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“The World’s Shortest Stories” yearly contest

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The Runner

(2009)
There is such a thing as a gambling addiction and Gavin has it.

But this story is primarily about family.

an excerpt from this contemporary short story …

“Nice place you got here, I must say. You’ve done well for yourselves. A bit underground and dark like. But grand. Think they’d call this a growlery, where you can put your feet up and enjoy a pint and complain about the government.”

Sean settled back in the comfortable easy chair and glanced around the rec room. He held a glass of porter from which he drank a small sip.

“That’s a tradition here in this country as well, Sean,” his host replied taking a long pull on his own pint and draining the dark liquid nearly by half. “Slamming the regime.”

“And how are the boys, Liam? Grown lads now, eh?”

“That’s right, Sean, you wouldn’t have seen them these past ten year, would you? Thick as thieves, they are. Gavin is twenty-five y’know, and Ferhghal’s a year behind.”

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“Grand. Brilliant. Work together, play together?”

Eilis with detectable reverence in her voice said, “Oh, that they do. They even moved in together.” Liam took another taste of the dark malt and said, “Family. That’s what it is. Family is all that counts, y’know.”

“Well,” Eilis continued, “This country suits them.”

“This city, y’mean.” Liam was not defensive; he was merely explaining. “San Francisco is like nectar to bees when it comes to young people having their nights out. The two of ’em got an apartment and Gav has his own little computer programming business with Ferhgal in school at university. So we help him along. Doesn’t earn anything much to speak of.”

This story is 24 pages long, available in PDF format.
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