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Coolacanth
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#1
and no beef soup please

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[Image: tumblr_olvcv1rVtg1rr2h9co1_r1_1280.jpg]

My parents have been fighting more often lately. I don't know if this is the lead-up to them splitting apart, or just a rough spot, or if I'm just imagining it. They are more stressed than usual, with Vesnin working with the flood evacuees all day. I should be helping Angel more. Maybe then they would have more time to relax, to be happier? I just wish I knew if this was normal. My cousin's family broke up when I was ten, and he had no idea it was happening until it did. Maybe since this is out in the open, they'll do better. I want to be optimistic.

It's a nice sunset today. I can see the clouds coming over the mountains, though. More rain, more flooding. Old Zeke's pasture was full on the walk here, his goats all collected up by the fence edge, and I bet he'll have to move out of his house in another day. The new people haven't been through a winter here, so they don't know what it's like. They all built their homes too close to the creeks. Stupid. We warned them. But maybe if we hadn't been from nearby, we wouldn't have listened, either.

I wonder if I should bring Stjarna here. She might like it. But I don't want her to be unimpressed. And she's always busy, either helping take care of her mom or doing work. She's better at staying happy than me, though I know that's somewhat a facade. I want to get to know the "true" Stjarna more but I think she finds me boring. And coming out here might just be gloomy for her, with the ruins poking up out of the bushes, grids of rectangular foundations that I can't help but see as gravestones. I think she spends so much time working in the school because it's like the old life, and there are less reminders of what's happening outside in the world. I don't want to think about that stuff, either. I'm trying to be optimistic.


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Spoiler :
I'm trying a thing! If this seems confusing at first, rest assured that things will become clearer once suggestions and numbers have been given. Thanks for reading!
(This post was last modified: 09-23-2017, 03:28 PM by Coolacanth.)
02-24-2017, 08:13 AM
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Schazer
 RE: влез
#2
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At the very least, float the idea by Stjarna as a suggestion. Who knows, she might be trilled to come!

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02-24-2017, 08:21 AM
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Coolacanth
 RE: влез
#3
and no beef soup please

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At the very least, float the idea by Stjarna as a suggestion. Who knows, she might be thrilled to come!

Yeah, that's right. If she likes this spot she might like me more.

Point [187]

[Image: tumblr_olw8u1XI5d1rr2h9co1_1280.jpg]

God, this day started shitty. The rain, Zeke's funeral, taking his house apart . . . he had so little. And we had to burn it all to kill the germs - only the nails and screws, the pots and pans and silverware, the tin roofing, could be passed through the fire. We boiled his pair of mugs, one of which said "World's Greatest Boss," along with a single glass with a chip on the rim. I'm not sure he actually used the mugs, since we haven't had coffee since before I moved here. Maybe he made mint tea. Bud's told me not to use the mint around here, because it got warped and now it collects something toxic from the soil.

We burned Zeke's house during a downpour, everyone wearing plastic jumpsuits for protection from germs as much as rain, and we buried Zeke with a little wooden cross at his head. Angel said some nice things about Zeke, even though they've only known him for a few months.

This germ strikes really fast. Stjarna's mom says it might be cholera. I visited her and Stjarna today at the hospital after the burial. Stjarna's mom - Alsea, she's calling herself now - has MS and can't move very well, so she stays in the hospital and advises the doctor. She's a doctor too, but because her vision's so bad she can't directly treat patients any more. She and Stjarna and I talked about Zeke's goats, which are in quarantine for a few days. One of them is missing a horn so I call it a unicorn, and no one laughed at that.

As I was leaving, outside her mom's room, Stjarna apologized again for saying she didn't want to come out here. She just doesn't like being out in the wild. She said we should totally hang out at some point anyways, though. I'm not sure if that means I should propose a walk somewhere in town, or if I should just wait for her to suggest something.


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02-24-2017, 07:36 PM
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a52
 RE: влез - загуба
#4
the one who patented nonsense

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Did you or Lt. Fish make something similar to this on MSPAF? I recognize the combo of the Cyrillic text and farmland photos.

