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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…

 

 

My hands are shaking, I cannot stop them and I am barely breathing, because never in my life have I felt more beautiful than in this moment, right here. Enveloped in white lace and tulle, I carefully run my fingertips along the tiny seams in the bodice of my dress. The princess staring back at me from the mirror smiles, and I can feel tears welling up in my eyes. I have not even started down the aisle yet. I truly hope everyone is right when they say this is going to be the happiest day of my life. I pull up the sweetheart top a bit, adjusting my bust to look just right. I take a deep breath, nervousness rising up within me. Am I making a mistake? My hand immediately goes to my mother’s locket around my neck. The locket itself is silver with tiny blue and white flowers on the front and it dangles from a chain I bought six years ago at a local jeweler’s going out of business sale. There is nothing in the locket, the small metal clip that was supposed to hold in a picture or a lock of hair has long since broken. I have thought about getting it fixed, and Bruce, the man waiting for me at the end of the aisle, has offered to get it fixed many times, but I don’t think it will ever happen.

I was nine years old when my grandmother died. Her house was old and not in the best part of town, but she always had something baking. Cookies, pies, or cakes were always “just about to pop out of the oven, so why don’t you stay for a bit” and she always had enough to share. I remember seeing the locket swinging from her neck as she forcibly mixed the cookie dough by hand with a large wooden spoon, or as she pressed down the rolling pin to flatten out a pie crust. I would sit opposite her at the small island in the bright yellow kitchen and she would tell me stories about princesses and dragons. She told me that her locket was given to her by a fairy godmother, and that it had given her the strength to escape her dragon all by herself. At the time I did not realize she was talking about my grandfather. Grandmother said the locket would become my mother’s, and then mine. She talked about my mother becoming strong enough to run from her dragon, but little did she know that two years after she died, my mother’s dragon would run himself out of town.

I was eleven years old when my father left. I cried and cried, waiting for daddy to come home. My brother told me that daddy was never coming home, that love is a joke and only the stupid believe in it. I remember my grandmother’s locket swinging around Mommy’s neck as she fell after Daddy hit her, and the chain breaking as he pulled her close enough to smell the alcohol on his breath, screaming that she was the biggest mistake of his life. Mommy picked up the locket and told him to leave if he wanted to, but know that if he did, he better not ever come crawling back. I can still see the imprint of the flowers on her palm from how hard she was clutching the locket when she finally let go of it three hours later. She never got the chance to wear the locket again after that. We went to the doctor to get her nose set and the doctor saw something on the scans, we should do some more tests. The locket got put in her jewelry box and stayed there through the two rounds chemo. I almost buried it with her. Almost.

I am twenty six years old, gazing at this locket hanging from my own neck, the history of it weighing me down. I carry these women with me now, and forever more. My grandmother never got her happily ever after because by the time she left my grandfather she had a daughter to think of, and my mother’s life was cut short before she got a happy ending. When I walk down this aisle, I will be bringing them with me. I will share this with them for all they gave me. I release the locket, sure in my decision to trust in love and myself. One more deep breath, and as the wedding march begins I can almost feel them with me as I walk to meet my prince, not a dragon in sight.

 

Bio: My name is Sydney Sheldrick. I am a middle child of five, all brothers, from the middle of America. I am currently studying American Literature at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. My hobbies include reading, movies, and spending time with my pug, Peanut.

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