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Latest Stories

December 09, 2018
Mystery Stories Wally Smith

Body of Evidence

Crime Scene Tours Ltd. had built their business, some would say, on the basis of appealing to people’s morbid curiosity for grisly acts of murder, and Liz and Colin Stevenson therefore had no qualms at all about conducting tours around the scenes of the most…
December 02, 2018
General Stories John L. Yelavich

Aesthetic Shock

Allie is delicate and gentle, waif-like in her presence. Her luminescent smile frames an image that seems so lighthearted. A sense of reality cannot disguise my enamored, whimsical feelings. I rhapsodize her essence in my affectionate mind excursions. She…
December 02, 2018
Fantasy Stories Vidal Martinez

The Purpose of Life

The front door slowly creaks open just as I reach to touch it with my cold, stiff hand. I stand still, hesitant, wanting to walk away, but finally I peek into the house, and through the darkness of the old Victorian home is a shadow of a flickering light from…
December 02, 2018
Fantasy Stories Pat Tyrer

It's All Relative

Before I get started talking about what I did, and why I did, what I did, I need to explain that Harold was no prize. He retired from John Deere because he couldn’t get along with the guy who worked next to him on the line. Not the supervisor, mind you, but…
December 02, 2018
Crime Stories J.D.Plummer

What Goes Around Comes Around

It was 12:45AM on a Tuesday. The old TV in the corner was playing some idiotic sitcom rerun. The ball game had gone into extra innings, but had basically ended a half hour before. There was a couple sitting at the table in the corner, having wandered in…
December 01, 2018
Crime Stories Nicholas Tomsko

Special Delivery

“BE THERE IN 5 MINUTES”...Tammy hit the SEND button and tossed the cell phone. It made a thud as it bounced off of the passenger seat. She hated the feeling of things in her pockets and never used a purse. Cruising the highway during a mild September…
December 01, 2018
Fantasy Stories Marie Anderson

Epiphany

After the meeting, Leo hurried back to his office and filled his briefcase and pockets with everything that mattered. His company mug brimmed with cold coffee. He poured the coffee over his PC’s keyboard, then threw the mug at a framed portrait mounted on the…
December 01, 2018
Romance Stories James Ross

Bones

‘Park here,’ Leo said, ‘We’re early and I’d like to sit in the sunshine for a while.’ Michael parked the car in one of the empty bays and went to purchase a ticket. When he got back to the car Leo was standing by the door grinning broadly. 'See!' he said.…
December 01, 2018
Mystery Stories Virginia Revel

The Shape I'm In

“Good morning, Mr. McCord.” “Good morning Dr. Porter,” I say, inclining my head slightly in his direction. His answering nod pays tribute to my quiet self-possession. I show him no hostility, but I do not pretend he is my friend. There will be no heartiness…
December 01, 2018
General Stories Jesse McKinnell

Hi, My Name is Mark

The drug store stretched out in front of Mark like a fun house, dizzying in its array of colors and textures and smells. Racks filled with Halloween candy, masks and plastic pumpkins sat in front, requiring shoppers to battle through their compulsions before…
December 01, 2018
General Stories Roger Ley

Harley

“It’s in here,” said Martin as he unlocked the door of the old, dilapidated wooden shed. “My dad lets me use this as a garage.” The shed was sited on the edge of the golf course that his father’s family owned. They went inside. It didn’t smell too bad, and it…
December 01, 2018
Science Fiction Stories Matt King

In Formation

Honking, the geese fly overhead in a giant V as the sky reddens in the late September dawn. Tralley watches them for a moment before continuing to unload the pickup truck outside the transmission tower high on the hill. Rucker fixating on his smartphone in…

 

 

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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