Canterbury - United States - Horse Racing | Racing Online

The Ostringer

by Yael Dragwyla
§ 1.
One rainy Saturday autumn night after the jocks had thinned out somewhat, the five of us were sharing a table and a pitcher at Alberto’s Pizza. Our eclectic little group included my erstwhile college classmate and sometimes good buddy Charles Old; my cousin and roommate, Jodi Weiss, who'd just received her Master's Degree in 16th-century English literature; my cousin on the other side, who also lived about three streets down from us, John von Morgenstern the Nine-Hundred and Thirtieth or so (to hear him tell it; among others, one of his major hobbies included creative genealogy), who loved science-fiction and had sold a number of his own s-f stories; me, Hannah Drake, still working on my Ph.D. in astrobiology; and Tom Warner, a Santa Reál County deputy sheriff.
Tom, who lived about an hour’s bicycle-ride away on the outskirts of the city of Santa Reál itself, was attached to the Foot Patrol here in Monte Vista, the little coastal town next to the University of California at Santa Reál, where the rest of us live.
“I guess it’s my turn to spring for a pizza,” Tom offered. With perks, Tom makes more than any two of the rest of us together, so we didn’t object. However, since Tom also makes – perks and all – rather less than a comfortable living, he scowled at our collective lack of protest. But, being a good sport, he shrugged good-naturedly and ordered a 20” Supreme Pizza for all of us, anyway.
When he finally returned from the counter with the pizza, Jodi asked him, “Tom, all the rest of us have told a story or two about ourselves. Now it’s your turn. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever run into?”
Tom set the pizza down, sat down on the bench next to Charles and took a wedge of pizza for himself. While we likewise helped ourselves to the pizza, he considered awhile as he thoughtfully ate his own piece of pizza. Finally, swallowing a mouthful of crust, he said, “Well, I don’t know . . . I’ve seen some weird cases, all right, but they’re all Department business and I really shouldn’t talk about them. Hmm . . .” “Okay,” he said, finally deciding, “I’ll tell you one – did you ever hear about the Eagle-Girl of Valle Grande?”
We all looked blank – except for Charles, our Resident Skeptick, who was busily tucking in his psychic bib in contented anticipation of a long, pleasant feed off Tom’s ego.
Tom went on: “It happened a couple of years ago, when the rains were so bad that half the county seemed to be flooding – remember? It’s so weird that no one would really believe it happened, except for those of us who were directly involved in it, so we closed the file with ‘Death by Misadventure,’ though we really meant ‘Death by Act of God’ which would have been a lot closer to the mark ...”
“Oh, dear – did the Great Thunderbird off a wino?” Charles asked unctuously.
“Well, why don’t you listen for yourself and then judge, Charles ol’ bean?” Tom replied.
§ 2.
“It started,” Tom said, while Charles scowled at Tom’s lack of appreciation of his scintillant wit, “with an investigation of possible child-abuse in one of those big, ritzy homes in Valle Grande. A psychiatrist’s stepdaughter, Angela Ellis, who went to Don Alejandro Camarillo Junior High School in Valle Grande, began coming to school more and more frightened and withdrawn every day from the first day of seventh grade on. A pretty, fragile little thing with long, black hair and clear, pale skin, she’d had an outstanding academic record up through sixth grade, in spite of great shyness and a tendency to be somewhat withdrawn, but her marks suddenly dropped to straight F’s by November of her first semester in middle school. So her teachers felt that something had to be very wrong at home, even though the girl was never bruised or otherwise physically injured.
“So the school authorities called Child Protective Services, but rather timidly, since there was no physical evidence of abuse. They asked that agency to investigate the situation and find out just what was really going on. So CPS sent out a team – which never got inside the house. Doctor Jay Manning – the girl’s stepfather, a great big redheaded brute of a man; Carol Manning, Angela's mother, had died of what was apparently a side-effect of medication prescribed for her by Manning about three years previous – anyway, he threatened to have all the investigators run in for harassment and violation of his constitutional rights, blah blah yatta yatta et cetera, and sue the school in the bargain
“Well, since there was no evidence of physical abuse, it would have been impossible to get a warrant, as it was. And since one of Doctor Manning’s close friends – who also just happened to be his own personal attorney – was the head of the local chapter of the ACLU at that time, nobody wanted to risk pushing it any farther.
“But then Jane Bright, the school psychologist, called Child Protective Services, telling them that while Angela was obviously intermittently, uh, delusional, she’d told her (that is, Ms. Bright) that Manning had killed her pets and had made her watch while he did it – a punishment for what he called ‘silliness’... which was the psychosis or whatever which the school psychologist diagnosed the girl as having.
“The school psychiatrist, who frankly didn't like Manning at all, felt that Angela was under tremendous strain at home, and was undergoing a breakdown, and that her stepfather was punishing her for it by killing her pets.”
“‘Pets’?” asked Jodi.
“Hawks. And owls. And an eagle.”
We all stared at him. “She was an ostringer?” John asked in delight – all his life, he had loved anything and everything having to do with birds. He himself had had a pair of ravens when he was a child, and later, a blue jay, and one of his life’s fondest dreams was to have a mews full of hawks and gear for training and flying them.
Tom grinned. “Yeah. Ms. Bright wasn’t sure whether to believe it or not, at first – she thought it might be one of the girl’s delusions or hallucinations or whatever. But just in case, she reported it to CPS.
“Well, when CPS checked it out, they found out that the family really did keep such birds. In fact, as they learned, the girl had competed with some of those birds and had won some hefty awards for it.
“The family’s neighbors, though, weren’t at all fond of the birds. Seems the eagle had gotten loose a time or two, terrorizing some small children in the area, leaving big smelly piles of, er, feces on roofs and lawns, and ripping off neighborhood livestock, like, somebody’s Pekingese, somebody else’s budgies right out of the cage next to an open window, things like that. And Manning’s back yard, where they were kept – well, you sure wouldn’t need a road-map to find it!”
“All that birdshit?” asked Charles.
“Right!” John laughed. “Raptors such as eagles are carnivores, you know. Their feces are full of ammonia – and unlike cats, they don’t bury it. Fehhh!” Grinning, he made a face, holding his nose for emphasis.
“Ewww – Peke bones all over the yard!” I muttered.
“So that’s what happened to Professor Braintree’s poodle!” Jodi mused.
“Yeah, well, from what you’ve told me about that mutt, the neighbors wouldn’t given a hoot in hell about it – shit, they’d have given the bird a Good Housekeeping Award or something for ridding the neighborhood of an aggravated disaster!” I reminded her.
“Well, go on – what happened? John urged Tom.
“Well, so Child Protective Services found out that the birds no longer were in evidence, either in the air or anywhere on Manning's property or anywhere else, as far as anyone knew. So the school authorities called the SPCA, who called us. ― We could have called in the Environmental Protection Agency, too, because some of the neighbors swore on a stack of bibles they were keeping goddamn’ condors in there! But that was just a bit too wild – bringing in the Feds on mere hearsay would have been suicidal, career-wise. So ol’ Boss John – my boss – said screw it.
“But we did go in with a search-warrant and an SPCA investigation team, and we found that the birds were indeed missing – and that, just coincidentally, ground for a small garden had just been prepared a couple of days before. With great big lumps in it.
“Over Manning’s yells, shrieks of rage, curses and threats, we dug it all up again and found some rather suspicious birdy remains. Angela, who stood by silently, watching us dig up the ‘garden,’ began to cry when she saw the bodies of the birds that we unearthed that night. Her stepfather yelled at her to get the hell into the house.
“Oh, no,” Lieutenant Barry said, “she may be a material witness. Dear, would you come down to the station with us and tell us how those birds got there?” Barry was a kind, fatherly man, and Angela warmed to him right away.
“She started to say something – and then was riveted to the spot, dumb as a post, by a snake-cold ‘I’ll kill you if you do’ glare from Manning. She shook her head ‘No’ without looking at any of us, tears running rivers down her cheeks, and walked slowly up to the house as if she were going to her own execution.
“– And sonuvabitch if it didn’t turn out that the warrant hadn’t been properly made out, so the cruelty-to-animals charge was thrown out and we and the SPCA ended up being sued by the shrink for harassment and false arrest – and he collected, too, damn him.”
“So what about the girl’s – you know, her psychosis, anyway?” asked Charles. “You still haven’t said much about it.”
The look Tom turned on him was a study in equal measures of irritation, self-control, and amusement. “Gee, I guess I didn’t, did I, now, Charlie? Tell you what, without too much trouble, you could have been in that backyard, yourself ... You have the strangest resemblance to some of those little old ladies who love to gloat over everybody else’s troubles in the National Enquirer, you know?”
“Oh, never mind him,” I said, before Charles could explode. “Please go on with your story!”
Tom looked at me and grinned. “Well, for you, beautiful, I will.”
§ 3.
“Okay,” he continued, "Ms. Bright told us that Angela had told her that she, Angela, was a ‘bird priestess,’ a reincarnated Native American medicine-woman who had, in her last life, been the human, uh, avatar? – yeah, avatar of the Spirit of All Eagles. She claimed she was doing Bird Magic to take her to the Kingdom of the Eagles to get help to destroy the Bark Priest of Poisons, who bore an interesting resemblance to her stepfather.”
“Er,” said Charles, grinning.
Oh boy!” laughed John. “Yeah, I guess she really wasn’t playing with a full deck, there, was she?”
Tom grinned. “Sure, yeah, she was nuts,” he said, biting into another wedge of pizza.
“Well, I’ve got one for you –” Charles began.
“Wait, son,” said Tom, cutting him off. “I promised you a weirdie, a weirdie you shall get. I’m not done yet, so shut up and let me finish, will you?
“– To go back to the point at which I was so rudely interrupted,” he continued as Charles glared and muttered something under his breath, “apparently Manning hated Angela because she was far, far brighter than he’d ever dreamed of being, not to mention the fact that she didn’t share his own view of people and life, which basically came down to Screw or Be Screwed. Then, of course, he'd married Carol, Angela's mother, for her money, but wasn't all that happy at having to care for Carol's daughter, as well. And God knew what else.
“Then, when Angela reached puberty, of course things became thoroughly complicated by sex, what you might call the, er, Humbert Humbert syndrome. – No, come to think of it, ol’ HH only liked the ones with no hair on their ... er. Ahem.” He cleared his throat in embarrassment, trying not to look at me or Jodi.
“Yes? Go on,” Jodi urged ingenuously.
Damn, Tom, we’re not exactly shrinking violets, you know?” I snapped at him. “For heaven’s sake, will you go on! – Jeez, man, your face is as red as Lenin on May Day!” I told him, grinning. He was – his face was turning beet-read out of embarrassment.
“Ladies – which you aren’t – you ought to be ashamed of yourselves!” he told Jodi and me darkly. “Scandalous, you are. Corrupt my morals ...
“Anyway,” he continued, “some sex thing seemed to have gotten mixed up with his original dislike of his stepdaughter, and he started putting heat on her – calling her names all the time, ranging from psychiatric to dumb to just plain filthy; using any excuse at all, even making up excuses out of thin air to punish her, usually by destroying or otherwise taking something she loved or wanted away from her.
“But the fucker was of course clever about it. He never hit her. Never laid a hand on her. Before Carol died, he coerced her into covering up for him, and after her death, he kept Angela at home as much as possible, only letting her go out to go to school.
“Now Carol, his wife, Angela's mother, he beat up all the time. Unlike Angela, you see, who by law had to go to school every day, Carol had no strong reason requiring her to go out at all, since they could have groceries trucked in, and since Manning was an M.D., he could legally treat her at home if she needed that. Carol had no friends or relatives in town, or anyone else who might become concerned when she didn’t appear in public, and he could keep her in the house while the bruises and broken bones healed, and who cares about wife-beating, anyway? Oh, Jesus!
