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 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.


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.”


Survival: Mystery Short Story

IN THE November 26 ISSUE

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

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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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?”


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.”


Spoon Murders: Mystery Short Story

IN THE November 12 ISSUE

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

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?”


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.


by Vicki Weisfeld

Morning light poured onto the front porch like syrup. It glowed through the leaves of the sugar maples, setting them afire, though their blaze gave no warmth, and the chilly fingers of night clung in the air. Ghosts of leaves burning a long way off floated and hovered.


by Bartenn Mills

Tiffany tried 9-1-1. Didn’t that go through everywhere?
All that came back was a crackle of dead air.
Why didn’t they answer?


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, and long sleeves, turtlenecks, and scarves became an important part of my wardrobe.


by Nancy Brewka-Clark

Since Miss McKee was as old as dirt, this raised the unpleasant rumor that she was actually a vampire. Even though only the biggest idiots believed in vampires, there were plenty of believers in the little mountain town of Bleu Cheze, enough to make a more sensitive woman think about suicide just to clear her name.


by Barry Ergang

Exiled from his birth country for many years, the vampire spared one of the young women his servants captured—a woman from his homeland—and demanded she tell him of it.


Waiting: A Halloween Short Story

IN THE October 22 ISSUE

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

by Mary Reed
& Eric Mayer

You might have passed by the pool without noticing it below the stone bridge where Black Creek cuts under the paved footpath leading through Pinewoods Park to High Street. When we were kids we called it “Bottomless Pool.” We were sure it was haunted.


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