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Thread: Under Cover of Darkness- The Adventures of Sin Cargo

  1. #1
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    Under Cover of Darkness- The Adventures of Sin Cargo

    Under Cover of Darkness- The Adventures of Sin Cargo

    Welcome to the start of the world's most unpublishable novel.

    The boy sat in the bed. It was where he usually sat. He was quite comfortable there and leaned over to pick up the book Treasure Island. Reading books was what he did best. He was nearly fifteen, sandy-haired, pale, and looked as normal as a boy could look who was a bleeder.

    His mother came in with his Famous Amos cookies and chocolate milk.

    Famous Amos will want a piece of my royalties after this one for sure)

    She sat next to him, and placed her slender fingers against his forehead to check. There was nothing this time, no heat. She sighed a sigh of relief.

    “How you feeling, Squirt?”

    “Fine,” he answered. He didn’t like her using that name. Only his father had called him that.

    “Don’t call me Squirt,” he said, “he’s been gone two years now.”

    “All right,” she said sharply, “I won’t.”

    (ooh, tension between mother and child so early in a dime novel! readers will simply have to read more!)

    She pulled her hand away, got up and left. Just thinking of her husband had turned her sour. It turned the boy sour too. A sour sickboy and a lemony mother. What a pair of pucker-mouths they made.

    (that was a clever line. Maybe too clever.)

    “I shouldn’t have called him that,” she said to herself as she entered her bedroom and approached her computer.

    “What’s wrong with me?”

    She already knew the answer.

    “I didn’t think. I never seem to think.”

    She was wrong. In fact she thought too much. But she was good at not thinking, it’s true.

    Not thinking of her husband had become her specialty. Most memories she had of him weren’t good. She had other things to do than remember the savageness of his endless beatings, constant drunkenness seasoned with harsh words, and various and sundry crimes he’d committed upon her person measured out by the severity of his tortured soul. The dramatic bastard. There were moments she thought she'd never survive him.

    (I’m beginning to suspect this part is over-written, but like a fart, it will get attention)

    The abuse had become too much and added up. The sum it had come to was too much for her to cipher. That’s why she threw him out and divorced his worthless ***. She had better things to do. She would look at some pretty pictures now, the ones on the computer screen and give herself a break if nothing else. She was tired of trying to make things right.

    Some women can do better without men. But some women, after they’d had their first taste of a man, change in some subtle way, and feel they need one forever more. Good man or bad man it makes no difference. Although Cathy was certainly not the former, she was not the latter, but felt somewhere in the middle. Cathy hated being in the middle. Therefore her songs were not always of exaltation, but neither did she sing the blues. But you have to admit, singing the blues is sometimes better than not singing at all. Just ask Eric Clapton.

    (now Eric is gonna get sore because I used his name, I just know it. But he'll get over it, won't cha Eric?)

    She scrolled down to her favorite website and began to search. Paintings of faraway places? No, that was yesterday. Today she felt artistic in a photographic sort of way. For her that wasn’t so hard, she knew a lot about art and had taken it in college. She took photographs too. Now she had a degree. Too bad the degree wouldn’t keep her warm. All the degrees in the world wouldn’t do that and she was reminded of it only too well by long winter nights when she slept alone. She was always sleeping alone and lonely or lonely alone as John Lennon once said.

    Between photos and paintings she’d divided her time. In these she made her daily escape.

    (This part is OK though, as John Lennon is quite dead. God bless his gnarly Rubber Soul)

    “Cathy, you’ve got talent,” her photography teacher told her, “you should do something with it.”

    Her photography teacher. Always trite as Perdition.

    (what the hell does Trite as Perdition mean? I dunno, but it’s more artistic than trite as hell)

    She’d always been reticent with her words, but with images she became articulate, through images she could express herself with perfection.

    She sat in her room scrolling through the photos of warm faraway places. In his room her son did the same with his brain and the pictures Stevenson painted in his mind. The house remained quiet except for the sound of an occasional raindrop hitting the window pane with a pitter or a patter, either one, and the sound of her fingers tapping the keyboard or mouse, or a page being turned by the sick boy lying in bed. Besides those three sounds it remained as empty and quiet as a tomb.


