Gracies Salt Lake City

INTERESTED IN BOOKING YOUR BAND AT GRACIE'S? BAND BOOKINGS. VISIT US. 326 S. West Temple. Salt Lake City, UT 84101. 801.819.7565. [email protected] ... Get directions, reviews and information for Gracie's in Salt Lake City, UT. Gracie's 326 S West Temple Salt Lake City UT 84101. 529 Reviews (801) 819-7565 Website. Menu & Reservations Make Reservations . Order Online Tickets Tickets See Availability Directions ... 326 S. West Temple. Salt Lake City, UT 84101. 801.819.7565. [email protected] Open 365 days. 11 AM - 2 AM. 10 AM Saturday & Sunday Gracie's is a Gastropub in the heart of Salt Lake City that offers a unique dining experience in a fun and exciting environment. Enjoy a great meal while watching the sunset on the upper deck then retire to the game room for a free round of shuffleboard. Get delivery from Gracie's super-fast to your door. Order online and track your order live. No delivery fee on your first order. Delivery & Pickup Options - 540 reviews of Gracie's 'Gracie's opened in June 2009 and I have been quite a few times since then. They open at 11am and have a full menu. There are some great food options. Lots of tv's all around the bars if you just wanna go in and watch a game and have a beer too. The last few times i've gone in, there has even been live music. Delivery & Pickup Options - 540 reviews of Gracie's 'Gracie's opened in June 2009 and I have been quite a few times since then. They open at 11am and have a full menu. There are some great food options. Lots of tv's all around the bars if you just wanna go in and watch a game and have a beer too. The last few times i've gone in, there has even been live music. Order food online at Gracie's Bar, Salt Lake City with Tripadvisor: See 315 unbiased reviews of Gracie's Bar, ranked #116 on Tripadvisor among 1,377 restaurants in Salt Lake City. Gracie’s Gastropub in downtown Salt Lake City. Probably a bit more on the “pub” side than the “gastro” side. Gracie’s has plenty of parking, and nice outdoor seating options as well as indoor. This is a 21 and older only gastropub, so leave your kiddies at home.

[FICTION] Tabula Rasa Ranch: Spooky Luna (Part 1)

2020.09.20 01:44 TheLizardQueen84 [FICTION] Tabula Rasa Ranch: Spooky Luna (Part 1)

"All things must change to something new, to something strange."
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I used to feel like I needed to share my side of the story to keep the facts straight. Now I don't care what others choose to believe. The need to warn others offered a job at Tabula Rasa Ranch outweighs the non-disclosure agreement I signed. The company refuses to disclose the true inner workings. The owner remains the same. She hires on new employees due to the quick turn over from frequent quitting or untimely demises. As a cover, she has someone else in the spotlight as the new owner of the ranch.

Tabula Rasa Ranch has remained out of the newspapers and headlines because of major payoffs over the decades. It isn't in the headlines like the infamous ranch in Northern Utah. The newspaper in Kanab left out the exact location my best friend disappeared in and only alluded to it being on a hike in Zion National Park. It was on the privately owned land the park had permission to cross to get to the infamous Arches.

My hope is to caution others from crossing through the private land. It isn't worth traipsing through to see the stunning Arches. Camping nearby the private land isn't a good idea either. I know the idea of exploring a national park during the coronavirus is tempting, but following Hop Valley Trail through the land the park can't obtain is advised against. Over the years newspapers have been making a big deal out of buying out the private land, but the fight for it is an illusion. More people are aware of the operations of the ranch, but unwilling to divulge the details out of fear of losing out on money for the upkeep of the park.

Springdale is another small, sleepy town in Southern Utah, nothing to write home about. It rests on the eastern side of Zion National Park. I park in the lot of a small shopping center littered with nail and hair salons, inexpensive takeout, clothing stores and tourist traps.
I exit the car and pluck a white flower from a decorative pot beside the sidewalk. I slip it through a pin holding the right side of my back for luck. The set of stairs leading up to the second floor turns halfway up. I take the opportunity to withdraw a pale blue flask from my purse and indulge in a long swig to calm my nerves. Next, a cinnamon breath mint and sprayed of perfume over my clothes for extra measure. I shake my gloved hands in an attempt to relax, inhale, and climb the stairs.
The suite encompasses the entire small second floor. The windows are covered with long curtains and the glass door is shielded with white blinds. Only the suite number is etched on the front door. I press the door bell on the divider between the door and windows.
The door opens a crack a few beats later. I smooth my hands over my black and white plaid dress pants. A man clears his throat from the space separating us. A long silence evades before the door swings open to reveal a tall man standing aside in a wide foyer. He wears a white button-up shirt underneath an expensive gray vest and ironed matching slacks. His dark hair is tied back in a low ponytail. He holds the door open. I enter the air-conditioned suite, despite every cell in my body encouraging me to flee.
"Luna Luster?" the man asks, closing the door behind us. His smile is sardonic as he extends his hand. "Was your mother a hippie misplaced in time or did you change your name yourself?"
I tilt my head and try my best not to let my face sour. I stare at his waiting hand instead because his rude remark makes it easier to evade contact. His cologne is earthy and expensive, full of hidden motives with notes of sandalwood. "So original."
"I take it you get the question a lot. I'm the superintendent of Tabula Rasa Ranch, Ambrose Reed." He shifts uncomfortably in the stark silence and lowers his hand. "Please follow me to the office. Would you like a cup of coffee?"
"Uh, sure."
I trail behind him through a narrow hallway and pass an open living room. There's two closed doors to the right, three on the left-hand side and the second door on the left is open. The hall ahead of us displays a spacious kitchen. We turn into the open room on the left. The office is white and void of personal photographs or sentimental items. Five bright abstract framed paintings grace the walls. Ambrose stops at a light stained wooden table with a fancy coffee machine and condiments next to the door. I stand on the pristine white carpet, knotting my fingers together.
"Have a seat. How do you like your coffee?"
"Black. Two sugars."
A side of the cherry wood desk rests against the wall with a plush chair underneath it. An open laptop, clunky landline phone, and two coasters are on the desk. I sit on a white plastic chair across the desk. I shift in the chair in an attempt to distract myself before the interrogation begins. Ambrose places a black mug on each coaster, then seats himself in the swivel chair.
"Thank you," I say, but don't pick up the mug.
"Why are you wearing gloves?"
"Off the record? I'm a germaphobe."
He nods, seeming to accept the answer and takes stack of papers from a drawer. He starts with typical interview questions that blur together in a flurry. What was your first job? What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses? Can you tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult person?
So forth and so on. All the questions I've heard since I started working at sixteen years old whirl by until there's red flag.
"Tell me a little about yourself."
I stare at him. "I'd rather not, but I kinda need this job."
He doesn't respond for a minute and stares at the laptop screen with a deep frown. "What can you tell me about the gaps in your employment history?"
"Pardon me?"
"You didn't include your paid work on the side with the Salt Lake City Police Department. You cited government work as a forensic botanist before some unlisted department work." Ambrose pauses to gauge my expression. His wide-set eyes dart to focus on the laptop screen. "We were very thorough before offering a follow-up interview."
"If you consider a faceless phone call an interview."
"A mere formality. I was against requesting a callback, but the owner wanted an interview for some reason. She greased a few wheels to find out why you didn't include your work in the achievements of your resume."
"It didn't seem relevant," I say, smoothing my hands over my pants to keep from wringing them together. Mentioning being able to see lingering spirits would end the job interview. Most of Kanab already think I live in cloudcuckooland. I know it's because of my unwanted gifts. Revealing the information would make a fresh start redundant.
The locals are kind enough to gossip when I'm out of earshot. It doesn't stop others who spin tales composed of a few gems. Newcomers think of me as the child abandoned by her mother, raised by her grandmother and aunt. Spooky Little Luna ostracized herself from others by revealing details and thoughts. No one spread the news about my perfect grades or talent with art but spoke of my brittle and barbed tongue. It didn't deter my friend, Byeol, from spending every free moment with me from the fourth grade on up. Only her death parted us.
Several dead-end jobs in the city forced me to move back to Kanab. Still, it doesn't look good for Spooky Luna to live with her aunt without a job. It makes people chatter and wonder after each local job didn't work out and my paper trail of employment doesn't help.
"A thorough background check revealed a few things. You became an independent consultant without any prior experience with investigating. The owner wanted to know the duties you performed during your brief stint at the department. It would make more sense if you were working as a forensic botanist with your degree."
"I can't provide the information you want. I signed a non-disclosure document."
No need for him to know I'd lowered myself and passed myself off as a psychic to the Salt Lake City Police Department. There were plenty of photos in the newspaper with me in the background of police officers. I was paid as a consultant on the books. The department only used my services when backed into a corner. Sometimes I gleaned details off of spirits or things I'd noticed with my extra keen eye. It was easier to pass my gifts off in the guise of a psychic than telling the truth. No one wants to hire a woman who claimed to see fragments of the dead or photogenic abilities. If I divulged my gifts, Ambrose might write me off as crazy and end the interview.
"Which is something my employer values."
At a loss for a response, I lean forward to pick up the steaming mug from the desk. The familiar beverage soothes my nerves with each careful sip. Ambrose shuffles through the papers. He studies a paper before resuming.
"What do you know about the location?"
"I've been going to Zion for most of my life. I'm from Kanab, after all. I've only gone through the land briefly on a hike and to reach a nearby campground."
"There's been some whispers."
A chill runs down my back. The whispers could only be about one thing. The news didn't point out where the disappearance occurred and didn't detail about the encounter. It did however elude to the police suspecting my involvement in my best friend's disappearance and my following stint in a mental institution. I shift uncomfortably in my seat, divert my eyes away from his and sip on coffee. It's difficult to resist the urge to spy on his thoughts.
Ambrose leans back in his chair and watches the screen for a long time. "What do the new rumors said?"
I hesitate. "I heard about the new owner taking more of an interest in the ranch a few years ago. The rumors about the park trying to purchase the land isn't anything new."
His face remains blank and unreadable as he assesses my response.
I set the coffee back down, pick up my purse, and stand up. "It's been swell. Look, I'm sorry I wasted your-"
"How do you feel about being wired on a daily basis for liability purposes?" Ambrose interrupts.
"Are you recording now?"
"The founder is on a one-way voice chat to give her input. The recording is for future records, should you pass the final interview."
"Wait, if I take the job, I'm going to under surveillance at all times?" I ask, sitting back down.
"For liability purposes."
"The salary Miss Giles offered on the phone would make more than recording worth it." I pause before continuing. "Listen, am I under surveillance for my history with the police department? Or for forensic botany? Or-"
The landline phone rings once and Ambrose picks it up.
"Are you sure?" Ambrose pauses for a long time. "Yes, ma'am. I understand. Thank you." He hung the phone up with a tight smile. "It seems you're hired, Miss Luster."
I can't conceal my smile. "When do I start?"
"Monday. I'll email you the rules and directions to the ranch. You need to move in by tomorrow afternoon so you have the weekend to get settled. Stop by the main homestead with your belongings. The furnished living quarters are due to depth. I'll have your bunker assignment along with some clearance badges you'll need for your first day. You'll be shadowing Orion Rist during your first week here. He'll have your work schedule. Your job will initially consist of watching live and unrecorded security footage. You'll take notes until you're familiar with the protocol and land." He pauses, looking me over. "The dress code is casual, within reason, of course."
"Do you like it there?"
He seems taken aback by my query and searches my face before responding. "The gig pays well. The employees are a colorful bunch and you'll never get bored." Ambrose opens a drawer, sets a stack of a stapled of papers and slides them across the desk in my direction. "Look over the pages before signing, please."
The two pages consist of a non-disclosure agreement. I carefully look over the contents before signing at the bottom. The next page is a suspicious injury waiver, but promises an on-site emergency center. I sign it after memorizing the document. Health care kicks in immediately, not in a standard ninety days most jobs require. It gives me a brief pause. Nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Ambrose stands up and crosses over to me. I join him, unsure of where it was going. He reaches for my hand and envelopes his warm one with mine. I can smell the cologne wafting off him. "Welcome to Tabula Rasa Ranch, Miss Luster."
Worst of all, the gloves fail to do their job and his thoughts flood in with the forced handshake. I don't know why Miriam is thinking about hiring her. Are you kidding me? She communed with spirits and helped the police department? What a load of bullshit. She has to be some kind of hack or fraud. I bet she falsified her so-called degree in forensic botany. What if she murdered her friend?
Ambrose's thoughts are a mix of Korean and English. I'd learned from my best friend growing up so we could have a language our peers couldn't break. It rarely comes in handy in Utah, but it ensured an unbreakable code.
"Cheer up fuckface. You might like me in due time." I twist my hand away from his. Ambrose's face warps in surprise. I pick up my purse before he can get the last word in and head for the door. "I'll see you tomorrow."
I exit the suite cursing under my breath. I retreat to my old but trusty black Dodge 1971 Charger. I toss my purse on the passenger seat, fire up the engine and a song by The Damned fills the speakers. I screamed in frustration over picking up on his thoughts. Fucking gloves didn't do their job. It's always hit or miss if the gloves are thick enough to keep inner thoughts from invading my space. I open my purse, take out the flask, and indulge in a five-second gulp of vodka. The burn almost pushes away Ambrose's toxic thoughts. Key word being almost.
Nearly an hour later, I stop in front of a two-story house on the outskirts of Kanab. I smile at the sight of the youthful fifty-year-old woman sitting on the steps. Her dark hair is pulled up in a loose bun at the nape of her long neck.
"How did it go?" Aunt Chloe asks, standing up with a warm smile.
"I got it!"
We retreat inside and Aunt Chloe brews coffee as I secretly take a long swig of vodka. I fill her in on the information Ambrose gave me but keep out hearing his thoughts. She catches me up on her day while making two turkey and tomato sandwiches with chips for an early dinner.
After dinner, I escape for the basement to pack. My blue pitbull, Poppy, barks when I open the door. Flora marks my legs and cries for attention once Poppy finishes greeting me. I spend half an hour paying attention to them before packing. It takes three hours to pack everything I want to take to the ranch. A few iced screwdrivers help sleep arrive. In no time I fall asleep surrounded by Poppy and Flora.
It's around noon by the time we finish loading the trailer attached it to the car. It is filled with boxes and crates of records with Aunt Chloe's help. We push the last heavy box into the trailer when something thuds on the tin-top several times. My aunt exits the trailer to explore. I shrug it off and resume stacking the smaller boxes around in a more stable order.
"Luna. You need to see this."
She warns me to watch my step and holds a hand out to ensure a stable landing. Several dead crows are splayed around the car with bent, broken wings. Small pools of blood leak from beaks and half of their feathers are scattered around them. The stench is reminiscent of roadkill roasting on the side of the road for at least a week. We back away from the trailer to see how far around the dead birds are. I count thirteen birds in a circle around the car and trailer.
"Luna, we need to go see Gracie before you hit the road. She had a dream about you the other night. I don't think your taking the job is a good idea."
"And live off your pension? Even the local deli rejected my request for an interview. I was lucky to land this job and it pays well."
"Sometimes it isn't worth it. You can find a legitimate job online and work from home. Try to find someone in town hiring. Have you gone through your savings?"
"I tried that. There's no such thing as pennies from heaven. Besides, I tried in Kanab and St George. It seems my reputation precedes me. No one will hire me because they think I'm too spooky. I have enough bread to live comfortably until I die, but only if I die next Friday."
Aunt Chloe tucks her loose hair behind her ears and sighs, knowing it's a fight she can't win. We let Poppy loose and carry Flora's crate back into the house.
My aunt drives us to Gracie's in her faded black truck in about ten minutes. 'Gracie's Apothecary' is lit up in cursive neon letters on top of the small store, and stands out in the dim afternoon. Our footsteps echo on the steel steps to the wooden door, where the name is embellished on a clear window. The familiar tinkle of the bell does little to set my mind at ease, but the strong scent of lavender incense helps. The apothecary is a slender ten by ten space. A beaded curtain leads to more merchandise in the back of the store. Bright yellow walls have shelves lined with labeled wire baskets. Pegged supplies hang below them.
A little woman in her late sixties with long, curly white hair greets us with a bright smile. She inquires about how we are doing. Aunt Chloe tells her about the dead crows, picking up a mesh shopping basket along the way.
"That is troubling. Are you sure you want to take the job? You could work here part-time." Gracie says, frowning. "The dream I had didn't indicate anything about the job being a bad choice. At least from the context of it."
"I need to do something. I've been going stir-crazy. You don't want to hire me and drive away people, trust me."
"Nettie?" Gracie calls back into the office behind her. "I need you to take over while I help Chloe and Luna."
A pretty and thin, dark-haired teenager pops her head out and stands behind the register with a nod. Gracie leads us to a section with a variety of sage bundles in baskets on one of the tables below the shelves. Aunt Chloe collects large bundles of white, blue and black sage. She sets the bundles in the shopping basket, asking if Gracie has any other suggestions. Gracie's wrinkled forehead pinches together in thought. She selects up a light brown, medium bundle of sage that smells a bit peppery.
"Desert sage is for cleansing and purifying, protection, and inner strength. It draws in pleasant thoughts, relieves headaches and anxiety," she explains, handing my aunt the bundle.
"Is there anything else for protection?"
Gracie picks up a greenish-brown bundle with a woodsy and fresh scent. "Cedar recalls ancient forests and invokes their protection and wisdom. Smudging this carries a medicine of protection. You should cleanse your new home upon moving in to invite unwanted spirits to leave. It can help protect you, the place, and objects from unwanted influences. It's the most aggressive cleansing smudge."
She invites us to sit and talk over a cup of tea. We pass through thick purple wooden beads concealing an archway to the back section of the store. We seat ourselves at a small round table with three chairs. Gracie starts up a pot of loose leaf tea on a hot plate on a counter nearby the small table in the corner of the room.
"I thought it was unusual that you showed up in my dreams last night," she says, sitting down and facing me. "You were sitting on the bench in the front, drawing on a sketchpad while I was working. You came to show me the exterior sketches of the shop for a new launch of the website. I didn't see anything ominous."
I frown.
"Nothing symbolic in what Luna was wearing?" Aunt Chloe asks, leaning forward.
"She wore a black band shirt and had on Gemma's necklace. Luna didn't have anything on out of the ordinary."
"Other than smudging, what can we do to protect her?"
"I can find some talismans, charmed stones and candles after we have our tea. There isn't much else I can do because I'm not sure what the threat is. What did the land feel like? I mean from walking on it years ago."
The kettle whistles and Gracie prepared a tray. I try my best to describe the heavy aura of the land, only to receive another frown. She carries the tray with three cups of tea on saucers, cream, and sugar to the table. She places our cups on saucers in front of each of us. I fiddle with the dark purple tassels on the edge of the table cloth as Aunt Chloe insists that my taking the job is a bad idea.
I fail to mention the lengthy non-disclosure document or injury waiver I signed earlier, but there's no reason to raise anymore red flags.
The broken and bloodied wings of the crows scratch at the back of my mind. My aunt touches my arm gently, bringing me back to earth. Gracie points out the tea is cool enough to drink. I stir the mostly clear, tinted green tea. It soothes my throat as the pair catch up on town gossip and Gracie fills my aunt in on her own life. I trace the golden rim of the painted floral teacup, peering at the vortex of swirling tea leaves falling to the bottom. Aunt Chloe nudges me after the conversation falls silent.
"I have a bad feeling about everything, but doing nothing is making me feel worse," I say. I take a few more sips of tea until I taste bitter tea grits.
Gracie's eyes narrow on my hand holding the teacup. "Are you right-handed?"
"Yeah, why?"
"In the dream, you were drawing with your left hand. Your right hand was hidden under the sketch pad."
I shrug. "I don't know how to draw with that hand."
I drain the cup and hand it to Gracie. She turns the cup upside down on the saucer I was using and studies the leaves. Reading my tea leaves is a redundant task because I know how to read my own, but it seems to thrill the old woman. Damp tea leaves surround a bird with spread wings.
"I don't know if there's anything I can do to help you," Gracie admits, unable to take her eyes off the grim omen on the saucer.
"What does it mean?" Aunt Chloe leans forward.
"It's a deadly omen, sometimes attached to death. It isn't too surprising with what happened this morning."
A chill runs over my body as I rise to my feet. I excuse myself, explain that I need a few more supplies, and leave the room with the shopping basket. I select a few bottles of essential oils, incense, more sage, and some stones. A bar of protective soap of black pepper, cedarwood, cypress, and lavender go into the basket as well. The duo join me and we walk to the register. Gracie applies the family discount and sees us out the door. She hugs me for a long moment and requests an email every so often.
We stop by the grocery store for a cooler and ice, along with enough dry and refrigerated food to last for at least two weeks. We make our way back to the house shortly after. Half an hour later, the sky has dark clouds over the sun as Aunt Chloe begs me to stay. She refuses to let me leave until I wear Grandma Gemma's pendant. It's a dark emerald stone in an oval pendant on a thick golden cord that rests below my chest. I've hated the eyesore since I was thirteen and am often forced to wear it for extra protection. I load the girls into kennels and leave despite my aunt's pleas.
It starts raining on the nearly hour long journey to the entrance of the ranch. Grey clouds cover the sky to the point where it looks more like night. I follow the directions to the eastern fenced border. The shadow in the booth at the entrance opens the chain-link gate after I wait for a minute for them to clear me. I follow the muddy road for a quarter of a mile until the main homestead appears on the horizon. Ponderosa pines line the sides of the road, separated by small a spaces of tall grass and sage.
A tall athletic man waits under an umbrella by the front steps of the main house. He has on a shirt advertising 'The Pie' in Salt Lake City, an unzipped basic gray hoodie, and worn black jeans. His age is indeterminate, somewhere between twenty-five to thirty-five. I turn off the car lights and engine, unrolling the window. His stride is quick and purposeful. He leans down, flashing a bright set of teeth. "You must be Luna Luster."
"Indeed."
"Ambrose had to leave the office for an emergency," he explains. He pauses to study my face and bursts out in a chuckle. "You didn't get off on the right foot with him, did you?"
I grimace. "Is it that obvious? He wasn't very welcoming, to say the least."
"Give it time. He'll loosen up once he sees your value. Sorry, I've been rude. I'm Orion Rist."
I shake his extended hand. The gloves keep his unwelcome thoughts out.
"So, your access badge is on the way and we'll take a photo once it arrives. My bunker is right next to yours. Can I hitch a ride?"
"If you don't mind holding a cat crate." I motion to the passenger seat.
He nods, then circles the car to open the door, and lifts Flora's crate. He sets a bag down on the middle console, sits down with the crate, and buckles in. I start the engine and music floods the car. I reached to turn it off, but he stops me. His bright eyes met mine.
"I don't mind The Stooges." Then he directs me down a small muddy road west of the main house and urges me to stop after half a mile. "Did Ambrose tell you anything about the living quarters?"
"Nothing aside from underground."
"Subterranean bunkers. We're safer underground. You're in bunker thirteen and I'm to the right in fourteen. Come on."
Orion picks up the tote bag and exits. He sets the crate back on the seat and runs to my side with the umbrella out. I join him and walk through the mud until we reach a concrete path. Heavy, unnatural energy I'd encountered upon driving through the protected land grows stronger. The path leads down to a steel door six feet below ground, built out of place in, covered by bushes and trees. Orion holds the umbrella over us as he punches a code into the security pad beside the door. Leftover energy vibrates and bounces off the exterior. It's stronger than the energy from crime scenes I'd been on in the past. The open door exposes stone steps, illuminated by bright bare bulbs in a concrete ceiling. Orion folds the umbrella, hangs it up on a hook on the wall by the door, and encourages me to follow him. We descend the stairs twenty feet and arrive at another steel door with a security pad.
"I'll write the code down for you," he said, punching a code in again.
Fluttering and frantic flaps accompany the blackbirds flying out of my new home. Wonderful. The flurry of birds fly by too fast to count. And odds are, there are thirteen.
We wait indoors for around thirty minutes for the rain to cease. The next half hour is spent hauling in boxes and crates through thick reddish-brown mud. I follow Orion back to the car for his tote bag as the sun sinks into the earth in thick crimson trails and morphs into a deep purple. The security pad at the first door glitches briefly and rejects the correct code a handful of times. I wrinkle my nose as putrid waves swept through the air. It's a mixture of strange sweetness combined with spoiled meat and rotten eggs. Orion frantically tries other codes, only to be met with obnoxious beeps in error.
"I think you'll learn to love the solitude." Orion's voice sounds from behind us.
My hair stands on end and skin prickles. The voice sounds like a slightly off version, echoing something he'd said earlier. My heart thuds heavily as I feel the air constricting around me, making it harder to breathe. I feel so dizzy, the entire situation feels like an out of body experience. Orion grabs my shoulder before I turn around, holds on and resumes entering codes. My mind is racing too fast to include his internal thoughts. The security pad beeps again, but in a higher octave.
The cool air from the stairs whooshes over us. We're safe behind the closed door in seconds. Orion's burst of obscenities are cut short by heavy thuds on the metal door. Our heels are on fire as he tugs me down the stairs like a rag doll. The code on the second door works on first attempt. He pulls me in and I nearly crash into the mudroom wall.
"Ambrose?" Orion pales as he calls into the walkie talkie he'd drawn from his waistband.
I use the opportunity to catch my breath. The intruder continues to slam into the door upstairs. Orion punches a code into the interior keypad by the door. A steel section slides in front of the door with a loud chirp.
The door is armed, the system announces in a digital woman's voice.
Orion continues to curse between calling into the walkie talkie and failure to make his satellite phone work. I shallowly exhale, knock my boots off and open the mudroom door. Poppy jumps up, sending me against the wall as she greets me. She stops once I scold her breathlessly. I struggle to force Orion's frantic thoughts away from my mind and collapse on the white leather couch in the living room. Poppy whines next to me, staring at the open mudroom door. Orion rounds the corner to sit down beside me.
My voice shakes with every syllable. "So, what the hell was that?"
"Only a taste of what lives on the land." Orion grimaces. "I'm not sure you'd believe me, but it's better that you didn't see it."
"Try me."
"Like I said, it's safer underground. You know how it repeated something I said before? It had to be listening for the last half hour. They don't usually come out until sundown. Do you know much about this land?"
"Did you live around near the park about thirteen years ago?" I answer, trying to steady my voice, but everything shakes like a leaf. "My name was smeared across the papers when my best friend disappeared on Hop Valley Trail."
"That's why you look familiar..." Orion stares. "I remember a bit about it."
"The smell was similar to what was out there."
I clasp my shaking hands together, leaning toward the ground. I attempt focus on slowing my breathing to draw my attention from the heavy pressure on my chest and sharp collarbone pinch. My skin feels heated and my arms tingle. Orion rubs my back slowly, but I pull away the moment his thoughts flood in. He removes his hand.
She's seen one before. Is that why her friend disappeared?
"Are you alright?" Orion's voice is filled with genuine concern. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
I shake my head. "I've been drinking and can't take any medication."
Orion lowers his voice to a more soothing tone as he instructs me to breathe in and out slowly, step by step. He stops after a few minutes and I raise my head. My cheeks still feel numb and I notice a bright red rash on my exposed arms.
"My sister has severe anxiety. If you can't take a pill, can I make you a drink?"
I nod and point to an unlabeled box on the bar counter adjacent to the cramped mini-kitchen. There's the bare essentials on counters and a fridge. Orion opens the box labeled 'juice', locates glasses in another box and lines the bottom of the glasses with ice from the cooler. He returns with a bottle of whiskey, two glasses already filled and hands me one. He sets the bottle on the glass coffee table in front of us. I guzzle the whiskey down so quickly he looks astounded. My insides feel warm and fuzzy.
"Gonna be able to hang in there?"
I nod.
"It looks like we're down here for the night. I tried to get access to the hallway connecting the bunkers, but it glitches as well."
I rub my chest in an effort to alleviate the pressure, but it doesn't help much. Heavy thuds from above can still be heard.
"It'll stop eventually," he reassures. Orion eyes the labeled boxes by an impressive television center with the works near the left wall. "Can I set up your record player and put something in to dull the sound? Maybe you can try the grounding exercise."
I nod and agree to the exercise after refilling the glass and lean back on the couch. I notice the walls are a cheerful blue mint. Two black and white floral photographs are on each side of the tall entertainment center. The center has a giant flatscreen television in the middle with a rectangular drawer below and equal sized bed empty self above. Three empty cubes line each side. There's a tall pothos plant in the corner to the left. A golden weaved basket contains a folded white throw is front of two square, white and gold pillows.
It takes him about ten minutes to set up the record player and speakers in the entertainment center. He thumbs through a crate filled with vinyl, selects one and cues up a familiar Pink Floyd album. It dulls the thudding to an almost ignorable level. By then my heart and breathing is back at a normal rate. Orion sits down beside me, refills his glass and leans forward on his knees. Flora rubs against my legs, staring up with big blue eyes and meows loudly in concern. I rub behind her huge ears and tell her I'm alright. She crawls into my lap, purring. I continue petting her because it grounds me.
"We're lucky we made it in. Hopefully the wire is still transmitting and someone can hear us now," he says.
"The one Ambrose said we have to wear at all times?"
"Yes. There's no point in setting yours up tonight since I'll be with you for the night."
Past the living room, there's a card table resting against the wall with four plush, mismatched flea market chairs around it. A cramped mini-kitchen with the bare essentials is directly across from it. It leads to a tight hallway with an open door to a small bathroom to the left, a closet to the right and a door straight ahead.
Orion seems to know my train of thought when I frown. "There's a pull-out bed inside the couch."
"Why does the system secure both doors? There's really no access to the hallway? Isn't that a fire hazard?"
"Yes, I've pointed it out to Miriam in the past. She promised fix it, but it hasn't been at the top of her priority list."
"Miriam?"
"The woman behind the curtain. Ambrose received a call part way through your interview, didn't he?" I nod. "Miriam listened in on my interview as well. I've never met him and I've been here for a year. You'll see her on the video call during the meeting on Monday."
An uncomfortable silence hung in the air, but his distorted thoughts still go directly through. Imagining a brick wall sometimes muffles others' inner thoughts, but requires a lot of energy. Moving boxes and the panic from earlier has left me drained. Images don't accompany Orion's flurry of inner workings, sparing me from the usual dull headache. It's still like a punch in the gut after blissful internal silence, aside from my own thoughts.
It shouldn't have been out in the daylight. Miriam hired her for another gift. There's always a motive. Almost everyone has a gift. She's going to quit and leave her boxes packed. Can't blame her. This place is a damn trap.
I cross to the kitchen and rifle through the cooler. The homemade soup is in a container near the top. I offer Orion a bowl of butternut squash soup and he accepts. He resumes trying to reach someone over the walkie talkie as I busy heat the soup on the stove in a sauce pan. His thoughts aren't heard with the distance, but leaves me wondering about what I heard earlier. I set two bowls of soup on the coffee table, change out the ice in our glasses, then sit down next to Orion.
We eat our soup and listen to the music. Once I finish the bowl, I refill the glasses with whiskey. There's only a moment of debate before I dare to out myself. "What's your gift?"
Orion sets his bowl down. "Huh?"
"If everyone has a gift, then what's yours?"
"How-" Orion's brows furrow. "Did Ambrose tell you?"
I laugh hard.
"You can hear me?"
"There's ways to dull it. Mainly why I didn't want to be touched. It's not something I want to happen, but I can't help what slips by." I hold a gloved hand up. "Ambrose thinks I'm a germaphobe. I was hired for my degree in forensic botany. So spill, what's your dirty secret?" The whiskey bottle on the coffee table scrapes against the glass as it slides from the middle to the left side. I stare at it for a long time, then gaze up at him. "Really?"
"Runs in the family, but I'm mostly here for security monitoring," he says with a shrug.
"How does the landowner know who has gifts?"
"Rumors, sometimes therapists can be paid off and institution records. Miriam has a computer genius on staff for all sorts of things. You were likely hired because of your mysterious consultant title for the police department. I think she bribed my therapist because the doctor ghosted me shortly after I was approached for a job interview." Orion steeples his fingers. "What is forensic botany exactly? Identification of plant life?"
"In a nutshell. More like the study of plant material from crime scenes. Sometimes I can understand where and when a crime was committed. What do you do here?"
"How often is there an encounter?" I motion at the door.
"Whenever someone new starts, it makes an appearance within days, but not usually this soon. Maybe it has to do with your history on the land. Why would you return?"
"My friend's body was never found. Then there's the money." I roll my eyes. "Know how to play gin rummy? I can some gin and tonic. We can play until we get tired."
"My grandma taught me. I can turn the record over while you make the drinks."
Orion and I keep ourselves busy with a mixture of movies, records, gin rummy, cooking, drinks and getting to know one another. The security system chimes around noon on Monday and jolts us out of the two day lockdown. System is disarmed. Opening hallway door.
I apologize to Flora as I pick her sleeping form off my lap. Her whining meows are dulled once I close her in the bedroom. Ambrose is standing in the open door frame when I reach the living room. His eyebrows pinch together as Orion quietly fills him in on the events. I wait for the conversation to end before offering them a cup of coffee. He enters the bunker and the door closes behind him. Ambrose hangs a large tote on a golden antique coat rake next to the door. He double takes at the sight unexpected sight of me in a soft yellow pajamas and large pastel purple octopus slippers.
"Hell of a welcome to the ranch, huh?" Ambrose continues without an answer. "Under the circumstances, you'll work side by side with Orion starting tomorrow morning. You'll both be paid for today for the hassle, but Orion will take you on a tour of the ranch."
Orion and Ambrose sit across each at the table. I bring three mugs and the freshly brewed pot over. They pour coffee as I return with a vanilla flavored creamer.
"Miriam has rescheduled the biweekly meeting for tomorrow. We'll be doing team building exercises as well," Ambrose continues, pouring a cup for himself.
He informs me that he has electronics for Orion to set up. The cinnamon toast flavored coffee is strong and kickstarts my system as Ambrose stresses the importance of keeping the batteries charged on all devices. Orion listens, sipping his coffee and gives me amused expressions as the bag of wind goes over the list of rules I was emailed days ago. I nod every so often, until Ambrose drains his cup and excuses himself.
Orion sets up the charging center for the walkie talkie, satellite phone and wire. I change into something more suitable for four-wheeling across the land. Orion wires me in, then I take an uneasy step to explore the land I started to fear over a decade ago.
submitted by TheLizardQueen84 to u/TheLizardQueen84 [link] [comments]


