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Shannon is an introvert, an HSP, and an INFJ. She lived in Los Angeles for 14 years and moved to Georgia with her husband and two cats last November. Prev Post. What A Foggy Beach Run Taught Me About Managing Uncertainty. You might also like More from author. The Introverted Journey. The Myth of the Killer Introvert Why do we always hear about shy and quiet murderers? Posted May 26, 2011 . SHARE. TWEET. EMAIL. 4 COMMENTS. THE BASICS. What Is Introversion? THE death of a kitten-loving “introvert” in policy custody last year will now be investigated after outrage from the Black Lives Matter movement. Elijah McClain was placed in a chokehol… The Sneakiest Introvert Self-Love Killer […] 6 Ways Introverts Sabotage Their Happiness - Introvert Spring - […] 5 Everyday Habits That Kill Self-Love for Introverts - Introvert Spring - […] we’re already prone to overthinking and self-criticism, any kind of failure can hit introverts extra hard. A recent social media outcry demanding Colorado officials launch an independent investigation into the 2019 death of a 23-year-old Black man in police custody has prompted Gov. Jared Polis to ... 15 Things You Need to Know If Your Child Is an Introvert. Nine Signs You’re Really an Introvert. The Introverted Mom. advertisement. Introversion Essential Reads.
Back on Zoloft...
2020.09.21 04:12 bluesun89Back on Zoloft...
Long story short...I was put on Zoloft 5 years ago after my mom suddenly passed away and I was suffering from PTSD. Fast forward a few years....I tapered off my 50mg Zoloft from June to the end of Aug. I wanted to feel again. I didn’t want brain fog anymore. I just wanted to see if I could function without it. But then two weeks ago.....I started my first year as a full-time teacher. Had to end up back on the 50mg again because the stress of being a first year teacher is killing my soul. I’m also very introverted, so the job is just draining in general for me. I finally realized this a little too late at this point. I don’t want to quit but to be honest I’ve thought about it. I’m going to tough out the next year or two and reevaluate if it’s the right job for my personality and if I truly can handle the stress levels. I decided to go back on meds to ease the feeling of dread and anxiety. I feel like a failure bc of it. I need to be able to make it though the day without crying in my car on the way home and having a breakdown every night. If meds can stop the intensity then I guess I need them in my life after all. Ugh just had to vent. Any advice or just words of support are welcomed :)
2020.09.21 04:02 jose_sto1what to do if i Feel attracted to children
As you read, I feel attracted to children, girls aged from 11-14 and don't know how to cope with this. I know it's wrong but I just can't help it, and many of girls my age that I'm attracted to, are the ones that look way younger, I am 19 years old. I've only had one girlfriend in my whole life, I was 17 and she was 14, we broke up when I was 18 and she was 15 because she had to move to another country. I've always been very shy, I also have a history of depression and I'm constantly thinking about killing myself, although I don't believe I'm capable of doing so since I'm really scared of it. I'm very introvert and it's hard for me to meet new people. I don't think I will ever have a girlfriend ever again, I'm a disaster when it comes to talking to women because I never know what to say or how to act. I'm always trying to get a hold of myself but it's difficult when I constantly watch young models on Instagram. I'm afraid that some time in the future, this sick bizarre fetish of mine might get the best of me and I end up doing something really stupid.
2020.09.20 23:45 LilBoxOfDeadThingsHelp! How do I say no to a narcissist?
I’ve been friends with this girl, I’ll call her J, for 2 years now and it’s not a good fit... I don’t know how to tell her that. We’re friends with a lot of the same people and she’s rarely been consciously mean to me, but she’s VERY emotionally manipulative and self-centered. To be blunt, she’s a narcissist and I have enough social skills to recognize that but not enough to deal with it. J and I were roommates for 3 months at our university earlier this year before COVID hit, and I got the full taste of what she was really like then. If I inconvenienced J, even accidentally, she’d make sure I felt bad for it. She’d lock her door, sit on the other side of it, and cry loudly and pretend she couldn’t heafeel me knocking when I gave in and went to apologize. J would make a point of ignoring me when I spoke and saying she didn’t hear me when later confronted by it, and did this knowing full well that I’m sensitive to being ignored due to having trauma centered around being neglected by my mother. She’d also cut herself and drop blood all over our kitchen and bathroom and leave it for days until I cleaned it up... when confrontation happened I’d make a point of staying calm and open to her point of view but J would get aggressive and manic and blow things way out of proportion. Even when I confronted her for things ALL of our mutual friends told me she had said to them (I was on academic probation due to low grades after a mental breakdown, something she blamed me for and believed made me stupid and her far superior than me. She told everyone that she thought I was too stupid for college), it was me who ended up apologizing because she was threatening to hurt and/or kill herself because in her eye I was the one in the wrong. She’s clingy and entitled... whenever we hang out my plans/opinions/feelings come second to hers. We always do what J wants to do. As an introvert she’s WAYY too much for me to handle... She’s incapable of acknowledging that she’s wrong and respecting other’s experiences. I want to tell her that I don’t like hanging out with her and I don’t want to be her friend anymore but I’m not ready for the emotional manipulation and backlash. Help me please, she’s not good for me.
2020.09.20 23:32 shybutnotscared24/M/US - Looking for something actually long-term? Let's give it a try together.
I'll be honest, I'm quite lonely. It's the only reason I have resorted to creating this post in an to attempt to form some sort of lasting friendship. I've noticed many people struggling to find a long-term connection through these social subs upon a quick glance at highly upvoted posts. I'm hoping not to continue that cycle by being as honest as I possibly can within my post to garner genuine interest from like-minded individuals and avoid unnecessary exchanges from people that may not be seeking the same thing. I completely understand some people just don't click, and there are absolutely no hard feelings if we don't, but it doesn't hurt to try sometimes. I'm eons out of my comfort zone as I normally just lurk around Reddit for laughs and to kill time. I'm not here for a quick chat or vent sessions. Normally I enjoy being alone, but it eventually gets to the point where I would prefer anyone's company. I suppose we're all like that at times. I'm currently still facing some inner turmoil that has been a constant force in my life. I'm just looking for someone I can form a close connection with, someone I can talk to almost daily about our lives and inner most feelings and desires, someone sensitive and understanding of others, someone open-minded and unafraid of personal conversations, someone willing to speak their mind but also listen if the need arises, someone I can truly confide in, and someone I can eventually call a close friend. I understand no one is this way upon first meeting and impression, and it takes an immense amount of time to build enough trust to be that open. I'm here for the long haul though, willing to put in the work necessary to create a lasting friendship. I essentially described myself there, but I'd like to include a bit more information. I consider myself a good person. Someone who prioritizes the feelings and needs of others over their own. The epitome of a people pleaser, but I'm no push over. I suppose I'm this way due to this constant urge to hide who I am, quite closeted. I've always been a quiet shy type, introverted and afraid. Lately, I've been forced into a more extroverted role due to newfound desires to change. I've slowly grown tired of being used as an emotional cushion by others only to be tossed aside once their problems have been resolved. I've never been one to mind being used in such a way, I very much enjoyed helping others, but it sure does make forming genuine friend connections nearly impossible when you're always willing to lend an ear and friendly voice to someone in need. For those who would like to connect through shared interests, I'll briefly just list a couple of things. I may not go into too much detail, but feel free to ask if you're curious! I'm a nerd at heart, always have been. Video games, anime, memes, books, technology, movies, shows, music, writing, philosophy, fitness, health, and more. My spare time when I'm not working or at the gym mostly goes into relaxing while listening to music, and playing video games. I overly enjoy listening to music. I'm thrilled when I get new song recommendations and suggestions from people. I listen to all kinds of genres due to growing up listening to the radio/Pandora, but I have been mostly listening to electronic music lately. In any case, if you enjoy music, that's something we can easily connect with. I'll be picking up a book to read soon as well, but I need to decide on which one first. Not the most exciting lifestyle, I know, but I'm always willing to explore untouched territory and break my inner walls to give anything a try at least once. I imagine I made this post much longer than it needed to be, and far too formal, but I did want to give this an honest try. I tend to drop the professionalism around friends. If you're serious about making a lasting friend through these subs, and are looking for someone who will actually stick around and reply to your messages, feel free to reach out to me. I only request you treat me similarly. I do feel quite bad not being able to reply immediately to some messages, but it can't be helped sometimes, we all have lives to live. Just know I will always get back to you eventually within the same day! Sorry if I delete these posts later. I'm not sure what to expect here, this is a first for me.
2020.09.20 21:59 iacrotty33 [M4F] [M4R] - Indy/Online - Looking to make new friends
I'm generally terrible about putting myself out there so I'll just go for it. Hello There! I'm a soon to be 34 single father of 3 kids currently going through a divorce. 12 year marriage that has been on-again/off-again toxic finally ended. She gets her new BF, I get the kids, house, and everything else, so that's a win. Enough of my sob story exposition. Mostly just providing context if I seem like "damaged goods." I'm an introvert nerd/geek. I'm not much for the college bar scene with loud dance music and the like. If i'm going out I prefer a nice place with live music, good drinks, and better company. In the world of 'Rona this likely works out to my favor. I'm also terrible with dating apps so I suppose 'Rona has also killed my ability to meet people organically. What can I say, I love being a nerd/geek. I play video games when I can (XB/PC), watch Sci-fi and fantasy and comic book stuff, watch plenty of anime, and read quite a lot (Dresden Files anyone?). I'm currently doing online courses to earn my MBA and it's going along but does take up some of my nights right now. So what am I looking for? Honestly right now to make new friends, have people to converse with, laugh with, maybe hang out if you are close. If not close, then I'm still game to talk to you and hang out virtually. I'm not wanting to rush into another relationship. After 12 years I'm rediscovering who I am, my passions, and repairing the damage that was done. I like to get to know people before I take the next step. I've got snapchat but really don't use it much. Also on discord. DM/Chat me on Reddit and I can share my Discord name. So in closing, hope you all have a great week. Hope to hear from some of you, but if not, c'est la vi. To quote Dr. Ian Malcolm, life finds a way. Cheers
2020.09.20 21:47 shybutnotscared24/M/US - Looking for something actually long-term? Let's give it a try together.
I'll be honest, I'm quite lonely. It's the only reason I have resorted to creating this post in an to attempt to form some sort of lasting friendship. I've noticed many people struggling to find a long-term connection through these social subs upon a quick glance at highly upvoted posts. I'm hoping not to continue that cycle by being as honest as I possibly can within my post to garner genuine interest from like-minded individuals and avoid unnecessary exchanges from people that may not be seeking the same thing. I completely understand some people just don't click, and there are absolutely no hard feelings if we don't, but it doesn't hurt to try sometimes. I'm eons out of my comfort zone as I normally just lurk around Reddit for laughs and to kill time. I'm not here for a quick chat or vent sessions. Normally I enjoy being alone, but it eventually gets to the point where I would prefer anyone's company. I suppose we're all like that at times. I'm currently still facing some inner turmoil that has been a constant force in my life. I'm just looking for someone I can form a close connection with, someone I can talk to almost daily about our lives and inner most feelings and desires, someone sensitive and understanding of others, someone open-minded and unafraid of personal conversations, someone willing to speak their mind but also listen if the need arises, someone I can truly confide in, and someone I can eventually call a close friend. I understand no one is this way upon first meeting and impression, and it takes an immense amount of time to build enough trust to be that open. I'm here for the long haul though, willing to put in the work necessary to create a lasting friendship. I essentially described myself there, but I'd like to include a bit more information. I consider myself a good person. Someone who prioritizes the feelings and needs of others over their own. The epitome of a people pleaser, but I'm no push over. I suppose I'm this way due to this constant urge to hide who I am, quite closeted. I've always been a quiet shy type, introverted and afraid. Lately, I've been forced into a more extroverted role due to newfound desires to change. I've slowly grown tired of being used as an emotional cushion by others only to be tossed aside once their problems have been resolved. I've never been one to mind being used in such a way, I very much enjoyed helping others, but it sure does make forming genuine friend connections nearly impossible when you're always willing to lend an ear and friendly voice to someone in need. For those who would like to connect through shared interests, I'll briefly just list a couple of things. I may not go into too much detail, but feel free to ask if you're curious! I'm a nerd at heart, always have been. Video games, anime, memes, books, technology, movies, shows, music, writing, philosophy, fitness, health, and more. My spare time when I'm not working or at the gym mostly goes into relaxing while listening to music, and playing video games. I overly enjoy listening to music. I'm thrilled when I get new song recommendations and suggestions from people. I listen to all kinds of genres due to growing up listening to the radio/Pandora, but I have been mostly listening to electronic music lately. In any case, if you enjoy music, that's something we can easily bond with. I'll be picking up a book to read soon as well, but I need to decide on which one first. Not the most exciting lifestyle, I know, but I'm always willing to explore untouched territory and break my inner walls to give anything a try at least once. I imagine I made this post much longer than it needed to be, and far too formal, but I did want to give this an honest try. I tend to drop the professionalism around friends. If you're serious about making a lasting friend through these subs, and are looking for someone who will actually stick around and reply to your messages, feel free to reach out to me. I only request you treat me similarly. I do feel quite bad not being able to reply immediately to some messages, but it can't be helped sometimes, we all have lives to live. Just know I will always get back to you eventually within the same day! I would prefer someone from the US to avoid time zone issues, but feel free to reach out regardless. Apologies if I delete this post later. I'm not sure what to expect here, this is a first for me.
2020.09.20 20:29 iwillgramShe changed.. she started replying me late. Need advices, pls.
So I(M25) met this introvert girl(F23) a month ago on Instagram and WE USED to talk everyday since morning to time to bed! WE USED to reply each other like on average in 15 minutes. Also, she sometimes replied to me in under 5 minutes and that felt so great, because I knew and I felt that she was interested in talking to me. Not anymore. A week ago she started replying to me really late.. started with 2 hours and now a maximum of 7 hours. At the beginning I thought it was because of her work, or she was busy with something else, but then I was on facebook messenger (we talk on Instagram) and she was online. When I talk to her and I wait for her to reply to my message she is usually online on Facebook messenger maybe talking to other friends. Even at work SHE USED to talk to me really fast.. This week I test her, I didn't text her /start a conversation and in the middle of the day she text me with "Hi, good afternoon" but guess what? She took too long to text me back, again. I did this 2 times this week, I really wanted to see how she would react. Also, I said to her that I was feeling she was more distant from me this week, and she said "I'm sorry" and we continued having our "conversation" like if I haven't said that. We have already hang out like 3 times, before this situation and we had a lot of fun! She knows that I like her (I cant hide my feelings) and I think she likes me too, I've seen some signs of that. Now I'm really don't have sure about it. My conclusion is I dont think she is busy, but she lost interest in me and I can't understand if this is so, why she keeps texting me back and starting a conversation? I was really starting to liking her, but now..I dont know what to do. Before this, ofc she sometimes took some time to reply, but it was rare, now its like a schedule thing that she needs to do. These late replies it kills the mood.. If at the beginning of our initial conversations it were always like this I wouldn't find it strange, but she has changed. What should I do? 😕 (Sorry for long text)
2020.09.20 20:26 ThrowRAplplplHow can I (18f) help my boyfriend (18m) overcome his paranoid introverted nature?
