nine thirty

Torpedo Eight sustained the highest number of casualties of any naval air squadron that fought at the Midway battle, as well as of all the naval squadrons that flew with the Cactus Air Force on Guadalcanal. At Midway forty five of the forty eight officers and men serving in Torpedo Eight were killed. At Guadalcanal, seven of the remaining squadron members were killed and another eight wounded.
Its thirty five pilots won an astounding thirty nine Navy Crosses. The enlisted men in the squadron earned more than fifty medals for bravery in action, including multiple awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Silver Star, and the Air Medal. Although official Navy records of military awards are not maintained on a squadron-by-squadron basis, Torpedo Eight might well have been the most highly decorated air squadron of the war.
Torpedo Eight earned another distinction that was unparalleled among the naval squadrons operating in the Pacific in 1942. It was the only unit to be awarded two Presidential Unit Citations from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the first for the squadron’s contribution to the victory at Midway, and the second for its distinction at Guadalcanal.
—  “A Dawn Like Thunder,” by Robert J. Mrazek
God Fuck

Anonymous said:

Smut where Ashton finds you touching yourself and he gets mad. Daddy kink pls. Make it fairly long. Thx 

I gotchu and don’t mind the title, its a thing w me and Maddi

~

Ashton’s POV:

“Mmm,” I hear, dropping my bag.  I check my watch and it’s about nine thirty. My little girl is usually asleep by eight thirty. “Daddy!” I hear her moan. I’m a little confused as to why I hear the moans coming from my office and not upstairs where her room is.

“Mmh, Daddy,” I hear. I finally reach my office door. “Daddy, please,” she squeaks. I walk in and see my little girl sat in the big brown chair behind my desk. Her knees were pushed up as she held a vibrator in her panties against her pussy.

“Please, Daddy,” she moans again, her head thrown back as she pushes the toy against her pussy, applying more pressure. “Please what, baby?” I ask. I could have just watched her get off, but joining in would be much more fun. Y/N gasps, the vibrator falling to the floor as her eyes dart up to me.

“Daddy-” “It seems like I have a naughty little girl.” I cut her off. She knew very well she wasn’t allowed in my office when I wasn’t there, she especially wasn’t allowed to go in there to get her toy.

She was supposed to be punished for a week. No vibrator or touching herself was her punishment for teasing me at a pool party we had attended Friday.

It’s now Wednesday and it looks like she couldn’t resist. This is the second time this week she’s been caught playing with herself. “You’ve been a horny little girl this week, haven’t you?” I say as and walk closer to her.

“Here, you dropped your toy, princess.” I bend down to pick up the vibrator. “Put it back baby.” She gives me a questioning look. “Go ahead baby, it feels good for your little pussy?” I ask and she nods in response.

“Then go ahead.” I say softly. She reluctantly pushes the vibrator back into her underwear. I begin to pepper kisses all over her thighs, as I did I moved her hand from the handle of the vibrator replacing it with mine.

“Daddy doesn’t like bad girls.” I mumble as I pushed the vibrator against her pussy. “ ’M sorry, Daddy.” Y/N more so moans. “You’re sorry?” I remove the vibrator to where it’s not against her but still in her little underwear.

She nods.

“But honey, this is the second time in a matter of three days.” I push it back. “You’re a very, very bad girl and I know exactly what I’m going to do to you.” I spoke, rubbing her thigh as I watched her face scrunch up with pleasure from the vibrator being against her for so long.

“Daddy,” she moans quietly. “Mmh, you love that, don’t you? Daddy putting a vibrator against that lil’ cunt? Against your cute little clit, baby? That’s what you like?” “Mhmm,” she moans, her body starting to squirm.

“Like that princess? Hm?” I put the vibrator against her for a second, only to move it away the next. “Yeah, baby? Are you a good girl, hm?” “Yes,” she moans. “Don’t lie to me.” I say sternly, pulling the vibrator out of Y/N’s underwear.

“Take these off.” I pull at the top of her underwear.  “On the desk, now.” She sits on his desk, her legs crossed. “Baby,” I move my lips to her ear. “I haven’t got time for you to act like I’m not going to play with your cunt until you cry. Now uncross these legs so Daddy can punish his dirty little girl.”

She lets out a small sigh, opening her legs and scooting a little further on the cold desk. “Daddy, it’s cold.” She says quietly. “Ohh, really?” I pout in mocking her sadness as I bring my thumb to her clit to rub small circles.

“I was going to sit in my chair,” i say as I reach for the vibrator again, holding it against her clit. “Daddy,” she squeaks as her whole body jerks. “I don’t wanna hear anything out of that mouth.”

“Like I was saying.” I say, watching her pussy casually as I spoke. Watching the way she kept clenching, watching how swollen her little pussy got, how wet she was. “Fuck, you’re drenched. Too bad you won’t be able to cum.” I say sadly.

Barely paying attention to what I’m saying as I was so absorbed in watching the way her pussy moved under the vibrator. “But I have the real prize right here.” I applied more pressure. “Daddy!” She screams.

In one swift movement I removed the vibrator and slaped her pussy, hard. The slap was heard and so was her little squeak before her legs tried to close. “What did I say about that mouth?” “I’m sorry, Daddy,” she moans, only to receive another slap. She whines as she closes her legs, I let her.

“What’s wrong, baby?” “Daddy, please,” she whines as he opened her legs back up. “Please, what?” I ask as I unbuckled my belt, letting it fall to the floor as I pulled my pants and underwear down.

“Let me cum. Please Daddy, it hurts.” “Shhhh,” I hold her legs open as I rub my cock against her pussy. “F-” she stops herself from swearing. “Daddy! Daddy, please! No! Daddy, I can’t, please let me cum.” She says, knowing she wouldn’t be able to handle being fucked without cumming. She moans after, not being able to hold it in.

“Dadddyy,” she moans in pleasure, tears pricking at her eyes. “Mmh, you like Daddy’s cock, baby? Hm? You like when I rub your pussy with it?” “Mhmmm,” she moans, her hips thrashing around as her cheeks turned a darker shade of red, tears falling from her eyes. Tears of pleasure. Too much pleasure.

“I want you to bend over now princess.” She does as she’s told, turning around and bending over the desk. “Why aren’t your legs open?” I ask and in less than a second her legs are spread as far as they could go. “Good girl.” I kiss her head.

