“So, how did you die?” I asked the very real ghost in front of me. Following the really fresh blood trail of whatever the hell was dragging Sydney around the house.
“You know how you eat something, and it makes you sick?”
“Yeah?” I answered
“Well I was shot in the face for making something that got people sick.”
“What were you making?”
“Human flesh for a bunch of cannibals.”
“Is that real or….”
“We’re here!” She flew her arms up in the air.
A rising panic built up inside of me as I just realized we weren’t following the blood away from this thing, but toward it. Before us was a torn up door complete with scratches, dents, and blood of the obvious victims unlucky enough to be found by this creepy bastered. The trail of blood continued under the door.
I felt the hair on my back rise as I became very aware of my mortality for the third time today, “I thought you were getting me out of here?”
“Yeah, but I need to figure out what’s going on here. Then we will get you out of here.”
“How do you not know what’s going on? Didn’t you like die here?”
A loud distinctive thud came from the other side of the door followed by a loud scream. We both turned our attention to what is on the other side.
“Wait here.” Temperance said handing me a remote, “If I am not back in 10 hit this button, and run as far away as you can.”
An order I was more than happy to comply with. Temperance walked through the door as I waited on the other side ready to hit the button.
Part of my wonderful (not being sarcastic) position at the local community mental health facility is jumping head first into crisis’s with people who believe that it is the end of the world. Maybe not the literal end of the world, but enough terrible no good very bad things are happening that it does seem like the end of their world. We have all been there before. It’s that moment in life when the peak quickly turns for a valley, and you quickly get this shocked feeling in the middle of the night waking you up in a cold seat as you wonder if you’re going to make it to the end of week. Which doesn’t do wonders for getting up the next day to actually deal with the problem.
So, here are ten ways of dealing with a crisis:
- Just like bad gas, this too will pass.
Yeah I know that’s a pretty juvenile thing to say, I’m aware of it, and embrace it. A crisis is something that is temporary, and causes immediate stress for a short period of time. Take some time to be grateful that this is not the “normal” state of your life. Remember what life was like on a more normal day.
2. You’re definitely not alone.
Saddest part of hiking twenty miles in the mountains is reaching the point that you think no one else has ever been just to trip over a beer can. Whatever it is that you are going through (lost dog, car stolen, teenagers being too edgy) there has been someone else who went through something similar, and made it out just fine. You are not the first person to have this crisis. You won’t be that last.
3. It’s okay to have a freak out. Just remember to apologize.
Yeah, you’re pissed, you’re angry, you’re in a state where the next person that says “Gotta case of the Monday’s?” will be killed on the spot. It’s okay to have a meltdown, but try to cope with the problem before the meltdown happens. If you’ve already melted down from the crisis make sure that you take some time to forgive that person who set you over the edge, and yourself for going over the edge. What we do when we are emotional doesn’t need to last forever (nor should it(it will still wake you up at night)).
4. Do something nice for yourself.
This can quickly take a dark turn if you take the crisis you have then add onto it because of doing something dumb like getting wasted, and driving downtown for midnight doughnuts only to get a DUI. Do something nice for yourself that won’t add onto the crisis that already exists. I like watching movies at theaters shoveling a popcorn into my mouth like some starving child.
5. Find ways of making things seem more positive
Make a joke of the situation, or reminisce with others about better times (ahead or behind). Find ways to make the days bearable even if that means taking up a new hobby to distract yourself with. My wife and I will invent inside jokes as a way to cope because we are lame and have no life.
6. Avoid rushed decisions such as going to a animal shelter, and adopting all the dogs (I can relate).
We joke…..but its a really good idea and would totally make you feel better. However, that’s a lot poop to pick up, and food to buy. Again avoid adding to the crisis when you cope. Also try to avoid calling the crisis and telling them exactly how you feel. Give yourself time to cool off and be rational. What your email says may be right, but it can also be the right way to get fired or ruin relationships.
7. Some people suck, so what?
Sometimes when we are going through tough situations other people just make it worse. They may even be the reason we are in a crisis. My thought is, I know who I am even if they don’t. Take care of yourself and get out of the crisis. Forget anyone else who tries to bring you down. Some people suck that’s just life.
8. Go someplace different
When I am upset the last thing I can handle is a mess (my life). I have to go someplace clean, and just live there until I am calm enough to handle my problem. Sometimes you may need noise, sometimes quiet. Change your environment to change your mood.
