-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

August 09, 2020
General Stories Schubert

The Last Shift

Danny switched on the kitchen light and peered at the clock on the wall above the cooker. It was 5.10am, the middle of Winter and two hours before the central heating came on. Butch opened one bloodshot eye, gave Danny a token wag, sighed and settled down…
August 09, 2020
Flash Fiction Andrei Sisman

Drop, Drop,Drop

Balance, in all things, the monk thought, his face calm and serene, as pea-sized drops of rain pounded the surface of his scalp like a drum. The world around him buzzed with static, yet his mind was like a lake on a summer day. He assumed the lotus position,…
August 09, 2020
Crime Stories Leroy B. Vaughn

Where'd Shirley Go?

He thought he was going to throw up as he staggered to his feet and headed towards the bathroom. Rasmussen splashed water on his face and drank water by cupping his hands and drinking from the faucet. He went back to his bedroom and looked around for Shirley,…
August 09, 2020
General Stories Stephen Faulkner

How It Was

I have often been asked how it was, how it came to be that I did what I did in the way that I did it. Often I will tell whoever has asked such a question that I have been driving for over thirty years and I have always been a very good and conscientious…
July 26, 2020
General Stories Lucy Maybelle

A Reputable Reptile Establishment

“When it feels like your world is ending, maybe it’s just beginning.” This I read in some tone-deaf article about the current state of the world; the equivalent of “keep your chin up!” for the modern depressive. And I wish I could believe it. Truly, I do. I…
July 26, 2020
Mystery Stories John Brady

Winter's Walk

White ribbons in a white landscape. The county doesn’t sand the roads except where they meet and that doesn’t happen much, so the snow gets packed down hard and stays. It won’t melt till spring. Climate change fucks up the weather lots of places but not up…
July 26, 2020
Fantasy Stories Michael Thirlaway

Waveless Ocean

The sailless ship glided smoothly across the waveless ocean. Captain Blake Osric looked over at the crew, each performing their mundane tasks, confused at how the ship was moving without wind. The vast smooth sea stretched in all directions, endless. It…
July 25, 2020
Flash Fiction C Alexis

For Hire

I was sitting, sipping my coffee, swiping my iPhone, when my eyes focused on the cork bulletin board immediately to my right. At the top, in black upper case letters were the words, “For Hire.” One particular card drew me to its interesting font, which looked…
July 25, 2020
Fantasy Stories Charles West

A New Prometheus

“Sit here, Mary, there is someone I want you to meet,” Jane said. “Who?” “You will see. It is someone famous. You will be very impressed.” Mary deferred to her step sister and sat down. There was another vacant chair with a small round table between them.…
July 25, 2020
Romance Stories Patric Quinn

Life on West 4th Street

"Hey, good evening, Frank. How’s the Farrell column going." "Going pretty good today, Pipes. Just finished. I know it’s late, but I just felt like coming out for awhile. Say hello if you were working." "Coming down here, 4th Street?" Pipes’ smile showed he…
July 25, 2020
Flash Fiction Walt Giersbach

The Lawyer Saw Green Until He met Red

Our Tullahoma Tigers weren’t all that hot as a football team. Or even lukewarm, but it was the last thing holding our dying town together now that the mill is closing. However, the real reason all the townspeople close up their shops and houses and come out…
July 19, 2020
Fantasy Stories Katya Kastro

The Year The Virus Came [Editor's Choice]

Lily was annoyed and upset. Her mom switched her virtual reality helmet into school mode and while Lily’s friends were chilling on some Australian or Brazilian beach, she was locked in her room. Lily’s mom won’t unblock the helmet until the homework is done.…

 

 

With half an eye on the road, Rick shuffled through the CDs in the centre console of his HSV Commodore.

‘Offspring?  No.  Silverchair? No.  Metallica?  That’s the one!’

Eagerly anticipating the throbbing surge of distorted guitars and pounding drums, he tapped the volume up button on the steering wheel a couple of times.

‘Talking to myself?  That’s okay,’ said Rick.  ‘No one’s listening.’

The ever increasing beat of the music slowly caused Rick to increase his pressure on the accelerator.  Unaware of this, and becoming less involved in the more serious aspects of driving, he slammed the wheel with open palms and sang whatever words he could make out.  Track three was his favorite so he pumped it up louder still.  Half way through the song, Unforgiven, the CD began to jump and skip as though it was scratched.

‘Man, that’s a new disc,’ said Rick.  ‘What’s going on?’

The CD player ejected the disc in its cool mechanical way, then played the radio.

‘What the hell?’ said Rick as he pulled the disc out and lifted it to eye level for examination.  ‘Nothing.  No scratches, no marks.’

Reinserting the disc, Rick caught sight of his location and in the same instant saw a flash of light behind him.

‘Damn!  Red light camera.’

The disc came straight back out again, so Rick tried another one which also popped out.  Then he tried another and another, throwing each rejected disc over his shoulder onto the back seat with all the other rubbish.  A blaring horn reminded him of the fact he was driving.

