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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

Columbia College Fiction Writing Department

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David Gianatasio

You've journeyed far, young pilgrim. Now, claim your reward. Behind door one, riches; door two, wisdom; door three, love and contentment. Choose wisely. One door leads to the fulfillment of your quest...

I just came in for some chips and a Sprite. The Sprite was in the cooler. The chips were in the candy aisle.

Untold wealth. Wisdom of the ages. Eternal happiness. Those are your choices.

Do you have to shout into that microphone?

Who dares spurn the gifts of the gods?

Come on, Chris. We've been in the same homeroom for three years. What's with the beard and flowing robes?

Ah! Perhaps you seek a fourth door -- a dark passage to an unholy realm where no desire goes unfulfilled?

If you've got the new Hustler back there, great, I'll take it.

Blasphemy! Blasphemy!

Don't be such a prude. Your manager's not around.

Begone! Thou art cast out! Never return, foolish mortal.

Don't worry, I'll be going to the 7-Eleven from now on. Just give me my change, OK?

Change? -- I shall make a believer of you yet. Here is your change. Behold!

Whoa -- Holy -- Crap -- You're...

Bow before my fearsome wingspan -- my wreath of silver and gold!

...ripping me off! I gave you a twenty. And stop waving those feathers in my face. What'd you do -- pluck a freaking hen?