Another one bites the Dust.

A single sneeze.

That is all it took. One single sneeze and that is what brought Bandit’s food bowl to be sitting on my kitchen counter with a chunk missing out of it. That is two out of four bowls I bought as part of two sets broken. Two.

Bandit can’t take all of the credit however, Luna broke the first one. Don’t ask me how, because I really can’t remember but I know that she broke it and that I had glued it with no more nails glue. This was sadly only a temporary fix, because a few weeks later she knocked a lump of frozen meat out of my hand and it fell into the bowl splitting it completely.

Now this morning, I came down the stairs for the morning walk and outing. Given that today is going to be miserable with work anyway, I thought a walk might help clear the grey cloud that is literally sitting on me as we speak. When I opened the crate for Bandit to get out. He sneezed. His chin moving at possibly one hundred miles a second. And broke the bowl. I checked his chin and he didn’t seem to have hurt himself, but now he had ceramic sharp pieces in his bed which I couldn’t just leave in there.

Bandit likes to lie on his bed while eating. I imagine it is more comfortable for him given his back legs are as stiff as a wooden plank trying to bend. Sometimes he is slow at eating. Which is basically me saying he decides he doesn’t want to eat it straight away and will take all night. So, I left the bowl with him to eat his food through the night. He had, the bowl was empty, so luckily I didn’t have to clean up any meat.

But that is two bowls down and only two water bowls to go… I think the only reason the water bowls have survived this long is because they literally don’t have much interaction with the bowls except for drinking. Luna doesn’t get all that excited for water. And Bandit doesn’t need to sleep with his bowl in his face.

Bed Graveyard

I may have mentioned it once that Luna had vomited quite horrifically on a really good bed sometime after she had stolen food. Well that bed is still in the back garden… For some strange reason I don’t quite know what to do with it. Feels almost gross.

Well as of this morning another bed is currently in emergency recovery after I discovered, for some odd reason, Luna had shit herself in the night. By the looks of the damage it just shot out of her without warning.

At first my first reaction was… “Oh no, what the fuck do I do with that?”. I always feel that way when disaster strikes. I’m always stood there like, shit what do I do next? However, once I got the bed out of the house I just started pouring whatever I could on to it. Washing up detergent was first. I poured a lid full of washing detergent on the main spot of poop and I let it sink in while I cleaned the crate. Trying to get rid of any smells in the living room. Then I tried to get the hose on it…

The hose was frozen. No water was coming out of it, or running through the piping. To make it worse the actually nozzle was frozen when I tried to squeeze the water out of it to see if it would work. And… Er…

This was the trigger handle to the hose nozzle. It snapped off in my hands. This was my reaction…

After that I attacked it with hot water and fairy washing up liquid. I threw three buckets on to that bed and the stain wasn’t going away. The smell did, the stain didn’t. This saved the day.

Oh my goodness, to all dog owners out there! If you have carpets! and you don’t know about this carpet cleaner… you have no idea what you are missing. It is excellent. Now… of course because I used this on the poop stained dog bed I am not going to use the remainder of it on my living room carpets. This is now officially going to be assigned to my dog beds while I will be going out to buy a new bottle for the rest of my house when shopping day comes up. But this stuff has removed blood stains, poo stains, snot stains, whatever else my dogs want to throw at my living room carpet, it has dealt with it without a trace. I don’t think I could survive without this stuff.

I scrubbed it on the dog bed and the poop stain was gone within seconds. I was absolutely made up. And relieved. However, I had drowned the bed before using the carpet cleaner… so… it is still outside in dog bed intensive recovery. And I don’t know about everywhere else but where I live it started snowing! So, I don’t think it is drying anytime soon. I actually think it might be frozen.

I put a candle on and I sprayed and cleaned the area as much as I could but I still caught a whiff of the crime. It was then I noticed a stain on Luna’s paw. It was her. She was the source of the smell. I wasn’t about to have that. This was the second day on the new year. I was not going to be defeated by Luna’s arse. Introducing the second saviour of the day.

I don’t need to rinse it off. I don’t even need to get the dogs wet first. A few pumps of this either into their fur or on my hands and rub it into their fur and they smell excellent. That stain also disappeared. I was going to do just her. Since she was the one that needed it. Also that she hates… and I mean HATES being washed. I cornered her in the hallway. She was not getting away from me. Now… I wouldn’t recommend doing that to your dogs. It is stressful for them to be cornered and you never know how they might react in the end. But I don’t think I was in the right mind… plus it was Luna, she has only ever bitten other dogs back, and that has been after they have bitten her. She is a very good dog. Both Bandit and Luna are very good to me that way. But yes, as a typical rule of thumb you should never really force your dog into a corner unless you literally had no other choice.

