you've grown up fat you forever feel like the fat kid, even when you lose weight. So when I'm not eating perfectly healthy it brings me so much shame.
I'm just hoping I wake up tomorrow feeling a lot less guilty.
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2023.06.05 06:53 smeaglebaggins The Heart of this Team is our Biggest Weapon
Clearly we are not the most talented team out there. On paper against the East and currently vs. the Denver Nuggets, clearly we are the underdogs. Up until now honestly, idk how we winning each game. A lot of times I am thinking better not to watch a game and expect a win. But time and time again, the will of this team is underrated. I think this overshadows talent overall. You can teach skills and discipline and learn from it overtime, but the heart that is something these guys have.
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2023.06.05 05:25 CornerCornea Magic Traditions. Night Wedding.
I recently came across a post about an expat who participated in a night wedding.
After reading the accounts I began to do research on my own. Not because I believe in any of that stuff. I'm a magician after all. Illusion is my bread and butter. And I can detect trickery better than most. Which in my line of work has its benefits. But old traditions are the best places to pick up new techniques. Old ways that are new to others that delight and even scare people. Because, if I can make them afraid. Make them look away. For even a second. I can pull off some astounding magic.
My gig at the cruise line was coming to an end as we neared the port of Shanghai. And for my last several shows, where I'd normally start to include my greatest tricks in order to leave a lasting impression. I developed a new act to showcase instead and I called it "The Sneaky Bride", it involved a mannequin in a wedding dress, a beautiful train, veil, flowers on the ground - the whole nine yards some would say. The trick was that the bride would sneak bites as my assistants who are dressed as servers pass by with their trays.
I begin the trick by placing a mannequin center stage for all to see so that they know it's a dummy. I show them there are no holes, and the entire thing is solid. Then we dress it up and set the stage for a wedding. And with a bit of lighting, another assistant switches places with the mannequin and is being fed under the veil. We later changed it to more slight of hand techniques as the assistant complained she wasn't able to chew fast enough as the items of course have to get larger and larger for comedic effect.
At the end we even invited the unmarried men up to the stage and then threw out a fake bouquet, and watched them clamber over each other in good fun to catch it. The act was an instant hit and had the crowd roaring every night. Which was why I decided to take a firsthand look at the original, and see if there were any other staging techniques I could learn from this old tradition.
After some research online, I was able to get a relatively good idea of where it the tradition was still practiced. So I booked the next flight out to begin my quest for a real night wedding.
Upon arrival at my hotel, I asked the concierge for information about the local practice.
"Yes. I know of this one. We practice it often for children who were taken too early."
"But they are all scams?"
The concierge smiled, "In most cases the pouches mean no harm, and they're simply for families who want to provide peace for themselves and to complete a lasting tradition. Sometimes the dowries are quite lucrative as well, and it is the families who are scammed by those who go and collect these ghost wives as concubines. We call it a blue procession for the trail of ghosts the husband leaves behind wherever he goes." He leans in, "But between you and me? They're mostly all scams."
I laughed, and I can't stress this next part enough, tip your concierge! Which I did. "Thank you, and also. Do you know where I could get a good start on finding more information about these ghost dowries? Or even find one of these pouches myself?"
"The temple down this first street to the left, about half a kilometer, would be a good place to start. But finding a pouch is a bit more difficult as they pop up sporadically. However, if traditions are to be believed it is the pouch who chooses the spouse."
I thanked him again and began to make my way through the early morning rush toward the temple. The streets were lined with open markets full of food from local farmers, which were common in the morning in this part of the world. They would disappear before the afternoon and then return again to sell wares at night when it was cooler. It made the city feel as if it were breathing as the locals rose and ebbed outside with day and night.
On my way, I searched the ground and around alleys for loose pouches. But I had no such luck by the time I arrived at the temple. Large red pillars that were thicker than any tree I've personally had the pleasure of meeting held up the high ceiling. Inside, the locals were already starting to disperse as the work hours were amongst us. Which left me nearly alone in this temple at about 8:00 in the morning.
A monk or priest was kneeling on a mat in front of a wooden shrine, throwing pieces of wood in the shape of dumplings on the floor. I waited patiently for him to finish. Taking in the sights and the delicate features of the temple. When he rose I approached him.
"You don't speak English by any chance do you?"
"What about the middle tongue?" I asked in Mandarin.
"Oh," he seemed surprised. "Yes. How may I be of assistance?"
"What were you doing just now?"
He held out his hand and showed me two red wooden pieces that were, with closer inspection, in the shape of moons. "Jiaobei," he told me. "We use these to seek divine guidance."
"How does it work?"
The monk shows me the two sides, one was smooth and flat, the other side rounded. "You ask a question and then throw it on the ground. One block flat and one block round, means yes. Both blocks showing round means no. Or depending on the question. Anger from the Gods. Or crying in sadness as it is commonly known. And finally, both blocks showing flat means laughter. Which could mean a number of things." He hands them to me, "You throw it three times to get a better answer."
"I'm guessing if it's the same all three times, the answer is definitive?"
The monk nodded.
"Am I a good..."
"Ah ah ah, in silence."
I didn't want my first question to be too convoluted or difficult. So I kept it simple and asked if I was a good magician. Then I threw the Jiaobei on the floor. It clattered and rolled on its rounded back, showing two flat sides.
The monk smiled.
"That usually happens the first time anyone tries Jiaobei. But in my experience, it generally means you asked a pure question."
"What happens if I didn't ask a pure question and it came back as angry?"
"The gods will remember it. They will remember you."
"No bad first impression then huh," I whispered under my breath. "Okay. Do I need to throw it two more times or can I ask a different question?"
"You may ask a different question or throw it twice more."
"What is my name?" I threw it on the floor. And to my surprise, as the ends are pointed and difficult to balance, one of the damn things stood tall and erect.
The monk bowed to the pieces. "Truly you have been picked by the gods to be answered. Lijiao or a standing answer like this is uncommonly rare. The gods generally choose to laugh at a nonsensical question. And often get angry if you throw it two more times. And rarely do they ever answer ones asked aloud."
I bent forward, skeptical, though a temple this was, at how the thing worked. In my head I could only think that the switchboard guy was quick on his feet. But looking around I couldn't find any cameras. Though in this day an age, they're made smaller than a fly. So it was difficult to tell. I picked up the pieces, feeling for any sense of magnetism, but there were none.
I asked one last question before I left that day. I asked their gods, would I find the real deal? And I threw it on the ground three times. All three times it came up yes. But for two months I scoured the city, and the country side. And I did chance upon several pouches. Some were obviously scams as I watched each bag carefully before approaching. Especially noticeable are the ones in the city which would be laying on the sidewalk, filled with bills for people passing by. But I observed that if a local went to go pick it up, two or three men from around the corner would come and threaten him to put it back. But if a foreigner picked it up, an old man or woman would come and start calling them son before leading them away.
There were of course others that were genuinely following tradition. I chanced upon several of them and was married several times. But each one was playful almost. And performed by their parents in the day. Leaving me with several small bags of pocket change, a good dinner, as I went on my way.
During one of these fake night weddings I even saw a child playfully munching on a corn cob in the corner under one of the tables as I fed the effigy they constructed of my fake bride. Which was when I think I decided to call it quits. Believing that I'd never find the real deal. Although I did learn a lot as tradition can be translated by me into performance. Which helped me ground 'The Sneaky Bride' act further. All in all, this was time well spent.
My visa was coming to an end and I had mostly been enjoying the sights, the city, and their way of life. When on one the last day, as I was leaving from a faraway eatery that the concierge had recommended, that I saw a red pouch made of silk with a thick yarn around its throat, stuffed full of money. I looked around and didn't see a single person there, nothing except flat farmland and water gullies for miles.
Odd, I thought to myself, as it looked truly abandoned.