2020.09.16 04:27 TheLizardQueen84 [FICTION] Tabula Rasa Ranch: Spooky Luna (Part 1)

"All things must change to something new, to something strange."
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I used to feel like I needed to share my side of the story to keep the facts straight. Now I don't care what others choose to believe. The need to warn others offered a job at Tabula Rasa Ranch outweighs the non-disclosure agreement I signed. The company refuses to disclose the true inner workings. The owner remains the same. She hires on new employees due to the quick turn over from frequent quitting or untimely demises. As a cover, she has someone else in the spotlight as the new owner of the ranch.

Tabula Rasa Ranch has remained out of the newspapers and headlines because of major payoffs over the decades. It isn't in the headlines like the infamous ranch in Northern Utah. The newspaper in Kanab left out the exact location my best friend disappeared in and only alluded to it being on a hike in Zion National Park. It was on the privately owned land the park had permission to cross to get to the infamous Arches.

My hope is to caution others from crossing through the private land. It isn't worth traipsing through to see the stunning Arches. Camping nearby the private land isn't a good idea either. I know the idea of exploring a national park during the coronavirus is tempting, but following Hop Valley Trail through the land the park can't obtain is advised against. Over the years newspapers have been making a big deal out of buying out the private land, but the fight for it is an illusion. More people are aware of the operations of the ranch, but unwilling to divulge the details out of fear of losing out on money for the upkeep of the park.

Springdale is another small, sleepy town in Southern Utah, nothing to write home about. It rests on the eastern side of Zion National Park. I park in the lot of a small shopping center littered with nail and hair salons, inexpensive takeout, clothing stores and tourist traps.
I exit the car and pluck a white flower from a decorative pot beside the sidewalk. I slip it through a pin holding the right side of my back for luck. The set of stairs leading up to the second floor turns halfway up. I take the opportunity to withdraw a pale blue flask from my purse and indulge in a long swig to calm my nerves. Next, a cinnamon breath mint and sprayed of perfume over my clothes for extra measure. I shake my gloved hands in an attempt to relax, inhale, and climb the stairs.
The suite encompasses the entire small second floor. The windows are covered with long curtains and the glass door is shielded with white blinds. Only the suite number is etched on the front door. I press the door bell on the divider between the door and windows.
The door opens a crack a few beats later. I smooth my hands over my black and white plaid dress pants. A man clears his throat from the space separating us. A long silence evades before the door swings open to reveal a tall man standing aside in a wide foyer. He wears a white button-up shirt underneath an expensive gray vest and ironed matching slacks. His dark hair is tied back in a low ponytail. He holds the door open. I enter the air-conditioned suite, despite every cell in my body encouraging me to flee.
"Luna Luster?" the man asks, closing the door behind us. His smile is sardonic as he extends his hand. "Was your mother a hippie misplaced in time or did you change your name yourself?"
I tilt my head and try my best not to let my face sour. I stare at his waiting hand instead because his rude remark makes it easier to evade contact. His cologne is earthy and expensive, full of hidden motives with notes of sandalwood. "So original."
"I take it you get the question a lot. I'm the superintendent of Tabula Rasa Ranch, Ambrose Reed." He shifts uncomfortably in the stark silence and lowers his hand. "Please follow me to the office. Would you like a cup of coffee?"
"Uh, sure."
I trail behind him through a narrow hallway and pass an open living room. There's two closed doors to the right, three on the left-hand side and the second door on the left is open. The hall ahead of us displays a spacious kitchen. We turn into the open room on the left. The office is white and void of personal photographs or sentimental items. Five bright abstract framed paintings grace the walls. Ambrose stops at a light stained wooden table with a fancy coffee machine and condiments next to the door. I stand on the pristine white carpet, knotting my fingers together.
"Have a seat. How do you like your coffee?"
"Black. Two sugars."
A side of the cherry wood desk rests against the wall with a plush chair underneath it. An open laptop, clunky landline phone, and two coasters are on the desk. I sit on a white plastic chair across the desk. I shift in the chair in an attempt to distract myself before the interrogation begins. Ambrose places a black mug on each coaster, then seats himself in the swivel chair.
"Thank you," I say, but don't pick up the mug.
"Why are you wearing gloves?"
"Off the record? I'm a germaphobe."
He nods, seeming to accept the answer and takes stack of papers from a drawer. He starts with typical interview questions that blur together in a flurry. What was your first job? What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses? Can you tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult person?
So forth and so on. All the questions I've heard since I started working at sixteen years old whirl by until there's red flag.
"Tell me a little about yourself."
I stare at him. "I'd rather not, but I kinda need this job."
He doesn't respond for a minute and stares at the laptop screen with a deep frown. "What can you tell me about the gaps in your employment history?"
"Pardon me?"
"You didn't include your paid work on the side with the Salt Lake City Police Department. You cited government work as a forensic botanist before some unlisted department work." Ambrose pauses to gauge my expression. His wide-set eyes dart to focus on the laptop screen. "We were very thorough before offering a follow-up interview."
"If you consider a faceless phone call an interview."
"A mere formality. I was against requesting a callback, but the owner wanted an interview for some reason. She greased a few wheels to find out why you didn't include your work in the achievements of your resume."
"It didn't seem relevant," I say, smoothing my hands over my pants to keep from wringing them together. Mentioning being able to see lingering spirits would end the job interview. Most of Kanab already think I live in cloudcuckooland. I know it's because of my unwanted gifts. Revealing the information would make a fresh start redundant.
The locals are kind enough to gossip when I'm out of earshot. It doesn't stop others who spin tales composed of a few gems. Newcomers think of me as the child abandoned by her mother, raised by her grandmother and aunt. Spooky Little Luna ostracized herself from others by revealing details and thoughts. No one spread the news about my perfect grades or talent with art but spoke of my brittle and barbed tongue. It didn't deter my friend, Byeol, from spending every free moment with me from the fourth grade on up. Only her death parted us.
Several dead-end jobs in the city forced me to move back to Kanab. Still, it doesn't look good for Spooky Luna to live with her aunt without a job. It makes people chatter and wonder after each local job didn't work out and my paper trail of employment doesn't help.
"A thorough background check revealed a few things. You became an independent consultant without any prior experience with investigating. The owner wanted to know the duties you performed during your brief stint at the department. It would make more sense if you were working as a forensic botanist with your degree."
"I can't provide the information you want. I signed a non-disclosure document."
No need for him to know I'd lowered myself and passed myself off as a psychic to the Salt Lake City Police Department. There were plenty of photos in the newspaper with me in the background of police officers. I was paid as a consultant on the books. The department only used my services when backed into a corner. Sometimes I gleaned details off of spirits or things I'd noticed with my extra keen eye. It was easier to pass my gifts off in the guise of a psychic than telling the truth. No one wants to hire a woman who claimed to see fragments of the dead or photogenic abilities. If I divulged my gifts, Ambrose might write me off as crazy and end the interview.
"Which is something my employer values."
At a loss for a response, I lean forward to pick up the steaming mug from the desk. The familiar beverage soothes my nerves with each careful sip. Ambrose shuffles through the papers. He studies a paper before resuming.
"What do you know about the location?"
"I've been going to Zion for most of my life. I'm from Kanab, after all. I've only gone through the land briefly on a hike and to reach a nearby campground."
"There's been some whispers."
A chill runs down my back. The whispers could only be about one thing. The news didn't point out where the disappearance occurred and didn't detail about the encounter. It did however elude to the police suspecting my involvement in my best friend's disappearance and my following stint in a mental institution. I shift uncomfortably in my seat, divert my eyes away from his and sip on coffee. It's difficult to resist the urge to spy on his thoughts.
Ambrose leans back in his chair and watches the screen for a long time. "What do the new rumors said?"
I hesitate. "I heard about the new owner taking more of an interest in the ranch a few years ago. The rumors about the park trying to purchase the land isn't anything new."
His face remains blank and unreadable as he assesses my response.
I set the coffee back down, pick up my purse, and stand up. "It's been swell. Look, I'm sorry I wasted your-"
"How do you feel about being wired on a daily basis for liability purposes?" Ambrose interrupts.
"Are you recording now?"
"The founder is on a one-way voice chat to give her input. The recording is for future records, should you pass the final interview."
"Wait, if I take the job, I'm going to under surveillance at all times?" I ask, sitting back down.
"For liability purposes."
"The salary Miss Giles offered on the phone would make more than recording worth it." I pause before continuing. "Listen, am I under surveillance for my history with the police department? Or for forensic botany? Or-"
The landline phone rings once and Ambrose picks it up.
"Are you sure?" Ambrose pauses for a long time. "Yes, ma'am. I understand. Thank you." He hung the phone up with a tight smile. "It seems you're hired, Miss Luster."
I can't conceal my smile. "When do I start?"
"Monday. I'll email you the rules and directions to the ranch. You need to move in by tomorrow afternoon so you have the weekend to get settled. Stop by the main homestead with your belongings. The furnished living quarters are due to depth. I'll have your bunker assignment along with some clearance badges you'll need for your first day. You'll be shadowing Orion Rist during your first week here. He'll have your work schedule. Your job will initially consist of watching live and unrecorded security footage. You'll take notes until you're familiar with the protocol and land." He pauses, looking me over. "The dress code is casual, within reason, of course."
"Do you like it there?"
He seems taken aback by my query and searches my face before responding. "The gig pays well. The employees are a colorful bunch and you'll never get bored." Ambrose opens a drawer, sets a stack of a stapled of papers and slides them across the desk in my direction. "Look over the pages before signing, please."
The two pages consist of a non-disclosure agreement. I carefully look over the contents before signing at the bottom. The next page is a suspicious injury waiver, but promises an on-site emergency center. I sign it after memorizing the document. Health care kicks in immediately, not in a standard ninety days most jobs require. It gives me a brief pause. Nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Ambrose stands up and crosses over to me. I join him, unsure of where it was going. He reaches for my hand and envelopes his warm one with mine. I can smell the cologne wafting off him. "Welcome to Tabula Rasa Ranch, Miss Luster."
Worst of all, the gloves fail to do their job and his thoughts flood in with the forced handshake. I don't know why Miriam is thinking about hiring her. Are you kidding me? She communed with spirits and helped the police department? What a load of bullshit. She has to be some kind of hack or fraud. I bet she falsified her so-called degree in forensic botany. What if she murdered her friend?
Ambrose's thoughts are a mix of Korean and English. I'd learned from my best friend growing up so we could have a language our peers couldn't break. It rarely comes in handy in Utah, but it ensured an unbreakable code.
"Cheer up fuckface. You might like me in due time." I twist my hand away from his. Ambrose's face warps in surprise. I pick up my purse before he can get the last word in and head for the door. "I'll see you tomorrow."
I exit the suite cursing under my breath. I retreat to my old but trusty black Dodge 1971 Charger. I toss my purse on the passenger seat, fire up the engine and a song by The Damned fills the speakers. I screamed in frustration over picking up on his thoughts. Fucking gloves didn't do their job. It's always hit or miss if the gloves are thick enough to keep inner thoughts from invading my space. I open my purse, take out the flask, and indulge in a five-second gulp of vodka. The burn almost pushes away Ambrose's toxic thoughts. Key word being almost.
Nearly an hour later, I stop in front of a two-story house on the outskirts of Kanab. I smile at the sight of the youthful fifty-year-old woman sitting on the steps. Her dark hair is pulled up in a loose bun at the nape of her long neck.
"How did it go?" Aunt Chloe asks, standing up with a warm smile.
"I got it!"
We retreat inside and Aunt Chloe brews coffee as I secretly take a long swig of vodka. I fill her in on the information Ambrose gave me but keep out hearing his thoughts. She catches me up on her day while making two turkey and tomato sandwiches with chips for an early dinner.
After dinner, I escape for the basement to pack. My blue pitbull, Poppy, barks when I open the door. Flora marks my legs and cries for attention once Poppy finishes greeting me. I spend half an hour paying attention to them before packing. It takes three hours to pack everything I want to take to the ranch. A few iced screwdrivers help sleep arrive. In no time I fall asleep surrounded by Poppy and Flora.
It's around noon by the time we finish loading the trailer attached it to the car. It is filled with boxes and crates of records with Aunt Chloe's help. We push the last heavy box into the trailer when something thuds on the tin-top several times. My aunt exits the trailer to explore. I shrug it off and resume stacking the smaller boxes around in a more stable order.
"Luna. You need to see this."
She warns me to watch my step and holds a hand out to ensure a stable landing. Several dead crows are splayed around the car with bent, broken wings. Small pools of blood leak from beaks and half of their feathers are scattered around them. The stench is reminiscent of roadkill roasting on the side of the road for at least a week. We back away from the trailer to see how far around the dead birds are. I count thirteen birds in a circle around the car and trailer.
"Luna, we need to go see Gracie before you hit the road. She had a dream about you the other night. I don't think your taking the job is a good idea."
"And live off your pension? Even the local deli rejected my request for an interview. I was lucky to land this job and it pays well."
"Sometimes it isn't worth it. You can find a legitimate job online and work from home. Try to find someone in town hiring. Have you gone through your savings?"
"I tried that. There's no such thing as pennies from heaven. Besides, I tried in Kanab and St George. It seems my reputation precedes me. No one will hire me because they think I'm too spooky. I have enough bread to live comfortably until I die, but only if I die next Friday."
Aunt Chloe tucks her loose hair behind her ears and sighs, knowing it's a fight she can't win. We let Poppy loose and carry Flora's crate back into the house.
My aunt drives us to Gracie's in her faded black truck in about ten minutes. 'Gracie's Apothecary' is lit up in cursive neon letters on top of the small store, and stands out in the dim afternoon. Our footsteps echo on the steel steps to the wooden door, where the name is embellished on a clear window. The familiar tinkle of the bell does little to set my mind at ease, but the strong scent of lavender incense helps. The apothecary is a slender ten by ten space. A beaded curtain leads to more merchandise in the back of the store. Bright yellow walls have shelves lined with labeled wire baskets. Pegged supplies hang below them.
A little woman in her late sixties with long, curly white hair greets us with a bright smile. She inquires about how we are doing. Aunt Chloe tells her about the dead crows, picking up a mesh shopping basket along the way.
"That is troubling. Are you sure you want to take the job? You could work here part-time." Gracie says, frowning. "The dream I had didn't indicate anything about the job being a bad choice. At least from the context of it."
"I need to do something. I've been going stir-crazy. You don't want to hire me and drive away people, trust me."
"Nettie?" Gracie calls back into the office behind her. "I need you to take over while I help Chloe and Luna."
A pretty and thin, dark-haired teenager pops her head out and stands behind the register with a nod. Gracie leads us to a section with a variety of sage bundles in baskets on one of the tables below the shelves. Aunt Chloe collects large bundles of white, blue and black sage. She sets the bundles in the shopping basket, asking if Gracie has any other suggestions. Gracie's wrinkled forehead pinches together in thought. She selects up a light brown, medium bundle of sage that smells a bit peppery.
"Desert sage is for cleansing and purifying, protection, and inner strength. It draws in pleasant thoughts, relieves headaches and anxiety," she explains, handing my aunt the bundle.
"Is there anything else for protection?"
Gracie picks up a greenish-brown bundle with a woodsy and fresh scent. "Cedar recalls ancient forests and invokes their protection and wisdom. Smudging this carries a medicine of protection. You should cleanse your new home upon moving in to invite unwanted spirits to leave. It can help protect you, the place, and objects from unwanted influences. It's the most aggressive cleansing smudge."
She invites us to sit and talk over a cup of tea. We pass through thick purple wooden beads concealing an archway to the back section of the store. We seat ourselves at a small round table with three chairs. Gracie starts up a pot of loose leaf tea on a hot plate on a counter nearby the small table in the corner of the room.
"I thought it was unusual that you showed up in my dreams last night," she says, sitting down and facing me. "You were sitting on the bench in the front, drawing on a sketchpad while I was working. You came to show me the exterior sketches of the shop for a new launch of the website. I didn't see anything ominous."
I frown.
"Nothing symbolic in what Luna was wearing?" Aunt Chloe asks, leaning forward.
"She wore a black band shirt and had on Gemma's necklace. Luna didn't have anything on out of the ordinary."
"Other than smudging, what can we do to protect her?"
"I can find some talismans, charmed stones and candles after we have our tea. There isn't much else I can do because I'm not sure what the threat is. What did the land feel like? I mean from walking on it years ago."
The kettle whistles and Gracie prepared a tray. I try my best to describe the heavy aura of the land, only to receive another frown. She carries the tray with three cups of tea on saucers, cream, and sugar to the table. She places our cups on saucers in front of each of us. I fiddle with the dark purple tassels on the edge of the table cloth as Aunt Chloe insists that my taking the job is a bad idea.
I fail to mention the lengthy non-disclosure document or injury waiver I signed earlier, but there's no reason to raise anymore red flags.
The broken and bloodied wings of the crows scratch at the back of my mind. My aunt touches my arm gently, bringing me back to earth. Gracie points out the tea is cool enough to drink. I stir the mostly clear, tinted green tea. It soothes my throat as the pair catch up on town gossip and Gracie fills my aunt in on her own life. I trace the golden rim of the painted floral teacup, peering at the vortex of swirling tea leaves falling to the bottom. Aunt Chloe nudges me after the conversation falls silent.
"I have a bad feeling about everything, but doing nothing is making me feel worse," I say. I take a few more sips of tea until I taste bitter tea grits.
Gracie's eyes narrow on my hand holding the teacup. "Are you right-handed?"
"Yeah, why?"
"In the dream, you were drawing with your left hand. Your right hand was hidden under the sketch pad."
I shrug. "I don't know how to draw with that hand."
I drain the cup and hand it to Gracie. She turns the cup upside down on the saucer I was using and studies the leaves. Reading my tea leaves is a redundant task because I know how to read my own, but it seems to thrill the old woman. Damp tea leaves surround a bird with spread wings.
"I don't know if there's anything I can do to help you," Gracie admits, unable to take her eyes off the grim omen on the saucer.
"What does it mean?" Aunt Chloe leans forward.
"It's a deadly omen, sometimes attached to death. It isn't too surprising with what happened this morning."
A chill runs over my body as I rise to my feet. I excuse myself, explain that I need a few more supplies, and leave the room with the shopping basket. I select a few bottles of essential oils, incense, more sage, and some stones. A bar of protective soap of black pepper, cedarwood, cypress, and lavender go into the basket as well. The duo join me and we walk to the register. Gracie applies the family discount and sees us out the door. She hugs me for a long moment and requests an email every so often.
We stop by the grocery store for a cooler and ice, along with enough dry and refrigerated food to last for at least two weeks. We make our way back to the house shortly after. Half an hour later, the sky has dark clouds over the sun as Aunt Chloe begs me to stay. She refuses to let me leave until I wear Grandma Gemma's pendant. It's a dark emerald stone in an oval pendant on a thick golden cord that rests below my chest. I've hated the eyesore since I was thirteen and am often forced to wear it for extra protection. I load the girls into kennels and leave despite my aunt's pleas.
It starts raining on the nearly hour long journey to the entrance of the ranch. Grey clouds cover the sky to the point where it looks more like night. I follow the directions to the eastern fenced border. The shadow in the booth at the entrance opens the chain-link gate after I wait for a minute for them to clear me. I follow the muddy road for a quarter of a mile until the main homestead appears on the horizon. Ponderosa pines line the sides of the road, separated by small a spaces of tall grass and sage.
A tall athletic man waits under an umbrella by the front steps of the main house. He has on a shirt advertising 'The Pie' in Salt Lake City, an unzipped basic gray hoodie, and worn black jeans. His age is indeterminate, somewhere between twenty-five to thirty-five. I turn off the car lights and engine, unrolling the window. His stride is quick and purposeful. He leans down, flashing a bright set of teeth. "You must be Luna Luster."
"Indeed."
"Ambrose had to leave the office for an emergency," he explains. He pauses to study my face and bursts out in a chuckle. "You didn't get off on the right foot with him, did you?"
I grimace. "Is it that obvious? He wasn't very welcoming, to say the least."
"Give it time. He'll loosen up once he sees your value. Sorry, I've been rude. I'm Orion Rist."
I shake his extended hand. The gloves keep his unwelcome thoughts out.
"So, your access badge is on the way and we'll take a photo once it arrives. My bunker is right next to yours. Can I hitch a ride?"
"If you don't mind holding a cat crate." I motion to the passenger seat.
He nods, then circles the car to open the door, and lifts Flora's crate. He sets a bag down on the middle console, sits down with the crate, and buckles in. I start the engine and music floods the car. I reached to turn it off, but he stops me. His bright eyes met mine.
"I don't mind The Stooges." Then he directs me down a small muddy road west of the main house and urges me to stop after half a mile. "Did Ambrose tell you anything about the living quarters?"
"Nothing aside from underground."
"Subterranean bunkers. We're safer underground. You're in bunker thirteen and I'm to the right in fourteen. Come on."
Orion picks up the tote bag and exits. He sets the crate back on the seat and runs to my side with the umbrella out. I join him and walk through the mud until we reach a concrete path. Heavy, unnatural energy I'd encountered upon driving through the protected land grows stronger. The path leads down to a steel door six feet below ground, built out of place in, covered by bushes and trees. Orion holds the umbrella over us as he punches a code into the security pad beside the door. Leftover energy vibrates and bounces off the exterior. It's stronger than the energy from crime scenes I'd been on in the past. The open door exposes stone steps, illuminated by bright bare bulbs in a concrete ceiling. Orion folds the umbrella, hangs it up on a hook on the wall by the door, and encourages me to follow him. We descend the stairs twenty feet and arrive at another steel door with a security pad.
"I'll write the code down for you," he said, punching a code in again.
Fluttering and frantic flaps accompany the blackbirds flying out of my new home. Wonderful. The flurry of birds fly by too fast to count. And odds are, there are thirteen.
We wait indoors for around thirty minutes for the rain to cease. The next half hour is spent hauling in boxes and crates through thick reddish-brown mud. I follow Orion back to the car for his tote bag as the sun sinks into the earth in thick crimson trails and morphs into a deep purple. The security pad at the first door glitches briefly and rejects the correct code a handful of times. I wrinkle my nose as putrid waves swept through the air. It's a mixture of strange sweetness combined with spoiled meat and rotten eggs. Orion frantically tries other codes, only to be met with obnoxious beeps in error.
"I think you'll learn to love the solitude." Orion's voice sounds from behind us.
My hair stands on end and skin prickles. The voice sounds like a slightly off version, echoing something he'd said earlier. My heart thuds heavily as I feel the air constricting around me, making it harder to breathe. I feel so dizzy, the entire situation feels like an out of body experience. Orion grabs my shoulder before I turn around, holds on and resumes entering codes. My mind is racing too fast to include his internal thoughts. The security pad beeps again, but in a higher octave.
The cool air from the stairs whooshes over us. We're safe behind the closed door in seconds. Orion's burst of obscenities are cut short by heavy thuds on the metal door. Our heels are on fire as he tugs me down the stairs like a rag doll. The code on the second door works on first attempt. He pulls me in and I nearly crash into the mudroom wall.
"Ambrose?" Orion pales as he calls into the walkie talkie he'd drawn from his waistband.
I use the opportunity to catch my breath. The intruder continues to slam into the door upstairs. Orion punches a code into the interior keypad by the door. A steel section slides in front of the door with a loud chirp.
The door is armed, the system announces in a digital woman's voice.
Orion continues to curse between calling into the walkie talkie and failure to make his satellite phone work. I shallowly exhale, knock my boots off and open the mudroom door. Poppy jumps up, sending me against the wall as she greets me. She stops once I scold her breathlessly. I struggle to force Orion's frantic thoughts away from my mind and collapse on the white leather couch in the living room. Poppy whines next to me, staring at the open mudroom door. Orion rounds the corner to sit down beside me.
My voice shakes with every syllable. "So, what the hell was that?"
"Only a taste of what lives on the land." Orion grimaces. "I'm not sure you'd believe me, but it's better that you didn't see it."
"Try me."
"Like I said, it's safer underground. You know how it repeated something I said before? It had to be listening for the last half hour. They don't usually come out until sundown. Do you know much about this land?"
"Did you live around near the park about thirteen years ago?" I answer, trying to steady my voice, but everything shakes like a leaf. "My name was smeared across the papers when my best friend disappeared on Hop Valley Trail."
"That's why you look familiar..." Orion stares. "I remember a bit about it."
"The smell was similar to what was out there."
I clasp my shaking hands together, leaning toward the ground. I attempt focus on slowing my breathing to draw my attention from the heavy pressure on my chest and sharp collarbone pinch. My skin feels heated and my arms tingle. Orion rubs my back slowly, but I pull away the moment his thoughts flood in. He removes his hand.
She's seen one before. Is that why her friend disappeared?
"Are you alright?" Orion's voice is filled with genuine concern. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
I shake my head. "I've been drinking and can't take any medication."
Orion lowers his voice to a more soothing tone as he instructs me to breathe in and out slowly, step by step. He stops after a few minutes and I raise my head. My cheeks still feel numb and I notice a bright red rash on my exposed arms.
"My sister has severe anxiety. If you can't take a pill, can I make you a drink?"
I nod and point to an unlabeled box on the bar counter adjacent to the cramped mini-kitchen. There's the bare essentials on counters and a fridge. Orion opens the box labeled 'juice', locates glasses in another box and lines the bottom of the glasses with ice from the cooler. He returns with a bottle of whiskey, two glasses already filled and hands me one. He sets the bottle on the glass coffee table in front of us. I guzzle the whiskey down so quickly he looks astounded. My insides feel warm and fuzzy.
"Gonna be able to hang in there?"
I nod.
"It looks like we're down here for the night. I tried to get access to the hallway connecting the bunkers, but it glitches as well."
I rub my chest in an effort to alleviate the pressure, but it doesn't help much. Heavy thuds from above can still be heard.
"It'll stop eventually," he reassures. Orion eyes the labeled boxes by an impressive television center with the works near the left wall. "Can I set up your record player and put something in to dull the sound? Maybe you can try the grounding exercise."
I nod and agree to the exercise after refilling the glass and lean back on the couch. I notice the walls are a cheerful blue mint. Two black and white floral photographs are on each side of the tall entertainment center. The center has a giant flatscreen television in the middle with a rectangular drawer below and equal sized bed empty self above. Three empty cubes line each side. There's a tall pothos plant in the corner to the left. A golden weaved basket contains a folded white throw is front of two square, white and gold pillows.
It takes him about ten minutes to set up the record player and speakers in the entertainment center. He thumbs through a crate filled with vinyl, selects one and cues up a familiar Pink Floyd album. It dulls the thudding to an almost ignorable level. By then my heart and breathing is back at a normal rate. Orion sits down beside me, refills his glass and leans forward on his knees. Flora rubs against my legs, staring up with big blue eyes and meows loudly in concern. I rub behind her huge ears and tell her I'm alright. She crawls into my lap, purring. I continue petting her because it grounds me.
"We're lucky we made it in. Hopefully the wire is still transmitting and someone can hear us now," he says.
"The one Ambrose said we have to wear at all times?"
"Yes. There's no point in setting yours up tonight since I'll be with you for the night."
Past the living room, there's a card table resting against the wall with four plush, mismatched flea market chairs around it. A cramped mini-kitchen with the bare essentials is directly across from it. It leads to a tight hallway with an open door to a small bathroom to the left, a closet to the right and a door straight ahead.
Orion seems to know my train of thought when I frown. "There's a pull-out bed inside the couch."
"Why does the system secure both doors? There's really no access to the hallway? Isn't that a fire hazard?"
"Yes, I've pointed it out to Miriam in the past. She promised fix it, but it hasn't been at the top of her priority list."
"Miriam?"
"The woman behind the curtain. Ambrose received a call part way through your interview, didn't he?" I nod. "Miriam listened in on my interview as well. I've never met him and I've been here for a year. You'll see her on the video call during the meeting on Monday."
An uncomfortable silence hung in the air, but his distorted thoughts still go directly through. Imagining a brick wall sometimes muffles others' inner thoughts, but requires a lot of energy. Moving boxes and the panic from earlier has left me drained. Images don't accompany Orion's flurry of inner workings, sparing me from the usual dull headache. It's still like a punch in the gut after blissful internal silence, aside from my own thoughts.
It shouldn't have been out in the daylight. Miriam hired her for another gift. There's always a motive. Almost everyone has a gift. She's going to quit and leave her boxes packed. Can't blame her. This place is a damn trap.
I cross to the kitchen and rifle through the cooler. The homemade soup is in a container near the top. I offer Orion a bowl of butternut squash soup and he accepts. He resumes trying to reach someone over the walkie talkie as I busy heat the soup on the stove in a sauce pan. His thoughts aren't heard with the distance, but leaves me wondering about what I heard earlier. I set two bowls of soup on the coffee table, change out the ice in our glasses, then sit down next to Orion.
We eat our soup and listen to the music. Once I finish the bowl, I refill the glasses with whiskey. There's only a moment of debate before I dare to out myself. "What's your gift?"
Orion sets his bowl down. "Huh?"
"If everyone has a gift, then what's yours?"
"How-" Orion's brows furrow. "Did Ambrose tell you?"
I laugh hard.
"You can hear me?"
"There's ways to dull it. Mainly why I didn't want to be touched. It's not something I want to happen, but I can't help what slips by." I hold a gloved hand up. "Ambrose thinks I'm a germaphobe. I was hired for my degree in forensic botany. So spill, what's your dirty secret?" The whiskey bottle on the coffee table scrapes against the glass as it slides from the middle to the left side. I stare at it for a long time, then gaze up at him. "Really?"
"Runs in the family, but I'm mostly here for security monitoring," he says with a shrug.
"How does the landowner know who has gifts?"
"Rumors, sometimes therapists can be paid off and institution records. Miriam has a computer genius on staff for all sorts of things. You were likely hired because of your mysterious consultant title for the police department. I think she bribed my therapist because the doctor ghosted me shortly after I was approached for a job interview." Orion steeples his fingers. "What is forensic botany exactly? Identification of plant life?"
"In a nutshell. More like the study of plant material from crime scenes. Sometimes I can understand where and when a crime was committed. What do you do here?"
"How often is there an encounter?" I motion at the door.
"Whenever someone new starts, it makes an appearance within days, but not usually this soon. Maybe it has to do with your history on the land. Why would you return?"
"My friend's body was never found. Then there's the money." I roll my eyes. "Know how to play gin rummy? I can some gin and tonic. We can play until we get tired."
"My grandma taught me. I can turn the record over while you make the drinks."
Orion and I keep ourselves busy with a mixture of movies, records, gin rummy, cooking, drinks and getting to know one another. The security system chimes around noon on Monday and jolts us out of the two day lockdown. System is disarmed. Opening hallway door.
I apologize to Flora as I pick her sleeping form off my lap. Her whining meows are dulled once I close her in the bedroom. Ambrose is standing in the open door frame when I reach the living room. His eyebrows pinch together as Orion quietly fills him in on the events. I wait for the conversation to end before offering them a cup of coffee. He enters the bunker and the door closes behind him. Ambrose hangs a large tote on a golden antique coat rake next to the door. He double takes at the sight unexpected sight of me in a soft yellow pajamas and large pastel purple octopus slippers.
"Hell of a welcome to the ranch, huh?" Ambrose continues without an answer. "Under the circumstances, you'll work side by side with Orion starting tomorrow morning. You'll both be paid for today for the hassle, but Orion will take you on a tour of the ranch."
Orion and Ambrose sit across each at the table. I bring three mugs and the freshly brewed pot over. They pour coffee as I return with a vanilla flavored creamer.
"Miriam has rescheduled the biweekly meeting for tomorrow. We'll be doing team building exercises as well," Ambrose continues, pouring a cup for himself.
He informs me that he has electronics for Orion to set up. The cinnamon toast flavored coffee is strong and kickstarts my system as Ambrose stresses the importance of keeping the batteries charged on all devices. Orion listens, sipping his coffee and gives me amused expressions as the bag of wind goes over the list of rules I was emailed days ago. I nod every so often, until Ambrose drains his cup and excuses himself.
Orion sets up the charging center for the walkie talkie, satellite phone and wire. I change into something more suitable for four-wheeling across the land. Orion wires me in, then I take an uneasy step to explore the land I started to fear over a decade ago.
submitted by TheLizardQueen84 to DrCreepensVault [link] [comments]


