808 comments

Sad Speculative Inspirational

This story is dedicated to Kylie on Reedsy Prompts. Please read my author's note in the comments~ 

The corners of Kylie's mouth slightly moved upwards as she stared at the box, her eyes twinkling with pride. She felt like a pet owner watching their dog do as trained, a mother bird observing her child fly for the first time, an artist finished with their masterpiece.

The creation Kylie had made, this small, carefully chosen box, packed to the top with loved items, it was like a newborn to her. Delicate, a source of her pride.

Kylie picked up her time capsule, fingers light as feathers, and cradled it during the whole journey.

It had taken her months, maybe even over a year, to decide what she would put in this box. After all, it was nothing but the future generations' perceptions of those who had lived before them. 

There was no doubt that Kylie would add technology. She wondered how much her phone would be worth in the future, more or less than its current price? How much value would people give to old phones? Would it be valuable due to its time and design? Or would future technology be ten times more developed, and people would regard it as a cheap, lame device? She hoped it would be valuable as she placed the phone into the box with trembling hands.

Food would expire, plants would die, clothes? Her clothes weren't unique. They didn't represent anything, and they could never speak for the world's current fashion.

Kylie snapped her fingers excitedly as an idea flashed into her mind. Photos! Photos of everything! 

Her mother's call for her echoed throughout the house with the door left swinging ajar. Kylie had departed on a crucial mission to collect photographs.

Would taking photos of all the buildings be too much, she questioned, as she sunk into the shade, a refuge from the tormenting sun. 

What if the buildings had fallen and only ruins remained? What if it would be an inspiration-a vintage inspiration to the future- for architectural design? What if she, Kylie, would become famous in her grave?

You're getting way too ahead of yourself, Kylie, she thought as she snapped a picture of the Reedsy™ building and walked away. 

