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Welcome to the Loop (part IX)

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Vancouver, WA

May 31st, 2020

It turned out that they didn’t have long to wait, but the circumstances that led to Amelia and Tony, along with their kids, just about pushed Roxanne over the edge. Even now as she sat on the edge her bed, remembering how the couple had screwed her over, she found herself grinding her teeth and digging her fingernails into the bedding beneath her, wanting to scream but knowing that it would bring her mother without fail.

They’d left her here.

Amelia had even come to her as she had done for several days after their first meeting, keeping an eye on her apparently it seemed now, but under the guise of letting her know just where she and Tony had found the next door that might lead them out of this place. They’d spoken at length about where they were, what this time loop was, and why they’d been stuck here for so long. They’d even discussed what happened when people got out, how the narrative of the day changed each time.

“It’s like whatever’s keeping us here creates a different story each and every time someone gets out. I think, WE think, that whatever or whoever did this to us actually wants us to get out, but is picking and choosing who ‘wakes up’ and who stays stuck in the loop. That way it’s not a mass exodus from a place that can’t be explained.”

“But why don’t more people band together when they wake?” Roxanne had asked.

Amelia had shrugged, “Maybe because of the same reason. Our minds can’t really process what’s going on and we need to be sure of ourselves and the situation before we go and act on it.”

Only yesterday Amelia and Tony had told her about the next door, which had apparently shown up in a gas station just a short walk from their neighborhood. She’d gone with them, thinking to finally get out of the loop and be done with this strange place. They’d made their way to the gas station, which had been closed at the time of night they’d gone. Tony had been carrying one of their children while the other, still younger than the first, had been rolled along in a stroller by Amelia. Both children had been fast asleep, but had had woke when Tony had broken the lock with a solid kick that had the front door of the station off its hinges and swinging in a broken manner as they’d made their way inside without hesitation.

The door had been set among the coolers that kept the sodas, water, and other various drinks cold, an unlikely place for a stout wooden door as any could be. But Tony hadn’t hesitated, pulling it open and walking through with their eldest child still held in his arms as Amelia had followed with the stroller and their other child. Roxanna had been about to follow, but Amelia had stopped suddenly, looking back as she’d grinned.

“This isn’t yours kid,” she said with a wink. Roxanne hadn’t understood what she’d been talking about, but the savage reverse kick that Amelia had planted in her stomach had doubled her over, sending her crashing to the hard floor as she’d heard the door slam behind the woman. Gasping for breath, aching and confused, Roxanne had tried in vain to reach for the door, to grasp the knob, only to find that it had disappeared, becoming a transparent cooler door once again.

Her scream of denial and anger had been swiftly drowned out by a police siren that had begun to wail in the distance, informing her that she had very little time to decide whether she wanted to be booked into the county jail or spend the night in her bed.

The choice had been an easy one, but the trip home had been a long one.

(to be concluded)

Feeling Disconnected

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It’s too easy to feel disconnected to the world around us at times, and it’s especially easy to feel disconnected to the society in which we live. Some people go their whole lives without thinking it, while others will stop and pause at times in order to wonder at the feeling. Those that feel the disconnect and stop to ponder upon it however are typically those that realize just what it means. We were born into the wrong decade, the wrong century, perhaps even the wrong life. That is how it feels to some of us that don’t readily identify with the era we live in, or within the age group to which we were born.

Something is wrong with this place that we’ve inherited, that is how we feel. Something just doesn’t sit right, like a meal that your body simply didn’t like, it rests uneasily and doesn’t go away until something distracting comes along and makes you forget about it for a time.

But it’s still there, it’s always there. That feeling that you were born to a time and place you don’t understand, that no matter how hard you try to integrate into the world, you simply can’t find your footing or your place and must therefore make one for yourself that people simply don’t understand.

Some people might have been born too soon, ahead of their time, while others will cling to the ways of the past and the feelings that things should be much simpler than they’ve become. It’s a feeling that a lot of us share, and one that we don’t manage to rid ourselves of no matter how we integrate into the current era.

We were born ahead of or after our time, and it lingers no matter how we try to rid ourselves of it.

Rantings, Ramblings, and Ravings on the Campaign of 2020 by David Vills

Vice News had a quick but interesting report covering the potential steel worker’s strike. Vice closed the segment asking if a strike were to happen would Trump take the side of the workers or the steel corporations. Due to Trump’s policies a great deal of money has flooded into the steel industry. Unfortunately this has not trickled down to the workers.

Steel workers feel like they are being cheated by the corporations they work for. The workers want to negotiate for better contracts but corporations are screwing over the workers, collecting record shattering profits while the workers wages don’t rise. If Trump sided with the corporations he would lose a lot of voters. Surprisingly though the billionaire was able to sell himself as the man of the people. However, Trump would lose the ‘man of the people’ voters if he sided against the workers in this scenario, especially if stood against Bernie Sanders.

