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Christian Inspirational

You walk toward a familiar desk where a small pot of scarlet geraniums stands guard over the most precious of desks. A fake gold plaque is propped up against the pot bearing the majestic word “Librarian” on it.

An aromatic smell greets your nose. You’re unsure whether the fragrance is coming from the desk christened librarian or the flowers. Either way, it is a delightful smell.

“Good morning,” you tell the desk with the plaque and pot.

“Hello,” the desk says back. “Ready for your next book?”

“Yeah. I finished reading the book you recommended last night, and I’ve been dying to come back ever since.”

“Oh, I can only imagine the hard wait.” The desk gives a small chuckle. “Follow me. I have the perfect book for you.”

A young man rises from behind the desk and gestures with his hand for you to follow suit. You recognize him. He’s the teenager who volunteers at your local library to earn service hours for his college. You’re almost certain that he’s already surpassed the minimum requirement for service hours but you believe he continues to volunteer at the library because of his love for books, like you.

You follow the young man as he guides you through the building of knowledge. It’s a small library but that doesn’t impede your imagination from wandering from shelf to shelf, book to book, imagining all sorts of worlds and adventures each book can transport you into. The wonderful smell of paper and ink permeating from the books is a sweet delicacy to your nose. You pause for a second to breathe it all in.

Promptly enough you fall back into step, lagging just behind the librarian. Suddenly you notice that the familiar footstool your friend often brings with him is lacking on your journey. He always brought the stool with him and its disappearance roused your attention. The young man is also walking quicker than normally. You have to step twice to equal one of his steps.

Your relationship is a mutualistic one. He recommends books for you to read and, in return, you help him around the library by cleaning, shelving, or by completing some other task that needs to be done. Plus, whenever you returned a book late he never fined you (as long as he was the librarian in charge.)

As you’re wondering about the young man’s strange behavior, you realize that you’re far behind him. You meet him at the very back section of the library (which is also your favorite section) just in time to watch him confidently take a thick book off a shelf. He then turns to you with the chosen book in hand.

“This here is the book of all books,” he says solemnly. He leaves you no time to reply and turns around to go back the way you came. You couldn’t see the title of the book because of the way he’s holding it.

You walk just a length behind him and notice that the way he carries the book is as if it was worth more than gold. He doesn’t tuck it under his arm as he precedes back to the librarian's desk. Today, your friend is acting very differently. It’s not a holiday or anything special, just a regular Saturday morning.

Once you arrive back at the desk he checks the book out and slides a thin piece of paper (which will be more than the book’s return date; it’ll also be your future bookmark) in the middle of the book.

“Let’s see if you’ll like this one. I think it might just change your life,” he says with a wink. “And don’t forget to come back tomorrow morning to help prepare the public hall. A key speaker is coming to talk there at noon so don’t be late.”

You nod and thank him for the book and then leave the library. This was how your meetings went. Words were useless, actions were a bit better at conveying messages, but books were how the two of you bonded.

Once outside, you read the title which is printed in fancy gold lettering. You’ve never heard of that book but you trust that the librarian chose the perfect book.


***


After you return home and finish your homework, you bring out the chosen book from your patched-up backpack. You were a middle sibling out of your four other siblings and always received the hand-me-down things. Half already went to college, the other bunch was still in elementary school, and you went to high school.

Both your parents worked two jobs. One was an office job consisting of filing papers and whatnot at night. The other was working as a cashier at the local rundown Walmart in the morning. They were on a tight schedule and were rarely seen at home. With your two older siblings gone away to college, you were unofficially put in charge of your younger siblings.

You had a couple of friends at the public school located near your apartment but you had never invited them over, even when they asked. You had been too embarrassed to bring them over to your apartment. It was always a mess and a graveyard of abandoned Barbie dolls and plush toys.

Once, you tried to clean up the mess but minutes later it had returned to its former messy state. That’s one admirable trait about you: you never make the same mistake twice. You take your mind off family and friends and focus your whole attention on the book, wondering what world you’ll emerge into this time.

With the book in your lap, you gently caress your fingers across the soft hardcover. It's a heavy book but that never hindered your reading. A book’s a book no matter its size or weight. But no, a person’s not a person unless they fit into society’s rules like a glove.

You lift the heavy book onto the shabby dining room table and block out the sound of your two siblings shrieking in the room upstairs. You open the book to page one and begin reading with the sacred words, In the beginning, God created heaven and earth.