9. Come up with a really good plan
I’m talking about making a comprehensible plan with note tabs, and fancy ink. Make a plan that puts great generals to shame. Who cares if the plan is completely unreasonable, it helps to think of the problem in creative ways. This may lead to a simple solution you never thought of.
10. Recognize when its over, and learn from your mistakes
When its done, its done. Move on, and enjoy life without crisis. Learn what you did wrong, and how to improve for next time.
My last bit of advice is a crisis will solve, even if you don’t do anything. I have dived into horrible situations with clients where it almost causes me to have a crisis by helping solve their’s, and usually these things work themselves out in the strangest yet best way possible. Be open to that, and remember life is suppose to be fun.
I’ve woken up to plenty of things in my life. Cats fighting, people drinking, the occasional drunk roommate vomiting on my bed. I have never woken up to a stuffed bear from another dimension with glowing red eyes choking me with a surprisingly strong grip. After the initial shock was over and fear of suffocating intensified I immediately threw the thing across what use to be my room. Used to be as my room was now traveling through space and what I can only assume is time. It’s a terrifying thing to fall through the fabric of reality, yet it happens so often especially with washing machines and socks. The landing was somewhat soft as the three thousand dollar Pure Bliss mattress, that had three payments left, absorbed most of the shock of the landing.
I prayed that I was dreaming, drugged, or lost grip of my sanity. Any combination would have been better than the reality that faced me now. It wasn’t so terrifying at first. I appeared from my trip in a shiny white walled room with no noticeable exit. The terrifying part came with a horror realization that the bear had also made the trip, and was now making its way toward me. It didn’t utter a sound, but the look upon its face screamed death (my death). With my quick thinking I punted the bear across the room. Unfortunately it didn’t let go but rather bit deep into my skin. Its cotton tooth bent at the bite, but I had no way of knowing that. I let out a scream a terrified scream not knowing for sure if I felt pain.
At that moment the door opened as two men entered in wearing large hazmat suits. I took the bear off flinging it at the first one who enter. It latched onto his face causing him to freak running right into a wall. The second man shot what was possibly a taser at me, hard to tell at that moment. It was confirmed as I fell to the ground in a heap of shaking flesh with large amount of volts flowing through my veins. My last thought before passing out was: try not to pee.
I awoke tied to a metal chair with my head covered by a burlap sack that smelt like sweaty feet. As my senses slowly returned to me I became aware of two distinct voices in the room. The female one ripped the bag off my head and my eyes were greeted by a blinding light. The woman wore a suit that looked a size too big for her, and the man’s suit was tight and stretched out he also had a large and distinguished mustache. I don’t mean like it was large, I mean that it was supersized. It’s like when you go to McDonalds and you ask for some fries. They ask how many, you point to that man’s face and say As many as that stash can handle. They will inevitably tell their co-workers We need all the fries.
“How did you break containment?” The woman asked, “Don’t attempt to lie. Each lie delivers a high voltage right up to that bug friend of yours.” The man lifted an eyebrow and pointed at his skull. It looked like a routine they had spent some time on. I won’t lie, I was kinda diggin’ it.
The silence filled up the room as they awaited my answer, I was still impressed with the whole routine, “I…I’m not entirely sure.”
We all awaited the shock that was sure to come. They gave each other a look, and then looked at the one way mirror. The man got up leaving the room obviously to check to ensure that the system is in fact working, and that they would get to electrocute me. Glorious stash and all.
The woman, not wanting to waste any more time, continued her line of questioning, “When did your overlords discover sanctuary?”
She sighed pulling out a handheld taser shocking it in front of me before putting it on my crotch, Which since I was previously asleep and only in my pajamas, just a long shirt, the whole taser on my crotch was terrifying to say the least, “I’m done fucking around answer the question. How did you get into sanctuary?” she asked oh so politely.
I could feel my testicles climb to my throat. Is this what happens to good people? But, that thought led me to a whole new series of thoughts like are you really a good person? After the awkward silence I responded. “I promise you I was just sleeping in my bed. I awoke to being strangled by a bear, and landed in that room where I was zapped be you people. I have no idea who you people are or what you want.”
