Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Aunt Belle Weekend Ghosts

Aunt Belle in her SRT Attire
Aunt Belle and I could hardly believe it when we sat down and figured out it had been six months since we visited! We had even missed our annual Christmas get-together. Personal responsibilities had interfered, of course. She had car trouble, for one thing. However, the main complication was her husband's ill health. He eventually ended up in the hospital, and then was moved to a rehab unit in Temple, Texas. After a few weeks of stress for her, and when his health started improving, she needed some relief herself.
Circumstances be darned, we were going to see each other the fourth week in March. So I drove down to visit her, plus bring her back to my home for a few days. Her daughter would come pick her up after our time together. What we had forgotten was that we experience a lot of paranormal incidents in situations like this. I'm not sure what it is; perhaps it's just that special power we have when we're together. Maybe it banks up and gets released when we do finally meet again. However, we were quickly reminded of it.
She had moved a year or so ago, and though I'd spent one night there, it was after a long day of celebrating her birthday at a surprise party and eating a lot of good food. So we both went to bed tired that night and slept deeply. Although she had told me about a ghost or two that haunted her new home, I don't recall any bothering me that one day and night I was there. This time, it was just Aunt Belle, her grandson, David, and me, since her husband was in the rehab unit. I woke up several times, and on a couple of those occasions, footsteps sounds had disturbed me. However, Aunt Belle and David were both asleep when I checked on them, so there was no one to make those sounds.
Another time, I nearly went running through the home to waked them up to escape. The hallway was inundated in smoke, so thick I could hardly see the walls. But I didn't smell smoke, and by the time I shook off the grogginess of being awakened, I could tell it was that deep paranormal mist. Again, I heard the footsteps, and I had one of those instinctive realizations of what or who was roaming around. She had told me about this Native American man she had seen now and then. I caught a very faint glimpse of this man, and knew the mist was associated with him. I'm seldom afraid of ghosts, and I really wasn't this time. However, I decided not to turn my back on this guy. Instead, I fell back asleep on my side in a way that I was facing out toward this roamer.
The next morning, I told Aunt Belle about my experiences, and she confirmed my description of the Native American man. She herself hadn't heard a thing that night, which didn't surprise either of us. We don't always have the same paranormal encounters, even when we're together. However, she was used to this ghost prowling around, as I am in my own home. Plus she was exhausted from staying with her husband for so many long days. She would soon catch up some on her rest, though, which was part of my intention when I kidnapped her.
We drove by to visit her husband on the way back to my house, so it was late that evening by the time we arrived. The ghosts here at home were definitely out to greet her, and we had so many experiences, we resorted to keeping a list so we wouldn't forget any of them. I'll relate a couple here, but since I don't want to make this blog too long, I'll keep the others back for the next one in two weeks.
After we got here, she went as usual to unpack in the Molly Belle Suite.  When she came out of the room, she said she had seen a man appear briefly. He was gone too quickly for her to make contact, so she wasn't able to communicate and possibly identify him.
On my end, after we went to bed that night, I was constantly disturbed by the sounds of footsteps, people talking, and also the loud noise of things falling in various places. Since I still have two cats who prowl around at night, that could have explained those latter sounds … except we didn't find anything out of place that next morning when we searched.
We had a full day of visiting and estate sales planned, but we took out time that morning to have coffee and wake up. At one point, I asked Aunt Belle how she had slept.
"I got up once and went into the bathroom," she said. "Teddy was in there. He just stood staring out the window, though, instead of saying anything to me. He was still there when I went back to bed."
"Was he dressed like always?" I asked.
"Yes," she agreed. "He had on that tri-corner hat."
I've never seen Teddy myself, although I've felt him many times. He, like Howard, appears to be one of my regular paranormal boarders. He hasn't taken advantage of the numerous times I've opened the door and urged the lost souls hanging around to cross over. Each time, I tell them I really don't have to open that door; it's always there for them. However, with some of the more confused souls, it seems to help them if I talk and actually show the door to them. When I do this, the door appears more visually, which helps them understand where it is and how easily they can use it.
I've sat down with Howard a few times and urged him to go into the Light. However, he keeps telling me, "There's no one over there I want to see right now." Since he has free will still, it's his decision. I've never chatted with Teddy, perhaps because he pretty much isolates himself to the Molly Belle Suite and bathroom, plus has so far confined his scare tactics to my male visitors. Howard roams all around the house, plus even outside, so I "see" and think about him often. I pretty much forget about Teddy until someone sees him or he decides to frighten a visitor. I'll have to sit down with Teddy some day and see what I can discover beyond what I already know about him.
Next blog, I'll talk about the chatty ghost who nearly drove Aunt Belle crazy on our road trip, plus a couple warnings she received, one of which proved immediately true.
There are a couple things new book-wise this blog. The Dead Man Talking e-book is now free out there. It's a tactic to, I hope, attract new readers to my Dead Man Mysteries series. So if you have friends who you think would enjoy my books, you can start them out with this one for free.

