Stream of Consciousness Wednesday: The Accumulator, part forty six.

Off we go again, for another (very late) paddle in the shallows of SoCS, fishing for the next installment of this story, using Linda G Hill‘s prompt as bait;

” “well.” Use it any way you like. “

Is that all? Ok then…

The Accumulator, part forty six.

Scene: Interior of The Department hit squad’s car. Patrick is driving, with Carlisle beside him and Adam in the back seat with the bound and gagged squad leader.

It is just after dawn, there is a light mist in the air and our view into the car is from a rear-facing camera mounted on the bonnet.

As Patrick drives slowly along a wooded track, we watch him through moving reflections of lush green foliage, trailing tendrils of ivy and a canopy of tall trees, all of which are stretched by the curve of the windscreen as they arc overhead.

Then the camera begins to rotate, moving smoothly through a hundred and eighty degrees until it faces forward, just as the track opens out to reveal a circular clearing in the trees and the car slows to a stop, engine idling.

Directly ahead of us is a narrow wooden stile, partially hidden by the overgrown beech hedge into which it is built and the silvery timbers of the fence and its rough steps seem to be the only other exit from the clearing.

The engine dies and we hear car doors opening and closing, the silence of the morning only broken by a few early birds and the sound of wind in the trees.

Patrick and Carlisle appear on either side of the screen as they walk round in front of the car; they move cautiously towards the stile, each of them training a salvaged Department pistol on the dark gap in the hedge as they advance.

They take up position on each side of the opening and Patrick looks back towards us and nods, obviously to Adam, as we cut to

A wider angle shot, taking in the whole scene, including the car; we see Adam, pushing the barely-conscious Department man ahead of him, holding on to his shoulder to prevent him from falling as he staggers across the uneven grass of the clearing.

They reach the hedge and Adam looks at Patrick, keeping the former squad leader between him and any unseen threat in the darkened woods beyond, then pushes his prisoner forward.

“Climb.”

The man grunts through his gag, tries to twist his head round to look at Adam and receives a swift crack on the head with a gun for his trouble.

“I said climb, shithead.”

“Mmrghhow!”

“Right, do as you’re fucking told then.”

The man puts his right foot on the first of the two wooden steps on this side of the stile and Adam supports his weight as he climbs up, swinging his left leg over to straddle the fence.

“Ok, look at me.”

The man turns a baleful glare on Adam.

“Oh, you can look as pissed off as you like, but I just want you to know that I’ll shoot you if you even look like you’re going to make a run for it. Believe me?”

After a short hesitation the man nods and Adam continues.

“You are going to climb over and walk two paces forward, then you’re going to lie face down on the ground and stay the fuck there until one of us tells you different. Ok?”

Another sullen nod and the man awkwardly climbs down into the dark, drops onto the woodland floor with a rustle and snap of breaking twigs and waits in silence to see what comes next.

Carlisle looks at the other two with a grin.

“He didn’t get blown to pieces, that’s something, I suppose. Unless they have the place staked out, of course, in which case we’re screwed anyway.”

“Only one way to find out…”

Patrick takes a step back and levels his gun at the gap above the fence.

“…After you.”

Carlisle shrugs and disappears into the dark. Adam goes over next, Patrick takes a final look at the car which blocks the mouth of the narrow track, digs the keys out of his pocket and throws them as far as he can into the trees, then he too vanishes and before long, silence returns to the woods.

*****

Scene: A derelict farmhouse, roof mostly missing, windows smashed, evidence of old fire damage on one end. Outbuildings scattered around an overgrown yard in a similar state of disrepair; an old well, winch and bucket still intact, stone wall crumbling, stands alone in a corner. The rising sun is just beginning to burn off the early morning mist.

A slow pan of the perimeter reveals a broken gate and collapsed fencing, doing little to deter trespassers, should anyone think it worth the trouble, but it seems nobody has been here for years.

Movement on the left draws our attention to four figures emerging from the treeline by the farm gate, one of them being pushed ahead of the other three, hands tied behind him, a gag over his mouth.

We now cut to a close tracking shot of the four men, as they arrive at the dilapidated gate and drag it, screeching, out of the way, making their way carefully across the yard, scanning the surrounding buildings for danger.

“Wait a minute.”

