The Mama

Mama gave birth to her first litter of kittens at the far end of the park. She nestled herself as far away from the playground as possible between the weeds behind the bench on the trail that led down to the woods. The air was cool, the rain fell hard, and Mama knew something was…

The Gunman

It was my first day teaching the pathway program at my school. I'd worked hard in the general ESL program as a rookie, and I'd been promoted to the big leagues. I was feeling good. Teaching pathways meant a new office, a different boss and added responsibility. Students had to pass my course in order…

The Office

“Yo, MC Rydes! How you been?!” Read the familiar and yet novel text in my inbox. I almost laughed out loud as I read it. It could only be from one person on earth. Javier Alonso, my old buddy from elementary and then high school. “Javi!!!” I responded, a big smile on my face. “I’ve…

The Alternative

Paul and I were driving south down California's glorious coast in our rented yellow Camaro. We were on our way back to Redondo Beach from a night camping in Big Sur. I was exhausted. The night had been freezing, with a hazy mist that I hadn't expected in sunny California. We didn't bring an inflatable…

The Fountain

The summer between elementary and high school, my best friend Chloe and I spent most of our Saturdays at Amuseland, the theme park conveniently located down the street from our neighborhood. My mom would drop us off on her way to work in the mornings and then pick us up on her way home. We…

The Parking Spot

She pulled into the parking lot behind the building hoping to find a spot, but all three visitor spots were taken. She texted him, "hey, there's nowhere to park, what should I do?" A few seconds later, her phone lit up with his reply, "pull up to the front of the building, I'll come down."…

The Cheats

I sat at the back of the class entranced in my work. I was halfway through writing Eminem's second verse in Renegade diagonally across the plastic cover of my red history binder. I blew the glittery black gel lightly to dry the words before starting the next line. "Do you always write with your face…

The Internship

"That's the girl," I whispered to Ant, using my chin to point at an event tent across the harbourfront. "And that guy behind her is the manager, the one who interviewed me." "Really? I didn't picture him to look like that at all." "I told you, he's all tall and spindly. Kind of looks like…

The Uninvited

We didn’t plan ahead. We’d decided to drive as far as we possibly could, until Paul was good and tired, and that’s when we’d find a hotel to stay in.  That’s how we ended up in Borowinns, South Carolina, an extra hour after Paul had said he was too tired to keep driving. We’d been…

The Critique

I was flying through my post-graduate Teaching English as a Second Language program. I'd figured out the secret to good grades just the year before in my fifth year of my traditionally four year undergraduate degree program. That's how long it took me to figure out learning, just in time for me to learn how…