Best happy hour in walnut creek


2010.09.17 00:37 Media_Offline Eyebleach


2014.03.06 00:54 selfabortion Two-Sentence Horror Stories: Bite-sized scares.

Give us your scariest story in two sentences (or less)!

2017.07.15 23:57 DriftingMemes Meetups for the mature Redditor

DC area Happy Hour for the 30+ crowd.

2023.06.01 23:25 Ready-Bat-8824 May 2023 Hilaria’s IG Recap = 18 Posts or “The peasants demand more sexy IG workout videos!”

May 2023 Hilaria’s IG Recap = 18 Posts or “The peasants demand more sexy IG workout videos!”
The latest iteration of the Baldwin PR plan is so simple it would take world-class clowns to mess it up: let Alec take center stage on his various social media platforms to drive home the point that he still has star power. Have “Hilaria” cut waaaay back on her posting and keep it light and fluffy with zero impromptu press conferences in statement sweatshirts. Maybe if the two people involved weren’t mega narcissists, this plan would have had a shot in hell. But here we are to puzzle over and enjoy the fact that these two cannot figure out how to fake being likable people. So, while the Reddit peasantry has been living life and commiserating over our sleuthing, Emperor Alejandro II and Grifty Guest Baldwin have been busy showing their true colors and likely burning through yet another PR team.
Hillary’s IG Stats
Hillary’s IG Posts Compared to Alec’s (not counting his three Twitter accounts, podcast IG, and Facebook)
  • April 2023: Hillary 16 posts & Alec 35 posts
  • May 2023 Hillary 18 posts & Alec 67 posts
Pictures of the kids
  • Hillary = 50 (multiple pix per single posts)
  • Alec = 21
  • Most exploited/photographed kid = Romeo (featured in 23% of combined parent posts)
  • Least exploited/photographed kid = Marilú (featured in .08% of combined parent posts)
  • It’s actually an excellent thing both of these wingnuts are posting fewer pictures of Carmen bc the ones we did see were sad and disturbing: a 9-year-old in bright red lips and nails, short shorts, and skimpy tops, preening in the hallway mirror exactly like her vapid mother. Just, no.
May 1 – May 15: Wrapping Up Rust & (Kinda) Following the PR Plan
Also Hillary's babies: nails, ring, brows, lashes, cheekbones, lips, & breasts.
Calling her one of the many forgotten fifth Beatles isn't it, sir.
That popped knee is the hardest working Baldwin.
  • Vulture published a puff piece entitled “Alec and Hilaria Against the World” (wut) that was egregiously ass-kissy but also hilariously poorly timed on the heels of Alec forgetting a whole ass kid. The IG comments excoriated Vulture and the author, Reeves Wiedeman. My favorite comment was: “Alec and his bat shit crazy wife have done more to unite people from all over the world and from all walks of life than the UN.”
Maybe Wiedeman should have asked, y'know, the world why this is so.
  • Jared is back on the IG rotation and those poor fried strands are hanging on for dear life.
Good thing they're prepared to quench their thirst.
  • Alec celebrated Mother’s Day by shouting out the following people in this order: mother Carol, sister Beth, sister Jane, daughter Ireland, “my wife, Hilaria, and all the mothers out there.” He sounded loads more enthusiastic talking about his priest who died.
  • He concluded his lackluster mini speech by whispering, “being a mom is something I’ve observed lately up close and, ah, it’s quite something.” What in the Jungian mother-complex is he talking about? Someday I will write a lengthy analysis of Alec’s mommy issues and how Hillary fits in.
May 16-31 Matilde’s PR Plan Goes Out the Window
Hillary: \"no espoon para me, grathias.\"
  • Then, she slapped some free Italian sunglasses on Hillary while she was holding Ila and snapped a pic that she and the sunglass company posted on their respective IG pages and restricted comments rapidamente. I’m no marketing expert but this seems like…less than optimal branding? All quiet on the Matilde front for the rest of May.
Hopefully one of the nannies is enjoying her LE REVEs.
  • Romeo’s birthday party was Hillary’s first May grid post (i.e. stuff she wants to feature permanently, unlike stories). She posted 8 pictures and Romeo was only in two of them, probably because she was distracted by crafting a caption to align with her PR posting guidelines (Hilaria is a RELATABLE MOM, Hilaria can LAUGH at their KOOKY MISADVENTURES). Mostly she comes off as semi-literate and trying entirely too hard: “Anyone else’s kid tries to buy a giant piñata at party city?!??... Carmen dressed [us] in white and red strips with jeans.” Madam, lots of kids like piñatas and the word is “stripes.” Dr. Kathy, please considering asking your daughter to pay you back for all the years of tuition you paid only to have her pretend that her “multi” brain can’t quite grasp English syntax and spelling.
  • In the most fortuitous of coincidences, Alec and Guest Baldwin attended one red carpet event in May (for an organization they donate to, claro) and Ireland announced the birth of her daughter, Holland, that same day. The pix Hillary posted versus the few Alec posted were a delight to behold.
Nothing wrong with the pic on the right. Sad she thinks her worth is attached to a filter.
  • As Hillary exclusively told People magazine that night in reference to Ireland’s baby, “we’re so excited, we’re just so excited, you’re going to make me cry!” I bet she cried as she realized that her live action remake of Beauty and the Beast (iykyk) was overshadowed by sweet Holland’s birth announcement.
For once, Alec is all of us. Jesus, lady, give it a rest.
  • So, what’s a step-abuela to do? How to acknowledge the birth but keep the focus on the ostrich feathers? Simple – feature a picture of Alec and Hillary all dressed up literally clinging to all the kids to force a family picture. Now, Alec doesn’t know his ass from his elbow when it comes to SM but Hillary knows – what most people would do is repost the original post. It’s already public and it keeps the focus on the person you’re celebrating. But Hillary celebrates others by saying “happy (event)” then making the accompanying picture about her.
That grip on the little baby thigh : (
  • Consequently, Ireland’s new baby got one post from Abuela Hillary that featured Alec, the kids, and her, and Alec posted one picture of him and baby Ireland with the caption “my first baby had her first baby.” Hillary hasn’t liked or commented on any of Ireland’s grid posts about Holland. To put this in perspective, in May Alec posted about Rust 8 times, The Beatles 5 times, and his excruciatingly boring podcast 4 times. Are they happy about the baby? I’m sure they are. Do they know how to show that in ways that don’t involve Alec and Hillary being the main characters? No.
  • Perhaps felling particularly edgy after that drive to the PEN America Literary Gala Hillary pouted about her red-carpet thunder being stolen by the coincidental timing of the birth announcement and fussed over her feathers, Alec lost his shit in the most Alec way possible: berating a server trying to do her job and speaking to her in a wildly demeaning and condescending manner.
  • According to what the server told Page Six, she was trying to serve the head of the table where Alec was standing and chatting with another guest. The server said, “I’m sorry, sir, but we’re going to have servers walking through the tables here in a minute.” Alec: (very agitated) “So when is it a good time to talk to my friends?" Server: speechless. Alec: “do I have to explain it to you?” Server: “No.” Alec: “Well then, step aside.” Later her coworkers told her he was “calling her a peasant.”
  • He didn't deny the interaction, but he did deny calling the server a peasant. He is despicable for talking to anyone this way. The fact that the media picked up this story as opposed to fawning over Hillary’s dress or her pose with the inspirational placard was chef’s kiss gold.
I absolutely believe Alec knows about sociopathy.
How you say...comedy gold?
  • All in the same day, the Undynamic Duo was seen in wild, Alec bashed Martha Ross (the ordacity), Hillary celebrated Ilaria’s 8 months of life by posting a carousel of 6 grid pix, one of which featured the true stars of any Hillary Lynn production: her “lactating” breasts. Where’s that bottle of Gatorade for the elevator pic?
Santa Híláríá de la Leche Materna Falsa.
  • Then came the video that launched parodies, articles, and posts galore: Hillary’s Humpty Dance (no offense, Digital Underground). Just as she posted herself filtered and angled to showcase an anatomically improbable tiny waist and claimed it was about her pants, or posted a shot of her cleavage and claimed it was about her kid’s 8-month birthday, here she was writhing around in her Victoria’s Secret bra and tiny tank top to garner compliments but pretending she’s invested in giving wellness advice.
  • All this accomplished was getting people talking about her yet again as “angry Alec Baldwin’s cringey wife who faked an accent and a heritage and now is doing (insert her antics here).” The subsequent loss of followers was icing on Hillary’s (zero calorie zero flavor) cake.
The creepy eye contact, dear Lord.
  • Celeste Barber (“We call this workout The Horny Teenager”) and Anna Roisman (“This ejercicia will help your back!”) NAILED their impersonations by capturing what makes Hillary so absurd: she has no self-awareness and no sense of humor - a mix that makes most of what she posts repeatedly miss the mark.
  • Her lil’ combo of hip thrusts and side-to sides, modified pushups with bewbs overflowing, and some leg flailing inspired fabulous comments. One person on Celeste’s page noted: “It might seem strange but this is how they work out in Spain,” and one on Anna’s page quipped: “I’m now pregnant with a Baldwinito after watching this.”
  • This cringefest was Hillary asking people to praise her for being skinny and sexy (ahem). Body positivity is great, but it is gaslighting when she (or any influencer) claims “anyone can look like me if they hydrate and do these simple exercises a few minutes day.” Hillary has disordered eating, exercises for hours daily while women of color raise her kids, and gets high-end cosmetic procedures to plump, fill, tuck, suck, brighten, and tighten. The shameful part is not that she does this stuff, it’s that she lies about it – poorly.
22 comments = .000022% of her followers.
  • MichWho tried to show up for Hilz after the humpy yoga debacle by posting this terrible picture that u/Queefer_Sutherland captioned “Easter Island Moai doing Munchausen Mami dirty” and I thought I had died and gone to pepino heaven.
Mich, girl, that witchy ship has sailed.
  • Of course, PeePaw had to weigh in on Tina Turner’s death by posting a throwback video of the two of them on SNL (he was the least interesting thing about that not so funny skit) and then stealing photographer Brian Hamill’s post about her. Quotation marks are free, Zander.
  • Then it was back to the PR plan with Alec posting a cut and paste tribute to his mom on the one-year anniversary of her passing, pictures of him and the older boys getting haircuts, and a pap walk with Alec finally, FINALLY, in sensible footwear for a man with hip and alignment issues and Hillary reluctantly sporting her “relatable mom jeans” (size 2 for all the fat, infertile Karens wondering, size 4 only when she’s hugely pregnant) and her insufferable “Keep Calm and Foca Playa” hat.
I spy with my little eye...
I like the ring of \"outrageous embellishments.\"
  • For last post of the month, Hillary chose a picture of her and Alec in the hospital as he recovers from hip replacement surgery which she claimed was “a long time necessary.” If ever we needed Cher to smack someone and yell, “snap out of it!” it is now.
Losing the fake accent has been a long time necessary, too, Hilz.
  • In the end, Hillary’s eyebrow fucker-upper* summed it up perfectly by commenting “Glad and happy all went well. Send him a speedy recovery. P.S. Your Brow’s! Brow’s Game Strong.” Wonky apostrophes aside, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Hillary’s blowout, lash extensions, micro bladed brows, and plumped lips are the stars and Aleek is a bit player. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
*Forever in love with this term coined by u/-graphophobia-
submitted by Ready-Bat-8824 to HilariaBaldwin [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:24 Beaner_da_unicorn She fell out of love and broke up with me. And it’s all my fault.