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02-25-2017, 06:12 AM
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Coolacanth
 RE: влез - загуба
#5
and no beef soup please

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[Image: tumblr_oly4us8HZQ1rr2h9co1_1280.jpg]

When I passed Zeke's place today, the water was more than a handwidth above the base of his northern wall. He's still living there, though. I have a funny mental image of him walking around on little stilt legs to keep his feet above the water. I didn't see him in the yard when I went by.

My cousin Bud took the younger kids on a field trip today, so I went along to help. We went up to the top of Cemetery Hill, using an old driveway to get up to one of the ruined houses - this one was just wood, so it was mostly collapsed except for the chimney which had some grass growing in the top. Then past the old house was a pathway, probably made by the people who used to live there, but maybe some deer made it. Bud told us how long ago, the first European people to come to this area found a skull and some bones from a human on the western side of the hill, and since they were just farmers and the hill didn't have a name yet, they decided that the whole place was a burial ground and avoided going to it. They named it Cemetery Hill because of those bones. Bud did a trip to the city south and did some reading in the big library there, so he knows more of the local history than most people. Apparently despite the reports of those farmers, no one ever came to investigate the hill for more remains, and people forgot why it was called that way. There's been a quarry on the east side for decades, but it probably hasn't affected the burial grounds if there are any.

Bud also showed us some of the plants you can eat that are still growing this late in the year. I found the licorice daisy, and he reminded the kids that you shouldn't eat too much of it because you'll get sick. They didn't listen much, haha. But it takes a lot to get sick. Most of the kids are from outside the original state - a lot of refugees like what my parents were when they first came here - so they don't know what plants are safe to eat. Mina slipped down a big clay slide and landed in a bunch of poison oak, which won't be fun for her to have.


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Spoiler :
That adventure has been lost, sadly.
02-25-2017, 08:23 PM
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Schazer
 RE: влез - храна
#6
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Reflect on your personal relationship with Zeke. Did you know him all that well?

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02-26-2017, 02:12 AM
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Coolacanth
 RE: влез - храна
#7
and no beef soup please

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Point [186]

Reflect on your personal relationship with Zeke. Did you know him all that well?

"What? Did I just think that?"

I thought someone was talking to me. Why would I think about Zeke in the past tense? He should be fine . . . Maybe I should check on him on my way home, though.

Old Zeke Whelan's been here since early August, I think. He was some sort of important guy out east, but then the fires hit and he had to evacuate. There was a big hubbub when he moved here, not just because he used to be rich, but because he had worked on some scandalous project back when they were making learning machines. All the old folks who remembered him went to ask him questions as he was building his house. When I told Vesnin about it, we went and dispersed Beti Kostov and George Packard and all the other people giving Zeke a rough time. But Zeke was kinda rude, so we never really got to know him beyond him going into town every week and buying groceries at the grocery market. He bought a lot of eggs. Now and then he would say something reminiscent about his old life, like how he missed cheap razors or how he sometimes wanted to just get in a car and drive. I don't really know what those things are like, but a lot of the old-timers miss them the same way Angel and Vesnin miss coffee (I tasted coffee once and didn't like it).

Point [187] Disrupted

Point [190]

[Image: tumblr_olzsiyZghT1rr2h9co1_1280.jpg]

It's getting colder. I saw a flock of geese on the way here; they were heading south. I wonder where they go, when we have other geese that stay around here all winter. Also, after last week's rains, the cottonwoods have almost entirely lost their leaves.

There's something weird about this field. The shorter grass has little prickly thorns underneath that draw blood if you're not wearing shoes. And I keep having this sort of ticking sensation at the base of my skull when I walk across it, sort of like when I heard that voice here a few days ago. The weirdest thing is the pattern it's in, though. I wonder why it's all short at the edges.

I think that's the light outside the Núñez cabin. They brought a solar panel when they moved here, though Alejandro says he has to fiddle with the wires a lot to make it work. He puts the light on so he can put up the chickens when it's dark.

Zeke's doing well today. I don't like to say it to my friends but I'm really proud that I managed to find him before he got even worse. He should be able to go back home tomorrow, as long as he keeps mixing up the bean mash they gave him. It looks pretty gross, but Alsea said it's important for him to drink a lot more than he usually does. He complained about that, but after I found him lying helpless in bed four days ago, he's become a little more open to suggestion. He won't be taking the medicine Alsea recommended any more, because they don't have enough of it.


