From The Magic Video Game 2: Time for Tennis
Levi stayed up until 2 in the morning playing video games. As always. When he finally went to bed, he noticed that his little sister was waiting for him. She was sleeping on the left side of the futon, the side against the wall, with her pink teddy bear in her arms.
It was now 9 o’clock in the morning, and Evelyn Maeve woke up. She saw Levi sleeping very comfortably on his futon. The girl really wanted to wake her older brother up. However, she knew how he always has been, and so she decided to let him sleep in a little longer.
It was now about 9:30, and Levi somehow heard his phone go off. He didn’t have an alarm on it or anything; the ringtone sounded like that of an old alarm clock. Levi was sleeping on his right side when he heard his phone ring, and he was able to answer it in no time at all. He didn’t even look at the caller ID.
“Hello?” Levi answered feebly.
“Who am I speaking to?”
“No, seriously. Who am I speaking to?”
“The. Fat. Pigeon.”
“The. Fat. Pigeon.”
Levi didn’t answer back. Instead, he just hung up the phone. The boy tried very hard to go back to sleep. He was now lying on his stomach, making attempts to sleep in a little longer. His head was underneath his pillow, and he was sprawled out on his bed like a spider. Levi was really not in the mood to talk to anyone. Of all people, the Fat Pigeon.
Levi’s phone rang again, and he answered it.
“….What are you doing?” he asked the same person over the line.
“I’m going to Mexico!” the Fat Pigeon exclaimed.
“I just woke up.”
“Good! So, I can tell you that I’m on my way to Mexico!”
“Well, good for you. I’m going back to sleep now. You woke me up.”
“I called that I’m going to Mexico because I knew you’d be jealous!”
“I don’t care. I don’t really like Mexico that much anyway,” Levi replied.
“We are going to Cancun!” The Fat Pigeon announced gleefully.
“I can’t wait!”
“Well, it was nice talking to you.”
“Don’t hang up yet! Well, you’re so nice!”
Levi hung up once again. He lay back down on his futon, breathing hard. First of all, why would the Fat Pigeon want to call Levi anyway? Did the Fat Pigeon want Levi to be jealous of him just because the he was going to Mexico, and Levi wasn’t? The Cranston’s have been to Mexico before, but Levi never really loved being there that much. When they vacationed to Mexico, he liked where they were, but he hasn’t shown much interest in going back to the same place again.
For five minutes, the boy was lying on his stomach. He knew his shirt was pulled up some, but he didn’t really care. His left ankle was sweaty because he had left it in his brace all night long, but he didn’t take it off. Duchess came in and lay right next to him. And the cat started purring like a motorboat. All Levi wanted at this point was to be able to go back to sleep. But his phone rang. Once again.
Levi had to pick it up this time.
“What do you want?” Levi answered, annoyed.
“Oh, and did I mention Adam Dahnwright?” the Fat Pigeon answered back.
Levi thought very hard about why the Fat Pigeon had just mentioned Adam Dahnwright.
“What happened?!” Levi asked, almost angrily.
The Fat Pigeon did not say anything else. Instead, he was humming and whistling some music from Levi’s favorite video games. Levi grew even more annoyed that the Fat Pigeon was now trying to avoid his question. This could really have led up to some serious manners.
“What’s going on?!” Levi questioned, extremely annoyed.
“You never gonna catch ‘im!” The Fat Pigeon joked.
“That one game you had?”
“Don’t tell me he took it.”
“Well, he did.”
“Good. Now, I will have to go over to his house to retrieve that video game.”
“Yeah. I think you will have to.”
Levi rolled his eyes and hung up on The Fat Pigeon one more time. He was so mad that he could even envision smoke coming out of his ears. Not that smoke really came out of his ears, since that can’t really happen. But that was how extremely furious he was.
The boy quickly brushed his teeth, combed his hair, and put on some clothes. Afterwards, he walked downstairs into the kitchen. He saw Victoria and Olivia sitting down, drinking some tea. Evelyn Maeve was in the common area with Duchess and Prussia. When Levi’s two older sisters saw him, they knew that something wasn’t good.
“Hey, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” Victoria joked.
“Very funny,” Levi answered blandly.
“Victoria,” Olivia warned their older sister.
“Yeah. This is very serious.”
