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Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-The_Talent_Scout-by_Christine_Venzon.docx

She glanced at the painting he held, startled, then regrouped. “Are you interested in buying?” He squinted at the fine, graceful script in the corner. “This artist, Martina … Dwyer? Isn’t she from Chicago, trying to make herself a name in Memphis?” Marti punched the calculator keys. “What’s it to you?” Prosper laughed. “Why you didn’t say something? If I had paintings selling in a place like this, I’d brag to everyone.” She shrugged. “It was part of the deal when I came here. The selling point, in fact. But they aren’t. Selling.” Prosper studied the painting. “It isn’t gimmicky enough. It doesn’t belong with this show-offy stuff.” She smiled and went back to the numbers. “That’s very kind of you.” “Is this horse famous?” “I thought so. Famous enough that the owner would buy his picture.” “He didn’t like it?” “He never saw it. I left before it was finished.” Again, the silence implicated her. She didn’t owe him her story. Except that he had trusted her — with his music, and all it entailed. And whose idea was that? She sighed. “In art school I decided I was going to be the next Rosa Bonheur. She was a painter in the 1850s who did


Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-The_Talent_Scout-by_Christine_Venzon.docx
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