Freesound - pack: Slot Machine by lukaso

I can't stop laughing 😂😂. I have never soooo many notifications go off on my phone so often for freaking orders. It sounds like a slot machine at the casino. Now to choose- Eenie Meenie Miney Mo- which batch to do to make some dough!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣 #NoCostco #NoBJs #NoTipNoService

I can't stop laughing 😂😂. I have never soooo many notifications go off on my phone so often for freaking orders. It sounds like a slot machine at the casino. Now to choose- Eenie Meenie Miney Mo- which batch to do to make some dough!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣 #NoCostco #NoBJs #NoTipNoService submitted by PersianPastry to InstacartShoppers [link] [comments]

@WSJ: “You still have the sounds of the slot machines, and you still feel that same energy on the floor.” Louisiana and Mississippi, among the biggest gambling markets in the U.S., are opening their casino doors this week after two-month closures. https://t.co/o8PeFUvCCf

@WSJ: “You still have the sounds of the slot machines, and you still feel that same energy on the floor.” Louisiana and Mississippi, among the biggest gambling markets in the U.S., are opening their casino doors this week after two-month closures. https://t.co/o8PeFUvCCf submitted by -en- to newsbotbot [link] [comments]

If slot machines played their song-like sounds in minor keys, casinos would feel really creepy.

submitted by latticeproject to Showerthoughts [link] [comments]

The empty game rooms of abandoned casinos inspire a sense of wonder and offer an eerie glimpse into gambling history. The high rollers have all cashed in their chips and the sounds of roulette wheels and slot machines have been replaced with silence.

The empty game rooms of abandoned casinos inspire a sense of wonder and offer an eerie glimpse into gambling history. The high rollers have all cashed in their chips and the sounds of roulette wheels and slot machines have been replaced with silence. submitted by Vegas77 to abandoned [link] [comments]

I've never gambled at a casino, but I love listening to slot machine sounds. Those 8-bit harmonies soothe me. Is that how they hook ya?

submitted by mynameisjonas to self [link] [comments]

[TOMT] [song] Electronic song that sounds like a floor of a Vegas casino, much slot machine sounds.

Similar to these sounds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnZcuSFybrQ
There were a long of ringing bell noises also, not as synthesized sounding as the video example.
Thanks!
submitted by weederman5000 to tipofmytongue [link] [comments]

TIL most slot machines play tones and music in the key of C, as it’s been shown to be the key that makes people happiest.

TIL most slot machines play tones and music in the key of C, as it’s been shown to be the key that makes people happiest. submitted by 02K30C1 to todayilearned [link] [comments]

I live in a small mining town in the mountains of Colorado. Someone is building a massive casino nearby, Pictures Included

