Basement

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There was a demon in the basement. I didn’t think anyone else but me knew. At first I just left him alone when I went to do the laundry down there. I would hear him snipper, hissing, moaning and giggling. Sometimes he would shuffle about, moving from one dark patch to another or else edging into a puddle of light to peer at me.

He was a small demon, about 4 foot and he was bright red like a burn. He had a curly, long tail with a spiked end, flat feet but wedded toes, he sometimes walked on two feet other times four. His hands were like his feet only with longer fingers and sharp like dagger nails. He’s body was bone thin, his neck long and his head too big. Huge black eyes stared out, his nose was snake slit and his mouth wide and full of needle teeth.

We never spoke but we both knew each other was aware of the other. I don’t know what he was doing down there and I didn’t wish to know. He could go about his business and I prayed he left me alone to get on with mine.

The Tunnels

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The sound of dripping water greeted the paranormal team and their guests as they all descended into the darkness of the tunnels. Spots of light from their torches showed the deep stone steps, hand carved walls and Victorian brick arched roofs. An icy cold that would long afterwards keep their bones chilled made itself felt as they reached the first open chamber.

Harper, bundled in her winter gear, tried not to shiver and focused her torch light on the artifices which sat on ledges around the room. All the items had been found down here, lost by the men who had dug The Williamson Tunnels for seemingly no reason other then to earn a wage.

She looked at the nearest display of white and green glass bottles, pill boxes, cracked plates, pipes, and china cups. It was as if the men had actually lived down here. Perhaps, they had? The two volunteer guides with the group had said that not much was known about the history of the tunnels which ran underneath most of Liverpool.

‘There are some chairs in the next room. We shall sit down there for a bit and see what we pick up,’ Earl the leader of the paranormal team spoke.

The group moved off and Harper trailed behind, feeling unsure about being down here. It had seemed like a fun idea when she had stumbled across this ‘ghost hunting’ event online and decided to book tickets for herself, fiance, Andy, and her parents, Luke and Louise. Now, she was thinking it had been a mistake.

There were seventeen chairs set out along a narrow passageway; eight chairs on one side, eight on the other and one chair at the end. Behind which the brickwork had been removed to expose a large dark hole. The group filled the seats and Harper tried to remember all the people.

There was Earl who took the ‘head seat,’ he seemed to be in his early sixties, he had white hair and a short beard. The woman medium, Margo, with short brown hair and black leather pants. A male medium whom Harper couldn’t remember his name. Dale who had long brown hair, was the photographer and Rose, the last member of the paranormal team, who was using a recorder to catch ghost voices. 

Then came the ‘guests,’ people who had brought tickets to this event. Beside from Harper and her family, there were eight others. A man who had come by himself though he had claimed he was meant to be meeting friends here but guessed they had pulled out.

A married couple in their mid-forties who had spoken little but hung on to every word the mediums had spoken. Three twenty-something girls and two men who were clearly from Liverpool and seemed more like they were on a night out then down in some dirty tunnels but they were taking things seriously.

Everyone settled into the grey plastic chairs and started turning their torches off. Harper was one of the last. Total pitch darkness filled the tunnels. Harper reached to her right for Andy’s hand. She felt his warm skin and reassuring squeeze of fingers.

Harper couldn’t remember ever experiencing a black colour like what was around her now. She was blind to everything and all her other senses had become heightened to superhero like levels. She could hear her breathing, loud in her ears as well as the sound of water dripping somewhere into a puddle.

‘Are there any spirits here?’ Earl’s voice rang out.

His words faded and everyone stayed still and silent listening for anything that could be taken for a reply.

‘Make a noise if you are here,’ Earl spoke, ‘we are not here to harm you. We come in love and peace, we just want to know if you are down here or not. Please let us know by joining us. Touch someone. Use your voice and tell us your name, please.’

Drip, drop, drip went the water, the only sound to be heard.

Someone shifted and there was a rustling of clothes. Someone else moved their feet as the photographer began clicking a few photos.

Harper sniffed and smelt something odd in the air, ‘what’s burning?’ she whispered.

‘What’s that?’ Earl called down to her.

‘I smell smoke,’ Harper repeated.

‘Does anyone else?’