2020.02.08 09:18 TheLizardQueen84 Tabula Rasa Ranch: Part One

“All things must change to something new, to something strange.”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
________________
I. THIRTEEN

I used to feel like my side of the story needed to be told to keep the facts right. Now I don’t care what others choose to believe. I intended to follow the non-disclosure agreement but feel the need to warn others entertaining the idea of taking a job at Tabula Rasa Ranch because the company chose not to disclose the true inner workings. As far as I know, the owner remains the same and hires on employees because there’s a quick turn over due to quitting or untimely demise.


Dense mountain common junipers surrounded a vast modern house covered in white wooden panels. The dilapidated farmhouse I’d seen in countless photographs of Northern Utah was gone. Heavy, unnatural energy I'd encountered upon driving through the protected land grew stronger. Bluish berry-like fruits preparing for hibernation surrounded the edge of the house. They crunched under my steel-toed boots as I approached a tinted glass of the front door. I plucked a white blossom from one of the unbranched deathcamas cozied up around the steps. I slipped it through a bobby pin holding the right side of my hair back for luck.


I turned away from the door to withdraw a pale blue flask from my purse to take a long swig. I used a cinnamon breath mint and a spray of perfume over my clothes for extra measure. The house vibrated with leftover energy bouncing off the interior, unfortunately enhanced with the extra swig of vodka. I shook my gloved hands in an attempt to relax, inhaled and rang the doorbell. The door opened a few beats later, yet the dark tint shielded the interior. I smoothed my right hand over my black and white plaid dress pants. Someone cleared their throat from the dark screen separating us. A long silence evaded before the security door swung open to reveal a tall man standing aside in a wide foyer. He wore a white button-up shirt underneath an expensive gray vest and perfectly ironed matching slacks. I entered the air-conditioned house, although every cell in my body encouraged me to flee.

“Luna Luster?” the man asked, closing the door behind us. His smile was sardonic as he held out his hand to shake. “Is your mother a hippie misplaced in time or did you change your name yourself?”

I tilted my head and tried my best not to let my face sour. I stared at his waiting hand instead because his rude remark made it easier to evade contact. His cologne was earthy and expensive, full of hidden motives with notes of sandalwood. “So original.”

“I take it you get the question a lot. I’m the vice president of Tabula Rasa Ranch, Ambrose Reed.”

He dropped his hand after an awkward pause. “Please follow me to the office. Would you like a cup of coffee?”

“Uh, sure.”

I trailed behind him through a narrow hallway. We turned left into a room before the hall opened to a spacious kitchen. The office was white and void of personal photographs or sentimental items. Five abstract framed paintings graced the walls. Ambrose stopped at a flimsy plastic table with a fancy coffee machine and condiments next to the door. I stood on the pristine white carpet and knotted my fingers together.

“Have a seat. How do you like your coffee?”

“Black. Two sugars.”

The side of a cherry wood desk rested against the wall with a plush chair underneath it. An open laptop, clunky landline phone, and two coasters were on the desk. I sat on a white plastic chair across the desk. I shifted in the chair in an attempt to distract myself before the interrogation began. Ambrose placed a white mug on a coaster on the desk, then seated himself in the swivel chair.

“Thank you,” I said, but didn’t pick up the mug.

“Why are you wearing gloves?”

“Off the record? I’m a germaphobe."

He nodded, seeming to accept the answer and took a stack of papers from a drawer. He began with typical interview questions that blurred together in a flurry. What was your first job? What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses? Can you tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult person? So forth and so on. All the questions I’d heard since I’d started working at sixteen years old whirled by until a red flag arose.

“Tell me a little about yourself.”

I stared at him. “I’d rather not, but I kinda need this job.”

He didn’t respond for nearly a minute and stared at the computer screen with a deep frown. “What can you tell me about the gaps in your employment history?”

“Pardon me?”

“You didn’t include your paid work on the side with the Salt Lake City Police Department. You cited government work as a forensic botanist before some unlisted department work.” Ambrose paused to gauge my expression. His wide-set eyes focused on the laptop screen. “We were very thorough before offering a follow-up interview.”

“If you consider a faceless phone call an interview.”

“A mere formality. I was against requesting a callback, but the owner wanted an interview for some reason. He greased a few wheels to find out why you didn’t include your work in the achievements of your resume.”

“It didn’t seem relevant,” I said, smoothing my hands over my pants to keep from wringing them together. Mentioning being able to see lingering spirits would end the job interview. Most of Roosevelt already thought I lived in cloudcuckooland. I knew it was because of my unwanted gifts. Revealing the information would make a fresh start redundant.

Most people in Roosevelt were kind enough to gossip when I was out of earshot, but it didn’t stop others who spun tales composed of a few gems. Newcomers eventually thought of me as the crack baby abandoned by her mother, raised by her grandmother and aunt at two years old. Spooky Little Luna knew details about strangers and revealed their thoughts in an effort to ostracize herself from them. No one spread the news about my perfect grades or talent with art but spoke of my brittle and barbed tongue. It didn’t deter my friend, Byeol, from spending every free moment with me from the fourth grade on up. Only her recent death parted us. I’d been forced to move back to Roosevelt after several dead-end jobs in the city. Still, it didn’t look good for Spooky Luna to live with her aunt without a job. It made people chatter and wonder after each local job didn’t work out and my paper trail of employment didn’t help.

“A thorough background check revealed a few things. You became an independent consultant without any prior experience with investigating. The owner wanted to know the duties you performed during your brief stint at the department. It would make more sense if you were working as a forensic botanist with your degree.”

“I am unable to provide the information you want. I signed a non-disclosure document.”

He didn’t need to know I’d lowered myself and passed myself off as a psychic to the Salt Lake City Police Department. There were plenty of photos in the newspaper with me in the background of police officers. I was gracefully enlisted as a consultant on the books. The department only used my services when they were backed into a corner or if I approached them with details I’d gleaned off of spirits or things I’d noticed with my extra keen eye. It was easier to pass my gifts off in the guise of a psychic than telling the truth. No one wanted to hire a woman who claimed to see fragments of the dead. If I divulged my other gift, I knew Ambrose would have written me off as crazy and end the interview.

“Which is something my employer values.”

At a loss for a response, I leaned forward and picked up the steaming hot mug from the desk. The familiar beverage soothed my nerves with each careful sip. Ambrose shuffled through the papers. He studied a paper before resuming.

“What do you know about this location?”

“Almost everyone is familiar with stories and news coverage. I’m from Roosevelt, after all.”

It was true that rumors of the ranch had been rampant since the first articles about the Shermans hit the newsstands. I froze, waiting to see if the blatant lie had weight or not. No need to tell him about the unusual experience I had as a teenager. Besides, it was questionable due to the substances my friends and I had been on. Ambrose leaned back in the chair and watched the screen for a long time.

“What have the new rumors said?”

I hesitated. “I heard about the new owner taking more of an interest in the ranch because of increased activity after Bigelow sold the land. Also that the land has been bought past the ridge.”

His face remained blank and unreadable as he assessed my response.

I set the coffee back down, picked up my purse and stood up. “Look, I’m sorry I wasted your-”

“How do you feel about being recorded on a daily basis for liability purposes?” Ambrose interrupted.

“Are you recording now?”

“The founder is on a one-way voice chat to give his input. The recording is for future records, should you pass the final interview.”

“Wait, if I take the job, I’m going to under surveillance at all times?” I asked, sitting back down.

“For liability purposes.”

“The salary Miss Giles offered on the phone would make recording worth it.” I paused before continuing. “Listen, am I under surveillance for my history with the police department? Or for forensic botany? Or-”

The landline phone rang once and Ambrose picked it up.

“Are you sure?”

He paused for a long time. “Yes, sir. I understand. Thank you,” Ambrose responded. He hung the phone up with a tight smile. “It seems you’re hired, Miss Luster.”

I couldn’t conceal my smile. “When do I start?”

“Monday. You need to move in by tomorrow afternoon so you have the weekend to get settled. Stop by the office with your belongings. The living quarters are fully furnished due to depth. I’ll have your bunker assignment along with some clearance badges you’ll need for your first day. You’ll be shadowing Ava Fleming during your first week here. She’ll have your work schedule. Your job will initially consist of watching live, unrecorded security footage and taking notes until you’re familiar with the protocol.” He paused, looking me over. “The dress code is casual, within reason, of course.”

“Do you like it here?”

He was taken aback by my query and searched my face before responding. “The gig pays well. The employees are a colorful bunch and you’ll never be bored.” Ambrose opened a draw, set a stack of a stapled of papers and pushed them across the desk in my direction. “Look over the pages before signing, please.”

The first page consisted of a non-disclosure agreement. I skimmed over it and the contents burned in my mind before I signed at the bottom. The next page was a suspicious injury waiver but promised an on-site emergency center. I signed it after saving an image of the document. Health care kicked in immediately, instead of the standard ninety days most jobs required and gave me a brief pause. Nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Ambrose stood up and crossed over to me. I joined him, unsure of where it was going. He reached for my hand, enveloping his warm one with mine and I could smell the cologne wafting off him. Worst of all, the gloves failed to do their job and his thoughts came flooding in with the forced handshake. “Welcome to Tabula Rasa Ranch, Miss Luster.”

I don’t know what Gabriel is thinking about hiring her. Are you kidding me? She communed with spirits and helped the police department? What a load of bullshit. She has to be some kind of hack or fraud. I bet she falsified her so-called degree in forensic botany. Ambrose’s thoughts were a mix of Korean and English. I’d learned from my best friend growing up so we could have a language our peers couldn’t break. It rarely came in handy in Utah, but it ensured an unbreakable code.

“Cheer up fuckface. You might like me in due time.” I twisted my hand away from his. Ambrose’s face warped in surprise, but I picked up my purse before he could get the last word in and headed for the door. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I exited the house cursing under my breath. I retreated to my old but trusty black Dodge 1971 Charger. I tossed my purse on the passenger seat, fired up and a song by The Damned filled the speakers. I screamed in frustration over picking up on his thoughts. Fucking gloves didn’t do their job. It was always hit or miss if the gloves were thick enough to keep inner thoughts from invading my space. I opened my purse, took out the flask and took a five-second gulp of vodka. The burn almost pushed away Ambrose’s toxic thoughts. Keyword being almost. Dirt misted behind the car as I drove, turning up the music.

It took a five-minute drive through unpaved roads until I reached a long-bearded man in the security booth. He exited the booth, opened the gate and waved as I left. Another thirty minutes later, I stopped in front of a two-story house on the outskirts of Roosevelt. I smiled at the sight of the youthful fifty-year-old woman sitting on the steps.

“How did it go?” Aunt Chloe asked, standing up and offering a warm smile.

“I got it!”

We went inside and Aunt Chloe busied herself with brewing coffee as I secretly took a long swig of vodka. I filled her in on the information Ambrose gave me but kept out hearing his thoughts. She caught me up on her day while making two turkey and tomato sandwiches with chips for an early dinner. I retreated to the basement to begin packing for the next day. My blue pitbull, Poppy, barked when I opened the door. Flora marked my legs and meowed once Poppy finished greeting me. I spent half an hour paying attention to the fur babies before starting to pack. It took three hours to pack everything I wanted to take to the ranch. A few iced down screwdrivers helped sleep arrive. In no time I fell asleep by Poppy and Flora.

It was around noon by the time I finished loading the trailer attached to my car with boxes and small furniture with Aunt Chloe’s help. We were pushing the last heavy box into the trailer when something thudded loudly on the tin-top several times. My aunt exited the trailer to explore. I shrugged it off and resumed stacking the smaller boxes around furniture in a more stable order.

“Luna. You need to see this.”

She warned me to watch my step and held a hand out to ensure a stable landing. Several dead crows with their wings visibly broken and bent unnaturally were splayed out around the car. Small pools of blood leaked out their beaks and nearly half of their feathers were scattered around them. The stench was reminiscent of roadkill roasted on the side of the road for at least a week. We backed away from the trailer to see how far around the dead birds went. I counted thirteen birds in a circle around the car and trailer.

“Luna, we need to go see Gracie before you hit the road. She said she had a dream about you the other night. I don’t think your taking the job is a good idea.”

“And live off your pension? Even the local deli rejected my request for an interview. I was lucky to land this job and it pays well.”

“Sometimes it isn’t worth it. You can find a legitimate job online and work from home. Maybe you can find someone in town hiring. Have you gone through your savings?”

“I tried that. There’s no such thing as pennies from heaven. Besides, I tried locally and no one will hire me because they think I’m too spooky. I have enough bread to live comfortably until I die, but only if I die next Friday.”

Aunt Chloe tucked her brunette hair behind her ears and sighed, knowing it was a fight she couldn’t win. We let Poppy loose and carried Flora’s crate back into the house.

My aunt drove us to Gracie’s in her faded black truck in about ten minutes. ‘Gracie’s Apothecary’ was lit up in cursive neon letters on top of the small store and stood out in the unusually dim afternoon. Our footsteps echoed on the steel steps to the wooden door with the name embellished on the clear window. The familiar tinkle of the bell did little to set my mind at ease, but the strong scent of lavender incense helped. The apothecary was a slender ten by ten space with a beaded curtain leading to more merchandise in the back of the store. Bright yellow walls had shelves lined labeled wire baskets and pegged supplies hung below them.

The little woman in her late sixties with long, curly white hair greeted us with a bright smile and inquiries of how we were doing. Aunt Chloe told her about the dead crows, picking up a mesh shopping basket along the way.

“That is troubling. Are you sure you want to take the job? You could work here part-time.” Gracie said, frowning. “The dream I had didn’t indicate anything about the job being a bad choice. At least from the context of it.”

“I need to do something. I’ve been going stir-crazy. You don’t want to hire me and drive away people, trust me.”

“Nettie?” Gracie called back into the office behind her. “I need you to take over while I help Chloe and Luna.”

A thin, dark-haired teenager popped her head out and stood behind the register with a nod. Gracie led us to a section with a variety of sage bundles in baskets on one of the tables below the shelves. Aunt Chloe collected large bundles of white, blue and black sage. She set the bundles in the shopping basket and asked if Gracie had any other suggestions. Gracie’s wrinkled forehead pinched together in thought before she picked up a light brown, medium bundle of sage that smelled a bit peppery.

“Desert sage is used for cleansing and purifying, protection and inner strength. It’s said to draw in pleasant thoughts and relieve headaches and anxiety,” she explained, handing Aunt Chloe the bundle.

“Is there anything else for protection?”

Gracie picked up a greenish-brown bundle with a woodsy and fresh scent. “Cedar recalls ancient forests and invokes their protection and wisdom. Smudging this carries a medicine of protection. You should cleanse your new home upon moving in to invite unwanted spirits to leave. It can help protect you, the place and objects from unwanted influences. It’s the most aggressive cleansing smudge.”

She invited us to sit and talk over a cup of tea. We passed through purple wooden beads concealing an archway to the back section of the store. We seated ourselves as Gracie started up a pot of loose leaf tea on a hot plate on a counter nearby the small table in the corner of the room.

“I thought it was unusual that you showed up in my dreams last night,” she said, sitting down and facing me. “You were sitting on the bench in the front, drawing on a sketchpad while I was working. You came to show me the exterior sketches of the shop for a new launch of the website. I didn’t see anything ominous.”

I frowned deeply.

“Nothing symbolic in what Luna was wearing?” Aunt Chloe asked, leaning forward.

“She wore a black band shirt and had on Gemma’s necklace. Luna didn’t have anything on out of the ordinary.”

“Other than smudging, what can we do to protect her?”

“I can find some talismans, charmed stones and candles after we have our tea. There isn’t much else I can do because I’m not sure what the threat is. What did the land feel like?”

The kettle whistled and Gracie prepared a tray. I tried my best to describe the heavy aura of the land, only to be met with another frown. She carried the tray with three cups of tea on saucers, cream, and sugar to the table. She placed our cups on saucers in front of each of us. I fiddled with the dark purple tassels on the edge of the table cloth as Aunt Chloe insisted that my taking the job was a bad idea.

The broken and bloodied wings of the crows scratched at the back of my mind until my aunt touched my arm gently and brought me back to earth. Gracie pointed out the tea was cool enough to drink. I stirred in mostly clear, tinted green tea soothed my throat as the pair caught up on town gossip. I traced the golden rim of the painted floral teacup, then peered down at the vortex of swirling tea leaves, falling to the bottom. Aunt Chloe nudged me after the conversation fell silent.

“I have a bad feeling about everything, but doing nothing is making me feel worse,” I said. I took a few more sips of tea until I tasted bitter tea grits.

Gracie’s eyes narrowed on my hand holding the teacup. “Are you right-handed?”

“Yeah, why?”

“In the dream, you were drawing with your left hand.”

“I don’t know how to draw with that hand.”

I drained the cup and handed it to Gracie. She turned the cup upside down on the saucer I was using and studied the leaves. Reading my tea leaves was a redundant task because I knew how to read my own, but it seemed to thrill the old woman. Damp tea leaves surrounded a bird with spread wings.

“I don’t know if there’s anything I can do to help you,” Gracie admitted slowly, unable to take her eyes off the grim omen on the saucer.

“What does it mean?” Aunt Chloe leaned forward.

“It’s a deadly omen, sometimes attached to death. It isn’t too surprising with what happened this morning.”

A chill ran over my body as I rose to my feet. I excused myself, explained that I needed a few more supplies and left the room with the shopping basket. I selected a few bottles of essential oils, more sage, and some stones. A bar of protective soap with black pepper, cedarwood, cypress, and lavender went into the basket as well. The duo joined me and we walked to the register. Gracie applied the family discount and saw us out the door. She hugged me for a long moment and requested an email every so often. I promised.

We stopped by the grocery store for a cooler and enough food to last me for at least two weeks. We made our way back to the house shortly after. Half an hour later, the sky was filled with dark clouds over the sun and Aunt Chloe begged me to stay. She didn’t let me leave until I wore Grandma Gemma’s dark emerald stone in an oval pendant on a thick golden cord that rested just below my chest. I’d hated the eyesore since I was thirteen and was occasionally forced to wear it for extra protection. I loaded my cat and dog into kennels, leaving despite my aunt’s pleas.

___

It started raining heavily as we made the thirty-minute journey to the entrance of the ranch. Grey clouds covered the sky to the point where it was more like night. The shadow in the tinted booth at the entrance opened the chain-link gate after I waited for a minute for them to clear me. A tall athletic man waited under an umbrella by the front steps of the main house. He wore a shirt advertising The Pie in Salt Lake City with an unzipped basic gray hoodie, above a pair of worn black jeans. His age was indeterminate, somewhere between twenty-five to thirty-five. I turned off the car lights and engine, unrolling the window. His stride was quick and purposeful to my unrolled window. He leaned down, flashing a bright set of teeth. “You must be Luna Luster.”

“Indeed.”

“Ambrose had to leave the office for an emergency,” he explained. He paused to study my face and burst out in a chuckle. “You didn’t get off on the right foot with him, did you?”

I grimaced. “Is it that obvious? He wasn’t very welcoming, to say the least.”

“Give it time. He’ll loosen up once he sees your value. Sorry, I’ve been rude. I’m Orion Rist.”

I shook his extended hand. The gloves kept his unwelcome thoughts out.

“So, your access badge is on the way and we’ll take a photo once it arrives. My bunker is right next to yours. Can I hitch a ride?”

“If you don’t mind holding a cat crate.” I motioned to the passenger seat.

With a nod, he circled around the car, opened the door and lifted Flora’s crate. He put a tote bag down on the middle console, sat down with the crate and buckled in. I started the engine and music flooded the car. I reached to turn it off, but he stopped me. His bright eyes met mine.