My boyfriend has aspergers and is a very different type of "introvert" it's quite hard to explain but Im gonna give it a go and hope that you can sort of grasp his personality. He struggles alot with being uncertain if people are pretending to like him or that they are pretending they like him alot more than they actually do when it is clear to me that these people (mostly his friends) like him alot. He has these doubts about basically everyone he ever meets and it really stops him from socialising and getting on with now people. For example leading up to us getting together we knew each other sort of well and were basically just people who know each other. I liked him alot and would message him from time to time but found it really hard to connect with him as he was super focused on not seeming interested in me and would never message me first for a very long time. Even when he did and we became basically friends he was way to nervous to even think of asking me out which I eventually ended up doing for myself and I found out he was super interested in me the whole time. He acts in a similar way with his friends like if they are all talking about doing something and he is not specifically asked if he would like to join in he will never ask even if I can tell he really wants to. This leads to his friends not asking him to do stuff as they assume he's not interested when he really totaly is. From all this it might seem like he's shy but believe it or not he really isn't when he "feels the love" and support from the people around him he is completely different and probably even more out going then a normal person. The worst thing is how he interacts with people that he doesn't like. He is very straightforward and rude to basically anyone who annoys him which has killed his relationships with basically all my friends as he just dosent have the ability to put up with people who annoy him. So my problem is that with people he likes and who like him he is to afraid to reach out to and act to neady (which to him is just acting like a normal persons friend) and with mostly anyone new he just acts like a dickhead and puts them off very quickly. Since we have left school he has basically two people that he has confidence to even message on social media those people being his best friend and me which leaves him with not many opportunities to be social and basically leaves him with two friends. I don't know how to approach trying to get him to socialise as he is quite happy to only have me and his friend but I just think that if he doesn't change now one day hell find himself with no one and unable to make any new friends. Does anyone have any advice on how I can convince him to change and how to really work through his trust issues and paranoia with him?
2020.09.20 19:29 muddy120Simba (ENFP) The Curious & Speculative Idealist and The Future King Who Can't Let Go of the Past - Lion King MBTI Typing
Simba MBTI ENFP - Lion King Myers-Briggs Post Simba ENFP - Lion King MBTI Characters Types Now to start my Simba ENFP arguments and explain why he's a Ne user and Si user too, most people see the Fi and Te in Simba so I'll keep these points brief but I still mention them here and there in the analysis to explain why Simba is ENFP and Fi and Te user and on that axis too but mostly in this analysis I'm going to focus on all of Simba's Ne dom and Si inferior moments in the film and why he's also a clear extrovert and Ne dom too as a ENFP as well. So first off how Simba is a clear extrovert to start off the movie in the opening scene upon seeing as a kid and talking finally. Simba says as daybreaks and as he already woke up in the morning and the sun rises, he runs in the cave to sleeping lions and Mufasa and says "Dad! Dad! Come on, dad, we gotta go! Wake up!" He repeats dad over and over again. Why? Because he made a promise to him in the past apparently, Simba tells him "You Promised!" And then looks at him with a serious innocent angry face strongly, haha. This scene already proves Simba is a extrovert and a very energetic person and kid and it starts to show his Si and his Fi already too. Any type can hold onto the past yes and care a lot for promises for being fulfilled that someone made, especially Fi users, so someone could argue a ISFP or ESFP would also get angry about this, yes good point. But Si users care about the past and promises to a much larger degree with their Si remembering and holding onto the promise and conviction that the person made to them in the past. This is especially extra true if their an Fi user too like Simba here, Simba cares about Mufasa keeping his promise to a huge degree as we see with his excitement, screaming dad the whole time, and to the point of headbutting him and telling him you promised and looking into his eyes with a very serious face, Simba is a classic Fi and Si user with caring a lot about past promises here and keeping them and caring a lot about his Fi aux inner values as well as a ENFP, he holds onto promises and inner values in a very innocent way which is a common thing for them with ENFPs and INFPs both. So that's my first point upon introduction of his character, I actually have experience with this mentality and behavior first hand because I have an ENFP niece as well and she acts and behaves just like this with Simba all the time, she's obsessed with play and having fun as a ENFP just like Simba is and wants to do thing with her family and friends like with Simba and Mufasa here. If I told I was gonna play with her later like tomorrow or this weekend and we're gonna play video games or something together, she'll get mad if I say no I never said that or not now and maybe next time, she'll say "Uncle! You promised! Let's play! You promised me you'll play with me today!" Classic ENFP child response her to this and holding onto the promise with her Fi and Si both strongly and NF idealism too for both Simba and my niece both here as well. I've seen people make the argument of oh well you can't judge or see a child's personality type so early and I happen to disagree with that point and think you definitely can, I've seen it myself clearly in my opinion especially helping raising her but no matter, I don't want to debate this topic as its a completely different thing and debate altogether. I think you can clearly see the MBTI function behaviors in a kid and child too but if you disagree thats fine, if you do agree that's fine too. I just wanted to bring it up and make the comparison here to make it clearer for the argument of this scene, now moving on. Simba is a Ne dom and is curious about everything he sees and everything everyone says to him and wants to know hidden meaning of things and know more information and loves learning new things with his dominant Ne as a ENFP, Simba is always asking Ne curiosity questions all the time in the whole film and movie. One way to tell if a character is a high Ne user is too look at how many times a ? question mark appears in their dialogue in a film, movie, comic, manga, or tv show or video game. If you see it come up a lot an see them ask a lot of questions all the time then their most likely a high Ne user and a very curious Ne user individual as well, for all NPs alike. This point actually still stand also stands for SJs as well, especially ESJs since Ne is still fairly high in their stack so there going to still be curious and ask a lot of questions in their series and story, just not as much as Ne doms and Ne aux users like INPs and ENPs like Simba does here in this movie as a ENFP and Ne dom user himself, who's very curious about everything in the world and who always asks Ne dom curiosity questions about things and their hidden meaning in life as a Ne dom for Simba again. So let's get start with the proof of his dominant Ne curiosity and questions he always asks to back it up shall we. When Mufasa gives his ENFJ Fe Ni speech on the pride lands and his destiny as future king of it once his rule is over in the future, Simba immediately asks the Ne curiosity question, "And this'll all be mine?" - Simba. Mufasa tells him "Everything." Simba then says "Everything the light touches" and looks down upon the world. He immediately asks the Ne curiosity question again right after "What about that shadowy place?" When Simba says he thought a king can get whatever he wants, Mufasa answers by saying there's more to being a king then getting there way all the time, haha. And then Simba says and asks the question "There's more?" Simba asks another classic Ne dom question here and is excited about his curiosity and the idea of the unknown and wants to learn more information with his Ne here. He's getting excited about the mystery of what being king is like and is asking Mufasa all kinds of questions about it and is getting very excited again that there's more to being king than meets the eye! Simba sees all the possibilities of being king and is excited about all the possibilities that being king entails and wants to know the mystery on what those possibilities are with his Ne and is interested in the unknown and is very excited and driven by his Ne curiosity here and wants to know more information about the true meaning of being king and all the possibilities and meanings that being a king and king of the pride lands entails again with his dom Ne as a ENFP kid here. This is all the true meaning of the "There's more?" line with Simba here and his excitement we see him show with the question he asks Mufasa here and all the questions he asked beforehand to him in this scene as well with his dom Ne, Simba even emphasizes how excited he is about this idea of being king and all the possibilities and information he's excited about learning of all the possibilities and meanings of being king and what being king is all about here when he puts emphasis on it in his voice on the "There's more?" line and shows his body language change and gets even more excited in this scene about all the future possibilities of being king and further makes him get even more excited by the idea of being King all with his dom Ne as a ENFP and the mystery and wonder surrounding all this makes him further excited again and even mor energetic than he already ways and just stirs his Ne curiosity more and he simply wants to learn even more about what it means to be king from Mufasa here, because again the possibilities and hidden meanings of being king excites and very interesting to Simba, and the mystery of not knowing what the hidden meanings of being king are is killing him and he's dying to learn more information about king with his clear dom Ne in this scene, Simba is a clear ENFP and Ne dom. Simba loves new ideas with his Ne and new possibilities for everything he sees and is curious and always wants to learn more information about things and loves learning new things and looks for and get excited about new possibilities all the time with his dom Ne about everything he sees and hears from people as well as a clear Ne dom and ENFP for Simba here, Simba was definitely characterized and introduced as a Ne dom and Fi user and ENFP in the story of the Lion King Disney movie and classic film. I hope my Ni and Fe helped make this scene clear to people here, because this is what's truly happening here in this scene with Simba and Mufasa both behind the scenes and explicitly too all show in this subtle way, and I think all this can be easily missed by people. This explanation here is a major reason why Simba is a ENFP and not a ESFP and rather a Ne dom user instead for sure, no doubt in my mind in my opinion from observing him and Mufasa in this scene here. All this and these points here is what leads into Simba's Ne dom future oriented Ne song "I just can't wait to be king song" This is the reasoning that song happened in the first place for Simba, his Ne is excited by the future possibilities of being King after Mufasa explained everything to him, it looks like Se ESFP center of attention behavior and caring for material, status, success, and attention on the surface but its really not if you dig deeper and realize what's really going on in Simba's mind in both scenes of the story at these points for him as a kid and ENFP child in Part 1 of Lion King before he becomes older later. After Mufasa gives his ENFJ balance speech, Simba immediately again asks another Ne curiosity question again. "But, Dad, don't we eat the antelope?" - Simba. Simba has a genuine and curious look on his face and is wondering the hidden meaning behind what he is saying and is confused and asking the question curiously again "Don't we eat the antelope?" He wants to know more information about this with his Ne and is wondering the hidden meaning of what he's saying here innocently as a ENFP, it doesn't add up to him because Simba is thinking in his mind "Is everything is about balance and maintaining it in the pride lands and if were supposed to respect the animals, then why are we eating them? I thought we eat the antelope, so how are we respecting them?" These questions are running through Simba's mind here in this scene and hence is why he is asking this Ne curiosity question here and brainstorming on why we eat the antelope and animals if were supposed to respect them and keep and maintain balance, classic Ne questions in Simba here and Ne dom behavior in him as a ENFP. When Zazu warn Mufasa about the hyenas in the pride lands, Mufasa jumps to go off and stop them and then Simba ask the Ne curiosity question "Aw, dad, can't I come?" He's curious about the hyenas and seeing them and seeing his dad fight them too and wants to go and see them and all this as well. Mufasa says no and Simba is disappointed as usual and he laments and sulks about it. Simba says "I never get to go anywhere." It seems his Si has been holding onto that for a long time and hates that he can never leave pride rock or go with his dad to dangerous places, again a Se user or Ni user and say care about this too but a Si user cares about these things and the past a lot more often in general and Simba has shown he's a Si user with these examples and a Fi user too both, with makes him care about these things to an even more extent and level than most people do, when Fi and Si are combined in a personality type it has a even stronger effect on them with past experiences and details they strongly hold onto and their strong inner emotions about everything they feel deeply inside and with their inner Fi values to things, if you add Si on top of that, they're feelings on past things are extra strong. I'm going to talk about this Si and Fi aspect to Simba's character and holding onto the past in a ENFP NFP Si and Fi way a lot in Part 2 of this post when Simba get's older because its his entire character arc then as a ENFP and Fi and Si user, so be prepared for that. But for now he's still a kid so I'm going to focus still on his kid actions and behaviors first for now, so keep reading on. Now moving on, we move to Simba and Scar and their scene together. Simba opens up with a question in his dialogue yet again with his Ne and leading Scar on and not getting to the point right away with his Ne, "Hey, Uncle Scar! Guess what?" He starts off the conversation with that Ne curiosity question and asking and wanting Scar to be excited about the secret and thing he wants to say to him here. Scar is INTJ and is more cynical, cold and logical and is a bit more harsh to him here and says "I despise guessing games." Simba as he talks and tells him he's gonna be king one day and rule all the pride lands and gets excited about it. He immediately moves into yet another Ne curiosity question and asks Scar a Ne dom question again here, "Hey, Uncle Scar. When I'm king, what'll that make you?" Simba asks another Ne curiosity question again here. And when Scar stirs him on and says so apparently your father showed you the whole kingdom did he, he says. But he didn't show you what's beyond that rise at the northern border he mentions to him, again a Ne curiosity question that Simba already asked about before during Mufasa's speech to him on pride rock. Simba then says yeah he didn't tell me about it and said to me that I can't go there. Simba once again, asks another Ne curiosity question immediately again seconds later after Scar stirs him on and says he's right and its far too dangerous and only the bravest lions go there, Simba then says and asks the Ne question, "Well, I'm brave. What's out there?" Simba asks yet another Ne curiosity question again here on him asking what's out there and whats beyond the pride lands and in the northern border area of the lands, we also see tertiary Te confidence and efficiency in Simba