Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 24

I walked away, trying to figure out how ‘tea’ could be in the 12-letter clue. If I didn’t know their positions, the order they came in, then it wasn’t a lot of help. I re-played Teresa’s words. Redbeard captured it … whole cargo … French merchantman … French! Teresa spoke better French than I did, and sometimes teased me about it. But I knew enough French to figure this out.

Why not a Spanish prize? Or English, or Dutch? She specifically said French. Redbeard would be ‘Barbe Rouge’. Ten letters, one for each player, except her. And the Bible, of course, had something to do with it. I needed to consult it.

I went to the den, and locked the door behind me. I compared ‘Barbe Rouge’ with the verses in the ‘Bible’, and got nothing. Then I realized that I was still holding the teabag she had given me. Why? Eureka! Tea is ‘the’ in French (if you add a little accent over the ‘e’). T-H-E. Could that be part of the code? In that order? I still had no idea what the code said, but it felt like a big piece of the puzzle had just fallen into my hands. Thanks to Lena’s skill at pool, and to the impulse that made take her as a partner. See, sometimes virtue is rewarded.

I unlocked the door, and re-entered the main room. That is, I attempted to re-enter the main room. Ben was right outside the door, and he pushed me back into the den. Barbara was right behind him. She closed the door behind her.

Ben pointed a finger at me. With his other hand, though, he showed me a piece of paper. It clearly said ‘PISTOL’, just like mine. Barbara came to stand beside me, and poked me in the ribs with her finger. Then she showed me another piece of paper. Written on it, with Teresa’s calligraphy pen, was the word ‘KNIFE’.

I wanted to laugh. I mean, it was pretty funny, the two of them standing there with their fingers pointed at me. But they looked serious, so I decided to humour them and play along. Slowly, I raised my hands.

“Do you have a weapon?” said Ben.

– “No.” I answered, truthfully. My ‘PISTOL’ was under the corner of the rug.

– “Give us the Bible, and we won’t hurt you – much.” said Barbara. She did look a little sinister, with the eye patch. But I could see down her cleavage, and it was more than a little distracting.

– “I don’t have it.” I answered. That was also true. It was under the opposite corner of the rug.

– “He’s lying.” said Ben.

– “We could search him.” said Barbara, wistfully. Something about her tone made me think that she was envisioning a strip search.

– “He has it.” said Ben. “You have to give it to us.”

– “I would if I had it, but I don’t so I can’t.” I replied. Try saying that fast three times.

– “What did you do with it?” asked Barbara.

– “I read it.” No point in lying. Claire had to have told them that I had it. That meant that she was in cahoots with them.

– “Then what did you do with it?” asked Barbara, sweetly, prodding me with her finger.

– “He has it.” said Ben. “He’s cheating.”

– “I have an idea.” Barbara stepped away from me, and went to whisper in Ben’s ear. He scowled, but when she whispered some more, he handed her the piece of paper. Barbara pointed her finger at me, and showed me that she now had the pistol. Ben opened the door, and then slipped out of the room, closing the door.

“You never came to visit me yesterday, Colin.” she said. “I was so disappointed. It made me think that you didn’t like me. Or was it that you were afraid of me?”

– “You do have a knife. And now a pistol.” I observed.

– “I would have put down them down, for you.” she said. “We have so much to discuss.”

I wasn’t sure how to answer that, so I chose the better part of valour.

Ben returned, with Teresa in tow.

– “He won’t give us the Bible.” Ben complained. “We know he has it.”

– “Colin, do you have the Bible?” Teresa asked me. “I’m here as the referee, not the Captain.”

– “I do not have the Bible.” I repeated. “I did, but not anymore.”

– “Can we search him?” asked Barbara.

Teresa studied my face for a few moments. “Alright, I’ll handle this.” With that, she ushered Ben and Barbara out of the room. “As far as the game is concerned, you are still in the room, weapons drawn. If he has it, I’ll get it for you.” Ben protested, but Barbara pushed him out. She blew me a kiss before leaving.

– “What are you doing?” asked Teresa.

– “I don’t have it.” I said. “Can I put my arms down, now?”

– “Yes. Claire says she gave it to you.” said Teresa.