My gf (17) and I (17m) were so happy. So happy to where we known as the couple who were literally made for one another. We had the same humor, so style, so laugh, same hobbies. And on the other side, we made eachother laugh all the time. Always sent goodmorning and goodnight text and understood when something was bothering eachother, and when we needed time to ourselves and vice Versa. We literally did everything together to where our parents got annoyed for taking us back and forth everywhere. We hung out on weeknights to literally just hang. We kept journals for one another whenever we were out of town, always told eachother what was on our minds. Sent love paragraphs to one another and all of our friends got tired of how much we talked ab our relationship and how perfect we were. I was never happier and neither was she. School wasn’t a problem ever before. But, we wanted to be more involved and inclusive. Trying everything to achieve a great future together. But this year, she took on a lot more than I did. She had a lot of stress going on and I didn’t know how to help. I ended up saying things wrong and it made it worst. Eventually she closed up on those subjects. If She was doing bad in a class, I would ask what was going on. Now looking back on it, she didn’t need another person in her life criticizing what she was doing. She needed someone to support her. But instead of supporting her, I pressured her to do more with us. More and more, and then threw fits whenever she didn’t say something right, or when she seemed upset when rlly she was stressed. Then, there was a point where she couldn’t take it, and she realized it. She wanted to break up, but just to work on ourselves. So we can learn and understand what’s going on. Without the pressure of being in a relationship and having to do this or that for the other person as well. Just to be our own person like we were in the past, and eventually, coming back together to add onto each others lives like originally. Where it was going then, it was our lives, and it became stressful. She wanted to change it for the better of us, she wanted me to trust her and to understand that it was for the best. She still loved me then… It was my fault for begging and begging and not really hearing her out. I only wanted to be in a relationship with her. I shut down her feelings and only wanted her to hear me out to be in a relationship, I was so desperate and it showed. Not only did I lose her trust, but I also lost her respect. She no longer opened up about those feelings. And over time , she fell out of love. She told me she wasn’t emotionally available and instead of listening and letting her heal and learn, I made her stay. And it just kept adding more and more weight onto her already heavy shoulders. I should’ve supported her and helped her whenever I could instead of adding more and more . Wanting her to do this and that, wanting to go out to here and there when she needed to do something more important. Eventually, she fell. She collapsed underneath all the weight I was giving her and she fell out of love with me. But she didn’t want to tell me. I knew for months and wanted an explanation, but she knew it would just stress me out for the rest of the school year. And she would’ve been right. But she broke up with me Monday. She told me, she wasn’t emotionally available and she no longer loved me in a. Romantic way anymore. And looking back into all of it, it’s my fault. I still love her so much, in a strong romantic way and I’m so sorry for destroying the way she feels about me. I want to show her that I can do better, I know what I did meting and I want to change. But I think it’s too late. I love her, so much. I know I’m going to need a lot of time to accept. While she has had the last few months to accept it. She still says she’s here for me, and I told her I’m here for her. But idk what to do anymore, she was my best friend and it’s my fault I pushed her away.
submitted by Beaner_da_unicorn to offmychest [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:23 Neptunianx Friendship advice, kind of?

Ok, so I don’t even know where to start here. I have someone in my life who’s been clinging on to me for over a decade. It started off with my mom making me play with her bosses granddaughter.
Anyway, I never really clicked with her, she was always very demanding and as a doormat of a human I always tried to give her what she wanted and knowing it would effect my mom too if her bosses granddaughter wasn’t happy it always felt easier to just go with the flow when she’d come to town.
Now we’re adults, and for some reason she always expects me to jump for joy when she comes to town, and man I barely have enough time for my own friends. She’s staying from July to October and is going to expect me to make tons of time for her, drive her around to the mall, to get ice-cream, the works. I just am dreading this, I have a job, husband, child. I can’t be her entertainment all summer. It’s just not really fair for me to take this on when I have my own life now. As kids it was like ok whatever I have to bring her along to do my kid stuff, frustrating, but also I didn’t have any responsibilities really other than chores so giving up free time wasn’t as painful as it is now.
How can I be free of this burden I’ve been carrying since childhood, I hate saying it that way, but man I didn’t foresee this carrying on into adulthood. I thought at some point she’d let me go.
One time I had taken her to the mall, we wrapped things up and my husband(boyfriend at the time) called and said he had locked himself out so I said ok I’ll have to drop you off at your grandmas now so I can let him in and she had a fit saying she needed ice cream so I had to leave my husband locked out for over an hour waiting on me because I lived at least 45 minutes from where she was staying. We were in our 20s like come on, ice cream isn’t that big of a deal?
I’m curious how I should go about this, would I be an asshole to stop catering to her now? Help 😓
submitted by Neptunianx to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:23 LumpyShroom I haven't been active in this community for a while but still. Happy birthday Technoblade, from a cancer survivor. Here's a bit of my story.

I first discovered Technoblade's YouTube channel in 2017 through his now-popular video ´Bedwars is a difficult game´ featuring ShadowApples. Only a few minutes into the video I knew that I would probably end up binge-watching all of his previous videos for hours on end. I loved how despite his monotone voice and dark sense of humor, he still wasn't afraid to occasionally show a softer side or suddenly scream in a very high-pitched voice. I became hooked.
Eventually, 2019 rolled around and I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It wasn't shocking at all. In fact, I expected it considering every single woman on my mom's side has passed away due to breast cancer. I just didn't think it would come so soon. The entirety of 2019 consisted of a lot of waiting and a few doctor appointments. There were so many people needing help and not enough doctors. The constant waiting really took a toll on my mental health, and I became very depressed. It felt like I was just waiting for death to come to take me. The only thing I had to look forward to was Mondays when Techno would obliterate everyone in Minecraft Mondays. It was the highlight of my week.
In the autumn of 2020, I finally got in touch with doctors and they set up a treatment plan for me. Though we couldn't actually start yet. During this time I would watch all of Techno's livestreams finding comfort in just hearing him talk about anything and everything. I became very active in the community on Twitter and got in contact with a lot of great people. I'm still grateful for all the love I received at this time.
2021 came quickly and I was so excited. I started treatment, and it was going surprisingly well, which lifted me up and made me realize that all hope wasn't lost. I stuck to the treatment plan going through chemotherapy to eventually get surgery. Later that same year I found out that Techno had been diagnosed with cancer. I couldn't believe it. I was worried yet he made it sound so insignificant which assured me that he was going to make it. Watching him talk about his treatment really made me feel like we were going through it together even though I know it sounds stupid.
Later that year I got my surgery and in December of 2021, I was officially cancer-free. Now I was just waiting on Techno. If I could do it, he could. Or so I thought at least. I was very well aware that I went through stage 2 cancer and he had stage 4 but I tend to skip over certain parts of stories to try to ignore reality and make myself feel better. It's quite pathetic.
A couple of months passed, and on July 1st, 2022 I woke up to a notification saying that Technoblade uploaded a new video. The title scared me but I still decided to watch it. Only a few seconds in I started crying. I didn't want to believe it. It's hard for me to put all of the emotions I was feeling into one Reddit post but I broke.
Now, a year later I still think about him a lot. I miss him so much but I'm also happy and grateful for all the amazing things that he did for people. I might have lost a lot due to cancer but I was lucky enough to not lose my life and for that, I'm thankful. I'm now 19 and wear both a pink and a yellow ribbon on my bag every day to always remember how lucky I am.
My birthday present to Alex this year will be a donation to the Sarcoma Foundation of America because I think that's what he would have wanted. I'm sorry if I have made any spelling or grammar mistakes, English is not my mother language.
submitted by LumpyShroom to Technoblade [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:22 slottypippen Turtle from the city needs a home

Hello, fellow Redditors,
I find myself at a crossroads and in need of your collective wisdom and guidance regarding the future of my beloved companion, an 18-year-old Red Eared Slider Turtle. As I reflect on her current living conditions, which have been in captivity her entire life, I am overwhelmed with the realization that she deserves a better, more fulfilling life. I acquired her as a gift during my childhood from Chinatown in New York City, and now, as an adult, I want to ensure her well-being and happiness for the years to come.
Turtles, as many of you may know, have incredibly long lifespans, and I am deeply committed to providing the best possible environment for her. My gut instinct initially leaned towards releasing her into Central Park, hoping she could find a more natural habitat and thrive in the wild. However, after researching the potential consequences and considering the possible adverse impact on the local ecosystem, I've become reluctant to follow through with that plan.
This is where I turn to you, the Reddit community, for advice and suggestions. I want to explore all possible avenues to provide a fulfilling life for my turtle. I would greatly appreciate any insights, experiences, or recommendations you can offer regarding the following aspects:
  1. Enclosure and habitat: What improvements can I make to her current setup to ensure she has a comfortable and enriched environment? Are there any resources or recommended products you can suggest for creating a more naturalistic habitat for her?
  2. Rescues or sanctuaries: Are there any reputable rescue organizations or sanctuaries in the New York City area that specialize in reptiles or specifically cater to turtles? I would love to explore the possibility of rehoming her to a facility where she can receive expert care and interact with other turtles.
  3. Adoption or rehoming: If there are individuals or families experienced in caring for turtles who would be willing to provide her with a loving home, I would be open to considering that option. Are there any platforms or websites where I can connect with responsible turtle enthusiasts who may be interested in adopting her?
  4. Expert advice: Are there any herpetologists, reptile specialists, or experienced turtle owners within the Reddit community who could offer guidance on the best course of action? I want to ensure I'm making informed decisions for her well-being.
Please understand that this decision weighs heavily on my heart, and my sole objective is to ensure a bright future for my turtle. I am ready to invest the time, effort, and resources required to provide her with the life she truly deserves. Your support and input in this matter would mean the world to both of us.
Thank you in advance for your understanding, compassion, and valuable advice. Let's work together to create a better life for my cherished turtle companion.
submitted by slottypippen to nyc [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:22 Putrid_Operation_603 divorce but living overseas

