LUNA, 22, stands before KING JORDAN, 50, fidgeting.



What do you have to say for yourself, Luna?



I don’t know.



You don’t know? Do you know what you’ve done?


Luna stands quietly, her head hanging.



Throughout your entire life, you have made one bad choice after another. You have followed a gang of thieves. You have run away to avoid circumstances you don’t like.   And you have stolen!


King Jordan pauses, waiting. He shakes his head.



Do you understand the potential consequences of your actions?



Yes, sir.


King Jordan sighs, exasperated.



I will give you one last chance, Luna. If you fail again, I will banish you forever! Do you understand?



Yes, sir! I won’t fail, I promise! Thank you, sir. Ohhh, thank you!



In the south part of the kingdom, in the poorest town, there is a widow with three children, the youngest a four month old infant girl. Do you know the town, Luna?



Yes, sir, I know of it.



Go there and find this family. Your duty will be to protect the infant girl from the English soldiers. The mother and older children must work to provide for the home. She leaves the infant at home alone. You must protect her at all costs. Do you understand me?



Yes sir, I understand. You have my word. I will protect the child from the English barbarians.



Good! Then go and be safe.



Sir? I have just one question.



What is it?



Would it be alright if I take my horse, Gunner, with me? He would be a great help. And, he won’t eat at all while I am gone if I leave him!



Yes, of course you can take him. Now go and be safe!



Thank you, sir!


The King turns away as Luna whistles softly for Gunner. He gallops to her quickly, nuzzling her neck softly. Luna scratches his neck gently.



Hi, boy! Where have you been, huh?


Gunner neighs quietly to her question.



Let’s go, Gunner. We have a long trip ahead of us. I think it’s about two and a half days ride to the village, so we’ll do just fine.


She mounts Gunner. The pair heads off in the opposite direction of King Jordan.

Gunner trots along, with no reigns or saddle. He only takes Luna’s verbal commands.



Luna and Gunner, tired and hungry, camp by a brook.


Gunner, this looks like a good place. What do you think?


Gunner neighs softly, grazing. Luna finds berries and sits on a mushroom to eat. She watches Gunner chomping happily.

She finishes eating, hops down from the mushroom, and goes to the nearby brook and drinks water. She walks back to Gunner.



Gunner, let’s go to sleep.


Gunner lies down on the forest floor, while Luna snuggles against his neck. They quickly doze off.



Luna wakes first, gently nudging Gunner awake.



Wake up, Sleepyhead, it’s time to go!


Gunner snorts but stands and stretches. He quietly walks to the brook for a cool drink. He turns to look at Luna and neighs loudly.



I’m coming!


Luna laughs and walks to him. She hops onto his back and he quickly jumps over the brook and heads out through the forest.




They set up camp by another brook. After eating and drinking from the brook, they settle down for the night.



I’m a little worried, Gunner. I hope I can do this. It seems like an awfully daunting task, don’t you think?


Gunner neighs softly.



I know you understand, Boy. I’m really glad I have you with me.


She snuggles against him and falls asleep.




Luna eats berries and drinks water from the brook while Gunner grazes nearby. She hops on Gunner’s back and the pair continues on.

Luna listens to the birds and watches the bees buzzing.



They come to the edge of the forest. Gunner pauses, his ears forward, listening intently.



What is it boy? Do you hear something?


Gunner relaxes and starts across the field at the forest’s edge. In the distance, Luna can see hills. She urges Gunner into a trot.



They reach the village and enter. PEOPLE mill about. She stops a bedraggled MAN, 70.



Excuse me, sir. Do you know of a young widow with three children?



No! Don’t know no widow!

He runs off down an alley. Luna turns to an old WOMAN, 65.



Excuse me, mam. Do you know of a young widow with three children?

The Woman looks her up and down.



Yeah, Missy. She lives down the end of that road there.


The Woman points to a road to the north.




She’s in the cabin with the patched roof and chickens runnin’ around.



Thank you so much!



Yeah, yeah.

The Woman heads down the same alley the bedraggled Man took.

Luna and Gunner head for the road to the north.


Luna looks at each cabin. At the very edge of the village, she sees a rundown shack.



Gunner, stop. Look at that.


