Stars Over Llorleya- Chapter 23

Fiction By Anna // 1/1/2009

Chapter the Twenty-third

Two young people sat on a bench under a large oak tree. One was a small maiden with long, soft light brown hair, the other a young man, also with brown hair.
Wynd walked up to them, Gilligan hanging behind. He still had no idea where they were or why.
"Excuse me," said Wynd pleasantly. "Do you know the way to Goodwife’s cottage?"
The girl jumped a very little, but the man stood and smiled. "Yes, I know the way. I’m living there, actually- related."
Wynd called back excitedly to Gilligan. "Come on, Gill; he knows the way!"
"I’m Dominic," said the man as Gill approached. "This is my fiancée, Taylee."
Taylee smiled shyly.
Wynd, having heard Aria’s tale, knew of both Taylee and Dominic- but she had had no inkling of their engagement. (How could she? After all, last thing she knew he had been courting Aria.) So she was naturally very surprised and curious, but hid it well. "I’m so happy for you!"
Actually, the story of their engagement is very interesting, but it doesn’t have much to do with our tale. But I’ll just say that after Aria left, Dominic met Taylee. And after a series of very long and complicated events, they fell in love (for real; he didn’t just think he was in love). Thus, their engagement.
"I’m Willow," said Wynd, thinking quickly for an alias.
Gilligan caught up as well. "I’m Gilbert."
(Give them a break; it was the best they could think up on short notice.)
Dominic stuck out his hand. Gilligan shook it. "Nice to meet you," he said.

A slender woman, blonde-haired and brown-eyed, with a pitcher of water in one hand and a wash rag in the other, opened the door. Seeing Wynd and Gilligan, she sprang back in surprise, almost dropping the pitcher, and dropping the towel.
"I’m sorry," said Gilligan, picking up the towel and handing it to her.
"Oh, it’s nothing," said the woman, flustered. "I just wasn’t expecting company- the house is a wreck-"
"It’s my fault, Abby," apologized Dominic quickly. "They asked for Goodwife’s cottage. I just-"
"I’m going to be six soon!" announced a proud little voice from about half Gill’s height.
"Not until spring, dearest," said Abby, whirling around the room, straightening things.
"I’m Aiden," said Aiden with a grin. He pretended to drive Dominic away with an invisible sword. "Shall we play Swordfighting, Dom?"
Gilligan grinned back. Aiden reminded him of himself.
"…Gilbert and Willow," Dominic was saying, ignoring his cousin.
"We’re passing through," Wynd said.
"Oh. From where?" asked Abby.
Wynd and Gilligan exchanged glances. They hadn’t thought that far.
"Er, west. Northwest. Northwest Llor," said Gilligan, hoping neither Abby nor Dominic knew anything about that part of Llorleya (because he certainly didn’t).
"How interesting," said Abby. "Is it beautiful there?"
"Very," intervened Wynd, who had actually been there. "There’s a beautiful mountain I used to visit all the time…"
Abby smiled. "It sounds wonderful. Well, I’m Abby; Aiden has already introduced himself."
"Come on, Dom!" cried Aiden, who still wanted to play. "Pleeeease!"
Dominic smiled wryly. "Please excuse me. It appears I have a goblin to defeat."
"You’re the goblin, silly," said Aiden as they left. Taylee, with a shy goodbye, left as well.
Abby seated them at the dining table. "I’m sorry I’m so unprepared. Peter- my husband- is gone at the moment, and Goodwife is napping…"
There was an uncomfortable silence, the kind between new acquaintances.
Then Abby really did it. "Are you two married?" she asked.
Wynd’s wings almost shot up despite the cloak. "We most certainly are not!" she cried indignantly.
Gilligan was laughing. "I’m sorry," he said. "I’m not laughing… at you… The thought just… hadn’t ever occurred to us."
Wynd almost said aloud that they were entirely different races, but caught herself in time.
Just then, Peter walked in. Introductions were made again. And yet again when Goodwife awoke just moments later. Then someone- I’m not sure who- asked, "What’s your business in Mid-Llor?"
Wynd spoke first. "It won’t make much sense, but we’ll tell you." She hesitated. She had planned to say this all along, but suddenly it seemed more complicated. "I believe you once adopted a girl who called herself Arianna?"
Gilligan started. He was the only one to whom this was new information.
"Yes," said Goodwife.
"Have you had news of her?" cried Abby eagerly. "We’ve had no word for almost a year."
"You have no idea," murmured Wynd. She proceeded to tell a tale you have heard before, and Gilligan joined in with his part when he had recovered his presence of mind.
They told their true names. They told "Arianna’s". They told the whole story of Aria becoming Arianna; then Aria once more. And the told how she, the rightful ruler, was returning to take Llorleya. And they, Wynd and Gilligan, were spreading the word from house to house, raising her an army.