Her camera clicked and flashed for hours on end, until she decided to check her phone and realized it was almost eight. The sky had burnt from its fresh blue to a thick, tar-like black. She dashed home, mentally noting where she'd go for photos the next day. 

~~~

One windy morning, months after the first day of photo-taking, Kylie dressed in a hurry as she deliberated in her mind what else to add to her capsule. 

Toys! Those toys might not exist in the future. It'll be fun for future kids to play with them!

She tucked in a fidget spinner, a few figurines, and as many intact toys she could find in her little brother's closet.

Kylie arranged receipts and restaurant menus, thinking about its use for research on foods they would eat back then. 

She slid in jewelry, household items, pens, markers, paper. She placed some of her paintings on top, along with some of her stories. She felt as if she was building a skyscraper, stacking things on top, level by level. 

Kylie added an unused cigarette she had found on the street, and a lighter along with it. Who knew which people would come across her time capsule. 

Makeup products! I'm sure everyone would appreciate some makeup and skincare items. Goodbye, all of the makeup products that I spent hundreds to get. Goodbye nail polish, goodbye lotion. Goodbye essences. 

Her journey to find and choose the items that would determine the future's impression of the past had lasted for months. Kylie was finishing with the final details, and one last idea sprung up. 

I'll tuck in some masks and gloves so they can observe what we used to prevent our worldwide pandemic-

Her busy hands froze.

What if there was no future generation, what if the pandemic wiped out everyone, what if the survivors would only die from natural disasters? 

What if this sickness was the universe's way of wiping out humanity? They had caused so many problems: merciless killing and cruelty of animals, destroying nature's beauties to slap down gray, dusty buildings, contributing to climate change with vehicle exhaust, Kylie was only getting started. 

Humanity had also turned on each other. There was the constant injustice and prejudice, leading to traumatizing deaths based on skin pigmentation or specific beliefs. Betrayal, backbiting, lying. Those had always weightlessly fallen from humans' lips. Racism, stereotypes, lies, falseness, sexism, these were all real. And they happened every day.

What if the universe had concluded humans weren't worthy of living on Earth, the planet of life, after all? 

These what-ifs slunk across Kylie's mind, wrapping around and squeezing, a deadly viper ready to take over its prey. They clawed around her head, a sinister darkness beginning to cloud her previously positive mindset about her creation. 

She glanced down, sullen, at the time capsule she had spent months creating. A torrent of tears swished over her glazed eyes, and suddenly, Kylie was sobbing. She didn't want to die. Kylie didn't want her family, her friends, her teachers, her neighbors to die. She didn't want anyone to die. 

Nobody's going to die.

Kylie's tears sparkled as they fell upon the items she had so lovingly collected and packed, shimmering in the afternoon sun. Kylie stared at them, a caring smile beaming through, as she picked up her stationery saved for special events, and sat at her desk to write a letter.

Crisp labels sat, taped to every item in the time capsule. Kylie had written the name of every object, along with a description.

Her letter sat, the curlicues and swirls of ink drying beside the open window. 

Kylie now stood, looking down at her time capsule, an enveloped letter to go along with it, eyes twinkling with happiness. Writing the letter had lifted everything-all of her concerns off her shoulders, and she had decided to bury the time capsule. 

Kylie kissed her time capsule and walked to the park.

October 10, 2020 02:56

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808 comments

Arwen Dove
22:57 Apr 28, 2021

Wonderful story!

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Laiba M
23:05 Jul 27, 2021

Thank you so much, Arwen!! I apologize for the late response, I've been taking a really long break from Reedsyy~

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B. W.
23:19 Nov 22, 2020

you said you wanted like 200 people to say something on the private messaging thing, right?

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Laiba M
12:57 Nov 23, 2020

Yeah~! Halfway there :)

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B. W.
18:57 Nov 23, 2020

thats great ^^

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Laiba M
23:00 Nov 23, 2020

:) Sorry for being pushy, did you say yes or no?

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B. W.
23:01 Nov 23, 2020

I haven't said anything on it yet, I'm still doing stuff, though I would say yes

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Laiba M
23:05 Nov 23, 2020

Ohh, okay~

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B. W.
17:07 Oct 16, 2020

Hey, i made a new story a couple minutes ago ^^ could you check out "A strange place" and leave some feedback?

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Laiba M
17:18 Oct 16, 2020

Sure!!

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B. W.
17:24 Oct 16, 2020

Thanks ^^ remember to leave feedback

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B. W.
22:50 Oct 15, 2020

Hey, so how are you feeling now? i hope that you are at least feeling a bit better, i know it'll take a while though with what happened.

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Laiba M
23:15 Oct 15, 2020

I feel much better, so many friends irl and Reedsy friends have been cheering me up :)

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B. W.
23:23 Oct 15, 2020

Thats good :)

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Laiba M
23:54 Oct 15, 2020

Thanks!! How far are you with the Reedsy friends story, if you don't mind me asking? It's definitely my most anticipated story in all of Reedsy for now :D

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B. W.
23:57 Oct 15, 2020

I dunno, i'll probably try to make part 3 with the new prompts tomorrow. But hey, what if i decide to put you in my demi-god novel? :)

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Laiba M
00:11 Oct 16, 2020

Oooh! You don't have to, you've given me a huge part in the Reedsy friends story!!

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15:45 Oct 14, 2020

Oh, Laiba! I am SO sorry that you lost your pet! Prayers from me! 🥺😇

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Laiba M
18:40 Oct 14, 2020