    The house the rain fell on was in Washington, was cold and wet. So when she looked at pictures, or when the boy read stories, it was usually of tropical climes. They didn’t know each other was doing it. They didn’t know they shared the same dreams. In dreaming they were mates, so close they could almost touch. In living, their memories of the father, different from each vantage point, had driven them miles apart.

    (more tension!)

    The next day began with a bang. Alex heard it and woke up. The screen door slamming shut. His aunt arrived in the early morning hours, as usual, from a hard night out. Or a Hard Days Night Out, either one.

    (again, the Beatles, younger readers are going to peg me for the old codger I am. I dunno if that’s good or bad at this point)

    “Alex, you up yet? Hurry up; we’ll be late for school.”

    Mona was Cathy’s younger sister. She was shorter than Cathy in more ways than one and not nearly so pretty to her way of thinking. Her hair was a dirty blond color, and though her legs were short they were shapely and she made the best of them by wearing the shortest skirts allowed by law. You couldn’t blame the woman. She wouldn’t allow you to anyway.

    When he was done dressing and washing his face she caught him running down the stairs.

    “Don’t ever let your mother see you do that!” she warned as he jumped in the car.

    “I never do.”

    “You could take a fall and end up in the hospital again.”

    “What’s new?”

    “How many times has it been now Alex?”

    “Eleven I think, maybe twelve, I forget.”

    “Well,” she said, “that’s twelve too many for me. Here we are.”

    He got out in front of the school.

    “I forgot my lunch,” he said imploringly with his hand out.

    “Here,” she said handing him a five-dollar bill, “lunch is on me.”

    Generous Auntie could give so much but always wanted more. She made a U turn and went back to the house. She waved him a good-bye wave while looking in the rear-view mirror. She looked in it a bit to check her mascara. The eyes she saw were pretty. Not as pretty as her sister’s but pretty. Her hair was shiny and looked almost wet. Not as shiny as Cathy’s but shiny. She quickly tugged the steering wheel to the left when she almost hit a parked car. Snapping out of her reverie, she now gave attention to the road instead of herself.
    “I’m a good driver,” she said aloud, though no one was there. “Not as good as Cathy but good.”

    (I think there’s a plotline here showing like a fat lady’s slip.)

    Then she pulled into an unidentified restaurant and ate the McGreasiest McBreakfast McSandwich she could find.

    (the publishers will never let me use this one, they don’t like legal suits from major corporations)

    When Cathy went to work that morning she took her camera with her. She passed by an orchard where apples were being picked. They seemed a good subject for a photo. She liked the red roundness of the fruit against the green sharp leaves. She stopped, got out, took a few frames, then left and hurried to work.

    A man picked one of the Galas and placed with others in a box. It was put in a truck and began a journey of a million miles down south where it eventually ended up in a market in San Diego mixed in a pile with its brothers and sisters.

    (the papers for a suit from the Apple Growers association have already arrived in the mail)

    A photographer wanted some fruit for a still life, saw its red roundness and imagined that sharp green leaves had once been behind it. He placed it in his basket and took it home. San Diego is far from Washington but in some ways so near, don’t you think? And life is stranger than fiction.

    (I’m not sure what this means but it sounds good. That’s writing for ya, pragmatic as the Medici's)

    After shopping he headed west and wound his way home.

    When he got his long legs free of the small Triumph he slammed the door with a metallic click. He slung his old Nikon over his shoulder and stepped up to the curb, crossed the walk with very few strides, and entered the gate at the side. He lived in a garage in back. The rent was cheap, even though it was only two blocks from the Jetty. Ocean Beach is where all the poor white trash of San Diego live who can only afford a small taste of California coastline. That was alright with him.

    (Now I’ve offended all the people of the City of San Diego, oops!)

    Call him Dude. Everybody else does.

    (personally I love this line. Sure, it’s ripping off Melville, (Call me Ishmael) but what the heck, Melville is long dead and I never liked Moby Dick anyway, it gave me an inferiority complex for some unmentionable reason)

    A neighbor, Old Man, lived across the alleyway and saw he was home. He picked up his baggie and walked over, then knocked on the door.

    “Hey Dude, you home? I got a surprise.”

    It was a routine he enjoyed. Old men love their routines.

    “Of course I am, Old Man, just open the door and come in. I’m fresh out of ceremony.”

    The first thing the old man said when he got inside was,

    “Got papers?"

