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Latest Stories

March 18, 2019
Mystery Stories JD Plummer

Pseudonyms

“Gelb wants you to call him.” I looked at Frankie, opened my mouth, began to slowly shake my head. My reply delayed by the image of Gelb, monocle in eye, brow raised, lips tight, grimacing. I cringed at the thought. “I ain’t calling that prick,” I finally…
March 18, 2019
Fantasy Stories Lucia Balbuena

A Different Story

Her breathing was deep and steady when she run through the dense forest holding her grandmother’s kitchen knife in her hand. Her red cape was torn up, also her legs, hands and her face were cut by the tree brunches. Stop you are the victim, said the forest…
March 17, 2019
Crime Stories Wally Smith

Coda

Luigi Andante’s small apartment sat on the fourth floor of a block in the West Bronx at the corner of 18th and Davidson. It was adequate as a living space, but Luigi craved more than this. “A penthouse overlooking Central Park would suit me just fine”, he had…
March 17, 2019
Crime Stories Walter Giersbach

Fifty Ways to Leave Your Loser

Lorraine Vanderzanden had the thankless task being Lindstrom’s police chief. Her husband didn’t appreciate the risks she took. Her brother didn’t thank her for using her degree for something useful instead of helping on the family farm. Heck, she thought,…
March 17, 2019
Mystery Stories Jenny Webster

"Communicate with me, please."

I have been blind for so long, I didn’t even attempt to imagine what it would be like if I could see. I don’t know any different, all I know is darkness, and I base everything that I can experience mostly through sound. You see, I can’t walk either. I’m not…
March 16, 2019
Flash Fiction Michael Fredrick

Secondhand Santa

The late model sedan sputtered, coughed and dutifully careened forward on a cold December evening. Fred hit the gas pedal & ruminated as he always did, wondering again why life had dealt him this hand? Christmas Eve, foraging for returnable bottles to make…
March 16, 2019
General Stories Darrell Case

Trig's Smokin' Wheels

There were a lot of things Trig Nelson could do, many he wanted to do, and more things he couldn’t do. Trig couldn’t run, he’d never climb stairs or hills or mountains. He couldn’t play football or basketball. Being stuck in a wheelchair that would always be…
March 16, 2019
Romance Stories R. Scott Venegas

A Monument to Perfect Moments

His soul was bid, the beginning was near. Brice Connelly had a dilemma, appointment and summon conflicted. He relocated, the sensation tapered, his fervor intensified. Reversing direction he tried to reacquire the target. Heavens light struck him with a…
March 16, 2019
Fantasy Stories Peter J. Barbour

A Man Called Happiness

In the forest, the trees were so tall, they seemed to reach the clouds. The dark, damp, misty quiet around them gave the forest an eerie feeling. There were animals in the forest; deer, elk, squirrels, and chipmunks, and in the evening a rabbit might cross…
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…

 

 

When I was a boy there were tales of a lady in the lake.

During the Summer months, my friends and I would ride our bicycles out there, and swim all day. Sometimes, we would take a tent, and camp out there, our parents thinking that we were having a sleep over at Joe's.

We would tell stories, trying to scare each other, and it would work, because none of us would get a wink of sleep, convinced that wild pigs might attack us, or Donny Brooke's pitbull was loose, and hunting us down. Never did we did tell ghost stories, though, because ghosts are like fairies, just something made up.

Ghosts do exist. I know now.

We were aware that people had occasionally drowned in the lake, their bodies later found tangled in the reeds. My father had been a rescue worker and told me that sometimes they would find a floater, have to slide a piece of board beneath them, remove the body that way, because the skin would be tissue thin, and brittle. He said that one time he removed a body and his fingers sunk right into them, tearing away their flesh.

My mother stressed the most, saying, “ Don't swim beneath the surface, David. Those reeds are dangerous. Beth lives in them. She'll get you. “

Beth...

Beth had been a girl who went to school with my mother and father. She was the girl with a bright future, so everyone thought. Her future was cut short by a boating accident. The propeller cut her head up and they found her a week later. She was submerged deep, tangled in those reeds.

Boys will be boys and we challenged each other to swim down to them, ignoring old wive's tales, to feel the slime upon them, to see how they wriggled and waved, like slender green fingers.

I swam down there.

Beth was beautiful and I was mesmerised.

She quickly grabbed my arm and dragged me deeper into the reeds. Her face changed and I saw what had happened to her, how she had been scalped, her face thrashed, and broken. She shrieked at me, I was terrified, and that's how I drowned.

 

End

 

BIO: I live in Orange, New South Wales, Australia. I have one child -a daughter. I was born in Sydney in 1977. My poetry has appeared in anthologies worldwide and my short stories have been published in men's magazines. I cite James Herbert, Tales from the Crypt, vintage Penny Dreadfuls, and Ripley's Believe It, or Not as an influence.

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