Appreciate the Invasion



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“Nothing really happens in this town. This is a place where the front page of papers are based on unconfirmed rumors because there isn't anything else worth reporting. The latest fascination is on a UFO sighting. Unbelievable, is this a real press or a tabloid sitting on on grocery store shelves? Either way the astronomer who claimed to have seen a 'mysterious object' in the sky needs to be interviewed.”
“And that's what you're going to do?” The static-filled voice on the other end of the phone asked.
“Yeah. They're handing the story to me. Almost as if they want me to show them how it's done or something. They don't seem to care that I was reassigned here as a form of punishment, just that I'm from a big city.”
“You don't sound very happy about that! I would take it as a sign of respect.”
“I feel like I'm being treated like a child. 'Give her this story so she doesn't make a fuss. Just toss her a bone for her first gig here,” The woman ended with a loud exhale.
“Are you still smoking?!”
“Let's not start this now, please.”
“Fine... But you should really quit!”
“Mmm.”
“...So what's the rest of the scoop for the town? You haven't told me a lot about it.”
“There isn't much to say. It's small. Well, 'small' might not be the right word for it. Underdeveloped, maybe. There are a few stores as well as a decent mall and there's a big lake nearby, but the majority of large attractions are in the next town over.”
“The next town?”
“It's a short drive away and there are even routine buses that can take you there.”
“You've never mentioned another city before!”
“I only learned about it recently. It's called Kern City, supposedly the name has something to do with how the town started as a corn farming settlement. It's bigger than this place but still nothing compared to the big cities in New York or Los Angeles.”
“So what's over there?”
“Haven't been. All I know for sure is that there's a stadium there that houses concerts and sporting events. Maybe one day I'll be able to cover a decent story there.”
“Man, you really sound like you hate it there.”
“I really do.”
“Maybe I should visit then?”
“Don't bother, someone like you would die from boredom really quickly.”
“Lame! So hey, what would you rather be writing about? You don't seem interested in that UFO rumor.”
“Hmm. Well, that lake has me curious. I could do some snooping there and hope to find something interesting. Maybe a nice unidentified body. Small towns are known for housing killers, right?”
“I think you're mixing in too much fiction with your readings...”
“Well actually, I've seen this kid walking around with a cane.”
“A cane?”
“Yeah, he's got a limp.”
“That sucks.”
“He looked pretty young, probably late teens? Anyway every time I notice him he's on his own. I think I saw him go into a big house just on the outskirts of town. Maybe I should look into him.”
“There you go! Be your usual nosy self! That'll keep you busy.”
“It's not being nosy if there's a story to find.”
“...Is there a story to find?”
“Maybe. Hey I gotta go. Talk to you later?”
“Sure, whatever. See you, Chase!”
“Bye, Ash. Take care.”

---

The apartment was quiet. There was no piano playing, no violins, not even the hum of a computer screen. The only soul was that of the purple-eyed girl, whom was lying face up in her bed. I didn't talk to anyone at all yesterday, she noted to herself. All I did was stay at home and apply for jobs online. Crystal let out a soft sigh before sitting up. She glanced at the electric keyboard sitting in the corner of her room but made no motion for it. Instead she sat at the nearby desk before pulling out a notebook from the drawer. The pianist opened the book and started writing:

The place is quiet without my roommate. At first I thought it would be nice to have silence but it didn't last. I miss her: I miss my best friend. I still haven't heard back from any of the places I've applied at either. I have enough money to cover rent for at least the next two months, but I'm going to need a real source of income sooner or later. I'll head out today and apply in person. There's got to be a job somewhere in this town, right?
With that, Crystal pulled on some fresh clothes and walked out the front door of her apartment complex.
 
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Mistearea

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

Shane stares at the 2015 Subaru Outback and scratches his head. He knows what the initial issue with the vehicle is, and even how to fix it. In truth, it's a simple fix that almost anyone should be able to do. The problem lies with the body damage and another problem he found while investigating the claim of delayed acceleration. He sighs at this thought and spits onto the floor of the garage before hearing the bell from the main entrance. He steals a glance at the clock hanging on the wall and realizes that it must be the owner of the SUV coming back to check up on the vehicle. With that he grabs the rag from his back pocket and begins to wipe his hands clean as he makes his way into the front area where he sees the owner waiting.

"Hate ta tell ya, but yer transmission's what's causin' ya problems. Ain't qualified ta fix it, and you'll need ta get ta a body shop for the rest of it. Fixed the issue with yer brakes though."

The man sighs at the assault of bad news before pulling out his wallet and asking what the damage is. After a few seconds of thinking about all of the factors Shane tells the man that twenty dollars would be enough to cover the brake fluid and labor costs. As the man pulls the money out with a surprised look on his face Shane grabs a business card from the display on the main desk and quickly rings up the total. After the exchange, the larger man hands over the receipt and the card saying to give the number a call. He explains that the card is for a guy he knows that is qualified to work on transmissions and could even get the body work taken care of for a good price. As the man sighs again in defeat Shane walks back into the garage where he gets into the vehicle to back it out of the garage for the man to take off with.

As the man drives off Shane looks at the front of the store he owns and curses out loud. He walks up to the windowed door and takes the help wanted sign from the ground and slams it back onto the door with the thought that he might as well glue it there. That's when he takes the time to look back at the small town he now calls home with a bit of a smile. Sure it's a fair amount bigger than the town he grew up in, but it's still considered small which makes him happy.

"Now ta get ta work on that damned Ford. ...Damned thing should be illegal ta own..."
 

Max

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

I flipped my Zippo shut just after lighting my cigarette and placed it back in my pant pocket. I heard a woman make a coughing noise as I took a long drag, and then as I lowered the smoke to my side I blew out a puffy cloud. The coughing persisted.

"Ahem... Mr. Wolfe? Mr. Wolfe, we don't smoke in here."

I turned my gaze to the group leader before realizing that it was her coughing in that 'I'm politely trying to get your attention' kind of way, not in the 'I'm actually coughing' sort of way.

"Julie," I said to her, pausing to inhale more smoke, "This is just something that calms me down, helps with the stress. Why do you want to take that away from me?"

"That's not what I'm saying, I'm-"

"I mean, this isn't a cancer group or anything, now that would be some Marla Singer shit right there. No, This is a group for people who may try to off themselves, or-"

"MR. WOLFE-"

"Maybe they've already tried-"

"MR.WOLFE THAT IS ENOUGH!"
"I'M JUST SAYING, HOW IS SLOwly killing myself any different than someone trying to just up and get the job done?" She didn't seem to appreciate my speaking over her, and when I noticed the death glares around the room, I dropped the cig to the ground and stomped it out.

"You are an insensitive young man," Petunia said as she gave me 'the look.' She was a black woman in her 40's who tried to hang herself in her kitchen, but didn't make the noose tight enough and somehow came away with whiplash when her head snapped-crackled-and popped it's way through.

"I'm not trying to be insensitive, I'm just trying to be honest," I say as I let out a sigh and let my dreary face fall into my hands. "This is a place of comfort, and support right? I'm comfortable when I smoke, okay, it's a habit. Clearly there are some rules about that, but whatever."

Julie has been staring me down intently now ever since I started rambling. I knew that look.

"Mr. Wolfe, speaking of comfort, and being honest, why don't you finally open up to the group a bit about yourself. You've been coming here for about a month now, and while you're talkative enough with everyone, part of the process is finally communicating to us about what personally may give you these thoughts."

"These thoughts?"

"You know... The hard to deal with ones. The, uh, excuse me, the darker things that pass through your mind."

"Excuse me, Julie, but what are you suggesting?" I cock an eyebrow as I look around and notice all eyes on me. I want to light another cigarette. I mean, I don't expect them to look at the floor, but do they really have to stare?

"Mr. Wolfe, everybody is here for, in the general sense, a very similar reason. I don't necessarily think you need to consider it me being suggestive when I ask-"

Suddenly, it clicks. "Oh my gosh, no-no-no. I mean, I totally get why you'd think, yeah of course. But no, I'm not suicidal. Unless you count, you know," I hand motion smoking a cigarette to make my point, "but of course that doesn't count."

Julie looked confused... Mad? Concerned. "Could you elaborate please, because clearly we aren't on the same page?"

"Okay look, I'm here because I wholeheartedly believe that I show extreme symptoms of a man who may one day show actual symptoms of being suicidal." I pull the tie around my neck looser than it already is, and unbutton the top couple buttons of my shirt to get comfortable. I lean forward a bit, placing my hand on my knee in a way that my elbow is cocked out at a 90 degree angle, and then I eyeball everyone in the group real quick, just take a quick glance. "I mean, I moved here from England, so goodbye family and friends, and what's worse I did it for some shitty job I don't even really like. My days go from getting up at the last minute to shower and work, actually working, seeing you sad lot, and then maybe hanging out with my neighbor before the occasional wank and going to sleep. I mean really, I can't find a woman for the life of me, and even if I could, she'd probably... My point is, I don't want to kill myself. But who knows, maybe someday this won't be enough, and I will want to kill myself. This is all more of a preventative measure if anything. Maybe if I witness a breakthrough, then I for sure won't ever want to die, instead of just for sure not wanting to die right now."

There was a long pause, more staring. But I stared back at the bastards, long and good.

"I- I'm just not sure how to approach this..." Julie breathed out as she rubbed her forehead. "Mr... Look, Max, there seem to be some deeper issues here than I think you even realize. You believe that you may one day want to kill yourself? And you seem to definitely have your own outlook on the idea of women, you cut yourself off there, and... I think, I just think that maybe you believe your life isn't good enough, or it won't be. Which isn't true, Max. You don't have to work at this job forever, and if you're bored you can go out and do something. You have your neighbor friend, and you've mentioned a couple friends you chat with online before. You may even meet a girl while trying to go out and explore. I'm just saying-"

"Julie, this asshole doesn't take this seriously, can't you see that!" Petunia chimed in, all high and mighty.

"I'll have you know, Petunia, that I take this very seriously, probably even more so than you."

"What was that you British prick?!"

"Hey now!" Julie screamed atop the bickering.

"Well, Petunia, maybe if you thought ahead like me you wouldn't be here-"

"ENOUGH!"

Julie's face was red, and her chair was flipped on it's side as she stood above us huffing and puffing.

-----​

The group meeting ended early. After Julie chewed us out, she said that we all had a lot of thinking to do and needed some time to sort our shit out, so we'd just be meeting again next week. She only gets mad at us like that every now and then when she loses control of the discussion.She's a great lady though, really cares about us. I know if it were up to Petunia I'd be gone in an instant, but such isn't the case when it comes to Julie, she knows I still need the group's help to get through my time of need in preventing a future time of need.

I light another cigarette as I walk down the road with grass on either side of me. The sky is a cold gray, maybe suggesting rain. But then again, who ever actually knows in Ellin? I search the sky for any signs of something strange, specifically UFOs. There have been supposed sightings lately, and that would sure add some excitement to this place.

I rubbed the back of my neck as I started to trudge up the hill, suit jacket folded over my other arm and cigarette dangling from my mouth. As I looked up and down the street, I could see Jenny's Fix, Wacky's Toy Store, and McDanny's. None were particularly close to each other, but all within view of each other due to the general size of the town. The road I walked on was an old black pave, without even any painted lines on it. This place was so different than Winchester's bustling streets with people all around.

