Something Worse (Part II)

2 years ago…

It was what they needed. An eight-bedroom home with five bathrooms, three living rooms, a den, a three-car garage that also featured a two-bedroom guest house right behind it, and plenty of open space as far as the eye could see. They couldn’t say no, and their financial situation was just barely good enough to make this affordable.

“It’s nice here,” said his sister, Annalina, “The air smells crisp, fresh. There’s no unnatural rot or decay, no exhaust.” Turning around slowly, Rourke had to agree. There were wide open, grassy plains all around, with wooded areas to the south and north of the home, while a gravel roadway ran for miles to the west side of the home, the only means of egress by vehicle, as Mr. Ogurzi had informed them that the fields were filled with enough pot holes and possible sinkholes to permanently damage or even swallow up a vehicle. It was an odd bit of trivia to throw out, but useful.

Rourke grinned uneasily as their (hopefully) landlord raised an eyebrow. He grinned as well, which meant he might have believed that Anna was being a bit melodramatic, or simply odd. Shooting his sister a glance that she didn’t return, but probably felt, Rourke opened his mouth to speak to Mr. Ogurzi. He was a rather severe-looking individual with a very pronounced widow’s peak and dark, jet-black hair that looked as though it was just beginning to go grey at his temples.

“What is the asking price again, per month?”

“Per month it will be three thousand, US dollars. I prefer US to Euro, personal choice.”

“The currency is no problem,” Annalina chimed in, “But is there any foot traffic around these parts?”

Rourke had thought to tell his sister to let him handle it, but thankfully she brought up a good point. Mr. Ogurzi’s grin widened into a smile, showing a glint of his very, very white teeth as he replied.

“Not really. In a given month you might see two or three people come down this road,” he said, pointing to the gravel road at the end of the driveway, nearly a hundred yards away, “But apart from that, look around you. This open country, owned by me, or by the county. The only ones to bother you around here are the animals, and even they make it a point to stay away from people.”

Annalina nodded, retreating to her own headspace again as Rourke spoke once more.

“You want first and last I assume?”

Mr. Ogurzi pointed a single finger at Rourke, “You would assume correctly, and therefore not make an ass of you and me.” he chuckled just a bit, “Sorry, bad joke.”

“No, no, I got it,” Rourke said, patting one hand in the air, “And I think we can swing that. Nine grand to buy into this place for first, last, and next month? We can do that.”

“And it is you, your sister, and another?”

“Two others,” Rourke corrected, “My daughter and our friend,” he motioned toward Annalina, “Renfro.”

“Ah, yes, I remember. So four in this big house? That’s a lot, but I’m not here to judge, I just collect. And make repairs when needed, of course.”

“We do tend to have friends over from time to time. Is that okay?”

Mr. Ogurzi nodded, “Yes, yes, perfectly okay. So long as they do not move in without notice, then it is perfectly okay. If they move in, the rent must go up due to increased occupancy. You understand?”

“Yes, I do,” Rourke replied with a nod, “And there will only be the four of us living there, but we do get a lot of visitors sometimes. Big family.”

“They may stay for a night or two at most, but anything else, I must know,” Mr. Ogurzi stated, his thick, Albanian accent coating every word.

“Then I think we have a deal, if you’re ready to write it up.” Rourke extended his hand, which Mr. Ogurzi shook readily as his smile widened.

“Indeed we do have a deal.”

(to be continued)

Something Worse (Part I)

Burning eyes in the darkness.

Bloody bits of his pack lying on the floor, a piece of a jawbone here, covered in hair matted by blood, a claw still attached to a hand, a squished mess that used to be an eye. Blood covers the left side of his vision, but wiping at it brings an intense agony that he can’t abide, and causes him to whimper as he continues forward, half-blind, in agony from a dozen different wounds, and wishing his body would heal itself quicker.

The clicking of his toenails upon the tile floor of the kitchen sound like gunshots with his enhanced, hyper-sensitive hearing, and he’s certain that the owner of the home will appear at any moment, the burning gaze finding him once again, as it’s found his pack throughout the sprawling mansion. Who did they end up pissing off this time? He still had no idea who, or what, this individual was, but the landlord had waded through them without so much as a pause, tearing them apart, literally, as though they were no more substantial to him than figures made of clay

No one had ever dominated them like this, not even the damned bloodsuckers. Even the horrid creations that had been pieced together by the legendary madman that had perished at the hands of one of his creations couldn’t top this current threat.

