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Clock Shop (Saat dükkânı)

Updated: Jul 11, 2023


Clock Shop

Kiraz was walking home on the sidewalk she walked on every day. There was an old watch shop a little further down. She had always wanted to examine the antique watches, but she had never tried to go inside because she was always tired.

She didn't think she would do it now either. When she got home, her tiredness would naturally fade away... But Kiraz thought, what wouldn't she give to go back in time a little more.

Lost in thought, as Kiraz passed by the old shop, her eyes caught of her own reflection wandering inside. Instead of doing what Kiraz was supposed to do, she was acting on her own and curiously browsing through the shelves. Before disappearing, she waved at her. Meanwhile, Kiraz didn't notice the stone in front of her and tripped.

As her knees met the hard ground, her bag fell forward. She rubbed her knees and frowned. At that moment, she noticed a hand reaching out towards her. She discreetly glanced inside the shop, but her reflection was gone. She grabbed the hand and stood up. Adjusting her black school uniform, she murmured, "Thank you..."

"Haste brings trouble, young girl, didn't your family teach you that?" said an elderly voice. Kiraz turned to the old man, whose thin glasses were shining on his bony nose. The lively look in his eyes made one question themselves.

"I need to get home," Kiraz said, taking the bag the man was handing her. The man looked at Kiraz's knees.

"They're bleeding... Would you like to come inside?" Remembering what she had seen just now, Kiraz looked at the man, then at the now barely visible road amidst the crowd... The road suddenly seemed more exhausting to her. Perhaps this would be her first and last chance to explore the old shop.

"Alright..." Kiraz allowed the old man to help her and they entered the shop.

The sound of a small bell announcing the opening of the door broke the silence, and Kiraz settled onto one of the wooden chairs without any books on it. Her injury didn't hurt much; it was just a small wound. The watchmaker carefully brought a wooden box and placed it on the table next to the chair, then knelt down in front of Kiraz and put on his glasses. He examined the wound attentively.

"It's a serious wound..." the watchmaker murmured, "But you seem very calm." As he turned to Kiraz.

"It doesn't hurt... I don't think it's that important," Kiraz replied calmly.

"Every wound is important..." The watchmaker began dressing the bleeding wound with great care. His calloused and rough hands moved with precision, gliding gently in the air.

Kiraz started exploring the shop.

There were shelves stretching as far as her eyes could see in the front section. There were so many books and clocks that they couldn't fit on the shelves. Several wooden tables were filled to the brim with books and clocks, except for one which was empty.

The only thing on the empty table was an hourglass. The sand was flowing as if the hourglass had just been turned. Kiraz focused on the hourglass; it wasn't like a regular hourglass. There was something different about it, but she couldn't figure out what.

"Is there a clock that caught your attention, miss?" Kiraz realized at that moment that the watchmaker had finished his work. The old man removed his glasses with slow movements and put the items into the wooden box.

"The hourglass... It looks a bit different," Kiraz said with excitement. The watchmaker smiled and looked at the hourglass.

"One of my most valuable pieces," he said. "Would you like to take a look?" Kiraz nodded eagerly.

He brought the hourglass to Kiraz and pulled a chair in front of her.

"This clock came into my possession a long time ago. I was in Europe back then, and a priest had given it to me," the old man said.

"It flows very slowly," Kiraz said, examining the exterior of the hourglass carefully, being cautious not to disrupt the sand flow.

"It shows the time my customers spend here." Kiraz furrowed her eyebrows. The man hadn't even touched the clock when he arrived, yet he continued examining it without saying anything.

"Your parents must be worried. Wouldn't you like to go to them?" the watchmaker asked as he took the hourglass from Kiraz.

"They know that school's over. Staying here a bit longer won't worry them," she replied, starting to wonder what was behind the shelves. From the outside, it looked like a small shop, but the inside was so vast, cluttered, and filled with items that she couldn't tell how far back it extended. The old man stepped in front of Kiraz, blocking her view of the shelves.

"If there's a book that catches your interest, you can choose one, the spot next to the fireplace is lovely," he pointed towards the fireplace.

"What's your mother's or father's number?" Kiraz had memorized her mother's number two years ago. The man dialed the number on an old rotary phone.

Kiraz hadn't even noticed when the fireplace started burning. She looked out the window; it wasn't raining when she arrived...

