Hey guys first post here! If you guys had a choice of any smoke from numed in urbana what would you choose? I've bought so much illinois weed. I refuse verano and ozone! Verano was held in high regards for a long time but the 4 or 5 jars have been terrible. Dry ass weed no smell no taste! I'm a huge fan of aeriz! Ice cream cake yum! I love rythem aswell the recent batch of casino kush was nuclear! I'm just huge on taste! Taste is everything too me! The more dank it is the more I like it!
[For Sale] 150+ records! Arctic Monkeys, ETID, Coheed and Cambria, Mastodon, Watsky, and much more!
Hey all! Looking to unload the majority of my collection. All have been stored in my home (smoke free) finished basement. A small handful have some slight warping/water damage on the sleeves/gatefolds and are noted as such. Otherwise these are all in really good condition and the majority played probably less than 10 times. Shipping in the US from Illinois. $5 shipping per media mailer. I'll do my best to answer any questions as quickly as I can, and provide pictures if needed! I tried to price the records less than discogs listings, but I know prices fluctuate, so if I've missed the mark on anything please let me know! :) Now let's get to the good stuff Edit #3: Finishing up for the night following up on pending deals and working through new messages (still). Just a little transparency, I'm a stay at home dad, so my days are busy as hell and far from my computer haha. I really only get to work on these at night, so if I haven't replied to you yet, please hold tight! Thanks everyone for your patience!
Architects - All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
Architects - Lost Together - Lost Forever
Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See
Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino
Atreyu - Long Live
Atreyu - So Others May Live / When The Day Is Done 7"
Avenged Sevenfold - S/T
Biffy Clyro - Opposites (some minor jacket damage)
Big Grams - S/T
Bring Me The Horizon - Thats The Spirit
Catfish and The Bottlemen - The Balcony
Catfish and The Bottlemen - The Ride
Chiodos - Devil (picture disc)
Coheed and Cambria - The Color Before The Sun
Curtis King ft. Jimi Hendrix - Live At George's Club 20 (RSD)
First published in Not Normal, Illinois: Peculiar Fictions from the Flyover, edited by Michael Martone (Quarry Books, 2009):
roman baker stood in the bright and crackling current of light that zipped around in patterned waves underneath the oval canopy entrance to the casino. He wasn't a gambler. The skittering brilliance didn't draw him in and he was already irritated with the piped-out carol music. A twenty, smoothly folded in his pocket, didn't itch him or burn his ass one bit. He had come to the casino because it was just a few days before Christmas and he didn't know how to celebrate. Maybe the electronic bell strum of slot machines would soothe him, or watching the cards spreading from the dealer's hands in arcs and waves. He took a step to the left, toward the cliffs of glass doors. As he opened his hand to push at the door's brass plate and enter, a white man of medium height and wearing a green leather coat pressed his car keys into Roman's palm. Without waiting for a claim ticket, without even looking at Roman beyond the moment it took to ascertain that he was brown and stood before the doors of an Indian casino, the man walked off and was swallowed into the jingling gloom. Roman waited before the doors, holding the keys. All of the valets were occupied. He held up the keys. A few seconds later, he put down his hand and clutched the keys in his fist. No one had seen this happen. Roman turned away from the doors, opened his hand, and saw that one shining key among the other keys belonged to a Jeep Cherokee. Immediately, he spotted the white Cherokee parked idling just beyond the lights of the canopy. An amused little voice in his head said go for it. He didn't think it out, just walked over to the car, got in, and drove away. You couldn't call this stealing, since the guy gave me the keys, Roman told himself, but we are on a slippery slope. He checked at the lighted gauge of the Cherokee, and saw that the tank was nearly empty. There was a Super stop, handy, just down the road. Roman drove up to the bank of pumps and inserted the Cherokee's hose into the gas tank. Eight dollars worth should do it, he thought, and then he wondered. Do what? In the store, he decided he should be methodical, buy something to eat or drink. Afterwards, he would know what to do. The complicated bar of coffee machines drew him, and he stepped up to the grooved aluminum counter, chose a tall white insulated cup, and placed it under a machine's hose labeled French Vanilla. He held the button until the cup was three quarters full, and let the nozzle keep drizzling sweet foam on top. Then he figured out which plastic travel lid matched his cup and pressed it on, over the froth. So as not to burn his hand, he fitted the cup into a little cardboard sleeve. He paid for everything out of his twenty, and walked outside. It was a warm winter night in the middle of a thaw. Bits of moisture hung glittering in the gas-smelling air. There was a very light dust of sparkling fresh snow sinking into the day's brown slush. "A white Christmas, huh?" said a woman's voice, just to the left. "Yes, it will be enchanting," Roman answered. He was the kind of person people spoke to in situations that could easily stay completely impersonal. His face was round, his nose pleasantly blunt, his eyes wide and friendly. His smile was genuine, he had been told. Yet women never stayed with him. Perhaps he was too comfortable, too nurturing, and reminded them of their mothers. Desperate mothers who wanted their children home before dark or wouldn't let them out of sight. Now, in addition to being motherly, plus the kind of person people spoke to on the streets or while pumping their gas, he was the type into whose comfortable palm strange white men trustingly pressed their car keys. And house keys, too, and other keys. Roman jingled the set before his eyes and then fit the correct car key into the lock. He got into the car and carefully set the cappuccino into the cup holder before he drove to the edge of the parking lot. There, he turned on the dome light and opened the glove compartment. He found the car's registration, folded in a clear plastic sleeve, and the proof of insurance, too, with numbers to call. The owner's name was Torvil J. Morson and his address was 2272 West 195th Street, in the closest suburb. Roman took another drink of the milky, sweet, deadly tasting cappuccino. Then he put the cup back into the holder and drove carefully out of the lot. The casino was prosperous because it was just far enough from the city to be considered a Destination Resort, and yet close enough so only an hour's quickly diminishing farmland, pine woods, and snowy fields stood between the reservation boundaries and the long stretch of little towns that had blended via strip malls and housing developments into the biggest population center in that part of the Midwest. Roman knew approximately how far he was from 195th street, and it took him exactly the 45 minutes he'd imagined to get there, find the house, and pull into the driveway, which he wouldn't have done unless he'd seen already that the windows were dark. The house was a small one story ranch style painted the same drab green as the jacket of the man who gave Roman the car keys. Roman got out of the car, walked up to the front door, used the key. Just like that, he entered. Once in, he shut the door behind him and wiped his feet on a rough little welcome mat. The house had its own friendly smell-- slightly stale smoke, cinnamon buns, wet dried sour wool. A powerful streetlight cast a silvery glow through the front picture window. As his eyes adjusted, Roman stepped onto grayish, wall-to-wall carpet, and padded silently across the living room. His heart slowed. The carpeting soothed him. He went straight across the room to the kitchen, divided off by only a counter, and opened the freezer section of the refrigerator. He'd heard that people often kept their jewelry and cash there in case of a burglary or fire. There was a coffee can in the freezer, but it only held ground coffee. A few other promising Tupperware containers held nothing but old stew, alas. Roman shut the insulated door and rubbed his hands together to strike the chill from his fingers. Then he walked down the hall. He stepped into a bedroom, turned on the light. Posters of pop stars, stuffed animals, pencil drawings and dried flowers were taped to the walls. A teenage girl's room. Nothing. He turned out the light and found the master bedroom, the one closest to the bathroom. He was just about to turn on the light when the sound of breathing, or the sense of it, anyway, in the room, stopped his hand. Then it didn't sound like breathing, but something else, sighing and watery. A fish tank, Roman thought. He listened a bit longer, then switched on the light and saw, on a table next to a window, a small plug-in fountain. The water coursed endlessly over an arrangement of smooth, black stones. Roman thought this must belong to the man's wife. He frowned at himself in the dressing room mirror, and adjusted the lapel of his jacket. The wife, or the teen, or another member of the family might return while he was standing in the lighted bedroom. Yet Roman had no prickles up his back, no darts of fear, no sense of apprehension. In fact, he felt as much at home as if he lived in this house himself. He was even tempted to lie down on the big queen-sized bed neatly made up with a purple quilt and pillows arranged upon pillows. Where had he read about this? Goldilocks! This bed looked comfortable. He thought of the three bears. There was a Mrs. Morson for sure, thought Roman. He pictured a bear meditating by the fountain. A meditator probably wasn't the type who would own gold and diamond jewelry, but he still had to check. There was not a safe on the closet floor, or even a velvety box on the top of the dresser or in the drawer that held underwear. No, there was only underwear, and it was decent, fresh cotton. What am I doing, thought Roman, with my hands in Mrs. Morson's underwear? He shut the drawer firmly and sat on the edge of the bed. I'm not going to find any cash, he decided. Mr. Morson has taken it to the casino. Treading down the hall and back across the soft carpet, he felt cheated. What had happened with the car keys was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Roman had never before done anything that was strictly criminal. But this break-in, where he hadn't had to actually break in, this was given to him. It was as though Mr. Morson had invited him to travel to his house and look for valuables. And nothing there! The house was very still now, the street outside utterly deserted, the neighboring houses dim and shut. Roman sat down on the couch, wishing that he had the rest of his cappuccino, but he'd left the cup in the car. There was a tremendous energy to the quiet, it seemed to him, a seething quality. He felt that he should do something bold, or important, with this piece of fate that he'd been handed. As he was thinking of what he might do, someone knocked on the door. Roman's first instinct was not to answer. But the expectant quality of the silence was too much for him. He went to the door and opened it. There stood a woman and a man, both in coats but wearing no scarves or hats. The woman held a wrapped gift. The man carried a crock-pot out of which there issued a faint and delicious, smoky, bean-soup scent. "Oh, thank god!" The woman stepped into the entryway, the man also, both exuding an air of conspiratorial excitement. "Very clever, keeping the lights off," said the man. "But isn't that his car?" "He gave me the keys and I just drove it here," Roman told him. The man gave a scratchy laugh that turned into a cough. "Where should I put this?" He lifted the Crock-Pot slightly. "In the kitchen?" said Roman. "Let's put his presents in there, too," said the woman. "You must work with T.J. Have we met?" "I'm Roman Baker." "You look like an Indian," said