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Latest Stories

July 28, 2018
Mystery Stories Roger Ley

The Wheel Fiddle

The melody drifted across the garden as she was picking fruit to make a summer pudding. She put down her basket, wiped the sweat from her forehead and walked around to the front of the cottage. The man stood waiting at her garden gate, he raised his cap. He…
July 28, 2018
Flash Fiction Rekha Viswanathan

Pills and Capsules

I wake up to a crisp, clear and sunny morning. The fresh coffee smell beside my bed tempts me. One long sip of the coffee and my senses kick in! I have a long day ahead. At least that's what the papers at the foot of my bed say. Glancing at the paper I see…
July 28, 2018
Crime Stories Stephen A Murray

Russia,Russia,Russia.

There existed in Russia a small group of intelligence operatives left over from the KGB. They are known as Sputniks. From Wikipedia: "Sputnik was the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on October…
July 28, 2018
General Stories Paul Anobile

A Portrait of Slam Bang City

I was hired to paint the portrait of a billionaire who founded a small city twenty years ago in a ghost town he purchased in Arizona. Danny O’Keefe, professional wrestling promoter and executive, convinced a number of investors to build a fourteen-thousand…
July 28, 2018
Science Fiction Stories Majoki

The Deadest Generation

Sergeant Taylor always checked us thoroughly before sending us in: regulation uniform, backpacks, anti-ballistic helmets, Kevlar vests, and, of course, your gun. You couldn’t go anywhere in this place and be safe without your gun. Sergeant Taylor was strict…
July 28, 2018
General Stories J.B.Stevens

Dead Camel

The improvised explosive popped off to the convoy’s left. The armored black Suburban Neil drove muffled the sound to a dull thud. The blast seemed smaller than normal. “Anyone hurt?” the medic, Luiz, called across the radio. The team members, in four matching…
July 28, 2018
Romance Stories Jerry Hogan

He'll Ask Me To Dance Again

Jay I’m Jay, and I have never been to the My Time Dance Studio before tonight. As I entered, the interior projected a garish 1930s Art Deco motif. Greenish, glow-in-the-dark, semilucent plastic tubing wrapped around the hand railings separating one sitting…
July 28, 2018
General Stories Jim Bartlett

The Comebacker

Cornstalk stretches forward, the look almost as if he’s about to fall headfirst off the mound, saved only by the slapping of his left hand to his knee. He locks eyes with his catcher, then lets his gaze wander down just below his glove for the sign. Uncle…
July 28, 2018
Crime Stories Susan C. Nigra

Never Kill The Author

Oh My God! What’s happening? This has never happened before. I am cornered, trapped, boxed in with no safe way out. There has always been a way out before, miraculous last minute saves. I think back to how I got here and I remember I was assigned this case as…
July 28, 2018
Crime Stories Thomas Schmidt

The Streets of Camden

Saturday night was cold and wet. Mike Joseph walked cautiously down Norris Street on his way to the Whitman Park Field, a large green space inside the depressed neighborhood. Propositioned twice by street walkers, he kept moving while shifting his head from…
July 13, 2018
Mystery Stories Rekha Viswanathan

The Enchanted Woods

The boys are on a trip. A trip into the woods. Accompanied by their family they trudge along a narrow path, a route that had obviously been traced by human footsteps, a trail that had been trodden many a time. They walk cautiously, startled by the snap of a…
July 13, 2018
Flash Fiction Carl Perrin

What Could go Wrong

If you plan every detail carefully, nothing can go wrong. I believed that when I was a teenager. Like the time Billy Long and I decided to make our own beer. Once in a while we used to steal a couple of Billy’s father’s beers, but we were always afraid we…

 

 

I grasped the rough edges of the tombstone and pulled it from the strands of thick, yellowed grass upon which it lay. I set it in an upright position. The words “Dear Love” were carved along the top of the stone. I had carved those words.

For a few seconds the stone stayed in place. This time she will accept my apology. Everything is going to be fine.

The stone wobbled and threw itself to the earth.

“What do I have to say?” I cried. “I’m sorry! You know I am!”

The tombstone lay silent on the dead grass.

“That girl meant nothing to me. She was nothing but a horrible mistake, a moment of weakness. It was just that one time! Didn’t I apologize? Didn’t I try to make it up to you? Why did you have to leave?”

My words bounced off the cold stone.

Tears ran down my face, following well-worn tracks as once again I relived that terrible day:

The first thing I saw was one of her white sneakers, lying sideways on the floor. I took another step down and saw her feet hanging in space, with the other sneaker still on her right foot. Her face was purple and bloated. Her eyes, though dull, damned me as I cut the rope. I tried to carry her up the stairs, but her body threw itself out of my arms. Finally I dragged her up by her feet. Her head bounced on each stair as her eyes watched me, accused me…

I sobbed, and couldn’t stop. The stone lay there, disdainful of my pain.

I brought myself under control. “Didn’t I then prove my love to you? Didn’t I show how much you meant to me by burying you here, all by myself? I broke the law by not reporting what happened. I couldn’t bear the thought of you lying in a cold morgue. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?”

The sun was setting behind me. My shadow crept up to the tombstone and caught the edge of it. It rasped against the grass as it skittered up several inches to escape the contact.

I wailed and threw myself to the earth where my love was buried. The ground heaved and threw me to the side. Rocks dislodged themselves from the soil and flew at me, driving me back.

I walked away, tattered and disconsolate. But tomorrow I’ll be back. Tomorrow I’ll once again reset the tombstone. And this time it will remain upright. My love will forgive me. I know she will.

 

Paul Magnan has been writing stories that veer from the straight and narrow for many years. He lives in New England. He has recently appeared in the 009 issue of Sanitarium Magazine.

 

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