Tag Archives: short stories

Short Story Review: The 13th Prophet by T. Lucas Earle

11 Dec

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Title: The 13th Prophet

Author: T. Jucas Earle

Genre: science fiction, mystery

 

Summary

Mulligan Burke, an over-the-hill P.I. who has forsaken the evils of Personality implants, is brought back from Alaska to investigate the murder of one of the Prophets. The Prophets inhabit the highest position of the social hierarchy – they dictate fashion trends. Fashion, in this instance, encompasses much more than clothing. And, as Burke discovers, being fashionable is something to die – or kill – for.

Purchase on Amazon.

 

My Review

I received a free e-copy of this short story from the author for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The 13th Prophet is a different kind of dystopian story. There are twelve Prophets who each have their own personality, such as Control, Bliss, Defiance, etc. Surprisingly, they are owned by a corporation. The Prophets’ own personalities are implanted into people and they require updates periodically. Mulligan Burke is a P.I. who refuses to conform and has his own personality, so he is chosen as the best person to investigate the murder of one of the prophets. No one is sure what is going to happen when an update is due and the people using that personality don’t get it.

The author does a good job of character development and tells an interesting story in just a few pages. And there is even has a surprise ending. It is definitely a story that will make you think. 

If you’re looking for a short but good read, The 13th Prophet fits the bill.

 

 

About the Author

T. Lucas Earle is a writer, filmmaker, and amateur statistician  He lives in LA, a comfortable 60 meters above sea level, where only three out of every 100,000 people are murdered. 

T. Lucas has a degree from Emerson College, which makes for a terrific placemat. He spends his days reading scripts – a job for which he receives  nominal remuneration. Like many slightly brain-damaged children of hypoxic former left-wing political cult members of the 1970s , he will review almost anything. 

When T. Lucas is not reading and groaning quietly to himself, he writes and groans much louder.  He has written several short stories, a screenplay or two, and is working up the courage to write a note to the fetching young lady who works at the Starbucks on Glendale Ave. He’s been published in Electric Spec, The Colored Lens, and on Amazon, where you can find his short stories. 

T. Lucas also writes blogs filled with hidden SOS messages, in the hopes that one day someone will find him and rescue him from the Internet.

Website: http://www.tlucasearle.com/

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Book Review: The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer

13 Jul

The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.
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The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.
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For the sea was a fair master.
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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a mixture of stories that range from predictable to horrifying. I’d read one story and know how it was going to end. Then the next story I’d think, “I can’t believe that happened!” There are also love stories and tales of murder. My favorite story was about an android that has almost found a way to feel like humans do. Another one, Letting the Dead Grow, will stay with me for a while. It amazes me how Calvin Demmer can make the reader feel so much in so few words. I look forward to reading more of his work.

I read this book in one sitting but it would be a good one to have around when you just a few minutes to read here and there. I definitely recommend The Sea Was a Fair Master.  It’s a memorable book of short stories and if you like multiple genres, especially horror, you’ll enjoy it.

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About the Author

Calvin Demmer is a dark fiction author. His debut collection, The Sea Was a Fair Master, was released in June 2018. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. You can find him online at www.calvindemmer.com or follow him on Twitter @CalvinDemmer.

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Three Modern Shorts: The Cafe Stories by K. Kris Loomis

31 May

This e-book is no longer available for purchase, but the stories can be found in the collection, The Monster In the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis!

No time for novels? Try these Modern Shorts for Busy People!

What happens when two high school friends meet for a good old fashioned gossip session over coffee? Or when two very different people are brought together through internet dating and self-improvement? Or a couple of old friends battle it out over backgammon, secrets, and pecan pie?

In these three modern short stories, author K. Kris Loomis offers us glimpses of universally shared moments in everyday relationships and life. They are humorous, thought-provoking, and written to be read in one sitting.

THE GOSSIP GRIND
SELF IMPROVEMENT
BACKGAMMON BUDDIES

Just because you are busy doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve good fiction in your life!

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. This is the last of the short stories in Kris Loomis’s The Monster in the Closet and other stories. I’ve enjoyed reading all of them.

