Wild Life 1
Before we ask ‘How is humanity to survive?’ we need to decide - ‘What kind of life do I want now and how can I live it without stealing my children’s future?’
- R. Heru Ayana
The small convoy stopped at the top of the mountain, where the first trickling spring emerged from the black basalt tongue of an ancient extinct volcano. The travelers peered from the comfortable confines of the recycled troop carrier while their eyes adjusted to the green submarine dimness of the forest understorey.
“This is it,” their guide announced from the front passenger seat. “The only easy way down is past this patch of forest.” The vehicles disgorged their occupants onto the side of the rust-coloured dirt road, where the eager explorers peered through mottled sunlight into a shady viridian realm of huge gum trees and recovering rainforest. A nearby rough-barked bole wore a gaudy ring of fluorescent yellow-gold, but many other elder trees were adorned by bands in a malignant shade of red.
The blood-red rings shone through the gloom, painted round many of the larger straight trunks; death warrants marking the forest giants as ‘suitable for future logging’. When the travelers’ eyes adjusted to the shadowy realm, it became obvious that yellow-banded tree trunks were far less common than their red-painted peers. Yellow lines daubed beneath a capital ‘H’ earmarked two or three of the visible woody giants as ‘habitat trees’ - earmarked by forestry department surveyors for the ongoing use of endangered marsupials, rare reptiles or threatened birds and bats. Less than a handful of the old trees were tagged with the yellow ‘H’ of habitat salvation – far fewer than deemed necessary for the ongoing survival of myriad threatened species, even under the lax conservation requirements demanded by government beurocrats in distant ivory towers.
White ribbons drooped from the high canopy, artificial vines tangled in the treetops and entwined through the dense foliage. “What are they?” one of the younger expedition members asked, shading his eyes from the dazzle of a rare sunbeam. The guide turned his mustachioed face to the teenager, considering his reply for a few moments while he gauged the level of the lad’s naiveté. “Cops,” he replied in offhand shorthand as his frowning eyes squinted into the sunshine. “Choppers.”
“Huh?” The brief explanation had only served to bewilder the boy.
“Seheal can tell you.” Their guide walked off into the forest and a redheaded hippy girl stopped to assuage the boy’s confusion. “She’ll explain the facts of life,” he called over his shoulder. The younger teens watched their guide disappear between the trunks and tree ferns, peering after him for a moment until the girl’s charismatic smile drew their widening gazes; her alarming beauty silenced the pubescent boys. “The cops drop them from helicopters to show the ground crews where to go,” Seheal explained. She knocked dried red clay from a milky quartz crystal and held it up in a ray of sunshine; her freckly face was illumined by dancing reflections. “They leave the ribbons hanging when they’ve finished tearing out the crops; they don’t disappear for years and years.”
“Looks like tinsel on giant Christmas trees,” one of the longhaired boys laughed as the rest of the group milled around on the road. A trio of more experienced oldsters examined a detailed survey map, fitting the paper trail marked on the laminated sheet to the wild reality of the forested landform. Most of the other walkers checked their provisions or prepared themselves in other ways – smoking, munching or adjusting equipment. One pair of middle-aged environmentalists was already beginning to note plant and animal species in a notebook while poring through a well-thumbed academic tome.
“Or bandages on a wounded giant,” Seheal replied. She wiped perspiration from her brow and upper lip while she stared up into the canopy; it was a perfect day for bushwalking, but the spring sunshine was already producing a sticky humidity in the windless spaces beneath the manifold layers of interlacing branches. The lads stared at the lass as she peered through the shifting moiré of leaves and branchlets.
She carried little besides the summery cotton dress and fur-lined sheepskin jacket she wore draped across her shoulders; its arms were tied about her slender neck in a loose embrace. A water bottle was slung around one of her angular shoulders and a small woven bag of dried fruit and nuts was strung over the other, strapping the dress tightly to her slim buxom frame. Leather bandoliers crisscrossed the barefoot feral grrl’s floral dress, pressing pink printed blossoms around her prominent breasts - fully outlined and partially revealed by the thin garment’s plunging neckline. Her half exposed cleavage drew semi-continuous furtive glances from the younger teens as she twirled the citrine quartz crystal around in the light.
