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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…

 

 

George Downs stood bent slightly forward in front of an officer. “You’re supposed to stand at attention, soldier, not tilted forward.”

“I have arthritis, sir, and it prevents me from standing up straight.”

“Likely excuse.”

“Sir, I’m eighty one years old. Why am I still in the Army?”

“We need all the able fighting men we can get, soldier, - so you will not be discharged from the Army.”

“This is crazy. I was discharged from the army almost sixty years ago. How could I possibly be standing here in an Army uniform. I must be dreaming. I must be having a nightmare,” he said and slapped himself in his face several times.  “What’s going on? I’m still here. I should be in my bed waking up  from this nightmare, but I’m not.”

“You will be sent to an infantry outfit where you will train for the next war.”

You don’t want someone as old as I am. I couldn’t endure the physical training.”

“We’ve dealt with soldiers like you before. We’ll make sure you endure the physical training if it takes five years.”

“Five years? I’ll probably be dead between now and five years from now.”

“The new Army doesn’t allow death unless death happens in combat.”

“No, no, no. This isn’t happening,” he yelled and sat up in his bed after being shaken by his wife. “George, you were having a bad dream. Are you okay?”

“Oh, it was terrible, Mary. I dreamt I was back in the Army, and they were going to send me to an infantry outfit. It was so real. I told them that I was eighty one, but it didn’t matter. The officer said I was going to be trained for the next war. Mary, it was terrible.”

“You go back to sleep, dear. Think about your great grandson, and you’ll have pleasant dreams.”

The next night was a repeat of the night before.  George was sleeping in a barracks, and a sergeant entered the barracks at 4:00 and screamed. “Okay, scum, everybody up. After breakfast we’re going on a nice twenty-mile march,” he yelled. “We have to be combat ready.” Then he went to George’s bunk, which was a top bunk. “What are you still doing in the sack, private,” he yelled.

George opened his eyes and looked around. “What am I doing here, and how did I get in this top bunk?”

“You’d better get moving, private, or you’ll  miss breakfast. You won’t  like to go on a twenty-mile  hike on an empty stomach. You can’t fight a war on an empty stomach.”

“Twenty-mile hike? Are you crazy? I can barely walk twenty feet.  Jesus, I’m eighty one. Look at me. Do I look like a kid?”

“Do you want special treatment because your eighty one? Ha. You’re in the Army. Age doesn’t get you special treatment, now get out of the sack,” he yelled.

“I don’t know how I got in this top bunk, and I’m damn sure I’m not going to be able to get out of it.”

“I’ll show you how,” the sergeant said and grabbed George and lifted him out of the bunk and put him on the floor. “Now get your walker, get dressed and get to the mess hall.”

“My walker? How did my walker get in my night mare? Why am I having this night mare?” he complained and looked around at all the young soldiers cleaning their rifles. “Why are you cleaning your rifle?” he asked a private.

“They keep telling us we gotta be ready for the next war, old man.”

“I’ve been watching too much news.”

The sergeant entered the barracks and screamed at George. “Why aren’t you cleaning your rifle? Why? Why?”

“George, wake up. You’re having another night mare,” Mary said and shook George, who sat up.

“It was like the night mare I had last night. I thought I stopped dreaming Army dreams years ago. For twenty years after I got out of the Army, I dreamed that the Army wouldn’t let me out. I don’t understand why they’re starting again. They don’t care that I’m eighty one. One more night mare like these and I’m going to see a shrink.

The next night, he was holding his walker as he walked in a field.  Where am I? Why are bombs falling? Who are those people running toward me? They’re shooting at me. I can’t get away, they’re shooting and…oh, my God, my stomach. They shot me in my stomach. I’m falling. I can’t move. Now, everything is black. I’m dead.”

Mary woke up in the middle of the night and reached over to touch George and felt wet. She jumped up and looked at George, who was bleeding from his stomach. “George,” she yelled and fainted.

 

The End

 

While teaching  communication skills and English at a community college, Mr. Greenblatt wrote short stories, and plays, one of which won a reading at Smith College. Since retiring in 2000, he has written short stories and novellas.

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