For a second I played with the idea of picking it up. Wondering if somehow a relative of the deceased would pop up magically next to me and I could change the world of magic by studying their technique. But I didn't want to spend my few hours chasing ghosts. I wanted to enjoy my time. So I kept walking.
I got back to the city and spent the remainder of my day eating and drinking, meeting new friends at the bar, newfound lads who I invited a hundred times to visit me in Melbourne one day. Who all agreed that if fate ever brought us back together we would drink until the sun rose. So yeah, I was fairly drunk when I got back to my hotel room, and didn't believe what I saw when I opened the door. It was a red pouch sitting on my coffee table.
"Someone's trying to play a trick on me," I mused. "They must have heard me talking at the bar." I circled the table studying the pouch. Any magician worth his smoke, likes a good bag. So there was no doubt to me that this was the same one I saw earlier. Which made me start putting two and two together. "It must be the concierge. He's the one who sent me out that far." I laughed and picked up the bag, even though I knew the rules. I opened it and thumbed through the bills. "It's much more than what I tipped him. Much more." Curious, I wondered what he would have done if I didn't return this to him. It must have been quite a few months worth of wages. I threw the bag up in the air and caught it as if I were juggling before I tossed it on my nightstand. "I'm going to let him sweat for a little bit and pretend I didn't find it tomorrow as I check out," I mused as I went to go take a shower.
I opened the door and felt the words stick to the roof of my mouth as the bag appeared on the counter next to the sink. I shot a glance back to the nightstand and indeed the bag I had just thrown on there was missing.
"This is a good fucking trick. That, or I'm drunker than I thought." I started questioning did I somehow fall asleep beforehand? Or walked into the bathroom and put it there as I mused my little scheme of making the concierge nervous at the lost pouch? Had I somehow in my drunken state done something without realizing it? No. That couldn't be it. I touched my chest to check my heart rate and put my fingers on my face. A bit flushed, but heart rate adequate. I was fine for the most part. Just drunk.
I looked at the pouch on the counter, and peered gingerly into the bathroom as if I've never stepped foot in one, before deciding to grab the bag and close the door. "Okay," I said loudly. "Whoever's doing this. Come on out." Of course no one appeared, not that I expected them to because the credo I lived by is that a good magician never reveals his trick.
"Okay, let's see how good you guys really are," I mused. Going over to my closet and placed the pouch on the shelf. Closing the door. Then I went back to the bathroom and opened the door. It was empty. I checked the nightstand drawer, mpty. I looked all over, and it was still mty. I breathed a sigh and went over to the closet door, "I guess you're just a bag after all." Except when I looked inside. MT.
I stumbled backwards and looked around, glancing at the ceiling corners in case someone had crawled up there. And even looked under the bed. But there was no one else here. I felt my chest tighten as I tried to make sense of what was happening. "Its got to be the walls I reasoned." And so for the next half hour I scoured the entire room with my hands, pushing, pressing, pulling anywhere and everywhere I could. Using all my years of experience to figure out what was going on. But there was nothing.
I couldn't stay in that room another minute so I rushed outside and nearly stepped on it! The bag! It was right at the foot of my doorstep.
My mind tried to wrap around how that was possible, "It's got to be a dupe. They've got more than one bag. I've been had, that has to be it. And the furniture inside, they have secret compartments. God, they really put a lot of effort into this," I laughed. "I have to know how this trick is done." So I opened the pouch and pulled out the note inside.
The notes generally contained their name, their current would-be age (she was 20 this year, older than most), what time they were born (8:07), a picture if they had one (she did), and how old they when they died (5). If the deceased were a bit older, perhaps a tidbit from their family is included about their personality. But most importantly, it always contained their address.
I looked at my watch, it was late and my flight was in the morning but perhaps I could still make it. So I gathered the rest of my things, my luggage, the mannequin for my act, and other bag of tricks in case I needed to go to the airport right after. "Come on," I yelled out loud to my pranksters. "Let's go see what other tricks you have up your sleeve."
I went down to the lobby and had the front desk call me a cab. I looked around for the concierge but he was nowhere to be found. So I left a note for him. And then left.
The cab drove until the city faded away. We were practically on the other side of the island by the time its tires skipped to a stop. I got out and knocked on the giant half circle doors of the address. I noticed that we were deep in the countryside. There were hardly any lights dotting the night.
I knocked several more times before I heard shuffling behind the door. And then it opened. An old man stood in front of me in his drawers.
"What do you want," he asked angrily. "Do you know what time it is?"
"I'm sorry for disturbing you at such a late hour. But," I pulled out the pouch. And his eyes widened up.
"Meju-eh. You're back." He looked at me up and down. "What are you supposed to be," he asked but then shook his head. "No, no. Come in. Come in, please."
"I don't have much time," I told him. "I have to leave in the morning."
"Sit, sit." He ushered me to a chair in the courtyard.
I placed the bag on the table next to it, "I have a flight in the morning, so if we're going to do this. We have to do it now."
Instead of fighting me, he nodded, "Yes. I agree. I don't have much time either. And Meju-eh is older than most ghost brides. The bull demon might not let her through his gets if she gets any older. And then she'll be a husbandless spinster for eternity." He ushered around, "We don't have many living relatives either. So it shouldn't be too troublesome to hurry this along." He called into the house and a young woman came out, "This is my granddaughter. Ah-ahn. Meju-eh's older sister. They were close as children."
Ah-ahn was quite beautiful. I almost couldn't take my eyes off of her.
"Go and start preparations and rouse anyone you can get a hold of. We must have the wedding tonight. Even if it isn't grand as I would like."
"Will we make it in time," I asked. "It's a lot of work for one person. Perhaps I could help?"
The old man nodded, "That's a good idea. But forgive me, I must retire for now. Or else have no energy for the wedding." He turned to his granddaughter, "Fetch me when the preparations are ready." As he left us alone in the courtyard.
"What can I do," I asked her.
"We're going to need flowers for decoration."
I pulled a rose out from behind her ear, "I happen to have a case of these on hand at all times." I put the flower in her hair.
She smiled, "Thank you."
"Um, we already have tables for family gatherings. There should be enough food in the freezers that we can just heat up. I need to call my aunt to come help. And wake up some of the kids. Also...we kind of need a statue of some sort, as a stand-in for my sister."
"Statue? I think I have just the thing."
Hours went by and it was the dead of the night, but watching all the people bustling around the courtyard, the kids in excited whispers, you'd never guess that all of us should have been sleeping. Soon the tables were set, the food was hot, even the decorations were strung, and I had procured my mannequin from my luggage and a few of the menfolk were putting it together inside the main living room.
Several times I found myself laughing and having a good time with the others, although chasing that hen made me look quite ridiculous, and several times I bumped into Ah-ahn and we would talk and exchange a few words. In the beginning she talked mostly about her sister. How she was troublesome as a child. Always hiding things. I told her about the pouch appearing and disappearing in my hotel. And we both had a good laugh. Eventually we talked about ourselves. I learned she wanted to get away from here, "To see the world," she told me. The more we talked the closer we got. I could feel it. Soon we were bumping into each other just to feel our bodies touch. But before anything else transpired the wedding preparations were complete.
The old man was retrieved from his bedroom and everyone gathered outside in the courtyard, looking into the main living room. There was a wooden shrine in the back of the room and the mannequin had been traditionally dressed. From an old box the grandfather retrieved several personal items that belonged to Meju. And I was then asked to enter the living room.
The grandfather said a few words, and then gave us his blessing. Ah-ahn handed me a bowl of sticky rice ball soup. I had been through this process before and knew what to do. I ate one of the pink balls and then went to go feed my new bride.
Now I've traveled with this mannequin for some time. Seen it at a dozen of my own shows. Slept with it in the room. Knew that it was in fact a dummy for all intents and purposes. However, as I started moving my spoon toward it. I swear I saw it's chest rise as if it were breathing.
