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2011.09.22 04:54 Yandere Anime Figures: A subreddit for anime figure collecting

A subreddit for figures from anime and related Japanese productions. Share your collections, post news, and ask questions about the hobby.
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2020.11.28 19:25 Genprey Symbolism of Magia Record: The Inheritance of Mikage Yakumo

Previous: The Voracious Kazumi
Related Reads:
Mitama and Memento Mori
A Tale of Two Sisters
I'll cut right to the analysis, but first, I highly recommend you to read both of the related reads, as they're both related to Mikage.
The ties that bind; family is the most powerful link we have (whether that is something we want or not) and something that we cannot choose. Thus, the actions of one family member (good or bad) will reflect on other members.
Mitama Yakumo desired to destroy all around her, a wish that, ironically enough, ended up being self-destructive, forcing her to become a Magical Girl that was incapable of carrying out her own survival. Come Livia, her mentor, however, Mitama learned how to survive, but also the beauty of those who truly see her for how she was, rather than purely on the failures she experienced. In that regard, Mitama's fury was put behind her, but not left behind--this burden would fall to Mikage Yakumo, the younger sister of Mitama.

A Mirror Image

Mikage is an extra-adorable girl who is also very animated, both with her expressions and body movements. There is a degree of extra care into Mikage's expressions, as they are designed for a girl who is represented by extreme emotions. For example, Mikage's neutral stance gives off a carefree and sassy attitude with levels of smug that could kill. Her damaged pose, however, is pretty hard to look at, as it is clear that Mikage is exhausted and in pain, with her being hunched over, mouth wide open in exasperation.
Additionally, Mikage is voiced by Amane Shindou, who is, as of me writing this, apparently only 16-years-old. It goes without saying that she is a very young voice actress, but also one with an impressive resume for her young age. What makes Amane so distinct as an actress is her vocal range, which is higher-pitched than most other actresses, and that reflects a lot on Mikage. When you hear her talk, you'll probably notice that Mikage's voice has a distinct pattern, where her pitch gets higher toward the end of each sentence she speaks. This is a quality we tend to see in younger girls, so F4 selecting Amane to represent Mikage was a tactical move, as it's hard for us boomers to hit that pitch. With that in mind, the extra attention placed on Mikage's animations and voicework would lead us to believe that her young age and personality play very important roles in her character.
Typically, a girl's final ascension art is supposed to reflect their growth, and are optimistic in nature. This makes sense when you consider that leveling your characters has very positive connotations related to maturation. Turning our attention to Mikage's final card art, we see Mikage in an action shot that makes it seem as if she is gliding through the air. Around her are blue flower petals, which are associated with mystery, as it is the apparent color of the sky and water, two frontiers that humans seek to explore. With that in mind, gifting a friend a blue flower would be like complimenting them on their expressiveness and ability to march to the beat of their own drum.
Mikage's magical girl attire resembles that of a sleeveless hanten, a type of haori that is one of the most recognizable symbols of Japan, along with traditional-style tabi footwear. Most notable how these garments seemed to be favorable among many Japanese deities, coming to symbolize high-status and divinity. Similar to Mitama and Mysterious Santa "M", Mikage's Soulgem resembles a stylized cherry blossom, Japan's most famous flower. Cherry blossoms have a rather dualistic nature, on one hand, they're extremely beautiful, to the point where there are festivals all across the globe dedicated to watching them bloom. One of these festivals is Hanami, a gathering where Japanese residents gather together under cherry blossom trees with food and sweets. During this festival, which occurs toward the start of the new year, individuals are encouraged to shed away past burdens and live optimistically in the future.
At the same time, however, cherry blossoms are fleeting and short-lived, thus also symbolizing one's own mortality and a reminder that one cannot live young forever. Sakura flowers are also associated with renewal and positive outlook, as they grow after the passing of a harsh winter season.
Mikage wields a pair of katar, daggar-styled weapons that fit over the user's knuckle. These weapons were used as a means to break down shielded and armored enemies, as well as for decorative purposes, where some would carry them to show off their social status. These weapons don't have much symbolism to them, rather, they're just an ideal weapon for someone small like Mikage, as they are light and, thanks to being easy to grip, allow the user to take advantage of their body's weight.
The most remarkable physical quality of Mikage, however, is her resemblance to her big sister. This is, of course, only to be expected as they are siblings, but the only reason I bring this up is because the writers go out of the way to make it clear that the characters see a bit of Mitama in Mikage's appearance. The reason for this is to establish a significant connection between the two sisters, with Mikage being left to pickup on her sister's past. In that regard, viewing the sisters side-by-side could give the impression that you're looking at a past and current version of Mitama...or current and future version of Mikage?
Finally, we'll make our way to Mikage's transformation. The first thing to take notice of is the organ music being played in the background. Organs have been popular instruments for different types of events/occasions, but most recognizable for Bach's Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor, which, odds are, you can recognize by sound if not by name. This piece is often used for horror plays/films like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but also Frankenstein, which we also can get from the use of lightning. Speaking of, in Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein would famously give life to his monster by having its metaphorical battery charged thanks to the good ole lightning in the sky. In Mikage's transformation sequence, lightning strikes the ground, surrounding Mikage, who is curled in a fetal position. Around her is a scene of destruction.
The fetal position literally represents birth, and to be exact, it's the position we all take while still in our mom's womb. When we take that with the organ music and use of lightning, we can interpret Mikage as, not necessarily a monster, but an "artificial lifeform" (metaphorically, of course) who was born into circumstances she would inherit--Mitama's past burdens. To support this is the destruction around Mikage, as we recall Mitama's wish to destroy those around her. Coincidentally enough, Izanagi has some association with lightning, being the father of Raijin, the Japanese God of storms, although there isn't anything too significant about Raijin in Mikage's case. There is one more scene left here, however, that's something I will save when I discuss the potential nature of Mikages wish further on in this analysis.

Child of the Wild

Given the amount of detail added to Mikage's appearance, alone, you'd think she was F4Samurai's star child...and you wouldn't be exactly incorrect in that guess. Going through her story/scenes, there's a lot of hints alluding to her being a major player in this arc, as the writers toy with the idea that there's a lot of mystery and even latent danger related to Mikage.
To sum Mikage up best...she's a child. This is as straightforward as things get, but she really comes off as a child, whereas we have characters as young as Riko who are more mature than their age would imply. In the very first scene of her Mitama's Training chapter, Mikage is shown pouting near her friends, Rabi and Nayuta. Normally, Rabi has access to a very effective tactic to satisfy Mikage, but in this case, candy would not cut it. After a bit of silence, Mikage outright demands Rabi and Nayuta to ask her "what is wrong", to which Mikage replies that she was "betrayed by her sister."
At this point, you might be thinking that Mitama ate the pudding Mikage had been saving in the fridge, but it turns out Mikage was upset that Mitama was socializing with friends, thinking that her sister was a loner like her. This scene reveals a few things about the Yakumos, one, they are close and support each other, and two, despite this, they are somewhat distant, as Mikage had no idea her sister had made friends. These two points sound contradictory at first, but makes more sense when you realize that Mitama tends to be busy as a coordinator and Mikage being so young/immature that she didn't really see outside the box she was in with her sister.
After Nayuta suggested making friends with other magical girls, Mikage perks up and sets out on her journey, eventually meeting with Himika. Her first few attempts were unsuccessful, with Mikage being deterred by some girls who bully her and avoiding befriending anyone from the Union, as she wanted to keep her mission secret from Mitama. Eventually, Mikage makes it to Emiri's counseling building, where she is almost recruited as a training partner by Asuka and doted on by Emiri's gang. At first, Mikage treasures the attention she's getting, remarking that she didn't expect to be so popular for being Mitama's little sister, but then realizing that she was being loved based on being so freaking adorable. From there, Mikage decides to seek magical girl friends around her age.
After ruling out Nemu and Touka, as they were "too smart" and failing to find Ui, who was in captivity at this time, Mikage would make her way home, where she would see Mitama. After some usual conversation and bonding, Mitama, who suddenly became concerned, mentioned the event that happened surrounding Ui being kidnapped, asking Mikage not to associate with any girls from the Union. Upset, Mikage agrees to her sister's conditions up until Mitama begins to leave in order to handle some appointments.
Agitated that Mitama gets to "make friends" and "play" as a coordinator, Mikage begins arguing, to which Mitama suggests to lay low until the situation with Ui is handled. This only frustrates Mikage more, and as Mitama becomes increasingly more firm, Mikage storms out the house, shouting that she was "going to find a new big sister."
Afterwards, Mikage bumps into Rika, who initially assumes that Mikage was a pickpocket before seeing the resemblance she has with Mitama. Clearing things up by mentioning Emiri by name, Mikage is offered an opportunity to hang out with Rika. The duo does a bit of shopping, where Mikage attempts to use her cuteness to try and convince Rika to buy her an expensive outfit at one of the stores they were visiting. As someone who would go into debt thanks to his [Weak to Daughters] trait, I was impressed to see Rika resist Mikage's charms, but all is not lost for Mikage, as Rika wins a prize for her. At the end of the day, Mikage brings up the question: "Will you be my big sister?". Shocked at the proposal, Rika eventually declines, stating that she'll be available when Mikage needs her and urging Mikage to go back home.
Not yet ready to face Mitama, Mikage, instead, finds Kanoko. Using tactics that Solid Snake would approve of, Mikage follows (read: stalks) Kanoko, hiding behind the stuffed animals Rika had won for her whenever Kanoko grew suspicious. This, of course, wasn't so effective, and Kanoko would become annoyed, forcing Mikage to stop playing games with her and come out. Once again, Mikage uses a combination of puppy dog eyes and crocodile tears that'd certainly force me into a coma, but being a strong girl, Kanoko resists Mikage's offer to be her dress up sister, stating that Mitama was being hard on Mikage because she loved her, something Kanoko had learned from her own strict, but loving parents. She then states that she would drag Mikage back to Mitama if she needed to, ignoring the pleas of Minitama.
Back at the Yakumo residence, we see the side of Mitama that would be considered uncharacteristic had we only known her from her initial appearance. Having deeply been worried about Mikage's whereabouts, Mitama scolds Mikage for running off and not having her cell-phone on so she could contact her. Cooling off a bit, Mitama then explains that she only wanted to protect Mikage, and while she was happy that Mikage was socializing with other people, she forbid her from befriending Union girls, as that would paint a target on Mikage's back, given that there was currently a large-scale war going on among magical girl groups.
Once again, Mikage vents how sad and lonely she was, and just as she was about to run off again, noticed that Mitama had prepared an entire feast of Mikage's favorite foods. Coming to her senses and understanding that she meant the world to her big sister, Mikage apologized to Mitama, and the scene ends with the sisters getting back together after Mikage gives Mitama the pendant that she has made.

Amaterasu and Susanoo

This is where things get interesting, and if you have not done so already, where you would need to read A Tale of Two Sisters linked at the start of this thread.
Looking at Mikage's story, there is a lot of references to the brother-sister duo, Amaterasu and Susanoo. Normally, I would be cautious of overreaching here, but the resemblances are really strong. First is obvious, like the two Japanese Gods, Mikage and Mitama are related to each other, but there's also their names. As brought up way back in my first section, Mitama refers to two main aspects of a spirit, "Ara-mitama" and "Nigi-mitama" (Wild and Tranquil soul, respectively). After having departed, the souls would be enshrined, and one of the most famous of these landmarks is located in Ise Isle, where Amaterasu's Ara-mitama is said to rest.
With that in mind, Amaterasu can be described as a very reactive God, where her feud with her brothehusband, Tsukuyomi, would create the day/night cycle and her competition with Susanoo, a complete blackout/disasters as she hid from her brother's march. Despite this, she is a beloved Goddess that brings in light and goods used by humans. Likewise, we know Mitama based on her wish--to destroy Kamihama--but also her helping magical girls as a coordinator.
On Mikage's end, her name in full means "Divine Spirit", and we can associate that with her likeness to traditional, Japanese Gods. However, Mikage often goes by the nickname "Mii" which is phonetically similar to "Mi" the Japanese character that means "sea/ocean". We know Susanoo-no-Mikoto to be the God of the sea/storms. The comparison doesn't end there, of course, Susanoo is often referred to as a complex deity, being charming and respectful one moment and wild the next. Based on his legend, he would set off on a journey after feeling loneliness/sadness from his mother being stuck in the land of death. During his travels, he met with his sister, and in order to prove his love love for her, he would get into competition that ended with the two breaking away from each other. As a response, Susanoo traveled outside his home, meeting with various others and gradually maturing from his old ways, finally reconvening with his sister after giving her his prized sword.
Sound familiar? As recalled above, Mikage is a bit impulsive, had a conflict with her sister, leading her to storm out of their home and on a journey where she met friendly magical girls, some (Rika and namely Kanoko) offering her life lessons. Her story there ended with her giving Mitama the pendant she made for hethat Mitama always wears. The only mystery here is why Mysterious Santa "M" has that same pendant, which I hope to cover if she's released this year. As one last detail, there's also the name "Yakumo", which, of course, is the name of the poem Susanoo made.
I'd like to point out the flavor text for the Memoria, Popular from the Start:
A cute girl that looks very similar to a certain person that everyone knows.
Where did this child come from? The child from the rumors? I can’t stop my interest in you from pouring out, what do you like about your home? The girl smiles at the surrounding crowd, can she make 100 friends?
After being entrapped by her husband, Izanagi, Izanami swore to curse a thousand people a day, to which Izanagi responds that he will "beget a thousand and five hundred" in response. This is something I will admit is a stretch, but recalling Mitama's wish to curse/destroy Kamihama and looking at how the last line in this memoria is worded, I couldn't help but bring it up, if not just for an interesting thought.
Believe it or not, we're only a bit more than halfway through this entire section, which just shows how much importance the writers put into Mikage. With her character and background out of the way, we're going to now move on to Mikage's doppel:

Casuarius, the Doppel of Tantrums

The Doppel of tantrums. Its form is a chick. The master of this emotion has a strong heart that is not easily shaken, but the one thing that frustrates her is her own youth. Since she and her Doppel are similar in this regard, she cannot bring herself to like it. This young Doppel likewise hates itself, as it hasn’t yet matured enough to freely control its limbs, and is incapable of doing anything besides beg for food. As such, it’s irritated by its master’s own youth as well. It builds up stress from the moment it’s born, and relieves said stress via loud, constant chirping. But when its stress reaches its peak and explodes, the Doppel breaks free from its shell, leaping around wildly and leaving hideous scratch marks on everything in sight. When its master’s stress is added on top of that, the carnage is said to become even worse.
Casuarius refers to flightless birds also known as Cassowary. With that in mind, I'd like to welcome you all to the next episode of "Animal Planet: Magical Girl Edition". These species of bird are unique, in that they're an instance where the females dominate the family, going out of the nest to explore/gather, chasing away threats, and initiating copulation, sometimes going as far as attacking their mate if they're not quite down for mating and laying their eggs in other Cassowary nests. In addition to this, these birds are usually non-aggressive towards humans, however, when agitated, they will violently chase and attack people, earning them the title of "the most dangerous bird."
This is...rather foreboding when we apply this to Mikage, and while most of this can be explained by her active personality and feisty-ness, there is a moment in chapter 2 that caught my attention. While out with Nayuta, Mikage encounters and is attacked by Ranka, who ends up knocking her out. Pleading to let Mikage go, Nayuta stops the conversation suddenly, stating that she feels a surge of magical power. I don't want to focus on this too much, however, as I could be misinterpreting the translation I was reading and that power could also have come from Rabi, who had defeated a ton of Promised Blood goons shortly after Nayuta and Mikage escaped with Sana and Sunao. If that is the case, Mikage could end up being the Dark Phoenix of Magia Record, how terrifying.
Casuarius not only has a self-loathing nature, it also despises Mikage, to which that feeling is mutual. Reason being, of course, is their childish-ness. Throughout her appearances, Mikage also acts similar to a newborn bird, including instances like getting agitated, but soon after calming down after receiving candy/food, much like how chicks will cry for food. This is visually represented by the many (rather than one) chick mouths all around Casuarius's form, implying that Mikage has more energy than just a single child her age. Likewise, after having a fight with Mitama, Mikage would wander around town to find a "new big sister", much like how some baby birds will attach themselves to a motherly figure if separated from their own.
It is unable to control its limbs, which is, of course, natural for baby birds, where they are too helpless to leave their nest. This is also demonstrated by Mikage's body dangling from her Doppel, although she is capable of moving her arms. Symbolically, this represents Mikage's childish dependency, as, even after running away from home, she attaches herself to other girls, rather than moving independently.
Casuarius is similar to Pamela, Kokoro's Doppel, in that is depicted in a type of shell that will break after reaching its full capacity of emotions. In Mikage's case, this refers to her more childish anger (tantrums) that lead her to rebel against her older sister and run away from home. The final line refers to Mikage's breaking point--reminiscent of her sister, Mitama, if Mikage were to become so frustrated, she would become unwieldly with a frightening amount of power.
This leads us to one final thought:

Theory on Mikage's Wish and Abilities

As we wrap this section up, two main questions come to mind: what did Mikage wish for, and what power resulted from that wish?
Starting with the former question, we get a clue from Mikage's character description, which states that she desires to remove Mitama's resentment toward Kamihama. The only thing about this, however, is that would then bring into question when, exactly, Mikage contracted with Kyubey, as Mitama has already put aside her desire to destroy Kamihama and seems not to hold much disdain toward it, unlike Kanagi, who outright states that she still believes Kamihama needs to be destroyed.
Going backwards a bit, here is what is currently known about Mikage and her wish:
Mikage: "Is that what my sister wished for...?
Kyubey: "Yes. I can see why you want to be like her.
Mikage: "Okay. I know what Mii (Mikage, as she sometimes refers to herself in 3rd person) wants [to wish for]."
Mikage: "Is it okay to have faith?"
Kyubey: "I can make any wish come true."
Mikage: "Then Mii...!" (The scene ends at this moment)
What's so strange about this interaction is Kyubey mentioning how he sees why Mikage wants to belike Mitama based on (or at least implied to as) Mitama's wish. The only thing I can think of here isthat Mikage is bullied at school and chooses to isolate herself as a result, which opens her up tobuild up resentment like her big sister.
There are also a few clues we can gather using context outside of Mikage's story. One of these is the nature of Void characters, something I haven't yet gone over and will do so in Livia's section, but Raz Anime of Youtube and here on Reddit has posted a very well-made Analysis video on the subject. Mikage is, of course, a dark-type girl and not void, so assuming that some of us are right about the nature of void girls, we can rule out the fact that Mikage's wish is destructive in nature and has ended with her being effectively cursed, common denominators of our current roster of void girls. Bear in mind, however, that these are still theories, and that F4 could simply have the class reserved for coordinators and that we may get a new one who doesn't fit this criteria. I've seen questions regarding this theory in relation to characters like Hana, something I'll address in my own analysis, as I want to stay focused on Mikage in this section.
Going back to Mikage's transformation vid, right as she emerges from a collapsing building, we can notice a change in the music from one that is dreary to that of a hopeful one. Assuming this to be related to Mikage's wish, we can interpret this as Mikage being born into destruction (the shadow of Mitama), but emerging triumphantly, as she resists the hatred her sister felt after having been betrayed by those around her.
That is just about all the potential clues I can think of, leading to my theory: Mikage's wish is the ability to "shoulder negativity", most particularly that which has been afflicted to her by those around her--bullies and discrimination from being from Daito. I am led to believe this because Mikage is represented as someone who is young and developing, so in a show to, as her profile suggests, curb her sister's resentment, Mikage will grow into a wonderful young lady, in spite of everything going against her. My evidence is limited, but based on the fact that Mikage is going out of her way to keep this secret--as well as her becoming a magical girl--away from Mitama, hence why Mikage did not hesitate to transform in front of other girls like Nayuta, but kept it under wraps from her own sister.
The power manifested from this wish would then be, based on my guesses, similar to that of Yukika's, but rather than get stronger as she faces greater dangers, Mikage grows stronger as frustrations buld up inside her. My explanation comes from Mikage's doppel, which starts as a bird that is helplessly trapped in its eggshell. As it becomes increasingly dissatisfied, it gains more power and becomes a larger threat.
Mikage is, as I hope to have supported, a very complex and mysterious girl who I really really hope is not tossed away, becoming the biggest waste of potential since Nanaka, who could have played a larger role as a sort of secondary threat to the main party (Yachiyo's gang) given just how ambitious and frightening she can be. We leave Chapter 2 off on a few cliffhangers, mostly regarding Nayuta and Touka's past and Rabi's association with their family and, of course, the Yakumo sisters. I have a feeling this won't be my last dance with the them--and really hope that to be the case.
Up next, I will cover the remaining coordinators, although I'm not yet sure in what order. There are still some things I need to piece together with Yozuru and Livia is a character I want to be cautious and take my time with, as there will be parts I'll have to do some theorizing on--including very mature and grim subjects.
Putting all that aside, those likely won't be out for another week, as I have been contacted by my boss, who stated that I was within range of someone who was infected with Covid. As of this morning, I have shown a few light but not very concerning symptoms and will be busy the next few days between getting tested and setting up someone to replace me to visit the students I assist.
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2020.11.28 19:02 khaheereya 40 [M4F] USA/Anywhere - “You couldn’t live with your own failure. Where did that bring you? Back to [Reddit].”

