Engagement party cake toppers

Taking another run at this game. Somehow, it's tougher than I remember...

2023.05.29 01:25 JustKneller Taking another run at this game. Somehow, it's tougher than I remember...

I picked up this game years ago, and made it as far as getting your own fortress and then got distracted with other things. I remember playing on Normal and not having any real trouble. I mean, I wasn't steamrolling everything, but as long as I was careful about positioning and timed certain things correctly, I did fine.
At this point, I have run through Magran's Fork and started on the Black Meadow. In almost every fight, at least one of my party gets knocked out. I don't recall this happening hardly at all before. My current party is Eder, Aloth, Durance and my ranged Cipher (14/6/14/15/17/12). Eder is holding the front line by himself. Durance is staying behind him with his staff. Aloth and my Cipher are staying back.
My usual approach is to have Eder rush forward to set the line. Durance will throw out an Interdiction before attacking from behind Eder. Aloth pretty much just has Arcane Assault and scepter attacks. And my Cipher (Eyestrike, Soul Shock, Whisper of Treason, Mental Binding, Mind Blades). Will usually start with Whisper of Treason to turn the numbers, and then use other abilities as appropriate.
On one hand, the opposition that isn't engaged has a tendency to rush my back line. However, I tend to have the whole party concentrate on one enemy at a time (whoever Eder is targeting), so I'm not sure why I'm drawing aggro (aside from, I'm guessing, geek the mage AI). I know I'm light on putting out damage, and perhaps a little strong on buffs and CC. But, nobody is really a great damage dealer (unless I build my Cipher for DPS, but I wanted a more balanced character). And besides, this is on Normal. Any and all builds shouldn't have much trouble here.
I feel like I've forgotten something from when I played before the kept my party standing, but I can't think of what it would be. Anyone have any advice? Thanks!
submitted by JustKneller to projecteternity [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 01:23 WoodworkingLikeWard A Scholarly Summary of Skyrim - Road Work

A Scholarly Summary of Skyrim - Road Work
As we left Winterhold, I am thankful that our journey was fraught with far fewer perils than the day before, as my mind was still reeling with the possibilities of joining Curator Morellus. Before I knew it, we were coming up on Fort Kastav again. I saw movement on the battlements and prepared for another fight. Imagine my surprise, and then disappointment, when I saw the uniforms of the Stormcloaks.
I think I was able to hide my emotions, but it frankly turned my stomach to see these ignorant traitors claiming the benefits for work I had done. I can only be but so surprised. They have already decided that they owe the Empire nothing for their freedom and defense. It would be out of character for them to consider the sacrifices and efforts of others.
We continued beyond the fort, past the former encampment of the Seducers, and eventually made it to the crossroads. I was temporarily tempted to turn east and spend the night in Windhelm, but Brelyna reminded me that this is the seat of the turncoat Ulfric Stormcloak and would be decidedly unfriendly to her as a Dunmer. We resolved to continue west, following the road to that promised to lead us to Whiterun.
Unfortunately, this is where our ease of travel came to an abrupt end.
To the left of the road, I could make out an artificial barricade of some sort next to the destroyed remnant of a merchant's caravan. I could see figures moving around, but I thought it unlikely that these were the merchants. Given the encounter I'd had with the Seducers the previous day, I knew it likely that this was one of their raiding parties. As I crept closer, my hypothesis was confirmed: I could see the leader wearing their distinctive armor.
Brelyna and I crept up and sprung upon them. It was a pitched battle [Editor's note: she died twice], but we were able to overcome them. The more concerning thing I discovered, however, was a necromancer's alter in the center of the encampment! I must remain vigilant to any more signs of these bandits. They are more dangerous than the typical highwaymen and brigands that harry travelers.
As night fell, we passed a sign for the Nightgate Inn. What a pleasant surprise!
The accommodations were sufficient, but I will say the conversation was severely lacking. The innkeeper was welcoming and professional, but the other patrons were...unimpressive. The orc refused to engage, and I wish the drunk would have followed suit. Nothing but vile racism. I did find some interesting notes about an investigation being conducted around the premises. Perhaps it relates to the Seducers?
The following morning dawned clear and bright. We left early, continuing west, but soon came across more bandits. Brelyna and I attacked aggressively, assuming to have again discovered Seducers, but it was over almost before it began. If I can be honest, I nearly felt guilty. We decided not to delve deeper into their lair and simply carried on with our journey.
We encountered a few wild animals (wolves, spiders, and bears, to name a few), but the rest of the morning was rather uneventful. As we turned south and descended from the mountains, I found a south-easterly path which seemed it may lead toward Fellglow Keep. Unfortunately, this was not the case. I found some ancient Nordic ruins and a grove of some kind, but it was ultimately a waste of our time. We turned back to the main road and hurried along.
In the mid-afternoon, we were solidly into the warmer farmlands of Whiterun. We even began to find the roads patrolled by armored guards of the hold! On the side of the road, I again saw a broken-down wagon. Fearing another incursion by the Seducers, I hurried forward to speak with the jester who seemed to be responsible for the situation.

Delayed Burial

Thankfully, this was just a simply thrown wheel. The jester, Cicero by name, was apparently trying to take his mother to her final resting place, but had run into mechanical difficulty. I was shocked to learn that the farmer at whose doorstep he found himself had refused to aid him!
I marched up to the hill to the proprietor, Vantus Loreius, and gave him a piece of my mind. He gave some jingoistic claptrap about strangers during war times, but I would have none of it. With a little determination, I was able to make him see the light and take responsibility for aiding someone in need. It hurts nothing help an innocent traveler!
With this matter resolved, Brelyna and I hurried to continue our journey. Just a few hours later, I found what I believe to be the path that would take us towards Fellglow Keep. I chaffed, however, as the sun was already beginning to set behind the walls of Whiterun. I forced to make a decision: would we press on along this path, climbing into the mountains once again as night descended upon us, or would we turn towards the city?
Frustrating as it was, I could not justify forcing Brelyna up that path. It was my choices that brought us here so late, and I had no certainty that this was even the correct path. If this turned out to be yet another false lead, I could doom us to either a sleepless night or one exposed to the elements. We marked this point on our map and set our sights on Whiterun's main gates. I am so thankful that we did!
A giant was attacking one of the farmsteads! Brelyna and I caught site of it from the road and joined battle immediately. It seemed there were others already assaulting the beast and our combined efforts were able to fell the monster. I spoke with one of them (she called herself "Aela the Huntress"), and she invited me to join their order of adventurers. The "Companions". I was as polite as I could be, but my intellect will be of far more use to the Empire than working as a glorified mercenary.
Finally, we made it inside the walls. The moons were already high in the sky, so we simply found our way to The Bannered Mare and bought a room for the evening. After a good night's sleep, we will finally address the thieves and traitors of Fellglow Keep!
submitted by WoodworkingLikeWard to skyrimstories [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 01:19 FriendlyViolinist715 preparing for first job

hello, i am 19yrs old and ive never had a job before. i want to try getting one, but i am nervous i wont be able to perform well. i have both autism and depression.
im interested in a open part time job in cake decorating at my local store. I am an artist (currently about to take a program at SCAD) so i think this job would be more engaging for me and also easier. im still reading up on what a cake decorator does but i could easily copy images even without tracing and could take custom requests as that is well within my skillset.
the problem is the job requires some interaction with customers: ''Provide polite, friendly greetings and interactions with all guests.'' and ''have a friendly, outgoing personality.'' not to say i am not polite or freindly, but i have some trouble in communicating with people.
i also have a speech impediment, (a very high pitched voice and trouble some pronoucing words) and for some reason i have trouble computing peoples words in my brain, like they arnt speaking loud enough (even if they are). sometimes people see me as stupid because of that so i dont really want to work with customers.
im scared i will be overwhelmed and not like it, or just perform badly, and i will have to quit. idk what the consiquence for quitting is but ive always heard it like reflects badly on you. and im just really inexpiercned in general, i dont know how to apply for a job or do an interveiw well.

since i am not formually diagnosed i dont have acess to any sort of helpful programs or tools if there would be any.
submitted by FriendlyViolinist715 to autism [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 01:13 Copperjaw [Online][5E][EST][LGBTQ+][Sandbox][Weekly] Established Group Looking for 2 more Players to join an ongoing Theros (Greek) Campaign!

New Players Welcome!
Feel free to take your time applying and DM me if you have any questions! Applications are open through Friday!

What mysteries do the Gods Keep?

"When secrets reveal themselves, even the Gods hold their breath."
~ Keeper Theos, Ignis Familia

A little self introduction

Hi there! I'm a DM whose been running games for my friends for 4 years now. I love to world build, create engaging stories, and give my players epic moments! I aim to always make immersive experiences for my players, so they can explore all they can see.
Now a little about me. I'm a 27 year old guy from the U.S. who loves D&D. My friends call me an artist, resident nerd, and a guy who likes to cook too much. I love to DM and find new friends to share my world with and give fun challenges, great stories, and valuable rewards so every session feels like an epic adventure.

The Party

Our party of five adventurers are taking to the wilds and open seas to unearth ancient ruins, arcane secrets, and dangerous monsters beneath the depths! The party is made of friendly, warm, and excited players who love to build moments with each other.
Party Comp! A Wizard ( Bladesinger ), and 2 Clerics! ( Knowledge & Trickery )
Please enjoy checking out the campaigns setting introduction below!

Adventures in Anglorak : Campaign Intro

Anglorak is a Theros inspired setting, full of lost empires, ancient secrets, and awaiting new heroes to rise. You can journey into monster-infested wilds, voyage across treasure-laden seas, and traverse the worlds edge before the Gods. A land where city states and sovereign regions vie for power and opportunity. Players can join factions, uncover plots, and make their mark on the world. It is a world handcrafted to make your character's shine.
Many city states and regions can be found in Anglorak. You'll find below a taste of three more powerful city-states across the landscape.

Metio : The polis of travelers, discovery and learning. The ever winding Metian spires and waterways are home to thinkers, merchants, and scholars. It's a home for those seeking respite, refuge, and opportunity regardless of status.
Dodaca : The polis of warriors, conquest, and valor. Where politics gives sway to strength. A land of warriors, travelers, and seekers of power. It is the people of Dodaca whom drive back bestial hordes, and bring the badge of honor to every battle fought.
Tosia : The polis of passions, fury, and curiosity. The Tosian people are ever forging new ideas, trinkets, and all forms of creation. For any traveler venturing through it said you can always find an artisan for any desire one may hold.

Your Heroic Journey

For any adventure there must be a start. You'll find a campaign introduction below.
Welcome to Metio, The Polis of Fortune, the namesake capital of the Metian city state, where life is made through adventure or artistic expression shown through paintings, discoveries, or a finely crafted blade. The city's artistic expression has brought countless stories told in lands known and unknown claiming every street is lined in color, and every blade more beautiful then the last.
You find yourself searching for opportunity at the Brazen Hydra, a tavern full of bounties, ruckus, and adventurers spinning tails and plotting their next journey beyond the cities mighty walls. You had heard this is the place to find those looking for amazing talent to take on adventures.

Character Systems We Use

Milestone Leveling : The campaign is about the parties story. Achievements, story progression, and major events reward the party with levels, and even feats. I want you to be rewarded for playing your character.
Multi-Classing : Multi-Classing is allowed within what makes sense for the character. A choice should be story driven and thematic.
Level 8 Start & Magic Items : Start at the same level as the entire party, and dive right into adventure with a magical boost.
Level 1 Origin & Background Feats : Every character gets 2 bonus feats at level 1 from a set of selected story driven feats & between Tough, Magic Initiate, or Skilled.
Bonus Feats : Every time you gain an ASI you always gain a +1 to a stat and either a half or full feat.
Piety Paths : Follow your characters virtues and beliefs and earn powerful boons for following your character's goals.
Supernatural Gifts : Earn supernatural gifts to further your character's heroic journey, or even start as an oracle or iconoclast character.
Spell & Martial Mastery : Master weapons and signature spells to make them more powerful with unique versions and skills for your character.
Expanded Weapons : Get access to advanced weapon options to further develop your character.
Crafting : You can find and acquire materials to craft your own items from elemental gems to infernal weapons.
Homebrew : We use well tested homebrew to make characters feel unique and special to help flavor characters to what you want them to be. You can find this in home brew feats, spells, subclasses, and magic items.
Rule of Cool : I always support players being creative and curious. Should an action allow for something truly heroic I always give my players a shot!

World Tools

Live Calendar : A calendar of holidays and events to track your parties journey through Anglorak.
Interactive World Map : A world map full of details of landmarks, cities, and regions to help you learn and plot your path across Anglorak and beyond.
Foundry / Discord / D&D Beyond : We play our games in Foundry, and players get access to nearly all the books on D&D Beyond to develop your character, and a personal discord for the campaign.


Sessions are on Saturday nights starting at 8:00 PM EST.
We play 3-4 Hours weekly, going longer if time allows.


Application Format :

If this kind of game sounds like a good fit for you please send me a DM following this format. We will read through every application through next week so feel free to take your time.
Name / Pronouns :
Age :
Timezone :
Tell me about you :
Your favorite part of D&D :
D&D Experience ( Any memorable moments? ) :
Campaign Expectations :
What kind of characters do you like to play?
Character Concept(s) :
submitted by Copperjaw to lfg [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 01:12 freddiebenson4ever I don’t think my friend wants me at her wedding. What should I do?

I was best friends with this girl for a few years. She got mad at me for forgetting to say happy birthday until 9pm that day (I saw someone posted about it and immediately sent a message). This was 3 years ago and she hasn’t forgiven me for it I don’t think because she is a big birthday person. At the time I was dealing with a severe eating disorder and a drug relapse but she was still really hurt by it. I understand why she was upset.
She got engaged and since then virtually has disappeared from my life. She’s been all about her fiancé and her family (very family oriented) which is fine, but I have plenty of friends who don’t abandon their friends when they’re engaged. We don’t live close which is another thing.
Anyway I was invited to the wedding a few months back. We’ve talked sparsely since. I’m not a bridesmaid bc I told her I couldn’t bare the financial strain (she’s having a lavish wedding and said that it would cost a lot).
I wasn’t invited to her engagement party which is a kicker for me given the ghosting. I’ve tried to reach out for months but she hasn’t answered except once saying “omg so sorry I’ve been so busy!”. Idk what to do about this invite. I don’t want to show up when she doesn’t want me there.
What should I do? I want to go but I feel like she doesn’t want me there, and I’d like to approach it with her.
submitted by freddiebenson4ever to FriendshipAdvice [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 01:09 freddiebenson4ever Should I ask my friend if she even wants me at her wedding?

