Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The First Chapter of my 1st book

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. (1st Peter 1: 10-12 NIV)


  



Wednesday, November 7th, Earth Time



She entered Operations Central with all eyes fixed upon her, strides confident, back ramrod straight. The Colonel approached, looked directly in her eyes, which stared dispassionately back into his.
He saluted smartly. “General Ever Vigilant, Ma’am: To Lord Jehovah be the Glory.”
She saluted back. “For ever and ever.” She walked away. He did not move his hand or his body until she had walked past him. Out of sight of the junior officer, she smiled to herself. She remembered what Michael had always drilled into her. Keep them on their toes at all times. Demand their respect. They didn’t call her ‘Steely Blue-Eyes’ for nothing.
The swords on her sides gleamed as she walked into a training room where some plebeian angels practiced their defensive moves. She snuck in unnoticed, and ripped out both of her swords, which soon became a blur of silver. The plebes’ swords flew out of their hands before they knew what had hit them, and stuck in the ceiling. They turned around to see their attacker, but before they could get a meaningful glimpse, two hands and two feet knocked the wind out of them, and pinned them to the floor – one with each foot. She stood astride the both of them: one male and one female. Confident they wouldn’t move again she carefully stepped off them, and put her swords back in their sheaths.
“Always be on your guard, plebes. The minions of Lucifer don’t fight fair.”
She never once cracked a smile.


In the northwest corner of the vast expanse of the heavenly city called New Jerusalem where Ever Vigilant and all the other Heavenly beings lived, resided Operations Central, the command center where angelic missions were planned; typically to Earth to aid their human counterparts. Once inside the main entrance, an elevator rose seven stories to a room, which served as the nerve center of angelic operations. Through the door, rows of computer terminals blinked constantly in bright bluish-white letters, flashing out the instructions and details of each angelic mission. Just as many printers hummed busily at the side of each one. Many high-ranking warrior angels, including Michael the Archangel, commander of Heavenly Army of God, studied these terminals. In the center of the room at large conference tables, discussion of strategy against the great enemy, Lucifer, took place. Many smaller rooms off the large hall served as offices for the superior warrior angels of high rank, including Michael and Ever Vigilant.
Ever Vigilant walked purposefully into her commanding officer’s office, and immediately caught his attention.
“Evie…come in. What’s on your mind?”
“Michael, I’m perplexed. I probably need to talk to the Lord about this, but maybe you can help me in the meantime.”
“What is it, Evie?”
“Lucifer has been trying to destroy the human race since he fell from favor with Lord Jehovah; he still does and will keep trying until the Lamb goes back to Earth to rule and reign for a thousand years. Yet some of them find hope in being born again into the family of the Father.”
Her eyes searched those of the General of the Armies of the Lord for an answer she probably knew already. But what she really needed was comforting. Her heart troubled her for reasons she couldn’t entirely understand, and she needed the reassurance of an old friend and colleague.
“So what exactly is your question?” he wondered.
“Well…” She paused, searchingfor the right words. “How do they maintain hope? It even says in the Book to the Humans that they will always have troubles. I don’t understand why they don’t despair.” She paused again, her heart struggling. “They have the help of he Father, but Lucifer never lets up. What keeps them going?”
Her commander scratched his chin, then looked up at the Lieutenant General. “Really, Evie: we as angels only see the battle from our side, but the Father sees the whole situation and the hearts of those who love him. I believe it is that very hope you mentioned, and the care He has for them that helps them see past the temporary afflictions of their humanity, and focusing on the eventual ‘New Heavens and New Earth’ where their bodies will no longer be subject to the curse, or Lucifer’s schemes.”
“I think I see your point, Michael. Thanks.”
He smiled warmly at her. “You’re welcome, sis.”
She smiled herself, and walked back towards her office.

