Monday, August 14, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - PICTURE PROMPT "BREAK MY HEART"




Welcome to picture prompt week! We continue with "Break My Heart" and Rick's turn at the kissing booth. Only 300 words are allowed!
Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales and the great writers there. Thank you for coming.

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By now, he’d downed five bottles of water and his lips had begun to tingle. Bracing himself on the counter, he shifted his weight to his hands. He still had fans, dozens of fans. Who would have thunk it? All he wanted was to belly up to the local bar and throw back a couple of martinis, even wine would do the trick.  
“Say, buddy. You still in business?” asked a gruff, female voice. His head snapped up and a smile spread across his face.
“It’s about time, Dani. Where the Hell have you been?”  
“Pucker up, Buster.” She waved twenty-five tickets back and forth.
“Still got a little energy left?” She shot him a flirty look.
“You, my dear, are the fuel that makes the engine run. Come here,” he said, grabbing her shoulders. He jerked her toward him and they locked lips. Heat flowed through his veins. The longer he kissed her, the more blood pumped to his dick. Fortunately, the counter was waist high. He didn’t give a damn. He was going to kiss Dr. Dani until she knew she’d been kissed.

“Hey, lady. Save some for us!” Came the cry from the crowd lined up behind her. Rick barely heard the words over the pounding of his heart. Her fingers closed around his biceps. He swiped his tongue over her lips and she opened for him. He deepened the kiss, his fingers twining in her long hair.
“That’s more than twenty-five tickets worth,” some woman piped up.
Rick released her. “I agree.” She fell back a step, grasping his hand to steady her.
He eased her hair off her face. She trained her beautiful blues on him, her mouth slightly puffy, her lips still open a bit. He cupped her cheek, gave her one final, tender kiss.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "BUSINESS"




Welcome! This week the word prompt is "business". We are back with "Break My Heart" and at the carnival with Rick and Amber, as the kissing booth opens. 
Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales and the fine authors there. Thanks for coming.

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Rick ignored the growing lump in his stomach and wandered through the carnival. Lured by the smell of hot oil and sugar, he bought a funnel cake. The nostalgic sounds of tinny music joined perfectly with the smell of onions sautéing and cotton candy returning him to his youth. He ambled along to the impressive 4H projects, including the biggest rabbits he’d ever seen. He finished his tour with his favorite carnival treat, a caramel apple. He munched as he returned to his booth. Checking his watch, he barely had time for a trip to the men’s room.
With breath freshened, hair combed he manned the booth. Amber was already there.
“Hi, I’m Amber. You’re Breaker, right?”
“Rick, to my friends.”
They shook hands.
“Ever do this before?” He asked.
“Every year. My dumb-ass sister volunteers me then blackmails me into agreeing.”
“You, too? I’m here under duress, too.”
She shot him a quizzical look.
“Against my will,” he explained.
“Oh, yeah.” She nodded.
“Any tips, secrets or anything?”
“Yeah, make it fast if someone’s got bad breath. And don’t let the old men touch you. Once they get their hands on your arm, they think that gives them free rein, you know?”
“I’m not exactly worried about that.”
“Aren’t you going to take your shirt off?” She asked.
“That wasn’t part of the deal. I thought this would work,” he said, referring to his skimpy tank top.
“It’s fine. But bare is better.”
He eyed her. “You’re buttoned all the way up. No cleavage?”
She shook her head. “These dirty old men don’t need encouragement. Last year my husband had to flatten one guy who kept getting ‘handy’.”
“Where is he?” Rick glanced around.
“By the men’s room. He stands nearby and any guy who gets touchy-feely, well, he takes care of him.”
“What about women?”
“I don’t think he’d hit a woman,” she chuckled. “You’re on your own.”
He smiled, but dread of having no takers grew in his belly.
“Here’s a box for the tickets. Don’t forget to take ‘em. Otherwise the ladies will just get back in line.”
“Are you numb afterward?”
“Yeah. My mouth, my lips. I don’t want to kiss my honey for at least half an hour afterward.”
“He’s a patient man,” Rick replied.
“Are you kidding? He’s a saint!”
At the sound of a throat clearing, Rick turned away from Amber and almost lost his footing. He again checked his watch. Eleven ten and there must have been a line of ten women in front of his booth.
“Pucker up, Mr. Winslow,” said the roly-poly woman with a baby in her arms.
His heart swelled.
“Sweetheart, call me Breaker.”
She plunked down five tickets. He put them in the box and closed his hands over her shoulders. “Come here, you luscious thing,” he said, bending down to kiss her. After one kiss, she giggled so hard he had to wait to plant the second one. Then he did the other three in quick succession, leaving her breathless.
“There you go, the Fire Department thanks you.”
The next woman stepped up. A blonde in her early twenties, he guessed. Nice rack, too. She put two tickets on the counter, herhand trembling. He slid the tickets away, then took her hand in both of his.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart. This won’t hurt a bit.”
She laughed, then leaned in as he bent down.
He couldn’t believe how many women clamored to touch his lips. Tall, short, chubby, thin and downright obese –they all waited patiently for their turn. Most had anywhere from one to five tickets.

