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All Album Releases for Summer (June - August) of 2020

2020.09.22 02:31 NoYeezyAtWeezyHeezy All Album Releases for Summer (June - August) of 2020

Below is a list of all the albums and EP's that were released in June through August. If there are any I missed or anything you think should be added, let me know and I'll gladly add it because I'm sure there are many I have missed. I've linked all of the ones that there have been album discussions if you would like to go leave your thoughts or rank the album. Also leave a comment below if one or multiple albums stood out to you for the month. Enjoy!

June 1st

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Dissolver No. 7 - Star Spangled Punch
Oak Grove - Must You Have Love Handles Before You Have a Handle On Love?
Victor Camozzi - Black Dog

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submitted by NoYeezyAtWeezyHeezy to CountryMusicStuff [link] [comments]


2020.08.23 10:50 bezan107734 I’ve been lurking here for a few months and all your stories have helped me, so here’s mine (sorry its quite long)

Ever since I first started drinking in my teens I drank more and differently to everyone around me, I was always the drunkest one around which obviously led to a lot of embarrassing and sometimes downright dangerous incidents. The first time I decided to quit drinking (I can’t remember what prompted it, I’m sure I’d made a total twat out of myself somehow because I remember using the justification that I didn’t like what alcohol did to me) I think I was 16 and was talked out of it by well-meaning adults who I respected, they “didn’t want me to miss out” and told me I just needed to “learn to moderate.”
A few years passed and I continued to drink heavily, the embarrassing times got fewer and further between (never stopped entirely though) as my tolerance rose, but I started to recognize that I wasn’t drinking healthily and at 22 I decided again that I’d had enough and declared to my friends and family that was an alcoholic and needed to stop drinking. This lasted about four months, until once again I was convinced by my loving family and partner (who I’d met and gotten together with whilst sober) that I just needed to “learn to moderate” and everything would be fine.
So I started to drink again in ever increasing quantities, but I did start to occasionally put in sober time, usually in months (dry January, sober October etc) not with the intent of stopping completely but just to “give my liver a break.” These periods of sobriety started becoming more frequent in 2018, I didn’t want to stop drinking completely (because then life would be no fun at all obviously) but I was really starting to feel the effects of my alcohol abuse and sober time was a sort of compromise I made with myself.
Then as a New Year’s resolution for 2019 I (now 26) decided to do 100 days alcohol free, during this time I came across a bunch of quit-lit: This Naked Mind (Annie Grace), Alcohol Lied to Me (Craig Beck), Alcohol Explained (William Porter), Recovery (Russel Brand), The Easy Way to Control Alcohol (Allen Carr), The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober (Catherine Gray). I also found a couple of online sobriety pages (but not stopdrinking yet) and used to look at those regularly.
It was a revelation, I was cured, I no longer craved alcohol, I was happy being sober. I overshot my 100 days and kept going. But somewhere along the line I thought to myself, “there’s no way I’m ever going to crave alcohol again now I’ve read all this stuff, I can stop looking at sober posts and reading quit lit, I can just be a normal person who doesn’t drink”. I unfollowed the sober pages and uninstalled my date tracker. Then in May 2019 I relapsed. But I wasn’t too bad, I was drinking maybe once a month, going out with friends, that’s normal I can do that right?
We all know how that ends. Once a month became twice a month, which became every week, which became every day I didn’t have work the next day, then sometimes days when I did. This all culminated with a three day bender over Christmas, I woke up on the floor of my parents living room.
That was the last hangover I had. I am today 241 days sober (if my tracker is right) and I have never been happier in my life. I have legitimately not craved alcohol since Christmas but I know better than to let my guard down now, I make a daily sobriety pledge with the I Am Sober app and check in on here at least once a day. This community is a refuge in a world that worships alcohol and it helps to keep me grounded, so thank you to every single one of you for being there.
IWNDWYT.
submitted by bezan107734 to stopdrinking [link] [comments]


2020.03.17 01:30 QuothTheRaven_ It Whispered From the Dark - Entry II

First Entry here
Final Entry here
It was the next morning and as I lay there, mind racing over the events of the night before, my train of thought was broken by Frankie entering the room, he said nothing just gave me a lazy fist bump and head nod, we didn’t need superfluous pleasantries, we were real friends, and real friends just know that the love is there, no grand gestures needed. I took care of business in the bathroom, trudging along, like an old plow horse, ready for another day of the same old routine. Kids our age had been through the intro courses of grade school, Elementary school taught you how to be a middle schooler and middle school just continued from there, High School was just a holding cell for kids too young to be an adult and too old to be considered little kids, we were a cesspool of nothings, not adults, not kids, just teens, we couldn’t do adult things or act like adults but were expected to know better just like one.
Frankie’s mom drove us to school, Carlito was in the backseat with me as we made the 20-minute drive to our School, we had just entered High school as 9th graders and still had mixed feelings about making the leap into the full-blown High School. Frankie’s mom did not say much on the drive, but she kept looking back at Carlito through her rear view mirror.
Finally, when we were about a block away, she spoke, “You boys be careful ok. I am still pretty shaken up by what happened last night and I don’t want you guys staying out so late tonight…” Frankie began to object, it was a Friday night Halloween and when Halloween fell on a night with no school the next day we were allowed to stay out extra late, we loved it, however Frankie’s mom was still being cautious, “FRANCISCO!...I do not like to have to ruin your fun, or get in the way of you experiencing the fun of being a teenager but I am your mother and whatever happened last night was something that opened my eyes a bit, I might be getting little TOO relaxed with you, you are my son and I love you, and I love you too Marcus, I just want you both to be careful and let me know what neighborhoods you plan to walk tonight. Deal?” …. we both agreed.
Frankie’s mom was cool, she loved her sons and accepted me as one of her own, it felt nice. As we pulled up to the street corner, she usually dropped Frankie off at, I exited the car, and as I went to grab my bag, Frankie’s mom spoke again, “OH GOSH! Marcus I am SO sorry… tu Mama! She called me this morning, and told me to tell you that she would be working late again tonight, and also something about not being afraid of the dark, I am not sure what she meant but you should call her as soon as you get home after school, ok Papito?” I just nodded, this would be a whole day and a half without seeing my mom, I kind of missed her, but the thing about not being afraid of the dark still bothered me, again no “I love you”, nothing normally what she would say.
Frankie and I goofed off in the courtyard, before classes. He and I did not have the same homeroom this year for the first time since 2nd grade, it was my fault, I forgot to remind mom about the proper orientation date and missed out on signing up for all the classes I wanted this semester, but it was OK I suppose, after all, if I didn’t screw up my class schedule, I probably would not have had homeroom class with Brandi MacKenna. Brandi was literally the most gorgeous human being I had ever seen in my LIFE. Pretty green eyes, sandy blonde hair, a gorgeous face, a slim and delicate figure, a big and bright straight toothed smile, she was a 10 out of 10 and everyone knew it. She was a 9th grader just like me, and even upper-classmen took notice of her, she was the unofficial hottest girl in school.
This was all good and well but the main reason I liked her so much was that she was cool, she was kinda nerdy, she loved gaming, comic books, and Manga. Frankie in only a way he could, inadvertently became kind of friends with her one day. It was earlier this semester, Frankie and I were sitting on the outside lunch tables in the outdoor area of the lunchroom when Brandi walked by, I was reading my new favorite comic, “Spawn”, and Frankie was deep into a Manga called “Berserk”, Berserk was the first Manga Frankie and I read together, he was actually at that point trying to catch up with me. Anyways, Brandi walked by and noticed Frankie reading Berserk, that’s when she approached us. When I noticed her coming towards us, I knew it was going to be meltdown city and the only thing that would be left standing were two piles of ash vaguely shaped like teenage boys.
We never in our lives spoke to a girl this attractive, but here she was, willingly, on purpose, of her own volition, entering our personal space. Like I said, I noticed her first, and sloppily smacked Frankie’s hand without breaking my gaze on her, Frankie looked up wide eyed, as she stood next to our table, her pretty green eyes softly gazing at Frankie and I, her soft cute smile, she held an expression of adorable excitement and curiosity. Then she spoke, “umm…. hey…I umm, just noticed you’re reading Berserk”, without missing a beat, Frankie, with half of his face still covered by the Manga responded rudely with, “Pfftt!!...YEAH…SO?!” ... Frankie had this weird thing about responding rudely to attractive girls, he did it every time, it was a defense mechanism, he never expected a beautiful girl to actually like him and always felt like they were out to get him.
Her smile quickly faded away into a small frown and a blush, her face was red, and her eyes were sad, I hated seeing her like that, so I smacked the hell out of Frankie’s Manga…I smacked his manga out of his hands and straight up into the air, as it fell back down on top of his head I said, “Frankie she’s trying to talk Manga with you…you stupid dumb idiot!”, this made Brandi smile and chuckle a little bit (That’s a “W” btw, yeah I did that, it was one of the greatest moment of my High school career), Frankie with his manga still on his head retracted his rudeness, “ I’m sorry, damn it, I’m sorry I just thought you were making fun of me and ….” Brandi’s face suddenly went back to a soft smile, and she spoke again, “Why would I make fun of you, Berserk is my favorite Manga!”. Frankie almost lost his jaw it was hanging so far to the ground, and as for me, well… I couldn’t feel my face. This girl, this gorgeous girl liked our otherwise “nerdy” stuff, this was the 90’s, it was not as widespread as it is today, gamecomic nerd girls did not seem to exist back then and if they did, it was very rare where we lived, let alone one that looked like Brandi. We all talked about Berserk, she had already read it through the latest edition and we were both a few issues behind her, she did well not to spoil anything. From then on Frankie and her had good rapport and she was always real cool with me.
I snapped out of my daydream, the school bell rung for first period, Frankie and I walked towards his class. When we got to his class door, we parted ways, I fist bumped him as he walked into his class, and I walked towards mine. I was running a bit late because Frankie and I were busy talking about Quake for a sold 45 minutes. The halls were mostly clear as I rounded the corner to the hallway where my classroom was, I almost froze in my tracks, as I rounded that corner I saw Brandi in front my classroom door, in the arms of Jun.
Jun was a Korean exchange student, he spoke excellent English, was extremely intelligent, loved Manga, and was pretty cool with Frankie. However he had a new interesting fact about him that I just learned , there he was, with Brandi in his arms. She was giggling up a storm, they kissed softly as I walked by into the classroom.
I was in a bad mood the rest of the day. The school was a buzz with the new relationship news, Brandi the hottest girl in school was with a nerdy exchange student. Frankie found me in the hallway after homeroom and put his arm around me and sighed, he knew I was hurting, and just offered the words, “Fuck it…it’s going to hurt, it’s going to SUCK, but life is like that sometimes, life gives you lemons and then proceeds to laugh at you while you squirt lemon juice in your own eyes trying to use those lemons”.
I couldn’t even feel the buzz of Halloween, a lot of kids came dressed up but me and Frankie did not usually. I went throughout the day in auto-pilot, replaying the scene I saw over and over, I reconciled it by last period, I did not make any attempts at her, I only admired from afar and that’s my own fault, I let it go for now and focused on the festivities of the night.
School was out and everyone was flying to get out, Frankie’s mom worked on the other side of town for another hour so him and I just walked back home. I just imagined Jun and Brandi excited, planning their amazing night together and it burned, “damn this teenage angst!!!”, I thought to myself. Frankie and I decided to go to my house and get our costumes in order, he had stashed his costume at my house because it was our ritual to get dressed at my place and head out from there.
As I got to my house, I noticed mom was not home again, her car was not in the driveway and the paper from that morning still lay in the yard. I remembered what Frankie’s mom said that morning, about Mom calling her and telling her to tell me that she would be working late again. I missed my mom at this point, I had not seen her since yesterday morning. I keyed in to my house and shut the door behind us. We stood in the dark house for a couple seconds when the phone exploded to life with a loud ring! It scared the crap out of us.
I walked in the dark room towards the living room phone, I clicked the living room lamp on and Frankie plopped down on the couch. I answered the phone, “Hello?”, the voice on the other end sounded like my mom but was kind of…off. The mom sounding voice spoke, “Heyyyy, honey, I am so sorry I will miss you tonight, I just want you to know that if you want to explore new places with Frankie tonight, that it’s ok with me.” Before I could answer back, she hung up. I must have had a strange look on my face because Frankie asked me if I was “all good?”.
I shook it off and said yeah, maybe the long nights of work were just getting to mom, she did work hard and she had been putting in more and more extra hours lately. Frankie and I sat and watched some TV for a few minutes when I heard a thud come from one of the bedrooms, we both sat up and I lowered the TV volume. As we listened intently, we both heard it again, this time the thud was followed by the soft pitter patter of feet, walking across what seemed like my mother’s bedroom floor. We both were thoroughly freaked out at this point and stared at each other wide eyed.
The pitter patter of feet was slowly moving along until suddenly it stopped. Then we heard a “CreEeEeeEeK” noise from my mother’s bedroom door opening. Frankie and I sat there now both starring at the end of the hallway where mine and my mother’s bedroom doors were across from each other. We stared in fear for a few minutes, and then Frankie spoke, “Bro…you..you sure your moms not here”, my throat and mouth were dry and my hands were clammy, I responded in an exasperated voice, “Ye….Yeah, I just ..I just spoke to her on the phone…”. The door creaked again, slowly and for longer.
Frankie and I both stood up, and walked to the end of the hallway and peered down it. My mother’s bedroom door was on the opposite side of the hallway to mine at the end of the hall, her door was open, but we could not see inside, we both stood, at the end of the hallway, wide eyed. After a couple minutes I worked up some courage and spoke, “Frankie let’s just check it out, we can’t sit here scared forever, I mean we have a long night ahead of us we can’t just ignore this”. Frankie shook his head in agreement still staring down the hall wide eyed.
I led the way, slowly walking towards the bedroom door with Frankie trailing behind me. When we reached the door I turned, and gave Frankie a nod and I entered the room. The room was dark, only illuminated by the early evening glow from the window behind my mothers’ bed. I scanned around the room with my eyes for a quick second and flipped on the ceiling fan light. Frankie filed in behind me a couple seconds later and we both started searching the room, we searched under the bed, in her closet, in her bathroom, the shower, Frankie even lifted up the toilet lid and checked in there, nothing, it was empty.
We both looked at each other and shrugged, that’s when a gust of wind came through my mom’s bedroom window, the window was open, we both smiled, the wind, it was the wind the whole time, we thought. I closed the bedroom window and we walked out of the room, with me shutting off the light and closing the door behind me. I checked the time on my watch and it read 6:45 PM. “Well bro let’s get ready; we are starting on the west side and working our way back so we need to get set.Like I’ve said, Halloween was a big deal in my area, people usually Trick or Treated all the way up until High school around age 17. This year was most likely going to be mine and Frankie’s last time, we were trying to be cool and not be “little trick or treaters” anymore, but we were both too in love with how fun the nights usually were to call it quits this year.
Besides, everyone at school was going out tonight, we didn’t want to be left out. Frankie and I proceeded to get changed into our costumes in my room. This year Frankie was going as, Sub-Zero, from Mortal Kombat II, he had a full-on Sub-Zero costume that he found at a cool comic store downtown, his costume was very easy to put on so he got done before me. I was going as Raiden from Mortal Kombat II, but my dumb costumes head hole was too small for my head so I got stuck trying to pull it on. I didn’t hear Frankie leave the room, but I knew he did because when I called for his help pulling on my costume he did not answer and I heard the TV in the living room flip on.
This costume had a weird stitching thing going on, where it was stitched together up front, I got all wrapped up inside it and was trying to navigate my head through the head hole and my right arm through the right arm hole. While I was in my costume trying to pull it on, I heard something. I heard just about the last thing I wanted to hear at that point, I heard my mother’s bedroom door, it was right across from mine and my bedroom door was wide open, I heard her door creaking open slowly. As I was all wrapped up in my costume, I could not see anything, but I heard the door creaking open, and then a split second later I heard a small laugh and feet pitter patter out of her door into the hallway and slowly pitter and patter towards the living room. In a panic I fumbled my way out of my costume and screamed for Frankie, as I ran out my bedroom into the hallway. I ran up the hall and out to the living room area and stopped dead in my tracks.
Frankie was standing wide eyed in front of the breakfast bar, talking to someone. I looked at the back of Frankie’s head and could not see who he was talking to but I heard him say, “Yes Ma’am, no problem”, he seemed frightened and frozen in place. I peered around to see into the kitchen but when I did, a figure moved quickly into the dark and slammed the kitchen door leading to the garage, I heard a car start and squeal into reverse and take off down the street.
I ran out into the yard to see the back lights of my mother’s car drive away speeding. I was very confused; I ran in to Frankie and he was standing in the living room looking nervous. I asked him what was going on and who he was talking to in the kitchen and he looked at me still wide eyed and said, “It…it was your mom…she told me to tell you…don’t be afraid of the dark…”. Again, with this don’t be afraid of the dark thing, I was beyond confused and nervous now and had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was perplexed, I couldn’t wrap my head around how bizarre this was.
I finally snapped out of my confusion and said, “I heard someone run from my mom’s bedroom down the hallway, did you see my mom come from the hallway?” Frankie shook his head, and spoke again, “I didn’t even see her there in the Kitchen bro, I didn’t even see her, I was watching TV and I heard someone call my name from the kitchen, I almost shit myself. She called my name and I could barely see her; she was in the dark at the back corner with the door leading out to the garage open. I was scared as hell, I got up and looked into the breakfast bar and barely made out that it was your mom, just standing in the dark kind of …smiling.
That’s when she started to talk, I mean it was weird but from the little light that allowed me to see in to her, it looked like your mom, and sounded like her, so I got a little less nervous but I was still creeped out. I didn’t even hear a garage door open or a car pull up, nothing. She told me to behave myself and tell you to not be afraid of the dark and that’s when you came out and she bolted out the door and drove off.” I was stumped and frightened, I tried hard to reconcile this and thought maybe she somehow came in without Frankie noticing, got something out of her room, and Frankie only noticed her when she spoke to him from the kitchen, but it was all still very surreal and very creepy.
I had no explanation for Frankie, and I really was tired of all the strangeness. We stood there in the living room, half exhausted of being scared and half wanting to get the hell out of my house right now. I was compelled though, to call my mom on her work phone to see if she would answer. I picked up the phone and called her work phone, she did not answer, I mean if that WAS really her that left just now it made sense that she would not be at work yet. After a few more I attempts I gave up. I managed to convince myself and Frankie that she was just tired and, in a rush, because she forgot something and came back to get it and had to get back to work quickly.
That scenario has happened before, mom would be working late but forgot something in the kitchen or her room and came back really quick and just ran in and out real fast in a hurry, not really having time to say much other than she loved me and “see you later”. I was convinced that this is what happened and we were just so shook up from the weirdness of the past two days that we were being “scaredy cats”. Frankie called his mom, she was still shaken by the events of the other night and was being extra cautious, she seemed like she didn’t even want to let Frankie and I out tonight but in the end I guess she felt that everything would be fine, it was just a bunch of drugged up teen girls trying to scare us last night anyway, at least that’s what we all wanted to believe. After Frankie checked in with his mom, I rushed back to my room and pulled my costume on after a few forceful tries and we left out for the night.
Leaving my house helped a bit, being out in the street with a bunch of other kids trick or treating and stuff, was a relief, and kind of got our minds off of all the creepiness of what happened earlier. We walked to the Westside of the suburb and started there, this neighborhood was a pretty big middle class suburb and one of the best trick or treating spots in town, even the kids from the rich areas came over here to trick or treat, so everyone in our school and other schools would be out tonight. Frankie and I started going house to house, cracking jokes, throwing pieces of candy we didn’t want at kids heads from afar just to see them look around all confused.
When we saw kids, we knew from school we would fist bump them and give them high fives. Eventually, Julius Crawford (dressed as a Jedi) one of mine and Frankie’s coolest friends joined us in our journey with his little brother Myles (dressed as a little dinosaur). Frankie and I were happy we did not have to take Carlito out, his mom always took Carlito and his other little friends out with some other moms, so we were free to do our thing. I also noticed underneath Julius’s costume an object jutting out of his waistband. I saw the butt of a pistol, Julius was from a rough area, and being out this late was not safe, especially with his little bro, he was safe here in our neighborhood, but when he caught the bus back to his side of town, it would not be so safe. He was known to carry it, but we all ignored it as to not get him in trouble. All four of us hit a bunch more houses and ended up working our way back to the east side of our neighborhood, then doubling back to the middle.
After a couple dry streets, we swung around towards the main street of the neighborhood and saw a gathering of a few kids from our school. Donnie Stevens (dressed as Batman), Kevin Baker (dressed as Spider-man), Jessica Santos (dressed as a Zombie), Layla Hunt (Dressed as a pirate), Justin Tarver (dressed as Link form Zelda) and Craig Mitchell (cross-dressed as Zelda from Zelda). They were all talking and laughing and greeted us as we came. We all swapped funny stories of how it was going so far and just reveled in the night. That’s when Justin Tarver looked over my shoulder and smiled and shouted , “YO JUN WHATS UP BRO!”, I turned around and saw Jun, dressed as a Musketeer or something and Brandi, dressed as a Vampire, a nice long black, Elvira style dress (with a little more cover in the chest an leg area though), with black nails, long white fangs and blood make-up running down the sides of her mouth, she looked amazing, but she was with Jun, holding his hand as they walked up. Everyone exchanged greetings, and I pretended to be pleased to see them too.
Frankie being Frankie sensed my mood immediately and spoke up, “Hey bro we’re going to spread out this way on our own, no hard feelings but you know me and my boy have our tradition…” After a few “Awe don’t go” protests from the girls and some “Come on guys..” from the boys we slowly slinked away, that’s when Julius said “Yea bruh, me and the little bro are about to head home anyways, he gotta be home soon, I’ll be back out though and I’ll holler if I see ya’ll”. With that Julius headed out and Frankie and I continued our slow walk away, that’s when I heard Brandi speak, she shouted over to Frankie and I, “Hey …umm…guys…Please just join us for a little bit, it wouldn’t be the same without out you two”, Frankie looked at me and I looked at him, I let out a deep sigh, I couldn’t say no to her and he knew that.
Frankie and I started back towards the group when Ray Parker (dressed as Michael Jordan) came running up to us from behind, Ray shouted , “AY MARCUS, FRANKIE!! YO!!!....” We turned to greet him, he was out of breath and looked like he had been running for a while. “Bro I am so glad I found y’all”, he said hands on his knees. He caught his breath and continued “Yo, over on Audubon St. there is this dope set-up, it’s all like, weird and cool, everyone is going in, it’s some type of haunted house thing, we gotta check it out, I was watching kids go in but when they go in , but they don’t come out , they must be going out the back, so I was like fuck all that, I’m going to find some of my homies to go with me in there, y’all wanna come?”. Frankie and I both looked at each other and agreed, that’s when Layla Hunt spoke up from behind us, “Hey I wanna check that out too!”, the other kids in the group all murmured and agreed with her. We all set out for Audubon St.
The walk to Audubon St. was filled with laughter and excitement. Everyone talking about their experiences of the night. Usually I would be right in the middle of things, just cracking jokes, me and Frankie playing off of each other, but tonight, I don’t know why but I felt much more...serious. I felt a little less like a kid and more of a pensive, anxious and ultimately lonely being, I felt more like an adult. When you are a kid you usually do not have many real-world problems, no true responsibilities and no one actually depending on you.
Some kids come from broken homes, poor homes, homes in violent neighborhoods or all of the above, and have to grow up faster than they want to, but they are still kids deep inside. Julius Crawford the guy dressed as a Jedi earlier with his little brother Myles) was from one of those broken homes in a violent neighborhood but he still acted like a kid, he still felt like a kid, yeah he had a job and helped pay bills, and had to always take care of his brother but, he still felt like a kid, those problems existed for him but the gravity of the situation was lost on him, he was too young to grasp it fully. However, right then in the middle of what should have been an excellent night of teen fun for myself, I felt disturbed and distant.
I am not sure if it was all of the creepy, mysterious and downright odd events that had happened in the past 2 days, or the fact that the girl I liked most in this world was happily snuggled up walking hand in hand with another guy right there a few feet away from me. I think it was a mixture of the events, not seeing my mother in a couple days and the heart ache of seeing my crush be with someone else. It all amalgamated into this feeling of seriousness, my innocence stripped away. I was force to think about things rationally A LOT the past few days, I had to reconcile a lot of hard truths and reconcile a lot of fear. I had to reconcile the fear of the dark and rationalize it, I had to rationalize my mothers strange behavior, I had to reconcile the fact that I had not seen my mother in a few days as a teen-kid that was dependent on her still for shelter, food etc.
I had to rationalize the strange event with the crazy girls, the strange events in my house and finally I had to dig REAL deep as an immature teen to reconcile the fact that Brandi was giving her love and affection to another guy, she chose someone she felt was worthy of it and it was not me…not at all. When you’re a kid or teen your crush is always in your head and immaturely you take on a strange one sided and possessive bond with them, if not outwardly definitely inwardly within your mind you feel possessive of them. To combat that immaturity to get to a place of acceptance was hard but the rationalizing and reconciling of the past few days was enough experience for me to get there. I accepted it but was still feeling empty, still feeling serious, devoid of the carefree mind of a child. My innocence was already gone that day, and the worst was yet to come.
We arrived at the street together, and saw a little line formed at the end of a cul-de-sac. The farthest house at the end of the cul-de sac was a normal looking two-story family house, but out front was a flimsily made, “tent-hallway” like structure, protruding from the garage area that ended at the street. The tent hallway structure was made from different color and patterned bed sheets so it looked even more bizarre. The closer we got I saw that it was held together by wooden laundry clips. As our group approached the line of giggling kids and teens entering the tent, we saw a sign in front of the entrance to the “Tent-hall’, the sign read, “One piece of Candy for one mote of wisdom, one at a time, or a pair at a time, wait for the bell to ring”. That’s when I noticed a slight sound of a bell. There was one guy and two girls in separate group in front of us, the bell rang and the guy entered.
I took a moment to look around, and get a bearing on my surroundings. The other houses on the street were not lit, they were all darkened not even a porch light on, in fact this house with the weird “haunted House” structure was the only house with a porch light, the lights inside the house were not on though. There was one street light working on the whole street and it was the one right in front of the “Haunted House” house. I must have looked lost in thought because Frankie tapped my arm and said, “You all good bro?”. I snapped out of it and responded, “Yeah, this just seems weird”.
I expected Frankie, the adventurous guy he was, to chastise me for being “scared” or “lame”, but he didn’t, he responded with, “Yea, I don’t think I like it, I have a little feeling inside but I think we feel like this because of the creepy stuff that happened to us the past two days.” I agreed with him and we left it at that. For whatever reason we just left the topic, I guess talking about it and confirming it with each other made it worse for both of us, we could have used someone to tell us we were OK and that it was just in our head, but we would soon find that maybe accepting our feelings for what they were was for the best, we both felt more clear headed, juxtaposed to our group of peers who were in a state of teenage bliss, drunk off the feeling of being out at night with friends having fun with no adults around.
That’s when I heard my name, “Marcus…hey..”. I looked up back towards the house where the line was and saw our group was filed in line. Donnie Stevens (dressed as Batman), Kevin Baker (dressed as Spider-man) were standing solo to go in alone. Justin Tarver (dressed as Link form Zelda) and Craig Mitchell (cross-dressed as Zelda) also stood alone to go in alone. Jessica Santos (dressed as a Zombie) and Layla Hunt (Dressed as a pirate) were standing together holding each other excited and nervous and giggling, Ray Parker was standing to the side as if he was not entering. Brandi and Jun were holding hands facing Frankie and I. That’s when I noticed it was Jun who called my name. It was weird that he knew my name, I never really spoke to him and now he was the guy I envied the most. It’s like a character from a TV show that is the romantic partner of your favorite character, all of a sudden noticing and talking to you. I gave him a wave, tapped Frankie on the arm to get his attention to follow me and walked towards him and Brandi.
As I walked up to him, he had a big smile on his face but seemed a little nervous. When I got to him and Brandi, he held out his hand for almost like a high five, I gave him a high five and Frankie did too. He then spoke up and said “What are you two guys doing waiting by yourselves, too cool for all of us nerds up here?” he said with a smile. Frankie spoke first and said, “As long as you recognize that we are wayyyy to cool to hang with y’all, is all that matters” he said with a wink.
We all chuckled and Jun spoke again, “So I just wanted to say, umm…well yeah, I know this seems weird and random but we never really hang out so I want to just say it…you guys are pretty awesome people, you are both always making the people at school laugh, always in a world of your own outside of all the school drama and your friendship is kind of legendary at the school, and so I guess… I wanna say…thanks for always being so nice to me, coming here to America was hard for me, to adjust and fit in, but you two always made me laugh and feel comfortable.” He was looking at the ground sort of nervous, Brandi caressed his back with her hand and smiled at us, Jun continued, “Also, you two are Brandi’s favorite people to talk about, the jokes you make and things you get into at school really make her day sometimes, kinda makes me jealous at times to completely honest” he said with a laugh. Brandi blushed very hard and slapped his arm lightly and said “stop it…!!” in a shy voice.
Frankie and I really didn’t know what to say, we never thought we were making him feel any way in particular, we treated him like any other kid we interacted with, like a pal. We cracked jokes, high fived, screamed “what’s up” to them across the hallway or courtyard. We were just …us. Also, the fact that not only did Brandi think about me often but I was one of her favorite things to think and talk about, it made me feel as good as I could without actually being with her. The darkness that clouded my psyche was seemingly lifted a bit, I was still alert and not in a daze of childlike glee like most of the others but the dark sinking feeling in the back of my psyche was seemingly lifted upon hearing this from Jun.
Frankie broke the silence first and said, “Wow….I dint know we were so damn popular…” Jun and Brandi laughed and I spoke up too, I felt compelled to open up at that moment, “Jun…I,…I have to admit that you are a good guy and all that but you know I was really jealous of you…”, my heart was racing, I could not control myself, I had to spill my guts, Jun looked at me inquisitively and Brandi wore a bright blush again and an expression of nervousness and deep curiosity spread across her face. Jun replied to me with a slight laugh and said, “What do you mean…why are you…jealous of me?”.
I took a quick glance at Brandi and that’s all she needed to see, it was a connection between two people in a single non-verbal moment that meant thousands of words worth of explanation and understanding. I spoke up, “I have had a crush on Brandi since I first laid eyes on her, I know there are a lot of guys who feel the same but you can even ask Frankie I REALLY had a crush on her, but I want to say to the both of you that you two are a very good looking couple and I can tell you both really like to be with each other, and I am happy for Brandi that she met a good guy like you….and that’s just….that’s all I have to say about that”. Frankie looked at me with a bit of admiration, and said “That took some huevos my friend…you are full of surprises homie”, as he patted my back.
While the moment was still very awkward they both kind of glanced at each other and smiled, Jun stuck out his hand and I shook it, then he motioned towards the tent and Brandi turned and followed, as she walked away from us she gave a quick glance back at me, still confused a bit, still sort of in shock trying to process all of this heavy emotional talk. I could not tell if she hated me or wanted to ask me a thousand questions, but I knew she would be thinking about what I said for while and I kind of felt that was a win for me.
Frankie tapped my back and lead the way to the line. When we filed into line, I noticed the guy and two girls had already entered and it was Donnie (Spider-Man) and Kevin’s (Batman) turn. They stood at the edge of this rag tag sheet tent and grew a bit nervous. They must have already given their piece of candy in the Jack-o-lantern bucket because the bell rung a couple minutes after I noticed it was their turn. After the sharp “cling” of the bell, a sound emanating seemingly from nowhere, they both turned and looked at us and laughed and waved before opening the sheet flap and stepping in. The night was eerily still, with no wind or sounds from around the neighborhood, the moon was crescent shaped, with some dark, night time clouds next to it. A sinking feeling crept over my stomach again, everyone in front of Frankie and I were just chatting and carrying on.
I looked over at Ray Parker, the guy who led us here in the first place and called him over to Frankie and I and asked him, “Yo Ray, why the hell aren’t you going inside, this was your big idea in the first place?”. Ray walked past me a bit and called us away from the line enough to where the others could not hear us. Ray looked around and shed a nervous laugh and said, “Man I don’t know…I was looking around and…and…well didn’t you notice this shit!?”.
Frankie and I looked at each other and Frankie responded, “Notice what?”. Ray took a quick look around once more, then said” I was telling those fools earlier, people go inside and don’t come out like I said from the jump right?, but that’s not the part that is weird to me…What’s got me trippin’ is, this is supposed to be some haunted house right?...well where the hell are all the damn screams and laughing ? People go in there and then you hear nothing, just silence, not even screams and stuff from inside the house or backyard or something. I’m not gonna front, that shit has me not even wanting to be here. I told them all this while y’all was over there talking to that Asian kid and his girl.”
Frankie and I looked at each other again, Ray was right, the silence was very strange, if this was some sort of haunted house for fun then why no screams, no laughing, no kids coming out, no one coming back for another trip back through, nothing that made any sense at all. Our collective thinking was disrupted by another ring of the bell, we did not notice the other two guys had already went in, Jessica Santos (Zombie) and Layla Hunt (pirate) were up, they laughed and waved bye to all of us and entered. Frankie and I were slowly chickening out, Ray was standing with us and we collectively were searching for the words to say that would lead to our next move.
Finally, I spoke up, bro I’m going to take a look around the house, and check around back”, Frankie nodded and said, “I’ll go with you”. That’s when Ray stopped us both with his hand before we could move and said, “Nah man, nah, I’ll go check this shit out, I led all of ya’ll over here, I feel like I should check, you know, I guess I feel responsible or something”. Frankie and I were on the same page, I could tell by his eyes, we were about to volunteer to join him on his investigation of the house to stick together rather than split up, but that’s when the bell rang again. My heart sank deeper into my bowels than it ever had before…Brandi, she was up next!
That's all I can write for now, I will continue my story soon! - Final Entry link at the top
submitted by QuothTheRaven_ to nosleep [link] [comments]


2019.09.30 03:23 Voodoobones What happened to Craig Johnson?

Craig Johnson was an amazing guitarist and played in several local bands including Citizen Swing and The Mayfield Four. He was an incredible person and an amazing friend. A lot of people don't know what happed to Craig the day he was killed by Bonner County Deputy Shawn Deem in 2017. My wife and I have spent the last two years researching and documenting what happened that day. Here is a brief summary of what took place.
On Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, Craig Johnson and his wife, Robin, were in Spokane at their condo. That evening, they got into an argument. After the argument, Craig left. This isn't totally surprising. He was not someone who liked confrontation and typically seemed to need time to himself if he was angry or upset. On Sunday, Robin couldn't get ahold of Craig. She went to great lengths to find him - driving to different places, calling friends and family, texting and calling Craig, but she could not locate him. When she spoke to my wife that evening, she told her she was considering calling for a welfare check to see if he was at their cabin in Coolin, ID.
A friend had checked out the cabin earlier that evening and Craig didn't appear to be there. Robin was unable to go to the cabin herself as they had an important family event they both were supposed to attend on Sunday and she had no indication he was actually there. On Monday, Robin had to be in court - she's a lawyer. As you can imagine, she was quite worried about her husband. Along with several other loved ones, We agreed that it was time for a welfare check.
Robin called and asked for a police welfare check, informing the dispatcher of all that had transpired. Robin also said if an officer went up there, he should have his red and blue emergency lights on as it was dark and late. Robin wanted them on for Craig, but was also worried how a neighbor would respond had the officer arrived at the wrong cabin without his red and blue lights activated.
Deputy Madden from the Bonner County Sheriff's office arrived on their property shortly before midnight on the 24th. He did not have his emergency lights on as he approached their isolated cabin, deep in the woods.
As many people in North Idaho would do, Craig came out with a handgun to protect his property. In the video of this event, Craig is yelling the entire time for the intruder to get off of his property. Later, Craig admitted that he did not know it was an officer. In the video, the officer's marked vehicle is well lit from the exterior lights on their cabin. Think about how you would feel, however, woken up from a deep sleep, out in the middle of the woods, late at night, alone, and there is a vehicle on your property. We are confident his adrenaline was running strong and he never heard the one time the officer identified himself, nor did he realize it was a cop car, even though it was marked. The incident lasted about a minute and ended when Craig turned and went back into his cabin.
Deputy Madden returned to the Sheriff's station unharmed. He and his partner, Deputy Reynolds, then called dispatch to see if Craig had a past felony. They were hoping they could arrest him on the charge of felon in possession of a firearm. Craig had no previous criminal record - felony or otherwise. The man didn't even have a speeding ticket.
At that point, the decision was made by the deputies to file for an arrest warrant for aggravated assault on an officer. They received a $30,000 felony arrest warrant on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.
The officers who spoke to Robin after the welfare check misled her. They indicated the matter was resolved, urging Robin to stay away and give Craig space. The officers had not even talked to Craig, even though they implied to Robin that they had. Had she known that NONE of the officers had actually spoken with him, Robin would not have relied on them and would have dropped everything to go there.
A Bonner County Emergency Response Team (ERT/SWAT), complete with an armored vehicle called a Bearcat came to Craig's property to serve that warrant the following morning, Sept. 26, 2017. In addition to the bearcat and visible officers, two snipers were hidden in the woods. Craig did not know he had an arrest warrant until the team and bearcat were on his property. Robin did not know about the arrest warrant until after Craig was killed. Within 34 hours of the welfare check, Craig Johnson, a man with no criminal record who was defending his property for one minute, was shot and killed.
Craig Johnson's guitar has been silenced forever.
submitted by Voodoobones to Spokane [link] [comments]


2019.09.01 12:36 thecambridgegeek Audio Verse Awards Nominations open

As per the title, you can now nominate shows for the Audio Verse Awards:
https://audioverseawards.net/nominate/
You can nominate any fiction podcast you like (check the eligibility criteria!), but the "new" categories are restricted to anything that started between 1st October 2018 and 30th September 2019. You might have seen my previous monthly release posts, but they only went back to 1st January 2019:
https://www.thecambridgegeek.com/results.php?proof=Releases&tag1=Audio%20fiction
So I've also put together a quick round-up of everything in the three month period before that below. Anything I've missed?
And if you can, try to support them. There's very little money available for this sort of thing, so it would rather help:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-2019-audio-verse-awards--2/

10/1: Death By Dying (Fiction - Comedy)
Site: https://deathbydyingpod.libsyn.com/
Synopsis: The Obituary Writer of Crestfall, Idaho finds himself deeply in over his head as he investigates a series of strange and mysterious deaths… when he is supposed to simply be writing obituaries. Along the way he encounters murderous farmers, man-eating cats, haunted bicycles, and a healthy dose of ominous shadows.
RSS Feed: http://deathbydyingpod.libsyn.com/rss

10/1: Flyest Fables (Fiction - Fantasy)
Site: https://www.morgangivens.com/flyest-fables
Synopsis: Flyest Fables is an interconnected fiction anthology. In the premiere episode, we meet Antoine — a young boy bullied in school. Antoine finds a magical book that transports him into the world of Princess Keisha. Princess Keisha is on a quest to save her mother and the entire Kingdom of Orleans.
RSS Feed: http://flyestfables.libsyn.com/rss

10/1: The Cat in the Flat (Drama - Comedy)
Site: https://audioboom.com/channels/4962100
Synopsis: A story of bravery, friendship, cats, and the fluffiest pork buns! The Cat in The Flat is an audio drama that chronicles the life of a group of friends as they face a number of personal and professional challenges, tied together by an oddly intelligent cat that seems to show up at just the right moment.
RSS Feed: https://audioboom.com/channels/4962100.rss

10/3: The Darkroom (Fiction - Horror)
Site: https://www.thedarkroompodcast.com/
Synopsis: An amateur photographer stumbles upon strange photographs he finds in old film cameras, showing him another world, just as real as our own, that exists in the shadows. The shadows of... the darkroom.
RSS Feed: https://thedarkroompodcast.libsyn.com/rss

10/5: The Hidden Frequencies (Drama - Anthology)
Site: http://thehiddenfrequencies.com/
Synopsis: There are places in the dimension of sound where the walls between universes are thin. In these fragile pockets of static, lies the ability to hear the alternate realities of millions of maybe-people in countless could-be worlds; where the status quo is different from our own. With a keen ear and an open mind we may tune in to these sound waves of the strange, the bizarre and the otherworldly. They are: The Hidden Frequencies.
RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/thehiddenfrequenciespodcast/feed.xml

10/7: The Dracula Files (Drama - Horror)
Site: http://storyforgeproductions.com/dracula/
Synopsis: Living in 2014, Jonathan Harker never imagined the nightmare that would engulf him when he traveled to the backwaters of Romania to complete a real estate deal with the reclusive Count Dracula. Cut off from friends, phone reception, and even basic electricity, Jonathan discovers too late that he’s walked blindly into a deathtrap. Back in San Francisco, the first signs of Dracula’s coming reign of terror begin to appear, but its residents, unaware of everything Jonathan has learned, forge unwittingly ahead towards disaster.
RSS Feed: https://draculafiles.libsyn.com/rss

