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Latest Stories

December 09, 2018
Mystery Stories Wally Smith

Body of Evidence

Crime Scene Tours Ltd. had built their business, some would say, on the basis of appealing to people’s morbid curiosity for grisly acts of murder, and Liz and Colin Stevenson therefore had no qualms at all about conducting tours around the scenes of the most…
December 02, 2018
General Stories John L. Yelavich

Aesthetic Shock

Allie is delicate and gentle, waif-like in her presence. Her luminescent smile frames an image that seems so lighthearted. A sense of reality cannot disguise my enamored, whimsical feelings. I rhapsodize her essence in my affectionate mind excursions. She…
December 02, 2018
Fantasy Stories Vidal Martinez

The Purpose of Life

The front door slowly creaks open just as I reach to touch it with my cold, stiff hand. I stand still, hesitant, wanting to walk away, but finally I peek into the house, and through the darkness of the old Victorian home is a shadow of a flickering light from…
December 02, 2018
Fantasy Stories Pat Tyrer

It's All Relative

Before I get started talking about what I did, and why I did, what I did, I need to explain that Harold was no prize. He retired from John Deere because he couldn’t get along with the guy who worked next to him on the line. Not the supervisor, mind you, but…
December 02, 2018
Crime Stories J.D.Plummer

What Goes Around Comes Around

It was 12:45AM on a Tuesday. The old TV in the corner was playing some idiotic sitcom rerun. The ball game had gone into extra innings, but had basically ended a half hour before. There was a couple sitting at the table in the corner, having wandered in…
December 01, 2018
Crime Stories Nicholas Tomsko

Special Delivery

“BE THERE IN 5 MINUTES”...Tammy hit the SEND button and tossed the cell phone. It made a thud as it bounced off of the passenger seat. She hated the feeling of things in her pockets and never used a purse. Cruising the highway during a mild September…
December 01, 2018
Fantasy Stories Marie Anderson

Epiphany

After the meeting, Leo hurried back to his office and filled his briefcase and pockets with everything that mattered. His company mug brimmed with cold coffee. He poured the coffee over his PC’s keyboard, then threw the mug at a framed portrait mounted on the…
December 01, 2018
Romance Stories James Ross

Bones

‘Park here,’ Leo said, ‘We’re early and I’d like to sit in the sunshine for a while.’ Michael parked the car in one of the empty bays and went to purchase a ticket. When he got back to the car Leo was standing by the door grinning broadly. 'See!' he said.…
December 01, 2018
Mystery Stories Virginia Revel

The Shape I'm In

“Good morning, Mr. McCord.” “Good morning Dr. Porter,” I say, inclining my head slightly in his direction. His answering nod pays tribute to my quiet self-possession. I show him no hostility, but I do not pretend he is my friend. There will be no heartiness…
December 01, 2018
General Stories Jesse McKinnell

Hi, My Name is Mark

The drug store stretched out in front of Mark like a fun house, dizzying in its array of colors and textures and smells. Racks filled with Halloween candy, masks and plastic pumpkins sat in front, requiring shoppers to battle through their compulsions before…
December 01, 2018
General Stories Roger Ley

Harley

“It’s in here,” said Martin as he unlocked the door of the old, dilapidated wooden shed. “My dad lets me use this as a garage.” The shed was sited on the edge of the golf course that his father’s family owned. They went inside. It didn’t smell too bad, and it…
December 01, 2018
Science Fiction Stories Matt King

In Formation

Honking, the geese fly overhead in a giant V as the sky reddens in the late September dawn. Tralley watches them for a moment before continuing to unload the pickup truck outside the transmission tower high on the hill. Rucker fixating on his smartphone in…

 

 

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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