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Sorcery Square / The Blood of Oz - Travels.
« Last post by newchinaren on October 05, 2022, 09:50:24 AM »
Outside was fresh and sunny, and Dorothy, Toto and her small companion followed the road as it meandered gently through pleasant fields,  full of some sort of tall greeny-yellow crop that rippled in the breeze.  The sun drifted up through a primary blue sky, dotted with clouds too fluffy to believe.  It all seemed very peaceful and innocent, and she said as much.

"Oh well mistress," Chubby explained.  "This is still within the town limits.  Besides, this crop is for the city, and under the watchful eye of the Bitch and her minions." He paused, eyeing her boots again.  "At least, it was.  I suppose..." he tailed off, thinking unaccustomed thoughts no doubt.

"What will happen now she's dead?" Dorothy asked, watching Toto gambling through the long grass by the side of the road.

The midget scratched his head. "I'm not sure, but someone will probably notice at some point, and then... well, I suppose there will have to be a replacement appointed."  He shrugged.  "1 don't think it's ever happened before."

Dorothy raised an eyebrow.  "Never?"

"Not in my lifetime, no."

"In any case, it's all very nice.  I don't see what you were worried about."

"Oh, there's plenty of rough terrain ahead mistress," he assured her.  "Outside of the town limits, and the protected zone, with many a strange and twisted creature patiently waiting to waylay the innocent traveller."  He patted his sturdy walking stick.  "It's a good job you have me along to protect you."

"Mmm," Dorothy replied. She slipped one hand into her long coat for a moment, for reassurance.

They carried on, and soon the pleasant fields and greenery became monotonous. Extending as far as the eye could see, over flat or very gently rolling slopes.  The sun rose higher, and it became warmer too, though not unpleasantly so, and despite the apparently well maintained road, they encountered no other travellers.  There was the odd bird, tweeting from within the hedge that ran alongside their path, and once she thought she saw what could have been a rabbit, but other than that the only living things were her, Toto and Chubby.  It began to get on her nerves.

Despite her earlier worries, Chubby seemed to have no problem keeping up, striding steadily along under his massive backpack, and it was Dorothy who suggested a rest first.

Chubby looked around carefully, and then nodded. "1 think we're still in the safe zone, a small break could be a good idea," he said.
"Think?" Dorothy scanned the area afresh.  She'd spent the last half hour or so mulling all the recent, very odd, events over, and hadn't been paying much attention to the scenery.  Now she looked more closely, she saw that the still-unidentified crops were still prevalent, but they looked a little less uniform, a little more unkept.  For the first time clusters of dark trees could be seen here and there, squatting in groups, somehow looking like they were loitering with intent.

"You sit here," Chubby indicated an ancient, fallen tree trunk on the side of the road.  "I'll scout ahead a little more, see what's around the next bend."  He gestured ahead, where the road wound around into an area obscured by foliage.

"Very well then."  Dorothy slipped off her backpack and rummaged around for a chocolate bar she'd liberated from the fallen house. Chubby took off his own giant pack and set it down next to her.

"I'll be back," he stated, in an unconscious Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation, before marching off down the road.

"What a helpful chap," she said to herself.  "I must remember to thank him."  Perching on her seat, Dorothy munched on the slightly melted chocolate.

She'd just finished the last of her snack, and was wondering about local littering laws, when the little man came racing back around the corner at, what was for him, high speed.

"Run mistress!" he shouted in breathless tones.  "Run!  It will..." He stopped trying to shout and concentrated on increasing his speed.
Dorothy stood up as another form came into view, moving in strange, bounding gait, far faster than Chubby's.  It looked a little like a cross between a lanky zombie and a dishevelled hobo, dressed in rags as it was. What appeared to be small branches protruded from under its garb.

Toto was standing by her now, a low growl emanating from the large dog.

"Hold boy," she commanded, standing her ground and taking a grip of his collar.

"Run..." Chubby called out again, just as the zombie-hobo thing made a massive leap, landing squarely on the little man's back, ramming him into the stone bricks of the road.  Before Dorothy could react, it bent low and took a giant bite out of the midget's neck, sending blood and gore everywhere.  Chubby gave a last strangled cry, and went limp.

"Hey!" Dorothy cried. "That was my friend!"

The creature looked up, seemingly noticing her for the first time.  Its pasty face was splattered crimson, and flesh hung from wicked, oversized jaws.

