Modding and Making Cities Skylines Better

 

 

CS_buildings

Last time we took a look at Cities Skylines in 2018.  Today I want to discuss a few mod’s (modifications) I enjoy which serve to make Cities Skylines better and also we will look at some essential upgrades I think Cities Skylines needs “out of the box”.

Let’s first look at making Cities Skylines better with mods.  I use a few basic mods but am limited by what my computer can handle.  This is also true when downloading assets (buildings, vehicles, trees, etc) that have been created by the modding community found in the Steam workshop.  The more assets one downloads for the game the slower your game will run.  (my system specs are located at the bottom of this post for your reference)

Mods to enhance your game

 

Loading Screen Mod  One way to help speed up the loading times for Cities Skylines is by using a great mod called Loading Screen Mod by thale5.  Thank you thale5 for this great addition to Cities Skylines.

Find It! –  If you are going to be using assets in Cities Skylines, The Find It! mod by SamsamTS is an essential addition to help you quickly locate assets while in-game.  Very useful. Thank you SamsamTS for this great addition.

Move It!Move It! a mod also by SamsamTS allows for the quick-moving and copying of assets while in-game.

Fine Road Tool and Fine Road Anarchy – Two great mods that work together for allowing the manipulation of roads!  Thank you SamsamTS for these essential mods.

Ambient Sounds Tuner 2.0 by BloodyPenguin – Want to turn off or control individual volumes of sounds in-game? This mod will help you do that.  Thank you BloodyPenguin for this fantastic addition to Cities Skylines

Kra’s Realistic Ambience Sound Pack by KraIstGerecht –  And better sound pack to remove and change some annoying default sounds from Cities Skylines. (Ambient Sounds Tuner by BloodyPenguin list above is needed to use this pack)  Thank you KraIstGerecht for this great addition to Cities Skylines. 

Chirpy Exterminator by simssi – Essential mod if you want to remove the Chirpy from Cities Skylines.  Thank you simssi for this great mod. 

Slow Speed by Scott – Don’t like unrealistic speed of the vehicles AND people in Cities Skylines?  Other mods may allow control over the speed of vehicles but this mod slows the speed of the people too!  Thank you Scott for this essential mod.

Emergency Light Changer by boformer – Necessary mod if you want control over the color of lights on emergency vehicles from blue only to red and blue (American style).  Thank you boformer for this essential addition to Cities Skylines.

American Road Signs 2.2.0 by Judazzz–  Want the American green looking signs in your game? This mod does just that.  Thank you Judazzz for this amazing mod.

Daylight Classic by BloodyPenguin – Essential mod for removing the default yellow color from default Cities Skylines and giving the game a more realistic sunlight look.  Thank BloodyPenguin for this great mod.

Automatic Bulldoze v2 by mexahuk – Makes bulldoze management easier and automatic in Cites Skylines.  Thank you mexahuk for this great mod.

Road Options a.k.a Crosswalks Remover / Road Colors Changer ++ by TPB – Essential mod if you want to be able to quickly have control over your road colors and more.  Thank you TPB for this great mod.

Advanced Vehicle Options (AVO) by SamsamTS – Essential mod to allow some control over your vehicles  in Cities Skylines.  Thank you SamsamTS for this great mod.

Improved Public Transport 2 by BloodyPenguin – Great mod for allowing more and easier control over your transit system.  Thank you BloodyPenguin for this great mod.

Traffic Manager: President Edition by LinuxFan – Necessary mod if you want control over intersections, roads and more.  Thank you LinuxFan for this fantastic addition to Cities Skylines.

Building Themes (Green Cities) by BloodyPenguin, boformer, SamsamTS – Great mod for controlling your district styles in Cities Skylines.  Thank you BloodyPenguin, boformer, and SamsamTS for this great mod.

These mods are some of the best mods that simply help Cities Skylines be more accessible to the average user without adding the need for dependencies (except the sound packs)  into your game.  These mods play nicely with each other too (no conflicts as far as I know) and are easy to install/uninstall through the Steam workshop.

If you are interested, here’s a complete list of mods and assets I have subscribed to in Cities Skylines

CS_town

 

A Better Vanilla/default Cities Skylines

It is my opinion Cities Skylines could be an even better game by doing a few simple things.

