-The best stories on the web-
Read or link to over 1000 stories listed under Stories to the left.
Submit your short stories for review as a Word document attached to an email to: Read@Short-Story.Me

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 wind swept across the island like a scythe.  Mary Greene sat in her dimly lit kitchen cradling her nine month old baby.  The boy mewed softly.  Mary knew the infant was hungry, but because of the inclement weather it had been impossible to reach the mainland and the food cupboards were becoming barer as each day passed.  She looked at the empty shelves and sighed wearily.  The boy had refused the weak, milky porridge she had provided for breakfast.  Would he refuse the same for his lunch?  She fervently hoped he would be hungry enough to eat it.

For the first time since she had come to her home on the island as wife to Henry Greene, Mary had witnessed three foot waves on the lake and had experienced a loneliness that she did not think possible.  The prospect of living on an island in a family home had seemed so romantic eighteen months ago.  She had not foreseen the toil, drudgery and difficulties she would need to endure being away from the neighbourliness of the mainland.

 

Her husband was in the barn feeding the dozen cattle they were rearing for the spring mart and he would spend the day caring for their immediate welfare.  She had come to wonder if Henry cared more for the cattle than he did for her, but then berated herself as Henry was, at heart, a good man; a solid, caring man who had married her despite opposition from his grandfather who was now living in comfort several miles away on a large farm on the mainland with his sister.  As Henry had sole responsibility for the farm and the heavy manual labour required, she was in charge of caring for their son, the upkeep of the house, the vegetable garden and the few hens that were managing to survive the unexpected Artic winter.

The weak cries of her boy transformed into a stronger, more pitiful, keening that shredded Mary's heart.  She had to reach the mainland soon and replenish much needed supplies.   Not for one single moment had she anticipated being stranded for two whole months.  It was as if the weather had conspired against her and she silently prayed to God, the Virgin Mary and St Nicholas (the Patron Saint of children) to stop the rain, calm the wind and bring forth a ray of sunshine that would lighten her spirit and give her the much needed chance to climb into the rowboat and row to the local store where tea, sugar, flour and salt could be purchased to make much needed bread, not to mention the requirements to preserve the pig that would soon be slaughtered.  The pig, who had not been named due to its imminent fate, was the only inhabitant of the island that seemed immune to the harsh environment.  He continued to drink his fill from the river that flowed into the lake and eat his way around the farm, uprooting anything he considered edible: bulbs, fungi, roots, bark, snails, earthworms, as well as tucking into last year's vegetable patch where he had demolished the last of the onions, turnips and beetroot that Mary had so tenderly planted.  Yet slaughtering the pig would not solve Mary's immediate dilemma of sustaining her growing babe.

Suddenly, as if in response to her prayers, her thoughts of the pig, which was without doubt self sustaining, caused her heart to rally and she made a conscious decision to scour her environs in an attempt to find anything that would benefit her family but especially her son.  She wrapped herself warmly in her home knitted cardigan, hat, scarf and fingerless gloves.  She had made a cradle from heavy twine that held her son against her bosom and she encased them both in her heavy overcoat, ensuring he was as comfortable as possible, before opening the door to the house and stepping out into the frostbitten air.

The rain had ceased, but the wind was cutting, a cruel wind from the north that could chill the bones of a corpse.  Undeterred Mary made her way across the yard to what remained of her vegetable garden, dismayed to see the destruction caused by the pig but conceding its needs would soon fulfil her own.  The continuous sound of the crashing waves from the lake that were a symptom of the harsh winter filled her ears and she tried desperately to block them out as she began her search under the hedges for any sign of edible flora or fauna.  She recalled how nettles had been utilised by her forefathers as a nutrient and pondered on the truth that all of the dandelion plant was edible.  Her inner optimism searched for traces of a rabbit or a young leveret, but the ground gave no succour.  Grass gave way to unidentifiable weeds or the faint signs of plants that would offer sustenance in the spring.  Mary's mouth watered at the thought of blackberries, raspberries and gooseberries, which forced her to head to the small orchard she had planted on her arrival to the island.

The trees were still young, but her persistent care over the summer had ensured they were hardy and she noted the sturdiness of their trunks and branches, which in time would bear healthy fruit.  Once again she prayed to God, the Virgin Mary and St Nicholas for their perpetuation, adding wistfully the notion of time speeding forward to spring, which would easily solve her immediate crisis.  The thought brought an inner smile to her lips.

As if to echo her inner merriment, her son's soft cry brought her from her reverie causing her to turn her attention to the foot of one of the first apple trees she had planted.  A clump of bright, green grass caught her eye, causing her to pause and reach out to touch the damp fronds, separating each blade, only to reveal one large, brown egg; a single egg, laid by one of her chickens.

With infinite care she scooped up the precious treasure and cradled her find in her palm, admiring the delicate, untarnished, flesh brown shell.  Never had she seen such perfection, such beauty.  Guardedly she folded the egg in a handkerchief and placed it in the deep pocket of her overcoat.  Elated she hummed a wordless tune, the sound startling her son, whose cries of hunger counterpointed her happiness.

Returning jubilantly to the kitchen she judiciously broke the egg into a clean, white, porcelain bowl marvelling at the yellowness of the yolk and the transparency of the white. Prudently she whisked the egg, which obligingly doubled in size with her efforts.  With equal care she divided the yellow consistency into three equal parts. Taking just one part she mixed in a little milk and made over a low heat a scrambled egg mix which, when slightly cooled, her son ate with gusto.

The egg sustained the baby for another two days, Mary and Henry making do with the oatmeal and mutton their son could not digest.  On the third day the wind subsided, the rain ceased and Mary, Henry and their renamed son, Nicholas, rowed to the mainland to replenish the larder vowing never to be unprepared again.

 

End

 

Bio:  Amelia Chambers lives in the west of Ireland and has had numerous jobs, some of which have been long forgotten.  A fan of film, iconic TV series, books, theatre, (especially Shakespeare) and travel, writing is her passion.  Her work, set in the countryside of Ireland and England, is often based on her own travels and experiences with added dramatic flair.  The Egg is loosely based on a true story dating back to the harsh winter of 1947 on the shores of Lough Arrow.

0
0
0
s2sdefault

Donate a little?

Use PayPal to support our efforts:

Amount:

Genre Poll

Your Favorite Genre?

Sign Up for info from Short-Story.Me!