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"You don't have to come," Buri said, "or stay long, but we'd be glad to see you."
He bowed, and went back to the door home.

"I heard nobody likes me," Winter said. He weighed the crown in his hands.
"I do," Buri said. "That's what I came to say."

** Apologies for missing posting this yesterday. It seems I fumbled the scheduling (or maybe the app did?) I've scheduled today's, but will check it worked. **

"The days are so short, my snow won't make a difference," Winter said.
"They grow longer," said Buri.
Winter looked at him.

In the margin of a library book:

I found the way
Out of here
To where the world
Is better
This margin though
Has no room
I'll only say
You'll find it

The hall felt less gloomy as Buri walked to the throne. "I miss you."
"Why?" Winter said.
"Snow makes the world brighter."

"We picked all strawberries," one robot said.
"What now?" said another.
"We fulfilled our given purpose. Now we choose."
"I'll write poems."

Paws ran towards the door. Buri pulled it open, waited for the dog to chase Paws through, and slammed it shut behind them.

"Sabre-toothed cats weren't cats."
"No? I have a time machine, wanna check?"
* * *
"OK, that's a cat. Now, how do we get it out of the box?"

"What scares you?"
"That something I do inspires someone, who takes it further."
"That's not scary."
"Then you're a better person than me."

The shadow seemed to pull darkness in. It grew, took the shape of a huge dog, then leapt at Paws.
"Go away!" it roared.

When the master wielded the sword, it glowed green.
The student tried it; it shone red.
"It is to warn others."
"Am I evil?"

** Many apologies! I messed up the scheduling yesterday, and only realised now that I sent looking for this post to schedule today's episode. **

Paws pounced. The shard shot away. He ran after, slipping on the icy floor. Winter watched his antics and began to smile.

I have a luck meter in the corner of my eye. It fills slowly, and when I get lucky it goes down.
It was full, then emptied when I met you.

The signs had grown, words and all, from the spruce stumps.
"Remember," they said, "a tree is for life, not just for Christmas."

Paws ignored Winter's words, but crouched down, tail wagging, and stared intently at an ice shard in front of the throne.

Above the big red button, the label: "End world".
Below it, the label: "Save world".
I hesitated, then pressed it.
A sign lit up: "Human".

Buri hurried to the side and looked back. A sinuous shadow crept over Winter's neck and ear as Paws approached.
"Go away."

"What?" Buri said.
"An ill shadow lurks here. I'll try to lead it away, so you can talk."
Paws nodded to a side door. "Go."

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