Gunner stops and looks a moment, then continues on. He stops at the shack, waiting patiently. Luna stares.

With a sigh, she hops off Gunner’s back, goes to the door and knocks. She knocks again, louder. After a moment, she hears a baby.

She magically opens the door, enters, and closes it.



Looking around, she spots a cradle near the fireplace and flies over to look inside. Inside is a beautiful Baby.

The baby looks up and gurgles at her, smiling. Luna is spellbound.



No one can see me but you, my love.


She sits with the baby, watching her play quietly. Luna flies about, singing and entertaining the baby girl. After a long moment, the baby starts to fuss.

Luna looks around. No food. The baby cries loudly.



Hush, sweetness. We don’t want the soldiers to hear us.

Luna waves her arms, sprinkling fairy dust, and whispers.



Fall into a magical sleep, sweetness.


The baby is soon sleeping. Luna breathes a sigh of relief.



Luna is still with the baby when the MOTHER, 30, JOHNNY, 10, and SEAN, 8, come home. They cannot see her.

The mother brings milk for the infant and rocks and feeds her while the Boys prepare potatoes. The Mother kisses the baby.



My precious Adelyn.


Luna stays nearby, watching Adelyn eat. Adelyn watches Luna flying around and just being silly, entertaining her. Adelyn coos. The Boys bring dinner to the table. They eat quickly.



Boys, don’t forget your outside chores today.



Yes, mama!/ Okay!


The boys exit.



Sean and Johnny enter. Adelyn is asleep in Mother’s arms.



Mama, can you read to us please?



Of course. Whose turn is it to choose a book?






Okay, Sean, go ahead.


Sean chooses a book. Johnny moans.



Hush now! It’s Sean’s turn. If you don’t want to listen to it, then you can go on to bed for the night.


Johnny is silent. Still holding Adelyn, she begins to read.

Luna slips out an the open window.




Luna flies in and sees Gunner along with a pig and some chickens. Gunner follows Luna to a corner filled with hay.



I’m not sure what to think about this, Gunner. The family is so poor, they eat only potatoes. The baby only eats two or three times each day.


Gunner listens. He looks unhappy.



I’ve got to figure something out, Gunner! I have to help this family! I’ve only been here one day and I’ve already fallen hopelessly in love with Baby Adelyn!

Gunner neighs softly, nuzzling her neck. Leaning on him, she sighs.



And the boys are such good boys. They mind the mother, they help with chores, and they’re so polite.


Luna steps in front of Gunner, pressing her forehead against his.



I wish you could talk, Gunner. You’re so smart, maybe you would have the answer I’m looking for.


Gunner wraps his long neck around Luna and gently pushes her to the pile of hay in the corner. He lays down and waits for her to join him. She does, and after several moments she doses off.

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A Dangerous Affair

    She couldn’t remember when she first suspected he was seeing someone. Maybe it was after he had so many late nights ‘at work.’ Maybe it was when he came home smelling like a bar or when she heard an off-handed comment from a friend.

    At first she tried to ignore it and tell herself she was being paranoid. She went through her daily routine, mornings rushing kids to school, lunch with a friend, committees or groceries. Her life was far from exciting but it was certainly busy. So busy in fact, it was months before she decided to try to find out if he had another woman.

    They had been married ten years and had two kids. He was a plastic surgeon; she was a stay at home mom. She was a small town southern girl and had moved to the suburbs when she married Steve. At first she felt out of place but soon made friends, had kids and as soon as they started school, she joined the PTA.

    She was a gorgeous woman but she was also very humble. She was a good person, having never even gotten a parking ticket or forgotten a thank you note. She was very kind to everyone and never mean or judgmental. Unfortunately, she was also a bit naïve.

    That’s one reason it took her so long to admit to herself that Steve might be seeing someone else.

    She had driven into the city one day to pick up a dress for a special dinner with Steve’s coworkers. He had insisted she buy something new and not wear the same old thing. So, the Tuesday before the event, she went to get the dress. On her way to the shop, she drove by what looked like a nice Italian restaurant and decided to stop by on her way back.

    After leaving the dress shop, she drove over to the Italian place with fresh lasagna on her mind. She went in and was seated immediately after asking for a corner table. While waiting on the server to bring the wine she requested, she took a moment to look around at the diners at the other tables.

