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. Check out our sister sites Kings River Lite and KRL Reviews & News for bonus articles.


Terrific Tales

by Barry Wiley


The rustling well-dressed crowd of Parisian lace and titles applauded with some spirit as, still blindfolded, I placed my hand gently on the shoulder of the mistress of the house, the Countess Cladissa D’Dadario, identifying her as the bloody assassin. As I removed the blindfold, tossing it aside, she, in turn, a gracious lady of perhaps mid-fifties, with many rumored affairs, began to laugh.

{ 1 comment }

by James Callan



He stood facing Mr. Sambici. Rico never sat in this office. He came in, got his orders, and left. Usually, he said little more than “yes, sir,” or, “No, Mr. Sambici.” Once, he said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Sambici. It won’t happen again.”

{ 1 comment }

by Guy Belleranti




Janice Dillon flinched as Tony Rosaro charged past her and out the door of Kim Brennan’s half of the duplex.
“Help…murder!” Janice cried, running into the yard.
Tony swung a wild glance back in her direction, then jerked open the door of his red sports car and piled inside. Once…twice the engine sputtered. Then it died.

{ 4 comments }

Stung: A Mystery Short Story

IN THE January 7 ISSUE

FROM THE 2017 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTerrific Tales
SECTIONS

by Charles West


There was a dead body in the tractor shed. It had to wait, however, until the Friant Police Department and the Friant County Sheriff’s Department figured out who it belonged to. The tractor shed was at the center of a small fig orchard. No one was sure if the property, and therefore, jurisdiction belonged to the city or the county. Unlike television and movie law enforcement officers, actual police do not engage in turf battles over dead bodies. No one wants another potentially unsolved murder case damaging their statistics.

{ 1 comment }

by Linda Cahill


Sean Clark slammed his hand on the desk and raced out of his office cubicle. “Shut that damn thing off.”
The man with the vacuum froze. “Yes, yes.”
Sean tapped his watch. “You’re not supposed to start until six!”
The vacuum continued to whine.

{ 8 comments }

by Paula Gail Benson


On December 28, I returned to work, hoping to hide out in the holiday-hollowed halls of academia. No such luck. The first of the three dastardly “Ds” in my life, my ex-wife and fellow faculty member, Daphne, anticipated my strategy and beat me there. She stopped me as I reached my office door to ask if I’d decided on the song I wanted.

{ 7 comments }

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.

{ 4 comments }

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.

{ 1 comment }

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.

{ 4 comments }

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.”

{ 9 comments }

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.

{ 6 comments }

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.

{ 3 comments }

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.

{ 5 comments }

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?

{ 6 comments }

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