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A lonely divorced man jogging along the beach obsesses about a strange girl who passes every day; he changes his life to find out who she is. Haunted about aging without grace, a prissy high school teacher seduces a young art student to obtain a timeless portrait that will outlive her. Drought in a prairie town provokes a murderous incident. The legacy of a family's pearl necklace reveals a secret of sacrificial devotion. Deer hunters and duck hunters confront more than sport when they venture into the wild. A social climber who preys on wealthy guests at a resort is undermined by fraud. Tourists and travelers in Italy, Korea, China and the Philippines find themselves in frustrating and dangerous incidents. An elderly man confronts a teenage sweetheart he must escape, while other men learn to accept unexpected love or ultimate rejection and loss. Throughout these thirty-two tales are people who encounter longing, regret, humor, success, failure, love and regeneration as they cope with, and try to survive, events they have instigated or inherited under the relentless terms of the human condition.