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  • #6024

    In reply to: Story Bored

    FloveFlove
    Participant

    Story Bored 8

    one

    Liz was waxing hysterical to her publisher. “I tell you, Bronkel, you complain of the loose threads wandering into nothingness, the deranged and meaningless story lines … turns out it isn’t a personality flaw; it’s those lonely vacations in the desert where I was forced to be the boy my mother always wanted.” 

    two

    (plagiarised)

    “Oh that’s a fantastic idea Becky!” encouraged Tina (anxious to divert attention from the fact her egg shampoo had turned her own hair green) when Becky suggested tentatively that perhaps she could try Al’s advanced visualisation techniques to turn this disastrous start to her wedding day around.

    “Yes, imagine it as you would like it to be, no matter how unrealistic it may seem. Imagine looking in the mirror and seeing your skin glowing like a glowing diamond. After all, you have nothing to lose Becky-pooh.”

    three

    Tifikijoo Island has been a casualty of rising sea levels. The question is, who is seeking to repopulate the island with giant spiders?

    #6018

    In reply to: Story Bored

    EricEric
    Keymaster

    BOARD 8

    Mater in fitting red gabardine is enjoying some quality time with her grand-daughter. Prune is working hard to get her first baby rocket to Mars.

    The Time-travelling Drag Queens Reginald, Amar and Cedric have finally summoned St Germain’s crystal and are getting ready for the disco party, while worrying about being underdressed for such occasion.

    Phurt is not happy about her assignment on this island. Bloody too small! she says. What am I supposed to eat? Coconuts?

    #5988
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Shawn Paul looked suspiciously at the pictures of the dolls in the Michigan forest on Maeve’s phone. He had heard about the Cottingley Fairies pictures, supposedly taken a long time ago by two little girls. The two little girls came out long after confessing they had staged the whole thing. Some said they had been coerced into it to keep the world from knowing the truth. It could well be the same thing with the whole dollmania, and Shawn Paul thought one was never dubious enough.

    He noded politely to Maeve and decided to hide his doubts for now. They were resting on sunbeds near the hotel swimming pool.

    “Do you want another cocktail?” asked a waitress dressed up in the local costume. Not much really, and so close-fitting. She was presenting them with a tray of colourful drinks and a candid smile. Her bosom was on the brink of spilling over the band of cloth she had around her chest. It was decorated with a pair of parrots stretched in such a way their lubricious eyes threatening to pop out at any moment.

    Shawn Paul, who had the talent to see the odd and misplaced, forced himself to look at the tray and spotted the strangest one. He pushed his glasses back up on his nose and asked without looking at the waitress.

    “What’s that strange bluish blob under the layers of alcohol and fruits?”

    Maeve raised one eyebrow and looked at her companion with disapproval, but the waitress answered as if she heard that all the time.

    “That’s a spoonful of honey from the blue bees. We feed them a special treat and they make us honey with remarkable properties that we have learned to use for the treatments we offer.”

    “Oh,” said Shawn Paul who did not dare ask more about the treatments.

    They had arrived to Tikfidjikoo just before the confinement had been declared all over the world, and they had a moment of hesitation to take the last plane with the other tourists and go back safely to Canada. But after the inconclusive adventure in Australia, Maeve had convinced him they had to stay to find out more about the dolls.

    They had met those three old ladies and one of them had one of the dolls. Sharon, Mavis and Gloria, they were called and they were going to a smaller island of the archipelago, one that was not even on the maps apparently. That should have given them suspicions, but it seemed so important to Maeve that Shawn Paul hadn’t had the heart to leave her alone.

    “I have a plan,” had said Maeve, “We’re going to follow them, befriend them and learn more about how they came to have the doll and try and get the key that’s inside of it.”

    “You’re here for the beauty treatment?” had asked the girl at the counter. “You’re lucky, with the confinement a lot of our reservations have been canceled. We have plenty of vacancy and some fantastic deals.”

    Maeve had enrolled them for a free week treatment before Shawn Paul could say anything. They hadn’t seen the ladies much since they had arrived on the island, and now there were no way in or out of the island. They had been assured they had plenty of food and alcohol and a lot of activities that could be fitted to everyone’s taste.

