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Latest Stories

December 09, 2018
Mystery Stories Wally Smith

Body of Evidence

Crime Scene Tours Ltd. had built their business, some would say, on the basis of appealing to people’s morbid curiosity for grisly acts of murder, and Liz and Colin Stevenson therefore had no qualms at all about conducting tours around the scenes of the most…
December 02, 2018
General Stories John L. Yelavich

Aesthetic Shock

Allie is delicate and gentle, waif-like in her presence. Her luminescent smile frames an image that seems so lighthearted. A sense of reality cannot disguise my enamored, whimsical feelings. I rhapsodize her essence in my affectionate mind excursions. She…
December 02, 2018
Fantasy Stories Vidal Martinez

The Purpose of Life

The front door slowly creaks open just as I reach to touch it with my cold, stiff hand. I stand still, hesitant, wanting to walk away, but finally I peek into the house, and through the darkness of the old Victorian home is a shadow of a flickering light from…
December 02, 2018
Fantasy Stories Pat Tyrer

It's All Relative

Before I get started talking about what I did, and why I did, what I did, I need to explain that Harold was no prize. He retired from John Deere because he couldn’t get along with the guy who worked next to him on the line. Not the supervisor, mind you, but…
December 02, 2018
Crime Stories J.D.Plummer

What Goes Around Comes Around

It was 12:45AM on a Tuesday. The old TV in the corner was playing some idiotic sitcom rerun. The ball game had gone into extra innings, but had basically ended a half hour before. There was a couple sitting at the table in the corner, having wandered in…
December 01, 2018
Crime Stories Nicholas Tomsko

Special Delivery

“BE THERE IN 5 MINUTES”...Tammy hit the SEND button and tossed the cell phone. It made a thud as it bounced off of the passenger seat. She hated the feeling of things in her pockets and never used a purse. Cruising the highway during a mild September…
December 01, 2018
Fantasy Stories Marie Anderson

Epiphany

After the meeting, Leo hurried back to his office and filled his briefcase and pockets with everything that mattered. His company mug brimmed with cold coffee. He poured the coffee over his PC’s keyboard, then threw the mug at a framed portrait mounted on the…
December 01, 2018
Romance Stories James Ross

Bones

‘Park here,’ Leo said, ‘We’re early and I’d like to sit in the sunshine for a while.’ Michael parked the car in one of the empty bays and went to purchase a ticket. When he got back to the car Leo was standing by the door grinning broadly. 'See!' he said.…
December 01, 2018
Mystery Stories Virginia Revel

The Shape I'm In

“Good morning, Mr. McCord.” “Good morning Dr. Porter,” I say, inclining my head slightly in his direction. His answering nod pays tribute to my quiet self-possession. I show him no hostility, but I do not pretend he is my friend. There will be no heartiness…
December 01, 2018
General Stories Jesse McKinnell

Hi, My Name is Mark

The drug store stretched out in front of Mark like a fun house, dizzying in its array of colors and textures and smells. Racks filled with Halloween candy, masks and plastic pumpkins sat in front, requiring shoppers to battle through their compulsions before…
December 01, 2018
General Stories Roger Ley

Harley

“It’s in here,” said Martin as he unlocked the door of the old, dilapidated wooden shed. “My dad lets me use this as a garage.” The shed was sited on the edge of the golf course that his father’s family owned. They went inside. It didn’t smell too bad, and it…
December 01, 2018
Science Fiction Stories Matt King

In Formation

Honking, the geese fly overhead in a giant V as the sky reddens in the late September dawn. Tralley watches them for a moment before continuing to unload the pickup truck outside the transmission tower high on the hill. Rucker fixating on his smartphone in…

 

 

“I just have a few more questions, if that’s alright,” I said in my professional, sickeningly sweet voice. “This is information goes straight to the funeral home to speed along the death-certificate process,” I explained. The son nodded and stepped forward.

“Was your mother on hospice?” He nodded again and told me the provider and what she was being treated for.

“Did she pass today?” He said that she did, around three that afternoon.

“Are there any personal belongings of hers that I’m taking with me today, like jewelry, clothing, photographs?” He shook his head, lip trembling. I closed my binder. “Would you like any more time with her?” I asked as gently possible. The family glanced at one another, heads shaking.

I said okay, pulled the white sheet up over the decedent’s face, and finished zipping the cot cover over her head. I draped a pretty quilt over the ugly fabric, and slowly pushed the cot with the decedent out of their house to the back of my van. I opened it, and started to load her in. It was slow work because the trunk of the van was just a bit higher than the end of the cot, but I got it in as elegantly as I could.

I braced my hip against the gurney and gave a final shove, settling it into the grooves in the floor of the van. It was hard to gracefully grunt with effort with a grieving family watching me load their dead loved one into my van, but they thanked me again. I pulled off my sweaty latex gloves, shoved them in the pocket of my pants, and shook everyone’s hand one last time.

“You guys take care,” I said lamely before climbing into the driver’s seat of my van.

As soon as I drove around the corner, I shrugged out of my blazer and plugged the funeral home’s address into my GPS. The city at night was almost as bright as it is during daytime with all the lights from shops and cars and streetlights. I loved driving at night because of the traffic, and the beautiful views of the twinkling lights of the city like a night sky of yellow stars on the ground. I could never see the real night sky, so the city lights sufficed as stars as I sped down the highway. The city slowly shrank behind me and to my left, the stars becoming one big mass of yellow. Store fronts eventually gave way to barely lit farmland and sparse trees. The highway darkened and only the occasional oncoming car drove by to temporarily light up the road and blind me. Vast expanses of crops stretched out on either side further than I could see.

A muffled groaning sound pulled me from my daydreams. I let off the gas and felt the van immediately start slowing down and put my arm around the back of my seat to turn and look behind me. I glanced to the road ahead of me, and back to the gurney on the bed of the van. I felt my stomach flip inside out as a throaty, hoarse groan sounded again, but much louder. My heart skipped into double time as I slammed on the brakes and turned on my hazard lights. I got the van to a stop in the wide shoulder of the empty highway as soon as I could.

Frozen, heart pounding, I stared intently at the cot. Suddenly, the bag bulged and moved, rocking side to side as the deadly silence was broken by groaning that turned to bestial growling.

 

Bio: J. Davis is a journalism student at the University of Oregon. Her love of writing and editing began at a very early age and she has plans to write for fun no matter where her paths leads.

 

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