 Also, Dead Man Haunt is now an audio book! ACX sent me some codes to get it free, so if you'll either send me a private message on Facebook or email me at ghostie@swbell.net to ask, I'll send you one of the codes. I'd use the comment section here, but it doesn't seen very reliable. The fantastic Shelley Lynn Johnson did another great job on the narration.

Our Spirit Gallery with John Cappello at the Beckham Hotel was a huge success. We'll be doing this again in a couple months or so. Many of the people who came assured me they would love to return for another Gallery and thanked me for bringing John to their town.
Me, John, Connie (Owner of the Beckham)
Now I'll be focusing a lot more time on the Beckham Spirit Fest on October 3, 2015, so mark your calendars. It will be bigger and better than last year's, and that one was fantastic. We have more speakers and some extremely interesting topics.
Until then, stay safe and….
T. M.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Is My New Puppy Going to Hell?

Aunt Belle visited this week, and I'll have several ghost stories for you in the next blog. However, this one was already written, so I can't let it go to waste.
Tuffy, March 2015
Let me tell you right up front: No, Tuffy, the new puppy, isn't going to hell. What made me think of this topic was that he has somehow found and chewed up two bibles in the past couple weeks! So my devious mind worked its way around to a couple things. One was the rules we were taught when I was a little girl about how to take care of the Bibles we received in Sunday School.
We were taught to treat our Bibles with true reverence. We were to take care of them, not tear any of the pages, and keep them clean. One thing I remember clearly is that we were never to put another book on top of our Bible. To this day, I never allow any other book to lie on any Bibles in my possession. In my office, I keep a Bible open to certain verses in Revelations. These are verses regarding malevolent entities such as Satan and how they will be dealt with. My sister, Annie, was a great help with these. I feel guilty sometimes, though, because once in a while my cats will crawl across that Bible and there are some tears on the pages. However, I use scotch tape to repair them, because this is the Bible I want open in here.
The other was what we do when we do house cleansings. We sometimes ask our client what their religious preference is, and that's the type of prayers we will use during our cleansing. Most of our clients are Christian, so we will use Christian prayers, although prayers are somewhat similar across most denominations. At times, if the client is Catholic, our crew member Floyd, who does the blessing behind the rest of us, will even use Latin. We haven't had any non-Christian clients up until now, but I can imagine we will in the future have Jewish, Wiccan, or other faiths of clients. If we do, we'll try to accommodate them.
So you can perhaps see why my mind went down the trail of what poor Tuffy's punishment would be for tearing up those Bibles.
One of the Bibles Tuffy Destroyed
I keep several Bibles around for clients, in case they have a particularly troublesome ghost and I feel they might need that deeper protection. Now, though, I am going to have to put those up higher, to keep them from the sharp puppy teeth. I can't figure out why on earth Tuffy chose the Bibles from among the dozens and dozens of others books that are on shelves within his reach. Puzzling. Any thoughts from y'all on that?
I am still working hard on Silent Prey. However, I’m also hoping to get Living With Dead Folks, Volume Three, up next week. Angela is going to put both Aunt Belle and me on this cover. It will be so cool.
I’m also working on an author page for Facebook. That's turning out to be interesting. I'm not much of a techno nerd.
Some of my crew and I are also in the midst of getting ready to host the wonderful medium, John Cappello, at the Beckham Hotel on April 10. I was very happy to find such a deep interest in having John do a Spirit Gallery at the hotel, since I've known him for years. John is an excellent medium and I'm very glad to introduce him to more people. The event page is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/660493017406307. I'd love to meet some of my area Facebook friends at this.
I hope Spring is springing where y'all are. We've had a totally wet and rainy March, and those in the know are predicting that our bluebonnets will be wonderful this year. I'm planning to get out and take some more pictures, maybe some with Tuffy in them.
Texas Bluebonnets
Stay safe, and….
T. M.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Friday the 13th Ghost