Seasons.  The game needs Seasons by default or at least a Winter/Summer change (snow/no snow).

District Names Overlay On/Off Toggle.  The District Styles feature is lacking already in Cities Skylines but it really needs a simple ON/OFF name toggle to allow hiding/unhiding of districts name overlays that appear directly on your city while in-game.

Better default Anti-aliasing and Optimization.  This game seems to have memory problems and doesn’t graphically look that clean by default.  The edges on buildings, roads and well just about everything are jagged even on high settings without a mod.  In my experience any mod (such as Dynamic Resolution to counter the anti-aliasing problem only slows down older computers and seems to make my game look worse).

An American Overhaul. This is more of wish than anything but without mods, Cities Skylines doesn’t look American as SimCity accomplished quite well.  Semi Trucks with 3 trailer wheels? Railroads with catenary lines everywhere? Of course the emergency vehicles sirens are not American either and the overall look of buildings and houses don’t look anything like the kind we see in the United States.

Better Road Building Tools.  At least one that allows for sharp junctions and more control over where they can be placed.  Mod’s fix this but why not the vanilla game?

Conclusion

While Cities Skylines has weaknesses, it is still a great city builder and simulator especially with mods.

Do you play Cities Skylines? What do you enjoy about Cities Skylines? Let me know in the comments!


My System specs

Heres a quick look at my computer system. Yes I told you it was old but surprising Cities Skylines still runs okay (without many assets).   Microsoft Windows 10 Pro   System Type: 64 bit AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 945 Processor x4  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 4gb ram)


Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines Disasters expansion on Steam

Paradox Interactive

Cities Skylines on Steam

Find me on Steam

Hope

Audacity

Fullyfreefilms.com


Image source from my in-game screenshots

Advertisements

It’s 2018: Revisiting Cities Skylines

cs_snow

Today we revisit Cities Skylines, the city builder simulator/game (for computer and now consoles).  Remember? It’s that game that tried to replace SimCity 2013 and for many of us, was successful for the most part.  I have reviewed Cities Skylines in the past but there have been quite a few expansion packs and mods released since then so I figured it’s a great time to get a fresh look at the game and what I think about it in 2018.

Criticisms and Recommendation

While I do not hesitate to recommend this game especially for you who enjoy computer city builders like SimCity, I haven’t shied away from noting some frustrations with the game as well.  And at that time, the primary feature I have needed to force myself to overlook is the non-American influence and look of the in-game building models, vehicles, signage, road and track styles (Cantenary lines), etc no option to change them without mods.   Of course, since this game was made in Europe I can kind of understand the European influence but this isn’t always the case with games no matter who makes them.  (Police 10-13 for example is being made in Australia and as far as I can tell, appears to be quite American.)

Expansion Packs

Now it’s 2018 and Cities Skylines remains the only city builder for computer that has withstood the test of time and in my opinion has only gotten better.  There are expansion packs and DLC which enhance the game.  I will only be commenting on the expansion packs I have installed.

There is After Dark, which brings a few night related policies and styles to the game.  Snowfall, which brought snow-covered maps to the game, including trams for any map but did not bring us seasons, more on that later.  Match Day adds a Futball/Football stadium, which in America we refer to as Soccer.  There is the Mass Transit expansion which notably adds some more transportation options, such as Blimps, Large Airport, Taxi, Monorails, Cable Cars suspended from a cable (not to be confused with San Francisco cable cars) and ferries.  The final expansion pack I have installed as of this post is Natural Disasters.  The Natural Disasters Expansion features as you might assume naturally occurring ways to destroy your city (then rebuild it), such as flaming Meteor, Earthquake, Tsunami, Forest Fire, Building Collapse, Sinkhole, Lightning strike and Tornado.  In addition to some disaster related buildings and options, this expansion also adds helicopter air support including police patrol, fire, search and rescue and medical choppers to the game. Green Cities is the most recent expansion pack to be released which I can’t comment on since I don’t have that one, yet.

cs_one

What Do I Really Think of the Expansion Packs?