the woman. "People tell me that!" said Roman. "Okay, and I'm Willa and that's Buzz with the seven bean soup. It's his specialty. Just the countertop lights! No overhead!" "Right!" Buzz sounded gleeful. "Is Zola back yet? Did she get the cake?" "I think so," said Roman. His skull suddenly felt tight, his eyes scratchy and shifty in their sockets. "I feel bad," he mumbled. "I don't have a gift. Maybe I should go out for sodas or beer." "Oh, T.J. won't notice. T.J. will have a shit fit. I think we should all hide behind the counters and the couch. Will you get the door, Roman?" "Come on in," said Roman, as he opened the door. "Wipe your feet." Two young men and an older woman stood on the steps. One man carried a neatly foil covered bowl. The other held a large, pale, tissue-wrapped gift. "We brought Mom," one of the young men squealed, "she's drunk. She's such a hoot!" "I drank a strawberry wine cooler. I'm loaded," said the elderly lady in a prim and sober voice. "Let me in so I can ditch these two idiots. Does he suspect?" She eyed Roman with a flare of exasperation, her scarlet mouth down-twisted. "Not in the slightest," Roman told her. He helped her out of her coat while the two young men settled their things in the kitchen. "Very clever, all the lights out," the lady muttered, "Zola says he'll pee his pants." "That's pretty much what Willa says, too," Roman told the lady. Steering her toward the couch, he startled himself. A picture formed in his mind. It was himself. Crouched on the carpet. Out of control. Pissing his own pants and howling with surprised mirth. "They're sending me out for more strawberry wine coolers," he said. He patted the woman's hand. "You're an Indian," she said, severely and as if imparting information to him. "A big one," said Roman. The others in the kitchen were whooping with secretive anticipation. Roman touched the keys in his pocket, walked out the door. As he neared the white Cherokee two more people stepped into the driveway, asked him in low and enthralled voices if anybody else was there. "Go on in," Roman told them. "Willa and Buzz are organizing everybody." "Oh God!" said the woman. "I saw his car! I thought he'd got home already. Zola's following us. She'll be here any minute with the cake." Roman jumped into the car, backed down the driveway, and drove the opposite way down the street from the way he guessed Zola would arrive. Back on the turnoff to the highway, he thought, right or left? But it was inevitable. He headed toward the casino. The cappuccino was still warm and on the way there he finished it. He started to feel good. Yes, he had been given the Morson's keys, the keys to their life, and he'd visited that life. Enough. Nothing had happened after all. He hadn't taken anything except this car--for a drive. As he neared the vast casino parking lot he slowed and carefully reconnoitered, watching for extra security or flashing lights in case the Cherokee had been reported stolen. But all was bright and calm. Gamblers were walking to and fro, those who had self-parked. Others were waiting with their claim tickets on the swirl patterned carpet in the lobby underneath the lighted canopy. Roman eased the car into a marked space cautiously, far from the activity, and took his empty cappuccino cup with him before he locked the car's door. That was your little adventure, he told himself. Now what? But he knew what. He walked back to the casino entrance and walked through, into the icy bells and plucking, continual ring that did predictable and pleasurable things to his central nervous system. He breathed faster in excitement. Possibly, the sound depressed left brain action. He felt connected to an irrational and urgent universe of lucky chance. His fingers twitched. First things first. He scanned the seated players looking for the green leather jacket, which was all he remembered about Morson. He decided to make a sweep, starting at the far end of the casino, checking the men's room first. He went up each row and down each row, passed behind each glazed, ghostly player. It took so long that he thought of giving up and simply turning the keys in at the lost and found. But then, there was T.J. Morson, green jacket slung behind him, staring into the lighted tumble of little pirate cove symbols on his machine's curved torso. Roman tapped his shoulder and Morson waved him off, not to be bothered. Roman watched the man shove in three more quarters and hold his breath. Then sit back, dazed, rub his hand over his face. Roman touched his shoulder again. "Happy Birthday." "What?" Morson turned and focused on him. His face was clean-cut and perfectly square, a solid Norwegian jawline, pale eyes, hair already white and thin, a little tousled. He was falling into heaviness around the neck and then below, like Roman, it was pretty close to a lost cause. Roman dangled the keys. "You dropped these, I think?" Morson slapped the pockets of his pants. "For God sakes, thought I had it parked!" Roman gave him the keys and turned to go, but he couldn't, not quite. He took a last look at Mr. Morson and saw that something was very wrong with him. T.J. Morson was sitting there with his mouth open, staring at the car keys. Not moving. "Hey," Roman bent toward him, then waved his hand before the man's eyes, "you okay?" "No," said Mr. Morson. He shut his mouth and then slowly, like a very old man, stood and shrugged on his jacket. He dropped the keys, picked them up. Sat back down and stared once more at the machine. Slowly, from his pants pocket, he drew a bit of change. Held it out questioningly to Roman, who rummaged in his own pocket and exchanged what Mr. Morson offered for a quarter. Morson held it a moment, then played it. Nothing. "You okay?" Roman asked again. But Morson was staring vacantly before him. His mouth was open and his hands were shaking. "Not all right, not all right," he muttered. "Hey," said Roman, "come on. Get up. Let's go sit in the cafe. I'll buy you a coffee." "What I need is a drink." "Yeah, well, maybe." Roman helped steady Mr. Morson. They walked down the aisle of light and sound, along a short hallway, and into a small interior restaurant where the waitress gave them a booth for two and poured their coffee. "Cream. Lots of it. Thanks," Roman told her. She left the pot and a bowl of tiny plastic servings of flavored half-and-half. "Thank you," said T.J. Morson, staring at the brown pottery cup. "And thank you for returning my car keys." His voice was heavy as a pour of concrete. The syllables seemed to harden as they fell from his mouth. "Well," he looked up, scanned the country-themed room, "this is it." "What are you talking about?" asked Roman. Morson put his face in his hands and then slowly pushed his hands up his face and over his hair. "That was it," he said again. "Listen." Roman was beginning to feel alarmed. "It's your birthday. You should be heading home." He thought of all the excited people waiting in the living room of the Morson house, crouched behind the sofa and chairs and kitchen counters, the lights off. "Weren't you supposed to be home a while ago?" Mr. Morson looked at Roman, frowning now, momentarily distracted. "Who are you?" "I'm a friend of Buzz and Willa," Roman told him. "Look, I'm going to let you in on something that's going to cheer you up. You've got to go home now. I'm not supposed to say a thing about it, but they're planning a surprise party in your honor. Zola's got the cake. Even as we speak, they are in your house, waiting for you. They have presents." Telling this to Morson was surprisingly difficult. Roman felt the bleeding sensation of envy when he imagined stepping onto the warm, thick carpet. The blast of noise from friends. The bean soup. Beer. Cake. Mr. Morson said nothing. "You can't just leave them waiting there." Roman heard a note of accusing desperation in his voice. Morson shook his head, now, as though his misery was a fall of water washing over him. His brilliant white hair lifted in the staticky air. Roman felt like reaching over and patting it down, but he kept his hand curled around his coffee cup. "Fuck's sake, I can't go back there," said Morson wearily. "They don't know. Zola has no idea about this . . ." he waved his hand toward the casino through the glass doors of the restaurant. "I play when she's at work, when I'm supposed to be at work, except I don't have a job, see. That's over. She doesn't know I put a second mortgage on our house, a line of credit, then topped it. Cleaned out every one of our accounts." He stared fiercely, disconnectedly, at Roman. "There's nothing," he said. His mouth was suddenly and frighteningly sharklike, an impersonal black hungry v. A bubble of spit formed at either corner. "They'll take the house and then my car. They'll take her car. And Kayla . . . Oh god." Morson dropped his face into the bowl of his hands. Roman thought he might either break down and sob or leap up and rake his fingers down the wallpaper. Which would it be? He was feeling oddly disconnected. Maybe this was the way a shrink felt, listening to the woes of a client from behind a clear shield of therapeutic immunity. With a thick, jerky movement, T.J. Morson struck his hands together. "I don't even smoke," he said as though appealing to Roman, "I don't drink. But this ..." again he waved at the lights and bells outside the door. "I think, I know, I had the vision or whatever, that because it was my birthday I could turn it all around if I had just, say, a couple hundred. And I knew where to get it. So today after Zola went to work and Kayla was at school, I sneaked back to the house and I searched Kayla's room. She has this little passbook savings account with me as her co-signer. But where does she keep the passbook? So I dug through the stuff in her drawers, her closets. Can you imagine this?" Roman's mouth opened. Better than you know, he thought. But Morson went on quickly, "I found her secret things. They were under the bed, in this cigar box she had covered on top with a piece of paper. You wouldn't believe this knowing how sweet Kayla is, what a good girl. The box was labeled with a purple marker fuck with kayla and you die. Here she's a good little student, all As or Bs, never given anybody whatsoever any trouble in her life before. So this tough little message ... I mean . . ." Morson stopped and drank some coffee. "It got to you," said Roman. "Yeah," said Morson. "Anyway, I took the passbook. Withdrew two hundred and eighteen dollars worth of baby-sitting money." Roman nodded, poured another coffee for himself and stirred in three creamers. And yet, he thought. Here is a man for whom people will give a surprise party. Roman tapped the sugar packets, drank the rest of the coffee, put the money down on top of the check. "I have to get out of here," he said to Morson, who stared at him for a moment, then widened his eyes and broke the look off with a cunning little grin. T.J. Morson followed Roman out the door of the cafe. On the way past the banks of moving lights and bells and trilling knockers, he said, "C'mon. I hit, we'll split." Roman kept walking. Morson grabbed the sleeve of his jacket. "Please," he said. Roman started at the sight of him. Morson's eyes were rolled back so the whites showed. His lips were drawn away from his gums in a guilty snarl. Roman felt in his pocket, flipped out a quarter. Morson opened the hand that held the car keys. Roman took the keys and gave the quarter to Morson, who played it. The two men watched the rolling tabs of symbols spin over and over, whirling, clicking into place in a disparate row. "Okay, you satisfied?" said Roman. Morson wiped his hands slowly on his hips and then followed Roman out the doors, across the gleaming, wet parking lot, over to the Cherokee. Roman still had the keys. He opened the doors and got into the driver's side. Passive, concentrating on something invisible just before him, Morson got into the passenger's seat and shut his eyes. But suddenly, as Roman pulled out of the parking space onto the highway, Morson mumbled "thanks anyway," and opened his door to jump out. Roman managed to hook his hand in the collar of Morson's slippery jacket, and as he brought the car to a halt