“I don’t mind The Stooges.” He directed me down a small muddy road west of the house and urged me to stop after half a mile. “Did Ambrose tell you anything about the living quarters?”

“Nope.”

“Subterranean bunkers. We’re safer underground. You’re in bunker thirteen and I’m to the right in fourteen. Come on.”

Orion picked up the tote bag and exited. He set the crate back on the seat and ran to my side with the umbrella out. I joined him, walking through the mud until we reached a concrete path down to a steel door built out of place in elevated land covered by bushes and trees. Orion held the umbrella over us as he punched a code into the security pad beside the door. The open door exposed stone steps illuminated by bright bare bulbs in a concrete ceiling. Orion folded the umbrella, hung it up on a hook on the wall by the door and encouraged me to follow him. We descended down the stairs at least twenty feet before arriving at another steel door with a security pad.

“I’ll write the code down for you,” he said, punching the code in again.

Fluttering mixed with frantic flaps accompanied the blackbirds that filed out of my new home. Wonderful. The flurry of birds went by too quickly to count. And odds are, there had to be thirteen.
submitted by TheLizardQueen84 to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.02.08 08:19 TheLizardQueen84 Tabula Rasa Ranch: Part One (revised)

Tabula Rasa Ranch: Part One (revised)

https://preview.redd.it/cj3e4koocsf41.jpg?width=412&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=268730231149117ee817ce79dd504ec3e9fe5c56
“All things must change to something new, to something strange.”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
________________
I. THIRTEEN

I used to feel like my side of the story needed to be told to keep the facts right. Now I don’t care what others choose to believe. I intended to follow the non-disclosure agreement but feel the need to warn others entertaining the idea of taking a job at Tabula Rasa Ranch because the company chose not to disclose the true inner workings. As far as I know, the owner remains the same and hires on employees because there’s a quick turn over due to quitting or untimely demise.


Dense mountain common junipers surrounded a vast modern house covered in white wooden panels. The dilapidated farmhouse I’d seen in countless photographs of Northern Utah was gone. Heavy, unnatural energy I'd encountered upon driving through the protected land grew stronger. Bluish berry-like fruits preparing for hibernation surrounded the edge of the house. They crunched under my steel-toed boots as I approached a tinted glass of the front door. I plucked a white blossom from one of the unbranched deathcamas cozied up around the steps. I slipped it through a bobby pin holding the right side of my hair back for luck.


I turned away from the door to withdraw a pale blue flask from my purse to take a long swig. I used a cinnamon breath mint and a spray of perfume over my clothes for extra measure. The house vibrated with leftover energy bouncing off the interior, unfortunately enhanced with the extra swig of vodka. I shook my gloved hands in an attempt to relax, inhaled and rang the doorbell. The door opened a few beats later, yet the dark tint shielded the interior. I smoothed my right hand over my black and white plaid dress pants. Someone cleared their throat from the dark screen separating us. A long silence evaded before the security door swung open to reveal a tall man standing aside in a wide foyer. He wore a white button-up shirt underneath an expensive gray vest and perfectly ironed matching slacks. I entered the air-conditioned house, although every cell in my body encouraged me to flee.

“Luna Luster?” the man asked, closing the door behind us. His smile was sardonic as he held out his hand to shake. “Is your mother a hippie misplaced in time or did you change your name yourself?”

I tilted my head and tried my best not to let my face sour. I stared at his waiting hand instead because his rude remark made it easier to evade contact. His cologne was earthy and expensive, full of hidden motives with notes of sandalwood. “So original.”

“I take it you get the question a lot. I’m the vice president of Tabula Rasa Ranch, Ambrose Reed.”

He dropped his hand after an awkward pause. “Please follow me to the office. Would you like a cup of coffee?”

“Uh, sure.”

I trailed behind him through a narrow hallway. We turned left into a room before the hall opened to a spacious kitchen. The office was white and void of personal photographs or sentimental items. Five abstract framed paintings graced the walls. Ambrose stopped at a flimsy plastic table with a fancy coffee machine and condiments next to the door. I stood on the pristine white carpet and knotted my fingers together.

“Have a seat. How do you like your coffee?”

“Black. Two sugars.”

The side of a cherry wood desk rested against the wall with a plush chair underneath it. An open laptop, clunky landline phone, and two coasters were on the desk. I sat on a white plastic chair across the desk. I shifted in the chair in an attempt to distract myself before the interrogation began. Ambrose placed a white mug on a coaster on the desk, then seated himself in the swivel chair.

“Thank you,” I said, but didn’t pick up the mug.

“Why are you wearing gloves?”

“Off the record? I’m a germaphobe."

He nodded, seeming to accept the answer and took a stack of papers from a drawer. He began with typical interview questions that blurred together in a flurry. What was your first job? What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses? Can you tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult person? So forth and so on. All the questions I’d heard since I’d started working at sixteen years old whirled by until a red flag arose.

“Tell me a little about yourself.”

I stared at him. “I’d rather not, but I kinda need this job.”

He didn’t respond for nearly a minute and stared at the computer screen with a deep frown. “What can you tell me about the gaps in your employment history?”

“Pardon me?”

“You didn’t include your paid work on the side with the Salt Lake City Police Department. You cited government work as a forensic botanist before some unlisted department work.” Ambrose paused to gauge my expression. His wide-set eyes focused on the laptop screen. “We were very thorough before offering a follow-up interview.”

“If you consider a faceless phone call an interview.”

“A mere formality. I was against requesting a callback, but the owner wanted an interview for some reason. He greased a few wheels to find out why you didn’t include your work in the achievements of your resume.”

“It didn’t seem relevant,” I said, smoothing my hands over my pants to keep from wringing them together. Mentioning being able to see lingering spirits would end the job interview. Most of Roosevelt already thought I lived in cloudcuckooland. I knew it was because of my unwanted gifts. Revealing the information would make a fresh start redundant.

Most people in Roosevelt were kind enough to gossip when I was out of earshot, but it didn’t stop others who spun tales composed of a few gems. Newcomers eventually thought of me as the crack baby abandoned by her mother, raised by her grandmother and aunt at two years old. Spooky Little Luna knew details about strangers and revealed their thoughts in an effort to ostracize herself from them. No one spread the news about my perfect grades or talent with art but spoke of my brittle and barbed tongue. It didn’t deter my friend, Byeol, from spending every free moment with me from the fourth grade on up. Only her recent death parted us. I’d been forced to move back to Roosevelt after several dead-end jobs in the city. Still, it didn’t look good for Spooky Luna to live with her aunt without a job. It made people chatter and wonder after each local job didn’t work out and my paper trail of employment didn’t help.

“A thorough background check revealed a few things. You became an independent consultant without any prior experience with investigating. The owner wanted to know the duties you performed during your brief stint at the department. It would make more sense if you were working as a forensic botanist with your degree.”

“I am unable to provide the information you want. I signed a non-disclosure document.”

He didn’t need to know I’d lowered myself and passed myself off as a psychic to the Salt Lake City Police Department. There were plenty of photos in the newspaper with me in the background of police officers. I was gracefully enlisted as a consultant on the books. The department only used my services when they were backed into a corner or if I approached them with details I’d gleaned off of spirits or things I’d noticed with my extra keen eye. It was easier to pass my gifts off in the guise of a psychic than telling the truth. No one wanted to hire a woman who claimed to see fragments of the dead. If I divulged my other gift, I knew Ambrose would have written me off as crazy and end the interview.

“Which is something my employer values.”

At a loss for a response, I leaned forward and picked up the steaming hot mug from the desk. The familiar beverage soothed my nerves with each careful sip. Ambrose shuffled through the papers. He studied a paper before resuming.

“What do you know about this location?”

“Almost everyone is familiar with stories and news coverage. I’m from Roosevelt, after all.”

It was true that rumors of the ranch had been rampant since the first articles about the Shermans hit the newsstands. I froze, waiting to see if the blatant lie had weight or not. No need to tell him about the unusual experience I had as a teenager. Besides, it was questionable due to the substances my friends and I had been on. Ambrose leaned back in the chair and watched the screen for a long time.

“What have the new rumors said?”

I hesitated. “I heard about the new owner taking more of an interest in the ranch because of increased activity after Bigelow sold the land. Also that the land has been bought past the ridge.”

His face remained blank and unreadable as he assessed my response.

I set the coffee back down, picked up my purse and stood up. “Look, I’m sorry I wasted your-”

“How do you feel about being recorded on a daily basis for liability purposes?” Ambrose interrupted.

“Are you recording now?”

“The founder is on a one-way voice chat to give his input. The recording is for future records, should you pass the final interview.”

“Wait, if I take the job, I’m going to under surveillance at all times?” I asked, sitting back down.

“For liability purposes.”

“The salary Miss Giles offered on the phone would make recording worth it.” I paused before continuing. “Listen, am I under surveillance for my history with the police department? Or for forensic botany? Or-”

The landline phone rang once and Ambrose picked it up.

“Are you sure?”

He paused for a long time. “Yes, sir. I understand. Thank you,” Ambrose responded. He hung the phone up with a tight smile. “It seems you’re hired, Miss Luster.”

I couldn’t conceal my smile. “When do I start?”

“Monday. You need to move in by tomorrow afternoon so you have the weekend to get settled. Stop by the office with your belongings. The living quarters are fully furnished due to depth. I’ll have your bunker assignment along with some clearance badges you’ll need for your first day. You’ll be shadowing Ava Fleming during your first week here. She’ll have your work schedule. Your job will initially consist of watching live, unrecorded security footage and taking notes until you’re familiar with the protocol.” He paused, looking me over. “The dress code is casual, within reason, of course.”

“Do you like it here?”

He was taken aback by my query and searched my face before responding. “The gig pays well. The employees are a colorful bunch and you’ll never be bored.” Ambrose opened a draw, set a stack of a stapled of papers and pushed them across the desk in my direction. “Look over the pages before signing, please.”

The first page consisted of a non-disclosure agreement. I skimmed over it and the contents burned in my mind before I signed at the bottom. The next page was a suspicious injury waiver but promised an on-site emergency center. I signed it after saving an image of the document. Health care kicked in immediately, instead of the standard ninety days most jobs required and gave me a brief pause. Nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Ambrose stood up and crossed over to me. I joined him, unsure of where it was going. He reached for my hand, enveloping his warm one with mine and I could smell the cologne wafting off him. Worst of all, the gloves failed to do their job and his thoughts came flooding in with the forced handshake. “Welcome to Tabula Rasa Ranch, Miss Luster.”

I don’t know what Gabriel is thinking about hiring her. Are you kidding me? She communed with spirits and helped the police department? What a load of bullshit. She has to be some kind of hack or fraud. I bet she falsified her so-called degree in forensic botany. Ambrose’s thoughts were a mix of Korean and English. I’d learned from my best friend growing up so we could have a language our peers couldn’t break. It rarely came in handy in Utah, but it ensured an unbreakable code.

“Cheer up fuckface. You might like me in due time.” I twisted my hand away from his. Ambrose’s face warped in surprise, but I picked up my purse before he could get the last word in and headed for the door. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I exited the house cursing under my breath. I retreated to my old but trusty black Dodge 1971 Charger. I tossed my purse on the passenger seat, fired up and a song by The Damned filled the speakers. I screamed in frustration over picking up on his thoughts. Fucking gloves didn’t do their job. It was always hit or miss if the gloves were thick enough to keep inner thoughts from invading my space. I opened my purse, took out the flask and took a five-second gulp of vodka. The burn almost pushed away Ambrose’s toxic thoughts. Keyword being almost. Dirt misted behind the car as I drove, turning up the music.

It took a five-minute drive through unpaved roads until I reached a long-bearded man in the security booth. He exited the booth, opened the gate and waved as I left. Another thirty minutes later, I stopped in front of a two-story house on the outskirts of Roosevelt. I smiled at the sight of the youthful fifty-year-old woman sitting on the steps.

“How did it go?” Aunt Chloe asked, standing up and offering a warm smile.

“I got it!”

We went inside and Aunt Chloe busied herself with brewing coffee as I secretly took a long swig of vodka. I filled her in on the information Ambrose gave me but kept out hearing his thoughts. She caught me up on her day while making two turkey and tomato sandwiches with chips for an early dinner. I retreated to the basement to begin packing for the next day. My blue pitbull, Poppy, barked when I opened the door. Flora marked my legs and meowed once Poppy finished greeting me. I spent half an hour paying attention to the fur babies before starting to pack. It took three hours to pack everything I wanted to take to the ranch. A few iced down screwdrivers helped sleep arrive. In no time I fell asleep by Poppy and Flora.

It was around noon by the time I finished loading the trailer attached to my car with boxes and small furniture with Aunt Chloe’s help. We were pushing the last heavy box into the trailer when something thudded loudly on the tin-top several times. My aunt exited the trailer to explore. I shrugged it off and resumed stacking the smaller boxes around furniture in a more stable order.

“Luna. You need to see this.”

She warned me to watch my step and held a hand out to ensure a stable landing. Several dead crows with their wings visibly broken and bent unnaturally were splayed out around the car. Small pools of blood leaked out their beaks and nearly half of their feathers were scattered around them. The stench was reminiscent of roadkill roasted on the side of the road for at least a week. We backed away from the trailer to see how far around the dead birds went. I counted thirteen birds in a circle around the car and trailer.

“Luna, we need to go see Gracie before you hit the road. She said she had a dream about you the other night. I don’t think your taking the job is a good idea.”

“And live off your pension? Even the local deli rejected my request for an interview. I was lucky to land this job and it pays well.”

“Sometimes it isn’t worth it. You can find a legitimate job online and work from home. Maybe you can find someone in town hiring. Have you gone through your savings?”

“I tried that. There’s no such thing as pennies from heaven. Besides, I tried locally and no one will hire me because they think I’m too spooky. I have enough bread to live comfortably until I die, but only if I die next Friday.”

Aunt Chloe tucked her brunette hair behind her ears and sighed, knowing it was a fight she couldn’t win. We let Poppy loose and carried Flora’s crate back into the house.

My aunt drove us to Gracie’s in her faded black truck in about ten minutes. ‘Gracie’s Apothecary’ was lit up in cursive neon letters on top of the small store and stood out in the unusually dim afternoon. Our footsteps echoed on the steel steps to the wooden door with the name embellished on the clear window. The familiar tinkle of the bell did little to set my mind at ease, but the strong scent of lavender incense helped. The apothecary was a slender ten by ten space with a beaded curtain leading to more merchandise in the back of the store. Bright yellow walls had shelves lined labeled wire baskets and pegged supplies hung below them.

The little woman in her late sixties with long, curly white hair greeted us with a bright smile and inquiries of how we were doing. Aunt Chloe told her about the dead crows, picking up a mesh shopping basket along the way.

“That is troubling. Are you sure you want to take the job? You could work here part-time.” Gracie said, frowning. “The dream I had didn’t indicate anything about the job being a bad choice. At least from the context of it.”

“I need to do something. I’ve been going stir-crazy. You don’t want to hire me and drive away people, trust me.”

“Nettie?” Gracie called back into the office behind her. “I need you to take over while I help Chloe and Luna.”

A thin, dark-haired teenager popped her head out and stood behind the register with a nod. Gracie led us to a section with a variety of sage bundles in baskets on one of the tables below the shelves. Aunt Chloe collected large bundles of white, blue and black sage. She set the bundles in the shopping basket and asked if Gracie had any other suggestions. Gracie’s wrinkled forehead pinched together in thought before she picked up a light brown, medium bundle of sage that smelled a bit peppery.

“Desert sage is used for cleansing and purifying, protection and inner strength. It’s said to draw in pleasant thoughts and relieve headaches and anxiety,” she explained, handing Aunt Chloe the bundle.

“Is there anything else for protection?”

Gracie picked up a greenish-brown bundle with a woodsy and fresh scent. “Cedar recalls ancient forests and invokes their protection and wisdom. Smudging this carries a medicine of protection. You should cleanse your new home upon moving in to invite unwanted spirits to leave. It can help protect you, the place and objects from unwanted influences. It’s the most aggressive cleansing smudge.”

She invited us to sit and talk over a cup of tea. We passed through purple wooden beads concealing an archway to the back section of the store. We seated ourselves as Gracie started up a pot of loose leaf tea on a hot plate on a counter nearby the small table in the corner of the room.

“I thought it was unusual that you showed up in my dreams last night,” she said, sitting down and facing me. “You were sitting on the bench in the front, drawing on a sketchpad while I was working. You came to show me the exterior sketches of the shop for a new launch of the website. I didn’t see anything ominous.”

I frowned deeply.

“Nothing symbolic in what Luna was wearing?” Aunt Chloe asked, leaning forward.

“She wore a black band shirt and had on Gemma’s necklace. Luna didn’t have anything on out of the ordinary.”

“Other than smudging, what can we do to protect her?”

“I can find some talismans, charmed stones and candles after we have our tea. There isn’t much else I can do because I’m not sure what the threat is. What did the land feel like?”

The kettle whistled and Gracie prepared a tray. I tried my best to describe the heavy aura of the land, only to be met with another frown. She carried the tray with three cups of tea on saucers, cream, and sugar to the table. She placed our cups on saucers in front of each of us. I fiddled with the dark purple tassels on the edge of the table cloth as Aunt Chloe insisted that my taking the job was a bad idea.

The broken and bloodied wings of the crows scratched at the back of my mind until my aunt touched my arm gently and brought me back to earth. Gracie pointed out the tea was cool enough to drink. I stirred in mostly clear, tinted green tea soothed my throat as the pair caught up on town gossip. I traced the golden rim of the painted floral teacup, then peered down at the vortex of swirling tea leaves, falling to the bottom. Aunt Chloe nudged me after the conversation fell silent.

“I have a bad feeling about everything, but doing nothing is making me feel worse,” I said. I took a few more sips of tea until I tasted bitter tea grits.

Gracie’s eyes narrowed on my hand holding the teacup. “Are you right-handed?”

“Yeah, why?”

“In the dream, you were drawing with your left hand.”

“I don’t know how to draw with that hand.”

I drained the cup and handed it to Gracie. She turned the cup upside down on the saucer I was using and studied the leaves. Reading my tea leaves was a redundant task because I knew how to read my own, but it seemed to thrill the old woman. Damp tea leaves surrounded a bird with spread wings.

“I don’t know if there’s anything I can do to help you,” Gracie admitted slowly, unable to take her eyes off the grim omen on the saucer.

“What does it mean?” Aunt Chloe leaned forward.

“It’s a deadly omen, sometimes attached to death. It isn’t too surprising with what happened this morning.”

A chill ran over my body as I rose to my feet. I excused myself, explained that I needed a few more supplies and left the room with the shopping basket. I selected a few bottles of essential oils, more sage, and some stones. A bar of protective soap with black pepper, cedarwood, cypress, and lavender went into the basket as well. The duo joined me and we walked to the register. Gracie applied the family discount and saw us out the door. She hugged me for a long moment and requested an email every so often. I promised.

We stopped by the grocery store for a cooler and enough food to last me for at least two weeks. We made our way back to the house shortly after. Half an hour later, the sky was filled with dark clouds over the sun and Aunt Chloe begged me to stay. She didn’t let me leave until I wore Grandma Gemma’s dark emerald stone in an oval pendant on a thick golden cord that rested just below my chest. I’d hated the eyesore since I was thirteen and was occasionally forced to wear it for extra protection. I loaded my cat and dog into kennels, leaving despite my aunt’s pleas.

___

It started raining heavily as we made the thirty-minute journey to the entrance of the ranch. Grey clouds covered the sky to the point where it was more like night. The shadow in the tinted booth at the entrance opened the chain-link gate after I waited for a minute for them to clear me. A tall athletic man waited under an umbrella by the front steps of the main house. He wore a shirt advertising The Pie in Salt Lake City with an unzipped basic gray hoodie, above a pair of worn black jeans. His age was indeterminate, somewhere between twenty-five to thirty-five. I turned off the car lights and engine, unrolling the window. His stride was quick and purposeful to my unrolled window. He leaned down, flashing a bright set of teeth. “You must be Luna Luster.”

“Indeed.”

“Ambrose had to leave the office for an emergency,” he explained. He paused to study my face and burst out in a chuckle. “You didn’t get off on the right foot with him, did you?”

I grimaced. “Is it that obvious? He wasn’t very welcoming, to say the least.”

“Give it time. He’ll loosen up once he sees your value. Sorry, I’ve been rude. I’m Orion Rist.”

I shook his extended hand. The gloves kept his unwelcome thoughts out.

“So, your access badge is on the way and we’ll take a photo once it arrives. My bunker is right next to yours. Can I hitch a ride?”

“If you don’t mind holding a cat crate.” I motioned to the passenger seat.

With a nod, he circled around the car, opened the door and lifted Flora’s crate. He put a tote bag down on the middle console, sat down with the crate and buckled in. I started the engine and music flooded the car. I reached to turn it off, but he stopped me. His bright eyes met mine.

“I don’t mind The Stooges.” He directed me down a small muddy road west of the house and urged me to stop after half a mile. “Did Ambrose tell you anything about the living quarters?”

“Nope.”

“Subterranean bunkers. We’re safer underground. You’re in bunker thirteen and I’m to the right in fourteen. Come on.”

Orion picked up the tote bag and exited. He set the crate back on the seat and ran to my side with the umbrella out. I joined him, walking through the mud until we reached a concrete path down to a steel door built out of place in elevated land covered by bushes and trees. Orion held the umbrella over us as he punched a code into the security pad beside the door. The open door exposed stone steps illuminated by bright bare bulbs in a concrete ceiling. Orion folded the umbrella, hung it up on a hook on the wall by the door and encouraged me to follow him. We descended down the stairs at least twenty feet before arriving at another steel door with a security pad.

“I’ll write the code down for you,” he said, punching the code in again.

Fluttering mixed with frantic flaps accompanied the blackbirds that filed out of my new home. Wonderful. The flurry of birds went by too quickly to count. And odds are, there had to be thirteen.
submitted by TheLizardQueen84 to DrCreepensVault [link] [comments]