I’ve been trying OLD apps, and trying...and trying...and trying...and I’m sure you can relate. I haven’t lost all hope yet so here I am, back on reddit and maybe just maybe I’ll find you, my best friend and life partner, here.
I jotted down some things about myself and what I’m looking for. At 40, I’m ready to find each other and get this thing started. Not in a rush, just ready. Let’s go!
Traveling (after COVID). Might relocate, might not, open to it, the older I get the less attachments. Road trips. Camping. Cuddles under the moonlight or on the couch watching something. Laughs Out Loud together a lot. Finds humor in most things. Love languages: acts of service and quality time. Attachment style: secure. Ambivert. IS(N)FJ. Conversationalist. Always learning. Always growing. Curious. Cultured. Conventional good looks, TDH. Black.
Pause.
It’s beyond words, that in the year 2020, we’re saying Black Lives Matter...actually have the need to say that Black people are human. Seriously? I mean seriously? What’s up with us. We (humans) are a sick bunch. BTW, we’re all one race - the human race - whether you believe it or not.
Unpause.
I’m open to all ethnicities. I prefer a woman who’s been through a lot of fire and refinement too, who’s gritty and savvy, who burns about injustice, directly impacted by systemic racism (black, brown, POC, minority etc) or is fighting for social justice and is against racism and white- supremacy and privilege. At the end of the day I just wanna love and be loved. Like Teddy P says “its so good...loving somebody when somebody loves you back, and that’s a fact”.
I believe in God. Relationships matter most to me: God and people, the earth and animals. Character, how you treat yourself, how you treat people and your surrounding world matters way more to me than money or material things. Christian. Not mainstream. Love and follow Jesus but sick of church folk. Somewhat unconventional in belief and practice (i.e. I don’t have a church home atm or attend church every week). If at this point you’re clicking the back button, I get it lol. I’ll be the first to call out the plethora of problems and hypocrisy in Christianity and the church. To be clear, I can’t staaand Trump and I’m not a republican. Also, I wear a mask...probably a little OCD with the alcohol and hand sanitizer but better safe than sorry.
Politics...meh. Independent. Center-left, typology - disaffected to devout and diverse democrat. Egalitarian. #GTHOHTrump #Biden? 🤷🏽‍♂️
Love kids, kinda open to having them. We’d really have to discuss and plan though. Just not sure if that’s in the cards, and honestly my thoughts are more on the relationship between us. Maybe adoption. Definitely mentoring. Had a dog and grew up with cats and would be open to more pets.
If you understand these acronyms and lingo then we really get each other and have a lot to talk about: LC, NC, NPD, BPD, CBT, FOO, FOG, GAD, JADE, 3 C’s rule, black and white thinking, parentification, NAMI, etc. There was a time when my family was close but unfortunately that’s just not the case anymore. Through the years I’ve learned how important boundaries in relationships are and how important self-care is. I believe family is anyone who truly loves you and supports your betterment.
Mental and physical health are top priority. Working out, healthy eats AND cheat meals are a must. Being active and taking good care of my mind and body is an everyday practice.
I work hard. I work smart. I’m an entrepreneur.
I want to get married again. I want to share life with a faith-filled, hard working, fit health-focused, content and happy, smiling, sexy, intelligent woman. I want to treat you like the Queen you are and be treated like the King I am.
Let’s go!
submitted by khaheereya to r4r [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 18:03 CappriGirl My (32) brother's (28) "ebullient" personality is destroying our family ties. What do I do?

I do not know how to deal with this. I'm sorry it's long, I'm at my wits' end and this is merely a sliver of something that has been going on for easily the past four years. I (32) am currently living with my mother. She has mobility issues and I am saving so it makes sense as I can help her, with COVID she’s worried to go out so I’ve been doing things for her. I am planning to move into a new flat with my boyfriend in the New Year. It was meant to be this side of Christmas but COVID has put it back until the end of January.
My brother (28) and his Gf (24) have recently returned from travelling for a year. None of us have lived together for around four years. Now we are living together again, there is a rising problem which I do not know how to resolve. My brother is an incredibly controlling person who frequently criticises and bullies my mother, sister and I to the point of tears. It is his rules or no rules very often. He rarely, if ever, accepts the views of others even if they are provably false.
During the time when my mother and I have been living together, the past 12 months have been pleasant, friendly and easy. We get on well and have a good relationship. We split work in the house and I contribute financially as much as I can to the household/help out/walk dogs/pay for meals out. There is never any problem, we are great friends. My boyfriend often visits and has a good relationship with my Mom. For the last month, he has been staying with us as the region we (my mom and I) are in is completely locked down.
Cue Tuesday, when my brother and his GF fly in from Europe. My brother complains is there is so much as a cup on the sideboard, so my boyfriend and I have been trying to be as tidy and clean as possible to avoid arguments.
However, this week already my brother has been complaining multiple times to my mother about my bf and I. I have only learned about this through my mother. So, I confronted my brother. I have asked my brother why he brings my mother into this when clearly it is between us and he complains that we’re untidy (we are not, intentionally and consciously not as we appreciate it annoys him) that he doesn’t like how we feed the local stray cats and has threatened to kill the two we look after. He expressed that he doesn’t like that my car is dirty (because I’ve not had time to clean it this week as I work a full time job and care for my mom and her dogs) The car is dirty because I took the dogs out to a river and haven’t hoovered this week. He doesn't pay for it so IDK why he cares. It's petty, invasive and tiring. I do not feel comfortable in the house I've felt comfortable in for a year. Yet, I love my mom and the dogs and want them all to be safe.
He shouts at and bullies my mother. She had arranged for several friends to come visit us for Christmas. They are long time girlfriends of hers who are both older, single women with nowhere else to go. yet, because my brother doesn’t want them there my mom has literally uninvited them both last night.
I couldn’t stop crying this morning because its so manipulative. To be with him is tiring. My sister’s boyfriend is already refusing to come at Christmas and now my boyfriend has said that he wants to go back to his original flat tomorrow night and doesn’t want to come for Christmas either because of my brother’s poor behaviour. Currently, my work, my mom and her dogs are around an hour away from my boyfriend. I do not have much money and I’ve just set up my own business so the timing of the situation is not ideal.
My sister has also expressed distrust towards my brother in regards to my mother's estate. My father (an alcoholic in his latter years, while my brother was a teen if that is significant) died three years ago and left my mother in a good financial situation. Things are often tense between my brothemother and sister in this regard and so, rightly, I believe, my mother has made her accountant the executor of her will instead of any of us. My mother tells us she will treat us all equally. Yet, I also know that during my brother's time travelling this past year my mother has been sending him thousands of dollars while he "finds himself". My sister frequently accuses my mother in a "joking" way of my brother being "the favourite". There is bickering at every family dinner when we meet because my brother unfailingly believes he is right and refuses to listen to anyone else. He has been outright insulting to my sister's boyfriend. At this point, nothing would please me more to discover my mom would just leave every penny she had to an orphanage/animal sheltesoup kitchen. My sister and her BF live over in London so we do not see them often. However, when we do, my brother undermines my sister at every chance he gets. He is unfailingly supported by his girlfriend.
I am concerned about the long term effects this is having on our family. My sister, myself, our respective boyfriends and my mom all get on perfectly fine when we are together. There is absolutely no animosity at all between any of us. Yet, I am concerned about my brother's manipulative behaviour damaging our family in the long and short term. I am terrified of my Mom getting elderly and ending up as a pawn in all of this. I am also deeply concerned about the stress this is causing her.
Tl:dr: Narc brother is messing up my family, undermining myself, my sister and alienating our partners from my mother. How do I deal with it so as little damage as possible happens going forward?
submitted by CappriGirl to family [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 17:54 Comfortable_Fill_107 40 [F4R] Midwest/Anywhere - lurker for lurker, smarty for smarty, weirdo for weirdo, lonely for lonely?

I am at the point in this pandemic where I trudge through various r4r subs hoping that there is someone to which I can relate or have an ongoing conversation that doesn't fizzle out after a few weeks (hours?) or immediately dissolve into eggplant and devil face emojis.
I'm single at an age when it is tough to be single. I live along during a pandemic. I am divorced. No kids. With this life comes a history that you, being hopefully somewhat close in age or experience, can understand is more nuanced and complicated. I am not ashamed of my age or my situation. I consider myself to be an excellent catch for a future partner - whether you are man, woman, trans, NB, or GNC. I am comfortable with who I am.
I'm not comfortable with the idea of living the next several decades without a companion, but "traditional" dating at this moment in time is not high on my priority list. I would like to start a conversation with someone that is interested in something long-term, whether it materializes into a deep friendship or romance, I am less concerned at the onset. I am starving for some intelligent conversation and banter that is easy and fluid, about things I know and don't know, with someone who isn't looking for a cougar or a side thing. I miss meaningful connections and getting excited about a message from someone.
I have a great career. I am a kind and loyal friend. I am passionate about progressive causes. I have a wide array of interests, and a curious nature. I like good food and good drink and good company. I enjoy making people laugh.
I enjoy partners who can talk openly about their emotions and like to be affectionate. I am drawn to others who are also confident and comfortable with who they are. Authentic. What you think about yourself is likely what your friends would say about you. You are kind to animals and children (even if you don't want them, and if you have them, that is cool). You like spontaneity and trying new things. You like obscurity but also appreciate the mainstream. Your friends think you are the funniest person they know.
We all have crazy exes, but I'm not interested in hearing about yours. I am not a therapist. On a similar note, if you are struggling with mental health, but are not actively seeking treatment, I do not have the capacity to be a doctor, therapist, divorce lawyer, or life coach.
I don't know all the different personality tests that people throw around the dating profiles. So maybe just tell me your sign, and what drink I could buy you at a bacoffee shop/7-11. Let's see where it goes. I'm not for everyone, but maybe I'm for you?
submitted by Comfortable_Fill_107 to R4R30Plus [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 17:18 perfectchildofsatan It's 8am and I'm drinking peppermint shnapps because time isn't real and nothing actually matters. [23F]

Okay I'm not THAT emo (usually). Anyway, im a girl, 23 right now. I just think it would be nice to expand my friend circle.. right now it's more like a friend dot. I like a lot of different things, so let me try and name some populacommon stuff i don't care for, do something different. (btw im not saying don't message me if you like these things, I just mean i likely won't be a very good conversation partner regarding them is all):
I'm not into anime, gaming, sports, cars, or talking about politics (but in short, I'm more towards the left & support lgbt+ & poc causes & I'm not an anti masker, that's as much as I wanna say on the subject and I'm not going to argue about them.) . I also hate taking selfies and will block you if you make me feel pressured to do so. I'm not saying you can NEVER know what I look like, but if seeing my face is a make it or break it thing, I'd rather you not bother.
I do love things like music, movies (especially horror), art, fashion, and other creative endeavors. I'm also interested in true crime but not in a "omg Bundy is so hot" kind of way, I was raised on Forensic Files so I just find the topic interesting on a psychological level.
I seem to click best with people older than me from past experiences but I'd at least like to talk to someone my age at best. I also have a very serious boyfriend so I need things to say strictly platonic (and I mean fully platonic like, pretend im your sister, platonic)
I have depression & adhd and I'm on the spectrum, plus a handful of other fun things so sometimes my emotions can be erratic and I'm kind of shitty at starting conversations cuz I don't usually know what to talk about, but overall I'm mostly nice.
I have discord, kik, snap, and I think that's it but idk maybe we can be friends. I don't expect anything long term but who knows? I don't care if you ghost also, if we don't vibe, we don't vibe, No need to force it or make up some sob story apology about how a friendship isn't gonna work out. But I want to give it a try.
submitted by perfectchildofsatan to MakeNewFriendsHere [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 17:18 Berabouman 38 [M4R] Singapore/Anywhere - Looking to explore possible connections

Hello all! I hope you all are having an absolutely wonderful day.

38 year old Chinese male here. Polyamory is not well known in this part of the world so I am casting my net farther afield. Looking for connections as stated above - don't want to put too much pressure on anyone so let's talk and see where it may lead? Open to joining existing couples/triads/quads. I have been poly for over 2 decades, so it's definitely not new to me and I have been part of a triad before.

I identify as hetero leaning bisexual. Interests include video games, anime, singing, and writing. I'm somewhere between working/studying/self-improvement at the minute. I enjoy meeting new people, talking about nearly everything, and learning more! Not necessarily in that order.

I am a hopeless (well, hopeful, I'm posting here aren't I?) romantic and have always been happier partnered rather than single. Being in love is the best feeling in the world! :) Video games perhaps coming a close second.

Other random facts : I speak 3 languages and have at various times been a singer, copywriter, teacher, translator and writer.

Given that Reddit is usually Westerners I'm open to online connections of course!

That's about it for now. I hope to hear from you.
submitted by Berabouman to polyamoryR4R [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 16:56 HeadOfSpectre The Siren

One thing I’ve learned throughout my long life is that people aren’t as different from every other species on earth as they think they are. What some might call the traits that make us human aren’t all that exclusive to us. Rats are capable of empathy, gibbons form families that are much like our own and elephants mourn their dead just like we do. The emotional complexity of the other creatures on this earth is a fascinating subject… but there is a dark side to it.

Dolphins are capable of rape. Polar bears have been known to cannibalize each other and killing just for fun is a common behavior exhibited by many predators. Hell, if you looked through the animal kingdom I’m confident you’d find them committing just about every single abominable act under the sun. The only thing that really sets humanity apart is that we’re a little more self aware. We’re not above the depravity but we try to be. Maybe that counts for something. I really can’t say.

What fascinates me though, are the things that imitate humanity. Those beings who look like us, act like us and talk like us but aren’t strictly speaking human. I’m sure you’ve heard of Fae, for instance. They’re all over the spectrum. They’re intelligent (mostly) and although a few of the less human-like groups have no interest in pretending; some of them are damn near indistinguishable from anyone you’d pass on the street. You could drive yourself mad wondering about the nature of humanity. Where it begins or what is it that truly separates us from the animals. Intelligence, self awareness, empathy or something else entirely? I myself couldn’t even begin to come up with an answer and that’s a shame. You see, I hunt monsters for a living. You wouldn’t think it would be difficult to tell the difference between a person and an animal, but when most of the people you deal with aren’t technically human, that line can easily blur. It’s always those cases that stay with me. Putting down a mindless animal is one thing but going up against something that’s not all that different from you… Well… That’s a lot more complicated.

My name is Robert Marsh and I’m not exactly human myself. Not anymore. It shouldn’t be surprising that I’ve had quite a bit of experience with the supernatural… enough so that when it starts threatening regular people, I’m the one they call.

The International Fae Relations Bureaus Department of Public Safety didn’t normally poke their heads into isolated incidents. Strange bodies turning up every now and again were small potatoes. As grim as it sounds, shit happens. People run into all sorts of nasty creatures from time to time. There’s no way to stop it. However when a pattern comes up, that’s something they can’t ignore and when the latest incident involves a whole family of five turning up dead, that’s when I get a call.

The Swanson's had been a moderately well off family, living in a pretty house off of a country road. Well off the beaten path. It was an hours drive from my modest little apartment but at least I didn’t make it alone.

Della Rose, a woman with whom I’d had a complicated relationship with in the past sat beside me. When we’d first met and dated, she’d been just an ordinary girl and contrary to what pop culture might have some people believe, romance between ordinary girls and vampires doesn’t ever end well. It had been a few months since she’d come back into my life and circumstance had made it necessary to curse her with the same immortality that I tolerated. It had been a hasty decision, but better than leaving her to die. I didn’t turn her for the sake of company. I’m not quite that selfish… If there was a future for us, we weren’t quite ready for that discussion. For the time being, I was content to simply help her adjust to her new eternal life and to that end, she’d been helping me with my work. It had been years since I’d had a partner and so far, that arrangement had worked out nicely.

I could see the flashing lights of the police sirens cutting through the dark, marking the Swanson house as we drew near and pulled up the long driveway. I caught the eyes of a couple wary uniformed officers as we pulled up to the house but they didn’t try and stop me. Near the front door, I could see the shadow of a portly man in his forties. I recognized him even before I saw his face. Detective Rick Davis. An old friend of mine.

As Della and I got out of the car, Davis waited for us in the doorway. He took a final drag on his cigarette and watched us as we approached the door before he snuffed it and let us in.
“Nice to see you again Marsh.” He said. All business as usual. The inside of the Swanson house looked almost immaculately clean. You could have probably used it as a showhome. It was just the three of us in the house. As per standard protocol, the other officers had been removed from the scene prior to our arrival. It was better that they not see too much of us.

“Always a pleasure, Detective.” I replied. His gaze lingered on Della, a hint of mistrust in his eyes although he kept his mouth shut about that. “What are we looking at?” I asked. Best to keep things on track. Davis nodded towards the stairway.
“Bodies are upstairs in the main bedroom. Four victims. Two adults, two children.” He said.
“Four victims?” I asked, “I heard it was a family of five.”
“The youngest child, May is currently missing. We think that maybe they might have fled. We’ve got some officers searching for her now.”
“You think they ran?” I asked. Davis just shrugged and turned to lead us up the stairs.
“Possibly. I can’t imagine our perp was interested in kidnapping given the mess they left.”
He led us into the bedroom and stopped outside the door.
“See for yourself.”

I nodded at him before opening the door. I’d seen my fair share of corpses in the past, but seeing a child had never gotten easier. I’d known what I was walking into and grimaced at the sight of the still bodies on the floor. Beside me, Della let out a quiet gasp.
“Jesus…” She murmured as I stepped inside.
The man who used to be Mr. Swanson was on the bed, naked as the day he’d been born. His body was as pale as alabaster. His wife lay close to the door, crumpled on the floor and her two children were scattered about close to her.

The first thing I noticed was the blood, or the lack of it. Mr. Swanson had almost none around him although I could clearly see several bite marks on his body. Most of them were on his shoulders and some of them looked as if they’d been healing. Most of them. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that the ragged chunk torn out of his throat had been what had killed him. His wife and children on the other hand hadn’t been drained. They had been bitten, that much was clear but their bodies each had one single, fatal bite to the throat. From the look of it, they hadn’t fought much either. I imagined all three of them, lined up by the bed and quietly waiting their turn as the killer picked them off methodically…

“What did this? Della asked quietly, “Another vampire?” She stood over the bodies of the wife and children, careful to avoid stepping in the pool of blood that stained the carpet beneath them.
“Vampires aren’t the only hemovores out there.” I murmured as I leaned over the body of Mr. Swanson. I shifted his head to get a better look at the wound in his neck. The bite looked jagged, as if the flesh had been torn at. I studied the healing bites on his shoulders as well. Those looked to be a few days old. The bites been cleaner and hadn’t gotten much treatment.

