All Stories, General Fiction

Stranger on the Gradient by Tom Sheehan

Duncan Coffey felt a mild agitation. At first, he marked the subtle change as curiosity and then, making small measurements, corrected the assessment. A retired rewrite man for The Saxon Sentinel, he was frightfully aware that his capacity for surprise had long fled him. Odd moments told him he might have another person sharing his skin. This was one of those odd contemplations now working on him. His old fishing pal Ed LeBlanc used to say he had bitten off more than he could chew in this life, dwelling too often on little things, getting hung up in details, losing the big picture. “Duncan,” he offered a few times, “You could choke on a blade of grass and lose the whole thing.” He’d never explained what the whole thing was, but Coffey got the meaning.

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