I grew up in a small mountain town named Eureka. It was founded in the late 1800s during the gold rush, but after the mines dried up the town began its slow descent into decay. Half the houses are empty or abandoned now.
You can see a picture of the kind of houses here in Eureka:
First house
Second house
When a massive construction project began nearby, it was the talk of the town for weeks. Why would they build something in a sleepy dying town like Eureka? It wasn’t until my sister Selene talked to a few construction workers that we discovered they were building a casino.
A casino up in the mountains, over two hours away from Denver. None of us could understand why they’d chosen here of all places. After a few months of work, the casino was done.
I took a picture of the town with the completed casino in the background to the right. The ten-story-structure sticks out like a sore thumb off in the distance.
Town+Casino
After the casino opened, they hired a few dozen members of the town, offering high paying jobs to work as dealers or cleaning staff. I was already employed as a firefighter, but my sister Selene got a job as a blackjack dealer. She’s a widow with two young kids, so the paycheck was a real lifesaver.
Still, something about the situation seemed too good to be true. The jobs over there paid far too well, and the management was far too accommodating. The fire station where I work is located high on a hill overlooking the town, so I began watching the casino from a distance each day.
I had initially thought that the casino was located in a terrible location, but I was apparently wrong. True, Eureka was hours from any major city, but despite that, a bus full of people arrived every morning and left every evening.
One night I was over at my parent’s house and had dinner with Selene and her kids. I asked her about her experience as a dealer.
“It’s Ok,” she said. “Just a little boring I guess.”
“Boring?” I asked. “I’m surprised you don’t have your hands full.”
“Why’s that?” she asked. “It’s like you said, Eureka’s too small. I never have people playing cards. The casino is almost always completely empty.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of that. If the place was always empty, what happened to the people who I’d seen arriving on buses? “I’ve been keeping an eye on the building,” I said. “A bus full of people typically arrives around 9 AM every day.”
“Really?” she asked, looking confused. “If that’s true, I’ve never seen them.
“I can see it from the fire station,” I said. “If you head out for a smoke break at 9 AM, you’ll probably see them arriving.”
“Interesting,” she said. “I’ll do that. If they’re being processed for their organs or something, I’ll let you know.” She laughed.
“Har har,” I said sarcastically.
The next night she sent me a text calling me over. When I arrived, she was nearly breathless with excitement.
“Orin, You were right,” she said. “A big group of people did arrive, but they didn’t walk into my part of the casino. Instead, they all walked into an elevator at the back of the building. I’m not sure where that goes.” She looked thoughtful. “It was weird. They looked… How can I say it? Desperate? Something about the whole situation was very off. I’m gonna check out the elevator tomorrow.”
I told her to be careful, though, to be honest, I was excited to hear about what she discovered. When I visited my parent’s house the next night, I found her two kids there alone. They told me that Selene had never returned from work.
I called all her friends, then all our neighbors, but no one had seen her since she left for work that morning. Our conversations regarding the casino flooded my mind, then a plan began to form.
Early the next morning I walked across town in my nicest pair of jeans and a button-up shirt. I pushed through the door to the casino and saw that Selene wasn’t lying. The place was all but deserted. Three dozen slot machines crowded the walls surrounding a few tables interspersed throughout the floor of the casino. The only players in the whole building were Bob and Donald, two locals.
I walked up to a nearby table where Bridget, a girl I’d gone to high school with, was shuffling cards. She broke into a grin when she saw me. “Hey Orin, you here for a few rounds of blackjack?”
“I wish,” I said. “No, I’m here to ask about Selene. She never made it home last night.”
Bridget’s expression darkened. “Really? Have you asked around?”
“I already called around. Have you seen her?”
She shook her head. “No, our schedules rarely line up. I’ll be sure to let you know if I--” Her eyes focused on something behind me, and she cut herself off.
I turned around to see the casino’s pit boss watching us both. He was a tall thin man in an impeccably clean black suit. When I turned back towards Bridget, she was looking down at the table and shuffling cards absent-mindedly.
“Well, if you hear anything, let me know,” I said.
She nodded, so I turned around and headed for the pit boss. I stuck out my hand. The temperature of his hand was so hot that I had to pull my hand away after a few seconds.
“Have… have you seen my sister Selene?” I asked. “She hasn’t been seen since her shift here yesterday.”
He smiled. “Sir, this floor is for players. You’re more than welcome to head to the tellers for chips, but barring that I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave.”
I stared at him for a long second before stalking towards the door. When I looked back, he was talking with Bridget.
I checked my watch. 8:55 AM, just as I’d planned. I walked around the back of the building and waited as the morning bus pulled around the building. I waited for the telltale hiss of the opening doors and the sound of people descending before I rounded the corner and joined the crowd. None of them paid any particular attention to me as I walked with them into the casino.
The crowd walked through a side door down a hallway to an elevator. Small groups of people entered the elevator as the rest of us waited for our turn. I shot a glance at the casino patrons, surprised at their diversity. There seemed to be people from all different countries and ethnicities. I heard one speaking Japanese and another speaking what sounded like an African language.
My turn came along with a few other patrons in the elevator. A sickly woman hobbled into the elevator beside me carrying an IV that was still connected to one of her veins. We piled in and rode up to the top.
The elevator rose for a few long seconds. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I steeled myself for something horrible. The elevator’s speaker let out a TING, then the doors opened.
We all walked out onto what looked like a standard casino. Another few dozen slot machines ringed the walls, but on this floor, they were almost all occupied by customers. I took in the scene, confused at why they’d have a ground floor that was almost completely empty when this place was almost--
Selene was dealing cards at a nearby table.
I jogged over and sat down at an open seat. None of the players around me paid me much attention.
“Selene!” I said. “Are you OK? Did you spend the night here last night?”
Her eyes were glassy and confused. She looked up at me with a dumb expression and didn’t respond to my question.
“Selene?” I asked.
“What’s your bet?” she asked me. “This table is for blackjack players only.”
“I…” I trailed off, looking at the players around me. None of them were betting with chips of any kind. “What’s the minimum bet?” I asked.
“Three years,” she responded.
“Three years then,” I said, not knowing what that referred to.
Selene nodded, then began dealing cards. I shot a look down at my hand. King and a 9. Selene dealt out cards for herself, showing a 9. I stood, then leaned forward again. “Should I call the police? Are you--”
“Congratulations,” she said tonelessly.
An almost impossibly warm hand grabbed my shoulder. I spun to see the pit boss I’d spoken to earlier. He gave an impressed smile. “Orin, was it? I’m impressed, truly. Would you mind if I had a word with you?”
I shot a look back at Selene who was dealing the next round of cards. Then I got to my feet, balling my hands into fists. “What did you do to her?”
The pit boss clasped his hands behind his back. “Nothing more, and nothing less than what I’m going to do to you. That is, offer you the chance to play.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
The pit boss nodded his head towards a nearby slot machine. A woman in a wheelchair pulled a lever and watched the flashing numbers spin. They exploded in a cacophony of sirens and flashing lights. “WINNER WINNER WINNER!” The machine screeched.
The woman in the wheelchair put her feet on the ground and stood up on a pair of wobbly legs that had clearly never been used before.
“As in any other casino,” the pit boss said, “you must wager for the chance to win.”
“She... won the use of her legs?” I asked, feeling light-headed. “Wait,” I said. “I played blackjack just now. ‘Three years,’ Selene told me. What does ‘three years’ mean?” I asked.
“Three years of life, of course. Did you win?”
My mouth felt dry. “I-- Yes, I won.”
He smiled warmly. “Congratulations. I hope you enjoy them. I can tell you from personal experience that watching the decades pass is a bore. Give it some time and you’ll be back to spend them.”
I watched the pit boss’s face. He couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me, and I was in my early thirties. I looked around at the casino. No one was playing with chips of any kind. “So what?” I asked. “I won years of life. That woman won the use of her legs. What else can a person win here?”
“Oh, almost anything. They can win almost anything you can imagine.”
A cold feeling settled in my stomach. “And what do they wager?”
His eyes flashed with greed. “Almost anything. They can wager almost anything you can possibly imagine. Anything equal in value to the item they want in return.” He nodded towards a nearby roulette table.
A man stood by the table, cradling his hands. “Another finger,” he called out. He only had three fingers remaining on his left hand. As I watched, the ball came to a stop, and another finger disappeared from his left hand.
The pit boss extended his hands. “Feel free to try any of our games. Bet and win whatever you’d like.” He reached out and snatched my hand. A feeling of intense warmth passed up my arm to my chest. “There,” he said. “I’ve even given you some house money to get you started. An extra decade of life, on me.”
I ripped my hand away, staring at him in horror. Then I looked back at Selene. Something clicked in my mind. “You offered her the chance to play. What did she want?” I asked.
“Her husband,” the pit boss said. “Quite the sad story. He died two years ago. She wanted him brought back to her.”
“What did she wager?” I asked.
“She wanted the chance to win a soul, the most valuable object in existence. I’m sure you can imagine what she needed to wager for the chance to win it. What she wagered is unimportant. The important question is: What do you want, Orin?”
I stared at Selene with a flat expression. “I’m sure you can imagine.”
His eyes flashed with greed again. “How wonderful. The casino could always make use of another dealer. Feel free to make your wager at any one of our games; I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of your night. Oh, and do take advantage of our waitresses. We always supply food and drink for ‘high rollers’.” He walked away.
I spent the next few hours trying to decide which game to play. I was going to be wagering my soul, so I wanted the highest chance possible. Slots and roulette were out. I’d done some reading online about counting cards, so I figured that blackjack gave me the best odds.
I walked up to Selene’s table and sat down. “Bet?” she asked with that same toneless voice. “Three years,” I said.
I spent the next hour or so doing my best to remember how to count cards. I knew that low cards added one to my count and high cards decreased it by one, but the casino used three decks. I had read something about how that was supposed to change my calculation, but I couldn’t quite remember how.
Every time I won a hand, I cursed myself for not putting everything on the line. Every time I lost, I breathed a prayer of thanks that I’d waited. And all the while, I kept track of the count.
I had lost fifteen years of life when the count finally reached +5.
“Bet?” Selene asked.
“I wager my soul so you can be free,” I said.
The table around me fell silent. Selene’s eyes flickered, but she showed no other emotion as she dealt the cards. I watched my first card, punching the air in excitement when I saw a Jack. My excitement turned to ash when my second card was a four. Fourteen.
I looked at her hand. One card was facedown, but the faceup card was a King. I swore loudly, staring down at my hands.
“Hit?” she asked. The entire table was silently watching me.
“Hit,” I said, not looking down. The table erupted in cheers. I looked down to see a 7 atop my two other cards. 21. Blackjack.
I looked at Selene who flipped over her facedown card to reveal a 9. 19. I won.
The glassy look left her eyes immediately. She looked around in surprise, then her eyes locked on mine. “Orin?” she asked, then almost immediately began to cry. The entire casino broke out in cheers.
I grabbed her hand and headed for the elevator. The doors had begun to close when the pit boss reached out with a hand to stop them.
“Congratulations,” he said, beaming. He seemed to be honestly excited.
“Shouldn’t you be upset?” I asked.
“Not at all. Casinos love it when we have big winners. It inspires the other players to make larger bets. I imagine I’ll gain two or three dealers before the night is through from your performance.”
“Great,” I said flatly. “Now let us go.”
“Not yet,” he said. “You didn’t just win, Orin. You got a blackjack. And blackjack pays out 1.5 times your bet. You won your sister’s soul and more.”
I stared, not sure what to say. “What are you saying? I won half a soul extra?”
The pit boss grinned wildly. “Just remember what I said. You’ll find living for decades and decades to be a boring experience. After a few centuries, you’ll be back to gamble that half a soul away. Congratulations!”
He removed his hand, and the elevator doors slammed shut.
I helped Selene back to her house. Her children were relieved. I watched them cry, then moved into the kitchen to start making dinner.
It’s been a few days since that experience. The casino is still out there, and buses full of people still arrive. I… I cut my hand pretty bad a few days later. When I checked it an hour later, it had already healed, no scar or anything. I’m not sure exactly what I won at that casino, but there’s no way I’m ever going back.
X
submitted by Worchester_St to nosleep [link] [comments]

10 More Overlooked Single Player Indie Games

Here’s a link to the first post with 10 other overlooked indie games.
Introduction
We're all familiar with the Hotline Miami's, Hollow Knight's, and Celeste's of the world. These are some of the indie games that hit the big time. Of course, for every one of these games, there's 100 other indie games that have been glossed over, relegated to a spot in a digital store few people will ever find themselves in. I wanted to bring attention to some of these lesser known indie games. I'm going to order them according to Metacritic Critic Ratings. Some of the games at the bottom have pretty low critic ratings. I personally disagree with the low scores of these games, but it's only fair that you hear from more than just me.
Price will include a link to the U.S. store page of the game. Price is in U.S. dollars.
1. Inertial Drift
2. Pumpkin Jack
3. Pato Box
4. Ultra Hat Dimension
5. Penarium
6. SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption
7. Tamashii
8. Daggerhood
9. The Bunker
10. Cybarian: The Time-Traveling Warrior
Have you played any of these games? What are some other overlooked single player indie games?
If you’re looking for more indie games to play, see my post here:
submitted by Underwhere_Overthere to xboxone [link] [comments]

20 Overlooked Single Player Indie Games

We're all familiar with the Hotline Miami's, Hollow Knight's, and Celeste's of the world. These are some of the indie games that hit the big time. Of course, for every one of these games, there's 100 other indie games that have been glossed over, relegated to a spot in a digital store few people will ever find themselves in. I wanted to bring attention to some of these lesser known indie games.
I'm going to order them according to Metacritic Critic Ratings. Some of the games at the bottom have pretty low critic ratings. I personally disagree with the low scores of these games, but it's only fair that you hear from more than just me. Keep in mind that games with only one or two User Ratings on Metacritic will not show the score. A game needs at least three User Ratings on Metacritic before the score will be shown. This is not the case for Critic Reviews.
Price will contain the U.S. PlayStation Store link to the game.
1. Hayfever
2. Valfaris
3. Four Sided Fantasy
4. Bleep Bloop
5. Horizon Shift ‘81
6. Daggerhood
7. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
8. Ultra Hat Dimension
9. Remothered: Tormented Fathers
10. Reverie
11. Inertial Drift
12. Cursed Castilla (Maldita Castilla EX)
13. Pato Box
14. The Count Lucanor
15. The Bunker
16. A Tale of Paper
17. Late Shift
18. SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption
19. Verlet Swing
20. Neon Drive
Conclusion
My top 5 on the list in order would be the following: (1.) Hayfever, (2.) Valfaris, (3.) Cursed Castilla: (Maldita Castilla EX), (4.) Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, and (5.) Bleep Bloop.
Have you played any of these games? What are some other overlooked single player indie games?
If you’re looking for more indie games to play, see my post here:
submitted by Underwhere_Overthere to PS5 [link] [comments]