“Apparently, Adam Dahnwright took one of my video games last night.”
“I want it back. Now,” said Levi.
“I understand that,” Olivia answered.
“And I want one of you to come with me to get it back. I am not going there by myself.”
“Where does he live?”
“Bond and Campbell.”
“I’ll come with you.”
Adam Dahnwright is really not a bad kid. Really, he is not. However, he really thinks it is funny to pick on someone, like Levi, who may pose a threat to him in the near future. Basically, Adam thinks he is “all that,” meaning a direct sense of arrogance. Not that Levi isn’t arrogant, since he can be as well. But Adam tends to have the mentality that he should be entitled to, at least, everything.
It really shouldn’t be like that. Should it be?
It took Olivia five minutes to find her shoes, put them on, and tell Levi that she was ready to go. The weather wasn’t all that great. But not all that bad either. No one was quite sure what would happen in a thirty minute time span. It could stay partially sunny. But it could also start down-pouring any minute. Olivia and Levi were going to “bite the bullet” and walk to Adam’s house.
“Was it your most favorite video game?” Olivia asked Levi on the ten minute walk there.
“One of them.”
“Well, you will get it soon. Stay positive.”
“The question is: how did he take your video game?”
“My assumption is that it fell out of my backpack, and he took it that way.”
“Oh, so you know how he might have taken it?”
Olivia and Levi were at Adam Dahnwright’s house in no time at all. Olivia opened the door as Levi was standing almost directly behind her. He was really not in the mood to have to pick fights with Adam. Levi felt a huge lump in his throat, and he started feeling a little sick to his stomach.
This had to go well.
Adam’s mom opened the door after a few seconds, and she seemed very concerned at first. This lady, plump and dirty blonde-haired, seemed the opposite of her son. Or, hopefully, that was the case. The Cranston’s don’t know the Dahnwright’s all that well. However, both moms have run into each other at grocery stores and fast food joints in the past.
They have always seemed friendly toward one another.
“Hi,” Mrs. Dahnwright greeted in a kind manner.
“Hi. How are you doing?” Olivia answered.
“I’m doing well. How are you?”
“We’re doing well.”
“That’s good. I’ve run into Lisa many times at the supermarket. She’s very nice.”
“Why, thank you.”
“Hi,” Levi answered coyly.
As soon as Adam heard Levi’s name, he quit playing video games, ran into his room, and hid. He knew what Olivia and Levi were here for. And he was not going to admit his guilt. Oh well. In the future, when Levi and Adam are both in their twenties, they will probably admit their share of the guilt. It usually happens that way.
Or at least it should.
“We have a video game that we would like to pick up,” Olivia said.
“Oh yes. Adam, Adam, Adam. I never know what’s going on in that kid’s head. I would like to think that he just picked up the game and brought it home to make sure it was okay. But, also, I know he can be a bit of a brat,” Mrs. Dahnwright answered.
“At least it’s safe.”
“I know exactly where it’s at, so I will just bring it to you.”
Adam’s mom went into the living room; Olivia and Levi were standing in the dining room, which leads into the common area. Mrs. Dahnwright looked through the video games and found the one that the two kids were looking for.
“Looking for this?” Mrs. Dahnwright asked.
“Yes!” Levi exclaimed with sudden tears in his eyes.
“Thanks!” Olivia said to Adam’s mom as they left for home.
Once the two kids were walking back to their house on Elmhurst Avenue, Olivia said, to her younger brother:
“That was easy, don’t you think?”
The two kids continued to walk in the direction of their house. Inside, Levi was screaming with joy and jumping up and down until he couldn’t do it anymore. However, on the outside, Levi remained pretty calm. He was just glad to have his “best friend” back, his beloved video game.
From The Magic Video Game
It was October 15th, 2005, and Levi just woke up from sleeping for nine and a half hours. He played video games with two of his four older sisters until two o’clock in the morning. Victoria, 17, and Olivia, 15, woke up at about eight o’clock in the morning to make breakfast. Evelyn Maeve, 5, was keeping Levi company. Their parents had to work. Louise, the oldest, a 25-year-old manager at a business in Crown Point, was working for only half of the day today and would come over at noon.
