Round four is up!

February 5, 2007 | Karin's Blog | 76 comments

Okay, here we go. And remember you have until midnight this Friday to add your next line. Good luck!!!

1.Who said dying was easy?
Ruby May stepped out the front door of the Delta Funeral Home in what had been her good luck dress–until they buried her in it.
She studied her reflection in passing, and realized dying in Delta had a downside; she was a Blue Light Special on heels.
2. The gossip about Cassie Russel swirled around town like a nasty dust.
When it got back to the originator, she smiled, mission accomplished.
At the Tunica Tavern, Jack Slater overheard the rumor and crushed the beer can in his hand.
3. So what if he’d gained a reputation for being wicked. Dair Curator simply did what his race had done for thousands of years–watch over mortals.
He shot a glance at the bottle-dyed blonde, who stretched like a contented cat.
4.Lindy perused Steven’s form for the one hundredth time since lunch, wondering if today would be the day she would seduce him. Over two months of dating and the hottest it had gotten was a little open mouth kissing.
She blew out a sexually frustrated breath and watched him load tools into the long bed of his black Ford pickup.
5. Jack Sutton heard a whisper of movement a split second before an arm wrapped around his neck and something sharp plunged into his gut. The shocking reality that he’d just been stabbed registered as he was shoved to the cold, grease-stained concrete floor, his entire midsection on fire. Instinct forced him to his hands and knees before a hard shove sent him crashing back to the floor.
6. Elizabeth squeezed her eyes tight and turned her face away from the wicked-looking blade. She’d seen what it could do. Knew first hand the destruction it could bring.
7. To say I was running away would be to admit I couldn’t face the horror that had been inflicted upon me four months earlier. But at the moment, looking out the window of my fourteenth floor apartment, I was unwilling to acknowledge my life had been tilted off its axis. I wanted — no, needed, to believe this six-hundred mile move was motivated by an admirable sense of adventure rather than fear.
8. On Valentine’s Day, a Friday, Emma O’Manny woke up with two kids, a minivan, a house in the Portland suburbs, and a husband with a sick sense of humor. Three days later, she woke up with a headache, a bottle of Tums, no Kleenex—-and a purpose.
“God damn him!” she said into her cell as she turned the car left at the light onto Terwilliger.
9. Across the crowded ferry, the little girl looked up and Gabe Moreau ducked his head, praying she’d sit tight and stay the hell away. Blunt fingernails trenched into sweat slicked palms and a phantom tingle in his right palm itched to feel the reassuring weight of his standard issue Glock.
But the Glock was gone.
10. No doubt about it–Cosmo Fortune was a royal pain in the ass. Oh, he tried to make you think his brain-power had receded like his hairline, mumbled his way out of messes with his folksy charm, and all the while he juggled his numerous murky dealings with the same precise arcs as those flaming torches he now wielded onstage.
Mickey Kincaid stepped back into the anonymity of the stage’s curtained shadows, all too aware that alerting the wily old coot to his presence would be a mistake.
11. “I can make a woman come using just my mouth.”
George Beringer squinted through an alcoholic haze at his friend Damian Hunt, Viscount Atherton, trying to figure out exactly what Damian meant by that remark. They were both much too drunk, but then, what else was there to do on a cold winter’s night tucked away here at the Atherton estate, except discuss horses and politics, and now, obviously, sex?
12. When I walked into the office, it felt like the place was holding its breath.
“We’ve got a new client,” Laurel said in a low voice as I passed her desk. I stopped, and she added, “This client is… a little different,” pretending to fan herself.
13. I must’ve pissed off someone at Psych-Ops to pull down an assignment in Forgotten Detroit. I’d been deep inside the maze-like streets of the city’s underbelly half an hour too long, which made me the poster girl for cramped and crabby.
The slivered moon illuminated the deep alley of 14th, where I’d posted into a back corner of the derelict Detroit Hotel.
14. Death comes to all of us in many ways. It doesn’t consider how it leaves us to the mercy of others who must view our remains.
