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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…

 

 

In short, time skipped back ten years, and in the blink of an eye everyone found themselves where they were ten years ago. The things that everyone in the world had done were now undone; children were not yet born, love had not yet been found, death had not yet come - but the memories of those ten years were still there.

All of it was truly too much to contemplate for any length of time; most found comfort in ignoring the bigger picture and centering on their own lives, and that’s how Kate and Dale found themselves sitting across from each other in a diner almost a year before they were to meet for the first time.

The time skip was just a week old and the world hadn’t collapsed into complete chaos yet, but the news was full of worldwide events having to do with the effects of the skip, and the news played on a TV in the corner to a full but still mostly quiet diner. Dale glanced at the TV but the girl seated alone at the boot next to the TV took his attention. She looked around the diner and caught his eye and smiled and when she looked beyond Dale her smile faltered a bit and she looked away.

Dale turned around and to see Kate taking the other seat at the table.

Dale rubbed his arms, appreciating the muscle there that ten years from now would decrease significantly. “Weird huh,” she said and motioned with her chin to the arm he was rubbing.

“I just can’t get over it. I’d forgotten how fit I was - am.” He rubbed and then slapped his stomach muscles and laughed. “I mean, is it weird that I feel like a freaking super hero? I mean seriously, this is great, huh?”

“Have you talked to your parents?”

Dale’s body slumped a bit and with a sigh he stopped smiling and tilted his head just a bit to the right and said: “Gosh I miss that.”

“What?”

“You and your . . . No, I haven’t talked to them. We haven’t gone that far in the past for me to do that.”

“Even when you know what will happen to them?”

Dale shrugged and started rubbing his other arm and asked, “What about you?”

“Well,” Kate began, “I live with my parents now, totally forgot about that.”

“Jesus, that sucks.”

“Mom cries a lot now and dad just watches the news.” Kate watched Dale pull the sleeve of his shirt up a bit to show off more muscle. “Have you called your girlfriend?” He lowered his head a bit and shook his head.

“No, Kate, I haven’t,” and he straightened his back and lifted his chin and looked at Kate. “You know what I’m glad I don’t have to deal with anymore? Your treating me like crap and then asking for a favor.”

“Dale, what are you talking about? What favor?”

“We both know why you’re here, and in the past - or, well, you know what I mean, in our history I would have done it, I would have done anything for you.” Dale leaned forward. “It’s important that you understand that I did love you, and I did everything I could for you, and when you wanted something or asked something of me or whatever, I did it or did what I could to get it for you. You never appreciated all the things I did for you, or if you did you never said so. Then we got older maybe, married, I don’t know, but things changed, we changed. I started to get tired of doing things for you and you never appreciating them, and you stopped asking me and just expected me to do them and when I didn’t you got mad, and then I’d get mad and it would snowball.

“It’s my fault just as much as it is yours but in the end I had to break free of it all, so I left. There’s never a good time to leave and it would never be a good thing so of course it sucked but it had to happen for me to survive - for both of us to survive, really - and I am sorry but that’s all you will get, an apology and nothing more. I see now that I was a pushover when I thought I was being nice and considerate, but that’s not me anymore. I don’t want to repeat the ten years, I want something different, better.”

“You’re an asshole.”

Dale nodded. “I can’t believe you’d really want to still be with me anyway. I mean, honestly?”

“I don’t want you - “ She spat through grit teeth and suddenly leaned forward before stopping and taking a breath. “You left us. She was all I had when you left, she was everything to me and now she’s gone and I want her back!” Dale looked around but no one was paying them any mind. “I was holding her and then I wasn’t. I was holding her, looking at her and she was looking at me and then she was gone; and I could still feel her in my arms for days after - ” and Kate’s despair took over and she stopped speaking and instead just wailed into her hands while she sat there.

Dale looked at her, tried to console her but to no avail. He managed to get her into his car and he drove her to her parent’s house; and when she got out he offered to take her back to get her car if she wanted to give him a call but she made no sign that she heard him while she got out of the car and walked towards the house.

Dale, backing down the driveway, thought he’d stop by the diner on his way home to see if maybe that girl was still there.

End

Joshua Hampel lives and works in Wichita, Kansas

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