on the shoulder, he yanked the man back toward him with such surprising force that Morson's face smashed into the side of the steering wheel. There was an instant and surprising amount of blood. "Don't worry," said Morson, his nose behind his hands, "I get these things real bad." There was a girl's striped knit stocking cap in his door's side pocket. Morson grabbed it and put it to his face. Then he said, "look, I'll just go clean up." He jumped out the door with the cap on his face, and was gone. Roman pulled ahead about thirty feet into a blind driveway and shut off the engine. He found the lever next to the seat that dropped it backwards a few inches. He rested. A peaceful energy flowed through him. He nearly slept. Fifteen minutes, then half an hour passed. Traffic flowed by, snarled behind him, flowed again. A few people crossed before him at the far edge of an overflow lot. They swiftly entered their cars and drove away. Roman dozed another ten minutes and then he suddenly snapped to. He started the car and drove off. As he pulled back onto the highway a screeching ambulance barreled past. The casino was filled with Senior Citizens and Roman imagined a whole scenario--a big payout, an old man elated, then clutching at his heart. This fantasy gave him the idea, as he drove toward Morson's house, of something he could say to get Morson off the hook. It wasn't that he liked Morson, but his friends were so eager, so well-meaning. It wasn't right to disappoint them. Things were going to be so bad with Morson that there was no way to make them worse. Roman decided he would announce that Morson was dead. He'd use that same scenario--payout, heart attack--and then while the pandemonium of reaction occurred he'd simply disappear. When Morson finally did show up his being broke would not be quite as bad, at least, as being dead. Roman's lie would confuse the issue, muddy the waters, give Zola and the others a pause before they condemned. There seemed no harm in it as far as Roman could see, considering what Zola and Kayla were in for anyway. At least they would have the joy of having their worst fears reversed! Roman arrived at the house and parked in the driveway--still empty in order to fool Morson into thinking that the house was deserted. Yet all the lights were on. The little house was blazing. Roman walked up the steps and then tentatively eased the door open and poked his head around the side. He remembered to set his features in a look of tragic concern. He nearly jumped back out. All of the people he'd met before were standing or sitting at attention in the living room. They returned his look with identical stares. "We know already," said the terse old lady who'd been drinking strawberry wine coolers. "He had his I.D. right on him, phone number. Kyle took Zola to the emergency room. Zola just called two seconds ago." "Come on in," said Buzz. "Take a load off. I'll get you a beer. In fact," he said, "let's eat. It's some kind of custom that we all should eat together at a time like this." Roman sat down on one end of the couch, leaned back into a stiff pillow. He looked down at his knees, then accepted a bowl of bean soup when it appeared in his line of vision. The bowl was warm and pleasant in his hands. "They told Zola that he'd crossed the casino's main intersection, running. What is that, two lanes? Not so far, really." "Four lanes," said Roman. "Oh," said someone, "then." "Zola said he was not quite DOA," said Buss, "but next thing to it. There just wasn't a thing they could do." Now the others had bowls of soup, and bread, and were busily arranging themselves, patting napkins onto their knees, balancing coffee cups, offering butter around the group. "We shouldn't eat the cake." "I agree," said Willa. "We should have his cake at the funeral dinner." "Are you going to go?" She addressed Roman. He looked at her. "It can't be true!" Willa apologized. "I've never been much for denial. I go straight to acceptance. That's just me." "You don't need to think that far ahead," said Buzz. He touched Roman's arm. "In fact, don't think ahead at all." Buzz put down his bowl of soup and sank forward, elbows on his knees. He cupped his hands over his head and leaned over like someone about to be sick. He stayed that way, motionless. Willa put her hand on his back and patted him with slow, regular beats. She looked over at Roman. "Go on, eat your soup," she whispered. "It's okay." Roman placed a spoonful of the soup in his mouth. A moment passed before he realized that the taste was unusually good. Something gave depth to the taste. Roman looked at Buzz, still hunched over. His specialty, he remembered. Maybe Buzz simmered his beans with garlic, or wine, or some kind of herb. Maybe it was the sorrow, or the strangeness. Perhaps Buzz had added a few drops from a vial of Liquid Smoke. Then again a ham bone. Or the fact that these beans were all different types. Roman finished the bowl and put it down. "You want another?" said Willa. "It's good," Roman nodded. She got up to refill the bowl and Roman took over patting Buzz on the back, slow and regular, two or three pats to each of his sighing breaths. He kept feeling the wrench when he'd pulled Morson toward him, in the car, the way Morson had twisted, striking the bridge of his nose. There was the weight of Morson off balance, in his arms, the smell of his hair tonic, aftershave, and the smoke of the casino and the coffee on his breath. Now here he was eating Morson's bean soup with Morson's friends and no doubt in two or three days he would be tasting Morson's cake. Roman shut his eyes. His thoughts flickered. "I'll be right back." He set the beer down, got up, walked down the hall just like an old friend who knew the place. He opened the door to Kayla's room, walked in, shut the door behind him and knelt on the floor beside her bed. Reaching underneath, he groped for and found the box that he could see, once he turned on her little homework lamp, was indeed labeled fuck with kayla and you die. He handled it carefully. You shouldn't have fucked with Kayla. Psychic time bomb for the girl, though, wasn't it? Morson had replaced her little passbook. Roman flipped to the last page, then tore out a deposit slip. Same bank as his. Anyone could make a transfer, he supposed. He put the passbook back, lay the cigar box on the floor and snapped the sides flat. Then he slipped the box back underneath the bed. He walked back to the living room, passed behind an intense discussion of who should go now to the hospital, who was needed, what arrangements. In the kitchen, he paused at the sink for a drink of warmish, chemical-tasting suburb water. He set the keys to the Cherokee on the counter. Then he slipped out the back door.
Timeline of FBC History: Altered Items, Objects of Power, and AWEs
I created a timeline of the Bureau's history leading up to Control, as described in documents, multimedia, cutscenes, and NPC chatter. It includes all the known Altered Items, Objects of Power, and AWEs, plus significant events from Control and Alan Wake. The most surprising thing I discovered was Trench was living with the Hiss in his head for 17 years before the events of Control. Talk about a slow burn! I'm really excited to share this! I combed through every collectible in the game, so it took awhile to put together. Do you see anything interesting or surprising? I'm also happy to accept edits or additions with a source.
The owner of the Victorian Mirror (AI60-UE) becomes fixated with it and is admitted to a mental ward.
Case Files: Mirror Supplement
The population of Hoer Verde, Brazil, mysteriously disappears in a possible AWE.
Multimedia: America Overnight Ep. 349
The FBC, or a group that will eventually become the FBC, is formed.
The Oscillator (AI3-KE) is acquired. William S. Powers, Head of Department of Public Knowledge and Diversions, creates the legend of “fan death” in Korea.
Case Files: Fan Supplement
Carl Jung publishes an essay on synchronicity.
The Research Department at the FBC is created by Dr. Theodore Ash, Head of Research. He wants to expand on Carl Jung’s work on synchronicity. The Game Hammer (AI5-BE) is acquired.
Research: Synchronicity, Case Files: Hammer Procedures
The official, public-facing year the FBC was formed. The Oldest House is discovered while FBC agents are investigating a suspected AWE in the New York City subway tunnels. The Service Weapon (OOP1-KE) is discovered inside the Oldest House. Northmoor binds it, and the room in which it’s discovered becomes the Director’s Office.
Correspondence: Visitor Evaluations, Multimedia: The Oldest House, Research: Service Weapon
The Hotline (OOP3-UE) spontaneously appears in the Director’s Office. Northmoor binds it.
The Waist Mannequin (AI7-KE) is discovered in Maine.
Case Files: Mannequin Procedures, Case Files: Mannequin Supplement
The FBC makes the Oldest House its official headquarters.
Multimedia: The Oldest House
Thomas Zane and the eruption of the Cauldron Lake Volcano are investigated in Bright Falls, Washington.
Case Files: Bright Falls Summary
The Floppy Disk (OOP5-KE) is stolen from a Soviet military base by the CIA, then transferred to the FBC. The Arctic Queen (AI10-KE) is acquired from the Grand Central Hotel in New York City.
Case Files: Floppy Disk, Case Files: Refrigerator Procedures
The Old Gods of Asgard create moonshine with unfiltered water from Cauldron Lake and use it to give their songs power. The FBC investigates them. The Ocelot’s Anchor (AI11-UE) is acquired from the wreckage of the White Ocelot.
Alan Wake, Case Files: Bright Falls Summary, Case Files: Anchor Supplement
Parautilitarian Alan Wake is born. Odin and Tor Anderson, the Old Gods of Asgard, are investigated again in Bright Falls, Washington. An FBC intern picks up the Hotline and dies.
Alan Wake, Case Files: Bright Falls Summary, Multimedia: Hotline
The Benicoff TV (OOP7-KE) is acquired in Kansas. The Smoking Pram (AI13-KE) is acquired in Paris, France.
Case Files: Benicoff TV, Case Files: Pram Procedures
The Holiday Memories Tree (AI14-AE) is acquired from a Canadian research station on Ross Island, Antarctica. Identification Formulas are discovered.
Case Files: Plastic Tree Procedures, Case Files: Plastic Tree Supplement
The Swan Boat (AI19-KE) is acquired on Vancouver Island, Canada.
Case Files: Swan Boat Procedures
The Jasper Post Box (AI31-PE) is acquired in Jasper Crossing, Arizona.
Case Files: Post Box Supplement
The Ashtray and Cigarette (OOP11-KE) is acquired and bound to Trench.
Case Files: Ashtray and Cigarette
America Overnight, an FBC-funded radio show on superstitious topics, starts broadcasting. (“Broadcasting the truth […] for 29 years and counting.”)
Multimedia: America Overnight Ep. 352, Multimedia: America Overnight Ep. 356, Multimedia: America Overnight Ep. 359
Parautilitarian Jesse Faden is born.
Parautilitarian Dylan Faden is born. The Butte AWE (AWE-17) occurs in Butte, Montana. Agents discover a light switch cord that takes them to the The Oceanview Motel and Casino for the first time.
Case Files: Butte Summary
The Emergency Call AWE (AWE-18) occurs, where a woman is trapped in a phone.
Emergency Call Summary, Emergency Call Supplement
The Guru Surfboard (AI43-PE) is acquired from the home of Chester Bless.
Case Files: Surfboard Procedures
Dr. Casper Darling, Head of Research, is hired. (Note: This is based on Darling saying, “I’ve been here 24 years now.” That would be 1995 if it were recorded in 2019, but it may have been recorded earlier.)
Multimedia: Research Sector
Alan Wake, 18, publishes his first short story.
The Alan Wake Files
The Pink Flamingo (AI46-KE) is acquired.
Case Files: Pink Flamingo Procedures
The Merry-Go-Round Horse (OOP16-KE) is acquired from an abandoned amusement park after a tip from America Overnight.
Case Files: Merry-Go-Round Horse
The Red Light (AI49-KE) is acquired.
Case Files: Traffic Light Procedures
Alan Wake, 22, gains international recognition for his first Alex Casey book. Jesse Faden, 9, discovers the Old Gods of Asgard album Rebirth through her father.
Alan Wake, Research: Album Cover
The Rubber Duck (AI52-AE) is acquired from an FBC agent’s home. The Simulacrum (AI53-KE) is acquired from inside the Bureau.