This time, death had come suddenly and without warning.
15. “Maybe you should consider getting a boob job.”
“What?” Kelsie Collins said, pausing mid-bite to look at her mother from across the dinner table; which was, thankfully, tucked away in the far corner of the busy restaurant.
“Come on, honey,” her mother began as she reached for a dinner roll and pat of butter, “you and I both know that fake boobs are all the rage right now.”
16. I was in sophomore English–midweek, early November, daydreaming about life after high school–when Sam Blaine made his first move and Jane Austen made her first comment.
“Ellie-ee-ee,” the sinfully cute but annoying-as-hell Sam Blaine chanted softly from his seat behind me. He whispered my name again then walked two of his fingers up the imaginary ladder between my shoulder blades until I shivered.
17. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be the female version of either Sherlock Holmes or Wong Fei Hung, and that pretty much sums up my life.
We’re on our way to our grandpa’s house when we hear the yelling.
“Hey cutie, what’s a girl like you doing with that chink?”
18. Jordan James paced the tight confines of the elevator, her pounding feet echoed loudly in the tight space. Hospital staff, sick children, and anxious parents huddled in a corner and peered at her nervously. Not that she blamed them; her six foot four, solid size fourteen frame caused uneasiness under normal circumstances, now, she knew she looked positively lethal.
19. “Despite what you apparently believe,” Lieutenant Kathryn Glace snapped, the pale skin across her cheeks tightening and tinting peach, “I’ve given this a great deal of thought—the family is legitimate, and their unique. . .talents. . have proven significantly helpful in the past.”
“I know who they are,” Nick said, trying to iron the grit from his voice. He knew what they were too: gypsies, tramps and thieves.
20. Fighting the natural urge to fade away, disappear, and remain in reclusion, Lelandi Wildhaven spied the seedy tavern down the street where she would set up her first night of surveillance.
Why had her sister ended up dead—here, of all the godforsaken places in the States? A pang of anger and regret scraped Lelandi’s insides like a ragged knife.
21. Damn, it’s hotter than the devil’s backyard out here.” Castana Castillo took her hands from the steering wheel just long enough to swipe at the river of sweat running down the nape of her neck and to adjust the volume on George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning”.
The truck and two-horse trailer swerved, and she quickly regained control of the rig, but not before something bounced off the right front fender with a sickening thud.
22. “Not no, but hell no,” Maggie said as they stood behind the stage in the massive ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in downtown Dallas.
“We’re desperate, Mag, and Jessie said she’d do it if you would,” Carrie pleaded.
“Seriously, our hair’s still damp, we’re wearing athletic bras that make us look like we’re back in junior high, and take a good look at our feet -Nike’s for godsakes!”
23. “All men are lying, cheating sex-fiends,” said an irate caller on the radio talk show.
“Amen, sister,” Kat Windsor said as she parked her rented SUV behind Hank’s Antiques and secured the 9 mm Glock semiautomatic in her shoulder holster.
As for motorcycle racing champion Dylan Silver, Kat didn’t know whether she wanted to protect him from the female fan stalking him or shoot him herself.
24. He’d introduced her to passion in payment for his life. And yet, the woman who would be Captain André Marin’s salvation had closed her mind against him, locking him out of her dreams. A waning moon crawled across a starless sky over the bow of the Trident, the French merchant vessel under his command.
25. Joshua shuddered as the massive red door creaked open, allowing the stench of brimstone to steal into the room. Soon he would have to pass through that horrifying door–unless he could come up with some way to evade his fate.
He strode over to the Waiting Room clerk, a fat man whose inadequate wings fluttered anxiously as Joshua banged his fist on the desk.
26. Through the darkness the child ran, dogging the woman’s heels. Short, angular legs that had never seen an ounce of baby fat, churned through the sweating foliage. The damp heat tightened, stealing her breath as the tropical jungle closed around her.
