GAMBLING AND BASEBALL - Hal Chase

My After-school Bus Drive Didn't Take Me Home

This hurts to write about. It hurts to close my eyes and reopen them because I find myself back in the nightmare of what happened. This experience I am going to tell you about happened on October 5th, 2006, which makes you probably wonder why I am writing about it now. Truth be told, I am babysitting for my sister’s child, who has finally come of age to start taking the bus to school. All the horrid memories came swinging back since I saw her take the bus and due to the coronavirus, I’ve had limited access to my therapist. So, I am hoping maybe writing this story on different sites that I use might comfort me somehow. I don’t think it will work, but me lying awake at night until 5:00 in the morning obviously isn’t working either. If you care to hear on, well here goes my story.
I was in 5th grade and going after school to my science club, basically to get away from my parents arguing back and forth each day about why the mortgage wasn’t being paid and who cheated on who. That kind of shit was something my 10-year-old brain couldn’t handle. And so, on that day, I stayed after school. I remember having a blast and peeping over the microscope to look over to my school crush Haiti. I guess you understand the real reason why I wanted to be in this club. She was smart, pretty, and of course the popular girl. I was the typical nerdy kid that people didn’t hate or despise, but knew I wasn’t on the same level of hierarchy as the “cool kids.”
Case in point, I spent time enjoying the science club studying insects and multi-cellular organisms under the microscopes and goggley-eyeing my crush from afar. After I took the last few notes for the club’s homework, I did my best to put some big boy pants on and approach her. And as soon as I tried to do so, my best friend at the time Jason came to stop me. He pulled me by the arm with that serious but friendly smile with closed eyes and a sigh.
“I don’t want to see you get hurt Leo.”
When he said those words, I felt sadden. It was like giving a box of chocolates to that special someone you like, just to have them laugh at it and crush it beneath their feet. I looked up to see Haiti kissing a stupid moron named Derek and taking off to the buses holding hands. I sighed too and patted Jason’s shoulder.
“Thanks Jay’. I needed that.”
He nodded and patted mine too.
“Guys like us Leo, we don’t get the picture-perfect ones. We’re better off keeping our noses in our books. Besides, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather wait ’til college when girls are hotter and more mature.”
He gave a gentle nudge and playfully ruffled my messy hair. He was such an ass, but I loved him for it.
“You’re such a dick. I’m shocked you even manage to get straight A’s considering all you do is watch porn on YouTube instead of studying.”
“Who needs to study when you’re a genius?”
I laughed so hard.
“You do know you’re a dick, right?”
“I know, I know. Come on. We’re gonna miss the bus.”
With that, we raced to the buses laughing at each other and cracking jokes along the way. You would think that I would be more hurt about seeing my crush with somebody else. Truth be told, at the time, I knew I would’ve never been able to be with her. She was just out of my league and I was a weird geeky kid with terrible social skills. I’m sure a lot of you out there have had the feeling.
Still, none of that mattered. I was pretty much in fantasy land thinking that once they broke up with each other, I would swoop in and be the prince charming. So, as Jason kept making fun of Haiti’s butt and I kept mocking him for watching porn rather than trying to actually have a crush on someone, we made it to the bus with an unusual surprise:
A different bus driver.
Now it’s not like this was completely out of the ordinary. It happens all the time. Sometimes the usual driver calls out sick or something but it’s not like I was shocked or confused. It didn’t bother me much. It’s just that me and Jason knew our usual bus driver well and she would always be super nice to us and let us fool around on the bus, even though we should’ve gotten in trouble for some of the dumb stunts we pulled. Nonetheless, Jason and I got on the bus and said hi to the male bus driver. Allow me to describe him for you because I need to for the sake of my mind.
The bus driver, aside from being male, was quite tall. Tall enough that his head reached a little farther than normal above the head rest of the driver seat. He looked middle-aged with a shaved face, thick round glasses, and a pale coat to his skin color. Not albino or anything, but as if he hadn’t seen sunlight for at least a long amount of time. He had a Tampa Bay baseball cap on and a smile that was cheerfully intoxicating. I say that because most bus drivers are tired or calm with their smiles, like the smile a cashier gives you after a seven-hour shift. But his smile was…nice. Like really nice. I know that sounds weird, but I’m trying to say that it felt like a genuinely happy smile. I just remember thinking to myself that he was so nice.
So, I was extra polite and said, “Hello sir. How are you?”
With a tip of his cap and that pure smile, he said, “I’m doing well. Thank you, sir.”
He said it without being condescending and without mocking my pleasantry. I just thought he was nice, and I walked a few seats back behind the bus driver where Jason and I sat together. The way the bus worked was the cool kids sat in the back and the “not-so cool kids” sat to the front.
Jason and I didn’t care though. Him and I would sneak our Nintendo DSs in our backpacks so that we could play Pokémon together after school. Of course, both our parents didn’t want their straight A students getting distracted with video games, so we weren’t allowed to bring them to school. And let’s be real: does that ever stop kids? So, we played our games, made stupid jokes like usual, and eventually he had to get off for his stop. So, we said our famous goodbye which was, “See ya later sucka!” and playfully stuck our middle fingers at each other. Yeah, we were fucking dumb.
At this point, I put my DS away and just began staring out the bus window bored out of my mind as I was subjected to the cool kid’s loud laughter and dumb comments about after school parties. What always made me bored was that I was always the last stop. My house was just located far enough out. That meant that it was always pretty much an hour-long ride. And since Jason got off in the middle of it, that pretty much meant I had another half of the hour to go.
So, to get to the point, I watched as every other student got off the bus, and now I was left shyly alone with a bus driver I wasn’t familiar with. Normally, this part of the trip was fun for me because my usual bus driver Becky would always ask me how I was and talk to me like a grown up and not just a lame old kid. But now I just felt awkward.
I decided to just keep looking out the window and avoid eye contact with him through the rear-view mirror when he spoke very nicely again.
“Hey kid, everything okay with you?”
I looked up from the seat and shyly said, “Yeah, I’m okay. Thanks for asking.”
He gave a chuckle and bellowed, “Come on. Don’t be shy. Come up here. Let’s talk. Clearly something is weighing on your mind. What’s up? Is it school? Someone’s not bullying you, is there? Because if there is-”
“No sir, nothing like that. It’s just…”
I sighed as I grabbed my backpack, dragging it along the floor and walking up to the front seat behind the bus driver. For some reason, he just seemed so nice. And the way he asked about me made me feel like he actually cared rather than my parents. So I caved in and relented in a polite way.
“It’s just that there’s this girl that I like. I like her a lot. But I found out today that she has a boyfriend.”
He frowned and tucked his hat downward again.
“I’m deeply sorry to hear that kid. I’ll tell you this though: I can tell by looking at you that you’re a sharp kid. You think that she’s better than you and you would give the world to her. The truth is you should value yourself. If she has someone, then that’s okay. You’ll find someone too. Don’t waste time on someone that won’t notice you the way you deserve to be.”
I thought it was odd for him to say the way he said it, but I appreciated what he meant by it. I nodded and thanked him.
“Believe me kid, when you get to be my age, there will be so many girls for you to get a chance to be with.”
I laughed at the corny joke and said, “Yeah, I’ll bet.”
He smiled softly and looked at me through the mirror.
“What’s your name kid? I feel bad calling you kid all the time,” he said with a chuckle.
“No worries. My name is Leon.”
“Good to meet you Leon. My name is Caleb.”
He reached his hand over to shake mine, and I of course shook it.
“So, what kept you after school Leon? Don’t tell me you’re a troublemaker getting detention,” he said with joking tone and that hypnotic smile.
“No sir, nothing like that. I’m in the science club.”
“Ohhhh, science! I used to love astronomy when I was your age. What subject are you studying?”
“Biology mostly. Right now, we are studying different insect exoskeletons.”
“I’ll be honest with you Leon. I sucked at science. I flunked every class. I’m sure you know way more than I do.”
When he said this, I immediately hated him. I still thought he was nice and friendly, don’t get me wrong. But I hated having conversations with people where they complement your intelligence by calling themselves dumb. It seemed forced and pathetic. Like why would anybody ever admit to being stupid like that? To flunk science? To flunk any subject? Let alone a 5th grade level course? Like I said, I hated him. Maybe that’s not quite it, but I suppose I just felt tired of the conversation.
Luckily, because of that, I realized that when I looked out the window, we were no longer on route to my house. Normally, I wouldn’t be freaked out by this because sometimes other bus drivers made mistakes or didn’t know where my house was. But since it was winter and with day light savings about, it got dark very fast. At this point, the sun was already setting, and it was only 4:40ish.
So nervously, I interrupted the conversation.
“Excuse me sir, I think you’re going the wrong way to my house.”
With another nice-looking smile, he said, “Oh gosh, I must’ve missed the turn blabbing. I’m sorry Leon. Let me make the turn at the end of this light here.”
Then I realized two more things. The first one being that I had no idea where I was. There were houses and street names on the signs. I’m not talking Silent Hill shit or anything. But I mean I didn’t recognize the area. NOT AT ALL. Like this wasn’t anywhere in my town. When you take the bus long enough, you recognize where the local areas are. This wasn’t anywhere local. Just where the hell did he take me to I thought.
Mind you that I wasn’t allowed to get a phone until I was fourteen because my parents didn’t want me getting distracted from schoolwork. So, with no way to call my parents, it almost being dusk, and having no fucking idea where I was, I started sweating amongst my arms and face. Just as I was looking around the windows, I noticed the worst thing ever. And to be honest with you, I am so grateful to God that I did.
In case you don’t know, usually school buses they have the bus driver information. Some school systems handle this differently, but in my school’s case, they hire bus drivers and use their own school buses. This means that they work for the school district of the town. In order for the safety of kids and for parent’s peace of mind, they have the information of that driver on the front either on the corner windows or beside the mechanism that opens the door. This applies even for new drivers or for substitute drivers too. In this case, it was on the window. And when I looked to read the name, it read “Aaron Jackson.”
I remember to this day trembling with goosebumps. He told me his name was Caleb, and I knew it wasn’t a mistake on the ID sticker because above it was Becky’s information. So, I knew this was the bus she used. And I knew the information below belonged to “Aaron.” But this guy wasn’t Aaron.
As deeply afraid as I was and cold I felt all over, I tried my best not to freak out screaming and give away that I caught onto what was going on. I didn’t know what his true intentions were and to this day I still don’t, but what I did know was that he wasn’t planning on taking me home.
So stuttering, I began to lie.
“Oh, oh shoot! I think I-I lost my phone,” I said pretending to check my pockets, “I think I left it in the…um…the other seat.”
From the rear-view mirror as I glanced back, I didn’t see a smile anymore. I saw a stern glance. I suddenly felt the bus turning to the right into a parking position at the side of the road.
That’s when I booked it. I ran to the back of the bus where the emergency exit was and thank the lord, I remembered how to use it from what I thought were nonsense fire drills.
“Hey come back here!” Caleb said, no longer with the same politeness in his voice.
I lifted the latch of the exit door and jumped from the bus taking off down the road. The problem was that I had no idea where to go. There were no cars and the sun was now beneath the horizon. It was purple-black outside and all I could think was to run into the wooded area where I could hopefully lose him. I could hear him chasing after behind me, screaming creepy things to me.
“Leon!”
“Leon come back here now!”
“Don’t make me tell your parents about this Leon!”
“You’re going to be in big trouble mister!”
“If you come back now, I promise I won’t hurt you!”
“I’m taking you back home Leon! I swear! I just got a little lost is all!”
At this point, I stopped running and crawled underneath the fall leaves. Even now, I can feel the scratches upon my arms from slamming into the trees and twigs. I was so fucking scared, and all I could do was try and keep levelheaded. All I could do was listen to him creepily promising me things and sounding awfully nice and awfully mean at different times.
“Leon! I know you think I’m going to hurt you but I’m not!”
“Don’t you want to see your family again Leon?”
“Leon! Stop this now!”
“If you don’t come to me this instant, you’re going to be in big trouble!”
“Don’t make me hurt you Leon!”
When he shouted that, I choked. I was holding my breath at this point, but I coughed up air. I could tell he heard it because I heard his footsteps stop and I heard the leaves crackling in my direction.
“You think you’re so clever, don’t you Leon? You really thought you were gonna hide from me? You’re being such a bad boy Leon. Now you’re going to get your punishment.”
The leaves kept crumbling and crunching. Louder and louder. Louder. Crackle. Crackle. Snaps of twigs. I just kept holding my breath until underneath me I felt a twig. It was then that I had an idea. I waited until his footsteps matched my movements so he wouldn’t hear me fidgeting. I reached for the branch underneath my foot and threw it over to a broken tree stub I could barely make out in the distance.
Somehow and I do believe that it had to be God’s doing, I landed the branch to crackle loud enough that it broke the other branch and made a thud. Caleb stopped his footsteps and ran over to that sound, no longer screaming my name. I could now see his phone light jumping up and down in the distance after the sound as he tore through leaves.
“Where are you Leon? GET BACK HERE NOW! I’m going to fuck you up Leon! You have no idea what I have in store for you!”
I had no choice. In my mind, I no longer could think rationally. I got up and booked it again in the opposite direction. At this point, he realized now I was running and began chasing after me. What scared me most now that he was no longer screaming my name or ranting creepy shit. He was just breathing really hard. And I mean really hard. I would occasion turn back to see his phone light shifting around the darkness. It was so bright at this point that I could catch glimpses of his face getting lit up.
That’s the thing even now at night I see so vividly. That face that he faked on the bus wasn’t there anymore. It was just anger and malice. The kind you see in a spider ready to leap on twitching mosquito. There was just a cold blank stare, as if he knew he was going to get me.
I had no choice at this point but to drop my backpack because it was getting too heavy and making me slow.
All I could think was keep running. Keep running. It was then I made it back to the road I was on before, except I found a run-down gas station out in the distance. I just kept running and running, afraid to look behind me when I threw myself inside the station.
The cashier, a hard scruff looking college kid, quizzically saw me panting and pressing my face against the glass door when she came around the counter asking me what was wrong. Out of breath and light-headed, I just ran into the back of the bathroom and cried relentlessly. When I refused to explain the situation to her, she told me she was calling the cops and within what I think was fifteen minutes or so, two cops came and knocked on the door.
“Son, my name is Charlie and my partner Lauren is here too. We are police officers. We just want to come through the door and talk to you. Can you open the door?”
In between sobs, I pleaded for them to please keep Caleb away. Obviously, they didn’t know who that was, and calmly suggested I open the door for them. Not knowing what else to do at this point, I decided to crack open the door a little bit, making sure Caleb wasn’t somehow behind the door. When I saw the two officers and the cashier lady behind the door, I opened it all the way and cried profusely all over again.
I can’t really remember much of exactly what was said from this point and all I remember was them asking for my name and my parents picking me up from the gas station. The police from I think happened to get a statement and explained to my parents the events that I sort of was able to convey to them. It turned out that I wasn’t all that far from house, but still far enough that I was half an hour out.
My parents took me home and were paranoid from everything I could ever do at this point. No more after school. No more friend visits to Jason’s house. And no more bus trips. They drove me to school from there on. Of course, I didn’t go to school immediately after. I stayed at home for a few weeks and explained to Jason what happened over AIM (remember that using that stupid thing?).
Anyhow, I basically spent all my time inside afraid to go out for those few weeks and I had nightmares, insomnia, and the shit that comes with PTSD. I had counselors, routine check-ups from doctors, and the police came back every so often to ask me for more details to what happened. Unfortunately, to make a long sob story short, the case went cold. They couldn’t find Caleb or any evidence to suggest he had any prior connection to the school, nor did they find any fingerprints on the bus or DNA evidence to suggest he was there to begin with. They canvased the area of the woods where I was for weeks, but that’s all I know from what they told me. I don’t know all the details concerning the investigation. I spent the following years doing my best to recover from this.
For a while, by the time I made it to high school, you could say I was finally able to function normally, or as normally as anyone can. I didn’t have any more nightmares or panic induced episodes. I could even talk openly about what happened without freaking out. But now that I’ve been looking at the school buses for my niece, this has all come back to haunt me.
So, before I go and I suppose lose more time for sleeping, I will say that something that still concerns me about what happened. I don’t know if he chose to do what he was planning to do to me on purpose or if it was just because I was the unlucky last kid to get off the bus. But I told you I dropped my backpack in that wooded area and to this day as far as I know, the police and investigators haven’t found it. Which leaves me to believe that the creep took it. Now thankfully it didn’t have my address or anything like that in it, but it did have my name on it. MY FULL NAME. I can’t help but wonder if he gave up on trying to get me, or if he will one day come back to get me. That scares me most and I will do my best to respond to your questions if you have any, but for now, I am going to do my best to force myself asleep and pray that I will be safe from that man.
submitted by Leoharp to nosleep [link] [comments]

