Raven's Pen

Writing, Reading, and Ruminating

Month: March 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo 2016

It’s here again.

Have I mentioned Camp NaNoWriMo? No?

As an overview, Camp NaNoWriMo was started by the same people who run NaNoWriMo in November, the only difference is this: It runs in April and July. And the best part is that you can set your own wordcount goal!movies disney mary poppins

It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Being the NaNoWriMo obsessed person I am, I’m definitely doing it (though I haven’t decided on a wordcount goal yet).

One of the other great things about Camp NaNoWriMo is that you can set up cabins with a maximum of ten people in them; it’s a great place to talk and help each other out, and it’s far more private than the forms (although the forms are still open, and extremely active).

Can you tell I’m excited?

Camp NaNoWriMo is two days away. Two. I’m honestly not sure where this month has gone… which means that I’m entirely unprepared. Although, I tend to do things at the last minute anyway.

So far, I have a few names for characters, a general idea for the plot, and a setting for the first scene. Beyond that, my plan might as well be at the bottom of a very deep well.

Despite how woefully unprepared I am, I managed to pull together a temporary cover yesterday. Here it is:


This time through camp, I’m hoping to have more of an idea of where the story will go. I’ll have more of a post about plotting later; especially as I work out what my plot will look like.

Until then…

Vacation, and the Strangeness of Writers

Whew, I haven’t been around much have I? I’ve actually been extremely disconnected to the outside world this last week and a half (we travelled to Arizona, and I’ve been swamped by schoolwork and trying to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo… More about that later.)

I also decided that it’s time to start writing with shortened words around here… if you know the technical name for what I’m talking about, please let me know.

Which brings me to something that I’ve run into people talking about, but I’ve never truly paid attention: writers are strange.

Last week, I was with one of my younger cousins and wondered out loud what the history of toilets is (the concept of a toilet dates back to ancient times by the way), and her response was “I don’t get you sometimes.”

To be fair, there has always been a gap between us; we’re from very different families, and I’m older. But it brings up an interesting question: Are people who write inherently strange? Or rather, are artists inherently strange in general?

There are a lot of stories about the strange lives that artists lead, and have led. People seem to become obsessed with other people’s odd habits, especially if that other person has been dead for a long time, is that because humans often look at others to try and find themselves? Or is it because ‘society’ seems determined to label everything?

Maybe it’s a bit of both. Either way, I have heard a lot of people discussing how strange writers are. Alright, I admit that there are (more than) a few weird habits that I am guilty of. But what does a quest for random information correlate to?

Writers, and writer people, can’t be the only ones who are interested in random facts. So, why is an interest in information not directly related to a situation in a moment of life considered strange?

I like to think of random facts as things to stick in a bucket until they become useful, but how many non-writers/artists (aspiring or not) set facts aside for a later date?

Does a quest for information, of any kind, always stem from some sort of passion? Assuming so, are non-artist type people ‘normal’ because they are not passionate? But anyone can be passionate, no matter what field they’re in.

Clearly, I do not have any answers. But it is a topic I’d like to come back to at some point… Until then, let’s just assume that writer-people are just as strange and weird as some people seem to think. It’s not a bad thing.

(Also, if you have an inclination to comment, I’d greatly enjoy reading your opinion.)

Beautiful Cracks: Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Nineteen

The leaves rustle. Keone jumps backwards and stumbles on the hard ground. Meg clenches her hands and glowers in the direction of the noise. She tried to tell Keone that something would be watching them and waiting, but she should have decided to act instead of speaking. She closes her hands into fists and waits for the rustling to grow closer. But nothing jumps out of the leaves to attack as the noise fades, and she finds herself feeling foolish. Keone pulls the Shade closer, “Maybe this wouldn’t be the best place to spend the night after all.”

Meg turns her glower on Keone and it shrugs and takes a step back. A gilt of a pair of eyes catches her attention, and her glower turns into a scowl as she grabs Keone’s arm to drag it away from the strange tree it was surveying. Vines snap up from the ground in a circle around them and someone breaks into uncontrollable weeping. Meg twists around herself as her frustration tries to tear out of her, “What is this supposed to be?”