27. “Jesus Mari, when’s the last time you were laid?” The question, coming from this particular girlfriend, wasn’t really surprising; that she’d blurt it out in the middle of a crowded nightclub…well, that made me squirm.
“What,” I flashed a grin and batted my lashes in mock innocence “was I drooling?”
28. Wealth no longer amused Hugh Hennigan and tonight it suffocated him. Disengaging himself from the beautiful sable-wrapped woman climbing into his lap, he breathed, “Constance, please.”
The carriage was dark but he knew she frowned at him so he added, “I warned you, dressing an Irish stone mason in evening clothes and a top hat won’t make him one of the Four Hundred or even a suitable escort.”
29. “Damn loser recruit,” Captain Connors muttered as he sweltered in the alleyway, forced to endure the scents of week-old Chow Mein coming from the Dumpster he leaned against.
A mingle of sweet citrus and coconut strong enough to turn his stomach overpowered even the stench of the restaurant refuse surrounding him as the hairs rose on his arms.
It was one of them, had to be, only shape-shifters gave off that cloying scent a recruiter could catch a whiff of a hundred yards away.
30. “Just keep on driving, Mister,” Moxie said as she struggled to keep the gun in her hand from shaking as she aimed it at the man’s head.
He turned to look down the barrel of the gun, his eyes then trailing up her arm to look into her face.
She tried to put on a hard, outlawish-looking expression, but it wasn’t working—it’s hard to look evil when you’ve got curly red hair and freckles.
31. Kyra Delano sipped from her glass of whiskey straight, savouring the sharp burn on her tongue and chill of ice melting in its wake.
The intoxicating fumes invaded her refined sense of smell, removed her for a moment from the repugnant scent of cigarette smoke, old beer spills and sweat – a prerequisite for every nightclub she’d visited this last month.
A mirrored wall behind the bar, flaunted the outlook of jaded humans intent on having a good time – one woman in particular.
32. Trevor Carlton hated threats-when they were directed at him. He snapped the cell phone shut on his controlling wife’s warning not to drink excessively during her father’s wake; he planned to celebrate the old man’s death, just as he planned to celebrate hers. But first, he had to force someone else to pull the trigger.
33. “Some wild animal is going to eat you alive!”
The voice coming through the cell phone had Kia rolling her eyes, as she turned her car off the main road and through the narrow band of dark woods leading to her new home. The gorgeous, one-hundred year old, two-story house came into view, and she gasped, “Oh my God!”
34. The man lay face-up in a pool of his own blood. Kyra Walsh recoiled but not in terror, she’d seen dead bodies before. In her other life, not here.
35. Keaton, Lady Denham, cursed her bosom as she balanced on the ledge over her father’s study.
“Bloody breasts keep growing like the weeds in father’s garden,” she muttered to herself as she took another small step on the narrow ledge, unable to fully flatten herself as she had, even six months ago.
She took two more steps and the voices rising from the study became clear as they lifted up to greet her, soft but audible.
36. “I’m sorry to call, but this is bad,” her father said, his voice melodramatic, like over-rehearsed lines from a low-budget horror flick.
Quick as the question, “Bad for you or wife number five?” formed in her mind, attorney Kaitlyn Davis dismissed it because she already knew the answer.
So did her very efficient legal secretary, who rolled her eyes as she plopped a nine-inch thick expandable folder on Kaitlyn’s cluttered desk and mouthed, “Good luck,” before she left.
37. Kenzie Summers swiveled on the bar stool, her gaze encompassing every inch of the lively room in an attempt to find someone to ruin her reputation.
Every hormone in her body clicked to attention when she saw him, the epitome of pure sin, weaving through the gyrating couples on the dance floor.
“Aren’t you supposed to be at your engagement party, Kenzie?” her friend Nate, the bartender asked.
38. She’d become nothing more than a common thief.
No, not common – nothing about Egyptologist Katherine Meyer could ever be construed as common, especially when she was legally dead.