Thursday, November 8th, Earth Time


She sat in her favorite chair: a peaceful ambience permeated her apartment in these quiet, off-duty moments when she did not have to respond to the prayers of saints nor deter demons. She set formality aside, and Ever Vigilant’s gathered friends called her Evie. Her angelic friends included Fierce Warrior, a Brigadier General, who among others, had all gathered at her apartment. Animated conversation, as well as water of life passed from one angel to the next.
A loud sigh was the only sound she made; her brows furrowed, the sparkle absent from her eyes. “I need some good news,” she said.
Cydnie, another Brigadier General and good friend angelically named She Is Dedicated, sat across from Evie and Faroh. “Why’s that, Evie?”
“Honestly, I’ll fight Lucifer and his minions forever, but the devastation they cause...well, it hurts. I don’t care what rank I am among the Servants of Lord Jehovah, there are times when I just can’t get the pain and suffering out of my mind. I need to see more saints in action countering the intentions of the demons-- something joyful.”
She looked up as a tall, muscular angel darkened her door. Michael eased into her apartment, walked up to her, and gave her a brotherly hug.
“Hey, Evie. How’s it going?”
As a response to his question, Evie’s countenance darkened and her frown returned, even more than before.
“Hey, little sis. Why so glum?” he asked.
Blue-green eyes met Michael’s, which smiled at her. He and she weren’t actually sibling, but acted that way after millennia of working together and developing a warm friendship. He commanded the Angelic Army, and she was one of his high-ranking generals who worked with him frequently, comparing notes and debating strategies. She looked up at Michael, and brightened a little.
“I’m sorry, Michael. I…well; I guess I’m a little discouraged; but you’re always a welcome sight. Maybe you can help me out. I’ve always appreciated your advice, and I could really use some of it now.”
He pulled up a seat next to her; his warm demeanor helped ease her concern.
“You’ve seen a lot of evil lately. I have a feeling that you need a little encouragement. Am I right?”
“Yes...that’s exactly what I need.” She held on to his broad shoulders tightly, looking into his eyes for some sort of comfort. “I can’t help it, Michael. Sometimes all the evil just gets me down. Isn’t there anything good or happy in the world to observe?”
Michael wrapped his arms gently around her: big, strong, and highly muscled from years of battle with the enemy demons of Lucifer, a former archangel. “I know it’s hard, but I promise you, there is good in the world. You just have to look for it.”
“I’ll try to remember that.” She managed a small smile. “Thanks for understanding, Michael.”
“I know it gets discouraging to see the evil in men’s hearts. The Lamb wrote in His guide to Sons of Men that wickedness will increase, and men’s hearts will grow cold. It’s the inevitable outcome of things.”
“I know, I know. But that doesn’t make it any easier to live with.”


The small office of the subordinate officer reeked of musty sweat induced by the overbearing heat of the afternoon sun. He stared out the window into the central courtyard of the small military compound in Kabul, Afghanistan. Troops of the Holy Jihad strolled towards their various destinations, dressed in the green and grey Camo worn by such soldiers in this region. Most of the higher-ranking officers or non-commisioned officers wore the forest-green berets of the Afghan National Army.
Akbar’s frown scrunched his eyebrows down hard over his eyes. “May the great Satan of the West be forever cursed – and destroyed. Not only do they practice great evil, but the influence of those lying dogs has now spread to my own country.” He pounded hard on the table, and then spit out his disgust on the floor. “May all those infidels die like the cowards they are!”
He jumped out of his chair, and stormed into his commander’s office. Standing at attention with his hand over his heart, he shouted, “May the holy war prevail!”
His commander returned the salute, and beckoned him towards the chair facing his desk. “Praise be to Allah for the Holy War. Yes. Come in and sit down.”
Akbar obeyed.
“So, tell me Captain, what have you and your surveillance team discovered?”
He got right to the point. “Colonel Al-Hosaam, sir, it is as we have suspected. A group of religious insurrectionists hold meetings every week on the night of Al-Khamis at the house of their leader, a certain Yusuf Gholam. We must deal with this uprising swiftly and decisively. I only await your order, Colonel.”
A small blood vessel underneath his commander’s left eye ticked; his face turned purple, then contorted with unbridled hatred as he rose to his feet, shaking his fists at the air. “We must crush these vile infidels! They copy the ways of the peoples of the Great Satan, whose women not only dress like whores and are allowed to be educated and advance like men and dictate to men what they must do…” Facial muscles tightened into a grimace. “And these women make their views known in the public marketplace. The children of the West are spoiled, in gangs, or addicted to drugs; they are all self-serving, and they exploit our countries for oil, and then treat us as though we were subservient dogs. The West and particularly America think they are to be the rulers of the world, imposing their corrupt thinking and corrupt ways on every non-Western nation, including us. To add insult to injury, they make a mockery of our Quran and our great prophet Mohammed. They believe this Jesus of Nazareth to be equal to Allah; well, he is a prophet, not Allah; such blasphemy…”
Then, just as quickly, Al-Hosaam’s face registered forced self-control. “These Christians are only the beginning; this cancer is only a small part of the Western scum’s plan to undermine our ways. Sharia law is the only way this world can maintain any kind of order…”
Al-Hosaam’s gaze returned to his.
“First, gather the names and addresses of every member of this group. Then, put together a team of your best commandos, and make an early morning raid on every member of these vermin, and have them eliminated. Not one...I repeat, not one of them must escape death; the Jihad must prevail. Have I made myself perfectly clear?”
“Yes sir; very clear, sir.”
He hastily followed suit as his commander quickly got up from his chair.
“You are dismissed, Captain. Do not fail me.”
The menace in his commander’s tone did not escape him: one did not return from a mission without having succeeded. The firing squad would execute the leader of that mission and all involved, no questions asked. He put his right fist over his heart, and repeated, “May the Holy War prevail.”
He spun on his heels, left the office, and, motivated by his hatred of the infidels and perhaps even more by his knowledge of his fate should he fail, he set out to put his team together.


