The Collector (Inspired by Dostoyevsky)

Submitted into Contest #75 in response to: Write about someone whose job is to help people leave their old lives behind.... view prompt

703 comments

Sad Drama

Five months had passed, and it was time to become a new person. It was a dark evening, the clouds foreshadowing the night to come. A horrible smell arose from the vents, something of a mix between rotting marrow and sewer gunk. A man, his brown bowler hat tipping to the right, was the only moving being at that time of night. Everyone else was either inside or unconscious.


The man, a lean shadow of sorts, seemed to blend in with the black tar of the streets. He wasn't trying to, for why should he? Still, the man was slick as oil, melting into the landscape.


I traipsed over to him, observing him up close. He had a tangled mustache, like a shrub, but it had a neat outline. Not that I cared, I just wanted to remember him.


The man turned a corner, started down an alley. My steps mirrored his, walking as a child would when playing "follow the leader". I decided I had waited long enough. It was a boring business, mine, one that required a lot of patience, and mine had worn out.


I grabbed his neck from behind, letting the cold of my fingers seep into his skin. The man's eyes widened in surprise, but then sank and he went limp. My once cold hand, now filled to the brim with the man's life force, was twitching. I pressed it to my chest, let his youth fill me up, and tapped the man again.


His body fell to the floor, dissolving. I didn't see, though, because I was already walking away. The cold night air blasted my face again, as it always did when I renewed my sense of touch. It felt good to be young again.


The streets around me seemed to meld into one long road, a road that I'd walked so many other times before. It was saddening, to think about the monotony of life. Thinking about your own, well, that made you downright broody.


Sunlight was flooding the city, filling my eyes with shame. I could never get it done before the sun rose. That meant I had to interact with the people around me, which anyone like me would be loathe to do.


"Mama, wake up! It's Christmas!" Ugh, not that time of year already. Sounds from the townhomes rang through the street, throwing themselves at my ears. The only holiday I'd ever want to be a part of would be a celebration of the death of all holidays. Of course, none of the cities I visited felt the same. It was a shame they didn't see things the right way.


The Sun was in my face now, covering my new body in light. I didn't like to see my new spirits' bodies, but I guess I had to if I wanted to live in them. The bowler hat, which was still tipping to the right, hung heavy on my head. I pushed it to the left, centering it on my abnormally large head.


A car drove by, a red Bentley. It sped like a comet, flying down the street. I sat down on a bench on the sidewalk. The arms of the bench were rusty and grimy, but I didn't mind. The body wasn't all mine yet.


Soon, as if by magic, cars flooded the streets. I came to an intersection, the cars flowing like a river in both directions. The Bentley was screeching back and forth, swerving and almost hitting at least ten cars.


I hailed a taxi, the wind brushing against my hand as it raised. The taxi wasn't yellow but a hint of blue. It was an odd sort of taxi, and I noticed immediately the lack of cushions on the seat. Still, I needed transportation, so it was the best option.


"Where ya goin'? It took me a moment to realize the cabbie was talking to me.


"Radnor," I whispered it as if it were a curse, but the cabbie didn't notice. He stepped on the worn gas pedal and rocketed us through the street. It wasn't like any cab I'd ever been in, the car doors popping out every now and then from the crazy swerves, but I had a place to be.


The cabbie finally reached the destination, coming to a screeching stop. I fell into the chair in front of me but regained my bearings. How could a single man drive so poorly? I looked him in the eye, remembering him because one day I'd be coming back for him.


"That'll be 4.50" I got out of the car without even paying, nor did I need to because there was no longer a cabbie in the car. Only a pile of ash.

___________________________________________


The walls of my apartment closed in around me, suffocating me with their disgusting beige. I sipped on my coffee, letting it burn my insides and warm me up. I didn't feel any energy from drinking caffeine, no, but it did taste good.


Why did I have to kill that cabbie? He didn't need to die. I took his life like I was squashing a bug, like I didn't care who died and who didn't. I remembered his face, not one I cared about, no, but surely there were people who did. Surely some people out there miss their friend, relative.