“What else could have done this?” Della asked.
“My guess? A Siren.” I said before standing up. I gestured for her to join me by Mr. Swanson's corpse. “See the bite marks on his shoulders? Those are a few days old. They were healing. That’s usually where most sirens bite. Reduces the chance of killing the prey. If they go for the throat, well…”
Della looked at the ragged wound in Mr. Swanson's throat. She got the point.
“Bite pattern looks consistent too.” I noted, “Sirens have a mouth like a shark. Made to rip and tear… A siren would also explain the position of the bodies.”
“How?” Della asked. From the corner of my eye, I saw Davis leaning against the doorframe, listening intently.
“Well, what do we know about sirens from mythology?” I asked.

“They sing?” Della asked. She looked at me, then at Davis for confirmation.
“They hypnotize.” Davis said. “And they’re supposedly so beautiful that they’re irresistible to men. Like a honey trap, right?”
“More or less.” I said. “Reality isn’t all that far off. Most Sirens are female. They tend to target men looking for sex and then feed off them. They’re hemovores, just like us only they’ve also got a natural hypnosis to make the process easier. It doesn’t work on everyone, but it might explain why the wife and kids just stood there while our killer picked them off. They probably walked in on dinner.”
“Why not drain the wife and kids though?” Della asked.
“The stomach can only hold so much blood.” She’d already drained the husband. That’s enough to keep her fed for days.”
“So that’s it then.” Davis said, “I don’t suppose a siren might be behind the other bodies we’ve found?”

“It’s possible.” I said. “These days you don’t see as many siren deaths and you shouldn’t see any this close to Toronto… It doesn’t add up. They usually stay away from urban areas and most of their communities have rules against killing these days. It’s easier to stay hidden without bodies piling up. It still happens from time to time. Victims tend to get… addicted to them. They keep seeking the siren out. She accidentally takes too much, too fast and hides the body.”
“Well as of tonight, we’re at eleven victims in the past three weeks so obviously something isn’t right.” Davis said.
“Eleven?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. “Just like this?”
“That we know about. I can send you the reports. Same bite marks, same lack of blood. The whole shebang.” Davis replied.
“Why wasn’t the FRB contacted sooner?”

He shrugged.
“Most of them were nobodies. Bums downtown and all that jazz. A few were found in the water. We had no way to confirm anything strange was afoot… At least until now.”
“Christ…” I rubbed my temples. This wasn’t good. “That’s just in the GTA, right? What about outside? Northern Ontario, Quebec, maybe around the border?”
“I can check.” Davis said, “What exactly are you looking for?”
“I want to know where she’s hunting.” I replied, “Then maybe we can figure out where she’s coming from. There aren’t any active siren communities anywhere near the GTA so she’s got to be a stray.”
I watched as Davis scribbled some notes down in his pad.

“Get that information to me as soon as you can… In the meanwhile, I’m going to reach out to an old friend. See if she might know something.”
“A friend?” Davis asked.
“Somewhat. She might know a thing or two about any other sirens in the area. Maybe she’ll have an idea as to who we’re looking for.”
Davis gave a nod before closing his notepad.
“Alright then. I’ll let you know what I can dig up. I’ll leave you to finish up here.”
I nodded in return before taking out my camera to document the scene.

When Della and I left the Swanson house, we didn’t head back to our apartment. The night was young and it was the ideal time for a long drive. I could sense Dellas unease as she sat beside me. She didn’t need to say what was on her mind for me to know what was bothering her.
“It’s okay to be upset, you know.” I said. “It doesn’t get easier, no matter how long you live.”
“I don’t know if I should be comforted by that or not…” She murmured, “The smell was what bothered me the most. I could smell them starting to… Jesus…”
I offered her a comforting hand and she quietly took it.
“I get killing the wife to cover her tracks but the kids… What does that? I thought you told me Sirens weren’t that much different than us?”

“Most aren’t.” I replied. “Eleven victims though. Probably more… Think about it. You and I can feed without killing a person. Sirens can do the same. So why leave that big of a trail?”
Della grimaced. She didn’t answer, but she knew what I was getting at.
Our killer wasn’t killing for food. She was killing for fun.

Tevam Sound was almost a four hour drive away but it was more than worth it. Della and I spent some of the evening in an inexpensive motel in town before I went out looking for my contact. I knew she wasn’t going to be happy to see me, but the only other Siren I knew wasn’t exactly a local. I needed someone who was.

Shelby looked like an attractive girl in her mid twenties with short red curls and green eyes that seemed to shimmer like sunlight on the surface of a lake. She favored cutoff shorts and loose fitting tops that showed off her body and only barely hid the gills on her sides. At a glance, it would’ve been hard not to admire her and that was probably exactly what she wanted. Della and I just so happened to run into her at the local drug store. She’d been in one of the aisles when she spotted us and the moment she saw us, she knew it wasn’t an accident. I could see her brow furrow slightly and the ever so slight tense of her muscles. She watched me closely as I approached her, holding her ground as if she expected a fight.

“Well, well. Robert Marsh.” She said as I drew nearer. “Look, if you’re here about the cat food incident. It’s been thirty years. Just let it go.”
“Cat food incident?” Della asked. I ignored her.
“It’s nice to see you too, Shelby. You look nice. How’s domestic life treating you?”
Her lip curled upwards in an irritated snarl, exposing some of her jagged teeth.

“Peaceful and quiet.” She replied after a moment's hesitation. “I know this isn’t a social call. What do you want?”
“Why don’t we talk about that in private?” I asked. She scoffed.
“You ambush me at the drug store and then ask if we can talk in private? Seriously?”
“I knew you wouldn’t answer the door if I came to your house.”
“So you followed me?” She asked, then raised an eyebrow at Della. “Who’s the broad, and why didn’t she try to talk some sense into you?”
“This is Della. She’s a close friend.” I said.
“Is she now? And here I always thought you were gay... I’m in a hurry so talk fast.”
She picked a bottle of aspirin off the shelf and dropped it into the basket she had slung over one arm before continuing down the aisle. I followed her.

“I was hoping you might be able to help me find another Siren.”
“What? I’m not good enough for you?” She asked.
“A specific Siren. She’s left a hell of a trail of bodies.”
“Well it’s not me. I get my blood from tinder and I don’t leave bodies.”
Shelby rounded a corner and headed into another aisle where she stopped to look through the selection of tea.
“I figured it wasn’t. I’m looking for a stray. The kind that kills for fun.”
She paused. I saw a flicker in her eyes.

“I’ve got eleven bodies in the GTA over the past three weeks and I’m positive there’s more that haven’t been found yet.”
“Of course there’s more.” She said quietly before sighing, “Anybody get a good look at her?”
“There might be one witness but they’re MIA.” I said. “I don’t suppose there was anyone you can think of from the community at Silver Lake before… well…”
“Before everyone died. You don’t need to tiptoe around it. I got my closure. I’ve moved on.” Shelby said. “What kind of tea is best for headaches? I can’t tell the difference.”
“Ginger root or peppermint.” I said. She took one box of each.

“Any sister who was at Silver Lake is either dead or fled further north.” She said thoughtfully, “I doubt you’d have any luck asking around up there… I do remember that there was an incident about a year before everything went tits up though. A couple sisters had gotten bold and were luring prey into the community. I’m pretty sure Kayla was the one in charge. You remember her, right? The one with the stupid cowboy hat. Anyways, turns out some of the prey they lured was a little too young and she was always way too kill happy. They pushed the envelope a little too far, too many times and got kicked out for their trouble. Too little, too late if you ask me. It was probably their little stunt that led to the community getting discovered and wiped out.”
“Do you know where they went afterwards?” I asked. Shelby shrugged.

“I can’t say… I might’ve heard something about another sister in the area though…” She paused to think for a moment. “Yeah… Yeah, some of the students down at the University were having a party and I usually stop by since it’s easy pickings. I saw this one guy at the bar who was drunk off his ass and talking about a girl he’d fucked who’d bitten him. I guess it kinda sounded like Kayla. It definitely wasn’t me... I don’t exactly follow through with my prey. My sexual preference is dinner, so I tend to eat and run. But other than that I haven’t seen any signs of another sister in the area.”
“You didn’t happen to catch his name, did you?” Della asked hopefully.
“The bartender called him Derrick, I think? I haven’t seen him around since.”
Della went for her phone to message Davis.
“Is there anything else you might know?” I asked, “Anything at all?”

“Hate to say it but that’s all I’ve got.” Shelby said with a shrug. “Kayla’s gang are the only strays in the area I know about although most of them ditched her shortly after they got kicked out. One of them got killed for hunting in our territory and I heard another found a home south of the border. As for Kayla and her third friend, they dropped off the face of the earth… Could be you’re after two sisters. Either way, watch your ass. Especially if it is Kayla.”
“Noted.” I murmured.
“Davis says that Derrick Jackson’s body was found in Mississauga last week. Drained of blood, just like the others.” Della said, looking up at me and Shelby. “If Kayla was the one who attacked him…”
“She would’ve wanted to finish the job.” Shelby said. She pursed her lips before she sighed.
“Fuck me… Regardless of whether or not it is her, you two are going to have a hell of a time against a sister.”
“Are you offering to help?” I asked.

Offering.” She scoffed, “That’s funny. You’re not going to take out a sister without another sister on your side and as much and I don’t really feel all warm and fuzzy about sending you to get killed, even if you are a whiny prick.”
“We took down a ghoul a few weeks ago.” Della said, “It can’t be that much harder, can it?”
“My 1200 year old mother could pop a ghouls skull and she’s been dead for fifty years.” She replied. “Look, I’ve got to take care of something first. Make some arrangements and all that… But I can be ready to go in an hour. Maybe two.”
“We can wait around.'' I replied.”
“No shit, Count Fagula. One hour. I’ll meet you back at my place. It’ll be just like old times.” She clapped me on the shoulder before turning to leave us. As soon as she was gone, Della looked over at me.

“So…” She asked, “How exactly do you two know each other?”
“It’s complicated.” I replied, “I’ll tell you later. Right now, I think I need a drink.”

True to her word, we met up with Shelby about an hour later. She carried a small backpack with her and stood waiting by the front porch of a small but quaint suburban house. I thought I could see someone watching from the upstairs windows, but I didn’t get a good look at them.
“Everything taken care of?” I asked as Shelby got into my back seat.
“It’s fine. Let’s just get this over with.” She replied as I took off.
“I have to say, I never expected you of all people to end up going domestic. I would’ve figured you’d have gone up north with the others.”
“There’s no food up north.” Shelby replied, “Tevam Sound’s small but it’s got a steady, rotating supply of fresh blood.”
“And I’m sure that’s the only reason you stayed.” I teased. Through the rearview mirror, I could catch her glaring at me.
“I have a good friend in town. We have an arrangement. I reached out to a friend of mine. There’s a cottage a few hours from here owned by a ‘Kate Silver.’ I thought it might be a good place to look.”
“Kate Silver?” Della asked.

“Kate was one of the sisters who was kicked out with Kayla and the only one who isn’t accounted for. A lot of Sisters use the name of their community as a surname. Kate was always kinda a yes man. If I had to take a guess, I’d say she’s still with Kayla.”
“It’s a good place to start.” I said, “So. What’s the address?”
“415 Kings Trail. It’s a little bit past Sudbury but it’s right on the water and out of our territory. Not a bad place to hide if you ask me.”
“Isn’t that a little far from Toronto?” Della asked.
“It is, but even if Kate isn’t involved she might lead us to Kayla.” I replied. “We might as well talk to her.”
Della put the address into her phone and I looked back at Shelby. She was already looking at her own phone and tapping away at it.

“You sure you’re okay leaving your friend alone?”
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t know she’d be alright.” She replied. “Trust me. She can take care of herself. Just keep your eyes on the road and your head out of your ass and everything will turn out fine.”
I nodded and looked ahead at the road.

It was around 1 in the afternoon when we made it to the cottage. The sky was overcast and the air had a winter chill to it. The roads were nearly empty. Next to nobody was up in cottage country at that time of year. It was a lonely place that would’ve been a perfect place to hide. King’s Trail ran adjacent to a lake and a wispy mist hovered over the surface of the water.
“We got a new email from Davis.” Della said as we drove along the narrow road, “Looks like our number of victims has gone up to about thirty seven. Almost all of them were found in water. Most of them were killed during the past month.”
“Where exactly were they found?” I asked.
“All over the place. French River, Parry Sound, Gravenhurst, Barrie…”
“So between Sudbury and Toronto.” Shelby said, “I guess she commutes.”

I spotted a sign for 415 and turned down the driveway.
“It also places her in this area.” I said. The cottage ahead of us looked run down. Its wood paneling looked as if it was peeling off the exterior and had outright fallen off in some places. It looked abandoned but I spotted a blue Ford truck parked in the driveway. Somebody was clearly home.
I parked my sedan behind it before getting out.
“Why travel such a long distance though?” Della asked as she got out.
“Supply, probably.” Shelby replied, “I’d imagine you need to feed every few days, don’t you?” She asked.
“Yeah. Just about.” Della said.

“Well, it’s the same for us. Now, if you’re not killing your prey you can let them rest and come back to them when they’ve had time to recover. If you’re smart, you can get yourself a bunch of dumbass frat boys who think with their dicks and sorta just farm them. It’s still a fair hunt but you’re not depleting your supply. Start killing them on the other hand though…”
“It makes the hunt that much harder.” I finished as I approached the cottage. The lights inside were out. I couldn’t smell anyone inside although there was a faint stink of decay in the air that made me uneasy.
I tried the door. It was locked.
“Let me have a look at that.” Shelby said before she pushed past me. She tried the door as well before violently throwing her weight against it. Part of the door splintered as it swung open.

“Jesus…” I heard Della murmur under her breath as Shelby gestured for us to go inside. The interior of the cottage looked empty. There had once been furniture inside but now it looked as if it had been removed. The place seemed abandoned, save for the smell.
“Something died in here.” I noted as I walked into the cottages kitchen.
“Oh, really? Did your enhanced fucking senses pick that up?” Shelby asked. “Christ… Was she storing bodies in here? What the hell?” She covered her mouth and nose before entering the house after me.

The stink of death was overpowering. I doubted that Shelby could’ve found its source but I could. I wandered from the kitchen and into the hallway. The smell was coming from the bathroom and I braced myself for what I’d find in there as I pushed the door open. The bathtub was filled with water, and I could see the corpse of a woman floating inside. She’d been dead for some time, that much was clear. Her hands and feet were both bound with thick rope. It looked as if she’d been left to drown.

I covered my mouth with my sleeve at the sight of her and made myself step forwards. My eyes immediately went to her neck, looking for signs that she’d been bitten but I saw nothing. Instead, through her partially open mouth I glimpsed the jagged teeth of a siren.
“What is it?” Della called from behind me. She’d stayed outside, by the front door.
“We’ve got another body here!” I called and I could hear Shelby coming up behind me. She paused in the doorway as she saw the body, her eyes widening.
“Shit...” She murmured before hurrying to the side of the tub. “It’s Kate.”

“What happened to her?” I asked and watched as Shelby reached into the water. She lifted up Kate’s shirt, exposing her gills before grimacing in disgust.
“Someone stuffed her gills…” She said quietly.
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“They drowned her.” Shelby said, “Put something in her gills so she couldn’t breathe. Look at this…”
Slowly she reached into one of the gills and pulled out something round and dark red. I couldn’t tell what it was at first.
“Cotton balls… Fucking cotton balls. Fuck me…”

“You think Kayla did this?” I asked.
“Who the fuck else would’ve done it?” Shelby snapped. She looked down at the body again before forcing herself to exhale and shake her head.
“This… This is sick. She fucking tortured her! Hell, she didn’t even have the common fucking decency to bury her! She should be in the lake, buried! Not left up here to stink and rot! I-...”She stopped herself before going further and tried to force herself to be composed.
“I’ll need to make sure she’s properly buried before we leave… If you need pictures, evidence. Whatever. Just… Do it now…”
I managed a half nod before taking out my camera. I made it quick.

With the body documented, I left the cottage so Shelby could do what she needed to. Della was standing down by the floating dock, looking out over the misty lake. She looked back at me as I came down to join her.
“Is everything alright?” She asked.
“Yeah…” I replied, feeling tired. I smoothed down my hair as I looked out over the lake.
“The body belonged to Kate. Shelby’s asked to bury it. I think this just confirms that it’s Kayla we’re after.”
“That’s good, isn’t it?” Della asked. I gave a half nod.

“Yeah. The FRB will put out an alert on her. She’ll turn up soon enough…”
“You don’t sound too happy about that.” She noted.
“I’m fine with it. It’s just…” I paused. “She tortured one of her own. A friend from the sounds of it… Who does something like that? Who murders one of their own just because?”
“People do it all the time.” Della said, “I’ve killed people before.”
“Not for the hell of it you didn’t.” I rubbed my temple before sighing. “We’ll look through the cottage after Shelby’s done. See if we can’t find any hint as to where Kayla went.”

I felt Della reach for my hand and let her lace her fingers with mine. For a moment, we just stood there together in silence. In my pocket, I felt my phone buzz and shifted away from her so I could answer it. The number on the display belonged to Davis.
“Davis.” I said as I answered, “Good to hear from you.”
“How’s it going, Marsh?” He replied, “I think you’d be happy to hear that a neighbor just brought us little May Swanson about an hour ago. She’s safe.”
I let out a breath that I didn’t know I’d been holding.

“Perfect… I think I’ve got an ID on our killer. I’ll give you a full update when we meet up later. How’s the kid doing?”
“Scared but unharmed.” Davis said, “Seems like she got a good look at the killer but I’m having trouble getting any details out of her aside from the fact that she drove a blue truck.”
A blue truck.

My eyes shifted over to the blue Ford that was parked by the cottage. I’d assumed that it was Kates although if it had been sitting there for as long as she had, it should have been covered in fallen leaves and snow… It wasn’t.
“Excuse me? A blue truck?” I asked.
“My guess is the kid bolted and hid as soon as her parents got attacked. She must’ve seen the killer driving off.”
I traded a look with Della. She was looking at the truck too now. If that was Kayla’s truck, then she’d been at the cottage recently.

Or she was still there.

Where would a siren at a lakeside cottage hide?

Dellas head shifted to the side, looking over at some movement although she had no time to react before the dock was thrown upwards. Something burst out of the water beside it and as it did, the dock was violently upturned. Della was tossed into the water and as the spray fell I saw the figure of a woman standing in the lake, her eyes fixated on me.

Kayla.

It had been years since I’d seen her, but I recognized her all the same. Her long brown hair clung to her face and that cocky look in her eye was impossible to forget. I dropped my phone and went for the pistol in my belt, but by the time I drew it Kayla had already closed the distance between us. She grabbed the gun in my hand and violently ripped it from my grasp. Her other hand gripped me by the throat and with the same effort one might use to dispatch a child, she slammed me against the ground.
“Well, well. Robert Marsh, wasn’t it?” She coyly hissed. “It’s been a long time, hasn’t it handsome?”
She pressed my gun against my forehead, a knowing smile on her lips.

“Credit where it’s due. I wasn’t expecting someone like you to pop in before I was done cleaning up. But hey, shit happens, right?” She tossed the wet hair out of her eyes. “Well. Let’s just call it a happy little accident, shall we? What was that you were just saying on the phone, that kid finally turned up? Good news, right? I was kinda hoping she’d freeze to death but hey, at least I know for sure and that’s what matters! I appreciate the helping hand…”

I saw her finger tighten on the trigger and I looked her dead in the eye. If she was going to shoot me, I at least didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of making me cower. I don’t think it mattered to her either way. All I saw in her was a cold, sadistic anticipation.
“Kayla!”
At the sound of Shelby’s voice, I saw a new expression cross Kayla’s face. Concern. She looked over towards the cottage, to where Shelby stood just outside the back door. I could see a rage on her fact that even made me a little nervous. Kayla on the other hand seemed amused by it.
“Well, well. Hey there Shelby.” She said, “Did the Count here rope you into this? I thought you’d gone native.”
“Leave the vampire alone. We know what you’ve done. You’ve gone way too far this time. You’re not going to outrun it.”

