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Messages - Joe Jones

Photography / Bulgaria
December 28, 2015, 07:04:33 PM
So I travelled to Bulgaria in the summer with some friends, to a location called Slanchev Bryag (also known as Sunny Beach). Here is the cultural bit of the holiday (half a day out of 7), spent just across the sea in the town of Nesebar.
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Photography / Venice
December 28, 2015, 06:56:14 PM
Fiction / Invasion
December 28, 2015, 06:53:13 PM
I have to get out of here. 
I keep hearing footsteps. Crunch, crunch, crunch, pressing down into the snow. They're coming for me.
Dead. All my loved ones are dead. They turned. They were no longer my father, my mother, my brother. I had no choice.
I noticed their behaviour changing. They kept telling me I was insane. They shouted at me. "You're obsessed! They don't exist! It's all in your head!"
But I knew. I knew they were victims to the plague. Slow release at first. They weren't aware of it. But their minds were oblivious to what was about to unfold.
"Take your meds," they would say. Can you believe it? Trying to claim that I was going mad? No way. I'm the only sane man here. I know what's happening.
Dread filled me. It began with the brain. Panic set in. Tightness clenched my chest. I couldn't breathe. I stumbled, fell head first into something. Blackness.
Then it happened.
She was on top of me. Eyes vacant. She wanted to consume me. She had turned and I was about to be turned too.
I screamed. Piercing. Terror burst out in sound form. I punched her in the side of the head. Leapt up. She was dazed. I knew I didn't have time.
I picked up the paperweight from my desk. Smashed it between her eyes. That's where the virus lies.
Bam. Bam. Bam. I hammered down with all my might. She was split open, blood pouring from her head. I screamed again. What if it infected me?
God bless America, eh? The Second Amendment. \"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.\" 
Well, the State was not free at that precise moment. They were coming. I've read all the books. They are slate erasers. They will not only destroy the State, they will destroy civilisation. They will destroy humanity.
She was screaming. He was coming up the stairs. They can run now. I've seen those films. I've read that book. They are merciless killing machines.
I ran into their bedroom. At least, the bedroom that belonged to them before they turned. The TEC-9 under the pillow. At least they cannot use firearms. As far as I know.
I turned to what used to be my father. I destroyed the monster that he became. A bullet, right into his forehead. I got him. Brain matter exploded in every direction. More contamination. 
He fell backwards into the mirror. Glass shattered, flew everywhere. Like we need more bad luck.
I looked down at my former mother. She was still moving. She could grab hold of my leg and sink her rotten, diseased teeth into it, and then I would be one of them too.
I had to be merciless. Only by destroying the brain could I be safe. I pumped four bullets into her head. I had to be sure.
Then the footsteps. The shouting. Could it have been coherent speech? My brain was so hyped up, I could barely understand. This was fight or flight. I was not going to become one of them.
I rushed down the stairs. I looked over. Oh no, not you too. My little brother. This is so unfair. Damn this plague to hell. 
Tears flooded out of my eyes and down my cheeks. I couldn't bring myself to do it. But then he screamed something. He's not human... HE'S NOT HUMAN!
I slumped to the floor, TEC-9 smoking. I cried so violently I was physically sick. Howls, screams, sobs intertwined. He had died long before I shot him.
The footsteps then stopped. But then so did my heart. Knocking on the door. Could they knock? But then it became banging. More were coming. Clearly alerted to the noise. The virus sharpens their senses so much it's unreal.
This was my last stand. I was not going to go down without a fight. I stood there waiting. Breath heavy. Come on, you braindead scum. I'm ready for you.
The door eventually caved in. I screamed a blood-curdling scream of war. I pointed the gun towards the figure.
No bullets left.
In that moment I knew I was finished.
Hold on... how did I fire my gun if I was out of bullets? Did it jam for a second? Did I even attempt to fire again?
I looked down. And that's when I saw it. Blood pouring from my chest. 
They know how to fire guns now? This cannot be... nowhere did it say they could do that. We're doomed.
I felt an indescribable pain, and then I felt queasy, woozy. I dropped to my knees and onto the floor.