After getting Luna, I turned and saw Bandit had been watching and thought I might as well since the Shampoo was out. Being the dog that allows me to do anything to him, from picking him up to help him down the stairs or in the car, to letting me put his eye drops into his eyes without resistance. He just lay there and let me wash him with this waterless shampoo like the good boy he is.

Peace has been restored to my home again. Except I am now down two dog bowls and two dog beds. Another one bites the dust.

Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon! Bye!

Happy New Year.

2020

I think a lot of people will agree with me when I say that this year has been awful. The year 2020 unfortunately, for the rest of history, can only be labelled as COVID year. The year a virus crippled the UK that was left in the useless and blubbering hands of a complete and utter moron.

To Lockdown or not to Lockdown. Has probably been the most asked question. All we can do at this point is hope, just plain old hope that 2021 is not the same.

2021

Hello New Year. Please be a miracle. I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

To celebrate this very hopeful new beginning I am going to listen to this new song from my favourite music artist in the world.

Imogen Heap – Last Night of an Empire.

All of her songs are beautiful. I love them, and I got to meet her at one of her live events. She is so real. Most people would say never meet your heroes or celebrity icons because you’ll just be disappointed. But you know what, she wasn’t disappointing at all. She was fantastic to meet. I can’t wait for what else she is working on.

Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon! Bye!

My Biggest Distraction

Planet Zoo

The game that I can spend hours if not days playing. When I was younger I spent a lot of my free time playing two games. Sims and Zoo tycoon. Now that I am older… I haven’t changed at all! Now I play sims and Planet zoo. Except I am finding myself more attracted to playing planet zoo than I am the sims. The animals are ace. If I read some of the fun facts I am learning something new and the creators are always adding things to it. I’m in game love.

New Things!

One of the more recent features that I have been loving about this game is that you can now hire educators who run animal talks. This boosts your visitors education which helps boost your zoo rating. I love that feature, my only concern is a spend a lot of time assigning work zones and forgetting the new one I had just added as I build.

I am in game heaven with this game I love it. I constantly fall in love with it again whenever they bring out another update. Most recently it was an update to have… Giant Otters! And Grey Seals! Penguins! I can’t get enough. They only way this game could get any better for me is if they added more types of wolf in there as well as some of the different foxes.

Look at those graphics!

Time Management

I believe this game counts as a time management game. You build a zoo and you run it. Nothing particularly complicated about the premise. But managing a good zoo is the tricky part. You have to have all the right staff and if the staff need training they will need to be paid more, the facilities need to be built but the guests cannot see those facilities otherwise their happiness will just plummet to nothing. Then there are the animals. The beautiful virtual versions of the real versions you wish you could see in real life. They need to be fed regularly, they have to have plenty of space, they have to have water, something to play with, a vet to keep them healthy. And so much else! Honestly, I could go on at how complicated these things all tie in together.

I love games like this. However, there is something awfully ironic about the fact that it is a time management game and yet it ruins my time management in real life. If I was paid in real life to play this game however, oh god, I’d never be off the thing.

The graphics for this is immensely good. They have definitely put a lot of effort into the game. Plus if they get reports from the players of any glitches that may have come up they are constantly releasing patch updates with fun new updates that add to the gameplay of planet zoo. It is not badly priced either. And given that most of the updates are free and the updates (game packs) that you do pay for are usually never more than £8 I’ll take that as a win.

Aw! How beautiful is that!

Gaming Options

The game also offers different game play types. You can work through the scenarios which also work out to be tutorials as well as challenges. There is also the challenge mode in which you select a slab of land and then build on a budget completely from scratch. Or there is the sandbox option. If you just want to build your dream zoo. Unlimited funding. All research completed. Staff fully trained. You literally just get to build and off you go. So, I’d say there is a little bit of something for everyone.

However…

Oh god, I really don’t want to do this but I’m going to. There is only one thing that kills me. One tiny thing that honestly, most people happily live without. Because the game is optimised to be as customisable as possible. You can literally use the shape of the land however you want for your zoo. The walk ways and gondolas and tram systems can interweave in the exhibits as much as you want without it changing the lives of your animals. Or your ability to keep them in their habitats.

