Real camera life

From Ring doorbell camera footage of a ghostly orb to mysterious creatures captured crawling across doorbell cameras, check out this scary footage caught by ... Ring's new security drone flies around inside your home, records video, talks to Amazon Alexa Xeni Jardin 12:59 pm Thu Sep 24, 2020 Ring, the surveillance doorbell company, made a home security drone. The videos that are recorded through your Ring device can be shared with friends, family and neighbors via your Ring app. You can share videos to a variety of web and social media platforms or download videos to a computer or mobile device. The rest of this article will detail the various ways to share and save your Ring videos. Kids Send Video Messages to Dad When He's Deployed in the Middle East. 1:05. Share on Facebook; Tweet this video; Share via Email; When Major Peter DeCrans was deployed thousands of miles from his Minnesota home, his kids used their Ring Video Doorbell to send him near daily messages, sharing stories about their lives and helping him feel connected with home. Ring will be stepping up its efforts to make its security products secure for users by enabling end-to-end video encryption later this year. The company will be providing this toggle in a new page ... When the Ring Alarm home security system is triggered when you’re not home, the Always Home Cam “will automatically fly a set path to see what’s happening. You can easily stream video while the camera is in-flight via the Ring App, making sure that you’re in the know when it comes to everything happening at home.” Amazon unveils miniature security drone to patrol your home while you are away Ring's Always Home Cam will autonomously fly indoors and be able to send videos to owners' smartphones Ring secures video recordings in transit and stores them on secure AWS servers. We use a combination of AES encryption (Advanced Encryption Standard) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) to secure data between Ring devices and AWS, and we encrypt data between Ring devices using AES encryption, TLS and SRTP (Secure Real Time Protocol). Amazon.com on Thursday announced an indoor drone for recording security video in homes and car products for ... who have taken issue with services that let Ring users share videos with law ... Answer the door from anywhere. Ring blends convenience, monitoring, and security all into sleek, simple-to-use devices. Ring is on a mission to make neighbor...

2019.09.06 03:32 Imatrix127 Real camera life

This is a community run subreddit not affiliated with ring, dedicated to any footage captured by ring security. A great place to see and post some of your own interesting things caught on camera.
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2012.03.08 22:42 SmellsLikeUpfoo Life real camera

What was **normal everyday life** like for people living 50, 100, or more years ago? Featuring old photos, scanned documents, articles, and personal anecdotes that offer a glimpse into the past.
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2013.03.15 16:31 AnchoredDown Real camera life

Pictures posted by Redditors of their current location. Get creative. You can simply post a picture of your current view or additionally challenge Redditors to guess where you are. Let's see the magic of the millions of intuitive Redditors in action.
[link]


2020.09.25 11:15 Ms_Shetty I was selfish with Urmila: RGV on heroines and regrets

Heroines
Over the years, the media has linked me with many women, partly because I have a tendency to cast some of them again and again in my films. But then I work again and again with many male actors and technicians too. But I guess since women make more interesting copy, the media always focuses only on that aspect of my interactions. Having said that, I have to admit that some of the media speculations are true and some untrue... but, out of respect for the privacy of my heroines, I am not going to specify which ones are true and which are not.
The first heroine I was bowled over by was Sridevi and that was when I was just a viewer and hadn’t yet come into films. When I first met her I felt I had walked from the theatre straight into the screen. Over a period of time, I became close to that real Sridevi and for the first time consciously understood the difference between fantasy and reality.
After coming into films, the first girl to have an impact on me was Urmila Matondkar. I was mesmerised by her beauty — from her face to her figure... everything about her was just divine. She had done a few films before Rangeela, which hadn’t done well and she hadn’t made much of an impact on the audience either. Then, after Rangeela, she became the nation’s sex symbol. That doesn’t mean it was I who made her look beautiful. I would say that she was a painting and I simply framed her. Apart from the frame, for a painting to be truly relished, it also needs the right place for it to be displayed in, and that place was Rangeela.
One of my primary motives in making Rangeela was to capture Urmila’s beauty eternally on camera and to make it a benchmark for sex symbols. I would say that I have never felt more of a cinematic high than when I watched her through my camera on the sets of Rangeela.
I don’t know how this may sound, but my biggest problem with Urmila on a personal front was that I just couldn’t accept her being an ordinary human being. I know that is a very unrealistic expectation from any woman but then you have to understand that I am a very filmy person. She was, in person, a simple sweetheart but I, very selfishly, always wanted her to be larger-than-life even in real life.
Guilt
Of all the actors I have introduced, the one I truly feel guilty about is Nisha Kothari. I still remember the first time I saw the cute, innocent, wide-eyed girl from Delhi whom I cast in the film James, which I produced. While James was being made, I was directing Sarkar and I cast Nisha in a small but very memorable role in it, in which she was really appreciated. My big mistake with regard to Nisha was to weigh her down with the role of Basanti in Aag, my remake of Sholay. It’s another matter that in Aag, I let down even great actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn and Sushmita Sen. But for an upcoming actor like Nisha, it was really damaging. Whether out of arrogance or overconfidence or plain foolishness, I made her suffer a crippling blow to her career and I still feel tremendously guilty about it.
Read more here
OG Source: Guns & Thighs - Ram Gopal Varma; Publisher: Rupa.
submitted by Ms_Shetty to BollyBlindsNGossip [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 23:31 CARDSAR Life camera real

