New Flesh on Old Bones

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Carpe Diem

As Chief Grady crossed the street to the mayor’s office, he hoped that Leonard had already heard the news and he wouldn’t have to be the one to break it to him. When he walked through the door and saw his friend behind his desk sitting, shoulders slumped, and staring at the computer screen with a forlorn look on his face. Grady knew that Leonard had already gotten wind of the report.

Leonard remained slumped as he looked up at Grady. Hopelessness had settled into his eyes. “There’s a tropical depression in the Gulf.”

“I’ve heard,” Grady replied.

“What about the president?”

Grady took a moment before he shook his head.

Leonard ground out his words through gritted teeth. “God is out to get me.”

“It’s a force of nature, Grady replied. “We live on the coast. It happens. We’re just going to have to take our licks.”

Leonard stared wide-eyes at Grady. “Are you talking about canceling the tournament and festival altogether?”

“Come on,” Grady replied. “You don’t expect—”

“It could still turn.” The mayor’s eyes looked as though he were hanging onto a shred of hope.

“It could,” Grady agreed. “But right now it’s headed straight for us, and you know as well as I do that it could turn into a full blown hurricane by the time it hits land. Maybe reach Cat three.”

The chief’s prediction seemed to stress Leonard even more.

“You and I have been friends for a long time,” said Grady. “We’ve both had our share of us and downs, but we always stuck by each other and made it through. We came through on the other side stronger people, and that’s what we’re going to do now.”

Leonard’s expression turned angry. “I don’t need a pep talk from you.”

Grady pursed his lips together and briefly looked down. When his gaze returned to the mayor’s, he said, “You’re right. I’m wasting my breath and my time.”

Leonard looked slightly taken aback.

“If you want to sit here and stew in your misfortune then there’s nothing I can do about it.”

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