A Mirrors Edge

Oh, these times they are a changin!
But when are they ever not?
Yesterday just slipped away,
too soon to be forget.
~
Pining for our days of yore,
we then post it from our phone.
All the world’s our stage,
yet we feel all alone.
~
Calls to arms get dialed up,
connections a bit unclear.
Leadership’s uniformly lacking.
So be careful what you wear.
~
Shots soon for all;
get yours while you can.
Self-curing is the aim,
safe then from our fellow man.
~
Voids will always fill,
content remains the gamble.
Sequels bound eventually,
till then on we’ll scramble.

~*~
SCK011221

Awake

As a child I was longing to see;
those glorious times ahead of me.
The ocean called as did the stars.
Riches I’d have and fancy cars.
~
I’d marry a princess, have lots of kids.
I’ll do all the things that mom forbids.
I’d stay up late and eat lots of sweets.
I’ll sleep till noon on soft flannel sheets.
~
Teen years came, dreams went astray.
I dreaded school and my life in every way.
But off I trudged through rain and snow.
Where I was going I didn’t know.
~
Hair grew long and patience grew thin.
Trouble was found, most from within.
The rage was waning by senior year.
My future was waiting tied to a pier.
~
Adventures were had though not for long.
I did some things I knew were wrong.
The hammer fell then back on the street.
Many days traveled to get home and eat.
~
Dad was displeased, mom’s not surprised.
It was about my time to get civilized.
I rode the bus to work at the mill.
The paychecks earned were never to thrill.
~
My life, I thought, was now just a waste.
Decision made poorly and with great haste.
Dreams of the past seemed now far away.
Would the rest of my life be like today?
~
Options getting fewer, debts soon to grow.
Choices are but two, the time’s now to go.
At that very instant dreams came back in view.
As learning from the past will awaken you.

~*~
SCK010621

Fiscal New Year

The mistletoe’s gone for another year.
Alarm bells ringing bring no cheer.
The party’s over, Monday’s arrived,
the holiday’s done, at least I survived.
~
Back to normal I must now go.
Work I must to pay what I owe.
Bills are coming and debts surely grew.
Saving’s diminished; it’s time to make new.
~
Coffee is drunk but the mood is sober.
I’ve interest to pay, maybe done by October.
A resolution I’ve made to end this spree.
But Valentines is coming and gifts there will be.
~
So returns I’ll exchange as sales are waiting,
There are deals galore, no time for debating.
There’s much to do to start this New Year.
Hopefully by spring my plan will be clear.

~*~
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Broken

The switch broke, lights went out.
Now I sit alone in doubt.
Morning comes, eyes stay shut.
The feeling’s gone in my gut.
~
Hours pass with no refrain.
Only mush fills my brain.
My body’s weak, pain is strong.
Life is short, death is long.
~
Lips parched, breathing slows.
Numbness reminds of fingers and toes.
Into the light my soul roams.
Blood consumes yesterday’s poems.
~
Silence heard with no heartbeat.
Time knows no defeat.
If tomorrow I shall see,
a better person I will be.
~
If a poet when I rise,
this world anew before my eyes.
Nothing lost is nothing gained,
only regrets leave us stained.
~
Second chances are often rare.
Today’s success is meant to share.
The past gone, ends unknown,
cherish all you have grown.

~*~
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Symptomatic

The day was young and the coffee’s old.
The season’s new and the outside’s cold.
The inside’s warm so in I’ll stay.
I’m not feeling well this chilly day.
~
I brewed some more and drink it all.
Saving none then duty did call.
Then back to bed, or at least I thought.
I forgot what excess has often taught.
~
I tossed and turned for a little too long.
Then to the bathroom, but nothing’s wrong.
I needed a tissue for a sneeze I felt coming.
Proven right the sensation was numbing.
~
My plans now nixed, the sniffles persisted.
Medicine taken, their side-effects listed.
I’ve started to doze and none too soon.
Please wake me up before the spring moon.

~*~
SCK092320

Left Behind

Lost in a wandering state of mind,
returning to memories I thought left behind.
A campground awaits from decades of yore,
There’s a lake nearby and nature galore.

Summers there filled with family and friends,
as the specter of youth unknowingly ends.
The journey’s now short to a time long past.
My cabin soon appears while the sun fades fast.

