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Leo in a Dark Night
|On Thursday Ernie Wilmot kept me late at the construction site redoing some work that one of the new guys had done wrong. I've been working for Ernie for over 20 years so I guess when it comes to fixing screw-ups he figures I'm the one to call. Anyway, what with tearing out the flooring this particular ex-employee put in and then chewing the fat with Ernie afterwards I didn't get into my truck to head home until almost 8:00 at night.
I've lived in the Valley all my life so I'm pretty used to how nice it can look in the early Fall when the evenings aren't cold yet, just kind of sharp and crisp. As I headed down the dirt road from the site after giving a wave good-bye to Ernie I could see the lights of the city laid out before me. Most of the mills have shut down in the last 10 years or so and as a result the air is a lot cleaner than it used to be. Even with all the new people and their cars moving up here from California it still seems a lot more clear than it was when I was younger. At least it does when you're up in the hills on a spread of private property like the one Ernie's company was building that house on.
The driveway up to where the house is being built hasn't been paved yet but it comes out onto Table Rock Road about six miles from town. It's still pretty heavily wooded out there, one of the reasons that electronics executive bought the land I guess, and when you standing out there in the dark it's totally quiet and kinda spooky. If it weren't for the paved road you'd think you were back in the days when the Indians lived in the Valley. As I pulled out onto the road I turned on the radio to a country station I usually listen to and heard some loser singing about how his wife had run off with his younger brother. I don't have any brothers but if I had I wouldn't have been surprised if the woman I married high tailed it with one of them. As it was she hooked up with some car salesman which I figure is just about what she deserves. Last I heard they were heading north but that was a couple years back so who knows how that turned out.
It was dark and I was watching the road as it appeared before me in the headlights when the radio station started fading in and out. That was kind of weird because it'll usually do that a little further down the road nearer to Lower Table Rock but not where I was at that moment. I remember reaching for the dial thinking I could do without the country sob story anyway when things just went black.
There's a time there where I don't remember anything. It seems like it was just a moment but from what I found out later it must have been a lot longer. Anyway, it was like I shut my eyes for a second or two and then opened them again to find my truck headlights had gone out. I panicked because I thought I'd lost the electrical system but even as the rush of adrenaline hit and I slammed on the brakes it hit me that I couldn't hear the engine or feel the wind coming through the open window. In fact, it was completely quiet and it took another couple seconds for me to realize that I was sitting in my truck on the side of the road with the engine off.
I got really scared then because I couldn't figure out why the fuck my truck was just sitting there when I knew damn good and well I had been driving a second ago. I kind of hesitated then turned the key and the engine started right up. I turned on the lights and saw a stretch of country road with silent Douglas Fir trees lining both sides. So, feeling kind of stupid, I slowly started driving again.
Damn if a couple minutes later I didn't round a corner and see the Tolo Tavern up ahead of me. That really blew my mind cuz that place is four or five miles down the highway the opposite direction from where I had been heading. About then this voice in the back of my head started wondering out loud if this was what a stroke was like and for a guy a couple years shy of 50 that's not a voice you want to hear. I was tempted to pull into the parking lot and have about ten beers, something Ernie, Dave McVrey and I did every week or so after work, but I decided I'd just better get home. I was tired, confused and getting pretty hungry and I didn't think the Tolo was the place for me at that moment. I did a U-turn in the road and headed back the way I had come but took the first right I could and eventually got onto I-5 heading back into town.
By the time I got to my exit and neared home I was feeling less confused and a lot more hungry so I decided to stop at the store and grab some food. It's one of those 24 Hour supermarkets and as I headed inside from the parking lot I noticed that their clock on the wall way in the back was off. It said it was after midnight. The store was pretty empty so even though I had been thinking I just wanted to grab something quick I decided to get a cart instead and stock up on some stuff.
They say you aren't supposed to shop when you're hungry and if that's the case I made a big mistake that night. I was so hungry by the time I'd cruised up and down a couple aisles that I had to open a box of crackers just so I could get something in my stomach so it would stop growling. When I headed up to the checkout the cart was packed with just about everything under the sun and I was finishing the box of crackers. I was still hungry though.