Kat checked her reflection in the bathroom mirror one last time, took a deep breath to settle the nerves in her stomach and told herself she looked pretty good for a seven-year-old corpse.
39. The town was quaint, post card perfect; no one would ever guess it held so much malice.
Deceptive, the whole friggin’ thing was so deceptive – she smirked at the thought – it wasn’t until you got a good look at the underbelly of the place that the uneasiness began to set in. And once it *had*
set in – it grew – spreading like a malignant cancer, until no amount of denial could send it into remission.
40. Lord, that man was gorgeous.
Of course, that was why I was standing in his office on a cold, wet Tuesday morning, dressed only in a form-fitting ruby red dress and matching strappy heels.
I was a little cold, but not enough to make me rethink my wordrobe choice – long legs and perky feet were my only real assests, so I had no choice but to show them.
41. Adam McKinnon stretched out on a tree branch and studied the full moon, his cool blue eyes contemplative. Several hundred feet down and off to the right, his small-looking but cozy cabin sat, puffing cheery clouds of smoke into the warm air from a stone chimney.
He inhaled deeply, the scent of the night and the surrounding forest rushed in, filling his lungs to bursting before releasing in a gush
42. Okay, let me say from the get-go, I do not have a problem with cops but right now, though, a cop has a real problem with me. What might give that away is that I’m standing on the side of the road in handcuffs with cold eggs in my pockets, making the fact that I really have to pee more pressing with every passing minute.
I’m bouncing around trying to ease the need when Officer Friendly puts himself in my face and says, “If you run, all you get as a bonus is sweaty.”
43.As much as he’d hoped Lacey McLaren had gained a hundred pounds and sprouted horns in the five years since he’d last seen her, she hadn’t. Noah cursed, unable to pull his gaze away; if anything, she was more beautiful now than when they’d first met. His heart tripped over itself, his gut twisting into knots as he watched her lead the chestnut mare into the middle of the indoor arena and mount up.
44. “Are you out of your mind–you can’t kidnap a cover model!”
“I don’t see why not—he’s only a man—not God.”
“I don’t care, Samantha—it’s wrong–we’ll end up in jail, and I don’t want to get thrown out of my first Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention.”
45. Sure Mary Poppins seemed delightful and charming when she was shaping the futures of Jane and Michael Banks, but now that she’s adopted me as a pet project, not so much. Okay, so chances are it’s not really her–my journal just happens to be channeling someone with exactly the same MO. That’s right, my journal, the two-dimensional little book that’s just supposed to sit idly by and take whatever it is that I’m dishing out.
46. Jordan Blake always figured he’d go to hell someday, but he never expected it to be this soon. His first clue was a no-brainer, the sign posted outside the town limits read: Hades, Colorado, population two hundred and six.
He almost hit the second clue as he wheeled his Lexus onto Main Street and immediately swerved to avoid the horse tied to the hitching rail.
47. “Son, you’ve got more metal in you than the Terminator.”
Immobile in a hospital bed with one leg in traction, one arm fractured, and bruises painted on his body like modern art on a canvas, Garrett McCloud found no humor in his doctor’s joke.
Refraining from comment, he watched Dr. Shaw flip open the chart and wrinkle his lips while he studied whatever mysterious gibberish doctors wrote on the things.
48. Maybe I should become a lesbian for a week,” I blurted.
Carol choked on what was left of her watered down frozen strawberry daiquiri.
I intended to pat her back, but she had become a blur – three too many daiquiris for me – and even the beige walls of my den seemed to move.
49. Like a snake, coiled and ready to strike, it’d been waiting for him when he’d arrived at work. And as it had when he’d first read it, his stomach knotted and cold fear wrapped around him.
He’d stared at the words, reading them but not processing them.
50. “Your sorry ass is going to be even sorrier, Jimmy Ray!”
The bat connected with a sickening, satisfying crunch. Jimmy Ray’s pained, horrified expression should have sent a spurt of triumph through Angel, but it didn’t.

