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When Mornings are No Longer Still

When Mornings are No Longer Still

A Story by TheLastEclipse
"

Treasure everything... It can all serve as a lesson.

"

       

When Mornings are No Longer Still

By

Christian Tanner

        Clover stood outside her tent as the morning fog passed as it usually did. The pleasantly moist as well as cool and refreshing morning air stirred within her nostrils and created the smile which drew upon her face. She was perhaps the earliest riser in the clan and took that to her advantage. Her first objective was to go awaken Veline Dreth. He was probably the last to rise but with Clover back from the Elven Migration she was determined to make his mornings miserable- or perhaps the correct term would be she would birth his mornings.

Veline never awoke until the afternoon. She was going to change that. Besides she had news for him. Humans had grown closer to the Elven grounds. They had been hunting for the Aelfbedie, also known as Elves, for centuries and they were setting up camps in the same forests. The humans knew they were getting close. They dared not leave the forest. They were still at least 30 miles from the true heart of the forest.

Clover knew they could not attack soon but she still worried about the safety of her clan.

“Awaken,” She shoved the chest of twenty year-old Veline.

He groaned and turned towards his wall, making discomforting noises as he brushed his strawberry colored over his eyes and past his pointed ears.

“Come on! Let us go. We must hunt,” she repeated tapping his shoulder.

He did not move.

            As soon as Clover leaped onto his cot his body enlivened for a moment. He twisted and turned, forcing her to fall on top of him.

            “Clover!” He arose with his eyes still closed. The young fit elf enmeshed her in the blanket. He then lay atop of her, trying to sleep again.

            “Veline!” She screamed, losing her breath as she was unable to move. She had a cessation of movement. “You are such a stupid child, you cursed Aelfbedie abomination.”

            She then struggled again, forcing her best friend into the floor. He hit the smoothed floor of a hollowed out redwood with a loud thud!  She looked over the edge of the cot holding her hands over her mouth in surprise.

            “Are you okay?” She saw him roll over and smile. She grinned brightly and assisted him up.

            “So what are the plans today?” The topless young man caught a chill from the morning air. So he grabbed his blended green shirt and threw it over himself. It was nearly the length of a tunic but not exactly near enough to the knees to be considered a tunic. This garment was called a heilt, worn for the purpose of easily attaching light armor, in case of emergencies. It was forged by the brightest Aelfbedie tailors.

           

Most Aelfbedie masters were perfectionists at what skills they performed. Clover was no exception. She was perhaps the greatest archer the clan had. This is why she had joined the Elven Migration. She wanted to protect her people. Clover was a very valiant lady, and she was very honorable. This was all hidden behind the beauty of her sharp, glittering amber eyes and her magnificently silky light brown hair. She was desired by most men in the clan but she vowed never to marry unless she fell in love with a man who could outperform her archery. That, to her, was the true sign that they were destined to be one.

            Clover was born to a very important family. She was born to the captain of the clan defense, her father, and the town’s healer, her mother. She did not express this very often because she felt family should not describe you. ‘You are you,’ was her motto. This is why she never really dwelled in the romances as a teenager. Now twenty years old, she laughs at the thought of some male elf thinking he could hold rule over her. Her true heart lies within her home and with her best friend. 

            Veline himself had known this young, sharp dagger for their entire, near-equal lifespan. They were born with their family as close friends as they were. Veline was born to very popular tanners of the clan. This made them fairly wealthy but set the expectations very high for him. He became an apprentice tanner but never really caught the family craft. His true passion was music and weaponry. It was very influential and artistic to him. He often stood by the local blacksmith, Alhomen, watching him craft blades and armor. His favorite part was the personal engravings that struck fear into the enemies that were doomed when they met the merciless hands of Aelfbedie.

            He aged with patience and practice. Although he is known as the laziest boy in all of the clan, he practices many arts at night where he can be alone, which explains his late sleeping. Once Clover left for the Elven Migration for the first time, he feared and wrote a very elaborate novel that he kept to himself. It was a twisted distortion of his incompletion with the fear of his best friend being gone and staying gone.

