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  1. #51

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    Pretty crap this next one. Not a zombie in sight.
    bloggoth

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  2. #52

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    It’s not good getting old but at least the elderly today are better off than they were a few decades ago. Nowadays, medical procedures like hip replacements have made things a lot easier. Advances in technology, like hearing aids, varifocal glasses, stair lifts and GPS tracking devices have all made a big difference too.

    Kate’s elderly mother was always losing things. Her mind was still pretty sharp, generally, she could bang on sensibly about the latest news for ages but, as with lots of people over 50, she was absent minded about the little everyday events. Never a day went by without her spending time looking for garden tools, books, her cup of tea and other things she had put down somewhere. It was her glasses she lost the most and it was especially difficult to find her glasses when she wasn’t wearing her glasses.

    Fortunately there was a solution. You could buy little wireless trackers, about the size of a 10p piece, that you could attach to an item. Just press the button on the remote and the tracker would beep and help you locate it. You could even use some makes to locate items anywhere in the world using a mobile phone if someone nearby was signed up to the same network. She doubted her mother would need to locate her false teeth in California so Kate went for a cheaper option that allowed more local location “up to” 100 M. We all know what “up to” means with these things but 50ft would be more than enough for her mum’s cottage with its small garden. She brought ten trackers to attach to the most commonly lost things - glasses, keys, purse, handbag, phone, secateurs and so on, and four senders, three of which she attached to walls in the house and shed so they wouldn’t get lost. They tried them out and her mum was very pleased. Now she wouldn’t spend ages everyday looking for her glasses!

    That was the theory anyway. Kate called round her mum’s place a few days later and her mother peered at her before opening the door, saying she could not find her glasses again as the gadgets had stopped working. “Have you tried with all the remotes mum?” asked Kate, “It seems funny that all of them have stopped working with any of the trackers”. Her mother did not answer and Kate pressed the nearest remote which was stuck to the wall by the front door. Instantly there was a cacophony of beeps from various places in the house, as glasses, handbag, keys etc. all signalled their whereabouts. Her mother was watching and said “You see? It’s just not working, none of them are”

    Sometimes you just don’t think of things. She wasn’t sure the trackers were small enough to attach to a hearing aid anyway.
    bloggoth

    If everything isn't black and white, I say, 'Why the hell not?'
    John Wayne (My guru, not to be confused with my beloved prophet Jeremy Clarkson)

  3. #53

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    Default Hidden Places

    He had always been a loner, at least that’s how other people saw him, but he liked to think of himself as an independent sort who just didn’t need others to live life. It wasn’t as though he had problems. He was pretty bright and had a good backroom job dealing with all the IT issues for a large local building company. Just recently, with the help of a substantial inheritance from his parents, he had brought a small house on the edge of a small town in a rural area and the location mattered to him. He was probably at his happiest just wandering the countryside in scruffy clothes, a rucksack on his back, enjoying the fresh air and the green countryside.

    At least once a year he packed a tent in the boot of his car and had a solitary hiking holiday exploring Britain’s greener areas. The first morning of this year’s holiday was a disappointment as the area near the campsite was very popular and the footpaths had many walkers. He didn’t like people, not strangers anyway, and had hoped for something more remote. Tomorrow he would move on and find somewhere else but for today he would try and get off the well worn footpaths and nature trails. He saw a little track going over a bank, presumably made by foxes or badgers, and decided to follow it. He ducked under the dark foliage, brushing off the Hawthorn snagging on his jumper, and followed a winding trail uphill. There was a lovely view over a small valley with a pond, not something he had noticed from the proper footpath. He decided to get off the beaten track more often and it wasn’t hard as much of the countryside was unfenced. It presumably belonged to someone but if they did not bother with fences or signs then, presumably, they were not too bothered with people entering it. The country was a lot nicer off away from all the tourists and he stayed for the rest of the week, exploring unfenced private property.

    When he got home he adopted the same approach. He had walked the public footpaths within a reasonable driving distance of his house many times, but there was plenty of unfenced private land around there too. And why should he bother about fences? If he was caught trespassing he would just apologise and say he had got lost, what could they do about it? Before, he always made sure he had the right map with him. Now he just took a GPS tracker and wandered wherever his whim took him, exploring tiny tracks left by animals or following the paths of muddy streams. It opened up a whole lot of new places not far from home.