The sky was clear, blues deepened to black.
The stars shone bright, they welcomed me back.
I relaxed on the porch and sipped iced tea,
my friends due tomorrow the night was for me.

With waning moon the damp mist rose,
crickets serenaded, eyes started to close.
Blissful sensations then the start of dreams,
when startled was I by familiar screams.

Dolly, Dolly, Dolly! was all she ever said,
her childhood taunts now flooding my head.
She’s the ghostly remains of horrors we’d share.
The truth is haunting when better a nightmare.

She would scratch at the screen above my bed.
I’d shriek and shiver and cower with dread.
Mornings would come, I’d report of my fright,
“that little girl’s ghost came to take me last night”.

My brothers would tease and mom consoled,
dad says they’re figments of tales I’ve been told.
But when evenings cool and crescent moon high,
dense fog rose and that child would cry.

Dolly, dolly, dolly is all she would say,
Her bony hand summoned and pointed the way.
Never dared I answer her mournful request.
Silently I’d wait, ignoring my guest.

It’s been many years since last we met.
Time I’ve tried hard, but to never forget.
Now I’ve matured and conscience will decide.
Am I to seek or again shall I hide?

I know not what of this phantoms despair.
Yet together there’s grief we seemingly share.
Her woe is death while mine’s the living.
Each is assured though neither forgiving.

Our paths have crossed, all have an end.
My choice is made by this spirited friend.
With eyes open wide follow I must,
forsaking not, that lost child’s trust.

I rose and leaned forward, held out my hand.
Our fate’s to obey and to command.
We dashed through the field and into the woods.
A moment imagined of pleasant childhoods.

Each step echoes with brittle twig snap.
Till the shadows of trees soon overlap.
To guide my way mere slivers of light,
pursuing my phantom into the night.

Thicket and bramble claw at my skin,
bleeding the courage from deep within.
The worn paths end at fresh fallen leaf,
this forest beyond, beyond my belief.

Spirits roam free where the living don’t tread.
My friend had returned to her life of the dead.
I wished again to hide safe behind closed eyes,
trading this vision for dreams of blue skies.

The girl then pointed at boulders stacked high,
interwoven with brush to hide from the eye.
All layers of shadow, grays deepened to black,
foretelling the depth of crevice and crack.

Her hazy glow grew brighter, eyes more intense,
repeated cries for dolly now making sense.
She’s lost a dear friend and I’m chosen to find.
To abandon now this child was beyond unkind.

Exited are we, our quest’s nearly done.
‘Twas a test of persistence, both surely won.
My mind’s now a flutter, heart beating proud,
grasping in darkness through thick thorny shroud.

Our search going well till that last step was taken,
the ground then vanished, I was tumbled and shaken.
I awoke sometime later to whispers, mumbles and cries.
My new friend stood close as I opened my eyes.

I saw Dolly held tightly and a bustle nearby.
Mourners had grouped where a still body lie.
A lifeless figure with a familiar shape and size.
The live too are familiar, all saying goodbyes.

The little girl thanked me for my many good deeds.
As slowly she faded having found what she needs.
I begged to be taken for I’ve been truly kind.
When last she said “You need first find needs left behind.”

.
Sck021616

Sweet Dreams

Monsters and ghouls prowl the street.
Ghosts hide beneath their sheet.
Zombies limp on bloody feet.
All are happy when they meet.
~
Black cats blend to be discreet.
Witches conjure but never cheat.
Werewolf’s howl when they greet.
All awaiting their Halloween treat.
~
Children rush for goodies to eat.
Parents long to take a seat.
Then the spell’s finally complete,
ending with dreams so sweet.

~*~
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Dead Tired

.
Finally, the end of the longest day of my life was over. The tears of the past months now free to flow yet strangely absent. This old house quieter than ever, the door closing behind me and the true sense of emptiness was now being felt as I never thought possible.

Leading up to my wife’s death, friends, family and of course my daughter were always close by and the grief shared by all. Now the house is dark as I stand in the hallway not wanting to turn on the light for fear of seeing the reality of finally being alone.

The hall was brighter just this morning as the sun rose and my daughter and I went off to the funeral parlor for Liz, my wife’s final service before our trip to the cemetery. The morning was crisp and clear, a distant smell of lilac hung in the air as the cars lined up for the procession.