A knocking came on the glass. Apparently it was her turn to walk behind the glass. The ball in throat feeling didn’t recede until she left the room. After a hushed argument, and her kicking in the door the feeling quickly returned. She cut off the binds holding me, and picked me up out of the chair. We walked past mustache man who apparently after checking on the machine got a coffee and a doughnut. That man had elegance and grace reserved only for kings.
We crossed down the hall toward another series of doors, passing through revealed what best can be describe as a nerve center with people on computers, making calls, and a large map of earth with flashing dots all around. Imagine a cheesy spy movie nerve center with more coffee, and doughnuts. Oh and imagine me with JUST a long shirt on.
I was pushed into a chair, by taser girl, and wheeled in front of the giant screen. A series of photos were on a loop. Cameras, from around the world showed that something was definitely different. People weren’t in the streets, cars weren’t driving. There was just large groups of people all in orange. They just stood there like they were waiting for something.
A man who looked very official climbed the stage, and began yelling to the crowd. “We just got these images from France, Belgium, and the damn United States. What your seeing is a gathering of infected. Some of you remember the same type of gatherings when the first planes left from the quarantine. We knew they were planning something, but we weren’t sure now with this man…” A long finger pointed at me kind of aggressively which made me completely aware of how naked I actually was, “…We are sure. They are planning to jump dimensions.”
There was hushed voices, and whispers as everyone was looking at me. The man spoke up again, “I want solutions yesterday. We need to contain this now.”
The man wore a red beret in a camo uniform. He marched right toward us staring me down, and then looked to the woman. He pointed really aggressively at me again. It was excessive I was like Jeeze man. “We need to know where the portal is, the big one. This guy should point it out like a beacon.”
“Oh no no… Ha ha see I don’t know where that portal is.” The man looked irritated walking off.
The woman rubbed her head, “Are the people from where you’re from dumb as you?”
“No…?” Apparently that was not the correct answer, or maybe it was. It’s hard to tell when people here are sarcastic assholes. That’s what dimension I landed in sarcastic asshole land.
We began walking to another part of the sanctuary, but I wasn’t told exactly what that would be. I decited to ask “So, what happened to earth? Those people don’t really look infected.”
“They don’t do they? That’s the issue, a parasite that doesn’t destroy the world by creating a shambling body of flesh hunting for fresh meat. They look like us act like us. They subtly spread their infection through love, and friendship. Started out as a cult. Groups of people meeting up talking about love, and generosity. Grew into an international movement. That’s how it all ended. Not a nuke, disease, or famine. It ended through world peace.”
She continued on, “It all started when Dr. Ellis started digging in the Arctic. They were doing research on global warming. Something was pulled up from the ice, something ancient, maybe alien, maybe it’s from Satan’s asshole. Either way a few months later Dr. Ellis was in Greenland leading a cult that spread across the world in a matter of months.”
It would sound crazy, even impossible, but I remember an article where Dr. Ellis couldn’t secure funding from congress. Tazer girl stopped in the hall looking at me, “We are all that’s left. Everywhere else is….infected. They just worship the worm, life carries on the same, except there’s no war, and lots of worm worship.” She sighed thinking of something, “When people take on the worm they become sterile the worm doesn’t know how to reproduce, but it wants to. We thought for a while when they couldn’t find any more sanctuary outposts they would try to jump dimensions continuing to spread the worm.” She pointed at me, “You’re a beacon because when you traveled you brought particles with you. They will want to return to where they came. You will know where we need to go when the time is right.”
When the time is right is when my head is about to explode from the pressure of every particle in my being wanting to return home to prevent a paradox. Most likely killing me in the process.
We continued to move as the white walls slowly faded to a grey stepping into an elevator. The woman continued to lead. I realized at this point I had no idea what her name was, “Do you have a name?”
We walked out of the elevator (quick trip indeed, or did she not talk the whole way up? The world may never know) “DD44, we are stripped of traditional names as they are unorganized, and useless. Humanity had to pick between two utopias. The peaceful non-violent one, and the structured to a fault one. Both force cooperation, and ensure compliance. When we are finished with the bugs then we can return to freedoms but not until that moment though.”
As we walked out of the elevator a large hanger erupted before us. People were running supplies, and getting ready for what looks like an assault, maybe people here just ran around a lot. DD44 was handed equipment from another person, and began putting on a bullet proof vest. Funny name as they really only stop one bullet. It made her look even funnier with her over-sized suit on. Next was my turn. I want to still remind you that I am in JUST my long shirt as they handed me a vest. I yelled, because it was louder than shit in here, not because I’m an asshole, “Can I get some pants, and a normal shirt.” The two who brought my clothes gave each other a funny look, and left. Hopefully to get pants.
