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Latest Stories

August 09, 2020
General Stories Schubert

The Last Shift

Danny switched on the kitchen light and peered at the clock on the wall above the cooker. It was 5.10am, the middle of Winter and two hours before the central heating came on. Butch opened one bloodshot eye, gave Danny a token wag, sighed and settled down…
August 09, 2020
Flash Fiction Andrei Sisman

Drop, Drop,Drop

Balance, in all things, the monk thought, his face calm and serene, as pea-sized drops of rain pounded the surface of his scalp like a drum. The world around him buzzed with static, yet his mind was like a lake on a summer day. He assumed the lotus position,…
August 09, 2020
Crime Stories Leroy B. Vaughn

Where'd Shirley Go?

He thought he was going to throw up as he staggered to his feet and headed towards the bathroom. Rasmussen splashed water on his face and drank water by cupping his hands and drinking from the faucet. He went back to his bedroom and looked around for Shirley,…
August 09, 2020
General Stories Stephen Faulkner

How It Was

I have often been asked how it was, how it came to be that I did what I did in the way that I did it. Often I will tell whoever has asked such a question that I have been driving for over thirty years and I have always been a very good and conscientious…
July 26, 2020
General Stories Lucy Maybelle

A Reputable Reptile Establishment

“When it feels like your world is ending, maybe it’s just beginning.” This I read in some tone-deaf article about the current state of the world; the equivalent of “keep your chin up!” for the modern depressive. And I wish I could believe it. Truly, I do. I…
July 26, 2020
Mystery Stories John Brady

Winter's Walk

White ribbons in a white landscape. The county doesn’t sand the roads except where they meet and that doesn’t happen much, so the snow gets packed down hard and stays. It won’t melt till spring. Climate change fucks up the weather lots of places but not up…
July 26, 2020
Fantasy Stories Michael Thirlaway

Waveless Ocean

The sailless ship glided smoothly across the waveless ocean. Captain Blake Osric looked over at the crew, each performing their mundane tasks, confused at how the ship was moving without wind. The vast smooth sea stretched in all directions, endless. It…
July 25, 2020
Flash Fiction C Alexis

For Hire

I was sitting, sipping my coffee, swiping my iPhone, when my eyes focused on the cork bulletin board immediately to my right. At the top, in black upper case letters were the words, “For Hire.” One particular card drew me to its interesting font, which looked…
July 25, 2020
Fantasy Stories Charles West

A New Prometheus

“Sit here, Mary, there is someone I want you to meet,” Jane said. “Who?” “You will see. It is someone famous. You will be very impressed.” Mary deferred to her step sister and sat down. There was another vacant chair with a small round table between them.…
July 25, 2020
Romance Stories Patric Quinn

Life on West 4th Street

"Hey, good evening, Frank. How’s the Farrell column going." "Going pretty good today, Pipes. Just finished. I know it’s late, but I just felt like coming out for awhile. Say hello if you were working." "Coming down here, 4th Street?" Pipes’ smile showed he…
July 25, 2020
Flash Fiction Walt Giersbach

The Lawyer Saw Green Until He met Red

Our Tullahoma Tigers weren’t all that hot as a football team. Or even lukewarm, but it was the last thing holding our dying town together now that the mill is closing. However, the real reason all the townspeople close up their shops and houses and come out…
July 19, 2020
Fantasy Stories Katya Kastro

The Year The Virus Came [Editor's Choice]

Lily was annoyed and upset. Her mom switched her virtual reality helmet into school mode and while Lily’s friends were chilling on some Australian or Brazilian beach, she was locked in her room. Lily’s mom won’t unblock the helmet until the homework is done.…



Tom Dudley tapped his fingers on his desk in his Advanced English 11 room as he waited for the class to begin.  The 16 year old boy was a good looking, hard-working student who pretty much stayed within a small circle of friends due to extreme shyness.  Not one to socially approach any of the girls in Marshall High School, he was taken off guard when Jill Babcock came over and sat beside him.

