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READ ME: Part 3


READ ME: Part 1
READ ME: Part 2
It was a few days of me relaxing just taking in the mellow mood that our Cecily- turned sea creature left me with her musical talents. Cecily also gifted me with a relaxing feeling.
It helped my anxiety in a way I can’t explain. I fed Doby, the fish I confiscated from the magical book, and bought him a new tank for my kitchen. I think he was another gift from Cecily. I was just happy I was able to put her soul to rest.
I spent all that Saturday setting up the sea salt tank fit with plants. Typically, it took time to set up a tank, but I didn’t exactly have time to do that with Doby. I even got him a few companions to keep him company.
Then a few days later, as I was feeding Doby admiring the new purple and turquoise blue decor, I felt a sudden need to cut my wrist. I felt like I was in a trance.
I walked over to the kitchen, opening the drawer pulling out a sharp knife, I began slicing my arm. I didn’t bleed much, but I had this overwhelming, depressing feeling coming over me. Then I heard my television pop on all by itself.
There was a news story about a young girl about sixteen years old that had gone missing. The report was dated three years ago. I knew then it was the book. Dropping the knife, I ran to get a paper towel and some alcohol to clean the wound I created.
I heard guns firing lasers, and I saw a blue light illuminating from the book. I took a big gulp; what was I getting myself into?
I opened the book to THE MURDER SHOW, which was the next story I was to read, and took a deep breath. I looked down and could see a tiny television featuring two teenagers playing a video game in a room. It was like I was watching a movie. One of them had short bleach blonde hair, the other had long black hair, and I recognized her as the missing teenage girl from the news that had just been featured on my television.
Instead of reading this story, I was watching it. I was hearing her voice inside of my mind, or maybe it was out loud. I couldn’t tell anymore.
I looked at the pages before me. They were turning on their own like an old fashioned picture book. I watched a girl as her eyes turned and faced me.
She had black hair, dark eyes, and pale skin. She had a black t-shirt on with a ton of bracelets. Her thin face was pretty, but she didn’t smile.
Instead, I could do nothing except listen to the story titled:
THE MURDER SHOW
My name is Andrea Becker, and as long as I could remember, I wanted to die.
I know it sounds strange, but I looked at death as that permanent nostalgic return to your soul.
I swear I’m not a freak. I know I look the part, don’t get me wrong. I am cliche for someone my age.
Let me begin by telling you how it all began.
When I was ten years old, my grandparents were visiting from out of town. My grandmother was taking a shower, and when she got out, she screamed for my mother as she was having chest pains. She fell over onto the bathroom floor. The EMT’s were there in record time; maybe it was slow- I just know it was all a blur. I watched them trying to bring my grandmother back. My grandpa wasn’t home; he had gone shopping with my dad and older brother. So, I had a front-row to the tragic end of a woman I had loved so much.
Then I knew the exact moment she died. I saw her ghost or her soul, whatever you believe. It floated out of her body, and it LOOKED at me! My grandmother’s spirit looked at me and smiled. I knew then everything would be fine, but it wasn’t about me. It was about how at peace she was. I longed for that peace.
I lost my grandpa a few years later, but my grandmother’s death stuck with me. I started reading everything in the end. I knew it wasn’t simple science like some claim. You do leave your body when you die. Where you go is anyone’s guess, I just know what I saw that day my grandma died.
I had never considered killing myself. That was too weird. Then one day, my best friend, Carla, told me she liked to cut herself. She showed me her scars on her wrists. I was taken back by her self-harm.
“What if you go too deep?” I asked her.
“I have a couple of times, but I have gotten good at stitching myself up,” she smirked.
“Doesn’t it hurt?” I asked her.
“Yeah, but sometimes it is the only way I can feel things. I just feel like the world gets to be too much sometimes, and I want to escape it. I just don’t want to die.”
That is when I looked at her. “I have always wanted to die,” I said tears in my eyes.
“What you mean, like kill yourself?”
“No, just be at peace.”
“I feel at peace after I feel that rush. Like I get a rush from the pain for a second, and it makes me less - I dunno how to explain it.”
“I get it,” I said, and my friend had become my best friend.
I never told her, but I started self-harming after that. I had to know if it would give me the peace that I longed for when my grandmother showed me that look in her eyes. Like AT LAST, she could rest!
Sadly, over the next few years, Carla and I stopped being so close. She started hanging with a posh stuck up crowd. I still craved death. There was little in common with the mean girls' squad.
At seventeen, I had become close friends with a guy named Paul, whom I had a lot in common. We both enjoyed Mr. Fraziers English class, played tons of video games, and enjoyed hacking.
Not like professional hacking, just silly stuff like the local website to our local pizza shop. We hacked into it to say that all the prices had been reduced to 99cents. Silly kid stuff. We were never caught.
Then one day, Paul came over with two of his laptops.
“I have to show you something.” He said to me, excitedly.
“You ever been on the dark web?”
I shook my head. “No way!”
“It isn’t all weirdos; I buy stupid shit on there like electronics. Lots of black market stuff. It isn’t all organs and creepers doing things to people.”
“You aren’t messing with those sites, are you?” I asked him, concerned.
“No, I just found one, though. I can’t tell if they are serious. It’s called THE MURDER SHOW.”
“What the hell, Paul?”
“No, I have everything blocked. They can’t find us. I wanted you to see these comments. It freaked me out.”
“You are on the DARK WEB PAUL!” I retorted.
“Listen, just look at this. Can this be real?”
I hesitated and then took his laptop and looked at the site. It was a chat room.
I read a few of the posts they talked about murder and the best way to do it. Then I read on.
Der786: YOU READY, RANDY? One poster asked.
RANDY01: YEAH JUST DON’T HURT ME TOO MUCH. Another user name responded.
Der786: YOU GET THAT INSURANCE FILLED OUT?
RANDY01: MY WIFE WILL NEVER WANT FOR ANYTHING EVER AGAIN.
What the hell?
Paul grabbed the laptop. “They let themselves be murdered for entertainment.”
“On purpose?”
“Yeah, one guy had cancer and didn’t want to live anymore. It even says on the disclaimer that this is the Doctor Kavorkian of murder sites. It is all pity kills. They won’t do it to healthy, happy, or well-adjusted humans. You must prove you are worthy, and they will do the cleanup, so no one ever finds out.”
“It is real. Turn it off, Paul.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to freak you out. I just thought you would think it was at least interesting.”
“It is scary and unfortunate if I’m honest.”
Paul’s cell phone rang.
“Sorry, mom, yes, I forgot. I’m with Andrea. I’m coming.”
I looked at Paul, and he ran out and left.
He was gone, and so I continued playing a new video game that I had bought with my allowance.
I wasn’t paying any attention when I heard someone say, “I see you.”
Huh? I said to myself.
“You there! Girl with the black hair!”
What the hell? Then I realized that Paul had left his stupid laptop on the floor of my bedroom, and it was still on that silly murder site!
I peeked over my bed and looked down at the laptop, and just as I was about to close it, a man spoke again.
“Don’t close it yet; you had to come here for a reason. Why don’t you tell me what brought you here.”
“I- I didn’t. My friend found it by accident, and we weren’t interested in the site.”
“That is okay, so you were curious. Can I answer any of your questions?”
This was getting too weird for me.
“I am good. I think I get it.”
“Look, I get it. It’s real live dark web shit. I’d want to close the laptop and burn it too. Only I have seen you. How do you know I haven’t already tracked your address? How do you know I am not using facial recognition to figure out exactly who you are, Andrea Becker.”
He said my name. How did he know my name?
I was going to kill Paul.
I picked up the laptop and looked at the man who didn’t look like your typical weirdo. He was sitting at a desk wearing a polo shirt. He had a friendly smile and kind eyes. Suddenly I felt comforted instead of creeped out, and I didn’t know what it was.
“My name is Milton. I founded this site to let people let out a little bit of carnal steam. Tell me about yourself.”
“This is weird. I don’t know you.”
“Okay, I’ll begin. I’m married. I am a father of two kids. Jessica and Jenna. I work in management. This is just a side thing. I can assure you I am every bit as human as you are. So tell me, why do you wish to die, Andrea Becker?”
At that moment, it was like he had spoken to my heart. No one had ever spoken so honestly to me before. It was like having someone see your soul. At that moment, I thought, this is fate.
“Peace.”
I found myself speaking honestly, and even if I regretted it later, I couldn’t help it. It was nice to see that someone could read my mind. At least it felt like that.
“I think most of us who are empathic to the ways of the world feel the same way you do.”
“Yeah, I guess.” I sat up straight and leaned into the screen on my laptop.
I was beginning to feel much more comfortable than I had thought I ever would. It was strange to trust someone on the dark web like this, but there was something about this man. He had a hold over me.
“Tell you what, we are holding an event tonight at eleven, and I hope you will log on to join us to see what we are all about. I promise it isn’t what you think.”
“I will have to check it out,” I said, partially wondering if I wanted to have anything more to do with this man.
The screen went black, and I shut Paul’s laptop.
I decided to go downstairs to grab a wine cooler out of the fridge. It was almost ten o’clock, and my parents were asleep, so I knew I wouldn’t get in trouble.
I drank the crappy drink, thinking long and hard about what had transpired and wondering if I wanted to know what went on in this so-called murder show.
It was five till eleven, and my cowardice was in full force, so I turned on the television.
“A WHITE VAN IS THE SUSPECT IN THE MISSING TEEN’S DISAPPEARANCE IN FRANKLIN COUNTY. WITNESSES SAY THEY SAW YOUNG JAMES MADISON TALKING TO SOMEONE DRESSED AS A CLOWN AS HE WAS ON HIS WAY TO SCHOOL FRIDAY MORNING…”
I turned off the disturbing news program deciding I would see the big deal with this “murder show.” There could not possibly be any reason for this nice man I had talked to be part of some sympathy murder thing.
The screen was still black, and then I saw a small room come into focus. The chat room was coming alive with flower emojis, and last-minute thank yous and best wishes from viewers who were donating bitcoin to the website’s owner.
Then I saw a man sitting in a chair and typing away at his computer. Something oddly terrifying about it was because the viewers seemed to see it, but the man didn’t seem to have anything to do with the viewers as though he didn’t even know he was being watched.
I watched as some of the viewers suddenly were also aware of this fact.
RHONDA24: Do you think he even knows this is the last night on earth?
Davtelly45: Nope, that is how it works.
RHONDA24: I know, but I thought he would be more prepared. He has been with us so long here.
Davtelly45: He will die soon, but he will be better off.
RHONDA24: No more cheating wife, no more debt, and no more anxiety about what tomorrow will bring.
Sassy-maria: I’m so happy for him.
Davtelly45: Me too, girl.
IVANfist: I hope this one is bloody, though. I like them with a little bit of gore.
RHONDA24: I have to admit I do too. Maybe he will get slashed on the throat.
Davtelly45: I just want our boy to be happy.
IVANfist: Fuck that gore all the way!
I read the chat, and then I watched as the man sitting at his computer seemed to be working on something very intensely. That is when I heard what sounded like a doorbell ring. The man everyone was watching got up, and walked away. I guessed to answer the door.
Then I heard the sound of someone yelling. A man with a black mask on was soon dragging the man who had just been sitting at the computer into his office.
“No, I have changed my mind! Please, I don't’ want to-”
His throat was slashed in front of the computer. The slash was so deep it nearly decapitated the man who was only moments ago typing away at his laptop.
I gasped, watching the scene unfold before me. Then the chat room exploded.
RHONDA24: Bye, Randy. We will miss you.
UNKNOWN: no, we won’t.
Davtelly45: SO long, Randy. I hope you can now be at peace.
UNKNOWN: Randy will never be at peace now. Hope he rots in hell.
Davtelly45: WHo is this?
RHONDA24: I will miss Randy, but anything will be better than dealing with a cheating wife, too much debt, and not knowing what tomorrow will bring. I long for my day to rest.
UNKNOWN: You should just put yourself out of your misery.
Davtelly45: Seriously, what the hell? Guy, this is pretty insensitive. We are celebrating the life and death of a warrior.
There was some strange interference, and I shut off the laptop, unplugging it.
I texted Paul to get his stupid laptop, and he told me he would be over tomorrow to get it.
I was sick to my stomach.
Had a real-life murder just taken place?
I knew without a shadow of a doubt it had.