The checker made some joke about all the food and I laughed with her and fought to keep myself from ripping open something as she passed the food over the scanner. That was just more weird shit cuz I couldn't remember ever being that hungry. I glanced out the glass wall of windows at the front of the store and what with the massive hunger it took a moment for the fact that something else was strange to hit me. The store is on a busy street, not far from a shopping mall, but right then there were almost no cars driving by. For a second I just looked outside, my hunger mostly forgotten, then slowly, slowly, I looked at my watch. It said 12:35, the same as the clock on the wall. In what I think was a normal voice I asked the woman what time it was and she quickly glanced at her watch between scanning items and told me it was 12:30 in the morning. That meant it had been a little over four and a half hours since I left Ernie at the construction site. Even given my detour to the Tolo Tavern I could remember maybe 40 minutes of the time since I had started home. Somehow I was missing about four hours of my life.
I would have just stood there replaying everything I could remember trying to come up with the missing four hours but the checker finished and gave me my total. I was so out of it I didn't even react to the fact that it was about five times as much as I normally spent. I just paid, pushed the cart out to my truck, loaded the groceries in the back and headed home. Halfway down the block I pulled over and got a bunch of bananas out of one of the bags. I ate three of them before I parked in my driveway.
The bananas didn't cut it and before I even put the food away I had a frozen dinner in the microwave and was heating up a frying pan to fry half a dozen eggs. A roast beef sandwich sounded good so I decided to slap one together while I waited. The cooking helped me to not think about whatever had happened. Somehow I knew that if I spent a lot of time trying to work out what went on out there I'd just end up driving myself crazy, so instead I cooked, ate, ate some more and pretty successfully thought about nothing at all. Luckily, by the time I finished I was so beat I just put away the stuff that would spoil, stripped off my clothes and threw myself into bed. I think I was asleep in about 11 seconds, give or take a few.
I had some weird dreams that night but I can't remember any of them. You know the feeling, though, when you wake up and you just lose the tail end of something really strange. Maybe it's better I didn't recall any of them - I'm not sure I want to remember whatever happened in those four hours. And despite what was going on in the back of my head I was pretty rested physically and didn't feel many of the aches I usually felt when I heaved my old carcass out of bed.
I'd overslept but Ernie had told me the night before not to bother making it in too early cuz Dave McVrey could run things in the morning. Dave and I were pretty much in charge of the crew working on the house even though Ernie usually made it out each day to all the sites his company had going at the moment. He and his son Jack are doing a pretty good job making a success of the outfit Ernie inherited from his old man and they did pretty well by me and the other guys they had working for them. Women too, since Ernie and Jack don't care who's swinging a hammer as long as they can hit a nail straight.
I hit the shower and for the first time in a while started singing while I was in there, a Three Dog Night song from way back, which goes to show how good I was feeling that morning. The only problem was that I was starting feel damn hungry again but I didn't think too long on that since that led to thoughts about the crazy stuff from the night before and I wanted to forget that. Turned out I didn't get a chance to though.
My missing wife once told me not long before the car salesman took her for a test drive that I shouldn't spend so much time out with the boys knocking back beers cuz I wasn't as young as I used to be. Then she gave my gut a look just to make sure I knew what she meant. Well, I figure when a guy gets to be 48 he's allowed a couple extra pounds. Besides, when she wasn't in a bitchy mood she'd sometimes say that I was still the best looking guy she'd ever married (there'd been a couple) and since I get lines like that from a fair amount of women I guess I'm doing OK. Still, the weight and drift downward, if you know what I mean, was something I accepted only cuz I had to not because it was what I wanted. That morning, though, when I stepped out of the shower and was drying off I got a glance at myself in the full length mirror on the bathroom door and just sort of stopped and stared at myself.
I had lost weight, somehow, except in the places where it looked like I had gained a bit. If that sounds confusing I guess that's fair cuz that's just how I felt looking at myself. Even after drying the mirror with my towel just to make sure I wasn't seeing things funny I looked the same, which means different than the day before. The gut my wife had commented on was almost gone, like it hadn't been hanging a bit over my pants for the last couple years. I turned sideways and still couldn't find it. It was like it had melted away overnight. As for the rest of me, well, I had always been a kind of big guy - I guess I hit six feet when I was about 16 and added two inches after that - but looking at myself it sure looked like I had picked up a couple pounds on my shoulders and arms and that my chest was sticking out a bit more than it was supposed to. I ran a hand over my chest and it seemed real enough even though it was a bit sore. It took me a couple seconds to notice that the gray and brown hairs that I have there were falling off as I rubbed my hand across my torso. Not all of them but enough so I could see them falling down past my stomach and my dick onto the bathroom tile.