Hello Everyone, bellow is what I guess could be the first chapteepisode skeleton for my fantasy story.
It's one of my only real shot a writeting a story I care about. I tried to make it slightly self aware without making it cheesey. I'm just looking to hear if a came up with a good idea and how I could inprove with the next one. All feed back is appreciated.
Without further ado
The screen opens on a snowy forest peaceful and quiet.
A deer walks into frame just looking around for a bit before looking behind itself. In a split second the deer collapses into the snow before a black smoke flows out of its nose and off screen before we hear crunching footsteps walking towards the deer. Hokori itami with his hand extended. The smoke is shown funneling into Hokori's palm where a tattoo of a black triangle is also located. All the smoke is collected and Hokori pulls the deer up and over his shoulder before turning around and lumbering back down a small trail he had created. We see Hokori suddenly stop walking and look up before leaping into a nearby tree. He looks down at the trail as a woman sprints down the trail. Atara looks back to where she came from to see 3 people in cloaks.
"Not these guys again." Hokori says with a sigh Jumping down from the tree in front of the group and in one fluid motion Throwing the deer at them before realising a dust cloud from his palm, stopping the 3 in their tracks. He immediately turns around and fades into a smoke cloud that follows the woman until she hits a clearing and turns around coming face to face with a reformed Hokori.
"Hi there." Hokori says, extending his hand. The woman screams before leaping back and pulling out a knife.
"Who are you? Are you with them? If you are, I won't go down without a fight." The woman is clearly scared.
"Calm down lady. Do think I'd say Hello and then kill you?" Hokori says to no response from the woman. "Just calm down. my little distraction won't hold them back for too long. I think we should get acquainted and make a plan before they get here." Hokori says before slowly walking up to the woman.
The woman points the knife at Hokori but he continues his approach.
"Can I at least get a name?" Hokori asks as an awkward silence fills the air.
The woman lowers the knife and sighs.
"Reagan. Just call me Rea." She says seemingly calming down.
"Hokori. Nice to meet you. My auras main ability is that I can manifest it as thick black smoke from my palm and attack with. What's yours?" Hokori explains with a smile.
"You're really talkative aren't you." Rea says, making Stars look down. "My aura just makes me fast. It's how I was able to outrun those three."
"Lucky. Anyway What do you know about ThEm-" Hokori is interrupted by a continuous electric shock. The camera pans to the three people, one of which has both hands pointed at Hokori with the electricity coming out of them. Hokori screams in Pain before looking to rea, smiling and basically exploding into smoke.
"Now for you." The electricity wielding woman says with the group walking towards Rea.
Suddenly the other two are swept away to the left and right seemingly being hit by something.
The electricity user turns around to see a cloud of smoke reform back into Hokori.
"Gotcha didn't I." Hokori grabs the last assailant by the neck and lifts her into the air. "I didn't think I'd ever see one of you again. Is he really still alive? People have been trying to kill Mino for years."
"Who are you to utter his name!?" The cloaked woman shouts at Hokori before unloading as much electricity as possible into Hokori. Hokori sighs and looks back up to her completely unfazed by the shock.
"Oh sorry Honey, Let's see. Oh maybe this could jog the memory." Atara says while smoke comes out of his other hand and constructs a model of mino with a large scar on his chest.
"So what? You know what he looks like?" The woman is almost confused.
"That scar, where do you think he got it?" Hokori asks with a smile.
She is silent for a moment.
"I don't know. He never told us."
"Well. Sorry to burst your bubble but I did. Your invincible mino was scared by a child at the time." Hokori waves his hand and the model disappears. "Now with that in mind. Would you be so kind as to tell me what you were after this wonderful lady for?"
The idea sets into the woman's mind that Hokori, if being honest Hokori must be insanely powerful by now.
"Sh-she's a powerful aura user. Our goal was to capture her and bring her to Mino so he could absorb her aura. Just let me go." The woman says with a tremble in her voice.
"Hmm. Okay." Hokori says dropping her. "Just tell him a little something for me." The woman nods. "Tell him that after all these years. Hokori is coming for his revenge. He hasn't forgotten and when he arrives he will have enough power to bring the whole world to its knees. Be ready." Hokori says before stepping aside and letting the girl run away.
She does and Hokori looks at Rea who is noticeably stuned.
"What the hell did you just do? Why didn't you just finish her off? She could go back to my village and-" Rae says visibly frustrated.
"She's too scared to do any damage. She'll deliver my message. Where's your village, by the sound of it they didn't come in peace." Hokori says her cutting off.
"Straight up the path."Rae says, about to sprint down the path.
"All right. Hold your breath." Hokori says patting Rae on the back.
"What?" Rea asks before her and Hokori poof into smoke and begin flying down the path. Soon the smoke arrives at the small village before landing at the village center before reforming the two of them.
Rae immediately starts coughing.
"Fucking warn me when you do some thing like that." She says to no response from Hokori who is walking forward.
Rae looks up and the camera pans to reveal the damage the attackers had caused. Houses on fire, houses destroyed and quite possibly the worst part all of the people gone.
"This is...it's all my fault. If I had stayed they would still be here." Rae says with tears welling up in her eyes. "I was there only defence and I left them."
"If You were the only aura user here then they should be safe for now. But we need to act fast. He won't keep them alive for long." Hokori says in a serious tone.
"Why? How do you know?" Rae asks.
"He wants you not them. Mino is horrible but he is smart and probably did his research. He knows that you care for them. But if you're done with your pity party we might have the chance at getting them back. Or maybe I should just go myself. I know where they should be and plus maybe you're too weak to fight with me." Hokori says looking back at her before beginning to walk away.
Rae freezes.
"What did you just-" She is interrupted by a sudden white color clouding her vision. She suddenly lunges at Hokori with a white energy wrapping around her fist. She throws a punch and just before it connects Hokori whips around and catches it basically without trying Making the white energy dissipate.
"Calm down." Hokori says in his previously joyful voice. "I know how you feel but if you want to help save them we need to cooperate. I know that anger. I had it."
The screen fades to a young Hokori walking down the hallway of a large castle-like building on a small island with a bridge leading back to land and a forest, with a woman wearing a cloak.
"So Today's the the first day of magic school, right Diana." Hokori excitedly says while hopping around.
"I've said it a million times. It's not magic Hokori. It's aura and-" Diana says before being cut off.
"The energy inside of every living thing that when trained can be shaped and wielded to create attacks. Yeah yeah I know. You've explained it a million times since you found me." Hokori says, rolling his eyes.
"Sorry." Diana says sarcastically. "I've just always tried to introduce you to Aura but you never seemed interested in it's Uses past attacks." Diana says looking down at Hokori. "But I guess today you've had a change in opinion?"
"Kinda, I just want to get strong. You have some super cool moves but one day I'll be even stronger than you." Hokori says passionately
She smiles at Atara's passion and seeming dedication to trying to learn to use aura even if it is just to attack.
"Whatever you say, Hokori. But you'll have to work pretty hard to get to my level. I believe in you kid."
Suddenly the two of them are jolted by what feels like an earthquake rattling the building before a window right in front of the is broken and a man wearing a cloak like cape flies through and lands on the wall before leaping towards Hokori. Diana raises her hand and a blue aura encapsulates the man and stops him in mid air. Before he is launched into the wall knocking him out and making a crack in the wall.
"W-What's happening?" Hokori says with his heart pounding out of his Chest in fear.
"I can't explain. Just listen to me. You need to leave this place. Run until your legs feel like they'll break. And start a life for yourself. Don't come back." Diana says, grabbing Hokori by the hands.
Hokori feels a sharp pain on his palm.
"Ouch What was that for?" He says recoiling and looking at the triangles now on his palms.
"These markings will help you focus your aura. They will help you learn how to use aura and make it easier. They can keep you safe." Diana says before more of the cloaked soldiers are launched into the windows and begin sprinting towards the two of them. Suddenly the same blue aura surrounds Hokori.
"Goodbye son." Diana says before throwing Hokori out of a window.
Hokori suddenly slows to a stop before. Landing in the surrounding forest.
Hokori can feel his heart pounding. His mind racing, not being able to fully understand that situation. He stumbles to his feet and with shaking knees hobbled back out of the forest. In time to see many of the teachers and students of the school being led out. The seeming leader of the attackers is visibly inspecting every one who leaves. Until Diana is walked out. The man walks up to her and places his hand over her face before slowly pulling it back as a blue energy connects the two. The energy completely leaves Diana and forms a sphere in the man's hand. He quickly clenches his hand and the sphere disappears.
The man reopens his hand and a red sphere seemingly of his aura form. He places his hand back on Diana's head and the red energy flows into her. Her eyes turn red and her skin becomes grey.
"Seeing this sent me over the edge. I was horrified. And angry. It awakened my aura." Hokori explains to rea. As we see the young Atara crouched behind the bushes, he starts to twitch before the camera zooms into his eyes as his pupils grow until his entire eye is completely black. His hair, which previously was tied back, starts to flap around like in the wind before the string holding his hair back snaps and his hair becomes spiked and the tips of said spikes turn white.
