Friday, March 11, 2016

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play. 

Of course it wasn’t fair. Wasn’t reasonable. That didn’t stop the barrage of bullshit, gag-choked blithering. Bilious clouds and bile. You sat with your mouth draped over your chin, thin skin, teeth flared. You wouldn’t have even thought that possible. But you looked just like a mangy wolf, one been caught too many times, but always steps in the trap. Ain’t fair. Don’t matter. Pigeons scatter.

Sure, you could have tried to find a solution. Absolution. Resolution. Revolution. Bullshit. You never could have tried because the trying wasn’t in you. In you? Fluff. Bits of string and dandruff and radio jingles. You never were nothing. A vessel. And you let yourself get stuffed with the wrong shit. I’m supposed to care?

I don’t care one bit. 

And the black suits come and the black dresses follow and you wonder, gulp, holler, swallow. Later you’ll try to eat, but the potato salad will get stuck in the middle of your chest. And you’ll be jealous. Because the dead don’t pay bills. And they finally get to rest.




  1. "Ain’t fair. Don’t matter. Pigeons scatter." Hahahahaha. May not be fair but it is perfection.

    1. And somedays that rest sounds good.... and the wolf keeps hoping the trap will rust... this is good, and I really like the imagery and the sound.

    2. Whoa. Love it. Especially the last paragraph.

    3. You speakin my Language, bro... absolution, resolution, revolution and yeah like the memoir says...everybody dies in the end...

    4. What they said. Plus, the word play is top notch.

  2. The man said ‘listen dummy’ – I listened. I didn’t feel dumb, but, hell, he was old. Why would he say it if it wasn’t true? Why would he purple-face screech if he didn’t care? Why did I have to make him so goddamn mad all the time? Just trying to stay hidden. Trying to find something small and true. Something I could call mine. Dummy or not. I knew.

    Dummy was one of the nicer things, but it got so I didn’t even hear it. I just figured I had a million names, and the more they got used, the duller the edges became.

    Then one day, I packed it in. He looked surprised. Like something was taken from him. I laughed. Skipped town and never looked back. But sometimes I’d wonder, early in the morning or right before dusk. If he’d found the doctored liquor.

    And if he’d drank enough.

    1. Ah, I like this... and I like thinking that revenge is best served from a bottle...

    2. I Love it! I always got sage advice administered thusly: "Now, IF you were smart," or "I can tell you where you made your First mistake..." Great capture...

    3. Yeah, so much unspoken, yet we hear it anyway. Takes magic to do that, brother!

    4. Ooh, a sinister side? Very creative.

  3. Mary had a little lamb, we ate that shit for Easter. The old mother’s cupboard, all warm and cluttered? We turned that into a meth lab. The witches, the haints, the things that you believed were looking out for you. We put them shits in a blender, turned it all the way up. We poured the fairy-tail gloop in tall glasses and drank it. Chased it with bleach and rubbing alcohol.

    You think I’m playing? You think these words don’t mean what I’m saying? Or maybe it’s worse than that. Maybe you’re shaking, primed for attack. Maybe you’ll stretch your lies too thin on the rack. I don’t care, long as I get my records back.

    It was a dark and stormy night, once upon a time. Folks believed in easy things and lived on simple rhymes. And it’s easy to bluff, “those were simpler times.” Son, nothing’s ever been simple. Ever. And that ain’t gonna change. Ask the itsy-bitsy-Sisyphus-spider.

    Or the mermaid. They had to cut her open to find what was inside her. Mixed her up with the tuna. Tasted just fine.

    Just fine.

    1. You tuned into the collective, man. I read this thing online today: the "scientists" have measured the sound veggies make while they are being eaten. "Have the cabbages stopped screaming, Clarice???"

    2. That spider is Sisyphus, you're so right.

  4. And this is what Despair tastes like. It is bitterness from a sleepless night, and worry about the things that cannot change. It is the fire of hope rained out by relentless realities and doom. It is ashes, wet and gray, coating a once-pink tongue.

    It smells of old smoke, burnt plastic, and cigars lit years ago. It is mold and mildew, and towels left in the washer too long to be masked by the perfume of fabric softener and painted on smiles.

