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Latest Stories

January 27, 2023
Flash Fiction Marina Krasavtseva

Je t’aime… Moi non plus

Her first tear was a pleasure. Now, her eyes red and puffy, he felt somewhat disgusted but still satisfied with what he had done. Her sobbing was pleasing, but when she would open her mouth…He just wanted to punch her, stifle her or whatever it would take to…
January 27, 2023
Crime Stories Peter Greenhall

The Bank Robbery

Dev, a second generation Indian male, arrived early to work. He was the branch manager and responsible for the transferring of cash to a security van that arrived every Wednesday. Every week Dev arrived for work, alone, to meet the private company. On getting…
January 27, 2023
General Stories Emanuel Diaz

Oh Rats !

Francoch Ratta, a 27-year-old New Yorker of Irish-Italian descent, woke up one morning to find he had a peculiar sensation. It was as if someone, or something, was watching him. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but it was a feeling that wouldn't go…
January 27, 2023
Poetry Peter Greenhall

Broken Hearted

Didn't take a knife, A gun, Or Strangulation, From anyone. No weapons of mass destruction, Powerfully, No cloak and dagger stuff, Sneakily. What you did, When you left me, What you did, Utterly destroyed me. Don't love me anymore, What am I to do? Didn't see…
January 24, 2023
Flash Fiction Greg Crow

The god Of Time And Space

There was a young man named Greg. He was an ordinary man, living an ordinary life, but he had a secret that he kept hidden from the world. He had the power to control time and space. Greg had discovered his power when he was just a teenager. He had been…
January 24, 2023
Poetry Peter Greenhall

My First Therapist

Imploding, Exploding, Fighting, And Hurting. Some of things I want to do, Cause much pain, To myself, And to others too. In my early 20's, Life's meant to be free, In my early 20's, Felt trapped within me. Raging inside, Volcanic activity, Some part of me…
January 24, 2023
Mystery Stories Emanuel Diaz

Let Me Protect You

It was a normal day for Arabella Barlow. She was working in her garden growing some of her vegetables to sell in her stall inside the Borough Market in London. She was at peace and content by doing this while she waited for her beloved husband Cenric Barlow.…
January 18, 2023
Flash Fiction Reen

Cold Chaos

An expected delay, the blue line will arrive in 8 minutes now. A smell of burning fire fills the startled air from the act of defrosting the CTA rail. While I take deep breaths, tiny droplets of liquid water and ice are seen in the air as a cloud. On this…
January 16, 2023
Poetry Paweł Markiewicz

The New Celtic Ode To The Dreamed Mother Nature

ABABACACA You are an enjoyable juniper! You are a pleasurable bush! You are an agreeable poplar! You are a delightful spruce! You are a gratifying cedar! You are an amusing birch! You are a diverting corn! You are a bonny pine! You are a lovely palm! Your…
January 16, 2023
Fantasy Stories Rafique Shabbir

The Return To Malneant

Almeric had not slept ever since the death of his wife whose murder was committed by his hands. He could not imagine what madness had impelled him to spill the blood of someone so pure and innocent. Nevertheless, the guilt manifested itself in his dreams as…
January 16, 2023
Poetry Peter Greenhall

Undercover Copper

I used to wear a uniform, Wore it brand new, Proud to be wearing that uniform, Happily arresting the scum amongst you. Football violence, Scuffles and domestics, Car crashes and possession, Total Mayhem. Undercover work, Is calling me, A bit cloak and dagger,…
January 16, 2023
Flash Fiction Emanuel Diaz

The Starry-Eyed One Maddening Sight

As Gustav Von Valentijn sat in front of The Starry Night, he couldn't help but feel a sense of awe wash over him. He had spent a small fortune to acquire the painting from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and now it was the centerpiece of his sanctuary -…

This isn’t a story about two sisters after the same man.  It’s a story about the same man after two sisters.

Rose and I are “Irish twins”, eleven months apart.  She’s brunette and I’m blonde and we’re both...well, let’s just say we have hourglass figures.  Which is why Mr. Knutsen won’t leave us alone.  He wants us to make TV commercials for him, wearing tight sweaters and short skirts and acting amazed at the great buys available at “Krolly Knutsen’s Kar Korral”.  But we refuse.  We Jeffries are good, honest girls, and we will not shill for Kreepy Knutsen.  No way.