“What? Are you going to have a word with the Elders?” Kayla scoffed, “Please. I know what happened to Silver Lake. There’s nothing left. The Elders are dead, as are our sisters. It’s only you and me now. The last two sisters of Silver Lake.”
“You lost your right to be called Sister when you were exiled!” Shelby snarled.
“Did I? Well then I suppose there goes any incentive I might’ve had not to kill you too.”
Kayla moved to aim the gun at Shelby and in doing so I saw my window and took it. I grabbed at her arm and forced it towards my mouth. She may have been physically stronger than me, but she still bled when bit. Her warm blood filled my mouth as I sank my teeth into her arm and for just a moment, her grip on the gun loosened.

She jerked backwards and I managed to kick her off of me. The gun fell from her grasp and I grabbed at it. From the corner of my eye, I saw Kayla’s eyes dart between myself and Shelby, who’d taken off towards her at a sprint. The woman wasn’t a fool. She knew she was outnumbered. As I tried to aim the gun at her, Kayla kicked me in the jaw before taking off towards her truck. She only barely made it there before Shelby reached her and slammed her into the grille of the Ford, pinning her against it.
“You lured the prey to Silver Lake.” Shelby snarled, “You were the one who doomed it! Their blood is on your hands.”

Kayla gritted her teeth and drove her first into Shelby’s neck, I heard her gag as she struggled to breathe. With a cry of exertion, Shelby was hurled to the ground as Kayla scrambled to the cabin of her truck. By the time Shelby was on her feet again, the engine had roared to life. The truck shot forwards, throwing Shelby up onto the hood where she rolled off and hit the ground in a heap. I forced myself up to my feet and took aim at the windshield. I only got off two shots before the truck hit me too and sent me back to the ground. My ears were ringing but I could see Kayla’s truck shoot backwards. Its rear crashed against my sedan before veering off the side of the driveway and backing out onto the road. A moment later, she was gone leaving only the sound of squealing rubber in her wake.

I could see Shelby starting to pick herself up, wincing in pain as she did. From the corner of my eye, I watched Della crawling out of the lake. She rushed to my side as I made myself stand.
“She’s going after the Swanson kid…” I rasped. “We’ve got to warn Davis.” I spotted my phone on the ground nearby and gestured to it. Della picked it up. She handed it to me and I dialed the number. Shelby stared bitterly in the direction Kayla had driven off in. She was ahead of us, but we weren’t out of the fight yet.

Part of me had hoped that we’d catch up to Kayla on the road, but we didn’t see a single trace of her. I wondered if perhaps she’d only suggested she was going after the child to throw us off. Send us back to Toronto so she could go elsewhere. I wasn’t going to bet on that, though. It was past sunset by the time we made it back to Toronto. We didn’t bother heading to Davis’ office. We knew he wouldn’t be there and neither would May Swanson. Rick Davis was many things but naive, he wasn’t.

Instead, we headed towards the city's west end, Etobicoke. It had been some time since I’d needed to visit Davis’ apartment there. It wasn’t his home. I’d never actually been to his home before, but I’d been to the apartment. He and a few of his associates had used it before as a safehouse. If there were any place he’d take May Swanson, it would be there. The apartment was in a more suburban part of town, in a duplex on a quiet and unassuming street. I parked the sedan out front and got out. My body was still a little sore from being run over by a mermaid serial killer earlier, but I knew I could manage.
“Doesn’t look like Kayla found him.” Della noted as we got out and went for the front door. I paused as soon as I noticed that it was open just a crack. Immediately I went for my gun and pushed my way inside. The apartment was dark but I could smell fresh blood. In the dim light, I could see a man lying against the wall. Alive, but wounded. Davis.

I swore under my breath and rushed to his side and heard him groan in pain. I could see the gash in his neck. He was losing blood. Fast. I put some pressure on his wound, trying to stop the bleeding if I could.
“Marsh…” He rasped. “The kid…”
“She’s here.” I called to the others, “She’s got the kid!”
I could hear Della behind me, her hand replaced my own to put pressure on Davis’ wound. Outside, I could hear the roar of an engine. We’d just missed her.

I took off like a shot, rushing past Shelby through the door and back out onto the street. I could see the taillights of the truck just down the street and I took aim. It was reckless, but I had no other choice. I squeezed off three shots before I heard the pop of Kayla’s rear tires. Her truck swerved and jerked, careening into another parked car. The Ford all but crushed it.

I kept my gun raised as I approached the crash. I saw one of the truck doors swing open. The small shape of a child dropped out onto the street and desperately tried to run. The driver's side door opened and I watched as Kayla stepped out. She straightened the ranchers hat on her head before fixing me in a frustrated glare.
“Terrible timing, Marsh.” She hissed. “Absolutely fucking terrible.”
“You’re not getting the kid, Kayla.” I said. “It’s over.”

“Oh? It’s over, says the prissy little vampire cop?” She scoffed, “You think I’m going to throw in the towel just because you tell me to? I’ve been an apex fucking predator for longer than you’ve been alive, vampire! It’s in my blood! My very nature! There’s no changing it. I am what I am, and what I am sweetheart… Is fucking hungry!

She took a step towards me, but I wasn’t going to let her close the distance this time. I pulled the trigger. The bullet struck her in the shoulder but it didn’t stop her. She threw herself at me and not a single bullet I fired was enough to slow her down. Then from the corner of my eye I saw movement. Something grabbed her and yanked her to the side, forcing her to the ground. In the streetlights, I saw Shelby standing over Kayla, keeping her pinned.
“Sorry, cowgirl. But the bullshit stops now!"

She snarled before breaking her nose. Her hands closed around Kayla’s throat, ready to choke the life out of her and I put a hand on Shelby’s shoulder. I kept my gun trained Kayla.
“Don’t!” I warned her.
“Why? You know she deserves it. We should stuff her gills… Drown her like she drowned Kate…”
“Not right here, Shelby.”
She opened her mouth to protest before she saw exactly what I meant.

The gunshots and commotion hadn’t gone unnoticed. People had come out of their houses. Countless eyes were upon us. This wasn’t the place to put a mad dog down, even if she had it coming. I saw Shelby’s grip on Kayla’s neck loosen. I kept my gun trained on her head, but she was out cold. She’d stay that way until the distant police sirens made it to us.

Detective Davis was lucky, as was May Swanson. Both came out of that night alive. I suppose Kayla was lucky that she did too… It wasn’t easy to keep Shelby from finishing the job behind closed doors, but I managed to convince her to settle for detention. It was a small comfort to see Kayla shipped off somewhere where I doubted she’d ever see the light of day again. Personally, I wouldn’t have minded seeing her put down, but I don’t make those rules. All I do is enforce them as best I can.

When Della and I parted ways with Shelby back in Tevam Sound the next day, I honestly was hoping I’d see her again and maybe I will. Only under better circumstances. Maybe next time, I ca
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2020.11.28 16:52 lesbiangalaxies how to talk about something petty that annoys you about your partner (way she talks to animals)

okay so my gf (24f) and i (26f) have been dating for about 6 months and overall we have great communication and have been able to talk through any issues we have related to our relationship. but there’s something that’s been annoying me since i started going to her place, but since it’s not exactly relationship related i don’t know how to bring it up in a way that doesn’t make me sound like an asshole and won’t make her self conscious or feel hurt. this is my first relationship besides something short in high school, so i’m really flying blind and clueless about how to handle any new situations that arise. i know we have a strong relationship, though, and it’s okay to make mistakes but i still want to handle things in the best way possible.
anyways, the way she talks to her pets has just started to get more and more annoying. it’s the repetitiveness and tone of voice that gets to me the most. she’ll meow back a bunch of times in a row, repeat the same phrases, say hello every time she sees them even if it’s been 5 seconds, use a grating tone of voice, and/or randomly screech their names loudly. i’ll be in a great mood when i go to her place then she’ll start doing one of these things a lot and it can just ruin my mood immediately especially as i get more and more fixated on it without coming to a solution. sometimes it’s just super annoying sometimes it’s overstimulating if i’m already tired and she’s just loudly talking to them. i’ve tried to just get over it because i know she loves her cats a lot and this feels so petty, but everything i’ve tried isn’t working.
is this something i should bring up? how should i go about it?
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2020.11.28 16:42 mikesfsu Fencing issues

I am moving into a new single family dwelling in a community that is governed by an hoa that will be created six months after everyone closes escrow. The houses are just now being finished in the next month.
Every home has a 3.5 feet high fence around the small yards of each house. We feel this is not safe for our very small dogs that can
A) fit through the small spaces in between each vertical post and escape onto a busy street.
B) fence is short enough that anyone could easily steal our dogs if they were in the yard.
My partner and I want to install a higher fence in the same color and materials to protect our animals.
In the below segment from the HOA is this clear we can not do that?
“No alteration or change which will be visible from another Lot, shall be made to the exterior of a Dwelling, including changing the color of the exterior of the Dwelling, unless the proposed alteration or change is first submitted to and approved in writing by the Board. Such approval will not be unreasonably withheld”.
If the HOA will not be created for another 6-8 months and there is no one to approve this is it better to ask for forgiveness rather than ask for permission 6-8 months from now and risk our dogs safety?
I spoke to the builders about this and they said they can’t guarantee it will not cause problems but if we were to do it in a manner that was not offensive i.e same materials and color, that it may not ruffle feathers as it’s creating privacy for our neighbors. Just concerned about one of the 26 other owners thinking differently about this, complaining to the board when it is actually created and forcing us to take the fence down.
Thanks for any insight
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2020.11.28 16:37 HeadOfSpectre I’m A Vampire & I Investigate The Supernatural. They Have Serial Killers Too

One thing I’ve learned throughout my long life is that people aren’t as different from every other species on earth as they think they are. What some might call the traits that make us human aren’t all that exclusive to us. Rats are capable of empathy, gibbons form families that are much like our own and elephants mourn their dead just like we do. The emotional complexity of the other creatures on this earth is a fascinating subject… but there is a dark side to it.

Dolphins are capable of rape. Polar bears have been known to cannibalize each other and killing just for fun is a common behavior exhibited by many predators. Hell, if you looked through the animal kingdom I’m confident you’d find them committing just about every single abominable act under the sun. The only thing that really sets humanity apart is that we’re a little more self aware. We’re not above the depravity but we try to be. Maybe that counts for something. I really can’t say.

What fascinates me though, are the things that imitate humanity. Those beings who look like us, act like us and talk like us but aren’t strictly speaking human. I’m sure you’ve heard of Fae, for instance. They’re all over the spectrum. They’re intelligent (mostly) and although a few of the less human-like groups have no interest in pretending; some of them are damn near indistinguishable from anyone you’d pass on the street. You could drive yourself mad wondering about the nature of humanity. Where it begins or what is it that truly separates us from the animals. Intelligence, self awareness, empathy or something else entirely? I myself couldn’t even begin to come up with an answer and that’s a shame. You see, I hunt monsters for a living. You wouldn’t think it would be difficult to tell the difference between a person and an animal, but when most of the people you deal with aren’t technically human, that line can easily blur. It’s always those cases that stay with me. Putting down a mindless animal is one thing but going up against something that’s not all that different from you… Well… That’s a lot more complicated.

My name is Robert Marsh and I’m not exactly human myself. Not anymore. It shouldn’t be surprising that I’ve had quite a bit of experience with the supernatural… enough so that when it starts threatening regular people, I’m the one they call.

The International Fae Relations Bureaus Department of Public Safety didn’t normally poke their heads into isolated incidents. Strange bodies turning up every now and again were small potatoes. As grim as it sounds, shit happens. People run into all sorts of nasty creatures from time to time. There’s no way to stop it. However when a pattern comes up, that’s something they can’t ignore and when the latest incident involves a whole family of five turning up dead, that’s when I get a call.

The Swanson's had been a moderately well off family, living in a pretty house off of a country road. Well off the beaten path. It was an hours drive from my modest little apartment but at least I didn’t make it alone.

Della Rose, a woman with whom I’d had a complicated relationship with in the past sat beside me. When we’d first met and dated, she’d been just an ordinary girl and contrary to what pop culture might have some people believe, romance between ordinary girls and vampires doesn’t ever end well. It had been a few months since she’d come back into my life and circumstance had made it necessary to curse her with the same immortality that I tolerated. It had been a hasty decision, but better than leaving her to die. I didn’t turn her for the sake of company. I’m not quite that selfish… If there was a future for us, we weren’t quite ready for that discussion. For the time being, I was content to simply help her adjust to her new eternal life and to that end, she’d been helping me with my work. It had been years since I’d had a partner and so far, that arrangement had worked out nicely.

I could see the flashing lights of the police sirens cutting through the dark, marking the Swanson house as we drew near and pulled up the long driveway. I caught the eyes of a couple wary uniformed officers as we pulled up to the house but they didn’t try and stop me. Near the front door, I could see the shadow of a portly man in his forties. I recognized him even before I saw his face. Detective Rick Davis. An old friend of mine.

As Della and I got out of the car, Davis waited for us in the doorway. He took a final drag on his cigarette and watched us as we approached the door before he snuffed it and let us in.
“Nice to see you again Marsh.” He said. All business as usual. The inside of the Swanson house looked almost immaculately clean. You could have probably used it as a showhome. It was just the three of us in the house. As per standard protocol, the other officers had been removed from the scene prior to our arrival. It was better that they not see too much of us.

“Always a pleasure, Detective.” I replied. His gaze lingered on Della, a hint of mistrust in his eyes although he kept his mouth shut about that. “What are we looking at?” I asked. Best to keep things on track. Davis nodded towards the stairway.
“Bodies are upstairs in the main bedroom. Four victims. Two adults, two children.” He said.
“Four victims?” I asked, “I heard it was a family of five.”
“The youngest child, May is currently missing. We think that maybe they might have fled. We’ve got some officers searching for her now.”
“You think they ran?” I asked. Davis just shrugged and turned to lead us up the stairs.
“Possibly. I can’t imagine our perp was interested in kidnapping given the mess they left.”
He led us into the bedroom and stopped outside the door.
“See for yourself.”

I nodded at him before opening the door. I’d seen my fair share of corpses in the past, but seeing a child had never gotten easier. I’d known what I was walking into and grimaced at the sight of the still bodies on the floor. Beside me, Della let out a quiet gasp.
“Jesus…” She murmured as I stepped inside.
The man who used to be Mr. Swanson was on the bed, naked as the day he’d been born. His body was as pale as alabaster. His wife lay close to the door, crumpled on the floor and her two children were scattered about close to her.

The first thing I noticed was the blood, or the lack of it. Mr. Swanson had almost none around him although I could clearly see several bite marks on his body. Most of them were on his shoulders and some of them looked as if they’d been healing. Most of them. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that the ragged chunk torn out of his throat had been what had killed him. His wife and children on the other hand hadn’t been drained. They had been bitten, that much was clear but their bodies each had one single, fatal bite to the throat. From the look of it, they hadn’t fought much either. I imagined all three of them, lined up by the bed and quietly waiting their turn as the killer picked them off methodically…

“What did this? Della asked quietly, “Another vampire?” She stood over the bodies of the wife and children, careful to avoid stepping in the pool of blood that stained the carpet beneath them.
“Vampires aren’t the only hemovores out there.” I murmured as I leaned over the body of Mr. Swanson. I shifted his head to get a better look at the wound in his neck. The bite looked jagged, as if the flesh had been torn at. I studied the healing bites on his shoulders as well. Those looked to be a few days old. The bites been cleaner and hadn’t gotten much treatment.

“What else could have done this?” Della asked.
“My guess? A Siren.” I said before standing up. I gestured for her to join me by Mr. Swanson's corpse. “See the bite marks on his shoulders? Those are a few days old. They were healing. That’s usually where most sirens bite. Reduces the chance of killing the prey. If they go for the throat, well…”
Della looked at the ragged wound in Mr. Swanson's throat. She got the point.
“Bite pattern looks consistent too.” I noted, “Sirens have a mouth like a shark. Made to rip and tear… A siren would also explain the position of the bodies.”
“How?” Della asked. From the corner of my eye, I saw Davis leaning against the doorframe, listening intently.
“Well, what do we know about sirens from mythology?” I asked.

“They sing?” Della asked. She looked at me, then at Davis for confirmation.
“They hypnotize.” Davis said. “And they’re supposedly so beautiful that they’re irresistible to men. Like a honey trap, right?”
“More or less.” I said. “Reality isn’t all that far off. Most Sirens are female. They tend to target men looking for sex and then feed off them. They’re hemovores, just like us only they’ve also got a natural hypnosis to make the process easier. It doesn’t work on everyone, but it might explain why the wife and kids just stood there while our killer picked them off. They probably walked in on dinner.”
“Why not drain the wife and kids though?” Della asked.
“The stomach can only hold so much blood.” She’d already drained the husband. That’s enough to keep her fed for days.”
“So that’s it then.” Davis said, “I don’t suppose a siren might be behind the other bodies we’ve found?”

“It’s possible.” I said. “These days you don’t see as many siren deaths and you shouldn’t see any this close to Toronto… It doesn’t add up. They usually stay away from urban areas and most of their communities have rules against killing these days. It’s easier to stay hidden without bodies piling up. It still happens from time to time. Victims tend to get… addicted to them. They keep seeking the siren out. She accidentally takes too much, too fast and hides the body.”
“Well as of tonight, we’re at eleven victims in the past three weeks so obviously something isn’t right.” Davis said.
“Eleven?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. “Just like this?”
“That we know about. I can send you the reports. Same bite marks, same lack of blood. The whole shebang.” Davis replied.
“Why wasn’t the FRB contacted sooner?”

He shrugged.
“Most of them were nobodies. Bums downtown and all that jazz. A few were found in the water. We had no way to confirm anything strange was afoot… At least until now.”
“Christ…” I rubbed my temples. This wasn’t good. “That’s just in the GTA, right? What about outside? Northern Ontario, Quebec, maybe around the border?”
“I can check.” Davis said, “What exactly are you looking for?”
“I want to know where she’s hunting.” I replied, “Then maybe we can figure out where she’s coming from. There aren’t any active siren communities anywhere near the GTA so she’s got to be a stray.”
I watched as Davis scribbled some notes down in his pad.

“Get that information to me as soon as you can… In the meanwhile, I’m going to reach out to an old friend. See if she might know something.”
“A friend?” Davis asked.
“Somewhat. She might know a thing or two about any other sirens in the area. Maybe she’ll have an idea as to who we’re looking for.”
Davis gave a nod before closing his notepad.
“Alright then. I’ll let you know what I can dig up. I’ll leave you to finish up here.”
I nodded in return before taking out my camera to document the scene.

When Della and I left the Swanson house, we didn’t head back to our apartment. The night was young and it was the ideal time for a long drive. I could sense Dellas unease as she sat beside me. She didn’t need to say what was on her mind for me to know what was bothering her.
“It’s okay to be upset, you know.” I said. “It doesn’t get easier, no matter how long you live.”
“I don’t know if I should be comforted by that or not…” She murmured, “The smell was what bothered me the most. I could smell them starting to… Jesus…”
I offered her a comforting hand and she quietly took it.
“I get killing the wife to cover her tracks but the kids… What does that? I thought you told me Sirens weren’t that much different than us?”

“Most aren’t.” I replied. “Eleven victims though. Probably more… Think about it. You and I can feed without killing a person. Sirens can do the same. So why leave that big of a trail?”
Della grimaced. She didn’t answer, but she knew what I was getting at.
Our killer wasn’t killing for food. She was killing for fun.

Tevam Sound was almost a four hour drive away but it was more than worth it. Della and I spent some of the evening in an inexpensive motel in town before I went out looking for my contact. I knew she wasn’t going to be happy to see me, but the only other Siren I knew wasn’t exactly a local. I needed someone who was.

Shelby looked like an attractive girl in her mid twenties with short red curls and green eyes that seemed to shimmer like sunlight on the surface of a lake. She favored cutoff shorts and loose fitting tops that showed off her body and only barely hid the gills on her sides. At a glance, it would’ve been hard not to admire her and that was probably exactly what she wanted. Della and I just so happened to run into her at the local drug store. She’d been in one of the aisles when she spotted us and the moment she saw us, she knew it wasn’t an accident. I could see her brow furrow slightly and the ever so slight tense of her muscles. She watched me closely as I approached her, holding her ground as if she expected a fight.