    It sounds like tired and determined flies and wasps, looking for the right places to bite and sting, hovering in stale air. Traffic and horns and middle fingers speaking hatred.

    Despair is cold to the touch, ice to steal fire, a tongue stuck to a subzero metal surface, draining, draining, draining the warmth from a soul. There is electric shock, too, to punish attempts to escape.

    And just when Despair is about to fill and overfill your cup, just when there’s no reason to go on, and emptiness promises relief, the sun kisses the horizon, and you find from somewhere deep inside, not a reason, but the strength to try again, one more day, because maybe today, maybe today will be better.

    1. Beautiful, Bugs thunking senselessly against the bougainvillea. Same sensibility, different climate, same day

    2. Agreed. And so well painted, Leland. Beautiful.

    3. There's always hope Leland. That tongue reference-ouch!Feel the pain. I really liked this.

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  6. Huh... I'm getting a weird message: Your HTML cannot be accepted. Must be at most 4,096 characters. Never saw that one here before!

    1. I guess blogspot is helping enforce the two minutes rule 4096 characters is what, about 600 words? Big brother is watching....

    2. I get that sometimes, when the piece I'm trying to post is too long.

    3. ::I am a wordy bitch and I have been word-free for .5 seconds"

  7. Okay, I'll try splitting into two parts. Part 1:

    Desolation is a big enough town that we have two churches: The Baptists and the Pentecostals. Mama said it was a choice between fire and water; Daddy said it was a choice between hot and cold.

    You don’t know hellfire till it’s been preached to you by a good Pentecostal minister at an old-fashioned revival in Texas. He’ll have you so scared of Satan and his minions within a half hour that you can bet you’ll not be lighting a match for the smell of sulfur it brings. And Reverend Chirstensen can give a good revival; you can bet on it.

    Daddy said we needed to go to one of his preachings, to find out what was going on. More and more of the folks were carrying their guns openly now. Mrs. Parsenip just about shot the cashier at the liquor store accidentally with her little shiny pistol. As it was, a couple of bottles of the cheap whiskey were the only casualty, but Daddy looked worried.

    I was worried, too. I knew Tony wouldn’t have killed Patsy. She wasn’t quite right in the head, folks said, but she never meant harm to anyone. Having a werewolf for a boyfriend was gonna get me confused about a lot of things, I could see.

    We got to the little church, only brick building in town, a little before seven. Just about the whole town was there, Baptist and Pentecostal alike. Even the Baptist preacher, Mr. Dunhill, was there. He shook hands with Daddy, and they shook hands and whispered back and forth. All I heard was something about “setting aside doctrinal differences,” whatever they were, “for the good of the town.” Daddy laughed and said something about full collection plates. Mr. Dunhill just frowned and sat down.

    The church was full up, and since we got there late, we had to sit outside on the folding chairs borrowed from the firemen’s hall. There was a speaker set up so we could hear what was going on inside the church. We’d have to imagine Rev. Christensen’s wild gesticulations and reaching toward heaven when he was filled with the spirit. That was okay by me. He kinda looked like a man afflicted when I’d seen him at last summer’s revival week.

    We heard the amplified sounds of people shuffling around, and then Rev. Christensen himself, muttering “Is this thing on? Can the folks outside hear me?”

    The crowd outdoors shouted “Yes” in unison, and he got down to delivering the word of the Lord.

    “Welcome, brothers and sisters,” he intoned, just before a squeal of feedback from the amplifier interrupted him.

    “It’s good to see so many of you turn out tonight to hear the Lord’s message.”

    The air was still outdoors, like Nature itself was hoping to hear his message, too.

  8. and Part 2:

    “I know some of you have been here before, earlier this week, and a lot of this won’t be news to you, but let me summarize for the newcomers.”

    The windows of the church were open, and I realized if I scrunched down a little, I could see him preaching at the front of the church through one of them.

    “An agent of the devil has found his way to Desolation, and has killed one of our own. Beloved Patsy, simple of mind, was eviscerated — that means her innards were ripped out — by this beast. Like a wild animal it ripped her apart after it had its way with her. The Doc says this wasn’t the first time, given the scars on her body.”
    I hadn’t heard that before. I thought she was just killed.