That got me looking down so I checked out my dick. I'm not sure why but it's probably the most important thing I own so I just wanted to be sure it was OK. It looked fine, big as usual which I guess is bigger than most but then I haven't done a lot of comparing. Just moving it around with my hand got a feeling going in my balls I missed having as much as I used to so I decided I might as well take care of that since it was about the only familiar thing I'd come across in the last 12 hours or so. Usually when I jerk off I do it in bed and think about some woman from the magazines Ernie has stacked in the corner of his office but this time I just grabbed a handful of some lotion on the counter and slicked myself up. I got hard in no time, which isn't always the case, and I just stood there just staring at myself in the mirror. I t was weird, cuz the guy I was seeing looked a lot more like me from ten years ago than the one from last night. For about the fifth time I wondered what the fuck had happened to me driving down Table Rock Road but with my dick feeling harder than it had in I don't know how long I consciously decided I didn't care and just got down to business.
A man gets to know his dick better than any other part of his body so even as my knees were bending and my legs starting to shake I knew that what I had in my hand was a little different than what I was used to. A little longer and a little thicker from the feel of it but then I started shooting and stopped thinking about anything. It was a good load, real good, and it sprayed all over the younger looking me in the mirror but since he was shooting right back I guess that was fair. Man it felt good, like one of the first times you jerked off when you were just a kid, before you had sex and knew what it was like to have someone help you get off. I didn't quite fall to the floor but I had to put my free hand - somehow it had gotten to my right nipple and was squeezing hard - on the counter to keep myself up. After a couple of hoarse grunts and some of those full body shivers you get when you keep jerking after you've shot I got control of myself and started cleaning up.
As I was wiping my dick clean I noticed something I missed when I was inspecting myself earlier. On my stomach, just to the right and up from my bellybutton, there were three small red patches of skin, each about a half inch across. They were in a line about three inches long and I'd never seen them before. When I pressed each of the spots they were a little tender but that was about it. As I looked at them all I could think was that they probably weren't there when I left work the night before.
It didn't look like thinking about it was going to answer much so I headed out of the bathroom but stopped when I noticed the scale by the door. It had been Marla's, my wife, but she hadn't liked to use it because it usually told her things she didn't want to know. I had never used it but I stepped on it now and the electronic display flashed for a couple seconds and then read 204 pounds. I looked at it for a bit then shrugged and stepped off. Didn't mean much when I had no past weight to compare it to.
As I headed back into the bedroom I noticed that I was hungry again, along the lines of how I'd been the night before. I got dressed in my work clothes, noticing that I was two notches down on my belt but that my shirt and jeans were tight in other places, and headed to the kitchen for another marathon meal. I spent about an hour in there and in the end didn't feel full but at least I was less hungry. When I went out to my truck I had two garbage bags with me full of sandwiches and crap so I could keep eating during the day. I had a feeling I'd need all the food I could get my hands on. Just to be sure I stopped at the store on the way to work and got a couple more bunches of bananas and a box of those protein bars that Jack Wilmot's always eating. I started in on the bananas as I drove to work.
Lon Walling, the electronics guy that hired Ernie to build his house, was flying up that day from San Jose, I guess to check up on one of his factories out near White City and to see out how the house was shaping up. Ernie said I could miss most of the morning but that he wanted me there by noon cuz Walling was due in sometime after that. It was a completely sunny day as I drove to the site and I whistled most of the way with the Fall air whipping in through both open windows. I felt good, better than I had in a long time, and if it took three small bruises on my stomach to get me that way I wasn't too worried about it. I was getting a little tired of the bananas so I grabbed a sandwich from one of the bags and finished it and one more before I got to the house.
When I pulled up I saw Dave and Jack talking over near the construction trailer near the front edge of the home site. Jack waved as I got out of the truck and I walked over to them, throwing a look at the house where I could see a couple of the guys and one woman working on one of the exterior walls.
"Morning, Leo," Jack said as I got to them. Dave did likewise.