Patrick stops and turns to the Department man, staring at him for a moment before reaching up and loosening the gag. The man stares back at him, maintaining eye contact as he spits on the ground at Patrick’s feet.

“Right, you’re on. Where to now?”

The man jerks his head towards the well.

“Over there, there’s a hatch.”

“Don’t go giving too much away, will you.”

Standing behind him, Adam gives him another friendly tap on the head with his pistol.

“Ow! Fuck you! Ok, ok! Jesus, alright…There’s a hatch at the bottom of the well, ok? There’s a ladder down the side, but you need a code.”

Patrick looks over at the well.

“And you have the code, correct?”

A pause.

Adam leans forward and speaks quietly, his lips an inch from the man’s ear.

“Answer the man. Ooh, and here’s a little clue; the answer is ‘Yes, sir, Patrick”, in case you were thinking of being a hero.”

“I have it.”

Adam laughs.

“Oh you little rebel. But that’ll do, I’ll let you off with that.”

“You believe him?”

Adam looks at Patrick, then at Carlisle.

“You know anything about this?”

Carlisle shakes his head.

“Nope. Mind you, I’ve been out of the loop a long time and they never tell plebs like me stuff we don’t need to know. Sounds like their style, though, they love all that Man From U.N.C.L.E. bullshit.”

“No problem, we have a volunteer here, don’t we, Mr Black Ops?”

Adam leads the Department man over to the well, pulls out a knife and prepares to cut his hands free.

“Hang on, how do we know he’s not going to just go down there and hit the alarm?”

Adam gives their unwilling accomplice an appraising look. Then he looks around the weed-choked yard until he sees something in the long grass and walks over to pick it up. He stands up holding a rusted milk churn, which he places on a low wall about twenty feet away. When he comes back to the well, he smiles and nods to the rusty metal cylinder.

“Since you were already in dreamland when your buddy got splattered, back at the house, I think you’ll benefit from a demo, watch this…”

Adam stretches out one hand and, with the merest flick of his fingers and a tinkling, tearing noise, the churn is transformed into a cloud of metallic splinters and vanished.

Straight away, Adam can see the message has got through; the man has gone a deathly shade of white and he appears to have trouble catching his breath.

“Yes, your colleague was liquefied, so unless you’d like to see what it’s like to go through the blender, I suggest you don’t try anything. I’ll be right up here, looking down on you to make sure you behave, so you’d better be very careful not to make me suspicious, I have a bit of a hair trigger.”

“Alright, stop showing off, are we ready to do this?”

“Just say the word, boss.”

Patrick gives him a look that says “Fuck you”, beckons Carlisle over to join them and they all watch the man The Department sent to kill them climb over the low wall and descend into the gloom.

************

To be continued using (next week’s prompt)…

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Stream of Consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part forty five.

Right, let’s get back into the swing of things and continue with this story, using Linda G Hill‘s SoCS prompt (provided by Joey from Joeyfully Stated while Linda is away, meeting her adoring fans on a book signing tour) which means that this week, our mission is to include;

” “save/safe” Use one or both. If you start and end with either of them, you’ll get bonus points. “

That doesn’t sound too difficult…

The Accumulator, part forty five.

Scene: Exterior of Carlisle’s safe house at night.

The unremarkable Victorian terraced house is immersed in the shadows, midway between two streetlights in a nondescript suburban residential road, the number, 42 is just visible against the peeling green paint of the front door, as the moon breaks through thickening banks of cloud.

Unlike many of its neighbours, which are warmly lit and occupied, have well-tended gardens and cars parked outside, no lights show in any of the widows of number 42, the tiny yard is untidy and overgrown and to the casual observer the house appears deserted.

However, this hasn’t deterred the four men in a car parked in front of the lockup garages just up the street, who are keeping a very close eye on it, indeed and the camera now focusses on them.

We watch from outside Carlisle’s house as the men climb out of the car, quietly close the doors and walk towards us. Stopping at the low wall and rusted iron gate which separates the house from the pavement, three pull guns from inside their identical black leather jackets and one swings a pump-action shotgun down from a shoulder strap.

The lead man nods to the others and they keep a watchful eye on the street as he steps forward and kneels in front of the door, places his gun on the step and takes a bunch of strange looking keys from a pocket. Selecting one, he quickly goes to work on the lock until there is an almost inaudible click and the door swings open.