10/12: Olive Hill (Drama - Mystery)
Site: https://olivehillpodcast.com/
Synopsis: In 2001 two girls, on opposite sides of town, in the dead of night, stopped what they were doing and walked into the Daniel Boone National Forest. Now, a journalist who grew up with the girls is coming home to find out what happened that night in Olive Hill.
RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/olivehill/feed.xml

10/12: The Glass Appeal (Drama - Science fiction)
Site: http://glassappeal.libsyn.com/
Synopsis: Jason Cawfield, known as the global tinker, has been imprisoned in the Confederacy Supermax Prison for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. He’s a tinker, a biohacker, and a part of Tinker International which is a volunteer organization that’s now associated with bio warfare.
RSS Feed: https://glassappeal.libsyn.com/rss

10/13: Minefire (Drama - Comedy)
Site: http://minefire.libsyn.com/
Synopsis: When a seance goes awry, Rob finds herself stuck with Azrael, a hilarious wise cracking entity from a realm beyond our own. Azrael and Rob, along with Azrael's former partner, Lydia, form an unlikely trio that must work together to correct a terrible imbalance that has been wrought upon our world. Minefire is a full cast, serialized Audio Dramedy brought to you by TeaWig Productions.
RSS Feed: https://minefire.libsyn.com/rss

10/15: Mina's Story (Fiction - Science fiction)
Site: https://minaspod.libsyn.com/
Synopsis: After learning about experimental trials for cryogenic stasis, a young woman throws herself 200 years into the future in an attempt to escape her past.
RSS Feed: http://minaspod.libsyn.com/rss

10/16: Video Palace (Drama - Horror)
Site: http://videopalace.shudder.com/
Synopsis: When video collector Mark Cambria watches a mysterious VHS tape, he begins talking in his sleep in a language that doesn't exist. Mark and his girlfriend Tamra set out to investigate the tape's origin and find themselves caught up in a web of conspiracy, occult, and dread surrounding a legendary video store with a sinister purpose beyond imagining.
RSS Feed: https://rss.art19.com/video-palace

10/17: Time Bombs (Drama - Comedy)
Site: https://timebombs.show/
Synopsis: Created, written, recorded, produced, and released in just one week, Time Bombs is a new audio drama podcast about the hilarious world of bomb disposal. From the team behind the Webby Award nominated sci-fi audio drama Wolf 359, ride along with EOD technician Simon Teller on the busiest night of the year for him and his team - when business is, quite literally, booming. Learn more at http://timebombs.show & more about this and other creative experiments at http://fearofpublicshame.com
RSS Feed: https://www.omnycontent.com/d/playlist/b1fcc76c-2e8a-4e78-89ef-a76c00eb80f4/58ea7d75-af79-42ab-804f-a97c009c7114/992dcdfb-a3a3-49d9-85ef-a97c009e6796/podcast.rss

10/18: Exeter (Drama - Thriller)
Site: https://www.sundancenow.com/
Synopsis: A veteran detective (Jeanne Tripplehorn) must face the errors of a past case when the woman she convicted of murder is exonerated after 10 years in prison. Our heroine struggles to keep the trust of her department as a series of grisly murders rock her decaying South Carolina town, which puts her at odds with her ambitious partner (Ray McKinnon) and the department at large.
RSS Feed: https://rss.art19.com/exeter

10/23: Dreamboy (Drama - Romance)
Site: http://www.nightvalepresents.com/dreamboy
Synopsis: Dane, a spun-out musician spending the winter in Cleveland, Ohio, has two main goals: keeping his job at the Pepper Heights Zoo and trying not to waste all his time on Grindr. What he doesn’t expect is to get swept into a story about dreams, about forevers, about flickering lights, about unexplained deaths, about relentless change, and about the parts of ourselves that we wish other people knew to look for. Oh, and also a murderous zebra.
RSS Feed: http://feeds.nightvalepresents.com/dreamboypodcast

10/23: Vega - A Sci-Fi Adventure Podcast (Drama - Science fiction)
Site: https://www.vegapodcast.com/
Synopsis: In a fantasy futuristic world, Vega Rex is employed by her government to kill off the world's worst criminals. She's never met a criminal she couldn't catch...until now. Join Vega as she journeys through a world of bumbling apprentices, powerful technogods, and her biggest challenge yet. Hosted by Ivuoma Okoro.
RSS Feed: https://vegapodcast.libsyn.com/rss

10/24: Blackwood (Drama - Horror)
Site: https://www.skylarkmedia.com/blackwood
Synopsis: Five years ago, Molly Weaver, Bryan Anderson, and Nathan Howell started a podcast focused on the local legend of a monster called The Blackwood Bugman. Quickly, the investigation grew out of their control, as they discovered that, not only are the legends seemingly true, many people in Blackwood have turned up dead or disappeared without a trace. Worse, there may be a reason why no one has ever uncovered the truth before. Someone is watching them, willing to do whatever it takes to keep the secret. Their recordings have finally been released.
RSS Feed: https://rss.art19.com/blackwood

10/24: Husk (Drama - Horror)
Site: https://www.huskpodcast.com/
Synopsis: Husk is an audio fiction podcast about the aftermath of the disappearance of Dmitri Ivanovic.
RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/huskpodcast/feed.xml

10/24: Lesser Evils (Drama - Thriller)
Site: https://lesserevilspodcast.wixsite.com/home
Synopsis: It started with Walter Reine, the son of one of the richest men in New York City. Then it was Ada Moore, one of the city’s local librarians. Eliza’s friends are all going missing, and she plans to find them- but what she doesn’t know is that she’s up against the supernatural.
RSS Feed: https://anchor.fm/s/7276bc0/podcast/rss

10/28: Janus Descending (Drama - Science fiction)
Site: http://www.janusdescending.libsyn.com/
Synopsis: A limited series, science fiction/horror audio drama podcast, follows the arrival of two xenoarcheologists on a small world orbiting a binary star. But what starts off as an expedition to survey the planet and the remains of a lost alien civilization, turns into a monstrous game of cat and mouse, as the two scientists are left to face the creatures that killed the planet in the first place. Told from two alternating perspectives, Janus Descending is an experience of crossing timelines, as one character describes the nightmare from end to beginning, and the other, from beginning to the end.
RSS Feed: http://janusdescending.libsyn.com/rss

10/31: All In My Head (Drama - Horror)
Site: https://tandonproductions.com/all-in-my-head/
Synopsis: All In My Head is an audio drama that follows Nova, a young woman suffering from extreme bouts of sleep paralysis and night terrors. As she attempts to get to the bottom of her condition, she finds out there might be more to the monsters in her dreams than she thinks.
RSS Feed: https://www.omnycontent.com/d/playlist/8948494d-fb14-4404-84db-a95100198e25/c27b978b-4902-4020-98cc-a97f0048c68f/7aa9d28e-08b2-4fbb-9b38-a97f004ad1de/podcast.rss

10/31: American Comedy Horror Story (Drama - Comedy)
Site: http://www.juliamorizawa.com/american-comedy-horror-story.html
Synopsis: American Comedy Horror Story is a self-contained audio (comedy) drama. This season, grab some hot cocoa and a creepy doll as we follow mediums, Claire and Olivia, on their journey through ""Orphanage."" Will they survive? What happens during Sunshine Time? Exactly how many consumption jokes can two people make? All of the questions you're *dying* to ask shall be answered. Warning: There are multiple deaths throughout the season...some may or may not involve children and/or religious figures.
RSS Feed: http://americancomedyhorrorstory.libsyn.com/rss

11/2: Blackmore FM (Drama - Thriller)
Site: https://blackmorefm.wordpress.com/
Synopsis: The following podcast is the live recordings of Anna’s show during the events of last winter. Anna was working the late shift at Blackmore FM and kept the town informed on the severe storm as well as the escaped creature…
RSS Feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:397793400/sounds.rss

11/4: Ungifts (Drama - Urban fantasy)
Site: http://www.ungifts.net/
Synopsis: Ungifts follows a group of friends on a road trip/rescue mission to save their friend after she is possessed by... someone. Their goal: find and unpossess Cass at any cost. Their plan: to figure it out as they go. Everything gets more complicated when the magic that allowed Cass to be possessed gives Alex, Becca, Mike, and Trev magic powers of their own - powers they don't want. Ungifts is written, recorded, and produced by Leo Balestri and Talia Minear.
RSS Feed: http://www.ungifts.net/downloads/feed.rss

11/6: Buick City, 1AM (Drama - Science fiction)
Site: https://buickcity1am.libsyn.com/
Synopsis: Buick City, 1:00 AM” is a podcast opera about a woman traveling back in time to 1984 to prevent the murder of her father, an auto-worker in Flint, Michigan.
RSS Feed: http://buickcity1am.libsyn.com/rss

11/7: The London Necropolis Railway (Drama - Urban fantasy)
Site: http://www.lnrpodcast.com/
Synopsis: The story takes place in London’s underground system where an organisation called The London Necropolis Railway works to move the souls of the dead out of London to avoid the city getting overrun with hauntings. Barney works at the LNR, he’s one of the ghouls whose job it is to ensure that the souls end up on the trains that take them to the hereafter. He is bored with his job and tired of his endless existence when one day a soul refuses get on the train. The soul, a private investigator named Agnes, convinces Barney to help her catch the demon she was hunting when she died. Together they have to confront his boss, the demon that wants them dead, and even death itself.
RSS Feed: http://lnrpodcast.libsyn.com/rss

11/11: Almost Tangible: Macbeth (Drama - Adaptation)
Site: https://www.almost-tangible.com/macbeth-podcast
Synopsis: Almost Tangible, Season 1: MACBETH. Ambition, power, passion, betrayal. William Shakespeare’s epic drama brought to life in immersive 3D audio, recorded on location at Glamis Castle, Scotland. We recommend listening with headphones on for the best experience! To find out more visit almost-tangible.com
RSS Feed: https://www.almost-tangible.com/rss-feed?format=rss

11/12: Moonbase Theta, Out (Drama - Science fiction)
Site: https://monkeymanproductions.com/moonbase-theta-out/
Synopsis: Moonbase Theta, Out is a science fiction audio drama series about the crew of a lunar outpost that is in the process of being decommissioned.
RSS Feed: https://monkeymanproductions.com/category/mto-episodes/feed/

11/13: Lethal Lit: A Tig Torres Mystery (Drama - Mystery)
Site: https://tigtorres.com/
Synopsis: The Lit Killer is back! Einhorn’s Epic Productions and iHeartRadio present ""Lethal Lit: A Tig Torres Mystery"" - a new six-part scripted podcast series. Join teen detective Tig Torres as she investigates the twisted mystery of the infamous Lit Killer murders. But as she gets closer to the truth, the killings, each based on murder scenes from classic literature, begin all over again...with her as the final target.
RSS Feed: https://feeds.megaphone.fm/HSW6965648156

11/14: The Angel of Vine (Drama - Thriller)
Site: https://angelofvine.com/
Synopsis: A present day journalist uncovers the audio tapes of a 1950s private eye who cracked the greatest unsolved murder mystery Hollywood has ever known... and didn’t tell a soul.
RSS Feed: https://feeds.megaphone.fm/HTX4718937196

11/18: Oz 9 (Drama - Comedy)
Site: https://oz-9.com/
Synopsis: Join the useless crew of the decrepit Oz 9 as they limp around in space looking for a new home to utterly bugger up.
RSS Feed: http://oz9podcast.libsyn.com/rss

11/22: The Veil (Drama - Anthology)
Site: http://www.voxxstudios.com/the-veil
Synopsis: The Veil is a new sci-fi/ horror audio-drama anthology. It is along the vein of beloved, dark, cutting-edge sci-fi series like The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror. Each episode contains fully immersive soundscapes, original score, star-studded cast, and each script is written by a standout team of gifted writers from all over the world. This dark and twisted audio- drama is sure to titillate the depths of your otherwise dormant imaginations and leave you questioning the very concept of reality.
RSS Feed: https://theveilaudio.libsyn.com/rss

11/22: Welcome to Tinsel Town (Drama - Fantasy)
Site: https://trianglecontent.com/podcasts/welcometotinseltown/
Synopsis: After making a wish on the Christmas Star, Holly finds herself popping in and out of Tinsel Town, a magical place where it’s Christmas everyday. But after getting stuck there, her friends - a giant candy cane, a mysterious ornament, and a polar bear Queen - need to band together to help her get home. As things start to fall apart in Tinsel Town, the curmudgeonly Conductor accuses Holly of ruining Christmas and does everything in his power to try to ban her from celebrating ever again. Will Holly and her friends figure out where her wish went wrong in time to get her home for the holidays?
RSS Feed: https://feeds.simplecast.com/9ty_i815

12/3: Have You Seen Me? (Drama - Urban fantasy)
Site: https://hysmpod.podbean.com/
Synopsis: HYSM? is a fiction podcast about love, loyalty, luck, and the things we will do to keep them. When local troublemaker and mayor's sister Kitty Scott goes missing, it is up to her best friend Ophelia to brave the supernatural mysteries of their small Ohio town to bring her home.
RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/hysmpod/feed.xml

12/3: Meteor City (Drama - Science fiction)
Site: http://meteorcity.libsyn.com/
Synopsis: Meteor City is an alternate history sci-fi audio drama. In 2008, a freak meteor shower hit Detroit, killing hundreds and displacing thousands. Hundreds of people were quarantined for radiation exposure for days, weeks and months. The unlawfully detained people began to revolt ending with Radiation Riots of 2009, causing further damage to Detroit. Bianca Diaz, a vlogger returns to Detroit, nearly a decade after fleeing with her mother, after the death of her brother and father. Wanting a change of pace, Bianca decided to come back home for the 10 year anniversary, to tell the stories of the dead, the missing and the remaining citizens of Meteor City. Shortly after the returning, Bianca realizes that Meteor City, New Detroit and the people left behind are not what they appear to be. One frustrating question after another leads Bianca to the truth... or more accurately the lies that New Detroit was built on.
RSS Feed: http://meteorcity.libsyn.com/rss

12/10: The Prickwillow Papers (Drama - Fantasy)
Site: http://theprickwillowpapers.libsyn.com/
Synopsis: Sylda, a young half-elf, has just graduated from the College of Mages. And, joy of joys, she has also moved back in with her parents. Stuck in a dead-end town with no idea what to do, she begins writing a diary, hoping something interesting will happen. And, as luck would have it, something interesting DOES happen...
RSS Feed: http://theprickwillowpapers.libsyn.com/rss

12/15: The Six Disappearances of Ella McCray (Drama - Horror)
Site: https://www.sixdisappearancespodcast.com/
Synopsis: On March 20th, 2014, Ella McCray disappeared. There were six witnesses to her disappearance. Six conflicting accounts of what happened to her. Who is lying? Who is telling the truth? And what really happened to Ella?
RSS Feed: http://sixdisappearances.libsyn.com/rss

12/17: Baby, It's Cold Outside (Drama - Real life)
Site: https://www.crisis.org.uk/get-involved/podcast/
Synopsis: Baby It's Cold Outside is a three-episode audio drama starring Chris O'Dowd and Anne-Marie Duff about “a recently separated father trying to spend the perfect Christmas Eve with his 9-year-old son, whilst struggling to hide the truth of his circumstances.”
RSS Feed: https://rss.acast.com/babyitscoldoutside

12/20: The Narrow Caves (Drama - Horror)
Site: https://audioboom.com/channel/fangoria-presents-the-narrow-caves
Synopsis: The Narrow Caves is the first Audiostate ever released, a new product combining the grandiosity of Hollywood films with the intimacy of audio to create an ""ear-movie"" experience. Adapted from a script by award-winning novelist, screenwriter, and director S. Craig Zahler (BONE TOMAHAWK), THE NARROW CAVES features voice acting by Vincent D'Onofrio (FULL METAL JACKET, DAREDEVIL), Will Patton (ARMAGEDDON, FALLING SKIES), Lili Simmons (BANSHEE) and Wyatt Russell (OVERLORD, BLACK MIRROR). Binary Reptile provides an eerie score that contributes to the cinematic feel of this haunting piece, brought to you by the iconic horror entertainment company FANGORIA, who relaunched the magazine in October 2018 as a print-only quarterly collectible.
RSS Feed: https://audioboom.com/channels/4979660.rss

12/21: Forest Guide (Drama - Fantasy)
Site: https://officialforestguide.podbean.com/
Synopsis: A fantastical audio drama miniseries about a journey of self-realization and overcoming trauma.
RSS Feed: https://feed.podbean.com/officialforestguide/feed.xml

12/23: Standard Docking Procedure (Drama - Comedy)
Site: https://dockingpod.com/
Synopsis: Welcome to Pseudopolis, a space station filled with people just trying to get through the work day without breaking anything important. Join an ensemble cast of characters as they overcome such classic sci-fi sitcom problems like forgetting one's keys on a spacewalk, cooking food with a rocket, and tracking down a missed connection in virtual reality!
RSS Feed: https://pinecast.com/feed/standard-docking-procedure
submitted by thecambridgegeek to audiodrama [link] [comments]


2019.04.27 01:06 kaleviko [All] Miriam ... Sullivan? Uh, Miriam?

Following from ideas presented by KarlosHungus36, who fearlessly comes up with fresh approaches.
In P12, Miriam Sullivan was lying in the hospital bed. A barely audible announcement echoed in the hallway,
"... three one zero ... three one zero."
In P10 - the episode in which Richard had attacked Miriam in her trailer - exactly at 3 minutes and 10 seconds in, there was a loud thud that ended their struggle. Let's have a closer look what was going on.
Earlier, when Richard and Miriam were still in talking terms, Miriam was curiously seen only from behind the glass, barely recognizable. Richard's reflection in the glass further obscured the little we saw. What were we not supposed to notice? As if this wasn't already enough to make us curious, at one point Richard's eyes drifted down from her face. What were we missing? There appeared to be something against the door on the inside, like a wooden level.
When Richard was leaving, having beaten Miriam up, he called Chad.
"Listen, that little bitch Miriam sent a letter to the sheriff today. You got to intercept that motherfucker."
Calling a big girl like Miriam "that little bitch" felt odd. Richard would probably have picked a better fitting insult. There was also no sarcastic reaction from Chad when Richard called Miriam "little". How could "little" be made to describe her?
Going back to Richard and Miriam's chat through the window, the curious item on the inside looks like the back of a wooden chair. Miriam had put a chair against the door. And based on her movements, it looked like she was standing on it.
There would be the explanation for "little". This Miriam was a very short girl. And her name probably wasn't Miriam Sullivan but Miriam Hodges, the name that was on the letter which Chad was seen hiding under his shirt in P10.
This would mean the scene was edited together from similar but not the same storylines as we later saw a much bigger Miriam lying on the trailer's floor.
In later shots, as Richard had broken the door, there was a brown aluminum cover attached to the inner door, conveniently covering the same spot as the wooden chair. It also looks like that this cover was there during the first half of the chat, changing into the chair only when Richard took a step closer. This was reflected in the usual "double start" for the chat, the same or similar phrase said again by the same person. The first part of their chat was like this:
Richard: "Miriam."
Miriam: "Go away, Richard!"
Richard: "Hey, hey, I just want to talk to you."
Miriam: "I already told the police it was you who ran over the little boy."
Richard: "You already told the police?"
Miriam: "Yes!"
Then Miriam said, "Stay away, Richard!" which seemed to indicate that was now from another chat as her line was almost the same what she had already said. From then on, it was another Miriam who was standing on a chair. We'll get back to this point a bit later.
Naturally, the actress herself came in one size only, so we didn't get to see a better view of the Miriam who was probably around 120cm only. As Richard had left, the "original" size Miriam was seen lying on the floor in a pool of blood. And in P11, the same size Miriam had crawled through the forest to get help.
There's still more to sort in the complicated sequence when Richard broke into the trailer and assaulted Miriam.
As Richard smashed the window and pushed himself in, the part of the damaged frame in the door was left tilting to the right (as seen from the outside if the door was closed). Miriam was screaming inside.
Then we got a wider shot. Now that same part was tilting to the left. There were sounds of struggle and Miriam was screaming. Then there was that thud and silence.
Then we saw Richard lit a candle through the window. The broken part in the door was now tilting to the right again. He came out, closed the door and started typing his mobile phone.
Richard was then walking away and waiting for someone to pick up. The broken frame was now tilting to the left again.
Then the call with Chad followed. Now the broken frame was not tilting to the left or right but was about where it had been originally. The window was broken, though, as there was glass on the porch.
How to piece this together? This looked like there were three attacks on Miriam. After each attack, Richard called someone. In at least one occasion that someone was Chad.
The chat through the window and Richard's later call to Chad seemed to be from the same storyline. Little Miriam Hodges stood on the chair revealing she had sent a letter, and then later Richard - calling her "little bitch" - asked that letter to be intercepted which Chad also did.
In P12, Sheriff Truman told Ben that Richard had beaten up Miriam Sullivan who had witnessed the hit-and-run. She was now in hospital, in urgent need of an operation.
In the scene with Richard, the Miriam, who said, "I already told the police it was you who ran over the little boy", apparently wasn't the same Miriam who told she had sent the letter. This would disconnect the letter from the little boy. Miriam Sullivan was a witness to the hit-and-run but Miriam Hodges may have had some other reason entirely why she sent that letter to the Sheriff.
This would also clarify the narrative inconsistency how keen Richard was to retrieve the letter even if Miriam told her she had gone to the police already. Miriam going to the police and Miriam sending the letter were not from the same storyline.
The Miriam lying in the pool of blood was probably the one who had managed to crawl through the forest - that is, Miriam Sullivan. Richard had lit a candle to ignite the gas coming from her stove and blow up her trailer but that was unlikely to happen as the door window was broken. But like Miriam said, she had already told the police before Richard assaulted her.
We are left to figure out the third Miriam. The broken door frame tilted to the left when she was assaulted. She was linked to the Miriam seen lying in the hospital.
But was this Miriam a Miriam at all? Her name was never said aloud, nor was there any other scene in which we actually saw her, apart from the quick shot in the hospital. While she was lying down, there was a slow camera pan over her frame up to the monitor behind her that said her name was an unlikely "Henry Lawson".
But was it so unlikely? Now, if we look at the person lying in the bed and separate her from any other scene with Miriam, that could just as well have been a man there. The actress's hair was hidden, her makeup emphasized how rough and manly she looked, and bedsheets covered her body.
And so it seems there was no third Miriam. Richard's third assault was against some Henry Lawson who lived in that trailer. Actress Sarah Jean Long, who played Miriam, had a brief male role.
These three assaults probably had some link to three Dennis Craigs. There was a hint that a gender-swap was somewhere in this complicated mixing of storylines when Cole and Denise Bryson had their talk in P4 and Cole reminded (us) that she had been Dennis before. Besides David Duchovny, another male actor Malachy Sreenan played a woman in P15.
To sum up, it seems the three people Richard assaulted in the trailer were as follows:
  1. Miriam Sullivan, the nursery school teacher, who had seen him run over a little boy.
  2. The little Miriam Hodges who had sent an incriminating letter to the Sheriff.
  3. Henry Lawson.
Assuming that the three deceased Dennises and the three assaults in the trailer were all linked, respectively, we can speculate how they might be paired with one another.
Little Dennis Craig the boy was run over by Richard. This was witnessed by Miriam Sullivan. This storyline coincided with the green key.
Little Dennis Craig the petty criminal had overdosed, and another little person, Miriam Hodges, her potential partner, may have incriminated drug-dealing Richard in the letter, telling to the Sheriff everything she knew about his affairs. Chad intercepted the letter.
This would leave Henry Lawson and Dennis Craig the over-dosed high school student in the same, yet unknown storyline. Sorting it out, there are curious high school references here and there that might be something interesting to think about.
submitted by kaleviko to twinpeaks [link] [comments]


2019.04.18 22:59 Missa_nna Ever heard of Umgangssprache? How to speak like a Native 101

Disclaimer: This is an incomplete guide! Feel free to share you knowledge in the comments.
Sounding like a native speaker is really hard. But you will get closer if you switch from Standardsprache to Umgangssprache (common speech). Not to be confused with the written language. Here are 9 steps to speak Umganssprache.
1. Use Reduktionen (reductions)
Do not waste time on unnecessary syllables.
It is very common to drop these.
- -e 1. Person Singular Präsens: Ich gehe -> Ich geh / Ich habe -> Ich hab-
-en 1. Person Plural Präsens: Wir essen -> Wir essn
- ei- indefinite Artikeln (ein/eine): eine Tüte -> 'ne Tüte / ein Fußballspiel -> n´ Fußballspiel
-das at the beginning of the sentence/ am Satzanfang: Das mache ichMach ich.
-t in ist: Was ist los?Was is los? (most of the time the t is still spoken but very silent and fast. depends on the dialect.)
-et- in etwas and ein- in einmal: Ich finde etwas. → Ich find was. / Ich möchte irgendetwas essen -> Ich mag irgendwas essen.
-same for einmal an mal: Ich muss heute noch einmal in die Arbeit -> Ich muss heute nochmal in die Arbeit. (wieder einmal -> wiedermal)
-e- bei es (not at the beginning of the sentence!):Gefällt es dir?Gefällt's dir? Wie geht es dir? -> Wie gehts dir? Mir geht es gut -> Mir gehts gut (Notice that I dropped the apostroph. Normally when you are writing Umganssprache in an unofficial context like in WhatsApp you can drop it.)

2. Use the right tense! Use Perfekt for spoken language and Imperfekt/Präteritum for written language. It sounds very weird if you tell Friend: Ich aß gestern zu Abend. Es gab Salat -> Ich hab gestern zu Abend gegessen. Es hat Salat gegeben.
For modal verbs and "sein" and "haben" you always use the Präteritum. Some may point out that "Es hat Salat gegeben." sound a little bit weird. This depends on the region. In the South the Perfekt is more in use in the Umgangssprache than in the North.
And yes, it is longer than Präteritum but it sounds much more natural

3. Use Partikeln! Partikeln are also used in written speech. I will mark the one cursive which sound not appropriate for formal speech.
Partikeln are fill-words to emphasize your intention.There are three kinds of Partikeln:
  1. Gradpartikeln: they emphasize the intensity: etwas, echt, sehr, ziemlich, zu, total, recht.... Das ist mir echt zu teuer! Du hast total Recht. Das ist recht langweilig.
  2. Fokuspartikeln: they emphasize the reference: besonders, vor allem, sogar, wenigstens.. Ich fand den Film gut. Besonders die Szene mit Daniel Craig. Das Theaterstück hat mich gelangweilt. Wenigstens war der Eintritt günstig.
  3. Modalpartikeln: Most important of all for the Umganssprache! Their use is to get the interest of your dialog partner, to emphasize your statement and so on..
halt, eben, so, einfach, bloß, denn, eigentlich, mal, wohl
-aber, ja, auch show a surprise -Du bist ja gar nicht krank. (I though you were ill) -Du bist ja auch auf der Party. (What are you doing here?)
-bloß, ja are nur are used with an ImperativLass das ja sein. Mach das bloß nicht.
denn / eigentlich: 1. make a question more friendly 2. show a negative surprise Wie heißt deine Freundin eigentlich? (Wie heißt deine Feundin? sounds a little bit aggressive) Wie viel Uhr haben wir denn eigentlich (Is it really that late?) Was soll das denn? (What (the hell) is this?)
doch has many variations
  1. accusation: Hab ich dir doch gesagt! (Told you so!)
  2. polite question: Komm doch einfach mal vorbei. (Komm mich besuchen.)
  3. uncertainty: Du liebst mich doch, oder?
  4. something familiar: Das ist doch jedem bekannt. (Everybody knows that.)

eben and halt show resignation- Ja, das ist halt/eben so. (It is the way it is, you cannot change it)

eigentlich" shows criticism or surprise Eigentlich ist er ein guter Schüler. (Normally he is a good student.)Er kommt eigentlich immer zu spät. (He comes late all the time.)

mal softens a question and the ImperativKönnen Sie mir bitte mal helfen?Hilf mir doch mal. (here it also shows impatience)

There are many more Partikeln but I think these are the most common.Especially doch, halt, eben are used so often in Umgangssprache.


4. Use phrases (Redewendungen)
There are a lot phrases - some sound outdated others are very common. Best to ask a native speaker. Ich hab nen Kater - lit. I have a male cat - I have a hangover. Ich bin blau - I am blue - I am drunk Ich bin voll - I am full - I am drunk Ich bin dicht - I am thick - I am drunk Das ist Schnee von gestern - This is snow from yesterday - This is water under the bridge Das ist mir Wurst - This is sausage to me - I couldn't care less Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof - I just understand train station - It is all Greek to me Ich bin fix und fertig - I am fixed and finished - I am completly knackered Ich hab Bock! - (Ich hab Lust) - I have a goat - I am totally up for sth.
and so on....

5. Drop the subject
Ich tue mir mit der Umgangssprache schwer. Ja, ist schwieriger als man denkt.
The correct sentence would be: Ja, sie/es ist schwieriger als man denkt.

6. Use slang
Alter-Dude geil-awesome (geil has two meaning in German 1. awesome 2. horny) I find this awesome - Das ist geil/Das finde ich geil This is getting me horny - Das macht mich geil
Was geht? / Was läuft? / Wie läufts? Alternatives to Wie gehts? The question is more like "What is going on right now/in you life/in general?" How to answer? Nothing new - Nichts (besonders), Alles gut (everythings okay) or just start talking about your life
Younger people also use cool a lot.

7. Shorten Words
Universität -> Uni Abitur -> Abi.....

8. Hm
Germans love long words. But there are still short words worth to remember.
Na? - Hey, how are you? used as a greeting -ne? at the end of the sentence. You have to reply if you agree. Used mostly in the North -ge? at the end of the sentence. You have to reply if you agree. Used mostly in the South Hmm-you are thinking if you agree with something Mhm-ja, jaa, whatever you are saying Nee- instead of Nein

9. Use informal word instead of formal ones! -zocken - spielen - playing video games (also used for gambling) -Jein - Ja und Nein (Yes and no at the same time) -kriegen instead of bekommen -brauchen instead of benötigen (Kontext! there are many exceptions!) -tun-machen -bescheuert-blöd -Fresse-face (hard one) -latschen-laufen (negative) -abkratzen-sterben (flippant) -pennen-schlafen (to sleep) -klauen-stehlen (to steal) -kotzen-erbrechen/sich übergeben (to throw up) -selber-selbst (Selber-Selbst_grammar guide)
usw.......


I hope this helped some of you a little bit.Please remember do differentiate between Umgangssprache, Jugendsprache (Slang) and Standardsprache! Slang is never okay to use in front of your boss or in an official context. Umgangssprache is used only oral not written (except for social media). And also do not speak Umgangssprache to you boss.
submitted by Missa_nna to German [link] [comments]


2018.11.14 17:29 DustiinMC Hell For the Hollidays: A Christmas Tale (Part 1)