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02-26-2017, 06:47 PM
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Anne the Goat
 RE: влез - храна - опорави
#8

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You might want to reflect on the events of the past few days. Maybe have a chat with someone close.
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(This post was last modified: 02-26-2017, 07:42 PM by Anne the Goat.)
02-26-2017, 07:07 PM
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Coolacanth
 RE: влез - храна - опорави
#9
and no beef soup please

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You might want to reflect on the events of the past few days. Maybe have a chat with someone close.

The last few days have been okay for me. Once we got Zeke to the hospital (wearing these ugly plastic suits Doctor Lambord said would protect from any germs in the water or Zeke's coughs), I went home and had the supper Angel made, which was totally cold by that point. Then . . . hm, the next day I went to the hospital to see how Zeke was doing. He looked almost worse? But they were getting him the liquids he needed. I hung around there, helped do some chores for the nurses (people track a lot of mud into the halls this time of year, and they needed more wood for the fires), and later in the afternoon saw Stjarna come in to check on her mom. Her coming there was kind of the whole reason I had been staying at the hospital, but when I saw her pass through the corridor outside the room I was sweeping, I suddenly couldn't get up the courage to go over and say hi. I debated for what was probably several minutes and then just returned my broom and went home. The fear I'm having probably doesn't make sense, but I was worried I'd be intruding on her time with her mom.

The day after, Zeke was doing better. They were giving him this medicine that would make his body better at fighting the germs. His disease is called "cholera," and it makes you have diarrhea a lot, which is why he needs to drink the bean mash. The beans have a nutrient that his body needs more of during the disease, and the water in the mash replaces the fluids he's losing. That afternoon Visnin and I moved Zeke's goats across the cracked bridge over the creek, to the community pasture.

Yesterday I went looking for mushrooms in the woods with Bud. He didn't bring the kids from school this time, since if they touched a mushroom they weren't supposed to it could be deadly. We went west out of town, up onto Bell Hill (it's shaped like a bell). We found these wrinkly yellow mushrooms that look kinda gross but are apparently good enough to be called steak mushrooms. I also found a dead deer which probably only died yesterday, but Bud didn't want to touch it because there were no signs of wounds on it. When I got home last night, carrying a big bag full of mushrooms, Visnin and Angel were yelling at each other about Visnin hanging out with Andi Poliakof. They stopped when they saw I was home, though. I'm not sure what to think about that. Today Angel and I bought groceries and baked breads and a batch of walnut honey cookies. The crunchiness is perfect. But Angel and I didn't talk about what was going on with them and Visnin.


Point [193]

[Image: tumblr_om2004F4LJ1rr2h9co1_540.jpg]

I passed Zeke's new place on the way here; dropped off his groceries and checked on how much bean mash he'd drunk. The amount had changed, and I think I trust him not to just dump out good food, so he should be okay. He told me about the first computer he made, how it was so big compared to the ones we had before the EMP. It didn't have a screen or a mouse, and you just typed commands in and got printouts. Apparently, one of the people who used to live in the city to the south helped make the first mouse, which was something you needed before computers had touch screens. Zeke told me how computers worked, with silicon chips and switches and stuff, but I didn't really understand it. He got tired of trying to explain and grumpily sent me off.

He's in one of the shacks up by the grocery store, which is where Visnin has been setting up people whose homes have been flooded by the creek. They're hooked up to the town drinking water and sewer, which is good because it means Zeke isn't going to go pull water from the cisterns and accidentally get germs in them. I helped Zeke move in a couple days ago, and once everyone else who was helping headed off, I made him some onion soup and we talked about some of the things that have been happening in my life. He didn't really offer any advice, but he told me about similar experiences he had. And some different experiences - I won't have to explain to someone that I'm not interested in sex, for example.