“Look,” she breathed, bumping a curvaceous hip against her companion’s denim-clad leg. Her pinky’s fingernail scraped a casement of clay from perfectly formed tiny crystals which gleamed geometrically in the sunlight, visible inside a miniature cave revealed within the faceted fragment of quartz. “They’re so tiny – so beautiful.”
Her barefoot boyfriend snaked an arm around Seheal’s tiny waist. His thigh settled against her hipbone and he bent to nestle his bearded jaw beside the softness of her cheek as he examined the find. “Aye,” he agreed, “that they are.” He carried a small canvas pack that bulged with two pairs of walking shoes, a 35mm single lens reflex camera, a bag of munchies, pouch of smoko and his rolled-up velvet cloak. A map, a knife and a few emergency supplies were stashed into the bag’s side pouches and his trouser pockets bulged with edible and smokeable supplies. “A crystal cave…”
“A pleasure dome,” Seheal murmured, “with babies inside.” She grinned into his long dark hair and ground her hip into his thigh. They walked arm in arm to the gravelly track and followed a flock of small flittering birds that cavorted in convoluted flights, hunting tiny insects a few feet above their heads. “Their wings are transparent,” Seheal breathed in an awestruck voice.
As they strolled side by side along the edge of the road, the flange of the bearded man’s bony hip jigsawed perfectly into the narrow cleft of the small woman’s slim midriff. His long chestnut locks fell across her face when he kissed her lightly on the cheek, and they ambled along the gravel-strewn strip of dirt and clay in a cuddlesome lockstep while the rest of the group prepared for their trek. He leaned down into the teenage grrl’s coppery dreadlocks and inhaled her inimitable fragrance, while flycatchers flittered and chittered above their heads, translucently fragile wings shining in the roadside’s pooling sunshine as they flew living figure-eights around the wandering duo.
“Everything’s so beautiful here.” Seheal sighed. Her luscious Welsh lips pressed through a gap in her older lover’s facial hair and their kiss lingered in an oasis of timelessness. “The air’s different, too,” she murmured into his beard, licking her lips as her eyes darted after the flycatchers. “Makes me tingle all over.”
“Wait ’til you see the rainforest.” Her lover wrapped one long arm around her shoulder as they reentered the canopy and made their way back to the group. A logrunner darted up a vertical trunk, barely using its tapering wings as it scampered along the bark in a gravity-defying display.
“Where’s Balren goin’?” One of the local boys piped up from behind the lovers and they turned to meet his quizzical expression. Their guide had completely disappeared into the bewildering undergrowth. “He’s scouting for the easy way down,” the bearded hippy replied. “Hi. I’m Ram.” The boy reached out to shake the hippy’s proffered hand. “Joel,” he said with a tentative smile.
“Hi, Joel – I’m Seheal.” The fourteen year-old boy’s eyes widened as the extraordinarily beautiful redhead gave his hand an encouraging squeeze. “I know,” he mumbled. He was slightly taller than the diminutive girl - who barely reached five feet in height – yet her blazing luxuriant crown of dreadlock-like curls made her appear a few inches taller than the lad. “Maybe he’s scouting for something else as well,” the feral grrl remarked with an insinuative tone. Joel continued holding onto her fingers when their handshake had concluded and the lovers watched his mind slip gears as he stared at her glittering nose stud. “Huh?”
“He’ll be back soon.” Bearbeard’s jocular voice preceded the hirsute local hillbilly. He approached the trio through a thicket of green and scarlet Bleeding Hearts and a tangle of spiny cancer-curing Thorn Apples. The middle-aged man stared into the shadowy distances beneath the high branches. “Don’t worry about him – he knows what he’s doing.”
“Have you decided yet?” Seheal asked him.
“It depends on Balren,” Bearbeard replied. “If he’s splitting I’ll get a lift with him…”
“So you’re not coming, then?” she said as her fingers stole beneath her man’s thin cotton shirt. “Well – I haven’t brought any supplies.” The older hippy smiled down at the young redhead and her lover watched their friendly neighbour’s mind freeze up as he stared into the alluring girl’s electric emerald eyes; Ram was thoroughly used to such reactions to his young bride’s charmingly fey presence. “Balren said we could make it in a day – you won’t need anything,” Seheal insisted. “Come on – it’ll be fun.”
