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Showing posts from January 22, 2006

"The Wager": Part 1

(© 1998, 2006, Doug Tarnopol. All rights reserved.)

Henry looked at his watch for the fourth time in as many minutes. No question, he was going to be late for his section. This would be very embarrassing, since just last week he had dressed down several students for their habitual tardiness.

He gripped the overhead handrail like a javelin, silently willing the bus forward, in defiance of natural law. Unheeding, the bus sauntered up the his stop on Market Street. Henry began removing his headphones as he pushed toward the door, jostling with stubbornly unmovable standees, his overfull backpack challenging his balance as the bus decelerated.

He almost made it. As the bus disgorged him, he tripped over himself on the last step, his belongings fleeing in all directions, his limbs stretched out; an asterisk on the sidewalk.

As he gathered himself together, he noticed a young woman smiling as she passed by. She was not the only person smiling -- just the first one he saw -- so she bore the brun…

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