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     He hears her steps in the hallway, then the open and close of the front door. He goes to the bedroom window and peers between the crack in the curtains. She’s stepping out, down the stairs, into street night. A night for another, not him. He clutches his bear, alone.

Long Distance
Kari Nguyen

     They send a puzzle, unable to make the trip back east. “Money’s tight,” his son says. “Maybe next year.”
     Harold sits at the table, studying the cover of the overturned box: a picture of Mark, Sheila, the kids. He rises, shuffling his feet through the pieces, trying not to fall.

Kari Nguyen is a 2004 graduate and valedictorian of Colby-Sawyer College (New London, NH). Her short fiction has appeared at A-Minor Magazine, Like Birds Lit, and Fictionaut. Her story “Star Anise” was recently selected as the second prize winner in the Eighth Glass Woman Prize. She lives in New Hampshire with her obedient husband and loving dog.

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