I thrust into her, not giving any sort of warning. “You thought you wouldn’t be caught? Moaning so loud while in Daddy’s office,” I spank her ass. “You’re such a bad girl.” I spread her ass cheeks as I slowed my fast thrusts, “Y/N, honey, I want to hear you say it. What are you, hm?”

“A-a bad girl.” She cries. “Daddy,” she nearly whispers. “I’m going to cum.” I slap her ass, “I said no.” “Mh,” she cries. “Please, Daddy.” Finally I pull out. “Honey, I know you love being teased.” She shakes her head no.

“But you’re pussy is dripping. All over Daddy’s floor, too.” She grips the desk, trying to rub her legs together to make some sort of friction. Only resulting in another slap to her ass. “Stop that!”

“Now, you’re going to stop being a bad girl. Do you understand?” “Y-yes.” Another spank. “Daddy! Yes, Daddy. I’m sorry.” She moans. “You’re such a difficult little girl. You could have just been good, and waited for Daddy. Surely I would of helped you.”

“I know.” She says sadly. “Why’d you do it?” I peck the bottom of her ass, close to her pussy. “Hm?” “I-I just, I couldn’t wait.” “Oh, so you were being greedy.”
“I’m sorry,” she says and he can hear the tears in her voice.

“Don’t cry, princess. I know it feels funny, but this is what bad girls get.” I say, bending over her and wiping her tears. “Are you ready?” I ask softly. She reluctantly nods. I slowly enter her again, this time making sure he gets off. My thrusts were slow, and my grip was tight.  “You’re so tight, princess. Fuck,” I moan.

“So wet too. Fuck, Daddy’s cock slips right in.” I thrust for a while more. “Daddy,” Y/N moans quietly.  “Fuck,” I squeeze her ass as I cum inside of her, riding out my orgasm.

“Fuck, baby,” I groan as I pull out slowly, watching my cum leak from her pussy. “Good girl.” I breath.  “Turn around for me, let me see that precious face.”
She turns around, still sitting on the desk.

“Why were you crying?” I ask softly, kissing her temple. “Because my pussy hurts Daddy, I need to cum.” “I know you need to, princess, but you can’t.” I says sympathetically, my hand holding her jaw softly. “You know what being a bad girl gets you.” I rub her cheek with my thumb.

“I know.” Y/N looks down sadly. “C'mon baby, let’s go sleep now, yeah?” She nods her head. “Wait, my panties, Daddy.” She says as I pick her up and begins walking out of the room.

“You are going to have a shower, those ones are all messed up.” I say, picking her up. “Alright Daddy.” She says. “Let’s wash you up.” I says as my soapy hand comes in contact with her hip, making her jerk away.

I furrow my brows in confusion. “I don’t think you should touch me, Daddy.” She says. “I’m very sensitive right now.” “Oh baby girl, are you sure you don’t want Daddy to wash you?”

She nods. “I’m sorry, Daddy. I love you.” She kisses my cheek. “I love you too, princess. I’ll wait for you in the room.” When Y/N was finished she went into the room, and I helped her change into her pajamas. “Go to sleep, baby.” I kiss her lips before we cuddle.

“Daddy,” she asks after a while. “Yes?” “Am I really a bad girl?” “No, sweetie. You’re a good girl, you just misbehave sometimes.” “Can I be your good little girl again?” She turns around to face me. “Of course you can, baby. You’ll always be my good little girl.” I kiss her sweet lips once more before we both drift off into a deep sleep.

Day Thirty-Nine

-A boy spent a solid three minutes monologuing about how he made his mom buy him several packages of Pokemon cards as Rosie had chewed up his favorite card. Despite paying full attention, I could not gather enough context to tell whether Rosie is a sister or a dog.

-The quote: “And you know what? I’ve lost my sense of smell AND taste!” The source: a young woman in her thirties. The context: None.

-A boy stared at the racks of candy, utterly awestruck, and announced to everyone that, “There’s a world of candy here!” I am deeply appreciative of his desire to share this joy with everyone he could reach.

-The store offers a $0.05 discount when guests supply their own bags. One guest seems to have discovered the loophole that we do not specify reusable bags, as she brought in three Walmart bags that smelled strongly of burnt biscuits to carry her six pounds of assorted cheeses.

-A woman asked me if she could put money on a gift card. She asked me if she could give the gift card to her daughter. She asked if the daughter could spend the gift card. She asked if the gift card could be used on ironing boards and clothes. I am pleased to have been able to fully educate this woman on the definition of a gift card today.

-As I began to ring up a woman’s purchase, her son ran around the register, pushed me aside, and began to bag items without scanning them. I looked to the boy’s mother, who seemed as if she could not care less. I am left to wonder how many stores he has become a part-time employee at in this fashion, and whether he has discovered the solution to unemployment. 

-Every couple of weeks, an old man comes into the store. He purchases one Hot Wheels car. He has tattoos of talons circling his eyes. His life is an enigma that I never want to crack.

-I met an elderly woman who looked impossibly similar to esteemed 20th century comedic actor Don Knotts. I opted not to risk informing her of the resemblance, because although she may not know it, that would be high praise from me.

-Small children getting excited about stickers makes me smile. Small children then giving their stickers to their parents to share the happiness rejuvenates my soul.

-The amount of times I have been recognized continues to grow. The grace with which I handle these encounters continues to diminish. 

-There is glitter on my register. There is glitter on my conveyor belt. There is glitter on my computer screen. There is glitter on myself. There is glitter on my soul. I have not a single complaint.

-An old man swung a toy sword at whom I can only assume and hope were his grandchildren. He discussed, with seemingly full sincerity, how they all needed shock collars on them so they would shut up. He then announced that he was going to return home, drink a bottle of wine, and watch The Godfather for the five-hundredth time. I feel that I can learn a lot from this man.

Tyler Joseph Imagine- Part 2

*present time*

Later that night, Tyler was tidying up the apartment while a balsam scented candle burned, when a knock sounded on his door. He took a deep breath to prepare for whatever nonsense was about to go down, and reminded himself that he needed to play nice, before opening the door.

Y/N greeted him with a smile and a box that looked like takeout in her hand.

“I brought dinner,” she declares, holding the bag up in the air.

Tyler rolls his eyes, “It’s like nine thirty, did you think I hadn’t already eaten?”

She lets her arm fall to her side and glares at him, “The polite response would have been ‘thank you’, but no, it’s fine, really, your manners are wonderful.”

