Have you been a naughty boy or girl? Be careful, because you know the story about Christmas coal! What? You think it isn’t true because you don’t know anyone who has ever had coal in their stocking before? Of course it is true! There is a reason why they never tell you about the coal and it isn’t a pleasant one.
The Christmas Krampus
Every year, around the Christmas Holiday, magical things always seem to happen. Some things are marvelous and joyful, like visits from Santa or a snowman coming alive. Many people say they can feel the Christmas magic in the air or around them.
Some things aren’t so joyful… Around Christmas every year, kidnappings, murder, and suicide rates go up drastically as well. Even when horrid things like this happen, people often feel, yet rarely do they admit, that they still feel a kind of Holiday magic behind it, although be it a dark magic.
One example comes from a Christmas demon known as the Krampus. The Krampus is well known in countries like Germany and Switzerland for taking naughty children in the dead of Christmas Eve night. Here is one such account:
December 6th, 2013
My name is Eli Rockford. I am currently seven years old as I write this. I confide in this journal something I can’t tell my family because they would never believe me.
I am often told that I am very smart for my age, because I say and do things that most kids my age don’t, but if I tell a strange story, no matter how hard I get them to believe me, my parents and siblings say it’s just my imagination. Today I looked out my window into the street by our house and saw a man who looked like a shadow with horns. His eyes glowed orange and seeing him scared me a lot. He was ringing a bunch of bells for something but I just tried to ignore him and sleep.
Then I heard a knock on the door. I went down to see who it was for mommy and daddy but when I got to the door, someone stuck a card through our mail slot and ran off really quickly. The card had a picture of a monster who had bull legs, a tail, and horns on a scary looking goat head that looked half-human. I was so scared that it was the thing in the street, but I don’t know what to do. I think I know what it is, but I hope I’m wrong,
I showed the card to my dad and he said it was Krampus. The bottom of the card said “Gröss von Krampus” Daddy says every year, Krampus punishes bad boys and girls on Christmas, but Santa gives good boys and girls toys. So now I’m not so scared. I always get toys on Christmas, so I must be a good kid. I still didn’t tell him about the thing on the street.
December 24th, 2013
My parents will be gone for most of tonight and Christmas morning tomorrow for some stupid work thing they both have. We usually have a Christmas at 6:00, but we have to wait for Mommy and Daddy to get home first.
Mom told Brad, my oldest brother, that we would have a babysitter because she didn’t trust him to watch all five of us by himself. Mom often let Brad watch us, but we had broke a lot of things the last couple times we were left alone, so mommy said she would get Rebecca to watch us.
Rebecca came to the house at 5, she was very pretty and Brad couldn’t stop staring at her. Mommy and Daddy left a couple minutes after Rebecca got here. This was the the first time Rebecca had watched six kids at the same time before, and I don’t think she knew what she was getting herself into. My youngest sister, Molly, who’s three, threw a tantrum after our parents left. Levi and Garret, my younger twin brothers who are both five, started fighting. Brad talked with Rebecca most of the night and Rachel spent most the night in her room. Mom and Dad said that we would still get Christmas gifts tomorrow, but we had to wait to open them until they got home. We made hot cocoa, but the cocoa maker is broke so the hot chocolate burned our mouths, and we all got candy canes too!
Rebecca started to put us to bed at 8 and finally succeeded at 9:30. Even though she was clearly exhausted and frustrated with us, she told us she had fun and that she wouldn’t have spent Christmas Eve any other way…
I awoke in the middle of the night at about 11 to see a crimson moon casting a dim, red glow on the winter snow. I looked out my bedroom window and saw a red object coming towards our house, fast. It was hard to make out, but it looked like a red sleigh being pulled by reindeer. I instantly recognized this as Santa’s sleigh and ran to hide on the stairs and waited for him to come down the chimney anxiously.
Out of the window to the right of our fireplace I saw the sleigh fly overhead and heard many hooves trotting on the roof. I made sure to remain perfectly still and silent as a mouse. I waited for what felt like an eternity while soft foot steps echoed on the roof above me, getting closer to the chimney. I heard scuffling as ash and dust started falling from the fireplace. Soon, two black boots landed, then the rest of jolly old St. Nick came through the fireplace with a bag of toys on his back. Without speaking a word, he went straight to our tree, he took gifts from his bag and scattered them under our lit-up, plastic evergreen then started on the milk and cookies we left for him. I felt that I had held my breath the entire time I was hiding on the stares.