I really do not know what just happened. But I do know that I'm dying. I'm just glad to have been spared the damnation of becoming one of them. I'll die a clean, uninfected death.
A human. A policeman. Oh, I could not have asked for a better way to go. Maybe he thought I was one of them too? At least it's a human face. 
Thank you, God.
Photography / Good morning, Kansas City!
December 28, 2015, 06:40:12 PM
Wow, the sky in the first picture is gorgeous. Virtually night in the top left and top right corners, daytime in the middle and just bright orange at the bottom, with cloud colours ranging from purple to yellow. All the while, life unfolds as normal on the roads while the elements compose their own artwork up above. Then in the second photo the sky is bright pink! Thanks for taking these, they\'re stunning.
Photography / Christmas in Kansas City
December 28, 2015, 06:36:52 PM
This is really pretty, the hanging lights add a nice festive touch, as well as the tinsel, trees etc. Christmas is good at turning mundane settings into wintry wonderlands.
General Art / Minor Illusions
December 28, 2015, 06:28:18 PM
Great mix of colours and striking contrasts. To me this looks like a snapshot of a galaxy, with thousands of stars, smatterings of dark matter and other celestial bodies like nebulae.
Computer Graphics / digital painting attempt
December 28, 2015, 06:25:01 PM
I\'d say it\'s a good 80% of the way there, the body of the car and the Elf sponsor are spot on, just a couple more bits like the other sponsors and details on the helmet, and it\'s done. I want to see the finished version!
Computer Graphics / Cover Pictures for FB Pages
December 28, 2015, 06:22:56 PM
Pretty much everything you could want incorporated into a graphic is in there. The nation\'s flag, the personalised Notts badge, players who have turned out for both Notts and their nation, and big bold writing. We need more of these for the PON page, they would get 100s of likes for sure.
Computer Graphics / Space Clouds
December 28, 2015, 06:20:40 PM
Stunning. Great mix of colours, very ethereal. Partly aurora borealis, partly a photo from the Hubble Telescope.
I love the part about \"utilize\". In the UK we have a magazine called Private Eye which satirises British politics and society. Heavy reading sometimes but there\'s a section called \"Pseuds Corner\", a column giving examples of especially convoluted and impenetrable jargon. Reminded me of that so much.
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General Discussion / Congrats SpaceMonkey
November 29, 2015, 10:29:09 AM
Congrats SM! So happy for you! 
General Discussion / Afternoon!
November 29, 2015, 10:28:01 AM
I have always had a negative opinion of Christmas in the past. From general annoyance at the whole consumerist aspect of it and having to conform to the rigid \"spend money and be happy aspect\" that society enforces on you (if you\'re seen to openly dislike Christmas people assume there is something wrong with you), to full-drawn hatred of it (I have spent two Christmas days in hospital Intensive Care Units visiting relatives on the verge of death so it had intensely negative connotations for a while - another year I got dumped just before Christmas, and the last few years my family had serious money problems), but this year I\'m kind of looking forward to it. I mean, I\'ll still have my cynical glasses on over the whole capitalistic orgy aspect of it and all, but if my participation and engagement with it makes my family smile, then I\'ll participate and engage. 
Also, my workplace is closing up from December 23 to January 4, and with me no longer working my second job (sports reporter), it means I will have the full Christmas period off, with no work for the first time in 9 years. And believe me, I need the time off! Only way it could be made even better would be with plane tickets and a hotel room in Dubai or something! 
Photography / Flags @ Stadia
November 18, 2015, 09:34:36 PM
Great photos. Flags equal identity, belonging, community, family. I remember waving my Notts flag at Wembley til my arm hurt after the game had finished, much to the disbelief of a load of plastic fans who were looking at me as if I came from space (to be fair, people from London seem to view anywhere north of Watford as a different dimension). But my team looked back at me and pointed me out and waved back.
Fiction / Dexter Fanfiction
November 07, 2015, 06:18:50 PM
Really enjoyed that. So descriptive, had me on the edge of my seat. Well done!