Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “Bobby Salomons”

Christmas With(out) Grandpa by Bobby Salomons

TODAY’S BREW:  Water. Even I stop drinking coffee sometimes.

We have a soft spot for Bobby, and so here you have the opportunity to enjoy another of his amazing works.  We also encourage you to follow his maniacal ramblings on Twitter @D2Dbooks and visit  Seriously.

Christmas with(out) grandpa.

By: Bobby Salomons (Severed Limb Movement)
Partially based on a true story.

It’s been decades, since he passed, my grandfather. A highly decorated World War II Navy-veteran he had spend most of his time submerged under the waves of the Pacific, part of a submarine crew, telegraphing vital messages to and from the Allied Forces.

One unfortunate day the men had even come under friendly fire, taking heavy hits from strafes by British aircraft who saw them for an enemy sub. A group of five, including my grandfather had braved through all odds and stormed onto the deck and waved the Union Jack – that proud British flag – to signal the pilots they were attacking one of their own. Thankfully the pilots saw their error and aborted their attack.
At the risk of death and injury the sub crew did what they felt they had to, they stood for something. He stood for something. And I’d find out, he would always keep doing so – even after life was over.

I never quite had the opportunity to know him, he succumbed to a brain tumor when my mother was just fifteen. They told me many stories, many of which I believed and many of which I did not.
One such story was that on the day of her final exams, the dark hours of the night before, she was sleeping in her mother’s bed – inconsolable over his passing. And suddenly they saw, on the walls of the room, his fine silhouette – in uniform and all. The smell of his Old Spice perfume filled the room with his presence. He was there, letting them know that he was around, to make a point.

Ever since I was little I played with his officer’s hat, his medals bestowed upon him by the Queen herself and perhaps most importantly: His telegraph key. I would sit and play, endless hours, tapping and studying this mind capturing device – imagining myself to be sending Morse codes to commence attack or announce the war was over.
Of course the telegraph key was old, but sturdy made, with screws to adjust the pressure needed to tap the key and being a child I screwed around with them many times. Occasionally the key would fall apart, but with the screws and the adrenaline rush of “being caught” I had always successfully restored it to how it was to be.

Until one unfortunate day, one of the trunnion screws fell from the table, rolled across the floor and disappeared into a hole right before my eyes. The clunk of metal taunting me. Nerves grabbed me by the throat, followed by unforgiving guilt of losing something so precious.
I managed to provisionally restore the telegraph key, but it would only take the lightest tap to find out that it was broken and incomplete. And luck would have it that tomorrow was Christmas, tomorrow all my mom’s family would be here. My aunts, my uncles, my cousins and nephews and undoubtedly they would ask for the telegraph key. And touch it. Play with it.

They would all know it was me. I did it. I broke it, I lost it. It was my fault.

I kept quiet, but not too quiet to avoid suspicion from my mom that day. All I could do was hope, furiously, that none of my family would find out tomorrow. On Christmas, for crying out loud.
I was young and the tension kept sleep away from me, staring at the walls, listening to the traffic outside, feeling remorse. Quietly I mourned the loss of my grandfather, though I had never met him, the telegraph key was my grandfather to me. And now I had ruined that. This was my Christmas without grandpa.
I fell asleep in the early hours of the morning, when things are most quiet and tense. The world no longer belongs to people, it belongs to the dark and the unknown and whatever ventures inside of it.

Suddenly I woke up, my heart racing for no particular reason, cold sweat on my back. There was something in the air, sparkling like fireworks yet invisible to the eyes, I could feel it under my skin.

I gasped and could smell it, Old Spice, even though I had never smelled it before – I knew this had to be it.

Shivering and shaking I pulled the blankets up over my head, yet curiosity forced me to peak around the room from underneath the safety of the covers. Slowly my eyes adjusted to the dark, checking one corner to the next. Soon, I had covered three corners of my room, if there was anything to be seen it had to be the corner with the door.
I quietly rolled underneath my covers and looked at the door. Every nerve, every hair, every muscle fired electric currents through my body – there he stood. Quietly.

His exceedingly tall stature casting upon the cafe doors that were part of my room, not moving an inch yet so overwhelmingly present I felt he could reach out and touch me. I feared he was angry, there to punish me. I dove underneath the covers and as dawn approached his silhouette slowly faded away.