“You cannot… you cannot escape.” The voice is soft and choked with sobs, and Meg straightens up as she scowls at Keone, “Next time I tell you that we should find a different place; you will remember not to argue.” Keone gulps and ignores her demanding tone, “I- I didn’t know. I thought this would a great adventure. You know, like climbing ancient mountains and facing giant bugs.”

She glares at him, “Shh! Do you want everything around here to know exactly where you are?” Keone obediently closes its mouth, and she stalks up to the wall of vines, “Let us out before I find something to do to you.”

“I hardly think-“ She quiets Keone with a glare, and it retreats a few steps. She yanks at the first of the vines; it easily snaps in her hands, but another vine takes it’s place before she can see through the twisted green wall.

The Shade reaches toward her arm, “I-I do not think that you will be able to tear a way through.” Meg scowls, “Than you should be quiet.” Leaves rustle and someone chokes back a sob. She spins around and stalks toward the tree that leaded them into trouble in the first place, “Maybe this so-called magic tree can tell us how to get out of her?”

Keone starts to object and tell her that the tree is neither magic, nor do does it seem to be able to speak, but he snaps his mouth shut as the tree turns toward them. Meg tries to hold back a gasp and ends up taking a step back despite herself, “You’re a tree with a mouth after all of this time. Do you have any idea how much frustration you’ve caused? Why have you trapped us? Tell me now.”

The tree’s pale green face tilts as each of its branches bend to the side and their leaves rattle, “The wall of vines was not my doing. I am simply the bait.” Meg glowers at the tree, “Bait for what?” A pale green tear drips down the tree’s face, “For you; it is not personal. I have been here for as long as I can remember. And those vines have followed me for as long as I can remember. I cannot control them; I assure you that I have tried, but they do what they want.”

Meg’s scowl deepens and Keone moves forward to study the tree’s lower branches, “So you’re enchanted?” Meg snorts, “What sort of reality do you live in Keone? There’s no such thing as enchantment.” The tree bends away from Keone, “No; things can be enchanted, but I am not. I have always been like this, since I was just a seedling.”

Meg steps away from a reaching vine, “Will you convince your ‘vines’ to let us go, or are you incapable of that as well?” The tree bends toward the ground, “No; I have tried in the past. But I have not found a way. I could tell you what will happen to you, but I do not wish to speak of it. Please do not ask me.” Meg scowl turns into a frown and she yanks the Shade away from the tree, “You’re the one who brought it up: what will happen to us if we’re dumb enough to stay where we are?”

The tree sways from side to side with a shiver, “I do not wish to speak of it.” Meg straightens up as much as she can, “Than I demand you to.” The tree sighs, “I do not wish to. I am not enchanted, as your friend suggested I was, but I am as much of a slave as everyone here.”

Keone eye’s narrow, “Why would you be a slave? Not being able to control your vines- or whatever they are- only makes you complacent in whatever they do. It doesn’t turn you into a slave.” The tree’s leaves rattle, “You forget that you are not alone. I am not the only one who lives here, and I am not the only one who has been brought into the newest regime.”

Meg clenches her hands, “What kind of regime exists around here? The only regime I know of was destroyed eons ago; and you shouldn’t be the sort of being to tell lies. Unlike others who think they know everything.” Keone starts to argue, but the tree sweeps out a branch and places it in between the two of them, “The regime here has existed for thousands of years, which, to us, is a blink of an eye. I was born long before the war of ten, but I barely remember the old ways.”

Keone gulps, “That would make you thousands of years old.” A glimmer of a smile lights up the tree’s face, “Yes. But, according to our time measurements, I am still young.” Keone cranes his neck to try and peek between the intertwined vines surrounding them on all sides, “But where is everyone else like you? Are they already dead?”

Meg opens her mouth to try and pull it back to more important things, but the tree interrupts her, “Yes; most of my family have died in the only way that we know how: by shriveling our leaves and eroding from the frost that has started to reach this valley every year. I have survived, and I know that a few of my cousins have as well. But they fled to safer places many centuries ago. I was too nervous and worried about my vines to leave. They have kept me alive through the weather, but I fear that they will not continue to do so.”

The tree sighs, “Perhaps it is for the best. I have already lived long enough according to your laws.” Keone opens its mouth as though it can taste the tree’s words, “What laws? We don’t have any laws about aging. Most beings would kill to live as long as you have, and that’s not a joke.” Meg scowls and reaches out to pull Keone away from of the trees branches, “What do you think you’re doing Keone? We’re leaving; and ask your tree friend what its dustblown name is? I should know it for the time I need to yell for death to take it away.”