“You know, I really hope Women’s Liberation succeeds, because I’m getting awfully fucking sick and tired of coming out to bust up the ten-millionth ‘fight’ between Mr. and Ms. Whoozis, and she goes into the hospital, and some fancy lawyer comes down and gets the son of a bitch she’s married to bailed out right when we’re booking him and he never goes to jail at all, and then the ten-million-and-first time she dies, and nobody cares, man, and I ... Well, that’s neither here nor there, is it?” Hawking harshly, Tom spat onto the floor by way of punctuation. One of the student busboys, sighing as he walked up to clean up the floor where Tom had spat, glared at him reproachfully. Ignoring him, Tom went right on with his tale. “Sorry for the digression.
“So anyway, Angela began ‘being silly,’ as Manning put it. – That is, she began to act just like someone who is undergoing a nervous breakdown. As a psychiatrist, Manning had to have known exactly what was wrong with her. But of course he himself was the reason for it, and didn’t seem at all inclined to quit being that reason any time soon, as long as he had any say in it. As you might expect under the circumstances, he dismissed her obvious breakdown in terms of something like a juvenile prank or simple childishness, and did nothing to get her into real therapy for it. Why were none of us surprised?”
“So what happened?”
§ 4.
“Well, January came along, and with it came the rains. And then, one stormy late afternoon in mid-January, Manning calls us in a towering rage, saying that Angela had ‘run off,’ leaving a note for him that ‘read nonsense,’ saying she was going up on the mountains just to the north of Santa Reál to call up Grandfather Eagle to give the Bark Priest what he deserved, and would we ‘run the bitch in'?
“Wherever it was Angela was actually going, she hadn’t taken a car. Apparently she was going to hitch-hike, or at least take the bus – she was too young to have a driver’s license, and anyway she'd never learned to drive. And because Manning had strictly supervised her activities and severely restricted her social life, she had no friends who might have given her a ride. So she was on foot, unless, of course, she could hitch a ride from someone or took a bus.
“On top of this, just before he called, we got another call, this one from Mrs. Brigid Grady, a very concerned woman who lived just off East Camina Cima, the road that runs up to KTSR, the TV station off Highway 150. She told us that just a little earlier that evening she’d seen someone climbing San Miguel Peak, which was very near her home. She saw whoever it was in the glare from a lightning flash, though not very well, and it made her curious. So she got out a pair of binoculars her late husband had brought back from his hitch in the Korean War and, in the next flash of lightning, she could just make out that the climber was a girl, a young girl who was dressed far too skimpily for such cold, rainy weather. But then the girl climbed down into a ravine or canyon, so our caller couldn’t see her any longer. It was raining far too hard for her to go check it out herself at first hand, since she’d recently come down with the ‘flu and still hadn’t completely recovered. But she really thought the girl might be in danger, so she called us in case a rescue was needed.
“Well, putting two and two together, we got a crew together as fast as we could and went out to find the girl, cussing all the way. It was too wet to have much chance of finding her, not to mention driving up there on those goddamn slick roads this late in the day, but it wasn’t quite wet or dark enough to justify postponing a search until after the rain stopped.
“When we got up there, we found we’d been preceded by the girl’s father, who’d decided to make sure we Did Our Duty. Fucker’d borrowed a jeep from a neighbor of his, and had arrived at the foot of the peak just before we did. We couldn’t stop him – he was ten or twenty feet ahead of us all the way, even though the rocks were so slick from the rain that they might as well have been soaped. So with him leading, and us chasing him as much as her, we worked our way up that deep, treacherous ravine that makes a seam up the back of the hill to this ledge that overlooks several deep canyons running behind that range of hills.
“– Hills, hell – they were fuckin’ mountains! Johnny, remember that book Inferno by Niven and Pournelle you wanted me to read? Well, I finally did get the time to read it. (You were right, it was one hell of a read!) Remember that place just below the First Circle, where Benito and Allen Carpenter look down into Hell before descending into it? It looked something like they’d have seen there – or even like the original might have looked to Dante and Virgil: A thousand-foot fall, since the range behind the hills to our north is part of a table-land that gradually descends to the cold-desert region east of here; a sky the color of squid-ink where it wasn’t jet-black – or a weird, ionized electric purple like a defective black-light, or A-bomb green from lightning! The jaws of Hell, man, that’s what it was! And it had fangs to go with it, down there at the bottom of the canyon – spires and pillars and jumbles of solid rock, up to twenty feet high, with no ground cover on them at all!
“Then we saw the girl. She was sitting on a spur of rock ten feet above this narrow, rain-flooded, muddy ledge and a hundred yards to our right.
“She was in a sort of – a kind of ecstasy, an exalted trance, and you couldn’t tell just what the source of that exaltation was: Joy, hate, fear, fury, despair, grief, love – none of those and all of those and something ‘way beyond any of those were all part of it. The rain ran off her face in great, shining sheets and filled her long, unbound, dark hair so that it shone silver-green under the lightning, and her face shone livid blue and green and even gold in the lightning-flashes. All she was wearing was this little, white, thin, peasant blouse embroidered around the yoke and the hems with little blue and yellow flowers, khaki shorts, some feathers in her hair, and a turquoise-and-silver bracelet. That was all, not even sandals or tennis shoes to protect her feet.
“There she sat, cross-legged, Indian-style, her hands uplifted to the sky, her eyes rolled back in her head so only the whites showed. And she was chanting.
§ 5.
“The storm robbed most of her chant of whatever sense it had, but every once in a while she’d yell out a part of it – and odd thing, every time she did, a bolt of lightning cracked down the sky, like punctuation.”
“Aw, Tom ...” said Charles impatiently.
“No shit, man!” Tom snapped. ‘That’s what we noticed – but I will give you this: those lightning bolts came so often, anyway, and the storm was so loud, that we probably missed the times she yelled and nothing happened.
“– Anyway, Manning, who’s ahead of us all the way, immediately makes for the rocky spur where the girl’s sitting. He’s cussin’ a blue streak, screaming things at her even we’d never heard before – and man, you can bet your last dollar we hear everything in our line of work! The sumbitch’s so loud we can hear him clearly above the storm! In spite of the fact that he’s a hundred pounds overweight and thirty years out of condition – I guess even the rich assholes at the Monte Vallejo Heights Tennis Club finally had it with him, and yanked his court privileges or something – the turkey hauls himself up to where Angela is, almost one-handed. Then he begins slapping her and trying to pull her down off the rock-spur.
“Finally she turns, and looks straight at him. The whites of her eyes aren’t showing like did before, but she’s staring at him like a horse gone mad on locoweed, wearing an expression the likes of which I’ve only seen on days-old stiffs before the morticians get to them: a smile straight out of the Pit. Hate is far, far too weak a word for what she must have felt for him – not that I blame her!
“We’re just finally getting up to where the two of them are, ourselves, and can see them both fairly clearly. Her eyes look like burning sulfur in the lightning-flashes. It finally begins to get through even to him. For just a second or two; he draws back.
“And now the bastard recovers himself. Rearing back, he howls ‘Slut! You fucking little whore!’ at her and aims a round-house punch at her.
“It never connects. Just as he tenses to make his punch, her mouth opens in this sunken-in gape as she throws back her head, eyes closed, flings up her hands and moans, ‘Kee-OWW-ohaauww ...’“
I could feel the hair rising on the back of my neck as he did his imitation of her cry. Everyone else at the table flinched, too, even Charles, who wasn’t quite able to cover up his reaction, even with his best effort to do so.
“His punch never connects,” Tom went on. “Sheet-lightning suddenly covers the sky, high up. By its light, for just an instant, we see these three black, winged shapes diving straight down at the girl and her old man. We’re paralyzed by the sight of them, unable to move when, moments later, they strike.
“Or rather, the middle one does, sinking what I swear to Jesus Christ and all the saints are four-inch talons full-length into Manning’s back. Screaming, Manning pitches off the rock he’s been standing on, down onto the ledge where we are, and then, thanks to the momentum of the attack, over the edge, down onto the rocks below. The bird that attacked him shoots back up into the sky, wailing like a banshee, joining its two huge companions, which in the meantime were turning circles in the sky above the girl.
“– And then, the three birds ... vanished.
“That is,” he said, looking over at Charles, “there was another blast of sheet-lightning, then a regular bolt of the stuff, and we were so dazzled by the sky-pyrotechnics that we could barely see anything, as it was. Somewhere in there, the birds disappeared, maybe while we were still rubbing the fireballs out of our eyes.
“Also, right about then the girl pitched off the rock where she’d been sitting, unconscious and exhausted, and we had to scramble to catch her. We were too busy to be watching for anything else. Either way, we didn’t see the birds go.
“Well, we got the girl down off the rock safely, and took her to St. Mary’s Hospital back down in Santa Reál, where she was treated for exposure and shock. (By the way, Angela subsequently recovered completely, and is now on the Dean’s list at a very good girl’s school beck East).
“Anyway, as soon as we could, we went back for Manning – after the rain stopped and we could get back up in there to reach him. By that time, of course, the dude was very dead – he’d fallen hundreds of feet onto the rocks, and there was no way he could have survived. His skull was flattened due to impact against the rocks, and his brains were splattered all over crestion.
“It took us a week to decide just how to write it all up so we wouldn’t all get hauled away to a psychiatric hospital once our superiors reviewed it. We finally closed the case as ‘death due to misadventure,’ like I said, and that was that.”
§ 6.
“But those birds – what about them?” John reminded him.
“Oh, yeah, the birds.” Reaching into his pants’-pocket, Tom said, “Oh ... I dunno. What would you say wore feathers like these? – I’ve been keeping these as a good-luck charm,” he explained, a little sheepishly. Also,” he went on, glaring at Charles, “sometimes I sort of take them out and look at them . . . to remind myself that I don’t know everything, and never will .... Here.” So saying, he pulled an envelope out of his pocket, and took out several feathers, heavy and long, an oily greenish-black in color, and some shorter, golden-tan, all rubber-banded together. Dark, gluey soil, almost tarry in color and consistency, was still embedded in them.
Condors –” breathed John, inspecting them. “And that’s ... yes, they are. Those are the tail-feathers of a Harpy Eagle! You – you say you found these at the site?”
“Uh, no, not exactly” said Tom. He now pulled a second, rubber-banded bundle of feathers out of the envelope. ‘Now these did come from the site. Take a look – compare these to that first bunch of feathers, people.”
We did, passing them among ourselves, They were identical, point for point, right down to the bits of tarry, gluey dirt caught in them.
“I can’t tell any difference between them. And this dirt?” said John.
“That’s right,” said Tom. “Even the soil-types of that muck stuck in the feathers is identical.
“But the thing is, in neither case is it soil from the area where Manning died. You see, those feathers in that second bunch, drifted down into a branch of a bush next to the rock where the girl had perched, and I took them out of that bush and ran them through a forensic analysis myself.”
“Don’t tell me,” snorted Charles. ‘The first bundle’s from the La Brea Tar Pits.”
“Close, Charlie – but you don’t win no cee-gar.” Tom wore a grin like a skull. His eyes were invisible behind the Polaroid glare of the lenses of his glasses, which had been turned into molten silver by the overheads. “They were from some of the bird carcasses we found in that ‘garden’ we dug up at the shrink’s place in Valle Grande.”
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A (very) Amateur Breakdown of Every Artist