*****

Now the director gets all creative again and we cut to…

Scene: A four way split-screen view of;
Carlisle – upstairs in the middle of the empty front bedroom, gun in one hand, phone in the other, eyes fixed on the screen;
Patrick – standing by the door in the kitchen, lit by the glow of a second mobile phone on the table, its screen showing a view of the hallway outside;
Adam – sitting on a wooden chair in the bathroom at the top of the stairs, facing the closed door, arms outstretched in front of him, an expression of concentration on his face.

The fourth view is of the front door from inside the house and, as the door silently swings open, the image expands to fill the lower half of the screen, as Carlisle, Patrick and Adam are shuffled into line at the top.

The leader, One, rises from the ground and, pistol held in front of him in an overly-dramatic, two-handed grip, sidles into the hallway. He sweeps the gun up the darkened staircase, back to the closed kitchen door ahead of him, then he slowly moves down the hall.

Two follows close behind and immediately takes up position by the door to the living room, on the left-hand side of the hallway.

Three creeps slowly up the stairs, shotgun swinging back and forth between the darkness ahead of him and the landing above, where the banister rail is silhouetted against moonlight coming in through a window in the back bedroom, the only room where the door is open (intentional, of course, designed by Carlisle to reduce the night vision of anyone climbing the stairs).

Closing the front door, Four watches Three get to the top of the stairs and flatten himself against the wall next to the bathroom door, then he follows and moves past him, bracing himself against the landing wall opposite the front bedroom.

We see all four men in position, the briefest of pauses, then;

One reaches for the kitchen door. He grips the handle in his left hand, raises his gun hand for a second, signalling Two to be ready, then brings it down sharply as he twists the handle and kicks open the door.

Two does the same at the living room; kicking open the door and moving inside fast, his silenced pistol spits rapid shots into the corners of the room, before he dives sideways, firing a final shot into the wall behind the door as it swings slowly shut.

Waiting at the top of the stairs for this cue, Three takes a step sideways and fires the shotgun at the centre of the bathroom door.

At the same time, Four lifts his right foot and kicks in the bedroom door. A burst of gunfire comes from inside, just as he fires into the darkness, but none of the rounds are aimed at him, so he takes a step into the room and looks down to see a mobile phone…

*****

On the top three screens, we see;

Carlisle – still staring at the phone screen, he watches as Two dives across the living room below him and tracks the movement with the gun in his other hand. As soon as Two stops moving, Carlisle fires half a dozen rounds straight through the floor as he throws the phone into the corner of the room and swings round to face Four, who looks in confusion at the phone’s cracked screen and, too late, sees movement from the corner of his eye. Carlisle puts a bullet between his eyes and he collapses.

We see Patrick, as he desperately grabs for the gun, after the door explodes inward and One follows it, he tries to jam his finger into the trigger guard and the weapon goes off, horribly loud in the enclosed space of the kitchen. He clamps his other hand on the man’s neck, forcing him round so they are face to face.

The gun goes off again, but their flailing sends the shot into the ceiling. Then Patrick hits One with a jolt of power and the man is thrown against the door behind him, falling heavily onto the kitchen counter and sliding to the linoleum floor unconscious.

Finally, Adam; sensing the man’s presence outside the bathroom, his eyes open and his hands snap upward, palms facing forward. A flash of silver ripples hits the door and goes through it in an unstoppable explosion of splintered, burning wood and molten lead from the man’s shotgun blast.

Three practically disintegrates in the lethal storm, (but only from the knees up, his feet and lower legs, boots intact, remain standing outside the door) just a few lumps of bone and shreds of material can be identified, after the cloud of blood clears and the beam of a flashlight cuts through the gloom from below.

Then Patrick’s voice, shaky but in control, for now.

“Jesus fucking Christ. Adam? You ok?”

“I’m ok, yes. Think I might have overcooked that one a bit.”

“A bit? Yeah, I’d say so.”

Carlisle steps out of the bedroom, reloading his pistol and looks at the devastation on the stairs.

“Bloody hell, Adam, you made sure of him, didn’t you? I’m fine, too, thanks for your concern, I’m touched, really I am. Now, did we manage to keep one alive?”

