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Latest Stories

June 14, 2021
General Stories Brian & Michael Turner

A Peculiar Way To Tell A Story

Maria Starflower straightened her jacket, smiled at the ocean of small faces peering apprehensively at her, and somewhat nervously proceeded to commence her first day as a teacher. "Okay, Polly." She pointed at a small girl who reciprocated with a cheerful…
June 14, 2021
Horror Stories Robb White

Stew Meat

Isidro Alvaro de Jesus Dominguez was fifteen but barely tall enough to peer through the hole in the wooden fence surrounding the soccer field. Several times a year, the strangers who descended on his village were rumored to be from Guadalajara, but no one…
June 14, 2021
Fantasy Stories Milkana N. Mingels

Mora's Inn

When I got a call from my friend Martin, who was serving overseas, I thought the worst. “What’s going on, dude? Is everything okay?” I asked anxiously. “Oh, yeah, yeah!” replied Martin. “Listen, I won’t be in Boston next week. I am still in Bulgaria, in the…
May 18, 2021
Fantasy Stories Vidal Martinez

Darrin The Elf

We meet at 8:30 p.m. at a small rundown café on Grand Avenue. The detective is in the back room, beyond the kitchen, at a private table. I sit across from him, prepared for a confrontation. “Hello dick-tective,” I say, sarcastically. “It’s good to see you in…
May 18, 2021
General Stories Phil Carter

The Man Who Lives On His Own

When it is light, I get up, when it is dark, I go to bed. I have no need of a clock or a watch; my other world was governed by time; my whole life was rushing around looking at my watch, but here there are no deadlines, places to go and people to meet in your…
May 14, 2021
Horror Stories Jesse W. Melton

Kidnapping From Hell

Two Years Ago… It is a beautiful, sunny day. The breeze is blowing very lightly. Our 6-year-old son, Sabastian, is in the front yard playing with our Golden Retriever, Rover. My wife is in the kitchen making her famous German Chocolate cake, only because her…
May 14, 2021
General Stories Dr. Saurabh Bijalwan

Felt, But Untouched

A one by one meter, two decades old window is crumbling with wood louses and moss. During monsoon in Rohtak, it is a laboring task to stand near it and stand its breath. But in spite of this, someone does. For that someone, it is a world of possibilities.…
May 03, 2021
General Stories Marco

Gardening In New South Africa

I stood at the gate, gazing up the road. As expected, it was too early for people to be out exercising. My neighbours had warned me about getting casual gardeners in. As far as they were concerned if you get a casual in, a week later you will have a “home…
May 03, 2021
Flash Fiction Sean Fitts

Loss

I found you in New York City walking on the northside of West 50th, between 8th and Broadway. You’d told me you had already eaten, refusing my invitation to join me for lunch. I was in town for a gallery opening; you were in town to stay. “Break a leg,” you’d…
April 28, 2021
General Stories Jaclyn Garing

True Or False

I was just the average high school student trying to figure out who I liked, if anyone liked me, or if I even liked myself, whoever I thought I was. Unintentionally, somewhere between recess and advanced calculus, I had tricked people into thinking I was…
April 22, 2021
Science Fiction Stories Adrian Des Champs

Rainbow World

I always wanted to escape but I didn’t know how to. Now that I have the opportunity, I feel that there are no limits. There was no achievement in it, it was me just as easily as it could have been anyone else. Since I could not give it back, I had to use it.…
April 22, 2021
General Stories Vidal Martinez

Don Poncho

“Daddy, Daddy.” My eyes crack open. “Daddy.” My bed slightly moves. “Son, what is it?” “My little sombrero man is saying bad words.” I reach over, tapping the top of his head. “Son, go back to bed.” “But—” “Be quiet, you’ll wake Mommy in the other room.”…

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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