Short Stories by our Amazing Authors
*All rights reserved to the Author of each story
The phone rang and I frowned. I was exhausted. It was New Year’s Day 1993. Actually, it was New Year’s Morning, since it was 2:45 a.m. I knew the time because it displayed on the wall-mounted black digital phone along with the room number, 614.
Bryan W. Conway
A Nose for Murder
Francine Parker had been featured in the newspaper more times than she cared to remember. At least once a year, sometimes twice, a reporter sidled up to her counter for yet another story on The Colonnade, a popular home-cooking café where she’d worked since the late ‘70s...
Ed’s favorite color was yellow. Always was, but wow there was a lot of yellow at this funeral for his mother-in-law. Gladioli, lilies, and chrysanthemums. Either everyone had intentionally chosen yellow flowers, or the florists in this community had a limited selection. Probably the latter.
J. L. Greger
Makeni. To this day I have no idea what it means or where it got it’s name from but Makeni was where I grew up. Wikipedia states “The origins of the name Makeni are unclear. However the Livingstone Mail reported that in 1914 Major Boyd Cunningham had a farm called Makeni in Lusaka. A folk etymology has been suggested that the name derives from a Scottish name, McKenny.”
To penetrate the eyes staring back at me in the mirror is to see an age progression from childhood through middle age. The faces from past lives, or the genetic memories from those who contributed to my DNA, also linger behind the reflection.
Good Old Mavis
Mavis breathed in the smell of daffodils from the planters, then pressed the button on the Sunshine Nursing Home's intercom.
"Mavis Bradley to see Gloria Tomes," she said into the metal box. A buzz, a click, and the door opened.
"Good Morning, Mrs. Bradley." Susan's bright welcome sounded above the piped music. "You know the routine."
Mavis pushed her handbag up her arm and signed the official record of her visit.
The Day the Elves Stole My Wife
“You’re just getting to be a lazy bum!” expressed my wife.
I never did like weeding the garden, but it was a job that needed to be done and I did it. Today wasn’t just a rebellion, you see, there were elves in the garden. My wife didn’t believe me.
“When haven’t I always done the weeding?” I protested. “But I’d rather not do it while there are elves down there.”
Stephen E. J. Tomporowski
Stripped Bare - A Pandemic Story
“Sarge” Nobby Clark and his wife Beryl slowly made their way to the seating outside the supermarket. Beryl rolled slightly on her dicky knee and Nobby’s leathery face held a permanent half grimace of pain as he dragged their faded old shopping cart, with one crooked wheel, behind him. It had become their daily ritual to check out the shelves of the store for life’s essentials.
My "Red Ryder" BB gun
December 1992. There was no snow that year in East Tennessee, but it was still pretty cold by my then-teenage-Texan standards. You see my family had just moved to a small town called Athens ten months earlier and we were about to experience our first Tennessee Christmas.
Brother Jonathan’s Treasure
Jake first heard about the big disaster while he was painting in front of his grandfather’s house. He was putting whitewash on the wood picket fence when Tolly came running down the road towards the waterfront. Tolly shouted to Jake as he passed.
James E. Sanford, Jr
Keep your head down
When every man, ever presented to her had been a boy then along came a man.
She had encountered him before when he was just a green lieutenant, who had been lost and alone in a war-torn city.
He had no fear a stupid state to be in, to her way of thinking. Silly idiot was about to have his head taken off.
Marieke J. Treloar
Carris watched out the window as a fancy red helicopter floated down behind a building just beyond the White Mountain Bus Terminal. She took a few quick steps to catch up with Will, her eyes watching the top of the rotary blades beginning to slow. “Will!” she called.
Jodi Lea Stewart
Every night I would wake at precisely 3 am to a knocking. I would drag myself out of bed half asleep and investigate. But I could never find anything, so I naturally assumed I was dreaming. The following nights had me waking twice each night, once at 3 and again at 3:15. I was confused with the same results of finding nothing. I couldn’t figure out what was making the tapping sound.
The following descriptions were compiled from diary entries written beginning in the year 2160 by a thirty-five-year-old woman named Thea Bristol. Each entry is dated and together they cover a five-year period. Thea lived in an enclave of humans in northern New York State. At the time, the group had existed as a community for about twenty-five years.
One brother carried another, his own wounds seeping and dripping blood onto white marble that would one day be a street of the great trade city of Moras. King Ivant, never one to lead from behind, now labored under the pain of his injuries and the weight of a noble brother in arms.