Surrounded by Ghosts

Sometimes I wonder why I encounter a lot more ghosts than most people do. Then I find myself around other sensitive people and realize they, too, experience many more paranormal incidents than the rest of the population.
Still, I get startled now and then, as I was this past Friday the 13th. I took Barney down to his appointment at the heart doctor for some tests, grabbing my Kindle to get in some scarce reading time while he was in with the technician. I was sitting there engrossed in a book when up above my reading glasses, I saw a large, dark, man-sized shadow glide down the aisle between two rows of chairs. Maybe glide isn't the right word; the shadow went rather quickly, as though the man was walking purposely, in a hurry to get somewhere.
It was definitely human-shaped and rather tall, since I saw the shadow go across the back wall in the seating area, well above the heads of the patients sitting there waiting their turn. For some reason, I got the impression it was a doctor, perhaps because the shape appeared to be wearing a lab coat. But then, there's also a lab for drawing blood on that same floor, so maybe it was someone from there, or to be correct, "used to work there."
I immediately laid my Kindle on my lap and stared around, trying to see if there was anyone in the room behind me dressed like that, anyone who could have cast that shadow. There wasn't. In fact, there really wasn't any sort of light the "man" could have crossed in front of to leave that sort of shadow. There were two offices on this floor, one in front of me, one behind me. When patients were called into these offices and stood up to go in the doors, none of them ever cast a shadow, so I was certain this was a ghost.
I decided to open myself and see if he needed some help, I did indeed get the feeling it was a man, not a woman, and a ghost, not a spirit. He felt confused and a bit startled that I was trying to make contact with him. It was one of those situations where the ghost stood back and looked at me in astonishment, not knowing what to do next.
I mentally contacted him and said, Yes, I can see you. You need to cross into the light, where you'll find peace and contentment.
He still didn't "answer" me, just stood there in surprise. Again, I mentally repeated what I'd said, and this time, although he didn't respond in words, I received the impression he did want to cross into the light.
I had to think a minute to orientate myself as to the directions around me, since we were in the basement of the building. However, I quickly identified east (behind me), and mentally opened a door there. I've told ghosts many times that they really don't need me to open the door into the light for them; it's always there. Still, it's usually a lot easier for them to believe me and cross over if I do a door that is visual to them.
He gave me this grateful look, and a second later, I felt the breeze on my face as he passed me on his way to the door. There was, of course, no way a breeze could infiltrate this enclosed room in the basement of a building, so I had no doubt it was this ghost passing by me. As usual, I sensed some others following him. There always seem to be quite a few souls wandering around a medical facility.
Oh, and I also "heard" him say, "Thank you and goodbye."
I dug in my purse to find a piece of paper and a pen. You'd think with me being a writer, I'd always have stuff like that with me. But I swear the pens take off in pairs to go procreate somewhere I'll never find them! I did succeed at last, and made some notes so I could write my blog. On the way home later, Barney had to dig into my purse for something and he happened across the note I'd stuck in there.
He frowned and said, "Friday the 13th Ghost?" Then he just said, "Oh," and put it back.
As I started writing this blog, I also found myself contemplating my first sentence. I don't go out and read the reviews on my books too often, but now and then, if I'm doing some promotion that requires a certain number of reviews on the book, I'm stick my nose into them. My books all have a 4+ star rating on Amazon, and I love that. But I still see one of those reviews now and then that insinuates I'm not truthful in my diaries <sigh>. I've even had other paranormal investigators leave reviews that pretty much say my experiences are false because they never had anything like that happen to them. (Can anyone say "calling someone a liar?") Poor supposed investigators (not). These types of reviews used to upset me, but I changed my mind about that a long time ago. I don't really feel sorry for them; I just shake my head and go on appreciating the wonderful gift I have.
Guess what? I actually got some good writing done this week! Silent Prey is quickly turning into a written book. It's amazing how my mood lifts when I'm getting some real writing done. After I finish this blog, I'll be taking the new chapters I have to my bi-weekly critique meeting to get some input from fellow writers.
I've also been working on a couple events for my favorite hotel, the Beckham Hotel. The wonderful medium, John Cappello, is going to be doing aura photography and a gallery at the hotel on April 10, 2015. The aura photography will be from 4-5:30 p.m. John will rest after that but be back from 7:00-9:00 p.m. for the gallery. You probably know what a gallery is, but if not: There is an audience of people, and at the Beckham, it will of course be in the beautiful ballroom. Rather than one-on-one readings, John will pass on messages to audience members, messages he received from Spirit. John is an awesome medium, as well as just a really nice person. I'm so looking forward to this. I'll be setting up an event on Facebook for those friends of mine who are close enough and want to attend this wonderful occasion.
I've also nearly gotten the speaker slots filled for the Beckham Spirt Fest on October 3, 2015. This, too, is going to be a dynamite event. I'll be passing on more information very soon on that.
In the meantime, enjoy the spring that is on the way, and ….
T. M.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rascally Ghosts

