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Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-This_Elegant_Ruin-by_Erin_Bartels.docx

stepped up to a microphone to harmonize with the lead guitarist as he spat out nearly unintelligible lyrics, but the rest of the time she kept her head down. A waitress with a tray full of empty beer bottles and glasses edged past Garrison to get behind the bar and then suddenly noticed he was there. “Need a drink?” she shouted at him. Garrison shook his head slightly. “You sure?” she bellowed. “You look like you need to relax.” Once more he shook his head and then turned his attention back to the stage. A moment later, the waitress handed him a glass of something. “It’s on me,” she said. “Give it a try.” Garrison stood against the wall for the next 45 minutes nursing the drink. It didn’t make the music any better, but it did blur some of the harsh lines of sight and sound enough so that he could almost stand it. He never took his eyes off of Anna and, as he tuned his ears to the low sounds of the bass and watched her fingers fly effortlessly over the strings, he managed to appreciate her contribution despite his distaste for the whole. Finally the set was finished and the band members waved to the rather indifferent crowd and then stepped down off the low stage to become part of that crowd. Though more than one


Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-This_Elegant_Ruin-by_Erin_Bartels.docx
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