I loved my sister. I was so-so on Christmas. But when she took off on the 23rd with only a note and without packing a single bag, I was still pissed that she had ruined the holiday for me. All she took was her purse and her Ambien out of her medicine cabinet, and an hour later her boyfriend Craig was on the horn to tell me she had gone back to our hometown of Nick’s Hollow, West Virginia. I spent hours trying to call her and went straight to voicemail every time. Which wasn’t like Noelle at all- she was a defense attorney in one of the biggest firms in Chicago. Even taking into account the holiday break your electronics were your lifeline to your career this day and age. And anyone who knew Noelle could tell you her job was her life, so hesitantly, I also made calls asking if any Jane Does matching her description had been checked into any hospitals along the way. I couldn’t bring myself to call any morgues. That was terrifying enough, but I wasn’t prepared for what we found at the end of our eight-hour drive as I drove us through the city limits.
“Whaaaat,” was all I could mutter. Every single house was pristine, and decked out in Christmas lights and decorations beyond belief. Every single one. No trash piled on curbs, and not a single junk car left to rot on a lawn that I could see.
“Ho-lee crap,” Craig muttered as we continued. “This looks like Norman Rockwell’s wet dream. Not at all the economic disaster you described. You think they turned things around?”
“It looks better than ‘not bad,’ “I said. “This is the sort of thing some billionaire would have to- they’d have to buy the town, tear most of it down, and rebuild from the ground up!”
“OK, so it’s some rich dude’s pet project, no big deal.” I was doubtful at that- even fifteen years seemed an absurdly short amount of time for that. That was when we passed the old McDonald’s and to my surprise, it was now a cozy-looking restaurant called the Horseshoe Café. The only time one of the big fast food chains closed a restaurant was because there was another location nearby cannibalizing its business. They were as hard to kill as cockroaches otherwise.
“Hey, that restaurant’s closed,” Craig noted. “And it’s only 6:00. Where is everybody?” I rolled down the window at that, and I heard warbling vibrations. After a few seconds, I recognized it as a Christmas song over loudspeakers.
“Well, we can just follow the music and ask then, I’ll bet the whole town’s there.”
Indeed it was. It was some kind of a festival, and starting three blocks away from Main Street and City Hall, all the roads were cordoned off. We parked our car in front of an old paint store- it was a locally-owned business that I actually recognized. The first bit of familiarity on a night where there was so little.
The town was bustling- it looked like some kind of Christmas festival. Everybody was wearing something red, green, or generally festive. Likewise, the décor was also a kaleidoscope of red, green, and gold. Tinsel and lights were so entwined with the architecture of the town that it was easier to believe the place might vanish come the 26th, rather than the decor simply being taken down. All in all, said architecture was the same, but its quality and its contents radically different. The two biggest job providers had closed just before I was born, setting off a chain reaction that had left our town a crime and drug-ridden shithole that we had been happy to escape as soon as Noelle graduated. But this… this was like a completely different town, visual similarities aside. As we walked, unnoticed, I saw that a lot of the stores here were open, and they seemed to be hosting events. Miss Millie’s Cookie Shop had a sign in the window advertising a gingerbread house-building competition, and at least a dozen kids were…milling about inside.
Craig and I brought up pictures of Noelle on our phones so we could ask around if anyone had seen her. The teeming masses of toothy grins would take the barest of moments to glance at the pictures before responding in the negative. Not one seemed concerned for even a second, and most tried to cajole us into joining in on whatever inane Yuletide activity they were partaking in. We tried our best to be So far, it looked like what few hangouts we had as kids were gone, replaced by something new and cute every time. Noelle still wasn’t answering her phone, of course- can’t let this be too easy.
The park where the old library had once been located was on Main St. The cozy, two-story library that had once been a place of solace for Noelle had closed her sophomore year and moved to the basement of an office building next to city hall. I think the old stone library had been declared a historical landmark or something like that, but that just left us missing the rustic charm the comparatively sterile new location lacked. But now, as we navigated the crowds and tried to talk over the various groups of carolers, I saw the sign on the old stone building and was pleasantly surprised at what I read.
“Holy fuck, they moved the library back to-“
“Goddamnit!” Craig swore- I turned and saw that a middle-aged woman carrying a box of donuts had bumped into him and spilled her coffee, practically soaking the front of his coat. The layers protected him from being scalded
“Oh, dear, I’m so sorry. Should have kept my eyes straight ahead. Here, let me get that-“ and she had produced a wad of napkins from her purse and was dabbing away with her now-free hand, despite his protests.
“I guess it’s my lucky day- they grown ‘em big and strong over in Malaysia, don’t they?” Wow, that was some dead-on intuition- Craig was indeed the son of Malaysian immigrants. Usually yokels like these would just ask if he was Chinese or Japanese. Craig was too annoyed to commend her- he gently extricated her hands, but took the napkins and started to dab himself.
“I got it. Just go on about your business- please.” The woman went on her way, muttering about rude city folk. I tried to allay his aggravation by focusing on the task at hand.
“Come on, let’s look around the park. The old library was her favorite place in the whole town. It may be closed for the night, but it’s all we’ve got.”
“Do I even need to ask if Nick’s Hollow ever did anything like this before?” Craig asked. All of the happy townspeople were starting to grate on both of us, and we were both fairly sociable people. It was like they were going out of their way to aggravate us with a cheery front.
“Are you kidding? The way things were going when we left a lot of people needed comfort Christmas couldn’t give them. They tended to lean towards the chemical kind.” I looked at the sign for the library as we approached “BOOKS YULE LOVE TO READ,”, and shook my head at the cuteness and quaintness Nick’s Hollow had rediscovered. Further past the library I saw dozens of ice skaters on the pond further away in the park. That was odd- it was definitely coat weather, but not a typical bitingly cold West Virginian December. I wouldn’t skate at this temperature, I can tell you that much.
A band on a nearby stage was paying peppy, upbeat rock versions of Christmas carols, and as we navigated the audience, I never noticed Craig and I were separated.
I don’t know why I even bothered checking the pond for Noelle. She couldn’t skate to save her life. But it was a good thing I did, because it didn’t take me long to see a familiar blond mane billowing in the distance. She seemed to be doing alright, but he taller man holding her hand was obviously helping steady her, though.
“That’s my dad. He’s a really good skater.” I turned to see a boy of about eight with a gap-toothed grin beneath a pair of glasses so thick they looked like they could see into other dimensions. He was sitting alone at a picnic table in a ramada a little way from the pond’s edge.
“Oh, really? What’s your dad’s name?”
“Michael. And I’m Austin.” The hackles on the back of my neck went up at that first name, and I instantly forgot Austin. I took a few hesitant steps off the sidewalk onto the snow, trying to discern the features on the figure holding Noelle’s hand.
“Are you OK, ma’am? Want me to get you some cocoa?”
“Shut it, kid,” I muttered, and I found myself wobbling, having taken an unthinking step onto the ice. I felt Craig, who had arrived just in time, grab me and stop the big slip. I still hadn’t realized we had been separated. Austin still wasn’t taking the hint:
“We have skates you can rent over in the pavilion. Want me to get you a pair?” Somehow I still
“Not now, Austin. Give us a minute.” Noelle and the mystery man were skating towards the shore, and Craig breathed an immense sigh of relief the same instant he saw how intensely I was scrutinizing her partner.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“He said his Dad’s name is Michael, and I had to make sure-“Luckily, that line of thought was cut off when the pair approached.
It was time for my sigh of relief, as I did not recognize the Michael who was guiding her off the ice. He was taller than the Michael I was worried about, and handsome-in a bland, washed-up soap star kind of way. Craig arched an eyebrow at the sight of them holding hands, even if it was just to steady my sister as they skated. Noelle seemed surprised, rather than happy to see us:
“Craig? What are you doing here?”
“Worrying ourselves sick an entire nine-hour drive,” Craig said, but his embrace was still tender. “What’s going on? Why did you take off like that?” She didn’t seem abashed at how badly she had scared us, and she responded as if it were the most normal thing in the world.
“I found out they’re closing down the old Rochester Theater. I had to come back and help with the fundraiser-;”
I loved my sister, even though we didn’t talk nearly as much as we could. And I was beyond relieved to know she was OK. But despite that:
“Are you fucking kidding me?!”
Everyone within earshot froze for a second, and even the band seemed to miss a beat. I didn’t give a shit.
“Noelle, you take off like that when someone is dead, or dying, or needs you to help them bury a body,” I breathed. “Not for some dumbass theatre! You haven’t answered your phone- Craig got a call from one of the partners at the firm because they wanted to schedule a meeting and they were worried that you hadn’t picked up- because that is so unlike you.“ I didn’t want to speak for Craig, but when I start going, nothing can stop me. He finally got a word in when I stopped to take a breath.
“I spent the past day wondering if you were alive or dead-“ Craig was upset, but not angry. Still, Noelle’s eyes widened in alarm when he spoke to her. Seeing this, Michael finally stepped in.
“Hey, hey, hey, it’s OK,” he said. “We’re not in the big city- you can keep that blood pressure at a nice, manageable 100 over 60 here.” For some odd reason, he spoke with a noticeable Canadian accent- a little out of place in West Virginia. Come to think of it, I hadn’t heard too many southern accents, either. Craig seemed about to say something, but I beat him to it.
“Who the fuck asked you, Captain Canuck?” I didn’t pay him any more heed. “Noelle, please give me any good reason, any other reason, why you skipped town on us like that so I can just be happy you’re OK.”
“I told you, I had to get down here as fast as possible,” Noelle droned. “This whole festival is being put on to raise enough money to save the theatre.” Craig then asked the very same thought that crossed my mind:
“Why couldn’t the townspeople just pool the money they spent putting all this on?” The bizarre turn this had taken had left us both baffled, and there wasn’t a hint of anger in his voice. But all the same, Noelle was not happy:
“If you think it’s stupid, you can go back home and wait for me. You don’t have to subject yourself to these ‘peons.’ How’d you even notice I was gone when you spend every daylight hour at your office, anyway?” Something was off about Noelle. What we were saying didn’t seem to properly register with her. She almost seemed to be in a daze at moments, but she spoke clearly and focused perfectly the rest of the time. She seemed terribly affronted by Craig’s innocent question, and Michael was visibly uncomfortable.
“Noelle, why don’t you take Austin to get some hot cocoa?” Noelle nodded, seemingly relieved to escape from our presence. Austin eagerly hopped to his feet and took Noelle’s hand as she led him away.
“Sorry about all of this. Noelle came back to a town she didn’t recognize and the past day has been this…whirlwind of rediscovery.” I could tell Craig was more suspicious of Michael than the situation in general.
“I thought she hated Nick’s Hollow and was happy to escape it. I’m having a hard time processing this gigantic 180 she turned that brought her back here.” Michael shrugged.
“Well, I think she had given up but realized our little town deserved a second chance. A lot of good people here worked really hard-“ Now that really got my blood boiling and I had to speak up.
“Excuse me, but do you have any idea why she actually moved in the first place?” For his part, he wasn’t so oblivious that he couldn’t look abashed at the question/
“I didn’t feel the need to pry, miss. I’m sure she’ll tell me when she’s ready.” It certainly wasn’t my place to tell, and I wasn’t going to open up to this guy. I thought of why we left, and all the times she bolted out of the house while sleepwalking during our last year and I had to chase her down the street to catch her and wake her up. And here she was, back like none of that ever happened. So I decided to try another angle to get some information.
“So, it sounds like you’ve lived here your whole life?”
“Of course,” Michael chuckled. “I work my dream job here as a librarian. Who would ever want to leave that?”
I did, for one,” I replied, managing a neutral tone. “Looks like enough of you stayed and turned things around.”
“Well, you can live in some skyscraper that looks like a hundred others, and that’ll just make it easier to run to the next big city if things take a turn. Us here in Nick’s Hollow stuck it out and never gave up on our beautiful little town. If you believe your home is perfect, it always will be, as long as you put in a little work.” Jesus Christ, how did I manage to not roll my eyes or simply snap at him?
“And those who do head for the ‘big city’ usually have very good reasons.” It was too soon to be snippy, but I remembered Noelle’s tears from fifteen years ago, which where the whole reason we left shortly thereafter. “And it takes more than platitudes and a plucky attitude to reverse the shithole town I remembered. No offense.”
“Well… there’s no ‘shithole town’ here that I can see. And that ‘plucky attitude is why we’re definitely going to save the Rochester, then!” I can’t help but notice the obvious evasion.
“What exactly are yours and Nicole plans for this…fundraiser?” Craig asked.
“Oh, right- I almost forgot to tell you- she’s going to sing at the pageant tonight after Mayor Nick’s speech. I’m sure she’d love for you to come-“ and he saw the both of us tense up-“but I would never presume to speak for her. Why don’t you guys go have some fun, join the party?”
“I appreciate you being too polite to just tell us to ‘scram’ for a while,” Craig said, but he chuckled despite himself. “Maybe now that we can relax, that’s what we should do. I’ll see you at the pageant, then.” But he turned without waiting for Michael’s response, and I instantly grabbed his collar and pulled him down to whisper in his ear.
“Noelle hasn’t sang since girls’ choir in high school. She told me she’d completely given it up. That’s just the first of many weird things.” There was so much I could have led with, and that was just the first thought that spilled from my lips. But Craig had an observation of his own.
“That part about me being at work all the time was… weird. You know what I do, right?” Noelle and I hadn’t spoken much in the past few months due to our hectic schedules, and all I knew was that Craig worked private security.
“I started my own security company. I went into business for myself. I told Noelle the first few months were going to be hellish on my schedule, but she encouraged me. Now she runs off and berates me for trying to make a living?” He shook his head.
“Anyway, go on,” Craig said. “So you’re worried. What else is there?” I could have let it all out like the guy from the Micro Machines commercials, but I kept it slow and steady like Aesop’s renowned tortoise.
“The Rochester Theater was on its way out when we left. Nobody gave a shit about it then. We certainly didn’t. They had plays there sometimes, but not in a while before we moved.” Craig obviously wasn’t impressed with what I chose to lead with.
“Well, they’re obviously doing better now- they can probably afford to worry about frivolous shit like that.” Whatever suspicion Craig had towards Michael he clearly didn’t have for the rest of the town. Time to get into the weird shit, then.
“Craig, there are a lot of things I don’t recognize- all the people, and all the businesses. Everything’s different. Did you notice how there aren’t even any big chains? I didn’t say anything when we passed it., but the Wal-Mart is just a huge pasture now. I don’t even recognize Michael, and he looks our age- we should have gone to high school together. Look, you saw how weird Noelle is acting. It’s not just her- there are a lot of things really wrong with this-“
And there was a swell of upbeat and up-tempo holiday music seemed to carry across the park. The other townspeople present seemed to unanimously decide to start dancing to show their appreciation. It almost looked spontaneous, as a red-headed lass grabbed Craig by the wrist:
“Come on, dance with me, handsome!” I wasn’t quite hurt that she didn’t assume I’m his girlfriend and she was being forward if that was the case. I was more annoyed she didn’t want to dance with me. She was gorgeous, I’ll give her that. And I’ll give it to Craig that he seemed more resigned than enticed as he reluctantly danced with her.
“I’ll catch up with you later-“ and an elderly couple showed how spry they were by obliviously dancing their way between us, and Craig and the redhead were swallowed by the crowd.
“Mistletoe alert!” I whirled, and saw a husky guy in an unflattering-ly tight elf costume closing in, a doofy grin plastered on his face
“Better steer clear unless you want a big ol’ smackeroo!” He had a fishing rod tied to his back, and a sprig of that poisonous green was dangling above his head.
“Yeah, definitely steering clear, thanks!” That was it for me. If I was going to be overloaded with a saccharine holiday atmosphere, I might as well get some real sugar. Miss Millie’s Cookie Shop was the first place I went- I needed something with chocolate chunks, caramel, or sea salt- or maybe all three. I navigated the dancing crowds, and squeezed my way in. All of the booths had children working on gingerbread houses of varying degrees of quality. The same middle-aged woman who had spilled the coffee on Craig turned out to be the manager and was addressing the assembled kids.
“OK, ya little darlings, we’re going to start judging in five minutes, and remember- everybody wins. There’s only one blue ribbon, is the problem. “ She trundled behind the counter, and turned to meet me with a chipper smile. I glanced at the plastic elf with the pointed hat on the counter, and then the cookies in the display case.
“Are those real cookies?” I asked as I regarded the pristine confections. “They look so perfect, I just had to ask.”
“Oh, they’re real. You won’t believe they can be so delicious, but they’re very real.”
“Well, get me one of those chocolate chunk and PB and espresso.” My stomach growled, and this was not normally my ideal dinner. But with all the stress, I had to indulge and get my mind back on the moment. But when I absentmindedly asked her long she’d been here, her response snapped me back to reality.
“Oh, about twenty years,” she replied breezily. One second I didn’t want an argument, and the next I was starting a new one.
“Wait- no, I lived here fifteen years ago. This place used to be a thrift store called the Stoppe Shoppe that got closed down the year before I moved. That’s rounding up quite a bit!” I was teasing her for what I thought was an honest mistake, but she froze for a moment as she was bagging my cookie, her eyes darting from side to side. Something else shifted, too, making me look up. I was surprised the Cookie chop had a security mirror above the register. You’d think it would hurt their small-town pride to invest in anything that acknowledged the possibility of crimes being committed in their rustic little hamlet. And in the mirror I could see that most of the customers, including the children, were staring at me. All of their faces were changing. They were blurry at first, like a photograph of a sudden movement, but they quickly resolved into something twisted, misshapen, and sneering. One of the nondescript fathers had started to make his way over to me, and the eeriest thing of all was the background noise. The kids were chattering away as kids do, their parents still conversing with them or other parents- but they were all looking at me, as if they were just reading from a script.
“Is that all I can get for you today, miss?” Millie asked, having collected herself. Even the plastic Elf on a Shelf propped up against the register seemed to be appraising me.
I started to shake my head, to spare another glance at what I had to have imagined, but I saw Mille look past me expectantly, and a flash of red and green in the pupil of either eye cinched it. I grabbed the plastic elf from the counter and whirled around, driving the stupid plastic pointed hat straight into the creature’s eye. It roared in pain, a black ichorous substance trickling out- before it flashed, and he was nothing more than a balding dude with a dad bod, crimson streaming down his face. The entire shop froze in shock for far too long as they watched him fall to his knees, screaming now like a man. I thought for a minute I had made a horrible mistake, when they all turned to regard me, their movements perfectly in sync, as was the hatred etched on their faces.
I ran. Ran out of the shop, and down Main, furiously dialing Craig. No answer. None from Noelle, either. Forced to take cover in the crowds I no longer felt safe hiding in. I noticed now the library was lit up like the masses of Christmas trees that festooned this town. I felt eyes on me as I passed, and I ran back to the park and past the library, I saw him. Michael was dumping a bag of trash in the dumpster out back, and the second he was back inside, I followed him.
Mercifully, the door to what turned out to be the library basement was unlocked, and I slunk in, in time to see him disappear through a door on the right side of the room. I wondered if I should head up the stairs at the far end of the room, but I was alone. Meaning there were no smiling townsfolk with false faces down here. That was reassuring. And then, for a second, I thought I wasn’t alone, as several forms shifted on both sides of my periphery. I jumped, and whipped out my phone, lighting the screen. Nothing. I hit my flashlight app to be sure. Still nothing- just storage. I wanted to kick myself for signaling my presence, but Michael didn’t come out. What was I doing? What was I sneaking around for? Had I imagined what happened in that shop? I didn’t hear any sirens, and it seemed like a hallucination the second I stepped out-
The door opened, and my waffling gave way to caution again as I dove behind a shelf to keep Michael from seeing me. He glided out, and went up the stairs, completely oblivious. I saw my chance, and entered the door he had just exited. It was a small office, and the only light was of a desk lamp, and a computer monitor. The single item under the lamp’s light instantly caught my attention: It was the class 0f 2003 yearbook for our high school. I graduated in ’01, but I recognized this because this was Noelle’s junior year. I opened it, and the first thing I saw in the inside cover, among few other signatures, was a penmanship I knew almost as well as my own:
Michael- don’t ever give up. Run for the hills and don’t ever stop until you find something good- Noelle. A terrible idea started to form, and I flipped forward to the senior class’ pages. I found him quickly- Michael Fairborn. And the puffy, pimply face was just as far from the man I had followed as I remembered. Then I saw what was on the monitor: an attractive couple were standing on a bridge in a snowy park. I clicked on the mouse to turn up the volume, not knowing why this was important. I thought I recognized the two actors from a much higher point in their careers.
“I guess I never knew the true meaning of Christmas until I met you!” the female lead said.
“So… does that mean I need to get the mistletoe?” the male lead replied, a noticeable Canadian accent. Made sense, since so many movies like this were shot in Vancouver or Toronto.
It looked so familiar; I’d seen a ton of these on television every year… I wasn’t crazy about Christmas, but I loved these movies. But this movie was also familiar because I had spent the last two hours living one. It all started to make sense for someone like me, who was willing to entertain the idea of the supernatural. I wish I was more of a skeptic, because that would quell the rising horror in my gut. I wished I hadn’t turned around to see the vague yet familiar shapes on the bulletin board, and I wished I hadn’t indulged my curiosity by turning the office lamp on. They were all printed pictures of Noelle- from her LinkedIn, her social media- every picture of her that had ever made it to the Internet was there. And I knew why this was happening, and I knew that Michael Fairborn was the man I had met earlier despite what my eyes told me.
I bolted out of that office, knowing I was trapped in this town no matter where I went, but it was even worse in a basement room with only one way out. And that same reason I felt trapped made going up the stairs into the library as reasonable a proposition as heading back out into the night air. I ran up, and stood behind the door in that claustrophobic stairwell, and sanity prevailed, telling me to go out back. But then I heard Noelle’s voice on the other side. The decision was made for me, and I went through the door without hesitation. The library was even better than I remembered it- as rustic and cozy as I had come to expect in this town.
The door to the basement was next to the restrooms, and to my left, past the stairs to the upper level, there she was. Noelle was reading to about a dozen kids as cute and the ones in the cookie shop, and almost certainly just as fake. Other adults were browsing, and I saw an old man dump a few canned goods in an overflowing donation bin that would go to feed no one.
“"and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed-“ And here she turned expectantly to Austin, who was seated next to her. He happily completed the sentence and the story: “God Bless Us, Every One!’”
The crowd of moppets clapped, and I didn’t wonder why Noelle was reading the ending to “A Christmas Carol” having been ice skating less than twenty minutes ago. Nothing made sense in this town, and I felt the loathing rise in my stomach as Michael approached from where he had been watching out of my line of sight.
“Hey, kids, give Noelle a round of applause!” They did as they were told, and she beamed, and she and Michael shared a knowing look. I wanted to puke-Noelle didn’t hate kids. She was great with them, and loved all our cousins’ kids at the annual family reunion. She had turned down every corporate job opportunity that came her way for the sole purpose of using her work to be an advocate for those who had no one else to turn to, and that included abused children. She just simply did not want any of her own. But the way she was standing there with Michael, watching the other kids and, you’d think her ovaries were screaming at her to make a baby ASAP. Noelle was her own woman, and I would never say she would never change her mind. But given what I’d seen, and how little time she’d spent here, I knew that there was something more to it. I just had to hope that I could pull her out of that something’s grasp. And I had to walk right up to the lion’s jaws, hoping he hadn’t guessed how I had entered.
“Hi, Michael,” I said. Somehow I had perfectly composed myself, and put on a fake smile. “Why didn’t you tell me Noelle was going to be reading “A Christmas Carol? That’s my favorite!”
He seemed to accept my genuine demeanor. “Well, you and Craig looked a little antsy and I didn’t think you’d take too kindly to any invitation from me. Looks like you’re feeling a little better.”
“Yeah, I need a moment with Noelle. Can you give it?” Michael nodded politely and went over to the checkout desk to help the old lady with a beehive hairdo with the strangely long for Christmas Eve line. Noelle stiffened when she saw me but smiled after a moment when she saw my phony rictus of a grin. That alone was troubling, because she could normally see through a fake smile better than anyone I knew. I ignored her greetings, and ushered her to a quiet corner of the library.
“Noelle. I want you to listen to me. Can you do that?” She nodded. “There’s something really wrong with this town. And the people. I think we’re in danger here. Remember why we left? I think it’s just as bad as before- but there’s more to it now, and it’s worse than you can imagine.” There was no comprehension on her face, so I forced myself to be blunt, ignoring the pain those words brought.
“Noelle Holliday, however he looks now. the man you have been spending the evening with is the man who tried to rape you after that Christmas Party in 2003. The same man whose …” Her face was completely blank. And suddenly, I knew why she wasn’t responding.
Her pupils were almost completely pinned. I had seen it before- all the times when she had sleepwalked before I took her away from Nick’s Hollow. With a single mom dying of breast cancer, she didn’t have anyone else, and her older sister didn’t seem up to the task until she was forced to grow up. So she dreamed of running, and often did so while she slept. She was dreaming. The dream kept her subdued and allayed any suspicions she might have. And did she see things as they really were? Judging by the way she had reacted to us and the way she seemed to be drifting from situation to situation, I think the answer was “no.” Suddenly, a commotion from the front of the library tore my attention away from this ridiculous, terrible situation
“-no, I have had enough of the fucking yokels and weirdos in this town. Where’s Noelle?!” It was Craig. The crowd parted like they would for any tall, cut guy who looked like he was about ready to start snapping necks, and only I knew how much danger he was putting himself in. He found us, and his face softened- but only slightly.
“We’re getting out of here. Right now. There’s something wrong with this town and all of these fucking hicks-“ I ran over and tried to put my hand over his mouth, because I saw Austin peering at us through a gap in a bookshelf, and he was changing. Changing just like the people in the bakery, and he wasn’t bothering to hide the demonic visage as he glared at us. And down below, ever-so-slowly, the other patrons were starting to converge, playing the part of average looky-loos, but doubtlessly preparing for violence. I knew the pageant was the centerpiece of the whole night, and that was when we had to act, meaning that retreat was the best option in the moment.
“Craig, we have to go. Now. We’ll have another shot.” I wish I believed that last part. He seemed to remember himself, having not seen Austin’s transformation. Noelle, on the other hand, had something to say.
“So during that whole tantrum, you never once asked me what I wanted. You just barked orders.” That sounded more like the sister I knew so well. Even as Craig started to protest, the crowd parted, and Michael stepped through. I grabbed Craig’s arm, knowing I wouldn’t be able to restrain him if he took a swing at him,
“Officer Deacons is the only cop on duty tonight,” Michael intoned. “I’d hate to pull him away from the party. Why don’t you get some air, city boy?”
I could feel the muscles in his wrist flexing as I dug my fingers in warningly.
“Later,” I whispered. We both saw the fury on Noelle’s face as Michael joined her, placing an arm around her protectively. I felt Craig deflate at the sight, and he slumped his shoulders, and marched out of the library, defeated. I struggled to keep up as we marched across the now-empty park. I had to yell at someone, and unfortunately for Craig he might be only one in town who wouldn’t kill me for it
“What the hell is wrong with you, losing your temper like that?” He groaned loudly in the frustration he’d been bottling up.
“Everywhere I go, they’ve been singling me out. ‘Dance with me!’ ‘Here, have a free sample!’ ‘Come sing a carol with us!’ I’ve babysat my brother’s triplets, and those little hellions never consistently got on my nerves the way this fucking burg has!”
“They’re trying to provoke you. To be the asshole, big-city boyfriend who leaves the hometown girl susceptible to the local boy’s homegrown, hunky charms.” That got him, and he finally turned to face me.
“You know what this is?” I said. “This is one of those basic cable Christmas movies. You know, the ones with the washed-up 90s and early aughts TV starlets who fall in love with some blandly handsome hunk and discover the true meaning of Christmas. Could you tell that Michael guy apart from any star in a prime-time TV drama who was supposed to blow up but couldn’t quite break into movies?” Despite himself, he managed a smile that didn’t reach his eyes.
“Are the townspeople in those movies always smiling like brain-dead Stepfords?” Touché, he managed a pop culture reference of his own.
“Actually yes. Michael was watching one in the library. I think this is all some sort of setup and he’s behind it. It’s a pretty standard plot- career-minded city woman goes back to her rural hometown and falls in love with some local hunk and learns the error of her big-city ways and how to love Christmas. Sometimes she has a boyfriend who can be distant or an out-and-out asshole, or anything in between. Bonus points if the hometown guy is a single father with a ridiculously adorable kid.”
“Wait, you mean we’re in a movie? You’re saying we actually stepped through a TV screen at some point?” The severity of this whole mess as he saw it couldn’t quite quash the now genuinely amused grin on his face/. I launched into everything I had seen. That wiped the smile away. When I had caught him up to this moment, he struggled with what to say and I realized we had walked into a gazebo. It sparkled as white as the rest of the snowscape and was a terrible place to hide. If there was such a thing in this town. Finally, he found a few words:
“You- you stabbed somebody?”
“I stabbed something,” I insisted. “And did you hear a single siren? Has anything broken up all this festive crap we’re trying to wade through?” But he looked at me warily, and I scoffed.
“You’re thinking I had a psychotic break or something, right?” I asked. Even though I knew that was the more reasonable thing to believe if all he had seen so far were annoying townsfolk.
“I… I believe something terrible happened to you,” Craig said. I pressed on.
“And that’s reason enough to grab Noelle and get her out of here. The only question is who takes the arms and who takes the legs.” Craig could only pinch his nose in frustration, and he needed a minute to think before he finally started the questioning,
“So let’s forget Noelle’s a grown woman capable of making her own decisions. Let’s pretend she’s hypnotized, or whatever-we just grab her and get the hell out of Dodge, and hope she just… wakes up?“
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you!” A new, friendly voice suddenly called.

END OF PART 1

PART 2:
https://www.reddit.com/nosleep/comments/9xhe7v/hell_for_the_hollidays_finale/
submitted by DustiinMC to nosleep [link] [comments]


2018.11.05 18:09 venkys-out Fitba Roundup: SPFL Gameweek 10/11/12

As the Scottish League Cup Semi-Finals threw the entire fixture list out of whack, my reckless decision to title the first of these posts with reference to the current gameweek caught up with me.
I also had the disastrous idea to summarise every fixture of the last two weeks, rather than just the three fixtures played during gameweek 10, and as such was blindsided by the great /soccer flair apocalypse, during which my beloved soccerbot was taken from me, making this whole thing very difficult and time-consuming to put together.
True to form, the high drama of the subreddit was matched by a whirlwind of baw-grabbing, coin-throwing, and general bampot behaviour across the Scottish Professional Football League.
Without further ado, here is a blow-by-blow of the last fortnight. Please bask in my artistic endeavours as I attempt to cope without flairs.

Tuesday 23/10/18

Scottish Premiership

Dundee 0 - 3 Heart of Midlothian
I’m going to make an effort to be succinct with these because we’ve a lot to get through, but what must be made clear is that Dundee are just as rotten under Jim McIntyre as they were under Neil McCann. The most valuable thing they have contributed this season is the glimmer of hope they’ve given St Mirren.
Calvin Miller’s horrendous penalty effectively summarises their season so far. That followed a nice free-kick from Oliver Bozanic, and a tap-in from the BADWORD goal machine that is Steven Naismith. Steven MacLean’s goal scored 21 seconds after half-time compounded Dundee’s misery.
Highlights.

Saturday 27/10/18

Scottish Premiership

Kilmarnock 1 - 1 Hamilton Academical
If you were to hear the words “El Plastico” you might assume that one of City, PSG, Chelsea etc. would be involved, but Kilmarnock - Hamilton really dwarves any such rivalries. This is the battle between the two hosts of the best-established top-flight artificial pitches in Scotland. Buckle up.
Hamilton’s youth may have edged past FC Basel in Europe, but their senior team couldn’t find a winner against a Kilmarnock side that had won their last 4.
In the end, Steven Boyd was sent off. Before the end, Dougie Imrie seemed to put Hamilton ahead, before a tidy Rory McKenzie finish cancelled it out a minute before the break, putting Killie into 2nd at the time.
Highlights.
St. Johnstone 2 - 0 St. Mirren
I don’t know if I was the only Scottish child who assumed this match had to be some kind of derby, based purely off the teams’ names. St Mirren’s last point came against Celtic less than halfway through September, and I really can’t help but feel sorry for Oran Kearney, having made the decision to begin his full-time management career at such a disaster of a club.
St Johnstone were incredibly wasteful, with Tony Watt missing two *Iain Dowie voice* gilt-edged chances, before he and Liam Craig missed a further two penalties, book-ended by goals from David Wotherspoon and Matty Kennedy.
No shots on target for St. Mirren.
Highlights.

Sunday 28/10/18

Scottish League Cup

Heart of Midlothian 0 - 3 Celtic
Having been denied the Hampden Royal Rumble after a last-minute allusion to competence by the SFA, the first of the Scottish League Cup semi-finals kicked-off at Murrayfield between the top-two teams in the country.
Stealing the limelight as this fixture opened up was 36 year-old Hearts striker Steven MacLean. Having made it clear that he “hoped Celtic got pumped” by RB Leipzig midweek, MacLean became the central figure in an incident now affectionately referred to by the BBC as “Bawsgate.”
Eboué Kouassi was the victim of the Hearts captain’s indiscretion, with MacLean having assumed the armband after Steven Naismith had to leave the pitch due to injury, another serious injury-shaped dent in the Hearts title charge.
Celtic broke the deadlock through Scott Sinclair, before James Forrest laid claim to a goal that could well have been Ryan Christie’s. No doubt about Christie being given the third, mind. Some hit.
Celtic now storm into the first of this season's finals as they look to complete the treble-treble, or the 'treble', if you will.
Extensive highlights, with commentary, here.
Aberdeen 1 - 0 Rangers
Last time I posted one of these I went on a 1000 word rant about Aberdeen, and I have to say the temptation to write another thousand words here is very strong indeed, although this time just to bam the Rangers up a bit.
No strangers to the big occasions, Rangers fans (if they get let into the stadium) know how to create an intimidating atmosphere, and that they did by taking up all of the West Stand with the most honking display you’re ever likely to see.
Alan McGregor left one on Gary Mackay-Steven after play had stopped, in just about the only first-half action in the Rangers box, but escaped again without any acknowledgement by the referee.
Despite Rangers demanding the Lion’s share of possession for the entirety of the match, when the inevitable goal did come, it was thanks to the nephew of iconic Rangers captain Barry Ferguson, Lewis, who happens to be an Aberdeen player.
Whilst Umar Sadiq opted to dive instead of actually being tackled for the penalty that would level things, Rangers continued to dominate without really doing much, and so Ferguson’s goal sent Aberdeen through. There aren’t many petty little things like that which could bring so much joy to an Aberdeen fan, but the official twitter proclaiming that “We Are The People, who are heading to the final” did come quite close.
Nothing more to say that hasn’t already been said on Shay Logan’s snapchat story.
Again, extensive highlights with commentary here.

Wednesday 31/10/18

Scottish Premiership

Heart of Midlothian 0 - 0 Hibernian
Whilst Rangers fans should be condemned for lobbing all sorts of coins and pyrotechnics at the Aberdeen support on Sunday, the real story of Scottish Football Fan Trouble (All Rights Reserved) comes from the Edinburgh Derby.
I’d like to begin by saying that I could have put my house on this being a 0-0 and sat pretty comfortably, knowing that Craig Levein would churn out the 4-6-0 formation immortalised by both him & Vicente Del Bosque; but that very nearly wasn’t the case.
Florian Kamberi was sent off for Hibs after a reckless 50-50 with Garuccio, and after an exciting game full of chances, Clévid Dikamona had the ball in the back of the net for Hearts in the 91st minute, only to see his header ruled out for offside. As Hibs manager Neil Lennon rather flamboyantly told the Tynecastle crowd to sit back down, he was hit by a coin. This followed a Hibs fan punching Hearts keeper Zdeněk Zlámal in the face, and other extremely disgraceful behaviour from the Hearts faithful.
The whole debacle led to a joint statement from the two clubs, throwing the entire Scottish Statement League into disrepute, and a genuinely well-written post by Zlámal which served as a less distracting condemnation.
All the drama you could ask for in a derby, minus any goals.
Highlights here.
Rangers 1 - 1 Kilmarnock
Despite Rangers having lost the Ginger Ramos, this match went down exactly the same way as the corresponding fixture of last year. An increasingly scrutinised Rangers manager, having dropped 12 points in 10 games and lost the League Cup semi-final, is held by a Kilmarnock equaliser at home. I’m not the one who noticed this, by the way.
That result saw Pedro Caixinha sacked, although it probably helps Gerrard’s case that he didn’t bomb out of the Europa League in a qualifying round against Progres Niederkorn.
Recent results have not been stellar though, and after an insipid performance against Spartak and the impotent showing against Aberdeen, Gerrard has pointed out that goals are going to need to come from somewhere other than Alfredo Morelos this season, in no uncertain terms.
His 9th-min goal was cancelled out 6 minutes later by Greg Stewart, who is in some form. First points dropped by Rangers at Ibrox this season.
Highlights.
Livingston 0 - 1 St. Johnstone
If I’m not mistaken then Livi went into this match with the best defensive record in the division, which speaks for their incredible start to the season.
However it only took Matty Kennedy 5 minutes to open the scoring, and that was enough to end an 8-match unbeaten run for the hosts.
Highlights.
Aberdeen 3 - 0 Hamilton Academical
Aberdeen will have been hopeful that the semi-final result would be the catalyst that gets their season going, after a horrible opening 9 games.
Hamilton’s defensive shape proved difficult for the Dons to bypass, with Scott McKenna and Mikey Devlin singlehandedly taking a stab at the Spanish passing record. It took a few moments of inspiration for Aberdeen to score, captain Graeme Shinnie trading his usual yellow card for a very nicely taken finish, before James Wilson scored the pick of the goals with a 25-yard bullet. Having decided to stop passing to centre-back partner Scott McKenna, Mikey Devlin scored from a good 30-yards after Gary Woods fumbled. Woods then went on to save a Shay Logan shot which was considerably more difficult to deal with, so fair play.
The cherry on the icing on the cake for Aberdeen was Hamilton captain Dougie Imrie, who had cut a frustrated figure for the whole game, being sent-off in the 92nd minute, and in doing so becoming the second Hamilton player in as many matches to be sent-off in added time. Have to feel that’s a bit frustrating for Martin Canning.
3 sweet goals and one shit tackle available for your enjoyment here.
St Mirren 0 - 2 Motherwell
If you just want to watch the highlights of this game, look no further than this Motherwell fan’s pitch-invasion.
I’m seriously running out of words to describe this St Mirren team, so I’ll just lift the words of the BBC match report and go for “woeful.” Motherwell haven’t been stellar either, but this result ended a run of 5 games without a win for them, whilst extending St Mirren’s run to 10. Yikes.
Outside-the-box goals from David Turnbull and Chris Cadden either side of half-time did the trick, before Ryan Flynn got himself deservedly sent-off.
Highlights.
Dundee 0 - 5 Celtic
Not to be outdone, Dundee. It seems to be clear that Celtic are back to their best, although there’s no chance they’d be racking up this kinda scoreline against top-of-the-table opposition, cough cough.
Rogic, Sinclair, Forrest and Edouard had it at 4-0 before halftime, and Dundee fans were spotted leaving in the 48th minute as Ryan Christie made it 5. If you believe any of the prestigious redtop tabloid newspapers, they were fleeing from the troublesome Celtic crowd, but if you’ve been to many football matches you’ll understand that they were probably leaving because they were getting absolutely turned over.
Daniel Arzani made his debut for Celtic, and as such is out for several months having sustained a knee-injury. Dundee boasted an aggregate score of 0-12 after their first 3 games under Jim McIntyre. New manager bounce.
Highlights, with some great goals.

Saturday 03/11/18

Scottish Premiership

St. Mirren 0 - 2 Rangers
I’m going to leave this very open to your interpretation, but it took until the 80th minute for a wayward Daniel Candeias cross to find the back of the net for Rangers.
The winger was then sent-off ridiculously by the Mike Dean of Scottish Football, Willie Collum, after being involved in a near-deadly brawl with the Anton Ferdinand. This wasn’t before Alfredo Morelos had tied the result up, and, sticking with the theme of the week, he had a coin thrown at him whilst he was celebrating.
7 defeats now, in a row, for a St Mirren team that were not without their chances.
Highlights.
Celtic 5 - 0 Heart of Midlothian
Oh dear.
I do have to feel sorry for Hearts because they are without Naismith, Souttar, Berra, and Ikpeazu - the first 4 people I would name if you asked me to list the Hearts squad; but as the 1st-placed team in the division, you would hope for a better showing.
Meanwhile I don’t even think it’s fair to say Celtic are back up and running, their domestic form is simply unbelievable. 20 goals in their last 4 league games after only scoring 7 in the first 7. Name a more iconic turnaround.
Edouard scored twice, commanding the respect of the opposition, and was joined by Leicester-loanee Filip Benkovic, James Forrest, and Ryan Christie on the scoresheet.
Wonder if Steven MacLean has the right word to describe how heavily Hearts have been defeated here?
Highlights.
Hamilton Academical 1 - 0 Livingston
If you’re a Hamilton fan and couldn’t make it to the second El Plastico of the season, you could rest assured in the knowledge that the club’s twitter will provide an authentic match-day experience. It’s as if you’re there.
In truth there wasn’t much to be missed. Mason Bloomfield scored only a minute after Mickel Miller was sent off in the 85th, and a second defeat in a row for Livingston means the team that occupied 2nd place earlier in the season now fall to 8th.
Highlights.
Hibernian 0 - 1 St. Johnstone
It’s a weekend of late goals, and, despite Adam Bogdan saving a penalty, Hibs suffered their first defeat at Easter Road in 2018 thanks to a 90th minute header from Joe Shaughnessy.
It’s certainly not all Sunshine on Leith just now (very sorry, I’m tired and have been writing this for some hours,) with talk floating that Neil Lennon may walk from the Hibs job on account of the abuse he suffers in Scotland. It’s inappropriate to joke there - despite Lennon being the perfect counterpart to Levein in the Edinburgh rivalry, and in my view a very necessary character in the league, I struggle to think of any active professional in British football who is on the receiving end of as much abuse. Couldn’t blame him for walking, certainly hope that he doesn’t.
Highlights.
Motherwell 1 - 0 Dundee
Still with us? This was Motherwell’s first home win of the season, and yet again they can thank a Turnbull banger. They still look a distance from the team that finished second in the Betfred and Scottish Cups to Celtic, but this win briefly put them within 4 points of the Aberdeen side that finished second in the league.
I really do have nothing else to say about Dundee.
Highlights.

Sunday 04/11/18

Scottish Premiership

Kilmarnock 1 - 2 Aberdeen
I don’t even know if it would be exaggerating to say that the first 45 minutes of this match are some of the worst Aberdeen have played in recent memory. Then again, today does mark 8 years since Celtic won 9-0 against Mark McGhee’s team, so perhaps a reality check is in order.
As I sat down to start this writeup yesterday, Aberdeen had not yet had a shot, whilst Killie had mustered 7. I was also exceptionally angry, having been subjected to Kris Boyd’s admittedly hilarious celebration in front of the away fans. If you’re not able to view Twitter, imagine if Antoine Griezmann was yer da, and he’d just smashed a word-record for steak-bake consumption. The kind of thing he might do then. Picture it.
Goading the opposition fans, despite being very in vogue, is the kind of thing you want to make sure you can back-up with a win, and whilst Killie may have looked like absolutely certain winners, they were completely terrible too.
Aberdeen got a Brucey bonus in the 73rd as Anderson diverted McGinn’s shot past MacDonald, and whilst no fans would have complained about a point given their performance, Lewis ‘the absolute boy’ Ferguson made it 1-2 in the 86th minute, wrong-footing MacDonald with his free-kick.
Highlights!
Phew, that was a lot to get through. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to manually create an updated Premiership table.

Table

# Team P W D L F A GD Pts Form
1 Heart of Midlothian 12 8 2 2 19 12 +7 26 LDWWL
2 Celtic 11 8 1 2 27 6 +21 25 WWWWW
3 Rangers 11 6 3 2 25 10 +15 21 WDWWL
4 Kilmarnock 12 6 3 3 18 12 +6 21 LDDWW
5 St. Johnstone 12 6 2 4 12 18 -6 20 WWWWL
6 Hibernian 11 5 3 3 21 11 +10 18 LDLWW
7 Aberdeen 11 5 3 3 15 10 +5 18 WWLWL
8 Livingston 11 5 3 3 12 7 +5 18 LLWDW
9 Motherwell 11 3 2 6 11 15 -4 11 WWLDL
10 Hamilton Accies 12 3 1 8 9 24 -15 10 WLDLL
11 St Mirren 12 1 1 10 5 25 -20 4 LLLLL
12 Dundee 12 1 0 11 5 29 -24 3 LLLLL
Championship Round Relegation Round
Took me a good 45 minutes that, so be appreciative.

BEST OF THE REST

Scottish Championship

Sat 03/11/18 Greenock Morton 5 - 1 Partick Thistle
Relatively-newly-appointed Partick Thistle manager Gary Caldwell felt the need to weigh in on the volley of abuse sent towards Neil Lennon by suggesting that the Hibs manager “brings it on himself,” so it seems appropriate to take a moment to breathe in this result, knowing that he was fully in charge of the team on the receiving end of this scoreline. Morton literally lit-up their home ground so much that the lights exploded.
Other notable scorelines from the past two weeks include wannabe pop-star and friend of Gok Wan Liam Fontaine’s Ross County beating this very same Morton team 5-0, Dumbarton’s 4-0 win over East Fife in their first game under new manager Jim Duffy the Vampire Slayer, and it finished all-square in the eagerly-anticipated Highland Derby. Finally, for fans of Peep Show, the match between Falkirk and Queen of the South involved David Mitchell saving a Dobbie penalty.
I think that will be plenty for now.
Don’t know about you but I’m exhausted. See yous next week!
Check out /ScottishFootball for good patter and quality discussion of the SPFL
The last one of these can be found here: https://www.reddit.com/soccecomments/9qhqlg/fitba_roundup_spfl_gameweek_9/
● data from soccerway.com
● generated by me
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2018.06.10 05:35 Daddy-76 (F4A) [Discord] Take a look!