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76 Comments

  1. Nicole Carter

    Adam McKinnon stretched out on a tree branch and studied the full moon, his cool blue eyes contemplative. Several hundred feet down and off to the right, his small-looking but cozy cabin sat, puffing cheery clouds of smoke into the warm air from a stone chimney.

    He inhaled deeply, the scent of the night and the surrounding forest rushed in, filling his lungs to bursting before releasing in a gush. How he loved the sidhe forest, with its all-around perfect weather, tall, tall trees and gentle, pulsing magic.

  2. Rachel

    Lord, that man was gorgeous.

    Of course, that was why I was standing in his office on a cold, wet Tuesday morning, dressed only in a form-fitting ruby red dress and matching strappy heels.

    I was a little cold, but not enough to make me rethink my wardrobe choice ““ long legs and perky feet were my only real assets, so I had no choice but to show them. It wasn’t as if I could rely on my *breasts* to carry the outfit ““ nope, left to their own devices, they’d let the team down every time.

  3. Diane Della Maggiora

    “Son, you’ve got more metal in you than the Terminator.”

    Immobile in a hospital bed with one leg in traction, one arm fractured, and bruises painted on his body like modern art on a canvas, Garrett McCloud found no humor in his doctor’s joke.

    Refraining from comment, he watched Dr. Shaw flip open the chart and wrinkle his lips while he studied whatever mysterious gibberish doctors wrote on the things. With his frizzy white hair, the good doctor remarkably resembled Einstein, and Garrett considered him as much a genius as the great scientist, in spite of the quirky, misplaced wit.

    *****
    Awesome lines, everyone! Good luck! Thanks, Karin!

  4. Heather W

    Karin, Rachel (post #52) corrected a typo from her previous entry (assets). I personally wouldn’t see this as a “change in the entry”, but is it?

    Just thought I’d note it – then if it is, she has time to make the change!

    Heather

  5. Karin

    Heather, the typos in Rachel’s case is no biggy. There have been a few like that. So long as actual words have not changed it’s cool.

  6. Heather W

    OK, great. I thought so, but you never know. 🙂

    Heather

  7. Mary Ann Webber

    Wealth no longer amused Hugh Hennigan and tonight it suffocated him. Disengaging himself from the beautiful sable-wrapped woman climbing into his lap, he breathed, “Constance, please.”
    The carriage was dark but he knew she frowned at him so he added, “I warned you, dressing an Irish stone mason in evening clothes and a top hat won’t make him one of the Four Hundred or even a suitable escort.”
    Constance Morgan-Stapleton placed a kid-gloved finger on Hugh’s lips as she told him anyone would mistake him for a viscount if he just didn’t speak, but Hugh’s mind was far from her words in a place called The West where, he’d heard, no one cared how people spoke or dressed.

    **********************
    Karin – Love the contest! I live from Monday to Monday!

  8. Rachel

    Thanks, Karin & Heather. From now on, I’m copy and pasting so I don’t make more typos :).
    Great contest, Karin!
    Rachel

  9. Mary Ann Chulick

    Joshua shuddered as the massive red door creaked open, allowing the stench of brimstone to steal into the room. Soon he would have to pass through that horrifying door–unless he could come up with some way to evade his fate.
    He strode over to the Waiting Room clerk, a fat man whose inadequate wings fluttered anxiously as Joshua banged his fist on the desk. “Pray tell me, am I destined to go through that infernal door, or is there a path to redemption?”

  10. Elisabeth

    She’d become nothing more than a common thief.

    No, not common – nothing about Egyptologist Katherine Meyer could ever be construed as common, especially when she was legally dead.

    Kat checked her reflection in the bathroom mirror one last time, took a deep breath to settle the nerves in her stomach and told herself she looked pretty good for a seven-year-old corpse. The black slacks and matching jacket were perfect, nothing fancy, not one thing about them the slightest bit memorable.

  11. Anne

    As much as he’d hoped Lacey McLaren had gained a hundred pounds and sprouted horns in the five years since he’d last seen her, she hadn’t. Noah cursed, unable to pull his gaze away; if anything, she was more beautiful now than when they’d first met. His heart tripped over itself, his gut twisting into knots as he watched her lead the chestnut mare into the middle of the indoor arena and mount up.
    Thank God it was too damn hot for chaps today; the image of her ass framed in tight suede was one he really didn’t need to carry with him.

  12. Lorie Hartt

    “Jesus Mari, when’s the last time you were laid?” The question, coming from this particular girlfriend, wasn’t really surprising; that she’d blurt it out in the middle of a crowded nightclub…well, that made me squirm.

    “What,” I flashed a grin and batted my lashes in mock innocence “was I drooling?”

    People around me started snickering, and I knew it was a sad reflection on my lack of a life, but I’d rather have them think I was ogling a stud muffin than learn that my apparent fascination with the young man had been no more than blank staring.
    ***********************************************
    Thanks again Karin, this is fun.

  13. Theresa

    “Despite what you apparently believe,” Lieutenant Kathryn Glace snapped, the pale skin across her cheeks tightening and tinting peach, “I’ve given this a great deal of thought””the family is legitimate, and their unique. . .talents. . have proven significantly helpful in the past.”

    “I know who they are,” Nick said, trying to iron the grit from his voice. He knew what they were too: gypsies, tramps and thieves. Okay, maybe not tramps, but the thievery bit sure as hell fit.

  14. Tina Conine

    Trevor Carlton hated threats-when they were directed at him. He snapped the cell phone shut on his controlling wife’s warning not to drink excessively during her father’s wake; he planned to celebrate the old man’s death, just as he planned to celebrate hers. But first, he had to force someone else to pull the trigger.

