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Jeanne Tomlin Word Count: 800


Guardian Demon

By: J. R. Tomlin

On the warmest afternoon in August, I sold my soul.

The sun shone through the slats of the blinds in dusty bars. Sweat tickled as it ran down my face since I couldn’t afford to run up the electric bill by turning on the air. I held the statement from the bursar’s office in my hand. I’d known I wouldn’t have the money for the next semester but kept hoping that the money would come in from somewhere—a grant, some unexpected scholarship. Now here it was. Four thousand dollars or I was out on the street with my doctorate only half finished. My transcript would be good for paper training a puppy—if I had one.

There had to be something I could do. Anything! I’d been a good girl all my life. Studied. Hardly ever got drunk. Never did drugs. Top grades--never cheated. Even went to church with my parents whenever I went home. Damn it, this wasn’t fair.

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