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Editing, formatting and cover design by Harvey Stanbrough.

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The Coogan Curse

Larry Long

Chapter One

Kurt heard the police siren and his gaze shot to the rear view mirror. Ah, damn it! Red and blue flashing lights were barreling toward him from a quarter-mile back. Welcome home, he thought. He lifted his foot off the accelerator. How do they even know I'm here? He'd been inside the city limits less than two minutes. No one had seemed to notice him and only a few intimates even knew that he would be in town.

The police car roared closer, tailgating.

Kurt poised his foot over the brake pedal, prepared to pull onto the shoulder and stop, but the cop swept past him and sped away along the curving, two-lane road ahead. Whew! Not so much as a glance my way.

He relaxed his grip on the steering wheel. What are you scared of? They can't hurt you. He'd come in from Chicago to wrap up a little personal business over the weekend. On Monday morning he'd leave exhaust fumes for Rock Bluff, Nebraska and be gone from his boyhood home in perpetuity

Two minutes later, up ahead, the neon sign for Lola's Happy Corner glowed through the dull February overcast, but before Kurt reached the parking lot another siren wailed from back down the highway. He hovered just off the right edge of the road until the county sheriff's cruiser raced past just as the city cop had before.

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