I dragged my legs on as I continued through town, and glanced back up one more time to see if any extra terrestrials wanted to stir things up.

"Maybe they don't like to fly when the weather is like this..." I muttered to myself.
 

SwagStarIV

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

"Bastion!"

Lucifer remained at his neighbors doors step banging on the door. "Bastion! You gotta give me a little more than that!"

A hung over drudge of a character opened the door. His frame a bit more square than others but an obvious 5 o'clock shadow of something well built, *sigh* "What..."

Lucifer ran pass, dressed in a suit, as if prepared for some meeting, grabbed a bagel and mug off the counter, ideally identical to his, and waited for his companion to reach the kitchen. "So, awkwardly as it may seem, Kelly. You remember Kelly? She was the bartender back when we had the influx in coke pills?"

"Yeah. She sorta had that hair thing?"

"Yeah, yeah. The one where her bang was so perfect, just the thought of top from her gave that one guy a boner for 7 hours."

"Yeah and that other guy did get top from her and had to do a line off a trannys main member. I remember her wassup?"

"Well... I hear she's coming back. You know I'm not one to often take tabs on just anybody, but word is, her tits... Marvelous."

"I'd hate to hear anything else from you at..."

Lucifer checked the clock as Bastion wondered the hour. It said 8:03. Lucifer continued, "And all this fuss about a UFO hey? I'll give'em a light show. It's odd what crazy things these people come up with. Is it sad to say I'd believe them?"

"What's new Lux? You got that thing in you."

"I know, I know, but COME. ON. Optimism is only one shade of reality this world has yet to succumb to. I wish I could find that reporter and beat it out of him. Bet he'd crack a wise one off that..."

"Queer bait"

"Something! I'm busy at it, while all these guys can do is sit and watch. It doesn't make sense you know?"

"Something"

"I know! You know what" Lucifer had yet to take a bite out of his bagel. A common courtesy to let Bastion know that even under that stressed care-free physique, he was alright. A gentle smile broke across Bastions face as Lucifer left the bagel on the counter and continued towards the door. "I think enough time has passed. I'm gone make sum shake!"

Lucifer had left in such a roar. Typical of him. Bastion stood in his kitchen, still riding the ever passing wave brought to him whenever his dear friend and partner stopped by. Crazy. Bastion had never met someone that gave him the acceleration that Lucifer brought. If was like... Good Morning, but with action. You could really tell he meant it. "If only I could get him to not make such a mess... *sigh*" It was as if transitioning back to his previous moment was difficult. Jus this joyous rush. What is this? Love? Companionship? Trust? Maybe the slim and seemingly no-existent co-existence of all three shared with one person? "I can never really make out what just happened with this guy." Bastion could see Lucifer, through his window, walking through the grass, towards his bike. "Lux!"

"Hm?"

"I heard Kelly's made it big with a few lurkers. Might wanna shift gears in case a few scragglers tryin ta make a few bucks."

Lucifer placed his helmet on and cut out the gated apartments with his thumb in the air. More grassy than your usual apartments, and somewhat relaxing the way that it hit the horizon. Lucifer had a soft spot for those. Honestly, the grassy plain meshed with a modern display, yet more traditional coloring calmed his brain. Lost within the fantasy of his memories, Lucifer was headed towards the highway. "hmm... Maybe a milkshake before I go?"
 

KingdomKey

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

Lucy sat at the front desk of Wacky's Toy Store, musing over the idea of aliens coming down to earth as she fit the next piece of a puzzle together. Truth be told, she didn't really like aliens after seeing a horror film filled with so much blood and razor blades in it; slaughtering humans left and right that it left a bad taste in her mouth. Of course, she didn't think aliens were all that bad, because how would she know unless it bit her on the bum? Or held up a sign saying, 'Extra terrestrial right here! Can't miss me unless you're dumb as a pile of rocks!'

Glancing out the store front window of Wacky's Toy Store, she could almost make out distinct shapes in the clouds looking exactly like UFO saucers. Maybe somebody spiked the water in Ellin to cause such an uproar over the possibility of aliens in the first place? Or started the rumor because people are gullible and it lets anyone with a brain get away with all sorts of things? Somebody like me for instance. Although that's another story for another time. For a brief moment, boredom started to settle in as she waited for customers to come into the store until she lifted her playstation controller up over her eyes and pretended to fire green laser beams at the space saucer looking clouds and cracked a smile. When a faraway silhouette figure appeared in her field of vision with something looking like a glowing cigarette being lit up, she pretended to fire a net to rail him in as a suspected alien. Pfft, as if anyone would know what to do with a real life alien. Human beings are way more scarier.

The door swung open with a distinct chime making Lucy set the playstation controller down instantly to glance at the door frame; a mother and boy walked in with easy going smiles as they stared in awe at all of the toys scattered about to buy and play with. Until next time, Mr. Alien! Lucy gave a small salute at the pretend alien she made a man out to be before moving out from behind her desk and taking a seat atop of it as she placed a tophat on her head, grabbing a paper airplane and throwing it in the little boy's direction; smiling all the more when he tried to reach for it with laughter. "Welcome to Wacky's Toy Store! A place full of endless toys and adventure! If you'll come with me, I can help you have a grand time!"

Lucy extended her right hand out after patiently waiting for the boy to gain permission from his mother to venture throughout the store with her. The moment she felt him grab hold of her hand she dragged him through the aisles of toys, keeping an eye out to see what he liked as she brought him over to the makeshift trampoline built into the floor and jumped onto it with him."My name's Lucy! What's yours? Don't be afraid, because it's safe, I promise!"

"David."

The boy replied softly, feeling slightly uncomfortable being away from his mom. "That's a nice name." David stopped jumping on the trampoline, completely ignoring Lucy after catching sight of airplane models shelved nearby and pointed to them with his index finger. "May I look at one of those? I really like airplanes! I want to be a pilot when I grow up!" Slightly surprised at his exclamation, Lucy nodded and grabbed hold of a stool, grabbing down a cheap box set of a motorized airplane. "Will this one do?" Lucy held it out to him gently and watched David's blue eyes light up before racing back to the front of the store where his mother would presumably be; because like most parents, they prefer to look at their phones instead of what was around them. And Lucy was right. As she rung up David's purchase she watched his own mother pocket away the phone with a longing expression on her face and handed out the right amount of cash for the motorized airplane. How disgusting. Lucy plastered a smile onto her face as she waved goodbye to David's retreating back, watching him show his shiny new toy to his mother in excitement through the huge store window. At the same time, Lucy knew she was being unfair because she herself used to have a cellphone to mindlessly stare at until it shatter one day to pieces by accident and had to be replaced with a downgraded version due to costs. Which she was okay with, because she didn't have anyone to call at this point after living on her own.

In the meantime, Lucy picked up her playstation controller to kill off time until her shift at Wacky's Toy Store was over and she could get a meal to eat on her way home.





 
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LatinoHeat90

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

"Mike! Mad skill with those fries, man! Got another happy McDanny's customer over here!" Ron yelled out to Mike giving him the thumbs up. "Have a good day, sir." Ron gave the older gentleman a pat on the back and a large smile as he made his way back to the kitchen from the restaurant floor. "You guys are killing it today! Patty, way to keep the line down at the drive though. And Juan, you are number uno in my heart!"

"Damnit, my name is Hank and I'm not even Mexican." The man proclaimed.

"You are not fooling me, Pablo Picasso, I heard you speaking Spanish the other day." Ron smiled as he walked into the store manager's office.

"That was German you pud." The man yelled, his face turning red. Ron didn't hear him behind the now closed door.

"You wanted to see me Mister Manager." Ron grabbed the store manager's hand and shook it. The store manager had a great big smile and greeted Ron with the same enthusiasm.

"Mister Brown, how is everything going?" The manager was are heavy set man whose hair was beginning to thin out on the top of his head. It fascinated Ron and when talking to Mister Manager that was the only thing Ron would stare out. The manager never seemed to notice though.

"Everything is great, Mister Manager. I think you know that. And I think I know why you called me in here today." Ron's eyes never left Mister Manager's thinning hair.

"Oh really. Why did I call you in here today?" Mister Manager crossed his arms while still returning Ron's smile.

"We both know I'm ready to take over a store. I heard we have a McDanny's opening up the next town over. I accept." You wouldn't think it possible but Ron's smile grew even larger. But Mister Manager's smile left his face.

"I'm sorry Ron but we have talked about this," Mister Manager uncrossed his arms and leaned forward, "if you had a college degree you would have a store by now. I keep trying to push you to go to school. I know I don't have a college degree and I have my own McDanny's but I spent ten years working my way up, convincing people I could do it. I know you could do it even though you aren't the brightest but the company has it's policies." Ron didn't pick up on the "not the brightest" part.

"Well, I have been working here for four years now, guess I have eight more before I get my own store." Ron stood up, his smile never left his face. "Oh, why did you call me in here?" Mister Manager stood up to give his reply.

"I just wanted to tell you that you have been doing a great job and that you earned the full extent of your bonus this quarter." Mister Manager reach out for a hand shake. Ron looked at his hand before grabbing it firmly.

"I cherish you." Ron uses his other hand to grab Mister Manager's shoulder. He nodded and left the manager office.

"I love that boy" Mister Manager whispered as Ron left.

____________________________


The work day went on like any other for Ron. He delivered his brand of excellent customer service to all the guests and made every one of his employee's feel good and important in McDanny's. Ron took his job seriously. Being a shift manager was just a stepping stone to his dream of having his own McDanny's.

"Patty, did you hear about the UFO and aliens sightings?" One of the employees questioned.

"Yeah, my husband has started keeping a loaded shotgun by the bed just in case something happens."

"So you are saying you believe it?"

"Of course, there is evidence on the internet. Just check it out. Pictures and video! But I tell you one thing, if they think they can invade America they have another thing coming!" Ron had overhead most of the conversation while he was clocking out for the day. He grabbed two bags of McDanny's nuggets and started making his way out the door but stopped to comment about the alien thing.

"Look, Patty and Margaret, you can't be talking like that at work." His voice was hushed so a particular employee wouldn't hear. "I mean, if he heard you guys talking it would really upset him. Jose is not like those aliens. He is a valuable member of our team and if you are talking about shooting aliens it would devastate him." The whole time Ron was staring at Hank, the employee he believes to be Mexican. "I have a neighbor, which so happens to be my best friend, that is from Australia and he is harmless." Hank realized that Ron was staring at him.

"Hey! Are you talking about me Ron!? I am not Mexican! You hear me!?" Hank screamed. Again, Ron did not hear what Hank was saying. Ron just walked out of the fast food joint and jump in his crappy car with his bag of food for him and his neighbor.

"Hope Maximilion is hungry, I think I grabbed too much."










