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  • * * * *

    They lay in the flower garden in the shadow of the deck. Light in rectangles from the house windows crossed the lawn toward the water.

    Dana tried to untangle herself from the arms, legs and body half on top and half around her, but hands still clutched her upper arms. She tried to pull away, but couldn't.

    As her eyes adjusted to the dark, to the small light from moon and stars and from the windows of and Ami's house, which fell at a distance where they lay, she began to make out features. The man holding her was clearly not any of the men she had met at the island. He was dark-haired, so dark that his hair blended into the night. His eyes, however, were light enough to see--they appeared pale grey but Dana imagined them as a piercing pale blue. He had no facial hair and his features were fine and clean like good Arabian stallion. He looked like a movie star playing the part of a wealthy man. Dana laughed at herself for imagining this.

    "Are you wealthy, Harlan?" she asked in a teasing voice, not knowing herself where the lightness came from.

    "You recognize me in the dark?" he asked. He sounded suspicious or worried or both.

    "Well," she said, "I've met Ross, Glenn and Garrett. I've met Simon and Willie. Billy Owens is dead. Who else is there, besides Harlan Harrison . . . I mean Harlan Hardan. I keep referring to you as Harlan Harrison because in another life on another planet, I knew a boy with that name. He must have been your twin, he looked so much like you, I mean, I'm imaging that he would have looked much like you when he grew up. "You weren't Harlan Harrison in another life, were you?"

    "There's Byron, Brigand, Finley and Alfred. There’s Eric, Irwin, Lance, Bob and a gazillion other. And yes, I was Harrison in another life, but how would you know that?"

    Dana paused, thinking about her earlier conversation. "I was . . . um . . . joking—I hope you are too. My Harlan . . . um . . . left on not the best of terms. You're joking, right? About being Harlan Harrison?"

    * * * *

    Links to the COWBIRD installments of my serial novel hopeful, Discovery at Little Hog Island. (These are only links to cowbird stories, nothing else.)

    To start at the beginning of this serial novel, go here: first installment
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