Free Story! Waikiki Vampire Chronicles Chapter Two! Read it Here!

Waikiki Vampire Chronicles

Chapter Two: Hau’oli Makahiki Hou ~ Happy New Year

Cover Art: John Bruno

Model: Leo Giamani

By A.J. Llewellyn

Link to Chapter One:


Chapter Two

I knew a bit about zashiki warashi, but nothing about how to get rid of them. The spirit, once it became aware that we were talking about him, began to materialize.

He was a long, thin child with a bad haircut; the old soup-bowl-over-the-head style, and a face the color of a tomato. His features were fierce, but he smiled down at Keej, who seemed blissfully unaware of him.

“Oh my God,” Tem said, in a dramatic tone. He began talking to me in my head.  “You said it was a bad thing, but I’m reading that to attract and maintain a zashiki warashi in the home—”

“Why would we want to do that?” I asked aloud, keeping my voice low as Keej ran around touching some of Akua’s toys stacked on shelves against the living room wall.

My nephew peeped out from under the wing chair, a look of fury on his face. He’s never had to share, and now, he had to do so with a kid who came with a scary companion.

“Shut up!” Tem stamped his foot so hard everyone in the room turned to stare at him, including the zashiki warashi.

“Just listen.” Tem’s tone turned icy. He resumed talking to me mentally. “To keep the spirit happy—”

            “Do I want to keep it happy?”

“Yes! Listen. The spirit must be noticed, appreciated, and cared for properly, much in the manner one would raise a child, though too much attention may drive it off.”

I vote for driving it off. And besides, how much attention is too much?”

We can’t drive it off. Once a zashiki warashi inhabits a house, it brings the residence great fortune; on the other hand, should a zashiki warashi depart, the domain soon falls into a steep decline.”

            “Holy crap!” I stared at the specter, which was on the floor playing with Keej. The kid interacted with him in a way that made me realize he knew all about his ghostly companion.

They’re buddies,” I said in my head.

Looks like it. How do we look after it? I mean, him?”

No idea. Besides, I don’t care what Giggle says. These spirits are supposed to be bad luck.”

“Google,” Tem corrected me aloud. He glared at me. “And decline is not a hot shade. It doesn’t match my furnishings.”

I cleared my throat. I’d have to agree and let the zashiki warashi live here, unless I wanted to start sleeping alone. Outside. “Um, Keej darling,” I started to say when I realized the kid was talking to Akua.

Keej scooted across the floor over to the wing chair and held out a building block to Akua. A building block! Man, I was worried Akua would fling it right in Keej’s eye, but then the zashiki warashi got down on the floor too. I could hear his boyish, sing-song tone, but couldn’t understand anything he said.

Akua, shuddering in fear at first, soon began to smile. Smile! I never saw my nephew smile unless he was up to no good.

            The zashiki warashi encouraged Akua out from his hiding place and soon they were all building what looked like a fortress. Akua didn’t seem to mind Keej opening boxes of Lego. Even though Akua barely touched the things, he was possessive of his toys. Even Tem looked stupefied when no outburst soon followed.

He gestured me away from the happy group.

I shook my head. “Does Goggle say anything about the zashiki warashi making trouble?

Tem looked at me in exasperation. “Google, Div.” He reverted to telepathing again. “They are inclined to mischief. So what? Look at how he handles Akua. Our little boy is actually playing!”

Yeah, I’d noticed that. And playing nicely, too.

They do more than mischief,” I said in my mind. “I’ve heard stories—”

“That I don’t want to know about.” Tem shook his head at me. And then the impossible happened. Akua began to laugh.

The three amigos were playing with all of Akua’s blocks given to him by well-meaning relatives over the years who’d tried desperately to encourage his creativity and imagination. He’d shown no interest in Lego or K’reo, or even the Super Mario K’nex kit everyone said was the bomb. Suddenly, he was on his knees helping an increasingly giddy Keeej use parts and pieces from the Super Mario Ghost House to decorate the walls of what I realized now was a spiffy-looking castle.

I was full of hope until I caught a spiteful glance from the zashiki warashi that shocked me.

Tem didn’t notice it. He was too busy joining in the fun.

“We need a moat,” he declared, dropping to his knees. “Come on, Div. Find the box of plastic reptiles.”


“Yes. We need a crocodile.”