I know, I know. I missed my every-two-weeks deadline for my blog. It was due last weekend. However, I have a legitimate (to me) reason, and hope this longer blog this week will help make up for my tardiness. This is the reason for the delay:
Tuffy 8 weeks
Although I showed him to you in the last blog, I haven't detailed how we acquired this little furbaby. A week before we lost our beloved Bonnie, my son Kelly got himself a puppy. The operative word here is "himself." Kelly stays in his camper in our backyard, for his privacy, and we were fine with him getting a puppy for company. Best laid plans and all that. A week after we lost Bonnie, Kelly came down with that wicked flu. Since he didn't want us to catch it, he stayed in the camper and I made trip after trip out there to keep him fed and help him get well. And guess what happened to the puppy? That's not even a hard question.
Since son was afraid he wouldn't be able to take care of him, Mommy also stepped in to care for the little guy, whom son named Tuffy. He is now our house puppy, because by the time Kelly was well, Tuffy had bonded with me. At first, he was Tippy, due to the little white tips on his paws. But that didn't fit at all once we started seeing his personality. Whew! Sometimes I think we should have called him Rocket Man, since he's so full of energy. I haven't had a puppy in the house for 13-1/2 years. I'd forgotten what a mess they can make:

Tuffy 12 weeks
Tuffy's saving grace — well, one of them — is that he gives us back much more love than the trouble and mess he causes.
So on to the blog. I did have one nearly ready to post last week, but when I realized my computer was slowing down, I decided to shove some files over onto my backup hard drive. Well, that backup drive wasn't listed! Where did it go? Ah-ha! I thought it was so cute that Tuffy loved to lay beneath my desk while I was working. I'd forgotten about puppy teeth and the need to gnaw! Luckily, hub was able to repair the gnawed-through wires and get me back up and running. I've now moved all the wires up onto the desk, even though it's quite the mess. However, that keeps them out of reach of puppy teeth. There's also a lot of other stuff placed high up in the house, like the bucket of pine cones by our fireplace.
Now, really on to the blog. Here's what I had ready, as well as a lot more to help reward my loyal readers.
I admonish everyone to discipline the ghosts they encounter, including myself. However, once in a while one of those here in my house gets a little bit impish. That happened one night a couple weeks ago in my bedroom.
I always think circles around any occurrence, especially if it happens when I'm sleeping, or trying to go to sleep. It's just too easy for anyone, myself included, to mistake an incident when we are in the twilight zone of drifting off to sleep as something paranormal. But this happened more than once, and I was wide awake after the first incident.
Since my husband, Barney, is disabled, he has a hospital bed and I sleep in my queen bed next to him. Frequently, Barney will tap me on my leg and say goodnight just before he lies down. This night, I was lying there nearly asleep when I felt what I thought was him doing that. It was a definite thump on my leg, just above my knee. I waited for him to say, "Goodnight, I love you," but there was only silence.
I sat up and looked around. Barney was already in bed, with his back to me. He had forgotten to tell me goodnight that evening.”
“Are you awake?” I asked.
“I am now,” he said. “What do you want?”
“I just felt someone tap my leg like you usually do at night. But no one told me goodnight.”
“That’s happened to me a couple times lately,” he said. “Guess it’s one of your ghosts.”
“Guess so,” I said. “Goodnight, love you.”
“Night, love you.”
I don’t know why he and both my sons call them “my” ghosts, but they do. And if this one was mine, it sure was picking on me. I started to drift off to sleep again, and … you guessed it. Someone tapped my leg once more!
“Hey,” I whispered, so I wouldn’t disturb Barney again. (He can get cranky if he loses too much sleep.) “Quit that! I need my sleep.”
Just to be rascally, the ghost did it again! Although it was cute, I knew better than to let it get by with disobeying me. Ghosts can wreak quite a bit of havoc if their antics aren't nipped in the bud immediately when they start acting up.
