Oct 012015

Welcome to Micro Bookends 1.50. We made to a half century! Who’d have thought? Thanks to everyone who keeps writing and commenting and making this a fun place to be.

I’ve got something musical for you this week. Have fun:

Perfect pitch is the ability to recreate a musical note without the benefit of a reference tone. It is a relatively rare phenomenon present in around 1 in 10,000 people. Someone with perfect pitch (like this boy) may be able to name individual notes played on various instruments, identify individual notes in a chord, sing in a given pitch without first hunting for the correct pitch, and name the pitches of everyday sounds such as car alarms. Unlike relative pitch (the ability to identify or re-create a given note by comparing it to a reference note) which can be learnt in adulthood, perfect pitch cannot be learnt after a critical period of auditory development in early childhood.

Dame Julie Andrews, who celebrates her eightieth birthday today, possesses perfect pitch and a talent for music that some critics have called freakish. As a child, her vocal range spanned four octaves and on visiting a throat specialist was told she had an almost adult larynx which could account for her singing ability. Andrews is of course best known for her roles in the musical films The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Andrews underwent surgery in 1997 to remove nodules from her throat, a procedure that ruined her singing voice. In 1999 she filed a malpractice suit against the doctors who had operated on her after they assured her the procedure was routine and would not affect her voice. The lawsuit was settled in September 2000 for an undisclosed amount.

Join me in a rendition of Do-Re-Mi with this week’s photo prompt:

Photo Credit: Nano Anderson via CC.

Photo Credit: Nano Anderson via CC.

The Judge

Judging this week’s contest is me!


A story of between 90 and 110 words starting with PERFECT and ending with PITCH and incorporating the photo prompt.


Anyone, but especially you!


Why not! Because it’s fun. Because it’s a challenge. Because the winner will receive their own winner’s page, their story on the winning stories list, a ‘Who is the author?’ feature to be posted next week, entry into the ‘Micro Bookend of the Year’ competition, and a copy of this year’s winning stories compilation.


Now! Get your entry in BEFORE 5:00 am Friday (UK time: http://time.is/London).




Post your story in the comments section. Include the word count and your Twitter username (if you’re Twitterized). Don’t forget to read the full rules before submitting your story.

Anything else?

Please give your story a title. It will not be included in the word count.

Please try to leave comments on a couple of other stories. It’s all part of the fun, and everyone likes feedback!

Remember, only stories that use the bookends exactly as supplied (punctuation, including hyphens and apostrophes, is allowed) will be eligible to win.

  119 Responses to “Micro Bookends 1.50 – PERFECT [micro] PITCH”

  1. Cortigiana di Lume

    Perfect, she is! Perfectomundo, she might once have said! In certain casually carnal company. In the end, all she could think, sadly, was how perfunctory it had become!

    Glenys Walters sits before the mirror. Her finger traces a wrinkle that insists on flinging itself out from the left side of her face right near where her upper and lower lips converge, that little fleshy junction, spiraling into a demisemihemidemisemiquaver.

    She has risen too far above her station; her wiles, her guile, strings pulled and plucked, the back stairways where the aromatics wander in search of favors, ever pandering for her piquant pleasures, for the courtesans indulgently intoxicating pitch.

    108 seductive musical notes

    • Exoticism brought down to earth by her name and the march of time on her face. Poor jaded woman.

  2. Perfect Pete

    Perfect Pete she calls me. Just because I like things tidy. She laughs when I follow her round the flat picking up abandoned teabags, plates and t-shirts. Drives me mad. She doesn’t even care there’s no sheets on the bed. She’s engrossed in writing a new song right now. The sweetest, most joy-filled voice I’ve ever heard. She glances up and grins at me. My heart leaps. It’s impossible not to get caught up in her enthusiasm. So I’ll leave the washing up and ignore the fluff-balls gathering on the floor because here with her I finally feel like a footballer, punching the air and running across the pitch.

    110 words

  3. 110

    Making Beautiful Music Together

    Perfect Erika was everything Tabs wasn’t. Her hair was shiny and brushed, her face always prim and powdered. Tabs preferred the extra hour in bed before struggling to class, hauling her guitar down endless stairs. College was for chilling out, Tabs thought. Why pamper and preen for Hairy Bob, the music lecturer? Erika baffled her.