“I’ll see what’s happening,” Joel said. He finally let go of Seheal’s fingers and headed toward the clustered map readers. Bearbeard roused himself from mesmerised contemplation of the feral maiden and glanced in the direction their guide had taken. “I’ve been through a lot of The Wonder before,” he said with the soft breathy tone he reserved for Seheal. “It might take more than a day, y’know.” He stared at the ascending Sun. “It’s midmorning already…”
When the young boy wandered out of earshot Bearbeard continued in an even quieter tone. “And we need to scout out some new patches, now that this one’s been ripped off by the filth. It’s a real pity – the soil’s fantastic around here and it’s easy to work on ground as flat as this is. All we really need to find is a hole in the canopy.” He shuffled his heavy boots in the russet brown earth and pulled a tobacco pouch from his coat pocket.
“You’ve already decided.” Seheal smiled as she stepped onto one of Bearbeard’s steel-capped boots with a small bare foot. “I guess we’ll see you back home tonight.”
“Not likely,” the older man said, his eyes following the flycatchers while he did his best to appear not to notice their momentary physical contact. “Maybe tomorrow.” Seheal slid her pink-painted toes from his boot when she became aware of his discomfiture, and leaned into her man’s enfolding embrace.
“Time to look at the maps.” They turned toward the loud announcement resounding through the forest and returned to the reassembling group. The expedition huddled around a plasticised survey map which was spread out on a deep bed of leaf litter. One of the elders pointed out the ridge that marked their location on the map, and a dozen men and boys, women and girls focused on the finely printed patterns of tiny coloured lines. “We’re here, eight hundred metres above sea level…”
The ridgeline they were crouching and standing upon extended all the way from the hub of an ancient – and presumably extinct – volcano at the edge of a remote National Park. The sinuous primordial lave flow meandered in a long descent into the Pacific Ocean, a flat blue expanse which they’d glimpsed from occasional vantage points during the arduous drive from their sea-level starting point. “…and we need to go down into the rainforest - a couple of thousand feet down - to here.” A wrinkled finger pointed at the well-used map as John outlined their carefully planned route. “As you can see, there are cliffs all along here, just below this plateau, and we need to find one particular ridge that we can climb down without ropes.”
“Which ridge?” One of the boys peered closely at the map, trying to fathom a likely route. “You won’t find it on the survey map.” John laughed as gnarly fingers combed through his thinning grey hair. “All these maps are drawn from aerial surveys, and the planes can’t see through the canopy around here; it’s too thick.”
“That’s because it hasn’t been logged,” another boy – John’s nephew – informed his younger peers. “Exactly,” John agreed. “There are hundreds of gulleys and cliffs that don’t appear on the maps…” He took a brief swig on a plastic water bottle as he examined the map. “…You have to be careful in this country.”
“Even some larger little valleys and permanent creeks don’t show up.” Jim Tedder added while a lyre bird squawked in musical mimicry of a different bird entirely. “So we have to feel our way out on the ground.”
“Fortunately,” John concluded, “we have a guide who swears he knows the way down.”
“Here he comes now,” the Pergola woman announced. The thirty-something conservationist pointed into the bush as her husband unloaded their large heavy packs from one of the old four wheel drives. Balren appeared from the scrub, his hugely grinning unshaven face lighting up as he approached the survey team. “We’re in exactly the right spot,” he assured the waiting group. They rose to their feet as the bushwise scout joined their ragged circle. “It’s right through here.”
The high plateau extended away into deep green shadows, a relatively flat expanse of small shrubs, miniature palms, ancient cycads and thick ropey vines spiraling up into the tall trees and remnant vegetation. The landscape was inhabited by survivors of previously abandoned attempts to strip the primordial forest which cloaked the rugged terrain in a verdant living cloak.
The drivers made their farewells before strapping themselves into the four wheel drives and igniting their fossil-fuel combustion engines. They rumbled off down the remote forest road, returning to the bottom of the valley and leaving the explorers to make their way back afoot from the high plateau. The group shouldered their packs and followed Balren into the scrub.
The boys streaked ahead of the group, laughing and joking with a sudden burst of gleeful freedom as they ducked beneath trailing branches, dodging raspy vines and spiny cycads. As the party proceeded further from the sunny edge of the narrow road, the damaged forest at the vine-protected verge was rapidly replaced by taller trees with thicker trunks. The relatively uniform rough-barked boles of manifold species of eucalypt trees were replaced by an entirely different ecology. Rare shrubs and buttressed rainforest trees began to predominate as they passed through a dark green living cavern, and the forest floor was invitingly soft beneath the naked feet of the feral hippy lovers; everyone else wore sturdy walking shoes.