It was already 11:30 in the morning, and Levi woke up, took a shower, and put on some everyday clothes. When he was in the bathroom getting ready for the day, he looked in the mirror and saw a reflection of himself, an absolute mess. His dark brown hair was messy from sleeping for a long period of time. He had marks all over his arms from moving around too much on the couch while sleeping. Levi was recovering from strep, so he wasn’t quite himself yet.
When he came downstairs, the first thing he grabbed from the refrigerator was a glass of ice cold water. He lay back on the couch, where their cats, Duchess and Prussia, were waiting for him. The cats walked up to Levi, lay on his stomach, and purred. Levi decided to pet them while watching his favorite cartoons.
“Levi, we made our Italian skillet,” Olivia said as she walked into the living room.
“I’m not really that hungry,” Levi answered weakly.
“That’s unusual. You normally eat. A lot.”
“I know. But I feel sick to my stomach.”
“You should eat a little something, though. Do saltines work?”
“I’m okay with that.”
Olivia gave Levi a few saltines and a can of light soda, so that he could have something in his stomach. While watching TV, he thought very much about Mackenzie Burbanks, one of his good friends from school. Knowing each other since the age of eleven, Mackenzie is someone Levi has always been fond of. Her brown hair, brown eyes, and beautiful smile would always make Levi consider a relationship with her. He closed his eyes and imagined this relationship until he heard the front door open.
It was now 12:30 in the afternoon, and Louise arrived at her half siblings’ house from work. She brought some chocolate turtles from the local candy shop for them. Victoria, Olivia, and Evelyn Maeve ate their share of the candy, but Levi did not feel like eating much, since he still wasn’t feeling well. He continued to watch some stupid cartoons while the pain in his throat gradually worsened.
Thirty minutes later, he suddenly developed a horrible taste in his mouth, accompanied by a sore throat, cold sensation, and intense nausea.
“I think I have a draining abscess in the back of my throat,” he said, terrified.
“Okay. Let me call Mom and Dad,” Louise answered calmly, for she knew what she was doing.
Once Louise got off the phone with their mother after five minutes, she and Levi headed to the hospital. Victoria, Olivia, and Evelyn Maeve stayed home and hoped that things were going to be fine.
By the time Louise took her younger brother to the hospital, Levi started crying very hard. His throat hurt badly, and he still had the bad taste in his mouth. He felt very sick, and his head was pounding. He was then starting to feel very dizzy. Once the doctor called the two into the examining room, Levi felt a little relieved.
The doctor performed all of the possible procedures that every doctor would. He mainly checked Levi’s throat to make sure nothing was very serious. When the doctor could see Levi’s tonsils, it was obvious that there was a ruptured abscess on the side of his left tonsil. There was an abscess on his right tonsil as well, but the doctor did not want this one to also drain suddenly.
The doctor knew he had unpleasant news for both Louise and Levi. He asked Levi how many times he had strep in the past few months, to which Levi responded that he had strep at least twice every two months. This peritonsillar abscess was the fourth one he had had over the course of five months. The doctor said that Levi needed to have his tonsils taken out, and he needed them out soon.
Once Levi found out the news, he remained calm on the outside. However, on the inside, he was horribly nervous. Levi remained emotionless in his appearance. He found himself breathing more heavily. He could also feel his heart pounding hard against his chest. He wasn’t sure if he felt like crying or if he just didn’t want anyone to see his true emotions. He was scheduled for surgery in an hour and thirty minutes. This was plenty of time for their parents to arrive at the hospital before Levi’s tonsillectomy.
Once his parents arrived at the hospital with Levi’s favorite plush dinosaur, Levi clutched the toy. He pretended that it was Mackenzie, and he hugged it tightly so that he could get his mind off the obvious. Their parents also did whatever they could to calm Levi down before he had to go to the operating room. Once Levi’s name was called by a nurse, he could feel his heart rate skyrocket a second time. He and his parents went with the nurse to the prep room. This was where Levi had to have yet another physical examination, where the same possible procedures that a doctor or nurse would perform were actually performed. Levi was then taken to the operating room.
Before he knew it, he had the laughing gas mask put over his face. He was told to breathe deeply. Levi focused on his breathing while also listening intently to the fast beep-beep’s of the heart monitor. He was very nervous at first, and then he thought about Mackenzie. She would be there in spirit, with her ear pressed firmly against his chest so that she could actually hear his strong heartbeat and the gentle whooshes of his breathing. She would tell him that she loved him and that he would make it through the surgery very well. This calmed him down a lot. He noticed that his heart rate slowed down a little, and he wasn’t breathing too hard. He was now in a state of peace.