I fell asleep again, exhausted and woke up when my dad checked on me.
Reluctantly I stepped from my bed as my father fluffed my pillow and straightened my blankets. Suddenly I heard a soft metal clunk, my father picked it up,

“…Is that the screw from your grandfather’s telegraph key?” He said. I shivered, I turned around and looked at him – I could tell he was slightly annoyed and not joking.

“Maybe…?” I stuttered, shaking at the knees.

“You should know better than to play with it, you could lose it you know. It’s important to your mom… And put something on, you’re shivering.”

 As I brushed my teeth I realized, my grandfather wasn’t there because he was angry or to scare me, he was returning the screw of his telegraph key and to make a point. And so he did.

Ever since, every single year again, on the night before Christmas I can see him standing in the corner of my room. I can smell his perfume. On Christmas morning I fluff my pillow, followed by the sound of a metal clunk, the trunnion screw of his telegraph key.
I have a running gag with a ghost, I respect him very much.


The Next Big Thing

One of the fellow writers Julie and I met at backspace, Joy Dawn Johnson, asked us to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, so here we are!  Check out her site, she wrote an amazing young adult fantasy novel called Underlake Academy.

What is the working title of your book?
Kristen–Immortal Dilemma

Julie–Running Home


Where did the idea come from for the book?
Kristen–To get my brain to stop thinking about all the daily nonsense that keeps me awake at night, I make up stories to get myself to relax.  Immortal Dilemma was roughly one of those stories.

Julie–From having my first baby, reading Twilight, hearing the Kings of Leon’s “Closer,” and watching Iron Man.

What genre does your book fall under?
Kristen–New Adult Paranormal Romance

Julie–Paranormal Thriller 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Kristen–God, I really don’t know.  I’ve struggled with this in my head.  The problems of an overactive imagination.  🙂  Plus, I’m horrible with what actor is who anyway unless it’s Brad Pitt, so I’d probably say the wrong person anyway.

Julie–I have already chosen Robert Downey Jr. as Nicholas (save the date, my friend). Zooey Deschanel for Ellie, Isla Fischer for Kat, Leo DiCaprio for Roman, and the hot guy from Burn Notice for Lynch.  Not that I have put any thought into this.


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Kristen–I can sum up my book in two sentences:  Callie always knew Tristan’s excesses would get him into trouble, she never dreamed they’d lead him to immortality.  Now she must weave her way through a world of debauchery she never knew existed to get what she really wants and find the true meaning of Bloodlust.

Julie–Shinigami are a race of vampires with Chosen victims to save from worse tragic ends.  The Shinigami are also Chosen, and when the paths of the Chosen cross, fates are worse than death. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Kristen–I am represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Larsen Pomada.

Julie–Seeking representation.

 How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Kristen–About six months.

Julie–Four years. Off and on.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Kristen–I asked my beta readers this question before Backspace and they told me it didn’t remind them of any other book they had read.  I liked that answer.  I have a lot of unintentional similarities to Twilight, but it’s a completely different story.

Julie–The mythology of a Kylie Chan novel, with the tone of JR Ward.


Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Kristen–Julie inspired me to write my book when I discovered she was writing hers.  For the content, I drew on life experiences. 

Julie–my baby, Bennett. And Stephanie Meyer.

 What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Kristen–Immortal Dilemma is the hottest vampire rock band in residence on the Las Vegas Strip.  They also star in their own reality show, Immortal Forever.  How can you possibly go wrong with Las Vegas, Vampires, and Rock n Roll?

Julie—It has a feel all its own, twists you could never see coming, the kind of romance that makes you wonder if there is any romance at all, and a mythology unlike any other novel in the genre. And hot characters.

On December 19, these awesome writers will be answering the same questions.  In the mean time, go check out their blog offerings.  Many of them have or will be showcased in our Nightmare Before Christmas extravaganza.  If you enjoyed their stories, get to know them better.

Jeanie Gray
Zoey Derrick
Dylan J. Morgan
Bobby Salomons
The Living Notebook

The Nightmares Before Christmas Continue! The Schedule More or Less

TODAY’S BREW:  Crispin  Brown’s Lane Cider. It’s nighttime, so booze.