Hokori suddenly charges out of the bushes and up the bridge at the man.
Several of the cloaked soldiers attempt to hit Hokori but when they make contact with Him their hands slip through Hokori like he wasn't even there. Hokori closes in on the man and jumps in the air and clenches his fist before cocking it back and split second before he hits him Diana appears in front of him blocking the punch. Until it boars through her shoulder and strikes Mino and creates the scar. Mino swings his arm and bats Hokori back into the forest, embedding him in a tree. Hokori crawls out of the tree and falls a few feet. Dazed he stands up and feels devastating pain in his arm that almost makes him start crying. His power up has seemingly worn off.
He looks down To see that his arm is completely limp and lifeless. He clutches his arm and turns before fleeing the scene. Running deeper into the forest.
"After that I ran until I got here. I haven't been around people since then. I've been running, hiding from mino for so long. But I'm done hiding." Hokori says turning back to Rea. "Let's go get them back." Hokori says as the screen fades to black.
The scene opens and we see another forest trail this time later at night. We see the cloaked woman running up the trail, dashing past the camera. We see her run until the camera pans behind her, seeing a massive gate that opens to let her in. She runs into a massive castle-like building not interacting with anyone aside from jumping over any that got into her way. She climbs the castle. She approaches a Door before basically breaking it down and entering.
"Mino! Min-" She says before being cut off.
"Calm down soldier." A voice commands from off screen.
"Y-yes sir! It's Hokori. He said that he's coming for his revenge." The woman says.
The camera pans to see the back of a throne like chair. A man stands up and turns around before looking up to the camera with a smile.
"My Oh my. What a pleasant surprise. Looks like I have some work to do. You on the other hand Won't have as pleasant of a time take her to the aura chamber." The Mino says walking towards the camera. The scene reopens on the wall where we see Hokori and Rea land on it and take out a guard to look out. The two walk to the edge and look over the eged to see not just a castle but a whole village and a seemingly happy one with stands, dozens upon dozens of houses and the castle.
"We gotta get closer to the castle. If we want to find them." Rea says, scanning.
"Then I guess I'm going in. You stay on the wall and when I get them out you lead them out of the village. I'll deal with Mino and his forces. If I here they won't bother you." Hokori says grabbing a small sphere and putting it in his mouth and swallowing.
"The hell was that?" Rea asks.
"Incendiary aura capsule. It'll make my smoke into gunpowder that I can set off myself." Hokori explains.
"Where did you get that? Only mages can make those."
"Let's just say I picked up a few things from Diana. I'm going." Hokori says jumping down behind a house and walking nonchalantly down up the road. He looks around and takes notice of the street around him. A group singing on a makeshift stage, a shopkeeper making a sale, minos guards patrolling the streets. Hokori places his hand on his chest and smoke flows around his body before creating a hooded cloak around himself. He walks with his head down for a few seconds before coming within range of the castle and disappearing into smoke. The camera follows the smoke cloud as it circles the castle before stopping and descending into a window.
Hokori reforms and looks around to find himself in a large room behind a large machine. He walks around it to see the woman from before suspended in it, being continuously hit with electric shocks.
"So I guess mino didn't take kindly to you failing to catch Rea." Hokori says jokingly
She looks to him with a pained expression.
"Please, help me!" She says before yelping out in Pain.
Hokori almost instinctively presses a button that turns off the machine making the woman fall. Hokori before she hits the ground catches her.
"Your turn to help me out. Where did you put the village people after they were captured?" Hokori questions
"There's a dungeon under the castle just leave this room, hang a right and keep going until you hit a staircase. It leads down there. The town's people are in the cells." The woman says before coughing.
Hokori takes note of her instruction and puts her down. He grabs her hand and places another sphere in her hand before walking away.
"I never asked. What's your name?" Hokori asks looking back.
"Taka." She answers as she stands up.
"Nice to meet you Taka. I advise you to leave this place and Don't get yourself killed." Hokori says before leaving the dim room.
Taka looks down at the capsule and back to the door. Before the scene cuts to Hokori jogging down the hallway and to The staircase. He walks down and finds a locked door. He smokes out and passes under the door. When He reforms he is right behind a guard. Hokori smiles and flicks his wrist and some smoke comes out of the triangle tattoo that floats intothe guards nose as he inhales. The camera cuts to face the guard and we see him cough and falls to the ground. Hokori walks around him and walks into a room filled with cells all filled with people.
"Alright people. Stay calm and I'll get you out of here real quick." Hokori says before releasing some more smoke that breaks the locks on the cells.
"Did you just kill that guy?" One of the town people asks.
"Nope he just passed out. Anyway. Everybody stand back. This is gonna be loud." Hokori says as the smoke in the room clings to the wall. "This ought to to get your attention."
The camera cuts back to Rea on the wall.
"Come on Hokori. Hurry the hell u-." She complains before stopping When she sees a massive explosion blow apart the side of the building. "That's my cue." Rea says before disappearing from the wall.
The camera follows her as she sprints to the castle just a few seconds and into the hole.
"Get these people out of here. I'm gonna speak with Mino." Hokori says before smoking out and flying up and crashing into the window of Minos throne room.
Immediately he is attacked. Sliced by two Guards he ducks their attacks and punches the two of them in the Andaman breaking their armor and sending them tumbling back.
He stands up, his eyes dark, hair no longer tied back, he jumps at Mino. Mid air his fist is enveloped in smoke. Mino raises his hand and catches the punch without flinching.
"Hokori Itami. You are a very difficult man to find little did I know you would come to me." Mino says with a toothy grin.
"I didn't come here to fight. I came to warn you. I will avenge my mother's death. And I will end your little crusade."
"You might be a little late and living under a rock. I've already built my Empire and I am king!" Mino suddenly pushes Atara back and raises his arms making the floor beneath Atara into a wave that throws him out of the building's window. Mino jumps out after Hokori and grabs him mid air.
"Is this your power of a God? You're nothing more than that child from a few years ago." Mino says before throwing Hokori to the ground and landing a few feet away.
Rea suddenly appears next to Hokori as he strains to stand. Smoke leaking from his hands and pooling around the three.
"You will pay for all that you've done not just to me. But to all that you have stomped over toit reach this point." Hokori says placing his hand on Rea's shoulder and making the two disappear and reappear outside of the gate.
"Did you get everyone out alright?" Hokori says, looking at Rea.
"Yeah. They're all back at the village." Rea says, putting Hokori’s arm over her shoulder to help him walk."So what's your plan with Mino?"
"Well this might not end it all but." Hokori stops and snaps his fingers, detonating the smoke still around Mino, causing a visible explosion behind the two of them.
The scene transitions to see them entering Rea's village.
The two hobble in and the town's people all look to them before letting out thankful cheers. They gather around in a crowd thanking Hokori and Rea.
The chater of the village suddenly becomes quiet as we hear Hokori's voice.
"I guess at the time I wasn't expecting their hospitality at the time but I think by now I've gotten more comfortable with it after so long. This is where my journey started and this is how the story went." Hokori says as the screen fades to black. "This is also when the in the world darkness awakened."
submitted by CARDSAR to fantasywriters [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 22:51 elkodust Life camera real

LAPTOP QUESTIONNAIRE

  • **Total budget (in local currency) and country of purchase. Please do not use USD unless purchasing in the US:**USA, setting a soft cap of 2k but am willing to go over for the right fit, as this will be for a work machine. If I can get a good deal and save some money I am not opposed to that either!
  • **Are you open to refurbs/used?**Sure!
  • **How would you prioritize form factor (ultrabook, 2-in-1, etc.), build quality, performance, and battery life?**I have a desktop that I do the bulk of my work on, so this just needs to be capable enough for me to do the work I need to do while being portable. Performance wise I need to be able to comfortably do VR development/3D rendering. I was toying with the idea of a 2-in-1, but it isnt the highest priority at all.
  • **How important is weight and thinness to you?**It would be nice if this was comfortable to travel with. I don't want any sort of desktop replacement sized machine.
  • **Do you have a preferred screen size? If indifferent, put N/A.**15" or smaller. (Also don't really need a 4k screen or anything, 1080p is fine)
  • **Are you doing any CAD/video editing/photo editing/gaming? List which programs/games you desire to run.**I mainly work within the Adobe suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, After Effects), Blender, Unity, Unreal Engine.
  • **If you're gaming, do you have certain games you want to play? At what settings and FPS do you want?**It would be nice to be able to play games too but this isn't the main priority
  • **Any specific requirements such as good keyboard, reliable build quality, touch-screen, finger-print reader, optical drive or good input devices (keyboard/touchpad)?**Mainly reliable build quality. I really would prefer that the machine had a webcam ( so no G14 for me). It also would be good if the RAM and M.2 slots are serviceable so I can salvage the parts from my older machine. Also something that can at least be somewhat presentable in a professional setting would be good too.
  • Leave any finishing thoughts here that you may feel are necessary and beneficial to the discussion.