Abby sat with her hands clasped over her open mouth, trying to digest the information. Peter punctuated the tale with loud "What?!"s- He didn’t seem to believe it. But Goodwife, after the initial shock, just sat there with a small smile. "I always thought our girl was special," she said.
**
Under the palely flushed, the morning was any thing but calm. Elves, stars, and Men busied themselves beneath the sky.
It was early autumn. Aria and her company of warriors had traveled farther into Llorleya. They had come to only one town so near the coast; and, not being able to be unseen, decided to announce themselves. "Queen Aria has come to Llorleya!" the heralds shouted. (Some inconsistency had begun in regard to Aria’s title- it wavered now between Princess and Queen. Since Aria had not been crowned yet, she was technically still only a princess, but the elves were little concerned with technicalities such as that.)
Aria had been slightly hesitant about this course of action- certainly someone in the city would bring news to Torlith. Maybe he would even have soldiers camped there.
Thankfully, he didn’t, and though there was a whole lot of explaining to do, the town had supported their queen quite faithfully. So now a group of Men had joined the elves and stars for war, and they continued to move inland. Today they had stopped and made a temporary camp.
And Aria was somewhere within that working mass, trying to be useful without quite knowing how.
"I need to see the princess!" cried a masculine voice.
From somewhere in the crowd, Aria’s head shot up. She couldn’t see the man properly, or even really hear him well, and she supposed he couldn’t see her, so she raised her hand. (She might have flown to him, but she knew flying disconcerted some Llorleyans, much to her regret.) "I’m over here!" she called loudly. "I’ll try to make my way through the crowd!" she cried again, heading for the thinnest grouping, hand still raised. She wondered vaguely if there was any bad news, and hoped there wasn’t.
A figure pushed his way through the crowd toward her. As Aria made it to the outskirts, she began to see him coming, and when she did, nothing else could hold her attention.
He had longish red-brown hair, and a bit of stubble on his face. He looked a bit gaunt and tired, and the boyishness in his eyes was tempered with manhood and sorrow, as thought he had gone through something that might have quenched a lesser man. But despite all this, it took Aria less than a split second to recognize him.
"Gilligan," she whispered. She felt for a moment that her legs would give out, but instead she ran into his arms.
She stood there in his embrace, trembling with excitement. They said each other’s names over and over again, and never tired of the sound.
"I thought you fell off the face of the earth," said Gilligan.
"In a way, I did," said Aria, crying, "But I’m back. I’m back."
It was a beautiful, tearful reunion, fairer than pen can do justice to; and could I record the words, they would not be as sweet as then when first released.
Somewhere within that conversation Gilligan found out that Aria was not blind, and Aria found out that Gilligan was traveling with Wynd, but had gone ahead of her. In the meantime elves and stars had noticed what was going on, and with wondering whispers asked each other who the young man was. I think that’s when Rayne, Loth, and the stars (particularly Raphael) actually dared to approach and ask. And Aria’s delighted cry rang in their ears: "It’s Gilligan!"
(Of course there were those who had no idea who Gilligan was; but Rayne, Loth, and the stars were not these, and eventually those who did not know found out.)
That’s when Wynd came up.
Wynd was dazzlingly radiant as she ran up to Aria, blue cloak streaming out behind her, black hair shining, blue eyes rapt. She hugged the princess fondly. "I knew you’d save Llorleya! I just knew it!" she cried.
"Wow," whispered Raphael, looking at the fairy. To his immediate relief, no one heard him.
Then Wynd saw Rayne- and you can’t possibly imagine her joy at the sight!
But Aria was looking past Wynd, past the group gathering around the reunited friends. She was looking at the following of assorted Llorleyans that had walked up behind the fairy, armed and ready for instruction. She was still gaping and sorting out what this could mean when Wynd laughed, saying, "Princess- we give you the offer of an army!"
**********
Well, you can imagine what happened. The elves- Loth in particular- rapidly took charge of the Llorleyans. And when they had finally been organized, Loth went back to join Aria, who, along with the other seven stars and Rayne, were talking to Gilligan and Wynd. Gilligan had begun the narrative, and when Loth interrupted the conversation, he had already recounted how he had been arrested. Loth was quickly caught up with the particulars, but instead of Gilligan resuming his tale, Aria had a question.
"Why didn’t you try to escape?"
"Well, Aria, I’ll confess the idea entered my head. But having been a knight, on the other side of the bars, I knew that escape was impossible." He snorted. "If there’s one thing Torlith’s taken care of in Llorleya, it’s the dungeons. Completely escape-proof. I suppose generations of paranoid kings helped, as well."
Gilligan did not describe the dungeons for Aria, but they were terrible. Not that the conditions themselves were so bad; it wasn’t dripping from the ceiling, or rat-infested (at least, not terribly rat-infested), but it was cold, windowless. Dark.
"So how did you escape?" asked Aria, assuming he must have- after all, there he was.
Gilligan held up his hand. "I’ll get to that presently.
"So while I was rotting away in the dungeons, I was sure that Torlith had forgotten me. I was surprised that this beard" -he scratched his chin- "wasn’t down to my waist already. But I suppose the tyrant hadn’t, or at least not entirely, because one day months later I was most rudely informed that I was going to be hanged."
"You speak of it so lightly," said Aria with a shudder. She threw her arms around him as though protecting him from it ever happening again.
"It wasn’t always that way," said Gill, his voice faraway, causing Aria to look at his face quickly, with concern.
Truth was, lightly was the only way Gilligan could speak of it. Because to speak of the actual terrors he had endured any other way would have been too horrible.
Who knows what the lone knight went through in that windowless cell; what pain he bore? Not only the physical torture that had been inflicted- the struggle was mental as well. Hours upon hours alone with only the means and strength for thought- thinking about his fate… Aria’s… Llorleya’s. The agony had been terrible. And he never wanted to give it his full, serious attention again.
Then he started to retell the hanging.
Suddenly the breath left Aria’s lungs. Her eyes began to heat up with a familiar flame, and soon they were on fire, blazing, unquenchable.
She could feel time itself unraveling, pulling her in every direction at once until she threatened to tear apart. Then she stopped and went limp in a heap, alone in a pool of nothingness.
A corner of her vision began to light up, slowly spreading. And she saw terrible things, increasingly desperate and horrible as more was revealed.
She saw a crowd. Some jeering, some with eyes full of horror. She saw a gallows. She saw Torlith.
This time it was all painfully clear.
And then, a sight that broke her heart beyond deepest words or abundance of tears.
She cried out.
But nothing she could do would stop this vision, this apparition of her loved one about to he killed.
Then, silver light. A flutter of wings. A familiar, yet unfamiliar figure, lifting Gilligan away. Wynd. Safety.
Then Aria was back. She could breathe. She was in the present, not the past, and her vision was gone.
Still she was crying as she crumpled against Gilligan’s chest. "Don’t say anymore," she sobbed. "I know… I know what happened at the gallows. I know how you escaped." When she had recovered from the shock sufficiently, she thanked Wynd profusely. "I’m certain Gilligan would be dead now if it weren’t for you."
Wynd smiled bashfully, blushing. "Well, you sent me the vision," she said modestly.
"Yes, but you acted upon it, when I was helpless."
Gilligan watched this exchange patiently, his hands on Aria’s shoulders. Wynd related the rest of their tale, including the destruction of her castle. The fairy’s voice wavered, and as Aria had already been disposed towards tears, she cried with her. Then, the building of the army- which prompted more of Aria’s thanks, and yet more tears (this time, of joy). Finally, their doings caught up with and complete, Gilligan said, "Come, Aria- tell me your story now.
Well, that was going to be much longer, because she had to start back with the ambush almost six years ago. That is quite a lot of backstory, you know. But as you have been told this story already (or rather, are reading it now), I feel no inclinations to write it all down again. (That would just be silly.)
Aria got as far as when she had arrived in the Elf Havens when she interrupted herself with this question. "Gilligan, do you understand now why I could not marry you?" It was a simple question, but said with a depth of pleading.
"Of course I do," said Gilligan. "But, Aria, you should have told me. I never would betray you."
"I could never have put you in such danger," declared Aria. "But- oh- Gilligan, I do love you. So very much."
"Then marry me," he asked. "Now I know everything. What more stands between us?"
The words jarred Aria back into the present. "Not quite everything, Gilligan." She sighed, but it was almost another sob. How could she possibly tell him? "My story- it wasn’t quite over yet." She took a deep breath. "I’m… I’m a star."