2019.11.19 15:08 TheLizardQueen84 Tabula Rasa Ranch - Part 1

I used to feel like my side of the story needed to be told to keep the facts right. Now I don’t care what others choose to believe. I intended to follow the non-disclosure agreement but feel the need to warn others entertaining the idea of taking a job at Tabula Rasa Ranch because the company chose not to disclose the true inner workings. As far as I know, the owner remains the same and hires on employees because there’s a quick turn over due to quitting or untimely demise.
Dense mountain common junipers surrounded a vast modern farmhouse covered in white wooden panels. The dilapidated house I’d seen in countless photographs of Northern Utah was gone. Heavy, unnatural energy I'd encountered upon driving through the protected land grew stronger. Bluish berry-like fruits preparing for hibernation surrounded the edge of the house. They crunched under my steel-toed boots as I approached a tinted glass of the front door. I plucked a white blossom from one of the unbranched deathcamas cozied up around the steps. I slipped it through a bobby pin holding the right side of my hair back for luck.
I turned away from the door to withdraw a pale blue flask from my purse to take a long swig of vodka. I used a cinnamon breath mint and a spray of perfume over my clothes for extra measure. I shook my gloved hands in an attempt to relax, inhaled and rang the doorbell. The door opened a few beats later, yet the dark tint shielded the interior. I smoothed my right hand over my black and white plaid dress pants. Someone cleared their throat from the dark screen separating us. A long silence evaded before the security door swung open to reveal a tall man standing aside in a wide foyer. I entered the air-conditioned house, despite every cell in my body seemed to encourage me to flee.
“Luna Luster?” the man asked, closing the door behind us. His smile was sardonic as he held out his hand to shake. “Is your mother a hippie misplaced in time or did you change your name yourself?”
I tilted my head, trying my best not to let my face sour. I stared at his waiting hand instead because his rude remark made it easier to evade contact. “So original.”
“I take it you get the question a lot. I’m the vice president of Tabula Rasa Ranch, Ambrose Reed.”
He dropped his hand after an awkward pause. “Please follow me to the office. Would you like a cup of coffee?”
“Uh, sure.”
I trailed behind him through a narrow hallway. We turned left into a room before the hall opened to a spacious kitchen. The office was white and void of personal photographs or sentimental items. Five abstract framed paintings graced the walls. The man stopped at a flimsy plastic table with a fancy coffee machine and condiments next to the door. I stood on the pristine white carpet and knotted my fingers together.
“Have a seat. How do you like your coffee?”
“Black. Two sugars.”
The side of a cherry wood desk rested against the wall with a plush chair underneath it. An open laptop, clunky landline phone, and two coasters were on the desk. I sat on a white plastic chair across the desk. I shifted in the chair in an attempt to distract myself before the interrogation began. Ambrose placed a white mug on a coaster on the desk, then seated himself in the swivel chair. His cologne was earthy and expensive, full of hidden motives with notes of sandalwood.
“Thank you,” I said, but didn’t pick up the mug.
“Why are you wearing gloves?”
“Off the record? I’m a germaphobe."
He nodded, seeming to accept the answer and took a stack of papers from a drawer. He began with typical interview questions that blurred together in a flurry.
Can you tell me about yourself? What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses? Can you tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult person?
So forth and so on. All the questions I’d heard since I’d started working at sixteen years old whirled by until a red flag arose.
“What can you tell me about the gaps in your employment history?”
“Pardon me?”
“You didn’t include your paid work on the side with the Salt Lake City Police Department. You cited government work as a forensic botanist before some unlisted department work.” Ambrose paused to gauge my expression. His wide-set eyes focused on the laptop screen. “We were very thorough before offering a follow-up interview.”
“If you consider a faceless phone call an interview.”
“A mere formality. I was against requesting a callback, but the owner wanted an interview for some reason. He greased a few wheels to find out why you didn’t include your work in the achievements of your resume.”
“It didn’t seem relevant,” I said, smoothing my hands over my pants to keep from wringing them together. Mentioning being able to see lingering spirits would end the job interview. Most of the community in Roosevelt already thought I lived in cloudcuckooland. I knew it was because of my unwanted gifts. Revealing the information would make a fresh start redundant.
“A thorough background check revealed a few things. You became an independent investigator without any prior experience with investigating. The owner wanted to know the duties you performed during your brief stint at the department. It would make more sense if you were working as a forensic botanist with your degree.”
“I am unable to provide the information you want. I signed a non-disclosure document.”
“Which is something my employer values.”
At a loss for a response, I leaned forward and picked up the steaming hot mug from the desk. The familiar beverage soothed my nerves with each careful sip. Ambrose shuffled through the papers. He studied a paper before resuming.
“What do you know about this location?”
“Almost everyone is familiar with stories and news coverage. I’m from Roosevelt, after all.”
I froze, waiting to see if the blatant lie had weight or not. No need to tell him about the unusual experience I had as a teenager. Besides, it was questionable due to the substances my friends and I had been on. Ambrose leaned back in the chair and watched the screen for a long time.
“What have the new rumors said?”
I hesitated. “I heard about the new owner taking more of an interest in the ranch because of increased activity after Bigelow sold the land.”
His face remained blank and unreadable as he assessed my response.
I set the coffee back down, picked up my purse and stood up. “Look, I’m sorry I waste your-”
“How do you feel about being recorded on a daily basis for liability purposes?” Ambrose interrupted.
“Are you recording now?”
“The founder is on a one-way voice chat to give his input. The recording is for future records, should you pass the final interview.”
“Wait, if I take the job, I’m going to under surveillance at all times?” I asked, sitting back down.
“For liability purposes.”
“The salary Miss Giles offered on the phone would make recording worth it. Listen, am I under surveillance for my history with the police department? Or for forensic botany?”
The landline phone rang once and Ambrose picked it up.
“Are you sure?”
He paused for a long time.
“Yes, sir. I understand. Thank you,” Ambrose responded. He hung the phone up with a tight smile. “It seems you’re hired, Miss Luster.”
I couldn’t conceal my smile. “When do I start?”
“Monday. You need to move in by tomorrow afternoon so you have the weekend to get settled. Stop by the office with your belongings. I’ll have your bunker assignment along with some clearance badges you’ll need for your first day. You’ll be shadowing Ava Fleming during your first week here. She’ll have your work schedule. Your job will initially consist of watching live, unrecorded security footage and taking notes until you’re familiar with the protocol.”
Ambrose stood up and crossed over to me. I joined him, unsure of where it was going. He reached for my hand, enveloping his warm one with mine and I could smell the cologne wafting off him. Worst of all, the gloves failed to do their job and his thoughts came flooding in with the forced handshake. “Welcome to Tabula Rasa Ranch, Miss Luster.”
I don’t know what Gabriel is thinking about hiring her. Are you kidding me? She communed with spirits and helped the police department? What a load of bullshit. She has to be some kind of hack or fraud. I bet she falsified her so-called degree in forensic botany.
“Cheer up fuckface. You might like me in due time.” I twisted my hand away from his. Ambrose’s face warped in surprise, but I picked up my purse before he could get the last word in and headed for the door. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
I exited the farmhouse cursing under my breath. I retreated to my old but trusty black Dodge 1971 Charger. I tossed my purse on the passenger seat, fired up and a song by The Damned filled the speakers. I screamed in frustration over picking up on his thoughts. Fucking gloves didn’t do their job. It was always hit or miss if the gloves were thick enough to keep inner thoughts from invading my space. I opened my purse, took out the flask and took a five-second gulp of vodka. The burn almost pushed away Ambrose’s toxic thoughts. Key word being almost. Dirt misted behind the car as I drove, turning up the music.
It took a five-minute drive through unpaved roads until I reached the man in the security booth. He opened the gate and waved as I left. It was another thirty minutes before I stopped in front of a two-story house on the outskirts of Roosevelt. I smiled at the sight of the youthful fifty-year-old woman sitting on the steps.
“How did it go?” Aunt Chloe asked, standing up and offering a warm smile.
“I got it!”
We went inside and Aunt Chloe busied herself with brewing coffee as I secretly took a long swig of vodka. I filled her in on the information Ambrose gave me but kept out hearing his thoughts. She caught me up on her day while making two turkey and tomato sandwiches with chips for an early dinner. I retreated to the basement to begin packing for the next day. My blue pitbull, Poppy, barked when I opened the door. Flora marked my legs and meowed once Poppy finished greeting me. I spent half an hour paying attention to the fur babies before starting to pack. It took three hours to pack everything I wanted to take to the ranch. A few iced down screwdrivers helped sleep arrive. In no time I fell asleep by Poppy and Luna.
It was around noon by the time I finished loading the trailer attached to my car with boxes and small furniture with Aunt Chloe’s help. We were pushing the last heavy box into the trailer when something thudded loudly on the tin-top several times. My aunt exited the trailer to explore. I shrugged it off and resumed stacking the smaller boxes around furniture in a more stable order.
“Luna. You need to see this.”
She warned me to watch my step and held a hand out to ensure a stable landing. Several dead crows with their wings visibly broken and bent unnaturally were splayed out around the car. Small pools of blood leaked out their beaks and nearly half of their feathers were scattered around them. The stench was reminiscent of roadkill roasted on the side of the road for at least a week. We backed away from the trailer to see how far around the dead birds went. I counted thirteen birds in a circle around the car and trailer.
“Luna, we need to go see Gracie before you hit the road. She said she had a dream about you the other night. I don’t think your taking the job is a good idea.”
“You think I should live off your pension? Even the local deli rejected my request for an interview. I was lucky to land this job and it pays well.”
“Sometimes it isn’t worth it. You can find a legitimate job online and work from home.”
“I tried that. There isn’t anything that doesn’t need some sort of down payment for access. Most of them look like scams.”
Aunt Chloe tucked her brunette hair behind her ears and sighed, knowing it was a fight she couldn’t win. We let Poppy loose and carried Flora’s crate back into the house.
My aunt drove us to Gracie’s in her faded black truck in about ten minutes. ‘Gracie’s Apothecary’ was lit up in cursive neon letters on top of the small store and stood out in the unusually dim afternoon. Our footsteps echoed on the steel steps to the wooden door with the name embellished on the clear window. The familiar tinkle of the bell did little to set my mind at ease, but the strong scent of lavender incense helped. The apothecary was a slender ten by ten space with a beaded curtain leading to more merchandise in the back of the store. Bright lavender walls had shelves lined labeled wire baskets and pegged supplies hung below them.
The little woman with long gray hair in her late sixties greeted us with a bright smile and inquiries of how we’ve been. Aunt Chloe told her about the dead crows, picking up a mesh shopping basket along the way.
“That is troubling. Are you sure you want to take the job?” Gracie asked, frowning. “The dream I had didn’t indicate anything about the job being a bad choice. At least from the context of it.”
“I need to do something. I’ve been going stir-crazy.”
“Nettie?” Gracie called back into the office behind her. “I need you to take over while I help Chloe and Luna.”
A thin, dark-haired teenager popped her head out and stood behind the register with a nod. Gracie led us to a section with a variety of sage bundles in baskets on one of the tables below the shelves. Aunt Chloe collected large bundles of white, blue and black sage. She set the bundles in the shopping basket and asked if Gracie had any other suggestions. Gracie’s wrinkled forehead pinched together in thought before she picked up a light brown, medium bundle of sage that smelled a bit peppery.
“Desert sage is used for cleansing and purifying, protection and inner strength. It’s said to draw in pleasant thoughts and relieve headaches and anxiety,” she explained, handing Aunt Chloe the bundle.
“Is there anything else for protection?”
Gracie picked up a greenish-brown bundle with a woodsy and fresh scent. “Cedar recalls ancient forests and invokes their protection and wisdom. Smudging this carries a medicine of protection. You should cleanse your new home upon moving in to invite unwanted spirits to leave. It can help protect you, the place and objects from unwanted influences. It’s the most aggressive cleansing smudge.”
She invited us to sit and talk over a cup of tea. We passed through purple wooden beads concealing an archway to the back section of the store. We seated ourselves as Gracie started up a pot of loose leaf tea on a hot plate on a counter nearby the small table in the corner of the room.
“I thought it was unusual that you showed up in my dreams last night,” she said, sitting down and facing me. “You were sitting on the bench in the front, drawing on a sketchpad while I was working. You came to show me the exterior sketches of the shop for a new launching of the website. I didn’t see anything ominous.”
I frowned deeply.
“Nothing symbolic in what Luna was wearing?” Aunt Chloe asked, leaning forward.
“She wore a black band shirt and had on Gemma’s necklace. Luna didn’t have anything on out of the ordinary.”
“Other than smudging, what can we do to protect her?”
“I can find some talismans, charmed stones and candles after we have our tea. There isn’t much else I can do because I’m not sure what the threat is. What did the land feel like?”
The kettle whistled and Gracie prepared a tray. I tried my best to describe the heavy aura of the land, only to be met with another frown. She carried the tray with three cups of tea on saucers, cream, and sugar to the table. She placed our cups on saucers in front of each of us. I fiddled with the dark purple tassels on the edge of the table cloth as Aunt Chloe insisted that my taking the job was a bad idea.
The broken and bloodied wings of the crows scratched at the back of my mind until my aunt touched my arm gently and brought me back to earth. Gracie pointed out the tea was cool enough to drink. I stirred in mostly clear, tinted green tea soothed my throat as the pair caught up on town gossip. I traced the golden rim of the painted floral teacup, then peered down at the vortex of swirling tea leaves, falling to the bottom. Aunt Chloe nudged me after the conversation fell silent.
“I do have a bad feeling about everything, but doing nothing is making me feel worse,” I said. I took a few more sips of tea until I tasted bitter tea grits.
Gracie’s eyes narrowed on my hand holding the teacup. “Are you right-handed?”
“Yeah, why?”
“In the dream, you were drawing with your left hand.”
“I don’t know how to draw or write with that hand.”
I drained the cup and handed it to Gracie. She turned the cup upside down on the saucer I was using and studied the leaves. Reading my tea leaves was a redundant task because I knew how to read my own, but it seemed to thrill the old woman. Damp tea leaves surrounded a bird with spread wings.
“I don’t know if there’s anything I can do to help you,” Gracie admitted slowly, unable to take her eyes off the grim omen on the saucer.
“What does it mean?” Aunt Chloe leaned forward.
“It’s a deadly omen, sometimes attached to death. It isn’t too surprising with what happened this morning.”
A chill ran over my body as I rose to my feet. I excused myself, explained that I needed a few more supplies and left the room with the shopping basket. I selected a few bottles of essential oils, more sage, and some stones. A bar of protective soap with black pepper, cedarwood, cypress, and lavender went into the basket as well. The duo joined me and we walked to the register. Gracie applied the family discount and saw us out the door. She hugged me for a long moment and requested an email every so often. I promised and we made our way back to the house.
Half an hour later, the sky was filled with dark clouds over the sun and Aunt Chloe begged me to stay. She didn’t let me leave until I wore Grandma Gemma’s dark emerald stone in an oval pendant on a thick golden cord that rested just below my chest. I’d hated the eyesore since I was thirteen and was occasionally forced to wear it for extra protection. I loaded my cat and dog into kennels, leaving despite my aunt’s pleas.
___
It started raining heavily as we made the thirty-minute journey to the entrance of the ranch. Grey clouds covered the sky to the point where it was more like night. The shadow in the tinted booth at the entrance opened the chain-link gate after I waited for a minute for them to clear me. A tall athletic man waited under an umbrella by the front steps of the farmhouse. He wore a shirt advertising The Pie in Salt Lake City with an unzipped basic grey hoodie, above a pair of worn black jeans. His age was indeterminate, somewhere between twenty-five to thirty-five. I turned off the car lights and engine, unrolling the window. His stride was quick and purposeful to my unrolled window. He leaned down, flashing a bright set of teeth. “You must be Luna Luster.”
“Indeed.”
“Ambrose had to leave the office for an emergency,” he explained, pausing to laugh. “You didn’t get off on the right foot with him, did you?”
I grimaced. “Is it that obvious? He wasn’t very welcoming, to say the least.”
“Give it time. He’ll loosen up once he sees your value. Sorry, I’ve been rude. I’m Orion Rist.”
I shook his extended hand. The gloves kept his unwelcome thoughts out.
“So, your access badge is on the way and we’ll take a photo once it arrives. My bunker is right next to yours. Can I hitch a ride?”
“If you don’t mind holding a cat crate.” I motioned to the passenger seat.
With a nod, he circled around the car, opened the door and lifted Flora’s crate. He put a tote bag down on the middle console, sat down with the crate and buckled in. I started the engine and music flooded the car. I reached to turn it off, but he stopped me. His bright eyes met mine.
“I don’t mind The Stooges.” He directed me down a small muddy road west of the farmhouse and urged me to stop after half a mile. “Did Ambrose tell you anything about the living quarters?”
“Nope.”
“Subterranean bunkers. We’re safer underground. You’re in bunker thirteen and I’m to the right in fourteen. Come on.”
Orion picked up the tote bag and exited. He set the crate back on the seat and ran to my side with the umbrella out. I joined him, walking through the mud until we reached a concrete path down to a steel door built out of place in elevated land covered by bushes and trees. Orion held the umbrella over us as he punched a code into the security pad beside the door. The open door exposed stone steps illuminated by bright bare bulbs in a concrete ceiling. Orion folded the umbrella, hung it up on a hook on the wall by the door and encouraged me to follow him. We descended down the stairs at least twenty feet before arriving at another steel door with a security pad.
“I’ll write the code down for you,” he said, punching the code in again.
Fluttering mixed with frantic flaps accompanied the blackbirds that filed out of my new home. Wonderful. The flurry of birds went by too quickly to count. And odds are, there had to be thirteen.
submitted by TheLizardQueen84 to u/TheLizardQueen84 [link] [comments]


2019.11.19 15:04 TheLizardQueen84 Tabula Rasa Ranch - Part 1

“All things must change to something new, to something strange.”
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I used to feel like my side of the story needed to be told to keep the facts right. Now I don’t care what others choose to believe. I intended to follow the non-disclosure agreement but feel the need to warn others entertaining the idea of taking a job at Tabula Rasa Ranch because the company chose not to disclose the true inner workings. As far as I know, the owner remains the same and hires on employees because there’s a quick turn over due to quitting or untimely demise.
Dense mountain common junipers surrounded a vast modern farmhouse covered in white wooden panels. The dilapidated house I’d seen in countless photographs of Northern Utah was gone. Heavy, unnatural energy I'd encountered upon driving through the protected land grew stronger. Bluish berry-like fruits preparing for hibernation surrounded the edge of the house. They crunched under my steel-toed boots as I approached a tinted glass of the front door. I plucked a white blossom from one of the unbranched deathcamas cozied up around the steps. I slipped it through a bobby pin holding the right side of my hair back for luck.

I turned away from the door to withdraw a pale blue flask from my purse to take a long swig of vodka. I used a cinnamon breath mint and a spray of perfume over my clothes for extra measure. I shook my gloved hands in an attempt to relax, inhaled and rang the doorbell. The door opened a few beats later, yet the dark tint shielded the interior. I smoothed my right hand over my black and white plaid dress pants. Someone cleared their throat from the dark screen separating us. A long silence evaded before the security door swung open to reveal a tall man standing aside in a wide foyer. I entered the air-conditioned house, despite every cell in my body seemed to encourage me to flee.

“Luna Luster?” the man asked, closing the door behind us. His smile was sardonic as he held out his hand to shake. “Is your mother a hippie misplaced in time or did you change your name yourself?”

I tilted my head and tried my best not to let my face sour. I stared at his waiting hand instead because his rude remark made it easier to evade contact. His cologne was earthy and expensive, full of hidden motives with notes of sandalwood. “So original.”

“I take it you get the question a lot. I’m the vice president of Tabula Rasa Ranch, Ambrose Reed.”

He dropped his hand after an awkward pause. “Please follow me to the office. Would you like a cup of coffee?”

“Uh, sure.”

I trailed behind him through a narrow hallway. We turned left into a room before the hall opened to a spacious kitchen. The office was white and void of personal photographs or sentimental items. Five abstract framed paintings graced the walls. Ambrose stopped at a flimsy plastic table with a fancy coffee machine and condiments next to the door. I stood on the pristine white carpet and knotted my fingers together.

“Have a seat. How do you like your coffee?”

“Black. Two sugars.”

The side of a cherry wood desk rested against the wall with a plush chair underneath it. An open laptop, clunky landline phone, and two coasters were on the desk. I sat on a white plastic chair across the desk. I shifted in the chair in an attempt to distract myself before the interrogation began. Ambrose placed a white mug on a coaster on the desk, then seated himself in the swivel chair.

“Thank you,” I said, but didn’t pick up the mug.

“Why are you wearing gloves?”

“Off the record? I’m a germaphobe."

He nodded, seeming to accept the answer and took a stack of papers from a drawer. He began with typical interview questions that blurred together in a flurry. What was your first job? What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses? Can you tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult person? So forth and so on. All the questions I’d heard since I’d started working at sixteen years old whirled by until a red flag arose.

“Tell me a little about yourself.”

I stared at him. “I’d rather not, but I kinda need this job.”

He didn’t respond for nearly a minute and stared at the computer screen with a deep frown. “What can you tell me about the gaps in your employment history?”

“Pardon me?”

“You didn’t include your paid work on the side with the Salt Lake City Police Department. You cited government work as a forensic botanist before some unlisted department work.” Ambrose paused to gauge my expression. His wide-set eyes focused on the laptop screen. “We were very thorough before offering a follow-up interview.”

“If you consider a faceless phone call an interview.”

“A mere formality. I was against requesting a callback, but the owner wanted an interview for some reason. He greased a few wheels to find out why you didn’t include your work in the achievements of your resume.”

“It didn’t seem relevant,” I said, smoothing my hands over my pants to keep from wringing them together. Mentioning being able to see lingering spirits would end the job interview. Most of the community in Roosevelt already thought I lived in cloudcuckooland. I knew it was because of my unwanted gifts. Revealing the information would make a fresh start redundant.

“A thorough background check revealed a few things. You became an independent investigator without any prior experience with investigating. The owner wanted to know the duties you performed during your brief stint at the department. It would make more sense if you were working as a forensic botanist with your degree.”

“I am unable to provide the information you want. I signed a non-disclosure document.”

“Which is something my employer values.”

At a loss for a response, I leaned forward and picked up the steaming hot mug from the desk. The familiar beverage soothed my nerves with each careful sip. Ambrose shuffled through the papers. He studied a paper before resuming.
“What do you know about this location?”

“Almost everyone is familiar with stories and news coverage. I’m from Roosevelt, after all.”

It was true that rumors of the ranch had been rampant since the first articles about the Shermans hit the newsstands. I froze, waiting to see if the blatant lie had weight or not. No need to tell him about the unusual experience I had as a teenager. Besides, it was questionable due to the substances my friends and I had been on. Ambrose leaned back in the chair and watched the screen for a long time.

“What have the new rumors said?”

I hesitated. “I heard about the new owner taking more of an interest in the ranch because of increased activity after Bigelow sold the land. Also that the land has been bought past the ridge.”

His face remained blank and unreadable as he assessed my response.

I set the coffee back down, picked up my purse and stood up. “Look, I’m sorry I waste your-”

“How do you feel about being recorded on a daily basis for liability purposes?” Ambrose interrupted.

“Are you recording now?”

“The founder is on a one-way voice chat to give his input. The recording is for future records, should you pass the final interview.”

“Wait, if I take the job, I’m going to under surveillance at all times?” I asked, sitting back down.

“For liability purposes.”

“The salary Miss Giles offered on the phone would make recording worth it.” I paused before continuing. “Listen, am I under surveillance for my history with the police department? Or for forensic botany? Or-”

The landline phone rang once and Ambrose picked it up.

“Are you sure?”

He paused for a long time.

“Yes, sir. I understand. Thank you,” Ambrose responded. He hung the phone up with a tight smile. “It seems you’re hired, Miss Luster.”

I couldn’t conceal my smile. “When do I start?”

“Monday. You need to move in by tomorrow afternoon so you have the weekend to get settled. Stop by the office with your belongings. I’ll have your bunker assignment along with some clearance badges you’ll need for your first day. You’ll be shadowing Ava Fleming during your first week here. She’ll have your work schedule. Your job will initially consist of watching live, unrecorded security footage and taking notes until you’re familiar with the protocol.”
Ambrose stood up and crossed over to me. I joined him, unsure of where it was going. He reached for my hand, enveloping his warm one with mine and I could smell the cologne wafting off him. Worst of all, the gloves failed to do their job and his thoughts came flooding in with the forced handshake. “Welcome to Tabula Rasa Ranch, Miss Luster.”

I don’t know what Gabriel is thinking in hiring her. Are you kidding me? She communed with spirits and helped the police department? What a load of bullshit. She has to be some kind of hack or fraud. I bet she falsified her so-called degree in forensic botany. Ambrose’s thoughts were a mix of Korean and English. Something I’d learned from my best friend growing up so we could have a language our peers couldn’t break.

“Cheer up fuckface. You might like me in due time.” I twisted my hand away from his. Ambrose’s face warped in surprise, but I picked up my purse before he could get the last word in and headed for the door. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I exited the farmhouse cursing under my breath. I retreated to my old but trusty black Dodge 1971 Charger. I tossed my purse on the passenger seat, fired up and a song by The Damned filled the speakers. I screamed in frustration over picking up on his thoughts. Fucking gloves didn’t do their job. It was always hit or miss if the gloves were thick enough to keep inner thoughts from invading my space. I opened my purse, took out the flask and took a five-second gulp of vodka. The burn almost pushed away Ambrose’s toxic thoughts. Keyword being almost. Dirt misted behind the car as I drove, turning up the music.

It took a five-minute drive through unpaved roads until I reached a long bearded man in the security booth. He exited the booth, opened the gate and waved as I left. It was another thirty minutes before I stopped in front of a two-story house on the outskirts of Roosevelt. I smiled at the sight of the youthful fifty-year-old woman sitting on the steps.

“How did it go?” Aunt Chloe asked, standing up and offering a warm smile.

“I got it!”

We went inside and Aunt Chloe busied herself with brewing coffee as I secretly took a long swig of vodka. I filled her in on the information Ambrose gave me but kept out hearing his thoughts. She caught me up on her day while making two turkey and tomato sandwiches with chips for an early dinner. I retreated to the basement to begin packing for the next day. My blue pitbull, Poppy, barked when I opened the door. Flora marked my legs and meowed once Poppy finished greeting me. I spent half an hour paying attention to the fur babies before starting to pack. It took three hours to pack everything I wanted to take to the ranch. A few iced down screwdrivers helped sleep arrive. In no time I fell asleep by Poppy and Luna.

It was around noon by the time I finished loading the trailer attached to my car with boxes and small furniture with Aunt Chloe’s help. We were pushing the last heavy box into the trailer when something thudded loudly on the tin-top several times. My aunt exited the trailer to explore. I shrugged it off and resumed stacking the smaller boxes around furniture in a more stable order.

“Luna. You need to see this.”

She warned me to watch my step and held a hand out to ensure a stable landing. Several dead crows with their wings visibly broken and bent unnaturally were splayed out around the car. Small pools of blood leaked out their beaks and nearly half of their feathers were scattered around them. The stench was reminiscent of roadkill roasted on the side of the road for at least a week. We backed away from the trailer to see how far around the dead birds went. I counted thirteen birds in a circle around the car and trailer.

“Luna, we need to go see Gracie before you hit the road. She said she had a dream about you the other night. I don’t think your taking the job is a good idea.”

“And live off your pension? Even the local deli rejected my request for an interview. I was lucky to land this job and it pays well.”

“Sometimes it isn’t worth it. You can find a legitimate job online and work from home. Maybe you can find someone in town hiring. Have you gone through your savings?”

“I tried that. There’s no such thing as pennies from heaven. Besides, I tried locally and no one will hire me because they think I’m too spooky. I have enough bread to live comfortably until I die, but only if I die next Thursday.”

Aunt Chloe tucked her brunette hair behind her ears and sighed, knowing it was a fight she couldn’t win. We let Poppy loose and carried Flora’s crate back into the house.

My aunt drove us to Gracie’s in her faded black truck in about ten minutes. ‘Gracie’s Apothecary’ was lit up in cursive neon letters on top of the small store and stood out in the unusually dim afternoon. Our footsteps echoed on the steel steps to the wooden door with the name embellished on the clear window. The familiar tinkle of the bell did little to set my mind at ease, but the strong scent of lavender incense helped. The apothecary was a slender ten by ten space with a beaded curtain leading to more merchandise in the back of the store. Bright yellow walls had shelves lined labeled wire baskets and pegged supplies hung below them.

The little woman in her late sixties with long, curly white hair greeted us with a bright smile and inquiries of how we’ve been. Aunt Chloe told her about the dead crows, picking up a mesh shopping basket along the way.

“That is troubling. Are you sure you want to take the job? You could work here part time.” Gracie said, frowning. “The dream I had didn’t indicate anything about the job being a bad choice. At least from the context of it.”

“I need to do something. I’ve been going stir-crazy. You don’t want to hire me and drive away people, trust me.”

“Nettie?” Gracie called back into the office behind her. “I need you to take over while I help Chloe and Luna.”

A thin, dark-haired teenager popped her head out and stood behind the register with a nod. Gracie led us to a section with a variety of sage bundles in baskets on one of the tables below the shelves. Aunt Chloe collected large bundles of white, blue and black sage. She set the bundles in the shopping basket and asked if Gracie had any other suggestions. Gracie’s wrinkled forehead pinched together in thought before she picked up a light brown, medium bundle of sage that smelled a bit peppery.

“Desert sage is used for cleansing and purifying, protection and inner strength. It’s said to draw in pleasant thoughts and relieve headaches and anxiety,” she explained, handing Aunt Chloe the bundle.

“Is there anything else for protection?”

Gracie picked up a greenish-brown bundle with a woodsy and fresh scent. “Cedar recalls ancient forests and invokes their protection and wisdom. Smudging this carries a medicine of protection. You should cleanse your new home upon moving in to invite unwanted spirits to leave. It can help protect you, the place and objects from unwanted influences. It’s the most aggressive cleansing smudge.”

She invited us to sit and talk over a cup of tea. We passed through purple wooden beads concealing an archway to the back section of the store. We seated ourselves as Gracie started up a pot of loose leaf tea on a hot plate on a counter nearby the small table in the corner of the room.

“I thought it was unusual that you showed up in my dreams last night,” she said, sitting down and facing me. “You were sitting on the bench in the front, drawing on a sketchpad while I was working. You came to show me the exterior sketches of the shop for a new launching of the website. I didn’t see anything ominous.”

I frowned deeply.

“Nothing symbolic in what Luna was wearing?” Aunt Chloe asked, leaning forward.

“She wore a black band shirt and had on Gemma’s necklace. Luna didn’t have anything on out of the ordinary.”

“Other than smudging, what can we do to protect her?”

“I can find some talismans, charmed stones and candles after we have our tea. There isn’t much else I can do because I’m not sure what the threat is. What did the land feel like?”

The kettle whistled and Gracie prepared a tray. I tried my best to describe the heavy aura of the land, only to be met with another frown. She carried the tray with three cups of tea on saucers, cream, and sugar to the table. She placed our cups on saucers in front of each of us. I fiddled with the dark purple tassels on the edge of the table cloth as Aunt Chloe insisted that my taking the job was a bad idea.

The broken and bloodied wings of the crows scratched at the back of my mind until my aunt touched my arm gently and brought me back to earth. Gracie pointed out the tea was cool enough to drink. I stirred in mostly clear, tinted green tea soothed my throat as the pair caught up on town gossip. I traced the golden rim of the painted floral teacup, then peered down at the vortex of swirling tea leaves, falling to the bottom. Aunt Chloe nudged me after the conversation fell silent.

“I have a bad feeling about everything, but doing nothing is making me feel worse,” I said. I took a few more sips of tea until I tasted bitter tea grits.

Gracie’s eyes narrowed on my hand holding the teacup. “Are you right-handed?”

“Yeah, why?”

“In the dream, you were drawing with your left hand.”

“I don’t know how to draw with that hand.”

I drained the cup and handed it to Gracie. She turned the cup upside down on the saucer I was using and studied the leaves. Reading my tea leaves was a redundant task because I knew how to read my own, but it seemed to thrill the old woman. Damp tea leaves surrounded a bird with spread wings.

“I don’t know if there’s anything I can do to help you,” Gracie admitted slowly, unable to take her eyes off the grim omen on the saucer.

“What does it mean?” Aunt Chloe leaned forward.

“It’s a deadly omen, sometimes attached to death. It isn’t too surprising with what happened this morning.”

A chill ran over my body as I rose to my feet. I excused myself, explained that I needed a few more supplies and left the room with the shopping basket. I selected a few bottles of essential oils, more sage, and some stones. A bar of protective soap with black pepper, cedarwood, cypress, and lavender went into the basket as well. The duo joined me and we walked to the register. Gracie applied the family discount and saw us out the door. She hugged me for a long moment and requested an email every so often. I promised.

We stopped by the grocery store for a cooler and enough food to last me for at least two weeks. We made our way back to the house shortly after. Half an hour later, the sky was filled with dark clouds over the sun and Aunt Chloe begged me to stay. She didn’t let me leave until I wore Grandma Gemma’s dark emerald stone in an oval pendant on a thick golden cord that rested just below my chest. I’d hated the eyesore since I was thirteen and was occasionally forced to wear it for extra protection. I loaded my cat and dog into kennels, leaving despite my aunt’s pleas.

___

It started raining heavily as we made the thirty-minute journey to the entrance of the ranch. Grey clouds covered the sky to the point where it was more like night. The shadow in the tinted booth at the entrance opened the chain-link gate after I waited for a minute for them to clear me. A tall athletic man waited under an umbrella by the front steps of the farmhouse. He wore a shirt advertising The Pie in Salt Lake City with an unzipped basic grey hoodie, above a pair of worn black jeans. His age was indeterminate, somewhere between twenty-five to thirty-five. I turned off the car lights and engine, unrolling the window. His stride was quick and purposeful to my unrolled window. He leaned down, flashing a bright set of teeth. “You must be Luna Luster.”

“Indeed.”

“Ambrose had to leave the office for an emergency,” he explained. He paused to study my face and burst out in a chuckle. “You didn’t get off on the right foot with him, did you?”

I grimaced. “Is it that obvious? He wasn’t very welcoming, to say the least.”

“Give it time. He’ll loosen up once he sees your value. Sorry, I’ve been rude. I’m Orion Rist.”

I shook his extended hand. The gloves kept his unwelcome thoughts out.

“So, your access badge is on the way and we’ll take a photo once it arrives. My bunker is right next to yours. Can I hitch a ride?”

“If you don’t mind holding a cat crate.” I motioned to the passenger seat.

With a nod, he circled around the car, opened the door and lifted Flora’s crate. He put a tote bag down on the middle console, sat down with the crate and buckled in. I started the engine and music flooded the car. I reached to turn it off, but he stopped me. His bright eyes met mine.

“I don’t mind The Stooges.” He directed me down a small muddy road west of the farmhouse and urged me to stop after half a mile. “Did Ambrose tell you anything about the living quarters?”

“Nope.”

“Subterranean bunkers. We’re safer underground. You’re in bunker thirteen and I’m to the right in fourteen. Come on.”

Orion picked up the tote bag and exited. He set the crate back on the seat and ran to my side with the umbrella out. I joined him, walking through the mud until we reached a concrete path down to a steel door built out of place in elevated land covered by bushes and trees. Orion held the umbrella over us as he punched a code into the security pad beside the door. The open door exposed stone steps illuminated by bright bare bulbs in a concrete ceiling. Orion folded the umbrella, hung it up on a hook on the wall by the door and encouraged me to follow him. We descended down the stairs at least twenty feet before arriving at another steel door with a security pad.