I was paralyzed with fear and yet oddly jealous. I secretly wished I would be able to feel that peace that Randy felt. It terrified me, though, to no end.
\***************
I woke up the next morning and prepared for school. I had strange dreams of the people on the computer screen. I had dreams of them talking about me the way they had Randy.
I was sweating when I got out of bed, and I readied myself for school and what the new day would bring.
Paul came over after school to get his laptop, and I made sure I didn’t mention what happened the night before. I just wanted that website out of my life.
Paul seemed unphased by the fact I had his laptop. He had a few, so what was one going missing?
Following that incident, I stayed off my computer as much as possible. Then I had to log onto my own laptop to finish a school project about two weeks later.
When I logged into my email, there were many messages from a person that called themselves FALCON.
“Andrea Becker, this is FALCON, Milton wanted me to let you know that he knows you logged on to watch Randy transition, and he wanted to see how you were since viewing our little show.”
I deleted the messages. I didn’t want anything to do with these weird people.
As I had this thought, I got an instant message from MILTON.
Milton: Andrea, I am sorry you seem alarmed by Randy’s transition. Tell me, how did that make you feel? It is okay to feel scared, terrified, sad, angry, or all of the above.
I looked at what he was typing, and that same sweet consoling man made my guard go down. I would have asked him how he got my email, but I already knew that if it were easy for them to get my name, how much harder would it be to get my email?
Milton: Andrea?
Me: Hello, Milton. I don’t know how I feel about what I saw. I don’t think I want anything to do with this.
Milton: Andrea, talk to me.
Me: I don’t know what to say. You killed a man.
Milton: Yes, but he wanted it. We helped him transition. We can help you.
I looked at what he was saying. I had wanted so badly to feel at peace and lose all of my earthly worries, but this was too much too fast.
Me: I have to go to Milton.
Milton: Andrea Becker, reconsider. You don’t have to participate, but we are people that understand you. I read your online diary, your poetry, and I know what you wish for.
I was stunned and felt violated. How did they hack into my online diary? It was private thoughts on my blog site I never made public. I was terrified, and then Milton said something else that made me reconsider.
Milton: I have seen your interactions with others. We have watched you interact with your friends. We know it wasn’t you that initially found our website. We don’t care. We welcome you. We only ask that you keep our little secret to help others like yourself, and like Randy.
I don’t know what made me do it. I began to trust Milton. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel weird about my feelings on death. These people seemed to understand.
Me: I feel so weird talking about it.
Milton: It is hard to acknowledge your feelings at first, but once you do, you will begin to understand.
Me: Are there others like Randy?
Milton: We try not to allow too many transitions at once. We give people time to mourn in our community after someone transitions. We have another coming up at the end of the month. This person has yet to be named.”
Me: How does it work?
Milton: We take a vote on who is next. Once the vote is in, the nominee gets contacted through a congratulations email to give them time to tie up loose ends. Then they are not told the day or time of their death. We feel that it would ruin the transition.
Me: What if they change their mind?
Milton: They are given no way to back out. It is in our clause. If you are on track for transition, which I feel you are, just being a part of our community is an agreement. You have already witnessed a transition - an illegal act. So you have already agreed to the clause.
Me: What about you?
Milton: What about me?
ME: Can you transition?
Milton: I will in time. My agreement was after my children will be old enough to understand. Once they are, then I will join others like Randy and you.
“Oh,” I typed
Milton: I have to go now; it was nice chatting with you. Remember, if you ever need someone to talk to, we are here. We understand how you feel.
He logged off the chat, and I sat in front of the chat. Then another name popped up.
RHONDA24: Hello, Andrea.
I didn’t respond right away.
RHONDA24: I just want to let you know if you ever need a friend. I am not much older than you, and I get how you feel. You can reach out to me.
Me: Thank you. I have to go now.
RHONDA24: Have a great evening, Andrea.
I logged off the computer.
#############
As time wore on, I realized that I enjoyed the community. I had made a few friends within the community. I had several bad days in the last month; one of them was that I had a falling out with Paul. He was angry with me for spending time online in the “transition” community as I had learned to refer to it as.
The community helped me overcome some of my anxieties, so I didn’t think so much about dying anymore. If anything, I wanted to live because I felt relieved that I now had a group that understood how I felt. After all, they felt the same way as me.
Then the day came out of nowhere. I was planning my graduation speech, as I had been elected by Mr. Frazier to give my class a short address. I typed, re-typing, and over-editing everything I was writing when I got a ding on my computer.
My email popped up, and I recognized the email address. It was from FALCON.
CONGRATULATIONS ANDREA BECKER YOUR COUNTDOWN TO TRANSITION BEGINS 5-4-3-2- NOW.
I gulped reading the email because I didn’t feel the way I had before. I didn’t want to panic. This had to be a mistake. I was no longer depressed; I had things to live for now. Why had they voted on me transitioning?
I saw that Milton was online.
ME: Milton? I think you made a mistake. I am the least qualified to transition. Especially that now I feel so much better!
Crickets could have chirped from the computer. Instead of responding as Milton had hundreds of times before, he ignored me and logged off.
This was a nightmare. I stood up, looking around my room.
Indeed, I’d have time to graduate. I was at the disadvantage of being home alone. My parents were at some Union banquet because my father was on the teamster's board. I got up from my computer desk and locked all of the doors and secured the doors.
I turned on the radio to think. There was a story on the radio about a White Van and how another child had been missing. Another witness saw someone dressed as a clown talking to the child.
Ugh! Not something I needed to know to hear right now. I flipped the station to some soft music. Sarah Mclachlan came on, so I left it. I needed to think. I logged into the chat, and I could see all the congratulations Andrea comments in the chat.
ME: Hey guys, I think there is a mistake.
RHONDA24: Congratulations, Andrea!
DAVTELLY45: I hope you have the best transition.
UNKNOWN: I hope you bleed into the camera for daddy.
ME: WHAT?
Who would say such a thing?
UNKNOWN: I can’t wait to cut you from ear to ear.
RHONDA24: DUDE! Get out of here!
I got a private chat request from Rhonda24.
I accepted it.
Rhonda24: Don’t sweat it, Andrea. The guy is some weirdo that has been harassing a bunch of us. We can’t block him. He has this crazy firewall system. Just please know how happy I am for you and how much I will miss you.
I couldn’t think of anything else to say.
I was about to log off when there was a bang from outside my house.
Before I could do anything, a stranger wearing a black mask burst through my bedroom door. I stood in pure terror and shock.
It was happening now!
I did the only thing I could think of and grabbed the desk chair in front of me, and flung it at the stranger.
He was tall, thin, and didn’t seem to have been prepared for my sudden means of survival.
He lurched forward and grabbed me by the throat. I could feel his large hands trying to suffocate me. I looked over to the computer and saw it had popped back on - all on its own accord. A red light flashed on the screen. I realized I was being recorded for someone’s amusement.
The darkness engulfed me in this very moment, and I sprung up, kicking the man in the groin.
He growled in pain, and for a moment, I had time to run but not for long before the man stood up and shut my bedroom door so I had no means of escape.
He pulled out a knife from behind him, and I looked around my room to find something else I could defend myself with. I saw a coffee mug, grabbing it and throwing it at his head. To my luck, he stopped to rub his head, and I barreled past him towards the door.
Then I was caught off guard by a swiping of the knife to the back of my leg, causing me to scream in pain.
I hit the ground, and he went for my throat with the knife. I rolled over quickly, causing him to stab the floor instead of me.
I kicked him in the head this time as he struggled to get the knife out of the wooden floor. He fell to the ground, and for a moment, we both worked with the knife. Finally, I managed to grab it and stab him inside the chest.
The struggle was over. Someone had transitioned tonight, but it wasn’t me. It wasn’t going to be me. I had far too much to live for. I took a deep breath and then took off the mask of the man.
To my utter despair, it was Paul. How had Paul gotten involved with trying to kill me?
It all made perfect sense now how they all had known so much about me. Still, Paul had been my best friend for years. I ran downstairs to find my cell phone and call for 911.
The dispatcher said they would be sending for someone as soon as possible.
I saw a large white truck coming towards my house, barreling down my street. I jumped into the road, flagging them down.
There was something strange about the truck. I realized when the headlights were no longer blinding my vision that it wasn’t the ambulance. I backed up onto the sidewalk and continued to look down the street for the ambulance. The truck did something strange, though. They stopped in front of me back up, so my view down the road was blocked.
A door to the back of the truck opened up.
There were two tall men dressed as clowns. One had blue hair and a red nose with what looked like blood around his mouth and dirty teeth. He grinned big at me. The other had on a red and yellow wig with green makeup. He looked more sinister than the other clown.
They stood looking at me, and then circus music began to play. I was annoyed by whatever joke they were trying to play, especially at a time like this. I could hear the ambulance now as it was making its way down my street. I tried to walk around the two stupid clowns. It was all so ridiculous to me.
That is when one of them grabbed me. I screamed for them to let me go! I had to help Paul! Then the other one helped get me by the legs. Before I knew it, I was no longer breathing.
I, Andrea Becker, died that night. I won’t bore you with the details. It was gruesome, and it was horrid. I have been missing for three years. I hope someone can see my story and relay what happened to me.
I’d like my parents to be able to have peace. We all deserve some peace.
I saw the book close on its own then. There were tears in my eyes as I read the last words of Andrea Becker.
I wasn’t sure how I could help, but I went over to my computer. There were numerous reports on the sightings of clowns in connection to missing children. I decided to search for the area combining missing person cases from around the region. I didn’t know how I was suddenly able to hack into systems using multiple databases, but I was doing it. For Andrea Becker’s sake, I was doing it.
That is when I found something very crucial. There were several sightings recently in my neighborhood. There were also six missing persons in a five-mile vicinity. I clicked, I typed, and I searched until I put the connections together. In all of the disappeared persons, there were three bodies found. One was of a seventeen-year-old female.
I knew without a shadow of a doubt that it would be the remains of Andrea Becker’s young body. I forwarded the information to the detective working the case. How had they not put it together on their own, I had no idea. I did now have gifts now that helped me help those who could not help themselves.
Later that night, there was a break in three of the missing person cases. No thanks to me. I was tired after Andrea Becker’s story.
That book never rests, though. Last night in the middle of the night, I heard music coming from somewhere.
It woke me from a dead sleep. I decided to find out what the matter was. It sounded like circus music.
I walked into my living room, and parked in front of my house was a white van with clowns in the driver's seat. I stared at them for a long while and then opened my front door.
Two maniacal clowns got out of the back, and as they slowly made their way towards my house, I let out a deep breath. Then I yelled.
I was using my new found thunderous gift their windows to the van all burst. They both held on to their ears as though they were in pain. I had no doubt why they were here.
I heard someone yell, “HELP ME, PLEASE!” It was a woman.
I became momentarily distracted by the sound of wailing behind me. Sad, painful wailing.
I looked away from the clown van towards the READ ME book on my couch. When I looked back toward the street, the van with the clowns was now long gone. I would see to it they were punished, but until then, I had other pressing business.
I picked up the book, and inside it, I read the chapter to the next story.
I was the Youngest Member of the Lunatic Asylum...
submitted by blackfridayswitch13 to DrCreepensVault [link] [comments]

