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Available November 1, 2009
An excerpt from Cincinnatus
...continued (Page 9)

“Damn it,” he said, walking in a circle. “Ow. Damn it.”

He rubbed the shoulder as he paced. Back and forth, back and forth. The bursa sack. He’d never even heard of a bursa sack before, and now the freaking thing had ruined his life. The bursa sack. Two years of specialists and none of them helped. Dr. Stamm, the latest, was going to be mad. Didn’t I tell you? Six months? Now you’ve done it. You’ve really done it.

“Bob?”

He looked up. The person he’d seen coming up the fairway now stood ten feet in front of him.

A woman. Dressed in a business suit. Gray slacks, gray jacket, white blouse. A good-looking woman. Hispanic, with something else mixed in. Olive skin, long dark hair, pulled back in a bun.

“Are you Bob Kazmir?” she asked.

“No.” Good-looking or not, Matt was angry. “I’m not Bob Kazmir.”

“Do you know where he is?”

“Do you know where you are? You’re on a golf course.” Matt stepped closer. “And there are rules that need to be followed when you’re on a golf course. One of these rules being, you don’t walk on the fairways when the course is in play.”

“I didn’t realize—”

“You don’t walk on the fairways. I was in the middle of my swing, and I had to stop when I saw you, and I hurt my shoulder.”

The woman tightened her lips. “I’m sorry,” she said. “So you haven’t seen him? Bob Kazmir?”

“No.”

“This is thirteen, right? He told me he would meet me on the thirteenth green.”

“This is the thirteenth tee.” Matt rubbed his shoulder. “I haven’t seen him in a couple weeks. Since the tournament.” He added, “And no great loss.”

“Meaning?”

“Meaning Kazmir’s a jerk.” Which Matt knew from first-hand experience. Kazmir was a golfer too, a local boy made sort-of-good, good enough to play on the tour for a couple years, good enough to be the club pro here at The Pines for a few years after that, good enough so that when the new local boy, Matt, was trying to make it, the papers kept comparing them, a comparison Kazmir himself made, pointing out that yes, Matt Thurman had a lot of potential, but he’d have to work to realize that potential, the same way I did.

He never missed a chance to put Matt in his place. This year had been no different.

“So you don’t know where he is?” the woman asked.

“Went back to Florida, for all I know. He’s got some hot-shot job down there. Likes to lord it over us locals.” He’d lorded it over Matt a couple weeks back. Matt was checking distances on the greens when he ran into Kazmir on the twelfth. Kazmir charged up, veins popping on his forehead like he was going to have a heart attack. ‘Who do you think you are, Thurman? You think you’re still a player? You’re a caddy. Caddies don’t belong on the greens.’ Never mind that it had been six in the morning and the hole was getting a complete makeover courtesy of Kazmir’s company right before the Classic.

“So you don’t know where he is?” the woman prompted.

“Don’t know. Don’t care.” Matt smiled. “What do you need? Maybe I can help.”

The woman shook her head. “I don’t think so, thanks.”

She started off down the fairway the way she’d come.

“Wait!” Matt called out. “What’s your name?”

She kept walking.

“How do I find you, if I find him?”

She turned slightly and looked over her shoulder.

“You don’t,” she said, and kept walking.

...Continue to Page 10

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