    “Imagine our beloved sister, ravished and ravaged by Satan’s spawn, and she was too afraid to speak of it to any of us. SHAME be on us.” I could see his hands waving in the air. “Bow down before the Almighty and ask for His forgiveness for not listening for her cries.”

    No one moved a muscle. Everyone looked down at the ground.

    “And tonight, tonight, Patsy’s parents have allowed me to share one more piece of information with you all, with Patsy’s church family…”

    This was what made Rev. Christensen an excellent speaker. He knew exactly when to pause, to build suspense.

    “Patsy was with child, and the monster ripped her poor little baby out of her…”

    Gasps filled the air.

    “I’d appreciate if the men folk would join us outside so we can discuss how to deal with this monster.”

    Yep, having a werewolf for a boyfriend was getting mighty interesting, mighty fast.

    1. This story is definitely growing into something good!

    2. aw, thanks... Tony and the geek don't seem to want to be left alone... so I guess they'll keep popping up

  9. Part 1.

    It sure was jittery, last night.

    Nighttime can be a blur sometimes. We hit all the nodes, as well as the notes. Even our discordance felt ordained. Neon. Met with the right groups and at all the right times, but we overindulged. Okay, I overindulged. The pulsation of an intoxicated evening stretched into a long night, like a quasar, something cosmic, like the history of the slowest supernova, a sedate twin galactic waltz: more absorption and sluggish radiance than cataclysm.

    Once upon a time, there was an abundance of time.

    Now I wake with a dull head and it's a grey morning and I hear no birdsong or much of anything else.

    Coffee. Two scorched hilltop scoops of ground arabica beans and a stainless kettle and a french press stolen from a former girlfriend. Organic cane sugar. One percent milk. No food. Just caffeine and a sweet verve.

    Without warning or explanation, my mind goes straight to breasts, full and curved, perfect hard nipples at attention.

    Salivate, drink the last of the coffee, dream of women, step into the street.

    Where is everything? I hear nothing. See no traffic, no passers.

    A thin yellow disc attempts to nudge its way through claggy cloud, a weak tongue fighting gummy saliva in the mouth of the dying.

    Betrayal, I think. My world has betrayed me. Our world has betrayed us. This wasn't supposed to happen. We expect to awake to commuter sounds and morning radio, earworm ditties and ambiguously cheery local stories about homeless people who selflessly aid those who might once have condemned them, upend the narrative; weather updates on downed branches from last night's windstorms, power outages and traffic tales, how a set of lights are down at Marine and Boundary, how there's a stall on the Lion's Gate, and how a visiting dignitary from India is closing down large sections of Surrey, which we're advised to avoid.

  10. Part 2.

    Panic. Intoxication. Are there still bluebells? Wherefore schools of dolphin, sleek musculatures undulating through waves? Icebergs calving? LED-lit whores in Amsterdam, dark triangles glistening behind windows? Grief and drama? The Falls and the Shankill? Quickies in department store change rooms? The best jokes ever told by the funniest women? Another woman making soup? A shallow urban stream? Midnight mass with your drunk non-Catholic friends? Premature birth? Courage in the face of bigotry? Ativan or Xanax? The exhaustion following an assault? Your precious story of violation? Where is your limit? What momentous dreams did you abandon?

    I stand on the street. Where buses would hiss and whine. Where cabs would whisk and disgorge. Where pedestrians would play a jaywalk dance with the inside lane, with the righteous right-turners, where bicycles would joust with trucks, middle fingers ready like tiny lances, the morning choreography guided and shaped by something invisible, something never seen, barely even acknowledged. Until it books out. Until it absconds.

    Silent. Empty.

    I take out my phone and call Sophie, the last person I remember from the night before.

    Amazingly, she answers.



    "Where you at?"


    "I'm glad you called."


    "Not sure. A friendly voice?"

    "What makes you think I'm friendly?"

    "Fuck off."




    "You hear anything?"

    I consider confounding, befuddling, but go with honesty: "Nah. Nada."

    "Fucking creepy, huh?"

    "Yeah. Yes, it is."

    "Can you come here, brother?"

    "Sure. I'll hike it. Stay put. Give me an hour."


    I think she's hung up, but she adds:

    "Kurt? Hurry, okay?"


