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Even standing on the pier, right next to the ocean with the rushing waves crashing so loudly, they drowned out everything else, you could still only smell the bread. A whole street of baking shops, each one more tantalizing than the next with fresh baked breads and pastries and cakes. The aromas combined together to wash away the saltiness of the sea from your nose just like the waves dominated over the squawking seagulls and shouting customers.It's the best place in the world, that spot on the pier- where the world slips away and all that I know is rushing waves and delicious bread. It's taken years, but I can pick the smells apart one by one.Paska and patica from the European shop straight ahead- there was forever the smell of baking raisins and sugared walnuts. The sweeter smell of sugary glazed doughnuts -which always seemed to smell stronger than any other pastry- came from the bakery on the opposing corner aqnd complimented the European bread rather well, in my opinion.The wedding cake shop was best known -at least to me- for their aromatic frostings. The vanilla butter cream was the most popular, but today I could smell freshly crushed strawberries on the breeze. It's all pulled together by the big bread shop, mind you. They have all the originals- wheat, white, rye, pumpernickel, potato. And then they'll back anything you can come up with. Someone had put in a huge order for banana nut bread because all you could smell one top of everything else was bananas and cinnamon.With the sun warming you to your toes, the waves thundering deafeningly at your back, and the smell of so many wonderful breads assaulting your nose, this really is the best place in the world. I dare you to prove me wrong.
"Technically, I didn't break the law," Rachel said smugly.Jason scoffed, his head rolling against the wall to look at her. She sat across the hall, back against the opposing wall. Her lilac Maid of Honor dress pooled around her hips and her heels were set off to the side. Her hair, which had been done up so perfect and elegantly just an hour ago was tousled and falling loose. Mia would go nuts."If you want to get technical, we're both breaking the law," he reminded her. They had just called the florist to postpone the flower delivery; Rachel had pretended to be the bride (Mia) crying and distraught in the background.Her nose wrinkled in response. "You're the one making the phone calls. I'm just making noises in the background.""Your part is essentially identity theft!" he argued. "I could claim I have no idea who you are and you asked me to call!""Yes, because it's so likely that they'll believe the Best Man has no idea who the Maid of Honor is," she said dryly. "All I have to say is that it wasn't me.""I mean... Technically... That's all I have to say, too," he said as he thought about it. "Who knew Shaggy had it right the whole time? At any rate-" He stretched and rubbed his temples. "-stopping a wedding is a lot harder than the movies make it seem.""No, I think it's about right. Lots of shenanigans. Ridiculous ideas. You've really outdone yourself, Parker," she said, using his surname."You went along with it," he reminded her. "It's for the best, though. Right? I mean, I'm in love with Mia and you're in love with Robert."She sniffed and looked at her hands in her lap. "Right. For the best. A bit selfish, but at the same time... They're not right for each other anyway...""We're a good team, you know?" he remarked. She nodded, not looking up.Jason studied Rachel for a long moment, noting the curve of her cheek and the subtle shift in her expressions. He had known her since grade school, but he suddenly felt like he had never really looked at her before. For the first time that day, he wondered if they were making a huge mistake. If he were being rational, he would say they should leave well enough alone. Too little, too late. Mia had never really given him any reason to think she would be interested in him despite... Why had he never looked at Rachel before?She cleared her throat. "Mia's Uncle Jerry should be here soon. If we let him break into the champagne early, that will certainly come off as a bad omen, right?""Right?" He shook his head. He'd been in love with Mia since college. He cleared his throat and began getting to his feet. "Right," he affirmed.Standing, he offered Rachel a hand up. She took it and stood, stumbling a bit. He caught her on instinct, pulling her close. She looked up at him quickly and with his hand still on her wrist, he could feel her pulse racing. Her brown eyes were wary.Jason swallowed. "You know, we could back out," he found himself saying of his own diabolical plan. "Right now. No harm done. Technically."Her eyes softened and it spread across her features like a crashing wave. He was overcome with the sudden urge to kiss her. Now that was crazy.Rachel pulled back, bending over to retrieve her heels. She glanced up at him, the softness gone. "Technically," she said quietly before heading back toward the lobby.Jason stood, staring after her, his heart hammering in a strange way. Like he was in trouble. Like he had lost something precious. But it was just Rachel.Technically.
The people who walk the grounds below are not worthy of the concrete and grass upon which they tread. With their smart phones and their interwebs and their self involvement. That woman just threw her trash next to the bin instead of in it without a backward glance, adding it to the growing pile of litter a simple spell could clean. The man in the five hundred dollar suit just lied to the homeless fellow about not having any money and would go on later in the day to lie in a courtroom and put some fellon back on the street. I'll wager he even as some slick-tongued magic to illegally persuade his jury.I long to stretch my wings- to swoop down over top and remind them of their mortality; their insignificantness. Alas, my wings are stone in the daylight and I am bound to just sit and watch.Sometimes I think it's what they really need. A good reminder. Things were so much simpler centuries ago- people have always been rude and selfish, but I don't recall ever seeing it this badly. I never thought the magical world would be as bad as the mortal one.Oh, look, the woman who shuts her children up with candy because she's too embarrassed or detached to discipline them.Humans are devoid of kindness or discipline anymore. They're so stuck on their screens and themselves and their instant gratification.A little girl runs over, red curls bouncing in pigtails. She runs right up to the dirty homeless man sitting on the steps and offers him her happy meal. Her parents follow, trying to warn her away from the stranger. Don't bother him, you don't know him, come here. The little girl stands firm, stamping her tiny foot as she sets the little box down next to the man. unwilling to get too close themselves, the parents usher the girl away.Through the sun and the stone, I manage a smile. Oh little girl, how the world will try to beat you down. Keep stamping that tiny foot of yours. It might get you somewhere.But what do I know? I'm only the church gargoyle.