So I have spent a bunch of time looking through posts on here and have tried to do as much due diligence in narrowing down my choices and I can't for the life of me pick one. I previously used a Gigabyte Aero 15x but after an accidental spill all over the keyboard a few months back it hasn't been doing so hot. Right now the top contenders are the Eluktronics Mag-15 and the Eluktronics RP-15. Both seem like great values and have a mix of specs that would let me get work done well, although I am not sure which of the two I should choose:

RP-15 Pros:
  • Ryzen processor would be better for the multicore work that I do
  • The boosted 2060 would probably do better than the 2070 max Q in the Mag-15 ( although probably marginal)
Mag-15 Pros:
  • The fact that the machine has all the advantages of being designed in tandem with Intel is reassuring
  • Seemingly lighter
  • Notably better battery
  • Camera on the top of the bezel
  • Nice mechanical keyboard

I also looked at getting something like the XPS 15, and those seem to have a much more premium price. My only hesitation is that this isn't going to be my main machine, so it feels like a waste spending so much when something like the Eluktronics machines get me 80% of the way there. Also, given my use case the whole battery drain while plugged in makes it a no go.
I also was toying with the idea of getting something like the ConceptD 3 Ezel or the HP Spectre because a 2-in-1 would be real convenient for art purposes, but those have comparable (or significantly worse) specs to my other choices while being significantly more expensive, and I am not so sure I'd use the 2 in 1 features enough to justify such a price jump. I have a spare wacom tablet I can lug around just fine if it's going to save me a bunch of money.
The only other caveat is that I need to order one soon, so I can't really spend to much time waiting for something else to come out. Thanks!!
submitted by elkodust to SuggestALaptop [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 22:35 wowsabs Life real camera

So I have a lot of feelings for SVT and I'm just going to let them out here, but I would love to know how they make you feel.
I want to preface this by saying that I feel like I'm grounded enough in reality that when I "stan" a k-pop group (I used to stan Big Bang/Shinee/BTS back in 2014/2015, but had to stop for school, and picked back up with SVT just this year), I don't have these unrealistic expectations. I understand that between me and the idol group, although the fan-basis is adored by the group, we're still in a very much consumer and producer relationship. I know how they are on camera isn't who they are in real life (granted, there has to be some truth of their real persona cause it's just hard to fake it for that long). I know they'll get married (I can't wait to see them pubically happy with someone ^_^) and perhaps have kids. I know they live their own lives outside of their idol group. I know their dynamic isn't as perfect as we always see on screen, that there might be deep conflicts behind closed doors.
I know all this. And I believe all this to be true, regardless of what group I observe or stan. And sometimes, it bothers me. Sometimes, I get really annoyed with the k-pop industry and the illustrious image they attempt (and successfully) sell us at the expense of our idols comfort (the frigid rules they're obligated to follow out of fear of being shunned from the industry, the mental and physical strain they undergo, the public scrutiny, and being forced to appease their fan-basis at every-which-way). I get so mad and I want to stop watching videos and buying merch and just leave it all as a means to take a stand against the system that hurts the people that bring me so much joy. Of course, my boycotts don’t last too long, but sometimes they can persist for months.
But with Seventeen...man. I just can't explain it. One, I will forever and always support them. I know that most of the money I spend on them will go to their management company. But I also know that a percentage goes to the boys and that itself is what drives me to support them.
And now to the main point. Why I support them. Why I will forever and always support them.
How Seventeen makes me feel:
Full. Light. When I'm having a bad day, I know that I can turn on any SVT video, whether it's a performance, dance practice, music video, variety, GoSe, literally anything, and just smile. Escape reality. Truly enjoy the content. Just be happy to see them on screen, doing their thing, working so fucking hard, and having fun while they're doing it. Knowing that however far they've come, they truly deserve it and more.
They're the type of idols that truly appreciate their fan-basis. What I mean by that is that they don't have to constantly tell us that. They don't have to call us their "wives" or "girlfriends." Hell, they don't even have to do fan-service. But what they do is that when something good happens to them, they always thank us. They know that behind all their success is us, the fans, rewarding their efforts (we can do better at times).
And it's so rare to find that in a group. I find myself getting annoyed and feeling borderline patronized when I see a group call their groups girlfriends, or like dedicate overly-romantic songs to their fans. That's what feeds into the delusion that k-pop industry wants us to see, to hide the atrocities that are behind these rose-colored glasses.
But with Seventeen. what you see is basically what you get. I'm not saying they're 100% authentic on camera, but they're definitely as close as it gets. When you watch their videos, you can see the times they're genuinely enjoying their time together, or when they're annoyed (those eye rolls, the scoffs, etc.). The boys that are shy and quiet, they're just shy and quiet. The ones that are loud and goofy (I'm looking at you BSS) are just that. When they're not in the mood to talk, they won't. But most of all, they love each other, if not for what they’ve went through pre-debut and being from a small company, then for the career they’ve built together. They’re the definition of true brothers to me.
What makes it even better is the fact that they want to give us content. It's not like a burden to them. They comment on Weverse all the time (oh, Hoshi, you adorable Tiger), they do V-Lives, they appear on variety and they even pre-recorded GoSe episodes after their exhausting world tour.
They’ve made it so far. So fucking far. They came from a company that was bankrupt. They withstood horrid conditions. They might not be BTS level of successful, but they’ve made it. They’ve pushed past that point of pain and dread everyday, not knowing if they’ll succeed because they have us.
And in return, we have them. Their laughs. Their smiles. Their appreciation. Their charisma. Their silliness. And even if we don’t give them hundreds of millions of views on their music videos, we sell out their concerts. We chart them in Japan, Taiwan, China, and sometimes even the US. We give them album sales.
That’s the beauty of SVT. The relationship we’ve established isn’t very obsessive, nor is it parasitic. It’s symbiotic and true. Like a friend.
They just make me feel like I'm their friend. Truly. Like I could chill and hang out with them just like that. No pretenses. They make me feel cherished and seen and appreciated. It's so nice and not at all suffocating or annoying and insistent. They make me feel comfortable and confident in my own skin and that’s why it’s considered true friendship. A platonic love story :,)
Anyways, I know this was super long, but I just had to get it out. I always have ramblings in my head and I just have to get it out. I would love to hear how SVT makes you guys feel because I find it interesting to compare my experiences with others.
submitted by wowsabs to seventeen [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 22:22 CobaltCrusader123 Real camera life

EDIT: Among Us 2 in cancelled. Think of these as Update ideas
EVERY ONE OF THESE CHANGES CAN BE TURNED OFF OR ON
-Ability to vote to change ship after a number of rounds, this number being determined by the host
-A testing room (you can test if people are impostor or crewmate). It would only work after every electrical task is finished, and Impostors could sabotage the testing room to make them look innocent, or make an innocent look guilty. This testing room stops working if the power in electrical is cut
-Crewmate pets can snitch in meetings, saying the name of the person that killed them. This setting could be turned off for each server
-At the beginning of the round, a set number of players (number determined by host) can be confirmed to not be impostors after the ImpostoCrewmate screen.
-Impostors can still sabotage after death
-If someone died but was scanned in MedBay, you can clone them and resurrect them, bringing back the dead player (presuming the person didn't leave the game after dying).
-A dramatic music cue for every minute a color is mentioned in meetings. Imagine someone says pink and the music goes *DUN DUN DUUUN*
-IF YOU GOT INTERRUPTED IN THE MIDDLE OF A TASK, YOUR PROGRESS SHOULD BE KEPT. If you connected two wires, the two wires will stay connected.
-After meetings, people should be spawned in the rooms they were originally in before being called to meeting.
-Both Impostors and Crewmates should be able to report to click the report button at any time. This includes being in the middle of doing tasks
-There should be Star-Trek Style teleportation devices accessible to everyone.
-All hallway cameras should record, not just livestream to security, so players can go back and check footage in security
-After committing a murder on camera, Impostors should be able to hack into security and change the footage so they can frame another player
-Impostors should be able to set traps (ie tripwire, turrets, lazer guns with their triggers tied to doors, set off bombs to kill multiple people at once)
-Everyone should be able to kill anybody else. It would lead to more mystery-- before only Impostors could kill, but maybe a Crewmate just got bloodthirsty?
-A GoPro-style camera cosmetic attached to players heads that can record their death, and can or can't be hacked into, depending on settings
-Make it harder for Impostors to win via sabotage. I've seen too many matches where like one person dies, oxygen is cut, and the Impostors win in under a minute
-More color options, also being able to change visor color
-Mixed color options, with patterns (half blue half black in a checker pattern, for example)
-More skins rather than the default astronaut design. Maybe some designs based on real astronaut suits, and blurbs about their history? I imagine basing designs off fictional sci-fi characters would be legally sketchy.
-Dance emotes. I won't use them, but someone else might want to.
-Impostors get to choose the commonality of every kill animation (ie 50% turn into an alien, 25% knife, 25% gun, 0% snap neck)
-Impostors get to choose if they see their murder victim's kill animation in a small screen that pops up in the corner of their real-life monitor
-After death, you choose whether to be a ghost (where you're able to do tasks) or a spectator (where you can follow each player's movements and switch player views by clicking)
-Customizable ejection messages ie "Player345 went to horny jail". They would either be created by server hosts, or are customized by each individual player for their own ejection message
-More kill animations
-If within range, Crewmates and Impostors should be able to kill multiple people at once. This includes killing other impostors. Again, every factor mentioned here should be customizable-- you could set it so that Impostors can't kill other impostors.
-Changing environments
-Animal Crossing style voice acting (grunts when killed, a victorious "ha-ha" after doing certain tasks, laughing after a successful kill)
-All crewmates and Impostors should be able to access a smorgasbord of weapons, which would be able to be used (like a top down shooter). Impostors have access to special weapons, which are made available to crewmates after an Impostor is killed or ejected.These weapons should be special, like homing weapons or being able to shoot through walls. These special weapons should be earned by credits, these credits depending on how many Crewmates an Impostor has killed (Yes, this idea is VERY inspired by TTT)
-More tasks, which are closer to minigames (ie snake, Minefield, Pong)
-Admin works in real time (players move around on the admin map in the routes they take in the ship like in Mario Kart, players disappear if killed, you can see players taking routes that would be impossible unless they vented).
-More fully animated cutscenes, especially for the very beginning and very ending of matches. Also every time someone gets ejected or killed.
-Players should be able to jump and slide under and over new obstacles.
-A customizable level of gravity. When players jump, how high do they go, and how slow do they fall? BUT NO FALL DAMAGE NOT EVEN AS AN OPTION
-Impostors should be able to "force eject" anyone they want. This ability works on a timer (you can't spam it) and is a body-free way of killing people
-A secret body disposal room only accessible to Impostors. Impostors and Crewmates should be able to carry bodies (Both would be able to clone/revive a player if they were scanned in MedBay).
-Each impostor should be able to resurrect one other Impostor after doing many tasks and killing many people.
-The ability to make your own ships, with your own obstacles, cameras, vent placements, etc.
-A free-for-all Ghost Deathmatch
-More rooms
-Changing environments (ie an experimentation room could be home to a constantly growing beanstalk that when tall enough accesses a second story)
-Ships with multiple stories/floors
-New tasks on the outside of the ship. In real life, many operations take place outside/top of a ship. Also, Impostors should be able to push people off the ship into eternity (another body-free method of murder)


