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The Camera Bias

Hello reader,

In this brief study on human behavior I’ll ask you to consider the information presented here from your own unique perspective and to conclude for yourselves the implications of what I’m suggesting.

Let’s say you owned a bakery, but for whatever reason you never bothered to put a backdoor on that bakery. As a result word spreads quickly and in no time at all people discovered they could raid the baked goods at various times of day with little chance of being caught.

Morning, noon, and night you find missing inventory; doughnuts, and bagels, mostly. 

You elect for whatever reason to equip a security camera, rather than a backdoor, just to catch these criminals in the act. But due to whatever circumstances, the camera is angled in such a way that it only captures a few of the criminals who all happen to be of any given race or ethnicity.

As the proprietor you begin formulating a bias…

On the one hand you realize that certainly there are more criminals than the ones you are seeing, however you feel utter contempt for the ones you are seeing, and as time goes by you develop an entire way of being about that group.

“They are ruining our way of life.” (Once coined by Adolf Hitler as well I’d suspect.)

Now in this obvious example we see that the camera itself has a bias, we can understand why it isn’t good at sorting data, it’s only seeing something that supports our view. It is literally biasing the data so that we cannot incorporate new data to get a sense of perspective, and from the outside that seems silly.

But our brains do exactly the same thing. They zoom in on data that precludes or at least prevents a broader and thus more rational perspective unless we recognize exactly how and when this data biasing is happening.

This isn’t simply about racial prejudice, but the example here would lead you to conclude at least that much about a biased camera. We forget that the camera isn’t the only thing showing us data.

There is that door…

Problems left untended much like wide open doors do precious little to prevent bad things from happening. The door could represent any of the real problems we face in a society where it’s easier to blame or restrict people than to actually solve a given problem.

The human mind understands an entire network of ideas that can all be linked to a sense of identity. Not a permanent fixed identity but perhaps a cloud of identity-like attributes that respond to external stimuli. Ideas of how this identity should or would behave are often externalized as statements of belief or intent.

“Well I’d never let someone do such a thing.” <— Statement of intent or belief to “self identify”

“They shouldn’t be allowed to do that.” <—- Same idea.

As usual these types of statements identify the types of bias that underlie the “suddenly loud expressions” we find ourselves confronted with. As usual they have very little to do with anything that actually solves a problem.

Some problems are not meant to be solved, but are meant to give a wider perspective to what it means to live in the world. There will always be some type of struggle, you will always have a “dog in some fights and not in others.”

You might imagine you know what’s best overall, and for you personally you might. But ultimately nobody agrees on everything and it’s not a good idea to shape the world to one ideology. Everyone deserves freedom until they impede another’s freedom.

Tolerance is a backdoor problem, the solutions are different for everyone.

I’ll conclude with Lao Tzu and then you may draw your own conclusions:

The Tao is constant in non-action
Yet there is nothing it does not do

If the sovereign can hold on to this
All things shall transform themselves
Transformed, yet wishing to achieve
I shall restrain them with the simplicity of the nameless
The simplicity of the nameless
They shall be without desire
Without desire, using stillness
The world shall steady itself

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Screenshot from 2016-06-22 19:12:41

Parrot Security

Hello readers,

Over the course of studying various operating systems and security distributions I was admittedly late to trying Parrot Security, and am only now tinkering with it in a virtual box environment. Based on Debian Jessie 9 with a Mate desktop, Parrot OS had my expectations “mixed” and with good reason. Kali Linux is also Debian based and while both operating systems have their advantages and disadvantages. In this instance the anonymity tools were of course not tested as the host system always dictates the ability of an OS to surf anonymously.

Out of the box tools and presentation: 4.5 out of 5

This distro has a wonderful tool set (well over 700 tools) and presents it exceedingly well. I’d have considered this a 5.0 except that in choosing a Mate desktop there are a few unexpected eyesores; The system monitor is embedded on one of two panels and the second panel seems to only facilitate the presentation of the shutdown feature but is otherwise identical to the other menu system. Between these two the presentation suffers a bit but is forgivable for the inclusion of the sleep inhibitor applet. (Avoidable altogether had they simply used Cinnamon.)

System Requirements: 5.0

This distro suggests a minimum of 256-512 Mb Ram and 8-16 Gb Hard Drive making it a low resource system on the surface. My findings were that while it would function well enough within this range a minimum of 512-1024 Mb should have been suggested for Ram, only because many of the tools including the browser put the system under significant strain at 256.

