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Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-The_Talent_Scout-by_Christine_Venzon.docx

us. He hit on the girls who liked that. He cracked ethnic jokes with the guys who liked that. Whatever it took to build the team. Winning was why we were there, after all.” “But not you.” “No. And I forgot that. When I finally remembered, things had gotten … complicated. I think he trains in New York now. Won a big stakes at Belmont last summer.” Marti turned the painting to face her. She’d ignored it lately; she knew it so well. Now each detail — the hindquarters bunched and bulging, poised to unleash another stride, the eyes white-rimmed, the teeth bared against the foamy bit, the grim intensity in the jockey’s drawn lip — warmed her like a kiss from an old lover, recalled the challenge and delight, the losing herself in the work and finding herself there, that sped the hours like pages flipped by the breeze. “The horse was Chicago Six — you want to hear? He was top older horse in Illinois that year. That’s him winning the Milwaukee Avenue Handicap. I was waiting at the rail when they hit the lane. I ducked onto the track, snapped a half-dozen quick shots, and hightailed it into the crowd before security could grab me.” Prosper laid his hand over hers where it rested on the frame. The unexpected touch sparked unexpected warmth, and the memory shuddered like old videotape that was ready to


Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-The_Talent_Scout-by_Christine_Venzon.docx
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