“I’ll write the code down for you,” he said, punching the code in again.

Fluttering mixed with frantic flaps accompanied the blackbirds that filed out of my new home. Wonderful. The flurry of birds went by too quickly to count. And odds are, there had to be thirteen.
submitted by TheLizardQueen84 to DrCreepensVault [link] [comments]


2019.06.10 16:54 forthelove801 GLOBAL REDDIT MEETUP 2019 - SATURDAY, JUNE 22

GLOBAL REDDIT MEETUP 2019 - SATURDAY, JUNE 22
**CLICK ON LINK FOR LOCATION!! PLEASE BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR RED STAR BALLOONS*\*
LOCATION OF MEETUP: Reddit meet up! https://imgur.com/gallery/wPMEFiq
It's that time of the year again for the Global Meetup! June is a special time of year when Redditors around the world go all-out and meet up to bring their conversations from online to IRL, have fun, meet new people, and eat a lot of good food!

GLOBAL REDDIT MEETUP DETAILS:

  • LOCATION: Liberty Park - 600 East 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT (exact location in park TBD-Location will be updated on this post on the day of the event)
  • MARKERS TO LOOK FOR AT THE PARK: Red Balloons, Reddit Poster signs
  • TIME: 3:00 PM until whenever we get sick of each other
  • WHO IS INVITED? Redditors, your spouse, dogs, cats, hand puppets, everybody!
  • DO YOU NEED TO REGISTER? So we can anticipate attendance numbers, we highly recommend RSVPing in this thread and letting us know what you are bringing. There is no formal registration. There will be name-tags available at Global- you can use your Reddit username or your real name.
  • THEME: POTLUCK-STYLE - Bring something to share. Such as: Food, drinks, water, ice, lawn games, bluetooth speakers, etc. Let us know what you will be bringing in the comments.
  • SWAG! SWAG! SWAG!- There will be Reddit swag given at the event!
  • SPECIAL BONUS: Get Reddit coins or platinum/gold awards if you attend and take a picture with the special poster at the event
  • AFTER-PARTY: There will be a 21+ Afterparty at Gracie's (326 W Temple, Salt Lake City, UT). We will be there around 8:30 pm! Be prepared to party and dance your ass off.

Note: Liberty Park is a no alcohol permitted public park so please do not bring alcohol.

CARPOOLS NEEDED! Carpooling is a good way to get to Liberty Park and there are a couple of Redditors who needs a ride. If you can help out, please PM me! The riders will give you some gas money and I will toss you some Reddit coins for helping out.

We are excited to host the SaltLakeCity global meetup and we hope to see a lot of new and old faces at this event. If you have any questions, please feel free to private message me.
https://i.redd.it/68cl5z3s4k331.png
submitted by forthelove801 to SaltLakeCity [link] [comments]


2019.06.01 21:58 Gaelfling [Discussion] NoSleep Podcast S12E25

It's episode 25 - the Season 12 Finale! We are proud to present the full-length adaptation of C.K. Walkers's epic tale, "Whitefall".
Cast: Kris – Mick Wingert, Gracie – Jessica McEvoy, Dillon – Graham Rowat, Mack – David Cummings, Acker – Peter Lewis, Emily Pollock – Samantha Sloyan, John Pollock – Mike DelGaudio, Melody – Addison Peacock, Amanda Hughen – Nikolle Doolin, Scraggle – Grahm Rowat, Miles – Matthew Bradford, Stationmaster – Atticus Jackson, Food thief – Kyle Akers, Jeremy – Jason Wilson, Mandy – Nichole Goodnight, Elaine – Mary Murphy, Andy – Jeff Clement, Angry Man – Justin McCarthy, Salt Lake City Man – Owen McCuen, British Man – David Ault, Lady with baby – Sarah Thomas, Bus Driver 1 – Jesse Cornett, Bus Driver 2 – Erin Lillis, Bus Driver 3 – Dan Zappulla, Food Run Man – Elie Hirschman
submitted by Gaelfling to TheNSPDiscussion [link] [comments]


2019.02.02 07:24 GypsyGold Ranking All UFC Events Via Their Reported Attendance Numbers!

Ranking - Event - Location @ Venue - Attendance

These Events Have No Reported Attendance Record

submitted by GypsyGold to MMA [link] [comments]


2018.12.31 08:59 areohdeee Memes Gear - mdbjnluipbfaxkjuth - Meme Merch.

Meme Gear! Memes Merch CHEAP AND FREE SHIPPING on Ebay and Etsy!!!! -------->>

https://www.etsy.com/listing/652403302/gotcha-meme-keychain-memes-key-chain?hqcafbzse 1234534563443
Kip Frami meme blue system parse system Tessside Tasty Fresh Car Sleek Fish Functionbased neutral meme tiny box tim fictional character amnesia markiplier mark fischbach wooden crate cute a late night drink companion Alia Nitzsche meme sky blue card navigate card Rowefort Unbranded Soft Cheese Handcrafted Salad Ergonomic optimizing meme soundcloud pyrolution firemariofan5 Alice DAmore meme mint green application hack application East Bernita Handcrafted Wooden Pizza Handmade Bike Visionoriented bottomline meme virus fake bogus email hoax 1980s Geovanni Rutherford meme azure bandwidth hack bandwidth East Nikkoland Rustic Granite Fish Unbranded Table Reengineered objectoriented meme game android ios supercell app Carli Hahn meme pink panel connect panel Stantonshire Intelligent Soft Chips Awesome Computer Optimized systematic meme lulz pink shirt guy psg mystery enigma Rosalind Rosenbaum meme salmon sensor quantify sensor Wilhelmville Incredible Fresh Fish Ergonomic Car Decentralized disintermediate meme render niboc rock nibocrock samus Morris Ernser V meme blue array override array North Malinda Gorgeous Cotton Salad Refined Sausages Face to face tangible meme ren art parody coloring Savannah Schowalter meme green program back up program West Reagan Sleek Soft Bacon Fantastic Tuna Switchable 3rd generation meme viral this man dreams enigma hoax Sydnie Conn DDS meme olive card compress card Friesenberg Refined Granite Shirt Licensed Gloves Implemented neutral meme dance youtube team fortress 2 mass effect 2 gmod 60s spiderman dancing heavy Tiffany Breitenberg meme plum microchip quantify microchip Lillianberg Rustic Frozen Table Gorgeous Hat Triplebuffered webenabled meme bullet barry barry anti Brionna Green meme blue circuit reboot circuit North Justinemouth Handmade Cotton Chicken Refined Shoes Optimized leading edge meme none Arlie Conroy meme plum driver quantify driver West Zackeryberg Incredible Frozen Sausages Licensed Sausages Managed bottomline meme milka cow milk chocolate dairy moo madam innocent scarf happy depressed Pearlie Ratke meme pink alarm navigate alarm Morarland Ergonomic Rubber Fish Sleek Keyboard Organized empowering meme How I feel after losing my Galaxy Note 2 and switching back to an iPhone Chadd Rowe meme white matrix navigate matrix West Ezraport Incredible Granite Chicken Unbranded Cheese Triplebuffered clientserver meme comic webcomic theft exploitable owl turd comix bike cuck Austen Bosco meme red interface input interface Port Julietport Refined Wooden Car Ergonomic Keyboard Multichannelled mobile meme russian new years steklovata dancing awkward orphans estonian russia christmas Sophia Gleason meme teal transmitter connect transmitter Earlton Gorgeous Plastic Bacon Sleek Chair Exclusive hybrid meme youtube cartoon flash comedy animated elimination ii total drama survivor battle for dream island inanimate insanity bfdi total drama island objects animationepic object show series tv shows Mateo Rutherford meme teal interface compress interface Grimeschester Handmade Granite Car Unbranded Sausages Operative realtime meme meme photoshop sculpture Blanca Herzog meme green matrix calculate matrix Cormierstad Practical Metal Keyboard Handcrafted Bacon Universal faulttolerant meme nickelback youtube vine picture joke music shoop Kayley Zemlak meme white program reboot program West Mervin Practical Concrete Gloves Incredible Car Inverse 24 hour meme david wain amy poehler the state christopher meloni elizabeth banks michael showalter second city summer camp 1980s comedy cult film paul rudd janeane garofalo Marquise Jacobson meme yellow protocol transmit protocol East Joanny Handmade Plastic Ball Incredible Keyboard Robust cohesive meme remix gospel church hip hop Eleazar Collins meme green program compress program Leonmouth Rustic Cotton Keyboard Practical Soap Preemptive heuristic meme 4chan Jimmy Mertz meme violet transmitter back up transmitter Darechester Intelligent Frozen Pizza Awesome Car Usercentric national meme celebrity rape lawsuit Felicia Wyman meme black feed bypass feed East Kaileystad Ergonomic Frozen Shirt Ergonomic Ball Selfenabling gridenabled meme super mario world super nintendo yoshi super mario bros video games nintendo Jorge Bins meme olive bandwidth hack bandwidth Lake Lewchester Generic Rubber Table Fantastic Mouse Synergistic coherent meme artificial intelligence thought experiment philosophy Vena Boehm meme gold port input port Lake Coltenside Refined Frozen Mouse Gorgeous Pants Phased incremental meme yeah yeah yeahs remix videos youtube heads will roll Geovanny Wisozk meme green monitor bypass monitor North Imogene Sleek Fresh Table Handcrafted Keyboard Decentralized multitasking meme shitpost league of legends lol Guido Brakus meme mint green panel transmit panel Port Delaneyborough Licensed Metal Tuna Sleek Mouse Innovative cohesive meme kymirl Gracie McLaughlin meme olive driver transmit driver Port Randalburgh Refined Wooden Car Ergonomic Towels Persevering incremental meme animals goat goats Rogers Schulist meme turquoise panel quantify panel Doyleberg Ergonomic Soft Table Sleek Computer Inverse discrete meme susan glenn the it girl Lily Prosacco meme fuchsia pixel connect pixel East Iva Fantastic Cotton Computer Rustic Chicken Configurable multitasking meme adult swim comedy comedian youtube arg Jena Bosco meme yellow protocol override protocol Hellerstad Fantastic Soft Bacon Incredible Sausages Profound valueadded meme youtube my i little this to mistakes me could how pony made happen Mavis DAmore meme teal capacitor generate capacitor Patsyside Intelligent Fresh Soap Gorgeous Pants Programmable demanddriven meme sonic tf2 heavy boy oh medic spice generations sanic terry crews cd Mrs Afton Bergnaum meme azure pixel copy pixel East Abigailstad Licensed Granite Hat Handcrafted Shoes Crossgroup gridenabled meme video game japan gameboy blacklist anime title pokemon pokmon pokmon video game title gamefreak gaming subculture e3 Eleanora Kunze MD meme black panel generate panel Port Maurineport Awesome Wooden Towels Ergonomic Hat Organic evenkeeled meme tyrant orbo kongregate Jose Runolfsson meme lavender protocol quantify protocol North Houstonchester Small Steel Pants Generic Sausages Focused transitional meme fail man nude naked la redoute laredoute redoute photoshop fashion french france commercial advertisement pr corporate public relations exploitable Willis Schmidt meme ivory driver copy driver West Miguel Licensed Wooden Keyboard Rustic Ball Fundamental explicit meme microsoft google chrome slinky steve balmer chrome os Nico Gibson meme fuchsia hard drive navigate hard drive Hollyville Small Soft Tuna Ergonomic Salad Sharable fullrange meme game age of empires wololo monk priest Kacey Cole meme olive feed connect feed Lake Adolphus Licensed Concrete Pants Handcrafted Cheese Digitized clientserver meme My now EXboyfriend laid this one out on me last night and was dead serious Benny Green meme lime capacitor compress capacitor South Michellefurt Handmade Soft Car Gorgeous Shirt Progressive missioncritical meme none Reagan MacGyver meme fuchsia microchip back up microchip Port Lillymouth Ergonomic Rubber Bike Practical Computer Publickey systematic meme vlogger video blogger youtube five awesome gays lgbt activist Gaston Steuber meme salmon driver index driver East Verla Refined Wooden Keyboard Gorgeous Cheese Digitized didactic meme reddit Glennie Herman meme salmon capacitor connect capacitor North Fletaton Rustic Rubber Fish Gorgeous Soap Multitiered directional meme elephant trunk trunk riding Fred Keebler DVM meme blue driver calculate driver East Beulah Intelligent Granite Fish Generic Ball Enterprisewide tangible meme jesus republican Bria Lebsack IV meme cyan microchip calculate microchip Port Zion Intelligent Steel Mouse Awesome Shirt Reduced clientdriven meme roadhouse kick Sunny Adams meme gold bandwidth back up bandwidth Rowestad Gorgeous Cotton Sausages Licensed Ball Ergonomic scalable meme april fools inb4 deadpool Celine Casper meme black interface quantify interface Jarenburgh Handmade Steel Cheese Fantastic Bacon Upsized nonvolatile meme sonic zelda zeldo raggen71 michael rosen noice literally the best in the world at sonic adventure 2 battle memelord memegod Nick Mayer meme mint green array navigate array South Stevie Unbranded Fresh Bacon Gorgeous Computer Crossgroup zero administration meme video games quicksave skyrim gamer ps4 xbox Patrick Fritsch meme teal array copy array Lake Serenity Generic Soft Shirt Intelligent Computer Functionbased disintermediate meme photoshop soccer world cup hashtag sports football goalie goalkeeper Holly Krajcik meme sky blue application calculate application West Earlene Practical Rubber Towels Handmade Computer Decentralized stable meme super smash bros debate metroid sakurai ridley Devonte Hodkiewicz PhD meme teal interface override interface East Lisaview Licensed Wooden Sausages Small Ball Implemented contextuallybased meme jimmy neutron youtube salt -
submitted by areohdeee to MemeGear [link] [comments]


2018.11.14 18:01 daprice82 Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Jun. 5, 2000

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE:
199119921993199419951996199719981999
1-3-2000 1-10-2000 1-17-2000 1-24-2000
1-31-2000 2-7-2000 2-14-2000 2-21-2000
2-28-2000 3-6-2000 3-13-2000 3-20-2000
3-27-2000 4-3-2000 4-10-2000 4-17-2000
4-24-2000 5-1-2000 5-8-2000 5-15-2000
5-22-2000 5-29-2000
  • This is an interesting issue, since Dave evaluates the landscape of American wrestling and already sees the likely writing on the wall for both ECW and WCW. Raw is expected to move to TNN later this year and depending on what USA decides to do, it could be the biggest break ever for ECW or it could be their death sentence (anybody wanna take bets?). USA Network is still trying to hold up the WWF deal and they aren't happy about losing Raw. USA reportedly wants to stay in the Monday night wrestling business, but they don't want to be in a position of building up a product and then losing it again the way they are with WWF so if they do, they will want to own it. So it's possible that USA might start up their own promotion or, more likely, would buy ECW or maybe even WCW if Turner gets rid of them (more on that later). But that's unlikely to happen and Dave seems to think it's more likely that USA will just giving up on wrestling entirely, and that would be bad news for ECW because they would need to find a new network. As for WWF, there's concern over how ratings may be affected when they move to TNN but Dave thinks it'll be fine. TNN is available in almost the same number of homes as USA and Smackdown proved that WWF fans will follow them to a new station, so he thinks it'll be negligible. WWF has also proven to have the ability to completely turn a struggling network around, which TNN is desperately hoping will happen.
  • And on the WCW end of things, Ted Turner is looking to leave the Time WarneAOL conglomerate, which could be bad news. Turner has always fought to keep WCW when others wanted to get rid of it. If Turner leaves, WCW won't be protected. And it's the worst possible time for WCW, which has been in sale negotiations with a company called SFX, which owns a lot of the major arenas in the U.S. and does a lot of concert promotion. The two sides have been working together and have discussed various things like jacking up ticket prices and selling corporate sponsorships and things like that. And at one point earlier this year, SFX made a strong offer to buy WCW outright, but Turner execs shot it down immediately. It's still expected that SFX will handle promotional rights but they won't be buying the company. At least 2 other groups have also shown interest in buying either WCW and/or ECW. Plus, the Fox Network has been talking about doing a wrestling show for years so they're always in the running too. Last year, WCW lost more than $15 million even though buyrates and attendance were still strong for most of the year. This year, they're waaaay beyond that, with internal estimates suggesting that they are on pace to lose anywhere from $36 million to $80 million by the end of this year. Not a good time to lose Ted Turner's protection (nope, indeed it was not).
  • On Thunder this week, Bischoff heavily hyped a major announcement taking place at Great American Bash and even went so far as to say there was nothing Vince McMahon could do about it, for whatever that means. It could be the SFX promotional deal, which the general public isn't going to remotely give a shit about, nor would McMahon. Or it could be a Goldberg heel turn, because he was reportedly asked to go heel this week. Goldberg is said to be against it and Dave thinks would be an astronomically stupid move right now. But hey, Hogan and Nash don't want to be bumped out of their #1 and #2 babyface spots, so that's why he was asked to turn. No idea why McMahon would give an iota of a fuck about any of this though, so who knows. Most likely just Bischoff using Vince's name to stir up curiosity (yup).
  • In their desperation, WCW has actually broached the idea to ECW about working together. It's something Bischoff and Heyman actually discussed a little while back during the Mike Awesome legal battle, with Bischoff suggesting they turn it into an angle. But Heyman reportedly has zero interest in being involved in a WCW angle and shot it down immediately. Heyman has also insisted that he's not interested in selling a majority interest in ECW to anyone else, but he also recognizes that he can't compete on a national level without far more economic resources and a stronger TV deal. ECW's whole charm is based on being a small-time cult promotion and that just doesn't work on a national stage well enough to generate enough money to keep WWF and WCW from stealing all their top stars as soon as they get hot. Heyman has admitted that ECW is in a tough situation right now because of the TNN deal. If Vince McMahon allows TNN to keep ECW, then they may be okay. But if McMahon wants TNN to exclusively carry WWF, then they're going to drop ECW and Heyman is well aware that it would be disastrous for the company if they aren't able quickly land a new TV deal (and so it was).
  • Pro wrestler-turned-MMA fighter Masakatsu Funaki announced his retirement from MMA this week and Dave does a big recap of his career. He started out in NJPW and then UWFI for several years before transitioning to Pancrase. His retirement came on the heels of a highly anticipated match with Rickson Gracie that everyone expected Funaki to win, but Gracie ended up beating him fairly easily and, despondant after the fight, Funaki announced that he's retiring. It was an interesting fight because Gracie had dictated all the rules beforehand and they were crazy for an MMA fight. No time limit and the only way Gracie could lose was to tap out. The rules were such that the referee, the corner, and not even the doctors were allowed to stop the fight on Gracie's behalf, he could only lose if he quit. Luckily for him, that never ended up being a factor because Gracie dominated the fight. Gracie injured Funaki's knee, which rendered him unable to fight effectively and then got him in a rear-naked choke, but Funaki wouldn't submit so his corner threw in the towel. But it would have been nuts if Gracie had been on the losing end. Anyway, Dave thinks this may lead to Funaki returning to professional wrestling (not until 2009 but yeah he eventually does and he still works in AJPW and and other indies to this day).
  • The 3rd annual Brian Pillman memorial show was held this week, in conjunction with a benefit put together for Brian Hildebrand's widow. Wrestlers from all 3 major U.S. companies participated, as well as some indie guys. The show drew more than 2,000 people and raised over $36,000 for Pillman's family. The show was way too long (almost 6 hours) but most of the matches were good. During the show, Kevin Nash offered $20,000 to the Pillman family if Missy Hyatt were to strip down to her bra and panties for the crowd, which was mostly families with kids. This was unscripted and Hyatt wasn't going for it and kinda chewed Nash out for putting her on the spot like that, but she did do a little dance and flash her underwear briefly and Nash said he would donate the $20,000 anyway. As of press time, the check hasn't been written (it never does, and Dave occasionally briefly reminds readers about it months and months later). Later in the show, DDP tried to raise money from the crowd by getting a local female valet to take her dress off. The star of the show was Steven Regal, who had his best match in years with Chris Benoit and stole the show. Regal's career was pretty much dead not too long ago after being fired from WCW twice and WWF once due to drug issues but he and Benoit tore the house down in what many called one of the best matches of the year. Both men got a standing ovation afterward, with the crowd chanting loudly for Regal. These days, he's sober and acting as sort of a coach for people in the Memphis WWF developmental territory and is in the best shape of his life. Before the show, Regal called it the most important match of his life and boy did he deliver. Several people ended up bailing on the show. Ric Flair cancelled a few days ahead of time, no reason given. Terry Taylor cancelled due to a concussion suffered on Nitro a few days before. Chris Candido and Tammy Sytch missed the show, claiming their flight got delayed and they couldn't make it. Road Dogg, Al Snow, and Jim Cornette all bailed, no reason given, among others. (Here's the full show, or at least that I can find. Regal/Benoit at 1:12:00 mark. Nash/Missy stuff appears to have been cut from it.)
WATCH: Brian Pillman Memorial Show 2000
  • Jim Rome's "Last Word" show on Fox Sports Net this week had 2 episodes that made some waves. In the first, Rome trashed MMA, calling the sport an embarrassment and saying it wasn't a sport at all, calling it barbaric, dangerous, despicable, human cockfighting, a freak show, and more. A few days later, he had Bret Hart on as a guest and they talked mostly about wrestlers unionizing, which both of them agreed should happen. Hart pointed out that even rodeo clowns have unions. When asked about the Owen lawsuit, Bret was sorta mum for legal reasons but he did criticize McMahon for continuing the show after Owen died. As for the Raw tribute show the night after, Bret was also critical of that and especially about the ending with Steve Austin raising a beer to Owen. Bret pointed out that Austin had spoken publicly many times about how much he disliked Owen and blamed him for his neck injury, so to Bret, it felt fake and felt it was an example of WWF trying to milk the show for ratings, by putting Austin on and holding him till the last segment to make sure fans stayed tuned in. Hart was critical of WCW too, especially all the stunts they do and talked about how he participated in (after his concussion, when he was still living in a fog) a skit where he chased after Goldberg in a car and skidded on ice, nearly plowing through a production truck. It led to him having the "I'm a wrestler, not a stunt-man" argument and basically just shitting on how unsafe wrestling has become and how the pursuit for ratings leads to more and more dangerous stuff. Jim Rome, as he usually does, was completely disrespectful of wrestling in general (though he seemed to like Hart) and called WWF's decision to continue the show the most cold-hearted thing he's ever seen.
  • Since being released from WCW, La Parka has been working far more frequently in Mexico, including working some shows for CMLL. During his initial glory days in Mexico, he was always an AAA guy so it's big news to see him in CMLL (he signs a contract with CMLL in 2003 that ultimately pisses off AAA president Antonio Pena so much that he sues over La Parka's name and gimmick, which ultimately leads to him becoming L.A. Park. Also, apparently La Parka got released from WCW? I don't remember Dave mentioning this before).
  • Antonio Inoki spoke out against NJPW's planned Riki Choshu/Atsushi Onita exploding ring barbed wire match which is scheduled to take place next month. Inoki said the match will do long term damage to NJPW (well, he'd know about that better than anyone). He also accused Choshu of lying since he's not sticking to his promise to stay retired. Dave scoffs at the irony of Inoki having the gall to ever call anyone a liar.
  • Canadian wrestler Biff Wellington was arrested by Tokyo police for attempting to smuggle drugs into the country by mail. No details on the drugs but apparently he got caught getting something from Thailand mailed to himself. Wellington has been working for Michinoku Pro but they cut him loose after the arrest and it made all the major newspapers throughout the country. Japan is extremely strict on drugs, so it was big news and it got him arrested and fired.
  • Lionsgate has decided not to release Beyond The Mat in theaters in Canada. It did decently during its first week in the U.S. but fell hard after that. It'll be released on home video in August.
  • Jesse Ventura is doing Jesse Ventura things this week. There was a lot of coverage of a recent meeting between Ventura and former President Jimmy Carter, who told Ventura his mother was a huge wrestling fan and used to go to shows in the Georgia territory. Ventura, of course, claimed that he remembered meeting Carter's mother back when he wrestled there. But of course, during the time period Carter's mother used to attend shows, Ventura wasn't wrestling in Georgia in those days, so, ya know. Also, Ventura is meeting with Antonio Inoki for....whatever reason. And in a Washington Post interview, Ventura talked about entering the 2000 presidential race at the last minute, saying he feels he could win because Bush and Gore are too bland. Ventura's spokesman had to come out immediately after and clarify that Ventura is absolutely not planning to run.
  • Sonny Onoo worked an indie show in Denver last week and was doing the stereotypical sneaky Japanese villain gimmick, complete with throwing salt. Not exactly doing wonders to help his racial discrimination lawsuit against WCW, in which he claims they forced him to play that exact same type of character against his wishes.
  • The latest on Raven and ECW is that he's not in any hurry to leave before his contract expires in August. Paul Heyman is trying to gently nudge him out the door because they don't plan to do anything with him and he doesn't want to be paying Raven's large contract any longer than he has to. So Heyman's trying to get Raven to leave on a positive note, but if he doesn't willingly go, Dave expects them to just fire him before then.
  • RVD is filming an episode of the Pamela Anderson Lee show VIP. He'll be playing an army major who has invented a bunch of radical new weapons or some such thing.
  • Masato Tanaka has signed a full time contract with FMW in Japan. Paul Heyman had been hopeful of signing him to an ECW deal but it didn't work out. Tanaka's deal ended up being less than half of what he would have been paid in ECW, but he didn't want to spend so much time away from home and wanted to stay in Japan, so he chose to stay with FMW despite the pay cut.
  • Juventud Guerrera ended up being sentenced to 2 days in jail and community service stemming from his DUI and fleeing police charges from awhile back. Luckily for him, he won't be deported which was a major concern among people in WCW. Speaking of, Guerrera and Konnan both were injured on a spot in a match they had on Thunder this week. Guerrera injured his ribs and will be out for a few weeks. Konnan was thought to have broken his arm but luckily it wasn't broken. They wanted to do an MRI on it to check for other injuries, but it was so swollen that they couldn't until it goes down. The belief now is that it may be a torn tricep.
  • Tammy Sytch was pulled from Nitro this week after an incident backstage before the show. There's been lots of reports that she was fired but that's not true. At least not as of press time. Before the show, 2 other unnamed women (I think it came out later that one of them was Kimberly) found syringes in the women's bathroom with a vial of Nubain, which is a painkilling drug that has become popular with wrestlers. Somehow it was traced back to her. Tammy was said to be in very bad shape backstage before the show and others said she was in that bathroom for an eternity beforehand. She was supposed to do a catfight spot with Miss Hancock on the show, but after Bischoff was alerted to the situation, Tammy was pulled from the show and reportedly ordered to take a drug test (this of course ends with Tammy getting fired. To this day, I think she claims that someone drugged her drink but you know how that goes).
  • Notes from Nitro: the show drew around 7,700 fans (only 4,000 paid) so naturally on TV, they claimed it was 12,000. Anyway, it was actually a decent show. Kevin Nash handed Ric Flair the title so he's the new champion again, and Dave says they may as well have just mailed him the belt through 4th class mail for all that title means these days. And for, like, the 2nd or 3rd week in a row, Dave says Rey Mysterio was booked for a match despite still not being recovered from his knee injury and once again, Mysterio had to remind them, "Hey I can't wrestle right now" so they changed the match. Apparently, someone in WCW just keeps forgetting and booking him for shit he can't do. David Flair inexplicably came out to save Miss Hancock from Chris Candido. Flair and Hancock are dating in real life and if you're watching Nitro, you're evidently supposed to know that even though it's never been referenced before. But Russo books for the internet fans, so there ya go. On TV, he was supposed to be with Daffney and they turned it into a big thing where Daffney is pissed because Flair is apparently choosing his real life girlfriend over his TV girlfriend. Booker T is now G.I. Bro. Goldberg finally made his big return and challenged Tank Abbott to a match next week on Nitro. Dave says it makes no sense to give away Goldberg's first match back on free TV, but on the other hand, nobody buys WCW PPVs anymore so it'd be a waste to put it there too, so whatever. Either way, word is Goldberg still isn't fully healed so his match with Abbott will be quick. Karl Malone was shown in the crowd and got involved in the DDP segment which got a big pop since they were in Salt Lake City. And finally, Jeff Jarrett won the title back from Flair in a match that was better than it had any right to be.
  • Notes from the upcoming Thunder tapings: Terry Funk and Chris Candido were in a hardcore match that ended up in some horse stables and in a really dangerous spot, a horse nearly kicked Funk in the face (Funk talking shit to the horse afterward is still one of my favorite things ever). During the Russo/Flair segment, a fan threw a chair over the barricade towards the ring but it will be edited off TV. Before the taping, Lex Luger and Elizabeth had a real-life argument with Vince Russo over whatever angle they were supposed to do on the show and it's possible their matches for the upcoming PPV (Luger vs. Palumbo and Elizabeth vs. Kimberly) may not be happening now (indeed they do not and in fact, this was it for Elizabeth. Both she and Luger disappear off TV. Luger returns 5 months later but Elizabeth would never be seen in wrestling again. I'm sure we'll read more about it). And in a funny bit, Norman Smiley went to some kids' backyard wrestling group and pinned their champion and ran off with the belt (I originally had video of this Norman Smiley thing when I initially wrote this, but its since been removed from YouTube).
WATCH: Terry Funk no-sells a horse
  • Remember a few months ago when WCW officials were worried about an incident that happened during WCW's spring break show? There was a wet t-shirt contest that ended up getting really explicit and there were unnamed WCW wrestlers involved. WCW officials were said to be scared to death that this would make headlines because at least a few people there had video cameras. Anyway, in case you were wondering, it finally made headlines. The Globe tabloid ran a story about it and apparently it was Buff Bagwell who was involved and was pulling both the bikini tops and bottoms off some of the women. None of the women filed charges but the mayor of South Padre Island, where it took place, was quoted saying that the city will take steps to make sure events like that don't happen anymore (can't find The Globe story but apparently Disco Inferno and Lash LeRoux were involved as well. Don't think any video ever surfaced).
  • The famous Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco is adding wax figures of DDP and Bret Hart (can't find any pics of those. The museum closed in 2013).
  • Random WCW notes: Lance Storm was backstage at Nitro in full gear doing promo pics. Disco Inferno and Kanyon are working backstage as road agents. Gene Okerlund has been taken off interview duties for Nitro and will be replaced by Pamela Paulshock, but he'll still be doing Thunder.
  • Vince Russo did an interview with WCW Live on their website last week and said a whole bunch of dumb shit. He basically said a bunch of stuff about how all the hotshot world title changes are good for business and talking about how people pay to see The Rock talk, not to see him wrestle, and things like that. It was a big topic of conversation at the Brian Pillman memorial show, with WWF and WCW wrestlers talking about it. The WWF feeling is that it just proves that Russo doesn't understand the business and proves how little he really meant to the overall success of WWF. A few WCW guys defended him, saying Russo is just working the internet fans to get over as a heel. Dave says that would be fine if that was all it was, but Russo's booking in WCW proves that he's not just saying those things, he actually believes them and that's how he books the company. Dave points out that the hotshot title changes have made WCW's world title less than meaningless. And as for the claim that people tune in to see the Rock talk, not wrestle, well....ratings prove otherwise, as far more people tune in to his matches than his promos. So yeah, Dave is pretty solidly on the side of Vince Russo doesn't grasp professional wrestling (more from this in a moment).
  • Notes from Raw: Kid Rock's rappesidekick Joe C was all over this show in multiple segments and it dragged everything down. "There's nothing worse on wrestling than a third-rate celebrity being put on the show and having the wrestlers mark out for them like they are a big star," Dave says. Ain't that the goddamn truth. On the plus side, it ended with Edge & Christian putting him in a garbage can and then beating the can unmercifully so at least there was a payoff. Chris Benoit vs. Bob Holly was an incredibly stiff match and Benoit was insanely over (they were in Vancouver).
  • Random WWF notes from their recent Canadian tour: 8 different women flashed the crowd during the Smackdown tapings and were kicked out. Lots of "We want Bret!" chants during the shows. WWF tried to get Stu Hart to accompany British Bulldog to the ring during the show in Calgary but needless to say, he didn't go for it. Speaking of Bulldog, he's in really bad shape and looks terrible in the ring and Dave says that if it wasn't for the Owen Hart lawsuit, he probably would have been released already.
  • The daughter of Andre The Giant is writing a book about him along with her mother. Dave notes that Andre pretty much ignored his daughter throughout most of her life and at times even denied that she was his (yeah, this has been pretty well covered even in the HBO documentary, that Andre was basically an absentee father. Don't know if this book idea ever amounted to anything).
  • Talk Magazine did a major story on Chyna that was really good. She talked about her personal life, saying her mother was crazy and her father an alcoholic and a con-man who claimed to be a doctor and said that her childhood was basically fucked up because of them. Her father was also interviewed during the piece and denied her claims. Talked about how she got into bodybuilding and says she never used steroids and Dave gives that a healthy dose of raised eyebrow. Talks getting into wrestling, meeting Triple H and Shawn Michaels at a bar while she was training and how Michaels suggested her as a bodyguard for Triple H (who at the time was seen as someone with a lot of potential but who wasn't getting over). She got the WWF job and says she broke up with her boyfriend to go wrestle (admitting she felt guilty about that). Talked about her surgeries. She said she initially had C-cup implants but didn't like how they looked so when she ended up popping one during a match and had to get them re-done, she went bigger and also said she'd had jaw surgery and talked about not fitting the normal stereotypical beauty standards. And finally, she talked about her relationship with Triple H and said she would like to marry him, but admitted that she doesn't think the feeling is mutual. And finally, she said she hopes to be a mother some day.
  • Former announcer Todd Pettingill is claiming he's coming back to WWF soon. Pettingill worked there in the mid-90s but he got a lot of resentment from people because he was a successful radio DJ outside of wrestling and, due to that, he was able to command a high salary during a time when the company was losing money.
  • Letters section has some people writing in to talk about Vince Russo's latest interview that we talked about earlier and it helps because it gives us some exact quotes from Russo said and other topics he addressed:
  • In regards to the Sting/Vampiro feud, Russo claimed that Vampiro losing all the matches doesn't hurt him, "I don't think anyone notices the losses."
  • In regards to titles changing hands all the time, he said: "The reality is every Monday or every Wednesday a title could change hands. The days of a guy having a title for six months to make it mean something is absolutely ridiculous. Those are the old laws of wrestling that just don't make sense in the year 2000. A champion defends his title a dozen times of TV and house shows. For him not to lose one of those dozen times is ridiculous."
  • In regards to in-ring wrestling vs. entertainment, Russo said he'd rather watch Norman Smiley vs. Ralphus any day before he'd ever watch a 20-minute cruiserweight match.
  • Claimed that Vince McMahon is rattled because he knows that Russo and Bischoff are a threat to him. Claims that's why they've maintained a good relationship with ECW and why they brought Mick Foley back at Wrestlemania (someone helpfully points out that Foley was brought back for WM before Russo and Bischoff ever got their power back).
  • Claimed that Mike Awesome never had an ECW contract, which is pretty silly since he most certainly did and WCW paid ECW 6-figures to buy him out of it.
  • Talked about becoming a TV character now instead of just the backstage writer and said he was doing it because he loves WCW and was putting his body on the line for the sake of the company and yada yada. The guy writing this letter is amazed at Russo's ego.
  • Still claims that ratings increased on his watch and that he was forced out of the company the first time due to politics. Of course, Dave has repeatedly proven how misleading and false the ratings claims are. Business did not improve under Vince Russo, either the first or second time, and in fact, it got worse.
  • When asked about not pushing foreign talent, Russo basically buried them all. He said Silver King and Dandy have no talent and that he's never even seen the Jung Dragons (even though they're a tag team that works for his company). He said the reason he hasn't pushed the other foreign stars, he said that in order to relate to American audiences, you have to be able to entertain and you can't entertain American audiences if you can't speak English. When asked about Sonny Onoo's racial discrimination suit, he pointed out that he has pushed Normal Smiley, Booker T, and Ernest Miller.
  • Said he defies anyone to come up with anything creative that WWF has done since he left, aside from the Triple H/Stephanie wedding. The guy writing this letter goes on to give a laundry list of examples.
  • TL;DR: how does anyone still defend Vince Russo?
  • And finally, somebody writes in and talks about why ECW's ratings have been stagnant for so long and says maybe ECW and its fans should be realistic and see that the company kinda sucks right now. He gives a lot of examples of things ECW is doing wrong creatively and makes some decent points. To be fair though, ECW only has less than a year to live and Heyman was holding on to his sanity by a thread at this point. He wasn't on top of his creative game.
FRIDAY: Paul Heyman holds ECW locker room meeting/pep talk, more on Luger & Elizabeth, Vince Russo says even dumber shit than he did this week, Sandman out of control drunk at an ECW show, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]