Thank you, Kylie, it really means a lot :) She was a parakeet, and she died fairly young from sickness; she was in a lot of pain, so I think it's better she died a bit earlier than feeling the pain to the very end, but it's heartbreaking. Thanks again, Kylie!

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20:07 Oct 14, 2020

Aww, I am so sorry! That is so heart-wrenching, poor bird. I don't think that anything I say will fix things, but just imagine it in her point of view, hope this helps: I'm gliding through the sky, flapping my feathered wings and chirping out my lovely ballad. The white sky is very different from the blue I'm used to, dotted with clouds and more suns than I can count. All of my fellow fowls are flitting about with me. It is paradise, but I still miss my family back on earth. I eagerly await their arrival, for I know they will join me someda...

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Laiba M
20:24 Oct 14, 2020

That sounds good! Her name was Meg :) In a different language, it actually means cloud, so it goes very well with your short story! She had a sky blue chest with white splotches, which is why we named her a cloud-related name.

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00:04 Oct 15, 2020

Aww, that's so beautiful! :)

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Laiba M
00:10 Oct 15, 2020

I'm writing a story for her too :D

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Avani G
02:05 Oct 15, 2020

Ooooohhhh! If you're gonna write a story for Meg, the prompt "write about a bird's perspective (or whatever that prompt is)" would be perfect for this idea! :)

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Laiba M
11:51 Oct 15, 2020

I was already writing the story for that prompt! You read my mind :)

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B. W.
00:14 Dec 10, 2020

ya wanna hear some jokes or something?

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Laiba M
00:43 Dec 10, 2020

Sure!

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B. W.
01:33 Dec 10, 2020

Knock Knock

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Laiba M
02:37 Dec 10, 2020

Who's there?

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B. W.
04:15 Dec 10, 2020

Alex

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Laiba M
14:10 Dec 10, 2020

You already told me that one, it's "alex plain when you let me in", haha~!

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B. W.
07:54 Dec 04, 2020

Hey, i really hope im not bothering you with this though I'm just a bit worried since the new ones would be out later and all that, hows it coming with your part of the story?

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Laiba M
13:35 Dec 04, 2020

Okay, so I'm actually done with the draft. I'm reviewing and submitting today :) Maybe in the evening though, since I have classes all day. I hope that's okay with you. I'll try and do it towards the afternoon, though!

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B. W.
16:39 Dec 04, 2020

well, remember to tell me whenever you submit it ^^

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Laiba M
17:02 Dec 04, 2020

Of course :)

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B. W.
17:23 Dec 04, 2020

How long do ya think reviewing it would take though?

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Laiba M
18:02 Dec 04, 2020

I'm not sure. Different stories take different amounts of time to review based on how much I want to work on/change a specific part.

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. .
23:39 Nov 10, 2020

This was real cool, and I think that it was amazing the way that she realized the truth of her mortality. You did use Kylie a lot, maybe use pronouns every once in a while. All-in-all, amazing! I did your get to know you quiz, and I was wondering if you could read my stories? Just when on the quiz I answered not following you, forget that because I'm following you now!

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Laiba M
00:07 Nov 11, 2020

Thank you, Luke! I didn't notice that I used her name often, thanks for pointing it out~ Okay! I'll read them soon :)

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B. W.
22:52 Nov 07, 2020

hey, did i maybe tell ya yet about the whole alien market prompt and my idea for it? i kinda forgot :/

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Laiba M
23:13 Nov 07, 2020

Yeah, I responded to it a while ago~~

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B. W.
00:51 Nov 03, 2020

Hey, whats up with your bio now? why is it just kinda gone now and all that?

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Laiba M
01:14 Nov 03, 2020

I'm not sure, I just didn't feel like looking at it for some reason, if that makes sense :)

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B. W.
01:31 Nov 03, 2020

are ya gonna make a newer one or something?

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Laiba M
01:52 Nov 03, 2020

Probably not.

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B. W.
02:25 Nov 03, 2020

so your just not gonna have a bio?

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Laiba M
02:43 Nov 03, 2020

Mhm~

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B. W.
16:03 Nov 02, 2020

heyyyy

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Laiba M
16:07 Nov 02, 2020

Hiiiiiii~

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B. W.
16:18 Nov 02, 2020

how are ya?

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Laiba M
16:30 Nov 02, 2020

...Not great. I stayed up really late last night, and just got my weekly load of 150 assignments, and am thinking about a lot of things, haha~

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B. W.
16:34 Nov 02, 2020

thinking about what if ya dont mind me asking? if its maybe anything bad or anything like that, do ya wanna talk about it?

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Laiba M
17:03 Nov 02, 2020

Well, I have quite a few events coming up, so I was thinking about those and how they'll work out, and then about my assignments, and then about minor issues~~

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B. W.
21:53 Nov 01, 2020

I could try to go on another upvote spree for you but I cant really find big threads or even small ones at the moment

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B. W.
03:13 Nov 01, 2020

My memory sucks so i dont even remember if I asked you this or not, though you still wanna read that novella I've been talking about right? and also possibly the demi-god novel whenever that's finished?

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Laiba M
14:09 Nov 01, 2020

Yeah, I do, for both~ :)

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B. W.
17:21 Nov 01, 2020

ya do?

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Laiba M
