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    Bill W
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Secrets 2: Looking Through Different Eyes - 18. Chapter 18 S2

Chapter 18 - The Old Ozark Treasure Cave –

After dark, Gramps found a safe place for us to spend the night, and then we all transitioned into our own bodies so we could chat briefly. As soon as we were in our human forms, Pops began to speak.

“Basically the only thing we’ve done so far was to move closer to the spot where we’ll begin our search, because Jacob wasn’t able to find an acceptable parking spot that was closer. Although we haven’t been seriously looking for any caves on the way here, Jacob and I have been scanning the landscape for any signs that might indicate a cave, but we didn’t notice anything that stood out. Starting tomorrow, however, we will begin our actual search, and if you boys happen to notice anything that looks promising, just bark to draw our attention to the area and we’ll stop to check it out.”

“When do we eat?” Devin asked.

“Wolves don’t necessarily eat every day, and sometimes they may go several days between meals, but when they finally make a kill they may eat up to 20 pounds of meat at one time. So, while we’re looking for caves, we must also keep alert for any potential prey we might run across.”

“I guess that means we had our last meal earlier at the restaurant,” Devin responded, and I was grateful he hadn’t used the words ‘last supper’. “I just wish Pops could have devised a way for us to carry a backpack with snacks in it while we were wolves.”

“I’m certain that would have drawn too much attention if people had spotted us carrying those items,” Pops shot back. “Even if I’d been able to use a wolf’s pelt to make a backpack for each of us, they’d have been too bulky and the bulge on a wolf’s back would still have been noticeable.”

“Just hang in there and we’ll eat just as soon as we locate prey and make a kill,” Gramps chimed in. “And we don’t have to look for large prey either, because wolves will eat smaller animals as well, such as rabbits, mice, birds, snakes, fish, and insects. Not only that, but wolves aren’t entirely carnivorous and their diets only consists of about 60% meat. The other 40% is made up of other items, since they’re able to adjust to living in different environments, as well as surviving during the changing seasons. This means that if you’d prefer, we can look for fruits, vegetables, and other plants to eat, as well as different types of nuts.”

“Those things don’t sound too bad, and we’ve eaten some of those items before, after we’d transitioned into other animals,” I concurred. “I’m sure they’d help to control the hunger pangs until we kill a deer or something else, although I’m not looking forward to eating raw meat either. I’ll admit that the meat will probably hold us longer than the vegetarian choices, so I guess I’m ready to eat whatever we find or kill.”

“That’s good, because it means you’re learning what it takes to be a wolf for a substantial length of time.”

Devin and I went to sleep slightly hungry that night, seeing it was too dark to find any of the other choices to eat. I won’t say we enjoyed a totally restful slumber, but it was good enough to sustain us during the following day.

Shortly after we woke up in the morning, we began looking around for food. Although Devin and I weren’t very good at identifying any of our vegetarian choices, Gramps and Pops led us to some items we could eat and Devin and I ate whatever they were eating. Later that night, we were advised that we’d consumed some elderberries, which were slightly sour, some sweet persimmons, and a few black walnuts. Those items reduced the rumbling in our stomachs enough that we were ready to start searching for caves.

A short time after we began looking for caves, Gramps and Pops suddenly crouched down, so Devin and I did the same, and then they began to creep forward. We weren’t sure why they were doing this at first, but then we picked up the scent of white-tailed deer. I followed Pops as he went in one direction, while Devin followed Gramps as he went the other way, and before long they were attacking a deer from two different directions.

Pops was actually the one that brought the deer down, and then Devin and I watched how Gramps and Pops used their teeth to tear back the deer’s hide so they could get to the meat. After we saw how they did that, we observed how they ate the meat off of the one side of the carcass, along with some of the deer’s internal organs. After they each had their fill, they grabbed the legs that were attached to the opposite side of the deer’s body and tugged on them until they’d flipped the carcass over. They then let Devin and me pull the hide back on that side and eat the meat there, along with the meat that was on the deer’s hind legs.

Doing this wasn’t as bad as I’d thought it would be, because even though we were eating the meat raw, it was still warm, which made it seem as if it had just been cooked. I guess that was merely a mental advantage, more than anything else, but it helped me fill my belly without becoming nauseous or regurgitating what I’d just eaten.