To make a really long story short, my husband is in the USAF. We live in Germany and have lived here for 3 years with our almost school aged daughter.
I am safe. My daughter is safe. But, I desperately deserve better than how I am treated. It’s taken me a long time to figure this out. I have family, friends, medical professionals and other important people to me waiting for me say the word and to help me leave.
I don’t have much of my own. I don’t have a job, I don’t have my own money, I don’t have a car in my name… I have my daughter who is dependent on me to take care of her. And I have a husband who neglects her for video games. I have a husband who is verbal manipulative. I have a husband who I love… but I don’t have any more changes to give.
By no means am I saying I am perfect, but I also have been asking for him to do better for years now. I take my own mental health seriously. I do the work. I take my medicine and see a therapist. I’m trying my best to be a happy, healthy mother for my daughter.
My husband is the opposite. The refusal to work on himself is obsolete. He has refused to sign any paperwork to send me and my daughter back to FL. He has even threatened that he will sign it for me… but not her.
I am a state resident of FL. My family resided there. I have looked up the laws regarding separation/ divorce.
Can I file for divorce in the state of Florida if I am living overseas with SOFA status?
Hope I can get some legal advice on this matter. I’m exhausted.
submitted by Putrid_Operation_603 to legaladvice [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:22 steinbot44 AAU basketball, the G League, and one and dones are making the American basketball star extinct

Here is a quote from Steve Kerr:
“Even if today’s players are incredibly gifted, they grow up in a basketball environment that can only be called counterproductive. AAU basketball has replaced high school ball as the dominant form of development in the teen years. I coached my son’s AAU team for three years; it’s a genuinely weird subculture. Like everywhere else, you have good coaches and bad coaches, or strong programs and weak ones, but what troubled me was how much winning is devalued in the AAU structure. Teams play game after game after game, sometimes winning or losing four times in one day. Very rarely do teams ever hold a practice. Some programs fly in top players from out of state for a single weekend to join their team. Certain players play for one team in the morning and another one in the afternoon. If mom and dad aren’t happy with their son’s playing time, they switch club teams and stick him on a different one the following week. The process of growing as a team basketball player — learning how to become part of a whole, how to fit into something bigger than oneself — becomes completely lost within the AAU fabric.”
The top ranked players now come from this broken system, to the g league where winning also doesn’t matter or one year in college and then to terrible franchises. That’s why european players now dominate the upper echelon of the nba. I think in 10 years the best players in the nba will be almost entirely European players, with a few American players sprinkled in.
The only way to change the trajectory would be to implement a 3 year college rule like in the nfl. Without that the nba‘s popularity in America will go the way of baseball.
submitted by steinbot44 to NBA_Draft [link] [comments]

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2023.06.01 23:22 Trash_Tia My college's cheer squad have too much school spirit. In fact, I think they're going to kill me.