DD44 laughed, “We thought that’s what people in your world just wore. We were taught not to judge anyone who comes from the other side. Different cultures, and everything.”
I ended up with some tight combat pants, a vest, a helmet, and a ton of other stuff that had to add another fifty pounds to my body. We were ushered into a helicopter, and strapped in. “Is all this necessary I mean aren’t they peaceful?”
“Peaceful in the same way a group of Triggers are peaceful. They breed till their numbers swell, and kill anything not theirs. Some of the last countries with a functioning military were overrun, and killed. The whole National Guard from the state of Wyoming was crucified.”
Triggers ,as I would learn later, are a genetic creation that went really wrong. A Dr. Ron Albert was working on the perfect killing machine when his lab was raided by a bunch of starry eyed college students who believed in world peace things, pre-worm. The triggers killed them all and bred like crazy. Eventually Russia, because who else would make something like that, surrender an island to them. I would learn, through some illicit means, that Dr. Ron Albert was still working on his animal in my world with the kids who broke in and tripped an alarm, and now they are in a gulag somewhere. What is with evil people having Ph.D.’s?
The hanger opened up, and we lifted off. I could feel my body sweating, as I shook. DD44 held a large scanner. She had put sticky tabs on my head, without asking, and kept cycling through numbers.
“What the hell is happening to me?” I asked.
“Your body want to go home.” DD44 replied.
We left the hidden structure that was just a hollowed out mountain. I could feel my body ache more. My sweating became more profuse, dripping off my head. I clinched my eyes closed as my head exploded in pain. “Don’t worry, you will cycle like this. It tells us where the portal is.”
DD44 scanner was flashing, and buzzing. She collected the sweat off my skin, as it was floating in the air. It was literally floating like zero gravity style. Her scanner began creating a readout, a longitude, and latitude of the large portal that would open releasing billions of these worms into my world. Conveniently, the spot was easily reached by helicopter, and only an hour away, however it was filled with a million (not literally) of these things awaiting their new homes.
We entered under the cover of darkness. We were set down several miles outside of the city, and began the hike in. The entire time I kept trying prevent the pants from riding up. My legs were thoroughly chapped as we closed in on the city. What was strange to me during the hike, and I am sure that you were able to pick up on it as well was how the bug made the people sterile, but was capable of inter-dimensional travel. It didn’t change any of their body chemistry, it only latched onto their brain controlling the human like a sugared up tween playing X-Box. People kept all of their memories, wants, and needs. Just the bug took over. So, how did a bug that was able to build an inter-dimensional rift through space time not figure out the basics of human breeding? It goes back to when the bug first arrived on earth. An asteroid hit throwing ash high into the air, and carrying the bug across the planet for the first time. The problem with these bugs is they are designed to learn the anatomy of the largest animal group on a planet, which happened to be dinosaurs.
So when the first humans became infected there was enough shared DNA that the bug could make corrections allowing for full control of the human, but not enough knowledge of the human to breed. The bug had an idea of what sex was, and tried many times for it to work. The problem always came back to the same issue, where are the eggs? This tiny error made it so that an entire population of people in this dimension were unable to reproduce leading the bugs to attempt to find a way to breed into another existence. The next terrifying part is that there is probably another universe where they successfully breed enslaving all of humanity.
The city, if you could really call it that, sat in a valley surrounded by mountains. We worked out way up from the South. There was five of us. The agent, myself, and three guys with really big guns. I kept thinking even if they had the numbers we had the guns. Why even bother just end them with a few nukes, and by the time the human race is ready to spread again the radiation should be down.
“Can’t you just bomb them, or shoot them.?”
Apparently that was the wrong solution as everyone looked at me like I was stupid. It was one of the big dudes with the biggest gun that responded. DD44 obviously was tired of answering my questions.
“We tried guns, but they had bigger. We weren’t the only people who went underground. In fact we were the smallest colony, with almost no arms. The bigger sanctuaries, were overrun, nuked, or starved out. The infected are one large hive mind with the ability to accomplish anything, expect breeding.”