READ ME: Part 3

READ ME: Part 1
READ ME: Part 2
It was a few days of me relaxing just taking in the mellow mood that our Cecily- turned sea creature left me with her musical talents. Cecily also gifted me with a relaxing feeling.
It helped my anxiety in a way I can’t explain. I fed Doby, the fish I confiscated from the magical book, and bought him a new tank for my kitchen. I think he was another gift from Cecily. I was just happy I was able to put her soul to rest.
I spent all that Saturday setting up the sea salt tank fit with plants. Typically, it took time to set up a tank, but I didn’t exactly have time to do that with Doby. I even got him a few companions to keep him company.
Then a few days later, as I was feeding Doby admiring the new purple and turquoise blue decor, I felt a sudden need to cut my wrist. I felt like I was in a trance.
I walked over to the kitchen, opening the drawer pulling out a sharp knife, I began slicing my arm. I didn’t bleed much, but I had this overwhelming, depressing feeling coming over me. Then I heard my television pop on all by itself.
There was a news story about a young girl about sixteen years old that had gone missing. The report was dated three years ago. I knew then it was the book. Dropping the knife, I ran to get a paper towel and some alcohol to clean the wound I created.
I heard guns firing lasers, and I saw a blue light illuminating from the book. I took a big gulp; what was I getting myself into?
I opened the book to THE MURDER SHOW, which was the next story I was to read, and took a deep breath. I looked down and could see a tiny television featuring two teenagers playing a video game in a room. It was like I was watching a movie. One of them had short bleach blonde hair, the other had long black hair, and I recognized her as the missing teenage girl from the news that had just been featured on my television.
Instead of reading this story, I was watching it. I was hearing her voice inside of my mind, or maybe it was out loud. I couldn’t tell anymore.
I looked at the pages before me. They were turning on their own like an old fashioned picture book. I watched a girl as her eyes turned and faced me.
She had black hair, dark eyes, and pale skin. She had a black t-shirt on with a ton of bracelets. Her thin face was pretty, but she didn’t smile.
Instead, I could do nothing except listen to the story titled:
THE MURDER SHOW
My name is Andrea Becker, and as long as I could remember, I wanted to die.
I know it sounds strange, but I looked at death as that permanent nostalgic return to your soul.
I swear I’m not a freak. I know I look the part, don’t get me wrong. I am cliche for someone my age.
Let me begin by telling you how it all began.
When I was ten years old, my grandparents were visiting from out of town. My grandmother was taking a shower, and when she got out, she screamed for my mother as she was having chest pains. She fell over onto the bathroom floor. The EMT’s were there in record time; maybe it was slow- I just know it was all a blur. I watched them trying to bring my grandmother back. My grandpa wasn’t home; he had gone shopping with my dad and older brother. So, I had a front-row to the tragic end of a woman I had loved so much.
Then I knew the exact moment she died. I saw her ghost or her soul, whatever you believe. It floated out of her body, and it LOOKED at me! My grandmother’s spirit looked at me and smiled. I knew then everything would be fine, but it wasn’t about me. It was about how at peace she was. I longed for that peace.
I lost my grandpa a few years later, but my grandmother’s death stuck with me. I started reading everything in the end. I knew it wasn’t simple science like some claim. You do leave your body when you die. Where you go is anyone’s guess, I just know what I saw that day my grandma died.
I had never considered killing myself. That was too weird. Then one day, my best friend, Carla, told me she liked to cut herself. She showed me her scars on her wrists. I was taken back by her self-harm.
“What if you go too deep?” I asked her.
“I have a couple of times, but I have gotten good at stitching myself up,” she smirked.
“Doesn’t it hurt?” I asked her.
“Yeah, but sometimes it is the only way I can feel things. I just feel like the world gets to be too much sometimes, and I want to escape it. I just don’t want to die.”
That is when I looked at her. “I have always wanted to die,” I said tears in my eyes.
“What you mean, like kill yourself?”
“No, just be at peace.”
“I feel at peace after I feel that rush. Like I get a rush from the pain for a second, and it makes me less - I dunno how to explain it.”
“I get it,” I said, and my friend had become my best friend.
I never told her, but I started self-harming after that. I had to know if it would give me the peace that I longed for when my grandmother showed me that look in her eyes. Like AT LAST, she could rest!
Sadly, over the next few years, Carla and I stopped being so close. She started hanging with a posh stuck up crowd. I still craved death. There was little in common with the mean girls' squad.
At seventeen, I had become close friends with a guy named Paul, whom I had a lot in common. We both enjoyed Mr. Fraziers English class, played tons of video games, and enjoyed hacking.
Not like professional hacking, just silly stuff like the local website to our local pizza shop. We hacked into it to say that all the prices had been reduced to 99cents. Silly kid stuff. We were never caught.
Then one day, Paul came over with two of his laptops.
“I have to show you something.” He said to me, excitedly.
“You ever been on the dark web?”
I shook my head. “No way!”
“It isn’t all weirdos; I buy stupid shit on there like electronics. Lots of black market stuff. It isn’t all organs and creepers doing things to people.”
“You aren’t messing with those sites, are you?” I asked him, concerned.
“No, I just found one, though. I can’t tell if they are serious. It’s called THE MURDER SHOW.”
“What the hell, Paul?”
“No, I have everything blocked. They can’t find us. I wanted you to see these comments. It freaked me out.”
“You are on the DARK WEB PAUL!” I retorted.
“Listen, just look at this. Can this be real?”
I hesitated and then took his laptop and looked at the site. It was a chat room.
I read a few of the posts they talked about murder and the best way to do it. Then I read on.
Der786: YOU READY, RANDY? One poster asked.
RANDY01: YEAH JUST DON’T HURT ME TOO MUCH. Another user name responded.
Der786: YOU GET THAT INSURANCE FILLED OUT?
RANDY01: MY WIFE WILL NEVER WANT FOR ANYTHING EVER AGAIN.
What the hell?
Paul grabbed the laptop. “They let themselves be murdered for entertainment.”
“On purpose?”
“Yeah, one guy had cancer and didn’t want to live anymore. It even says on the disclaimer that this is the Doctor Kavorkian of murder sites. It is all pity kills. They won’t do it to healthy, happy, or well-adjusted humans. You must prove you are worthy, and they will do the cleanup, so no one ever finds out.”
“It is real. Turn it off, Paul.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to freak you out. I just thought you would think it was at least interesting.”
“It is scary and unfortunate if I’m honest.”
Paul’s cell phone rang.
“Sorry, mom, yes, I forgot. I’m with Andrea. I’m coming.”
I looked at Paul, and he ran out and left.
He was gone, and so I continued playing a new video game that I had bought with my allowance.
I wasn’t paying any attention when I heard someone say, “I see you.”
Huh? I said to myself.
“You there! Girl with the black hair!”
What the hell? Then I realized that Paul had left his stupid laptop on the floor of my bedroom, and it was still on that silly murder site!
I peeked over my bed and looked down at the laptop, and just as I was about to close it, a man spoke again.
“Don’t close it yet; you had to come here for a reason. Why don’t you tell me what brought you here.”
“I- I didn’t. My friend found it by accident, and we weren’t interested in the site.”
“That is okay, so you were curious. Can I answer any of your questions?”
This was getting too weird for me.
“I am good. I think I get it.”
“Look, I get it. It’s real live dark web shit. I’d want to close the laptop and burn it too. Only I have seen you. How do you know I haven’t already tracked your address? How do you know I am not using facial recognition to figure out exactly who you are, Andrea Becker.”
He said my name. How did he know my name?
I was going to kill Paul.
I picked up the laptop and looked at the man who didn’t look like your typical weirdo. He was sitting at a desk wearing a polo shirt. He had a friendly smile and kind eyes. Suddenly I felt comforted instead of creeped out, and I didn’t know what it was.
“My name is Milton. I founded this site to let people let out a little bit of carnal steam. Tell me about yourself.”
“This is weird. I don’t know you.”
“Okay, I’ll begin. I’m married. I am a father of two kids. Jessica and Jenna. I work in management. This is just a side thing. I can assure you I am every bit as human as you are. So tell me, why do you wish to die, Andrea Becker?”
At that moment, it was like he had spoken to my heart. No one had ever spoken so honestly to me before. It was like having someone see your soul. At that moment, I thought, this is fate.
“Peace.”
I found myself speaking honestly, and even if I regretted it later, I couldn’t help it. It was nice to see that someone could read my mind. At least it felt like that.
“I think most of us who are empathic to the ways of the world feel the same way you do.”
“Yeah, I guess.” I sat up straight and leaned into the screen on my laptop.
I was beginning to feel much more comfortable than I had thought I ever would. It was strange to trust someone on the dark web like this, but there was something about this man. He had a hold over me.
“Tell you what, we are holding an event tonight at eleven, and I hope you will log on to join us to see what we are all about. I promise it isn’t what you think.”
“I will have to check it out,” I said, partially wondering if I wanted to have anything more to do with this man.
The screen went black, and I shut Paul’s laptop.
I decided to go downstairs to grab a wine cooler out of the fridge. It was almost ten o’clock, and my parents were asleep, so I knew I wouldn’t get in trouble.
I drank the crappy drink, thinking long and hard about what had transpired and wondering if I wanted to know what went on in this so-called murder show.
It was five till eleven, and my cowardice was in full force, so I turned on the television.
“A WHITE VAN IS THE SUSPECT IN THE MISSING TEEN’S DISAPPEARANCE IN FRANKLIN COUNTY. WITNESSES SAY THEY SAW YOUNG JAMES MADISON TALKING TO SOMEONE DRESSED AS A CLOWN AS HE WAS ON HIS WAY TO SCHOOL FRIDAY MORNING…”
I turned off the disturbing news program deciding I would see the big deal with this “murder show.” There could not possibly be any reason for this nice man I had talked to be part of some sympathy murder thing.
The screen was still black, and then I saw a small room come into focus. The chat room was coming alive with flower emojis, and last-minute thank yous and best wishes from viewers who were donating bitcoin to the website’s owner.
Then I saw a man sitting in a chair and typing away at his computer. Something oddly terrifying about it was because the viewers seemed to see it, but the man didn’t seem to have anything to do with the viewers as though he didn’t even know he was being watched.
I watched as some of the viewers suddenly were also aware of this fact.
RHONDA24: Do you think he even knows this is the last night on earth?
Davtelly45: Nope, that is how it works.
RHONDA24: I know, but I thought he would be more prepared. He has been with us so long here.
Davtelly45: He will die soon, but he will be better off.
RHONDA24: No more cheating wife, no more debt, and no more anxiety about what tomorrow will bring.
Sassy-maria: I’m so happy for him.
Davtelly45: Me too, girl.
IVANfist: I hope this one is bloody, though. I like them with a little bit of gore.
RHONDA24: I have to admit I do too. Maybe he will get slashed on the throat.
Davtelly45: I just want our boy to be happy.
IVANfist: Fuck that gore all the way!
I read the chat, and then I watched as the man sitting at his computer seemed to be working on something very intensely. That is when I heard what sounded like a doorbell ring. The man everyone was watching got up, and walked away. I guessed to answer the door.
Then I heard the sound of someone yelling. A man with a black mask on was soon dragging the man who had just been sitting at the computer into his office.
“No, I have changed my mind! Please, I don't’ want to-”
His throat was slashed in front of the computer. The slash was so deep it nearly decapitated the man who was only moments ago typing away at his laptop.
I gasped, watching the scene unfold before me. Then the chat room exploded.
RHONDA24: Bye, Randy. We will miss you.
UNKNOWN: no, we won’t.
Davtelly45: SO long, Randy. I hope you can now be at peace.
UNKNOWN: Randy will never be at peace now. Hope he rots in hell.
Davtelly45: WHo is this?
RHONDA24: I will miss Randy, but anything will be better than dealing with a cheating wife, too much debt, and not knowing what tomorrow will bring. I long for my day to rest.
UNKNOWN: You should just put yourself out of your misery.
Davtelly45: Seriously, what the hell? Guy, this is pretty insensitive. We are celebrating the life and death of a warrior.
There was some strange interference, and I shut off the laptop, unplugging it.
I texted Paul to get his stupid laptop, and he told me he would be over tomorrow to get it.
I was sick to my stomach.
Had a real-life murder just taken place?
I knew without a shadow of a doubt it had.
I was paralyzed with fear and yet oddly jealous. I secretly wished I would be able to feel that peace that Randy felt. It terrified me, though, to no end.
\***************
I woke up the next morning and prepared for school. I had strange dreams of the people on the computer screen. I had dreams of them talking about me the way they had Randy.
I was sweating when I got out of bed, and I readied myself for school and what the new day would bring.
Paul came over after school to get his laptop, and I made sure I didn’t mention what happened the night before. I just wanted that website out of my life.
Paul seemed unphased by the fact I had his laptop. He had a few, so what was one going missing?
Following that incident, I stayed off my computer as much as possible. Then I had to log onto my own laptop to finish a school project about two weeks later.
When I logged into my email, there were many messages from a person that called themselves FALCON.
“Andrea Becker, this is FALCON, Milton wanted me to let you know that he knows you logged on to watch Randy transition, and he wanted to see how you were since viewing our little show.”
I deleted the messages. I didn’t want anything to do with these weird people.
As I had this thought, I got an instant message from MILTON.
Milton: Andrea, I am sorry you seem alarmed by Randy’s transition. Tell me, how did that make you feel? It is okay to feel scared, terrified, sad, angry, or all of the above.
I looked at what he was typing, and that same sweet consoling man made my guard go down. I would have asked him how he got my email, but I already knew that if it were easy for them to get my name, how much harder would it be to get my email?
Milton: Andrea?
Me: Hello, Milton. I don’t know how I feel about what I saw. I don’t think I want anything to do with this.
Milton: Andrea, talk to me.
Me: I don’t know what to say. You killed a man.
Milton: Yes, but he wanted it. We helped him transition. We can help you.
I looked at what he was saying. I had wanted so badly to feel at peace and lose all of my earthly worries, but this was too much too fast.
Me: I have to go to Milton.
Milton: Andrea Becker, reconsider. You don’t have to participate, but we are people that understand you. I read your online diary, your poetry, and I know what you wish for.
I was stunned and felt violated. How did they hack into my online diary? It was private thoughts on my blog site I never made public. I was terrified, and then Milton said something else that made me reconsider.
Milton: I have seen your interactions with others. We have watched you interact with your friends. We know it wasn’t you that initially found our website. We don’t care. We welcome you. We only ask that you keep our little secret to help others like yourself, and like Randy.
I don’t know what made me do it. I began to trust Milton. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel weird about my feelings on death. These people seemed to understand.
Me: I feel so weird talking about it.
Milton: It is hard to acknowledge your feelings at first, but once you do, you will begin to understand.
Me: Are there others like Randy?
Milton: We try not to allow too many transitions at once. We give people time to mourn in our community after someone transitions. We have another coming up at the end of the month. This person has yet to be named.”
Me: How does it work?
Milton: We take a vote on who is next. Once the vote is in, the nominee gets contacted through a congratulations email to give them time to tie up loose ends. Then they are not told the day or time of their death. We feel that it would ruin the transition.
Me: What if they change their mind?
Milton: They are given no way to back out. It is in our clause. If you are on track for transition, which I feel you are, just being a part of our community is an agreement. You have already witnessed a transition - an illegal act. So you have already agreed to the clause.
Me: What about you?
Milton: What about me?
ME: Can you transition?
Milton: I will in time. My agreement was after my children will be old enough to understand. Once they are, then I will join others like Randy and you.
“Oh,” I typed
Milton: I have to go now; it was nice chatting with you. Remember, if you ever need someone to talk to, we are here. We understand how you feel.
He logged off the chat, and I sat in front of the chat. Then another name popped up.
RHONDA24: Hello, Andrea.
I didn’t respond right away.
RHONDA24: I just want to let you know if you ever need a friend. I am not much older than you, and I get how you feel. You can reach out to me.
Me: Thank you. I have to go now.
RHONDA24: Have a great evening, Andrea.
I logged off the computer.
#############
As time wore on, I realized that I enjoyed the community. I had made a few friends within the community. I had several bad days in the last month; one of them was that I had a falling out with Paul. He was angry with me for spending time online in the “transition” community as I had learned to refer to it as.
The community helped me overcome some of my anxieties, so I didn’t think so much about dying anymore. If anything, I wanted to live because I felt relieved that I now had a group that understood how I felt. After all, they felt the same way as me.
Then the day came out of nowhere. I was planning my graduation speech, as I had been elected by Mr. Frazier to give my class a short address. I typed, re-typing, and over-editing everything I was writing when I got a ding on my computer.
My email popped up, and I recognized the email address. It was from FALCON.
CONGRATULATIONS ANDREA BECKER YOUR COUNTDOWN TO TRANSITION BEGINS 5-4-3-2- NOW.
I gulped reading the email because I didn’t feel the way I had before. I didn’t want to panic. This had to be a mistake. I was no longer depressed; I had things to live for now. Why had they voted on me transitioning?
I saw that Milton was online.
ME: Milton? I think you made a mistake. I am the least qualified to transition. Especially that now I feel so much better!
Crickets could have chirped from the computer. Instead of responding as Milton had hundreds of times before, he ignored me and logged off.
This was a nightmare. I stood up, looking around my room.
Indeed, I’d have time to graduate. I was at the disadvantage of being home alone. My parents were at some Union banquet because my father was on the teamster's board. I got up from my computer desk and locked all of the doors and secured the doors.
I turned on the radio to think. There was a story on the radio about a White Van and how another child had been missing. Another witness saw someone dressed as a clown talking to the child.
Ugh! Not something I needed to know to hear right now. I flipped the station to some soft music. Sarah Mclachlan came on, so I left it. I needed to think. I logged into the chat, and I could see all the congratulations Andrea comments in the chat.
ME: Hey guys, I think there is a mistake.
RHONDA24: Congratulations, Andrea!
DAVTELLY45: I hope you have the best transition.
UNKNOWN: I hope you bleed into the camera for daddy.
ME: WHAT?
Who would say such a thing?
UNKNOWN: I can’t wait to cut you from ear to ear.
RHONDA24: DUDE! Get out of here!
I got a private chat request from Rhonda24.
I accepted it.
Rhonda24: Don’t sweat it, Andrea. The guy is some weirdo that has been harassing a bunch of us. We can’t block him. He has this crazy firewall system. Just please know how happy I am for you and how much I will miss you.
I couldn’t think of anything else to say.
I was about to log off when there was a bang from outside my house.
Before I could do anything, a stranger wearing a black mask burst through my bedroom door. I stood in pure terror and shock.
It was happening now!
I did the only thing I could think of and grabbed the desk chair in front of me, and flung it at the stranger.
He was tall, thin, and didn’t seem to have been prepared for my sudden means of survival.
He lurched forward and grabbed me by the throat. I could feel his large hands trying to suffocate me. I looked over to the computer and saw it had popped back on - all on its own accord. A red light flashed on the screen. I realized I was being recorded for someone’s amusement.
The darkness engulfed me in this very moment, and I sprung up, kicking the man in the groin.
He growled in pain, and for a moment, I had time to run but not for long before the man stood up and shut my bedroom door so I had no means of escape.
He pulled out a knife from behind him, and I looked around my room to find something else I could defend myself with. I saw a coffee mug, grabbing it and throwing it at his head. To my luck, he stopped to rub his head, and I barreled past him towards the door.
Then I was caught off guard by a swiping of the knife to the back of my leg, causing me to scream in pain.
I hit the ground, and he went for my throat with the knife. I rolled over quickly, causing him to stab the floor instead of me.
I kicked him in the head this time as he struggled to get the knife out of the wooden floor. He fell to the ground, and for a moment, we both worked with the knife. Finally, I managed to grab it and stab him inside the chest.
The struggle was over. Someone had transitioned tonight, but it wasn’t me. It wasn’t going to be me. I had far too much to live for. I took a deep breath and then took off the mask of the man.
To my utter despair, it was Paul. How had Paul gotten involved with trying to kill me?
It all made perfect sense now how they all had known so much about me. Still, Paul had been my best friend for years. I ran downstairs to find my cell phone and call for 911.
The dispatcher said they would be sending for someone as soon as possible.
I saw a large white truck coming towards my house, barreling down my street. I jumped into the road, flagging them down.
There was something strange about the truck. I realized when the headlights were no longer blinding my vision that it wasn’t the ambulance. I backed up onto the sidewalk and continued to look down the street for the ambulance. The truck did something strange, though. They stopped in front of me back up, so my view down the road was blocked.
A door to the back of the truck opened up.
There were two tall men dressed as clowns. One had blue hair and a red nose with what looked like blood around his mouth and dirty teeth. He grinned big at me. The other had on a red and yellow wig with green makeup. He looked more sinister than the other clown.
They stood looking at me, and then circus music began to play. I was annoyed by whatever joke they were trying to play, especially at a time like this. I could hear the ambulance now as it was making its way down my street. I tried to walk around the two stupid clowns. It was all so ridiculous to me.
That is when one of them grabbed me. I screamed for them to let me go! I had to help Paul! Then the other one helped get me by the legs. Before I knew it, I was no longer breathing.
I, Andrea Becker, died that night. I won’t bore you with the details. It was gruesome, and it was horrid. I have been missing for three years. I hope someone can see my story and relay what happened to me.
I’d like my parents to be able to have peace. We all deserve some peace.
I saw the book close on its own then. There were tears in my eyes as I read the last words of Andrea Becker.
I wasn’t sure how I could help, but I went over to my computer. There were numerous reports on the sightings of clowns in connection to missing children. I decided to search for the area combining missing person cases from around the region. I didn’t know how I was suddenly able to hack into systems using multiple databases, but I was doing it. For Andrea Becker’s sake, I was doing it.
That is when I found something very crucial. There were several sightings recently in my neighborhood. There were also six missing persons in a five-mile vicinity. I clicked, I typed, and I searched until I put the connections together. In all of the disappeared persons, there were three bodies found. One was of a seventeen-year-old female.
I knew without a shadow of a doubt that it would be the remains of Andrea Becker’s young body. I forwarded the information to the detective working the case. How had they not put it together on their own, I had no idea. I did now have gifts now that helped me help those who could not help themselves.
Later that night, there was a break in three of the missing person cases. No thanks to me. I was tired after Andrea Becker’s story.
That book never rests, though. Last night in the middle of the night, I heard music coming from somewhere.
It woke me from a dead sleep. I decided to find out what the matter was. It sounded like circus music.
I walked into my living room, and parked in front of my house was a white van with clowns in the driver's seat. I stared at them for a long while and then opened my front door.
Two maniacal clowns got out of the back, and as they slowly made their way towards my house, I let out a deep breath. Then I yelled.
I was using my new found thunderous gift their windows to the van all burst. They both held on to their ears as though they were in pain. I had no doubt why they were here.
I heard someone yell, “HELP ME, PLEASE!” It was a woman.
I became momentarily distracted by the sound of wailing behind me. Sad, painful wailing.
I looked away from the clown van towards the READ ME book on my couch. When I looked back toward the street, the van with the clowns was now long gone. I would see to it they were punished, but until then, I had other pressing business.
I picked up the book, and inside it, I read the chapter to the next story.
I was the Youngest Member of the Lunatic Asylum...
submitted by blackfridayswitch13 to libraryofshadows [link] [comments]

