“Unfortunately, inner feelings and potential are often stunted by our parents, relatives or peers.” Willie Stargell

Short Fiction, Published by Pearl Editions, LLC Copyright 2012 Georgiann Baldino

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or have been used fictitiously.

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Family Ties

A deep gully blocked reception, and the car radio went dead. Blind bends and sharp curves taxed Lyle’s skill as a driver, and yet he pressed the accelerator and made the tires whine. A trip home was not his idea. Lyle stayed away as much as possible and, like his dad, gave work as an excuse. Going home was hard—even harder to arrive. The sunset blazed behind a buttress, shadows crept over the rocks and the spectacular vista was a good distraction.

When he turned back to the road ahead, a hiker chose that moment to cross. Not much shoulder along the ravine, but Lyle veered. A yellow rain slicker created a blur along the passenger side. “Thump!” The rear view mirror revealed the heart-stopping sight of someone toppling over the edge. Lyle came to a panicked stop, ran back and slid down the gully. A cascade of hair showed he’d hit a young woman. She had settled twenty feet down—arms folded over her chest, legs twisted in the opposite direction. After a clumsy slide, Lyle took her wrist. It felt light, as if not made of bone and flesh. Her limbs trembled, raw nerves inciting movement and muscles pitching fits. He found a pulse. Once Lyle had it, however, he grew more alarmed, for it seemed his fingers touched her heart. “Please, be all right.”

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