She pushes herself inside then, not bothering to wait for an invitation.

“Speaking of manners,” Tyler scoffs.

She completely ignores him, “Well?” she says, turning to face Tyler with her hand on her hip.

“Well what?”

“Are you going to teach me how to be your girlfriend or what?”

“I shouldn’t have to teach you how to be a girlfriend—“  Tyler rolls his eyes heavily, all while following her into the living room.

“Not just a girlfriend, idiot.  You’re girlfriend.  I need the details.  God, have you even thought about this at all?  Oh, and where’s your phone?”

“Uh,” Tyler patted at his pockets before pulling his phone out.  

He handed it over to her without really thinking.

“Right,” she says, “Come on then, smile big.”

She opens her arm for Tyler to stand close, before slinging it around him and counting to three. Tyler smiled, and at the last second, Y/N turns her head and kissed him on the cheek. Tyler’s skin felt the remnants of her lips, the shock shooting through his whole body. What the fuck?

“There,” she turned the phone so Tyler could look at the screen. “That’s your new lock screen.  Put my number in, too. Use some emojis or whatever.”

“Do you do this a lot?” Tyler asks.

“Hmm?” she hums, not paying much attention as she grabs a seat and starts opening the box of takeout on Tyler’s table.

“The fake-dating thing, you’re suspiciously good at it.”

She laughs, “No, but my mind wanders a lot when at work.  I thought it’d be a good idea.”

She cracks open the styrofoam lid of the box and the smell of Chinese food fills the apartment.  “So, is there anything I should know about your family before I meet them?” She asks, leaning back against the kitchen chair.

“Like what?” Tyler asks.  He joins her at the table by scooting out his own chair.

She rolls her eyes, “Like, maybe their names, for a start.  Are your siblings older or younger than you?  What’s the family dynamic? Just details that a boyfriend would tell his girlfriend.”

Tyler bit his tongue at her sassy tone and hated the idea of her intrusive questioning. But he had to give it to her, those were all things that she would know if she really was Tyler’s girlfriend though, so he sighed and answered.

“Madison, Zack and Jay,” he told him. “Those are my siblings’ names.  Mad’s twenty-two, Zack’s twenty-six, and Jay’s eighteen. Madison and Zack are both married.  Madison’s husband’s name is Will, and Zack’s wife’s name is Tatum.”

“Big family,” she remarks in between bites.

Tyler nods.

“So you’re the oldest,” she states.  “What about your parents?”

“What about them?”

“Are they together?”

Tyler nods.

“Any nieces or nephews?”

Tyler shakes his head.

“Any grandparents?”

Tyler nods.

“Any pets?”

Tyler shakes his head.

It continues like this all night.  Interrogation questions.  Tyler’s exhausted when he finally lays his head on his pillow that night, but it doesn’t stop him from staying awake and pondering the plan over in his head for hours after.

Tyler had told his family the vague truth about how he and Y/N met— that she stole his parking space on the first day he moved in and that she lived next door. The truth ended there.

Y/N insisted that they have a story for how they got together, in case anyone asked, so the official lie was that Tyler asked Y/N out after the party at her apartment.

They also discussed the more intimate details of their supposed love life.  

“Have we told each other ‘I love you’ yet?” she asked, after Tyler told her enough information about his family and life back in Columbus to make their relationship credible.

Tyler sputtered.  “What?”

“We’re supposed to have been dating for about five months, right?” she asks, “that seems reasonable.”

“I guess…” Tyler admits.  He was beginning to think that Y/N was a secret undercover agent of some sort.

“Okay, so we’re on the ‘I love you’ basis,” she says, almost to herself.  

“How affectionate are you around your family?”

“Excuse me?”

“Keep up, Joseph!” she says, clearly frustrated that she has to keep explaining herself.  “Do we hug, do we kiss, do we hold hands?”

“I— I don’t know,” Tyler says honestly.

“Well what have you done in the past when you’ve brought a girl home?”

Tyler bites his lip but stays silent.  He grits his teeth but feels his cheeks growing hot with embarrassment.

She raises her eyebrows at his silence, but surprisingly doesn’t push.

“We’ll just try to be natural about it, okay?” she suggests.

That night, Tyler couldn’t sleep. Y/N had gone home a few hours ago, but Tyler’s head was still spinning with all the planning she’d put into this whole ordeal.  They’d be leaving for Columbus the next afternoon, and in some ways, Tyler couldn’t imagine pulling this off.  He’d spent a good portion of time wondering if Y/N was toying with him.  What if this whole thing was a way to prank Tyler and the second he brought her home she’d tell his family the truth?  

Tyler pushed that thought out of his mind, because in all honesty, he had no choice but to trust her at this point.

She showed up the next day with nothing but a duffel bag at her side.

“That’s all your bringing?” Tyler asks, shocked at how light it felt.

“Yeah, we’re gone for what? Four days?”

“I think I even packed more than you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she scoffs.

“Nothing, I just thought that girls always packed their entire wardrobe whenever they went anywhere.”

“That’s exaggeration and a stereotype,” she says, “want to throw a hyperbole in there, too?”

Tyler rolls his eyes before grabbing his own duffel bag.  He swings it over his shoulder before double checking the lock and shutting the door.  

“So how long’s the drive?” she asks on the way down to the car.  

“About five hours.”

She groans, and all Tyler can think is how much he agrees.  It’s bad enough being cooped up in a car for that long alone.  He can only imagine how much worse it will be with someone you’re not particularly fond of.  

“Do you get car sick?” Tyler asks.

“No, why?”

He shrugs nonchalantly, “I just don’t think I could stand getting puked on by you again.”

He tries not to notice the shade of red instantly casting over her face, he tries even harder not to notice how adorable it is.  

“I’m glad you’re not a Christmas-music-type-of-person,” she says about half an hour into the drive.  

Tyler had said little to nothing so far, but he finds himself laughing at her comment.

“I love Christmas music,” he counters.  That was an exaggeration.  Tyler kind of didn’t mind Christmas music.  He just really felt the need to disagree with everything she said.

“Well then I’m glad you’re not forcing me to listen to it,” she alters.  Tyler glances over to see her staring out the window.  She was fiddling with the ring on her finger as she gazed at the highway passing by.

“Why do you hate Christmas music so much?”

She just shrugs.

“You can’t be a Grinch around my family, okay?  They love the holidays and you can’t bring those negative, Scrooge vibes to Columbus.”

