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Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest_Winner-The_War_at_Home-by_Linda_Davis.docx

to the floor. Neil picked it up. Ever since they’d met at a school picnic early in the year, Neil had begun to give Liam things: a sports book, some chocolates at Christmas, a Jimmy Buffet CD. Neil had whole conversations with Liam, interpreting his responses and answering him. Many of the parents and children at West Reseda Elementary avoided getting too close to her son, as if cerebral palsy could be transmitted by air. Neil knelt beside Liam’s wheelchair and spoke into the microphone. “Testing one, two, three. Test. Test. This is a test.” Liam clapped his two forearms together and made a very loud sound, which came out sounding like “Mal-ah!” “Yup, it is marvelous, isn’t it, Liam?” Neil said back. She wondered what Neil saw in a woman like Bonnie. “You know you spoil him.” Kate looked at Neil but when his eyes met hers, she quickly turned away. “He deserves it.” Kate’s eyes watered. She lowered her head. Neil had hit a nerve. It was true. Liam had a sweet face and accepting eyes. His mouth turned up at the corners, even when he was enduring pain or humiliation — an all too common occurrence. When he saw someone he loved, his


Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest_Winner-The_War_at_Home-by_Linda_Davis.docx
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