But! for someone like me who lives of symmetry this is killer. Zoo tycoon fed and enabled my symmetric obsession with a grid building system. Planet zoo… doesn’t have that. You can make a box because of a snap feature or you can set the settings so that the barriers only do 90 degree corners. But… The amount of times I have had a mini inner cringe because my zoo looks wonky which in turn just looks messy… it is slowly killing me. But that is the only thing. To be fair that is a completely personal preference that not everyone is going to agree with. For some people you just know are going to have this massive creative spark and create mount Everest in game, or mount Kilimanjaro. Their zoos will look like mother Earth masterpieces. So, it isn’t a completely negative point. I would just never be able to make something like that. My zoos are plain. Square habitats with everything the animals need. Ha! I’m crap.

I was playing the game this afternoon when I was supposed to be writing. Hey ho, I am writing now right?

Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon! Bye!

Procrastinating Queen

That’s me.

As you can all obviously see I barely did any writing at all this weekend. I had the time to write as well and just didn’t. I actually went to visit my gran in Scotland before Christmas given that I haven’t seen her since before Lockdown. And before I am crucified let me clarify, I’m fine, so is my Gran. No symptoms or anything. All is good.

But yeah, I have my laptop on a little table in front of me on the couch and I had my writing projects out in front of me I had my blog open thinking I could write and post something now that I am off work and everywhere is closed… Nope. I didn’t do any of that.

In fact what I did do for the whole weekend with my Gran and sometimes my Dad when he wasn’t working. Was sit on the couch watching Disney movies. Lots and lots of Disney movies.

Beauty and the Beast

Not the live action one. The old cartoon animated one. Be our guest. That one. My favourite princess film of all. I went to see the live action film for my Birthday when it first came out in Cinema. And I was a little disappointed if I’m honest. I didn’t like Emma Watson’s portrayal of Belle at all. Nor did I enjoy the fact that the film was a serious case of male bashing. There was only one part of the film I thought had been done quite well and that was the fact that we got to learn a little more about the Beast. That was it sadly. Everything else in that film flopped for me. I tried to watch it again on the Disney Plus app. I just can’t do it. I can’t. I had to turn it off. So, I haven’t watched it since, but I did watch the fantastic cartoon animated Disney Beauty and the Beast. Never gets old for me.

Princess and the Frog

I enjoy this princess film. The characters are actually likable. Even if they aren’t likable at first (Cough! Prince Naveen Cough!). They become likable. I admit the part in which the voodoo lady kisses her snake makes me cringe so hard I have to look away. But good film nonetheless.

Frozen Two

Oh, wow, hmm… What to say about Frozen two. Hmm, ok, I have the best question. What the hell happened? The story was spread out so thinly across the four characters’ and the different crisis subplots that they were all having that it just felt messy. Like rather than the film blending into one story. It was a story with a bullet point mind map. I spent most of the film embarrassed. Plus, there was a point in which the subplot of a character was so forced into it that the song just had no relevance as to what was happening… It did however, end better than it began. I would have preferred it if it had kept managed to make the other characters problems a little less in your face , and went into more depth with regards to things like the girls’ parents? I feel like that was only briefly touched upon. When they could have done so much more with it. But that is my personal opinion.

Onward

What a beautiful film. This sits on the same scale of Brave for me. A tear jerker of a film. Sons going on dangerous mission to see their father that last and final time. Or for that one and only moment in his life. They grow as brothers and they grow as their own individuals. It was beautiful, and it made me laugh. My Dad pointed this one out to me as it was on the Disney Plus app, but I was told about if from my lead at work. Definitely worth a watch if you haven’t watched it already.

Forgiving Myself

I had become very angry with myself at this point. I finally had a week off from work I could finally concentrate on writing and exercising. And I hadn’t done any of it. Well that is a lie sorry, I went running. Which by the way, running in the hills of Scotland. Oh my god I thought my heart was going to explode. The hills nearly killed me. But anyway, I was so angry at myself. But what was the point in getting angry at myself?

After I thought about this, I sort of came to the conclusion that I should forgive myself one weekend. One weekend of not doing anything at all. Out of what… fifty two weeks in the year? So, one out of fifty two weekends out of the year in which I have done (Pardon me) fuck all? Yes, I can forgive myself at least once. To add to that I was visiting my Gran. I don’t get to see her often purely because most of the time I just don’t have the petrol money to go. So, on this rare occasion that I got to see her, yes I sat and watched films with her. Also on this once a year occasion it is almost Christmas.

Now that I am back from my quick weekend trip away I will try to get back into the swing of writing and posting again. I have managed to find some motivation for exercising again so I will try to keep on top of that as well.

