The Divine Key

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The silence was eerie. The darkness was sinister. After his great feat, he had expected joyous celebrations, pompous gifts and that elusive key, his mentor had promised him. He was sure he would get the award of all awards.


His mind reassured him that the silence and the darkness were temporary. Therefore, he decided to wait…


He had lost count of time. He, however, realised a long period must have elapsed. He was not a person who let fate decide the course of his life. He carved his own future with grit and blood. He took matters in his hands and decided to find his way to the key.


He took a step.


Where were his feet? He had no feet! Yet, he had somehow moved. He was falling into an abyss that had a rough and rugged surface.

He raised his hands to break the fall, to stop!


Where were his hands? He had no hands! Yet, something disrupted his downward fall. He saw his body bounce up! He tried to swim through the air but, he could not feel his hands. Where were his hands?


Like shooting stars, arrows pierced his body. He tired as he may, but he couldn’t figure out the damage the arrows had done to his body. He widened his eye! Without hands, he couldn’t rub them. Then he figured out he had no eyes, although he had eyesight. He could feel the sight… But he couldn’t see.


Before he could deduce what was wrong with him, he was drowned in a coagulating liquid which had a pungent smell that he remembered. What was it? The liquid was suffocating him. He tried to swim out but, the lack of limbs had constricted him. Sadly the overwhelming smell of blood… Was it blood? He had smelled enough blood to recognise it. Strangely, he couldn’t smell. He had lost his sense of smell.


He thought he heard hoofs of angry bulls running towards him. But could he really hear them? Or were they only vibrations? He strained his ears to hear until he realised he had lost his sense of hearing.


Suddenly, like a pendulum, he swayed. He burnt in one end and drowned in another.  And then his body started bobbing in the viscose plasma that stifled him. Suddenly it dawned upon him that he could not feel anymore.


Bereft of his five senses, he tried to remain confident about his faith and beliefs. He tried to peer through the troubles.


What was wrong with him? He was frantic. He thought he was losing his mind until he realised he had lost his power to perceive and think!


But he was a warrior, he wouldn’t give up. Slowly he tried to reach this destination. The place where that divine key hung. His master had told him that he would possess the key when he performed that blessed feat.


He wouldn’t give up. He tried again until the momentum made him queasy. It made him retch, but, nothing came out. At that moment, he realised he had lost his body, yet, he felt it all!


The realisation struck him like lightning. He had lost his senses and his body. He probably was dead. It was only his soul that was facing all that torture.


He remembered what his master had said,
‘The blood of your non-believers will help him procure the key to heaven. That key would lead you to a penthouse of affluence and glory.’


He had killed a mass of innocent people to get that key. Where were the divine ushers? They hadn’t arrived yet! Didn’t his master tell him that the divine ushers would lead him to the angels and the land of opulence?


Robbed of a body and senses, what was that penthouse worth? Had he been fooled?


Although he was confused and scared,  he wanted his penthouse! He didn’t want to be a soul without a body. How would he enjoy those divine perks, otherwise?


There was a reason he had agreed to be a suicide bomber. He was promised the key to heaven by his master. Without a second thought, he had agreed to bomb them. But where was the key?


He was suctioned into a ball of fire. He was burning but not dying. Had he misunderstood his master? Was his fight against the infidels worth it?


Were they really infidels?


The jarring sound of the alarm woke him up. He was thankful he was still alive and blessed that he was not dead yet. He was honoured that life had given him a second chance.


Right then the alarm beeped a second reminder! He looked at his kit. The bomb would explode in the next hour. His master had given him the task to bomb a contingent on the move. His master had promised him that this act would lead him to the key that would direct him the penthouse called heaven.


He was in a dilemma. He didn’t know if he should forsake it all or give humanity another chance. But then the bomb beeped another urgent plea.


Trusting his master and ignoring his inner voice, in greed of that divine key, he wore the bomb and walked to his target – Death!