I'm looking for long term partners, new or experienced. Someone who likes talking about future plots and such. I have 14 years experience, lazy to semi lit and try to mimic my partner on length. Willing to play any gender, relationship type and open to trying new things.
I enjoy using original characters and shipping them with canon characters, but I will ship anything. We can double, you play my love interest and I play yours.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send a message. On to the fandoms or genre's.
Fandom's
OC x 76 - OC x McCree - OC x OC
OC x Dwight - OC x Ace - OC x David
OC x OC - OC x Rick - OC x Glenn - OC x Luke - OC x Nick - OC x Tara
OC x Craig
OC x OC - OC x Kate
OC x OC - OC x Mike - OC x Jeremy
OC x Miles
Genre's
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2018.06.09 03:05 tempestuscorvus Spirit Guide Chapter One

Spirit Guide (working title)
Chapter One
I feel groggy, but I’m not tired. I can feel that I’m standing, but I don’t know why. My eyes are closed and I don’t know why that is either. I feel like I should care why I’m standing somewhere unknown with my eyes closed. However, I don’t. I just keep standing there, not moving, caring, or opening my eyes.
I can hear someone in the room with me. They are not moving, but I can hear their breathing. There is someone else, they are silent. They are not breathing. While it seems odd, I don’t really care. I decide to continue standing since it has gone so well so far; not that I care.
“Ahem.” A mans voice breaks the near silence.
It sounds like throat clearing, but I know it’s meant to draw the attention of someone. Most likely it’s not me so I keep standing with my eyes closed. I have been pretty successful at standing so far, so why stop now?
“Ahem!”
Clearly not throat clearing this time. I wonder if the not breathing person in the room is going to respond. I wish they would. At least briefly I care, but quickly go back to not caring. I wonder if I should care. He made that attention getting noise twice. Something must be important to him. Still, it’s not for me to worry about.
“You are awake, are you not?” the voice demands irritably. “You should be awake now. Ignoring me is just bloody rude, you know.”
The other, not breathing person still doesn’t respond. It looks like it’s up to me, so I open my eyes. It’s a nice room, as far as rooms go. It seems to be a living room. There’s a couch, and big window behind it, wood floors, natural wood wainscoting with a light green paint above. There is a nice, brick fireplace with no fire. It should have a fire since the room is chilly. Perhaps this is the urgent issue the man on the couch wants to talk about. The fireplace is surrounded by built in book shelves. If this is his place he must be a reader because there are lots of books on those shelves.
It dawns on me that I should probably look at the man. He’s in his late 40’s by the look of him. His eyes are grey and he has crows feet on either side of them. His face looks pinched, and care worn. He has a broad nose that at some time ran amuck with a blunt object; mostly likely more than once. His hair is black and mid length, but in need of a trim. His hair is shaggy enough that that I’m reminded of one of those sheep herding dogs; the white ones that have so much hair in front of their eyes you wonder how they can see at all. A bushy mustache is situated under his broad nose. In a contradiction to his haircut, the mustache is trimmed neatly. I have no doubt that in his younger days he was very handsome. Right now, however, he looked irritated. At least his face and voice match.
“I’m awake.” my voice seems distant and plain. It’s like that tofu. Tofu voice. Is that funny? I decide it’s not and look back at the irritated man. He seems to expect me to say more, but he only asked one question, which I have answered.
“Did you need something else?” I finally ask in my tofu voice. I decide that I do not like the tofu voice idea and decide to never think of it again.
“Do you know where you are or why you’re here?” His voice is less irritated but his face is not. Maybe it’s his natural look.
I hazard a guess. “A living room.”
“Aye.” again he is irritated.
“Ok.” I say.
“Don’t you want to know why?”
“Should I?”
A loud, exasperated sigh ruffles his mustache.
“You’re going to be one of these spirits I see.” His weary tone matches his face.
Spirit? I don’t think I’m a spirit. Am I? I suppose I could be, but I don’t really know.
“Spirit?”
“Yes, you’re dead, aren’t you?”
“Am I?”
A look of frustration flashes across his face before he hangs his head. A large sigh racks rather broad shoulders. He takes a deep breath and then looks back up at me. His face now fixed, as if bracing himself for an unpleasant task, he addresses me.
“Yes, you are dead. Yes, you are a spirit. I’m sure it’s quite a shock.”
Actually it isn’t. Maybe it should be, but I don’t think it is.
“What do you remember?” he asks.
This is an excellent question. I know things. I know that it would be nice if there was a fire in the fireplace. I know he is annoyed, and has a faint Scottish accent. I know what a Scott is. What seems odd is that I don’t know how.
“I don’t know. What should I remember?”
“Ok, so you’re dead. Well, a spirit actually. Which makes you more than dead, but less than alive. Still better than a vampire, though that’s a personal opinion. Do you remember your life before you died?”
I don’t have any memories before this room, so I guess not. I mean I know things, like Scotland, and Europe, and the world. Big things, but I don’t know how I know these things. Like how I learned them. There had to be a first time I found out the world is round, but I have no memory of it. This, this bothers me. Up until now nothing else has, but this unsettles me.
“Um, I guess I don’t remember… anything. I was alive, but now I’m not?”
“Ah. Well, at least you’re a calm one. Let’s start with this and see if it knocks anything loose for ya.” The stout man says, picking up a remote control and pointing it at a TV mounted on the opposite wall behind me.
As I turn around, I just rotate. I don’t know if there was another way I should have moved, like steps. The TV flashes to life drawing me back to the screen. On the screen is a cozy room with two people seated across from each other. Between them is a table with coffee and cookies. One is an old man, thin and dressed conservatively, business casual. Across from him sits a young woman. Charmingly pretty, but not beautiful, dressed in a business casual skirt and blouse.
“Mister Pierce, please tell me why you want to join our little group.”
“As I put on the form, I haven’t done anything with my life. I would like my unlife as it were, to have more meaning.” His tone was civil. Both of them were clearly Americans.
“I read your application thoroughly, and you passed the skills test with flying colors. But for example, you founded a very successful company, you have traveled extensively, and speak Spanish, French, and obviously English. It seems to me that you have done a lot with your life, by most measures.” She gave him a smile, trying to reassure him that it was an honest question, rather than an argument.
“Yes, I’m wealthy and successful. But what is left when I am gone? I had a business until we got too big and I was forced out. I have no family because I wanted to marry for love, silly as that sounds. The problem with money is that you never know if you are being treated the way you are because the person is genuine, or wants something. So obviously I have no heirs. Most likely within a few years of my passing the board will vote to rename my company, and the last of me will be gone,” he said, his voice was heavy with weariness.
“I can understand that, but why didn’t you do something else? You are a seer, you could have had a very full life.”
“I was scared to be honest.” A look of shame is on his face for a moment before it is gone, replaced by a sad dog look. “I have nothing to lose here, being honest with you. I owned an accounting company. Boring, but safe. I traveled, but only when I had to. I learned Spanish and French because I was afraid to look like a fool when I had to travel. I have driven many miles out of my way to avoid the supernatural parts of town. I was afraid I would see a demon. I saw one once, and even now the memory makes me feel dread. I am a coward. I always have been. If I wasn’t, I’d still have my company. But in death, what do I have to fear? I can’t be killed. I can’t die. I can be brave because I will have no risk.”
“I want to be very clear that you will effectively be owned by DOI, until you are released. Then you may become a spirit guide if you choose.” she said and then took a sip of her coffee, careful not to smudge her lipstick.
“I thought all of us became spirit guides. I have read a lot on the matter for obvious reasons.”
“I do not doubt that mister Pierce, but most of the material out there is incorrect. Except for the government materials, of course. But the tin hat crowd thinks it’s disinformation, preferring to believe the folklore, no matter how wrong.” a look of annoyance flashed across her face. “No, what really happens is that about half of the seers that die, just die. The rest become spirits, with of course a small set becoming wraiths, poltergeists, banshees or the like. Just the ones that have an axe to grind. Now what normally happens to the spirits are that they wander the earth for a bit, some remember who they were, others not. Eventually they find the person that they are going to guide and bond to them for life. These people are seers of course, but not all seers get spirit guides. In fact some of the people with spirit guides are not seers, and cannot see the supernatural at all. They are just mundanes, like most of society. Only the people that can affect history seem to get spirit guides. We in DOI call them chosen. These are the ones whose actions affect our lives. One may be an assassin, killing a person of importance. Someone else may just run out of gas one day on a bridge, causing someone else in traffic to be late and not be where they needed to be. Some of these people seem to never do anything of any importance.”
“And I help them, correct?” he sounded like he had to add something.
“More or less. We don’t really understand how it all works, but spirit guides seem instinctively drawn to these people, and just as driven to guide their actions. As you know we have found a way to capture the soul as it leaves the soul and becomes a spirit. Interrupting the cycle of wandering, and then finding the chosen the spirit will bind too. What we have found is that once the spirit is released of out binding, they just go on their way, still finding their chosen to look after.”
“But, how do you know that they go to the person they were meant to, if you interrupt the process?”
“We don’t, to be honest. But then, how do we know they don’t, or that they are pre assigned to a specific person? It seems that way, but we have nothing solid to back up that conclusion. It could be that they wander around until they are mature and then bind to the closest chosen. That’s the reason and need for this project you are thinking of joining. We are hoping by catching you when you die, we can have you build a relationship with DOI. Enough that when you do bind with a chosen, you will still talk with us as well. Spirit guides are notoriously silent you know.”
“Why is that? I mean, why can’t you just sit one down and interview it. Or interview its chosen if they are a seer?”
“We have tried. Spirit guides seem to only care about the one they are bound to. Nothing else interests them. As for a chosen seer. We have several seer agents who have spirit guides. They tell us that they get strong urges from their guides sometimes, but that’s all. Some of them get lots of the urges, some almost never do. Since these are agents of ours we have a very good idea of their doings, and we have not been able to correlate these urges to important events.”
“So now you are trying to work the problem at the other end. Since the human part of the problem is not particularly helpful.”
“Exactly!” she exclaimed. She seemed delighted to talk to someone who got the idea right away. “What we will find we don’t know, but we seem to have identified a lot of what won’t work.”
“I want to do it!” he exclaimed.
“You’re sure?”
“Quite sure. I want to do something important.” he said firmly.
“Alright, let’s get you started on paperwork.”
The TV screen went dark. “Wait, there’s a bit more.” the man on the couch says and the screen lights up again. The shot was of what looks like a hospital suite. The only difference being that there was a pentacle on the floor of the room, and candles lit on the quarters of the pentacle. The same old man lay in the bed, and the same woman was beside him. In addition there were several medical staff.
“You don’t have to be here. I’ll be fine.” the old man said to the young woman.
“I want to be here with you Mister Pierce. We take care of our own here in DOI, and you are one of us now.” she said in a sincere voice.
“Thank you. You should call me Bruce then. I really didn’t want to die alone.” Sadness crept into his voice on those last words.
“I’ll be right here for the release and the binding, Bruce. This is your last chance to change your mind.”
“Never.” he said firmly.
“Then just say the word when you are ready and we’ll start. But there’s no rush. I’ll be here as long as you need.” she said looking down at him. She gently ran her hand across his forehead.
“Now is fine. I don’t have any reason to wait.”
The woman gave a nod to one of the attendants and they placed a small, person shaped clay figure on his Mister Pierce’s chest. The base of the figure had characters inset in it. The figurine rose and fell in time to his breathing. Another attendant inserted a syringe into his IV and injected a milky fluid. Then she repeated the process with a fluid of pink liquid. Once done she stepped back. The young DOI woman took Mister Pierces hand and held it in both of hers. The Clay figure continued to rise and fall, its arc of travel becoming shallow and then finally coming to rest. Then the TV screen went dark. A moment later the green LED in the corner of the screen turned red.
I swiveled around to face the man on the couch. His face passive, but his eyes were firmly fixed on me.
“Remember anything?” he said finally to me. It seemed like it had been a long time before he spoke.
“Was that me?” I said. I really don’t care for my voice.
“Are you guessing or do you remember that?” he asked passively.
“I do not remember any part of that. Bruce Pierce is a name I have not heard before.
“Alrighty then. We have a long night ahead of us. Have a seat.” he said and gestured to an empty chair on the opposite side of the fireplace from the couch.
“My legs are not tired.”
“Of course not. Your sitting is for me. It weirds people out when everyone else is standing and you are the only one sitting or vice versa. Now sit down.”
I sit down in the armchair across from the couch, rather proud that I didn’t sink through it or something like that. Properly seated I look across at the man that I still do not know the name of.
“My name is Bruce Craig, and I’m part of the DOI in case you had not figured that part out yet.”
“Bruce, like the man in the videos name.” Strange that he knew what I was going to ask.
“Aye, I imagine they got a kick out of that at the office. Assigning a SIT to me with the same name. You are the second SIT I have had assigned to me though. The first one may not have been very successful, though we have no real way to gauge that right now. That man in the video is you, or who you were. You may never remember, or make a connection to your former life, or it may come back to you. We don’t know. Spirit guides had very rarely spoken to any seers before we came up with the binding procedure.”
“What is DOI and a SIT?” I ask the question automatically, as if it’s the thing to do, but I really don’t care very much. If I’m going to be here it would best to try and be polite.
“DOI is the United States Department of Occult Investigation, and SIT stands for Spirtguide in Training. The US government loves their acronyms. Spirit guide is technically two words, but SGIT sounded odd, and I didn’t want to have to say it all the time so we shortened it.” The way he said it made it seem as if it had been a long debated thing, before it had been finally settled.
“You sound Scottish.”
“I am. Technically I work for the Ministry of Occult Investigation, but I came over here many years ago to assist with DOI when it was first starting. I ended up staying here a lot longer than anyone planned. I’m not a citizen, so I’m only a guest. It adds so much to the bloody paper work, I can tell you. But the climate here is just like back home. Still, the food is better and the pay goes further.” He took a drink from a green bottle next to him on an oak end table and continued. “So, let’s be clear. That video was you, one hundred percent. We record all of that to help orient you. I imagine that we also record it for any potential liability reasons too. That’s just how it is, working for the US government. Since you don’t seem to have any connection to your former life I guess it holds no value.” He said, ending with a slight shrug of his broad shoulders. “What else do you want to know?”
“What does the DOI do?”
An amused chuckle came from Bruce. “What don’t we do would be a shorter question. In theory we investigate the occult. We also try to keep track of the supernatural people in this city. Some of them we have detailed records for, others just last known addresses and vague descriptions. We also act as mediators between the supernatural and mundanes. We provide legal representation in the case of any legal action involving the supernatural. We have a voluntary registration for most supernatural folks, which is mandatory for vampires and werewolves. Of course, most elect not to register, unless they need our bloody help.” Aggravation crept into his voice. “We are also the bitch for the US government in general when it comes to anything occult. FBI, CIA, NSA, FDA or any other federal group runs into something supernatural, and we get a call. And there’s a laundry list of other things we try to do as well.” Pausing to take a drink from the green bottle again, he clears his throat and continues. He doesn’t notice the single drop of water perched on the edge of his mustache. “We do a hell of a lot more than we should, and we do it with far less money and staff than we need. Ta’ be honest it kinnda sucks after the unorthodox nature of the work wears off. Then it’s just a job. But I’m not fit for any other kind of work by now.”
Surprisingly, a question does pop into my head. One I actually seem to care about. “What do I do then?”
“You are bound to me, mostly.” Bruce reaches inside his jacket and pulls out a clay statue. I assume it is the one from the video of my death. “At least as long as I keep this near me.” He waves it in front of me for a moment, almost like a ghost bobbing in the air, then sits it down on the wooden end table next to him. The drop of water on his mustache is still there. I find it more fascinating than the answer. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself. “So, the whole point of the SIT program is for you to follow me around. Learn to interact with people, mudanes and the supernatural, and hopefully develop a connection with us. Spirit guides seem to play a very important role in how the world works. But since you won’t bloody well talk to anyone, this is what we came up with. Eventually we’ll free you, and hopefully you will be inclined to talk with me after you start to wander.”
I can’t help myself any longer. I reach out to the drop of water perched on the whiskers of his mustache. My fingers pass through it and the lower half of his jaw. In the next instant the dog that had sat quietly curled up next to him on the couch leaps on my chest, pushing me back. Its teeth are bared at me, and somehow, I know that it can hurt me. I don’t move. Not out of fear, but because I don’t know what to do next.
“What did you do that for?” Bruce demands angrily, standing up over me. “It’s rude. I don’t like it, and if you do it again I’ll set my spirit guide on you. No human likes being touched by a spirit. Except witches.”
I look back at the dog, eyes still firmly fixed on me. It’s the other presence I felt. But a dog?
“Huh” I manage. I am not very good with words it seems.
“It feels terrible for the living to be touched by a spirit, normally. Don’t do it. It’s a fast way to get your ass exorcised.” Bruce sits back down on the couch and makes a loud tsk sound. The dog jumps back on the couch in response to the noise from Bruce. He the plants he head firmly on Bruces lap. “This is Snitter, and he is my spirit guide. Not a SIT, mind you. But my life long spirit guide.”
“But he’s a dog…”
“The form a spirit guide takes can change in appearance. The longer a spirit guide is with the human, the more they change to fit what the human instinctually likes. A lot of them turn into beautiful people. I don’t like people, but I do like dogs.” He finishes by scratching the top of Sitters head. Snitter in turn gives a sigh and relaxes. “I can touch him because he is my spirit guide. He’s also my partner, and best friend.”
Bruce stands up, Snitter automatically jumps of the couch and waits beside Bruce. “We can pick this up in the morning. It’s way late, and I have work tomorrow, as usual. Leave the cat alone. Mister Stubbs; he’s wary of spirits until he gets used to them. Also, the house is haunted. He’s a mean cuss, but I got a great deal on the house because of it. He knows to not start any trouble or I’ll banish his ass. But he’s not real social. Night.” Bruce shuffles off without another word, Snitter trailing close behind. He starts to undress on his way to what I assume is the bedroom. Once he clears the doorway Snitter goes in too, then sticks his head back out, giving me a glare, before going back in the bedroom for what’s left of the night. It seems rude that he just left me here to stand, but I don’t care. I’m going to close my eyes and stand more. That went really well before I started talking to Bruce.
submitted by tempestuscorvus to libraryofshadows [link] [comments]


2018.06.04 18:00 daprice82 Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 17, 1999

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: 19911992199319941995199619971998
1-4-1999 1-11-1999 1-18-1999 1-25-1999
2-1-1999 2-8-1999 2-15-1999 2-22-1999
3-1-1999 3-8-1999 3-15-1999 3-22-1999
3-29-1999 4-5-1999 4-12-1999 4-19-1999
4-26-1999 5-3-1999 5-10-1999
  • Nitro was preempted this week by the NBA Playoffs, so it was already expected that Raw would set a ratings record, but the numbers were beyond what anyone expected. Raw did an 8.09 rating, making it the most watched wrestling show in the history of USA Network. More than half of the usual Nitro audience tuned in to watch Raw. The Rock/Austin/Vince vs. TakeHHH/Shane match peaked at a 9.17 rating, making it the single most watched wrestling match in cable history and the first to top 10 million viewers. Also, Raw destroyed the NBA games that were on TNT in place of Nitro. The Raw rating is likely going to be one of the highest ratings for any show on cable TV this year and gives them a lot of leverage when negotiating their TV deal next year. WWF is still negotiating with UPN to get another show on there later this year. They've also had discussions with FOX for a network show, but Fox wants to buy the WWF or at least own a majority interest in the company, and Vince ain't going for that.
  • Time to look at the downfall of WCW. The ratings for both Thunder and Nitro are falling to record lows every week. House shows and PPV buyrates are plummeting also. Dave says this is all the result of a lot of long-term problems finally coming home to roost. Lack of strong leadership, bad company morale, and a total disregard for what the fans want to see. Hot shot title changes, booking that makes no sense, completely killed Goldberg's momentum, built the company around old stars and never planned for the future by building new ones, and on and on and on. Booking... plotholes you can drive trucks through. People sent out to kill TV time and cut promos who don't really have anything to say, stuff that happens one week and is never followed up on, because there's no long-term booking plans for anyone. So many heel/face turns that crowds often don't even know who they're supposed to cheer or boo this week. Dave thinks Bischoff needs to regain full control of his company or step aside. The inmates are running the asylum. People no-show or refuse to do jobs without punishment. Booking that is designed to bury people that Nash and Hogan don't like rather than doing what's best for the show. So on and so forth.
  • So what's the solution? Dave says they have to rebuild. Out with the old, in with the new. It's going to take a few years and business will probably be bad while they do it, but it's a long-term process. Just accept that you're going to lose the ratings war for the foreseeable future and stop worrying about it. Worry about rebuilding instead. It's time to start booking guys like Hogan, Flair, Hall, Nash, Savage, Hart, and Piper in major storylines against guys like Booker T, Kidman, Goldberg, Jericho, Raven, Benoit, and Guerrero and the old guard needs to start cleanly putting over the new stars and the company has to follow that up by presenting those young guys like stars. Dave points out that many of ECW's biggest stars (Douglas, Dreamer, Sabu, Sandman, etc.) became stars because Terry Funk put them over. House shows have to change if business is going to pick up. Either the top stars have to start working house shows or WCW has to stop trying to run major cities with nobodies. Unfortunately, WCW foolishly gave contracts to all their top stars that basically lets them skip most house shows. Steve Austin is the biggest star in the business and he works the same house shows as everyone else in WWF. A year ago, WCW was outdrawing WWF in a lot of markets. Nowadays, you'd be hard-pressed to even find 1 city where WCW can even come close to outdrawing WWF. Any of the old guys who aren't willing to put over the young stars don't need to be there. Dave thinks they should put more emphasis on what happens on Thunder because at least with that show, there's no concern of people changing over to watch WWF. There's so much more. Bottom line is, WCW doesn't have a chance of catching up with WWF this year and probably not next year either. But if they do a total overhaul of the company and try to rebuild and think long-term, they may survive (spoiler: WCW does not think long-term and does not survive).
  • Speaking of bad WCW shit, the latest Slamboree PPV is in the books. 6 months ago, WCW drew 30,000 paid fans to this arena for Nitro in the midst of a huge snowstorm. This week, they drew 13,000 paid for a PPV. Bischoff returned to TV and somehow (never explained) has power over the company again and reversed the Flair match decision so that he lost. In real life, Flair had been promised a PPV win in exchange for doing jobs to Sting, Nash, and Page on TV in the last few weeks but it didn't happen here and once again, Flair is being vocal about how unhappy he is in WCW and wanting to go to WWF. Bret Hart, fresh off groin surgery, returned sooner than he was ready to do a run-in and was moving gingerly. Goldberg was taken to the hospital after the PPV thinking he had a broken ankle, but X-rays showed no broken bones so he'll be okay. The injury was caused by Hart when he legitimately hit Goldberg's leg with a chair harder than he meant to. Hart was apologizing profusely backstage afterward because he has a rep of never injuring anyone. But Goldberg was fine the next day. The plan is for Goldberg to challenge Bret to a match on the Tonight Show, with Bret still saying he quit WCW and the match will eventually take place in the Tonight Show parking lot in the next week or two. Hart is clearly nowhere near ready to work a match after the surgery but they still plan to do it anyway. Oh yeah, the Steiners got back together, with no build-up or reason given. Lil' Naitch vs. Gorgeous George wasn't a good match or anything but it was entertaining and to her credit, George clearly trained hard for the match and did well, and Charles Robinson was hilarious and played his part perfectly. And Nash won the world title from DDP.
  • U.S. News and World Report magazine ran a big 7 page feature on wrestling, mostly Vince McMahon and, as always, it was full of most of Vince's revisionist version of history and full of the usual fake numbers (35 million viewers, $500 million dollar company, etc.) and covered all the usual "is this suitable for kids" stuff. McMahon talked about his past extramarital affairs behind Linda's back and talked about the steroid use in wrestling "back when it was legal" which has always been bullshit, but of course, no drug problems in WWF nowadays, nope, nada. You know the WWF version of this story by now: rasslin' existed in smoky, dimly lit basements until Vince McMahon rose like a phoenix in 1984 and invented modern day sports entertainment overnight, Ted Turner has a vendetta against him, Vince singlehandedly created everything, blah blah blah etc. etc. Dave seems exhausted by the fact that so many reporters just accept this version of history as fact in every mainstream media story he reads.
  • Dave recaps UFC 20, which is mostly notable by Bas Rutten winning the UFC heavyweight title in a controversial split decision that most people think Kevin Randleman should have won. It's led to a lot of questions about whether the fight was fixed, since UFC has invested a lot into Rutten as their next big star so they had a good reason to want him to win. Dave doesn't necessarily go that far, he doesn't think the fight was fixed, but he definitely thinks it was the wrong decision and Rutten lost the fight. Randleman's people were said to be furious afterwards, feeling their guy got robbed. Dave thinks they have a point.
  • WCW valet Chastity once appeared in a porn movie called Live Bait. Dave actually reported on this a couple of months ago but didn't think it was a big deal, but now several media outlets are picking up on the story. It was mentioned in TV Guide and the New York Post, mostly in an attempt to trash Ted Turner. Headlines like, "One of the female stars of Ted Turner's family friendly WCW organization has an X-rated past." It was also mentioned on Jay Leno's show, Craig Kilborn's show, and even Saturday Night Live referenced it. Even WWF made reference to it on their website, saying that at least their "porn star" is just a guy playing a gimmick (Val Venis). Dave points out that WWF brought in Jenna Jameson so, yanno, they probably shouldn't be throwing rocks in glass houses. Anyway, the porn film was produced by Jules Jordan and he's been interviewed by it, saying he's surprised it's such a big deal because she only appeared in one scene (a blowjob scene with a guy and another woman) and there's no photo of her on the box and she's not even listed in the credits. It was such a minor thing. Apparently she was supposed to do more scenes but showed up late so they didn't use her. Anyway, backstage Eric Bischoff has reportedly said that whatever she did in her past is the past and she won't be punished for it (yeeeeeeeah, about that...she gets fired).
  • AJPW officially announced Misawa as the new president of the company in a press conference. Giant Baba's wife Motoko Baba is on the board of directors (along with several other top wrestlers). So that's where it stands for now.
  • Steve Williams inquired about getting rehired in AJPW and was basically told "maybe." In the past, Williams was the top foreign star and that role has now been filled by Vader. With business not doing so great these days, it's not sure if they will want to pay Williams the big salary he's expecting. Williams is pretty upset with how his WWF run played out. In AJPW, he had a great paying job where he got first class accommodations everywhere paid for and it was pretty much a job for life. But Jim Ross convinced him that he could come to the WWF and only work 10-15 days a month so he could spend more time with his family, and he was promised a run against Steve Austin. But the Brawl For All basically wrecked those plans and then Vince McMahon lost interest in him, so he feels like he never got a fair shot. So now he wants to go back to AJPW but that might not work out either.
  • There's still a lot of talk about a potential inter-promotional NJPW vs. AJPW angle. New Japan in particular keeps hinting at it and trying to get something going but no deals have been made yet.
  • Legendary wrestling announcer Gordon Solie is having some health issues lately. He was supposed to do commentary for an indie show but had to cancel because of polyps on his vocal chords. They checking to see if it's malignant. Solie recently lost his wife to cancer (sadly, it is indeed throat cancer. He dies about a year later).
  • There's a made-for-TV movie airing next week about Jesse Ventura. Dave has seen an advanced copy of it and says it's really bad. Also, it gets basically everything wrong. Parts of it were filmed at Nitro and in scenes that supposedly take place in the 70s, you can see NWO merch and WCW logos in the background. Goldberg, Raven, and Chris Kanyon all have small roles in it (and Kanyon worked as a consultant behind the scenes for all the wrestling stuff). It's basically a bad, cheesy made-for-TV flick and it's clear that the people making it didn't really know much about wrestling. There's a sleazy evil promoter that's supposed to be Vince. Rob Reiner as "Gorilla" who is Ventura's announcing partner. They also pretty much re-create the Montreal Screwjob in this movie, which is what causes Ventura to "quit" wrestling. (Dave is underselling this. This movie is legendarily bad).
WATCH: The Jesse Ventura Story
  • Bad News Allen wrestled his final match this week in Canada and is retiring and will be getting a double-knee replacement. The doctors suggested he do one knee now and the other one six months later, but he opted to do them both at the same time and get it over with (he ends up doing a few more matches, but not many. He still retires in 1998, just later in the year).
  • The status of Shane Douglas in ECW is up in the air right now. He was having negotiations with WWF earlier in the week. Word is WWF is unsure if they want him or not due to his frequent injuries. But he's a hell of a talker and WWF is at least fairly interested in him. But he's currently out of shape and not nearly the worker he used to be due to injuries and he also still has the stigma of flopping in WWF a few years ago as Dean Douglas. But both sides seem to be willing to put the blame for that at the hands of the Kliq so they're not holding it against him. Douglas and Paul Heyman are barely on speaking terms and it's thought that the upcoming PPV will be Douglas' last match with the company, and he's expected to put over Justin Credible, but at this point, no one's even sure if he'll show up for that (nope, he doesn't. Nobody knows it yet, but Douglas has already wrestled his final ECW match by this point).
  • Inside Edition came to the latest ECW Arena show to try to film some footage for a story they're doing on the New Jack/Mass Transit incident (since the trial is coming up soon). Heyman told all the wrestlers to not let the cameras film them and the Inside Edition people weren't allowed backstage.
  • Davey Boy Smith is improving and is able to move around a little and even leave the house. He's also still interested in wrestling again and is said to be in contact with Vince McMahon. Even though WCW released him, they're still sending him weekly pay checks, which is a pretty obvious attempt to try and avoid a wrongful termination lawsuit and stay on his good side. Not quite the same situation for Rick Rude's family. Rude's widow has not received any checks from WCW so they don't appear to be paying out the rest of his contract to the family.
  • In the recent ESPN special that aired on wrestling, they talked about a doctor named Dr. Edmund Chien who reportedly prescribed drugs and steroids to lots of wrestlers, including Brian Pillman. In the show, Pillman's wife claims Hulk Hogan hooked Pillman up with that doctor and it became a bit of a story. Anyway, the DEA has seized medical records from Dr. Chien and are investigating him, which is basically the same way the whole Dr. Zahorian mess got started.
  • Perry Saturn is dealing with a back injury, which was suffered after landing on Warrior's trap door in a WCW ring, same as Davey Boy Smith. This week he had fluid injected into his L-4 disc and has been in agony to the point that other wrestlers were having to help him carry his bags in the airports. He had been taking heavy painkillers to deal with it but was said to be scared by Rick Rude's death and stopped taking them. He's not working house shows right now but since he's half of the tag champs, he's still doing TV and PPVs.
  • Goldberg tried to renegotiate his contract this week. He's still signed for several more years at $800,000 per year. Even though he is by far WCW's biggest star, he is still paid well below the likes of Hogan, Hall, Nash, Hart, Savage, and Sting (all of whom make $1.5 mil or higher). So he tried to renegotiate and get a raise but Bischoff isn't going for it, which has left Goldberg pretty unhappy.
  • WCW is tossing around the idea of bringing in Sid Vicious and Yokozuna. Because that's just what they need. Yokozuna wouldn't even be allowed to wrestle in most states since he can't pass commission physicals. And Sid is, well, Sid (they don't bring in Yoko but sure enough, Sid will be there soon).
  • Chris Jericho wrote on his website that he has made up his mind about his future but won't say what it is. But most everyone in WCW is under the assumption that he's headed for WWF when his contract is up.
  • The reason why the recent Flair vs. Page match on Nitro sucked is because the two guys weren't on the same page. Flair likes to call things in the ring and Page has a reputation for wanting to plan the match out in advance, move-by-move and Flair just wasn't going for it. So when they got in the ring, it just didn't click.
  • Scott Hall's on/off relationship with his ex-wife Dana is on again and he has asked for several months off so he can stay home and try to fix their relationship. She doesn't want him wrestling at all and wants him to retire because she thinks getting away from the business is the only way he can stay sober.
  • The latest on the WCW/NBC deal is that...it's basically dead. Backstage, Bischoff was telling people that TBS execs screwed up the deal somehow and that NBC backed out of it after the NBA strike ended. But a lot of people think Bischoff is just trying to save face because it's looking like WCW (Bischoff specifically) went around talking about the deal before it was done, which is why everyone thought it was a done deal. Turns out it wasn't. That's why you keep shit like that quiet until it's actually in writing and finalized.
  • Juventud Guerrera and Jerry Lynn aren't being punished at all by WCW for their DUI arrests last week.
  • On a recent episode of David Letterman's Late Show, the top 10 list for the night was "Slogans for the new WCW Nitro cologne." So in case you're wondering, here was the list:
10) Finally!
9) Because when you're sitting on your ass all day watching wrestling, you've got to smell your best!
8) This stuff can make you Governor
7) Give a bottle to that nancy boy son of yours...it couldn't hurt!
6) The perfect gift for...uh...it's really hard to say
5) If you actually bought Michael Jordan's cologne, you might as well buy this!
4) The exciting scent of the lowest common denominator
3) Like a piledriver up your nose
2) Sometimes you just want to smell phony
1) Attract them white trash babes!
  • On Raw, they had a Deba vs. Sable evening gown match. It ended up with Sable tearing Debra's dress off to win. But then Commissioner Shawn Michaels reversed the decision, saying in his eyes, the woman who loses their clothes should be the winner. So they awarded Debra the title. Dave says interestingly enough, this was done because they've had trouble getting Sable to do a job and give up the belt. So this was the compromise because they don't want her to quit but they wanted to get the title off her (she quits soon anyway).
WATCH: Sable vs. Debra evening gown match
  • Also on Raw, Patterson and Brisco came out doing their stooge routine in what Dave says was the best segment on Raw in months. They came out to Hogan's old "Real American" music, doing all the Hogan poses. They went against the Mean Street Posse guys and Patterson was especially great. Dave says Patterson will still be one of the best workers in the business 5 years after he's dead. The whole thing was hilarious and at the end, Jim Ross capped it off by saying, "And fellas, he's single."
WATCH: Patterson & Brisco vs. The Mean Street Posse
  • In a newspaper article, Earl Hebner talked about the Montreal Screwjob and had this to say: "It was the most difficult situation I have ever been in in this business. It was something I did because I was told to do it. I basically did it to protect the business for the rest of the boys. Here is one guy who was going to screw up 150 guys' lifestyle. The guy already had a $9 million contract. What was the big deal? If you work for somebody and you don't do what they tell you to, they don't need you." As you might expect, Dave calls bullshit on this. Hebner was also asked about swearing on his kids that he wouldn't screw Bret and Hebner admitted that he swore to Bret that he wouldn't count him down for a pin and therefore, he claims he kept his word. "I said I would never count him out, and I didn't. Bret and I were real close, but Bret didn't offer me any money. He didn't say if you do this, I will give you this. I have a family that I have to take care of."
  • Mick Foley is expected to take some time off after the upcoming PPV to get his knees scoped.
  • Radio DJ Bubba the Love Sponge, who has made some appearances in WCW, interfered in a match at a WWF house show. Dave says you know things are bad for WCW when even Bubba The Love Sponge has jumped ship.
WEDNESDAY: Shane Douglas/ECW drama, Hardcore Heaven PPV fallout, more on NJPW and AJPW, issues with Sable and WWF, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]


2018.05.11 05:51 Daddy-76 [F4A][Discord][E] Check me out!

I'm looking for long term partners, new or experienced. Someone who likes talking about future plots and such. I have 14 years experience, lazy to semi lit and try to mimic my partner on length. Willing to play any gender, relationship type and open to trying new things.
I enjoy using original characters and shipping them with canon characters, but I will ship anything. We can double, you play my love interest and I play yours.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send a message. On to the fandoms or genre's.
Fandom's
OC x 76 - OC x McCree - OC x OC
OC x Dwight - OC x Ace - OC x David
OC x OC - OC x Rick - OC x Glenn - OC x Luke - OC x Nick - OC x Tara
OC x Craig
OC x OC - OC x Kate
OC x OC - OC x Mike - OC x Jeremy
OC x Miles
Genre's
submitted by Daddy-76 to Roleplay [link] [comments]


2018.03.21 19:46 tempestuscorvus Spirit Guide Part I

I feel groggy, but I’m not tired. I can feel that I’m standing, but I don’t know why. My eyes are closed and I don’t know why that is either. I feel like I should care why I’m standing somewhere unknown with my eyes closed. However, I don’t. I just keep standing there, not moving, caring, or opening my eyes.
I can hear someone in the room with me. They are not moving, but I can hear their breathing. There is someone else, they are silent. They are not breathing. While it seems odd, I don’t really care. I decide to continue standing since it has gone so well so far; not that I care.
“Ahem.” A mans voice breaks the near silence.
It sounds like throat clearing, but I know it’s meant to draw the attention of someone. Most likely it’s not me so I keep standing with my eyes closed. I have been pretty successful at standing so far, so why stop now?
“Ahem!”
Clearly not throat clearing this time. I wonder if the not breathing person in the room is going to respond. I wish they would. At least briefly I care, but quickly go back to not caring. I wonder if I should care. He made that attention getting noise twice. Something must be important to him. Still, it’s not for me to worry about. “You are awake, are you not?” the voice demands irritably. “You should be awake now. Ignoring me is just bloody rude, you know.”
The other, not breathing person still doesn’t respond. It looks like it’s up to me, so I open my eyes. It’s a nice room, as far as rooms go. It seems to be a living room. There’s a couch, and big window behind it, wood floors, natural wood wainscoting with a light green paint above. There is a nice, brick fireplace with no fire. It should have a fire since the room is chilly. Perhaps this is the urgent issue the man on the couch wants to talk about. The fireplace is surrounded by built in book shelves. If this is his place he must be a reader because there are lots of books on those shelves.
It dawns on me that I should probably look at the man. He’s in his late 40’s by the look of him. His eyes are grey and he has crows feet on either side of them. His face looks pinched, and care worn. He has a broad nose that at some time ran amuck with a blunt object; mostly likely more than once. His hair is black and mid length, but in need of a trim. His hair is shaggy enough that that I’m reminded of one of those sheep herding dogs; the white ones that have so much hair in front of their eyes you wonder how they can see at all. A bushy mustache is situated under his broad nose. In a contradiction to his haircut, the mustache is trimmed neatly. I have no doubt that in his younger days he was very handsome. Right now, however, he looked irritated. At least his face and voice match.
“I’m awake.” my voice seems distant and plain. It’s like that tofu. Tofu voice. Is that funny? I decide it’s not and look back at the irritated man. He seems to expect me to say more, but he only asked one question, which I have answered.
“Did you need something else?” I finally ask in my tofu voice. I decide that I do not like the tofu voice idea and decide to never think of it again.
“Do you know where you are or why you’re here?” His voice is less irritated but his face is not. Maybe it’s his natural look.
I hazard a guess. “A living room.”
“Aye.” again he is irritated.
“Ok.” I say.
“Don’t you want to know why?”
“Should I?”
A loud, exasperated sigh ruffles his mustache.
“You’re going to be one of these spirits I see.” His weary tone matches his face.
Spirit? I don’t think I’m a spirit. Am I? I suppose I could be, but I don’t really know.
“Spirit?”
“Yes, you’re dead, aren’t you?”
“Am I?”
A look of frustration flashes across his face before he hangs his head. A large sigh racks rather broad shoulders. He takes a deep breath and then looks back up at me. His face now fixed, as if bracing himself for an unpleasant task, he addresses me.
“Yes, you are dead. Yes, you are a spirit. I’m sure it’s quite a shock.”
Actually it isn’t. Maybe it should be, but I don’t think it is.
“What do you remember?” he asks.
This is an excellent question. I know things. I know that it would be nice if there was a fire in the fireplace. I know he is annoyed, and has a faint Scottish accent. I know what a Scott is. What seems odd is that I don’t know how.
“I don’t know. What should I remember?”
“Ok, so you’re dead. Well, a spirit actually. Which makes you more than dead, but less than alive. Still better than a vampire, though that’s a personal opinion. Do you remember your life before you died?”
I don’t have any memories before this room, so I guess not. I mean I know things, like Scotland, and Europe, and the world. Big things, but I don’t know how I know these things. Like how I learned them. There had to be a first time I found out the world is round, but I have no memory of it. This, this bothers me. Up until now nothing else has, but this unsettles me.
“Um, I guess I don’t remember… anything. I was alive, but now I’m not?”
“Ah. Well, at least you’re a calm one. Let’s start with this and see if it knocks anything loose for ya.” The stout man says, picking up a remote control and pointing it at a TV mounted on the opposite wall behind me.
As I turn around, I just rotate. I don’t know if there was another way I should have moved, like steps. The TV flashes to life drawing me back to the screen. On the screen is a cozy room with two people seated across from each other. Between them is a table with coffee and cookies. One is an old man, thin and dressed conservatively, business casual. Across from him sits a young woman. Charmingly pretty, but not beautiful, dressed in a business casual skirt and blouse.
“Mister Pierce, please tell me why you want to join our little group.”
“As I put on the form, I haven’t done anything with my life. I would like my unlife as it were, to have more meaning.” His tone was civil. Both of them were clearly Americans.
“I read your application thoroughly, and you passed the skills test with flying colors. But for example, you founded a very successful company, you have traveled extensively, and speak Spanish, French, and obviously English. It seems to me that you have done a lot with your life, by most measures.” She gave him a smile, trying to reassure him that it was an honest question, rather than an argument.
“Yes, I’m wealthy and successful. But what is left when I am gone? I had a business until we got too big and I was forced out. I have no family because I wanted to marry for love, silly as that sounds. The problem with money is that you never know if you are being treated the way you are because the person is genuine, or wants something. So obviously I have no heirs. Most likely within a few years of my passing the board will vote to rename my company, and the last of me will be gone,” he said, his voice was heavy with weariness.
“I can understand that, but why didn’t you do something else? You are a seer, you could have had a very full life.”
“I was scared to be honest.” A look of shame is on his face for a moment before it is gone, replaced by a sad dog look. “I have nothing to lose here, being honest with you. I owned an accounting company. Boring, but safe. I traveled, but only when I had to. I learned Spanish and French because I was afraid to look like a fool when I had to travel. I have driven many miles out of my way to avoid the supernatural parts of town. I was afraid I would see a demon. I saw one once, and even now the memory makes me feel dread. I am a coward. I always have been. If I wasn’t, I’d still have my company. But in death, what do I have to fear? I can’t be killed. I can’t die. I can be brave because I will have no risk.”
“I want to be very clear that you will effectively be owned by DOI, until you are released. Then you may become a spirit guide if you choose.” she said and then took a sip of her coffee, careful not to smudge her lipstick.
“I thought all of us became spirit guides. I have read a lot on the matter for obvious reasons.”
“I do not doubt that mister Pierce, but most of the material out there is incorrect. Except for the government materials, of course. But the tin hat crowd thinks it’s disinformation, preferring to believe the folklore, no matter how wrong.” a look of annoyance flashed across her face. “No, what really happens is that about half of the seers that die, just die. The rest become spirits, with of course a small set becoming wraiths, poltergeists, banshees or the like. Just the ones that have an axe to grind. Now what normally happens to the spirits are that they wander the earth for a bit, some remember who they were, others not. Eventually they find the person that they are going to guide and bond to them for life. These people are seers of course, but not all seers get spirit guides. In fact some of the people with spirit guides are not seers, and cannot see the supernatural at all. They are just mundanes, like most of society. Only the people that can affect history seem to get spirit guides. We in DOI call them chosen. These are the ones whose actions affect our lives. One may be an assassin, killing a person of importance. Someone else may just run out of gas one day on a bridge, causing someone else in traffic to be late and not be where they needed to be. Some of these people seem to never do anything of any importance.”
“And I help them, correct?” he sounded like he had to add something.
“More or less. We don’t really understand how it all works, but spirit guides seem instinctively drawn to these people, and just as driven to guide their actions. As you know we have found a way to capture the soul as it leaves the soul and becomes a spirit. Interrupting the cycle of wandering, and then finding the chosen the spirit will bind too. What we have found is that once the spirit is released of out binding, they just go on their way, still finding their chosen to look after.”
“But, how do you know that they go to the person they were meant to, if you interrupt the process?”
“We don’t, to be honest. But then, how do we know they don’t, or that they are pre assigned to a specific person? It seems that way, but we have nothing solid to back up that conclusion. It could be that they wander around until they are mature and then bind to the closest chosen. That’s the reason and need for this project you are thinking of joining. We are hoping by catching you when you die, we can have you build a relationship with DOI. Enough that when you do bind with a chosen, you will still talk with us as well. Spirit guides are notoriously silent you know.”
“Why is that? I mean, why can’t you just sit one down and interview it. Or interview its chosen if they are a seer?”
“We have tried. Spirit guides seem to only care about the one they are bound to. Nothing else interests them. As for a chosen seer. We have several seer agents who have spirit guides. They tell us that they get strong urges from their guides sometimes, but that’s all. Some of them get lots of the urges, some almost never do. Since these are agents of ours we have a very good idea of their doings, and we have not been able to correlate these urges to important events.”
“So now you are trying to work the problem at the other end. Since the human part of the problem is not particularly helpful.”
“Exactly!” she exclaimed. She seemed delighted to talk to someone who got the idea right away. “What we will find we don’t know, but we seem to have identified a lot of what won’t work.”
“I want to do it!” he exclaimed.
“You’re sure?”
“Quite sure. I want to do something important.” he said firmly.
“Alright, let’s get you started on paperwork.”
The TV screen went dark. “Wait, there’s a bit more.” the man on the couch says and the screen lights up again. The shot was of what looks like a hospital suite. The only difference being that there was a pentacle on the floor of the room, and candles lit on the quarters of the pentacle. The same old man lay in the bed, and the same woman was beside him. In addition there were several medical staff.
“You don’t have to be here. I’ll be fine.” the old man said to the young woman.
“I want to be here with you Mister Pierce. We take care of our own here in DOI, and you are one of us now.” she said in a sincere voice.
“Thank you. You should call me Bruce then. I really didn’t want to die alone.” Sadness crept into his voice on those last words.
“I’ll be right here for the release and the binding, Bruce. This is your last chance to change your mind.”
“Never.” he said firmly.
“Then just say the word when you are ready and we’ll start. But there’s no rush. I’ll be here as long as you need.” she said looking down at him. She gently ran her hand across his forehead.
“Now is fine. I don’t have any reason to wait.”
The woman gave a nod to one of the attendants and they placed a small, person shaped clay figure on his Mister Pierce’s chest. The base of the figure had characters inset in it. The figurine rose and fell in time to his breathing. Another attendant inserted a syringe into his IV and injected a milky fluid. Then she repeated the process with a fluid of pink liquid. Once done she stepped back. The young DOI woman took Mister Pierces hand and held it in both of hers. The Clay figure continued to rise and fall, its arc of travel becoming shallow and then finally coming to rest. Then the TV screen went dark. A moment later the green LED in the corner of the screen turned red. I swiveled around to face the man on the couch. His face passive, but his eyes were firmly fixed on me.
“Remember anything?” he said finally to me. It seemed like it had been a long time before he spoke.
“Was that me?” I said. I really don’t care for my voice.
“Are you guessing or do you remember that?” he asked passively.
“I do not remember any part of that. Bruce Pierce is a name I have not heard before.
“Alrighty then. We have a long night ahead of us. Have a seat.” he said and gestured to an empty chair on the opposite side of the fireplace from the couch.
“My legs are not tired.”
“Of course not. Your sitting is for me. It weirds people out when everyone else is standing and you are the only one sitting or vice versa. Now sit down.”
I sit down in the armchair across from the couch, rather proud that I didn’t sink through it or something like that. Properly seated I look across at the man that I still do not know the name of.
“My name is Bruce Craig, and I’m part of the DOI in case you had not figured that part out yet.”
“Bruce, like the man in the videos name.” Strange that he knew what I was going to ask.
“Aye, I imagine they got a kick out of that at the office. Assigning a SIT to me with the same name. You are the second SIT I have had assigned to me though. The first one may not have been very successful, though we have no real way to gauge that right now. That man in the video is you, or who you were. You may never remember, or make a connection to your former life, or it may come back to you. We don’t know. Spirit guides had very rarely spoken to any seers before we came up with the binding procedure.”
“What is DOI and a SIT?” I ask the question automatically, as if it’s the thing to do, but I really don’t care very much. If I’m going to be here it would best to try and be polite.
“DOI is the United States Department of Occult Investigation, and SIT stands for Spirtguide in Training. The US government loves their acronyms. Spirit guide is technically two words, but SGIT sounded odd, and I didn’t want to have to say it all the time so we shortened it.” The way he said it made it seem as if it had been a long debated thing, before it had been finally settled.
“You sound Scottish.”
“I am. Technically I work for the Ministry of Occult Investigation, but I came over here many years ago to assist with DOI when it was first starting. I ended up staying here a lot longer than anyone planned. I’m not a citizen, so I’m only a guest. It adds so much to the bloody paper work, I can tell you. But the climate here is just like back home. Still, the food is better and the pay goes further.” He took a drink from a green bottle next to him on an oak end table and continued. “So, let’s be clear. That video was you, one hundred percent. We record all of that to help orient you. I imagine that we also record it for any potential liability reasons too. That’s just how it is, working for the US government. Since you don’t seem to have any connection to your former life I guess it holds no value.” He said, ending with a slight shrug of his broad shoulders. “What else do you want to know?”
“What does the DOI do?”
An amused chuckle came from Bruce. “What don’t we do would be a shorter question. In theory we investigate the occult. We also try to keep track of the supernatural people in this city. Some of them we have detailed records for, others just last known addresses and vague descriptions. We also act as mediators between the supernatural and mundanes. We provide legal representation in the case of any legal action involving the supernatural. We have a voluntary registration for most supernatural folks, which is mandatory for vampires and werewolves. Of course, most elect not to register, unless they need our bloody help.” Aggravation crept into his voice. “We are also the bitch for the US government in general when it comes to anything occult. FBI, CIA, NSA, FDA or any other federal group runs into something supernatural, and we get a call. And there’s a laundry list of other things we try to do as well.” Pausing to take a drink from the green bottle again, he clears his throat and continues. He doesn’t notice the single drop of water perched on the edge of his mustache. “We do a hell of a lot more than we should, and we do it with far less money and staff than we need. Ta’ be honest it kinnda sucks after the unorthodox nature of the work wears off. Then it’s just a job. But I’m not fit for any other kind of work by now.”
Surprisingly, a question does pop into my head. One I actually seem to care about. “What do I do then?”
“You are bound to me, mostly.” Bruce reaches inside his jacket and pulls out a clay statue. I assume it is the one from the video of my death. “At least as long as I keep this near me.” He waves it in front of me for a moment, almost like a ghost bobbing in the air, then sits it down on the wooden end table next to him. The drop of water on his mustache is still there. I find it more fascinating than the answer. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself.
“So, the whole point of the SIT program is for you to follow me around. Learn to interact with people, mudanes and the supernatural, and hopefully develop a connection with us. Spirit guides seem to play a very important role in how the world works. But since you won’t bloody well talk to anyone, this is what we came up with. Eventually we’ll free you, and hopefully you will be inclined to talk with me after you start to wander.” I can’t help myself any longer. I reach out to the drop of water perched on the whiskers of his mustache. My fingers pass through it and the lower half of his jaw. In the next instant the dog that had sat quietly curled up next to him on the couch leaps on my chest, pushing me back. Its teeth are bared at me, and somehow, I know that it can hurt me. I don’t move. Not out of fear, but because I don’t know what to do next.
“What did you do that for?” Bruce demands angrily, standing up over me. “It’s rude. I don’t like it, and if you do it again I’ll set my spirit guide on you. No human likes being touched by a spirit. Except witches.” I look back at the dog, eyes still firmly fixed on me. It’s the other presence I felt. But a dog?
“Huh” I manage. I am not very good with words it seems.
“It feels terrible for the living to be touched by a spirit, normally. Don’t do it. It’s a fast way to get your ass exorcised.” Bruce sits back down on the couch and makes a loud tsk sound. The dog jumps back on the couch in response to the noise from Bruce. He the plants he head firmly on Bruces lap. “This is Snitter, and he is my spirit guide. Not a SIT, mind you. But my life long spirit guide.”
“But he’s a dog…”
“The form a spirit guide takes can change in appearance. The longer a spirit guide is with the human, the more they change to fit what the human instinctively likes. A lot of them turn into beautiful people. I don’t like people, but I do like dogs.” He finishes by scratching the top of Sitters head. Snitter in turn gives a sigh and relaxes. “I can touch him because he is my spirit guide. He’s also my partner, and best friend.”
Bruce stands up, Snitter automatically jumps of the couch and waits beside Bruce. “We can pick this up in the morning. It’s way late, and I have work tomorrow, as usual. Leave the cat alone. Mister Stubbs; he’s wary of spirits until he gets used to them. Also, the house is haunted. He’s a mean cuss, but I got a great deal on the house because of it. He knows to not start any trouble or I’ll banish his ass. But he’s not real social. Night.” Bruce shuffles off without another word, Snitter trailing close behind. He starts to undress on his way to what I assume is the bedroom. Once he clears the doorway Snitter goes in too, then sticks his head back out, giving me a glare, before going back in the bedroom for what’s left of the night. It seems rude that he just left me here to stand, but I don’t care. I’m going to close my eyes and stand more. That went really well before I started talking to Bruce.
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2017.10.03 13:27 clearliquidclearjar TALLAHASSEE EVENTS 10/3 – 10/16

