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Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-This_Elegant_Ruin-by_Erin_Bartels.docx

drunken people who were likely all concealing guns beneath their jackets. He took the paper home with him and laid it on the kitchen counter next to the coffeepot. He made a few phone calls, sat at his piano and tried to work on a piece, but his mind kept straying to that little notice in the paper. After a dinner of eggs and toast, Garrison made up his mind to go to the club. He put on his only pair of jeans and a sweater over a white dress shirt, slipped a pocketknife into his pocket, and pulled on his overcoat and scarf. A glance in the hall mirror told him that, try as he might to blend in, he would still seem out of place at almost any Detroit bar. But the thought of seeing Anna again drove him out the door and down darkened snowy streets the city had given up on. After some doubling back and a heartstoppingly long red light near a barred-up gas station in Redford that seemed to be a beacon for drug dealers, he reached his destination. Trash and cigarette butts peppered the cracked and icy sidewalk and Garrison’s untrained eye could not tell whether the graffiti that graced the walls was purposeful artwork or the calling card of a gang of hoodlums. He parked as close as he could and walked briskly through the cold. Every muscle in his body seemed to tug at him, urging him to come to his senses and turn around. But he forced his hand to open the door.


Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-This_Elegant_Ruin-by_Erin_Bartels.docx
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