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Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest_Winner-The_War_at_Home-by_Linda_Davis.docx

Sterling was around, throwing pillows at him, saying things like “Move a little faster, chum!” “It’s morbid — kind of like this rice.” Sterling’s lip curled as she stared at her dinner. She’d just turned 11, which Kate referred to as “the new 15.” She put a few pieces of brown rice on her fork and slowly placed them on the edge of her tongue. Kate often imagined the inside of her daughter’s stomach looking like a ghost town where food occasionally passed through, like weightless balls of tumbleweed. Kate set the rice pot down on a bamboo trivet, a souvenir from her trip to Ceylon when she was 22. The house was filled with small souvenirs from her international travels, tokens of the different life she thought she’d be living. Long ago, when she was single, Kate had backpacked to many exotic locales. From Marrakech, she’d gotten the brass candleholders on the table; a cubed sculpture in the adjacent bathroom was from Manitoba. She’d even been to Iraq where she’d bought a turquoise samovar. Every day since the war had begun, she thought of Iraq: the unrelenting heat, the dusty landscape, the coffee shop where the owners’ children served espresso in demitasse cups with Saddam Hussein’s


Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest_Winner-The_War_at_Home-by_Linda_Davis.docx
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