Annika Barranti


Puppy Love

-I liked his tattoo.
-You left the bar with a strange man because you liked his tattoo?
-It was a coffee shop.
-Good lord, Diane, I donít care what it was. Donít you realize how stupid that was?
-It was a broken heart.
-What was?
-The tattoo. You know the type, with the jagged break down the center?
-Yeah, yeah, and sutures holding it together I suppose.
-No. But it had a banner across it. It said "Puppy Love".
-Oh my god.
-I know, but Liz- it was really sweet somehow. This big, hulking-type guy, and he had other tattoos that looked like he got them in prison, or the Navy or something, and then thereís this one thatís in color, and itís a broken heart.
-Iím weeping.
-It was stupid. OK? You satisfied? It was stupid and Iím lucky to be alive and we can all rest easy now heís behind bars where he belongs.
-Yeah, except you donít think he does.
-He said he did it. You were watching the news, you heard his confession. You think he did it.
-Do you?
-I donít know.
-Fourteen trash bags, Diane. Bits of her body in each one. And he knew where they were.
-OK, he did it.
-Are you in love with him or something?
-Yeah. Iím in love with him.
-All right, forget I said that. Sorry. I just donít get it.
-Whatís to get? We were talking in the cafť. He asked me if I wanted to go for a walk. I said yes. Because I liked his tattoo.
-Yeah, we already covered that part.
-We walked along the river, under the moonlight. He swept me into his arms, and Ė Jesus, get that look off your face. Iím kidding. We walked about five blocks, I said I should get home, he hailed me a cab.
-And he shook my hand.
-And then he mauled that girl.


Annika Barranti lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a large collection of books she has never read. Not included in this collection (though still extant) is Annikaís first novel, The Old Well In The Creek, which she wrote and illustrated at age 5. She is from New York, where her favorite streets aren't straight. She has never, to her knowledge, been on a date with a killer.


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