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“The World’s Shortest Stories” yearly contest

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The Palm Frond

(2009)
A palm frond may symbolize triumph and victory, rest and hospitality or a festival.

Or it may symbolize nothing because it's simply organic material.

an excerpt from this contemporary short story …

The Most Reverend Barny Deloi was stopped at the light stuck in traffic on his way to the gym when a most astonishing spectacle passed before his eyes.

As the torrent of pedestrians began moving in both directions towards each other, one, a woman on the east side, marched across Guerrero in the crosswalk with a whole palm frond in her hands. She was a heroine coming out of battle with an award, a warrior’s prize held high to the vertical as she passed in front of the vehicles, Barny Deloi’s being one of a half dozen waiting for the light to change.

When it did go green and he was able to continue, he thought no more of the remarkable scene.

The following night he circled the block five times before a parking space opened up in front of him on Albion just half a block from the original sighting. He got out to walk to the Kilowatt, a favorite watering hole.

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On the sidewalk was the palm frond. Whole, entire and, to tell the truth, a bit worse for wear. Its leaves were now frazzled and already the green had begun to leech out. But there was no doubt. With instant insight the Most Reverend Barny Deloi thought, “That’s the same palm frond.”

But that was all. He continued toward the Watt with no more thought of the frond and entered the bar intent on finding his favored location just two seats from the entrance. There his presence would immediately be appreciated and perhaps remarked upon by any

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