Thank you so much for reading! Write again soon! Bye!

Luna vs Markiplier

My guilty entertainment

I got to Markiplier quite late. This was the first video that got me to watch Markiplier more often than watching PewDiePie. I started watching PewDiePie because of the horror games. I like horror games, I’m just poo at playing them. But… PewDiePie sort of started to pull away from the games. I also found that I preferred Markiplier.

Markiplier was also the only YouTuber that could help me sleep after Bandit and Luna had been attacked a few years ago. I struggled to close my eyes because images of dogs teeth snapping in front of my face, but when I had Markiplier on it helped distract me enough while at the same time my brain switched off so that I could close my eyes and sleep.

I still watch some of his videos now. I have one issue.

In coming Luna!

Ever since that attack. Luna has began to react to me when I gasp or jump. She will begin to pester me none stop with whining and purposely shove herself into spaces that she is directly in my face. And she won’t stop until whatever she thinks has caused my startling moment of surprise goes away.

Here is an example.

In this video I am watching Markiplier play Phasmophobia with Jacksepticeye, Wade, and Bob. The video was fine but there was one moment that made me jump because the ghost popped into Markiplier’s face. I jumped. Luna wouldn’t leave me alone. She stressed out so much that she then did this – …

Cheeky!

I got her off the couch very quickly. She and Bandit are not allowed on it and she knows this but she will still force her way onto it. Does anyone else find this with their poochies? The only way I can settle her after this is if I turn Markiplier off. And I can’t turn him back on because she recognises the sounds and fusses again.

For any of you with dogs if you think you trick your dog. Trust me you can’t! I even changed to a different video and she still wouldn’t leave me alone. She would not be tricked.

Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon! Bye!

Fable

Adrienne Young

Well, I achieved the unexpected people. I finished this book in a few days. I am quite impressed with myself. However, I managed to achieve nothing else so… I suppose that evens out my slow reading abilities.

Quick Synopsis

Fable is the main character, abandoned on a island of cut throat thieves and desperate starving people, trying to find a family. Her mother dies at sea. Her father survives and abandons her the day after the event with the promise that he will give her what is owed to her if she, one survives, and two keeps a secret. The secret being that no one knows she is his daughter.

While surviving on this island, not on purpose, but she ends up in trouble and has to seek the aid of a trader that she has been trading with for two years. Reluctantly, he agrees to get her off the island and this is where the main adventure of her life truly begins.

My thoughts

Er, what can I say. I loved it. I really loved it. I loved the characters, I loved the world, I loved the relationships. I loved it. I actually didn’t put it down. I got so fed up with work that I broke my rule of reading between calls. (More because I am struggling emotionally to cope with them, but that is another issue) And let’s just say I got really frustrated when I was interrupted by the calls. Every time I put this book down I ached to pick it back up again. I was reading until 4:30am after work last night I was enjoying it that much. I finished it this afternoon just before work and let me just say I am going to die. I am going to die. It is killing me that it is a cliff hanger and the second book does not come out until March 2021… that is not soon!

I did find a couple of typos in there. Nothing too serious that you wouldn’t know what was being said and very easy to miss. Other than that everything was perfect and precise. The world was built excellently, and the characters were so fleshed out. I have to disagree with the BookTuber that I posted in my Blood & Honey post. I think all of the characters had back stories, they were all fully fleshed out. I loved West. And the BookTuber’s comment about the romance kind of not being there to being there I think I disagree with as well. Just because from the get go, West shows the signs of a man in love but trying to hide it. The twitchy jaw, the not wanting anyone to hurt her, the over exaggerated rage to get her off his ship while at the same time doing everything in his power to make sure no one hurts her. The signs for a typical YA male love interest was definitely there from the beginning. But I loved it.

I do agree with what the BookTuber said in some aspects. Like feeling like you were actually there with the characters. Struggling on the ship through a storm. Swimming in the open sea. I would also definitely agree that the main character showed strengths and vulnerability rather than just two much of one or the other. What is interesting though is throughout the journey you start to realise that the secrets and lies that these traders lived to keep were what was slowly breaking apart the system of traders.

Helmsmen went through crews like McDonalds goes through staffing members. There was no trust and baring in mind on ships you are practically living with these people. Could you imagine living with someone and never knowing if they are helping you or slowly planning your demise. Whether that be career wise or quite literally life. That would be disgustingly unbearable. However, the crew that the main character joins completely shatters that idea, they honestly know each other’s secrets, the key is that no one outside of the ship knows them. They trust each other and those secrets are known but they aren’t spoken about.