R. J. Hanson
"Candy Apple Red" (Flash fiction piece)
The right side of my face is numb. The wind lashes against my body. Snowflakes lick at my cheeks and escape into the miniscule gap between my coat zipper and my skin.
A Ball of Beige Wool
“This is the craziest idea you’ve ever had,” David said when his wife had announced her plan the night before their daughter’s eighteenth birthday. “What on earth possessed you to even think about this?”
Ben Berwick's Story
Derek's eyes watered as he chewed on the Carolina Reaper, once again regretting how he'd let his girlfriend trick him into entering the chili-eating contest.
Tyrion & Azalia: A Snippet (part of the story)
Turning to Azalia as he lands, Tyrion holsters his sword. “You are either very brave for hunting here or very, very stupid for doing it.” He smiles and says in human when he realizes she is human.
Michelle Schad's Short Story
Death is sort of a strange thing. When it happens, there is a flurry of activity: emotion, thought, sensation. It all just wooshes by like wind being pushed out of an inflatable raft. What’s left is just the shell, a flat, sad, pathetic little reminder of what used to be.
Unlife was totally, totally worse.
Sarah Patt's Short Story
There were three life-changing experiences that filled my summer months in the year 1994—what seems like a lifetime ago. First, my boyfriend was transferred to Baltimore and asked me to move in with him.
As I stood by the riverbank and stared down at the debris that had washed up on shore my mind went back to the events of this past night and the horror that I faced.
Barry K. Nelson
Mystery of the Geej
Ethan cursed the dense, suffocating Lao humidity for the hundredth time this week. His lightweight shirt and pants were soaked. Rivulets of water ran down his forehead, stinging his eyes, then cascaded down his camouflaged, deeply tanned face. The fish-smelling rain that had pummeled him and Vang Lou Chang for over an hour had finally quit thirty minutes ago. But the ever-present humidity was unrelenting.
Michael Jack Webb
The tulips were delivered to Miss Izzy’s doorstep once a week without
fail, all wrapped in cellophane and tied with a bow. I looked for them
every Tuesday morning when I walked Puppy to the park.
There was a certain foreboding that evening, a foretokening chill to the autumn wind which streamed across the empty plains. A large tree loomed over me, its golden leaves waxed and faded away with nothing but a few droplets of rain weighing it down. There was a stillness to the air to, a quiet desolation which struck me to the core.
There Was Nothing I Could Do
People don’t understand.
It’s stupid to judge someone on their looks.
Just because I’m pretty and have blonde hair doesn’t mean I’m dumb. I make no apology for taking care of myself. I use creams to keep my skin in good condition and choose my make-up to give as flattering a result as possible.
Queen of the Seep Ditch
Waking up at Granny's house, I hurry into the antiquated kitchen for a breakfast of
thick-slab bacon and a Dr. Pepper. Our first job today is making noodles, squishing
and blending the flour and egg yolks with gooey fingers, before rolling them out,
paper-thin, to dry.
Damn her nerves. Why did she have to be so shy? Rick – who stood a few feet away from her – kissed more than once. He touched her there and she’d stroked him until he’d pulled her hand away.undefined
He stood talking to Mrs. Kaye, the lady she worked with in the jewelry kiosk at the mall, the only summer job she could find.
He lived on the same street that Mrs. Kaye did.
Did he know she worked there, too?
A Public Bar and a Spitfire
The irony was lost on me at the time, but the public bar of a dingy boozer became a young boy’s safe haven. A secure anchorage and best of all, close to my harbourmaster. Alongside my old man and chance to marvel at him in action, what could be better?
The Man in the Chair
Tilly Drake had worked hard all her life to get what she wanted. She worked two jobs to pay for her nursing school tuition. When she finally graduated, it was as if she was beginning a whole new chapter in her life. She started searching for nursing jobs, but continually came up short.
M. C. Clay
Ava gasped for air and thought about her next move. Don't tell anyone your secret. Lock it up, bury it deep. You did this. You let him in. Pull over to the shoulder. Gather your thoughts. As she veered to the right, her car began to jerk and flutter as if it were out of gas. The steering wheel tightened, becoming difficult to turn. With all her strength, she forced it enough to pull over just as the car tailing closely behind her made an exaggerated swerve around, the driver honking and swearing as he sped off.
February can be an odd month these days; odd in the sense that you never quite know what to expect as far as the weather is concerned. Take today, for example. It is the middle of the month and yet the sun is shining brightly, and it should have felt warm outside but there is a cold, merciless wind blowing from the north and everyone is wrapped up in their fur-lined coats.
