Afrosays to me

…random excerpts from my communions with the AfroMuse

Charming Town March 23, 2012

Filed under: Abstract,Scenic — afrosays @ 11:50 am
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Buckle up bonnie lassies and fellas, tis’ good that we share a tale in the hall today with meat between our jaws and ale in our bellies, aye.

 

Kiss yer pardners as AfroSays

 

CHARMING TOWN

 

art for art's sake, yer know?

 

I am Toodulo and it’s nice to meet you. I am dah tallest lad in all Charming, as tall as a cow. I’ve got pretty long ears and dah largest blue eyes, but I’m not dah only one with these last two – tis’ dah way we all are.

 

Charming, she’s a small town and we all know we, to think it well, we’re all one big familee.

 

In Charming, we mostly make our living from beauty, them travel catalogues say we are quaint art village hidden in dah purple hills, lapping lazily on dah sea water. ‘though, dah catalogue is right about dah town itself, it says nothing about dah people. Of kerrs, yer can imagine all dah very strange people that would call an art village thurr burrough – dah gypsy, dah lover, dah effeminate, dah old painter with dah suffering marriage, dah penniless string plucker, dah fat singun’ lady, dah happy-go-lucky dancing couple, dah little genius fella, dah cantankerous fire-eater, dah black clown, dah collector plus obsessor with a plucking purse of gold coins, plus plus. We at Charming are nothing like so, nothing at all.

 

From cottage to cottage, on every cobblestone street, in every back alley where a thieving orphan or two might make bed and especially in dah Town Hall where you’d see us all gathered on days we make tah be merry, yer’ll notice something strange and unsettling, I tell yah. There is only one face in Charming and that is dah face we all share.

 

My fadahr and my modahr are brodahr and sistahr and so were dah parents of them. On dah occasion where this is cannot be, dah would be a cousin available to build a home with. No outsiders can settle in Charming, i tell yah, and no member of dah family ever leaves. All our cottages are built exactically likewise – green mud walls and sun-yellow thatched roof with two windows out front and out back. All our clothes are dah same too: dirty wooly sweaters, brown and green checkered long johns and bunny slippers. Although, we all are artists of different kinna sorts, we’re all dah same person. You can’t live in Charming if it ain’t yer surname.

 

Dah travellers-through are used to dah way we live. They never stay more than a night at Molly’s inn for potatoes and nightsack; they as well are wanting to leave inna quickin’. They never stop coming though, for we paintings, we stone work, we wood work, we jewellery, we fashion, we books, we food, we music bottles, we shows and anything else they could be hoping to make a fortune from in dah big world.

 

Them travellers-through, they pay us in inspiration, for we have nothing of needing save that. They tell us stories of how things are, about thurr families, about thurr villages, about cities as big as ten towns put togedahr, about othahr ways of life, othahr creatures, othahr fashions, othahr songs, othahr shows and we are usually satisfied. Them tales helps us to create what we are not needing but they are mighty liking. On dah next trade day, yer can be looking to find statues of winged men as tall as houses or clothes that are too small for our little ‘uns. Yer would be finding paintings of men with hair on thurr faces and cows with six legs. Tis’ what makes living in Charming so wonderful – discovering othahr parts of dah big world in every home.

 

I make music bottles, I trap me merry voice in a green flask and yah can listen to it if yah put yerr ears close’nugh. One bottle, one song. Once you let dah song out, yer can’t put it back in. Me wife, who is also me sister, she makes fashions. And though we all wearing similar johnnies, dah travellers-through, they love Binnie’s fashions. Mah Sonny, he can make a painting of running cows, aye, and he can make yah hear them footsteps thumping on the field, fast and strong that yer gonna be looking around for a stampede. I love it here with my lassy, Binnie and my sonny but sometimes I’m thinking if I want to travel the big world for myself and see all these wonderful things fer meself.

 

If I journey outta Charming, I’d be the first lad to do so, aye!

 

But if I journey outta Charming, the familee’ll never let me back.