I couldn’t believe I was spying on the real Santa Claus in my own home! Eventually, he made his way over to our stockings and started putting various knick-knacks and candies in our stockings starting with Molly. When he got to Levi, he took out a small, black rock and eyed it sadly before placing it in Levi’s stocking. It took me a second to realize that he gave Levi coal. I tried to stifle a laugh to the best of my abilities but a small squeak escaped my lips anyways. Santa turned around and scanned the room. I remained as still as ever. He turned back to the stockings, this time keeping his back to me, and put a piece of coal in Garrett’s stocking too. He put a candy cane in Brad’s stocking, along with a pocket knife. Rachel got a new phone and some kit-kats. Finally he moved to my stocking, which is always furthest to the right, even though I’m the middle child. He began rummaging through his sack as I leaned forward excitedly to see what presents I was getting.
Santa pulled out a large jet black piece of coal and stuffed it into my stocking. I felt a wave of anger, sadness, and regret all at once. I almost stood up right then to tell off the jolly old elf, but when he turned around I saw tears in his eyes. He looked as if he was filled with similar emotions as I was, like he didn’t like to have to give bad kids coal. It was for this reason, that I remained quiet as Santa climbed back up my chimney, got into his sleigh, and flew away. I watched out my downstairs window as the sleigh flew from the roof and into the black abyss of Christmas night.
I sat there, still in place for a very long time, pondering how I could be a better child next year when I spotted something out of the window again. It looked like the same figure I’d seen before, but this time, the sleigh looked as if it was black. I wrote this off as it was really dark outside, except for the moon’s red glow. I wondered why Santa would come back. Maybe he forgot something. Maybe he made a mistake. Maybe, I wasn’t naughty and he was on his way back right now to fix his mistake! My mind was racing from one thought to another as I began to hype myself up for all my possible Christmas presents. I’d stopped watching the window and had begun to daydream about the next morning, until hooves on the roof interrupted my thoughts. I heard loud, heavy clacking this time as he got closer to the chimney.
Ash began to fall down the chimney, creating an ashy cloud around the fireplace as what I assumed to be Santa began coming down and landed with a loud clash. My final thought before seeing what came next was “How has no one noticed all of this?” Through the cloud of thick, black ash protruded two large horns with stripes of red and white like those of a candy cane’s. As the dust settled, the rest of the figure was revealed.
His skin was a pale, icy looking blue. His beard was like Santa’s, except it was black and came to a point. His nose was long, and his face looked grizzled, but more human then I thought. His horns looked like they’d touch the ceiling if he jumped. His body looked human in shape, but animal in appearance. His legs were twisted and ended in hooves, like that of a cow/bull. He had a long tail. His torso was contorted and everything but his face and palms was covered in fur. He had broken chains around his wrists and what looked like a heavy, red Christmas ornament attached to his tail by another chain. His ears were pointed, and so were his yellow teeth. Despite his horrid, outlandish appearance, the most noticeable things about the creature were it’s bells that it wore, and the basket on it’s back that had the limp arm of a child hanging from it. The stories were true, and so is Krampus.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had seen sleighs go by, magic reindeer fly overhead, and had even seen Santa Claus himself, but none of that could have prepared me for the beast that is Krampus.
He moved around the room with such speed that I was caught off guard. This thing looked about 8 feet tall without it’s horns, and with them he towered over everything in our large home. He made his way to the fireplace and took the coal from Levi’s stocking. He rolled it around in his long, bony fingers for a moment, then took the coal from Garrett’s stocking, then finally mine. He studied the coal for a moment. A wide smile full of pointy, yellow teeth beamed across his face. “Naughty little children.” I heard it say in a cold, raspy voice. A shiver ran up my spine as he, it, spoke.
I was paralyzed in both fear and aw at the creature that roamed my living room beneath me. I thought he was moving towards the tree, but it walked passed it and started going down the hallway into… Into Levi and Garrett’s room. I remembered the things my father used to say about it, that he whips bad kids, takes them away, sometimes he eats them, sometimes he shakes them and scares them into being good. All these horrid thoughts and more danced through my head as the monster creeped into the twins’ room.