Case Files: Rubber Duck Procedures, Case Files: Water Cooler Procedures
Trench loses his daughter, Susanna, to an unknown paranatural illness. His wife, Kate, leaves him. Trench creates the Panopticon, a "maximum security prison" for Altered Items.
Hotline: Prime Candidates, Hotline: Panopticon, Langston cutscene
Trench creates the first Northmoor Sarcophagus Container, NSC-01, while he is still Deputy Chief. Northmoor uses his abilities to make the power plant disappear in a possible escape attempt. A new power plant, NSC-02, is built with improved restraints. Northmoor is placed back inside.
Trench picks up the Service Weapon and is “promoted” to Director by the Board.
Trench implements the internal lockdown security protocol requiring directorial override. (Note: Trench says this happens in his first few years of being Director.)
Hotline: Internal Lockdown
Trench creates the Prime Candidate program, but P1 through P5 are “dead ends”.
Hotline: Prime Candidates
The Bremen Basket (AI54-UE) is acquired. (Note: This document contains an addendum from 1997, suggesting the acquisition date on file may be incorrect.) The Ordinary AWE (AWE-24) occurs in Ordinary, Wisconsin. Dylan Faden, 10, and Jesse Faden, 11, discover the Slide Projector at the local dump. The town’s adult population disappears. Dylan is interviewed and abducted by the FBC. Jesse escapes, guided by an extradimensional entity she calls Polaris. The Slide Projector (OOP15-UE) is acquired.
Trench leads an expedition into Slidescape-36. A lingering Hiss resonance burrows into Trench on the first expedition. Darling discovers Hedron. (Note: A photo of Hedron appears in the background of Darling’s videos about Dylan, so Hedron was discovered before Dylan killed the agent.)
Threshold Kids is developed to give Dylan a kid-friendly introduction to paranatural topics. Dylan is bound to the Floppy Disk. (Note: There is no explicit documentation about this, but NPC researchers in the Executive Sector reveal P6 was more gifted at launching objects than Northmoor. This ability also matches the P6 Victim Autopsy report.) Dylan is the most gifted parautilitarian the Bureau has ever seen, but kills an FBC agent with his new abilities. Marshall advises Darling and Trench to stop training Dylan.
The X-Ray Light Box (OOP18-PE) is acquired after an incident in a hospital. It is used to facilitate Astral dives in the Astralnaut program.
Case Files: X-Ray Light Box, Research: Astralnauts Information
“Get Well” Balloon (AI58-KE) is acquired from the child’s ward of a hospital.
Case Files: Balloon Procedures
The Victorian Mirror (AI60-UE) is acquired in Illinois.
Case Files: Mirror Procedures, Case Files: Mirror Supplement
The Albany AWE (AWE-29) occurs in Albany, New York. The Human Hand Chair (AI63-KE) is acquired.
Case Files: Albany Summary, Case Files: Hand Chair Procedures
Emily Pope is hired as a Junior Researcher. (Note: She describes the Ordinary AWE as “before [her] time” in a cutscene, so she is hired at least a few years after 2002.)
Emily Pope cutscene, Research: Pope’s Promotion
Dylan Faden kills more FBC agents. Darling is heartbroken and creates the Dimensional Research department. He moves the Slide Projector there for extensive study. (Note: This happens after Emily is hired, because Darling mentions she may be suspicious about his new project.) Trench creates the Ashtray Maze.
Multimedia: Dylan Faden, Correspondence: Dump Cessation of Work Order, Hotline: Ashtray Maze
The Ramen Lantern (AI69-KE) is acquired.
Case Files: Paper Lantern Procedures
Jesse Faden, 19, starts therapy. The Wolff Globe (AI72-PE) is acquired in Toronto.
The Bright Falls AWE (AWE-35) occurs in Washington. The Oh Deer Diner Coffee Thermos (AI73-UE) is acquired. During the Bright Falls AWE, Clay Steward appears in Bright Falls and fights the Dark Presence alongside Alan Wake. He wakes up in Madison, Wisconsin, believing it was a dream.
Case Files: Bright Falls Summary, Case Files: Thermos Procedures, Alan Wake
Clay Steward writes The Alan Wake Files. The FBC flags him as a minor parautilitarian.
The Alan Wake Files, Case Files: Bright Falls Supplement
The Moving Letters (AI77-KE) are acquired. The Home Safe (OOP22-KE) is acquired in Ohio.
Case Files: Letters Procedure, Case Files: Home Safe
The Sterling AWE (AWE-46) occurs in Sterling, Colorado. A hollow, stone-like sphere manifests in a field. Alberto Tommasi, Head of Communications, is hired.
Case Files: Sterling Summary, Research: Tommasi’s ID, Multimedia: America Overnight Ep. 356
Lin Salvador, Head of Security, is hired. The Havana AWE (AWE-48) occurs at a US Embassy in Havana, Cuba.
The Willow AWE (AWE-XX) occurs in Alaska. Like the Sterling AWE, a hollow, stone-like sphere is among the recovered items. The Typewritten Page (AI83-KE) is acquired from the Oceanview Motel and Casino. Polaris asks Dylan for his help, but he refuses. Jesse Faden dreams that Polaris is calling to her from New York and she starts traveling. Trench stops using the Hotline. A month later, he uses the Slide Projector to open a door for the Hiss. Jesse arrives in New York City.
The wife and I are planning a weekend trip to the casino. We live in an illegal state to the south, so legal weed is a big reason for picking Illinois. Anyone know if there's a dispensary near metropolis? Or if a smoking room at a casino in a legal state means mj smoking is allowed? Are there any restrictions an out of state rec smoker needs to know about?
The grocery bags plopped down and he collapsed backward onto his couch, breathing heavily. He shook his head and rested. Wow, he was out of shape. His friends were right; he did have to lose weight after all. “Dammit,” he said, recovering. He’d always been a bit chubby, but since getting full-time at the warehouse, he’d gotten so much fatter. The long hours kept murdering his feet and knees, but after being in poverty for practically all his youth, the money more than made up for it, and his waistline expanded accordingly. Pulling the mail from his hoodie pocket, he glanced at each one. The credit card offers he pitched into his burn pile, and his paycheck he opened and checked carefully. They’d finally gotten his name—Manfred Voren—completely correct. Taking a deep breath, he huffed, and hoisted the six plastic bags into his kitchen and began unloading. Some of the items he chose carefully, as per a recipe he wanted to try. He read the list and arranged each ingredient. Since the recipe estimated a thirty-minute time of completion, he opened his medicine drawer and popped his medication. For the next half hour, he toiled away at the chicken and pasta dish until it very nearly resembled the picture. Scooping it onto his plate, he chowed down while reading comics on his laptop. The latest issue of Breaker featured the main heroine, a tall, muscular power house of a woman, ripping into the powered armor of a bad guy. He knew the lore quite well. First Breaker was a favorite of his. He’d been reading it since the mid-nineties, having picked it up at age twelve. What attracted him to it, as he had typed into a conversation defending it against arguments of it being outdated, was how unique it was as a comic. “First Breaker,” he had written, plumbing the depths of his childhood memories for the right words, “isn’t just a ‘hey, ‘let’s beat up bad guys and smile for the camera’ superhero story. The main character is Cyroya, a goddess from the fictional ‘Bakeru’ religion. She’s not actually a savior, or a good guy; she’s the main enemy, the Satan of her people’s beliefs. As the Goddess of Strength, she basically shows up in ancient Rome and nearly ends the world, cutting apart entire armies all by herself. Kareth, the God of Mercy and Creation, defeats her, at great cost and casts her into Pareion, basically their religion’s hell.” He remembered that exchange and how heated he became, even though he realized he was only staring at a computer screen. He’d also introduced several of his friends to it. “Cyroya is cast into the bad place for her many murders, and here’s where it really gets good,” he’d defended. “Where most comics from the late eighties to early nineties—the so-called Dark Age—were just blood and gore for no end, we see her get tortured in Pareion and repent her crimes. That’s when Kareth sends her to the modern world and she must use her powers for good to save humanity, or else spend the rest of eternity in Pareion.” “So,” his friend Shawn asked, “if this Kareth guy is so powerful, why doesn’t he intervene?” Manfred took that as his cue. “Because eventually, they encounter threats even beyond the Gods. There’s literally a moment where a guy tells her she can help him take over the universe, and she has a perfectly good chance to kill Kareth and be free of his threat forever. Instead, she helps him defeat the bad guy. It’s great because she’s clearly a recovering villain. You see her have to struggle with the fact that, no, these humans aren’t insects merely there to satisfy your violent urges. You see her literally become a better person.” He remembered the friend basically answering with, “that’s great, Manny,” and leaving it at that. It was his favorite comic. Shoveling pasta and chicken into his mouth, he pressed the space bar to move forward. Doctor Richard Felaru, the bad guy in the power armor, Manny read, clearly had thought his machine could duplicate the Godess’s power. He’d had her against the ropes, but with the strength of will, she ripped his armor apart. Manny felt like a little kid again. This storyline had been going for the better part of a year, and he was glad to see it end. “Wow,” he mouthed, reading the last page. The story had ended exactly as he wanted. After finishing his sizeable meal, he washed his plate and silverware, setting it in the drying rack and picking up his laptop. Sitting for too long made his legs hurt, so he walked around carrying it. He shopped for comics online before reading some other issues he had on his computer. Furious Thunder Comic issue 682 appeared full-screen, him clicking on it. He enjoyed it, even though the writing hadn’t always been great. Unlike First Breaker, Furious Thunder was a very traditional super hero story, although not the same as many others. Unlike most of the traditional stories that started in the early Silver Age of Comics, Furious Thunder had started with a female lead. A female lead character, in 1952, was unheard of. Somehow it had managed to avoid being absorbed by the bigger studios, but had suffered in the sixties thus. The new timeline, he saw, wasn’t quite as good as the one before, but he still kept reading. One of the things that annoyed him was that when the character was first drawn, she was a decently curved woman for sixties standards. Now, she was almost anorexic. It wasn’t unique; many of the big studios had the female supers being model thin, but she was supposed to be a major hero. At least she wasn’t drawn with comically exaggerated breasts—even being a guy, it became annoying and distracting after awhile. Once more, he noticed her pulling her cousin’s pod out of the river. Before it had been a mountain landslide, and the original reboot had it be a river. He knew the story by heart: Michelle Delanter, having been examining archaeological ruins in South America, touched an artifact and was magically transported to another world, where she was forced to fight for her survival for a hundred years, somehow not aging. When she finally succeeded, it was revealed the whole ordeal was an illusory test to see if she was worthy of the power contained within the artifact. She then became Capacitor, a hero that utilized otherworldly energy to possess great strength, speed, and energy abilities. He read on, seeing that the origin deviated just slightly, with her finding the artifact and the whole training ordeal montaged in a series of six panels. She apparently explained to her cousin that he had been put in stasis because of his disease, and the pod had cured him, right before the earthquake diverted the river through the area where the building was. She grabbed his hand, and shared some of her power with him. “We’ll talk later,” she told him. “Right now, help me save the people downstream.” The next few pages were of the two of them using their powers to save people from the flooding and earthquake. It was nice to see they’d updated her age. In the original 50’s and 60’s comics, she’d been a teenager and her cousin the same age. Now, she was five years older than him. His cellphone rang and he set down the laptop. The caller ID read a familiar name. “Yeah, Joey? What’s up?” he asked. “You still hanging out on Saturday?” Joey said. “Wouldn’t miss it,” Manny explained. “Shit, as much as I work these days, it’s the only time I can.” Joey let out a breath of a laugh. “Ain’t that the damn truth.” He coughed. “Well, if you’re busy right now, I’ll let you go.” “Eh, I think I’m just staying home,” he replied. “Nothing much to do ‘round here anyway.” He smiled. “See you then.” Both knew too well what he spoke of. Southern Illinois was well-known for a few major things: abandoned buildings where industry once was, being twenty miles from the nearest civilized anything. If he was going to a movie, it would be fifteen miles to Edwardsville, or eight miles to East Alton. There was one book store the Illinois side of the Mississippi river. He watched some shows on the internet. After that, closed his laptop. Normally, later in the week, he found himself not wanting to be bothered. Now, though, the thought of being around friends made him feel lonely. Still, the nearest mall worth going to would be almost thirty miles