Another 10 Overlooked Single Player Indie Games

There are also some links within the first link that discuss indie local multiplayer games as well.
Introduction
We're all familiar with the Hotline Miami's, Hollow Knight's, and Celeste's of the world. These are some of the indie games that hit the big time. Of course, for every one of these games, there's 100 other indie games that have been glossed over, relegated to a spot in a digital store few people will ever find themselves in. I wanted to bring attention to some of these lesser known indie games once again.
Details About the List
I'm going to order them according to Metacritic Critic Ratings. Steam is the only one on the list with all 10 games featured (Steam has 10 of them, Switch has 9 of them, PlayStation 4 has 7 of them, and Xbox One has 5 of them), but the Switch gets more reviews than the other platforms, so I will it use the Switch version of all the games for their review scores, except #8, where I will use the Steam version, since that’s the only version of it available. The two bottom games have pretty low critic ratings (60% with 1 Critic Review and 53% with 2 Critic Reviews). I personally disagree with the low scores of these two games, but it's only fair that you hear from more than just me. Keep in mind that games with only one or two User Ratings on Metacritic will not show the score. A game needs at least three User Ratings on Metacritic before the score will be shown. This is not the case for Critic Reviews.
Currently 9 of the games are on sale on Steam right now, and 5 of them are on sale on Switch. None of them are on sale on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One at the moment.
For the purpose of this post, I’m just going to stick with saying “achievements” and “getting all achievements” instead of “trophies” and “platinum trophy” since Steam has all 10 games on the list. You can basically substitute these with “trophies” and “platinum trophy” if you’re a PlayStation gamer. I will make mention of the two games on here that don’t include a platinum trophy however.
Platforms will include a link to the U.S. store page of the game for each platform. Price is in U.S. dollars.
1. Ultra Hat Dimension
2. Bot Vice
3. Valfaris
4. Inertial Drift
5. Golf Peaks
6. Horizon Shift ‘81
7. Pato Box
8. Primal Light
9. Tamashii
10. Neon Drive
Special shoutout to Valfaris which is my favorite game on the list and, again, one my favorite 2D run & guns ever.
Have you played any of these games? What are some other overlooked single player indie games?
submitted by Underwhere_Overthere to Games [link] [comments]

I was the doppleganger

I worked at a tattoo shop in Arizona, across the river from Laughlin NV. It was February and people were spending tax returns on tattoos, I don't remember the exact day but it was crazy busy. I got stuck with a family and tattooed until about 3am. They were generous, after all said and done I had $2000+ dollars. My wife had been waiting all night for me so in a spur of the moment decision we decided to go across the river to the casinos and spend money! I don't gamble, don't really drink and just never been interested in that stuff, but that night it sounded fun. As soon as we got out of the car at the first casino is when I noticed things were odd. The valet runs up to me and looks kinda confused why I'm in my car... like he even looked at my car and made a joke about "oh, this way you can probably just drive around". I was even more confused, I told him I would park my own car and did so. As we walked into the casino people were looking at me, like backing up and making room for me to walk by and nodding at me and just acting weird. My wife was like "WTF man? Why is everyone treating you like this?" At first I wrote it off to people just being nice and doing their jobs and whatnot. But it kept getting weirder... people kept staring at me and holding doors. My wife is asking me if I have some secret life or something?? It didn't register at the time, but one of the bartenders said "it's strange to see you here this time of day". It was like 4am, I thought it was small talk. For hours I gambled roulette and kept winning, I never played roulette in my life. All night/morning people kept staring at me, looking away when I locked eyes. I even like walked up to some dude that was looking at me and said "what's up?" And he was like " oh hey bro I just noticed you I'm sorry"...I was shocked, this guy was legit nervous to be talking to me. I'm not famous, or a gangster, or nothing. We thought maybe because I tattooed a lot of people, but I usually recognize clients and they always treat me like a friend. I saw this weird old slot machine that only gave away silver dollars, but it only took silver dollars. I was excited, so I went to find where I could get silver dollars to put in the machine and the cashier was like " wha?" I told her it was for the machine and she was adamant that there is no machine like that...I went back to find it and couldn't. It was gone... people started bumping into me and when I looked at them nobody cares anymore. I think I was the doppleganger, there were more little experiences but in a nutshell that's it. It seemed to end also when I noticed the daylight...I don't know...I've been thinking about it for a long time and it still bothers me. I don't look like anyone famous or infamous, I actually have a piercing through the bridge of my nose that makes me fairly unique and would be hard to get confused with someone else. Is this considered a glitch? Like I said there's more to it, I'm not sure if I'm the right place but I'll answer any questions I can. Thanks for your time.
submitted by GhostOfTheApocalypse to Glitch_in_the_Matrix [link] [comments]

I live in a small mining town in the mountains of Colorado. Someone is building a massive casino nearby, Pictures Included