The first hour passed in a flash. The shyness and giggles of the women charmed him. He’d never believed how many knew who he was and wanted to kiss him. They simply kept coming, minute after minute, hour after hour, until four o’clock. The business of kissing was thriving.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "BOX" #romance #shortstory #kissingbooth



Welcome! We've got another episode of "Break My Heart" this week. Scroll down for the link back to Tuesday Tales. Don't miss the great authors' works there. 
Thanks for coming. 

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He spied Drew, Mindy’s husband, struggling with a wooden structure. One glance at the front, which sported a pair of bright red painted lips and many hearts on a white background. He ground his teeth. That must be the kissing booth his cousin-in-law was assembling. Rick ambled over.
“Need a hand?” He asked, hands in his pockets, smug smile on his face.
“Sure do. Would you mind?”
“Yes, I would. Go ahead. Sweat yourself into a coma. Your wife got both of us into this. Now you can feel the pain, just as I’m going to,” Rick hissed.
“Hey, look! I told her this was a mistake. I told her you’d be pissed as Hell.”
“And what did she say?” Rick arched an eyebrow.
“She laughed,” Drew said, mopping his face with a handkerchief and not meeting Rick’s gaze.
“Sounds about right.”
Rick patted Drew on the shoulder. “What do you need me to do?”
“How about getting me some water?”
“That’s easy. Be right back.”
Rick located a vendor with a giant cooler. He bought three bottles and returned to his booth.
“There you go. It’s set up. There are a couple of chairs around here somewhere,” Drew said, looking around. “There they are.” He retrieved them from behind a tree.
 Rick straddled a chair backwards and opened his water.
“You got one hot chick in here with you. Ohh, man. That Amber Walker. She’s like Miss America,” Drew said, gesturing to his chest with cupped hands.
“But she’s married, right?”
“Yeah. And her husband’s a bruiser with no sense of humor.”
“I’ll keep my distance.”
“I’m bettin’ you’ll have plenty of women to keep you busy,” Drew snickered, before taking a long drag on the water bottle.
Rick didn’t know which he dreaded more, having a lot of women wanting to kiss him or having none.
“We’ll see,” he said, shrugging. His fear oHe spied Drew, Mindy’s husband, struggling with a wooden structure. One glance at the front, which sported a pair of bright red painted lips and many hearts on a white background. He ground his teeth. That must be the kissing booth his cousin-in-law was assembling. Rick ambled over.
“Need a hand?” He asked, hands in his pockets, smug smile on his face.
“Sure do. Would you mind?”
“Yes, I would. Go ahead. Sweat yourself into a coma. Your wife got both of us into this. Now you can feel the pain, just as I’m going to,” Rick hissed.
“Hey, look! I told her this was a mistake. I told her you’d be pissed as Hell.”
“And what did she say?” Rick arched an eyebrow.
“She laughed,” Drew said, mopping his face with a handkerchief and not meeting Rick’s gaze.
“Sounds about right.”
Rick patted Drew on the shoulder. “What do you need me to do?”
“How about getting me some water?”
“That’s easy. Be right back.”
Rick located a vendor with a giant cooler. He bought three bottles and returned to his booth.