“Don’t worry, I brought my reindeer sweater,” she says, offering Tyler the slightest smile.

Tyler knew there was something up.  He could sense it by the sad tone to her voice.  He was used to snarky comebacks and constant defenses.  But instead, she sounded defeated.  Tyler knew there was a story behind her hatred, but he didn’t push.  

“Josh will probably stop by,” he says.  The silence was making him uncomfortable all of a sudden.

“Pink haired guy,” she says, still staring out the window.

“Yeah, he’s been my best friend for years now.  He knows about all of this, says he’ll play along.”

“Oh yeah?  And what’s he think of it?”

“Thinks it’s mental.  Thinks I should just tell my family the truth.”

“And why don’t you?” she asks, finally tearing her eyes away from the outdoor scenery to look at Tyler.  

Tyler reciprocates Y/N’s earlier shrug.  “If you knew them, you’d understand.”

She nods thoughtfully before leaving it alone.  Tyler was grateful.  

“Hey, can I ask you something?” Tyler asks after a few minutes of utter silence.

Y/N looks up at Tyler again and nods ever so lightly.  He wouldn’t have even seen it if he hadn’t been staring right at her.  Tyler tightens his grip on the steering wheel, his knuckles turning a soft shade of white.  He wonders if he’s prying too much, but he really was curious.

He goes for it, “How come you were so willing to come spend the holidays with me?  I mean it’s Christmas, didn’t you have anything better to do?” He adds a little laughter on at the end to ease the tension in the car.  

When she doesn’t answer at first, Tyler wonders if he’s upset her.  He looks over anxiously to the passengers side and see’s her fiddling with her fingers again, staring down at her lap.  She opens her mouth to speak, before closing her eyes and replacing it with a grin.  

“I just thought I’d fit in one more good deed before the New Year,” she answers as she folds her hands in her lap.

A deluded answer.  How shocking.  

Tyler thought about all the things he told her to prepare for this entire scheme.  He told her past stories and family traditions.  Things so near and dear to his heart, and it was only now that he realized that he knew absolutely nothing about her.  

“It’s not fair, you know?”

“What?”

“That you know so much about me, and I know nothing about you.”

She rolls her eyes, “Let’s not forget who’s doing who the favor here, alright?”

Tyler scoffs, “That may be so, but how stupid am I going to look if my mom starts asking me questions about you when you’re not around, and I can’t answer them?”

Y/N scrunches her nose, and Tyler realizes that she hadn’t thought that far ahead yet.  He feels relieved knowing that she’s not quite the expert he originally thought.  Maybe she was human after all…

She pulls her legs up on the front seat and wraps her arms around her legs, pulling them tightly to her chest.  “Fine,” she remarks.  “My dad’s a pharmacist and my mom’s a teacher.  They live in Kalamazoo with my younger twin sisters, Isabel and Cassie.  We have a golden retriever named Gravy and the reason that we’re going to your family’s instead of mine’s is because we were at my family’s for Thanksgiving.”

Tyler narrows his eyes, “You have a dog named Gravy?” he asks in disbelief.

She rolls her eyes, “His fur color resembles gravy,” she says as if it’s a fact he should have known.

“Okay, okay,” Tyler lets out a sigh, “Was any of that true?”

“Of course it’s true,” she snaps, “Why would I lie?”

Tyler puts his hands up in defeat and shrugs, “Okay, okay… just checking.”

The ride drags on torturously slow, especially after Y/N falls asleep in the passengers seat with her face pressed against the window.   He can’t help but cast occasional glances her way.  He watched as a strand of her hair slowly slides in the her face.  It rises and falls with each breath she takes.  Tyler’s not sure why, but he couldn’t stop thinking about how peaceful and pretty she looked while sleeping.  He tried pushing the thought out of his head, she was rude and loud and puked on his shoes for Christ’s sake.  He shook his head and started drumming his fingers anxiously on the steering wheel, trying to push through the last hour of driving without crashing the car from staring at his passenger.  

He finally stops for gas about forty five minutes outside of Columbus.  He wanted to push through, but his poor car just wouldn’t allow it.  

He’d never admit it, but he slams his door extra loud in an innocent attempt to wake her up.  He’d spent the last hour and a half sitting in absolute silence and he actually craved her company.  He smiles, pleased with himself, when she stirs awake.   He pretends not to watch through the window as he pumps fuel and purposely turns his head away once he notices her looking around, dazed.  

She’s in the midst of a grandeur yawn when Tyler climbs back in the driver’s seat.

“Nice little nap?”

“Shut up,” she snarls.

How pleasant, Tyler thinks as he continues his route back home.  Maybe she could fall back asleep again for all he cares.  

They arrived in the early evening. Tyler had Y/N announce their presence by having her text Zack when they were pulling into the driveway.  

Y/N surveyed the house as she unwrapped the scarf from around her neck. Tyler looked at her wide-eyed gaze, wondering what she was thinking about.

He didn’t have to wonder for long though… “Your house is fucking huge—“ she sputters, turning to look at Tyler from across the car.

He shrugs, “It’s just home.”

“Just home?” she gasps, “What are you, a fucking princess or something?”

“Shut it—“ Tyler snarls as he hears the front door bustle open.

“Tyler!” an array of voices shriek.  

He plasters the fake smile on his face and rushes around the car to greet his family.

His mother, of course, is the first one out.  She’s wearing an apron around her waist and has a spoon with cookie batter on it in her hand.  She wraps him up in a giant hug and plants a kiss on his cheek.  He smiles at her.

“Hi mom.”

The rest of the family piled out and Tyler next noticed Jay beaming and turning to Madison with a smirk. “You owe me twenty bucks.”

Madison gave him the stink eye in return. “Shit.”

“Why do you owe him twenty bucks?” Tyler wondered.

Jay smirks devilishly before casting a glance at Y/N, still lingering by the car.  “She didn’t think Y/N was real,” he informed him, “But I had faith in you, Ty guy.”

“You bet on me?” Tyler asked incredulously.

“Yeah,” Jay and Madison said in unison, like it was completely normal to bet on your brother’s relationship status. This kind of behavior was why he needed a fake girlfriend in the first place.

“Unbelievable,” he mutters, shaking his head.  

“Exactly,” Madison says, then turned back to Jay. “That was really immature of us. Which is why I’m going to hold off on that twenty bucks.”