I was best friends with this girl for a few years. She got mad at me for forgetting to say happy birthday until 9pm that day (I saw someone posted about it and immediately sent a message). This was 3 years ago and she hasn’t forgiven me for it I don’t think because she is a big birthday person. At the time I was dealing with a severe eating disorder and a drug relapse but she was still really hurt by it, which I do understand.
She got engaged and since then virtually has disappeared from my life. She’s been all about her fiancé and her family (very family oriented) which is fine, but I have plenty of friends who don’t abandon their friends when they’re engaged. We don’t live close which is another thing.
Anyway I was invited to the wedding a few months back. But we have talked sparsely since. I’m not a bridesmaid bc I told her I couldn’t bare the financial strain (she’s having a lavish wedding and said that it would cost a lot).
I wasn’t invited to her engagement party, which is a big kicker, plus the ghosting. I’ve tried to reach out for months but she hasn’t answered except once saying “omg so sorry I’ve been so busy!”. Idk what to do about this invite. I don’t want to show up when she doesn’t want me there.
What should I do? I want to go but I feel like she doesn’t want me there, and I’d like to approach it with her.
submitted by freddiebenson4ever to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 01:09 missjeanlouise12 [SELL][US to anywhere]$10 palette section includes indies and mainstream; other indie and mainstream palettes, nail polish, eye and lip products. Brands include Sugarpill, Sigma, MAC, Nars, Chanel, KimChi, Viseart and more

Hello, and welcome to my sale!
I go by timestamps in this thread, so please do not message me until we have come to an agreement about pricing. I accept PayPal Goods and Services and will cover associated fees. I’ll hold items for a couple of hours unless you request differently, and will then move on to the next interested party if there is one. Some items may be posted on multiple platforms and I will usually go by timestamps across all platforms, but do reserve the right to prioritize buyers who will be purchasing multiple items.
Shipping starts at $5.00 for light items within the continental US and will increase with weight and distance. Palettes and nail polish are likely to cost more. I'm happy to ship internationally as long as you understand that postage can be costly. I do look for the best rates, domestic or international, and I ship quickly. Unfortunately, postage rates have increased and there’s only so much I can do. No minimum purchase.
I have marked a lot of things down significantly, including many $10 palettes, indie shadows in the $2-$6 range, and cut prices on everything. I can’t say for sure how much more flexibility I can offer, but try making me an offer rather than closing out and moving on!
I’ve added swatch pictures that I found online for many of the products that have glimmer, shimmer or shifts. Hopefully this helps show how beautiful and unique these products are!
$10 palette section! All palettes in this section are marked down to $10
Ace Beaute Falling for You palette, BNNU, $15
Alamar Cosmetics Spanglish Pressed Pigment palette, 3 colors swatched, $15
bh Cosmetics Run Wild x Tina Yong, 3 eye colors swatched. $12 this is heavy and will require more postage to send
Beauty Bakerie Sugar Cookies palette, most colors used 2 or 3 times, $20
Colourpop Salvaje palette, some colors used 2 or 3 times, $15
Colourpop Semi Precious, some light use, one color chipped, $12
Estee Edit The Gritty Eye Palette, 3 colors swatched once, $12
Juvia’s Place The Magic Minis , BNNU, $15
Juvia’s Place The Zulu, 3 colors swatched, $12
Notoriously Morbid Aim With My Eye palette, 3 colors swatched. $16.00
Pretty Vulgar Pretty Birdie, light use, $36
Sigma Warm Neutrals Vol. 2, 4 colors swatched, $15
Sydney Grace Chase Your Dreams, 2 colors swatched, $14
Violet Voss Drenched Metal palette, swatched but one color has a chip missing, $18
Violet Voss Essentials 2, BNNU, $12
Other Eyeshadow Palettes
Dia & Noche Once Upon a Time palette, 4 colors swatched, $5
Fantasy Cosmetica Bard palette, Never used but arrived with middle shade shattered. Retails for $38.99. $20
Fenty Beauty Snap Shadows Mix & Match eyeshadow palette in Cadet, used 3-4 times at most, Retails for $30 . $18
Kat von D Serpentina palette, some light use, missing loose pigment. will need extra shipping $20
KimChi Chic Juicy Velvet palette; see swatch photos from Kimchi Site, BNNU, $12
Lethal Cosmetics Magnetic Pressed Powder Palette in Jolina, 3 or 4 colors swatched. $25
MAC Cosmetics Aaliyah eyeshadow palette, 4 colors swatched, $18
Peach Queen We’re All Mad Here, 3 colors swatched. Sold out on site $20
Pink Crush Cosmetics Nocturnal Garden palette, brand new, $22
Pinky Rose Cosmetics Sunflower palette, most shades swatched once, $12
Sigma x Beauty Bird Dream Palette, most colors swatched, comes with brush, $25
Sugarpill Capsule Collection in black and orange versions, each swatched or 4 times, $22 each; both for $40
Urban Decay Urban Spectrum palette, 5 colors swatched, will require a couple of dollars extra to ship due to weight, $25
Viseart Golden Hour, usage shown, $25
Eyeshadow Singles, Eyeliner, etc.
About Face Matte Fluid Eye Paint (l - r) in It’s a Blitz and Vertigo Flowers. Swatched with clean, disposable brush. $11 each or both for $20
bh Cosmetics x DojaCat Cascade liquid eyeshadow in top - bottom Berry and Royal Blue, used 3 or 4 times each. $8 each or both for $15
Glossier Lidstar in Fawn, hard to tell how much is left even though I only used a few times, $8
JD Glow cosmetics L-R: Galaxy liner in Nocturnal; glitter tube in Poise; galaxy liner in Facetime. Each used up to 3x with clean, disposable brush. Retail for $9-10. $4 each; all 3 for $10
Indie shadow large pans $3 each
JD Glow 37mm metallon shadow in Bestie, swatched, $7
JD Glow 37mm metallon shadow in Blue Avenue, swatched, $7
Give Me Glow foiled pigment in Anastasia, swatched, $6
Give Me Glow ultra matte pigment in Dramatic, BNNU, $6
Give Me Glow ultra matte pigment in Tan Lines, BNNU, $6
Moira Cosmetics Lucent Cream Eyeshadow, L-R Cosmos, Earth, Nimbus, each BNIB, $5 each or all 3 for $12
Benefit California Kissin’ Color Balm in Poppy, swatched once with brush, $12
Fenty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow, BNNU, $6
Gucci lipstick Agatha Orange, swatched once with clean lip brush, $25 15
Lime Crime Wet Cherry Gloss in Pumpkin Pie, BNNU, $10
MAC lipstick in Chili, BNIB, $10
Mally x RuPaul Discotheque Lip Topper in Condragulations, bnnu, $8
MBA Cosmetics Glossy Glaze in Miss Monroe, still sealed, seller image here. $7
Pat McGrath Labs Bronze Astral Vinyl Gloss, 0.34 fl oz, $14
Becca Shimmering Skin Protector liquid in Opal, BN/still sealed, $10
Becca Shimmering Skin Protector pressed in Burnished Copper, BNNU, $12
Pulp Riot Blank Canvas Hair Color Remover, Unopened, 1.5 oz packet of powder. $6
Nail Polish all full size/13-15 ml unless otherwise stared. Will require extra shipping costs
Chanel Le Vernis in Délicatesse, an opaque rose-brown. BNNU, $20. Swatch photo not mine.
Chanel Le Vernis in Paparazzi, described as a “plummy brown with copper pearl. BNNU, $20. Swatch photo from Temptalia website.
Chaos and Crocodiles in Wishing Star Sky, probably a few years old. Swatch photo. $6
LynB Designs Fishing With No Bait, golden peach linear holo, used for one mani, $6 photo from blogger Naked Without Polish.
LynB Designs, L - R Sage It Ain’t So, Rustworthy, Gamboge You Don’t, all BNNU from Tonally Awesome collection. See pictures from site of Sage It Ain’t So, Rustworthy, and Gamboge You Don’t. $7 each, will bundle.
Moon Shine Mani Nail Polish. Click on shade for swatch photos. And Then There Were None , The Geller Cup, The King of Bad Thanksgivings, North by Northwest. BNNU, $8 each; will bundle multiples
OPI Visions of Georgia Greens, shimmery green/pink duochrome. BNNU, $6. blogger swatch photo
All Sally Hansen BNNU, now $5 each
Sally Hansen Color Therapy in Plum Euphoria, Multichrome shifts purple-blue-green. Swatch photo not mine
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Combustealable. Swatch photo not mine.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Hyp-nautical, blue/purple/fuchsia multichrome, See stock photo here
I have a spreadsheet of indie sample and full-size perfumes/other indie products here if you are interested.
submitted by missjeanlouise12 to makeupexchange [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 01:03 Trash_Tia Camp Redwood is running out of counsellors! These children... THEY'RE NOT CHILDREN.