The Cafe Stories includes three short stories. In “Self Improvement,” Amelia and Jake meet after talking online for a while. They seem to have a lot in common and the results of their meeting is hilarious. Sadly, it’s something that could easily happen in this day and age. This was probably one of my favorites of all the stories because it’s so funny and yet so timely.

“The Gossip Grind” features Beth and Tiffie, long time friends who have always enjoyed some “good” gossip. Something happens one day that may change their friendship forever. 

The “Backgammon Buddies” are Hank and Bob. They have been friends for a long time and Bob has decided he needs to come clean about something before his dementia takes over and he’s unable to apologize. With his revelation comes one of Hank’s own. This story had a nice twist.

Three Modern Shorts: The Cafe Stories are short and can be read in one sitting. Even though they’re short, they’re well written. Some of them make you think and some make you smile.

I definitely recommend The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories. It would be great to have for those times when you have to wait somewhere for a few minutes or for the bathroom if you’re one of those people who keep reading material in the bathroom.

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About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is the author of the humorous travel memoir, Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador. She also writes adult parables and short stories as well as books about yoga and meditation. Kris is a determined chess player, an origami enthusiast, a classically trained pianist, and a playwright.

https://www.facebook.com/kkrisloomis

https://twitter.com/kkrisloomis

https://www.instagram.com/kkrisloomis/

https://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Book Review: Three Modern Shorts: The Bus Stories by K. Kris Loomis

30 May

 

This e-book is no longer available for purchase, but the stories can be found in the collection, The Monster In the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis!

No time for novels? Try these Modern Shorts for Busy People!

In these three modern short stories, author K. Kris Loomis offers us glimpses of universally shared moments in everyday relationships and life. These stories are thought-provoking, often humorous, and written to be read in one sitting.

JUST GLUE IT TO YOUR BUTT
THE ORANGE SCARF
SAY SOMETHING

Just because you are busy doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve good fiction in your life!

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I am in the process of reading and enjoying the short stories that Kris Loomis sent me.

The Bus Stories include three short stories. “Just Glue it to Your Butt” is about Ethan and his brother’s friend Luke. They’re waiting for the bus and Ethan sees a different side of Luke other than the older brother’s friend who torments him.

In “The Orange Scarf,” John realizes that there should be more to life than work. 

“Say Something” is about Chuck, a bus driver, and Olivia, a passenger on his bus. The title says it all. Chuck wants to say something to Olivia but will he say something before it’s too late?

Three Modern Shorts: The Bus Stories are short and can be read in one sitting. Even though they’re short, they’re well written. Some of them make you think and some make you smile. I like how Kris Loomis can make you feel so many different emotions in just three short stories. I’m looking forward to reading three more of her short stories tomorrow.

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About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is the author of the humorous travel memoir, Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador. She also writes adult parables and short stories as well as books about yoga and meditation. Kris is a determined chess player, an origami enthusiast, a classically trained pianist, and a playwright.

https://www.facebook.com/kkrisloomis

https://twitter.com/kkrisloomis

https://www.instagram.com/kkrisloomis/

https://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Book Review: Three Modern Shorts: The Funeral Home Stories by K. Kris Loomis

27 May

This e-book is no longer available for purchase, but the stories can be found in the collection, The Monster In the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis!

No time for novels? Try these Modern Shorts for Busy People!

What happens when two sisters can’t agree on how to proceed with their mother’s funeral? Or when a mortician is faced with a talking corpse? Or when a young boy finds out his grandmother had a secret past?

In these three modern short stories, author K. Kris Loomis offers us glimpses of universally shared moments in everyday relationships and life. These stories are thought-provoking and written to be read in one sitting.

NOW AT PEACE
THE MAKEUP ARTIST
GRANNY GERTRUDE

Just because you are busy doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve good fiction in your life!

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I am in the process of reading and enjoying the short stories that Kris Loomis sent me.

The Funeral Stories include three short stories. “Now at Peace” is about two sisters who have to make decisions about their mother’s funeral. Jackie lives in New York and usually only comes home for Thanksgiving and Jenny lives in the same town as their mom did. Jackie is the oldest but perhaps there are some things she can learn from her younger sister?

The Makeup Artist” is Mary Catherine and she specializes in making the deceased look good for their funerals. One day someone requests her to do her daughter’s makeup. How will doing the makeup for someone she knows affect her?

