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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…

 

 

The eyesore arrived at our house on the evening of November 22nd, 1963, when I was eight and Joey was eleven.

At school that day, the loudspeaker crackled to life, and Principal Edwards announced that President Kennedy had been assassinated. I’m not sure any of us third graders knew what that meant, but we figured it was bad – especially when Mrs. Green let out a howl and dropped her head in her hands, shoulders shaking with each loud sob. The second that happened, all of us girls and a couple of the boys cried, too. About an hour later, Mama came to my classroom to get me. Her eyes were red and puffy. Then we went to Joey’s sixth grade class to pick him up. Mama said she was taking us out of school early because she “didn’t want to be alone on such a terrible, terrible day.” When we were in the car, I asked Joey if he knew what all the fuss was about; he lifted his shoulders, let them drop, and said, “How should I know, Debbie? You ask the dumbest questions.”

We spent the afternoon in our rooms playing while Mama sat staring at the television set, watching news reports of the terrible event.

That night, Daddy came home early. He was on the road a lot with his vending machine business, so it was a special treat for us. He told Mama to take us down to the basement until he said it was okay to come back up; said he had a surprise, something that might make us feel better after such horrid news. While we were downstairs, we heard a bang, bump, bang then a thud. A couple minutes later, Daddy called down for us to come into the living room. He’d skooched the furniture over to make room for a large, rectangular object. We couldn’t tell what it was because Daddy had it covered with one of Mama’s favorite sheets.

“My favorite bed linen! What’s gotten into you, Frank?” Mama asked. “And look what you’ve done to the living room!”

As usual, Daddy grinned and waved her off as if he were swatting a fly. He walked over and pinched the sheet at the top of the object. Eyes sparkling, he yanked the linen off and said, “Ta da!”

Oh - my - goodness; it was our very own candy bar vending machine! There were Nestle’s Chocolate Bars and Sky Bars and my favorite, Zagnut. There was some other stuff Joey liked, too, but I didn’t care about that. I remember jumping up and down and clapping, but when I looked at Mama’s face, I calmed down real quick.

She’d crossed her arms over her chest, her eyes boring a hole through Daddy. “Have you lost your marbles?” she asked. “You can’t possibly think that eyesore’s going to stay in the house!”

Well, it did.

The first time Daddy opened Eyesore to fill it with more candy, I was fascinated. Joey was, too. He lost interest once he’d seen how it worked, but I never did. Daddy knew I loved that machine as much as he did, so he made sure to tell me when he was going to “feed” it again.

To hear Mama talk, she wouldn’t be caught dead near “that beast.” Truth was though, when Daddy worked late and Joey and I were supposed to be sleeping, I’d sometimes hear her slide the lever on Eyesore. I’d wonder what yummy treat Mama selected then I’d remember she’d probably pick Necco Wafers. Or Chuckles; she loved those fruit-flavored jelly candies, even though I thought they were yucky.

Mama dreaded the neighbors finding out about Eyesore, but it turned out they thought it was pretty cool. They’d come over during the day to buy candy and chat with her. Even Joey and I ended up with more friends than we thought possible.

Once Eyesore jammed, and I watched Daddy take it apart to fix it. Again I was fascinated. I couldn’t keep my fingers out of Daddy’s toolbox, so he let me use his screwdriver to take out one of the screws. That was fun.

When I got older, I went out on the road with Daddy. He taught me the ropes as he called it, and I learned to love the life he’d built. When he passed away years later, Mama asked me if I’d be interested in “a unique focal point” for my own living room. The first thing you’ll see when you walk into my place is the Eyesore – where memories of Daddy and childhood make me smile.

 

 

Bio:

April Winters hopes to help people forget their troubles through her stories, even if it’s only for a little while. Her other works can be read at The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Linguistic Erosion, The Short Humour Site, The Story Shack, and here at Short-Story.Me.

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