“There you go. It’s set up. There are a couple of chairs around here somewhere,” Drew said, looking around. “There they are.” He retrieved them from behind a tree.
 Rick straddled a chair backwards and opened his water.
“You got one hot chick in here with you. Ohh, man. That Amber Walker. She’s like Miss America,” Drew said, gesturing to his chest with cupped hands.
“But she’s married, right?”
“Yeah. And her husband’s a bruiser with no sense of humor.”
“I’ll keep my distance.”
“I’m bettin’ you’ll have plenty of women to keep you busy,” Drew snickered, before taking a long drag on the water bottle.
Rick didn’t know which he dreaded more, having a lot of women wanting to kiss him or having none.
“We’ll see,” he said, shrugging. His fear of having no one in line shivered through him.
“Are you kiddin’? Your booth will be the busiest.”
“Are you going to buy a ticket for Amber?” Rick turned a harsh eye on him.
“Are you kidding? I like living. Mindy’d skin me alive.”
Rick laughed. “Pussy-whipped.”
“She’s the finest babe in three counties. I may be dense sometimes, but I’m not stupid.” He shook his head.
Together the men straightened the old-fashioned sign and dusted off the booth. They place the chairs in position. It was ten thirty.
“I’m gonna take a look around.”
“Yeah, I know. Get your courage up,” Drew snickered, placing a box for tickets on the booth’s counter.  
Rick ignored the growing lump in his stomach and wandered through the carnival. Lured by the smell of hot oil and sugar, he bought a funnel cake. The nostalgic sounds of tinny music joined perfectly with the smell of onions sautéing and cotton candy returning him to his youth. He ambled along to the impressive 4H projects, including the biggest rabbits he’d ever seen. He finished his tour with his favorite carnival treat, a caramel apple. He munched as he returned to his booth. Checking his watch, he barely had time for a trip to the men’s room.f having no one in line shivered through him.
“Are you kiddin’? Your booth will be the busiest.”
“Are you going to buy a ticket for Amber?” Rick turned a harsh eye on him.
“Are you kidding? I like living. Mindy’d skin me alive.”
Rick laughed. “Pussy-whipped.”
“She’s the finest babe in three counties. I may be dense sometimes, but I’m not stupid.” He shook his head.
Together the men straightened the old-fashioned sign and dusted off the booth. They place the chairs in position. It was ten thirty.
“I’m gonna take a look around.”
“Yeah, I know. Get your courage up,” Drew snickered, placing a box for tickets on the booth’s counter.  

Rick ignored the growing lump in his stomach and wandered through the carnival. Lured by the smell of hot oil and sugar, he bought a funnel cake. The nostalgic sounds of tinny music joined perfectly with the smell of onions sautéing and cotton candy returning him to his youth. He ambled along to the impressive 4H projects, including the biggest rabbits he’d ever seen. He finished his tour with his favorite carnival treat, a caramel apple. He munched as he returned to his booth. Checking his watch, he barely had time for a trip to the men’s room. 


Monday, July 24, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "SILVER" #romance #shortstory




We're joining Rick at the chicken barbecue for the fire department today. Grab a chicken leg and a seat at the table for another episode of "BREAK MY HEART."  Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales.