“Granny Gertrude” doesn’t have too many people at her funeral because she outlived most of her friends. It’s amazing how much the reader learns about G.G. as her grandson called her just from a few short conversations with others.

Three Modern Shorts: The Funeral Stories are short and can be read in one sitting. They’re short but well written. Some of them make you think and some make you smile. I’m looking forward to reading three more of her short stories tomorrow.

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About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is the author of the humorous travel memoir, Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador. She also writes adult parables and short stories as well as books about yoga and meditation. Kris is a determined chess player, an origami enthusiast, a classically trained pianist, and a playwright.

https://www.facebook.com/kkrisloomis

https://twitter.com/kkrisloomis

https://www.instagram.com/kkrisloomis/

https://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Book Review: Three Modern Shorts: The Bedroom Stories by K. Kris Loomis

25 May

This e-book is no longer available for purchase, but the stories can be found in the collection, The Monster In the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis!

No time for novels? Try these Modern Shorts for Busy People!

What happens when there really IS a monster in the closet? Or when a disturbed teen discovers a secret notebook? And will Santa really have to wear sweatpants?

In these three modern short stories, author K. Kris Loomis offers us glimpses of universally shared moments in everyday relationships and life. These stories are thought-provoking, often humorous, and written to be read in one sitting.

THE MONSTER IN THE CLOSET
MARKS ON THE CEILING
THE SANTA DEBACLE

Just because you are busy doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve good fiction in your life!

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. After I read The Park Stories, the author offered to send her other modern shorts. Since I liked The Park Stories, I was happy to read the rest of them. 

The Bedroom Stories include three short stories. “The Monster in the Closet” is about a little girl named Hannalee who, like many children, is afraid of the monster in her closet. I thought it was going to be a scary story but I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be a sweet tale.

Marks on the Ceiling” was anything but sweet. It’s a story about a girl named Chelsea who’s being bullied at school. It’s a timely story that might make some kids think twice about bullying.

“The Santa Debacle” shows what Christmas has become. When I started reading this story, I didn’t like the characters at all but this turned out to be my favorite of the three stories.

If you’re looking for something to read in one sitting, I recommend Three Modern Shorts: The Bedroom Stories. They’re short but well written. I’m looking forward to reading three more of her short stories tomorrow.

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About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is the author of the humorous travel memoir, Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador. She also writes adult parables and short stories as well as books about yoga and meditation. Kris is a determined chess player, an origami enthusiast, a classically trained pianist, and a playwright.

https://www.facebook.com/kkrisloomis

https://twitter.com/kkrisloomis

https://www.instagram.com/kkrisloomis/

https://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Book Review: Wind Walker by Neil John Buchanan

19 May

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 188 KB
  • Print Length: 42 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Stormblade Productions (19 Oct 2014)

 

Something stirs beneath the ice-locked tundra of Snowdonia National Park. An ancient force of unspeakable evil scrabbles at the boundaries between worlds. Its servants creep from sunless caverns and crave the taste of warm human flesh. Ithaqua summons his children home. A new age approaches. Gibbering monsters and nameless horrors await and a blend of man and beast is needed to show the Great Old Ones the way. Dwellers in the deep. Fields of quivering flesh. All await the children of the Wind Walker . . . 

Includes the BONUS STORY Everett Smiles

Sheila is coming . . . 
The sky is brushed through with copper. The land is a frozen ruin. Aliens have slipped through the space between spaces to consume humanity with their endless obscene desires. Rifts in the fabric of the world bleed suggestion. My son waits out there beneath a curious orange sun. 
I . . . I have to find him. 
Sheila is coming . . . 

Available on Amazon

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

It’s been a while since I read straight horror but this one fits the bill. Wind Walker is about a small group of people who are going through Snowdonia National Park when they have an accident. What happens next is unthinkable, at least to most of them. There were times that the story was a bit “out there” and I would have preferred that it was more straightforward but it had a good ending.

Everett Smiles is the bonus story but I liked it more than Wind Walker. I was tickled by the title because Everett always smiles. Everett Smiles is about the end of the world but what a horrible end it is! It also had a good ending.

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Audiobook Review: Bugs in the System

26 Apr

“It’s a tough universe out there with death-by-giant insect waiting around every corner.”
 
