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Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-The_Talent_Scout-by_Christine_Venzon.docx

The fresh stuff. I’m buying.” He pawed the bills. “I’d be money ahead. But I’d feel … cheap. But I could live with it.” ❊❊❊ “Have you been back since Katrina?” Marti drizzled Italian dressing over a garden salad. “I tried. For Mardi Gras. Bad mistake.” Prosper nudged a tomato slice on his Black Jack burger into his mouth. He munched, intent as a horse over a tub of sweet feed, until half the burger was gone. “But someday … It’s home, you know?” Then spooled out the story: growing up the son of a music teacher, lessons and competitions and high school band; studying music in college for a year, that “didn’t take”; running away, physically and spiritually; and finally busing tables in some dive in Houston, where a forgotten blues singer showed him that his music and his life could coalesce, that there was a soundtrack to what he felt and wanted. “It was there all the time, just waiting: ‘This is what you need. And it’s all back home.’ And when I finally figured it out … “But you know, it got me ready. Going through Katrina and everything since — I couldn’t have stayed sane without my music. It’s like, some people find God when something terrible


Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-The_Talent_Scout-by_Christine_Venzon.docx
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