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Short Stories




A Fortuitous Meeting by Shelley J Alongi Aviation Series story 1. An emergency landing brings a pilot and a teacher together in a m... [16,996 words]
The Attorney's Assistant by Shelley J Alongi About a relationship between a U.S. attorney and an assistant. Emphasizes positive co... [7,617 words]
A Taste Of Death by Frank Dunsmore Dective Schmidt with Homicide of the Chicago PD is baffled by several arsenic poisonings. He a... [5,669 words]
The Animal Prison by L J Milakovic A zoo from an abused tiger's point of view. The abuse is too persistent for the tiger, and he... [823 words]
Resistance by Shelley J Alongi The actions and thoughts of a boy facing the bleak certainty of death in a Jewish ghetto in 1943. [1,414 words]
Hill Number 18 by Shelley J Alongi A major recalls taking his platoon out of a mine field in Vietnam. [1,225 words]
Timmya The Totter - And The Rise Of The Dead Part 2 by Rose Trimovski This next story has to deal with the next adventure that Ti... [6,731 words]
The Perfect Gift by T J Richards A woman goes to the middle east and finds the most unlikely of things while there. [1,681 words]
The Old Horse by Joan Bentley I wrote this one for my Dad and Arnold Palmer, believe it or not. Every year I would watch the U... [1,915 words]
The Magical Publishing Pen by Mila Strictzer Vegas and the devil. [4,596 words]
The Last Leaf by Abby Steed - [1,875 words]
The Gnome From Alaska by David Soriano A humorous short story involving... a gnome. [1,427 words]
The Cold Afterglow At The West End by David Soriano A short story involving mystery and some element of truth. [1,666 words]
The Band Played On by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [1,486 words]
Tangled Web by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Treat `em mean and keep `em keen. [596 words]
Taking A Chance by Leigh Berry A story about facing fears while traveling in the post September 11 world. [679 words]
Sweet Child Of Mine by Sue (Sooz) Simpson The old lady had been brutally mugged, her son was sucjh a good boy, but would his thoughts... [1,843 words]
Scorn, Thy Name Is Woman by Norman A Rubin This is a story of murder committed by a meek little man upon his nagging and complain... [2,360 words]
Room For One More by Sue (Sooz) Simpson The dream was haunting and wouldn't leave Mike alone. [1,728 words]
Return Of The Hellcat (Erotica May Be Offensive) by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Please do not read this one if easily offended. Or even not so... [3,390 words]
Pact Of Joy. by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Don't we all just want to be happy? [2,497 words]
Out Of Print by Sue (Sooz) Simpson A man, a boy, a love of reading and echoes of the past. [2,007 words]
One-Man Race by Sue (Sooz) Simpson He had only his nerves to rely on. One slip and the race would be lost. [664 words]
Etagere by Karen L Snyder Étagère--Set in the 1920's during Prohibition, a lady's husband is killed in a saloon brawl. She is wit... [9,649 words]
Dreamscape by Mila Strictzer A story about dreams. [4,963 words]
Death At The Conservatory by Frank Dunsmore John Benson watched Charles Manning sip from his water bottle. Throwing a smug, disda... [3,239 words]
A Darker Night by Albert Davis I think that in this world people all have dual identities and what you see is seldom the truth ... [1,507 words]
A Brush With Death by Frank Dunsmore Homicide Detective Schmidt with the Chicago PD visits the Art Institute to take a break from... [5,169 words]
Would You Like To Swing On A Star by Lisa Petro A short story of less than 1000 words about what is and what might be. [568 words]
The Pirate Ship by Kurt Kitasaki A short satire on employment practices. [230 words]
The Origin Of Our Five Senses by Stephanie Siegfred A children's story of how we came about to have the sense of taste, touch, hear, ... [591 words]
The Night Dancers by Moya Green What do you do when your best friend gets himself captured by the fairies? [1,522 words]
The Fantastical Adventure Of William Solney by Daniel Birnbaum A story to relive that freedom of youth which touches your heart an... [9,401 words]