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People dressed in shorts, full skirts, or jeans milled around. A big keg of beer and several containers of sweet tea were attended by Will Lennox. His sister, Jess sat at the money box. Rick stopped and paid.
“Wanna buy a raffle ticket?” She asked.
“Nope. Here. A donation.” He handed her a one-hundred-dollar bill.
“Wow! Thank you. That’s very generous.”
“For the fire department.”
“Here’s your food ticket. The line forms over there,” she said, pointing.
Mike Foster, and his wife, Sunny Davis Foster, were standing on a small bandstand while the men tuned their instruments. Rick ambled over, keeping Ollie by his side. Picnic tables were set up by the lawn. Laura Dailey, the woman who baked for the café in town, stood over the food.
“Howdy, Mr. Winslow. Happy you could join us.”
“It’s Rick, Mrs. Dailey.”
“Laura. What would you like?” She gestured to the food line.
There was grilled chicken slightly burnt and temptingly crispy, corn on the cob, salad, home-made potato salad, macaroni salad, cupcakes and watermelon. His stomach growled.
“Everything looks good. What did you make?”
“My famous potato salad, of course.”
“I’ll be sure to get that,” Rick said handing his plate to Barney, Laura’s husband, who was doling out chicken. When his plate couldn’t hold any more food, he picked up plastic silverware and stepped away. Tables were filling up fast. Suddenly shy, he didn’t spy anyone he knew. Then he heard a voice, a feminine voice, calling his name.
“Rick! Rick! Over here!”
He turned to see Dani waving to him. She was at an empty table, motioning for him to join her. Relief mixed with happiness. He ambled over, keeping Ollie with him. Swinging his long leg over the seat, he eased down next to her.
“Aren’t you eating?”
“I finished. I came early. Helped set up the lanterns.”
“Looks good.” He took a bite of chicken.
“How’s the barn coming?”
“Almost finished. How about coming over to take a look tonight?”
“Okay. Looks like our horses are going to be ready for new homes sooner than I thought.”
“The old man die yet?”
She shook her head. “But he wants to get them cared for before he goes.”
Rick nodded.
Dani continued to tell him about the animals while he ate. The food was incomparably good. He hadn’t expected it to be so tasty.  
“Laura Dailey took charge of the cooking, if you’re wondering.”
“I was.”
“She’s the best cook for three counties. And she’s nice enough to do it for every event.”
“The food is great.”
“Not exactly the fancy cuisine you’re used to.”
“It’s good. Really good.”
Something about this young woman drew him to her. She was pretty, but certainly not as beautiful as some of the models he’d dated. Still, she had an elusive quality, a warmth, something. He was always at ease in her presence.
People stopped by their table to say “hello” and chat for a moment. They loved Dr. Dani, their local vet. A few stopped by to see him. He remembered a couple from a garage sale and the garage mechanic over on the hill, who’d rotated his tires.
Being a famous face, he’d often been recognized in the street. Sometimes it was great, but more often it annoyed him. He’d grow impatient with people taking pictures and gushing over him. He adopted the cynical attitude that they didn’t know him and were only impressed by his fame. When that went away, he’d missed it.

Being recognized for being Rick and not Breaker, meant something. The people who greeted him were folks who knew him, and liked him. Feelings overwhelmed him, shutting down his speech. So, he’d simply shake their hands, nod, and smile, when they said how glad they were to see him, asked about how Ollie was getting on, and when he’s be by to visit.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - PICTURE PROMPT



It's picture prompt week! And we return to Breaker Winslow's story. Only 300 words this week.Thanks for coming. Don't forget to scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales.



The day Rick dreaded arrived all too soon. The carnival! The kissing booth had preyed on his mind. Some of the women would be attractive and kissing them would be a breeze. But what about the ones who weren’t? God forbid he made someone feel bad. In the old days, he wouldn’t give a damn, but now he had been tuned in to feelings in a new way. Couldn’t he pretend the woman he had to kiss was Miss America? But the truth about his acting skills was that he simply wasn’t that good.
What if  an ugly woman had bought twenty-five tickets? He’d pass out, that’s all. Holler, “Call 911” and keel over in a dead faint. That was his escape plan, and it gave him some peace. At least the booth was only open in the afternoon. He awoke to a lovely day and frowned to see his prayers for a sudden tornado or hurricane had not been answered. Only torrential rain could save him from a fate worse than death –kissing strange women. And what if they didn’t know about his accident and were horrified and repulsed when they saw him in the flesh? He shuddered. He’d quit. He’d just walk away.  
He retrieved the newspaper from his front porch. Rifling through to get to the weather report, his dismay grew when he read, “sunny, high of eighty-five, zero chance of rain.” He thought about the road leading out of town, the one that snaked along the river. He and Ollie could be packed up in an hour. Nope, no running away. He had to do it. He had sworn a dozen times he’d get Mindy for signing him up for this.
Breaker Winslow rises from the dead. Who’d a thought he’d play the heartthrob again?