as well as a ENFP here too in him, Simba is confident and efficient with the goals and task he cares about and cares about completing and getting done in his life and does not struggle with Te at all for you Simba INFP fans out there, Simba is not a sensitive Fi dom, he's a sensitive Fi aux user and idealistic NF, Simba is a Si inferior and struggles with Si all the time, he's bad with details and is scatter-brained and airheaded with his head in the clouds Ne and questions he always asks, he hates rules and traditions which I'll explain later in the post in a moment, and he holds onto the past in very unhealthy ways and very strongly as we already see a bit here when he says "I can never go anywhere..." And again I'll explain this unhealthy and struggle of using his Si inferior function in Part 2 when he gets older in the movie and that part of this post down below when we get there, but for now let's focus on him as a kid again for the time being. So with that we see some more Ne curiosity in Simba here and we see some Te efficiency and confidence in him as a ENFP as well in this scene too. When Scar tells him I'm sorry Simba but I just can't tell you Simba yet again asks the Ne curiosity question "Why not?" Once Scar says an elephant graveyard is no place for a prince, Simba hears it and his face lights up and he gets excited again by the all the possibilities an Elephant Graveyard entails as Ne dom and ENFP and what it could be like with his Ne excitement here and Ne curiosity being piqued and stirred here again. Simba asks the Ne curiosity question again "An elephant graveyard? Whoa!" Classic Ne curiosity excitement here in Simba again as a excited ENFP for him here in this scene. When Zazu starts poking fun and saying how they look romantic and hints at them getting married one day, and says they will be "Betrothed and all." Simba asks the Ne curiosity question again "Be-what?" - Simba. When Zazu explains there going to get married one day and that its a tradition for them to follow no matter what, Simba and Nala say "Ew" and Simba says "I can't marry her, she's my friend." Nala, "Yeah that would be weird." Once Zazu says its a tradition that can't be changed that goes back from generations in the past. Simba says "When I'm king, that'll be the thing to go" Simba cares about new things and novelty with his Ne and a doing new things never done before with his Ne as a Ne dom and ENFP and he hates old traditions as a low Si inferior user and struggles with and accepting them and hates old traditions and prefers the new and interesting and trying new things in the future. Both ENFPs and NPs and ESFPs and SP hate rules both yes, but Ne users hate rules and traditions even more so because Ne is the opposite function of Si and they're on Ne and Si axis with each other, you can't have one without the other and both functions are always having conflict and trying to tug away from each other as well because Ne and Si users both see the world differently so much. Simba is clearly showing he's future oriented here in this scene and a Ne user who's interested in new possibilities and changing the old way and past traditions that he doesn't care about and doesn't like at all, new possibilities, novelty, and future change is everything to Simba as a ENFP and Ne dom, and this rejecting past traditions in favor of the new and change clearly shows Simba's Ne dom in him and Si inferior as a ENFP for Simba again. Simba's I just can't wait to be king song starts and we enter his imagination and him imagining himself being king in the future with his Ne and all the possibilities on what he will be like one day when he is king in the future. "I'm gonna be a mighty, so enemies beware!" Ne in Simba here. Some might mistake this as a Se line because of Se assertiveness stereotype and dominance, toughness, it sounding material on the surface, and caring power and being mighty aspects of Se but the confidence and toughness part is just Simba's tertiary Te confidence, efficiency, and toughness coming out here. Se and Te are look alike functions cause they both like getting things done for difference reasons and are very tough and assertive functions, Se even though its an unorganized and unstructured function likes to get things done spontaneously by responding to details quickly in the moment and hopping in and being impulsive in the moment and want to handle things quickly with its Se and move onto the next thing and Te cares about getting goals done in a efficient and task oriented way and is very tough and dominance and power focused which Simba is clearly doing and showing here with his tertiary Te and his Ne imagining possibilities about the future and what kind of king he'll be like and telling Zazu what he's imagining himself as being for the next king in the future here in this scene and song he's singing. On the surface again Simba sometimes looks ESFP and like a Se user, like someone could argue with the line "I'm gonna be the main event, like no king was before." this again is a good ESFP argument and sounds like he's a Se dom and ESFP on the surface yes good point, but if you wind the clock back to my earlier argument and points in the Mufasa speech to him on Pride Rock and when they were walking through the Pride Lands, Simba only got interested in excited about being king like this because there talk and all the Ne curiosity questions he asks and all the information he learned with his Ne and Mufasa caring about teaching him about all this and why being king is important for him. Simba was curious about the hidden meanings of being king and all the possibilities that being king would entail for him in the future as I already explained and asked Ne curiosity questions about the job and position the whole time when they talked. Simba as a result of all that and their talk is extremely excited by the possibilities of being king in the future, that Mufasa talk and all the Ne curiosity questions he heard led him into caring about being king so much in future in the first place and we've seen how future oriented Simba is with his Ne in the examples I already mentioned earlier and again how future oriented he is in this song, that earlier talk they had and Simba's Ne curiosity questions is what led him to get even more excited about the future of being king even more than he already was with his dom Ne, and all that they talked about in the past and his Ne dom curiosity and possibilities he sees and wonders about with being king in the future directly led into this I just can't wait to be king song and is the reason this song is happening here now in the first place. I hope I made that connection clear to everyone here and helped explain how Simba's Ne curiosity before with the questions he asked Mufasa, the information he learned and his further excitement for the possibilities in the future of being king directly led to this "I Can't Wait to be King" Ne dom future possibilities song he sings here. "I'm brushing up on looking down I'm working on my roar" this is Te not Se again, he's showing how confident and tough he is and how he wants to work on his roar to show his Te tertiary toughness as a ENFP again here and be a strong leader, which Te users all love being, and yes both Se and Te users like this both but I already explained earlier in this post on how Simba is a Te user and how everyone moment people think he's showing Se its actually Te instead being shown in Simba as a ENFP or even Ne moment in him over Se in the examples above I already mentioned, but going back to the other point I was saying because again, Se and Te are both look alike functions. For you anime fans out there I type Bakugo ESTP and a Se dom from My Hero Academia, not ENTJ at all, Bakugo is a clear Se dom, Se and Te are again look alike functions and often confuse people like this a lot. Simba's confident and assertive moments are Te coming out in him, not Se, and for you INFP Simba fans I'll say again Simba is a confident and efficient and fairly task oriented Te tertiary user as a ENFP, he doesn't struggle with Te at all and is pretty good at it and using Te even if not the best still because Te is still low in him as a tertiary Te user of course. Despite this he uses Te decently well tertiary as a ENFP and is pretty confident character and cub overall and definitely struggles with Si more as a Si inferior as I already explained in my points above for that already. Also Simba is preparing for the future with his Ne in the brushing up line, he's thinking about the future again being king and working on looking down and be able to roar properly in the future as a powerful king and strong lion and great leader, this all Ne dom thinking of the future here and Te caring about confident, efficiency, and being powerful and strong too. "Oh, I just can't wait to be king!" Simba is thinking about the future with his Ne here and is getting excited by the possibilities in the future of being king again and his Te is making him impatient and cares about efficiency again and wants to get the task and goal done already, this line he says the whole song is a classic Ne and Te user line both together, which makes sense because Simba is ENFP again as I'm proving here. I don't know how anyone can say Simba lives in the moment as Se user, Simba is insanely future oriented with his Ne as I've proved in my earlier points and this line he says over and over again just further proves that and shows how insanely future oriented he is as dom Ne user and ENFP and is getting excited by the future possibilities and by the idea of being king in the future and he wants to hurry up can get the goal and task done with his Te tertiary as well and of course he's being a bit impulsive here as a reckless and spontaneous Ne user and perciever too. "Free to run around all day! Free to do it all my way!" Ne users and Se users both love freedom and hate rules and traditions. But I already explained how its more common for Ne users to want to rebel against rules and traditions because Ne and Si both are on a axis and are totally opposite functions from each other and they both see the world totally differently which causes conflict, like Simba and Zazu are having here as an NP and SJ for the both of them. Now like I did with the other ESFP look alike argument before and debunked it, I'll talk about the next one the that looks like Simba is ESFP on the surface that I will admit on face value definitely is a good argument. "Everybody look left, everybody, look right. Everywhere you look, I'm standing in the spotlight!" This line is definitely ESFP kind of line and makes him look ESFP on the surface and like a Se dom, yes very good point to argue here. But as I already explained its coming from all their earlier conversation with Mufasa and all the Ne curiosity questions he asked him and all the information he learned that made him get excited about the future possibilities of being king. After all that stuff happened with his earlier Mufasa talk, and Simba's classic Ne curiosity driving his constant questions and all his actions in life, and him always thinking about the future and getting really excited by the endless possibilities and positive things that will come in the future for him when he becomes king, you realize that's what really is motivating Simba here and making him say all this. Simba is excited about the future and is very excited by all the future possibilities of being king in the future and all the great things that they will bring to him in his life in the future as well and is very excited by the idea of being king in the future overall, this is all Ne coming out in Simba here as a dom Ne user and ENFP. ESFPs can also be excited about being king and things like this as well and are but they're not very future oriented and live in the moment with their Se instead which Simba does not do at all here with him being future oriented so much with his Ne in all these scene with him in the movie. Basically Simba is getting high off all the endless possibilities of being king in the future and his imagination of what it will be like for him in the future, hence this entire I just can't wait to be king song from happening here in the first place, he's a ENFP kid excited by the future possibilities of being king and is very future oriented again, very imaginative as we see here in this song, and is very curious and loves asking Ne curiosity questions all the time time and wonders the hidden meaning in everything he sees and looks beneath the surface all the time with his Ne questions and curiosity, Simba is a classic Ne dom and ENFP kid and cub as we see with all the points I've made analyzing him as a kid in the first part of the film here again. On the surface this all looks Se and ESFP, a long with some of the lines he says here in the song but its really all Ne possibilities excitement for the future and ENFP behavior as well if you look deeper and realize what's actually going on in Simba's mind here, also remember ENFPs also are extroverts and like being in the spotlight and center of attention overall in general too, even if most ENFPs are some of the most introverted extroverts like ENTPs usually but not always, ENFPs are still extroverts too and extroverts in general like spotlight and attention overall, stereo-typically speaking anyway and we get to see Simba's introverted side as a ENFP and the introverted extrovert stereotypes with them when Simba gets older and is more closed off and to himself as a ENFP later in the film as his older self. Simba is a clear Ne dom and ENFP for sure and I hope my explanation made it clear for everyone read this part of the post and this entire post overall. Now moving onto my next points. When they get to the elephant graveyard Simba asks the Ne question again "Isn't it great?" He shows his Te confidence again when he says I laugh in the face of danger, ironically he gets scared runs back when he hears the hyenas and they come out, haha. But of course he did that, any kid would be scared in that situation and if they happened, he'd be crazy not too and if he didn't do that here in this scene when the hyena's came out. There in a scary and dangerous area after all. Simba tells them he's gonna be future king to them when they ask and speculate who he is, again showing how future oriented Simba is here with his Ne. Simba shows his NF idealism and innocence and honesty here, he doesn't lie and is completely honest and tells the hyena completely what Zazu said about them and them being slobbery stupid poachers that can't do anything to them. This is classic ENFP and NFP innocence and honesty here and NF idealism as well. Later in the chase scene he tries to be brave with his Te and starts to try to roar at them even though its weak, even after the first roar fail he still tries again anyway the second time and as we know they hear Mufasa's roar in his place and he comes to save them, Simba again does not struggle with Te at all, he uses it pretty good but only fairly and decently well as a tertiary user and ENFP. Nala "Well, I thought you were very brave" Btw, I'm saying or implying Fi doms can't be brave, they can be brave and they are, but I'm just highlighting higher Te tertiary ENFP points for Simba here is all. Simba asks even more Ne curiosity questions when he talks to Mufasa the 2nd time and is scolded by him for what he did and disobeying him. Simba says but your not scared of anything, Mufasa says I was today. Simba asks with his Ne "You were?" then he asks the Ne question again "I guess even kings get scared, huh?" and then again asks the questions and tries again like with scar to get Mufasa curious about what he has to say himself when he asks Mufasa here, "But you know what?" Mufasa asks "What?" Simba brings out Mufasa's Ne shadow function here with that line, which makes sense since Simba is ENFP and will bring the Ne out of others too. Then Simba says "I think those Hyena's was even scareder." The Ne curiosity Simba questions continue, "Dad? We're pals right? And we'll always be together, right?" This is all Ne curiosity questions coming out in Simba as usual again here. When Mufasa tells him another ENFJ speech and thing he remembers his dad telling him long ago, he says the great kings of the past look down on us from those stars in the sky, Simba immediately asks another Ne curiosity question again, "Really?" - Simba. Scar, "Your father has a marvelous surprise for you. Simba asks with his Ne curiosity again this question here immediately "Ooh, what is it?" Scar tells him it wouldn't be a surprise if I told you now would it. Simba then says and tries to edge him on and