Flash Fiction

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Common Ground by Carole Avila

Her miniature collie’s leash tangled about her ankle as the young woman entered the dog park. A muscled arm shot out like a rocket and caught her under the elbow, preventing her face and torso from smacking into a wooden bench.

“Thank you,” she said and yanked down on her denim pant to cover her leg as the man gently lifted her to standing. “He’s normally not excited to come here.”

She steadied herself, then unsnapped the leash from her dog’s collar. The long haired pet ran toward the canine gymnastic equipment and immediately connected with a white poodle. The two dogs walked in a circle and sniffed at each other.

“Not only does Max hate the dog park, but he never plays with other dogs.”

“That’s Shelby. She’s my cockapoo. Got her from the shelter,” he said.

The woman tilted her head and an endless ocean of blue filled the sky. No, it was his eyes. Her breath went in instead of out as she gasped at the handsome stranger. She smiled and held out her hand to the charismatic man who broke her fall.

“Collette.”

“Micah.” He extended his left arm. “Gulf war,” he said and shrugged as if apologizing, holding up his right hand–a smooth silver hook. “Titanium from the elbow down.”

Collette lifted her pant leg and revealed a metal pole attached to her shoe. “Shark bite. Aluminum. My good leg’s at home.”

He laughed. Max and Shelby chased each other while Micah and Collette discovered that they both loved Thai food.

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