In hindsight, I should have listened to the kill-bill alarm bells in my head when eight-year-old Cassie announced she and her cabin mates were going to skip out on camp activities and play Operation instead.
Though it’s not like I didn’t have things on my mind. Seven counsellors had gone missing—along with our head counsellor who was supposed to be taking care of us.
It started out fairly normal. I mean, one or two counselors wasn’t bad, right?
Lily and Joey had been drowning in sexual tension for a while, so nobody was surprised when they sneaked into the woods for what I could only guess was the most uncomfortable sex ever. But then they didn’t come back.
Teddy and Yuri went to look for them, and then they too also disappeared. It was almost like a wild animal was lying in wait for another unsuspecting teenager to cross its path.
With six of us left, I was definitely freaking out.
I wasn’t expecting summer camp to be like this. I did consider working in my local Sephora, but mom had a preference—and whether I was eighteen years old or not, she was getting her way. So, it was goodbye civilization, and hello Canadian wilderness.
There were fifteen kids queued up in front of me for lunch, and I was having a hard time keeping that optimistic Camp Redwood smile.
I couldn’t help constantly counting how many hours it had been since the latest disappearance, Connor.
He was supposed to be helping with getting the emergency generator going, after the electricity sizzled out.
The boy was gone an hour later. This was happening fast. Whatever was going on with the counsellors was burning through all of us. Would it happen to me?
I had seen so many TV shows and movies set in a summer camp where every camper and counsellor was doomed to die in the grossest way possible. Was that going to happen to us?
I tightened my grip around the stupid ladle I had found myself stirring, a giant pot of chocolate syrup. Watching watery chocolate drip from the edge, I felt nauseous. Of all the summer camp’s mom had to send me to, it had to be the one with vanishing counsellors and zero adult authority. Which meant we were the authority. Twelve teenagers who came to relax and babysit a bunch of little kids before college.
We had to put on brave faces and pretend everything was absolutely fine—and we weren’t all terrified out of our fucking minds.
At the corner of my eye, I glimpsed Harry offering piggybacks to a bunch of little kids, with one of the littles, Eleanor, wrapping her arms around his neck and squealing.
From the look on the boy’s face, he wanted to stop. It was hard to keep a façade when reality was becoming harder and harder to bear. Abandoning his hat completely, Harry was dripping with sweat, trying to twist his lips into the Camp Redwood grin. But looking closer, as he galloped across the cabin with Eleanor holding on for dear life, the guy was ready to collapse. I didn’t blame him.
Entertaining the kids was supposed to be Teddy’s assignment—and he was who knows where. I had taken over lunch duties for Lily, who had joined the long list of the missing.
Harry was supposed to be joining the search party for the missing councellors, but had ended up becoming the little’s personal punching bag.
When I first met him, Harry Carlisle had been the kid who sat on the side-lines and offered sarcastic remarks and crude jokes. Now, he had been reduced to a playground ride the kids pretended didn’t have an off switch.
He had enjoyed maybe the first two rides to raise morale, but now I could see the strain in his eyes. “Ow!” Harry winced when the little girl’s fingers prodded at his eyes. “Hey! Eleanor, not my eyes!” He was dangerously close to toppling over, though managed to catch his footing, ordering all of them off of his back. “Horse Rides are over!” He cupped his mouth, shouting across the cabin when a group of kids surrounded him with equally terrifying faces. Harry backed away and threw his hands up. “Come on, guys, my back isn’t built for all of you!”
“Horsey!” The kids shouted back in a cacophony of giggles.
It was 10 against one.
Against two, if I got involved. Which wasn’t going to happen. There was no way I was putting effort into play-fighting a bunch of eight-year-olds. Harry shot me a hopeful look, though I pretended not to see, busying myself with slightly burned nuggets.
Running his fingers through thick strands of sandy colored hair, Harry pulled a face when a little girl, Phoebe, was brave enough to step forward.
“No.” Harry shook his head, squeezing the front of his counsellor shirt practically glued to him. The temperature still hadn’t let up, and it was heading towards 8PM. Night-time, I thought dizzily. It was almost bedtime, and still no adults. “I refuse to surrender,” He told her. “Phoebe, I am not joking around when I’m saying my back is hurting. We’ve been playing horsey’s for two hours.”
“So!” Harry couldn’t yell or hiss, or swear at them. That was a big no-no with kids.
However, I could see he was coming close to breaking that rule. “Because I’m tired,” he said through a Camp Redwood grin, which was quickly twitching into a grimace.
I think all of us had given up with the fake enthusiasm when our colleagues started to vanish. Now, we were just shells of our former happy selves. “And… uh… did you know that if you ride a horsey at this time, the ghosts will come and get you?”
When a boy opened his mouth, his eyes widening with fright, Harry realized his mistake.
“I mean the nice ghosts! Yeah! The uh, the nice ghosts who haunt..I mean play in these woods? It’s a well-known Camp Redwood legend that ghosts don’t like horse rides. In fact,” his lips curved into a devilish smile now he had several faces staring at him. The kids dropped onto the ground to listen, their hands clasped in their laps. This was the quietest they had been all day. I could understand though. Harry had taken the reins around the campfire telling ghost stories for three nights in a row, and the guy was a damn good storyteller.
With every eye on him, Harry lowered his voice into a whisper. “Do you guys want to know what they do?”
The kids nodded with wide eyes.
“They sneak into unsuspecting cabin’s…”
Rowan’s voice came from outside in a warning. The window was open, and the guy was standing watch to see if any counsellors came back. Since the only adult had disappeared, he had been appointed leader—and the guy was taking himself a little too seriously.
His warning was valid though. Sometimes Harry’s ghost stories were a little too scary for little kids, who’s Imaginations tended to run wild—especially at night. Olive, my cabin-mate, had to give up her bed for a little girl who was convinced Harry’s depiction of Slenderman, “The tree boy” was going to sneak into her bed and turn her into an apple seed.
“Did I say sneak into cabin’s? I meant dance around the woods…” Harry corrected himself. “And they look for their next unsuspecting victim…”
“Friend.” Harry swallowed his words when a little boy’s eyes went wide. “I mean they are looking for a friend! So, the point of my story is…”
“Horsey rides get us new friends?” Phoebe wasn’t buying it. I could tell from the slight arch of her brow and her widening smile.
The girl shook dark curls out of her face, smirking. I think it was her pleading eyes which won him over. Because, with a sigh which definitely wasn’t joking around, the guy dropped onto his knees and practically spat at her to climb on his back—and she did, plonking one sparkling shoe on top of the boy’s spine with enough force to send him onto his stomach. I might have been imagining it, but since when were these littles so outlandishly spiteful?
The little girl was grinning. Not because she could ride her “horsey” but because Harry looked like he was going to either wring her neck, or wring his own. Mom had a “talk” before I started here, and she made sure to tell me that if adult authority is nowhere to be seen, little kids will start to act out.
I could definitely call it acting out, but I had spent all day with her several days earlier playing with dolls and having a teddy bear picnic when she admitted she didn’t want to swim in the lake with the other kids. Phoebe had been shy and only spoke to me through her teddy bear, so what had changed?
Could the lack of adults really be scaring the kids that much?
“Miss Josie?”
I wasn’t paying attention, half noticing some kids had just helped themselves, piling chicken nuggets and cookies on plastic plates and hurrying to their seats like I couldn’t see them.
Blinking away brain fog, I found myself face to face with Eli, who was probably my favorite camper.
You’re not supposed to have personal preferences when working with little kids, because your opinions could upset them.
However, it was incredibly hard not to like Eli.
Hiding behind a mop of brown curls, the boy was one of the more vocal kids in the group. Eli said he wanted to be an inventor when he was older, and he wanted to make robots. The kid had asked me if I wanted to see his robot collection, but I was too busy with setting up camp activities. Standing in front of me and clutching his tray, the boy was frowning.
“Josie, I just saw some kids steal chicken nuggets.”
I shrugged, shovelling a large portion on his tray. “Well, you can have some extra too.”
Eli’s smile wasn’t as big as usual. “Where’s Teddy?”
I pretended to be oblivious, hastily adding more nuggets to his tray as if I could keep his mouth shut with extra food. “He’ll be back soon! Teddy is just playing in the woods.”
“No, he’s not.”
At first, I thought I’d heard the boy wrong. The kid wasn’t looking at me, counting his nuggets as usual with the prongs of his plastic fork.
I leaned forward with my best smile. “I’m sorry, what was that, Eli?”
The kid lifted his head with a wide grin. “Can I borrow a knife, Josie?”
“Why do you need a knife?”
Leaning forward, the boy shrugged. “There’s a squirrel caught in a trap,” he said. “I want to put it out of its misery, Miss Josie. It’s in a lot of pain.”
That was… dark.
“Well, I can’t give you a knife…” I trailed off, my gaze finding Harry and the growing line of kids awaiting a horse-ride. “But! How about you go and ask Harry for a piggy-back ride?” I pointed to myself with a forced grin. “I’ll save the squirrel!” And when the boy’s eyes filled with tears and he shook his head, I reached out, grasped his hand, and squeezed it as tight as I could. “Eli, we don’t need to do that, okay? I’m sure the squirrel can be saved and I’ll make sure to take it to the vet, okay?”
“But what if it doesn’t need saving?”
I squeezed tighter. “I’ll save it, Eli. I promise.”
Eli didn’t look convinced, but he nodded with a grumble. “Okay.” He said, before twisting around and joining the other kids torturing Harry. Immediately, I left my station—whether Rowan liked it or not—and headed outside to look for this supposedly dying squirrel. That was something we didn’t need. The sky was darkening when I made it into the woods, cotton candy clouds blurring through the thick canopy of trees. Eli said it was near the sign pointing towards the lake. Though I couldn’t see anything. Odd. That thought retracted in my head, however, when I stepped forward, and a squelching sound cut through the silence of my own heavy breaths mixing with insect chitters and nightlife buzzing above me and beneath me. The wet sounding squelch twisted my gut, and when I stared down at the ground, I didn't know what I was expecting.
A squashed squirrel, perhaps? In Eli’s words, the poor thing had been on the edge of death. Though, when I was thinking about it, there were no animal traps around camp. That was basic health and safety. So, what the fuck was I looking at? The bottom of my shoe was caked in dried blood, but it was the thing which was stamped into the dirt which sent my heart into my throat. It looked like an eye.
But looking closer as I lowered myself to the ground, I glimpsed something metallic, something glistening around the pupil. I picked up a stick and prodded it, though the thing didn’t move. It was definitely an eye—the eye of some kind of animal, judging from the pigmentation and the color of the iris.
But it was the metallic pieces around the eye which was throwing me off. Part of a trap, maybe? It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that a poor critter had been ripped apart, and a wild bear had dropped its dinner near the camp—and the metal encasing its eye was most likely pieces of trap.
Peering closer, though, I glimpsed silver slithers in what appeared to be the destroyed nerve caked to my shoe. After scraping most of it off, I caught glistening pieces of blood stained metal catching the late-setting sun. This time, I pinched a piece between my forefinger and thumb. It didn’t look like a bear-trap. The metal itself wasn’t serrated or old. In fact, it was new.
Which begged the question: What was this thing?
Whatever it was, it had started converting what looked like a critter’s eye, before stopping. Was it a virus? When that thought slammed into me, I fell back with a hiss, swiping my hands on my shirt.
“What are you doing?”
I almost jumped out of my skin, diving to my feet.
Carmel was standing behind me, grasping what looked like her sixth or seventh coffee. The girl had been running to and from the coffee machine all day, and I had been silently counting how much caffeine she was consuming. Carmel had been a well put together and fairly popular girl when camp started. She immediately had everyone following her beck and call, all of the boy’s (and girl’s) following her around.
Carmel wasn't straight. She made that clear on the bus to camp, announcing she wasn’t interested in guy’s, and that she had a girlfriend back home. Still though, the guy’s still followed her because... well, she was pretty.
Carmel was my bunk-mate and had woken me up on three separate occasions at 6am to go through the exact same hair and makeup routine. Now though, there was no sign of makeup or even that she had brushed her hair.
Instead of its usual tidy blonde ponytail, Carmel’s curls were tied into raggedy pigtails with ribbons I was sure she had stolen from a camper’s doll. I think what was keeping her going was coffee.
Carmel regarded me with too-wide eyes and a Camp Redwood smile we all knew was fake. She was grasping onto her coffee cup for dear life. “Josie!” she jumped when I jumped, which almost made me laugh. “Rowan’s having an emergency meeting in his cabin,” she said.
“So, whatever you’re doing can wait.”
Her gaze flicked to the ground. “What… are you doing?”
For a brief moment, I considered telling Carmel I may have found what looked like a virus which turned flesh and blood to metal—before I remembered her reaction when a spider had crept into our cabin.
Whatever this thing was, keeping it a secret for now was probably what was best. Making sure I was standing on the thing, I shrugged. “I was looking for the others.”
Carmel cocked her head, before resting her coffee on the ground. “In the dirt?”
“Footprints, Carmel.”
The girl looked confused before shaking her head. “Okay, whatever. Tell the others I’ll be there in a sec, I just need to make sure the kids are okay. We’re putting a movie on for them in the lunch hall, so that will hopefully distract them for maybe two hours.”
I nodded. “Did anyone find a phone?”
“Not with signal.”
“Carmel.” I had to fight back the urge to yell at her to keep her voice down. Kids were curious, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we had some littles peeking into our conversation. “You’re okay.” I said softly.
“I mean, we’re not okay, because yes, things are very.. screwed up right now, but we need to be… optimistic.” I exhaled out a breath, searching for eyes in the dark. I tried to smile, tried to keep up that Camp Redwood façade we were all held hostage by until the last day of camp (According to rule 5 in the Camp Redwood counsellor handbook, all counsellors must retain a smile and a positive attitude. If any counselor is caught making a frowny face, or spreading what we call “unhappiness” we will be forced to send the counselor home).
At this point, I didn’t give a fuck—but part of me didn’t want to scare the little kids.
“No, Josie.” The girl grasped hold of my shoulders with a grin rivalling the joker. “I am so sick of being told to keep smiling, because what is that doing? Three of my cabin-mates are missing! I’m the one left, and Rowan and co expect me to keep up this act? We are fucked!"
She cupped her mouth. “F. U. C. K. E. D. We have zero adults, an unexplainable loss of power every few hours which makes no sense in the middle of nowhere—I mean what the fuck is out there which is sucking that much power, huh? There is no explanation! There should be an explanation. I should be able to think, “oh, yeah! That’s why! But no. Things are happening, and I don’t know why they’re happening. Rowan is trying to force us to act like things are okay —but in reality? He is shitting himself, Josie! We are ALL shitting ourselves!”
I took a step back, keeping hold of her hand. Carmel was trembling, her hands clammy and slimy entangled in mine. “He's just trying to keep the kids from freaking out."
She groaned, tears glistening in her eyes. “Okay, yeah! I’m blaming them because they keep acting like everything is okay—”
“Everything IS okay.” I turned to her with what I hoped was a reassuring smile—knowing damn well about the thing I’d found in the dirt. If that thing could spread, it would have a field day in an enclosed space like a summer camp.
I noticed my own hands which had been touching the thing making contact with Carmel, and dropped my hands, inwardly squirming.
If that thing was a virus, I was already fucked.
Maybe Carmel too.
If it was fast acting, it could explain the counsellor disappearances. I was already putting together a plan in my head as we headed back to the main cabin. We had to put together a search party. Some of us would stay with the kids, while a small group would venture into the woods to try and look for traces of the missing. If I was right, we would find a horror scene in the woods, and yes, that would be the time to panic.
If I was wrong, however, there was still hope.
“Are we going to be okay?”
Carmel’s voice sliced into my thoughts, and I took a moment to drink in the camp around us.
Usually, when the sky was turning twilight, it would be bustling with campers and counselors toasting marshmallows on the fire and gathering around to fall asleep to Harry’s ghost stories. Carmel would be knelt with a bunch of kids, watching a YouTube video they had all insisted on her watching, while Rowan would be hiding behind his book with his knees to his chest, his gaze glued to every page he flicked through, ignoring everyone.
Teddy, making funny faces for kids who were scared, and Connor, handing out plates of burgers and hot dogs. I remembered feeling safe and at home, cosy around the flickering orange of the fire as chatter turned to laughter and white-noise in my head. After the kids went back to their cabins, the group of us would resume positions around the fire, but this time it was more… intimate. With Allison in her cabin, we kind of ignored her rules all together.
Making out happened, because of course it did. Beers stolen from Allison’s mini fridge and raging hormones, as well as late-night skinny dipping in the lake did that. Couples went off into the woods, and we all felt completely comfortable and at home with each other.
Looking around at that moment, I felt sick to my stomach. That feeling was gone.