 

 

 

The mystery relic March 9, 2012

Filed under: Scenic,Spooky Fridays — afrosays @ 9:00 am
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If you ever have been thirsty where you cannot drink.
AfroSays, because of you

 

THE MYSTERY RELIC

 

 
 
Baba Shukudi spat out onto the expressway, regretting that he could not leave the car to smooth the blob over with the stubborn rubber sole of one of his dead black shoes, preferably the one that he wore on his right foot. Unfortunately, while the scaly footwear was busy urging the National Museum’s Toyota Hiace bus on to glorious acceleration, the other was tapping the floor of the vehicle in tune with Duncan Mighty’s I Don’t Give A Shot. Baba Shukudi had just purchased the disc but for the past hour and a half, he’d been playing the same song.

 
If your ikebe dey shoot catapult

 
The song amused Baba Shukudi immensely because he happened to like ikebes. Mama Shukudi’s behind was almost as wide as the posterior of the fourteen-seater bus that her husband was currently behind the wheel of. Baba Shukudi deftly maneuvered the vehicle yet again, around another massive hole in the road. He didn’t even need to think about it, not only because he was an exceptionally good driver but also because he had been navigating this route for the past month as the museum in Lagos was looking to add a new artifact to its collection. This wasn’t any national treasure; it was just another unpopular talisman that would adorn the back shelves in the interior where other equally unpopular items were exhibited.

 
Baba Shukudi took one hand off the steering wheel and wiped an erring line of spittle off the left side of his mouth. He hated spitting when he was driving because the ejection never went with the wind in a clean sweep. Some of it – usually a large flat mess – would always cling to his face, holding on for dear life. Sometimes, the ejection would also cling to his side of the vehicle, and he would see the nasty yellow thing screaming for help as it fought against the wind, begging to be let back home where it was warm and safe. Although this vexed Baba Shukudi sorely, it wasn’t the main reason why he hated the sight of thick sputum sailing through the air. Actually, Baba Shukudi was very superstitious and it was popular belief where he came from that one should never spit in public without rubbing the evidence into the mud under one’s feet. It was said that if the bottom of someone else’s feet were to meet an exposed ejection, the owner of the blob would immediately suffer a sore throat. Baba Shukudi, being sure that there were no potholes in the road for the next half kilometer, immediately looked through the side mirror, hoping to find that his ejection was not in the path of any vehicle’s hot tires. The idea of what would happen to his throat should this be the case always terrified him.

 
“Baba Shukudi, face front naa!”

 
The driver said a quick prayer and returned to concentrating on the long, winding road ahead of him. He didn’t want madam replacing him with any of the newer junior drivers because the allowances derivable from taking madam cross-country had kept him drinking a better brand of beer than his friends over the years.

 
Ada Sosan stared at the two and a half lane road along with the driver for a time, hoping to confirm that he’d returned full attention to getting them back to Lagos safely. The digital clock on the dashboard told her that it was only fifteen minutes past two and they might be on the road for approximately another hour. When she saw that Baba Shukudi’s shoulders were once again moving to his funny music, her thoughts wandered back to the talisman they had just retrieved. She would not be happy to tell oga at the office that she’d been unable to get any esoteric information about the large brass cymbal. The new king of Ojojo – who was a young man that had just left the United States to succeed his father in the highly profitable business of doing nothing, really – had had nothing to offer her. The only thing he’d said was that his father’s friend who had passed on years before his father and who also had happened to be the caretaker of the relic, if it was one, had kept the cymbal with his father. His father had told him nothing about it and what he had learnt, he had learnt from the palace hands who were ignorant of the real employ of the relic but had strongly advised their king to dispose of it because its original prefect had been very cunning with the diabolical, and the Harvard graduate, unlike his father had no experience on the subject of local magics.

 
Ada who had a lot experience with indigenous artifacts had seen nothing like this before. It was as large as an old DSTV satellite dish and covered with runes and drawings that she couldn’t decipher. She had consulted with the local witch doctors but they had all turned her away on seeing the cymbal. All, except one who had admitted his ineptitude and confessed also, that none of the others would be able to unravel the mysteries because it was a guarded magical symbolism that had died with its last caretaker. After a month, he had advised her to fling the thing far into the sea in Lagos but of course, Ada would do no such thing. She was only frustrated that she would have to admit to her boss that she’d reached a dead end. Perhaps the most annoying thought was that she knew that her boss was going to send her back here again.

