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Even through the whirring oven fan he caught the subtle squeak of her pressing into the screen door on tiptoe, shading her eyes to see better into the bakery. She, no more than seven, had a floral dress. He, crinkled, near seventy in his sun-faded blue shirt.

And the two were alone there in the back, so he crept to unlatch the dusty screen, bent to her level and slipped out a molasses cookie as he did every weekday afternoon. His finger to his lips and her shy nod as she scuttled away re-sealed their little after-school secret.

Story by:

W.S. Beasley

3 July 2017