***


You pause reading at the noise of a door creaking open on its partly rusted hinges. You bring out your phone to check the time: it reads 9:13. Your mother normally leaves her office job at midnight so it’s too early for her to be back. Your father insisted that your mother leave her night shift earlier than him.

If it’s not your parents then the person in your house must be a burglar. Your heart begins to speed and your palms start to sweat. The stillness of the house is too much to bear and the silence makes every sound magnify. You realize that you’re not worried for yourself, but for your younger siblings. If something happened to them, you’d never forgive yourself. You ask God to keep them safe. You’re alarmed at this thought since your family were atheists and were never destined to believe in a God.

You don’t have much time to mull over this astonishing fact because you hear footsteps approach the kitchen. You grab the book and backpack and quietly run up the carpeted stairs and wait, holding your breath. You’re debating whether to call the police or not when the person comes into view. A small sigh escapes your lips.

It’s only your mother, muttering under her breath about some forgotten papers. Like a cat waiting for its prey, you remain motionless on the stairs, peeking through the banisters to watch your mothers’ next moves. You cannot believe your luck.

After a few more minutes of quiet rummaging, your mother leaves. You sigh at your silliness and overactive imagination. Next, you check on your siblings who are upstairs asleep in their room. They have all fallen asleep on the ground, sleeping in awkward positions. It reminds you of Sleeping Beauty and how all the people in the kingdom fell instantly asleep in their previous positions when the enchantment took hold.

You gently take the two little sleeping beauties and tuck them in bed right next to each other. You turn off the light in their room and return to the dining room table where you open the book back up to where you last left off reading. Your heart has sped down.

You try to delve back into the book, but something’s preventing you. It’s that request you made to this God to save your siblings from the imaginary burglar.

Since you can’t concentrate on reading the book anymore you just hold it to your chest and smell the pages. You don’t tuck it under your arm like you normally did with other books. Now you understood why the librarian held it in that manner.

You trudge upstairs to your bedroom and toss your backpack on the wooden floor. The book is your only company during the night and, in the bathroom, you’re very careful to keep it dry. You know you must keep the book a secret and hidden from everyone but yourself.

Your head is spinning with questions and to quiet your buzzing mind you crawl back into your bedroom to sleep. Before you welcome the realm of dreams you wrench open a loose floorboard in your bedroom with your nails and slide the book into a dusty hole. You silently make an apology to God about the book’s secret location and vow to find a better spot soon.

You replace the floorboard and crawl into bed with a bubbling sensation in the pit of your stomach. You take one last look at the book’s hiding place and turn off the light. That bubbly feeling doesn’t leave and by the looks of it, it won’t anytime soon, so you take this opportunity to reflect on the precious treasure the librarian gave you.

All that reflecting did was create more unsolvable questions. Too tuckered out to think anymore, you merely stare up at your popcorn ceiling and recite the first few lines of your book: In the beginning, God created heaven and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the spirit of God moved over the waters.

You string together the same words over and over again in your mind. You stumble over most of them at first but eventually get the hang of it. You try repeating the words as if memorizing biology definitions. It was a terrible comparison but in your tired state of mind, you cannot think of something better.

Next, you say the words in an even pattern, a normal and casual one like how you would speak with a friend. You like hearing the sound of those comforting words. It requires no thinking, only a relaxed and willing mindset. Luckily, you have plenty of both.

You never tire of repeating those lines and hope that you never will.

May 01, 2021 03:48

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71 comments

Beth Connor
16:36 May 04, 2021

Wow second person, très impressionnant! (Sorry my Spanish is weak, so you get French lol!) I hope you don't worry about offending people. You shared a story with depth and meaning, and it will resonate. I think part of the value and importance of writing, is that it gives a voice to your beliefs and how you view the world (however you tell it!). People are always going to be offended by one thing or another, but if you speak (and listen) with your heart, we (as humanity) will understand each other better. Beautiful job!

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Valerie June
22:28 May 04, 2021

I feel much better with this story since many other people reassured me, including you. :) Your kind words always make my day! Saw that you posted a new story, and I can’t wait to check it out.

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I absoulty loved this Jose! Amazing work. Like everyone mentioned, I loved the second person because its not very popular and very hard to do, and you perfected it!!! Muy bien amigo:DD (I've been speaking spanish for a few years) I also love how u involved God into this as well! So great work. Keep writing!