    When I get to her place she's gone. But I shouldn't be surprised: everyone's gone. I don't know what to do or where to go next. So I go sit in the street.

    I imagine a distant sound, like music by Brian Eno: electronic, ambient; swelling and droning. Perhaps I even hear it, but I doubt that. Real or not, it seems to come from the far limits of the sky, where indigo meets ink-black, right at the edge of the world's rind. Right where the frigid and terrifying universe begins.

    I lower my gaze to the smudge-grey asphalt and wish for ants, spiders, worms, weeds, anything. But none appear.

    I haven't heard a single siren in hours.

    Sophie's phone goes to voice mail.

    The sun never even breaks through.

    1. The last man on earth... I like this piece a lot... and wonder how any of us might do as the last living person... your attention to detail in this makes it brilliant, as usual.

    2. Yup. This is wonderful. "The pulsation of an intoxicated evening stretched into a long night, like a quasar, something cosmic, like the history of the slowest supernova, a sedate twin galactic waltz: more absorption and sluggish radiance than cataclysm." So good. And there are so many more I could highlight.

      I love Bukowski. There is a little bit of him in here, but more Antrobus. Bukowski could never have written something as beautiful as this. He had the heart, but not the language.

    3. He definitely had the heart! Thanks, my brothers.

    4. Oh, I love this. The rhythm. It's brilliant, it sparkles. And this sentence: Where pedestrians would play a jaywalk dance with the inside lane, with the righteous right-turners, where bicycles would joust with trucks, middle fingers ready like tiny lances, the morning choreography guided and shaped by something invisible, something never seen, barely even acknowledged.

  11. Split into two as I had that same message Leland got.

    1. Damn, David! I Loved this piece and posted, but sumbody broke the internet today. Anyway, what I especially loved was the transition from expected ordinary noise, to listening for ants worms and weeds...Great stuff! BRAVO!

    2. Yup, that switching from grandiose to delicate. Really impressive.

    3. You guys are so nice to me! I honestly hadn't thought of that, from the cosmic to the tiny, and how you'd be more likely to miss the small and "insignificant." Hmmm... I like that.

    4. So many great sentences and the imagery-wow!So--did the coffee maker belong to Sophie?

  12. He was still attempting to call her, still attempting to explain. From the moment Marta had stormed out of their house, where she’d discovered her professor husband with his best student, throughout her ride to the airport, and even as she was checking into her hotel room in Alexandria, she sent his calls, texts, and voicemail messages into the ether. The ancient Egyptians she studied had the right idea. If you wanted to vanquish an enemy, remove the evidence. Chip their names from edifices, strike them from scrolls, let their good deeds, if any, never be spoken of again. The memories were harder. Especially when the two of them had made this discovery together. They’d found the pharaoh’s mistress. And yes, the irony cut her like the lasers they’d used to exhume the remains. She’d been invited to speak at the opening of the exhibit; he’d declined, and now she knew why. But it was too late to back out, and besides, Marta felt she owed it to the “secret queen,” as historians had come to call her, to honor her memory, to drag her from the burial chambers relegated to the pharaoh’s servants, where she’d been hidden for thousands of years.

    There was time before the curators expected her, so she asked for a private tour. She trailed a hand over the Plexiglas covering the death masks and relics and the mummified remains of the woman herself. She must have been important to him to merit such an honorable afterlife. Buried among the servants, yes, forgotten by the ages, certainly, but what ordinary person at that time in Egypt, even a palace servant, was treated so well in death? “I know you all too well,” she whispered. Squeezing her eyes shut, she remembered a time when she was the best student, the eager disciple of the man who had declined to come to Egypt and share the spotlight. She ducked into a corner and called him. “Do you love her?” she said. His silence told the story, and she hung up, and deleted him.

    1. Perfect scene setting, perfect inner dialogue, perfect story. And may he rot in hell.

    2. Agreed. And you may have the strongest voice of anyone I know. So consistent. It's like when I read your stuff, my brain goes: "OOOH, more Boris...."

    3. Yeah, that last line slays. Brilliant.

    4. Hope she erases his memory from all
      her scrolls.

  13. “Anna. Anna. Anna.”