Patrick nods, his face pale and strained.

“Yes, the one in the kitchen is still breathing. I only gave him a small shock, but he’ll be out for a while yet.”

“Right, let’s get the fucker tied up and find their wheels, we can’t question him here after…this…”

Carlisle gestures around him at the gore-splattered walls and points to the pair of disembodied feet on the landing.

“You also better hope that poor sod wasn’t the driver, if the keys were in his pocket, we’re screwed, hahaha”

With that, Carlisle picks his way down the stairs past the worst of the carnage, mutters something about there being some rope under the sink and disappears into the kitchen.

Adam looks at Patrick and shrugs.

“He’s right, we’ve got to move, but I don’t think they had time to call for backup, do you? So for now, at least, I think we’re safe.”

************

To be continued (using next week’s prompt)…

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Stream of Consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part forty four.

Welcome to this week’s quick SoCS post, brought to you from the unexpected sunshine of our back garden and by Linda G Hill‘s insistence that we use the following prompt to continue this story;

” “vol.” Find a word with “vol” in it, and use it in your post. “

Fair enough…

The Accumulator, part forty four.

Scene: An unfurnished living room. Bare walls and a worn carpet are visible in the grey light which filters through grimy windows. Our view is from the back of the room, an open door in the front left corner leads into the hall.

The camera moves towards the doorway as we hear approaching footsteps outside and see three silhouettes pass by the window. The footsteps come to a halt and a key rattles in the lock, just as we move out into the hallway and see the front door open.

“Watch the step, I’ll get the lights, hang on…”

“No, leave the lights off.”

“Ok, have it your own way. Kitchen’s out the back, I’ll just go up and turn the heat on, it’s bloody freezing in here.”

Adam and Patrick continue down the hall to the rear of the small terraced house as Carlisle heads upstairs.

We follow them into the kitchen and see Patrick check the back door. Finding it locked, he draws the blind over the only window, turns on the light and lifts a bulging carrier bag onto the table

“Well at least we have electricity.”

Adam turns a tap and, after a few seconds of coughing noises, discoloured water splutters out and eventually runs clear into the sink.

“I’ll put the kettle on. You want coffee?”

“Yeah, may as well, we aren’t going to be getting much sleep.”

Carlisle walks in and puts a hand on a chipped and peeling enamel radiator under the window, nodding in satisfaction as it gurgles loudly.

“Should warm up a bit soon. I haven’t been here for a couple of years, it’s strictly for emergencies, but I keep all the utilities connected and paid up to date, because you never know…”

“No, you don’t, and you’re sure this place is secure?”

“As secure as we need it to be, yes. It might look a bit grotty, but there are webcams in every room and a silent alarm only I have the code for, which can only be deactivated by sending the code by mobile phone. It’s monitored around the clock and I can even turn up the volume on the cameras to check nobody can sneak up on me when I’m here.”

Carlisle grins and holds up his smartphone, which shows a black and white shot of the hall with the front door at the far end. Adam steps out of the the kitchen and looks up, waving his hand back and forth above the doorway as he watches the phone’s screen.

“You’ll see a small hole in the top of the door frame, barely noticeable unless you’re looking for it. Amazing what they can do with fibre optic cables these days, isn’t it?”

“Ok, so we can see them coming, but are we sure they are coming?”

Carlisle turns to Patrick and shrugs.

“Your guess is as good as mine. They disappeared pretty sharpish when they clocked us following them, so that worked out ok, it’s just a question of whether they managed to tail us afterwards. You gave them enough chances to catch up, assuming that actually was them behind us as we got back into town, so I’m hoping they have us under surveillance as we speak.”

Adam shakes his head and laughs.

“I can’t believe you sound so pleased about that, we may as well have sent out invitations, hahaha.”

“We’re never going to find her otherwise, she’s always too well guarded, that’s why I was so surprised when I saw her with you to start with. Scared the crap out of me, I don’t mind telling you, I thought it was some sort of trap they’d set for me, to test my loyalty.”

*****

[And that was the point at which, in a day filled with distractions and interruptions, life took over and I gave up writing, sorry, I shall pick it up from here at a later date]

************

To be continued (using next week’s prompt)…

#SoCS

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Stream of Consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part forty three.

