by Claire Murray
“C’mon. You’ll really love it. The view is fantastic.”
“I don’t know, Doug. It sounds kind of scary. Why do you call it “The Drop”?
“Oh, it’s amazing. You’re walking along and there’s all sorts of trees and scenery and then… Boom! You’re at a drop-off. Go too fast and you could drop right off the edge.”
by Ron Van Sweringen
“Great,” he said, “someone left the door open.”
“Boy, what a swell pad,” he thought, as he walked around. “Just look at all that glass and light and in a hi-rise too!”
by Maria Ruiz
“Mom!” yelled my six year old. “Mom, I need you.”
“Whah!” howled the baby.
There was a knock at the front door and the phone started to ring. I was being pulled apart.
by Paula Gail Benson
This Thanksgiving, I promised my family I would be a different person. From the moment I woke on Thanksgiving Day until–well, until–I agreed to be the new and improved me. If I failed, I would not be trusted again, and next year, I could be the sacrifice.
by Ruth M. McCarty
It all started when Uncle Frankie yelled across the table to my younger brother Tommy, “Toss me a roll, will ya?” Tommy launched it in an overhand throw. It landed in Grandma’s gravy-covered mashed potatoes and Grandpa spilled his red wine all over my mother’s pure white tablecloth trying to catch it. My father gave Tommy a look that silenced the table, and we all watched as he downed a mug of beer. “Get me another one,” he said to no one in particular.
by Elaine Faber
The comforting scent of Thanksgiving turkey wafted through the dining room. Corinne glanced at the clock, mentally judging her dinner’s progress with the anticipated arrival of the children. She pulled a silver fork from the rosewood box and gave it a swipe with the polishing cloth. With the rewarding gleam returned to its tines, she placed it on the counter beside the growing stack of polished silver forks.
by Sally Carpenter
Working most holidays, Darren discovered, was one disadvantage of his job as a government spy. Those Cold War enemy agents operated on the days when most loyal Americans were safely at home, feasting with their families. He’d spent last Christmas on surveillance, holed up in a grimy apartment–Fourth of July chasing a would-be bomber through Chicago during a heat wave–and Labor Day in a cheap motel room, deciphering an intercepted coded message. This year he could enjoy a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner with his family, even though he was on the dodge from a double agent.
by Bonnie Cardone
The great white shark appeared minutes after Danny and I climbed into the underwater cage. The animal was at least 15 feet long yet neither of us saw it until it was right in front of us. That was unnerving. As it swam slowly by, inches from the stainless steel bars that kept us off its menu, I got an up-close and personal view of a cold black eye and a row of large, jagged teeth. The chills that ran down my spine had nothing to do with the water temperature.
by Robert Weibezahl
He loathed the thing with a grand passion that far exceeded its worth. What was it exactly? Officially it was art, but you couldn’t prove that by him. Even setting aside the philosophical argument over what is and what is not art, the thing was undeniably ugly. Sometimes Neena called it a sculpture, sometimes she referred to it as an installation. Whatever it was, Reggie hated the thing.
by Margaret Mendel
Once a year during the summer I go camping in upstate New York, on property my daughter and her husband purchased with a friend. The area is known as Dunbar Hollow. It is a quiet place surrounded by rolling hills, wildflower meadows, acres of rambling blackberry bushes and it’s hard to imagine that a horrific crime once took place here.
by J.R. Chabot
The doorbell chimes.
Before Marcie can move, I say, “I’ll get it.”
She gives me her disbelief look, but says nothing as I put down my crossword puzzle, get up and go to the door. Marcie had turned on the front porch light earlier. When I open the door I see pretty much what I’d expected: a princess and a pirate. The young royal, maybe nine or ten years old, is all in filmy pink lace with a sparkling tiara in her dark hair. The pirate, younger by a year or so, has a stuffed parrot on his shoulder that’s having a hard time staying erect.
by Toe Hallock
It was your typical October 31st evening in Lordsburg–nightfall closing in earlier than usual, ground fog creeping about as if wearing sneakers and a mystery cottage appearing out of thin air. All this, in the Spirit of the Season–Halloween.
by Elaine Faber
It didn’t matter what she thought. He always got his way. If it felt good, he did it, if he wanted it, he took it. When he was finished, he threw it away, or in this case, walked away. He could still hear her shrieks as he slammed his car door and sped away. He wouldn’t come back. Women were like new shoes. In about three months, the shine wore off and he’d get a new pair. Jenny had shined for four months, almost a record, but it was time to move on. Tom twisted his rear view mirror, grinned at his reflection and ran his hands through his carrot-red hair. Jenny would be harder to forget, but why stick around? Commitment wasn’t his cup of tea. Not to worry. Another would take Jenny’s place, probably within the week.
by Kathy Kingston
It was Halloween and monsters were on the prowl, many imagined and a few real.
The restraining order was in place, but a thin piece of paper was meaningless to my lunatic, soon to be, ex husband. His boyish charm act had fooled everyone, including me, until the underlying insanity manifested itself in violence. Long sleeves, turtlenecks and scarves became an important part of my wardrobe.
by Gail Farrelly
Once upon a time there was a seven-year-old girl in the Bronx who had been very bad during the day on Halloween. At least, that was what her parents claimed and they punished her after supper by sending her to her room to spend the rest of the evening alone. No trick-or-treating for this mini miscreant.
by Eric Mayer
Halloween evening. We’ve had no trick-or-treaters nor will we, up here on the side of the mountain. That hasn’t been the case in the past. At one house we’d get a hundred or more costumed beggars.
by Diana Hockley
My name is Vivaldi and I am a handsome, upstanding member of the rodent community. People say I’m fat, but I’m only 900 grams. Quite sylph-like, really.
by Elaine Faber
One October weekend Mom took Sissy and me to the Leger Hotel in Mokelume Hills, in the Sierra Mountains. She left us in the room while she went sightseeing. We stepped through the windows that opened onto the balcony where the prostitutes used to sit, according to the maid, advertising their wares. Coming back inside, we could just make out the wispy outline of an old guy sitting on the sofa. His face was covered with gray whiskers and he was missing a front tooth. He waved a gnarled hand. “Excuse me. Could I trouble ya’ to help me move on to the here-after?”