[Exotic Weaponsmith] pt.2

Author's note: Hey guys! Just based on the poll I'll probably end up writing at least one more chapter. If you like my writing and want more, feel free to check out my original fiction Snowstorm on RoyalRoad. Just promise me you won't tell them I'm writing fanfic instead of new chapters...
Anyway, this clocks in just under 5k words.
P.S: I know that Pirate is cool with fan art, but do we know how they feel about fanfics or...?
Pt. 1: https://www.reddit.com/WanderingInn/comments/fyb9d8/exotic_weaponsmith/
Original Fiction: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/27224/snowstorm
***
On the floor of his chaotic workspace, Nick examined his latest flight of fancy. It was a steel recurve bow, based off of the takedown bow they made in season 5 of Forged in Fire. He thumbed the heron mark on the bow and just knew that his rendition eclipsed the TV show’s finalists’ in terms of power, accuracy, and overall craftsmanship. Hell, it was a far cry from the crude hunks of iron he was pounding into shape just a few months ago. But… there were a few drawbacks. It was a beast of weapon and made of steel.
The [Bowyer] he managed to corner had told him that steel would never make a good enough bow.
“Too heavy my ass,” Nick said, to himself. What was the point of people leveling and developing superhuman strength if they didn’t put it to work? Plain old human Mongols shot bows with a draw weight of something like 180 pounds. Surely these monster hunting adventurers could shoot some equally monstrous bows.
The words echoed in an empty room full of lonely weapons. There was no one there to hear him. Not that it was an unusual occurrence. Nick often went without customers or even visitors for days at a time. It was rare for people to wander into his shop.
Nick scowled at that thought. Thinking about it put him in a bad mood. So, he did what he usually did. He turned his attention back to his craft.
The steel bow was nearly 6 feet long unstrung. Nick had contemplated putting edges on it to make it into a bladed-staff/bow thing, but he decided against it. The risk that it would hurt its wielder was too high and a weapon that hurt its wielder was useless. He learned that the hard way more than once since he arrived here.
The steel was a folded pattern-weld, or a ‘Damascus Steel’ as they called it back home. It wasn’t true Damascus, but that art was lost and he was doing his best. The advantage of a pattern-weld was that the overlapping steel helped compensate for the minor impurities. He had tried making his own high-carbon ingots, but no matter how he tried he hadn't gotten the knack of it.
Life would be easier if he could find a way to recycle his failed experiments, but he was pretty sure that the quenching process did something or other to the grain of the metal. It made it so he couldn't melt it back down again. Maybe? He wasn't sure and didn't want to risk a lethal weapon failure.
Buying good steel to keep on forging was... it was just something he had to do. Each weapon sold afforded him a few more ingots, and food was overrated anyway. It felt necessary, kinda like the bow-string he had to buy for this bow.
He bought the bow-string from the dubious [Bowyer], but he made the arrows for his creation himself. It was important for a [Weaponsmith] to be able to make their weapons from start to finish. Nick had put more than his fair share of sweat and blood into learning the woodworking tricks he needed. That and [Advanced Craftsmanship].
At least for the arrows he agreed with the [Bowyer]. Despite the slight rifling that the fletching created, arrows undulated through the air instead of flying straight like a bolt or bullet. Steel wouldn’t work. However, he did address the archer’s paradox by shaping the bow more like the compound bows of modern Earth. This allowed him to make stiffer arrows instead of needing the arrow to bend around the bow itself to fly straight. He hoped it would aid in penetrating power. Thank you, Youtube.
Nick tried to string his creation, using the anvil, his entire bodyweight, and at least two separate Skills. He failed. The draw was too heavy for him. It was perfect. However, he needed someone to test it for him. He wasn’t worried about the quality of it, but he needed to know just how powerful it was. Penetrating power was the entire reason he had dedicated a week of his life to this weapon.
Last week, when Shaira stopped by for a chat, she mentioned the whole Adventurer’s Guild was buzzing about some wyvern bounty. It was way beyond a Bronze rank like her, which is what gave Nick the idea. He needed to break into the Silver and Gold ranked market, and badly. Each time he sold a weapon to a Bronze ranked adventurer he had to cut prices so much that he was practically giving them away for the cost of the materials. At first it was okay because he thought it would get his brand out there but…
The issue was that it was about more than just pursuing his dream of becoming a legendary [Blacksmith]. He needed the cash. Rent was due, he needed to eat at some point, and most importantly, he was running out of materials. No materials meant no weapons, and no weapons meant no levels.
Nick hated admitting this, but he craved the rush he felt each time he leveled up. Not to mention the reality bending abilities of Skills. It was so exciting. Hours and hours of his life went into testing the limits of each new Skill he got, usually by making something new. The pure potential he felt kept him up every night, dreaming of the next weapon he could create.
That, and he was still chasing the high of the Skill he got when he reached level 20 and became an [Exotic Weaponsmith]. Never had he felt so validated. It still amazed him each time his [Mark of the Heron Smith] appeared on one of his weapons. He only had three so far, but he would figure out how the Skill ticked one of these days.
If Earth had Classes and stuff, maybe Nick would have spent less time working a dead end job to pay for his hobbies and more time bettering himself. But it didn’t matter now. Hell, it was a blessing in disguise that he had wasted so much of his life escaping reality by binge watching TV, playing video games, and reading books. Without those inspirations, he might be begging for money on the streets instead of obsessively pouring his heart and soul into his latest hobby.
He might be begging for money soon anyway.
Nick set the bow down and looked around at the dozens of weapons he had built. He needed to something more than just make weapons. A few things actually. He needed to sell at least some of these to people who would actually use them, get someone to test his new bow, and find a way to convince Silver and Gold ranked Adventurers to buy his work.
A sudden thought struck him. With a jolt of inspired energy, he leapt to his feet and began to gather up a few of his more interesting weapons. He hoped Shaira would be at the Adventurer’s Guild today.
***
Shaira was having an awful day. An amazing month, but the worst day in recent memory.
It had been a month since she had gained her heron-marked zweihander from that eccentric [Weaponsmith] and it had been like a fantasy come true. Nick was a poor negotiator and she practically waltzed out of there with her dream blade for what felt like free. As a favor to him, she sent several of her fellow Bronze ranked adventurers his way, and even popped in herself to say hi every week or two.
But the true miracle was the levels. She was a level 15 [Warrior] now! And with TWO new Skills. [Weapon Proficiency: Two-handed Swords] and [Lesser Endurance] spoke to the endless hours she spent practicing and sparring with her new weapon. She was going to name him at some point, but she was stuck on what it should be. Henry the Heron Blade was… well it just wasn’t good, as much as she liked it. And something like ‘The Wyvern Cleaver’ seemed so childish, especially coming from a Bronze rank like her. Then there was-
“Shaira! I am your team leader, you have to focus when I talk to you,” Nyer said, all but growling. He looked every inch the ideal of a heroic human adventurer, even when mad. His shaggy brown hair, bright green eyes, and well-muscled physique didn’t hurt.
But Shaira was immune to his good looks and she snapped back with unrestrained anger.
“What do you want me to do?! The rats are dead, and we collected the bounty. What exactly is the issue here?”
They were trudging through the city with proof of said bounty in tow. Nyer had sent the rest of the team off to go cool down while he and Shaira ‘had a talk.’
“The issue is that ungainly sword of yours. Haven’t you been listening?”
“Really? Because it sounds like your issue is that I practically did today’s bounty by myself. It is not my fault if I am improving and the rest of you are-“
“That is IT! Dead gods, you are difficult,” Nyer said, causing Shaira to jerk back in surprise. He rarely cursed. “I promised the rest of the team I would talk to you first, but you are being impossible. We can’t make a formation with you waving that thing around and the rest of us can’t improve if you hog all the glory for yourself.”
Shaira had a sinking feeling of dread. She had felt this coming for days, which might be why she was being so confrontational. Still. It stung.
“So, what are you saying?” she said.
Nyer took a deep breath to calm himself. He was a good man, really. Level-headed, organized, and more than just handy with a spear. It was why he led their little band of intrepid adventurers. He stopped in the street and turned to her, looking deep into her eyes. His expression was not unkind.
“Look, we think you should find a new team. Like you said, you practically did today’s bounty by yourself. So, you should take the reward and…”
He trailed off as tears began to well in her eyes. She thought she would be stronger than this. He stepped closer and laid his free hand on her shoulder, the one without a massive sword propped against it. His other hand shifted to adjust his grip on the spear over his own shoulder. What a pair they made.
“Shaira,” he started, but paused. He gathered himself to try again. “Shaira, I like you. We all like you. But, I think that maybe that [Blacksmith] got into your head. Having a sword with a neat pattern and an etched heron isn’t going to make you a legend like Mars the Illusionist. You keep throwing yourself in over your head, trusting that sword to keep you alive but one of these days you are going to be surrounded and alone with your team too far away to watch your back. I cannot bear to be there to see it.”
Shaira sniffed and wiped at her eyes. There wasn’t much left to say. This was far from their first fight on the subject and everything he said were things that had been said before. She wasn’t ready yet though, if she ever would be.
Through blurry eyes she watched his trembling expression. This was hard for everyone involved. They all started this together. Just a bunch of kids with big dreams trying to make it as adventurers. Years later and they had weathered a few storms and too many losses. Nyer was the only one responsible enough to do what had to be done before it tore the team apart.
With the emotional weight of their history behind her, it was all Shaira could do to nod. She couldn’t delay her dreams because her team was growing slower than her, but it still wasn’t fair. Why couldn’t they meet her halfway?
They stood there in silence for several minutes before Shaira spoke again.
“Will you at least help me carry in the bounty?”
“Yeah, of course,” he said. She could hear the smile in his voice but couldn’t bring herself to look any longer. “Team or not, we are still friends. Just like when we were kids.”
“Yeah.”
What would her childhood self say if she knew that their best friend kicked her out of the adventuring team they founded because she was too selfish to bend on how she wanted to achieve her dream? She was glad she would never have to find out.
An hour later, Shaira found herself alone in the Adventurer’s Guild with a stiff drink and a pocket full of today’s bounty. She ran a whetstone down the wavy edges of her zweihander and wondered what she was going to do now. With her level of skill, she should be able to find a place on another Bronze team easy enough, but that wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted a challenge. No more rat-killing. But, where would she find a Silver team that would take her?
“Hey Shaira, I see you’re practicing playing with big swords again,” a man said as he helped himself to a seat at her table, taking a long swig of her drink. She looked up to glare the offender, ironically a Silver ranked adventurer. She would never join his team though. Not in a thousand years. “When are you going to give up and play with mine?”
“Not in the mood today, Krado.”
“Oh come on, beautiful,” Krado said, laughing. He was a big man with an equally big laugh. For months he had been making the Guild uncomfortable for her with his advances. She just wasn’t interested in in him, level 23 or no. “I am actually here to make you an offer.”
“I will not sleep with you, so stop asking.”
Krado grinned. Shaira saw no humor in it.
“Well, it is not exactly about that,” he said, leaning forward as if he was hoarding some great secret. “You see, I heard a little rumor that your team kicked you out. And I was thinking-“
Shaira stood up with an abrupt motion. Her chair clattered to the ground and the atmosphere of the Guild grew quiet as people turned to watch the spectacle. She spun and strode several paces before whipping around to level her beloved zweihander at Krado, holding the point of the seven pound blade steady with a single hand. [Lesser Strength] made the weight trivial to her.
“Dead gods, am I sick of you, Krado. The way I see it, you are Silver rank on boasting alone. Why don’t you spar with me to prove your worth?”
Krado half rose from his seat, his face flushing with rage. To his credit, he managed to not lose control after having his capability challenged in front of the entire Guild by a lowly Bronze adventurer.
“You do not want to do this,” he said. His deep voice rumbled with menace. “Take it back.”