    It was Saturday and the fridge was practically empty. He needed to go to the shops but he would have ten minutes in the garden first and enjoy the weekend sun. While drinking his coffee he wondered if there was a nicer and more direct route to take than walking on the roads. He could just see the roof of the supermarket over the houses and trees so maybe he could sneak over there through a few gardens, it would certainly be more interesting. He would not have to inhale traffic fumes on the main road or walk through the annoying weekend crowds on the high street.

    It proved to be easier than he thought, there were a lot of trees and bushes at the bottom of the gardens he could creep behind and there was a big patch of waste ground behind the supermarket car park. He just had to check nobody was looking when he climbed over the wall. Perhaps if he wore his camouflage jacket and jeans and picked the right times, he could go lots of places from his house without having to use the roads and put up with people. Including farms, gardens and other private land, which he no longer regarded as off limits, there were plenty of nice green areas within walking distance of his house.

    And so his undercover walking began and it really wasn’t difficult. Most of us just drive or walk along roads and paths and never look closely at what we are passing. He looked more carefully and it was surprising just how many ways there were for a man, especially a small agile one like him, to sneak into almost anywhere in a small rural town. There were little gaps between, or holes in, fences. There were spaces behind electricity cabinets, railway tunnels, tunnels under roads with small streams, small derelict areas and scarcely used allotments. Once on private land it was surprisingly easy to escape being noticed, he would duck along stream beds, keep low along the hedges, edge between barns or wander through fields of tall corn or Christmas trees. Even in people’s gardens it wasn’t so hard. He was very careful to avoid any with dogs, looked carefully for any CCTVs and kept an ear out for any activity. When the coast was clear, he ran between the hidden spaces behind sheds, trees and bushes.

    It was odd, but now he had started doing something different, it was starting to affect what he was. He had always been a little sensitive about not being quite normal. He knew he was seen as a recluse and, in his desire to fit in, he had always tried to engage in small talk with his neighbours if he ran into them while walking on his road, even though he never really wanted to. Now he could avoid them entirely, rather conversely by sometimes sneaking through their gardens. He didn’t have to put up with passing streams of strangers on the roads and other public places either. The more he managed to avoid other people, his boss and shop assistants were usually the only people he had to interact with now, the more satisfied, even proud, he became with his isolation. And the more he hated the presence of people. He took to wandering more and more in what he had started calling his alternative world - the backyard, hidden places world where damn people, if present, where only on the periphery. Increasingly frequently he would go out in the dead of night using routes he had become fully familiar with and checked during the day for those motion sensitive lights.

    It was on a bright moonlit night that he first saw one of the others. At first he thought that he had slipped up and was about to be challenged by the property owner and then looked again and saw... himself. No, no, it wasn’t him but... someone like him, in camouflage clothes, standing totally still, gazing at him with a critical expression. Each stood staring at the other and, after a few seconds, they saw the other for what they were, one of their own. A brief wave and they parted.

    Now he knew what he was. There had been times while he was perfecting his skills when he thought he had seen shadows moving or tiny lights like reflections from eyes, gazing his way but put it down to his nervous imagination or the presence of animals. He knew now that they were others, like him, who dwelt in the shadows, the hidden places away from the acknowledged human world. Now he had been inspected and accepted as one of them he saw several of his kind on his ramblings. They never spoke or smiled or acknowledged each others’ existence, beyond standing aside when their paths crossed, and yet there was a bond between them, a bond of isolation, of being away from the normal path of the human race.

    It was a dark night and the time for today’s wandering was overdue. He saw the lights from the houses but they were of no interest to him, those bright houses full of those standard, uniform people doing all the things that society expected them to do. Then he looked at the dark shadows between and knew that in those would be the others, the real people like him, those who would be nobody but themselves.

