Hell  Ascendant – Episodes 1 & 2 combined edition

200hell-1-2Title: Hell  Ascendant - Episodes 1 & 2 combined edition
Series:
Release Date: October 11, 2017
Genre: ,
Pages: 154

Jealousy, greed, hubris, lust; all these things have always plagued mankind. It is no different when Hell comes to Earth

The apocalypse arrived without fanfare and with the dawn on April 1st.

It sounds like a joke, but when Satan himself shouts April Fools it's pretty serious.

Episode 1 of this sprawling saga of Hell come to Earth follows Lucas Devereaux. Former soldier turned auto mechanic, turned apocalypse survivor, he leads a band of frightened men and women through Hell on Earth trying to stay alive in the changed world. He just has to survive hell hounds, demons, and the hatreds that humans still carry even after the world ends.

When a demon demands a sacrifice of the survivors, will they betray one of their own or die?

Episode 2 takes us to Sin City, Las Vegas. Eternal snow blankets the city. Glaciers race across the landscape destroying everything in their path and monsters prowl the winter wasteland in search of human prey.

A group of loners and misfits are drawn together in an effort to survive. They are pursued by monsters and demons at every turn.

When a Prince of Hell demands a sacrifice they are faced with a choice between saving the world or their new friends.

This is a paperback only version combining the first 2 episodes of the e-book series.


Also in this series:

Chapter 1

According to Jewish legend, there are in each generation 36 chosen humans, the Lamedvavnik, who prevent the rest of us from being destroyed. Through their extraordinary good deeds and their love, they save the world over and over again. They're not famous saints, though. They go about their business anonymously, and no one knows how crucial they are to our well-being.

* * *

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red -- Revelation 6:12

* * *

"The world never has less than thirty-six righteous men who receive the Divine Presence every day, for it is said, 'Happy are they that wait lo [for Him]' and the numerical value of 'lo' is thirty-six." - Talmud, Succah 45b

 

###

The apocalypse arrived without fanfare and with the dawn on April 1st.

It sounds like a joke, but when Satan himself shouts April Fools it's pretty serious.

Anyone who has ever lived near the sea has heard the old adage: red sky at morning, sailor take warning. On April 1st the sky certainly turned red. Blood appeared to be flowing up the shafts of sunlight. The blood spread over the horizon until the entire sky was a wavering red color. The sun dimmed behind the bloody pall. In the end, it appeared to be nothing more than a dull cinder. It barely shed enough light, even at noon, to give the appearance of deep twilight. That's when the gates of Hell opened on the Earth.

Lucas Devereaux flashed back to the exact moment the world ended. The ground had shaken exactly as it was shaking now. He had been on Route 7, westbound through Virginia from the District of Columbia in his tow truck. He had slept off the evening’s excesses in the cabin of the grease-stained vehicle. He was racing the coming dawn back to Purcellville. He hoped his boss didn't notice that the truck had never returned from its late-night tow. The sun had crested the horizon and the ground began to shake. It reminded Lucas of an earthquake from a few years earlier. This one was longer and stronger than the one that had cracked the back wall of the garage. The few westbound vehicles skidded across the blacktop as the road heaved. His truck had stalled and rolled to a stop as the blood began to fill the sky. His attempts to restart the engine did not elicit even a click from the starter. Every car in sight ha died at the same time. This temblor was not as violent but he knew it was equally portentous.

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Nightmare War: Initiate

200dreamwarriorcover2Title: Nightmare War: Initiate
Release Date: December 14, 2013
Genre: , ,
Pages: 205

Is it a dream?

Is it reality?

Death is real either way.

It starts with a nightmare more terrifying than anything he's ever had.

Soon, the monsters from his dreams are showing up in Alex Black's waking world.

He's just an average teen caught up with avoiding bullies and finding a girlfriend. Is he going insane?

When a car runs him down, Alex is propelled into a world he never knew existed.

Trapped in the dream world, he must defeat powerful creatures of nightmare, protect those he loves and try to keep ancient monsters from destroying his body before he can figure out how to wake up.