    “Always, for you, Compadre.”

    (Hispanic readers should enjoy the use of Espanol. Wish I could figure out on the damn computer how it use accent marks, but I’m too stupid for that)

    Old man took a seat on the beat-up couch. Dusty too. Dusty beat up and falling apart. He caught the pack of Clubs thrown his direction. When Dude was on you-tube he couldn’t be bothered with formalities.

    (Clubs are the finest smoking papers there are. When ya burn em alone they leave no ash. This part will entertain all the potheads. On the other hand it will reveal I’m a blazer myself. Oh well, an artist is expected to make sacrifices for his art… I guess)

    "Watch this,” Dude said. He was wiring you-tube to the TV.

    On it appeared an image of ancient rock and roll. It was Steve Marriot of Small Faces back in The Day. They were singing Tin Soldier in a color clip from Belgium TV.

    “Incredible voice,” said Old Man, who by now was taking a hit.

    “Incredible musician,” said Dude, who took the next one after it was passed.

    (Steve WAS the best, and would not be offended at all. I hope this part makes everyone watch this on you-tube! Look up 'Black-Coffee' by Humble Pie)

    The afternoon was thus spent. They got cotton mouths, drank Stella Artois, which Dude pointed out was from Belgium as well.

    (at this very moment the beer lawyers in Belgium are already licking the stamps to paste on the envelopes with my address)

    “I knew a girl once liked Belgium chocolate,” he said, “the ones that look like seashells. She was so hot, this girl was, the chocolates melted in her mouth like butter.”

    “How about the time I was stuck in the Brussels train station at three AM?” Old Man shot back with impeccable aim.

    It went between them that way all afternoon. Ping-ponging thoughts back and forth was their amusement. That’s just how blazers are. Among weed smokers time-wasting and tale-telling are occupational hazards they relish.

    ( I gotta stop here, I’m already in too much trouble. Is this novel long enough yet? Doesn’t seem like it, sooo….)

    Tales of Sin Cargo-and the author's notes… continued

    Welcome to another slice of the world’s most unpublishable novel, Undercover of Darkness, the Tales of Sin Cargo. Dude has yet to be introduced to Cathy, and will be, through her son.

    …While she was dreaming the boy was dreaming too. All safe in his bed he dreamt of islands and pirates and gold sandy beaches where brown wooden boxes bound in rusted iron bands could easily be unearthed from the sand with a shovel. He dreamt he was digging one up. But what’s this? A man was standing in the surf that didn’t look like a pirate at all. No way! He was dressed in baggies, had flip-flops on his feet and was wearing sunglasses.

    “What kind of a pirate dude is this?” he said to his dreamself. The answer was simple: A very special kind of dude, and no pirate at all.

    The turned over and went on to a different place entirely.

    (that’s what I call a transition, when you change locations, you need a transition, everybody knows that. This tale is confusing enough as it is.)

    In Ocean Beach Dude watched closely as a small black crab the size of a postage stamp scrambled over his palm in terror. When it got to the edge of his palm it fell over, then down through the air like a skydiver, hitting the rubber part of his flip-flops, the piece that ran between his toes, bounced, and was carried off by the retreating surf. He removed his sunglasses to watch its’ escape more carefully then decided he needed some suntan around his eyes so he folded them and placed them in his baggies.

    (oh, I always like to include this personal stuff- this happened to me at the beach, and besides, anyone who’s been to San Diego knows about Ocean Beach, and will think this story is absolutely drips with salt-water authenticity)

    He walked back to the pier where Old Man was under an umbrella reading The Master of Ballantrae.

    (this is good for the high-brow types, Stevenson and all, less-know work and all)

    “What’s that?”

    Old Man looked up.

    “It’s a tale of high adventure. The best Stevenson ever wrote.”

    “Oh,” he didn’t sound impressed.

    “You ever read, Dude?”

    “Not much,” he answered, then added thoughtfully, “but if was up to me, I’d rather live a life of high adventure than read about it.”

    (oh goody, more foreshadowing, readers can never get enough foreshadowing, they just eat it up!)

    Old Man looked out real far, as if he could see over the horizon, as if looking there brought memories.

    “I know what you mean. I know exactly what you mean.”

    (Oh really now, this foreshadowing stuff is really first-rate. Now the readers can suspect that The Old Man has a past, and that Dude is ready for adventure! They’re on the edge of their seats, I just bettcha!)