    He put on his boots and camouflage suit and opened the door. Goodbye to the false world and into the real one.
    Last edited by xoggoth; 18th May 2017 at 19:39.
    bloggoth

    If everything isn't black and white, I say, 'Why the hell not?'
    John Wayne (My guru, not to be confused with my beloved prophet Jeremy Clarkson)

  4. #54

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    Default Gone

    Sally had just got back from her sister’s and it had been a long drive. There was no sign of Kevin so she made herself a cup of tea and turned on the telly to watch the local news on BBC 1. The headline news was awful, four children had mysteriously gone missing from a nearby town and the police were appealing for anyone with any information to contact them. She felt for their mums and hoped that perhaps they had just got lost as kids occasionally do and there was not something more sinister behind it. She wondered what the world was coming to at times. It was just as well that her own kids were both grown up.

    She was hungry and made dinner for two. Still no sign of Kevin but he could always heat it up when he got back. She watched a film on Netflix that she had always wanted to see “The Theory of Everything”, a biopic about Stephen Hawking. Not bad, she thought as she turned the TV off, still wondering where Kevin had got to. He didn’t usually go out on Wednesday night but maybe there was something on up at the village club. She decided to go to bed early and read. He should be back soon. The drive had made her very tired and after half an hour she wanted to get some sleep but didn’t want to get woken up by Kevin. Where on Earth was he? The club would have closed nearly half an hour ago. Darn it! Maybe he would get into bed quietly and avoid disturbing her.

    She put down the book, turned off the light and soon fell asleep. She woke up at daybreak and turned over. For some reason she had a feeling of dread, something in her mind about a narrow escape, remnants of a bad dream perhaps. She turned over and Kevin was not there. Maybe he was being considerate and sleeping on the sofa. She went downstairs and the house was empty. Even for February it seemed abnormally dark and cold although there was no sign of frost outside.

    She wondered if she should call the police, but doubted if they would take the short absence of a grown man with no problems in a small, low crime village very seriously. She would wait an hour until people were up and about and then pop over to Angie and Nick’s house and ask if they’d seen him. If anyone knew where Kevin was it would be his old drinking buddy Nick. Maybe he’d lost his house keys and stayed with them overnight. She fretted for an hour then headed over the road. It seemed very quiet today, normally there would be people heading off to work but there was no traffic at all. Oddly, most of her neighbours’ cars were still in their drives. Had she got the time wrong? Her watch said not and it was in line with the clock on her mantelpiece.

    Just a couple of seconds after she rang the bell the front door was wrenched open in a way that did not spell normality. Angie stood there, a look of near panic tinged with expectation on her face that turned into a look of near panic tinged with disappointment when she saw Sally . “Er, hello Angie, I’m just wondering if either of you have seen Kevin, he didn’t come home last night” “Kevin too! Oh god, No! Nick hasn’t come home either, I’m so afraid that that thing on the TV has got him” Sally was confused. “What? What do you mean, a thing on the TV?” “You didn’t see the TV last night?” “Er, not much. I saw some local news about some kids disappearing but then I just watched a film on Netflix and went to bed early. What happened?”

    Angie beckoned her into the lounge where the TV was on. The presenter looked tired and dishevelled and it was clear this was no ordinary slick, well rehearsed news. The bold news headlines below read “People disappearing all over the world, vast numbers now believed to be involved” Followed by contact details. Angie was in a real panic now and the words juddered from her mouth. “It started last night, that news about the kids and then shortly afterwards there was national news about other people, children, adults, anyone, just going missing. There are reports of strange dark shadows and that’s it! Nobody has seen a disappearance or seen what is taking them; people just seem to vanish whenever nobody is looking”

    There was a slight thump in the hall behind, the front door perhaps. Sally turned and saw, or thought she saw, a dark shadow flicker on the wall but she was now in such a state herself she thought that maybe she was imagining things. Angie rushed out of the room calling “Nick? Nick?” Then all was silence. Sally walked into the hallway. There was nobody there and the front door was still shut. She looked out of the windows and there was no sign of Angie. The house was empty.

    She was a rationalist and clung to hope. Maybe it was all some cruel hoax concocted for unknown reasons. That TV program could be just a recording. Maybe there was a DVD in the slot, she would check. The presenter was still on air and, if it was a hoax, he was a darn good actor. He really seemed to be struggling to make his professionalism overcome his terror. Then a dark shadow flickered across the screen and the picture was momentarily lost for barely a second. When it came back the news desk was empty.