    It was then she saw him. His back was to her but she knew it was him. At first she thought about rushing over to surprise him but then she noticed the woman across from him. She also noticed they were holding hands. Suddenly, all the late nights, the scent of perfume and cigarettes on his clothes and the unexplained charges on the credit cards all made sense.

   She sat a while, looking at the other woman. She decided she was very beautiful, in a fake sort of way. She had bleach blonde hair, a spray on tan, acrylic nails and even fake eyelashes. She ate her lunch though she didn’t taste a single bite. When she saw the waiter leave a check on their table, she asked for hers and left before he saw her.

    She wasn’t sure how she was going to handle this situation. She was torn within herself to do the right thing and just walk away. But something inside her had snapped at the restaurant that day and somehow walking away just didn’t seem like the thing to do.

    That evening, she acted as though everything was normal. She didn’t say anything to him about the Italian place. But she did fix spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

    The next evening, her mother came by to visit. Steve had called and said he had to work late. So, after giving her mother a story about needing new shoes for the event Friday night, she went out for a while. She drove into the city, across the tracks to a rough part of town. Terrified, she took care of the business she had come for and got back home as soon as she could. Thankfully, she had already bought a new pair of shoes, which she took into the house to show her mother when she returned home.

    For the next couple of days, she went about her routine and daily business. Friday came around and Steve was home on time. Supper was ready, lasagna this time with Italian bread and salad. He asked her why she was cooking so much Italian food lately. She replied, “I thought it was your favorite.”

    Steve asked, “Why would you think that, I’ve never like Italian food.”

    “Oh really? Huh, I must have imagined it then.”

    He shook his head and finished with his tie.

    Steve drove to the dinner party while chatted about her day. Several times she noticed he was completely distracted. He would just mutter replies to her comments. She even mentioned shaving her head and painting the kids and he simply agreed. So she chatted away about everything and nothing.

    The party was at the country club in the Elite Dining Room. The room where only doctors and lawyers dined, it was off limits to ordinary folks. Upon entering, they saw tables of food, fountains of champagne and chocolate and more wine and liquor than a liquor store could hold. Several people had already indulged in the champagne and were getting a bit loud over by the bar.

    Other than that, the room was gorgeous with white linen tablecloths and black china place settings. The draperies were crimson red, making the whole room seem romantic with the red, black and white décor.

    She left her hand on Steve’s arm as he walked through the room greeting acquaintances. Then suddenly, there she was, the other woman. Steve introduced her as Eva. She shook Eva’s hand.

    “Where is the ladies’ room?” she asked Eva.

    “This way. Allow me to show you,” Eva replied.

    Following Eva to the ladies’ room, they stepped inside where she confronted her about Steve. Eva denied everything, but she knew the truth. She pulled a pistol from her clutch and shot Eva right between the eyes. Then she simply walked away.





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The Abuser

    Was he going to be pissed off again when he came home tonight? Or was he going to pretend to be happy? These are questions I asked myself every day. I knew he would be home at 5:45 and I knew everything had to be perfect. And supper had to be on time. God only knows what would have happened if supper had been late, or if anything was out of place or any chore left undone. God knew, and so did I. I had suffered the bruised jaw and pulled hair often enough to know.

     I met my ex-husband through a mutual friend back in 1984. He was going through a divorce and was trying to raise his kids and work full time. I was young and naïve, fresh out of a bad relationship. He needed help with the kids and so I moved in as a babysitter. Becky said he was a good guy, and I took her word for it.

     It wasn’t long until we became involved. Naturally, things were great for a while. He seemed to be the model father; his kids adored him. He worked through the week while the kids were in school, but he was off on weekends so we often took the kids places to have fun.

     The abuse started unexpectedly with insults. He would call me stupid and then apologize and promise not to say it again. He would be so nice and sweet. He would explain that, because I had done something wrong, he had gotten angry. Maybe I had cooked the chicken a little too long or folded the towels wrong. He told me that as long as I did thing right, he wouldn’t get upset.

     So he would call me stupid, apologize and then tell me what I had done wrong to cause him to insult me. In his logical world, it made sense that anyone who didn’t do things his way was ignorant.

