The Dead Are Smiling

By Melissa R. Mendelson Johnny Cash battled the static, but he was losing, fading in and out.  The screen door to the diner wasn’t helping.  It screeched opened and clattered shut, and the swearing of the cook in the kitchen was louder than the small radio over the counter by the pies.  Even the buzzingContinue reading “The Dead Are Smiling”

Patches of Paradise

By Hart Vetter I.          Housesitting If you ask me what I am to Royce, it gets complicated. To his business associates, as we meet for dinner, he’ll introduce me as someone I’m really not, My special friend Marianne. In the car over, he winks, Let them fill in the blanks. Case closed. If you askContinue reading “Patches of Paradise”

Detective Santana’s Holiday

By Russell Guenther It was 11:25, Tuesday evening, and Detective Rogelio Santana drove up to his unlit and empty house. By no means a paranoid man like many of his colleagues, he rarely locked his own car when parked under the shelter of the carport. Tonight, however, Santana had driven the county car home withContinue reading “Detective Santana’s Holiday”

Death by Leaf Blower

By Susan E. Rogers He yanked the pillow down over his head and jammed the sides up against his ears. The noise still leaked through. Rrruhrrr… Rrruhrrrr… Rrrruuuuuhhhrrrr… Rrruhrrr… Rrrruuuuuhhhrrrr… He jumped out of bed and ran to the open window. “Stop! Stop! Just stop!” Of course, no one heard him over the roar ofContinue reading “Death by Leaf Blower”

Stacks of Cord Wood

By David Larson Chapter One The bodies were stacked like cord wood. Four high like dominoes. Except these weren’t flat like dominoes. Nor like pizza boxes. More like the old glass bottles soda pop came in. Try to visualize four odd-shaped potatoes stacked. I’ve been a homicide detective for twelve years now. My partner andContinue reading “Stacks of Cord Wood”

Victor Pauline Reports

By Courtney Webb It was the end of a dry, hot summer in Central Valley. Everything was dusty and reports of fires in the mountains blared from every newscast. In Tranquility, California, a small Central Valley town, Sam Reynolds stared at the morning news with a scowl. The paper was spread out on the kitchenContinue reading “Victor Pauline Reports”

I’m Tired of Murder

By David Larson Chapter one “Damn, I’m getting tired of murder.” “Did you say something, Clarence? Do you want another cup of coffee” Your breakfast should be out next.” “I’m sorry Helen, I was talking to myself. I read this editorial in the paper where the writer thinks all the deaths in the last monthContinue reading “I’m Tired of Murder”

How My New Life Began

By Andy Betz He eventually had to come to work again.  He knew I was waiting here for him.  Where else would he go?  I just wish he would not take so long.  We had a long night of discussions and decisions ahead of us. He did walk in at 9:15.  No more costumes today. Continue reading “How My New Life Began”

Crawling

By Matt McCain  A dense layer of fog covered the long countryside road—the layer so thick, Deborah Peacock was unable to see more than five feet in front of her from the pavement level perspective she had. Her body ached in pain, but she continued crawling down the road, trying to get away. Much ofContinue reading “Crawling”