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Jojo's OC Tournament #2 Round 2, Match 7: James Burton VS Felix Down

[The Results are in! The Winner is....]()
Category Winner Reasoning
Popularity Sunset Company 5 -1, in Sunset Company's favor!
Jojolity Sunset Company 25 - 19 in Sunset Company's favor! Jojolity denial was the name of the game here.
Quality Diamond Dogs 25 - 19 in the Diamond Dogs' favor!
 
Turk: Hello Pepe. How are things looking where you are?
Pepe: Perfectly fine, why do you ask?
Turk: Well I wanted a little recap on our situation. One of our operatives, Lone, decided to go after The Overload.
Pepe: So? It isn't necessary to reach us.
Turk: It could be a problem if it fell into wrong hands. I count Lone as one of those wrong hands. He's proven himself a liability. I need to know if we can safely get rid of him.
Pepe: Him?
Pepe: Well strictly speaking we don't need anybody. Your assistant is not even aware of our existence, Blin and his cronies can always make more pillars and defenses, but that is just insurance by now. We don't need his money. I think we are only keeping tabs on Line in case he remembers something and becomes a problem then, Lite is useful but ultimately unnecessary.
Pepe: And Lone is the least useful of everyone. The area is already destabilized. We do not need him any more.
Turk: Thank you, Pepe.
Pepe: Strictly speaking, even I'm too much. Your influence is all the organization really needs.
Turk: That's an exaggeration. So then hopefully Lone does not come back. We hardly need another Murray. I've cut him off so far but….
Turk: You understand.
Pepe: Yes, I understand. And do not worry, I will keep a close eye on the situation here. Best wishes!  
Felix Dawn sighed as he reached the small village in the valley. It had been quite an unusual journey to get there. Dr. Feelgood had sent him to China on some intel that an artifact called the Overload could be found in the valley. About as soon as he’d landed in Beijing, Felix was accosted by another Stand user named James Burton, who demanded to know if Felix had seen a California Redwood anywhere, claiming that the tree had crippled Burton’s friend. Somehow.
As it turned out, Burton had also been sent after the Overload based on intel gathered by Huey Lewis and was conducting his own personal investigation on the side. The two shared an interest in archery and decided to work together to find the Overload. Burton seemed like a pretty decent guy to Felix, though it felt odd to always be referred to as “Best Felix” by his partner. Still, it was better than “Other Felix”, which was what Burton had called him at first. As the two trekked toward the Kyrgyzstan border, they heard enough rumors and clues to point them in an increasingly specific direction. They also became a pretty ironclad team, fully prepared to take on whatever enemy Stand users they encountered.
When they finally reached the village, they even knew that the Overload was a knife and which specific house it was supposed to be in. And of course, the ancient shack was empty. Burton was turning the whole place upside down trying to find the knife when a gravelly Texan drawl stopped them.
“Sorry, losers, but y’all’re a little late.”
Felix and Burton spun around to see a large man wearing a UT Varsity Jacket and, for some reason, a cat mask. He was also holding an ancient Chinese dagger: The Overload.
“The name’s Lone, but you can call me… Lone. Anything else and I kill ya. Though I’m probably gonna kill ya anyway.”
“Hey, Tex,” came a second voice, this one more dignified, and with Australian accent. “Earth to Austin Texas. You got the knife or what, mate?”
“This isn’t Texas, dumbass,” Burton said in response to Lone’s unseen partner.
“I know, mate. Austin Texas is just his name,” said the Australian, stepping into view. He was quite a bit shorter than Lone and dressed in a tuxedo modified with numerous pouches, a Civil War rifle slung over his back. “Speaking of, might as well add, I’m Cliff. Cliff Currenti.”
“See, when that asshole Line sent me after this thing, I bet he planned on it being a suicide mission, but I brought company,” Lone continued, clearly agitated that Cliff had given away his real name.
“Can’t say I blame this Line guy,” Cliff muttered. “I’m gonna have to hold so many balls when I get out of this.”
Felix was pretty confused about what these two were talking about, but the situation reminded him of Null’s story about what had happened to him at the Colosseum. He had a feeling this would be a little harder.
“You must be one of those ‘Golds’ that Chance has been raving about ever since the baseball game,” Burton said. “I’mma deck you in the schnoz.”
Lone looked taken aback by that for a moment, then regained his composure. “Do you dumbasses even know what the Overload does?” Lone asked. “When it pierces you, it boosts your Stand threefold in every way. Fuckin’ morons.”
Overhead, rain clouds began to form.
“C’mon, Best Felix. We can still take ‘em. Two on two!” Burton said.
“Not exactly,” came a third voice, this one with a Spanish accent, coming from somewhere outside. “More like, dos en tres. Is a bad fate for you.”
“Figured I wouldn’t take any chances in case someone else got to the Overload first,” Lone said. “Turns out, I didn’t need it. I’m going to have fun killing you two.”
Felix shared a look with Burton, glad to have the other archer’s help. The two summoned their Stands and readied for battle. As Lone drove the Overload into his own forearm, Felix wondered why he kept needing to deal with knife theft.
“Ow! Shit! Ugh, hurts like a bitch. [Lone Digger], you idiots, kill them!”
A little blood trickled out of Lone’s forearm. A pink tube, his Stand, slithered out from the wound and dove underground. Lone shot the duo a menacing glare. Suddenly a massive wall of earth shot out of the ground, reaching towards the heavens. Felix turned around, only to see another wall rumbling up. Everyone, even the others Lone brought, looked shocked at this display of power.
Lone stood up. “My Stand is normally pretty weak. It can only move things like a foot. But you fuckos done screwed yourself. [The Overload gets rid of my weakness.”
He turned to his allies. “Well what am I paying you for? Kill them already!”
 
Remain in Light #3: [The Overload]
Appearance: An ancient dagger of Chinese make.
Power: None (Though it is sharp enough to pierce human skin)
Speed: None
Range: None
Durability: ???
Precision: None
Potential: None
Ability: [The Overload], when stabbed into a Stand user, will triple all of the Stand’s stats, and will boost their ability a ridiculous amount. However, this only works for a minute, and after which, [The Overload] will never work for that person again.
 
Boss 1:
Name: Austin Texas (Lone)
Age: 23
Occupation: Mercenary
Appearance: Lone wears a generic Varsity Jacket open over a white T Shirt and blue jeans. He is relatively small. He wears a cat mask on at all times, so his actual facial features are unknown.
Bio: From the moment he was born, Austin Texas was given every reason to hate the world. His parents were cocaine addicts who thought it would be funny to name their child after the city in which he lived. While they were at it, they alternatively neglected or abused him. So, when he first learned what murder was, he figured he’d try it out on them, but wasn’t really sure how.
Luckily for him, around this time, his Stand [Lone Digger] was awoken. In exploring his newfound powers, Austin killed two birds with one stone, using his Stand to kill his parents. Its ability ripped their hearts right out of their chests. Arguably, this killed three birds with one stone, as it gave the child an inspiration for his new codename to replace the atrocious “Austin Texas”: Lone.
Personality: Lone is a thug. He's a murderer who doesn't care about human life, and is willing to sell anyone else out for his own gain. He's been covering the role of general murderer in the team, and has been pretty happy with being low level in the group.
He doesn't especially mind if his allies die and will probably try and kill them afterwards to save money.
Power: 3
Speed: 5
Intelligence: 3
Constitution: 5
Intimidation: 1 (Lone does not command any fear or respect from anyone.)
Stand Name: [Lone Digger]
Stand Appearance: [Lone Digger] takes the appearance of a glowing neon pink tube, capped at both ends with silver metal. It is about 1m long and 5cm in diameter.
Power: E (It can't attack nor escape if it is caught)
Speed: D (Lone Digger is not fast, especially while tunneling.It's about 5 mph when tunneling and 10 mph when not.
Range: A
Durability: A (It can be caught but is essentially unbreakable.)
Precision: D (Lone can control his Stand, but it is much easier to use the ability on large objects
Potential: E
Ability: First of all, [Lone Digger] has the ability to tunnel through anything the metal caps touch, leaving it unharmed. It cannot do any damage whatsoever, and pulling it out by force with not do harm either.
Second of all, it can move anything that both of the metal caps touch by up to 1 foot. This ability is better on large objects, as they are easier to touch with its low Precision. Objects up to tectonic plates can be manipulated, albeit slowly and only 1 foot at a time. However, smaller objects require planning and careful use of the Stand’s tunneling abilities to touch with both caps.
 