The Elves And The Preacher by Norman A Rubin A modern version of the fairy story which tells of a goodly cleric and how he copes ... [1,603 words]
Roch by Sunny Cybersex. [289 words]
Mourning Glory by Sue (Sooz) Simpson One of my favourite pieces. Please note *This is not a children's story* It's the tale of a litt... [1,786 words]
Mortar Doesn't Breathe.
Making My Way Back To You. by Sue (Sooz) Simpson She'd told them a thousand times to keep the front door closed, now tragedy had stru... [1,926 words]
Madness Becomes You by Sue (Sooz) Simpson She used to be someone, now she's several people, or maybe she's nobody at all, it makes no... [394 words]
Little Bird by Sue (Sooz) Simpson He liked fragile things [1,406 words]
Knockers by Sue (Sooz) Simpson It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. [2,210 words]
Just The Ticket by Sue (Sooz) Simpson You pays your money and you takes your chances. [5,177 words]
I've Always Wanted To Write... But! by Sue (Sooz) Simpson There's always an excuse if you want to find one. [510 words]
Is The Toilet Roll Half Full Or Half Empty by Sue (Sooz) Simpson It's hard when you're at bursting point. [423 words]
Airport Interrogation by Bryan Caron Susan thinks all men are jerks and doesn't feel she will ever find the right man until on... [2,579 words]
A Story With No Beginning by Bryan Caron A young writer wants to tell a fantastical tale but canot come up with a good beginni... [2,120 words]
A Date With Destiny by Stephanie Siegfred A suicide victim reflects upon her life and her fatal decision to end it when she is given ... [1,996 words]
The Wishfish by Moya Green Doris stared down at the kipper. The kipper stared back. "Don't eat me," it said. [1,861 words]
The Waiting Man by Dave Furniss - [577 words]
The Troubled Sky by Caitlin Gallacher-Turner A girl by the name of Cira, recently turned thirteen, discovers that she has the ability for s... [3,565 words]
The Midget by Nathaniel Perhay A story about a midget! [604 words]
The Heart Of The Storm by C G L Davies A bad storm makes me think. [586 words]
The Ghost Story Of Yotsu-Ya by Norman A Rubin The reader is brought to Japan during the era of the emperors - The story, based on... [1,961 words]
The Day I Killed Ryan Watts... by Lawrence Peters Just a joke inspired by a fellow poet. [157 words]
Story Of My Life by Ryan Watts A very short story with a meaning so shallow you'll puke. But read it anyway! [246 words]
Sixteen by Eloise H Anson Story about finding love, and the confusion, pain and angst that walks hand in hand with it. [3,411 words]
P.S.-I Love You by Pauline A White Frankie was just a good old country boy.He felt honored when Della became his woman. She was sm... [6,861 words]
Peter by Nathaniel Perhay A boy and his day! [1,100 words]
One More Fallen' by Jordan S Wilson a shrt overview of the tragic shooting of Tupac Shakure threw the eyes of his bodyguard. [1,944 words]
Noone To Nowhere by Alina Marquez Short story about a woman on a Greyhound bus to El Paso. [1,294 words]
Jacks, Or Better To Open by Lawrence Peters - [2,139 words]
Ghosts... by Lawrence Peters - [572 words]
From The Backbay Chronicles - Revival Week by Pauline A White Sundays in August were special times in the South. You had Revivals... [1,551 words]
From Backbay Chronicles - Mama And The Po-Lice by Pauline A White This is a story for pre and teenagers. It is part of a series o... [2,981 words]
From Backbay Chronicles - Visiting Day by Pauline A White Sometimes the Spirit can hit you really hard... [1,337 words]
Eyes by Lawrence Peters For Parker. [339 words]
Dogsbody by Moya Green It was during the great thunderstorm that George decided to become a dog [940 words]
Blood And Honour by Bradley Postma A tale of skinhead life and death... with a killer twist. Critiques are welcome. [10,135 words]
Backbay Chronicles - Randy And Sandy by Pauline A White 'A boy and his dog' is an old theme. Love is even older, and more rewardi... [2,696 words]
Baby Secrets... by Lawrence Peters Something you always want but should never have. [762 words]