21:01 Nov 01, 2020

Of course!!

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B. W.
21:03 Nov 01, 2020

I wanna try and send a link for you so you can see it but I don't think that it would work

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Laiba M
21:38 Nov 01, 2020

Try, we'll see~~

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B. W.
18:35 Oct 30, 2020

Hey, maybe you could make more quizzes or something when you have the time? they are kinda fun.

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Laiba M
20:18 Oct 30, 2020

Really? I didn't think people would enjoy them, sure!

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B. W.
20:34 Oct 30, 2020

Im still just feeling down, maybe ya could make a funny one.

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Raquel Rodriguez
18:32 Oct 30, 2020

Hey Laiba, B said I could ask you what was going on? Who are you guys talking about before? Did you guys find the downvoter or something?

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Laiba M
19:38 Oct 30, 2020

Oh, no. Someone was really rude to Hope and left her a long message calling her annoying, rude, and immature, and they left the comment on my page.

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B. W.
20:06 Oct 30, 2020

you still sure that i wasnt being anything like that?

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Laiba M
20:16 Oct 30, 2020

No, I promise. I already said this, but hate comments are like downvoters, people stooping low to bring down others. Don't take the words to heart.

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B. W.
20:31 Oct 30, 2020

I think they might be a bit worse than a down-voter. Though I don't know what to really do, I kinda do take the stuff like that. Ive been thinking of this stuff for like a few years.

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Laiba M
20:33 Oct 30, 2020

Don't take it like that. It seems she didn't have rude intentions and wanted you to think before typing, which I would also say to everyone on here-not just you, and not just her. It's extremely important, and I can't believe she was pointing out something you didn't do when she did worse..

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Raquel Rodriguez
19:43 Oct 30, 2020

Oh my gosh, are you serious?! Who would do that?! That's so rude!

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B. W.
20:06 Oct 30, 2020

I dunno why. It was on this story but I think Laiba said she deleted the comments of it and stuff.

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Raquel Rodriguez
20:13 Oct 30, 2020

omg, that's horrible...

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Laiba M
20:16 Oct 30, 2020

I know, right? It's so rude...

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B. W.
20:32 Oct 30, 2020

I don't even understand why they did it.

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B. W.
16:08 Oct 30, 2020

is it gonna be out today?

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Laiba M
18:11 Oct 30, 2020

Good :) Finally cleared up! Yes, she is the first-I've never unfollowed anyone before.

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B. W.
18:12 Oct 30, 2020

Wait, why did you ever delete the thread?

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Laiba M
18:14 Oct 30, 2020

I wanted to get rid of it. It wasn't fun to look at.

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B. W.
18:15 Oct 30, 2020

Well, alright. I still don't feel good about any of it though.

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Laiba M
18:19 Oct 30, 2020

Please, ignore it, Hope :( Don't let it affect you seriously, just like downvoting. People do it and they're stooping too low just to bring others down. I didn't agree with any of it, and I didn't think that way. You're not being impatient at all, I understand you're excited and want an estimate of when it'll come out so you're not sitting waiting all day for it. That's nothing bad, is it?

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B. W.
04:19 Oct 26, 2020

Hey, are you maybe good at doing a story in second person?

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Laiba M
12:25 Oct 26, 2020

I'd like to think so, since my most liked story is in second person~

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B. W.
16:42 Oct 26, 2020

I could use some help

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Laiba M
18:24 Oct 26, 2020

Oh, speaking of, have you read any of my older stories? Spring Breakout, Morning Darkness, Illuminated Night, Embellishments on the Memory Wall, Avani?

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B. W.
18:27 Oct 26, 2020

Yes, im pretty sure i have, didnt I ever leave some feedback?

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Laiba M
20:32 Oct 26, 2020

Hmm, I'm not sure about my older stories... I think you read Avani? Not sure.

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B. W.
16:02 Oct 24, 2020

Ya wanna hear some jokes or something? I honestly know a lot of them now, i aint sure if your still feeling down about a couple of things, though maybe this would cheer ya up a small bit and maybe ya just like jokes.

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Laiba M
16:12 Oct 24, 2020

Sure! I'm feeling good nowadays, but it'd be nice to hear a few :)

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B. W.
16:16 Oct 24, 2020

Knock Knock

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Laiba M
16:23 Oct 24, 2020

Who's there?

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B. W.
16:32 Oct 24, 2020

tank

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Laiba M
16:35 Oct 24, 2020

Haha, you already gave me that joke (tank who? you're welcome), any others?

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B. W.
23:36 Oct 23, 2020

i think i'll try to upvote you some more :)

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Laiba M
23:54 Oct 23, 2020

Really?~ Thanks! Your story will be out in an hour in return, haha~~

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B. W.
23:54 Oct 23, 2020

Yep of course i will ^^ and thanks, i'm getting more excited ^^

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B. W.
23:31 Oct 21, 2020

I made a new story ^^ could you check out "The crossover: the final countdown" and leave some feedback?

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Laiba M
00:34 Oct 22, 2020

Sure!!

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B. W.
00:36 Oct 22, 2020

Remember to leave some feedback ^^

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Laiba M
00:37 Oct 22, 2020

Of course! I usually do, haha~

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