Boss 2:
Name: Miguel Marcado
Appearance: A small man wearing slightly rumpled clothing, with black hair and a somewhat equine face.
Personality: Miguel is a very simple man. He likes money, likes his life much more, and wants both of them. He prefers staying back, as his Stand is not a combat based one at all.
Items: None
Power: 1
Speed: 5
Intelligence: 5
Constitution: 4
Running Away: 5
Stand Name: [Wheel in the Sky]
Stand Appearance: Clouds, which can be anything from stormy black to fluffy white in color and shape.
Power: E (The clouds have no offense whatsoever. All they can do is rain.)
Speed: E (This Stand is very slow.)
Range: A ([Wheel in the Sky] can go up to 50 miles away from its user.)
Durability: A (It’s far in the air, and cannot really be attacked at all.)
Precision: E (This Stand can only really do one thing, and the user cannot control the predictions from it.)
Potential: E
Ability: [Wheel in the Sky] can rain. This can either be an isolated sprinkle or raging monsoon. This rain is real, but will go back to the Stand as it evaporates. There’s a large amount of rain stored, so the user doesn’t need to worry about that. It could feasibly rain constantly on a city for a matter of weeks.
Whenever it rains, the user of [Wheel in the Sky] hears a piece of advice to avoid some misfortune that will happen to them in the future. They can choose to avoid this misfortune, but at the cost of it being "passed" onto someone else. They can only hear one prediction every minute, and only if there is something in the next hour that affects the user negatively.
 
Boss 3
Name: Cliff Currenti
Age: 26
Occupation: Mercenary, Ballroom Dancer
Bio: The youngest of three brothers, all Stand users, Cliff always felt left out. He was a late bloomer and developed his Stand later in life than his brothers, and his Stand was also unlike the others in his family, though probably the strongest of the three. Cliff developed a passion for ballroom dancing, and, through that, discovered a secondary ability of his Stand. When he went off to college, he cut ties with his family in order to start work as a mercenary, using his Stand to make money for various illegal deeds. While he never charged a high price, it was enough to make a living. These days, he spends about as much time organizing fancy dance parties as carrying out jobs, using his hard-earned money and his Stand’s ability to throw the biggest balls around.
Personality: Cliff is someone who believes that someone should do as much good in the world as they do evil, which has led him to throw his charity balls alongside performing his dirty deeds. On a job, he is analytical and quick to understand a situation. He doesn’t especially like hurting people, though he never shies away from a job. He’s also a fan of puns and wordplay, leading him to quickly be able to come up with anything that can be considered a ball.
Physical Description: A small man, Cliff is stronger than he looks. Even on a job, he’s dressed for a ballroom dance, with his various pouches, belts, and packs of gear over it.
Equipment: Springfield Rifle Model 1861 and 20 Minié Balls, a baseball, a rubber bouncy ball, 30 ball bearings, a ball of twine, two steel balls, and a miniaturized bowling ball.
Strength: 3
Speed: 3
Intelligence: 4
Constitution: 2
Throwing Balls (This applies to both actual balls and fancy dancing balls): 4
Stand Name: 「Big Balls」
Appearance: 「Big Balls」takes the appearance of a smooth faceless punchghost clad in fancy attire.
Ability: It has the ability to completely control the size of anything called a ball. With two exceptions, the power functions to increase or decrease the mass and/or volume of a ball within its range, so long as the Stand has touched the ball since the ball entered its range. The Stand does not need to be touching the ball at the time the ball’s size is being affected. 「Big Balls」 can control the rate at which the balls change their size and the user often chooses to do so at a rate where the mass and volume increase or decrease at rates such that density remains constant. The two ways the Stand affects balls that are exceptions to its typical functionality are this: 「Big Balls」 can metaphorically grow the user's "balls", increasing the user's confidence, charisma, and combat skill at the cost of making the user less careful and intelligent. 「Big Balls」 can also increase the "size" of a fancy dance party, essentially affecting the energy and enthusiasm of the participants so long as they are within the ballroom.
Stand Stats:
Power: D
Speed: A
Range: B (About 50m of range total.)
Durability: D
Precision: C
Potential: B
 
Objective: Defeat the enemy. For the purposes of this match, you really only need to defeat Austin and one other person. Once you do that, the other will bolt.
Location: A valley on the border of Kyrgyzstan and China, with the remains of a village in it. There are large walls on both sides, blocking everyone in. Lone is about 3m away from the contestants, and he has about 20 seconds left that The Overload will work. The user of Wheel in the Sky is near some walls about 10m behind the contestants. An extra note about how his abilities work is that the nearest person to him will have the fate he was about to have passed over. Cliff is ahead of the group about 10m in the other direction. The slopes of the surrounding mountains are arid, and excessive rain will cause mudslides. None of the bosses will go especially out of their way for eachother.
 
Team Combatant JoJolity
Players Both "You're really good at sobbing J.Geil. Well, you're about to fall down to hell, sobbing the whole way down. But there's one thing I can't really on the guardians of hell to do for me. And that's... To turn you into a pincushion!": RETIRE another combatant using [The Overload], and do not purposefully stab yourself with it.
Boss Lone "I am a god in all but name! With the powers at my command, I will rule this world!": Let nobody else get their hands on The Overload!
Boss Cliff and Miguel "American style. French style. Japanese style. Italian. Specifically Naples style. The world's fingers for fuck off.": Get Lone RETIRED during the fight! Seriously, screw that guy!
Jojolity points will be awarded for style and feasibility of its execution, independently of the plausibility of winning the fight.
 
Match Number Match Format Match Flavor Match Location Combatant A Combatant B Date
1 1v1 Objective A fancy ball where the guests are getting a little rowdy… DJ Nick Mason May 13
2 1v1 Deathmatch Inside a dark cave, the only source of light being an oil-powered lantern that’s rapidly running out! Presto Gami May 17
4 1v1 Deathmatch Mumbai, India. A certain thing seems to be happening… Sigmund Tremaine Kewlin Ciudad May 25
5 1v1 Deathmatch A lagoon, somewhere deep in the tropics. Nicola Henderson ??? May 29
7 2v1 Objective A hidden valley in between two mountains… James Burton Felix Down June 6
8 1v1 Objective Live on the Jerry Springer show! Prime opportunity to discredit your opponent! Niban Shosha Huey Lewis June 10
10 1v1 Deathmatch Northern Territory, Australia. A tense duel on the edge of a national monument! “Waveshaper” Rick Max June 18
11 1v1 Deathmatch A frozen lake, a straight shot at your opponent! Felix Arrowsmith Cole Pineburg June 22
13 1v1 Objective A museum break-in. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? Christina “Chris” Carlisle James Chance June 30
14 2v1 Deathmatch A warehouse… inside of another warehouse?! David L. Palmer Famoso Pietraduro July 4
16 1v1 Deathmatch An airliner, crashed in the middle of the red sea! Junky Luck Dr. Alice Slash July 12
17 1v1 Objective Caught in the middle of a large-scale, armed bank robbery! Duvelleroy Steve Genoard July 16
19 1v1 Objective Suddenly trapped inside of a dark cave! Find a way out before it’s too late! Vivi Bianchi Stefan C. Megiddo July 24
20 1v1 Deathmatch Louisiana. Swamp country. Although the decoration is quite odd around here… Steppenwolf Leonard Davis July 28
 
Match Number Match Format Match Flavor Match Location Team A (1) Team A (2) Team B (1) Team B (2) Date
3 2v2 Deathmatch Open plains in the middle of Saskatchewan, hell raining down from all sides! Bill Dolby Rooftop Singer Jack Mercury Savage Garden May 21
6 2v2 Objective A bowling alley where the balls are a little too big… Adriano Donati Jitterbug Moseph Sabat Farewell Angelina June 2
9 2v2 Objective A massive, sprawling labyrinth, in the dead of night! Spandau Ballet Airis Ani Donatello Blackwell Don Under June 14
12 2v2 Deathmatch An egyptian dig site, the palms of massive statues the only thing sticking out. Pascal Chaleur Elio Valez Floyd Feelgood Nicholas Al-Bach June 26
15 2v2 Objective A large ship, filled to the brim with guards! Natsuru Springfield Harvey Harold Hillhouse Gray Jay Michael Sembello July 8
18 2v2 Deathmatch Granbury, Texas. The annual Field of Flags event. Cassandra Corazon Kate Smith Elliot J. Diamond Boy July 20
 