“I love you, Mackenzie,” Levi thought before he fell asleep. When he was finally under the anesthetic, the surgeons started operating on his throat. Things were going well enough until one surgeon accidentally cut a sensitive spot right above Levi’s tonsils. This spot was so sensitive that the surgeons could not stop the bleeding for about five minutes.
“Oh no!” said one surgeon.
“We missed,” said another surgeon. “What do we do?”
“We will have to cauterize the wound. Cauterization wand?”
The surgeons tried to use the cauterization wand, but the surgical instrument was not working for some reason. No one knew why they could not cauterize the second injury.
“Oh no! The wand isn’t working,” The second surgeon reacted.
“Shoot!” exclaimed the first surgeon.
“What are we going to do?!”
“Second best option. We will have to stitch the cut together.”
Once the spot was stitched together, the surgeons felt better about the whole situation. They believed that Levi was going to be in a lot of pain once he woke up, but he would be okay at least. Once his tonsils and adenoids were taken out, he was wheeled into the recovery room.
“Levi, wake up,” said a nurse.
Levi opened his eyes. His vision was blurry. He felt hot. His throat felt hot. He was incredibly thirsty. Above all, he wondered where his parents were. When he was able to return to his senses, he did not feel much different. His throat hurt even more now than it did before surgery. It felt like he had four cases of strep throat, all at once. His throat also felt very hot, as if a flame torch had been forced down. His parents then came into the room.
“Hey, Levi,” his dad said calmly.
Levi really did not feel like talking much.
“Worst. Day. Of. My. Life,” Levi muttered quietly.
A nurse then came into the room.
“Would you like cherry, orange, or grape?” Nurse Michaelson asked him in a motherly manner.
Levi pointed at the grape popsicle. The nurse gave the grape popsicle to Levi’s mom. His mom opened the wrapper, and then held the popsicle while Levi was slowly sucking on it.
Nurse Michaelson felt very sorry for Levi, based on the hearsay that she was given about the trouble the surgeons went through just to take out his tonsils. She, a big woman probably closing in on 60, always smiled sympathetically. She wanted so badly to make the atmosphere in the recovery room slightly more comfortable.
“How’s your throat, hon?” Levi’s mom asked while she held the popsicle up to Levi’s mouth.
Levi shook his head, meaning that it really hurt.
“One of the surgeons accidentally cut the area above where Levi’s tonsils used to be, and the surgeons could not control the bleeding. So, they had to stitch the cut in order to stop it,” the nurse explained with utmost compassion.
Levi let out a heavy sigh.
“So, that’s why it hurts so much?” Levi questioned softly.
The nurse slowly nodded.
“Would you like to see what your tonsils looked like?” Nurse Michaelson questioned Levi, who, in return, shrugged his shoulders.
He didn’t care that much about what his tonsils looked like. Nurse Michaelson brought in a small bag with two enormous blobs of tissue inside it. At first, Levi was pretty grossed out. He grew nauseated for about fifteen minutes, and then he did not think his tonsils really looked that bad.
“Can I keep my tonsils in a jar?” Levi questioned the nurse with a weak smile.
There were five seconds of silence, and then his parents and the nurse started laughing very hard. Levi couldn’t help but smile because he was proud that he made everyone around him laugh.
“I wish I could say yes, but if you did, your tonsils would decay, and they would smell horrible,” the nurse responded.
Levi shrugged his shoulders. He really could not stand the fact that he had a burning sensation in the back of his throat.
“Did someone force a burning muffin down my throat?”
“Your throat may feel hot because of the cauterization wand that the surgeons used.”
Levi let out a heavy sigh. It was obvious that he really was not himself. On a normal day, he would never assume that anyone forced a burning muffin down his throat; much less would he have much interest in keeping his tonsils in a jar in his backpack.
“Je m’appelle Levi Cranston. J’habite a Valparaiso. Je suis americain. Je parle français.”
“Are you taking French right now?”
“Yes, sir. I love it.”
There were five seconds of silence. The nurse and Levi’s parents could not help but laugh. Levi let out another weak smile. He was completely out of it. The anesthesia was slowly wearing off. And then….
