-The best stories on the web-
Read or link to over 1000 stories listed under Stories to the left.
Submit your short stories for review as a Word document attached to an email to: Read@Short-Story.Me

Latest Stories

May 19, 2018
Fantasy Stories Jo Carroll

The Curl and Vampire

She was a pretty thing to be sure, the little girl with the curl. Her cheeks were as red as blood and her skin as smooth as porcelain. And yet there was something odd about her clear blue eyes—something empty and soulless. She sat atop her throne of building…
May 17, 2018
Mystery Stories Nicole Robb

New Frontier

Still groggy from her hibernation chamber, Stacey checked the readings once again on the ship's control panel.She had read them right. "Tom! Something's wrong." "What is it?" Tom emerged from the back where he had been checking on the twelve hundred sleeping…
May 17, 2018
Mystery Stories Laura Ellison

Remedy

The smell of death hung heavy and pungent in the air. Sickness touched the skin and covered it in a dewy glow that in any other situation could have been attractive. Castellan held a scented handkerchief over her nose as she walked through the village to the…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Dylan Thomas Nichol

Forged in Shadows

Screaming was all that could be heard through the bone chilling halls of the dungeon. This was what the supposedly great nation of Hace really was. An ugly abomination lay underneath the stunning Admor Keep, and Caelin made the long journey through it, his…
May 17, 2018
Mystery Stories Isabel Schwaak

Something Stronger

A thick grey stone wall separated the village of Telly Fenn from the wilderness. A narrow path led the way out of the village and melted into a crossroad, from which a crooked path strayed far into the dark forest. The inhabitants of Telly Fenn were content…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Jade De-Terville

A Light Bulb Called Tink

“This is more than just a bloody mid life crisis,” Karen said clutching a tattered red book, until her knuckles started going white. She savagely threw the book onto the chequered dining cloth, and ran her hands through her untamed hair. “Oi, mind the…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories April Winters

Area Twenty Four and a Half

I, Jim Roberts, got fired today. I didn’t realize Mr. Kerr, my boss, was standing behind me when I referred to him as Kerr-mitt. He failed to see the humor, and now I have no source of income. Looks like my journalistic aspirations are out the window. I…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Jeremy Szal

Crimson Snow

16th Day of Regon, Year 455 of the First Dawn I could feel the cold as we climbed higher, the chill reaching into my bones. The wind whispered across the grassland, flapping my black hair over my face. I wanted to lie down. I wanted to sleep. I wanted to…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories B.J.Neblett

Forever

“Segue the next couple of records with a jingle then go into a stop set. I’m gonna get some air.” Hy Lit flashed his agreeable smile, adjusted his trade mark tinted glasses and winked. “You’re a natural, kid.” Then he disappeared out the studio door. The…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories BJ Neblett

Pockets Full Of Wishes

“Don’t put your hands in the pockets!” Jimmy looked at his sister. It was just a winter coat, a used one. It was all his parents could afford. But it was his. He picked it out. Now he stood proudly before the store mirror admiring the blue denim coat with the…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Laura Ellison

Consumed

Arlia knelt down on a silk cushion in the middle of the room. She took a deep breath and centred herself. Gramps always told her to do this, sometimes he jabbed her in the sides with his walking stick if he thought she rushed meditation. In front of her the…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Paul Magnan

Scorned

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…

 

 

Keith Kellerman entered his brother’s house, quietly, searching for the corpse.  He found it in the front parlor.  His brother, Robert, was sitting slumped over in his favorite chair.  It was evening, dark now, and Kellerman hadn’t bothered to switch on any lights.  The room was in shadows, yet Kellerman recognized Robert’s outline perfectly.  That was his older brother there, slumped over, dead.  Robert was an old man, seventy-nine years old, yet he’d been healthy before this.  Kellerman wasn’t far behind his brother in age: himself seventy-five, yet now it looked as if he’d be the last.  Moving closer, he knelt down next Robert.  He felt for a pause.  Nothing.  He felt for a breath.  Nothing.  Yes, Robert was truly gone.

Kellerman grinned.

_ _ _ _

 

Over the years, the great many years that made up their lifetimes, Kellerman had grown to despise his older brother.  For as long as he could remember, Robert had been the stand out.  Robert was always the smartest.  Robert was always the fastest.  Robert got whatever he wanted, while Kellerman lived in obscurity, forever in second place.  It was Robert who was sent to the best schools.  It was Robert who gained success as a wealthy industrialist, while little Keith Kellerman had to tag along on his brother’s heals, contending himself with being his brother’s servant.  He’d done just that, spending the

best years of his life serving his wealthy older brother, constantly playing second fiddle and hating every moment of it.

Kellerman had sworn that he would someday live to see his brother buried.  Then two months ago, he’d gotten the word from his doctor that he had cancer.  Cancer!  Sure enough, Robert, though older, was still in perfect health.  All his life, Kellerman had lived for the day when his older brother would be dead, and gone, and he’d be the only one left.  Now it seemed as if Robert was also going to enjoy the privilege of being the last to go.  Kellerman couldn’t allow that.  Somehow, Robert would have to die first.

 

_ _ _ _

 

Kellerman had been extremely careful in sorting out the details.  After all, he didn’t wish to spend his final days, his only days without Robert, under incarceration for murder.  Ironically, it was Robert’s way of life that showed Kellerman the way.

