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Latest Stories

May 19, 2018
Fantasy Stories Jo Carroll

The Curl and Vampire

She was a pretty thing to be sure, the little girl with the curl. Her cheeks were as red as blood and her skin as smooth as porcelain. And yet there was something odd about her clear blue eyes—something empty and soulless. She sat atop her throne of building…
May 17, 2018
Mystery Stories Nicole Robb

New Frontier

Still groggy from her hibernation chamber, Stacey checked the readings once again on the ship's control panel.She had read them right. "Tom! Something's wrong." "What is it?" Tom emerged from the back where he had been checking on the twelve hundred sleeping…
May 17, 2018
Mystery Stories Laura Ellison

Remedy

The smell of death hung heavy and pungent in the air. Sickness touched the skin and covered it in a dewy glow that in any other situation could have been attractive. Castellan held a scented handkerchief over her nose as she walked through the village to the…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Dylan Thomas Nichol

Forged in Shadows

Screaming was all that could be heard through the bone chilling halls of the dungeon. This was what the supposedly great nation of Hace really was. An ugly abomination lay underneath the stunning Admor Keep, and Caelin made the long journey through it, his…
May 17, 2018
Mystery Stories Isabel Schwaak

Something Stronger

A thick grey stone wall separated the village of Telly Fenn from the wilderness. A narrow path led the way out of the village and melted into a crossroad, from which a crooked path strayed far into the dark forest. The inhabitants of Telly Fenn were content…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Jade De-Terville

A Light Bulb Called Tink

“This is more than just a bloody mid life crisis,” Karen said clutching a tattered red book, until her knuckles started going white. She savagely threw the book onto the chequered dining cloth, and ran her hands through her untamed hair. “Oi, mind the…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories April Winters

Area Twenty Four and a Half

I, Jim Roberts, got fired today. I didn’t realize Mr. Kerr, my boss, was standing behind me when I referred to him as Kerr-mitt. He failed to see the humor, and now I have no source of income. Looks like my journalistic aspirations are out the window. I…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Jeremy Szal

Crimson Snow

16th Day of Regon, Year 455 of the First Dawn I could feel the cold as we climbed higher, the chill reaching into my bones. The wind whispered across the grassland, flapping my black hair over my face. I wanted to lie down. I wanted to sleep. I wanted to…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories B.J.Neblett

Forever

“Segue the next couple of records with a jingle then go into a stop set. I’m gonna get some air.” Hy Lit flashed his agreeable smile, adjusted his trade mark tinted glasses and winked. “You’re a natural, kid.” Then he disappeared out the studio door. The…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories BJ Neblett

Pockets Full Of Wishes

“Don’t put your hands in the pockets!” Jimmy looked at his sister. It was just a winter coat, a used one. It was all his parents could afford. But it was his. He picked it out. Now he stood proudly before the store mirror admiring the blue denim coat with the…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Laura Ellison

Consumed

Arlia knelt down on a silk cushion in the middle of the room. She took a deep breath and centred herself. Gramps always told her to do this, sometimes he jabbed her in the sides with his walking stick if he thought she rushed meditation. In front of her the…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Paul Magnan

Scorned

I grasped the rough edges of the tombstone and pulled it from the strands of thick, yellowed grass upon which it lay. I set it in an upright position. The words “Dear Love” were carved along the top of the stone. I had carved those words. For a few seconds…

 

 

Eleanor heard the footsteps. Instinctively she clutched at the collar of her robe, pulling the already constricting, conservative cut of the cloth even tighter around her. But as she listened to the footsteps, growing ever closer in the blackness outside her door, she relaxed her grip.

She could tell that the steps coming up the path were tentative over the craters and outcroppings; almost shy and submissive in their gait and footfall.  The person coming her way was more of a lost soul than any kind of threat.

And besides the villagers knew better than to send an undesirable her way.

Eleanor moved through the light and shadows of the sitting room; candlelight and familiarity guiding her through a well appointed  house and to the thick oaken door. She reached out slowly and, with hand shaking ever so slightly, slid the latch on the peep hole.

She smiled a tight smile as she laid eyes on her visitor.

Young but not too young. Very much a May to her very late December. His sensitive eyes, shoulder length hair and a ragged waistcoat over a animal hide tunic made him as an intellectual in Eleanor's mind.  A former teacher, perhaps an author? There were not many of those around anymore. He looked like he was lost and in need of a pause in his journey.

Eleanor opened the door, smiled and waved him inside.

He was Henry, a man of some culture and taste. Eleanor discovered that when, after setting down a simple meal, he was quick to pull out her chair. It was an act that had long since become an oddity to those who could remember when such niceties were common place.

They talked of good books, the art masters, fine wines of bygone ages and all manner of philosophical and social mores. He had opinions but was open to spirited debate.  As the night wore on, Eleanor was flushed like a school girl at this onslaught of intellect and curiosity from the  stranger.  And she literally melted when he spied a battered guitar in the corner, picked it up and serenaded her with a soft, chord driven rendition of Cat Steven's 'Peace Train'.

The hours wound their way slowly into the night. At one point Henry stretched and yawned. Eleanor tensed. She knew what the stranger's gesture  was a prelude to. She had a spare room. But she was nonchalant in offering him her company in her bed.

They walked together to the bedroom.  Silent. Caught up in whatever was to come. Eleanor opened the door to a room that would have been considered elegant in another age.  Reproductions of paintings by the masters. Colorful drapery hanging from every available inch of wall and  ceiling.  All centered by a four poster bed, surrounded at each corner by heavy falling bunting and filled with colorful oversized pillows, layered  satin sheets and  a lovingly overwhelming array of blue, red and gold blankets.

Eleanor turned to face Henry.  She opened her robe and let it fall to the floor. Henry's eyes instantly reflected shock at the horrifying tableau that was Eleanor's body.

Jagged red scars ran in all directions up and down her body. Between the patchwork stitches were discolored welts and layers of tattered tissue that had long ago gone hard and permanent. One breast appeared fairly normal; the other hanging far less perfect with the primitive efforts to save it, incisions that had barely survived gang green but had apparently done the job.

Eleanor had been far enough away from the last bombing of the last war to survive. Physically she was a map of hell. Mentally she got through life by just making do.  Somehow she had survived...And was rewarded with a lifetime of isolation. She had taken lovers. But the novelty of being with men who treated her like a freak inevitably wore off on both sides.

She looked up at Henry. The horror and revulsion she had come to recognize in the men she had encountered since she crawled from a shelter that had not been close to doing the job, stood out almost in base relief. But after a moment his eyes went soft, sympathetic and understanding. Without saying a word, he peeled off his tunic; revealing a body lean and unmarked. Eleanor marveled at the later. He had obviously been young enough to come after the apocalypse and the radiation level had subsided.

Henry took Eleanor in his arms, hugged her tightly and then lay her down on the soft sheets. He was a quiet, considerate lover; touching her ravished body with soft caresses and her soul with tender and prolonged lovemaking.

Finally satiated, they both fell together. Henry managed a good night peck to the cheek before drifting off to sleep with a smile on his face. Eleanor curled into the crook of his arm; a tight smile but a thoughtful one.

She felt like she had felt before coming to the inevitable conclusion that there could be no love for an atom blasted monster. But still....

Inside she giggled at the prospect of Henry staying for a while. Who knows. It just might be forever.  But then reality once again invaded her thoughts. If he was still here in the morning...

She would take off her mask and wig

THE END

 

 

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