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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…

 

 

When my dog went missing, I focused on Lamont James.  Lamont’s my sometime friend — quote unquote — who brought dog-frickin-biscuits every time he visited to drink my beer.  And I think he had a key to my crib cause my one-time girlfriend Monica said she lost the one I gave her last year and Lamont has been seen walking with her on Broadway.

I loved my dog, Marvin.  Not one of these yappy little candidates for a squeak toy, he’s a mixed breed pit bull who holds his own in the park.  Marvin would get down off the porch and wrassel with the big dogs.  That’s the test of character.

Next thing I thought of was my gal Charmayne.  Charmayne coulda been a bulldog herself.  She’s the toughest, hottest babe in the hood, like when the summertime came and the sun went down, she’d peel off layers and make traffic stop on Amsterdam Avenue.  That one always looked foxy, with her short shorts and her headlights hangin out of a blouse open to her bellybutton.  We saw each other for a few dates.  Nothin more than holdin hands.

But she got on my case later when she thought I’d done wrong by one of her girlfriends.  She waltzed into Small’s Bar and slapped me side of the head.

“I want you to get your shit outta Kereeka’s hooch and don’t bother her no more.  You two-timin her and gonna break her heart.  And don’t touch the Nespresso machine cause it’s mine.”

I said, “You confusin me with some other dude, Charmayne.  I’m not down on Kereeka.  I got a job running a parking lot ten hours a day.”

“Mind what I say, mofo.”  Then she walked out of Small’s and everbody was laughin at me.  Humiliatin is the word for it, but I know Charmayne has character and was probably havin her monthly or got troubles with her mother.

Tough.  That’s why I called Charmayne.  “Somebody stole my Marvin, Charmayne, and you the only person can get him back from Lamont, who I think is the perp.”

She says, “Any whyn’t you do it?  It’s your dog.”

“If Lamont did not steal my dog, my accusin him would cost me our friendship.  And if he did steal my dog, he might try to whup my ass cause he a mean….”

She laughed on the phone like a fire siren.  “You think I’m some kind of ladies detective agency?”  And the siren went off again, like to make me deaf.

“Give you fifty bucks you find Marvin and kick Lamont’s ass.”

“A deal.”

With fifty bucks on the table I had to protect my investment.  I knew where Lamont lived on 126th off St. Nicholas Avenue.  So I hang at Biggy’s Pizza. which smells like Lysol, till he waltzed up the street.  Charmayne steps out from a beauty parlor storefront right behind Lamont.

“Stop right there, Lamont, and face me like a man,” she shouts.

“Who you talkin to, girl?”

“I’m talkin to you, a dog-nappin low-down thief in the night who done my friend wrong, and he wants his dog back.”

“I don’t got no dog!”

“What’s in that Gristedes shoppin bag?  Open it!”  She was shoutin and I could hear it through Biggy’s open window.

“Ah, man, you got no call….”

Well, Charmayne grabbed the plastic bag from his hands and a dozen eggs hit the front stoop.

“Gah-damn,” Lamont wailed.  “My eggs.”

“Don’t make me mad!  Now the other bag!”

Kind of embarrassed, he opened it slowly.  She snatched the bag and turned it open so her and me could both see it had dog kibbles.  Not Marvin’s brand, but he’s not picky.

“Ah, you got no call to do that, Charmayne.”

“Lamont, you go upstairs and bring me that dog or I’ll call the cops on your sorry ass.  Dog nappin is against the law.  Right now, I say.”

I finished my pepperoni slice and threw the crust in the street for the rats just as Lamont came out the door with Marvin.  “Lamont,” I shouted, “you found my dog.  Bless you, my man.  I been lookin’ everywhere.”

“This Charmayne say I stole your dog.”

“Ah, nah, man.  Ain’t the first time Marvin decided to go for a walk.  Why, thank you too, Charmayne.”

He stepped backwards up the stoop.  “You got this woman to hit on me, accusin me of dog nappin?”

“Why, no, Lamont, I told her there was a fifty dollar reward for returnin Marvin.”

“Hey,” he said.  “I found the dog!  I get the fifty.”

“But she returned him to me.  Besides, you owe me seventy-five from getting your stuff outta hock at the pawn shop.  Or you can give Charmayne fifty and me twenty-five…and the key to my crib.  Or I can call that Irish cop who’s usually around the corner on Martin Luther King Boulevard.”

And that’s how me and Marvin got reunited.  And Lamont apologized a little bit when I got my key and twenty-five bucks back.  He said Marvin loved him and no one ever loved him before.

Later, Charmayne tells me, “You got character, Lamont.  What they call psychology.  And I’m sorry for slappin you at Small’s.”

“I’m glad all is well again in the hood,” I say with my best smile.  “And I got an idea, Charmayne.  Let’s get a beer at Small’s and I’ll tell you my idea about startin the Crazy Lady Detective Agency.”

 

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Bio:  Walt moves between writing genres, from mystery to humor, speculative fiction to romance with a little historical non-fiction thrown in for good measure.  His work has appeared in print and online in over two dozen publications, including Short-Story.Me.  He's also bounced from Fortune 500 firms to university posts, and from homes in eight states and to a couple of Asian countries.  He now lives in New Jersey where he co-edits a community newsletter and moderates a writing group.

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