If you're a fan of the movies Dreamscape or The Cell or followed the Nightmare on Elm Street movies you'll love this book that blurs the barriers between the dream world and reality

Chapter 1

Alex Black heard furtive rustling in the grass as he relaxed beside the creek. Glancing over his shoulder, nothing was visible. Shrugging with the utter lack of worry that only a teenager secure in his invulnerability can muster, he turned back to watch the sun dance on the water.

A crack prompted him to begin to look once more when a small form rocketed into him.

Alex was slammed into the ground, eighty pounds of muscle pinning him. Struggling he twisted far enough to see a blue-furred arm pressed against his shoulder.

“Blue!” he laughed.

The lazy, unconnected feeling fled; I’m dreaming, he realized and quickly twisted around to wrestle with the blue-furred mandrill.

The boy and the stocky blue monkey rolled across the grass, black hair and blue fur flying as they wrestled. When he was small, Alex never gave the creature much of a fight, but since he had achieved his full growth he was now a good match for the mandrill. Even though it was only half his height and weight, the animal’s strength far outstripped its size. The pair rolled across the grass, grunting and straining until they rolled to a stop beside the glittering creek.

Alex’s laugh rang out across the creek as he and monkey both collapsed on their backs grinning with shared joy.

"That was fun Blue. I love it when you show up in my dreams." Alex lifted himself on an elbow and stared at the simian form lying beside him, so human but so alien.

Alex’s brow furrowed in consternation.

"Why are you still in my dreams?" he asked. "I'm not exactly a kid anymore, I’m almost seventeen not seven, but here you are."

The mandrill curled its snout in a simian grin as if to say: "Why ask me?"

Blue had been Alex’s companion for as long as he could remember. The mandrill had been the one who played soldier with him and hide and seek when Alex had no other friends to play with. When he had been eight, Alex had gone to the school library and between the many books and judicious use of internet searches he had learned that the weird blue creature in his dreams was called a mandrill. He had thought it was the funniest name for an animal ever at that age. He did think it was a bit weird that he could have an animal as his constant companion in his dreams which he didn’t even know existed. He had told his mother about his simian companion and she had told him that he had probably seen the animal on the television when he was younger and his subconscious remembered it. Alex had never questioned Blue’s existence after that; Blue was simply the perfect companion for a boy to rough house and laze about beside a stream with.

It had never bothered him that Blue couldn’t speak, after all he was an animal and Alex had outgrown talking animal stories very early in his life. It would be nice though if the creature could answer his questions. Alex often wondered if there was something wrong with him that he still had what amounted to an imaginary friend when he was within two months of turning seventeen.

“If only you could talk Blue,” Alex said.

“Wait, why can’t you talk? This is a dream; you should be able to do anything I want.”

The mandrill rolled to its feet and opened its fanged jaws, panting.

“Alex.”

“Holy crap! You talked,” Alex gasped.

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The Grinning One

200thegrinTitle: The Grinning One
Release Date: April 12, 2014
Genre: ,
Pages: 124

Jonathan Pettigrew is a Vegas magician whose career has taken a dive after the accidental death of his assistant. Things turn dark when he discovers a devil in a small Mexican town.

He will travel far to gain true power, even at the cost of his soul.

The Grinning One is an ancient demon, worshiped as a deity by some and feared universally by all. It is released into the world and the magician must learn how to control the evil one or die with the rest of humanity.

Jonathan strives against other magicians and the demon in search of power, love and the meaning of his life.

A novella of magic, horror and Faustian deals.

An exciting romp into the dark side.

Chapter 1

Jonathan Pettigrew paused, lifting his head from his frantic reading of the crumbling papers as the building shuddered. The deep moaning roar from below the ground vibrated his back teeth. He could hear the boards of the ancient home popping as the wood shook.

He didn't think the house would last much longer. If it fell he wasn’t sure that the wards keeping that thing in the stone cellar would survive.

He shuddered as visibly as the house at the thought of the black thing being free with no control. His conscious mind refused to recall what it had seen of the creature; all he could remember was blackness and the teeth, those horrible teeth. His mind may have refused to process the creature’s visage but he understood at an instinctual level, if it escaped unfettered he and many more would wish for death as an escape from its violence and hatred.

