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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…

 

 

He steps up to the glass, staring out at powder white sand that stretches to meet an ocean so blue, he has to remind himself to breathe. Two palms, the beach to themselves, take in the sun, their fronds waving ever so slightly in the warm breeze.

Inviting.

Seducing.

It's Jessica's favorite. She loves racing - no, dancing - across the sand, stopping just at the point where the surf leaves it wet. There she spins, giving her head that tilt, the one that squeezes his heart, and fixes her tempting eyes on the hotel.

They're green, those eyes. And they're waiting.

Calling.

He knows what she wants. She's hoping he'll slide up beside her. Take in the smell of the cocoa butter. The soft glow of her tanned brown skin. The loose tie on her bikini bottom.

"I took that on a trip to Cancun."

He ignores the voice, wishes it away. He wipes an open palm to his face and stares even harder through the glass. She has to show. Has to.

The voice continues. "Ever been there?"

Clarence summons a deep breath--it's the best he can do, his focus having been torn from the sand--and shifts his gaze from the framed picture to the man on the far side of the room.
Jonas Carson sits behind his massive walnut desk, a mountain of manila folders stacked before him. His elbows rest on papers spilling from the pile, some marked with circles of red or highlighted in yellow, while the others wait for their chance to be tattooed. To the far right Clarence sees the edges of black and white 8 X 10's peeking from an opened envelope. They reveal just enough of moments better forgotten and a chill slithers up his spine.

Grabbing another breath, he looks up at his lawyer and nods. Long. Slow. "On our honeymoon."

The attorney digs into the stack, pulling out a sheet of yellowed paper sealed in plastic wrap. "Holy moley...that was fifty-two years ago."

"Yes, Mr. Carson. It was."

Carson sets the paper aside, the Saturday afternoon look on his face now melted away. He opens a folder and gestures to a chair, but Clarence continues to stand. "We really should get back to business, Mr. Riley. When was she was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's?"

"Eight years ago," Clarence answers. Though he knows Carson's seen the report. Probably looking at it right now.

"And, more recently, her condition was worsening?"

"Ravaged her like a wildfire, Mr. Carson."

Carson sticks the end of the pen in his mouth, the beginnings of a confident smile showing at the edge of his lips. "Okay, so here's how we play it, Mr. Riley--"

"Play it?" Clarence interrupts. "You don't get it, do you? They were doing nothing more than stretching out her misery. Offering syringes filled with false hope..." He looks up, catching the defense attorney's gaze through tearing eyes. He points a shaking finger his direction, his voice cracking as he speaks. "We had a pact, Mr. Carson. A pact. I couldn't just stand there and watch while the one person who made me whole, gave me heart, gave me life, Mr. Carson...life...was slowly, unmercifully, robbed of her mind. Her memories. Her very soul." Clarence sucks in, more a gasp than a long breath. "Could you, Mr. Carson?"

Carson pales and, dropping his hand to the desk, surrenders the folder back into the stack. "No, Mr. Riley. I guess I couldn't."

 

End

 

Bio: Jim Bartlett lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and golden retriever - (shhhh - she doesn't know she's a dog).

 

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