"If you want to stay here," I threatened, this time in a harsh whisper, "quit messing with my sleep! I can banish you and you'll have to go roam somewhere else where you'll probably be pretty darned lonesome!"
You know how sometimes a puppy will tease you by taking a little nip just before it does obey you after you tell it no? Well, I felt another little tap on my leg, then heard someone chuckling. It was an adult, not a child, so it was probably one of my resident ghosts.
Otherwise, it’s been the same at the house lately. I feel them frequently but don’t pay much attention. We did have some company for a few days; Barney’s sister, Ellen, and her boyfriend, Gary, came for a visit from Ohio. I kept waiting for Teddy to show himself to Gary in the guest bathroom, since Teddy loves to mess with any male who comes in there, but nothing happened. Nor did any of the other ghosts here bother them, although several times I felt them near when we were sitting around visiting.
We also had some awesome fun over in St. Francisville, Louisiana, on Valentine's weekend. Yes, that’s where the Myrtles Plantation is located, and yes, we did go by there. Two of my crew, Sarah and Floyd Brigdon, went with me, as well as our friend Karla Lang and her husband Jerry and daughter Annie. We all piled in on my friend, Dianna Miller, who lives just north of St. Francisville. She was a perfect and fun hostess! We had a wonderful time.
None of the others in our group had ever seen the Myrtles, so we drove over there our first day, prior to an investigation we had planned. We did take the tour inside the house. It was enjoyable and interesting, although the tour guide wasn't allowed to take us upstairs. None of us caught anything paranormal on our photos, but we have a record of the downstairs to remember what we saw, as well as lots of other pictures of us on the plantation grounds.
The Myrtles Feb. 2015
The Myrtles Side View Feb. 2015
Crew on Myrtles Steps
Barney and Me
Me, Dianna, Barney
Annie, Jerry, Karla
Floyd and Sarah
Myrtles Courtyard
Mighty Mississippi River
Enjoying wonderful food at the
Magnolia Cafe in St. Francisville
We ended up actually doing two short investigations that weekend. The one already planned was in downtown St. Franscisville at a beautiful old house built in the 1880’s.

We did talk with several ghosts there, all either male former inhabitants of the home or friends of the men who lived there. We might have caught some interaction with one of the female former residents, but we haven’t reviewed our evidence thoroughly yet.
The most interesting thing that happened was when one of the crew discovered a blood spot on Anna Lee's dress. I totally forget who discovered this, but it fascinated us.
There was a child's chair in the dining room where we first set up, and someone had the neat idea of sitting our trigger object doll in the chair and taking some photos of her. I guess we thought perhaps she would attract a small child, who might show up in one of the pictures. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, but while everyone was photographing Anna Lee, someone said, "Hey, there's something on her dress."
Upon examination, it appeared to be a blood spot. We have numerous pictures of Anna Lee, since we've used her in investigations for a couple years now. There is no blood spot (if that's what it is) in any of the other pictures. I'm also pretty careful with her. She sits up on my dresser in my office, or on the daybed, when we aren't using her. When we transport her, she has a tote bag that protects her.
Where did the blood spot come from? We have no idea. Perhaps she got it from one of the ghosts she encountered, but I haven't heard that ghosts bleed. However, I do know that, if they are developed enough, they can cause things that are hard to happen that are hard to explain. Perhaps this was another rascally ghost who wanted us to know he or she had visited. No, I won't be washing the dress. We'll keep the spot as a reminder of our trip.
Anna Lee in Chair
Bloodspot on Dress
While we were investigating this beautiful home, a lady who was a friend of the owners came by to join us. When we were packing up to leave, she asked us to come by her home the next evening. We agreed to do so, if possible. Indeed, the following evening, we realized we had time to go over there.
The house was a one and a half story home, surrounded by woods.

