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Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-This_Elegant_Ruin-by_Erin_Bartels.docx

Dragged around from studio to studio, some reporter or talk show host picking at you, trying to get you to say something profound or at least something stupid so they can twist it on you. A circus, really. But I’m afraid I don’t really have much choice.” Anna looked at him with sympathetic eyes. “Bummer.” “I’ll work on some arrangements for when we all return, perhaps,” he added, though only because he didn’t want this young woman feeling sorry for him. Lately he hadn’t been able to muster much enthusiasm for writing parts. “Will you miss conducting?” “Yes, I think so. Though I’ve been considering retirement lately.” Garrison saw what he hoped he correctly interpreted as disappointment in Anna’s face. “Of course,” he went on, “that’s far from certain. I would miss seeing all your lovely faces.” He held her gaze a bit longer than was comfortable for either of them and they each looked away, he at his now quite damp tails, she at her violin case. Her hair was wet now, the dewy bits of drizzle having sunk in. “I’m sorry,” Garrison said. “I shouldn’t be keeping you out here in the cold rain. I just didn’t want you to leave without —” He stopped talking then because he didn’t know what to say. Anna smiled again and held out her hand to him. “It’s an


Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-This_Elegant_Ruin-by_Erin_Bartels.docx
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