Begonia

The peonies were a hand’s turn past perfection. Instead of the tight, round folds Holly had expected, the flowers flared outward like grandparent arms open for a hug. The petals had become papery as their veins dried out in the sun, and as they curled back, the canary pollen rods below were exposed. Even if …

Valentine

The bell rang brightly and Zuzu pulled her plump, red lips into a smile. The next client was right on time even with the foot of fresh snow outside. Her bridal party trailed behind her like a brood of baby ducks as they streamed into Gingersnap Bridal. This would be a fun one and she …

The Meeting

He’d shown up late but he’d shown up. At least he could tell his wife that. Dawn had yet to break and the whole town was tinted liked the brightness had been dialed back a couple notes. The meeting was in some church he’d driven by a million times. Before now, it had occupied his …

The Dog: Part One

“Excuse me, ma’am? Looks like your coupon is expired.”“Well, scan it again.”The tall, too-slender cashier forced a smile as she scanned the coupon. The register buzzed angrily. “ERR, CPN EXPR” popped up in green letters. It was only to be expected. The coupon, as evident by its faded print and worn edges, was two years …