A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.


Terrific Tales

by Mabry Hall


Rudolph sauntered into the bar, his red nose blue from the cold. “Gimme an Irish coffee, Bert. Gotta heat up the old schnozzle.”

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by Frederick Ramsay


The door slammed against the wall, bounced, shuddered, and slapped shut again. Darcie Starling, mouth agape, stood as her father’s picture in the foyer wobbled on its hook, seemed to hesitate, unsure if it should, and then plummeted to the floor with a crash, scattering glass shards across the floor. Seconds later, the Digby police, search warrant in hand, pushed their way in, this time more gently, and proceeded to search her house.

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by Barbara Schlichting



Maggie and I had been friends for over twenty years. Our moms were friends; they went shopping together, taking Maggie and me along. Our families lived side-by-side in a working class neighborhood in south Minneapolis, until the day that turned my life around. That was the day my parents were killed in a car accident. I went to live with my grandparents, Marie and August Ott, and fortunately, they lived nearby, so Maggie and I could still be friends and go to the same schools. We graduated and still do everything together.

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by Elizabeth Zelvin



The new kid in town, the only Jewish girl in my class, and as far as I could tell, the only shape-shifter—high school was hell. On top of that, my parents seemed to be the only Democrats in the county. President Eisenhower was considered a shoo-in for re-election. Even though I begged them not to, my parents stuck a Stevenson bumper sticker on the car. I got to say, “I told you so,” when they got five parking tickets on Main Street within a month. But it didn’t give me much satisfaction.

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by J.R. Lindermuth



Jasper Greene shuffled to a window and pulled back the curtain, peered out, and saw a station wagon in his yard.
The driver was a stranger but one familiar with country ways. He sat in the car with the motor running, waiting, not coming up to pound on the door like some traveling salesman. The old man went back to his coffee and waited.

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by Earl Staggs



“What are you doing here?” Lieutenant Sue Townes was shocked to see her former partner. They’d been the closest friends until that thing with Harry three years ago. “And you’re in uniform. What gives?”
Millie Walker chuckled. “If you’d remembered what I taught you about observation, you’d see I’m a Meter Maid now.”

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Survival: Mystery Short Story

IN THE November 26 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTerrific Tales
SECTIONS

by John M. Floyd



Ross and McLane stood together on the grassy ridge, looking down at the coastline.
“If he left this morning,” McLane said, “he should be back by now.”
“He’ll be back,” Ross said.

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by Warren Bull



Dad looked at me seriously and said we need ‘to talk.’ I knew it wasn’t that talk. We’d had that one months ago. I don’t know which of us had been more embarrassed and uncomfortable. In my mind I ran through the possible screw ups that I’d done that were major enough to warrant a talking to. Dad had already found the fireworks I was keeping hidden in the garage for Jimmy.

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by Bern Sy Moss



There I was at Sam’s Club using the one-day pass I found on the internet when my backside took aim. I bent over to retrieve paper towels and bumped the shopper across the aisle bending over for paper napkins. I’m a big girl and what seemed to me like a slight bump apparently was much more to her. It sent her flying to the floor.

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by Gail Farelly



74-year-old Uncle Jack would have survived Thanksgiving if only he had kept his big mouth shut. Why didn’t he just use it for eating instead of opening it wide and inserting his foot right into it?

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by KM Rockwood


Duncan Montpelier flicked a nonexistent bit of lint from his deep rose shirt cuff and straightened the fiber optic cufflink, the latest from Thomas Pink’s. He frowned at the letter on the brushed steel surface of the hall table.

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by Andrew MacRae



The cook’s screams preceded her as she ran from her kitchen toward the front of the old manor house. For the newly arrived guests assembled in the grand foyer, her screams put a definite damper to the start of the Thanksgiving holiday at Farquhar Farms. The mood was further diminished when the elderly cook staggered into the foyer from the back hallway and collapsed in a floury heap on the polished oak floor.

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by Debra H. Goldstein


“As soon as you finish the marryin’ part, we’re gonna have cake.”
“Only cake?” Judge Ingram stared at Tommy and Melinda, the younger siblings of the couple whose Thanksgiving themed wedding he’d soon be officiating. He figured they were about eight or nine years old. “How about pumpkin pie, too?”

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by B.K. Stevens


“I’m not sure it’s safe.” Rose Foley held the baskets in both hands. “Wait until Dad can go with you, Matt. You boys shouldn’t make deliveries on your own.”

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Spoon Murders: Mystery Short Story

IN THE November 12 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTerrific Tales
SECTIONS

by Gary Hoffman


“Another spoon.”
“That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” Jake Potter said.
“Well,” Sheriff Police Walt Henley said, “most people who go around killing people are not what we’d call normal, now are they, Jake?”

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by Barry Wiley


The well-dressed capacity audience was wedged into every chair in the main lecture room of the Royal Geographical Society to learn more of the enigmatic land of Tibet: “The Land of the Snows” and “The Land of the Hooded Lamas.” The lecture was the first appearance at the RGS by the recently acclaimed young explorer, Hamil Stewart, who was a dark-haired, clean-shaven man of medium build with a resonant tenor.

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