“Because every moat has to have a crocodile.” The two little boys and the zashiki warashi nodded at me.

I felt like a moron. How could I not have known this? I found the reptiles but couldn’t find a crocodile. Nobody liked my suggestion of a brontosaurus in the moat.

“Don’t be silly,” Tem said. “Everybody knows that the brontosaurus prefers to lie in a hammock and watch everybody else work.”

His three friends nodded at me. I seriously began to dislike the zashiki warashi. It— he—was hijacking my family, and I didn’t like it at all. I retreated to the kitchen where the women in our house were canoodling as they made dinner.

“Div, settle an argument for us, will you?” Clancy asked. She was so giggly, I suspected she’d been tippling the champagne I could see her using to sauté shrimp

and lobster pieces in a pan on the stove.

“If I can.”

“What’s wrong?” My sister, Heavenly, knows me too well. I inclined my head outside and the girls followed me. I noticed one of the horses grazing on Tem’s carefully planted carrot patch but ignored it. I knew I would pay for that decision later.

I quickly told them about our zashiki warashi.

            They didn’t have the reaction I’d expected, or, frankly, hoped for.

“But that’s wonderful,” Clancy said. “They only like to stay in well-maintained and preferably large old houses. He must like us!” She beamed at me and Heavenly.

I stared as my sister snapped her fingers. “This is why Keej’s family burned his things. They knew there was something around him and thought it would get rid of the problem.” She stopped speaking and bit her lip.

“What?” I prompted.

“We must protect Keej. The zashiki warashi has attached himself to Keej for a reason. I’m wondering what horrible things happened to Keej before his parents were killed.”

“And after it.” Clancy’s face turned dark. “I don’t like the sounds of his creepy family over there in Kona.”

“Wait,” I said, dropping my voice. “Remember what Joshua told us? The relatives said he was rambunctious. He’s been here ten minutes and I have to admit, he hasn’t showed signs of it. He seems like a good little boy.”

“Oh!” Clancy let out a shout, then lowered her voice again. “I remember now. Zashiki warashi can be mischievous. Maybe that’s who’s rambunctious.”

I nodded. “Exactly.”

“We have to make friends with it,” Heavenly said. “Everybody knows it’s bad luck to send them away from a home.”

I looked at her. How come everyone else in the world knew this except me?

“Do we know its name?” Heavenly asked.

“It’s a he, and no, I don’t.”

The girls marched back inside and I followed. Heavenly’s horse had grabbed hold of Tem’s favorite purple carrots and was demolishing them. Until I met Tem I’d had no idea that all carrots were purple before the seventeenth century. Now he took pride in his organic crops that neighbors—and apparently, horses— hankered for.

I had bigger fish to fry though and darted inside, reaching the living room just in time to hear Clancy asking Keej about his zashiki warashi.

            “You can see him?” Keej’s eyes grew huge.”

“Sure I can. We all can,” Clancy lied. I could tell she didn’t know where to look. My sister could see him though. She looked right at the specter.

“They usually only appear to family members, and more often than not, the children,” Heavenly said. “What is his name, Keej?”

Keej’s face took on an uncertain look, until Tem gathered him in his arms.

“We want to know, and welcome your friend,” Tem said, kissing the little boy’s head.

“We…ll, his name is…” Keej became bashful, glancing up at the zashiki warashi.

            “His name is Tijlaug,” Akua said, invading the tense moment.

“Tijlaug.” I repeated it.

“He’s my friend too!” Akua looked at me in a challenging way, as if he dared me to argue.

“That’s great, sweetie.” Oh, boy. We aren’t a family. We’re a freak show.

“Well, you and Tijlaug are here just in time for Hau’oli Makahiki Hou,” Tem said.

“What’s that?” Keej asked, still looking shy.

“It means Happy New Year. It’s New Year’s Eve and we’re so excited to have you here.” Tem kept his arms around Keej. He looked at Akua. “Aren’t we, sweetie?”

My nephew nodded and stuck a couple of ghost faces from the Super Mario Brothers kit into the moat.

“We need water for the moat,” Keej said.

“I’ll get it.” Akua raced off to the kitchen, shocking every adult in the house.

I sloped off to the privacy of my home office to call Blossom. I needed to get her advice on our unexpected guest.