    #5662
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    Jerk had been tracking all of it. He’d done a nice map of all the location the both of  them had travelled, with little animated pins for the dolls they’d collected.

    It was a bit difficult to get them all to focus, and by them he didn’t mean the pins.

    After Shawn-Paul and Maeve had come back home, their little lives at the building had resumed with some slight changes. For one, he’d finally realized through some fine deductive work worthy of Sherlock that Maeve was the one behind the dolls postings on his website. He was finally sure after a firewall update got her locked out of the website and she requested to get back in. Anyways, that made things easier, although they still mostly exchanged and discussed though the website despite them being front door neighbours on the same floor. But the arrangement was convenient, especially since Shawn-Paul had kind of unofficially moved in with her and Fabio.

    He’d invited them in Lucinda’s apartment to do a little old fashioned slide show  —Lucinda’s apartment was bigger he’d argued; and all the funny collection of paraphernalia she’d gathered on the walls and cabinets tops was always great to set the mood or do an improvised theme party. For sure, it didn’t have anything to do with the fact he wouldn’t need to clean up and push all the mess in the corners of his own apartment.

    Lucinda was all excited. And not just by her new boyfriend Jasper. She wanted to make a book about their expedition, and everybody had immediately rolled their eyes. Books in this century, she must be the last one dinosaur raving about books.

    The slide show started by the end. Where the dolls all ended up finally. La Isla de las Muñecas in Mexico: the Island of Dolls.

    That’s when they were all appreciating the fitting finish line that the door bell rang.

    Uncle Fergus?!” Maeve was incredulous; it was months they weren’t in contact.

    “I’m here for Jasper.” he said ominously.

    #4838
    FloveFlove
    Participant

    “You forget, Agent X, I have lived on *Tifi my whole life. It is most certainly not a local tradition to wear a beanie with a wooden top. Now, tell me? What’s really going on?”

    Agent X leaned on the mangled bicycle and stared silently at V. “It’s good to see you. I’d forgotten how hot you are when you are being assertive,” he said at last.

    • The locals call the island Tifi.
    #4820
    FloveFlove
    Participant

    “Hang on. I just saw a friend of mine,” said the driver, skidding to a stop. “You don’t mind, do ya?”

    Without waiting for an answer, he leaned over and opened the front passenger door.

    “Oy, Veranassessee! You wanna a lift somewhere?”

    “I’m out for the exercise. Thanks though. “ She waved them on.

    She’s a good sort,” said the driver, narrowly avoiding a large pot hole. “Bloody roads are a disgrace. She’s been on the island for years. Since the upset.”

    “What upset was that?” Asked Maeve, raising questioning eyebrows at Shawn-Paul.

    The driver turned round and looked at them in the back seat. “I’ve probably said more than I should but …. “

    “Watch out!” shouted Shawn-Paul.

    #4800
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    Ed Steam had called for a strategic team meeting this morning.
    He looked at his pocket watch. It was only a queerter to thriety, which meant they were all late, as usual. True that time was notoriously difficult to read in these alternate dimensions, but this particular dimension had been fairly stable since Bea was taking her homeopathic pills, keeping her sneezing fits under control, and all their identities rather clear.

    The next mission required a two pronged approach, with one part of the action on the Pacific Island where another doll was to be revealed, and the other at the Doctor’s lair.

    The Australian tunnels were still under observation, in case the murlocks that were crawling there would be awoken by the blunderous adventurers that had gone investigating.

    Frooteen past thriety. They wouldn’t come now. He probably shouldn’t have left the organization of the meeting to Aqua Luna.

    He looked at the next item on his agenda. “Interdimensional call to Miss Bossy.”

    True, he had to get her update on her investigation into the Doctor’s history. That would surely reveal clues as to his current whereabouts.

    #4788
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    Tikfijikoo? I’ve never heard of an island called Tikfijikoo…” Shawn-Paul said once they were seated in the airplane.

    “Really?” Maeve was surprised. “My childhood was full of stories that happened in that island.”
    She was distracted though. She was sure she’d seen the man in black follow them through the customs and sneak into the plane. She had a doubt though, how could he have followed, the planed seemed so completely packed, she even wondered how Fergus had managed to get them tickets during what was surely peak season.