Keone lets her pull it away from the tree with a glower, “What do you think you’re doing whatever-your-name-is? It almost sounds like you’re starting to care about every else instead of just yourself. Could you go back to being a cold, stereotypical Hirpoun for a moment? Please. I’d like to know that I’m not going crazy. At least you’re still enough of a Hirpoun to be an idiot.”

She glowers at Keone’s upturned face, “Shut your sniveling little mouth. I’m certainly not beginning to care for you. Everyone can go off and die if they want to and I will not bother to chase after them.” The tree sniffles, “Please stop; you are already running out of time. My vines will have to eat soon.”

Keone jumps, “Eat? You’re going to eat us?” His voice rises into a shriek toward the end, and Meg grimaces. The tree widely sways from side to side, “No, no, not me. I will not eat you, but my vines have minds of their own. I cannot control them and they must eat. Everyone else who has wandered through that door and come this way in the last many years have been caught in my snare. I have always tried to warn them, I have never been able to succeed.”

The vines start to close over their heads and Meg yanks the Shade toward her, “You’ll climb through the vines and find a way out for us. Do you understand?” The Shade bobs its head, “I-I understand. B-but I do not think that I will be able to help you. I-I do not know anything about this place, except for the fact that it is beautiful.” Meg bares her teeth, “It might be beautiful, but it won’t be when you’re about to be eaten. And who do you think is going to do the eating?”

The Shade shivers and turns into wisps of smoke as it nears the wall and slips into the vines’ weave. Meg grits her teeth together and dares Keone to reprimand her, “How does it feel to know that your Shade finally has something to do other than hang around your feet?” Keone’s usually pale skin turns slightly blue, “She isn’t my Shade and no one’s hanging around my feet. Besides, it sounds like you’re not even trying to be mean; it’s unpleasant and I want you to stop.”

Meg jumps toward him before she can stop herself, “Shut your sniveling little mouth, or my niceness will be the last of your concerns.” The tree wipes a tear off of its face with a green branch, “You find that the word nice is an insult? The beings that are like you are strange indeed.”

Meg glowers and opens her mouth to answer, but Keone steps in front of her, “She’s a Hirpoun; her entire race prides themselves as criminals and idiots.” Meg grabs the back of Keone’s shirt and yanks it into her arms, “Should I show you what I actually am? You’re a black hole of a civilization, and that means you aren’t worth what’s given to you.” Keone squirms and she tightens her grip, “My race prides themselves as criminals? You should look at your own: everyone from your planet would destroy my entire race without thinking. Your insensitivity will be your death when the time comes. You can be sure of that.”

Keone twists its head around, “I’m not insensitive! You’re the one who is holding me captive and telling me that you’re going to kill everyone like me. That’s insensitive.” A laugh rises in her throat and she does not dare to stop it, “The only thing that’s holding you captive is you’re your own dim nature. You think you’re the perfect race? You think you’re great and an excellent example of a perfect being that can feel everything without feeling anything at all? That’s exactly the opposite of what you are.

“As for me, more than half of my race in this entire galaxy is rotting underneath the floorboards of where ever your perfect civilization of inclusive, kind, beings is. The last thing you are is kind!” She presses her forearm into Keone’s throat and it gulps in fear, “I’m not a criminal! And I’m sorry about your ‘entire race’ or whatever it is. But I’m sure it’s for the better.”

She lets go of Keone and watches it slump to the ground, “Of course it is, because the only thing a Hirpoun could ever become is a harbinger of the deaths of everyone else. Everyone else can live together, but Hirpoun should be put to death. Is that right? Is it impossible for anything else to be?” Keone stands up and rubs its throat with a grimace, “I didn’t mean it like that. But, since you asked, I may as well tell the truth: yes; Hirpound are nothing more than horrible. But, if you’re so bothered by what other beings say, why don’t you change and do something different?”

She laughs again and grins at it, “Maybe I should; maybe I should tell you exactly why you think you’re the greatest being who has ever lived. And maybe I should show you how bad you are Cherbyids. Do you think I’m going to change for you? No. I want to be exactly like the ancestors of mine that you used to run from and scream until you were mocking your own ancestors.”