Fall is here! Or so they tell us. If you want me to make sure and not miss a Halloween event coming up later this month, please let me know in the comments!
Tally’s Independent Cinema and Theater Offerings:
ALSO:
TUESDAY 10/3
  • Waterworks: Live Gopher Tortoise Science Salon! 7:35pm
WEDNESDAY 10/4
  • Bird's Oyster Shack: Lab Sessions with Jim Crozier featuring Frank Jones with Shannon Stovall and Neal Goree. 6pm
  • Fermentation Lounge: Quizmaster General Knowledge Trivia. “Quizmaster is hosted by Bennett Miller from 7-9pm every Wednesday, and features three rounds of general knowledge trivia (and a weekly food special). It is free to play and teams of up to 6 are welcome. The winner of each round receives a sample flight, and the Quizmaster for the night receives a $25 gift card and serious credit on Geek Street.” 7pm
  • Brass Tap on Gaines: Trivia. Check their FB page for the theme. 7pm
  • Hurricane Grill & Wings: Trivia With Greg. 7pm
  • GrassLands Brewing Company: BYOBG! Bring Your Own Board Game. “Our gracious host, Trevor Bond, will be featuring one game each week. Feel free to bring your own games to play & share.” 7pm/21+
  • Junction @ Monroe: Bike Night, Bingo, and Karaoke. 7pm
  • Hobbit (P’Cola): Trivia Factory. “General Knowledge, 20 questions + Wager Final. $25/$20/$15.” 7:30pm
  • Cap City Video Lounge: CineMashup featuring Hocus Pocus & The VVitch. “”We will beginning the evening off with the classic season Disney children's film about sacrificing virgins and then making a b-line directly to the good, old fashioned, Satanist recruitment film. Oh yes, this is possibly one of the finest CineMashups we have ever put together.” 7:30pm
  • Proof: Bar Trivia With Hank. Drink delicious brews and show off all those random factoids you thought you’d never use. Local beer, local trivia in the heart of Tally’s Art District. They now have the MoBi food truck every trivia! Bar tab for 1st and 2nd place teams. 7:30pm/21+/no cover
  • The Warehouse: Open Mic. “There is a lottery for time slots. Now smoke free!” 8pm
  • Finnegan’s Wake: Waxy Wednesdays. “Feelin' waxy, Tallahassee? That's probably just because it's Wednesday. At Finnegan's Wake, Waxy Wednesday means DJ Ryze will be hitting our floor again to spin some vinyl and get your feet moving tonight. Feeling a bit sour, girls? Not to worry- we'll also have some fantastic $5 drink specials going for all those Tallahassee ladies looking for a bit of fun. Come out and help us get the party started!” 8pm
  • The Skybox (Crawfordville): Karaoke with Mark. 9pm
  • Krewe de Gras: DÉJÀ VU Latin Wednesdays. “FREE Salsa/Mambo classes by Barry C. Williams. The duration of the class is 9-10 and having a partner is not necessary. If you've never danced Salsa/Mambo before then don't worry about it. The classes are made to be easy and fun so you can come learn some moves and then stay and dance until 2am to the sounds of DJ Jimmy Suave.” 9pm
  • Just One More: Karaoke with Roger. 9pm
  • Corner Pocket: Karaoke. 9pm
  • Bird’s: Comedy Night. I’m pretty sure this is both a performance and an open mic. 9:30pm/free
  • 926: Women Crush Wednesday. “Welcome Home again Ladies! Located in the Herstoric Brothers Nightclub Venue (later known as Pug Mahone's & Pug's Live), Woman Crush Wednesday, our newest weekly LGBTQ+ event, is going on THIS Wednesday at 926! Social Hour to start at 5pm with our regular Happy Hour Specials followed by Dance Music Clubside at 10pm with DJ Garion Djgg Grant. And show at Midnight! Join us for dinner and cocktails from our fabulous Menu with original items direct from our Head Chef Kyle and drinks from our amazing Bartender Rebecca ! Come join us for the newest Ladies' Night in Tallahassee! The best new way to spend your Wednesday!” 10pm/18+
  • Club Downunder: Clubba Lubba Dubunder. “I aM iN GrEaT pAiN pLeAsE HeLp mE!!! This one is gonna be really good broh...Come down to Club Downunder on October 4th from 12-3pm and enter the portal to another dimension where we'll have Rick and Morty activities, prizes, a costume contest, trivia, crafts, and FREE food! Get ready to get rickety rickety wrecked son! Oh and did we mention?! there'll be szechuan sauce!” Noon-3pm
  • Bird’s: Jim Crozier and Frank Jones with Shannon Stovall and Neal Goree. 7pm
  • Blue Tavern: Astronomy Night with Ken K "The Sky Guy". “The Cassini space mission came to a close on Friday 9/15, after 20 years of recon which included some astounding photography. Cassini carried 12 scientific instruments to collect a wide range of information about the Saturnian environment. These sophisticated devices were able to record images across the infrared, visible and ultraviolet light spectra, detect dust particles, and characterize Saturn's plasma environment and magnetosphere. On Wednesday 10/4, we have Ken Kopczynski "The Sky Guy" hosting yet another astronomy night. We'll see some images of Cassini's spectacular trip around Saturn, and then we'll go out into the courtyard to look through the telescope! We're lucky enough to have a relatively dark spot in the midst of midtown, so visibility should be easy provided the skies are clear!” 7:30pm
  • The Wolf’s Den: Civilian (acoustic), Sarah Morrison, Graham Snuggs, and winded. 8pm/$5/all ages
  • 926: Bruiser Queen, Fea, Wrong Done Right, Cooper. 8pm
  • QTPOC FSU: Queering HHM: A Discussion on Machismo. 8pm
THURSDAY 10/5
  • Lake Ella Area: Food Truck Thursday with The Billy Rigsby Band. 6pm
  • Beef O’Brady’s: AJ Johnson Trivia. 6:30pm
  • Junction @ Monroe: Open Mic Night. “Bring your instruments and play an open slot or just come and be entertained in Tallahassee's best sounding room!” 7pm/free
  • Hurricane: Ballistic Bingo. 7pm
  • Growler Country: Singo Night! Music Bingo has arrived! “Challenge Entertainment will be hosting this new and unique game of Bingo where a song is played and you match that to your bingo card, instead of a number. We are the only place in town right now to play this new game, so come in and win prizes with every round won!” 7pm
  • Cap City Video Lounge: Tales from the Crypt Thursday! 7:30pm
  • Skybox: $10 Cornhole Tourney. 7:30pm
  • La Fiesta: Trivia. 7:30pm
  • Warhorse: Bar Trivia With Hank Presents Audio/Visual Night. “3 sound rounds! 2 picture rounds! It only happens once a month, so come get loud with Hank.” 8pm
  • Dux (Crawfordville): Karaoke with Big Bob. $25 bar tab given away every week. 8:30pm-12:30pm
  • Midtown Caboose: Trivia Factory. “General Knowledge, 20 questions + Wager Final. $35/$25/$15, and Best Team Name gets a round of shots.” 8pm
  • Unique Wonders: Live Comedy with Big Hou! 8:30pm/$5
  • Junction @ Monroe: Comedy Zone: Frank Del Pizzo & Mark Evans. 9pm
  • Pockets: Karaoke Dance Party with Keith Welch. 9pm/21+
  • Brass Tap Midtown: Karaoke with DJ Rah. 9pm-Midnight
  • Applebees on Cap Cir: Karaoke with Amanda Goram. 10pm
  • Birds: Karaoke with Nathan. All the songs. $1 Pabst drafts. 10pm
  • Old Capitol: Lift Every Voice: An Evening with Avis Berry. “Lift Every Voice: A Musical Evening with Avis Berry, will explore the vital role music played in the fight against slavery, as well as encouraging the march towards freedom and equality in the 1960s. The rousing sounds of gospel, folk music, and spirituals served many purposes in these times of struggle—strength and motivation, healing and comfort, or joy and celebration. In Lift Every Voice, Avis Berry will perform many of the empowering songs of the African American experience.” 6pm/free
  • The Wolf’s Den: Weller (PA), Kississippi (PA), Pool Kids, Junior College Honor Roll. 8pm/$5/all ages
  • Fifth & Thomas: Tinsley Ellis w/The Frank Jones Band. 8pm/$18/21+
  • American Legion Hall: The Shed Live. “From the creators of Tallahassee Nights Live, it's a place where the best musicians and vocalists gather to show off their individual talents. 3-4 piece band competitions for cash prizes! A controlled open mic for the serious performers. Do you think you have what it takes to shred with your peers?” 8pm
  • Blue Tavern: MImi Hearn with Frank Graham. 8pm
  • The Warrior: Scarlet Canary with Defy the Tyrant, Despite the Irony, & Burn This Down. 8pm
  • Junction @ Monroe: Comedy Zone: Craig Carmean and Quinton Greene. 8pm
  • Club Downunder: Chynna Rogers w/ CAP 6 & Ansaah. 8:30pm/GP $10/18+
FRIDAY 10/6
  • 926 Lounge: The Friday Night Party. “Tallahassee's premier LGBTQA dance party night is back again! Pregame with Tom in the pub during happy hour from 4PM-9PM. The dance floor kicks into full gear at 10PM so you can rage to your faves as DJ Carben and DJ Brian Gladden keep you dancing all night. The Drag Show starts at midnight when the 926 Ladies join our hostess Sassy Black on the stage to entertain. It's a show you definitely don't want to miss, so arrive early to get a good seat!” 4pm
  • Fifth & Thomas: Backstage Garden Happy Hour. 5pm-8pm
  • Cap City Video Lounge: The Evil Dead Trilogy: Fright Flicks Friday. “Alright, you primitive screw heads, LISTEN UP! This is the FIRST Cap City Video Lounge Fright Flicks Friday of the 2017 Halloween season! And to celebrate, we are showing one of the finest, bloodiest, funniest fright film trilogies ever assembled! Of course, we are talking about Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead Trilogy.” 7:30pm
  • Hobbit South: Karaoke. 8pm
  • Leggetts: Karaoke with Paul. 8:30pm
  • Just One More: Karaoke with Roger. 9pm
  • Stetsons @ The Moon: Karaoke with Devin Cywinski. 10pm/$5/18+
  • Geo's Pub & Pool (both locations): Karaoke. 10pm-1am
  • FSU Center for Global Engagement: Global Café: Puerto Rico. “Enjoy a culturally enriching lunch hour eating authentic food, listening to music, and meeting students from the featured culture. Student organizations prepare lunch on select Fridays during the fall and spring semesters. This student-centered program was designed to increase awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity on our campus. You can enjoy this unique experience in the Globe Dining Room for just $7 per plate. Cash or check only.” 11:30am
  • Flippin Great Pinball: $5 First Friday All You Can Play. 4pm-Midnight
  • Bannerman Crossing: Northtown Getdown at Bannerman Crossings. 5:30pm
  • Crystal Portal: First Friday: Free Sound Healing, Tarot, & More! 6pm
  • Downtown: Getdown- FSU vs Miami. 6pm
  • Centre of Tallahassee: 19th Annual Oktoberfest. “Oktoberfest in Tallahassee is a highly-anticipated annual community event in the capital region, drawing an energetic and festive crowd in the hundreds to celebrate community and support a great cause. Featuring live band entertainment, delicious German cuisine, unlimited beer and wine, and one of the region’s best silent auction offerings.” 6:30pm/$75
  • Metro Deli: Pimp Lightning. “Kick-off Miami weekend! Come out Friday night and have some fun. We'll have prizes and free Jello shots with the band.” 7pm
  • GrassLands Brewery: World Cup Qualifier: USMNT vs Panama. 7pm
  • Junction @ Monroe: Sarah Mac Band. “One of the final Sarah Mac Band performances before the band retires at the end of 2017. This night is about experiencing new original -never to be released- songs. The only way to hear this new material is to experience it live. Don't miss this chance!” 7pm
  • Crum Box Gastgarden: First Friday featuring Samarium. 7pm
  • Growler Country: Joe Godfrey. 7pm
  • Fifth & Thomas: The Electric Six, Groves, Feeling Ecstatic. 7pm/$14/21+
  • Garages on Gaines: Sway Jah Vu First Friday. 7:30pm
  • Indianhead Factory: A Song For My Sisters... “A Song For My Sisters is a musical salute to the women battling, surviving, and having transitioned in the war against Breast Cancer. Vonzel brings to life the music of a forgotten era, an era where the bands were big, the horns were loud, and the joints were jumping. A Song For My Sisters pays musical tribute to the undesputed Queens of Jazz; Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, just to name a few. On "This Bitter Earth" "You Can't Take That Away", when "I'm Feeling Good". Oh and "God Bless the Child Who's Got His Own".” 8pm
  • The Wilbury: Back To The Garage w/ Cayetana (Philly) & Hemming! 8pm/free/all ages, under 18 needs a guardian
  • Blue Tavern: Warren Sutton with Mike Rychlik. 8pm
  • Ruby Diamond: Night At The Oscars (Rescheduled). 8pm
  • The Bark: RC Presents: C0mputeSlowly/Big Puppy. 8:30pm/$5
  • Club Downunder: Standup Downunder. “Union Productions is pleased to announce that our monthly comedy open mic night, Standup Downunder, will be on Friday, October 6 at Club Downunder! This is the second show in our local comedy series! Come relax and experience the comedy of local students and community members alike. If you have ever wanted to try comedy yourself, sign up at the production table the day of the event at 9pm (30min after Doors). We have 20 slots, first come first serve!” 8:30pm/GP $5/18+
  • The Warrior: Sister Sandoz with Future Hate, The Story Continues, and Subversive OD. 9pm
  • Bradfordville Blues Club: The Chris O’Leary Band. 9pm
SATURDAY 10/7
  • Park at Monroe: The Downtown Marketplace. 9am
  • Corner of Georgia & Macomb: Frenchtown Farmers’ Market. “Find your favorite local goodies! Join us at Frenchtown Farmers Market for all-local produce, eggs, gourmet jelly, and more. We can double SNAP benefits through the Fresh Access Bucks program. Our farmers accept WIC and Senior farmers market nutrition program coupons.” 10am – 2pm.
  • Cap City Video Lounge: The REAL Ghostbusters Kid's Matinee. 11am-1pm/$5 for adults, kids free
  • Gamescape: Game Tally Saturday Board Gaming. “Meeting weekly in Tallahassee, Florida, we seek to promote and offer public opportunities to learn new games and make new friends in a relaxed, fun environment.” Noon
  • Salty Dawg: Karaoke with Paul. Family friendly! 8pm
  • Leggetts: Karaoke with Cowboy Chris. 9pm
  • The Skybox (Crawfordville): Karaoke with Mark. 9pm
  • El Patron: Pasion Latina. Bachata, Merengue, Salsa, Reggaeton. 9pm
  • 926 Lounge: Sanctuary: Tallahassee’s Longest Running Goth Night. 10pm/$5/18+
  • George Core Park (Port St Joe): Florida Scallop and Music Festival. “The annual Scallop Festival draws big crowds to Port St. Joe… all eager to celebrate this family fun activity and Gulf County delicacy. Sample scallops cooked in many tasty ways, enjoy a variety of great southern foods, lots of live music from amazing artists such as SISTER HAZEL, arts and crafts, a kid’s zone and a whole lot more, all overlooking beautiful St. Joseph Bay.” 9am-10pm
  • Frenchtown Farmers’ Market: Fired Up! “Meet our first class of Frenchtown KitchenShare food business entrepreneurs! Each of the students will explain their food start-up, which will surely spark some food creativity. With the inspiration you'll love all the fresh, healthy and local produce, meats and eggs we will be selling. Don't forget to bring your friends!” 10am
  • Mission San Luis: Blessing of Animals. “Pet owners, animal lovers, and furry, feathered, or other friends are invited to the thirteenth annual Blessing of Animals. The Blessing of Animals originated in the 13th century in remembrance of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment, who believed that all animals should be treated with dignity and respect.” 10am-3pm
  • FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities: 1st Annual Touch-A-Truck. “This family-friendly event is for children and adults of all ages. Come get up close and personal with larger-than-life trucks, heavy construction and public safety equipment, cool cars, and specialty vehicles!” 10am/$5
  • 5F Farm Event Center (Havana): Havana Reggae Festival Fall 2017. “Your family will love our fun-filled event. Join us to explore our Roots & Natural Farmers Market and Live Entertainment Kareema ( Yellow Man's daughter), Orisha Sound, Ever G., Ital Vybez, Detroit Live, Pulsation & Dons Drums. We have everything for the kids too including a Bouncy House, Beanie Baby Toss and Train Rides around the property. The Bonfire will be lit at 7 pm and the Drum Circle will start immediately after the last act on stage.” 11am-9pm
  • Flippin’ Great Pinball: 1 Year Anniversary Celebration Weekend! “We're turning 1 and to celebrate we're offering a $10 all day admission for Saturday and Sunday! We'll be in a festive mood so expect prize giveaways too. If you haven't visited in a while or have been meaning to take friends who haven't visited, now is the perfect time!” Noon-10pm/$10
  • Kleman Plaza: My Fest. “MY Fest is a FREE community event designed to inspire and empower young people, while sharing information and resources that can help youth and families overcome challenges, and achieve their goals and dreams. Come check out the bands, hip-hop artists, and performers! Bounce houses, games, face painting, crafts and more! Hundreds of resources for youth and families! And Free Food!” Noon-4pm
  • Cap City Video Lounge: Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters 2 & Poltergeist: Spoopy Triple! Closed for a private Tally Pub Scouts event afterward. 1pm-7:30pm
  • Barnes & Noble: Lego Ninjago. “To celebrate the new Lego Ninjago movie, we're hosting at building event! Do you have a little ninja? If so, bring them to our celebration of Lego Ninjago! We'll be building the Ninjago Dragon and the best part is each little ninja gets to take home the Lego dragon that they build! Space is limited so call 850-383-0600 to reserve your child's spot. Must be present to participate. Only one dragon kit per child.” 4pm
  • Knott House Museum: Swing Dancin in the Street. 6pm
  • Junction @ Monroe: Sarah Mac Band. “One of the final Sarah Mac Band performances before the band retires at the end of 2017. This night is about experiencing new original -never to be released- songs. The only way to hear this new material is to experience it live. Don't miss this chance!” 7pm
  • New Posh (Crawfordville): Tocamos Mas. 7:30pm
  • Blue Tavern: Bakan-Margut-Hall World Trio. 8pm
  • The Wilbury: Stop Light Observations, Big Blue, Wild Planet. 8:30pm/free
  • The Warrior: Deaf Poets with Made Ready, Square Up, & Luke Wilmoth. 9pm
  • Bradfordville Blues Club: The Nighthawks. 9pm
SUNDAY 10/8
  • Gaines Street and Railroad Ave: The Souk! “Join us every Sunday afternoon for brunch, drinks, shopping, music, and local vendors! Vendors: set-up is always free and we would love to have you! Contact the Wilbury for a map of available set up areas.” Noon
  • Carter Howell Strong Park: Food Not Bombs Meal Share. Noon-2pm
  • Athena’s Garden: Herb Class. 2pm
  • The Junction @ Monroe: Sunday Afternoon Bingo. “This isn't your grandma's bingo! We have a blast with some very cool folks. Cash prizes.” 5pm
  • Salty Dawg Pub & Deli: The Famous Acoustic Jam w/ Wayne, Glenn, and Bo. Open mic, free beer for performers. 6pm
  • Community Thrift Market: 2nd Sunday Pop-Up Flea Market * Fall Series. 10am-2pm
  • Flippin’ Great Pinball: 1 Year Anniversary Celebration Weekend! “We're turning 1 and to celebrate we're offering a $10 all day admission for Saturday and Sunday! We'll be in a festive mood so expect prize giveaways too. If you haven't visited in a while or have been meaning to take friends who haven't visited, now is the perfect time!” Noon-10pm/$10
  • Panacea: Cluster Shuck Oyster Fest. “Showcasing our local Farm Raised Oysters! Featuring Celebrity Chefs, Live Music, Oysters, Beer, and Much More!” 2pm-7pm
  • Junction @ Monroe: Latin Night with DJ Rudy Max. 7pm
  • Waterworks: October Shimmy Caravan. 7:30pm
  • Club Downunder: Kitty & Sam Ray (of Teen Suicide & Ricky Eat Acid) ft. GRANT. 8:30/GP $10/18+
MONDAY 10/9
  • Under Wraps on the Parkway: Bar Trivia With Hank: AVATAR AND KORRA. “50 questions of friendly trivia. Plus great Mediterranean food, delicious wraps, and beer by the bottle or bucket that won’t kick you in the wallet. $20 tab for 1st place.“ 7:30pm/free
  • Junction @ Monroe: Monday Night Bingo. “Good food, good drinks, good friends, and a chance to win some big cashola! It doesn't get any better than [email protected]. Every Monday from 7pm-9pm we've got cash payouts up to $250 per game with multiple games each night PLUS a 50/50 drawing each week benefitting the Tallahassee Area Musicians Guild.” 7pm-9pm
  • Burrito Boarder: Trivia Factory. “General Knowledge, 20 questions + Wager Final. $35/$25/$15, and Best Team Name gets a round of shots.” 7pm
  • Cap City Video Lounge: Monster Monday: Wolfman and Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman. 7:30pm
  • Blue Tavern (N Monroe St): Lost Mondays with Jon Copps. 8pm
  • Waterworks: Patio Theater. 8:35pm/21+
  • Finnegan’s Irish Pub: Karaoke with DJ Paul Cornish and Hospitality Night. “If you're a hospitality worker, don't forget to bring your most recent paystub or work schedule to receive that sweet 25% discount!” 10pm
  • Fifth & Thomas: Legendary Shack Shakers, Bloodshot Bill, Fake News. 8pm/$17/21+
TUESDAY 10/10
  • Corner of Georgia & Macomb: Frenchtown Farmers’ Market. “Find your favorite local goodies now on Tuesdays! Join us at Frenchtown Farmers Market for all-local produce, eggs, gourmet jelly, and more. The market opens at 3pm and we're here unitl 7pm, so come after you pick the kids up from school or on your way home from work. We can double SNAP benefits through the Fresh Access Bucks program. Our farmers accept WIC and Senior farmers market nutrition program coupons.” 3pm-7pm.
  • Junction @ Monroe: Live Rehearsal Tuesdays. “Tuesdays are Live Rehearsals at [email protected]. Sponsored by the Tallahassee Area Musicians Guild. Utilize our complete backline and PA for rehearsals, jams, or hold auditions. Up to one hour slots (or more depending on number of signups) per artist/group.” 4pm
  • Madison Social: Trivia Social. They do half and half theme and miscellaneous, so check their FB every week for an event page. 7pm
  • Brass Tap in Midtown: Trivia. Check their FB page for the theme. 7pm
  • Cap City Video Lounge: Trash Tuesday Trash Cinema Double Feature: Blackula and Tales From the Hood. 7:30pm
  • Bird’s Oyster Shack: Trivia With John Carpenter. Lively and fun. 7:30pm
  • GrassLands Brewing Company: Trivia Factory. 7:30pm
  • Midtown Pies: Bar Trivia With Hank. 50 questions of sweet, sweet trivia. Food! Beer! Something random in a bag! 8pm/free
  • Blue Tavern: Roda Vibe. “FSU musicians and others join to create a fun musical event that everyone can enjoy. In Portuguese, Roda is pronounced "Hoda." If it doesn't make you want to dance, check your pulse.” 8pm/free
  • Fire Bettys: Now That's What I Call Tuesday! Dance Party. 8pm
  • Fourth Quarter: Trivia With Professor Jim. AUCE wings. Truly a trivia favorite. 8pm
  • Krewe de Gras: Karaoke With Pete. 8:30pm
  • Brass Tap on Gaines: Karaoke with DJRah. 9pm
  • 926 Bar & Grill: Trivia Tuesday! 9:30pm
  • Applebee’s on the Parkway: Karaoke with Amanda Goram. 10pm
  • Pockets Pool: Karaoke with Dwight. 10pm/21+
  • The Warrior: Austin Winkler (Hinder) / Smile Empty Soul / Madame Mayhem / TBA. 7pm
WEDNESDAY 10/11: National LGBTI Coming Out Day
  • Bird's Oyster Shack: The Wednesday Night Lab Session hosted by Jim Crozier featuring Mimi Hearn with Mike Palecki. 6pm
  • Fermentation Lounge: Quizmaster General Knowledge Trivia. “Quizmaster is hosted by Bennett Miller from 7-9pm every Wednesday, and features three rounds of general knowledge trivia (and a weekly food special). It is free to play and teams of up to 6 are welcome. The winner of each round receives a sample flight, and the Quizmaster for the night receives a $25 gift card and serious credit on Geek Street.” 7pm
  • Brass Tap on Gaines: Trivia. Check their FB page for the theme. 7pm
  • Hurricane Grill & Wings: Trivia With Greg. 7pm
  • GrassLands Brewing Company: BYOBG! Bring Your Own Board Game. “Our gracious host, Trevor Bond, will be featuring one game each week. Feel free to bring your own games to play & share.” 7pm/21+
  • Junction @ Monroe: Bike Night, Bingo, and Karaoke. 7pm
  • Hobbit (P’Cola): Trivia Factory. “General Knowledge, 20 questions + Wager Final. $25/$20/$15.” 7:30pm
  • Cap City Video Lounge: CineMashup: The Gate and Demons. 7:30pm
  • Proof: Bar Trivia With Hank. Drink delicious brews and show off all those random factoids you thought you’d never use. Local beer, local trivia in the heart of Tally’s Art District. A food truck is always out front for this, too, or you can order and pick up something great in the neighborhood on your way. Bar tab for 1st and 2nd place teams. 7:30pm/21+/no cover
  • The Warehouse: Open Mic feat. Mike the Prophet. “There is a lottery for time slots. Now smoke free!” 8pm
  • Finnegan’s Wake: Waxy Wednesdays. “Feelin' waxy, Tallahassee? That's probably just because it's Wednesday. At Finnegan's Wake, Waxy Wednesday means DJ Ryze will be hitting our floor again to spin some vinyl and get your feet moving tonight. Feeling a bit sour, girls? Not to worry- we'll also have some fantastic $5 drink specials going for all those Tallahassee ladies looking for a bit of fun. Come out and help us get the party started!” 8pm
  • The Skybox (Crawfordville): Karaoke with Mark. 9pm
  • Krewe de Gras: DÉJÀ VU Latin Wednesdays. “FREE Salsa/Mambo classes by Barry C. Williams. The duration of the class is 9-10 and having a partner is not necessary. If you've never danced Salsa/Mambo before then don't worry about it. The classes are made to be easy and fun so you can come learn some moves and then stay and dance until 2am to the sounds of DJ Jimmy Suave.” 9pm
  • Just One More: Karaoke with Roger. 9pm
  • Corner Pocket: Karaoke. 9pm
  • Bird’s: Comedy Night. I’m pretty sure this is both a performance and an open mic. 9:30pm/free
  • 926: Women Crush Wednesday. “Welcome Home again Ladies! Located in the Herstoric Brothers Nightclub Venue (later known as Pug Mahone's & Pug's Live), Woman Crush Wednesday, our newest weekly LGBTQ+ event, is going on THIS Wednesday at 926! Social Hour to start at 5pm with our regular Happy Hour Specials followed by Dance Music Clubside at 10pm with DJ Garion Djgg Grant. And show at Midnight! Join us for dinner and cocktails from our fabulous Menu with original items direct from our Head Chef Kyle and drinks from our amazing Bartender Rebecca ! Come join us for the newest Ladies' Night in Tallahassee! The best new way to spend your Wednesday!” 10pm/18+
  • FAMU Al Lawson Multipurpose Center: 2 Chainz & 21 Savage. 6:30pm
  • Blue Tavern: Katie Skene. 8pm
  • The Bark: Permanent Makeup, Big Heet, No Face, Slowly. 8:30pm
  • Club Downunder: Com Truise / Nosaj Thing w/ Cleopold. 8:30pm/GP $18/18+
THURSDAY 10/12
  • Lake Ella Area: Food Truck with Walden Station. 6pm
  • Beef O’Brady’s: AJ Johnson Trivia. 6:30pm
  • Junction @ Monroe: Open Mic Night. “Bring your instruments and play an open slot or just come and be entertained in Tallahassee's best sounding room!” 7pm/free
  • Cap City Video Lounge: Tales From The Crypt Thursday! 7:30pm
  • La Fiesta: Trivia. 7:30pm
  • Skybox: $10 Cornhole Tourney. 7:30pm
  • The Wilbury: Bar Trivia With Hank. “Fan-fucking-tastic trivia and bbq, and the host is good looking, too.” 8pm
  • Junction @ Monroe: Comedy Zone: Frank Del Pizzo & Mark Evans. 9pm
  • Dux (Crawfordville): Karaoke with Big Bob. $25 bar tab given away every week. 8:30pm-12:30pm
  • Midtown Caboose: Trivia Factory. “General Knowledge, 20 questions + Wager Final. $35/$25/$15, and Best Team Name gets a round of shots.” 8pm
  • Unique Wonders: Live Comedy with Big Hou! 8:30pm/$5
  • Pockets: Karaoke Dance Party with Keith Welch. 9pm/21+
  • Brass Tap Midtown: Karaoke with DJ Rah. 9pm-Midnight
  • Applebees on Cap Cir: Karaoke with Amanda Goram. 10pm
  • Birds: Karaoke with Nathan. All the songs. $1 Pabst drafts. 10pm
  • Township Tallahassee: Pretzel Eating Contest - Win Free Pretzels for a Year. 6:30pm/$3
  • The Warrior: Letters to Part with Things Amazing, Lazarus Wilde, and Going Out. 8pm
  • The Wilbury: The Sh-Booms, Sway Jah Vu, Success. 8:30pm/$10
  • Club Downunder: SALES w/ Faking Jazz. 8:30/GP $12/18+
submitted by clearliquidclearjar to Tallahassee [link] [comments]


2017.09.14 02:51 Istalkthedew Season Two Episode 11 (Part One) - Palo Alto

[Sorry about last night]
18 May 2017 0913 (PST) FBI Field Office San Francisco, California
Erica Switzer frowned, as she spoke to the Detective from Berkeley. The call was a repeat of all the others she'd made since the website revealed the Bay Area as the next stop for the team.
One look over to Irwin Kelso could tell that his phone calls to the authorities in Oakland were going to same way. The slow shake of his head, accompanied by an aggravated look, confirmed it.
Another swing, followed by another miss.
She hung up the phone, and looked to Kelso.
“Nothing,” he said.
“Same here,” she replied.
“Why did Weiss go through all the trouble to get us out here, only not to deliver?”
“Perhaps we're missing something,” Switzer replied, “this is inconsistent with his normal behavior.”
“We don't exactly have a very large sample size to judge him by,” Kelso replied.
Switzer shook her head. “I think we've got enough, Irwin. He's doing this for a reason, there's more to it than toying with us, so the problem has to be on our end.”
“You seem rather sure of that, Erica.”
“I am.”
“Then, what are we missing?”
Kelso asked a good question, and Switzer knew it. Since the revealing of the GPS coordinates, which they quickly discovered belonged to Stanford Medical Center, they'd scrambled to find a body consistent with the other Libby overdoses.
After striking out with the officials at Stanford, they widened their search to include the surrounding city of Palo Alto. After that query came up empty, they looked at neighboring cities, with the same result.
It wasn't consistent with anything Weiss had done so far to make them work this hard. She didn't think that was the purpose of this game. She agreed with the theory that Weiss, and his backers, were using the FBI to make someone else uncomfortable. If that was the case, he'd want it to be obvious.
What in the hell were they missing?
“We've got no John Does, no suspicious camera outages, nothing to indicate Weiss was here,” the disgusted look remained on Kelso's face.
“And it sounds like Craig and Vance actually got a lead in West Virginia.”
“So, why are we in California, and where is our dead pervert?”
“We've eliminated the local jurisdictions, the ER, the hospital itself. Where does that leave us?”
After a moment of silence, Kelso started slowly nodding. “Actually, there's one thing at the hospital we haven't eliminated.”
“What's that?”
“The parking garage.”
Kelso pulled out his phone, and made a quick call. Switzer could tell, from his side of the conversation, that he was talking to Palo Alto PD. After a few minutes, he hung up.
“Come on, let's go,” Kelso said.
1152 (PST) Stanford Medical Center Palo Alto, California
On the drive south from San Francisco, Kelso told Switzer that he'd called Palo Alto PD to borrow a plate reader. His reasoning was that Weiss would probably have stolen a car if he dropped a body in the parking garage. Given Weiss' prior actions, that made perfect sense to her.
After a slow descent into the subterranean parking garage, that served the university's surrounding medical complex, the plate reader finally hit on a stolen vehicle.
“That wasn't what I was expecting,” Kelso muttered.
The vehicle in question was a black, late model, Chevrolet Impala. It had Nevada plates.
“Reported stolen out of Elko, Nevada, yesterday,” Kelso said, “so, theoretically, could still just be Weiss.”
“You still think he has a partner?”
“Yep, and I'd be willing to bet you it's Santiago Almonte.”
“Why?”
“Because, Erica, he's the only missing drug dealer out of Philadelphia whose corpse we've yet to find. There's a reason he's still alive.”
“How do you know we just haven't found his body?”
“You really don't think he has an accomplice, do you?”
“He just doesn't strike me as the type.”
“That's because, whether intentionally or not, you're profiling him like he's a serial killer. He's not.”
Switzer gently nodded. While Kelso had said those words in an even tone, she still felt the rebuke. There was nothing she could say in response, because he was right.
Weiss' actions in Philadelphia had made such little sense to her, that she almost subconsciously began to look at him like a serial killer. She knew it was a coping mechanism, a way of giving her a safe feeling of understanding in an otherwise illogical situation.
Her skills at profiling didn't just extend to others, she used it on herself, especially when she felt like she wasn't getting the job done.
“C'mon, Erica, let's go see who's in that trunk.”
She followed him out of their Bureau issued Fusion. Armed with a crowbar, Kelso made his way to the driver's door. He pulled back the tool to smash out the window, when Switzer saw him stop. A smile crept across his face.
Kelso opened the door, and then popped the trunk.
“Guess Weiss really was trying to make it easy on us,” he said, as they walked to the trunk.
Folded into the trunk, they found a body. It appeared consistent with all of the other Libby related dead bodies Switzer had seen. She found the man's Pennsylvania Driver's License on top of his body, identifying him as Felix Russell. When she relayed the name to Kelso, he told her that Mr. Russell had been convicted on two counts of child molestation, for raping two boys under the age of ten. That remark was followed by Kelso remarking that he hoped Weiss at least bothered to torture Russell first.
Switzer had worked with Kelso long enough to know that wasn't a joke.
“Where's the manila folder?” he asked.
Switzer reached under Russell's body, and found it. She opened it, and handed the expected sheet with the password to Kelso. He took a picture of the code, and texted it to Henley.
Next came a sheet of paper, with only a name on it: Brandy Mitchell.
1517 (PST) FBI Field Office; San Francisco, California
On the drive back from Palo Alto, they called Henley to get him to start working on running down Brandy Mitchell. They were surprised to hear that he was already engaged on a countdown timer, and that they had less than an hour to go to receive their next set of GPS coordinates.
They told him they could wait until after the next set of numbers came up. Gaughan and Newman were headed to Mississippi.
When they got back to the office, the search for Brandy Mitchell began in earnest. While they got several hits, none of them raised any red flags.
“You know, Irwin, that minister in West Virginia wouldn't raise any red flags, either.”
“Yeah, I know, but at least Weiss had the courtesy to drop that body on the Reverend's door step.”
Switzer perked up. “Irwin, what if he did drop the body on Ms. Mitchell's doorstep, figuratively speaking.”
“Stanford student,” Kelso's eyes lit up.
“Or alum.”
Kelso texted Henley to start looking through Stanford's records until he found a Brandy Mitchell.
“Erica, there's something I want to run by you,” Kelso said while they waited.
“What's that?”
“There's a pattern I've noticed with the dead pieces of shit Weiss is leaving for us.”
“You mean that they're sex offenders?” she asked in a light tone.
“Two very specific kinds.”
“What do you mean?”
“All of them were either child molesters, or they used some form of narcotic to rape their victims.”
“I see,” this was the first time Switzer heard this.
“In a vacuum, the sex offenders would be meaningless to me. If Weiss wants to murder criminals to get our attention, for whatever his reasons, these bastards make the most sense, you can find out where they live pretty easily.”
“But to get fourteen of them who have committed very specific crimes,” her voice trailed off.
“Exactly. That can't be an accident.”
“I wonder if that's a personal statement Weiss is trying to make.”
“I thought that too, but, I don't know, I'm not willing to take anything at face value here. Weiss picked those victims for a reasons, and I think it's part of the message he's trying to send to us.”
“But why?”
“Fuck if I know, Erica.”
They were both silent for a few minutes. The ringing of Kelso's phone broke it.
“You're on speaker, Henley,” he said.
“I found a Brandy Mitchell in the Class of 2007,” Henley replied, “degree in English.”
“Where can we find her?” Switzer asked.
“Santa Rosa Memorial Gardens, she was murdered five years ago.”
“Who killed her?”
“That's the thing, Erica, it's unsolved.”
“Thanks, Henley,” Kelso said, killing the call.
“I take it we're about to investigate a cold case?” Switzer asked.
A cocky smile crept across Kelso's face. “Hopefully, we'll solve it.”
[Thanks for reading. Part Two will be up Saturday night at 9PM East. There's also a post coming on Monday. Either I accomplish what I need to in Part 2, and we catch up with Newman & Gaughan, or we finish up with Palo Alto.]
submitted by Istalkthedew to toxicassets [link] [comments]


2017.06.14 18:13 sixscamnine PSA: Active CRA scammers currently targeting Ontario phone numbers

800notes.com lit up this morning with complaints of CRA scammers. There are two different groups operating independently. One is using an 844 number while the other is spoofing a GTA number. Each group has about 4 people working for it, and the messages that are being left are from either "Officer Craig Williams" or "Officer Ryan Smith". They speak with heavy Hindi accents.
For those unfamiliar with the scam: They will call a victim and claim to be from the CRA and they have conducted an audit and concluded the victim has intentionally defrauded the government. They will threaten the victim with arrest unless they pay their "back taxes". They tell the victim they must go to a "federally partnered store" and buy "electronic tax vouchers". In reality they send the victim to Walmart or another large chain store and buy gift cards.
I have reported the "Craig Williams" people to their VoIP and the RCMP numerous times to no effect. They change their 844 number every few days. I have recordings of them giving the script to me but nobody seems interested in actually stopping these assholes.
Edit: I should also add these scammers will most likely have some of the victims personal information when they call. They will have the name, address and possibly a few digits of their SIN. This is why the victim is being targeted. So all we can do warn people. Make sure your elderly relatives and anyone you think could be vulnerable to this scam is aware of it. Make sure they know what the script sounds like and there is no such thing as "electronic tax vouchers". Make them aware the CRA will never cold call them. Stay safe everyone.
submitted by sixscamnine to canada [link] [comments]


2017.03.06 20:13 TheWritingSniper [PI] Snowfall - FirstChapter - 2,709 words.