 Interface: 4.0

Mate isn’t for everyone, it’s somewhat sluggish and ugly compared to Cinnamon, but far nicer than Kali’s current Gnome. Mate is amazing on systems with lousy graphics cards and with these low requirements it makes this desktop a logical choice for older systems.

Functionality: 4.0

Kali users will feel right at home and Backbox users will love it. I’d like to compare it Deft but haven’t tried anything recent of theirs in spite of both of these being Italian systems.

The Good

Overall this is a promising distro and they offer a server type with no GUI for people who want to take their testing systems to the cloud, I can see it being a favorite of students and testers who deal with a wide variety of tasks.

The Bad

It feels like a Debian system, the codecs and the non-branded software creep in alongside the odd menu layout. It just takes a bit of polishing to make this better though and we won’t overstate this point.

The Ugly

There is a tendency towards function over form but I was actually pleased to say this isn’t as ugly as some of the older systems that tried to walk down this road.

Overall 4.375 out of 5

I’d grant this one a regular spot in dual boot or a virtual machine (if you don’t require the anonymity.) I’d never suggest it as a primary operating system but honestly depending on your system specs you could do far worse. Be aware that installing guest additions on this OS will take some research which I simply haven’t done yet. If I find anything useful I’ll be sure to post it here.

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Screenshot from 2016-06-21 22:12:23

Grep Help At A Glance

Hello reader,

I’m just appending text for a quick reference for new Linux and Mac users, I certainly didn’t write the help manual.

Usage: grep [OPTION]… PATTERN [FILE]…
Search for PATTERN in each FILE or standard input.
PATTERN is, by default, a basic regular expression (BRE).
Example: grep -i ‘hello world’ menu.h main.c

Regexp selection and interpretation:
-E, –extended-regexp PATTERN is an extended regular expression (ERE)
-F, –fixed-strings PATTERN is a set of newline-separated fixed strings
-G, –basic-regexp PATTERN is a basic regular expression (BRE)
-P, –perl-regexp PATTERN is a Perl regular expression
-e, –regexp=PATTERN use PATTERN for matching
-f, –file=FILE obtain PATTERN from FILE
-i, –ignore-case ignore case distinctions
-w, –word-regexp force PATTERN to match only whole words
-x, –line-regexp force PATTERN to match only whole lines
-z, –null-data a data line ends in 0 byte, not newline

Miscellaneous:
-s, –no-messages suppress error messages
-v, –invert-match select non-matching lines
-V, –version print version information and exit
–help display this help and exit
–mmap deprecated no-op; evokes a warning

Output control:
-m, –max-count=NUM stop after NUM matches
-b, –byte-offset print the byte offset with output lines
-n, –line-number print line number with output lines
–line-buffered flush output on every line
-H, –with-filename print the file name for each match
-h, –no-filename suppress the file name prefix on output
–label=LABEL use LABEL as the standard input file name prefix
-o, –only-matching show only the part of a line matching PATTERN
-q, –quiet, –silent suppress all normal output
–binary-files=TYPE assume that binary files are TYPE;
TYPE is ‘binary’, ‘text’, or ‘without-match’
-a, –text equivalent to –binary-files=text
-I equivalent to –binary-files=without-match
-d, –directories=ACTION how to handle directories;
ACTION is ‘read’, ‘recurse’, or ‘skip’
-D, –devices=ACTION how to handle devices, FIFOs and sockets;
ACTION is ‘read’ or ‘skip’
-r, –recursive like –directories=recurse
-R, –dereference-recursive likewise, but follow all symlinks
–include=FILE_PATTERN search only files that match FILE_PATTERN
–exclude=FILE_PATTERN skip files and directories matching FILE_PATTERN
–exclude-from=FILE skip files matching any file pattern from FILE
–exclude-dir=PATTERN directories that match PATTERN will be skipped.
-L, –files-without-match print only names of FILEs containing no match
-l, –files-with-matches print only names of FILEs containing matches
-c, –count print only a count of matching lines per FILE
-T, –initial-tab make tabs line up (if needed)
-Z, –null print 0 byte after FILE name

Context control:
-B, –before-context=NUM print NUM lines of leading context
-A, –after-context=NUM print NUM lines of trailing context
-C, –context=NUM print NUM lines of output context
-NUM same as –context=NUM
–color[=WHEN],
–colour[=WHEN] use markers to highlight the matching strings;
WHEN is ‘always’, ‘never’, or ‘auto’
-U, –binary do not strip CR characters at EOL (MSDOS/Windows)
-u, –unix-byte-offsets report offsets as if CRs were not there
(MSDOS/Windows)

‘egrep’ means ‘grep -E’. ‘fgrep’ means ‘grep -F’.
Direct invocation as either ‘egrep’ or ‘fgrep’ is deprecated.
When FILE is -, read standard input. With no FILE, read . if a command-line
-r is given, – otherwise. If fewer than two FILEs are given, assume -h.
Exit status is 0 if any line is selected, 1 otherwise;
if any error occurs and -q is not given, the exit status is 2.