She steps back and raises her hands to the sky before Keone can defend itself, “The great prophesier of your century, the one and only Cherbyids Keone: are you too afraid to defend yourself? Are you going to stand there and pretend that you can’t see your own destruction? I think I’m going to miss the way you keep cowering once you’re dead.”

Keone grits its teeth, “Will you stop saying things like that? They’re rude and I don’t want to hear about how much you believe in yourself!” The tree breaks into a fresh wave of tears behind them, “Please stop arguing; your friend the Shade is standing on the other side of my vines and waiting for you; if you keep arguing, it will be too late.”

Meg grits her teeth together and grabs onto Keone’s arm and yank it toward the vines. It yelps as she pulls it closer and jumps into the twisted wall. She closes her eyes in mid-air and tries to hope for the best. Something slips against her shoulders, and a crack hurtles through the air.

Copyright © 2016 ravenspen.com

All rights reserved.

What I read: February

Welcome to march!

What do you mean “it’s the fifth already”?

Speaking of which, can we add a few more days?

February was one slow month.

My attention has been diverted by a lot of things I did not expect. I was able to get a few things done that have been hanging around for awhile, but I barely read anything. To be fair, I am partway through four books.

But I only read one full book in February. One. That is not something I am proud of. I do tend to go through periods of reading multiple books in a week, and then barely reading anything at all. But, seriously, how did this happen?

Regardless of what happened with my TBR list in February, March is a new month and I intend on reading much more.

Back to the topic at hand, this is the book I read in February:

1. The Glass Demon by: Helen Grant

The Glass Demon is an interesting book. I picked it up at a library booksale a few weeks ago because it is written in first person and I wanted to check the style. I did not know what to expect, but I was actually pleasantly surprised.

The story is about a family that moves to Germany for a year; the main character’s father is a medieval professor looking for church windows that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The windows are supposedly cursed by a demon who can kill with a single look. The main character, Lin, is in a family with a lot of problems. As the story progresses, more and more people die and attempts on the family’s lives are made. No one escapes unscathed.

I hope to have a book review up soon.

For the sake of a year that is already moving too fast, here is what I am reading right now: A Shot in the Dark by John Ferling (absolutely wonderful), The Odyssey by Homer (beautiful but slow), The White Queen by Philippa Gregory (still getting into it), and The History of Philosophy (a reprinting of the second edition) by Will Durant.

All right, hopefully I will become more organized with my posts. Until next time…

Beautiful Cracks: Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Eighteen

Meg’s feet move forward on their own until she is standing with her toes barely hanging over the ground on the other side of the door. Keone rattles off a scrolls’ worth of excitement behind her and she tires to ignore him. A gust of wind sweeps through her hair and she suddenly wants to run as far, and for as long, as she can.

She pushes her hand into the air in front of her and stares at it; the sunlight and sharp green grass makes her grayish-teal skin appear more purple than usual. She slowly steps out of the doorway and jolts as her feet land on soft dirt. She takes off running before she can think.

Trees flash by around to her. But she cannot bring herself to stop until the ground becomes rough with vines and pebbles, and her lungs ache for air. She bends over and leans her hands against her knees with a grin spreading across her face. Who knew something so beautiful could be inside a planet covered by sand.

Her grin fades and turns into a scowl; what if and entire horizon inside a planet is impossible? What if she is not where she thinks she is? She turns around and her feet reluctantly carry her back to Keone and the Shade. Her scowl deepens as she nears them and cuts Keone off before he can speak, “How do we supposed know if this is real?”

The Shade separates into two shadows and runs a circle around them before stopping where it started, “I-I do not know. I-I cannot tell if this is real; but I think it must be. I-I have heard that this planet is far larger than it seems, but I do not know exactly what that means. I-I think it might have something to do with a scientist my masters always talked about.”

She opens her mouth to demand a better answer, but Keone jumps in front of her, “What was the scientist’s name?” She steps out from behind Keone and it carefully moves away from her, “Don’t you think this is amazing? It’s the perfect time to actually do some research.” She scowls at Keone, “What research? We don’t even know if this is real. We could be standing back on my planet with guns pointed at our heads”

Keone laughs and turns in a circle, “But wouldn’t this be amazing if it is real? There are hundreds, thousands even, if different types of planets, why wouldn’t a planet like this be possible? Look at how beautiful this is! Green grass and tall trees; teal sky and an actual colored horizon in the distance.” She opens her mouth to abject, but the Shade cuts her off, “E-excuse me, but I think I might be able to help.”