I couldn't tell if it was from the alcohol ebbing away from earlier or a trick of the light. But even its shoulders looked softer than usual. My hand started shaking as it got closer to her mouth. It was like watching an out of body experience as the spoon inched under her veil. And then the CRUNCH. It scared the fucking shit out of me. I looked around hoping to see some kid in the corner playing a dumb joke. But there were none. And I didn't believe what I was seeing even as the veil started moving as her jaws chewed the sticky material back and forth.
"No way," I shook. "There's just no way." My hand was so close to the veil. "Oh God. Please. I have to know how this is done." I ripped off the veil.
Meju looked very much like her picture. But older. And then older. And older. As if her face was starting to rot away as it contorted. People behind me screamed. The lightbulbs we had strung popped. Kids were running around and the grandfather fell to the floor clutching his heart.
I backed away, the spoon clattering to the ground as I watched the mannequin crick and crack as its arms and legs bent in a tangled mess until it was walking on all fours!
The thing grabbed the bent down to the grandfather and started chewing!
I turned around and saw the other guests were piling out of the courtyard. The tables were upturned and only the dim crescent light of the moon bore down on us. Everyone was screaming trying to get out. I ran and bumped into Ah-ahn. She whirled terrified and then realized it was me. She yelled, "You never! Look at the bride before it's time!"
"I'm so sorry! I didn't know. I thought it was a trick!"
She grabbed her face, her nails leaving streaks behind as she clawed at her skin, "Now she's going to kill every living blood relative. And then you." Ah-ahn laughed manically. "She's going to torture you!"
The people kept pushing around us until we got separated. Her final words still ringing in my ears as I took to the dirt road outside and started running. I ran for nearly a mile before I spotted a cab sitting outside of someone's house. I banged on their door and then begged them to take me to the airport. Throwing at them all the money from the dowry.
When I arrived at the airport I hurried through the TSA. Relieved at the lights and normal looking people. I boarded my flight. Tapping my foot nervously the entire time, staring out the small squarish window as we prepared to take off. The sun was starting to rise as the engine roared. I took one last look at the island as we flew away. Still trying to catch my breath at what I had just caused.
My mind was reeling as I heard two knocking noises, they sounded oddly familiar, and for a second I thought that Meju had finished with her family and had somehow come boarded. But then I realized the noise was coming from my carry-on. I reached inside and pulled out two red shaped crescents that the Monk at the temple had given to me. And I realized that if I ever needed any form of divine guidance this was it.
So right there in the tiny aisle. I asked the gods if I had escaped and threw the Jiaobei.
I asked the gods if I would be safe.
I asked them would Meju kill me.
Both flat. s
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2023.06.05 05:06 Emagme40989 Chick-Fil-A phone call interview
Hi everyone! Got a text from my local cfa saying that they want a phone call interview. Any important questions or anything to know? And, what happens after? Thanks!!
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to ChickFilAWorkers [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 05:04 AxlCobainVedder A Chick-Fil-A commercial with two women shopping together (1980)
2023.06.05 05:04 AxlCobainVedder A Chick-Fil-A commercial with two women shopping together (1980)
2023.06.05 04:52 BulbaKat I still remember the school lunch lady that shamed me for being poor
I saw a TikTok that reminded me of this because it was about a nice lunch lady helping kids out who had a negative balance.
My family was poor enough that I got free lunch.
Sometimes it didn't show up right on my school ID that they'd swipe at lunch, and they'd tell me the balance was $0 so I couldn't eat.
I'd explain my mom says I get free lunch. The lady tells me there is no such thing and what do I mean. I then have to explain in front of others from my class that my family is very poor and that's why I get free lunch.
She shakes her head again and loudly says I don't have any money and there is no free lunch. Then she hands me a tray that has nothing but half a sandwich with a kraft single piece of cheese on it. It's stale and wasn't even on a refrigerated tray. It's literally from the bottom of her rolly cart just outside the cafeteria.
No water either, nothing but that stale, room temp, half cheese sandwich. After that day, I was so embarrassed and afraid of it happening again, I stopped eating lunch.
And I continued on like that until the last 2 years of high school when I had a boyfriend (now husband) that bought me lunch on the days I was with him. I always just told my friends I wasn't hungry. I don't even think my husband knows this is why I skipped lunch all those times.
I have a son now and it breaks my heart even more to imagine this happening to him. I can't comprehend how anyone ever thought that was acceptable.
The USA is so great, right?
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to offmychest [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 04:31 Just_Cryptographer53 Animal Sounds, Expressions wo Words, Multiple Speakers
| || | submitted by Just_Cryptographer53 to midjourney [link] [comments]
Working w/ my teenagers on project for school. I've seen examples of these but no documentation on how. Anyone have insights on how to do this? Examples:
- Cute animal w/ headshot that has face that D-ID can recognize. Make it talk kinda works but to have it growl, bark, cluck... ? Eg. Chick-fil-A cow moo during a conversation.
- How are people getting expressions w/o talking? Is there a code in the script? is it just an empty script w/ periods and commas? Recently saw sticking tongue out. How does that work?
- Say you have 2-3 heads in a shot. How do you make each speak and point the script to person 1, 2, 3 for dialogue? Is that just broken up and doesn't come out w/o heavy edits in an editor of some sort?
2023.06.05 04:31 AJ_Gordon [US-IL][H] Keychron Q2, Q4, GMK Space Cadet II, GMK Belafonte, various switches (Oil King, Aqua King, Nixie, Midnight, Flaming Purple), Wrist rests, Kensington Slimblade. New prices [W] Paypal, Local
I'm selling out all my mechanical keyboard stuff.
shipping for small items: $5 / for larger items: $10-15. Keychron Q2- Keychron Q2 Black fully assembled minus switches (= barebone + Keychron keycaps)
- includes extra POM plate (KeyboardKustoms)
- includes KeyboardKustoms poron plate foam, PCB foam, and PE foam
- stabilizers with wires balanced and lubed with BDZ
- used for a year, and still in great condition
- importantly, the hotswap PCB is NEW, UNUSED (if you need, I can send you an extra older PCB with a few broken hotswap sockets, which can be fixed by soldering tools)
$130 + shipping
Keychron Q4- Keychron Q4 silver barebone
- includes extra Keychron PC plate and gaskets
- TX AP stabilizers (rev 4, 2023). wire balanced and lubed with BDZ. currently one normal stab on the spacebar and four long-pole version on the rest stabs. I will include the remaining sets (a few normal stabs).
- includes KeyboardKustoms poron PE foam- again, the hotswap PCB is NEW, UNUSED (if you want, I can send you an extra older PCB with a few broken hotswap sockets, which can be fixed by soldering tools
$100 + shipping
OTC Modo Light keycaps - used rarely, about 1-2 weeks- excellent condition- comes in the original package- $60 + shipping
GMK Space Cadet II with PBTfans Keycap Storage Trays
- used about a few months, so shining a bit. But in my opinion, it looks fine due to the space cadet color.
- Novelkey has recently sent me a few replacement keycaps for minor cosmetic issues, which I'll include.
$100 + shipping
- like new. tested once (used less than 10 mins)
- comes in the original package
Cherry NIXIE switches (lubed & stock)
- 87 pcs: film and lubed with Krytox 205G0 (stems) / 12 pcs: lubed with Krytox 205G0 (stems) : (rarely used)
- 44 pcs: stock (never used)
$70 + shipping
Everglide Aqua King switches (lubed) 70pcs
- factory lube removed & stems and springs lubed with Krytox 205G0
- used about a month
$55 + shipping
Gateron Oil King switches (lubed) 70pcs
- factory lube removed & stems and springs lubed with Krytox 205G0
- comes in the original boxes (35 pcs * 2)
- tested once. like new.