Tell me your thoughts! Again, ideally all these ideas would be customizable and able to be turned off or on.
submitted by CobaltCrusader123 to AmongUs [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 22:08 bryany97 Camera life real

My name is John. I've never murdered anyone, but I am a notorious serial killer. I say that because I am directly responsible for the deaths of numerous people. I know I'll never be caught. I can only imagine what you're thinking while reading this. Though, I'm not sure it matters.
The fact is, I'm not sharing this story because I feel bad about what has happened or because I have some need to get it off my chest. I've just been reflecting on last year and decided it might prove as an interesting tale. For what it's worth, I've never considered myself to be a bad person. Do I have problems? Of course. Am I intentionally malicious? I don't think so. But I suppose I'm not the most trustworthy source on that.
Everything started in January of last year. I was a high school dropout kicked out of my parent's home at seventeen and living in a shitty apartment in a bad part of town. I was working my third consecutive overtime shift at a run-down diner. The place was old, and I think its position as a historic site is the only reason people in our town even frequented the place. It made just enough to squeak by, but we seldom had the money fix the things that were obviously broken. Let alone make wholesale improvements.
My manager, Gregory, was a mean spirited older man. When he wasn't peering at us with his hawk-like gaze, he was in the back, cursing the passage of time that stole his football-playing youth along with most of his hair. Every morning he lumbered into the diner with a scowl that would give crocodiles goosebumps. His first order of business was generally to delegate tasks in the rudest way possible and belittle anyone who so much as asked a question.
An extremely conservative man, one night, he screamed at one of the female employees because a customer had made a rather disgusting comment during happy hour.
"How dare you come into work looking like a slut?" He said in regards to her light makeup and naturally curvy body fitting tightly into our worn-out outfits. "Don't you ever come to work looking like that unprofessional again."
After that conversation, she took his advice and never came back. Funny how a man who, in the past, has made crude remarks to other female employees in a half-baked attempt to get into their pants can belittle someone for that. Suffice it to say, his creepiness and warped sense of logic and morality extended to all parts of life.
I was taking a smoke break outside by the dumpster when Gregory decided to come out and meet me. He asked if he could bum a cigarette, and I watched him fumble with a lighter as I handed it to him.
He took a long drag and let out an obnoxious exhale. Then he looked me up and down before saying, "I know I said you'd only have to work these few overtimes, but I'm gonna need you to pull doubles for the next couple of weeks at the least."
My once calm demeanor was broken as I spun towards him, "What?! Doubles for a couple of weeks? You can't just drop that on me, Gregory!"
He took another long drag and spat on that ground a little too close to my shoe. "Look, Jose, just quit, and Maria keeps giving me that bullshit about school. I need someone on staff, or its gonna get real rough."
"You can't ask anyone else to at least split the time with me? You know about my insomnia, Gregory. I don't think it's fair to put me in that posi..."
"No!" He said sternly. "I'm not asking anyone else because I'm asking you. Anyone else can cancel on me and make it look halfway legitimate. But you? You've got no life outside of this place. Plus, you need the money, and this place needs work until I can hire someone. If anything, you should be thanking me."
Like everyone else, I was used to Gregory's bullying, snide remarks, and unreasonable demands. Unlike everyone else, I stayed with it for a year. You would think that he'd treat his most loyal employee with some respect, but my staying put had the opposite effect. I think he felt that because I wasn't going anywhere, he could treat me as horrible as he wanted, knowing I wouldn't do a damn thing.
I'd argued with Gregory before. There have been times when I legitimately thought we would have to fight to settle our differences. I hated that place, and I hated him. He's threatened to fire me multiple times, and as much as I would've loved to quit, being an anti-social eighteen-year-old with no diploma, long history of mental health problems, and mild drug addiction didn't present many opportunities, especially in a town without many openings in the first place.
Shitty environments invite worse company, I suppose. Me and that diner were meant for each other in a tragically cosmic sort of way. And knowing that, all I could do was nod my head and mutter, "You got it, boss" before walking back inside.
That night, I got home to my small apartment, shuffled the pile of bills off of my kitchen counter, and began to heat up some water for another night of instant ramen. As I watched the water boil, one of the papers with bright red lettering caught my attention from the corner of my eye. Curiously, I focused my sight on the bill. But, as I read it to myself, my heart slowly began to sink, and I let out a very audible, "Shit" as I went to grab it.
The bill read, "RENT PAST DUE. FINAL WARNING."
In short, I had a week to pay up before I was evicted. The issue being, I wasn't supposed to be paid for another two weeks as I had just gotten my paycheck, and it wasn't enough to cover my rent. Thinking about how I could've let such an important letter go unnoticed, my mind was a blur as I tried to recall the previous weed-heavy nights. I could see my hands start to shake as the stress began to eat at me. In response, I grabbed a shot of vodka to dull my senses. Sitting on the couch and letting the alcohol take effect, I grabbed my vape pen and took a long hit to silence any thought of a panic attack.
But even in my intoxicated state, the thought still nagged at me. What the hell was I going to do? I stared at the boiling water on the stove, walked over to turn it off, and ordered a pizza using some of the dwindling funds I had in my bank account. Ultimately, it was a problem for another day.
During my third day of pulling double-shifts, I tried to start my beat-up sedan and was met by a sound that clearly indicated it would have to be a day where I took the bus to work. I tried to text Gregory, but my phone often takes a while sending messages, and I knew he might not see it until I got there.
Running on three hours of sleep, I groggily made my way to the bus stop, where the bus came nearly half an hour late and dropped me off a little farther than where I needed to be to get to work. The early morning's debacle made me about an hour and a half late, and I was instantly met at the door by a furious Gregory. He immediately dragged me into his office, where he screamed at me for not being on time.
I tried explaining to him that it was out of my control and that I tried to contact him. Still, he blamed me for not ensuring that I had reliable transportation and that I should've just figured it out. I'm not sure what it was, but he seemed on edge far more than usual. When he kicked me out, I could feel the entire diner staring at me.
I tried going along with my regular shift, and for the most part, I was doing well, but I could feel the fatigue starting to kick in. The only thing keeping me going was some coffee I snuck from the coffee maker, an Adderall pill I bummed from a co-worker, and the drive to make it to Friday so that I could pay my rent. But the effects of having to do double shifts and insomnia were coming in strong.
A couple of cute girls had made an order for two Ceasar salads with a side of fruit. A pretty simple order, but before I could leave their table, they stopped me to chat for a little bit. It only took me a second to realize that I was being flirted with. Being flirted with a very rare thing for me, so I was pretty stoked when it happened. Despite all the stress of the past week, it felt amazing to have an extra bit of positivity to drive me forward.
In retrospect, I may have clung to that positivity too tightly. Between the exhaustion and mild daydreams of asking one of those girls for their number and seeing where things went... A small lapse in awareness was all it took to mix up their order with another table. I apologized, and as I went to give the food to the correct customers, I tripped over my own feet and sent the food and dishes careening to the floor.
The diner went silent as everyone turned to look at the mess I had made. In that silence, I heard a loud curse as Gregory came marching out of his office to inspect the incident. His eyes grew wide at the broken plates before focusing on me. He put his hands on his head and dramatically yelled, "What the hell are you doing, you god damn idiot?"
I was left stuttering, trying to come up with a good response. I could see the two girls stifle giggles, and I looked back to Gregory with worried eyes. "Look, Gregory. I'm sorry, I've been drained and stressed, and I just had an accident. I'll clean it up."
"You're god damn right you're gonna clean this shit up!" He yelled from across the diner. "And then..." He pucked his lips and marched towards me. "Then, you're going to get the hell out of my diner, and you're never going to come back."
"What?" I yelled back. "Because I dropped some damn dishes? It happens! I've worked my ass off for you for a year, and you treat me like this because of dishes?"
His eyes narrowed, and the old man looked as though he was ready to come to blows. "Don't you fucking yell at me! You come in late, you fuck up orders, and as soon as you walked through those doors, I could smell the weed on you! Some of us have real issues to deal with, and you come in here, claiming you're exhausted." He gave a fake chuckle. "I don't care who you are, you don't come into my restaurant high and then try and pass it off as being tired. Truth is, I've wanted you gone for a while now. Last weekend I found someone to take your spot. A little earlier than I thought, but you've shown me today that I really don't need your loser ass around here."
Tears started to well up in my eyes, and my voice cracked as I tried to plead with him, "Gregory, please. I need this job. My rent is due Friday, and if I don't get paid, I'll be evicted. Please, don't do this. I promise I'll do better."
This time his chuckle seemed more genuine. "Paid by Friday? No. I'll give you your paycheck when I'm ready. What happens in your personal life is none of my concern. So long as it doesn't bleed into your work. Obviously, it has. Now get out, John."
The diner fell silent again as he walked back into his office and slammed the door. I sat for a moment, feeling as though the world was judging me. I looked back at the two girls and the look of disgust they had on their faces... They were staring at a loser. A druggie. A child without a home. I punched the ground in frustration. I was done.