Kiraz realized that time was working strangely inside the shop. But she wouldn't dwell on it; she needed to explore everything in the shop.

"They haven't opened," the watchmaker sighed. "Looks like we'll have to wait here for a while."

Kiraz randomly picked up a book and sat near the fireplace. At the same time, she kept an eye on the watchmaker. He moved to his empty table and started arranging and assembling a broken clock.

Kiraz didn't take her gaze off the book, but she wasn't really focused on it. After a certain period of time, she would just turn to another page. Her mind was elsewhere. Curiosity had consumed her entire being; she didn't even know what was pulling her to behind the shelves.

"Where's the restroom?" she asked. The watchmaker didn't lift his head.

"A little further back, on the right, behind the shelves," the old man replied absentmindedly. Kiraz closed her book as her mind was struck with lighting. She stood up.

"I don't recommend wandering behind the shelves," the watchmaker said, still not looking at Kiraz.

"I'll be quick," Kiraz said, and she started moving in a hurry. She didn't know what would happen. She didn't care... She was just curious. But little did she know that curiosity was the only thing that opened Pandora's box. Once the box was opened, it was neither possible to predict nor prevent what would come out and what the future held.

She began to navigate between the bookshelves, and as she progressed, she kept seeing a recurring book, Plato's 'The Republic.' The book seemed to appear defiantly among the shelves, showing itself over and over again. It was as if it was persistently trying to catch Kiraz's attention.

Her eyes gradually adjusted to the dim light. Another thing she noticed was that as she moved further along the shelves, the ceiling lights began to turn off.

She arrived at the restroom, and only one lamp was left. Under the flickering light of the lamp, Kiraz went beyond the restroom and continued forward. Her heartbeats accelerated as she moved. Within a few seconds, the lamps disappeared, but a faint light continued to come from somewhere, hidden.

The bookshelves seemed to stretch endlessly, and it was impossible to determine where they ended. The language of the books had changed. They were no longer in Turkish; they were written in an unfamiliar language she couldn't read nor recognize. But one word remained the same: Plato.

After walking a bit further, the ceiling lowered, and she came to a junction with ten different paths branching off. Kiraz examined each path one by one. The light emanating from each path was different. She opted for the dim yellow light. Thus, she continued along the path in front of her.

She reached a cavern composed of books. As she advanced, she kept her gaze on the ceiling, which also had shelves. However, they didn't descend. Kiraz hurried impatiently, no longer paying attention to the books. Occasionally, she encountered scattered stacks of books on the sides of the path. They were disorganized, but it didn't bother her. The surroundings seemed to have their own order.

She suddenly stopped at the sound she heard behind her; she was almost falling. Several rustling noises followed, as something was crawling slowly towards the books. She turned around, but couldn't see anything.

"Curiosity kills the cat," a voice said, its echo filling the entire cavern. Kiraz remained where she was, trying not to move, quietly observing her surroundings.

But the satisfaction bring her back. thought Kiraz as she was still looking around.

"Don't be afraid of me, little girl... Your choices are definitely more dangerous; you should be careful with yourself... Not me," the voice said once again.

"Where are you?" Kiraz mustered the courage to call out.

"Turn around," the voice said, now coming from a single source.

Kiraz faced a black-furred cat with amber-colored eyes. The cat's gaze seemed to read Kiraz's soul.

"Cats can't talk..." Kiraz muttered, as the cat responded with a laugh.

"Don't consider things you don't understand as impossible, little girl. If you knew what could be real in the world you live in, you'd be astonished."

"Why should I be afraid of my choices?" Kiraz asked. Who did this cat think it was?

"The watchmaker told you not to go beyond the restroom. But you didn't listen and came all the way to my passage."

"How can this be your passage?"

The cat tilted its head, examining Kiraz.

"You need to turn back, Kiraz. This is not a place meant for people to see."

Kiraz furrowed her eyebrows. "I need to see what lies ahead."

"You don't need to see anything in the time we're in, Kiraz."

"How do you know my name?"

"I know everyone and everything that enters my passage. Everything..." The cat approached Kiraz a bit more.

"Are you going to force me to go back?"

"I cannot interfere with the choices you make," the cat said firmly.