$60 + shipping
Gateron Oil King switches (stock) NEW. 105 pcs - new. unopened. the original boxes (35 pcs * 3) - $55 $50+ shipping
Haimu Midnight switches (lubed & stock) 90pcs
- seems identical to Wuque Studio Morandi switches (which is also manufactured y Haimu)
- 74 pcs: factory lube removed & stems and springs lubed with Krytox 205G0 / 16 pcs: stock
- used for two months (lubed ones)
$40 + shipping
TTC Flaming Purple switches (lubed) 90 pcs
- stems and springs lubed with Krytox 205G0
- rarely used (about a week?)
- very nice sounding switches.
$40 + shipping
- includes New Drop Holy Panda X 35 pcs, Boba U4 (8pcs) and several other switches (including iTTC bluish white silent, TTC ice frozen v2, TTC light cloud v2, TTC Titan heart, TTC Holy Panda)
- $15 + shipping
Hlym Quartz stone wrist rest 60% (from Drop) - used for a month. in great condition- $15 + shipping
Acrylic wrist rest 65% (custom made) - still in good condition- $10 + shipping
Wood wrist rest 60% (from Amazon)
- I tried several wrist rest from Amazon, and it was the best among those I tried.
- $10 + shipping
Wuque Titanium Switch Puller (Prism) & 2-in-1 Aluminum Switch Opener
- both in excellent condition
$15 + shipping
Kensington Slimblade (modded)
- I hated the original button, so I swapped them all with Kailh silent switches.
- I have owned it for a few years, bur rarely used it.
$50 + shipping
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to mechmarket [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 04:22 ComfortAnxious2355 i can’t keep a steady job and it’s worrying me (f17)
hi so i’ve had like 3 jobs within this year so far but things keep on happening where i can’t keep them, i lost my job at panera because i had to call off and i didn’t give enough time (i know this is mostly my fault), i quit at mcdonald’s because a 30 yr old man said he’d get me a job at panda which pays more if i gave him my number so i did then he told me he has a crush on me and i’m so beautiful and when i said i’m 16 he said he’ll wait for me to be legal but he likes me a lot and this was after a girl in my town got killed by a coworker she rejected so i got scared and left, then at chick-fil-a they said i wasn’t happy enough or fast enough to be there and they gave me two weeks to improve but i got hit w anxiety and i quit before they could fire me then i got a job at dunkin and it was finally going well until i asked to transfer to a store closer to mine and suddenly my managers got mad and said they won’t transfer me because they don’t give me hours because i roll my eyes at them and i don’t have a sense of urgency then i was like ok should i quit and one said no and the other said if that’s what i want, i told my mom and she said i need to stick it through because i always run from my problems so i stuffed my ego and stayed (i tried telling them i don’t roll my eyes and i get everybting im suppose to do in my role but they kept on saying they see a problem so it’s a problem) i decide to stick through and everybting got better i later asked my manager if i still need to improve anyhting and she said nope i’ve fixed everything and she’ll give me all the hours i want (the other manager coming at me with her that time was later fired for having someone behind the counter) and everyhting was jolly before she started hiring a ton of new employees and so she over scheduled this sunday so i told her i could take off if she needed me to and she said no she doesn’t need me to then the next morning she texts me i don’t need to come in and to enjoy my day off and i asked her if it was due to high labor or something else and she said it was due to high labor and i thanked her and that was that then the next weeks schedule came out and i saw i’m only scheduled 5 hrs (i’m suppose to have 15) and all the new employees have way more hrs then me and i have the lowest hrs significantly in the whole employee list i asked her why i only have 5 hrs and she never answered me, i’m thinking is there something so wrong with me no one wants me and i’ve tried everything to fix myself to be liked by people and companies but i’m always in this situation and it’s scaring me bc it’s showing me i’m not capable or something but i need money to get through college now (i bought my first car with all the money i have made previously) advice would be GREATLY appreciated and my parents don’t help they just say i don’t know to anything regarding any advice i need in life and dismiss me and talk about their life together excluding me. Thank you for listening to me. Please help. -i have illness anxiety -i have anxiety -i’m adopted -i have hidden childhood trauma -i don’t do drugs or alcohol -i’m mostly an A’s or B’s student -i hope this information might help a little
submitted by ComfortAnxious2355
to Advice [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 04:03 needroommate67 Looking for a roommate!
Hello! My friends and I are looking for a 5th roommate in a 5 bed, 2 bath apartment near Chick-fil-a. The lease is from September 1st to August 31st. Rent would be $790 per person plus utilities. We are looking for someone who likes to keep things clean, has no pets, is open to communication, and is organized. Please DM me if interested! We are all girls, so we are looking for a 5th girl as well.
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to Drexel [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 03:56 Caramel_Long Job
Wait does chick fil a hire at 15 in NY? I just got rejected at an NJ chick fil a bc i was 15, but I can't find any proper stuff saying if i can or cant
submitted by Caramel_Long
to AdviceForTeens [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 02:31 eiramired Ignite the Ashes Chapter 6 - From the Ashes
Next Chapter 6 - From the Ashes Winrow, Vanstead Dukedom of Augustein, Year 991
She remembered the sounds of screaming. That day came to her in flashes of disjointed images and sensations. In one moment, there was the usual constant chill of the facility, and then in the next there was a burning heat spiraling outwards, climbing up the walls and dying the grey into red.
She remembered twisting shadows and contorted figures. Those magicians, distant and immoveable figures for so much of her life, collapsed to their knees and choked on smoke.
She remembered smaller figures writhing in the flames. A hand crushed beneath debris reaching towards her. A smoking corpse she couldn’t recognize.
She still wondered, sometimes, lying on the cot and staring up at the wooden ceiling, if it had been Tom or Ben. She would focus on the little details of the figure, laboring over the smoking limbs and the exact hunch of the shoulders. She never did know for certain.
She supposed it didn’t matter in the end.
Joan inhaled, tightening and loosening her grip on the tray of food she was carrying with her. Once she was done mentally preparing herself, she pushed back her shoulders, gripped the door handle, and turned it.
The door opened with a loud creak. Joan had decided to leave it unoiled on purpose; Amara never responded to knocks, so the least she could do was give a very obvious advance warning when she entered the room.
Joan plastered on a large smile, ignoring the numbness that had been growing on one side of her face, and stepped over to the figure seated on the bed. Amara didn’t even turn, her eyes fixed on the open window and the flowing curtains. It was a bright day, the towering white clouds drifting peacefully across a vast expanse of blue. The sight was particularly welcome after a week of non stop rain.
“Good morning,” Joan said in her most cheery voice. She set the tray down on a small table placed beside the cot. Slowly, Amara turned her head to stare at her. Joan swallowed.
Ever since Amara had woken up, she’d barely spoken or even acknowledged her surroundings. All her movements were dulled, as though she was wading through water, and Joan had yet to see any true reaction from her.
Even when she’d first quietly explained what had happened, that the building was gone and that there weren’t any other survivors, Amara had just listened quietly, perfectly still and unmoving. When Joan had finished speaking, all she’d said was, “Can I see the ruins?”
Joan hadn’t known how to respond to that. Part of her suspected she still hadn’t fully processed what had happened and seeing the destroyed building might provide closure, but she also had to be honest and tell Amara that she was in no condition to move. Amara hadn’t responded to that, but she would still ask, every now and then. Those were the only times she would speak without first being prompted. Besides that, she only ever answered in short, clipped sentences, never referring to Joan by name and never saying more than necessary.
When Joan had confided in Leila, the watchman had made a sympathetic noise and shaken her head. “Poor thing must be in shock,” she’d said.
It was the most obvious explanation and the one Joan had immediately jumped to as well. And yet, the longer she spent around her patient, the more she started to wonder if that initial assessment was wrong.