I had no right to kill him. That was the only thought that came into my mind and spread like a wildfire. That'll be 4.50, the cab doors unlocking and the cabbie outstretching his arm, the man in the bowler hat falling into ash as he stood above, the red Bentley passing by him. Why did I do this with my life? Could you even call mine a life?


"Housekeeping." The man came into my room, his mop in hand, and his cologne already polluting the air.


"Get out, get out, get out!!" The time slowed, the cab doors, blue-tinged with a rim of dirt. The cabbie sitting upfront, his hand outstretched. My hand reaching out for a different, crueler purpose, my hand yet again flying towards another, the white of his jacket shriveling under my touch.


What have I become?

January 07, 2021 13:39

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703 comments

Mira Caplan
20:57 Jan 07, 2021

New thread for dragon names. It needs to be something kinda more basic, because I have Veradis and Seridian and etc...

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. .
20:58 Jan 07, 2021

Cadmia!!

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Mira Caplan
21:00 Jan 07, 2021

No...it's cool, though. Everlys is a Telepath, so her dragon has to reflect that. Like, Veradis sounds like a kinda windy name, with the "s" like the swoosh of wind. And Seridian sounds like a very earthy name, like leaves or creeping vines. So...it has to sound like that.

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Mira Caplan
21:00 Jan 07, 2021

No...it's cool, though. Everlys is a Telepath, so her dragon has to reflect that. Like, Veradis sounds like a kinda windy name, with the "s" like the swoosh of wind. And Seridian sounds like a very earthy name, like leaves or creeping vines. So...it has to sound like that.

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Mira Caplan
21:03 Jan 07, 2021

Nylathria, Leiryn, Alyndra, Lythienne. Like, those are people names. Nylathria and Lythienne could work, but that other one sounds too much like Luthien from LOTR or whatever her name is...and Nylathria sounds like Nylalia.

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Mira Caplan
21:05 Jan 07, 2021

Meghan Sutherland says Veradis and Lirelian. We are officially tied.

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. .
21:28 Jan 07, 2021

I knew it!!!!

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. .
18:13 Jan 07, 2021

Nope!!! It's a classic about someone committing a crime.

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. .
18:14 Jan 07, 2021

That's ok I. have to do a lot of handholding!!

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AH wait is it the call of the wild?

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. .
19:08 Jan 07, 2021

Celest got it first sad

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Yeah, I saw that after i posted 😢

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Sorry..💙💙💙💙💙💙😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😰😰😰😰😰😰

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TELL meE WHEN yOu MAkkEd A nEW ONE tHiDS IS UNFORgIVABLEEeEEEe

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. .
16:46 Jan 07, 2021

I'm sorryyyyyyyyyyyyyy

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I forgive youuuuuuu XD This was dark and sad tho, I love it!

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. .
16:52 Jan 07, 2021

THank YoU!!!!

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. .
16:49 Jan 07, 2021

Did you like it??

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Mira Caplan
17:39 Jan 07, 2021

I DID

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Mira Caplan
14:19 Jan 07, 2021

NEW THREAD JUST CUZ AND YEASSSSSSSSSSSS THEY ARE

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. .
14:21 Jan 07, 2021

I KNOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW I LOVE MY NEW STORY SO MUCHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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Mira Caplan
14:28 Jan 07, 2021

I LARB IT TOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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Mira Caplan
14:28 Jan 07, 2021

I LARB IT TOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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. .
14:30 Jan 07, 2021

EEEEEEEEEEE I SO PROUDDDD

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Mira Caplan
14:31 Jan 07, 2021

ME TOOOOOOOO!!! (and I am proud of myself for Part 10, even though it wasn't close to being as good as Flashback and Mallefice)

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Mira Caplan
14:31 Jan 07, 2021

ME TOOOOOOOO!!! (and I am proud of myself for Part 10, even though it wasn't close to being as good as Flashback and Mallefice)

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. .
14:34 Jan 07, 2021

LOL PART 10 WAS A LITTLE ALL OVER TEH PLACE BUT IT WAS GREATTTTTTT

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Maya -
13:48 Jan 07, 2021

Oh my gosh this is so amazing!!!!!!! The beginning starts so interesting and it stays that way the entire time. The descriptions of the people, town, and taxi are wonderful. You built up suspense well in the beginning and the main character's evilness made him so awesome!!! I loved reading it! Great job!!! :DDD

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. .
13:48 Jan 07, 2021

Thank youuuuuuuuuuuu!!!! I soooooooo loved writing this!!!