‘I’m picking up tobacco,’ Margo the medium replied.

‘No, this is wood burning,’ Harper explained.

There was a mumble of no one else smelling anything then the group fell silent once more.

Harper turned her head about feeling her neck began to ache. She couldn’t really see anything but her eyes had gotten use to the darkness and she could pick out a few shapes. She stopped moving and guessed that she was looking back through the archway to the passage and into the chamber they had entered by. Behind that was a small space with a metal ladder leading upwards to an emergency exit.

A shadow seemed to be moving there. It was going back and forth, like it was ducking in and out, not wanting to be seen by anyone but wanting to look at the group.

It’s a trick of the light, Harper thought, wait, what light? There is none… 

‘Can anyone else see that moving shadow?’ one of the Liverpool girls whispered.

‘Over there by that ladder?’ someone else added.

A few people agreed.

Harper bite her lip but kept quiet. The feeling that they weren’t alone climbed up her.

‘If that’s you over there, please come and join us,’ Earl shouted.

‘I’m picking up on the name William,’ the male medium cut in.

‘William? Let us know you are here, William!’

‘Was that footsteps?’ a man’s voice questioned.

‘Could have been,’ Earl muttered.

The shadow was still bobbing but that was no longer Harper’s focus. There was something else standing in the middle of the first chamber. Harper felt dread and a sense of evil. Her grip tightened on Andy’s hand and desperately she tried not to cry out what she was now seeing.

Earl and the mediums took it in turn to speak, asking the spirits to do things and saying what they were picking up on.

Finally, Harper couldn’t take it anymore and burst out with, ‘there’s something evil down here!’

Everyone stopped then the male medium spoke to her, ‘what is it?’

‘It’s got long arms, it’s dragging itself across the floor and it’s got a like skull head,’ Harper answered.

‘Where is it?’ her mum’s voice whispered.

‘It’s all around us. It’s not human.’

‘Does it have a name?’  Margo asked.

‘What does it want?’ Earl demand at the same time.

‘It’s watching us. It wants you to get angry, that’s what it feeds off. It wants to trick us and keep us down here….It won’t tell me it’s name. It’s not human…’ Harper trailed off.

‘I can get angry,’ Earl shouted, ‘come at me! Come and get us! Show me that you are here!’

Harper shivered and couldn’t take her eyes of the long white arms and skull head of the creature in the chamber. She knew it was real and not her imagination.

‘It’s okay,’ Andy muttered beside her, ‘it can’t get you.’

‘I know. My spirit guide is defending me,’ Harper replied confidently, ‘I don’t know about the rest of you.’

‘Can anyone feel that cold blast of air?’ someone cried out.

‘Here? Yes I can,’ Margo replied, ‘let yourself be known to us.’

There was a sound that sounded like tin scraping rock. The dripping of water paused, the continuous rhythm broken for a few seconds before the next drop fell.

‘The lady that can see this thing,’ Earl’s voice spoke, ‘what’s it doing now?’

Harper took a deep breath and answered, ‘nothing. It’s just watching us.’

‘I don’t like it,’ a woman’s voice uttered, ‘can we leave?’

‘In a few minutes,’ Earl responded, ‘who would like to sit in my chair against the hole?’

No one spoke up.

Earl turned on his torch and stood up. The light broke Harper’s concentration on the creature and she turned to look the other way. Earl was walking then stopping in front of one of the Liverpool girls.

‘I knew you were going to pick me,’ she said.

She got up and went to sit on Earl’s chair. He took her’s and once they were settled he turned out his torch.

Harper turned back to the chamber but the evil thing with long arms and skull head was gone.

‘It feels so cold here,’ the girl uttered.

‘The evil thing comes from that hole,’ Margo spoke, ‘other people have felt the evil down here. No one has described it before though.’

‘Well, I wished she hadn’t told us about!’

‘And this is why I don’t open my mouth about such things,’ Harper whispered but everyone still heard her.

Andy squeezed her hand and Harper hoped he wasn’t thinking anything bad about her. She imagined the break up conversation going something like; ‘you can see ghosts. You didn’t tell me that. I don’t want anything to do with you anymore, that’s too much to handle.’   

Harper shut her eyes and tried not to think about anything. Coming to this event had been a mistake and now she had seen a demon! What if it followed her home? She didn’t want an attachment.