Despite how dulled her movements seemed and how little she spoke, Amara’s eyes never had the same look to them. Even when she stared off into the distance, there was a constant sharpness there, a hardness that seemed at odds with the rest of her behavior.
Even now, seated on the hospital cot, Amara studied her with that same uncanny perceptiveness, a gaze that always made Joan feel like she was being judged. She forced her own eyes to remain steady instead of darting away like her first instinct was. She briefly considered how absurd it was for her, a former Rose, to be intimidated by an injured patient who was probably half her age and barely old enough to no longer qualify as a “girl.”
Joan cleared her throat, the sound seeming to echo in the pervasive silence.
“How are you today?”
A silent stare was her only answer. Joan suppressed the urge to sigh, instead keeping her smile plastered on. She nodded at the tray of food and stood again.
“Well, if you need anything, I’ll be right there doing work.”
Some time after Amara had woken up, Joan had gotten some neighbors to help her move a table into the patient room so that she could keep an eye on her while working. Amara hadn’t voiced any complaints about it, and it made Joan a little less uneasy, so she’d stuck with the system.
Joan settled down in her seat, squinting down at the stack of letters. She didn’t start reading, however, until she heard the familiar clink of silverware as Amara finally ate. Her shoulders slumped in relief, and she leaned over the table and began to work, ignoring the sensation of eyes on her back as she did so.
“You’re healing well,” Joan commented as she carefully inspected an unwrapped wound. She was sure to move slowly and with deliberate gestures, not missing the way Amara’s eyes followed her hands whenever she checked her injuries.
As Joan moved on to the next bandage, she once again considered how lucky Amara was to have survived the explosion. Though she hadn’t seen the building collapse herself, a few of the onlookers had told her that it was sudden and violent. “What do you think happened?” one of them had asked. Joan had told him that she didn’t know. Truthfully she suspected it had been an experiment gone wrong, but she hadn’t wanted to reveal Amara’s secret. As far as the other villagers were concerned, the building was just a lone orphanage that had suffered an unfortunate accident.
“Can I see the ruins?”
Joan frowned. “Not yet,” she said slowly. “Not until all your bones are healed.”
When she looked up again, Amara had turned her head away and was staring at the sky again. Joan sighed and continued the check up.
A knock sounded from down the hallway. Joan set down the shirt she was patching and stood with a frown.
“I’ll be right back,” she said before rising and hurrying to the door.
When she opened it, she found not another patient, but Leila still in her watchman uniform. She blinked at the woman, eyes briefly darting over to the basket she was carrying, then back up.
“Leila, it’s good to see you. What’re you doing here?”
“I was patrolling around the area and thought I’d stop by. Here.” She raised her hand and passed the basket over. Joan took it and peered down at its contents. Inside, she found various ripe fruits, some bright flowers that Leila must’ve gotten fresh from the florist, and a small pouch that, when opened, contained an array of glinting coins. Joan’s eyes widened.
“Leila, you didn’t have to—”
“They’re from the watchmen,” the other woman interrupted. She smiled. “I told them I was stopping by and they pooled together some money to help out.”
A warm feeling rose in Joan’s chest. She swallowed, carefully closing the pouch again and setting it back inside the basket beside a bright yellow blossom. “Thank you,” she whispered. “Please tell them thank you for me.”
Leila reached out a gloved hand and patted her shoulder. “After all the times you’ve had to heal us, this is the least we could do,” she joked. She glanced behind Joan at the hallway and lowered her voice. “Speaking of which, how’s she doing?”
“She’s healing well,” Joan said. “I estimate she’ll be able to walk around within the month.”
“You really do work miracles.” Leila shook her head and stepped back. “I ought to get back on patrol. Remember, if you ever need anything, you can ask me.” With a wave, the woman turned around and walked away.
Joan watched her retreating back, shaking her head with fondness before moving to close the door. Basket carefully balanced in her hands, Joan made her way back down the hallway and to the patient room.
“I’m sorry about that, Amara,” she said as she stepped through the doorway. “Leila visited and—”
Joan’s voice cut off.
The cot where Amara usually sat was empty, the wrinkled sheets haphazardly pulled aside. Joan’s eyes darted frantically around the room, landing on her desk table, where her sewing box was overturned, its contents spilled across the table, chair, and wooden ground. Fabric strips, threads, pins, cushions of needles.
And there, a few feet away from the desk, she could just barely make out the top of a head poking out from behind the bed.
The basket fell to the floor.
“No no no—”
Joan didn’t think, immediately sprinting towards the back of the room, cursing herself for being so stupid. Am I too late?
“Amara!” Joan called, stumbling as she leapt onto the cot and peered over in dread, her heart pounding against her ribcage.
There, seated on the ground with her back supported by the bed, sat Amara. She turned her head to face her, and Joan saw that in one hand she held a gleaming pair of scissors and in the other, a thick bundle of wavy hair that lay half scattered across the ground, blown around by the wind billowing into the room.
“You’re back,” Amara observed. Her gaze was as sharp and perceptive as ever.
Joan’s eyes rapidly scanned her, but there were no new injuries to make note of. The only change was her hair, which had been cropped short so that it sat in an uneven line below her chin.
All at once, the tension bled away and Joan slumped down.
“You cut your hair,” she said weakly. Her head throbbed, and she absentmindedly rubbed at it.
Joan released a long breath and slowly straightened. She closed her eyes for a moment, calming her rapid heart rate. When she spoke, she forced her voice to remain as still and calm as possible, though she couldn’t entirely mask the slight tremor in her voice.
“Amara, the next time you want to cut your hair or—or do anything, please tell me first. Please
Amara stared at her, quiet for a long time. She shifted her position, and for the first time since she’d woken up, something in her eyes changed.
“Okay,” she said.
It was a windy day. Joan shivered and pulled her cloak closer, but she didn’t remove her gaze from the figure walking just beside her.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Joan asked. Amara just nodded, not even turning to look her way, and Joan sighed and shook her head. She faced forward as well, eyes following the dirt path and remembering the last time she’d walked along it.
The closer they got to the ruins, the more Joan’s unease grew.
Amara had continued to heal at a rapid pace, and when she’d first started being able to walk around on her own, she constantly did so, moving with a silent, steady determination. The end result of that persistence had led them to their current situation, on the road to the ruins, Amara with only a few bandages left on her skin and walking by herself, albeit a bit slowly, and Joan, whose eyes kept darting over, watching for any reaction.
As far as she could tell, there were none. Amara moved with remarkable calm, shoulders relaxed and eyes steady.
Joan exhaled and kept walking. Ever since the scissors incident, as Joan had dubbed it in her head, Amara had started speaking more. She was still mostly quiet, but she seemed a little more engaged, more interested in her surroundings. She’d even requested Joan teach her how to read, after Joan had given her a tour of her little home and shown her the library. When Amara was sitting there quietly, listening as Joan taught her basic letters and spelling, Joan could almost tell herself that she was just an ordinary, curious young woman if not for the array of scars on her skin. Joan had tried to heal them, but form magic couldn’t alter colors, and so the marks still lingered.
That near normalcy, however, was where the doubts had begun. Initially she’d assumed Amara wanted to see the ruins to give her closure so that she could move on, but what if it had the opposite effect? Joan wasn’t a fool, she knew Amara’s behavior was in no way normal. She had to be repressing things, or perhaps the truth hadn’t really settled yet. What if seeing the ruins caused her to break down?
The longer they walked, the more the doubts grew. Joan quickly became lost in her thoughts, so much so that she didn’t immediately notice when they stopped walking
Joan blinked and looked up, seeing that they’d reached a familiar fork in the road. Her heart sank and she swallowed. “Left,” she said, voice hoarse. She cleared her throat. “It… it’s just past that hill.”