First Aria recounted most of what Loth had told her about stars, though she tried to be less enigmatic about it. Then she went on to her grandfather, then her mother, then herself. After disclosing this crucial information, she finished the story with the coming of the seven stars and the voyage across the sea. Gilligan remained silent through all this, and his expression was one that is hard to put into words.
Finally she finished. "That’s all," she whispered faintly.
Gilligan finally looked up at her. His gaze has steady and serious, his hazel eyes intense with thought. He was looking at Aria through new eyes, looking at her as a star. And as he did, Aria turned her face away, as though in pain.
"Gilligan, does what I just told you change anything?" she said, heart almost breaking.
Gilligan sighed. "I was just thinking… that there may be problems with our love that we do not yet foresee."
They were both silent for a moment. Aria had begun to realize what he meant when Gilligan spoke. "Aria," he said, and she looked up. "I’ve lost you so many times. And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it never happens again. But just in case- No, in any case- I must speak now. Aria, I love you, and I always will, whether you are Arianna the Singer or the Princess Aria or Starprincess Aria. I love the girl you were and I love the woman you’ve become. Perhaps you say it’s impossible, but I’ve loved you since you were thirteen and I’ve stayed in love till now. Will you marry me?"
Aria’s throat gave a strangled noise. There were so many emotions crashing inside her. She had only just thought of all the problems this would bring up. But somehow, in that moment of confusion, it didn’t matter anymore. Gilligan had asked her to marry him, and everything else that might ruin it could wait. She cried, laughing and weeping both, "Yes! Yes, yes, yes!" She couldn’t say it enough. And as soon as his lips left hers, the most glorious starsong flew out of Aria’s heart and into her throat, and she began to sing.