He turned his attention back to yet another stack of yellowing parchment covered with scribbling. He cursed the penchant for sorcerers to hide their knowledge in codes and symbolism.

This was not turning out to be the easy road to riches he had hoped.

 

Chapter 2

“Ladies and gentlemen, the legendary Jonathan Pettigrew.”

How many times had he heard that introduction as he strode onto the stage like a God from the ancient days, prepared to bring wonder to the masses?

Before what he preferred to refer to as ‘the accident’ Jonathan had performed on the largest stages in Vegas. His magic act had garnered him an HBO special and even a command performance for the Queen of England. Jonathan had been rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Supermodels wanted to bed him and the rich and famous begged for him to be their guest.

Jonathan thought his greatest moment had been when he had displaced that boor Copperfield as the top earning magician and then taken his spot in the MGM’s main arena. Jonathan looked upon performers like Copperfield as a lesser life form; they were not of his caliber and didn’t deserve to share the same stage where he performed.

Fame and glory had ended with a literal blast three years ago when his assistant and lover, Melody, had entered his famous Teleport Cabinet.

 

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Gray Walkers

200gray-coverTitle: Gray Walkers
Release Date: March 27, 2015
Genre: , , ,
Pages: 21

A short story of the Geriatric Apocalypse.

You’ll never look at grandma the same way after reading this new short story

You’ve heard of the zombie apocalypse – forget all that. This is a strange new take on this existing genre. Aimed at both the horror fan and the young adult horror fan this short story follows young Billy Cope a normal boy who’s grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

One day she turns violent. She believes her family has stolen her memories. Soon everyone around Billy is turning old, even the little kid next door.

Billy must survive this geriatric apocalypse and reach his girlfriend before she loses her youth to the spreading evil.

It’s quirky, sometimes frightening, sometimes humorous. You’ll never pass a home for the elderly and feel safe again.

"Alzheimer's disease (AD), is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gets worse over time. The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events. As the disease advances, symptoms can include: problems with language, disorientation, mood swings, loss of motivation, not managing self care, and behavioral issues including violence.

“As a person's condition declines, she or he often withdraws from family and society. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death."

Billy looked up from his tablet to stare across the room at Phyllis Cope, his paternal grandmother. He couldn’t picture life without the steel-haired old woman but that’s what the wiki entry said would be the eventual result of her Alzheimer’s disease.

Dad had brought Phyllis to live with them five years ago when Billy had turned 12. In the beginning, she had been forgetful and occasionally called the boy David, his father’s name but Billy had just assumed that it was a side effect of being old.

As the years crawled on and Phyllis became more confused and withdrawn, Billy learned the name for her disease. Now he, like his father, was marking time until the old woman either died or became too much of a burden for the two men to handle. Since Billy’s mother had died when he was a toddler David and Billy Cope had been alone in the world. As a single father, David had taken to ruling the house in a regimental manner; no breach of discipline was permitted for the young Billy. The sudden arrival of David’s mother had shown that the man was capable of compassion, something Billy had never seen.

More often than not, Billy was assigned nurse detail. He would keep an eye on the old woman and fetch whatever she needed to be comfortable. It wasn’t a hard job but it did cut into his social life. Billy would spend most of his time at home reading and gaming on his tablet while occasionally checking on his grandmother who was usually staring blankly, mumbling about some past event as if it were happing in the here and now, or sleeping like she was right now.

Billy did a double take. She was sleeping, wasn’t she?

“Gran,” Billy said in a quiet voice.

“Grandma,” he said loudly when the old woman didn’t respond at all.

He realized that he had not heard a sound from Phyllis in quite some time. He wasn’t even sure she was breathing.

“Dad!”

David Cope rushed down the stairs from his home office, impelled by the raw sound of fear in his son’s voice. He skidded into the room and looked around wildly for the source of danger.

“Dad, I think Gran may have died,” Billy said in a near whisper.

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31 Tastes of Terror

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-smoking-wine-glass-image14193825Title: 31 Tastes of Terror
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Contributors: Ed Walker, Edmund de Wight
Genre: , ,
Pages: 225

Do you like Halloween? Scary stories? Would you like to have some amazing cocktails to serve for this spooky season?