Amara nodded and turned without hesitation, slowly making her way up the slight incline in a steady rhythm. Another breeze blew past them, carrying scattered tree leaves with it. Joan watched Amara reach the hill top and begin descending until she’d disappeared from view.
Joan stared at the path, limbs suddenly heavy. She tightened her grip on her cloak.
“Get it together,” she muttered. There was no reason for her to be so nervous, she told herself. It was absurd, after all the things she’d already seen throughout her life. But Amara had an uncanny ability to make her feel like a lost child again, someone completely out of her depth.
Joan waited a little longer, listening for any sounds, but there were none besides the wind and rustling flora surrounding them. And so, after a deep breath, Joan lowered her head and made her way over the hill.
When she looked up again, the ruins were in sight. She slowed her pace as she approached.
Where once a simple sturdy grey building had stood, there now lay a pile of debris. Only the bottom sections of the buildings remained standing, jutting out from the ground like broken blades. Charred, splintered wood lay strewn about the grass, and large chunks of shattered stone formed crude boulders.
Surrounding the ruins, colorful blossoms grew in bright patches. Originally someone had suggested burying the bodies—at least the ones they’d been able to recover—there. But Joan had shuddered at the thought of forcing the experiment victims to rest eternally near the broken facility, so she’d requested they move them to Winrow’s graveyard instead. Thankfully people hadn’t questioned her, though the move in the burial site hadn’t stopped people from planting flowers around the area as a memorial.
Joan’s eyes scanned the ruins, finally landing on a single figure standing just in front of the collapsed building. Slowly, Joan approached until she was a few feet away, her footsteps crunching as she stepped over debris.
Amara’s back was turned to her. She didn’t move, simply standing there staring at the destruction before her. The wind blew her now short wavy hair against her neck, and her cloak billowed. The movement caught Joan’s eye, and she caught a glimpse of Amara’s hands hanging at her sides, balled into tight fists that shook barely perceptibly.
Joan opened her mouth and closed it, not knowing what to say. Hesitant, she took another step forward.
And then, all at once, the trembling stopped. Slowly, Amara’s fingers loosened, uncurling themselves until they hung limply at her sides. She raised her head, lifting her face towards the deep blue sky. Joan saw her whole body breathe as another wind blew past them, as though she was trying to fill her lungs with as much air as possible.
A few seconds passed, and Amara’s shoulders fell as she exhaled. Her head lowered back down to eye level, and slowly, she turned around.
Strands of hair lay strewn haphazardly against her face, mussed and twisted by the wind. Her posture was perfectly relaxed and casual, not a trace of tension in sight. The scars running up her arms seemed almost to move in the shifting shadows cast by her cloak. Her sharp eyes, a bright green that gleamed in the sunlight, were piercing.
But what caught Joan’s attention the most was her smile. It was bright, unreadable, and utterly unfamiliar.
“Joan,” Amara said, voice calm. “Let’s go back.”
Next Royal Road Patreon
submitted by eiramired
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 02:21 Shonakshi When will they put me on the schedule?
like the title says, i just started working at chick fil a finished all of my orientation last thursday. they posted the schedule friday night but i’m not on it all week so i wanted to know when they’ll start putting me on it? thanks!
submitted by Shonakshi
to ChickFilA [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 01:53 ryu289 He doesn't research huh?
submitted by ryu289
to Persecutionfetish [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 01:40 Jolly_Ad_3880 Irony.
2023.06.05 00:37 CaptainChristopher02 My Floridian Arxur Daughter (Part 17)
| || | submitted by CaptainChristopher02 to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]
Art by u/HaajaHenrik Memory Transcript Subject
: Carlos Jose Rodriguez, Mechanical Engineer, Florida Man
Date [Standardized Human Time]: November 28, 2136 [Basic Medieval Music Plays on Speakers]
“We continue the adventures of Finn the Human boy and his quest to save the beautiful Princess Chalta! We meet our hero at the castle of terribleness, but he must tread carefully. Lest he face the wrath of the evil beast guarding the castle, behold Salisek! The great furred beast!”
Salisek quickly jumped out from behind the treehouse tree and gave the cutest growl I’ve ever heard, prompting a delightful giggle from the kids. I love play time.
“Grr,” the terrifying beast said. “You come for the princess? Well than brave warrior, if you are so brave, come and face a true beast!”
Finn drew his sword… it was really a stick he found on the ground but who cares. “Move aside beast! I know how to use this! If you leave now, I will spare you, but you will never get in the way of me and my beloved Princess!”
Princess Chalta waved her handkerchief (a washed dishtowel), from the top of her tower (the old treehouse). “Save me brave Finn, the beautiful beast has captured me and placed me in this tower!”
Finn swiped his sword as the beast dodged and ducked. Salisek tackled the adventurer to the ground and proceeded to swipe at his face. Finn held on to his sword and swiped the beast’s side, causing her to miss. Before the beast could draw a second wind, Finn plunged the sword into her “heart”.
“Ahh, I have been bested! Curse you… brave… Finn…” Salisek the Beast was no more.
Finn limped up to the tree and held out his hand. “Princess Chalta the beast is dead! I have saved you!”
Chalta, using her magic wand (also a stick), escaped from the dreaded tower (she climbed down the stairs). “Brave adventurer, you have saved me. I am forever in your dept. By royal decree I pronounce you, Sir Finn, Protector of the Happy Kingdom! Alas, I only have one more thing to give, my hand.”
The princess reached out her hand, and the adventurer accepted. The two embraced in an adorable hug.
“AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER!” We all yelled. Well… all except the parents who were watching the performance from the backyard. My narration clearly won them over as they gave us a standing ovation.
“Aww! So cute!” Talice said, giving a delightful tail motion indicating extreme affection.
“¡Una lindo princesa y su valiente caballero, AY QUÉ PRECIOSO!”, Mom said with a high pitched squeal.
“Oh, my brave baby knight!” Marleen was clapping ecstatically, clearly proud of her son’s performance.
Tarvik and Dad were sharing banter. “They were great weren’t they Dennis?” “Eh, the Narrator could use some work.” Okay, I know he was joking but that still hurt.
We all laughed together until mom’s watch rang, indicating the food was done.
“Okay everyone time to eat!” Mom said, allowing us to go back for another wonderful family dinner.
We all sat at our respective seats with a small additional table for the kids. Mom decided to serve them first. I never questioned mother’s cooking but seeing her plate up the kid’s food made my blood boil… WHY THE HECK DO THEY GET NUGGETS! Wait… aw hell no, friggen DINO NUGGETS!
“Mommy, mommy! What are these? They have funny shapes,” said the Princess of the Happy Kingdom.
Her brave knight replied, “They’re dino nuggets! They’re shaped like dinosaurs.”
“What’s a dinosaur?”
Finn and I shared a collective gasp as he tried to explain Dinosaurs the best he could to Chalta. He named all the dinosaurs he knew; Pterodactyl, Brachiosaurus, Mosasaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex (the best one), and Stegosaurus. He would even match up the dinosaur to the nugget he picked up.
“They were like- HUGE animals that lived a LONG time ago! They were so cool!”
The Venlil’s looked on in wonder.. In their time here they had been reading on Earth history and Science. One thing that they all agreed on was that Earth simply had more knowledge of everything other than practical medicine, and other advances in technology. One thing that really fascinated them, Tarvik especially, was the amount of information we had on wildlife and how nature worked.
Even thought Tarvik was an exterminator who had to learn about predators the Federations tempering made it nearly impossible to learn anything of value other than they eat meat. Many herbivorous creatures were even made into “predators” because of certain characteristics such as being aggressive or territorial. The knowledge of just how ignorant the Federation made him left him in a sour mood for a while. He constantly wondered how many creatures he set ablaze that simply didn’t need it.