2018.08.17 23:22 JackTaufer My Cat Can Eat a Whole Watermelon

What up Reddit, I have been a medium time lurker and am a Reddit noob.
At the age of 15 I started in BJJ in 1995. It was Salt Lake City, UT. I was a little (140lbs) punk rock skater kid. As such, I was in back alleys, abandon pools, public parks, etc. Doing that you run into some characters. I got jumped a couple times and found myself in anxiety all the time.
Fortunately for me I saw UFC number 4 and learned about Jiu Jitsu. Back then we didn't have the internet(s), so I looked it up in the Yellow Pages. I found some dude named Pedro Sauer who had a school not too far from me. I was 15, so with the money I earned with my part time job, I would take the bus to his school and I paid for my own lessons after class, I would skateboard home.
Around that time, I visited my family in FL and while I was there I heard of a Ricksons Gracie seminar and I attended. He had two assistants his wife at the time and a brown belt.
I ended up back in SLC and was training with Pedro. I think I got my blue belt in 98... Could have been 96 or 97... I lost my original blue belt with his signature and date on it. :(
In 1999 or so I moved to SoCal. I was at a local tournament and say down to watch. I look over and that Brown Belt assistant Ricksons had was right next to me... David Kama. Rickson's 2nd American BB and one of the Dirty Dozen. I have been training with him since.
Ricksons had 2 schools. Ricksons LA and Rickson OC. He stopped coming down to OC right before I started. So we would go up and train with him at his LA academy.
Kama gave me my Purple, Brown and Black, my Professor Bars and my 1st Degree. I'm due my 2nd Degree.
Currently I teach 2 to 3 days a week at Kama Jiu Jitsu in Irvine, CA. I teach seminars internationally. I have spent MANY hours in Rickson's classes and have had privates with him. Funny enough only 1 class from Kron.
I met Aesopian before he even started Jiu Jitsu, that dude is a wealth of knowledge.
Anyway ask me anything. When I joined, I posted my interviews from Budo Videos
submitted by JackTaufer to bjj [link] [comments]


2018.06.25 06:00 iminterestingplease Part 31

5620.(Famous Author name change.)Hans Christians Andersen/Hans Christian Andersen(Other spellings?)(Was Andersen never an acceptable spelling of Anderson?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Christian_Andersen
Add-On: Do you remember the plural for ox being ox instead of oxen?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ox
Add-On: Do you remember Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air?(Other names without "The"?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fresh_Prince_of_Bel-Air
Add-On: Do you remember Christ The Redeemer not being white?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_the_Redeemer_(statue)
Add-On: Do you remember the torch of the Statue Of Liberty not being as visible as it is now?(Was Liberty Enlightening The World not a thing?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Liberty
Add-On: Do you remember words like "Someone's", and "Somebody's" not making sense grammatically?
https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/someone%27s
5621.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these things being different or not a thing?(Size of the earth, tons of new species and blue coated things, pyramids popping up and tons of new statues, iconic Shakespeare portrait and he never spelled his name consistent and he had a girl help him.)(Videos below.)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P-tviKjhL_U
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=50bXXIhKfAY
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xIzuXlXhTes
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vzBbhIHEwEU
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=spCHztl6mqI
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GWH2KDnT1lc
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QEC-S8bGbiI
Add-On: Do you remember Lord Of The Rings instead of The Lord Of The Rings?(Does the logo look off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings_(film_series)
Add-On: Do you remember Pop-Tarts Splits instead of Pop-Tarts Splitz?(Flips pretzels/Flipz pretzels)
https://www.delish.com/food-news/amp19703852/pop-tarts-splitz-return-new-flavors/
5622.(YouTube Channel name change.)Ninja981/NInja981(My own channel.)
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCVrotrW0xQYqj16lQ3Tsjiw
5623.(History change.)Do you remember Alexander Hamilton killing Aaron Burr in the famous duo instead of Hamilton missing, getting shot himself, and dying the next day?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burr–Hamilton_duel
5624.(Famous Actress name change.)Chloe Grace Moretz/Chloë Grace Moretz
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloë_Grace_Moretz
5625.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember the Nirvana Unplugged set having white candles instead of black candles?(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTV_Unplugged_in_New_York
5626.(Music Lyrics change.)"Waiting for June."/"Playing her tune."(Any of the other lyrics off?)
https://genius.com/The-isley-brothers-summer-breeze-lyrics
Add-On: Do you remember Mickey Mouse never having blue eyes?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6FiOz_hWbq8
5627.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Albert Flores retiring a year ago instead of this year?
https://m.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/movies-tv/article/San-Antonio-weather-TV-vet-Albert-Flores-exits-12474088.php
5628.(Song Title change.)These Boots Were Made For Walking/These Boots Are Made For Walkin'(Any of the lyrics off?)(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/These_Boots_Are_Made_for_Walkin%27
5629.(Company Logo change.)Do you remember the letters in Gracie Films not being connected?(Does the pitch of the song sound off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gracie_Films
Add-On: Do you remember Antarctica not having a huge gap of ice?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctica
Add-On: Do you remember Ed, Edd N Eddie?(Other titles?)(No comma?)(Was Eddy not an acceptable spelling of Eddie?)(Was the N capitalized?)(Were the letters not connected?)(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed,_Edd_n_Eddy
Add-On: Do you remember godess instead of goddess?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goddess
5630.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember certain big cats not being able to purr and meow?
https://www.wildcatsanctuary.org/do-big-cats-roar-or-pur
Add-On: Do you remember DramAlert instead of DramaAlert?(Anything else off?)(MaNamedCorn/ManNamedCorn(Anything else off?)
https://m.youtube.com/useManNamedCorn
5631.(Celebrity death that didn't happen.)Do you remember George H.W. Bush dying?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush
5632.(Date change.)Do you remember the Sandy Hook incident happening in 2014-2015 instead of December 14, 2012?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Hook_Elementary_School_shooting
Add-On: Do you remember the Duck Family not having blue eyes?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_family_(Disney)
5633.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember flash flooding in deserts not being a thing?
https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/survival/wilderness/desert-survival7.htm
5634.(Date change.)Do you remember the Santiago De Compostela derailment happening in 2015-2016 instead of July 24, 2013?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santiago_de_Compostela_derailment
5635.(Phantom t.v. show quote.)Do you remember Mr. Bill saying "Oh no!" instead of just yelling?(Other quotes?)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8WO6_IiZ_WI
5636.(Spelling change.)Caligraphy/Calligraphy
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calligraphy
5637.(Spelling change.)Cuthroat/Cutthroat
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cutthroat
5638.(T.V. Show name change.)Ren & Stimpy/The Ren & Stimpy Show(Other names?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ren_%26_Stimpy_Show
5639.(T.V. Show name change.)The Martin Lawrence Show/Martin(Other names?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_(TV_series)
5640.(Movie name change.)A View To Kill/A View To A Kill(Do you remember Timothy Dalton starring in the movie instead of Roger Moore?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_View_to_a_Kill
5641.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember there not being crystals in volcanoes?(Were they not found in human brains?)
http://theconversation.com/volcano-crystals-could-make-it-easier-to-predict-eruptions-90558
5642.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these things being different or not a thing?(Super volcano under Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, hieratic Egyptian script and other new Egyptian writings, Sphinx ears changed again, Antarctica not showing up on maps and getting even smaller, coyotes sound similar to hyenas now and there is a weird common mispronunciation along with salmon and salmonella too, pinkies angle outwards, huge change in pupil size in hunting cats, persisting lightning, sea lice, eclipse winds, new nose movements, Taos hum now all over the world, gold nanoparticles in plants, Al-Hijr stone carved buildings, viviparous germination and other viviparous stuff, phyllody, spotted horses, history of dead sea scrolls, 1899 100 km/hr electric car, 2 legged calf walks upright, giant snails eat Stucco, USA bought Alaska from Russia, more changes to Mount Rushmore and Land O' Lakes and The Creation Of Adam and The Last Supper, flocks of bald eagles and some don't have white heads and the beaks are off, duck eyes are off in many ways, ecoducts, seagull colors, wing and feather changes, more animal diet changes, middle ages people thought earth wasn't flat.)(Video below.)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6n3X5gM1kFs
Add-On: Do you remember the letters in abbreviations for television channels always being capitalized?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_channel
5643.(Fictional Character appearance change.)Do you remember Chip and Dale from Chip And Dale being the same color?(Were they not known as Chip 'N' Dale and Chip An' Dale?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chip_'n'_Dale
Add-On: Do you remember Google buying YouTube in 2010-2015 instead of November 13, 2006?
https://www.theringer.com/2016/10/10/16042354/google-youtube-acquisition-10-years-tech-deals-69fdbe1c8a06
Add-On: Do you remember the L on Waluigi's hat being inverted horizontal and vertical instead of just horizontal?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waluigi
5644.(Date change.)Do you remember Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom being released months ago?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic_World:_Fallen_Kingdom
Add-On: Do you remember the letters in Investigation Discovery being normal?(Were the letters in Go not connected?)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/investigation-discovery-go/id1101436941?mt=8
5645.(Music Lyrics change.)"Make sure to raise your children right."/"Please try to raise your children right."
https://genius.com/The-highwaymen-live-forever-acoustic-demo-lyrics
5646.(Video Game Logo change.)Do you remember the letters in Dirty Harry not being connected?(Do any of the letters look off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_Harry_(1990_video_game)
5647.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember hearing "Sex In The City" instead of "Sex And The City" in '03 Bonnie And Clyde?(Can you hear either one you want?)
https://genius.com/Jay-z-03-bonnie-and-clyde-lyrics
5648.(Celebrity death that didn't happen.)Do you remember Clive James dying?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clive_James
5649.(Celebrity death that didn't happen.)Do you remember Barry Humphries dying?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Humphries
Add-On: Do you remember Machu Picchu not having as many stairways as it does now?(Was it more simple in terms of all the buildings and other things it has?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machu_Picchu
5650.(New species.)Have you heard of the Yellow Cardinal?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_cardinal
Add-On: Do you remember Agent Smith saying "Mr. Anderson, we've been expecting you." in The Matrix?
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20160724151452AAQyWPa
Add-On: Do you remember the bats in the Scooby-Doo Where Are You theme song coming from a different direction?(Anything else off?)(Were there not two versions of the theme song?)(Did The New Scooby-Doo Movies, The Scooby-Doo Show, Scooby-Doo And Scrappy Doo(1979), Scooby-Doo And Scrappy Doo(1980-1982), The New Scooby-Doo And Scrappy Doo Show, The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo, and Shaggy And Scooby-Doo Get A Clue! not exist?)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eZXg6Uaxd2k
5651.(Spelling change.)Carrousel/Carousel(Other spellings?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carousel
5652.(Famous Creator name change.)Matt Groenig/Matt Groening(Other spellings?)(Is the pronunciation different?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Groening
Add-On: Do you remember anything about the tank man surviving getting hit by the tank being different such as what happened to him afterward?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989
Add-On: Do you remember the rules for Monopoly being different than they are now?
https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/2416487/youve-been-playing-monopoly-wrong-your-whole-life-here-are-the-real-rules-just-in-time-for-christmas/
Add-On: Do you remember the Great Pyramid Of Gizah instead of the Great Pyramid Of Giza?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza
Add-On: Do you remember there not being parasites that make humans act zombie-like?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ehAU3yn3Ie8
Add-On: Do you remember the Bearnstain, Bearnstein, Bearenstain, or Bearenstein Bears?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berenstain_Bears
Add-On: Do you remember the back of King Tut's tomb being different?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tutankhamun
5653.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Jerry Brown not still being governor of California?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Brown
5654.(Movie name change.)Shawshank Redemption/The Shawshank Redemption
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shawshank_Redemption
Add-On: Do you remember Professor Marvel's telling of what he sees to Dorothy and the iconic picture being different?
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCp0Zw7hJpYPrz8PnLwiTDhQ
Add-On: Do you remember the platypus not being venomous?(Was it not able to kill dogs?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus
5655.(Film Series name change.)Kingsmen/Kingsman
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingsman_(film_series)
5656.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these things not being edible?(Anything else off?)(Video below.)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u50K68XX4bg
5657.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember sunburn not being able to get as bad as it can now?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunburn
5658.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember there not being evidence of human life before humans existed?
https://www.beyondsciencetv.com/2017/11/29/modern-man-actually-600-million-years-old-according-to-footprint-in-trilobite-fossil/
5659.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Cupid's Chokehold by Gym Class Heroes being a faster speed?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupid%27s_Chokehold
5660.(Spelling change.)Miday/Mid-day/Midday
https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/midday
Add-On: Do you remember birds not chirping and frogs not croaking as early, late, long, or short as they do now?
https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/chirp
Add-On: Do you remember the tagline for Lucky Charms never being at any point, "They're marshmallowy delicious."
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_Charms
Add-On: Do you remember Rick from Rick And Morty never having a bald spot?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Sanchez_(Rick_and_Morty)
Add-On: Do you remember fidget spinners and fidget cubes not randomly being a thing?(Did they randomly become popular?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidget_spinner
Add-On: Do you remember ice not being as hard to bear as it is now?(Are bare and bear off in how you use them?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice
5661.(Logo change.)Do you remember the letters in FM being normal?(Were the letters not connected?)(Anything else off?)(FM Radio?)
https://dribbble.com/shots/4300091-FM-Logo-Exploration
5662.(Store Logo change.)Do you remember the letters in Guitar Center being normal?(Anything else off?)
https://www.guitarcenter.com
5663.(Company Logo change.)Do you remember the F in Carfax not being cut on the bottom?(Was the X aligned with the other letters?)(Were the letters in CarMax not connected?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carfax_(company)
Add-On: Do you remember the letters in the Hotel Transylvania logos not being connected?
http://logos.wikia.com/wiki/Hotel_Transylvania
Add-On: Do you remember the letters in Frank's in Frank's RedHot not being connected?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank's_RedHot
5664.(Spelling change.)Godammit/Goddammit(Other spellings?)(GodaughteGoddaughter)
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/goddammit
Add-On: Do you remember the flame on the Statue Of Liberty not curving as my much and being bigger?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Liberty
Add-On: Do you remember midevil, mideval, midievil, or medevil instead of "medieval"?(Other spellings?)(Is rhythm spelled different?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Ages
5665.(Fictional Character appearance change.)Do you remember Sylvester from Looney Tunes having a black nose instead of a red nose?(Anything else off?)(Was his catchphrase "Suffering succotash" and not "Sufferin succotash"?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvester_the_Cat
5666.(Music Lyrics change.)"No I'm just kidding."/"No I'm just playing."
https://genius.com/Meghan-trainor-all-about-that-bass-lyrics
Add-On: Do you remember William Shakespeare never wearing an earring in his paintings?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare
5667.(Movie Quote change.)"Looks like I picked the wrong day."/"Looks like I picked the wrong week."(All four instances of the quote.)
http://quotegeek.com/quotes-from-movies/airplane/736/
Add-On: Do you remember the arms of the sunglasses Arnold Schwarzenegger wore in the Terminator movies being larger?(Was there no white glow in the reflection?)(Were the lenses larger and darker?)
http://filmgarb.com/the-terminator-2-sunglasses/
5668.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Scott Harrison being the first one to make a video on the KitKat change?(Was it someone else?)(Is Brian MacFarlane's channel logo off?)(Is vaultteam6's channel logo off?)(Is scarabperformance's channel logo off?)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iksJjl4aBv0
5669.(Phantom geography.)Do you remember the Bering Sea Triangle not being a thing?
https://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/deadliest-catch/full-episodes/bering-sea-triangle
5670.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember there being more or less mosquitoes in your area in general or during the summer?(Were the bites worse or better?)(Did the bites last longer or not as long?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito
5671.(Geography change.) Do you remember Gettysburg being in Virginia instead of Pennsylvania?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gettysburg,_Pennsylvania
5672.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember motorcycles and dirt bikes not being able to continue moving without someone riding them?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KSVgweZ8BwA
5673.(History change.)Do you remember the famous airplane that got shot down by Soviet forces in 1983 having a different number?(Was it shot down in a different country?)(Was it an Asian country?)(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Lines_Flight_007
5674.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Positivity not being a word?(I personally do.)
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/positivity-is-a-word
5675.(Song Title change.)Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head/Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head("Raindrops keep falling on my head."/"Raindrops are falling on my head.")(Was the first verse the same as the other verses?)
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/bjthomas/raindropskeepfallinonmyhead.html
Add-On: Do you remember there not appearing to be a face on the bottom of the Statue Of Liberty torch?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Liberty
5676.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember (How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window being sung by Pat Boone instead of Bob Merrill?(Is the song title off in any version of the song?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/(How_Much_Is)_That_Doggie_in_the_Window%3F
5677.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Christian Bale being American instead of British?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Bale
5678.(Cereal Logo change.)Do you remember the letters in All-Bran not being connected?(Was it Brand?)(Was there no dash?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/All-Bran
5679.(Soda Logo change.)Shasta Cream Soda/Shasta Creme Soda
https://www.amazon.com/Shasta-Cream-Soda-12-Ounces-Pack/dp/B004DJ1X8M
5680.(Geography change.)Do you remember Laos being an island instead of locked on land?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laos
5681.(Spelling change.)Monsterous/Monstrous
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/monstrous
5682.(Spelling change.)Independant/Independent(Dependant/Dependent)
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/independent
Add-On: Do you remember the National Lampoon's movies not being rated R?
https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0085995/
5683.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember the B-Complex being different?(Are certain ones no longer required?)(Are certain ones now required?)(Are there more now?)(Anything else off?)
https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2922005
5684.(Music Lyrics change.)"I have climbed the highest mountains."/"I have climbed highest mountain."(Were other lyrics used here?)(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Still_Haven%27t_Found_What_I%27m_Looking_For
Add-On: Do you remember the vintage Mickey Mouse never having slits in his eyes?(Anything else off about his black eyes?)(Did Goofy not have yellow eyes?)
http://victordull.com/mickey-mouse-relief/
5685.(Music Lyrics change.)"Well the dawn is coming."/Well the dawn was coming."
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jethrotull/teacher.html
Add-On: Do you remember the pronunciation for Chevrolet being different?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet
Add-On: Do you remember Creedence Clear Water Revival, or Creedance Clear Water Revival?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creedence_Clearwater_Revival
Add-On: Do you remember the North Star being the brightest star in the sky?
https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-resources/brightest-star-sky/
5686.(Geography change.)Do you remember the houses and buildings in Santorini, Greece being different colors than they are now?(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santorini
Add-On: Do you remember nightime instead of nighttime?
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nighttime
5687.(Music Lyrics change.)"Little Jack Horner sat in the corner eating his pudding pie."/"Little Jack Horner sat in the corner eating his cherry pie."/"Little Jack Horner sat in the corner eating his Christmas pie."(Curds And Rye?)(Curds And Whey?)(Other lyrics?)(Humble?)
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46973/little-jack-horner-56d2271c5917a
5688.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these things being different or not a thing?(Poop falling from the sky, new changes to the shape of our galaxy, human distemper virus, even more changes to Mount Rushmore, changes to the Easter Island hats and the statues no longer face the ocean and are more uniform, Fingal's Cave, many different species of zebras, coyotes and Badgers now hunt together, lynx with one blue and one green eye, Wels catfish looks like giant tadpole, New Madrid earthquake, Mississippi ran backwards, Polydactyly people and other animals, 24 back pyramid boxes, earthquake smog, earthquake lights, earthquake booms, sand boils, seismic tar balls, giant shipworms, frog licking, Apis bull, other weird things in Ancient Egypt, koalas getting high is going from true to false and back, Coast To Coast AM logo changed again.(Video below.)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1ntTYQEwQqU
Add-On: Do you remember the I in Lego Classic being normal?
https://www.lego.com/en-us/themes/classic
Add-On: Do you remember Sally Field saying "You love me! You really love me!"(Other quotes with Like or Love?)
https://www.thecut.com/2014/10/explaining-you-like-me-you-really-like-me.html
Add-On: Do you remember certain spiders not being able to fly due to electric fields?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5918477/Electric-fields-atmosphere-secret-spiders-FLY-thousands-miles.html
5689.(Song Title change.)Hello Wall/Hello Walls
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hello_Walls
5690.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember there being a flute in any of the songs on Aqualung?(Anything else off?)(Aqua Lung/Aqualung)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqualung_(Jethro_Tull_album)
Add-On: Do you remember King Tut's ears not being pierced at all in paintings or his tomb?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tutankhamun
5691.(Movie name change.)Krull The ConqueroKull The Conqueror
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kull_the_Conqueror
5692.(Movie Quote change.)"I'm not that good."/"Good, bad, I'm the one with the gun."(Was the movie not also known as Bruce Campbell Vs. Army Of Darkness?)(Was there a "The" before Army Of Darkness?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_of_Darkness
Add-On: Do you remember "Son of a bitch!" being said at the end of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly instead of it cutting off before Bitch was said?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=E4ZbKTpcx9c
5693.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember this video from 1888 not existing?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tc-L9_4jGc4
Add-On: Do you remember there not being a solid wall-like structure under the hole in the Pyramid Of Menkaure?(Was the hole less uniform and more ragged?)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QFkzMdguGoY
Add-On: Do you remember Coles, Koles Cohls, Cohl's, Kole's, or Cole's instead of Kohl's?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohl's
5694.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember the date Ramesses ll's birthday was on being April 22 instead of February 22?(Was his name not spelled two other ways?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramesses_II
5695.(Fictional Character appearance change.)Do you remember Tom from Tom & Jerry not having yellow eyes?(Did the Pink Panther not have yellow eyes?)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_and_Jerry
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pink_Panther
5696.(Music Lyrics change.)"Don't ever let them change your point of view."/"Don't ever let 'em change your point of view."
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Turks_(song)
5697.(Music Lyrics change.)"No man can ever tell."/"No one can ever tell."
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forever_Young_(Rod_Stewart_song)
5698.(Song Title change.)Benny And The Jets/Bennie And The Jets(Was there an &?)("Hey kids."/"Hey kid.")(Was the first lyric the same as the others?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennie_and_the_Jets
5699.(Fictional Character name change.)James Roddenberry Kirk/James Tiberius Kirk
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_T._Kirk
5700.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember hairless chimpanzees not existing?
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-36924808
Add-On: Do you remember Lonegunman instead of Lonegunmaan?
reddit.com/Retconned/
5701.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember the opening for She-Ra being different than it is now?(Does the logo look off?)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wR65P73X5GI
Add-On: Do you remember Banquet Brown And Serve or Brown & Serve?(Wild And Out/Wild & Out/Wild 'N Out)(Lucerne Crunch Ice Cream Bars/Lucerne Krunch Ice Cream Bars)
https://www.banquet.com/links-and-patties/brown-n-serve-original-sausage-links
5702.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember males determining the gender of the offspring?(Were there not specoes of animals that only have one gender?)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvc7eFAe6hs
Add-On: Do you remember Barney Rubble from The Flintstones having white in his eyes instead of all black?(Were his eyes another way?)(Did Wilma Flintstone have white in her eyes instead of all black?)(Were her eyes another way?)(Was Barney The Dinosaur a different shade of purple than he is now?)(Does the Barney & Friends logo look off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_Rubble
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilma_Flintstone
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_%26_Friends
Add-On: Do you remember there not appearing to be another face in the torch of the Statue Of Liberty?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eOR3qGezemQ
5703.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember the distance to the Sirius star system from Earth being different than it is now?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirius
Add-On: Do you remember TeeNick instead of TeenNick?(TeeNick/Teen Nick/TeenNick)(Does the logo look off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/TeenNick
5704.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember the person narrating this video being a British woman instead of a British man?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hL12nVdfKoI&t=12s
5705.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these words not existing?(Invective, aforesaid, gaslight, photog.)(Stationery now exists as a spelling of stationary that means something different and duel and dual means something different.)
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/invective
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/aforesaid
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=photog
5706.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these song lyrics being different or were the songs sung by someone different or do the songs sound different?("That I put down the words."/"That I put down in words.", Electric Light Orchestra never sang Blinded By The Light and Bruce Springsteen's version is no longer the popular version and now Manfred Mann's Earth Band(Manfred Mann or other spellings?)did the popular one, Manfred Mann's Earth Band sang (Quinn The Eskimo) Mighty Quinn(Other names?) now and Bob Dylan's version no longer sounds as good, new songs, improvisations,(Improvization?)and camera angles including a new song by A-Ha and a new band called Accept.)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Your_Song
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blinded_by_the_Light
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinn_the_Eskimo_(Mighty_Quinn)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pa9x9fZBtY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmoEoyeITJo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN21zimLQis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3ir9HC9vYg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnpA7st7_p4
Add-On: Do you remember Wile E. Coyote(Wille E. Coyote?)also falling in the falling scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wile_E._Coyote_and_the_Road_Runner
5707.(Spelling change.)Gooseling/Goosling/Gosling
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goose
5708.(Movie Scene change.)Do you remember the salt scene in Dumb And Dumber being different?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vt2U8klzIR0
5709.(Music Lyrics change.)"Tell your children not to look my way."/"Tell your children not to walk my way."
https://genius.com/Danzig-mother-lyrics
Add-On: Do you remember a quote similar to, "Welcome to Shawshank. Enjoy your stay." being in The Shawshank Redemption?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shawshank_Redemption
5710.(Movie Quote change.)"My own brother, a goddamn blood-sucking vampire!"/"My own brother, a goddamn shit-sucking vampire!"
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Boys
Add-On: Do you remember there not appearing to be something on the arm of the Statue Of Liberty?(Does the eye of the statue look off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Liberty
Add-On: Do you remember there not being different insignias on the badges in Star Trek?
http://www.startrek.com/article/starfleet-insignia-explained
5711.(Soccer Player name change.)Lucas Modric/Lucas Modrić/Luka Modric/Luka Modrić(Other spellings?)(Roberto Firminio/Roberto Firmino)(Other spellings?)(Saido Mane/Saido Mané/Sadio Mane/Sadio Mané)(Other spellings?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luka_Modrić
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Firmino
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadio_Mané
5712.(Celebrity death that didn't happen.)Do you remember Stan Lee dying?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Lee
Add-On: Do you remember the letters in Sunset Chevrolet not being connected?(Chevyrolet/Chevrolet)
https://www.sunsetchevrolet.com
5713.(Geography change.)Do you remember Coronado being an island instead of a peninsula?(Anything else off?)(Has the bridge moved?)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qBZ9f_S2wlE
5714.(Spelling change.)Overeact/Overreact(Overeach/Overreach)(Overide/Override)(Overun/Overrun)(Overated/Overrated)(Any word that starts with Under with a Second R and Un with a second N.)
http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/overreact
5715.(Company Logo change.)Do you remember the letters in Roadtrek being normal?(Do any of the other logos look off?)
http://www.roadtrek.com
5716.(Company name change.)Casey WerneCarsey WerneCasey-WerneCarsey-Werner(Did it not go by other names?)(Was it only known as Casey Werner and not The Carsey-Werner Company?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Carsey-Werner_Company
Add-On: Do you remember the letters in Wrestlemania being more blocky and normal?(Any of the other logos look off?)(WrestleMania/Wrestlemania)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wrestlemania_Neutral_Logo.svg
5717.(Music Lyrics change.)"You bring me closer to God."/"You get me closer to God."("Help me think of someone else."/"Help me become someone else.")(Do either of the videos look off?)
http://songmeanings.com/m/songs/view/2434/
5718.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember there being no dead bodies in the opening of M.A.S.H ?(Anything else off about anything with the M.A.S.H?)(MAS*H/M.A.S.H)(Was the latter not an acceptable way to title the show?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/M*A*S*H_(TV_series)
5719.(Celebrity death that didn't happen.)Do you remember Michael Jackson in 2011-2013 instead of June 25, 2009?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jackson
Add-On: Do you remember there being no crocodiles in North America?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_crocodile
5720.(Phantom movie quote.)Do you remember "One of us." being said by the green aliens in Toy Story?(Is the quote in Freaks different and no longer "One of us. You will become one of us."?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glhitQHlSvw
Add-On: Do you remember the building technique of the pyramids being secret?(Were they not originally going to be another shape?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza
5721.(Logo change.)Do you remember the letters in Pure in Crystal Light Pure being normal?(Do any of the other logos look off?)(Do the letters in Sport in Capri Sun Sport look off?)
https://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Light-Variety-Flavors-Flavodp/B0125PBUXI
http://parents.caprisun.com/en/juice-drinks/sport
5722.(Spelling change.)Fiance/Fiancé(Was it spelled Fiancée for females?)
http://www.dictionary.com/e/fiance-vs-fiancee/
5723.(Famous Rapper name change.)JaRule/Ja Rule(Pitbull/Pit Bull)(Pit Bull/Pitbull)(Singer and dog breed switched spellings.)(Bull Dog/Bulldog)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ja_Rule
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pit_bull
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitbull_(rapper)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulldog
Add-On: Do you remember east coast Native American tribes not being a thing?
http://blog.nativepartnership.org/eastern-tribes/
Add-On: Do you remember Burger King burgers being Flame-Broiled instead of Flame-Grilled?(Do any of the logos for their food look off to you?)
https://www.bk.com/food-quality/our-burgers
5724.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these things about history being a thing?(Sicily is part of Italy instead of its own separate nation, ninjas are Japanese and not Chinese, Benjamin Franklin was never president and lived a shorter life, Call of Duty: Ghosts isn't as liked, the Spanish Armada attacked England three times instead of one and landed troops there, Nikola Tesla didn't get credit for inventing and people think Thomas Edison invented it, Al Capone no longer dies of syphilis and doesn't die of Alcatraz, Star Wars is more popular now, Joe McCarthy is seen as more of a joke now instead of people finding out he discovered KGB spies specifically Rosenberg, England no longer conquered Scotland, and Roman Republic now actually exists instead of people just calling the Roman Kingdom that.)
https://www.reddit.com/Retconned/comments/8wx311/mes_ive_noticed_im_truly_not_in_the_same_reality/
5725.(Fictional Character appearance change.)Do you remember Rosé(Rose?)from Fullmetal(Full Metal?)Alchemist: Brotherhood always having pink or purple hair instead of brown hair sometimes?
http://fma.wikia.com/wiki/Rosé_Thomas
5726.(Music Lyrics change.)"I've been feeling fine baby."/"I've been really trying baby."(Any of the other lyrics off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let%27s_Get_It_On_(song)
5727.(Bird name change)Snow Owl/Snowy Owl
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowy_owl
Add-On: Do you remember Maleficent not having yellow eyes?(Did Tigger yellow around his eyes and were parts of him not all yellow and is his nose a different color?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maleficent
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tigger
5728.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember John Lennon wearing a white suit in the Imagine music video instead of a dark coat?(Anything else off?)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YkgkThdzX-8
Add-On: Do you remember Bruce Lee not doing any drugs, not removing his sweat glands, not having a mistress, was his cause of death not unknown, and were the scratches in his iconic photo different than they are now?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5a62ofrXPc4&t
Add-On: Do you remember "I walked out on a morning." instead of "I walked out this morning."?
https://genius.com/James-taylor-fire-and-rain-lyrics
Add-On: Do you remember there not being two Virgin Of The Rocks paintings?(Were there not multiple The Judgment Of Paris paintings?)(Were there less replicas of Starry Night and the Statue Of Liberty than there are now?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_of_the_Rocks
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Judgement_of_Paris_(Rubens)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Starry_Night
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replicas_of_the_Statue_of_Liberty
5729.(Date change.)Do you remember these movies released later earlier than they were now?(Monsters, Inc came out in 2001 instead of 2000 or 2005-2006, Disturbia earlier than it was now, Stranger Than Fiction later than it was now, Apocalypto earlier than it was now, X-Men: The Last Stand(Last Stand?)earlier than it was now, Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy(Legend Of Ron Burgundy?)later than it was now, Spirit earlier than it was now, Atlantis: The Lost Empire(Lost Empire?)earlier than it was now, Shrek earlier than it was now, Get A Clue earlier than it was now.)
https://www.reddit.com/Retconned/comments/8wznoe/movies_are_not_in_the_right_orde
Add-On: Do you remember the girl in the Morton Salt logo having brown hair?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton_Salt
5730.(Movie Quote change.)"This s.o.b just killed two cops!"/"This s.o.b just killed two of our own!"/"This s.o.b just killed two of our own men!"
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lethal_Weapon
5731.(Geography change.)Do you remember the Pacific Northwest only consisting of Oregon, Idaho, and Washington?(Was it not known as Cascadia?)(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Northwest
5732.(Fictional Area name change.)Vardenfell/Vaardenfell/Vvardenfell
http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Vvardenfell
5733.(Phantom geography.)Do you remember Vanuatu not existing?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanuatu
5734.(Sculpture change.)Do you remember the statue of David not having a sling?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_(Michelangelo)
5735.(YouTube Channel name change.)TheWolfiePit/TheWolfePit
https://m.youtube.com/useTheWolfePit
Add-On: Do you remember C-3PO not having yellow eyes?(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-3PO
5736.(Music Lyrics change.)"Rolling on a river."/"Rolling on the river."(Any of the other lyrics or versions off?)(Was Tina Turner the one who wrote the song?)(Was the song sung differently?)
https://genius.com/Ike-and-tina-turner-proud-mary-lyrics
5737.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these photos of slave families from the 1800's not existing?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=q4TIQdNOoB0
Add-On: Do you remember the cross on the Flag Of Greece not connecting to the white line?(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Greece
Add-On: Do you remember Jafar and Iago from Aladdin not ever having yellow eyes?
http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Jafar
http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Iago
Add-On: Do you remember Tony The Tiger not having yellow or green eyes?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_the_Tiger
5738.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Phytophotodermatitis not being a thing?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytophotodermatitis
5739.(Music Lyrics change.)"From my head to my feet."/"From my hand to my feet."(Does it sound like the latter?)(Anything else off?)
https://genius.com/Def-leppard-pour-some-sugar-on-me-lyrics
Add-On: Do you remember Jabuticaba not existing?(Did it not go by other names?)(Did Disospyros Nigra not exist?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabuticaba
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diospyros_nigra
Add-On: Do you remember the platypus being extinct?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus
5740.(Music Lyrics change.)"Where the eagles fly."/"Where the eagles cry."
https://genius.com/Joe-cocker-and-jennifer-warnes-up-where-we-belong-lyrics
submitted by iminterestingplease to Retconned [link] [comments]