 
The cymbal was dull coloured and beaten like a war shield. Some of the drawings on it were caricatures of men and women and children, demons, sacrifices, dances, fishing and farming. These however were only decorations, her professional experience told her that much. The demons however were not any deities familiar with the location of retrieval and the sacrifices had no significance to the spiritual customs of the place. More importantly, concerning the runes themselves, she had no clue. It had been covered with a black cloth when it had been presented to her but she had forgotten to take the sheath along. Ada sighed. What if the black cloth was significant in some way? She remembered that they wouldn’t let her take the covering off in the palace. She would definitely have to return.

 
While Ada submerged herself into the wanderings of her subconscious, Baba Shukudi’s throat began to itch once again. He let it rip and the thick mass flew out his window and landed on the lane beside him where a smaller car was racing to overtake him. He saw one of the Passat’s tires run over the ejection and he immediately began to despair. As soon as he turned his attention back to the road, he discovered that it was too late to avoid a pothole that was a few meters ahead of him. The wicked jolt brought Ada back from her reverie. The cymbal complained loudly as well and when Ada would try to calm it down, her fingers and the inside of her palm would be severely burned.

 
She would scream and turn to the driver for succor but discover that he has put his two hands in his mouth and he is scratching furiously at the insides of his throat. There would be blood and a thick yellow goo crawling down his hands and spraying the windshield. Through a cleaner part of the glass, Ada would see the bus headed off the road, towards a very steep slide down to a rocky death. She would close her eyes and shut the thought of death out, wishing desperately for a calm blackness, one her subconscious brings to her in remembrance of her days in the comfort and protection of her mother’s womb. The bus would roll down the incline and burst into flames.

 
The Passat that was making to overtake the bus would become a black and yellow Ferrari, the young man driving it would pass out in shock when he realizes that his thoughts at that very moment are brought to life. In his unconscious state, the dead weight of his booted foot would still sleep on the accelerator causing the plain sedan turned sports vehicle to very speedily run under a truck that is crawling ahead. Wiz Khalifa would be put to silence as soon as the collision occurs.

 
Ada would find herself in a calming, black place because her thoughts have prevailed as well. Slowly, her senses would remind her of why the place seems so familiar. She would climb over the body of her husband who is sleeping away the stress of his night shift at the hospital and feel around on the wall for a light switch. The low fluorescence would still shock her eyes but she would be more upset by the burns on her hands. Her wristwatch would tell her seventeen minutes have gone by since it was two o’clock and a peek outside the thick curtains would confirm that it was still day. She would have to believe it because she is dressed for work as well.
 

Although, her mind has a clear recollection of the events of the day, she would be in a logical dilemma about the past two minutes. She would go to bed in tears, terrified, and not at all sleepy. She would close her eyes, hoping to open them soon and find it all a dream.

 

 

 

Green Nation – The Monarchy Of Roses March 8, 2012

Filed under: Scenic — afrosays @ 9:00 am
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Hallos!
@Hl_Blue has handled the Green Nation so far and he’s done a superb job in sharing two very interesting pieces that revolve around the government of plants, the attending feuds and the battle for survival. Today, we all enjoy a fresh angle to the picture together, you and I and @Hl_Blue himself.
 
Welcome to Green Nation – The Monarchy Of Roses by @_thinktank_, one whose stories are usually as interesting as they as mentally exciting

 

...Gang Green Gang...


 

So far..
 

Green Nation I
 

Green Nation II
 

I was the ugly sister. The universally despised member of the clan. The one that did not fit preconceived notions and acceptable standards of what is good and true and beautiful. This was no fault of mine for I was born this way. Which of us has the power to design ourselves before birth? Which amongst us that looks upon our features with pride can claim praise for the craftsmanship that worked our beauty? Still, we who did not fit in were mocked and despised. I do not tell you this in lamentation, I tell you for your knowledge and for that reason only because your knowledge of it is pertinent to the rest my story.

 

I was born into a royal sap-line but I possessed none of the features of royalty. I was birthed with an abnormally thick stalk and prominent thorns while my sisters were slender and their thorns were nearly imperceptible. When they spread themselves, they produced thin, beautiful silhouettes on the earth beneath us and their appearance in the light of the life-giver was glorious – a fitting visage for flowers of royal descent. I, by contrast, was thick and bulky; still this was the least of my disfigurements for I was by some cruel twist of fate, born with a very different pigmentation from every other member of my family both living and before me. I was generally left to my own devices and looked upon from afar with pity and scorn by my own family. Who could blame them? No one wanted to associate with the aberration.