"Hey guys," I said. "Great day isn't it." I guess I couldn't hold back that fact that I was feeling pretty good. Dave just threw my a look and said something about it being early yet before heading over to the house. I love the guy even though he's not the friendliest man you'll ever meet. Jack just laughed and led me over to the trailer.
Ernie sent Jack off to college up in Portland after he graduated from high school but after he got his degree he came right back and started building with his father. The kid's 28 now so that must have been about seven years ago. The two are very close, closer than Ernie had been with his old man, I guess partly because they both spent a couple years taking care of Leah, Jack's mother, when she was dying of cancer. Neither of them talk much about that but I know it hit them hard. Jack moved back in with his father during all that and now the two of them spend most of their time running the business. Construction's pretty much Ernie's life but Jack at least has some hobbies, which mostly means working out which I guess he started when he was away at school. He's built like his father, a little less than average height but stocky. With the time he spends lifting at the gym he goes to in town or in the basement at their place where he's got his own setup he's gotten pretty big, enough so that the few times he goes drinking with us the woman pretty much fall all over themselves trying to get his attention. Usually doesn't work though.
When we got into the trailer Jack let me know that Ernie wasn't going to be around that day so the two of us would have to show Walling around.
"Damn," I said. " I don't like that guy. How come Ernie's not going to take care of him?"
"Dad's not feeling well so he thought he'd stay home today. He said that I could fill in Walling on anything he needs to know and to sic you on him if he gets out of line." He smiled when he said the last part.
"Your papa's a brave man. Walling gets out of line and I'm liable to chuck him down the mountain." We both laughed at that because I'm known for being a big softy. Still, I was feeling kinda feisty that day. "So what's your Dad got? He seemed fine yesterday."
"He says he just feeling off. Thinks he must have come down with something last night."
I started thinking that I sort of came down with something myself but before I got very far with that thought Dave stuck his head in the door and told us Walling had shown up.
We left the trailer just as Walling was getting out of his oversized rental car. According to Ernie the guy got rich by starting one of those electronics companies back in college with a couple friends. He was maybe in his mid 30's now, richer than shit and looking to make more. The house we were building for him was going to be big, five or six bedrooms depending on how you used the space, but apparently he had the cash to pay for it all. He wasn't afraid to let us all know that fact either.
I let Jack meet the guy and made a slight detour to my truck where I grabbed three sandwiches and a couple protein bars. I thought it'd look a little weird carrying them around as we checked out the house so I grabbed my tool belt and took out a couple things to make room for the food. I guess that looked a little weird anyway but I was too hungry to care.
I rejoined the group and Jack reintroduced me to Walling. He was overdressed for the occasion though if he was in town on business maybe that was OK. He was wearing a white shirt and tie with his fancy dress pants but he must have left his suit coat on the car. His shiny, black shoes were already dusty from the unfinished ground which I guess he noticed too because he kept wiping one and then the other on his pant legs. Standing there with his hair slicked back and his sunglasses on he reminded me of Jack for a second which seemed weird because they're not much alike. Then it hit me that he had that same sort of built up look that Jack got from all the weights he pushed. This guy must have worked out too though he was taller and not as wide as Jack.
"Gentlemen, I don't have a lot of time so we'd better get this inspection done." With that Walling led us towards the house.
After about half an hour of looking things over it was obvious that Walling was unhappy with a lot of things. There was nothing major but he kept pointing out minor things he wanted us to change. Jack was polite and wrote down everything he had a problem with while Dave and I hung back a bit and fumed. By the time we'd gone through the house I had finished my food and was ready for Walling to leave so I could grab some more, but he wanted to take another look at the room where I had been working late the night before.
"How come you guys are so behind in this room? What are you saving it for?"
I didn't like his tone so I stepped forward before Jack could reply. "Actually, Mr. Walling, we weren't too happy with the work in this room so we're doing some of it over. It'll be done, along with everything else, right on schedule."
He gave me a look like I guess he gives they guys that work for him at his company but it didn't affect me much. I could respect the guy for what he had accomplished but not if they meant he was going to be an asshole from here on out. Besides, my stomach was yelling again and I was starting to notice that my clothes, which had been kinda tight that morning, were starting to really bind me in places. It wasn't putting me in a good mood.
