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Featured Fiction: 'A Slice of Living'

She looked at the slice of pizza, all slick with grease, shimmering, mirage-like, and watched as it seemed to begin to writhe terribly on the plate. This couldn’t be happening again. Two years ago, as of this past Tuesday, marked the end of her stay at the Serenity House. She was past this, she had to be.

She remembered the hug Dr. Paterson had given her and the final pat on the back while her father had stood there holding her grey nylon suitcase waiting to walk her to the car. Dr. Paterson had looked her in the eyes and told her smile had begun to touch them again. One final goodbye and she walked out.

But now, looking across the table at Sam, and down at her cooling yet still somehow crisp-looking pizza, had her crinkling up her nose, trying not to gag from the smell of the food. How had this crept up on her again? Sam wasn’t like Eric had been. Sam laughed easily and often. He gave quarters to old men that were ahead of him in line and were short eight cents. He would grab her hand and squeeze when that smile wandered away from her eyes.

The little worms that had eaten away at her body all those years ago, that she’d spent months plucking out of her mind, had somehow wriggled their way back in.

No. This wasn’t Eric.

She picked up the slice and took a bite.