It's less rainy than cold, now, and the creek is going down. There's frost every morning, and the leaves are crinkly rather than slippery. There was a carter that came through town this morning and said that she just barely made it through the eastern mountains before a big snowstorm - maybe the same rainstorms we were having. She was going to try to make it to the coast and take a ship over the ocean, but George Packard warned her that the superstorms would make sea travel dangerous at best. Alicia Núñez also said there was something in the coast mountains that ate travelers, a big hairy beast that crouched in the underbrush and made no more sound than a brush bunny as it followed you. The carter laughed that off, said she'd shot plenty of animals bigger than brush bunnies. She asked where she could buy ammo, and we pointed her towards the compound out north of Bell Hill. I noticed she was carrying a sword at her waist as she walked back to her cart. Now that I think about it, it's kind of strange that no one commented on it. There are some dickheads who go around killing people with swords because they want the world to be like an old video game, but this carter didn't seem much like those types. Which is itself strange, because she came from the desert.


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02-27-2017, 11:18 PM
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Schazer
 RE: влез - храна - опорави
#10
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There's rainclouds swirling about the mountains again. Maybe it's time the community designed a more permanent solution for the constantly-flooding creek?
02-27-2017, 11:23 PM
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Coolacanth
 RE: влез - храна - опорави - патник
#11
and no beef soup please

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[Image: tumblr_om3xkmWgB11rr2h9co1_1280.jpg]

There's rainclouds swirling about the mountains again. Maybe it's time the community designed a more permanent solution for the constantly-flooding creek?

I should get back home soon. I was picking acorns a couple streets over and didn't realize how late it was getting until I started walking home. It's really dark, and I don't like walking across that field when I can't see the ground. Oh, and it looks like it's going to start raining tonight. Bud said he was going to start covering up the firewood when we had the next rain. I wonder if he'll still have time to show me how to make acorn flour.

More people came to the village this week. The Wunlis want to grow wheat because they heard that the soil is really good here. They have two big horses and a kid who'll go to school here if we can get someone to be a teacher. Ernst Cysek came from the north in a bouncy jeep filled with gas cans in the back. He started trading those for building materials and staked out a big portion of the pasture upstream from town. Some people whose names I didn't hear came today and said they were going to look around for an old house in the area. They had a baby and were just, walking along the road in bare feet. I'm not sure how they plan on getting to the village if they don't have at least a bicycle. Or how they're going to survive with only a couple backpacks of stuff. It seemed like they didn't want to ask for help, like they were scared of us almost.

You know, Ernst is putting his house right down in the marshy area around the creek. I remember back where we used to live, there were other people who put their houses right in the floodplain, and then their houses flooded after every rainstorm. I bet George Packard's house is going to flood, too. And the guy with the goats who I pass on my way over here. They're all really close to the creek bed, and they don't think it's dangerous because right now there's like, barely a trickle in there. Maybe there's some sort of rule the village can impose to make sure no one puts their house down there? I'll talk to my dad about it.


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02-28-2017, 11:16 PM
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Schazer
 RE: дупка
#12
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+3

Go and check up on the poorly equipped newcomer couple.
03-01-2017, 06:04 AM
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Coolacanth
 RE: дупка
#13
and no beef soup please

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[Image: tumblr_om5jw7m5k61rr2h9co1_1280.jpg]

Go and check up on the poorly equipped newcomer couple.

Alsea's house is still burning. She moved into the hospital today, but hopefully we can get her a new house built soon. Alsea's one of the most important people in the community since she has a doctor's license. Her daughter Stjarna was crying the whole time we were doing the bucket line. I don't get why she didn't pick up a bucket and join in, but it didn't matter in the end. Eventually we had to settle for maintaining a safe line around the fire so it wouldn't spread to other houses - we let the rubble burn.

Visnin talked to the other village leaders a couple days ago about restricting construction in the flood zone and helping those who wanted to move. Those who'd lived in this valley for a while agreed with him, though George Packard, who's lived in his house by the highway since before the earthquake, said we might as well move the whole village because the water had come up to where the grocery store is, one year. Visnin said we should at least reduce the risk and everyone agreed, so they went and told Zeke, the Tremblays, and the Ciobanus about the floodplain risks. Beti Kostov, who was already at the meeting, was really worried about her house which is a good five feet above the Tremblay house, but the leaders still agreed to help her move. Visnin took me down to tell Ernst Cysek and the Wunlis about the problems with building down there, and the Wunlis agreed to move, but Ernst had already laid down the foundation stones for his place and didn't want to have to move them. He said he'd consider putting the actual living quarters on stilts, which sounds pretty weird to me. Won't they just sink into the mud when the water comes?