     I remember a time when he was cooking supper. He opened the cabinet where the canned goods were kept and when he saw that the cans weren’t lined up correctly, according to him, he threw a fit. He screamed and cussed, called me names. And then apologized and proceeded to tell me why I was stupid. “It’s easier to find what you’re looking for if everything is organized.” The cans WERE organized, just not the way he thought they should be.

    In spite of the abuse, he was a good provider. We had a nice home and nice vehicles. The kids always had plenty of stuff kids need to have. There was one time both vehicles were having trouble and we borrowed and old Ford Galaxy from him uncle. I think it was a’63 model. This was in 1997 and we had been married about ten years. I was getting ready to go somewhere one day, probably the grocery store. It was on a Saturday so he was at home. He told me to take a gas can to get gas for the lawn mower so he could mow when I came home. I put the can in the trunk of the car and, after closing the trunk, I got into the driver’s seat. I had just shut the door when he came outside raging mad. He screamed at me saying I had shut the door on the car too hard and shook the whole house. He wouldn’t listen when I tried to tell him it wasn’t the door, that it was the trunk. He reached through the car window, grabbed my hair and punched me in the face three times. I ended up with a busted lip and a black eye.

     Typical of a woman in an abusive relationship, I never told anyone. Abusers have a way of making their victims believe the abuse is their fault. They convince their victims they are stupid. That they can do nothing right. No matter how hard I would tried, nothing was ever good enough. I could spend all day cleaning an already clean house. When he came home, he wouldn’t compliment the clean house, he would say something like, “You need to clean the fireplace.” It was summer time.

     For the first few years of the marriage, the abuse was scattered. An insult here, a push or shove there. It escalated over time and I tried to learn how to do things to keep him happy. But it didn’t do any good; he always found something else to bitch about.

      I wasn’t allowed to have friends, at least not on my own. I could be friends with his friend’s wives, but I couldn’t associate with people he didn’t know. If I made a friend through work, I quickly learned not to mention them at home because he would go crazy. He would accuse me of getting the friend to set me up with another man. Once he even accused me of having a lesbian relationship with a friend.

     In 1997, he allowed me to join a gym. I was fat, according to him, so it was necessary. So I joined and I enjoyed it. Got into shape, made friends that I never told him about. The gym was my sanctuary. I went every day except Sunday when they were closed. Funny thing was, when I got into shape, my husband hated it. I looked good and he couldn’t stand the thought that another man might notice. He started bitching about my gym membership. But something had happened to me, inside. I refused to give up the gym no matter how much he didn’t like it.

     We bought a computer in 1998 and I discovered the Internet. A couple of years later, while browsing, I saw a headline that read something like “Is Your Spouse a Control Freak?” I read the article and it was as if the writer had stepped into my life and written everything about it. He knew I had to fold towels exactly right and line up the can goods. He knew I couldn’t have friends or speak to anyone in public. He knew that everything that went wrong in my married life was my fault and that I messed up everything. Not literally of course, but that is what an abuser makes their victims believe. Abusers also tell their victims things like “I love you, I wouldn’t lie to you.” And “I love you and I want you to learn these things so other people don’t think you’re stupid.”

    The article was a revelation for me. It told me I wasn’t stupid like I had been made to believe for so long. It helped me to understand that he was an abuser with control issues. And it helped me become a stronger person. I began saying what was on my mind. When he would call me stupid, I would smartly explain how his ways were stupid. What difference did it make if the clothes in the closet are facing right or left? He would get really pissed and was violent on several occasions, but he learned to calm down when law enforcement would take my side.

     We stayed married until 2007. Our divorce was final the day after our twentieth anniversary. The events that led up to that final step are still fresh in my mind as if it happened yesterday.

     In 1997, we had moved to the town where his uncle lived. They were close and had a lot in common. He kept the same job because he had been there for over twenty years and the pay was really good. He would occasionally stay at his mother’s for a couple of nights to avoid the long drive of almost 100 miles one way. He worked Monday through Thursday with three days off. So I know the day was Thursday because he was coming home after being away for a couple of night.