 

Cassette-Disk

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

Two sets of feet could be heard running through one of the more urban areas of Ellin. Though not far behind, Chase was slowly losing ground of the young Asian child she ran after. I can't lose this kid, she told herself, Otherwise I'll never hear the end of it from Ashely. She'll say I already have smoker's lung or something. The woman gave herself another burst of speed, just enough to keep her in the game without wearing herself out too quickly. More than once they bumped through a few people, though thanks to the child's small size, he was able to easily avoid most of the encounters while Chase took most of the hits square on as she did her best to roll around the unfortunate pedestrian. One person in particular lost her hold on a brown paper bag, which caused her grocery shoppings to spill onto the street.
"Sorry," Chase called without stopping. (Though the reporter did not stop to help the woman, a man nearby did. They got to talking and hit it off, sparking an endearing relationship that would last long enough to see an eventual marriage, though the man would eventually be murdered by a spiteful father-in-law which would in turn lead to a murder investigation which would, ironically, be documented and published in the Ellin Press by Chase herself. These events would occur well over the years and has no bearing over the current events, however, and instead we shall focus on the chase at hand.)

As the child rushed through the surprising crowd, he quickly darted into the road and scattered to the opposite sidewalk, daring Chase to do the same. The reporter obliged as the sound of a car's tires screeching to a halt, followed by an angry horn filled the street. The boy ran into an alleyway, his right foot splashing into a puddle as he took a split second to peer over his shoulder to insure his hunter was still hot on his heels and gave her a cheeky smile as she splashed through the same puddle. Unfortunately for him, he realized too late the path he had chosen led to a dead end thanks to a tall chain-link fence where a pile of rubbish lay nearby. He skidded to a stop and turned to face Chase. "Got ya, kid," she said. The boy gave her the same smile before hopping onto the trash can. From there he jumped toward the fence, just barely gripped the smooth top rail and climbed on top of it. Instead of jumping to the other side, the boy balanced himself on the thin surface and walked along it before he launched himself toward the left side building, easily grabbing the hanging ladder of the fire escape. "You've gotta be kidding me," the reporter muttered as the boy gave her a wave. He never looked back down as he started his climb to the roof. Chase clicked her tongue as she made her way out of the alley, noting the building's color and architectural design.

It took the child a little over two minutes to reach the roof. Two minutes of running upwards against metal stairs after the short ladder climb. He smiled to himself as he reached the top, jumping on top of the stone roof only to find Chase waiting for him.
"Wha?!" He looked back down, then at the surrounding buildings, but couldn't work out how she made it up her faster than him.
"You're pretty flexible, kid. But sometimes the simplest ways are the best."
"How'd you get up here?"
"I took the stairs. The ones inside the building? It's an apartment and the door to the roof was open." She approached the boy as he considered making another break for it, but the climb back down would be too slow, and there weren't any buildings close enough for a safe jump. He closed his eyes as she approached, fearing the worst. Chase lightly pushed the boy's shoulder. "Tag,"
"Damn it!"
---
HELP WANTED
Crystal peered at the sign from across the street. It was... a garage? What kind of help would a garage need? Someone to hold the light? Yeah right, it was probably something for mechanics that knew their way around cars. Someone who wouldn't mind getting their hands dirty. Crystal looked at her right palm: clean and soft. The hands of a pianist, not a grease monkey. She wouldn't be needed in a place like that, if anything she'd be a liability. Unless they need someone to play music while they work, Crystal joked to herself as she walked away from the body shop. She rounded the corner and walked for a bit when she reached a small park adorned with swings and a slide.
"I swear that slide was a lot bigger when I was a kid," she mused to herself. On a whim, the pianist decided to walk through the park though nothing of interest seemed to happen, nor did anything catch her attention. Or at least, that was until she neared the other side where a thick bush began to rattle. Crystal jumped back in surprise, but was relieved when squirrel bounded its way out of it. This relief wouldn't last long, however, as a second creature chased behind. The dog was as tall as Crystal's knees though it was much more interested in running after the small animal that had scurried up a tree. The dog jumped onto the tree while barking, trying in vain to climb the tree. As it jumped around the tree, Crystal noted how the dog's fur was a dark brown--almost red--color. But what caught her attention the most was...
"Oh my god, you're so full of fluff!" The dog turned to face Crystal as she said this and barked once at her before returning to the task at hand...task at paw. After a few seconds of barking, the dog (which was a chow chow, though Crystal would realize this until much later,) sat down and began scratching itself. "Got away, huh?" she giggled as she approached it. This earned her another bark along with a soft growl. "Alright, alright! I'm backin' up, I'm backin' up!" Once she was six feet away, the dog's growls halted and it slowly approached her on it's own accord. She offered her hand, and it began carefully sniffing at it until it grew trusting enough to lick at her hand. Crystal cautiously petted the dog's head, scratching it lightly behind the ears. "No collar," she noticed as she squatted down, "and...ew, fleas? You need a bath, mister," She swatted away the black speck that had infiltrated her hand as the dog began panting lightly. "So where's your owner?"
"burfk," it replied.
"That's helpful." The dog brought its front legs to her knees, almost as if begging for attention. "Sorry, I probably shouldn't pet you. But...let's see... here," she reached for a twig that had fallen from a tree and brought it up to the dog's face, shaking it to catch his attention. "See the stick, boy? See it? Well go get it!" Crystal threw the stick and the chow raced after it, bringing it back to her. "Nice. Know any tricks? Play dead." Nothing. "Beg?" Nothing. "...Sit." Nothing. "Come on, sit! Siiiit? Sit!" For the final attempt, Crystal placed her left hand's index and middle fingers together, palm facing down, before bringing her right hand's index and middle fingers downwards onto her left hand's. The American Sign Language sign for 'sit.' To her surprise, vocalizing and using a visual aide was enough for the dog to obey her. "So you're kinda trained, super adorable, and probably homeless? Now who would abandon something as fluffy as you?"
"Rrauf," it replied.
"That's also helpful." Crystal gave the dog a quick pet before standing. "I'm not sure what to do with you. I mean, if I start walking will you--" the girl took a few steps back, and the dog followed, "Yep, you're gonna follow me around. Crap."

Crystal retraced her steps through the park and back to the streets, the chow following closely behind. Her plan was to take the dog to a shelter or something and ask if anyone was had reported a missing dog. If so they could be reunited, but what if no one had done so? She looked back at the chow: its panting almost made it look as if it was smiling and she could bear the thought of it being locked away. But would she be able to afford taking care of a pet? It was true she had a fair amount of savings, but dipping into it didn't seem like a smart move.

HELP WANTED
Once again, Crystal peered at the sign sitting against the window. She tapped at the glass once before sighing and turned to the dog once more. "Stay," she told it while bringing an open palm downwards. The dog sat on on the concrete sidewalk and let out a quick yawn as the pianist opened the door to the garage. "Hello?" She called, "Excuse me. I couldn't help but notice the sign. I don't know much about cars, but I'm looking for a job. Paperwork or something? Hopefully something I can help out with."
 
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Mistearea

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

Shane sighs as he stares at the car before him. He knows that he could list off the problems in his mind, but that would take more time than fixing them. So with that in mind he decides to put himself into a more appropriate mood and walks to the stereo sitting on the bench next to the door leading to the front. With a few button pushes the cd currently in the tray starts to fill the room with metal. He fights the urge to crank the volume up since he still needs to hear the buzz from the door opening. So with that he grabs a socket wrench and the appropriate socket before returning to the Ford and begin removing the alternator. With each bolt he removes he notices an increasing amount of grease getting on his hands, but he ignores this as he tosses each one into a bowl before removing the component entirely. With a quick look he can tell that there is no way of saving it, but that's when he hears the signal from the front.

"It better not be tha owner of this junk."

With that he walks to the door and quickly turns off the stereo and moves to open the door only to hear someone call out about the help wanted sign. Joy fills him almost instantly at the prospect of someone being able to take over his least favorite part of his job, but he makes sure not to let this show. With that he opens the door wearing his usual expression and walks into the front. That's when he sees the girl with the most unusual eyes he's ever seen. But his thoughts aren't focused on her eyes, but rather the thought that she's female. He knows that it could be considered sexist to have her take the spot since she's female, but he knows that it helps to put people at ease knowing that the place isn't filled with just men.

With that he plants the alternator on the desk and says, "Yer in luck, Miss. I ain't need any help in tha back. Instead I need someone to look after the front. Deal with customers, run the register, keep the front cleaned, handle calls and other secretary-like stuff. If ya think ya can handle that, just fill out the application and tax forms over there. You'd be makin' eleven bucks an hour with school holidays off with summer weekend flexibility."
 

SwagStarIV

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

Racing the Outer Edge~ Wind Speed Rising and Counting

So much time left in the day, yet... Not a clue what was in store. Lucifer scaled the seemingly empty streets on his bike. He always enjoyed riding the curves and turns of the town. Definitely beat the busy streets of the city in his opinion. The jet black visor on his candy red helmet clicked as a piece of rubble brushed past with the wind. His motorbike humming with every turn and pass. The only sound clear to his ears was the rushing wind. Almost perfect for such a smooth ride. The day couldn't have gotten any better. Zooming around the corner, Lux decided to hit their local McDannys. A smoothie and some fries sounded like 808's and jazz. While pulling into the drive-thru, he presses the button on his visor to open the vent by his mouth.

"Welcome to McDannys!..." He missed the rest of the ladies intro thinking about the savory taste of strawberries and blackberries.
"Yes! I need Dual Berry Smoothie! And a medium fry!"
"Alrighty, anything else?"
"Uhh... Make that smoothie a large!"
"No problem! First window sir."

*Pull up* " Here you go!"
*Hands him the food* "Thank you!"
"You too!"
"Take care!"
"Have a nice day!"

Lux pulled into an empty space remembering what he was going to do. He had to head to the club before the sun dropped. There was supposed to be someone meeting him there on account of him possibly renovating his space. Currently Zippy States was just a huge empty box. The frame was set to comfortably fit two floors, but since he's been there the woo den stairs leading to the DJ booth was all they had set up. A great spot for over looking the crowd and shooting a t-shirt gun, but Lux was thinking of moving his equipment there on a more permanent basis. Then he could add some class to the bottom level, instead of it looking like the losing team in a paintball fury, and also have a business room upstairs. He could hold all his arrangements there, plus it would give a multi-faceted opinion about his establishment. Lux pressed yet another button revealing awesome technology. His motorcycle opened a panel revealing a cup holder. Lux took a last sip of his smoothie and shot off towards the highway. While taking the main road to Kern City, Lux passed this one girl with the most beautiful eyes. She was just strolling along in the park. So many people in Ellin. Dah! Screeching to a halt. Some guy had his hazards on, thankfully, and was checking his car in the middle of the street. As the tension from his face began to ease into his shoulders, he rev'd the engine and pulled around the car. The man seemed lost of wits. His car seemingly fine, just... Lost. No time for this. Lux headed through the light ahead and shot towards the highway.
 

Max

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

A man on a motorbike zipped by as I neared my apartment building. He wore a red helmet and seemed to not even glance my way, but then again I couldn't see his eyes through his visor. Like an idiot, I just moved to the side of the road and stubbornly didn't step up to the sidewalk, as if the road was my right and not the numerous vehicles that drove by. I stayed far enough over that no one really had to worry about moving over in their vehicles, but they tended to make a slight swerve around me anyway. When the motorbike passed me by, the gust of wind that followed hit me in the face just right so that it blew my cigarette right out of my mouth.

"Shit-shit-shit! No! Dammit..." I turned and ran backwards after it, but it blew away out of my vision before I even really had a chance. The only real problem was that it was my last smoke, and I really didn't want to trudge back towards all of the stores after having already made it just outside my place.