Before the Blues

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As the pebble from the tree fell, the apple from the deepest dungeons of the Gaia sprouted a tiny leaf. When the skies were green, and the seas were yellow, violet was the sun, and red was the night, a worm of utmost beauty; conceived in the minds of the writer and her influenced romanticism. The confluence of feelings and the stress of life created speckles of ashy snow. And a ray of pungent-smelling, offensively bright light left her nonplussed. As she convulsed and her body rattled, her shut eyes opened wide! Voila! It was Monday again, and she would carry on the blues till a more appropriate time- when dreams and craziness merge again; before the blues!

Story Image- Skyfall


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Drumrolls! Deafening drumrolls! Fireworks, everywhere. The war cry scared the lives out of the living. Departed souls begged for mercy, but no one cut the slack. On and on, sound and light- at the dead of the night.

A war had begun. The peaceful wind, as if possessed, began to roar a war song. Even to the deafened ears, the reverberation was too strong- deadly.

War on every front- disease, political anarchy, poverty and the blind-sided wills of the decaying mind. Soon heaven too joined the chaos. And on it went- blow after blow- stronger- resonating-hissing- blaring. The universe shook, stars shattered- artillery, aircraft, missiles and earsplitting collision.

Through the clouds of despair, from the gallows of suffocation, it poured- tears from heaven streamed down as precipitation, washing way the landscape of pain, hurt, disappointment, sickness and decay. And as the sun peeped out a new start- hope bloomed again.

The fighter

Dangerously Afloat

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Smoothly, it floated, sashaying down the slope. It twirled around, nudging its posterior, dancing to the tune of pitter-patter. Oh! It had the moves!

The notes were clear. It’s movement swift. It was a sight to see the graceful moves. Captivated, they looked at it shimming its way through.

As the droplets became heavy with moisture, it bobbed as it went with the flow. It knew the art of adapting to the movement of the stream. There was no stopping it. It was on a mission to captivate its audience. No, it was not everyday that it got a chance to show-off its skills. And it was not ready to risk all the adulation by losing to a menial obstruction.

With determination, it maneuvered a certain puddle that tried to create another obstacle in its path. Nothing! Nothing and no one could prevent it from reaching its goal.

The slush thickened. It wobbled, yet continued its journey. Smeared in mud, it ambled along, its progress still graceful, yet slow. And then…

It did a double take. Stopped. Jumped. Escape, not capitulate- trying to hold its shape.

It tried hard, rearing to be free. Finally, it accepted its demise, grateful that it had got one opportunity to enthrall.

Soaked, and dying, it mustered the remaining strenght to push through, dead set.
Head on! Refusing to accept failure, it strove once more until it succumbed to the damp and drowned.

The paper boat sunk- in shreds of nothingness.


Photo Courtsey: Rahul Vats

The Boy by the Window

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The boy by the window looked out. He wondered what was special about the day? It was same as yesterday. It was identical to any other day.


He was prohibited to look out of the window, anymore. He thought of how and why such restrictions were imposed on him.


In his heart, he knew the truth. His parents didn’t know any better. They were like any other parent. They were protective. He knew his friends had similar parents and similar fates. He questioned their judgment. In his heart, he knew…


They couldn’t do any better.


He was not sure if the sun had risen. His city was blind to the day’s rise.  It was oblivious to the rumba of the dusk and the waltz of the night. The boy tried to seek nature. In his heart, he knew…


There was nothing worthy to explore in the vast sky because he could not see the sky anymore.


He breathed in the atmosphere. It suffocated him. Tears ran unchecked. Was it disappointment raining down his cheeks or was it resignation?


He surreptitiously peeked out of the window while his parents were distracted. He had found such an opportunity every day, for over a year. Disappointingly, his world remained the same. He hadn’t seen the sun or the moon for long. It had been forever since he had smiled at a twinkling star.


He missed his friends. Did they miss him too?


It was his birthday. Last year, he was excited he was celebrating his birthday in a unique way. There was no school! There was no peer pressure to have the grandest birthday celebration. Sadly, this birthday promised him nothing special. It was like any other day in the past year and more. Would they have candles on his birthday cake? Would he get a Black Forest cake? He already knew the answer to these questions. Nothing could shed away the darkness. A candle would only be a farce.