“I love you, Mackenzie!” Levi then blurted out with tears in his eyes.
“Awwww,” his mother answered sympathetically while moving closer to him to wipe his tears with some facial tissues.
She then put her hand on his chest to calm him down. Levi cried himself back to sleep. He and his parents stayed in the recovery room for another two hours.
Then, they went home.
Four days after the surgery, he still felt horrible. He got up to brush his teeth and put on clean clothes. His mom took a few days off to take care of him. She came into the living room where Levi was resting.
“Hey, sweetie. How do you feel?” his mom asked, and Levi shrugged his shoulders.
“My throat hurts. I feel like I was pushed out of a 64-story building. I’m hot. I’m tired. And I want a cold drink,” Levi answered plainly.
“Cold water sound good?”
“Oh, and Mackenzie called about two hours ago. She was wondering if she could come over. She’s worried about you,” his mom said as she was walking to the refrigerator to get her son a glass of ice cold water.
Levi started thinking about Mackenzie again. After five minutes of some intense contemplating and pondering, he let out a weak smile.
“Can she come over?” he questioned.
“It’s up to you. How do you feel?” his mom answered with another question.
“I’m okay with that.”
Levi eventually called Mackenzie when he finally felt up to it, which was later that day. He dialed
her number. Levi almost dialed the wrong number at first because he couldn’t remember Mackenzie’s number. However, after a few tries, Levi had the right number. And, after Mackenzie heard her phone go off, she answered it.
“Herro, Revi,” Mackenzie answered the phone rather humorously.
“Hey. Want to have a video game party?” Levi asked.
“Okay! Can I come over in about thirty minutes?”
“All right. See ya!”
After Levi got off the phone with Mackenzie, he went up to his bedroom. He searched for a specific ring that had a small plastic pink flower on it, which was a ring that Victoria didn’t want anymore. Levi then put the ring in a small jewelry box and hid it in a place where no one would find anything obvious. Mackenzie came to his house thirty minutes later. She knocked on the door. Levi answered it.
“Hey, Mackenzie,” Levi said with a weak tone in his voice.
“Hey. How are you feeling?” Mackenzie answered back.
“My throat hurts.”
“Oh well. I have some games that we could play today.”
“I’m cool with that.”
Levi and Mackenzie spent at least two hours playing video games. After the two kids finally quit playing them, Levi went up to his room, took the small jewelry box, and put it in his pocket. He went downstairs and lay back down on the sofa. He slowly moved the box in his hand.
“Hey, Mackenzie?” he questioned a little softly.
Levi could feel his heart banging against his chest. He was very nervous about this.
“Yes, Levi?” Mackenzie answered politely.
Levi took a deep breath as he took the box out of his pocket. Fifteen seconds later.
“Will you be my girlfriend?” Levi questioned as he opened the box with the ring.
“Are you serious?!”
“Yes!” Mackenzie answered as she grew speechless to the point where she started crying.
She reached over to where he was and hugged him tightly. It was pretty obvious that Levi was not feeling well. He started shivering, and Mackenzie put some blankets over him. She then decided to stay for another hour and watch some cartoons with him.
Levi’s mom came into the living room where Mackenzie and Levi were because she wanted to check on Levi. She had a conference call that she just finished. When Levi wrapped himself more tightly in his blankets, his mom looked at Mackenzie.
“Mackenzie, you should probably head home. Levi might have a fever.”
Afterwards, she checked her son’s temperature. He had a 100.8 degree fever. Mackenzie definitely needed to go home.
Before she left for home, she gave Levi another hug and kissed him on the cheek. Levi let out a heavy sigh and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Once Levi’s mom drove Mackenzie home, Levi fell into a blissful sleep for several hours.
October 20, 2018
Kevin Maggliardi was at Levi Cranston’s (The Magic Video Game) and Jack Andrews’ apartment this evening to recover from a very scary situation earlier this afternoon. Kevin lay on the couch, while Jack was sitting in an adjacent butterfly chair, watching him recover.
Asad Prejesh, their other roommate, was out exploring downtown Boston with Kevin’s other roommates.
Levi was sitting in the same room with them, but he wanted Jack to help Kevin get back to normal. Kevin was doing some deep breathing exercises while feeling for his heartbeat.