            The Elven Migration was a very protective organization of scouts and rogues formed by the Aelfbedie to assure the protection of their own people. The human race had been growing closer in the years. They were only initially hostile toward the humans because the first time they encountered elves they fired their bows first and asked questions later. The men did not simply ask questions, once they discovered that the beings were not humans they eliminated them. The remaining Aelfbedie equipped their much more superior bows to slay the remaining men and reported their discoveries.

            Once they returned the Congregation debated the ideas. They had finally decided to be passive about the situation. The one thing that denied this was the humans’ ferocious and vengeful cravings. They did not heed the patience of the elves and found it en règle to continue attacking them. The vengeful attacks were kibitzers to all elves. The Aelfbedie had no permanent military; they all defending the clan. That’s how Veline began his side quest with Clover. He enjoyed exhausting his talents to spy on human camps, obtaining their plans, and it was just so that he was the best.

 

            “The plans are simple,” Clover smiled with bright teeth exposed. “Let us go out and just enjoy our wilderness while we can.”

            Veline strapped his leather gauntlets on his wrist and assured that his black leather boots were fitted. He belted underneath the cuff, at the top of the shaft, like most elves did to assure the right fit. “You are telling me you awoke me at sunrise to trot through the forest?”

            She giggled her girliest giggle which she was not afraid to reveal to Veline. “You know how I do get such enjoyment out of torturing you so.”

            He grabbed his recurved ashwood bow and carelessly threw his quiver over his shoulder. He started toward the door, disgruntled, with Clover already armed and right behind him. He opened his door exiting the nook and stepped through the sleeping clan town. The way the fog fell it seemed as the atmosphere itself was sleeping. Clover soon led the expedition by jumping ahead of him, looking behind her shoulder with a gleeful grin.

She began to tread faster. Veline did not attempt to increase speed at all. He just observed all of the stalls that vendors had left alone and thought of how close the community was. It was a comforting sight yet eerie to him without the normal bustle he awakened to. He ignored that awkward feeling. He turned his head back to Clover. As he laid eyes on her, she sprinted into the forest.

Veline took in a deep breath and opened the bow, inserting his body in between the string and the belly of the bow. He wore it almost as he did the quiver. Before running he observed the path ahead of him. He feared not awakening the clan because Aelfbedie had very light feet in the forest. So he chased after Clover. As he entered the thickening of the forest, he dodged shrubs, thick and thin branches. While he was running she continued to make turns to confuse and disorient the still drowsy Veline.

It worked, because as they progressed he lost sight of her. Even though Elves are full of vigor, liveliness and vitality they are not invincible nor do they have unlimited stamina. He grew fatigued after a few minutes of searching for her. He slowed to a stop, implanting both palms on his knees and bending over to regain his breath. As he did so, an arrow hit the tree next to him! This caused his eyes to shoot directly in front of him while readying his bow. At the time he had his first arrow drawn he had realized that no one was present.

In wonder he loosened tension on the bow. After moments of scanning his surroundings he allowed his guard to diminish slightly and he was pounced on! He began to struggle furiously until he heard the giggling. Then he released the breath he had been holding in.

            “Clover! That was not funny!”

            She lay atop of him laughing, “’tis very funny.”

            “You know how cautious we must be with the enemy around. I thought you had been slain.” He relinquished his fears unto her.

            “Awh! You cared,” She mockingly laid her head on his chest stroking his hair. “Don’t be so dramatic. We are not a romance.”

            “I was just fearful.” His blunt blue eyes displayed honesty

            “Well thank you for your concern, my dear best friend. I am flattered but I think if any at all concern is due, it is mine to yours.” She rose, sitting on the ground next to him. She pulled out an arrow of his quiver as he arose. She rubbed her thumbs over the tip of the moderately sharp hunting arrows with tips formed from a less valuable cobblestone. “After all, we know who the better warrior is.”

            Veline laughed, rejecting her superiority. “Just because your father is an excellent warrior does not make you one. Skills are not inherited, trust me… I would know.”

            “Maybe that is so, but I still have the skill somehow.”

            “Training or passion,” Veline states frankly.

            “And I am still better than you,” She gently rams her shoulder into his.

            “I believe you should let the hunting decide that.” Veline smiled, now alert and awake. He stood and assisted her up.

            She grinned and whipped her bow up into sight. With daring glances she smirked, saying, “Let’s.”