‘Right, let’s move to the lower levels now,’ Earl spoke.

The group moved and went down into the belly of the tunnels. They saw and heard nothing else which Harper was grateful for.

As the clock hands moved to one AM, they walked back up the stone steps and left the tunnels.

Harper breathed the cold, wet air deeply. Puddles on the road glowed in the streetlamps and lights from windows. Voices and music drifted around, reminding them of life going on.

‘Did you really see something?’ Andy asked in a low voice.

They were standing away from everyone else, near a bench with a remembrance plaque on it.

‘Would you think any different of me if I did?’ Harper spoke.

‘No,’ Andy replied, ‘I love you no matter what.’

‘Then I did see that creature.’

Andy nodded and drew Harper into a hug.

‘Everyone accounted for? Good. Let’s go back. The ghost hunt is now over,’ Earl called out over the chattering of the group.

People set off heading back to their cars. Harper walked holding hands with Andy, too tried to talk about her experience anymore.

 

(Note; this story is based on a real experience I had on Sunday 27th October between 12am and 1am in the Paddington section of the Williamson Tunnels in Liverpool. I took my family on a ‘ghost hunt night,’ we and some other people were with a paranormal group seeing if we could pick up on any ghost activity within two different tunnel sections. 

I have always been a sensitive -someone who can sense ghosts- but I don’t like to talk about it. I’m weird all ready and can do without adding to it! Sometimes though, things like this just happen to me and I know it was real and not my imagination. 

To me this is a piece of non-fiction but make of it what you will. I’m not asking anyone to believe me or try to disapprove what happened to me. I just wanted to share my experience in story form with you all.     

For further information or maybe a visit to the tunnels yourself, check out their website; http://www.williamsontunnels.co.uk/)

Postcard #34

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Dear Aggie,

It was such a shame that you couldn’t make it to the ritual the other night. Everyone missed seeing you. However, I guess that’s the price you pay for summoning a vengeful demon. You’ll have to tell me all about it when you can. Nothing much happened at the gathering. We did send you a spell of blessing though but I’m not sure if it worked because that new girl got the words mixed up. She really needs some more training – naturally gifted, my ‘donkey’!

Anyway, I hope everything works out for you soon, love Lettie.

Eldritch #atozchallenge

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Eldritch; Eerie, weird, spooky.

As night came to settle in the woods, the trees fell dark and the shadows vanished. The half moon and stars above were the only light for miles. The nocturnal animals came out to hunt, their voices more eerier then their daytime opposites.

From somewhere rose a crying. At first it was hard to tell what could be making it. The more the sound grew and ears listened, the crying became that of a human child.

A lost child, wondering around the nighttime woods, all alone.

The  crying was enough to make the people in the nearest villages at the edges of the woods pay attention. However, they knew better and it wasn’t a real child that was out there. It was a demon.

The stories were different and wide spread, but it was claimed the demon acted like a lost child to led people away and eat them. A few villagers claimed to have seen him, but the descriptions were so wildly different, it was hard to pin down.

They said he was blood red skinned or bright blue or else he was deep black. He had large horns, small horns or none at all. He had a massive tail or a short stubby one. He spoke in a deep gravel voice or else he didn’t say anything at all. He had sharp red teeth and a mouth that was massive which swallowed a person whole.

Whatever the demon looked though, the villagers were sure to stay away from the spooky woods at night.

Halloween

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Upon this night, the veil between this world and the next thins allowing the passage between two places. The dead in all forms comes back to walk the earth once more. Spirits visit family and friends, guided by the candle light inside pumpkins left at front doors. Whilst the scary Jack O’ Lantern faces keep evil away.

Ghosts drifted through the streets, their tethers to places broken for this single night. They moan through the trees, rattling the bare branches, haunting everything they can. The more powerful ghosts move heavy objects, scream against the wind and make their presences felt.

All the other supernatural beings move through the cities under the disguises of real people. They mingle with crowds of children and adults, dressed up in bright or dark clothes going door to door. The old chant of trick or treat rings out, filling the night along the laughter and small screams.