Reddit Name User Name Stand Name Team Status
u/Zanegaru Junky Luck Robot Parade Sunset Company Active
u/pm_ur_veggie_garden Diamond Boy Dirty Dancer Sunset Company Active
u/Mightymindsoup Elliot J Love Bites Sunset Company Active
u/johntindlemen Adriano Donati Clearest Blue Sunset Company Active
u/boredCommentator Duvelleroy Great King Rat Sunset Company Active…?
u/jem_rye Albrecht Durer Just Push Play Sunset Company RETIRED
u/Shark_Steel Duke Rhayader What is Love Sunset Company RETIRED
u/Strange_Bean Dana Davis Stay Sunset Company RETIRED
u/Gallerian Jitterbug Amun-Ra Sunset Company Active
u/phinsa123 Jack Mercury Mötley Crüe Temperance Machine Active (2 KOs)
u/Unknowni123 Stefania Sandu Rich Girl Temperance Machine RETIRED
u/YoloSwagginsV12 Nicola Henderson Exmilitary Temperance Machine Active
u/Otha_Joestar Savage Garden Jungle Love! Temperance Machine Active (2 KOs)
u/Bentonic64 James Creech Northern Hues Temperance Machine RETIRED
u/Nivrap Dionne Stained Glass Heart Temperance Machine RETIRED
u/Quickdrawnmoron Dr. Alice Slash Mississippi Queen Temperance Machine Active (1 KO)
u/bauccgia0 Rip Van Winkle Self Called Nowhere Temperance Machine RETIRED
u/KiwiArms David "2D" Delasoul Feel Good Ink Right Now, Forever RETIRED
u/SweaterSnake Spandau Ballet Paint Box Right Now, Forever Active
u/Toedpens Seth Turmur Heart of the Sunrise Right Now, Forever RETIRED
u/Dead_Star_World Cassandra Johnson Getaway Right Now, Forever RETIRED
u/farispie Nermin Reeds Spooky Skeleton Right Now, Forever RETIRED
u/PerPapple Christina “Chris” Carlisle Shadow on the Wall Right Now, Forever Active
u/Skelly-Tan Marco Forneira Man Eater Right Now, Forever RETIRED
u/WoobidyWoo Stefan C. Megiddo Switch - 625 Right Now, Forever Active
u/Leafsw0rd Rooftop Singer Wintergatan (Cannot Decide on a Name) RETIRED
u/TheMysteriousDoc Sigmund “Ziggy” Tremaine Demon Days (Cannot Decide on a Name) Active (3 KOs)
u/HeavenAscensionTaric Erick "Rick Max" Maximilian Withered Delilah (Cannot Decide on a Name) Active
u/NowWithPulp James Chance Electric Avenue (Cannot Decide on a Name) Active (2 KOs)
u/Slaycube James Burton Of Wolf and Man (Cannot Decide on a Name) Active (2 KOs)
u/Addem_Up Huey Lewis Change of Heart (Cannot Decide on a Name) Active (2 KOs)
u/Sh0tgunLlama Felix “Fat Rat” Arrowsmith Set in Stone (Cannot Decide on a Name) Active
u/ChocolateDiscloud Bill Dolby It’s Raining Men (Cannot Decide on a Name) RETIRED
u/CPU_Dragon DJ Rasputin (Cannot Decide on a Name) Active (1 KO)
u/rederister Michael Sembello Automatic Man Diamond Dogs Active
u/Repider Jason “Gray Jay” Jukes Hush Diamond Dogs Active
u/Calumba Dr. Francesca Marvel Ting Tings Diamond Dogs RETIRED
u/anxientdesu Airis Ani Musical Star Diamond Dogs Active…?
u/JinxTheFrosslass Farewell Angelina Chains of Love Diamond Dogs Active
u/yelualstar Kenneth “Ken” Masters Leather Rebel Diamond Dogs RETIRED
u/Ongsay Moseph Sabat Digital Lover Diamond Dogs Active
u/SilverJakler Leonard Davis Ace of Spades Diamond Dogs Active
u/KantuK Kewlin Cuidad Smooth Criminal Loca's Motions RETIRED
u/VforVanarchy Presto Fly By Night Loca's Motions Active (3 KOs)
u/spyguy318 Dr. Nick Mason Dark Side of the Moon Loca's Motions RETIRED
u/Ronandstone Cole Pineburg Slim Shady Loca's Motions Active (2 KOs)
u/Drebin996 Kate Smith Cibo Matto Loca's Motions Active
u/Tesla__Coil Cassandra Corazon Through the Fire and Flames Loca's Motions Active (2 KOs)
u/ArtisanBubblegum Steve Genoard Dance Comander Loca's Motions Active (2 KOs)
u/SP-Q-R Viviana “Vivi” Bianchi Noisy Pink Bubbles Loca's Motions Active
u/yelualstar Steppen Born to be Wild Loca’s Motions Active
u/Ismat_Urbur Pascal “Paz” Chaleur Canned Heat White Stripes Active
u/SmashPachi Evan Lain Count on Me White Stripes RETIRED
u/StonedVolus David L. Palmer Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger White Stripes Active
u/Screedledude Harvey Harold Hillhouse Flatlands White Stripes Active
u/kljg Kenny Nixon Grease Lightning White Stripes RETIRED
u/JMBChaos Niban Shosha Ocean Man White Stripes Active
u/tryburningundam Elio Valez Danger! High Voltage White Stripes Active
u/NatsuruSpringfield Natsuru Springfield Evil Woman White Stripes Active
u/CptDouglasJFalcon ”Waveshaper” Wisdom of Rage White Stripes Active
u/webdiings Null(Neal) Fly Me To the Moon The F.L.E.A.s RETIRED
u/vyhox Gami Haru Haru The F.L.E.A.s RETIRED
u/Spade4103 Don Under Hot Space The F.L.E.A.s Active
u/WayofAlexGaming Nicholas Al-Bach Camera Shy The F.L.E.A.s Active
u/Sullivanity333 Dr. Floyd Feelgood Moving Pictures The F.L.E.A.s Active (2 KOs)
u/Mosses76 Felix Down Learn to Fly The F.L.E.A.s Active (2 KOs)
u/FastLikeLightning Famoso Pietraduro Wayward Son The F.L.E.A.s Active (2 KOs)
u/TornkeS Donatello Blackwell I Am The F.L.E.A.s Active (2 KOs)
submitted by JDog413 to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]

Impressions from the Pitwall, Nürburgring 24hours, Winning the SP 7 class, fastest non GT3, 15th overall

I had arrived at the Nürburgring already on Wednesday for the Adenauer Racing days, the RCN on Thursday morning and then a transition from the 24 hour classics towards the contemporary Version.
The Adenauer Racing Days and the RCN were events worthy of late mai, as you can see in the Albums.. Full Sunshine, some white fluffy Clouds and a lot of Pollen in the air. The Training of the 24 hour classics had the same appeal, bright colors and sticky tyres made the sessions a joy to be outside in the woods.
Once finished I sprinted towards my Apartment, quickly changed into my Team clothes and off i went to discover my Drivers.
Alex Toril drives the whole year with me so we have a working way to communicate and have started to learn from each other, the 3 VLN races we did together did prove very important later in the race in maintaing the car on the track, the tyres alive and the position towards our competitors at a maximum. I look forward to the rest of the year when him and Tim Scheerbarth drive the SP7 Geutebrück Porsche.
Mario Farnbacher, the young pro Driver is very well known in the US, has driven a multitude of different Cars and brings a calm professionalism towards the Team that is really appreciated.
Andy Weishaupt, the ADAC GT Masters Driver.. the nicest guy ever.. he already drove with Black Falcon before I joined and was 110% enjoyable and quick.. he managed to always be in the car when the weather changed heavily though, he knows the speeds that the GT's bring to the table and was able adapthis speed to the much less Aerodynamical SP7.
I will press my thumbs for him in his Bentley this weekend.. yes me.. the BMW guy.. working for a AMG Team, controlling a Porsche.. rooting for a Bentley Driver.. what can I say.. I love Motorsports and what we do here is real motorsports.. the SP7 class would be the King of the Ring when the GT3's didn't exist. Somehow I still think we are, at least I felt like this on Sunday.
Arturo Devigus.. I hadn't heard a lot about him, but boy this guy can drive a Porsche. He was consistently fast in all of his turns, his Swiss clockwork like laptimes in the dark and dry parts of the night were very impressive. I put him in the car on the last stint to drive the race home and tried to navigate him to finish on lap 9 .. which he did 24:00:10.594, being the total driving time... talk about precision. ( And he didn't block the HTP and Black Falcon GT's when they blew past him, which was one of my concerns at that time)
The Race did start and we settled into the regular Race Mode towards our next class win ... we did win the SP7 class in 2014 and 215 already.. 2015 with Gerwin, Philipp Eng, H Plesse and Manuel Metzger ... oh look at those names..3 guys are in the Big Cars now.. ( jsut a reminder for the Young guns like Fabian Schiller that SP7 is a very good stepping stone.. and yes i followed your laptimes and even if you don't read this.. you can get some good training with Markus ! )
Then the Hail came.. the torrential downpour from rain and hail, combined with massive gusts of wind made 20+ cars crash or simply slidder off the racetrack.. from Schwedenkreuz to metzgesfeld we had a cover of white ice marbles.
I am so proud of Alex Toril that he managed to keep the car on the track. Of course the Radio system broke down at that point and all i manged to get accros to him was: "10 kph, 10 kph, slow the fudge down".. it worked, he parked the car at the Fuchsröhre compression, took out his Gopro and amused himself in the 90 minutes it took for the cars to be able to drive up towards Adenauer Forst again .. it's a lot of inside jokes on that tape, and it costs a lot of money to put them online so sorry, I can't show them here .
At some point the marshals considered bringing everybody to Breidscheid and bring back the Cars over the Public roads. Yes there was Hail and Leaves and branches everywhere.
Eventually they made it all back and we prepared for the Restart. 19:20 we went for it again... this time without Mrs Holle being a bitch ( german fairytale weather girl).
So you see all these Pictures in the Livestream at night, of sleeping mechanics, or people in the Hospitalities, Lounges.. you know all the Drivers are going to their Mobile Homes, Hotel Rooms or Trailers to catch a couple of hours of Sleep... I hereby Invite you to inspect the Pitwall, where the time keepers, tacticians and engineers don't sleep. We don't. I think it is much easier to stay awake on Sunday by keeping yourself full of coffee and cola... Sadly we didn't have a always filled Red Bull Fridge like in Dubai.. why didn't we Mr. Mateschitz ? Just for the Pitwall people, it would be greatly appreciated :)
Black Falcon is a team that functions. The crew and mechanics are pushing themselves in every Pitstop, what Niko Driedinger managed to do with these young guns is impressive. I don't know if there is a video of a normal Pitstop but the choreography of it is beautiful. I wish there was a way to overlay different pitstops as I am sure the moves are studied and always tight. These guys, be it the GT crew or the Porsche..I salute you. You know who you are.... oh and Chrissy.. man.. you rock. Congratz on the Opel ( yes he has a C coupé now. He is simply a Man of good taste.. and Youngtimer are just awesome)
After Manthey dropped out of the Race, our fiercest competitor we had no real pressure from behind, the Getspeed Porsche had very good times but my Driver Pool was faster overall and our times had less differences regarding who was driving. So I had the pleasure of having my Youngtimer Trophy Heroes just behind us. The Porsche Kremer crew is a bunch of established Men of a certain age ( let's say they are a bit older than me) that simply impress me in every race i see them. It's one of those: " when i grow up i want to be like them" moments.. then i realize they are just a couple of years older and i should get my stuff together and drive myself..
The US-NL-D Train of Frikadelli eventually overtook them.... well.. they still managed 3rd in the Class that i think represents the pinnacle of VLN Racing Spirit. A lot of parts are made specially by and/or for the teams and developped just for this one car.. the ‪#‎whiterocket‬ Black Falcon is truely a unique model of a car, aswell as Mantheys or the Kremer SP7.
Then suddenly, no i didn't sleep, but it was a pretty smooth race on Sunday.. it was Sunday 13:00 and we started to calculate times, refueling and when/how the race would be finished. Being 4 Laps ahead makes all this much easier... but then the Window for the #4 car to push for a last lap popped up.. and that was THE opportunity.
The Rest is a blur of events.. the 2nd to last lap the Leading GT's came close and close to my SP7.. and eventually passed Arturo directly after the caroussel, he managed perfectly to not influence either of them, but we aren't that slow either in the SP7 and he followed them. The GT's had to drive another lap for the #4 to have a chance ( newer tyres, enough fuel), but I wanted the Porsche to finish as you have to cross the line and take the chequeredflag.de to really win. As I said above.. it went beautifully and Walter Hornung flagged us personally as one of the 2 first Cars :)
Sorry Arturo I let you drive to the Parc fermé without help because then I focussed on the Livestream where Maro Engel did his Jules Caesar Move.
Veni, vidi, vici.. he came from behind, he sah the gap. he won the race.
Anyone who doesn't take that open Door has no place among the Top GT Drivers of the World.
You cannot imagine the feels of the whole Team after we finished.. 3 classwins including the overall #1, the 2nd GT fourth overall, the V6 in the top 30 !!! That is almost a stock Porsche with over 40 GT3 that started in 150 car car.. Aurel, Philipp, André and Miguel did a terrific Job to be that high and they have such a hard competitive class.
The first Reissdorf Kölsch was heaven, then some tears of joy and relief.. and after the different podiums, the joy of "my"drivers being there and the team being as one.. hugging drivers, high fiveing teams, crew, family, friends.. it came all to an end when i hopped into my M2 and slowly cruised home.
I did my job, as did thousands of other little cogs and wheels in the big game that is the 24 hours of the Nürburgring.. to make it an epic one.. a legendary for me... my car winning, 15th overall.. Adam, Bernd, Maro and Manuel winning overall ( which got me 50€ as i bet on them with a friend) what a journey.
Racing IS life.. weather you are in the car or you help just a little bit. I felt really alive on Sunday.
For the Pictures : https://www.facebook.com/chequeredflag.de/posts/1597124467246290
submitted by Ghorghor to motorsports [link] [comments]