I felt my body shaking, and my head beginning to explode again. The pain was blinding I puked all down my vest which wasn’t the coolest thing I’ve done today. I really wanted to go home. DD44 and the others waited until I was done “being a whiny bitch” before we moved again. The after effects felt like a hangover, but as we proceeded getting closer to the rift the cycling illness would come more often.
If you were to look at the history of Jesup Wyoming you would find that it doesn’t exist in our world. That’s the thing with multiple universes each one has subtle changes that could affect others in a big way. Jesup exists because a woman by the name of Carter Jesup found gold, and murdered her entire camp party. She created a town over their buried remains, and advertised the place as a lifetime find. What followed was a large rush, and the creation of the biggest city in Wyoming in this universe which is still small relative to other cities.
A large gathering of orange could be seen far off. It was like a sea of infected all standing facing the same way, waiting. In the middle of this large wave smack in the center was the portal. Or at least that is what we were thinking its impossible to see through the walls of the building they surrounded. From here they would sent the first wave through setting up a beachhead for the rest of them to follow. Our idea was that the main force that came with us would fire at the mob from the mountains, slowly working their way back hopefully bringing with them the bulk of the mob. They would leave another group to assault the rest in the city, and finally us working through the chaos to our lovely portal where we all hoped could be destroyed by bombing the hell out of it. With any luck we wont have to resort to nuclear hand grenades, an actual thing that existed in this world. They were a fun little thing cooked up by infected who fought against the worlds army’s. They would sneak to camps, and light them off taking out whole bases at a time.
The night kicked off as several rockets pounded the city. We were far enough away that we couldn’t see the carnage, but could hear it. DD44 listened in on the radio nodding as information traveled to her, and only her. The rest of us just sat there waiting for her to give up something. The sounds of rifles followed. DD44 with all her high tech crap watched from a drone above as a huge group of the infected moved toward the shooting following them out into the mountains. Next came the assault from the flank as more rockets hit. It was our turn now to sneak in now that the area was clear. She put down the headset, “Infected are coming toward the city we don’t have too much time.”
One of the men asked, “How many.”
“All of them.”
All of them, that would be the five billion people infected. That was all the motivation we needed to work our way through the buildings. Bodies of the rocket victims laid about. Some killed by the shrapnel, others the blast. We moved quickly not slowing down as the sounds of bullets could be heard, and screams of the dying.
The best part of a zombie is that it’s a dead human. Anything that was that person is gone in a zombie. It’s a walking heap of flesh that forgot to stay dead. When killing it, its more like we are doing the thing a favor really. Why of course I will shoot you Mr. Zombie there’s nothing left for you in there. These people they weren’t dead, and they don’t understand why they are dying. One mans freedom fighter is another’s terrorist. Or one mans freedom is another mans brain bug utopia. They crawled, and cried over each other. I had to stop running. I had to help.
DD44 slapped me, “The worm already took them. Let’s go.”
I still debate that in my head even now. Imagine if we could have world peace, but sacrifice our freedom. Wouldn’t that still be worth it? Everyone collectively working toward the same goal, and being unable to deviate from that life? Even the people of the sanctuary had to give up freedom for their peace. Constantly under surveillance living in a glass house, even the leaders. I always come to the same answer, Better to be free and dead then alive a slave.
I could see parts of the worm on the ground. Some of the dead people had the thing crawling out of their ears, eyes, other holes that were not meant to have things come out of. The bright orange bug screamed, literally screamed as its host was dying. The hive could hear it around the world. They all could react to it, and they were on their way.
We reached the house with little resistance just mostly dying bodies. The bug wasn’t a tactician it was a hive. The hive’s response to a threat is to kill the threat. If we weren’t the threat then it didn’t want to kill us, but I had a feeling that would change as soon as they learned of our mission.
The portal was housed at the center of Jesup in Carter Jesups house, the lady who murdered her whole family for gold. I can’t tell what was worse, that she murdered her children, or that they were the first thing on display when we walked in. There was even a facial reconstruction imagine next to the protected pile of bones that was done by the University of Southern Wyoming. Which if you look the University up you will find that it also does not exist in our world.
The house has the whole western touristy thing down. At the entrance was the gift shop full of those huge cowboy hats, and fake six shooters. There was also some rock candy. I wont lie I took a hat, I mean why not? Next to the gift shop was the portal. Yep, I know small place I was just surprise as you. Figured there would be some climatic action scene where the heroes (us obviously unless your an alien parasite) would sacrifice their lives in a last ditch effort to save the world. Yeah, nope looks like for the first time in history no snags to an otherwise great plan.