The route chosen was considerably longer than necessary but a twisty country road in full spring bloom is a sight to be enjoyed, even if it to be the last. The funeral itself was as beautiful as anyone could expect, the morning mist lingered in the new day and the birds serenaded in the background as hundreds of mourners passed to show love, friendship and respect for a truly remarkable person. A woman whom I loved deeply for many, many years but now feeling I never fully acknowledged as a person or professional and was regretting having not expressed it more when she was alive. I hoped she knew of my love and respect for her as a mother and friend, as a physician, scientist and teacher and of course as a very lucky man’s wife.

The next few days a similar sad and hazy blur, I just roamed from one room to the next recalling all the little things that happened in each one over the thirty years living here. Each had a story, a laugh or tear, all where ours, our colors, our furniture, our books and our clutter. Each and every piece a memory and all memories of an instant in time to never be repeated. A life time that was a life’s time in the making and yet gone in an instant.

Life goes on I’m told and I would like to believe that. I’m sure for many it does. For some however it’s just not meant to be. I realized this when the crumpled remains of my car was dumped in my driveway minutes ago. And I never got to say goodbye.

The End

sck061817 / dft

Dusk to Dread

Monsters prowled the darkened streets.
The time was theirs to search for treats.
Deny their cravings if you dare,
but tricks certain for the unaware.
~
The moon was full and fog was thick.
This night they’ll feast, tomorrow sick.
Ghosts and goblins in shadows hide.
Porch lights flicker but stay outside.
~
Fairies welcome and clowns make fun.
Pirates afloat grab treasure and run.
Mummies abound wait for their turn.
Witches swoop to take what they yearn.
~
Werewolves howl barking desires.
The shrunken in wagons mostly criers.
Superheroes patrol to keep things in line.
The things all laugh cos their doing fine.
~
The much larger zombies follow the pack.
They beg and plead for an unwanted snack.
The air grew cooler, the end was near.
Then sleep soon ended another nightmare.

~*~
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Under Where!

A big scary monster lives under my bed.
I never saw their body but maybe saw their head.
Every night they whisper when I try to sleep.
But when my mom comes in she doesn’t hear a peep.
~
My dad moved my bed and even switched my room.
But it didn’t really matter, my nights still filled with gloom.
They brought me to a doctor to get my head checked out.
They said that they found nothing, but I still have my doubt.
~
My sister teases me just like the kids at school.
She says that I’m a baby and being scared isn’t cool.
Every day on the bus the kids all laugh at my expense.
But I know I’m right and I think that they’re all dense.
~
My teacher thinks I’m crazy and doesn’t talk to me.
She says that I’m disruptive and that school isn’t free.
The principal just smiles and asks “how’s my day?”
But when I try to tell her she always walks away.
~
When the school bell rings I can’t wait to get outside.
But the bus’s always there and there’s nowhere I can hide.
It’s good the ride is short and soon it’ll be done.
My mom will be waiting and she’ll ask if I had fun.
~
I’ll tell her no and that I had gotten teased.
She’ll make her twisty face and say that she’s not pleased.
I hold her hand tightly and we both walk back inside.
She’ll help me with my homework until my brain is fried.
~
Then we share a snack before a visit from my friend.
We’ll talk a bunch till supper but then the fun will end.
I’m glad to have a friend who listens every day.
They hear the same old stories, even though they’d rather play.
~
Next we eat our supper then I’ll suffer through a bath.
Bedtime must be coming soon and another night of wrath.
My door mostly closed and my nightlight’s set on high,
I rest with one eye open and watch the moon rise in the sky.
~
When the moon got small my eyes began to close.
The monster then tried to eat me and it started with my toes.
But finally the nightmare is over and yes I was wrong.
There was no scary monster; it was just my cat all along.

