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Latest Stories

October 14, 2018
Crime Stories Julie Achilles

The Boy in a Hoodie

I am walking along the road, the road that leads to home and I see him. I do not know him but for some reason I know there is a significance. He is casually dressed and wearing a grey hoodie which is pulled up, yet, I can still see his face. I can see that he…
October 14, 2018
Fantasy Stories M.B.Manteufel

Two Heads are Better than One

He opened the jewelry box with one gloved hand, holding steady a slim flashlight with the other. He cursed under his breath. Empty. Again. Matt Sanders wasn’t used to bad luck. He had become one of the best in his profession because he refused to rely on…
October 14, 2018
General Stories Julie Harris

The Man Who Left His Wife With A Goat

The morning’s warm rain finally drizzled to a wind-blown spray before a strong sun blazed in the cloudless sky. Christine stood motionless at the kitchen sink staring beyond the teardrop stained window to where he stood watching from the summer house.…
October 14, 2018
Mystery Stories Salvatore Difalco

Vertigo

Juan rose to pee in pitch darkness, his eyes fluttering. He found the toilet, but peed all over the unraised seat, splashing his shins and toes. Catching jeweled glints of chrome and glass, his eyes oriented to the darkness. Incomprehensible, his next move—he…
September 09, 2018
Crime Stories Frankie Neptune

It's The End of The World as We Knew It

 Reggie Benangin had always been this way. He couldn’t do anything right. The following is true - Though not even Polish, he couldn’t screw in a light bulb. When growing up in Westfield, New Jersey, his father knew never to ask Reggie to cut the grass. Every…
September 09, 2018
Horror Stories Vidal Martinez

La Llorona

I almost slam my head on the dashboard when the car suddenly stops in the middle of the dirt road. “What are you doing?” He looks behind me. “Right there… those trees,” he says. “Are you serious?” I look out the passenger window, and in the dark distance is…
September 09, 2018
Mystery Stories Roger Ley

Curing Brian

The day started pleasantly enough, we’d met for our regular game of tennis, the old reliables, Chris, Marilyn, Malcolm and me. Then the man in the dirty suit appeared and everything changed. It was summer and the weather was warm, so we’d used the outside…
September 09, 2018
Romance Stories John L. Yelavich

Sunny Souls

I have fond recollections of my high school years roaming the hallways with my best pals and their gals. We all thought that we embodied the right stuff or whatever that mindset was. We were all proud, cocky and cool and never wanted to be labeled pretenders…
September 09, 2018
Science Fiction Stories Majoki

Snarge

What do you think we hit? Can’t say. We went through the critters pretty fast. I’ve never seen anything quite like that flock: multicolored, almost metallic-looking, circling in a protective formation. Very strange. We’ll have to wait until the techs evaluate…
August 21, 2018
Fantasy Stories Roger Ley

Making Babies

Martin Riley unlocked his front door, stepped over the threshold, and stopped dead. Everything was different: furniture, décor, layout, all changed. It didn’t look like his house anymore. A voice behind him said, “Hello Darling, I have some wonderful news.…
August 21, 2018
Science Fiction Stories R.Scott Venegas

How Far Back?

“The test subjects’ mental acuity, such as it is, and physiology are unaffected, the samples it obtained show little out of the ordinary, however it is quite agitated.” “Is it?” “Yes, seems it was spotted and chased.” “Did it do any damage during the…
August 21, 2018
Romance Stories Susan C. Nigra

A Lie is Born

Dec. 12, 2012 was a dreary uninspired winter day, and also the day I returned to relive the beginning of the lie. It was 43 years ago when I first came here at the tender age of 23 in high spirits... high on life, high on being young; and I have returned a…

 

 

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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