“Well, well. Robert Marsh.” She said as I drew nearer. “Look, if you’re here about the cat food incident. It’s been thirty years. Just let it go.”
“Cat food incident?” Della asked. I ignored her.
“It’s nice to see you too, Shelby. You look nice. How’s domestic life treating you?”
Her lip curled upwards in an irritated snarl, exposing some of her jagged teeth.

“Peaceful and quiet.” She replied after a moment's hesitation. “I know this isn’t a social call. What do you want?”
“Why don’t we talk about that in private?” I asked. She scoffed.
“You ambush me at the drug store and then ask if we can talk in private? Seriously?”
“I knew you wouldn’t answer the door if I came to your house.”
“So you followed me?” She asked, then raised an eyebrow at Della. “Who’s the broad, and why didn’t she try to talk some sense into you?”
“This is Della. She’s a close friend.” I said.
“Is she now? And here I always thought you were gay... I’m in a hurry so talk fast.”
She picked a bottle of aspirin off the shelf and dropped it into the basket she had slung over one arm before continuing down the aisle. I followed her.

“I was hoping you might be able to help me find another Siren.”
“What? I’m not good enough for you?” She asked.
“A specific Siren. She’s left a hell of a trail of bodies.”
“Well it’s not me. I get my blood from tinder and I don’t leave bodies.”
Shelby rounded a corner and headed into another aisle where she stopped to look through the selection of tea.
“I figured it wasn’t. I’m looking for a stray. The kind that kills for fun.”
She paused. I saw a flicker in her eyes.

“I’ve got eleven bodies in the GTA over the past three weeks and I’m positive there’s more that haven’t been found yet.”
“Of course there’s more.” She said quietly before sighing, “Anybody get a good look at her?”
“There might be one witness but they’re MIA.” I said. “I don’t suppose there was anyone you can think of from the community at Silver Lake before… well…”
“Before everyone died. You don’t need to tiptoe around it. I got my closure. I’ve moved on.” Shelby said. “What kind of tea is best for headaches? I can’t tell the difference.”
“Ginger root or peppermint.” I said. She took one box of each.

“Any sister who was at Silver Lake is either dead or fled further north.” She said thoughtfully, “I doubt you’d have any luck asking around up there… I do remember that there was an incident about a year before everything went tits up though. A couple sisters had gotten bold and were luring prey into the community. I’m pretty sure Kayla was the one in charge. You remember her, right? The one with the stupid cowboy hat. Anyways, turns out some of the prey they lured was a little too young and she was always way too kill happy. They pushed the envelope a little too far, too many times and got kicked out for their trouble. Too little, too late if you ask me. It was probably their little stunt that led to the community getting discovered and wiped out.”
“Do you know where they went afterwards?” I asked. Shelby shrugged.

“I can’t say… I might’ve heard something about another sister in the area though…” She paused to think for a moment. “Yeah… Yeah, some of the students down at the University were having a party and I usually stop by since it’s easy pickings. I saw this one guy at the bar who was drunk off his ass and talking about a girl he’d fucked who’d bitten him. I guess it kinda sounded like Kayla. It definitely wasn’t me... I don’t exactly follow through with my prey. My sexual preference is dinner, so I tend to eat and run. But other than that I haven’t seen any signs of another sister in the area.”
“You didn’t happen to catch his name, did you?” Della asked hopefully.
“The bartender called him Derrick, I think? I haven’t seen him around since.”
Della went for her phone to message Davis.
“Is there anything else you might know?” I asked, “Anything at all?”

“Hate to say it but that’s all I’ve got.” Shelby said with a shrug. “Kayla’s gang are the only strays in the area I know about although most of them ditched her shortly after they got kicked out. One of them got killed for hunting in our territory and I heard another found a home south of the border. As for Kayla and her third friend, they dropped off the face of the earth… Could be you’re after two sisters. Either way, watch your ass. Especially if it is Kayla.”
“Noted.” I murmured.
“Davis says that Derrick Jackson’s body was found in Mississauga last week. Drained of blood, just like the others.” Della said, looking up at me and Shelby. “If Kayla was the one who attacked him…”
“She would’ve wanted to finish the job.” Shelby said. She pursed her lips before she sighed.
“Fuck me… Regardless of whether or not it is her, you two are going to have a hell of a time against a sister.”
“Are you offering to help?” I asked.

Offering.” She scoffed, “That’s funny. You’re not going to take out a sister without another sister on your side and as much and I don’t really feel all warm and fuzzy about sending you to get killed, even if you are a whiny prick.”
“We took down a ghoul a few weeks ago.” Della said, “It can’t be that much harder, can it?”
“My 1200 year old mother could pop a ghouls skull and she’s been dead for fifty years.” She replied. “Look, I’ve got to take care of something first. Make some arrangements and all that… But I can be ready to go in an hour. Maybe two.”
“We can wait around.'' I replied.”
“No shit, Count Fagula. One hour. I’ll meet you back at my place. It’ll be just like old times.” She clapped me on the shoulder before turning to leave us. As soon as she was gone, Della looked over at me.

“So…” She asked, “How exactly do you two know each other?”
“It’s complicated.” I replied, “I’ll tell you later. Right now, I think I need a drink.”

True to her word, we met up with Shelby about an hour later. She carried a small backpack with her and stood waiting by the front porch of a small but quaint suburban house. I thought I could see someone watching from the upstairs windows, but I didn’t get a good look at them.
“Everything taken care of?” I asked as Shelby got into my back seat.
“It’s fine. Let’s just get this over with.” She replied as I took off.
“I have to say, I never expected you of all people to end up going domestic. I would’ve figured you’d have gone up north with the others.”
“There’s no food up north.” Shelby replied, “Tevam Sound’s small but it’s got a steady, rotating supply of fresh blood.”
“And I’m sure that’s the only reason you stayed.” I teased. Through the rearview mirror, I could catch her glaring at me.
“I have a good friend in town. We have an arrangement. I reached out to a friend of mine. There’s a cottage a few hours from here owned by a ‘Kate Silver.’ I thought it might be a good place to look.”
“Kate Silver?” Della asked.

“Kate was one of the sisters who was kicked out with Kayla and the only one who isn’t accounted for. A lot of Sisters use the name of their community as a surname. Kate was always kinda a yes man. If I had to take a guess, I’d say she’s still with Kayla.”
“It’s a good place to start.” I said, “So. What’s the address?”
“415 Kings Trail. It’s a little bit past Sudbury but it’s right on the water and out of our territory. Not a bad place to hide if you ask me.”
“Isn’t that a little far from Toronto?” Della asked.
“It is, but even if Kate isn’t involved she might lead us to Kayla.” I replied. “We might as well talk to her.”
Della put the address into her phone and I looked back at Shelby. She was already looking at her own phone and tapping away at it.

“You sure you’re okay leaving your friend alone?”
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t know she’d be alright.” She replied. “Trust me. She can take care of herself. Just keep your eyes on the road and your head out of your ass and everything will turn out fine.”
I nodded and looked ahead at the road.

It was around 1 in the afternoon when we made it to the cottage. The sky was overcast and the air had a winter chill to it. The roads were nearly empty. Next to nobody was up in cottage country at that time of year. It was a lonely place that would’ve been a perfect place to hide. King’s Trail ran adjacent to a lake and a wispy mist hovered over the surface of the water.
“We got a new email from Davis.” Della said as we drove along the narrow road, “Looks like our number of victims has gone up to about thirty seven. Almost all of them were found in water. Most of them were killed during the past month.”
“Where exactly were they found?” I asked.
“All over the place. French River, Parry Sound, Gravenhurst, Barrie…”
“So between Sudbury and Toronto.” Shelby said, “I guess she commutes.”

I spotted a sign for 415 and turned down the driveway.
“It also places her in this area.” I said. The cottage ahead of us looked run down. Its wood paneling looked as if it was peeling off the exterior and had outright fallen off in some places. It looked abandoned but I spotted a blue Ford truck parked in the driveway. Somebody was clearly home.
I parked my sedan behind it before getting out.
“Why travel such a long distance though?” Della asked as she got out.
“Supply, probably.” Shelby replied, “I’d imagine you need to feed every few days, don’t you?” She asked.
“Yeah. Just about.” Della said.

“Well, it’s the same for us. Now, if you’re not killing your prey you can let them rest and come back to them when they’ve had time to recover. If you’re smart, you can get yourself a bunch of dumbass frat boys who think with their dicks and sorta just farm them. It’s still a fair hunt but you’re not depleting your supply. Start killing them on the other hand though…”
“It makes the hunt that much harder.” I finished as I approached the cottage. The lights inside were out. I couldn’t smell anyone inside although there was a faint stink of decay in the air that made me uneasy.
I tried the door. It was locked.
“Let me have a look at that.” Shelby said before she pushed past me. She tried the door as well before violently throwing her weight against it. Part of the door splintered as it swung open.

“Jesus…” I heard Della murmur under her breath as Shelby gestured for us to go inside. The interior of the cottage looked empty. There had once been furniture inside but now it looked as if it had been removed. The place seemed abandoned, save for the smell.
“Something died in here.” I noted as I walked into the cottages kitchen.
“Oh, really? Did your enhanced fucking senses pick that up?” Shelby asked. “Christ… Was she storing bodies in here? What the hell?” She covered her mouth and nose before entering the house after me.

The stink of death was overpowering. I doubted that Shelby could’ve found its source but I could. I wandered from the kitchen and into the hallway. The smell was coming from the bathroom and I braced myself for what I’d find in there as I pushed the door open. The bathtub was filled with water, and I could see the corpse of a woman floating inside. She’d been dead for some time, that much was clear. Her hands and feet were both bound with thick rope. It looked as if she’d been left to drown.

I covered my mouth with my sleeve at the sight of her and made myself step forwards. My eyes immediately went to her neck, looking for signs that she’d been bitten but I saw nothing. Instead, through her partially open mouth I glimpsed the jagged teeth of a siren.
“What is it?” Della called from behind me. She’d stayed outside, by the front door.
“We’ve got another body here!” I called and I could hear Shelby coming up behind me. She paused in the doorway as she saw the body, her eyes widening.
“Shit...” She murmured before hurrying to the side of the tub. “It’s Kate.”

“What happened to her?” I asked and watched as Shelby reached into the water. She lifted up Kate’s shirt, exposing her gills before grimacing in disgust.
“Someone stuffed her gills…” She said quietly.
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“They drowned her.” Shelby said, “Put something in her gills so she couldn’t breathe. Look at this…”
Slowly she reached into one of the gills and pulled out something round and dark red. I couldn’t tell what it was at first.
“Cotton balls… Fucking cotton balls. Fuck me…”

“You think Kayla did this?” I asked.
“Who the fuck else would’ve done it?” Shelby snapped. She looked down at the body again before forcing herself to exhale and shake her head.
“This… This is sick. She fucking tortured her! Hell, she didn’t even have the common fucking decency to bury her! She should be in the lake, buried! Not left up here to stink and rot! I-...”She stopped herself before going further and tried to force herself to be composed.
“I’ll need to make sure she’s properly buried before we leave… If you need pictures, evidence. Whatever. Just… Do it now…”
I managed a half nod before taking out my camera. I made it quick.

With the body documented, I left the cottage so Shelby could do what she needed to. Della was standing down by the floating dock, looking out over the misty lake. She looked back at me as I came down to join her.
“Is everything alright?” She asked.
“Yeah…” I replied, feeling tired. I smoothed down my hair as I looked out over the lake.
“The body belonged to Kate. Shelby’s asked to bury it. I think this just confirms that it’s Kayla we’re after.”
“That’s good, isn’t it?” Della asked. I gave a half nod.

“Yeah. The FRB will put out an alert on her. She’ll turn up soon enough…”
“You don’t sound too happy about that.” She noted.
“I’m fine with it. It’s just…” I paused. “She tortured one of her own. A friend from the sounds of it… Who does something like that? Who murders one of their own just because?”
“People do it all the time.” Della said, “I’ve killed people before.”
“Not for the hell of it you didn’t.” I rubbed my temple before sighing. “We’ll look through the cottage after Shelby’s done. See if we can’t find any hint as to where Kayla went.”

I felt Della reach for my hand and let her lace her fingers with mine. For a moment, we just stood there together in silence. In my pocket, I felt my phone buzz and shifted away from her so I could answer it. The number on the display belonged to Davis.
“Davis.” I said as I answered, “Good to hear from you.”
“How’s it going, Marsh?” He replied, “I think you’d be happy to hear that a neighbor just brought us little May Swanson about an hour ago. She’s safe.”
I let out a breath that I didn’t know I’d been holding.

“Perfect… I think I’ve got an ID on our killer. I’ll give you a full update when we meet up later. How’s the kid doing?”
“Scared but unharmed.” Davis said, “Seems like she got a good look at the killer but I’m having trouble getting any details out of her aside from the fact that she drove a blue truck.”
A blue truck.

My eyes shifted over to the blue Ford that was parked by the cottage. I’d assumed that it was Kates although if it had been sitting there for as long as she had, it should have been covered in fallen leaves and snow… It wasn’t.
“Excuse me? A blue truck?” I asked.
“My guess is the kid bolted and hid as soon as her parents got attacked. She must’ve seen the killer driving off.”
I traded a look with Della. She was looking at the truck too now. If that was Kayla’s truck, then she’d been at the cottage recently.

Or she was still there.

Where would a siren at a lakeside cottage hide?

Dellas head shifted to the side, looking over at some movement although she had no time to react before the dock was thrown upwards. Something burst out of the water beside it and as it did, the dock was violently upturned. Della was tossed into the water and as the spray fell I saw the figure of a woman standing in the lake, her eyes fixated on me.

Kayla.

It had been years since I’d seen her, but I recognized her all the same. Her long brown hair clung to her face and that cocky look in her eye was impossible to forget. I dropped my phone and went for the pistol in my belt, but by the time I drew it Kayla had already closed the distance between us. She grabbed the gun in my hand and violently ripped it from my grasp. Her other hand gripped me by the throat and with the same effort one might use to dispatch a child, she slammed me against the ground.
“Well, well. Robert Marsh, wasn’t it?” She coyly hissed. “It’s been a long time, hasn’t it handsome?”
She pressed my gun against my forehead, a knowing smile on her lips.

“Credit where it’s due. I wasn’t expecting someone like you to pop in before I was done cleaning up. But hey, shit happens, right?” She tossed the wet hair out of her eyes. “Well. Let’s just call it a happy little accident, shall we? What was that you were just saying on the phone, that kid finally turned up? Good news, right? I was kinda hoping she’d freeze to death but hey, at least I know for sure and that’s what matters! I appreciate the helping hand…”

I saw her finger tighten on the trigger and I looked her dead in the eye. If she was going to shoot me, I at least didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of making me cower. I don’t think it mattered to her either way. All I saw in her was a cold, sadistic anticipation.
“Kayla!”
At the sound of Shelby’s voice, I saw a new expression cross Kayla’s face. Concern. She looked over towards the cottage, to where Shelby stood just outside the back door. I could see a rage on her fact that even made me a little nervous. Kayla on the other hand seemed amused by it.
“Well, well. Hey there Shelby.” She said, “Did the Count here rope you into this? I thought you’d gone native.”
“Leave the vampire alone. We know what you’ve done. You’ve gone way too far this time. You’re not going to outrun it.”

“What? Are you going to have a word with the Elders?” Kayla scoffed, “Please. I know what happened to Silver Lake. There’s nothing left. The Elders are dead, as are our sisters. It’s only you and me now. The last two sisters of Silver Lake.”
“You lost your right to be called Sister when you were exiled!” Shelby snarled.
“Did I? Well then I suppose there goes any incentive I might’ve had not to kill you too.”
Kayla moved to aim the gun at Shelby and in doing so I saw my window and took it. I grabbed at her arm and forced it towards my mouth. She may have been physically stronger than me, but she still bled when bit. Her warm blood filled my mouth as I sank my teeth into her arm and for just a moment, her grip on the gun loosened.

She jerked backwards and I managed to kick her off of me. The gun fell from her grasp and I grabbed at it. From the corner of my eye, I saw Kayla’s eyes dart between myself and Shelby, who’d taken off towards her at a sprint. The woman wasn’t a fool. She knew she was outnumbered. As I tried to aim the gun at her, Kayla kicked me in the jaw before taking off towards her truck. She only barely made it there before Shelby reached her and slammed her into the grille of the Ford, pinning her against it.
“You lured the prey to Silver Lake.” Shelby snarled, “You were the one who doomed it! Their blood is on your hands.”

Kayla gritted her teeth and drove her first into Shelby’s neck, I heard her gag as she struggled to breathe. With a cry of exertion, Shelby was hurled to the ground as Kayla scrambled to the cabin of her truck. By the time Shelby was on her feet again, the engine had roared to life. The truck shot forwards, throwing Shelby up onto the hood where she rolled off and hit the ground in a heap. I forced myself up to my feet and took aim at the windshield. I only got off two shots before the truck hit me too and sent me back to the ground. My ears were ringing but I could see Kayla’s truck shoot backwards. Its rear crashed against my sedan before veering off the side of the driveway and backing out onto the road. A moment later, she was gone leaving only the sound of squealing rubber in her wake.

I could see Shelby starting to pick herself up, wincing in pain as she did. From the corner of my eye, I watched Della crawling out of the lake. She rushed to my side as I made myself stand.
“She’s going after the Swanson kid…” I rasped. “We’ve got to warn Davis.” I spotted my phone on the ground nearby and gestured to it. Della picked it up. She handed it to me and I dialed the number. Shelby stared bitterly in the direction Kayla had driven off in. She was ahead of us, but we weren’t out of the fight yet.

Part of me had hoped that we’d catch up to Kayla on the road, but we didn’t see a single trace of her. I wondered if perhaps she’d only suggested she was going after the child to throw us off. Send us back to Toronto so she could go elsewhere. I wasn’t going to bet on that, though. It was past sunset by the time we made it back to Toronto. We didn’t bother heading to Davis’ office. We knew he wouldn’t be there and neither would May Swanson. Rick Davis was many things but naive, he wasn’t.

Instead, we headed towards the city's west end, Etobicoke. It had been some time since I’d needed to visit Davis’ apartment there. It wasn’t his home. I’d never actually been to his home before, but I’d been to the apartment. He and a few of his associates had used it before as a safehouse. If there were any place he’d take May Swanson, it would be there. The apartment was in a more suburban part of town, in a duplex on a quiet and unassuming street. I parked the sedan out front and got out. My body was still a little sore from being run over by a mermaid serial killer earlier, but I knew I could manage.
“Doesn’t look like Kayla found him.” Della noted as we got out and went for the front door. I paused as soon as I noticed that it was open just a crack. Immediately I went for my gun and pushed my way inside. The apartment was dark but I could smell fresh blood. In the dim light, I could see a man lying against the wall. Alive, but wounded. Davis.

I swore under my breath and rushed to his side and heard him groan in pain. I could see the gash in his neck. He was losing blood. Fast. I put some pressure on his wound, trying to stop the bleeding if I could.
“Marsh…” He rasped. “The kid…”
“She’s here.” I called to the others, “She’s got the kid!”
I could hear Della behind me, her hand replaced my own to put pressure on Davis’ wound. Outside, I could hear the roar of an engine. We’d just missed her.

I took off like a shot, rushing past Shelby through the door and back out onto the street. I could see the taillights of the truck just down the street and I took aim. It was reckless, but I had no other choice. I squeezed off three shots before I heard the pop of Kayla’s rear tires. Her truck swerved and jerked, careening into another parked car. The Ford all but crushed it.

I kept my gun raised as I approached the crash. I saw one of the truck doors swing open. The small shape of a child dropped out onto the street and desperately tried to run. The driver's side door opened and I watched as Kayla stepped out. She straightened the ranchers hat on her head before fixing me in a frustrated glare.
“Terrible timing, Marsh.” She hissed. “Absolutely fucking terrible.”
“You’re not getting the kid, Kayla.” I said. “It’s over.”