Comments

That was great! It was

That was great! It was wonderful, nothing was cheesy or cliche. :)
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"You're pirates! Hang the code, and hang the rules! They're more like guidelines anyway"
-Elizabeth Swan//Pirates of the Caribbean//Curse of the Black Pearl

Sarah | Thu, 01/01/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

YES!!!!!!!

BEAUTIFUL!!! It's so BEAUTIFUL!!! I've been waiting for this moment for ages!!! Finally!!!! Thank you, Anna!!!!
You have made my New Year!!!
(Oh. Wow. I guess I've gotta start working on that epic poem... what have I gotten myself into?! Oh, well...)
YES!!!!!!!

James | Fri, 01/02/2009

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

That was awesome.

That was awesome. :)
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"Elves and Dragons! Cabbages and potatoes are better for me and you. Don't go getting mixed up in the business of your betters, or you'll land in trouble too big for you." — Hamfast Gamgee (the Gaffer)

Clare Marie | Fri, 01/02/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

YEAH! I am always sooooo

YEAH! I am always sooooo excited whenever a new chapter comes out. :)
><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><
"You're pirates! Hang the code, and hang the rules! They're more like guidelines anyway"
-Elizabeth Swan//Pirates of the Caribbean//Curse of the Black Pearl

Sarah | Fri, 01/02/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

Thanks!

Thanks!

James: What have you gotten yourself into, I wonder? :)
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Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can do it well. -Bruce Hays

Anna | Fri, 01/02/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

;- )

Looks as if you have reached the near end of your story Anna. I'll be here to cry at the end I assure you :/ You've done an awesome job.

Write on ;-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I'm a dishonest man, and a dishonest man you can always count on being dishonest, It's the honest ones you have to watch"
-Jack Sparrow

marie (not verified) | Mon, 01/05/2009

hmmm

at the end? I wish. :)
*************************************************
Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can do it well. -Bruce Hays

Anna | Mon, 01/05/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

nice...

nice chapter! I am glad that you are not near the end of your story...the exciting part has just began! (i would be drepressed if you ended it now...)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I told you to eat Cornflakes for breakfast, not The Golden Rod!" Chico/Marc Brothers/

Bernadette | Mon, 01/05/2009

:0D

Yay!!!!
Good for Gilligan to get up enough courage to ask Aria to marry him!
"So many emotions crashing inside her...Gilligan had asked her to marry him, and everything else that might ruin it could wait..."
Good lines, and it describes such a scene perfectly!
You did a good job with this chapter, Anna, I can see why you liked writing it.
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The leprechauns made me do it!!

Heather | Thu, 01/08/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

yaaayyy!