The fate of Trump’s presidential campaign lies in the hands of the steel workers. I hope Trump does the right thing and backs the steel workers, but I truly do not know what move the man would make. I feel if Trump sides with the corporation he would have lost his trust with too many voters to win another election, but then again I could be wrong about that. If the steel strike does not happen Trump will be safe. It seems as though a steel strike is unlikely. Also, many of the steel workers are Trump supporters putting Trump in an obviously precarious position; side with the workers.

If Trump is too stupid to side with the workers he does not deserve to be president. If Trump does side with the workers then I am sure it could guarantee him a victory in the election but it won’t cause him to lose any support. In fact he could actually gain support by siding with the steel workers. Good luck to Trump’s administration, hope your guy answers one of the easiest challenges ever correctly, but it is not a guarantee. My bet is that Trump will ultimately do the obvious and side with the steel workers if a strike were to happen.

Predictions, I suck at these when it comes to football, so that’s I don’t why I make them in politics. I am surprised Yard Barker hasn’t taken down any of my articles. Then again I didn’t even know I wrote for Yard Barker until today, god damn I’m a mess, I’m high out of my mind. I need to sleep and stop thinking about politics, I am becoming more addicted to politics than alcohol. I think about politics single everyday,  and it is like watching a man hang onto a cliff, at any moment everything could fall off, but somehow the system is hanging on.

No Trust (part II)

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(continued)

Portland, OR
November 2nd, 2020

“Hedging a few bets I see.”

Milton didn’t turn as he closed his eyes, rubbing at his temples with the heel of each hand as he tried and failed to block out the voice of his wife at that point. She was a firm Democrat, which irked him to no end, but she was also the woman he loved so leaving her had never been an option once she’d said “I do”. But right now he didn’t need to hear the type of talk she was likely to unload on him.

“Don’t start,” he said quietly, “Chad is already on my case and right now-”

“Right now your talking Cheetoh with the bad hairpiece is about to lose his ass,” she said in a playful tone, looking over his shoulder at the monitor he was staring pointedly at. “It’s a wonder that he hasn’t bothered to come out and spew some of his ridiculous rhetoric at this point, like how he’s always ‘winning’.”

“Honey, I’m about to lose a ton of respect and even social standing at my firm, so please just indulge me and don’t make it worse.”

“I wish I could say I’m sorry,” she said, rubbing his shoulders lightly with her thin, slightly-tapered fingers, “But I’m not.”

“Oh go away, please.”

She snorted, turning around as he turned in his seat to watch her leave. Her backside, one of her most alluring physical features, swayed as it always did as she called back to him.

“When you’re done staring at my ass don’t forget that Chad and Marcy are expecting us in about an hour.”

That killed whatever mood had almost been set as he turned back to the monitor, grumbling about something that she couldn’t hear as he pulled up the screen she’d seen just before he’d changed it upon hearing her enter the room. The blinking cursor next to the CONFIRM button seemed to mock him, as though daring him to push it, or not.

It took another moment, but he made his decisions.

(to be continued)

Welcome to the Loop (part VIII)

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Vancouver, WA

May 31st, 2020

“We were almost out,” Amelia said, stirring a pot of stew that she had on the oven. Roxanne had decided to pay a visit to the family she’d cheated out of their opportunity at leaving what they called “the Loop”, and discover just what was really going on.

“And then you had to come along and-”

“Tony,” Amelia interrupted, looking at her husband where he was leaning against the nearby counter. Tony was a rather big man and looked like he could get good and angry if he wanted, but it was obvious that Amelia, small as she was compared to him, was the real voice of reason in this household.

“I’m sorry,” Roxanne said, “I didn’t know you were aware of what’s happening.”

“Oh, we’re still not entirely sure how or why we’re here, just like anyone else that’s finally woken up. All we do know is that getting out is possible, because we’ve seen it.”

“You saw someone get out?”

Tony nodded as Amelia fetched a cloth to wipe her hands on at that moment.

“One of our neighbors a block away stepped into a doorway that had no business existing where it did on his home. He never came back out.”

“The Ashbey’s?”

Amelia nodded this time, “He was aware of what was going on, and he found his way back to what we can only hope is the normal time continuum, or whatever you want to call it.”

“But how?”

This time Amelia shrugged, “The only thing we could figure out it that a doorway shows up every now and then where it’s not supposed to, and whoever goes through that doorway just doesn’t come back.”

“But that doesn’t mean-”

“We’re hoping it means getting back to a time where the days roll by like usual,” Tony almost growled. Amelia just looked at him as he turned away, walking off towards a different part of the house as he disappeared around a corner.

“This has been hard on Tony,” she said quietly, “He’s a man that loves order and reason, and at this point there’s little of that left.”

“You don’t know where the next door will be, do you?” Roxanne said.

