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Latest Stories

July 28, 2018
Mystery Stories Roger Ley

The Wheel Fiddle

The melody drifted across the garden as she was picking fruit to make a summer pudding. She put down her basket, wiped the sweat from her forehead and walked around to the front of the cottage. The man stood waiting at her garden gate, he raised his cap. He…
July 28, 2018
Flash Fiction Rekha Viswanathan

Pills and Capsules

I wake up to a crisp, clear and sunny morning. The fresh coffee smell beside my bed tempts me. One long sip of the coffee and my senses kick in! I have a long day ahead. At least that's what the papers at the foot of my bed say. Glancing at the paper I see…
July 28, 2018
Crime Stories Stephen A Murray

Russia,Russia,Russia.

There existed in Russia a small group of intelligence operatives left over from the KGB. They are known as Sputniks. From Wikipedia: "Sputnik was the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on October…
July 28, 2018
General Stories Paul Anobile

A Portrait of Slam Bang City

I was hired to paint the portrait of a billionaire who founded a small city twenty years ago in a ghost town he purchased in Arizona. Danny O’Keefe, professional wrestling promoter and executive, convinced a number of investors to build a fourteen-thousand…
July 28, 2018
Science Fiction Stories Majoki

The Deadest Generation

Sergeant Taylor always checked us thoroughly before sending us in: regulation uniform, backpacks, anti-ballistic helmets, Kevlar vests, and, of course, your gun. You couldn’t go anywhere in this place and be safe without your gun. Sergeant Taylor was strict…
July 28, 2018
General Stories J.B.Stevens

Dead Camel

The improvised explosive popped off to the convoy’s left. The armored black Suburban Neil drove muffled the sound to a dull thud. The blast seemed smaller than normal. “Anyone hurt?” the medic, Luiz, called across the radio. The team members, in four matching…
July 28, 2018
Romance Stories Jerry Hogan

He'll Ask Me To Dance Again

Jay I’m Jay, and I have never been to the My Time Dance Studio before tonight. As I entered, the interior projected a garish 1930s Art Deco motif. Greenish, glow-in-the-dark, semilucent plastic tubing wrapped around the hand railings separating one sitting…
July 28, 2018
General Stories Jim Bartlett

The Comebacker

Cornstalk stretches forward, the look almost as if he’s about to fall headfirst off the mound, saved only by the slapping of his left hand to his knee. He locks eyes with his catcher, then lets his gaze wander down just below his glove for the sign. Uncle…
July 28, 2018
Crime Stories Susan C. Nigra

Never Kill The Author

Oh My God! What’s happening? This has never happened before. I am cornered, trapped, boxed in with no safe way out. There has always been a way out before, miraculous last minute saves. I think back to how I got here and I remember I was assigned this case as…
July 28, 2018
Crime Stories Thomas Schmidt

The Streets of Camden

Saturday night was cold and wet. Mike Joseph walked cautiously down Norris Street on his way to the Whitman Park Field, a large green space inside the depressed neighborhood. Propositioned twice by street walkers, he kept moving while shifting his head from…
July 13, 2018
Mystery Stories Rekha Viswanathan

The Enchanted Woods

The boys are on a trip. A trip into the woods. Accompanied by their family they trudge along a narrow path, a route that had obviously been traced by human footsteps, a trail that had been trodden many a time. They walk cautiously, startled by the snap of a…
July 13, 2018
Flash Fiction Carl Perrin

What Could go Wrong

If you plan every detail carefully, nothing can go wrong. I believed that when I was a teenager. Like the time Billy Long and I decided to make our own beer. Once in a while we used to steal a couple of Billy’s father’s beers, but we were always afraid we…

 

 

She yelled so awfully loud... like she was right in my face, you know?

My friend Ryan and I were about twelve and we had been to see Batman at the cinema. Jack Nicholson was awesome as the Joker and as we walked home we kept trying to laugh like that, swapping lines from the movie.