If I had to pick an embarrassing moment which will haunt me until I die—it has to be the time I tried out for The Sunbeam cheer squad last year. I was a freshman, and I wanted community. Friends.
I heard the cheer squad were just an extra-curricular group rather than an actual majoring level class, so I figured I’d give them a shot. It’s not like I could ignore them.
On my first day when I was moving into my dorm room, I must have walked into the same girl three times. I am in strict belief that it is not possible for a human being to be permanently happy.
And yet that was her. She wandered around like the sun shone right out of her ass, and it was both endearing and terrifying.
The girl resembled the sun herself, a halo of golden curls held in a scrunchie and a flaunting sundress, matching ribbons wrapped around her. The Sunbeam Squad were easy to spot because they were all wearing insanely bright yellow—waving around gold streamers, ribbons tangled in their hair. They all spoke in insanely high pitched voices like they inhaled helium for a living, but that must have been their shtick, right? It was kind of cute. I wasn’t expecting such a welcome in the shape of guy’s and girl’s looking like they had just stepped off of ABC Kids. The girl who handed me a flyer and yelled in my face about school spirit was practically hopping up and down, a bright grin splitting her lips apart.
I nodded and smiled politely, stuffing the flyer in my bag and heading into my room to finish moving my stuff in. When I looked out of my window a few hours later, the Sunbeam squad was still threaded through the crowd, each of them wrapped in glittering fairy lights illuminated in the late evening sunset glow. Sunbeam. Yeah, I got it, but it was still kinda overkill. They were starting to remind me of a cult.
That, however, didn’t stop me trying out. I’m fairly athletic, and they were exactly what I wanted. I’ve never had a group of people I could call friends.
Though it’s not like I could blame anyone but myself. I was a shut-in for most of high school. I either worked or preferred my own company in my room. One of my biggest regrets is pushing people away, friends I wanted to get even closer to. Because now they had built these lifelong friendships and relationships, and I was stuck at 18 years old with nobody but childhood friends I spoke to once a year when we sent mutual holiday greetings to each other. But college could change that.
At least, that’s what I hoped. I spoke to as many people as possible on my first day—and in my head I was making them. Slowly but surely I was actually making friends in my classes I wanted to hang out with.
Sunbeam were my attempt to go even further and join a club. Through word of mouth in my first few weeks of classes, I learned they were more of an extra-curricular group for fun.
They didn’t cheer competitively and had been formed in the mid-90’s by some kids who wanted to make a community out of positivity and school spirit. Sunbeam had a reputation for being Watson State student body’s beacons—and their team’s good luck charm. It was well known across campus that the squad was the reason behind the college’s fortune.
It had been like that since they formed 30 years ago, with members through the generations carrying out that pledge to spread as much pep as possible. While I say that they seemed nice judging from what I heard from others, they weren’t exactly the easiest clique to get into. Unless you were on the squad.
I saw them around campus between classes. They always moved as a group, the six of them with their arms wrapped around each other, brandishing the school colours. The guy’s in loose fitting varsity jackets, while the girl’s flaunted cheer skirts.
The way they acted was a little too close, like they were more than friends—and community and friendship had bled into something else. Like they had just walked out of an early 2000’s teen movie. Not that I was complaining. Their style was intriguing. They were like this untouchable group of god’s who had been placed on the highest pedestals. They ruled over campus, which made me want to get to know them even more. So, I tried out. Which was my first mistake of many in my freshman year.
It didn’t hit me that I was in way over my head until I was in the college gymnasium, standing in front of a four person panel like I was auditioning for a Hollywood movie. Sunbeam took their try-outs incredibly seriously. Which was weird considering they were known to be the complete opposite.
There were maybe fifty or so applicants, and we had to stand near the back wall and watch others try out one by one. Which was already setting off my anxiety. Weren’t they supposed to be closed try-outs? Initially, I was excited.
I had my routine in my head. What I had learned from watching the squad at my old school. High V, Low V, followed by a Touchdown, and then a backflip. I was confident. I mean, it ticked most cheer moves off, and even had a flip to complete the routine. My high school were a multi-sex quad, so I learned a lot from watching the guy’s moves during pep rallies.
I wasn’t really worried about the quality of the moves since they were known not to take everything too seriously. But watching the others try-out, impossible flips without crash mats and twisting their bodies in ways I didn’t know was possible, I quickly realised I was screwed. My competitors were acting like they were auditioning for an Olympic level team. My gut was dancing when I took centre stage.
The panel were made up of four members of the squad. Two boys and two girl’s, including the blonde who handed me the flyer on my first day. I was surprised when her eyes lit up with recognition.
"Oh, I know you!" She squeaked. Leaning forward, her smile seemed to brighten, illuminating her features. All four of them seemed to emanate a warm glow.
I felt myself relax slightly, the knot in my stomach loosening. Maybe their heightened positivity thing wasn’t a shtick, after all. The girl, as well as the other members of the team seemed genuinely happy to see me trying out. “What’s your name?” Her voice reverberated off of the walls, and I was suddenly aware of a dozen other students watching me.
“Alex.” I said, offering a shy wave. “Hey.”
Still grinning, she nudged a redhead next to her playfully. The guy was like no other I’d seen before. He was a god damn traffic light. He was easy to spot in a crowd and was usually one of the low-key members who kept his head down. All of those colours painting him, and yet somehow he wasn’t blinding people.
Though admittedly, he suited them; bright red hair clashing with the blue and gold of his football jersey, pasty skin and dark eyes drinking me in while the blonde girl pulled at his sleeve. “See, I told you annoying freshmen would work!”
In response, he chuckled, rolling his eyes. “Whatever you say, Evie.” The guy straightened up, leaning his chin on his fist, a curious spark in his eyes. “Alright.” Twisting around in his chair, he signalled for music. When it started, the beat slammed into me, rumbling under my feet. “Let’s see what you’ve got!”
I’m not going to describe my routine because I don’t have time to describe how fucking bad I was. In my head, I was doing okay. I was ready to finish with my back flip, but the music abruptly cut off and I found myself struggling to find my breath with my hands in the air, panting like an idiot. The blonde maintained her smile, but it was slightly strained. I could tell she was struggling to keep the façade of a Sunbeam member while also retaining critical thinking.
The redhead looked like he was in pain. He was first to speak, and I could tell by his sympathy smile I’d screwed up. The others who I hadn’t fully taken in until that moment, an asian American guy, and a girl with pigtails, were laughing like pre-schoolers. And they didn’t stop until the redhead shot them the warning eyes.
Weirdly enough, the crowd of onlookers didn’t join in. I expected the redhead to politely tell me I sucked, but instead he cocked his head, chewing on his pen. “You’re good.” He said. “You’re a good dancer, and I liked your moves…”
He trailed off. “But it’s positivity we’re looking for. And you didn’t smile once through your whole routine which made you look stiff. Like you weren’t even enjoying it.” He shrugged helplessly. “I like you, and I like your dancing. And I’m sure you could be better if you worked on it. There are countless dancing clubs here, so maybe you might be better fitted there.” After exchanging a look with the blonde, he sighed. “Unfortunately, you’re not the type of person we’re looking for.”
Evie nodded. “I agree. We pride ourselves on staying positive and smiling. I didn’t see that on you, Alex.”
“Same here.” Pigtails, still giggling, joined in. “I don’t think you’ve got enough school spirit.”
The other guy scoffed. He looked to be of Korean descent. Unlike the redhead, he was always at the centre of their group, always joking around and laughing. Just looking at him told me he was the leader. “Bullshit!” He slapped the table with one hand, running his hands through thick dark hair with the other. “I liked it. Fuck pep, amirite?” He threw his pen at the blonde, who retaliated in a squeak, lobbing hers at him. “Ignore these clowns. I think you’ve got what it takes. We just gotta work on you, y’know? All you’re missing is a cheesy grin.”
He pointed to himself, stretching his lips into the widest smile he could muster. “See? Like this.”
“Clowns?” Evie shook her head. “I didn’t see one smile. Sunbeam is all about smiling!”
“You make us sound like a cult.” The Korean-American caught my eye. “Which we’re not, by the way. These guys are just scared of change.”
“Okay, that’s too far.” Pigtails shot him a scowl. Are you seriously disrespecting the alumni who created us? Who birthed us?
“Well, yeah!” He threw his paper at her. “Sunbeam is a pep cult. We get high off of happiness. I thought we distinguished that.”
“Take that back!”
“Never! Why do you think I joined? To get high! Do you really think I joined for the cheering?”
They were joking around. I could tell by the smiles on their faces—a smile I knew I would never be able to mimic.
“Quiet.” The redhead shushed them. The guy had been sitting silently. Studying me. He leaned back, folding his arms.
“See, even now—even when I’m considering giving you a chance, there’s no hope in your eyes. Not even a glitter of excitement. You’re still not smiling and that’s what we want, Alex. We want people who will embody what Sunbeam is all about. Even if I give you a second chance to brighten up your routine your smile will be fake. And that’s not what we want. We want people who are willing to shed their humanity and become beacons.”
Beacons, huh?
And they were seriously saying they weren’t a cult?
The redhead stabbed at his sheet of paper with the end of his pen. “Can’t you just give us one smile? It won’t kill you.”
It was then when the others watching started to laugh—and I wanted to punch the asshole in the face.
“Dude, chill.” The Korean-American played with his pen, twirling it between two fingers. “He’s right, as much as I hate saying it. We do need smilers, unfortunately. But hey, you can try out next year! Just remember to smile, alright?” He threw something at me. A squashed candy bar.
Which made me look even more pathetic.
I found myself nodding, even when I knew it was all bullshit. Still though, what each member had told me hit me harder than it should have. They were just words, what could they do? It turned out, words were far more powerful than I realised—I just didn’t know it yet. I didn’t wait for the others to speak and made a quick getaway, my gut twisting and turning.
They were a cult. That is what I decided. These guys were a cult who needed members willing to throw away their souls. Probably for ritualistic sacrifice.
They needed weak people, I thought. Even when part of me knew they were right. I wasn't a smiler. Every photo I'm in, I'm either frowning or look constipated. Still though, I didn't dwell on the try-outs for too long. By the time a week had gone by, I had mostly forgotten about it and threw myself into my studies and college life.
Though something was wrong with me. It was as if the world had slowed down, had stopped making sense completely. Every day felt like a dream, and I myself felt like I was a ghost, like I was disassociating from my own body. Conversations with people felt fake. Like I was making them up.
I remember waking up day after day in a daze I couldn’t get myself out of. It was only several weeks later did the thick mind fog which had been blanketing my brain finally lift—only for me to hear the news that all six members of the Sunbeam squad had disappeared. I don’t know how I didn’t notice, how I didn’t see the police investigation, or hear rumours being spread around like wildfire.
According to the college, it wasn't technically considered a disappearance since the members were all over eighteen, no longer minors. However, an investigation was conducted, with a statement being released that they were due to be performing at Knoxville College, cheering on our football team. But they never turned up. And what made it worse, was their bus was found abandoned on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Sounds bad, right?
Well, that's what we all thought. Vigils were already being held, and bodies weren't even found yet. Every time I walked back to my dorm after classes, the night would be lit up in warm golden light, candles flickering in the breeze. I'm not sure how many days had gone by-- they all seemed to blur into one-- when our college made another statement. The members of the Sunbeam squad were alive and healthy and had been sent to a training academy for professionals.
When the student body responded with confusion and scepticism, the college reassured us they were coming back once they were finished training. And while my classmates were relieved, I found myself confused. Sunbeam didn't cheer competitively. Their whole thing was that all they wanted to do was spread cheer and pep, regardless of how good they were. I had seen them perform, and they were good, sure. They were better than average. But definitely not good enough to be trained into pro’s. Their moves were too clumsy, too half assed—which I was convinced they thought overwhelming amounts of positivity could fix. So it didn’t make sense that they had been sent to some training academy. I kept up my scepticism until I saw them for myself.
The college were right. Sunbeam returned a week later like nothing had happened.
I did see a change in them. I think that was a universal opinion though. Sunbeam were well known for their pep and cheer, their constant smiling faces which drove me crazy—and it’s not like that stopped. They still smiled. They still walked around campus laughing together, in their own little world. That was when people were watching. When they had an audience. I caught them when they didn’t have an audience. Without eyes on them, they detached from each other, their eyes darkening, expressions twisting, like each of them could smell something rotten in the air. I started noticing they were getting progressively clumsier at keeping up that Sunbeam façade they must have pledged when they joined the group. I figured it was just tiredness. They must have been through some pretty intense training.
Anyway, months went by. I started to feel less distant, and the fog which had been choking me faded, thankfully. I started my junior year moving into a shared house with my roommate, and the only talk I’d heard about Sunbeam was that one of their ex members was rumoured to be pregnant. As for the rest of the squad, they were still popular, still talked about—but their disappearance had definitely made people wary of them. I even heard someone say they were considered bad luck. I guess people thought they had sold themselves out for a chance to get into the big leagues. And it wouldn’t surprise me.
Forced positivity can get you a long way, sure—but recognition can get you further.
It was just a few weeks ago when I was invited to a game. Our first of the season, thanks to delays due to cuts in the sports department. I’m not much of a sports fan, though I needed a distraction from the copious amounts of assignments I’d let pile on my desk.
When I sat down with a chilli dog and Coke, I wasn’t expecting to get so invested in a game where I had no idea what was happening. It was loud and obnoxious and I was choking on the stink of fried food, but it was fun. It was fun until Sunbeam walked out onto the side-lines. I glimpsed them in a blur of blue and gold, and a dull pain crawled across the back of my head. “You okay?” My housemate’s voice was barely distinguishable in my ears, when I found myself transfixed by the way they moved in erratic jumps, quickly taking position. They had gotten better. Everything which was Sunbeam had been stripped away. Their smiles were forced. Wrong.
I remembered they used to push and shove each other, making the crowd laugh. Now though, they were in almost perfect sync in the way they moved, no longer shakily, sometimes stumbling into each other. Their routine was longer than it usually was—and when the Korean-American guy perfected a triple flip, the crowd went crazy. I expected him to smile when he landed, grinning into the audience to generate what Sunbeam was made for. But his expression stayed stoic. Robotic. They were stiff. Heads up, backs straight, staring ahead of them. I was told when I tried out that fake smiles weren’t allowed, and yet that was all I was seeing. I was seeing egotistical grins and curled lips, quick glances between each member.
I expected looks of reassurances, and in jokes only they found funny. Instead, it looked like a mutual agreement.
They were planning something. From the looks on their faces, it wasn’t a firework show.
Sunbeam used to generate happiness. Their smiles, even under a façade, had always been real.
These guys emanated power. The way they stood. The guy’s at the front, readying what I guessed was a lift, and the girl’s on top of them.
Their routine ended with the music reaching a climax, and the two main girl’s being lifted into the air while performing High V’s.
But they didn’t stop there.
When the crowd exploded with applause, one of the girl’s slowly raised her right arm and shot into the crowd with finger guns.
She shot twice—and with every time she pulled that imaginary trigger, her painted lips stretched into a maniacal grin.Until her gaze was on me. And then behind me. I could see it in her glittering eyes I could no longer call human. I met Evie at the start of my freshman year, and then at the disastrous try-outs.
I knew her wide smile, and the glint of passion twisting her expression—a love for the group and the members she couldn’t put into words. Right then I wasn’t seeing Evie, a Sunbeam cheerleader. I was seeing something else entirely, a being scanning faces in the crowd for a victim.
Her expression seemed to melt, from a gleeful grin, to something twisted and putrid, someone who craved the exact opposite of what Sunbeam preached. I watched her lips. I watched the words pop into existence, drowned into nothing by the crowds cheering. But I saw them in perfect clarity. “Drop.” She said, before pulling the imaginary trigger again.
No sooner had the words left her mouth before someone screamed behind me. I twisted around to see a guy had collapsed. He was pronounced dead five minutes later by his sobbing girlfriend who had attempted CPR. When I twisted back to look out onto the field, the Sunbeam Squad were gone. It didn’t make sense that they were the ones to cause the guy’s death—but it couldn’t have been a coincidence, right? Evie had shot into the crowd at the exact same time the guy had dropped dead. Finger guns weren’t a weapon of course, but the timing was too coincidental. I already knew there was something wrong with Sunbeam. And this just strengthened my claims.
Obviously, when I tried to tell people this, I was called crazy. Delusional. I reported it to the student information building and just got a blank stare.
The woman wasn’t even attempting to hear my story. She just heard “murder” and “Sunbeam” and her lips curved into an amused smirk. “You know, you are quite fascinating,” leaning back against her chair, the woman frowned at me through wonky glasses. "First you unexpectedly quit, and then you accuse them of murder. Which I can tell you is false.”
She flipped through a notebook in front of her. “According to the autopsy report released a few days ago, the young man died of a brain haemorrhage, not the result of being pretend shot at by a cheerleader miming finger-guns.” The woman cleared her throat.
“Tell me, what exactly do you have against the Sunbeam squad?"
“You quit the squad at the end of your freshman year,” she said, “And now you’re trying to accuse them of murder? Fascinating.”
Her words struck me, a shiver sliding down my spine. The office was cosy, and when I sunk into the rich leather of the couch in front of a roaring fire I recognised the book on her desk. It was a dog eared copy of Harry Potter. I’d seen it before. But that was impossible. I had never been in her office. “Quit?” I shook my head. “No, I don’t…” I trailed off, stumbling over my words. “I’ve never been part of Sunbeam.”
“Were you not?” She shook her head, a crease forming between her brows. “Ah, I must be getting you mixed up with someone else.”
I nodded. “Just… can you just listen to me? That Evie girl was fucking—”
She cut me off. “Language.”
“Sorry. Evie. She was… I don’t know what she was doing... she was doing like... like voodoo?”
“Are you sure you didn’t dream it?”
“Mmm hmm.” The woman cleared her throat, dismissing my protests. “I’m not a doctor, but If you’re experiencing memory loss and confusion, I suggest you go to the hospital. As for your ludicrous claims, you should keep them to yourself. That poor young man died due to a brain haemorrhage. Terrible and tragic, yes. But it was accidental, and not the work of… I’m sorry, what were you claiming it to be?”
“Voodoo.” I said, again.
When she raised her brow, I couldn’t resist a groan. “I saw her! She shot into the crowd and mouthed something!”
“She… mouthed something?”
“Yes! But—"
Again, her words sliced into mine. “Okay, let’s say you were right,” she said. “If you are saying this girl shot into the crowd with her imaginary gun, wouldn’t it be a gun shot which would have killed him? You said it yourself—it was voodoo, some kind of witchy magic to kill him. So, where was the bullet wound?” When I tried to speak, she raised her arm to shut me up.
“Exactly. There was none. Because the man suffered a haemorrhagic stroke, and nothing could be done to save him. Your claims a group of young people carried this out as a murder is not only blatant defamation, but also disrespectful to the young man and his family. Now, please leave my office. I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” The woman nodded for me to stand up. “I think you have been watching too much TV. Might I suggest focusing on your studies?”
I left her office, slamming the door.
My housemate wasn’t helpful when I told him. He told me I was maybe a little too obsessed with Sunbeam. He headed to work, and I ended up in the lounge trying to focus on an episode of Criminal Minds. But I couldn’t stop thinking about Evie.
I saw what she said.
But it wasn’t the force of her imaginary finger-guns ricocheting back. It was the word. Drop.
It had been alive on her lips like it was a sentient thing bleeding into existence. I managed to fall asleep, twisted like a pretzel in my housemate’s favourite chair, when three loud knocks on the door tore me from slumber. I was on my feet, blinking, disoriented. It was rare when we got a visitor. Stumbling over to the door, I had a moment of hesitation. I imagined Evie on the other side.
I imagined her raising her arm and shooting her pretend finger-guns directly into my head.
When I opened the door, I was surprised to see three little kids. The youngest must have been maybe nine years old. To my surprise, they were dressed in Halloween costumes. There was a little witch, a ghost, and a scarecrow all carrying pumpkin shaped holders It took me a moment to realise I was staring at a group of Trick or Treaters. It wasn’t even mid-October yet.
“Hey there,” I said, “Uh, you guys are a little early.”
The little girl’s eyes were wide and unblinking. “We want candy.” She held out her candy holder. “Now.”
I decided to be firm with them. “It’s not Halloween.” I said, taking a small step back. I was grasping the handle, ready to slam it in their faces. These little shits were freaking me out. Not just their tone, but their expressions were vacant. There were no lights on and that terrified me. “Sorry kids, I don’t have any candy. But like I said, come back when it’s actually Halloween, and I’ll have candy bars for all of you. "
What I wasn’t expecting was for the Scarecrow to pull a knife out of his pumpkin shaped candy holder. He didn’t hold it like a kid should, clumsily, confused. There was a strategic way the way his fingers were wrapped around the handle—like he’d brandished one before. The kid held the knife up to his own neck and made a slicing motion. Like the little girl, his eyes were blank. Unblinking. There was something wrong in the way he was standing. Stiff, like a puppet on strings. “Are you fucking kidding me?” He squeaked out a laugh. I didn’t see him lunge forward, I was already moving back, stumbling, losing my footing.
The kid moved with impossible speed—and before I knew what was happening, the hilt of the knife was buried in my lower leg. I didn’t even feel pain. My body was being driven by adrenaline, pushing me to get away from him. I remember falling back. I remember my own trembling hands grasping hold of the handle and pulling out the knife. Red was pooling down my jeans and onto our hardwood floor. The little kids turned around and ran back down the steps into the night, and I watched them in a sort of daze.
They didn’t move like normal.
They stalked down the sidewalk like video game characters. The witch shoved a passing old man before pulling out a gun and pointing it at his head. But she didn’t shoot. The three of them ran off—and it was only when I was watching the top of the girl’s witch hat disappear into the night, when I glimpsed something—or someone—at the corner of my eye.
Before I heard laughter. The tree in front of me moved. At first I thought they were shadow’s. Before the shadows bled into figures. Four of them. I glimpsed the school colours. Blue and Gold. I saw twin ponytails, velvet and blonde-- as well as the tell-tale Sunbeam varsity jacket. The group were laughing, whispering to each other. Not exactly doing a good job of hiding. When they slipped from their hiding place, I recognised Evie. Her fingers gingerly on her nose while intense red pooled down her chin.
The others were the same, swiping at their faces with jacket sleeves. They didn’t seem fazed. The redhead’s gaze was latched onto the retreating children, his lips curling. I could sense he was still tethered to them. He was still commanding them to act out grand theft auto. They had caused the man’s death at the game and had controlled those children.
I wasn’t crazy or delusional. Evie had killed someone by simply shooting imaginary finger guns, and somehow the others were able to bleed into children’s heads, taking them over.
Pulling my phone from my pocket, I heaved out a breath. The pain was starting to hit in waves I had to grit through. I couldn’t move. I was stuck, curled up on my floor. While they laughed.
I was halfway through stabbing 911 into my phone when one of them came over. It was the Korean-American. The one who had been the nicest to me out of all of them. The real smile I remembered was gone, replaced by something inhuman. Something I didn’t want to question.
With his hands stuffed in his varsity jacket pockets, he approached me with mocking eyes, almost an attempt at trying to mimic his old self.
The guy knelt in front of me with a chuckle. “Kids these days, right? They’re animals.”
His voice, no, his words, were hurting me. I felt each one penetrate me like gunshots.
My wound wasn’t bad. That’s what I estimated, anyway. I don’t think the kid had hit anything vital. But I needed the emergency room. I still had one hand grasping at my side, drenched in red.
I managed a hiss, grasping for my phone when he pulled it out of my grasp and waved it in the air. “Fuck off. What did you do to those little kids?” I gritted out, trying to reach for my damn phone. I was starting to feel the pain in my side and it hurt like a mother fucker—dizzying bolts of electricity which felt like waves of boiling hot water slamming into me one by one. I tried to get onto my knees, but he pushed me back down again. The guy cocked his head to the side, confusion creasing his expression.
“Ouch. That must hurt.”
"What did you... what did you do?" I hissed out.
His presence was hurting me. Every time he opened his mouth, it was agony. Somehow, it was worse than the stab-wound. This kind of pain was no other I’d felt before. The type I’d rather die than feel. A cry was clawing at my throat, fight or flight taking over. Again, I tried to move, I tried to get away from him. But he was holding down my arms and prodding at my side before sticking his finger in the cut and twisting. "I didn't do anything, Alex.”
His voice barely hit me when my vision blurred and I screamed. Like a fucking animal, I screamed. But not because his fingers were digging around in my insides.
Because my brain was suddenly boiling, a metal rod piercing my skull and stirring it into a soupy mess. His voice was inside me. It was bleeding into me, taking over me. But not just his voice. The world blurred around me and I was no longer in my doorway, bleeding out against the wall.
Instead, I was moving. I was… I was walking. No, I was being dragged. Except these weren’t my memories. This wasn’t my mind. I could see bare feet beneath me delicately slapping on white tiles. When I looked up, I saw an expanse of white like I was being led straight into the clouds. This was a building. There were glass doors and electronic panels, people in black guarding each one. It took a while for me to gain my senses—or him to gain his.
We could smell something like chlorine and taste rusty coins at the back of our throat. Feel the ice cold tiles against our bare toes. A strange feeling at the back of our head. We kept wanting to run our fingers through our hair, but every time we did, our fingers only touched bare skin. Scuffed and rigged skin. Tight fingers were wrapped around our arm, dragging us further and further into a white oblivion. Until a glass door seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
From now on, I am going to describe his memories very vaguely. I’m just going to tell you what I saw.
The room we walked into reminded me of a classroom—but there were no desks. In front of me were the other members of Sunbeam pressed against the back wall. They faced forwards, their gazes penetrating nothing. But I saw they were trembling. Terrified. The squad were dressed in pale white shorts and t-shirt, ugly red spattering the front. There were still traces of blue and glitter on their faces, ribbons hanging from bedraggled curls.
Their feet were bare and filthy like ours. When we were shoved forwards, we took our place next to Evie who had half of her hair shaved off. Her arms were folded across her cheer uniform, her bare feet tapping a beat against the floor. When a woman with dark red hair held in a strict ponytail entered and asked if either of us wanted to show her what we had learned, Evie eagerly raised her hand. “Okay, Evie.” The woman’s voice was too sweet. Sickly sweet. She gestured for the girl forward. “Show us what you’ve got.”
The door opened, and a man stepped through. His hands were tied in front of him, his eyes blank.
Evie nodded, her eyes set in determination. She cleared her throat. “Shatter.”
Nothing happened.
“Intent, Evie.” The woman said. “It doesn’t matter how you say the word unless you use proper intent. Try again.”
The girl did, growling in frustration.
The man’s head flew from his torso suddenly in a river of red, and the girl squeaked in excitement.
While we watched in horror, the rest of the squad gave in to their own despair.
Different days bled into one—and we watched faces change. Heads were shaved. Hair grew back. Fear turned to joy.
A blonde girl exploded into bloody chunks, splattering against the walls.
“Yes!” The redhead high-fived pigtails, the two of them locked into some bizarre handshake. “That’s what I’m TALKING about!”
“Bang!” One of the girls used finger guns, and with each “shot” innocents dropped against the wall one by one, their heads blown through.
She jumped up and down in glee. “Bang, bang, bang!”
“Keep going,” the voice of the woman crackled through the speaker. “You’ve almost got it.”
“Divide.” Pigtails used her pointer finger at an old man who was skewed by an invisible force sending bloody chunks of him to the floor.
"Show off.” The redhead said in a sing-song voice. He was slumped against the back wall using his jersey to wipe blood from his face while the others painted the room scarlet. With simple words of intent and a hand gesture, they were able to take people apart piece by piece.
Pigtails snorted when another “test subject” was brought in. "Oh, you think you can do better?”
“Think I can? I know I can.”
This time he plunged two fingers into his temples. He was centre stage, the others against the back wall with their arms folded.
“Rip it out.”
The test subject’s eyes widened, her trembling hands clawing at her own head, fingernails digging into flesh. “Rip…rip it out?”
His lip curved. “That’s what I said.”
We didn’t see the test subject rip her own brain from her skull. We were already burying our head into our knees and screeching into the floor. Another flash. Like watching a movie.
This time we’re cutting into our wrist with shards of glass. Pulling back fleshy flaps of our flesh, there are two wires entangled with muscle and bone. One red and one blue. “Why won’t you submit?” A sharp growl, and I can feel our body pressed against metal. Our arms are restrained. “Out of all of them, you refuse it.” A hand slaps our face. “You don’t want it!”
He started to laugh.
“You don’t want… control?”
He leaned his face closer. “Tell me to mutilate myself. Tell me to… to tear out my brain stem! That’s the beauty of it! No matter how impossible the order is, it will be completed! Control, my boy. Use it. Do you even understand how much you are going to shape the world? Words! Do you know how powerful they are? When said from the right mouth, with the right intent, they can cause bloodshed, pain and misery-- a despair drowning our already shattered earth. And you will be the centre of it. You will bring this world to its knees, Jason."
"Now, do it. We call it cutting, but you will find familiarity in referring to it as erasure. You can make up your own words if you would like. What matters is the intent.” I feel something slicing into our arm. It’s nothing medical. It’s torture. He plunges something sharp into the same spot and twists the blade until we throw our head back and scream at the ceiling.
“You’re the last one.” The man hissed. “Do it.”
“No.” I heard his—our—voice. “I… I can’t!”
“Do it!”
He’s dragging us again, forcing us down a long winding corridor until we reach another door.
"Drown." The boy - - Jason's-- voice was suddenly in my head. I could sense it was trying to hold back, attempting to peel back whatever power his own words had. But the word came again and again until it was suffocating his mouth. “Drown. Drown. Drown. Drown.” We were standing in the doorway of a smaller room. In the corner there was a figure curled up with their head pressed against the wall.
It was a guy.
I recognised our school colours, a bloodied varsity jacket over shorts and t-shirt. When he lifted his head and twisted to face the boy whose mind I was in, I noticed he had an uncanny resemblance to me. His eyes wide, frightened. They were my mother's.
This guy looked exactly like me.
No, it WAS me.
My eyes were shadowed and haunted.
Like I had been drained of everything I was.
As quickly as the memories came crashing into me, they were yanked away when the guy must have pulled back.
I blinked rapidly, and Jason looked as confused as me. Slowly, he pulled his finger from my cut. The man's voice was in my skull, and it was agonising. I felt the command in my head, my body instantly reacting to... to nothing. I had my hands out, ready to do.... do something.
"That was… just a trick,” He said. “Yeah! Just a trick!”
I found myself nodding, echoing his words. Something warm ran from my nose.
"Just... a trick..." I whispered, the words forced from my lips.
Blood spattered down my chin.
“Louder.” He said.
"JUST A TRICK!" I yelled, the force of the wail sending me my knees, panting. The guy was frowning, seemingly unsure what to do with me.
He wrapped up my wound and told me it wasn’t bad—and it wasn’t. I watched in disbelief as my skin stitched itself back together.
"Go into your kitchen." Jason said, and I felt the power of his words ripping through me like bullets. My body moved on its own, and I got to my feet and stepped into my kitchen. He followed me, grabbing a scarf off of the table.
"Get on your knees." I did, dropping to my knees, my breath in my throat, my mouth sealed shut. I could sense the others in the doorway as he wrapped the scarf around my eyes, the heel of his shoe slamming into my neck forcing me onto my stomach.
"I want you to wait for me to kill you."
His words pierced into me. I did. Even when I knew he was gone, the door slamming shut-- I waited. I waited until the next morning, until I regained control over my own body and pulled the scarf from my eyes. I'm still waiting, my brain in constant panic, twisting around when I'm alone, looking into every corner.
I was roped into going to Friday's game against Harrington. During Sunbeam’s routine, they did it again. They had the crowd's attention, and Evie was mouthing something. I felt her words, sharp like needles cutting into me. But they didn't penetrate. They have done something to the student body. Ever since, I’ve been catching looks around me. Those whose heads they have crawled into. Mindless eyes. Every so often an arm will touch mine, fingers will wrap around my neck. I can hear their feet pitter pattering after me. Those little kids from that night. I keep seeing the little witch girl in the corner of my eye. They’re creating an army who are coming for me once he decides to kill me.
If only I knew what happened to the Sunbeam squad. Maybe I can help them somehow.
But something tells me they’re way past help.
And so am I.
I wonder if one day, I might be allowed a glimpse of my memories. What really happened to me during my freshman year.
And why, ever since going into his mind, I dream of a white room.
submitted by Trash_Tia to TheCrypticCompendium [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:21 ThrowRA555672 I (M21) miss my ex (F20) and we’ve been apart for about a year.

