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Terrific Tales

The Cougar: Mystery Short Story

IN THE October 3 ISSUE

FROM THE 2020 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTerrific Tales

by Maddi Davidson

“You should get rid of that damn cat,” Mark said for the umpteenth time.
I ignored him and continued wiping antiseptic on his arm, a task made more difficult by his squirming in anger and glaring at my beauteous kitty Lucy, who alternatively hissed at him and meowed at me for attention, even batting my arm as I tried to minister to Mark.


by Gary Hoffman

Half a dozen servers gathered around Vince’s table and sang a jazzed-up version of Happy Birthday to him. There was a lot of hand clapping and stomping of feet. He shot his wife an I-thought-we-agreed-to-not-do-this-kind-of-crap look, but smiled at the singers. He politely said, “Thank you,” when they finished.

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by John M. Floyd

“What I can’t figure out,” Nate said, as he lay in the dirt behind a clump of cactus near Rosie Hapwell’s house, “is why you married that idiot in the first place.”
Before Rosie could reply, another bullet whined off a rock three feet away. Both of them ducked their heads and crawled to the dry wash where Nate had left his horse.


by Gary Hoffman

“I’m very sorry Judge Blankenship, but there is a young woman in the waiting area who insists on seeing you now,” the maître d’ said as he handed the judge a business card.


by Gary Hoffman

Five minutes had passed.
Detective Winston Elliot Browne, nicknamed WEB, admired the brass door knocker. He raised the ring being held in the lion’s mouth and let it fall. He smiled, picked it up again, and tapped it three times on the knocker plate. Several seconds passed before he heard a mousy voice from inside the mansion.


by John Weagly

I was in the Chart Room, nursing an Abita Amber, standing back by the jukebox,” Justin said. “I heard these two guys sitting at the bar. They say this old fella has a cardboard box full of money. Doesn’t trust banks, he’s been throwing his dollars in the box his whole life.


by Rosemary McCracken

Joe Killoran ran a comb through his hair in front of the bedroom mirror. At the age of fifty-one, he still had most of it, although it had grown thinner on the top, and the brown had turned to silver at the temples. There were more lines around his eyes as well, but he decided they added character to his face.


by Guy Belleranti

I finished ringing up a purchase by an off-season tourist, and was watching the woman pass out the door when my boss dropped her bombshell.
“Marsha,” Trudy Bracken told me, “I believe I know who is responsible for the shop’s recent rash of thefts.”


by Ang Pompano

The first time I laid eyes on the well-seasoned lovebirds was in a hotel lounge overlooking the Boston Common. Her lipstick too red and his lapels too wide for 2015, they were having the time of their lives doing the Bossa Nova like it was still in style.


Two Words: A Christmas Short Story

IN THE December 18 ISSUE

FROM THE 2019 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTerrific Tales

by Paula Messina

“We can’t afford that.”
Margaret had spent a good chunk of time helping a customer select a pattern and yarn. In a second, that customer’s husband killed what would have been Margaret’s best sale in months.


by John Weagly

I hate Halloween, Max Regan thought to himself in the dark of his living room. He was doing his best to ignore the endless knocking at the door. It was just stupid kids looking for free candy. He wanted the brats to think nobody was home.


by Cindy Sample

“Caramel apples are my favorite,” Shelly said to her partner. “The thicker the caramel, the better.”
“Yep, when I think of autumn, I think of food – apple cider, apple donuts and candy apples.” Buck patted his khaki-clad belly. His shirt, which looked ready to burst a button or two, demonstrated his love of Apple Hill delights. Buck stepped back and snapped a few more photos. “And Halloween ghosts and goblins, of course.”


by BJ Wingate

She stepped off the bus at the usual place, waving to the driver as he took off. Then she turned in the opposite direction and started walking. It was later then her usual time and, since it was fall, it was darker than normal.


by Elaine Faber

“If I’ve told you once,” Papa Red Warty Thing said. “I’ve told you a dozen times not to stray so far way. Look at you. You’re already at the end of your tendrils and into the road. The tractor is coming. You’ll be smashed flatter than a fritter!”


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