A down-and-out saloon singer returns to the mountain town she fled as a distraught teen two decades before and encounters a one-night-stand boyfriend, her late father’s strange legacy, and a chance to redeem her life in the title short story. Other characters, through impulse, indiscretion, malevolence, ambition, pride, self-indulgence, greed and various faults uncover more than they are prepared to accept. Lack of self-control undoes those who embrace careless living and casual desires. Some characters, having gotten too near the edge, pull back and plumb for subjective strength to recover. For others, self-inflicted adversity is the only way they can salvage lives careening completely toward destruction. Throughout these stories are indelible human beings striving for whatever grace and love their circumstances offer, as well as unforgettable characters jousting with fate even if the deck is stacked against any chance of victory. Most deserve whatever happens to them, as some do not. In each situation they, like people everywhere, place their needs and desires squarely on the line and plunge ahead.
Richard Vaughn was born in Illinois in 1933 and moved to California in 1944. He is the author of two novels, Soldier Boys and Mesa Beach, as well as two short story collections, Childhood Country and Rapture Runner. He lives in Mission Viejo, California.