     I heard him drive up and attempted to be happy. I was cooking supper and the door into the house was just across the kitchen counter from where I was standing. He opened the door and I knew by the look on his face that it was going to be bad. He was pissed, to say the least.

     He stomped in without saying a word. Put the things he had carried in on the counter and went back out to get his suitcase. He never said a word; he just stomped around, putting his laundry in the washer, dirty dishes into the sink. He went into the bedroom and changed his clothes. In shorts and t-shirt he got a beer from the fridge. After a couple of gulps, he started in on me.

     Apparently he had almost fallen asleep on the drive home and almost had a wreck with an 18-wheeler. That was my fault of course, wasn’t everything? He cussed and ranted and cussed some more. I didn’t say anything, I thought it was best to let him vent and get it over with.

     He threatened me, telling me he would knock the shit of me if I didn’t say something.

     “What do you want me to say?” I asked.

     “Anything is better than just standing there like you don’t give a shit if I die in a wreck.”

      He threatened me some more and continued to rant and rave. At some point he remembered he had left his 44 Magnum in the car. It was legal for him to carry it because of the distance he traveled. He went back out to the car, still stomping and threatening me. When he came back in with the pistol, he put it down on the bar, just within my reach.

     As he turned to shut the door, he said, “I bet if I knock the shit of you, you’ll have something to say.”

     That was the last straw for me. I grabbed the 44 Magnum off the bar, cocked it and aimed it at him and I told him “Shut the hell up! Stop threatening me!” I held the pistol with one hand and called 911 with the other. Within minutes five cops were at my house with guns drawn.


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You’re More Beautiful Than You Think

We all judge ourselves too harshly. We look in the mirror and see the small wrinkles at the corners of our eyes. We see the freckles and the too narrow chin. And we see the tilt to the eyes inherited from some unknown relative.

What do you see when you look at your best friend? Do you see her upturned nose or her long ear lobes? Do you see her too slender legs like she does? Most likely you don’t see these things in her. She does. She sees these flaws in herself just like you see the flaws in yourself.

Maybe you’re 6’2” and wish you were shorter. Have you ever stopped to think that a girl who’s 5’0” wishes she wasn’t so short? And you’re friend who you envy a bit because she’s so slender, probably wishes she could gain ten pounds and not look like stick girl any more.

When you look at the love of your life, what do you see? Look closely; take in his hair color, his eye color, the angle of his chin and even the shape of his toes. Memorize everything you can about this person you love. When you’ve memorized everything you can about his physical appearance, close your eyes.

Now, imagine you had never seen him. You’ve met him… you know him and you love him. But you have never seen him. You have imagined what he looks like but because you can’t see him, you can’t form an opinion of his physical appearance.

Now think about why you love this person. Is he kind and gentle? Maybe he’s funny and makes you laugh. Does he hold you when you need to be held? Does he cry with you? Does he do things for others before taking care of himself? Why do you love him?

Now think about a very dear friend. Is this person your friend because they are attractive? Probably not, that would make no sense. Your friend is your friend because they are a good person. They make you laugh. They hold your hand when you’re sad. They’re by your side no matter what.

Is this how you ‘see’ the people you love? Do you see them for ‘who they are’? Do you see their kindness and sense of humor? Maybe their unselfish ways and forgiving nature.

Now look at yourself. What do you see? Do you see the gray hair you don’t like? Or a mole on your cheek? Maybe you see the weight you’ve gained since reaching a certain age.

Do you see the beauty in yourself like you do in others? If you don’t, then why don’t you? What if someone asked the love of your life what beauty they see in you? What if they asked your close friends? What would they say?

Do you think those people who love you will say “She’s gained weight in the past few years.”? Would they say “She has too many wrinkles, I can’t love her anymore?” No way! They love you for who you are, just the same way you love them.

So, go stand in front of a mirror and take a good look. Then close your eyes and look again. Think of the good qualities you see in the people you love and ask yourself “Do I have that quality?” Be honest with yourself. You might be surprised at the answer.

I’ve often said, “You have to like what you see when you close your eyes.” So give it a shot, you’re more beautiful than you think.

