Terror of the Desert
People have described him as an asshole, but he’s never concerned himself with what others think. To him, the world is just littered with self-righteous do-gooders, so it really doesn’t matter how he is. Except with her – he'd do anything for her. His girlfriend is a strong-willed woman with a fiery personality who knows just how to meet him head-on. Unfortunately, they’re currently separated by a desert while she cares for some family in Phoenix. He has plans to visit her this weekend, but decides to surprise her by coming out a day early. He’s a few hours from the city still when he spots a rundown shack, presumably selling flowers from the looks of it.
Happiness is Cake
Happiness is cake. Or so it is for one Millie Gonzales. Cake and her late abuelita, to be specific. She was blessed with her grandmother’s sweet tooth. They would spend countless blissful hours tinkering with recipes, licking batter off of spoons, and enjoying in the fruits (well, cakes) of their labor. Their shared passion for baking inspired Millie to want to share her happiness with others. She’ll never forget the tearful look her sweet abuelita gave her before pulling her into a fierce hug when she revealed the name of her shop: Rosa’s Bakery. It seemed only natural to name it after the woman who had supported her every step of the way. It was an exciting year watching her business gain traction and quickly become a local favorite. However, things took a turn when Rosa’s health started to rapidly decline last month.
Fiona's New Home
Growing up, I had all I needed and then some. The old man I lived with was the jolly type who would chat with me often. He talked to me about all kinds of things - mostly about how I was doing. He called me Fiona. His love, like our home, was warm and comfortable. I liked it there. These are now memories from a distant past. My life changed when one day, he didn’t return home.
Death by Merlot
I travel as a contract worker; I paint the interior and exterior of buildings. Since I move all over the place, I meet many different people. People like Jake – we met during a show at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston. And Philip – he caught my eye at the Downtown Festival and Arts Show in Gainesville. Then there was this little farm boy named Michael – we bumped into each other in Ames at the London Underground. Finally, I lured Benny away from Ithica Collegetown for a bit of fun and was able to add New York to my list, too.
Testing Good Fortune
It’s the middle of August in Chicago and Scott’s furiously staring at the car in front of him, but his anger isn't directed at the sweltering heat and traffic congestion, though they certainly aren’t helping to improve matters. He's angry at that damned brat at the office who started no more than a year ago and has stolen the lead role for a big audit in D.C. Scott works for an IT audit firm and their biggest client recently acquired a new company. They are due for their first audit to ensure they are properly aligning to the client’s policies and best practices. Scott deserved that lead role, not Miguel. He’s approaching his 14th year with the company and has worked too damn hard to let some insufferable frat boy overtake him.