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(short story of 6125 words)

Little Big Show


by Kathy Flann

The footpath gallops ahead like a dumb dog, disappears around bends in the forest. This has been Alexander’s first real hike, a hard scrabble -- scuttling along in a crouch at times as if he might find grips on the flat rocks. His assistant at work would have loved some photos. Now that he’s made it – almost made it – this easy wide dirt path where he and his sister Marietta started hours ago, where families had pushed all-terrain strollers, seems embarrassing somehow. A bird chirps sweet, trilling notes. The watery quality of the sunlight suggests cocktail hour. Through gaps in the trees, the gravel lot materializes, but there’s no blotch of red. Marietta’s car should be visible. Shouldn’t it?

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