"Then you can't stop me if I continue forward," Kiraz said, and the cat sighed. Humans were such foolish creatures; it had forgotten.

"Yes, I can't stop you, Kiraz, but don't say I didn't warn you. Time's against you."

Kiraz laughed, "I'm young, I have plenty of time." The cat looked at her for a while; it pitied her.

"I understand that I can't change your mind, but the path you've chosen is very dangerous. You must be careful."

"Why? What's there?"

"Yourself," the cat said and leaped onto a stack of books.

"Where are you going?" Kiraz called out.

"I have more important things to do, little girl. I won't waste my time trying to convince you." The cat disappeared within the cavern. "Good luck..." its voice echoed throughout the cave.

"Silly little cat," Kiraz muttered to herself and continued further into the depths of the cavern.

The path became suffocating, but Kiraz didn't stop until she saw the light at the end of the cave. When she emerged outside, she took a deep breath; it felt as if she was breathing for the first time. The air she inhaled was clean and vibrant. Every color she saw appeared more vivid and radiant. The light filtering through the tops of the trees warmed Kiraz's skin. As she crouched down and touched the ground, the sensation was indescribable, as if she had never touched grass before. She looked back and saw a cat tail at the entrance of the cave, swaying from side to side. Kiraz let out an audible sigh; she had to go back to the cave.

As she attempted to leave, she heard a soft voice behind her.

"Don't you want to explore a bit more, my dear?" Kiraz quickly turned around. Before her stood a young and beautiful woman, smiling at her. Kiraz recalled the cat saying that no one else should pass through the cave...

"I should actually leave," Kiraz said, continuing to examine the woman. Her footsteps had left mud, but it didn't seem to bother her. Her black hair cascaded down to her waist, and her blue dress shimmered in the sunlight, as if it was made of water, gently swaying.

"Why do you need to leave?" the woman asked, purely curious. Kiraz pointed towards the exit of the cave, where the cat was sitting in the middle.

"He told me that this place is dangerous." The woman laughed genuinely.

"Cats can't talk, little girl. If this cat can speak, why would you believe what he says? Why would you trust anything else he said if he started with a cat's appearance and lied to you?" Kiraz furrowed her brows and looked back.

The cat was calmly observing everything, swaying its tail freely. Kiraz waited for it to speak up and defend itself, but the cat turned around and slowly disappeared into the depths of the cave.

Kiraz, uncertain of what to do, turned back to the woman. The woman was studying Kiraz, her eyes shining with curiosity.

"I suppose I can stay a little longer," Kiraz said. The woman smiled, but there was something peculiar about her smile. It wasn't genuine or filled with happiness; it was filled with excitement. It held the pure emotion that mystery and the unknown evoked in a person. She reached out her hand to Kiraz, in a hurry. When Kiraz took the woman's hand, it felt as if she had awakened from a dream. Together, they ventured into the depths of the forest.

"Very well, what wind brought you here, little girl?"

"I was bored," Kiraz said, shrugging her shoulders. She was examining her surroundings so she could remember them later; she would return. She needed to go home and do her homework. Kiraz almost burst into laughter; her mother would be so happy if she heard this.

"I don't think you traveled this far just out of boredom, little girl. There must be another reason underneath it all," the woman said. Kiraz didn't know how to respond; she was curious, that's all.

As Kiraz walked among the trees, she noticed how different everything was in each place. The leaves of the trees, the rocks, the grass... They all seemed distinct from one another.

"Everything here is so different," Kiraz murmured.

"What do you mean?" the woman asked. Kiraz then noticed that the woman was hiding a box under her arm.

"Normally, no matter where you go, trees all look the same. But here, everything is different. I can even see how each blade of grass is unique." Kiraz didn't know when she started paying attention to these details, but it had captured her interest.

"How old are you, little girl?" the woman asked, her smile fading. Kiraz didn't mind the abrupt question.

"I'm ten," Kiraz said.

"Was it strange to tell your age, little girl?"

"No, I just forgot how young I was," Kiraz said, her mind feeling a bit confused.

"Nothing is the same, little girl... Especially here," the woman said.

"Then what is this place?" Kiraz asked.

"You'll understand when you reach the end of your journey. You just have to go deeper."

"How will I find my way?"

"Follow your curiosity," the woman said. Kiraz furrowed her brows, looking at the woman. Follow my curiosity?