 

            They returned to the clan and among the ‘streets’ were the merchants living and haggling with many of the people. Veline dragged the larger kill, a nice befitting deer with ten points on each antler. Clover slumped, dragging her six pointed male deer of defeat behind her. She followed Veline in defeat. They arrived at their favorite merchant and he smiled at the sight of the lustrous duo. They were the town’s morale; for a relationship as young and vigorous as theirs made the entire clan remember how blessed they were and how easily they could all love each other.

            “Greetings Lifolon,”  Veline grinned. His eyes boasted of his victory.

            “Hail,” He simply replied, “Beat her again, did you?” He asked, forcing Clover to grunt disapprovingly.

            Before Veline replied he turned to his dear friend and grinned. He turned back to. “Aye I did, and you know what a sore loser she can be.”

            “Silence yourself, you prat.” Clover mumbled.

            This caused Lifolon to chuckle. “Aye! Don’t worry young flower! I’ll give you twenty measures for your effort.” Veline laughed softly, as Clover and Lifolon, the merchant, exchanged venison for a small coin purse.

            “So how about my kill?” Veline asked.

            “Simply putting it, I love it. For now, I can give you one hundred twenty-five measures.”

            “What if I take the antlers?”

            “Well that would knock down the price a bit.”

            “How much?” Veline contemplated.

            “Just by twenty.”

            “I can deal with that.” Veline smiled at the his newly deserved arrow heads. No one knew that Veline crafted his own arrow heads. He formed them from various metals or his favorite, deer antler or bone. He enjoyed the splintering effect of bone but the smoothed antler was irresistibly accurate. It cut right through the air as it did the flesh.

            So the deal was done and Veline along with Clover said their farewells. They ventured to Veline’s home. Clover planned on staying for the night. The dusk was amidst, for they had been hunting all day. They were catching up and growing closer as they had sorely missed each other.

            Veline sat at his desk chiseling away at the antlers. He stopped for a moment to take a sip of his spring water. As it reached his lips he realized the cup was void.

In slight disappointment, he asked, “Clover, can you please fix me a drink?”

There was no reply so he repeated the question.

Before repeating again he turned to see the young, beauty fast asleep on his cot. He smiled to himself. It was quiet a cute moment, a moment where he realized how happy he was with a friend like her. The only thing that could have make his life better would have been the war ending. He decided it was time for him to sleep also. He covered Clover with the blanket, up to her chin. He kissed her forehead gently and whispered sweet dreams. He gathered himself another blanket and pillow and slept on his floor, which he managed to make comfortable. He stripped off his gauntlets and boots before laying himself to sleep.

 

Veline awoke to an odd sensation in his right arm. As he opened his eyes he discovered he was holding Clover under the blanket. He hadn’t moved; he was still lying on the floor. She was on his arm and it had fallen asleep. He grinned to himself. Alas Clover awoke with a gasp, forcing Veline out of his smile because he heard the same noise she did.

It sounded like that of a brabbling crowd. The two quickly leaped up with no time for ‘good mornings’ or an exchanging of grins. They grabbed their bows and quivers, hurriedly ran into the street. Outside was exactly what they had expected.

A group of Aelfbedie argued. Some of the robed citizens were Elders which was unusual; because, the wise never left the temples unless it was a festival or any other annual celebration. Veline neared them, contemplating why they would be out.

“Your brilliances, why are you out?” Veline bowed to ask as Clover stood aside.

A termagant answered. “The brilliances are doing what they should not!”

“Madam, silence. We are doing what we must. We wish not to harm your children-” The Elder begins.

“But you are and that is my point. The beings aren’t even near camp!” She yells mercilessly.

“The beings draw nigh?” Clover asks.

“No, but the Migration have reported that they are traveling and we must intercept them before they get to us.” The Elder replied.

“What is this woman’s place in this?” Veline asked.

“She does not want her son to be sent forth. He was part of the Migration and had just arrived home. She is reluctant to send her child back into a war in which he may not return from.”

She nodded.

“But the wars are not debatable. The clan must stand firm in order to overcome our oppressors.”

She begins to argue but Veline interrupts.

“So there will be a movement today?”

“It is decided.”

The crowd began bustling once more. Veline and Clover eyed each other. Clover ran. Veline followed her knowing immediately where she was heading.  She arrived at the arming station where her father stood heavily armed and arming other soldiers.