    It’s probably all in your mind… she said to herself.

    “What did you say?” Shawn-Paul inquired, fingers full of salt and a grin on his face after a violent struggle with the little bag of roasted pistachios the attendant had given him.

    “I said, you better rest. The trip is long, and you won’t sleep much in the next plane to the island. It’s not going to be a big and comfy plane, I can tell you.”

    #4570
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Liz felt someone tug at her almost transparent pink silk gown. She tried to ignore it as she worked hard to recall the young woman’s name, she had it on the tip of her tongue.

    The tug got stronger and Liz feared that whomever was doing it they were going to tore her silk veil. She turned around, her irritation colouring her high cheekbones with a nice tint of pink and gasped.
    “What I do with the spiders,” asked a small woman with dark skin and wearing a rainbow sari. “They’re so big big, and SOOOO hungry. They’re going to eat the guests only.”

    Liz shook her head, seeing the curls of her newly acquired blond wig bounce about her face. She looked at the cocktail. What did Roberto said was in those? she wondered.

    “What spiders?” she asked. The maid pointed behind Liz with her chin. When Liz looked she almost dropped her glass. A swarm of colourful giant jumping spiders were running and jumping near the swimming pool, frightening the human guests, while Roberto was riding one of them in his sparkling cowboy costume, laughing like a teenager.
    “So?” asked the maid insistently. “What I do?”
    Liz was confused.
    “Why are they here?” she asked, “I don’t understand. Where’s Godfrey?”

    “They are the daughters and sons of Narani from the giant spiders island,” said a man with a beard in a WWII uniform. A ghost dog barked silently at his feet.

    “Of course,” Liz said. But it was too much for her and she gulped, all at once, the remaining fifteen jewels of condensed information floating in her cocktail. She shoved the glass in the maid’s hands and said: “Bring me another,” before she collapsed under the afflux of so much knowledge.

    #4166
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Aunt Idle:

    One of the best things about going away is the pleasure of coming home. Never in a million years would I expect to miss dust, or overflowing ashtrays, but it was so good to see that familiar layer of dust all over everything.

    I cut Maters grumbling short and lugged my case up to my bedroom, calling “Jet lag, speak later” over my shoulder. What was she on about anyway, two more twins from the past? It rings a bell, but I’ll think about that later. I hope she’s preparing a bit of dinner, some of that food in Iceland was ghastly, especially if you’re not a fishy sort of person.

    Now all I want to do is get out of these clothes and into an old tattered T shirt ~ the oldest favourite, the black faded to greenish grey ~ and sprawl back on my bed smoking. Dropping ash on the bed cover watching the smoke and dust motes dancing in the shaft of warm sunlight. Stretching my limbs out unencumbered with layers of clothing and feeling the air on my skin.

    Iceland is very nice in many ways, I took hundreds of photographs of the scenery and all, but shivering outside while quickly sucking down a lungful, or leaning out of an open window in the arctic blasts is not my idea of a relaxing holiday. Not that I went there to relax I suppose, which is just as well, because it wasn’t the least bit relaxing.

    I drifted off to sleep, contentedly gazing at the stains on the ceiling that looked like maps of other worlds, vaguely recalling some of the names I’d made up for the islands and continents over the years, and woke up later dreaming of Fred, of all people. For a minute when I woke up I could have sworn he was standing right there next to my bed, watching me sleep. I blinked, trying to focus, and he was gone.

    #4125
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Corrie:

    I’m getting a bit worried about Aunt Idle, she’s been in Iceland ages and we haven’t heard from her, and nothing on her blog for ages, either. When I found this, I did a bit of research into the Bronklehampton case. That’s another story.

    Aunt Idle was going to visit her old friend Margit Brynjúlfursdóttir. It was all very hush hush: Margit had intimated that there was to be a family reunion, but it was to be a surprise party, and she mustn’t breathe a word of it to anyone. Margit had sent her the tickets to Keflavik, instructing her to inform her family and friends that she had won the trip in a story writing competition.

    It was Idle’s first trip to Iceland. She had met Margit in a beach bar near Cairns some years ago, just after the scandalous expose on the goings on of a mad doctor on a remote south Pacific island. The Icelandic woman had been drowning her sorrows, and Idle had been a shoulder to cry on. The age old story of a wayward son, a brilliant mind, so full of potential, victim of a conniving nurse , and now sadly incarcerated on the wrong side of the law.