With a growl, it leaped off the corpse of the dwarf and bounded towards her.

Dorothy waited only a moment before pulling out her Glock and shooting it in the leg.
Sorcery Square / The Blood of Oz - House.
« Last post by newchinaren on October 02, 2022, 11:07:01 AM »
Another small part then.  Still catching up here...


Despite her fears, Dorothy awoke from a restful and undisturbed slumber.  Toto was already awake, standing by the door looking back at her.

"Oh, very well then.  Just a minute boy."  She slid out of bed, dressed, clipped on her equipment, and pulled on the so-called magic boots.  Only when she felt sufficiently ready did she push the drawers out of the way, peer through the door to ensure she wasn't about to be ambushed, and allow the dog to trot out.  She followed him, wondering what the day held.

A loud rasping noise turned out to be Chubby, fast asleep on the sofa.  The dwarf woke abruptly, and with much spluttering when Dorothy scavenged some cereal and milk from the kitchen.

"Good sleep Chubs?" she enquired, spooning some rice-crispiness into her mouth.

Chubby rubbed his eyes and smacked his lips before answering.  "Truly mistress," he said, "Never before have I encountered such a luxurious sleeping mat.  This must me the abode of a king, or someone of the highest social order."

"1 doubt it.  Here."  Dorothy pushed a bowl of cereal towards him, "The most important meal of the day, allegedly."

The midget wandered over and peered cautiously at the contents. "Why does it make that sound?" he asked.  "Oh,I must make toilet."  So saying, he rushed outside.

Dorothy shrugged, and finished her breakfast before putting the bowl in the sink, out of habit.

Chubby eventually returned and picked up his bowl. Watched by Dorothy, he spooned down the food, cautiously at first, and then more enthusiastically, milk dribbling down his beard in the process.

"So, how far away is this fabled Emerald city?" she asked eventually.

Swallowing hurriedly, Chubby pointed out of the window with his spoon.  "It lies at the end of the road," he informed her.  "As do all roads."

"All roads eh?" she mused. "Sounds familiar somehow.  How far is it?"
"A goodly distance is all I know," Chubby replied. "Through some dark and dire lands mistress.  The journey will be fraught with danger."  He chewed reflectively on another mouthful of cereal. "I shall return to the village to gather supplies and weapons."

"Weapons?" Dorothy asked. "ls there no law and order in here then?"

"Yes, of course there is," he replied.  "The Bitch sets and enforces the laws."  He looked at her, and her new shoes, pointedly for a moment. "Travel is... was discouraged, and so remains highly dangerous.  We'll be lucky to survive the day."  With that happy comment, he jammed one last spoonful of breakfast into his mouth, stood up, and waddled out of the door, leaving Dorothy wondering exactly what she'd fallen into.

By the time Chubby returned, Dorothy had done some supply gathering of her own, packing as much food as she could find into a backpack that had been in a cupboard.  She'd also salvaged a number of other items, including a large torch.

"Are you ready mistress?" the midget leader asked.

Eyeing him up and down, she nodded.  "Yes, though not as much as you apparently."

The little man now carried his own backpack, although perhaps that word didn't do it justice, as the enormous pile of gear on his pack probably weighed more than he did. He was leaning on a walking stick, and was almost bent double under the mass of his equipment.

"I see you've decided to take the kitchen sink too," Dorothy said.  "Are you sure you'll be able to carry all that?"

"No problem mistress," Chubby beamed back.

Shrugging - it wasn't her problem - Dorothy put a red booted foot forward.

"Very well then, let's follow the yellow brick road," she said.
Sketch Studio / Re: The amazing adventures of Adaline & Lightning
« Last post by newchinaren on September 25, 2022, 10:17:13 AM »
Have you tried some of the new AI artist apps for doing some of these?  Although I suspect none of them would be up to the detail required.  Search, for example, for Dall-e

Shorts Station / Re: Not so short story (collection)
« Last post by newchinaren on September 25, 2022, 10:15:44 AM »
Nice!  Your writing here is smooooth. 

Although the spacing between paras is a little random lol. 

And it only took me a year or so to repy to this.
Sorcery Square / Re: The Blood of Oz
« Last post by newchinaren on September 25, 2022, 10:14:15 AM »
The unnatural wind slowly settled, and the dust began to die down.  Dorothy groaned as she rolled over and sat up, rubbing her head and various bruised portions of her anatomy.