    I opened my eyes. The New User had initiated my start-up procedures and I was now imprinted onto her. She was a child, approximately eight years of age and was blonde.

    “Hello, New User. My name is Anna. Please tell me your name.”

    The New User grinned and then bent over my transportation case, her face smeared with an as-yet undetermined substance.

    “Poopy Pants. It's what my daddy calls me.”

    Closing my eyelids, I accessed my user profile files, adding her name.

    “Hello, Poopy Pants. You are now my primary user. My name is Anna. How may I help you?”

    But Poopy Pants was no longer interested. She was playing with her cat.

    1. Wow. Talk about a million paths diverging. I want to see where this goes because I have like a BILLION ideas. Awesome.

    2. Yeah, it's like a writing prompt in itself, while telling its own tale. Nice.

    3. Poops pants might have some adult supervision around.... Cute.

    4. this is so good... and I expect it will be a sort of reality before long... Poopy Pants was brilliant.

  14. The two of them sat side by side, in the front seat of her mother’s old Taurus wagon; the girl, Lily, trying to stay intent and serious as was appropriate to the occasion, even as excitement radiated from her like an electric charge. The mother, Lizanne, unused to the shot gun seat, was oddly uncomfortable, flicking at invisible things on the dashboard with a painted nail.
    “You got your belt on?”
    “Yes, Mom.”
    “Have your permit? Not that there will be any problems. I mean, just in case.”
    Lizanne inhaled deeply.“All right. Explain the letters again.”
    “P is Park, R is Reverse,N is Neutral, D is drive and L is—“ she paused, frowning. “You didn’t say what L was.”
    She turned to her. “I didn’t? Uh, well I think it’s for Low. Something like that. Doesn’t matter. Nobody uses it, anyway. Okay, put the key in the ignition and turn one third in my direction.”
    “I can’t, Mom.”
    “You didn’t give me the keys!”
    A little embarrassed, Lizanne shoved her purse in the girl’s direction. They’re in there.” She said. “It’s the long one.”
    The girl rummaged a moment, brought up the keys, then froze. “Mom?”
    Lily withdrew a half done package of Marlboro longs from the depths of the handbag. “You SMOKE?” Her voice rose with sheer incredulity.
    “Shit. No, of course not. Give me those. I can’t imagine how they got…”
    “A lighter, too!” She pulled it from the bag and raised a triumphant hand, fixing her mother with a wide eyed stare. “You are SO busted. Wait till Dad hears about this.”
    “It’s none of his business. Or yours, either. Now give me those. Unless of course you’d prefer we just put off this driver’s license business. Indefinitely.”
    The implication was clear. Lily scowled, considering it, twisting and end of her purple tipped hair. “Dad will teach me, “ she said doubtfully.
    “Ha! Good luck with that one, dearie. He won’t let anyone near that Nav except him and you know it. Not even me. Why do you think I’m stuck with the Mom-mobile? ” Lizanne thumped the dash for emphasis. “ Besides, the insurance would cost a fortune. So if you have ANY hope at all of getting your license this summer; you’re going to keep the smoking thing to yourself. Got it? Just between us girls.”
    “Okay, okay—but, Mom?”
    “What?” Irritably, she rolled down the window by hand. Fine thing, she thought, Paul gets a sleek black Lincoln Nav with power everything and what does she get? Power nothing and kid guilt.
    “You know smoking’s really bad, right? I mean, you must. Even Mrs. Pritchard, who’s pretty laid back, thinks so. She makes her own dad stand out on the patio to smoke, even in winter. When it’s like 20 below and stuff.”
    Mrs. Pritchard was their door next neighbor, a bottle blonde who did yoga everyday and shopped at Whole foods. At fifty, she looked 30, unless you looked close.
    “ Cleo Pritchard is a first class hypocrite.” Lizanne replied with surprising vehemence. “ She makes a 90-year old man stand out on the patio for a cigarette, while inside she’d firing up her “medicinal” weed two hours before fucking breakfast, okay?”
    “Whoa, Mom. Chill, okay? I just wondered, is all. I mean, smoking? How come? Why keep it a secret?”
    Lizanne looked at her. “I’m sorry. I never meant for you, or anyone else to find out.”
    “But why?”
    Lizanne leaned her head against the seat and gazed at the worn, stained headliner. If you have to ask, she thought…