~*~
SCK090820

Odds Are

In the shadow of a city a child was born.
Decades festered to bubbling scorn.
His body grew large, his head grew bigger,
the search then on for a prized gold digger.
~
On tabloid pages their faces were strewn,
with scandals, bankruptcies and words of a goon.
Followed by lawyers paid a great sum,
ensuring victims would always stay mum.
~
While spreading his hate he found his niche.
And being a narcissist he saw no glitch.
He bolstered and bragged about a huge brain.
Some saw a genius, others felt pain.
~
Despite all his faults a following was had.
His greatness he shared, the world was sad.
Money poured in from sources unknown.
Bull shit prospered and a candidate was grown.
~
A show was hatched, reality lacking,
the outcome was known, dependent on hacking.
Conspiracies hurled, truth unconsidered,
fears unleashed and thinking dithered.
~
A president forged by the art of the steal.
In a backseat he waved with a spy at the wheel.
An immigrant descended a hypocrite ascended.
The “We” now he or so he amended.
~
A king is made with prince and princess.
While the queen hung back at a different address.
A cabinet assembled to kiss his fat ass.
Powers promised to those who could pass.
~
Those dismissed soon wrote a book.
Others were jailed for being a crook.
Impeachment inevitable, a sigh of relief,
a shakeup at justice led to more grief.
~
Leadership needed toward the end of his term.
But the mask’s inconvenient because of his perm.
Independence day past (let that sink in…),
freedom being fragile when destroyed from within.
~
The summer is here though different than most.
As the deaths in this nation is nothing to boast.
But autumn will come and the chips will fall.
A choice we will make, winner takes all.

~*~
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Unquestionable Quest

I’m on a quest for a treasure chest.
No pirate will stand in my way.
My maps were all in order.
My journey started that day.
~
My ship was ready to sail.
The sky was blue and clear.
The breeze filled my lungs.
The time was growing near.
~
Sunset ended a beautiful day.
Then the wind began to blow.
The rain soon was drenching.
My crew all hid below.
~
I manned the helm alone.
The sails I couldn’t adjust.
Lost and tossed in darkness.
I had to better my best.
~
The night felt never-ending.
My eyes began to close.
The air grew bitterly cold.
I couldn’t feel my toes.
~
Sunrise was surely welcome.
The rain began to wane.
The crew decided to join me.
They saw I was in pain.
~
I ate a hearty breakfast.
Then they all began to clean.
My sails were all mended.
The best I’d ever seen.
~
Spirits returned to normal.
Good cheer was felt by all.
Then days dragged on forever.
Soon it would be the fall.
~

The navigator came on deck.
He had some terrible news.
Our location was unknown.
The maps shed no clues.
~
Half whispered of a mutiny.
The rest was on my side.
Surprise was on their faces.
The fear they couldn’t hide.
~
The crew grew more impatient.
Our quest should’ve been done.
The lookout then spied an island.
It glowed in the noon day sun.
~
The boats then quickly lowered.
My crew abandoned ship.
I left standing all alone.
I wished to end this trip.
~
Another month had passed.
Then a ship came into view.
I was now found safe.
But no word of my crew.
~
I was angry for their failure.
I thought I was to die.
For this quest was sure to fail.
When the crew was only I.
~
I hope a lesson learned.
That help we all will need.
And me, myself and I,
always sounds like greed.
~
My quest is not forgotten.
A new ship I will find.
A new crew will be hired.
And to them I’ll be more kind.

~*~
SCK102620

Haunting

The sun’s rising yet I’ve no rest,
another day a gruesome test.
The Reaper lurks on their quest,
spirits chide full of zest.
~
The nightmare over now the pain,
screams and howls fill my brain.
The constant fright drives me insane.
Ghosts taunt with no refrain.
~
The hour’s burn like gasoline,
agony fills the time between.
The past haunts a future unseen.
Is this life or Halloween?

~*~
SCK102420

Seems To Be

It seems like only yesterday when time was on my side.
The future was ahead with opportunities far and wide.
The world, it seems, my oyster with all its slime and goo.
The pearls were for my plucking; now they are but few.
~
My words no longer flow and little seems to please.
Perhaps it’s just boredom or my mind is now at ease.
Age may be the culprit; it seems to fit the bill.
Birthdays cause reflection as they always will.
~
The image that is seen may not be what it seems.
Tomorrow I’ll be younger, but only in my dreams.
Today I watched the sunrise, it seems, a perfect day.
I think I’ll wake my love and kiss these blues away.