– “She did. I didn’t want anybody to find it, and I was afraid that she would want it back. So I hid it. That way, if she asked for it, I could honestly say that I didn’t have it. Just like I told them.”

– “You really hid it?”

– “And my pistol.” I said.

– “Where? Never mind – I don’t want to know. You are either very clever, mister, or very lucky.” said Teresa. She had that enigmatic smile on her face. God, I loved that girl.

“Alright.” she continued “I will tell them that they struck out. But from here on in, you had better find some friends. If they catch you alone again, they could kill you.”

 

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=308

 

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Tinder Dating Among Teens: When Swipe-Right Culture Goes to High School – Part 1

Jenna created a Tinder profile when she was 17. Using the dating app’s toggling age form, she chose “18,” the youngest available option, and wrote “actually 17” on her profile. This was common practice at the New Jersey high school where she was a senior and her best way into a swipe-right culture that promised access to intimacy and acceptance. Jenna was a teenager. She had never been kissed. She wasn’t very popular. This was a no-brainer.

“Why did I do it?  So… my friends had boyfriends. And I didn’t. I mean, no one at my school seems like worth it. And it’s like, an easier way to find other people in the area. I was also considering hooking up with people,” says Jenna, who is now 19. “Was it useful? That’s debatable.”

Jenna joined Tinder in 2016, shortly after the company announced that the platform would be excluding the 13- to 17-year-olds it had previously welcomed. Though Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen had defended providing young people with access, saying it was a way to make friends, the company caved to public pressure. It was clear, after all, that teens weren’t just using Tinder to find friends. For many, it had become a place to find random hookups and validation. For others, it had become a safe place to experiment with their sexuality. Perhaps for most, it offered a rough introduction into the adult sexual economy.

“I got close to hooking up with one person, and then I backed out real hardcore,” recalls Jenna. ”He wanted to get a hotel. I was like, ‘My guy, I don’t have money, I can’t pay for a hotel.’”

I downloaded Tinder in April of 2019 to search for underage users on the platform for this story (I’ve changed the names of the users I interview for the sake of their privacy). The process of downloading the dating app took me less than a minute. Tinder didn’t ask for my age or require me to link to my Facebook or other existing social media accounts. I just had to verify my email address. For my first profile, I used an actual photo of myself as well as my real name and actual age. Thinking I might find more under-18s if I posed as an 18-year-old, I deleted my account and made a new one with the same picture, same name, and a different email in the same span of time. I also pressed Tinder on their age verification standards, but they did not respond to requests for comment. (The app allows users to report on people not using it properly, but that seems to be the extent of the monitoring.)

Launched in 2012, Tinder has long been the most popular dating app in the world. Used in about 200 countries, it boasts 10 million active daily users and 50 million total users. At the time Tinder announced new age restrictions, three percent of its daily user base was underage, amounting to some 1.5 million minors. But many didn’t leave. They pretended to be 18 and stuck around for the thrill of it. Scrolling through the app, dozens of profiles surface of users who are ostensibly 20 with “actually 18” written in their profiles, which suggests these users signed up at 16 and aged up with the app rather than creating new profiles. For better and mostly worse, the teens are still there.

How many underage kids are on Tinder? It’s impossible to say, but according to research by Monica Anderson at the PEW Research Center, 95 percent of teenagers have a smartphone. More than a few is a safe guess.

Dr. Gail Dines, President and CEO of Culture Reframed and Professor Emerita of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Wheelock College, argues that teens retaining access to Tinder exacerbates a major cultural issue. Dines studies the way that the easy and ubiquitous access to pornography on the Internet affects romantic dating culture and argues that Tinder and other such dating apps have changed the teenage years by providing teens with a reason to obsess over their sexual presentation.

“What we’ve done is we’ve compressed their childhood,” says Dines. “Now, teens are meant to be sexual at a much earlier age, because those are the messages that are coming at them all the time. Especially for girls.”

The key message coming at them, Dines said, is that they’re either “fuckable” or invisible. She explains that this incentivizes teenagers to try to make themselves “fuckable in order to be visible” and that this dynamic effects children of younger and younger ages. Young girls have long been sexualized. Now, they are self-sexualizing to an increasing degree. And Tinder gives them a platform on which to practice being objectified and objectifying each other in lieu of developing strong social bonds.