Till the day we sit down, add up our bills, and realize we’ve got maybe a month before we crash and burn.

Rose looks at me and sighs.  “Maybe I can get evening shifts at 7-Eleven after I get off from Macy’s.”

“Then who’s going to watch Mom at night while I waitress?”

The thing is, there just aren’t that many jobs available near the freeway exit we call home.  One of us could look for work in the big city, but that would leave the other one responsible for Mom 24/7 and soon two Jeffries women would need round-the-clock care.

So the next day I unlock my mental chastity belt and go see Mr. Knutsen.  When he sees me, he smiles a “gotcha” smile.  “Well, look who’s here!  Come in, honey, come in!”

Shuddering slightly, I follow him into his tiny, cluttered office.  There’s an extremely cute guy at the computer.

“My nephew, Buck,” says Mr. K.

“‘Buck?”

“Short for ‘Buckminster’,” says the guy.   “Whatcha gonna do?”  He grins.  He’s wearing horn-rimmed glasses.  I like him already.

“Buck’s here to learn about the business,” says Mr. K.  “Use his fancy MBA in a....what’d’ya call it?”

“An internship.”

“Right!  He’s supposed to do projects for me....wait! wait!”  Mr. K. holds up his hand like a traffic cop.  “I just had a helluva idea!  Buck!  You can work on our TV ads with Roxie here and her sister!”

“Roxanne,” I say through gritted teeth.  But Mr. K. is off and running.

“I bet you can improve our sales by 20%!  Maybe more!”

“I’m not sure advertising is...”

“No, no, this is great!  Tell you what...you get me 20% more and there’s a bonus in it for all of you!”

Buck looks at me; I look at Buck.  I wouldn’t mind a bonus.  I wouldn’t mind him.  “I’m willing if you are,” I say.  And...we’re off and running.

For the next two weeks, Rose and I work with Buck every chance we get.  He’s gone online and researched making TV commercials.  He’s got us “conceptualizing” and “storyboarding”, and he actually listens to our ideas.  He’s told Mr. K. to stay away.  I like him better all the time, and I’m grateful Rose already has the hots for an assistant manager at Macy’s.

Finally, we shoot two 30-second commercials.  Rose and I play normal, thinking women inquiring about Mr. K’s cars.  We look impressed by what we learn and nod at each other as if to say, “See?  Krolly Knutsen really isn’t out to cheat the bejesus out of us!”  But other than that we don’t tell any lies, and we look good.

Mr. K. blows a gasket when he sees them.  “Jeez, Buck!  No way I’m going to pay to run these on TV!  There’s no...showmanship!  No pizzazz!”

“But...they’re honest and informative.”

“If I want information I’ll watch the news!  If I want honest...”

I can’t stand it.  I leap to my feet.  “Mr. Knutsen!  How much does it cost to run these for a week?  Because Buck and Rose and I will pay for it!”

Mr. K. stares at us.  We stare back, wondering what I’ve done.

“Okay,” he says at last.  “I’ll pay for one week. That’s all, understand?  If sales don’t go up, then...” He makes a slicing motion across his neck.

You’ve probably already guessed the ending of this story, right?  Sales go up, we get our bonuses, and Buck and I live happily ever after.  Well, not exactly.

Sales don’t go up.  Turns out people buying Mr. K’s cars don’t want information, they just want cheap.  Figures.  No bonuses, but at least Mr. K. pays us off before he tells us goodbye.   And we start getting modeling jobs from being seen on TV, which help pay for Mom’s day care.

And Buck?  He’s doing research comparing Mr. K’s sales methods to other used-car dealerships.  He says he intends to prove that in the long run, honesty works.

We’re also doing a little joint research project on how the two of us work.  I won’t lie; it’s going well.

 

End

 

I'm a retired psychiatric nurse/hospital administrator/grant writer who now spends her time making slow-cooker marinaras, pining for yellow tulips, and writing fiction.

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