Part of Rourke was screaming at him to run, to get out of this place, to leave whoever was left and find another den that he could recruit, or to simply disappear. But Annalina, his sister, and Sarah, were still somewhere in the house, as was another of his pack, their connection to the human world, Renfro. He couldn’t leave them, if they were still alive. Rourke had yet to see proof that they’d met their end at the hands of the unknown threat that none of them had seen coming. He might be a fool to keep searching for them, but as he exited the kitchen, wading back into the shadowed hallways, he knew that he couldn’t leave without knowing.

Even as he glanced to his right however, Rourke felt his balls shrivel as two burning, reddish orbs found him.

“Good evening.”

Rourke tried to attack, to run, to do something, but that burning red gaze pinned him, and soon the dark swallowed him.

(to be continued)

You’re Offensive! I’m Offensive! We’re All Offensive! How Exhausting…

Honestly, this issue appears to die down every now and then until it comes racing back up, especially when an individual or a group is offended by something they’ve seen, perceived, or think is going on. Being offended has apparently become an American pastime, a hobby, and something that people actively try to do when they wake up in the morning. For some folks, going a day without being offended is a failure or a sure sign that they weren’t working against that imagined oppression hard enough because they weren’t offended by anything. The truth is that it means they were living their lives and not looking for an excuse to be pissed off about something.

Being offended is a choice, it’s not something that is automatically installed in a person’s mind the day they’re born. There’s a huge debate to be had about this matter since many people will gladly stand up and say that they’re offended for those that won’t be offended on their own behalf for one reason or another. The unfortunate truth for those folks is that the people they’re sticking up for might actually tell them to sit down and shut up if they were allowed to speak since like it or not, activists only make things worse when they get louder, as finding a way to change things from the inside with minimal amounts of noise doesn’t appear to be part of the program. When everything from a mild joke that in all honesty doesn’t bother that many people to bigger issues that can be solved if opposing sides sit down to discuss their grievances becomes a reason to be offended, well, then the issue is no longer what needs to be done to alleviate the situation, the issue becomes who’s really offended and how can that be fixed so we can get back to the real issue at hand.

Life is offensive to everyone at some time or another, and whether we like it or not, things are going to happen. Between human beings, life will never be perfect since we all have the freedom to say what we want, do what we want, and then deal with the consequences as they come. Granted, if someone offends you in a way that you don’t like, you have the right to bring it up and try to resolve the matter. But do you have the right to disrupt their life and the lives of others in a needless fashion? Nope, not really. If by disrupting someone’s offensive behavior you’re improving the lives of those around you and possibly teaching a life lesson, then more power to you. But the sad part of this is that perception is key in such moments, and many people think that by being offended by everything that they’re helping those around them, when in truth they’re just pissing people off for no reason. At some point, being offended by everything has to get a little exhausting, wouldn’t you think?

At the end of the day, we choose to be offended by things or we choose to let them go, and personally, I’d rather take a moment to think if something or someone has really offended me that badly that I need to make a spectacle out of it. Most times the answer is no, since to be fair, spending that much energy on something or someone that pisses you off without any long-term effects isn’t worth it.

Ways to Win an Argument

Here’s one of the best ways to win an argument, and no, it’s not the Stone Cold version below. If you want to win an argument, avoid having one in the first place. Think about what you’re about to argue about, then think to yourself if it’s actually worth it. Of course, the option below is kind of fun to think about.

Wwe GIF | Gfycat

Quite honestly, some women know how to win an argument, since women, we love you and all, but you do have an unfair advantage over guys, sometimes. Hey, we’re not complaining, I’m just pointing out the obvious since…..

….yeah, you get it. Do this and guys will…will…damn, where was I going with this?

One thing you should never do however is start shouting, since at that point you might win, but you’re winning dirty and in one of the most juvenile ways possible. So to be honest, just assume that any argument you’re about to get in might not be worth it unless you happen to know enough about what you’re talking about, otherwise you might just be lining yourself up for a headache.

Yes, Keeping Your Word is Still Important

It’s becoming a foreign concept among some folks that I’ve had the displeasure to work with over the past few years, the idea of keeping one’s word, especially if it’s given without any meaning behind it to start with. The fact is that there have always been people that have been duplicitous and those that have done their best to cheat others in order to get what they want. Many such individuals have played others false when giving a word that they never meant to keep, and in nearly every facet of life it’s a problem that many upon many people deal with far too often.

