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Short Stories

Journey To The Planet Merridion by Michael Harris This is my third tale in what I'm calling "The Adrian and Lucalan Saga," unless... [8,445 words]
After Sex And Love What Then. by Terry Collett - [692 words]
The Moon Inside by Soron - [1,422 words]
Pt.2 Of Barbie Beaten By Brats! (The Rest Told By Strawberry Shortcake) by Dream Rinsed observations of childplay from a twiste... [175 words]
Mayster's Broad. by Terry Collett - [514 words]
Barbie Beaten By Brats! (As Told By Rainbow Brite) Pt1 by Dream Rinsed observations of childplay from a twisted point of view. [172 words]
Asylum Blues. by Terry Collett - [578 words]
Speed Trap by Matthew Lett Ever imagine getting stopped by the Highway Patrol in the middle of nowhere, for basically nothing? ... [7,283 words]
Dexter's Destiny by Matthew Lett One man's terrifying road to redemption, and beyond! [4,977 words]
At Clarence's by Randall Barfield - [290 words]
Victorian Winters by Joel Ficelle This story continues on from Victorian Summer, Return to the City and The Ruby Necklace. It c... [15,734 words]
Victorian Summer by Joel Ficelle This story continues on from The Ruby Necklace and Return to the City. It could be called The ... [20,604 words]
The Ruby Necklace by Joel Ficelle Story set in Victotian times [9,707 words]
The Cookery Class by Joel Ficelle Erotic Story based on Nude Cooking. Man meets girl in a class and they pursue affair. [5,535 words]
Return To The City by Joel Ficelle Story set in Victorian times Story continues on from another story: The Ruby Necklace. [12,666 words]
No Happily Ever After
A Tale Of A Squire by Terence Boydon A short tale about a squire and love. [1,065 words]
A Strawberry Short Story by Terence Boydon A short story between a girl and a boy. May be your typical, you judge it. ;) [3,506 words]
The Diary by Raine Lariza It is a story of a girl and her mysterious diary.. Why it is a mysterious one? Find out why.. [839 words]
Victory In The Mist Of Defeat by Bridgett Nesbit A young pastor along with other concerned community leaders and pastors hold a me... [882 words]
Towards Far Far Away by Abhijit Sarma Barua It is about a man, who has lost almost all of his human emotions due to some incidents, oc... [2,250 words]
Opening Up Her Home And Heart by Bridgett Nesbit Anna Howard could shoulder her own pain; living with lupus for over ten years but... [831 words]
Monolog Monkey by Michael Potter A young man deals with being laid off. [5,501 words]
How To Teach The Law Of Attraction by Jack Jakuper - [332 words]
Helle ... Hello .... by Abhijit Sarma Barua A boy was in love with an younger girl, whom he admired very mach and most interestingly h... [1,915 words]
Child Of God by Bridgett Nesbit Tamara Stevens's husband had forgotten how long they'd known one another and rumors of Pastors inf... [16,631 words]
A Visit by Randall Barfield - [245 words]
War Memories 2 by E M K S Moresteel The continuation of war memories 1. Moore and steel find a deadly hidden secret. [897 words]
Rosemary by Lilli Brachman - [1,310 words]
Bikers Gone Wild by Brayden Dent A short, funny story of me learning a lesson the hard way on my rusty, trusty bike a few years... [221 words]
War Memories 1 by E M K S Moresteel The adventures of Sgt. Moore, and General Steel as they fight they're way through this fictional... [801 words]
She Only Got Flowers From Him Once. by Emory L Griffin Pretty serious read and I believe it's some good stuff. It's a different di... [539 words]
Lose Or Win, It's All The Same In The End. by Emory L Griffin post-apocalyptic America story. It's short, so do me a favor and rea... [269 words]
Answer To A Not-So-General Question by Jennifer Hendershot A story about love lost and closure. [1,771 words]
1 To 3 Turns by Emory L Griffin inspired by Bruce Coville's the monster's ring. It is a little more dark, and slightly more ominou... [1,254 words]
The Merchantilers by Bo Turner A story of how illiterate African Americans were treated even unto the mid 1900s. [560 words]
The Locker Room Secret by Latina Torrence - [1,006 words]
The Goodbye by Randall Barfield My 2nd attempt at a 'western'. It won a cherry at abctales.com (shoebox) [752 words]
The Doctor Is In. by Emory L Griffin short horror story [538 words]
Spf-1000 (Vampires Are Real And They Have Sunscreen!) by Nick Molinari Molinari A man gets converted to a Vampire and discovers an underg... [1,413 words]
Past Five by Brian Mey a short story by brianmey [3,116 words]
Out Of Ink, Out Of Time by T J Rintoull Tongue-in cheek short story about office work and accidents of quantum physics. [627 words]