Alright. So me and my ex dated for 3 years. (M21) (F20). Within the first year of us dating, my ex girlfriend died. Being that she was my age and that I had known her since childhood, I was torn up over it. I ended up singing a song in her memory a couple days after it happened at an event: my current girlfriend had caught wind of it and was pissed. After this I felt like she was always trying to get me jealous or do things in spite of me, it killed me. So, I decided to break up with her: it was very hard for me. During this time I did reach out to another ex girlfriend, and she ended up getting a hold of my current girlfriend which was a mess. After about a week we were back in contact and things seemed to be going fine. Throughout our relationship there were always disagreements over religion and diet mainly. I would always try to brush it to the side, but she loved to argue. Things remained stable for a bit longer but at any inconvenience, she would remind me that I sang in memory of that girl. We still decided to stay together even though she was putting me through all kinds of shit. I ended up getting a job after being out of work all of covid-times. Right when I got a job things didn’t feel right. She had all kinds of guy friends and was talking to them on snapchat. We still talked every day but I became really busy. We ended up going on vacation together and we were so deeply in love and invested. When we got home I got really tied up with work and family problems. I told her I was going to pick up more hours so I could get us a place to live. Everything seemed to be going fine. The week she went off to college was chaos. Anything I did made her mad, she would insult me, it seemed like the love was gone. Whenever we would contact eachother she would either be really blunt or overly excited to talk to me. She ended up having a medical emergency and I went crazy, blaming her for messing around with other guys. Looking back on it, for what she was hospitalized for, I don’t think she was in there for having sex with another guy. I feel like the trust just was broken and I questioned her too much. The next time I saw her we were very intimate and she suddenly broke down crying her eyes out. She told me “you have loved me more than anyone ever has.” and I know that’s true. We were supposed to hangout that following weekend but I decided to spend some time with family I don’t see often. To that, she told me she was going to a “college event” which I later found out was a hangout with her, two of her female friends, and two men. She let them drive her around all night and blocked me when I tried to call her. It’s been nearly a year. Right before she cut things off she said “I hope one day you can forgive me.” About a month ago I decided to text her. I told her that I forgive her, I thanked her for the things she showed me in life, and I wished her the best. In response she told me she forgives me too, she appreciates the gesture, and then told me that she “hopes that gave me closure”. So I guess I’m posting this because I miss her. We got really deep with one another at one point of time but lately I wonder if she just grew out of me. I am tempted to tell her about how I changed my diet and that I’m more accepting of the religion: but honestly, she scares the shit out of me. For now I feel like the healthiest option is just to let go and let fate decide but honestly: I will always love that woman and she means a lot to me. Do exes even come back after years of no communication?
submitted by ThrowRA555672 to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:20 AutoModerator Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator (Complete)