If it was only her black mood, perhaps Shaira would have backed down. After all, Krado only ever asked. It was beyond aggravating, but at least he had never so much as touched her. But her mood was not all that was driving her. She had asked for a challenge and one had presented itself to her on a silver platter. Team or not, she still had a [Warrior’s] pride.
“No. Fight me.”
Krado, level 23 [Hammerer], stood the rest of the way up and reached for his weapon. He was as broad as any [Miner] who moved stone for a living, with his dark hair cropped short and several gnarled scars across his bare, muscular arms. Despite his abrasive personality, he was respected within the community.
The point of Shaira’s zweihander did not waver. He would be a fitting challenge indeed.
“Hey, hey,” a [Receptionist] said, rushing up to the two. “Take it outside.”
“Fine with me,” Shaira said. Her voice shook, but her will held fast. Win or lose, she needed this.
A few minutes later, they were in a cleared out space in the Guild’s training grounds. Around them, a small crowd was passing bets. Shaira thought she saw a few familiar faces. Regardless, she knew the odds were far from in her favor.
Across from her, Krado was in a heated argument with his team’s [Mage].
“I wield a hammer. [Blunt Weapons] is more in my favor than it is hers. I will be damned before I am accused of giving myself an advantage over a fledging with a sword almost twice her size.”
“Don’t be a proud fool, Krado! Even in the hands of a common [Worker], that thing could take off a limb with a lucky strike. At least wear armor.”
“My decision is final. I will not-“
Shaira stepped forward and cut in, her zweihander in hand.
“Blunt my blade. I am no [Laborer]. My weapon will break bone as easily as your hammer, even without an edge.”
Krado pulled up short, glaring daggers at the woman who stung his pride.
“So what do you propose?”
“Blunt my sword and we fight to incapacitation or surrender.”
Krado considered her proposal for a long moment before nodding in agreement. As the [Mage] began casting the spell, Shaira heard a familiar voice in the crowd.
“Excuse me, homie. Sorry, bro, coming through,” a tall, thin man with shaggy blonde hair said as he shouldered his way through the crowd toward Shaira. She recognized him immediately. Nick. He shifted the massive bundle on his back and called out to her. “Hey! Shaira. You got a minute?”
She cursed under her breath and tried to look away, but he had already seen her. He made his way over.
“Yo, I was wondering if you could help me test out this new bow I made since you’re super strong and all that,” he said, an oblivious grin on his face. “I can’t string it.”
The [Mage] had finished casting [Blunt Weapons], so Shaira grabbed Nick by the shoulder and pulled him away from Krado. She spoke to Nick in a furious whisper.
“Now is not a good time. I am putting my life on the line to fight a Silver ranked [Hammerer] and I don’t have time to play with whatever you have concocted in that shop of yours.”
Nick leaned past her to peer at Krado, who was limbering up with his warhammer. His expression faded from a cheerful grin to a thoughtful frown.
“Hmmm, Silver you say? And with a crowd?” Nick thought for a second, then his frown bloomed into a massive smile. “This is perfect! I’m glad I came.”
Shaira just stared at him, incredulous.
“What do you mean ‘perfect’?” She stopped mid rant as she caught herself yelling. Returning her voice to a furious whisper she did her best to explain the situation. “One bad break and I will never adventure again. How is this perfect?”
“Once you win, you can tell everyone you got your sword from me!” Nick didn’t even hesitate with his reply. It was as if her winning was already set in stone. “Since you beat a Silver ranked Adventurer with one of my weapons, that will mean I make weapons on that level, ya know?”
Shaira stared at him, a dumb expression on her face, but that didn’t stop him from voicing out the rest of his little fantasy.
“So, you hurry up and deal with this guy, then I need you to help me find an [Archer] or something with some sort of strength Skill. I’ve got this beast of a bow that I’m feeling really good about. It took me all week, but I forged it to kill wyverns and I think-“
She couldn’t take it anymore.
“Stop! Nick, just- Will you be quiet?”
“What? I-“
“You do not understand.” She enunciated each word like she was trying to drill them directly though his head. “Krado is a level 23 [Hammerer] on a Silver ranked team. He has eight levels and years of experience on me. There is no way I can beat him!”
Nick frowned. He leaned out to examine Krado once again.
“The big guy with the hammer, right?”
“Yes, what else would a [Hammerer] be using?”
Nick just shrugged.
“I don’t see what you’re so worked up about. That thing looks about four-ish feet long with a wooden shaft and all the weight in the head. The wavy blade of the your zweihander is designed to give you more surface area to cut through pike shafts as well as give you a little extra time to riposte when you parry.”
Shaira had sudden insight as to why she didn’t visit Nick that often. He was infuriating in his ignorance.
“He is strong and experienced, Nick.” She emphasized her words as much as she could without raising her voice once again.
“Totally,” Nick said, not missing a beat. “And when he swings that thing one handed, he’ll have more reach than you because you gotta remember that it is the length of the weapon plus the length of his arm. Then, if he chokes up on it, he can get inside your guard and go all close-combat.”
Shaira had a sudden sinking feeling. He was right. Nick continued on, not noticing her expression while he continued to examine Krado.
“You just gotta remember that a greatsword like the zweihander is designed to use its size and balance to control the space. That, and you need to be careful that your footwork is going with the momentum of the blade and not fighting against it.”
With that, Nick clapped Shaira on the shoulder, wished her good luck, and wandered off to find out who was taking bets. Somewhere during the conversation, Shaira’s black mood had evaporated and her anger had abandoned her. Now she was just a low-level [Warrior] facing a high level opponent with a weapon she had only been practicing with for a month. She almost gave up then and there.
But no. Her pride as a [Warrior] would not allow it. Besides, Nick was so confident in her. Maybe she could do it?
“Last chance to back out,” Krado said, striding forward to stand in the center of the training ground. He made a show of swinging the hammer in a way that showcased just how heavy it was. It was designed to send shockwaves of force through both armor and a monster’s natural defenses. “No one here will think you a [Coward].”
Shaira took a deep breath and considered that perhaps Nyer was right. She kept throwing herself in over her head and one of these days it would kill her. Not today though. Today she would win.
At least, that is what she told herself.
“They will know me to be a [Warrior], Krado,” she said, adjusting her grip on the zweihander’s long handle and stepping forward. The heron etched into the blade caught the light at that moment, helping her to harden her resolve. Someday she would be a legend and this was the first step.
“It is your body to break, Shaira,” Krado said, his disproval clear despite his verbal acceptance.
The [Receptionist] that urged them to take their quarrel outside stepped into the makeshift ring with them, clarifying the rules they had set for each other. To surrender or incapacitation. They both agreed. The [Receptionist] stepped back and shouted.
“Begin!”
Krado pulled his warhammer back to take a swing at her, but Shaira still had Nick’s words echoing in the back of his mind. She stepped forward, the tip of her blade leading the way. With the push and pull of both hands leveraging the length of her weapon, she flicked the tip toward Krado’s face.
Krado aborted his swing to parry her sword with the haft of his warhammer. It slid along the length of her blade, gouging a shallow groove into the wood, before catching on the parry hooks set above the cross guard. Shaira altered the angle of the blade, stepped forward, and lunged, using her longer weapon to her advantage.
Dancing away, Krado lashed out with his hammer in a single hand, just like Nick said he would. His reach was at least seven feet, easy. But Shaira was prepared. She stepped back, twisting her sword above her head to gain momentum. The head of the hammer passed in front of her with such force that the wind of its passing almost made her falter. But it didn’t. She stepped forward with a powerful slash, pressing her advantage. It felt like her zweihander was alive in her hands.
Like Nick said, she had to control the space.
***
Nick winced as Shaira missed having her ribcage crushed by mere inches. He knew almost nothing about sword fighting but that did not look good. Then again, Shaira seemed to be doing fine. He passed on what little he remembered from a few casual internet searches about using greatswords, but was far from an expert on the subject. This fight was making him nervous.
Their weapons clashed again and he felt a twinge of guilt. He really needed Shaira to win this, but that guy was so big and mean looking. If she got seriously injured he didn’t know what he would do. A large part of him was already regretting encouraging her, but he hadn’t known what else to do!
He had just done for Shaira what his dad did for him when he was worried. His dad would always show blind faith in his capabilities and that had always helped him… But this was a lot bigger deal than a baseball game.
Nick let out a breath as Shaira dodged a vicious swing and lashed out with a controlled cut in reply. It was all a chaotic mess to him, but he thought they seemed pretty evenly matched? At least she wasn’t over swinging. That was a big issue for people, right?
He covered one eye with his hand and massaged his temple as they went after each other. Shaira scored a glancing blow but it didn’t slow ole muscle head down even a little.
A few seconds later, Nick was watching with his head in both hands. Shaira was beating her opponent back by leveraging the pure size difference of their weapons, but Nick knew from his short apprenticeship under a kindly [Blacksmith], that a single active Skill could make all the difference. With an eight level advantage and a specialized Class, the odds of her opponent having at least one activated Skill was much higher than the chances of Shaira having one.
As if sensing his thoughts, ole muscle head wound back with his hammer like he was an all-star slugger winding up for a homerun. With a resounding cry of “[Hammer Blow!]” he took a swing at Shaira. Nick couldn’t watch. He had to look away.
There was sharp crack and Nick felt his stomach drop. This was it. His greed had gotten someone killed. Not just anyone, but someone wielding one of his [Mark of the Heron Smith] weapons. Hell, someone he considered a friend.
How was he going to build a legend now? It was over. He would sell his weapons for scrap and find some way to redeem himself. Maybe he could make one of those barbed whips that those weird monks used to lash themselves on Earth. That was who he was now.
“I surrender,” echoed out and Nick almost leapt for joy. She was alive! Thank god. He would have made a terrible monk.
Nick turned to take stock of the situation and felt like his eyes would burst out of his head. Shaira stood with her sword pressed against the big guy’s neck. She had a hand pressed to her side, but managed to keep the zweihander steady with just one hand. Nick had thought her overconfident when she said [Lesser Strength] would be enough for her to wield the thing. He had never been so happy to be wrong.
After a second, Nick put together what had happened. The big guy was only holding the bottom half of his hammer, the head had flown off on impact and hit Shaira in the ribs. That had to hurt.
Nick rushed forward to congratulate Shaira, amongst a chorus of groans as unlucky betters paid up.
“You did it!” He yelled. “And you’re okay! Bro, I was so worried.”
Shaira grimaced in pain.
“’Okay’ may be overstating it. I think I broke something.” Something seemed to dawn on her. “What do you mean you were worried? And why do you sound surprised that I won?”
Nick couldn’t see a scenario in which answering that question ended well for him. So, he didn’t.
“Yo, weren’t you going to tell everyone I made your sword?”
Shaira grimaced again, but Nick highly doubted it was another bout of pain. Not physical pain at least.
“I will, I will.” She assured him “If they ask.”
Nick let out a non-committal grunt in terms of a reply to that wishy-washy answer. Not that he was too mad about it, he did just enable her to do something stupid so he wasn’t exactly in the right here. Then, something caught his eye. There was someone here with a problem he was uniquely suited to solve.
“Don’t forget, I need you to help me find someone to test my bow for me. I’ll be right back,” he said, before turning to go catch a retreating Krado.
It took Shaira’s adrenaline addled mind a few seconds to catch up to what just happened. Nick’s voice rising over the murmuring of the crowd is what really drove it in.
“Hey, big guy! Can I interest you in a new weapon?”
Shaira’s grip on her zweihander tightened. Someone offered a healing potion and she took a deep swig. Then, she tested the edge of her zweihander to see if the [Blunt Weapons] spell had worn off yet. The [Mage] must have dispelled it as soon as the fight was over, because she cut her thumb. Her blood dripped down the flat of her sword, flowing into the etched heron on the side.
Shaira didn’t bother to wipe off, instead pushing through the crowd in the direction Nick went. She had yet to decide if she was going to kill Nick or not, but it was best to be prepared.
***
[Warrior Level 17!]
[Skill: Quick Footwork Obtained!]
[Skill: Heron Marked Learned!]
Shaira woke to intense pain in her wrist. She gasped and fumbled for a light to see what hurt so bad. There, on the inside of her right wrist was a blood-colored heron, the exact size and shape of the one etched into her sword. The pain faded fast, but she sat there for a long time, just staring at her wrist.
submitted by mcgregm to WanderingInn [link] [comments]