SnowFall

In my opinion, all of the expansion packs offer something important to enhance the overall game-play of Cities Skylines.  For example, in the Snowfall expansion pack the included trams are a necessity if you want to build a proper city.  SimCity 2013 included trams by default so SimCity fans will love having trams from the Snowfall expansion. Mods will let your download custom trams (such as this awesome cable car from San Francisco by stockjr97) which enhanced the city experience.  I recommend picking the Snowfall expansion pack up on a sale (either Steam or the Paradox website).  Also as the title suggests, snow is included but not as a season.  (boo hoo)

Neglecting seasons or at least Winter/Summer city building on the SAME map is a mistake because even the Sims 3 has snow and summer on the same map.  Right now, with Snowfall, (without mods in the game) a Winter map must be chosen in order to see snow and to enjoy some included winter parks such as an ice rink, ice sculpture park snowman park, sky lodge, curling, snowboarding, Christmas tree and more.  Water line heating has also been introduced with this expansion but I have not experienced it as a necessity on a non Winter map.

Mass Transit

Mass Transit expansion is a must for the added transportation options it brings to the game even if you don’t want to use them all at the same in your cities (but we try, right?).  Why wasn’t trams included with this pack?  I’ll try to understand, it’s about marketing.

Natural Disasters

In my opinion, the Natural Disasters expansion is fantastic simply for the helicopters which get added to the game!  Random disasters can be turned off in the options menu and just as in SimCity, any disaster can be summoned at will whenever—if you so choose. (Although I have noticed a curious increase in tree fires in my city since I have installed this pack).   However if you do unleash a disaster or two, remember you might want to save your city first.   (by the way Paradox, we want Alien UFO’s and a large monster to eat the buildings)

After Dark

In the After Dark expansion, I am not totally sure all that it does but it will include a prison, prisoner transport van,  nice hotel, casino, and some policies as they relate to tourism and leisure especially after dark.  Oh I get it, After Dark!   (by the way, the day/night cycle was already included in the game for free in an update.)

Conclusion

So is Cities Skylines better in 2018?  The short answer is an obvious yes but mostly because of expansion packs and mods.  The modding community has been busily creating more great content and in my opinion necessary content to the game.  I may need to do a post about that soon.

Do you play Cities Skylines? What do you enjoy about Cities Skylines? Let me know in the comments!

 


Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines Disasters expansion on Steam

Paradox Interactive

Cities Skylines on Steam

Find me on Steam

Hope

Audacity

Fullyfreefilms.com


Image source from my in-game screenshots

How to destroy a city without losing it in Cities Skylines – Natural Disasters

disasterone_CS

If you have the Natural Disasters expansion pack for Cities Skylines it’s pretty simple to wreak havoc on your city with say, a tornado, an earthquake or a meteor strike (or two or three) without actually losing the hard work you put into building your town.  That is, assuming you save it first.

cs_city

Manually Save Your City First (Disable Auto Saving and Random Disasters)

Besides simply saving your city, there are a couple of things you must do to preserve your city or town if you want to for example, watch that Tsumani flood your town.  But before you watch any natural disaster level your city, if you don’t want to permanently lose your city you will need to also disable AUTO SAVING of your game and disable random disasters.  Disabling these two options are very important if you don’t want any surprises later.

cs_options

Disable Auto Saving and Random Disasters

In the options menu (on the main menu) or within the gameplay menu while in-game you must uncheck all the entries for automatically saving your game (such as to save a game automatically every 10 minutes or more).  Why do this?  Doing this insures you will have full control over your city before and after a disaster strikes.   You don’t want the game to overwrite your city with an auto saved destroyed copy of your city by mistake!  You will also need the make sure the Random Disasters option is unchecked too.

cs_ingameoptions_marked

When you are sure the appropriate options are disabled (not checked), you can build your city and prepare your city for its impending doom.  (If you have a created a city already that want to see a disaster strike, load that saved city and just remember to make sure all the options I have mentioned above are disabled before you unleash any disasters!)

If you haven’t already, you can add some of the buildings to your city which are included with the Disasters expansion such as an evacuation bunker, early warning system, helicopter depots and radio antenna if you so choose.  It’s up to you what you do before you destroy your city just make sure it’s manually saved if you want to access it later.

 

Pick a disaster and watch the aftermath

When you are satisfied with your saved city, you are ready to pick a disaster.