Don’t mix someone having high education + wealth with being HV

My whole life I’ve dated broke (and broken) men and never had an issue running into a scrooge. Till my last boyfriend. The most educated of them all, also very well financially (reached a million with Bitcoin investments a couple of years ago) was the cheapest, most selfish, most arrogant and just overall most full of many undesirable traits I’ve ever seen in a potential partner (questionable morals, a bully, narcissist, no empathy, etc).
Examples:
• Guy went on a trip to Vegas with his friends, brought me the cheapest fridge magnet he could find (I know because I already had a similar one that I got when I went to Vegas as well).
• Once we were walking to the grocery store together, stopped at Pot Belly for “lunch”. He got each one of us a sandwich and not a single drink (asked for cups so we could get the free tap water).
• “Joked” that I should pay for the pizza while visiting him “this time” (and joked about shit like this frequently)
• “Joked” that I wanted to travel with him but that I had “no money”, implying that travel would only ever happen if I paid for it myself.
I honestly never cared about dating anyone on a higher social/financial level than me so I wouldn’t be viewed as a “gold digger” and because I was afraid of not being able to fit in, due to me being so laidback, low maintenance and down to Earth, etc. But after learning about this sub I see the value of a man investing in the relationship and can see the correlation between the guy who doesn’t invest in us financially with also being the guy who won’t commit and is emotionally unavailable.
Back when I met this guy I had recently separated from my ex-husband and was a needy pickme, fell for looks, attraction and chemistry, ignored all the red flags from the start (believe me, there were MANY) and stayed in this narcissist/codependent dance for nearly a year. Lost precious time of my life with someone who took all he could and only gave back the bare minimum. I wanted to share a bit of my story to maybe help others not be so naive and idiot the way I was. Let’s do better queens, we deserve better than this!
Edit: a few extra paragraphs
submitted by dntbfllikeidid to FemaleDatingStrategy [link] [comments]

Anonimity. Chapter 1. part 1.

First of all, i want to say Sorry, because i use computer interpeter for text of my book. English isn't native language for me. I can talk with you guys, but text is really difficult to translate manually.
This book about near future in Russia. Sometimes it's full of stereotypes and some manners which are hard to understand for people from USA, Europe and ohter world. Almost everything creations in cyberpunk jenre starting like it's actually happened. In 30\* year or so. No one talks how it started. I try to do it. Hope that U will like it.*
Thanks! Have a nice day!
p.s. I'm always in touch on twitter, facebook and etc. Actually since yesterday on Patreon, Lol.

