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Good Dog Bad Dog Story (Excerpt)

Deb Kennedy

Bitty liked the bats, said they looked like pumpkin smiles against the sky, but Duran said they gave you rabies and bad luck and gangrene.

"Nah," Bitty said. She stuck out her tongue, which she knew from staring in Aunt Fran's hand mirror, had little black spots on it like a Chow's.

Duran made his grossed-out face. "That thing should be outlawed." He shiv­ered. "You should have to carry a permit for that thing."

They were walking the cornfield behind Bitty's house. It was too hot to do anything else. They'd go to the pool soon but Bitty wanted to wait until it was honest to God dark for that. Bitty had found four white stripes on her right hip that morning. Four on her right and three on her left. She tried to tell herself that the stripes made her a tiger, gave her new and wild and profound powers kind of like her tongue did, but really the lines just confused and alarmed her and she didn't want Duran to see them or say anything dumb about her body which was bigger than his and changing overnight without asking her permission.

The bats dipped and swooped over their heads in drunken circles.

(Read the whole story in The Hong Kong Review, Vol. I, No. 2)

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