    The DVD tray was empty but that proved nothing, maybe this hoax was not a local thing, someone was conducting a vile experiment on their village and was hijacking the signal. She knew nothing about technology but was sure it must be possible. She would get out of the village and find help. She opened the door, looked both ways then ran towards her car. The street was totally deserted and, even more worryingly, she could hear none of the usual hum from the nearby motorway, no sound of planes. As she listened she realised that there was no sound at all apart from that of the wind in the trees, even the birds were silent. Could she be the last human, perhaps even the last animal, left on Earth? She had just pressed the fob to open the car door when she was aware of a dark flickering all around.

    The car keys fell to the ground and it was the last noise that mankind ever made.
    Last edited by xoggoth; 13th June 2017 at 08:44.
    bloggoth

    If everything isn't black and white, I say, 'Why the hell not?'
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  5. #55

    I live on CUK

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    Ginger came in through the door wondering why he couldn't hear those humans. For fecksake where were they? He was hungry.

    He smelt the air and looked around. No they clearly weren't in. Looks like he would have to go and visit that old lady a road away who always fed him luxury food.

    Ginger turned and went out the way he came in.

    He jumped onto the wall and walked silently along the top of it before jumping down into next doors garden. Oddly their horrible noisy children weren't jumping on the trampoline which was a good thing. He then jumped onto next doors fence before quickly jumping off it.

    He went through seven gardens before he eventually came to the road. The road was very quiet for a change. None of those noisy cars that humans sat in were on it. He debated lying down on a nice patch of grass near the road in the warm sun but his stomach got the better of him.

    Eventually he ended up outside the old lady's house. He knew if he climbed onto the front room window sill and knocked on the window with his paw she would let him as she was always in that front room in the mornings. She normally sat at a desk with her back to the window.

    So Ginger climbed onto the window sill and looked through the window.

    He froze.

    His fur stood on end.

    There was some sort of 👽 thing sitting at her desk.
    "You’re just a bad memory who doesn’t know when to go away" JR

  6. #56

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    Yeh! Good stuff SE. It gets lonely in this thread!

    Now go and post summit silly in the Silly thread.

    Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on,
    bloggoth

    If everything isn't black and white, I say, 'Why the hell not?'
    John Wayne (My guru, not to be confused with my beloved prophet Jeremy Clarkson)

  7. #57

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    their horrible noisy children
    My thoughts on children exactly. Me and your fictitious (or is he?) cat have a lot in common.
    bloggoth

    If everything isn't black and white, I say, 'Why the hell not?'
    John Wayne (My guru, not to be confused with my beloved prophet Jeremy Clarkson)

  8. #58

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    Default The Old Oak Tree

    Rumours had been around for a few months that a major celebrity was planning to move to the large mansion on the edge of their village. When it was finally confirmed that popular comedian Rick Turnbull had brought the property it was the main topic of conversation in the village pub. His public persona was well liked by most of the locals but you never know what a celebrity is like in real life. Robin was well known for his near the knuckle remarks and didn’t disappoint. “Probably another Jimmy Saville, chaps, keep your kids locked up” That was improbable, but everyone wondered what he would really be like.

    He moved in a couple of months later and everyone was pleasantly surprised. He seemed a genuinely nice chap and he and his wife mingled with the locals on the few occasions he wasn’t away in London or on one of his tours. On a couple of occasions every summer he threw open his extensive gardens and welcomed everyone from the village and showcased a few of his hilarious routines. Rick Turnbull was also a minor writer and artist and gave away free copies of his self-illustrated short story books to those who wanted them and few could resist having a gift from a famous person. They were not to everyone’s taste, being mainly horror stories, and not very good ones in the opinions of most critics. Without his fame it was unlikely that any publisher would have been interested.

    Three years later, something went suddenly wrong. For weeks he had been more and seemed taciturn, sometimes irascible. Then the bad news came that Rick Turnbull had been found dead at his desk. The coroner’s verdict was suicide by legal drug overdose although there were no clues as to the causes for his sudden depression. He hadn’t been there very long but he had been well liked and the village mourned his loss. His wife didn’t want to stay in a place with such memories and soon moved away and was planning to sell the mansion.