After learning about how we handled dangerous animals, especially in Florida, he was starstruck. Not only had we lived with predators but tamed them into becoming our useful servants and family. Once he realized how little he knew he decided to do some “human research”.
Salisek and Talice also wanted to get into the lesson, but where would they start? They found that answer when we left the other day and found some of my old educational children’s books. Like many kids my age I loved animals, but one thing I loved most was dinosaurs. After they had done some snooping Tarvik found one of my old books and almost had a heart attack. I don’t know how that conversation when down, I can guess that seeing a large Arxur-like creature on steroids was probably not a good image to find. It was probably funny though. It was definitely funny.
Still, he had once again overcome his fear and did his best to learn all he could about Earth’s prehistoric wildlife. Hearing Finn name a bunch of facts instilled a feeling of wonder at the knowledge he was learning from an individual passionate on the subject, but also envious at how he wished he grew up, with books about actual nature instead of propaganda. Hearing Finn and Chalta talk about it instilled a sense of hope in all of us that it will be different.
“-and for a long time we thought they were related to lizards, but guess what!”
“They’re actually related to birds and had hollow bones and feathers!”
“Really?! Could they fly?”
“Some of them did, but others used their feathers for insulation and hunted like most other animals. That is assuming they hunted.”
The kiddos were eating their Dino nuggets contently when I got a message on my phone… from Samuel.
“Hey mom, can I be excused? It’s urgent.”
My mother looked at me with concern. Usually, we don’t skip family meals, but she knew about my situation. Ever since dad told me about Samuel, I wasn’t sure what to think. Now that Vraka’s given me another chance I need to see what’s up. Is he okay, why hasn’t he talked with me?
I got up from me seat and Chalta seemed to notice my mood.
“Big brother, are you okay? Is it about Samuel?” she asked, concern present in her voice.
Mom answered for me so I could take my leave. “Don’t worry my bebé, big brother just needs privacy right now.”
“Does he want a dino nugget? I got a ty-rhino saur-us rex.”
“Yes I would,” I said slickly yoinking
the dino nugget out of Chalta’s claws before I went upstairs to my room. I closed the door and read the message in private. Hey man, it’s been a while. A lot’s happened with me. I got a girl now! An Arxur as you could probably guess. You know Vraka and her sister Akara. They really like you. When you get the chance, can we talk? I can explain why I was silent for a while.
I took a deep breath and pressed the call button. It rang for a moment before picking up. I didn’t have a plan on what to say. What would be the plan? I decided to just wing it. He was technically still my friend after all.
“Hey it’s Carlos. H-How are you?”
There was a pause before he continued. I could guess he was probably tense too. “Fine actually. I assumed you wanted an explanation.”
“Bro, I was worried about you! I assumed that after I left the Gator Land to work for Disney, which is the most Florida thing I’ve said all day, that we just lost touch. That was two years ago, what happened?”
Samuel took a deep breath before he responded. I had a feeling whatever he said next was gonna hit hard.
“About a month after you left my parents got in a car accident. They… didn’t make it.”
I was silent for longer than I probably should have been. I didn’t know what to say.
“Oh my God. Is that why you cut contact?”
“I was a wreck. I lost the only real family I had. My grandparents weren’t that close with us.”
“I remember. You said it had something to due with how your Catholic mom married your Jewish father? That’s what upset them right?”
I didn’t know the whole story but one time I was talking with his parents while they dropped off his lunch. We ended up on the topic of family and religion, that’s when they told me their situation. However, I could imagine they left certain private details out. It made sense, after all, it was sensitive family drama.
“Yeah, they where old traditional nut cases, at least I think they were. When they heard about the accident, they tried every day to check on me. I would say it was because I hated them, but that would be a lie. I knew for all their faults they still loved my parents… and me. I pushed them away because I was broken and scared of loving someone again. After that it was a downward spiral.”
“What else happened?”
“Without my parent’s income I lost the house. That is arguably my biggest regret. Sure, I don’t think I could have afforded the monthly payments anyway, but I still should have tried. I stopped showing up to work and eventually became homeless.”
“You were homeless! If my parents knew we would have taken you in no questions asked!”
“But that’s not the issue. Being homeless wasn’t a problem, it was a symptom of my problem. I could have called you, other friends, or even my grandparents. Instead, I just ran.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I never knew Samuel was going through so much all these years. Does that… make me a bad friend? Could I have done something differently?
“How long were you homeless?” I asked.
“About a month. I can’t really say why but one day I was just… sick and tired of everything. I was tired of being homeless, of being depressed, of being drunk, of letting my fear and anger control me, but most of all I was sick of living a life I KNOW my parents would never have wanted for me.”
I could hear Samuel tearing up through the phone. I also started to feel a lump in my throat as he continued speaking.
“I went back and contacted my grandparents. I don’t know think I would have stayed homeless much longer since I found out they were looking for me. They contacted police and everything. The look on their faces when I showed up on their doorstep is something I cherish even till this day. After that it was a matter of building myself up again. I started going to therapy and a special club for men like me trying to recover from alcohol abuse. Hell, I even started going to the gym.”
“Was it hard?” What kind of question is that? Of course it was!
“Yeah. I talk like it happened in a day, but in reality, it happened over the course of a year. I got rehired at Disney of all places and slowly started rebuilding my income. I eventually worked my ass off, and I’m telling you I really did, to earn back my parents’ house. It helped since they left a small inheritance in their passing. It’s where I live now. Actually you also worked at Disney, how come we never saw each other?”
“I worked as an apprentice with a lot of their Imagineers in Lake Nona while I went to college. Still can’t believe they had that program.”
“I worked with the animals at the Animal Kingdom Resort before getting moved to Magic Kingdom.”
“That’s awesome man! I’m really happy that you were able to bounce back, but how did you meet Vraka?”
“After the bombings I decided I needed to get out their and make my parents proud. Helping people regain hope and seeing the light of day made me smile. I’ll admit though, Nazi space crocs where not at all on my list of reasons to go. Not to mention they always gave off a menacing vibe, but after some time I realized they’re not so
bad. I even got friendly with a certain Arxur and even thought she was cute. She had this way of making me laugh, even if it was by accident, and she always had this odd personality. Like you know how cats pretend they don’t love you and act cold to show affection? Like that.”
“So, what you’re telling me is that Vraka is or was… as tsundere. Heh, like your favorite character in that Anime we use to watch as kids?”
“HA, I blame Asuka and Neon Genesis for my taste in women.”
We laughed together, taking in the much-needed humor before I asked him the question bugging my mind the most.
“So how did you two… you know…”
“Right, heh, so one day she was talking passionately about all the new things she’s learning about the different ways we cook our meat. She looked so cute I almost instinctually asked if I could pet her. I know it sounds rude, but she’s a sentient gator and I grew up in Florida, sue me! Anyways she must have taken it personally since she challenged me to a hunt of old. We would hunt prey until the day ended without weapons and I could pet her if I won. Now I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve been learning to hunt with my dad back in the day AND I’ve gotten a lot stronger since then. Now she said no weapons, but a rock isn’t a weapon. Even if it is, she still had an unfair advantage with her claws, so I call that balanced. Now I’m no MLB player but I could pitch back in high school.”
That was true, Samuel was known for his powerful throws, and since then he said he’s worked out so it might be stronger.
“Before the buck knew it, I threw the rock so hard and so accurately that it nailed him in the skull long enough for me to snap his neck.”
“Wait I’m sorry, did you say you HUNTED A DEER WITH A ROCK AND IT WORKED!?”
“Yup, and as it turns out Vraka didn’t do any better. She brought back a young white-tailed deer with a good couple scratches while the worst I got was mud on my hands from the rock. Since I won fair and square, she owed me my pets. She brought us to a private room, and I got to scratching. Turns out Arxur are so touched starved that a couple of scale scratches and belly rubs where enough to send her into heat, one thing led to another and…”
“You’re now the infamous Arxur Layer! You shall bring peace to the galaxy with the Excalibur in your pants!”