Have I told you yet how much I love this series, and how pumped I am at the response the Undead Duo have received for these horror stories?  And have I told you how proud like a baby mama I am of all of these incredible writers, and of how supportive they are of each other?  Can’t say it enough.

So, here is the working schedule of the writers we will feature for the remainder of the series, though we are still accepting submissions (till the 10th, Kristen says….you know me, though.  Accepting FOREVER.)  Cannot wait to see what you all think of each other’s work, and hope this leads to great friendships for many of you.

12/1  Dylan J. Morgan

12/3 JC Michael

12/4 Bobby Salomons, Death 2 Death Books

12/5 Steve Bridger

12/6 Our very own Kristen Strassel

12/7 Mari Wells

12/8 Rusty Fischer

12/9 Philip Monroe

12/10 Josh Hewitt

12/11 Chris Shawbell, Copious Corpses

12/12 The Next Big Thing Bloghop

12/13 Sione Aeschliman

12/14 Armand Rosamilia

12/15 Steve Bridger

12/16 John D. Taff

12/17 Mike Matula

12/18 Lil’ ol’ me, Julie Hutchings

12/19 Randy Dutton

12/20 Bobby Salomons

This is subject to change, mostly added to. Love it, love you, keep reading. Again, there will be no prizes.  I have no prizes for you. Not a thing.

The Northern Fright

Today’s Brew:  Dunkin Donuts (gag) and hotel coffee (actually better).  Just got home from a road trip.

A slight variation to our Holiday Horror posting schedule.  We got a special request from a good friend of the Undead Duo to post their story today, so we did it.  Now don’t think you can all go calling your own days.  It will make Kristen’s sense of order go haywire.  It’s enough for her to deal with wildcard Julie as a writing partner.

The Northern Fright.

Written by: Bobby Salomons (Severed Limb Movement)

It’s not that long ago, in fact it’s much too fresh, but I’ll write to you anyway – because you need to know. Christmas isn’t non-committal, it’s not about gifts, trying to be sweet to family you actually hate or forgiving the neighbor for letting his dog pee on your newspaper. I wish it was, I really wish it was…

About a year ago, I had studied for a double major in anthropology and history for way too long, I was about to suffer a major burn out. I spoke to my parents, spoke to my college girlfriend and spoke to my dean. None of them wanted me to drop out, so they made me an offer: spend Christmas in Europe, as part of a study program in Norway. Instead of spending my time, here in good ole’ ‘Merica trying to “imagine” old cultures from books, I’d get the opportunity to actually go out there and help decipher and understand old Norse runes. They had recently uncovered some sites on the Norwegian-Swedish border, some of the oldest runes to date who could perhaps even help understand all the other texts throughout Europe. Even National Geographic was interested in running an article on it. Imagine that: “Burned out student from Maine helps break code on Norse runes, girlfriend wants his babies.” So, of course, I said yes. What was there to lose, right? Wrong.

I flew out to Oslo a week later, the city was alright – it wasn’t London, Paris or Amsterdam but it was something fresh and new for a New England-hipster such as myself. The Norwegians were friendly and easy going, I had a tour around the faculty and was updated on the latest findings – the next day we’d fly out and make the rest of the journey by snowmobile.
We’d arrive on Christmas, so the current expedition team could take our plane back home and be with their family during the holidays. The two hour ride by said snowmobiles was unforgiving and cold, but riding the back of the vehicle hugging a beautiful, strawberry blonde, Norwegian girl that smelled like lavender made things worth it. She was a decent rider too, never noticed a bump in the snow, though that may have been due to me trying to focus on the fact that I had a girlfriend back home. And that hitching a ride with a cute Scandinavian girl didn’t necessarily mean she’d want to get with me.
After we finally arrived at the camp it turned out their work ethics were different, back home any field trip or expedition somehow involved tacos, burgers, debates on iPhones and posing for Facebook pictures. But the Europeans actually went to work, they introduced themselves to the Swedish team that had worked on the site before us and was now leaving, we unpacked our kits and set out to uncover new things.