2017.01.26 17:59 daprice82 Wrestling Observer Rewind • Oct. 31, 1994

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE: 199119921993
1-3-1994 1-10-1994 1-17-1994 1-24-1994
1-31-1994 2-7-1994 2-14-1994 2-21-1994
2-28-1994 3-7-1994 3-21-1994 3-28-1994
4-4-1994 4-11-1994 4-18-1994 4-25-1994
5-2-1994 5-9-1994 5-16-1994 5-26-1994
5-30-1994 6-6-1994 6-10-1994 6-20-1994
6-27-1994 7-4-1994 7-11-1994 7-18-1994
8-1-1994 8-8-1994 8-14-1994 8-22-1994
8-29-1994 9-5-1994 9-12-1994 9-19-1994
9-26-1994 10-3-1994 10-10-1994 10-17-1994
10-24-1994
  • As expected, Ric Flair lost his retirement match at Halloween Havoc, and now WCW is apparently already making plans to bring him back as Hogan's tag team partner in early-95. Flair is still insisting that he's really retiring. The show drew 12,300 but only 8,500 or so paid but it's expected to be a monster buyrate. WCW is predicting anywhere from 1.8 to a 2.0 buyrate which would be more than WWF did for most of it's PPVs the last year. Shortly before the show, Flair had a dispute with WCW over his contract extension that led some to think Flair might refuse to work the show. But it all got settled and Flair is now under contract to WCW through 1997, and making around $425,000 per year (sounds like Flair had some major leverage there, since he could have refused to put over Hogan and literally wrecked the whole company's plans). Dave goes off on a big rant about how WCW basically ruined what should have been a great, emotional moment with a Ric Flair retirement and actually criticizes Flair for being so professional that he's willing to job himself out to anyone in humiliating fashion and let himself be buried by Hogan repeatedly to the point that it may have tarnished his legacy.
WATCH: Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan (Career vs. Career Match) - Halloween Havoc 94
  • Dave considers the unlikely scenario of the government stepping in some day to enforce a loser-must-retire stipulation. For instance, WCW asking customers to pay money to see Flair retire while already making plans to reverse that retirement is textbook consumer fraud. As PPV revenue continues to grow, if companies continue to knowingly false advertise things, it's possible that some day, it might bite them in the ass. The FTC has already previously received complaints about false advertising on other wrestling PPVs and generally dismissed them, but if the money starts getting too big to ignore, someone might start paying attention and deem it worth investigating. AAA recently had that same problem last year when trying to reverse Konnan's retirement stipulation. Dave does clarify that he thinks it's still unlikely to happen, but you never know...
  • Other Halloween Havoc notes: Brad & Brian Armstrong were scheduled to face Harlem Heat in a dark match but due to high blood pressure, the ringside doctor wouldn't let Brad wrestle, so it ended up being Brian vs. Booker T. During the match, Muhammad Ali made his way to his ringside seat, which distracted the crowd and seemed to distract Booker T also. The masked man who attacked Hogan was revealed to be Brutus Beefcake and then John Tenta debuted as Avalanche to team up on Hogan. Bobby Heenan announced the show but was in extreme pain from his neck surgery.
  • Jacques Rougeau's retirement match drew a packed crowd of 18,500 paid to the Montreal Forum (more than twice the size of the Hogan/Flair crowd) that was headlined by a hugely emotional match between Rougeau and opponent Pierre Oulette. Johnny Polo returned to WWF, working this one last show, and was in Pierre's corner. The match ended with Rougeau winning and he and Pierre shaking hands to a huge pop.
  • The Mexican Boxing & Wrestling Commission held a meeting to discuss rule changes and several wrestlers attended and spoke. Dos Caras gave an angry speech, blaming AAA and the Konnan retirement match last year for killing the Mexico City market (arguably true, Dave says. When Konnan "retired" and then came back, crowds have been dead ever since because people don't buy into the stipulations anymore). He also criticized AAA's gimmicks like the transvestite characters, saying it sets a bad example for kids, among other things. The commission made a new list of rules that must be adhered to and many of them are clearly targeting AAA: 1) all stipulations must be strictly adhered to. 2) no more men being allowed to wrestle in women's clothes. 3) no more minis in mixed tag matches with regular-sized wrestlers. 4) no more cage matches. 5) the commission reserves the right to reverse any referees decisions. 6) no physical contact between wrestlers until the bell rings. 7) no fighting outside the ring at any time. Dave says the last 3 rules especially have upset many in the business, especially the outside the ring rule since that could mean no more exciting flippy shit dives out of the ring, which is a huge part of the style. A second hearing is expected to take place next week and some of them may be removed before they go into law.
  • The upcoming Clash of the Champions main event has been changed to Sting/Hogan/Dave Sullivan vs. Avalanche/The Butcher (Beefcake)/Kevin Sullivan. It was originally supposed to be a normal tag match until WCW added the Sullivans to each team. Dave thinks this is a mistake because Dave Sullivan is hot garbage in the ring but then again, Dave also thinks pushing Beefcake as a top heel is "vomit material." He also points out that having Beefcake be the masked man at Havoc made no sense because in previous weeks, Beefcake had been there in the ring with Hogan when the masked man attacked the first time, but since when does WCW care about continuity?
  • Chuck Norris will be the special referee for Yokozuna vs. Undertaker at Survivor Series. Also, Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund will be a submission match, and the only way to lose is for the corner to throw in the towel (Owen in Backlund's corner, Davey Boy in Bret's corner).
  • Missy Hyatt filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Turner Broadcasting, WCW, Bob Dhue, and Eric Bischoff this week. There are 12 charges in the lawsuit: 1) Allowing a hostile work environment which led to or allowed sexual harassment; 2) Sexual discrimination; 3) Retaliation against her for reporting harassment; 4) Wage discrimination; 5) Emotional distress; 6) Negligence in hiring practices and supervision leading to sexual harassment; 7) Negligent investigation after complaints of sexual harassment were brought forward; 8) Assault and battery; 9) Breach of contract; 10) Fraud and misrepresentation by TBS; 11) Alleging that her supervisor (Bischoff) forced her to sign over cars to Jason Hervey after the two had broken up when Hervey sent her belongings to Bischoff who refused to let her have them until she signed over the cars; 12) Claims WCW cheated her on merchandising income.
  • Speaking of Missy Hyatt, she will be doing backstage interviews and promo packages for the UFC 4 PPV in December (didn't end up happening).
  • Ken Shamrock won't be working the UFC 4 PPV because he has told them he wants to focus on his career in Pancrase. However, Shamrock still wants a rematch against Royce Gracie and he is the #2 draw, so UFC is considering trying to get Shamrock vs. Gracie to headline UFC 5 instead of having them in the tournament. Meanwhile, UWFI wrestler Dan Severn is the only pro wrestler expected to work the UFC 4 show. Eric Bischoff was reportedly the one who contacted UFC about using Meng for the next show and UFC was interested, but Meng turned it down. Bischoff then offered them Craig Pittman but UFC turned him down.
  • UWA has had more talks with AAA about trying to put together some working agreement, in what is pretty much a last ditch effort to save the dying promotion.
  • The 11/3 issue of Weekly Gong magazine in Japan is expected to become a collector's item among fans because the centerfold poster is a topless picture of Takako Inoue.
  • In JWP in Japan, the biggest upset in years saw Chigusa Nagayo lose to Commando Boirshoi in 28 seconds. I only include this because Dave says this is "the equivalent of Ric Flair doing a clean job in 28 seconds to Dave Sullivan."
  • A USWA show, headlined by Undertaker vs. Sid Vicious drew the second largest crowd of the year. Neither Jerry Lawler or Brian Christopher were on the show, and several people think Lawler may have killed his drawing power in Memphis by playing a heel on WWF TV while still trying to play a babyface in Memphis.
  • Sabu broke one finger and dislocated another during an ECW match. Dave says don't expect him to miss any dates though, because he's Sabu and that's just how he rolls.
  • Cactus Jack has opened a side business where he's selling leather biker jackets and vests. The business name is Cactus Jackets. 10% off if you say you're an Observer reader!
PHOTOS: Cactus Jackets catalog
  • Many of the wrestlers who worked Herb Abrams' recent show ended up getting checks that bounced. Dave isn't shocked, given Abrams' track record.
  • Konnan drew a ton of heat at a show for wearing a traditional Mexican serape with an American flag design. The crowd was so furious that they were throwing chairs at him after the match.
  • Hulk Hogan was honored by the Make-A-Wish foundation for being the most requested sports personality and granting over 200 wishes. The foundation asked Hogan to be one of the hosts for a fund raising telethon they are doing soon. When WWF heard about it, they contacted Make-A-Wish and offered to do a "Holiday Wish" house show tour to raise money for the organization. God forbid someone else get positive publicity.
  • Hulk Hogan was the subject of negative publicity in Salt Lake City after he and several other WCW wrestlers went out to eat at a restaurant called the Green Parrot. They showed up right before they closed, but the restaurant stayed open late to accommodate them. The wrestlers stayed for more than 2 hours and then left without paying their bill. Someone from the restaurant went across the street to the hotel the wrestlers were at and somebody from WCW reportedly paid the tab, but the story still made local news outlets in SLC.
  • Plans for any Hogan vs. Vader matches, including the planned Starrcade main event, have been dropped. The new main event for Starrcade will likely be Hogan vs. The Butcher (Beefcake). Dave seems annoyed at the nepotism.
  • Before the latest WWF taping, Vince got all the roster in one room and made them watch a tape of the interview he gave to the Chicago sports reporter a few weeks ago and told them that if they do any interviews, this is the company line and to pretty much just copy and repeat the things he said. McMahon also told the wrestlers they need to kayfabe more in public, which Dave thinks is funny since no one has exposed the business more than Vince. Afterwards, Vince opened up the floor to questions and it apparently led to Bret Hart going on a rant about dirtsheets, complaining about his matches getting bad ratings and being upset about people leaking stuff to the dirtsheets and how horrible it was that details of this very meeting would inevitably end up in the Observer. HA!
  • Speaking of Bret Hart, he's in negotiations with a movie production company to sign a 2-movie contract to star in some action movies. Hart is also expected to be featured on an upcoming Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous episode.
  • The movie Ed Wood is getting rave reviews and George "The Animal" Steele is getting good reviews for his role in it, which may lead to more acting jobs.
  • The letters section is nothing but people writing in to complain about how WCW has treated Ric Flair and how sick everyone is of all of Hulk Hogan's friends showing up in the company now.
TOMORROW: Hulk Hogan contract news, AAA "When Worlds Collide" PPV troubles, Missy Hyatt lawsuit news, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]


2015.04.24 22:17 BryGuyGWD Marvel Cinematic Universe Pub Quiz at Gracie's, Saturday, May 2nd, 3pm. $5 Buy-In. Huge Cash Prizes.

Geeks Who Drink Pub Quizzes is celebrating Free Comic Book Day and the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron with a Marvel Cinematic Universe1 theme quiz! $5 buy-in, chance to win cash prizes. The more people that come, the bigger the prize!
Must be 21+ to attend, no more than six people to a team. Costumes encouraged.
Saturday, May 2nd 3pm Gracie's Bar 326 S West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
More info: http://www.geekswhodrink.com/198/?CFID=29650011&CFTOKEN=62761516
1 - the quiz will cover Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: the Winter Soldier, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Thor: the Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers, and a little Avengers: Age of Ultron for good measure, plus a few general Marvel comics questions. ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Carter will also be fair game. No Daredevil on this one, maybe next year.
submitted by BryGuyGWD to SaltLakeCity [link] [comments]


2014.02.02 20:01 weffey [Feb. 15] Monthly Meetup - Going around in circles, followed by pub grub!

If you are looking for us I am wearing a black reddit hoodie and a blue runnit T-shirt if I get too warm.
Thanks for all your feedback for activities, from the looks of it, many of you like the idea of pre-dinner fun.
For February's meetup, which is one week early on Feb. 15, here's the plan:
Quick reminder: redditdoc1 is coming to town and wants to film and talk to people. I leave that in their capable hands to organize.
Next meetup will be March 29th, planning thread will go up the first week of March (bowling?). Additionally, Global reddit Meetup Day is June 14th and I'm thinking I'll try to reserve space at either Liberty Park or Sugarhouse Park for the day.
submitted by weffey to SaltLakeCity [link] [comments]


2013.07.19 03:51 lotzasunshine Girls journal found in Salt Lake City, UT. Her name is Gracie, from Missoula

If you know a Gracie on a trip to Utah right now, PM me and we will try to get the journal back to her. Thanks!
submitted by lotzasunshine to SaltLakeCity [link] [comments]


2013.07.19 03:25 lotzasunshine Girls journal found in Salt Lake City, UT. Her name is Gracie, from Missoula

If you know a Gracie on a trip to Utah right now, PM me and we will try to get the journal back to her. Thanks!
submitted by lotzasunshine to missoula [link] [comments]


2012.01.31 23:34 donkeycart DC801 Meetup/happy hour...

When: Thursday, February 16th from 6pm until we're bored or out of beer.
Where:
Gracie's 326 South West Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84101 http://www.graciesslc.com/
We'll be on the second floor near the projection screen. I'll update this post with specifics when we get there.
What:
Just a happy hour to meet other folks interested in DC801. I'd like to talk about some ideas for future events and hear what others are interested in doing as well.
If you can't make it out, post your ideas up here. PM me if you're shy. I'm usually not too much of a meeting nerd, but we'll probably take notes for this one and post everything back for those who couldn't make it.
Hope to see everyone soon!
submitted by donkeycart to DC801 [link] [comments]


Sixteen Days - August 14th, 2020 - Gracies Salt Lake City ... My 26th Bday @ Gracies SLC,UT. Gracie's downtown Salt Lake City Gorgeous Gourds, Gracies, Salt Lake City, 3/10/19 Cissy Strut - 8-14-20 Gracies Salt Lake City - YouTube Gracies new utah shirt and ladies of justice hat Angel from Montgomery - August 14, 2020 - Gracies - Salt ...

Gracie's Delivery in Salt Lake City - Delivery Menu - DoorDash

  1. Sixteen Days - August 14th, 2020 - Gracies Salt Lake City ...
  2. My 26th Bday @ Gracies SLC,UT.
  3. Gracie's downtown Salt Lake City
  4. Gorgeous Gourds, Gracies, Salt Lake City, 3/10/19
  5. Cissy Strut - 8-14-20 Gracies Salt Lake City - YouTube
  6. Gracies new utah shirt and ladies of justice hat
  7. Angel from Montgomery - August 14, 2020 - Gracies - Salt ...

some shizz talkin. and a cutie distracts me. caution: language. Gracie and daddy, she is growing up 12 years old and in 7th Grade. ... Jeffrey Jansen 5,049 views. 6:46. Salt Lake City, Utah - Duration: 34:51. Hoosier Tim's Travel Videos Recommended for you. The next video is starting stop. Loading... Watch Queue Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Videosfrommycamera state liquor stores are closed on Sunday but you can still have fun here.