A hyena stalks a herd of antelope.
Photo by Vera Scheers on Unsplash

Damn fine Sentence #23

Dawn Downey


Frequently while I’m reading, a sentence grabs me and forces me to stop. I pay tribute to other authors by sharing their Damn Fine Sentences. Then I recount a memory the words bring up for me. It’s about how books connect with your life.

“Rich met my eyes with a look that was so searching, I almost asked if he had a warrant.”

— — — Annie Raab
— — — Girl Noir

On summer break from college, I was walking to the store. I noticed in the distance the rhythmic long-legged pimp stride of a solitary man coming in my direction. I tensed, sick of fending off pick-up lines directed at my chest. At least he was on the other side of the street, where a shabby apartment building butted up to the sidewalk, like the Berlin Wall

I thought maybe I’d escape unnoticed, but a change in his stride signaled the instant his attention shifted to me. He slowed — a hyena locked in on the scent of gazelle. The distance between us narrowed. His head swiveled in sync with my approach. He tugged his shades down the bridge of his nose to look at me over the rims.

And then that hyena splatted right into the side of the building.