"Well, that was a first," she said.  And then: "Ow."  Removing a twig that had lodged itself in her cleavage, she brushed her hair back and looked around.

"What the...?"  The place, wherever it was, was surely nowhere near the small farm she had just left.  "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."  She gasped.  "Toto!  Where are you boy?"

Struggling to her feet, she staggered to one side, lurching against one of the strange trees nearby.  The trunk felt strangely smooth, and the bark was a chocolate brown, like something from a child's painting.  In fact the whole place had a weird, surreal quality to it.  The grass, which was perfectly level, was greener than green, and the hills on the horizon had a "Lollipop land" look about them.  Closer to where she was standing, a bright yellow, almost luminous, road wound off towards a huddle of small, gaily coloured buildings.  To the left the road was blocked by a wooden house, one with a more familiar, Kansas-like, appearance.  Sitting in front of it was a familiar shape.

"Toto!  Come on boy!"  The giant wolfhound bounded over at her command, and she put her arms around his neck and vigorously stroked his fur.  "Good boy!  Good boy," she repeated.

Holding on to her dog, she took another look around the strange landscape.  "Where the hell are we?"  Her hand went to her jeans pocket, only to find it empty.  "Damn, I've dropped my phone."  Scanning the ground nearby failed to reveal the device.

"That's bloody annoying," she muttered.

She widened her search, spiralling out from her initial position.  Only when she moved nearer the house did she spot something, a bright red something, sticking out from under the building.  Toto padding alongside her, she went over for a closer look.

"Oh dear me."  Up close the splash of colour turned out to be a pair of - fairly cool looking - boots.  They were still being worn, but the owner, or most of her at least, was under the house.  A dark red puddle was congealing around the knees.

"That's pretty fucked up," Dorothy said, but even so, stepped forward and examined the shoes more closely.  There was something about them, something that...

A growl from Toto distracted her.

"What is it boy?" she asked, looking over to where the dog was facing, hackles raised. "Ah, company."

Marching along the road, presumably from the collection of huts, a small group of figures was slowly advancing upon her position.  Small was the operative word.  None of them seemed to be taller than waist height.

They were a sorry looking lot too, she saw, as they edged closer, dressed in drab rags and ragged tunics.  An elderly midget at the front seemed to be the leader. He wrapped in a faded blue robe of slightly higher quality than the rest.

"Who are you lot then?" Dorothy asked, deciding to take the initiative.

"Pardon Mistress?"  The leader spoke, looking puzzled at her question.

"Who are you?" she asked again.

"We're, er, the villagers," he replied, as if it should have been obvious.  Maybe it should have been.  "Is... is that your house?"

"It might be," she said, hedging her bets.  The owner of the fancy boots could have been a friend of theirs, plus who knew what the regulations were about parking houses in the middle of the local highway?

"And... the bitch?" the dwarf asked.

"Actually, Toto's a boy dog."  She put her hand on the animal's head.

"No, no, I mean the Wicked Bitch of the West."  He gestured at squashed and booted.

"Oh.  Her."  Dorothy crossed her arms.  "She's dead.  The bitch is dead."

There was a moment of silence, and then the group exploded in a great bout of cheering and dancing.  Obviously the deceased hadn't been very popular.

She raised an eyebrow as the celebrations continued, the midgets whirling around, hugging and kissing each other. Suddenly, the old man stopped and turned towards the house.

"The boots!" he said, and started forward, only to stop dead as he realised Dorothy was standing between himself and the house.

"What about the boots?" she asked, not moving.

"Er...  nothing.  Nothing at all," the man replied, glancing down quickly at the protruding legs, and then back up at her, a guilty look upon his face.

Dorothy took a step backwards and took another quick look at the footwear. As before, some undefinable quality seemed to pull at her. Glancing at the assembled crowd, who were now avidly watching her every move, she squatted down and started to untie the laces of one, keeping an eye on the midgets all the while.

The leader opened his mouth to say something, then stopped, then made half a step forward before changing his mind again.  As Dorothy pulled the boot off, he seemed to collapse in on himself.  "They're magic," he said, watching her inspect them.

"Magic?"  The boots were certainly clean, though there were a few scuff marks and signs of general use that all footwear eventually picked  up.