Report bugs to: bug-grep@gnu.org
GNU Grep home page: <http://www.gnu.org/software/grep/>
General help using GNU software: <http://www.gnu.org/gethelp/>

Cheers!

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136621413042233911free-social-media-md

The Death Of Social Media Marketing

Hello readers,

By now many of you have seen dreams of social media related business services dashed on the rocks of indifference. The reasons are simple, Between the countless spam marketers trying to hustle cheap followers, as well as literally millions of would be social marketers peddling cheap valueless services for a fraction of what a reputable agency would charge… by the time someone sees your product or service they just can’t begin to care less.

How This Happened 

As much as we might like to imagine a product or service breaking a mold and enjoying a meteoric rise into success, the likelihood of any product doing better than the lowest common denominator online is based entirely in chance. I say “entirely” because whether your product or service were a novelty button or a very real castle it has exactly the same difficulty finding an audience whether you use social media or not.

“But certainly social media can increase how many people are aware of my product…” 

While it remains true that with enough exposure you could potentially get a few more customers, the sad truth is that unless what you are selling is exactly what your followers on social media are buying you actually make less of an impact through social media than you would through email marketing.

“So email marketing is still king?”

There are no kings any more, just out of touch customers, and businesses who are still riding diminishing waves of a receding tide. Customers actually hate email spam almost as much as they hate social media spam.

There are solutions that may seem extreme but everyone should consider the following steps almost essential if they want to save social media from the imminent total meltdown of consumer disinterest.

  1. Block and report every single person selling twitter followers, and tell your followers what you are doing and why.
  2. Block and report every scammer offering verified accounts for the same reason.
  3. Block and report every “Team Followback” style account as these are typically operations developing accounts to sell which is against twitter policy.
  4. Unfriend and or report every pervasive Facebook app that posts on your behalf without your permission.
  5. Block and report any product or service marketer who tries to offer social media management for next to no money, as these are usually outsourced to India or China and never end up being anything other than valueless “posts for pocket change” type scams.
  6. Block and report/unfriend anyone who uses an autoresponder trying to get retweets or asks to “also follow ____” as these are typically account building scams which result in selling accounts (against twitter policy.)
  7. Block Bots
  8. Unfriend foreign accounts that exist solely to sell questionable merchandise (Vibram 5 finger shoes, fake name brand purses etc.)
  9. Block anyone babbling about politics <— That one is more of a suggestion for enjoying social media.
  10. Follow people who show interest in your actual product or service.

Doesn’t that last one seem obvious? 

I’ve managed dozens of social media accounts and am often shocked to see that nobody has bothered to do this one simple step to building better communication with their customers. Remember the 80/20 principle, “20% of your customers will account for 80% of your business.”

Thanks for stopping by.

Buy my books when you get a minute.

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Leopold

Leopold And The Vampire

Leopold winced as his fingers cramped on the cold steel of the railroad trestle. He knew his grip was failing and knew he had lost his footing and so he looked down at his fate.

The water roaring now as the rain had been constant for weeks. He felt his glasses slip off his nose and ears as the last of his strength failed him.

He closed his eyes as he fell for what seemed to be an eternity into the frigid river, he wasn’t sure whether to breathe out or not as he wasn’t sure how much further he would fall before he hit the water. As he decided to gulp one breath he hit with a sickening combination of a splash, and a thud.

His back hadn’t simply hit water, but rather he slammed with a bone crunching force onto the hood of an old pickup truck that lay submerged merely inches under the surface. It knocked the breath out of him and squarely bruised his lower back. He slid motionlessly off into the roaring torrent of rushing water and didn’t bother to struggle.

He washed up on shore a quarter mile down the river quite certain he would freeze to death. He sputtered and coughed and shivered terrifically as he crawled up onto the muddy bank. Somehow his shoes miraculously stayed on but his jacket was now gone, as were his only pair of glasses.