“You’re such a shit—“

“Stop!” Tyler’s mom says, “Enough, all of you!”  She then turned to Y/N, who was hastily holding her duffel bag and looked overwhelmed already.  

Tyler squeezed his eyes shut, this was such a bad idea.

“Jay, help her with her bag,” Tyler’s mom ordered.  Jay obliged, skipping over and taking it from her hands.  

“Thanks,” she says sweetly.

“I’m Jay,” he introduces, holding out his hand.  

She shakes it kindly and returns his smile, “I’ve heard so much about you.”  

Tyler was impressed by how confident she suddenly seemed.

“Wish we could say the same about you,” Zack suddenly appears.  He introduces himself and shakes her hand, Tyler wanted to strangle him. If Y/N actually was his girlfriend, that statement would be extremely hurtful. He had no class. “But Tyler’s always really evasive when you get brought up.”

But she laughs it off easily.  Tyler was starting to become grateful for the easy confidence he usually found annoying. “That’s probably payback for that time I stole his parking space.”

After introductions were over, Tyler and Y/N made their way up to Tyler’s room to ‘get settled in’, as his mom called it.  She opened the door and let out a hasty sigh upon noticing the double bed in the center of the room.

“Oh goodie,” she said sarcastically.

Tyler honestly hadn’t thought about that—  

Y/N sat on the bed whilst pulling on her hooded sweatshirt, “So how thick are we laying this on?” she asks.  

Tyler raises his eyebrows in contemplation, “Pretty thick I’d say, if they were betting on me…”  


She chuckles, “Yeah, what the hell was that all about?”

Tyler shakes his head, “Oh, just you wait…”

“You have a beautiful home,” she says to Tyler’s mom as they join her in the kitchen.  “We brought over some leftover cookies,” Y/N announces sweetly, moving around Tyler in the kitchen with the container he didn’t even notice she brought.  He gets goosebumps as she ever-so-gently brushes her hand over his hip convincingly.  “Tyler and I baked them this week, but I see you guys have started baking without us,” she motions towards the spoon in Tyler’s mom’s hand.  

She poked her lower lip out into a pout that Tyler wanted to wipe off her face. He couldn’t decide if it was annoying or adorable, and that worried him.

“Oh my goodness!” his mom gasps, holding out her hands to take the container, “We just baked these from a package, I’m sure whatever you brought is much better!”  

She opens the lid and observes the cookies, “You convinced Tyler to bake?” she asks surprised.

“It was like pulling teeth, but the rules were that if he licked the spoon, he had to help,”  she slides into his side and wraps her arm around his waist lovingly.  Tyler instinctively coils his arm around her and waits for a reaction.

Everyone laughs at her remark.  As Y/N smiles up innocently at Tyler, he grows suspicious that they might just end up liking her more than him by the end of this.    

Later that night, everyone had congregated to the living room.  Tyler noticed Y/N lingering around the Christmas tree.  She seemed in awe and he was about to go join her, but Madison beat him to it.

“Hey,” she says smiling, “Sorry about the whole, not-thinking-you-were-real-thing…” she says, blushing slightly.

Y/N smiles, “Hey, for twenty bucks, I would’ve done the same.”

They both rejoin Tyler and the rest of the family by the couches where Tyler’s dad is using the remote to flip on the DVD player.  

“Y/N, I don’t know if Tyler told you, but it’s tradition for us to watch A Muppet’s Christmas Carol, every year,” Tyler’s dad says from the recliner.  “Have you seen it?”

Maybe he’s imagining things, but Tyler swears he feels Y/N stiffen beside him.

“Yeah, I love that movie,” she says.  Her voice is thick, but only Tyler seems to notice.  

It’s a tight squeeze this year.  Tyler’s parents claim the recliners in the room, while Zack and Tatum occupy the love-seat.  Jay plops in the bean bag chair normally located in his bedroom, and Madison and Will snuggle closely on the couch.  Tyler plants himself on the couch beside his sister before making enough room for Y/N.  He hadn’t thought about it before Y/N mentioned cuddling, but this would be where they really had to sell their relationship. They needed to look comfortable in each other’s space–it would definitely raise suspicion if they didn’t.

Y/N squeezes beside him, giving him a look of intention before burrowing into his side.  She nods ever so into his side, as if to ask, “is this okay?”  Tyler responds by wrapping an arm around her frame, trying to pay no mind to the fluttering in his stomach.  

Y/N shifted slightly as the opening credits played, and Tyler became all too aware of their proximity.  She was warm next to him, her head so close to Tylers’ that he briefly stopped breathing in an effort to stop fluttering her hair.  Her breath on the other hand, was slow and rhythmic, and Tyler could imagine being lulled to sleep wrapped up like this.

Fuck, they hadn’t even been sitting together ten minutes and Tyler was already completely losing his mind.  Tyler tried to focus on the movie to take his mind off of her, and he succeeded for a little while until she grabbed his loose hand in hers and started stroking his skin ever so lightly, and every nerve in his body was on alert again.  She seemed to notice his discomfort and immediately let go, in what Tyler was sure was an attempt to be respectful or whatever.  But Tyler frowned at that response and gathered her hand in his again.  He smiled when she gave it a reassuring squeeze.

Tyler couldn’t focus on the movie anymore, and instead found himself wondering how natural and right this felt.  It was nice for once to not be subjected to a bean bag chair, alone on Christmas.  And with her, it felt even better.  

He was in trouble.

As the movie went on, Tyler felt like Y/N was uncomfortable.  He scooted his body up in order to get a good look at her face, and when wet eyes and pierced lips were what he saw, he immediately knew something was up.  But she stared straight ahead at the screen through the movie.  

Finally, Tyler thought of a cop-out.

“I don’t know about you babe, but I am beat from that drive…”

She looks up at him, confused.

“Oh, I can only imagine how exhausted you must be,” Tyler’s mom gushes, “Why don’t you head to bed?”

Tyler let’s out a yawn, “You know what, I think I will.  You coming?” he asks her.

She nods softly before standing up from the couch, even taking his hand in the process.

“Thank you again for inviting me, I’m so happy to be here,” she says sweetly.

She’s answered by an abundance of “goodnights” and “sleep well’s” before they’re off to the bedroom for the night.

Tyler hears her tiptoeing back from the bathroom, all changed into some shorts and a pajama shirt once they’re upstairs.  