‘Pick a lane and stick to it, moron!’ yelled an irate motorist.

‘Stick it, moron,’ replied Rick as he casually flipped the guy.

‘I guess the radio’ll have to do until I can get someone to look at this thing.’

On Nova 96.9, Rick heard a favorite song and stopped channel surfing.  Nearing the end of the Creed’s ‘With arms wide open’, the volume started to fade in the left speaker.  A crackle and a cough and it went dead, leaving the final strains of the song in mono.

‘Now what?’

Rick fiddled with the channel selector, checking the other stations to see if they were affected.  They were, so the problem again lay with his stereo, although it wasn’t in stereo anymore.  More crackling followed and Rick prepared himself to lose sound altogether but the left speaker returned to the party as abruptly as it had left.

Stopped at a red light, Rick looked around at the other cars to see if their drivers were paying unusual attention to their radios and wearing bemused expressions.  It appeared he was the only one not smiling which was very weird.

 

‘Happy motorists?  Come on, what’s happening here?’

Suddenly the radio switched itself off.  The lights went dead and there was not the faintest whimper of sound from either speaker.  Another horn blast informed Rick the light had turned green.

Bothered by the non performance of his stereo, Rick raced up to the next red light and broke hard, skidding to a halt.  Looking around again for any sign of bewilderment and frustration on the faces of other drivers, he decided to attempt to play another disc.  Before he could push it in, a voice spoke.

‘Rick, you’re driving dangerously.  You’re going to have an accident if you don’t calm down.’

So taken by surprise Rick did not immediately realize the voice was speaking to him.  The light changed and he sped off again, tires screeching as they bit into the asphalt.

‘Rick,’ said the voice.

Unsure if he was still in his right mind, Rick hesitated.

‘Rick.’

 

‘Yes.’

There was a rumbling sound from the speakers, followed by the voice in stereo.

‘Rick.’

‘I said yes.  What do you want?  Who are you?’

‘You know who I am Rick.  You’ve been ignoring me for some time now.’

Rick glanced over his shoulder, first the left then the right, searching for the source of the voice.  Jumping on the brakes again to narrowly avoid running into the rear end of another car, he reached over to the stereo to fiddle with the knobs again.  Nothing he did made the slightest difference.  He pulled over to the left of the road, carelessly cutting in front of a couple of cars and cruised along to the next side street, into which he turned and parked the car alongside the curb.

‘Why’d you have to mess up my stereo?’ asked Rick.  ‘It’s your fault I’m driving like a madman.  You know how much I love my music when I’m driving.’

‘Rick.’

‘Stop saying my name.  I know and you know it so just say what you want to say and get out of car.’

Turning the engine off, Rick waited for God to speak to him although he knew he needed to speak first.  It was stubbornness versus patience.

‘I’m sorry I’ve been ignoring you.  I’ve been busy...can you fix the radio now...back to normal?  Why’d you have to do that?’

‘It was the only way I could get your attention.  The only time you really listen to anyone or anything is when you’re driving, so now that I have your attention, I want us to have a good talk.’

‘Okay, you have my undivided attention.  Make it quick, I have to get to work.’

‘I know.  I know,’ said God.  ‘You’re always in a hurry these days. Why don’t you make time for us anymore?  Don’t you remember how good it was when we hung out together in the quiet early mornings, and I showed you things from my Word?’

 

Rick fidgeted in his seat and grabbed a cigarette from the packet in the glove compartment.

‘You’re right.  Those were good times,’ he said as he lit the cigarette and drew deeply on it.  ‘I don’t know why I stopped.  I guess I just got out of the habit.’

‘Speaking of habits, when are you going to quit smoking?  Anyway, why don’t you get back into the habit?  I want to be involved in your life again.  You know I hear every word you say.  And I see everything you do.  And I know every thought you think.  I’m always with you so it hurts me when you don’t acknowledge me and you try to fool yourself into thinking I’m not around.  I love you.’

Tossing the smoke out of the window, Rick turned his head and closed his eyes tightly, squeezing a tear down his cheek.

‘I’m really sorry.  Really.’

‘I forgive you.’

Rick was saying thank you when the radio came back on.  Wanting to hear his God again in the silence he switched it off immediately but the moment had passed.  Feeling at peace, he headed off to work singing songs of praise and celebration.

 

Two days later, Rick was killed instantly when he sped through a stop sign and into the path of an oncoming semi-trailer.

 

Bio: D.A. Cairns lives on the south coast of New South Wales where he works as an English language teacher and writes stories in his very limited spare time. He has had around 40 short stories published (but who’s counting right?) He blogs at Square pegs http://dacairns.blogspot.com.au and has authored four novels, Devolution, Loathe Your Neighbor, Ashmore Grief, and A Muddy Red River which will be published in 2015 by Rogue Phoenix Press.

 

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!

Stories Tips And Advice