Evie sat in her favorite chair musing over what Michael had said earlier. “Yes, it seems that men live under a curse, where evil rules their world; but it’s so…unnecessary. They have authority over Lucifer and his minions; at least those whose hearts belong to the Lamb. They just need to use it.”
She had not heard him come in, but his deep, resonant voice shook her from her reverie.
“Evie! Come with me, there’s something I need to show you.” Michael instructed.
She followed Michael to Earth, a few miles to the northeast of Colonel Al-Hosaam’s headquarters. Michael stopped in the small village of Bemaru, in a section filled with modest houses. She and Michael stood at a house in the middle of what appeared to be a small neighborhood. She and Michael positioned themselves inside, invisible to all attending. Tonight was the group’s Al-Khamis, or Fifth-night meeting, which was about to get started. She listened raptly as the meeting got underway.
The leader stood in front of all gathered in the small house.
Ahlan wa sahlan! Welcome.” Muffled conversations continued among those gathered.
“Everyone...everyone...” Yusuf said, loud enough to get the attention of all gathered. “Let us get started. Siraq, would you lead us in prayer?”
Siraq cleared his throat.
“Great and Mighty God, we are gathered together here tonight to worship and give you glory in all we do. We fervently pray for your presence among us, for the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit for this meeting and everyone in it. Make us willing vessels: teach us from your infinite wisdom, given freely and without reproach, and open our hearts and minds. We pray these things in Yasū’s holy name. Amen.”
After the others joined in with their individual agreement, Yusuf called the meeting to order.
“Beloved, as you know, we are in imminent danger from military soldiers who enforce the will of a government that hates us. Our government believes that being a follower of Yasū is the worst kind of blasphemy. We need to pray fervently about this.”
“Please,” begged one of the women there. “I have three small children who might become orphans because of these evil government soldiers. Or worse, our whole family may be killed.”
“I understand, my sister. We must trust in God and his sovereignty to protect us.”
Yusuf led them in an additional prayer of protection over all of them, until he sensed the burden lift. “I feel in my spirit that we have defeated the enemy. Let us continue to study the word.” In the unseen spirit realm, several minions of evil fled from the Name Above All Names.
Taking Yusuf’s lead, the members of the group left their burden in God’s hands, and satisfied their hunger for God’s word, absorbing each truth like a dry desert soaking up rain.
As Evie and Michael returned to New Jerusalem, she practically floated with happiness. “Michael...did you hear how fervently they prayed? They really trust in Lord Jehovah and the Lamb, and they are in a country that persecutes them on a regular basis. Oh, Michael, thank you. They’ve really encouraged me. It may seem like a small thing, but believers who unashamedly love and trust in Lord Jehovah make my spirit positively soar.”
Michael smiled and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “You know, because of their prayers, we’ll go back there soon.”
“Oh good! I live for moments like that.” She walked back to her apartment, took off her uniform, and put on some comfortable clothing. Her swords flew out of their sheaths, as she executed from memory all the carefully choreographed battle moves she had practiced since she was a plebe, ready to fight fiercely on behalf of the faithful gathered in Bemaru, Afghanistan.