Now that we’d all had our fill, we resumed our search to find any caves in the area so we could check them out. We found a few caves, although none of them were very large and obviously didn’t contain any treasure, but it gave us hope of finding other caves. This is the way the rest of the next several days went, although I’d began to observe something else that Gramps and Pops had been doing. One night when we stopped and transitioned into ourselves, I decided to ask them about it.

“I’ve noticed that you guys are doing something every time we find a cave. Before we leave, I’ve seen you use your claws to scratch into the dirt and rocks, and then you also lift your legs and mark the area with your urine. Why do you do that?”

“It’s so we’ll know that we’ve already checked out that cave, so we don’t waste our time doing it again if we inadvertently arrive back at the same place later.”

“Is that why you scratch near the entrance and as close to the right wall of the cave as you can?”

“Yes, because that area is the least likely to be disturbed by others checking out the cave.”

“And is that why you urinate on the same location?”

“Yes. We do that so other animals will either avoid the cave or be less likely to obscure the markings we just left behind.”

“And sometimes I’ve noticed that you change your right foreleg somehow before you do that.”

“Yes, if we discover the area where we want to leave our mark is too hard for us to make a mark as a wolf, then I will transition my right paw into a mountain lion’s paw. Their claws are harder and capable of leaving a mark behind, where we wouldn’t be able to do it as a wolf.”

“Ok, I think I understand now.”

That’s the way things continued for a few more days, and then the situation suddenly changed. We were doing the same as we had been doing when we found ourselves confronted by another pack of wolves. There were seven or eight of them, but it was difficult to tell exactly how many were in the pack because they were encircling us and we couldn’t very well casually glance around to count them. We had obviously trespassed into their territory without realizing it and they definitely weren’t happy about it.

Our eyes were glued on the one we assumed was the alpha, since it was standing directly in front of us. It was snarling and showing its teeth, and when I quickly glanced at the wolves standing on either side of the alpha, they were doing the same thing. It was a terrifying experience.

I was considering what might happen next and wondering if they were going to attack when I noticed that Gramps and Pops were taking up submissive postures. Devin and I quickly did the same thing, hoping it might soothe the alpha and cause it and the others to relax, but it didn’t appear to be working. I thought we were going to have to fight the other wolves and was waiting for them to attack when something else occurred.

Just when I thought we were doomed and would have to fight them off, even though we were outnumbered, Gramps and Pops suddenly transitioned into huge black bears. As soon as Devin and I saw this, we quickly did they same thing, and now that we were all bears we positioned ourselves so we could see how the other wolves were reacting.

We also reposition ourselves so we’d be prepared for an attack from any direction, but the wolves appeared to be backing away from us slightly and giving us a wider berth. They also seemed to be startled by our new appearance and had stopped snarling and showing their teeth. However, neither they nor we were exactly sure as to what we should do next.

Gramps and Pops obviously decided to let them make the first move, and after several tense moments of this virtual stalemate, the alpha wolf turned and began to move away from us. I’m not certain, but I believe the alpha figured that due to our size we’d be able to do serious damage to them if they attacked, and possibly even kill some of them. In the end, the alpha chose discretion and decided to retreat instead.

The other wolves eventually turned to follow their leader, although none of them walked directly past us. Those on the opposite side of where the alpha had been standing took a circuitous route to avoid passing too close to us, and then they joined the alpha farther on. Needless to say, we were relieved and happy to see them go.

A few minutes after we saw the other pack depart, we transitioned back into wolves again. Pops decided to do this because he was concerned that a hunter with a bear permit might see us, and due to the unusually large size we’d taken any one of us would have made one hell of a trophy.

Fortunately, we didn’t run across those other wolves again, although we were still watching for them, as well as searching for more caves. In due time, however, we felt it was possible that we had moved out of their territory.

A couple of nights later, after we’d transitioned into ourselves so we could discuss how things were going, Pops made an announcement.

“It’s taking far too long trying to find the cave we’re looking for doing it this way, so I’m going to suggest that we split up and search in pairs. As we discussed previously, Mac will stay with me, and Devin will go with Jacob.”

“What if we run into those other wolves again?” Devin asked.

“If that happens, then Jacob or I will howl to signal that we’re in trouble before we transition into bears.”