I tried to scream with all my might but no sound would escape my mouth. As I finally was able to choke out “Levi! Garrett!” Screams had already filled their room. Levi came running out of his room screaming his head off as Garrett followed suit. The creature’s long, twisted arm reached out from the room and grabbed Garrett’s leg, pulling him back into the room. I stood up from my spot on the stairs and motioned for Levi to come to me.
Garrett’s screams fell silent. The Krampus emerged from the room alone, his nose seemed shorter now, his face even more deformed now. I gripped Levi’s hand tightly and we ran for Brad’s room. I wailed on his door again and again, but he wouldn’t come out. I would have tried harder to get his attention, but I could hear it coming up the stairs as each hoof hit each step. I took Levi to the the laundry room and told him to hide in the laundry shoot. Once he was inside I began lowering the laundry hamper so he could get downstairs without confronting the monster. Before he was lowered out of sight, I told Levi to go start the hot cocoa maker, because I had a plan. He nodded, and once he got to the bottom, I felt the hamper get lighter as he climbed out. I heard the hooved foot steps getting louder and closer to the laundry room. I began pulling the laundry hamper up and climbed in just as the door was violently flung open, despite the locks on it.
The beast licked his lips with his long, skinny tongue as he slowly approached my trembling body inside the hamper. I began to bounce myself and rock the hamper as Krampus got closer and closer. The hamper wouldn’t fall no matter how hard I rocked it, and the creature was nearly upon me. I felt it’s breath on me as it excitedly panted, getting further. I expected it’s breath to be hot like that of a dog’s, but instead it felt like the coldest winter chill caressing my skin.
I shook the whole hamper as savagely as I could before it finally budged. The hamper fell and before I knew it I was on the first floor. I crawled out of the shoot and ran to the kitchen as the demon rampaged upstairs. As I came into the kitchen, I noticed no signs of my little brother, but I did see that the hot cocoa maker was on. The stomping of the creature upstairs continued but didn’t seem to be near the stairs so I focused on finding Levi. He wasn’t hiding in any cabinets, and he wasn’t anywhere in the living room. I decided that he might be in his room, so I quietly creeped to it slowly, but steadily. The twins’ room was trashed entirely, and Levi wasn’t there. There was blood on the wall. I shudder to think that it once belonged to my baby brother. A small, bloody hand print was smeared on the wall by the door. Dread was all that I could feel in that moment. Dread for misbehaving all year. Dread for what had become of my little brother. And dread for the silence that fell in place of hooves stomping around upstairs.
I quickly and silently made my way back to the kitchen and took out a large coffee pitcher of scolding hot cocoa. As I kept out of the kitchen into the living room, I had a ominous feeling of dread as if I were being watched. I could barely see in the dark of the night and I couldn’t locate our light switches, the only source of light I had was the dim, eerie glow of the lights from the Christmas tree. As I scanned all entrances to the dining room, something moving caught my eye. The chandelier had began to start swinging as if something had bumped it or hit it. There was soft thudding that accompanied the squeaking of the rocking corona. As I looked around to make out another vague shape in the glow Christmas lights, I saw what bumped the chandelier.
The monster was crawling on my ceiling like a large, twisted spider. His arms were bent in excruciating looking ways to grip the ceiling and watch me with his eyes that burn like fire. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs at the very sight of it, but instead I held my ground. A cruel smile spread across the face of the predator who was stalking me. He undug his fingers from the ceiling and landed on the floor in front of me with a thunderous crash, mere inches away from me. This was his mistake.
I threw the entire pitcher of burning hot cocoa on his face and the beast immediately started writhing in agony. He covered his hands over his quickly blistering face. He took his hands off of his face just as it began to melt and peal off, the bits of flesh and blood melting away to reveal his horrible skull with it’s eyes still in their sockets. It froze for a while, and for a brief moment, I was happily assured and content that the Krampus was dead. But then it only started cackling an awful and disturbingly malevolent laugh. It pierced my ears like knives and over loomed over me to instill as much fear as it could.
It was working. Before my very eyes the muscles around the creatures skull started to grow back and in seconds it’s new face had formed. It looked more like a goat with pointy teeth than a human, but you could still partially see it in there. It’s beard was still as long as before, but now it looked almost out of place on the demonic beast’s head. I turned and ran behind the Christmas tree, avoiding the abomination’s lanky arms as I ran by.
