180 comments

Inspirational Speculative

โ€œI have not beenโ€“

As others wereโ€“ not seen

As others sawโ€“I could not bring

My passions from a common springโ€“โ€


-"Alone" by Edgar Allen Poe


It was an undisputed custom that thoughts had become obsolete and were not to be valued. The entirety of the world left autonomy behind, embracing a life of ignorance. There was no greater happiness than that of relieving yourself of the pain which is to comprehend. When the dust settled, though, nearly everyone was devoid of intelligence, of thought, of any sense of happiness. They had been wrong, it seemed, for if you lose your ability to think, you are not happy or sad. You feel nothing of any sort or kind. There is simply monotony.ย 


When Aviva walked out of her cubicle at the mark of the end of the workday, she felt a great sadness. It was a loneliness, the heavy feeling in her heart as she trudged down the plastic steps. The people around her cared not for her, had no preference nor hate in their phony hearts. As she walked down the sidewalk, she collided with as many semi-humans as possible, slamming her shoulders forward into them, but the pedestrians simply walked forward with a grunt and paid her no mind. Aviva shrugged, letting the experiment wallow in the recesses of her mind.ย 


As she turned onto Browning Street, a sliver of a teardrop gathered in her eye. โ€œWhat is the use of crying if no one is there to comfort me?โ€ she asked aloud, not caring for who heard her because no one could. Aviva steeled herself through a shuddering inhale, the tear disappearing into herself. A flower dropped from the sky, from a cherry blossom of worlds unknown. Aviva reached out to touch it and felt the petals in her hands, the folds of the pink and white. It was beautiful, a word that she had only recently discovered the meaning to.ย 


When she reached the outskirts of town, there was an abandoned store. It was breaking down, with great big chunks of wall missing, but it was Avivaโ€™s preferred home. There was always a place with the robots, but she would go mad if she had to tough it out there. She remembered the last time sheโ€™d set foot in the houses before sheโ€™d regained autonomy. It was always pale, the only memory she had of it, the rest of her time there tainted by the machine-like nature of their living. She was thrust into her memories, letting them swallow her.ย 


There had been a plant on the windowsill, one that had never been there before. She noticed it but paid it no mind. After all, she had no mind. Then five minutes later, as Aviva lined up to go to lunch, she found her eyes glued to it again, and yet again she paid it no mind. It was when, full of synthesized proteins, she walked back from the cafeteria and saw it for the third time when she thought. It was quiet in her mind, the thought echoing around the walls of her skull. Slowly, it came into comprehension. That is a plant. It is green. Suddenly, a rush of emotion imploded against Aviva, nearly pushing her off her feet.ย 


โ€œI want to find more plantsโ€ฆโ€ she thought. The image of the plant stuck in her mind as she left the room and never came back. As she stepped out of the door, a cold wind blew in her face. Before she would never have been able to recognize it, simply walk past it with indifference. On this occasion, though, she felt bumps rise on her skin, tickling in a way that made her shiver. Shiverโ€ฆ what an interesting word. She felt it roll off her tongue. Aviva realized that no word had ever come out of her mouth before the Shiver. It was weird, talking. She naturally felt self-conscious about her words, feeling the suffocation of being shy. Then she noticed the vacant looks on the faces of the pedestrians. They didnโ€™t care, no matter how much she screamed in their face.


As Aviva jumped out of her memories, she took a deep breath. โ€œItโ€™s okay, Iโ€™m never going back there,โ€ she whispered to herself. A paroxysm of sadness swept over her, remembering how she used to be and how alone she was. The door of the store swung open and she entered, stepping gingerly over the broken doorstep. Aviva closed it behind her, let it slam as she took in the expanse. Every time she entered, the same feeling overtook her; the feeling of freedom, of choices independent.ย 


Each shelf was lined with decaying books, the pages like petals long since shriveled. Aviva was drawn to the shelves like a magnet, the poles of the old script attracting her interest. She had taken solace in these books for years now, the only knowledge she had. Thousands of them she had pored through, searching for the source of the plants. The single piece of knowledge she had uncovered in her endless search was how plants grow, not where to find them. Flowers and plants were her lifeblood, the only thing she could conscientiously care about in the bubble of tedium, but she was no closer to finding them.ย 


It was time for her daily search. Aviva grabbed her binoculars, homemade from sanded wood, and hopped over the threshold to explore the world. In her mind, she reviewed what meager lead she had. There was something about them growing in the west, some sort of tree named an Oak. Well, she would endeavor to track the plants down.


As she left the normal sidewalks and streets inhabited by the semi-humans, she felt a cold wind blow against her cheek. This time, Aviva took pleasure in the shiver, let it echo throughout her body like a battle cry. She would find plants this time, she was sure of it.