“But will one howl be enough to find the others?” I wondered.

“No, but it will get you going in the right direction, and once we’ve transitioned into bears we’ll growl loudly so you’ll be able to zero in on our location that way.”

“Will we be able to hear you growl?”

“Yes, wolves can hear loud sounds up to several miles away and we won’t be farther apart than that. We’ll just be covering slightly different areas while heading in the same direction.”

“Ok, but how will we know where the other team is at night so we can meet up and talk about how things went?” Devin wanted to know.

“Just before it gets dark, I will howl every few minutes until you find us. Jacob knows how to locate me when I do that.”

“Ok, then I guess that’s what we’ll be doing for a while,” Devin agreed for both of us.

We weren’t any more successful finding the treasure cave that way than what we had been doing, but we continued searching like this for more than a week. One night when we met up again, Pops had something exciting to tell the other pair.

“Mac and I located a cave today, but it appears that part of the cave has collapsed. As far as I know, caves don’t usually collapse like that unless there has been an explosion or someone has been tunneling off of the main chamber. If this is the cave that we’ve been looking for, then I believe it’s possible the Spanish rigged up an explosion to protect whatever they had stolen from the Native Americans. Since Jacob studied geology in college and knows more about it than I do, I want him to look at this cave and determine if the collapse appears to be natural or the result of human activity.”

“Do you think the Spanish conquistadors could have done something like that?” Devin asked.

“Yes, the Spanish were very familiar with gunpowder,” Pops replied. “They had multiple cannons on the ships they sailed on, and the cannons used gunpowder to propel the cannonballs. The Spanish also used gunpowder in the matchlock guns they carried with them, such as the harquebus, so I imagine they would have transported extra gunpowder with them, otherwise their guns wouldn’t be useful for very long.”

“But would they have had enough gunpowder to seal off a cave?”

“Yes, they could have carried more than enough gunpowder on their pack animals, and those same animals were probably also used to carry the treasure. By using the gunpowder to seal up the cave the treasure would have been safe until they were able to come back to reclaim it.”

“I’ve never heard of the type of guns that you just mentioned, so what exactly were they?” I asked.

“The harquebus is one type of matchlock gun and it required a wick that must remain lit so it would be able to ignite the gunpowder. That process wasn’t exactly like pulling the trigger on a shotgun or rifle today, because there was a slight delay before the gunpowder was ignited and the projectile was expelled from the barrel. Those guns were also prone to misfires and they were very slow to toad, and they also weren’t very reliable or accurate. However, the sound they made when they went off was enough to terrorize the native population.”

“If it wasn’t very reliable or accurate, then how were those guns able to terrorize the Native Americans?”

“Let’s put it this way,” Pops replied, “the Native Americans referred to the Spanish guns as thunder sticks. The noise alone was enough to scare them, because they thought the Spanish could control thunder, and if one of them was injured or killed, the other Native Americans assumed he’d been struck by lightning.”

“Ok, but if the Spanish blew up the cave to hide the treasure, then wouldn’t the Native Americans have heard the explosion and figured out what the Spanish did?”

“If the Native Americans heard a really loud explosion, even louder than what was made by the guns, they would have believed the Spanish were in possession of a very powerful magic. And now that they thought the Spanish were even more powerful than they first believed, they might have decided it was best not to challenge them further and merely fled the area instead.”

“You really think the Native Americans were that naïve?”

“Not naïve,” Pops responded, “it’s just that they had a different set of beliefs and looked at things differently than we do.”

“Is the cave you found very large?” Gramps asked.

“It’s hard to determine, because the collapse made it difficult to tell how much of the cave is still on the other side of the rubble,” Pops replied. “The part we were in, however, wasn’t very large, although it’s large enough for all of us to be in it at the same time, either as wolves or as humans. Mac and I just thought it would be a good idea to ask you to help us determine what might lie beyond the collapsed area.”

“Then it sounds promising,” Gramps concurred, “so let’s get a good night’s rest and then we’ll go there early tomorrow morning to check it out.”

I slept very well that night and dreamed about the treasure that might lie on the other side of the debris. I knew it wasn’t logical to expect that we’d find any treasure hidden there, but it was a great feeling to think we might have done what many others hadn’t been able to accomplish. Needless to say, I was rearing to go when I woke up the next morning.