The Krampus immediately started coming towards the tree intent on harming me. I push the large plastic evergreen on the monster and ran back upstairs to find my little brother. I wailed on my other siblings’ doors, but no one would wake up no matter how hard I pounded on their doors. Everyone locks the doors to their rooms when we go to sleep so we’re not bothered, but the doors are also heavy and not much sound get through them. I began to shout for Levi as loud as I could hoping he’d respond.
Then Levi appeared at the top of the stares. We stared at each other, he looked terrified and sad. I started to walk towards him, when suddenly my baby brother was impaled by the Krampus’s horns. His body was thrusted up and thrashed around by the savage creature as he convulsed and shook spastically on it’s horns. I’ve seen people die on T.V. before, but watching it in real life is entirely different, no one should have to go through it. My brother didn’t deserve that, no one deserves that. Santa and Christmas are about love and cheer. Krampus made Christmas about hatred and retribution. I watched helplessly while the thing ripped my brother’s shaking body from it’s horns, and dropped his lifeless body into the basket on his back.
The demon began to strut towards me with malicious intentions, so I ducked into mom and dad’s empty room and opened the top right drawer in my dad’s dresser. I wasn’t tall enough to see what I was reaching for, but when I felt it, I pulled out my dad’s pistol. I opened the other dresser, and had put two bullets in the pistol by the time the creature burst open the door. I shot it twice and hit it both times, but it was unfazed by the bullets. The loud noise clearly hurt both our ears, and as the monster clawed at it’s ears while screaming in pain, I began to quickly crawl towards the window until something long, thin, tight, and slimy gripped my right leg and began pulling me back. I looked behind me to my terror to see the Krampus was using it’s incredibly long tongue to pull me to it’s mouth full of sharp, jagged teeth.
I began to breath in and out quicker and quicker, and began panicking as my foot got closer to it’s mouth. I lifted my left leg and kicked it in the face twice before it’s tongue finally loosened. Before I could breath Krampus picked me up and began shaking me wildly. I kicked him a second time, this time with my right foot, and he flung me into the hallway where I began limping away.
I had reached the end of the hallway when I heard a loud popping crack sound, moments before feeling a sharp sting all across my back. I looked back and saw that the holiday devil had whipped me with a whip like a lion tamer would use. I felt the warm ooze onto my back as new pain started setting in. I started to limp away to safety when I was picked up by Krampus again. His long, cold fingers wrapped around my back and stung my cut even worse. He looked at me, right in the eye, before lifting me behind him and dropping me into the birch basket on his back.
On the outside of the basket, it looks like it could only fit a couple kids inside, but the inside was massive. I fell into a mountain of bodies. There were hundreds or thousands of kids in that one basket, piled on each other, not all alive. Where you couldn’t see other kids which made up the trembling ground, you saw only darkness. No sounds could be heard from inside, or outside really, either. Kids would scream, mutter, shout until their throats clearly hurt, but no sounds came from their mouths. Every time I thought the situation couldn’t get any worse, it got way worse. I waited what felt like millennia to escape, as new kids would fall in and join the confusion to show how much time passed.
Eventually, the Krampus reached into the basket and began to pull out another child. His arm became larger as he reached in the basket and stretched out to a panicked girl. I grabbed onto her leg, and let myself be carried to salvation. When we were pulled from the basket, I let go of the kid and fell behind Krampus. He didn’t notice I escaped, he was to focused on the girl. He looked at the small girl for a second before biting into her flesh with his large sharp, teeth. I never knew the kid’s name before the creature devoured her, but I owe her my life for helping me escape. I backed away slowly from behind as Krampus feasted on my fellow child at it’s dinner table. I had no idea where I was now, but it was dark and it was cold. I think it’s where the creature lives. After the monster was finished eating, he picked up a small wooden box, opened the top, and spat something that glowed a bright green into it. He then took the box over to a rusted doofus that he opened, entered, than left a few minutes later without the box. He then left the room, leaving the child’s remains on a large platter and a rusty door to my curiosity.