away in the Chesterfield, Missouri area. Popping his knuckles, he made up his mind. He didn’t want to be home alone. At least the mall, far away as it was, presented the possibility of running into friends. His gas gauge reading full, he started it up and headed towards the Missouri line. Miles of forested areas passed by as he left his house, which was just short of Jerseyville, and passed through Alton. The riverside showed block after block of abandoned buildings where jobs used to be, some fifty years prior. The riverboat casinos with their flashing lights stood in stark contrast to the rows upon rows of taverns and bars that segmented sections of former places of business. The economy had been rough and he was lucky to have gotten a job that paid well. After crossing the Clark Bridge, the economy seemed to get much better, with the businesses of the Florissant area passing by. After more than twenty minutes of driving, he made it to Chesterfield and one of the few remaining malls performing well in the downtrodden economy. The mall looked uncrowded as Thursday evenings weren’t major business. The first store he hit was the bookstore, checking out their manga collection. There seemed to be only twelve people walking around the store, and none of them he knew. He read a few volumes before he left the store. Walking around the mall, looking around, he felt a bit dumb. There weren’t that many things he wanted to buy, and none of his friends seemed to have thought to come out here. He popped into a dollar store and bought a generic cola. The man behind the counter looked at his shirt and smiled. “Hey, nice shirt,” he said. “Haven’t read a comic since I was a kid, but those movies are great.” The man looked to be nearly fifty. Manny regarded the man’s gray hair and lined face. “What’d you read growing up?” “Well, I read a bit of everything,” the man admitted. “I can’t say I remember much of it. Nice to see Hollywood finally giving a thought to it, though.” Manny let out a humph. “You can say that again,” he responded. “I think when I was a kid, there was the 1989 movie and other than that, a bunch of crap. Now it seems like everyone likes ‘em.” He shrugged. “It’s annoying. Where were these movies when I was in high school about two-thousand-one?” They shared a laugh and he left the dollar store. It raised his spirit to feel reassured he wasn’t alone. Entering the video and game store, he looked through the Blu-ray section. He came across a copy of the nineteen eighty-one Capacitor movie. They’d made a crappy sequel in two-thousand-five, and hinted at a Furious Thunder reboot, but he always enjoyed the original. He hadn’t seen it in years or had this updated disc, so he bought it to give himself a reason to have come. He started the car and set his bag in the passenger seat. Flipping the radio on, a news story talking about lights in the sky over various parts of the world, and what the experts had to say about such things. Even though it might have been interesting, he set his radio to Bluetooth and played music from his smartphone. Pressing the emergency brake off, he shifted into drive and left the parking lot. The highway back to southern Illinois signaled his experiment had failed and he had to return home. Miles of highway passed once again. Nothing much out of the ordinary appeared until he got about halfway home. Pulling the car over to the shoulder, he stared at the sky, both awed and weirded out. Streaks of color, vaguely reminiscent of aurora borealis made streaks across the evening blue. However, these were off-colored. Various pinks, oranges, and silvers streaked in with the green and red. It undulated in the sky like some cosmic worm wriggling. Eager, he checked his mirrors and got out. He clicked his phone’s camera app and pointed it at the sky. The image quality wasn’t fantastic, but he wanted to keep a record of this. Some ten minutes later, it faded, and he got back in his car. Since others were stopping and staring, he took his opportunity and left. Returning home, he uploaded the photo to his laptop and watched videos on the internet. He opened his bought movies and made sure they worked. After ten minutes, he checked the clock. Work the next morning would be a pain in the ass, so he decided to check in for the night. He set his phone’s alarm clock and changed into his pajamas. The usual evening routine came next: brush teeth, change into pajamas, swallow some pain medication since his feet hurt. Once the ibuprofen kicked in, his mind slipped away into dreams. The alarm interrupted his dream of driving through a vague pseudo-city consisting of several places he had been to, while fleeing some nondescript sense of dread. Waking up was an exercise in lifting himself to a sitting position and waiting for his sense of balance to kick in. Shaking his head to clear it, he stood up and stumbled a few steps before righting himself and walking to the bathroom. The routine became second nature: brush teeth, do business, shower. He had a half hour or so before he had to be there, so he made himself a few sandwiches for breakfast along with some coffee. He took a hit of his inhaler and dressed himself before heading out the door. The drive to the warehouse reminded him how much he hated it. His work was a decent paying job; it didn’t, however, mean he enjoyed it. The man at the door scanned his ID badge and he walked over to the counter to be assigned. The woman, a middle-aged smoking victim, regarded him with the same deadpan expression everyone got. The number he got was thirty-three with a ‘C,’ and that meant he would be on shampoo duty. If there existed a better demonstration of how to reduce a man to a robot than the next five hours, he would have loved to see it. His task consisted of taking finished shampoo two-packs, placing them in a cardboard box in their slot, sealing the box in plastic when full, and placing it on a palate for a forklift to retrieve when the palate filled. Other than a single fifteen-minute break, he did nothing else. When the lunch break came, he got in his car and drove to the truck stop across the road and bought a sandwich from the refrigerator along with a generic diet soda. After that, he went back to work and another five hours passed by. His knees and back ached, and his hands hurt, so when finished he popped two naproxen sodium and finished the last of his green diet soda. It was painful, but at least he was lucky. Some of the other warehouse companies that hired paid only minimum wage. Then again, he rationalized, most of them were staffed by stoners and ex-convicts. On the way home, he stopped by the video rental kiosk and chose some arthouse film one of his friends had recommended. It wasn’t normally the kind of film he watched, but it would be a welcome waste of time. The sun was still up and yet, he wanted nothing more than to plop into his chair and leave the day behind. It bothered him some of his friends worked as much as possible. Other than keeping the house clean—which was the responsibility of everyone with a home—these people exercised for three, sometimes four hours a day, and this is after an eight to ten-hour work shift, and then chores. Maybe by the time they were done, they’d have two, maybe two and a half hours to just relax and do nothing before going to bed at eight-thirty, nine at the absolute latest. His shift started at five-thirty, and he finished at three-thirty. He worked forty hours a week, his default four-day schedule. His arms and back often ached, but damn it, every weekend was three days, he made enough money to pay the bills on a house his parents left him, and that mattered most. Furthermore, if he skipped a few meals here and there, he could save enough money to buy something big. Five years ago, he’d skipped enough meals to buy a two-thousand, five-hundred-dollar gaming laptop. It kicked as much ass as he could hope for. Maybe next year, he would start saving for a new one. The movie was ok, not exceptional, but he was glad anyway, because it being Thursday, he wouldn’t have to be back at the warehouse until Monday. He pulled out his PC controller and plugged it into his laptop. He decided to play Inindo: Way of the Ninja, a role-playing game from nineteen ninety-three. A relatively obscure game, he’d rented it once as a kid from Blockbuster Video and enjoyed it so much he played it completely at least once a year. It wasn’t particularly breathtaking, but it was a fun way to pass the time. Noticing the clock on the wall was nine P.M., he saved, put his laptop into hibernation, and stretched his limbs. The night was calling and he didn’t want to stay up too late. Just not having to awake at four the next morning felt great. When he turned in the direction of his bookshelf, he saw the book occupying the top slot—volume one of the 2004 run of Capacitor in Furious Thunder Comics. Opening the graphic novel, he remembered the familiar opening. The heroine, Michelle Delanter, with her trademark red hair, reminiscent of the setting sun, flapping in the wind, stood poised to save lives. Her figure, not quite as anorexic as the new run, had the super-skinny frame of a waif model, which, absolutely did not mesh with her powerful expression. He’d been entering college during the original run of these issues, and they were always a fun time. Hard to believe, it had been more than ten long years since then. Replacing the book, he felt a mild static shock. It annoyed him, and he started towards the bathroom when he felt a mild burning sensation wash over him. He pulled his shirt off, having stripped down to his underwear. Furiously he slapped his hands on his torso, trying to locate if something was injured or in some way damaged. A few seconds passed with the feeling increasing before fading entirely. His head felt slightly dizzy and then became normal again. “What…” he uttered. Before he had a chance to finish the thought, he felt a yanking, a pulling. It came from his abdomen. In a scene of utter impossibility, he looked down to the source of the feeling, and saw—as he continued to feel—his large bulbous fat gut drawing in. His entire torso shrank before his very eyes. “No, oonooo!” Trapped in a panicked thought, that he was shriveling up into a corpse somehow, he grabbed and pinched at skin, pulling and yanking, trying desperately to fight it. After a few moments, there wasn’t enough fat left to grab handfuls of. He gasped and panted, wide-eyed at how small his torso had become. Now the pulling came over his limbs. From his waist to feet, and shoulder to fingertip, his flesh tightened and retreated. Coarse hair disappeared, scant, fair body hair appeared in its place. His mallet-like hand with stubby sausage fingers turned into a dainty palm with slender pianist digits extending from them. Legs became thin, smooth, with only faint hair that wasn’t too noticeable. Giant fat feet shrank several shoe sizes. Finally, a twinge travelled up his chest and to the top of his head. His saggy man-breasts became recognizable ‘B-cup’ women’s breasts. Hair grazed his shoulders. “Yeep!” he shouted, tugging at the intrusion, only to see the reddish hair attached to his own head. The voice registered clearly in an adult woman’s range. He stumbled to the bathroom mirror and stared. Twenty-year-old, redheaded, superhero,fictional character, Michelle Delanter, or, an incredible facsimile, stared back at him. He shook his head, slamming his eyes shut. No. This is impossible. He had spent years of his life thinking skeptically. It was the reason he’d left religion behind. No, what happened was, he’d gone insane. This was a hell of a hallucination; he hadn’t even had a history of mental illness. Sure, when he was ten, he had a phase where he wanted everyone to call him Batman, but even then, he knew he wasn’t turned into an imaginary character. He ran his hands over his face. The red-headed woman—who, now that he thought about it, had no reason to be a fictional character—rubbed her face the same way. He felt up and down the body, and sure enough, the hands in the mirror moved as well. He took a deep breath and let it go; this was an amazing degree of insanity. He’d really flipped. Not only had he somehow developed a separate personality, but the hallucination was so good, he couldn’t think his way out of it. A thought occurred to him. Had he been this red-haired woman all along? He fumbled through his wallet. His driver’s license was the same as it was that morning. Manfred Voren, Illinois Driver’s License, five foot nine, two hundred eighty pounds. He took a selfie, making sure to only photograph from the neck up, and sent it to a friend of his. “What do you see here?” he included with the text. Ten seconds later, his friend Jake responded. “Cute girl,” he said. “Nice hair. She your new girlfriend?” “She’s a friend,” he replied. He set the phone aside. He sat down on the toilet lid. Either he hallucinated the text, he figured, or else Jake had really seen the girl. That wasn’t evidence enough, he knew, but it was a good start. He honestly expected, had he simply gone crazy, for Jake to say something about why Manny would send a photo of himself. Still, he couldn’t trust his own mind. This wasn’t possible. He had a mountain of evidence to suggest he had spent thirty-one years as Manfred Voren. Thinking about it, he’d never so much as seen a single redhead, anywhere in his life that looked like her. He sent the photo to his perverted friend John. “Would you do her?” “Sure, I would,” he replied moments later. “Who’s she?” “Someone I had a pleasant conversation with earlier,” Manny texted. “Has anyone like her ever been around us