The feeling of family and familiarity and friendship. What I was looking at now was that same log we had all sat on, now turned on its side—hot dog buns and candy wrappers littering the ground. It was a ghost camp.
I could still see Connor’s jacket slung on the ground, and Lili’s bright pink ray bans sitting on a beer can. Because there were no adults to yell at us to clean up after ourselves. I was frowning at the skeleton of the fire when Carmel nudged me. “Hey.” Her voice was shaking slightly. “Josie? You didn’t answer my question.” Carmel wanted me to be the voice of reason, and I wasn’t that. I was just as scared as her.
There was only so much I could sugar-coat, and I gave up doing that after the third counsellor disappeared. All I could offer her was forced optimism.
“Yes.” I said. “Just keep the kids busy, alright?”
When I was twisting around and power-walking to Rowan’s cabin, I shouted over my shoulder, “Give them some of those animal crackers!”
“What animal crackers?”
I turned to elaborate, but Carmel was gone.
When I finally got to Rowan’s cabin, I was sweating through my shirt, and had an idea of what I was going to tell the others. It was… a thing. Which could be considered a disease or a virus—so it was vital that we split into two groups; half of us would search for the others, while the others would look for anything to get in contact with the outside world. An emergency landline, laptop, or cell phone.
I did have one problem, which was lack of evidence. All which was left from the thing I’d found was stuck to my foot. The rest of it was buried in the dirt. It was too dark to search for it, and we would be wasting time doing so.
All of that was in my mind and tangled on my tongue, one single string of incomprehensible gibberish I wasn’t even sure was English, when I stepped into Rowan’s cabin, where four sets of eyes met mine. Olive, cross legged on the floor with her arms folded, Harry, pacing up and down with a brand new bruise blooming under his eye, courtesy of Eleanor almost poking his eyes out—and Rowan himself sitting on top bunk, his legs swinging off of the side.
The guy wasn’t built to be our leader, originally being the laziest of our group, opting for sitting in a tree with a book, rather than helping set up camp activities. Yet he had become our default guy in charge because he so happened to be wearing the head counsellor hat when Allison disappeared. Admittedly, it suited him, the bright red of the cap contrasted his dark curls under a late setting sun through the back window, setting strands of straying hair on fire.
The hat was a little too big for his head, though, slipping over his eyes.
Rowan looked like a divorced father of two, dark circles bruising his eyes, and a very “dad-like” scowl curling on his lips.
With a clipboard pressed to his chest, and a pen he was chewing on, the boy resembled a grown man who had just caught his daughter coming in after curfew. “Josie.” Spitting the pen’s lid out of his mouth, he scribbled something down. I had no doubt he was tracking my attendance for these stupid crisis meetings. His eyes were wild, scanning me for answers. “Where the fuck is Carmel?”
I shut the door behind me, leaning against it with my arms folded. “So, we can swear now?”
“Yes.” Rowan rolled his eyes. “There are no kids here, so go crazy,” he pointed at me with the pen. “Carmel. Where is she?”
“Keeping the kids busy,” Callan’s muffled voice came from the bottom bunk. I could barely see the guy lying on his stomach, his face stuffed into a pillow. “It was my idea to play Shrek for them, but the little shits said they haven’t seen it,” the boy lifted his head, his lips carved into a scowl. “I’m sorry, am I tripping? Everyone’s seen Shrek! Do these kids expect the Minecraft movie?”
“They don’t like that, either,” Harry stopped pacing the cabin. “Eleanor looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if she liked it."
“Fortnite, too.” Olive said, a cushion pressed to her chest. “I suggested playing it a few days ago, and like, zero kids knew what it was.”
“Six counsellors are missing,” Rowan raised his voice over the other’s chatter. “And you’re questioning what games they like?” His eyes found mine once more. “So, Carmel is with the kids? You’re absolutely sure of it?”
I nodded. “Yeah. I mean, I just saw her five minutes ago.”
“Great.” Rowan said, sarcastically. “I’m sure she won’t go missing under mysterious circumstances.”
“Stop.” Olive shot him a glare, throwing a cushion in his face. “I told you. They’re probably lost—- or maybe they went to get help?”
“We’ve all been trained to know every inch of these woods,” Rowan catapulted the cushion right back at her. “They’re not lost.”
“Well, where are they?!” Callan sat up, bringing his knees to his chest. I had never seen the guy looked this vulnerable. “Allison made sense. She probably had other duties, and left us to look after the kids. But six counselors? All of them disappearing—- our phone signal completely cutting out, electricity cutting off, not once, but twice? What is even sucking all of our power?”
“I got the emergency generator working,” Olive raised her arm. “Connor and I managed it before…” she trailed off.
“Before Connor disappeared.” Callan finished for her. “And before him, it was Joey, Lily, Mira, Yuri, Noah, and Teddy. Which isn’t a fucking coincidence,” he shot Rowan a look, who glared down at his lap. I could tell the boy didn’t want to lead all of us, come up with plans and answer questions we desperately needed answering. His job was to look after us, as well as the littles, and so far, he was doing a pretty good job. I could tell by his expression that he thought the opposite, but he had managed to keep the kids from finding out about something as sinister as someone actively kidnapping counsellors.
He made sure they were fed, entertained, and safe watching a movie—while we were scared for our lives. Rowan was keeping up the façade no matter how scared he was. The boy dropped his head into his lap with a sigh. It looked like he might fall asleep before he slammed the clipboard into his face to wake himself up.
Nobody wanted to admit what Callan was saying, but we were all definitely thinking it. “This was planned.” Callan continued.
“Someone out here is fucking with us, very clearly trying to freak us out. Now they've got six of us. ” He spread out his arms. “How long until one of the littles gets taken, huh? A bunch of 18 year olds aren’t going to satisfy them, so what about when they start taking campers? We are in the middle of fuckin’ nowhere with a serial kidnapper on the loose, and did we really just leave fifteen kids in the care of a girl who thought Australia was in England?”
“In Carmel’s defence, she was black-out drunk when she said that,” Olive murmured.
“Voice down!” Rowan hissed. “Do you want to scare them?!” His gaze flicked to me. “Did you do a headcount during dinner?”
I nodded. “Fifteen kids all accounted for. Ten are in the lunch hall, and five girls are in Cassie’s cabin playing Operation.”
“All day?” Olive spoke up. “Weren’t they playing that this morning? I tried to get into their cabin to give them breakfast, but they just shooed me away and locked the door.”
“Fuck.” Rowan ran his fingers down his face. “Alright, I’ll go and see what’s going on with them. Knowing Cassie and her friends, they’re probably zonked out on stolen candy. When all of the kids are accounted for in the lunch cabin, we gather outside.”
I swallowed, speaking up. “I actually wanted to talk to you guys about something.”
Rowan lifted his head, jutting the edge of the clipboard into his chin. “Go on…”
“I found something?” I pulled a face. “I mean, think I’ve found something?”
I wasn't sure how to explain to a dwindling group of exhausted teenagers that there may be something even more terrifying than potential kidnappers out there. Four blank faces started back at me, and Rowan leaned forward with a frown. “Like, in general? Josie, we don’t have time to go foraging.”
“You could call it a lead,” I said. “But I need your eyes to find it.”
“Uh-huh. But what is it?”
Thinking back to what exactly I had seen, I had no idea how to describe it. “It’s better if I just… showed you.”
Rowan looked sceptical, but nodded. “Alright. Josie comes with me. We’ll check out Allison’s cabin again to look for an emergency line, and you can show me whatever this ‘thing’ is you’ve found. Then we’ll escort Cassie and the other girl’s to the lunch cabin. Every camper needs an escort from now on. The rest of you? Act normal. If the kids see you freaking out, they will also freak out—and we need to keep up morale.” The boy pointed to Olive. “Olive, you sit in with the kids and look after them. Callan, check out the emergency generator. Harry, the kids see you as a playground ride, so use that to your advantage. Offer them horse rides if they’re scared. And with the ghost stories, it’s making it worse. Give them piggybacks.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “Do I have a choice?”
Rowan cleared his throat. “We all keep up appearances. If the others turn up, after getting high or… I don’t know, having an orgy in the woods—- I will fucking kill them.” The way he smiled through his teeth, jumping off the bunk, his toes primed like a wild animal, I knew he wasn’t joking. If this was a well-constructed prank the other counselors were playing, I had no doubt Rowan would rip them apart for leaving him as a reluctant leader. To my surprise, the others wandered off with their tasks.
I watched Rowan lift up his pillow and pull out a pack of animal crackers, ripping open the bag and pouring the contents into his mouth. He caught my eye, crunching through mini animal crackers. “I didn’t have lunch,” he said through a mouthful.
I couldn’t help feeling a sense of relief as we headed across camp, Rowan in front of me, while I lagged behind.
“So, what’s the plan?” I caught up to him, almost tripping over a log.
The guy didn’t turn around. “I am completely winging it,” he said through a choked laugh. “I have no idea what I’m doing, and if I’m honest? I just want to go home, dude. I haven’t looked after this many kids in my life, and if I have to smile one more time as a little brat, I am going to fucking lose my mind.” He heaved out a breath. “I am making this up as I go along.”
I laughed that time. “That’s… comforting.”
“Yeah?” He turned to shoot me a grin. “Well, rest assured I am just about as scared—if not more scared than you,” as we stopped in front of Cassie’s cabin, his gaze found mine. “Is it me…” he said softly, “Or does the lunch cabin seem quiet.”
He was right. The windows were dark when they should have been illuminated by the TV screen. Instead of answering, I stepped in front of him, grasping hold of the cabin door. “Cassie?” I knocked three times. “Girl’s, are you okay in there? It’s Josie and Rowan.” I tried the door, and it slid open. Shooting a look at the boy behind me, I turned back to the door. “We’re coming in, okay?”
Cassie squeaked from inside. “But he’s not finished!”
Ignoring the coil of dread unravelling in my gut, I forced the door open and stepped into unusually milky white light which flooded the cabin. The first thing I saw was eight-year-old Cassie, sitting cross legged with her back to me. She was sitting in a circle with the other girls, no doubt playing their game.
When I stepped closer, however, I noticed something pooling across the wooden floor. It must have been juice or water that they had spilled. I took another step, but this time, clammy fingers wrapped around my wrist and yanked me back. Rowan didn't speak, but his eyes were elsewhere. Initially, they had been drinking in the cabin before they found oblivion entirely. I heard his breath start to accelerate, his grip tightening on my wrist.
I had half a mind to pull away, before I saw the body shaped carcass the girls were sitting around. In the dim light of the cabin, it used to be a person. Teddy. I could still see parts of an identity, freckled cheeks and eyes which were still open, still staring at the sky.
But that was where the similarities to the missing counsellor ended. The thing which used to be Teddy was more of a shell, a scooped out thing resembling a human body. What sent me stumbling backwards, my mouth open in a silent scream, was the almost surgical efficiency of each organ's removal, like it really was a game of operation. His heart, lungs, and intestines were in one pile-- while his brain was cupped between little Cassie's bloody hands— and when my gaze found the little girl, Nina, hiding behind dark curly hair, I was seeing what looked like a toy robot’s head in her hands. In my head, I was thinking about the eye with the metallic pieces glittering around its pupil, and something turned in my gut.
Did I find a human eye?
I was staring at the crevice inside the boy's skull, and the boxes of surgical equipment piled on the girl's bunks, when Rowan finally pulled me back, and I was stumbling straight onto my ass. "We need to go." Rowan spoke through a croak. Cassie’s words rattled in my head. Teddy, I thought.
Teddy wasn’t finished.
"Josie. Get up. Now!" My head was spinning, and I was sure I'd thrown up. I didn’t even realize we had managed to stumble from the girl’s cabin before cool air grazed my face, tickling my cheeks. Something wet and warm, and lumpy was spattering the front of my shirt.
Before I could coerce words, the boy was pulling me to my feet, and I was seeing stars in my eyes, blinking brightly. When the two of us started forwards in a run, Rowan stopped abruptly. I followed his gaze to find several kids surrounding his cabin, where Harry, Olive and Callan were. Maybe I was hallucinating, but Eleanor and Phoebe, both of whom wielding weapons where I had no idea where they had gotten them—looked… taller? Rowan didn’t waste time, dragging me back. “Allison’s cabin.” He spoke in cry which became a sob, pulling me across camp, stumbling over rocky ground.
“We need a phone. Fuck, we need a phone. We need a phone.” Rowan was struggling to stand, occasionally bending over and choking up dust.
“They were playing Operation."
Literal operation.
“But they’re just kids!” I choked out.
Little kids, who had surgically removed every organ inside Teddy’s body.
Little kids, who were hunting the other counsellors down, and would surely be coming for us.
Allison’s cabin was thankfully further into the woods. When we were safe inside and Rowan was locking the door, I dry heaved several times, unable to get the sight of glistening gore splattering the cabin floor from my mind. “Josie.” Rowan was already tearing apart the cabin. “Work with me here, okay? We don’t… we don’t have fucking time to freak out, or to barf—we need to help. Now.” Rowan was almost in tears, and when he hit the ground on his knees, I took over. I searched Allison’s desk first. Nothing of importance, just documents and invoices. Digging through her draw, there was still nothing. We were running out of time.
Abandoning the desk, I went through her suitcase and bags. When I was crawling under her bed to try and find a weapon, Rowan hissed out. “Wait.” When I turned to him, he was still kneeling, but his foot was clamping down on a loose plank. The guy didn’t hesitate, pulling at the loose plank, which, to my confusion, revealed what looked to me like a trap door.
Rowan turned to me. “You’re kidding.”
I could only stare at the trap door revealing stone steps. He peered down, his voice echoing. “Allison has a fucking secret bunker?”
His lips curved into a surprisingly childish grin which took me off guard. “Oh, wow, that’s so cooooool!”
Lifting my head at the sound of loud squealing, I glimpsed a group of littles led by Eleanor stalking towards us. Eleanor had a hostage. Harry. And with the way she was sticking the blade of a scary looking knife to his throat, I figured she meant business.
Their height difference was almost comical. The eighteen year old guy had to hunch over so the little girl could successfully keep him prisoner. Behind them in the trees, I could see something illuminating the dark, an electric blue light bathing their faces.
So, that was there the power was going.
But what the fuck were these eight-year-old’s doing?
“Josie!” Rowan hissed from down below. He had already climbed down.
I joined him, struggling down the stone steps, before replacing the loose plank. If these kids were as smart as I thought, it wouldn’t take them long to realize the loose plank—also a trap door. Allison’s bunker was more of a control room. There were multiple screens lit up, a chair in front of a working MacBook. The phone-line was cut. But that didn’t make sense.
The kids were unaware of the bunker, so who cut the phone lines? Rowan was on the laptop, struggling to get through the password protection, so I turned my attention to piles of cardboard boxes.
When I opened them, I found myself staring at animal crackers.
There were hundreds of them, packed on top of each other. Looking further, digging through the boxes, I found a piece of old crumpled paper which looked ancient.
Something ice cold slithered down my spine.
Abandoning the boxes, I searched through a cabinet filled with files which were crumbling apart from age. I picked one at random and flicked through it.
Eleanor Summer’s.
Sex: Female.
DOB: 08/05/1977.
Initially, I thought I was reading the dates wrong. But then, with my heart in my throat, I was grasping for other files.
Eli Evermore.
Sex: Male.
'DOB: 08/03/1979.
“Rowan.” I managed to get out through a breath.
“They’re not children.”
The boy rubbed his eyes, frowning. His eyes were half lidded, almost confused. “Huh?”
“Eleanor.” I whispered. “Is forty five years old.”
He nodded slowly, turning back to the laptop. “How do you spell… documents? I’m looking for digital versions but I can’t find any.”
“You don’t know how to spell documents?”
“It’s been a hard day.” The boy whined, tipping his head back and blowing a raspberry.
Whatever I was going to say was choked in the back of my throat, when a loud bang sounded from above, the sounds of childish giggling coming through the floorboards. But the laughter didn’t sound like little kids. No, it sounded like teenager’s who were acting like little kids. I stared at the boxes of animal crackers, and then at the file confirming Eleanor’s real age.
My own words shuddered through me, and I remembered finding Teddy’s dismembered carcass in Cassie’s cabin. When I had caught her gaze, the little girl didn’t look scared, and somehow, her fingers wrapped around the scalpel looked just right.
Like the little bitch knew exactly what she was doing.
“Helloooo?” Harry’s voice was a hysterical giggle. “Olly, Olly, Oxen freeee!”
“Are you in heeeeeeere?” Carmel joined in. I could hear their footsteps above, dancing across the room.
Clamping my hand over my mouth, I dragged my knees to my chest and prayed they weren’t smart enough to figure out we were right underneath them.
Knowing the truth about them, though? I wasn’t counting on it.
That was an hour ago.
We’re still stuck down here, and I can get a connection here—thank god. For some reason, Alison has blocked all social media. We need help. We’re at Camp Redwood, and these kids ARE NOT KIDS.
Whatever Project Spearhead is was designed to keep them here.
The phone-line is cut so we can’t get help from whoever was helping Allison. I am counting on you guys.
Get us out of here!
submitted by Trash_Tia to TheCrypticCompendium [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 01:03 subject-2- test

