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The chimes over the front door rang out, signaling a customer had just entered my shop.

“I’ll be with you in a moment,” I shouted through a veil of hanging beads, more decoration than sound barrier. I hated their noisy presence, but the quiet work of a taxidermist called for it.

“How can I help you?” I asked, stepping through the beads into an empty shop. “Hello?” Not a living soul could be heard amongst the menagerie of wildlife. On the counter I discovered a piece of paper which read, ‘cemetery, 5am.’

At the cemetery, propped up against a freshly marked grave, a journal shimmered in the morning sun. There was no mistaking I was meant to find it. A gift from my twin sister.

The blank pages of this mysterious journal called out to me for more than a week after I brought it home. When I finally used it, I couldn’t stop. I filled more than a dozen pages in one sitting with animal illustrations.

The next morning I woke to tattoos covering my arms and legs. My creations from the journal forever immortalized on my skin.
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March 16, 2017
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