 

On that wretched day when my sisters and I were kidnapped from the bosom of our mother and the comfort of our home, we knew that we would not live much past our abduction for none of our clan ever does well without the support of the family structure, without the connection to the earth from which our sustenance would come. This tragic state of affairs was made more so by the unfortunate timing of our abduction for we had just been pollinated and our rosehips were swollen with seed. Knowing that our time was short, we began to prepare to free the seed, willing the almighty Gaia to send her messengers to come quickly so that our essences may live on.

 

We were placed erect in a small water prison from which we drew minor sustenance but we knew it would not last long. Water was merely a conduit by which we received our nutrients from the earth. To place us in the pipeline without any connection to a source was either cruel villainy or ill-thought out folly or perhaps both but whichever it was, this was what our captors had done. My sisters whispered secrets to each other using what little dissolved potassium there was in the water, faint hints of which I received but only when the message was degraded beyond comprehension. I was not bothered by this, I had always been ostracized and left out of important discussions. While they whispered their secrets with the potassium, I busied myself with absorbing as much of the nitrogen and phosphorus as I could through my stalk. It was a most strenuous exercise but I was determined to live long enough to see my seed disseminated. My lifelong handicap turned out to be a blessing as the greater surface area of my thick stalk gave me accelerated access to what little nutrients there were in the water. This wide stalk also ensured that I was favoured by photosynthesis to digest these nutrients and convert them to much needed energy. Energy was life and every minute I lived was another chance for Gaia to send her messengers. They had to come for my seed soon. I was determined to extend my life for as long as possible to see it so.

 

At the third setting of the life-giver, my sisters ceased their conniving and finally spoke to me, suggesting that I stop absorbing the essential nutrients and in so doing, sacrifice myself for their survival and procreation –the continuation of our royal sapline. They said that I was unfit to procreate. That it would be a great cruelty to bequeath my ugliness to another generation of our clan. I considered their proposal. Should I sacrifice my woeful difference that their normalcy may live on? That the deviation that was me may perish? No. I rejected this proposal for as much as I loved my sisters and our family, I wanted to seed my seed taken and given a chance to survive. I was unsure why but every fibre of my xylem and phloem screamed at me not to agree to my sisters’ thinly-veiled attempt to be rid of me and in so doing save themselves. And so I refused. They mocked me, then screamed at me and swore at me and said many horrible things no sister should ever say to another but I remained silent, after all, I was the ugly, outcast one. I was the one betraying the family. I turned my face from them and they raised their petals above mine to assert their superiority. I did not protest.

 

When the life-giver rose again I strained myself to receive as much of his light as I could. My sisters, realizing that most of the nitrogen and phosphorus essential to their livelihoods had been consumed whilst they had been whispering secrets, began to desperately strain their thin stalks in an attempt to absorb more quickly. They lowered their raised petals in order to give their stalks more access to water. I watched their attempts with pity. But in their struggle I began to see my purpose, why I was built this way. Their slender slim stalks were built for beauty and not survival as I was. I was a survivor. Built to live where my sisters would die.

 

Just as the eldest of my sisters began to plead with me for some manner of help, we were both lifted from our watery prison suddenly by a great pale monster – one of our original captors. I instinctively directed my thorns to my attacker and was quickly placed back into the prison while my sister was taken away. I watched with my younger sister as our sibling was handed from one monster to another who placed our sister in a tangled mess of blonde, glossy strings atop her head. We knew she was doomed for there could be no sustenance in that place. We said a silent prayer to Gaia for her.

 

Another setting of the life-giver came and went, but my other sister was already losing her essence. I was watching her die slowly. She did not even have the energy to send me potassium messages. Her petals had lost color and her stalk began to bend. I knew she was gone even before the end finally came.

 

“Oh Walter look! By the window! The two roses in the jar! The red one is bent and shrivelled but the pink one still looks lovely. You know, if you look at it from here, it looks like the Red one is bowing down to the Pink one. It’s strangely poetic don’t you think, Walter?