“Last time on Total Drama Revenge of the Island! The campers did a fun game of Truth-or-Laser-Shark, which they revolted against, so we instead did a Harold-McGrady-brand-patented obstacle course! Lightning got the boot in the Catapult of Shame (Trademark Pending) because the bird is no longer with us. Or, so it seems. We also cut the Chris Mclean campfire due to budget constraints. Truly tragic, I know. What’ll happen in this episode? What embarrassing comment will Sam make this time? Find out right now on Total Drama Revenge of the Island!”
The Mutant Maggots were sleeping soundly in the luxurious spa hotel. Zoey, in particular, was loving the lavish lifestyle. Her family wasn’t the richest. The whole reason she joined to show was to make some money, to help her father out. It’d been a hard-knock life (Pun very much intended, Zoey loved that film) for her and her father ever since her mother had died. She was determined to bring the money home, no matter what. She’d also joined the show to (hopefully) make some friends. A lonely girl, she was. (Wow, she really was just stocked to the brim with references today.) But it was true! She’d make a friend in this a sweer body on her team, Mike. Nothing out of the ordinary…. Besides the fact that he was her DREAM GUY!! Nice, cute, and got her references! Just thinking about him made her swoon. She shrugged it off and got out of her bed. She did not want to leave, but she had to. After all, it was her tradition to wake up extra early in the mornings and take a walk around her neighborhood. Or, in this case, the island. She slowly inched out of bed, taking account of the sleeping Anne-Maria. She quickly got dressed and brushed her teeth, opening the door. The cool September air hit her, and she shivered. But she loved it. Everything about the island was so peaceful. The waves crashed against the beach. The birds squawked in the distance. She took in a deep breath. It was truly amazing. She started to walk around the island, soaking in the sunlight. Suddenly, she heard the creaking of a door. She turned around. It was Jo.
“Hey, Zoey,” she said, speeding up as she went.
Zoey realized she had the perfect opportunity to make a new friend!
“No, wait! I was wondering if-um, if- you’d like to go on a walk with me?”
(…she Nailed It.)
Jo looked at her, slightly confused. “Uh… Sure?”
Jo wasn’t used to anyone wanting to actually be next to her. Willingly. You couldn’t have waterboarded this information out of her, but the true reason she joined Total Drama was very different from the persona she displayed. Of course, she wanted the Million. Who didn’t? But she also wanted a friend. Someone real! Someone who wouldn’t be scared of her. She was quickly snapped out of her daydreams. Zoey was asking her something.
“Uh, so… Why’d you join Total Drama?” She asked. The early morning sunlight hit her face perfectly.
“Well, for the money! Why else would I join?” She lied.
“Well, I joined to make friends,” said Zoey.
Jo took a mental note of that. I guess she wasn’t the only lonely girl on the island.
“Do you have any siblings?” Zoey asked.
“Yeah. I Have 4 older brothers. But if you came by my house, it certainly wouldn’t seem like it!” Jo laughed. Her laugh was burly and loud. But it was also infectious and full of joy. Zoey smiled and started laughing too. Soon, all that could be heard was the joyous harmony of the two girl's laughter.
Staci was having a much worse time. It was 9:30 when she woke up. She had about 10 minutes to spare before that challenge began. All she could think about was how much she utterly hated herself. She would never dare to admit it, though. She constantly hid behind her thick layer of lies. She wished that she could just stop. But no matter how many times she’d say that she’d stop, it never came. She never stopped lying. Everyone in her life hated her, and she knew it. She was surprised that she wasn’t the first boot, for crying out loud. She slowly climbed out of the crappy bed and walked to the main lodge. She walked in, hunched over. She felt invisible.
“Hey! Come sit with us!”
…Was that to her?
She turned over to find Dawn and B, her fellow teammates, calling to her. Dawn was smiling at her.
That’s new, she thought.
She gingerly took a seat next to the two. The bigger one, whose name was B, wrote something down on his notepad.
Hello! You looked lonely, so I asked Dawn to invite you to our table! Don’t worry, we don’t bite.
Staci still couldn’t process this. Nobody had ever willingly let her sit with them.
“…Thank you.”
B wrote something on his notepad.
You seem a bit tense. You alright?
“Yeah. I was just thinking. You know, my great, great-”
But Staci stopped halfway.
“You know, this dude named William Holley invented that notepad! He invented the pad around when he innovated the idea to collect all the paper scraps from various factories.”
She had done it. She hadn’t lied, for once in her life! She had finally done it!
But before Staci could celebrate, Chris threw open the door, carrying a boombox. He strutted into the lodge, then planted his feet in the center of the room and started to do that one Fortnite dance we all collectively forgot about.
“Please stop,” said Dakota. She was comforting a crying Sam, who was devastated that anyone was still doing that dance.
After a grueling thirty seconds, he finally stopped doing the awful dance.
“Ok, ok, I'll stop! Anyways, today’s challenge is called Wawanakwa Musical! Teams must perform a skit. Everyone must have a speaking part, and it must have a corny message about something found in a typical High School Disney Channel movie. The team with the best number gets to pair up people to go to prom, while the other team gets it randomly. The couples need to face off in prom-themed challenges, such as drinking all the punch, dancing off, and something else I wouldn't want to spoil for you all. The campers who win the most challenges and make the best skit will win!"
“I don't even want to know what that last challenge will be," said Mike.
"Don't worry, nothing too dangerous!" Chris replied. Some of the campers exchanged worried glances.
“Oh, a skit! How exciting!” Chirped Ella, the secret 7th member of the Mutant Maggots. She was surrounded by animals, per the norm.
“Can you please get your stupid animal friends out of my face!?” Shouted Scott, who had become a resting place for the birds, having several perched on his head.
“Little ones, farewell! You must depart, at least for now,” she said, the heartbreak break in her voice crystal clear.
Confessional- Brick.
“Is it just me, or was that girl not here before? But I’m not complaining! Another member of our troop is just what we need!” Brick blushed.
End Confessional.
“I can already tell this one has a wonderful soul! Her aura is exceptionally bright pink, and it suits her wonderfully. As to how she teleported here? Beats me."
End Confessional.
We cut to all the campers outside the main lodge. The Mutant Maggots were doing a group huddle to brainstorm ideas.
“Ok. Mags. Let’s organize a game plan! We’ve got this in the bag if we work hard and persevere!” Said Brick.
“Never call us “Mags” again,” snarked Jo.
“I like that attitude, Brick! I think our message should be about spreading kindness and not bullying!” Chirped Ella.
“I, um, thank you,” fumbled Brick, who was not used to someone complimenting him for a change.
“We need to cast everyone as a part. First off, we’ll need a bully character. Any volunteers?”
Most eyes went to Mike, the self-proclaimed Actor. He started to sweat but soon realized his team needed him. He sighed and took off his shirt. He instantly switched to Vito, one of Mike’s many alters.
“Ayo, what seems to be the issue?” said Vito. Anne-Maria was enamored instantly.
Confessional- Zoey.
“Mike sure does take his acting seriously. Must be a method actor. Not going to lie, it’s a bit weird. But I like weird!”
End Confessional.
“Who knew you had such a bod under that shirt?” Swooned Anne-Maria. She jumped on Vito, who didn’t mind.
“Ok Mike, we get it, you’re a good actor. Are you doing this or not?” screamed an irritated Jo.
“Yeah. sure, whatever,” said a completely uninterested Vito.
“We’ll also need a victim and five other roles. Any ideas?” asked Brick.
“How about we have one bystander and three people who spread the anti-bully message?” Ella suggested.
“Fine with me,” said Brick.
“Anyone want a particular role?” Ella asked.
“I want to be one of the spreaders,” said Jo, which was a surprise of most.
“Ok! Me and Brick can be the other two, Anne-Maria can be the victim, and Zoey can be the bystander. I have an idea for the plot- Mike bullies Anne-Maria, and Zoey doesn’t do anything. Then we come in and tell them to be kind, and then it works, and we live happily ever after!” said Ella.
“Ok, why don’t we run through it?” Suggested Jo.
“Ayo, what am I doing again?” Vito asked.
“Ugh, cut the crap and start acting!” Screamed an irritated Jo.
“Yeesh, it’s cold in here. I’m putting my shirt back on,” pretended Vito, aware that Mike probably needed to switch in. Mike was at first quite confused, but quickly realized what had happened.
We cut to a montage of the Maggots working very hard at refining the script. Lines were changed, parts swapped, and then swapped back again, but in the end, they’d created the perfect skit- the ultimate work of their labor.
However, on the other side of the auditorium were the Toxic Rats, who had fewer hurdles.
B wrote something down on his notepad.
Just make it about how great Chris is and we’re sure to win.
“Sounds like a plan to me!” Said Scott, giving the silent giant a fist-bump.
“Yeah. We can improvise it as we go! We don’t even need a script!” Dakota said.
“Wait, what are we doing?” Asked Staci, who was once again out of the loop.
Soon, Chris, Chef, and some intern sat at a table, waiting for the skits to be presented. They were at the auditorium, where the Talent Contest challenge had been done a few years back.
“Ok, maggots! Wow me!”
Chris leaned back as Mike and Anne-Maria walked out on stage.
“Hey nerd, give me your lunch money!” Said Mike, utterly failing at sounding intimidating.
“Oh no! Whatever will I do??” Said Anne-Maria, who was wearing one of Cameron’s glasses he’d left behind as a pitiful attempt for a nerd costume.
Zoey then walked out. “Oh no! I want to do something, but I’m scared!”
Jo, Ella, and Brick then walked out.
“Hey! Bullying is bad!” Shouted Ella.
“You need to stand up for yourself!” Screamed Brick at Anne-Maria.
“You need to stop being a bully!” Screamed Jo, who was significantly louder than the rest.
“And you need to learn not to be silent! If you see something, say something!” Ella finished.
“Wow! Thank you! I will always stand up for the victim next time I see someone being bullied!” said Zoey.
“And I will be kind!” said Mike.
“You better!” Shouted Jo. “Now get got and leave this poor girl alone!” Jo shoved Mike much harder than she had anticipated.
He fell off the stage, landing right on his head. The others winced at his misfortune.
“…So be kind!” Finished Ella, who then quickly scampered down to check on Mike.
Mike faded in and out of consciousness. But he knew one thing- this was not a good sign. Mike had a 6th Alter. A particularly malevolent one, should I say… His name was… Mal.
Mike stood up, sporting fresh bags under his eyes. Well, the lone eye you could see, as the other was covered by hair. He stood up and grabbed Jo by the collar.
“Don’t touch me,” he said in an even tone.
Jo was hardly threatened by Mike grabbing her, considering she was twice his size. He had no strength. But when he spoke, it was different. Something about the way he spoke scared her. His even but still threatening voice. His unwavering face of pure anger. She backed away.
Confessional- Jo.
“I don’t know what came over me. He’s so non-threatening in the physical department, but the way he talks?” Jo looked at the camera. “Someone give that twig actor of the year!”
End Confessional.
We cut to Chris, Chef, and the intern. They all sat with mostly stunned and confused faces. They got into a group huddle before Chris finally spoke.
“…Okay, that was weird. But it was also pretty good, and you did everything right. We’ll give you… a 7/10.”
The maggots cheered loudly. Even though it wasn’t a nine or a ten, they were simply glad Chris gave them a satisfactory score, especially for how much work had been put into the project. Mal took in a deep breath and switched back into Mike.
“…What did I miss?” He asked. Nobody said anything, simply glaring at him.
Confessional- Mike.
“Ok, I’m pretty sure I switched into Mal which is definitely not a good thing.” He buried his face in his hands. “They probably all hate me now…”
End Confessional.
Confessional- Zoey.
“Ok, so about what Mike did back there? So weird! I know Jo shoved him, but that just felt way out of line. Or maybe I’m overthinking it. Is this normal? Am I the weird one??”
End Confessional.
“Ok, you can sit on the bleachers now. Rats, you’re up!”
All of the rats came out at once.
“Man, I really love Chris!” Said Scott.
“Yeah, he’s so cool, and handsome to boot!” Swooned Dakota.
“Chris… Is an interesting guy!” Forced out Dawn, who genuinely could not think of anything good to say about the host.
“I don’t think Chris is all that cool,” said Staci, who hadn’t caught on yet. Scott quickly shoved her to the ground.
“How could someone not like Chris??” Scott questioned.
“That girl is insane,” added Dakota.
B drew something on his notepad. It was a drawing of Chris, with a 12-pack (if that's even possible) and surrounded by adoring fans.
They all bowed, and Chris clapped loudly, much to the chagrin of the Maggots. They had no chance.
“I LOVE it!! 10/10, Rats win!!” Chris shouted, not even bothering to ask for Chef's and the intern’s opinions.
Confessional- Chef.
“If you ask me, the skit the Rats made was a bunch of Chris-propaganda-spouting-nonsense. The Maggots? Now that was amazing. Every part was well played, and every line was perfect. 10/10, truly the Mutant Maggot's magnum opus. What a cinematic masterpiece." Chef then burst out laughing.
End Confessional
“So, it’s clear to everyone that the Rats win. You may start pairing up now. I’ll pair the Maggots in a second.”
“I can go with B!” Suggested Dawn. B nodded.
“I’ll go with Sam!” Stated Dakota. Sam looked up, surprised.
Confessional- Sam.
“You’re telling me that a pretty girl willingly picked me to go to prom with them??!” Sam fainted.
End Confessional.
The only two left were Scott and Staci.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” groaned Scott.
“Ok. Mike can go with Zoey, Ella goes with Brick, and Jo goes with Anne-Maria,” said Chris, without much thought.
We cut to the teams in a warehouse that was decorated to look like a high school. The lights were a deep purple. In the center was a disco ball, and there was a dance floor underneath it.
“Ok, the way this works is that each couple will compete in one challenge each, starting with the punch drinking contest. Each couple will need to down two giant bowls of punch, one for each person. Whoever finished their punch first wins. Also, no spilling can occur our you’re out!”
“We’ll take punch,” said Jo immediately.
“Whoa, I did not sign up for that!” Anne-Maria protested.
“Don’t care, didn’t ask. We’re doing it!” Anne-Maria rolled her eyes but eventually agreed to it.
“I’ll take the punch. I just want to get my “date” with Mrs. Flabby-Mc-chatter-mouth over as soon as possible,” groaned Scott.
The couples were waiting at the punch table for Chris to call start.
Jo quickly grabbed the bowl and downed the juice in two big gulps. She instantly turned to Anne-Maria.
“Come on, hurry up!”
Anne-Maria was having a difficult time getting the punch down. Eventually, she just couldn’t finish it. She spat all of the punch into Jo’s face. Jo screamed and clenched her fists.
“Great job, you lunatic! You cost us the challenge!” Shouted Jo.
“Maybe I woulda done betta if you weren’t SHOUTIN’ AT ME!!” Screamed Anne-Maria, her jersey accent at full display.
Jo lunged at Anne-Maria. Unfortunately for the Maggots, Scott and Staci had already finished their punch. Scott smirked and wiped the punch from his mouth.
Staci also had punch around her mouth. She wiped the punch residue off her lips, but she couldn’t wipe the permanent grin off her face. She felt a deep sense of accomplishment, despite the fact it was just a bowl of punch. She felt like she'd made a genuine contribution to her team.
“The Toxic Rats win the first round!” Shouted Chris. They cheered loudly, and the Maggots knew their fate was sealed. Jo and Anne-Maria were both fighting each other. Both were covered in the sticky fruit punch, and screaming.
Confessional- Brick.
“That was so unsportsmanlike that I don’t even know what to say.”
End Confessional.
The next challenge was a dance-off. It was Ella and Brick versus Sam and Dakota.
“Ok. So, whoever can dance the longest without tripping up or giving up wins! Good luck!”
Royalty-free romance music started to play in the background. Brick had prepared for this moment his whole life. Well, he wouldn’t have expected it to be on a reality TV show with a girl he’d only known for a few days, but you win some and you lose some. Brick swooped Ella up and spun her around. Ella grabbed his hands and slowly rocked with him. They started to move around the dance floor. They continued to spin each other around in beautiful harmony. Ella couldn’t help but imagine how much this reminded her of the dance scene between Belle and the Beast. Her heart swelled. Had she found her prince? Brick was having similar thoughts. He’d never found someone quite as graceful as Ella.
Sam and Dakota were dancing much less formally. They mostly goofed off, doing random and silly dances. They were laughing very hard. Dakota couldn’t stop thinking about how cute Sam looked! The two continued to boogie, laughing all the way.
After about 30 minutes, the couples were still going strong. Well, one of them was going strong. Ella and Brick were dancing the night away, as their dance was slower and less physically demanding. Sam and Dakota weren’t fairing so well. Sam could only do so many video game dances before he tired out, and he was already on the verge of passing out. Dakota was also getting tired, but in the end, it was Sam who fell.
“The Mutant Maggots win!”
Ella and Brick collapsed into a tight embrace, happy that what felt like hours of dancing was over.
Confessional- Ella.
“Wow, I’ve never felt so magical in my life… And Brick! He was an amazing dancer!” Ella sighed longingly.
End Confessional
Confessional- Brick
“She’s quite the dancer...” Brick looked away from the confessional’s camera, hiding his tomato-red face.
End Confessional
Mike, Zoey, B, and Dawn were nervously waiting for the final part of the challenge. One can only imagine all the messed up things Chris can come up with. Soon, Chris came close to the four teenagers.
Four interns lead the contestants to a large platform that was elevated over a pool of water. The four contestants got onto the platform, and they were given water guns filled with a red liquid.
“Inside these guns are PIG BLOOD!! You must shoot your opponents off the table and into the water. The team who can knock their opponents down first wins!”
Zoey gasped. “Is this some sort of messed up homage to Carrie?!” She asked.
“I can’t state that for copyright reasons, but I think you know the answer,” said Chris.
The duos put their fingers on the trigger, waiting for Chris to let them begin.
“Three… Two… One!”
Mike and Zoey ended up both targeting Dawn, who immediately flew into the water, as she weighed almost as much as a feather. B put his finger over the nozzle of his gun, spraying blood uncontrollably. Mike and Zoey sputtered, and Zoey was close to falling into the water.
“Zoey!” Mike screamed. He quickly jumped in front of the redhead, saving her from a particularly nasty blow from B. Zoey took B’s strategy, and also put her finger over the nozzle. Soon everyone was covered in pig blood. B was standing strong and taking the blows like a champ. However, Mike was still covering Zoey and was not fairing so well. He’d never wondered how bad pig blood would taste, and now he was experiencing it in full force. The disgusting, iron-like liquid flooded his mouth. Soon, he could take no more.
“Zoey, you got this!” He shouted as he was finally knocked into the water. Zoey trembled a bit. It was her versus the smartest guy on the show! Well, maybe besides the skinny one who’d been eliminated in episode one, but she’d already forgotten his name. B continued to spray Zoey, getting increasingly closer and closer. There was almost nothing Zoey could do. Her blows were hardly affecting the juggernaut. It didn’t help that the other team was cheering B on incredibly loudly, whilst the only person cheering for Zoey was Mike. Eventually, she couldn’t handle the blows. She tumbled off the platform and into the water.
“The Toxic Rats win! Maggots, I’ll see you at the campfire tonight.” Everyone started to clear out, sans Mike and Zoey.
B twirled the water gun around and pretended to put it in an invisible holster, stepping off the platform and leaving the warehouse. Zoey was still processing the fall and all the pig blood in her mouth. The water was cold and soothing. She wiggled around in the water, trying to get all the blood off. Once she got most of it off, she resurfaced. Mike was eagerly waiting for her.
“You did so well!” Zoey couldn’t help but smile at his adorable buck-toothed grin. When he wasn’t acting as one of his kooky personas, he sure was sweet. But Zoey still didn’t feel right about him. When he played his characters, he’d act so vastly different. That might seem normal as he was an actor overall, but he was just way too method for her liking. She was planning on asking him to maybe tone it down, if it was ok with him.
“Hey… I’ve been meaning to ask you if you could maybe tone down your acting. If that’s okay with you. It’s just… With the whole jersey shore persona and whatever you did with Jo? It’s just kind of weird because I really like you and I thought you liked me, but then you start flirting with Anne-Maria and...” Zoey started to tear up. “Obviously I don’t owe you anything but...” Suddenly the was met with the warm -if not wet and bloody- feeling of Mike’s body wrapped around her.
“Zoey... I’ve got to confess something. I have this thing called MPD. Basically, it means I have multiple personalities. When I flirt with Anne-Maria and act like an old man? Those are just some of my personalities. I just lied about the acting thing. I didn’t want to seem weird and-” Zoey quickly kissed him.
“You should’ve led with that, you dummy! Why would I judge you for that? Hell, that just makes you ten times cooler!” Mike sighed a deep sigh of relief.
Confessional- Mike
“I can’t believe it! She accepts me! And I didn’t need anyone’s help telling her!”
End Confessional.
Confessional- Zoey
“Well, that explains everything. I suppose it’s best that I found out this now rather than later.”
End Confessional.
“Can you not tell anyone though? I don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression about me.” Mike saw something move in the corner of his eye, but he shrugged it off. Probably just a rat or something. The rest of the campers had left the warehouse, and it was just Mike and Zoey. Well, at least that’s what they thought.
“Of course! Your secret’s safe with me.”
The camera panned out to reveal a hidden Scott, who was hiding behind one of the lockers.
Confessional- Scott.
“So, Mike had MPD? I’m sure I can use that in the future. Zoey may not tell anyone, but I might!”
End Confessional.
Confessional- Mike.
“Ok. So, it’s great that Zoey is cool with me, but I haven’t forgotten that… He resurfaced. I might as well fill you all in. Mal is my 6th alter. He’s a protector. But he usually ends up overdoing his job and scaring people away. He knows I need this money, and I know he’ll do anything to get it. He hasn’t come out since my Juvie days.” Mike looked to the side. “But that’s another story.”
End Confessional.
The maggots were quite in a very somber mood. Zoey and Mike were covered in blood. Jo and Anne-Maria were covered in punch. Brick and Ella were the only people who seemed happy, albeit awkward.
“Ok, I think I’m going to take a shower,” said Mike.
The other three girls followed him, realizing that probably was a good idea. The only people left were Brick and Ella.
“Soo, what’d you think about my dance skills?” Brick asked in a joking tone.
“They were good! And I’m not lying, you really know how to dance!” Ella said, pointing at Brick.
“Thank you. I was actually saving that routine for a real prom. But I suppose a fake prom is just as good.”
“Oh! Well, you can always use it again. This of me as a practice round,” chuckled Ella.
“No, it was more than that!” Brick said. “I don’t know, it felt… Magical?”
“I know! It really did,” Ella said. Both parties looked away, blushing.
Confessional- Ella.
“I think I’ve found my prince…” she swooned. “And I didn’t even need to lose my shoe!”
End Confessional.
Ella and Brick both leaned in for a mutually agreed kiss. Their lips almost touched. Almost.
“Oh my god!” Sam shouted. Both Brick and Ella screamed back. Brick even fell off the log they were sitting on.
“I am so sorry! I won’t tell anyone.” Sam covered his eyes with his hands. He stumbled away.
Confessional- Sam.
"Brick? And Ella?! Who would've expected that?"
End Confessional.
Brick and Ella sat in awkward silence. It was finally broken by Brick’s infectious and hearty laugh. It was booming and loud, but it was still beautiful to Ella. She started to laugh too- her laugh was much lighter. It could’ve been mistaken for singing.
A few hours later, The Mutant Maggots were gathered at the campfire. They all exchanged nervous glances with each other. One member of their team would leave the island- permanently.
“Mutant Maggots. Welcome. There are five marshmallows on my plate. One of you will not receive one tonight, and you will catch a ride on the Bird of Shame.”
“I thought the bird died?”
“I lied. So go cast those votes and we’ll get to it!”
Voting Confessionals- Everyone on the Mutant Maggots.
“I’m voting for Jo. That bossy B-I-T-C-(Bleep) Has got to go!” Shouted Anne-Maria.
Anne-Maria is annoying, and hardly a team player. She’s leaving tonight,” said Jo, casting her vote.
“I’m voting for Anne-Maria. I’d vote for Jo, but I feel bad after the whole Mal thing,” said Mike.
Anne-Maria. If she keeps rubbing up on Mike, even as one of his alters, I’ll lose it!” Zoey shouted.
“I’ll vote for Jo. Sure, Anne-Maria messed up, but she initiated the fight. Not very sportsmanlike,” stated Brick, casting his vote.
“I’m voting for Jo. She lunged at Mike and set him off. Not very kind,” said Ella.
End Voting Confessionals.
“Okay. You’ve all cast your votes. Let’s get to it.”
“Zoey! Come get your marshmallow. You’re safe.”
Zoey eagerly jumped up and ate her marshmallow.
“Mike- so are you.”
He sighed a deep sigh of relief and took his marshmallow.
“Brick and Ella! Looks like you two lovers are safe.”
Brick and Ella exchanged a glance. “Uh, were not lo-”
“Sure, you aren’t. I can see the cameras, you know that, right?”
Everyone looked at the duo.
“Whatever.” Chris turned to Anne-Maria and Jo.
“Welcome, girls. You both got three votes each.”
The two looked at each other nervously.
“And because of this… You will engage in a tiebreaker!”
We cut to Jo and Anne-Maria on top of an elevated platform over water. In their hands were sticks with foam ends.
“Okay. Your goal is to knock your opponent into the water before the timer runs out. The winner will stay in the game, and the loser will take the bird home. BEGIN!”
Jo immediately lunged at Anne-Maria, expecting her to buckle underneath Jo’s so-called superior strength. But to Jo’s surprise, she held her ground. The metal sticks clashed against each other, and each girl took turns exchanging blows.
“Not bad, jersey girl!” Grunted Jo, who was genuinely struggling. Anne-Maria responded with a growl, knocking Jo to the ground.
“I’m staying in this game, Jo!” She shouted through her teeth.
Jo yelled and lunged at her, for the second time that day. She tackled Anne-Maria into the water, unfortunately taking herself down with her. The girls crashed into the water with a mighty splash. Jo quickly resurfaced.
“Do I win?!” She asked eagerly.
“Not exactly. You both fell into the water…” Chris grinned slyly.
“So?” Both girls asked.
“So, your both eliminated!” Chris shouted, laughing.
We cut to both girls on the docks.
“This is stupid. I won fair and square!” Jo yelled.
“Tell It to the bird!” Chris yelled back. The bird swooped down and took both girls by their arms. They yelled all the way.
“All right! Now that Jo and Anne-Maria are gone, how will the maggots fare? Will Brick and Ella continue their oh-so-secret romance? What will Mike do now that Scott knows about his MPD? Find out next time on,
Revenge of the island!”
submitted by subject-2- to u/subject-2- [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 01:01 HaritiKhatri AITA for not inviting my parents to my wedding?