They all followed Balren through the silent glade, fanning out between the widely spaced big trees. The experienced botanists and fauna surveyors among the group conversed in reverently hushed tones, disputing the identification of some of the rarely seen species they were walking beneath. They peered into the canopy through binoculars to gain a clearer view of leaf patterns, and stooped to examine seed pods and branchlets in the thick soft mulch.
Seheal and Ram’yana lingered behind the rest of the group, taking their time to examine the convoluted sculptures of wood fungi. They peered into cavernous hollows where timidly clustered groups of tiny red parasol mushrooms sheltered among the detritus of centuries. They followed meandering pythonic buttressed roots of Strangler figs and Giant Stinging trees until Seheal parted a veil of hanging epiphytes shrouding the base of a massive fig.
“What’s in here?” She slipped between the tangled vines and pulled Ram against her warmth in a dark wooden cave, amid cool shadows hidden ’twixt the spreading tentacular roots. She climbed up onto a protruding bole to kiss her lover, wrapping her arms around his neck as she pressed her curvaceous slenderness into his athletic frame. They cuddled and snogged inside the living hollow tree until nearby raised voices indicated the group had made a particularly interesting find.
They emerged into the brighter green gloom to follow the hubbub and found the expedition standing on the edge of a high stony cliff. The party was brightly illuminated in a small clearing, spotlighted by the blazing sun as they admired an astounding view of mountainous forests extending beyond the rugged horizon. When the lovers reached the edge of the plateau Bearbeard and Balren stepped back into the semidarkness of the forest to commence a quiet discussion. The band of conservationists examined the route of their impending descent, looking down into the crowned heads of immense rainforest trees which guarded a pristine creek; a silvery thread glimpsed through thick vegetation, thousands of feet below in the deep switchback valley.
The morning sun bore down upon the high black basalt clifftop and the environmentalists all shed layers of clothing in preparation for their descent. The climate was very different to the one they’d left behind in the cooler lowlands less than an hour earlier. Sunlight blazed down on the small rocky clearing and Seheal removed her thick jacket, knotting the arms around her waist. The luminously clear spring weather afforded a perfect view across the horizon-spanning wild west to her right, while the wide Pacific glittered on their left – a level blue line stretching across the rim of the world to the east. When they raised their eyes southward the lovers saw the dry tendrils of a sunburned grassy desert, where distant cattle farms encroached into the ancient dreaming landscape.
A vast, barely touched and sparsely explored wilderness beckoned and the impatient boys snuck away down the trail while the elders tried to match the lines on their map with a landscape whose delineaments were largely hidden, though they lay in full view directly beneath them. The task was only rendered slightly easier by the compass they placed on the map, accurately aligning the sheet to obviously prominent landmarks.
“…and they missed one,” Balren was saying, a smile splitting his bristly face as the pair of hirsute hillbilly hippies strolled up to the lovers. “They’re looking really good for this time of year – it’s all that rain, I guess. We’d better get them now. I brought the secuteurs…” He lifted his eyes from the ground, following the delineaments of Seheal’s wondrously formed body – revealed through her translucently thin floral-print dress by the brilliant sunshine - until his gaze reached her twinkling blue-green eyes. The hue of the grrl’s irises had subtly shifted from emerald through azure, transforming to match the surrounds as she progressed from forest to sky-lit clearing; the effect never ceased to amaze her lover. “Beautiful day,” she enthused. “Beautiful…” Balren agreed. “But it looks like we won’t be going with you after all.”
The sun-baked blast of summery heat rising from the exposed basalt was becoming overwhelming, and Seheal undid the topmost buttons of her tightly confining dress. She stretched and yawned into the sunlight as Balren admired the blindingly white swell of her breasts. Bearbeard averted his eyes from her partially exposed cleavage, turning away to roll a ciggie. She makes an art of not noticing their reactions, Ram mused, loosening his shirt collar while a wry smile quirked his sensual mouth.