 

Here stands a beautiful and proud single red rose humbled by hunger, bowing to her sister…

 

begging for food perhaps?”

 

“Julia, my darling Julia, you have a writers mind and a poet’s soul. I don’t know why you chose to become a software engineer…”

 

I could sense from the vibrations of the air that the monsters were communicating but I did not care what they had to say. I cared only for my survival. As I watched my sister slowly slump and eventually collapse into the water, I let out a signal to say goodbye even though I knew she would never receive it. On some level, to my shame, I was glad, for her death would bring me sustenance for a few more days at least.

 

Three more comings and goings of the life-giver had occurred since my sisters’ demise and I was barely hanging onto my life. Nutrients had long left the water and I was subsisting on stored energy from days past. I had continued my prayers to and pleading with Gaia and was becoming weary of them when it appeared. My being leapt with joy as I spotted a cream-feathered cedar waxwing perch on the windowsill beside me. I began to vibrate my petals and wriggle my rosehips to my centre. The waxwing, sensing that food was nearby, came closer. Under normal circumstances, I would have waited for my petals to naturally fade before revealing my hips to a feeder from Gaia but these were extraordinary circumstances and required an extraordinary sacrifice. I had been preparing for this since we were first abducted. I summoned what energy was left in me from my leaves and broke the joint that attached my petal to my stalk. The pain I felt was terrible but I endured it and I willed the Waxwing to look closer and see the rosehips that were his escape from starvation and my route to immortality. The bird came even closer. This time I saw the sparkle in his eye as he reached into the jar and plucked my rosehip from my stalk just as one of the pale monsters came running to the window.

 

Relief washed over me as I watched the waxwing take flight into the pale blue sky, swallowing my hips as he did. I could now die safe in the knowledge that my sapline would survive me. My daughters would sprout from the seeds that the waxwing would excrete when he was sated and one of them would be queen of her own rose bush. Not a pink outsider in a sea of red – a mutant oddity. She would be a queen and her sisters would surround her proudly. They would possibly grow to be greater and more beautiful than their red cousins for I knew now that I served a purpose. I was not built for beauty like my delicate and beautiful red sisters, I was built to survive, to protect and to take over.

 

My pink petals were a banner of strength and victory and a purposeful beauty. Even though I had never been a princess, I had never been the ugly sister. I have always been the warrior queen…

 

…and I am dying a warrior’s death.

 

****************************

 

Thanks to The Afromuse, @HL_Blue, @MsJulz and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers for the inspiration

 
 
@_thinktank_ shares his art here. Please visit.
 
 

@HL_Blue shares his art here. Please visit.
 
 

 

The sin of a little saint March 2, 2012

Filed under: Scenic — afrosays @ 9:45 pm
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I took the gong to the witch by the tower that leans. I hope you hear a tone, different.
Simply, AfroSays:

THE SIN OF A LITTLE SAINT
 
 

 
 

Biscom – as he was called – was rinsing another biscuit in the kitchen sink. Sometimes he would pinch in the little bag of Ariel that he always kept at the right side of the long necked tap and spray some detergent on his treat as he rinsed it. He liked his biscuits clean.
 
Just liked he liked his seats. He always kept a white cleaning rag and a big-sized spray bottle of cleaning liquid on his person which he always filled every morning and refilled by noon. This story of seats and biscuits and a cleaning kit would make one think that Biscom was a good case for psychiatric care and really he was; because of a memory.
 
Biscom was a small fellow and as a child he had been very little. His favourite thing to eat had been biscuits and every day of junior secondary school, he would buy three different brands from the lady who sold snacks on a small table in front of the school gate. Other kids would buy candies, chewing gum, and lollies in addition to biscuits but not tiny Biscom, he knew they were bad for his teeth.
 
Tiny Biscom only ate his treats during the break time and like his mother had always instructed him every morning before school, he would then proceed to the toilet to brush his teeth. He always had a toothbrush in his school bag which his mother switched for a new one every month, and a foreign brand of toothpaste, usually a version of Colgate that was unavailable in local stores. Needless to say, Tiny Biscom’s toothpaste – and sometimes his toothbrush as well – were stolen from his bag as often as twice a month.
 
