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Latest Stories

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.…
July 10, 2019
Flash Fiction Sheila Ash

Working Christmas Again

I always draw the short straw to a chorus of ‘Bad luck’. A reiteration of last year and the year before, and the year before that. Throughout the day, my ‘C’est la vie’ chimes on a constant playback loop. My expressionist shrugs repeat themselves as a…
March 18, 2019
Mystery Stories JD Plummer

Pseudonyms

“Gelb wants you to call him.” I looked at Frankie, opened my mouth, began to slowly shake my head. My reply delayed by the image of Gelb, monocle in eye, brow raised, lips tight, grimacing. I cringed at the thought. “I ain’t calling that prick,” I finally…
March 18, 2019
Fantasy Stories Lucia Balbuena

A Different Story

Her breathing was deep and steady when she run through the dense forest holding her grandmother’s kitchen knife in her hand. Her red cape was torn up, also her legs, hands and her face were cut by the tree brunches. Stop you are the victim, said the forest…
March 17, 2019
Crime Stories Wally Smith

Coda

Luigi Andante’s small apartment sat on the fourth floor of a block in the West Bronx at the corner of 18th and Davidson. It was adequate as a living space, but Luigi craved more than this. “A penthouse overlooking Central Park would suit me just fine”, he had…
March 17, 2019
Crime Stories Walter Giersbach

Fifty Ways to Leave Your Loser

Lorraine Vanderzanden had the thankless task being Lindstrom’s police chief. Her husband didn’t appreciate the risks she took. Her brother didn’t thank her for using her degree for something useful instead of helping on the family farm. Heck, she thought,…
March 17, 2019
Mystery Stories Jenny Webster

"Communicate with me, please."

I have been blind for so long, I didn’t even attempt to imagine what it would be like if I could see. I don’t know any different, all I know is darkness, and I base everything that I can experience mostly through sound. You see, I can’t walk either. I’m not…
March 16, 2019
Flash Fiction Michael Fredrick

Secondhand Santa

The late model sedan sputtered, coughed and dutifully careened forward on a cold December evening. Fred hit the gas pedal & ruminated as he always did, wondering again why life had dealt him this hand? Christmas Eve, foraging for returnable bottles to make…
March 16, 2019
General Stories Darrell Case

Trig's Smokin' Wheels

There were a lot of things Trig Nelson could do, many he wanted to do, and more things he couldn’t do. Trig couldn’t run, he’d never climb stairs or hills or mountains. He couldn’t play football or basketball. Being stuck in a wheelchair that would always be…

 

 

Thirty five year-old Ella Mills walked down the aisles of a flea market looking for treasures.   “Ah, there you are,” she said and went to an ornate, box and picked it up and opened it.  The inside was covered in a black material that she thought was velvet, but wasn’t sure. “This will be perfect for my jewelry.”

As she admired the box, a man, who was about seven feet tall, wearing a shining, almost glowing robe, approached her. “May I help you, madam?”

“Uh, yes, I’m interested in this box. It would be perfect for my jewelry.” she said. “What is it made of?  It looks like wood, but I don’t recall seeing wood like this.”

“It is not wood, madam. It is made of a substance that once grew in far-off forests, but can no longer be found anywhere.”

“Well, I’ll take it. How much does it cost?”

“You may have it for one cent.”

“A penny? What’s the joke?”

“No joke. Please take it for one cent.”

“Okay.  Sold,” she said, took it home, and went directly to her bedroom to put her jewelry in it. She put it on her bed, got her jewelry, sat on the bed and opened the box.

“My God, what is that?” she gasped as she stared at a swirling cloud that filled the box. After a moment, she closed the lid.  After several seconds she slowly lifted the lid. “It’s still there. What is it?”

“I am your mind, Ella Mills.”

She pinched her arm. “No, I’m not asleep. Jeez. What are you?”

“I said, I am your mind. I am you, your entire being. I am your mind.”

“How is this happening? A talking box.”

“I am not what you see, a box. I am a living thing. It is not the box that is talking. It is your mind. “Why am I imagining what’s happening?”

“You are not imagining what’s happening. Make up your mind to accept your mind.”

“Huh?”

“I said, make up your mind to accept your mind.”

“This is crazy. My mind isn’t making any sense, and I just don’t like this mumbo jumbo, so

I guess I’ll just close the lid and pretend you never happened,” she said, but couldn’t close it.

“Hey, why won’t the lid close?” she mumbled as she strained to close the lid. After a few moments, she gave up. “This is crazy. What’s going on? Jewelry boxes don’t talk, to say nothing of the babbling nonsense this one is spewing about my mind,” she said angrily, threw the box on the floor, and it broke into several pieces. “Good riddance.”

“You tried to close the lid on your mind. It’s not good to close your mind. A closed mind is an empty mind.”

“Alright, what the hell is going on here?”

“What’s going on is your mind telling you to make up your mind.”

“About what?”

“About what’s on your mind?”

“Nothing is on my mind. My mind is a complete blank.”

“It’s impossible for nothing to be on your mind. If you are alive, and living in the world, then something is on your mind.”

“Go away.”

“You can’t tell your mind to go away. That’s like telling your brain to go away. You can’t get rid of your mind.”

“Alright, so I’m stuck with my mind. Now, what the hell does my mind want from me?”

“Only you know what your mind wants from you. So, what’s on your mind?”

“This is funny. My mind is asking me what’s on it. My mind is talking to itself.”

“Very good. Talk to yourself. That’s a good way to find out what’s on your mind.”

“I have to sit down,” she said and sat on a chair. We’re going around in circles. I don’t know who is talking to whom. If this continues, I’ll go out of my mind.”

“That’s ridiculous. You can’t go out of me, your mind. Where would you go if you could go out of your mind?”

She stared at the broken box for several minutes. “You’re trying to make me crazy, aren’t you? You’re trying to make me think I’m losing my mind?”

“You can’t lose your mind. Can you lose your brain? No. Besides, you don’t even know where your mind is. If you don’t know where something is, you can’t lose it.”

“STOP,” she screamed at the top of her lungs.

Two days later, Ella’s sister, May, entered her apartment with a policeman. “I’ve been trying to reach her for two days, officer. I’m afraid something’s happened to her,” she said and went into the living room. “Oh, my God. Ella,” she gasped. What are you doing?”

Ella, who was crawling like a child, looked up. “I lost my mind, and I can’t find it. Will you help me find it?”

Two years later, Ella talked to Dr. Soros, a psychiatrist, as they looked through the window in the door to Ella’s room.  “She’s been crawling around like that for two years. She keeps asking me to help her find her mind. Poor soul.”

“Is there any hope, Dr. Soros,” May asked.

“Yes. I believe she will be fine after she finds what she believes she lost.”

 

The End

 

While teaching speech and English at a community college, Mr. Greenblatt wrote short stories and plays, one of which won a reading at Smith College.  After retiring, he wrote short stories and novellas.  Several of his stories were published in on-line magazines, and others were published in print anthologies.

 

 

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