“Thanks for uh- rescuing me on that one,” she says, not quite meeting Tyler’s eye.

“Yeah sure, Muppets make me emotional too,” he jokes.

She nods and smiles softly, dumping her dirty clothes into her duffel.  “That movie just reminds me of someone.”

“Is it yourself? Because you kind of resemble a Scrooge.”

She laughs and playfully pushes his shoulder.  “I am not a Scrooge,” she argues.

“I know, I know- I’m only kidding.”

Tyler grabs an extra blanket from the closet and plops a pillow down on the floor.  He notices Y/N biting her lip anxiously from the bed, like she’s thinking really hard.

“You know-“ she starts, “They could pop their head in, in the morning, or something.  If they see you sleeping on the floor, our cover’s gonna be blown. Why don’t you just sleep up here?  We might as well go all in, right?”

Tyler squints his eyes at her, sure he’s hearing things incorrectly.

“Are you sure?  You don’t have to, we can think of a lie if anyone sees…”

She shakes her head, “No, I’m sure— come on up.”  She scoots herself over so that there’s room for Tyler in the bed.  He picks up his pillow and blanket before sliding in beside her.  

Both of them lay awkwardly on their backs.

“Are you comfy?” he asks.

She nods beside him, “I’m good.”

Tyler snaps off the bedside lamp, illuminating the hundreds of star stickers that Tyler had plastered over his ceiling as a kid.

He hears Y/N gasp beside him, “That’s so cool—“ she says.  

“I stuck those up there when I was five,” Tyler tells her.  “I was always afraid of the dark but didn’t want a nightlight, so my mom came home with a bunch of light-in-the-dark stickers instead.  I loved space, so these made me feel extra safe.”

Tyler inhales as he feels Y/N lean her head on his shoulder softly.  

“I like your family,” she tells him.

“Well that’s good, cause they definitely like you.”

She scoffs as if she doesn’t believe him, “They barely know me…”

“Trust me, my mom’s treating you the same way she treated Tatum the first time Zack brought her home.  And my dad made a comment about how I ‘picked a good one’ while you were with Will and Mad.  They like you.”

She sighs deeply, “Is it weird that I’m really relieved?  Like this is a fake relationship, but I still really want their approval?” she laughs, “How weird is that?”

Tyler frowns at her reminder that this wasn’t real.  He squeezes his eyes shut and firmly pushes the urge to grab her hand again out of his head.  Yeah, he was definitely in trouble.  

this is from february? why haven’t i deleted this

last on so i can go pretend i’m productive 

Marinette isn’t sure when her parents put their not at all subtle plan to unofficially adopt Adrien Agreste into action. Probably as soon as he showed up at their door with his gorgeous green eyes and polite manner and charming personality.

And she really shouldn’t be surprised when they start asking about Adrien along with Alya and Nino. Constantly. They did keep trying to give him food, which was the tactic they’d had for Nino. Bribery with sweets. (It had worked.) That, and they almost definitely had wanted to spy on them.

And that’s how Marinette ends up screaming at her crush at nine thirty at night. She screams in defeat as he crosses the finish line first.

“I WIN!” Adrien yells, jumping up from the couch and throwing his arms in the air. He points to her with the controller. “Take that!”

Marinette stares at the screen in shock. “You cheated,” she deadpans after a few moments of Adrien’s celebrating.

“You’re a sore loser,” he says with a smirk. “You’re just mad that someone finally beat you in Mario Kart.” He reaches for his phone, and Marinette hits A as fast as she can.

Adrien drops onto the couch as the results screen vanishes. “Ohhhh… You’re the worst person in the world,” he murmurs. “I hate you so much.”

Marinette shrugs smugly. “You weren’t fast enough.”

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THE SYMBOLIC APHORISMS OF PYTHAGORAS

Iamblichus gathered thirty-nine of the symbolic sayings of Pythagoras and interpreted them. These have been translated from the Greek by Thomas Taylor. Aphorismic statement was one of the favorite methods of instruction used in the Pythagorean university of Crotona. Ten of the most representative of these aphorisms are reproduced below with a brief elucidation of their concealed meanings.

I. Declining from the public ways, walk in unfrequented paths. By this it is to be understood that those who desire wisdom must seek it in solitude.

II. Govern your tongue before all other things, following the gods. This aphorism warns man that his words, instead of representing him, misrepresent him, and that when in doubt as to what he should say, he should always be silent.

III. The wind blowing, adore the sound. Pythagoras here reminds his disciples that the fiat of God is heard in the voice of the elements, and that all things in Nature manifest through harmony, rhythm, order, or procedure the attributes of the Deity.

IV. Assist a man in raising a burden; but do not assist him in laying it down. The student is instructed to aid the diligent but never to assist those who seek to evade their responsibilities, for it is a great sin to encourage indolence.

V. Speak not about Pythagoric concerns without light. The world is herein warned that it should not attempt to interpret the mysteries of God and the secrets of the sciences without spiritual and intellectual illumination.

VI. Having departed from your house, turn not back, for the furies will be your attendants. Pythagoras here warns his followers that any who begin the search for truth and, after having learned part of the mystery, become discouraged and attempt to return again to their former ways of vice and ignorance, will suffer exceedingly; for it is better to know nothing about Divinity than to learn a little and then stop without learning all.

VII. Nourish a cock, but sacrifice it not; for it is sacred to the sun and moon. Two great lessons are concealed in this aphorism. The first is a warning against the sacrifice of living things to the gods, because life is sacred and man should not destroy it even as an offering to the Deity. The second warns man that the human body here referred to as a cock is sacred to the sun (God) and the moon (Nature), and should be guarded and preserved as man’s most precious medium of expression. Pythagoras also warned his disciples against suicide.

VIII. Receive not a swallow into your house. This warns the seeker after truth not to allow drifting thoughts to come into his mind nor shiftless persons to enter into his life. He must ever surround himself with rationally inspired thinkers and with conscientious workers.

IX. Offer not your right hand easily to anyone. This warns the disciple to keep his own counsel and not offer wisdom and knowledge (his right hand) to such as are incapable of appreciating them. The hand here represents Truth, which raises those who have fallen because of ignorance; but as many of the unregenerate do not desire wisdom they will cut off the hand that is extended in kindness to them. Time alone can effect the redemption of the ignorant masses

X. When rising from the bedclothes, roll them together, and obliterate the impression of the body. Pythagoras directed his disciples who had awakened from the sleep of ignorance into the waking state of intelligence to eliminate from their recollection all memory of their former spiritual darkness; for a wise man in passing leaves no form behind him which others less intelligent, seeing, shall use as a mold for the casting of idols.