Nightmare (On 7th Ave) by Mary Anne Caudill I thought that sleep would help me escape the chaos in my life, but no such luck [1,499 words]
Moving In by Emory L Griffin An homage to "The new house" by Randall Barfield. I hope I did it justice. [598 words]
Little Lord Faunty by Jerry Vilhotti Trying to find a place not too crowded .... [1,185 words]
Life After Death? by Emory L Griffin thought provoking short. [681 words]
Giving, An American Tradition by Emory L Griffin - [749 words]
Epistle To Faeries Past by T J Rintoull A letter to a ghost of the past. [814 words]
Dreams Of A Blacken Heart by Latina Torrence - [538 words]
Don't Tell Anyone by Randall Barfield - [258 words]
Dear Detective Lovett by Randall Barfield - [646 words]
Ain't Love Grand? by Emory L Griffin short horror story,in my opinion, my best. [876 words]
Zimbabwe by J L Watts A fictional account of the emotions of a victim of land reform in Zimbabwe. [401 words]
The Elephant In The Room by Emory L Griffin short horror story [852 words]
Paradise by Calliope Irja Pearl Nelson You can't outgrow anything, least of all yourself. [464 words]
Marsten by Randall Barfield - [408 words]
Her By Stephen Knight by Shinning Knight Short story [2,287 words]
Her By Stephen C Knight by Stephen C Knight story [2,637 words]
Bon Appetit by Emory L Griffin A chilling meal for three. [821 words]
The Spiders And Johnny Bailes by Phil Neale For a lonely boy, the spider seemed to be his only friend, especially when it sp... [2,933 words]
The Scam Artist by Thomas Cherian It is a story about people who live of by tricking or scaming other human beings. [1,264 words]
Return Mail(Mail Part 2) by Emory L Griffin - [318 words]
Philomena D. Gavod - Madness by Philomena D Gavod I have mentioned before that i am a huge Phantom of the Opera fan. This short stor... [874 words]
My Lady In White by Emory L Griffin different direction than my other stories. [768 words]
Mail by Emory L Griffin a man receives a horrifying letter. [382 words]
Alice In Alaska by Journey Two Alice is bored, she decides to answer an advertisement in a newspaper, "Alaskan men looking for... [339 words]
A Visit Home by Journey Two A story about an Alaskan Yupik Eskimo woman who travels to her home town on Thanksgiving to visit ... [339 words]
A Kid Named Eddie by Emory L Griffin Tale of a twisted boy. [716 words]
Paranoia(Have I Told You This?) by Emory L Griffin Insight into a man slowly losing his mind due to paranoia. [396 words]
The Stone In The Sword by Matthew James Parsons The story of Larmandi, a humble son of a blacksmith who is called on a journey to find a... [9,970 words]
The Lily Painting by M Schied A modern, artistic retelling of Beauty and the Beast. [1,525 words]
Paper Cranes by Meruthiel A short story depicting love, loss, and regret. [1,082 words]
Death's Embrace by Emory L Griffin An old woman is paid a visit from death. [597 words]
Cindy's Fall by Randall Barfield - [526 words]
Black Star by Matthew James Parsons The story of Black Star, an orphan and a thief living in a turbulent time in the recently liberated ... [7,624 words]
Angels Without Wings Can Still Win by Randy Sumner A Sci-Fi short story that I wrote [3,645 words]
The True Stones by Matthew James Parsons The story of Desti and Regalius and their role in the conflict regarding the unimaginably power... [8,543 words]
Tight Jeans 3 by Randall Barfield ... but she was no rose... That's a joke... [228 words]
The Secret's In The Scream, Not The Sauce by Nigel N Samtin A short sory about my first experiences with roller coasters [1,755 words]
The Chesterfield by Deborah Jones I wrote this short story in honor of my Grandfather [1,406 words]
The Car Accident: A Man And His Death by Robert J Parker Joseph Valentine A journey through a dying man's mind. For dreamers, thinkers,and people t... [1,752 words]
The Caligate Murder by Danielle Anne Evans The Caligate Murder; The short story- ... [3,175 words]
Frost by Bernadette On this day, a young girl, 14, discovers that the meaning of Christmas has been ruined! [1,649 words]
Dosvadonya Darling by Joel Weiss A crime story that takes place in Las Vegas [1,914 words]
Them by Ian Quill A short story about governmental control and religion. [2,992 words]
The Last Ballet by Simon Nguyen A true artist does not care about money or fame; it’s the opportunity to perform the art one so... [631 words]
It Started With A Dream. by Corrina Robertson - [610 words]
Garage Talk by Cesar Merano When there is nothing to do on Friday night, three friends, Tom, Neil, and Barry, contemplate on wh... [1,547 words]