In the shadows, demons and witches wait to snatch any wandering child away, but they are out of luck tonight. What with everyone child safely protected by the costumes they wear. It’s hard to tell if that is a human child or a fairy laughing under a tree. Best to leave it alone and lay in wait once more.

Vampires move from their crypts, rising as they have time after time. They seek out the only thing that can keep them going, but there is too much choice tonight. They prowl about, killers hiding in the darkness.

Clouds pass the almost full moon that hangs down in a ink blot sky and the clocks begin counting down to the midnight hour. Soon it will be over and this one night will be gone for another year.

Being Followed (Part 3)

Ghost, Gespenstig, Shadow, Silhouettes, Mystical

Briony sat on the edge of the ambulance’s steps, a harsh wool blanket wrapped around her shoulders. Her eyes darted everywhere taking in the unfolding scene before her. Three police cars cluttered the street and officers in blue were dotted about searching her house and the surrounding area. Lights flashed on and off from top the cars and also within the houses. Faces appeared at windows and doors, looking worriedly out.

A too young female paramedic was gently inspecting Briony’s right hand, whilst a grey haired man in a matching emergency uniform watched. Briony looked at her and saw the confusion over the girly love heart shaped face. She dropped her eyes to her hand and wrist and saw the long, seemly deep imprints of fingers across her blue skin.

‘It looks like a freezer burn,’ the girl muttered.

‘Let me see,’ the male paramedic requested.

Briony felt her hand being handed over to him and his fingers brushing the marks. Slight waves of pain trailed along her arm and she heard soft mutterings. Twisting to the side, she watched two policemen talking in her living room. A third officer stood guarding the front door with light pooling around him like an angel appearing out of Heaven.

‘This is Briony Hashley.’

She turned back and saw the female officer from last time standing with a suited man a few steps away.

‘I’m Inspector Crane,’ the man stated.

Briony nodded.

‘Start from the beginning and tell me what happened.’

‘I got home from work, ate, watched TV and went to bed. Then something woke me up,’ Briony answered in a very shaky voice that didn’t sound like her own.

‘What was it?’ Crane asked.

Briony looked at the female officer who was writing in a pocket notebook. Taking a deep breath, she carried on, ‘I felt the bed dip and my comforter being pulled, like someone was on the edge of the bed and getting in.’

‘Okay.’

‘I looked over and didn’t see anything. I thought it was just…nothing…’ Briony choked, ‘but then I heard footsteps in the hallway and my bedroom opening. I saw a tall black man with long arms and red eyes standing in the doorway.’

‘Did he say anything? Any other details you can remember? His clothes?’ the female officer cut in.

Briony shook her head, ‘no, it was too dark.’

‘What happened then?’ Crane said.

‘I…I tried to turn on the light, but it wouldn’t work. I reached for my phone, but it wasn’t there. It was in my handbag next to my desk. I made a run for it, but when I got there before I could get it he grabbed me. I screamed then something hit me across the back of my head,’ Briony recalled, she touched her hair, tucking it in, ‘then all this happened,’ she waved a hand at the nearest police car.

‘Nothing else?’ the Inspector asked.

Briony looked up at him, ‘no.’

‘We should get you to the hospital now,’ the young paramedic suggested.

Crane nodded, ‘We’ll take a full statement from you later,’ he added.

Briony opened her mouth then closed it again. She glanced up at the house, watching the shapes of police officers moving in the windows. She felt the paramedic trying to guide her up and without any protested, she obeyed.

 

Early morning light crept into the hospital carpark as Briony got into her mother’s car. She settled back into the seat and sighed with relief. Finally after four days she was going home. She rested her hands on knees and looked down at the fading red finger marks. Her neck, shoulders and back had been badly bruised and four scratch lines, like the claws of a cat had trailed down her spine.

The doctors, nurses and police were baffled. The injuries made no sense and nothing had been found in or around her house. Everyone declared the reports inconclusive and there was to be no further investigations. Briony claimed emotion stress and had taken the next few weeks off work.

Her mother got behind the steering wheel, bringing Briony out of her deep thinking. Her mother looked like her twin sister only a lot older and with darker brown hair. Briony shut her eyes and let normality swim back to her.

‘The police still haven’t found anything,’ her mother’s voice cut through Briony’s meditation.

‘I doubt they will.’