“No,” Amelia replied, shaking her head, “But so far there have been two doors that appeared in this neighborhood within the last few cycles, so we’re hoping now that another one will show up eventually.”

(to be continued)

There’s a Place and a Time for Expletives

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The moment you read a book, turn on the TV, get on the internet, or even just go outside and listen to people talk there are times when you’re simply bombarded by expletives of all varieties that are used to describe a great many things in our world or to curse them or to simply add on for the sake of fun. Now I won’t be a total hypocrite since I use them too, in times of anger, frustration, or as part of a bad habit that was developed with friends back in the day. But there really is a place and time for expletives and there are moments when you should leave them out of conversation, articles that people read, or simply out of the picture in general.

Granted, they lend a bit of emotion and a lot of punch to certain moments, especially in movies and sometimes TV, but then there are those moments when they’re simply not needed and could easily be ditched for another word that might carry a lot more meaning.

Around children, swearing should be kept to a minimum if it’s used at all.

This is an argument that a lot of people would take up and that many would agree is one that’s vitally important to the social upbringing of kids. It’s one thing to use them, but it’s another thing to use them in the proper context and to know WHEN to use them. For instance if a child swears at their parents the average person is going to dish out a punishment they feel is worth the slight, and in some cases as it was back in the day it meant having a bar of soap jammed in between your teeth so that you could ‘clean your mouth out’. Anyone remember that? In truth, teaching kids about swearing isn’t the best idea largely because they’re usually still developing their social graces and haven’t quite gotten to the part in life when they know when to say something and when to keep quiet.

It’s not necessary to follow up every other word with a swear word.

This is shown in movies and in TV shows quite often and it’s become something of a habit that gets kind of irritating at times. Swearing can add to the story and it can help to develop a character but there are those moments when it feels like an overused gimmick that feels cheap and extremely overdone. Some might argue that they’d rather be around a person that swears all the time since they can trust that they’re being real, but in truth swearing isn’t a sign of a limited vocabulary as much as it’s a sign of someone that has fallen into a habitual method of socialization that doesn’t often allow them to converse without throwing out a handful of expletives every time they talk.

And now we get to my own pet peeve, expletives in writing.

Quite honestly the same thing goes for swearing when writing as it does when speaking. It’s got its place and time and considering that a fiction story isn’t real life it’s usually accepted far more and criticized less. But once again there are places and times that are more appropriate for expletives than others, and in the regular articles one sees on the internet at least three or four out of every ten, and that’s being conservative, will feature a handful of swear words as the writer unleashes their opinion upon the masses. There’s no need to condemn them for their language as they’re being honest, but at times it still seems to be a little much for a simple article. In many ways it feels as though the reader is in the writer’s living room listening to them go on a tirade concerning their opinion over what they just wrote.

It’s not a bad thing to swear in public or in one’s writing, but keeping it balanced is preferable to just letting the words fly free on a constant and continual basis.

No Trust (part I)

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Portland, OR
November 2nd, 2020

“I can trust you, right?”

“How can you even ask me that? Of course you can trust me? I’m actually kind of insulted.”

“Good, because last time you hung me out to dry when we did this.”

“That was-”

“It was about your self-interest and that of your party, don’t try to deny it because you admitted it later on.”

“Okay, so I made a mistake!”

The answering snort wasn’t much in the way of a response but it was given with such disdain that Milton couldn’t help but feel rightly chastised as he shook hands with his business partner, grimacing as Chad gripped his hand just a little harder than usual, as though to make his point.

Today hadn’t quite gone the way he wanted it to, especially considering where the current POTUS was at in the polls. He’d been crowing so loudly about Trump’s chances of retaining his place in the White House that he and many others hadn’t seen the rise of the Democrats and their surprise candidate until it was too late. They’d noticed her of course, but it had been laughable to think that a woman would be able to displace Trump when he’d already bested Hillary four years ago and had made it clear that he’d always expected to win.

As his partner walked away, the hard soles of his shoes making a hollow sound upon the tile floor, Milton eyed the back of his three-hundred dollar suit and wondered if Chad really did trust him to come through on their current agreement. Trump was still just barely ahead in the polls, but his opponent was catching up quickly, far too quickly to be believed. It was as though she was sprinkling magic fairy dust over the people to entrance them and then making their dreams come true some how in a way that shifted them to her side.

He didn’t want to admit it, and he wouldn’t to anyone within ear shot, but Trump could actually lose this time.

And if he did, then Milton was up a certain creek without a paddle.

(to be continued)

Welcome to the Loop (part VII)

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Vancouver, WA

May 31st, 2020

The thought that she’d kept another person, more than one actually, from escaping this strange time loop left her staring at the ceiling as she tried to go to sleep that night, wondering just what it would take to finally realize how to get out of this place and if there was anyone that would be willing to help her. She wasn’t about to go back to that house if she could avoid it, even if they didn’t remember her tomorrow, or the next reset, or whatever.