At least I thought so until I heard the inhuman screaming. The first bugs to infect humans were eggs that went right in the persons nose. It could take days, or weeks even to incubate, and grow. Pretty soon you, and the bug want the same thing. Share the love, and spread. You don’t even realize that your entire existence, and the feelings you have are manipulated by the bug. It just takes control. When doctors first tried to remove a fully formed parasite they found that of those subjects who lived couldn’t even perform the most basic of functions. Some completely forgot how to breathe, there was no point to anymore. Without the worm they lost all will to live. The worm, however, only needed us to have the ability to move freely about the planet. To build a slave army for it. It could exist completely separate from us.
The scream came from above, the one place we weren’t looking. Not that we hadn’t glanced up there before, but this time it was full of these parasites. The creature was a thick worm that was about the size of a fist and bright orange. It has long mandibles that latched onto surfaces, and was how it controlled humans. One of the ones from the ceiling fell down right onto one of the guys (whose name I didn’t bother to learn) face latching on working its way inside. It was a less effective way of infecting someone, but hey what can a bug do?
The rest began to fall. Our side, having just recently learned from dude with latched on parasite face, ran out of the room mostly it was just me who ran out of the room. DD44 began firing wildly at the parasites, while the other two guys kept working on getting the portal set up to explode.
At this point I wasn’t entirely sure it was so much safer out here, especially since all of those infected people were suppose to have been lead off into the mountains, not surrounding the Jesop House full of dead children. They didn’t look mad, or upset that we just killed several hundred of their fellow bugs. They just stood there, like the moment of salvation was at hand.
The shooting stopped in the inside as the three busted out of the room ready to send Jesops house straight to hell. They all too stopped and stared dumb founded at the horde before us. I assumed from the continual streams behind us that the third guy was still struggling with the bug. The bug leader, I assume he was the leader as he was wearing a orange robe with a crown made of the bugs. I was trying to think what we were going to do, but I didn’t have long to think as DD44 blew the house up. She didn’t wait for a monologue, or try to help get us out, just hit the button like the asshole she was.
Movies are dumb, because they make people believe that they can stand a few feet from a bomb, or explosion and walk away. The dude that was made of nothing but muscle and bone blew a part in the blast knocking me down. I could feel the heat as it burned my back blistering it instantly. The whole world was drowned out by the ringing in my ears. I didn’t see DD44 anymore, not that I think much would be left of her. The explosion knocked down several of the infected, and well they didn’t seem too upset that their portal was just destroyed either.
As they cleared I could hear them saying, “All hail the savior. He arrived, just in time for us to open the portal.” The man pulled out a dagger, and began to approach me, some of his infected held me up as he brought the knife above his head. My body shook, and my head exploded in pain. I stared death in the eye, and was ready to take my fight to him. That was until you showed up.
Jasper set down his official statement looking at Agent K and Agent J, “When you shot the gun out of his hand, and stormed the area. Pulling me out.”
Agent K laughed some, “That last part you failed to include how you were crying in the fetal position when we got there.”
“What is going to happen to all those people? What is going to happen to that world?” Jasper asked.
“The FPI’s stance on that is neutral. They are experiencing a level G event, and if its not affecting other universes there’s not much that we can do. Besides sounds like you did your job, stopped the portal, and kept them from spreading. Also sounds like you spent some time in the library reading up on it.” Agent J said.
“Yeah, I mean wouldn’t you? Whats going to happen to me? I mean can I go home now? Its been a few weeks”
Agent K smiled, “Yes Jasper, you can go home.”
Agent K knew that Jasper could never really go home. He would think he would have though, and ethically that’s all that mattered. The kid does have a freaking portal inside of him, not like they could just drop him off back home waiting for the day he accidentally gets in a car wreck, opening him up, and bringing in the bug monsters officially creating a level H event. They already had to destroy the portal that came from that damned bear. No, one earth was enough to lose in a day, they didn’t need another hive on the loose spreading across time space.
She wondered if Agent J knew what processing looked like, or if they just skipped over that part in training nowadays. Jasper was in for one hell of a ride as they uploaded him into the fake reality MindSpa. His physical body would be disintegrated, and introduced to a world so similar to his own he shouldn’t miss a beat. His family, his real family, would mourn his disappearance, and in time learn to just accept him as dead. Just like everyone else who comes here. Or maybe they’ll drink themselves to death. Agent K stopped herself from thinking that way, her job wasn’t over yet.