I loved it. I loved it and I really really hope the second one is as good as the first book. I am also preying to the author writing book god out there that the author doesn’t do a Sarah J Maas on me and finds a way to cut off the main love interest and change to someone else that will kill me. I am already in panic that Sarah J Maas is going to do it for the second book of Crescent City so much so that I have threatened to boycott the second book if she dares! I don’t want to have to worry about getting my heart broken in another book series. It’ll be too much and I just might not recover.

There was another small thing I noticed that I had to question. I completely understand needing to know the backstory of the characters as it is what builds them. And it is only a small thing that I would have done differently. I wouldn’t have repeated the main characters backstory as often as the author had. It didn’t take away from the story, I still loved it, just there was a point in which I was sat there reading thinking… we know this already… But that is it. It was brilliant.

I would recommend reading it!

What I am Reading next?

After not really much thought if I am honest. I have decided to read a book a got quite a while ago. I say a while ago. It was a couple of months ago, and the book was only recently released this year. But it has been sitting on my bookcase since I bought it is what I mean.

Seasons of the Storm by Elle Cosimano. I bought this book because as you all already know I am a sucker for romance. And given that the back of this book literally states that it is about a forbidden love. I bought it. I hadn’t heard anything about it. I found it browsing through book websites, and this came up as a recommended for me based on previous purchases, so I had no idea what this was until I read the blurb.

Blurb

One cold, crisp night, Jack Sommers was faced with that choice – live forever according to the ancient, magical rules of Gaia or die. Jack chose to live, and in exchange, he became a Winter. Like the other seasons, Jack must hunt and kill the one before him. Gaia’s rules are pretty straightforward. Winter kills Autumn. Autumn kills Summer. Summer kills Spring. Spring kills Winter.

But when Jack and Fleur – Winter and Spring – fall for each other against all odds, the true brutality of their eternal lives becomes all too personal and all too painful. And Fleur is on the brink of being Purged forever. Unless they can come up with a plan to stop the cycle.

Cutting that off early.

OK, that blurb was long. And honestly unnecessary. The blurb has already said what it needed to in those two sections so I won’t bother typing out the rest. I have high hopes, this sounds like my cup of tea. I haven’t picked up a YouTube video review this time just because they seemed very negative about it, and they literally went straight into the negatives of this and I don’t want to be put off before I even begin. Or put any of you off before I write about it. So, I am thinking maybe this time we will go off just me this time.

Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon! Bye!

Naming your Blog

WordPress Course part 4

This next part I went into it and didn’t think it applied to me. It also didn’t ask me to post about it, but I think I am going to because I like what I have been posting lately. I haven’t been too frightened to go into detail. Whether that detail be how I think, or how I feel about something. I also have this strange feeling that this has brought me a little closer to myself again. These last few weeks I don’t think I have been myself… At all. I want to change that tonight.

Fighting to remain me.

Everyone in the world has that job, that type of work that just doesn’t sit well with them. You can watch everyone around you hate it maybe just as much as you but something about it just can’t cope and mix with you. Even when people say you have to get used to it, or oh we deal with worse. Please know, that they don’t matter, if you can’t cope with this one particular job, even if you convince yourself that if everyone else hates it too but they still do it, that job is just not good for you and if you can get out of it quick.

Don’t just smile and cope with it because everyone else is. Get out!

Anyway, I am currently feeling that with my new job. Which is a real shame because the company itself is wonderfully nice and the other agents are really nice as well. But I am just not coping with the job very well. Answering calls for businesses. Listening to rude, impatient, or just unhappy people. I haven’t been feeling myself for a long time. So, that is why me constantly keeping myself on top of the writing and posting is so important to me. This will help keep me with myself.

My Blog Name

My blog name is the username that I called myself for my Instagram and Facebook. I think it is perfect for me because it is a mix of the two main things I would like to do with myself as a career. Run my aerial and pole business with my friend and business partner. And write. It felt perfect and it was something that no one else seemed to be using. I thought it was unique enough for me and it spoke directly to me without being clunky. I think it works very well. Aerial Writer.

Tagline Trouble.

Where I sort of had trouble creatively thinking about was the tag line. I know it needs to be snappy and memorable. But I never think any of my snappy quick thoughts are any good so I originally went for something quite generic without properly giving it much thought. However, after reading through the next section of the WordPress course I have realised that my original tagline was crap.