~*~
SCK101620

Keeping Spirits

Nature batters, scarring far and wide.
Forgotten battles forever tied.
Man and rock bear the loss of all who’ve died.
Rugged faces change with the changing of a tide.

Keeping the wary from a watery hell,
a craggy post a dutiful keeper dwell.
Keeping by day his glass shined bright,
by night he keeps his flame alight.

Warning all comers never to near,
this beacon of virtue is only to fear.
Bravely they stand against wind and wave,
the ocean master, keeper slave.

Chores of many, companions none.
Sleep begins when work is done.
Ventures end before the dark.
His light stands silent awaiting spark.

Beyond this rock and choppy cove,
a small town lie where tales are wove.
Stories of stormy seas abound,
and faraway lands where treasure’s found.

In town sits a churchyard overlooking the sea.
Where the keeper visits when a calm day’s free.
Collects his needs quickly, no time for desire.
His row is long to return to his fire.

Scores of seasons drifted behind.
The keeper and kept, two of a kind.
Their toils unnoticed, yet seen by all.
Keeping kept the keepers call.

Reflections of stars upon the sea.
Infinite horizons awaiting he.
A beacon to all, his lamp not aglow.
To see the light the keep did go.

The town sad for their keeper unknown.
He was buried with care as one of their own.
At the edge of the churchyard lie the keep.
With eternal vistas of the light and the deep.

Dozens of keepers tried to keep.
All had left quickly, missing their sleep.
Stories told of the old keeper’s ghost.
A most spirited and demanding of host.

He rattled windows and slammed doors,
once hid away the old rowboats oars.
His steps are heard on the stairs all night,
sometimes blowing out the lighthouse’s light.

On a chilly morn some years past,
a storm was brewing, approaching fast.
A hardy young sailor paddled for the light,
racing the waves ahead of the night.

With setting sun and drenching rain,
wind and waves pummeled, no refrain.
Shores altered with the rising tide,
The hilltop churchyard couldn’t hide.

The keeper’s remains returned to sea.
The young sailor now keeps – happily.
And ever since that fateful day,
the old keeps spirit kept at bay.

Sck102415dft

Trippin

Plans have been made
and the weekend’s here.
An adventure will be had
but apart from my dear.
~
I’ll think of her while driving
and call at every chance.
I’ll dream of her when sleeping,
cuddled in romance.
~
I’ll spend my time distracted,
longing to return.
I’ll share my day with loved ones
but not the one I yearn.
~
Whilst my head will follow
wherever I may roam,
my heart will always be
at our happy home.

~*~
SCK100519

Hot and Cold Memories

We all walked to school without a care.
We stopped at the store with pennies to share.
Cats and dogs always ran free.
Trees were claimed by them and me.
~
We rode our bikes like we were all nuts.
Our hands and knees came home with cuts.
Bikes had brakes most of the time,
or slowed by sneakers covered in grime.
~
Any spot with grass was called a yard.
We swam in places with no lifeguard.
Snowballs were made no matter the cost.
We wore socks on our hands when gloves were lost.
~
We all had to fight every once in a while.
Our moms would yell but dads would smile.
Rooms were shared and sometimes beds,
smelly feet tickling their brother’s heads.
~
Then junior high came and we had to change.
Our hair grew long and our clothes got strange.
Many smoked cigarettes and other stuff.
There were lots of choices but enough was enough.
~
Childhood then ended and the troubles began.
When the problems started most of us ran.
Some now have passed; some did well,
but all fondly remembered though it was hell.

~*~
SCK092120

Between a Rock and a Soft Place

If you’re having manopause a guynecoligyst you must see.
They’ll gently cup your stuff and ask you how you pee.
It should come as no surprise, it happens when we age.
There’s little cause for worry and no need for any rage.
~
As we all grow older things will begin to move.
Sometimes things won’t work even when we’re in the groove.
The pain at times can rightly get us scared.
But if the boys were gone you know you’d feel weird.
~
If you just felt a twinge your time is soon to come.
But if you feel anything it’s better than being numb.
I know I’m not a doctor, but I know one thing for sure.
To keep the golden nuggets, wishing is not a cure.