Her voice almost broke into giggles as she spoke toward the sky. “You’re both going to miss a real treat.” She turned to face the bearded men, the corners of her lips curling with delight. Bearbeard tore his eyes away from the distant horizon to stare at the grinning teenager; Balren nodded at her as a suddenly serious expression drew his face into a long mask. “This is the way down,” he announced to the group, pointing to a narrow wallaby track that disappeared into a steep ravine. The boys had halted not far ahead, hesitating on a narrow ledge. “I’ll climb down with you until you’re sure you know where you are – and then I’ll head back.”
They bustled into readiness. “Everyone ready?” Jim asked, and when the group shouldered their packs and stowed their equipment the lanky elder took a step toward the brink.
“Look!” Mrs Pergola pointed into the sky toward the decan that Bearbeard was already squinting at, shading his eyes with his hands; they all turned to see a pair of wedge-tailed eagles soaring across the valley not a hundred paces from their avid stares. Mister Pergola unshipped a long zoom lens and bayoneted it to his camera’s metal casing. He managed to snap off a couple of shots before the raptors swooped out of sight, while Jim made a note on his clipboard. “Good start!” He beamed at his companions, and began to follow Balren down the narrow declivity.
The hippy scout picked his way though and around various obstacles with hard-won absentminded expertise, and despite their years of bushwalking experience the town-dwellers had a hard time keeping up with him. Seheal and Ram lived in nearby forest and followed the others with light barefoot tread, taking up the rear with Bearbeard as the group followed their guide down the dangerous pathway. Balren led them around tumbled boulders, over or under fallen tree trunks – some of whose skeletal spines were even thicker than Jim’s impressive height – and skirted obvious but treacherous tracks to avoid the most precarious declines and dropoffs. In a few minutes they all needed both hands to negotiate a walk that had become a precarious climb across the crumbling, root-entwined face of a slanting cliff. “Not far now,” Balren assured them while he swung back and forth beneath a fallen branch, suspended between two moss-covered boulders.
The bushman’s shortcut led them through another rocky defile and onto a steep hillside, completely covered in massive unlogged old growth trees. Deep shadows enveloped the group so swiftly that their eyes had difficulty adjusting to the sudden return of shadowy dimness as they picked their way downhill. Pale-trunked trees bore blue-grey badges of spreading lichen and wore shirts of moss mingled with skirts of symbiotic epiphytes. The path switched back and forth along the seventy-degree slope and Seheal held Ram’s hand as the lovers followed the trekkers in single file. Bearbeard walked before them, pausing to help the diminutive girl over a fallen moss-sheathed giant. He grasped her wrist and lifted her up onto its soft furrowed length while a huge lace monitor scrambled for cover among the rocks.
They continued down a track that descended so steeply that half the time the group was sliding from the base of one trunk to the next, leaning sidewise into the hill to prevent their packs from catapulting them head over heels, to disappear into the canopy below. They assembled in a small glade a couple of hundred feet below their starting point, where the boys reclined against a rockface. The elders conferred with the scout while Seheal, Ram and Bearbeard leant on the rock and rolled smokes. “No more stumps here,” John was saying. “It’s all virgin uncut forest – whatever the forestry map says.”
“Don’t use up all your water,” Joel advised another long-haired boy as he drained his army surplus canteen. “You won’t have to worry about that,” Bearbeard laughed. “You can dump that town water – you’re going to the cleanest water on the planet. Well… except for
“Can you hear that?” Joel asked. They strained wild animal sounds, soughing foliage and the primate murmurings of conferring adults through their auditory chambers; a gentle susurrus could be heard in the distance, almost indistinguishable from the breeze rustling leaves way above their heads. “Is that water?” asked Joel as they slowly distinguished plashing noises amidst the ambient sounds. “Come on,” Mister Pergola called, and they noticed that the other walkers had almost disappeared around a descending bend in the narrowing trail.
The boys hurried to catch up while the trio of meandering hippies lit up their smokes and brought up the rear. “They’re in for a surprise,” Bearbeard smirked. “So are you.” He led the lovers through a portal of tall boulders, and as they passed through the natural gateway the watery sounds swiftly became a tumbling roar. A waterfall spouted directly from the sheer wall of a cliff, pouring from a dark, moss-covered and fern-festooned oval opening to plummet a hundred feet into a rock-lined pool below. The foaming impact at the base of the fall was barely discernible through a haze of spray. A cool frisson filled the group and their skins began to tingle as they were enveloped in a spectral nimbus of negative ions. “Orgone,” Ram murmured to Seheal.