before?” “No, dude, I wish,” John replied. “Don’t miss the opportunity on this one.” He set the phone down. Now he had more evidence. Still not enough to positively rule out his insanity, but two separate friends acknowledged that the photo he remembered taking a minute before was both not him, and not someone they’d seen before. Either he was insane enough to have hallucinated: transforming, taking a photo of the result, as well as his friends reactions, or something absolutely not possible was actually happening. He still didn’t want to accept what had never happened before in human history. He slapped himself to see if he was dreaming; he wasn’t. He stood in front of the mirror. In his mind, he could see an image of himself as this woman. He focused hard on the image. He imagined it turning back into him. Nothing happened. After a few minutes, he closed his eyes and saw the image even clearer. He did it again, and still nothing. He imagined both images side by side—himself, as he was before, and her. Nothing happened, except this time, he felt a presence in the back of his head. Not like a person or spirit, but as if a switch or lever had magically appeared in his brain. Obviously, it didn’t have a literal appearance of such a device, or any appearance at all, but he noticed it only when he summoned both images side by side. With thoughts, he manipulated it, imagined it changing. Once more, nothing happened. Almost a half hour passed with nothing changing. Opening his eyes, he stared once more at the red-haired woman he’d become. If this didn’t change, if he couldn’t change back, he’d have a lot of hell to deal with. Sooner or later, he figured he’d wake up in a nuthouse or a courthouse, having done something like beating a guy to death because he hallucinated the devil in him or some crap like that. Or, if the absurd turned out to be true, he would have no identifying papers as this woman, and no history whatsoever. He’d have no solutions. If he somehow overcame these problems, he’d be spending the rest of his life as this woman. Could he really commit to that? Could he really pull the trigger? Oh my god, he thought. It was a trigger! He coughed to calm himself. Okay, he rationalized. Let’s assume what, again, I know to be impossible, is really happening. Let’s say I’m somehow turning into a woman and back again, his mind fired. Wouldn’t it be damn inconvenient should, say, a random thought morph you in the middle of a crowded room? He was the kind of guy to imagine spiders crawling on the walls at random. He’d hate to have the kind of power to do that. So, he guessed, should there be a fail-safe, to guarantee that no random imagining of himself would cause the change to occur? He focused on the twinge in his head, the feeling the…whatever the hell it was. He imagined her morphing straight back into him. This time, he didn’t imagine himself manipulating the…well, hell, he just decided to call it the Trigger. He committed. He decided, firmly and completely, yes, he wanted to be fat, almost thirty, underpaid and overworked, Illinois native Manfred Voren. He felt the Trigger change to a different state. Like a bad CGI film, his body morphed back into Manfred Voren. The entire process took eleven seconds. His fingers were fat again, his gut stuck out again, and his penis and testicles had returned, along with his ungainly body hair. He could have cheered when he became normal again. He had never been so glad to be overweight. And then, his curiosity got the better of him. Oh hell, he realized. He couldn’t let it go. He stepped on the scale, and it read two seventy-nine. Hey, he realized, he’d lost two pounds from the month before. In his mind, he imagined the woman again. He pulled the Trigger by committing to the transformation. Hey, as far as insane ideas went, it was convenient, the equivalent of an “are you sure” before deleting the file from the hard drive. It snapped into its previous state, and the change happened again. This time, the burning was replaced by a tingling, almost like the cold mixed with electric prickling around fur rugs. He stared in bewilderment as the scale plummeted to one hundred and thirty-seven pounds. Wow, not just impossible, he thought, but ultra super-duper impossible, violating the Law of Conservation of Mass impossible. He reversed the transformation and the scale climbed again. He decided to go to bed. This insanity could wait until the morning. With thoughts raging on his mind, it took quite a while, but he managed to slip off to dream. The sun’s light peering in through the window and shining in his face woke him up. He rubbed his belly and face. He was still Manny and still fat. How much of what happened the night before had been real? He yawned and stretched. Stumbling to the bathroom, he splashed water on his face. Mental images of himself turning into the woman from the night before returned, and with it, a familiar presence. He pulled the Trigger once again. Eleven seconds later, the red-haired woman stared back at him in the mirror, blinking when he blinked. The possibility that this was a hallucination hadn’t diminished much. Much of what he saw continued to be impossible per all the scientific evidence he knew. He had two pieces of evidence he couldn’t necessarily trust because he could have hallucinated them as well. A decision entered his mind. Since what was going on didn’t appear to be harmful or destructive yet, one of the easiest ways to prove it real would be to do things that it would be utterly impossible for a hallucination to deliver. To get there, he had to know if he had been turned into Capacitor, or just a red-haired woman. Based on his current supermodel-thin build, it would be utterly impossible for an ordinary woman with red hair to lift a refrigerator. He knelt in front of it, and wrapped his arms around the large metal rectangular prism. He bent his womanly legs and expected his back to scream at him. Instead, he felt weight resistance on par with lifting a beach ball. At fully standing height, he yelped and immediately had to avoid three problems at once: hitting it on the ceiling, dropping it, or banging it into the wall. It felt like carrying a bag of groceries. So, not just an ordinary red-haired woman, he thought, but actually The Capacitor. Gingerly, he set down the fridge. Got it. He walked around the house a bit, curious as to how many of her powers he had in this form. If this were really happening, he took mental note, he’d already demonstrated strength. She had several more. He stared all around, trying to activate her see-through vision. What the writers had made sure to do, he remembered from the comics, was not to give her x-ray vision. Her vision was a form of psychic remote viewing, since they didn’t want to imply her eyes gave off harmful ionizing radiation. After long minutes of trying, he found wanting to see further caused layers to become transparent, allowing him to see behind and beyond them. With effort, he gained another small, possibly unreliable, piece of evidence that this wasn’t a hallucination. One layer at a time, he saw past the wall of his house, past the walls of the neighbor across the street’s house, and into the books on a shelf perpendicular to his vision in one of their rooms. One book, he had never once read, The Old Man and The Sea by Hemingway, he saw the cover, then the first page. The next page was backwards, obviously, when the first page became invisible as he saw past it. Exercising his will, his vision returned to himself, having remembered the text of the page as best he could. He downloaded a digital version of the book and read the first page. The text matched what he saw. Alright, I couldn’t have made that up, he realized. Unless somehow, he had read the book somehow and forgot that he read it while still remembering the text, which struck him as unlikely. He still couldn’t rule it out, but now, more evidence mounted. The best evidence, he figured, would be to act as though it were real and see how far it went. Certainly, real life broke down all barriers and the truth eventually came out. If he ventured out into the world, and this was a hallucination, it would come crashing down, wouldn’t it? Sure, it could be disastrous, but if he had the insanity to hallucinate to this degree, what could he trust? It also meant, the farthest and most unlikely scenario could be true. Something impossible could truly be happening, and the implications, he scarcely wanted to contemplate, for the whole universe was involved. Turning back into himself, he decided to push it. He transformed parts of his body into hers. Individual feet at first, then hands. He could even transfer much of his body fat to her form. This seemed practical, as it meant his clothes would fit her, but at the same time, it bothered him. He thought about it. Ultimately, he shook it off in favor of more pressing matters. Her being fat allowed him to put his clothes on and head outside to do some work. Grabbing the car keys, he headed for the park near Wood River, Illinois. There, he could find a quiet corner of the large open park and practice. The wooded areas had quite a few places off the beaten path where people hardly went. In a cluster of trees, he stood, focusing on what he knew. Alright, he thought, one of the most basic abilities she had was flight. She could, in the comics, fly incredibly fast. He focused on his presence and imagined himself moving. At first, just as he expected, nothing happened. Practice made perfect. It was just like riding a bike. After twenty boring minutes of trying different mental techniques, he focused on deciding to levitate upwards. Leaves blew away from him in a circle, as if he had a propeller blowing. His feet left the ground by an inch. I’m getting it! He thought. Then he fell backwards onto his butt. He stood, brushed himself off. Fly, already, he mentally commanded. Upwards! Fly! As though fired from a cannon he shot up. Uncontrolled at first, he slammed into a tree face first, having surprisingly tested his durability and upon issuing a mental yell of “stop!” he came crashing down with a thump. The thought occurred to him that direction and speed may not be the same mental process. He indicated the direction of up, and decided. Simultaneously, he indicated a speed of slightly above gravity and committed. Like a balloon, he levitated to the height of the tree. At the top, he changed his speed to exactly the speed of gravity. He came to a dead stop and floated alongside the treetop. Left, he focused and thought. Slow. He hovered in the direction of the next tree. What surprised him was that he continued facing the original direction as he moved sideways. He had to turn his body midair to face the direction he moved; it wasn’t automatic. Touching the tree, he stopped and lowered himself. Finesse and fine control would have to wait. He had other powers to practice. What surprised him was that flight worked much like the “trigger” that activated his power: he had to mentally force it so a random thought couldn’t interrupt it. Sensory powers were her next major task. Sure, he knew, he’d tested her sight, but now, he had hearing to test. This was easy to activate. Unfortunately, it was hard to focus. A thunderstorm erupted in his head. He heard everything from nearby cars starting all the way down to the footfall of a squirrel. Drowning out everything except people’s conversations proved hard. It wasn’t like the comics at all. Sure, with effort, he could hear what they were saying separately by paying attention to it, but just like regular hearing, everything else mixed in. Ironically, the easiest powers to learn were what he expected to be the hardest. Energy projection, which in the comics, manifested as her being able to emit laser-like beams from her hands and directly in front of her eyes, wasn’t hard at all. He thought of the type of energy to be fired. In this case, a powerful beam of laser light. He pointed at a log. Making the decision, the tip of his finger glowed red and a dot appeared on the log, slowly burning. He decided to increase power. The light turned from red to blue, and it ate through the log in seconds. Once stopped focusing, it vanished. The other, super speed, almost felt like turning a knob. He found the world frozen around him as he focused on it. The only disorienting part was movement. He found he could see and process all the information around him, even though he felt the tremendous speed at which he ran. The logical problem was that his clothes didn’t rip off. The only answer he could come up with was that the invulnerability extended somewhat during running. He shifted back into his normal male form. Within twenty minutes of testing individual body parts, he found he needed to transform his brain into hers to have any abilities at all. Furthermore, he found he needed at least half his internal organs to be changed to have strength or flight, but sensory powers only required his eyes and ears to change. After a few minutes of testing his sensory powers in his normal form, he realized, it bothered him somehow. It didn’t feel right to him to use powers in his male form. He pondered it a few moments, but shook his head. He had other work to do. Namely, the thing he wanted to do was, in fiction, usually the first thing the hero learned not to do. He’d read enough comics and manga to learn that one of the very first lessons a protagonist learned was not to use their powers for self-interest. It was wrong. To an extent, he knew why it was wrong. But as someone who worked ten-hour days, for less than fifteen dollars an hour, he didn’t care.