Contact me to get Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator by chatting me on +44 759 388 2116 on Telegram/Whatsapp.
I have Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator.
Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator course is one of the best products on how to start a marketing agency.
Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator includes over 50 hours of step-by-step training covering EVERY aspect of building an agency from scratch. This is almost a plug & play system with enough success stories to back it up! Signing clients, running Facebook ads, building out your team, on-boarding clients, invoicing, sales... this course has everything covered for you.
The topics inside Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator course include:
  1. Agency Navigator course Core Curriculum
  2. Custom E-Learning Platform For Agency Owners
  3. Financial Planner, Revenue Calculator, Outreach Tracker & More Tools
  4. Websites Templates, Funnels, Ads & More
  5. Template Contracts, Sales Scripts, Agreements & More
The lessons in Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator will teach you how to:
- Starting Your Agency
- Finding Leads
- Signing Clients
- Getting Paid
- Onboarding Clients
- Managing Client Communication...
...and much, much more!
To get Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator contact me on:
Whatsapp/Telegram: +44 759 388 2116 (Telegram: multistorecourses)
Reddit DM to u/RequestCourseAccess
Email: silverlakestore[@] (remove the brackets)
submitted by AutoModerator to UpdatedImanGadzhi [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:19 menatopboi how far out should I book Airbnb stays in europe?

Recently, I’ve booked a trip to Spain and Switzerland and I’m wanting to stay in an Airbnb. On this trip I’m going to be accompanied with my brother and I’m trying to see when the best time is to book a stay at an Airbnb.
I’m planning to go in early April is it too early to book a stay now? How far in advance you guys but your Airbnb’s. Thanks in advance for any information! Happy and safe travels!
submitted by menatopboi to TravelHacks [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:19 b-samaan75 I’m screwed. What should I do?