“Oh? It’s over, says the prissy little vampire cop?” She scoffed, “You think I’m going to throw in the towel just because you tell me to? I’ve been an apex fucking predator for longer than you’ve been alive, vampire! It’s in my blood! My very nature! There’s no changing it. I am what I am, and what I am sweetheart… Is fucking hungry!

She took a step towards me, but I wasn’t going to let her close the distance this time. I pulled the trigger. The bullet struck her in the shoulder but it didn’t stop her. She threw herself at me and not a single bullet I fired was enough to slow her down. Then from the corner of my eye I saw movement. Something grabbed her and yanked her to the side, forcing her to the ground. In the streetlights, I saw Shelby standing over Kayla, keeping her pinned.
“Sorry, cowgirl. But the bullshit stops now!"

She snarled before breaking her nose. Her hands closed around Kayla’s throat, ready to choke the life out of her and I put a hand on Shelby’s shoulder. I kept my gun trained Kayla.
“Don’t!” I warned her.
“Why? You know she deserves it. We should stuff her gills… Drown her like she drowned Kate…”
“Not right here, Shelby.”
She opened her mouth to protest before she saw exactly what I meant.

The gunshots and commotion hadn’t gone unnoticed. People had come out of their houses. Countless eyes were upon us. This wasn’t the place to put a mad dog down, even if she had it coming. I saw Shelby’s grip on Kayla’s neck loosen. I kept my gun trained on her head, but she was out cold. She’d stay that way until the distant police sirens made it to us.

Detective Davis was lucky, as was May Swanson. Both came out of that night alive. I suppose Kayla was lucky that she did too… It wasn’t easy to keep Shelby from finishing the job behind closed doors, but I managed to convince her to settle for detention. It was a small comfort to see Kayla shipped off somewhere where I doubted she’d ever see the light of day again. Personally, I wouldn’t have minded seeing her put down, but I don’t make those rules. All I do is enforce them as best I can.

When Della and I parted ways with Shelby back in Tevam Sound the next day, I honestly was hoping I’d see her again and maybe I will. Only under better circumstances. Maybe next time, I can see what kind of life she’s carved out for herself. Maybe someday I can have one of my own.
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2020.11.28 16:35 HeadOfSpectre The Siren

One thing I’ve learned throughout my long life is that people aren’t as different from every other species on earth as they think they are. What some might call the traits that make us human aren’t all that exclusive to us. Rats are capable of empathy, gibbons form families that are much like our own and elephants mourn their dead just like we do. The emotional complexity of the other creatures on this earth is a fascinating subject… but there is a dark side to it.

Dolphins are capable of rape. Polar bears have been known to cannibalize each other and killing just for fun is a common behavior exhibited by many predators. Hell, if you looked through the animal kingdom I’m confident you’d find them committing just about every single abominable act under the sun. The only thing that really sets humanity apart is that we’re a little more self aware. We’re not above the depravity but we try to be. Maybe that counts for something. I really can’t say.

What fascinates me though, are the things that imitate humanity. Those beings who look like us, act like us and talk like us but aren’t strictly speaking human. I’m sure you’ve heard of Fae, for instance. They’re all over the spectrum. They’re intelligent (mostly) and although a few of the less human-like groups have no interest in pretending; some of them are damn near indistinguishable from anyone you’d pass on the street. You could drive yourself mad wondering about the nature of humanity. Where it begins or what is it that truly separates us from the animals. Intelligence, self awareness, empathy or something else entirely? I myself couldn’t even begin to come up with an answer and that’s a shame. You see, I hunt monsters for a living. You wouldn’t think it would be difficult to tell the difference between a person and an animal, but when most of the people you deal with aren’t technically human, that line can easily blur. It’s always those cases that stay with me. Putting down a mindless animal is one thing but going up against something that’s not all that different from you… Well… That’s a lot more complicated.

My name is Robert Marsh and I’m not exactly human myself. Not anymore. It shouldn’t be surprising that I’ve had quite a bit of experience with the supernatural… enough so that when it starts threatening regular people, I’m the one they call.

The International Fae Relations Bureaus Department of Public Safety didn’t normally poke their heads into isolated incidents. Strange bodies turning up every now and again were small potatoes. As grim as it sounds, shit happens. People run into all sorts of nasty creatures from time to time. There’s no way to stop it. However when a pattern comes up, that’s something they can’t ignore and when the latest incident involves a whole family of five turning up dead, that’s when I get a call.

The Swanson's had been a moderately well off family, living in a pretty house off of a country road. Well off the beaten path. It was an hours drive from my modest little apartment but at least I didn’t make it alone.

Della Rose, a woman with whom I’d had a complicated relationship with in the past sat beside me. When we’d first met and dated, she’d been just an ordinary girl and contrary to what pop culture might have some people believe, romance between ordinary girls and vampires doesn’t ever end well. It had been a few months since she’d come back into my life and circumstance had made it necessary to curse her with the same immortality that I tolerated. It had been a hasty decision, but better than leaving her to die. I didn’t turn her for the sake of company. I’m not quite that selfish… If there was a future for us, we weren’t quite ready for that discussion. For the time being, I was content to simply help her adjust to her new eternal life and to that end, she’d been helping me with my work. It had been years since I’d had a partner and so far, that arrangement had worked out nicely.

I could see the flashing lights of the police sirens cutting through the dark, marking the Swanson house as we drew near and pulled up the long driveway. I caught the eyes of a couple wary uniformed officers as we pulled up to the house but they didn’t try and stop me. Near the front door, I could see the shadow of a portly man in his forties. I recognized him even before I saw his face. Detective Rick Davis. An old friend of mine.

As Della and I got out of the car, Davis waited for us in the doorway. He took a final drag on his cigarette and watched us as we approached the door before he snuffed it and let us in.
“Nice to see you again Marsh.” He said. All business as usual. The inside of the Swanson house looked almost immaculately clean. You could have probably used it as a showhome. It was just the three of us in the house. As per standard protocol, the other officers had been removed from the scene prior to our arrival. It was better that they not see too much of us.

“Always a pleasure, Detective.” I replied. His gaze lingered on Della, a hint of mistrust in his eyes although he kept his mouth shut about that. “What are we looking at?” I asked. Best to keep things on track. Davis nodded towards the stairway.
“Bodies are upstairs in the main bedroom. Four victims. Two adults, two children.” He said.
“Four victims?” I asked, “I heard it was a family of five.”
“The youngest child, May is currently missing. We think that maybe they might have fled. We’ve got some officers searching for her now.”
“You think they ran?” I asked. Davis just shrugged and turned to lead us up the stairs.
“Possibly. I can’t imagine our perp was interested in kidnapping given the mess they left.”
He led us into the bedroom and stopped outside the door.
“See for yourself.”

I nodded at him before opening the door. I’d seen my fair share of corpses in the past, but seeing a child had never gotten easier. I’d known what I was walking into and grimaced at the sight of the still bodies on the floor. Beside me, Della let out a quiet gasp.
“Jesus…” She murmured as I stepped inside.
The man who used to be Mr. Swanson was on the bed, naked as the day he’d been born. His body was as pale as alabaster. His wife lay close to the door, crumpled on the floor and her two children were scattered about close to her.

The first thing I noticed was the blood, or the lack of it. Mr. Swanson had almost none around him although I could clearly see several bite marks on his body. Most of them were on his shoulders and some of them looked as if they’d been healing. Most of them. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that the ragged chunk torn out of his throat had been what had killed him. His wife and children on the other hand hadn’t been drained. They had been bitten, that much was clear but their bodies each had one single, fatal bite to the throat. From the look of it, they hadn’t fought much either. I imagined all three of them, lined up by the bed and quietly waiting their turn as the killer picked them off methodically…

“What did this? Della asked quietly, “Another vampire?” She stood over the bodies of the wife and children, careful to avoid stepping in the pool of blood that stained the carpet beneath them.
“Vampires aren’t the only hemovores out there.” I murmured as I leaned over the body of Mr. Swanson. I shifted his head to get a better look at the wound in his neck. The bite looked jagged, as if the flesh had been torn at. I studied the healing bites on his shoulders as well. Those looked to be a few days old. The bites been cleaner and hadn’t gotten much treatment.

“What else could have done this?” Della asked.
“My guess? A Siren.” I said before standing up. I gestured for her to join me by Mr. Swanson's corpse. “See the bite marks on his shoulders? Those are a few days old. They were healing. That’s usually where most sirens bite. Reduces the chance of killing the prey. If they go for the throat, well…”
Della looked at the ragged wound in Mr. Swanson's throat. She got the point.
“Bite pattern looks consistent too.” I noted, “Sirens have a mouth like a shark. Made to rip and tear… A siren would also explain the position of the bodies.”
“How?” Della asked. From the corner of my eye, I saw Davis leaning against the doorframe, listening intently.
“Well, what do we know about sirens from mythology?” I asked.

“They sing?” Della asked. She looked at me, then at Davis for confirmation.
“They hypnotize.” Davis said. “And they’re supposedly so beautiful that they’re irresistible to men. Like a honey trap, right?”
“More or less.” I said. “Reality isn’t all that far off. Most Sirens are female. They tend to target men looking for sex and then feed off them. They’re hemovores, just like us only they’ve also got a natural hypnosis to make the process easier. It doesn’t work on everyone, but it might explain why the wife and kids just stood there while our killer picked them off. They probably walked in on dinner.”
“Why not drain the wife and kids though?” Della asked.
“The stomach can only hold so much blood.” She’d already drained the husband. That’s enough to keep her fed for days.”
“So that’s it then.” Davis said, “I don’t suppose a siren might be behind the other bodies we’ve found?”

“It’s possible.” I said. “These days you don’t see as many siren deaths and you shouldn’t see any this close to Toronto… It doesn’t add up. They usually stay away from urban areas and most of their communities have rules against killing these days. It’s easier to stay hidden without bodies piling up. It still happens from time to time. Victims tend to get… addicted to them. They keep seeking the siren out. She accidentally takes too much, too fast and hides the body.”
“Well as of tonight, we’re at eleven victims in the past three weeks so obviously something isn’t right.” Davis said.
“Eleven?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. “Just like this?”
“That we know about. I can send you the reports. Same bite marks, same lack of blood. The whole shebang.” Davis replied.
“Why wasn’t the FRB contacted sooner?”

He shrugged.
“Most of them were nobodies. Bums downtown and all that jazz. A few were found in the water. We had no way to confirm anything strange was afoot… At least until now.”
“Christ…” I rubbed my temples. This wasn’t good. “That’s just in the GTA, right? What about outside? Northern Ontario, Quebec, maybe around the border?”
“I can check.” Davis said, “What exactly are you looking for?”
“I want to know where she’s hunting.” I replied, “Then maybe we can figure out where she’s coming from. There aren’t any active siren communities anywhere near the GTA so she’s got to be a stray.”
I watched as Davis scribbled some notes down in his pad.

“Get that information to me as soon as you can… In the meanwhile, I’m going to reach out to an old friend. See if she might know something.”
“A friend?” Davis asked.
“Somewhat. She might know a thing or two about any other sirens in the area. Maybe she’ll have an idea as to who we’re looking for.”
Davis gave a nod before closing his notepad.
“Alright then. I’ll let you know what I can dig up. I’ll leave you to finish up here.”
I nodded in return before taking out my camera to document the scene.

When Della and I left the Swanson house, we didn’t head back to our apartment. The night was young and it was the ideal time for a long drive. I could sense Dellas unease as she sat beside me. She didn’t need to say what was on her mind for me to know what was bothering her.
“It’s okay to be upset, you know.” I said. “It doesn’t get easier, no matter how long you live.”
“I don’t know if I should be comforted by that or not…” She murmured, “The smell was what bothered me the most. I could smell them starting to… Jesus…”
I offered her a comforting hand and she quietly took it.
“I get killing the wife to cover her tracks but the kids… What does that? I thought you told me Sirens weren’t that much different than us?”

“Most aren’t.” I replied. “Eleven victims though. Probably more… Think about it. You and I can feed without killing a person. Sirens can do the same. So why leave that big of a trail?”
Della grimaced. She didn’t answer, but she knew what I was getting at.
Our killer wasn’t killing for food. She was killing for fun.

Tevam Sound was almost a four hour drive away but it was more than worth it. Della and I spent some of the evening in an inexpensive motel in town before I went out looking for my contact. I knew she wasn’t going to be happy to see me, but the only other Siren I knew wasn’t exactly a local. I needed someone who was.

Shelby looked like an attractive girl in her mid twenties with short red curls and green eyes that seemed to shimmer like sunlight on the surface of a lake. She favored cutoff shorts and loose fitting tops that showed off her body and only barely hid the gills on her sides. At a glance, it would’ve been hard not to admire her and that was probably exactly what she wanted. Della and I just so happened to run into her at the local drug store. She’d been in one of the aisles when she spotted us and the moment she saw us, she knew it wasn’t an accident. I could see her brow furrow slightly and the ever so slight tense of her muscles. She watched me closely as I approached her, holding her ground as if she expected a fight.

“Well, well. Robert Marsh.” She said as I drew nearer. “Look, if you’re here about the cat food incident. It’s been thirty years. Just let it go.”
“Cat food incident?” Della asked. I ignored her.
“It’s nice to see you too, Shelby. You look nice. How’s domestic life treating you?”
Her lip curled upwards in an irritated snarl, exposing some of her jagged teeth.

“Peaceful and quiet.” She replied after a moment's hesitation. “I know this isn’t a social call. What do you want?”
“Why don’t we talk about that in private?” I asked. She scoffed.
“You ambush me at the drug store and then ask if we can talk in private? Seriously?”
“I knew you wouldn’t answer the door if I came to your house.”
“So you followed me?” She asked, then raised an eyebrow at Della. “Who’s the broad, and why didn’t she try to talk some sense into you?”
“This is Della. She’s a close friend.” I said.
“Is she now? And here I always thought you were gay... I’m in a hurry so talk fast.”
She picked a bottle of aspirin off the shelf and dropped it into the basket she had slung over one arm before continuing down the aisle. I followed her.

“I was hoping you might be able to help me find another Siren.”
“What? I’m not good enough for you?” She asked.
“A specific Siren. She’s left a hell of a trail of bodies.”
“Well it’s not me. I get my blood from tinder and I don’t leave bodies.”
Shelby rounded a corner and headed into another aisle where she stopped to look through the selection of tea.
“I figured it wasn’t. I’m looking for a stray. The kind that kills for fun.”
She paused. I saw a flicker in her eyes.

“I’ve got eleven bodies in the GTA over the past three weeks and I’m positive there’s more that haven’t been found yet.”
“Of course there’s more.” She said quietly before sighing, “Anybody get a good look at her?”
“There might be one witness but they’re MIA.” I said. “I don’t suppose there was anyone you can think of from the community at Silver Lake before… well…”
“Before everyone died. You don’t need to tiptoe around it. I got my closure. I’ve moved on.” Shelby said. “What kind of tea is best for headaches? I can’t tell the difference.”
“Ginger root or peppermint.” I said. She took one box of each.

“Any sister who was at Silver Lake is either dead or fled further north.” She said thoughtfully, “I doubt you’d have any luck asking around up there… I do remember that there was an incident about a year before everything went tits up though. A couple sisters had gotten bold and were luring prey into the community. I’m pretty sure Kayla was the one in charge. You remember her, right? The one with the stupid cowboy hat. Anyways, turns out some of the prey they lured was a little too young and she was always way too kill happy. They pushed the envelope a little too far, too many times and got kicked out for their trouble. Too little, too late if you ask me. It was probably their little stunt that led to the community getting discovered and wiped out.”
“Do you know where they went afterwards?” I asked. Shelby shrugged.

“I can’t say… I might’ve heard something about another sister in the area though…” She paused to think for a moment. “Yeah… Yeah, some of the students down at the University were having a party and I usually stop by since it’s easy pickings. I saw this one guy at the bar who was drunk off his ass and talking about a girl he’d fucked who’d bitten him. I guess it kinda sounded like Kayla. It definitely wasn’t me... I don’t exactly follow through with my prey. My sexual preference is dinner, so I tend to eat and run. But other than that I haven’t seen any signs of another sister in the area.”
“You didn’t happen to catch his name, did you?” Della asked hopefully.
“The bartender called him Derrick, I think? I haven’t seen him around since.”
Della went for her phone to message Davis.
“Is there anything else you might know?” I asked, “Anything at all?”

“Hate to say it but that’s all I’ve got.” Shelby said with a shrug. “Kayla’s gang are the only strays in the area I know about although most of them ditched her shortly after they got kicked out. One of them got killed for hunting in our territory and I heard another found a home south of the border. As for Kayla and her third friend, they dropped off the face of the earth… Could be you’re after two sisters. Either way, watch your ass. Especially if it is Kayla.”
“Noted.” I murmured.
“Davis says that Derrick Jackson’s body was found in Mississauga last week. Drained of blood, just like the others.” Della said, looking up at me and Shelby. “If Kayla was the one who attacked him…”
“She would’ve wanted to finish the job.” Shelby said. She pursed her lips before she sighed.
“Fuck me… Regardless of whether or not it is her, you two are going to have a hell of a time against a sister.”
“Are you offering to help?” I asked.

Offering.” She scoffed, “That’s funny. You’re not going to take out a sister without another sister on your side and as much and I don’t really feel all warm and fuzzy about sending you to get killed, even if you are a whiny prick.”
“We took down a ghoul a few weeks ago.” Della said, “It can’t be that much harder, can it?”
“My 1200 year old mother could pop a ghouls skull and she’s been dead for fifty years.” She replied. “Look, I’ve got to take care of something first. Make some arrangements and all that… But I can be ready to go in an hour. Maybe two.”
“We can wait around.'' I replied.”
“No shit, Count Fagula. One hour. I’ll meet you back at my place. It’ll be just like old times.” She clapped me on the shoulder before turning to leave us. As soon as she was gone, Della looked over at me.

“So…” She asked, “How exactly do you two know each other?”
“It’s complicated.” I replied, “I’ll tell you later. Right now, I think I need a drink.”

True to her word, we met up with Shelby about an hour later. She carried a small backpack with her and stood waiting by the front porch of a small but quaint suburban house. I thought I could see someone watching from the upstairs windows, but I didn’t get a good look at them.
“Everything taken care of?” I asked as Shelby got into my back seat.
“It’s fine. Let’s just get this over with.” She replied as I took off.
“I have to say, I never expected you of all people to end up going domestic. I would’ve figured you’d have gone up north with the others.”
“There’s no food up north.” Shelby replied, “Tevam Sound’s small but it’s got a steady, rotating supply of fresh blood.”
“And I’m sure that’s the only reason you stayed.” I teased. Through the rearview mirror, I could catch her glaring at me.
“I have a good friend in town. We have an arrangement. I reached out to a friend of mine. There’s a cottage a few hours from here owned by a ‘Kate Silver.’ I thought it might be a good place to look.”
“Kate Silver?” Della asked.

“Kate was one of the sisters who was kicked out with Kayla and the only one who isn’t accounted for. A lot of Sisters use the name of their community as a surname. Kate was always kinda a yes man. If I had to take a guess, I’d say she’s still with Kayla.”
“It’s a good place to start.” I said, “So. What’s the address?”
“415 Kings Trail. It’s a little bit past Sudbury but it’s right on the water and out of our territory. Not a bad place to hide if you ask me.”
“Isn’t that a little far from Toronto?” Della asked.
“It is, but even if Kate isn’t involved she might lead us to Kayla.” I replied. “We might as well talk to her.”
Della put the address into her phone and I looked back at Shelby. She was already looking at her own phone and tapping away at it.

“You sure you’re okay leaving your friend alone?”
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t know she’d be alright.” She replied. “Trust me. She can take care of herself. Just keep your eyes on the road and your head out of your ass and everything will turn out fine.”
I nodded and looked ahead at the road.