Blossom was intrigued to know about the ghost, which she kept referring to as a parlor child. “Tijlaug is Hmong for older brother,” she said.

That surprised me, but then again, she was the oldest person I knew, hundreds of years old in fact, so nothing should have come as a shock when Blossom said it.

“Do you think it’s Keej’s dead brother?” I asked, cradling the cell phone against my ear. Moontime had jumped onto my desk, rubbing his head against my chin, craving attention. I stroked his gleaming head, aware of a sudden chill in the room.

My whole body stiffened. I knew it Tijlaug, and the feeling wasn’t good.

The zashiki warashi walked around my office, Moontime hissing at him. The cat threw himself against my chest, claws out.

“What’s happening?” Blossom asked.

“He’s in here.”

“The cat doesn’t like him.” Blossom’s statement alarmed me. Especially when she said, “Don’t ever leave them alone. Parlor children tend to see cats as competition as family guardians.”

“They do?” Wait till I told my husband this news.

“I want to meet this dead boy,” she said. “You asked if it could be Keej’s dead brother. Did he have one?”

“Not that I know of. I do know that his family was killed in a tsunami a few years ago. Joshua, the children’s home director said his parents and grandparents were killed. But maybe there was a brother.”

“Or maybe he desperately wanted one.” Blossom went quiet. “He must have had a very difficult life, Jimmy.”

She was the only person who called me by my street name. It was unlike her to be so tender, but even Akua brought out the vampire queen’s softer side.

“Keej had been raised by relatives in Kona until recently. They burned all his things and took him to the police. He’s been at the home a week.”

“And they couldn’t wait to send him home with you.” There was a trace of bitterness in her voice. “I’d say our little parlor child pulls more than the average prank, but I would need to meet him to decide how serious things are.

“The parlor child has been with him a long time. They attach themselves to children in need. We have no idea of his history. Until he becomes a full-fledged member of our family, we have to decide if we can put up with the dead, as well as the living, Jimmy-San.”

“I agree with that.” I stole a glance at the zashiki warashi. He was busy flitting about moving things around. Whatever turns him on, I suppose. I watched him moving Tem’s beautiful arrangement of hand-grown Glory of Mexico orchid away from its spot by the window.

Tem would have a meltdown if he saw it.

The zashiki warashi was having fun with his silly pranks. Then he began hissing back at the cat, now hiding on my lap. I felt bad for Moontime, whose heart thundered against my thigh.

“Some parlor children are quite harmless, but be aware they can do a few weird things to freak out strangers and guests to your home,” Blossom said.

“Weird like how?” I watched the ghost switch cushions on my sofa. Tem was a color-coordinating freak. He would go ballistic. I couldn’t see this situation ending well. If it was true that houses fell into decline when a zashiki warashi fled the premises, I didn’t like to think about what would happen to us. The Thunder family had been cursed long enough. I’d known two hundred years of pain until I met Tem.

“Are you there?” I asked Blossom, anxious because the line seemed to be dead.

“I’m here. Just checking my resources.”

“Some ancient oracle?” I asked. Tem had long been fascinated by some of the ancient, priceless objects in her home.

“Google, actually.” She paused. “Well, according to what I am seeing, the parlor children can cause music to play in the house. Are you familiar with the kagura style of music, Jimmy?”

“Yeah. As it happens, Clancy took us all to a performance at the Shinto temple in Chinatown. It’s traditional Japanese folk dance with cymbals, drums and flute.” I’d enjoyed watching the pretend warriors dancing with swords, fighting off demons and other evil entities. If I’d known the evening could presage future events, I’d have paid more attention.

“Be prepared for some of that music at odd hours. In rooms that are otherwise empty. Oh, and they are also fond of leaving their footprints in ashes for unsuspecting humans to see.”

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Tem adored his polished, koa wood floors. But if this was the extent of the zashiki warashi‘s pranks, we could live with them.

“I want to meet him,” Blossom said. “Pick me up in fifteen minutes,” she said.

Aye, aye, captain.

In the kitchen, Clancy was giving my sister a kiss so strong, it looked like a tonsillectomy. I could hear shrieks of joy coming from the living room. The zashiki warashi shimmered past me and returned to the children. I telepathed Tem who quickly joined us. I told them about my conversation with Blossom.