~ Manly P. Hall; The Secret Teachings Of All Ages

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! {Sentence Starters}

  • “I know just what to do!”
  • “Then he got an idea. An awful idea.”
  • “Tomorrow is Christmas. It’s practically here!”
  • “ I’ll fix it up there, then I’ll bring it back here.”
  • “If I can’t find a reindeer, I’ll make one instead.”
  • “You’re a monster. Your heart’s an empty hole.”
  • “Why are you taking our Christmas tree? Why?”
  • “All their windows were dark. No one knew he was there.”
  • “That’s one thing I hate! All the noise, noise, noise, noise!”
  • “You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile.”
  • “I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole. “
  • “Now, please don’t ask why; no one quite knows the reason.”
  • “Your heart is full of unwashed socks. Your soul is full of gunk.”
  • “Given the choice between the two of you, I’d take the, uh… seasick crocodile.”
  • “I must stop this WHOLE thing! Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it, now!”
  • “The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote: Stink, stank, stunk.”
  • “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!”
  • “It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. Or it could be that his head wasn’t screwed on just right.”
2

I Love Lucy has been called the most popular television show of all time. Such national devotion to one show can never happen again; there are too many shows on many more channels now. But in 1951-1952, our show changed the Monday-night habits of America. Between nine and nine-thirty, taxis disappeared from the streets of New York. Marshall Fields department store in Chicago hung up a sign: ‘We Love Lucy too, so from now on we will be open Thursday nights instead of Monday.’ Telephone calls across the nation dropped sharply during that half hour, as well as the water flush rate, as whole families sat glued to their seats.”

Sixty-Five Years of I Love Lucy // October 15, 1951

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr, March 21st, 1556

A Fellow of Jesus College, Archbishop of Canterbury, and leader of the English Reformation, Thomas Cranmer helped construct the case for King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s annulment which lead to the creation of the Church of England, established the first doctrinal structures of the newly-formed church, published the first Anglican liturgy, wrote the first Book of Common Prayer, compiled the Thirty-Nine Articles, and was burned at the stake by Queen Mary for rejecting the doctrines and practices of Roman Catholicism.

Born into a family of moderate wealth, Cranmer attended Jesus College at Cambridge where it took him a surprising eight long years to get his Bachelor of Arts degree. After getting his Master of Arts and eventual Doctorate of Divinity, Cranmer became a teacher and preacher, enjoying a quiet life of scholarly pursuits (and a very brief marriage) before being discovered by King Henry. Henry, lacking a male heir to the throne and convinced his marriage to his older brother’s widow was condemned by God, was seeking out any assistance he could find.

When the plague broke out near Cambridge, Cranmer headed to the countryside, where he encountered two former Cambridge peers, Stephen Gardiner and Edward Foxe. Gardiner and Foxe lodged with Cranmer for a short time, and during their time together, the king’s dilemma was brought up in conversation. Cranmer proposed the king lay aside the legal case in Rome and instead seek opinions from university theologians throughout Europe. When Gardiner and Foxe returned to the king, they presented him with Cranmer’s idea. Delighted by the suggestion, Henry sent for the Jesus College Fellow and charged him with constructing the theological case for an annulment of the king’s marriage.

Cranmer was sent to Rome as part of an entourage to present the idea to the Pope. He was then appointed the resident ambassador in the court of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, allowing him to travel throughout the emperor’s realm before eventually passing through Nuremberg, where he witnessed first-hand the effects of Martin Luther’s reformation. In Nuremberg, Cranmer met and befriended Andreas Osiander and eventually married Osiander’s niece, keeping his marriage a secret from his friends back in the Isles.

Following the death of Archbishop William Warham, Cranmer was ordered to return to England to take Warham’s place. This came as a surprise to Cranmer, not only because he was married (which was illegal for British clergy) but because he had only previously served as rector of a single church.

As the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cranmer oversaw the trial that successfully annulled Henry’s marriage to Catherine. Following the king’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, Pope Clement III became furious and excommunicated the king, Cranmer, and several other of the king’s advisors, adding fuel to the fire that would eventually lead to the separation of the English church from Rome, the establishing of the reformed Church of England, and the birth of Anglicanism.

Throughout the next two decades, Anglicanism underwent several phases of reform with Archbishop Cranmer serving as the chief architect. He wrote and published the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer, writing the first ever English liturgy for the ecclesia anglicana. Inspired by reformers on the Continent (many of whom sought refuge in England) and new English translations of the Bible, Cranmer rejected as heresy the Roman doctrines concerning the Eucharist, icons in places of worship, the veneration of saints, purgatory, the adoration of Mother Mary, Eucharistic adoration, the celibacy of clergy, and the role of Scripture in forming doctrine and practice. Cranmer clarified these Anglican reforms of doctrine and practice in the Prayer Book, the Book of Homilies, and what eventually became the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.

As time passed and Anne Boleyn failed to carry a child to term, King Henry grew tired of their marriage and convinced a reluctant Cranmer and his fellow advisors to once again annul his marriage. Anne Boleyn was executed following the annulment, and it is recorded that Cranmer was the only man among the king’s staff who mourned her death.

Henry grew fond of a woman by the name of Jane Seymour, and in time, they married. Queen Jane successfully conceived and gave birth to Henry’s only son, Edward VI, but died less than two weeks later due to postnatal complications. Following the king’s eventual death, Edward succeeded his father at the young age of nine. Edward’s youth and inexperience allowed the Anglican reformers to institute changes opposed by the relatively moderate King Henry, thus ushering in an era of vibrant, distinctly Protestant reform within the Church of England.

But when Edward turned 16, he grew ill, and it became clear that his reign would soon end. Following his death by tuberculosis, Catherine of Aragorn’s daughter, Mary, became queen, despite the desperate attempts of Archbishop Cranmer and Edward’s other advisors to avoid her enthronement. Mary was fiercely Roman Catholic, perhaps a quality learned from her mother following the annulment of her marriage to Henry. During Queen Mary’s reign, she sought to undo each and every reform that had occurred since the Church of England’s separation from Rome. She arrested Cranmer and executed many other bishops and clergy. She would be remembered following her death as “Bloody Mary” because of the many executions she ordered.