Chasing Hznarah: A They Are Smol Story, Part 3/3

Standard Disclaimer: I do not take credit for the setting, this story is set in the They Are Smol universe, written by our very own u/tinyprancinghorse. This is a much shorter story and unrelated to any characters or situations in Smol Detective.
TPH has a Website, a Patreon, and also a Discord if you need more smol shenanigans.
Part One is here, Part Two is here.
Smol Detective 1 starts here, and its sequels start here and here.
Anybody interested in my previous non-smol story (Iron Hue-Man) can find that here.
__________
Between the staff having to make minor repairs to the starting line after Reglnen's run plus a few delays from other racers' mechanical breakdowns, Henry didn't get to start until late afternoon.
"[Are you okay with starting this late?]" asked Snnmnarath.
"Sure, no problem." Henry looked behind him at the sun that now settled closer to the western horizon. "I might have the sun in my eyes on the return leg, but I'll manage." He knelt and picked up a bit of crust between his gloved fingers, rubbing it back and forth to get a sense of its texture. After dropping the bit of salty earth, he stood. "Should give us great traction. And there's no wind to speak of. We should have a good run, my girl."
Henry patted the side of his motorcycle and missed the exchange of puzzled alien looks which literally went over his head. He ducked his head down into Lucille and performed a few last-minute checks of the turbochargers.
Nanrznin hovered nearby, his usual flamboyant manner now subsiding in the midst of a rising nervousness. He touched a finger to one ear. "[They're saying five minutes to go, [Henry].]"
"Great! Let's fire her up." Henry pulled himself up and out of his vehicle. Next to Lucille sat a small cylinder with two handles projecting from each side and a shaft protruding from its axis. Henry opened a small port in the motorcycle's aeroshell and picked up the cylinder.
"[That's a starter motor?]" asked Snnmnarath.
"Yep. A normal IC engine would have a starter built right in, but that's too much of a weight penalty here."
Henry set the starter's shaft into the port, then paused as he realized he needed three hands for this operation. "Um, Snnmnarath, could you hold down that green button right below the handlebars?"
"[Of course!]"
The human took a deep breath and then pressed his own start button. The starting motor tried to twist in his hands as it applied torque to the engine inside. The surrounding aliens started back at the sudden roar from Lucille's interior...and as Snnmnarath also started back, he let go of the starter button. Lucille's engine sputtered to a stop.
"[Sorry.]" The big alien looked ashamed.
"Hey, it's fine. I forgot to mention that she can get kinda loud. You just need to keep it pressed until she's well and truly going. Let's try it again."
The second time was the charm; this time Snnmnarath kept his finger on the button as the engine roared to life then settled down into a deep-throated rumble.
"Okay, you can let go now!" Henry yelled over the din. Snnmnarath did so and the engine kept right on rumbling. Henry reached back in and goosed the throttle a bit, causing that rumble to go louder towards an outright bellow. The curious aliens ringed around him backpedaled as if the motorcycle was a feral beast trying to smash its way out of a cage.
Henry grinned and let forth a general thumbs-up. "Ready to go!"
Nanrznin nodded and walked away from the rumbling engine so he could better communicate with those up in the announcer's booth. As Henry checked everything one last time, he hear the crackle of speakers over the throb of Lucille.
"[And now, speed fans, we've arrived at the most storied and ancient category of them all! That's right, it's time for 'Wheel-Driven, Antique, Other'! We only have one contestant in this category but they are certainly living up to the 'antique' and 'other' parts of that description. Not to mention it's the first time a [human] has competed in the Gnranth Trials. Here he is, all the way from his home planet of [Earth], give a race-day welcome to [Henry Madsen]!]"
Henry was surprised at the happy whoop of noise which erupted from the stands. It looked like every single spectator was on their feet or tail as they cheered. He gave an embarrassed wave to them all, feeling more than a little on the spot.
"[And next to [Henry] is the last great contender in this category. He's here at the Trials for the first time in [sixty years], so show your love for the one, the only, the immortal [Snnmnarath]!]"
The cheering from the stands doubled in volume, and now the onlookers waved their arms in the air as if they'd spotted Jesus, Mary and Jimi. Snnmnarath’s hood scrunched in a little in embarrassment, and he glanced over at Henry. The two of them shared a rueful smile.
One of Henry's team, a shorter male named Hgzrahn, trotted up. "Ready for your push?" he shouted over the noise of Lucille.
Henry nodded and flipped his visor closed. Hgzrahn took hold of the tail of Lucille's aeroshell while the human slung one leg up and over into the motorcycle. Henry then about wriggling himself down and in, a complicated process that resembled a reverse birth. He finally got himself situated low in the saddle, his visor tucked behind the small windscreen. His helmet and back now filled the space in the aeroshell, making Lucille finally look truly aerodynamic. With his right hand, Henry reached down and pulled up the skid that held the bike upright when at rest.
"[I still think you need a canopy!]" yelled Reglnen over Lucille's rumbling.
"Too much weight!" yelled Henry back. He fixed his eyes through the narrow windscreen and onto the distant starting gate. "Are we good to go?"
Nanrznin nodded his ears and gave a thumbs-up. Henry returned the gesture just as he felt a final pat on his back from Reglnen.
"GO GET HIM!" she yelled.
Hgzrahn began to run forward, pushing the motorcycle as Henry gunned the throttle. The rumble from the engine grew and after twenty meters Lucille was already pulling away from Hgzrahn.
The aliens watched the small red cycle accelerate, the roar from its engine still vibrating through the ground beneath them as Henry sped through the starter gate.
"[And he's off! Let's wish him a great run, folks. [Snnmnarath 's] record to beat is [seven sixty-nine MPH].]"
The roar became a buzzing howl, and the cycle became a red dot with surprising quickness. Then it vanished into the haze.
They all stood quiet for a moment.
"[I still don't like that thing's steering scheme,]" said Reglnen quietly. "[He can only turn, what, [ten degrees] at most to either side?]"
Snnmnarath 's face was serene. "[He knows what he's doing.]"
__________
The turbochargers sounded their full-throated clamor right into Henry's ears. He felt a bobble behind him as Lucille's rear stabilizer fins fishtailed ever so slightly.
"Come on baby, settle down," he murmured. His surroundings were so loud that he couldn't even hear himself talk.
He felt the wind whip up and over his windscreen, felt it tug at the top of his helmet as if it was trying to tear him out of the motorcycle. By now he figured he had the throttle about eighty percent open and he was still accelerating. He'd never gone full-open, not even during testing. If he was honest with himself, he was worried about Lucille either shaking herself to bits or simply flipping end-over-end as had almost happened to Reglnen.
The fourth timing gate streaked past him, and a moment later Nanrznin's voice sounded in his commbead. Henry could barely hear the Dorarizin over the howl of Lucille.
"[That one was [four hundred and ninety]! How are you doing?]"
Henry almost rolled his eyes, but he didn't dare take his gaze off of the black line of the course. He'd told Nanrznin repeatedly that once Lucille was barreling along in full grunt it would be impossible for him to reply and be heard.
Lucille settled down as his speed increased, much to Henry's relief. He felt his worries drop away into the slipstream as his heart rose in his chest. He could do this.
Another gate whizzed past. "[[Five twenty eight! You've got five gates left!]"
"Damn." He wasn't accelerating as fast as he wanted. "Come on baby, let's show 'em what you can do..." Henry rotated his hand, edging the throttle more open. The turbochargers seemed to howl in approval as the frame beneath him began to vibrate more and more.
The course line wavered ever so slightly back and forth beneath Lucille's front tire. Henry's hands twitched ever so slightly on the handlebars to keep her pointed true. In the heat-shimmer another black gate appeared then whipped over him.
__________
In the control/announcer booth the sixth of ten rapidly-changing digital displays slammed to a halt, showing Henry's elapsed time. The Gnranth Trials had an ancient pedigree, and its methodology still remained in a relatively primitive state in spite of existing in an era of cybernetic implants and star travel.
"[Time?]" snapped the head official, an aged-looking Dorarizin.
"<[Eight point five-seven seconds] for that segment.>" replied the Jornissian monitoring the displays.
"[[Six-twenty-nine MPH],]" said the official. He bent over and made a precise few scribes on his clipboard.
The Karnakian announcer bounced excitedly as he turned to the microphone to give the news to the crowd. As the Karnakian made the announcement the Jornissian fixed his unblinking gaze on the next segment's timer.
"" he murmured to himself. ""
__________
Lucille's body now shook so much it was hard for Henry to keep his hands firmly planted on the handlebars. He teeth bared in an unconscious grimace as he fought to keep her front tire fixed on course. The wind tugged with renewed force at his helmet while he kept opening the throttle.
Gate seven flashed overhead in an impressionistic blur.
"[Number [seven], it's...[Seven-one-two]! You're within [fifty-seven] of the record!]"
Henry knew he was still accelerating but right now had no idea how close he was to redline on Lucille's engine. There was a tachometer below him, but he didn't dare take even the merest glance downwards. Now he was getting close to going supersonic, and the buffeting against his cycle's nose made his attempts at steering even more difficult. His forearms began to cramp from the strain, a pain that he pushed down as he opened the throttle more. He had to be at ninety percent...would that be enough?
He barely had time to form that thought before he was past the next gate. By the time he heard his official speed from Nanrznin, he could see the black dot of the next one already.
"[Seven five one! Two gates left, remember you have to slow down after the [ninth] one!]"
Henry gave the throttle another goose, and after one final slam of hideously-compressed air against his nose the world seemed to settle into an eerie silence.
__________
A distant but definite crack echoed across the desert. Reglnen threw her arms around Snnmnarath, forgetting for a moment his old injuries. The grandstands shook as the spectators practially bounced up and down in their excitement.
"[He's supersonic, folks!]"
Reglnen remembered herself and pulled back from the hug. "{Sorry.}"
Snnmnarath just grinned and returned her embrace, while overhead the display showed the red streak of [Henry] flashing through the ninth gate.
__________
Nanrznin yelled something in Henry's ear, but all of his focus was now on not crashing. Whatever speed he'd managed to achieve he had to be happy with. At least he'd broken the sound barrier. The howling turbochargers quieted their din as he began to rotate back on the throttle just as the tenth gate became visible. Once he'd dropped his speed enough, he pulled the lever on his right handle to release Lucille's 'chute. He could just hear behind him the rustle of its rigging, followed by a louder snap as the 'chute unfurled.
The resulting mammoth tug on Lucille's rear made Henry's steering wobble more than usual, and for a moment he feared he'd lose control while still going way too fast. The tug on his helmet slacked off as he slowed, and after he judged it to be safe he started applying the rear brake.
Lucille coasted past the end of the black line. By now most of the support teams had departed, and there was only a couple of Jornissians from Henry's team present...plus a Karnakian that he recognized with some surprise as the main mechanic from Reglnen's team. He fumbled downward and managed to extend Lucille's kickstand before he came to a full stop. The skid on the end of the kickstand dug into the salt crust with a faint susurration as his Jornissian colleagues slithered up with typical xeno speed.
"[Any problems?]" one of them demanded.
"Nah, she ran just great!"
The pair all but threw him out of his bike, then unfastened Lucille's aeroshell. One of them muttered to himself as he looked over Lucille's engine, while the other Jornissian removed the now-empty parachute module in preparation for installing a new one.
Henry took the opportunity to unfasten his helmet and yank it off of his head. He breathed in deep, then ran one hand through his sweat-soaked hair and felt some measure of relief as the sweat quickly evaporated in the dry desert air. After a moment of closing his eyes, he finally began to pay attention to the yammering voice from his commbead.
"[Damn it, [Henry], are you there?]"
"I'm here, buddy. Carl and Jasper are looking her over. How'd I do?"
The pause on the other end told him everything he needed to know, even before Nanrznin spoke. "[Your ninth leg was [seven sixty-two MPH].]"
"Seven miles per hour short. Damn." He gazed down at the ground, not really seeing it as he pondered his strategy for the return run.
"[You still went supersonic! For this category that's considered exceptional.]"
"But not fast enough. I gotta get my average up during the way back."
Nanrznin's worry was evident in his translated voice. "[Now, [Henry], don't do anything dangerous. You were right at the limit of control, I saw how your vehicle wobbled. We can always try again in [five years], right?]"
Henry tuned out Nanrznin again as he turned to view the return course. The sun now hung low near the horizon, a blood-red disc that made him squint. After one last finger-combing of his hair, he settled his helmet back on his head and lowered the visor. Even with the tinted polycarbonate shielding his eyes he still found the sunset interfering with his vision. It was harder to make out the black course-line.
"Double damn," he muttered. That was going to make things even more difficult.
A cautious tap on Henry's elbow jogged him out of his foul mood. The Karnakian mechanic hovered over his shoulder, a hopeful be-fanged smile on her snout.
"[Greetings! [Reglnen] asked me to stay here just in case you needed assistance.]"
The human raised his visor and gave the raptor a polite bow of his head. "Much obliged, ma'am, but I think my buddies there have it pretty well under control." He turned to regard the sunset again. "Hey, now that I think about it...you wouldn't happen to have some duct tape, would ya?"
__________
Henry ignored the Karnakian's curious gaze as he finished the modifications to the helmet in his lap. The top of the visor now sported a silvery sheen thanks to a liberal application of Karnakian-supplied duct tape. That left Henry a smaller view-slit out of the bottom that should still (hopefully) allow him to steer while avoiding getting blinded by the sunset.
He pondered the fact that Karnakian duct tape was the exact same texture and color as human duct tape. Maybe convergent evolution could also be applied to engineering as well as biology?
"[Will you still be able to see?]" asked the Karnakian.
"Well enough," replied Henry. He looked up and saw Carl refastening Lucille's aeroshell.
"[We've only got [eight minutes] left, Henry!]" his colleague called out.
Henry started to walk towards Lucille, only to be restrained by a careful claw from the Karnakian.
"[I know it's very forward of me, but would you allow me the honor of giving you the initial push?]"
For one moment, Henry thought about telling him no. But then he reconsidered; what with that pleading look in all four of the raptor's eyes, that would be almost as bad as kicking a puppy. "Sure! Shouldn't need to do much, just keep me upright until I get her goin' fast enough."
With two minutes left, Henry found himself back in the cramped not-quite-a-cockpit of Lucille with the motor throbbing along underneath his saddle. He took a deep breath and felt the weight of history on his shoulders.
The Gnranth Trials had existed in one flavor or another for longer than his whole damn *civilization*. In that time countless aliens had made the trek to this place to prove themselves or break their bodies to pieces against the pitiless and unyielding desert floor.
It was now his turn. Somewhere deep in the frame beneath him were a few struts and pieces of metal, smelted and forged during a time when humans thought themselves alone in the universe. Now those struts were here and he was here. It was well past time for both those bits of metal and himself to show the galaxy what they were made of.
"My girl, it's time for us to nut up or shut up," Henry whispered. The snarl of the engine was his only reply, but that was enough of a sign of approval for him. He raised his helmeted head and nodded to the Karnakian behind him, and in response the big raptor-like alien began to trot forward with a deceptively slow-looking pace.
Just as Henry settled his head back behind the windscreen, only for a moment, he thought he saw something odd on the horizon. Something barely visible against the sunset.