The destruction caused by the disaster can be pretty devastating on your city but no worries because if you did everything correctly you will always have an untouched saved copy waiting to be destroyed again, and again if you so choose!

Obvious but important note:  Do not save your city after a disaster (without renaming the destroyed city first)  if you want have access to your original untouched city in the future.


Disclaimer:
My tips are intended for entertainment purposes and not officially endorsed by the maker of Cities Skylines. If you don’t want to lose your city, please save it. I will not be responsible for lost cities.

Like Cities Skylines? Read my review here

Like Simcity? Read about my updated SimCity (2013) (aka SimCity 5) experience here.

 


Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines Disasters expansion on Steam

Cities Skylines on Steam

Find me on Steam

Hope

Audacity

Fullyfreefilms.com


Image source from my in-game screenshots

Twitter Attempts to Hide the Ugly Truth About Abortion

 

smartphone-586944_1280

In a not surprising move by Twitter, the social media giant tries to suppress the truth about abortion. While most everyone already knows abortion is nothing less than cold-blooded murder of billions of babies, not everyone would like you to know.  The latest case by Twitter to hide this gruesome reality was seen when Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn posted a campaign video about Planned Parenthood’s practice of abortion. In her campaign ad, she boldly states, “I’m 100% pro-life. I fought Planned Parenthood, and we stopped the sale of baby body parts — thank God.”

The details were clear about the disgusting reality that abortion is and Twitter blocked her video.  In a statement made by Twitter they said, “the sale of baby parts” was “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.”

And of course it should evoke a strong negative reaction. Abortion is the gruesome practice of murdering babies.  What could be more ugly and offensive than the murder of the innocent?

The question is why would Twitter block the truth? Is it that Twitter along with other large media outlets, actually believe murder is okay? After all, they have gone to great lengths to defend Planned Parenthood in the past.

Now if the Twitter CEO’s had a strong moral compass, I would expect a strong statement speaking out against the ugly practices of Planned Parenthood with abortion, along with any murder of innocents. God hates murder. Remember, the command “You shall not kill.”  Maybe that is also why so many people today hope God’s commands and His messengers would disappear.

” If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NASB)


Twitter blocks campaign ad revealing ugliness of abortion

Twitter and Planned Parenthood

Thinking of having an abortion? Watch this before you decide!

Hope

Watch it! See what hope looks like!

Audacity Movie – See what hope looks like before it’s too late

Support the making of Police 10-13


image source

It’s August 21, 2017: “I don’t believe there is a Solar Eclipse”

backyard_eclipse_2017

“I Don’t Believe It”

I wanted to believe the Solar Eclipse of 2017 was real, but I couldn’t see it. Today August 21, 2017 there is expected to be a total eclipse of the sun by the moon but I’m not sure I believe it.  It’s not that I didn’t want to believe either.  I really wanted to see to the eclipse–I even brought my camera so I could show you. The trouble was that where I live the sky was overcast and the air carried a dull orange tint from nearby wild fires. I trust my eyes and I believe what I see. Perhaps you see what you believe. Yet, I scanned the skies in vain seeing only cloudy skies, fog and orange haze. Unless you count the fog, as far as I’m concerned there wasn’t any solar eclipse.

Do You Seek The Truth?

Of course if I should truly doubt the solar eclipse really happened, I don’t have to go far to find the truth.  In fact, according to eyewitness accounts there actually was a solar eclipse.  I even read about it online and saw some videos of what some eyewitnesses described as an “amazing” event. Some people say it was showing the hand of God. While others were simply awestruck.  Should I believe them? I don’t know these people. How do I know these accounts and videos aren’t fabricated or made up? But I still want to know if it’s all true and there is not a good reason not to believe there was actually a solar eclipse.

Many people don’t believe in the God of the Bible. Most often our preconceived worldviews get in the way of believing in Him.  Yet not like believing or not in the existence of an eclipse, many people hate or distrust the God of the Bible. Many of us by nature don’t want to hear what His word says about us.  Maybe you have been hurt by someone who claims to know God or know someone who has been. Perhaps there is great pain or trail in your life that hinders you from believing God.  I have battled things like cancer and depression and know about that kind of pain. Yet none of these things disprove that God is real. In fact it’s just the opposite.