Things were in motion now like they have never been before. Something was coming, but she couldn’t be sure of what yet. All in time she thought, but right now she still had a haunted house to fight.
Bullet journaling is the cool new craze that has everyone (mostly us) excited about getting organized. The styling and openness of the journal allows for the creator to create beautiful self-made trackers, calendars, and anything else that can be done with paper all in one convenient dotted journal. With so many possibilities it can be difficult, and unnerving to get started.
Well at A Work in Progress Pandora, and I made the mistakes for you and came up with the Essentials to Bullet Journaling. So please sit back and see what we did good, and what went horribly wrong.
- Step 1 buy the Journal, any journal, so long as its full of dots. Look at that journal so full of dots. Lets just take a moment to appreciate how organized we are getting…… Wow such potential, I really feel like this is going to be a grand adventure.
- Step 2 get supplies. Talk’n like some Sharpies, and non-smearing non-bleeding non-shit markers, all the pencils (ALL the Pencils), stencils to make it look like you know what your doing, some rulers to make it look like you a can draw straight lines, and bring the pain of knowing that your journal will never be as cool as the ones on Pinterest.
- Step 3 fight with your significant other if your doing the journal together. Mostly because you know that you called the ruler first, and you cooked dinner but apparently that doesn’t matter because she has a really cute idea for her journal. If your alone continue to self-loath from previous step.
- Step 4 don’t make a water tracker. Everyone makes a water tracker, do something different like a poop tracker. At least that is different.
- Step 5 don’t listen to what people tell you to put in your journal especially your significant other especially about that whole UsE GeL PeNs iT LOoKS BeTTer. NO IT DOESN’T.
- Step 6 screw up multiple times, and feel helpless.
- Step 7 embrace the mistakes.
- Step 8 wonder if embracing the mistakes leads to bad habits.
- Step 9 screw it, make a water tracker. Almost had you.
- Step 10 make a huge mess and stress about cleaning it up. Ugh I knew I shouldn’t have gotten so many pencils.
- Step 11 have fun and enjoy the experience, and look at the cool stuff that comes from making a bullet journal
The dark, damp, dreaded, really messed up why are we even here hallway awaited me. It was one of those moments when life goes from puking on your first kiss to having said kiss go viral online collecting a million views. Both of which happened to me. You might say, “David, why are you walking down a big scary hallway that is most likely full of monsters?” I would answer “because that is my job.” Not the walking down terrifying halls part, but “ghost” hunting. Big emphasis on “ghosts” as it’s usually just props, and subpar acting. However, after years of desecrating graves, and messing up old houses the universe decides to take a large steaming dump on me like last night was taco Tuesday.
Truthfully, there really is a killing to be made online for scary stories posted on a site called Paranormal Nights, shot in grainy footage, with hot young people running away in fear. Every tween goes crazy making reaction videos of our videos where their screeching becomes like a banshee striking its kill. At most it takes twenty minuets to get enough footage to last a week. We get in, fake it, tape it, then bank off it. As you can obviously tell that wasn’t the story this time. Nope, instead of fake blood and cheap rental costumes, we walk into some other worldly nightmare bullshit that now involves me walking down a hall that looks eerily similar to every horror film.
The wallpaper was peeling off revealing the rotted wood behind it and the strong smell of decay. Hung on the walls was a collection family memorabilia letting anyone who came to visit know how batshit crazy they are. Family pictures with eyes crossed out. A horse race with mutilated horses screaming out in pain forced to run. Who the hell even paints something like that? All the way past the dimly lit hellhall stood a glossy red door that for some reason was lit up by a beacon of light from a source I couldn’t find. Hope, was the word that an optimist would use for what was being held behind the door. Certain death, and dismemberment were the words I thought of. Either way I had to go down it (Other choices were made prior to this).
I Gripped my axe the blood now dried from where I pulled it out of Lenny’s head (one of the pretty ones), I marched forward. Everything becomes so clear at times like this. Its like the entire body goes into overdrive. Hearing becomes clear, eyes pick up every moment, every painstaking movement done with the upmost precision all in the hopes that one could somehow sneak through the house unnoticed by the devils whose one job is to torment people who try to sneak down scary halls.
