-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

January 01, 2020
Romance Stories P.D. Ravel

What I Always Dreamed

I can feel you through my skin. You are the one who dictates my feelings, the one who knows all my fears, and the one who makes me recognize that I like this man next to me. But what you don’t quite understand is that in this reality you are not the only one…
January 01, 2020
Fantasy Stories Tom Sheehan

Work of Ages, Work of Comets

The tip of the shovel had talked to him with a dull thud, not just through his ears, but totally. It came into his hands and up the stiffness of his arms, through the quick riot of nerves on red alert, through all passageways of recognition. It was wood! At…
December 29, 2019
Mystery Stories Christian Mc Culloch

The Changing Tide

The bell on the tramp steamer called out into the thick fog. A single bell from the buoy off to starboard replied. Somewhere there were stars beyond the grey blanket. The ship nosed forward. The bells spoke to each other. Mor'thn Weeds pulled the collar of…
December 29, 2019
General Stories Alan Peat

The Belated Present

I know he’s here somewhere on what I call my Restitution List. E, F, ah here we go the G’s. Glockner, Gobomo, Gomez, Greengrass. Gerald Greengrass. Present wrapped all ready for transit. Special delivery. Job almost done. Maybe I should explain what my…
December 29, 2019
Mystery Stories Bruce Stirling

Ashtown

Wyoming, 1905 Sam built up the fire, then hit the blanket. He was drifting off when he heard a low rumbling off in the distance. He grabbed his Winchester and scrambled up to the top of a low ridge. From there, with the sun sinking low, he took in the…
December 29, 2019
General Stories Jason Reed

On Love and Death

Part 1 At ninety-five George's knees supplied defiant resistance whenever he went upstairs. This morning was no different but here he was at the top landing - surveying the hall and doorways for a clue as to why he was up there. "Glasses!" He said with a snap…
December 29, 2019
General Stories W. Giersbach

Working Woman's Wife

I couldn’t get rid of the vendor on line 1, there was a call hanging on line 2, I was ten minutes late for a conference call from Tokyo, and the Senior VP of Finance was tapping his foot in my doorway. Worse, I had just spilled a four dollar latte on my white…
December 29, 2019
Flash Fiction André Goiuyneau

The Sock

Dear Madam, Further to your advertisement, and having myself lost a sock one day, I can reveal all the consequences of this loss to you. I searched for the lost one, its sister in my hand, until weary of the battle I sat down, thoughtful. Why did I not just…
July 10, 2019
Romance Stories John L.Yelavich

Saccharine Smiles and Sandpaper Personalities

What is the most powerful force in the universe? Is it atomic fusion, military might, volcanoes, tsunamis or any other natural disaster? No, they are not. None of them can create havoc and paranoia in man any more than love can. Yes, love is the force that is…
July 10, 2019
Crime Stories J.B.Stevens

A Good Man

Jimmy hated feeling the delicate orbital bones splinter, but he didn’t have a choice. He needed to be free. It was unfortunate. Just the wrong place, wrong time. If he was out he could send money to Sarah. That’s what all this was all about, helping his…
July 10, 2019
Fantasy Stories Roger Ley

Turing Test

Mr Riley liked to start his day in the library. It was a short walk from his house and conveniently situated at the top of the main street in the Suffolk market town that he and his wife had retired to. When they’d first arrived, he’d joined the local writing…
July 10, 2019
Romance Stories Patric Quinn

Where or When

The front doorbell sounded its gentle Westminster Chimes and the thumping on the door started before Hazel even put her pen down on the papers she was working on intently. More curious than annoyed, she stopped writing, shrugged and started for the door.…

 

 

Shines like a beacon - Editor

My Wife Glows in the Dark

by Brian Ross

My wife is following me.

Again.

Lately, I have been distant: hands-off when she wants me to be hands-on, too busy or too tired when she wants to talk. She has suspicious blood, my wife, but she trips over her reckless curiosity. She does the math, comes up with five, and paints herself a pretty picture. Next thing I know, I’m watching my back because she’s on it.

She never stops to ask why.

So we play the game.

She asks me how my racquet-ball practice was and I say, great thanks. I rub my shoulder convincingly as she tells me about her evening of dishes and dirty nappies. Her story is as transparent as mine, but I’m working a lie so I don’t question hers.

She is a poor detective - more Clouseau than Poirot. She thinks I don’t see her - behind cars, in doorways, around corners - but I do. I see everything. She doesn’t move when my eyes try to find her, but she is there just the same, not realising that I have her chasing her own tail.

I’m happy to indulge her, to pretend I don’t notice my new shadow, because she will only ever see what I want her to. And besides, after tonight, she won’t do it again.

#

“It’s work, honey,” I tell her, already shrugging my jacket on. “I’m sorry. I have to go.”

I’m a doctor, so leaving the house at eleven-thirty on a Thursday night isn’t such a stretch. I have made midnight trips before: I have saved lives at this hour several times. This one though is different. Make up a patient, give him a name, a tumour, two months to live. Shake and stir.

I cross the street and make as if I’m checking for traffic, but there are no cars at this time of night, and it’s really her I’m looking for. She’s still there, hands frightened by her sides, pretending to be interested in the sides of beef Joe has in his butcher’s window.

My wife, the vegetarian. She can’t fool me.

The town is black, but the truth cannot be masked by flicking a switch and killing the light.

I turn up my collar and sink deeper into the gloom.

I pass a guy on the street, his hands shoved deep into his pockets like he is digging for answers. His eyes meet mine as our shadows merge under a street-lamp, and he quickly looks back at his guilty feet, as they take him towards the wrong bed.

I turn the corner and there’s the building I’m looking for. Five storys. There are a few yellow eyes in the wall of concrete and black glass: dozens of numbers on the silver panel by the door. I press forty-two, and say:

“Sorry to bother you so late, but I’ve locked myself out. Can you let me in please? It’s seventeen. Thanks, man.”

He doesn’t say a word. There is a buzz, the lock springs, and I push inside. The door falls closed on my tail.

The outside chill is replaced by artificial warmth. The heating system tick-ticks within the walls of the building like a telltale heart.

I climb the stairs, passing seventeen, and throw a look over my shoulder.

Nothing.

She has learned fast, but not fast enough.

Out of sight, and soon to be out of her mind, I think, almost loud enough to hear outside my own head.

When I reach the third floor, Number Forty-Two is standing in his doorway. Bare feet, wild hair, black pants. His middle-of-the-night curiosity is a dangerous thing, although at this moment he doesn’t realise it. I don’t mind. It saves me knocking or breaking in.

Less noise, more haste.

I walk up to him and say: “I believe you know my wife.”

It’s not a question but he seems to think it is. I can see him wondering who the hell I am and why the hell I’m here. He looks at me strangely - because comprehension is asleep at midnight - then tries to say something, but I am not interested in any of his excuses.

I pull a gun from my inside pocket and shoot him three times in the chest.

Phfft.

Phfft.

Phfft.

Silencers are wonderful. It’s like plugging a pillow.

Forty-Two falls back and hits the carpet, dead before he does. I’m a doctor. These things I know.

I put the gun back into my jacket and make my way downstairs.

My wife is standing in the foyer with her mouth open, looking at me the way people do when they don’t know what to say.

I smile and brush past her into the night.

You see, a cheat is easy to see, and a betrayal of the heart shines like a beacon.

My wife glows.

But not anymore.

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!

Stories Tips And Advice