Liliana Heker - Two stories [Translated by Miranda France and Alberto Manguel]

Published in Please Talk to Me: Selected Stories (Yale University Press, 2015). Manguel's translation first appeared in The Stolen Party and Other Stories (Coach House Press, 1994), from what I can tell, it is identical to the reprint in PTTM.

STRATEGIES AGAINST SLEEPING [Tr. by France]

When the time came to leave, Señora Eloísa still considered herself fortunate to be returning to Azul by car. The travelling salesman--who worked for her daughter’s future father-in-law--had arrived punctually to pick her up at the hotel and seemed very proper; he had shown great care in placing her little crocodile skin suitcase on the back seat and even apologised about the car being so full of merchandise. A pointless apology, in the opinion of Señora Eloísa, who always found the exchange of pleasantries with new acquaintances trying. As the car pulled away, she too felt obliged to make trivial remarks about the suffocating heat, prompting an exchange of opinions on low pressure, the probability of rain and the good that rain would do to the country, this last observation naturally leading to the fields of Señora Eloísa’s own husband, the trials of being a landowner, the highs and lows of life as a travelling salesman and the various attributes of many other occupations. By the time they reached Cañuelas, Señora Eloísa had already spoken--amiably at first, but with a growing reluctance--about the characters of her three children, the eldest one’s impending marriage, assembling a cheese board, good and bad cholesterol and the best kind of diet for a cocker spaniel. She also knew a few details about the man’s life, details which, before their arrival in San Miguel del Monte--and after a blessedly prolonged silence--she could no longer even recall. She was tired. She had lent back against the headrest, closed her eyes and begun to feel herself lulled by the low, soporific hum of the engine, evoking cicadas during scorching afternoon siestas Do you mind if I smoke . The words seemed to reach her through an oily vapour and with an effort she opened her eyes.
‘No, please do.’
She looked sleepily at the man who was driving, whose name she had completely forgotten; was it Señor Ibáñez? Señor Velazco? Mister Magic Bubble? Master Belch?
‘A great driving companion.’
This time her eyes sprang open in alarm. Who? Who was a great companion? Looking around her for clues she found nothing: only the man smoking with his eyes open unnecessarily wide. The cigarette, of course. She made an effort to be lively.
‘Everyone tells me they’re wonderful for clearing the head.’
Nobody had told her any such thing, it had been a mistake not to take the coach back, by now she would have been stretched out in the seat and sleeping peacefully. She half-closed her eyes and thought that she could, up to a point, do the same here. Lean against the headrest and go to sleep. Just like that, how delicious: to fall asleep and not wake up until a godsend . Did she hear him speak? Had the man just said ‘a godsend’? So was he never going to stop talking?
‘. . . because the truth is that tedium makes you tired.’
A joyful spark ignited within Señora Eloísa.
‘Unbearably tired,’ she agreed. She thought the man would realise now that she needed to sleep.
‘And it’s not only the tedium. Shall I tell you something?’ said the man. ‘Last night I didn’t sleep a wink. Because of the mosquitoes. Did you know there’s been an invasion of mosquitoes?’
Please be quiet, she cried out, silently.
‘It’s because of this heat,’ she said. ‘We need a good storm.’
‘The storm is on its way--look,’ the man nodded towards a dark mass approaching from the south. ‘In a couple of minutes we’re going to have ourselves a proper drenching, I can tell you.’
‘Yes a proper drenching.’
The need to sleep was now a painful sensation against which she had no desire to fight. She let her head loll back again, almost obscenely, her eyelids falling heavily. Little by little she disengaged herself from the heat and the man and surrendered to the monotonous rattle of the car.
But I don’t mind the rain if I’m well rested. She let the words slide over her head, almost without registering them. The thing is that today, for some reason, I feel as if I could drop off at any minute. Was some state of alert functioning within her somnolence? The splattering of the first raindrops seemed to trigger it.
‘Shall I tell you something? Today, if I hadn’t had good company and someone to chat to me, I wouldn’t even have come out.’
She didn’t open her eyes. She said crisply:
‘I don’t know that I am particularly good company.’
Fury had brought her almost fully awake, but she wasn’t about to give this man the pleasure of a conversation: she pretended to be dozing off. Immediately the clatter of rain started up, like a demolition. For a few minutes that was all she heard and gradually she really did begin to fall asleep.
‘Please, talk to me.’
The words burst into her dream like shouting. With difficulty Señora Eloísa opened her eyes.
‘Well just look at this rain,’ she said.
‘Terrible,’ said the man.
Already it was her turn again.
‘Do you like the rain?’ she asked.
‘Not much,’ said the man.
He certainly wasn’t helping. All he wanted was for her to talk and keep him awake. Barely anything.
‘I like it, I like it very much,’ she said, fearing that this avenue of conversation was leading nowhere; quickly she added: ‘but not this kind.’
In a garret, I’d be an artist or a dancer, half-starving, and there’d be a handsome man with a beard, loving me as I had never imagined it was possible to be loved, and rain drumming on a tin roof.
‘Not this kind,’ she repeated vigorously (she needed to give herself time to find another direction for the conversation: the tiredness was leading her into dead ends). On an impulse she said: ‘Once I wrote an essay about the rain.’ She laughed. ‘I mean, how silly I sound, I must have written lots of essays about the rain, it’s hardly an unusual theme.’
She waited. After a few seconds the man said:
‘No, I wouldn’t say that.’
But he didn’t elaborate.
Señora Eloísa applied herself to thinking up new avenues of conversation. She said:
‘I used to like writing essays,’ luckily she was beginning to feel talkative. ‘A teacher once told me I had an artistic temperament. Originality. That essay I was telling you about, it’s odd that I should suddenly remember it. I mean, it’s odd that I should have said "once I wrote an essay on the rain," don’t you think, when in fact I wrote so many’--the secret was to keep talking without pause--’and that I shouldn’t have had any idea why I told you that when I did and that now I do. I mean, I don’t know if you’ll understand this, but now I am sure that when I said "once I wrote an essay on the rain," I meant the beggars’ kind rather than any other.’
She paused, proud of herself: she had brought the conversation to an interesting juncture. She would be willing to bet that now the man was going to ask her: Beggars? That would certainly make her job easier.
But no, apparently the word had not caught the man’s attention. She, on the other hand, had struck a rich seam because now she clearly remembered the entire essay. This was just what she needed: a concrete subject, something to talk on and on about, even while half-asleep. She said:
‘Here’s a curious thing: in that essay I said that rain was like a blessing for beggars. Why would I have thought something like that?’
‘That is curious,’ agreed the man.
Señora Eloísa felt encouraged.
‘I had my own explanation for it, quite a logical one. I said that beggars live under a blazing sun, I mean, I suppose that I imagined it was always summer for them, they were burned by the sun and then, when the rain came, it was like a blessing, a "beggars’ holiday," I think I called it.’
She leaned back on the headrest as though claiming a prize. Through the rain she read AZUL 170 KM and sighed with relief: she had managed to keep talking for a long stretch, the man must be feeling clearer-headed by now. She closed her eyes and enjoyed her own silence and the water’s soothing litany. Gently she let herself be pulled towards a sleepy hollow.
‘Talk to me.’
He sounded both imperious and desperate. She remembered the man and his tiredness. Could he be as exhausted as her? My God. Without opening her eyes she tried to remember what she had been talking about before falling asleep. The essay. What else was there to say about the essay?
‘You must think that . . .’--it was a struggle to take up the thread again--’I mean, the teacher thought that . . .’--and now she seemed to see another angle to this story. She said firmly: ‘She drew a red circle. The teacher. She circled "blessing" in red and printed beside it a word that I didn’t know at the time: Incoherent’--she frowned at the man. ‘It wasn’t incoherent. Perhaps you think it was incoherent, but it wasn’t.’
‘No, not at all,’ said the man. ‘Why would I think that?’
‘Yes, I’m sure you do, because even I can see that it may seem incoherent, but there are some things . . .’ Some things, what? She no longer saw as clearly as she had a minute ago why it wasn’t incoherent. Even so she had to keep talking about something or other before the man ordered her to continue. ‘I mean that there are times when heat is worse than . . .’ Without meaning to, she caught sight of a road sign. That was a mistake: knowing exactly how many kilometres she had to keep talking filled her with despair, as though she were falling into a well. ‘There are times when heat is overwhelming especially if’ she searched for the words with a rising sense of panic--what if she never found anything new to talk about? For a very brief moment she had to suppress a desire to open the door and throw herself onto the road. Abruptly she said: ‘I once saw a beggar’ and her own words surprised her because the image didn’t come from her memory or anywhere else: it had come out of nothing, clear against the suffocating heat of Buenos Aires: a young woman, dishevelled and a little distracted among the cars. ‘I don’t know if she was a beggar, I mean I don’t know if that is the right way to describe her: she was fair, and very young, that I do remember, and if she hadn’t been so unkempt and so thin, with that expression of hopelessness . . . That was the worst thing, the feeling that she was going to go on, day after day, traipsing among the cars as though nothing in the world mattered to her.’
She paused and looked at the man; he nodded slightly, as though bidding her to continue.
‘There were cars--did I tell you there were cars? A traffic jam or something. I was in Buenos Aires with my husband and my . . . I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you that it was shockingly hot, if you don’t know about the heat you won’t understand any of this. The car was stuck in traffic and the sun was beating through the windscreen, so I put my head out of the window to get a bit of air. That was when I saw her, watching us all with an indifference that frightened me. My husband didn’t see her, or rather, I don’t know if he saw her because he didn’t mention anything, he doesn’t particularly notice these things. She was well dressed--do you see what I’m saying? A blouse and skirt, very dirty and worn, but you could tell from a mile off that they were good clothes. There she was, among the cars, and she wasn’t even making an effort to beg, that’s why I’m not sure if it’s right to call her a beggar. It was as though one fine day she had walked out of her house dressed in these same clothes and closed the front door on everything that was inside: her husband, her silver service, those stupid functions, everything she hated, do you see what I mean? Not the boy, she had him with her, she saw that in reality she didn’t hate the boy. He was heavy, that was all, especially in that heat. But no, she didn’t hate him. She had brought him with her, after all.’
‘Sorry, I think I got lost,’ the man seemed more awake now. ‘There was a child?’
‘Of course,’ said Señora Eloísa, irritably. ‘I told you there was a child at the start, otherwise what would be so terrible about it? The woman was there, among the cars, with the boy in her arms and looking at us with that expression of--. A baby, big and very fair, fair like the woman and fat, too fat for someone to be carrying in such heat. Do you see what I’m telling you? Don’t tell me that you do, that you understand, I know that however hard you try you can’t understand it. You think you do, that you understand it perfectly, but you have to carry a child when you’re tired and hot to know what that’s like. And I was sitting down, mind you, not like the woman; I was sitting comfortably in the car. But even so I felt the weight on my legs and my skirt sticking to me and then my baby who was crying as if she were being . . .’ she looked with suspicion at the man who seemed about to say something. She didn’t give him the chance. ‘But the woman wasn’t even sitting down and I think her back must have been aching terribly. She didn’t look like someone in pain, she looked indifferent, but even so I could tell that the child was too heavy for her.’
She fell silent, absorbed by these thoughts. The man was shaking his head. Suddenly he seemed to think of something cheering.
‘Life, eh?’ he said. ‘I bet she’s the one getting married.’
Señora Eloísa stared at him, perplexed.
‘I don’t understand what you mean.’
‘Your daughter, I mean, it just occurred to me, the crying baby you were carrying,’ the man laughed good-naturedly. ‘How time flies, she must be the one who’s going off to get married.’
‘I never said that,’ said Señora Eloísa with violence.
‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean . . . You said that she was crying and then I thought . . .’
‘No, you didn’t understand me, she wasn’t crying. I said very clearly that she was heavy and that the woman’s back must have hurt. But I never said that she cried. Admittedly, she may have been about to cry at any moment. I didn’t make that clear, but I admit it now: they all cry. See how desperately they cry when you think they have everything they need and you can’t think what’s wrong with them? That day it was hot, intolerably so. And the sky was painfully blue, the kind of blue one could be happy with if one were alone or beside somebody very’--she turned her head towards the man. She said angrily: ‘If one didn’t have to carry on one’s lap a baby who keeps crying for no reason’--she waved her hand in front of her, as though batting away an insect. ‘The woman didn’t make any kind of gesture, just stood there with an air of abandonment, but I could tell straightaway that she was raging. She wanted to throw the boy, hurl him against something, but not because she hated him. She wanted to throw him off because he was very heavy and it was hot, do you understand? It’s not possible to bear such a heat, and the weight, and the terror that at any moment they will start crying.’
Then she gazed out at the rain as if she had never said anything.
The man shifted in his seat. He cleared his throat.
‘So what happened next?’
She turned back towards him with irritation.
‘What do you mean what happened? That happened--doesn’t it seem like enough? A very tired woman and with those lovely clothes, I don’t know, as if one fine day she had decided that she was tired of everything. Then she grabbed the child, carefully closed the door to her house and off she went. As simple as that. I realize that it’s hard to understand but these things happen. One might be perfectly happy, drawing the curtains or eating a biscuit and suddenly one realizes that one can’t go on. Do you know what it’s like to have a child who cries all day and all night, all day and all night? A child is too heavy for a woman’s body. Afterwards, with the others, one gets used to it or, how shall I put it, one gives in, perhaps. But the first is so exasperating. One resists, believe me, one resists and every morning one tells oneself that all is well, that one has everything a woman might dream of, that how the others must . . . No, it’s shaming to confess it, but it’s true, one even thinks this: about the others, I mean how the other women must envy one with this husband who is so attentive and such a comfortable house and this nice, fat baby. These are the sorts of things one may think of to calm oneself. But one fine day, I don’t know, something snaps. The baby who won’t stop crying, or the heat, I don’t know, it’s hard to remember everything accurately if afterwards one isn’t allowed to talk about it, don’t you see? They kept saying no, they insisted that they knew what it was best to say, that I was ill at any rate and it wasn’t advisable for me to talk . . . They put a whole story together, an accident or something like that, I think, but I don’t know if it was for the best. Because the only thing I wanted, the one thing I needed was to tell them that I didn’t hate her, how could I hate her? I loved her with all my heart. Do you at least understand? All I did was dash her against the floor because she kept crying and crying and she was so heavy, you can’t imagine, she was heavier than my whole body could bear.’
Now she was very tired and she thought that she didn’t have the strength, she simply didn’t have the strength to keep talking for the rest of the journey.
‘I want to get out,’ she said.
Without saying anything, the man stopped the car. He must have been in a great hurry to get away because he looked at her only once, standing in the rain on the hard shoulder, then immediately pulled away. He didn’t even tell her that she’d left her crocodile skin suitcase on the back seat. Just as well, that suitcase was too heavy for her.