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TITLE (EDIT)
Mortar Doesn't Breathe.
DESCRIPTION
The house was inanimate, dead ... because her child was gone.
[1,114 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Drama
AUTHOR
Sue (Sooz) Simpson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm thirty nine, recently single again. I have two boys Cli' (pronounced clee) Real name Christopher and Mark. I'm a care in the community nurse and formerly (when I was married) an occupational Therapist working with the mentally ill on a secure unit. I love reading and writing and meeting people. I hate offal, seafood and intolerance. I keep dog, cat, polecats, rats and reptiles. And for seven years ran the second largest reptile sanctuary in Britain. Apart from having my lads, I think that's probably the most worthwhile thing I've ever done. Writing wise, I've been the main fiction writer for Legends magazine for three years.And have two books published 'Lizard's Leap' published by Quillusers, and 'Better the Devil You Know' soon to be released by Bestbooks.Um I drive a knackered old Astra, and ride a two litre trike. I live in the lake district of England, and am happy. :-)
[January 2003]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
[email protected]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (84)
A Fork In The Road. (Short Stories) A paradox revolving round the lonely Holker Mosses in the dead of night. [2,835 words] [Mystery]
A Twist In The Tail (Short Stories) - [963 words]
Agony (Short Stories) The First in a series of Agony columns written by the unstoppable Aunt Nasty. (May be deemed offensive) [1,200 words] [Comedy]
Agony 2 (Short Stories) Morew from the irrepresible Aunt Nasty (May be deemed offensive). [1,077 words] [Comedy]
Angel Stew (Short Stories) The kitchens are in uproar. [826 words] [Comedy]
Anne (Short Stories) - [707 words]
Apple Of His Eye (Short Stories) Daddy's little girl, Daddy's little sweetheart. (May be deemed offensive). [1,742 words] [Drama]
Attractions (Short Stories) People stared at the sisters and called them freaks. [678 words] [Drama]
Bandit At Twelve-O-Clock (Short Stories) A sinister note drops through her letter box, but who is it from and what's it all about? [2,144 words] [Drama]
Barriers (Short Stories) Everybody's frightened of the prisoner in the cell at the end of the block. [2,913 words] [Thriller]
Breakfast In Bed (Short Stories) She loved her husband so much, and a sepcial man deserves a special breakfast. [1,633 words] [Horror]
Car Trouble (Short Stories) Boys will be boys. [496 words] [Comedy]
Cat's Chorus (Short Stories) - [1,332 words]
Cherry Blossom (Short Stories) - [435 words]
Cold, Cold Night.. (Short Stories) The night was beautiful but biting, she had to make her final farewells, a cigarette would help. [630 words] [Drama]
Creeping Up From Behind. (Short Stories) You can't ever really know what someone else is thinking ... unless they choose to tell you. [925 words] [Drama]
Dark Solitude. (Short Stories) A woman alone on the moors when a storm threatens, but this is no ordinanry storm and that is no ordinary lady. [1,434 words] [Drama]
Dawn Rising (Short Stories) He looked at his own personal sunrise every morning, yet longed for the warmth of the sun. [1,069 words] [Drama]
Deadly Persuit (Short Stories) Nature at its most cruel .. when it's interfered with by man. [1,541 words] [Drama]
Deep Blue Eastern Light (Poetry) I've never been to Budapest, but I saw an image on a postcard, it was misty and had a sort of dreamy quality about it. I wondered about the spirit of Budapest. Hope I've done her justicce. [204 words]
Different Road (Short Stories) Charlie is running scared. Will he find his way before his precious time runs out? [521 words]
Empty House (Short Stories) This had been her domain, now it was only a shadow. [649 words] [Drama]
Find Me A Place (Poetry) Everybody needs somewhere to run. [193 words] [Drama]
Finding Fleur (Short Stories) Katy desperately wants to find Fleur, but does Fleur want to be found? [1,727 words] [Drama]
Four Minute Warning (Short Stories) - [476 words] [Comedy]
Freedom By Another Name (Short Stories) He's an imposter [557 words] [Drama]
Furtive Glances (Short Stories) Always the last to know! [891 words] [Drama]
Galaxy (Poetry) Let Venus bear witness and Mars be our guide. [139 words]
Hickory, Dickory, Dock (Short Stories) - [991 words] [Drama]
Is The Toilet Roll Half Full Or Half Empty (Short Stories) It's hard when you're at bursting point. [423 words] [Comedy]
I've Always Wanted To Write... But! (Short Stories) There's always an excuse if you want to find one. [510 words] [Mind]