"Yes."  A slight pause, then: "They say they'll fit anyone who wears them."

"They?" asked Dorothy, comparing the boot next to her own shoe.  It was quite a bit larger.  The dead bitch had had fairly big feet it seemed.

The man shrugged, still captivated by the shoe.  "You know... they do."

"Oh, them."

"And they convey protection to the wearer too," another, younger, midget in yellow shorts piped up.

"Obviously not from falling houses," Dorothy remarked.  She made a decision and sat down on the lowest step of the porch, shucking off one her own shoes.

There was a collective intake of breath from the watching crowd as she pulled the salvaged boot on, and tied the laces up.
Somehow, it seemed to fit perfectly.

"It's certainly very comfortable," she commented, after a few moments of lopsided walking up and down.

The little people watched her dejectedly as she quickly donned the other one.  "Yes, definitely very comfortable, and good instep support too.  I could almost believe they were magic."

"They are," said the leader.

"Of course they are," Dorothy replied.  "Now, who can tell me where I am, exactly?"  She flashed her best sunny smile at them.

"This is the West," the leader informed her. "She," he pointed at the now bootless corpse, "was the ruler here.  She was the Wicked Bitch of the West."

"Catchy title."  Dorothy eyed the legs and wondered if there was a charge of Death by House somewhere in her future. They'd have to catch her first.  "So, west of where?"

"Oz of course."  The man frowned.

Dorothy patted Toto's head and grimaced. "How far is it to Kansas from here then?"

"Kanvas?" Now the midget looked puzzled.

"Kansas," she repeated, speaking slowly.

"Never heard of it."

"What country is this then?"  Dorothy did a slow three hundred and sixty degree turn, taking in the strange scenery.  The bulbous yellow sun was sinking lower in the deep blue sky.

"1 told you, Oz!  West Oz." The midget shared a glance with  his neighbour.


"Oz!  Orasamus Zelarabunia.”

“Orasa...?”  Dorothy cocked an eyebrow.

“Which is why everyone just call it Oz.  Which everyone knows.”  The man folded his arms.  “Oz.”

"Fine, don't tell me then."  Dorothy scowled and pulled her long black coat a little tighter around her.  It was getting chilly. "Do you have a hotel in your village?"

"What's a hotel?"

"You're taking the piss right?"  Dorothy was getting annoyed. "You know, a place to stay for the night?"

"Nowhere big enough for you," the man replied.

“About that,” she said.  “Why are you all litt... midg... dwarv... vertically challenged?”

“From where I'm standing I'm average height,” the leader retorted.  “You're the freakish giant.”

“Fair enough.”  Dorothy nodded.  “So, no hotels.”

"Why don't you just stay in your flying house?"  He gestured at the building behind her.

"Falling house," Dorothy corrected, but under her breath.  She had no idea whose house it was, in truth, though she wasn't going to tell them that.  It had likely been swept up in the freak tornado that had caught her. She shrugged.  "May as well I guess.”

Toto at her heels, and with the midget villagers looking on, she climbed the steps and pushed at the front door, which was hanging ajar.

The interior was totally normal, Kansas normal anyway, not wherever she currently was normal.  The building and furnishings didn't seem to be affected by their transportation at all, as if being ripped from the foundations and being dumped god-knows-where wasn't really worth getting shaken up about.

Stepping over a child's toy, she wondered where the owners were.  Probably in a storm cellar, wondering where the draught was coming from.

Flicking the light switch did nothing, unsurprisingly, so she wandered through the abandoned abode in the ever encroaching gloom until she came to the rear door.  The midget leader had followed her in, looking around at the decor, eyes wide, keeping a respectable distance from Toto all the while.

"What kind of place is this?" he said, as she wandered in to the house's small kitchen.

"Some poor working-class family's I'd say," she said, pointing at a photo of a young couple with a child.

"Where are they then?" he pursued.  "Did you kill them too?"

"They were probably just not in," she replied, frowning at the casual implication of mass murder.  Pulling on the fridge door revealed a number of edible items.  The interior was still cool.

"Ice magic!" the midget exclaimed, touching a shelf with his finger.
"Electricity," she countered, helping herself to some cheese, a bowl of salad and a coke.  "Here, have a drink."  She passed the can to him, taking another for herself.

Whilst he worked out how to open it, she managed to locate some dog food, which she opened and dolled out to Toto before going back to her salad.

