by Dennis Palumbo
“Do any of you guys believe in ghosts?” Fred asked, nursing his second Jack Daniels on the rocks. He stood at the small wet-bar in a corner of my game room.
“Define your terms,” Mark said. “You mean actual ghosts? Apparitions of the dead that haunt the living? Like Casper. Or Keith Richards?”
by J.R. Chabot
I have my own room. Of course, since Mamma died, the whole house is mine. Mamma left me the house and the money. But this room is really my own. I grew up here. All my treasures and all my secrets are here. My father left before I remember, so it was always just Mamma and me. And now she’s gone.
by Paula Gail Benson
The quest for scholarships is a rite of Spring, but in my twelve years as a law school admissions director, I had never seen a situation like this one.
I’d attended plenty of meetings with potential students, seeking to optimize their chances at partial or full scholarships. What I had not previously encountered was a student-parent-financial-package-tag-team.
by Paula Gail Benson
For four months, in February of my sophomore year in high school– now almost thirteen years ago– I decided that for all practical purposes my life had ended at age fifteen. I wasn’t being overly dramatic, just realistic. What hurt the most was the fact that the end was my own fault.
by J.R. Lindermuth
“Woman has no virtue,” Simon Kemble said.
Can’t rightly say I disagreed with him, but a sheriff’s got to take things at face value. Can’t go making accusations without proof or contributing to speculation on the nature of a person. I looked from Kemble to the girl seated beside him at his kitchen table. She sure matched the description of Mary Ann Hewitt.
by Joan Leotta
My widowed Mom’s delight is treasure hunting. She is a regular at thrift shops and spends most of her Saturday morning at garage sales. She does not confine the pleasure of her bargains to herself, but often buys items and gives them away. “I just knew it was right for “blank blank” so I had to buy it,” is how she usually begins her post garage sale call to me every Saturday. Last week, my name is the one that filled in the blanks.
by Lida Bushloper
“I’m so glad that you would make time for an old lady like me. I hardly ever get to meet any of Joseph’s friends.” It was early May when I sat in the perfect kitchen of this woman I had just met, but recognized from the photograph I had been given. Of course I knew what response was expected of me, and I didn’t disappoint.
by Nancy Means Wright
For a while, back in l874, it looked as though Widow Dottie May Leach would be the mother of five hundred acres, as many Merino sheep, and married to the best catch in Branbury, Vermont. She was just thirty; Vic was twenty-four. He was interested in Dottie May all right. Other folks say different, but I know the whole story, being her only near relative and a local correspondent for the Addison Register. When you get paid a penny an inch, you develop a nose for news.
by Maria Ruiz
The lot next door had a wreck of an old shed, fallen trees and lots of weeds. I could hear rustling under the leaves and was convinced every conceivable type of animal lived there. This was Costa Rica where strange animals lived in all the trees, creeks and hiding places.
by Triss Stein
It doesn’t snow here anymore, not the way it used to. Oh, I remember walking on the sidewalks and the snow banks towering over my head. I remember the tall metal poles at every fire hydrant, painted yellow at the top so firemen could find the hydrants if they were buried–and they were buried for months and months. I remember waking up early, when it was still dark, to the sound of snow shovels scraping the sidewalk and fumbling for the radio knob, listening breathlessly to the ‘school closing’ announcements.
by Barry Ergang
With Spring in full bloom it seemed a perfect time to share this mystery flash fiction story by Barry Ergang! This story originally appeared in the print anthology Short Attention Span Mysteries, which was published by Kerlak Publications in 2005.
by Ruth Dudley Edwards
This story was originally written as a party piece for the Magna Cum Murder conference some years ago, and to the author’s surprise it ended up in the Oxford Book of Detective Stories.
by Dennis Palumbo
It wasn’t my first time in jail. Back in college–many years ago, I’m afraid–I was an overnight guest of the Pittsburgh Police as a result of protesting the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. Well, to be honest, this totally hot girl who sat next to me in Biology did the actual protesting. I just went along to offer moral support and in the vain hopes of getting some action.
by Maryetta Ackenbom
I woke up from a comfortable night in my old bed, in my old home, to the smell of bacon frying, and the sounds of—a struggle?—just outside the front door.
Wide awake, I scrambled out of bed and to the door. My mother, two days out of the hospital after bypass surgery, stood on the porch, trying to help her black chow dog down the steps.