Tem’s expression turned fierce. “Tijlaug is a darling. He would never hurt Moontime.”

“What are those claw marks on your face and arms?” my sister asked.

“Moontime. He’s scared to death of Tijlaug.”

Tem hooked a finger into my shirt collar and dragged me closer. He kissed me then licked a couple of my wounds.

“Mmm, tasty,” he whispered, giving me another kiss.

He was a bigger blood freak than I ever had been, and he loved flying around at night with me in search of human prey. We’d dispatched quite a few Waikiki bad guys. Our favorites were thieves and drug dealers. We enjoyed returning purloined purses to tearful tourists and disbursed the dealers’ cash to homeless people up and down Rivers Street. We were a bit like Robin Hood’s merry men, only, as far as I’m concerned, a hell of a lot sexier.

“We’ll go get the old bat,” Clancy said.

“No, I think Tem and I should go. I got the feeling Blossom wanted to see me. We won’t be gone long. Will you be okay with the boys?”

“Sure,” Clancy said. “By the way, how come I can’t see the ghost? It’s not fair!”

Tem’s attention had been diverted. He swiveled his head toward the window. He narrowed his eyes. “Is that horse eating all my carrots?”

“Let’s deal with that when we get home,” I said. “We gotta fly.”

“Okay.” He smiled then. Flying is his favorite thing in the whole wide world. Second only to fucking, of course.

The sun was setting over Waikiki as we flew hand in hand toward Blossom’s swanky condo on Nu’uanu Avenue. There was a time in my life, two centuries in fact, when I couldn’t fly. I had no love. I was a cursed vampire. And I paid the man who cursed me a fortune to do a spell that ensured me a chance to fall in love again. I’d just about given up when I met Tem.

Until I loved him, I’d never known such depths of love were possible. He was all the missing parts and pieces in my life. I would be shipwrecked without him. He was the first man I was ever with, and he will be my last.

Flying for one such as me, is possible only when one is in love. In the early days of my relationship with Tem, we had to hold hands fast. Now we don’t need to. As long as we’re together, close to one another, we can fly. We still hold hands though, because really, we’re still a couple of lovesick saps.

We arrived at Blossom’s apartment building located at the official start of Chinatown on the corner of Nu’uanu and North Beretania Street. Chinatown has burned down twice in the last couple of hundred years, but not on her watch. She is the district’s matriarch and rules the oldest Chinatown in America like a bitch on opium. Which she is.

At least, she was seriously addicted to opium until she found love. I wasn’t sure about the man she was so crazy about, but Tem, bless him sees the good in everybody, even the creepy Siberio. He claimed to be a Native American shaman but he appeared whiter than white to me. He also says to be possessed of all kinds of abilities, but I’d never seen him display any of them.

He also admits to being forty.

So does she.

They’re both big, great, bloody liars.

I suppose you could say they are a match made in um, hell.

We took in the magnificent Pacific Ocean below us and the bustling Chinatown traffic. The dim sum and noodle bars seemed to be in heavy action, which was cool. Sometimes I think about the Chinatown I knew before this one and it hurts my heart. I lifted Tem’s hand to my lips and kissed it.

“I can smell barbecued pork from up here!” he shouted, the wind whipping his lovely, long black hair into his eyes. We landed with soft thuds at the double glass doors of Blossom’s lanai. All the lights were on inside, unfortunately.

She was stark naked, except for a couple of paper fans placed in strategic places. She was doing a dance for him in red high heels.

Blossom, naked, was worse than seeing her squeezed in one of her tight, embroidered evening columns.

“My eys! My eyes!”I gasped, covering them.

“Oh, she looks fabulous,” Tem cooed. “Not one dimple on her thighs. Imagine that. Over four hundred years old and no cellulite!”

He knocked on the doors and they soon opened. The heavy scent of perfume and stale incense wafted out to us. And garlic. So help me, what was it with humans and their mania for garlic. It gave me indigestion just catching a whiff of it.

“What a body.” Tem gave Blossom a wolf whistle.

“Thank you, Tem-san.”


I could still hear Carole King singing I Feel The Earth Move on the stereo. A strange stripping song, to be sure.

Tem slapped at my left arm. I had no choice but to uncover my eyes and say, “Very nice.” If I were Pinocchio, I’d be in some serious, sad-ass trouble.