Monday, July 10, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "EARTH" - "BREAK MY HEART"



We are back with Rick "Breaker" Winslow from 'Break My Heart". He's trying to get his head around being in the kissing booth. Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales. 
Thanks for stopping by.

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He woke up early the next morning. Panic set in. He had three months until the carnival. Maybe he could sell his house and move? The phone rang early. It was Dani.
“Well, well, the kissing fool.”
“Oh my God is this all over town already?”
“Of course. It’s a small place, Rick.”
“I know, I know, but can’t a guy have a minute to try and wiggle out of this?”
“Why?”
“With my face, no one will sign up.”
“Are you kidding? Jory told me she’s already sold fifty tickets.”
“Did you buy any?”
There was a moment of silence.
“Yep.”
“More than one?”
“Ten.”
He laughed. “You can have those for free. Come over. Any time.”
He heard her embarrassed laugh. “This is for charity.” She hoped he wouldn’t unearth the truth.
“It would be charitable for you to stop by now.”
She laughed
“Can’t blame me for trying.”
“I’ll see you Saturday.”
“Saturday?”
“You are coming to the chicken barbecue, aren’t you? It’s the annual one for the firehouse.”
“Carnivals, barbecues –all for the fire house? Can’t anyone afford to pay for anything in this town?”
“They’re fun. Just an excuse to get together. In a month, there’ll be a pancake breakfast, too.”
“Don’t tell me. Let me guess. To benefit the firehouse.”
She laughed. “Yep.”
“Do I have to go to all these things? Can’t I just send a check instead?”
“No! You have to go. Everyone does. People’ll wonder why you’re not there.”
“And I care about that, how?”
“You’re living in this town. Don’t piss people off unless you need to.”
“I need to.”
“Stop being a baby. Grow up, Rick. You’re pity party, temper tantrum is getting old. Get your butt to the barbecue. I’ll be there and so will most of the town.”
“If you’re going, I’ll go.”
“You’ve got to get over all this. Get back to life. Most people have crap to deal with in their lives…”
“Not like mine.”
“I’ll grant you, yours is much bigger. But still, you’re alive, healthy, rich – more than most people can say. Make a life for yourself and stop moping. You’re wasting time.”
He was silent.
“I’ll think about it.”
“I’ll see you at the barbecue. Gotta go.”
She hung up.
Rick filled his mug with fresh coffee and strolled outside on the deck, with Oliver trotting close behind. He grinned as he eased down on the rocker and watched the birds at the feeder. Ollie curled up in his bed and kept an eye on his master.
“Well, Ollie. We’re making progress. She wants us to come to the barbecue.” He glanced at the dog, who sneezed.

“Oh, wait! She bought ten of those awful kissing booth tickets. Guess she wants me to kiss her. You know, old fellow, I think that can be arranged. And I don’t have to wait for the carnival, either.” Rick downed the last of his beverage and took the pug on his morning walk. 



Monday, July 3, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "FIRECRACKER"


Welcome! This week's prompt is, aptly, firecracker. "Break My Heart" is back. I hope you enjoy this unedited excerpt. Thanks for stopping by. Scroll down for the link back to Tuesday Tales.


