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F I C T I O N The way Dyson said it, she felt as if he meant it—that she, in particular, was a good person to know. He smiled, and the crow’s feet beside his eyes disappeared. Dyson had kind eyes that drooped at the edges, like her father’s. He seemed about to tell her something, something important, when the roof of the shed above them compressed and decompressed in sharp little pops and cracks. A cat, maybe—or a large raccoon?—was walking along the spine of the roof. The clicking of the film projector seemed to pause just long enough for Huckleberry, bowler in hand, to drop to the earth beside them. He rose to his feet and flicked the brim of the hat up along the inside of one arm, into the crook of an elbow, and—in one smooth motion—up and onto his head. “Huck,” said Dyson. “Nice of you to drop in.” Huck acknowledged this poor pun with a lift of one eyebrow—clearly it didn’t deserve two—and inclined the brim of his bowler in Catie’s direction. “I take it you’re acquainted.” Was it Catie, or did she detect some note of amusement in Dyson’s voice? “Mildly,” said Huck. He smiled. “Very mildly.” Catie had the feeling Huckleberry could somehow tell her ponytail, casually mussed, had in fact been the end-product of various other failed attempts in front of the mirror that evening. Her Levis seemed now suddenly too tight, her child-sized T-shirt seasonally inappropriate. “Are you coming with us on Monday?” Huckleberry asked her. Monday. To the protest. “Maybe.” She hesitated. “I have class.” Huckleberry glanced at Dyson and grinned that gap-toothed grin; the whiff of condescension was as palpable as a sudden pocket of humidity. Catie wondered, how old was Huck? Twenty-two, maybe? Twenty-four? Dyson cleared his throat. “I left you a little something.” At first, Catie thought he was talking to her. But no, of course not. He was talking to Huck. “What’s the occasion?” “No occasion.” Huck held Dyson’s gaze. Something heavy seemed to settle between them. Finally, the little man with her father’s eyes made a gentle motion, as if wiping away a tear, and a moth flew off into the night. This moment, clearly, had nothing to do with Catie. But she wasn’t willing to just leave them alone to talk about whatever it was they weren’t talking about because she was there. The sky through the branches of the tree overhead was clear, glittering with stars. The harvest moon was swollen and golden, like a moon in a movie. On the front porch stage, someone spoke, and the audience erupted in laughter. Catie imagined what her sister Rachel was doing right now: probably blowing dirt weed into a Pringles can stuffed with dryer sheets,

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WEBER

THE CONTEMPORARY WEST

Profile for Weber—The Contemporary West

Weber—The Contemporary West Spring/Summer 2014  

Weber—The Contemporary West Spring/Summer 2014  

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