    About six months later a new collection of illustrated short horror stories that Turnbull had been working on until his death was released posthumously. The stories were darker, and certainly no better, than his previous efforts but many in the village brought one to remember a good friend. Around the same time the parish council revealed that Turnbull had willed a small part of the mansion grounds to the village for use as a recreation ground and it was thrown open to the public a few weeks later when the access was completed.

    An old oak tree overlooked the area and it was soon noticed that it had a remarkable resemblance to Turnbull’s illustration for one of his stories. Plainly he had used it as the subject. The story was about a witch hung from an old oak tree who had cursed the villagers gathered to watch her hanging, saying that all who gazed for too long would follow her to the grave. Those who had stayed to watch had soon taken their own lives. It was rather a grim association that Turnbull had taken his own life so soon after painting this tree and one or two on the parish council suggested felling it but most thought it would be a shame to detract from the beauty of the area. Much better to erect a memorial to Turnbull close by and use the tree as a way to remember a kind soul.

    A few weeks later a couple of village artists set up tables on the green and did some painting of a beautiful view that included the old oak tree and soon after that the grim association became more concrete. One rapidly became depressed and committed suicide by cutting his wrists. The other had suffered a serious decline in mental health and had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

    The council decided to re-examine the idea of removing the tree. One eccentric councillor felt that there could be some truth behind the horror story, that maybe there really was an evil spirit that could curse those who gazed upon the tree for too long. Another retorted that the story in question had a major inaccuracy, not unusual in Turnbull’s stories. How could a witch hanged in 1572 be haunting an oak tree today when an oak tree only lived for 200 years? Most felt the events were just coincidence but they agreed that it was not pleasant to have the shadow of this oak tree hanging over the pleasant green in any but a literal sense and it would have to go.

    Just a week after the felling, Turnbull’s late wife came to stay at the still unsold mansion and invited some friends round for a drink. She seemed keen to open up about his last weeks. She said it was true that his mood only seemed to change when he started painting that damn tree. As for the story, it seemed he got the idea from a supposedly real event. She gave the printed details to her late husband’s best friend John.

    John walked home past the recreation ground and was glad to see the tree had gone. He didn’t believe in nonsense like spells and evil spirits but nevertheless had a sense of relief that he would not be seeing it anymore. When he got home he sat with a glass of wine in the garden and read the “true” story about the witch tree. The idea of a haunted tree on their village green was even more laughable than he had thought, not only was theirs just a sapling at least 200 years after the event, it was also a good three miles away from where it supposedly happened.

    He walked down the garden to look at his cabbages, still musing on the story. Pity Rick had passed away, maybe he could have written a daft story about an evil spirit that could move around and be reborn in new oak trees. On the cabbage patch he noticed a large acorn, probably dropped by a squirrel. Very likely it was from the just felled old oak tree on the green, there weren’t any others close by. Move around, be reborn, he couldn’t stop thinking about that daft story. Maybe if the natural could spread and reproduce then something unnatural associated with it could spread and reproduce too.

    He was lost in thought and had been gazing at the acorn for several minutes before the anxiety seized him.
    Last edited by xoggoth; 21st July 2017 at 10:40.
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  9. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by xoggoth View Post
    Rumours had been around for a few months that a major celebrity was planning to move to the large mansion on the edge of their village. When it was finally confirmed that popular comedian Rick Turnbull had brought the property it was the main topic of conversation in the village pub. His public persona was well liked by most of the locals but you never know what a celebrity is like in real life. Robin was well known for his near the knuckle remarks and didn’t disappoint. “Probably another Jimmy Saville, chaps, keep your kids locked up” That was improbable, but everyone wondered what he would really be like.

    He moved in a couple of months later and everyone was pleasantly surprised. He seemed a genuinely nice chap and he and his wife mingled with the locals on the few occasions he wasn’t away in London or on one of his tours. On a couple of occasions every summer he threw open his extensive gardens and welcomed everyone from the village and showcased a few of his hilarious routines. Rick Turnbull was also a minor writer and artist and gave away free copies of his self-illustrated short story books to those who wanted them and few could resist having a gift from a famous person. They were not to everyone’s taste, being mainly horror stories, and not very good ones in the opinions of most critics. Without his fame it was unlikely that any publisher would have been interested.