"How will I know if I'm going in the right direction?"

"Look around you. Do you see a place that feels completely right to you?" the woman said, laughing. Then she began playing with her embroidered box, as if the embroidery depicted herself. Several other figures were also depicted, but Kiraz couldn't recognize who they were.

Kiraz sighed and looked ahead. The trees ended somewhere, but she couldn't see what layed beyond. She started walking toward the end of the trees. After a few steps, she noticed that the woman didn't follow.

"Aren't you coming with me?"

"No, little girl, I can't go beyond my boundaries. You have to go there alone." Kiraz searched for the cave they had left behind. The woman blocked her line of sight.

"After walking this far, will you really go without seeing what's left?" Kiraz hesitated but ultimately shook her head, indicating no. The woman smiled, it was unsettling.

She turned her back to the woman and continued walking toward the end of the trees.

"Hope to see you again, Kiraz," the woman said. Kiraz turned around to say something, but before she could say anything, the woman had already vanished.

Kiraz kept going, not knowing where the path would lead. She knew she should go back, but the woman was right. She would never encounter a place like this anywhere else in her life.

She embarked on the path formed by the diverse trees. The point where the trees ended became more distinct with each passing second. The air here wasn't cold or warm. Even the wind blew according to her body temperature—everything was perfect.

When Kiraz reached the end of the trees, she encountered a transparent curtain. She looked up, left, and right, but couldn't discern where the curtain began or ended. She took a few steps back; although the curtain was transparent, its backside was not visible. She reached out her hand toward the curtain, her movements were slow.

As she touched the curtain, it rippled like a wave. She touched it again, but this time she didn't retract her finger. It felt lighter than water and heavier than air. She knew she was touching something, but her skin couldn't perceive the sensation clearly.

She took a step forward, venturing into this unknown place. Her curiosity urged her on, just like the woman had said. As she crossed beyond the curtain, she tried to make sense of her surroundings. She found herself in an inky black space. Neither the ground she stepped on nor the objects around her were visible. There was no sound around her. She began to venture into the depths of the darkness.

Her shoes made no sound, and she wasn't even sure if she was stepping on anything. Perhaps she was falling. Perhaps she would crash onto the ground in any moment.

Kiraz took a deep and trembling breath. All she had to do was keep moving forward. But how much farther should she go? She vaguely remembered the way back home, but what if she couldn't go back? But ıt was too late...

As she went further, she encountered a blend of blue and green—a nebula. She had only seen such nebulae in movies or documentaries. As she passed by them, her body became illuminated, but the ground beneath her still remained invisible. Among the stars, she realized they were smaller than the tip of her finger. She attempted to touch the closest star. It was as if she lost the sense of perception of depth.

"Stars are far away from here, young girl," a voice said with a click. Kiraz looked around but couldn't see anything, there was only the sound of something slithering.

"They seem so close," Kiraz said, adjusting her sweater sleeves. It had become much more smaller. Meanwhile, the owner of the voice approached Kiraz.

"Are you lying to me like the cat in the cave or are you a real snake?" Kiraz asked, slightly reproachful.

"I am not a snake, young girl. Snakes cannot speak," ıt said. "I appear before you as you choose to percieve me."

"What does that mean?" Kiraz asked, her voice sounding deeper than usual, thicker.

"It means, that I'm not a snake," the snake replied defiantly. Kiraz noticed that the snake enjoyed a challenge.

"Are you always this stubborn?" Kiraz asked.

"Do you ask never-ending questions all the time?" the snake hissed. Kiraz took a step back. Meanwhile, the snake dramatically swayed its tail and turned its back on Kiraz.

"I believe you have somewhere to go. We shouldn't waste any more time," the snake said, continuing to move forward without waiting for Kiraz's response.

"Actually, I'm considering going back," Kiraz said.

"Why? You have homework to do?" the snake scoffed.

"Well, yes," Kiraz replied.

"You humans..." the snake said, disapprovingly. "You create rules for yourselves and then become slaves to them."

"Rules are important for humans to maintain order, to live in harmony..." Kiraz said, her voice rising. Her mother always told her to follow the rules, and her father told her to listen to her mother...

