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The Take: A Mystery Short Story

IN THE August 17 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andDiana Hockley,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTerrific Tales

by Diana Hockley

Enjoy this never before published mystery short story.

“Do you think you can do it?” he asked.

“I know I can!” she purred. “And if I can, will I get the job?”

“Yeah. Go for it. Knock yourself out, sweetheart.”

. . .

“Go on, you can do it! Kill yourself!” hissed the voice.

“Go away!” he snarled, flapping his hand around his head.

“I beg your pardon?” the nurse attending asked, bosom heaving with outrage as she smoothed her uniform, eyes flashing.

“Not you! I was…er…swatting a fly!” he explained weakly.

“Where? How could a fly get into a hospital?” she squeaked, wild-eyed.

He charged into the ward. “My dear Mrs Murray,” he oozed, “How are we feeling today?”

She hauled herself up in bed, twitched the top of her nightgown lower and pouted her pneumatic red lips. “Oh doctor, I’ve got pains…here…here…and here…” She pointed with a sleek, red-tipped claw, plasticised breasts jutting playfully.

He felt as though he was trapped in the bottom of kerosene tin.

“Go on, it would be so easy…just do it…just do it…come on…it won’t hurt a bit…” the voice promised seductively in his ear. He backed away from the bed, turned and ran blindly into the corridor, white coat and stethoscope flying, eyes wide with panic.

“Doctor! Doctor, what’s the matter? Someone come quickly, Doctor James has gone mad!” shrieked a nurse as he sprinted toward the full-length windows at the end of the corridor.

Staff held out their arms to stop him; patients flattened themselves against the wall, clutching their dressing-gowns protectively against their stomachs. An orderly pushed a low-slung trolley into his path. He hurdled it with the skill and panache of an Olympian and picked up speed.

The voice chanted urgently. “Kill yourself, kill yourself–kill yourself !”

Flinging himself at the glass, he crashed through, down…down…onto the sling below and bounced off onto the ground, where he lay like a stranded starfish.

“Cut!” shouted the Director. “Good work. You can get up now, Robbie, it’s a take!”


The director, assorted cameramen, gaffers and continuity girl crowded around, peering down at the star of the daytime soap.


“Voice-over” slithered forward and joined the group.

“Joyce,” snarled the Director, “he wasn’t supposed to actually kill himself! You weren’t supposed to drive him to do it!”

“I told you I could!” she purred. “Does that mean I’m hired?”

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Diana Hockley is an Australian mystery author who lives in a southeast Queensland country town. She is the devoted slave of five ratties & usually finds an excuse to mention them in her writing, including her recent novel, The Naked Room. Since retiring from running a traveling mouse circus for 10 years, she is now the mouse judge for the Queensland Rat & Mouse Club shows. To learn more, check out her website.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bobbi a. chukran
Twitter: @bchukran
August 17, 2013 at 2:19pm

Enjoyed the story, Diana! Congratulations on the publication. bobbi c.
A recent post from bobbi a. chukran: Where DO those story ideas come from, anyway?My Profile


2 Elaine Faber August 18, 2013 at 7:31am

Loved your story. YOu had me surprised at the end. Very good job… from one writer to another.
A recent post from Elaine Faber: What Can We Learn From A Rainbow?My Profile


3 Diana Hockley
Twitter: @Cadfael18
November 20, 2013 at 6:41pm

Hi Bobbi,
I am so sorry I didn’t answer your comments when you made them. At the time I was recovering from a major live-saving operation and wasn’t on the site or FB or the Twitter site either. I am glad you enjoyed this little story. The idea? Well, it just sort of slithered out of my devious mind. I write crime (Australian crime) which you will find on my website. I always include animals, particularly ratties in my work!

Bless and happy Christmas,



4 Diana Hockley
Twitter: @Cadfael18
November 20, 2013 at 6:43pm

Hi Elaine,
Thank you for your kind comments and glad you like the story. 🙂

Best wishes for a great Christmas,



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