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Latest Stories

June 23, 2022
Flash Fiction Trishna

Perseverance

A particular event is not shaping itself the way it can, what should one do? A particular incidence is not evolving the way it can, what should one do? A particular episode is embroiling uncertainty and rage time and again, what should one do? Should one give…
June 23, 2022
General Stories Tanha Emita

I Am A Grey Horse

I was born in a rambling barn. A place so filthy, where even horses like me would spit in disgust. As I was coming out of my mother's womb, I felt the earth-shaking. I slipped with a soft thud and loud grunt. Mother described to me the peculiarities afterward…
June 23, 2022
Horror Stories Robert Pettus

Taxidermy Soul

The traffic wasn’t moving a bit, so we decided to park on the street and hoof it the remaining two blocks. We walked the cracked, dampening sidewalk with a purpose. This was a party street – directly bordering the University of Cincinnati campus. The…
June 23, 2022
General Stories Ana Vidosavljevic

Bee Hummingbird

I was born prematurely. I got a bit restless in that tiny egg and rushed to see the world outside. I admit it was not wise. Anyway, I was outside, and I was not sure how long I would be in that beautiful, colorful, musical, charming world. Therefore, I needed…
June 06, 2022
Crime Stories Isabella Mori

A Job Well Done

“There’s this guy. He’s gotta go.” “Ok.” Ernest did not look up from tying his shoe. “He’s an asshole.” “Everyone’s an asshole.” Shoe tied, Ernest took his attache case from the desk. “Just give me the specs.” “Wait a moment. I mean, listen. He’s real scum.…
June 06, 2022
General Stories Benjamin Armstrong

The Loneliest Catch

My eyes shoot open to a knock. It echoes around the empty house. When I open the door I meet the sorrowful face of Margie. She walks in, uninvited. Why should she be invited, it’s her house anyway. She then embraces me; her hug is cold and somber. I wake from…
June 06, 2022
Romance Stories Don Santiago

Appointment

To most passerby's, he was a typical elderly man and to put it mildly, walking at his own selfish gradual pace since they assumed he had nowhere to be at a certain time. But to him taking one precise step after the other was a result of the arthritis and now,…
June 06, 2022
Horror Stories Pavan Kumar

Forbidden Route

Part-1: Ralph wins a quiz contest and gets Annie Oakley to spend a vacation at a resort (Two hours away from the main city) for four days. In Elysium, he packs his bag with all suitable essentials and heads to the destination via a secluded highway.…
June 04, 2022
General Stories John Darling

One Morning At The Grocery Store

"What was it you threw at him?" the officer asked again. Before Bob could answer, a kid, who must have been in his teens, shouted out the answer. “It was a can of Sunny Meadows beans,” he yelled as he looked at the can that he’d picked up from the crime…
June 04, 2022
Science Fiction Stories E Rathke

Renaissance

Dear friends, colleagues, students: we have listened long to the men and women of this stage as they dissect the trouble with postwar Italian literature, how there has been no great Italian writer since Italy's unification, and though it's not what I planned,…
June 04, 2022
Poetry Alexander James

Wish Upon A Star

When I wish upon a star I do not have to look too far Because I hold my wishes in a Jar because sitting right next to me a wishing star that’s shining bright and true is the loveliest star I ever knew, It's true that stars are luminous plasma hues, Billion…
June 04, 2022
Mystery Stories Pavan Kumar

A Grisly Party

Albert hosts a party for his coterie of friends on the eve of getting a promotion and increment in his salary. Three of his friends (Michael, Peter, and Robinson) attend the party in the evening and fill the aura of his house with excitement and joy. An old…

“Does it comfort you?” I finally ask. I always thought that faith and funerals were to comfort the living rather than service the dead. I never thought about what it might do for the dying.

I never had faith. We had religion, and plenty of it, in school. We rote-learned the prayers but never found their meaning. The church killed her brother. That was how she explained it to us in the time before clerical sex abuse and suicide had names, and when we were still judged too young to be told the full horror of it. I couldn’t understand how she kept her faith after that, because in school we were taught that to love God was to obey the church. They preached spiritual and intellectual slavery and called it faith.

Her only answer now is a pale smile, the ghost of the smile I used to hate when I was a child. It was a smile that told me some things were just too big and grown-up for me to understand yet.

What’s happening now is far too big and grown-up for me to understand. I need my mother. I need her to tell me what to do and how to survive it.

“Anything I can get you, madam?” I wish the baby-faced nurse would go away. I want real grief around me, or none. I don’t want her trained empathy and rehearsed sympathy that clocks in at 8 am for it’s 12-hour shift before going home again, sympathy and empathy stowed away with her uniform in her locker in the nurses’ room until her next shift.

This isn’t real. It can’t be happening. I feel detached. I feel like I am underwater while the rest of the world is above, and I’m submerged so I can’t see or hear or feel properly, I’m drowning and no one can get in to save me. Everywhere I turn there are people with mountains of platitudes and oceans of tea, but no understanding. Older friends tell me what it was like for them to lose their mothers, but no one but me can ever know what it will be like for me to watch mine fade and know that soon she will be gone. I can’t be in a world she’s not in. It doesn’t make sense.

“Please find my husband.”

I don’t want him there but without faith, I need someone there to hold me, to stop me from falling.

Bio: Naomi Elster is a writer and scientist based in Dublin, Ireland. She is the editor of HeadSpace, a creative non-profit magazine based on mental health.

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