“I’m going to change, boys.”

I stole a glimpse of her ass as she waddled off to her room. I had to admit she was slim but I knew she’d had the fat sucked off everything. She’d become an opium addict to stop herself from eating. She’d lived on opium pebbles and miso soup for years. And, of course, blood.

Tem and I sat on the sofa opposite Siberio. I couldn’t see what Blossom liked about him. She tended to go for younger, Asian twinks she would pair off to please her. It always ended badly when they’d run off and leave her.

And then she met Siberio. He looked about fifty and I detected a whiff of Preparation H. I could see it under his eyes. He was using it to disguise puffiness. An old plastic surgeon’s trick, according to Tem.

Dressed head to toe in black, he dyed his hair often, keeping it long, which must have been difficult since he had major bald spots all over his head. He and Blossom met during some full moon ritual. He got her off drugs and forced her to get all her black teeth removed and replaced with implants. These played havoc with her vampire canines, but she somehow managed.

The bigger problem was Siberio himself. Though we were grateful he’d weaned Blossom off opium, we suspected he was after her money. She spent a fortune on him but it was a drop in the bucket of what I knew was a vast amount of money to her name.

I was determined to get to the bottom of who he was and what he wanted, but right now, I had a parlor child in my house and we had to get back there.

“How’s things?” he asked. It was there again. I could hear it.

So can I,” Tem telepathed.

He was referring to Siberio’s strange accent. He tried so hard to speak like an American but I knew he was from Eastern Europe. Hard to disguise it. In my worst moments, I told Tem he came from Transylvania, but he’s no vampire. I’m not sure why Blossom won’t turn him but maybe it’s for the best.

“I have a new album recorded,” he said.

Oh, Buddha.

He ran to the iPod dock and fiddled with it. The opening strains of some fake, tropical music emerged. His specialty was polka. Lord help me. The idiot had combined the two. Tropical polka. Oh yeah. Poor Blossom. She’d probably invested in the project and would think it was freakin’ amazing because of it.

Siberio began to sway to it, air playing an imaginary ukulele. I wanted to drop kick him over the balcony.

“Wonderful,” Tem said. “I love it!”

Was he freaking kidding me? Before I could ask, Blossom reappeared in a cloud of perfume that stung my eyes. From the fumes, she emerged in a peacock blue sheath Tem had made for her. Covered in Swarovski crystals, I knew she’d weigh a ton in it. I sighed. I’d have to talk to him about making her something lighter.

“I’m ready boys.”

She was Mae West with black, lacquered hair. Many years ago, Blossom had her almond-shaped eyes Westernized. She must have been beautiful before she messed with her face.

“How long will you be, petal?” Siberio asked.

“Not long. As a matter of fact, drive over in an hour and pick me up.” She flicked her wrist in his direction. I detected fury in his gaze, but he hid it quickly. I didn’t blame him. She’d dismissed him. We took off from the lanai. I turned to look as we hit the sky. He peered up at us from the window, an eerie expression on his face that reminded me of the zashiki warashi. It left me with an unsettled feeling that lasted all the way home.

Inside, the place was quiet. I didn’t see dead bodies anywhere, which I had to take as a good sign.

We walked into the kitchen. “I smell hamburgers.” Blossom took an appreciative sniff.

“Where is everybody?” Tem was apprehensive.

“I hear music.” Blossom dipped her finger into a bowl of shrimp in champagne marinade. “Mmm. Good.”

Oh, man. I could hear music, too.

We stepped into the living room and all hell seemed to have broken loose. Toys were everywhere. We ran from room to room calling for my sister and Clancy. We found them on their knees in the bathroom giving Keej a bath. I was stunned to see Akua sitting on the edge of the bath, kicking his feet in the foamy water.

A miracle,” Tem telepathed.

The zashiki warashi di dn’t appear to be in the bathroom.

“Everything okay?” I asked the girls. They glanced up at us, exhausted, but smiling.

“Great.” Something in Heavenly’s eyes spoke of something wrong.

“Take over,” she said to Clancy. She gave me a meaningful look. I gathered she wanted to talk and that was fine by me. Blossom was standing right behind me, a strange look in his eyes.

“Something’s not right,” the old lady said as soon as the three of us were alone in the kitchen.