Something like a brown fuzzy dot.
__________
"[Aaannnd he's off again, folks! Let's see how our brave [tiny-chomper] does on the return journey! He still has enough margin to possibly beat [Snnmnarath 's] record, provided he can get a good enough speed on any of the return segments!]"
Reglnen squatted on her haunches and clenched her interlocked paws together. It was either that or she'd start pacing. She knew it would annoy Snnmnarath, not to mention it would make herself look flighty. The Dorarizin retained enough self-awareness to know that some of the eyes in the stands were upon her as the red dot of the tiny-chomper's [motorcycle] picked up speed towards the first timing gate.
"{I hope he doesn't get too caught up in the moment,}" she said. "{I still don't like the way that craft of his steers.}"
Snnmnarath didn't reply, he just stared in fascination at the display. The drone's microphones picked up the harsh, staccato roar of [Henry's] engine, a sound that hushed the crowd.
__________
By the third gate, Henry already had his throttle at ninety percent open. Lucille's vibration seemed worse now, and he hoped something wasn't coming loose. The roar of the wind over his helmet was answered in kind by the bellow from the turbochargers; Henry ignored them both and kept his eyes fixated on his course. Fortunately his impromptu duct-tape 'sunshield' was doing its job; he could see the line without interference from the setting sun.
"[[Five two seven]! You're doing great, just be careful!]"
Henry resisted the urge to laugh. If he'd wanted to be careful, he'd have followed in his old man's footsteps and become an accountant. He risked a glance up towards the horizon. The mystery 'dot' was gone, whatever it was.
__________
Reglnen now paced in a circle around Snnmnarath and didn't give a single damn if anyone was watching. Taking the occasional glance at the display did not calm her nerves. Sure, the tiny-chomper was still intact but with her trained eye she could see how hard it was for him to maintain control.
"[Sixth gate is passed, and the official pace is...[seven two four MPH]! That is one determined [tiny-chomper]!]"
"{Do you think he could do it?}" she asked.
"[It's possible,]" replied Snnmnarath. "[The big question is how his [motorbike] performs once he goes supersonic. Air resistance becomes even harder to fight against, especially with using wheels to supply the propulsive force against the ground.]"
With great effort she forced herself to stop pacing, seat herself, and stare at the screen. "{And he's only got two wheels. Two. Even you used three, and I thought you were mad for using that few.}"
"[Broke the record, didn't I?]" Snnmnarath grinned. "[And yes, I also broke myself. Figured I'd get the obvious joke out of the way.]"
A distant and now-familiar crack sounded out just before the announcer came on.
"[Gate seven and he's supersonic! [Seven Six One MPH!]]"
__________
"Come on baby come on baby come on..."
Henry couldn't hear his own prayer-chant over the noise from his engine and from the shuddering of his bike. He felt like he'd been clamped into an operating paint-shaker by some careless giant. The strain of maintaining control meant that once again his forearms were one big cramp. As a fresh bit of hell, that pain now radiated up his back and towards his neck muscles which also ached from him holding his head at the proper viewing angle.
He shifted a bit to try to ease his neck, and in that moment made a mistake. Henry brought his helmet just a little too far over the windscreen, and the slipstream grabbed his head and yanked it even further up. The supersonic airflow slipped against the rough texture of his duct-tape sunscreen, and the resulting force slammed his visor up and open.
Red-tinged sunlight streamed directly into Henry's eyes, momentarily blinding him.
__________
Reglnen's claws unconsciously extended and mauled at the hard-packed earth beneath her. She said nothing, just ground her teeth in a continual chainsaw snarl as she watched [Henry's] bike wobble. It began to drift to the side of the course line, clearly out of control.
Snnmnarath 's voice was barely a whisper, but still audible over the suddenly-hushed crowd. "[Oh, no...]"
__________
"GAH! SHITFUCKDAMN...!" Henry managed to get his head back safely behind Lucille's windshield but he had to squint against the sun that now flooded his view. He kept his eyes cast down, just a few feet past his front tire. His sight was still half-blinded by tears, but through his wavering vision he could just make out the darker course line against the whiter ground. On pure instinct he managed to steer himself back over so he was once more pointed in the right direction, although that slight angling of his bike sent a fresh shudder through Lucille's frame as the oncoming air tried to flip her.
As Henry blinked away tears, he realized that mystery brown dot was back. He couldn't focus on it, not with the sun in his eyes. But that dot seemed to expand and grow nearer right as the eighth gate barreled past.
"[That was [seven six five]! You beat your outward run! Are you okay? Looks like you're back in control...]"
Henry ignored Nanrznin. He blinked continuously, his body now one big ache from the strain of maintaining control of his fickle vehicle. He could feel the bike and knew she was hitting her limits. There was one little bit of throttle remaining, but he didn't know if it would be enough...
Through his tears, the distant mystery dot seemed to morph into a Dorarizin running along on all fours. It was right at the limit of his vision, but Henry swore he saw a blue tongue lolling out of the hallucination's mouth.
He wobbled the bike in surprise as he thought he heard a voice in his head. This was no click-growling overlaid with a commbead's synthetic voice, it sounded...well, normal. Like a human talking to him, but bypassing his ears.
You'll never catch me, brother!
"Wanna bet, fuzzbutt?" Henry muttered.
Henry twisted his left hand, and with a protesting yowl Lucille's throttle went full-open.
He heard a responding happy laugh resound through his skull.
__________
"[Ninth gate pace is...[seven seven one MPH]!]"
"{He went faster than you,}" said Reglnen in awe.
By now Snnmnarath was the one pacing. He slithered back and forth behind the Dorarizin. "[It doesn't count. His average is still too low, only [seven sixty six point five MPH]]."
She smirked. "{I guess your record still stands, eh?}"
"[I didn't intend it to be set in stone!]" snapped the Jornissian. Then, more mildly, "[Sorry. It just frustrates me, after all these years nobody's come close. Nobody's even tried!]"
"{[Henry's] trying. And he's come damn close.}" Reglnen peered more closely at the screen. "{Er, he might still do it.}"
"[What?]" Snnmnarath stopped his slithering and beheld what Reglnen was looking at. "[Oh. Is it just me, or is he not slowing down?]"
__________
"Why?" Henry gasped, all but blind from sun and the tears still in his eyes. "Why do you laugh at me?" His back and arms were now one pulsing throb of agony.
Another burst of ghostly laughter echoed in his head. I do not taunt you, my brother. You and I are Pack, we are of one mind and one body. No, I laugh at them.
A ghostly claw raised and pointed at the dark bristling lump of the grandstands now barely visible in the distance.
I laugh at those onlookers, content to merely observe. They don't understand us. You and I, we know what it means to live life here in this place, where all ornamentals are stripped away and there is only the desire to reach the far horizon.
The grandstands expanded into a larger mass with heart-stopping quickness. Lucille's prow pointed right at the square black gate of the tenth segment.
Come find me again, my dear brother. Next time...next time, you just might catch me.
And just like that the vision evaporated, leaving Henry staring at the onrushing tenth gate. It was far too late to pop his 'chute and brake to a 'normal' stop. He figured he'd emulate Reglnen and go for glory. He'd have plenty of space after the gate to stop, after all. But his internal musing came at a price, namely that he started to drift away from the course line again.
To the side of the course line, a few hundred feet from the gate, was the one bit of non-flat salt crust for probably miles around. It wasn't much, just bump of hardpan raised a few inches up from the earth around it. Under normal circumstances, any motorcycle hitting it would feel nothing more than a slight wobble.
But Lucille's front wheel hit that earthen ramp dead-on while traveling at supersonic speed. The impact was enough to send her and her occupant airborne. The jolt also jogged Henry's hands loose from the handlebars, and he yelled in terror as he realized the disaster which had fell upon him.
The oncoming wall of air flipped his cycle, spinning him in mid-air. Lucille's speed was such that he reached the final gate in less than a tenth of a second, tumbling end-over-end like a candy-apple-red supersonic shuriken right through the gate’s center.
__________
In the control/announcer booth the tenth digital display arrested its endless scrolling. Nobody noticed. The entire staff had their faces pressed against the front window, none of them breathing as they watched the drama unfold outside.
__________
His world was sky, ground, sky, ground, sky, ground...
Henry felt tunnel-vision creep in from Lucille's spin. He thought he was gaining altitude, but he knew that would end soon enough. If he hit the ground while twirling like this, he'd become salsa in spite of his racesuit's nanotech. He floundered his right hand around, trying to find the corresponding handlebar and its parachute release. There was one chance, but he had to time it just right.
It felt like a large ghostly paw closed over his seeking hand, guiding it to its proper place on the handle and giving it a squeeze at just the right moment...
The drogue 'chute streamed out behind his tumbling craft, pulling out the main parachute. After one heart-stopping moment the main 'chute opened with a snap, instantly halting his end-over-end motion. Henry's head slammed against the windscreen, and by the time he shook the stars from his eyes the salt-crusted ground was approaching like Judgement Day.
With a massive crunch the left side of Lucille's aeroshell dug into the dust, crumpling inward and pinning Henry in place. He felt a sheet of pain flare up his left leg and arm, prompting another yell as the motorcycle went skipping along the desert floor like a flat stone over water.
Finally, mercifully, the skipping stopped and the vehicle just went sliding along, throwing salt up into Henry's eyes as he growled in pain. He had to hold his head up or his skull would be acting as a skidplate.
After a few dozen years, the cycle came to a halt. Henry let his head drop to rest against the earth as he panted, his eyes staring but not seeing. There was some sort of ruckus very far away, some sort of shouting...was it calling his name?
The right side of Lucille was suddenly gone with a squeal of torn fiberglass. Henry blinked and focused on the worried wolf-face inches above him. "Hey, Rgn..Regln...hey!"
Words formed in his commbead, words he had to focus on to parse out.
Are you okay, [Henry]?
"Fine...'m fine..." He moved his left arm and moaned. "Wait. Think I broke my arm. OW...and my leg."
He peered up at the worried Dorarizin and asked the one thing that mattered.
"How fast was that last segment?"
Before she could reply he slipped away into the darkness.
__________
When Henry woke again he was in the hospital. His particular room must have been intended for Dorarizin, since his bed reclined at an angle instead of lying flat. He blinked in the bright light shining down on him, then focused down on his body.
He was wearing a hospital gown about two sizes too big for him. His left arm and leg were swaddled in silvery bandages, and his neck sported a collar of a similar silver hue. He looked up at his surroundings. The room was much larger than any in a human hospital, which was good because there were two giant aliens already here.
Reglnen lay curled up to the side of his bed, apparently asleep. Snnmnarath sat in a loosely-coiled pile at the foot of his bed. The Jornissian held a datapad in his clawed hands, swiping a finger now and again as he read. He quirked his hood up upon seeing Henry stir.
"[Ah, back among the living I see!]"
Henry opened his mouth to respond, only to be confronted with the pants-soiling sight of a triple-rowed mouthful of fangs. Reglnen's amber eyes bored into him. "[Are you feeling all right? Any pain?]" Her nose poked here and there along his neck and collarbones. "[They said that collar would monitor your vitals, but I still say they should be here keeping an eye on you personally.]"
He tried to fend off her sniffing, but her questing snout would not be denied. "Ack, just...errf, I'm fine, I'm fine! I feel like somebody's had a go at me with a baseball bat, but otherwise I'm fine."
Finally Reglnen leaned back, but still had a judgmental look on her face. "[You took too big of a risk.]"
"Says the woman with a half-melted leg." Henry looked at Snnmnarath for moral support, but the big snake had a cheeky gleam in his eyes. "Well? Don't keep me in suspense! How'd I do?"
The Jornissian sighed. "[I'm afraid that during your last segment you only clocked a speed of...[seven hundred and seventy-eight MPH]."
Henry tried to do the math in his head, but it took him a bit. He was still fuzzy from whatever happy-drugs they'd dosed him with. "Wait...does that mean...oh."
Reglnen beamed. "[Your final average was [seven hundred and seventy] even.]"
Snnmnarath shook his hood. "[I can't believe it. You beat me by the merest jnarlth-whisker. Go ahead, be smug. I suppose you've earned it.]"
Instead of gloating Henry lay back and stared at the ceiling, feeling as if he just might float up and through it. "We did it, old girl," he whispered.
His elation was short-lived. The door to the room opened just enough to admit Nanrznin, but as he slipped in sideways a few other aliens crowded in behind him. They bore the usual markings of reporters; datapads at the ready and camera drones hovering next to them. The intruders didn't waste any time in shouting questions.
"[[Mister Madsen], Gnalnth-of-Namrn, GalNet Central News Network. Now that you've emerged victorious, what are your next plans?]"
"Eh?"
The Dorarizin reporter was elbowed aside by a pythonesque Jornissian. "[Mnarhanthn, Daily Disclosure. What do you say to the allegations that [humans] enjoy an unfair advantage in the Gnranth Trials due to their much smaller stature and lighter weight?]"
"What the flaming HELL are y'all on about..."
Nanrznin threw his arms open and tried to shepherd out the invaders with little success. More started pushing against the door, a few feathered or furred arms even held camera drones around the edge of the door just to get a glimpse of Henry.
Reglnen-of-Nrzahn stood, becoming a monolith of fur and muscle. "[OUT! NOW!]"
The furious, booming roar got the reporter's attention, and within a few moments there was once more blessed quiet in the room.
"[Sorry about that,]" said Nanrznin. His usually well-groomed mane now looked decidedly mussed, and he fidgeted his claws together in worry. "[I tried to come in through the cargo entrance, but a few of them spotted me and gave chase.]"
Reglnen chuckled and rested a friendly paw on his shoulder. "[Ah, don't worry. I've dealt with that crap enough. If our [human] here hadn't stolen all of my thunder, I'd be the one getting pestered with stupid questions right now.]"
For some reason that made Henry feel ashamed. "Sorry, ma'am. I didn't mean to."
She laughed. "Oh, better you than me, that's my motto!"
"[We will have to give a press conference sooner than later,]" said Nanrznin. "[We're already getting flooded with sponsorship offers.]" He nodded towards Henry. "[Next time you might even be able to compete in one of the other categories! We'll surely be able to afford it.]"
Henry pondered that for all of three seconds. "Nah. I think I'll stick to this one. We'll put the money into fixing up poor Lucille, get her runnin' good again."
"[I heartily agree,]" said Snnmnarath. "[I'd love to get some interest and fresh blood into my old category.]" He slithered up to the side of Henry's bed and shook hands with the human. "[I'll see you at the next Trials, my friend.]" With a stately nod to the two Doraizin the Jornissian slithered out the door. It seemed that the reporters had gotten the message; there were no fresh ambushers lying in wait. After a bit of chatting, Nanrznin made his exit as well.
"If you need to head out, go ahead," said Henry. "I'll just be sleeping for a bit anyway."
"[I just hate the idea of leaving you alone,]" said Reglnen. She plonked her huge frame next to his bed once more, clearly not going anywhere.
"All right, suit yourself." Henry paused for a moment, wondering if he should tell her of what he'd seen and heard during that last part of his run. Then he figured that if he couldn't tell her, he couldn't tell anyone.
"I...I saw him."
"[Who?]" Then her eyes widened and her ears went back flat against her head. "[Hznarah?]"
"Yeah. I spoke to him, too. He spoke back. I dunno, it was probably my brain being silly. I was in pain and stressed and the damn sun was in my eyes...but it felt real, you know?"
"[I know.]"
Henry smiled. "I almost reached him, too. I'll get him next time."
Reglnen matched his smile. "[Not if I get him first.]"
submitted by Frank_Leroux to HFY [link] [comments]