A little Christmas story
Beth Hamlin was not opposed to tights.
On the contrary, they added a nice layer in winter, and when it came to northern Indiana winters, layers were a good thing. She owned three pairs of yellow tights, and three pairs of white.
Mark R. Hunter
K. M. Doherty's Story
As the two elven boys walked deeper into the canyon, the pair passed through slivers of light into the long, dark shadows cast by the tall stone columns which nearly filled the canyon.
“These statues’re creepy,” said Chatur, gazing up at the massive stone figures towing above them. “Like trolls, only uglier.”
K. M. Doherty
Letter to the Future
If you are reading this message – and indeed can understand this – then I will have succeeded in the great task that has been entrusted to me. Namely to save humanity.
What makes you Valuable?
What makes you valuable? What do you value about yourself? What do other people that know you appreciate about you?
Value. We can go on and on about friendship, love, partnership, and other similar concepts, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to value.
Sean Michael Paquet
I’m hearing voices again. It’s like they float in from another world. Sometimes they comfort me, being my only company. Other times they frighten me with angry words. I don’t know what the voices want. They never ask me any questions.
The Bruder Brothers
Ripped the pages of the Jewish Daily Forward comes the stories of struggling immigrants as described in A Bintel Brief. In the year 1906, the Forward reached more than a half-million immigrants struggling to make their way in the New World. Within its pages the paper ran a popular advice column titled A Bintel Brief, which translates into a bundle of letters.
Neil Perry Gordon
Sean Patrick Little's Short Story
JACK MASSEY WAS taken prisoner by the Germans during WWII. His unit was captured late in the European campaign and he was placed at the Stalag VII-A camp in Moosberg, the largest POW camp in Germany, filled with an odd assortment of American, British, French, Belgian, and Russian servicemen, officers and enlisted men.
Ah, how I love fall. It’s a nearly perfect season when hillsides are filled with splashes of vibrant crimson and gold. A time when nature’s chilling breeze orchestrates a blissful dance of leaves drifting to the ground.
Diane M. How
Rude. Stuck up Brat These are a few of the things I've been called. Is it because I mocked and teased? Is it because I shouted and hit? Is it because I made someone bleed?
Veronica Sierra Lawson
Chapter One of Crystal's House of Queers
Crystal lies naked on her back, watching Haley remove three wet fingers from between her plump lips then slowly insert them into Crystal’s mouth.
“Get them wet. Very wet,” Haley purrs as her green eyes fix on Crystal’s browns. Haley lies against Crystal’s left side, propping her head on her right arm.
Crystal wiggles her tongue around each digit while sucking breath in through her nose.
The Window and the Woman
“I thought you’d say that!” The woman screamed. She tossed her napkin down and strode away from the table, a vision of disenchantment.
John stared at the window. The light struck it at just an oblique enough angle to render it a capable mirror. It was perfect for watching the patrons of La’Shae...
“Sarge” Nobby Clark and his wife Beryl slowly made their way to the seating outside the supermarket. Beryl rolled slightly on her dicky knee and Nobby’s leathery face held a permanent half grimace of pain as he dragged their faded old shopping cart, with one crooked wheel, behind him.
The Island of Lost Cause Minstrels
“Thanks for getting us thrown out of New Orleans,” Joy’s eyes flamed at her brother Ed as he drove through the now-quiet streets of the French Quarter. “You really did give us a vacation to remember.”
The pages of Edgar Alfred Pennyworth’s favorite books possessed more girth than the bulwarks of my furnished flat. Oh, dear me, I’m not complaining. One can’t expect much more at $11 per week for rent.
Edgar’s laughter waltzed down the hall.
The call I had been dreading for decades finally came at 3:45 in the afternoon. The butler messaged me, saying that our master wanted me to come up to the penthouse and say goodbye. Grabbing my medical bag — more from habit than any hope my friend would let me use my skills to save his life, I took the private elevator up some 90 floors. I stepped out into the palatial home of Jacob Anderson, one of the most powerful oligarchs who ruled the Solar System and the greatest philanthropist humanity had ever known. The view out the floor-to-ceiling windows was breath-taking, although — except for the other Oligarchs’ sky towers — much of Central City was hidden beneath a broken layer of clouds.