Leopold couldn’t see clearly beyond roughly 4 feet without his glasses so he was quite helpless on the dark edge of the woods across from town. Crossing the water would be impossible by night and finding a bridge could spell his death.

It had been quite by chance that he wandered into the culvert and saw “it” there lying bloated beside what remained of the homeless man. Irving was his name, he worked at the church and everyone cared for him in their own way.

Irving slept in barns and worked on farms so it was not quite by chance that Leopold’s mother sent him, “basket in hand” to find Irving.

He had gone by many neighbors houses who all put in a bit for of something for Irving, the Foresters sent a few oranges, the Sheffield’s sent a loaf of banana bread and a slice of pie.
It was customary in the town to see Irving changing lighting fixtures in old stores, washing windows at salons, he always had a moment and a kind word for the children in Jacobstown until they reached about 14 or so.

It also seemed to be a right of passage for the older teens to harass poor Irving as he made his rounds. It troubled Leopold greatly to see it but he himself was nearly 17 now and saw that the reactions that his friends evoked from Irving were nearly comical.

At the least little thing Irving would go into a horrible anger and it puzzled Leopold to see it, but after a few times he admitted that it was amusing. It didn’t sit well with him, and he saw the old man as a sort of town fixture.

If a hedgerow needed a trim old Irving would see to it, if a car broke down, old Irving would help you push it home. So it wasn’t a surprise to Leopold when often the money would be put in the basket with the provisions.

Many of the people in town supported Irving in sincere gratitude. Very few knew where he slept when he wasn’t in a barn, Leopold had known since he was 7.

He typically saw Irving through the culvert from the river while he was catching frogs and old Irving would just smile and wave. Leopold now lay there freezing and shaking, and heard the crunching sounds off in the distance.

His teeth were now chattering audibly and he covered his mouth in spite of the mud on his hands, a shadow loomed into view.

There stood a man in black wearing formal evening clothes, his jacket wet from rain but even through the rain Leopold could smell the awful stench of decay. The man just stood there silently and watched as Leopold backed away towards the water.

“Stop there young man.” The dark figure said in a calm even toned voice that carried some authority in its camber, “I don’t intend to harm you.” Leopold looked at the water and back, but the man was gone.
Morning came eventually but even in daylight Leopold could scarcely find his way to the covered bridge, he crossed on the interstate ramp and walked home through a drizzle.

His family had noticed that he hadn’t come back. They left him a note stating that he was grounded and barred from going anywhere for a week. He didn’t intend to go anywhere for quite a bit longer considering what he had seen.

He asked himself now what had he seen really? It was dark, there were two figures, one stooped over the other and seemingly (though perhaps only seemingly) feeding upon poor Irving.

His mother asked him where he had been and he told her everything in great detail, which prevented him from being allowed to see movies on the weekend for 3 months for lying.

His father was generally a bit more lenient usually but chided him for such a fanciful story. When Irving came to the door to thank them for the food however, Leopold fainted.

It was summer now and a full 4 months had passed before Leopold ventured anywhere near the old culvert, he had just turned 17 and summoned up enough courage during an evening of horror movies with his friends. He would not only tell the story, but to accompany them to investigate.

The oldest boy with them was Harold Buchannon, he was six feet tall , fearless, and had a car. It wasn’t much to look at but his old beat up Studebaker was everything they could imagine wanting.

Each had taken summer jobs to save enough money to buy something off of the used lot at Hirsh Automotive.

They meanwhile all piled into Harold’s car and drove the ½ mile to the old train bridge, and one by one got out. Steve, Leopold, Tommy, Harold, and Shawn, who had only just gotten braces at 15.
He was young, but his father was the sheriff so they always brought him along after curfew. Harold made him carry the flashlight and he himself carried a ball bat.

Stalking along as they were they couldn’t help but make a tremendous amount of noise and without meaning to they all but announced their coming simply by parking where they had.

Irving wasn’t there when they arrived but there was indeed a skeleton in the culvert. Tommy poked at it for a moment before retrieving his instamatic. Shawn started saying how they shouldn’t touch anything but Harold poked around at the remains which had been stripped clean. Only bones remained except for perhaps some ligament and sinew.

It was on the walk back while the boys discussed what they should do, that they met old Irving. He now barred their path and demanded to know what they were doing and Leopold stepped in front to recount the whole story.