Eyewitness Accounts

There are hundreds of eyewitness accounts and testimonies of the reality of God and who He is.  There are eyewitness accounts of Jesus and who He claims to be. Perhaps you have heard or know someone who has said they would believe in God of the Bible if He would only show Himself to them. The solar Eclipse did not show itself to me. Why should I still believe it was real?  I even went looking for it outside and did not see it with my eyes because there were clouds in the way.  Yet, does that mean it didn’t exist? Of course not. However I have a choice to make. I can choose to believe whether the eyewitness accounts of the actual event are true or not. Similarly, God has revealed Himself to us in His Word. Jesus Himself  has made claims about who He is and any person can freely examine these things to see if they are so. God will not hinder any person from seeking Him, if and when they choose to do so.

I suspect rather, any person who doesn’t believe in God is being hindered by their own selfish desires and lusts.  Simply put, they don’t to find God or God to find them. Sort’ve like a thief doesn’t want to find a police officer. That had been true for me in my life.

“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6

“The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Luke 19:10

“Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

Are You Seeking God?

You know this, the world is crumbling and falling apart. People more and more seek to break the law and do harm to others.  However, God has spoken a stern warning to all who seek to ignore Him. We have all broken His Law (the Ten Commandments).  As lawbreakers or transgressors of the law we are all slaves of sin (doing evil).  Like the clouds blocking my view of the eclipse, sin blocks our view (or a correct view) of God.  As a result we are self-seeking sin-filled creatures who are at enmity with the God of the universe.

Here’s our biggest problem.  To enter heaven, God demands holiness, perfection and a sinless life.

Have you sinned? Broken God’s commands?  Are you willing to seek God?  To get started, try this quick test.

Have you ever lied? (9th commandment)
Stolen? (8th commandment)
  
Do you put God first in your life?  (1st, 2nd commandments)
 
Ever used God’s name as a cuss word to express disgust? (3rd commandment)
Hitler and Mohammed are not hated this much.
 
Lusted? Jesus said lust is the same as adultery of the heart.  (Matthew 5:27-28) (7th commandment)

 

These are just a few of the Ten Commandments. We are all guilty of breaking God’s perfect standard. But since God is holy, perfect and He cannot have sin in His presence (Psa. 5:4, Hab. 1:13) we deserve His righteous judgment in Hell.

One Way of Escape

Therefore, we need a Savior–a way of escape from His judgment for sin.   (James 2:10) 

Our trying to keep God’s commands to enter Heaven or by doing good deeds is not “good enough” since God as the Judge of Universe cannot be bribed. Because He’s Judge there is only one way in which God can provide this escape.  He must pay the penalty of our sins Himself.
 
He sent His Son Jesus Christ–God manifest in the flesh–to die on a cross paying the penalty for our breaking His Law (Sin). (Ro. 5:8)
Jesus rose from the dead after three days defeating sin and death (the second death in Hell). (1 Cor. 15:3-4) (Revelation 20:9-15)
When you repent from your sin (turn from it as in changing your mind about committing sin) and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you from the wrath to come (judgment against sin), you will have eternal life! (John 3:36Titus 3:4-7Ro 6:23)
This is known as becoming born again.
What a great incomprehensible love God has for us when we seek it!
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”   Romans 5:8


image is my own

 

Why I Left Twitter

 

smartphone-586944_1280

Why Leave Twitter?

A couple of years ago I couldn’t wait to check my Twitter account to see what new “followers” had followed me the night before and to read any new comments from “so-and-so”.  And no, I don’t mean from Donald Trump.  As the comments and one-liners would rapidly appear I would scroll the feed only to be greeted by hundreds more comments I must’ve missed.  The daily routine of reading comments, (many duplicated and automated) and posting comments never ended until the day I finally left Twitter.  And why did I stop using Twitter?

So Many People Want to be Followed

The answer is quite simple but first some background.  Users of Twitter know that one purpose of the app is to gain followers and in turn follow others.  And so after months of using Twitter I like many others did just that until one day it dawned on me that it’s humanly impossible to actually read a thousand plus comments from people you are “following” let alone be excepted to respond to all those folks.  When I figured that out I felt as if I had been let down by Twitter.  I had high hopes for creating an empire of real people followers who cared about my content but so does most everyone else.  For me, the hype and appeal of what I thought Twitter might be was simply lost.  I was disappointed to learn that comments I sent out to people who had followed me couldn’t possibly be seen if they already had 1 million followers they were trying to track!