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No Happily Ever After
Everybody makes mistakes. That's what our parents tell us. But sometimes that lesson is hard, even for them.
[1,192 words]
Adria Steuer
Proud member of the Warren Central State Champion speech team.
[April 2009]
No Happily Ever After
Adria Steuer

I will always remember my 8th birthday. Even now 20 years later, I can recall exactly what time I woke up—8:28—and I can remember exactly what I ate for breakfast—eight silver dollar double chocolate chip pancakes topped with whipped cream, gummy bears, and ungodly amounts of syrup—because Mom knew that was my favorite, and the family doctor had assured her that my baby fat wouldn’t last forever. After thoroughly gorging myself, I hurried to get dressed and raced out the door to the front porch where my dad was waiting in his rocking chair, two pairs of skates in his lap.

“You ready, Bellaboo?” he asked.

There was a lake on the edge of our property just a few miles east of the house, and every winter it would completely freeze over. Somewhere along the line it became tradition for Dad and I to make the hike out to the lake on my birthday and spend the morning ice-skating. Just the two of us.

It was my favorite three hours of the year.

That was the last time I ever skated.

On the long walk back home, I always asked Dad to tell me a story, and as if he didn’t already know the answer, he always asked, “What kind of story?”

“The kind with a happily ever after.” What other kind was there?

Two damsels in distress and a glass slipper later, we were walking through our front door. Mom had been cooking up a storm in the kitchen, and at our entrance, she ordered dad to get the punch from the outside freezer and shooed me off to help my 4-old-brother Remy set the table.

I went into the dinning room to find the china stacked next to the silverware, and no Remy in sight.

After searching the first floor, I was about to head up stairs when I almost stumbled over him in the stairwell.

“Remy, Mom said…Is that Dad’s gun?”

I stared uneasily at the large, heavy rifle clutched in my brother’s small, little hands. There was no mistaking it for a toy; that was Dad’s hunting rifle.

“How did you get that? You know you’re not supposed to touch it!”

“I’m a cowboy! And I’m gonna shoot me some Indians! Kapow! Kapow!”

“Stop it!”

I reached for the rifle, but he drew back, clutching the gun to his chest. I pulled, then he pulled, and I pulled again, so that we we’re engaged in some sort of tug-of-war, the rifle trapped between us. I tried to wrestle it away from him, but he just wouldn’t let go!

“Remy! Give it to me!”

I adjusted my hand for a better grip, ready to give one last tug with all my strength, when I felt something give beneath my finger, and then there was this BANG!

He stopped fighting me and I stumbled back with the gun in arms. Mom came running from the other room. She looked at me, looked at the gun, and looked at Remy lying on the steps.

“What happened? What did you do!”

“It was an accident,” I murmured, but she didn’t hear me. I stood watching as she sobbed into Remy’s hair, rocking him back and forth in her lap. I stood watching as my dad yelled into the phone, telling the operator his son was dying. I stood watching as the ambulance arrived…too late, and my brother was taken away in a black bag never to come back.

As clearly as I can recall the day of my eighth birthday, the ten years following it are a complete blur marked only by questions, tears, and silence. Because I never had the courage to sell her otherwise, my mother blamed me for Remy’s death. She never said it aloud of course, but the accusation was there in her forced smiles and hesitant touch. And dad? I’m not really sure how he felt because he never spoke more that a word to me at once, and when we were in the same room, his gaze would just sort of skim over me never settling on my face or meeting my eyes.

When your birthday’s the anniversary of your brother’s death, there’s not much cause for celebration. So on the morning I turned 18, instead of going skating, we drove to the cemetery to visit Remy’s grave. Me, Mom, Dad, and Aunt Carol.

After only a few minutes of standing at his grave in oppressive silence, I excused myself, wandering a little ways away. Eventually I made my way back, but just when I was about to turn past the large stone monument at the end of the row, I heard my mother’s voice, and it was more sincere and more pained than I’d heard in ten years.

“Carol, I just can’t stand it anymore. Looking at her is just…all I see is Remy, and all I can think about is how if she just hadn’t gotten out the gun, he’d still be here. She knew better…You know, I’m relieved that she’s leaving for college. I’m actually glad that she’ll be gone. What kind of mother am I? I can’t stand looking at my own daughter! What kind of parent resents their own child?”

Aunt Carol laid a soothing hand on my mother’s back, and my father continued to stare motionlessly at the tombstone. He only had eyes for his dead son.

At college, away from childhood ghosts and demons, I found a world that didn’t condemn me and more importantly didn’t remind me. I was Bella the college student, Bella the graduate, and Bella the teacher, not Bella the girl who shot and killed her litter brother.

Two weeks ago, twenty years to the day after Remy’s death, I received a call from my Mom. It was the first time we’d talked since I’d left. She cried and told me she was sorry and that I had to come home right away because Dad was in the hospital and the doctors said he didn’t have very long.

When I entered his hospital room, I felt like I was eight all over again. I didn’t know what to say to the sick man lying on his death bed, a man who I, for all intents and purposes, hadn’t talked to in 20 years. But then he raised his arm out to me and said, “It’s been a while, Bellaboo.”

“I’m sorry,” I said to him, and his faint smile was all the forgiveness I needed. He told me how he had never blamed me for Remy’s death, only himself for leaving a loaded gun in the house. But things just didn’t happen without a reason; he had to see that.

“Dad, tell me. Just, tell me why. Because I’ve asked God and I’ve asked a dozen therapists, and none of them can tell me. Just…why?”

He didn’t have an answer. So I sat by his bed in silence, his hand tucked carefully in mine. The hours wasted wordlessly away like the last 20 years, and I listened as his breathing became shallow, labored. And in a raspy voice worn thin with cancer and the knowledge that death was approaching he said, “Bellaboo, tell me a story.”

“What kind of story?”

“The kind with a happily ever after.”

“I’m sorry, Dad. I don’t know any of those.”


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© 2009 Adria Steuer
April 2009

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