    Three years later, something went suddenly wrong. For weeks he had been more and seemed taciturn, sometimes irascible. Then the bad news came that Rick Turnbull had been found dead at his desk. The coroner’s verdict was suicide by legal drug overdose although there were no clues as to the causes for his sudden depression. He hadn’t been there very long but he had been well liked and the village mourned his loss. His wife didn’t want to stay in a place with such memories and soon moved away and was planning to sell the mansion.

    About six months later a new collection of illustrated short horror stories that Turnbull had been working on until his death was released posthumously. The stories were darker, and certainly no better, than his previous efforts but many in the village brought one to remember a good friend. Around the same time the parish council revealed that Turnbull had willed a small part of the mansion grounds to the village for use as a recreation ground and it was thrown open to the public a few weeks later when the access was completed.

    An old oak tree overlooked the area and it was soon noticed that it had a remarkable resemblance to Turnbull’s illustration for one of his stories. Plainly he had used it as the subject. The story was about a witch hung from an old oak tree who had cursed the villagers gathered to watch her hanging, saying that all who gazed for too long would follow her to the grave. Those who had stayed to watch had soon taken their own lives. It was rather a grim association that Turnbull had taken his own life so soon after painting this tree and one or two on the parish council suggested felling it but most thought it would be a shame to detract from the beauty of the area. Much better to erect a memorial to Turnbull close by and use the tree as a way to remember a kind soul.

    A few weeks later a couple of village artists set up tables on the green and did some painting of a beautiful view that included the old oak tree and soon after that the grim association became more concrete. One rapidly became depressed and committed suicide by cutting his wrists. The other had suffered a serious decline in mental health and had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

    The council decided to re-examine the idea of removing the tree. One eccentric councillor felt that there could be some truth behind the horror story, that maybe there really was an evil spirit that could curse those who gazed upon the tree for too long. Another retorted that the story in question had a major inaccuracy, not unusual in Turnbull’s stories. How could a witch hanged in 1572 be haunting an oak tree today when an oak tree only lived for 200 years? Most felt the events were just coincidence but they agreed that it was not pleasant to have the shadow of this oak tree hanging over the pleasant green in any but a literal sense and it would have to go.

    Just a week after the felling, Turnbull’s late wife came to stay at the still unsold mansion and invited some friends round for a drink. She seemed keen to open up about his last weeks. She said it was true that his mood only seemed to change when he started painting that damn tree. As for the story, it seemed he got the idea from a supposedly real event. She gave the printed details to her late husband’s best friend John.

    John walked home past the recreation ground and was glad to see the tree had gone. He didn’t believe in nonsense like spells and evil spirits but nevertheless had a sense of relief that he would not be seeing it anymore. When he got home he sat with a glass of wine in the garden and read the “true” story about the witch tree. The idea of a haunted tree on their village green was even more laughable than he had thought, not only was theirs just a sapling at least 200 years after the event, it was also a good three miles away from where it supposedly happened.

    He walked down the garden to look at his cabbages, still musing on the story. Pity Rick had passed away, maybe he could have written a daft story about an evil spirit that could move around and be reborn in new oak trees. On the cabbage patch he noticed a large acorn, probably dropped by a squirrel. Very likely it was from the just felled old oak tree on the green, there weren’t any others close by. Move around, be reborn, he couldn’t stop thinking about that daft story. Maybe if the natural could spread and reproduce then something unnatural associated with it could spread and reproduce too.

    He was lost in thought and had been gazing at the acorn for several minutes before the anxiety seized him.
    I hate it when people quote a huge post with a one line response.

  10. #60

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    I hate it when people quote a huge post with a one line response
    Fortunately I can see the deep hidden meaning in your one line reply.
    bloggoth

    If everything isn't black and white, I say, 'Why the hell not?'
    John Wayne (My guru, not to be confused with my beloved prophet Jeremy Clarkson)

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