    Aunt Idle didn’t immediately make a connection between the name Brynjúlfursdóttir and Bronklehampton, indeed it would have been impossible to do so using conventional means, Icelandic naming laws and traditions being what they were. But the intuitive Idle had made a connection notwithstanding. The maudlin woman in the beach bar was clearly the mad doctors mother.

    Idle had invited Margit to come and stay at the Flying Fish Inn for a few weeks before returning to Iceland, a visit which turned out to last almost a year. Over the months, Margit confided in her new friend Idle. Nobody back home in Iceland knew that the doctor in the lurid headlines was her son, and Margit wanted to keep it that way, but it was a relief to be able to talk about it to someone. Idle wasn’t all that sure that Margit was fully in the picture regarding the depths to which the fruit of her loins had sunk, but she witnessed the womans outpourings with tact and compassion and they became good friends.

    The fasten your seatbelts sign flashed and pinged. The landing at Keflavik was going to be on time.”

    ~~~

    ““I wish you’d told me about the 60’s fancy dress party, Margit, I’d have brought an outfit with me,” said Idle.

    Margit looked at her friend quizzically. “What makes you think there’s a fancy dress party?”

    “Why, all the beehive hair do’s! It’s the only explanation I could think of. If it’s not a 60’s party, then why…..?”

    Idle noticed Margit eyeing her long grey dreadlocks distastefully. Self consciously she flung them over her shoulder, inopportunely landing the end of one of them in a plate of some foul substance the passing waiter was carrying.

    Margit jumped at the chance. “Darling, how horrid! All that rams bottom sauce all over your hair! Do try the coconut shampoo I put in your bathroom.””

    ~~~

    And that was the last I’d heard from Aunt Idle.

    #4116

    In reply to: Scrying the Word Cloud

    EricEric
    Keymaster

    job seems try getting second
    certain dream leaving mean
    sat quiet wondering run thread
    island door common
    continued self leader concrete

    #4095

    In reply to: Scrying the Word Cloud

    AvatarJib
    Participant

    roberto rubbish tell
    beginning package close hotel island
    character work wondering answer
    start bar
    latest business told idle call bossy play

    #4073

    In reply to: Scrying the Word Cloud

    TracyTracy
    Participant

    situation talking
    certain food
    themselves short paper comment
    nor missed island night self stopped working
    lead concrete character help thinking ask

    #4072
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Aunt Idle was going to visit her old friend Margit Brynjúlfursdóttir. It was all very hush hush: Margit had intimated that there was to be a family reunion, but it was to be a surprise party, and she mustn’t breathe a word of it to anyone. Margit had sent her the tickets to Keflavik, instructing her to inform her family and friends that she had won the trip in a story writing competition.

    It was Idle’s first trip to Iceland. She had met Margit in a beach bar near Cairns some years ago, just after the scandalous expose on the goings on of a mad doctor on a remote south Pacific island. The Icelandic woman had been drowning her sorrows, and Idle had been a shoulder to cry on. The age old story of a wayward son, a brilliant mind, so full of potential, victim of a conniving nurse , and now sadly incarcerated on the wrong side of the law.

    Aunt Idle didn’t immediately make a connection between the name Brynjúlfursdóttir and Bronklehampton, indeed it would have been impossible to do so using conventional means, Icelandic naming laws and traditions being what they were. But the intuitive Idle had made a connection notwithstanding. The maudlin woman in the beach bar was clearly the mad doctors mother.

    Idle had invited Margit to come and stay at the Flying Fish Inn for a few weeks before returning to Iceland, a visit which turned out to last almost a year. Over the months, Margit confided in her new friend Idle. Nobody back home in Iceland knew that the doctor in the lurid headlines was her son, and Margit wanted to keep it that way, but it was a relief to be able to talk about it to someone. Idle wasn’t all that sure that Margit was fully in the picture regarding the depths to which the fruit of her loins had sunk, but she witnessed the womans outpourings with tact and compassion and they became good friends.

    The fasten your seatbelts sign flashed and pinged. The landing at Keflavik was going to be on time.