Later that day we said goodbye to the team we were replacing, they informed us of what they had found so far. The runes were in reference to “the Wild Hunt” – an ancient folk myth that speaks of spectral huntsmen terrorizing the night sky, ghosts of lost souls lead by Odin, looking to kidnap anyone who witnesses or mocks them, dragging them to hell. Hogwash to any educated American.

Of course it was just one day before Christmas and the departing Swedes had left some gifts and a warning: “the Wild Hunt” was said to happen the shortest day of the year, around Christmas Eve, we’d better watch ourselves. At the time it seemed like the corniest campfire story I ever did hear.

Of course we didn’t wait till Christmas to open our presents, though the Norwegians worked hard they still drank like Vikings in the evening. Our presents consisted of necklaces made from beer bottle caps, dirty poetry and a slice of old bread and a piece of steel. Being a fan of beer and a master of vulgar poetry I was content with my gifts, but wasn’t sure about the bread and piece of steel. The Norwegians informed me that the Swedes believed that if one was confronted with the wild hunters of the sky there were only two options – if facing Odin and the human ghosts one should throw their piece of steel before their feet for them to use for their weapons, when confronted with their demonic hell hounds the only way to distract them was by dropping the piece of bread for them to eat. Then just divert ones eyes and run. Far away.

Apparently, despite their politeness, the Norwegians and Swedes weren’t devoid of competitive feelings towards each other. My Norwegian friends told me hour long stories about how silly the Swedes were, with their Ikea and Abba, their neutral policy on everything and their strange language. I took it for what it was.
As the evening progressed my expeditionary partners became increasingly drunk, pretending to be Swedes working for Ikea, dancing around the room and eventually outside. It wasn’t before long they had found their way into the dark towards the site of the runes, they insisted I’d join them and peer-pressure being what it is I participated in their amusing folk dances. Eventually, we all grew tired and sat around the site in the bitter cold looking at the Aurora Borealis: the Northern Light dancing in the sky. With it’s eerie green light I could see how the people of old could see scenes unfolding before their eyes.

After their drunken activities my Scandinavian colleagues were both hungry and mischievous enough to eat their slices of bread and throw away the pieces of steel. I kindly refrained from doing so, I would take them home with me as peculiar souvenirs to tell my family and friends of the traditions of Scandinavia and the Germanic tribes that once ruled so much of Europe.
They wobbled back inside to warm themselves on the fire, meanwhile mocking Odin and his Wild Hunt, laughing loudly and making noises. I sat for a while watching the night sky dance in a sea of ghastly green, trying to imagine Old Norse gods like Odin and his warriors riding before my eyes. An amusing thought but the cold quickly won me over to go back inside. Besides a pack of clouds was slowly forming, soon the Aurora Borealis would dissipate.

I went back in to find most of my expeditionary partners to be sleeping in front of the fire, on the couch and a lucky few had been able to jump into their bed as they waited for it to circle by again in their drunken dizziness. The Norwegian girl I fancied was sound asleep in her bed in the same room as mine, suppose that still gave me bragging rights of claiming to have “slept with her”.
Just for fun I stuffed my Christmas gifts into one of my thick, thermal socks, like a Christmas stocking, to surprise myself on Christmas morning.
I laid my head down and went to sleep, surely Christmas day would be a blast with a bunch of hard partying Viking-descendants.

Somewhere during the night, I woke up. The strawberry blonde girl of my dreams was snoring like a bear, I looked around and it was quiet except for rain bouncing off the roof of the small cabin, I figured I had woken up because I wasn’t sleeping in my own bed. Just as I lay my head down again, the whole room lighted up, a thunder crack made the little house and the soil it stood on rumble.

I nearly let go of a girly scream but realized that as an adult male thunder shouldn’t scare me.

So once again, I rested my head, pulled my pillow over my face and closed my eyes. In the distance the thunder continued to roar over the taiga forests of these old lands. I tried to remember and relive some of the happier Christmases I had had as a child and slowly began dozing off again. I could almost smell my mother’s Christmas cake when suddenly I was interrupted in my dreams, my eyes wide open as I lay underneath my pillow like a scared child.
In the distance, the far distance, mixing with the noise of the thunder and the rain I thought I could hear it… A war-horn, echoing through the night and over the forests. A sound so distinctive, it rolls through the air like no other. I gasped, sat up straight and dropped my pillow onto the floor. Trembling like a leaf.