‘What?’

‘The man…I don’t think he’s real. He’s a ghost or a daemon,’ Briony explained.

Her mother laughed, ‘that’ll be the pain killers still talking.’

‘It’s not. I’m fine. I had time to think and everything seems to add up to that.’

‘Briony, seriously. I know you’ve been through a lot, but there’s no need to just make stuff up. You didn’t tell the police that did you?’

‘No,’ Briony answered as she looked out of the window.

‘Everything will be fine when you’ve had a few days rest. And the police will catch this guy. Your father has had all the locks changed and security cameras put in. You’ll feel a lot safer. Now, should we go and pick your things up or do you want me to drop you off and pick stuff up myself?’ her mother asked.

‘I want to go to my house,’ Briony stated, ‘I want to get back to normal.’

‘All right, sweetie. Whatever you want.’

 

The house was cold. Briony stood in the doorway looking around whilst her mother fussed over the mess the police had left. Blocking out the anger mumbling, Briony pushed the door to and went up to her bedroom. She sat down on the disarranged bed and took everything in. White dust lay on the window still and the desk, a strange smell hung in the air and everything seemed out of place. Her bedroom no longer felt like her own.

She took a shower, relaxing under the hot spray then got dressed in clean comfy clothes. Going downstairs, she found her mum making tea and sandwiches in the kitchen.

‘Are you sure you want to stay here?’

‘Yes, mum,’ Briony replied as she sat down at the small table.

‘Your dad and I don’t mind you staying for a bit.’

‘It’s fine. I’m okay…Do you know anyone who’s religious?’

‘Religious?’ her mother repeated.

Briony nodded.

‘Why? Not your ghost daemon thought?’ her mother cried as she slid onto the other chair and handed Briony a chipped mug.

Briony shrugged her shoulders and looked down into the swirling milky tea.

‘I think Mrs Butterworth is. Would you like me to speak to her?’ her mother said gently after a few moments.

‘Yes, please,’ Briony said in a small voice.

‘Would that make you feel better?’

‘It really would.’

Falling silent, they ate and drink then Briony’s mother left. Briony tidied up the kitchen then with nothing else to do, spent the rest of the day tidying the house. She debated going shopping, but decided instead to have some soup and an early night. However, as she got ready for bed, Briony decided that she couldn’t face sleeping in her own room.

She gathered some things and went into the guest bedroom instead. Switching on the TV, she watched an old movie and dozed in the warm bed. As the movie ended, she turned off the TV and snuggled down, clutching childhood teddy bear.

Leaving the lamp on, she tried to sleep, but thoughts kept popping up. She wondered if she would see him tonight and what would happen. She thought about the book she had read in hospital, borrowed off a teenage goth girl with a broken leg. The title had been something about ghosts and daemons haunting the living. Briony frowned as she tried to remember then decided it wasn’t important. The information she had found out was though.

Listening, she heard a creaking in the attic above her. It was nothing more than natural movement though. She drifted off, her mind a mass of questions and dark thoughts that couldn’t be answered. She fell asleep, feeling warm and safe even though something nagged at the back of her mind.

It was pitch black when she opened her eyes. Water was dripping from somewhere. She could hear it plopping on something metal. Stretching, she half got up and looked around the room. Seeing nothing, she clicked on the lamp then paused.

I thought I’d left that on, she thought.

Getting up, she followed the sound of the water dripping through the house, but couldn’t find the source of it. Lastly, she came to stand under the attic trap door. Looking up, she wondered if a pipe was leaking. Deciding it couldn’t wait, she changed her clothes, put on some shoes and went up.

The attic was dark even with the single blub on and the torch she had. Briony stepped inside and begin carefully checking the maze of pipes above and below her. Dust danced before the light beam, which bounced back on an array of long forgotten objects the previous owners had left. Briony had never used the attic. There’d been no need with just her in the house. Making her way to the back, she didn’t see any signs of the water, even though the dripping sounded louder up here.

Turning about, she decided to call her dad in the morning to do have a proper look.

Something brushed passed her feet.

Briony paused and flashed the torch light down. The bare wooden chip floor came into view. She looked, but didn’t see anything. Maybe it had been a mouse or a rat? Shaking it off, she walked a few more steps.