Anonymity is an impersonal property by the meaning of the adjective; lack of individuality, originality.
I would like to be born earlier, say, in the eighties and nineties, and somewhere in Europe or the USA. The point is not that I am not a patriot, but that it was at this time that progress made leaps and bounds all over the world, it was then that the concept of "globalization" became a symbol of the word "progress".
No joke, the flourishing of car production, a breakthrough in aircraft construction, the beginning of the computer era ... Of course, the Soviet Union took an active part in this, only there is a significant factor that would not allow me to enjoy the above to the fullest. The union died in 1991 and hard times came for the inhabitants of the entire post-Soviet space. I could only stand on the sidelines of all this, remembering the first Nintendo, SEGA, PC and other things that were attributes of the life of adolescents in those days. We were shoved from blue screens, as a given, that everywhere and the grass is greener than the trampled parking lot in front of the house, and the sun shines somewhere brighter there.
The corridors of the educational building of the institute, in which I studied since 2020, looked more like the ruins of an ancient civilization. On the walls there were many portraits of scientists from past years, those who seriously looked at students who did not know what they want from life and why they went to a technical university at all.
With the advent of the Internet to the general public, everyone decided that now you can learn from any corner of the world, read books and perform other useful activities. What actually happened? But in fact, people bare all their vices, the traffic of sites with 18+ content is much higher than that of a site with physical and technical content, which is remembered when writing term papers or theses.
The group of students standing in front of room 203 was no exception. If you look at them from the outside, you can understand what this passage about sites of a narrow focus was about. Here is Maxim, he is dressed in tight trousers, a purse hangs on his shoulder, the key to a fresh BMW is in his hand, next to him is a pretty girl in a skirt with a plaid and a white blouse. She smells of some kind of perfume, from which the nose clogs up and the eyes begin to water. She communicates with him, practically dumping her bust out, which he willingly uses. But why should he - a resident of the capital, who already in life everything worked out from the start, a girl from Ryazan province, who came to conquer Moscow - is unclear. First of all, it is not clear to Kirill and Mishka, the two ringleaders of the group, they live in the same room in a hostel and come to the institute in broken-down Zhiguli car. How many years have passed, and these piles of iron still plow the vastness of the universe. The guys do not boast about it, they work part-time in the delivery of pizza and sushi. The work is difficult in places, but if they are here, then they survived. They came from the Orenburg region in the hope of gaining a foothold here, who brought whom - we still need to think, but one thing I can say for sure, everyone needs friends, which means they will not be lost. They are standing with Vit'ka, a resident of the Moscow region, and therefore not in the hostel. The non-rubber dorms in Non-rubber city are beauty. And what he spends, like many of the group, two hours on the road, few people care. I stood in the corner and crammed notes. The rest of the group worried me a little, because I practically did not communicate with them, only on institutional matters. There were a total of twelve people, and in fact almost twenty heads were enrolled in the first year ... - Hey, Kit, look, - said Mishka, who came up to me, nodding at Max.
- I don’t see what to look at,- I looked up from the notes for a second and again buried myself back.
-She’ll strangle him with her airbags now,- he continued.
- Well, at least then Maxim will die happy, I suppose.
- It's already good to cram, the last exam. And then - final exams are handed over, and - freedom. Good already. You have everything on the ointment with the teacher, - Kirill jumped cheerfully.
- On "ointment" does not mean that I will not have to answer questions and take the test part. And there is a commission from all over the department.
- Listen, it's good to fill in, well, - Vitya joined us, - the whole department adores you. The one who needs to worry is her, - he nodded again at Max's interlocutor, - her whole brain will now fall out into the street, and by the age of thirty it will sag to the navel. It’s not the "same coat" now.
- Not understood?! Have you checked, or what? - Mishka and Kirill responded in unison, bulging their eyes at Vitya. - What's the difference whether I checked it or not. I'm just as uninteresting to her as you two are, - He answered.
- No, no, no, come on in more detail here, - said Mishka, folding his arms over his chest, which made his shirt start to crack at the seams. The guys got stronger from physical work.
- Yes, a couple of years ago, I arrived at the institute in my aunt's car. She lives in Moscow, near Sadovoe ring, - began Vitya.
- Well, I remember, she seems to have a Mercedes E-class. We rode at night, - with their conversation, they did tear me away from repeating the material.
- Well, - he continued, - my aunt was leaving for Cyprus for two weeks to rest. She loves me, she cannot have children, so she spoils her nephew. So she said: "Here are the keys to the house, here are the keys to the car. Simple equipment is harmful." I already refused, but she did not accept objections. We rode with you on the third day, and at the end of the week, this madam approaches, - he nodded towards Max, - and it began, everything is the same, the chest is protruding, hints and so on.
- And then what ?! - asked Kiril.
- Next, I collected a scholarship, borrowed it from you, and went for a walk. And that, then it seemed to me, the girl is not bad. We went to Cafe, walked around Zaryadye guide-park. Word for word, we ended up at my aunt’s house, and I’m not taking her to my area. Well, that's all, as they say in the novels.
- And the details? - put in Mishka, - Let's paint, otherwise we see the object, the fantasy works, but here it is.
- There will be no details, I'm talking about the bed in the bed, where you can't get, Misha. I can only say that next week after, we did not get out of it. And then my aunt arrived, and I again returned to my mother in the village. And she said, "let's go for a drive, and let's go to you." Well, I said that I live in a village near Yegoryevsk. She even threatened to declare to write, they say, I forced her all week ... It's good that the threats remained so.
- What are we going to do, Max is swimming, apparently, - I said, looking at how our friend's cheeks melt and his eyes grow cloudy.
- Don't piss, Keith. Look here, - Mishka winked and confidently walked towards the couple.
- Mishka, you would at least wash the dirt from under your nails!- Kirill shouted after him, to which he was sent with his middle finger over his shoulder.
- Let's see how the matter ends, do not distract him, - I asked Kirill.
It is worth making a digression here. Maxim was the son of the head of a department of some multinational corporation. He was not a typical daddy's son, he did not shine with intelligence, but he was not stupid either. He was also not a spoiled major. He dressed modestly, but tastefully, for the first two courses he took the metro, then moved with the help of his father to a second-hand German car. In the first year, we helped each other, all five, and on that one we became friends. When we could have tied a few lines of code together, Max's father started throwing hack for us. Also, he asked to help his younger talent. Who would have thought that from the fourth year the talent itself would be interested in everyone and the money of his father would be spent by all of us on a joint revelry, now in the hostel, then in the country. But we have postponed something. By the way, Max was always ashamed of his father's dachas and loved our simple dachas, in which there was nothing but a house and a bathhouse. And about the fact that we all slept - anywhere, I will not tell. The father gave Max a new car only the other day, when he realized that his son deserved a gift for the end.
The death of Vitya's father brought us even closer, it seems, in his third year ... His father was a strong man who himself left the city closer to the earth. He started a household and so on ... We turned out to be the healthiest foreheads, and carried the coffin to the cemetery. It so happened that he and his mother had few loved ones, and even those old people. Oncology did not ask whom to pick up. Vitya did not live with his aunt, although she always had a room ready for him. He told her: "Who will I leave my mother to?" So we were friends with our five all the time.
In the meantime, Mishka confidently approached the couple, taxied behind Max, shook him by the shoulders, said something, which made Madame's face turn red, and this could be seen even through the foundation, and now they already walked towards us.
- Grandmaster, not otherwise, - Kiril said on exhalation.
- I suggest everyone go out for a smoke, - I said as the guys approached, and we headed for the stairs.
So we, with our motley company, migrated to the entrance to the educational building. The big sign "NO smoking" got an ashen smiley with a mustache, beard, and who was not so cultured, painted what is usually painted on fences in the village. In general, the spirit of student unity was evident here as well. We lit a cigarette with our friendly company.
- Well, what, the last exam, eh?- I began.
- Yes, finally, and then already tired, the sun is outside, girls in skirts, and we are sitting here, - picked up Max.
- Yeah, is it you who fell for the skirt, or just got confused? - I poked him.
- Yes, she came, word for word, so, chatter about nothing, and I see that she constantly props her chest with her hands, but the look itself fell there, - Maxim began to make excuses.
- Yeah, and when the bodice is removed and stops propping up, I guarantee that you will want to put a basin, as if from a drink. This good will fall, like the bitcoin rate in tenths, and everything will end either with a wedding on a fake pregnancy, or you will pay off so that she does not apply for you, - Vitya continued.
- And how do you know, Vitos? You're still a quiet one. Probably, he didn't even hold on to the handle, - Maxim tried to continue the excuse.
- The best defense is offense? - Kirill interjected.
- Hush, Kir. Max, just the same with her and held on to the handle. Remember the third year, when we rode in my aunt's car.
- Let's say. I remember.
- So she was gone for two weeks, and we drank one. The second week I was busy with her, or rather, she suggested it herself, and I did not refuse. I ended up borrowing money from you in order to pay off her. As I remember, a shiver breaks through.
- So you said that on a wheelbarrow, which he threw as soon as he bought, - Max refused to believe.
- As you understand, I didn't buy a car, but paid Madame for services, - Vityok involuntarily grimaced.
- Oh, - Max realized, - I apologize, and thanks for the warning. I just lacked the Ryazan milkmaid.
- Do not forget about saggy tits, - added Mishka.
- Yes, Ryazan milkmaid with sagging tits, - repeated Max and threw out the cigarette butt. We followed suit and returned to the corridor.
There were still a couple of minutes before the start of the exam, there were even more people, room 203 was an amphitheater, which made it possible to conduct exams for a large number of students. Organized groups of students crowded, according to my estimates, at least three, which means about fifty people. That's really, wholesale is cheaper.
- So, gentlemen graduates! - the head of our department, a woman in years, but with an iron grip, and, moreover, an excellent teacher, came out of the office. - I ask you to take seats in the audience.
We are located on the same row, all of our five. As per the precepts, not far, but not close to the commission. If you sit close - you will be in plain sight as a crammer, if from behind - as a gouge. The tactics were working, the answer cheats were prepared in paper, jammers were knocking out the Internet and all kinds of wireless headphones. White noise was reproduced in the headphones, but our Galya (Ryazan milkmaid) was not ready for such a scenario, and upon switching on she began to look around the audience helplessly. We did not gloat, but we did not deprive ourselves of moral satisfaction.
Sweating over the ticket, I wondered, what will happen after school? I didn’t understand at all why I was going to become a programmer. I studied a little, something and somehow, but do I see myself in the profession ??? Not sure. Okay, war will tell the plan. I quickly wrote answers to three out of four questions, thought for a long time, but did not win. Okay, one more four, one less. Kiril and Mishka tensed, their foreheads were covered with sweat, but they write something tirelessly. The commission was already minding its own business and paid less attention to us.
- Pssss, - Max shouted to me.
- What? I replied in a whisper.
- After the exam we are going to my village house, to have a carouse. And I do not want to know the refusal. Pass on. Dad threw off the SMS, I didn't have time to say.
- So you wrote everything? - You offend! I got a favorite topic. And how many business card-sites we riveted, I will keep silent. So that.
On this wonderful note, all students were asked to submit papers. Traditionally, only those with a controversial assessment were personally interviewed. None of our company got into this number, so we loaded into the Maxim's BMW and drove out the City.
The Moscow heat, who has been, knows how hot it is in the megalopolis in summer, especially when the changed tiles get hot for the hundredth time, but the breeze is gone. We left the building happy and tired. The presentation of the diplomas was expected in a month, and today two B grades, A grade for Vitya and C grade for Kirill and Mishka. We went out, Max opened a pack of cigarettes that his father had brought him from Cuba, I think "Cohiba", knocked out a cigarette for everyone and gave them a light. Silently we dragged on simultaneously and headed to the car.
- So, - Max said sternly, - we don't smoke inside!
- I see, - we answered and finished smoking, standing near the apparatus.
I sat in front, as the tallest, the rest of the guys were in the back. Mishka was unlucky most of all, he was pushed into the middle, consider that he rode more inconveniently and higher than all those present, and the village-house was already beyond Sergiev Posad. So from time to time on the hummocks our friend switched to falsetto, while the others enjoyed the ride. Father gave Max a five-sreies with many options in the cabin, but not a very voluminous engine, so that there was no desire to drive beyond measure.
- Max, are we going to stop by the store? Is there meat, booze? - I asked when we drove onto the Yaroslavl highway, breaking through the Moscow traffic jams.
- No, Dad organizes everything. For everyone. There are booze, meat, baths and other joys of life. The whole house is at our disposal, - Max answered calmly and the joyful hubbub of our comrades was heard from the back row.
After some time, we drove into the woods, where we turned into an elite village. Someone lived here permanently, while someone here just had a summer residence. The father of our friend belonged to the second type of people. It's easier to do things when you live next to work and Moscow City is just a stone's throw away, then in general it is beyond praise. Max pressed a button and the gate obediently slid to the side.
- Wow, a house, - drawled Mishka.
- Wow. I saw this in the picture, and even then not often, - Kira echoed.
- And you would pay more attention to common girls when my father called us to celebrate the launch of their product on the market, - Max answered.
- So you were here?
- Yes, we were once,
- I answered.
- Uh-huh, - said Vityok.
There was something to be surprised at. A two-story European-style mansion among trees, with a large veranda on which stood a heavy oak table and chairs. There was also a tennis court at some distance. There was a large garage and a barbecue corner on site. In front of the house there is a lawn with various conifers. Before leaving the car, we smelled the smell of meat.
- Apparently, the father of his cook asked to cook everything, so you guys won't be able to leave hungry, - Max began, getting out from behind the wheel.
- So we were not going to !! - he heard the chorus from behind, and we left the ship.
We decided to go through the house, washing our hands along the way. Heavy oak planks didn't even think to creak when we fell out of the house. These are not modern plastic boards that prick and knock, while crackling like a Chinese bouncy. We went to the table, on which there were already salads, an aperitif was poured into the glasses. We drank.
- And what is this sweet muck? - Mishka responded.
- This is an aperitif, served before meals, so that you want to crackle more, Mish, - Maxim answered.
- Is it like - beer before vodka? Got it, - Kirill responded.
- Okay, I propose to start our celebration, otherwise, you never know, you will take whiskey for used oil, - Maxim continued as the owner.
- Young people. I am glad to welcome you! - a man in a cook's jacket appeared and began to tell us what dishes were on the table. In addition to the Greek salad, there was a warm tuna salad, and some other appetizers, the names of which I did not remember. From his speech, only Max understood the names, and we sat with our mouths open. Well, Vitya and I understood something, but Kirill and Mishka were sitting, frankly with the lower jaw on the floor.
- He's not cursing now? - asked Cyril when the cook left.
- No, he told me what was on the table and what would be on the hot. So, if I were you, I would pour it already, graduates!
- So we will pour! - Mishka took a bottle of Chivas, poured himself, - Who else? he asked briskly.
- Give it to me, - Kiril answered, for which he received his glass of whiskey.
- No, I'm white wine,- Vitya replied, taking a bottle of semi-dry wine.
- I thought there were no girls among us! - Mishka responded with a challenge.
- Misha, don't get to the bottom of him, I'll have vodka and juice myself, so as not to fly to the first space flight ahead of time, - I interjected.
- Let's have a drink already, otherwise you are pouring for three hours, - Max finished the squabble with a glass of vodka. - For the passed certification!
The owner of the house raised toast after toast, we ate dishes on both cheeks. To say that it was delicious is to say nothing, it was wonderful! The funniest thing was to look at Mishka and Kirill, who for the first time saw tuna not in a can, but in a salad, and it was also pink in color. Then the salads were replaced by meat, rack of lamb, ribs in sauce, steaks and various grilled vegetables. Freshly cooked fries teased with flavor ..
submitted by Suharrik to u/Suharrik [link] [comments]

Hostinger Best Web Hosting Review

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There's no uncertainty that with regards to web hosting, Hostinger is just the least expensive choice accessible today, with costs beginning at $0.99 every month. No other organization figures out how to try and approach. A large portion of them offer a fundamental arrangement for multiple times the cost. Believing that it's unrealistic? It isn't. Yet, let me let you in on a little mystery at this moment. To get the best costs, you'll need to focus on Hostinger for quite a while.
This would be a keen activity – if the administration is really extraordinary. Since your guests couldn't think less about the amount you pay for hosting. They do think about quick stacking speeds, and about really having the option to arrive at your site when they have to. They additionally need to realize that their own information will be secure and ensured.
Could Hostinger offer that? I have my assessments; however I would not like to put together my audit with respect to my supposition alone. As Website Planet is accessible in various dialects, for some odd reason we have web hosting specialists dissipated everywhere on over the world. This was my brilliant chance to play out an enormous scope test, and I chose to do precisely that. We had 30 specialists join to Hostinger and dispatch a neighborhood form of our testing website in 30 distinct nations.
They messed with each accessible element, observed stacking velocities and execution, and even besieged client care with questions. They contrasted the outcomes and other mainstream has, as SiteGround and InterServer. This speedy response to every one of our inquiries is that Hostinger performed strikingly well. In certain nations, similar to Russia, it came in at #4. In others, similar to Israel, Hostinger grabbed the #1 place.
Peruse on for the long answer. I've point by point my full close to home involvement in Hostinger, and I'll disclose precisely how to take advantage of what the organization offers. To perceive how Hostinger looks at to different administrations, look at our rundown of the top web has.
Everything an Amateur Needs

With costs being as low as they may be, my restless character quickly recognized two zones where Hostinger may be attempting to pull one over on me: highlights and execution. Indeed, I'd love to pay half of what the contenders charge, yet I would prefer not to get just 50% of what they give. Fortunately, that wasn't the situation by any means, as Hostinger's arrangements incorporate all that I expected to get moving, from abundant assets to execution boosting apparatuses.

Three shared hosting plans are accessible – Single, Premium, and Business. Each of the three works on head of Hostinger's own special control board, cPanel, which incorporates simple auto establishments of WordPress and many other substances the executive’s frameworks (CMS).

I pursued the essential arrangement, which accompanied 10GB of plate space, 100GB of transfer speed, 1 email record, and backing for a solitary website. It's sufficient assets to construct an entirely good website – consider hundreds pages and a huge number of HD pictures. Certainly enough to grandstand your composition, innovativeness, items, administrations, or whatever you're anticipating hosting.

The two progressed plans accompany boundless data transmission, boundless email accounts, and boundless websites. Some additional advantages that you won't get with the Single arrangement incorporate SSH access for you Linux-sharp designers, boundless sub domains, and boundless information bases. Programmed every day reinforcements are the one basic component that the fundamental arrangement needs, which means you'll need to perform reinforcements physically or buy the administration as a different extra.

Hostinger has an intuitive website manufacturer by the name of Zyro, however it isn't accessible as a component of the hosting plans.

Before we dive further into Hostinger's best highlights, a word on the VPS and cloud plans. Hostinger is above all else a mutual hosting supplier. Try not to be that person who goes to the best pizza joint around and requests pasta. There are has that represent considerable authority in VPS and cloud administrations – Fluid Web and Kinsta, for instance – and keeping in mind that Hostinger's contributions in the field aren't the most exceedingly terrible, there's no motivation to go for them.
cPanel Has All the Fundamental Highlights, yet Does not have Some Serious Ones

As I said previously, Hostinger has built up its own exclusive control board, which means you won't get the chance to play with the dearest cPanel that you know and love. What's that? You don't create enthusiastic connections to hosting control boards? All things considered, you're the bizarre one. At any rate, while cPanel used to be the standard control board you'd get with most has (counting Hostinger), things change. Because of some exhausting venture show that happened some time back, has have been exchanging boards left and right.

cPanel is Hostinger's endeavor into the board world, and you'll see it furnished with all the treats you need. From simple auto establishments and DNS zones setups to email accounts, a record administrator, and MySQL information bases, it's all fundamentally the same as what cPanel offers. However, a few things are unique. For instance, auto establishments in cPanel are finished with Softaculous, which additionally lets you clone your site, set up an arranging variant, and even design a reinforcement plan. cPanel's Auto Installer works admirably at auto-introducing WordPress, yet does not have these valuable additional items.

Progressed email highlights, such as mailing records, channels, and routings, are additionally absent from cPanel. Did I ever really use them myself when they were accessible to me? Truly, never. I don't know who does. Yet, that is cPanel for you – it probably won't be equipped for everything, except it's certainly enough for most clients.
Amazing Reserving On account of the LiteSpeed Web Worker

LiteSpeed isn't the physical metal worker, however the web worker innovation that Hostinger employments. It reliably positions as one of the quickest and most dependable web workers, beating the more seasoned Apache innovation that hosts like GoDaddy despite everything use. You won't need to successfully arrange it. Simply kick back and appreciate the first class execution it conveys, particularly for WordPress websites.