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A firecracker display over the lake kicked off the festivities the night before Pine Grove's Carnival Day. Rick parked his car, then met up with his cousin, Mindy and her husband, Drew. Relieved to be out and about in the dark, Rick put an arm around his cousin's shoulders. He hadn't been this relaxes around so many people in an age. 
"You're feeling good?" Mindy asked. 
"Yep. I love fireworks."
"It's more than that."
"I can hide in the dark."
"Ready for tomorrow?" Drew asked. 
"Tomorrow?"
"You know what' I'm talking about. The kissing booth," Drew chuckled.
"You're just jealous they didn't ask you."
"Yeah. Right. Married men are off limits. I did do it when I was singe. A couple of times."
Mindy's eyes widened. "You never told me that."
"Subject never came up," Drew responded. 
"I hear they've already sold a ton of tickets," Mindy said.
"You sure know how to spoil a good time,"
"Nervous?"
"Mortified."
Mindy hugged Rick. "You'll be a star. You always are."
He shrugged, wondering if Dani really bought tickets. Then he shuddered at the thought of having to kiss unattractive women he didn't even know.
"Stupid. I'll never trust you again," Rick said to his cousin.
"Just what the doctor ordered."
"Who? Dr. Dani?"
Mindy's eyes twinkled. "Yep. Among others."
Rick cast his gaze to his feet. She was the only reason he didn't bolt altogether. He relished the idea of kissing her, several times. A grin lit his face. 
"What's so funny?"
"Nothing."
"He's just figured out you did him the biggest favor of his life, Mindy."

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Monday, June 26, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "STRAP" - "BREAK MY HEART" #romance #lovestory #shortstory



Howdy! Thanks for stopping by. "Break My Heart" continues this week. 

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Rick's phone rang. His cousin.
“Are you inviting me to dinner?”
“No. Drew and I are going out. It’s date night.”
“Oh, damn.”
“Sorry. But I am calling with a great opportunity.”
He narrowed his eyes. “Why do I think this will involve either money from me or something unpleasant?”
“Don’t fuss. Pine Grove is having a carnival day.”
“Carnival Day? How quaint.”
“Don’t be obnoxious. Just listen. It’s for charity. We’re raising money for the volunteer fire department and ambulance service.”
“Don’t you pay your firemen?”
“No money.”
“Great. So if I have a fire, and someone doesn't happen to be eating dinner, my house might get saved.”
“Don’t be ridiculous! Of course they’d come. They are the best. Anyway, it’s a big deal and Jory Walker, the chair this year, asked me to ask you to volunteer for something.”
“Okay, okay. You convinced me. Put me down for something.”
“Don’t you want to know what the committees are?”
“No. Just sign me up for…hmm, two. Okay?”
“Okay. But you’ve got to do whatever I sign you up for, deal?”
“Deal. But you owe me a dinner. No, wait. Dinner and pancake breakfast.”
“Got it. Have a good night.”
She hung up too fast. Rick was suspicious, but what harm could there be in a carnival? None. A strapping man, Rick, figured lugging stuff, setting up a booth. Easy for him. 
He fed Oliver and heated up a frozen meal for himself.
Shirtless, he took his dinner to the table on the deck. Birds were still at the feeder. Who said he was eating alone? Hell, he had a host of company, goldfinches, woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees all consumed their evening meal with him.
When he finished, he poured a glass of wine and sat in the rocker. Ollie curled up in his deck bed and snored. The evening was peaceful until it was interrupted by a phone call. He didn’t recognize the number, so he answered.
“Mr. Winslow?”
“Yes. Who’s this?”
“Hi, I’m Jory Walker. Actually Jory Stephens. Newlywed and I forget that’s my name now.”
“Congratulations,” he said. The conversation was getting tedious fast.
“I’m the chair for the Carnival. I’m just calling to say thank you so much. I never thought you’d agree.”
“Really? I’m glad to help out. No problem.”
“When I asked Mindy what you were best at, she suggested this right away.”
Curious as to what his cousin thought his strength was, he had to ask.
“Really?”
“Yes,” the woman giggled, actually giggled on the other end of the phone. Now his curiosity was hitting an all-time high, and adrenaline pumped.
“Refresh my memory. What did she sign me up for again?”
“How could you forget? The kissing booth!”

He dropped his glass of wine and it shattered on the wood floor. 

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