Friday, November 9th


Evie sat at a dispatch computer in Operations Central. A message had just arrived from Ruache Ha Kodesh requesting they send out a small unit to an urgent situation involving a small group of saints who were under imminent attack. As she scanned the order, she recognized that it was Yusuf Gholam and his group of faithful saints.
She turned in Faroh’s direction. “This should be relatively easy: no real enemy troops to worry about; just a few minor demons of lower status.”
Michael walked through the door and joined them at their conference table, smiling at the enthusiasm with which Evie always attacked her assignments.
She proceeded to gather all of the necessary logistics: intelligence, troops, and briefings, and finished the preparations quickly; there was little time to waste.
The troops, including herself, Fierce Warrior, and eighteen other lower ranking angels gathered at the briefing center on the Main floor of Operations Central. Looking over them all, Ever Vigilant gave the command curtly and smartly. “Prepare to depart, warriors of God Most High, His name be praised!” One by one, the angels departed for their destination.


The small unit from Heaven descended onto the scene. Demons flew in terror as they recognized that members of Heaven’s elite were there. Each member of the meeting that took place on the fifth night of the week suddenly had an angel with a flaming sword standing in front of his or her house. Fierce Warrior stood firmly at his post.
Ever Vigilant did the standard roll call in angel-speak. “All units report in.”
Fierce Warrior replied first. “On post and ready to proceed.” The other members of the angelic squadron reported in turn.


Fierce Warrior watched intently as one of the soldiers approached his assigned house. The soldier’s Russian AEK-918 jutted out in front of him, poised and ready to shoot. He carefully maintained a position of stealth. The soldier took out a piece of paper and reviewed the instructions.
“Let’s see ‘14’...‘16’...and here should be…” the soldier said to himself. He had arrived at Siraq’s house, and stopped in his tracks.
The angelic General stood very tall and shone brilliantly, glowing like Klieg lights, sword drawn and pointed. His voice, loud and clear, carried with it the angelic authority that demons and evil men feared. “Take one more step, Lieutenant Khuli, and your life will be in peril. You will not carry out your evil intentions against this child of the Most High. You must choose: either forsake your intentions and live, or pursue them and meet your eternal judgment.”
A moment passed. “What manner of being are you, and how do you know my name? And why should I care if I lose my life? I will be in paradise sooner to get my reward.”
“You need only know that I stand in the way of your evil intentions, and you will be in Hell, not paradise. If you don’t believe me, take another step.”
Khuli did not come any closer: his bravado waned quickly. He hesitated, and then cursed as he turned tail and ran.
Fierce Warrior smiled, and went to rendezvous with the others.