    #4071
    FloveFlove
    Participant

    “Thanks,” said Bossy taking her cup of tea.

    “So, tell me more about this evil fruit-loop doctor,” said Ricardo with an encouraging smile.

    Bossy looked intently at him. “It’s no joke,” she admonished him sharply.

    “Oh, no. No, of course not. I mean, yeah, I really want to know. It all sounds very … intriguing. And sort of creepy, to be honest. But definitely not a joke.”

    Bossy relented and gestured imperatively for Ricardo to be seated.

    The doctor could best be described as a mad genius. He believed he had found the answer to looking eternally youthful but didn’t want to go through the time and expense of clinical trials through the normal channels. So he set up a testing laboratory on a small and relatively unknown Pacific Island. Tifikijoo, I believe it was called.”

    “Uh huh. Actually I do vaguely remember something about that story.”

    “We got the story first,” Bossie said proudly, “but there was a media ban on publishing some of the information, unfortunately. The Doctor managed to get funding for his tests through an undercover organisation whose hidden agenda was to hide an ancient crystal skull while at the same time providing them with a facility where they could continue their own secret testing into spider genomes. I can’t tell you too much about that — it was all hush hush. So, you wouldn’t have read about that in the news, I bet,” she added with a smug smile.

    “Uh, no,” answered Ricardo, privately wondering if Bossy was the mad one. It was all starting to feel a bit surreal to him.

    “Did the doctor know about the skull stuff?”

    “No, the doctor was genuinely only interested in preserving beauty. Unfortunately, to this end, he killed one of his first guinea pigs. And tried to disguise his crime by mummifying the body. That’s when it all began to implode on him.”

    “What happened to him?”

    “He had some good lawyers and was found not competent to stand trial on the grounds of insanity. And the fact that all his clients had signed liability waivers helped a bit. He was sent to a high security psychiatric institution but managed to escape by reverting to his female identity—he was transsexual—and hiding in a laundry trolley.

    The doctor hated the way he was portrayed in the media and most of his venom was focused on our people. We had a guy working with us then, John Smith, and he covered the story with Connie. They got the brunt of the hate emails. John nearly had a nervous breakdown with the stress of it and moved to the country. Pity, he was a good writer.”

    “So what makes you think Santa Claus and the doctor are one and the same?”

    “Call it a very strong hunch. The Doctor was born in Iceland and had strong family ties there. And now I fear he has lured Connie and Sophie there in order to exact his evil revenge!”

    #4069
    FloveFlove
    Participant

    “Where the devil is everyone?”

    Miss Bossy Pants looked around the empty office with a mixture of disappointment and confusion. She had been anticipating the surprised looks on her colleagues’ faces at her unannounced return —she had no illusions about her popularity and knew better than to expect a joyous reunion—but the room was disconcertingly empty.

    Hearing the door behind her, she spun around in relief. It was the new guy, Prout, carrying a brown paper bag and a take out coffee.

    “Hello!” he said, hoping he did not sound as awkward as he felt and wondering if he could back out the door again. He had only met Bossy a couple of times and found her bluntness disconcerting. Terrifying, even. There was no reply, so, taking a sip of his steaming coffee, he bravely persevered.

    “Welcome back. How are you feeling?”

    “Are you the only one here? Where is everyone?” snapped Bossy Pants.

    Ricardo took a deep breath and focused on a wilted pot plant on the window ledge.

    God, I hope I don’t start rambling.

    Connie and the temp, Sophie, went to Iceland … something about following a lead from Santa Claus and I’ve not heard from them since. And Hilda … I don’t know where Hilda went to be honest. She emailed me a few days ago wanting to know what to feed Orangutans.”

    Bossy had paled. She seemed to shudder slightly and put out a hand to steady herself on a nearby desk.

    “They eat mostly fruit,” he continued, “but other stuff too of course. Insects and flowers and stuff like that. Honey I think, if they can find it I guess, and bark. And leaves. Mostly fruit though.”

    That’s probably enough about the Orangutans. She is clearly not into it.

    “I got a bit held up actually; there is a young boy outside drawing maps. Quite young … youngish. I am not sure how old really but he was little.They are bloody good too—there is quite a crowd out there watching him draw.”

