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Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest_Winner-The_War_at_Home-by_Linda_Davis.docx

What kind of pacifist was she? Kate tried to will her eyes away from the floor but couldn’t. The meeting had resumed. This whole thing was a mistake. Kate sunk into her seat. Sterling was right. I don’t stand a chance of winning. Who was I fooling? She felt exposed, as if her skin, like her husband, had decided to leave her. Halved index cards with both of their names written on them were passed down the row. Kate took one and passed the others along. Her hand shook as she put the pen in Liam’s good hand and had him check off her name. Cheryl collected the ballots in a taped Nike shoebox with a slit on top. People whispered back and forth to each other. One woman showed her vote to a friend. Principal Chase read the votes aloud. When she read Bonnie Dowd’s name, there was a little lift to her voice. For a while, Kate thought maybe she might not get a single vote. At some point during the vote tally, Kate noticed her daughter standing at the door, half-hidden. “Kate Riley.” Her name was read once at least. Probably her own, or Michelle’s perhaps. Then it was read again a few times. No doubt it was the teachers, Kate thought, who’d said that they favored her. If the rest of the votes go to me, maybe I could still win. Kate willed her to say her


Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest_Winner-The_War_at_Home-by_Linda_Davis.docx
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