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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…

 

 

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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