Immerse yourself in these short stories based on the role-playing game, We Hunt Bugs, and experience the tales of shaky alliances, backstabbing comrades, and terrifying monsters. 
 
“It’s what we do. We hunt Bugs.”
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Purchase LinkAmazon

 

 

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

These short stories are based on the RPG “We Hunt Bugs” and would probably be appreciated more by someone who plays the game. Most of the stories are about shooting big bugs in outer space: spiders, centipedes, beetles, etc. The best story was “The Hunter and the Suit” about a famous hunter who is deep in debt. When a debt collector finds him, he can’t seem to shake him. It was a cute story and I would have enjoyed reading more of it.

The narrator did a good job especially considering that these were short stories. It seems to me that it would be more difficult to narrate short stories than a full-length novel. Just like reading them, once you start to get into the story, you have to start a new one.

 

 

Book Review: Cry Your Way Home by Damien Angelica Walters

31 Jan

“Once upon a time there was a monster. This is how they tell you the story starts. This is a lie.” 

Sometimes things are not what they appear to be. DNA doesn’t define us, gravity doesn’t hold us, a home doesn’t mean we belong. From circus tents to space stations, Damien Angelica Walters creates stories that are both achingly familiar and chillingly surreal. Within her second short story collection, she questions who the real monsters are, rips families apart and stitches them back together, and turns a cell phone into the sharpest of weapons. 

Cry Your Way Home brings together seventeen stories that delve deep into human sorrow and loss, weaving pain, fear, and ultimately resilience into beautiful tales that are sure to haunt you long after you finish the collection. 

“Once upon a time there was a girl…”

Available on Amazon.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is a variety of stories that have one thing in common: they’re all dark and mostly about women. They represent suffering, loss, pain, and fear. I was surprised at how well the author was able to make me feel connected to the characters so quickly. Short stories often can have a good story but without the connection with the characters, so that was impressive.

Cry Your Way Home is seventeen short stories over different genres. I didn’t read them in one sitting. I could have because each story was pretty short but they’re so dark I didn’t want to read too many at one time! I definitely recommend Cry Your Way Home if you like dark fiction.

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About the Author

Damien Angelica Walters is the author of Cry Your Way HomePaper Tigers, and Sing Me Your Scars, winner of the 2015 This is Horror Award for Short Story Collection of the Year. Her short fiction has been nominated twice for a Bram Stoker Award, reprinted in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and The Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and published in various anthologies and magazines, including the Shirley Jackson Award Finalists Autumn Cthulhu and The Madness of Dr. Caligari, World Fantasy Award Finalist Cassilda’s SongNightmare MagazineBlack Static, and Apex Magazine. Until the magazine’s closing in 2013, she was an Associate Editor of the Hugo Award-winning Electric Velocipede, and she lives in Maryland with her husband and two rescued pit bulls.

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Guest Post: Interview with Authors Andrew Joyce & Danny the Dog

19 Oct

Today we’re sitting down with authors Andrew Joyce and Danny the Dog for a joint interview. Andrew is the author of several novels, including his latest, Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups, and Danny writes a monthly column to keep his legions of fans informed as to his latest adventures. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

AJ: It’s a pleasure to be here.

DtD: Me too … I guess.

Tell me a little about yourselves and your backgrounds?

AJ: I’m a writer, which surprises me greatly. For the first three years of my writing career, I never referred to myself as a writer. It was only when the royalties started coming in and I could quit my day job that I dared think of myself as such.

DtD: I’m a dog.

What book or books have had a strong influence on you and/or your writing?

AJ: The works of Louis L’Amour and Robert B. Parker.

DtD: The genius writings of Danny the Dog.

AJ: Excuse me, but I need to speak to Danny for a minute.

AJ: What are you doing, Danny? You don’t seem to be taking this interview seriously. You’re giving one-word answers and when asked about your favorite authors, you say “yourself.” I know all us writers think of ourselves as our favorite author, but you’re not supposed to say that out loud.

DtD: Whatever! May we continue with the inquisition?

AJ: I’m sorry for Danny’s attitude.

That’s okay, Andrew. Danny and I understand one another. So let’s carry on. Going back to the beginning, what is it that got you into writing?