A year had passed. Many more days would follow this day gone by. Would he look out of the window expecting the universe to glisten its blessings upon him? His young mind was crammed with questions. He knew the answer to one critical question, though.


For now, his heart only knew how to succumb to the unpromising circumstances.


He reminisced those games at the school playground. The boy by the window missed his friends. He thought of his teachers. There was a time, he had hated school and home-works. That was over a year ago. His life had changed drastically since then.


Smog had engulfed his world, halting his existence. He called that a ‘Smogulfed’ world. He lived in the unfortunate city that was dazed and ruined by the thick cloud of pollution.


Did Australia still have a sunrise? Did Canada still have a sunset? The news said it did. Why couldn’t he hear the birds chirp anymore? Why did he not see trees? Would the lamp posts ever stop burning? Why was he always surrounded by artificial lights? Why did he and his friends live in a blind world when they had eyes to see?


The child by the window was always gloomy. Unfortunately, he was born in a polluted city. His city had ignored the warnings of nature for years! He was a sad citizen of a cursed city that had capitulated to the reign of pollution and smog.


He said a little prayer. If there was a thing like birthday blessings, the boy at the window would get the gift of living a normal life again. Didn’t he as a child deserve as much? Or was being born in the unfortunate city his curse? Would he never see the smog disperse and the sun shine through? In his heart, he knew…


He craved to see the clear blue sky. Was that a distant dream?


He perceived a ray of light piercing through the dense city fog. Was that an answer to his prayers? If he was hallucinating, disappointment was eventual. If what the boy saw was true, he would have clean air to breathe! The boy put his face out of the window to breathe in- deep.


He was fearful to breathe out. Right at that moment, his mind whirled, his heart pumped, his lungs couldn’t hold it anymore. He breathed out with great force. What came out was a sooty smoke of his expectations. He surmised change wasn’t near.


The boy at the window was merely a child. He couldn’t fail at being hopeful. He prayed his next birthday would be shiny and bright, with birds chirping, ants toiling, butterflies flying, trees shedding leaves of joy and his lung enjoying the breath of fresh unpolluted air.


With this ardent hope, he shut the window. He knew they could shut him in the house, not his window of hope.



1900 Shock Short Story Author: Kleio B'wti ©

1900 Shock!

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It is 1900 hours. Again.


Like every other day, she walks down the stairs, onto platform number 4, to catch the train that leaves at 1909. The platform is crowded. She doesn’t look around. She stares straight through her primrose glasses towards the train line.


In a city where everyone greets anyone upon having an eye contact, she studiously avoids all kind of association with strangers. There is something intriguing about her – and alluring. People gawk at her. Their gazes always follow her as she gracefully saunters down Platform number 4.


Same as many residents of Mumbai, I am a daily commuter too. I take the 1909 train back home from school except on weekends. For the last year since I joined this reputed business school, we have followed the same protocol. I see her- she walks past me, a complete recluse.


Initially, I overlooked her, only concentrating on the ordeal of boarding any crowded compartment.


I confess I have to go through a mental motivation to gather my wind to make my way into the mob of commuters. However, with the passing time, I’m more adept at joining the swarm – shoving everybody away. This allows me to observe my environment. The first thing I notice is this lady. She bewitches me enough to perceive her and her mannerisms.


This interest has morphed into an obsession. I endeavour to pierce her focus of attention. I’m allured by her. I try standing next to her – closer than it is socially permissible for a stranger. Yet, she never acknowledges me. I try to manage the crowd to allow her to alight without hassle. She never notices me.


This is crazy! Even in my dreams, I board the train with her.


Her ritual is to take the fourth compartment from the engine. It doesn’t matter if it was a first class compartment, a women’s compartment, a luggage compartment or a general one. I sometimes take a different compartment, if the fourth one isn’t a general section. Her coolness surprises me! I am confused! She either has a first class pass or she can predict when to purchase a ticket for the luggage compartment. Maybe she is a psychic who specializes in the local train, and their itinerary and arrangements. She even takes the fourth booth when it's for handicaps. I don’t know if she fits the handicap description; I don’t know, and I can’t ask! My attempts at greeting her are a flop! She never responds. It is as if I have been talking to a stone!