Snowfall

One

Anna hated the taste of the storms. The sudden metallic tang of dirt and ash settled onto her lips, and then made its way onto her tongue. These days ash storms were few and far between, but every so often Anna and her partner, Jackie, would get caught out in one. It was one of the pitfalls of never having a place to call home. In their most recent walk, they had seen the clouds coming for days now, always on the tail of their path, and they had hoped they could outrun them by the time they reached the clearing. Anna, unfortunately, miscalculated and she woke to the horrid taste of the world on her tongue.
“They started a few minutes ago,” Jackie said. She had already begun to pack up the campsite, rolling her black sleeping bag and wrapping it to her field backpack. She had already put on her maroon jacket and pants, opting to keep them on instead of trading them out for shorts. The weather, they both figured, was only going to get worse. “Figured you could sleep a little more before it’d come down in full. Sorry about that,” she said.
Anna did not move for a moment as her eyes adjusted to the dark night engulfed by roaming clouds. If it was sunrise, she could have seen the plains in front of them, the occasional tree trying to fight its way through the radiation that seeped in the ground and live a couple days longer. For now though, she had to deal with the night and the blackness that came with it. She turned on her side and said, “It’s alright. Thanks, Jay. You see the flare yet?”
“No,” Jackie said, “but there was a bird before. A real one, flew right overhead as you slept.”
“How’d it look?”
“Sick, as usual.” Jackie tightened the grip on her bag and knelt in the soft dirt, “There’s a little bit of that snake left, saved it for you.”
Anna sat up and rolled out of her bag onto the dirt, and the growing field of ash. She stopped a couple inches in front of Jackie and smiled before standing up. Her back cracked, her knees popped, and she groaned. “What was that? Four hours?”
“Three, actually.”
She sighed and dusted the already thick layer of ash off of her before grabbing her jacket from her bag. Unlike Jackie’s, hers was entirely black with a single maroon stripe on the back. The jackets were made out of a heavy material they had picked up from a settlement a few months’ back, trading their fall leather for a winter wool. She had kept her pants on throughout the night and chose, like Jackie, to keep them on for the rest of the day. Then she moved to her sleeping mat, flipping it over once, then twice, then rolling it up. “Thanks, by the way, but you can have it.”
“You sure?”
“Yeah, I’m still full,” Anna said. Anna was, in fact, still hungry, but Jackie needed it--and she didn’t hesitate in taking the last of it--more than Anna right now and they were less than a few hours from the meeting site. It was there, she hoped, that Lucas would be able to give them a little bit more than originally bargained for. Perhaps, she thought, they could convince him to finally take them to the Chamber. A hot shower and a full meal didn’t come often, and she craved one. She imagined Jackie did as well.
She opened her mouth again as she reached for her water, taking a good taste of the ash storm and growing more disgusted by the minute. She drank a good deal of the water, before clipping it back to her field bag. Then she yawned, a mistake in itself.
“The meeting spot is on the other side of the hill, right?” Jackie said. She was ready to go, looking at the horizon and ignoring the ash that fell onto her black and gray baseball hat, though it hadn’t been used for baseball in years. “It’s been awhile since they chose that one.”
“Not since our last Walk with Craig, right?” Anna put on her boots, tightened the makeshift laces, and then stood upwards. She used a walking stick to help her up and created a soft divot in the ash that piled on the ground as she did so. She was unsure if she had even hit dirt. “Think he realized then they would never see each other again?” Jackie remained silent and Anna slung her field bag onto her back. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay. You check your pistol?”
Anna nodded and stepped in front of Jackie. They both pulled out their respective firearms that sat in each of their holsters under their armpits. They examined them together, two pistols they had traded from a few years’ ago. Anna pulled the stock back on her own and heard a bullet click into the chamber. “Mine’s dirty,” she said, “the ash storms isn’t helping I’m sure, but we’re going to need to clean them.”
“Same here,” Jackie said, and she looked at the gun in her hand. “We’re going to have to pull them apart this time, not just a wipe like last time.”
“Maybe Lucas can help with that. We have to trade ammunition with him anyway,” Anna said.
“Think the Eggy’s will let him get away with that?”
“Hopefully. Or they’re losing their supply.” Anna hesitated, then said, “They can’t be completely isolated, we both know that.”
“Yeah.” There was a silence that lingered for a moment, then Jackie said, “You leading today?” She put her pistol back in her holster, and Anna followed suit. She never liked handling firearms, but it was something she had learned to do over the years.
“You take it until we get to the forest,” she said, “you’ve got a better eye in the plains than I do.”
Jackie started to walk and the silent drizzle of ash around them took hold. Each time they stepped their boots made a soft crushing noise against the ash. It was like snow in that regard, though the similarities ended there. Ash storms were heavy, caused by the irreparable damage to the Earth, and they carried with them a sense of hate that Anna had only felt a few times in her adult life before the Big Drop. Since that day, the feeling returned with each storm, each loss, each meeting with Lucas and the envoys from the Chamber. It happened far too often, she said to herself.
They remained silent for most of the walk out of the plains and onto the highway, heading diagonally to the Northeast forest, to save time. Anna wanted to apologize again for bringing up Craig and she knew Jackie wanted to talk about the stars she saw as Anna napped. Though even with the desire of each, they stayed quiet, intent on listening to the silence of the world, hoping it would stay that way until they reached the clearing.
Together, they crossed a small stream and each took a break to refill their canteens with the water that sat above the surface. The water reminded Anna much of Jackie’s iridescent eyes, the way colors splashed all over it. She had forgotten what natural water really looked like. With all things in the countryside, there was a risk of radiation, yet until they reached a supply of fresh water, it was a risk they had to take--and always did. The two, after a brief exchange, continued onward.
Eventually the sun began to rise over the clouds of ash. It broke through the dulled grey sky and lit up the world around them. The sky warmed a bit, the hints of grey clashing with blue. Anna could make out the dark ash on the ground, but after that, she could see all the colors too. The deep corn-colored plains ventured on around them, with dabs of lavender and magenta that came from the radiation of the area. Every so often, they’d see a full-grown green tree living next to a few mangled, dead ones. Even in the worst areas imaginable, nature’s green somehow carved its way through the bleakness and back onto the Earth.
When they reached the fossilized remains of the highway, the sun had broken through the thick layer of clouds and replaced the bleak world Anna had woken up to, to the one that was created by man’s desire to conquer. Though she had known this world of beautiful destruction far longer than she had known the old world, she didn’t miss the old one. To think of it, Anna had lived seventeen years in the Old, and was working on her twentieth year in this one.
It had been a long twenty years, she remembered as they crossed over the cracked concrete and faded yellow-lines that used to separate lanes of traffic. Anna drove a car twice in her life. Once, to receive her license, and the second time in a mad frenzy to get home before the Drops. Both times she was frightened, for different reasons of course, but she remembered the panic. Most of all, she remembered all of the people. That stuck out in her mind clearly, in reality, because most cities these days hardly had a few thousand in them and that fact was still daunting to her. Twenty years ago, millions of people spread across the United States, billions across the world; and ten million people, including her family, were concentrated in the single city she grew up in. Until that city was quarantined, bombarded, and ravaged by the effects of the Virus, and then the Drops. It became a husk of its former self. She had never been back. Though she knew some of her fellow friends and Walkers had been over the last twelve years, she chose never to return.
That was until the trip that she and Jackie took Northeast. It was that trip that changed their ideas about what they were doing, how long they could keep it up, and who would take their places when they were gone. It was that trip, they had decided, that would be one of their last.
A flare, about a mile away, lit up the bleak sky and jolted her awake from her daydreaming. The flare, Anna decided, came from the thick, dying forest that resided directly across the highway, still shrouded under the cover of cloud and ash even with the sun in the sky. Jackie turned to Anna to see if she had seen it. “Yeah,” Anna said, “I’ll take lead now.”
Jackie nodded and waited for Anna to catch up a bit. Jackie followed once Anna walked in front of her by a foot or two. They headed for the forest and Jackie said, “Remember, keep the safety on. I don’t want to shoot anyone we don’t have to.” Anna checked her gun to make sure. The safety was on.
Anna continued to walk forward, her hand brushed over the increasing taller plains of blonde grass. Her fingers danced over the plains and she almost started to hum a tune. She stopped herself before she began. It was a foolish idea to hum in territory they hadn’t scouted in years.
They reached the forest clearing as the storm settled to the South, taking with it the ash, but leaving the wind and clouds. Every so often, a gust of ash and dirt would sweep up and around them and Anna struggled to get the sharp taste of the ash out of her mouth. The wind, however, did give them some semblance of cover. By the time they reached the clearing, their clothes were dusted and Anna was coughing up her own storm.
“Volley!” A voice shouted from the other side of the clearing. Anna had already spotted the group, and she assumed Jackie did as well. There were six of them, two men and two women who were wrapped in the traditional garb of the Chamber with a gas mask hanging at their belts and stood on either side of a large humvee. For this type of environment they wore a tan-colored jumpsuit and a flak helmet wrapped in brown cloth. Each of them held a large rifle in their hands and they came to attention as Jackie and Anna approached.
“Star,” Anna said, remembering the newest callsigns Lucas had taught her and Jackie years’ prior. Lucas, the ever-Ambassador between them and the Chamber, stood in front of the humvee, with his arms crossed. He wore a black jumpsuit with his own tan jacket and hat on top of it. His weapon, a magnum, sat in a holster on his thigh. The sixth person, a woman, was new to both Anna and Jackie. She wore a crisp white lab coat over a tan jumpsuit and black field armor on her chest. Unlike the others, she wore sunglasses over her eyes and she gripped her gas mask in her hand.
Anna stepped forward first, with Jackie right behind her. “Good to see you two,” Lucas said, “How was your walk?”
“Long. Typical enough.”
“The Mercs to the East give you any problems? We’ve had reports they’re getting aggressive, moved in on a settlement to South of them--they’re expanding.”
“Slaughtering is more like it, but when they found out who we were? No, we were fine. They realized what we meant to them,” Anna said.
“And for that inconvenience, they want a dozen,” Jackie added.
“Vaccines?” The woman said.
Lucas nodded and held out his hand, “Excuse me, this is Sarah, our newest medical representative for the rest of the world. Sarah, this is Annamarie and Jacklyn, our Ambassadors to the rest of the world.”
Sarah looked at Anna and Jackie, examining both them and what they wore. Her eyes lingered on the weapons in their jackets before she nodded. “A pleasure.” Anna smirked, “Didn't know we were being honored with the presence of a medical rep. Any reason why?”
“I'm here to make sure Lucas gets something useful out of our trades.”
“You mean you no longer trust us to abide by your rules.” Anna shook her head, “We’ve had an agreement since this started. I was one of the original eighty-seven, been doing these walks for twelve years, we aren't--”
“That's not what she means Ann.” Lucas sighed, and said, “She's just here to learn more about our trading. Since this started, it has always been a military operation, the Board disagrees with that now. They want to know how things between us go, interactions, trading, and so forth. And you know, asking for a dozen more vaccines is not how this works.”
“You always bring extras, we both know that,” Anna said. “And Goldcrest is offering double their usual payment so I know you have plenty.”
“Double payment for double vaccines. Not to just give away,” Sarah said.
Anna looked at Jackie and they shared an exchange. For a moment, no one said anything and Anna thought about what she was about to say. They had been walking--trading with the Chamber--for twelve years. To them, it was a job and nothing more. But a job, Anna remembered, isn’t supposed to impact your conscious like this does. She remembered Craig’s old saying, “As long as we walk, we’re safe. You can’t put a price on that.” Unfortunately for Craig, someone had. Eighty-five of her friends and fellow Walkers had paid that price.
It ends today, she thought as she stared at Jackie. “I have something you want,” she said, her gaze still on Jackie, “something you need.”
“And that is?” Sarah said.
“It’'s not for you, miss medical rep.” She said, and turned to Lucas, “It's for Lucas and the army you have in that Chamber of yours. Well, army, scientists, and civilians. It’s for all of you.” Anna smirked, “It has to do with the North, remember that old agreement?”
Lucas shared a glance with Jackie and Anna. Sarah raised an eyebrow and wondered as to what was the issue. Lucas looked back at Anna. “Okay, in the humvee. We have some things to discuss,” he said.
Feedback welcome, good luck to everyone who's entering!]
Edit: Formatting
submitted by TheWritingSniper to WritingPrompts [link] [comments]


2016.05.31 15:55 YourShoesUntied Black Mountain Monster - A report of a different kind.

Who? - YourShoesUntied
What? - The Black Mountain Monster Ultramarathon
When? - Saturday, May 21st, 2016
Where? - Black Mountain, North Carolina, United States
Why? - I've still not figured this out yet.

Intro:

Typically I write up these reports to discuss how the race itself went for me. However this occasion calls for a different perspective from another angle. I'd love to highlight each thing I did but it would draw away from the story I'd like to tell so I'm just going with it. Below you won't find much about the race itself but more about how it came to be, what unfolded, and what was learned from it. It'll be missing the normal things like fueling strategy, split times, and details on gear used, the training beforehand and the single moment when a runner finishes and crosses the line. This is not much of a race report but more of a summary on how a bunch of strangers became family.

How it all began:

In late August of 2015 I had kicked around the idea of having a little meetup with some of the people in /running not thinking that it would gain much traction. I think it was in a Moronic Monday post that I joked about gathering a group to run a race together. It didn't get a lot of attention but over the course of the next day or two after posting the thought, I found myself discussing with somewhere around 30 people who seemed genuinely interested in making my dream become a reality. A week later I decided to create a private subreddit called /TimedUltra and added everyone who was interested in getting together for a race. The sub would serve as a secure chat room for members to interact. It would eventually evolve into our home base where we all kept in touch almost daily. I took on the role of becoming the leader of the group so as to make sure things kept organized. Sparing a few details, over the next month as a group we narrowed down events and dates and voted on things we should do. Everything was kept completely transparent and I wanted to make sure that if a single person disagreed with something, that their voice was heard and every possible option and route we took got considered. The race choosing process was the most stressful because there were so many people from all over the United States and Canada wanting in and with choosing a race, it became difficult for some to commit due to timing and location. We narrowed in and ultimately chose The Black Mountain Monster.
My goal all along was to choose an event that allowed everyone to be together and for a long time. Most races like half marathons and marathons are too short, relays can be fun but the competition makes it stressful, and most of the events are point-to-point courses meaning that there is slim chance we could all stay together. I decided that a 'timed event' was our best bet. Summing it up for those curious, a timed ultra is generally held on a looping course and gives runners a window of time like 6 hours, 12 hours, or 24 hours to run as many miles as they can before the timer runs out. This allows us to set up a basecamp where we can all congregate instead of being spread out over many miles away from each other. I've done numerous timed ultras in the past and knew it would be a good fit for a meetup like this. The atmosphere is laid back, the competition is fierce but friendly, and it allows for runners of all types to participate regardless of their experience.
So, upon deciding our race and sadly losing almost half of the original people who joined in, we found ourselves with about a dozen people who were dead set on making this happen. It was at this time where I started to divvy up tasks to our members. One person was in charge of our team shirts. One person was in charge of creating a commemorative item for each attending member so that no one walked away empty handed. Other members took the roll of figuring out our foods, while another member gathered our team medical supplies. I put a member in charge of finding our group a place to stay the night before the race and a member was given the task to keep tabs on things like race updates, our competition, and to provide the team with knowledge about the event. Other positions included were the 'treasurer' of sorts that kept a log of who's paid what, and another member in charge of getting sponsorships/donations to our team. It would be an understatement to say that our group really worked hard to make things come together. Members lost sleep trying to make sure their role was executed flawlessly and I couldn't have asked for anything more.
We waited for months for registration to open for the BMM (Black Mountain Monster) and in that time we started to create a bond and became pretty cohesive as a unit. We'd update daily on our ideas for our team names, our team logo, how our training was coming along, and just general chit chat. We’d discuss injuries and we’d discuss our new fueling methods we’d been trying out. I think it was Christmas night that registration finally opened and we all stormed in within the next few days securing our spots. We were actually going to do this. January, February, March, and April got even busier for the team as we dug in deeper and deeper into the details. No stone was left unturned. We discussed race strategy, supply lists, we created charts and graphs highlighting all of the past results from the event and even what our room assignments would be the night before. In the later months we added two members who became key elements to our eventual success. Again, everyone played a role in order to make the team function.
As the race date came closer we created a countdown timer in the sub to keep everyone on their toes, we started doing video chats in the evenings using our phones and webcams. All of this was to create a sense of unity among the group. Being complete strangers chatting face to face via a video feed was awkward at first but eventually turned into something that everyone looked forward to doing. We got to know each other for who we were instead of just a username. Everyone has heard horror stories about how cringeworthy reddit meetups turn out to be and we all made certain that when the day came for us to meet in real life it wasn't going to be an epic failure.

Our Team:

The Calm Before the Storm:

LadyShoes and I made the almost 9 hour drive from then Indiana/Illinois border to South Carolina early on Friday in hopes of making it to where the race was being held so we could start setting up the team's base camp. It was a long drive indeed just to run for 24 hours with a bunch of people I’d already started calling my close friends.
We were the first to arrive because we skipped making it to the team's rental lodge to save time. Slowly but surely the team started making their way in as everyone introduced themselves. Some had already met at the rental prior to coming and already people were forming relationships. Together we all set up our site along the course and got to know each other as a steady rain came down while we hunkered under one of our canopies. Some members of the group parted ways to go run errands, some to go get their swag bags, while others headed back to the rental to begin the evening. At this time brwalkernc and I decide that we need to get a course preview in. He and I head out for a quick survey of the 5k trail loop and make it back. In our research prior to getting there, we watched a video online that someone a year prior had posted of the course. We discovered that it did little justice in thoroughly documenting just how technical the trail really was. The course was littered with toe-catching roots and contained more climbing/ascending then what we figured. We had our work cut out for us if we were going to compete the next day. So much for just cruising along for a majority of the time.
Brwalkernc and I finished our lap and met up with some of the stragglers who’d made their way in while we were out running. Plans were made as the group swung by the town’s pizza shop to pick up a massive 40” pizza to take back to the rental. LadyShoes and I decided that we’d make a pit stop at the local run shop to pick up my race shirt and browse a bit to get our minds off of what we would be focused on the next day.
It was still raining when we got back to the rental as we made our way down into the oddly situated basement dining hall. Upon walking in we noticed a nearly empty 40” pan on the table surrounded by the entire group so we dug in quick to get our share of pizza. We were only 15 minutes late and the crew had already smashed the largest pizza I’d ever laid eyes on. I'd commented that we almost needed a second one and I was being serious too. The entire group chatted away for what felt like hours as we tried our best to not focus on tomorrow’s activities. Jokes were made, bonds were made stronger, and our group was quickly becoming tight nit.
As usual, I found myself sitting towards the back of the room avoiding much conversation and being a ‘people watcher’ as we call it. I liked watching people interact who’d waited for this day to come. I listened as zazzera and his wife lizard237 talked about their jobs back home and their hilarious story of homemade mead drinking. I watched craigster38 and mrscraigster38 as they sat at the end of the table at the far end of the room, him snapping pictures with is Nikkon camera and her smiling wildly at denovosibi’s well placed jokes. DAharlow caught my attention with his repetitive trips back and forth to the kitchen fridge full of beer. I laughed at myself thinking how much I’m sure he’d regret his decisions prior to toeing the line after sun up. runroardinosaur often proclaiming just how crazy it was that we were all together finally and serving the crowd with stories. The other married couple, despoena and linkynet, in the flesh. He too with a large smile plastered across his face as his bright blue haired wife told us all about the ‘fabulous prizes’ we could all win the next day if we were the first to do this or the last to do that. Then there was barnaby_mcfoo and his gf. Together they too seemed to be people watching like LadyShoes and I. barnaby_mcfoo held a content grin on his face all evening as people went back and forth telling stories. To my right I’d lock on to sacamato as he’d be telling stories about his home back in Maryland. With a soft demeanor he’d add quips to conversations that would make you pause to think about the complexity of what he said. He had a way of naturally making you feel as though you had met a world traveller. There was c0me_at_me_br0. I didn’t know what to think about him at first. Young military guy, built like a brick house, complete with a perfectly chiseled jaw line. Lucky bastard. There he stood all night making me nervous as he pounded beer, pacing from conversation to conversation never seeming to sit the hell down. He reminded me of the stereotypical frat guy looking to get wild. Little did I know it was him that I’d bond with the most and find a good friend in. And then there was brwalkernc. It didn’t take long to tell that, like LadyShoes and I he missed being at home with his kids. Hidden behind his scraggly beard and thin face was a sort of wisdom you can only get with being the father of 4 young girls. I took interest in brwalkernc immediately as he acted like this sort of thing was nothing new to him. All in all, panning the room to watch everyone made my night. Months of planning and here we all sat full of pizza and beer talking like old college friends. The night carried on as everyone eventually peeled off from the party and headed to their rooms. LadyShoes and I found ourselves in our designated room. A room that slept two people...with two child sized twin beds across the room from each other. After a few sad puppy faces and some innocent guilt tripping I found myself snuggled in nice and tight as we both shared a single twin mattress as the other one sat empty adjacent to us.

Race Morning:

I woke up naturally before 6am. Being that the gun didn’t go off for another 4 hours meant that we’d have plenty of time to get things situated. We all gathered for coffee and breakfast in the dining room down stairs as everyone worked out their race day routines. At 8 am we all began rolling out of our rental to head to the race. Some of us split from the group in order to make a few last minute purchases or grab bags of ice. DAHarlow and C0me_at_me_br0 went to Denny's to fill up. We all made it to our basecamp and began setting up the chairs, coolers, and tables. After a few minutes of organizing, the team stood back in awe as we all looked at the fueling table. Every member had contributed gels, and drinks, and foods, and gear, and any other race running related item you could imagine. Our set up even put the actual BMM aid station to shame. We had everything and more. We'd learned from the race director that the race would be starting 30 minutes later than scheduled which got groans from a lot of people. The race was originally set to start at 10am but now with a 10:30am start time, it felt like we had to wait an eternity.

The Line:

With only a few minutes left until the horn blew, we all gathered into the crowd with nervous excitement. Settling into the back half of the crowd felt weird but we had a long day ahead of us and it was the smart thing to do. The National Anthem was sung and the crowd applauded. brwalkernc and I put our hats back on and the race began. I patted him on the shoulder and said "Let's Roll!" as the crowd surged forward. Our group was headed into battle.

My Race:

As I opened with, this write up is more about the meetup. I won't go into much detail about my own happenings but I'll touch on a few things.
Going into the race my goal was to hit 100+ miles. I had had a very stressful few weeks prior to the race and didn't get the quality sleep, nutrition, and training that I needed so I felt as if my batteries were already running a bit low. Overall I really just wanted to see all of our members do well and for this meetup to pull off without a hitch. I felt that I had a lot riding on my shoulders to perform well being that everyone was looking up to me. I did my best to lead by example.
The first couple of hours went well. I teamed up with c0me_at_me_br0 for a solid 15 miles before I started to slow down a bit and I had let him get ahead of me. Up until that point we guessed that we were in the top 10 runners or so. As the morning turned into the afternoon, things got pretty warm. A heavy rain soaked the course early in the afternoon which we all appreciated running in but with that came heat and humidity. For those of you that have read my reports before, I crack in humid air and hot temps. It's the one weather scenario that I've yet to figure out. Steam rolled off the crushed blacktop as I started to tank late in the afternoon. I'd began my first bouts of walking in an attempt to not overheat but it was already too late. It was just plain hot and I had to save myself by shuffling and walking. Doing this took it's toll on my position as well. Every few miles I'd get passed by a new face. A sure sign that I'm losing my rank. But I didn't let it get to me too much. Afterall, some of the people passing me are running the 6 hour or the 12 hour race but it was hard to tell as the bibs weren't marked.
The afternoon dragged on into the evening as the sun began to sink down behind the mountains that surrounded the course. I was physically drained from the heat of the day and began to struggle. The good news is that my hydration and nutrition for this race was spot on and had never been better. I knew for a fact that I'd be alright if I just kept moving. As the daylight faded, I decided I'd sit down for the first time in almost 12 hours just to give my feet a break. It was short lived. The evening brought cooler temps and I'd began to feel better so I carried on. At this point I discovered that I was still in the top 15 runners which lit a spark in me.
Night fell and the course was now littered with head lamps dancing in and out of the tree rows. Nothing much exciting happened as I ran into the night. Other than tired feet, I felt great and continued to move with relative ease. I had even managed to move up a couple positions as other runners began to finally tire. Then the worst part of the race hit me like a ton of bricks. Somewhere between midnight and 1am my legs went rogue on me. It's something that I've never experienced or even heard other ultra runners talk about and it had me worried. Half way through a lap, they just...stopped. From the knee down to the sole of my foot, everything was dead. I literally couldn't wiggle my toes or flex my foot or tighten my calf. Somehow I remained upright but I don't know how. The best way to explain it is the feeling you get when you've slept on your arm and upon waking up you have to physically pick up your dead arm with your opposite hand and bring it back to life. It was just like that, but in both legs from the knees down and without the pins and needles feelings. I resorted to simply hinging my knee with force hoping that my feet would land under me. At one point I was physically reaching down with my hands and moving my own legs, willing them to just take another step. It was the oddest sensation that I still cannot explain.
I made it back to the canopy and for the first time in roughly 15 hours I took an extended break. I'm not sure how long I sat in that chair but as I did, I slowly regained life into my legs. LadyShoes and I bickered a bit, her thinking I was full of shit and making excuses to quit and I trying to convince her that something wasn't right. I'm sure Craigster and Despoena who were sitting there felt a little out of place. Regardless, after what felt like an eternity I mustered up the courage to go back out again. At this point I had slipped into a top 25 position and things weren't looking great. But I had to try. A few laps later I'd began to catch up and make some ground. Runners who were positions ahead of me started reaching the 100k mark of their races and passing out in their tents. I decided that this was my chance to make a bit of a come back. As other team mates and racers napped, I tried to catch up and put some distance between where they left off and where I currently was. And that I did. I'd went from 23rd to 13th overall in the span of only a couple hours in the very very early morning hours.
Prior to sun up I made one more surge to take 3rd on our Reddit team behind the course leader brwalkernc and lady machine runroardinosuar. I couldn't let friggin c0me_at_me_br0 beat me so I put in one more lap after sunrise to seal the deal. That lap was walked in well over an hour with sacamato and despoena at my side to give me company. It was seriously the slowest, toughest lap of the race. Down right painful. I made my way across the finish line exhausted and found the nearest hill to gather myself on as LadyShoes sat by me. I stared at the clouds in the sky happy it was over. With an hour left in the race I was content with being finished as tears welled up into my eyes. I look up as I watch a fresh c0me_at_me_br0 leave the tent where he'd been sleeping the past few hours and cross the starting line making a B-line shot for the trail entrance. I look at LadyShoes and yell "That Motherfucker!!!" "He's going out for another final lap!" I had finished a single lap ahead of him intentionally to make sure my position on the team was solid at 3rd place and he was going to attempt to give me a run for my money with a last minute surge. I looked at LadyShoes and said "fuck it! I gotta go!" I stood up with more energy than I'd even began the race with and took off in a dead sprint down the hill to the starting line. Members of the reddit team looked at me with wide eyes and disbelief. Almost as if I'd been faking being tired and sore the lap prior. Adrenaline is a hell of a drug. I dashed passed the race director as I shouted to him "I'm not letting him beat ME!" and the people standing around started hooting and clapping for me as I hauled ass into the woods in chase of the Br0!
100 yards into the woods br0 turns around to see who's behind him and the look on his face was priceless as I pointed at him and yelled "I'm coming for you fucker!". He took off even faster. It was a game of cat and mouse. After coming to the top of the first hill he split off to a side parking lot, which later I found out was to swing by his car and get his bib. Where ever he was going at that time didn't matter to me, I took advantage of it and ran as fast as I could. There was less than an hour left in the race and I needed to make it count...again. I ran hard. Around the half way mark I slow a bit as I hear Br0 hustling up behind me in an even faster sprint to catch up. Together we joke about our little foot race and make our way back around the course. We sprint in together with just under 20 minutes left on the clock and agree to call it quits, both satisfied with our efforts.

The Damage:

Our meetup was a successful one. Out of the 15 runners we had, all 15 of us had a new distance PR. Our 2 members of the 6 hour team took 1st place at the event. Our 12 hour team came in 2nd overall only missing 1st place by less than a mile! And our 24 hour team won 1st place overall averaging over 100k per person. It almost didn't seem fair that we nearly swept the race but fair is fair and we played by the rules. I ended up with just under 70 miles (just 50k shy of my big goal) and came in 12th place overall. It was one of my best finishes to date and while I wasn't completely satisfied, I was content.

Looking Back:

Other than getting better sleep/training prior to the race, there isn't a single thing that I'll change the next time I tackle a 24 hour race. It's not uncommon to find a friend or two at a race of this length but it's rare to come across 14 other people that you feel you'll be seeing again soon...by choice.
My uneasiness about c0me_at_me_br0 at first was washed away after spending many hours with him on the course as we hacked away at the mileage. The guy seems like he'd make a hell of a training partner and I admire his ability to chug beer and keep moving...and his jaw line.
I didn't get to spend much time at the event with Barnaby_mcfoo, and Mcfoo's girlfriend. They always seemed to be busy out running another lap. No matter when I caught a glance of Mcfoo, he always had that smirk on his face. Even at the toughest of times he continued to always look content and that made me happy.
LadyShoes and I found zazzera and wife lizard237 fun. Definitely the kind of couple we'd like to hang out with if the opportunity ever rose. They had interesting stories and we found ourselves drawn to them. I'm already looking forward to inviting them to stay with us next year if they are interested in running my hometown ultra event.
I owe DAharlow a big thanks for devoting himself to the team by pacing anyone and everyone who needed help. The guy ran his first 50k in the 6 hour race and continued on for another 18 hours going out for more laps with our team mates to give them company. It was selfless and saintly. A true gesture of kindness. Plus I still owe him $2.
We found linkynet and despoena to be a pretty whimsical couple. I have to send a thanks to despoena for helping me through my 2nd to last lap. She even did it with me while wearing jeans because she's hardcore like that. I didn't get any one on one time with linkynet and I'm kind of kicking myself for it. There will always be another time I guess.
I also have to give thanks to sacamato. I've talked to the guy for years online and meeting him in person changed everything I thought I knew about him. The guy's a wealth of knowledge. You can tell in his eyes that his brain is always turning out things to talk about and that's what the world needs more of. He's got a passion for many things in life and you can feel it in the vibe he gives off.
I did get to spend time with denovosibi. What a great person! She's come a long way from who she used to be and it shows in the spirit she has. You can tell that she's thankful for everything and that makes leading a group much easier. I convinced her to go out for one final lap and she accepted the challenge and I'm glad she did. She thanked me afterwards for pushing her when she thought she was done.
Brwalkernc made me proud that I set this whole thing up. The guy is a natural machine and I can see him winning a lot more races in the future. I've told him a million times already but out of everyone, it's his drive that I admire the most. Clearly a family man, he got to work instantly and never stopped moving. I'm envious of his ability to stick to the plan and remain completely sane while doing it. He might be much faster than me but I'd love to team up with him one day and crew for him or race as a duo. His wife and daughters are lucky to have such a good guy.
I can't leave out runroardinosaur. The damn girl is a machine. I don't think I've ever met a more bubbly person. She was initially weirded out by the thought of meeting a bunch of strangers from online and I applaud her for giving us a chance. I can see her being another good training partner if I ever get the chance to do it. I'm hoping her drive allows her to do many more races and finish well because she's got potential to do great things.
Then there's craigster38 and his wife mrscraigster38. Mrs busted her ass at the race. Br0 and I were inspired by her. Each lap she got faster and faster and gained on us more and more. I'm really proud of what she did at BMM. She surprised me with a great finish and helped lead the 6 hour team to victory with DAharlow. I've got to give Craigster a lot of credit because he deserves it. You could tell he was chomping at the bit to get out and run but due to a stress fracture he was forced to crew with LadyShoes and they did the most amazing job. Craig was on his game the entire 24 hours of the race keeping our followers online up to date with the latest stats and doing live interviews and chats with people. He made it his full time job to keep us connected to the world and I can't say enough to show him how much it meant that he did that. I'll be seeing Craigster a few more times this year because we are running a Ragnar together and a couple weeks prior to that he's coming to my hometown half marathon to give me a run for my money.
And finally, there's my girlfriend LadyShoes. I don't know where I'd be without her. The whole event wouldn't have been the same if she wasn't there. I only got to spend limited time with her because I was out running but according to what everyone else said, he was beyond helpful and manned the crew tent like it was her duty on this earth. She stayed up for hours aiding our team when she didn't have to. Filling bottles, opening packages for fumble fingered runners, and helping wherever she could. I've gotten lucky having her by my side.

Summing It Up:

The group meetup was flawless. Not a thing went wrong that wasn't solved instantly. This was due to the good-natured members of our team. Everyone played their part. I enjoyed setting up /running's first ever meet up of this nature and our efforts show in both the friendships we made and the success we had as individuals and teams at the race. I'm looking forward to seeing each member again. I feel like I've made friends for life and I couldn't ask for more.
In the following days after the race I returned to literally dozens of messages from members of the reddit running community asking when the next meet up would be. It took a group of 15 almost 9 months to get this one figured out and with the success we had, I'm already looking at future options for a second, even bigger, even better meetup in the future. Only time will tell what is in store for the next big adventure...
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2016.04.01 01:47 TheMonsieur The American/Canadian second division, the North American Soccer League, kicks off in two days. Here's my preview for those who want to learn a little more.