So basically I fucked up my first year (2.6) and I’m looking for advice on how to study but I kind of feel hopeless because to get 4.0s for the next 3 years (plus retaking a C- in a prereq) is very challenging and I would only have a cGPA of 3.66. Granted one of my exams was lower than I expected and I suspect it to be a huge scantron error, costing 40% of my exam (happened to my midterm in the same class btw, got tons of marks back from it) so I’m in the process of sending a reread request for an extra 0.03 boost for my gpa, but at this point I’m gonna assume my gpa won’t change either way :/ Also my sGPA would be ~3.6 since I’ll be taking mostly science courses, idk if it’ll help me though. I’m not even at the point of the mcat and I’m stressing heavily on all this premed shit. Im wanting to achieve 520+ and i can’t even get above 3.0 first year??? I really want to be a doctor and I know how stressful it is to go to med school and residency, let alone actually working as a doctor. I know I have the potential to excel in all these things but when it comes to study or any other activity, I just lose focus very easily and binge watch YouTube for long periods of time, either that or i keep hyping myself over these posts on Reddit that got into md with a <3.5 gpa and commenting online about how a low gpa can still yield success in md, it’s useless. I try to stop these habits but it’s fruitless. I know stats aren’t everything and you don’t need a 4.0 but let’s be serious… they make up a majority of your application and high stats gives you a realistic chance of getting into us md. The only things I have going for me so far is having research experience this summer, volunteering in a pharmacy for 3 years now, did shadowing at a hospital during summer before gr 12 and I’m gonna be volunteering at my church later this summer, but of course I still need more than that, really need to start clinical hours soon. I keep on taking about MD when I could apply to DO. A part of me wants to go to DO but I want to stick to MD because 1. There aren’t as many countries I could practice in than MD 2. MD had more options for residency 3. family pressure for me to get into MD in case we have to move to another country (a good point ngl) You wanna know something funny? My parents and my sister (who’s a doctor in the US btw) are highly encouraging me to apply right after third year, my cGPA would be a 3.53 at best at that time, and they believe that I have a legitimate chance at getting into us md with THAT…. Even if I got 520+, it may be possible, but I’m most likely to not even get a single interview. The only thing I could think of is doing a masters and getting a 4.0 in that or taking an extra year to boost my gpa. I’m very open in spending more time to improve my application for med school but my family disapproves. At one point they seemed to agree but then disagreed because “this guy got in to us md with a <3.0” type shit, and if I don’t get in by the end of fourth year, they want me to go to the Caribbean, at that point, I’d rather go to DO if there was no other option for me even though it would limit my residency options. I did some research on the Caribbean and i don’t find it reliable to give me a stable future (yes, even the top Caribbean schools, I’m sure u guys know that).
Idk. I never realized there was a problem with me mentally and though I was just lazy until after first year. Maybe I’m overthinking this. Used to get 97 in gr 12 bio and in freshman I got 60 in bio. I heard this is generally a normal transition from hs to uni but I was inactive for most of the time in first year when I comes to studying. I gave up exercising before exams and didn’t return to it. I don’t even draw as much as I used to. I used to draw so much when I was in highschool, but I just stopped… Tbh I think I might have mental issues because every single time I try to stick to a plan to study (or do anything in general) it doesn’t work (as evident by my shitty first year gpa), even second semester I improved in the assignments, but I had family issues during exams (not being able to spend family time as well as missing church to study, still fucking up exams, guess I should never skip church again) I’m currently looking for advice on how to study better and planning to go see a therapist or something cause I really need to get 4.0s in the next three years to even have a reasonable chance at applying to US MD…. Oh and did I mention I was in Canada, making applying to the US that much harder (fuck Canada, fr wish I wasn’t born here)
submitted by b-samaan75 to premed [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:18 CommanderHobo07 [Online][5e][LGBTQ+][Saturday afternoon/evenings] Looking to run a high fantasy homebrew campaign!

(Posting again for reach! all those that applied yesterday are still up for consideration!)
Alright. So. Hello. Im Tristan, im 17, I use He/Him pronouns, and I really wanna finally DM a full whole hearted dnd game. I've dmed one shots, and a few mini campaigns (longest one was 20 sessions!) but now I wanna go full throttle with a LONG TERM GAME YIPPIEEEEEEEE
The game takes place in my homebrew world of Alacatha. most official D&D material is able to be used, I have homebrew races available, as well as a full google doc with at least one homebrew subclass for every core class!
Due to wanting to make this the best game possible, I do have a preferences and a requirement for prospective players; Have a decent quality mic 😭 im sensitive to sound, and the buzzing or ringing or bad audio of a poor microphone really aggravates and genuinely hurts me.
I would also prefer if you were someone who got really into their character! Seeing stuff like character playlists or art or goofy ahh quotes n stuff like that REALLY makes me happy, and confirms to me that you're enjoying the game! Also not really a requirement, but i would prefer if you didn't just only show up for sessions, but talked a little bit in the campaigns server haha. Final preference is that you're also LGBTQ+. Im queer, and would highly prefer playing with other queer players.
ANYWAY! That aside! Fill out the app if you wanna join! Please be sure to stand yourself out, get a little silly w it, Introduce yourself n stuff! This isn't a first come first serve basis, and you're much more likely to get accepted if you do!
submitted by CommanderHobo07 to lfg [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:17 deefeeoree I am constantly jealous of someone in every phase of my life

I (20F) have been dealing with self esteem issues pretty since i was a preteen. It ranges from looks, personality and skill set. At every phase in my life, my brain fixates on a girl i am close with and just becomes incredibly envious of everything about her. I daydream about being like her, looking like her. As a young preteen, my best friend was this person. I was so incredibly envious of her and thought she was the perfect human. Then in high school i met my next best friend. The same thing. She is the prettiest, most talented person ever. Now I'm in university studying graphic design, which i love so much. I thought i would finally be able to get out of this cycle. But no. I have found a new girl to fixate on. Her art work is effortlessly amazing. She's so charming and beautiful. You cant not like her. Her grades are straight A's. I hate being jealous because i am genuinely happy to be with these people and wish the best for them. But i just don't like myself that much and i wish i could be different. I don't know how my brain picks them. It just does. It really is a fixation. Yes, everyone else is also beautiful and talented, and yet i feel I NEED to be exactly like this girl to be accomplished.
submitted by deefeeoree to offmychest [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:17 MelasD Amelia: The Level Zero Hero Chapter 133

Her name was Amelia. Giles had never heard of her, but he could tell that she was strong. With a single swing of her rusty blade, she had easily deflected Eloise the Dark Wizard’s black lightning.
Giles himself could barely even react to it— despite his speed and agility as a Level 57 [Daggermaster], he had only been able to gape in awe as the dark spell shot through the air at him. And yet, Amelia had somehow been able to stop it.
No— she didn’t just stop it. She did so much more. She had intercepted the black lightning bolt, before cutting it in half with a decrepit sword that looked like it could shatter at any moment.
The Flying Blade didn’t comprehend. He couldn’t comprehend it. How did she get here? Did she teleport in with a spell while he was distracted? That was the only explanation.
He rose to his feet as she swept her gaze over her surroundings. The entire battlefield came to a halt to face this third party— every soldier in the convoy had their sword and their bow and their staff aimed at her. Rokh the Bludgeoning Striker raised a pair of metal gauntlets, and Seth the Battlemage conjured another frost broadsword.
The Clawed Hands had been thoroughly defeated— except for Giles himself. Nevertheless, it was not like there was anyone else for the legion of soldiers from the Kingdom of Kal to turn their attention to; they focused their gaze on their lone enemy.
Even Eloise tilted her head curiously to face the brown-haired woman.
“Who are—” the Dark Witch started.
And Amelia blinked as she looked down at Giles. “Wait, you’re not Evan.”
“Evan? You mean the guildmaster?” He stared at her, taking a step back in confusion.
“Yeah— you’re Giles, right?” she said as she helped steady him. “Where’s Evan? I’m here to free him.”
Giles shook his head, glancing back at the armored wagon at the center of the convoy. “He’s locked up over there. But…”
He pursed his lips as he watched Seth take a step forward. The Battlemage was bruised— hurt from the brief scuffle with Giles. And yet, despite the injuries he had sustained, Seth looked ready to go for a round with Amelia.
An armor of ice began to form around him as he grinned. “I have been entrusted by my King to protect the cargo with my life. I will not let you even get close to—”
And Amelia appeared right next to him, with a finger raised to his chest. Seth blinked. Giles stared in shock. The legion of soldiers looked on with wide eyes as she poked his ice armor.
Seth took a step back as his ice armor began to crack— and a moment later, it shattered into thousands of pieces. He looked down in horror as his staff too began to crumble.
“What?” He stared at himself for a moment. And his clothes fell apart next, leaving only his underwear to cover his privates. “H-how…?”
“That was a warning,” Amelia said as she drew back from him. “I’m not going to hold back if you guys get in my way.”
Giles couldn’t believe his eyes— it took some of his best Skills to break through Seth’s ice armor. And yet, she was able to shatter it with just a finger.
Was this an illusion? A trick? Did Giles die, and was he imagining this whole situation up? He couldn’t believe it. But it was happening.
“T-t-that was my [Armor of the Frost Lord]!” Seth exclaimed. He looked down at his shredded robes and broken staff. “And those were A-grade artifacts… how did you…?”
The Battlemage couldn’t comprehend it either. But Amelia didn’t seem to care. She rubbed her chin in thought as she murmured to herself.
“...well, alright, maybe I’ll hold back. I don’t want to accidentally kill everyone, you know?”
Seth gritted his teeth. He raised a hand as a ball of mist coalesced in the palm of his hand. He unleashed a blast of frost at Amelia— the spell engulfing her point-black.
“Take this, you monster!” he screamed. “[Frost Wyvern’s Breath]!”
Giles staggered back as he felt the chilly winds reach him. Even from a distance, he could feel the intensity of the spell that was unleashed— a powerful attack for an A-rank. But as the dust settled, Amelia stepped out of a small crater, completely unscathed.
Eloise narrowed her eyes. Seth stumbled back in horror. Because the brown-haired woman suffered not a single scratch— even her clothes escaped unharmed.
“Are you serious?” she said flatly. “I gave you a chance to give up, and you try this shit? Are you an idiot?”
Giles himself winced from her words. Even though they weren’t direct to him, it still stung— because he knew he would have tried the same thing out of pure disbelief or what was happening.
Seth tried to work his jaw as he stared at her. But nothing came out. She just sighed as she took a step forward.
“Look, if you get out of the way now, I’ll—”
But a booming voice interrupted her. “Oh? Very interesting!”
Rokh laughed wildly as marched forward. He slammed his gauntleted fists together, and a sharp metallic sound rang out. A crimson aura overcame him as he smiled savagely. Eloise just looked on.
“I am Rokh the Bludgeoning Striker!” He smirked as he walked straight up to the brown-haired woman. He raised a fist, ready to swing down at her. “I am going to enjoy pummeling you to death—”
And he was cut off. Quite literally. His head was cut cleanly off in an instant. Blood splattered on the ground as Amelia lowered her blade.
“Must I literally kill every single one of you here to prove my point?” She shook her head as she swept her gaze over the legion of soldiers. “No more warnings— I’m freeing Evan. Don’t get in my way.”
Amelia spun around to face the armored wagon. Seth stumbled back away from her. He looked like he wanted to run— Giles himself wanted to run too in the face of this overwhelming power.
She had killed Rokh the Bludgeoning Striker just like that.
He was a high-leveled captain. He had been the one in charge of the small army Kallistus Kal had led to Windrip. Giles had heard of his fighting prowess. Even though they were of similar level, the [Daggermaster] hadn’t been sure if he could defeat the Bludgeoning Striker.
But Amelia defeated him. She killed him before he could even react. He didn’t even put up a fight. He lay slumped over on the ground, headless as his legion looked on. A susurration swept through their numbers. They whispered amongst themselves.
They looked like they didn’t know what to do. Their leader was dead, and they were lost. They exchanged nervous glances as Amelia strode forward to the armored wagon. She walked past Seth as he gritted his teeth.
And he spun around, raising a sphere of frost. “Don’t let her—” he started.
But Amelia swung back with her sword, cutting his head off without even looking his way. Giles flinched at the suddenness of it. The watching soldiers winced too— reaching their wits’ end. And she glanced dismissively at them.
“I suggest the rest of you run away,” she said simply.
And with that, they shattered. The legion of soldiers ran for it as they cried out in terror. Giles wanted to join them, but he was petrified. He couldn’t even move. He watched as they fled into the distance as the brown-haired woman just sighed.
“Good,” Amelia whispered to herself. “At least those guys have common sense. Now—”
She paused when she saw a figure descend from the sky just before her. Eloise landed right on top of the armored wagon, raising her staff. Amelia massaged her temples.
“Oh my god, please just stop…”
Giles blinked, looking between the Dark Wizard and the brown-haired woman. Neither of them attacked each other. Not just yet.
“I have to admit, I am impressed— no, I am not impressed.” Eloise tilted her head back. “I am absolutely terrified by what I have just witnessed. You slew both Rokh the Bludgeoning Striker and Seth the Battlemage with ease. I can’t lie and say that I am looking forward to facing you in battle.”
Amelia just looked back at her with a deadpan expression. “Then… why don’t you just not do that? It’s very simple— you step to the side, and we’ll all be happy.”
“Unfortunately…” the S-rank mercenary said as she shook her head. “Even if you are quite the monster, I have no choice but to stop you. My contract demands it so.”
“That’s really fucking stupid,” the brown-haired woman sighed, unsheathing her blade once again. “Are you seriously going to be risking your life because of a contract?”
“Yes,”came the response.
Giles watched on as Amelia continued to walk forward, while Eloise raised her staff. He pursed his lips, not knowing what was going to happen next. After all, the Dark Wizard was S-rank in level.
But Amelia? Well… Giles just didn’t know.
Author's Notes:
Start of the new month! Just so you know, book 3 has started over on patreon if you subscribe now :)
You can read up to 15 chapters ahead on my patreon here!
Join my discord and subscribe to my subreddit!
Or follow me on twitter!
Previous Next Read Ahead on my Patreon
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2023.06.01 23:16 nord1328 What is the best way to find job without experience and perfect English in Toronto, Etobicoke or Mississauga (more than 20$ per hour)?