    “Iceland,” whispered Bossy, her face a deathly white colour.

    “Yeah, Iceland. Keflavik … Miss Bossy, are you sure you are well enough to be back? You don’t look so good. I mean, you look good … attractive of course … I don’t mean you look bad or anything but you do look sort of pale. Are you okay?”

    “Santa Claus.” Bossy sat down slowly.

    “Yeah … I know, a bit crazy, right? They seemed to think it was a really hot lead.”

    “Stupid idiots; the lead wasn’t from Santa Claus— I will bet my life that it was from that depraved scoundrel, Dr Bronkelhampton! I heard through the grapevine he had gone to Iceland with a new identity after the Island fiasco destroyed his reputation—we covered the story at the time and it was huge—and now he is clearly after revenge. Dear God, what have they got themselves into?”

    #4052
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    “Did you have to make such a scene!” Yannosh hissed into the phone. “You were noticed!”

    The Indian butler looked furtively over his shoulder, but there was no sign of Mr Asparagus leaving the hotel bar yet.

    “Yes, yes, I know they’re calling it a dust devil but….”

    Hearing someone approaching Yannosh quickly pocketed the phone, but it was only the chambermaid, Finnbjörg.

    “Góðan dag herra, er allt í lagi?” she asked politely, and then added, ““क्या सब ठीक है? मैंने सुना है कि आप धूल शैतान का उल्लेख?”

    Yannosh was taken aback. How many languages did this island bumpkin speak?

    #4034
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    “You’re lucky it wasn’t your hands,” said Tina. She had visited Quentin after Connie had left. Strange reporter that one. Kind of short sized with big eyes that never blinked. Tina snorted and dismissed the memory with a roll of her eyes, then looked at Quentin straight in the eyes, awaiting for his answer.

    “What do you mean ?” asked Quentin. Tina didn’t expected the answer to be a question. She rolled her eyes as if Quentin had missed the obvious.

    “The giant gouda ball, you’re lucky it didn’t roll on your hands.”

    Quentin looked at Tina with a bit of concern in his eyes. She had been acting weird lately and making odd random connections between events and comments. He looked at his friend more closely. She had a bird nest on her head. With two eggs. It was a fake nest. He certainly hoped the eggs were too. He had no idea

    “Anyway,” Tina said, “I won a trip to some island of the hidden people from the http://travellerofworlds.tp website. Wanna come with me, Quentin?”
    He thought of his options. The most obvious response would be that he had no idea what a hidden people could be. If it was hidden it could very well be that it was hiddeous and needed to be hidden. On the other hand… Quentin looked at his other hand. It was empty.

    “They say it’s on the rim of the realm,” added Tina as if she had read Quentin’s thought and need for a motive.
    Now, he thought, the rim of the realm, that sounded quite an interesting unexplored territory to discover.
    “When do we leave ? I need to ask Yannosh to pack my suitcase.”

    #3868
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Becky sat looking at the key in her hand long after the others had gone to bed, her mind going over seemingly disjointed images and random memories, trying to piece them all together. Why had Dory sent her, Becky, the key to the detention camp? She wasn’t expected to fly to the island and physically release the detainee’s surely? Should she send it to someone in the area? But who? Or was it more symbolic? But symbolic of what, exactly?

    Was it connected to the Imagination Wave? It surely must be, she thought. It must be connected to the surge of story character refugees, looking for a new story.

    Becky sighed. There had been such a dearth of imagination during the previous waves that literally countless story refugees had been rounded up and detained, with no new stories available anywhere on the planet. Of course this wasn’t actually true: there were always countless new stories to be told, but the lack of imagination, the sheer lack of will to tell them, had brought the global situation to a dreadful impasse.

    We could write them all out of the stories with a rat tat tat of the keyboards, she mused, and immediately cringed at the idea. Any fool can destroy in seconds. Destruction isn’t power, creation is.

    Was it a coincidence that the leader of the old story where most of the characters were fleeing from, had the same name as that alien that kept promising to land, but never actually did?

    Shaking her head, Becky wondered, not for the first time, if the world population can’t handle a few displaced story characters, what in Glods name would be the reaction to a load of aliens? Still clutching the blue key, Becky went to bed. She would discuss it with the others in the morning.

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