The frost on the grass tickled her shoes, moisture seeping deep into the skin of her feet. Aviva felt the cold take hold of her toes, but still, she braved on. There was a ruin up ahead, what looked like a store, and she gingerly scaled the wall. The tan limestone stretched out for at least a mile, but the roof had been ripped off by erosion. No plants there.


Further on Aviva explored, ambling onward. She couldnโ€™t stop, not when sheโ€™d come this far. The city of robots seemed miles away, not even a speck of dust in the distance. A longing came to her for home, to go back to her books and her hopeful gazes to where she now stood. A string seemed to tie her to the land of her birth, the place where every bit of her had been forged and grown. She couldnโ€™t abandon it now, could she?ย 


Aviva took a deep breath. The sun was setting. It wasnโ€™t entirely foreign for her to be out as late as she was, but it still gave her a kind of exhilaration to be this alone, this perfectly lonely. She cut the string that tied her to the boring place and ran further, deep into the woods. There was no longer a home for her there.ย 


There was a pep in her step now, a jump that seemed to propel her feet forward in sprightly dance. Aviva was free, yes, free! No one would do nothing around her anymore. No one would feel nothing around her anymore. No one would be around her anymore. It was true bliss, the feeling of freedom that illuminated her heart and kept her walking on.


As she sauntered through the woods, Aviva thought to herself, "So long, nudniks. Have a nice not life."

January 28, 2021 14:59

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180 comments

15:00 Jan 28, 2021

Jeez, I do a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooot of stories like this. Imma be branching out soon, adding more human interaction to mine, but I am a huge individualist XD Aviva is a french palindrome that I love SOOOOOO MUCH!!

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Maya W.
15:20 Jan 28, 2021

Aviva is actually Hebrew! It means spring.

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15:21 Jan 28, 2021

Oh that's even more perfect!!!!!!!

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13:57 Jan 29, 2021

wowowow that's so pretty!!!!

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Radhika Diksha
15:26 Jan 28, 2021

Frankenstein. The decode of your emoji puzzle.

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15:27 Jan 28, 2021

Yerp!! I'll change it tomorrowwwww

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William Flautt
21:47 Jan 28, 2021

What a cool idea. The beginning quote and first paragraph are enthralling. I think to pull this off, you need to be extra clear about the omniscient narrative voice and Aviva's child-like, simple thoughts. I thought the most captivating moments were when Aviva's own thoughts were in italics, and the narrative voice not. It got kind of hard to tell as the story went on. What a creative idea! If you write something bigger on this I would love to read it. May I assume you have already read the books "Brave New World" and "1984"...?

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21:50 Jan 28, 2021

Thank you so much, William! You seem like a very knowledgeable person and this is very kind of you. I have been trying to get started on some Huxley but canโ€™t really find the time with all the other books Iโ€™m reading, I have read 1984 though and it was chilling. Itโ€™ll be at the top of my list!!

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William Flautt
21:55 Jan 28, 2021

Too many books to read... what a wonderful problem. I feel your pain haha but I'm sure you'll get to it eventually. I don't think it will disappoint!

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22:01 Jan 28, 2021

Totally!! Yes, Iโ€™ve heard of it and what itโ€™s about, but thatโ€™s not the same as REALLY reading it. I donโ€™t think it will either. On the topic of dystopian fiction, have you read Anthem by Ayn Rand?

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William Flautt
22:05 Jan 28, 2021

That's funny you ask. A few months ago I read about 50 pages of it on my kindle and it just wasn't doing it for me. I'm weird though - when I was a kid, I couldn't even get into Harry Potter. And then randomly as an adult I fell in love with the series and read it in a few weeks...

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22:08 Jan 28, 2021

Ah, well her work is t for everyone. Yeah, I find that funny too, especially with books like LOTR!

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Nainika Gupta
15:10 Jan 28, 2021

yesss Luke!! I loved the bleakness and desolation you portrayed amazingly, and I thought this was really good!! awesome joB!

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15:11 Jan 28, 2021

Aw thanks Nika!! How'd you like the name Aviva? It's a french palindrome.

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Nainika Gupta
15:12 Jan 28, 2021

WILD KRATTS oh my god Im such a child loll but isn't that the smart chick from wild kratts?? XDXDXD no, but I love it!! I love anything French!!