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Valerie June
23:34 May 14, 2021

Aw, thanks so much for stopping by! I really appreciate it. :) I've been working with second POV more often than usual for a change. I wish I could learn how to narrow down the 'you's...' Hola fellow Spanish speaker! I can understand Spanish pretty well but speaking it comes harder for me. That was a risk I was willing to weave into my writing (did not try to make that an alliteration XD) Glad it paid off and thanks again for reading amiga!

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Np Jose! It was my pleasure:) Yes, I can see u have worked hard on it! Hola :))) Yea, speaking is harder too! I can also understand better than writing and speaking. No problema amigo :)) Espero que tengas un bien dia!

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Valerie June
17:56 May 11, 2021

LOL Lemme call him up! He's been a bit busy lately so keep in mind that he can't stay for long. XDDDD *insert transformation music*

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Valerie June
20:55 May 11, 2021

Why hello there Milady! Anything on your mind lately? I heard from a friend that you were gonna be leaving Reedsy and also that you're moving. :( Your Kitty will miss you, but I know from experience how good change can be. <3

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EEEEEEEEEE -takes a deep breath- Hello Kitty, good to see you again. Yes, I will be leaving soon :( I'll miss you too. It can be, I just hope I can come back.

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Valerie June
00:38 May 12, 2021

Nice to see you, too. ;) I hope you can come back but, even if you don't, I'll remember you and the short conversations we had together. If you want I could extend the interview...

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Bonnie Clarkson
23:21 May 06, 2021

Good job writing the story. I liked how it ended. Try writing a sequel, with or without a prompt. There were a few things that confused me. "The desk give a small chuckle." My thought was, "Is this a computerized desk." or "Is the librarian mute?" The librarian never had a line of dialogue. Also a "soft hardback". I had trouble imagining that. Be careful with using "you". In devotions it sounds preachy.

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Valerie June
02:03 May 07, 2021

I was thinking about *maybe* writing a sequel. Nice to know that it could be an option. Now that I think about it, those lines are confusing. Next time I’ll add more detail to get my point across more clearly. The librarian did have many lines. When I said ‘the young man’ or ‘the librarian,’ I was referring to him. Thank you for all the tips; I’ll keep them in mind for my future stories. :)

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Olivia Dutton
15:10 May 03, 2021

it's very long and I love it great job

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Valerie June
16:16 May 03, 2021

Aw, thanks!

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Olivia Dutton
16:47 May 03, 2021

your welcome I am in 7th grade and I read at a 12 grade reading level so thank you for writing that

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Valerie June
16:49 May 03, 2021

Of course! Age doesn’t really matter in writing. Just take Anne Frank! She was an incredible writer who spoke the truth when adults couldn’t even do that.

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Olivia Dutton
16:50 May 03, 2021

yes your right your cool

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Olivia Dutton
16:50 May 03, 2021

yes your right your cool and how do to search up a name

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Aurora Spencer
14:13 May 03, 2021

I like the fact that you wrote your story in second person *and* present tense! I've heard it is hard to write, but I've never tried it, so it's difficult to tell. You could tell me if it was hard to write? :) I love how you added first line from the Bible. (It is the Bible, right? I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but I'm not a Christian although I respect Christianity, and I'm not certain if this is from the Bible) Also, your story was really meaningful and I kept reading, wanting to know more how the MC finds their spirituality! A couple of (gramm...

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Valerie June
16:15 May 03, 2021

I haven't written in second POV often, but a lot of people have told me that I do well with it so I may write more in that tense. Surprisingly, it's not difficult to work with. I like to think of it as writing in first POV except that you replace 'I' with 'you.' In second POV it could trigger more emotions since it's literally putting the reader IN the story. Hope this helped! :) Yeah, it's the Bible. When I first saw the prompt, I wanted to do something unique and *possibly* even plausible. Grammar critiques (this will sound weird) but tha...