“You laugh but just ask Vraka, it was a one to six ratio.”
“Pftt, Jesus Christ!”
I started laughing so hard my sides started hurting. I hear Samuel dying on the other end too. Our collective wheezes filled the room with childlike noise not found since our childhood. We laughed until we couldn’t laugh anymore and once the room was quiet, I asked Samuel another question.
“Samuel, why did you never call?”
I could hear Samuel exhale, likely thinking about what to say next.
“The longer I was gone, the harder it was. I guess I was afraid of how you would react… if you’d care.”
“I do man, I missed you, and I’m glad to know you’re okay.”
“Thanks man. Hey, I heard you’re going to Magic Kingdom this weekend. For Chalta right? I should be working that day.”
“That’s awesome man! Maybe I’ll see you then, we’ll be eating Cinderellas Royal Table around two in the afternoon. We want to get early so Chalta can take pictures with Cinderella.”
“You know, I can get you a little something better.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ll send you a number and tell them you know me and send the code, Princess Tea Party. Just trust me bro.”
I didn’t know what to think of this arrangement but what I did know was that Princess Tea Party sounded like something Chalta would love. However, given the nature of the name I was going to have to show her A LOT more princess movies.
“Alright man I’ll do it. We’ll talk some more later but I gotta get back to the family. Thank you for talking with me man, we’ll set up a boy’s night one of these days, okay?”
“Heck yeah man! I’ll see you around.”
I hung up and breathed a sigh of relief like no other. It was good to know Samuel and I were on good terms. Still, it was sad knowing all the things he went through. I knew his parents; they were good people. Making peace with his grandparents was a nice turn of events. I knew they were at odds but sometimes tragedy brings the best or worst out in us. I’m glad it was the former for him.
With a triumphant smile on my face I went down the stairs, only to find Chalta waiting for me outside my room with her hand stuck in… oh my God.
“Hello big brother!”
“Hello Chalta. Watcha’ got there?”
“A peanut butter jar.”
“That’s interesting, why is it stuck to your hand?”
“Well, mommy wanted Talice to try it and she gave some to me to try too. It was so tasty! I got a little carried away and stuck my whole hand in.”
“So why are you going up stairs?”
Tears started to flow in Chalta’s eyes as she started cry talking like kids do when they get into funny situations that seem scary to them.
“M-momma said you had t-tools. *sniff* A-And you kn-knew *sniff* what to do. P-Pwease big broder I don’t want a peanut budder for a hand!”
I took all my willpower not to laugh. This was so astronomically cute.
I carried the baby into my room where I keep a small selection of tools I used to use in case I had a home project. Scissors that are used to cut thin sheets of metal might work for plasic. I decided this would be better than a sharp knife and reduce the risk of hurting Chalta. After a minute, I was able to cut her hand out.
Chalta’s eyes widened, and a big toothy smile formed. “YAAAY! I don’t have a peanut butter hand anymore! Thanks, big brother! …I’m gonna lick my hand now.”
Chalta did in fact lick her peanut buttery hand and went back downstairs to rejoin the family dinner, practically skipping down the stairs while licking the consequences of her actions. She’s so precious!
When I sat down at the dinner table mom plated my food for me.
“Here you go, me hijo.”
Mom handed me my plate and gave me a motherly kiss on my cheek. “Thank you! Chalta wouldn’t stop crying, also how did the talk go with Samuel.”
“Great actually and he says he has a surprise for Chalta.”
Chalta looked up from her peanut butter indulgence and focused all her attention on me.
“Surprise? Like what?” Chalta said with excitement and curiosity.
“I don’t know yet, but I promise this weekend we’re going to have so much fun!”
“Are we still going to see Cinderella?”
“Not just her, but tons of other things too! That’s why we’re going early. We got a whole day planned out.”
Chalta had a big smile on her face and was practically shaking with excitement. I also had a surprise up my sleeve, courtesy of dad who helped pitch in. Chalta has had a hard life, but this weekend will be the greatest weekend of her life.
Finn raised his hand like he was in a classroom. “Are we going too?”
Chalta was the one to answer this time, “Yes and Akara should all be going. We’ll all be in the same place!”
“Salisek, I know you’re fine with Vraka but are your parents okay with being around more Arxur than their use to?” I asked.
The Venlil couple looked at each other and intertwined their tails.
Talice spoke first, “We’ve talked with Salisek, we’ll be fine, if not a little shaky at first.”
That was good to know. Last thing we want is for Venlil to pass out when we promised the staff they wouldn’t. As much as their confidence left me skeptical, I could trust their judgment.
“I can’t wait to see all my friends and family together!” Chalta said. I couldn’t wait either. First Previous
2023.06.04 23:59 LillyOlivier Maybe JNMIL, definitely JNFIL
I (32afab-nb) and my fiancé (m34) have been together for three years, lived together for a year and a half. I have two kids (5 and 6) from a previous marriage. Their bio father is not in the picture.
My fiancé’s mom is generally ok but has had some moments of uncomfortable behavior. She did a lot of heavy drinking/drugs in her younger days and now (though sober) is just kind of not all there, and doesn’t seem to fully understand social cues. Examples: at my oldest’s birthday party she complained about the food and then made a comment about my weight. Later she called my fiancé and asked why I was being so distant with her.
Fiancé’s dad on the other hand, is awful. He’s a stereotypical boomer, everything he says is law, and every “disobedient” thing is a sleight against him. He’s also a hoarder, though he calls it “collecting”. He doesn’t like anything about me, though he was pretending for a time. He let it all out with this most recent situation. FIL called me one day saying he wanted to stop by because he had gifts for the kids (gift boundaries has been a huge issue with him). I told him that it wasn’t a good time as fiancé was at work and I was on a telehealth call, I could come pick up later or he could leave it at the door and I’d grab it. FIL said ok and hung up. He stopped by and WALKED IN to my apartment WITHOUT KNOCKING. I was upset but just said thank you and reiterated I wasn’t able to host I was on a call. He was all smiles and pleased with himself and left. I told fiancé the situation and asked him to handle it. He called FIL when he got off work, and FIL just flew off the handle. He said “oh you guys are ungrateful and I’m tired of you being mad at me so just don’t talk to me and I won’t talk to you.” Two weeks later he wanted to act like nothing had happened. We met him for lunch while the kids were at school and had a casual conversation, until fiancé brought up FIL walking in. FIL immediately went on the defensive and was blaming everything but himself. He went off the rails about our finances, how we’re ungrateful, irresponsible children, because we “ask for all this advice but don’t listen” and apparently take a ton of money from MIL (we don’t and they’re divorced anyway) and we were stupid to go on vacation for spring break to see my sister in another state. I said “our finances are fine and not your business, and not the topic at hand anyway. The topic remains that you walked into our apartment without knocking, what if I was in my underwear?” His response was that if I was in my underwear at 10 AM I’m lazy. I ignored that and said “I understand that you and Fiancé had that type of relationship when he lived alone but I had already said don’t come over, so walking in shouldn’t have happened.” He then stood up and yelled at us that I’m a gold digger, I ruined their relationship, attacked my appearance (I have tattoos and piercings that he claims I took Fiancé’s money for 🙄) yelled “you’re children” like 8 times and stormed out. Every time fiancé tried to talk, FIL just steamrolled him and talked over us. We were in public and people were staring at us. Naturally fiancé is hurt and upset by the situation. He doesn’t understand why FIL had such a short fuse over this. We ultimately decided that FIL is not allowed at our apartment or around the kids for the time being. It just hurts my heart for my fiancé. I’m angry at FIL for disrespecting us and for hurting fiancé.
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