I looked outside and saw the gloomy sky show signs of rain. I could've taken the bus home, but I just didn't care. I made the long walk home in the shower, accepting it as part of my punishment for being a stain on existence. It was my fault, right? I had put myself in that position. Fucked up as it was, I was resigned to my fate by the time I got home. I figured, why not let the universe kick me around as much as possible? My parents always called me a mistake, and now? I was being shown why.
I flopped into my couch, and as I made the now routine motion of reaching for my wax pen to let the THC take me into a momentary place of bliss, I stopped and thought. Why should I accept fate as it is? Why the hell would I let a horrible man like Gregory treat me like trash? My whole life, I had been pushed around and stepped on, and I just accepted the role of being everyone else's punching bag. And for what? I never set out to hurt anyone, and yet everyone else wanted to hurt me. I couldn't do that anymore. It was time I took matters into my own hands.
That night, I made a plan to break into the diner's safe. If Gregory was there, I would deal with him in whatever way I saw fit. I knew from the onset that I'd be an immediate suspect in a robbery, but the fact is, I didn't care. I was desperate. Plus, winter was coming, and my options were limited when faced with being out in the snow.
The next morning, I went and got everything I needed, a bb gun, hammer, rope, duct tape, and a crowbar. Five minutes before the diner closed, I drove up to the empty lot, downed a small bottle of tequila I keep in my glove compartment. Then I waited, twenty, thirty minutes just to be sure. When I was satisfied that no one else was coming in after the last car from the night shift had left, I was confident it would just be him and me all night.
I donned a cheap wolf mask I found in my closet, slid the bb gun into my front pocket, and the hammer in my back pocket. With the rest of the supplies in my backpack, I made my move.
I kicked open the front door and immediately walked to the back office. I furiously pounded on the door to coax the old man out. When that ugly, vile man opened up to see what was happening, I immediately swung at his face, dropping him to the floor. Then, I took the crowbar from my backpack and swung down on his knees; the apparent cracking gave me a sense of satisfaction I had never before felt in my life. I tied him up with the rope and duct-taped his hands and feet together.
The old man cried on the ground, asking what it was that I wanted. I pulled the gun from my front pocket and waved it in his face. I made sure to stare into his soulless black eyes. A year of torment and hate stared back at me from the void. I couldn't help but make it personal. He needed to know that his actions caused this. That he made me a victim, and now he was paying the price.
I pulled off my mask and stated, "Where's my fucking money, Gregory?"
There was an audible gasp, "John? What the hell are you doing, boy?"
I was starting to get frustrated, "Answer the damn question, Gregory! Where's my fucking money?"
He spat at me and shook his head. "Well, you're not getting it now, you god damn idiot. You messed up, John. You're going to jail for a very long time." I pushed the gun closer to his face, and he screamed, "Get that gun out of my fucking face!" He then took a breath to calm himself down. "You know? Maybe I should be thankful it was just you. We both know you're a disturbed loser. The whole town does. And a disturbed loser like you don't have the balls to shoot me or anyone else."
"You wanna bet?"
"I do." He laughed that annoying know-it-all laugh. "You're a little shit whose own parents couldn't stand the sight of you. Sure, you'd sucker punch an old man. But now that you have to look me in the eyes and really contemplate what you're about to do? You're too pathetic."
For a moment, my finger played with the trigger, contemplating whether or not to shoot him with a gun I knew wouldn't kill him. In a sense, he was right. I did sucker punch him. I brought a fake gun, knowing I couldn't shoot him with a real one. Everything was rushing back again, pain, darkness, despair, being a fucking loser. I screamed and threw the gun down. Pulling on my hair, I paced back and forth, cursing to myself, "Shit! Shit! Shit! What did I do?"
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him grinning. "Untie me, John! Now! And maybe I'll give you a five-second headstart before I call the cops. Boy, I can't wait to see them execute you for being as disturbed as you are."
There was that word again, "disturbed." There he was, tied up with his knees broken, and he was still belittling me. How could he still have power over me? I stopped. Took a deep breath, and let the realization hit me like a tsunami crashing onto the shore. I'm not right, and that's okay.
I casually walked over to where the old man was tied up, bent down next to him, and coldly stated, "You know? Being disturbed isn't a crime. Though the actions of the disturbed often are. And you're right. I am very disturbed."
I flipped him onto his back, straddled his chest, and wrapped my hands around his neck. I felt no remorse. I simply wanted to feel this man's life drain out of his body, and with every second of him struggling more and more to breathe, I could feel the power shifting more and more towards me. For the first time in our relationship, I was in control. I decided what happened to him.
But just as I was about to feel the euphoria of Gregory's death wash over me, an unimaginable force sent my back flying. I was dazed for a moment. Thinking the old man had somehow managed to conjure up some last bits of immense strength, I prepared my hammer and resigned myself to bludgeoning him to death. But when I saw what lay before me, my jaw and the hammer fell to the floor.
Kneeling before me was a figure. Its broad frame was covered in inky black skin. It stood on large three-toed webbed feet, and its wide-meaty hands were tipped in talons that each had to be at least ten inches long. But the most shocking was its face. It was utterly smooth save for two small eyes that narrowed on me. And a row of slits forming what appeared to be a smile. Behind each slit, I could see rows of sharp teeth. When it stood erect, I could see it had a slight hunch, but it still had to be no less than eight feet tall even with that.
We locked eyes for a moment before it turned around to face Gregory. I watched in horror as it tore into Gregory's body. Pieces of flesh and bone were strewn about the small diner as I watched it flay open his chest and ribcage with ease before ripping off his jaw and one his arms. It then flung the carcass against the wall with such force that the impact left a crater. But the most curious thing of all was that Gregory's body seemed to decay in real-time. I watched as his skin instantly dried out, and maggots seemed to already be consuming him from the inside out mere moments after his death.
The hulking figure spun back around and kneeled in front of me. I scurried back and screamed in terror. I knew the thing could've just as quickly killed me as it killed him. The fear inside me grew every second. I had no idea if it had something planned or if it merely wanted to go on a violent rampage.
It flattened out its hand in front of me, and only then was I able to grasp the actual size of the thing. If it wanted to, it could wrap two fingers around my entire torso and carry me in its palms.
I screamed, "Get away from me," while I shut my eyes tight, waiting for it to crush me in its massive palm. But instead, what bubbled up from the inky black surface was cash. It motioned for me to take it, and only hesitating for a moment, I stuffed the stacks into my bag. I wanted to thank the creature for what it had done, but I didn't know what to say. Luckily, I ended up not having to say anything.
To this day, I'm still not sure how we communicate. If the voice is real or in my head, I'll never know. But what I heard was an ethereal sounding echo that simply said, "I know you have questions. They won't all be answered right now. But for now just know, that I am your guardian angel, John. And I will always protect you."
All I could do was mutter out a weak "Thank you." And with a blink of my eye, it was gone. I scrambled to my feet, and after taking notice of the dead body for the second time, I realized I needed to get the hell out of there.
The next morning after paying my rent, I switched on the news and saw that they were talking about the incident at the diner. Apparently, all the cameras had been switched off, and the police found no evidence of foul play. The rope and tape had disappeared, and investigators were convinced some unidentified animal, likely a bear, broke in and mauled Gregory. They noted that the safe was empty but concluded it was a separate incident from the mauling, considering it hadn't appeared to be broken into.
I couldn't believe I had gotten away with the impossible. I remember laughing to myself in disbelief. But it was soon replaced with a sudden realization. Gregory wasn't the only person that had done me wrong. No. Many many people in my life were responsible for the shitty situation I was in. A lot of those people living good happy lives despite taking their turn stepping on mine.
They were going to pay dearly. They had to suffer for their transgressions. I had some money remaining from last night and figured, maybe it was time I got out of this shitty town and did some traveling. By the next week, I packed up the little I had and started traveling. The most valuable commodity I owned and the only thing I truly needed was the will to kill. So long as I had that, my horrifying friend would always take care of the rest.
Many people have likely seen me around. Maybe some reading this story. I fade into the background for the most part. Observing and occasionally interacting. But never someone you'd remember. And perhaps that's a good thing. Maybe you shouldn't want to be around someone like me. I move in the darkness, and when you know I'm there, it's already too late.
I've gone around exacting the kind of justice that I think is necessary for the past two years. With every new body, the closer I get to true happiness. I don't know what the end goal is. Maybe I'll just keep going until the pain goes away. Perhaps I'll stop and settle down. But for now, there is so much more work that needs to be done. And I'll do it with a smile on my face, one that mirrors that of my guardian angel. An angel that, to this day, I still have a healthy respect and fear for.
It's always good to keep in mind that our relationship is built on a foundation of pain. For now, we keep the peace. But anyone should know, personal demons can hurt you just as quickly as they can hurt anyone else. When it stalks me in my dreams, watches me walk down the street, or stares back from my reflection in the mirror. I know what it wants. More death, more pain. For now, I'm happy to oblige. But I am terrified of what happens when I can't any longer.
At the end of the day, I suppose everyone has demons. Some just happen to be more... apparent than others.
submitted by bryany97 to TheDarkGathering [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 22:03 bryany97 Real camera life

