Blindsided: A Dream Engagement Turned Nightmare

“Any serious doubts Don might have had about Teri didn’t creep in until after he received her out-of-the-blue breakup text. But the doubts turned to bewilderment six days later, on September 26, when Don’s old girlfriend showed up at his house in Lafayette to check on him, and instead ended up informing him of a devastating turn of events she had seen in the local news.”

Author: Mary Milz
Published: May 31, 2016
Length: 22 minutes (5,522 words)

My Mission to Find the Best Truck of All Time

“First-gen Tundras are the difficult fish. And while a pickup truck might not be your thing, something else probably is: that perfect pair of running shoes, a custom surfboard, a backpack that fits like an Italian suit. The expert’s pick, the quiver killer.”

Author: Nick Heil
Published: Jun 14, 2021
Length: 12 minutes (3,231 words)

Called by God

“With the help of OUR, a rich person can become a vigilante hero for the day, their living room transformed into a personal situation room. For those who can’t afford the situation room, Ballard carries the drama with him to every interview and every fundraiser.”

Author: Meg Conley
Source: Slate
Published: May 11, 2021
Length: 10 minutes (2,684 words)

La Cancion de la Nena

“He sits on the edge of the bed to compose and work through songs, facing an amp, while I curl into his velvet-lined guitar case and listen…I have called up this memory so many times I feel the gauze of fiction starting to overlay its details. But it is a memory so dear, I reanimate it against the heaviness of the present—my father, full of promise and possibility, years before the shell he would become, now shut away in my childhood bedroom in the graying light of ever-closed blinds.”

Source: Oxford American
Published: Jun 1, 2021
Length: 27 minutes (6,937 words)

‘Just Another Indian’: Surviving Canada’s Residential Schools

“Alsena says she never felt love at the school. In fact, she never felt human. Until she was 13 years old, she was known by the number 11. From the age of 13 to 16, she was number 39.”

Source: Aljazeera
Published: Mar 24, 2021
Length: 12 minutes (3,192 words)

The Elephant Vanishes: How a Circus Family Went on the Run

“Today, many circus elephants in Europe are reaching old age. Campaigners want them placed in specially built sanctuaries, where they can enjoy retirement with their own kind. But their owners insist that for the elephants, being separated from their human “families” would be traumatic.”

Source: The Guardian
Published: Jun 8, 2021
Length: 21 minutes (5,455 words)

The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax

“ProPublica has obtained a vast cache of IRS information showing how billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett pay little in income tax compared to their massive wealth — sometimes, even nothing.”

Source: ProPublica
Published: Jun 8, 2021
Length: 22 minutes (5,717 words)

The World Has Changed, But The Hospitality Industry Hasn’t. That’s Bad For Workers.

“After 15 months of tumult, not everyone is ready or willing to return to a job that underpays, offers no paid sick leave, and treats them as expendable.”

Source: BuzzFeed News
Published: May 28, 2021
Length: 12 minutes (3,191 words)

The Crystal Hunters of Chamonix

“Elías was drawn to crystal hunting as an antidote to conventional alpinism, which in his view had become all about speed. ‘With alpinism today, the goal is to spend as little time as possible in the mountains,’ he told me later. ‘As a cristallier, you spend real time in the mountains. Days, days, days. That changes everything. It changes your relationship with the geography.'”

Author: Simon Akam
Source: Outside
Published: Jun 8, 2021
Length: 23 minutes (5,868 words)

How Federal Agencies Are Failing Their Wildland Firefighters

“There’s a damaging disconnect between the lionized figure of the firefighter and the reality of the men and women who fight more fire than anyone.”

Source: Grist
Published: Jun 2, 2021
Length: 14 minutes (3,743 words)