~*~
SCK091420

Summer To Fall

In these changing times,
minds cannot stay still.
Violence spreads like wildfire,
testing our strength and will.
~
Thought’s our only guide,
misguided we are lost.
Shooting from the hip,
destruction is the cost.
~
Love is shared by all,
hearts beat their choice.
Hate is the divider,
drowning out our voice.
~
High upon a tightrope,
this world can feel small.
Balance is required,
the option is we fall.

~*~
SCK090120

Patchwork

I woke today in a fog.
But autumn’s now in view.
There’ll be more days of sky high temps,
though fortunately just a few.
~
My body’s burned with a patchwork tan,
the grass a patchwork of brown.
Smiles await bluer skies,
but for now I’ve still a frown.
~
Perhaps today I’ll write a poem,
better than those before.
I used to say that every day,
but now I’m not so sure.
~
Like the seasons, time does change,
creativity comes and goes.
Inspiration’s all around,
but negativity grows and grows.
~
I need a cool crisp morning,
with leaf of red and gold.
Though summers can be wonderful,
this one’s getting old.
~
Maybe it’s just a fantasy,
thinking words will find their way.
Maybe the fantasy’s over,
of being joyous every day.
~
Peering up from my lap,
I see the fog starting to clear.
Though my paper is still blank,
I know a story’s near.
~
My eyes now wide open,
my pencil’s sharp and new.
Optimistically I scribble a word,
the clouds now but few.
~
One word turns to another,
a third leads to a line.
Verses soon will follow,
and again the day is mine.
~
I’m glad this patchwork is over.
And I’m sure that you are too.
I’m thankful for your time today,
my inspiration being you.

~*~
SCK082920

Pencilicillin

I think my pencil’s broken,
nothing’s coming out.
I’ve tried lots of paper,
now I’m feeling doubt.
~
Could it be a dream,
the writing that I’ve done?
Or perhaps a nightmare,
this time I’ve spent as one.
~
I wake up every morning,
before the sun will rise.
My chair awaits its ass,
glasses await their eyes.
~
Coffee I will slurp,
watching hours burn.
If I were a younger man,
it’d be of less concern.
~
Time is not to waste,
though I shouldn’t squawk.
My pencils served me well,
though I may try chalk.
~
I know I need my fix,
words do the trick.
Perhaps I’m not a poet,
just really, really sick.

~*~
SCK062520

A Bad Story

A story begins when an adventure’s been had.
And for two young lads their end was bad.
They choose to skip school on a bright sunny day.
While deep in the woods the sky turned gray.
~
They veered from the path when a chipmunk ran past.
They bolted and darted but the critters too fast.
Resting beneath a lush canopy of green,
the fast moving clouds they hadn’t seen.
~
The temperature dropped as the sky turned black.
The boys had no clue of how they’d get back.
Rain fell in buckets, the pair soaked to the bone.
The howls and growls meant they weren’t alone.
~
The pair was now hungry, cold, tired and afraid.
Both very sorry for the choices they made.
Each made a promise to do as they should.
And if they survived they’d always be good.
~
Shivering all night, either could sleep.
A nightmare they lived while both counted sheep.
Through teary eyes a new dawn was seen,
and the boys now as happy as they’d ever been.
~
They rose with a burst and sang out in joy.
Then a bear was spotted and she was no toy.
The children screamed and ran off in fear.
But the bear stayed put with berries so near.
~
Each boy choose a different path, now each alone,
if ever reunited both now more grown.
The day warmed up nicely and a search was begun.
But unfortunately by sunset they’d only found one.
~
Days past and reinforcements were called in.
The lake was dragged and patience grew thin.
The boys’ chance of survival was now very slim.
Most of the town folk figured the bear had found him.
~
The police told his parents clothing was found.
And also nearby there was blood on the ground.
The boys’ mom screamed seeing his shirt.
It being torn and bloody and covered with dirt.
~
The search was called off that day at sunset.
The boy that was found was now full of regret.
Another week passed and a service was planned.
A headstone was chosen and shovels were manned.
~
The church was full with mourners from afar.
Then a ranger drove up with a boy in the car.
The boy ran in the church yelling “I’m sorry and glad”.
“I’m glad to be alive but sorry for being bad”.
~
Hugged by his parents who were both quite relieved.
He then told his story that’s hard to be believed.
Punished all summer, he was not allowed out.
The adventure was uncertain, but a story, no doubt.

The End

~*~
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