Whether you knew it or not, the North American Soccer League (NASL), America's second division, is kicking off in two days' time. There's been a whirlwind of activity in the preseason, with new teams coming in, broadcast deals being signed, and recognizable players joining up. I'm someone who follows the league pretty closely, and while I'm certainly not an expert analyst, I've taken some time to put together a capsule for each club competing to provide a brief introduction to the league.
With that said, a quick overview of the NASL and its structure: The NASL is the second tier of U.S./Canadian soccer, having formed in 2011 after breaking away from the USL First Division. It is in no way connected to MLS. Twelve teams will compete in 2016 across two seasons - Spring and Fall. The Spring Season, being previewed here, consists of 10 games and will only feature 11 teams (Puerto Rico FC enters in the Fall). The Fall Season starts in July and will consist of 22 games. At the conclusion of the Fall Season, four teams - the Spring and Fall Season winners, along with the two remaining teams with the best overall records - will enter the Championship playoffs for a chance to win the Soccer Bowl Trophy.
For a short recap on last season, you could watch my attempt at making a season review video. Oh, and be sure to check out /NASLSoccer! I'm over there a lot, and it's a good place to learn more.
Got it? Alright, let’s get started.
Team Name: Carolina RailHawks
Location: Cary, North Carolina
Manager: Colin Clarke
Stadium: WakeMed Soccer Park
History: Founded in 2006, Carolina was one of the breakaway members from the USL First Division that formed the NASL. The team's name is mean to represent both the rail lines that run directly across from the field and the hawks that are indigenous to the area. The RailHawks play their home games at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. In 2015, the RailHawks' owners, Traffic Sports, were indicted in a FIFA corruption scandal, leading to the sale of the club to local tech entrepreneur Stephen Malik.
2015 In Review: Carolina got off to a promising start in the spring, taking 14 points from 10 games and winning a 3rd place finish in the standings. Led by the creativity in the midfield of club legend Tiyi Shipalane and the goals up front from former Rangers striker Nacho Novo, the RailHawks picked up some good results at the beginning of the Fall Season as well. From that point, though, the wheels came off, particularly in road matches. Out of 10 away matches in the Fall, Carolina took just a single point. In the end, the result was 7th place in the Fall, and 6th in the combined table.
2016 Preview: The RailHawks marked their 10th anniversary in style off the field, inking a local TV deal, making stadium upgrades, and promising higher investment in the club. They doubled down on their commitment by re-signing club captain Connor Tobin as well as key players Tiyi Shipalane and Nazmi Albadawi. Then, they cleaned up by signing several high-level players, such as NASL Best XI midfielder James Marcelin, and former RailHawks Matt Watson and Akira Fitzgerald, who had most recently spent time in MLS. Carolina are the perfect example of a revamped and growing NASL: They've found a new owner who is excited and willing to spend, and they've invested all around the club and have reloaded their roster. Expect the RailHawks to challenge from right out of the gate in 2016.
Key Players: Ty Shipalane, MF; Connor Tobin, MF; Nazmi Albadawi, MF
One to Watch: Marvin Ceballos, MF. The Guatemalan international has been described as a "natural #10" by manager Colin Clarke and has the potential to be a breakout star for Carolina this year.
Predicted Finish: 4th. I think they fly under the radar as a well put-together team, and pressure from FIFA scandal gone. This prediction could blow up in my face.
Team Name: FC Edmonton
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Manager: Colin Miller
Stadium: Clarke Stadium
History: Edmonton is a growing team, having only formed in 2010, just in time for the first NASL season. The Eddies are slight rivals with Minnesota United, participating in the Flyover Cup and raising money for charities together. Edmonton is currently the furthest west of all NASL teams, and has struggled with attendance figures as well as play on the field. Their best season finish was 5th place, and the closest they've been to a championship was the league's quarterfinals in its first year of existence.
2015 In Review: Despite progress made in 2014, things turned south for the league's northernmost club in the Spring Season of 2015. Two wins meant a 10th place finish out of 11. The Eddies' relief came in the form of a Canadian Championship cup run, in which they came inches away from defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the semifinal, only to be knocked out by a goal in the last seconds of stoppage time. In the fall, results picked up for Edmonton. Lance Laing marked his record third appearance in the league's Best XI with eight goals and seven assists throughout the Spring and Fall Seasons, but the team suffered when he was on international duty with Jamaica. The team's playoff hopes fell away during the final five games of the season, during which they found only one point. FC Edmonton finished 5th in the Fall and 7th in the combined table.
2016 Preview: Edmonton would seem to be in a spot of trouble. Over the offseason, winger Lance Laing, who put the Eddies on his back at times, left to join Minnesota United. So, FC Edmonton made some changes. In the front office, they added Jay Ball as general manager; Ball played a significant role in the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada. On the field, they brought back Daryl Fordyce, the club's all-time leading scorer, and made a splash by signing Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood from Germany. Manager Colin Miller called it the most promising offseason in club history, and proceeded to sign the Senegalese center back Papé Diakité and Jake Keegan, 2nd-top scorer in the League of Ireland last season. With the roster set, Edmonton toured Great Britain, showing well in several friendly across the pond. With a lackluster history and a star player missing, Edmonton will look to defy the odds in 2016.
Key Players: Albert Watson, DF; Daryl Fordyce, FW; Nik Ledgerwood, DF/MF
One to Watch: Allan Zebie, MF. An FC Edmonton youth product and Canada youth international, Zebie, only 22, has established himself as the Eddies' regular right back. This year, he could move to a whole new level.
Predicted Finish: 6th. Laing is gone, but most of the roster returns, aided by savvy signings.
Team Name: Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Manager: Caio Zanardi
Stadium: Lockhart Stadium
History: As one of the members of the original NASL, the Strikers have a history dating back to 1977. The team signed some of the world's finest players, including Gordon Banks, George Best, and Gerd Müller. After moving to Minnesota, a second Strikers team popped up in Fort Lauderdale in 1988, playing for six years in the American Soccer League (ASL) and the American Professional Soccer League (APSL). The current incarnation, founded in 2006 as Miami FC, rebranded into the Strikers before the first season of the new NASL. In 2014, after a loss in the NASL final, the club made international headlines when Brazilian legend Ronaldo joined their ownership group. In 2015, the low-budget club shocked the league by once again making the playoffs.
2015 In Review: Following the Spring Season, there weren't many optimists left in the Strikers camp. After dumping most of 2014's star players (Fafà Picault, their star player, went to Europe; Pecka moved to Real Salt Lake), the firing of head coach Günter Kronsteiner, and the flop of much-hyped signing Leo Moura, Fort Lauderdale limped to an 8th place finish in the Spring. The Fall was a different story. After re-signing Kronsteiner, a young Strikers team turned it all around. Fluminense loanees Marlon Freitas and Stefano Pinho shined, with Pinho topping the NASL scoring charts and winning the league MVP award. James Marcelin joined Pinho in the league's Best XI, and midfielder PC just missed out. The Strikers finished 4th in the Fall, and a win against Jacksonville on the last day propelled them to 4th in the overall standings as well, giving them a semifinals spot. The fairy tale ended in New York, with the Cosmos coming from behind to win 2-1 en route to the NASL Championship game.
2016 Preview: For the past two years, Fort Lauderdale has been the surprise team of the league. This year, the rest of the NASL will be as prepared as they can, but the Strikers still present a bit of a mystery. After squeezing into the playoffs in 2015, the team once again dismantled its roster, letting go of manager Günter Kronsteiner (again), watching the league's MVP and top scorer Stefano Pinho leave for Minnesota, and parting ways with Best XI midfielder James Marcelin, who signed with Carolina.
In response, Fort Lauderdale ramped up operations: They created a reserve team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), announced a whole wave of staff appointments, expanded partnerships and advertisements, got a TV deal, hosted an international tournament, and toured China. They also made some big-name signings, inking World Cup winner Kléberson, Brazilian veterans Adrianinho & Bruno Cardoso, U.S. youth internationals and UEFA Champions League-experienced players. And they unveiled their new jerseys on a yacht. Yeah, what can I say? The Strikers have big ambitions, and they've moved on from being a low-budget side that scraped past other teams. So will new investment bring more success? We'll have to see.
Key Players: Kléberson, MF; PC MF; Adrianinho, MF
One to Watch: Matheus Carvalho, FW. Carvalho has a solid pedigree, having played a few minutes for Monaco in last year's UEFA Champions League. It's possible he could be a welcome surprise in South Florida.
Predicted Finish: 7th. So much change on this roster, and several star players past their primes.
Team Name: Indy Eleven
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Manager: Tim Hankinson
Stadium: Carroll Stadium
History: After years of calls for a professional soccer team in Indianapolis from the Brickyard Battalion (the Eleven's main supporter group), the dream was finally realized in 2013. That year, legendary American soccer executive Peter Wilt announced that he would become the president of Indy Eleven, a team that started play in 2014. Despite struggles on the field, Indy Eleven became the first American soccer team to sell out all its home games in its inaugural home season. Wilt left on good terms in 2016 to pursue a Chicago NASL project.
2015 In Review: After a disappointing first year on the field, things didn't get much better in 2015 for Indy Eleven, though they did once again lead the league in attendance. Star player Kléberson picked up a season-ending achilles injury, and the Eleven won only one in their first eight matches. That record, combined with an embarrassing U.S. Open Cup defeat at home to USL's Louisville City FC, led to the firing of head coach Juergen Sommer. His replacement, interim coach Tim Regan, won the final two games to elevate Indy to 5th in the Spring. However, any playoff aspirations fell away in the Fall, as a string of bad results climaxed with a 7-1 loss in Fort Lauderdale en route to a 9th place finish in the Fall Season and combined standings. Indy could find a silver lining with the strong performances of several youngsters, such as Dylan Mares and Duke Lacroix.
2016 Preview: With one of the largest fanbases in the league and some of the worst performances, Indy are under pressure to finally turn around its performance. To start, they stripped down most of the team to just a couple of players, and hired long-time manager Tim Hankinson to construct a rebuild. Hankinson piled on MLS experience, inking Jon Busch, Siniša Ubiparipović, Justin Braun, Lovel Palmer, and Gorka Larrea, among others. Preseason did not go well, with most friendlies ending in defeat or stalemate to lower-division and university teams, and several players picking up injuries. That said, this Eleven squad is better than any other that has taken the field, and have a good mix of senior players and up-and-comers that are ready to deliver.
Key Players: Dylan Mares, MF; Brad Ring, MF; Siniša Ubiparipović, MF
One to Watch: Duke Lacroix, FW. It's time to meet the 22-year-old forward every soccer fan in Indianapolis is talking about. Lacroix got a chance last year, and electrified on the wing. This season, he'll hope to earn a starting job.
Predicted Finish: 8th. If one of the new central striker signings turns good, they'll have a real chance in this league. If not? Expect the same as before.
Team Name: Jacksonville Armada FC
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Manager: Tony Meola
Stadium: Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville
History: Announced on July 25, 2013, Jacksonville's team was christened as Armada FC on February 18, 2014. The Armada was the only expansion side to join the league in 2015, lead by the ownership collective Sunshine Soccer Group and club president Steve Livingstone. The team chose to play at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and quickly established themselves in the top tier of NASL attendances, although they didn't do as well on the field.
2015 In Review: Jacksonville got off to a fast start, with Jemal Johnson scoring seconds into their first game as the Armada went on to win three out of its first five. That was the best run of form the team would see all year. After finishing a respectable 6th in the Spring, the Armada fell into a slump, finishing last both in the Fall Season and combined table. The team fired its first manager, José Luis Villarreal, after attempting to give him a co-managerial role with Guillermo Hoyos. The club later fired Hoyos after giving him a contract through 2019 months earlier.
2016 Preview: The Armada began their offseason with a big statement of intention, hiring former USA goalkeeper Tony Meola as head coach. After an unsuccessful inaugural year, much of 2015's roster did not make it back. Instead, Jacksonville refined it by looking to the lower leagues. They signed NASL Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan, USL MVP Matt Fondy, and USL Defender of the Year Bryan Burke, in effect establishing a small collection of some of the best players below MLS last season. Just before the season began, the Armada suffered a blow as young standout Akeil Barrett transferred to the Swedish second division. Yet, after a preseason that included promising signings and friendlies, Jacksonville seem ready to move up the table.
Key Players: Alhassane Keita, FW; Mechak Jérôme, DF; Matt Fondy, FW
One to Watch: Charles Eloundou, FW. Once a highly-touted prospect, Eloundou, 21, saw his career stall with the Colorado Rapids (MLS). Now settled in Jacksonville, this year may be his opportunity to shine.
Predicted Finish: 9th. Good first steps, but still a lot to do after finishing bottom of the table last year.
Team Name: Miami FC
Location: Miami, Florida
Manager: Alessandro Nesta
Stadium: FIU Stadium
History: Unrelated to the original Miami FC (now the Fort Lauderdale Strikers), this team was founded in 2015 and kicked off in 2016. Miami attracted international attention with its ownership (entrepreneur Riccardo Silva and former Italy legend Paolo Maldini) as well as its first head coach (Maldini's Italy teammate Alessandro Nesta). The team began play at FIU Stadium.
2016 Preview: Expansion teams are often an enigma, and the organization of Miami FC is no different. Founded in the eye of a storm of MLS rumors (Miami Beckham United FC?), the brains behind Miami FC will likely want to get off to a running start in order to attract the sort of attention with soccer fans that can make them viable in the city and sustainable into the future. To that end, Miami brought in two star: Dario Cvitanich, who has scored goals and seen success with big clubs all over the world, and Wilson Palacios, the English Premier League veteran with nearly 100 Honduras caps under his belt. Mostly, though, the roster is filled out by players with NASL experience (Pablo Campos, Jaimé Chavez, etc.) and up-and-comers looking to make a name for themselves. In many ways, this is a similar approach that other past expansion teams have taken, with mixed results. The real question for 2016 might be just how well Miami FC establishes a fanbase in an unknown market.
Key Players: Wilson Palacios, MF; Darío Cvitanich, FW; Matuzalem, MF
One to Watch: Blake Smith, MF. Making his return to North American soccer after a year in hiatus, Smith is an unknown quantity. However, if he re-creates the kind of success he saw in Montreal and Indy, he could be a vital part of Miami's attack.
Predicted Finish: 11th. Similar construction as previous expansion teams may yield similar results.
Team Name: Minnesota United FC
Location: Blaine, Minnesota
Manager: Carl Craig
Stadium: National Sports Center
History: Professional soccer in Minnesota began with the Minnesota Kicks of the old NASL, but Minnesota has had a continuous presence of professional soccer since the founding of the Minnesota Thunder in 1990. When that team folded due to the financial shadiness of owner Dean Johnson, a new series of teams all slightly related to one another emerged. The NSC Minnesota Stars were launched in 2010, but the ownership of National Sports Center in Blaine, MN lasted only a season before the NASL took over the team. In 2011, the Stars won the Soccer Bowl for the first time in the new era of the NASL. In 2012, the team rebranded as Minnesota Stars FC and again went to the final, where they lost to Tampa Bay in penalties. The team was league-owned at the time and many fans and players thought that without a win in the final (thinking the league wouldn't dare let its champion fold), the team would no longer have a future. However, after the crushing loss, news began to leak out that the team had found an owner. In 2013, Dr. Bill McGuire (formerly of United Healthcare Group) purchased the Minnesota Stars and rebranded them as Minnesota United FC.
The team is supported by the Dark Clouds, a supporters group founded in the Thunder days. They are known for their bizarre brand of "Jackassery," which is ecstatic support that opposes macho, wannabe hooliganism. They have a gameday zine called the Jackassery Times-Heckler and worship the god DETHLOON. The club announced a move to Major League Soccer in 2017 or 2018, pending the construction of a downtown stadium.
2015 In Review: Buoyed off the field by an MLS expansion announcement, Minnesota continued to show stellar performances on it. Although star player Miguel Ibarra transferred to Mexican club Léon, replacements brought in (including Ibson and Khalif Alhassan) proved to be up to the challenge. A fourth place finish in the Spring was strong, if not ideal. In the Fall, an incredible run of eight wins in 10 matches led to a 2nd place finish. United were 3rd in the overall standings, and Christian Ramirez scored the second-most goals in the league, just missing a second consecutive Golden Boot. In their playoff semifinal in Ottawa, Ramirez's penalty gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead, but an equalizer and extra time winner from opposition forward Tom Heinemann led to an end to their season.
2016 Preview: This could be Minnesota's last year in the NASL, and they're offseason move show a determination to leave with a trophy in both hands. In preparation for the move to MLS, Manny Lagos (manager since 2010) became Sporting Director, and assistant Carl Craig moved up to become head coach. The team returns all four of its Best XI players from 2015: Justin Davis, Ibson, Christian Ramirez, and Kevin Venegas. It made further inroads by signing two other Best XI members: Lance Laing, who carried FC Edmonton and became a regular with Jamaica, and Stefano Pinho, who was named the league's best player and won the Golden Boot with Fort Lauderdale. Is there any stopping this team? Well, while United obviously has an unparalleled attack, there are questions on the defensive side, with the team having lost preseason games 0-4, 0-4, and 1-3 to MLS sides. If defense does not turn out to be a problem, though, this is a side that could really challenge for both the league title and a position deep in the U.S. Open Cup.
Key Players: Christian Ramirez, FW; Stefano Pinho, FW; Justin Davis, DF
One to Watch: Greg Jordan, MF. Minnesota are clearly looking for MLS-ready players this year, and Greg Jordan could be a sleeper pick to move up with them. Since falling out of favor in Philadelphia, he's had a dependable two seasons with the Loons, and will look to step up his game in 2016.
Predicted Finish: 3rd. May take some time for new players to settle, and who know how MLS move will divert their focus, but they'll be competitive no matter what.
Team Name: New York Cosmos
Location: Hempstead, New York
Manager: Giovanni Savarese
Stadium: Shuart Stadium
History: The New York Cosmos brand is one of the greatest in all of world soccer, and their teams in the original NASL were arguably better than any American sides that have come before or since. Centered around players like Giorgio Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, and of course, the legendary Pelé, New York won five Soccer Bowls and became a global phenomenon. Since the team folded, there have been many attempts to revive it. This one is the first to get a real team on the field. The modern iteration of the Cosmos kicked off in the Fall Season of 2013, won the championship the same year, and won it again in 2015 with Real Madrid legend Raúl.
2015 In Review: After announcing the signing of illustrious Spanish forward Raúl, the Cosmos cemented their place as the biggest spenders with the biggest names in the NASL. 2015 marked the final seasons for Raúl and fellow former Spanish international Marcos Senna, and New York looked to send them off with a storybook ending. In the Spring Season, everything went to plan, with the Cosmos winning the title by a point and securing a playoff spot early. A high point came in the team's U.S. Open Cup victory over New York City FC on penalties, though they would later be knocked out by the New York Red Bulls. The Cosmos stayed strong in the Fall with a 3rd place finish, benefitting through performances from NASL Young Player of the Year Leo Fernandes (on loan from Philadelphia Union) and team MVP Ayoze. The Cosmos won the combined season with 56 points, edging Ottawa on goal differential. In the semifinal, the Cosmos came from behind to beat Fort Lauderdale 2-1. Hosting the Championship, relatively new signing Gastón Cellerino scored a hat trick in a 3-2 victory as Raúl and Senna lifted their final trophy.
2016 Preview: With the retirement of Raúl and Marcos Senna, the departure of star winger Walter Restrepo and formerly on-loan Leo Fernandes (both to Philadelphia), and the exit of championship hero Gastón Cellerino, this could have been a transition year for New York. But the New York Cosmos don't rebuild. They reload. This offseason, the Cosmos put together one of the most stunning collections of signings this league has ever seen. To recap: The two biggest names are Niko Kranjčar and Juan Arango, both vastly experienced players who have played at the very top of world soccer; senior internationals include Jairo Arrieta (Costa Rica), David Ochieng (Kenya), Michael Lahoud (Sierra Leone), Yohandry Orozco (Venezuela), and Yasmani Duk; other signings include Gabriel Farfan (MLS/Liga MX experience) and two U.S. youth internationals. On paper, it is hard to argue any team is better than the Cosmos. How the pieces of the puzzle come together is the only question left.
Key Players: Danny Szetela, MF; Niko Kranjčar, MF; Juan Arango, MF
One to Watch: Yohandry Orozco, MF. So, get this, right? There's player in his prime, who plays regularly for his country, had experience with Wolfsburg, and he's coming to the NASL? You'd better believe it, and Orozco has all the skills to make a huge impact.
Predicted Finish: 1st. I've been wrong before with this team, but there's just too much talent to deny.
Team Name: Ottawa Fury FC
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Manager: Paul Dalglish
Stadium: TD Place Stadium
History: A longtime candidate for expansion, Ottawa was welcomed into the league in 2011, with the Ottawa Fury name being decided in 2013. The Fury were a fromer PDL franchise, and brought a history of support with it. The club shares a new stadium (as well as ownership) with the Canadian Football League Ottawa RedBlacks. In 2015, the team surged to the Championship final, but lost to the New York Cosmos.
2015 In Review: Few would have predicted Ottawa Fury's run to the NASL Championship after the Fall Season. Despite making a splash by bringing in Canadian international Julian De Guzman, the results failed to come, and the Fury found themselves in 9th place. In the Fall, though, coach Marc Dos Santos' plan clicked. A back line marshaled by NASL Best XI goalkeeper Romuald Peiser and defender Rafael Alves recorded eight shutouts, and an offense led by the connection between midfielder Siniša Ubiparipović (eight assists total) and forward Tom Heinemann (12 goals total) resulted in one loss in 20 games, and a Fall Season title. Heinemann's two goals in the semifinal knocked out Minnesota United, but the Fury ultimately fell short of the Championship in New York, losing 3-2 to the New York Cosmos.
2016 Preview: After falling short in the Championship, the Ottawa Fury had the offseason from Hell. First, Manager of the Year Marc Dos Santos left to be an assistant and reserve team coach for Sporting Kansas City (MLS). Then, many of the key players in the run to the final chose to part ways: Tom Heinemann, who scored every playoff goal, went to Tampa Bay; Colin Falvey, Ryan Richter, and Mason Trafford, who all started on the back line in the Championship, moved on; Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan left for Jacksonvile, playmaker Siniša Ubiparipović went to Indy, and starting winger Andrew Wiedeman moved to Cinicinnati in USL. Reinforcements have come, mostly in the form of other lower league players, but almost all will have to prove themselves before being considered adequate replacements. If I have to pick one out, the signing to keep an eye on will be Marcel De Jong, the Canadian international brought in who should play as a left back. The Fury will also be bolstered by the return of goalkeeper Romuald Peiser, who won the league's Golden Glove in 2015 and was named /NASLSoccer's player of the year.
Key Players: Julian de Guzman, MF; Rafael Alves, DF; Romuald Peiser, GK
One to Watch: Mauro Eustáquio, MF. Last year, Eustáquio impressed in the midfield when filling in for injured players. With so many departures, the youngster now has a chance to play well and force his way onto the Canadian national team.
Predicted Finish: 10th. This team got completely picked apart in the offseason. They could turn out okay, but they'll have work to do to prove me wrong.
Team Name: Rayo OKC
Location: Yukon, Oklahoma
Manager: Alen Marcina
Stadium: Miller Stadium
History: A fierce battle between the NASL and USL PRO for a team in Oklahoma City ended with both leagues announcing expansions in the city. The USL put together Oklahoma Energy FC in 2013. Meanwhile, the owners of Oklahoma City FC, a Premier Development League (PDL) team, decided to run an NASL side, but an ownership group breakup in 2014 caused a delay to the project. Eventually, Spanish La Liga club Rayo Vallecano partnered with the organization to form what is now known as Rayo OKC. The team name was announced in November 2015, and began play at Miller Stadium in 2016.
**2016 Preview: As much of an enigma I've said Miami FC have been as an expansion team, it's safe to say Rayo OKC have been even more of a mystery. The organization was derided at first, dismissed due to the involvement from a struggling foreign team and its juxtaposition to the already-successful Energy. However, its initial roster has made fans sit up and take notice. Five World Cup veterans and nine national team players headline the squad, which includes illustrious Greek striker Georgios Samaras. Rayo has built its team using players with experience in European leagues (say, Yuma and Juanan) and players who have found success in MLS (Michel, Sebastian Velasquez) and the NASL (Billy Forbes, Erick Norales). Expansion teams typically take time to fare well, but if there's any that might have a chance at making a first impression by challenging for a title, this could be the one.
Key Players: Robbie Findley, FW; Derek Boateng, MF; Georgios Samaras, FW
One to Watch: Billy Forbes, FW. Over the past two years, Billy Forbes has become the breakout sensation of the league with the San Antonio Scorpions. With the Scorpions dissolving, Rayo OKC won their most prized asset in Forbes, who should certainly get a look-in from former San Antonio coach Alen Marcina.
Predicted Finish: 5th. So much talent, but need to build some chemistry and fan support.
Team Name: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Manager: Stuart Campbell
Stadium: Al Lang Stadium
History: An original NASL team, the Rowdies won a championship in their first year (1975) and continued to impress until the league collapsed in 1985. The Rowdies kept playing in lower leagues until 1993. In 2008, the team was reborn again, with the vision of recreating its old glory days. However, because of legal problems, the team simply went by FC Tampa Bay until 2012, when the old moniker returned, along with a Soccer Bowl title won on penalties over Minnesota Stars FC. In 2014, the team was purchased by St. Petersburg businessman Bill Edwards, who promised to take the Rowdies to the next level.
2015 In Review: Following a frustrating 2014 season, manager Ricky Hill got the boot, and the Rowdies began building a new roster with the prolific coach Thomas Rongen. Under Rongen, the ball started to roll, and the Rowdies finished 2nd in the Spring Season, just one point behind the New York Cosmos. In July, Tampa Bay made waves by signing former U.S. international Freddy Adu. However, the Fall Season got off to a rough start. After securing only seven points in eight games, Rowdies owner Bill Edwards fired Rongen and general manager Farrukh Quraishi. Under new manager Stuart Campbell, Tampa Bay fell further, eventually finishing 8th in the Fall and 5th overall, missing out on the playoffs by just two points.
2016 Preview: In the third year of the Bill Edwards era, Tampa Bay is under big pressure to finally make the playoffs. The Rowdies haven't been the loudest team in the offseason, and have perhaps been overshadowed by some of their neighbors in Florida, but the transition from 2015 to 2016 has been smooth. Key players were re-signed, including defensive rock Tamika Mkandawire, Freddy Adu, and 2014 MVP Georgi Hristov. They bet big on bringing in Tom Heinemann, the striker who lit Ottawa's season on fire in the second half of 2015. And they brought in a good collection of supplementary players, such as Neil Collins (200+ games in the English Football League), Danny Mwanga (100+ MLS games) and Eric Avila (170+ MLS games). The Rowdies toured England in the preseason, scoring some impressive results (a draw with Stoke City; a win over Notts County). After an offseason that was, for once, not quite tumultuous, it may be Tampa's time to shine in 2016.
Key Players: Georgi Hristov, FW; Tom Heinemann, FW; Freddy Adu, MF
One to Watch: Darwin Espinal, FW. Only 21, Espinal is already having an impact on Honduran youth national teams. He's got several good forwards to compete with on this roster, but he could well become one of the best.
Predicted Finish: 2nd. This could be the year it all comes together for the Rowdies.
Predicted Spring Standings:
Place Club
#1 New York Cosmos
#2 Tampa Bay Rowdies
#3 Minnesota United FC
#4 Carolina RailHawks
#5 Rayo OKC
#6 FC Edmonton
#7 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
#8 Indy Eleven
#9 Jacksonville Armada FC
#10 Ottawa Fury FC
#11 Miami FC
Opening Weekend Schedule:
Saturday, April 2
Time (ET) Home Away U.S. TV
3:00 CAR MNU ESPN3
7:00 FTL MIA beIN
7:30 TBR IND OWS
8:00 OKC FCE ESPN3
Sunday, April 3
Time (ET) Home Away TV
6:00 NYC OTT OWS
To follow all the excitement and keep up with the latest news this season, make sure to visit and subscribe to /NASLSoccer - the home of the NASL on reddit. Feel free to add any comments or questions below.
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2016.03.31 23:27 TheMonsieur TheMonsieur's SupercalifragilisticUpbiparipovic NASL Spring Season Preview

Whether you knew it or not, the North American Soccer League (NASL), America's second division, is kicking off in two days' time. There's been a whirlwind of activity in the preseason, with new teams coming in, broadcast deals being signed, and recognizable players joining up. As someone who follows the league pretty closely, I've taken up the task of putting together a brief capsule for each club competing.
With that said, a quick overview of the league and its structure: The NASL is the second tier of U.S./Canadian soccer, having formed in 2011 after breaking away from the USL First Division. It is in no way connected to MLS. Twelve teams will compete in 2016 across two seasons - Spring and Fall. The Spring Season, being previewed here, consists of 10 games and will only feature 11 teams (Puerto Rico FC enters in the Fall). The Fall Season starts in July and will consist of 22 games. At the conclusion of the Fall Season, four teams - the Spring and Fall Season winners, along with the two remaining teams with the best overall records - will enter the Championship playoffs for a chance to win the Soccer Bowl Trophy.
For a short recap on last season, you could watch my poor attempt at making a video. Oh, and be sure to check out /NASLSoccer! I'm over there a lot, and it's a good place to learn more. We'll even be revealing a redesign tomorrow night just in time for the season!
I'm not an expert analyst, but hopefully this can provide a good introduction for you to each team.
Got it? Alright, let’s get started.
Team Name: Carolina RailHawks
Location: Cary, North Carolina
Manager: Colin Clarke
Stadium: WakeMed Soccer Park
History: Founded in 2006, Carolina was one of the breakaway members from the USL First Division that formed the NASL. The team's name is mean to represent both the rail lines that run directly across from the field and the hawks that are indigenous to the area. The RailHawks play their home games at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. In 2015, the RailHawks' owners, Traffic Sports, were indicted in a FIFA corruption scandal, leading to the sale of the club to local tech entrepreneur Stephen Malik.
2015 In Review: Carolina got off to a promising start in the spring, taking 14 points from 10 games and winning a 3rd place finish in the standings. Led by the creativity in the midfield of club legend Tiyi Shipalane and the goals up front from former Rangers striker Nacho Novo, the RailHawks picked up some good results at the beginning of the Fall Season as well. From that point, though, the wheels came off, particularly in road matches. Out of 10 away matches in the Fall, Carolina took just a single point. In the end, the result was 7th place in the Fall, and 6th in the combined table.
2016 Preview: The RailHawks marked their 10th anniversary in style off the field, inking a local TV deal, making stadium upgrades, and promising higher investment in the club. They doubled down on their commitment by re-signing club captain Connor Tobin as well as key players Tiyi Shipalane and Nazmi Albadawi. Then, they cleaned up by signing several high-level players, such as NASL Best XI midfielder James Marcelin, and former RailHawks Matt Watson and Akira Fitzgerald, who had most recently spent time in MLS. Carolina are the perfect example of a revamped and growing NASL: They've found a new owner who is excited and willing to spend, and they've invested all around the club and have reloaded their roster. Expect the RailHawks to challenge from right out of the gate in 2016.
Key Players: Ty Shipalane, MF; Connor Tobin, MF; Nazmi Albadawi, MF
One to Watch: Marvin Ceballos, MF. The Guatemalan international has been described as a "natural #10" by manager Colin Clarke and has the potential to be a breakout star for Carolina this year.
Predicted Finish: 4th. I think they fly under the radar as a well put-together team, and pressure from FIFA scandal gone. This prediction could blow up in my face.
Team Name: FC Edmonton
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Manager: Colin Miller
Stadium: Clarke Stadium
History: Edmonton is a growing team, having only formed in 2010, just in time for the first NASL season. The Eddies are slight rivals with Minnesota United, participating in the Flyover Cup and raising money for charities together. Edmonton is currently the furthest west of all NASL teams, and has struggled with attendance figures as well as play on the field. Their best season finish was 5th place, and the closest they've been to a championship was the league's quarterfinals in its first year of existence.
2015 In Review: Despite progress made in 2014, things turned south for the league's northernmost club in the Spring Season of 2015. Two wins meant a 10th place finish out of 11. The Eddies' relief came in the form of a Canadian Championship cup run, in which they came inches away from defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the semifinal, only to be knocked out by a goal in the last seconds of stoppage time. In the fall, results picked up for Edmonton. Lance Laing marked his record third appearance in the league's Best XI with eight goals and seven assists throughout the Spring and Fall Seasons, but the team suffered when he was on international duty with Jamaica. The team's playoff hopes fell away during the final five games of the season, during which they found only one point. FC Edmonton finished 5th in the Fall and 7th in the combined table.
2016 Preview: Edmonton would seem to be in a spot of trouble. Over the offseason, winger Lance Laing, who put the Eddies on his back at times, left to join Minnesota United. So, FC Edmonton made some changes. In the front office, they added Jay Ball as general manager; Ball played a significant role in the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada. On the field, they brought back Daryl Fordyce, the club's all-time leading scorer, and made a splash by signing Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood from Germany. Manager Colin Miller called it the most promising offseason in club history, and proceeded to sign the Senegalese center back Papé Diakité and Jake Keegan, 2nd-top scorer in the League of Ireland last season. With the roster set, Edmonton toured Great Britain, showing well in several friendly across the pond. With a lackluster history and last year's star gone, Edmonton will look to defy the odds in 2016.
Key Players: Albert Watson, DF; Daryl Fordyce, FW; Nik Ledgerwood, DF/MF
One to Watch: Allan Zebie, MF. An FC Edmonton youth product and Canada youth international, Zebie, only 22, has established himself as the Eddies' regular right back. This year, he could move to a whole new level.
Predicted Finish: 6th. Laing is gone, but most of the roster returns, aided by savvy signings.
Team Name: Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Manager: Caio Zanardi
Stadium: Lockhart Stadium
History: As one of the members of the original NASL, the Strikers have a history dating back to 1977. The team signed some of the world's finest players, including Gordon Banks, George Best, and Gerd Müller. After moving to Minnesota, a second Strikers team popped up in Fort Lauderdale in 1988, playing for six years in the American Soccer League (ASL) and the American Professional Soccer League (APSL). The current incarnation, founded in 2006 as Miami FC, rebranded into the Strikers before the first season of the new NASL. In 2014, after a loss in the NASL final, the club made international headlines when Brazilian legend Ronaldo joined their ownership group. In 2015, the low-budget club shocked the league by once again making the playoffs.
2015 In Review: Following the Spring Season, there weren't many optimists left in the Strikers camp. After dumping most of 2014's star players (Fafà Picault, their star player, went to Europe; Pecka moved to Real Salt Lake), the firing of head coach Günter Kronsteiner, and the flop of much-hyped signing Leo Moura, Fort Lauderdale limped to an 8th place finish in the Spring. The Fall was a different story. After re-signing Kronsteiner, a young Strikers team turned it all around. Fluminense loanees Marlon Freitas and Stefano Pinho shined, with Pinho topping the NASL scoring charts and winning the league MVP award. James Marcelin joined Pinho in the league's Best XI, and midfielder PC just missed out. The Strikers finished 4th in the Fall, and a win against Jacksonville on the last day propelled them to 4th in the overall standings as well, giving them a semifinals spot. The fairy tale ended in New York, with the Cosmos coming from behind to win 2-1 en route to the NASL Championship game.
2016 Preview: For the past two years, Fort Lauderdale has been the surprise team of the league. This year, the rest of the NASL will be as prepared as they can, but the Strikers still present a bit of a mystery. After squeezing into the playoffs in 2015, the team once again dismantled its roster, letting go of manager Günter Kronsteiner (again), watching the league's MVP and top scorer Stefano Pinho leave for Minnesota, and parting ways with Best XI midfielder James Marcelin, who signed with Carolina.
In response, Fort Lauderdale ramped up operations: They created a reserve team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), announced a whole wave of staff appointments, expanded partnerships and advertisements, got a TV deal, hosted an international tournament, and toured China. They also made some big-name signings, inking World Cup winner Kléberson, Brazilian veterans Adrianinho & Bruno Cardoso, U.S. youth internationals and UEFA Champions League-experienced players. And they unveiled their new jerseys on a yacht. Yeah, what can I say? The Strikers have big ambitions, and they've moved on from being a low-budget side that scraped past other teams. So will new investment bring more success? We'll have to see.
Key Players: Kléberson, MF; PC MF; Adrianinho, MF
One to Watch: Matheus Carvalho, FW. Carvalho has a solid pedigree, having played a few minutes for Monaco in last year's UEFA Champions League. It's possible he could be a welcome surprise in South Florida.
Predicted Finish: 7th. So much change on this roster, and several star players past their primes.
Team Name: Indy Eleven
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Manager: Tim Hankinson
Stadium: Carroll Stadium
History: After years of calls for a professional soccer team in Indianapolis from the Brickyard Battalion (the Eleven's main supporter group), the dream was finally realized in 2013. That year, legendary American soccer executive Peter Wilt announced that he would become the president of Indy Eleven, a team that started play in 2014. Despite struggles on the field, Indy Eleven became the first American soccer team to sell out all its home games in its inaugural home season. Wilt left on good terms in 2016 to pursue a Chicago NASL project.
2015 In Review: After a disappointing first year on the field, things didn't get much better in 2015 for Indy Eleven, though they did once again lead the league in attendance. Star player Kléberson picked up a season-ending achilles injury, and the Eleven won only one in their first eight matches. That record, combined with an embarrassing U.S. Open Cup defeat at home to USL's Louisville City FC, led to the firing of head coach Juergen Sommer. His replacement, interim coach Tim Regan, won the final two games to elevate Indy to 5th in the Spring. However, any playoff aspirations fell away in the Fall, as a string of bad results climaxed with a 7-1 loss in Fort Lauderdale en route to a 9th place finish in the Fall Season and combined standings. Indy could find a silver lining with the strong performances of several youngsters, such as Dylan Mares and Duke Lacroix.
2016 Preview: With one of the largest fanbases in the league and some of the worst performances, Indy are under pressure to finally turn around its performance. To start, they stripped down most of the team to just a couple of players, and hired long-time manager Tim Hankinson to construct a rebuild. Hankinson piled on MLS experience, inking Jon Busch, Siniša Ubiparipović, Justin Braun, Lovel Palmer, and Gorka Larrea, among others. Preseason did not go well, with most friendlies ending in defeat or stalemate to lower-division and university teams, and several players picking up injuries. That said, this Eleven squad is better than any other that has taken the field, and have a good mix of senior players and up-and-comers that are ready to deliver.
Key Players: Dylan Mares, MF; Brad Ring, MF; Siniša Ubiparipović, MF
One to Watch: Duke Lacroix, FW. It's time to meet the 22-year-old forward every soccer fan in Indianapolis is talking about. Lacroix got a chance last year, and electrified on the wing. This season, he'll hope to earn a starting job.
Predicted Finish: 8th. If one of the new central striker signings turns good, they'll have a real chance in this league. If not? Expect the same as before.
Team Name: Jacksonville Armada FC
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Manager: Tony Meola
Stadium: Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville
History: Announced on July 25, 2013, Jacksonville's team was christened as Armada FC on February 18, 2014. The Armada was the only expansion side to join the league in 2015, lead by the ownership collective Sunshine Soccer Group and club president Steve Livingstone. The team chose to play at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and quickly established themselves in the top tier of NASL attendances, although they didn't do as well on the field.
2015 In Review: Jacksonville got off to a fast start, with Jemal Johnson scoring seconds into their first game as the Armada went on to win three out of its first five. That was the best run of form the team would see all year. After finishing a respectable 6th in the Spring, the Armada fell into a slump, finishing last both in the Fall Season and combined table. The team fired its first manager, José Luis Villarreal, after attempting to give him a co-managerial role with Guillermo Hoyos. The club later fired Hoyos after giving him a contract through 2019 months earlier.
2016 Preview: The Armada began their offseason with a big statement of intention, hiring former USA goalkeeper Tony Meola as head coach. After an unsuccessful inaugural year, much of 2015's roster did not make it back. Instead, Jacksonville refined it by looking to the lower leagues. They signed NASL Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan, USL MVP Matt Fondy, and USL Defender of the Year Bryan Burke, in effect establishing a small collection of some of the best players below MLS last season. Just before the season began, the Armada suffered a blow as young standout Akeil Barrett transferred to the Swedish second division. Yet, after a preseason that included promising signings and friendlies, Jacksonville seem ready to move up the table.
Key Players: Alhassane Keita, FW; Mechak Jérôme, DF; Matt Fondy, FW
One to Watch: Charles Eloundou, FW. Once a highly-touted prospect, Eloundou, 21, saw his career stall with the Colorado Rapids (MLS). Now settled in Jacksonville, this year may be his opportunity to shine.
Predicted Finish: 9th. Good first steps, but still a lot to do after finishing bottom of the table last year.
Team Name: Miami FC
Location: Miami, Florida
Manager: Alessandro Nesta
Stadium: FIU Stadium
History: Unrelated to the original Miami FC (now the Fort Lauderdale Strikers), this team was founded in 2015 and kicked off in 2016. Miami attracted international attention with its ownership (entrepreneur Riccardo Silva and former Italy legend Paolo Maldini) as well as its first head coach (Maldini's Italy teammate Alessandro Nesta). The team began play at FIU Stadium.
2016 Preview: Expansion teams are often an enigma, and the organization of Miami FC is no different. Founded in the eye of a storm of MLS rumors (Miami Beckham United FC?), the brains behind Miami FC will likely want to get off to a running start in order to attract the sort of attention with soccer fans that can make them viable in the city and sustainable into the future. To that end, Miami brought in two star: Dario Cvitanich, who has scored goals and seen success with big clubs all over the world, and Wilson Palacios, the English Premier League veteran with nearly 100 Honduras caps under his belt. Mostly, though, the roster is filled out by players with NASL experience (Pablo Campos, Jaimé Chavez, etc.) and up-and-comers looking to make a name for themselves. In many ways, this is a similar approach that other past expansion teams have taken, with mixed results. The real question for 2016 might be just how well Miami FC establishes a fanbase in an unknown market.
Key Players: Wilson Palacios, MF; Darío Cvitanich, FW; Matuzalem, MF
One to Watch: Blake Smith, MF. Making his return to North American soccer after a year in hiatus, Smith is an unknown quantity. However, if he re-creates the kind of success he saw in Montreal and Indy, he could be a vital part of Miami's attack.
Predicted Finish: 11th. Similar construction as previous expansion teams may yield similar results.
Team Name: Minnesota United FC
Location: Blaine, Minnesota
Manager: Carl Craig
Stadium: National Sports Center
History: Professional soccer in Minnesota began with the Minnesota Kicks of the old NASL, but Minnesota has had a continuous presence of professional soccer since the founding of the Minnesota Thunder in 1990. When that team folded due to the financial shadiness of owner Dean Johnson, a new series of teams all slightly related to one another emerged. The NSC Minnesota Stars were launched in 2010, but the ownership of National Sports Center in Blaine, MN lasted only a season before the NASL took over the team. In 2011, the Stars won the Soccer Bowl for the first time in the new era of the NASL. In 2012, the team rebranded as Minnesota Stars FC and again went to the final, where they lost to Tampa Bay in penalties. The team was league-owned at the time and many fans and players thought that without a win in the final (thinking the league wouldn't dare let its champion fold), the team would no longer have a future. However, after the crushing loss, news began to leak out that the team had found an owner. In 2013, Dr. Bill McGuire (formerly of United Healthcare Group) purchased the Minnesota Stars and rebranded them as Minnesota United FC.
The team is supported by the Dark Clouds, a supporters group founded in the Thunder days. They are known for their bizarre brand of "Jackassery," which is ecstatic support that opposes macho, wannabe hooliganism. They have a gameday zine called the Jackassery Times-Heckler and worship the god DETHLOON. The club announced a move to Major League Soccer in 2017 or 2018, pending the construction of a downtown stadium.
2015 In Review: Buoyed off the field by an MLS expansion announcement, Minnesota continued to show stellar performances on it. Although star player Miguel Ibarra transferred to Mexican club Léon, replacements brought in (including Ibson and Khalif Alhassan) proved to be up to the challenge. A fourth place finish in the Spring was strong, if not ideal. In the Fall, an incredible run of eight wins in 10 matches led to a 2nd place finish. United were 3rd in the overall standings, and Christian Ramirez scored the second-most goals in the league, just missing a second consecutive Golden Boot. In their playoff semifinal in Ottawa, Ramirez's penalty gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead, but an equalizer and extra time winner from opposition forward Tom Heinemann led to an end to their season.
2016 Preview: This could be Minnesota's last year in the NASL, and they're offseason move show a determination to leave with a trophy in both hands. In preparation for the move to MLS, Manny Lagos (manager since 2010) became Sporting Director, and assistant Carl Craig moved up to become head coach. The team returns all four of its Best XI players from 2015: Justin Davis, Ibson, Christian Ramirez, and Kevin Venegas. It made further inroads by signing two other Best XI members: Lance Laing, who carried FC Edmonton and became a regular with Jamaica, and Stefano Pinho, who was named the league's best player and won the Golden Boot with Fort Lauderdale. Is there any stopping this team? Well, while United obviously has an unparalleled attack, there are questions on the defensive side, with the team having lost preseason games 0-4, 0-4, and 1-3 to MLS sides. If defense does not turn out to be a problem, though, this is a side that could really challenge for both the league title and a position deep in the U.S. Open Cup.
Key Players: Christian Ramirez, FW; Stefano Pinho, FW; Justin Davis, DF
One to Watch: Greg Jordan, MF. Minnesota are clearly looking for MLS-ready players this year, and Greg Jordan could be a sleeper pick to move up with them. Since falling out of favor in Philadelphia, he's had a dependable two seasons with the Loons, and will look to step up his game in 2016.
Predicted Finish: 3rd. May take some time for new players to settle, and who know how MLS move will divert their focus, but they'll be competitive no matter what.
Team Name: New York Cosmos
Location: Hempstead, New York
Manager: Giovanni Savarese
Stadium: Shuart Stadium
History: The New York Cosmos brand is one of the greatest in all of world soccer, and their teams in the original NASL were arguably better than any American sides that have come before or since. Centered around players like Giorgio Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, and of course, the legendary Pelé, New York won five Soccer Bowls and became a global phenomenon. Since the team folded, there have been many attempts to revive it. This one is the first to get a real team on the field. The modern iteration of the Cosmos kicked off in the Fall Season of 2013, won the championship the same year, and won it again in 2015 with Real Madrid legend Raúl.
2015 In Review: After announcing the signing of illustrious Spanish forward Raúl, the Cosmos cemented their place as the biggest spenders with the biggest names in the NASL. 2015 marked the final seasons for Raúl and fellow former Spanish international Marcos Senna, and New York looked to send them off with a storybook ending. In the Spring Season, everything went to plan, with the Cosmos winning the title by a point and securing a playoff spot early. A high point came in the team's U.S. Open Cup victory over New York City FC on penalties, though they would later be knocked out by the New York Red Bulls. The Cosmos stayed strong in the Fall with a 3rd place finish, benefitting through performances from NASL Young Player of the Year Leo Fernandes (on loan from Philadelphia Union) and team MVP Ayoze. The Cosmos won the combined season with 56 points, edging Ottawa on goal differential. In the semifinal, the Cosmos came from behind to beat Fort Lauderdale 2-1. Hosting the Championship, relatively new signing Gastón Cellerino scored a hat trick in a 3-2 victory as Raúl and Senna lifted their final trophy.
2016 Preview: With the retirement of Raúl and Marcos Senna, the departure of star winger Walter Restrepo and formerly on-loan Leo Fernandes (both to Philadelphia), and the exit of championship hero Gastón Cellerino, this could have been a transition year for New York. But the New York Cosmos don't rebuild. They reload. This offseason, the Cosmos put together one of the most stunning collections of signings this league has ever seen. To recap: The two biggest names are Niko Kranjčar and Juan Arango, both vastly experienced players who have played at the very top of world soccer; senior internationals include Jairo Arrieta (Costa Rica), David Ochieng (Kenya), Michael Lahoud (Sierra Leone), Yohandry Orozco (Venezuela), and Yasmani Duk; other signings include Gabriel Farfan (MLS/Liga MX experience) and two U.S. youth internationals. On paper, it is hard to argue any team is better than the Cosmos. How the pieces of the puzzle come together is the only question left.
Key Players: Danny Szetela, MF; Niko Kranjčar, MF; Juan Arango, MF
One to Watch: Yohandry Orozco, MF. So, get this, right? There's player in his prime, who plays regularly for his country, had experience with Wolfsburg, and he's coming to the NASL? You'd better believe it, and Orozco has all the skills to make a huge impact.
Predicted Finish: 1st. I've been wrong before with this team, but there's just too much talent to deny.
Team Name: Ottawa Fury FC
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Manager: Paul Dalglish
Stadium: TD Place Stadium
History: A longtime candidate for expansion, Ottawa was welcomed into the league in 2011, with the Ottawa Fury name being decided in 2013. The Fury were a fromer PDL franchise, and brought a history of support with it. The club shares a new stadium (as well as ownership) with the Canadian Football League Ottawa RedBlacks. In 2015, the team surged to the Championship final, but lost to the New York Cosmos.
2015 In Review: Few would have predicted Ottawa Fury's run to the NASL Championship after the Fall Season. Despite making a splash by bringing in Canadian international Julian De Guzman, the results failed to come, and the Fury found themselves in 9th place. In the Fall, though, coach Marc Dos Santos' plan clicked. A back line marshaled by NASL Best XI goalkeeper Romuald Peiser and defender Rafael Alves recorded eight shutouts, and an offense led by the connection between midfielder Siniša Ubiparipović (eight assists total) and forward Tom Heinemann (12 goals total) resulted in one loss in 20 games, and a Fall Season title. Heinemann's two goals in the semifinal knocked out Minnesota United, but the Fury ultimately fell short of the Championship in New York, losing 3-2 to the New York Cosmos.
2016 Preview: After falling short in the Championship, the Ottawa Fury had the offseason from Hell. First, Manager of the Year Marc Dos Santos left to be an assistant and reserve team coach for Sporting Kansas City (MLS). Then, many of the key players in the run to the final chose to part ways: Tom Heinemann, who scored every playoff goal, went to Tampa Bay; Colin Falvey, Ryan Richter, and Mason Trafford, who all started on the back line in the Championship, moved on; Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan left for Jacksonvile, playmaker Siniša Ubiparipović went to Indy, and starting winger Andrew Wiedeman moved to Cinicinnati in USL. Reinforcements have come, mostly in the form of other lower league players, but almost all will have to prove themselves before being considered adequate replacements. If I have to pick one out, the signing to keep an eye on will be Marcel De Jong, the Canadian international brought in who should play as a left back. The Fury will also be bolstered by the return of goalkeeper Romuald Peiser, who won the league's Golden Glove in 2015 and was named /NASLSoccer's player of the year.
Key Players: Julian de Guzman, MF; Rafael Alves, DF; Romuald Peiser, GK
One to Watch: Mauro Eustáquio, MF. Last year, Eustáquio impressed in the midfield when filling in for injured players. With so many departures, the youngster now has a chance to play well and force his way onto the Canadian national team.
Predicted Finish: 10th. This team got completely picked apart in the offseason. They could turn out okay, but they'll have work to do to prove me wrong.
Team Name: Rayo OKC
Location: Yukon, Oklahoma
Manager: Alen Marcina
Stadium: Miller Stadium
History: A fierce battle between the NASL and USL PRO for a team in Oklahoma City ended with both leagues announcing expansions in the city. The USL put together Oklahoma Energy FC in 2013. Meanwhile, the owners of Oklahoma City FC, a Premier Development League (PDL) team, decided to run an NASL side, but an ownership group breakup in 2014 caused a delay to the project. Eventually, Spanish La Liga club Rayo Vallecano partnered with the organization to form what is now known as Rayo OKC. The team name was announced in November 2015, and began play at Miller Stadium in 2016.
**2016 Preview: As much of an enigma I've said Miami FC have been as an expansion team, it's safe to say Rayo OKC have been even more of a mystery. The organization was derided at first, dismissed due to the involvement from a struggling foreign team and its juxtaposition to the already-successful Energy. However, its initial roster has made fans sit up and take notice. Five World Cup veterans and nine national team players headline the squad, which includes illustrious Greek striker Georgios Samaras. Rayo has built its team using players with experience in European leagues (say, Yuma and Juanan) and players who have found success in MLS (Michel, Sebastian Velasquez) and the NASL (Billy Forbes, Erick Norales). Expansion teams typically take time to fare well, but if there's any that might have a chance at making a first impression by challenging for a title, this could be the one.
Key Players: Robbie Findley, FW; Derek Boateng, MF; Georgios Samaras, FW
One to Watch: Billy Forbes, FW. Over the past two years, Billy Forbes has become the breakout sensation of the league with the San Antonio Scorpions. With the Scorpions dissolving, Rayo OKC won their most prized asset in Forbes, who should certainly get a look-in from former San Antonio coach Alen Marcina.
Predicted Finish: 5th. So much talent, but need to build some chemistry and fan support.
Team Name: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Manager: Stuart Campbell
Stadium: Al Lang Stadium
History: An original NASL team, the Rowdies won a championship in their first year (1975) and continued to impress until the league collapsed in 1985. The Rowdies kept playing in lower leagues until 1993. In 2008, the team was reborn again, with the vision of recreating its old glory days. However, because of legal problems, the team simply went by FC Tampa Bay until 2012, when the old moniker returned, along with a Soccer Bowl title won on penalties over Minnesota Stars FC. In 2014, the team was purchased by St. Petersburg businessman Bill Edwards, who promised to take the Rowdies to the next level.
2015 In Review: Following a frustrating 2014 season, manager Ricky Hill got the boot, and the Rowdies began building a new roster with the prolific coach Thomas Rongen. Under Rongen, the ball started to roll, and the Rowdies finished 2nd in the Spring Season, just one point behind the New York Cosmos. In July, Tampa Bay made waves by signing former U.S. international Freddy Adu. However, the Fall Season got off to a rough start. After securing only seven points in eight games, Rowdies owner Bill Edwards fired Rongen and general manager Farrukh Quraishi. Under new manager Stuart Campbell, Tampa Bay fell further, eventually finishing 8th in the Fall and 5th overall, missing out on the playoffs by just two points.
2016 Preview: In the third year of the Bill Edwards era, Tampa Bay is under big pressure to finally make the playoffs. The Rowdies haven't been the loudest team in the offseason, and have perhaps been overshadowed by some of their neighbors in Florida, but the transition from 2015 to 2016 has been smooth. Key players were re-signed, including defensive rock Tamika Mkandawire, Freddy Adu, and 2014 MVP Georgi Hristov. They bet big on bringing in Tom Heinemann, the striker who lit Ottawa's season on fire in the second half of 2015. And they brought in a good collection of supplementary players, such as Neil Collins (200+ games in the English Football League), Danny Mwanga (100+ MLS games) and Eric Avila (170+ MLS games). The Rowdies toured England in the preseason, scoring some impressive results (a draw with Stoke City; a win over Notts County). After an offseason that was, for once, not quite tumultuous, it may be Tampa's time to shine in 2016.
Key Players: Georgi Hristov, FW; Tom Heinemann, FW; Freddy Adu, MF
One to Watch: Darwin Espinal, FW. Only 21, Espinal is already having an impact on Honduran youth national teams. He's got several good forwards to compete with on this roster, but he could well become one of the best.
Predicted Finish: 2nd. This could be the year it all comes together for the Rowdies.
Predicted Spring Standings:
Place Club
#1 New York Cosmos
#2 Tampa Bay Rowdies
#3 Minnesota United FC
#4 Carolina RailHawks
#5 Rayo OKC
#6 FC Edmonton
#7 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
#8 Indy Eleven
#9 Jacksonville Armada FC
#10 Ottawa Fury FC
#11 Miami FC
Opening Weekend Schedule:
Saturday, April 2
Time (ET) Home Away TV
3:00 CAR MNU
7:00 FTL MIA
7:30 TBR IND
8:00 OKC FCE
Sunday, April 3
Time (ET) Home Away TV
6:00 NYC OTT
To follow all the excitement and keep up with the latest news this season, make sure to visit and subscribe to /NASLSoccer - the home of the NASL on reddit.
submitted by TheMonsieur to MLS [link] [comments]