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15:13 Jan 28, 2021

XD REALLY IT IS I DID NOTTTTT KNOW THAT... XD YEP YOU ARE A CHILD

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Nainika Gupta
15:15 Jan 28, 2021

HAHAHHAAHAH what can you do?? gosh I learned so much from that show *sigh* ahahah

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Ijeoma Okoli
18:11 Jan 30, 2021

Oh yeahh... i have been wondeting whete i heard that name...wild kraats

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I HAVE NO WORDS!!!!! Oh my goshhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! This was amazingggg!!!!!! Ok, Ima try to calm downXD Seriously tho! The intro sets the entire tone for the story and from then on your writing blows me away!! It felt like a page from a novel that would be like a bestseller!! Really amazing job!! I still cant process how good and sad and deep and emotional and phenomenal this was!!!

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15:12 Jan 28, 2021

AWWWWWWWWWW THANKS YOU!!!!! Yesh, I did some realllllllllly long hunting for a great poem to be the epigraph. AWWW REALLY???????? YOU MADE MY DAY!!!!

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THIS MADE MINEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

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15:13 Jan 28, 2021

:DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD wE aRe MuTuAl DaY-MaKeRs!1!1!1

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XDYessssssssss

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15:16 Jan 28, 2021

:DDDDDDDDDDDDDD

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The quote didn't take away from the story, which I think should be listed as an accomplishment. Why don't we read your stories in school? We'd learn more, we'd have fun, and this could just be like Walden but... honestly much, much better. You're a true writer.

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15:34 Jan 28, 2021

...THIS IS THE HOLIEST OF ALL COMPLIMENTS I HAVE EVER RECEIVED ON THIS, MOST TROGLODYTIC OF EARTHS. YOU ARE SO INFINITELY KIND AND I AM FEELING A PAROXYSM OF JOY AT THESE WONDROUS AFFIRMATIONS. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

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15:41 Jan 28, 2021

IT WAS TRUTHFUL. ALSO, YOU CHANGED YOUR NAME???? COOL!!!

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Yeah, Idk what I'm going through, but it's gonna be a thing.

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15:45 Jan 28, 2021

Ooh, interesting

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Maya W.
15:23 Jan 28, 2021

This story was nice! I think you were a little bit too heavy handed with your descriptions, though. That's something I struggle a lot with my own writing, so just remember to read over the story when you're done and think "Would this make sense? Is this too much?", etc. Another good tip is to read your writing out loud and get rid of unnecessary words. All in all, good work! I enjoyed the story!

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15:24 Jan 28, 2021

Thanks you!!! Yea, I felt that, so I'll do another edit.

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Maya W.
15:24 Jan 28, 2021

I need to edit my stories for this week, too. *Sigh.* So much work to do...

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15:26 Jan 28, 2021

Indeeeeeeeeeed

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Radhika Diksha
17:06 Jan 31, 2021

Hey, can I talk to you?

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17:09 Jan 31, 2021

Ofc!!

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Radhika Diksha
17:10 Jan 31, 2021

I am thinking of leaving reedsy.

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17:11 Jan 31, 2021

WHY????????

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Radhika Diksha
17:15 Jan 31, 2021

There is so much hate going on here. After my bursting out to upvoting, after forming an oasis. Here people are giving me hate because someone else gave them criticism. Like really I don't know who commented on your story and they come out blaming me. Someone gave a rave review to someone and out of nowhere they come and start trolling and harassing me, threatening to spam all of my stories and give me hate.

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17:17 Jan 31, 2021

THAT'S HORRIBLE!!! That is genuinely horrible, but I had no idea this was going on!!! Maybe just take a break for a little, but if you do leave, PROMISE that you will come back on and tell any big news, or at least check in every once in a while :)

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Radhika Diksha
11:10 Jan 30, 2021

Are you there I want to talk with you?

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14:57 Jan 30, 2021

Yep!! What with?

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Radhika Diksha
17:01 Jan 30, 2021

Are you free? Its kinda serious.

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21:05 Jan 30, 2021

Yep!!

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Radhika Diksha
14:17 Jan 29, 2021

'paroxysm' loved how you used this word in your sentences. I agree with William Flautts suggestion. It would make the story better. Still, can you give me the summary of the story cause I haven't read 1984? I felt the plot bit confusing.

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14:17 Jan 29, 2021

Thank you!!! Do you want a summary of this or of 1984??

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Radhika Diksha
14:34 Jan 29, 2021

Of this story.

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14:36 Jan 29, 2021

Oh, ok. Well, basically after the world's thoughts were almost entirely robotized, and most people don't think anymore, Aviva was one of those people. She then saw a plant multiple times and had actual thoughts, broke free from the cycle. She then spent the rest of her time looking for plants within the city, but she decided to leave finally and break free, to go further than ever before to achieve her goal, and to leave her past behind.