I grew up in a small mountain town named Eureka. It was founded in the late 1800s during the gold rush, but after the mines dried up the town began its slow descent into decay. Half the houses are empty or abandoned now.
You can see a picture of the kind of houses here in Eureka:
Abandoned House
Non-abandoned House
When a massive construction project began nearby, it was the talk of the town for weeks. Why would they build something in a sleepy dying town like Eureka? It wasn’t until my sister Selene talked to a few construction workers that we discovered they were building a casino.
A casino up in the mountains, over two hours away from Denver. None of us could understand why they’d chosen here of all places. After a few months of work, the casino was done.
I took a picture of the town with the completed casino in the background to the right. The ten-story-structure sticks out like a sore thumb off in the distance.
Town+Casino
After the casino opened, they hired a few dozen members of the town, offering high paying jobs to work as dealers or cleaning staff. I was already employed as a firefighter, but my sister Selene got a job as a blackjack dealer. She’s a widow with two young kids, so the paycheck was a real lifesaver.
Still, something about the situation seemed too good to be true. The jobs over there paid far too well, and the management was far too accommodating. The fire station where I work is located high on a hill overlooking the town, so I began watching the casino from a distance each day.
I had initially thought that the casino was located in a terrible location, but I was apparently wrong. True, Eureka was hours from any major city, but despite that, a bus full of people arrived every morning and left every evening.
One night I was over at my parent’s house and had dinner with Selene and her kids. I asked her about her experience as a dealer.
“It’s Ok,” she said. “Just a little boring I guess.”
“Boring?” I asked. “I’m surprised you don’t have your hands full.”
“Why’s that?” she asked. “It’s like you said, Eureka’s too small. I never have people playing cards. The casino is almost always completely empty.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of that. If the place was always empty, what happened to the people who I’d seen arriving on buses? “I’ve been keeping an eye on the building,” I said. “A bus full of people typically arrives around 9 AM every day.”
“Really?” she asked, looking confused. “If that’s true, I’ve never seen them.
“I can see it from the fire station,” I said. “If you head out for a smoke break at 9 AM, you’ll probably see them arriving.”
“Interesting,” she said. “I’ll do that. If they’re being processed for their organs or something, I’ll let you know.” She laughed.
“Har har,” I said sarcastically.
The next night she sent me a text calling me over. When I arrived, she was nearly breathless with excitement.
“Orin, You were right,” she said. “A big group of people did arrive, but they didn’t walk into my part of the casino. Instead, they all walked into an elevator at the back of the building. I’m not sure where that goes.” She looked thoughtful. “It was weird. They looked… How can I say it? Desperate? Something about the whole situation was very off. I’m gonna check out the elevator tomorrow.”
I told her to be careful, though, to be honest, I was excited to hear about what she discovered. When I visited my parent’s house the next night, I found her two kids there alone. They told me that Selene had never returned from work.
I called all her friends, then all our neighbors, but no one had seen her since she left for work that morning. Our conversations regarding the casino flooded my mind, then a plan began to form.
Early the next morning I walked across town in my nicest pair of jeans and a button-up shirt. I pushed through the door to the casino and saw that Selene wasn’t lying. The place was all but deserted. Three dozen slot machines crowded the walls surrounding a few tables interspersed throughout the floor of the casino. The only players in the whole building were Bob and Donald, two locals.
I walked up to a nearby table where Bridget, a girl I’d gone to high school with, was shuffling cards. She broke into a grin when she saw me. “Hey Orin, you here for a few rounds of blackjack?”
“I wish,” I said. “No, I’m here to ask about Selene. She never made it home last night.”
Bridget’s expression darkened. “Really? Have you asked around?”
“I already called around. Have you seen her?”
She shook her head. “No, our schedules rarely line up. I’ll be sure to let you know if I--” Her eyes focused on something behind me, and she cut herself off.
I turned around to see the casino’s pit boss watching us both. He was a tall thin man in an impeccably clean black suit. When I turned back towards Bridget, she was looking down at the table and shuffling cards absent-mindedly.
“Well, if you hear anything, let me know,” I said.
She nodded, so I turned around and headed for the pit boss. I stuck out my hand. The temperature of his hand was so hot that I had to pull my hand away after a few seconds.
“Have… have you seen my sister Selene?” I asked. “She hasn’t been seen since her shift here yesterday.”
He smiled. “Sir, this floor is for players. You’re more than welcome to head to the tellers for chips, but barring that I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave.”
I stared at him for a long second before stalking towards the door. When I looked back, he was talking with Bridget.
I checked my watch. 8:55 AM, just as I’d planned. I walked around the back of the building and waited as the morning bus pulled around the building. I waited for the telltale hiss of the opening doors and the sound of people descending before I rounded the corner and joined the crowd. None of them paid any particular attention to me as I walked with them into the casino.
The crowd walked through a side door down a hallway to an elevator. Small groups of people entered the elevator as the rest of us waited for our turn. I shot a glance at the casino patrons, surprised at their diversity. There seemed to be people from all different countries and ethnicities. I heard one speaking Japanese and another speaking what sounded like an African language.
My turn came along with a few other patrons in the elevator. A sickly woman hobbled into the elevator beside me carrying an IV that was still connected to one of her veins. We piled in and rode up to the top.
The elevator rose for a few long seconds. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I steeled myself for something horrible. The elevator’s speaker let out a TING, then the doors opened.
We all walked out onto what looked like a standard casino. Another few dozen slot machines ringed the walls, but on this floor, they were almost all occupied by customers. I took in the scene, confused at why they’d have a ground floor that was almost completely empty when this place was almost--
Selene was dealing cards at a nearby table.
I jogged over and sat down at an open seat. None of the players around me paid me much attention.
“Selene!” I said. “Are you OK? Did you spend the night here last night?”
Her eyes were glassy and confused. She looked up at me with a dumb expression and didn’t respond to my question.
“Selene?” I asked.
“What’s your bet?” she asked me. “This table is for blackjack players only.”
“I…” I trailed off, looking at the players around me. None of them were betting with chips of any kind. “What’s the minimum bet?” I asked.
“Three years,” she responded.
“Three years then,” I said, not knowing what that referred to.
Selene nodded, then began dealing cards. I shot a look down at my hand. King and a 9. Selene dealt out cards for herself, showing a 9. I stood, then leaned forward again. “Should I call the police? Are you--”
“Congratulations,” she said tonelessly.
An almost impossibly warm hand grabbed my shoulder. I spun to see the pit boss I’d spoken to earlier. He gave an impressed smile. “Orin, was it? I’m impressed, truly. Would you mind if I had a word with you?”
I shot a look back at Selene who was dealing the next round of cards. Then I got to my feet, balling my hands into fists. “What did you do to her?”
The pit boss clasped his hands behind his back. “Nothing more, and nothing less than what I’m going to do to you. That is, offer you the chance to play.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
The pit boss nodded his head towards a nearby slot machine. A woman in a wheelchair pulled a lever and watched the flashing numbers spin. They exploded in a cacophony of sirens and flashing lights. “WINNER WINNER WINNER!” The machine screeched.
The woman in the wheelchair put her feet on the ground and stood up on a pair of wobbly legs that had clearly never been used before.
“As in any other casino,” the pit boss said, “you must wager for the chance to win.”
“She... won the use of her legs?” I asked, feeling light-headed. “Wait,” I said. “I played blackjack just now. ‘Three years,’ Selene told me. What does ‘three years’ mean?” I asked.
“Three years of life, of course. Did you win?”
My mouth felt dry. “I-- Yes, I won.”
He smiled warmly. “Congratulations. I hope you enjoy them. I can tell you from personal experience that watching the decades pass is a bore. Give it some time and you’ll be back to spend them.”
I watched the pit boss’s face. He couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me, and I was in my early thirties. I looked around at the casino. No one was playing with chips of any kind. “So what?” I asked. “I won years of life. That woman won the use of her legs. What else can a person win here?”
“Oh, almost anything. They can win almost anything you can imagine.”
A cold feeling settled in my stomach. “And what do they wager?”
His eyes flashed with greed. “Almost anything. They can wager almost anything you can possibly imagine. Anything equal in value to the item they want in return.” He nodded towards a nearby roulette table.
A man stood by the table, cradling his hands. “Another finger,” he called out. He only had three fingers remaining on his left hand. As I watched, the ball came to a stop, and another finger disappeared from his left hand.
The pit boss extended his hands. “Feel free to try any of our games. Bet and win whatever you’d like.” He reached out and snatched my hand. A feeling of intense warmth passed up my arm to my chest. “There,” he said. “I’ve even given you some house money to get you started. An extra decade of life, on me.”
I ripped my hand away, staring at him in horror. Then I looked back at Selene. Something clicked in my mind. “You offered her the chance to play. What did she want?” I asked.
“Her husband,” the pit boss said. “Quite the sad story. He died two years ago. She wanted him brought back to her.”
“What did she wager?” I asked.
“She wanted the chance to win a soul, the most valuable object in existence. I’m sure you can imagine what she needed to wager for the chance to win it. What she wagered is unimportant. The important question is: What do you want, Orin?”
I stared at Selene with a flat expression. “I’m sure you can imagine.”
His eyes flashed with greed again. “How wonderful. The casino could always make use of another dealer. Feel free to make your wager at any one of our games; I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of your night. Oh, and do take advantage of our waitresses. We always supply food and drink for ‘high rollers’.” He walked away.
I spent the next few hours trying to decide which game to play. I was going to be wagering my soul, so I wanted the highest chance possible. Slots and roulette were out. I’d done some reading online about counting cards, so I figured that blackjack gave me the best odds.
I walked up to Selene’s table and sat down. “Bet?” she asked with that same toneless voice. “Three years,” I said.
I spent the next hour or so doing my best to remember how to count cards. I knew that low cards added one to my count and high cards decreased it by one, but the casino used three decks. I had read something about how that was supposed to change my calculation, but I couldn’t quite remember how.
Every time I won a hand, I cursed myself for not putting everything on the line. Every time I lost, I breathed a prayer of thanks that I’d waited. And all the while, I kept track of the count.
I had lost fifteen years of life when the count finally reached +5.
“Bet?” Selene asked.
“I wager my soul so you can be free,” I said.
The table around me fell silent. Selene’s eyes flickered, but she showed no other emotion as she dealt the cards. I watched my first card, punching the air in excitement when I saw a Jack. My excitement turned to ash when my second card was a four. Fourteen.
I looked at her hand. One card was facedown, but the faceup card was a King. I swore loudly, staring down at my hands.
“Hit?” she asked. The entire table was silently watching me.
“Hit,” I said, not looking down. The table erupted in cheers. I looked down to see a 7 atop my two other cards. 21. Blackjack.
I looked at Selene who flipped over her facedown card to reveal a 9. 19. I won.
The glassy look left her eyes immediately. She looked around in surprise, then her eyes locked on mine. “Orin?” she asked, then almost immediately began to cry. The entire casino broke out in cheers.
I grabbed her hand and headed for the elevator. The doors had begun to close when the pit boss reached out with a hand to stop them.
“Congratulations,” he said, beaming. He seemed to be honestly excited.
“Shouldn’t you be upset?” I asked.
“Not at all. Casinos love it when we have big winners. It inspires the other players to make larger bets. I imagine I’ll gain two or three dealers before the night is through from your performance.”
“Great,” I said flatly. “Now let us go.”
“Not yet,” he said. “You didn’t just win, Orin. You got a blackjack. And blackjack pays out 1.5 times your bet. You won your sister’s soul and more.”
I stared, not sure what to say. “What are you saying? I won half a soul extra?”
The pit boss grinned wildly. “Just remember what I said. You’ll find living for decades and decades to be a boring experience. After a few centuries, you’ll be back to gamble that half a soul away. Congratulations!”
He removed his hand, and the elevator doors slammed shut.
I helped Selene back to her house. Her children were relieved. I watched them cry, then moved into the kitchen to start making dinner.
It’s been a few days since that experience. The casino is still out there, and buses full of people still arrive. I… I cut my hand pretty bad a few days later. When I checked it an hour later, it had already healed, no scar or anything. I’m not sure exactly what I won at that casino, but there’s no way I’m ever going back.
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submitted by Worchester_St to WorchesterStreet [link] [comments]