Robert didn’t get to the top of the business world without learning how to eliminate some of the competition along the way.  Whenever a rival businessman would try to muscle in on Robert’s territory, Robert would have them killed.  During these occasions, Keith Kellerman always had a hand in helping his brother set it up.  Over the years, he’d learned to be somewhat of an expert in setting up contract hits.  He knew just the right people to contact, who was safe and who wasn’t.  For Kellerman, the task of choosing and hiring the proper assassin for the proper job was an easy one.  No matter where you go, you can always find the proper killer for the proper price.

Over the years, it was amazing to Kellerman just how many decent people with good paying professional jobs also moonlighted as murderers.  Those were the people he looked for, people with double lives who wouldn’t risk jeopardizing their primary careers by doing a shoddy job of murder.

That’s the kind of person that Kellerman had solicited to assassinate his brother.

As he could see, the killer had followed his directions quiet well.  Kellerman didn’t want his brother’s death to be messy or particularly violent.  He wanted it to be clean, and as far as he could tell, it was.  Looking over Robert again, he didn’t see any blood or any other signs of a struggle.  The killer had been quick and professional.

That was good.  Despite his confidence in this field, Kellerman was always nervous during the moments before an assassination was made.  He couldn’t help but be apprehensive, worrying that something might go wrong.  It wasn’t until the deed was done that he could relax, that he could be sure that things went according to plan.  He felt this way because he never actually got to meet the killer in person.  All transactions were done through correspondence in order to further distance himself from the crime.  So far, this policy had served Kellerman well.

The killer was told to come to Robert’s house at exactly eleven o’clock that night.  He was given Robert’s description: an old man with bright gray hair, dark eyes; he always carried a gold pocket watch with him, even at night.

The pocket watch.   Robert never went anywhere without it.  He even took it to bed with him.  Searching through his brother’s pockets, Kellerman found it, and took it.  The pocket watch had belonged to their grandfather.  It was an antique, a priceless heirloom.  Grandfather had giving it to Robert shortly before he died so many years ago.  Kellerman had always been bitter about that.  Why did Robert always get everything?  Throughout his life, Robert had cherished that watch.  He kept it with him constantly, for good luck, and good luck was all he’d ever had.

Kellerman had always seen that watch as a symbol of success.  Now it was his.  Holding in his hands, he looked it over with great satisfaction.  He checked the time, just a little after eleven o’clock.  Robert had kept it in working order all these years.  Satisfied, he placed it in his pocket.  It’s mine now.  Mine.

Just then, the front door bell rang.  Jolted, Kellerman swung towards it.  Someone’s here, probably a neighbor or a servant coming to check up on Robert.  That’s perfect, he decided.  Now he could play the part of the distraught brother who just found his older brother dead, which would further illustrate his innocence.

Going to the door, he opened up, not recognizing the man standing at the threshold.  He wasn’t a servant.  A neighbor perhaps.

“Mr. Kellerman?” the man asked.

“Yes.  Please come in.  I’m afraid something terrible has happened.”

Kellerman allowed the man to enter and shut the door.

Turning, he noticed that the man was looking at the watch chain that dangled from his pocket.  The man was wearing a pair of leather gloves, and grinning.

Before Kellerman could gasp, the man reached out with his gloved hands and gripped him tightly around the throat.  No, he tried to say but couldn’t.  You’ve got the wrong man!  Struggling, Kellerman tried to shout, to let the man know that Robert was in the other room.  Dead.  But how?  If this is the assassin, how did Robert die?

Kellerman was old.  The killer was not.  It only took a few seconds for Kellerman to die.

_ _ _ _

 

Later afterwards, both Robert and Keith Kellerman were placed side by side in separate storage lockers at the county morgue.  The head medical examiner was there along with his assistant, putting the finishing touches on the autopsy reports for both brothers.

It was found that the oldest one, Robert Kellerman, had died naturally of heart failure while reading in his chair.  Not a bad way to go.  The youngest brother, Keith, had died a much worse way.  Affixation.  Death by murder.

“Pretty strange,” the assistant said.  “Two brothers on the same night.  One died naturally.  The other killed.”

“Yeah, it’s a weird one,” the medical examiner agreed.

“The cops will have a hell of a time figuring this one out.”

The medical examiner shrugged.  “We’ll let them worry about it.  Come on, let’s get some lunch.”

While following him, the assistant asked, “What’s that gold chain you have hanging out of your pocket?”

“What, this?” the medical examiner took a gold watch from his pocket.  “Here, have a look.”

The assistant looked it over and whistled.  “That’s real gold?  Wow.”

“Yeah,” the medical examiner said.  “It’s an heirloom.”  Complements of my night job, he thought but didn’t say.

 

The End

 

Author Bio: George Ebey is the author of Broken Clock; Dimensions: Tales of Suspense; The Red Bag and Widowfield. He is a graduate of The University of Akron with a bachelor's degree in History, as well as from Kent State University with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in writing. George is a contributing editor to the International Thriller Writer's web-zine, the Big Thrill. He lives with his wife, Gail, in Northeast Ohio.

0
0
0
s2sdefault

Donate a little?

Use PayPal to support our efforts:

Amount:

Genre Poll

Your Favorite Genre?

Sign Up for info from Short-Story.Me!