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Maya -
13:50 Jan 07, 2021

Yay! :DDD

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. .
13:50 Jan 07, 2021

:DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

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Mira Caplan
13:43 Jan 07, 2021

.........you keep getting better at writing and emotional...stuff every friggin time you post. (Pardon my French) But SERIOUSLYYYYYYYYY It reminds me of the concept in Snow White and the Huntsman where the queen sucks out the souls of young people so that she looks young.

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. .
13:44 Jan 07, 2021

Omg really!!!! Thanks Mira!!! Oh, I've never read that part... I thought she just wanted to kill Snow White... interesting...

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Mira Caplan
13:47 Jan 07, 2021

YEAS REALLY TWAS AMAXING. Nope, she wanted to stay young forever and be the most beautiful person ever. (and have the power, obvi.)

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. .
13:47 Jan 07, 2021

Obviiiiii XD What was your fave part??

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Mira Caplan
13:49 Jan 07, 2021

XDDD Of your story, the end. Of the movie.....uh.....the beginning with the voice over and where you first meet Bella-I mean, Snow White. Or where you meet Thor/The Hunstman. Idrk.

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. .
13:50 Jan 07, 2021

The end!! Cool!!!!!

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Mira Caplan
13:43 Jan 07, 2021

.........you keep getting better at writing and emotional...stuff every friggin time you post. (Pardon my French) But SERIOUSLYYYYYYYYY It reminds me of the concept in Snow White and the Huntsman where the queen sucks out the souls of young people so that she looks young.

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Kate Reynolds
03:08 Jan 09, 2021

NEW STORYY

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Mira Caplan
18:00 Jan 08, 2021

Now. We need to discuss a ship on the horizon. It hasn't set sail yet, but the sails are being put up. SHOULD WE LET LURIENE SET OFF TA SEA??????????

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. .
18:00 Jan 08, 2021

YAS

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Mira Caplan
18:01 Jan 08, 2021

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK WILL DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But how????

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Mira Caplan
18:01 Jan 08, 2021

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK WILL DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But how????

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Tell me abt Tapestry of Varnala

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Maya -
20:48 Jan 07, 2021

Is your new emoji puzzle Atlas Shrugged?

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. .
20:49 Jan 07, 2021

Yas!!!!!!

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Maya -
20:50 Jan 07, 2021

I never read the book but I read the summary of it. :)

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. .
20:51 Jan 07, 2021

READ IT.

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Maya -
20:51 Jan 07, 2021

It's your favorite book?

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. .
20:52 Jan 07, 2021

YAS.

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Mira Caplan
20:34 Jan 07, 2021

OR "THE READER" FOR THE PUZZLE

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Mira Caplan
20:32 Jan 07, 2021

THE BOOK THEIF

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Mira Caplan
20:32 Jan 07, 2021

FOR THE PUZZLE

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. .
20:41 Jan 07, 2021

WHY DOES EVERYONE SPELL IT WRONG?? YES YOU GOT IT RIGHT BUT ITS THE BOOK THIEF

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Mira Caplan
20:44 Jan 07, 2021

XD I was typing quickly. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY Because it's the "eee" sound, like "e," so people tend to put it first. Idk.

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Mira Caplan
20:44 Jan 07, 2021

XD I was typing quickly. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY Because it's the "eee" sound, like "e," so people tend to put it first. Idk.

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. .
20:45 Jan 07, 2021

I guess so XD

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Mira Caplan
20:47 Jan 07, 2021

XDDD Rick Riordan's written 8 things that aren't PJ related, and he's written at least 41 books....

