Posted in Feature Short Story

The Move In Boos

Tiffany and Mike are moving into their new home. They are unpacking boxes in the dining room area. They wanted to be out of their apartment by the end of the month, and they didn’t realize it was Halloween night. The sounds of children screaming and laughing fill the air.

“Aw shit.” Tiffany groaned. “We didn’t pick up any candy for the kids. We’re making a bad impression already.”

“Tiff, we’re just moving in. They can’t expect candy.”

“You think the kids won’t knock on the door? You know what, I’ll put a sign on the door saying, no candy here.

“Okay, whatever. I’ll be upstairs putting our new bed together. I want to break that thing in tonight.”

Mike walks upstairs. Tiffany digs in a box a takes out a black sharpie and a piece of printing paper. As she writes on the paper, there’s a knock on the door. Tiffany rolls her eyes and goes to the door to answer it. A little girl, is standing there holding a basket.

“Trick or treat?”

“Hey, aren’t you adorable.” Tiffany smiles at the child.

“I’m a princess.”

“I’ve never seen a zombie princess before. I’m so sorry, we’re just moving in, so we don’t have any candy.”

“No trick either?”

“I didn’t think kids actually wanted anything but candy. I don’t have either. You know, you shouldn’t be knocking on doors alone. Where’s your mom? Do you live in this neighborhood?”

The girl points next door.

“You live next door? Let me walk you home. Just a minute.”

Tiffany walks back inside and picks up a jacket. She turns back around, and she sees a neighbor holding a bottle of champagne. Mike comes downstairs.

“I can use some help with the bed. Are you going somewhere?”

A neighbor walks in the doorway. “I don’t mean to disturb you. I just wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood. I’m Beth. How long have you been married?”

“Great starter question.” Tiffany replies sarcastically. “I’m trying to help a little girl who should not be walking the neighborhood alone.”

“All the kids are walking in groups.”

“Not this little girl. She pointed to the house next door, and I want to talk to her mom about letting her zombie princess walk around alone.”

Beth looks astonished. “Are you serious right now?”

Tiffany: “Wha…”

“Did Susan put you up to this?”

Beth’s eyes began to tear up. Tiffany doesn’t know what to say.

“Susan moved in last year and said the same thing. Do you two think it’s funny joking about me losing my child? You both can go to hell?”

Beth leaves. Mike and Tiffany look at each other.

Mike asks, “When was the girl here?”

“Just a moment ago.”

“Oh. I thought you were on the phone. I didn’t hear anyone else.”

 

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Posted in Feature Short Story

A Pawn’s Play

Calvin cries hard in his car for 30 minutes. He pounds his fist on the car steering wheel until it turns black and blue. He needed to feel pain somewhere else to detract from the pain he’s feeling in his heart. Calvin cups his face, hyperventilating. How in a matter of six months, his life had gone to shit? He didn’t have anyone else to blame, but he tried to pin the failed marriage on his wife. It was her fault, because she gave up on them. He was done with all the cheating. He left the other women alone, and that’s when she dumped him. He was ready to try, but she was fed up with the lies. The breakups with the other women were nasty, so he can’t go back to them. And now Chloe is no longer pregnant, so nothing is connecting her to him. He is so angry, he wants her to suffer for moving on.

Calvin speaks out-loud. “If I can’t be happy, she won’t be happy.”

Calvin thinks of ideas to ruin Chloe’s life. Burning the house down, robbing the house, or having her kidnapped were some ideas. Then he settles on getting her pregnant again.

A baby will fix the marriage, he reasons to himself.

He came up with a plan to wait until she gets home, push her in the house, and force her to be with him. Somehow, that plan sounded logical to Calvin, but Chloe left work early, because she was shaken by the behavior of Calvin at her job.

Later, Calvin parked blocks away and hid in the bushes. He sees Chloe’s lights are on, so she’s already home. He has to make a plan B to get in the house. He thinks he should gain her trust, so he can walk-in. Calvin steps out of the bushes, straightens his clothes, and knocks on the door.

Calvin speaks in a soft tone. “Chloe, can we talk? I know things got out of hand earlier.”

Chloe looks out the window and glares at Calvin. “Things got out of hand? You came to my job starting a fight. You can talk to me through my attorney!”

Chloe walks away from the window. Calvin loses his patience. His eyes are bloodshot red.