EARLY BEGINNINGS OR ARS POETICA [Tr. by Manguel]

In the beginning (but not in the beginning of the beginning) a horse is going up in the lift. I know he is brown, but what I don’t know is how he got there or what he is going to do when the lift comes to a stop. As far as that is concerned, the horse is quite different from the lion. And not only because the lion climbs the stairs in a reasonable manner, but also because, above all, the appearance of the lion has a logical explanation. I say to myself: there are lions in Africa. I say to myself: lions walk. I ask myself: if they walk, why don’t they ever leave Africa? I answer myself: because lions don’t have a particular destination in mind; sometimes they walk this way and sometimes that, and therefore, just going and coming, they never leave Africa. But that deduction doesn’t deceive me of course. Even if they don’t have a particular destination, at least one of the lions, unintentionally, might walk always in the same direction. He might walk by day, sleep by night, and in the morning, not aware of what he’s doing, he might walk again in the same direction, then sleep again by night, and in the morning, not aware of what he’s doing . . . I say to myself: Africa ends somewhere, and a lion walking always in the same direction will one day walk straight out of Africa and into another country. I say to myself: Argentina is another country, therefore that lion might come to Argentina. If he came at night, no one would see him because at night there are no people out in the street. He would climb the stairs up to my apartment, break the door without making a sound (lions break doors without making a sound because their skin is so thick and smooth), cross the hallway and sit down behind the dining room table.
I’m in bed; I know he is there, waiting; my blood throbs inside my head. It’s very unsettling to know that there is a lion in the dining room and that he hasn’t stirred. I get up. I leave my room and cross the dining room: on this side of the table, not on the lion’s side. Before going into the kitchen I stop for a moment, turning my back on him. The lion doesn’t jump on me, but that doesn’t mean anything; he might jump when I come back. I go into the kitchen and drink a glass of water. I come out again, without stopping. This time the lion doesn’t jump either, but that doesn’t mean anything. I go to bed and wait warily. The lion isn’t moving, but I know he’s also waiting. I get up and go again into the kitchen. It is almost morning. On my way back, I glance sideways at the door. It hasn’t been broken. But therein lies the real danger. The lion is still on his way; he will arrive tonight. As long as he isn’t here, one lion will be like a thousand lions waiting for me, night after night, behind the dining room table.
In spite of all this, the lion isn’t as bad as the horse. I know all about the lion: how he came, what he is thinking every time I go for a drink of water; I know that he knows why he doesn’t jump every time he doesn’t jump, that one night, when I decide to meet him face to face, all I’ll have to do is walk into the dining room on that other side of the table. About the horse, on the other hand, I know nothing. He also arrives at night, but I don’t understand why he has gone into the lift, nor how he manages to operate the sliding doors, nor how he presses the buttons. The horse has no history: all he does is go up in the lift. He counts the floors: first, second, third, fourth. The lift stops. My heart freezes as I wait. I know the end will be horrible, but I don’t know how it will happen. And this is the beginning. Horror of the unexplainable, or the cult of Descartes, is the beginning.
. . .
But it’s not the beginning of the beginning. It is the end of the beginning. The time has come when the little people inside the radio are soon to die, and God will also die, sitting cross-legged on top of the Heavens with his long mane and a gaucho’s poncho. Because throughout the whole beginning, the world was made so that God and the dead could sit and walk on top of the Heavens; that is to say, the Universe is a hollow sphere cut by a horizontal plane; moving on that plane are we, the living, and this is called the Earth. From the Earth, looking upwards, you can see the inner surface of the upper hemisphere, and that is called the Heavens. Or the floor of the Heavens as seen from below. If you go through it, you can see the real floor of the Heavens, Heaven itself, on which the good dead walk and where God is sitting; to us, this seems difficult, because the floor of the Heavens is rounded, but the dead can hold themselves upright on a Heaven like that, and so can God, because He’s God. Underneath our floor, inside the lower hemisphere, is the burning Hell, where little red devils float around together with the evil dead.
Now, before the end of the spherical universe, and before the lions and the horse, in the very heart of the beginning, are four cups of chocolate on a yellow plastic tablecloth. I’m four years old, and it’s my birthday. But there are no guests, no cake with candles on it, no presents. The three of them are there, of course, sitting around the table; but in the beginning they don’t count, because the three of them have always been there, and a birthday hasn’t. I am alone in front of four cups of chocolate and a yellow plastic tablecloth. I’m moved to tears. This must be what it’s like to be poor, and I’m supposed to feel terribly sad. The roof of the kitchen is made out of straw and the walls are of mud and my body is covered in rags; wind and snow seep through the cracks of my poor hut. I’m dying of cold and hunger while, in the palace, the spoilt little princess celebrates her fourth birthday with a ball: coaches at the door, dolls with real hair and a monkey that dances for the princess alone. I drink my chocolate. I weep inside my cup. And this really is the beginning. The trick of stories--the trick of the power of the imagination--lies in the beginning.
. . .
But this isn’t the beginning of the beginning either. It is an awareness of the beginning. It is the beginning of an awareness of the beginning. Beyond this awareness, rising from behind strange faces like flashing images are a straw chair on a tiled courtyard, a wrinkled great-grandmother with a black scarf around her head, a madman climbing into a streetcar with a stick and, in the true beginning, a white hood. The white hood is mine. Or it was mine, I don’t know, I don’t understand what’s happening, she has it on her head now. She arrived this morning and ever since she arrived everyone is fawning over her. I’ve been told she’s my little cousin, but she doesn’t look like my cousins because she isn’t bigger than I am. She doesn’t call me her baby, and she doesn’t lift me up in her arms. But they lift her up in their arms, all the time, because she hasn’t yet learnt how to walk, like the little babies in the park. I hate her. It’s night-time already. They say she’s going to leave, and they say it’s cold out there. I run through the rooms. I throw myself against the legs of the grownups. I roll around on a mattress. I don’t care if they scream at me, I’m happy; she’s leaving. I look at her and it’s there. She has my hood on. They say it looks big on her; they say she looks like a little old lady; they laugh. I’ll sink her eyes in, like with a doll; I’ll bite her nose off; I’ll tear my hood away from her. Then it happens. Someone looks at me and says: ‘Won’t you lend your little cousin your hood?’ I don’t know what ‘lend’ means; I know I want to tear her up into small bits. I look at them. All eyes are fixed on me. Then I understand: all I need is a gesture, one single gesture, and the kingdom will be mine once again. They are waiting. They are laughing. I smile at them.
‘Yes,’ I say.
They laugh louder. They pinch my cheek and tell me I’m a darling. I’ve won. It’s the beginning.
Further back, there is nothing. I look carefully for a taste of clementine, for my father’s voice, for a smell of lip ointment. Something clean that will change my beginning. I want a whitewashed beginning for my story. It is useless. Further back, there is nothing. That hood, my first infamy, is for ever the beginning of the beginning.
submitted by MilkbottleF to shortstoryaday [link] [comments]