Why is it important to keep your word?

That’s rather simple. Keeping your word is a way to gain a good reputation among people as an honest and respectable individual. It means that you respect yourself and those who you give your word to. It’s true that there are times when a person might give their word and be unable to keep it, but those that find themselves in such a situation will do everything they can to either remedy such a moment or will make it clear to those to whom the word was given that they will make amends of some sort.

Keeping your word isn’t always easy, which is why it shouldn’t be given lightly and without any real thought. If you say the words, then you should feel bound by them. If you can’t hold up to the words you speak, then find another way to say what you mean. A broken word is something you can’t take back, but one can repair the damage it might cause, sometimes. Keeping your word, even when it’s difficult, and even when it will mean bringing ruin upon your own head, in some form, is called integrity.

Of Course, The World is Mad. Are You New Here?

Every person that’s ever drawn breath in this world has an opinion of how things are going at any given time, especially when it comes to the era in which they exist. Even today, some folks believe that we’re on a downward spiral to hell, or to whatever ruinous end awaits us. But they’re not the first, and they likely won’t be the last. It’s true that civilization might end someday and it could be our fault as human beings, but it wouldn’t be news. Quite a few people don’t want to hear this since it might sound defeatist, naive, vague to the point of being ridiculous, and so on and so forth, but the negativity they hear is only a product of their own perspective. None of it is inherently negative, at least not by intention.

THIS WORLD IS MAD - Post by thuffy on Boldomatic

Humans are the architects of their greatest triumphs and their greatest defeats. That sounds like something you’d read in a textbook or from someone online that doesn’t know what they’re talking about, right? Well, you can think what you want, we’re entitled to that much at least, but the truth is that humans are born to live, love, nurture, and destroy in equal measures.

We don’t get along and for a lot of different reasons. We want to survive, we want to flourish, but we don’t want those that refuse to share our beliefs and our ways to keep us from doing things the way we want to do them. Human beings are walking contradictions that say one thing and mean another, and practice this so often that it becomes nearly impossible to believe each other when we genuinely want to be kind and caring toward one another. It’s an odd species that lives to build and then destroy one another in equal measures, but it’s how we roll, and it has been for a long, long time. To think that people are bitching about it now as though it’s a new thing, that’s kind of funny.

If you’re thinking that this is the end of the conversation, oh no, not at all.

There’s more coming, just be patient.

Think Like a Victim and You Will Be One…All Your Life…

victim mentality Memes & GIFs - Imgflip

Granted, it’s not just progressives that take on the victim mentality and no, I’m not about to say that I’m a victim since I’m not. But the whole idea of “It’s not my fault, there was no way out of my situation” can be very real in some instances, but like so many other situations in life, it’s one that gets taken advantage of without cease considering that too many people will get to thinking that maybe being the victim isn’t so bad. After all, it absolves them of any personal responsibility, which is just too hard for some folks to take on apparently. Life isn’t fair? Blame someone else. Work is hard? Blame someone else. You’re not where you want to be in life? Blame someone else.

Do you see a pattern emerging?

Those that choose to be victims won’t since they’ll actually look for the path that gets them sympathy and yell at anyone that points this out that they don’t want to be miserable, they don’t want to be taken advantage of, but it just happens. And once one person starts feeling sorry for them it’s likely that this victim mentality will grow stronger, they’ll want more of that sympathy, they’ll believe that they can’t do it on their own, that they can’t stand on their own two feet and do something positive. It’s a mentality that’s taken root and become an ideology that many have decided is worth pursuing, and unfortunately, it’s why a lot of people aren’t where they want to be.

If life is hard, then be harder, or be smarter. Victims think they have a spine when they stand up to their ‘oppressors’ by causing a ruckus or a disturbance. A spine is what you have when you learn to take control of your own life without making it everyone else’s problem. A heart is what you have when you look forward to seeing how you can better your life, not leave drama and destruction in your wake because you ‘stood up’. There are a lot of differences between a victor and a victim, but one of the most important is that a victor pushes forward without blaming anyone for their lot in life, a victim will single out everyone that’s ever wronged them and make it the world’s problem, not theirs.

