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"Jesus, Mary and Joseph," she said, sounding more like her brother than I'd ever tell her. "What the hell just happened?"

I shrugged. "Guess I got a set of bum strings. It happens."

"Yeah, right. Every string breaking at the same time." She paused and studied me for a moment. "Has it happened before?"

I shook my head. I was telling the truth. But other things just as strange had—no more than two or three times a year, but that was two or three times too many.

I set my guitar in its stand and went to the back of the stage where I got my string-winder and a fresh set of strings. Miki was still sitting on her stool when I got back to my own seat. Usually she'd be off the stage by now, mixing with the audience.

"So what aren't you telling me?" she asked.

"What makes you think I'm not telling you something?"

"You've got that look on your face."

"What look?"

"Your 'holding back something juicy' look."

"Well, it was strange to have them all break at once like that."

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