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Aurora Spencer
13:01 May 04, 2021

That sounds worth trying out! I really should use your tip! Thanks, it really helped! :) Cool! It's actually an amazing concept, and you did a great job with it! Oop it does sound a little weird, lol! Sure, no problem! Thank you so much! :D (warning: it's sad)

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Valerie June
16:48 May 04, 2021

Happy to help! I'm still new to writing, but I'm glad to share the little knowledge I do have. You've read many of my own sad stories so I'll be fine repaying the favor. :)

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Aurora Spencer
12:50 May 11, 2021

Awesome, that's really nice! Thank you! :)

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📚 Like everyone else said, ofc we know what the book is! Great chance to witness tho ;) 2nd person is hard, not gonna lie, but you did really great! yes, always avoid cliches when you can. who says original writing is a bad thing? Definitely not me XD. great job with everything :) L.W.

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Valerie June
03:21 May 03, 2021

I knew you’d recognize that book! ;) Writing in second POV is strange, that’s for sure. I’ve been doing it more often and it’s kinda cool to work with it. I saw that you’ve been down lately because of some family stuff. If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here. :) (I’ll check out part 1 of your new series. I’ve been waiting for it to come out!)

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yep :) yeah it's strange at first, like a new flavor (of anything really) on your tongue. aw thanks :) (yeah lol, and don't worry, it's not a prank like abbie's XD)

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18:37 May 01, 2021

📚 I loved this, Jose. :) I also loved the whole plot, and the desk talking, in the beginning, made me smile. Great job.

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Valerie June
19:14 May 01, 2021

Thank you so much for reading! Glad that part about the desk made you smile. (And to answer the question in your bio, yes I do believe in magic. 😉)

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12:53 May 02, 2021

:)

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Jade Young
08:46 May 01, 2021

As I was reading this I expected your MC to be handed a book transpotting him to his destiny or something. So I was pleasantly surprised when I read the first line of the Book of Genesis. You took this prompt and gave it meaning. You literally added spiritual meaning into the life and a character whose life had been void of God until now. I love the symbolic nature behind Genesis, how it's the beginning of the Bible but also the beginning of your MC'd spiritual journey. I thought that was incredible💪🏽 As a Christian in a family of atheists, ...

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Valerie June
15:24 May 01, 2021

I wanted to write something unique and was sure many writers would take the “MC-sucked-into-book” path with this particular prompt. Somehow I knew that life changing book would be the Bible, it just fit. I didn’t even think about using the first lines of the Book of Genesis to refer to the beginning of the MC’s spiritual journey. Now I see the comparison. I’ve always wanted to touch someone with my writing and it makes me brighten up when I accomplish that. 😊 Thank you so much for your sweet comment Jade. I look forward to reading your newes...

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Zoey Hailey
23:15 May 06, 2021

Ooo second person! You don’t get to see that very often aha This story was so good and well written, and your writing really helped me visualize the whole thing well I too am a Christian (not many people know that about me) and for me it really takes a lot of courage out of to post something related to my own religion bc of the hate many people would give me, so great job on that! I like how it gives your own personal beliefs a voice. If people get offended, do not let it bother you; this is your page and it is absolutely your right to post ...

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Zoey Hailey
23:16 May 06, 2021

Sorry if this doesn’t make much sense😅 I am very tired lol

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Valerie June
01:58 May 07, 2021

Thank you so much for reading and commenting Zoey! This one was interesting to write. I promise I’ll read your story soon. :)

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Zoey Hailey
18:35 May 07, 2021

No problem! Yeah, it definitely would take a lot to post. But I really did enjoy it! YAY!!!!! tyyy;)

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Valerie June
20:27 May 16, 2021

I'm so so so sorry I haven't read your latest stories yet! I'll get to them very soon. :)

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Zoey Hailey
04:02 May 18, 2021

oh no, you're just fine!! I totally understand! Take your time, I don't mind at all;)) I've been booked for most of this week, but when I get the time I'll make sure to check out your new story too:)))

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Valerie June
04:21 May 18, 2021

Aw, thanks for being so patient Zoey! I don't feel that confident in my newest story since it's not like my usual writing style. I don't know how that idea even popped into my head! XD

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"A book’s a book no matter its size or weight. But no, a person’s not a person unless they fit into society’s rules like a glove." Jose, first of all, amazing job at this story, it was nothing short of magical to read. Second, I can't get over the line I quoted above, it is beautifully worded and really spoke to me. I loved how you used the Bible for this prompt, because faith, no matter what type or how much, can make such a difference in people's lives. I also really enjoyed how you wrote this in second person. It is one of my favorite wa...