“Father,” She softly spoke to him, forcing the grey bearded man to turn. “When is the line-up?”

“Oh my dear girl,” He cried, holding her dearly. “Before I allow you any of this information I want you to promise me you will be careful.”

She stood bright eyed and tearing. All the previous times before, her father was able to enter war with her. This would be her first war without him and it was painful for him to think about.

“I promise you father.” She grinned weakly. “I’ll stay close to Veline and he will keep my safe.”

“Do you promise this boy?” His grizzly voice would have been intimidating if Veline had not known him so long.

“I do, Bulgrean.” Veline spoke up to the 5’ 9” man. This was very tall for an elf who commonly only grow to be 5’ 2”.

Bulgrean, the military leader embraced Clover and Veline in each arm, whispering to them. “Set up is tonight at eight.”

As they pulled away, Veline nodded. Bulgrean pecked his daughter’s cheek. They fled the scene to prepare. This time they separated only to equip their armor. Veline walked through his door hurriedly. He threw his gauntlets over his hands. He threw a tri-layered leather cuirass over his torso and the leather gauntlets he had crafted himself. Underneath his near knee length cuirass, he slipped on elvenmail, a chainmail like armor, pants. He wore no helmet because it pushed down his hair, affecting his perception negatively and also he felt it wore him down.

Within Clover’s domain of arms, she prepared herself with apparel much like that of Veline’s. She prepared her elvenmail over her entire body, leather went over all of it, concealing it so that she would be underestimated in battle, and she hid daggers in her boots. Her mind was tensely functioning like a machine. She was preparing all of her strategies with gears grinding fiercely. Her heart raced even though she was not in battle and then all at once fear dominated everything within her. She was paralyzed from the neck down.

She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror hanging upon her wall. She was deathly pallid, with her eyes reflecting a soft, livid luster of the fearful amber that was once so fiery and lively. Fear stiffened her joints and ached in her bones. Without her father by her side would she live? What if she did live only to see Veline die? She could not bear such pain of war. She felt secure knowing her father, the Great Bulgrean, was protecting her. A man wearing steel armor and wielding a powerful steel battle axe. Again her attention turns to her reflection.

“Coward,” She scolds herself, looking down toward her feet.

Veline bolts in, “Come along! The soldiers are assembling.”

Clover stood, as if she had died standing. Perhaps she did spiritually. Her pride and indifference had seemed to fade a bit.

“Clover!” Veline exclaimed still standing at the door. He took a look at the soldiers behind him, wielding torches, blades, bows and arrows, axes, shields, daggers, and heavy armor.

She stood, ignoring the situation ahead. She paid no mind to Veline, who was seemingly awaiting her.

He left his position from the door, whispering her name in a caring tone.

When the nurturing voice soothed her ears and she laid eyes on his beloved face, she burst into tears, collapsing into his chest. He held her tightly and gasped as she began crying. He was in shock but he could understand. She wrapped her arms around his ribcage and held firmly, allowing out all of her fears and sorrows in the form of tears. Veline gripped her firmly.

He held her tightly and comfortingly for a few moments and then spoke. “I made a promise to you and your father, Clover.”

She looked up to him, her eyes had returned to their original lustrous amber. Tears leaked from them relentlessly and mercilessly “I do so pray that you stay alive.”

“I will,” Veline sat her down on her cot. “I promise you, but you are the one we must keep safe.”

She smiled as he wiped her tears with his thumbs. She then stared into his deep blue eyes lovingly. This was not the same one of friendship. This was one vaguely recognizable to either one of them. It was one of intimacy. With no time to explain herself she planted a kiss on his warm lips. This said most of things she desired. This was the only way she could explain her feelings for Veline. How long had she felt this way? Not even she knew.

Veline grinned, blushing as she opened her delicate, satisfied eyes. He grabbed her hand, embracing her one last time before they departed. He whispered, “Do not worry about me; besides, we all know who the better warrior is.” He pecked her lips, returning the favor before they ran into war. They were both confident and ready.  

