-The best stories on the web-
Read or link to over 1000 stories listed under Stories to the left.
Submit your short stories for review as a Word document attached to an email to: Read@Short-Story.Me

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…

 

 

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

0
0
0
s2sdefault

Donate a little?

Use PayPal to support our efforts:

Amount:

Genre Poll

Your Favorite Genre?

Sign Up for info from Short-Story.Me!