Now no longer the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cranmer was arrested alongside Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley and put on trial for treason and heresy. Though the three men were arrested simultaneously, the queen ordered that Cranmer’s trial be dragged out so that an example might be made of him. Interrogated, isolated, and forced to watch the execution of Latimer and Ridley, Cranmer’s spirit became broken. Five times, he wrote a recantation–but four of those times, he tore the document to shreds before he could sign it, unable to consciously yield to the Roman Catholic authorities and repent of his Anglicanism. He was imprisoned for two years.

When he signed the final recantation, Cranmer was dragged to the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford where he was forced to publicly proclaim his penitence. He was chained to the pulpit in the collegiate church, where the chains wore grooves into the wood that can still be viewed today. Cranmer read aloud from his recantation, profusely sweating and trembling. But when he reached the final paragraph, he veered from the script, stunning his captors. He began to proclaim his true beliefs, defending Anglicanism and the reforms he had devised, announcing his profound sorrow for writing words contrary to his heart. He declared the Pope, with his Roman doctrines, an antichrist, and vowed to cast his writing hand first into the fire as punishment for writing his now illegitimate recantation.

Cranmer was forcefully dragged out of the church and through the now enraged crowd that had gathered. He was stripped down to a mere white robe and tied to a stake. As the flames engulfed the kindling at his feet, he reached out with his right hand, fulfilling his promise, and allowed the flames to engulf his arm until the limb was black with charred flesh. He never once cried out in pain, but shouted only once: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! I see the heavens open and Jesus standing at the right hand of God!”

According to legend, Cranmer’s heart was found among his ashes, entirely intact and completely unharmed.

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer died that day, four hundred and sixty-one years ago today, a heretic to Roman Catholics and a martyr for the English Reformation, the Church of England, and Anglicanism itself. His death was immortalized in Edward Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, and his legacy lives on today through the Book of Common Prayer, the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Book of Homilies, and the world-wide Anglican Communion–which, over eighty-five million members strong, is the third-largest Christian communion on Earth.

Beyond the Horizon - Chapter 39

Fic Update - Beyond the Horizion

Summary:  When Princess Emma’s ship is captured by the Jolly Roger and Captain Killian Jones, she offers herself as a hostage for ransom if he will let the ship and the other passengers go. With Emma, Killian remembers the honour he once held dear, and Emma catches glimpses of the gentleman Killian had been. Against all odds, the pirate and the princess begin to fall for each other.

Read this chapter on ff.net here


                                           Chapter Thirty Nine
                                       The Jewel of the Realm

The captain’s private mess on the Jolly had gone unused for years. Back in the days when she was still the Jewel of the Realm, proud flagship of His Majesty’s Royal Navy, Liam had always sat at the head of the table to preside over late night suppers of fish pie and ruby red claret from his private stock, served by nervous young ensigns in tall, starched collars and freshly-brushed coats. It was considered a high honour among the crew to receive an invitation to dine at the captain’s table and they all jockeyed for the best seats closest to him, but a chair was always reserved for his first lieutenant to sit at his right hand.

“I will follow you, to the ends of the earth.”

After Liam’s death the room was left shut, as the newly appointed captain preferred to dine alone in his quarters without all the pomp and circumstance and wash down the fish pie with copious amounts of rum instead of a modest amount of claret. Half the time the food went uneaten entirely, growing cold and congealed on the plate while he drank in solitude by the amber light of a single lamp and tried to ignore the empty chair at his left hand.

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Creepypasta #976: The Driver Forgot I Was Still On The Bus

Length: Super long

I used to live in a small Northern English town called Hayfield, not much more than a village, a quaint and picturesque place surrounded by nothing but miles and miles of countryside. However, there was an excellent transport link to the rest of civilization in the form of a bus every half an hour, direct to and from the large town of Stockport, near Manchester; for people like me who didn’t drive, this bus was a godsend, and enabled me to work at that time in a multiplex cinema in Stockport town center.

My shifts varied each week, but usually I would finish no later than about nine-thirty, and catch a bus home at around ten. The bus route was serviced by an obscure company who I believe went out of business; their fleet of buses had a distinctive green and white color-scheme. 

But the night on which this bizarre incident happened, I finished late and caught the very last bus of the night, which left the bus station at 11:30. The journey took about 40 minutes. It is quite a strange part of Britain, as Manchester is one of our biggest cities, a huge urban area, but travel just a few miles and you can find yourself in the middle of nowhere.

The bus to Hayfield was always pretty quiet but at that time of night it was almost deserted; it seemed that myself and a couple of older people would have the big double-decker bus all to ourselves, until just before we rolled out of the bus station, an obnoxious boy and girl aged about 10 or 11 jumped on, insulted the driver as they bought their tickets, sat down and immediately began to irritate their fellow commuters.

They were shouting, calling the passengers names, calling the female driver fat and frigid and frumpy, and I remember they both started belting out a hip-hop song at the top of their lungs: Purple Hills by D12, which I guess probably dates these eerie events to around 2002. I don’t normally mind Eminem too much but I always thought that song was pretty stupid. The two unpleasant brats must have memorized every word, and were trying to emphasis all the blatant drug references it contained.

I turned on my MP3 player and tried to ignore them, but their vexatious voices were drowning out the sweet sound of Morrissey; in fact, I think they tried to sing even louder when they noticed I was wearing headphones. 

So about five minutes into my journey, I decided I had endured enough of their off-key caterwauling, and rose from my seat, shot them an irritated look, which is about as confrontational as I ever get, and trudged wearily upstairs. They were making ridiculous threats to my back, threatening to shoot me, making gun noises, that sort of dumb thing.

So I sat alone on the upper deck, right at the back of the bus, stared out of the window into darkness and tried to unwind. I heard the bus stop and saw the older couple walk away down the street before we resumed our journey, and then I must have dozed off pretty quickly and awoke again, as suddenly we were no longer passing pubs and shops and tower-blocks but endless tall trees, the branches of which were sometimes scraping and scratching against the bus windows; perhaps it was these tapping sounds that woke me up. 

I didn’t quite recognize where we were, but looking at my watch, we were still at least five minutes from our destination. I began to become dimly aware of shouts coming from the kids downstairs which were incoherent over my music, but I thought nothing of it at first, figuring they were still just goofing around and getting on the driver’s nerves. But then two things dawned on me at roughly the same time.

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