    He turned back to his book and became lost in thought, which he figured was as good a place as any.

    Dude felt restless, and sat in the sand a minute to calm his *ss down, watching the surfers sitting on their boards waiting for waves. He was restless only because he’d been waiting too long for something but had no idea what it was. That’s what was wrong with him. He was a restless Dude stuck on a beach, waiting for the tide to come in and carry him away, anything for a change. He’d had his fill of waiting.

    (wonder what’s wrong with me too? I’m restless, stuck writing a book, don’t have the slightest idea what I’m doing, only that I’ll do anything for change (money to normal folks, but maybe just change with royalties being what they are.)

    (OK, so enough of this foreshadowing stuff, let’s change locations and go back up north to Cathy and the Oregon bit. Wonder if I need a transition here? I can’t think of one right away so what the heck)

    Up north the day was wet and damp. Alex sat in his bed and examined his books. Exotic climes had become his specialty, and not just the climes and their flora. He liked their fauna too. Animals, exotic animals, zoo-class animals were his great interest. What he needed was a zoo. While texting to Dude he discovered just what he wanted, the San Diego Zoo. He texted:

    “Have you ever been to the zoo?”

    “Of course, in fourth grade every kid in San Diego goes to the zoo. When I went to Roosevelt Middle School, it was right next to the zoo. In fact, when we played hand-ball during gym, the guys would knock balls over the wall accidentally, and go into the zoo to retrieve them. It was right where the llamas and camels were! Can you believe that? They didn’t seem to mind a bit. (the llamas, not the coaches.)”

    (Now every student that ever went to Roosevelt Jr. High will relate to this. They're all grown up now and probably rich! Maybe one of them will read this and become my Patron!)

    As far as believing goes, he didn’t at first. Then Dude e-mailed him some pictures. There was the school, the handball courts, the back-gate to the zoo. Alex decided he couldn’t sue Dude for false advertisement. He was telling the truth.

    Alex imagined that Dude lived in a town where it was always warm, had a zoo, and was just a breath away from Mexico. What a truly wondrous city San Diego must be.

    (Nobody is going to believe this but the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. Maybe they’ll buy a copy and bronze it and put it on display in the city hall, kinda like the Lincoln Memorial)

    “We should go the zoo some time Mom."

    She was in the kitchen with Mona making dinner. A bunch of turnips were in the sink. Cathy was tearing their tops off.

    “What zoo?"

    “The San Diego Zoo.”

    “San Diego? Why Alex, that’s hundreds of miles from here!”

    Mona held her hand up to him and felt his forehead, as if he was sick. Cathy gave her a look.

    “He’s Ok Sis, there’s nothing wrong.”

    (what’s wrong is that they expect him to eat turnips! Again, sorry Mom, but this autobiographical crap just has to be purged. I never liked your turnips! But I had to write it, ‘cause most readers hate turnips too, and I need to sell this thing. I needed to have an example of audience identification and figured turnips were just the thing)

    “He’s out of his mind, that’s all,” said Cathy, “Alex, you’re out of your mind!”

    “You should have felt my forehead better,” he shot back, “because you guys make me sick!”

    He ran upstairs. Mona started to follow when Cathy said,

    “Just let him go. I wish we could afford it, he’d like it a lot.”

    Alex shouted down, “And forget about turnips! You know I don’t like turnips! No way am I gonna eat friggen turnips!”

    ( I think I’ll use a semi-naughty word here, but all the readers will know what actual naughty word I mean, good readers have imaginations!)

    “He’d like it,” said Mona, “and so would I.”

    Well,” Practical Cathy replied with a sigh, “I wish we could go. I’d probably like it too. But all the wishing in the world doesn’t make anything so.”

    She looked down at the vegetables in her hand and repeated a rhyme she’d once heard,

    “If wishes were horses then beggars would ride

    If watches were turnips, I’d wear one by my side.”

    (I put that in what they call italics so the art students would get some kind of esthetic thrill.)

    (every good writer worth his salt likes a piece of deep-level poetry and includes in his latest novel. It ain’t Milton, but hey. Who wrote this classic turnip piece anyway? I better google it and find out.)

    She placed a purple-white turnip next to her waist, looked over at Mona, smiled absently, and continued preparing dinner as if nothing had happened.