I have been tracking a bounty hunter's story ever since 2016 (Part 2)
Part 1 [Second document. It was posted outside town from an unknown device on a hidden forum] Title: A Wolf’s journal If this is the first page of my journal you read, you should know that I am a bounty hunter. I hunt monsters, humans, cryptid, no difference as long as there is enough cash involved. To clarify, I am NOT a hunter raised to kill monsters, nor a government agent, or a soldier. I do not get along with them, we don’t have the same goals, and they despise me because I work only for the money. I am not a hero, and surely expect you and many to question my methods of hunting. My methods are not perfect, nor are carefully crafted to save everyone... but they are efficient to get the job done. I take my contracts from witches, or that’s what I call them. They are sometimes called mediums and communicate with spirits. Thus, they often sense dangerous negative energy and monsters from a fair distance. They pay very generously for alchemy materials that I get from these monsters, such as the eyes of a wendigo, lycanthrope’s heart or tongue, you name it. I would get in detail about what they do with these materials, as I once worked very closely with a witch that made curse objects and sold them to people to get in power positions or to harm others. But this story is not about that. I have killed plenty of things, and I always write in my journal in case something happens to me. I decided to post this story mainly to let other bounty hunters know that I’m still around and give them a recording of how I killed this disgusting creature. They are rare, and you will know why. July 6, 2016 I read a local newspaper case where there were two girls that were reported missing along with two men that were last seen with them walking out of a certain bar. Most people and some amateur hunters would disregard this case as an instance were two assholes abducted the girls, abandoned town and that’s it. There are some details that led me to investigate furthermore the disappearance of these four individuals: city had a large forest right after leaving the city, the time frame between the girls going missing was 3 days, and one of the girls and one man were last seen last night. "Three days” reminded me of a previous similar encounter, and my gut was telling me that there was something else in here. As I further investigated, I got to the “bar” where the girls were last seen… let me tell you it was more like a fancy casino. An entrée fee of $80?, fuck me. Anyways, you would think the bar would get closed by authorities but that was not the case, the bar was operating like nothing ever happened nor anything weird was going on. There weren’t many people there, so I approached the bartender and asked him if he knew the girls that went missing. He said that he knew one of the girls, she worked there for a man named Rick in the night shift. I could tell that the bartender wasn’t a fan of Rick, but he could not give me more information since he did not work in the night shift. What I did got from him is that these two girls were what they refer as “night girls” which I thought would offer adult services. They disappeared right after they got sold in an auction that the bar has at 9:00 pm. Apparently the town does not have problems allowing such event, since the bartender did not even try keep the secret or keep his voice low. Once I left the bar, I got to a hotel room to put my gear and organize myself. If it was what I thought it was, then there was no time to lose. I guess I look like an average asshole that goes to the bar at night so I would fit in perfectly with the crowd. I went to the bar at night now with more money, parked my motorcycle, payed the damned entrée fee again, and made my way to the bartender for further information. Jesus Christ, I did not fit at all with the crowd. People that were there looked like they not only had money, but also power and influence. It helped that there was a motorcycle club playing poker on one side of the bar and a bunch of hippies smoking on one corner. Anyways, I sat in front of the bartender and asked for a glass of water, she smiled and I took advantage that no one was asking for drinks and began to chat with her to get more information about the missing people. At 9:10 pm, the big TV, and all TVs around the bar suddenly changed channel to a live stream showing a bright stage.It took me a minute to notice it was this bar’s stage that was in the other side. A man emerged from a curtain, a man of ego, lust, and greed. I saw in the TV he was wearing a white suit, it was like a formal auction, but he was offering his clients: women to take home for the night. I wasn’t paying much attention after most of all girls were selling rapidly for 200 to 500 bucks. There is no possible way for me to track all these individuals in case there is a killer among them. -I thought The bartender had told me that the two suspects were ordinary men, and that they have had bought other girls that were still working there. It was a doable case, but none of the signals that I was looking for were there. I was thinking that maybe it was an abduction case...until my attention was taken by one man yelling one thousand dollars. I looked at the TV to see what the hell, and there was a girl on stage, she looked quite young, but had enlightening beauty. She was blonde and was wearing a very revealing white dress. For an instance I thought I was glancing at a real angel, the whole casino was silent, only with the classical music playing on the background. The atmosphere broke when the man doing the auction turned down the offer. He was laughing and said that perhaps tomorrow there would be a better buyer, that she was worth way more. The TVs went back to normal, the auction was over at 10:00pm. I was about to leave but on my way back I noticed that the girl and the man were walking among the tables. The way the man was holding the girl by his side, his behavior, not letting her out of his side, the grin he had, everything clicked. I left the bar, and as I got on my motorcycle, I whispered “*Equusaria” ...*now the real fun began. I’ve hunted this thing before, not the typical monster you read on the internet, they are very secretive, and are very careful in hiding their identity, until they get sloppy in their mating season. They usually have three female victims, usually young to the liking of the beast. There is a time frame of 3 to 4 days between the victims disappearing, so it made sense. There was still one victim left, and time was running out. Right now, I thought, I needed the location of its lair, and he will lead me right to it before anything tragic happens. I stayed overnight and waited for the man to get out of the bar, and I followed him with my eyes and saw the vehicle he drives and took a quick picture of the plate number, that’s all I needed to know for now. I came back to the hotel and began making preparations. It’s often an advantage that I don’t use firearms, I don’t have a license for them, nor I would have space for them in my backpack. I know what I hunt…I don’t make the same mistakes twice. If you are a hunter, you have to be quick in making decisions, take too long and the beast gets away… move too fast and you get yourself killed. As I said before, I am doing this for the money, an Equusaria only transforms during his mating acts as far as I know. They live 95% of their life in human form, but when they need to mate, they transform, and you can imagine what they do to the victims. These things are only males, there are no females in their species. Ah, I once heard from another bounty hunter that these things had some sort of connection with skinwalkers. But I don’t give a damn, I need to kill it when its transformed to get the materials from its corpse. The only time they show their true form, its when they are alone with the victim. If you are still reading this, I guess it intrigues you to know more about this monster... it gets graphic. The girl who bears the “child” disappears, there is no trail of her body, as if she was devoured. There are two theories, one says that the little fuck monster eats the mother which is the best explanation if you still want to sleep at night. The second theory, one I heard from a witch said that these little cunts actually absorb the mother to form themselves, meaning they reuse the skin tissue to form their body while the rest of the victim’s corpse is used for the infant’s nutrients to develop. In many instances, the Equusaria in its adult form shows chunks of hair coming from its body that are like the victim’s, also one pair of “legs” are two female arms that can possibly be the mother’s limbs. Not pleasant to imagine I assume, but also even less pleasant to witness. July 7, 2016 This morning, I went out to gather my resources to kill the monster. I needed poisoned piercing arrows, it won’t kill it but it sure will immobilize the creature or at the very least slow it down. The poison is a very simple recipe, if you are a hunter, you know which one I’m talking about, if you don’t, then I won’t risk the recipe to fall to the hands of amateurs. To kill the beast, I go old school and use a silver axe that I always carry with me. I am excited, the equusaria is very rare, and sells extremely well in the right markets. I could easily make $3000 if I don’t damage the materials. So, I need a flash bang, a black mask, black gloves, and a car – I thought. If this is the first time you are hearing about this creature, pay attention to this. The flash bang is necessary to really hurt the son of a bitch, they have incredible auditory senses and use their ears more than their eyes. Don’t get me wrong, they are NOT blind, but they are more efficient at using their hearing to track their target. They transform at night which is why I always have dark camouflaged gear in my backpack, but I still needed the mask and gloves to fully cover my body. If the flashbang damages its ears, the creature will use their eyes to look for me, but it would barely see me if I looked like a shadow. The mask is extremely important in case things go south and the equusaria escapes. These things hold grudges, and if I was going to spoil its meal, he would track me whenever I go if he knew my identity. I forgot to mention that I used a spray can to cover my scent, we humans tend to have a very pleasant smell to most cryptids. As far as the car, I would just have to steal one since I do not want to damage my motorcycle. The plan is very simple: Go to the nest at noon, kill the monster’s infants who should be harmless, hide my gear close by, and get back to the bar. When the show starts, I would go outside and shoot an arrow to the wheel of the monster’s car so it will give me enough time to get back to the nest and get ready to kill it when it gets there and fully transforms. Anyways, I went outside and spent all day buying the stuff I needed, and then I went to the bar at night to see what happens. What if the girl sold today? Everything would have gone to shit, and I had to leave town empty pockets. You cannot rush these things; preparation must be made. Even a hunter would know better and not kill the guy even if he just wants to prevent another person from dying. This is a very rich district, and there is police everywhere. The kill had to be done outside town to not get in trouble with authorities. During its mating season, they constantly go to their nest to check on their infants at night, and I took advantage of that. Today, I followed his car in my motorcycle and led me to what it looked like an old house outside the town surrounded by forest and the highway. Of course, I had to keep driving forward when he turned to the house in order to not raise any suspicion. I waited an hour and came back to see was not there anymore. I suck at tracking time and forgot that I just had 24 hours left before the beast acts on. I went outside the house to hide my motorcycle and noticed there were two cars outside on the back of the house. They were opened, keys inside, as if they were left there, and I imagined they did not belong to the beast. It was a dark car and a blue mustang; I choose the dark car mainly because it blends with the dark. I picked the locked from the backdoor of the house to not waste time tomorrow but that was about it. The infants were probably still moving around since they are nocturnal creatures. I came back to the hotel with my new car and grabbed everything to put it in the trunk to be ready for the big day tomorrow. Hopefully I will be still alive to tell the tale. July 8. 