 

This was the moment where all elves and men shook in their boots. The men had no idea that the elves were heading toward them but they were always on guard. The men were tense in their armor in which they hid behind. Veline and Clover stood hand in hand, toe to toe. The Aelfbedie warriors smothered their torches after lighting their first arrows. Migration scouts had seen gun powder kegs, which were a hefty impact in human trade at the time, and elves had made their own improved version of the black explosive powder using nitrous based chemicals along with the charcoal, sulfur and potassium nitrates. They planned on introducing themselves in an explosive manner.

From the human camp, they laughed and chuckled over cups of ale. The sober men were in a tense state of fear, which had caused the drunken men to drink. In attempts to loosen up, they drank too much and factors like that could have changed the outcomes of this war, but the war itself is not why we are discussing this tale, even though it was a major impact in elven history as well as human. No, the reason we are here is to teach a lesson within the telling a story.

The sober men raised their bows at the glowing orbs that floated through the forest. At first they appeared in a straight line but then they broke away and danced around the men. They were at such a distance that what they were was impossible to know but they were close enough to the camp that the men that were rolling around the fire noticed.

One quickly stood, giggling a bit as he took another drink. “Am I just too drunk or-” He hiccupped, interrupting himself. “Ay! Stop interrupting!” He giggles in a sickened laughing voice. “Am I too drunk or do I see little dancing faeries and too drunk?”

The other men begin laughing and quaffing down their drinks. “Oh, wait! You’re serious!”

One of the sober men unsheathes his sword, “What type of sorcery is this?”

Another whispers, “The legends were true.”

“That of witches?”

“It seems.”

Moments grew tense as silence reigned. The men shook against the night’s dangers. Nature is not something that deals with its enemies lightly. Elves were soon to prove so. There were no branches crackling or leaves crunching as the orbs floating. Finally everything thing stopped and in that moment it even seemed that even the world had quit its rotation. One man released a breath and Veline approached behind a sober man at the rear of the camp.

 “We are not easily dealt with. Remember the Aelfbedie.” He whispered quickly.

The man screamed and Veline turned, avoiding what was to come swiftly.

“The witches! The wi-”

And then the man was devastated by the explosion that was ignited by an arrow of flame. The other arrows fly gracefully from their strings to meet with flesh, tree, ground, or kegs. The kegs devastated a few men but this did not hinder them very effectively. They rushed toward the elven soldiers clashing blades with them.

All that could be heard by Veline were screams of terror, battle cries, swords clashing, and armor jingling. He searched around to catch a glimpse of Clover. At once he realized that he had lost her and excitement grew in his bones. He grew anxious and searched around drawing his bow. “Clover!” He yelled.

“At here!” She yelled, and he could hear the smile the way her voice had emanated.

            He allowed himself to be relieved. He began to race toward her voice but was knocked over by a man who had stealthily hidden himself behind a tree. The man wrestled on top of Veline cutting Veline’s hands as he struggled with a dagger in his hand. Veline grunted as he was wrestled with man. The man finally dominated him, drawing the dagger in the air. Veline acted in fear, throwing a fist to the human’s throat to disorient him. As he punched the man stabbed him in between the knuckles. Veline yelled in excruciating pain!

            As Veline was distracted by pain, the man beat him severely. As the man balled up both of his fist to lay a coup de grace upon Veline, he was struck in the sternum. As the man was gasping for breath, Veline flipped him off, pulling an arrow from his quiver. He spared the moment to stab the man in his throat! The man drowned in his own blood and Veline rolled onto his back hoping to rest. The shrieks of a female caused him to open his eyes. This was still an ongoing war. He rose, grunting after every essence of pain that coursed through his body.

            “Clover!” He yelled as he stumbled toward where he last heard her.

            There was no answer.

            His fear grew as he heard her scream. Then she yelled for him. This broke his heart and he began to tear as he sprinted against his bodies will. He gasped while running. Luckily he had not been attacked and he reached where Clover was being held. A man had her pinned against a tree by her neck. She was gasping desperately with tears of pain tracing her cheeks. They were illuminated by the sorrowful moonlight.

            Veline wasted no time in leaping from his feet and using the force from both of his legs to blast the steel shielded man off of his feet. He did not release Clover and she hit the ground equally as hard. As they both hit, she rolled out of his grip gasping for precious breath. Veline hopped onto the man’s chest, pulling his helm from his face. The stench of alcohol and rotting teeth teased his nose, but he cared not. Veline violently began striking the man in the face with both fists simultaneously. The man ignored the blood from Veline on his face and grabbed him by the throat. The lightweight Veline was thrown against a tree, causing his ribs to crack.