“Hi Tom.  Got a minute?”  The cute brunette with straight, silk-like hair was leaning in towards him.

“Um, sure??”  Casual social conversation was not Tom’s strong point.  Ask him about the American Civil War and he could talk for hours.  Talk off the cuff to a girl about anything and he went into a panic.

“Velvet and I are interested in going to the Sadie Hawkins dance on Friday and we would like you to come with us.  If, of course, you’re free that evening.”

Dudley mentally checked his extensive social calendar for Friday.  Yep, you bet he was free.  Not like he had much planned for any day of the week.  So Friday basically came down to going to a dance with these young, attractive girls or watching Jennifer Lawrence movies on DVD.  Now Jennifer Lawrence is pretty awesome but an evening with a real live girls just seemed like a much better option.

“Sure, I would love to go with you guys.”  You guys?  Well, it sounded better than “you girls”.  Besides, didn’t girls always call each other guys when talking to each other?

Jill smiled and replied “great, we will pick you up at your house at 7 on Friday.”  Dudley smiled and watched, mesmerized, as Jill’s slender body moved gracefully to the back of the classroom.  God, the girl was gorgeous.

Finally exhaling, he turned back to the front of the room.  From the corner of his eye he could see his best friend Dan Kirchhoff pumping his right arm up and down while mouthing the words “hey buddy, you scored !!”.  Gezz, Tom was definitely going to get teased at lunch today.




“So, tell me more !!”  Kirchhoff was pressing Tom Dudley for details that he didn’t have.  “Are you going out with Jill or Velvet?”  Velvet was the nickname for Gloria Larkin, a slender redheaded girl who was best friends with Jill Babcock.

“Um, I don’t know.”

“What?”  Kirchhoff couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“Well, Jill never really explained who I was supposed to be with” replied Dudley with a shrug of his shoulders.

“Maybe you are going out with both of them.  You know, one of those ‘manage a torque’ type of things.”  Dan Kirchhoff was not particularly good at foreign languages.

“It’s called a ménage a trois, Dan.  And it’s a sex term.”  Dudley was turning red at this course of conversation.

A young blonde boy sat down next to Dudley and joined in with the conversation.  “You know Tom; it’s actually a phrase that refers to a domestic relationship between three people, usually dealing with romantic as well as sexual interactions.  So it doesn’t have to strictly deal with sex.”

Brad Collins smiled while reaching over to grab some of Tom Dudley’s French Fries.  Collins was a good student who was on track to being the school valedictorian.  He was part of Tom Dudley’s small circle of friends and generally considered to be the most knowledgeable about sexual matters.  Tom dreaded what might be brought up next.

“Tommy, just start off dating one at a time.  Two girls could cause a heart attack.”  Collins laughed while grabbing more free fries.

“It’s true Tom,” replied Kirchhoff as he too went in for free fries.  “Some guy at Hearn High last year had to have medics revive him when he tried to do what you are trying.  It’s not worth it buddy.”  And at that, Collins and Kirchhoff laughed while Tom Dudley pondered what the dating plans really were for Friday.  Was he supposed to be with the cute, soft spoken Jill or the spicier redheaded Velvet?  Maybe, he thought, I should get that long overdue physical before Friday just in case….



Friday came and Tom Dudley was still not sure what the dating arrangements were supposed to be for the dance.  He walked nervously on the landing just inside his front door while waiting for the girls to show up.  Finally, a grey Honda Civic pulled into his driveway.  Well, he thought, it’s now or never.

Tom walked up to the car and was motioned to the front passenger seat by Velvet.  The young redhead was driving.  Jill Babcock and some unknown boy were sitting in the back.  “Looks like I am with Velvet,” thought Dudley as his heart raced a little.

Tom found out that the unknown boy was Andy Stimson, a junior at Hearn High School.  Tom was tempted to ask him about the story he had heard about the boy that needed medical attention when he tried to date two girls at a Hearn High dance but he decided that would be a bad move.

