#@¶&¤=^»..                                          ..»^=¤&¶@#
@£%:,,,¨,¨                                          ¨,¨,,,:%£@
##£¤§=:~-.                                          .-~:=§¤£##
##@¤¤$=~:.                                          .:~=$¤¤@##
#@@¤$^;«,¨                                          ¨,«;^$¤@@#
¤$$£:,.--.                 statuette                .--.,:£$$¤
##@&¤**=^¨                                          ¨^=**¤&@##
@£§£%=,¨,, $¤@¤@§%£*%£*&§$¤=~--~««-%*$*%§&$¤£¤$£*&¤ ,,¨,=%£§£@
@%@/»..¨¨,                *£$¤¤%£%¤                 ,¨¨..»/@%@
@@&¤%/,,..                                          ..,,/%¤&@@
§*§¤&%\«,, forests  around my childhood home. thick ,,«\%&¤§*§
##@¤£=†»-, pine  arcades  that  were   planted  and ,-»†=£¤@##
@@$-«~~=^¨      forgotten. wild boars roaming       ¨^=~~«-$@@
#£=*$%†~-¨ underneath, sniffing  at the  ground. it ¨-~†%$*=£#
¤$*,¨¨¨,,, is  dark  and  moist,  the canopy having ,,,¨¨¨,*$¤
###@£§;»,, already   soaked   up   all   the   sun. ,,»;§£@###
###@¤*\=,.                                          .,=\*¤@###
¶&¤;«^-,,¨ there's a river  passing  by,  from east ¨,,-^«;¤&¶
##¶££*^«,, to west, getting  broader and deeper and ,,«^*££¶##
#@%\†..,., slower as it  goes. equisetum  grow just ,.,..†\%@#
@@&§%*:=:, where  the  pine  hands  start   to  let ,:=:*%§&@@
#§@%:^«,,. through  light,  horsemint on the  rocky .,,«^:%@§#
###£*%=~,,                river bed.                ,,~=%*£###
@&&\†-«=-¨                                          ¨-=«-†\&&@
#@##£†:~-¨                    *                     ¨-~:†£##@#
##@£%*;~^¨                                          ¨^~;*%£@##
####&%*«-, the riverbanks  reek of  magic.  tonight ,-«*%&####
@#£$£$*~,. they  had  been a swampworld with sylvan .,~*$£$£#@
###¶£%==,. water, stone  rings  and floating  moss. .,==%£¶###
@@£§£%=~~¨ you  could've found me wallowing  around ¨~~=%£§£@@
&*~,,,,,,. on  the  southern  shores  until  i  got .,,,,,,~*&
£%%$\~^:~,                  bitten.                 ,~:^~\$%%£
##&$«..,¨,                                          ,¨,..«$&##
&@$*:««,,, but  now  i'm  further  back,  on  solid ,,,««:*$@&
####@^†=.¨ ground, in shoulder-high grass, with  an ¨.=†^@####
##¶£§^^»,. orange  tin  radio  and  a   translucent .,»^^§£¶##
&%*~:¨¨¨,.      umbrella which i'm sitting on.      .,¨¨¨:~*%&
###§¤†/=:¨                                          ¨:=/†¤§###
@£@¤¤%;~,,                     /                    ,,~;%¤¤@£@
#@@#@=†».¨                                          ¨.»†=@#@@#
£¤$:,-¨¨,, somethings  moving  in  the grass.  it's ,,¨¨-,:$¤£
####$%*«,. invisible  to my  eyes but  i  can  feel .,«*%$####
§¤§*§~.,¨¨ through the ground just how large it is. ¨¨,.~§*§¤§
@*$*-¨.,¨¨                                          ¨¨,.¨-*$*@
##@@¤*/-^, the soil  is muddy.  i slip when  trying ,^-/*¤@@##
@#%$§=:¨., to  get   up,   still   looking  at  the ,.¨:=§$%#@
#&%†~=~.¨. direction  of  sound rather  than at  my .¨.~=~†%&#
####%%=».¨ hands,  who are busy putting  things  in ¨.»=%%####
@#£†:~,.,,               my pockets.                ,,.,~:†£#@
##@¤*%*»~,                                          ,~»*%*¤@##
##£#*%^-,¨ then  i   run  east   toward  my   home. ¨,-^%*#£##
§&&#&$/«^,                                          ,^«/$&#&&§
###£&*=~-,                    =                     ,-~=*&£###
###&**\=^¨                                          ¨^=\**&###
#%~«,¨¨... i am not followed, and slow down  in the ...¨¨,«~%#
##£@§†=~., clearing  where you  at  first  can spot ,.~=†§@£##
¤&%%%%=~,. the  house,   not  yet  really  in   the .,~=%%%%&¤
##@@%%^~,, backyard. from my pockets i retrieve  my ,,~^%%@@##
#*-,¨¨,,,. radio (now  dented)  but  also  a  small .,,,¨¨,-*#
###¤&††=^, clay  figure i've never seen  before. it ,^=††&¤###
#@@§£*^~,¨ must have been laying in  the wet  dirt, ¨,~^*£§@@#
###@£§†«,¨ and  i  must've picked  it  up  with  my ¨,«†§£@###
@*%«.,,¨..            other belongings.             ..¨,,.«%*@
###£§%^-,¨                                          ¨,-^%§£###
§*;^,¨,,¨¨ it's a statuette of a girl  laying naked ¨¨,,¨,^;*§
####$§=»-¨ on  her  stomach,  feet   in  the   air, ¨-»=§$####
#@#¤*§;~-,   roughly seven centimeters long. it's   ,-~;§*¤#@#
##&%*;=»., freshly made, not yet  completely dried. ,.»=;*%&##
##@¤%†=~-,                                          ,-~=†%¤@##
¤£$§*:~«.¨ my mom  is here  now. i ask her for some ¨.«~:*§$£¤
##£@£$\«~, particle  board for  it  to  dry on, but ,~«\$£@£##
###§$$/«., she   is   worried   and  wants   me  to ,.«/$$§###
#&@%:«»¨.¨              throw it away.              ¨.¨»«:%@&#
¤&*§»,¨..¨                                          ¨..¨,»§*&¤
##£§§*:»:.                                          .:»:*§§£##
##¶#£^^--,                                          ,--^^£#¶##
@§§=~.¨¨,.                                          .,¨¨.~=§§@
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##@##$*;.¨                                          ¨.;*$##@##