2016.03.31 18:10 TheMonsieur TheMonsieur's "SupercalifragilisticUpiparipovic" 2015 NASL Spring Season Preview

Hi all, and welcome to my short preview that extends far too long for the Spring Season. I'll be sharing it tomorrow in /MLS and /soccer to promote our redesign (edit: No I won't, everyone's going to be distracted by April Fools, so I'll share it tonight), so consider this a sneak peek. Enjoy reading through and calling out my errors, or just skip down to the bottom and tell me why my predictions are all wrong (they probably are). Anyway, I've got a brief capsule of each team in here and a short evaluation. Most of it is also now posted on our Newcomer's Guide, which is a helpful tool for any new fan this season.
Also, check out my attempt at making a video if you want a season recap on 2015 to get you ready for this year. We're only two days away!
Got it? Alright, let’s get started.
Team Name: Carolina RailHawks
Location: Cary, North Carolina
Manager: Colin Clarke
Stadium: WakeMed Soccer Park
History: Founded in 2006, Carolina was one of the breakaway members from the USL First Division that formed the NASL. The team's name is mean to represent both the rail lines that run directly across from the field and the hawks that are indigenous to the area. The RailHawks play their home games at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. In 2015, the RailHawks' owners, Traffic Sports, were indicted in a FIFA corruption scandal, leading to the sale of the club to local tech entrepreneur Stephen Malik.
2015 In Review: Carolina got off to a promising start in the spring, taking 14 points from 10 games and winning a 3rd place finish in the standings. Led by the creativity in the midfield of club legend Tiyi Shipalane and the goals up front from former Rangers striker Nacho Novo, the RailHawks picked up some good results at the beginning of the Fall Season as well. From that point, though, the wheels came off, particularly in road matches. Out of 10 away matches in the Fall, Carolina took just a single point. In the end, the result was 7th place in the Fall, and 6th in the combined table.
2016 Preview: The RailHawks marked their 10th anniversary in style off the field, inking a local TV deal, making stadium upgrades, and promising higher investment in the club. They doubled down on their commitment by re-signing club captain Connor Tobin as well as key players Tiyi Shipalane and Nazmi Albadawi. Then, they cleaned up by signing several high-level players, such as NASL Best XI midfielder James Marcelin, and former RailHawks Matt Watson and Akira Fitzgerald, who had most recently spent time in MLS. Carolina are the perfect example of a revamped and growing NASL: They've found a new owner who is excited and willing to spend, and they've invested all around the club and have reloaded their roster. Expect the RailHawks to challenge from right out of the gate in 2016.
Key Players: Ty Shipalane, MF; Connor Tobin, MF; Nazmi Albadawi, MF
One to Watch: Marvin Ceballos, MF. The Guatemalan international has been described as a "natural #10" by manager Colin Clarke and has the potential to be a breakout star for Carolina this year.
Predicted Finish: 4th. I think they fly under the radar as a well put-together team, and pressure from FIFA scandal gone. This prediction could blow up in my face.
Team Name: FC Edmonton
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Manager: Colin Miller
Stadium: Clarke Stadium
History: Edmonton is a growing team, having only formed in 2010, just in time for the first NASL season. The Eddies are slight rivals with Minnesota United, participating in the Flyover Cup and raising money for charities together. Edmonton is currently the furthest west of all NASL teams, and has struggled with attendance figures as well as play on the field. Their best season finish was 5th place, and the closest they've been to a championship was the league's quarterfinals in its first year of existence.
2015 In Review: Despite progress made in 2014, things turned south for the league's northernmost club in the Spring Season of 2015. Two wins meant a 10th place finish out of 11. The Eddies' relief came in the form of a Canadian Championship cup run, in which they came inches away from defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the semifinal, only to be knocked out by a goal in the last seconds of stoppage time. In the fall, results picked up for Edmonton. Lance Laing marked his record third appearance in the league's Best XI with eight goals and seven assists throughout the Spring and Fall Seasons, but the team suffered when he was on international duty with Jamaica. The team's playoff hopes fell away during the final five games of the season, during which they found only one point. FC Edmonton finished 5th in the Fall and 7th in the combined table.
2016 Preview: Edmonton would seem to be in a spot of trouble. Over the offseason, winger Lance Laing, who put the Eddies on his back at times, left to join Minnesota United. So, FC Edmonton made some changes. In the front office, they added Jay Ball as general manager; Ball played a significant role in the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada. On the field, they brought back Daryl Fordyce, the club's all-time leading scorer, and made a splash by signing Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood from Germany. Manager Colin Miller called it the most promising offseason in club history, and proceeded to sign the Senegalese center back Papé Diakité and Jake Keegan, 2nd-top scorer in the League of Ireland last season. With the roster set, Edmonton toured Great Britain, showing well in several friendly across the pond. With a lackluster history and a star player missing, Edmonton will look to defy the odds in 2016.
Key Players: Albert Watson, DF; Daryl Fordyce, FW; Nik Ledgerwood, DF/MF
One to Watch: Allan Zebie, MF. An FC Edmonton youth product and Canada youth international, Zebie, only 22, has established himself as the Eddies' regular right back. This year, he could move to a whole new level.
Predicted Finish: 6th. Laing is gone, but most of the roster returns, aided by savvy signings.
Team Name: Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Manager: Caio Zanardi
Stadium: Lockhart Stadium
History: As one of the members of the original NASL, the Strikers have a history dating back to 1977. The team signed some of the world's finest players, including Gordon Banks, George Best, and Gerd Müller. After moving to Minnesota, a second Strikers team popped up in Fort Lauderdale in 1988, playing for six years in the American Soccer League (ASL) and the American Professional Soccer League (APSL). The current incarnation, founded in 2006 as Miami FC, rebranded into the Strikers before the first season of the new NASL. In 2014, after a loss in the NASL final, the club made international headlines when Brazilian legend Ronaldo joined their ownership group. In 2015, the low-budget club shocked the league by once again making the playoffs.
2015 In Review: Following the Spring Season, there weren't many optimists left in the Strikers camp. After dumping most of 2014's star players (Fafà Picault, their star player, went to Europe; Pecka moved to Real Salt Lake), the firing of head coach Günter Kronsteiner, and the flop of much-hyped signing Leo Moura, Fort Lauderdale limped to an 8th place finish in the Spring. The Fall was a different story. After re-signing Kronsteiner, a young Strikers team turned it all around. Fluminense loanees Marlon Freitas and Stefano Pinho shined, with Pinho topping the NASL scoring charts and winning the league MVP award. James Marcelin joined Pinho in the league's Best XI, and midfielder PC just missed out. The Strikers finished 4th in the Fall, and a win against Jacksonville on the last day propelled them to 4th in the overall standings as well, giving them a semifinals spot. The fairy tale ended in New York, with the Cosmos coming from behind to win 2-1 en route to the NASL Championship game.
2016 Preview: For the past two years, Fort Lauderdale has been the surprise team of the league. This year, the rest of the NASL will be as prepared as they can, but the Strikers still present a bit of a mystery. After squeezing into the playoffs in 2015, the team once again dismantled its roster, letting go of manager Günter Kronsteiner (again), watching the league's MVP and top scorer Stefano Pinho leave for Minnesota, and parting ways with Best XI midfielder James Marcelin, who signed with Carolina.
In response, Fort Lauderdale ramped up operations: They created a reserve team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), announced a whole wave of staff appointments, expanded partnerships and advertisements, got a TV deal, hosted an international tournament, and toured China. They also made some big-name signings, inking World Cup winner Kléberson, Brazilian veterans Adrianinho & Bruno Cardoso, U.S. youth internationals and UEFA Champions League-experienced players. And they unveiled their new jerseys on a yacht. Yeah, what can I say? The Strikers have big ambitions, and they've moved on from being a low-budget side that scraped past other teams. So will new investment bring more success? We'll have to see.
Key Players: Kléberson, MF; PC MF; Adrianinho, MF
One to Watch: Matheus Carvalho, FW. Carvalho has a solid pedigree, having played a few minutes for Monaco in last year's UEFA Champions League. It's possible he could be a welcome surprise in South Florida.
Predicted Finish: 7th. So much change on this roster, and several star players past their primes.
Team Name: Indy Eleven
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Manager: Tim Hankinson
Stadium: Carroll Stadium
History: After years of calls for a professional soccer team in Indianapolis from the Brickyard Battalion (the Eleven's main supporter group), the dream was finally realized in 2013. That year, legendary American soccer executive Peter Wilt announced that he would become the president of Indy Eleven, a team that started play in 2014. Despite struggles on the field, Indy Eleven became the first American soccer team to sell out all its home games in its inaugural home season. Wilt left on good terms in 2016 to pursue a Chicago NASL project.
2015 In Review: After a disappointing first year on the field, things didn't get much better in 2015 for Indy Eleven, though they did once again lead the league in attendance. Star player Kléberson picked up a season-ending achilles injury, and the Eleven won only one in their first eight matches. That record, combined with an embarrassing U.S. Open Cup defeat at home to USL's Louisville City FC, led to the firing of head coach Juergen Sommer. His replacement, interim coach Tim Regan, won the final two games to elevate Indy to 5th in the Spring. However, any playoff aspirations fell away in the Fall, as a string of bad results climaxed with a 7-1 loss in Fort Lauderdale en route to a 9th place finish in the Fall Season and combined standings. Indy could find a silver lining with the strong performances of several youngsters, such as Dylan Mares and Duke Lacroix.
2016 Preview: With one of the largest fanbases in the league and some of the worst performances, Indy are under pressure to finally turn around its performance. To start, they stripped down most of the team to just a couple of players, and hired long-time manager Tim Hankinson to construct a rebuild. Hankinson piled on MLS experience, inking Jon Busch, Siniša Ubiparipović, Justin Braun, Lovel Palmer, and Gorka Larrea, among others. Preseason did not go well, with most friendlies ending in defeat or stalemate to lower-division and university teams, and several players picking up injuries. That said, this Eleven squad is better than any other that has taken the field, and have a good mix of senior players and up-and-comers that are ready to deliver.
Key Players: Dylan Mares, MF; Brad Ring, MF; Siniša Ubiparipović, MF
One to Watch: Duke Lacroix, FW. It's time to meet the 22-year-old forward every soccer fan in Indianapolis is talking about. Lacroix got a chance last year, and electrified on the wing. This season, he'll hope to earn a starting job.
Predicted Finish: 8th. If one of the new central striker signings turns good, they'll have a real chance in this league. If not? Expect the same as before.
Team Name: Jacksonville Armada FC
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Manager: Tony Meola
Stadium: Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville
History: Announced on July 25, 2013, Jacksonville's team was christened as Armada FC on February 18, 2014. The Armada was the only expansion side to join the league in 2015, lead by the ownership collective Sunshine Soccer Group and club president Steve Livingstone. The team chose to play at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and quickly established themselves in the top tier of NASL attendances, although they didn't do as well on the field.
2015 In Review: Jacksonville got off to a fast start, with Jemal Johnson scoring seconds into their first game as the Armada went on to win three out of its first five. That was the best run of form the team would see all year. After finishing a respectable 6th in the Spring, the Armada fell into a slump, finishing last both in the Fall Season and combined table. The team fired its first manager, José Luis Villarreal, after attempting to give him a co-managerial role with Guillermo Hoyos. The club later fired Hoyos after giving him a contract through 2019 months earlier.
2016 Preview: The Armada began their offseason with a big statement of intention, hiring former USA goalkeeper Tony Meola as head coach. After an unsuccessful inaugural year, much of 2015's roster did not make it back. Instead, Jacksonville refined it by looking to the lower leagues. They signed NASL Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan, USL MVP Matt Fondy, and USL Defender of the Year Bryan Burke, in effect establishing a small collection of some of the best players below MLS last season. Just before the season began, the Armada suffered a blow as young standout Akeil Barrett transferred to the Swedish second division. Yet, after a preseason that included promising signings and friendlies, Jacksonville seem ready to move up the table.
Key Players: Alhassane Keita, FW; Mechak Jérôme, DF; Matt Fondy, FW
One to Watch: Charles Eloundou, FW. Once a highly-touted prospect, Eloundou, 21, saw his career stall with the Colorado Rapids (MLS). Now settled in Jacksonville, this year may be his opportunity to shine.
Predicted Finish: 9th. Good first steps, but still a lot to do after finishing bottom of the table last year.
Team Name: Miami FC
Location: Miami, Florida
Manager: Alessandro Nesta
Stadium: FIU Stadium
History: Unrelated to the original Miami FC (now the Fort Lauderdale Strikers), this team was founded in 2015 and kicked off in 2016. Miami attracted international attention with its ownership (entrepreneur Riccardo Silva and former Italy legend Paolo Maldini) as well as its first head coach (Maldini's Italy teammate Alessandro Nesta). The team began play at FIU Stadium.
2016 Preview: Expansion teams are often an enigma, and the organization of Miami FC is no different. Founded in the eye of a storm of MLS rumors (Miami Beckham United FC?), the brains behind Miami FC will likely want to get off to a running start in order to attract the sort of attention with soccer fans that can make them viable in the city and sustainable into the future. To that end, Miami brought in two star: Dario Cvitanich, who has scored goals and seen success with big clubs all over the world, and Wilson Palacios, the English Premier League veteran with nearly 100 Honduras caps under his belt. Mostly, though, the roster is filled out by players with NASL experience (Pablo Campos, Jaimé Chavez, etc.) and up-and-comers looking to make a name for themselves. In many ways, this is a similar approach that other past expansion teams have taken, with mixed results. The real question for 2016 might be just how well Miami FC establishes a fanbase in an unknown market.
Key Players: Wilson Palacios, MF; Darío Cvitanich, FW; Matuzalem, MF
One to Watch: Blake Smith, MF. Making his return to North American soccer after a year in hiatus, Smith is an unknown quantity. However, if he re-creates the kind of success he saw in Montreal and Indy, he could be a vital part of Miami's attack.
Predicted Finish: 11th. Similar construction as previous expansion teams may yield similar results.
Team Name: Minnesota United FC
Location: Blaine, Minnesota
Manager: Carl Craig
Stadium: National Sports Center
History: Professional soccer in Minnesota began with the Minnesota Kicks of the old NASL, but Minnesota has had a continuous presence of professional soccer since the founding of the Minnesota Thunder in 1990. When that team folded due to the financial shadiness of owner Dean Johnson, a new series of teams all slightly related to one another emerged. The NSC Minnesota Stars were launched in 2010, but the ownership of National Sports Center in Blaine, MN lasted only a season before the NASL took over the team. In 2011, the Stars won the Soccer Bowl for the first time in the new era of the NASL. In 2012, the team rebranded as Minnesota Stars FC and again went to the final, where they lost to Tampa Bay in penalties. The team was league-owned at the time and many fans and players thought that without a win in the final (thinking the league wouldn't dare let its champion fold), the team would no longer have a future. However, after the crushing loss, news began to leak out that the team had found an owner. In 2013, Dr. Bill McGuire (formerly of United Healthcare Group) purchased the Minnesota Stars and rebranded them as Minnesota United FC.
The team is supported by the Dark Clouds, a supporters group founded in the Thunder days. They are known for their bizarre brand of "Jackassery," which is ecstatic support that opposes macho, wannabe hooliganism. They have a gameday zine called the Jackassery Times-Heckler and worship the god DETHLOON. The club announced a move to Major League Soccer in 2017 or 2018, pending the construction of a downtown stadium.
2015 In Review: Buoyed off the field by an MLS expansion announcement, Minnesota continued to show stellar performances on it. Although star player Miguel Ibarra transferred to Mexican club Léon, replacements brought in (including Ibson and Khalif Alhassan) proved to be up to the challenge. A fourth place finish in the Spring was strong, if not ideal. In the Fall, an incredible run of eight wins in 10 matches led to a 2nd place finish. United were 3rd in the overall standings, and Christian Ramirez scored the second-most goals in the league, just missing a second consecutive Golden Boot. In their playoff semifinal in Ottawa, Ramirez's penalty gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead, but an equalizer and extra time winner from opposition forward Tom Heinemann led to an end to their season.
2016 Preview: This could be Minnesota's last year in the NASL, and they're offseason move show a determination to leave with a trophy in both hands. In preparation for the move to MLS, Manny Lagos (manager since 2010) became Sporting Director, and assistant Carl Craig moved up to become head coach. The team returns all four of its Best XI players from 2015: Justin Davis, Ibson, Christian Ramirez, and Kevin Venegas. It made further inroads by signing two other Best XI members: Lance Laing, who carried FC Edmonton and became a regular with Jamaica, and Stefano Pinho, who was named the league's best player and won the Golden Boot with Fort Lauderdale. Is there any stopping this team? Well, while United obviously has an unparalleled attack, there are questions on the defensive side, with the team having lost preseason games 0-4, 0-4, and 1-3 to MLS sides. If defense does not turn out to be a problem, though, this is a side that could really challenge for both the league title and a position deep in the U.S. Open Cup.
Key Players: Christian Ramirez, FW; Stefano Pinho, FW; Justin Davis, DF
One to Watch: Greg Jordan, MF. Minnesota are clearly looking for MLS-ready players this year, and Greg Jordan could be a sleeper pick to move up with them. Since falling out of favor in Philadelphia, he's had a dependable two seasons with the Loons, and will look to step up his game in 2016.
Predicted Finish: 3rd. May take some time for new players to settle, and who know how MLS move will divert their focus, but they'll be competitive no matter what.
Team Name: New York Cosmos
Location: Hempstead, New York
Manager: Giovanni Savarese
Stadium: Shuart Stadium
History: The New York Cosmos brand is one of the greatest in all of world soccer, and their teams in the original NASL were arguably better than any American sides that have come before or since. Centered around players like Giorgio Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, and of course, the legendary Pelé, New York won five Soccer Bowls and became a global phenomenon. Since the team folded, there have been many attempts to revive it. This one is the first to get a real team on the field. The modern iteration of the Cosmos kicked off in the Fall Season of 2013, won the championship the same year, and won it again in 2015 with Real Madrid legend Raúl.
2015 In Review: After announcing the signing of illustrious Spanish forward Raúl, the Cosmos cemented their place as the biggest spenders with the biggest names in the NASL. 2015 marked the final seasons for Raúl and fellow former Spanish international Marcos Senna, and New York looked to send them off with a storybook ending. In the Spring Season, everything went to plan, with the Cosmos winning the title by a point and securing a playoff spot early. A high point came in the team's U.S. Open Cup victory over New York City FC on penalties, though they would later be knocked out by the New York Red Bulls. The Cosmos stayed strong in the Fall with a 3rd place finish, benefitting through performances from NASL Young Player of the Year Leo Fernandes (on loan from Philadelphia Union) and team MVP Ayoze. The Cosmos won the combined season with 56 points, edging Ottawa on goal differential. In the semifinal, the Cosmos came from behind to beat Fort Lauderdale 2-1. Hosting the Championship, relatively new signing Gastón Cellerino scored a hat trick in a 3-2 victory as Raúl and Senna lifted their final trophy.
2016 Preview: With the retirement of Raúl and Marcos Senna, the departure of star winger Walter Restrepo and formerly on-loan Leo Fernandes (both to Philadelphia), and the exit of championship hero Gastón Cellerino, this could have been a transition year for New York. But the New York Cosmos don't rebuild. They reload. This offseason, the Cosmos put together one of the most stunning collections of signings this league has ever seen. To recap: The two biggest names are Niko Kranjčar and Juan Arango, both vastly experienced players who have played at the very top of world soccer; senior internationals include Jairo Arrieta (Costa Rica), David Ochieng (Kenya), Michael Lahoud (Sierra Leone), Yohandry Orozco (Venezuela), and Yasmani Duk; other signings include Gabriel Farfan (MLS/Liga MX experience) and two U.S. youth internationals. On paper, it is hard to argue any team is better than the Cosmos. How the pieces of the puzzle come together is the only question left.
Key Players: Danny Szetela, MF; Niko Kranjčar, MF; Juan Arango, MF
One to Watch: Yohandry Orozco, MF. So, get this, right? There's player in his prime, who plays regularly for his country, had experience with Wolfsburg, and he's coming to the NASL? You'd better believe it, and Orozco has all the skills to make a huge impact.
Predicted Finish: 1st. I've been wrong before with this team, but there's just too much talent to deny.
Team Name: Ottawa Fury FC
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Manager: Paul Dalglish
Stadium: TD Place Stadium
History: A longtime candidate for expansion, Ottawa was welcomed into the league in 2011, with the Ottawa Fury name being decided in 2013. The Fury were a fromer PDL franchise, and brought a history of support with it. The club shares a new stadium (as well as ownership) with the Canadian Football League Ottawa RedBlacks. In 2015, the team surged to the Championship final, but lost to the New York Cosmos.
2015 In Review: Few would have predicted Ottawa Fury's run to the NASL Championship after the Fall Season. Despite making a splash by bringing in Canadian international Julian De Guzman, the results failed to come, and the Fury found themselves in 9th place. In the Fall, though, coach Marc Dos Santos' plan clicked. A back line marshaled by NASL Best XI goalkeeper Romuald Peiser and defender Rafael Alves recorded eight shutouts, and an offense led by the connection between midfielder Siniša Ubiparipović (eight assists total) and forward Tom Heinemann (12 goals total) resulted in one loss in 20 games, and a Fall Season title. Heinemann's two goals in the semifinal knocked out Minnesota United, but the Fury ultimately fell short of the Championship in New York, losing 3-2 to the New York Cosmos.
2016 Preview: After falling short in the Championship, the Ottawa Fury had the offseason from Hell. First, Manager of the Year Marc Dos Santos left to be an assistant and reserve team coach for Sporting Kansas City (MLS). Then, many of the key players in the run to the final chose to part ways: Tom Heinemann, who scored every playoff goal, went to Tampa Bay; Colin Falvey, Ryan Richter, and Mason Trafford, who all started on the back line in the Championship, moved on; Best XI midfielder Richie Ryan left for Jacksonvile, playmaker Siniša Ubiparipović went to Indy, and starting winger Andrew Wiedeman moved to Cinicinnati in USL. Reinforcements have come, mostly in the form of other lower league players, but almost all will have to prove themselves before being considered adequate replacements. If I have to pick one out, the signing to keep an eye on will be Marcel De Jong, the Canadian international brought in who should play as a left back. The Fury will also be bolstered by the return of goalkeeper Romuald Peiser, who won the league's Golden Glove in 2015 and was named /NASLSoccer's player of the year.
Key Players: Julian de Guzman, MF; Rafael Alves, DF; Romuald Peiser, GK
One to Watch: Mauro Eustáquio, MF. Last year, Eustáquio impressed in the midfield when filling in for injured players. With so many departures, the youngster now has a chance to play well and force his way onto the Canadian national team.
Predicted Finish: 10th. This team got completely picked apart in the offseason. They could turn out okay, but they'll have work to do to prove me wrong.
Team Name: Rayo OKC
Location: Yukon, Oklahoma
Manager: Alen Marcina
Stadium: Miller Stadium
History: A fierce battle between the NASL and USL PRO for a team in Oklahoma City ended with both leagues announcing expansions in the city. The USL put together Oklahoma Energy FC in 2013. Meanwhile, the owners of Oklahoma City FC, a Premier Development League (PDL) team, decided to run an NASL side, but an ownership group breakup in 2014 caused a delay to the project. Eventually, Spanish La Liga club Rayo Vallecano partnered with the organization to form what is now known as Rayo OKC. The team name was announced in November 2015, and began play at Miller Stadium in 2016.
**2016 Preview: As much of an enigma I've said Miami FC have been as an expansion team, it's safe to say Rayo OKC have been even more of a mystery. The organization was derided at first, dismissed due to the involvement from a struggling foreign team and its juxtaposition to the already-successful Energy. However, its initial roster has made fans sit up and take notice. Five World Cup veterans and nine national team players headline the squad, which includes illustrious Greek striker Georgios Samaras. Rayo has built its team using players with experience in European leagues (say, Yuma and Juanan) and players who have found success in MLS (Michel, Sebastian Velasquez) and the NASL (Billy Forbes, Erick Norales). Expansion teams typically take time to fare well, but if there's any that might have a chance at making a first impression by challenging for a title, this could be the one.
Key Players: Robbie Findley, FW; Derek Boateng, MF; Georgios Samaras, FW
One to Watch: Billy Forbes, FW. Over the past two years, Billy Forbes has become the breakout sensation of the league with the San Antonio Scorpions. With the Scorpions dissolving, Rayo OKC won their most prized asset in Forbes, who should certainly get a look-in from former San Antonio coach Alen Marcina.
Predicted Finish: 5th. So much talent, but need to build some chemistry and fan support.
Team Name: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Manager: Stuart Campbell
Stadium: Al Lang Stadium
History: An original NASL team, the Rowdies won a championship in their first year (1975) and continued to impress until the league collapsed in 1985. The Rowdies kept playing in lower leagues until 1993. In 2008, the team was reborn again, with the vision of recreating its old glory days. However, because of legal problems, the team simply went by FC Tampa Bay until 2012, when the old moniker returned, along with a Soccer Bowl title won on penalties over Minnesota Stars FC. In 2014, the team was purchased by St. Petersburg businessman Bill Edwards, who promised to take the Rowdies to the next level.
2015 In Review: Following a frustrating 2014 season, manager Ricky Hill got the boot, and the Rowdies began building a new roster with the prolific coach Thomas Rongen. Under Rongen, the ball started to roll, and the Rowdies finished 2nd in the Spring Season, just one point behind the New York Cosmos. In July, Tampa Bay made waves by signing former U.S. international Freddy Adu. However, the Fall Season got off to a rough start. After securing only seven points in eight games, Rowdies owner Bill Edwards fired Rongen and general manager Farrukh Quraishi. Under new manager Stuart Campbell, Tampa Bay fell further, eventually finishing 8th in the Fall and 5th overall, missing out on the playoffs by just two points.
2016 Preview: In the third year of the Bill Edwards era, Tampa Bay is under big pressure to finally make the playoffs. The Rowdies haven't been the loudest team in the offseason, and have perhaps been overshadowed by some of their neighbors in Florida, but the transition from 2015 to 2016 has been smooth. Key players were re-signed, including defensive rock Tamika Mkandawire, Freddy Adu, and 2014 MVP Georgi Hristov. They bet big on bringing in Tom Heinemann, the striker who lit Ottawa's season on fire in the second half of 2015. And they brought in a good collection of supplementary players, such as Neil Collins (200+ games in the English Football League), Danny Mwanga (100+ MLS games) and Eric Avila (170+ MLS games). The Rowdies toured England in the preseason, scoring some impressive results (a draw with Stoke City; a win over Notts County). After an offseason that was, for once, not quite tumultuous, it may be Tampa's time to shine in 2016.
Key Players: Georgi Hristov, FW; Tom Heinemann, FW; Freddy Adu, MF
One to Watch: Darwin Espinal, FW. Only 21, Espinal is already having an impact on Honduran youth national teams. He's got several good forwards to compete with on this roster, but he could well become one of the best.
Predicted Finish: 2nd. This could be the year it all comes together for the Rowdies.
Predicted Spring Standings:
Place Club
#1 New York Cosmos
#2 Tampa Bay Rowdies
#3 Minnesota United FC
#4 Carolina RailHawks
#5 Rayo OKC
#6 FC Edmonton
#7 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
#8 Indy Eleven
#9 Jacksonville Armada FC
#10 Ottawa Fury FC
#11 Miami FC
Opening Weekend Schedule:
Saturday, April 2
Time (ET) Home Away TV
3:00 CAR MNU
7:00 FTL MIA
7:30 TBR IND
8:00 OKC FCE
Sunday, April 3
Time (ET) Home Away TV
6:00 NYC OTT
To follow all the excitement and keep up with the latest news this season, make sure to visit and subscribe to /NASLSoccer - the home of the NASL on reddit.
submitted by TheMonsieur to NASLSoccer [link] [comments]


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