There was a ravine on the right side of the structure, and we were told there used to be a trailer on the other side of it. The woman’s son had evidently had quite an intense experience there, which bothered him so much he refused to go there again. When we asked about that experience, we met a blank wall, though. It wasn't something they were willing to talk about.
At this home, we communicated for a while with the owner’s deceased mother, and eventually got her to cross into the light. She was one of those ghosts who didn't go through the light when she first died, and she was really confused and afraid. It took us quite a while to calm her down and make her realize that she actually could still cross over; that she belonged on the other side. And most importantly to her and a lot of other ghosts we encounter, we told her that, once she crossed over, she could indeed come back to visit. Eventually, she went into the light, and I'm very certain that was the best thing for her.
There was also quite a bit of activity in an upper story bedroom, which was that half-story on the house and was reached via the outside stairwell in the photo. There were several ghosts there, and Anna Lee, our flashlights and KII's flashed continuously. One was the ghost of a young boy and another a young man in his early twenties. As soon as I pointed the ghosts to the door I had already opened in the east, most of them went through with no problem. As happens sometimes, we felt the wind stirred up from their passage. The owners and their children, who were up there with their parents' permission, were in awe. We were inside a closed room, with no doors or windows open, so there was no reason for the breeze we all felt.
However, the young boy and young man didn't want to go. They continued to communicate for quite a while, keeping the equipment flashing. Eventually, though, I got them to cross over. I'm convinced that part of the reason they kept lingering was that they were enjoying the interaction with us. When I realized this, I ended the session, and as we gathered up the equipment, I felt them go.
On reflection, as I do after an investigation and also as I'm writing my blog, I came to the conclusion that ghosts who have been dead for a while are easier to cross. I'm not sure why, although my feeling is that they are tired of roaming around and the promise of peace and contentment from someone who assures them they can still go into the light convinces them. The hardest ones to cross over are small children and souls who haven't been dead very long. The children are, of course, desperately confused and afraid. At times like this, I'm glad to have my crew member Sarah along. She's really good with the children.
The ghosts who are newly dead are also confused and sometimes afraid. However, it's a rare one of these who won't cross over after we explain things to them. I believe that's because they were adults when they died, and they are more accepting of death. They know it comes to everyone. However, perhaps they really didn't believe in an afterlife … or were not totally convinced it existed. Yet when they find themselves now a soul with no body encumbering them, they are amenable to the rationale that they will be better off completing the journey by going into the light. Most of them know about the light, and it's somewhat easy to get adults to go into it as soon as we can get them to acknowledge it.
All in all, it was a really fun and fascinating weekend with friends, and both living and deceased acquaintances.
As far as writing goes, I hate to admit it, but I didn’t get much done the past couple weeks. I do promise to work harder, especially on Silent Prey. I feel somewhat good about the writing, though, since I was able to squeeze out time to work on the opening story for Ghost Hunting Diary Volume VI. I also want to get Living With Dead Folks, Volume Three, up in March. That won't take a long time, just concentration on the various formats I need before I upload to the various sites. Of course, I need to have Angela do one of her nifty covers.
One time sink (which I enjoy) is doing things for the Beckham Hotel. We had another crew in for an overnight investigation the weekend after we got back from St. Francisville. It was one of those strange, "dead" investigations that happen from time to time. Although we had some activity in the lobby, where Floyd and I camped out to stay out of the way of the other crew, that crew didn't believe they caught much on their equipment at all. This has happened one other time at our hotel, and it was unfortunate for this team that they came on that particular night. However, they are an experienced team, and they know things like this occur. They plan to come back and try again.
We have begun planning the second annual Beckham Spirit Fest, set for October 3, 2015. There's already an awesome lineup of speakers for this year. A few are repeat speakers but with different topics. Others are new for our Spirit Fest, and I believe they will be truly interesting to our visitors. All, of course, will be pertinent to the paranormal. As soon as we get everyone confirmed, I'll set up an event on Facebook.
And here February is already gone. Looking back, it really was a fun, busy month. I hope your February was cool, too.
T. M.

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