I wonder what happened to that couple who came through a few days ago. They came from the north and then they headed south past Cemetery Hill. I know there's an old village further down there but there's no clean fresh water. I've never been that far down but Bud says there are wild dogs everywhere and the soil smells like poison. No one lives there any more, though there are a lot of good buildings still standing. Maybe Bud and I should go down and look for those barefoot people and their baby.


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03-01-2017, 09:38 PM
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Schazer
 RE: дупка - пламен
#14
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Go track 'em down, but only if you haven't any pressing issues needing attended to first
03-02-2017, 06:39 AM
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Coolacanth
 RE: дупка - пламен
#15
and no beef soup please

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Go track 'em down, but only if you haven't any pressing issues needing attended to first

Yeah, you know, they've been gone for three days. I'm not sure they can survive another night on their own. I'll get Bud to lend me his horse and go down to look for them. Better bring Angel's gun, too. And a sturdy lantern. I don't have any plans for tonight or tomorrow, and these folks could be in trouble. I bet people would be pretty impressed with me if I brought them back safely. Though then that's another three people to feed this winter. Hopefully we can afford that.

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03-02-2017, 06:28 PM
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Schazer
 RE: дупка - пламен
#16
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03-03-2017, 05:33 AM
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Coolacanth
 RE: дупка - пламен
#17
and no beef soup please

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[Image: tumblr_om91z2JyTc1rr2h9co1_1280.jpg]

I keep getting these little bouts of uncontrollable shivering, even though it's been sunny and well above freezing today and I've been well bundled up. I haven't asked Alsea about it yet. She's been too busy with the baby.

Every time I have the shivering I hear the radio again. I remember the first shock I had when I realized the voice wasn't coming from either of the people, that it was coming from the black box with the little perforations where the speaker part is. No one has a working radio any more. But the greater shock was the words coming out of it. I didn't understand them, and it wasn't like me not understanding when Alicia and Alejandro are talking. I try not to remember, but I keep seeing that black box in my head and replaying the moment where I stepped towards it to turn it off. Seeing the blank eyes of the barefoot people, having the realization they were dead. I've seen dead people before, but none of them affected me like that before. I think I'm getting better at pushing down the memory, anyway, because I've stopped remembering what happened after I saw their eyes. My mind just skips forward to where I was standing back outside the square concrete monolith, salty water dripping down my face, and holding the baby. It looked ill, but I knew I was supposed to take it away from the village.

I didn't tell all of this to Angel. They were angry at me for taking their gun, but I think they were more angry that I had taken such a risk going off alone. I heard them and Visnin talking about me when I was in bed last night. Angel doesn't feel like they know me any more. Visnin said he was worried about me, too, but I was still the same kid they raised. For my own part, I don't know if he's right. Something about the smooth way I glossed over the radio talking and the empty eyes staring at me - it's not something I could have done before we moved here. Am I losing myself somehow?


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(This post was last modified: 03-03-2017, 06:30 PM by Coolacanth.)
03-03-2017, 06:27 PM
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Schazer
 RE: дупка - пламен - страв
#18
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What did you do with the radio?
03-03-2017, 11:32 PM
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Our Lady of Lampreys
 RE: дупка - пламен - страв
#19
Rebeliot

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Desert
I really like this so far!


The story is describing Upper and Lower forests. Several kids are exploring the forest. Anyone who looked up from lower forest grew dizzy. When the children found something in the forest it was an amazing sight. Most parents got worried when the kids went to the forest because they thought it was dangerous.
03-04-2017, 08:51 AM
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Coolacanth
 RE: дупка - пламен - страв
#20
and no beef soup please

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What did you do with the radio?

I don't remember what happened to the radio. I didn't have it when I left the building.

. . .

I don't want to remember. But I can. I didn't touch it. I just let it talk. And I knew the sounds it made were not human, but I knew there was a message I could understand if I listened long enough. I never turned it off. I should have turned it off. But I was crying too hard.


