I'm from Lawrence, Kansas. I'm a paleontology student at the University of Kansas who specializes in fossil burrows, tracks and coprolites (poop). I've never had any fiction/poetry/creative nonfiction published before. Also, I don't have Word, Works, or Clarisworks, so I wrote my story on this email.
No one knew how dangerous Howard was until it happened to me. I did. I knew. I saw it coming and I was only seven. Only the victim ever really senses what's going to happen to her. Howard seemed a nice old violinist to everyone. He was the life of the faculty parties. He loved parties. He loved his fellow faculty members. He loved their children; he especially loved their children. He always pinched their cheeks and told them how big they were getting. He would grab the fleshy side of a child's face and wiggle it violently between his fingers and say "You're getting so big! Do you remember me?" It was so embarrassing. There was no way to avoid the pinch if he was at your parents' party. He would pinch every under-twelve cheek in the room and every kid would leave the party with a big red mark on their right cheeks. The adults said he was so good with kids and thought the pinching was just a cute old man habit. But I knew I was right to be afraid. That's why I was the only one who wasn't shocked when it happened last night, when he pinched a little too hard and a little too long. Even Howard looked surprised when my fleshy cheek slid from my face and fell, quivering, into his hand.
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