My name is John. I've never murdered anyone, but I am a notorious serial killer. I say that because I am directly responsible for the deaths of numerous people. I know I'll never be caught. I can only imagine what you're thinking while reading this. Though, I'm not sure it matters.
The fact is, I'm not sharing this story because I feel bad about what has happened or because I have some need to get it off my chest. I've just been reflecting on last year and decided it might prove as an interesting tale. For what it's worth, I've never considered myself to be a bad person. Do I have problems? Of course. Am I intentionally malicious? I don't think so. But I suppose I'm not the most trustworthy source on that.
Everything started in January of last year. I was a high school dropout kicked out of my parent's home at seventeen and living in a shitty apartment in a bad part of town. I was working my third consecutive overtime shift at a run-down diner. The place was old, and I think its position as a historic site is the only reason people in our town even frequented the place. It made just enough to squeak by, but we seldom had the money fix the things that were obviously broken. Let alone make wholesale improvements.
My manager, Gregory, was a mean spirited older man. When he wasn't peering at us with his hawk-like gaze, he was in the back, cursing the passage of time that stole his football-playing youth along with most of his hair. Every morning he lumbered into the diner with a scowl that would give crocodiles goosebumps. His first order of business was generally to delegate tasks in the rudest way possible and belittle anyone who so much as asked a question.
An extremely conservative man, one night, he screamed at one of the female employees because a customer had made a rather disgusting comment during happy hour.
"How dare you come into work looking like a slut?" He said in regards to her light makeup and naturally curvy body fitting tightly into our worn-out outfits. "Don't you ever come to work looking like that unprofessional again."
After that conversation, she took his advice and never came back. Funny how a man who, in the past, has made crude remarks to other female employees in a half-baked attempt to get into their pants can belittle someone for that. Suffice it to say, his creepiness and warped sense of logic and morality extended to all parts of life.
I was taking a smoke break outside by the dumpster when Gregory decided to come out and meet me. He asked if he could bum a cigarette, and I watched him fumble with a lighter as I handed it to him.
He took a long drag and let out an obnoxious exhale. Then he looked me up and down before saying, "I know I said you'd only have to work these few overtimes, but I'm gonna need you to pull doubles for the next couple of weeks at the least."
My once calm demeanor was broken as I spun towards him, "What?! Doubles for a couple of weeks? You can't just drop that on me, Gregory!"
He took another long drag and spat on that ground a little too close to my shoe. "Look, Jose, just quit, and Maria keeps giving me that bullshit about school. I need someone on staff, or its gonna get real rough."
"You can't ask anyone else to at least split the time with me? You know about my insomnia, Gregory. I don't think it's fair to put me in that posi..."
"No!" He said sternly. "I'm not asking anyone else because I'm asking you. Anyone else can cancel on me and make it look halfway legitimate. But you? You've got no life outside of this place. Plus, you need the money, and this place needs work until I can hire someone. If anything, you should be thanking me."
Like everyone else, I was used to Gregory's bullying, snide remarks, and unreasonable demands. Unlike everyone else, I stayed with it for a year. You would think that he'd treat his most loyal employee with some respect, but my staying put had the opposite effect. I think he felt that because I wasn't going anywhere, he could treat me as horrible as he wanted, knowing I wouldn't do a damn thing.
I'd argued with Gregory before. There have been times when I legitimately thought we would have to fight to settle our differences. I hated that place, and I hated him. He's threatened to fire me multiple times, and as much as I would've loved to quit, being an anti-social eighteen-year-old with no diploma, long history of mental health problems, and mild drug addiction didn't present many opportunities, especially in a town without many openings in the first place.
Shitty environments invite worse company, I suppose. Me and that diner were meant for each other in a tragically cosmic sort of way. And knowing that, all I could do was nod my head and mutter, "You got it, boss" before walking back inside.
That night, I got home to my small apartment, shuffled the pile of bills off of my kitchen counter, and began to heat up some water for another night of instant ramen. As I watched the water boil, one of the papers with bright red lettering caught my attention from the corner of my eye. Curiously, I focused my sight on the bill. But, as I read it to myself, my heart slowly began to sink, and I let out a very audible, "Shit" as I went to grab it.
The bill read, "RENT PAST DUE. FINAL WARNING."
In short, I had a week to pay up before I was evicted. The issue being, I wasn't supposed to be paid for another two weeks as I had just gotten my paycheck, and it wasn't enough to cover my rent. Thinking about how I could've let such an important letter go unnoticed, my mind was a blur as I tried to recall the previous weed-heavy nights. I could see my hands start to shake as the stress began to eat at me. In response, I grabbed a shot of vodka to dull my senses. Sitting on the couch and letting the alcohol take effect, I grabbed my vape pen and took a long hit to silence any thought of a panic attack.
But even in my intoxicated state, the thought still nagged at me. What the hell was I going to do? I stared at the boiling water on the stove, walked over to turn it off, and ordered a pizza using some of the dwindling funds I had in my bank account. Ultimately, it was a problem for another day.
During my third day of pulling double-shifts, I tried to start my beat-up sedan and was met by a sound that clearly indicated it would have to be a day where I took the bus to work. I tried to text Gregory, but my phone often takes a while sending messages, and I knew he might not see it until I got there.
Running on three hours of sleep, I groggily made my way to the bus stop, where the bus came nearly half an hour late and dropped me off a little farther than where I needed to be to get to work. The early morning's debacle made me about an hour and a half late, and I was instantly met at the door by a furious Gregory. He immediately dragged me into his office, where he screamed at me for not being on time.
I tried explaining to him that it was out of my control and that I tried to contact him. Still, he blamed me for not ensuring that I had reliable transportation and that I should've just figured it out. I'm not sure what it was, but he seemed on edge far more than usual. When he kicked me out, I could feel the entire diner staring at me.
I tried going along with my regular shift, and for the most part, I was doing well, but I could feel the fatigue starting to kick in. The only thing keeping me going was some coffee I snuck from the coffee maker, an Adderall pill I bummed from a co-worker, and the drive to make it to Friday so that I could pay my rent. But the effects of having to do double shifts and insomnia were coming in strong.
A couple of cute girls had made an order for two Ceasar salads with a side of fruit. A pretty simple order, but before I could leave their table, they stopped me to chat for a little bit. It only took me a second to realize that I was being flirted with. Being flirted with a very rare thing for me, so I was pretty stoked when it happened. Despite all the stress of the past week, it felt amazing to have an extra bit of positivity to drive me forward.
In retrospect, I may have clung to that positivity too tightly. Between the exhaustion and mild daydreams of asking one of those girls for their number and seeing where things went... A small lapse in awareness was all it took to mix up their order with another table. I apologized, and as I went to give the food to the correct customers, I tripped over my own feet and sent the food and dishes careening to the floor.
The diner went silent as everyone turned to look at the mess I had made. In that silence, I heard a loud curse as Gregory came marching out of his office to inspect the incident. His eyes grew wide at the broken plates before focusing on me. He put his hands on his head and dramatically yelled, "What the hell are you doing, you god damn idiot?"
I was left stuttering, trying to come up with a good response. I could see the two girls stifle giggles, and I looked back to Gregory with worried eyes. "Look, Gregory. I'm sorry, I've been drained and stressed, and I just had an accident. I'll clean it up."
"You're god damn right you're gonna clean this shit up!" He yelled from across the diner. "And then..." He pucked his lips and marched towards me. "Then, you're going to get the hell out of my diner, and you're never going to come back."
"What?" I yelled back. "Because I dropped some damn dishes? It happens! I've worked my ass off for you for a year, and you treat me like this because of dishes?"
His eyes narrowed, and the old man looked as though he was ready to come to blows. "Don't you fucking yell at me! You come in late, you fuck up orders, and as soon as you walked through those doors, I could smell the weed on you! Some of us have real issues to deal with, and you come in here, claiming you're exhausted." He gave a fake chuckle. "I don't care who you are, you don't come into my restaurant high and then try and pass it off as being tired. Truth is, I've wanted you gone for a while now. Last weekend I found someone to take your spot. A little earlier than I thought, but you've shown me today that I really don't need your loser ass around here."
Tears started to well up in my eyes, and my voice cracked as I tried to plead with him, "Gregory, please. I need this job. My rent is due Friday, and if I don't get paid, I'll be evicted. Please, don't do this. I promise I'll do better."
This time his chuckle seemed more genuine. "Paid by Friday? No. I'll give you your paycheck when I'm ready. What happens in your personal life is none of my concern. So long as it doesn't bleed into your work. Obviously, it has. Now get out, John."
The diner fell silent again as he walked back into his office and slammed the door. I sat for a moment, feeling as though the world was judging me. I looked back at the two girls and the look of disgust they had on their faces... They were staring at a loser. A druggie. A child without a home. I punched the ground in frustration. I was done.
I looked outside and saw the gloomy sky show signs of rain. I could've taken the bus home, but I just didn't care. I made the long walk home in the shower, accepting it as part of my punishment for being a stain on existence. It was my fault, right? I had put myself in that position. Fucked up as it was, I was resigned to my fate by the time I got home. I figured, why not let the universe kick me around as much as possible? My parents always called me a mistake, and now? I was being shown why.
I flopped into my couch, and as I made the now routine motion of reaching for my wax pen to let the THC take me into a momentary place of bliss, I stopped and thought. Why should I accept fate as it is? Why the hell would I let a horrible man like Gregory treat me like trash? My whole life, I had been pushed around and stepped on, and I just accepted the role of being everyone else's punching bag. And for what? I never set out to hurt anyone, and yet everyone else wanted to hurt me. I couldn't do that anymore. It was time I took matters into my own hands.
That night, I made a plan to break into the diner's safe. If Gregory was there, I would deal with him in whatever way I saw fit. I knew from the onset that I'd be an immediate suspect in a robbery, but the fact is, I didn't care. I was desperate. Plus, winter was coming, and my options were limited when faced with being out in the snow.
The next morning, I went and got everything I needed, a bb gun, hammer, rope, duct tape, and a crowbar. Five minutes before the diner closed, I drove up to the empty lot, downed a small bottle of tequila I keep in my glove compartment. Then I waited, twenty, thirty minutes just to be sure. When I was satisfied that no one else was coming in after the last car from the night shift had left, I was confident it would just be him and me all night.
I donned a cheap wolf mask I found in my closet, slid the bb gun into my front pocket, and the hammer in my back pocket. With the rest of the supplies in my backpack, I made my move.
I kicked open the front door and immediately walked to the back office. I furiously pounded on the door to coax the old man out. When that ugly, vile man opened up to see what was happening, I immediately swung at his face, dropping him to the floor. Then, I took the crowbar from my backpack and swung down on his knees; the apparent cracking gave me a sense of satisfaction I had never before felt in my life. I tied him up with the rope and duct-taped his hands and feet together.
The old man cried on the ground, asking what it was that I wanted. I pulled the gun from my front pocket and waved it in his face. I made sure to stare into his soulless black eyes. A year of torment and hate stared back at me from the void. I couldn't help but make it personal. He needed to know that his actions caused this. That he made me a victim, and now he was paying the price.
I pulled off my mask and stated, "Where's my fucking money, Gregory?"
There was an audible gasp, "John? What the hell are you doing, boy?"
I was starting to get frustrated, "Answer the damn question, Gregory! Where's my fucking money?"
He spat at me and shook his head. "Well, you're not getting it now, you god damn idiot. You messed up, John. You're going to jail for a very long time." I pushed the gun closer to his face, and he screamed, "Get that gun out of my fucking face!" He then took a breath to calm himself down. "You know? Maybe I should be thankful it was just you. We both know you're a disturbed loser. The whole town does. And a disturbed loser like you don't have the balls to shoot me or anyone else."
"You wanna bet?"
"I do." He laughed that annoying know-it-all laugh. "You're a little shit whose own parents couldn't stand the sight of you. Sure, you'd sucker punch an old man. But now that you have to look me in the eyes and really contemplate what you're about to do? You're too pathetic."
For a moment, my finger played with the trigger, contemplating whether or not to shoot him with a gun I knew wouldn't kill him. In a sense, he was right. I did sucker punch him. I brought a fake gun, knowing I couldn't shoot him with a real one. Everything was rushing back again, pain, darkness, despair, being a fucking loser. I screamed and threw the gun down. Pulling on my hair, I paced back and forth, cursing to myself, "Shit! Shit! Shit! What did I do?"
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him grinning. "Untie me, John! Now! And maybe I'll give you a five-second headstart before I call the cops. Boy, I can't wait to see them execute you for being as disturbed as you are."
There was that word again, "disturbed." There he was, tied up with his knees broken, and he was still belittling me. How could he still have power over me? I stopped. Took a deep breath, and let the realization hit me like a tsunami crashing onto the shore. I'm not right, and that's okay.
I casually walked over to where the old man was tied up, bent down next to him, and coldly stated, "You know? Being disturbed isn't a crime. Though the actions of the disturbed often are. And you're right. I am very disturbed."
I flipped him onto his back, straddled his chest, and wrapped my hands around his neck. I felt no remorse. I simply wanted to feel this man's life drain out of his body, and with every second of him struggling more and more to breathe, I could feel the power shifting more and more towards me. For the first time in our relationship, I was in control. I decided what happened to him.
But just as I was about to feel the euphoria of Gregory's death wash over me, an unimaginable force sent my back flying. I was dazed for a moment. Thinking the old man had somehow managed to conjure up some last bits of immense strength, I prepared my hammer and resigned myself to bludgeoning him to death. But when I saw what lay before me, my jaw and the hammer fell to the floor.
Kneeling before me was a figure. Its broad frame was covered in inky black skin. It stood on large three-toed webbed feet, and its wide-meaty hands were tipped in talons that each had to be at least ten inches long. But the most shocking was its face. It was utterly smooth save for two small eyes that narrowed on me. And a row of slits forming what appeared to be a smile. Behind each slit, I could see rows of sharp teeth. When it stood erect, I could see it had a slight hunch, but it still had to be no less than eight feet tall even with that.
We locked eyes for a moment before it turned around to face Gregory. I watched in horror as it tore into Gregory's body. Pieces of flesh and bone were strewn about the small diner as I watched it flay open his chest and ribcage with ease before ripping off his jaw and one his arms. It then flung the carcass against the wall with such force that the impact left a crater. But the most curious thing of all was that Gregory's body seemed to decay in real-time. I watched as his skin instantly dried out, and maggots seemed to already be consuming him from the inside out mere moments after his death.
The hulking figure spun back around and kneeled in front of me. I scurried back and screamed in terror. I knew the thing could've just as quickly killed me as it killed him. The fear inside me grew every second. I had no idea if it had something planned or if it merely wanted to go on a violent rampage.
It flattened out its hand in front of me, and only then was I able to grasp the actual size of the thing. If it wanted to, it could wrap two fingers around my entire torso and carry me in its palms.
I screamed, "Get away from me," while I shut my eyes tight, waiting for it to crush me in its massive palm. But instead, what bubbled up from the inky black surface was cash. It motioned for me to take it, and only hesitating for a moment, I stuffed the stacks into my bag. I wanted to thank the creature for what it had done, but I didn't know what to say. Luckily, I ended up not having to say anything.
To this day, I'm still not sure how we communicate. If the voice is real or in my head, I'll never know. But what I heard was an ethereal sounding echo that simply said, "I know you have questions. They won't all be answered right now. But for now just know, that I am your guardian angel, John. And I will always protect you."
All I could do was mutter out a weak "Thank you." And with a blink of my eye, it was gone. I scrambled to my feet, and after taking notice of the dead body for the second time, I realized I needed to get the hell out of there.
The next morning after paying my rent, I switched on the news and saw that they were talking about the incident at the diner. Apparently, all the cameras had been switched off, and the police found no evidence of foul play. The rope and tape had disappeared, and investigators were convinced some unidentified animal, likely a bear, broke in and mauled Gregory. They noted that the safe was empty but concluded it was a separate incident from the mauling, considering it hadn't appeared to be broken into.
I couldn't believe I had gotten away with the impossible. I remember laughing to myself in disbelief. But it was soon replaced with a sudden realization. Gregory wasn't the only person that had done me wrong. No. Many many people in my life were responsible for the shitty situation I was in. A lot of those people living good happy lives despite taking their turn stepping on mine.
They were going to pay dearly. They had to suffer for their transgressions. I had some money remaining from last night and figured, maybe it was time I got out of this shitty town and did some traveling. By the next week, I packed up the little I had and started traveling. The most valuable commodity I owned and the only thing I truly needed was the will to kill. So long as I had that, my horrifying friend would always take care of the rest.
Many people have likely seen me around. Maybe some reading this story. I fade into the background for the most part. Observing and occasionally interacting. But never someone you'd remember. And perhaps that's a good thing. Maybe you shouldn't want to be around someone like me. I move in the darkness, and when you know I'm there, it's already too late.
I've gone around exacting the kind of justice that I think is necessary for the past two years. With every new body, the closer I get to true happiness. I don't know what the end goal is. Maybe I'll just keep going until the pain goes away. Perhaps I'll stop and settle down. But for now, there is so much more work that needs to be done. And I'll do it with a smile on my face, one that mirrors that of my guardian angel. An angel that, to this day, I still have a healthy respect and fear for.
It's always good to keep in mind that our relationship is built on a foundation of pain. For now, we keep the peace. But anyone should know, personal demons can hurt you just as quickly as they can hurt anyone else. When it stalks me in my dreams, watches me walk down the street, or stares back from my reflection in the mirror. I know what it wants. More death, more pain. For now, I'm happy to oblige. But I am terrified of what happens when I can't any longer.
At the end of the day, I suppose everyone has demons. Some just happen to be more... apparent than others.
submitted by bryany97 to CollabWithFriends [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 22:03 bryany97 My Guardian Angel Murders for Me