    Until Tabs caught Bob and Erika in the percussion cupboard, clanging and rattling, fingers playing each other.

    The world spun for a moment and clicked back into a new place. Tabs turned the key and locked them in, giggling at the thought of them struggling amid the maracas in their musical prison, black as pitch.


    * * *

    Brian S Creek
    108 words

    * * *

    “Perfect,” said Mike, over the sound of girl’s melodic guitar playing. “The spirit is gone. Now what?”

    Chris looked around the place, a dingy little bedsit in a rundown part of the city. “It’s still here.” He noticed that the girl was mumbling something, and knelt closer to hear.

    “Help me.” she sang, quietly to the rhythm of her playing. “Help. Me.”

    Chris looked at her tired eyes. “She’s doing it,” said Chris. “Her music is keeping the spirit back.”

    “What can we do?” said Mike.

    Chris looked around at other instruments littering the room. “We join her,” he said. “and banish the evil with an exorcism pitch.”

  5. Name: @dazmb
    Words: 101

    Title: Job hunting

    Perfect. Divorce number four. My mom always said I was the marrying type.

    And I am.

    To men rich, powerful and stupid enough to think that their day in court will always produce the outcome they want.

    I’m happy to play along.

    Happy to be a possession. Happy to know who’s playing who. Happy to know who’ll be playing the blues.

    Because, when I retire, only I will ever spend my money.

    But that’s for the future. Right now, it’s back to business of getting rich.

    Marriage number five?

    No problems.

    I already know my mark.

    I already know my pitch.


    * * *

    Brian S Creek
    110 words

    * * *

    Perfect body. Perfect smile. Perfect eyes.

    That first band practice, I was uncontrollably drawn to her; following in her scented wake for the rest of the day, the week, the year.

    She was my inspiration, my rock, a goddess, sent down to dance around us mortals, to give us a taste of something beyond our fragile mortality.

    Yet she was much more than something to just idolise and crave. While her body and mind were temples, ones she’d graciously gifted to me, she took such pleasure in leading me on adventures, expanding my mind, and showing me the world.

    We love and laugh, while our hearts beat in fever pitch.

  7. The Colour of Sound
    WC 107

    ‘PERFECT YOUR TECHNIQUE.’ The advert captured my attention, the competition being only weeks away.
    With guitar on my back, I knocked his door. He called out and on entering I noted his blindness.

    Seated at opposite ends of the room, and without preamble, he bade me begin. I started softly, strumming strings, building up to my full voice. His chair rocked furiously, driven by gesticulating arms.
    ‘Less red, add some yellow to that green, increase the blue, I’m looking for a more verditer shade.’

    I paused mid chord, mouth frozen open.
    ‘Continue,’ he pleaded. ‘Synesthesia causes me to visualise sound as colour, without music everything’s as black as pitch.’

  8. Mother’s Pitch
    Word Count: 104

    “Perfect, just perfect.”

    Sarah could hear the sarcastic undertone in her mother’s voice. The clapping that echoed around the white-washed walls couldn’t hide the disappointment radiating from her skin.

    Britany bowed in gratitude toward her audience but the quiver in her legs betrayed her nervousness. She knew their mother noticed the missing note in the ninth measure.

    Sarah gave here sister a compassionate look as they passed each other on the stage. Britany’s eyes pleaded for help. Sarah couldn’t let her suffer for being less gifted.

    As she poised the bow on the strings she made the decision to test her mother’s perfect pitch.

    • Poor kids having such a perfectionist mother, at least they’re united against her. 🙂

  9. David, could you please make a small alteration for me. Can you move the, ‘less red,’ line up and the, ‘I paused,’ line down, so that there’s only three paragraphs. Thanks x

  10. An Ordinary Life
    @geofflepard 110 words
    Fourteen, Grade 8, scholarship and the maestro’s purring.
    At the Academy, my repertoire expands, applause is my penumbra. ‘So young! Such poise! Such emotion! The depth!’
    Praise like tooth decay, a little too much sugar and the rot begins.
    John knew. He saw me, not my talent.
    Seventeen, touring with the Symphony Orchestra. Illicit minutes, stolen kisses, a rush that is real music.
    Angry words, friends becoming strangers. John and me against the world.
    He’s late. Again. Strange scents. A fight, a battle, a war.
    Broken fingers hurt less than a broken heart.
    Down deeper than despair until the bottom: a damp bedsit, second hand guitar and a busker’s pitch.