"Bollocks..." I muttered under my breath as I entered the complex. I made the walk up the steps to my floor, and before entering my apartment, I jiggled the doorknob of my neighbor's across the hall. It was locked. I figured as much. I was starving, hoping he'd beat me home and brought food.

I looked at the white dry erase board that hung on his door. Yes, he had one of those, like a stupid college kid. What he oddly had written on it a the moment (in his awful handwriting) was:


Seriously? This needed spiced up a bit. I mean, not only was this not super appealing to the visual learner (where are the pictures?), but it was just so... you know. And I knew exactly how to fix it too, I was definitely going to cheer up this dry erase board. I erased the 'boring' bits with my finger, and then went to town.


There, perfect! I used his dry erase marker for the picture and whatnot, but decided to use a red permanent marker I had with me from work for the bestiality part. I just figure when he'd go to erase all of this for whatever reason, he'd be really upset if he erased that part since it added so much pizzazz, so being the good friend I am I went ahead and made sure it wasn't coming off anytime soon.

To cover my tracks, I went ahead and texted him. "Hey, someone messed with your door again. Might want to get rid of that board." I also had to pretend that I didn't know I hot-glued the board to his door last week in anticipation of doing something along these lines with the permanent marker. With that I turned to my own apartment and walked on in.

I threw my jacket, keys, and whatever other miscellaneous items I had on the counter by the sink. My apartment was pretty small, with the open kitchen to the left as soon as you entered. To the right was a closet (that I rarely used, that's what my counter was for), and straight ahead was my living room that consisted of a pull out couch, a coffee table, a tv that sat on the floor since I didn't have a stand, and my desk with my laptop on it in the left corner. The room was currently illuminated by the slowly fading light of outside that passed through the sliding glass door leading to my balcony.

I made my way to the fridge and opened it. Yeah, may as well be empty. I had packets of hot sauce and a jar of strawberry jam. I preferred grape jelly, so I had to ask myself why I had even bought strawberry jam. Upon closing the fridge, I let out a sigh and paced a bit. I just wanted a damn cigarette. It was a long day, I was starving, and honestly I was bored.

I stepped back outside my apartment and looked down the hall to an open door. "Okay Mr. Matthews, I happen to know that we share a hobby..." I muttered as I made my way to his door. Whenever I'd step out to my balcony to smoke, I'd always glance over to see if Mr. Matthews was smoking as well. We didn't talk much, he came off to me as if douchebag was just his natural state of being, but boy did he also smoke. I peeked in the door to see if he was immediately visible. That answer was no.

Was this a dumb idea? Absolutely, who the hell does this? I stepped in slowly and quietly, his apartment matching mine to a t with the exception of furniture and whatnot. Peeking around the right corner past the closet, I could see the bathroom door closed and hear the sound of a running shower. Good, we were in business.

I'd stolen cigarettes from people at work numerous times, but never had I done so just by waltzing into an apartment. In my opinion, it's his own damn fault for leaving his door open. I walked over to his coffee table which had about four drawers attached to it, and started pulling them open.

"Oh you cheap wanker..." I muttered as I found his cigarettes. Yep, he rolled them himself. He had a box of tobacco as well as papers and baggies and all of the cheap-ass essentials to sate your desire for the nicotine without having to cough up for your favorite brand. I cringed as I opened a baggie and nicked a few of his homemade cancer sticks and slipped them in my pocket.

Back in my apartment I slipped one of the cigs into my mouth and lit it up. Normally I would smoke on the balcony, but I didn't want to risk Matthews seeing me with his stuff.

I coughed a bit and took a look at the cigarette. It tasted awful. The tobacco was what it was, but it tasted like there was something wrong with it. I was in no hurry to smoke the other two as I finished it and laid on my couch for a nap.

--------------------------​

"Kwambluckee... Kwambluckee nom shtinke!"

I awoke to this nonsense being shouted in my face and something being forced into my mouth. I blinked away the blurry vision of sleep to see a thin bony... No.

"What in the actual fuck?!" I screamed as I lurched forward, staring at what literally looked like a stereotypical alien.

"Forcktunuckin?" He asked. At least, I thought he was asking, it sounded like it.

He seemed average height, and literally just had an alien shaped head with crooked black oval eyes. His fingers were long, the tips rounded funny. And his whole body just appeared bony and skinny, with gray skin covering him up. He proceeded to try and shove what looked like a tiny bloody organ in my mouth.

"NO! NO!" I screamed as I shoved him away and ran to my balcony door. I didn't head to the front because that would have meant running past him, but I don't know where I expected to get with the balcony. I looked over the edge to the parking lot below, and lo and behold there was a god damned UFO parked there.

"Morkinoid, kwambluckee nee. Torstughupin nom fo pu?"

He'd snuck up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder. I fell to my knees and began to cry, scared out of my wits.

"Please, I don't.... Please don't probe me, please don't make me eat whatever that meat is..."

He leaned his face in close to mine, and his breath smelled of chicken.

"Jayu bu nosche." He said as he lifted me up to my feet from under my armpits. He began to walk back inside and toward my front door, but then turned and seemed upset I wasn't following. He came back and grabbed me by the hand and led me into the hallway.

Once out there I was shocked to see the color scheme of the whole hallway was now purple, and the walls were moving. They swayed and bowed in and out, making me dizzy and causing me to vomit. As he walked me towards the exit, I heard an angry screaming from behind.

"MORQUE VAS DEGRUGBUN MSOLIBAR NACHTBEN!!!" I turned to see another alien-thing rushing towards us screaming in their language, bearing mega sharp teeth and a lightsaber. The alien holding my hand yanked me outside and rushed us to it's UFO.

Once inside, it was blast off. He wasted no time zipping into space to escape that other alien, I noticed he'd brought a bag with him, and he reached in and pulled out another organ and began rubbing it along my lips with one hand as he flew the ship with the other. I could feel myself shaking, and looked out the windows to see other UFOs zipping by, and giant probes just sticking out of the ground. I pissed myself and quickly glanced over to this alien in the hopes that he wouldn't kill me for soiling his seats.
 
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LatinoHeat90

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

Ron buckled his seat belt and checked his mirrors. “Better safe than sorry.” Ron proclaimed to himself. His car was a piece of trash, a 2000 Toyota Tercel that used to be blue but the rusted outer frame made it look as though it was grey. The air bags didn’t work and the brakes were almost shot. Ron wasn’t concerned with any of it. As long as the car ran it was good, but who knows how long that would be. “Hmmm… maybe I should check the oil.” Ron then began to get out of his car until interrupt by the vibration of his phone.

Hey, someone messed with your door again. Might want to get rid of that board.”


“Man, people need to keep their hands off of other people’s things. Well, maybe it will be something cool or artsy.” Ron proceeded to check his car’s oil, finding that everything was good. “Better hurry home before the nuggets get too cold.”

Ron is a terrible driver. The last place his eyes are on is the road. Instead he is looking around at scenery, admiring the sky above, or searching for women. When he finds them, and it doesn’t matter the age or if they are pretty or not, he rolls down the window and plows them a whistle followed by a kiss. He then speeds away telling himself they totally were into him. Unfortunately, his car ride home was uneventful. Turning into the apartments parking area he ramped the curb and ran over a small child’s bike. “Crap!” he shouted with a large grin on his face. He proceeded to park the car and got out to look at the damage. The bike was trashed. The wheels were bent to hell and the seat was gone, probably stuck under Ron’s car. Ron looked around for witnesses, realizing there were none he grabbed the bike, lifted it above his head, and chucked it into a nearby bush. Ron walked away, not caring about the damage to his car or that the bike was still visible in the bush. Ron grabbed the nuggets from the car and ran up the few steps and into the apartment complex.

Maximillion should be back from his weird cult meeting Ron thought to himself. Ron pulled out a set of keys to unlock Maximillion’s door but remembered he need to check on what was on his apartment door. Ron turned around to see the dry erase board. He squinted his eyes and moved toward the picture. “Oh my God. That is great! Many people don’t know that we let service animals into McDannys” Ron did not pick up on the blatant theme on the board. Ron took the word “bestiality” as a word that was better than best. “Whoever drew this got Tabitha, the handicapped girl’s face just right. Same with the dog.” Ron smiled, believing that today was one of the best days he has had in a while. Ron continued to unlock Maximillion’s door and walk in.


Max’s apartment smelled awful. Ron got knocked back by the smell. “What the hell, man. This ain’t the Outback you need to smoke your cigarettes outside. Damn heathen.” Ron moved forward seeing that Max was asleep on the couch. “Well this won’t do.” Ron gave Max a quick hard slap across the face. “Wake up Crocodile Dundee.” Max didn’t stir. Ron moved in and began to shake him aggressively, “Crocodile Dundee, Crocodile Dundee time to wake up.” Max’s eyes groggily opened. Max starred at Ron for a moment, all of a sudden a look of horror came over Max’s face. He jumped up and cursed at Ron.


“Haha, yeah I hit you pretty hard didn’t I. Don’t worry I’m not going to hit you again.” Max continued to cower in fear. Ron was oblivious to the situation and what was actually happening to Maxamillion. “You hungry? Here.” Ron pulled out a nugget and pushed it into Max’s face. “Eat my meat, bitch!” Ron screamed in a low baritone voice.


"NO! NO!"
Max screamed running to the balcony door.


“Come on. I know you want my meat, baby. Just take it one bite at a time.” Ron loved to act like this. He thought he was hilarious when he said and did stuff like this. Max was frantically looking outside of balcony door when Ron came up from behind and put his hands on Max’s shoulders. He moved in, his mouth almost touching Max’s ear. “Maybe, just the tip?” Ron said seductively. Max fell to his knees and began to weep. Ron looked in amazement. In Max’s weeping and mumbling Ron could only make out a couple of words.


"Please, I ****.... Please **** probe me, please **** make me eat ******** that meat **..."


Ron knew that he must not have heard everything Maximillion said but Ron jump to his own conclusion. “Are you telling me you are Australian and gay!? I didn’t even know that was possible.” Ron thought for a second. “Well, I guess it does make sense. I’m incredibly attractive. If you did have feelings for anyone it would be for me.” Ron stopped. Ron thought for another second. He knew that every women that he has ever talked to or hit on falls in love with him but only because he wills it. He had never worked his mojo on Maximillion. It had to be something else. But what? All of a sudden it hit him. “It’s that cult! The cult meetings! Max I will save you!” At this point not only was Maximillion delusional but Ron had created his own ridiculous delusion himself. Perhaps it was the time he had spent with Max. Perhaps Max and his crazy paranoia and theories had rubbed off on Ron though the years….no. Ron is just stupid.


“There is nothing wrong with being gay, Max, but it is not who you are.” Ron lifted max of the ground by his armpits. “Let’s go.” Ron made his way to the door. Ron stopped and looked back not hearing Max follow. “I know you are scared and confused Maximillion but I need you to follow the beautiful man in front of you. My name is Ron Brown, and I am your savior.” Ron walked back to him slowly as if to not startle Max. He grabbed Max’s hand gently then took him to the door, grabbing the bag of nuggets as they passed the couch. They walked out into the hallway.


“We need to get you away from that cult before they can complete your transformation.” At that moment, at the other end of the hallway a large, burly man made his way onto their floor.


“Hey, you! Do you own that piece of shit Tercel outside?! The man screamed, his face a deep red.