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Thanks!
03-04-2017, 07:00 PM
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Our Lady of Lampreys
 RE: дупка - пламен - страв
#21
Rebeliot

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- 2

Spoiler :


The story is describing Upper and Lower forests. Several kids are exploring the forest. Anyone who looked up from lower forest grew dizzy. When the children found something in the forest it was an amazing sight. Most parents got worried when the kids went to the forest because they thought it was dangerous.
03-05-2017, 07:04 AM
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Coolacanth
 RE: дупка - пламен - страв
#22
and no beef soup please

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[Image: tumblr_omcu8iLlTw1rr2h9co1_1280.jpg]

On the way here I saw some workers - Alicia, Hakim Wunli, and of course Old Zeke himself - unhitching the tractor from Zeke's house. They put it on logs to just roll it uphill but that's still fairly difficult, which is why they only made about 30 feet of progress since noon. It's good that Zeke was open to moving; it seems like he's a little less stubborn than Ernst and he's willing to listen to people who've lived here for a while. I think it was George Packard who went to meet with him.

They were angry at Bud today. Visnin said he should have known not to give a kid a horse in the middle of the night without explanation - sometimes kids think they have something to do that's really important, but it's really not. Bud's not supposed to talk to me from now on. George Packard thought it was supreme foolishness to let a kid wander off on her own, but it was even bigger foolishness to try to go out to help people who had indicated no interest in our help. Beti Kostov said that one of the search parties could have gotten hurt - Bud wasn't only risking me and his horse. I stood outside the grocery store with Angel while they went to town in there. Angel hugged me tight when I came home this morning and cried but we haven't talked about why I did it. Alsea was maybe the nicest to me, saying I had a blessed soul, but she was distracted measuring things about the wrinkly black-eyed baby. I noticed her fumbling with the stethoscope which makes me think the MS is getting worse. Stjarna was at the school when I got to the hospital and I haven't seen her today.

I didn't do any work today but I felt like I should have. Whenever I was alone I'd hear that radio voice again and start shivering so rapidly it hurt. I tried sleeping around noon but I couldn't figure out how to shut down my brain so I just lay there with my eyes shut for an hour. When I got up everything looked even more weird than it had earlier in the morning - my bed, my books, the rack we hang our kitchen implements from, they all had colors that were slightly too bright or too gray, and when I went outside the world was just foggy and grey. It doesn't quite feel like the same world right now.


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03-05-2017, 07:15 PM
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Schazer
 RE: дупка - пламен - последиците
#23
Patron Saint of Normcore

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Ōtautahi
Spoiler :
I'm honestly torn between rewinding back days to undo/preempt this like we did with Zeke, and letting it play out.

(Also very tempted to keep hoarding points so we can go back to Point [0].)

How long has Alsea known about her condition? Is there anyone being trained to assist her?
03-06-2017, 12:44 AM
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Coolacanth
 RE: дупка - пламен - последиците
#24
and no beef soup please

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Point [154]

How long has Alsea known about her condition? Is there anyone being trained to assist her?

She's had it since before she moved here, but I think only started having symptoms after having Stjarna and after the earthquake. She's talked to me a bit about it, so I know that it's basically her immune system attacking her nervous system. She has a type of the disease that just slowly gets worse and worse over time instead of being like, random bursts of bad days. Plus she's got all the stress of just losing her house, and now the baby . . . she's got a lot on her plate right now.

We don't have anyone to help her. I think she was trying to get her daughter Stjarna to learn how to diagnose certain simple things like sprained ankles and flu, but Stjarna was not interested. We don't have any other doctors here because it's a small community. Maybe we can get one from the town to the south if we pay them some food. But it's said they have a TB problem down there so they might ask a high price. It might be easier if we had one of the young people learn from Alsea. Bud, or me, or Zoe Ciobanu, or Andrea Núñez though she's a little young. No one's brought that up, though.

I'm surprised I'm not shivering, here. It's actually cold but I feel calm. This is a good place.


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Points [38]

Spoiler :
I will spoil that it is intended for you to reach the beginning- and endpoint of the timeline eventually, whether that's gradually or with a big jump.
03-06-2017, 05:19 PM
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Coolacanth
 RE: дупка - пламен - последиците
#25
and no beef soup please

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03-09-2017, 10:07 PM
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