“You see,” the happy voice went to explain, “my uncle here is a writer. Isn’t that right, Uncle Max?” Beautiful blue eyes blinked up at him in expectation.

“Uh, yeah.” He was too confused to do much else but play along, “I’m a writer, and this is my niece, Sophie. My name is Maxwell Hornbaucker.”

Sarah squinted at the pair, more at ease, but still on guard, “What is it you want?”

Sophie answered, “We travel around, talking to people, collecting their stories for my uncle to use in his writing. They don’t have to be what you might call funny, just interesting enough for a story. Right, Uncle Max?”

“Oh, oh, yeah. Just interesting. Anything like that happen lately, Miss?”

“Well,” she had one in mind, but wasn’t sure to share or not, “I don’t think I have one.”

“What about your husband?” Sophie asked, pointing to Sarah’s left hand.

Instinctively, she put her other hand over the ring, “He’s … gone. I lost him.”

The real Sophie was determined, “Tell us, what happened? How did you lose him?”


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