“Run, Max, the cult is here to take you!” Ron, not thinking about the bike he had ran over outside pulled Max down the steps. The large man screamed at them to stop and gave chase. Max didn’t have full control of his motor functions so he was repeated jerked around by Ron. They busted out of the apartment complex running as fast as they could. Ron took Max to the passenger side and opened the door to shove him in. Ron then jumped on top of his car to get to the other side. He got in and threw the bag of nuggets at Max. Ron started the car, slammed it into reverse, smashing the car into the same children bike that he had hit before. Ron didn’t stop to check the damage this time. Ron just floored it. The bike caught onto the under part of the car and was being dragged throughout the town, sparks flying everywhere.


“I think we lost them! Here Maximillion, you must be starving.”
Ron grabbed some nuggets and scarfed them down and then grabbed one to try to feed to Max.

“You are in a safe place now Max. Ron Brown won’t let you down.”



Ron’s plan was to drive to the outskirts of Ellin, on some back roads until Maximillion was back to his normal self…
.


 

Max

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

I ate it. I actually ate it. I wept as I felt the alien's meat-thing force my throat to swell, slowly followed by my chest and dropping at my stomach. I swallowed it whole, scared of what juices may fill my mouth if I actually sunk my teeth into the unknown substance.

The UFO seemed to have air conditioning, and I shivered as my lap got colder with each little gust of air to the piss soaking into my pants. I wiped the tears from my eyes and gazed out the window at what was becoming more familiar scenery. I was scared of what I may see out there, but even more scared of what I'd see if I'd looked in the alien's direction.

It was talking more gibberish, but I was doing my best to block it out. It didn't seem angry or anything, so I just let it go on. It was probably just informing me of all of the different procedures it'd go through as it and its buddies probed and prodded around in my asshole. I felt the cheeks of my bottom clench at the thought, when suddenly I felt the alien's fingers begin running through my hair.

I got a cold chill as it ran it's fingers between the hair on the back of my head, slowly moving my hair upwards against gravity, and then letting it settle back down. Normally this sort of thing would drive me crazy in a good way, I loved when a girl would play with my hair. But I wasn't with a girl, I wasn't with someone making flirty moves, I was with an extraterrestrial who was probably talking about how it was going to turn my scalp into a speedo or something.

"Haaaammmmmmaaaaaallllllooooooooo- saaaaaaaaneeeegiopaaaaiiiiiiiiiii~" I believe the alien was serenading me as it played with my hair. I tried to ignore it as I looked out the window and realized we must have come back into town. We passed McDanny's and hit a backroad that led out to an area of open countryside. We were flying over the road as if following the normal laws for driving cars, and I gazed out at the corn fields. Many stocks of corn were visible to the eye, and here and there in between were shiny metal butt-probes shaped like corn. They must have hidden these amongst the fields in hopes we wouldn't notice.

I clenched my teeth and balled my hand up into a fist. I wasn't going to take this shit. I wasn't about to let this thing jam a corn probe up my butt. I took a deep breath. 1. I took another. 2. And then on 3:

"YOU WON'T PROBE ME YOU TWAT MONGER ALIEN SHIT!" I turned as I screamed, the tears on my face dried and I planted my fist into the alien's face. Only the alien was my neighbor, Ron Brown. And the collision of my fist in his face caused not his UFO, but his car to spin down the road.

"OW?! WHY?!" Ron screamed. I could make out the blurry image of a sad look on his face as my body beat against my window and the dashboard while Ron tugged at the wheel every which way trying to get the car to come to a halt.

We'd finally stopped. The car was sideways on the road, blocking traffic from coming from either direction. I was gripping the handle above my window as I breathed heavily and held my chest with my other hand, hoping to slow my rapidly beating heart. I looked straight ahead into the cornfield we were now facing in the wrong direction, which appeared to be probeless, and then I glanced out my window to my right to ensure there was no oncoming traffic. I was faced by only paved road between fields and beneath a starry sky.

The smell of the hot tires filled my nostrils. The light chirping of crickets could be heard above the white noise of the engine running, and was only broke by the sound of Ron's voice.

"I am from America." I heard Ron mutter in both an angry and a sad tone.

I finally turned to face him to find he wasn't even looking at me, but looking straight ahead at the corn, his jaw jutted out and a frown on his face. "What? What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"I am from America," Ron repeated, his voice more stern this time. "You're the alien, Crocodile Dundee!"

By the time I'd finally connected what he was saying to what I had previously shouted before hitting him, I watched him whip his head my way as he cocked his arm back and plowed me in the cheek with an insanely strong jab.

"SON OF A-God-Jesus-Bollocks!" I grabbed my cheeks with both hands in an awkward manner and looked back at my friend. I wanted to yell more profanities at him. I wanted to hit him back. I didn't want to admit that I realized I hit him first. My head was still swirling with whatever the hell had been happening to me prior to clocking my friend while he was driving. I reached up and turned the rearview mirror my way to examine my face. My cheek was turning black already, and a light split in the skin was slowly starting to turn red as blood attempted to squeeze its way through.

"You split my cheek open you bastard..." I mumbled as I lightly ran my fingers over my wound. I glanced at my pocket watch and saw it was 1:37 a.m. Then all of a sudden the car got quiet. The headlights went out, the engine stopped running. I turned to look at Ron and saw him gazing confusedly at his keys, which he hadn't turned to shut off the car. We briefly made eye contact before being engulfed in a bright white light...

--------------------------

A bright white light... A bright white light shown above me, almost blinding me. I tried to sit up, but something kept me down. There was some kind of restraint on my head, on my arms. I was lying on my back on a cold metal surface and could barely move.