As it turned out however she didn’t need to wait.

“Roxy?” her mother called, sounding uncertain. This wasn’t standard for their usual evening, as her mother was usually in the kitchen reading a book and her father was glued to the TV watching one of his favorite shows. She felt apprehensive immediately, but also somehow excited.

“There’s someone at the door for you sweetheart,” her mother called, still sounding as though she didn’t quite understand what was going on. “Could you come here please?”

Making her way from her room she then felt her feet moving but didn’t really register her passage through the house until she reached the front door, which her mother opened to reveal the same couple whose house she’d broken into. Fear gripped her immediately as she tensed, but she held it together just long enough for the couple to speak.

“Hi Roxanne, my name’s Amelia and this is Tony,” the petite woman in front of her said with a smile, “We were looking around the neighborhood for a sitter for tomorrow evening and heard from a friend of a friend that you’d babysat for a little while.”

Her mother looked at her with a smile, nodding her understanding as she said “Ah, I’ll leave you two to it then.”

That raised a huge alarm in Roxanne’s mind, though as she turned back to the couple she saw their smiles fade just a bit as they watched her mother walk away. When she was out of sight the woman looked at her in a way that made Roxanne’s blood chill ever so slightly.

“Welcome to the Loop lady,” she said with a grin, “There’s a few things you ought to know.”

(to be continued)

Why the Past Needs to Stay There

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Too many people love to dwell on the past, to keep it close and let whatever happened back then take control and twist and turn them until it’s all they know since the present and the future are behind them. They’re looking backward, progressing forward without seeing where they’re going, and it’s one of the biggest mistakes that anyone could possibly make in their life. By living in the past and foregoing what’s happening in the present or what will happen in the future you’re missing out as you continue to go over the past, never able to change anything but somehow willing to relive the same moments again and again.

That’s not a life, it’s a memory that consumes a person, and it’s what keeps that person from seeing what might be a great life yet to come. There are many ways that we look to the past, but not all of them are healthy, just as many of them aren’t harmful.

Remembering loved ones is great, but many of us know what they’d say if they were still around.

I don’t know about you, but my grandfather might look at me as if I’d gone batty if I decided to sit around pining for him. Mourning the people we lose in this life is all well and good, it’s human and it’s natural. But taking the time to mourn them each and every day becomes an insult not only to their memory, but to the promise that they placed in us the day we were born, the day they first met us, or the day that they became an important part of our lives. That promise is that we’ll go on, and that we’ll keep their memory strong by LIVING, not by looking back and mourning.

Holding onto negative memories gives those that caused them power over your life.

It doesn’t matter if they’ve passed on, it doesn’t matter if you decided never to speak to them again, holding onto a negative memory of someone that did you wrong is self-defeating as it gives that person a power over you that they don’t deserve. People hurt one another constantly and don’t always apologize or even try to make things right. It’s difficult not to hold a grudge, but it’s far easier to live your life by letting go of the pain, the hurt, and the anger you hold towards someone else for something that happened in the past.

The past is a lesson, use it as such.

Whether you’ve had a good life, a bad life, or something in-between like so many others, the past is a lesson to learn from that teaches us what works in life and what doesn’t. We’ll all make mistakes now and again, that’s a given. We’re human and there’s no way around that from a genetic standpoint. But living in the past is a sure way to sacrifice the future, while keeping the past where it is and using it from time to time as a valuable tool is the way that people really go on living.

Welcome to the Loop (part VI)

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Vancouver, WA

May 31st, 2020

She’d found something, but she wasn’t sure what it was yet. There was a door where there shouldn’t have been anything but a simple wall. Finding it hadn’t registered with her at first, but thinking about it now as she woke to another day the mere presence of such a mundane thing was more than strange, it was a small spark of hope that allowed her to keep believing that her theory was sound.

There was a way out of here.

The only problem was that she’d had to bail before the family dog and the family had come barreling down on her, escaping through the same back door she’d gone in through even as the dog had been hot on her heels. She’d had to use a few alleyways and little-used passages to give the dog the slip, but eventually she’d managed to find a way to ditch him completely by climbing a fence and finding a spot to hide until his owners came and retrieved him. They hadn’t bothered to go looking for the intruder at that point, simply taking their pet home thankfully, but she’d caught a snippet of what they’d said to each other thankfully.

“-think she saw it?”

“Doesn’t matter, it’ll be gone tomorrow.”

She hadn’t heard the rest of the conversation as she’d remained hidden beneath a stack of old, moldy cardboard boxes, but from the general tone it sounded as though they hadn’t been pleased. That had set her mind to wandering, and had even made her feel a bit guilty.

Had that door been their way out? Had she ruined it for them?

(to be continued)