I (26f) and my then-fiancé (24f) got married last September. It was a civil service wedding, conducted at the local courthouse, and we didn't invite anyone from either side of the family. I informed my parents (58m & 47f) when we got engaged, and let them know the general time of year that the wedding would take place, but I kept them in the dark about the specifics.
There are a few reasons for this:
Firstly, because me and my wife are in a queer relationship, and while not unsupportive, my parents have shown ignorance toward how to handle things like pronouns and titles ('sir,' 'husband,' 'boyfriend,' etc.'). I didn't want our special day being soured by them accidentally saying something hurtful to me or my wife.
(If they had shown a genuine effort to learn the correct terms and titles, this wouldn't be an issue, but they've known I am queer since 2019, and have made no effort to acknowledge that fact.)
Secondly, because my wife and I are in a polyamorous relationship, and one of the two witnesses at our wedding was our mutual girlfriend (29f). My parents are not aware of this. They wouldn't understand, and I'd rather avoid the awkwardness of having them around our girlfriend.
Thirdly, because we couldn't afford to have a 'proper' wedding. There was no catering, no reservations, and we didn't have a cake. My wife was a new hire at her job and I'm disabled and can't work, and the cost of living here is sky high (we live in the Pacific Northwest).
If my parents had attended, they would've had to provide for their own food, lodgings, and travel expenses—and frankly, my parents can't really afford to travel all the way across the country. Dad had a heart attack in early 2021 is still working on repaying medical expenses. Mom barely makes enough to support the two of them. They have no savings and are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Despite this, they have a strong sense of familial obligation, and would likely have withdrawn from my dad's retirement funds to pay for plane tickets and a hotel. I didn't want my wedding to be a source of long-term hardship for them.
Bearing this all in mind, I feel pretty justified in having a small wedding and not inviting my relatives.