learn and find out what it is because his Ne is so curious about it by saying "If you tell me, I'll still act surprised." Classic Ne in Simba trying to get and learn more information here from Scar for Simba's dominant Ne curiosity here as a ENFP again. He keeps asking him to tell him over and over again with his Ne curiosity and wanting to learn more information and wondering what it is so much on what he's hiding and Simba is extremely interested with his Ne on the unknown and mystery on what the surprise is that Scar is hiding and what his dad has in store for him as a surprise here, "Come on, Uncle Scar." Simba. Scar yells at him and tells him to stay put on this rock and lets him know he knew about the hyena situation from before. Simba asks the question with his Ne curiosity again "You know about that?" Scar tells Simba everybody knows about that, Simba asks another Ne question right after "Really?" And Scar says "Oh, yes." Right after Scar tells him to work on the roar and plans this out again with his Ni, right when Scar starts to leave, Simba can't help but ask another and one more Ne curiosity again before he leaves and goes, Simba asks him the question with his Ne, "Hey, Uncle Scar, will I like this surprise?" Scar says his famous line from this film "Simba, It's to die for." And then he walks off and leaves. Later on he gets curious with his Ne of the chameleon that walks by and starts roaring at it and shows he's scatter-brained and airheaded and easily distracted by things he sees in the outer world and ignores other details around when his Ne is curious about something he sees in the real world or object he sees, yes Se and Ne both care about and are interested in objects and things both in the real world as extroverted percieving functions both, its not just Se that cares for objects and things in the real world like people think. This is a common misconception with people on how the two functions work and differ. Check out the link down below on the true difference of Ne and Se here. To repeat again as a reminder, Simba asking questions and being curious about the Elephant Graveyard and what it could possibly be over there and asking Mufasa what's over there in the northern border is Ne again in Simba coming out in the beginning of the film to bring that point all the way back here to this one again: https://www.reddit.com/mbti/comments/ijo9ed/extroverted_sensingse_and_extroverted_intuitionne/ Simba asks the Ne question "What am I gonna do?" to Scar when he sees his dad dead because of him. His dialogue said "Dad? Dad?" over and over again beforehand. We see how down Simba is and start to see how much the past affects him which will lead to his idealistic NF ENFP and Si depression and with strong Fi driving him holding onto what he did to Mufasa too. "No, not unless you can change the past..." - Simba. Timon tells him to repeat after me, "Ahem, Hakuna Matata" Simba responds with the Ne question, "What?" Pumba repeats it and teaches him the lesson of putting the past behind ya, "Hakuna Matata" - Pumba.They start singing it to him and Simba's face starts to light up, his Si is slowly about to try to adopt the philosophy too and his Fi too but of course later as we see he does a decent job but still fails at this and still holds onto the past strongly and can't let go with his Si and Fi both even if he tries to ignore it and the bad thing he felt he did in the past with Mufasa and his death. Simba as they sing it to him asks the Ne question, "Hakuna Matata?" - Simba. Pumba, "Yeah, it's our motto." Simba immediately asks another Ne curiosity question again right after he says that here, "What's a motto?" - Simba. Timon says "Welcome to our humble home" Simba asks the Ne curiosity question again immediately from seeing it, "You live here?" - Simba. And gets excited about all the possibilities on what this new place is like and his face lights up and gets excited by everything he sees and the wonder of it all, his Ne excitement and curiosity on what he sees is going crazy right now in this scene, as we see with his its beautiful line. Simba says he's so hungry he could eat a whole Zebra, Timon says they don't have that. He asks Ne questions on what can he eat, "Any antelope? Hippo?" Timon says nope to all those questions and says if you live with us you have to eat like us and shows him the bugs to eat in the area. Simba ask the Ne curiosity question once again as usual as a ENFP, "Euqh, what's that?" - Simba. Timon says its a grub and starts to eat it completely. I decided to stop here and to make a Part 2 to talk about Simba as a adult, I plan to get that analysis out today as well so look out for it if your interested. Thanks for reading, and this method is probably best so my post won't be too long like others in the past for people to read. Thank you so much for the support and feel free to share your thoughts down below. Here's some ENFP Simba post down below and other opinions on Simba and the Lion King characters, I'm gonna post my 2nd older Simba Lion King post and my Lion King MBTI Types post as whole today later in the day. But here's these links down below if your interested in them to read and look at: Here's a Great Simba ENFP Post by ZombieRuinsEverything here: https://zombiesruineverything.com/2015/09/01/mbti-simba-enfp/ Here's a post where people thought ESFP for Simba to balance it out, I gave my points why Simba is not ESFP and is ENFP above already as you know: https://www.reddit.com/mbti/comments/4kb1n4/is_simba_an_esfp_or_an_enfp/ https://personalitygrowth.com/myers-briggs-mbti-disney-animal-types/ https://screenrant.com/10-myers-briggs-personality-types-disneys-lion-king/ I agree with most of these but I definitely type Pumba ISFP: https://www.personalitycafe.com/threads/disneys-lion-king-mbti-complete-with-descriptions.743146/
I’d like to preface that I own a cat myself- She’s a siamese cat that I got in high school and she’s my emotional support animal. Very timid and quiet, super sweet and non destructive, but she gets overwhelmed easily. Totally matches my introverted personality. I’ve lived with her in dorms/apartments for two years and she’s been great. I’ve had the same roommate for those past two years. My roommate’s cat is a nightmare. She decided to get a kitten this winter out of impulse and it happened within a few days of her searching petfinder. The first week she got her, she left her new kitten with me to go do acid for a weekend in Portland. From the beginning, my cat didn’t really get along with her and my roommate barely spent time introducing her slowly to my cat. The cat has always been super playful and needy- the opposite of my cat. She rips my roommate’s posters off walls with her mouth, and knocks over her crystals on the shelf. My roommate has bought her a lot of toys but sometimes doesn’t meet her energy needs. She meows and body slams against the inside of my roommate’s door to be let out, and then when my roommate is fed up, she will release her into MY space. Not to mention my roommate will hotbox her room with the cat in it and now the cat has asthma + inflamed lungs. Great. She was finally taken to the vet yesterday and given prednisone, which is a steroid and a SUPER stimulant. I don’t have my own room. I live in the living room with a curtain. I own house plants. This cat has a game of running all through the living room with zoomies and jumping on top of my closet. She tore down my curtain and snapped my pole in half. She headbutted into my plant pots and smashed a pot, and has repeatedly knocked over other plants. And my roommate won’t even clean the dirt that HER cat knocks over. I left to go home for 2 1/2 weeks and my roommate and her cat killed 5 of my houseplants unapologetically. I should really charge her for that. Oh and my roommate keeps her cat’s litter box INSIDE her closet. That’s personally none of my business but I find it disgusting- there’s literally shit and piss particles all over your clean clothes?? What the hell? Not to mention I have anxiety and depression and I never see my cat anymore because of this cat. She’s always running around and terrorizing my cat underneath the bed and won’t leave us alone. I’m losing my mind. I tried suggesting that my roommate get high quality CBD for her but she says it’s “out of her budget”, even though I know my roommate is affluent. I’m so fed up that whenever I see a black cat I get uncontrollably angry. I am trying not to harbor resentment but I woke up again to my plants being knocked off my shelf and my roommate laughing about it. It’s not cute, it’s destructive. She keeps making excuses for the cat, even though I’m clearly uncomfortable. She knows I never see my cat anymore because her cat is terrorizing my cat. I’m feeling super triggered. What do I do? Do I seriously have to move out?
2020.09.20 17:50 Amadeusmohawk26 [M4F] I am once again trying to steal your memes
Name: Boatman http://imgur.com/a/J55ryE0 Gender: Male Age: 26 Hobbies: Gaming (league of legends, stardew valley, dark souls, and more!), reading, dungeons and dragons, making story ideas but being too lazy to write them down, creating pickup lines Music: Pretty much all of it. I lean towards rock and classical more often than others. My least listened to is country Personality: Introverted, but a joker. Dark humor, puns, and dad jokes. I come out of my shell when I get to know the people I'm around but around new people I'm quite reserved Favorite type of movies: I like comedy and action. I dont watch movies all that often but I enjoy when I can watch them with someone Favorite food: All of it. Except shellfish, mainly because it'll kill me. Favorite drink: Dr pepper I'm a pretty simple guy. I'm self employed doing construction/maintenance. If its in, on or around a house I can fix it. I've ordered a cook book to teach myself how to cook better than just throwing stuff together. I enjoy baking but it conflicts with me enjoying eating baked goods because I won't share then end up eating an entire cake myself. I play a lot of league or legends and I'm constantly trying new games. Feel free to ask me about anything I'm an open book. My question for you: I like to think about super powers and their uses. Like what would be a reasonable stipulation for having a power. So I ask, would you rather be able to run at 100 miles an hour or be able to fly but only at 10 miles an hour?
2020.09.20 17:27 kniciejeHighs and Lows: Is being a teacher worth it?
I love my job. But it is killing me. 3 weeks of in person and I am so exhausted. But I've always been exahusted in this job. Last year it was from putting on a huge musical, and the year before, volunteering to do an extra community wide concert. With 30 mins of lunch duty daily and before and after school band every day, I barely have any time to sit down. I'm physically exhausted. Classroom management has always been a challenge for me and leaves me emotionally drained (kind of an introvert who teaches a special area and had to see 500 kids a week). I get about 15,000 steps a day and spend 99% of my class time in front of the class (no worksheets or tests). I've gotten better at teaching and managing over the past 9 years, but in my subject, I am creating all my own lessons and some of my own materials. I always want to improve and it takes creative energy. Last year, they rolled out an intensive observation system that almost burnt me out completely (we had an unannounced, graded observation every week). Yesterday (Saturday), I spent in a fog. Totally and completely wiped. Today, I have to spend the day making videos for my virtual kids and getting lessons together. But i love it too. The moments with the kids are always amazing. We were listening can can by Offenbach this past week and my 5th graders loved it. I tied it in with learning 16th notes and the kids were clapping along and dancing. We were having so much fun. My third graders came up with their own stories to Jupiter from the planets and it was awe inspiring. My Kindergartens can keep their masks on better than most adults. My kids are just such inspiring, incredible, funny, bright humans and I love teaching them. Education field has become a lot though and I'm really feeling it. (Especially during the pandemic, when I can't do anything else.) I'm not sure when I'm going to hit a wall and burn out. Compassion fatigue? I am too much a heart to do this job and hate disappointing others. I don't know. Is it worth it to be in a job that gives me the highest moments and the lowest heartbreaks in the same day? I may take a break next school year and take on a mediocre job with no highs and lows. I would miss the kids so much. And I know, I am finally, actually a pretty okay teacher. Maybe if they just took away damn lunch duty :P Edit: I need some advice on how you untangle your emotions and mental energy from your profession. Edit 2: A bunch of my coworkers went to a huge, unmasked wedding this weekend. Why is everyone the worst? I haven't done anything fun since March.
2020.09.20 16:05 Wickedwitch79My teenage home was creepy and probably my fault...
I lived in Florida for most of my life. We moved around as one does. My parents decided to leave Texas in the mid 80s. My dad couldn't find work, so it was a toss up between California or Florida and my parents chose Florida. Fast forward...my parents find a great house to rent from a very religious family. After renting the home they had for about 2 or 3 years and some personal stuff happened with the family...I won't go into detail but the father tried to kill himself in the garage. Family moved out and asked if we would like to purchase THEIR house. (It was kitty corner from our house we rented from them, as they were going to sell the house we lived in and gave us the opportunity to move their own home which was custom built for them...) so they said, Yes! We lived in the 3 bedroom rental, to a 4 bedroom ownership. Meaning my grandmother got a room and my sister and I got our own instead of sharing. Anyway...even tho I was younger, I got the biggest room because my older sister was never really at home and I was an introvert, so I was always there and well...I got the biggest room besides the master suite. My sister only partly complained but also realized that, ya...she was never home so what does it matter how big her room was? My friends always wanted to come to my house because, "it's big and your parents don't bother you." (I have great parents, but my sister and I have been very Independent and capable, they never had to worry about us.) We also had a pool...so...anyway... My first few nights in my own room I would here a tap noise here and there...no big deal...it's hot in Florida and wood expanes and contracts, etc. New house new noises. (Want mention we had huge powerlines that went by the house.) My friends and I were very much into the magic arts. Nothing mean, or anything. Just it felt right??? We would play the Quija board in my room. (I already had an attachment, but I didn't know what that was at the time.) Anyway!!! After a year or two my friends and I had experienced many things. My one friend was bring her Flag Core group over so she could grab a gift I bought her. They came in. She warned them they house was wierd. Well, they didn't believe her and said, ya sure...my friend and 3 of her group came in. I knew them, we all go to school together. 1 needa to use my bathroom, my friend takes her there because the bathroom is near my room. The thought comes in my head, "she is going to complement you on your toilet paper." My friend calls to me and I leave the 2 other girls for a moment. I come back and the 2 girls are looking at me with these huge eyes. They say, "I think your dad is home. And he sounds mad!" I said, "My dad? No...he doesn't yell...he doesn't have to." I walk to the garage, open the door and show them, no one is there. Suddenly the girl that needed to use the bathroom comes back and says, "Your 2 ply is awesome!" I smile. The other girls are freaking and my friend comes from my room with her gift. The 2 others swear they heard a man yelling in the garage. I again, say, no one is here but us. They left, just turned around and walked out. They told my friend they now believe and never want to go there again. My house...in about 10 minutes turned a sceptic into believers.
2020.09.20 08:53 WinniepgKit didn't know if he wanted to keep acting by the end of GoT
So the interview is fairly extensive and focused on what he is doing now while also reflecting about GoT. Seems like the break has been really good for him and his time away from the show was needed. It would have been a shame if he stopped acting.