  11. Name: @dazmb
    Words: 102

    Title: In defence of reading poetry while commuting to work

    perfect silence greets the ramblings of the madman and the fragments he has shored against his ruin while a hurried, footfall of applause ignores the busking blue guitar that plays a tune beyond you yet turns the world exactly as you are, eyes and ears commute as shadows, while something driven from the margins takes aim, listen to it breathing, savage as the words come out as black and sweet blood mouthfuls, that poem you read in darkness, in noise and terror were you ready to be persuaded, set fire to it, all is aletheia, put a flame out into the pitch


    * * *

    Brian S Creek
    109 words

    * * *

    Perfect silence; the crowd sits with bated breath.

    It’s the final ball of the game; two strikes down, one more for glory.

    I smell the grass, feel the tingle of the chilly evening air. I tug the peak down to shield against the spotlights.

    This is what it all comes down to; the innings, the game, the whole damned season. We make it to the big leagues and I might just make enough to get me and Beth outta that crappy one bedroom.

    I rub my fingers across the cowhide, get a final feel for the ball, let it sit perfect.

    Here’s the wind up, and there’s the pitch!

  13. Another Day at the Factory
    110 words

    “Perfect flavours are rare,” John said, “But this is delightful! The sour taste of lemon mixed with the sharp taste of pine…incredible.”

    “John! Are you drinking my bucket of cleaning fluid?!”

    “It would appear that I am.” John took another long swallow.

    “Stop it! That crap is poison!”

    “Sure, but I’m going to need a hospital anyway.”

    “You have no common sense!”

    John had only be on Earth a few days and human for less than that. His kind didn’t have “common sense.”

    “Let me have another swig of this sticky tea before we go.”

    Fred’s eyeballs bulged further from his skull. “Damn it, John! That’s not tea, it’s pitch.”

  14. @AvLaidlaw
    108 Words

    Have a Cigar

    Perfect, kid. Like an angel. Haven’t heard a voice like yours since… Little bit of Irish in there? Scottish. Better. A Scots accent makes the girls… You’d blush if I told you.

    So what are you doing hanging around here busking for coppers? You’re better than this. With that voice – a Bentley? Yours. No, a Ferrari. Just remember my old mug when you’ve made it.

    One bit of advice though, gratis because I hate seeing talent wasted. And you’ve got talent to make God jealous. Ditch the guitar. You’ve got to give it everything to make it in telemarketing. Okay? Now. Let’s work on your sales pitch.

    • Oh, I can just picture her face falling at that last line. Poor girl. Hope she sticks to busking.

  15. The Shower Symphony and
    the Bottom of the Ninth
    Beethoven Curve Ball


    Perfect –

    Her hourglass moves between lemon drop soap in the shower where privacy gives dreams a stage, applause, and the acoustics of the Vienna Opera house.

    She sings and sings and I don’t have the heart to tell her that it is awful. She is happy. The scub brush plays her like a blonde Stradivarius.

    I plug in my Stratocaster. My fingers move sign language on frets typing out tale about the musically deaf.

    Then I turn on the television and watch ballgame. Bottom of the ninth. Beethoven unplugged. The ball slides a curve over corner of bathroom mat –

    Her wet footsteps on the floor gives silence a nice pitch.

    (110 Words)

  16. Night Fugue in Chicago

    Perfect. This was shaping up perfectly.

    “Sweetie, come on up to my room,“ she’d begged. “I could do with a serenade. It’s gonna be a cold bitch of a night.”

    I could tell that the years had treated her poorly. Beaten her down. But she had a room and all I had was cardboard and the deep winter shakes.

    I picked up my battered Fender and followed after her like a bloody kitten.

    Room 222, Hives Hotel.

    I scratched my itch from the get go.

    I then plunked out Girl from the North Country.

    She swooned; I sweated.

    We both fired up the night to a fever pitch.

    108 lonely nights

    • One way to keep warm :). Loved the phrase ‘But she had a room and all I had was cardboard and the deep winter shakes’.


    * * *

    Brian S Creek
    110 words

    * * *

    “Perfect way to spend the evening,” I said to the piece of scum sat opposite. I threw the first picture across the table. “Know her?”