What you can do, and assuredly ought to do, is initiate LiteSpeed's reserving capacity, known as LSCache. Sounds excessively specialized? Indeed, turning on the Programmed Store alternative basically summarizes it. Stored duplicates of your pages will be made, fundamentally slicing conveyance times to guests. Static pages, similar to business pages and portfolios, will profit by this significantly more.

A SSL Declaration that you could conceivably be getting

You need a SSL testament. Regardless of what you think and regardless of what anyone might've let you know – you need a SSL. Why? Since without a SSL authentication to scramble and secure your guests' information, the numerous wrongs prowling on the web will seek it. You'll not exclusively be taking a chance with your undertaking and your guests' wellbeing; however you'll additionally endure a shot on Google's rankings.

Today, Hostinger furnishes a SSL with the entirety of its arrangements. In the metaphorical yesterday, which for my situation was only two or three months back, no testament was given. What will happen tomorrow is impossible to say. Hostinger regularly messes with its arrangement highlights, and I propose that you triple-check and ensure that a SSL is to be sure included with your arrangement. Realize that if a SSL is excluded, it's conceivable to buy one as a different extra. In any case, that shouldn't be the situation. All that Is All around Structured, however you’ll be under Consistent Assault from up sell Pop-Ups.

Laying it out plainly, Hostinger's client experience specialists have designed an awesome interface and client venture, from information exchange to utilizing and dealing with your hosting. Thing is, Hostinger's business methodology depends on continually pushing you to overhaul and buy additional items. It's irritating, best case scenario, and confounding at the very least.

Yet at the same time, the plans are unmistakably spread out, and all Hostinger requests on information exchange is your name, an email address, and a secret word. Yahoo for getting rid of all the insignificant data that different hosts are so enthused about gathering.

Interfacing a Domain and Introducing WordPress

In the wake of buying my arrangement, the time had come to associate a domain and introduce WordPress. I was given the choice to consequently introduce WordPress as a major aspect of the information exchange measure, however I decided to do it the normal way, utilizing the control board itself, to check how Hostinger's apparatuses contrast with what different hosts give.

Presently, my domain was really included with the expectation of complimentary when I bought the Single arrangement, which means it was at that point associated with the hosting. Today, for reasons unknown, just the serious plans accompany a free domain.

In the event that you wind up getting your domain name from another supplier, interfacing it is simple. Nameserver data is promptly accessible at the head of your hosting subtleties page, and you should simply duplicate glue them into your domain board. Shouldn't something be said about WordPress? I opened the Auto Installer instrument, picked WordPress as my CMS of decision, and entered the essential website subtleties. It was much easier than how Softaculous gets things done, and my new website was ready for action inside one moment.
Dealing with Your Hosting with hPanel Is Simple

We've secured the way toward getting your website on the web, however starting here on you'll despite everything use cPanel to make alters and changes to your hosting. Setting up an email account, running manual reinforcements, dealing with the information bases, and the sky is the limit from there, are largely possible through cPanel. How can everything contrast with getting things done with cPanel? Indeed, as I would like to think, it's out and out simpler. hPanel symbols are greater and better sorted out, the interface isn't as jumbled with additional alternatives that you'll never utilize, and the combination with Hostinger's different administrations (uphold, buying additional items, seeing charging) is consistent.
All in all, would we be able to consider it an ideal usability experience? Actually no, not so much. The explanation, as I said previously, is that periodically your work process will be harmed by up sell pop-ups. Think rolling out a basic improvement to your DNS records, just to be welcomed with this:
I didn't "Increase present expectations." I didn't really do anything aside from sign in. Yet, Hostinger is enthusiastic about pushing plan redesigns, and you'll need to consistently be set up to close down these endeavors, of which there are many. Don't count on the possibility that these pop-ups imply that you've by one way or another spent your assets and need to redesign.
Pass on, It's the Quickest Common Hosting Administration We Tried

Speed and uptime that is what I'm searching for. Tragically, shared hosting administrations will in general vacillate in these regions, no doubt. The explanation is that as the name infers, you're offering assets to numerous different clients and their websites – in some cases up to many others. It takes an extraordinary host to adjust everything and stay away from a bottleneck circumstance where everything's moderate and no one's cheerful. I'm extremely glad to report that Hostinger exceeded expectations in the presentation tests, yet it really surpassed each other shared host that we tried, including the top-level SiteGround, FastComet, and InMotion Hosting. The main two has that improved, and just barely, were the superior Fluid Web (Nexcess) and Kinsta. Incidentally, they can cost around 20 fold the amount of as Hostinger.

Just to give you a thought of Hostinger's capacities, the normal stacking season of my completely fledged greeting page was an exceptional 1.56s, and uptime over a couple of long stretches of testing was as much as 99.99%, precisely as guaranteed. I'm going to nerd out and clarify the testing technique and the outcomes in detail, yet on the off chance that you needn't bother with all the specialized data, don't hesitate to avoid ahead to my encounters with Hostinger's help. I'll simply say it again – Hostinger's presentation shook.

As I do with all hosts I test, I stretched out Hostinger the chance to streamline my website and make it quicker. This is something you can (and should) do too – simply approach uphold for help. The operator prompted that I update WordPress and PHP to their most recent forms, and introduce a couple of regular enhancement modules. I actualized the exhortation, and continued with testing.

The testing itself was finished utilizing three apparatuses: GTmetrix Genius, the Sucuri Burden Time Analyzer, and Uptime Robot's Professional arrangement. The Dallas, TX, GTmetrix worker was utilized to quantify speed and advancement scores in the US. Sucuri was utilized for worldwide execution experiences, and Uptime Robot – who could have imagined – for following the website's uptime and accessibility online in rates.
GTmetrix

I ran various GTmetrix tests over a couple of months, totaled the outcomes, and determined the best, slowest, and normal paces. Hostinger indicated a promising normal stacking season of 1.56s. The best recorded time was 1.0s, and the slowest one was 1.9s. Not exclusively is the slowest stacking time well underneath the 3s imprint (where the majority of your guests will likely escape), however the normal scores demonstrate that Hostinger is as solid as anyone might imagine.

You can see that score-wise, we're getting twofold Bs. That is totally satisfactory, yet in addition probably the most noteworthy score I found in my tests. The main thing left to do so as to get full scores is to improve the pictures further.
Sucuri Burden Time Analyzer

As with GTmetrix, I ran Sucuri tests on numerous occasions. Sucuri gives you the stacking speed results for some worldwide areas, and I determined the midpoints of the quickest area (which was obviously in the US, near my server farm), the slowest area (Bangalore, India – the opposite side of the world), and the worldwide normal. The normal for the quickest area was an incredible 0.177s, while even in old fashioned Bangalore the normal was good – 1.11s. The worldwide normal was 0.499s, which earned my website an A worldwide position.

Frankly? I was shocked by these numbers. A worldwide normal of 0.499s is unfathomable for a common host, and everything I did to "streamline" my site was introduce a couple modules. There wasn't so much as a CDN (Content Conveyance System) dynamic. That is LiteSpeed and LSCache for you, women and respectable men. Get it while it's hot.
Uptime Robot

What great are quick speeds if your website has low accessibility? Nothing but bad. Fortunately, Hostinger is keeping it tight with practically immaculate uptime – 99.997% in the course of recent months. I'm proceeding to track and update the outcomes; however coming barely short of 100% is actually what I request from my host.

Uptime ensure shrewd, the circumstance is somewhat extraordinary. There's apparently a 99.99% uptime ensure gave, yet Hostinger has a genuine scrappy lawful clarification of when and how you can get your cash back. It generally seems like "never" to me, and regardless of whether you some way or another fit the bill for a cash back (as exclusively dictated by them), it's a measly 5% of your month to month cost. Goodness, and it's only for store credit. In any case, beside this assurance issue, Hostinger truly blows it out of the recreation center in the exhibition test.
When Extraordinary, Presently… Requires Tolerance

As a long-term client of Hostinger, I've had the delight of testing it over and over… and once more. One of my preferred pieces of the administration used to be the help. There wasn't (and still isn't) any telephone uphold accessible, yet stunning, was live talk a successful method of finding support. Day in and day out help, kept an eye on by experts, and supported by a broad information base of immense extents. The main issue? While the operators used to react in a flash, today they take around 40 minutes to hit you up. In some cases live talk isn't even accessible, and you're moved to some ticket/email framework which I've had next to no karma with.
I'll be totally fair with you about what this implies: it will be you and the information base. You can't rely on having an hour accessible to just stick around, and in any event, when the operators do reply, that is only the start of the cycle. With 3 brief reaction times in the middle of messages, posing some straightforward inquiries can expand into a whole workday.
The Least expensive Long haul Costs Available, by a wide margin

Truly, people, this is the explanation you understand this. While going over the many hosting choices accessible today, Hostinger's costs stick out. That is to say, $0.99 every month? That is excessively modest. What's the trick? Straightforward. Hostinger needs you to pursue a significant stretch of time, and it will give you motivating forces to do as such. Four installment periods are accessible: month to month, yearly, bi-yearly, and quadrennial. That final word implies four years, and it's scarcely utilized in light of the fact that practically no other host approaches you to pursue that long.

Fortunately pursuing four years will net you what's without a doubt the best cost in the market for shared hosting. Different hosts charge a comparable cost for a yearly arrangement. Crunch the numbers yourself. What's the circumstance when pursuing shorter periods? All things considered, bi-yearly and yearly plans aren't costly, yet they're significantly more in accordance with the market normal. Month to month plans accompany an arrangement expense and don't bode well. Worth insightful, up to a SSL is incorporated (check!), the plans are totally comparable to the business standard. There's additionally a 30-day unconditional promise, so you'll have adequate opportunity to test the administration yourself and check whether it's a solid match.
One thing to see during the checkout cycle is that there are a couple of discretionary extra administrations. Fortunately, none of them come pre-checked. I suggest that you skip them all. You can generally include them later at a similar cost, or "convince" a help operator to give you a superior arrangement… dangers of leaving the administration can do something amazing here.
Searching for a free domain?

Now and again it's remembered for the plans; some of the time it isn't. The serious plans normally accompany one when pursuing a year or more. At the point when I joined, a domain was additionally remembered for the fundamental arrangement. Presently it isn't – go figure.
Concerning making installments, notwithstanding the normal charge card and PayPal choices, you'll additionally have the option to pay with bitcoin and different cryptographic forms of money. Whatever your reasons are for needing to have a website secretly, crypto is the best approach to do as such.
Hostinger's reasonable shared hosting plans merit your time, your cash, and your thought. Execution has been shockingly extraordinary, and keeping in mind that it's not the most element pressed contribution around, it has all that you truly need.
Would it be advisable for you to put it all on the line? In case you're constructing a blog, a business page, an individual task, or a comparative little to-medium website, my answer is a resonating yes.
In the event that it's a web based business store you're hoping to fabricate, or a mind boggling administration like an online course gateway, you'll need something more remarkable than shared hosting. It'll cost you, yet Fluid Web and Kinsta are both better prepared for such ventures.
submitted by frenchwillaume to u/frenchwillaume [link] [comments]

Round up of Cryptocurrency News #7 Week 17/08 - 23/08

Heya everyone! Its been a little while, I'm still trying to get back into the groove of writing. Sorry about post#6, there will be a catch-up posted soon.
 
So... onto News recap #7! What have seen happen? First of all we have seen a pump from a bunch of altcoins: OMG, Cosmos, IOTA, NEO, THETA, ARAGON, SiaCoin, Golem, Swipe. As Ethereum fees remain high Omisego pumped over 130% in one day. It has now pulled back, watch the volume for further movement. Something interesting to me is a lot of these are projects from 2017.
 
Link appears to have broken its bullish market structure, dumping 23% in 48 hours. Be careful. IOTA is pushing its boundaries as its chrysalis mainnet goes live inching closer to complete decentralisation! https://cryptopotato.com/iotas-chrysalis-goes-live-on-mainnet/
 
Ethereum 2.0 upgrade is harder than first appeared, Vitalik says it will take much longer as they have a governance issue for the new blockchain.
 
Bitcoin and Ethereum have had slight adjustments in price potentially tightening up for another move (Hold above $11700 please!) Fingers crossed it is in the upward direction. They are currently in the red over the past few days however don't let that fool you as they are both up over 20% over the last 30 days. Also there was much excitement as Bitcoin rallied over 12K but was quickly beaten down back under. We can now be clear this is a resistance level and possibly a soon to be support level as the price has been steadily pushing back upwards toward 12k. In spite of this most crypto influencers are bearish and expecting a pull back.
 
News for the week: More awareness of cryptocurrency and purchasing by institutional traders, but do they have the iron hands to play the crypto market? We will have to wait and see, as for Dave Portnoy (who cares), he entered and left within a week. Blames Chainlink and Orchid as Chainlink dumps 20% on him in a day. "Ive bought the top many times" Portnoy doesn't understand the principles of the market as he also appears to think pump and dumps are encouraged within the cryptosphere. I'd keep an eye on him if he tries to push a cryptocurrency onto anyone.
 
Outside of the meme news, "Bitcoins perception is changing over time, its image as a money-laundering vehicle has subsided, with investors now taking a much keener interest in it. News story counts of potential money laundering were much more prevalent in 2013-14 but have since subsided, while counts of Bitcoin as an investment have become more of a focus."
 
Bitcoin's hashrate reaches record high of 130 exahash per second (EH/s). This is especially important after bitcoins halving, as miners have had to switch off and upgrade from old inefficient mining rigs, because when miners commit more computing power to process BTC transactions it helps to strengthen the network and secure it against 51% attacks!
 
Warren Buffet changes his mind on Gold, will Bitcoin be next on his mind? Buffetts company reveals it has dumped bank stocks (such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs) and taken a position in a gold miner. This could also be a cheeky indicator something is a bit fishy within the current US financial system and Buffett is looking to retain his wealth for rockier times to come.
 