Unique Relapse - Need Support/Feedback

Hello,
I am a gambling addict. I recognized my addiction 10 years ago but didn’t acknowledge it and try to get better until 5 years ago.
After struggling to stay gamble free for 2 years, I finally was able to stop completely with support of family and friends around me. I opened up to them and in return was blessed with love and empathy.
Last week I was 15 days away from 3 years straight gamble free. For business I had to travel to a different state, and there was a casino open near my hotel that my company put me in. I wanted to go in just to see how it felt and prove I was disconnected. This was a mistake.
I sat at a slot and immediately couldn’t help myself. I convinced myself that I needed to play to prove that it wouldn’t feel the same. I know that from an outside perspective this rationalization sounds utterly foolish, but in the moment I tricked my mind to where it made sense.
I put in a $100 bill and hit the max bet for a $20 spin. Nothing. Hit it again, and the feature triggers and goes to the bonus wheel.
The wheel stops. The machine screams and the lights go haywire. I hear people around me clapping. I hit the Mega Jackpot for $163,000.
Now, I was smart enough to take the net winnings after tax and get out of there as fast as I could. Since then I have paid off every dollar of debt I had and I still have a ton of money leftover just sitting in my checking account. My credit report will now show $0 debt. Credit cards and student loans gone.
I’m still in shock. While it’s incredible to be debt free and have some real cash on hand, I feel like I didn’t deserve this and I should’ve been punished, not rewarded. I haven’t gambled since and I am currently 6 days clean after the relapse.
My grandpa, who is super supportive, told me to take it as a blessing from God. He said that I should use it as motivation to “go out a winner” and if I ever feel like gambling again to just remember I’ll never win more than I did this time.
Guys, I’m conflicted emotionally and mentally. I’m afraid of myself and how easily I relapsed after almost 3 years. I’m disappointed and afraid. I keep thinking about what could’ve happened if I didn’t get ridiculously lucky and win the jackpot and if I just kept losing. I would’ve probably played until I lost it all, as I used to until 3 years ago.
I used to say, “one day I’ll hit the jackpot and all my problems will be solved.” What sucks is I had just come to terms with how sick and delusional that sounded when I’d say it. The issue is, it actually happened now, and I’m in the best financial place I’ve ever been. I should feel on top of the world.
I know not to go back. I need to hear from others though. I need advice to help me stay strong and to help me forgive myself. Please.
submitted by XxBlackHoleSunxX to problemgambling [link] [comments]

Day-2: Cruising Memories are all we have!!!

Overview: This is my second installment of my memories of cruising. I am doing this for my own sanity and to remind everyone of our positive times in the past and what the future might bring. During these troubling times with politics and a global pandemic, focusing on something we all consider to be positive is good therapy. Add in your comments of how or what you would do on your day-two when cruising. Lets have some fun with this and leave our negativity out. Try just to have fun in our thoughts.
Disclaimer: I am retired 63, a stroke victim yet healthy now, gone on 24 cruises, and spoiled to the core. My reference to the NCL Haven™ is not meant to show what I can afford or I am better than anyone else. It is just my personal favorite experiences. Truth be told, my best cruise was my first. That was 40 years ago, in the cheapest inside cabin on the SS Norway. It was my honeymoon and it was magical. My next cruise in the end of May 2021, will be my 41st wedding anniversary on the same cruise line, now called NCL with my Adult Children. A full circle over 40 + Years.
Day 2: Cruise Memories
06:45 AM: I just can’t sleep in today, just can’t. Shower and in-suite coffee on the balcony. All you can see and hear are lovely waves. This is what I have been waiting for all year.
07:30 AM: First Breakfast in the Haven Restaurant. We start with French Press Coffee, of course. Appetizer of smoked salmon from the side fresh buffet, those danishes are calling my name though. With a huge smile, I order my favorite Breakfast, Steak & Over Easy Eggs skip the potato’s. Whole wheat toast with grape jelly. At the end, I always get one single danish. I am trying to not gain my normal 10+ lbs. from this cruise. I am quite clear in my own mind, I will fail.
09:00 AM: Explore the ship. Even after 24 cruises, going deck to deck is so much fun for me. People are just getting up. Still easy to get an elevator and no real crowds in the main walkways. Important to me to find the cigar bar for later enjoyment and there it is next to the Mojito Bar. Also, where is the slot tournament to be held at 01:00 PM, priorities folks. Where is the gym and finally where all the hot tubs on board.
10:30 AM: Gym. 30-minutes on the treadmill. Attempt to allow a bit of those food calories to get used. I know by day three, the exercise will be doomed. All I can think about is going down those huge water slides and driving the electric go carts. My hope is the lines are not to long. On my way back to my suite, I hear that wonderful sound of metal drums by the main pool. The smile begins to become a part of my day, as it always does on past cruises. Entering my suite, my family asks where I have been. I tell them and they are disappointed I did not take them with me. What I see is none of them have even gotten out of bed yet.
12:00 PM: Lunch by the Haven Pool another favorite pastime. Time for the best cheese burger on any cruise ship. No bun, of course. Really, no bun. French Fries YES, bun no? My wife orders a bottle of wine and takes half of it goes back to the room. God love that upgrade to the Premium Plus Drink Package. My wife loves ordering a bottle vs. a glass. It is a vacation isn’t it. This was her plan and I support it. She loves wine in the suite for night time balcony viewing.
01:00 PM: Slot Tournament, my entire family is entered, it is a tradition. We learned to have a few drinks first, because it is so stressful. We always play and never win. This year, my wife whom never gambles makes it to round two. We are so proud of her and consider that a victory. Since I am in the casino anyway, where is that “Buffalo Gold” machine. I feel the cash leaving my wallet forever. Why do I watch those YouTube Slot Guru’s. They are not good for my pocketbook.
02:30 PM: A littler poorer yet still happy, I get ready for my first water slide experience. Every cruise I do the same thing. I find someone whom is a afraid to do the water slide, and talk them into doing it with me. My record for number of consecutive slides is 10. The issue are those darn stairs, I am no spring chicken anymore. All the kids think I am funny because I am as excited as they are to slide. My last victim was my wife who became a huge fan.
04:00 PM: Did I hear “BINGO” or was it “Deal or No Deal”. It is like a magnet for me. The crowds, the joy of watching someone WIN. I debate myself. Do I start drinking NOW or hold off until right before dinner. Hold off today, smart move. I go back to the suite through the casino watching a older woman (that is saying a lot, I am 63) get a jackpot on the machine that took all my money earlier. Happy for her though, kind of.
05:30 PM: There are some ship snacks waiting on the table in the suite, which is always different every day. Today it is those world famous chocolate covered strawberries. Time to clean up and dress for dinner and the show. My wife as usually, is looking at the sun burn she got sitting on the deck and saying, “I think I over did it a bit.” I notice she is in a very happy mood and the bottle of wine in the room is out. I ask her when she started drinking? She smiles and tells me, 12:00 PM, at lunch. Stupid question on my part. I am the light weight in my family on drinking. However, when I get serious, I am serious. Pre-Dinner drinks on the balcony, it is so lovely.
07:00 PM: Dinner tonight is a specialty restaurant. My habit is to go to the steak place the first night. Martini shaken not stirred, slightly dirty with two blue cheese stuffed olives. Shrimp cocktail, Fresh Bread with really good butter, Blue Cheese Wedge and a Rib Eye Medium Rare Plus. I am so full, I simply can’t eat all the fully loaded potato. Maybe a few bits. I have to sit for a while and have some Coffee with Baileys. I am feeling no pain and starting to relax a bit. New York Cheese cake is the finale. “There is cheating and then there is Cheese Cake!”
09:30 PM: I know I am tired because I would usually be in bed by now. The food, drink and excitement of the day is telling my body, pass on the show. I used to listen to myself, not anymore. I will get my second wind shortly and so will you. The show which on the first night is usually a production. We always sit in the last row on the end by the door. We have seen some fantastic and not so fantastic shows. We are not expecting much. Then the music starts and it is all Latin dancing. 90-minutes has never go so quick. This show was incredible. My wife for the first time was on her feet doing a standing ovation.
11:00 PM: This is when my wife and I start to argue. She wants to party some more, I want to chill in the room. Translation, go to sleep. I know her, the moment she hits the pillow, with the sun she got that day, add the food and drink, that is all she wrote. We get to the suite, on the desk are the passes for the excursion we are taking in the morning, I love that. Never gets old. I, just want to dream again about my next day’s breakfast of Steak and Eggs. Tomorrow I add a waffle I thing. We attempt to look at the agenda for the next day however never make it more then 10-minutes before the waves put us to sleep.
Perfect second day in my book.
submitted by sthrngary02 to Cruise [link] [comments]