"You can't live even with rules," the snake said, appearing frustrated. "Come on, it won't take long," ıt added while positioning its tail within Kiraz's reach. She hopped on his back. Together, they continued onward. Kiraz felt the same sensation she had felt when she touched the woman. However, this time it was stronger and more vibrant.

"Rules are important, young girl, but even in the absence of rules, there is still order."

"What does that mean?" Kiraz asked. "When you are born, you are created according to an order. But when you die, that order is disrupted, and you return to the earth. The chaos you create nourishes the plants, attracts fungi, and enriches the soil. A new order emerges," the snake said, pointing to a spot with its head.

Kiraz noticed a formation, more of an expansion, occurring in the distance. She remarked, "Seeing is not enough." Suddenly, the snake began to grow. Kiraz took a few steps back in fear, but the snake hissed again. "Climb onto my back," it said, extending its tail downward. Kiraz cautiously climbed onto the snake's back. The snake moved backward, shrank, and then leaped forward.

They leaped so far and fast that when Kiraz opened her eyes, she realized they were observing the explosion from a safe place. The snake slithered forward slowly. Kiraz observed as new stars, suns, colorful nebulas, and planets formed as they progressed. She reached out her hand and could feel the warmth of the sunlight on her skin... She could feel life.

"Do you understand?" the snake asked calmly. Kiraz couldn't find the words to respond; she simply nodded in agreement.

The snake leaped back again and gently lowered Kiraz from its back. Within seconds, it returned to its original size. "Everything progresses as it should, and order exists in this universe solely to create chaos. But you humans are so afraid of chaos that you do everything in your power to suppress it."

"That's not true. It's unfair to compare human actions to what happens in nature or the universe... I don't even want to imagine what humans would do without rules," Kiraz said.

"Where there is life, there is always thought and, consequently, action, young girl... But I'm not blaming you; you're still a child," the snake replied. "Humans have been around for thousands of years... How can we be considered children?" Kiraz laughed.

"What is a human's age compared to the age of the universe?" the snake countered. "You think you know everything, that you can solve everything. Some things take time. They require effort. You humans don't strive to change yourselves."

"In that case, should we live without rules? Is that what you're suggesting?" Kiraz asked, slightly resentful.

"You should have unwritten rules. You should act based on the understanding that a behavior deemed 'bad' will have consequences if you were on the receiving end," the snake said.

"But how can we label a behavior as 'bad'? How can a person always act 'good'?" Kiraz inquired. The snake clicked harshly. "I'm not telling you to always act 'good.'"

"You evaluate good and bad based on their impact on others, considering both short-term and long-term effects," the snake continued.

They walked silently for a while. Kiraz was lost in her thoughts, and during that time, she noticed that her clothes were gradually getting shorter.

"You seem a bit uncomfortable, young lady," the snake said calmly.

"I don't know why, but I feel like my clothes have been getting shorter since I arrived," Kiraz replied.

"Perhaps you are growing, Kiraz," the snake suggested as if stating a simple explanation.

"It hasn't been more than an hour..." Kiraz said, struggling to understand. The snake didn't respond.

They continued walking amidst the darkness and stars. Kiraz felt more alive than ever before in her life.

"I cannot proceed beyond this point," the snake finally said. Kiraz squinted and looked ahead; the stars and darkness continued, and she could even make out a few nebulas.

"Why?" "We are standing in front of the same transparent curtain you crossed. It's right in front of your nose, but you can't see it," the clown said, and Kiraz laughed. She had enjoyed their conversation without words. When she looked back, all she saw was an endless darkness. The nebulas, stars, and planets had disappeared.

"How much farther do I need to go?" Kiraz asked. "Just one more place," the clown replied.

Kiraz could feel her heart beating faster. She extended her hand forward, and indeed, there was another transparent curtain right in front of her. When she looked at her hand, she couldn't be sure if what she saw was real or not. There were wrinkles on it. Before she could say anything to the clown, something grabbed her finger and pulled her inside. Once again, she felt rejuvenated, but this time it was even more intense than before. A voice within her whispered, "One last time."

As she was being pulled, Kiraz lost her balance and fell to the ground. The pain was much more intense than an hour ago.

"I thought a child would come here. Were they lying to me?" a mischievous voice said. Kiraz furrowed her brows, her movements becoming sharp and erratic as she stood up.

"I am already a child!" Kiraz yelled, although her voice and appearance said otherwise.