But Tiny Biscom’s biscuits had never been stolen. In fact, tiny Biscom’s mates could only steal from his bag after break time when he’d had his biscuits and more so, tiny Biscom never shared his treats. Tiny Biscom always bought the most expensive brands of biscuit – the ones that contained a lot more than four cookies – unlike most of his peers. As little as he was, he would eat up as many as thirty six cookies all by himself. His colleagues soon learnt not to bother him but sometimes they would try again, hoping he would have had a change of heart. As an adult, Biscom still wouldn’t share his biscuits.
 
After two junior years, tiny Biscom was intensely disliked by all his colleagues. He had no friends and he acted like he needed none. To his credit, he was also an above average student, however, he never helped out the competition both legally and illegally. In cases where the class teamed up, for example, when the first algebra homework had been insanely difficult, the situation still had been class minus Biscom. There was also a certain camaraderie in tiny Biscom’s class as is in every other gathering of boisterous youngsters where the group is willing to suffer for the sins of one. Tiny Biscom wouldn’t partake in any such comradeship and as a result, erring classmates were promptly identified and dealt with.
 
Fortunately for tiny Biscom, he was loved by all the educators, probably because he was hated by all his colleagues and one rarely takes a liking from both quarters at the same time. This affection that tiny Biscom enjoyed from the staff quarters was an insurance of sorts but where intense hate is concerned, fear is powerless. Tiny Biscom, in all his self-righteousness had raised the passions raging against him to a red line when he began to take initiative against his classmates on his own. Tiny Biscom discreetly began to write the sins of his fellows down in a little black book and make a submission at the end of each day.
 
For a while, Biscom’s classmates wondered how their private transgressions had been finding its way to the desk of the school principal and they began to suspect each other. Although the tiny man was the prime suspect, they could never really be sure until one day when one of the girls thought to steal some fancy toothpaste and discovered a little diary. Because girls love secrets, she’d proceeded to steal the diary as well and that was when things really began to look bad for the little man.
 
Although tiny Biscom didn’t record the transgressions of his colleagues for another week and a half after the theft, partly because he was saving to purchase another perfect little dirt book and partly because his classmates took extra care not to discuss anything around him, he would never be forgiven. The entire class of young boys and girls wanted nothing as badly as they wanted to bring the little man to grievous harm.
 
Dele, who was as big as his teachers and was only two years younger than the oldest senior student was also a member of tiny Biscom’s class. The sixteen year old was naturally the king of the twelve and thirteen year olds especially in the domain of misdemeanours. Consequently, tiny Biscom’s righteousness had been mostly Dele’s Pain. For a while, Dele had only suffered the usual punishments because Dele had only been up to the usual offences but Dele had decided to improve on his vices and he’d smuggled a pack of cigarettes to class within that period. A cleaner had seen the stubs and informed the authorities but despite several threats, the class had maintained solidarity. That is until tiny Biscom overheard, catalogued and reported the indiscretion, with a roll call of participants.
 
Dele and his inner circle had been punished in a school assembly and suspended from school for three days. The team of offenders hadn’t minded the extra notoriety they had gained from being caned publicly especially because they had handled themselves well but once their parents and guardians were involved, things took a turn for terrible. Dele’s uncle, who was also a military officer confined him to Hades three days and threw the key away. There is a law in the United States preventing captured terrorists from seeing the kind of wickedness that Dele saw. When Dele returned to school, he was properly broken, sober and seething. He took his revenge that same day.
 
Ten minutes to the end of break time, tiny Biscom had excused himself from the class and proceeded to observe his mouth cleaning rites in an empty boys’ room when he Dele joined him with a pack of biscuits, a butter knife and a meat cleaver. The big fellow had locked the door to the dirty toilet room behind him immediately.
 
When tiny Biscom was eventually discovered, he was sitting naked and bleeding from wide stripes running randomly from his forehead to the bottom of his left foot. His throne was a toilet bowl that was half empty or half full, depending on how you see it. There was an empty pack of biscuits beside him; it had once contained twelve cookies.
 
His mouth was closed but the stained butter knife that was held firmly in his hand suggested that he’d been having an unthinkable kind of sandwich all under severe duress, of course.
 
 
 

 

 
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