    The staccato of his heels against the ceramic tile echoed off the hallowed halls of Eaton-Smith Pharmaceuticals.

  15. Tina Conine

    Great contest! These are impressive first lines. I’ve never been in a contest where I get to watch the competition unfold. This has been an amazing experience. Thank you, Karin.

  16. Lorie Hartt

    I’m terribly sorry Karin, everyone.

    I’d not intended to, nor can I quite figure out how I did it… but I seem to have posted a chunk of my blog while I was reading some of the posted entries earlier.

    My apologies, I’d not intended to interrupt the game.

  17. Karin

    not to worry, Lorie.

    Tina glad you’re enjoying the contest, I love watching the stories evolve line by line too.

  18. Loretta Wheeler

    The town was quaint, post card perfect; no one would ever guess it held so much malice.

    Deceptive, the whole friggin’ thing was so deceptive – she smirked at the thought – it wasn’t until you got a good look at the underbelly of the place that the uneasiness began to set in. And once it *had* set in – it grew – spreading like a malignant cancer, until no amount of denial could send it into remission.

    Striding forward, eyes locked on the street in front of her, her heels drummed a tattoo on the sidewalk; stuttered a beat when she snagged her toe in a crack and then resumed their swift cadence.

  19. LaDonna

    Who said dying was easy?

    Ruby May stepped out the front door of the Delta Funeral Home in what had been her good luck dress–until they buried her in it.

    She studied her reflection in passing, and realized dying in Delta had a downside; she was Blue Light Special on heels.

    The town slowly receded as Ruby walked the winding Tennessee roads, passing old barns, tobacco fields, and coming to Sunset Hill.

  20. Alyssa Goodnight

    Sure Mary Poppins seemed delightful and charming when she was shaping the futures of Jane and Michael Banks, but now that she’s adopted me as a pet project, not so much. Okay, so chances are it’s not really her”“my journal just happens to be channeling someone with exactly the same MO. That’s right, my journal, the two-dimensional little book that’s just supposed to sit idly by and take whatever it is that I’m dishing out. I poured in my personal, private thoughts (okay, so really they were more just random musings), and it spewed out a snarky little one-liner, fortune cookie style.

  21. Gaill

    Okay, let me say from the get-go, I do not have a problem with cops but right now, though, a cop has a real problem with me. What might give that away is that I’m standing on the side of the road in handcuffs with cold eggs in my pockets, making the fact that I really have to pee more pressing with every passing minute.
    I’m bouncing around trying to ease the need when Officer Friendly puts himself in my face and says, “If you run, all you get as a bonus is sweaty.”

    As scared as I am I should keep my mouth shut because, oh yeah, I just dropped the “F” bomb.

  22. Mary Marvella

    “Maybe I should become a lesbian for a week,” I blurted.
    Carol choked on what was left of her watered down frozen strawberry daiquiri.
    I intended to pat her back, but she had become a blur ““ three too many daiquiris for me ““ so even the beige walls of my den seemed to move.
    “Where the hell did that come from?” Carol asked, staring at me as if I’d grown two heads.

  23. Mary Marvella

    I’m at my daughter’s house dog sitting for my granddogs and almost forgot to post! I decided to involve my CPs in the task of helping me get the most bang for my dime. They found is was more difficult than they thought it would be.

    Whew. Now to make it through the weekend. Good luck everyone.

  24. Gaill

    WOW! I may be wrong, but I think this is the first round that everyone got posted, or posted on time! This is a scary round for me, reading over the fourth lines and seeing all the great ways these stories are shaping up is a little intimidating! Okay, a LOT intimidating! Good luck to everyone!

  25. LaDonna

    Karin sorry but I left a word out. Then I started tweaking line four again and well… here’s my four lines again! LOL.

    *****

    Who said dying was easy?

    Ruby May stepped out the front door of the Delta Funeral Home in what had been her good luck dress–until they buried her in it.

    She studied her reflection in passing, and realized dying in Delta had a downside; she was a Blue Light Special on heels.

    The town slowly receded as Ruby walked the winding Tennessee roads, reliving life moments all strung together like glass beads.

  26. Karin

    ok, I hope all of the lines are in coz time is up!

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