As it turned out, Andy Stimson was a nice guy.  He apparently had been dating Jill for only a few months so Andy wanted to know more about her.  Feeling unusually comfortable, Dudley decided to tell “stories” to Andy about Jill, stories that Jill protested were “made up”.

The group laughed at the outrageous tales told by the normally shy Tom Dudley.  Dudley was feeling comfortable as the grey Civic entered the Marshall High parking lot.

The evening was unseasonably cold and Tom Dudley quickly regretted not wearing his winter coat.  It was still technically fall but the cold wind just ripped through the light clothing selected by Dudley for the evening.

Dudley was still shivering from the cold when he entered the high school gym.  “Wish I was wearing a heavier coat.”

Velvet smiled at Tom as she put her purse and coat on the gym bleachers.  “Don’t worry, I’ll warm you up.”  And with that, she threw her arms around the shy young boy.

“Holy shit!” thought Dudley as wondered what he was supposed to do.  He immediately looked over to Jill for guidance.  The brunette mouthed the words “hold her” as she moved toward Andy Stimson for their dance.

“Right” thought Dudley as he slowly put his arms around the slender Velvet.  Then panic.  Where were his arms supposed to go?  Around her back or on her, um, buttocks?  So not knowing what to do, Tom quickly surveyed the dance floor.  All the boys had their hands on their date’s backs.  No bum holding.  OK, so when in doubt, follow the crowd so that you won’t be, um, a butt of jokes.

Tom’s nervousness and apprehension dissipated as the evening progressed.  He found Velvet to be a fun, somewhat quirky girl with more interests than he had expected.  The redhead was thoughtful and kind but with a little bit of a “spicy” sense of humor that he had seen at times in school.  But once he got to know her, he found that in many ways, she was very much like him.



The four friends left the dance at 11:30 PM for a quick meal at Arby’s before finally going home.  Velvet dropped Andy Stimson and Jill Babcock off at Jill’s house so that Andy could get his car.  Then she drove Tom Dudley back to his place.

Velvet parked the car and looked at Tom.  “I had a great evening.  Thanks for going out with me.”

Tom smiled shyly as he tried hard to think of a reply.  “No problem.  I kind of had a good time.”  Oh my god, what a bad choice of words.

“Kind of had a good time??”  Velvet was frowning as she questioned the words Tom had chosen.

“Um, that’s not what I meant to say……”

“So what did you mean to say?”  The young girl started to smile at the shy young boy as his face slowly turned red to match her hair color.

“I, um, I really had a good time.”



And with that, the young redhead reached over and kissed the embarrassed boy on his lips.  But the kiss didn’t end.  It went on and on and then, Tom felt Velvet’s tongue entering his mouth.

“Holy shit !!  She’s French kissing me.”  Three years of French classes at Marshall High had not prepared him for this.

Velvet’s tongue probed Tom’s mouth as she continued to pull the young boy’s head toward her.  OK Tommy, he thought, what do I do now?  In the absence of better guidance, he decided to play follow the leader.  And with that, Tom Dudley started to return the favor.

The two teens kissed for a few minutes before finally coming up for air.  “Wow, Tom.  You are really good at that.”

Tom Dudley blushed while trying to decide what to say in return.  Given his earlier faux pas when answering Velvet, he decided to keep this response simple.  “Thanks” was all he said in reply.



Monday came and Dave Kirchhoff pressed Tom for details on the date.  Brad Collins pressed as well.  “Come on Dudley, spill the beans.  Inquiring minds want to know.”

Tom Dudley just smiled as he got up from the lunch table to go to class.  “Well, let’s just say that I am not a guy to just kiss and tell.”  And with that, he left the two boys wondering where his new confidence had come from.


The End

Author’s Bio:   Tom Schmidt is a Chemical Engineer working in medical diagnostics in upstate New York.  He enjoys creative writing and has been published in www.short-story.me, www.overmydeadbody.com, and in www.fartherstars.com in the past.  He is currently working on the “Paul Garigan Crime Mysteries”, a collection of short stories centered around a Malibu based police detective which he hopes to publish in the future.  Tom can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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