Understanding Your Internet Sports Betting Options

Internet Sports Betting
The Internet has grown tremendously over the past decade. From placing sports bets to buying a car, the Internet has made our lives extremely comfortable. The Internet has been a great tool for sports bettors. The wealth of information that's readily available has helped sports bettors make more informed decisions. In the old days, you were limited to whatever you heard on the street.
Understanding your Internet sports betting options
The Internet offers you a choice of hundreds of established online casinos and sports betting portals that offer superb features and great bonuses. Since they have a lower overhead than a traditional brick and mortar gambling operation, online gambling destinations can be very liberal when it comes to a signup bonus and ongoing promotions. Online sports betting destinations are online 24 hours a day and just a click away.
The options available through Internet sports betting sites are numerous and varied. Equipped with the right information, you can enjoy a plethora of betting options. Much like the stock market, knowing when to bet a moving line can be the key to success. Most online sports books are simply followers of other lines. Paying attention to line moves is vital to winning long-term. Thanks to the Internet, it's now possible to watch line moves from the comfort of your favorite chair.
The Internet today, provides a number of quality sports betting online services. Not only do sports betting portals offer terrific betting odds for a number of games like horse racing, baseball, football, basketball, auto racing, golf, hockey, and tennis, some of them also give you free cash. The good sports books will give you a signup bonus and bonuses for re-depositing.
Some frequently used sports betting terms:
Arbitrage: Betting the same event at separate sports books in order to lock in a profit by taking advantage of different betting lines.
Bankroll: Total capital available for betting sports.
Bookmaker (or bookie): A person who accepts bets.
Chalk: A favorite (usually, a heavy favorite).
Circled game: A game in which the sports book has reduced its betting limits, usually because of weather or the uncertain status of injured players.
Futures: A type of wager involving the outcome of a season or how a particular team or player will perform over the course of a season.
Hook: A half-point in the betting spread.
Line (sports betting lines): The point spread or odds on a game or event.
Lock: A bet that cannot lose; a term that is often misused and abused by disreputable touts.
Match-up proposition: A betting option that pits two players against one another in a contest or event, often used in golf and auto racing wagering.
Nickel: $500.
Parlay: A bet in which two or more events must happen in order to win; if any one of them does not happen, the wager loses.
Point spread: The number of points added to or subtracted from a team's actual score for betting purposes.
Sports book: The part of the casino that accepts bets on athletic contests.
Vigorish (or vig): The commission charged by a bookmaker.
Quick Sports Betting Tips & Strategies
1.Make each bet a small percentage of your overall bankroll. For example, if you had a $1,000 bankroll and wanted to make each bet 1% of that, your average bet would be $10. As you win, you bet amount goes up.
2.Don't chase losers. Keep your bets solid and follow your defined sports betting parameters. Just because you lose three bets in a row does not mean you will win any time soon. If you don't pick winners well, this could go on for some time. Keep to your guns.
3.Straight bets are better than parlays. Sure, parlay bets offer the chance to win a lot of money for a small bet, but straight bets will be your consistent winner over time. Everyone plays parlays, but don't make them the focus of your sports betting activity.
4.In horse racing, don't bet a horse to just show. If you think the horse is good enough to be a front-runner, bet the horse to win, place and show. If the horse is not good enough for this type of bet, in your opinion, the horse is not worth laying any money on to begin with.
There are four solid sports betting tips & strategies to make you a much better sports bettor. Your next move is to head over to your favorite sports book and put these sports betting tips & strategies into practice.
submitted by PresentType to illegalbahissitelerin [link] [comments]