My original tagline didn’t really have anything specifically to do with me except that it had the word – word – in it. Plus it didn’t really give any sort of insight as to what was going to be on my blog. So, it has changed. Honestly, it isn’t short but I like it.

Running with Dogs, Dancing in the sky, Writing and Reading to Distant Worlds.

Jessica Crichton (AKA me).

I like this one better, it includes everything about my blog while keeping relatively short. I didn’t have to go into a massive synopsis. So, this is the one I am going to stick with. I hope you like it just as much as I seem to.

Thank you so much for reading. Write again soon! Bye!

Games in Politics

Part 64

Halina could not bare it. Galahad had been gone for a whole week and she had been trapped listening to her brother and all of his new world policies that benefited literally no one else but him and who ever he deemed deserving. She had not seen the effects of these new laws and something in her dreaded the thought. But now it was night, she lay sleepless on her back with everything she had heard relaying through her brain.

The world was pressing in around her and she felt as if she just could not breath anymore. It felt as if she had been lying there slowly dying on the inside for hours when in reality when she checked the little roman numeral gold clock on her nightstand, it had been five minutes. Five mediocre minutes. She groaned and threw her quilt away from her warm body.

The cold air greeted her body from the chest down. She considered getting back into the warmth for a second. But then what would she do? She was haunted by everything her brother was deciding. She would just lie there tortured with every blink. She bit back against her bodies cry to be warm and got up. She dressed into her thickest warmest clothes and snuck out of the building.

The city was so different. While wondering the streets in the dark, the first thing she noticed was that the hospital had been demolished. It was one of the things had been established. Every home at a certain wealth range had to have a hospital wing, each of the wealthiest families had to have a personal doctor assigned to their homes, they had to know how to perform surgeries as well as emergency care, and they had to have at least one nurse – who also had to be a midwife. To have children if you earned under a certain amount a license had to be applied for. The babies were also under set restrictions, if they weren’t completely healthy they had to be completely aborted… Halina cringed at the amount of families ruined in this week alone.

Close to the council hall were many tall buildings that were all solidly established corporations. All small businesses had been unregistered and shut down. This meant that all the corporations had no competition. Either their way or no way at all.

After that were the entertainment section. This was one huge ring shaped building that circled the corporate market area. It was like someone had built a ring of archways that had stairs inside the walls that went up to the main level. The main level was made of glass and was were the high class went to eat, drink, party, and sex. Beyond that was residential. Each residential house was like its very own manor with large amounts of land of their own. Beyond that there was land, mass amounts of land that was being well kept and guarded by a huge wall. The wall had check points that anyone under a low wage had to have a special work license to enter. They couldn’t stay and if caught without a good reason for remaining beyond their work shift were detained and barred from the area.

The floors had been newly laid, the buildings newly built. To have accomplished this in a week her brother would have had to have every working man on it constantly until it was complete. He had made an extremely specific set of wealthy families happy. In return, there was a promise to keep him at the top of the world. There was no way for a social shift. You were born into what you were born into.

Halina knew that there was a security section somewhere. Kyle had made special care to keep them comfortable so that they would do their jobs. Even though they were trained to be mindlessly brutal soldiers, Kyle knew well enough to grease the palms of those he needed to use.

He had also removed schools. Schooling was now so private, it happened in the classroom that every family had built in their homes. Anyone outside of the main city point had had the right to education removed. The separation between poor and rich had now grown so sickeningly massive in just a week Halina felt guilty just being a part of it.

She reached the edge of the entertainment ring when a sound behind her made her check over her shoulder. The wide white stone and glass street was empty. The only thing she could hear after that was her heartbeat against her chest. The entertainment district was closed for the night. There should have been no one else here. She inhaled deeply and when her eyes and ears caught no shadows behind her she carried on walking.

She turned direction and began to walk the outer line of the entertainment ring. When something sounded as if it had shuffled right up behind her. So, close she screamed and spun on her heels.

“What do you want!?”. Her voice echoed cringingly loud in the silent night. She grabbed the thick material of her coat and pulled it into her body. When no one answered again she went to continue on her way again. Her heart was in her throat. Someone was following her. She was certain of it. The feel of a hunters stare in her back was growing more intense. Just when she thought she felt the soft brush of someone’s fingers against her cheek she spun around again. The follower disappeared again. Her whole body shook. She should turn back, but she was far enough away now to be taken before she made it. Just before she went to head back a pair of dark arms swept her up and pressed her back into the shadowed alcove of one of the entertainment rings steps. A big familiar hand over her mouth.

“Shh”. Galahd said. “Please”.