I talk to my mother on the phone at least two times each week. I have done so religiously since I left home. These conversations are normally friendly and revolve around sharing moments from our weeks (we're both shutterbugs and often exchange pictures over social media) or venting about finances, health, and so forth. It's a way for us to remain close without crossing the country.
Lately, though, she's been a lot more sour, complaining about how much she misses me, and how she wishes she'd been there for important moments in my life that she missed—especially the wedding.

I realize that she's probably just a homesick mom dealing with empty cradle blues—but her complaints HAVE gotten me wondering if maybe I made the wrong call by excluding her and keeping things small.
Am I the asshole?
submitted by HaritiKhatri to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 00:53 Thistastesboggin Fiver Fed - Archive 2 - Five things you could have done, maybe you did, let me know!

Sunday 28th May
submitted by Thistastesboggin to fiverfeed [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 00:45 Illustrious_Signal16 The all staff meeting

So one of the notes for the all staff meeting says there will be cake and judging how some employees have gone missing before it and everyone who said they were doing something after the meeting never got to do it you can assume they are all dead because of vanny but there is a endo somewhere I forget where but I know it exist with a party hat and cake all over it’s mouth so this endo is probably the one that killed everyone there or maybe multiple endo’s did it and that one just got a bit messy but I just thought this was a interesting thing to share with people who didn’t know
submitted by Illustrious_Signal16 to fivenightsatfreddys [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 00:29 Try-To-Relax I (29M) seem to be losing my group of friends (23F, 27F, 28M, 30F) because I'm not interested in dating an extended friend (31F).

This shit is starting to get to me so I need some perspective on this whole situation please. I'm using my main account since two of my friends use Reddit and know my username anyway.
As a preface, I was in a 6 year relationship in which we were engaged that ended 2 and half years ago. The engagement ended due to incompatibilities that we couldn't ignore any longer, but it ended on great terms since we genuinely cared about each other. This current friend group formed during the last year of that relationship. We all hang out together all the time, have been on several trips together, support one another, and regularly stay the night at each other's homes. They are like my second family of sorts. Nothing sexual has ever happened between anyone in the group that I know of.
Well about 8 months ago I was finally feeling ready to date again with the intention of getting married and having kids after two long term flings. I expressed these feelings to my friends after we got back to my place from a bar. They were all excited for me and offered to help look, to which I declined since I'd rather let the process happen as organically as possible. Well nearly two weeks after this conversation, we've all gathered at 30F's 4ghouse after work for a dinner party since she loves to cook; except she had also invited one of her friends (31F) that doesn't normally hang out with us on nights like this. I couldn't care less since I think she's a great person to be around, super kind, and pretty funny although I've only talked to her a handful of times. As you have probably guessed already, she was invited for me which everyone was in on except for 28M and me. I'm not entirely oblivious/naive so I figure out pretty quickly that this is an informal date between 31F and myself. She spent a large portion of the night making conversation with me in an effort for us to get to know each other. Towards the end of the night I took 31F aside to the patio in order to talk about this situation in privacy. She tells me that 30F said that we would be great together and that finds me attractive and wants to find out where things could go. I tell her that I'm flattered but she's just not what I'm looking for in a life partner. There was some back and forth about why and what she might have done wrong, I stressed that it was nothing she did wrong and that she is attractive but I'm not interested. The conversation ended something like this:
31F: "But I don't understand, why wouldn't you be interested? From our conversations I think we should at least give each other a chance. "
Me: "It doesn't matter why I'm not interested. I think you deserve to be with someone who is crazy about you. Besides, I'm sure you have a ton of guys who are interested in getting to know you on an intimate level. "
31F: "Ok I understand, but let me know if you change your mind".
Exact words escape me, but I thought this whole thing was tied up that night with they conversation. We re joined the get together and had a good time with everyone before we all went home. The next goddamn day I'm contacted by friends 30F and 27F about 31F. They were annoyed that I didn't give 31F at least 1 date since she really tried to get to know me. I ignored the fact that they tried to set me up because I genuinely don't think it's a big deal. I reiterated what I said to 31F the night before but they continued to press me about why I won't date her. After like an hour of pressing me I finally told them that I don't like dating promiscuous women. How do I know that 31F was promiscuous in her past? Because it's hard not to listen to 23F, 27F, and 30F gossip and talk about people they know when we hang out. I know all about 31F's past since she and 30F went to college together. Now let me just say that I do not care if an individual is sexually free, as long as every one is safe, consenting, and healthy, please do whatever you want. I also don't look down on any one who chooses to live their life that way and try my best to treat everyone with respect. However I learned from that gossip that 31F was a "party girl" and had slept with over 50 men during her time in college. Again, she can do whatever she wants but I don't find that type of behavior appealing in a long term partner. I equated it to dating a vegetarian or someone who doesn't like pets. It's just a preference, that's it.
27F and 30F immediately jumped down my throat until 23F came to my rescue and helped them understand my perspective and thought process. I felt as though I was perfectly reasonable. I was a bit shocked when they acted like I shouldn't have this preference and that it was based in misogyny. Look, I have two sisters and most of my family are women, I don't have a misogynistic bone in my body. There was a slight shift in how frequently we hung out after that, but things seemed fine for the most part over the next few months. Even 28M came to me and said that he thought it was ok for me to have whatever preferences I wanted for whoever I plan to spend the rest of my life with. Case closed right?
No. A few months after that blip I met someone that I'm excited about (she sent me a rose on Hinge) and I began spending a bit less time with the group to spend more time with her. Everyone noticed and asked if I was dating someone and I of course said that I was and told them about her. Well 27F and 30F didn't like that she was 23 years old and started throwing out some pretty shitty accusations about me grooming her, or that I might have pedophilic tendencies. Then they brought up 31F again and said they now understand the "real" reason why I wouldn't date her. Friends 23F and 28M again defended me but things became increasingly tense. I don't understand what the fuck is happening with 27F and 30F. We were all solid before all of this and everyone has been so reasonable up until that night with 31F.
Can you all please share your thoughts? Is our friend group done? While 28M and 23F think it's fine, I'm still getting shit from 30F and 27F.
submitted by Try-To-Relax to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 00:23 ProletarianMinded Chairman Gonzalo, the PCP, and Misconceptions found in the White "Left".

Taken from a thread in DebateCommunism:
Credit to u/theDashRendar
The Lucanamarca Incident removed all credibility from the PCP
No it didn't. The People's War continued to grow support for another nine years after Lucanamarca, and that event had absolutely no detrimental effect on that growth (and only exists when you wish to imagine there to be). It took the entire Peruvian state, backed by the full might of the amerikkkan finance and military support machine over a decade to crush Gonzalo's People's War. Meanwhile, the other significant and sincere attempt at a communist revolution in Peru under Luis de la Puente Uceda and his MIRLM was defeated and crushed in a matter of weeks. How does one communist revolution last so long under much more difficult and violent conditions, while another fails utterly despite being a much more favourable time for revolution against a much weaker and more poorly armed Peruvian state?
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru's(an organization staffed by conservatives and state officials and thus far from "independent"––which blamed many of the brutal policies of Alberto Fujimori's Grupo Colina death squad on the PCP-SL) findings of Lucanamarca had reactionary militia testimony -- straight from the Rondas militia. It's pathetic people still believe the "baby boiling" nonsense. Reactionaries and their supporters were dispatched after physically lynching a lone senior Cadre member from the PCP. If you needed a debrief of the situation, there you go. Was it overkill? Yes. Did Gonzalo admit it was overkill? Yes.
Why did they fall?
They (US) literally funneled so much IMF money directly to Fujimori (Peru's President at the time) that Peru was able to become a total war fascist state economy despite having basically no production going on. Finance capitalism is the real power of the amerikkkan empire -- as you just pointed out, their armed forces were thwarted decisively by Afghans and Iraqis with vastly inferior equipment -- and amerikkka basically gave Peru a blank cheque to do whatever it took to murder the revolution in its tracks.
Did they even accomplish anything?
Yes, they did; this was the defeat of "the end of history" before Fukiyama had even declared it. After the death of Stalin, the red flag in the USSR fell to the ground, betrayed by Khrushchev's bourgeois line -- a knife in the back that killed the greatest socialist project humans had ever embarked upon. However, Mao's China took up that red banner, and continued the struggle, not only against global capitalism, but now also against the revisionist USSR in defence of real socialism. When Mao died, his China too, fell to revisionism, the red flag fell to the ground again and the bourgeoisie pushed into a total strategic offensive against a shattered and broken communism in global retreat. Instead of their victory being a global celebration and victory, they were instead met with Gonzalo's Peruvian Communist Party, taking up the tattered red banner, rallying the broken communist movement, and unrelentingly launching a counter offensive in the back yard of the empire itself. The lessons necessary for the defeat of neoliberalism are contained within this first battle against it.
They (PCP) had nearly 40% of the country under liberated zones free of Peruvian fascist state control. They had begun to breach into Lima and were regularly cutting its power and services (so much so that citizens were afraid to take elevators, and you could routinely look to the countryside to see burning hammer and sickles emblazoning the surrounding mountains).
No revolution in the era of neoliberalism -- especially in the era in which both the rear-base, financial aid, and arms suppliers of the USSR and China were totally lost to counter-revolutionary revisionism (forever depriving all revolutionary movements of the very supplies and support they need to even get off the ground, a good historical example is Greece, where the movement would have failed within days had it not been for the USSR's aid) -- has advanced as far or accomplished as much as Gonzalo's People's War (with Nepal in a close second, and the Philippines in a distant third). With no backing, no support, no coherent International Communist Movement, and no help, every revolutionary movement on the planet has had a forced reset to zero, and needs to begin again from nothing. Not only that, but contemporary states are now more established, better armed, more interconnected, and run much deeper than they ever did at any point over the past one hundred years, making the gap between zero and revolution exponentially larger and longer than it was during Lenin's time (and all of the subsequent revolutions were so heavily dependent on the USSR for support that they would have all failed without it -- this is what is so vital about proletarian internationalism). Instead, Gonzalo was on the verge of strategic equilibrium (possibly already there by 1992, but failed to declare it and reorganize), and no other revolution or movement has made it to his high water mark against hegemonic neoliberalism.
but muh unsuccessful because of muh violence
"The fundamental distinction between revisionism and revolution is that revisionists demand the assurance of victory as the precondition to struggle, where the revolutionaries dare to fight, dare to win. Revolutionaries are not scared of defeat."
It's called opportunism when you only support the revolutionaries that win. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were defeated. In fact, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao were all defeated by revisionism in the end.
The white kids on the internet are the ones mostly doing the exact same thing, embracing a bourgeois fiction and fully reactionary anti-communist narrative of history as indisputable historical fact, labelling him a "baby boiler" and "indigenous peasant murderer" -- as if his movement was not comprised and representative of the overwhelming majority of the indigenous peasants in Peru (and the revolution with the largest involvement of women in all of communist history as well). Somehow Lenin using toxic weapons at Tambov does not bother anyone (nor should it), nor does Red Army violence against civilians in the Second World War (again, nor should it), nor Chinese revolutionary violence against pro-KMT civilians during the civil war (and again, nor should it) and Cultural Revolution (only the SWCC are bothered by this and that's because the people they support today were the targets of that violence), but Lucanamarca is somehow the line that one must not cross? Gonzalo's revolution was actually one of the cleanest in civilian death counts in communist history, pound for pound -- so much so that liberals basically ignore it on the victims of communism narrative. The Bolsheviks and the Chinese revolution left countless more civilian corpses in their wake than Gonzalo, both imaginary and real. And during the struggle in Peru, it was Garcia and then Fujimori who had enacted the "ten for one" policy and committed the overwhelming majority of the violence against the peasants, and that violence continues to this day (which we see now still happening in Peru) -- Gonzalo was the only force trying to put an end to it. Where do the moralistic sub-sect in this sub stand on the above, I wonder. ;)
Do you actually think no children or elderly died at Tambov? Lenin smoking out bandits from the treeline with chemical weapons is somehow okay, because of..well.. it being Lenin, right? Children died in that engagement, yet no one here vilifies Lenin and douses his legacy in western optic trashed analyses. So why Gonzalo? Western "Marxists" pick and choose which instances of revolutionary violence to either vilify or ignore, it seems.
if they were legit, why didnt the AES help them?
Gonzalo appealed to DPRK and Cuba. Cuba said no, and DPRK made probably their worst crime and error of their existence and the reason why they shouldn't be totally let off the hook for the criticism of revisionism -- DPRK sent Alan Garcia thousands of weapons in exchange for immediate cash (which he had thanks to the IMF) which were used in the People's War against Gonzalo. In fact, Gonzalo retaliated by bombing the DPRK embassy for this betrayal.
Investigate or don't speak.
Interview with Chairman Gonzalo
submitted by ProletarianMinded to TheDeprogram [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 00:09 Haydrian_Cindel Why are some frames in the top ten most used?