I really need advice on slot machines

So, I've played slot machines hundreds of times, and I have never left with a happy face on. I don't go with a lot of money, because I'm used to always losing it.
When I go gambling, I make very low-ball bets, because if I bet higher, usually all my money vanishes before I get to half of my cigarette.
Any time I win something, I either win a pathetic amount, or I have lost more than twice the "BIG WIN" beforehand. Which ends with me wanting a bigger win, and gambling it all away.
I feel like the casino chains in my country have already made an algorithm according to my loser stats, and everywhere I go, they are set to rob me. Am I doing something wrong, or am I just not lucky?
I know it sounds stupid to ask, but is there any strategy for better results?
When is it best to switch games?
When can I risk more to win more?
How often should I change my bets ?
How much is good to bet, compared to the pocket money I have prepared?
I know this is a small community, but I really hope someone sees this post and gives me advice.
submitted by ludkopro to gambling [link] [comments]

How HUT mirrors a casino and drives gambling addiction

I repost this every year to try to help those spending more than they would like on HUT and to educate newer players on this issue before it becomes a problem. A lot of people do the majority of their spending in the first month or two so it's good to talk about now pretty soon before the next iteration releases.
You can be a whale of a spender, free to play, or anything in between and that's fine as long as you're okay with it and it's not negatively affecting your life. Some people would rather rip packs to improve a team they'll use all year instead of blowing $30 on a night out at a bar or movie or whatever. The other side to that is that I've personally seen people spend over $10,000 in a single year on coin sales and over $800 on a single card. I've seem people sell cards for rent money. The important thing is to honestly assess where you're at, what you want, what this pack will actually get you, and what you're buying.
Facts:
Here's what you can do to frame it correctly in your brain
  • Remove your stored credit card from your account. This will force you to type in the numbers if you decide you want a pack. This extra time gives your brain a minute to ponder the decision.
  • Better yet you can buy a PSN card BEFORE you start, which has the value you want to spend.
  • Best is probably buying coins, then buying packs with those. More bang for your buck and a clear stopping point.
  • Keep track of how much you spend as you go through the year. Make yourself write your new purchase on this sheet before you buy, and make yourself view the yearly total. $5 and here and $5 there add up over time but are individually easy to not notice.
  • All this content will be GONE in a year or less. On average, even if you sell coins, you're likely to get maybe 5-10% back depending on when you sell.
  • If you're having a hard time not getting excited about packs and browse from a full browser, hide pack pull flaired posts.
  • If you have a gambling problem, get help. 1-800-522-4700 is the number for the national gambling hotline in the US. Here are some Canadian resources. I've heard of people not making rent but buying packs, and I've heard people blow over $2,000 on packs. This shit can get real, fast.
I think it's important that people understand the realities before buying packs. It's like a raffle/lottery, sure you could win a fancy McDavid (or a smaller prize), but you're way more likely to get something that won't even help your team let alone fit on your team.
If you're determined to get that new player you get a much better return buying coins from a triple checked regular seller (/hutcoinsales). You have to be sure who you're talking to, and that they've been reliable for a very long time, but at least you're paying for more than unrealized hope. I'd say on average in my experience you get at least 3x the value buying coins than you receive on average buying packs. Coins are hard to buy at the beginning of the year though FYI.
Here's a good video about microtransactions and their history, if you feel like being angry today
Upvote it or don't, karma is not the point. Sticky it and downvote the shit out of it. Hope all is well with all of you! If something is outdated let me know, I haven't bought the game this year or for the past few years.
submitted by anonmarmot to NHLHUT [link] [comments]

TIL that many casinos try to avoid making you ever have to turn in a right angle by design, as such a hard turn forces people to call upon the decision-making parts of their brain; something that casinos naturally want to avoid.

TIL that many casinos try to avoid making you ever have to turn in a right angle by design, as such a hard turn forces people to call upon the decision-making parts of their brain; something that casinos naturally want to avoid. submitted by barnebymcboblam to todayilearned [link] [comments]