Months have progressed into years!


I am now a senior manager at an international firm. My house is not very far from where I work. I live in a sky-rise and I take my bicycle to work! It’s been a few years since I took the local train. With the local train out of my life, so is the mystery woman. She actually was the flavour of those despicable journeys. I have forgotten her completely. Or so I thought.


Today is Friday. My office car that is taking me to a meeting has broken down in the middle of the journey. The traffic jam is disastrous. I book three rides one after another on the booking app. Unlucky me! They all get cancelled due to heavy traffic! I’m annoyed. I probably cannot make it to the meeting!


As I look around helplessly, I notice an overhead bridge that leads to the local railway station! Afternoon travel on the local train is pleasant and quick! I make it to the meeting on time. The meeting goes remarkably well! Happily, I walk back to the station. With less traffic, I can enjoy another train ride and, why not? I can afford a first class ticket now!


I had forgotten how much fun travelling on the train can be. Boarding an almost empty train is quite a dream! I am going to go back to the station I boarded the train from, for the meeting. The driver has promised me that he shall be back with the car fixed in about an hour.


A partial déjà vu engulfs me. I am again on platform number 4, waiting. The only difference is that the time of the travel is much earlier and the origin and the destination of the journey quite different. The fourth section from the engine is the First Class! I proudly walk towards a window seat. I sit and the train moves!


This has not been the moment I have been waiting for! An older version of the same lady who had haunted me for years in my college days is sitting opposite me. She looks through me, just like always. A few stations later she gets up to walk up to the door, to leave.


She makes her way and then crashes to the floor –unconscious! The whole incident replays in my mind- in slow motion.


At the hospital, the doctors are trying to revive her. I rummage through her bag to find some ID in the mean time. My good citizen mode had kicked in! I find her PAN card. She looks younger than she is! Officially she is in her early forties. I have never felt her look anything more than 35- ever! Digging in some more, I discover an ancient, dilapidated black diary.


I flip through the first few pages to find a number to contact - I can’t find any! Not giving up, I turn a few more pages and find a map attached to a page. A closer look reveals a route marked from the railway station to a rickety destination by the bay. The next few pages are blank. There is a thick manila envelope. Intrigued, I look through it! There are pictures. All of them are dead men! One has blood oozing from his mouth. The next is that of an older man. His throat is slit! As I flick through the photographs, I feel a trickle of fear percolating through my skin- moving down my spine.


I re-examine the map- the photographs. There are about ten of them!


Now I am surveying some newspaper cuttings of the mishaps that correspond to the images. They date back to twenty-eight years! The oldest is that of an identified man who was found dissipated on the train line near CST! All the newspaper clippings have one thing in common. The investigators have assumed foul play in all the homicide! Her bag is that of Pandora’s. I also find an old wedding card in a makeshift envelope with a wedding picture. I see a sweet and innocent of about fourteen or fifteen. She is staring unhappily at the camera. Standing next to her is a pot bellied, moustached man in his forties!


My hands shake. The legs shiver. I am sitting, yet I feel I’m falling into an abyss. The girl in the picture is her! The husband is the man who was found twenty-eight years ago on the rail track.


A nurse frantically runs to me, to fill up some forms before post mortem. My fingers are unsteady. I fish into my pocket to find my pen. The bulge of my phone distracts my search. Holding the phone in my hand, I'm uncertain. Is it time for the police to know? Or should I bury her past?


After all, her past is her own and that of those victims. It never belonged to me!


Author: Kleio B'wti



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The Perfect Shot_Short Story

The Perfect Shot

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Mohsin looked at his watch moving like a perfect shot! He noticed the hour and minute hands kissing each other between 1 and 2. He has been on the deck of the two-floor corner guest house near Chiktan Fort in Chiktan village, Kashmir for straight 24 hours.


The sun was almost on top of his floor and head. He could feel the heat entering through his eyes and traveling through his spine to his feet. It was -10 degrees Celsius but he could still wish to escape the sun rays hitting directly on his minimal exposed skin. He found himself at the edge of two wars simultaneously. One was his body which was losing the immunity to stand still. The other was the armed security personnel of the Army at the Fort gate.


