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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…

 

 

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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