The Call from the Deep

I held up my boarding pass and walked through the gate. My wife, Harper, was right ahead of me, and we both were so loaded with bags and suitcases that we could barely fit between the doorways. Our 10th anniversary was in a couple of days. We both had come into agreement that there was no better way to celebrate than to go on an all-expense-paid cruise to Hawaii.
As we made it up to the deck, we marveled at all the entertainment. There was a band playing to greet us. Pools, water slides, mini-golf, a drive-in sized screen that was displaying boarding information, bars, and restaurants, and that was just what we could see while walking in! This was definitely the right choice for our anniversary vacation. I couldn’t wait to get these bags unloaded and start to enjoy ourselves.
We went into the doors that led to the cabins. There was another beautiful bar down below us. There was a sports bar to the left showing the games on different screens and a small library to our right. Before we made it to the cabins, there was a coffee bar that served specialty coffees and desserts. If religion has it right, I hope that heaven is something like this. You couldn’t walk through a door anywhere without finding something exciting.
Once we made it to our cabin, we dropped all our bags and looked at each other with stars in our eyes. I pulled my wife close for a kiss and then kept my arms around her. I asked eagerly about how we should begin.
“Well, what should we do first? The casino? The arcade?”
She smirked before replying.
“Such a man, don’t forget about the fine dining at 6, followed by the show at the Theatre.”
I drew back and acted faux offended.
“Are you insinuating that I have no culture? I made our reservations before we even boarded, don’t worry. Dinner isn’t for a long time though, how about we go get some of those tacos and a coffee to get ourselves going.”
“Now you’re speaking my language.” She replied with a grin.
“Let’s unpack later. I am starving, and I think that coffee bar right there makes caramel macchiatos.”
Her eyes lit up yet again as I grabbed her hand, and we rushed towards the door. The coffee bar did have macchiatos, which I got with an extra shot of espresso. She ordered a frozen drink that was more sweetness than coffee, and we made our way back onto the deck where the tacos awaited.
The weather was beautiful. It was Fall time, and the sun was just warm enough to be inviting, accompanied by the blissful breeze that blew along the top of the deck. As we drew near to Tito’s Taco Shop, we heard the captain coming through the loudspeakers announcing takeoff. He reminded us about the mandatory safety meeting in a couple of hours and then wished us to have a great time aboard the ship.
It was still strange to be in large groups of people without wearing a mask. The pandemic was finally eradicated once the vaccines were distributed. The cruise and tourism industries were hit hard, as were many others. It seemed that people were at last willing to come back out again, and there was no shortage of cruise-goers ready for a trip to the islands.
I had my phone out and was looking up things to do in Honolulu for the days that we were in port. Scuba diving was a must. I had heard that sometimes you could see sharks or even hold an octopus on your hand if you got lucky enough. I wanted to do some hiking near the volcanoes if we had time. All the spam was going to be strange, but as much as they cook with it, I bet they were able to make it taste like a delicacy.
They were in the process of building a new aquarium. It looked like it was going to be a huge one. Sadly, it did not look like it would be done in time for us to check it out. The black sands beach looked incredible, though. Instead of sand, it said that the whole beach was covered in smooth black lava rocks. We would definitely have to make a stop there.
“Ethan! Do you want salsa on your tacos? Chicken or steak?”
I put my phone away and looked at the meats before responding and did so to the guy who was making them as he finished up my wife’s two glorious looking tacos.
“I’ll take one of both with some of that green salsa. Thank you!”
All the free tacos that you could eat, why couldn’t life always be like that?
“Let’s sit over there by the side, so we can watch the takeoff,” Harper said, before taking a big sip of her frozen coffee.
We took a seat and took in the last sight of land that we would see for about 4 days. Once we arrived, we would tour the different islands, stopping at each port and having a day to explore. There were some people on land waving towards the ship. We joined many others who were near the side waving back. I couldn’t help but feel bad for all of those poor people stuck on the land.
“Bon Voyage to us, I guess.”
I held up my coffee for a cheers, and Harper returned the gesture. Her face was glowing. I couldn’t remember seeing her so happy since the day of our wedding.
“This is really going to be a nice break from reality.” She said as she picked up her taco to take her first bite.
“Yeah, it will. Nothing like this in the world.”
We took our time, enjoying each bite as our view of the coastline became a thing of the past. When we were finished, we looked into each other’s eyes. I reached across the table to hold her hand. She sounded a bit anxious as she spoke.
“It is a lot to take in, isn’t it? There is so much to do that I’m afraid of missing out on something. Where should we go first?”
I squeezed her hand and spoke in a reassuring tone.
“We have plenty of time to take it all in. Let’s just make sure to relax and do whatever makes us happy. It will all work itself out.”
Once we had our fill of gazing into the ocean, we decided that we would head back to the room and get unpacked, while we waited for the safety orientation. The time flew by, and before we knew it, they were calling our section over the loudspeaker.
We arrived with all the other passengers and waited for a moment until the crew member made it so we could begin. They gave us the spiel about the life jackets. They explained how the evacuation process works in case of a problem and let us hear a sample of the siren that would be played if there was an emergency.
I was zoning out and staring out of the window. We were near the bottom of the ship, and you could see the water moving beside us. It put me in a bit of a trance, and I kind of lost myself in it for a moment. I was snapped out of it when I saw something I couldn’t quite comprehend.
It happened pretty fast, and most of the people were looking at the crew member as he spoke. I could have been mistaking, but It looked like a giant tentacle had moved by the window and curled out of sight.
I looked around to see if anyone else had seen what I thought I just saw. There was a teenaged boy who looked excited and shocked. He was tugging at his father’s sleeve and explaining something to him. He seemed to brush him off and looked frustrated at the interruption. Everyone else was paying attention to the speech and had apparently not seen a thing.
Harper noticed how shaken I was and asked me quietly if everything was alright. I shook it off and said I would tell her about it later. We sat through the rest of the orientation. Nothing else went by the window, other than the waves being made by the ship.
As we arrived back on the deck, we were grabbing a drink from the tiki-themed bar. Harper chose one of those blue drinks with the little umbrella on top. After what I had seen, I opted for a straight glass of their best scotch. I had explained my story to her, and she was busy trying to figure out what it could have been that I saw.
“So, you’re sure it was all the way up by the window? Even at that lower level, that must be pretty high up from the water. Maybe it was something that crawled up the side, and it just seemed like it was larger because of forced-perspective?”
I took a big sip of my scotch and shook my head in confusion.
“Yeah, I mean, maybe. I really don’t know.”
She looked as if a light bulb went off in her head, and she shot back a smart remark.
“You’ve been reading a bunch of that H. P. Lovecraft stuff again, haven’t you? I’m sure it wasn’t Cthulhu if that’s what you are thinking.”
I laughed and felt my tension release.
“No, it’s not that. I just thought it was weird, that’s all. Enough about that, let’s figure out what we’re going to do until the formal dinner and play tonight.”
She responded with a grin.
“I seem to remember someone mentioning the arcade and the casino.”
I must have looked like a kid on Christmas morning because she burst out laughing. We finished our drinks and made our way past the large screen that was now cycling through reminders of all the different events that you could attend. Night club, comedy club, it seemed like there was no end to the number of things you could do on this ship.
We walked through the casino that was already bustling with cruise-goers. It looked like a good time. They even had versions of those toy cranes that were set up to pick up huge wads of cash. That might be the next stop, but I had my eyes set on the zombie shooter game with two green guns. The arcade was right past the casino and was full of all kinds of games to keep us entertained.
Not as many people were eager to jump straight for the arcade apparently. Harper and I had the whole place to ourselves. I went to the coin machine to get out some tokens. There was a door that read “Staff Only” right by the machine. I heard a loud slamming noise that caught my attention, even over the music that was playing in the arcade. I leaned in a little and heard a heated conversation on the other side.
“This is so fucked up. I can’t believe that they got loose. They need to tell all of the people!”
“Can you imagine the chaos that would cause? I get where you are coming from, trust me. It’s better this way, though.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right… People would be going crazy.”
The door opened, and I jumped as I was still leaning in to eavesdrop. This must have been apparent to the two kids who walked out because they looked a bit frightened and then hurried right past me. I grabbed the tokens out of the machine and walked over to the machine where my wife was waiting.
“You look like you just saw a ghost or something. Don’t tell me some fish people are walking around on board now.”
I couldn’t even fake a laugh or smile. I explained what I had just heard as I put the coins into the machine and started up the game. She did not seem concerned about the new development.
“They could have been talking about a mechanical issue or something. Try not to worry too much. We deserve to have the time of our lives on this trip. I don’t want you to start to obsess on this and lose sight of why we are here.”
I shrugged at this and answered in a resigned tone.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right. Worrying isn’t going to fix anything anyway. Could you please start taking out some of these zombies, though? I’m carrying the whole game over here. You have a power-up to use, hit the red button.”
She smacked me with the gun for talking trash, but the mood felt much lighter after that. Before long, we grew tired of the arcade and decided to play a few games at the casino. I have never been the best card player, and she was no better than me. This being the case, we opted for the giant money claw machine.
I swear that both of us grabbed a stack a handful of times each. The claw would never hold its grip, though. Feeling more than a little bit scammed, we decided to blow a bit of time at the slots until we had to go get ready for dinner. As soon as we sat down, the person who went on the money claw right behind us exclaimed loudly as the machine lit up and started to make a loud ringing noise. I looked over to Harper and gestured towards him.
“That seems about right, huh? We pump fifty dollars into that thing, and he walks away with a jackpot after one.”
“Such is life.” She responded as she pumped some tokens into the slot machine.
I couldn’t help but hear two guys on some machines behind us, as they were beginning to get a bit rowdy with each other.
“You tryin’ to say I don’t know what I saw man?”
His friend responded quickly.
“No, no, no, man. I’m not trying to say you’re seeing things or whatever else. I’m just saying that it’s crazy. There is no way it can be right!”
After this, the first man shot up out of his seat, knocking over his stool as he did. This caused quite the scene, and many people were starting to gaze in the direction now.
“Yeah, that’s alright. You think whatever the hell you want. I’m gonna go find someone to talk to about it right now!”
He stormed off, leaving his friend looking a bit shell-shocked and embarrassed. Harper looked toward me, and as if reading her mind, I pushed my seat back away from the machine.
“Yeah, let’s get out of here. We need to get ready for dinner.”
She raised her eyebrows in surprise at what we had just witnessed and responded.
“Sounds good to me. I haven’t won anything anyway. Let’s go.”
I looked back towards the guy’s friend, who he left standing there. After considering it for a moment, I leaned in towards my wife.
“You go ahead, I’ll catch up with you in just a second.”
She looked a bit frustrated but did not fight it.
“Hurry up, I want to make sure we get a good seat. It’s going to take us a while to get ready.”
She kissed me on the cheek and took off towards the deck, which led over towards the cabins. I walked up towards the man who was about to walk off before I caught his attention.