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Valerie June
03:25 May 04, 2021

To be honest, when I read that line again in your comment I thought, "Wow. That's sounds smart and it's also so true." Then I realized I was the one who wrote that. Most artists, including myself, take more time pointing out mistakes in our work rather than recognizing the other great things in it. Negative self talk can't really be prevented but we can stop it before it spirals out of control. This was such high praise Alianna! Thank you so much. Like I told another writer in my comment...I thought that most people would take the route whe...

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Hey! Part 13 of the Adapters is out and you're featured! Go check it out! (please read previous parts first)

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Phoenix Hawkins
05:22 May 01, 2021

Of course I know what the book is. We all know what the book is! This really was perfect for the prompt. I loved how you described how special and sacred it is, and how powerful the Genesis verses were to the main character (which I'm sure represented you in a few ways). Yes, you did use the word "you" a lot, but I didn't mind it too much. I did notice that towards the end, you said "mesmerizing biology definitions" instead of "memorizing." Also, at the beginning, was the desk actually talking, or was it the young librarian? Those are my onl...

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Valerie June
05:43 May 01, 2021

I tried to find places where I could minimize the "you's" but it was easier said than done. Thanks for pointing that error out, I did mean memorizing. Edited: It should be fixed now. In the beginning, it was the young librarian talking. I thought it would make the story a bit more dreamlike and almost fictional even though the desk never had the ability to speak. I wonder what desks would say if they could speak; probably something along the lines of, "Hey, get that THING off me! I never asked for you to keep me up all night while you're bus...

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Phoenix Hawkins
00:18 May 02, 2021

It's okay. I've never attempted second-person, but I'm sure balancing the number of pronouns must be hard. Yep, it's fixed now. Biology definitions are never mesmerizing! 😂 I understand what you mean about the beginning now. I bet if desks were more than just mere inanimate objects, they'd turn against all of us writers! Your English teacher was right! It's good that you used a young man instead; it certainly breaks the librarian stereotype. If they can't handle your opinion, that's their problem, not yours. And yeah, I'm not sure if God exi...

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Valerie June
01:04 May 02, 2021

I've only worked in second POV a few times but it's pretty cool to work with. I really enjoyed reading Aerin B's story "Timelapse" which also utilizes that POV. It was poetic and so beautiful! I have another story on here called "The Open Road Before Us" that I like even though it's different. I relate to it (mostly the emotional parts and not plot-wise.) I'd say it's an exception to second POV. If you ever read that one, you'll get what I mean. 😉 Spoiler alert, there's a lot less "you's!" Ugh, biology is not my favorite subject. I can't wai...

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Phoenix Hawkins
16:22 May 02, 2021

I've read that one, too. She did a really good job with it! I'll read it sometime soon, don't worry. Pretty sure I'll love it! Anatomy will definitely help you with being a vet. At least it's useful to you and you'll enjoy it! Honestly, I don't know if science or math is worse for me. Probably math. I feel like, unless you're going in a career that specifically utilizes advanced math, no one should have to learn more than basic arithmetic and working with fractions/decimals. Because that's all the average person really needs -- me included. ...

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Valerie June
00:23 May 03, 2021

No rush, my stories won't be going anywhere anytime soon! I always get frustrated with math. I mean, will you ever use this stuff in life unless you choose a profession that uses math?! My motto is similar to yours: If you know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide then you're set. 😂 Everyone tells me that learning about these complex math problems helps "open up your mind." Basically meaning that instead of using only half of your brain, maybe you can use 3/4 of it. I'm lucky and got a nice, easygoing math teacher who's super sweet and...

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Wow, a second-person POV story! You managed to pull it off great, I'm proud of you!!

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Valerie June
02:20 May 10, 2021

Aw, thanks! I'm kinda weird and enjoy writing in 2nd POV. :P

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Valerie June
03:50 May 01, 2021

PLEASE READ THIS COMMENT AFTER THE STORY (Yes, I’m talking to you!) This one was interesting to write. I didn’t want to offend anyone, and I’m sorry if I did. The prompt came up and it gave me the perfect opportunity to write something like this. Were you able to find out what the “chosen book” was? I hope you were, but sometimes I’m not the clearest in my writing. 😅 I also think I used the word “you” too many times, sorry not sorry. And guess what?! I never went over the word count so, as you may have noticed, it’s a pretty short story. ...

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TLO part 2 is out :)

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