We followed Pops back to the cave that we’d stumbled upon the previous day, and once we were all inside, we quickly transitioned into ourselves, since we didn’t think anyone could see us. Gramps then inspected the area to determine if the collapse appeared natural or artificially created, and after many minutes he finally spoke

“This was definitely caused by an explosion and isn’t natural,” Gramps confirmed. “In fact, whoever caused this might have tossed whatever debris was scattered within the cave onto the pile, to make it appear larger. However, there’s no way to tell if it happened 50 years ago, 100 years ago, or even 500 years ago. All I can say with any certainty is that the collapse wasn’t natural.”

“Do you think there’s any way we can get through it?” I asked.

“I can’t tell you that unless I inspect the debris pile in greater detail. Like most rubble that you might find in a similar situation, the debris pile is wider at the bottom than at the top and it’s stacked up in a quasi-triangular fashion. The thing is that if I want to inspect it further, I’m going to have to climb around on the pile, but I’m worried that I might disturb any unstable areas and cause the rocks to cascade down the pile. If that happens, the situation could become dangerous for those standing near the bottom of the pile, so if I do this then I’ll have to ask all of you to stand back, preferably outside of the cave.”

“Ok, we can do that,” Devin and I agreed, “but we’ll have to transition into wolves again, just in case someone sees us.”

“Good point! And since I’m afraid my large body might also prove to be a huge disadvantage while doing this, seeing my weight is likely to cause a very large disturbance, I’ll transition into a gopher before I do it. This should allow me to inspect the area more completely without seriously disturbing the debris, and possibly I’ll be able to discover something significant.”

“Ok, then we’ll transition and move out of the cave, but we still want to watch what you’re doing.”

“That will be fine, but just be prepared to move quickly if required.”

We then watched Gramps transition into a gopher and he began to climb on the pile so he could inspect every inch of the collapsed portion of the cave, from bottom to top. He moved very slowly and carefully as he did this, yet he still caused some disturbance. Every once in a while some rocks would roll or slide down the side of the debris pile, but he kept going. When he finished, he walked down the pile and came over to us before transitioning back into himself.

“Unfortunately, I have not found an opening that we might be able to get through.”

“So there’s nothing you can see or no way to discover if there’s treasure on the other side?” I followed.

“I didn’t exactly say that. I spotted a small opening near the top of the pile, but I’m not sure if it goes all the way through to the other side. It may only be a small gap on this side that’s blocked off before it goes very far, but I can’t tell without investigating it further.”

“Is there any way you can do that and determine if it goes through to the other side?”

“It’s possible, but it will be very dangerous to try, since the opening I found might collapse at any moment. The second problem is that the opening is only large enough for something as small as a mouse or a snake to fit through.”

“And that’s our only chance to find out if there’s any treasure on the other side?”

“At least for today, but if we come back later with the appropriate tools we might be able to create an opening we can get through. The problem is, we could go through all of that trouble and spend a great deal of time doing it and then discover there’s nothing of value on the other side.”

“Then why would the Spanish have blown it up?”

“First of all, we have no way of knowing that the Spanish did this, and whoever did it might have merely done it accidentally, not purposely. They may have only been trying to uncover a vein of gold or silver in the cave but accidentally detonated too powerful of an explosion, and now we’re looking at the result of what happened.”

“Ok, then what do you suggest we do?” Devin asked.

“I’m willing to take the chance of entering the opening I found to see how far it goes.”

“Are you going to do it as a mouse or a snake?” Devin asked.

I’ll start off as a mouse, but I may have to transition into a snake if the opening gets any smaller.”

“It’s not worth you taking the chance of getting hurt or killed in there,” I said. “I’ll feel terrible if anything happens to you.”

“You won’t have to, because I’m taking the risk on my own. I want to see if it goes all the way through and if there’s anything of value on the other side.”

“Ok, but please be very careful.”

“Don’t worry, I will.”