So, we’re back in fiction mode, after last week’s sojourn into geekdom, and today’s SoCS post continues this story using Linda G Hill‘s prompt;

” “motive.” Use the word “motive,” in any form, in your post. ”

Sounds reasonably simple, let’s go…

The Accumulator, part forty three.

Scene: A hospital maternity department. It is forty two years ago.

A man wearing a black trench coat and black leather gloves, holding a tightly furled umbrella, stands at an observation window and watches as a nurse enters the nursery and approaches a pair of cots which are separated from the others by a curtain.

She checks the charts on the end of each and turns to look at the man outside. He nods and the nurse moves to the left-hand cot, gently picks up the sleeping baby and, gathering the blankets around it, carries it out of the room and hurries after the man as he strides down the corridor and through the double doors.

The camera stays on the doors until they swing shut after the nurse, then slowly pans round to the observation window.

We move closer, until we are at the window, then the shot tightens on the only occupied cot behind the curtain and suddenly, by the magic of editing, we are directly above it, looking down at the baby, whose eyes are now open and staring straight back up at us.

And now we move closer, the shot tightening until the baby’s face, then just the eyes, then one, pale blue eye fills the screen. The director holds on this image for a couple of seconds, then the shot slowly widens, soon revealing that we’ve been tricked by another fancy bit of editing.

The blue eyes are now those of the woman who looks like Cathy and who is looking coldly at Dorn from across the desk.

“Judging from your report, it seems that this collection of thugs and criminals have managed to repeatedly outwit and evade your own department, several police forces here and in Europe, Interpol, Special Branch and the intelligence services, did I leave anyone out?”

“No, sir, I think you have the gist of it.” (he had only made the mistake of calling her ma’am once)

“And you understand my motive for wanting these dangerous terrorists brought to justice?”

“Yes, sir, I do, it was just unfortunate that…”

She doesn’t let him finish, her hand suddenly slams down on the desk, she fixes him with those icy blue eyes and speaks in a low, flat voice

“I want the man who murdered my sister, do you understand me? I don’t want to hear about mistakes or listen to excuses, I want you to find them and bring them to me.”

“Of course, I can only apologise for the delay. As I say, we have them now, they will be picked up this evening, a team has already been despatched.”

“Then I need not detain you any longer, unless there was something else…?”

“No, no, thank you, that’s all.”

Dorn stands up and nods respectfully to the woman, who has looked down at a file on her desk and seems unaware of his continued presence. He retraces his steps across the room to the door, which the guard already has open for him and steps out into the concrete hallway. The heavy steel door clangs shut behind him and he lets out a sigh before glancing at his watch and heading for the door at the far end of the corridor and his waiting driver.

“With any luck, I might even make it in time for the end of the shoot…”

************

To be continued (using next week’s prompt)…

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Stream of Consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part forty two.

It’s time to dip our toes in the waters of another SoCS post, getting back into the swing of things with this strange and meandering tale, inspired this week by Linda G Hill and her prompt;

” Start with “WHEN.” Write whatever you’d like, but begin your post with the word “when.” “

Hmm, fair enough…

The Accumulator, part forty two.

Scene: Inside Dorn’s car.

“When we get round the next corner, put your foot down, we’re being followed.”

We see Dorn turn from looking out of the rear window and lean forward as he speaks to his driver.

“I don’t know who it is, but they’ve been with us since we left the pub, do you see them?”

The driver replies without even glancing in the mirror.

“A tatty looking heap with three men in it, about fifty yards back? Yes sir, I’ve been keeping an eye on them.”

Dorn sits back with a relaxed smile, congratulating himself on how well trained his personal staff are, feeling the surge of acceleration as the powerful car leaps forward and their followers disappear from view round a sharp bend.

A hundred yards ahead, a junction; the entrances of narrow country lanes barely visible amongst the hedges on each side of the winding road, but Dorn’s car doesn’t reduce speed, in fact his driver pulls out into the right hand lane, as if overtaking an invisible vehicle.

Dorn shows no concern at this unexpected manoeuvre, he simply opens the armrest at his side and presses a single red button underneath, just as the driver swings the wheel hard to the left and yanks on the handbrake.

