Mercerskye t1_jedesw5 wrote

It's too obvious. But kinda not. I'm thinking Amy isn't Amy, she's one of the monsters. Harper may or may not be crazy, but she's definitely aware of these things.

I'm thinking they need something like a guardian to willingly give up their post.

Prison makes it impossible for them to leave unless the guard willingly succumbs or cedes their ground. Amy is probably just as trapped, maybe her malevolence is inside one of the off limits paintings kept on the upper floors.

An "unwilling warden," if you will.

I'm definitely looking forward to what happens next


Mercerskye t1_j956q5z wrote

Starving to death is arguably more damaging than a fever, with the odd occurrence of infections that prompt a fever high enough to be lethal.

Closest link I can find talking about calorie restriction vs inflammatory responses.

It makes a lot of sense though. We practically have nothing left to adapt to, at least not on a major level. Our last big changes were at a point where food wasn't a daily guarantee, but getting some kind of injury or infection was pretty likely.

Our ancestors that could fight off an infection long enough to get to the next meal, or at least survive long enough to reproduce are, imho, the better candidates for passing genes compared to those that just kept trying to "burn the infection out."

1000yrs ago, just hanging around spending all your fuel for what amounts to no forward momentum in the survival game was probably a fast ticket out of the gene pool.


Mercerskye t1_iy55lm6 wrote

I've long forgotten how long ago the war happened. We thought we'd be wiped clean in nuclear fire. We definitely tried, I remember the radio talking about the impacts as they got the reports.

But I guess we came to our senses. Someone stopped pushing the button. I do remember the counts. Thirteen hit here in the States. Our neighbors to the north got half a dozen. They reported thirty across Russia. South America and Africa totalled up were twenty.

Then the new plague. Engineered, radioactive flu, didn't matter. I held my only child in my arms as she died, practically melting into a viscous black paste as the disease took her. I remember her mother slowly banging her head into the window as I cried.

The not so fortunate victims. We called them hollows. Sometimes the plague just ate away your insides and left a shambling husk wandering around. Mostly benign until they saw something alive.

We fled the cities. I keep saying we, like I don't remember their names. Maybe I don't want to. We were a team of analysts and communication specialists meant to keep the country running as Armageddon happened.

We failed, no one could have kept things from falling apart, but we tried.

Out in the wilds, after I buried my family, I saw the first shrine. A collection of sentimental knick knacks in a fountain, "He was here" scrawled across the concrete in what I hoped was red paint.

I found a radio that worked, and found a station. Emergency Broadcast didn't take long to fail, anything commercial had fallen off even faster. But on the shortwave, there was someone, something broadcasting; "Drive West, friends, He was here, He was there, and He waits for you in paradise."

It was something. I needed it to keep from going crazy. I don't even know what His name actually is. Some of the makeshift shrines made Him out as a man in a pullover hoodie, sometimes a robe, sometimes just a t-shirt and jeans with a pulled down ball cap over His eyes.

They never showed His face, and I never met anyone else in my travel. Just me and the radio, discovering more and more intricate depictions of Him.

I'm not much a man of faith, but I found hope in that thread of a constant while the world was dying around me. "Drive West, friends, He was here, He was there, He waits for you in paradise."

Walk during the day, find something to eat, sleep through the night, rinse and repeat.

I'd developed a bit of a ritual before sleeping. I'd cook what I found, and I'd toss a bit in the flames. "For those that were here," and the fire would crackle, "for those that are there," the fire danced, "and for Him," the fire would jump and celebrate.

The United States isn't, wasn't, a narrow country. I'd found a compass to help me keep straight, and always walked west. I did so, I've done so, for years.

I'm not sure if I'm in Hell, or things are just different now, but the broadcast never stops, and the only people I've ever met are corpses.

"Drive West, friends, He was here, He was there, He waits for you in paradise."

"For those that were here, for those that are there, and for Him."

"I hope you don't mind, but I'd rather not have to eat another burnt meal." A voice low and gravelly from the darkness outside the light.

I jump away from the fire, terror in my heart. "Who's there?"

"Just a man wandering around what has been, like yourself."

I realize the tone isn't malicious, and the terror abates. At least a small amount. I thought I was alone.

"You're not, friend," he says as he comes into the light, sitting cross legged before the fire. He's wearing a tattered denim jacket and a cowboy hat pulled down to hide his face.

I try to stutter out a response, and he waves a hand up. "I can't hear all your thoughts, but I heard that one. You're not alone out here, just a bit lost."

"How have I spent so long trying to get West, and I still have never seen the mountains?"

"Your heart is full of pain, and guilt. The world took your family, it's not your fault."

Tears well up in my eyes, "how do you know about "

Another raised hand, and that grandfather like tone, "I've been there, I'm here, and I'm waiting for you. You just have to forgive yourself."

I couldn't see for the tears clouding my vision, but somewhere in the flood of grief, the stranger had left. I'd have doubted he even existed, save for the coat pin where he'd sat. Just gotta survive today was written in black on a simple white square of ceramic.

Sleep wasn't easy, but when I awoke, I saw mountain tops on the horizon.

I'm sorry Anna, Candace, I couldn't save you. Mark, Wendy, Terrance, I hope you found peace.

I gotta survive today, he's been here, he's been there, he's waiting for me in paradise.


Mercerskye t1_it71wq7 wrote

Reply to comment by Wishiwashome in Cotton Candy Scalp by [deleted]

I still have a small reserve of sympathy for some bullies. Those that are cruel because they've been the victim of cruelty.

But I've also learned that in life, regardless of what it throws you, there are only two choices; be a better person, or be a worse person.

And that works for positive and negative events. Win the lottery? You can change people's lives, or become an entitled brat. Someone abusing you? You can become abusive yourself, or be compassionate in spite of it.

So, while I can empathize with someone that come from abuse, my compassion runs out when they choose to be bully


Mercerskye t1_iri09al wrote

Angels were never anything more than jealous keepers of humanity. I'm guessing someone found a way to get in touch with the more...jaded ones

Those that resent the freedom we're allowed on this mortal coil


Mercerskye t1_ire98u1 wrote

Others have already touched on the subjectivity of the question posed, so I'll try to add something else to the conversation.

If this "average unicorn" were to be found, I don't believe it would necessarily be a case of them being "the most attractive," but there's likely a good chance that, based on physical appearance alone, they would appeal to the most people.

I think this might be a bit of pedantry in relation to the question asked, but given the malleability of attractiveness, and the many factors that go into it, I think it's about the best you can hope for.

There's a small chance that this could be true if the only context is physical appearance, since that's often the "first step" in vetting a potential mate. Once you add other complexities, it starts to lose some of its weight.