”How are you feeling, Kevin?” Jack questioned their friend.
”My chest hurts, and my heart is pounding so hard it wants to burst,” Kevin replies quietly.
”It’s okay. Let it pound. It’s just doing its thing.”
”Whew! That was awful.”
”I know it was. At least you’re here, and you’re safe,” Jack remarked.
”Is it okay if I stay here for the night? I am way too tired to go home,” Kevin asked, with both hands still on his chest.
”Absolutely,” Levi replied.
”I really don’t want to move,” Kevin said.
”Wanna put on a movie or TV or something?” Jack questioned.
”Really, I just want to sleep.”
Sunday, September 2, 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) came back home from a very sweaty tennis practice. He and his best friend, Jack Andrews, played singles, and they had to cover the whole sides of their own court. It was very humid today, but that did not stop Jack or Levi from playing their most favorite sport. Asad Prejesh, their other friend, spent the whole day in downtown Boston with a few mutual friends. He was really not in the mood to play tennis as he thought it was way too hot to even be outside.
Yet, he was still outside with their friends, Jing Hao and Kevin Maggliardi.
Mackenzie Burbanks, Levi’s long-time girlfriend, was out earlier today with a few of her friends, Suzanne Gopal and Jennifer Watson. Once she and her girlfriends called it quits for the rest of the day, she resorted back to the apartment and put on some comedy TV shows while waiting for Levi, Jack, and Asad to return.
Around 2 pm, Jack and Levi returned to the apartment. Jack decided to take a shower first, and Levi decided to relax in his room. Mackenzie was still watching TV, as she did not feel up to going outside due to the hot weather.
Boston is a great city, but sometimes it can get a little too warm.
After his shower, Jack decided to go back out and meet up with Asad. Levi decided to shower next, which only took him about 20 minutes.
Mackenzie was half-awake by the time she felt a soft tap on her shoulder. Turning around, she realized it was Levi trying to get her attention. She was a little tired from watching TV for a straight hour and a half, so she reached for the remote to turn off the TV.
Levi turned off the TV for her.
Both Levi and Mackenzie lay on the couch together, enjoying each other’s company. Both of them being introverts, they didn’t feel the need to really carry on a conversation. As long as they were both in the same room together, this inseparable couple could not be any happier.
Levi was wearing his gray t-shirt with the words, “Rhode Island” on the front. He lay with his back on the couch, with his hands behind his head.
A few minutes later, he slowly pulled up his shirt, so that his belly button was exposed. Mackenzie could also see the ends of his ribcage when he would breathe in. And she also thought she could see his heart thumping away against the left side of his chest.
Levi is very thin-chested.
He took her right hand and put it against his chest, so that she could feel his strong heartbeat. He then covered her hand with his left hand, with both his and her hands flat against his chest.
Levi’s eyes were closed, and he was smiling. Mackenzie was also in an elated state herself. She leaned over to kiss him on the lips. When they started kissing, Mackenzie could feel Levi’s heart pounding. She knew his genuine love for her, and how they have successfully maintained their relationship for nearly 13 years.
Levi and Mackenzie will both be 27 years old this year.
Levi’s heart was very fast, yet mostly very steady. Mackenzie thought she may have felt her boyfriend’s heart skip a beat a couple times.
Her hand stayed on his chest, and he was perfectly alright with that. Her eyes were closed as well, and she envisioned hearing his heartbeat with every pulse.
His heart was pounding much harder now than during tennis practice, and it could possibly have burst in his chest if he wasn’t too careful.
Not like that would happen, though.
Both Levi and Mackenzie were elated, until they heard the door open. A few seconds later, Asad came inside the apartment and saw the couple on the couch in the common area.
“Okay, lovebirds. I’m home,” Asad announced.
“Shit, where’s Jack?” Levi responded, quickly pulling his shirt down.
“Oh, he’s out and about.”
“I thought you two were doing something together.”
“Jing and Kev were too tired. Besides, it’s too hot to do anything,” Asad replied.
“I agree,” Levi remarked.
“Jack should be coming home soon. Pizza tonight?”
“You beat me to the punch.”
“Levi’s heart nearly punched me in the hand,” Mackenzie blurted out. Levi’s face turned beet red, but he laughed it off. So did Asad.
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