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Latest Stories

July 13, 2018
Mystery Stories Rekha Viswanathan

The Enchanted Woods

The boys are on a trip. A trip into the woods. Accompanied by their family they trudge along a narrow path, a route that had obviously been traced by human footsteps, a trail that had been trodden many a time. They walk cautiously, startled by the snap of a…
July 13, 2018
Flash Fiction Carl Perrin

What Could go Wrong

If you plan every detail carefully, nothing can go wrong. I believed that when I was a teenager. Like the time Billy Long and I decided to make our own beer. Once in a while we used to steal a couple of Billy’s father’s beers, but we were always afraid we…
July 13, 2018
Mystery Stories Mockingbird

A Million Dollars

They say you come to know a person’s true personality when you are no longer beneficial in their life. But what about the people who never were, what if they were the ones who truly define you. The crowd. The people you see and ignore every day or the ones…
July 13, 2018
Science Fiction Stories Saul Greenblatt

A Search for Food and Water

The day they waited for came. The three explorers sat at a table around which were the project director, project managers and assistants. The project director stood. “You three are ready to venture into space to explore a planet that our scientists say is…
July 13, 2018
Crime Stories Thomas Schmidt

Callous Disregard

Myles O'Leary had always been competitive. He saw life as basically a challenge, a challenge that pitted him against the world. And Myles wanted to win. So when news came out that a business competitor, the Strand Corporation, was up for sale, Myles jumped at…
June 24, 2018
Romance Stories Chris Bedell

Better Offer

Admitting I decided to give online dating a try wasn’t something I’d blab about to my parents even if I was almost 29. And no, worrying about what my parents thought didn’t make me strange. My dad was the first person to complain about everything. Like when…
June 24, 2018
Flash Fiction Jim Harrington

Family Reunion

I’m going to a family reunion soon—kind of. You see, I’m dying. The doctor said six months. Right around my sixty-fifth birthday. Bad liver, just like my Pa. Same cause too. We’re both drunks, but I didn’t go around beating up on women and children. In the…
June 24, 2018
Fantasy Stories Stephen J. Matlock

Only A Mother's Love

When the Vreesek conquered Earth, they brought their gods. They don’t plunder our resources. They keep to themselves. After smashing every defense and cratering capitals, they planted their temple-embassies in a hundred cities. We “rule” ourselves under their…
June 24, 2018
Mystery Stories H.J.Garton

And No Birds Sing

You know those car journeys where you don’t realise until you pull on the handbrake that you’ve just driven for miles with your mind elsewhere the whole time? It was after the interview with Diane that I made one of those. In my apartment, I downed two shots…
June 24, 2018
Romance Stories John L. Yelavich

Hands of Steel, Not Today

This morning I had to go to the local hospital for some routine tests. I feel fine, but I guess my urologist wants to make sure that I am on the right path to wherever it is I’m going. My first scheduled test was an ultrasound. There were six of us in the…
June 17, 2018
Poetry Marty Kay

Hand of God

Then there you were. Calling through the din of war, you beckoned, and I obeyed. I make amends. The muzzle of my gun muted, I mask my military might and squat to greet your greatness. Give me your hand. For I am more than war. A mother; my name is Mary. Call…
June 17, 2018
Crime Stories Scott Sinclair

Saturday Night at Fort Apache

Saturday February 8, 1973 I never thought I’d be a cop on the take. Hell, I never planned on being a cop period. My goal was to follow in the footsteps of my older brother Scotty and join the fire department. Succumbing to family pressure to not follow Scotty…

 

 

Doug thought he bore no responsibility for getting Carl run over and killed.

Doug pulled with one hand the handle of the cart jammed with clothes from the

Laundromat in the flimsy wired shopping cart he had ineptly assembled long ago.

The huge load forced loose five thin wires from the thick metal frame, slipping from

holes on the side nearest his legs. Bored with this monthly chore, before realizing it the

tilted two wheels had run over a crooked trail of laundry spilled on the sidewalk.

He saw the clean clothes lying there and this disrupted his compulsion for order. He

craved reality neither torn nor shredded. He had to draw the cart six blocks to his home.