This book is for you!

 

Within you will find 31 spooky cocktails to set the mood for your October festivities. There are chapters on ways to make your cocktails spooky with garnishes, ice shapes, and glassware.

Each tale of the supernatural and macabre is accompanied by a drink to help you survive the ghosts and ghouls that stalk the dark October nights.

Curl up beside the fire with a new drink and a new tale of terror for each night in October.

Count down the days to All Hallows Eve or just enjoy a new story and drink any night of the year.

Tales range from witches to ghouls, vampires to zombies, and ghosts to dread creatures from beyond the outer dark.

NOTE: If you have already read Edge of Reality - these are the same stories but they have been paired with drink recipes for a new type of book.

OCTOBER 1

HOWLING BANSHEE

 This drink makes for a wonderful presentation. Depending on the color of the sweet & sour mix, you may achieve more blue or green as the overall color.  If presented in a martini glass, the sugar rimmed glass makes this drink perfect for a high-class party.

 Taste profile: mostly sweet with a touch of sour to tone it down.

 Ingredients:

           2 parts rum

           1 part Blue Curacao

           1 part sweet & sour mix

           ½ Tsp black sugar (see directions below)

 In a shaker with ice, combine the rum, curacao and sweet & sour mix and shake vigorously.  

Moisten the rim of the glass with a wedge of lemon and dip the rim of the glass into the bowl containing the colored sugar. I don’t recommend twisting the glass to coat the rim although some bartenders swear by it, experiment and determine what works best for you. Once the glass is rimmed, strain the drink into the glass.

 Making the colored sugar:

           ½ cup sugar

           Black food coloring

 Place the sugar in a bowl and add several drops of the food coloring. Mix the color into the sugar using a silicone spatula. Continue adding several drops at a time until you achieve a smooth color.

 A SONG FOR THE DYING

 Cahal dipped the rag into the ice cold water from the well and gently dabbed it across the brow of his wife Fiona. He could feel the heat from her forehead penetrating the cloth.  Fiona moaned lightly in her sleep as he did this. It’s getting worse, he thought.

 He pursed his lips in consternation, unsure of what to do; then he smiled at himself. Fiona always hated it when he made that face. She said that his puckered lips looked like a porcupine’s ass with his salt and pepper beard. Of course she never complained when he had a full black beard when they first were wed; she had considered him the most handsome man in the county back then.  Cahal smiled as he continued bathing her face.

“You, with your hair of flame and me, a simple blacksmith, with hair the color of my coal; we were meant to be together my love,” Cahal felt a tear trickle down his cheek.

“So many years Fia. Our sons are long gone; now it’s just you and me. You can’t leave me now.”

Cahal, stroked his wife’s cheek. Hardly a wrinkle had settled there. Only her hair, now mostly grey, told of the passage of years for the still beautiful woman.

 A high pitched sound on the wind snapped his head around. It almost sounded like singing. Cahal strained but didn’t hear it again. Probably an owl he thought, returning to his ministrations.

That time it was clear. Cahal stood and went to the door of the small stone hut. Darkness was settling across the moor. He could hear the hens settling in for the night and the grumbling of his goats as they gobbled another meal before bed. The moon was up and near full, a person couldn’t hide across the flat terrain that surrounded his house. If there was someone walking across the moor, he should be able to see them.

Definitely a voice, he thought. He could hear it faintly across the moor. It wavered like a gentle lullaby on the breeze.

“You’re probably hearing a woman singing to her child, you old fool,” he said.

The wind shifted and Cahal’s blood froze in his veins. The voice was clearly a wail. A high pitched keening that rose and fell like a mourner at a funeral; it could only be one thing.

“Banshee,” he said and ran back into his hut.

Slamming the heavy wooden door, Cahal knelt next to his wife. She was still breathing. 

“Stay with me Fia,” he said, frantically dabbing her face with cold water. “That old sidhe is going to visit someone down the lane. She’s not coming here.”

In his gut he knew he was lying.

The sound became clearer as Cahal knelt next to his wife. The distant wail became a raspy voice, strained from continuous ululations. It sounded like a damned soul being tortured and weeping in its pain.