Walling looked like he was about to answer me back but I cut him off. "We know you want us do the best job we can so we're checking things as we go and if we think something's less than perfect then we're redoing it. Only the best for you, sir." Then I gave him a smile which wasn't very sincere but then I didn't think he was either so it equaled out.
Sometimes I can be a little intimidating and what with everything that had happened recently I think I was a little more overbearing than normal. Walling must have thought so because he just looked around the room and said fine before heading back towards the front door. Jack gave me a smile and Dave raised his eyebrows before they followed him out of the room. I just shook my head and bent down to pick up hammer someone had left leaning against the wall near the door. As I did I heard and felt my shirt rip underneath my right arm. It had split from the armpit about halfway down my side and you could see my white tank-top underneath. I stood there for a couple seconds trying to decide what that meant then just shook my head and left the room.
Dave was heading over to the trailer when I came out the front door while Walling and Jack stood talking next to the rental car. They finished whatever they were saying and I heard Jack say good-bye before heading for the trailer himself. Walling opened the car door but stopped for a second before getting in and gave me a long look. I just looked back and after a second he got in, backed the car around and headed down the drive towards the road. I shrugged and headed to my truck to grab some more food.
Jack had to go check out a couple other construction sites they had going so he left a few minutes after Walling but not before thanking me for standing up to the guy. Dave and a couple of the crew asked me to go to lunch with them and even though I really wanted to I told them I had some things I needed to work on. As soon as they were gone I hopped in my truck and headed over to the store in Gold Hill to grab some more food and a new workshirt. By then most of the food I had packed that morning was gone and I was still pretty hungry. I picked up about ten more sandwiches, a bag of apples and a couple gallons of milk along with an extra-large shirt to replace the one that had ripped. I decided against getting new jeans because even though mine seemed to be getting tight they had been pretty loose to begin with so I figured they would hold.
I took a back road back to the site and when I was in a quiet area with nothing but trees around I pulled over and got out to change shirts. When I took off my old shirt I looked down and it was pretty clear that my old tank-top was starting to show some strain and not in the stomach area like usual. I just stood there in the sunlight turning my arms over and flexing my biceps wondering where the hell they had come from. They weren't huge or anything yet but they were definitely bigger, just like my chest obviously was. I ran a hand up under the tank-top and when I pulled it out it was covered with hair. That kind of made me nervous so I lifted the tank and saw that the hair was noticeably thinner though I couldn't think why. But then none of this made sense so I guess a little hair loss wassn't too surprising. With my tank up I could see my waist and by now my gut was completely gone and I was starting to see my stomach muscles in its place. I hadn't seen them since I was a teenager before I bulked up for football.
Checking lower I could feel that my thighs were definitely bigger inside my jeans and that my butt, which went flat about ten years ago was also larger. Not fat, like Dave's was, but just firm. At that point I took a quick look over my shoulder and since I was on the opposite side of the truck from the road and there didn't seem to be anyone around I put my hand down my pants to see how my old friend was doing.
It was like a replay of what happened that morning when I felt myself a bit. The second I got my dick in my hand it started thickening and that newly familiar ache began in my balls. I knew it was crazy but I couldn't help myself and after checking the area again I undid my belt and my pants, pulled down my underwear and pulled out my cock.
I was kinda running with this whole thing now, even if I didn't understand it, so when it took no time for my dick to be hard as a rock and pointing up towards the sky I just enjoyed it. Once Marla measured me when I was hard and it came out at about 7 1/2 inches. That's the length I had gotten used to skinning with my hand all these years but now as I started jerking it seemed like there was about an extra inch of dick to work with, not to mention more to get my hand around. I let some spit drop out of my mouth onto the head, which looked wider than usual, and worked it all over getting it nice and shiny. Then I did the same to the shaft and in no time I was leaning back against the truck with my eyes half closed feeling my whole body kinda vibrate as I jerked. My left hand went back up under my tank-top, first over my newly flat stomach then up to the right half of my chest. I found my nipple and started twisting it and almost yelled out loud at how good it felt.