I opened the door to see dozens of more wooden boxes. I also saw many creepy looking porcelain dolls and other creepy toys. The door behind me closed and I was emerged in total darkness. I got out my phone and used it to barely light my way. I walked past a jack in the box with a scary face, I walked past a baby doll that looked withered and old. I found a sac doll that looked like a creepy rotting skeleton too. I thought it was like Santa’s rejected toy shop until I found the word “MISFITS” smeared in red paint next to a clown with a skull for a head, blue eyes in it’s sockets and big fleshy hands. I was terrified someone else was caught in that room before. When I got closer to the clown, it jumped towards me and yelled “Wanna play?” I got really scared and jumped back as the clown let out a scary laugh.
I heard scurrying and tiny footsteps of other toys from all around. I started catching the dolls and ginger bread men turning their heads as I ran along the walls trying to relocate the door. I found another message on the wall: “Why can’t we die?” was scratched into the wall by something. I wanted nothing more than for this night to end.
When I located the door, I bolted for it as soon as I saw it, but was tripped by a toy soldier with realistic burns on half of his face. I kicked the tiny hunk of plastic away and moved closer to the door when a deformed baby doll bit appeared from the darkness and sank her teeth into my leg. I felt a surge of pain and fell to the ground. I furiously punched the doll’s head repeatedly until it unlocked it’s tiny teeth from my flesh. The porcelain atrocity scurried off as other terrible toys danced around me in the darkness. More and more of them kept popping up and coming out of…. Out of the boxes like the one Krampus spat the glowing thing into. The the toys began muttering words, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. The muttering got louder and louder until I understood some of their words. “Feel our pain.” “He killed us, but not entirely” “He gobbled me up and spat my soul into a puppet.” “Kill us.” “Let us die”
The things they said were terribly dreadful to say the least. I got up and started to make my way to the door as the dolls chanted more obscene things yo me. “We’re gonna eat you alive like he ate us!” “I’m gonna rip out your eyes!” Although they continued to chant none of them came towards me again as I moved around the dark room. I saw a small toy skeleton in Santa’s clothes with a beard move by. A puppet with many nails sticking out of it’s wooden head was strung up to the ceiling, moving and wresting with its strings.
I spotted a stool that was pulled up to a work bench with tools and a teddy bear on it. The teddy bear had real bear claws sticking from his paws and real human teeth in its mouth. I reasoned that this was Krampus’s demented toy shop and decided to leave before it was to late. I walked past the bench to the door, and started pulling on the rusty metal handle. The door was extremely heavy, but slowly budged and started opening as I pulled back with all my might. Light began to bathe the room and the misfit toys dashed to the shadows to avoid the light. I ran from the dark room, closed the door behind me, and leaned on it for a while to catch my bearings. I looked around at the only other room in this place that was familiar to me. I went by the long table the monster ate the nameless girl at, trying not to think about it. Trying to think of something, anything to distract me from the horrors I have bared witness to on the most unsuspecting and happiest time of year.
I walked to an open door and poked only half my head out to scan the perimeter of the room. It lead to a large room that had various whips, saws, and various other torture devices. I kept in and kept to the wall. I spotted three dark wooden doors amongst the darkness and concrete walls. I also found a window, and the snow outside was falling so slowly. So peacefully. Two doors were on one large wall, opposite of the window, and the other was on the wall to the right of the window. I first tried on one of the doors on the long wall, but had decided beforehand to go to the door right of the window thinking it would lead me closer to a door out or something. The walls were lined with racks, and racks were lined with hellish masks. Some had horns, some had long serpent tongues sticking out, some had teeth, some had patches of skin, some had antlers, one was a wired skull with antlers and the antlers had lit candles on them. It was so strange. The room was so large, the other door led to the same room. I left with out moving the door in fear that closing the heavy door would create noise and would lead the creature to me.
I walked along side the wall to avoid the equipment, straight to the only door I had left. I opened the door slowly and with caution. The first thing in the room I noticed was a strange tree, that looked like an upside down, purple Christmas tree. The trunk in was on the bottom, but the pines and branches looked upside down. The tree was decorated with red and green lights, and… Small bones.
There was another window in this room, but it was on the same side as the last. There was an open doorway that led to a hallway that T’d off and two signs labeled the directions. The right one said “Surveillance Room” and the left one said “Stables.” I went to the stables thinking I might be able to find a reindeer to fly out of that place with. It seems like a silly plan now in hindsight. I opened the stable door and awful smells invaded my nostrils immediately. There was frost on the floor as well.