“Dear Gods, send this spirit past my house,” he whispered. “Not tonight, not tonight, please not my Fia tonight.”

The wail sounded almost outside. Cahal started as Fiona suddenly gasped, her eyes rolling beneath her inflamed eyelids.

“No,” he screamed.

Cahal leapt to his feet and raced to the door. He grabbed the only weapon he possessed, a stout bar of iron that he had forged in his youth. The bar was the length of a sword with a slightly bulbous tip and had a leather grip wrapped in steel wire. Cahal had made this bludgeon for himself years ago in case he needed to drive off bandits. He had joked with Fiona that he left it iron rather than temper it to steel so that the wee folk could also be chased off. He prayed that his jest would provide him with a weapon against the Banshee.

Throwing open the door Cahal saw a ragged oval shape, taller than it was wide. The shape appeared made of the mist from the moors but glowed with a sickly blue light. As he watched the wail came again; the light brightened and dimmed as the sound rose and fell.

“Get back you damned sidhe,” he shouted. “You’ll not take my Fia.”

The Banshee paused in its floating approach for a moment as if considering the words of the man before it but quickly resumed its progress toward the door of the hut.

With an animal growl Cahal swung his bar of iron at the glowing specter. The tip of the bar passed through the light without resistance. Even though Cahal felt no impact, the area where his bar intersected the Banshee flared with a red light and the spirit wailed even louder than before and retreated several feet.

“It’s true,” he said. “Iron harms you. Begone then, you’ll never get past me.”

The Banshee made its funeral wail and charged forward once more. Again Cahal drove it back with a swipe of his iron bar. Advance and retreat the spirit and man danced. Cahal fought with graceless ferocity. With each strike the Banshee’s wail grew louder and more frantic.  With each strike Cahal felt the burning in his lungs and the painful pressure growing in his chest.

The Banshee wailed louder than ever and Cahal felt a sharp pain in his ear. He touched his left hand to his head and then examined it; blood was coming from his ear.

“I don’t care you bastard. Kill me if you want but you’ll not take Fiona.”

Cahal charged the Banshee raining blow after blow on the spirit until the light of its body was pulsing rapidly between its normal blue and the red of its pain.

Cahal staggered back toward his door, exhaustion beginning to take its toll on his aging body.  The pain in his chest made him worry that the Banshee might claim both he and his wife tonight. Movement caught his eye and he whimpered. He could not fight another sidhe; he felt defeat rearing its head. Another ghostly shape was approaching from the moor.

Cahal swung at the Banshee once more then turned to face this new threat. The second spirit approached in silence. It was white rather than blue but otherwise was almost the twin of the Banshee.

Cahal raised his bar to strike.

“Cahal, stop my boy,” the new spirit spoke in a woman’s voice.

Cahal froze in mid swing and took a staggering step back. It couldn’t be. “Mother?”

The voice coming from the white spirit was that of his long dead mother. Even the long forty years since her death could not dim his memory, Cahal would know her voice anywhere. It was the sound of his heart, the sound of comfort.

“My son, you cannot stop the Banshee,” the spirit said.

“No,” he blustered. “It fears my iron. I won’t let it take my Fiona.”

The white spirit approached and coalesced into the well remembered shape of Cahal’s mother. Her spirit looked as young as Cahal remembered her from when he was a child. The aged appearance she wore at her death had been shed in the spirit world.

“Son, I love you. You’ve made a mother so proud to have become such a good man. You’ve raised your family and found love with a beautiful woman. But life must move on. You cannot change the natural order.  Old life must end for new life to continue.”

Cahal lowered his rod, tears streaming down his face. He was gasping, a combination of sobbing and sheer exhaustion.

“But, I can’t lose her,” He said.

“My lovely boy; you can never lose her.  Have you lost me?”

Cahal blinked through his tears to stare at the glowing form of his mother.

“No, Mother.”

“Let her go my son. Eventually, your time will come and you will find her again in the spirit world just like I found your father. “

Cahal nodded, and dropped the iron bar with a clang against the rocks of his door path.

“Forgive me spirit,” he said to the Banshee. “Be about your business.”