My name is John. I've never murdered anyone, but I am a notorious serial killer. I say that because I am directly responsible for the deaths of numerous people. I know I'll never be caught. I can only imagine what you're thinking while reading this. Though, I'm not sure it matters.
The fact is, I'm not sharing this story because I feel bad about what has happened or because I have some need to get it off my chest. I've just been reflecting on last year and decided it might prove as an interesting tale. For what it's worth, I've never considered myself to be a bad person. Do I have problems? Of course. Am I intentionally malicious? I don't think so. But I suppose I'm not the most trustworthy source on that.
Everything started in January of last year. I was a high school dropout kicked out of my parent's home at seventeen and living in a shitty apartment in a bad part of town. I was working my third consecutive overtime shift at a run-down diner. The place was old, and I think its position as a historic site is the only reason people in our town even frequented the place. It made just enough to squeak by, but we seldom had the money fix the things that were obviously broken. Let alone make wholesale improvements.
My manager, Gregory, was a mean spirited older man. When he wasn't peering at us with his hawk-like gaze, he was in the back, cursing the passage of time that stole his football-playing youth along with most of his hair. Every morning he lumbered into the diner with a scowl that would give crocodiles goosebumps. His first order of business was generally to delegate tasks in the rudest way possible and belittle anyone who so much as asked a question.
An extremely conservative man, one night, he screamed at one of the female employees because a customer had made a rather disgusting comment during happy hour.
"How dare you come into work looking like a slut?" He said in regards to her light makeup and naturally curvy body fitting tightly into our worn-out outfits. "Don't you ever come to work looking like that unprofessional again."
After that conversation, she took his advice and never came back. Funny how a man who, in the past, has made crude remarks to other female employees in a half-baked attempt to get into their pants can belittle someone for that. Suffice it to say, his creepiness and warped sense of logic and morality extended to all parts of life.
I was taking a smoke break outside by the dumpster when Gregory decided to come out and meet me. He asked if he could bum a cigarette, and I watched him fumble with a lighter as I handed it to him.
He took a long drag and let out an obnoxious exhale. Then he looked me up and down before saying, "I know I said you'd only have to work these few overtimes, but I'm gonna need you to pull doubles for the next couple of weeks at the least."
My once calm demeanor was broken as I spun towards him, "What?! Doubles for a couple of weeks? You can't just drop that on me, Gregory!"
He took another long drag and spat on that ground a little too close to my shoe. "Look, Jose, just quit, and Maria keeps giving me that bullshit about school. I need someone on staff, or its gonna get real rough."
"You can't ask anyone else to at least split the time with me? You know about my insomnia, Gregory. I don't think it's fair to put me in that posi..."
"No!" He said sternly. "I'm not asking anyone else because I'm asking you. Anyone else can cancel on me and make it look halfway legitimate. But you? You've got no life outside of this place. Plus, you need the money, and this place needs work until I can hire someone. If anything, you should be thanking me."
Like everyone else, I was used to Gregory's bullying, snide remarks, and unreasonable demands. Unlike everyone else, I stayed with it for a year. You would think that he'd treat his most loyal employee with some respect, but my staying put had the opposite effect. I think he felt that because I wasn't going anywhere, he could treat me as horrible as he wanted, knowing I wouldn't do a damn thing.
I'd argued with Gregory before. There have been times when I legitimately thought we would have to fight to settle our differences. I hated that place, and I hated him. He's threatened to fire me multiple times, and as much as I would've loved to quit, being an anti-social eighteen-year-old with no diploma, long history of mental health problems, and mild drug addiction didn't present many opportunities, especially in a town without many openings in the first place.
Shitty environments invite worse company, I suppose. Me and that diner were meant for each other in a tragically cosmic sort of way. And knowing that, all I could do was nod my head and mutter, "You got it, boss" before walking back inside.
That night, I got home to my small apartment, shuffled the pile of bills off of my kitchen counter, and began to heat up some water for another night of instant ramen. As I watched the water boil, one of the papers with bright red lettering caught my attention from the corner of my eye. Curiously, I focused my sight on the bill. But, as I read it to myself, my heart slowly began to sink, and I let out a very audible, "Shit" as I went to grab it.
The bill read, "RENT PAST DUE. FINAL WARNING."
In short, I had a week to pay up before I was evicted. The issue being, I wasn't supposed to be paid for another two weeks as I had just gotten my paycheck, and it wasn't enough to cover my rent. Thinking about how I could've let such an important letter go unnoticed, my mind was a blur as I tried to recall the previous weed-heavy nights. I could see my hands start to shake as the stress began to eat at me. In response, I grabbed a shot of vodka to dull my senses. Sitting on the couch and letting the alcohol take effect, I grabbed my vape pen and took a long hit to silence any thought of a panic attack.
But even in my intoxicated state, the thought still nagged at me. What the hell was I going to do? I stared at the boiling water on the stove, walked over to turn it off, and ordered a pizza using some of the dwindling funds I had in my bank account. Ultimately, it was a problem for another day.
During my third day of pulling double-shifts, I tried to start my beat-up sedan and was met by a sound that clearly indicated it would have to be a day where I took the bus to work. I tried to text Gregory, but my phone often takes a while sending messages, and I knew he might not see it until I got there.
Running on three hours of sleep, I groggily made my way to the bus stop, where the bus came nearly half an hour late and dropped me off a little farther than where I needed to be to get to work. The early morning's debacle made me about an hour and a half late, and I was instantly met at the door by a furious Gregory. He immediately dragged me into his office, where he screamed at me for not being on time.
I tried explaining to him that it was out of my control and that I tried to contact him. Still, he blamed me for not ensuring that I had reliable transportation and that I should've just figured it out. I'm not sure what it was, but he seemed on edge far more than usual. When he kicked me out, I could feel the entire diner staring at me.
I tried going along with my regular shift, and for the most part, I was doing well, but I could feel the fatigue starting to kick in. The only thing keeping me going was some coffee I snuck from the coffee maker, an Adderall pill I bummed from a co-worker, and the drive to make it to Friday so that I could pay my rent. But the effects of having to do double shifts and insomnia were coming in strong.
A couple of cute girls had made an order for two Ceasar salads with a side of fruit. A pretty simple order, but before I could leave their table, they stopped me to chat for a little bit. It only took me a second to realize that I was being flirted with. Being flirted with a very rare thing for me, so I was pretty stoked when it happened. Despite all the stress of the past week, it felt amazing to have an extra bit of positivity to drive me forward.
In retrospect, I may have clung to that positivity too tightly. Between the exhaustion and mild daydreams of asking one of those girls for their number and seeing where things went... A small lapse in awareness was all it took to mix up their order with another table. I apologized, and as I went to give the food to the correct customers, I tripped over my own feet and sent the food and dishes careening to the floor.
The diner went silent as everyone turned to look at the mess I had made. In that silence, I heard a loud curse as Gregory came marching out of his office to inspect the incident. His eyes grew wide at the broken plates before focusing on me. He put his hands on his head and dramatically yelled, "What the hell are you doing, you god damn idiot?"
I was left stuttering, trying to come up with a good response. I could see the two girls stifle giggles, and I looked back to Gregory with worried eyes. "Look, Gregory. I'm sorry, I've been drained and stressed, and I just had an accident. I'll clean it up."
"You're god damn right you're gonna clean this shit up!" He yelled from across the diner. "And then..." He pucked his lips and marched towards me. "Then, you're going to get the hell out of my diner, and you're never going to come back."
"What?" I yelled back. "Because I dropped some damn dishes? It happens! I've worked my ass off for you for a year, and you treat me like this because of dishes?"
His eyes narrowed, and the old man looked as though he was ready to come to blows. "Don't you fucking yell at me! You come in late, you fuck up orders, and as soon as you walked through those doors, I could smell the weed on you! Some of us have real issues to deal with, and you come in here, claiming you're exhausted." He gave a fake chuckle. "I don't care who you are, you don't come into my restaurant high and then try and pass it off as being tired. Truth is, I've wanted you gone for a while now. Last weekend I found someone to take your spot. A little earlier than I thought, but you've shown me today that I really don't need your loser ass around here."
Tears started to well up in my eyes, and my voice cracked as I tried to plead with him, "Gregory, please. I need this job. My rent is due Friday, and if I don't get paid, I'll be evicted. Please, don't do this. I promise I'll do better."
This time his chuckle seemed more genuine. "Paid by Friday? No. I'll give you your paycheck when I'm ready. What happens in your personal life is none of my concern. So long as it doesn't bleed into your work. Obviously, it has. Now get out, John."
The diner fell silent again as he walked back into his office and slammed the door. I sat for a moment, feeling as though the world was judging me. I looked back at the two girls and the look of disgust they had on their faces... They were staring at a loser. A druggie. A child without a home. I punched the ground in frustration. I was done.
I looked outside and saw the gloomy sky show signs of rain. I could've taken the bus home, but I just didn't care. I made the long walk home in the shower, accepting it as part of my punishment for being a stain on existence. It was my fault, right? I had put myself in that position. Fucked up as it was, I was resigned to my fate by the time I got home. I figured, why not let the universe kick me around as much as possible? My parents always called me a mistake, and now? I was being shown why.
I flopped into my couch, and as I made the now routine motion of reaching for my wax pen to let the THC take me into a momentary place of bliss, I stopped and thought. Why should I accept fate as it is? Why the hell would I let a horrible man like Gregory treat me like trash? My whole life, I had been pushed around and stepped on, and I just accepted the role of being everyone else's punching bag. And for what? I never set out to hurt anyone, and yet everyone else wanted to hurt me. I couldn't do that anymore. It was time I took matters into my own hands.
That night, I made a plan to break into the diner's safe. If Gregory was there, I would deal with him in whatever way I saw fit. I knew from the onset that I'd be an immediate suspect in a robbery, but the fact is, I didn't care. I was desperate. Plus, winter was coming, and my options were limited when faced with being out in the snow.
The next morning, I went and got everything I needed, a bb gun, hammer, rope, duct tape, and a crowbar. Five minutes before the diner closed, I drove up to the empty lot, downed a small bottle of tequila I keep in my glove compartment. Then I waited, twenty, thirty minutes just to be sure. When I was satisfied that no one else was coming in after the last car from the night shift had left, I was confident it would just be him and me all night.
I donned a cheap wolf mask I found in my closet, slid the bb gun into my front pocket, and the hammer in my back pocket. With the rest of the supplies in my backpack, I made my move.
I kicked open the front door and immediately walked to the back office. I furiously pounded on the door to coax the old man out. When that ugly, vile man opened up to see what was happening, I immediately swung at his face, dropping him to the floor. Then, I took the crowbar from my backpack and swung down on his knees; the apparent cracking gave me a sense of satisfaction I had never before felt in my life. I tied him up with the rope and duct-taped his hands and feet together.
The old man cried on the ground, asking what it was that I wanted. I pulled the gun from my front pocket and waved it in his face. I made sure to stare into his soulless black eyes. A year of torment and hate stared back at me from the void. I couldn't help but make it personal. He needed to know that his actions caused this. That he made me a victim, and now he was paying the price.
I pulled off my mask and stated, "Where's my fucking money, Gregory?"
There was an audible gasp, "John? What the hell are you doing, boy?"
I was starting to get frustrated, "Answer the damn question, Gregory! Where's my fucking money?"
He spat at me and shook his head. "Well, you're not getting it now, you god damn idiot. You messed up, John. You're going to jail for a very long time." I pushed the gun closer to his face, and he screamed, "Get that gun out of my fucking face!" He then took a breath to calm himself down. "You know? Maybe I should be thankful it was just you. We both know you're a disturbed loser. The whole town does. And a disturbed loser like you don't have the balls to shoot me or anyone else."
"You wanna bet?"
"I do." He laughed that annoying know-it-all laugh. "You're a little shit whose own parents couldn't stand the sight of you. Sure, you'd sucker punch an old man. But now that you have to look me in the eyes and really contemplate what you're about to do? You're too pathetic."
For a moment, my finger played with the trigger, contemplating whether or not to shoot him with a gun I knew wouldn't kill him. In a sense, he was right. I did sucker punch him. I brought a fake gun, knowing I couldn't shoot him with a real one. Everything was rushing back again, pain, darkness, despair, being a fucking loser. I screamed and threw the gun down. Pulling on my hair, I paced back and forth, cursing to myself, "Shit! Shit! Shit! What did I do?"
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him grinning. "Untie me, John! Now! And maybe I'll give you a five-second headstart before I call the cops. Boy, I can't wait to see them execute you for being as disturbed as you are."
There was that word again, "disturbed." There he was, tied up with his knees broken, and he was still belittling me. How could he still have power over me? I stopped. Took a deep breath, and let the realization hit me like a tsunami crashing onto the shore. I'm not right, and that's okay.
I casually walked over to where the old man was tied up, bent down next to him, and coldly stated, "You know? Being disturbed isn't a crime. Though the actions of the disturbed often are. And you're right. I am very disturbed."
I flipped him onto his back, straddled his chest, and wrapped my hands around his neck. I felt no remorse. I simply wanted to feel this man's life drain out of his body, and with every second of him struggling more and more to breathe, I could feel the power shifting more and more towards me. For the first time in our relationship, I was in control. I decided what happened to him.
But just as I was about to feel the euphoria of Gregory's death wash over me, an unimaginable force sent my back flying. I was dazed for a moment. Thinking the old man had somehow managed to conjure up some last bits of immense strength, I prepared my hammer and resigned myself to bludgeoning him to death. But when I saw what lay before me, my jaw and the hammer fell to the floor.
Kneeling before me was a figure. Its broad frame was covered in inky black skin. It stood on large three-toed webbed feet, and its wide-meaty hands were tipped in talons that each had to be at least ten inches long. But the most shocking was its face. It was utterly smooth save for two small eyes that narrowed on me. And a row of slits forming what appeared to be a smile. Behind each slit, I could see rows of sharp teeth. When it stood erect, I could see it had a slight hunch, but it still had to be no less than eight feet tall even with that.
We locked eyes for a moment before it turned around to face Gregory. I watched in horror as it tore into Gregory's body. Pieces of flesh and bone were strewn about the small diner as I watched it flay open his chest and ribcage with ease before ripping off his jaw and one his arms. It then flung the carcass against the wall with such force that the impact left a crater. But the most curious thing of all was that Gregory's body seemed to decay in real-time. I watched as his skin instantly dried out, and maggots seemed to already be consuming him from the inside out mere moments after his death.
The hulking figure spun back around and kneeled in front of me. I scurried back and screamed in terror. I knew the thing could've just as quickly killed me as it killed him. The fear inside me grew every second. I had no idea if it had something planned or if it merely wanted to go on a violent rampage.
It flattened out its hand in front of me, and only then was I able to grasp the actual size of the thing. If it wanted to, it could wrap two fingers around my entire torso and carry me in its palms.
I screamed, "Get away from me," while I shut my eyes tight, waiting for it to crush me in its massive palm. But instead, what bubbled up from the inky black surface was cash. It motioned for me to take it, and only hesitating for a moment, I stuffed the stacks into my bag. I wanted to thank the creature for what it had done, but I didn't know what to say. Luckily, I ended up not having to say anything.
To this day, I'm still not sure how we communicate. If the voice is real or in my head, I'll never know. But what I heard was an ethereal sounding echo that simply said, "I know you have questions. They won't all be answered right now. But for now just know, that I am your guardian angel, John. And I will always protect you."
All I could do was mutter out a weak "Thank you." And with a blink of my eye, it was gone. I scrambled to my feet, and after taking notice of the dead body for the second time, I realized I needed to get the hell out of there.
The next morning after paying my rent, I switched on the news and saw that they were talking about the incident at the diner. Apparently, all the cameras had been switched off, and the police found no evidence of foul play. The rope and tape had disappeared, and investigators were convinced some unidentified animal, likely a bear, broke in and mauled Gregory. They noted that the safe was empty but concluded it was a separate incident from the mauling, considering it hadn't appeared to be broken into.
I couldn't believe I had gotten away with the impossible. I remember laughing to myself in disbelief. But it was soon replaced with a sudden realization. Gregory wasn't the only person that had done me wrong. No. Many many people in my life were responsible for the shitty situation I was in. A lot of those people living good happy lives despite taking their turn stepping on mine.
They were going to pay dearly. They had to suffer for their transgressions. I had some money remaining from last night and figured, maybe it was time I got out of this shitty town and did some traveling. By the next week, I packed up the little I had and started traveling. The most valuable commodity I owned and the only thing I truly needed was the will to kill. So long as I had that, my horrifying friend would always take care of the rest.
Many people have likely seen me around. Maybe some reading this story. I fade into the background for the most part. Observing and occasionally interacting. But never someone you'd remember. And perhaps that's a good thing. Maybe you shouldn't want to be around someone like me. I move in the darkness, and when you know I'm there, it's already too late.
I've gone around exacting the kind of justice that I think is necessary for the past two years. With every new body, the closer I get to true happiness. I don't know what the end goal is. Maybe I'll just keep going until the pain goes away. Perhaps I'll stop and settle down. But for now, there is so much more work that needs to be done. And I'll do it with a smile on my face, one that mirrors that of my guardian angel. An angel that, to this day, I still have a healthy respect and fear for.
It's always good to keep in mind that our relationship is built on a foundation of pain. For now, we keep the peace. But anyone should know, personal demons can hurt you just as quickly as they can hurt anyone else. When it stalks me in my dreams, watches me walk down the street, or stares back from my reflection in the mirror. I know what it wants. More death, more pain. For now, I'm happy to oblige. But I am terrified of what happens when I can't any longer.
At the end of the day, I suppose everyone has demons. Some just happen to be more... apparent than others.
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