Irving’s response was puzzling but as Leopold looked behind him the other boys screamed, when he turned back to see what had caused the alarm Irving had changed, he was pale as a sheet, he had long and pronounced fangs. But worse than any of that he was in the way.

Harold rushed towards him and in little more than a flick of Irving’s wrist Harold was in the river. Tommy snapped a picture and ran as Steve and Leopold tried in vain to rush past Irving, if only to be caught by the scruff of their shirts.

Shawn stood there, reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a switchblade. As Irving laughed hist fangs now glinted in the moonlight, Shawn folded his knife shut and put it away looking quite terrified.

Leopold ripped out of his grip and grabbed Tommy, pulling him out of Irving’s grip as well. Shawn ran in the other direction and Irving watched as the boys all ran in separate directions.

Harold however washed up onto shore nearly where Leopold had weeks before. It was there that he saw Irving waiting for him. Harold had deep gashes all over his arms from the rocks under the water but he was still alive.

He now struggled weakly to stand but had no strength left in his legs. Irving simply smiled as he approached and for a moment Harold thought it would all be okay. He knew otherwise when the tendon in his neck popped in Irving’s mouth and the pain was so excruciating that he couldn’t make a sound.

He was both paralyzed and mortified by the sensation of his own blood running now in a stream down his chest. Irving was eating him alive. His blood ran cold as he realized, that was what he always swore at the boys who harassed him. “I’ll gobble you bastards up.”

As his life flashed before his eyes he saw countless occasions where older boys went missing after harassing old Irving who had been there since anyone could remember. If a boy threw a rock Irving would always yell back, “I’ll gobble you bastards up.”

It suddenly wasn’t so funny.

Shawn was making his own way to the old covered bridge nearly a mile upriver, he knew it would be too much for him in the dark. He had the flashlight but dared not use it for fear of being seen. When his legs couldn’t run any longer through the thick brush he stopped and dropped to his knees panting. He dropped the thin stick he used to cut away the tall grass.

Shawn suddenly took hope as he saw the police cruiser come sailing over the bridge, he turned on Harold’s flashlight only to his horror it wouldn’t shine. He smacked it and clicked it on and off but to no avail as his father drove by. In a desperate move he now threw it as hard as he could at the car but missed by inches.

As it skipped across the pavement it slid into a gutter and Shawn wiped his brow with his sleeve. He began to sob to himself cursing his luck. Just then Steve walked up casually, “It’ll be okay Shawn lets just get home.”
Shawn asked, “How did you… I mean where did you go?” Steve shrugged, “I hid in the culvert.”

Leopold and Tommy made it to the car and stopped, Tommy asked, “Do you know how to hot wire a car?” Leopold looked at him exasperatedly and sarcastically replied, “Yeah Tommy because I am Al freaking Capone! Where were we in third grade? Same school, same classes, did they teach us how to hot wire a car?!”

Tommy almost laughed, and Leopold punched the car door hard. It was locked and worse they had run until they were nearly exhausted and their drinks of course were still in the car.

Tommy busted the window to get at his soda, Leopold yelled, “That was loud stupid!” Tommy grabbed them both their drinks and replied, “I don’t care at this point, Harold is dead most likely and we are being chased by a… whatever the hell Irving is.”

Tommy held up his camera and the picture as it developed was not what he expected to see. Instead of Irving in the photo it was a tall massive shadowy creature, “Leo look at this!” As Leopold walked over to look he shivered and whispered, “lets just go home.”

Tommy looked along the ground for long sticks and broke one off to make a makeshift stake, he took some cord from his boot and tried to fashion a cross out of the stake as they walked.

Leopold reacted, “He isn’t Dracula Tommy, this isn’t a goddamn movie.” Tommy responded, “Its better than nothing.”

Leopold grabbed a rock and took off his outer button down shirt, he wrapped the rock in it to make a makeshift blackjack and Tommy responded, “This isn’t a mafia movie either Leo, I don’t think that’s going to work.”

Shawn and Steve walked down the interstate towards town when they saw the figure of Irving coming towards them briskly, “Boys your parent’s are looking for you so get home quickly.” They both froze and as Irving walked by he turned to glance smiling and added, “I’ll just gobble you little bastards up later!”

Panic froze Shawn to the spot where he stood and Steven ran nearly dragging Shawn along the pavement, running and glancing behind they saw no trace of Irving.

Tommy and Leopold however were nearing a bend in the road to get away from the woods when Leopold turned to look back at Tommy only to find he was gone without a trace.