The Banshee resumed its funeral wail, much more gently than before and began to drift toward the door of the small cottage. Cahal staggered in the Banshee’s wake and dropped to his knees at his wife’s bedside as the Banshee hovered overhead. 

The Banshee’s wail changed, transforming from funereal mourning into a gentle lullaby. Cahal recognized it from his childhood and smiled a sad smile. Taking Fiona’s feverish hand in his own he brought it to his lips and felt her shudder as her spirit departed.

“Goodbye my love,” he whispered.

Cahal looked up to see the Banshee joined by a second white spirit form.

“Love is forever,” he heard his mother’s fading voice say beside him.

Tears filled his eyes and Cahal smiled as all three spirits faded into nothingness.

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Edge of Reality

200Edge_of_RealityTitle: Edge of Reality
Release Date: January 11, 2014
Genre: ,
Pages: 169

Prepare yourself for a trip to the Edge.

Thirty-two tales of the bizarre, horrific and weird await you within.

  •  A man battles the spirit world for the life of his wife.
  •  A religious artifact, more potent than the Holy Grail is the focus of a life’s quest.
  •  Witch doctor threatens the lives of the young.
  •  A warrior woman in a steampunk world battles ferocious creatures.
  •  A man attempts to raise a zombie army to rule the world.
  • and many more

Today I Decided to Kill My Wife

Can you blame me? Twenty years of snoring. Twenty years of nagging, complaining and rebukes. Twenty years of watching love shrivel and disappear until what was left could not even fill a thimble. Twenty years of learning to hate my wife.

I knew I could get away with it. I'm smart and resourceful and I've read more murder mysteries than I can count. I always catch the errors made by the murderers.

This morning I called out from work, I tend to do that a lot lately; yet another thing for which to hate her, taking the joy from my job. Why would I want to toil for hours just to hand my earnings to that harridan?

After spending a quiet morning in the park watching the pigeons I made up my mind.

I drove to a tavern I frequented near my home and made a point of ordering food and several drinks.

While I waited for my food I excused myself to Tony behind the bar and went to the bathroom.

Crawling from the rear window I knew I had at most fifteen to twenty minutes to race to my home and do the deed. My alibi would be supported by the patrons.

I ran through back streets and alleys cursing the enlarged belly that I had gained by spending too much time in bars. All that would change though in a few minutes. I would be a man again. I would regain my life; all I needed to do was end her’s.

The police would think it was a robbery. How horrible I’d wail to the television crews. I would berate myself publicly for stopping for a beer instead of coming home to my loving wife. I could have saved her. Maybe I’d be in a made for television movie.

I let myself in the back door leading into the kitchen. Once the deed was done I’d make a point of kicking in the door and taking some appliances to make it look like a robbery. It would be worth the cost of some electronics tossed into the river to be rid of her.

I crept into the living room with the butcher knife held ready. The discoloration of the carpet caught my eye. Our normally bone white carpet was discolored by reddish brown stains. The stains spread in a cone shape from the far side of the couch. The red became deeper and more vibrant as the cone narrowed. Did she spill her usual afternoon wine?

I continued my forward progress, intent on the couch where I knew the shrew would be napping. I pictured it in my head as I circled, her fat face slack with sleep, sagging bosom rising and falling for what I would make the last time.

The lack of her trademarked snore confused me for a moment but I continued around the couch raising the knife.

Her eyes were not shut. They stared at me glassy and lifeless. Her fishlike mouth hung open in a silent scream.

I could just picture her screaming for mercy as the faceless instrument of my deliverance butchered her.

Blood was everywhere. Her body was covered in red liquid. Her throat was a second mouth, ragged and dripping gore. Wounds covered her chest.

I began to laugh. Someone had beaten me to the punch. A robber? A jilted lover? No, no one could love that hag.

I cackled. I shouted with glee and danced a jig in her blood.

The witch was dead. Long live the husband.

The front door splintered as it was knocked from its hinges and a handful of armed men stormed the room.

Screams of “Drop the knife!” filled my ears and I continued to laugh and caper waving the knife like a baton.

Today I decided to kill my wife but I didn’t do it. The bullets didn’t care.

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