Content Fakery

With all this following and being followed going on I was getting a little dizzy.  And then I noticed another disappointing trend occurring on Twitter.  I know this because I did it. Since people have real lives, many of those comments and links I was reading were actually being automated each day and being posted by someone else!  I soon learned that much of the content on Twitter is a canned advertisement or message that had been planned out days and weeks in advance!  Oh the devastation!  So the question is, why would I want to read an automated message I had already read the day before and the day before that?  Well I didn’t and so I would simply hide the people who posted it.  And so I expect, if I was hiding people, other people where hiding people and so on.  But what’s the point in that?  Well I don’t see any good point really unless you think it’s great to follow and be followed by thousands and thousands of people who probably will never know you exist.

The Famous Person Bandwagon

Now the second problem I have with Twitter is what I call the famous person bandwagon. I am not remotely famous (or wish to be) nor do I wish to follow famous people.  Of course it wasn’t always this way.  In the beginning I was happy to part of the famous person bandwagon and it was fun.  I use to “follow” famous people and at the same time I wanted to see how many followers I could get too. That is until I realized unless you are already a well-known person not many people even know or care that you posted that clever comment to Twitter.  So again I don’t understand the appeal of Twitter unless it’s your business to know about famous people or you yourself are famous and Twitter makes you feel macho.  (With the exception of Donald Trump because he is already macho and the Left apparently can’t stand it.)

However, like Facebook, I decided to jump off the Twitter bandwagon and say bye-bye to the endless (and sometimes mindless) feed of automated one liners and links that so pervasively permeate the app known as Twitter.

Missed it? Find out why I left Facebook


 

Real Hope

Watch it! See what hope looks like!

Audacity Movie – See what hope looks like before it’s too late

Thinking of having an abortion? Watch this before you decide!

Support the making of Police 10-13


image source

Minnesota Undercover – A short story – Part One

Stone_Arch_Bridge_-_Minneapolis

Minnesota Undercover – Part One (of Ten)

Tim D. McConnaughy Jr.

 

 

“You can’t go that way,” he said.

The man was tall with black bushy hair and a five o’clock shadow that appeared to cover the bottom portion of his face. He was wearing a midnight blue sweater, light gray pants and dark colored loafers. He was yelling to a man running ahead of him.

The second man who appeared to be of Middle Eastern decent, was much shorter and faster. His bronze colored hair was partially concealed but he was wearing a little brown fedora with a pink feather. He had on long lightly colored khaki pants and a rainbow vertically striped shirt that appeared to look similar to a woman’s silk blouse.

Then things turned strange.

“It’s raining, it’s pouring the old man is snoring!” The bushy haired man began to sing. “We got our tickets, we got our tickets!” He sang with a sense of pride in his voice. The taller man had nearly caught up to the shorter man now.

Suddenly I watched as the shorter colorfully dressed man, abruptly stopped running, began to spin around 180 degrees and then proceeded to do a back-flip in the middle of the room. The man then picked up what looked to be a metallic designer-style briefcase that had apparently been laying on the floor nearby. Than as mysteriously as both men had appeared, they quickly vanished.

I knew something about this story wasn’t making sense and then it hit me, it must be a crazy dream. It was becoming difficult to tell what was real and what wasn’t. I decided to yell to see if I was awake. I tried to yell something out loud but nothing—no voice.

As if this already odd situation couldn’t get any stranger, it did.

Suddenly I began feeling cold……and wet, really wet. Rain? Yep, that must be it—it was raining and I was outside somewhere in the cold wet rain. But where was I and why couldn’t I speak? I wasn’t sure but what was clear was that the black pants I had been wearing were now beginning to stick to my legs and the blue pullover I had on appeared to be glued to my back. I was drenched.

Then I felt something wrapped around my neck. It must have been the strap from the bag I was intending to carry on the plane.