He wanted to but didn’t go fetal on the sidewalk: a ruined routine only meant trouble.

A man touched Doug’s shoulder, and said, “You’ve dropped these,” handing Doug two

shirts, a towel and three socks. “It looks like you need help.”

Doug saw the man’s opaque glasses, his white cane, his big pot mostly covered by a

short sleeve shirt, his suspenders holding up white trousers.

“A matching set, pants and cane,” sneered Doug, but no reaction from the man. “Hell

happens fast in my life.”

“I can Braille the clothes even though I’m unsighted,” he said. “My name’s Carl.”

Doug told him his, Carl putting out his hand that Doug finally shook. Very funny,

Braille.

They stuffed clothes slowly into the half-empty cart. The unsighted man’s hands and

arms touched Doug’s as they stuck unfolded clothes helter shelter into the cart, unlike the

neat piles Doug made at the Laundromat.

“Has your sense of touch increased since you became blind?” Doug asked.

“I didn’t become anything. I was totally blind at birth,” Carl said, with a twist of anger.

The clothes taken from the sidewalk, Doug started to leave.

“Did your parents have syphilis?” Doug said. He wanted that to be his parting shot.

“I’m an orphan. Don’t assume anything about the unsighted.” Carl smiled when he

spoke, either to conceal hostility or because he was just another happy, i.e., stupid

man according to Doug.

“It’s nice of you to help. Maybe you can traipse behind me next time I do laundry.”

“I’ll walk with you,” Carl said, waving his cane like a bomb detector searching for

explosive devices. He walked point, Doug lagging behind. The traffic increased

since Doug entered the Laundromat; this distraction made pulling the cart harder.

“You sure know this route for a guy who can’t see. How come I haven’t seen you

around?” How come you don’t get the fuck away from me, you’ve served your purpose,

get lost before I snap your cane over my knee, Doug wanted to say.

“I’ve never been on this stretch before,” Carl said. “And enough with the ‘seen you

around’ stuff. That pisses me off.”

“Dammit, I can see that,” Doug said, spittle flying on Carl’s black glasses. “Life

pisses me off. It makes me want to sit alone in the dark.”

Carl pressed the walk button and waited for the green. Braille again?

They walked abreast on the now wider sidewalk.

“Shit, man, don’t ever say, ‘I can see that’. What are you, a bigot who hates the 
unsighted?” For a disabled man, in Doug’s eyes, Carl was not Kosher. The cart’s wire

came loose again and pushed into the back of his thighs.

“What are you, a vampire sucking up pity whenever possible?” Doug said. He turned

his head when he spoke, his neck contorted, bits of saliva wetting Carl’s ear. Doug

wanted to stop, fix the cart, stick his face into Carl’s and rip those glasses off.

“Pity sucks. I don’t need yours. Where would you be if I hadn’t helped you. You’re a

whiner. Us cane tappers sense defects people like you can’t.”

With that, Doug grabbed Carl’s arm, squeezing his fleshy bicep tighter as Carl resisted.

The cane slipped from Carl’s hand. Doug flung his glasses off and shoved him. Carl fell

into the dirt near a shrub.

“Dammit, you’re not blind. They’re bloodshot. You’re an insomniac is all,” Doug

said. “And a damn liar.”

Straddling Carl’s hips, Doug snapped his suspenders so many times until Carl yelled,

“Stop it. Let me go.” A bug crawled over Carl’s face. Traffic flowed, as usual.

Doug got up, grabbed the clothes, and tossed them out of the cart to use the end of one

wire to gouge Carl’s eyes. He hauled the nearby empty cart upon the chest of fallen Carl

and tried to poke a circular metal piece into his eyes but the handle got in the way. The

cart was no weapon. Carl heaved his chest many times until Doug flopped to one side,

much as a wrestler did to avoid getting pinned and lose the match. Doug rose.

Carl got up without his glasses. “I’ll get even, you dirty shit,” he said breathlessly,

his face red. Carl stepped into the gutter.

He jaywalked into the path of an eighteen-wheeler.

 

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