It’s Better to Have a Conditional Ally than A Certain Enemy

Enemies And Allies Quotes: top 25 famous quotes about Enemies And Allies

Whatever cause a person champions, be it an issue dealing with race, sex, gender, whatever it might be, it’s often better to earn an ally and possibly a friend than to create another enemy. Unfortunately, this is what ultimatums and the idea that if one isn’t an ally they’re an enemy can do. The distinction between an ally and an enemy is quite easy to figure out. An ally is someone that might not experience the same plight as a given community and/or group, but will do and say whatever they can to show their support for those that believe themselves to be disenfranchised, whether they really are or are not. An enemy is the exact opposite obviously, someone that does not agree and will not agree with those to whose ideals they are opposed. That’s a pretty easy distinction, as it’s black and white, which is sometimes the case.

But what happens when those that are neither an ally or an enemy are given ultimatums by those they don’t know and don’t associate with?

There are people out there that don’t associate with one cause or another, preferring instead to live their lives and show the common respect that is wise to show to their fellow human beings. According to some groups however, not allying with their cause is instant grounds to be labeled as an enemy, as simple respect for other human beings and their lifestyles isn’t enough. In fact, should a person not ally with those that feel that they are in the right, they might very well be labeled in one way or another that paints them in a rather negative light. Thankfully this isn’t a universal method that is practiced by everyone, otherwise the entire world might be resting behind one flimsy dividing line or another. But the practice of claiming that even if one is an ally that it’s not enough, that they need to go above and beyond for a cause that’s not their own, has been seen to grate on some folks, and it’s understandable why this is so.

A conditional ally, someone that is willing to support a cause, is also someone that will do so providing that they are not given ultimatums that make little to no sense. These individuals will do what they can to support those that want their respect, but to ask more of them is not only a poor idea, it’s in poor taste to claim that if they’re not doing ‘enough’ that they’re not true allies. One might think that any cause would be happy to have a conditional ally over an uncertain supporter that might turn on them at any moment if they push too hard. In fact, that’s one of the best ways to make a certain enemy.

To those who champion one cause or another in this world, ease up a bit. Realize that people see you, and that they will respect you, but on their terms. Pushing an ultimatum on those that show support is less likely to win them over, but it’s a great way to make enemies, and thereby give oneself a reason to play the victim card as much as possible.

Accept conditional allies, and realize that respect will be given, but allies and friends have to be earned.

The Goalpost Isn’t Moving, It’s Spinning Out of Control

There are more than a few arguments happening today that could be ended quickly if either side simply admitted fault or, even better, came to an agreeable compromise. Sadly, that last solution appears to be anathema to many individuals who so badly want to be right that even admitting as much is too painful and might cause them to lose whatever societal credit they believe they have.

Moving the Goalposts

There have been compromises made to be certain, some that are voluntary, others that are passed without the consent of those that realize too late that the compromise being made is not in the best interest of both parties, but instead favors those that believe they have the moral high ground when in truth, the ‘victory’ has been stolen using shady circumstances that will continue or begin the argument anew.

Moving the goalposts is a common trait of those that seek to retain power, no matter which side is currently holding said power. As of now, that goalpost is spinning out of control even as it’s teetering on a cliff leading straight into an abyss that likely won’t be to anyone’s liking.

Face It, People WANT to Argue, They Don’t NEED To

Our world has problems, that’s an indisputable fact, and it’s had problems for quite a while. But instead of finding solutions that can work for everyone, y’know, those things called ‘compromises’, a lot of people want to sit and argue with one another. But why? Does it enrich their lives somehow to simply disagree with each other without coming to an agreement of what needs to be done? There’s no one that’s innocent in this matter, since no matter how righteous or misguided a person is, they’re going to stand up for their beliefs, as they’re allowed to do. But in the interest of moving forward, instead of stagnating, why not figure something out that can work for everyone?

Transgender sports debate polarizes women's advocates

One great example is the current argument about transgender athletes. Is it too difficult to come to a compromise here? It might be tough to form a new league, but it’s easy to think that it could, at some level, appease everyone since transgender athletes would have their own league to compete in, those that identify as boys, girls, women, and men would have their own leagues, and people would be able to do as they please. It’s even reasonable to think that plenty of people would be willing to donate to open a new league that could very easily thrive. But the argument appears to be more important than the solution. People are more willing to air their grievances and bring up articles, studies, and various other opinions and bits of research rather than discuss the possible solution.

As of now, the argument appears to be the goal, not the solution.