There were 8 stables lined up along the wall to the right, each with demonic reindeer heads sticking out. Below each head was the doors to each stall, each with pendants of names on them. I read the names out loud as I started down the row. Each deer was grotesque in their own right. One or two had exposed skulls. Each had jagged teeth, some had manes and others had dried blood on their fur. Seven of their eyes glowed red. “Slasher…” I said as I passed the first one. “Wrathful… Gorgon… Putrid… Cyclops…” Cyclops was missing one fiery eye. “Rabies… Goner…” The last monstrous reindeer looked like a hellish Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. His head held flames that danced from its gnarled snout to the back of its mane. Between its sharpened, bloody antlers furiously flickered bolts of electricity.
I decided riding one was out of the question and began searching for an exit. I realized the only door to the room was the one I came from. I looked all over the room looking for some other way out and saw the reason for the cold. The top crease and upper part of one wall was missing and led outside. It was far too high to reach. I left the stable room and went into the surveillance room. The handle felt icy cold as I slowly opened the door. The room like all the rest, was large. One wall was covered with monitors. The bottom, middle monitor stuck out more than the rest and had a keyboard below it. A chair was also pulled up to it. Each screen had various kids on it, some in dreadful conditions, others minding their own business. No sound came from the monitors, but I started to notice I was hearing a ticking noise. A clock above the door I came in read “5:45” Christmas Day didn’t start at my house until six o’clock. The wall opposite of the monitors had many names scratched into it. I wondered if the dead girl’s name was scratched into the wall.
A door that read “EXIT” was to the right of the monitors, but the computer said “Search Name.”
I sat in the large chair and typed in “Garret Rockford.” A nutcracker that had two bodies attached from the sides of it’s head popped up. Each body seemed to be trying to yank away from the other. Its face looked like it was in pain, and it had the same color of eyes as Levi…. And Garrett.
I looked up “Levi Rockford” and the same thing popped up. I sat frozen in aw for a moment. Tears filled my eyes and ran down my cheeks. The ticking of the clock seemed to turn into clopping as I sobbed. I was crying more than I ever cried before. I cried so hard I’d began hearing a ringing. Than the chair I was in was spun around and I was face to face with Krampus.
He looked menacing and insidiously sinister. His horns were partly covered in blood, his long fingers looked sharp, and his eyes burned like never before. He waved his long, sharp, bony finger at me and tsk’d. “Naughty, naughty.” He said cruelly and mockingly. He licked my face with his incredibly long tongue, than began to wrap it around my throat. He started constricting his tongue and choked me. I was gurgling and coughing and struggling did close to nothing. I started feeling weaker and weaker as my head heated up my lungs screamed for air. My vision even started to become blurred. Then I knew if I didn’t do something quickly, I was going to die.
I punched him in the face with all my might and knocked him back for only a brief moment as his tongue recoiled into his mouth, I utilized my time and ran toward the exit. I felt the ground shake directly behind me as heavy hooves shook the floor violently in their wake. I felt the creature’s cool breath on the back of my neck. I pushed the door open and ran into the freezing cold as my pursuer followed suit. I ran until I was knee deep in snow, until a lanky hand gripped me and started dragging me back. The dark sky slowly lit as the sun started to emerge from the bottom horizon.
The Krampus stopped dragging me. He dropped me and stared briefly at the rising sun. “I’ll come get you again.” He said as he dropped my leg and retreated to his lair as I lay in the snow. A silhouetted figure came from a distance. I closed my eyes for what felt like seconds, but when I opened my eyes, the sun was higher in the sky, and the figure was closer. I could make out that he was wearing red, than I passed out again.
I opened my eyes to see an outstretched hand with a black mitten on it. It belonged to A fat, bearded man with a silly hat. “S-Santa?” I inquired.
“Ssshhh, child,” he said in a soft soothing voice. “let’s take you home.”
The next thing I remember was waking up in my bed at home. Levi and Garret were “kidnapped” in the middle of the night, I found out from Rebecca, Brad, and Molly who already told our parents and the cops. I tried to tell them what really happened but no one believed me, they only got mad when I tried to explain it to them. So I gave up on trying to tell them. That’s how I spent MY Christmas.
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