            Clover pulled an arrow from her quiver and picked up her bow from the ground. She spoke to herself softly and released the tense string. The arrow was deflected by the man wearing armor as heavy as her father’s. He approached her, chuckling grizzly. She had another arrow into place soon but was struck by his steel fist. She hit the ground with no consciousness. The man kneeled down, and struck her in the skull repeatedly.

            When Veline awoke he saw blood slowly leaking from her ears and this was enough to send him into a frenzy fueled by adrenaline. He leaped onto the man’s back holding a tight lock around his throat. He had cut off the man’s supply of oxygen. Regardless the man thrashed around, banging and pounding Veline’s currently injured body against trees. Finally he fell to his knees, light headed and bleary.

            Veline unsheathed the dagger from the man’s utility belt and stabbed the behemoth’s cranium. He twisted it inside the leviathan’s head to assure death. Veline collapsed as did the man. He cried to himself as he crawled toward the motionless body of Clover. Blood was encompassing her face. Blood was her last tear and she bled from her ears. Veline laid his arms upon her body, daring himself to discover her vitals. As he had assumed there was no breath, there was no life, and there was no suffering. Yet he cried to himself over her body. He had failed her! He had failed himself!

            This was an unbearable pain. He had lost the first elven lady he had ever loved. He was drained and cried himself to a dark, unconscious state, for it was more hellish than what is commonly known as sleep. All that appeared to him were tortured images and mirage voices of Clover…

 

            He awoke to the morning trumpet being sounded. He laid up in rest, finally awakening with Bulgrean holding his face in his hands. Bulgrean did not even notice that Veline had awoken. Veline began crying as he saw the reminder of a broken promised. Bulgrean looked up to the injured one that the town called a hero for slaying the leader of the humans and had his pouting lip exposed unintentionally. He had tears soaking in his beard, “You did good boy. She loved you and that’s all we wanted.”

            Veline cried harder, unable to speak by the crushing words he would never hear from her own lips. “Yes sir… I am so sorry.” He ushered through shaken lips that were once touched by his beloved.

            Bulgrean embraced Veline, petting his head in a paternal fashion. He hushed him in between every other word, “Hush boy, you mustn’t speak like that. You did us well. You shared life with her. You and her kept each other happy. You taught each other of life.” Bulgrean mourned, not even at the fact of his beloved daughter’s death. It was the death of a seedling love. Veline and Clover were sure to have a bright future. It would have been one of fruitfulness and bliss.

            Veline left the healer after a week of medical treatment. He was honored by his people as the hero who had the greatest sacrifice. He lived his life, not missing a day of thinking about his first true love. Bulgrean and his wife Mulina, called Veline’s children their grandchildren; because, even though he did have children and get married, he did not forget the love that opened his eyes. This tale can be incorporated to all races, genders, and species. So remember the moral of such a tale. Treasure what you love while it is with you because you do not know the time of its departure or else you could awaken to mornings eerily still.

            This cliché can be obeyed by all, humans and elves.

© 2013 TheLastEclipse


Author's Note

TheLastEclipse
a fantasy short story that is being published by yours truly. This is only the rough draft. Note any mistakes and give your opinion please :)

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as fantasy writing goes, the bulk of the storytelling is quite original. i love the name choices and the way you arrange your sequencing . as stories go, this is a bit more lengthy than i prefer to indulge but it reads quickly and easily, which speaks volumes of your abilities. i would say you could do well at this genre of writing. a little more editing, spit and polish...who knows? well done.

Posted 6 Years Ago


TheLastEclipse

6 Years Ago

Yes, imagine the suprise on the teacher's face when I told her it was 15 pages of a rough draft for .. read more

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Added on January 28, 2013
Last Updated on January 28, 2013
Tags: Elves, Life, Love, Lost, Fantasy, War

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TheLastEclipse
TheLastEclipse

Crossville, AL



About
I have been writing since the age of twelve and have been creating oral tales since before that. I am a Christian but have a twisted way in some of my stories. I write poetry, stories, and I'm a cas.. more..

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