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August 1, 2010

by Mario Milosevic

Carl thought the architectural drawings at the exhibit were nothing like he expected to see. The were so small. Tiny. The museum guard seemed to be staring at him. What’s his problem, thought Carl? Do I look like I’m going to do something? The sketch book in Carl’s hand seemed heavier than it did only an hour ago. He hardly ever sketched in it. He didn’t even like to sketch but his counselor suggested it would help him be more expressive if he could draw. So he drew, sometimes. The guard was really starting to bug him. Carl gripped the sketch book tighter. There was no excuse for that guard to be harassing him like that. He wanted to flip open the sketch book and take out a pen and begin sketching but the sketch book was too heavy, too closed. It wouldn’t budge. It had this stretchy band holding it tightly closed, like it didn’t want to be sketched in. The museum guard only made it worse. Carl began to walk toward the guard. The guard hardly seemed to notice Carl. He looked right past him and Carl realized the guard wasn’t looking at him at all but at something else, something on the wall behind Carl. Carl breathed more easily. So. The guard wasn’t harassing him. That made Carl feel better. He waved at the guard. The guard still ignored him. That’s okay, thought Carl. He slipped the band off the sketch book’s cover. He would draw what the guard was looking at so intently. It was probably very interesting. The thing was, the guard was also interesting. The guard was so intent. Unmoving. Carl scratched his pen on the paper. It left a line that looked like the profile of the guard. He drew another line and another. Before long the guard was on his page. Carl looked up and the guard was gone.

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Mario Milosevic lives in the Columbia River Gorge, one of the most beautiful places anywhere. His day job is at the local public library. He writes poems, stories, novels, and a little non-fiction. For a complete list of his publication credits (and more bio), visit mariowrites.com.

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