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Latest Stories

July 10, 2019
Romance Stories John L.Yelavich

Saccharine Smiles and Sandpaper Personalities

What is the most powerful force in the universe? Is it atomic fusion, military might, volcanoes, tsunamis or any other natural disaster? No, they are not. None of them can create havoc and paranoia in man any more than love can. Yes, love is the force that is…
July 10, 2019
Crime Stories J.B.Stevens

A Good Man

Jimmy hated feeling the delicate orbital bones splinter, but he didn’t have a choice. He needed to be free. It was unfortunate. Just the wrong place, wrong time. If he was out he could send money to Sarah. That’s what all this was all about, helping his…
July 10, 2019
Fantasy Stories Roger Ley

Turing Test

Mr Riley liked to start his day in the library. It was a short walk from his house and conveniently situated at the top of the main street in the Suffolk market town that he and his wife had retired to. When they’d first arrived, he’d joined the local writing…
July 10, 2019
Romance Stories Patric Quinn

Where or When

The front doorbell sounded its gentle Westminster Chimes and the thumping on the door started before Hazel even put her pen down on the papers she was working on intently. More curious than annoyed, she stopped writing, shrugged and started for the door.…
July 10, 2019
Flash Fiction Sheila Ash

Working Christmas Again

I always draw the short straw to a chorus of ‘Bad luck’. A reiteration of last year and the year before, and the year before that. Throughout the day, my ‘C’est la vie’ chimes on a constant playback loop. My expressionist shrugs repeat themselves as a…
March 18, 2019
Mystery Stories JD Plummer

Pseudonyms

“Gelb wants you to call him.” I looked at Frankie, opened my mouth, began to slowly shake my head. My reply delayed by the image of Gelb, monocle in eye, brow raised, lips tight, grimacing. I cringed at the thought. “I ain’t calling that prick,” I finally…
March 18, 2019
Fantasy Stories Lucia Balbuena

A Different Story

Her breathing was deep and steady when she run through the dense forest holding her grandmother’s kitchen knife in her hand. Her red cape was torn up, also her legs, hands and her face were cut by the tree brunches. Stop you are the victim, said the forest…
March 17, 2019
Crime Stories Wally Smith

Coda

Luigi Andante’s small apartment sat on the fourth floor of a block in the West Bronx at the corner of 18th and Davidson. It was adequate as a living space, but Luigi craved more than this. “A penthouse overlooking Central Park would suit me just fine”, he had…
March 17, 2019
Crime Stories Walter Giersbach

Fifty Ways to Leave Your Loser

Lorraine Vanderzanden had the thankless task being Lindstrom’s police chief. Her husband didn’t appreciate the risks she took. Her brother didn’t thank her for using her degree for something useful instead of helping on the family farm. Heck, she thought,…
March 17, 2019
Mystery Stories Jenny Webster

"Communicate with me, please."

I have been blind for so long, I didn’t even attempt to imagine what it would be like if I could see. I don’t know any different, all I know is darkness, and I base everything that I can experience mostly through sound. You see, I can’t walk either. I’m not…
March 16, 2019
Flash Fiction Michael Fredrick

Secondhand Santa

The late model sedan sputtered, coughed and dutifully careened forward on a cold December evening. Fred hit the gas pedal & ruminated as he always did, wondering again why life had dealt him this hand? Christmas Eve, foraging for returnable bottles to make…
March 16, 2019
General Stories Darrell Case

Trig's Smokin' Wheels

There were a lot of things Trig Nelson could do, many he wanted to do, and more things he couldn’t do. Trig couldn’t run, he’d never climb stairs or hills or mountains. He couldn’t play football or basketball. Being stuck in a wheelchair that would always be…

 

 

How shallow was a shallow grave?

He’d never dug one before.  The hole before him, which he’d gouged out of the sandy soil in the heat of the desert looked deep, but now he’d pushed the man’s body into it, suddenly it looked awfully shallow. Could animals or other things get down to the body? Or maybe that was the point? Just deep enough for cover, but not so deep that it took too long for the flesh to turn to corruption.

This was really something TV should have taught him better. He hunched down and drank from his water flask.  Dragging the body the hundred feet from the car had been exhausting enough so he wasn’t about to drag it back.

 

Something squawked overhead.  It looked real. Not a drone. Maybe a bird.  Nothing man-made that would record what he was doing.

Then an idea hit: there were bound to be other bodies buried out here.  Maybe he should find another grave and dig down a little?  Maybe he could find the body of a ‘whacked’ guy and see how the professionals did it? A little river of sweat ran down his back, reminding him that it was a stupid idea.  He took the map (which had instructed him where to bury the body) from his satchel and tucked it into the dead body’s pocket.  They’d written ‘bury with body, do not burn” on it.  It was paper, so would decay quickly enough.

Overhead more of the birds were circling.  That didn’t look too good.

He stood up.

The desert plain shimmered with heat.  It looked alien enough already, but through the lens of hot air, the rock formations and scrub seemed even more curious and distant.  This wasn’t a place for him.

“Sorry buddy,” he said to the body and shovelled the first pan of dirt over it.  It took forty minutes and plenty of foot stamping, but finally the grave was filled.  He kicked some topsoil and rocks onto it, hoping to disguise its unnaturally rectangular outline.  Maybe he should have dug something with a more organic shape.

Too late now.

A wind whipped up and then was gone.  The desert was an ever changing place.  People didn’t belong here (at least not above ground and breathing) unless of course they were gambling.   For a moment he considered whether he should say some words over the unmarked grave, but it didn’t seem right.  And there was nothing he wanted to say.

He walked back to the car, drinking from the flask.  It was insulated, but the cool water inside had started to turn tepid already.

On the passenger seat was a white book: The Manual.  It was why he was out here in this place. He picked it up and opened it to page 1.

ITEM (1): The body of your predecessor must be disposed of in a location, such that the family and friends of the deceased will not detect it or have reason to detect it.  (see detachable map for disposal suggestions for your location).

There was a box next to the item line.  He ticked it and threw the book back onto the seat. It landed title up:  “Protocols for Seamless Human Interaction” it read in pompous type.  Below it, sarcastically, was scribbled: “How to be a Good Clone.”The handwriting belonged to the man in the ditch.  The handwriting belonged to him now. He turned the book over and drove off, back to civilisation, back to the people who ‘knew’ him.  Ready to continue the life of the buried man.

 

End

 

Bio: By day I write adverts and TV for other people, but by night I indulge my real passion: writing fiction. I have a deep love of genre writing be it science fiction, crime or horror.  Find out more here at my website: http://kavanaghauthor.moonfruit.com/

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