Kit Harington: 'I feel that emotionally men have a problem - and it stems from the Second World War' Game of Thrones' Jon Snow opens up to Gavanndra Hodge There was a time, not so long ago, when Kit Harington, the brooding, battle-weary hero of the global television phenomenon Game of Thrones, considered giving up acting. He had spent eight gruelling seasons and nearly all his 20s playing Jon Snow, who, in the final episode of the show, has to kill Daenerys Targaryen, the woman he loves, because she has become an unhinged tyrant who thinks it's OK to incinerate thousands of innocents with her massive dragons. Harington wept at this scene during one of the cast read-throughs. "I cried a lot in the last season, just out of sheer fatigue," he says. "But I was feeling pretty emotional that day. I think it was more to do with Emilia [Clarke, the actor who played Daenerys], more about the people around me and the story coming to an end." We are speaking in a photographic studio in Hoxton, the roast chicken that Harington's assistant has fetched for his lunch cooling on the coffee table between us ("I can't eat and talk"). He looks box-fresh, just like the black T-shirt, grey jeans rolled up to mid-calf and grey plimsolls he's wearing; his shaggy beard is trimmed, his shoulder-length warrior ringlets shorn away. It's a little strange to meet someone and be surprised that they look like they've recently showered, but we're more used to seeing Harington smeared with the roiling mud and blood of Westeros, so this general vibe of buffed well-being feels new, as does the laid-back grace with which he approaches being interviewed (in past encounters he has seemed rather tense and reserved - channelling Jon Snow a little too hard, perhaps). It turns out that Harington, 33, has had a good lockdown. He and his wife, the actor Rose Leslie, who, as the wildling Ygritte, claimed Harington's on-screen virginity in a thermal spring in season three of Game of Thrones, decamped from their north London home to their 15th-century house in Suffolk in March. "I did not set myself the task of writing the next big novel or learning an instrument, and failing," he says. "I gave myself a break from the get-go. I took the opportunity to reflect, to sit with myself, and for the most part that was what I achieved." There was lots of gardening, he says, reading and exercise. Sometimes he and Leslie would get dressed up in their fancy red-carpet gear for dinner, just to add variety to existence, and she was the one who cut his hair. They even found themselves performing impromptu comedy skits for each other. "We would be walking around the house playing scenes and doing accents. Two actors locked up together will end up performing for no one." He wasn't able to act during lockdown, but he was able to process the 'intensity' of the past few years, during which seasons of Game of Thrones were interspersed with parts in films such as Pompeii, Spooks and Testament of Youth, and theatre roles including Doctor Faustus, his fame ratcheting ever upwards from drama school newbie to global six-pack pin-up. "It has been interesting - going through lockdown, getting over this TV show, where by the end of it I didn't know if I wanted to be an actor any more, coming out the other side, living with another actor. I realised that I actually miss my craft, I miss what I do. It's a nice revelation." Harington was brought up in Acton in west London until he was 11, when his family moved to Worcestershire. His father, David, was a businessman; and his mother, Deborah, was a playwright, a teacher of creative writing and now an artist. "I idolised my mum," he says. "I followed her around the house. It was because of her that I wanted to be an actor. She used to take us to the theatre at least twice a week." But Deborah Harington didn't only teach her sons (Harington has an older brother, Jack, who lives in Dubai) about the transformative magic of the stage; she also introduced them to gender politics. "I asked for a Mighty Max and she bought me a Polly Pocket. I asked for an Action Man and I got a doll - it was very gender fluid from the word go. And I went with it," says Harington. To this day masculinity and 'inherited male trauma' are the themes that he is most interested in exploring with his work. "I feel that emotionally men have a problem, a blockage, and that blockage has come from the Second World War, passed down from grandfather to father to son. We do not speak about how we feel because it shows weakness, because it is not masculine. Having portrayed a man who was silent, who was heroic, I feel going forward that is a role I don't want to play any more. It is not a masculine role that the world needs to see much more of." He is, of course, talking about Jon Snow, the role he won soon after graduating from the Central School of Speech and Drama, where he was mostly cast as 'a pre-pubescent boy' and had to grow a beard before audiences would accept him as a man. Snow fitted the Jungian archetype of the hero - loyal, steadfast and honest, a man who fights for the underdog - and as such he became the moral core of a show where for the most part immorality reigned. Harington admits that he is "not all those things", despite what fans may imagine, but he did bring something of himself to the part, "a certain self-reflective, introverted broodiness". 'Thrones', as Harington calls it, was a vast ensemble piece, and despite the unsettling regularity with which well-loved members of the cast were bloodily culled, deep bonds were formed. "The first season was wonderful, the freedom of it, everyone just had a great old time, because no one knew what the hell we were doing. In the second season we suddenly knew that whatever we were doing worked, we knew that we were on to something good." But it was the third season, he has said, that was his favourite, filming in Iceland and working closely with Leslie. "She has this energy on camera, she really gives everything of herself," he says. "I mean, look, I fancied the hell out of her and I was falling in love with her, so she could have been the worst actor in the world and I wouldn't have seen it... But obviously she is a brilliant actor and very easy to work with." He describes the end of Thrones as a kind of grief, or like the end of a relationship. "You know that elated feeling you get when you are walking down the street and you realise that you haven't thought about your ex-girlfriend in a while, and you go, I think I am getting over them. I am at that place now and I am really happy." He does not even have any Thrones memorabilia at his home in Suffolk, no filched bearskin rugs or pewter goblets. "F-k no, I don't want to look round my home and see Thrones. The place is medieval enough." He does have some paintings that fit with the thatch and the timbers, but these are real relatives rather than fictional ones. "I've got a portrait of a Lady Harington from 1603," he says. There are distinguished relatives on both branches of the family tree, Elizabethan nobles on his father's side, and the Catesbys on his mother's. Harington played his ancestor Robert Catesby, the recusant Catholic ringleader of the Gunpowder Plot in the 2017 BBC miniseries Gunpowder, created by his own production company. "I don't place a huge amount of importance on family lineage, but it is quite cool to look back and discover stories about these people." He is disappointed that lockdown meant he was unable to make a planned episode of My Grandparents' War, the Channel 4 documentary series in which celebrities learn more about their relatives' wartime heroics, although it is hoped that this will be picked up again. Projects that Harington did manage to complete include guest-starring in an episode of the David Tennant-led police drama Criminal for Netflix, and playing a character called Dane Whitman in the new Marvel film, The Eternals. According to my investigations, Whitman is a descendant of an Arthurian knight called Sir Percy of Scandia. He rides a horse called Aragorn and wields a blade called Black Ebony. Sadly Harington can neither confirm nor deny any of this intel. He can't even tell me if he gets to wear a cool superhero outfit. "I've lost count of how many NDAs I've had to sign," he says. He can tell me about his other cool outfits, though, many of which are by his favoured label, Saint Laurent: "I love the clothes they make. They are a natural fit for me, not loud in any way, very classic, fitted and sleek." Sleekness is maintained by a regime of running, yoga and workouts. "I need to keep fit, I've got an overactive brain, I need to do something in the morning to get the endorphins going." He has tried meditating, but says he is not very good at it. "I am not a very relaxed person, in honesty, I am a bit ADD, I can't sit still anywhere for very long. I move from place to place. My relaxation is movement." Another way he clears his brain is by writing poetry: "Bad poetry - it's more like getting things out of my head." These strategies are working, though, and he says that he feels "a lot more centred now, and that is a really satisfying feeling... it has taken years of work, but we all do that, it is a process of growing." The work continues. He says he recently returned from a week in Wales: "I went to this cabin on my own, just to get out, to be in a different place. I had no signal or Wi-Fi or anything, it was just me and the sheep." While he was there, he read The Dispossessed, the science fiction masterpiece by one of his favourite authors Ursula Le Guin. "There is a brilliant passage about suffering, near the beginning: I have a photo of it on my phone." Harington spent much of the final season of Game of Thrones in tears, but he seems to be in a far better place now. I ask him when he last cried. "I cried last night. I was chatting to a friend and we were talking about the idea of things not staying still, of not being able to stop time. You know, when you are like, 'This moment is perfect, why are we still moving on?'"
2020.09.20 07:55 BakunawaDaysMaybe I was meant to be alone
All my life I feel like I've always needed to wear a mask with people. Friends and family it didn't matter. I suppose this is hitting hard because of the pandemic as an introverted person, but long story short I've had to move back with my family and it's killing me. For months I haven't been like myself. I just feel like I have to go back to being "the strong one". The one that's not allowed to complain. The one who's opinion doesn't matter. The one who has to anticipate everyone messing up so I don't have to deal with an inevitable mess and I hate it so much. This is truly some kind of hell being surrounded by people and still feeling so lonely. I wish someone would just hug me because they felt like it and not because I did something for them or that it's expected. I just feel so bogged down by everyone expecting something from me or saying they're there to listen but instead of a smidgen of comfort it's always "you're too much" or "that's a stupid thing to be upset about" it's like what's the point of telling someone to be themselves when "being yourself" is an actual problem too? When it got too much I used to take solo vacations to places where I knew nobody and for a little while I felt free. Just bottling all these emotions, dealing with heartbreak, and not having any privacy is too much. I wish I could start over. I don't think I'm cut out for this world. Staying positive is becoming so hard.
2020.09.20 01:01 invisalignsWhat's your opinion on texting in a relationship?
Hello! I'm (F21) an INxJ (my F and T are 50/50) dating an (M22) ISTJ for a couple months now. It's been the most healthiest relationship I've been in thus far. We vibe well in person and have amazing intellectual and emotional deep talks. Being both introverts we respect each others need for space. Despite this, when we're apart, I find the biggest difference between us is texting style. I'm someone who is an avid texter. I enjoy texting and I like to feel connected to someone when we're apart. My ISTJ boyfriend, however, is the complete opposite. He replies promptly and consistently, but the replies are typically very short and dry: like an "okay!," "indeed," "aw," "that's good." I find it kills conversation. On text I'm typically an upbeat person so I'm usually the one who will chit chat more and keep it going, but on my bad days I get pretty irritated at those responses. I know I shouldn't take it personally, because I know he continues to tell me goodnight/goodmorning every day and calls me every night so I know he cares, but man those responses though. I'm pretty sure it's a personality thing. So to fellow ISTJs, what's your opinion on texting or your experiences with an SO with different texting styles? How did you compromise? What compromises do you suggest? Thanks!
2020.09.19 12:38 MikomijiBF(30f) seems to be getting pasive-agressively annoyed whenever I (30f)look at my phone even briefly when we're not doing anything. Together 3 years, living together for 1.
Just wanted to start by saying I'm NOT on my phone during our time together. When we go on a date I won't even text people back or anything, I'll wait until later. He probably gets his phone out more than I do in those situations, but its not often so I don't care at all. I also won't get it out if we are watching something, eating dinner, or playing video games, only when he takes a fag break or goes to the loo or something, or when we are in his car going somewhere I'll mess around on it (in full view of him) mainly because I don't like to sit there doing nothing. Again, he gets his phone out sometimes during TV and I don't care at all. But I'll never do that because when I did it a few times in the past he pauses it or says "are you watching?" so I just wait for the breaks. Even if the show is super boring and I'm just watching out of polite-ness. My boyfriend doesn't have social media, he doesn't like it, which is fine. I only have FB, don't really talk to anyone on it I just follow art groups and comedy stuff. Looking at funny dumb stuff and art is just a way for me to unwind. He has his way of unwinding which is drinking every night, but that's a different issue. We are together almost every night after work and every weekend, we barely go out or see our friends, but I'm super introverted and usually only chat with them through txt on occasion. He has never directly told me not to be on my phone, but he has came back from a fag, and said "Are you ready?!" He's also made comments like "I knew you'd be on Facebook. I bet you're writing a status about that etc..." I never write statuses I just share stuff which I've told him lol. He's seen my FB and knows he can go on it any time, because I leave my laptop on the desk in the lounge with the password saved on it. Last night he went for a fag, I got my phone out to kill 5 mins with my Duolingo (I'm learning Spanish which he knows) he grabbed my boob on the way out (I'm always totally fine with that) and he went "Oh I didn't think you'd notice I thought you'd be too distracted by your phone." Whenever they mention any kind of internet/social media thing on TV like "youth these days can't get off their phones" he will say "that's like you" etc. The thing is I don't even have many friends and the 4 I have I rarely see. I never go out either. He always drinks when we watch TV (not loads) and told me he never plans on stopping that, so I don't bother him about it as I know it will make him worse (he used to be much worse before we properly moved in together) Do you think he should be able to criticise me for going on my phone during fag breaks? I'm starting to feel really guilty but I hate reading etc and can't think of anything else to kill a few mins while he's not around. Is he being controlling or do you think he's joking? Shall I try to find something else to do while he's having fag breaks? Any suggestions if so TL:DR: Bf makes jokes/comments about catching me on my phone when we aren't even doing anything together.
Dear COVID-19, You have been hated so much by society. However, I have different views on you. Thank you COVID-19, for allowing me to go school free for 190 days. Thank you Covid-19, for allowing me to advance my piano skills. Thank you Covid-19, for letting me have not a care in the world. Thank you Covid-19, for letting me have free time. Thank you Covid-19 for taking introverts like me into consideration. But that’s not all. Thank you COVID-19, for giving my family time to plant trees in the back, reshelve the garage, plant grass, and so much more. Thank you COVID-19, for giving me the BEST 192 days of my LIFE. Thank you for showing me true happiness, Thank you COVID-19 for killing tons of people I don’t give two shits about, thank you COVID-19 for killing people so there is more food in the world for ME, thank you COVID-19 for eliminating the competition, thank you COVID-19 for allowing me to do nothing but sit on my ass and game. Unfortunately these luxuries of life have came to an end, and I go back to staying up to 2:30AM each night with homework. I have came back under the shackles of society, with no time to myself other than the weekends and late nights. Unfortunately, I shall go under this demanding lifestyle once again, which people like me don’t appreciate.