“I’ll say.” Heavenly took a deep breath. “I don’t trust that entity. He pinched Keej really hard and made him cry. I couldn’t believe it.”

“What made him do that?” I asked.

“I don’t know.” She looked ashen. “He wouldn’t stop doing it until Clancy started playing her violin. That poor little kid was screaming.”

“That’s not right.” Blossom shook her head. “They’re not supposed to hurt children.” She looked around. “Where is he? I don’t sense him anywhere.”

“He vanished. I told him off but he’s still around. Keej seems better now. He says he loves Tijlaug.”

“I think I need to talk to Keej’s relatives,” I said. I wanted to know what had made these people give up a sweet little boy who was being terrorized by what was supposed to be a protective spirit.

There was no information on the paperwork I’d received from the children’s home. All the numbers I called there went to voicemail, but I called Martha on her cell phone. Martha had befriended us. She sighed when she took my call.

“Is everything okay?” she asked me.

“Not really. I mean, we’re looking after him but he just had an emotional outburst.”

“Just now?”

“Not long ago,” I said.

“He’s had them every day at the same time ever since we got him. I shouldn’t be doing this but this is his uncle’s number.” She rattled off the digits and I ended our call, quickly making another one to the uncle.

He answered on the second ring. I told him who I was and that we were looking after Keej.

“Oh,” the man said. His voice went to a frightened whisper. “I don’t want my wife to know I’m talking to you. She’s petrified that child will wind up back here. Please. Lose my number. Forget we ever spoke, but heed my warning. Get him out of your house. Now. He makes the kid from The Exorcist look like a model child. He does very bad things.”

The man hung up on me just as Tem walked into the room, a look of alarm on his face.

“Div. I can’t find Moontime anywhere. I’ve called him and called him. I can’t tune into him at all.” Tears fell from his eyes. “Something’s wrong. I just know it. He always comes when I call. I’m so afraid for him. When I try to tune into him all I see is…” His voice trembled. “All I see is blood.”

The front doorbell rang just as crazy music started playing around the house.

“Holy crap!” Tem said as he peered out of the window. “It’s Child Protective Services!”

Just when I didn’t think things could get worse, they did. Somebody began to scream. The knocks at the front door intensified as a woman in the house let out a blood-curdling, bone-chilling death wail.

“Holy crap!” Tem said as he peered out of the window. “It’s Child Protective Services!”

Just when I didn’t think things could get worse, they did. Somebody began to scream. The knocks at the front door intensified as a woman in the house let out a blood-curdling, bone-chilling death wail.











8 Responses to “Free Story! Waikiki Vampire Chronicles Chapter Two! Read it Here!”

  1. Love it!! Can’t wait for the next update!!! I have missed Tem and Div



  2. So glad you enjoyed it. I promise not to leave the next update so long! xxx

  3. Thank you. I guess you are of your word. I gave up on ever reading chapter 2 so this was a very nice surprise. Happy New Year indeed. Thank you. Can’t wait for more. I read the Mingo story in the anthology “Burning First Kiss” and loveeeeed it. Hope you are not done with those two. As someone from West Africa l feel very embarrassed when l get such emails and feel worse when l read about people actually falling for them. Too bad what happened to your character cannot happen to all of them at once.

  4. Hi Maame! Sorry it took so long. Chapter three will be quicker I promise! No I won’t stop writing about Mingo! I am part of a Hawaiian anthology called Mystery in Paradise and Mingo’s friend Leilani has her own story in it called Poi Dog!The Mingo series is being republished by Amber Allure and after the remaining two books are published in March, book 7, Hogtied, in which Mingo and Francois get married will be released!
    Don’t be embarrassed falling for them. I am touched and honored.
    Thanks for stopping by x

  5. I just saw the new anthology today and got my copy at amazon. I’ve never read a story where the female friend gets her own story so I’m very excited to read Leilani’s story. And I can’t wait for March!!

  6. Aw…I hope you enjoy Poi Dog. You may recognize the character of Mitch Tyler from Mingo’s very first mystery, Hula 🙂

  7. Always exciting to hear rave reviews from readers! #ReadersRock big time! Poi Dog and Leilani add an interesting dimension to the Mystery In Paradise anthology. Mahalo and Aloha to you, A.J.

  8. Mahalo Gail! I am honored to be part of the anthology – and so is Leilani!

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