[Fiction] Midnight's Shadow - Act 03, Chapter 011

The pillar of light dispelled, leaving Alice Connor floating in midair. The teen then fell, gravity slamming her into a crystal platform.
“…Ow.”
Chapter Eleven.
She picked herself up. “Ugh… Oh!”
The girl stood in the middle of a large cave, its walls embedded with colorful crystals. In front of her stood a tall monolith, its smooth surface etched with a six-pointed star.
“I’ll leave you here to gawk,” Jasper said behind her, walking outside.
“H-hey! Wait for me!” Alice said, running after.
They both walked upon a misty cliff on the side of a snow-capped mountain, heading toward a leafless tree.
“What was that?!” Alice said. “Where are we? And where’s my sister!?”
Jasper stopped at the tree and turned around. He stared at her, waiting.
“…What?”
Rostami sighed. “Why did you go to Greenville?”
“What? I don’t know, you—”
“Why did you think you went?”
“Because, I thought she was… Wait, how long was I in the hospital?”
“A day or so.”
Alice took a step back. “What!? But, I was in a car crash!”
“Yeah,” Jasper said as he leaned on the tree. “Broke a few bones, too…”
“That’s impossib—”
Embedded deep within the leafless tree was a young, teenage girl. Her eyes were closed, deep asleep.
Alice screamed. “Melissa! WHAT HAPPENED TO HER?!”
“During the crash, she was thrown out of the car and landed next to this tree. The tree assimilated with her, saving her life.”
“S-so, she’s okay?”
“She’s in no danger. Right now, she’s in a coma and won’t wake up till spring.”
“Oh.” Her knees gave out.
Jasper caught her. “It’s alright, Alice. We’ll talk again in the morning.”
“Okay…” the girl said as her eyes closed shut.
* * *  §  * * *
A dull boom awoke Alice. Yawning, she found herself cocooned inside a ‘sleeping bag.’
“What the…?” The teenage girl crawled out of the silky bag — then crawled back in.
She watched as thunder and lightning engaged in mortal kombat while rain poured down from the dark heavens above. And yet not a single raindrop fell upon her, for a dome of air covered Melissa’s tree.
In the middle of this dome, Jasper sat cross-legged. His eyes were closed, in deep meditation.
The skies flashed, sending a bolt of lightning hurdling towards him.
Cast  §  Reflect!
The bolt bounced back and burst inside a dark cloud.
A shrill shriek shook the mountain, tearing the heavens open and uncovering a black sun. The sun somehow illuminated the area, revealing a painterly forest that surrounded the mountain in a sea of ruby-red leaves.
Alice jumped to her feet, arms flailing about. “Ah! wh—?! ha—!?”
“And a good morning to you too,” Jasper said, eyes closed.
She pointed at the sky. “W-what was that!?”
“That was a demon.”
“An-an-and what did you…? H-how did you…?”
“Magic~” Jasper said, waving his hand for dramatic effect.
Alice threw her hands up. “What is this place?!”
“Hello~” Asabike said.
The girl squeaked and turned to the gentle young woman next to her, holding a rice and vegetable medley. “H-hi?”
“She’s also a demon,” Jasper said.
“What?” Alice eyed her, and the food, as the perfectly normal-looking ‘young woman’ put the plate on the ground.
“You must be hungry,” Asabike said, sitting down. “You slept for the entire day, after all.”
The teen sat down with her, following the food. She then grabbed the plate and gobbled the whole thing up.
“…”
“…”
“…Wait, the whole day!?”
“You haven’t had a good night’s sleep since you’d left the hospital,” Asabike said, taking the plate and leaving to the cave.
“And I almost died,” Alice said, glaring at Jasper. “All because of— …What are you doing? Why are you sitting like that?”
“Your sister may be in a coma, but she can still dream,” Jasper said, meditating. “Right now, I’m showing her how you stuffed your face full of food.”
“…Why are you helping us?”
Jasper sighed. “…i should’ve been helping her, not you…”
“What?”
The young man opened his eyes. “Alice, your sister has assimilated with a demon. She’s now a halfling and she needs my help. You weren’t supposed to get involved.”
Alice stood up. “You were going to leave me behind!?”
“Yes; but, then, here you are. So… Where do you want to go from here?”
“W-what do you mean?”
“She has to live in my world now. You don’t. You can leave. Right now.”
“No! No, no, no; sh-she needs me; I’m all the family she has—!”
“Then answer the question — What now?”
“I…,” Alice said. “…Teach me. Teach me everything you know about magic.”
Jasper stood up. “Ugh… Great, now I have to teach you…”
“You… don’t want to?”
“No, I don’t want to, but now I have to. Since you had potential, my orders were to teach you magic, but only if you chose to.”
“Your orders…? Who are you?”
The young man groaned. He now had to do a certain, specific thing — for if he didn’t do this thing, he wouldn’t hear the end of it.
“I am the Hellhound know as Jasper,” Rostami said, performing a tepid bow and scrape.
“…What are you doing?”
“That’s… just the way I have to introduce myself.”
…Why?
“Because my boss is kind of a flake, that’s why…” Jasper rudely said.
So what? We’re the only ones here.”
“We’re not, but he doesn’t have to be. Hell, I’ll bet he was watching your little adventure out in the woods.”
“And whose fault was that!?” Alice said. “What was the point of all that, anyway? We could’ve come here straight from the hospital.”
“Again, you weren’t going to, but, uh…” He shrugged. “I guess it had something to do with Jason. You did save his life, after all.”
“You guess? What, you don’t know?”
“Nah, my boss keeps a lot to himself. I don’t even know his name.”
Alice Connor just stared at him. Unbelievable…
* * *  §  * * *
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submitted by JulianSanMiguel to JulianSanMiguel [link] [comments]

Horse Racing odds comparison and betting for Canterbury. Compare best AU bookies odds and find the best bets for United States. Miguel (Lyrics)Text becomes clearer when watched in HD. Track No. 6 of The Electric Lady. Song: Prime. Time. Artist: Janelle Mon. I do not own this song. Follow Janelle Monae on Twitter @Janelle. Heaven is betting on us. It's a primetime for our love. But I know ain't nobody peakin' but the stars above. It's a primetime for our love. And heaven is betting on us Bang bang I'm calling your name You're like a fire the world can't tame I wanna riot til the stars come out and play Is that okay? Tonight it's me and you alone Won't take a call won't even write a song This should be your personal holiday Listen babe When your down and it's hard And you feel like you've given your all Louisiana Derby The Most Louisiana Derby Betting Options Anywhere. The Louisiana Derby set for has drawn a huge field of 16 horses for the $1 million feature race of the Fair Grounds season. However field of only 14 can actually compete, Louisiana Derby Day also features the Fair Grounds Oaks, which has six fillies entered. Bet on all the prep races for the Kentucky Derby at BUSR and Place Miguel) Primetime (feat. Miguel) Janelle Monáe . Compartir en Facebook Compartir en Twitter. vistas 451. Uuuu-uh It's baby it's a primetime for our love Ain't nobody bigger but the stars above It's a primetime for our love Heaven is betting on us It's a primetime for our love But I know ain't nobody peakin' but the stars above It's a

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