Synopsis: A young woman finds herself dead and is given the chance to reincarnate in another world with cheat-like magic powers. She accepts, only to find that the world treats magic users the same way ours did— by hunting them down and killing them for heresy. My name is MELAS?! As in Salem backwards? Oh my God, and my mother is a Witch. I am SO going to be burned at the stake! [Previous Chapter] [Chapter 1] [Cover Art] [RoyalRoad Index and Synopsis] [Patreon] Tags: Isekai/Reincarnation, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Weak-To-Strong Protagonist, Female Protagonist For the next few days of travel, I spent every waking moment while not on the road practicing my drawing skills. I tried jumping straight to carving the runes on mana crystals, but that ended up being a waste of resources because of how imprecise I was at it; I went through three Lesser mana crystals— despite filing away the surface when I made a mistake— before learning my lesson and transitioning to paper. Now, I worked with a pen, gripping it in the same way I would a carving needle; it was not an exact simulation of working with mana crystals, but it was as close as I could get to it. I continued drawing the four basic symbols of fire, water, earth, and air in repetition, focusing solely on learning the fundamentals of tinkering before I actually started work on creating proper mana tools. I stayed up sleepless nights working on this, and spent the hours Gennady and I were on the road on the back of his mana powered bike, resting my head against his massive backpack and sleeping. It was not the most comfortable way to take a nap, however it certainly was not as bad as sleeping in a cage at the back of a caravan with my arms and legs bound and shackled. So it sufficed most of the time. This, however, was one of the times I was unable to sleep while Gennady was driving. I could not toss and turn since there was not enough space for that, but I did fidget uncomfortably where I lay: I was thinking. Thoughts filled my mind in an endless stream of consciousness, keeping me awake despite what my closed eyes might seem to indicate. I could not stop thinking about all the different tools I would be able to craft once I had fully mastered how to tinker; the nebulous idea of the various machines and weapons I could create to both protect myself and make my life a lot easier was an entrancing thing to imagine. I felt my lips curl up to a smile before a voice broke me out from the thoughts in my head. “Oi lass, wake up,” Gennady spoke, his rough voice perking up my ears. “You probably want to see this,” he said. I forced my eyelids open, blinking away my tiredness and sitting up. I rubbed at my eyes for a second as it tried to adjust to having vision after seeing nothing for so long. “What is it?” I asked, yawning. “Look to your left.” The Dwarf did not twist his head to face me. He had his eyes on the road, but he did gesture his head in the direction he wanted me to face. Slowly, I sat up and turned my neck to the side. My eyes widened and I gasped as I took on the marvelous sight before me: I was faced with a palette of sharp, contrasting colors in the canvas before me. A beach stretched out for a few hundred feet, turning from a dull gray gravel into a neat brown blanket of sand, wrinkled by the waves rolling in and out of the ocean. The endless deep blue expanse of the sea morphed into the azure blue of the sky, but at the line where the two met, the sun rested there, muddling the pure colors with a bright orange. The water shimmered as the brilliant sunset shone down upon the world, bringing with it the last semblance of light for the day at this moment of twilight. There was not a cloud in the sky, but it was going to be a dark night; the lunar cycle brought with it the new moon, and travelers would only have their paths illuminated by the specks of light that came in the stars. “That’s a beautiful sunset,” I breathed. I had not seen a sight like this in over a decade: the sparkling sand and the glistening ocean was a spectacular view to behold. The empty serenity of the beach was only accentuated by the setting sun, which gave the dark brown surface an amber tint that was rarely ever seen in the crowded beaches of Earth. “‘Course,” Gennady said, still not facing me. “I knew you’d like it. This is your first time seeing the ocean, eh? Most people never get the chance since not everyone travels to port cities.” “It is.” In this world, I added in my head. I took a moment longer to gaze into the nostalgic scene of a beach, then turned back to the Dwarf. “Shouldn’t we be stopping soon? It’s late.” “We’re a tiny bit ahead of schedule. So I think we should keep going for a bit longer.” “Are you sure we should be traveling when it’s dark?” I asked. “I don’t want us to get lost or attacked by bandits.” “Don’t worry, lass,” he said reassuringly. “As long as we’re not out there”— he pointed at the ocean— “we ain’t running into any trouble.” “But—” “And,” the Dwarf cut me off. “We won’t be out when it’s night.” I cocked my head, not sure what to make of what he was saying. Then, I saw it. In the distance, a few miles ahead, a sprawling city came into view. There was a tall wall surrounding the perimeter of the city, which opened up at the side where the harbor was; streetlights and lamps were visible even from where we were, giving the city a sense of life with its light, in sharp contrast to the darkness of the wilderness to my right. I saw a small line of caravans, carriages, and a single car queuing up to enter the city gates as night slowly descended upon us. “This is… Luke?” I guessed. That was the Capital city of Laxis, and our final destination in this country; we were not supposed to arrive here until tomorrow, but… “We’re more than just a bit ahead of schedule, are we?” “Nope,” Gennady chortled, leaning back in his seat slightly. “We’re very ahead of schedule.” We reached the city half an hour later. The sun had just finished setting, but the gates were still open. Apparently the threat of Monster attacks was less of a problem here in the Capital, which made sense, but did not put me at ease; after what happened in Bys, I did not feel safe even behind the walls of a big city— and Luke was not nearly as large as the Free City of Slaves was. In fact, I was pretty sure this city was not as big as Boleria, and neither was it as big as the Rem Republic’s Capital city of Remheart. I had never been to the latter, but I knew that my home country was one of the richer nations in this world, whereas Laxis was undergoing an economic crisis that was only exacerbated by the influx of refugees from the Free Lands. We were momentarily stopped at the entrance of the city— the guards wanted to check our bags for any illicit goods. I almost had a heart attack. “Um, are you sure that’s necessary?” I asked the guard while trying to hint at Gennady that I was indeed carrying ‘illicit goods’. The guard shrugged. “It’s the law, Miss. I’m just doing my job.” “Of course you are,” I said, trying to sound like I understood his situation. “But we paid the fee for entry, didn’t we? And we’re not even traders. This just seems like an unnecessary hassle.” “It would be less of a problem if you didn’t argue, Miss,” the guard said, and I knew he was right. I quickly glanced over at my travel companion with panic in my eyes, and he finally seemed to get my message. He got off his bike, and approached the guard. “Sir,” he started, reaching for his pockets. “It’s a troublesome job, ain’t it?” The guard eyed the Dwarf warily, but didn’t say anything. Gennady continued. “I wanna help you out, but we also want to be helped out. So how about this?” He pulled out two glistening silver coins from his pocket. “A tip. For your troubles. And for our ‘troubles’.” The guard hesitated, before quickly looking around; when he saw no one was looking, he quickly snatched the coin out of the Dwarf’s hand, and pocketed it. “Go,” he said, waving us off. “You’re all clear. I found nothing in your bags.” “Good lad,” Gennady said, smacking him in the back, before hopping back on his bike. Then he winked at me. “Problem solved.” I sighed in relief as we finally entered the city, and drove away from the guardpost at the gates; the guard did not look through our belongings, which was a good thing considering I had a dozen books containing heretical contents inside of it. Not all of them were books on spells— that made up slightly less than half of my personal library— but I was pretty sure most of the others were illegal to own as well. I probably should throw some of them away, since I had finished reading pretty much everything of note in those books. And the fact that a majority of them were hand-me-downs from Victor, my former friend and a rapist, urged me towards that course of action. However, not only have I simply never found the time to do it, a side of me felt like I could potentially find a use for them in the future. I was not sure how accurate or trustworthy that side of me was, but I listened to it for now. It was risky, however perhaps I could maybe sell these books on the black market if the situation ever arised. Not that I knew how to access the sale of illegal goods: I did not even think of bribing the gate guard to Luke! “How’d you know he’d accept it?” I asked Gennady as we were driving down the streets of the city, drawing some attention because of how much gas was being puffed out of the Dwarf’s vehicle. “The bribe,” I specified. He raised his shoulders in a shrug. “The country has been in hard times, lassie. Corruption is not uncommon when people just want to earn a living.” “But what if he reported us to a superior?” I asked, frowning. “We’d be in a lot more trouble.” “Then we bribe him instead,” Gennady answered simply. “I… but…” I paused, considering his possible responses to any further questioning I might have. Eventually, I acquiesced on the issue. It worked out without a problem, I told myself. Why are you complaining? It was a nonsensical part of myself that worried over possible scenarios that never came to fruition; it usually was a longing for what could have been better, but sometimes it was a fear for what could have gone wrong. Gennady and I continued down the haphazard streets of Luke, before finding ourselves at an inn. It was a more luxurious inn compared to the ones we had been staying in for the past week— all of which were fancy compared to the inns I had been staying in by myself before I started traveling with the Dwarf. He insisted on finding comfortable lodgings most of the time, even if it were not necessary. I understood the concept of treating oneself once in a while, but it seemed as though he took it a step further and lived life on the edge in exchange for always getting what he wanted. That was why he left the Taw Kingdom in the first place: he was dissatisfied with how things were going with him there and took a leave even if it had no long term benefits. Plus, Gennady warned me that we were probably going to be staying in Luke for a while; it was difficult to find transportation out of the port city due to all of the hazards with pirates infesting the waters right outside of it. We had to find a ship willing to bring us out of Laxis— possibly all the way to Taw— which required a significant amount of protection in the form of Mercenaries, as well as Hunters if a sea Monster decided to attack the ship. And while the former was a problem endemic to Laxis for almost a decade, it seemed the latter was simply a seasonal issue. The stormy weather supposedly attracted creatures of the deep to gather closer to coastal settlements, lying in wait to sink unguarded ships and feast on its crew. It was not the wisest idea to go on a seaway voyage at the current time, and while I was not in a rush to get to Taw, I would prefer to find myself in a physically and financially secure position as soon as possible. “Remind me again, why can’t we travel to Taw through land?” I asked the Dwarf as we settled into our room. “It’s not that we can’t travel by land,” he said, wagging a finger to point out the nuance in his statement. “Traveling by land means going through lots and lots of rocky, mountainous terrain. My bike is not designed for such travels, and it would probably take us an entire month longer than the two to three months it would already take us to get to Taw by ship.” “But what happens if the ships here refuse to leave the port until after the storm season is over?” I pointed out the flaw in his reasoning. “That would take at least another month for that to happen.” “Well, ya haven’t taken into consideration the other factor which makes traveling by sea far better.” The Dwarf shot me a wink, as I stared blankly back at him. “Out with it already.” “Fine,” he said, throwing his hands up in the air. “I thought you Humans liked your dramatic reveals.” He shook his head, and pulled out a map from his backpack. “Here.” “What am I supposed to be looking for?” I asked, raising a brow. “The city of Jahar’taw, Capital of the Taw Kingdom, and where King Adilet resides.” I carefully took the map from Gennady’s hands, and looked over it. “It’s… a coastal settlement,” I said after a moment of scrutinizing the map; I finally realized what he was trying to tell me. “We can head straight to the Capital of Taw if we took a boat!” “Exactly.” I glanced back up at the Dwarf, and saw his eyes sparkling. “Why didn’t you tell me this earlier?” I asked. “This is incredibly efficient.” He snorted. “Hah, ‘course. I’m a Dwarf, after all.” I rolled my eyes, but did not comment on that; I turned back to the map and looked at where we were. Laxis was not the largest country out there, however it was still sizable. It was almost surprising that it was having as many internal problems as it was, despite having very little enemies beyond its borders. I would have thought a country with less threats from the outside would be more stable on the inside. “So,” I started, “what about the pirates?” “What do ya mean?” Gennady asked, leaning back on his chair. “Who exactly is going to be willing to transport us to Taw, past the pirate infested waters surrounding Laxis?” “We’ll figure it out later,” he said, waving his hand nonchalantly. “But I reckon we’d hafta hire a couple of smugglers and the like to bring us out.” “Smugglers?” I felt my forehead crease into wrinkled lines. “Yes.” The Dwarf began to explain, “You see, most likely regular sailors and merchants would wait out for the storm season to blow over. Neither pirates nor any sane sailor would dare risk their ship out during a bad storm. This just means that on clear days like today, pirates would be a lot more active in patrolling the trade routes, looking to intercept any fool who decides to attempt to cross the sea. “However, if we hire a band of smugglers to bring us out of Luke, pirates would be less likely to attack us. Most pirates would be affiliated with a smuggling group or two, to bring their illicit goods into the city. If they attack their own smugglers— well, that’s just a bad business move, y’know?” I nodded, considering this. “And you think you can find trustworthy smugglers to bring us to Taw for us?” “Not all the way to Taw,” Gennady corrected me. “Just partway through— far enough to get away from the pirates, and board a proper ship to finish the voyage.” “The question still stands,” I said. He stroked his beard in thought. “It’ll take some time, but I’ll be able to do it. I know my way through the underground, and I bet ya I can find someone willing to do this job for us within the week.” “If you say so.” I did not fully trust Gennady for some reason, despite knowing him for a week. Or perhaps I should rephrase: I had only known him for a week, which was why I did not fully trust him just yet. Whichever the case was, I felt like I should still be somewhat leery of the man. I had paid him almost a hundred gold coins to escort me to the Taw Kingdom, and while that certainly helped to abate some of my uncertainty regarding the situation, I still did not feel fully at ease about the things he did when I was not around. After what happened in the Free Lands with Victor as well as what happened with the slaves, I tried to keep my eyes on Gennady at all times, even if that was not physically possible. The Dwarf eventually retired to bed once our discussion was over, while I stayed up to practice my drawing skills. I drew the four same symbols over and over again, until my hands and fingers ached all over, but I still continued. When I first started doing this, I had only drawn the runes of the same symbols in succession: fire, fire, fire; water, water, water; earth, earth, earth; or air, air, air. Now, however, I was drawing the different symbols in tandem with one another, mixing up the combinations to varying degrees. Fire, fire, water, air. Water, earth, fire, air. Earth, earth, air, earth. Earth, air, air, fire. From what I had studied in the books Gennady lent me and from what he told me himself, all four symbols could theoretically be put together in a rune and create something. However, there were certain pairs that almost always went together more often than with others. These pairs were: Water and earth. Earth and air. Fire and air. Fire and fire. The last pair was an oddity in that they were both the same symbols. Gennady seemed to postulate that this was due to how the fire symbol seemed to generate the most amount of energy by itself. I thought differently: to me, it probably was the prevalence of weaponry in the daily lives of the people in this world, which made the fire symbol more needed than the others. In a similar vein, the reason why the earth symbol seemed to pair with the others fairly liberally was probably due to its importance when it came to tinkering with a mana crystal to affect objects around it. It was not due to the effectiveness of the symbols itself, rather it came from the necessity of it all. I went through pieces of paper incredibly quickly; it was not the most expensive material in the world, but it still cost quite a significant amount to buy as much paper as I had been using (I used both sides of the paper and tried not to waste space). I finally found myself at the end of my current stack and was forced to stop for the night. I slowly slumped over the desk, exhausted from working for so long into the night. I rested my head on my arms atop the table, facing to the side and out of the window. It was dark. The moonless night shed no light down from the heavens, as dark clouds gradually formed overhead, covering the celestial bodies from illuminating their shine upon this earth. Yet, I saw not the darkness of the void ahead of me, but instead a picturesque scene layered over the window frame like some sort of portrait. I remembered the sunset from earlier today. The tranquil view of the beach, the sounds of the waves crashing into the sand, and the rays of the sun beaming down at my face. It was almost relaxing. I glanced over at the clock to the side, and checked the time. It was late at night— past midnight— but it was hardly the usual time I went to bed. I felt almost as if I had become a workaholic with all the things I had been doing since I was freed from slavery; every single one of my days had been filled with traveling, studying, or fighting without any moment of reprieve in between them. The last time I got the chance to simply enjoy myself was the time I went shopping for a new set of clothes since my Goblin outfit was getting used and worn.... and my wallet felt very bad about itself the day after! I sighed wistfully as I remembered my previous life and all the fun times I managed to spend with my friends doing various different activities in between our studying, volunteering, and school. “I want to go to the beach,” I muttered under my breath. It was most definitely not the best time to go outside; being a kid and wandering the streets alone at night was a recipe for trouble. I did not want to be forced to expose myself if push came to shove and I had to cast magic to protect myself again. And yet, once night ended and morning came to replace it, I would lose the opportunity to go to the beach without wasting any of my time. Time was precious, and its wastage on something as unnecessary as enjoying myself would guilt-trip me to no end. I looked over my shoulder, at the sleeping, rotund figure of the Dwarf laying in his bed. He was going to go to the market tomorrow in search for any Superior mana crystals, bringing me with him to teach me things I needed to learn about them. After that was finished, we would head down to the docks to find any ships that were willing to take us to Taw. I had no window to act, and the stormy weather would probably bring the tides dangerously close to shore once I finally found the chance to visit the beach. It was with taking all this into consideration, I made my decision. “I’m going to the beach,” I said, standing up and grabbing my dagger and other protective gears. After all, there was no time like the present, and this wasted no time since I probably wouldn’t have been able to fall asleep anyway. [Next Chapter]
Author's Note: The ending of this chapter was inspired by my friend who dm-ed me on Insta that I should go to the beach when it was 40C outside. I'm an introvert, I don't understand why that would be a good idea lmao
