Laika (Underground) Pt. IV

Laika (Underground) Pt. IV

The finale of Laika's strange adventure

(Read Part Three)


Laika fumbled her way inside, feet scuffing across the tile of her home’s entryway. Completely flummoxed, she turned to see the inner side of her front door, as inanimate and unfeeling as ever. “Oh… oh my god!” She practically squealed with girlish excitement, taken aback by her own change in fortune. She had no idea how she was home or what kind of fever dream nightmare she had just been through, but she didn’t care. There’d be time to figure that out in the therapy she was now sure she would eventually need.

Dry as bone she rushed to the kitchen, skidding across the cheap linoleum floor to try and find her parents. There her mother was, hunched over the sink, rinsing carrots and cucumbers for a salad as she did every night. “Mom!” Laika shouted, completely disregarding her usual youthful indifference for a more childlike tone. She hurriedly walked over, realising how out of the ordinary she was acting and suddenly trying to play it cool.

It was when her mother did not respond that Laika froze in place, eyebrows furrowing and that familiar souring growing in her stomach. “Uh… mom?” Her hand reached out, grabbing her mother’s shoulder gingerly.

Her mother turned to face her, arms still buried in the sink grasping her vegetables. Her mother’s hair was the same, pulled back in a bun with the once dark brown colour dulling at the roots. Her cheeks still blushed that rosy warmth that they always had as well. What was different, gut-wrenchingly so, were her formerly green eyes and once soft mouth.

Where her mother’s eyes, at one time brilliantly expressive, should have been there were now hollowed pits. Empty sockets that seemed to reach into an aching eternity like the photographs from before. As Laika’s head churned in slow motion she swore she could see a faint red glow somewhere in the murky depths. Her mother’s mouth was sewn shut, and not the clean stitching of a careful surgeon. No, these stitches were jagged and off-kilter, globules of blood dribbling from various points along her unnatural expression.

Laika wanted to puke, to scream, but instead she ran. She bolted back towards the door, sucking in breaths that stung her lungs as she almost lost her footing, nearly careening off into the entryway closet. She swung open the door and practically dove out.

She landed on her hands and knees, but instead of the harsh concrete of her home’s walkway she found herself sinking into a gray muck. “Wh-... what…?” She could barely form words, feeling as if the contents of her stomach would not be far behind them.

Her hands and knees pressed into the decaying mud. Sloppy and wet, it seemed as if the entire earth was sagging below her, beckoning Laika to accept a briny burial amongst its unrelenting murk.

She stood, though she did not want to, and shivered. There was no house behind her anymore, not even the door she had rushed through only moments before remained. The sky hung low, heavy with the weight of its bleak grey cloud cover. Laika felt as if she may suffocate, squashed between the encroaching walls of atmosphere and terrain.

Stone and wood structures, what looked like the last sad remnants of buildings that had been erected long before her own generation, stood as gravestones amongst the mire. Some were only jutting pillars or wooden beams, while others seemed to be the collapsed remnants of walls and foundation. Dotting the horizon were trees, as dead and charred as the buildings they stood beside.

None of this mattered to her in the moment. There was no need to make sense of it at all. For now she stood and wept, her guts churning heavily as her face swelled and reddened. Laika’s entire body quivered, something inside of her shattered. She suddenly knew this wasn’t a dream, it couldn’t be. Her mind would never have been so cruel, so sadistic. She loved her family, as much as her adolescence snarled and denied it.

She sank back to her knees, trembling all over. Her jeans were soaked in mud, the moisture bloated soil slowly coating her lower half as she tried, desperately, to get ahold of herself.

Laika slowly raised her eyes, her hair matted to her face as she took in the apocalyptic scenery. Why? Was all she could ask herself, though she knew there would be no answer. There probably would never be an answer. Things in her mundane reality often did not have any kind of reasonable answer. Why would something like this be given a satisfying conclusion like some sort of storybook. What a vile, putrescent book that would be. Grinning with grim satisfaction as its character suffered towards an unknown climax.

Unseen by Laika, slithering just past the edges of her periphery, thin black tendrils wormed their way through the desolate no man’s land. Their surfaces were an oil slick, a layer constantly in motion independent of the tentacle’s own erratic squirming. The slimy appendages all watched her curiously, each one staying just out of sight as the girl, with her tired eyes and filthy clothing, surveyed another melancholia she was meant to wander. To what end? She had no idea. To home, she hoped, but into oblivion itself seemed far more likely.


End

Cover Image Credit: gamespew

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8 Smart Ways to Make Passive Income Remotely While Traveling

Opportunities for earning while traveling have never been so diverse!

Working remotely used to be a question of whether your employer would let you work from home or not. Nowadays, there are a lot of job opportunities available online and you can independently find work without having to get up from your chair. The new question now is how to invest your time to get the ball rolling and start earning money by not doing more than basic maintenance.