    Of course it had, but you know how it is with Cathy. She’s always the last to know.

    Mona did an unexpected thing, the kind of thing you'd expect her to do. She entered Shotgun Tom’s radio contest for a vacation getaway. It didn't seem like much at the time, just an application form she got in the mail. Not much mind you just a bit of ink on paper but you have observed that many great things have been started with just a bit of ink. She filled it out, put it in an envelope, and right before she dropped it in the mailbox sealed it with a kiss. You know, SWAK! Just like that.

    (Ah, Shotgun Tom! A fixture on radio in LA, formerly in San Diego! Everybody knows him! Wonder if he’ll sue me for using his name? Or will he want an autographed copy? You can never tell about radio DJ’s)

    Though Mona's kisses never proved lucky when she put them on the lips of the men in her life, her kisses placed upon paper would prove quite another matter.

    ( Ah yes, the old “prove quite another matter “ ploy. It sounds so very English, so Conan Doyle and all, and will appeal to readers over the pond. Why, that will ensure international sales. Maybe later I’ll use “mais oui’ somewhere and rope in the French too, we can’t leave them out)

    It was a month later when Mona walked in the door tired and exhausted. When she went to get the mail she hardly looked at it as she trudged up the stairs with her hand full of letters. She threw them on the table near her bed and ignored them. They sat in a pile for three days. Then she thought she’d better check them, one might be a bill. One was always a bill. The first one was. It was from the annoying cable company. The cable company was always annoying.

    (Ah yes, everyone hates bills from the cable company, now that’s an example of audience identification! A stroke of pure genius!)

    The second one was different, and contained her dream come true. You might wonder what Mona’s dream was. You could figure it out in a second by examining an old photo of the sisters that hung in the hallway. Cathy, the oldest, is standing in front, her shoulders overlap Mona’s. In fact, you notice right away that Mona is standing in Cathy’s shadow. This picture is worth a thousand words. Cathy was first, and would always come first. An over achiever, she excelled in school and Mona who followed behind, wasn’t even called Mona.

    “Oh, so you’re Cathy’s sister,” is what her teachers said when they met her. Imagine being someone else’s sister for eleven years of school. She internalized it, that’s what she did. Mona lived her life in Cathy’s shadow and was tired of second place. Mona wanted first. This letter might change things.

    In it was the way to winning Alexis’ heart away from Cathy, putting her in first place, and a chance to win someone her own heart was interested in too. It was a response from radio station 105.1 on your dial, “The Buzz”, sending them to San Diego. Alex was in his room slaving on his homework.

    (Oh, oh, I’m so excited about this part. Bettcha the readers are too. They suspect they’re in for an adventure, an adventure in reading!)

    “Well Alex, you’d better pack your bag.”

    “Why,” he answered barely paying attention, “where are we going?”

    “To San Diego!”

    “San Diego?”

    “Yes, Nimrod, to the San Diego Zoo!”

    “The Zoo?” and he looked up.

    “Yes, Mighty Hunter, the zoo, and SeaWorld, and the Wild Animal Park and all the rest.”

    Pandemonium ensued. To describe it wouldn’t be worth the words. But the adjectives wild, crazy, and ecstatic would be close to the mark.

    (Damn that was clever and all, I had to google the meaning of Nimrod, but it was worth it)

    Cathy found out when she got home. The boy packed his bag a week too early and kept it ready by his bed. Mona kept watch on the photo of her southern gentleman every chance she got and burned his image into her retinas with glee. Cathy had an anxiety attack and couldn’t sleep a wink the night before they left. Now properly prepared, all three were ready.
    Alex wrote to Dude and set up a day to meet him in the zoo when he agreed to give them a tour.

    “Where will we meet you?”

    “There’s a flight cage off to the right of where you walk in, you can’t miss it,” Dude wrote back, “Meet me there at noon.”

    “In front of a bird cage?

    “In the bird cage, it’s huge! Walk right in with the birds!”

    The flight down was the first time Alex has ever been on a jet. When they got Enterprise car rentals to turn in their ticket, something else was new too, the car. They were supposed to get a Ford Escort but Enterprise was out. The only thing they had left was a Cadillac Escalade, a more luxurious model.