We were children, really. What did we know about anything? Sure, passionate, confident, and going to live forever, be young forever, we didn’t understand. How could we? Picture a group of kids somewhere between learning to drive and riding the high beautiful cusp of early-not-quite- adulthood. Riding in a car which belongs to someone else’s parents. No one inside, laughing, has any idea, no real idea, of insurance, loan payments, the tedium of never quite having enough to cover what’s needed. On the radio is Elvis, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Nirvana, Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch, Candlemass, or Gorilla Riot. It doesn’t matter. Kids cruising with the radio blasting is cross generational. Common ground. The only change is the music. We liked rock. Speeding down backroads we hurried to nowhere, high on the camaraderie of imagined or inflated slights, artificial oppression, or assumed captivity. Finding solidarity in our complaints, our suffering, we used pain as the mortar to cement our love for each other. Nothing belongs like belonging. I remember testing the wind resistance with my hand. Skating my fingers on the currents like a coaster riding invisible tracks. Late summer afternoon heat baked down on the asphalt, radiating back again. If not for our speed the humid air would have been stagnant and hard to breathe. As it was it cooled the big Bonneville, tickling the sweat on our brows and tousling our hair. I didn’t mind. It felt good being in this place with these people. We stopped at a gas station. We were hungry, thirsty. Good natured arguments followed about who owed who how much and who bought what when. The arguing was bluster. Everyone departed the store with what they wanted. If someone was short, someone else stepped up. That’s what friends do. Waiting by the car for the rest of the guys to finish paying I sipped my Dr. Pepper, snacked on a Snicker. It could have been any group of friends anywhere in the country. But they were mine. Michael, athletic, good looking, and a solid guy to have your back in a fight or as a wingman out and about. Darrael, pronounced duh-rhel, like Mike, handsome, athletic with the quickest wit of all of us, and that was saying something. Darrell wasn’t a great wingman as ladies tended to fight for his attention, but you could always count on him for a laugh. Riley had been part of our group since kindergarten. She always knew the best places to chill without crowds and was also handy in a fight. Tray was like me. Thin bookish, introverted, into video games. How we managed to fit in with the other three is a mystery. We all just clicked together. Content in our discontent, I suppose. When I think back, that’s how I like to see them. Happy, together, whole, summer sun surrounding them in a golden aura. Crossing the parking lot together, the four of them, drinking Dr. Peppers and laughing, embraced by the fragile immortality of our youth. Riley suggested we head out for a little-known swimming hole; a place called the Deer Hole. Most people didn’t go there because there were many other, more accessible, places to swim which didn’t require a hike through the mountains. We readily agreed. Riley knew the spots. Back in the car we continued along back country roads. Crowded on either side by lush green we climbed sun dappled hills and dipped into shadowy valleys where the air temperature dropped pleasantly. We parked the car at a scenic overlook, part of the Appalachian Trail stretching two thousand one hundred and ninety miles from Maine to Georgia. While there were a few people picnicking at an attached park, and more posing in front of the vistas, we started walking on the Trail. Riley saw something she’d been looking for, it was all trees and rocks to me, and took us onto a smaller game trail. As we put more distance between us and the crowds of granola heads on the Trail the woods became somber. Our conversation died. Each person unwilling to desecrate the holy silence with vulgar words. Like passing through a cemetery or crossing ancient battlegrounds the woods felt sacred and we lowered our eyes to watch our feet, kept our mouths closed. We’d walked for close to an hour, keeping our thoughts to ourselves, when Riley spoke. “There we go.” Three words broke the melancholy spell around us. I became aware of birds chirping and unseen animals rustling in the undergrowth. I heard water. Insects resumed their buzzing as we formed a small semicircle around Riley. She pointed to a winding path leading down to a deep blue pond, roughly circular, its surface partly in the sun, partly beneath the shade of the surrounding trees. A switch backed trail, flanked by a waterfall, twisted back and forth along the hillside. Beneath the waterfall a thick rope, once white now weather stained, knotted with handholds every foot led to a small rock ledge twelve feet above the surface of the pond. Perfect for diving. The shadows began to grow long. Dark comes early in the mountains. I’d almost completely dried off. I like to swim, but the thought of all the dark water beneath me creeped me out. I couldn’t shake the feeling a rotten hand, flesh picked away in spots, or tentacle perhaps, grab my ankle, dragging me to impossible depths to devour me underneath cold mountains. I left the water early while Mike and Darrell were challenging each other to increasingly difficult dives. After a time, the rest of the group made their way to the shoreline beside me. We laid on the bank, Mike and I to Riley’s left, Darrell and Tray to her right. Off to my right I heard the unmistakable gurgle of Tray’s vape, or his douche flute as we affectionately called it, followed by the sickly-sweet smell of cotton candy. To this day I cannot stand the scent. It makes me nauseous. The conversation turned to the inevitable search for something to do. As it was getting on in the afternoon, I wanted to go eat. Swimming always makes me hungry. In the end, dinner won out. Swimming makes everyone hungry. There was a diner attached to the gas station we’d stopped at for snacks, and it wasn’t far. A unanimous decision was achieved in record time to head back for burgers and discuss further plans. After we’d eaten. Full of cheeseburger, fries, and sweet tea I leaned back in the booth putting some distance between my plate and myself. Now no longer hungry the smell of ketchup was making me feel ill. I’ve always been that way. Ketchup smells good at the start of a meal, disgusting by the end. Riley smiled at me, as did Tray, both understanding. They knew me. Mike and Darrell continued eating, oblivious. Those two put away some food and were competitive about everything. “So, what’s the plan?” Mike asked around a mouthful of bacon cheeseburger. “You guys want to go somewhere scary?” Tray asked. Instantly intrigued we readily agreed. Tray shared a few details, “The place is called Black Hollow. I think its near where we went swimming, but I’ll google it to be sure.” “What’s Black Hollow? Never heard of it.” Riley asked, wide eyed. “My uncle told me about it. He said the entire area is haunted but there’s a house way back in the hollow where it’s really bad.” Tray said. Mike and Darrell paused their attempt to out gorge one another. “Bad how?” asked Darrell. “Uncle said there are places in this world which are pure evil and don’t” Tray made quote marks in the air with his fingers, “abide human trespasses.” “Well, hell,” Mike said, “now we have to go.” “Probably bullshit,” said Darrell, picking at his fries, “but I’m free. Let’s do it.” We’d been other haunted places. We’d gone to the haunted tracks where, according to the story, a school bus full of children were killed by a train. Whenever a car parked on the tracks, the ghosts of children pushed the car clear. We dusted the bumper and the trunk with flour before stopping the car. Sure enough, the car rolled off the tracks and there were tiny handprints left behind. Another time we went to an underpass rumored to be haunted but the only thing happening there were boredom and cold. We’d been to haunted mansions and asylums. Once Darrell received a nasty scratch on his back from an invisible assailant. The scratch was raw and puffy and took nearly a week to heal. We thought we’d seen some things. We were wrong. On the drive over Tray gave us the few details he had. His uncle told him Black Hollow was built on an old Indian burial ground, thus cursed. A quick google search disproved this theory. Tray said the facts he discovered, and there were few, pointed to tragedy. Disease, namely smallpox, wiped out most of the families living in the area around the turn of the twentieth century. The remaining people were plagued with madness and unsolved murders. Details were sketchy but Tray said the theory of cursed ground made as much sense to him as any. The hollow got its name not from the infamous deeds committed there but from a large family who settled in the area during the mid-1800s. Tray didn’t find much on the Black family, where they were from, what happened to the survivors, or what they did for a living. The Black’s were as much a mystery as the haunted ground they’d left as a legacy. Looking at the map on Tray’s phone it would have been faster to cut back to the Deer Hole, skirt the mountain and end up near the back of Black Hollow. No one wanted to navigate the woods in the dark. And if those woods were haunted it seemed better to have a quick means of escape ready. We followed spiderweb backroads, I won’t give directions -look it up yourself if you’re curious, around the mountain to our exit. A simple street sign, green and white like any other, read Black Hollow. Mike turned the car onto Black Hollow road. The pavement ran to gravel in less than half a mile. Mike slowed the car to a mellow twenty-five miles an hour. Tires crunched along contentedly. Lightning bugs were out. The fields surrounding us were filled with flashing greenish yellow messages. The mountains on either side quickly moved in to squeeze our little road between them. Along with the lightning bugs, cicadas were out buzzing a droning song they’d waited seventeen years underground to play. The evening would have been pleasant under other circumstances. We had the battlefield feeling again like we were trespassers, interlopers. Unwanted and uninvited guests to an exclusive gathering. My thighs were tight, my guts were fluttering. I wanted to leave, tell Mike to turn around and get us the hell out of there. I couldn’t embarrass myself in front of my friends. I wish I had. The gravel road dead ended in front of an old dilapidated two-story farmhouse. A front porch, once it might have been inviting, yawned mutely at us, boards missing like rotten teeth. The front door hung on a single hinge, a failing sentimental between us and the darkness within. Mike circled around to point the car out, away from the house. “Just in case.” He said, leaving the keys hanging in the ignition. We stepped out into a yard overgrown with weeds. All was silent except for the cicadas. They were, if anything, louder without the engine noise and rocky crunch of grinding gravels. A small dust cloud, thrown by the tires, followed us, clinging to the car, the windshield, making me sneeze. The oppressive feeling of being watched, being hated, broke my skin out in gooseflesh. Darrell pulled flashlights from the trunk, one for each of us, and I heard him exclaim, “Oh shit! Mike when did you get this?” “Dad gave it to me last Friday. Careful, I’ve got it loaded with pumpkin balls.” Which he pronounced punkin. Riley, Tray, and I walked around to the trunk to see what had Darrell so excited. Mike lifted a pump shotgun by the stock. Keeping the barrel pointed skyward Mike dropped the weapon onto his shoulder, cool and casual. The weapon was black in the moonlight, sleek and deadly, leaning against Mike’s shoulder like it had always been there. “Why would we need that?” Riley asked, mirroring my own thoughts. The house was abandoned despite my case of the willies. There wasn’t even any trash in the yard indicating a distinct lack of squatters. “Might be snakes.” Mike answered. He’d never taken a weapon with us before and I didn’t think we needed one now. Our safety lay in our numbers. We didn’t split up. We stuck together, going everywhere as a group. Riley rolled her eyes. She headed for the drunken door, leading the way as usual. Tray followed her, then me, with Darrell and Mike bringing up the rear. Riley lifted the door handle and Tray put his shoulder to the wood and pushed. Together they managed to get the door to scrape open. I noticed a large wasp nest. It’s occupants, yellow and red striped, flitted their wings menacingly but didn’t take flight. Making my way across the uneven boards I was grateful wasps are reluctant to fly in the dark. We gathered inside the threshold. A rectangle of moonlight illuminated a dusty wooden floor, hiding the rest of the space in darker shadow if not for our flashlights. Five beams bobbed to and fro, cutting the black. A staircase to our left led to a hallway which overlooked the entrance way. What I assumed was a parlor room was to our right, large picture windows overlooking the porch. And the wasp nest, I thought. Above our heads an old cast iron chandelier hung. A few of the holders still contained candles. I’d never seen a chandelier without electricity. The entrance way continued into the house becoming a living room. The place seemed much larger on the inside. From the yard I would have guessed thirty feet, maybe forty, and you’d be in the back yard. We’d covered that distance and were standing just underneath the overlook. It didn’t seem possible. I turned around shining my light toward the open door. It appeared smaller, like we’d traveled further than our two dozen steps. If not for our flashlights we wouldn’t have been able to see anything. The interior was dark. A pair of French doors separated the living area from a kitchen. Darrell scraped the doors open which groaned a dusty protest. Our footsteps echoed as there was no carpeting, almost no furniture at all. The walls were covered in silk wallpaper which might have been striped yellow and white. It was faded and torn, peeling off the walls, so I couldn’t be sure. Every so often an empty cast iron sconce mounted into the plaster, most without a candle. Along with the falling wallpaper, framed photos stared at us. Hundreds of old black and white photos of somber children, scowling men, and severe women marked our passing with disapproval. I wondered why there were so many photos and almost no furniture. Who lives like that? The condemning stares were almost too much to bear. Mike swung the shotgun back and forth, muzzle down, like he was trying to decide on a target. Beyond the French doors our view of photography hall was mercifully blocked. The weight of the stares lingered. “Well,” Riley said, “that was creepy as fuck.” The rest of us barked out much needed tension relieving laughter. “Where’s all the furniture?” Tray asked. “Who decorates a house with creepy ass pictures?” Darrell responded. A staircase in the kitchen led to the second floor. Another door hid a staircase to a basement. I didn’t see a way out other than the way we’d come in. “Up or down?” I asked. Neither looked inviting. “Up.” Riley said. We went up on stairs which smelled like mildew and neglect. Paint had fallen off the wood which had swollen and shrunk with moisture. The floor felt unsteady beneath our feet. At the apex we found ourselves at the end of a long hallway. Presumably, the one which overlooked the entrance. A sharp musky tang, like burned caramel, filled the air. “Is it me or is it like the house is growing?” Riley asked. “Yeah, it seems bigger inside. Stinks too.” Mike answered. “How can a house grow?” Tray asked. Not being confrontational, he was scared. We all were. Tray was looking for a logical explanation for the illogical things we were experiencing. “Listen!” Darrell hissed. I heard it. A low drone not dissimilar to the cicadas. “Behind that first door.” Mike nodded in the direction. Standing in a semicircle outside the door, our ears to the wood, listening to an insectile buzz growing in pitch. Louder and pulsing, as if aware of us. “Oh, fuck it,” Tray said flinging the door open and rushing across the threshold. Tray began screaming immediately before his scream cut off in a choking retch. Tray had stomped into a room nearly consumed by a yellowjacket nest. Throwing open the door ripped into their papery domain. The wasps exploded into action, instantly covering Tray in their stinging pulsing bodies. Somehow, he managed to turn and slap the door closed, cutting us off from the fury of the swarm, trapping himself inside. Hundreds of angry wasps made it into the hallway before Tray slammed the door. The air filled with angry insects. Darrell knocked me against the wall as he ran past slapping at his head. Mike, Riley and I followed, panicked, desperate to escape. We thundered down the stairs pursued by the stinging mob. They were in my hair, stinging my scalp, on my clothes. Following my friends, unaware Tray was still upstairs, I banged my hip on a counter. In my frenzy I hardly noticed. Darrell missed the French doors, running instead into the basement. Mike, Riley and I followed. “Shut the door! Shut the door!” Mike screamed. I jerked it closed behind me, distantly aware of the sound of yellowjackets hitting the other side of the door. Ping! Ping! Ping! Downstairs, in the dark, we slapped and crushed anything crawling on us. For several minutes the only sounds were Riley’s crying, our moaning, and the slapping of hands followed by the stomping of feet. Eventually the angry buzz died off leaving us alone with our pain. I’d managed to hang on to my flashlight. Riley still held hers. “Tray?” I asked. “Uh-Upstairs.” Riley said choking off a sob. She sounded strange. Her lips and eyes swelled to cartoonish proportions. My left eye had already swollen almost completely shut. “We need to go get him.” Mike said. “How?” Darrell answered. “We have to try!” Riley said. “If Tray hadn’t shut the door, we’d be dead too. Tray saved us.” I said, “They were all over him. Every inch. No way he survived. The relative few escapees nearly killed the four of us. We have to go get help.” Silence and nods greeted my statement. None of us liked admitting it, but Tray was likely dead. We needed help to recover his body. Looking around the basement for another exit besides the one to the kitchen. Ground floor windows covered with grime stared at nothing, refusing to budge. Otherwise the basement stood as empty as much of the house. The exception being a baby’s wooden cradle against the back wall. Darrell approached the cradle. Riley gave him her light which he used to peer cautiously inside. “All we need is another damn swarm.” Darrell said. “No, it’s empty, we’re good.” Darrell turned away. The cradle began to rock. The awful metallic cicada drone increased in intensity. Riley pointed at the rocking cradle and shouted a warning, “Darrell, look out!” that was lost to the insectile buzz. I felt it vibrating in my chest, forming a thought was difficult. From my angle I couldn’t see what came out of the cradle. I saw Darrell drop to his knees as something chewed on his neck. Mike squeezed the trigger on the shotgun, racked a fresh shell, and fired again. The roar of the blast was swallowed in the cacophony. Flames leaped from the barrel, and again, as Mike fired upon the thing on Darrell’s back. He missed his mark and the cradle disintegrated. Blood splattered onto the wall. Darrell dropped face first onto the ground his neck chewed through. Whatever was chewing on him shrieked, vanishing at the cradle’s destruction. Mike grabbed me and shouted, “Come on! We have to go!” Riley was running up the stairs, back into the kitchen. I stumbled after Mike who half dragged me into the kitchen. The terrible noise intensified, vibrating my teeth, causing my nose to bleed. Riley ran toward the entrance. Mike followed and I staggered along behind. The photos on the wall were blank. Their occupants stood to either side of the hall watching us run. We ran that impossible gauntlet trying not to look left or right, all the while, the noise got louder. I was having trouble moving. My bones shook. Riley reached the porch where she turned and pointed. Mike dragged me along by the collar. Throwing me outside he turned to fire at whatever Riley was pointing at. I stood up. Mike braced himself in the doorway firing round after round into the black. A shadow on the overlook moved toward the stairs. The pumpkin (punkin) balls shattered the railing, tore large dusty hunks from the wall behind and through the figure. It continued down the stairs, floating, moving as if on rails, ever closer. Mike’s shotgun clicked empty as it reached toward him. Mike kept himself between it and Riley and me. It grabbed him around the throat pulling him back inside. I saw through its hand. Mike’s flesh smoked and blistered beneath its shadowy touch. “Run.” Mike croaked as his head burst into flame. We ran. I barely managed to get in the passenger door before Riley slammed the car into drive. The insectile drone vibrated the mirrors but I still saw Mike’s flaming body being drug upstairs. A large black hand filled the doorway, reaching for us. “Go! Go! Riley drive!” She didn’t need any encouragement, stomping the gas, accelerating away from the house. The hand continued reaching for us. As it cleared the porch it burst into flame, reaching, beckoning, as we sped away. Once back on the main road Riley pulled over and we sat there and held each other and cried. No one would believe what we saw, what we did. There are places on this earth inhabited by evil not of this world which brooks no trespassing. Evil exists. I swear every word is true.