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The New Baby

There’s a new baby

A new baby on the way

If she is a she

She’ll be called Adelyn Rae


If he is a he

We’ll know one day

In which case

His middle name will be Ray


Katie is the one

She’s the one you see

She’s the one

Who is the Mother-to-be


She wants to have a girl

So she’ll have ribbons that swirl

But if she has a boy

He’ll have a tractor toy


Buffy Jean Pants

Will be guardian you see

She will watch over

This brand new baby


Don’t try to steal

This baby from Pants

Because if you do

You’re taking a chance


She’ll guard this baby

For all her days

She’ll sleep by her side

Her protector and guide


Spoiled baby it will be

No matter girl or boy

We’ll buy it every single

New fangled toy


We will all love

This new ba-by

If we can ever take it

Away from Buf-fy

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The Story of the Chocolate Fish

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I’m reminded of a very strange gift I received a few years back. I was working in a convenience store and had been there for a few years so I knew all of my customers. One fella who came in to the store a few days each week had a ‘thing’ for me I guess. He asked me out despite the fact that I was married. I said no, of course.

But he flirted and carried on, telling me how pretty I was and stuff. He wasn’t creepy or anything and he never got out of line, he just flirted. Then Valentine’s Days rolled around and here he comes with chocolate for me. He gave me the box, unwrapped and unadorned and said ‘Here, I got a little something for you.’ It was hollow chocolate in the shape of a fish. I thought it was sort of cute.

Hey, I’m a woman and I love chocolate! So I took the gift and said thank you. A bit later I was showing it to a friend. As she lifted the box up from the counter, I could see the bottom of the box and there, written in big letters in blue ink were the words “TO DADDY, I LOVE YOU.”

My friend and I laughed and laughed endlessly! Oh my gosh, he had re-gifted chocolate his KID had given him! How terrible!! But geez it was hilarious.

So, I held on to the chocolate fish and the next time he came in I told him that if he didn’t want the chocolate, he should give it back to his kid!

Certainly the oddest Valentine’s Day gift ever!


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Facebook Ruined my Marriage

 You know, I get so tired of hearing people talk about how Facebook is nothing but drama. If you have a Facebook account, you probably have seen those people who argue back and forth or the ones who ‘cuss out’ someone they know (or don’t know).

 There are many who use social media as a way to instigate trouble or drama, but certainly not everyone is like that. If you see drama on your Facebook page and you don’t like it, delete that person from your friends list. You can even hide the comment if you want to. You don’t have to see it if you don’t want to.

 There are some folks like me who use social media to keep in touch with friends who live far off. Sometimes, I use Facebook to get a recipe or writing advice. Recently, we’ve seen a lot of things like ‘help me find my birth parent by sharing the photo’ and ‘if I get a million likes, daddy said I can have a puppy.’ 

 One young lady did find her birth parents and the kids got their puppy. Good for them! After seeing their success with their own missions, I tried using Facebook and other social media to help me find an old friend from school. Nothing. I had to beg for shares and likes and it didn’t get anywhere. I didn’t find my friend, but that’s another story.

 Then you have the folks who treat Facebook like it’s a ‘hook-up’ service or something similar. These are those people who send private messages to people hoping to get lucky in some way, shape or form. This cracks me up! How the heck does someone get lucky on Facebook? Whatever.

 Then you have the group of people who are in a relationship of some type. It might be marriage, living together as a couple or a domestic partnership. They have their Facebook friends that the partner knows about and maybe they have some the partner doesn’t know about. There are people who have had affairs or flings with people they have met through some form of social media. Funny thing is, people tend to blame the social media and not the people involved. I’ve seen it a number of times… comments like ‘Facebook ruined my marriage.’  Ummm NO it didn’t.

 Look at it this way. If you and your partner go to a party, its very possible that someone is going to get ‘hit on’ while at the party. What happens with that is up to both people involved. If an affair is going to happen, it’ll happen with or without social media.

 Facebook, in a way, is like life. It is what you make it. If you make it all about drama, then that’s what its going to be. If you make it a way to cheat on your partner, that’s something YOU have done and the social media is not at fault.

 So, people, you need to get real and see where the fault lies! Don’t blame an innocent party. It’s not because of social media that your life is full of drama and Facebook can’t ruin your marriage anymore than a spoon can make you fat. 

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