Jasmine And Gardenia Love (Poetry) - [417 words] [Erotic]
Jinny (Poetry) - [176 words]
Just The Ticket (Short Stories) You pays your money and you takes your chances. [5,177 words] [Drama]
Knockers (Short Stories) It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. [2,210 words] [Drama]
Little Bird (Short Stories) He liked fragile things [1,406 words] [Drama]
Lizards Leap (Novels) Four children buy an intricately carved frame from a school fair. A crazy old woman chases them desperately wanting the carving for herself. What is the mystery surrounding the strange frame? [5,753 words] [Adventure]
Long Walk Back To Jurassica (Poetry) Evolution and progress or three million steps backwards? [323 words] [Drama]
Lookingthrough The Window (Short Stories) - [401 words]
Madness Becomes You (Short Stories) She used to be someone, now she's several people, or maybe she's nobody at all, it makes no difference. [394 words] [Drama]
Making My Way Back To You. (Short Stories) She'd told them a thousand times to keep the front door closed, now tragedy had struck. [1,926 words] [Drama]
Memberwhen (Poetry) Memberwhen that mystical word of long ago memories. [189 words] [Drama]
Mourning Glory (Short Stories) One of my favourite pieces. Please note *This is not a children's story* It's the tale of a little girl trying to be a child. [1,786 words] [Drama]
Mumbles From The Madhouse (Novels) It was her first day on the secure unit and somehow she had to see it through. [2,215 words] [Drama]
My Friend The Tiger And Me (Poetry) I wrote this for my little boy when he was having trouble at school. [942 words] [Animal]
Naughty Bunny Goes To Ibiza (Short Stories) - [552 words]
One-Man Race (Short Stories) He had only his nerves to rely on. One slip and the race would be lost. [664 words] [Drama]
Out Of Print (Short Stories) A man, a boy, a love of reading and echoes of the past. [2,007 words] [Drama]
Outrun The River (Poetry) The snow was melting fast and he owed it to himself and his seld of dogs to make it to safety. [145 words] [Action]
Pact Of Joy. (Short Stories) Don't we all just want to be happy? [2,497 words] [Drama]
Play With Me Please. (Short Stories) - [322 words]
Return Of The Hellcat (Erotica May Be Offensive) (Short Stories) Please do not read this one if easily offended. Or even not so easily offended. Continuing sexploits of Dark Solitude. [3,390 words] [Erotic]
Room For One More (Short Stories) The dream was haunting and wouldn't leave Mike alone. [1,728 words] [Drama]
Rush Hour (Short Stories) - [419 words]
Sally (Short Stories) - [2,268 words]
Sinister Music (Novels) She had no psychic ability, so why had fate chosen her to foretell of the spate of brutal murders? [6,114 words] [Drama]
So This Is My Life Then (Short Stories) - [517 words] [Comedy]
Space Walk (Short Stories) May Cause offense. [1,290 words] [Drama]
Spirit Dancer (Poetry) - [514 words]
Sweet Child Of Mine (Short Stories) The old lady had been brutally mugged, her son was sucjh a good boy, but would his thoughts now turn to revenge? [1,843 words] [Drama]
Tangled Web (Short Stories) Treat `em mean and keep `em keen. [596 words] [Drama]
The Band Played On (Short Stories) - [1,486 words] [Drama]
The Big Picture (Short Stories) The little girl was a great artist, but her subject matter was giving cause for concern. [776 words] [Drama]
The Comet. (Short Stories) Remember! [796 words] [Drama]
The Dinosaur (Short Stories) - [1,523 words]
The Half Empty Glass. (Short Stories) They had no idea of the horror they were walking into. [3,030 words] [Drama]
The Hhmmm Efect (Poetry) - [783 words]
The Iceberg (Short Stories) She had to break the hold they had on him... release him from his parents grip. [410 words] [Drama]
The Joker (Short Stories) - [2,032 words]
The Lovers (Poetry) - [124 words]
The Mark Of Jack (Short Stories) The start of something maybe. [1,044 words] [Drama]
The Old Enemy (Short Stories) I just hope I've got the names right. [253 words] [Drama]
The Rosary (Short Stories) May cause offense. [422 words]
The Spark (Short Stories) - [557 words]
The Thirteenth Station (Short Stories) - [8,024 words] [Horror]
The Village Green. (Short Stories) - [559 words] [Drama]
Three Mile Gap (Poetry) So close and yet... [285 words] [Drama]
Tomorrow Lies Beside Us (Poetry) - [239 words] [Drama]
Tusk (Short Stories) - [1,012 words] [Drama]
Under The Whether (Short Stories) - [1,626 words]
Watching And Waiting (Short Stories) - [1,253 words] [Drama]
White Icing (Short Stories) - [1,385 words]
Worlds Biggest Loser (Short Stories) - [114 words]
You Are My Sunshine (Short Stories) - [1,285 words]
Mortar Doesn't Breathe.
Sue (Sooz) Simpson