  15. “Why?” she said and almost laughed. “Because I’ve been married to your father for 20 years. Because I have three children under the age of 16. Because I have soccer games and dance classes and PTA meetings and a shitty part time job and a crappy station wagon. And all the time, every day, somebody needs something from me. But sometimes—sometimes, honey? I need a place to go where nobody can follow me. So sometimes, when you’re all asleep and it’s the middle of the night. I get up and get in this car and drive around. Down by the lake, or cruise by a mall with nobody in it. I turn radio up loud and sing along and sometimes I smoke. Two or three; sometimes a half a pack. Depends on the day. It reminds me about when I was young, like you are and a little bit free.And when I come home, I go back to bed, and I get up the next day and do it all over again.”
    Lilly shook her head. “But Mom, you know smoking’s bad, right? Like ,you’re addicted or something?”
    Lizanne turned to her and smiled. Cheerfully this time, as if some weight had been lifted from her heart. “Maybe not as bad as the alternative,” she said.” Start the car.”

    1. Oh shit. I love this one so hard. "Power nothing and kid guilt." For real? I might just steal that shit. ;)

    2. Yeah, this is the awesome. I don't often use this word as I don't trust it, but this feels authentic.

    3. Yep, I love it! And I love Mom!

  16. I hadn't seen him since Jimmy ate the fucking bullet, so it was awkward. You know, the eye contact. Hand shake felt like a fake priest - the whole thing was too fucking much, I was into the wine, but it wasn't helping.

    He was talking. The same shit, nonstop, verbal fucking hemorrhaging - like someone gave him a goddamn challenge. How long can you talk without saying anything remotely interesting? Tell him about the fucking way you fixed the fucking ceiling fan.

    The music was too loud and the room was too hot. I'm just saying it wasn't all my fault. Some of it was. I'll cop to that. It was the way he said it.

    "Weather sure is unpredictable lately."

    I almost laughed. I couldn't say 'fuck you' loud enough - I would have needed organ pipes. Piece of cliched bullshit. So, I shot him.

    Hell, Jimmy would have clapped.

    1. Ha! Made me actually laugh out loud. The organ pipes line is priceless.

    2. "It was the way he said it." Makes me love the way he wrote it.

  17. You stubbed your toe on that slick little line, and you fell out of your world - into mine. And I showed you so many pretty things. Goddamn, baby, you felt fucking alive. You were a supernova. And we never ran out of anything but cigarettes. And them, only when it was probably time to order down for groceries anyway.

    I'm not going to feel bad about it. I know I should. I know there are plenty of people begging for it - but it ain't my fault I got game, and it ain't my fault that God made things that can make you feel like Jesus. Sure, there's a downside.

    I guess I left you on the downside. But that's because I'd met Linda, see? And Linda was so fresh, she was like new sheets. And I had so much to show her.

    Linda. That bitch?

    Aurora borealis.

    1. Oh dear, I've dated guys like this...and it's like you say, it's not All bad...:)

  18. The knife was right where he knew it would be. Right where it should have been. He pulled the loose blade with a practiced hand and cut the line right above the clinch knot - clip - sharp knife, crucial.

    He knew he had maybe half a dozen casts, diminishing returns. Too still. Perfect, but still. A heron had been through hours earlier.

    The Heron hadn't had any luck.

    So, no movement. Nothing quick. The cork was smooth in his hand and the first cast was perfect. And right when he was thinking, 'no way on the first cast' - all hell broke loose, he played it right, rod bent like crazy and him like a statue. Looked at the fish and laughed out loud. Slapped his thigh with an old blue cap, laughing into the sunlight.

    He didn't know I was watching, so I didn't say anything.

    I went to find my own miracle.

    1. On some deep level I can't fully explain, this speaks some kind of weird secret language I fully understand. That last line stunned me.

    2. You, sir, should think about a Fisherman's Flash Fiction collection.... this is powerful and beautiful... and yeah, that last line...

    3. Perfect. Weirdly enough it caused a vision of my grandmother (the family fisherperson) to rise up, full blown in my head!


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