"Ron..." I scratched out of my throat. It was sore, God why was my throat so sore? "Ron....." I struggled out again. My eyes darted back forth, and for a moment all I could see above me was that light. Until that moment passed and the shadow of a figure blocked a portion of the light and stared down at me. Another figure on my other side entered my vision as well. Two more cold metal objects entered my ears and began to protrude just a bit too far. I opened my mouth to scream, but heard nothing, only felt the vibrations in my raw throat. The shadowy jawlines of the figures began to move. Their jaws were so tiny compared to their misshapen heads. I thought they were speaking to each other, but the objects in my ears began to turn and ensure the room around me remained silent. The figure to my right lifted its gangly arm and held a syringe. I could see a liquid in it, the light reflecting through it. The syringe left my sight, but did not leave my mind to wonder where it was as it briskly entered my arm and my vision went black.

~~~​

"No... Please no..." I heard come from a voice of sadness. I felt my eyelids peel open, and no longer did I gaze upon a ceiling light, but across the room at Ron. It appeared as though he was on the same contraption I was. His back was on a flat bed of metal that was inclined so he could look forward rather than up, and his head, arms, and legs were held down by metal bracing straps. My vision remained blurry, but it was very clearly him, and he was very clearly naked on this bed of metal. He looked down at one of the shadowy figures as it reached for something on the ground and he begged and pleaded no. As I tried to focus in on the object, I heard footsteps approach from beside me very quickly and another needle entered my arm putting me into another slumber.

--------------------------

I felt some time pass.

--------------------------

And then some more.

--------------------------

I thought about when I was a child. I thought about home, England. I remembered my first love, our first time making love. I remembered my first heartbreak. My first cigarette. Hanging out with my friends. Graduating from school. My friends moving away. Me moving away. The friends I currently had. The life I once had and the life I will have. And then some more time passed.

--------------------------

I rolled over and scratched the back of my neck. Why was it so itchy? Actually, my arms were itchy too. And the back of my head. I bolted upright and quickly started examining my body. Everything seemed fine. I put my mini freak out in check and sat cross-legged as I scratched my arms and looked around me. No wonder I was itchy, I'd been sleeping on neatly folded down corn stalks out in a field. The corn stalks seemed to fold down and make a circular path around several others that remained upright. My eyes began adjusting to the dark and I looked over to see a groggy Ron Brown beginning to stand up and brush off his shirt, looking confused as well.

I stood up, and could see through the tall corn field that we were really close to the road, and close to our car. "Wait... No," I whispered as I began walking through the path. My walk picked up to a more brisk pace, then got faster as I began to jog, and before I knew it I was sprinting down this corn path around twists and turns until it had circled me back to Ron.

"Ron, we're in a crop circle..." I forced out of my sore throat to him as as I faced the car and fumbled for my pocket watch. It said the time was currently 1:42 a.m. "We lost 5 minutes..." I gazed up at the sky and then over to my friend, jaw dropped and dumbfounded. After that blinding white light, there was the cold metal, the figures, the shots... I glanced down at my arms to see tiny red spots where it appeared as if I was a heroine addict. "Ron, my throat feels raw," I muttered. "And my ass really hurts."
 
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SwagStarIV

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

PSI-Gagnam Style~**_^^_~~

Lux rushed towards the highway. Bracing against the handle bars of his motorcycle, he began to bob his head with the music. It was crazy how the highway stretched around this mountainous hill. The hill resembled a rocky edge of a dome, or the backside of a massive wave. Lux couldn't listen to songs like this and drive. They always took his attention from the road and left him needing another automobile part that he could have did without if he had took a little more precaution. He changed the station as he breached the exit and entered the highway to the city.

Party Rock Anthem!!! ^_^~~***~^

Once he hit the highway, Lux knew if would be just a few minutes before his relaxing ride would become a traffic filled bumper to bumper tragedy. No one likes traffic. As the music continued Lux forgot about the worries and necessities of his day, and delved into the magic known as music. All he could think of is how the crowd would react to his new set-up and the jams that followed. With nothing but coasting on his mind he recited, "We party rock!" Bouncing with the music and popping a short wheelie before zooming off at 90 miles an hour. The highway was clear. Your regular 4 lane, no median, 2 for us and 2 for you type of deal. The cars on the opposite side of the road honked at his display of entertainment.

It's Not Right???_^^^***~^~_

Lux changed the station again, and continued into the city. With a more classy vibe he pulled onto 5 st to see the designing agent and her back-up waiting for him. Lux removed his helmet as he placed his kickstand and welcomed them.

"Hey! Nice to see your here and prepared!"
"Well yes. It is my job."
"Glad to hear it. Aren't you a looker. So. What you guys got for me?"

The agent was a cute blonde chick with her hair tied into a ponytail that gracefully grazed across her cheek. Almost as if it was outlining her jaw line and whipping an impression of pleasurable dealings when she turned her head on a swivel. Lux opened the doors, showing off the party mix floors and clothed walls. He propped himself at the bar, which was centered off to the left, facing towards the DJ Stand, and awaited her input.

"Ohkayyy. Nice environment."

The purple floors mixed with every color of the rainbow disguised the dirt and left a sense of companionship. One that would bring back thoughts of grade school and how they always had funky colored atmospheres. The navy blue/grey walls were perfectly meshed so that the dark blue would have a silver lining that bounced the lights perfectly during the evening affairs. The agent finished her rounds and walked up to Lux stating, "Can I see your upstairs?"

Lux felt slightly aroused at the way she said it. Almost as if she knew the crazy things girls did up there behind that DJ Booth. Thouugh it wasn't much, the stairs where actually more firm than the usual. You could tell by each step that they were made with quality would, and stationed by quality workers who cared about their jobs. No gaps or spacing's allowing you to see under the steps, just a 17 step spiral up towards the DJ Stand and over the back exit. Lux opened the door leading to the DJ Stand, and overseeing the floor. The agent stopped and looked out over the wide rectangular railing, that rounded off to a thin board of support guiding you up the stairs.

"Alright. All this empty space is gone. We're gonna place your office setting right above the dance floor to the left. Close off the roof inside, board it on the oustide to look like a cabin." She continued up the stairs before entering the DJ booth and stated, "We'll make the walk in hover over the entrance to the steps, and even be able to set you up with nice window giving you and your business partners a clear view of the city."


"Alright sounds fantastic!"
"You might even wanna consider a bar stationed up here as well."
"I know, the possibilites, but I promised I would keep the upstairs all business."
"I like that. Well hopefully we can use your office for some business plans of our own. Set up some furnishing, maybe spruce up the outside with some greenery as well."
"Sounds tasteful. You really do a good job at this."
"It is what I do. Learned to do your job and don't let them do you haha"
"Ahooo well there's never any complaints there in my field."
"Awhaw do tell. Welp. Wanna show me your bathroom?"
"Certainly! Right this way"

Lux lead the woman downstairs and under the steps. Right next to the exit door was the restroom. It was getting pretty close to opening, so Lux wanted to get things moving as quickly as possible. He gazed over at the assistants by the bar and said, "Want a drink? I can whip you up some margaritas if your worried about the job thing hahaha" they chuckled with him and motioned in agreement. Lux gave them 2 shots of fireball each and began working his mojo. "So I hear you guys are a part of that Alien UFO skit going around. Is it true that the Men in Black have stationed themselves right here in Kern City?"

Jointly they answered, "Ahhhh. Naahhh. Come on maaan. Like seriously? We don't even know. They gave us our badges and weere like. Go. Ahahaha."
"Ahh figures. They couldn't trust you guys with any real intel. You'd give it to me." Awkward silence as the toilet flushes. then all three broke out into laughter again.

"Aaaahhh."

The front doors opened, and in came Lux's security. "Ay guys look! It's Bastion the old fashioned Mr. Kick Your Ass In. Whats good buddy!" Walking towards his neighbor for the handshake Bastion answered,

"Awh the usual ey Lux?"

Lux whispered, "Yes! And with. A. Hottie! I'm just getting the queens guards riled up. She's in the bathroom, you can go ahead and get things set up here at the bar. Keep these guys company. While I see what I can do about getting us some furniture."
Bastions tone had switched with Lux's, "Awh! You serious man? Your already trying to fluff here for some buble wrap? I'm sure she's gonna give it to you anyways."
Lux replied in the same tone, "Nope. She's gonna give it for a blowjob."

Right as they finished the agent walked out of the bathroom. Bastion caught a gaze and rushed to the bar to spark conversation with the back scratchers. Lux approached the lady and said, "Sooo... Wanna see the DJ Stand?"

She answered playfully, "For whaatt. You don't trust my intuition?"
"I wouldn't go that far, but I bet you'll see something from there that you didn't from the stairs."
"I wouldn't count on it, but lets check it out ;)"

Her full lips and pink gloss made this encounter so much more intense. He could imagine her almond eyes looking up at him while he played some of the wildest EDM. He almost caught a stiff thinking about it. She led the way to the Booth. Watching her hips sway along with such a nicely shaped bottom, it was almost too much. Her chest was average, but ever so slightly slimmed down at the waist and curved out into this gorgeous romp of true massivity. This thing had it coming. She peeked back at Lux while climbing the stairs, and the several girls he had done this with began to stream through his head. The ginger with the curls, the brunette with the nose ring, the ebony chick with the tracks, all of them had that same look in their eyes. Like they knew... And they wanted it oh so bad.

__________________________________________________________

Jump at the Party! Vibe, this mix Gnarly!

Lux looked at his equipment. 10 o'clock on the dot. The agent from earlier, who's name was Sally by the way, ended up staying through till the evening. Lux convinced her that being in the atmosphere would raise her spirits and probably give her a better idea for the type of damage that could possibly be done. As the doors began to sway open and out they continued their conversation. She started,

"So let me get ths straight. You sit up here and party all night, Wondering what you could get into down there? I mean isn't this epic!? You get paid by how many people come in and drink your liquor, then leave the night knowing that someone down there was satisfied with your production."

"I know. I know. Check this out." Lux grabbed his headphones and mic then stated on the speakers, "Alright everybody! It's 10 o'clock. So you know what that means!"

Random chick in a northern accent, "Whaat!?"

"It's time for smooooooooookkee!" Lux removed several hoes from under the table, and the smoke began to fall. Lux turned back towards Sally, who's face had widened and livened with the oncoming tide of smoke. She caught Lux staring at her and began to chuckle. Lux threw his hands up as if to say he knew nothing. With the wierded out look on his face, she slapped his arm and yelled, "Stop! Ahaha"

Lux cranked up the output, completely smoking out the floor. Leaving them completely shrouded. Then he looked back with his hand on, The Switch, signaling for her to come closer. He leaned into her arm, stating, "Watch this." *Click* With one motion, the empty sea of smoke became a folding wave of streaming light and gushing wind. The switch turned on several fans, one beneath the booth, two more on the wall near the floor, the two on the ceiling, which still had to rev up, and the one custom set up to circulate the bar. She covered her mouth with both hands, hiding a smile so wide. Lux could tell she was feeling that DJ nostalgia.

I Can't Huh... Just Can't

With the time passing, and the smoke turning into a misty overhead. Lux was in full stride with his mix. Sally couldn't keep her eyes off him, and him the same. They laughed and had their moments. She had ordered a few drinks, as well as Lux himself. He was just finishing a beer, when he noticed the time. It was midnight. Lux looked over and said, "So! What you think?"

"Not bad... Not too bad. I'm glad I got to see your smoke show! Is there any other fancy tricks this thing does?" Lux was well prepared to show her the rest of the light show, but Sally had a different thing in mind. Lux felt her soft hands graze across his shoulder as she walk behind him in her 5 inch heels. Her arms wrapped around his body and crossed locked her hands slightly below his belt. Lux was aroused by her flirting, and it quickly began to show. She was kissing down his neck, teething at his shoulder, placing a firm grip on his pecs, and clutching as if she wanted him right then and there. Lux couldn't take it. He only had so much room in the DJ Stand, and it was getting smaller. Lux took her hands, placing them on the Disk Jockey table and dropped his sights on his buldge. Though it was quick, it was enough to get her to do the same, and before she knew it, they began to make out. As effortless as this seemed, she was on it. Kneeling down and placing those beautiful lips right where he, well, they had apparently wanted them. Lux thought, Ooooohhhh Yes!
 
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Cassette-Disk

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

"How about another game? I can chase you this time!" The boy told Chase.
"No more games, kid. You said you had something I could use. Normally I wouldn't waste time like this, but my gut told me to hear you out, so let's hear it." The boy puffed out in agitation but his negative feelings quickly evaporated when Chase placed a cigarette in her mouth.
"You smoke?"
"Yeah," she brought a cheap BIC lighter to her lips and the light it produced brightened her dim face ever so slightly.
"Can I try?"
"Yeah right."
"Why not?!"
"Second hand's the closest thing you're gonna get from me, now spill it." The boy sighed but reached into his pockets before producing a Polaroid.
"Look at this," he said as he handed her the photo. Chase examined the photo, bringing it dangerously close to the lit cigarette tip.
"This looks fake. Like from a movie."
"Nuh-uh! It's real! I took it!" Chase kept her eyes transfixed on the image provided to her, unable to believe it hadn't been doctored in any way. An empty highway with corn fields at either side of it was displayed in the photo, but that was the only thing that was correct with the image: above the road in the dark sky hung a large, circular, flat, 'unidentified' object. The photo was shot from below, but there was no two-ways about it: this was a flying saucer.