    He didn’t answer, didn’t look at the photo.

    “Karen Newton. 29. Ran her own ad firm. Loved playing that guitar,” I said, tapping the picture.

    He just shrugged. Heartless bastard.

    I showed him another, and another, ones from the murder scene now. Flesh, blood, death. This time he looked, face twitching with each image, something pent up inside him, wanting out.

    “Fine!” he yelled. “I did it! I killed her!” He took a breath. Two. Three.


    “That snobby bitch turned down my sales pitch!”

  18. Perfect Penelope’s Pressure
    Word Count 102

    “Perfect,” she sneers. “How is anyone supposed to live up to that?”
    Her reflection stays silent in reply.
    “I don’t know why they have to build me up, put my face on the side of a building, on the taxi cabs, on buses. I don’t know why they need to tie that word to me, just because my name is Penelope!”
    Her reflection stays silent in reply.
    “They can’t think of anything more creative so they go with the easy alliteration.”
    A knock on the door breaks her focus. “We need for a sound check, time to find perfect Penelope’s perfect pitch.”

  19. @stellakateT
    98 words

    Man Talk

    “Perfect comes from the Latin perfectus.”
    My dad looked up from his paper for a millisecond then returned to the racing pages.
    “She’s great isn’t she?”
    He looked up again and gazed at the TV screen for possibly two milliseconds before returning his gaze back to the 3.10 at Kempton.
    Most of our conversations were conducted this way. I liked it; it was a bond between us, man to man discussing our thoughts.
    “Listen to the pitch and tone Dad; she’s the best girl guitarist in the world”
    “Okay son Tottenham or Arsenal who has the best pitch?”

  20. Collectors
    107 words

    ‘Perfect condition!’ He brushes a strand of hair away from her face.
    ‘Wider.’ He leans in; his antiseptic breath hitting her nostrils as he runs his tongue along the straight edges of her white teeth.
    She tastes his excitement and stops herself from gagging as a mouth that’s not a lover’s explores her own.

    ‘I’ll take them.’
    ‘When?’ She swallows down the urge to spit. She’ll do it away from his surgery, his gaze.
    ‘Four today: molars first.’
    ‘Money first!’
    ‘You’ll get some today. 8 visits; 8 instalments. No strings; no disappointments. Or no deal!’
    ‘And, when do I get to hear, your friend, the optician’s pitch?’

  21. Title: Payment Due
    Twitter: @colin_d_smith
    Word Count: 110


    Luc fretted an A-flat major chord on his golden Les Paul, and struck the strings. The small amplifier at his feet chimed the chord with crystal clarity, no distortion. He then played a few warm-up scales at various places along the fret board. Satisfied, he looked up.

    “You ready?”

    Sam gripped his beaten-up Yamaha acoustic, feeling the gritty, worn strings under his calloused fingers. His eyes recoiled from Luc’s hard glare, turning instead to the piece of paper that lay between them

    The Contract. Signed two years ago. Payment due tonight.

    Sam was playing for his soul, and he had practiced every day.

    He grinned, nodding to Luc.


  22. Washed Up

    92 words


    Perfect posture slumps into an acoustic crouch, face averted, you can no longer look the world in the eye. Your legacy tainted by sordid stories, always denied but mud sticks. And if people believe it anyway, why not make it true?

    Defeat perfumes the air you breathe, a scent that chokes your voice, stills it into silence. Why sing when no one listens?

    You bled your life onto paper, scored out your heart, tossed your words at our feet. Now your melodies drift into half-remembered mists, once luminescent pearls fading to pitch.

    • Very topical, and yet, sad and beautiful. I love the first and last sentences especially. The entire story is poetic though.

  23. Thrown

    “Perfect, just perfect!” I snatched the score up, scrunched it, and threw it forcefully at the figure standing in the doorway. The wretched scrap obviously did not feel my furious energy; it fell limply at her feet. She raised an eyebrow at me.

    “Throwing your music at me? Poetic.”

    “You did it on purpose – you… you’re jealous!”
    I knew as the sentence left my mouth how pathetic it would sound. How pathetic it was. I waited for her sneer, for her to cast me off entirely.

    She tossed me the crumpled up ball as she left.

    “For your next wild pitch.”