AJ: One morning, about six years ago, I went crazy. I got out of bed, went downstairs, and threw my TV out the window. Then I sat down at the computer and wrote my first short story. I threw it up on the internet just for the hell of it, and a few months later I was notified that it was to be included in a print anthology of the best short stories of 2011. I even got paid for it! I’ve been writing ever since.

DtD: One day, about five years ago, Andrew went out and left the computer on. He was always complaining about how hard it is to write anything decent, so I thought I’d show him how easy it is when one has talent. Is that a long enough answer for you, Andrew?

Tell us a little bit about your writing process.

AJ: I prefer to write in the early morning hours when things are quiet. I usually get up around 2:00 a.m. and go to work. The commute is not long … only a few steps to my computer.

DtD: I have to wait until Hemingway over there goes to bed.

AJ: By any chance, are you referring to me?

DtD: Yes, but only in an ironic way.

AJ: You see what I’ve got to put up with?

Now, boys, play nice. You are both professionals. What would your fans think?

AJ: You’re right. I’m sorry.

DtD: I’m the only one with fans around here. I’d say that Andrew’s been riding my coattails for years—if I had coattails. But for your sake, I’ll try to be well-behaved.

That’s a good doggie. Do either of you have any hobbies? Or anything you like to do in your spare time?

AJ: I like to read history and do research for my next book. I also like to watch old movies from the 1930s and ’40s.

DtD: My hobby is looking after His Nibs here. I’m always getting him out of trouble or bailing him out of jail after one of his benders. I call him Hemingway because he drinks like Ernie did. You should see ol’ Andrew when he’s had a snootful.

What are you two working on at the moment?

AJ: This interview.

DtD: Ditto.

AJ: High five, Danny.

DtD: Next question, please.

AJ: Hey, Danny. Don’t leave me hangin’.

DtD: Pleeease … give us the next question!

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use a set formula?

AJ: I usually sit down to write a book with no idea where my characters will lead me. I start out with what I hope will be a killer first sentence … and the last paragraph of the book. Then I set out to fill the in-between space with 100,000 words. I find that the easy part. Sometimes I will bring my characters to a certain place, only to have them rebel when we get there. They’ll tell me they want to go somewhere else and take off on their own. I have no choice but to follow.

DtD: That was a pretty artsy-fartsy answer.

AJ: Was not.

DtD: Was too.

AJ: Was not!

DtD: Was too. Was too. Was too!!!

Boys! If you can’t behave, I’ll have to end the interview. As a child, Andrew what did you want to be when you grew up? And, as a puppy, Danny, what did you want to do?

AJ: I never wanted to grow up, and I believe I have succeeded.

DtD: I think he has, too. As a puppy, I only wanted to survive Andrew.

What would we find under your bed?

AJ: The monster that lives there.

DtD: When it thunders, me (and Andrew’s monster).

If you could travel into the past or future, where would you want to go? Why?

AJ: Egypt. I’d like to see the Great Pyramid being built.

DtD: The caveman days. I think it would be super-duper to be in a time before dogs allowed themselves to be “domesticated.”

What has been your worst or most difficult job?

AJ: Some jobs I’ve had in the past have been real doozies. I’ve done back-breaking physical labor. I’ve worked as a waiter for a short spell and hated every minute of it. I worked with and breathed in chemicals that have done a number on my lungs. But the worst job I ever had was when I was eighteen. I worked at a McDonalds for one day. At the end of the shift, I walked out never to return. I didn’t care about the pay I was owed or anything else. I just wanted out of there.

DtD: Looking after Andrew.

What group did you hang out with in high school?

AJ: I had no friends in high school. Still don’t … come to think of it.

DtD: At last … Andrew has said one true thing! I, of course, had no need of schooling. I was born brilliant. Not to mention wonderful, marvelous, and good looking.

What is something that you absolutely cannot live without?

DtD: If you don’t mind, I’ll field this one for both of us. For Andrew, it’s vodka. For me it’s Andrew.

AJ: Aw shucks, Danny.

Thank you for stopping by. It’s been a little different. However, I believe we’ve learned a few things about your writing processes … and a few other things as well.

AJ: Thank you for having us.

DtD: Yeah, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Continue reading

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