“Fairies,” she replied. John stared at the mouth of the spring - which blossomed forth from the mountainside only a few feet above their heads - while Jim spoke to the group as they clung to the cliff-face near the head of the plummeting stream. “This is just one source of the Wonder,” he informed them, shouting to be heard. “Hardly anyone has ever seen this…” The waterfall was tantalisingly out of reach, little more than an arm’s length distant; its incessant current had rendered the cliff face impassable and the water fell past them as a discrete column of liquid crystal that disappeared into the gorge.
“How do we get down?” Joel asked, peering over the lip of the sheer drop upon which they were perched. “Not that way – unless you’re in a hurry,” Balren remarked. “You just follow that ridge there…” He pointed at a skimpy animal track plunging down a steep, thickly forested slope. “It leads past the pool to the bottom of the valley, and there’s an easy trail down from the pool - you can’t miss it. This is where I’m leaving you.” He nodded to Bearbeard, who stepped back from the stone gate to allow his friend egress.
“How deep’s the pool?” Joel asked, still peeking down over the edge. “Not deep enough to jump,” Jim laughed. “You’ll see in a few minutes.” Seheal sat on the edge of the cliff and swung her feet back and forth over the edge. Ram sat beside her and secured the blithely unconcerned teenager, wrapping one of his long arms around her shoulders. The group farewelled their guide and Balren began his hasty departure even before they’ve finished their effusive thanks, impatient to climb back to the plateau. “Don’t want to leave the car for too long,” he explained as he clambered away between the boulders. “See you in a couple of days.”
“And I’ll see you tomorrow.” Bearbeard winked at the lovers and turned to follow his friend. “See you!” Seheal waved toward his back and Ram held her more tightly as she leant toward the edge. She wrapped her calves around his and kissed him before turning to the silver haired environmentalist. “So we can still make it in one day?” she asked Jim as he stepped toward the downward path.
“Not likely,” he replied, his discerning eye noting her lack of provisions or bedding. “It’s possible, I suppose – but only if you found a quick shortcut, and then you wouldn’t see a thing. There is one fairly quick emergency route we could use to get out if we had to – according to the map.” The lovers hesitated on the edge of the cliff, surveying the gorge-riven scenic wonder of the rainforest which was spread out beneath their intertwining toes while the eager group began negotiated the winding path. After a couple of minutes the walkers emerged from the trees below and appeared on a narrow rocky ledge, foreshortened in perspective to the hippy couple as they cuddled on the brink of eternity.
Seheal turned toward her man and swung her limber bare legs across his thighs as she reached up to wrap her slim arms around his neck. “I’m so glad we made it,” she told him between sweet kisses. “I’ve wanted to come here for so long; I’ve been dreaming about this for months… this view, this waterfall…” She pressed her gorgeous young body against him as her tongue explored his mouth. “Mm… it’s all so wonderful! Can you feel that?”
Ram stroked her goose-pimpled skin and searched for the specific sensation she was referring to as her limbs caressed him. Her fragrant scent consumed his attention and the sensual heat of her close-pressed body was pervasively enticing. Seheal’s utterly distracting presence vied with the pristine surroundings as the older hippy pushed his awareness beyond the boundaries of their entwining sexuality. “Sure can,” he affirmed. The air was infused with the tingling glow of what science referred to as ‘negative ions’; the atmosphere brimmed with the tangible life-force of the Great Earth Mother. “Orgone. Chi. Prana…”
His fingers slipped beneath her dress and reached the puckering pinkness of her aureole. Seheal climbed sideways, shifting all the way onto his lap as they balanced on the edge of the cliff, fondling and kissing while the waterfall’s rumbling roar filled their aroused senses. While her fingers tickled Ram’s nipple beneath his thin shirt, his hand enfolded her breast; he could barely contain the soft fullness within his widely splayed fingers as she pressed her ripe flesh into his palm.
Their idyll was interrupted by a loud “Cooee!” The hippy shaman reluctantly slipped his palm from his girl’s entrancing smoothness as their lips disengaged. “Let’s see the rock pool.” He smiled into Seheal’s loving eyes, almost forgetting where they were until she pushed him backward onto the cool rocks. “All the way down there? In a minute,” she insisted…
A True Story
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From The Prince of Centraxis – http://centraxis.blogspot.com