To Be Named

Robert Quick

Where the -@!# did my muse go?

Writer, dreamer, knight, shackled by entertainment . . . and people.

I felt around the sides of my neck. She was right. The skin there was sore, tender to the touch. My suspicion of her seemed justified and came flooding back. I was choked recently and she finds me, leash in hand? I don't know if it was guilt or what that prevented her from leaving me to die. Maybe she was afraid of getting into trouble. As I puffed up to level an accusation at her, the palm of my hand brushed against some kind of cord hanging on the inside of my shirt.

It wasn't her.

As I tugged on it, I felt plastic peel away from part of my back. The whole thing was like a necklace. I had to pull it over my head to get it off.

The cord was braided nylon and on it hung a clear zippered pouch, too grimy to see through now. It felt thick between my fingers.

"What is that?" the girl asked.

"I'm not sure. What's your name, anyway?" I asked, sliding the zipper open.

"Veronica. My friends call me Ronnie."

"Pleased to meet you, Veronica." I slid out a driver's license and read it. "My name's . . . Thomas?"

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