    (102 words)

  24. FROM: Sal Anflogem
    TO: Admin

    RE: Notes For Property at 40 Acoustic Terrace

    Cash buyer — immediate sale required.

    Plan viewing times — avoid talkative neighbours.

    Ensure windows shut / blinds drawn — don’t show exactly how close.

    Blood stains — if they can’t be removed concentrate on view.

    Still forensic dust to clean up.

    Gather up scattered music sheets.

    Pick up guitar pieces.

    Clear shattered mirror glass – Flag as Heath & Safety issue.

    Fence down — beware neighbour’s large dog — no singing on property.

    Before viewings start remove police tape.

    One copy for Agents / Cleaning staff including work notes.

    One glossy copy (measurements to follow) for Clients — usual pitch.

    WC: 110



    * * *
    Brian S Creek
    106 words

    * * *

    Perfect weather is no silver lining when you’re stranded on a desert island.

    I wish I was anywhere but here right now. I swear to God, if she plays Kumbaya one more time, I’m going to wrap that f***ing guitar around her neck.

    I mean of all the people from the cruise ship to survive besides me, why did it have to be the crazy bitch from the ‘Entertainment Squad’?

    She’s smiling. I hate it when she smiles.

    I’m about to tell her exactly that, when the island growls, as if it was waking from a deep, deep slumber.

    And then I feel the island pitch.

  26. Retuning
    (110 Words)

    “Perfect palettes are too common nowadays.” She osculated the six string, tuning the thick E with her tongue.

    “No such things exist.” I watched her taste buds caress the copper and nylon wire. “Flavor is subjective.”

    She craned ever slightly, “Then so is sound.” She licked it again and adjusted the machine head.

    “But sound can be measured scientifically.” She didn’t look up, but pressed her tongue even harder into the chord. I wondered if it’d grown as callused as her fingers. “It’s more than feeling.”

    “No, it isn’t.” She raised her head and extended the guitar toward me. “Try it.”

    I hesitantly leaned down, then savored her piquant pitch.

  27. (106 words)

    ‘Beat the Bird’

    Perfect was everything that she was not. That is why he loved her. And that is why she hated herself. He loved the scatterbrained ponderings that glided from her lips. She would clamp her mouth shut and lock it with a rusty key. Once he told her that she was a bird…delicate, free, perfectly imperfect. She slapped him. Perfection was her goal and it beat her into the ground. Wearing her down until she was broken. But he still loved the notes that she sang off par. They were always the sweetest, the most raw, the most ‘her’. But she always wanted the perfect pitch.

  28. @fs_iver
    WC: 94


    “Perfect is attainable” – and should therefore be achieved; you don’t want to be a failure, do you?

    “Through practice” – nights spent poring over sheets and lines; a fevered brain is a working brain!

    “And patience” – seeking chords that lie on conflicting poles; your skin is made to stretch.

    “And sacrifice” – crooked spines and bleeding fingers are beautiful; your friends can come back later.

    “And, of course, your natural talent” – ability is only 10%, keep in mind; are you sure you’re finished for

    “You’ll get it, Darling” – Let’s try it in a lower pitch.

  29. They Paved Paradise
    (100 words)

    “Perfect! Do it again.”

    Helen closed her eyes and sent herself back to that time, that place. Where the music had been born.

    They didn’t have any money. They never did. She played on the same floor she slept on. But they had been happy.

    Hadn’t they?

    This should have been the best year of her life. New contract, new album, new tour, new husband, new lie. So why did the present feel like sepia tone when the past was Kodachrome color?

    She sang anyway.

    “That was great! Do it one more time while I work on the marketing pitch…”


    • Wonderful phrase ‘So why did the present feel like sepia tone when the past was Kodachrome color?’.

  30. The Music Maker
    107 words

    ‘Perfect is as perfect does.’ That’s what my Grandpa used to say. He must have repeated that phrase to me hundreds of times while he was alive. It’s a lesson in action. A mantra for the way he lived. For what good is good advice if it’s never taken? What good is having a life, if it’s spent in stagnation?

    As we gather here, honoring this beloved man, take a lesson from his playbook. March forward in life. Do it to the beat of your own drum if you must, but by god, MARCH! My grandfather died doing what he loved. Heed his message. His final pitch.