That’s it! Then I remembered, I was at the airport! Maybe things were going to start making sense again. My flight! I’m going to miss my flight! I tried to run but I couldn’t. I seemed to be stuck.

Then I heard what sounded like a man yelling.

“Keep going this way….” I heard the voice trail off for a moment……then it returned.

“They’re gonna end up in hell!”

Although I couldn’t see anyone, I heard another male voice further in the distance.

“C’mon, we gotta hurry!”

I wished the man would notice my predicament. This time I tried to scream, hoping to get someone’s—anyone’s attention. I opened my mouth to utter the word, help! I was certain my lips were moving but I still couldn’t hear my voice. Was I deaf? Couldn’t be, since I thought I had just heard a man yelling.

Then I heard a female voice close by. The voice was one of gentleness and sorrow yet she commanded authority.

“I’m sorry sir,” the women said, “but this ticket won’t get you to heaven. I am truly sorry.”

I heard a man respond, sounding agitated.

“There’s no way we’re going to hell, if hell doesn’t exist!”

This time I wanted to respond aloud. But what if it does? I thought.

Then I heard another male voice yell, “We got a fire here! There’s a fire!” he yelled.

At that moment what Jesus says concerning hell began to flood my thoughts. What if these people were not part of a dream at all? What if there was a fire and people were truly going to die?! I felt the need to warn them and tell them what God says.

 

 

 

Suddenly a surge of pain ran up my arm. It felt like my left arm was being ripped from its socket. Then I felt the surge of pain again—this time it was even stronger. The pain began to ricochet around my shoulder and back through my arm again. Just then my whole body felt like it had hit a concrete wall—and hard. I opened my eyes to see the leg of a chair next to my head. I seemed to be lying on the floor in a pool of water. Continue reading

Minnesota Undercover – A short story – Part Ten

Stone_Arch_Bridge_-_Minneapolis

Minnesota Undercover – Part Ten of Ten

Tim D. McConnaughy Jr.

 

 

Everything went black for a moment, as if we had entered a tunnel but suddenly the bi-level coach we were in began to shake. As if in the middle of a massive earthquake the coach started to tilt and rock violently back and forth! It felt worse being on the upper level of the coach—we were sure to come off the tracks! And then there was the familiar smell of smoke as it filled the inside of our passenger car. Looking outside, daylight was rapidly being replaced by an eerie smoky night as the smoke grew thicker and thicker. I heard various screams and cries for help then loud explosions as if someone had lit a few sticks of dynamite next to my chair. I heard people yelling, “Get out! Get out!” and “Save yourself if you can!”

Continue reading

Minnesota Undercover – A short story – Part Nine

Stone_Arch_Bridge_-_Minneapolis

Minnesota Undercover – Part Nine

Tim D. McConnaughy Jr.

 

Once we arrived at police headquarters, Natalie and I were given a ride to the train station by an agent officer from the headquarters. As I got into the back seat of the four door sedan, I took a seat behind the driver and Natalie got into the seat next to him. The dark haired driver was wearing a black suit coat, black trousers and sunglasses. The car itself appeared to be a brand new high-end luxury car. Inside I noticed the distinct new-car smell of leather upholstery. Then the curious thought of whether this particular car had been used as a bait car for catching car thieves crossed my mind.

My curiosity got the best of me so I asked our driver that very question. He shot me a half grin which I could see in the rear view mirror. Then he said, “That’s classified information I’m afraid. If I told you then I’d have to….”

Continue reading

Minnesota Undercover – A short story – Part Eight

Stone_Arch_Bridge_-_Minneapolis

Minnesota Undercover – Part Eight

Tim D. McConnaughy Jr.

 

I immediately recognized the man as he walked to the front and then it dawned on me where I had seen him before. Sure enough it was the man who had fallen on me in the hotel lobby and it appeared to be the same man I had apparently seen do a back-flip at the Minnesota airport!

“My name is Martin Kasam,” he said with a clear but thick middle eastern accent. “I have been the lead special agent for the Federal Anti-Terrorism Division here in the Minnesota region.”

Martin talked fast but he seemed to have the unique ability of enunciating every syllable in every word as he spoke.

“I want to welcome you all here but we have much to cover so I won’t waste your valuable time.” he said.

Continue reading