It was around 1 in the afternoon when we made it to the cottage. The sky was overcast and the air had a winter chill to it. The roads were nearly empty. Next to nobody was up in cottage country at that time of year. It was a lonely place that would’ve been a perfect place to hide. King’s Trail ran adjacent to a lake and a wispy mist hovered over the surface of the water.
“We got a new email from Davis.” Della said as we drove along the narrow road, “Looks like our number of victims has gone up to about thirty seven. Almost all of them were found in water. Most of them were killed during the past month.”
“Where exactly were they found?” I asked.
“All over the place. French River, Parry Sound, Gravenhurst, Barrie…”
“So between Sudbury and Toronto.” Shelby said, “I guess she commutes.”

I spotted a sign for 415 and turned down the driveway.
“It also places her in this area.” I said. The cottage ahead of us looked run down. Its wood paneling looked as if it was peeling off the exterior and had outright fallen off in some places. It looked abandoned but I spotted a blue Ford truck parked in the driveway. Somebody was clearly home.
I parked my sedan behind it before getting out.
“Why travel such a long distance though?” Della asked as she got out.
“Supply, probably.” Shelby replied, “I’d imagine you need to feed every few days, don’t you?” She asked.
“Yeah. Just about.” Della said.

“Well, it’s the same for us. Now, if you’re not killing your prey you can let them rest and come back to them when they’ve had time to recover. If you’re smart, you can get yourself a bunch of dumbass frat boys who think with their dicks and sorta just farm them. It’s still a fair hunt but you’re not depleting your supply. Start killing them on the other hand though…”
“It makes the hunt that much harder.” I finished as I approached the cottage. The lights inside were out. I couldn’t smell anyone inside although there was a faint stink of decay in the air that made me uneasy.
I tried the door. It was locked.
“Let me have a look at that.” Shelby said before she pushed past me. She tried the door as well before violently throwing her weight against it. Part of the door splintered as it swung open.

“Jesus…” I heard Della murmur under her breath as Shelby gestured for us to go inside. The interior of the cottage looked empty. There had once been furniture inside but now it looked as if it had been removed. The place seemed abandoned, save for the smell.
“Something died in here.” I noted as I walked into the cottages kitchen.
“Oh, really? Did your enhanced fucking senses pick that up?” Shelby asked. “Christ… Was she storing bodies in here? What the hell?” She covered her mouth and nose before entering the house after me.

The stink of death was overpowering. I doubted that Shelby could’ve found its source but I could. I wandered from the kitchen and into the hallway. The smell was coming from the bathroom and I braced myself for what I’d find in there as I pushed the door open. The bathtub was filled with water, and I could see the corpse of a woman floating inside. She’d been dead for some time, that much was clear. Her hands and feet were both bound with thick rope. It looked as if she’d been left to drown.

I covered my mouth with my sleeve at the sight of her and made myself step forwards. My eyes immediately went to her neck, looking for signs that she’d been bitten but I saw nothing. Instead, through her partially open mouth I glimpsed the jagged teeth of a siren.
“What is it?” Della called from behind me. She’d stayed outside, by the front door.
“We’ve got another body here!” I called and I could hear Shelby coming up behind me. She paused in the doorway as she saw the body, her eyes widening.
“Shit...” She murmured before hurrying to the side of the tub. “It’s Kate.”

“What happened to her?” I asked and watched as Shelby reached into the water. She lifted up Kate’s shirt, exposing her gills before grimacing in disgust.
“Someone stuffed her gills…” She said quietly.
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“They drowned her.” Shelby said, “Put something in her gills so she couldn’t breathe. Look at this…”
Slowly she reached into one of the gills and pulled out something round and dark red. I couldn’t tell what it was at first.
“Cotton balls… Fucking cotton balls. Fuck me…”

“You think Kayla did this?” I asked.
“Who the fuck else would’ve done it?” Shelby snapped. She looked down at the body again before forcing herself to exhale and shake her head.
“This… This is sick. She fucking tortured her! Hell, she didn’t even have the common fucking decency to bury her! She should be in the lake, buried! Not left up here to stink and rot! I-...” She stopped herself before going further and tried to force herself to be composed.
“I’ll need to make sure she’s properly buried before we leave… If you need pictures, evidence. Whatever. Just… Do it now…”
I managed a half nod before taking out my camera. I made it quick.

With the body documented, I left the cottage so Shelby could do what she needed to. Della was standing down by the floating dock, looking out over the misty lake. She looked back at me as I came down to join her.
“Is everything alright?” She asked.
“Yeah…” I replied, feeling tired. I smoothed down my hair as I looked out over the lake.
“The body belonged to Kate. Shelby’s asked to bury it. I think this just confirms that it’s Kayla we’re after.”
“That’s good, isn’t it?” Della asked. I gave a half nod.

“Yeah. The FRB will put out an alert on her. She’ll turn up soon enough…”
“You don’t sound too happy about that.” She noted.
“I’m fine with it. It’s just…” I paused. “She tortured one of her own. A friend from the sounds of it… Who does something like that? Who murders one of their own just because?”
“People do it all the time.” Della said, “I’ve killed people before.”
“Not for the hell of it you didn’t.” I rubbed my temple before sighing. “We’ll look through the cottage after Shelby’s done. See if we can’t find any hint as to where Kayla went.”

I felt Della reach for my hand and let her lace her fingers with mine. For a moment, we just stood there together in silence. In my pocket, I felt my phone buzz and shifted away from her so I could answer it. The number on the display belonged to Davis.
“Davis.” I said as I answered, “Good to hear from you.”
“How’s it going, Marsh?” He replied, “I think you’d be happy to hear that a neighbor just brought us little May Swanson about an hour ago. She’s safe.”
I let out a breath that I didn’t know I’d been holding.

“Perfect… I think I’ve got an ID on our killer. I’ll give you a full update when we meet up later. How’s the kid doing?”
“Scared but unharmed.” Davis said, “Seems like she got a good look at the killer but I’m having trouble getting any details out of her aside from the fact that she drove a blue truck.”
A blue truck.

My eyes shifted over to the blue Ford that was parked by the cottage. I’d assumed that it was Kates although if it had been sitting there for as long as she had, it should have been covered in fallen leaves and snow… It wasn’t.
“Excuse me? A blue truck?” I asked.
“My guess is the kid bolted and hid as soon as her parents got attacked. She must’ve seen the killer driving off.”
I traded a look with Della. She was looking at the truck too now. If that was Kayla’s truck, then she’d been at the cottage recently.

Or she was still there.

Where would a siren at a lakeside cottage hide?

Dellas head shifted to the side, looking over at some movement although she had no time to react before the dock was thrown upwards. Something burst out of the water beside it and as it did, the dock was violently upturned. Della was tossed into the water and as the spray fell I saw the figure of a woman standing in the lake, her eyes fixated on me.

Kayla.

It had been years since I’d seen her, but I recognized her all the same. Her long brown hair clung to her face and that cocky look in her eye was impossible to forget. I dropped my phone and went for the pistol in my belt, but by the time I drew it Kayla had already closed the distance between us. She grabbed the gun in my hand and violently ripped it from my grasp. Her other hand gripped me by the throat and with the same effort one might use to dispatch a child, she slammed me against the ground.
“Well, well. Robert Marsh, wasn’t it?” She coyly hissed. “It’s been a long time, hasn’t it handsome?”
She pressed my gun against my forehead, a knowing smile on her lips.

“Credit where it’s due. I wasn’t expecting someone like you to pop in before I was done cleaning up. But hey, shit happens, right?” She tossed the wet hair out of her eyes. “Well. Let’s just call it a happy little accident, shall we? What was that you were just saying on the phone, that kid finally turned up? Good news, right? I was kinda hoping she’d freeze to death but hey, at least I know for sure and that’s what matters! I appreciate the helping hand…”

I saw her finger tighten on the trigger and I looked her dead in the eye. If she was going to shoot me, I at least didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of making me cower. I don’t think it mattered to her either way. All I saw in her was a cold, sadistic anticipation.
“Kayla!”
At the sound of Shelby’s voice, I saw a new expression cross Kayla’s face. Concern. She looked over towards the cottage, to where Shelby stood just outside the back door. I could see a rage on her fact that even made me a little nervous. Kayla on the other hand seemed amused by it.
“Well, well. Hey there Shelby.” She said, “Did the Count here rope you into this? I thought you’d gone native.”
“Leave the vampire alone. We know what you’ve done. You’ve gone way too far this time. You’re not going to outrun it.”

“What? Are you going to have a word with the Elders?” Kayla scoffed, “Please. I know what happened to Silver Lake. There’s nothing left. The Elders are dead, as are our sisters. It’s only you and me now. The last two sisters of Silver Lake.”
“You lost your right to be called Sister when you were exiled!” Shelby snarled.
“Did I? Well then I suppose there goes any incentive I might’ve had not to kill you too.”
Kayla moved to aim the gun at Shelby and in doing so I saw my window and took it. I grabbed at her arm and forced it towards my mouth. She may have been physically stronger than me, but she still bled when bit. Her warm blood filled my mouth as I sank my teeth into her arm and for just a moment, her grip on the gun loosened.

She jerked backwards and I managed to kick her off of me. The gun fell from her grasp and I grabbed at it. From the corner of my eye, I saw Kayla’s eyes dart between myself and Shelby, who’d taken off towards her at a sprint. The woman wasn’t a fool. She knew she was outnumbered. As I tried to aim the gun at her, Kayla kicked me in the jaw before taking off towards her truck. She only barely made it there before Shelby reached her and slammed her into the grille of the Ford, pinning her against it.
“You lured the prey to Silver Lake.” Shelby snarled, “You were the one who doomed it! Their blood is on your hands.”

Kayla gritted her teeth and drove her first into Shelby’s neck, I heard her gag as she struggled to breathe. With a cry of exertion, Shelby was hurled to the ground as Kayla scrambled to the cabin of her truck. By the time Shelby was on her feet again, the engine had roared to life. The truck shot forwards, throwing Shelby up onto the hood where she rolled off and hit the ground in a heap. I forced myself up to my feet and took aim at the windshield. I only got off two shots before the truck hit me too and sent me back to the ground. My ears were ringing but I could see Kayla’s truck shoot backwards. Its rear crashed against my sedan before veering off the side of the driveway and backing out onto the road. A moment later, she was gone leaving only the sound of squealing rubber in her wake.

I could see Shelby starting to pick herself up, wincing in pain as she did. From the corner of my eye, I watched Della crawling out of the lake. She rushed to my side as I made myself stand.
“She’s going after the Swanson kid…” I rasped. “We’ve got to warn Davis.” I spotted my phone on the ground nearby and gestured to it. Della picked it up. She handed it to me and I dialed the number. Shelby stared bitterly in the direction Kayla had driven off in. She was ahead of us, but we weren’t out of the fight yet.

Part of me had hoped that we’d catch up to Kayla on the road, but we didn’t see a single trace of her. I wondered if perhaps she’d only suggested she was going after the child to throw us off. Send us back to Toronto so she could go elsewhere. I wasn’t going to bet on that, though. It was past sunset by the time we made it back to Toronto. We didn’t bother heading to Davis’ office. We knew he wouldn’t be there and neither would May Swanson. Rick Davis was many things but naive, he wasn’t.

Instead, we headed towards the city's west end, Etobicoke. It had been some time since I’d needed to visit Davis’ apartment there. It wasn’t his home. I’d never actually been to his home before, but I’d been to the apartment. He and a few of his associates had used it before as a safehouse. If there were any place he’d take May Swanson, it would be there. The apartment was in a more suburban part of town, in a duplex on a quiet and unassuming street. I parked the sedan out front and got out. My body was still a little sore from being run over by a mermaid serial killer earlier, but I knew I could manage.
“Doesn’t look like Kayla found him.” Della noted as we got out and went for the front door. I paused as soon as I noticed that it was open just a crack. Immediately I went for my gun and pushed my way inside. The apartment was dark but I could smell fresh blood. In the dim light, I could see a man lying against the wall. Alive, but wounded. Davis.

I swore under my breath and rushed to his side and heard him groan in pain. I could see the gash in his neck. He was losing blood. Fast. I put some pressure on his wound, trying to stop the bleeding if I could.
“Marsh…” He rasped. “The kid…”
“She’s here.” I called to the others, “She’s got the kid!”
I could hear Della behind me, her hand replaced my own to put pressure on Davis’ wound. Outside, I could hear the roar of an engine. We’d just missed her.

I took off like a shot, rushing past Shelby through the door and back out onto the street. I could see the taillights of the truck just down the street and I took aim. It was reckless, but I had no other choice. I squeezed off three shots before I heard the pop of Kayla’s rear tires. Her truck swerved and jerked, careening into another parked car. The Ford all but crushed it.

I kept my gun raised as I approached the crash. I saw one of the truck doors swing open. The small shape of a child dropped out onto the street and desperately tried to run. The driver's side door opened and I watched as Kayla stepped out. She straightened the ranchers hat on her head before fixing me in a frustrated glare.
“Terrible timing, Marsh.” She hissed. “Absolutely fucking terrible.”
“You’re not getting the kid, Kayla.” I said. “It’s over.”

“Oh? It’s over, says the prissy little vampire cop?” She scoffed, “You think I’m going to throw in the towel just because you tell me to? I’ve been an apex fucking predator for longer than you’ve been alive, vampire! It’s in my blood! My very nature! There’s no changing it. I am what I am, and what I am sweetheart… Is fucking hungry!

She took a step towards me, but I wasn’t going to let her close the distance this time. I pulled the trigger. The bullet struck her in the shoulder but it didn’t stop her. She threw herself at me and not a single bullet I fired was enough to slow her down. Then from the corner of my eye I saw movement. Something grabbed her and yanked her to the side, forcing her to the ground. In the streetlights, I saw Shelby standing over Kayla, keeping her pinned.
“Sorry, cowgirl. But the bullshit stops now!"

She snarled before breaking her nose. Her hands closed around Kayla’s throat, ready to choke the life out of her and I put a hand on Shelby’s shoulder. I kept my gun trained Kayla.
“Don’t!” I warned her.
“Why? You know she deserves it. We should stuff her gills… Drown her like she drowned Kate…”
“Not right here, Shelby.”
She opened her mouth to protest before she saw exactly what I meant.

The gunshots and commotion hadn’t gone unnoticed. People had come out of their houses. Countless eyes were upon us. This wasn’t the place to put a mad dog down, even if she had it coming. I saw Shelby’s grip on Kayla’s neck loosen. I kept my gun trained on her head, but she was out cold. She’d stay that way until the distant police sirens made it to us.

Detective Davis was lucky, as was May Swanson. Both came out of that night alive. I suppose Kayla was lucky that she did too… It wasn’t easy to keep Shelby from finishing the job behind closed doors, but I managed to convince her to settle for detention. It was a small comfort to see Kayla shipped off somewhere where I doubted she’d ever see the light of day again. Personally, I wouldn’t have minded seeing her put down, but I don’t make those rules. All I do is enforce them as best I can.

When Della and I parted ways with Shelby back in Tevam Sound the next day, I honestly was hoping I’d see her again and maybe I will. Only under better circumstances. Maybe next time, I can see what kind of life she’s carved out for herself. Maybe someday I can have one of my own.
submitted by HeadOfSpectre to HeadOfSpectre [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 14:38 TP-R7 22 [M4F] Hi, Hello!

Edit: It's long. Sorry!🙏
Hi hi! So yeah. I don't know a catchy intro for this but I'm looking for a friend, bordering fwb maybe?
So I've had moderate success with reddit on the relationship front. Granted since quarantine is lasting so long (That's what she said 😃) nothing really ended up being serious. We talk for a while, flirt a bit but end up ghosting each other. Kinda sucks. Hence here I am again.
So what I'm hoping for this time isn't a to-marry relationship (maybe if we last past quarantine). What I'm hoping to find is someone who I can call a safe zone. Someone I can chat with and maybe find a proper connection with, and hopefully we won't get bored with each other. Someone I can have fun talking about casual sfw stuff and someone who we can satisfy each other's carnal desires with. (Sexting and stuff)
A bit about me: - 22, 5'9(ish) who's growing a quarantine belly. - Introverted but will be incredibly open once we get through the awkward phases. - Still studying my 3rd year of college. - I love watching anime, Marvel and DC fan, Old Gods Mythology (Greek, Roman, Egyptian etc) hence Rick Riordan books. - I'm honest to a fault and I try to be sweet and shower people with compliments - A bit of a sadboi (I hate this culture btw. It's shaming guys for showing their feelings and I don't like that) - I try to be very open minded and considerate with my partner (Yes, singular. I have never cheated coz It's fucking stupid.) - I try to be humble and encouraging when I can - I'm awkard as hell but I try to keep a convo going. - I love deep talks. And dogs. And cats. - 100% NOT a DDS
Preferences: - Please be able to carry yourself during convos. (I'm already awkward as is. I can carry a convo but please not always) - Preferably someone around my age - Slim but a bit of belly fat is okay. - NOT a DDS
So let me explain how I was hoping for things to go. I wanna be close to you. I wanna get to know you and really understand who you are. Let's talk whenever we have time. Let's flirt a bit, I'm open to having a relationship but let's just flirt for now. Let's be adults and do adult things with no shaming and only between us. And please be honest with me. If you're tired or fed up or bored with how we have things set up, then tell me and we can say goodbye and move on. Let's not ghost each other please. And if we last past quarantine, let's meet and have a fun time!
So yeah. That's how it is. If you've reach this part, then I hope you're interested. If not then I'm sorry for wasting your precious time. Anyway, my DMs are open so hmu with a bit of an Intro (Hi and hello is very hard to reply to) Good evening!
submitted by TP-R7 to phr4r [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 13:34 TheLastSamurai14 27 [M4F] looking for a potential QPR. (Utah, USA)

Location: Utah, USA
Status: Single
Gender: Male
Pronouns: He/him
Age: 27
Seeking Relationship/Friends/Squish/Other: Queerplatonic relationship/platonic life partner. Essentially friendship + a cuddle buddy, potentially a semi-romantic partner if things naturally escalate over time.
Romantic Orientation: Demi-hetero, alterous (my orientation falls somewhere that isn't quite platonic and isn't quite romantic)
Height/Build: 5'9", slim
Physical Description: Skinny as hell. Short blonde hair, blue eyes, glasses.
Personality Description: I'm quite an affectionate and emotional person.
• I always enjoy giving gifts to my friends and helping them with things, and my only serious relationship involved tons of physical affection.
• I'm an ambivert, in that I'm really shy toward anyone who isn't close to me. I'm very open and honest to those who do connect with me, but I can be hesitant to communicate if there is a possibility of stepping on someone's toes in the process.
• Once I open up, I can be goofy at the drop of a hat, and I love telling bad jokes, as well as sharing dumb memes and Reddit posts.
• I'm very sensitive, regardless of everything. Needing to vent is something that I totally understand, and I am always fine with being a shoulder to cry on. If you have mental health issues, I'm incredibly empathetic and open regarding that.
• In terms of boundaries and needs in a relationship, I'm not in favor of kissing due to always feeling awkward about it. I'm definitely open to hugs if the other person is comfortable with it, and I'm a very cuddle-friendly person, if that's something you're into.
Religion/Politics: I am a rather far left-leaning atheist, but I am not anti-religion. My political leanings are a rather key aspect of my life, just to let you know.
Hobbies/interests: I am a total geek.
• Video games, anime, movies/TV. I absolutely looooove media, especially if I am enjoying it with friends. This is such a significant part of my hobbies that my ideal "date" is cuddling up to my partner with food/a warm drink, and either playing a game together or watching something fun. I particularly enjoy JRPGs and Japanese action games, and I am a huge fan of Doctor Who, Star Wars, and a ton of different anime. The only things I am not fond of in media are horror and gore (though horror-lite properties like Half-Life are really cool).
• I have a huge thing for certain genres of music, such as alternative rock and EDM/techno.
• I love working with tech, and have even made information technology my career. I adore talking about and building computers, and I am also a PC gamer on top of that.
• I love cats! I'm big on pets in general, and have owned dogs in the past through my parents, but cats in particular are my absolute favorite, despite never having owned one personally. I plan to adopt one after COVID is no longer a concern.
• I enjoy traveling, and while it isn't exactly my top priority, I do wish to see plenty of the world.
• While I am not absolutely crazy toward fitness, I do try to eat well and I utterly love to go jogging while listening to music.
Discord is my preferred communication method, but I also wouldn't be opposed to Reddit DMs.
submitted by TheLastSamurai14 to asexualdating [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 13:12 Cheesecakeandfrogs Can hauntings suddenly get worse?