Let’s Not Be a Drama Queen About This: Recap of Before the 90 Days S04E07

Welcome to another recap of Before the 90 Days: The Season Where No One is Dating. First off, if you’re watching Geoffrey’s segment, your safe word is “orange”. If that doesn’t work, please lock yourself in a panic room and wait there until the Avengers arrive. If you hear one voice say, “No really, this is totally the Avengers” do not open the door. Or maybe just social-distance yourself from this whole fucking storyline, because we should not be observing this human stain.
Let’s turn our attention to prisoner of war Usman, busy filming a real life version of Get Out. You know it’s bad when the con artist seeking green card access to bolster a floundering hip hop career is the protagonist. I haven’t felt this awkward since last season of Vanderpump Rules when I was forced to defend James Kennedy. Anyway, Baby-Girl Lisa still hasn’t successfully harvested his essence to maintain control over the Dark Crystal, and Usman threatens to throw a wrench into her plans with a daring escape in the trunk of his friend’s car. Then he realizes he left his phone in the hotel room, and it’s got the lyrics to “Dabbing” on it, so he’s forced to return, to face Lisa losing the mind she never had.
She declares that he’s been absent for 30 minutes and she’s upset …which would have also been the case if he were gone for five minutes, or not at all, or if he went to the bathroom unsupervised, or put on his right shoe before his left one, or stood up too quickly or not fast enough. This time, Lisa’s argument is that she was “scared’ to be left alone (with producers in a hotel room). Annoyed with this never-ending wheel of complaint, Usman declares that he can’t win with her. Then BGL cuts him down with “Let’s not be a drama queen about this.” That’s right kids, all aboard the Gaslight Express, where the person reacting to the drama is the drama queen — not the person perpetually creating it. Would someone please take this man’s photo so he can restore his spirit to his body with the flash? GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT!
She continues to stitch a verbal quilt of grievances, while noting how irrelevant Usman’s points are, and looking like she’s ready to start filming her episode of Intervention. Usman slowly realizes that Lisa is unlikely to have an adult conversation with his mother, let alone a respectful one, and he may not be able to salvage his Nigerian hip hop career, let alone forge one in the US of A. He goes outside and admits to the producers that he may have reached his breaking point, and would like to know if they have some kind of relocation program. This is not what Lisa expects from a prisoner, and she informs the producers that “the man who left here is not the man I abducted.”
Usman returns at 2AM to sit in an adjacent room and not talk to Lisa, making half of his wildest dreams come true. He lights up a hookah and considers how he has this “wonderful opportunity” to go to the states, and it might be too much to pretend to like Lisa long enough to get a green card. The producers ask him how he’s doing, and he says that anything he does is not enough, and before he can answer further BGL groans her way into the room.
“Nobody’s perfect. You need to make up your mind and make it up quick,” She declares, because that makes sense. He attempts to confront her, and states that he’s always respected her, and she insults him. And if it’s this bad in Nigeria, what’s it going to be like when she submerges him in preservative gel in the United States? “You’re very insecure about this relationship,” Lisa mumbles.
Usman says that yes, he is, that’s the truth. Then Lisa unfurls her scroll of half-assed excuses, including that the whole trip has been stressful, that there’s a five hour time difference, that she’s in this hotel room that bests the average Idaho haunt but is beneath her, and it’s a day of the week that ends in y, and he should know how she feels about that. Then she says she wants to “close it up” which is the closest Usman is going to get to an apology. For whatever reason, Usman decides that this will do, and later Lisa expresses concerns about returning to the US alone, and declares “ it will destroy both of us.” By this she means she’ll be forced to rework the plot into something that ends with her saucy finger, and will leak the unedited version of Usman’s “I Love You” video, because that’ll teach him.
Speaking of horror movies, let’s stop by Silence of the Lambs to visit Creepy Ed, who puts the lotion on the skin or else it gets the hose again. Rose has made the unfortunate mistake of returning to their shared hotel room, where he hands her a robe and tells her to take a bath, then forces champagne on her, and says he’s going to rub her feet. Note that he didn’t ask her if she was interested in any of these things. Ed considers this “showing how romantic he can be” while the rest of us call this “reasons to run out of the room with your shoes in your hand the minute he goes to the bathroom.” As she gets comfortable because he told her to, Big Nightmare declares he’s “staring at her feet and not her pajamas,” and I’m staring into the deep black abyss, hunting for a portal to escape this. Friends, this is it: the Most Cringe Scene in 90DF History. There’s not even any competition. This is the Citizen Kane of cringe.
“It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever its told,” Ed declares, with “Goodbye Horses” softly playing in the background.
“Please let me out,” Rose cries.
Since Rose is recoiling in a manner obvious to anyone who isn’t an incel, Ed seizes the opportunity to ask her for a kiss. She says on her cheek or the end of her fist after a wind up, whatever he prefers. He asks for “the middle” which she assumes means the forehead. He kisses her on the cheek, and then brow beats her into kissing him on the mouth. She gets it over with as quickly as possible, and Ed declares that it was “nice” and Jesus Christ, someone put a collar on this beast.
“Would you fuck me? I’d fuck me,” Ed explains (“Goodbye horses, I’m flying over you…”.)
“Is this called coercion in United States?” Rose asks.
“It puts the lotion in the fucking basket!”
The next morning it appears Rose has finally succumbed to his ridiculous advances, and seems cool with it. She declares a hatred for his under-the-bridge beard, and Ed notes that she has hairy legs, which he finds “gross,”and asks her to shave them to best match his blow-up doll ideal. This is rich coming from someone with a greasy mop of Clairol for Mayo dangling in his face. Soon I’ll kick off a GoFundMe to buy Rose a full-body merkin to insulate her lady flesh from Ed’s Rumpelstiltskin mitts. For now, she goes in for the shave and Ed ditches the beard, and I long for the Wookie days of yore.
Later he heads to Rose’s house to act like a goon around a larger audience. He takes a three hour cab ride to her village, where he is shocked to discover that the Philippines is like the Philippines. First he meets Rose’s son Prince, who initially seems confused, and then declares “daddy!” And embraces him. Big Ed isn’t sure how he feels about being a father again at 54, but he’s totally okay with dating a child. Ed is also uneasy about meeting Rose’s sister Maria, because she hit up Ed for cash. Once Maria meets Ed, she realizes she should have asked for more.
The family is waiting with a little surprise party, and Ed meets Rose’s other two sisters and a brother-in-law. When they ask what he thinks, he wants to know where the windows are, and if he should worry about getting rabies from wayward bats or cockroaches, because he’s heard both things are attracted to the scent of canola oil. Seriously: why can’t anyone on this show make a polite comment to the family except Angela? How hard is it to say, “Well I bet you have a great view of the stars!”
Rose’s family has a nice set of dishes arranged for dinner, including fish, chicken, rice, and the silky gravy of Ed’s back sweat. He asks for something to drink, while they marvel at the river running down his face, and we learn her father is running late because he’s busy at the pig farm, which also sounds suspiciously poor to Ed. When Father arrives he’s quiet, contemplating that his daughter is hoping to marry someone older than himself, who is pushing his food around his plate, and calling a chicken like a dog to feed it from the table. Rose’s father wants to know if Ed knows the difference between dinner and a dog, and then asks what Ed’s intentions are, other than getting on his damn nerves. Ed declares, “I want to get to know your daughter, no games.” Sure, Prince is already calling him “daddy,” but wouldn’t want to create strange expectations by suggesting marriage post-coitus, amirite?
Ed declares that now that he’s seen the depth of their poverty, he worries that he’s just a meal ticket to Rose, and not the man of her dreams, even though he’s after Rose for specific things himself. I mean, a lot of 19 year old women are just jonesing for a controlling, anxiety-riddled man who hasn’t had sex in 28 years to fulfill their hobbit kink, so he has a right to be choosey. It’s important for her to love him like Rose loved Jack in the Titanic, even if Ed can’t draw anything and would demand to be the only body on that floating door, and she’s the only person to consider him king of any world.
Meanwhile, Tom continues his crusade to come off as a sympathetic character by making sad eyes from his good angle for the camera. As he pieces together one of his predictably boring outfits, he says he hopes they can have a conversation and attack the problem and not the person, but admits that he doesn’t care about attacking the person if the person is Darcey and not himself.
He situates himself to await her arrival, while Darcey enters the joint with a Beyoncé track in her head, and dumps her 16 changes of clothing on an unsuspecting hostess who has questions. Then she struts. Her. Shit. This is officially the first time Darcey has donned an outfit that isn’t from her signature Midlife Crisis line, and that jumpsuit is the fuck-you jam, and I want it for my next dramatic public fight with a future ex. She greets him as “Thomas” and passes on the affectionate greeting in favor of a handshake, before settling in for some gold medal passive aggression.
Tom: I’m nervous. Because I’m full of shit.
Darcey: No need. It’s just me. That’s called constipation, Tom.
Tom: How was Malta? If I had talked to you sometime in the last six weeks, I might know the answer to this question.
Darcey: It was nice to spend it with Stace. Thank you for the birthday…text. You said you were going to call or video call, I waited that whole day…but it’s okay. I know you’re a dick.
Tom: What actually happened to us? I’m going to act like what happened isn’t me going balls deep in another chick and bragging about it on instagram.
Darcey: I don’t know, but you must not know about me, you must not know about me. Should I say it twice? That’s kinda weird. It sounded better in my head.
Hannibal Lector: Cut him on the bias, Clarice. Serve him with a nice Chianti.
Tom goes on to say that she “was” this lovely woman, but has very specific things she wants, and she’s really not there for him, because she’s preoccupied with selecting the right filters for her twirling face-angle shots on instagram. He insists that Darcey never lets him talk during the conversations they don’t have, while a waiter with bad timing regrets his water glass decisions, and knows his tip is going to be bullshit. Darcey’s not having it, and knows he’s rerouting the events of the last six months to be about her doing something wrong, so she wants to know what his secret is, and talks to him in a soothing voice that is WAY more terrifying than mad Darcey.
“What do you want to hear?” Tom asks, because he’s still determined to make this about how out of control and unreasonable Darcey is, what with her fancy wanting interaction and silly expectations that he wouldn’t start another relationship before breaking it off with her.
“Tell her she’s insecure,” Baby Girl Lisa advises.
Darcey says she knows about the other woman he’s been posing with in stilted thigh-grab photographs, and Tom says that he met this person three weeks ago, and her name is Shannon, and he was hoping to get some exit sex. Since that doesn’t seem to be working out, he goes with, “I met someone who loves me the way I want to be loved. In three weeks.” Then what the fuck are you doing there, dude? He says, “You had everything of me in your hands, and you didn’t see it. And it was hard to listen to the Jesse thing all the time, when I was busy thinking about other people I planned to bang.” Since this isn’t already ridiculous enough, he says he’s not her notion of love, and that he loves her like a sister he wants to have sex with. Darcey thinks about what this means for her and Stacey, while Tom says he wants to be her friend.
Darcey nixes that bullshit, and says she doesn’t want to be friends. Then Tom tells her to “try not to ruin the next” relationship, and it’s easier to get through this scene if you imagine Tom has a diseased ballsack for a chin, which isn’t far off. He lets Darcey pay for his coffee, and continues throwing his Chex Mix on the floor by saying it’s a weight off of him, and when Darcey tells him to enjoy his life, he responds, “I will now that you’re not in it.” That twice a year interaction was really bringing him down before.
Tom tells the producers that he showed up to see if anything was still there, and because he wanted to be on camera one more time, and because he wanted to have sex with Darcey’s smother-titties before returning to the safety of Shannon’s thigh. Darcey is over this shit, and is ready to watch the baseball bat video with Beyoncé is a yellow dress, breaking stuff.
It’s time to revisit the platonic romantic relationship of Erika and Stephanie. As she stated last week, Stephanie is “waiting” to have sex until she’s actually bisexual, so Erika should start checking out social-distancing hers and hers nursing homes right now. Erika got to know Stephanie as someone with a risqué, fun, and sexual online persona, and she incorrectly assumed that Stephanie would clue her in if her real self didn’t match that presentation. With this in mind, Erika is certain Steph will love her big date surprise: a little artsy neon-lit joint where the last Rockabilly chick in an updo coaches women through the wet wrap construction of boob molds! Is this a thing so one day they can look back fondly on the time their tits weren’t smacking against their knees, or to create a decorative dinner mint container? I want to surprise a friend who will hate me afterwards with this, or arrive with just my cat and wide eyes and my own set of decorative paints. Or maybe I will wake up my partner tomorrow by hovering over him with a jar of plaster while whispering, “it’s time to preserve me.”
Stephanie doesn’t like this because she is wrong, and this is her first time seeing her own breasts outside of the internet. So she sits there awkwardly while everyone has their guns out for a showdown at the double-d corral, wondering why the fuck Erika didn’t see fit to, you know, ask if she wanted to have her tits in the air. All snark aside, I’m siding with Stephanie on this one. Choosing to explore the wonders of titty molds is one thing; arriving at a surprise titty shakedown is another, especially when this doubles as the debut fondling experiment. Something tells me Erika was hoping this would lead to The Sex. This is very Ed of you, Erika. But your fried egg overalls are still amazing.
Anyway, Stephanie decides to play along, and shakes the boxes of medication out of her bra to brace for breast spackle. The other titty sisters preserving their boobage opt to engage, which they will soon regret, and they ask about their relationship, and whether one of them intends to relocate to keep their romance warm. Stephanie, who is pissed off enough that she’s looking for anything to inspire grenade lobbing at Erika, says that she doesn’t think it will last very long if they’re not in the same place. Erika reminds her that she’s a photographer, and already has weddings booked that she needs to complete before moving to another country. Plus, she hears there’s a great plague coming that will leave us all under house arrest indefinitely. Also: it’s day 2. Maybe slow down on a borderline ultimatum. Erika then expresses confusion that on one hand Stephanie is very eager for their relationship to be set in stone, and on the other doesn’t want to have sex with her when they’re working with a tight three-week timeline.
“Is this coercion?” Rosemarie asks.
“Sort of,” Erika reluctantly admits. “I’m hoping it won’t count because I’m bisexual.”
“Still creepy though, and I KNOW creepy,” Ed is there with the confirmation.
Later on they ready themselves for a date, which is really a set-up so Stephanie can interrogate Erika about having a dating app on her phone. Other people would, you know, ask about the app the minute it was spotted, but the cameras weren’t there and this storyline needs Stephanie’s extensions.
Stephanie kicks things off by stating her intentions to take Erika to a nice dinner, and gives Erika a cute tiara headband thing to wear on their date. Once they’ve settled into their table and the thought of romance has dared to enter Erika’s head, Stephanie brings up the “boobie papier mache” and thinks a lot of people get the wrong impression of her, based on what she’s shown and told them. Then Steph demands to know what’s up with the app, and if Erika’s dated anyone else in the four months they’ve been thousands of miles apart. Erika says that she hasn’t and isn’t, but keeps it going for the networking side of things, and by networking she means dicks and vaginas under glass, which are useful in event of emergency.
Stephanie asks if she’d be open to deleting it, so Erika does it, but is annoyed that Stephanie doesn’t trust her and this action is required, and she hasn’t even had any swindle cake yet. Stephanie says the app just makes her uncomfortable, to which an exasperated Erika declares, “Everything makes you uncomfortable!” She says that Steph sold herself as free spirited and then arrived operating with the assumption that presents grant her the right to control her. 87% of the 90DF cast is miffed by this suggestion, and so is Stephanie. Erika takes off Stephanie’s tiara mind control device and storms off, and we get a good look at the extension cords and a sad drain on the floor when they chase after Erika while Stephanie fake cries at the table.
For some reason the producers are still entertaining the Yolanda story, which features her unwavering commitment to displaying total ignorance of British accents, despite the ability to pull up a two minute video on Youtube that would clarify this madness. Yolanda’s daughter notes that Williams appears to have a Nigerian name, address, phone number, accent, and passport, and the caps lock text he sent her reading, “HI I’M NIGERIAN” is a little suspicious. Yolanda is flummoxed, because he lives in Manchester and looks like an underwear model, and why would anyone lie about that? No one is this stupid. Stop it, 90DF. This makes Nicole’s insistence that Azan isn’t already married look convincing. Are there no actual relationships in the queue?
Later, she spends a few days trying to get a hold of him, before she receives an email threatening to release nudes she sent Williams if she doesn’t send money. Kinda like the money Williams asked her to send so he could travel to Vegas. Yolanda thinks this might be part of a rogue hacking operation, scouring the internet for instagram accounts to delete. She needs him to be real so desperately, and I’d feel sorry for her if this wasn’t already outed as an act, and I suspect she made up the email address herself and sent the threat to stretch out her screen time. Have we seen any relationship with Williams up until this point? Other than a string of heart emojis?
Finally, we’ve got Avery and Ash. They’re prepping for a three day trip to the other side of Australia, which Avery doesn’t see as a vacation, because she’s here to get answers about Ash, and you can’t possibly learn about someone by whether or not you’re capable of having fun with them.
“I have an opinion about this,” Erika interjects.
Avery is suspicious because of the shady behavior of Ash’s brother, who at dinner didn’t seem to support Ash’s statement about how easy it would be to take his child away from his mother to live in another country, permanently. Determined to not fall into the dicksand, Avery intends to confront him. They drive down into the country and Avery marvels at the beauty, before they stop in a pretty spot to have a picnic with Ash’s flower shop commitments on full display.
Ash: Yes, I am hearing you, and I am seeing you, and I think it’s good that you have words.
Avery: You’re giving me a rehearsed response. I think you’re sugarcoating the complexities of bringing Taj to America with you. Your brother didn’t seem convinced this would be as easy as you said.
Ash: This is communication, and it is open and honest and from a heart-centered place. I am confident that we can reach a positive outcome in these endeavors, if we continue to co-exist on this plane.
Avery: For fuck’s sake, I get that you’re trying to be positive, but living on planet earth means we’ve got to shovel some shit every once in awhile. Give me a truth bomb.
Ash: I’m afraid the complexity of this will cause you to bail, since you’ve previously dumped my ass. Also, here is some more jargon to plow over that rare moment of honesty, and to speed past the notion of what my ex-wife might have actually said about all this.
Avery: I need to talk to your ex-wife.
Ash: Oh damn.
Next week, Ed is shocked to learn that he’ll be sharing a room with another 54 year-old when he flew in for 19, David walks around Ukraine yelling Lana’s name and putting up missing-person posters, Ash is afraid of his ex-wife talking in plain English to Avery, and Erika is slowly wilting in the face of Stephanie’s highly developed control issues that already dominate their sexless union. Oh, and Darcey is flummoxed as to why Tom had to see her in person to humiliate her on TV, but she’s glad she got to wear that sick outfit, and for fuck’s sake will someone who actually wants to be in an instagram relationship hit her up and work out a hashtag with her already? Fuck!
Thank you, Patreon supporters, my lovely quarantine companions!
submitted by fractalfay to 90dayfianceuncensored [link] [comments]