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Mira Caplan
20:47 Jan 07, 2021

XDDD Rick Riordan's written 8 things that aren't PJ related, and he's written at least 41 books....

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✰ Jennie ✰
20:29 Jan 07, 2021

Wow Luke! Is this not so much, "help people forgot" as "take their identity"???!?! wow it was creepy tho

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. .
20:31 Jan 07, 2021

Indeed!! I loved writing itttt

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✰ Jennie ✰
20:28 Jan 07, 2021

hi is the emoji Call of the Wild? plus go to MIra's most recent story, find her 100 spam posts and try to get her to 7000 by tonight!

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. .
20:28 Jan 07, 2021

It is, somone else got it.

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✰ Jennie ✰
20:29 Jan 07, 2021

wahhhhhhh

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✰ Jennie ✰
20:29 Jan 07, 2021

upvote mira pls

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. .
20:31 Jan 07, 2021

K

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. .
19:08 Jan 07, 2021

Yas

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Mira Caplan
18:49 Jan 07, 2021

Luke!!!!!!!!!!!! For Part 11, I might do something in Everlys's perspective... I could do her's, Therin's, Anya's, Emery's...actually, not Emery. I haven't developed his character. If I did Everlys fighting these holographic/misty opponents who make her remember Althea and become overrun with memories, that would be pretty cool. I could probably also finish it tomorrow, but would have to incorporate it into the "write a story about someone who doesn't remember their past- and doesn't want to" prompt.

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. .
19:09 Jan 07, 2021

COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

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Mira Caplan
19:09 Jan 07, 2021

I thought soooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Mira Caplan
19:11 Jan 07, 2021

I just need to give her a different voice than Raya an Erieneeee

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. .
19:13 Jan 07, 2021

EEE THAT'D BE GREAT

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Mira Caplan
19:14 Jan 07, 2021

I just have to figure out how XDD

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Mira Caplan
18:11 Jan 07, 2021

LUKE CAN WE JUST AGREE WE'RE EVEN AND THAT MALEFICE WILL BE SO MUCH MORE FAMOUS THAN TDR AND LIRELIAN IS AMAXING?????????????????

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. .
18:11 Jan 07, 2021

I'm not publishing Malefice!!!!! But yes, we can agreeeeeeee

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Mira Caplan
18:14 Jan 07, 2021

You NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDD to publish Malefice because the world needs to know about Adyona. Like, everyone NEEDS TO

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. .
18:14 Jan 07, 2021

Noooooooo I need to publish [insert high fantasy novel series name here]

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Mira Caplan
18:19 Jan 07, 2021

Exactly. But still, Malefice could be like a side thing. I'm publishing TDR because I'm actively working on that, then Alden. (I just don't want everything to be repetitive, Kahala doing the exact same things as Eriene and Darius being Alaric/Luke.)

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. .
18:19 Jan 07, 2021

No, I wanna publish my contemporary stuff as a side thingggg

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. .
18:00 Jan 07, 2021

NOOOOO

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. .
18:03 Jan 07, 2021

I KNOWWWWW I GOT DOWNVOTED

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. .
18:06 Jan 07, 2021

XDDD DDDDX

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Mira Caplan
17:43 Jan 07, 2021

LOTR FIR THE PUZZLEEEEEE Galadriel, the one ring, uh... "in a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit" or it could be a building as in Lothlorien or Rivendell, the GaNdAlF

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. .
17:48 Jan 07, 2021

Yes!!!!

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Mira Caplan
17:57 Jan 07, 2021

YEAS

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Mira Caplan
17:58 Jan 07, 2021

Now is the current one something with that scary Joker dude?

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Mira Caplan
17:58 Jan 07, 2021

Now is the current one something with that scary Joker dude?

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. .
00:08 Jan 08, 2021

What?? No!!

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Mira Caplan
00:15 Jan 08, 2021

I meant that for like the previous one. The dude with the cape. It looked like the Joker, cuz it was green and purple!!!!!

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