Suddenly a section of hedge on their left, thirty feet from the crossroads, drops straight down into the ground, timed so that when the skidding car comes level with it and the driver floors the accelerator, they shoot across the road, through the opening and down a ramp, the camouflage springing back into place behind them.

The shot remains fixed on the hedge for a moment, as the foliage sways to a standstill, then we hear the sound of a car approaching and the camera turns to look back up the road.

We see the battered hatchback accelerate as it comes round the bend, Patrick obviously panicking at the sight of empty road in front of him, and we follow the car as it passes us then skids to a halt at the junction up ahead. After a few seconds, the car speeds off in the direction it was heading and we watch as it vanishes around a long curve in the road.

The camera pans back round until it is once more focussed on the dappled shade of the woods opposite us and the gently rippling leaves of the hedge, then the scene slowly fades to black.

*****

Scene: A long subterranean corridor, concrete, starkly illuminated by florescent lights.

A door opens halfway down and Dorn steps through, closing it behind him and walking purposefully towards us. The camera follows him as he passes and we see him heading for the only other door; a heavy steel one in the end wall, with armed guards positioned on either side.

As Dorn reaches the end of the corridor, the shot cuts to a close-up of the door, but it is only when it opens and we see Dorn standing there, that we realise the director has pulled a fancy editing trick on us and we are already in the room on the other side.

The shot now pulls back and we see a black suited guard holding open the door as Dorn steps through, nodding curtly at the man as he steps into the room.

In contrast to the corridor outside, the room is warmly lit, comfortably furnished and has richly coloured wood paneling on the walls, there is even a log fire burning under an imposing stone mantlepiece, with leather club chairs on a richly patterned hearth rug.

Dorn walks past the camera and as he passes, our POV slowly moves round behind him. He heads for a desk at the end of the room, but now the angle of the shot makes it impossible for us to see who sits behind it. When he stops, however, we cut to a front view of Dorn from the other side of the desk.

We see him nod at whoever sits there, before lowering himself into a chair, where he folds his hands in his lap and purses his lips thoughtfully.

“It seems your little team of reprobates has become quite resourceful. They very nearly caught up with us, after the meeting with DCI Paddick this afternoon, I’m glad I had Howells driving me today, it was touch and go there for a minute.”

“Yes, I was surprised you let them get so close, did you not suspect the police report was a set-up? Never mind, at least we have them now, they won’t get far.”

The female voice from behind the desk seems oddly familiar, our memories search for a reference, but the director doesn’t give us the satisfaction, he cuts straight to Dorn’s POV and the Big Reveal.

The last thing we see is a shot of the woman sitting behind the desk and we see that it is…

…Cathy.

Fade to black.

************

To be continued (using next week’s prompt {which can now be found HERE})…

#SoCS

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Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Mission accomplished.

I’m going to cheat slightly for this week’s SoCS post, putting The Accumulator on hold (again, I know) to use Linda G Hill’s prompt to check that my new home is visible to y’all one last time, now that I’m properly ensconced on Return of the Internet Nobody. (I’d like to know, for instance, if your e-mail notification for this post brought you straight here, or if you were redirected by the sticky post on my old blog)

The instruction Linda gave us was;

” “pant.” Use the word “pant” as is, or find a word with “pant” in it and base your post on it. “

Ooookaay, let’s see…

Mission accomplished.

I’ve been a willing participant in SoCS for quite a while and now I’m the new occupant of this lovely new blog, I am panting with excitement at the thought of showing you all round.

It might seem a minor thing, set against the vast pantheon of blogging greats, (and no, I’m not being flippant) and I don’t want to make a big pantomime out of it, (it’s not like it took a fleet of pantechnicons for me to make the move) nor do I want you to think my ego is running rampant, but I’m very pleased with how it’s turned out.

I’m a bit like a baker who, having baked a beautiful cake, goes to admire it occasionally in their pantry, just to remind themselves how good it actually is, maybe adding a few more sprinkles here and there; I’ve been tinkering and tweaking and adding bits and bobs, trying to cram in as much as I can to make it look interesting.

So I hope that (a) you are reading this in the first place, and (b) you like the new surroundings in which you are reading it.

Oh bugger, I forgot all about the prompt…well, there’s no need to be a pantywaist about it, I’m big enough to admit when I’m beaten.

************

#SoCS

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