Heimat. It’s untranslatable into English, the closest synonym being “hometown.” But not where you live for a few years- maybe better translated as “the place you call home.” The place you can always come back to. I decided, with the unrest and COVID cases in my city, to move into an empty camp from my childhood. Well, I thought it was empty. I never thought anything was really off about the place. It was, and is, my Hogwarts. I nearly died from joy when I found out about the off season programs for adults and was able to go last year. After 12 years, I had come home. And I was so sad to hear that everything had been left, empty and sad, during these times. Places like camp spread germs like wildfire. No one even looked after the place, these days. My love of the place started out when I was eight. Yes, that’s early to send your kid away overnight for a week, much less five hours from where we lived, but my mom taught German and ran a student exchange program every other summer. She needed to go, and it was my brother’s turn to go with, not mine. My dad had to work, and the woman who usually babysat my brother and I was on a long vacation with her own family. My grandparents were traveling as well. Where do you put your eight-year-old? In the middle of the north woods, apparently. A university runs a network of camps, actually called “villages” around a lake. Everything you could think to do at a summer camp, people do there. In another language. In my case, German. It is the largest and oldest of the camps, so one drives in through the woods...and feels like one has fallen through a wormhole. Every building, sign, book, and design aspect looks like a small German town. I was confused at first by the replica of a customs process immediately on arriving, but I spoke German well and had already traveled internationally, so I wasn’t upset. I didn’t cling to my parents like some people. I was self-reliant, even then. My mom always had high expectations. Not grade-wise yet; my elementary school started grading with letters only in third grade on- but my brother, six, was already showing prodigious talents in his chosen sport. Mom played that too, so they were always playing, going to practices, looking at gear, discussing it. That plus her job meant being perpetually gone or busy. When she was around, her occasional attention was punctuated with sharp words and jokes-not-jokes about how expensive I was. My dad was better about paying attention, but he had to nap a lot, worked long hours, and was generally hands-off and passive. I think I’m an introvert like him. After I’ve finished work, chores, and exercise for the day, I just want to space out and do my own thing. So I was left alone a lot as soon as I could read, avoid strangers, and not play with matches. This meant I had no qualms about being away for a week. I even refused help with my suitcase. This was just like going to college, I told my baffled parents. I never had so much fun in my life. The camp’s philosophy leaned free-range, almost hippie, and my previous knowledge meant I was placed in an advanced group and often praised. I made friends. I ran, screamed, laughed, and played without worrying about harsh words or chores. And actually, I cried when it was time to leave. Most people did the opposite. Naturally, I begged to go again, the next time when I was ten, for two whole weeks! There were even some of the same counselors and other adults from year to year; some didn’t even seem to change or age. Oh well, people are creatures of habit, and I was happy to already know some people at the camp. At a late-night bonfire, I overheard a couple of staff whispering about alleged camp ghosts. But I never felt unsafe. It was my home. The next time, I was 12. Two whole weeks away- and I appreciated that more than ever before. I had finished elementary school, and so my mother had cracked down more than ever on my grades. And the food thing started. See, I had been a skinny ten and eleven year old, only about 75 pounds, and eventually leveled out at about 120 at 13 or so. But, God forbid! No one policed me at camp, and though I hadn’t been given money for extras lest I buy candy, I made money anyway. See, camp rules said, and set prizes for, those people who only spoke German. But, the rules never mentioned writing. Every person had a copy of the daily schedule- but, in German. The people who weren’t already skilled had trouble deciphering it. Of course, the counselors guided people from task to task, but I can imagine it would be hard, not knowing what was coming. So I charged a few euros (yes, the camp used actual foreign currency), each to make written English language schedule translations. From that time on, I always associated camp with a full stomach and wallet. I felt so secure there. The rumors of ghosts continued. But, I didn’t care. There was never a word about bad ghosts. I went three more times- at 14, 15, and 17. The feeing of home there only intensified. When I was 17, I was coming out of a deep depression, and things were so bad I wasn’t living with my parents, but rather a friend’s, and paid for most of the camp myself. Those two weeks were like a last gasp of childhood, when I had to be so self-sufficient otherwise. I didn’t confide in anyone directly, but simply said it was so good to be back there, to be home, to my instructor in a moment of calm. He smiled and said, “well, it will always be here to welcome you. A lot of people feel that way. Did you ever hear the ghost story from this place?” I shook my head. His voice took on a hymn like cadence that somehow conjured darkness, even though we were drinking coffee from the new cafe in the bright sunshine. “Well, this place was founded before reunification of Germany. So, sometimes East Germany would pick out its best young people to come here. To teach German and...be...propaganda of a sort.” I shrugged. I knew that already. One of the campfire songs- not one with any political bent- was a German Young Pioneers song. He continued. “Unfortunately influence works both ways. There was this young man, Felix, from East Berlin, who was sent. He did a great job and actually taught us all that song. But, he so enjoyed even the little glimpses of regular American life the counselors got, that he, well, changed. We didn’t see it then. But, a year after returning home, he was caught with smuggled tapes of American music. The Stasi secret police arrested him.” My fork clattered down against my plate as I grew absorbed in the story. “What, just for wanting new music?” An Image of myself, finding my iPod my mother took away for months for a B+ or just for “talking back”, and listening to it softly, with only one earbud in lest she come up the stairs and see (I wasn’t allowed to close my bedroom door) flashed in my head. I’d learned to stop appearing to enjoy things long ago, so there would appear to be nothing to hold over me. “Yes. After some time in prison, he must have snapped. He...went for it.” “No,” I breathed. I had seen pictures of the heavily guarded Berlin Wall, knew of the orders to shoot to kill. “Did he...is he...does he want to come here and teach again…” My instructor looked down at his hands. “He was the fastest runner I’d ever seen. Not fast enough, though. They shot Felix there on the sand, right when he’d almost made it. I got hold of the records after the fall. He never saw it coming.” “Oh God.” “But, since then, whenever someone puts up a flag or items from East Germany, for history stuff, they get torn down or knocked over when no one is looking. And there’s a cold spot near the fire when we sing that Young Pioneers song at night. He’s the ghost everyone mentions. I guess...Felix was happy here.” “Maybe I’ll haunt here too, when I get old and…” I joked. I noticed something odd when I finally returned as an adult. The program was so long-running and popular that it had a lot of the same people from year to year, even over decades, many of whom were older- although some closer to my age. Every year, they would note whether any of those longtime attendees had died, and toast and honor them at the opening meal. Sometimes, it seemed as though extra voices were singing alongside us. Lights flickered, and there were shadows and whispers in the trees. No aura of fear or dread, though. The old-timers would simply say, “oh, our old friends are with us.” It was oddly comforting and even I started to believe it. I made friends with one of the women closer to my age. Kind, quiet, had barely known German before but was rapidly improving. This was her fourth program that year. Her “German” name (we all took new ones on arrival), was Eva. It struck me as odd that she was trying to cram so much German down her throat at once- I asked, was she preparing for a trip? Engaged to a German? What? It took four days until Eva was ready to tell me. We took a walk through the dappled autumnal woods, and she told me the truth. Terminal cancer. Learning a language was on her bucket list. I kept in touch with her and the others from the program afterwards, which was so valuable during this worldwide pandemic and the uprising and riots that started in my own city. I wanted, needed, to get away so badly, and our weekly group chats in German were an escape. Then one night, the instructor facilitating mentioned that recent events meant cancellation of all in-person camps for all the languages. There was no one and nothing at my old home, except for maybe a maintenance guy if a catastrophe happened. The solar electricity was paying some of the bills back to the grid, and the water had to run to keep the pipes from freezing, but that was it. I got a reckless, stupid, wonderful idea. With this disease and half my city screaming, the other half damaged or up in smoke, I had never hated where I lived more in my life. And my camp home was in the same state as I was! Up north there was all that land, all that space, all those unused buildings. It broke my heart to think of my home falling to ruin. Three days later, I parked my car in a tiny clearing near the camp, covered it with a camouflage tarp and branches, and dragged two suitcases lashed together with twine, and three bulk banana boxes of supplies from Costco, on a sled into my favorite cabin. I had chosen the one with the solar panels and off-grid systems. See, the camp had wanted to make an example of modern German sustainability and environmentalism. So, it was a certified “passive house”- used geothermal and solar, nothing from a grid. Perfect for my purposes. I settled in, even continuing to work remotely after finding the WiFi router and password. No one came in or out. No one knew I was there. I had not planned for how lonely I would be. Sure, I was safe. But could I stay sane all alone? Sighing, I closed my laptop one Friday and went for a hike in the October woods. Something crunched behind me as I moved down towards the lake. A bear! A wolf! Why didn’t I bring a gun? I whipped around. What I saw was scarier than that. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” I yelled. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” she yelled back. We both backed away hastily, still watching each other. This made me nearly fall down the hill, and I heard a dull thud as she walked into a tree, shaking loose a pile of red-gold leaves. “...Eva…?” “...Alex…?” “What are you-?” we both started. “-we can share-“ “no, you go first-“ “I needed to get away! I don’t want to get sick or burn up!” I blurted. “Please don’t call the cops! What-how- I thought you lived in Vermont?” “I lived there, yes,” she said, with an odd emphasis in her words. “But I guess I’m here, now. The cancer…” I noticed something off. She wasn’t deathly pale as she had been when I had seen her before, she stood straighter, and she didn’t look as skinny. I decided to try something. “Ow! What was that for?” I had poked her hard in the arm, thinking my hand would just pass through. She scowled. “Look, Alex, I’ve been here a few days and I don’t think I’m alive, but I’m definitely solid. Knock it off!” “Are you...bad, then?” “I don’t feel any different. I just...this was my favorite place. I wanted to come back here. And finish my studies. You know I wanted to be a therapist, to help people.” “Are there more of you?” “Oh, yeah. I totally cloned myself before I kicked it,” Eva cracked. I sighed. This was just like seeing her in person. “You know what I mean. More ghosts.” “Ghosts are transparent, Alex. I’m not sure what we are. Maybe it has something to do with the energy from the earth here, like the geothermal for the house. But yes, there are more. I just didn’t want to scare you.” Putting on some bravado I didn’t entirely feel, I protested. “I’m not scared, I’m going crazy with loneliness! You just surprised me, is all.” Eva rolled her eyes. “Suuuure. But if you want, I can get them for you. Better we go back to the cabin. There seems to be more energy there.” As it turned out, the story of Felix, the East German defector, must have been true after all. There were also two old women- must have been the old-timers from working or doing adult programs there- and a boy, about 13. I don’t know how it is happening. But at least I’m not alone any more. My friends can’t catch COVID. They don’t eat my supplies, snore at night, or track snow into the cabin. The old women had been there all along- they were some of the counselors I had seen as a child, and they had never seemed to age. It’s time to wrap up this tale. I bought a shotgun in town, and Felix and the kid got a deer the other day. Elke, very sprightly for being 95 and dead, is making a venison stew, and I have to get up early before work tomorrow to have a therapy session with Eva. ———————————————————————- They were lonely, too.
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