Oooohhh! I am happy! I've been reading this story almost non-stop for the post day or two and now I'm caught up with everyone else.
THEY'RE ENGAGED! Oh my muffins! I am going to jump up and down with excitement! Fantastic chapter! It's like a big family reunion. Too bad Josh isn't there. :( But he sort of needs to stay dead, since everyone else has managed to live.
~~~^@
Katie:-)

"We never need to be economical in our imaginations, thank heaven."
-Anne Blythe, "Anne of Ingleside"

KatieSara | Fri, 01/16/2009

Katie:-)

"Are all humans like this? So much bigger on the inside?"
-Idris/TARDIS

Well, not quite everyone

Well, not quite everyone else. Becky's still dead as well as her uncle and aunt. :)
><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><
"You're pirates! Hang the code, and hang the rules! They're more like guidelines anyway"
-Elizabeth Swan//Pirates of the Caribbean//Curse of the Black Pearl

Sarah | Sat, 01/17/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

true.... but I think Rayne

true.... but I think Rayne misses Josh more than Aria misses her aunt and uncle and Becky. I do pity Becky though. Poor girl. :(

~~~^@
Katie:-)

"We never need to be economical in our imaginations, thank heaven."
-Anne Blythe, "Anne of Ingleside"

KatieSara | Sat, 01/17/2009

Katie:-)

"Are all humans like this? So much bigger on the inside?"
-Idris/TARDIS

I don't think it's really

I don't think it's really fair to say that Aria doesn't miss Marcus and Eirae. It's just that she's had a "family" to help her, and Rayne hasn't until more recently.
*************************************************
He who is near to his Captain is sure to be a target for the archers.
-Amy Carmichael

Anna | Sun, 01/18/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

....

Okay, It's taken me a long time (because I have a hard time focusing) but I've finally read it all. You are such a good writer. Where do you come up with all this stuff? You just keep writing and writng. When I try to write an on-going story, I run out of ideas after the first chapter. My mom was so empressed when I told her the you had 23 long chapters done at 13.

Anyway, I love the mental picture of Gilligan hugging Aria. I think for me, it will mean almost as much, if not more, when "The Guy" hugs me, than kisses me. Like in Little Women (movie) when Lory (is that how you spell his name?) hugs Joe after telling her that he has sent for the mother (good grief, me and my run on sentences).

This is just a thought that came to me: will Raphael and Rayne get together? That just came to me when I read certain parts.

Great job! I like it a lot. When is the next chapter?

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” Audrey Hepburn

The Brit | Tue, 01/20/2009

LOL

I think its going to be Raphael and Wynd getting together.
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The leprechauns made me do it!!

Heather | Wed, 01/21/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

?

One more thing, how do you make the side notes? Teach me, instruct this technologically unadventures dunst.

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” Audrey Hepburn

The Brit | Wed, 01/21/2009

Congratulations Brit! You

Congratulations Brit! You have successfully picked out a theme I hoped had not occurred to anyone! (But just because I say that doesn't mean it's true.)
:D
For side notes, when you post, under the post box there are three things in orange. The second one says "side content". You click that and there you are. :)
*************************************************
He who is near to his Captain is sure to be a target for the archers.
-Amy Carmichael

Anna | Wed, 01/21/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

I couldn't find the three

I couldn't find the three thingys, just two. So I'm thinking that maybe it's just a writer's thing. I don't know though. Oh well.

On the Rayne thing...I'm just so smart (ha ha). Sorry that I gave it away though. I hope it doesn't ruin it for people.

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” Audrey Hepburn

The Brit | Thu, 01/22/2009

Hmm. Maybe it is just a

Hmm. Maybe it is just a Monthlies thing.

Well, I didn't say you were right, just that I hoped no one noticed. ;)
*************************************************
He who is near to his Captain is sure to be a target for the archers.
-Amy Carmichael

Anna | Fri, 01/23/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

YAY!

I am soooooooooo glad that he proposed! I hope nothing else devastating will happen.:( Well, hopfully nothing else will and in the end they will all live..."Happily ever after!"

Kendra | Tue, 03/17/2009

<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\
"Are you sure this water is sanitary? It looks questionable to me! But what about bacteria?"--Tantor the elephant from Tarzan.

Yea!!! They're alive, and

Yea!!! They're alive, and they're together. Tho' I do feel bad for poor Rayne. All by her onesy. Then Wynd. Such a nice person...fairy I mean....getting together all those lovely people to crush Torlith.
Great chapter.

"As first things always come first, I will start with the first thing" Kendra

Alecia | Fri, 03/20/2009

It awoke with a shrill shreak that can be trnaslated "How dare you leave me in this bed, when I am asleep and helpless?" My sister

*Sniff sniff, tear tear. So

*Sniff sniff, tear tear. So beautiful, Anna! Yay Aria and Gilligan!

This comment was made by Erin!

"Never, never give up. Unless you get really tired." -Ellen Degenres

Erin | Tue, 04/07/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

That was the romanticest

That was the romanticest reunion I have ever heard of. So, yay, they're finally going to get married! And her being a star won't stop it!

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - John Wayne

Bridget | Sun, 04/19/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

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