"A UFO," she mumbled to herself.
"A real one!"
"It's not real, this is the same damn design from The X-Files. It even looks like it's from that 'I want to believe' poster!"
"Yes it is! And I can prove it!"
"And I can prove it's fake. All I have to do is make a phone call to my editor and he'll get one of the tech guys to comb over this image to prove it's not real. It's my job to find the real deal, kid."
"But I can prove it!"
"Yeah? How?"
"Come with me!" Without another word the boy ran down the stairs into the apartment complex. Chase sighed, but trailed behind.

As she made her way down the journalist made a phone call.
"Yellow, this is Norm," the male voice on the other side rang out.
"Norm, it's Chase."
"Hey newbie. How's the alien hunt going?"
"It's a dumb as you would expect. Where are you right now?"
"I'm having lunch in a McDanny's. It's the one near that body shop the boss' crap car is being fixed at."
"I know the place, it's right near where I am. Stay there; I need to give you something."
"Whoa there, I have a boyfriend."
"...Congratulations?"
"I can't just go around accepting random gifts from girls!" Chase let out another audible sigh as she rounded the last corner and headed out the door.
"It's a photo. I need you to take it and examine it: make sure it's legit."
"Ooh, a possibly altered photo? Me and Teddy love that kind of thing. What's it a picture of?"
"I... don't even want to say it."
"Oh come on! I'm gonna find out soon anyway!"
"It's a photo of a UFO." There was no response to her statement, and only the slight static that the receiver gave off let Chase know her coworker hadn't hung up on her.
"Y-yeah. Okay, suuure Chase. I get it, you're new so you wanted to prank me. Or test me and my skills or something--"
"I'm serious, Norm. I have a Polaroid of a UFO over a freeway and I need it verified." The man's voice was suddenly very hushed as he finally started to take the conversation serious.
"Where did you get the picture from? Someone who's liable to give us fake leads? Like a tech savy loner?"
"No, it's... a minor. No older than 12. Compare it to every piece of media you can think of, we don't want to publish this and then have it turn out to be from diddlying Independence Day or something."
"A minor gave you it? Christ, Chase! It's gotta be fake!"
"And it'll be your job to prove it."
"...Fine. I'll see you in a bit."

Chase hung up the phone while she made her way to the child, who was now standing next to a minivan.
"Your mom?" Chase asked.
"Nope!" the tinted window rolled down to reveal a tanned late teen sitting in the driver's seat.
"...Brother?"
"No relation," the young adult said, his voice deeper than she had expected.
"We're gonna show you the UFO!" The boy said excitedly.
"We aren't doing anything," the teen told him, "you are going to go straight home. It's getting late."
"But--!"
"No buts, just go." Chase had expected more of a fight from the youth, but he only nodded sadly.
"You can keep the photo lady," he told her, "I made copies." With that, the boy walked away. Soon after, the teen opened the passenger side door for Chase.
"I've made it a policy not to get into a stranger's car, even if I could probably fight them off," she said as she threw the cigarette butt to the ground below, stomping on it.
"I think you'll want to get inside, miss reporter."
"Why would I want to do that?" He reached over to the back seat and pulled out a tattered grey beanie before placing it over his bedhead.
"Because, Chase, You were right. In New York, I mean." The emphasis he placed on her name was unnerving, almost as if he was taunting her with the fact he knew her name.
"You don't know anything," she kept a stoic face, trying to bluff through until he played his hand.
"Good poker face! I bet that comes in handy. I know you were nearly fired for, quote end-quote, 'falsely' accusing a politician of working with a gang. It blew up in your face and they knocked you down to the boonies."
"That was in the New York Times. I'm not impressed."
"But like I said, you were right. The politician was dirty and tried to have you sacked." It was then Chase noticed a wooden cane sitting besides the teen.
"You have a limp," she told him, "I've noticed you around town."
"And I've noticed you noticing me."
"Who are you, kid?"
"Just a kid with a limp who knows too much. Including when the next UFO is going to touch down."
"I don't believe you."
"Yes you do. Just like cops, reporters need to have a strong intuition. What's your gut telling you, miss Conner?"
"To get in the damn car."
"Then get in the damn car."
She got in the damn car.

"We're going to have to make a stop first," Chase told him as he pulled out out the curb, "I need to go to the McDanny's nearby."
"Hungry? I know a better spot down the road."
"No, I'm passing off some evidence to a coworker of mine."
"Fine. I could do with a shake myself." It took less than five minutes for Chase to hand over the photo to Norm and they were off towards the outskirts of town. Chase took the moments of silence to look over the teen: glasses, stubble, possibly Hispanic though Hawaiian was also a likely candidate. "I'm 5'7 and weigh around 147 pounds if you're interested," he joked.
"Who are you?"
"Like I said, I'm just a guy who--"
"A name."
"Don't suppose you'd be willing to put me as an anonymous source?"
"No."
"Okay. Hmmmmm. Mmmmm? Yeah. Charles. I've always like that name."
"Can I get a real name?"
"That is a real name. It's my name."
"Surname?"
"In. Middle name's Dick."
"Your fake middle name is appropriate, at least," this got a laugh out of the teen.
"I know what you must be thinking," he told her, "why is this kid driving a minivan?"
"It's your mom's."
"Nope, it's mine. I'm just not ready for the responsibilities of a real van, so a mini-van will have to do. Say, have you noticed the time?" Chase looked down at the digital clock by the stereo: 1:35.
"What?! It's that late already? Norm didn't even call me back!"
"No, he did. Your phone went off a few times, check the voicemail." Doing as she was told, Chase heard Norm's panicked voice through her phone.
"What the diddly what the diddlying diddly diddly! Chase I don't know what the hell kind of game you're playing, but it's not funny anymore, answer your damn phone! I can't find anything relating to the photo! There's nothing similar to it anywhere and the image wasn't altered in any way. Come clean and tell me how you did it, and please call me when you get the chance." It was then Chase noticed the minivan had come to a stop in an empty highway.
"This is good enough," Charles said as he turned the engine off. "Let's take a stroll, yeah?"
"I have a taser and know how to fight," Chase warned as she felt goosebumps along her arms.
"I'm sure you do," he said as hopped down the automobile. Chase followed along and they walked down the highway in silence. She lit up another cigarette as Charles finally spoke up a minute later. "Don't you reporters have some kind of mobile recorder?"
"Yeah, so?"
"Mind if I see it?" She begrudgingly reached into her pocket and handed him the micro camera, which he then turned on.

Then it happened. Ahead of the pair was a car that had skidded to a stop, facing sideways against the road. Though odd, this was hardly news-worthy. Just as Chase was about to speak, a sudden light flooded the car from above as an undeniable flying saucer hovered above it, illuminating the two men sitting inside. A flying saucer. An unidentified flying object. Something from science fiction made real. Chase had heard and read that in moments such as these, when a person was met with something impossible, spectacular, or groundbreaking, they would gape and stare, and if they had something in their mouth--say a cigarette--it would fall to the ground. This did not at all happen to Chase. The reporter inhaled deeply in shock, causing the cigarette to be sucked into her throat. The sudden burning sensation and smoke, along with the foreign object caught in her esophagus, was too much for the reporter and she instantly began to choke, falling to the ground. It was all she could do to keep her eyes looking upward at the events playing in front of her as tears rolled down her cheeks as she was finally able to expel the cigarette. She wheezed heavily as she stood four minutes later, noting the flattened corn nearby along with the two bodies that had been pulled in by the spacecraft.
"Charles! Call an am--" Nope, he was gone. In his place was her micro camera with a single new video in its library. Just before she pulled out her own phone, the two men stood from their drowse and she ran towards them just in time to hear:

"...feels raw, and my ass really hurts."
Chase stood at the edge of the crop circle and, for the first time in her journalistic career, was speechless.
 

KingdomKey

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

Lucy fished out her phone from her front jean pocket and flipped it open to check the time; the phone's screen displayed it was almost two thirty and her co-worker Andrew hasn't shown up for his shift yet. Already he's a half hour late, which is going to end up making me work overtime. I don't mind making extra money, but this is ridiculous! I'm hungry and I hate waiting! It really did bother her to have to wait; considering she made it her mission to see her day plan out exactly how she envisioned it in her mind and anything that disrupts that flow makes her anxious. Not even her playstation 2 controller could distract her from it as she set the flip phone down on the counter and glared at it with all of her might. As if the devil himself heard her thoughts her phone began to ring. Picking it up on the first ring, Lucy held it to her ear as her stomach let out an audible growl and placed her right hand over her tummy to shush it.

"Lucy! I'm so sorry! I know I'm late."
"Andrew, you're over a half hour late. Again."
"There was a family emergency!"
"Yesterday it was an outfit crisis! This one better be good and real this time!"
"I know, I know, but you know how fashionable late I like to be, chica. I got to look good for the ladies-"
"What ladies?!"
"Lucy as your platonic, bisexual friend eat a snickers bar. You're not yourself when you're hungry."
"This isn't a snickers bar commercial! And you owe me big time!"
"Eat a snickers, chica. You'll thank me later!"
"What about the family emergenc-"

The tone of a phone being hung up sounded in her ear as her temper rose a few notches. To outsiders or customers, Lucy looked relatively calm on the surface after that not so pleasant phone call. In reality, she was fuming as she set her phone down, before stalking over to a harmless teddy bear and picked it up with a frown on her face; color blooming in her cheeks. The nerve of that guy! And I was suppose to come back in after five to work the night shift! Placing a few wads of cash on the counter for the teddy bear, Lucy tucked the victim teddy bear into the crook of her right arm as she hurried down an aisle and ironically pasted the snack bar machine, which held a snickers bar and other sorts of candy inside of it. Approaching the back door with a glowing red neon sign with the words EXIT did she slam it open with her left hand and let the door shut behind her as she mumbled profanities beneath her breath and tore the teddy bear apart in the alley way. The teddy bear ripped in half from the brute force of being pulled apart, white stuffing falling out of it in chunks as the buttons flew off its chest and its arms hung limply by their sides with the teddy bear's right eye was now missing. Thankfully, the alley way was empty and dark, so no one could witness the destruction she unleashed on the poor thing. As a soothing calmness came over Lucy, she glanced down and felt herself tear up for what she had done. I'm sorry Mr. Teddy Bear. Then pulling herself together did she chucked it into a green garbage bin and returned inside.

By the time she closed the shop it was already much later in the evening. Wacky's Toy Store closes around 11.pm. at night and only stays open late for those closed in closet perverts, who don't have any shame, or the last minute shoppers, who are in desperate need of a soothing toy or pacifier for stubborn children who won't go to sleep at night; afraid of monsters beneath their beds. Luckily, Lucy was able to snack on a bag of cheetos and a hershey bar to appease her stomach until it was closing time. After locking the door, she threw on her jacket and started walking towards 'The Grocery Store' for supper supplies. Unfortunately, whoever came up with the name for it couldn't think of anything creative than the obvious.

Once Lucy went through the procedures of buying her food from the Grocery Store did she look up at the sky. Nope, still don't see any sights of aliens. Maybe they saw what I did to that Teddy Bear? Maybe the aliens think I'm too dangerous to kidnap? I bet my friends on the chat will get a hoot out of that. Of course, Lucy knew it wasn't exactly safe to be wandering out in the middle of the night in the streets of Ellin, because you never knew who you'd meet; Perhaps an alien or some stranger who would whisk her away into the unknown. In the meantime, she didn't worry, because sometimes it isn't the strangers who are dangerous. It was themselves. I feel so alive, crossing the lines of danger instead of walking the straight and narrow. ​With a grin plastered on her face did Lucy adjust her hold on her plastic bag full of food, tucking it safely beneath her right her arm and with her free hand, she gripped her playstation 2 controller more tightly as she began her trek home; taking her time to watch people and cars go by as she made her way to her apartment.
 
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Cassette-Disk

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Re: Appreciate the Simple Stuff

Oooh, I've made a mistake, Crystal thought to herself as a mountain of a man emerged from the back of the shop. Just his imposing height was enough for Crystal to regret her decision, though as he placed a small silver cylindrical car part on the desk in front of him, she noted a line tattoo on his arm. This furthered her train of thought that she was very out of her element. She expected him to shoo her away, and the expression on his face--or rather, the lack of one--was enough to redouble her suspicions all around. But what he said instead had her stunned.
"Wha? Just... Just like that?" The job description was... simple. Short and to the point, and though most might consider such an instant proposition strange, Crystal was less than inclined to push the point any further. She glanced at the forms he had mentioned before making her way to them. Already the man seemed less threatening than he first appeared...but the smell of oil and the general state of the front of the store still had her a bit off balanced. The table the sheets of papers were on had a thin layer of dust, and the dim light breaking through the blinds was far from optimal, even given the time of day. She passed a finger over the dust-filled table. "I'm not much for keeping things super clean, but I have a few ideas to brighten this up a bit. My name's Crystal, by the way," the pianist said as she held her right hand out for the man to shake, "I guess I'm your employee now, or at least I will be when I get these forms back to you?"

