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A short story by

Kal-El Bogdanove

"But why?!"

Rin had bet herself that Jasper would object, and now she owed herself a beer.

The boy stuck his reddening face out at her. Jasper looked a bit like Rita, but the gesture was pure Rin, and she saw it as clear as if she were staring into a mirror. Rin felt at once flattered and taken aback.

"In case this man Shaw doesn't deliver, somebody from here has gotta see what we're dealing with, be on hand to make tough decisions for the town, kiddo."

"But why does it have to be you?" Jasper asked.

Rin sighed and threw an arm around the boy's shoulder in the sort of "walk with me" side-on hug she'd had from her dad a hundred times. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

"It's my town."

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