The coffee turned traitor, refusing to be drawn out any longer; it had progressed down its various stages from steaming. The bitter sludge - that she had never really liked much anyway - had skimmed quickly past pleasantly hot, through unappealingly warm. Here it was good enough to linger kindly over tepid for sometime, until finally every last iota of warmth had dissolved into whatever substance cheap mugs are made from these days, and she had to admit that the damned coffee was stone cold and it was time for bed.

She pondered over how long she could reasonably take over the nightly ‘shutting down the house’ ritual. It usually took about two minutes; perhaps tonight it could be stretched to ten. Andrea took her cup through to the kitchen and carefully washed, dried and put it away. Somehow it looked less lonely sitting there in the cupboard with all its ‘mate’”; surely it was only her imagination that made the gaudy sunflower motif look more vibrant and sunny. Maybe she too looked less lonely when surrounded by people. Odd then, that that was when she felt most alone.

Andrea shook her head as she wiped an already spotless work surface; this is ridiculous. Snapping out of her lingersome mood she moved briskly now, ashamed of her dallying. Every light in the house shone comfortingly, each bulb a single branch of a collective beacon proclaiming to the neighbourhood that this was a house brimming with light and therefore also one full of life. She resolutely turned each light off as she passed by the switch, every click seeming to snap more loudly than the one before.

The fire tutted at her as though disappointed by redundancy at another day’s close, its “click, click, click” of cooling jets admonishing her long after she had turned the dial to “Off”.

The doors were already bolted and all the windows closed down against the chill night air and its predators. Only two more tasks and she could make her way up the stairs.

The weather girl with the unnaturally red hair that looked too bright for midnight warned of a cold windy night followed by more of the same the next day.

“Thank you so much for sharing”, Andrea had spoken aloud and her voice sounded brash in the cooling house. Regardless of what the girl was saying, hers was a voice in the room and Andrea hesitated with her finger poised over the button. She took a breath to steel herself and turned the TV off.

Silence. Complete, utter and total silence, even the fire had stopped tutting to listen to it. She ‘heard’ the silence and it hurt her ears as they strained to catch the enormity of its grating tone. This, she decided, was what she had been dreading most. The lamp was switched off with a click that actually made her start.

Up one flight of stairs. Turn right. Open door. Switch on light. And here we are: the bedroom.

His bedroom.

The neatly made bed turned down as though ready for his return. She held her breath and once again listened to the house. It too must be holding its breath because she could not hear it breathing. Perhaps it had died, or maybe it was just waiting for things to return to normal before it exhaled.

This room, usually so perfect, but tonight so wrong. Bart Simpson’s yellow mocking face leered up at her from the bright duvet cover. Mr. Bilbo the battered old Teddy was not on the bed. It comforted her to know that old Bilbo was tucked under her little boy’s arm; whatever adventures lay in store they would meet them together. Andrea turned sharply, only to lock eyes with Crusty the clown. She had painted the mural herself. A happy, grinning face full of colour and cheer, but tonight he looked maniacal. He had perfect circle eyes thanks to a coffee jar lid, and permanent marker pupils with a strategically placed tiny white dot that gave his eyes that cheeky glint. Yesterday he’d had laughing eyes; tonight they gleamed with insanity and malice.

Thirty seconds and still the house had not taken a breath, nor let one go.

His bedroom. Empty without him.

She had been smiling as he stepped off the kerb and moved towards the car.

She had heard the car’s horn.

And then its brakes.

 And then he was gone.

She left his waiting bedroom and the door closed behind her with a gentle click. As usual when she brushed her teeth she ran water into a mug rather than leave it flowing as she did in the mornings. The plumbing ran behind the walls in his room. Oh, it was a good two years since he had believed that the water clanking down the pipes was a monster out to get him, but ever since then she had rinsed from a mug of water so as not to wake him. Tonight was no exception, and as she brushed she kept one ear open as always for sounds that he had been roused from sleep. Andrea put her toothbrush back in the holder next to his, and felt a pang of guilt as she realised that tonight for the first time in seven years he had not cleaned his teeth. Such a silly little thought, but it seemed important nonetheless.

He didn’t take his toothbrush with him.

She lay in bed and for the first time it dawned on her that when he was one floor above and at the other side of the house, on some level, maybe only an instinctual one, somehow she could hear her little boy breathing while he was asleep.

Tonight that was missing. It was too quiet, too still.

The house forgot to breathe.

She rolled over and smiled as she saw the photo beside her bed of his wickedly impish face; Oh well matey, won’t be long until tomorrow morning.

It was his first night away from home; the first time her baby had been brave enough to accept the invitation of a sleepover. Her little boy was growing up. She remembered again his brave smile and her encouraging one as Mrs. Mitchell had stopped outside the house and tooted her horn. His moment of sheer panic as he realised that he had almost forgotten Mr. Bilbo, and his ‘I don’t need that’ attitude in front of his friend Sam as she had tucked the old bear into the car beside them.

 A toot of the horn.

The sounds of the handbrake releasing.

And her baby was gone.


Her last thought before she slept was, “I wonder if Mr. Bilbo’s magic extends to protecting un-brushed teeth.”

And the house waited to exhale.







 

 

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2000 Sue (Sooz) Simpson
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
June 2002
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
2287
 

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