Faintly the sound was coming closer, suddenly I smiled and realized – those mischievous Norwegians were pulling a prank on the gullible American kid. Of course that had to be it, what else could it be?

I turned around to look at the girl, she was still tight asleep, if it was a prank she wasn’t in it. I sneaked out of bed and opened the door to the living room, to catch them red handed. But as I looked inside all the others were still sound asleep. None of them were missing. In the distance I heard it again, the horn wailing through the cold, dark sky. I could feel my heart drop in my chest.

Some of the others began waking up, they heard it too. They spoke panicky in their native tongue, I couldn’t understand them but I knew what they were saying. What is that? Where is it coming from? Did you hear it?

“It’s coming from outside! It’s been coming this way!” I yelled with shivering voice, my teammates looking at me with disbelieve – they were as suspicious of me as I was of them.
“I’m not kidding! I swear to God it’s not me!” I said, trembling and confused. They realized I was speaking the truth.
I ran back into my room and jumped into my thick clothing, running outside into breathtaking cold. The others were still feeling the effects of their hard drinking just a few hours before, stumbling around and arguing over who was putting on who’s clothing.

As I rushed out, I could see it in the night sky, goosebumps formed on my skin like they never had before, all courage I had ever given myself credit for evaporated as I looked up at what could only be described as a Vortex. The Aurora Borealis had merged with the thunder storm, spinning like a maelstrom. From inside of it came the echoing, haunting sound of a horn once more. For a moment I feared fainting as I couldn’t believe what I saw.

Right before my eyes, from inside the ghastly storm, rode the Huntsmen into the sky. Translucent like the light of the Aurora Borealis itself, glowing as they started coming near.

Behind me I heard my Norwegian friends scream in terror, they finally had made it outside but were now scrambling to get back in. I couldn’t blame them, my heart beat inside my throat so hard I feared coughing it up.

Closer and closer they came, there were no doubts of who and what they were, Odin and his men had arrived, and this was it. He rode up front, Odin – a thick beard, a sharp spear, his clothes ripped and torn, yet he stood proud and fierce upon his eight legged horse, blowing the horn with thunderous noise. Just faintly I could see through him, his skeleton shining through his skin. Behind him rode the vengeful spirits of fierce Viking warriors, out for souls. Wild hounds ran with them, letting go of howls that would even scare away the fiercest pack of wolves that ever lived.

I fell backwards into the snow as the hunting party stopped just above the ground, floating in mid-air and the ghastly beings stepped down. As they calmly approached the house they all looked at me  as if their eyes could look into the deepest depths of my being. I could only witness them in fear and awe.

These Viking men, their glowing, battle scared bodies, shredded clothing and their bloodied weapons ready – these haunted warriors were here for a reason.

The hounds bolted ahead of Odin and his men, scratching the door of the cabin, growling like lions. Odin opened the door and the cries of my panic struck friends filled the air. I could see it through the windows, it was worse than murder.

Odin and his men grabbed them as they begged and pleaded, I could see it all, as their ethereal doubles were torn from their now lifeless bodies. Even their souls cried as they faced the ghostly, tormented warriors, but they showed them no mercy. With pleasure they cut their swords and spears into their helpless apparitions, the hounds feasting on their still wailing souls, ripping them apart and devouring them like animals as Odin and his men stood watching.
Suddenly I realized that the girl that slept in the room with me was perhaps not yet lost and with all the adrenaline in my body I rushed through the snow, around the house, and ran for the window of our room. I looked inside and saw her trembling on the bed, frozen like a deer in headlights, I bashed against the glass and gestured her to open the window. Almost like a zombie she did, I grabbed her and pulled her outside into the freezing cold. As she stepped out I noticed the sock I had put my gifts in, grabbed it, and ran after her towards the tree line. Behind me I could hear the hounds ripping the doomed souls of my friends, the ghostly warriors speaking with dark, deep voices.

I ran after her as fast as I could, the cold was affecting her and I could tell she could not make it on her own. I picked her up and tried to make a desperate dash towards the trees, but I got caught on a tree root beneath the snow and dropped flat with her in my arms. Behind me I heard the swift and rhythmic thuds of dog’s feet in the snow, I knew they were gaining on us and in what I thought were my dying moments I managed to jump between some trees and shrubbery.
I heard her scream, as the hounds ripped her spirit from her body, and dragged her to hell. I sat behind the leafs and branches like a coward. I cried and I shivered.