“Tommy?” Leopold looked back and forth across the road and further back, they hadn’t stopped walking and even now as he looked ahead he couldn’t imagine quite what to do.

So with his heart beating louder in his chest and his blood getting cold he took another few steps with tears in his eyes. “I’m sorry Tommy.” He whispered as he walked doggedly on.

Fear had clutched him so tightly now that there was really nothing he could do. He walked on for the remainder of the distance to town and within an hour was hiding in his bed.

He heard the tiny pebble taps at the glass and reluctantly glanced out to see Shawn and Steve, he opened his window and asked, “Have you guys seen Tommy or Harold?” Shawn shook his head and asked, “What should we do?” Leopold tried to think of anything that might be useful to do, but he couldn’t, “Lets talk about it tomorrow, I don’t want to try to figure it out right here and now with you guys out there in the open.”

Steve agreed and whispered back, “My place tomorrow at noon if you can come.” Leopold nodded and closed his window, as he turned to go to bed he heard another tap of stone at the glass.

He saw Harold and Tommy smiling up at him, fangs protruding skin pale and he closed the curtain. He minced his steps to the bed praying he would wake from this awful day to find it was a dream.
Images of Bella Lugosi in his mind he drew the blanket up over his chest and felt a tug on the bed sheets, in an instant he was on the floor and under the bed yanked by unseen hands, though perhaps simply hands quicker than might be seen.

He was staring now into Irving’s eyes, deaths eyes, and he could neither move nor scream. He was quite resolved to die right then when to his surprise Irving spoke, “Do you know what I will do if you breathe a word of this to anyone?” Leopold nodded and Irving smiled before removing himself from under the bed and slipping out the window.

In the morning Leopold woke and hurriedly dressed to go to Steve’s house. When he arrived there were police everywhere. Shawn’s Dad stood there and watched as Leopold came walking up, “Leo, listen Shawn is very upset. Why don’t you go and say hello to him.”

As Leopold walked the three blocks to Shawn’s he saw Tommy’s Bike sitting in the front yard and he knew it was too late, he just kept walking. He wandered to the next town knowing hell itself had come to Jacobstown and he couldn’t even guess at what to do about it.

He was to the county border when the Studebaker pulled up, he didn’t bother to resist but rather climbed inside and sat very still by Harold and said nothing. As they drove back past town they went all the way to the culvert and parked where the car had parked the night before.

Harold spoke at last, “We are going to offer you a choice between joining us or dying.” Leopold replied calmly, “What are you?” Harold smiled, “Its not so bad once you get used to the idea.”

“So you work for Irving now?” Leopold asked abruptly. Harold looked him over and replied, “We are like him now, its different but its not like the movies.” Leopold shuddered and asked weakly, “Vampires?” Harold smiled at this and replied, “I guess that sounds right.”

Leopold walked in to the culvert area and saw Irving sharpening an old buck knife. He stopped when Leopold got very close by, “Did you decide?”
Leopold tried to be clever, “What if I can help in other ways?” Irving stood up and walked over and asked almost humoring him, “What do you propose?”

As Shawn walked up he saw that he too had been turned. Shawn spoke up. “Are you trying to outsmart us?” Leopold looked at all of his friends who had been turned and he thought about his family. “What about your parents?”

Irving laughed, “It won’t matter, you can be among them, everything will be fine you simply join us and go home.” Leopold asked, “What’s it like? Are you always hungry?”

Irving didn’t respond but Tommy did, “Kind of, but its just like when you only eat half of your lunch.” Shawn interjected, “Its not so bad Leo, honest.”

“So then you bite me and I can go home?” Leo asked stalling for time and at that he felt the bite.

It was Harold who did it, Irving protested but Harold argued, “I never got a choice!” Leopold dropped to his knees as his pulse quickened, he felt his body begin to die, he looked around for the last time with mortal eyes.

He labored to yell with his last breath and choking replied, “But I might have chosen death!” His eyes filled with darkness and his breath stopped for minutes before his perception left him completely. It was painful and terrifying.

Flailing and convulsing on the ground until a final twitch and it was too late, he woke hours in a strange stupor in his bed. Irving was painting the walls yellow, his mother sat at the foot of his bed and whispered, “Its okay Leo, it’s happened to each of us at different ages.”

Leopold looked shocked now as his mother bared her fangs smiling, “By the way, you’re adopted.” Leo nodded and drifted off to sleep, his arms folded neatly on his chest.

Images of Bella Lugosi in his head.

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