“Bitch! I will make your life hell. You’ll wish you were dead!”

Chloe walks back to the window and looks around. She sees neighbors and people on the street looking on. Chloe cracks the front door open.

“Calvin… calm down,” she whispers.

Calvin pushes the front door wide open and walks in. Chloe screams and backs up. The neighbors hear three shots. One of her neighbors runs in her house and sees Calvin is lying on the floor bleeding out of his chest. Chloe is standing over him with a gun.

“I called the police five minutes ago, when I saw him hiding in your bushes. Are you okay?”

Chloe has a solemn look on her face.

“I think so.”

Police sirens are approaching. The neighbor goes outside to meet the cops.

Chloe thinks out-loud, “I finally got rid of the bastard.”

Posted in Feature Short Story

Check Mate

Chloe thought she’s going out of her mind. She lives alone, but every time she wakes up, something in the house is moved to a different spot. First it was a chair she placed in the corner, that was mysteriously at the dinette table. Next, it was the pitcher of water she keeps in the refrigerator, suddenly is sitting on the counter top. Chloe walks around her house and checks all the locks and doors. Only her mom and sister have a key to her house and they wouldn’t do this to her. She changed the keys to the house after she separated from her husband six months ago. He’s in a relationship with someone, so why would he care about torturing her? Chloe called a friend over. They’re having tea.

“I can’t take this anymore,” Chloe complains.

“Chlo, you know who it is. It’s always the most obvious person.”

“Why would Calvin do this? He’s supposed to be in love with some chick.”

“Whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t mean he’s over you, or wants you to be happy.”

“Should I call him?”

“No.” Jackie shakes her head. “If he did this, he’s crazy, and you can’t reason with crazy. Change the garage door key that leads to the house. It’s the only key he has.”

Later that day, Chloe had a locksmith change the garage door lock. That night she checked all the locks, windows and doors. She slept peacefully. She woke up the next day and got ready for work. Everything in the house was in its proper place and she smiled. She went outside and saw all four tires on her car were slashed.

Chloe gasps, “Dammit!”

Chloe pulls out her cellphone and calls a tow truck and a cab. She wasn’t taking a day off to deal with personal mess. She calls Calvin. His voicemail comes on.

“Calvin, call me asap.” Chloe exhales deeply. She didn’t want to talk to his answering service.

Later, Chloe is at work sitting at her desk typing. She’s trying not to focus on what’s been happening at home. She doesn’t want to worry her mom either. Just then, Calvin shows up at her job.

Chloe looks up and sees Calvin walking her way, and the air leaves her body. She stands up as he approaches.

“Calvin.” Chloe says through gritted teeth. “What are you doing here?”

“Well you keep calling me, wanting to talk all of the sudden.” Calvin says loud and rude.

Chloe’s cubical neighbor swivels her chair around, having her back face them.

“I called you once and,” Chloe bobs her head to the right. “We can talk outside.”

Chloe walks from around her desk and grabs Calvin’s arm to guide him outside, but he yanks his arm away.

“I’m not going anywhere. I don’t care about your bougie co-workers.”

“Calvin!” Chloe looks around embarrassed. “You flatten my tires and you’ve been harassing me.”

Calvin’s eyes are full of hate. “So. You changed the garage door key, leaving me no access to my house?”

“You weren’t supposed to be in the house. Why were you coming in at night moving things around? Don’t you have your own life?” Chloe’s eyes are burning. The warmth causes them to water.

“So you get the house, spousal support, and you think I’m partying it up? I’m broke, living in a one-bedroom apartment!”

“Leave Calvin, please.”

Calvin shakes his head. “No. You’re stuck with me.  You can divorce me, but you can’t keep me away from our child in three months.”

“Calvin, do I look six months pregnant?” Chloe whispers, “I lost the baby three months ago, but you were impossible to deal with then. I couldn’t call you.”

Calvin is stunned.

“Lost? How?” Calvin’s eyes narrowed. “You killed the baby bitch. Just like you killed our marriage.”

Chloe shakes her head. The security guards came, grabbing Calvin by surprise, and they drag him out.  Calvin tries to fight, but the two guards are a lot bigger than him. One of her co-workers, who was hiding the whole time, comes out and she rubs Chloe’s shoulders. Chloe is pissed he showed his ass at her job, and that is why she aborted the pregnancy. She didn’t want to co-parent with his crazy ass.