I heard Odin and his men approach, their heavy footsteps and the growling of the beasts. They knew where I was. I closed my eyes, it would be over soon.

But they didn’t chase me, they stood right before me and watched me, they knew I had no place to go.
I stood up and faced them, if I was to be killed by a Viking I might as well die like a Viking.

For a moment it was quiet, everywhere as if the world stood still and ceased to exist. The hounds were growling but stood their ground, Odin and his men staring into my soul as if they were trying to make a point. Suddenly I realized what I was holding in my hands, still. The sock with the slice of bread and a piece of steel. They were waiting for me.
“Is this what you want?!” I said with trembling voice, the ghouls kept silent, Odin raised his arm with the palm of his hand up as if telling me to give it to him.

I was shaking so badly I could hardly open the frozen sock, I took out the piece of bread and threw it before the hounds. They sniffed on it, one of the creatures respectfully picked it up and stepped back before the feet of its owner with the others.
“I have more…” I pointed at the sock, tears and mucus freezing solid onto my face. I realized that Odin and his men surely did not speak my language, but he nodded – he understood the point.
With all the courage I had I stepped forward to the ghosts before me, taking out the piece of steel and placing it in Odin’s hand. As I touched his fingers they felt electric yet oddly solid, for a moment everything flashed before my eyes and I felt the presence of a thousand lost souls, a thousand battles fought and a history long forgotten. All these haunting memories grabbed me by the throat.

Odin calmly closed his hand and the images stopped, I fell upon my knees feeling gutted. He placed the piece of steel onto his spear, melting it into it. He began to speak, though I couldn’t understand the words he was saying I knew what he meant. He would spare my life, just this once, because I did not disrespect him or his men and that I kept with traditions. Now that I had seen what they were capable of, had felt their pain and suffering, I knew better. But never should I show myself again, that much was clear, and never forget what I had seen. I nodded and diverted my gaze, as the story of the Wild Hunt dictated. Calmly the men and their hounds strolled off towards the cabin where they stepped back onto their horses, faintly I could still hear the cries of my friends. With a blow of Odin’s horn they rode off into the sky, disappearing into the maelstrom and taking with them my colleagues to suffer for eternity in the Underworld. The portal in the sky faded away and ceased to exist, becoming the Northern Light once again.
I ran back to the cabin and called for help on the radio, the police arrived the following morning. I tried to explain to them what happened but none believed me. They took me to a hospital and ran tests on me to see if I was crazy, but none could prove I was. They ruled the deaths to most likely be carbon monoxide poisoning, assuming that the girl I had tried to rescue was overcome by the cold and that I had hallucinated the whole event due to oxygen lack. The fact that the electrical generator wasn’t faulty nor that there were no other devices that could cause it was overlooked or simply ignored. I still hear the cries of me expeditionary partners, every night and I’m haunted by the thought of what happened to them and where they are now.

But I remember Odin’s message and I wish to share it with you.
Christmas isn’t about Santa, about gifts for the greedy or remembering God once per year. It’s about paying respect to those that earned it, if you won’t give it to them they’ll come and take it from you. If you ever saw the Northern Light, if it ever thunders on Christmas Eve, if you know who Odin and his men are, if you dare mocking them remember… Sleep with a piece of bread and a piece of steel – and maybe, just maybe they will spare your life if they come for you.

bobbyBorn and raised in Amsterdam, Bobby Salomons’ works are as authentic and distinguishing as the city itself. A tense and mysterious atmosphere combined with a vivid and capturing writing style make his stories a pleasure to read and hard to forget.
From a young age he was drawn to creative and inspiring works, striking up a true passion for writing in college. Ever since he has steadily developed himself as a writer, working as a script doctor and faithfully penning down his soon to be released debut series: “DEATH 2 DEATH”.
With a background in Art-Direction (advertising) and Copy Writing, Bobby is boldly undertaking the effort of establishing himself amongst his writing peers with the humor and sober-headedness expected from a Dutchman.
More information about his work and efforts can be found at:  Twitter:@d2dbooks

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