Thanks for reading, this week it is very Bitcoin heavy as I am thinking a move is on the way for the top performing cryptocurrencies. Below I would recommend reading the important links and CBDC links. It shouldnt be more than 30 mins, and most of them you can skim through :)
 
DISCORD LINK: https://discord.gg/zxXXyuJ 🍕 Bring some virtual pizza to share 🍕 Come have a chat, stimulate a discussion, ask a question or share some knowledge. We are all friendly crypto enthusiasts up for a chat, supportive and want to help each other with knowledge and investments! Big thanks to our Telegram and My Crypto HQ for the constant news updates! The Gravychain Collective: https://t.me/gravychain My Crypto HQ: https://t.me/My_Crypto_HQ
Important Links:
More links:
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC):
Bitcoin Adoption + cryptocurrency engagment:
submitted by IOTAbesomewhere to Gravychain [link] [comments]

16 Apps That Will Earn You Passive Cash Back (Best Passive Saving Apps 2020)

This is the updated 2020 Q1/Q2 version of this post. If you remember reading the previous iteration of this post, there are several changes to the list this time around. Some new additions, and some removals.
Note: Most of these apps will be US only, with a minimum age requirement of 18.
Having said that, let's get right into it.

16 Passive Cash Back Apps 2020

Pei (Ref)

Pei is an automatic cash back app. When you sign up, you'll link a debit/credit card and you'll then automatically start earning cash back as you shop at certain Pei merchants (listed just below). There are so many merchants with Pei that you'll likely find yourself accidentally earning cash back on the app, without even knowing it. Pei is an app that you can really just link a card and then check back weeks later and surprise yourself with the money you've earned. Pei deserves the top spot in this post because of how consistent it is, and just how many places you can earn cash back with it. You can cash out instantly as soon as you reach $25 in your account. If you sign up with a referral code, you'll get a $2.50 bonus once you spend at a Pei merchant. You can use the referral code found on the most common Beermoney Sites thread here.

Pros of Pei:

So with all of that being said, let's talk about the stores you can find on Pei. Just note that these are only stores that are local to me, so if I don't have a certain store near me that Pei offers, I won't have it on this list. Additionally, Pei actually offers so many stores at this point that there's no way for me to actually keep this list up to date at all. There have been countless times where I've shopped somewhere that doesn't even come up as an option to earn with Pei but I'll see cash back listed on the app. It's really quite impressive.
In addition to receiving cash back at many locations, Pei also has a 'loyalty bonus' where if you shop at a certain store 5x you'll earn a bonus of up to $100 (but usually way less).
Pei Also just released a new feature called "Party Cash". Basically with Party Cash if you ever go shopping somewhere with your friends who also have Pei, you can start a party, and for each friend you shop with, each person will get a +1% bonus. For example, if I go shopping at Target with 2 other friends and we all start a Party Cash on Pei, we'll each get 1% (for usual cash back) plus 2% cash back from Party Cash, for a total of 3% cash back.
Most stores do have a $5 daily/weekly earning limit, so do be aware that if you spend more than ~$500, you'll likely reach an earning cap.

Dosh (Nonref)

Ref: KJK6

Dosh is one fastest growing cash back apps on this list. Similar to Pei, it's a card linked program where you'll automatically earn cash back when you shop at several local and national brands. On average you'll earn 3-5% cash back when you shop at the brands featured on Dosh. As soon as you hit $25 in your balance, you can cash out to PayPal.
The biggest downfall of Dosh is that the offers in the app change frequently, and the offers are targeted, meaning that not everyone will see the same offers.
Below are some of the current offers for instant cash back that you might find on Dosh. Note that only instant cash back offers found on the app will earn you cash back automatically when you spend with your card.
Dosh also does have a generous referral program where you'll get $5 when you sign up and link a card, and so will the referrer. If you'd like to, you can enter my code, KJK6 or use my referral link (nonref)
BTW, If you've heard of Dosh before, that might make sense. If you use Venmo and have the Venmo debit card, they recently introduced Venmo Rewards, which is powered by Dosh.

HOOCH Rewards (Ref Link)

HOOCH has earned the number 3 spot on this list this time around because of all the programs on this list, it has remained consistent. HOOCH will automatically earn you cash back when you link a credit/debit card whenever you shop at several national brands.
If you understand how Pei or Dosh above works, there's not really much more to say about HOOCH's cash back system.
You'll instantly earn 1% cash back at the following national brands:
  • Uber
  • iTunes
  • Starbucks
  • Domino's
  • Netflix
  • Shake Shack
  • Spotify
  • Audible
  • Redbox
  • Uber Eats
  • Hulu
  • In-N-Out
  • Chipotle
In addition to 1% cash back at the national brands, here are some other ways you'll earn with HOOCH:
  • Connecting your first card ($5 bonus)
  • Drink at a HOOCH Venue (5%)
  • Book a Hotel (5%)
  • Dine at a HOOCH Venue (5%)
  • Refer friends
HOOCH started a long while back as a subscription app where you'll buy a subscription and you'll get a free drink at a HOOCH venue every day. The venues are extremely limited, so a majority of the people reading this won't find any value in that plan. Dining is just as rare.
Their referral system appears to be pretty generous. They're currently offering a $5 bonus for signing up, as well as $1 for the referrer, as well as a 20% bonus on their earnings for life. Here's my referral link, and a nonref link :)
Here's the downfall of HOOCH:
You can only cash out for gift cards, and the minimum is $25.
For most people, this is a really big disadvantage of this app. Assuming that most people will only be earning through the 1% cash back brands, the minimum you'll need to spend in order to his the cash out minimum is $2500, which would likely take most people a really long time, since the brand options are not places where you're likely to spend a lot of money frequently...like, for example, a grocery store.
But still, you could probably earn yourself a few free gift cards every once in a while for a totally passive app.

Bumped (Sign up & join waitlist!)

Bumped is an investing app, when you really boil it down. When you sign up you'll select one brand in each category (there are a lot of categories, you'll see below), and each time you shop at the selected brand, you'll earn the certain specified purchase back in the form of company stock. This is unique to all of the other apps on this list, because you're actually receiving company stock. Also, because of this, I think it's very important to note that in order to sign up for Bumped you'll need to enter your SSN since you will be opening up a brokerage account.
As of posting, the following are the category options that you can choose from:
I've bolded the brands I selected. Obviously you should pick a brand that you can find yourself using the most. Do note that if you pick a brand that you might want to change later, you'll get the opportunity to change your brands 3 times a year, at least 30 days in between.
Category Options
Burgers 3% at Jack in the Box
3% at McDonald's
3% at Wendy's
Coffee 2% at Dunkin' Donuts
2% at Starbucks
Drug Stores 2% at CVS
1% at Walgreens
Family Dining 2% at Applebees
2% at Chili's
2% at Olive Garden
2% at Red Robin
Grocery 1% at Kroger Family of Stores
Home Improvement 0.5% at The Home Depot
Mexican Food 2% at Chipotle Mexican Grill
2% at Taco Bell
Music Subscriptions 1% at Pandora
5% at Spotify
Pizza 1% at Domino's
5% at Papa John's
2% at Pizza Hut
Ride Sharing 0.5% at Lyft
0.5% at Uber
Superstores 1% at Target
1% at Walmart
Telecommunications 0.5% at AT&T
0.5% at T-Mobile
0.5% at Verizon Wireless
Video Subscriptions 1% at Netflix
5% at Sling TV
Vineyards 1% at Willamette Valley Vineyards
One thing that is listed on the app is that if you want to move your way up on the waitlist you can refer your friends to join the waitlist as well.

Bits

Bits (of stock) is very similar to Bumped. It's better in some ways, but worse in most.
Similar to Bumped, there's a waitlist. Note that Bits is currently only available on iOS, but they have teased a version for Android will be coming.
So, here's the issue with Bits...
There's no brokerage accounts set up.
If you're not sure what that means, basically in order for you to actually own and trade stocks, you'll need to do it through a brokerage account. For example, if you use Robinhood, you own a brokerage account at Robinhood. If you use TD Ameritrade, you'll have a brokerage account at TD Ameritrade. So basically the app will say that you're getting stock back as you spend, but there's no way to actually sell your stock. Basically what I'm saying is that until the brokerage account is added, you're really just receiving play money. Bits has been extremely silent about the release of the brokerage accounts... I asked them back in December and they said they were aiming to release it "next month". Three months have passed since then, so I asked last week and they again said the same thing.. the goal is a release next month (April). We'll just have to wait and see. The point here is -- assume you're not earning anything with Bits until they add the brokerage accounts. This post will be updated once the accounts are added.
So, as for the actual cash back from Bits, you're able to choose 15 brands (that you can change at any time). I'll list the brands you can choose from below. What's interesting is that when the app first launched, all of the brands offered a 2% CB rate (which is unsustainably high). The rates have since come down to 0.5% for all brands.
To save characters, here's a recording of me scrolling through the brands offered. If you don't want to watch that video, just know that there are a lot of brands to choose from.

Ibotta (Ref Link)

Ibottais a cash back app that has been around for years, but this is its first time being added to this list. When the app originally launched, you would earn on the app by selecting cash back products that you could purchase and receive a rebate. Once you selected products you wanted to purchase, you would then scan the products after purchasing them to confirm your purchase, and then submit a photo of your receipt.
That doesn't sound too passive, now, does it?
Well, over the last little while, the app has come a very long way. In most cases you no longer need to select rebates you want to purchase, and in most cases you don't even need to scan a receipt, if you're shopping somewhere where you can link a rewards membership.
For example, I shop at Meijer and Target primarily for groceries. Both of these stores allow me to link my accounts with the stores, so for Target any time I shop and spend using a credit card that is linked to my Target account, I'll get cash back automatically. Same thin for Meijer. As soon as I enter my mPerks phone number, I'll get cash back.
What's great is that you don't even have to select offers anymore. So this is one of those cases where you might accidentally get cash back. Also, just to clarify, you're getting cash back for the products you purchase, not the place that you're shopping... which is different than most of the other apps featured on this list.
Even if you don't purchase a product that qualifies for a rebate, you'll probably find yourself earning cash back almost every time you shop because Ibotta has several "Any" offers, meaning any time you buy "any" kind of a product, say.. blinker fluid, for example, you'll earn cash back for your blinker fluid purchase regardless of the brand. These offers are optimal for cash back.
I personally went a whole couple months without opening Ibotta and I showed up to $50 in cash back from purchases I didn't even know I was getting cash back for.
Another newer feature of the app (which isn't passive) is Ibotta Pay. Ibotta Pay is basically just a glorified way of purchasing gift cards and receiving cash back for the gift card purchase.
In addition to this cash back, you'll also find several bonuses where if you redeem x offers, you'll get a certain $ boost. For example, I currently have an offer for a $10 bonus if I redeem 14 offers before the bonus expires in just a few days. I've redeemed 2 so far, so I'm not sure if I'll be getting there in time. (BTW, if you're ever cutting it close, just note that Ibotta Pay will work where each gift card purchase will qualify for a completed offer ;))
Ibotta also does have a generous referral program. They do referral offers very frequently where you can earn bonuses, but the current offer is $4 for each friend you invite. Please consider using the referral link found in the Most Common Beermoney Sites thread.

Uber Visa Local Offers

Shop or dine out, get Uber credits back.
Use your Visa card next time you dine out or go on a shopping spree at a featured store and earn Uber credits toward future rides. To join, go to settings in your Uber app and tap on Visa Local Offers.
Whenever you shop out at certain places you'll instantly receive uber credits to your account. It's really simple, and yes, this does stack with all of the other cash back apps you might be a part of.
The brands they offer do change semi-frequently, so you should check them from time to time.
In the past there have been 100% cash back offers for streaming services, and 10-20% cash back at Sam's Club. Considering that these offers do stack, there is some really great potential if you find any value in uber credit.
If you're interested in activating the Visa local offers, you'll need to make sure you have a visa card linked to your Uber account first, and then you should see "activate local offers" in the app settings or payment settings of Uber.
There's really not much to say about Visa Local Offers, but if you're looking for some FAQ/Terms, feel free to check them all out here.

Cash App "Boosts"

For those if you who don't know what Cash App is, Cash App is an app by Square that lets you send and receive payments. They've also expanded their app to support bitcoin purchases, and they'll also let you use the app as a checking account. With the cash app you can also sign up to receive the Cash Card, which is a debit card that is funded with your cash app balance.
If you have not used Cash App before, they do have a fancy referral program where when you sign up and send $50 you'll receive $5 and so will I. I do want to make this very clear: Cash App referrals can see the full name of the person who refers you, and the person who refers you will have your full name shown to them. If you're really private about personal information, be careful whose referral link you use. If you trust me, here's my referral link.
Please note that if you want to use the cash app boosts that I'm talking about, you'll need to be 18 years old and have the cash card (which is free, don't worry)!
Cash App announced that their cash card will be seeing 'boosts'. Boosts are their fancy way of saying that when you use our card at certain locations you'll receive a discount.
Once you have the cash card, you'll notice on the app below your card you'll be able to select your boost. The following are my personal boost options, as of posting. The boosts change frequently,
  • $5 Off One Order on DoorDash
  • 10% Off One Visit at Any Grocery Store
  • 10% Off One Visit at Dollar Tree
  • 10% Off One Visit at Walgreens
  • 10% Off One Visit at Nike
  • 10% Off One Visit at Walmart
  • $5 Off One Ride at Lyft
  • 10% Off Each Visit at Bath & Body Works
  • 10% Off Each Visit at Playstation Network
  • 10% Off Each Visit at Xbox
  • 10% off Each Visit at Chick-Fil-A
  • 10% Off Each Visit at Taco Bell
  • 10% Off Each Visit at Dominos
  • 10% Off Each Visit at Portillo's.
Boosts tend to change every Friday, but several boosts will remain for a long period of time. The longest lasting boost, which just went away in the last week is the $1 off Any Coffee Shop. It stuck around for almost 2 years, and anyone who had that boost applied would automatically save $1 every time they shop at any coffee shop, without any interaction.
So there are quite a few things I want to say & clear up.
  1. You can use a boost every 1 hour.
  2. You must select the boost that you'd like to use prior to the purchase. You're able to swap which boost you want to use as often as you'd like. So when you walk into Chick-Fil-A, just check and make sure your boost is set to CFA. If not, swap it.
  3. In order to apply the boost, you must pay with the Cash Card. It's automatic. If your total is $6 and you're saving 10%, you'll only need a Cash app balance of $5.4 for the transaction. Cash App will cover the other $0.60.
  4. If you link your Cash Card to Apple Pay, you can pay with it that way and the boosts will still be applied.
Do realize that just because you have the Cash Card on the app, you won't see the boosts. You need to have the physical Cash Card in your possession for the boosts to show up.
I've been really enjoying using the Cash Card for purchases. Especially at CFA & Chipotle. It's really not a hassle. When I'm standing in line at Chipotle I'll open the app and make sure my cash app balance is enough and if not I'll just add funds right away. The boost is applied immediately which makes you feel good. It's like the guac is free at Chipotle after you use the cash card. The only downside to using the Cash Card is that you won't be able to stack discounts with anything else on this list... Unless you find a way to link the Cash Card to any of the things on this list. Regardless, 10% off at Chipotle is the best I have found.