We watched as Gramps transitioned into a mouse and climbed up the side of the pile, and then we saw him stop so he could inspect the opening he’d told us about. Eventually, he entered the hole and was gone for a very long time. In fact, he was gone for so long that we were beginning to worry that he’d gotten trapped in there, but we had no idea what we could do to help him. Pops was even considering if he should transition into a mouse so he could see if that’s what had happened to Gramps, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to help him as a mouse. He’d merely be able to discover if Gramps was trapped, or possibly even killed in there, and then he’d be able to alert us as to the situation, if he didn’t get trapped or killed in there as well.

Pops had actually gone as far as to transition into a mouse and he was just starting to climb up the debris pile when Devin and I spotted Gramps’ mouse snout extending out of the opening. We both shouted out to Pops, “He’s ok,” so Pops glanced up the pile to verify what we were saying, and then he climbed back down the pile. It took Gramps considerably longer to reach us, but when he did he transitioned into himself and began to explain what he’d discovered.

“The opening was blocked farther on, so I did what I could to get past that point, but there wasn’t a lot I could do as a mouse. However, there was one area that I’d passed that was like a tiny chamber, so I backed up until I was able to turn around in it before I came out, rather than backing up the entire way.”

“Can we go get some tools and see if we can make an opening at the top to get through?”

“We could, but by the time we do that it would be time to catch our flight back home. Captain Jack and the rest of the crew gave us a date and time when they’d return to pick us up, and if we miss them then there’s no telling when they’ll be able to return to pick us up.”

“Damn, I was hoping we could find out if there is any treasure in the cave.”

“Not only would we miss our flight,” Pops added, “but we shouldn’t create an opening at the top just yet, because even if we do find treasure on the other side, we wouldn’t have time to retrieve it. And if we left the opening and someone else was to find this cave, it would be like setting off a flare that would let them know they could get to the other side. If there was treasure there, then they would be able to take whatever is there instead.”

“Yeah, that wouldn’t be good, but I’d really like to know if there is any treasure in this cave.”

“I believe we’d all like to know that, but we’ll have to do it another time.”

“Can we do it next summer then?”

“We could, but you’d have to be prepared to stay here through June and July.”

“Why two months?”

“Because it’s going to take quite a while to bring the equipment that we’ll need to this location. It might also take longer than you think to create an opening to the other side that we’d be able to get through, especially since we don’t know how thick the debris pile is. And if there is any treasure on the other side, getting it out will depend on how much there is, because the more we find the longer it will take to carry it out of here. It’s not as if we can drive directly to this cave and pick it up. If we’re lucky, we might be able to drive some ATVs out here, otherwise we’ll have to carry everything ourselves or get some pack animals to do it for us. No matter what we do, however, it’s bound to attract the attention of others.”

“Oh yeah, I didn’t think of all those things. Are you going to leave your mark in this cave too, because I haven’t seen you do that yet?”

“Yes, and I’m glad you brought it up, otherwise I might have forgotten to do it.” I then watched as Pops left his mark.

“Hey, you did it different this time.”

“Yes, since we were convinced there wasn’t any treasure in the other caves; the mark I left was perpendicular to the cave wall. It’s like a stop sign that says you don’t have to go any farther because there’s nothing there. However, this time we aren’t sure if there’s treasure in the cave, so I made the mark parallel to the cave wall to indicate that there might be treasure within.”

“Ok, I get it now!”

“And if my mental calculations are correct,” Gramps stated, “we have less than a week before we have to catch our flight back, so maybe it would be best if we started heading back to the car now.”

“Can’t we continue looking for the treasure cave for a little while longer?” I pleaded.

“We could do that for a couple of days, but it’s going to take us a couple more days to get back to where I parked the car, and we don’t want to miss our flight or we’ll have to drive back.”

“And if we do that then we might miss celebrating the Fourth of July with our families,” Devin pointed out.

“And if we leave here early,” Pops added, “we’ll be able to eat the rest of our meals at a restaurant and get motel rooms at night.”

“Yeah, ok,” I relented. “We haven’t had a great deal of luck so far, except for maybe finding this cave, so let’s start back now. Eating regular meals and sleeping in a bed for a couple of days will seem like we’re in heaven after what we’ve been through.”

“Yeah, let’s head back to the car then,” Devin concurred.