"When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror?" the old man asked. He was dressed in a red jumpsuit, and his clown hat matched in color. Despite his aged appearance, his smile was vibrant. Behind that smile, who knows how many thoughts were hidden, who knows how many people he was waiting to deceive.

"Whatever... I won't argue with a clown," Kiraz said and briskly walked past the old man, continuing her journey.

She found herself in a throne room with a short but wide staircase at the end of the black marble path. After a while, the staircase split into two and led to where the throne stood.

Behind the throne, there was a large tree. Its trunk was adorned with golden engravings that merged with the ceiling. Two large, intricately decorated golden windows flanked the tree. Kiraz looked up at the ceiling, where a golden crystal chandelier hung, adorned with gray and black engravings.

"Why?" the jester asked. "Why what?" "Why won't you argue with a jester?"

The Jester walked up to Kiraz's eye level and stopped. He was still smiling, but it was unsettling, unlike the woman she had first encountered. His smile seemed to conceal the unknown. It embraced the fear that came from the unknown. It was the kind of smile that could only appear on the face of a devil.

"Why would anyone argue with someone whose only purpose is to make the king laugh?" Kiraz said, trying to conceal her tension. The fool laughed.

"Do you know who was the only person who could challenge the king?" the jester asked. Kiraz shrugged.

"A Jester," the old man said. "Who sees someone whose only purpose is to embarrass themselves as a threat? Or who sees them as clever?" The old man tilted his head to the side. The only sound in the room for a while was the jingling of the bells on the jester's hat.

"But you're right, Kiraz... One shouldn't argue with a fool. Understanding what they think is like standing at a bus stop, looking around, searching for a murderer," the old man said and began walking towards the throne with a smile.

Kiraz stopped walking and stood still. Even taking two or three steps had exhausted her. "I'm going home; how can I get tired from just two or three steps?"

"Why am I here?" Kiraz said, as if she had just realized it.

"You were curious, so you came," the old man replied, not stopping.

"No, I wanted to go back," Kiraz said. The old man's laughter resonated.

"No one forced you to stay here; you continued on your own accord... I believe the guard and the clockmaker had warned you from the beginning," the clown said as Kiraz rubbed her temples. She didn't know where she was. It felt like she had just woken up from a dream. She looked around helplessly, not knowing how to escape from here or how to return home. Her stomach cramped as if in pain.

"Calm down, Kiraz. We're almost there. What you desire is waiting for you on the throne," the clown said, approaching Kiraz and extending his hand. Kiraz couldn't comprehend what was happening, so she did the only thing she could do in this situation. She took the clown's hand. Climbing the stairs, Kiraz was breathless, relying on the clown to bear her weight.

Within a few minutes, they reached the throne. Kiraz was out of breath, and her eyes were closing. Breathing became difficult for her.

When Kiraz sat on the throne, she felt an immediate need to close her eyes. Her head was pounding with pain. At that moment, she realized that her thoughts had become more vivid since touching the throne. However, she was too exhausted to shake off the fatigue that weighed on her.

Suddenly, a noise broke the silence. The clown had fallen to the ground. The old man struggled to stand up. Kiraz's ears echoed with the laughter of people. She could barely keep her eyes open.

"This journey should not have been rushed, Kiraz," the clown said, placing the crown on his head.

Kiraz pulled the crown off her head and watched her reflection with trembling hands. For a while, she couldn't comprehend what she was seeing. She couldn't believe it. In front of her stood an old woman, a stranger. She had never seen someone like her before. This person was not the one she had seen in the mirror all these years. It had to be someone else.

With the last bit of strength she had, Kiraz threw the crown to the ground. A painful cry echoed through the throne room, even wiping the smile off the clown's face.


As the clockmaker worked on his table, he heard a 'meow' sound from behind. The old man sighed sadly. He didn't need to turn and look at the cat. He looked at the hourglass on his table; the time had run out. The unique sand grains, flowing with curiosity, rebellion, and cunningness, had consumed their time.

He opened the left drawer under the table and took out a white transparent tape, a black pen, and scissors. Before cutting the tape, he wrote 'Kiraz Evran' on it and stuck it onto the hourglass.

Then he unlocked the right drawer under the table. He placed it among the other finished hourglasses and closed the drawer, hoping never to open it again.


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