It was late and my stepfather was supposed to pick us up, but he never arrived, more than likely too drunk to drive. We waited around for him, but when the town clock tolled at midnight it was obvious he wasn't coming. Ryan offered to call his parents, but being so young, and out so late, it seemed more adventurous to walk home.

The main street was well lit, so we agreed to stick to it. Ryan's concern was walking past the park. Street lights were few and far between from there and most people stayed clear of the park at night, especially since the MacKenzie baby drowned in the pond, and they said the child could be heard crying sometimes. I told the kids at school I'd heard it myself.

We crossed the street to avoid the park. I stopped to tie my shoelace.

A slight breeze whipped through the tree tops, branches creaked, and one of the park lights began flickering.

Ryan said, “ Hey, Joey... Notice there's no traffic? “

I did notice and it was really quiet, too, but then again it was after midnight.

He said, “ If I hear a kid cryin' in that park, I swear I'll shit my pants. “

“ Can you hear that? “ I asked.

“ Hear what? “

“ Your imagination playin' tricks on you. “

“ But you said you heard that kid's ghost. “

“ Yeah, I did, but I didn't see anythin', and no-one believed me anyway, except you. “

We kept walking and made it to the corner. My house was half a block away, but Ryan still had two blocks to go, past the high school.

He looked back at the park and gasped. I saw it, too. More lights were flickering.

“ I don't want to walk home alone, “ he said. “ I'll give you five bucks to walk with me. “

“ Yeah, okay, “ I said, “ but I'm not holdin' your hand. “

At the high school, Ryan looked back at the park again. He looked frightened now. Every light in the park was off and it was pitch black.

“ It's nothin', “ I told him. “ Happens all the time. I see it from my bedroom window. The council needs to clean that place up. It's a dump. “

“ A dump where babies drown and their ghosts cry in the night. “

We kept walking and turned the corner. Ryan was relieved to be so close to home. He gave me the five bucks. Easy money.

Not far from his house was a little white chipped paint cottage, with a wire fence and rusty gate, and no curtains in the windows. All the lights were off and as we walked past an old lady started yelling, “ I see you there! Don't you knock and run! Don't you dare!  “

“ That's freaky, “ I said. “ She sounds really angry. Old people should be asleep at this hour. Lets go have a look. “

I started towards the gate, only joking, and Ryan grabbed my arm, saying, “ Don't, man. That's too much. She might call the cops. “

“ Don't you knock and run! “ she yelled.

“ She really hates kids, “ Ryan said. “ I've heard her before, but never seen her. “

His mother and father were still up when we arrived. They were disappointed that we had to walk. We should have called them. They offered to let me stay, but I declined, and just wanted to go home.

“ See you tomorrow, “ Ryan said, closing the door.

As I walked home, I had to pass the cottage again, and sure enough, she was still yelling, but then she stopped, as I stood at the gate.

I heard her say, “ I'm cold and can't get up. “

Now I was worried. What if she was injured? She might die and I could have helped.

I opened the gate and left it open, approaching the house. She sounded like she was crying now. At the front door, I knocked lightly, saying, “ Hello? Do you need me to get you an ambulance? “

“ I'm so very cold, “ she said.

“ I can get you help. “

I went to the window and peered inside. As my eyes adjusted, I became aware of something, and every bone in my body wanted to run.

“ I see you there! “ she yelled, but I couldn't see her. “ Don't you knock and run! “

The window boomed and cracked. I fell backward, gathered my feet, and didn't stop running until I got home.

My mother was in the kitchen as I came through the back door.

She said, “ You're as white as a sheet. How was the movie? “

I ignored her and went directly to my room and sat on my bed, grabbing my knees to stop them from shaking.

 

That house was empty.

BIO: I live in Orange, NSW, Australia. I have one child -a daughter. I was born in 1977. My poetry has appeared in anthologies worlwide and my short stories have been featured in men's magazines. I cite James Herbert, Tales from the Crypt, vintage Penny Dreadfuls, and Ripley's Belueve It, or Not, as an influence.

 

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