She crosses her arms, “Very well; if you want to to. Help out and tell us what this place is and why it’s, supposedly, so important.” The Shade nods and turns back to the doors that lead inside, “I-I do not know very much-“ Meg’s scowl deepens, “You’ve already said that enough times for me to loose count and stop caring.” The Shade ignores her interruption and starts to step over the door’s threshold, “M-my masters kept a room full of hard research; multiple other rooms are filled with notes and things that they have found. I-I have never been inside because I have never been allowed, but now that you have told me that I can go anywhere I want, I can take you there. I-I do not know if it will be helpful, but it might be.”

Meg rubs her forehead, “Just bring us there and shut your slick mouth.” Keone gives her a death glare and she resists the temptation to return it and slap some sense back into his face. The Shade pushes the curtain to the side and a sharp voice echoes through the doorway, “Containment door number ten has been activated. Please remain where you are until the situation has been assessed.” Meg stops as the words slide through her head and her ears start to ring. Keone yelps and jumps toward the doors, but he is too late and they snap shut.

The Shade melts into a pile of withering darkness and Keone yells for Meg to help. She tries to blink haze away from her eyes as the Shade slowly forms itself back into a human shape. Keone pulls the Shade to its feet and glowers at her, “What the blazing comets are you doing? You’re supposed to take care of us!”

She scowls and turns around to head into the field behind them, “I told you that I’d let you live; I never told you that I’m interested in protecting you. Or your friend as a matter of fact.” Keone runs to catch up with her with the shade following, “But you have. And that means that you care enough not to let either of us die.” She whirls around and grabs Keone’s throat, “You should know better than think that I have any inkling of mercy for you. You’re helpful, but you’ll be trash once that helpfulness wears off. The Shade here might be useful, but that’s the end of it. I don’t want to protect you, and I most certainly will not. Keep your sniveling mouth to yourself, and let me try to focus on finding a way to get out of her.”

The Shade floats a few inches off of the ground, “T-the doors have been locked because of a containment breach. N-no one will be allowed in.” She bares her teeth, “What is your point? And I don’t want to hear anything about your ‘masters’.” The Shade hangs its head, “I-I have heard that there are dangerous things in here; monsters that would kill everyone in the bunker. I-I did not tell you because I wanted to see the beauty that my masters have always talked about; I did not think that we would become trapped in here.”

“Well, we are. You should have paid more attention; and I am not going to help you the next time something like this happens.” Meg grabs onto Keon’s arm and starts walking, “Move; we’re going to find a place to stay until we find a way out.” Keone stumbles, “But we’re stuck. And what about the monsters that are in here? Going deeper won’t help anyone.” She stops and glowers at it, “What monsters? I don’t see any; and as far as I can tell, they’re just a rumor to keep your Shade friend from exploring; Like an order isn’t enough to stop a Shade from doing something.”

The Shade trembles in anger and Meg grins, “Do you think I’m afraid of a few monsters? As far as you know, I am the worst monster in here.” Keone gulps and obediently follows her as she leads them toward the nearest clump of tree.

The trees are tall with gray bark wrapping around their trunks, and bright green leaves interspersed with dark green veins. Dried leaves crunch underneath their feet and Keone twists his head to study her, “Where are you from? You’re a Hirpoun, but you talk like you know something about the higher end of society.” She walks faster, “Who I am isn’t your damn problem. Now shut up and let me think.” “But we’re stuck in here, and I’d like to know exactly what I’m stuck with.”

A jolting shiver crawls across her skin and she slaps a hand over Keone’s mouth before it can speak again. The Shade starts to object and she gives it a warning look. It slowly shrinks underneath her gaze and she yanks them closer to a towering tree next to them.

Her heart roughly pounds in her chest and her hands curl into fists. Something must be watching them, but she cannot tell what it is. An electric shock jumps across her fingers and she turns on the Shade, “What is supposed to be in here? And exactly where are we?” The Shade shivers at her demanding voice, “I-I do not know very much-“ Meg grits her teeth together, “Stop saying that! Just tell me what you know and be done with it. Or would you rather make me tell you? What’s your choice?”