The Army guarded the entrance and militant coup in the area.


His hands could not bear the weight of the Norinco assault rifle- the Chinese version of AK-47.  This 9 lbs weapon felt 10 times heavier.  Holding it for straight twenty-four hours made the ammunition heavier than it actually weighed. Mohsin was a part of the rebel group which was fighting against the national establishment. The so-called war of independence for Kashmir from India was the agenda. He left his house at the age of 19 after being influenced by a religious preacher he had heard online.


The ideal visions of the inspirational speaker lured him into believing that the local government shouldn’t be the one formulating laws in his side of the valley.


He remembered the argument he got into with his father, a day before eloping. The discussion over the table was about the myth of Kashmir’s independence. Zia- ur, his father, was a son of a martyr who fought alongside Gandhi for the country’s independence. He clearly understood what bloodshed of the lost was at the cost of freedom. He tried to explain to Mohsin the mindset of fundamentalist and their ideological character. The lecture wasn’t frictional as this was a learned experience of a senior officer in the state-controlled police department. Zia- ur, had been fighting with the extremist agitating for their so called free Kashmir movement. Mohsin couldn’t agree to the litigation objections raised by his father. His father explained to him that a fight against once own land and people wasn’t freedom.


Hurting and killing one's own people wasn't independence.


His mind was in a deadlock. Mohsin couldn’t relate to a word his father uttered that day.


Mohsin was the elder to his 12-year-old sibling. Shabana was his only prized possession. He adored her, almost raising her after their mother’s death. Walking by the lake across the Snow Mountains and collecting Chinar leaves, Shabana would tell her stories.  Mohsin would ask her questions to intentionally argue with her. He'd burst into laughter later!


Each day his schedule pretty much involved Shabana. She had the lion’s share of his time! A couple of hours with his father, he practiced shooting and enjoyed a two-hour evening stroll with Nafeesa, his charming love interest daily. His life wouldn’t be less blessed; if he could have only made it a little more worth! Sadly, it sketched out like a scattered plot.


Mohsin tried to make the flashbacks fade away! His cause was greater than any of the rosy thoughts of the past.


While his head mused about these thoughts, a bullet brushed past his ear- the distance of snail’s length. The shot was fired by the army man from the fort wall. The images of the valley, the river, Shabana, his father shouting him at shooting range started to diminish. It took him a round of second’s hand to regain his senses and get hold of his artillery and peruse the sight for his mission. He felt like being teased that nomad of a bullet; as if it was amused at his failed objective. He rested the rear end of the rifle against his shoulder and leaned back a little.


He took a good calculated guess at the target distance which approximated to around 300 meters. A target shot was something he had never been able to achieve in his life since started practicing from back in the day.


He loosened his muscles and relaxed the grip of his rifle. Mohsin slipped low and rested his back against the wall to hide his visibility. Placing his mind to work and he formulated the strategy to shoot down the target in the defense attire. The binoculars locked his sight and brain; releasing one the lenses from the front by cracking the tripod adaptor from the middle. He stood up once again and placed the Gun at the edge of the wall, circled his index figure around the trigger tightly to take control. To ease the resistance he felt from his hand, he took off his glove and tried again.


He detached the lens from the binocular and moved it towards the target so that the sun rays reflected at an angle creating a distraction. The trick worked and the officer in the array of rays moved above the covering wall at his side. Mohsin contracted his finger twice and shot two bullets straight at him, one holed onto the shoulder and the other in the face. The officer tumbled forward.


Hitting the roof of a floor, the adversary fell- finally resting on the pavement.


Mohsin leaned back again, unfreeze his grip, kissed the rifle and put it down to rest. He uncovered his face and took a heavy breath. Focusing his eyes away from the painful sight, his blood flow started running to normal. He felt proud of his shot. This, he believed was no less an achievement. He wished Shabana could have witnessed his subtlety. Mohsin also felt respect for his enemy who almost had him until eventually, the man had surrendered to the darkness!