Get into e-commerce

E-commerce in your case should be narrowed down to selling the products online. It will require some time until you develop a website and attract the right amount of traffic to it. If you are doing really well, you may have a bit more maintenance than what you hoped for, but it will not be significant when compared to your earnings. However, an important thing to take care of if you are away, is sending goods to buyers. This is why, if you spend a lot of time away from home you should set up a dropshipping store and have your supplier send the goods. Alternatively, you can sell on Amazon and use their FBA to store and ship your products.

Sell website domains

If you have an analytical mind, if you are creative, or know your line of business well, you can think of good domain names and sell them at auctions. You won’t be able to sell all of them, but those that you truly manage to get right will have people fighting over them. This is what will earn your money. When creating a domain name you have to be sure to select the right keywords and something that sounds catchy and appealing to people from a certain niche.

Make e-books and audiobooks

If you are an expert in any field or if you have a well-structured personal philosophy which has helped you achieve your goals, you may want to write an e-book or make an audiobook. I cannot guarantee whether this type of content would get you far if published, but I know that it would involve more hassle. The Internet is the place business people visit for quick fixes and to do research. Having your book available at a nominal fee will probably seem tempting and they will not hesitate to buy it. Once written you may want to invest a bit in promotion on your part as with low prices you have to strive for quantity.

Sell photography

If you are a photographer, you can use your photos and sell them online. Organizing photo shoots, editing and uploading the photos takes time but once you have that done, you can afford to make big breaks and travel before the next busy season comes.

Sell web elements

This is the right type of job for graphic designers. You can create web elements such as logos, wallpapers, themes etc. and sell them online.

Rent your home

This is a perfect idea for those homeowners who will be away for a longer period of time. Try to find a trustworthy tenant as this is your home and you will probably come back to it at one point. Ask your friends if they can recommend anyone, or alternatively be very picky when interviewing potential tenants.  Cost of self storage doesn't have to be high and it is a great solution for putting away your things so someone else can move in and you do not have to sell them. 

Invest 

Perhaps some of the best investments for passive income are dividend stocks and peer-to-peer lending. Dividend stocks will bring you earnings which are a part of total earnings of the company you have invested in. The more they earn, the more you get. This is why you need to be smart when choosing who to invest in. Peer-to-peer lending means investing in loans to help other businesses. The lower the credit score of the borrower, the higher the interest rate for you, so it is a bit of a gamble.

Be a vendor

You can buy an ATM and find a busy place that does not already have one. It is usually a shop window of some sort you are looking at. This is why you have to have an agreement with the shop and the company whose ATM you are setting up. You will get a small percentage out of it but you are, again, interested in the high volume of users. This requires some maintenance, though. Perhaps you could designate someone to do it for you if there is a need while you are away.

As you can see there are plenty of ways to earn money while you are not around. Even if you have a day job and an office you go to, you can still set up one of these passive business ideas to have them earn money for you on the side.

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Seinfeld and Friends Are the Best Shows

I can always count on watching Seinfeld and Friends to relive the greatest days of television.

What is going on with TV shows nowadays? It feels like television peaked in the 90s and early 2000s. Seinfeld and Friends were the best damn shows in history, and after their final seasons came to an end, not one show has matched their excellence.

Today, if a show wants to get the audience’s attention, all it needs to do is have slapstick. The audience will go crazy, and ratings will bounce back. Although Seinfeld and Friends did have a tinge of slapstick in them as well, the jokes they employed were much more genius than slapstick alone. The humor was actually thought out, relatable, and it made you think about ideas beyond the show.

What’s even better is that Seinfeld and Friends are timeless. Yes, there was the occasional joke that’s now out of date, but ultimately, there’s almost nothing in these shows that would be hard for someone to understand today.

Joey once pointed out how stupid celebrations can be, like how unnecessary it is for a one-year-old to have a birthday party. Friends showed this in 2003, but it’s still just as applicable today. Why do one-year-olds have birthday parties? It probably feels like an arbitrary day in their lives. Why does anyone really care about birthdays? These are thought provoking philosophical questions – which you can thank Friends for inspiring – that are still valid today.

The ideas presented in Seinfeld are still bona fide as well. “Male Unbonding” first aired in 1990, but it had one of the most timeless quotes in television history. When asked to go to a cappuccino place, Elaine says “I’ll go if I don’t have to talk.” That was one of the most relatable lines I have ever heard. All humans - even the most talkative - have experienced moments of not wanting to speak. It was true 28 years ago, it’s true today, and it will be true as long as humanity exists. You can thank Seinfeld for articulating this truth so relatably.

I won’t name any shows in particular, but I feel confident in saying that all the shows today suck, compared to Seinfeld and Friends. Unfortunately, it seems like the best shows are behind us, but I can always count on watching Seinfeld and Friends to relive the greatest days of television.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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