The Shade reluctantly nods, “Y-yes; I can tell you. M-my masters always talked about monsters that do not belong anywhere else. T-they are monsters that my masters never thought existed. A-apparently, one of them managed to find its way into one of the labs not many days before my masters left and told me to stay; I do not know what happened, but my masters were not happy. I-I think they never thought something such as that would be possible. I-I think that they were always afraid of the monsters because they could not understand them.

“T-They used to say that the world out here has always existed, and that the planet on top is an illusion to keep people away. ‘W-who would want to settle on a barren planet of beautiful sand without supplies?’ they said. I-I do not know what they were going to do with the monsters here, and I do not know what would have happened if they had stayed out here for more than a few hours. T-they always kept track of their time carefully and made that they never stayed out after night started to arrive. I-I think they were afraid; but I do not know what they were afraid of.”

Keone sighs, “Great. We don’t know what we will face; and night is when all of the scary monsters come out to hunt. I guess we will end up becoming food. This is not the way that I thought my life would end. And I didn’t think that anything would end today.” Meg grits her teeth together, “No one is going to die tonight; and we’ll figure out what whoever used to be here wanted. Remember, I’m a scary monster too; and I don’t intend on letting other ‘scary monsters’ push me around. Now; is there something else you want to tell me Shade? Or should we start walking and find out where we end up?”

The Shade bobs its head, “I-I think my masters talked about fruit trees and meadows once. I-I do not know where they might be, but I think we might be able to find them.” Meg straightens up and grabs Keone’s arm, “Good; now move it and keep your sniveling mouths shut.”

She can barely hold back a sigh of relief as Keone obediently stays quiet and both of them follow her into the trees. The sharp air fills her and she briefly wonders if it would be possible to float. She dismisses the thought as soon as she can and pulls Keone faster. Twigs dig into her feet as the trees grow denser and Keone occasionally glances in her direction to wonder if it is safe to ask one of its thousand questions.

But Keone continues to keep its mouth shut; and she resists the temptation to thank it. A headache pounds at her, and she is honestly not sure what she would do if anyone bothered to truly get on her nerves. She tries not to yelp as Keone suddenly digs its heels into the ground, “What is that?”

Its voice is jarringly loud among the tree trunks, and she yanks Keone back as it leans toward a tree with slightly greener bark, “This isn’t a tree.” She sighs heavily and gives Keone slightly more room, “What the ghastlygod do you mean? Of course it’s a tree.” Keone turns to her with a grin, “No; it isn’t! It’s a person, or a person-type thing. It’s not a tree at all. Come on; look.”

She reluctantly lets Keone pull her closer to the tree as though Keone is a toddler and she is the cornstalk maiden in charge of it. Keone points toward a gap in the bark, “Look; it looks just like a face. It isn’t an exact face of course, but’s it’s close enough to have a resemblance to a being like you or me. And look here, the bark is slightly differently colored on most of the trees, but the bark is an even color all of the way around on this one. Most of the trees here have been bleached by the sun on two sides and hidden by the shade on the others. But this one has clearly been bleached by the sun on each of the sides and hidden by the shade equally. That proves that it can move around, even if it’s only in a circle to stay warm in the sun. Also, watch the bark, it seems to move. It’s breathing; whatever it is.”

Meg scowls and pulls Keone back, “Come on; you can pray to stuff you don’t know and talk about theories later. Right now, we need to find a place to stay for the night.” Keone grins at her, “Why don’t we stay here? Come on whatever-your-name-is, you can’t deny the fact that you’re at least slightly curious. And I think that this would be the perfect place to stay. It might not be a cave, but you won’t learn anything if you stay in the dark all of the time.”

She moves as close to Keone as she can without touching, “I’m not interested; in fact, I think the only way that you’ll have anything to explore tomorrow is if you obey me. And these woods are woods; you can stay here if you want everyone, or everything, in this entire vicinity to know exactly where you are without moving a finger. I won’t stop you if you want to be eaten; but we’re not staying here.” Keone unsuccessfully tries to cross its arms, “You may be the boss back in your world, but this isn’t your world. And you are not the scientist; I am. I know what’s right right now, and I say that we should stay here.”

She opens her mouth to answer, but a slithering voice cuts her off, “Yes, yes; stay here.”

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All rights reserved.

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