submitted by nord1328 to AskReddit [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:15 dingdongbingbongbang Where's my protection?

Where's my protection?
I'm the OP of this post from awhile back
This is my main account because I know a few people weren't happy that I did that one on a throwaway.
Thanks to the courts letting him wander free and thanks to the spineless people at Atawhai Industries taking him back even after learning about his pedophilic past, my abuser brother is back working 800m from where I work (literally 2 corners). Now I have to go to work scared that I'm gonna run into him and its a valid fear because I have run into him. I ran home and threw up after. I've seen him about 6 times in the last 2 weeks, whether at the bakery right by my work or sticking his head out the car window staring me down while I'm at work. Thanks to Judge Hikaka and our courts and the "justice" system for not knowing what justice is. I've done nothing wrong, never been in trouble with the police or anything yet I'm the one who's treated like a burden and a pain for trying to get a pedophile rapist convicted.
When I first found out that he was working back at Atawhai, I got in contact with the general manager Steve Hales. He dismissed me over text not caring "become a survivor, not a victim" so I told him that I'd keep telling people who my brother is and now I can say that the manager at Atawhai didn't care when I tried to tell him. He didn't take this well as you can see in the video. He decided the best option was to come to my work, verbally assault me for 5 minutes+. Some of the nastiest things which are in the video and some which weren't, "I heard you were 17 at the time and enjoyed it" is the one that sticks in my head. . When I wasn't falling for his intimidation he kept inching right up in my face until he eventually shoulder barged me back. So add on physical assault.
I'm fucking powerless, I talked to the officer who did my case yesterday and I can't even get a restraining order against my abuser unless he's harassing me. I can't get a restraining order against someone who I took to court for child sexual abuse, make that make sense. I've emailed a few stuff journalists to try and get my story out there but none have ever got back to me. I can't do anything but live with the fact that my abuser is free and dangerously close to me most of the time. It's shameful. . I'm so tired, why do I have to do all the fighting. Our courts should've done all this for me, they should've made me safe but they decided not to.
submitted by dingdongbingbongbang to newzealand [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:15 AutoModerator Iman Gadhzi - Agency Incubator (Program)

Contact me to get Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator by chatting me on +44 759 388 2116 on Telegram/Whatsapp.
I have Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator.
Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator course is one of the best products on how to start a marketing agency.
Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator includes over 50 hours of step-by-step training covering EVERY aspect of building an agency from scratch. This is almost a plug & play system with enough success stories to back it up! Signing clients, running Facebook ads, building out your team, on-boarding clients, invoicing, sales... this course has everything covered for you.
The topics inside Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator course include:
  1. Agency Navigator course Core Curriculum
  2. Custom E-Learning Platform For Agency Owners
  3. Financial Planner, Revenue Calculator, Outreach Tracker & More Tools
  4. Websites Templates, Funnels, Ads & More
  5. Template Contracts, Sales Scripts, Agreements & More
The lessons in Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator will teach you how to:
- Starting Your Agency
- Finding Leads
- Signing Clients
- Getting Paid
- Onboarding Clients
- Managing Client Communication...
...and much, much more!
To get Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator contact me on:
Whatsapp/Telegram: +44 759 388 2116
Reddit DM to u/RequestCourseAccess
Email: silverlakestore[@] (remove the brackets)
submitted by AutoModerator to ImaGadzhisIncubator [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:15 AutoModerator [Complete] Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator

Contact me to get Iman Gadzhi - Agency Navigator by chatting me on +44 759 388 2116 on Telegram/Whatsapp.
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2023.06.01 23:15 behraoui77 Ai Songs OTO 1 to 10 OTOs’ Links Here + All OTO Upsell

Ai Songs OTO – FEATURES Ai Songs
Stop whatever you're doing right now and make sure to have your sound turned up in this short video you'll discover the world's first artificial intelligence powered text to song creator that enables you to transform your text or lyrics into captivating musical compositions without any technical skills or Marketing acumen, this Innovative software combines the power of AI with real singers and artists, to bring your text or lyrics to life in a fully realized song to your audience, loves from the core. Finally, even newbies can compose incredible and refreshing music tracks for themselves or their clients in seconds for Evergreen income for days weeks months or even years to come and the best part is you can do it all without paying exorbitant fees for complicated Music Creation tools without Wasting hundreds of hours creating music yourself without hiring costly, music, editors or composers, without learning, complex Music Creation tools, without depending on existing platforms Etc, once and for all, without having any special skills, experience or learning curve. Now, if that got your interest, then you're in for a great surprise today presenting AI songs, the world's first artificial intelligence-powered text, to song creator that enables you to transform your text or lyrics into captivating musical compositions without any technical skills or marketing acumen. Yes, with this first to Market technology, even newbies can effortlessly build their own song site, allowing them to create, sell and showcase their original music to the world. At a low one-time price during the launch period, simply plug in the title of your new song and your favorite style and wait a few seconds for our software to generate unique music.
Ai Songs OTO – What Is Ai Songs?
Just follow three easy steps to get started step. One AI generates lyrics: choose between AI generated lyrics or use custom lyrics, Step 2 select artists pick your preferred artists. Step 3 ready to go here are some of the amazing features. First to Market artificial intelligence-based technology that converts any text into a tension grabbing music in three clicks turn an ordinary piece of text into mind-blowing music like never before smartly convert your music track generated into eye, catchy 4K video and get listeners hooked. Our AI technology will generate a video that matches your song with just a few clicks, bring your music to life with captivating visuals, get freshly composed, mesmerizing music for your own or for your clients in seconds, create unique music with your voice commands or by entering any Keyword create your own AI generated song site with just one click easily upload your songs and sell them to a wide audience, offer premium Music Creation services on top platforms and make a cool passive income, easily upload your songs and sell them to a wide audience.
Ai Songs OTO – What Is Ai Songs?
There'S these music tracks to attract more eyeballs, make 10 times more appealing videos and crush your competition fire all your expensive tools and services once and for all, say goodbye to monthly fees or paying for expensive music platforms and tons of other benefits with your access today. Take my word: if you're, tired of all the [ __ ] going around and want to have a secured financial future, then AI songs is the happy ending for your search. You'Ll agree that it's 100 fair for such a steal deal to last for a limited period. We are confident that this much value has never been offered at such a low price, and if you act now, you'll also receive our Limited Time commercial license. That means you can use this for your clients and charge them monthly for this top-notch solution.
Ai Songs OTO – What Is Ai Songs?
So it's really about using this technology for your business as quickly as possible to profit like never before. Remember your purchase is always backed by an ironclad 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you're not satisfied, simply ask and get all your money back within 30 days of your purchase, fair warning, AI songs will soon be sold for a monthly or yearly subscription. After the special launch period ends, if you buy now, you can access it. For a one-time, only low price today, so you've been warned that this incredible price will disappear as the timer strikes.
Ai Songs OTO – What Is Ai Songs?
Zero click on the button below this video to get AI songs for the lowest price. Good luck and we'll see you inside [, Music, ]
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2023.06.01 23:14 celeryjelly Hi guys! I need help/advice anything.

Hi guys! I’ll just start off by saying that I did have a traumatic childhood, but there has always been something off and no mental illness defines what I deal with.
I just started recently seeing an old doctor of mine again, who I haven’t seen for too too long. He helped me realize that I have trauma but now I feel like he is hinting at me being neurodivergent. I’ve always believed that I have adhd, but I got curious and I started doing online quizzes, like I’m sure most people do when they’re questioning. I’m just straight up too embarrassed to ask my doctor about it because my self esteem has taken a huge hit recently and I feel like everything I say and do is stupid.
Anyway. What’s your opinion? What would you do? I took 3 tests at work today.
An “Aspie Quiz” from I scored 129 of 200 in the autism cluster section and 83 of 200 in the neurotypical section
Then I took RAADS-R, which is confusing but I answered the best I could and got 122.
Then I too the “AQ” test? I don’t even know what it means but I scored 29.
I’m sorry if I come off as mean or hostile, I’m just very stressed and have been going through a lot and just want to know what other people would do if they were in this position. If I need to answer anyone’s questions I will. I don’t think I have a special internet? But I do SEARCH for things. Rocks, info I wanna know etc. hours will pass by, I’m just in the zone.
Thank you!
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