We started back immediately and used a trot, but we stayed alert for any dangers that might be nearby, such as another wolf pack. We maintained a fairly comfortable pace as we made our way back to where Gramps had parked the car, and we were probably still a day away from it when we heard a gunshot. It sounded as if someone had fired a rifle, but there was no indication that the person had fired at us, but Pops apparently didn’t want to take a chance. He yipped to get our attention, and then he galloped off in the direction away from where he figured the sound had originated. Once he felt we were out of range of any weapons, he stopped so we could catch our breath, and then we started trotting again after he’d recalculated the direction we needed to go.

I believe we were all on an even higher alert now and I couldn’t wait until I could ask Pops and Gramps about whether they thought the hunter had been shooting at us. However, there was still a couple of hours remaining before it would get dark and we could transition into our own forms again.

When Pops finally found a safe place where we could do that, I immediately blurted out my question. “Do you think the person was shooting at us?”

“I don’t believe so, but I wasn’t about to wait around and find out for sure,” Pops responded. “I checked before we came here and learned that only small game hunting would be allowed while we were here, and the only animals in season would be coyotes, groundhogs, and squirrels. However, that doesn’t eliminate the possibility that some guy is hunting illegally.”

“And since I didn’t hear a bullet strike a tree or the ground near us,” Gramps added, “if the person was shooting at us then he must have been a terrible shot.”

“I agree and we should be safe here for tonight,” Pops continued. “We should be able to reach the car before it gets dark tomorrow night, so get a good night’s rest, because you’ll need all of your strength and energy for tomorrow.”

Devin and I slept so our wolf bodies were actually touching the entire night, and shortly after we all woke up, we began our journey back to the car. Pops was right and we reached it before dark, and in fact there was probably still a couple hours of daylight remaining. After Gramps transitioned, he retrieved the key from where he’d hidden it and unlocked the car, and then the rest of us transitioned and got dressed.

We were all quite upbeat as Gramps drove away from there, because we knew the first place we’d be stopping would be someplace to eat. And as soon as Gramps found a decent looking diner, we went inside and ordered. When the waitress returned with our food, Gramps asked her a question.

“What’s today’s date? We’ve been in the Ozarks for a while and seem to have lost all track of time.”

“That’s quite understandable, and today is June 27th.”

After Gramps thanked her, she walked away and we began eating. A few minutes later, Gramps stopped to speak with us.

“It’s a good thing we didn’t stay out there any longer, because the flight crew is going to pick us up on the 29th.”

“Whoa, I guess we were cutting it close then,” Devin responded.

“Yes, and it appears as if my dad and I lost count of how long we’d been out there, because we both thought today was the 25th.”

“I’m not sure exactly where we screwed up,” Pops stated, “but I can think of two times when it might have happened. The first was after we encountered the other wolf pack, and I think it was because I was so focused on avoiding a confrontation with them. And then after they left, we ran for quite a long time to put some distance between us and I might have gotten confused as to what date it was after that. When I talked to Jacob about the date before we bedded down, we disagreed about it and I finally decided I might be confused, so I went with the date Jacob suggested.”

“I should have listened to you, but I thought I was right,” Gramps said with a hint of embarrassment in his tone.

“The other time we may have screwed up was when we were in the cave where part of it had collapsed. This time Jacob was consumed with trying to find a way through the rubble and I was so worried about his well being that we had another disagreement about the date when we stopped for the night. I felt Jacob merely got confused after being in that confined space for so long that I insisted I was correct, but obviously it appears that I was the one who was wrong that time. I suggest that in the future if we have a disagreement about the date we should play it safe and go with the date that comes later.”

“It worked out, though, and I’m just glad we haven’t missed our flight,” I pointed out.

“It wouldn’t have been a fatal error, but it definitely would have been an inconvenience. It may have even caused you and Devin to miss out on celebrating the holiday with your parents.”

“That wouldn’t have been good, because I kind of promised my mom and dad that I’d be back in time.”

“And now you’ll be able to keep your promise.”

Copyright © 2023 Bill W; All Rights Reserved.
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First, I'd like to thank all of you that have taken the time to read this chapter.  Please be kind enough to leave a comment or click on an emoji to let me know what you thought of this chapter.  It will help me with my future writing endeavors. 
I'd also like to thank my editors, Emoe57 and Donny Delk, for the countless hours they spend correcting my errors and adding constructive suggestions to making it better. 
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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