He collected his stuff and moved towards the fort to take it into control and notify his fellow fighters. Just at the gate, he found the body of his trouble maker covered with streams of oozing blood. He bent forward to smile at the martyred face. Mohsin's smile was that of a winner. He relived the entire shot in his head and the brilliance of execution. His chest pumped with the thought of it! He turned the unresponsive body of the only witness of his act and looked into the eyes of his dead father-


Author: Muflis Musafir

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Pic Courtsey: C.L.K Reddy Poetry: 'Moon' Poet: Mona Singh ©


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Revive.. Transform... Prevail!


Fable, as we know is a synonym for stories. In this channel, we will decompose insecurities, fears, hatred, hopelessness, avarice and other pollutants of our human existence. We will release the noxiousness from the lives of the readers and fill their hearts with healthy hope and a shine to live life.


Life might be tough. Disillusion maybe it's middle name. The journey of confusion can lead to the ultimate light of self- belief, self-acceptance, and self- enlightenment. All these 'self' elements are actually the 'Selfies' of experience that lead to lasting emotional awareness.


The Glitter-Gatherers of Wake-n-Shine will share short stories of life's ways with you. The journey will be fun, and it will make you eager for further installments of the developing plots. You will want more, and you will get it here.


When in a sticky situation, you will be reminded of some event from one or some of the short stories that are published here.


They will make you smile through those tough times, gear up, maybe be inspired to tackle it with might.

Daze Short Story Author: Kleio B'wti ©


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Jay's adventures knew no bound. He moved from one end to the next in the stratosphere, riding his Harley, whistling a song. He traveled through the Steppes, the Andes, the Yosemite- and he progressed more. Jane too was an adventurer of her own kind. She let her mind escape to a vast expanse of imagination. Her canvas was limitless. With each stroke, she created a magical world for herself. Some days with her eyes shut she would travel every nook and corner of her world and many more worlds of others.


Unknowingly she one day got up and started physically walking while she was traveling through her mind's eyes. She moved through the cobbled street, onto the highway, moved on further until a certain tune captivated her attention! She opened her eyes, still unknowing that she wasn't dreaming anymore!


What she saw was a huge Carousel with the brightest lights of stars blinking an invite. Fairies, Goblins, Elves along with laughing children rode through their merriment- an aria to the melody that the Merry-go-round played. Jane wanted to pinch herself to confirm if it was only a dream but a fantastic reality! Apprehensive that the beautiful moment would end, she refrained from breaking the dreamy bubble.


As the Whirligig rotated, she saw a Harley, on the bike a handsome man with cowboy hat, those patent cowboy boots waving at her- his bike on a burnout! As a shocked Jane looked, a laughing Jay tugged at her hand, enchanting her onto the Carousel- Jane jumped in surprise! Jay laughed a little more as he compelled Jane to pillion on his Harley! Before Jane could ask him for an introduction, Jay cracked the accelerators into a throttle and raced away with Jane towards the moonlit sky!


Author: Kleio B'wti

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Creepy Flash Story Author: Kleio B'wti ©

Bloody Rock

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The sun was blazing green hues, the earth was sprouting blood like dust. The wind was icy and heavy- almost suffocating!


Sunburnt, twisted limbs dug. They fissured the serum of earth with violence. They tickled the tarnished soil with their sickles and spades. Each brutal sweat evaporated into miasm. The wailing frenzy swallowed the filth, the trauma.


Violence sniffled into abjectness.


The arid restrictive atmosphere was burning through the hides of those slimy creatures that were wriggling on the scarlet soil. They were like veins that had burst in a body and found a different path- away from the nervous system.


The seams spreading like vile branches covered the scorching ground, never succumbing to the underground lava that knocked on the earth's soil for release! Small ants preying on the mounting limb like veins, sucking in the plasma of the soil, grew to dinosaur-like heights. They scurried on the ground, thumping, crushing the wounded vegetation into fountains of red!

Gradually, crystal dews fell in torrents like angels falling from the sky. Sadly, as they fell they melted into puddles of a well-cut pink rhombus of blood diamonds.

Author: Kleio B'wti

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