Despite her initial ideas of the job and employer at hand, she had begun to grow on the proposition. Already she could see herself sitting behind the desk doing paperwork. ...That sounds boring, she told herself. Still, a job was a job and beggars couldn't be choosers. "I should let you know that this isn't my dream job, surprisingly enough. I hope you like the piano because I'll probably be listening to it a lot when things are slow. I'm a pianist, just graduated from the University of the Arts with a Master of Music in Piano Performance. I guess I'm a bit of a starving artist in that regard since I don't have any connections that can land me a job relating to my degree." There was a bark from outside, reminding Crystal of the new friend she had made. "Oh! Do you know anyone who lost a dog? I found it wandering around the street and now it's following me around."
 

SwagStarIV

What the heck is a Premi?
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Lux was currently undergoing that feeling of success. You know. That vibe you get when you plan something and it goes perfect? Yesss... That vibe. Truth be told this night wasn't even all that eventful. Usually the light show would have went interstellar by now, but he was a little pre-occupied with showing his designing agent the ropes. Sally her name was. DJ perks at their finest! God bless this town. "Alright ladies and gents! It's reeeally important that you do this for me. On the count of three. Tell me who your DJ is! 1. 2. 3!"

DJ Luuuuuuuuxxxxxxx**_*^^^ ~ *The Night Show

"Straight up!" Pointing his hand to the crowd, Lux lost himself to the crowd. Taking this breath in so that he could relish in their cheers. The night was fired and going steady. The moment... Simple now. Sally approached Lux and squeezed him from behind. "Thanks again. I really liked your sky box." Woah........ Sky box? This is the DJ Booth!? She already had a cooler name for my booth and I didn't even get it out of her. "Hey!" Sally peeked back. "You know this isn't just some playground where you do what you want. We do things with class. Nice to see your one of us." Lux turned back to the boards and announced, "Applause to the lady in the suit with the matching heels!" As the crowd cheers, "She is amazing for helping us out here guys, and is really gonna make a difference in this place. You give it up!"

Yeaaa!! The Business. Business business.....,,,;'"''"^^*^"'"

Sally was gone, and the night was... What!? 2:30? "Alright ladies and gentleman." *Gshuuuu* All the lights were turned on, and the music volume muted, "That's all for tonight! You guys get yourselves home alright, and don't forget to stop by the bar to get your raffle winnings!" Lux hosted a raffle every other night. He would give out cash prizes, small objects that went with the current buzz of the city, and random merchandise supporting and advertising his music. The prizes today were a fifteen dollar gift card for ITunes, a hat saying Eat Brains! Not. Humans!, and a set of binoculars that could see into space. No one had won the binoculars, since Lux was so preoccupied, but Lux new a place where those would do great. He gathered his equipment, slid down to the bar and asked Bastion, "So. How'd we do?"

"Not bad Lux... Not bad at all."
 

Mistearea

Fear the Mist
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Shifting through the spaces like only Mist can.
He watches her as she makes her way to the papers, and that's when he notices the layer of dust. When was the last time he cleaned that part? This question flickers through his mind briefly before she starts speaking again. He nods at her saying that she is not one for keeping things super clean, only weird people are like that in his mind. Still, he is fairly certain that she'd have a better go at it than he would ever, since she'd be working out here and would typically only go into the back to get him. That is when she extends her hand after a brief introduction. He takes it, keeping his stoic look and nods. That is when it hits him that he never wiped off his hands before walking out to the front.

"Sorry, Miss. Don't know anyone with a dog. Then again, dogs are handled a bit differently from where I'm from. I'm used to 'em just headin' on back home so he's either a stray or poorly trained. By the way, there's a tub of this orange soap at the sink in the back. Ya might wanna use it before ya head out or somethin'."

With that he picks up the altenator and makes his way back towards the back of the store before stopping after remembering his manners. "Tha name's Shane, by tha way. And not big on classical music myself, but work hard and I can call up someone in the music industry. If you don't mind startin' with Country at least. Know a few folks from my time in Tennessee. As for the dog, I can watch him for a while. And if someone doesn't recognize 'im, he's your dog or workin' as a mascot of sorts."

With that he makes his way into the back room, this time leaving the door open for her, and tosses the metal junk into a large bucket before looking around a small storage area for a replacement. That's when he sees it, his emergency supply of SPAM. He quickly pulls one of the cans from the shelf and tosses it to have it land on the bench near the sink. "For tha dog." With that he makes his way back to the Ford and resumes working on it, cursing each time he finds something new messed up with it, at five minute intervals.
 

KingdomKey

The Traveler
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  • Retired Staff
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By the time Lucy returned home to her apartment building it was nearly a half hour till midnight. Upon entering the pristine building with her groceries in hand, she was relieved to hear nobody was up and about, except for the soft strumming of a guitar being played by her next door neighbor; an elderly man who was fond of music, who collected records and sold sheet music by the dime. Lucy met him on her first day of moving in, accidentally mistaking his room number for hers only to find the room already occupied after her repeated attempts of trying to break into it when her key wouldn't fit in through the doorknob. That was so embarrassing. Caught red handed trying to bust it open with my shoulder with him standing behind me, when he had a client he was meeting with to give guitar lessons to boot!

Of course, it wasn't always this quiet at night inside of the Ellin Apartments building. There was the usual drunken sounds of rhythmic pounding sex coming through paper thin walls a few doors down and to the left. The screaming matches between a man and woman at the end of the hall, which required getting the manager to break them up to let the rest of the tenants sleep - which was currently silent, thank god, and the party animals across the hall from her weren't home this evening, probably out getting high, or partying it up elsewhere. It would be an understatement to say she met everybody within her building, because she hadn't, and she still didn't know who lived precisely above her either, except that they were silent most of the time, or probably kept odd hours of work. If anyone asked her why she put up with her crazy neighbors, she'd tell them it's worth it, because the place was cheap and kept cleaner than anywhere else she been. At the heart of it all with her eccentric yet crazy neighbors, this was her home. Besides, I don't think I could handle dead silence anyways.

Turning the doorknob to enter her tiny apartment slice of heaven, she swiftly entered the room to relieve herself of groceries by setting them on the table and hurried to use the restroom. Once her business was done, she locked the door and flipped on the light switch. It wasn't until she realized her ps2 controller wasn't in sight that her heart lurched in panic. Where is it? Where is it?! I couldn't of dropped it! I had it with me just a few minutes ago! Lucy quickly looked to the wooden floor to the table and raced through the contents of the plastic bags to find the video game controller was nestled deep inside of the plastic bag against a bundle of cans of spaghetti-o's. Within minutes, the tension in her chest evaporated into relief.

The microwave on the counter read 12:00.am. across from where she stood. A sweeping wave of fatigued settled over her like a blanket as she put away the contents of her groceries into their respective nooks and crannies of her pantry and refrigerator. In the midst of it all, she grabbed out a sauce pan and quickly heated up a can of her spaghetti-o's to eat as she sat in a chair with her laptop facing her; surfing the internet and checking the chat to see if anything new had popped up. After some deliberate thought, she entered the chat.

Spoiler Spoiler Show


Once her bowl of spaghetti-o's was empty, she set it in the sink to wash the next day and stepped over a few piles of book scattered around her apartment. At the moment, she couldn't afford a bookshelf let alone install one, because the living room itself was already cramped by her couch, her miniature end table and TV stand with her tiny television sitting upon it with a, you guessed it, a playstation 2 console with a few games sitting near it. Exhaustion clouded her thoughts as she stumbled into her bedroom and face plopped directly onto the bed without a care in the world, cracking open her window next to her bed to let some cool air in to get some circulation going from how stuffy it felt before settling in without a second thought to check her stove to be off or her video game controller to be in its rightful place. Unfortunately, the smell of smoke from someone smoking cigarettes made her shut the window with an irritable slam then hauling herself out of bed to make sure the stove was indeed off and the controller was where she left it - finally going back to sleep like she should in her bed.
 
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Cassette-Disk

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  • Curiouser and Curiouser
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[Earlier that night]
Charles watched as a young woman exited the back door of her toy store. It was, in fact, her toy store, whether she knew it or not. Just as it was his garage and his fast food restaurant. Not that that mattered at the moment. The limping man was safely shrouded in darkness as he watched the girl bring the small bear from under her arm. In an instant, she began ripping the stuffed toy to shreds. He made a mental note that it would be a good idea to stay off her bad side, but then made another mental note to do it anyway. The girl's anger was obvious enough, given how easily she utterly destroyed the poor bear though tears formed around her eyes shortly after. She threw the bear's remains into a nearby garbage can before returning to her toy store. Charles waited a minute. Then he waited another one. After two minutes of silence, he approached the bin and opened it.
"Christ, she did a number on you, didn't she?" He asked the stuffing and remaining bear parts. Without hesitating, he reached into the bin and grabbed as much of the bear as he could. He leaned his cane against the metal railing--placing all his weight on his good leg--and reached into his pocket before producing a plastic bag. He carefully filled the bag with the bear's remains before hobbling towards his minivan. He had to find his dog.

---
"Sorry, Miss. Don't know anyone with a dog. Then again, dogs are handled a bit differently from where I'm from. I'm used to 'em just headin' on back home so he's either a stray or poorly trained."
Well, butts. It's not like she was expecting a simple 'yes,' but it would have been nice. She would just have to take it to a shelter or something. As Shane left the room, Crystal went to use the sink he had mentioned. Not only had the dust left its mark, but dealing with the small dog also left her fingers feeling a bit dirty. She also suspected the extra layer of grime was from whatever Shane was working on before they shook hands. Crystal was curious about the small car part he had tossed into a bucket and briefly thought about retrieving it study, but decided against it. It's not like she would learn anything on her own--or that she would even need to. She would just be working with papers and stuff anyway. A small clanging noise brought her away from her thoughts. A blue tin can sat next to her.
"For tha dog," her new boss explained. Crystal wiped her hands clean before grabbing the can of meat along with the paper work she needed to sign off on.
"I'll get these back to you as soon as I can--tomorrow! I mean, tomorrow," she called into the garage before making her way out of the shop.

The sun was already setting as she exited, though she noticed a distinct lack of 'dog.' Though she at first though that maybe the dog had found its owner, Crystal still felt as if she needed to find it. Thankfully she heard a distant barking somewhere near the city and did her best to follow it. The town was surprisingly empty which made following the echoing sounds of the dog easier than it should have been. A few minutes later, she tracked the dog outside a dimly lit alleyway. The small chow barked as she approached, though it quickly rushed into the alley. Crystal paused for a second before peering down the path. A man was petting the dog at the end of the alleyway, though it was too dim to make him out clearly. Crystal's foot tapped loudly as she stepped, giving away her position. The outline of the man's face looked toward her, but she couldn't see his face properly. The dog barked once happily before bounding towards her.
"Oh. Uh, hi," she started. The man stood from his crouched position and she was able to make out a thin cane supporting his weight. His other hand held a plastic bag, but she couldn't make out its contents. His caned hand took the bag, freeing his other hand before waving at her. She didn't want to stay in the alleyway for longer than was necessary, especially with a stranger. Thankfully she was right at the entrance so she could make a dash out if things got dicey. "Is this your dog?" She asked. The man brought his free hand up, extended his index and middle fingers, and clamped them down onto his thumb. Was that sign language? She brought up her own hands and formed a fist, the thumb at the fist's side. Then she moved the thumb to the front of the fist before forming an 'L' shape with her index finger and thumb. ASL? The man made a fist of his own and rocked it back and forth, almost like he was knocking on something.
Yes. Crystal pointed at the man and then brought her index finger next to her earlobe.
You're Deaf? Another index and middle finger clamp.
No.
"Oh," she spoke aloud, "then why are you using sign language?" The man brought the tips of an open palm to his forehead and spun it around whimsically with a small playful shrug.
I dunno.
"...oookaay. Is that your dog?"
No, Crystal. He brought his hand up and finger-spelled out the girl's name. A shiver ran down Crystal's spine as a visible smile crawled over the man's still hidden face.
"H-how do you know my name?"
Knowing things is my job, he signed out.
"What?"
The dog's not mine. Not anymore, anyway.
"What are you talking about?"
He's yours now. His name is Charles. Take good care of him.
"Wait, what?! Who are--" Behind Crystal, a shipping truck honked loudly as its headlights flooded the alleyway. Though this would have given her enough vision to see the man's face, the initial honk caused her to jump and forced to look away. The lights blinded her as she looked towards them, but the truck easily drove away, avoiding her and the alleyway completely. When she turned around, the cane using man was no where to be seen. All that was left was Charles the dog, panting happily at her feet. She petted him. "Let's get you a flea bath," she told it warily.
---
Charles unlocked his smart phone and swiped in various directions on the screen. Had they already reached the second one? Just barely, but he was behind his time table. That hardly mattered, though. He essentially had all the time in the world. She could wait until tomorrow. Right now he needed to talk to the reporter
and get them all acquainted. Once things settled down more, he could control the tides as much as he wanted. For now, he just needed to wait.
 
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