My partner and I are getting a little bit spooked! We moved into a new house last year. Items would sometimes go missing and reappear, the thermostat kept being turned to a specific temperature and it would (very occasionally!) sound like someone was walking around upstairs.
In the past month or so though, it seems to have escalated. All our pictures got pulled off the walls. My partner has had our shower shelves pulled down on him during a bath twice. He also hears a woman sobbing loudly when away from me, which means he ends up rushing to see what's wrong, only to find me playing happily with our 1 year old.
I personally saw, out of the corner of my eye, a woman rush past our bedroom door and downstairs with her head bowed. I also watched a door handle appear to turn itself and the door open. My toddler then walked over to the now open door, waved at the 'empty' room and babbled away to it.
We also now hear scratching, knocking and footsteps pretty much all the time.
We didn't even believe in ghosts before moving in here. It's not an old build either, as far as we're aware nobody has died here?? What do we do? Ignore it?
We have a carbon monoxide monitor and that's all fine. We also told the landlord about the scratching, in case it was animals getting in, but somebody's come and looked and not found anything.
submitted by Cheesecakeandfrogs to Paranormal [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 13:09 crazygoyangilady Bf (27M) angry that I (27F) secretly rescued a stray dog

TL;DR bf hates animals and is angry that I touched and rescued a dog on the street without saying
Update: received the following texts. 1. You broke our promise. 2. You care about abimals more than me. 3. Just go live with animals and without humans forever.
Background: about a year ago a mover spooked my cat and she bit me. It was pretty bad and my nail ended up falling off (and regrew perfectly). My bf wanted me to get rid of all 3 cats (we live separately). I said no. We had a lot of fights about it but eventually we compromised that i wouldn't touch unfamiliar or outside cats.
Today: I found a lost or abandoned corgi puppy wandering on the highway. I knew that I had to help him so I grabbed his collar and texted my friends. My friend picked me up and we brought him to the vet and then we actually found a foster for the dog. I didnt tell my bf while all this was going on (because I was scared) and actually told him about 3 hours later after it was all done.
He is now very angry about the fact that I touched an outside animal and didnt update him at that tume. I know i ptobably should have told him from the beginning. But I also feel like he wouldve been angry either way, and there was no way in hell I was gonna just ignore the dog. Also at this point i feel like i did the right thing helping the dog and I realize maybe we aren't as compatible as I thought (I am a major animal lover). My ideal partner would be congratulating me and saying "good job", not blaming me and cancelling our plans to meet today.
submitted by crazygoyangilady to relationships [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 12:47 pain-princess 22 [F4M] Manchester, UK/Online – Submissive looking for a sadistic Daddy Dom (24+, long-term)

Hey all! As the title says, I’m 22/f and looking for a D/s relationship preferably with someone who lives in or around Manchester. I am demisexual, poly, and live with my nesting partner, but we have different schedules, so I am free to talk on the phone/text a lot.
About me: I’m originally from Bulgaria but have been living in the UK for a while. I'm 163 cm tall (or 5ft3 😋) with a slim, hourglass figure. I'm a writer and passionate about nature conservation (I love plants, animals, and exploring nature). My dream is to become a great seamstress and open my own business. I love reading books (my favourite author is Albert Camus), playing video games (PC gamer: LoL, Sims, Stardew, some WoW, and RPGs), hiking, laughing at my own jokes, science (love astronomy!), and learning new things.
I am looking for: someone who is aware of what being poly means, has some experience in BDSM and DD/lg, and is okay with taking things slower at first as I require some time to build trust (basically is comfortable with me setting the pace of things at first). I need a Dom who is confident, well spoken, understanding, kind, and caring but is also sadistic at the right times. I am a huge masochist (both physically and in some ways emotionally) and I love degradation so this must be something you are also into. I would like a dynamic which has a good mix and balance between the kind and nurturing aspects of DD/lg and the more strict and sadistic aspects of D/s. You must also be 420 friendly as I smoke a lot (especially more since lockdown 😅).
I would like to find a long-term partner who I can trust and be comfortable exploring my submissive and little sides with. I am exclusive in my D/s dynamics so I am not interested in joining an existing relationship or someone who has multiple subs. If you read this far and think we would get on, please send me a message using Reddit mail with your favourite Disney/Pixar movie as the subject, as the chat is a bit buggy on my phone.
submitted by pain-princess to polyamoryR4R [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 12:38 Tomas-T Total Drama - Around the world again

TDATWA is the 7th season of my "my way" universe of TD. in this univeverse TDAS did not happened yet and right after TDPI (which aired after TDROTI) there was a 6th season named "Total Drama Action Take II" which happened during the merge of TDPI (and was the 6th season). "Around The World Again" is the 7th season and it's merging ROTI cast with PI cast.
So this is a recap of the season:
Teams:
Team Gold - All the finalists: Brick, Jo, Shawn, Sky, Dakota and Lightning
Team Silver - campers with good gameplay who made it to the final five at least once: Scott, Dawn, Anne Maria, Jasmine, Amy and Topher
Team Bronze- never merged or quiters: Sam, Zoey, Dave, Max, Rodney and Sammy
Elimination order:
18th. Max (Egypt) - The challange was a revenrse of Egypt challenge from TDWT (which means cross the river first and than escap from the pyramid). Team Bronze escaped second but Max was left behind when he noticed some mummies (interns in costumes) and he wanted to take over them to join to his "army of evil". because of this TB lost and voted for him
17th. Jo (India) - the challange was to find treasures in Varanasi. however TG encountered a herd of cows blocking their way. Jo began to threat them and called them "humborgers" and same as every animal in TD universes, the cows got mad and they becan to chase TG and prevented from them to finish the challenge.
16th. Ligtning (Greece) - Topher convinced Lightning that he is the only good player in his team and he fed Lighnting's ego so much so Lighnting wasn't a team player and it prevented them to win. his behaviour made everyone vote for him
15th. Shawn (USA) - the challenge was to take a place in prade at New Orleans and think about idea for the theme of their costumes. Topher comvinced his team to take zombie theme. in the parede TS wore Zombie costumes, it turn Shawn mad and he attacked them. Chris disqualifed TG from the challenge and the other three voted for him
14th. Dakota (Israel) - "Dizengoff Center" (real life mall) is knowns as one of the most messed up and twisted shopping mall in Israel. This mall is like a maze. It's easy to get lost. The three teams get list of item they need to buy from the stores in the mall. They need to buy all of them and make it to the finish line in the other side of the mall. Without a map. Topher distracted Dakota with the stores and made her go to a shopping spree alone. she got out from the mall last. Sky and Brick voted for her
13th. Amy (Hungary) - The teams were trapped in Elizabeth Bathory's castle. Their mission is to find the clues and the key to get out of the caslte while Elizabeth Bathory's ghost is stalking and kidnapping them. The team that maneged to escape the castle with the most teammate will win. Team Gold (Sky and Brick) has only two people so it was easy to stuck together and work well as a team. Elizabeth's ghost did not kidnapped them at all. Zoey is the only member of Team Bronze who manged to escape so TB came second. the entire Team Silver were taken by Elizabeth's ghost so they lost. Amy got most of the votes after her past actions in TDPI
12th. Brick (Hollywood) - The teams need to take one film genere and shoot a short film. Gwen, Harold and Leshawna need to judge the films. TG got the least points, instead of a tie breaker the eliminated capers need to vote for the person they want to eliminate. Four voted for Brick and two for Sky.
11th. Sky (Jamaica) - because of an accident with the itmes for the challenge Chris had to redo the Jamaica challenge from TDWT. Topher sabotaged Sky the same way Alejandro sabotaged Dj. the good new: Sky did not broke her arm. the bad news: she elimianted and it end Team Gold for good. not finalists in the merge.
10th. Rodney (France) - Two paintings were stolen from the louvre and the teams went to a treasure hunt to find the stolen paintings and bring them back. Topher convinced to throw the challenge so Anne Maria's (his new crush) team would win. Dave heared their conversation after the challenge finished and he told the rest of the team
9th. Anne Maria (Sweden) - Every teammate has to perfrom a "dramavision" challenge. the teams that score the highter points by the judges (Courtney, Trent and Sierra) wins. Anne Maria's horrible singing skills made her team vote for her.
Merge
Debute: In New York there was a non-elimination challenge. everyone has to pick one person from gen1 to be their partner in dancing competition. The twe two pair who finished in the 1st and 2nd place will get a reward and the gen1 will join to the competition but not as a regular contestant and can't win the million but they will get a special prize if they will make it to the finale. Zoey and Trent got 1st place and Dave with Bridgette made it 2nd. Dj, Naoh, Lindsay, Tyler, Courtney and Heather have to return home.
8th. Jasmine (Cyprus) - To get some budget for the procution the campers need to sell products from the dead sea in the mall. the pair the got the most money win. Topher infected all the procuts contaminate water and it caused skin damege for the innocent people who tried the products. Sammy and Jasmine are the only team which the products were fine. made everyone suspect they infected. so they voted for Sammy because Jasmine still could be great ally. however one person knows the truth: Dawn
7th. Scott (China) - The gross food eating competition is return but now with even worse meals. Scott is still big eater and ate everything and was fine. until he got food poisoning and has to quit to get madical treatment. spared Topher from elimination after most of the campers vorted for him
6th. Sam (Pahkitew Island) - The final six + Bridgette and Trent have to find pages in the woods while behing stalkd by Slenderman (who is exist in TD universe as it was showen in TDAS). Sam found only one page. automatic elimination.
5th. Jasmine (Mexico) - Trapped in Aztec temple the campers need to escape from. Jasmine left behind by Topher who trapped her. sinc she never corssed the finish line she lost. also: in the temple the Chris Head Statue can be found.
Extra #1. Trent (Australia) - Topher convinced the others to vote for Bridgette or Trent because they are the biggest threats. Trent got most of the vots becasue Bridgette liked by most of the final others.
Extra #2. Bridgette (Italy) - Climbing challenge. the campers need to made it to the top of Tower of Pisa. It ended up with a tie between Dave and Bridgette. the tie breaker was pizza eating contect. Dave won.
4th. Zoey (Japan) - The final four has to compet in four challenges based on the Japanease culture. Cosplay, Video games, sushie making and "children card game on motorcycle without the motorcycle". everyone won one task to they need to vote. Dawn, Dave and Zoey voted for Topher. but he used his Chris Head statue and caused Zoey's elimination.
3rd. Topher (Camp Wawanakwa) - Triple Dog Dare You is return. Dawn used her freebie to give Topher a task: let Chef tattooing Topher Chest with "Chris Mclean Is the best". Topher hates needels so he kicked Chef's arm. the needle landed on his chest creating tattoo of nothig, just randome line. Since he never accepted the dare Topher disqualifed. Dawn and Dave are the final two.
Challenge: The final two has to climp the the top of the mountain and pull out the sword from the stone while Chef is shooting meatballs at them.
Dave's ending: Chef tried to shoot at Dawn but she dogde the attacked and a bird was hitted by the meatball. Dawn got distracted by it and she checked if the bird is ok. it was perfect distraction for Dave to run to the sword and pull it out.
Dawn's ending: Chef tried to shoot at Dave and he succeed. being dirty Dave stopped to yell at Chef and clean himself because he hate to b dirst. perfect fistraction for Dawn to run to the sword and pull it out
Camp Wawanakwa never sank and Chris annoucne on Total Drama All Srars
tier list:
https://i.imgur.com/8f9xP9n.png
so... what do you think
submitted by Tomas-T to Totaldrama [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 11:41 MxMars777 I don’t think I can feel empathy for people, but I feel it for animals and even objects?

I can absolutely feel (or offer?) compassion and I’m not going around being horrible to people.
But I can’t feel empathy and struggle with giving sympathy. I don’t feel much when I see someone crying, if I care about them I’ll try my best to comfort them because it’s someone I love and care about but I don’t usually feel sad too.
Sometimes I accidentally smile or laugh when someone presents bad news too. I remember a few years ago, my mom was telling me one of her friends passed away and of course I didn’t find it funny but I didn’t know what to do. I do smile as a stress response sometimes, but I remember not feeling anything. I didn’t want her to feel bad but I couldn’t feel anything and all I could think to say was that I was sorry.
I feel empathy for animals a lot though. Sometimes objects too. I can’t eat anything animal shaped or with a face or animals themselves. Even heart shaped things feel sad to eat if my partner gives them to me because I don’t want to break the heart shape. But maybe that’s empathy because I’m scared it would make them sad if I did?
I don’t want people to get hurt or feel sad or hurt. I just can’t experience empathy for as long as I can remember.
submitted by MxMars777 to autism [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 11:37 MxMars777 No matter how hard I try I can’t feel empathy. I’m not an asshole and I want to feel it, but I can’t

Its just really weird. I can absolute feel (or offer?) compassion and I’m not going around being horrible to people.
But I can’t feel empathy and struggle with giving sympathy. I don’t feel much when I see someone crying, if I care about them I’ll try my best to comfort them because it’s someone I love and care about but I don’t usually feel sad too.
Sometimes I accidentally smile or laugh when someone presents bad news too. I remember a few years ago, my mom was telling me one of her friends passed away and of course I didn’t find it funny but I didn’t know what to do. I do smile as a stress response sometimes, but I remember not feeling anything. I didn’t want her to feel bad but I couldn’t feel anything and all I could think to say was that I was sorry.
I feel empathy for animals a lot though. Sometimes objects too. I can’t eat anything animal shaped or with a face or animals themselves. Even heart shaped things feel sad to eat if my partner gives them to me because I don’t want to break the heart shape.
I don’t want people to get hurt or feel sad or hurt. I just can’t experience empathy for as long as I can remember.
submitted by MxMars777 to offmychest [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 10:01 autotldr China’s WeWork for renters is creating a new batch of internet economy victims

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 80%. (I'm a bot)
Danke, whose Chinese name means eggshells, rents flats from landlords on long-term leases.
The company, which listed on the New York Stock Exchange in January, gained investor interest by positioning itself not simply as a property management firm, but as a tech company that uses big data and apps to offer a seamless user experience.
In the last week, photos, videos, and posts shared by desperate, angry Danke tenants and landlords have gone viral on China's Weibo.
The cash-strapped company has reportedly stopped paying some landlords rental money they had collected from the tenants, in some cases prompting landlords to begin evictions.
Danke offers discounts to tenants who can pay a year's rent upfront by borrowing from the company's partner banks, and pays landlords monthly or quarterly.
In addition to the company's rising depreciation and amortization costs as it signed up more flats to manage, the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in China led to a high vacancy rate for flats, the company said in a statement in February.
Summary Source FAQ Feedback Top keywords: company#1 Danke#2 landlord#3 tenant#4 flat#5
Post found in /worldnews, /anime_titties and /Economics.
NOTICE: This thread is for discussing the submission topic. Please do not discuss the concept of the autotldr bot here.
submitted by autotldr to autotldr [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 09:35 fewfiet [Saturday Social Media Summary Extravaganza] 28 November 2020

Welcome
Welcome to another thrilling edition of SSMSE, always “A great way to start the day”
Family
Animals
Back to Training
Away from the Road Bike
Just 2020 things
Food
Series
Holidays
Christmas
Other
Goodbyes
Thanks for reading! And, as always, thanks to begoniainbloom for their fantastic finds and write ups again this week. SSMSE is a team effort and you are welcome to contribute by sending us material throughout the week or commenting below with what you've found that we missed! Happy weekend!
submitted by fewfiet to peloton [link] [comments]


2020.11.28 08:42 sputnik-the-sages My thoughts on the resurgence of the famous "Stone" sequence from "Dogs" (#2) in "Sheep" (#4) and what Roger Waters might have tried to convey by this, in Pink Floyd's 1977 album "Animals"; TLDR at the end.

Now we know that Roger Waters based the lyrics of "Animals" loosely on Animal Farm, George Orwell's 1945 political satire.
The album starts off with Pigs on the Wing Part 1, in which Waters sings and plays acoustic. This song is from the perspective of a Sheep, the lower rung of society, the working class, who live, form relationships, work hard and die for generations at a stretch, while Capitalists (Pigs) and their violent middlemen (Dogs) terrorize the Sheep keep him down. Waters ends with the words, "And watching, for Pigs on the Wing" to warn his loved one (might be his partner, friend or even his child) to stay wary of the Pigs and the foreboding disaster they bring for the Sheep. This concept of foreboding doom is revisited in "Sheep", with the words "Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away, and only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air."
Dogs is a social commentary on leeching middlemen, violent henchmen and the upper middle class in general, who are privileged enough to enjoy society's luxuries, but at the same time, are directly involved in keeping the Sheep down (unlike Pigs, who get their loyal Dogs to do this for them). However, the lyrics remind us that in the end everyone has to pay the price for what they've done, and the fall (being dragged down by the Stone) will be much longer and painful than the meteoric rise.
Pigs, Three Different Ones is a critique of big businessmen and Capitalists who basically run the world, but get the Dogs to do the dirty work for them, and exploit both the Dogs as well as the Sheep. They often lure the Dogs in with promises of their own luxurious lifestyle, making the Dog believe they are part of the Pigs now, only to dispose of the said Dog when he had completed his purpose. No class of society is free from exploitation by the Pigs.
Sheep is about the lowest strata of society, kicked around by Dogs and living in constant fear of them. But little do they realize it is the Pigs eventually controlling both them and the Dogs. The song describes a Socialist revolution, to some extent. The track gives way to Pigs on the Wing Part 2, which, like the first part, is from the perspective of the Sheep. However, unlike the previous part, this ends on a much more optimistic note, with the narrator having found a safe place to bury his bone and act as a shelter.
Now, suppose one were to keep these deeper interpretations aside for a minute, and consider the album as a novella and take it literally. In Dogs, the Stone section represents the Dog slowly dying, being dragged down by the weight of his actions.
This made me wonder, what does the sudden reprise of this section in Sheep represent. I think both these two songs describe events occurring parallel to each other. From the perspective of the events occurring, the appearance of "Stone" was at the exact same moment. The death of the Dog represents the uprising of the lower class and a successful overthrow of the Capitalist order. However, we do not directly see the revolution in Dogs, we see it from the Dog's point of view instead.
Pigs, Three Different Ones is actually a prequel of sorts to both Dogs and Sheep, as it describes the atrocities of the fallen Capitalist order that the Sheep have successfully rebelled against (although we haven't seen it from their perspective yet in the album).
The events of the next track (Sheep), like I said, are occurring at the same time as Dogs. The reprise of "Stone" in this track represents the same event, but this time, it's described from the viewpoint of the Sheep. At the end of the song comes the delighted cry of, "The Dogs are dead!", which further reinforces the point that the events were taking place at the same time, and have finally reached their crux.
So there you go, that was my personal interpretation of "Animals" and the little heads-up to the Socialist revolution of Sheep that we get early on in Dogs itself, albeit disguised as the Dog dying.
I just want to end with the rather generic statement, "this album is an absolute masterpiece". Oh, but it is. Animals, I believe, is the most underrated out of the "Big Four" Pink Floyd albums. It's my favourite album of theirs as it brings back the unusual song structures, long instrumental sections and tracks of 15 minutes or more from their pre Dark Side of the Moon days. It truly is a work of art of the highest quality, both from a literary and musical perspective, and will go down in history as one of the most influential and important albums and social commentaries of all time.
TL;DR- The tracks Dogs and Sheep describe events occurring parallel to each other. The "Stone" sequence in both tracks is about one and the same event. In Dogs this is the slow death of the Dog, and in Sheep, it's a signal that the times have changed, and the world is ready for a full-blown revolution.
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