“Excuse me, sir? I overheard you and your friend. What was it that he thinks he saw?”
He looked at me warily. It was clear that he really didn’t want to discuss the matter.
“Look, he’s usually not like that, you know? I don’t know what’s gotten into him, honestly.”
I shook my head. He obviously didn’t understand why I was asking.
“No, I saw something strange as well. I’m not trying to say your friend is going crazy at all. I was just wondering what it is that he was saying he saw.”
This seemed to unnerve him more than help calm his nerves. He looked around to make sure nobody was listening in.
“Man, he was saying that he saw a giant fucking octopus, bro. Like, 30 feet long or so is how he was describing it. It’s ridiculous, there is no way they would allow something like that on one of these ships.”
My heart dropped all the way to my feet. I covered my mouth, and I think he could tell by my reaction that what he said had rocked me to the core. I stammered and managed a weak reply as horror rushed through my body.
“I..I… On the boat??”
He nodded and looked at me with the same type of concern he had been showing to his friend. My face must have been as white as a sheet at this point.
“Thanks.”
I took off out of the door, in a huge rush to catch up with Harper. I was looking around in a panic, my heart racing and ready to beat right out of my chest. I was about to just take off to the room when I heard Harper’s voice.
“Ethan! Over here, I grabbed some hot tea.”
I saw her over by the edge of the deck, waving me over. I ran up to her and could hardly focus.
“I thought you needed something to help you relax, and it looks like I was right. What are you freaking out about right now?”
I tried to collect my thoughts and was going to respond when she pointed behind me and cut me off.
“Hey, isn’t that the guy that was just going nuts in the casino?”
I turned around, and the man was being dragged towards a door that was marked “Employees Only”. Two larger deckhands were pulling him that way, each with a tight grip on one of his arms. He was fighting hard to try and break their hold and calling out for help. As they made it through the door with the man, I grabbed Harper by the shoulders and looked into her eyes.
“We have to go. Let’s get to the room, I don’t want to explain out here.”
She nodded, and we made our way towards the cabins. Once we were in our own cabin, she put down the hot teas on our dresser and walked right up to me with an exasperated look on her face.
“Babe, what in the heck is going on right now? This isn’t about the freaking tentacle that you saw out the window, is it?”
I looked shiftily around the room and towards our view of the ocean.
“Yes… I mean, no… Well, not really, anyway.”
“You have got to calm down. Just take a deep breath and explain.”
I did as she suggested and took a long deep breath to collect my thoughts. I told her about what the guy’s friend had said back at the casino. She made the connection between this and the man being dragged off the deck against his will. I also explained what I heard from the crew members when we were at the arcade. I could tell she was beginning to take what I was saying seriously.
I looked off into a corner as I made a connection. It seemed like a bit of a stretch to me, but it was the only thing I could think of. I know that she wouldn’t judge me at this point if it sounded a bit outlandish. After thinking it over for a moment, I decided to tell her what I was thinking.
“When I was looking for things to do in Honolulu earlier, there was an advertisement for a new aquarium that was coming soon. One of the main attractions was that they were going to have a bunch of Giant Pacific Octopi.
I didn’t think about it until now, but what if that is what is on this ship? Let me google it really quick, I had never heard of that type of octopus, so I didn’t think much of it.”
I got the search pulled up and nodded in a cold understanding before continuing.
“This is exactly what that guy was describing. I don’t know why they would use a cruise ship to deliver something like that. It’s the only thing that makes any sense right now, though.”
Harper was looking at the google search thoughtfully and responded.
“I mean, I guess that these were two of the hardest-hit economies during the pandemic, tourism, and cruise ships. It makes some kind of twisted sense that they would come together to try and help each other out. Octopi are known to be very mischievous, even when they aren’t the size of a freaking semi-trailer.”
She made a good point. Nothing had really made sense for a few years now with how crazy the world had been. This made as much sense as anything else when it was put into perspective. I just shook my head in amazement and looked towards her.
“Well, what do we do from here?”
“I know this is crazy, but I’m sure they will have a handle on those things. They would not have arranged to have them on board and not prepared for the possibility that they could escape.
I say we get ready and go to dinner as we had planned. We don’t want to spend our whole 10th-anniversary cruise holed-up in the cabin. Even if all this crazy guesswork is correct, and that is what the guy from the casino saw, I’m sure that they have everything under control.”
I pressed my fingers against my eyes and tried to wrap my mind around everything. I may have been scared out of my mind, but she was right. Our best bet was to hope that it was all under control and at least try to enjoy our time on the ship. This was not going to happen again anytime soon, if ever.
“Yeah. Let’s do that, I agree. Let’s just get dressed and try to have a good time. I’m sure if it was too bad, everyone would be on lockdown or something.”
She brightened up a bit with my saying this. We both went into our luggage and began to start the process of getting changed into our formal dining attire. Before long, I was tying the knot in my tie, and she was putting the final touches on her hair. I walked up behind her in the mirror and held her by the shoulders.
“You look incredible. Let’s go and have the time of our lives.”
She gave me a big smile, and I pulled her in for a kiss. I backed up and held out my arm towards her. As she grabbed onto it, we made our way for the door.
The formal dining room was the most luxurious area on the ship by far. Chandeliers hung from the ceiling. There were large wine racks along many of the walls, and the entire dining room was walled in by the most beautiful windows that I had ever seen. There was an ornate window on the ceiling as well. It was just beginning to get dark, and I was sure that soon we would be able to see the stars all across the sky.
The waiter walked up and asked what we would like to drink. He was dressed in a black vest with a bow tie and a white shirt. I told him that we would take a bottle of wine that he recommended. I also asked him to give me a recommendation for my meal. Once Harper heard his suggestion of parmesan encrusted lamb with asparagus, she decided that she would follow suit.
He brought out some bread with olive oil as a complimentary appetizer to go with our wine. As he poured our first glasses and set the bottle down, I grabbed my glass of wine and held it up toward my beautiful wife. She looked every bit as lovely as the day of our wedding, and I was flooded with a flurry of emotions as I said my toast.
“Here is to 10 amazing years. Every one of them has been an adventure, and I look forward to every year that I’ll be lucky enough to spend with you as we continue that adventure.”
She smiled and blushed ever so slightly as she reached her glass to clink off of mine. We both took a sip, and she responded in a relieved manner.
“That’s the spirit, it is starting to actually feel like a relaxing vacation.”
“Hey, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? It’s so nice to have a break from work, housework, and all the monotony of the day-to-day. We make a pretty good team through all of that drudgery, though. Don’t you think?”
Suddenly, I saw the smile get wiped from her face. The look that crept onto her face was one of sheer terror. Her glass of wine had been in her hand. When her face went from delight to horror, she tossed it on the ground with a crash. A scream came from deep within her, which was blood-curdling and intimated that absolute ruin was imminent.
I turned toward the spot that she was staring at. I understood all at once the doom that awaited all of us in the dining room. A giant octopus came crashing through the windows near the entrance where we all had arrived, knocking over the many racks of wine as it came and turning the floor as red as blood. Seemingly at the same time, another came from the side closest to the ocean and blocked the only other way out of the dining room into the kitchen.
I grabbed Harper’s arm, and we ran toward the corner as far from the beasts as we could manage. It was pandemonium as the whole dining room erupted into turmoil. I flipped a circle table up against the corner so that Harper and I could try to hide behind it for protection.
I saw one man who ran as fast as he could towards a small opening next to the octopus, who was blocking the main entrance. The creature reached a giant tentacle out for him and pulled him into his beak. There were shrieking howls of pain, unlike anything I have ever heard as blood sprayed out from underneath.
A couple of people were able to dart around as the octopus was distracted. Another unfortunate lady was grabbed by one of the spare tentacles, though. He squeezed her around the throat, and we had to watch as her face turned purple. Eventually, the life was squeezed right from her body.
I held Harper tight as she was sobbing like mad and unable to stop her body from shaking. We saw an opening. The one by the front entrance went toward a group of people on the opposite side of the room. As soon as it did, we bolted for the door. As we drew near, another octopus came crashing through the window on the ceiling, crushing a few unfortunate souls as it joined in the massacre. We kept running until we were well onto the deck.
The chaos did not stop in the dining room. People were running like mad all over the deck. I didn’t know where we would be safe, but I thought that maybe we could lock ourselves in our cabin until we could be rescued from this madness. It was a nice thought, but as we went for the doors, another one of those damn things came down to block our way.
We ran for the area in front of the drive-in style screen where Re-Animator was playing. A man was gibbering to himself in a wild manner and hiding behind a chair. As we drew near, I noticed a tear in the screen as another one came through and snatched the man up as he yelled out for help.
Our options for safety were becoming extremely limited. We ran for the bar where we jumped over the top and hid with a large group of people, peaking over to watch it all unfold. That was when we saw what I knew would be the end of us all. There was an army of them descending upon us. I held Harper tight as we waited on the inevitable.
I watched as a family of three were huddling together in the middle of the deck. They were almost surrounded, but the father pushed the mother and child toward an opening so that they could make it to safety with the rest of us. He let out a guttural cry as they ripped him to shreds. His little girl cried in a high-pitched squeal reaching for him until the mother grabbed her and ran towards us.
The mother was getting close when one of the monstrous creatures came hurtling behind her. As she noticed, she reached out with her daughter. I leaned out over the bar and grabbed onto her as the octopus reached the mother and held her tightly. I was pulling my hardest as the mother was holding on tight, and I hoped that they both might be saved.
I was punching and pulling at the tentacles and doing my best to cause him to let the mother go. She released her daughter, and the others brought her down behind the bar. I wouldn’t let go of her mother’s arms as she cried out in distress.
That was when I heard it. It was the deepest and most powerful sound that I have ever heard. It shook the ship violently. The bottles of liquor and glasses were falling all around us. It was hard to describe the immense strength and power that the sound exhibited all around us. When the sound came, though, something strange began to happen.
The octopus that held the child’s mother released her, and we pulled her behind the bar with us quickly. She fell to her daughter and clutched her tightly as they wept in each other’s arms. All of the creatures began to release the people that they were attacking. They were moving in unison towards the edges of the ship. They crawled over the side, and one by one, they made their way into the ocean.
Once all the monsters had left the ship, the people made their way slowly to the side to see what was happening. For some reason, they were all leaving. As quickly as they had descended upon us, they left us. It appeared to be almost in a synchronized manner. They all were swimming in the same direction, and we watched in disbelief. Nobody aboard this ship would ever be the same if they made it out alive, but many of us were saved by what could only be described as a call. A call that came from something massive, much larger than the creatures that had plagued us. It was a call that came from deep within the ocean and was more monstrous than anything that we could have ever imagined.
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