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Here’s an exerpt from one of my short stories, The Generous Universe, first published in Crab Orchard Review, Volume 20, Number 1:

Grady had been furious at Frank for selling her a thirty-year-old clunker—worse, a small foreign one—with an equally old topper, a three-foot-high shell that fit over the truck bed. The Datsun had two blue pinstripes down its sides and a line of rust holes below that, making it look like it had been shot with an automatic.

“There are six hundred twenty-seven murders on the highway every year,” he said.

“Where did you get that?”

He ran his big hand along the topper and sighed, his barrel chest softening into the paunch at his belly. “I read it somewhere.”

“I’ll have Caddis with me.” She reached down and scratched Caddis behind the ears.

Caddis wagged her tail. When she made eye contact, the wag went into her whole body. She was a mixed breed. She had all the features of her Akita mother—soft fur, curled tail, wide forehead—and the pitch black color of her Labrador father. Raney had fallen in love with her at the shelter. She was two, but wise for her age.

“Yeah,” he said. “She’d scare the hell out of a murderer with that tail wag.”

Caddis was jumping in place now. She knew they were talking about her.

“Derek will look out for me,” Raney said.

Grady held his tongue, pulled himself in like he was dealing with a pain somewhere.

 

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