"Nectar!" the dwarf said, finally figuring out the ring pull and taking a sip, followed by another, longer drink.

"It's mostly sugar."  Dorothy sat herself at the breakfast bar and looked out of the window.  Most of the little people were still outside, huddled together as they waited for their leader to return.  It was almost totally dark now, and the absence of artificial light was noticeable.

She took another bite of tomato and frowned.  The night sky was ablaze with stars, far more dense than she's ever seen before.
"Where's the nearest town?" she asked.

The dwarf leader, still clutching his can, rubbed his beard for a moment before answering.  "I'm not well travelled," he said, "but Mechar is apparently a day or so down the road," he waved a hand, "though I've never been there, and Reflection isn't too far, so I've heard. Otherwise I only know of the city."

"The city?

"The Emerald city of course."  Again, he frowned at her ignorance.  “It's where they have all the emeralds.”

"Of course it is," she said.  "Talking of names, what do they call you?"  She took a swig of soda.

"Me?  I'm Chubby.  What?  What's wrong?"  Dorothy had just sprayed a mouthful of fizzy drink over the table.

"Nothing, nothing," she said, mopping her mouth.  "That's a lovely name, er... I have a cousin called Chubby actually.  Very nice person.  Very nice."  She nodded and took a bite of cheese.

"I think I should tell the others to go back to the village," Chubby said after a few minutes of watching her eat.  She nodded, but said nothing in return, and then watched as he waddled out of the house, still holding the can of coke.

Toto, who had settled himself down on the sofa after eating his meal, wandered over and put his giant head upon her knee.  Sighing, she split the remaining cheese in half and gave one piece to him, whilst stuffing the rest into her mouth.

"Well, boy, wherever we are, it looks like we're on our own. Maybe we should turn in for the night."

The dog whined in reply, and then turned his head towards the door.  Dorothy followed his gaze, and saw Chubby re-enter the room.

"What will you do mistress?" he asked.

"I'm going to get some sleep," she replied, standing up and brushing crumbs off her lap.

"Oh."  The midget stood there for a moment, seeming uncertain. "And what about tomorrow?"

"I think I'll head over to this Emerald place that everyone's talking about."

"Oh," he said again.  "What about the house then?"

"When I go, you ca...“  She paused as a train of thought wound its way through her mind.  "...look after it for me," she concluded.
"Look after it?"  Chubby's eyes widened.

"You know, keep it clean, dust the shelves and so on."  She waved a hand in royal fashion.

"Thank-you mistress!" he cried.  "Thank-you, thank-you!"

"Think nothing of it."  Dorothy raised an eyebrow.

"I'll put my cousin, Lumpy, in charge of the task, whilst we travel to the city.

"You want to come with me?" she asked. "Why?"

"It would be rude to do anything else mistress, you must have an escort.

"Well, if you insist I guess," she said.  "but you'll have to keep up with me."

"I'm very fit for my age mistress."

"Okay then.  And it's Dorothy, not mistress."

"Yes mistress."

Dorothy took a deep breath and, shaking her head, wandered off towards the bedroom she'd previously discovered.  At the door she turned to Chubby, who had followed her.  "You can find your own place to sleep," she said.  "I suggest the sofa."

Chubby went bright red and nodded frantically.  "Of course mistress! Good night to you.  I'll see you in the morning."  So saying, he retreated back towards the living room.

Nudging Toto in before her, Dorothy entered the bedroom and closed the door firmly.  After a moments thought, she wedged a chair under the handle.  A minute later she changed her mind and removed the chair and replaced it, with some difficulty, with a large, heavy, chest of drawers.  That task complete, she checked the window making sure it was secure, and then used the en-suite bathroom, taking care to use as little water left in the tank as possible.

Her ablutions finished, she stripped off in the, by now, very dark room, and fell into the bed.  Toto climbed up beside her.

Within minutes she was fast asleep.


Longish first chapter then. 

Sorcery Square / The Blood of Oz
« Last post by newchinaren on September 25, 2022, 10:13:27 AM »
One I'm working on.  It will become interactive once it reached the point I'm at, so please be patient.