She stood in front of the house, invisible to the human eye. When Akbar stood a half-meter from the front door, Ever Vigilant took on human form, and appeared to Akbar covered from head to toe, including a hijab. She stood about six feet, two inches tall. She said, “Lord Jehovah...I pray that you open Akbar’s eyes and show him the truth.”
He startled. Then, looking at her more closely, he said, “You’re a woman!”
“Yes, my lord. I am a woman.” She bowed in deference to their customs, and said nothing more. She stood her ground and did not move.
“What you are is in my way. Do you not understand your place, woman? Women are to serve men, and meet their every need. I will have you stoned for this, but I have matters that are more pressing at the moment. Now move before I make you move. Step aside or I will finish you now.” His machine gun rose until its muzzle pointed right between her eyes.
“I cannot step aside, my lord, or I would be disobeying my Lord.”
His trigger finger twitched against the trigger. Instinctively, she performed a tactic she practiced as an angel regularly. The trigger moved no more than a half of a millimeter when, in a blur of movement, she, in angelic form, jumped up, flipped over, and drove her sword right down the middle of his machine gun, severing the entire thing in two: barrel, stock, magazine, and even the bullets. She returned to her spot on the porch as the woman she had first appeared as.
At first, he registered shock, as his gun fell from his hands, severed in half, each half falling in the opposite direction. Recovering, he charged at her, hands outstretched. She let him come to within two centimeters and head butted him hard enough to throw him backwards from the impact. He stood wobbling, his stance becoming unsteadier by the moment.
“You would be wise not to advance against this house and those in it.” Her face registered no emotion; just matter-of-factness and calm. She sighed. Some men just don’t learn.
Regaining his composure, he moved towards her again, jaw clenched tighter, eyebrows tightly furrowed. “Get out of my way, you insubordinate female. This is military business, and you are interfering.”
She didn’t budge. Her hand pushed against his chest and held him there.
“Let me by, woman. Do you not know your place?”
“I will stand in your way. My place is to stand before God Almighty without blame or fear, and to be sure you don’t get away with your mission to kill these innocent people. My Lord is the One who tells me my place.”
He continued to push against her. “Move, I tell you. Let me by, woman.”
“You obviously won’t listen to me. Oh well, some men only learn the hard way.” As he came within reach, her now visible sword struck his leg. He howled and cursed as he fell to the ground, holding he leg, a big knot forming in his right thigh.
“Mark my words: you overestimate your ability against mine. Your next move will ultimately result in your death.” Visions of Colonel Al-Hosaam’s rage against a failed mission played vividly in her mind.
His face contorted. “I do not care. My death will be to my glory, and I will get my reward, including many concubines.”
Holy resolve filled her voice. “What you’ll find, if you take one more step, is an angel who will stand in your way. So, go ahead, Akbar; I’d be more than glad to have you try to stop me. And as for your death and your glory, the only thing that will happen after you die is being thrown into the fires of Hell.”
“Angels and Hell are what you infidel creatures make up to torment the faithful. I don’t believe in your Hell, nor do I believe that you are an angel. What I do believe is that I will go to my reward should I die in battle.”
Ever Vigilant just smiled. “Very well, then. May the Lord rebuke you. You will find out now whether or not you will see your ‘reward.’ But don’t take my word for it; God created you and Hell. I guess you’ll just find out earlier than usual what eternal agony is really like.”
She moved deliberately towards Akbar, and with angelic precision and speed, struck him on the top of his head with the broad side of her sword. This time his eyes rolled back into his head and with an ‘unggghh…’ he crumpled to the ground, unconscious. She sighed sadly. “Men like him should know the love of the Father. But hatred blinds them.”
With that, she turned back into an angel, and caught up with Fierce Warrior and the rest of the team. “Okay, guys, let’s head back to Operations Central for a debriefing.”


Khuli had witnessed the whole incident after leaving his post and happening upon his commander. He had seen Ever Vigilant, both as a woman, and as an angel and what she had done to Akbar. “Oh dear me; Colonel Al- Hosaam will not believe that our Captain has been defeated by a woman … a strange woman at that.


Saturday, November 10th


Colonel Al-Hosaam paced before Akbar, eyeing him with utter disdain and contempt. The small size of Al-Hosaam’s office did not allow Akbar any room to move. Each time Al-Hosaam passed him, Akbar could only stand and shake miserably. Al-Hosaam secretly found pleasure in the fact that Akbar suffered from a blinding headache. He made sure he would yell loudly when he addressed Akbar. Finally, he stood in front of him, his eyes slits.
“I heard from Khuli last night about your mission: you failed miserably with great dishonor. You dare to come to me after making your mission a miscarriage of military efficiency. You did not eliminate your assigned house, and your team left the entire group unharmed. Worse, a woman defeated you? Vile son of a dog! You are not worthy to be an officer in our military, never mind hold the rank of Captain. No man who practices such cowardice lives to practice it again. If it were up to me, I would personally take my blade to each of your worthless throats, and watch you die slowly and painfully.”
Akbar grimaced in pain and trembled harder, sweat pouring down his face.
Al-Hosaam’s pointer finger jabbed back and forth between Akbar’s eyes. “Unfortunately, I must abide by military law, and let the firing squad finish you and your sorry unit, removing all possibility of my ever having to see any or your worthless faces again.”