Venmo Rewards

Venmo recently announced Venmo Rewards.
Take what you know about Cash App's boosts and then apply something similar to Venmo's debit card. Venmo Rewards is actually a bit easier than Cash App's boosts because it truly requires no input from you whatsoever. The tradeoff is that the cash back rates are lower. If Cash App's average discount would get you 10% off, Venmo would be about 4%.
So here's how Venmo Rewards works:
Simply use your Venmo card at participating merchants—stores you know and love— to earn rewards. Zero setup required. See list of participating merchants in the app.
  1. Get a Venmo card Learn More
  2. Swipe your card at participating merchants
  3. Automatically earn cashback straight to your Venmo balance. (Seriously. That’s it.)
As mentioned above in the section about Dosh, Venmo Rewards is powered by Dosh, and similar to Dosh, the cash back options are targeted. I personally can't use Venmo so I don't have the current list that most people will be seeing as far as opportunities go, but Venmo Rewards originally launched (in November 2019) with the following CB opportunities:
  • 5% Target
  • 5% Sephora
  • 5% Wendy’s
  • 4% Dunkin’
  • 5% Chevron
  • 4% Sam’s Club
  • 5% Papa John’s
Evan on DoC commented earlier this month with their updated CB opportunities:
Dunkin Donuts 4%, Sephora 5%, Macy’s 4%, JCPenney 5%, Sam’s Club 4%, 1-800-flowers.com 15%, Papa Johns 5%, Forever 21 4%, Frank and Oak 5%)
  • 4% Walmart & Walmart Grocery
  • 4% Dunkin'
  • 5% Sephora
  • 4% Macy's
  • 5% JCPenney
  • 4% Sam's Club
  • 15% 1-800-Flowers.com
  • 5% Papa John's
  • 4% Forever 21
  • 5% Frank and Oak
What I can make from this is that the options have not changed much, and have actually expanded, with a couple exceptions. If you're a Venmo user, I think this is a pretty decent reason to get the debit card. The 4% at Sam's Club and Walmart is a pretty good deal for most people, especially if there are no limits to the cash back you can earn.

Empyr Apps

I've listed this as "Empyr Apps" because all of these apps are basically just the same thing. I'll take the example of Swagbucks Local since that's what most of you reading this will already be using.
If you paid attention in the Visa Local Offers section of this post, you'll find that the Empyr apps are actually very similar to those visa local offers.
When you shop at a certain store/restaurant, you'll earn with the empyr app you have linked. It's actually really not that special.
Here's a list of some/most of the current Empyr powered apps:
IMPORTANT NOTE: You're only allowed to use one Empyr app at a time! As soon as you link up with another Empyr app, you'll be disqualified from another until you link back up.
I do want to go into this list a bit this time around since there seem to be more and more Empyr apps popping up.
Swagbucks Local will always be popular among Swagbucks users. What's really nice about Swagbucks Local is that the payouts are always instantly converted to Swagbucks, which can help you cash out sooner. You'll also likely get a slot in the Swago board filled out, which might be beneficial to you.
RetailMeNot is a newer one on this list and it's the only one here that I feel like I recommend you go on/off with. RetailMeNot has recently been doing a lot of "Spend $X, get $Y" deals at a lot of the stores they offer. For example, they are currently offering $5 Cash back for in Store purchases of $30+ at Staples. This is a really good deal for an Empyr app, and would probably be my pick for that transaction, but not most of the time since they don't have very many stores as options.

Drop (iOS | Android)

Ref = fish

Alright, so Drop has gone through a lot of changes since the last time this post was updated. Drop used to be the best passive cash back app without any debate. It was also one of the first apps to offer a card link cash back program. Over the last several months (and years), their card link program has seen several devaluations. First they removed brands you could pick from to receive cash back (for example, when I first joined, you could choose to earn cash back each time you shopped at Amazon, but new users would later not see Amazon as an option). They later lowered the cash back rate. For example, Target went from 1%, to 0.2%. And finally they limited new users to pick from 5 brands to receive cash back at to just 3.
In February 2020 Drop announced a change to the way their card linked cash back would work..
They since have removed their 'power offers' (the offers where you automatically earn cash back at brands), and have replaced it with card link 'Challenges'. These challenges have just recently launched, so it's hard to tell whether or not these will be passive or worthwhile altogether. I currently have one ongoing challenge where if I spend $10+ at Target with a linked card, I'll get 250 points ($0.25), which is pretty insignificant.
As far as I can tell, they seem to have ditched all other forms of card linked cash back from their app. If the challenges turn out to have nothing passive about them, or have no proof of being worthwhile, Drop will likely not even be on this list the next time around.
So let's talk about some features of Drop since we're on the topic.
Drop has clearly moved away from passive cash back, and has focused more on becoming a cash back app in the form of portal earnings and specific offers. Several of these offers are unique to drop, which is good, but when it comes to portal cash back, the rates are often on par or slightly below the offerings you could find on Cashback Monitor.
Another thing about Drop that people are (rightfully) upset about is the change that now requires you to save up $25 worth of points (25,000) in order to cash out. The minimum previously was just $5.
The only feature about Drop that hasn't been nerfed to the ground is their referral program. When you refer your friends you'll earn $5 once they link a card, and they'll get $5 as well.
Overall I'm not too hopeful that Drop will remain passive at all, so this might be the app's last appearance on this list for the foreseeable future.

Credit Cards

I've refrained from listing credit cards on this post for a long time. Maybe because I thought it was too obvious, or maybe it was unnecessary, but since the number of younger people using this subreddit has been increasing I feel like I'd be doing a disservice to entirely disclude a blurb about credit cards.
If you have a credit card and you don't really care to learn more about credit cards, just skip this section. If you're reading this post and you're 18+ (or if you're about to turn 18) and you don't have a credit card or don't know much about credit cards, I think it's a good idea to look into them. I'm not going to tell you exactly what a credit card is since that's an easy google search, but I will tell you about some benefits, especially about those that pertain to the benefits of this post.
Credit cards are great because you can essentially spend money just like you normally would*, but you'll also earn cash back on all/almost all of the purchases you make with them. Additionally, especially if you're young, getting a credit card is a really great because it will start helping you build credit. I'm currently looking into renting a house next year with two housemates and I'm shocked to see that neither of them have any credit. They quite honestly couldn't possibly live in a house without me, since I'm the only one who has credit.
*Make sure you're paying off your credit card every month (or however often you need)... Don't let yourself get into debt. I'd argue if you think you're going to get into debt with a credit card, I'd personally suggest you don't get a credit card.
While you need to be 18 years old to get your own credit card, if you're under 18, you can still start gaining credit. Most major credit card companies will allow your parents to add you as an authorized signer on their credit card (which basically just means that you'll get permission to use their cards). An effect of this is that you'll start gaining credit. If you're looking to build up credit but you don't think you're ready for a credit card, I'd really recommend you ask your parents about becoming an authorized signer. It's a good conversation to have with your parents.
Anyways, let's talk about the cash back benefits, since that's what this post is about, after all.
There's a lot of credit cards. This post isn't going to list them all out. This isn't really even the right subreddit for credit card discussion.
Nerdwallet has a great list of credit cards, so you might want to check it out here, but I'm going to share my own personal situation and recommend that for anyone who might relate, since the average age on this subreddit is around the 18-25 range.
My first credit card was the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. I actually still use this credit card very frequently since it's a pretty balanced card. A couple years back on my 18th birthday I went into my local chase branch and physically had to beg for this card (it's a really beginner card, trust me). After getting denied both in bank and online, I finally found a rep who would give me a calm $500 credit limit for the card. Note: I had no credit before hand.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases with the card... so when you think about it, I'd previously been spending $100 at Chipotle every month with my debit card, but with the Freedom Unlimited card, I would now be getting 1.5% cash back ($1.50) back on those purchases. It's just an easy way to save money on everything.
If you use the other apps I suggest in this post, you'll likely earn cash back passively from them on certain brands that are featured, but stacking a credit card cash back on top of all the other bonuses is the absolute best way to earn passive cash back since it's usually 1-5% cash back on your purchases.

ReceiptPal

ReceiptPal is an app that allows you to upload your receipts from almost anywhere that you go shopping. It's actually a really simple process.
When you sign up you'll be presented with almost little scratch cards which contains 4 spaces. Each space is filled with a receipt that you upload. Once you reach 4 receipts, you'll earn 100 points. 300/400 points = $1, so basically every 16 receipts you upload you'll receive ~$1.
"So, mr Fishering, how is this passive!?"
Unlike most receipt apps, ReceiptPal allows you to link your emails and amazon account and they'll automatically upload receipts for you. I actually let this app alone for several months and came back to thousands of points and cashed out instantly.
If you make purchases online, you'll essentially be earning ~$0.07 for every purchase you make if you have your email linked. They'll automatically find receipts and submit them, so it's 100% passive earnings.
If you also shop IRL you can submit physical receipts as well.
You can cash out instantly for $5 minimum in the form of a gift card. I'd recommend saving up at least 7,500 points for a $25 gift card, since it'll value points at 300/$1.

Paribus

Paribus is not your typical cash back site. Once you sign up you can link your different accounts (such as your amazon account) and it will automatically track your shopping. Paribus doesn't directly earn you cash back... it acts more like Walmart's saving catcher if you've ever heard of that. If an item you buy somewhere goes on sale shortly after or if there's any other discounts/promotions you may have missed when you originally bought something, they'll quietly get you a rebate on whatever you purchased. It can be very hit or miss. The catch is that they do take a cut of your savings. I believe it is 30% for all new users, but for each member you refer you can cut the cut by 5%. If you save $10, they'll charge you $3 to whatever card you have linked.
Personally I've found it to be really hit or miss, but I've found some incredible savings. I bought a gopro and I got $15 saved with Paribus, and I also got $50 back from some really nice headphones I picked up on amazon from Amazon. What's weird is I bought the headphones like 6 months prior to the rebate. Was shocking to see it, but I've really had some good luck with Paribus.

Sift (iOS | Android)

After the last post, I noticed a lot of people enjoyed Paribus, so I figured it'd be good to add some alternatives in this post.
So, here's Sift. Sift is a similar site to Paribus, and its key focus is on enforcing credit card benefits that many people don't know about. It's actually pretty nice. It'll let you pick your credit card and it'll tell you pretty much everything about your card. I have the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, and I was actually shocked to hear some of the benefits my card has that I have never been taking advantage of.
From Sift's site:
We automatically comb through your credit card policies to show you all your benefits in one place. For every purchase we let you know what benefits you are eligible for. We streamline the claim process to make it as simple as possible to get your money back.
You can link your emails as well as your amazon account as well and they'll make it really easy for you.
I have not actually used Sift much myself, so I cannot attest to how well it works, but the app store reviews are generally positive for Sift.

Trim Savings

Trim is similar to Paribus and Sift, but there's a certain void that it's trying to fill that the other two don't really seem to be filling.
Trim's main selling point is its bill negotiations. Instead of trying to save you money when a price drops, they're going to try and just nip it right in the bud and try to get your bills lower.
Right now they're mainly trying to negotiate with cell providers, internet providers, and cable providers.
Here's how the process goes:
  • Submit Your Bill: Submit your most recent cell phone, cable or internet bill to get started.
  • Trim Negotiates: Trim negotiates with your provider to get you discounts on your bill.
  • You Save Money: Trim takes 25% of annualized savings, but only on success—otherwise, it's free!
So, similar to Paribus, Trim does charge a fee. In a sense, I guess that's a good thing because it gives them an incentive to make sure to get some sort of bill decrease for you so they'll make some money too. Their rate is currently 25% of your bill negotiation. Of course, if they're not able to negotiate your bill for you, you won't pay them anything.
Trim does also monitor your bank account for you and they'll notify you of account changes (that you can set). For example, if they see a transaction worth $xxx, they'll notify me that I've made a large transaction. If there weren't already so many other sites/apps that could do that, I'd say that's a great feature that Trim offers.

Conclusion

Hopefully there's some new apps/sites you found out about in this post. If you sign up for some/all of these programs listed, you should probably find yourself earning some pretty decent cash back, depending on where/how much you spend. These apps are very satisfying to watch your balances build up on, and after a while it's very rewarding to cash out and treat yourself.
In this update I added some really great additions like Ibotta, Venmo Rewards, and Bits, but I am very sad to see the turn that Drop has taken. I have been tipped off to some upcoming passive cash back opportunities that will be coming very soon, and I can't wait to share those and hopefully add them to this list in the near future.
As always if you have any questions please do leave a comment or send me a PM!
Thanks for reading!
  • Follow me on reddit: Fishering
  • Read my other posts!
  • Please send me PMs with any questions you have about anything, or even just PM me if you want someone to talk to.
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