If anyone had come by at that point I wouldn't have been able to stop what I was doing I was so fucking horny. I started getting close and from habit tried to picture this playmate, the one Dave and I had admired last time we were checking out the magazines in Ernie's office, but couldn't keep my mind on her. Instead I was just loving the fact that this old body of mine was looking about the best it had in 20 years and that my dick was looking even better. When my balls started pulling up to the bottom of my shaft my head went back onto the top of the pickup cab and I just about twisted off my nipple. My dick started shooting then and even though I wasn't looking down I could feel the size of the shots as they sprayed out over the ground. I must have let off six or seven good ones and it wasn't until half of them had gone off that I realized I was letting out this loud, low grunt with each one that was echoing off the trees around me.
When I got back to the site Dave and the crew were back from lunch and already working. I had my new shirt on and had eaten three sandwiches, two apples and drunk almost a gallon of milk so my stomach wasn't complaining so much. I went into the back room of the house to continue working on the mess I had inherited the day before and pretty much kept out of the way of everyone else. At that point I felt like a lot of work and very little thinking would do me good. I made a couple trips to the truck through the afternoon for food and finally decided to haul what I had back to where I was working. Dave saw me doing that and I thought he gave me kind of a funny look but he was a ways off and didn't say anything. I'm not sure if he noticed I was wearing a new shirt.
Around 5:00 Donnie Watts, a young guy Ernie had hired straight out of high school a couple years back, stuck his head in the back room and told me it was quitting time.
"Thanks, Donnie. I'll be outta here a little bit. You go ahead and have a good weekend though."
"I'm sure gonna try. You too. Oh, and Dave said to tell you he forgot he had to pick up his daughter at some school thing so he's already gone. He said it was your turn to lock things up." I thanked him and he started out the door then stopped and looked back at me with a funny expression on his face. "Leo, have you been hitting the weights or something?"
My stomach kinda twisted itself into a knot when he asked that and for some reason I felt guilty all of the sudden. I turned away and said over my shoulder, "Nah, just eating too much."
I guess he bought it cuz I heard him walk away towards the front door and then it was quiet through the rest of the house. When I was sure everyone was out I walked down the unfinished hallway towards the front door and watched the last of the crew drive away.
The whole site was quiet as I went around securing the trailer and all the equipment, thinking about what Donnie had said. I hadn't thought too much about the fact that whatever was happening to me was gonna be noticed by the people around me. With my wife gone and most of my buddies being the guys I worked with I didn't deal with a whole lot of people outside work. I guess I was getting grumpy in my old age cuz that was just fine with me, but if things kept up Ernie, Dave and Jack would be asking questions before long. At least it was Friday which gave me a couple of days to decide how to handle things.
When I was finished I headed to the truck reaching for my car keys in my pants. My jeans had gotten pretty tight during the day so it was tough getting my hand into my pocket and when I did get the keys I fumbled them and dropped them on the ground. I bent down to get them and heard and felt another rip, followed by cool air between my legs. My jeans had split on the inside seam of my left leg and when I checked it out I could see the end of my boxers and the beginning of my bare thigh showing through. I rubbed my leg and saw a bunch of dark hairs break off and fall to the ground.
It didn't strike me until I was locking the gate at the bottom of the drive that I was about to head home alone on Table Rock Road again. That kind of made me pause but at least this time it was still semi-light which made things seem a little less eerie. I didn't turn on the radio and I drove pretty fast down the road and through the spot where I had lost track of things the night before. For a second I thought about stopping to take a look but I decided it was getting a little too dark for that and I wasn't sure I wanted to see anything out there anyway.
I kind of had an idea in the back of my head about what happened to me. My mom died six years ago of the same type of cancer Ernie's wife did but she didn't tell me she had it until a couple weeks before it was all over. She lived near me in town and I used to spend a fair amount of time over at her place which Marla never liked but then the two of them would just as soon spit on each other as talk so that's not too surprising. Mom loved the tabloids, not cuz she believed what they said but because she thought they were funny especially the psychic predictions. She saved those for a year just so she could see how far off they were from what really happened. Sometimes I'd sort of look through those newspapers and the thing that always got me were the stories about the aliens that came down from space and fucked with some poor slob who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Mom thought those stories were pretty funny too and it's not like I believed them but there sure were a lot of people who said weird things like that had happened to them. It seems like even if 99% of the people are crackpots you've still got a couple left over who might have something believable to say. I guess you get my point even though if Mom were around she'd laugh her head off at what a fool I was being. Or maybe she wouldn't if she could see me now.
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