“You cannot replace social media with actually being in a group,” Dines says. “The things you learn from being in a group, in real time, are not replaceable with social media. How to act, how to get cues from people, what works and doesn’t work for you — all of those things.”

Adolescence, Dines adds, is a time for experimentation on every level. It’s a big world out there and teenagers are trying to locate themselves in it. By moving away from the physical, teens are missing out on a very crucial experience.

 

 

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Kita – Chapter 19 – The Sun Queen

I worked all weekend. Of course Summer who I love, is off in Syracuse with family and I’m stuck running the salon. I have no life so I take her shift. I love using words like “I have no life”, because my life is so rich with friends and attractive women.

The salon is so dead so my partner has basically paid me to write my blog all weekend.

The last time I tanned my baby was Tuesday.  She had an amazing dinner with me at Gran caffè l’Aquila after that memorable night.

I haven’t seen her since then.

Saturday is a financial bust. Sunday’s even worse. There’s nothing going on and it’s been raining all day. I go to Macdonald’s for breakfast which is always amazing despite the homeless factor out front. The black girls working there are always pretty and I want them all just like my girlfriend who used to work there.

Despite the controversy Macdonald’s continues to generate a solid product despite what my vegan daughter, Lorelei says about it.

 

Lovely Kita appears and charges at me with a hug.

Apparently after our date thing are different. You don’t hug awkwardly around the face and shoulders. Kita gives me fuck body and leans her firm slender thigh between my legs and gives me a kiss on the cheek.

“Today’s the day!”

“Yep! Twenty minutes in the sunbed. You’re the only one we’ll let do it.”

“Thank you so much. I really appreciate it, Charles. I feel so pale.”

“Are you ready?”

“Yes!”

“Okay. You go into #2 and have your regular session, and when it’s finished, I’ll send you again under the house account so it doesn’t look like you went two times in a row. It’s all been approved by Achilles.”

“Yay! Can’t wait.”

Off she goes to tan. She closes the doors to the room. I think about how there’s been no talk about JR the ex, or Steve the new potential beau. I like that. I also think about what she said about feeling pale. She has a better and darker tan than almost any other client that comes in here. I can only think of three other people who are as dark as she is. I really believe people can become addicted to anything. I think Kita is addicted to tanning. I wonder where that comes from? Is it like an eating disorder? Is it a beauty thing? I can never be tan enough. I can never be pretty enough. I don’t know but I definitely think this chick is addicted in some way to this activity. She eats well. She can’t drink. Doesn’t smoke. She’s very fit. That’s a clean vessel. I’m going to look into this subject.

Her session ends and I send the second one in after it.

“Hit the start button, Kita!”

I hear the bed awaken and the lights come on again. Off she goes for another ten minute session.

I finish cleaning up and folding the last of the towels. The place has been dead today, so everything’s done. Dusted, swept, and mopped.

When Kita emerges I’m sitting in one of the chairs in the waiting area. She immediately goes to look in the mirror down the hall. I’ll have to say something complimentary about what she just did when she comes back up here.

She pops from around the corner of room one. “Do I look darker?”

“Come closer. I can’t really tell from here.”

Kita takes two steps toward me. “Now?”

“I don’t know if I can tell if you got anything.”

That’s when Kita approached me and sat down in my lap and put her hands on the back of my neck. She put her pretty little face up to mine. Her nose a few inches from mine.

“How about now?” she purrs…

I instinctively kissed her ripe lips. Our tongues swirl together for the very first time. Her mouth is sweet and her body yields to mine. I run my hand through her soft locks. It’s a deep passionate kiss that is needed more to break the tension than anything. I knew if she got close enough to the lion again I’d surely bite this little lamb.

She draws back from me, smiling and licking her slick lips.

“I needed that.”

“Me too!” I hiss.

She stands. My hands slide along her slender tan thighs.

“You working Tuesday?”

“Y…Yes.”

“Cool. I’ll see you then!”

“But…”

She simply turns and puts her index finger to her lips.

Then she’s gone.

I’m left sitting here alone in the silence of the salon with a stunned look on my face.

That, and my pants are feeling a little bit tighter.

That little Minx!!