All twenty men stood in the courtyard, lined up in a row: no blindfolds, only hands and feet bound with heavy rope. The cracks of the rifles sounded, and the men fell to their last.
Colonel Al-Hosaam grinned wryly. “It has been said that those who live by the sword, die by the sword. Well, I would add that those who fail by the sword die by the sword as well.” Satisfied he had dealt with the worthless unit appropriately, he walked back towards his office, put his feet on his desk, lit his favorite Cuban cigar, and puffed contentedly. He lifted the glass containing the light amber liquid to his lips. The American bourbon went smoothly down his throat. “There are some good things that come out of the land of The Great Satan.”
He put the drink down, got up, and closed the door to his office and shut the curtains. “Mustn’t encourage bad habits…”
The laughter roared and echoed throughout his office.


Sunday, November 11th, Earth Time


Evie sat in the debriefing room in Operations Central, reviewing the last few missions, taking note of why some missions worked better than others did.
Faroh came in and took a seat next to her. Sitting down, he shook his head. “You know, Evie, evil men are not only blind to the truth, but arrogant. I don’t think I’ll ever understand, other than the influence of sin. But it all seems so unnecessary.”
Evie thought for a while, and finally replied. “I know. Only the Grace of Lord Jehovah and His favor redeem humans from their fallen state. What gives me the greatest pleasure is the joy of those whom Lord Jehovah redeems. There is something there that you and I will never know of, because we have never been in need of redemption.”
She stopped, staring wistfully into space. “You know…I’d like to know what it feels like; to experience it first hand—”
Before she could finish her thought, an alarm sounded reminding her she needed to attend to a situation on earth. She reviewed the case, and said, “Actually, guys, I’d like to take this one myself.”


Ever Vigilant headed for that stretch of I-85 just southwest of Raleigh, North Carolina. A car driven by a young mother with a baby in the back hit a patch of black ice and spun out of control. The woman’s voice cried out. “Jesus; help me!”
Ever Vigilant guided the car safely to the side of the road. She looked in the car, and decided that the mother and her baby were all right.
Amidst her tears, the mother cried out. “Jesus, I haven’t really trusted you with my life lately. I’m probably in the mess I am because I’m so stubborn. Help me Lord, to trust you in all the decisions that my husband and I make.”
Ever Vigilant smiled as she heard the prayer, her joy more poignant because of the small child involved. Children especially touched Ever Vigilant’s heart. Their innocence had not yet known the worries and care that hardened the hearts of adults. She beamed as she made her way back to New Jerusalem.


Evie approached Operations Central, and walked through the door. Faroh sat in the debriefing room of the Operations Center.
He looked up and motioned her over to a seat across from him. “I guess that smile on your face means your mission went well.”
Evie took the chair across from him. “Yes, especially because a child was involved. I just love children, Faroh. I wish they could retain their innocence as they get older; but life sort of overcomes them.”
Faroh agreed. “Yes, even when they give their hearts to Lord Jehovah, they have to be willing to trust Him.”
Evie paused for a moment. “The ability of humans to be able to have a relationship with Lord Jehovah in spite of their evil hearts really intrigues me. He seems to love them very much, in spite of their shortcomings. There is a...hmmm…” Again, she tried to think of the best word to describe it. “… a forgiveness there that you and I will never know. I find myself longing to know that forgiveness; that feeling like a helpless child being loved by a Wise and compassionate father who picks you up every time you fall, and holds you in His strong, loving arms.”
Faroh just stared at her, shaking his head. “I think you’ve been on too many missions where your emotions get involved: they’re getting the better of you.”
Evie looked at Faroh, sighing. “Your masculine nature can’t fathom why I feel such longings.”
Faroh said, “I think I’ll stick with my lot as a servant and messenger of Lord Jehovah. I don’t understand what the value is in being a helpless child, or in the ‘forgiveness’ you speak of. I know the love of our Lord and Father, Lord Jehovah, and that’s enough for me. I believe being a warrior for His cause is enough to satisfy me.”
She smiled wanly. “I’ll talk with you later. Carry on, and fight the good fight, my friend”. After he had gone, she sat there, lost in her thoughts, staring blankly at nothing in particular.

==========================================
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Hope you enjoyed reading the first chapter of Evie.

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1 comment:

Chas. Funderburg said...
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