The floor creaked under each of my steps, even trying to slide my foot made a long squeaking noise. Obviously, I thought about running, but that seemed wrong somehow. Like if I tried running down the hall the beast would come out and kill me for running. Not that I believed for a moment it wouldn’t do that while I was sneaking. A giggle came from behind me, a million invisible ants crawled down my back. Oh shit.
There are two people in this world. The ones that when a monster knocks over the lamp in their room they stay under the covers pretending the monster didn’t want to be heard, the other kicks open the door greeting death with arms open wide. I turned to face the giggling sound hoping it didn’t want to be heard, but instead saw the door close. Was that a clown?
I walked backwards now a bit quicker the wrongfulness of sneaking worn away by whatever new horror awaited me.
“I’m right here.”
Oh no, nope nope nope. I didn’t want to look. There came a sound of what I can only imagine as a knife scraping against the carpet inching toward me. Hit it with the axe. Just swing and run. The sound of the dragging stopped. I slowly counted in my head. One…Two…Three I turned quickly bringing the axe down where I heard the noise. Nothing. The axe hit the ground splitting the rotten wood below.
“Oh no, you missed me. That’s ok I won’t miss you.”
I looked back, yep it’s a clown. It had the clown makeup, the clown suit, and terrifying clown smile that showed razor sharp teeth. It stood at two feet tall with a knife half the size of its body. We made eye contact. I was trying to calculate how many steps it would take to get to the door. The little clown lunged at me before I could get an estimate. It was difficult to tell who was screaming at the time. I sprinted down the hall occasionally taking a moment to chance a glance behind. The little bastard was running hard, its stubby legs pumping so fast almost tripping over the knife. It would have been a kind of funny sight if it wasn’t happening to me. Reaching the door, I turned the nob throwing my whole weight into the door without it so much as moving an inch. I kept pushing and hitting hoping that it would move somehow. The clown was closing the gap fast.
Fight or flight only works if you have the choice of flight. If not it’s only fight or die. I was left with no choice but to take the axe and charge. Overall, I felt pretty confident. I was larger and had the bigger weapon. I ran toward the tiny clown bringing that axe across my body to cut it in half. At the last moment it jumped past my axe as I brought it across flying right onto my check stabbing my shoulder. There was no question who was screaming at that point.
I dropped the axe yanking the clown off me it still holding onto the bloody knife that was stabbed into me multiple times. I threw it down into the ground immediately began stomping on it until I was completely out of breath. Looking down should have revealed a mangled clown body not a stuffed doll with a plastic knife. The knife wound was still there burning away at my body. I had to get out of there.
There was nowhere left for me to go in the house but that red door. The whole house was completely ruined complete with shattered windows busted doors, and a gaping hole in the side. It was when we tried to leave that everything became blocked. Literally every exit that we saw on the outside was filled with bricks. We were all in different rooms waking up and we couldn’t remember how it all went down. How the hell does that happen?
The massive expanse took hours for me to go through looking for some hope of escape other then that door. Each person I came in contact with were dismembered, and killed in increasingly creative ways. Like some sort of scrapbooking of human limbs. Everything leading back to this damn red door.
I took the nob of the red door in hand about to shove my way in then I took notice of the hinges. I pulled opening the door right up. Damn it. The entrance was completely black. Not the normal its dark or hard to see. The door was literally absorbing all light sucking it into an infinite void. I started to miss the little clown.
I put my hand in first because that was better then losing my head. The darkness was powerful like it was an actual substance with a living mind. It began pulling me in because why not, and immediately all was lost.
There really isn’t a way to explain what I saw going through the door. The only proper way to describe it is the spinning sensation when you get really drunk, and go on that ride that pins you against the wall turning so fast the vomit just goes right back into your face fast forwarding you to the moment you wake up full of regret and lost memories of cleaning up the vomit.
I awoke in a daze. The room had shifted around me. Instead of molded walls full of disturbing images of incredible abuse I was greeted with a giant pulsating blob of flesh stuck to the ceiling like gum. It latched onto the gray dungeon like walls, and moved in and out as if it was actually breathing. The walls had lines of flesh latched onto them similar to an ivy plant growing. In the distance I could hear a faint chanting, but was too far away to determine any of the words. I assumed that the blackness absorbed me taking me to hell. I learned that it would have been better if it did.