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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…

 

 

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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