    (wonder if Enterprise rent-a-Car or Ford or Cadillac will give me a car for mentioning their names? Wonder if they’ll sue me? The publicity might sell more copies.)

    “Would you like an Escalade instead?” asked the clerk.

    Cathy’s eyes widened, “Would I!” It was settled. They would go in style.

    When they got to their hotel, the room they’d reserved wasn’t ready.

    (Maybe I should mention a specific Hotel chain? Hilton? Would Paris get upset? Wonder how she feels about being named after a foreign city and all? Marriot? Wonder if it’s named after Steve Marriot of Small Faces and Humble Pie? Damn, he could really sing the blues. But I’m getting off track here)

    “Don’t worry,” the concierge told them, “it will be ready when you get back.”

    He’d found out from the housekeeper that all the doubles were taken by a convention that had just arrived.

    “What can we do?”

    “We’ll give ‘em a suite. That’s what we can do. Shotgun Tom sent them."

    So all in all, if you added it up, they were treated like kings and queens.

    They didn’t know about the room but they’d find out soon enough. Now they were on their way to Balboa Park.

    ( I gotta stop her and take a break. Sheesh, this novel writing ain’t no joke! It’s a tough assignment! Guess I'll go listen to U-tube)

    ©2012Steven Hunley
    Last edited by Steven Hunley; 03-26-2019 at 02:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Phil Captain Pike's Avatar
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    Nope, it wasn't too clever– I mean that in a good way, it was just clever enough?

    "after they've had their first taste of a man", this i liked a lot. Not only coming from a creepy old dude kind of guy (which you may not be) but being a real commentary on the concept of "a fallen woman", right? Like when a junkie gets her first shot and knows that it is what has been missing in her life! Forever changed for the worse.

    Now he's going to think I'm really weird, really bad, bad druggy person, so long as there's No Collusion

    had a hard time unwinding the former and latter business with Cathy. You couldn't have been saying that she was between a "good man" and a "bad man"? A Wonder Bread and pumpernickel menage a trois? You must've meant she'd found folly in both kinds of men, good and bad.

    I'm afraid Mr. Hunley will think I'm hijacking his thread for my own evil purposes

    I've successfully distracted myself from your story, responding in this nearly emogi-like fashion of the day. What have we become "men of content", I mean, "persons of content". I get on this site and spend too much time goofing around instead of doing much-needed proofreading of my own. But I want to finish this story, but I always say that about your work.The sheer quantity mystifies me – and there is a certain flavor to this repeated sadsack sailor…

    He's bound to think I'm now resorting to sophomoric alliteration

    I keep recognizing this Don Quixote dude in my own mirror. Not sure that will sell paperbacks or not – I have no one paying for my stuff. But keep up the great work – I know you will, weatherizae-it or not.

    Did Mr. Clapton get back to you with an objection? Somehow, I wouldn't be surprised if he did. Like maybe you really do know him personally, or maybe you are him – wouldn't that be ironic, coincidental or just downright Cool!

    If something to note – yet another thing to note about your writing – you have effectively adapted to the meme-mentality of the millennial attention span. Any paragraph that can't be read out loud with one breath, is going to be "passed over" for a YouTube video.

    Oh, one more thing I really admire

    It really adds a professional touch – your use of smart punctuation, if that's what you even call it. Maybe you're using Times New Roman or Palatino, I could go up and check I suppose. "Not in this font", how about, "Times New Roman" Hmm… my simple test didn't work – you must compose in a robust font.
    I have quite a bit of interest in this subject. For the first time, I've tried writing in Microsoft Word. I never had enough of a computer to allow such flagrant use of memory etc. – if Iran word (a funny mis-dictation) but with Word running, nothing else had room or energy to frolic. But Word has some ability to recognize the differences surrounding quotations. I said that so I wouldn't have to use of the operative word (this is my own deal, never mind all that).

    But I see that you have the curled up pollywogs in your contractions – it may be a small thing, but I believe it really adds to the overall presentation of your stuff. Now I'm going to eat.

    Ничего нет лучше для исправления, как прежнее с раскаянием вспомнить.

  3. #3
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    Omg, you so funny!

    What was the name of that story we wrote together that time? How can we find it? Betcha the most we'd have to do is write a crackerjack ending!! We publish the sucker and split the money 50/50. Serious as a heart-attack.

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