An icy breeze tickled her ankles and a soft moaning came from behind her.

Briony didn’t stop. She picked up her pace and headed straight for the ladder.

The moaning grew and hurried footsteps boomed out. She felt cold air wrapping around her and something drawing her to look back. Not giving in, she made it to the attic hatch and looked down. Light pooled all around the ladder, welcoming her back. She went to step down and felt hands on her bottom.

Briony twisted her upper body. Her eyes landing on the red glowing orbs looming out of the darkness behind her. She screamed and felt herself falling backwards through the hatch. Her hands scrambled for something to hold on to and scrapped passed the ladder and wall. Her screaming echoed loudly in her ears and all she could see was the shadow man peeling away from the darkness and falling after her.

 

Briony felt herself drifting upwards. Coming too, she wiped her face and tried to look around. The hallway was dark and she couldn’t see anything. Getting up, she reached for the wall and tried to find the light switch. Her sense of depth must have been off, because she couldn’t find the wall.

Puzzled, she waited for her eyes to adjust and tried to work out what had happened. She had gotten out of bed to do something…it wouldn’t come back to her. Shrugging, she felt her way back to the guest room and got back into bed. Laying there, she looked up at the ceiling and tried to sleep.

The door creaked open and footsteps entered the room.

Briony reached out to turn on the lamp, but couldn’t feel it. Frowning, she tried again, but there seemed to be no bedside table either.

‘What’s going on?’ she said aloud.

‘You died,’ a slow deep eerie voice came from the foot of the bed.

Briony stopped and looked down. The shadow man was standing there and even though he was still cloaked in black, she could see him clearer than before.

‘I…what?’

‘I pushed you out of the attic,’ the voice whispered.

‘Why?’ Briony stuttered.

‘Because I need you.’

‘I’m dead?’ Briony cried and tried to touch anything she could.

‘Very,’ the shadow man replied, ‘I need you to help me.’

‘And I couldn’t alive?’

‘It’s the only way.’

Briony pressed her hands to her face, ‘oh God! Why? What about my parents…what are they going to do? What am I going to do? How could you!’

‘Doesn’t matter. What does is finding me more souls,’ the voice hissed around her.

‘Souls? What?’ Briony let out a loud and long oh noise and began rocking.

‘To survive it’s what we need. You can leave here and bring them back,’ the shadow man explained, ‘I can’t leave. That’s why I need you. We can feast on the souls together and grow stronger.’

‘I don’t want to,’ Briony sniffed.

‘No choice. Your soul is chained to mine now. See.’

Briony heard the soft clinking of a chain and looked down at her wrist. There was an iron manacle pressed against her skin and a single linked chain leading to the wrist of the shadow man.

‘You are mine now. Forever.’

‘No,’ Briony screamed and scrambled off the bed.

Loud, echoing laughter filled the room as she fled into the hallway. Stepping around a big crumpled up shape, Briony went downstairs and to the front door. Her fingers fumbled with the lock and went right passed the door. With a quick glance back, she stepped through the door and out on to the doorstep.

A fuzziness filled her ears, like the static sound of a TV. Her vision was black and white and she could make out distant shapes under the starry night sky. She tried to take a few deep breaths and tell herself it was all a dream. But somehow she knew it wasn’t. From behind her came the heavy footsteps and growling sounds of the shadow man. She heard him stop at the front door and call her name.

‘Leave if you want, but you’ll come back. You don’t have a choice. There’s nowhere else for you to go,’ he added.

‘I’ll find a way to be free,’ Briony shouted back.

There came a low chuckle, ‘the last one said that too…’

Briony looked behind and watched the looming shadow press against the front door glass.

‘Come back in. We should get to know each other.’

Briony shook her head then felt a tugging on her wrist. She looked down and saw the chain being pulled back into the door. She tried to move further away, but the manacle tightened around her wrist. She felt no pain, just the urge to go back inside. Holding her wrist, she gave in and did just that, going through the door again as if it was open.

Facing off with the shadow man, her mind raced through everything as he began speaking. His voice went straight over her head and she only released he had stopped talking when she brought her eyes back to him.

‘You’ll get use to death,’ he said, ‘everyone does eventually.’

 

Post It Note #14

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