  31. My Final Guitar Lesson
    A.J. Walker

    ‘Perfect teeth. Smile. Skin. Those eyes. Don’t even get me started on that pert butt, or those amazing…’

    On reflection maybe I shouldn’t have written that down.

    ‘When she plays her guitar it gives me goosebumps. Like Shakira and Joni Mitchell rolled into a better package.’

    Probably shouldn’t have written that down either.

    ‘It’s endearing that she’s never mastered the Bm7 chord. Makes me smile.’

    Suzanne stares down at me wildly. “This… you bastard. I’m still learning.” She tosses my diary down.

    “Master this you bastard!” she says, as she Townsend’s the guitar into my skull.

    I heard a sound that may have been a Bm7 before it went pitch.


    (110 words)

    • I really love this – the start reminds me a little of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions ‘Perfect Skin’ so I already have those jangly guitars playing in my head as I read on. . ‘She Townsends the guitar into my skull’ is inspired and had me laughing out loud. The prompts work seamlessly.

    • Loved the image of the guitar windmilling into his skull 🙂

  32. The Best Laid Plans

    “Perfect, absolutely perfect,” Monica gazed at her own reflection in the mirror. Unable to contain her joy, she twirled. Her flared wedding gown along with the long train spun around with her. She couldn’t wait for tomorrow’s ceremony. Carl had grumbled about the volume of the flare and the ridiculous yardage that went into making that.

    As it turned out, he shouldn’t have complained.

    A drive around the mountains in the moonlight sounded divine. A pre-wedding adventure! And an adventure it was.

    “What rock slide? Road closures? Camp here?” Monica was livid.
    “Aren’t you glad we have that huge tent dress in the cart? Carl smirked.
    Monica snapped, “You pitch.”

    110 words

  33. Farewell Friend
    101 words

    Perfect. Just perfect. I tried retuning the strings, struck a pose, and struck a chord. I winced at the dull clamour of my guitar. I sat the instrument gently on the bed beside me and gazed down sadly at my old friend. Nothing could be done; she was terminal.

    We had travelled so many miles together in search of stardom, those steps leading us ultimately to this wretched basement apartment. She had now met her end here, drowned courtesy of a burst water pipe. Resuscitation attempts had failed. Now she was just one more item into the bin I would pitch.

  34. Tribute
    (108 words)

    “Pitch in,” Mr. Grinaldi said. “Everyone has something to contribute.”
    Reina knew what she could give. She lit candles, stayed up into the witching hour, and wrote a song that made her weep. She practiced, waning into despair, waxing into pride.
    The night of the fundraiser, Reina took the stage. Her heartbeat said: I’m alone. But the hot lights filled her body with fire; she was an illuminated filament. She burned in the multitude’s gaze and played her song. I miss you, the song said. Love you, Love you.
    Reina stumbled off stage. Others performed.
    Mr. Grinaldi spoke last. “We all miss Wendy. Thanks, everyone. Tonight was perfect.”

    • Whoops. I am more tired than I thought. My last story accidentally reversed the bookends. How about this one:

      (110 words)

      “Perfect your work,” Mr. Grinaldi said. “Everyone has something to contribute.”
      Reina knew what she could give. She lit candles, stayed up into the witching hour, and wrote a song that made her weep. She practiced, waning into despair, waxing into pride.
      The night of the fundraiser, Reina took the stage. Her heartbeat spoke: I’m alone. But the hot lights filled her body with fire. An illuminated filament, she burned in the multitude’s gaze and played her song. I miss you, the song said. Love you, Love you.
      Reina stumbled off stage. Others performed.
      Mr. Grinaldi spoke. “We all miss Wendy. Thanks, everyone.” The crowd murmured in a single pitch.

  35. @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 110

    Child’s Play

    Perfect timing as he skipped towards the rising ball and swung his bat, the sound of leather on willow music to his ears.

    He watched the ball flying over mid-off into the crowd; the umpire raising both hands either side of his head, index fingers pointing towards the blue sky, signalling the six.

    Holding his bat like a guitar, he strummed imaginary strings, taunting the Aussies: child’s play! Then he thrust the bat aloft, acknowledging the rapturous cheers from the Barmy Army. He’d just reached 50 in the fewest balls in an Ashes test match!

    He was so glad he’d chosen to bat. Definitely the best move on this pitch.

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