Citizen's corner / Re: Chinaren's Hole. New release! </blatant advertising>
« Last post by newchinaren on August 04, 2022, 09:31:58 AM »
Sorry, should have put this in the Billboard!
Citizen's corner / Chinaren's Hole. New release! </blatant advertising>
« Last post by newchinaren on August 04, 2022, 09:28:03 AM »

Now released!  Free download at:

Going off 'Overlord/admin' chat for just a moment, this has been a very stressful year, more so than any other for me. I won't go into details as they aren't important.

It has impacted New Tome City due to what occurred, and not being able to get on. Then, the end of last year my website hosting account, and all it's files was attacked. Everything has shut down, I couldn't access any of my sites, everything was suspended. It has taken a lot of coding, backups and all sorts to get Tome City back online along with the others I have.

Tome City in it's current state is at it's basic, no fancy colours or images-no mods apart from an anti-spam one I had to install due to to the amount of members that were coming on.
I also lost access to the Tome City Facebook page I created due to security reasons so a new group has been created. I'll be posting updates and such for various things relating to New Tome City's collapse and restructure in this thread.
Shorts Station / Split
« Last post by Phoenix on August 02, 2021, 08:33:12 PM »
[offtopic]One I wasn't sure I'd post up, but  :shrug:. Enjoy.

   I’ve wanted to ask a question to you for quite some time now. And now I’m worried it may be too late, which-I know- is completely my fault.
   I was hoping that over time, I would build up the courage to ask you, before I did something stupid. I’m learning now that I shouldn’t have done that. That I should have just asked you, regardless of the outcome, as delaying knowing the answer is only driving me crazy.
   The silly thing is, the question is a short one, only being four words, and would likely only have a single one for an answer.
   ‘Do you love me?’
   ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

   Ever since I was little, and as far back as I can remember, my brain hasn’t coped well with half the things that you-like so many others, take for granted. Which, of course you know all too well.
   My speech is slurred, as the letters from the words that I find myself trying to say get mixed up as I try to talk. It’s as though they form in my head perfectly, but they don’t want to escape. Instead all that happens when I open my mouth, is I end up stuttering, leading to me giving up most of the time.
   I’ve learnt just to avoid speaking out, just to save myself from accepting defeat even when I can feel that my head is clearer than usual.

   The strange thing is, that all changes when you’re with me. It’s as though my whole body is calmer when you’re around, my anxieties just seem to melt away the moment I see you, or hear your voice.
   Time seems to move a little slower, which allows me to find the courage to form sentences easier, as I’m able to do so without feeling forced or rushed. And even though it may sound so silly to you, it’s as if I can finally breathe.
   Like my mind up has just been yet another movie played constantly on fast forward, and I’ve just been holding my breath as I try to keep up until that point.

   Not that it matters now, I honestly don’t know how I managed to screw up this badly. I took our friendship for granted, as I figured because you were so important to me, that I wouldn’t do anything to sabotage it. And, because of that, I always expected you to be around. That, even if we weren’t a couple, that we would be close friends even at a silly age.
   Yet, here I am silently hating myself as I’m reminded just how much damage my words have caused. The same ones I thought I would never say to anyone, let alone you, especially with all the issues I have talking.
   Instead all that escaped my mouth were letters, which were spliced with anger. They were meant for myself, not you but that didn’t matter. As soon as I began speaking that day, with my thoughts filled with hatred, the harder it was to stop.

   A monster took over, one which switched off the ability to think clearly, or have any remorse. And so, because of that, I had to watch on in horror as the words escaping my lips hurt you. The little voice, the voice of reason and compassion, begged me to stop. They were overpowered by evil and anger though, so much so I couldn’t stop. The floodgates of emotion were open, and there was no way of turning back the tide.

   I’m sorry, so sorry. I never meant for you to hear any of that. As I’ve already said-none of it was meant for you.
   The moment you asked if I was okay, all I could see when I turned around was your brother, and not the innocent party in all of this. It was too late, I couldn’t hold my emotions in check after I saw his face in your own.
   I never meant to hurt you, how could I? Meeting you was the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

   That day in the shopping centre changed how I approach sticky situations after, then again that’s nothing new there. Everyone you meet will say the same thing.
   I can remember that morning, so clearly, even after all this time. You were so kind to me, even when the other children around us weren’t. But what I will always be grateful for, is how you stuck up for me, a complete stranger.
   And, you’ve done the exact same thing for just over ten years now. Even as teenagers I still can’t believe that you’re my friend. I just hope that I can fix this, before it’s too late.
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