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Chicago skyline with the caption: One frosty day in Chicago, Veronica White receives a life-changIng assignment.
Veronica White, a Snow White doll in a dress with poofy sleeves, sits at her desk in a fancy downtown office. She thinks to herself, ‘Like always I’m the last one in the office.’
She checks her phone and sees a message from her boss. The message says, “Hey, you need to go to the country. The big real estate deal is stuck. We’ve got a holdout. You have to convince them to sell their beloved family home.”
She says out loud to herself, “If I can close this deal before Christmas, I will get a big bonus. Can’t wait to spend it on a cruise and get away. I hate the holidays ever since that old hag gave me a poisoned apple last year.”
The next day, Veronica White arrives at her quaint American hometown. There are tiny shops and cafes on brick sidewalks. She walks around the main street and says, “Wow, my hometown hasn’t changed at all; still as dull as the day I left it. Can’t wait to develop this land into a mixed-use 2 to 4 story shopping center and parking facility. I could really go for a cup of coffee.”
Veronica White sees a cafe courtyard with foliage and an empty table. She enters a garden cafe. She sees another doll in a dress and straw hat and thinks to herself, ‘Is that becky? Haven’t seen her in ages. She looks great.’ She asks the doll, “Becky? What are you doing here?”
Becky responds, “Hello Veronica. Long time no see. I still live here.” Veronica responds, “I’m so sorry. I’m here on business.”
Becky responds, ”On business? It’s only 3 days before Christmas. Do you have time for a little fun?”
“No,” Veronica replies bluntly.
Veronica continues, “I’m focused on my career right now. I’m the best rookie real estate developer. People are counting on me to build mixed-use shopping centers and parking facilities.”
Becky responds, “Oh c’mon, it’s the holiday season. Plus, I have just the guy for you. He’s a hunk and the town’s most eligible bachelor. Let me set you up on a blind date.”
Veronica White says, “Fine. But it has to be tonight. I’m busy tomorrow.”
Fast forward to later that day. Veronica enters the 6 Dwarves Cafe. She looks around and does not see any hunks. She thinks to herself, ‘Of course I’m early. I can’t stand tardiness. Might as well order my coffee.’
She approaches the counter to order. The barista is a Trollz doll with a ruffled neck onesie and hair spiked up in one giant spike. The barista asks, “Hi, what can I get you?”
Veronica responds with her regular order. “Get me a trenti iced coffee with 12 pumps of sugar-free hazelnut, 7 pumps of skinny mocha, and a splash of oat milk.”
The barista nervously responds, “Oh, uh, I’m sorry. We don’t have any oat milk.”
Veronica rudely responds, “This establishment is a joke.”
Suddenly the town’s most eligible bachelor enters the cafe and crowds the doorframe. He immediately starts ordering from the barista. “Hey hun, can I get my regular? A black coffee with none of that silly stuff in it.”
The barista thinks to itself, ‘Yay.’ The Hunk adds, “I’ll also have a cookie, please.”
Veronica interrupts angrily, “Excuse me! They were attending me! This place is such a dump. I’m leaving.”
Fast forward to the next day. Veronica is standing outside a beautiful older Victorian house surrounded by pines, trees, and shrubs. She inspects the impressive home from the outside and exclaims, “Wow, this is a beautiful beloved family home. It will be hard to convince him to sell.”
Suddenly the Hunk from the coffee shop appears from the fields around the home. He says, “Howdy.”
Veronica thinks to herself, ‘Fiddlesticks! It’s the Hunk from the coffee shop.’ She says out loud, “What are you doing here?”
The Hunk responds, “I’m here for a business meeting. I own McMillion Estate. Some big city real estate company wants to buy it. I won’t sell it unless they prove they will take care of the orphanage.”
Veronica thinks to herself, ‘Orphanage? I didn’t know this estate had one…’ Then she says, “We are trustworthy! Give me another chance. I’m not always like I was in the coffee shop!”
As the sun rises behind them, the Hunk responds, “I can never say no to a pretty face. Ok, you have one more chance to prove it. I get to pick the date this time. Come back to my ranch tomorrow. We will make one big cookie for the bake sale. Proceeds will fund the orphanage.”
Veronica responds, “Thank you! I won’t let you down!”
Veronica returns to the McMillon Estate the next day. The interior of the home is decorated with a Christmas tree and comfortable sofa chair. She compliments the Hunk on his home by saying, “Wow, your beloved family home is so beautiful!”
The Hunk says, “Thank you. I built it entirely with my own hands because I am also a carpenter.”
Veronica thinks to herself, ‘What hands? Anyways, I see why Becky said he was such a hunk…’ Veronica says aloud, “Let’s make this cookie before I crumble.”
Veronica’s phone buzzes. She has a text from her boss. The message says, “How’s the business deal going? Did you secure the property?” Veronica texts back “I’m working on it. There’s an orphanage getting in the way.”
The Hunk says, “Join me in the kitchen.”
The Hunk and Veronica stand at the kitchen table. The table has a flour bag, measuring cup, and a bag of sugar. The kitchen is decorated with Christmas decorations. They begin to work on the cookie in the kitchen. Veronica is having fun working on the cookie. She thinks to herself, ‘I’m having so much fun. I’m definitely catching feelings.’
The Hunk tastes the cookie and then says aloud, “You are so good at baking.”
He says, “I have never tasted a cookie so good in my life. Well… except my wife’s cookies.” Veronica is puzzled.
Veronica thinks to herself, ‘His wife?! I thought he was the most eligible bachelor!’
In shock, she drops the cookie. She says. “Oops. It fell…”
The Hunk closes his eyes and lowers his ears. He sheds some truth: “Before she died of a rabid hawk bite, she told me, one day, an angel will come to help me save the orphanage by baking the best cookie. I think you might be that angel.”
He declares, “I’ve made up my mind. I will sell the land. I can’t afford to keep the orphanage open anyway.” Veronica leans close to the Hunk.
“Don’t sell the orphanage to my company. We can open a bakery and the orphans can work in it and we can keep the orphanage open!” says Veronica as she rests her cheek on the Hunk’s cheek.
The Hunk and Veronica share a kiss. The Hunk rolls his eyes back mid-blink. He says, “What a wonderful idea.” Veronica receives a text from her boss saying, “You’re fired!”
Jacob Coz, Co-writer
Rob Steinberg, Photographer
Rocio “Chio” Cabrera
Rocio “Chio” Cabrera is an artist, puppeteer, writer, and puppet fabricator from Chicago. She typically adapts her works from historical events and texts. Her passion for miniatures and puppetry came from her toy collections, which grew to include rubber ducks, Furbies, and erasers.