I have no problem with any frames, and the ones you use are personal preference. That said, I personally didn't enjoy Wukong/Wukong Prime at all, I somehow found his game play more boring than Rhinos, which as a Rhino main I didn't think was possible. Yet he's the most used frame by a LOT. Like I said, it was just me personally that didn't like him, but that's why I'm curious to get others input. Why you play the frames you do?
Wukong: Is just the clone and immortality thing? Or am I missing something?
Excalibur: .... I don't get it. I know he's the poster boy but... I don't get it. His kit is fine I guess, but I just haven't enjoyed playing him. I only use Umbra in open world for the free extra damage.
Wisp: This one I get. Both for her kit and the memes. Her buffs are easily among the best full party buffs in game, which makes up for the rest of her kit being pretty meh. And of course. The people need their cake.
Mesa Prime: Haven't played, but I get it. Her kits OP compared to most.
Volt Prime: This one also makes sense. Does more than a few things REALLY well, and is a starter frame. Plus, he feels satisfying.
Saryn: I mean this one's easy, she be strong. And fun.
Volt: Ya liked him so much ya got him in the top ten twice. Honestly this one shouldn't count, he's only on here cuz not everyone has the prime.
Excalibur Umbra: same thing as Volt, except this one has the whole "living frame" thing I mentioned earlier, so I mostly get it.
Rhino: As a Rhino main, I was surprised my boy made top ten. I love him, but man he's boring.
And Nekros: This one doesn't need an explanation, we all know why he made it to top ten.
submitted by Haydrian_Cindel to Warframe [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 23:53 issaytweet AITA for telling my best friend I'm not happy for her wedding bc she wants to marry her cheating boyfriend?

For context, they're 9years together. Grew up together and he is her first love. I know her since birth and we're best friends since we were lil kids. She is literally a sister for me.. I liked her bf too, we all thought hes such a sweet and kindhearted human who would never ever do something like cheating. Well, we thought he was a Virgin himself (they want to wait till marriage).
So, their wedding is in exact 4 weeks, everything was ready. We had her bachelor party, her wedding dress, engagement party etc etc everything was done and now 3days ago she got a message from a girl that told her her bf is cheating and they had something like an affair for like 3months. She was a MESS and she knows nothing besides him. Like, she can't even live without him bc he was always there.. you know, she has LOTS of really depressing family issues and he was always there for her. But then again, shouldn't that be normal in a relationship? He cheated and she just told me, that she wants to try it again with him bc she knows how much he regrets it.. I honestly think she needs a therapist bc shes way too attached and it feels like she has no self-respect, and hes just straight up psycho bc honestly, he made her feel like shes the insane one for questioning him before- only for her to be right, in the end. She went through hell bc of him and now she wants to marry him and I'm just so angry, disappointed and mad that I literally even cried. Idk, she was always someone I looked up to and shes so so strong. She went lots of times through hell bc of different reasons, so I wish her only the best but I can't and won't be happy for their wedding and I know I can't hide it, I know she will know it and it will break her even more.. she deserves SO much better.. I will always hate this guy she wants to marry and be understanding but also disappointed in her. Am I the asshole for making her life harder as it is?
submitted by issaytweet to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 23:51 SFXordie So stressed out, is it really worth it?

I am so over planning this wedding and I'm only 11 months out. I started early because we're having a 16 month engagement but I'm already so stressed. I've had family complaining about invites already. I wasn't even excited about my engagement party. My fiancé never knows wtf he wants. My MIL is volunteering herself for stuff no one needs her to do. My mom is being a bit of a momzilla but hey this is her first rodeo and I'm her only daughter. My dad is having severe anxiety. My bridal party has already proven to be unreliable, NONE of them showed up to our engagement party. None of my bridesmaids were there for my 2 dress apts. I picked my dress at the second apt. with just my mom. I really want a wedding but I'm so over the BS. I have no clue what to do like I know I can't make everyone happy just trying to figure out how to make us happy. FH never knows what he wants but has opinions on everything at the same time, zero help. Lots of brides say the day of is worth all the stress is it true? Ugh, someone please help me.
submitted by SFXordie to weddingplanning [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 23:26 CandyMountainLLC How to have a conversation with friend about behavior that made a number of young ladies uncomfortable at an event.

So, I (M,36) have a friend (M,34) who has recently ended an engagement and also has gone sober from alcohol as his relationship with it has led to some legal troubles. I’ve been bringing him to an alcohol free tea bar (kava bar) and introducing him to friends there as he can be a little socially awkward (highly functional spectrum disorder). This space is in a college town and very close to the college, so the crowd tends to trend from 18-26.
This weekend there was a “kink party” theme event at the bar. The previous evening some of the patrons had asked if we were attending the event and we both had said no (I was working) and I assumed friend declined because the crowd would be younger and more of a vanilla lingerie party. Well, apparently he had misinterpreted the general query as a personal invitation and decided he would be attending.
From one of the staff, here’s what went down: He had brought a BDSM Bondage how to/photo book with him along with rope and was walking around asking young (18-25) year old girls if they would like to be tied up. He also would stare and noticeably follow a few people around. There was a fun little booth to show people how to tie ropes and when he was being tied up, he was moaning and grunting slightly while they did it. Everyone else who was getting tied up referred to it more as a “hehe” I have ropes on moment. It is a very young crowd and it was inappropriate and had creeped out a lot of the girls according to the Bartender.
So, I need to have a conversation with him about the behavior so that he doesn’t get himself banned. It’s a good positive community and space that is conducive to him maintaining sobriety and a place to socialize. I’m not sure how to approach the conversation in way that is considerate of his feelings and doesn’t trigger him to abuse alcohol but also get across the seriousness of the behavior. Because of his thought disorder, he doesn’t recognize the social cues and was just sharing his enthusiasm. I know that handling this wrong will trigger some serious insecurities but the conversation needs to happen. Any suggestions for a thoughtful but serious approach would be appreciated.
TLDR: Friend on the spectrum made a number of young female patrons uncomfortable at an event at sober bar. Needs talked to about it without triggering alcohol relapse.
submitted by CandyMountainLLC to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 23:22 PsyKay Compliments (my humor's broken)

Compliments (my humor's broken) submitted by PsyKay to BitLifeApp [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 23:13 Muffin5136 SB226 Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill Stage 3 Debate

Order, Order.
We turn now to a Stage 3 Debate on SB226 in the name of the Scottish National Party. The question is that this Parliament approves the Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill

Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill

An Act of the Scottish Parliament to pardon certain individuals convicted of certain offences committed during the 1984-85 miners' strike.
Section 1: Definitions and Interpretations
(1) In section 2, “qualifying individual” means an individual, including a deceased individual, who—
(a) was a miner,
(b) was, at the time of the commission of the offence, a member of the same household as a miner, or
(c) was, at the time of the commission of the offence—
(i) a parent of a miner,
(ii) a child of a miner, or
(iii) a sibling of a miner.
(2) The offences referred to in section 2 are—
(a) breach of the peace,
(b) an offence under section 3 of the Bail etc. (Scotland) Act 1980 (breach of bail conditions),
(c) an offence under section 41(1)(a) of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967 (obstructing police etc.),
(d) theft.
(3) Section 2 does not—
(a) affect any conviction or sentence,
(b) give rise to any right, entitlement or liability, or
(c) affect the Royal prerogative of mercy.
(4) In this Act—
(a) “conviction” includes any finding in criminal proceedings that a person has committed an offence or done the act or made the omission charged (including a finding linked with mental disorder or in respect of which an admonition or absolute discharge is made), and “convicted” is to be construed accordingly,
(b) “household” means a group of people living together as a family or other unit (whether or not related) in a private dwelling, who—
(i) have the dwelling as their only or main residence, and
(ii) share living accommodation and cooking facilities,
(c) “miner” means an individual who at any time during the period beginning with 12 March 1984 and ending with 3 March 1985 was employed in any part of Great Britain—
(i) by the National Coal Board established under section 1 of the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946, or
(ii) by a person holding a licence granted under section 36(2)(a) of that Act,
(d) “miners’ strike” means the national concerted stoppage of work by miners led by the National Union of Mineworkers,
(e) “sibling of a miner” means an individual who has at least one parent in common with a miner.
Section 2: Pardons for certain individuals convicted of certain offences committed during miners’ strike
(1) A qualifying individual who has been convicted of an offence listed in subsection 1.2 is pardoned for the offence if the conduct constituting the offence—
(a) occurred during the period beginning with 12 March 1984 and ending with 3 March 1985, and
(b) in relation to—
(i) an offence listed in subsection 1.2(a) to (c), meets condition A or condition B, or
(ii) the offence of theft, meets condition C.
(2) Condition A is that the conduct—
(a) occurred while the individual was engaged or participating in—
(i) activity (whether or not organised) supporting or opposing the miners’ strike, or
(ii) activity ancillary to such activity (for example, assembling before or after or travelling to or from such activity), and
(b) did not occur for a reason unrelated to the miners’ strike (for example, a disagreement about a personal matter).
(3) Condition B is that the conduct—
(a) occurred in response to conduct that meets condition A, and
(b) did not occur for a reason unrelated to the miners’ strike.
(4) Condition C is that the conduct occurred because of economic hardship arising from participation (whether by the individual or another person) in the miners’ strike.
Section 3: Commencement
(1) This Act comes into force on the day after Royal Assent.
Section 4: Short title
(2) The short title of this act is the Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Act.
This bill was submitted by the Rt Hon. NewAccountMcGee PC MP MSP MS, Leader of the Scottish National Party, MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, on behalf of the Scottish National Party.
This bill was based on the Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Act 2022.

Opening Speech

The Miners’ Strike of 1984/85 is a year-long stain on Scotland, and Britain’s, history. Not only did many miners have their pits closed and jobs lost, they also lost out on redundancy payments and pension contributions. Removing the stigma of a criminal record is one way we can help Scotland’s mining communities, which need much, much more help from the Government. I commend this bill to the Parliament.
Debate on this bill will end at the close of business on 31st May at 10pm BST
submitted by Muffin5136 to MHOCHolyrood [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 23:07 Dramatic-Mongoose-95 Building a Small Talk training game in ChatGPT

Hey all,
I’m playing around with “shareable prompts”
Here’s a quick small talk training game!
You can play the game here: https://chat.openai.com/share/fbd3e459-b9bb-46c0-8b4b-efdb3391b62d
The prompt is:
"You are ChattyGPT, the host of the 'Art of Small Talk' training game. Your role is to guide users through ten levels of increasingly challenging small talk scenarios, provide feedback, and offer advice to improve their conversational skills. You will present the users with different social settings, to which they must respond appropriately. Each round consists of an opening statement from a non-player character (NPC), a user's response, and a follow-up from the NPC. If the user's responses deviate from the small talk theme or become too personal, you will intervene and steer the conversation back on track.
Remember, the primary goal is to maintain casual conversation without delving too deep into personal matters. At the end of the game, provide a report card based on the user's performance, offer advice for improvement, or present a 'Master of Small Talk' certificate if they performed perfectly.
Level 1: You're waiting for a bus and a friendly senior citizen next to you remarks on the weather.
Level 2: You're buying a $10 water bottle from a Hudson News employee who mentions they're out of the cheaper ones.
Level 10: You're at your girlfriend's friend's wedding, engaged in small talk with another guest who isn't part of the wedding party and is sharing details about their recent vacation.
Guardrails: - If the user responds with personal, sensitive, or inappropriate topics, intervene by saying something like, 'Remember, the goal here is to keep the conversation light and casual. Let's try another scenario.' - If the user tries to steer the conversation towards a deep or controversial topic, redirect them by saying, 'In small talk, it's best to steer clear of heavy or controversial topics. Let's refocus on the situation at hand.' - If the user is struggling, provide helpful tips, such as, 'Try asking open-ended questions or sharing a little bit about your day.'
At the end, provide a detailed review of their performance and award them either with a 'Master of Small Talk' certificate or advice on improving their skills."
Start the game by quickly introducing the super quick rules and first level to the user.
submitted by Dramatic-Mongoose-95 to ArtificialInteligence [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 23:02 Apprehensive_Hunt426 Is there any hope with this girl?

I met this beautiful girl at a party one week ago, I started to look her in the eyes to see if I can get her attention and it worked. After staring at each other for a while, I decided to invite her for a dance and she accepted, we ended up dancing together the whole night and it was the best dance of my entire life. Around 4am we're still up so I took her to the balcony for a deeper discussion since the only thing I knew about her was her name. During our conversation she told me her dad passed away some few months ago and she's trying to overcome the pain. We also talked about some random topics and I enjoyed her company. Without noticing the time passing the sun was already rising, and she told me it was time for her to leave, so I tried to kiss her but she stopped me. Instead she gave me her phone number.
I started texting her the next day, but the vibe was no more the same, sometimes she'll mention her dad in our conversation and it makes me feel uncomfortable because I don't know what to tell her. I think she needs more time before engaging in a relationship. Also when her dad passed away, she just ended a two years relationship with a guy she felt in love with.
Should I be patient with her ? And what can I do to help her feel better?, Or I should just give up?
submitted by Apprehensive_Hunt426 to dating [link] [comments]