Rock Bottom - trying to cope.

Please people, NEVER EVER EVER BET ON CREDIT. Here’s my story:
So last year I got into sports gambling. This is where I have a BIG PROBLEM STARTING. Little Bit of Baseball, Then some NFL and I was doing okay, feeling good. New hobby, fun so far. I’m placing bets on a site with a bookie. I then started losing every week, my initial limit was $500 a week with the bookie.
Starting in January I got in really deep, was calling in to raise my credit limit with the bookie and everything. I always paid very reliably so eventually he let me blow up to $3,000 in a week. Every week was bad.
After about 6 weeks I’m getting very aggravated and scared. I’ve lost probably $20k+ at this point in cash. So I panic and keep chasing it. I lose more and more. So of course when I’m chasing losses and there isn’t a sporting event on I get desperate and go to his online casino. I start playing slots like a mad man and then card games and whatever I can find. Losing more and more. I’m in way too deep at this point. It gets to the point I’m blowing my credit line with the bookie every week within the first two days of the week.
Finally I hit him one week for like $3k. What a false confidence that turned into. Was back to losing again and again and again!!
COVID-19 hits..... no sports. What a blessing for my gambling problem. I know it’s out of hand and I’m looking forward to a forced break. WELL, lucky me I remembered the bookie casino must still be operational. What a Junkie I am. I proceed to play and lose over and over and over. I finally decide I can’t win and it must be rigged somehow. The cards were bad, everything was bad. So I decide to quit. That was three weeks ago...... I just yesterday called the bookie and told him I’m done. I’m tapped. Count me out, close my line of credit.
I’m now awaiting next week when I make my final payment to him of $3k on Friday and walk away. It’s so hard. So so hard but I’m broken, battered, destroyed. I have no other option or I will be homeless and hungry.
I haven’t paid my rent or utility bills this month yet. I went from a savings account of $50k to now $30k in debt. I’m miserable. Just miserable. I feel taken, abused, mistreated and ashamed. I’m now sitting in limbo waiting for my next paycheck so I can pay him and then I’m going to have to wait a week after that to start paying bills and catching up. I’m crushed.
The hard part is sitting here with nothing to do but think about what I’ve done to myself. All my savings gone, all the debt I have to pay off now. I’m ruined. Contemplating what would have happened if I had dug deeper. Feeling hopeless and defeated. No matter who I talk to or hang around I feel alone.
I know I would have never just spent this money, it wasn’t real to me because I was betting on credit. This is the worst I have EVER felt about myself by a long shot. I wish this on nobody. I am posting this out of the need to share and get it off my chest. Trying to cope with loss and having to live with myself.
submitted by SnooWords5041 to GamblingAddiction [link] [comments]

I'mma head out

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submitted by TastyUdders to OneWordBan [link] [comments]

Gozer's Backstory

Gozer's Backstory
Gozer walked around his house, having nothing to do. You see, Gozer was a very sore loser. He loved to play, but hated it when he lost. Gozer went outside to hang out with his “Cat gang” it was made up of: Sunny, Bandit, and Socks. They all were alley cats but that didn't stop them from being friends. Gozer ran over to the alley where they lived and called for them. The three cats stepped out slowly. “Hey Gozer!” they all said in unison. “Hey guys! Wanna do a bet?” Gozer asked. “Sure, I’m in,” said Socks. “Same,” Bandit said. “Can’t, sorry. Gotta bounce.” said Sunny, who was probably up to no good. “What should it be about?” Gozer asked. “How bout who can jump the highest?” Socks replied. “Yup, that’ll work. The two cats who jump the highest can pick something for the loser to do,” Bandit mewed. “I’ll go first!” Socks volunteered. He jumped up, as high as he could. His jump reached all the way to a clothes line. Bandit went next, hers fell a little short of Socks but close behind. Gozer was worried, but he jumped, he only made it to the top of the trash can. “Hah Gozer!” Bandit laughed teasingly. “What! No! It was your fault! You were making me laugh. Plus I wasn’t ready when you said jump!” Gozer argued. “Sorry Gozer, rules are rules. Now me and Bandit are gonna think of something for you to do.” Socks said. Bandit and Socks went over to the end of the alley to speak in private. They snuck peek to make sure Gozer wasn’t listening. Socks and Bandit walked up to Gozer. “You need to go to Fight Cat Central.” Bandit said, snickering. “No way! That place is way too scary! I’ll get killed.” Gozer said nervously. “Oh come on! You never do anything we say! JUst do it, they won’t kill you.” Socks said reassuring him, somewhat. “Ugh! Fine.” Gozer said, regretting his decision to come here. Gozer walked over to Fight Cat Central. Fight Cat Central (FCC) was basically the territory of muscly alley cats. They beat up everyone that crosses their territory. Legend has it that the creator of FCC was a lion, hard to believe, but no one bothered to take their chances. Gozer, Bandit, and Socks walked over to FCC. It was filled with strong cats, with scarred faces. Gozer shivered. “You have to stay inside for 15 seconds,” Socks said. Gozer grunted, but agreed. All the FCC cats watched Gozer as he lifted his paw, to set it in their territory. He hesitated, but set his paw down. The FCC cats ran toward him and began to hiss. Gozer bolted, counting down the seconds before he could get out. “Three seconds left,” he said to himself. Right then, an FCC cat scratched Gozer’s rear. Gozer screeched and ran out of the FCC territory once his countdown ended. He slowed down but the FCC cats still chased him. He quickly ran into a hole in a fence. The other cats tried to squeeze in but couldn’t, they were far too large. Their paws reached in trying to grab Gozer, but couldn’t stretch far enough. When Gozer turned his head, he saw a yard filled with goodies and the smell of food. He bolted towards the food to see it full to the brim with frisky bitz. Not the greatest, but it will do. He went over to a baseball and played with it, in between his paws. Gozer got up to leave and walked over to the food bowl where he left a goldfish as a token of appreciation. He sniffed the fence to make sure the FCC cats were gone and went back home. After his great experience at the FCC escape shelter place, he visited there quite often. One day, as Gozer was about to leave his house to head to the other yard, he rummaged around to find his bronze coin. This was something he had won a long time ago in a bet, his first win. He held it in his mouth, careful not to swallow it and headed to the yard. After hanging out over there for a while, GOzer decided he better head home. He placed his coin by the food bowl for the human to take. GOzer had won that in a bet, and when he lost a bet, he found this amazing place. He wanted tho human to keep it to show his gratitude.
Gozers plays with a baseball.
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Chase Wins Sports Picks - YouTube Chasing vs Flat Betting Systems MPG AL West Baseball Betting Preview for the 2020 MLB Season

Chase Betting: a Different Way to Bet Baseball by Robert Ferringo. I think I have a threshold for psychological pain beyond that of a member of the general populace. The Totals Chase. Another underrated betting strategy is to chase a totals mark after a long streak. For example, if the OVER hits in five straight games for the Toronto Blue Jays, you can begin chasing the UNDER for their next few games. Ideally, you want to find a streak of at least five games before you start hitting the opposite total. Many people in 1900 were drawn to the most popular sports in America - baseball, boxing, and horse racing – because of gambling. Perhaps as influential as newspapers, and later radio, America’s penchant for gambling propelled sports in America to new heights. Gambling’s influence and appeal hasn’t changed a century later. Even today, in the sports Sports betting is a way to enhance that enjoyment. If you have a stake in the outcome, that makes the game that much more meaningful for a fan of any sport. The purpose of this site is to educate you about the Chase System of sportsbetting. Tonight we have a wildcard bet. This bet will fall outside of our normal betting structure in that it will only be a 2 game chase rather than a 3 game chase. Here is the rundown: Los Angeles Angels vs Chicago White Sox. Team: Los Angeles Angels. Bet: [A] Type: Los Angeles is the favorite at -1 1/2 so we will be placing a bet on the ML at -135.

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Chase Wins Sports Picks - YouTube

"Lay The Favorite" Sports Betting Podcast. LIVE! Wednesday Sports Chatter. FREE PLAYS! - Duration: 1 hour, 23 minutes. Sports Betting Tips: Betting 1st 5 Innings in Baseball - Duration: ... Do Chase Strategies and Martingale Sports Betting Systems Work? - The Whale Explains - Duration: 10:51. Do Chase Strategies and Martingale Sports Betting Systems Work? - The Whale Explains - Duration: 10:51. Whale Sports 7,441 views Chase Wins Sports Picks 473 views. 14:57. ... Sports Betting Free Picks, Predictions and Odds for 2/14 to 2/16/2020 - Duration: 5:34. Doug Upstone Free Sports Picks and Predictions 1,207 views. GOLF.com's Subpar: Jon Rahm talks about beating Tiger, on-course outbursts and raps Kendrick Lamar - Duration: 1:20:57. Golf.com Recommended for you. New