Yule Time Truce
"Been seeing her for a month and no one's been arrested yet," said Roy into his cell as he entered the elevator, shaking the early December snow from his jacket. "Well, considering the last two ... no, I can't go back to that restaurant." He clicked the button and the elevator started to climb. "This one's different. She's beautiful and funny and smart ..." He stepped off the elevator. "Yeah, she's sick and I'm going to take care of her tonight. Talk to you later."
The Tale of the Out of Work Fairy God Nongender Specific Person.
This happened just yesterday.
Once Upon a Time (as I said- yesterday, but the Fairy Tale Writers union says that’s how all Fairy Tale have to start, so there ya go), there was a Fairy Godmother, er… scratch that, I meant Fairy God Nongender Specific Person who suddenly found theirself out of work, after years of good and faithful service.
Matthew C. Woodruff
A story by E. N. Crane
"Did you hear that?" Lionel asked, sitting up in the tent.
"Shut up and go back to sleep," Fiona answered and swatted in his general direction. It was the last time she'd let her friends talk her into taking a city boy camping. For the past 4 hours, through dinner and campfire time, it had been nothing but panic and alarm over basic nature sounds.
E. N. Crane
Brent Golembiewski's Short Story
The wind howled, green foliage above me shuddering in the onslaught. Morning light illuminated the sky, heat radiating from the small semi-circle peeking over the green canopy. The sounds of metal gears grinding one another, interlocking with little room to spare, rattled overhead. The distinct sound of rescue, a whoomp whoomp, echoed above the other noises. My senses adept at picking up the noise. Noise that spelled salvation for the solider in my arms.
A prominent frown sat on Calley’s face as she pulled up to the palatial white Dutch Colonial house with the fresh-off-the-lot SUV sitting in the driveway. The perfect and peaceful picturesque suburban image of the white picket fence, expansive green yard and cute little flower garden was ruined by the sight of the rope in the attic window.
The Unusual Case of Ephemera Higgins
Ephermera lives from charcoal black burnt toast to charcoal black burnt toast,
that, and her friend who occasionally has intercourse with the little bell that
hangs in his cage. They keep her going from long year to long year.
She wakes by sound. The little bell tinkling in the cage as the budgie humps the metal thing: tinkle, tinkle it goes.
An Ice Crystal
Above the Arctic Circle a crystal of ice came into being and for three hundred years it hovered in the atmosphere without once bonding to another of its kind.
Day in and out it searched for a partner through the frigid haze except that with each instance he came near to coupling, his potential opposite repelled.
Robert E. Kearns
A rain drop plopped down....
A rain drop plopped down right in the middle of my forehead, I could feel it winding it’s way through the hair on the my face slowly making it’s way towards my little upturned nose. This wasn’t my first rain, I knew that those drops would increase in frequency and force and would no longer trickle towards my nose but run like a river and I would need to tuck my face under my furry siblings if I was going to keep myself from drowning in it.
Rae Elliott Williams
Oliver Phipps' Short Story
Dear cousin Fred,
Despite your reluctance and apparent lack of confidence in my abilities, I am pleased to inform you we have safely arrived at Chavanew Mexico. It took a week of difficult travel to reach the destination for your new factory.
Labaleen and the Whaler
There she hangs aloft! Twisted devil-horns
upon a head of green, translucent skin.
See those razor teeth! With two curved fangs that,
as the maw snaps shut, clamp hard against her
hungry, drooling chin.
The Guardian: A True Cat's Tale
Angels or guardians come in many forms; ones of which we are most familiar with and this tale you’re about to read, is based on a true story; focusing on the most worshiped creature in history...the mysterious feline.
The daily grind.
It’s a struggle to get out of bed sometimes knowing that the majority of my day will consist of two different jobs. It’s not enough anymore to have one job. That doesn’t quite pay the bills.
Musings from the end of a long leash
At age nineteen, I was living in what was Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, had recently finished High School, and was studying further by correspondence through Cambridge University. Back then, there was no such thing as on-line!
What about that one?
“What about that one?”
Beck pointed to the indigo drakeling darting through the pen, long wings folded on its back.
“You don’t want Uly.” The breeder spat in the mauve dust. “She won’t fly.”
Hayley Reese Chow
The Tooth Fairy
"Wally my boy, always take good care of your teeth," my grandpa once advised me, "you will die a happy man." I was seventeen then and thought my grandpa to be senile.
Whenever I do ventured to his porch, the purpose was to either collect the newspaper which the newsboy cast from the sidewalk with trepidation or gather the mail from the skewered mailbox which sat on a flimsy pole, and encased in vines along the dilapidated fence.