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Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-This_Elegant_Ruin-by_Erin_Bartels.docx

When he couldn’t see it anymore, he turned away and went into the stairwell. The door clicked behind him and he leaned against the cold cinder block wall. He looked at his wet shoes, released a low sigh, and slowly made his way back down the stairs to the main level. He had to find his keys. He had to go back in to sift through the black coats. He had to get out of these wet clothes. He had to face tomorrow. During the weeks and months that followed as the strike wore on, Garrison muddled his way through the day-to-day business of living. Each evening when the sun set he found himself wondering where Anna was. What was her band called? Flash Dance? Where might they play? Garrison’s musical world had been so insulated from the sort of popular noise that most people seemed to prefer over classical music, he didn’t even know what sort of bars or clubs might be around that would have live music. Then one day as he thumbed mindlessly through some free newspaper found left on a coffee shop table, he saw it. SlapDash. That’s what it was. They were playing that evening in a bar in a particularly blighted section of a city that was becoming world-renowned for its spectacular fall into ruin. Garrison found it difficult to imagine the tall, slender, and elegant Anna wielding an electric bass in a room full of half


Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-This_Elegant_Ruin-by_Erin_Bartels.docx
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