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Radhika Diksha
14:40 Jan 29, 2021

Oh, Thank god. I actually understood the story at the beginning itself but when I saw someone mention 1984 in the comment section. I felt that I misread the plot. I loved the concept of the story. Actually, nanika too has written on the same topic.

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14:41 Jan 29, 2021

Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!! I know, I saw her story, and it came out soon after mine and I loved it, but its pretty different.

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02:57 Jan 29, 2021

Great story Luke, as always :)) I loved the quote at the beginning of story......and kinda unrelated, I really like palindromes (like when I first found out about palindromes- I think it's that race car fact that made me find out about them- I literally told everybody to the point that got tired of me over that), so I guess that made me like your story even more :D How did you find out about the name? I think it's beautiful... Like lol I can't think of a name to save my life (I had to put a link in my bio)

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13:06 Jan 29, 2021

XD Thanks you!!! I searched up french palindromes.

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13:10 Jan 29, 2021

Of course, it's great!! I can never come up with names lol... Great job:)))

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13:16 Jan 29, 2021

XDDDDD

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Kate Reynolds
15:41 Jan 28, 2021

OMG I LOVED THISSS, ESPECIALLY THE ENDINGGGGG (The "Aviva was free, yes, free!" part reminded me so much Dobby the elf and Golummmmm) I really liked the whole idea and the tone of the storyyyy

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15:42 Jan 28, 2021

XDDDDDDDDDDDDD YAS GOLLUM!!!! Thank you!!!!

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Kate Reynolds
15:51 Jan 28, 2021

YEEEESSSSSSS NP!!!!!!

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15:52 Jan 28, 2021

XDDDDDDD

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Kate Reynolds
15:58 Jan 28, 2021

Lmaooooo

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15:58 Jan 28, 2021

Such lmao

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Tru Sorcerer
14:25 Apr 06, 2021

oh my, the poem worked as a profound epigraph, and all of that tied up and wow, you are a true author! Happy Today!

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15:26 Apr 06, 2021

Thankoooooooooooo happy today!!

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Tru Sorcerer
17:28 Apr 06, 2021

=)

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Lorzy Saringo
07:30 Feb 04, 2021

I'm new here and I am new into story telling. I think I can learn more reading your stories. You have a vivid description of your main character's thoughts and what is going on around her. I am struggling with mine. I cannot put the right adjectives. Great story! Good job!

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12:46 Feb 04, 2021

Thank you so much!!! That's so kind of you!!

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Dorsa S.
23:31 Jan 30, 2021

ahh, another great one, luke. mind if i call you that? nah, royal of writing litlover should be the most proper title! aviva is a really vivid character with (like someone else had mentioned, william flautt, if i'm not mistaken), child-like thoughts. and your introduction (after the edgar allen poe quote) was so cleanly written, it is to die for! "There was a pep in her step now, a jump that seemed to propel her feet forward in sprightly dance. Aviva was free, yes, free! No one would do nothing around her anymore. No one would feel nothin...

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16:53 Jan 31, 2021

Thank you so much!!! I'm not a royal, am I? :) <3 You can totally call me Luke, Dorsa!!!

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Dorsa S.
20:05 Jan 31, 2021

you are our hero of writing, that's for sure! :)

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20:10 Jan 31, 2021

AWWWWW SO SWEEEEET

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Dorsa S.
21:11 Jan 31, 2021

YOU DESERVE IT, YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW IT BUT YOU INFLUENCE SO MANY PEOPLE ON REEDSY!

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21:45 Jan 31, 2021

OMG I DOOOOO?????????? THIS MADE MY DAY.

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Amany Sayed
22:18 Jan 30, 2021

Beautiful. Seriously, I'm jealous.

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22:40 Jan 30, 2021

XD thanks youuuu

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Amany Sayed
22:41 Jan 30, 2021

Welcomeee

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16:53 Jan 31, 2021

XD

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Ijeoma Okoli
18:08 Jan 30, 2021

You sure know how to do ur thing. i will like to know mine too. Please kindly help me by commenting on my story. Thank you

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18:16 Jan 30, 2021

Thanks!! Iโ€™ll check yours out soon!

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Ijeoma Okoli
15:38 Jan 30, 2021

Please react to my story.. its favourite hobby you'll like it

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Ijeoma Okoli
15:37 Jan 30, 2021

its a wonderful story. its full of suspense

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13:49 Jan 30, 2021

Luke: *inserts EAP quote* Me: *reads entire thing immediately* I really liked this story! It was fun to read Aviva's thoughts, and I liked the end. I also liked your word choices, because they seemed fitting for a story like this. Keep it up!!

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14:56 Jan 30, 2021

XD THAT'S SO TRUEEEEEEEE THANK YOUUUUUU

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