2016 These creatures do not deserve to be alive. Angels smiled upon me. Very early morning, I went to the old house or the nest. Now fully geared I broke into the house. Dark house, lights didn’t work, I had to use the flashlight to navigate around the house and made my way to the second floor. The place reeked of human blood and there was a trail of blood leading upstairs. The odor and the trail led me to one room, inside was the rest of a hunter. This is what you fucks get for trying to be the hero. Next to the body was a pistol with silver bullets scattered around it. Girl must have thought she was hunting a werewolf. It looked like she was still alive before bleeding to death, her wounds were very serious, and her legs were broken. On her hand was a note, I did a quick glance at it and it had the address of a house along the words: “I love you”. I imagine she wants me to tell her family of her fate, so I took her necklace and the note to fulfill her last wish. I might not get along with hunters, soldiers, or agents...but they are the ones that put their lives on the line every day to let their kids and other people live normally and worry only about buying the next phone or get a job. I went downstairs to the basements, axe on one hand, flashlight on the other. The smell of blood was stronger than before, first thing I saw were the rest of the two missing males, with chunks of flesh and bone floating in urine, blood and feces. I was admiring the sight until I heard movement on one side. I quickly turned to see the infants, or at least the only way who was still alive. No hesitation, you rush these things before anything happens. I killed the little pest before it had any chance to crawl away. This is when I noticed the other infant was missing its head, so probably these two had a friendly brawl between brothers. I crushed both parasites before leaving the basement and returning to the second floor to leave everything ready for the night. I settled the crossbow with the arrows, two flashbangs and my camouflaged gear. I figured I would have used my knife to deal with the wheels of the equusaria’s car so it would save me time. I would have left the bar after the girl would’ve sold or just before 10:00 pm after the auction was over. Either way, the creature would be in the nest by midnight with the girl so it can do its last transformation. I was at the bar at night, even earlier since I had to think of all possibilities. Time passed quickly; I was also getting anxious. The auction started and it went similarly as before, but now someone yelled $1200 for the girl, and she wasn’t sold. This threw me off, the previous kills showed that the girl was sold to someone and then the equusaria tracked them and brought them to its lair. Was he going to convince someone to buy her? I was playing with my drink very mortified in my mind when the blonde girl in the dress looked at me while walking with her boss. Shit, if she had known what that bastard would do to her this night. I signaled her a “hello” and smiled, she started walking towards me and we began talking. She seemed like a very nice girl that night, very flirtatious, but then the beast came to me and we looked eye to eye. I wanted to grab him and kill him on the spot, but that would be stupid. I grinned at him, after all, this was the night he was going to be prey. He wanted to sell me the girl, and well, I had $500. I showed him the cash knowing he would reject the offer, and hilariously enough he kicked me out. I laughed and gave a wink to the girl, my way of saying everything was going to be okay. I started walking away to the door when I heard the girl yelling. Before I could even turn to see what’s up, I felt a pair of hands pushing me out of the place. It was the blonde girl; she was pushing me saying that she wanted to get out of there with me. I wasn’t looking at her, I got petrified when I looked at the monster’s anger in its eyes. That was the look of a predator looking at its prey, and now it was pissed at me. The door closed and I rushed to the car and got the hell out of there. Out of all possibilities of things that could have gone wrong, this had to be the one that was way worse than anything. Now the cunt had seen my face, and not only that…I stole its meal. I had hour and a half before midnight, in my head I was already dead and, on my guard, looking behind the car to see if I was being followed. I decided to go for a last meal at a local café with the young girl who still looked pissed or embarrassed. I invited her to dinner, after all, if things went south, this was our last meal on earth. Most of the time we spent eating, I was looking outside the window to see if the equusaria was roaming waiting for us, or I just felt it was going to appear at any moment. I’m usually the hunter, not the one being hunted. Thirty minutes before midnight, I drove the girl to the nest. There was no point in delaying the beast to show up. I decided to wait exactly thirty minutes before to go to the house because that way the girl will stay in the car and if things went well and lucky, the equusaria would get to the nest and I will just have to throw everything at it. When we arrived at the house, I noticed the girl was extremely nervous, and I just told her to easy off but that she should not leave the car whatever she hears or sees. She just looked confused while playing with her hair, so I just left the car. Entered to the backside, went upstairs, and sprayed myself to cover my scent or presence. Then I heard one window break on downstairs. I wasn’t even fully geared; my crossbow was at the other side of the room and I only had one flashbang and axe on my side. Remember when I said: “Do not be a hero”? Well, realistically, you can’t. It arrived earlier that I thought and it was a mistake that could have cost my life. I gently lowered my body to not make a sound. I heard the damn thing coming upstairs and I began sweating. I guess it helped that the wind outside was covering my sweat hitting the floor but suddenly everything went silent. I would not have been surprised if the thing could still hear my breathing or my loud heartbeat. It landed on the other side of the wall, outside the room, it sounded like a cannon and it moved me a little. I was already opening the flashbang when I heard a noise outside... the sound of the car door opening. The girl had just dug her own grave, I felt the thing launched from it was to downstairs going outside the house. Its strong limbs allow it to launch forward, having the capacity to hit like a bulldozer and jump large distances like a jumping spider in its six limbs. I started putting everything on, my gear, getting the crossbow ready, backpack on, axe, flashbang on hand, mask and gloves on. I heard the girl screaming and the sound of the monster hitting the car. I acted quickly, rushed outside and I just saw the damaged car. I could hear the beast running towards the dark forest, so I ran towards it. I saw the beast on top of the girl and quickly threw the flashbang. I turned, then looked back and quickly began shooting at the beast with the poisoned arrows. The dark camouflage worked like a charm, the monster had trouble seeing me, and without its ears, you are invisible. My fifth arrow crossed its neck and the thing was already slow and whimpering. I felt the rush in my blood, I dropped the crossbow and rushed the creature with my axe. I crushed its skull with three, four, five, six slashes. I was mad, I could feel the blood getting through the mask to my face…I was enjoying it. After completely killing it, I began extracting important parts of the creature, the heart, the eyes, the teeth, the four ring fingers, and three flasks of blood. I stood up and noticed the girl looking at me in fear, was she afraid of me? I told her that it was over, the beast was dead. I tried calming her down and tried explaining her what happened, but I guess I didn’t communicate well since she looked paler than she was. We went back to the house; she was grabbing my arm crying and mumbling. I took her to the motorcycle that was behind the house and explained to her that first I had to grab my stuff and burn the house to avoid some unfortunate soul to wander in and see the monsters in the basement. I guessed she understood, so I went to the basement and scattered the gasoline I had… but did not light it. I went to the car outside for my jacket and noticed the girl’s belongings. I just left her stuff there except for her heels, I would return them tomorrow after I came back and burned everything to ash. I took everything with me along with the girl, I kept asking where she lived but she was just quietly singing to herself on our way back. I took her to my hotel room; the receptionist gave me crap because he thought I was going to abuse the girl. I explained that I was not going to stay there, and that she would fill the remaining days that I had left in my room. It was 2 AM, so there wasn’t anyone in the lobby other than him. I told him to follow us if he did not believe me, and he followed. I left the girl to her room and gave her the money that I had that night on me. I went back to the house, guilt in me after seeing how broken I left the girl in the room. Now you see why other hunters don’t like me? Why I work alone? I don’t have time to deal with people, not anymore. I don’t want any bonds; I only have one thing that I care about. I thought… Until I heard her voice. I stopped in the middle of the road; it was her. Sometimes I still feel her presence, and Mick’s too. I continued the road, burned the house, went back to the carcass of the beast and covered it in dirt and stones and branches and so on. Before leaving, I took the girls belongings. July 9, 2016 I did not sleep; I went back to the witch and gave her the stuff. It took her a couple hours to come back, but she gave me the money. As quickly as she handed the money and I gave her the materials she began chugging the blood to verify it was a matured equusaria. The infants don’t sell, their materials are useless, and their proportions are quite insignificant. Either way, I now had $3200 in cash. Guilt was raising over my head, as I remembered the voice of last night and the poor girl I left. What have I done? I destroyed her life; she saw a monster and probably has no idea of what could have happened to her. Does she have family? Shit, she is scarred for life, and I just left without answering any questions. I bought a box, put my mask inside of it so she knew it was my who sent it, I wrote a note to her with my phone number in case she needs my help, or I guess answer her questions. I also added to the box her phone, purse, and all the money I got from the contract because she helped in killing the beast, risked her own life and against her own will. Yeah, I don’t deserve it. I bought some flowers out of my pocket for her to hope she recovers. Best case scenario: her mind plays that memory as a bad dream and continues to live her life normally. I left the flowers and the box to the receptionist of the hotel, gave him the room number and told him to deliver to her as soon as she is feeling better. I guess I’m going to rest elsewhere. July 10, 2016 Its already late, I investigated the address of the note left by the dead hunter. It is a town in Illinois, it is quite far but I guess I must deliver. That’s what they would have wanted me to do, this life is not easy, this journey leads only to one end. I still need a bunch cash, and I can’t afford to work for free or get sentimental again. But I did it for them, for the wolf's pack, not for the dead hunter or the girl...Huh...Interesting... phone is ringing… [These were the posts that were censored and taken down by us. The girl and the guy in question abandoned town on July 10, 2016. The case was closed after the feds went to the forest and did their own investigation after reading these posts. We were not given any information, only that we should not speak of that incident again. We obeyed. But I have been keeping track of both individuals…they kept posting but on another website. Who knows, maybe I will upload other parts of the wolf’s journal here in the future.]
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