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Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-This_Elegant_Ruin-by_Erin_Bartels.docx

He stuck his head out the door and heard the tinkling of metal hangers around the corner. Following the sound, Garrison saw the back of Anna’s head as she flipped her long hair out from her jacket collar and walked quickly on high-heeled shoes toward the exit. Garrison hesitated a moment at the coat rack, but at the sight of dozens of nearly identical black coats he gave up and headed for the door Anna had just gone through. In the parking ramp stairwell he stopped and listened for footsteps. Tap, tap, tap. He grabbed the cool metal railing and followed the sound upward. As he reached the third level the tapping stopped and he started taking the remaining stairs two at a time. He heard the pressing of a crash bar and the squeak of a heavy metal door then felt a blast of cold air and chased it. At the fourth level he pushed through the same door onto the roof of the parking ramp and saw Anna ahead of him silhouetted against the night sky, violin case in hand, shoulders hunched against the cold drizzle. At the sound of his approach she quickened her pace, but after all those stairs Garrison had to catch his breath and stopped. “Miss Easton!” he called. Anna turned around and squinted at him. “Oh! Mr. Knight!” She walked back toward him a few paces holding her free hand over her heart. “I didn’t realize it


Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-This_Elegant_Ruin-by_Erin_Bartels.docx
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