A Nonprofit Publisher Established In 1976
Preserving the extraordinary stories of 'ordinary' people

The Storyhouse Writers Showcase

Sign up to receive our Storyhouse Weekly Reader.  Sample our great stories which you can then read in full! 
Browse the previous Weekly Reader stories.

Have a story you'd like to post?  You don't have to enter a contest to do so.  Here's how...
Want to publish a full length book manuscript?  We can help!  Click here.
Buy our members' Ebooks and Paperbacks.  See our list.

Hot News!  
From our Writers 

  2018 Contests 
Rules, Deadlines, etc.

Contest Judging
How done? How long?

Contest Winners
Check the competition

Who is Publisher Richard Loller? Click here for his  journal of fishing and farming
(Updated March 31, 2017)

Enjoy our story collection
Search by author or title

Send us your story

Make a tax deductible gift

Who we are and what we do
E-Publish with us
Become a member

Help us grow--buy our books!

Nonprofit Accountability HQ - See our full listing.

Scroll down for recent stories

Tony Bennett

Part of San Francisco

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer


Drawing of Tony Bennett

It would be hard to find people in San Francisco who haven’t heard of Tony Bennett and can’t sing along with at least part of I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

Anthony Benedetto, or Tony Bennett as the world knows him, has sung the ballad thousands of times: At the Fairmont Hotel (where a statue of him now stands), at the 50th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, when the Bay Bridge reopened after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, at the San Francisco Symphony Hall, and at championship games for the 49ers and Giants. It plays at AT&T Park after every Giants victory, and it’s heard in bars, restaurants, and nightclubs all over the city....



Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of Bonnie's Grandmother, Mabel.

My grandma Mabel was quite a woman. She was born in 1902. She married grandpa Luther in 1920, at age eighteen. He was five years older than her. He was born in 1898, and he’d been a cowboy out west before they married.

Her dad was Will, and her mom was Bertie. She called them Pa Pa and Momma. They farmed west of Conway, Missouri. They had eight children, five sons and three daughters. Grandma Mabel was their middle daughter. Grandpa Luther farmed, too, as did many in the midwest in the 1920’s 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. He was good at it, and made them a good living with it. Grandma Mabel helped him....


Autumn Leaves          


Judith Nakken 


© Copyright 2017 by Judith Nakken   


Photo of Autumn leaves in the water.

Roger Williams’ most impressive piano solo haunted my mid-1950’s days. It was all over the radio and I tortured myself with the 50 cent sheet music at whatever old piano I happened to be near at the time. Rogerette Williams I was never going to be, and it has only recently occurred to me that that piano music might have been the impetus for my obsession with leaves - gold, red, brown leaves. Autumn leaves.

Although, my stepmother was enamored of the much touted New England leaves. Each late October in those years she wheedled and cajoled until Daddy Bud fired up the old ’39 Ford and drove her round trip from D.C. to Vermont or some such place over a weekend. A whole roll of Kodak Brownie film would be devoted to trees, its output forced upon co-workers and apartment neighbors who didn’t escape in time. And me, when I was in residence. I rather liked the pictures, up to a point....


Remember to Breathe 

Robin Y. Myers

© Copyright 2017 by Robin Y. Myers


Woman sitting near window blinds.

I didn’t think that I was going to get out alive. Not just once but numerous times throughout my life. I thought that life itself would kill me, some crazy person who simply hated me would kill me, or I would have killed myself.

Two events occurred early on in my life, when I was too young to remember them.

First, my father was in the Air Force and was stationed in Germany during the Viet Nam War.

Second, when I was just three or four years old, I’m told that my mother left the keys in the ignition of my stepfathers blue Pontiac convertible. The car was parked at the top of the small hill in our driveway. Somehow the car was started and put in reverse. It backed down the hill and across the street—into our neighbor’s beauty shop adjacent to their house....


Long Goodby 

Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of Bonnie's mother.
Mom had been a plucky, strong, independent woman her entire adult life.

But all of a sudden we started noticing changes in her. She had a stroke at age sixty seven. The whole left side of her body was shaking, out of control.

An ambulance brought her to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Her face was jaundiced and yellow. After a few days in the hospital, they released her. She was diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera (PV). The doctors said she had too many red blood cells, and her platelets, (blood clotting cells) were starting  to multiply....

Read on...


Clay Chesney

© Copyright 2017 by Clay Chesney

Photo of mother and baby.

Surfing the channels one night  I came across a documentary about infant birth defects.  I usually avoid those stories set in sterile, white, metallic  hospital rooms where the doctor describes symptoms and treatments and possibilities to new parents who wait intently with desperation in their eyes.  It is the place where innocence meets hard reality, and it can be difficult to watch.  But in this case the story centered on some interesting research in the area of brain disabilities among the newborn and I followed it for a while.  What I found there was unexpected, a revelation for me, and it had nothing to do with medicine or treatment or science.  It was the first meeting between a young mother and her newborn daughter who was severely disabled....

Read on...

Saturday with Frederick Ransom Gray


Leslie Soule


© Copyright 2017 by Leslie Soule


Photo of Stagebusters Domain cover.

It was Saturday afternoon, around one o’ clock that I arrived at Book Lovers bookstore in Sacramento, California, off of Madison Avenue and Manzanita. I knew that there would be a couple of writers there, and hoped that at some point I might be able to pull one of them aside and speak to them about the process of writing and what techniques they used personally in the process of writing their novels. Upon entering the bookstore, I found that there was a small group of people milling about near the front of the store. That’s where a couple of tables had been set up, with authors sitting behind them, waiting for someone to take an interest or strike up a conversation....

Read on...

The Unforgettable Christmas 

Carol Rotta

© Copyright 2017 by Carol Rotta


Photo of smoke inside the house from a smoking fireplace.

Don and I were married in March 1966 and this would be our first Christmas together. I counted the days with the eagerness of a child awaiting Santa Claus. The kids in our blended family, Hal 16, Vicki 13, Donette 10 and Deanne 7 would be spending the holiday with their other parent, but Don’s dad and mom had accepted our invitation to celebrate the holiday with us. I looked forward to becoming better acquainted with them—and frankly, I hoped to impress them. I wanted them to see that Don had chosen a praiseworthy wife....


Smaller Dreams

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer


Photo of an older lady with a teacup.

 Many of us are faced with challenges as our loved ones age.  Sometimes, there is a way around those problems.

Gina knew there was something wrong as soon as she walked through the door.  Her mother hadn’t put away the breakfast dishes, and the coffee pot was still turned on. That wasn’t usual. And her mother was sitting in the living room, by herself, instead of bustling around the house, as was her usual behavior.

Mom, are you OK?”  she asked....


Scottish Terrier

Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of a scotch terrier.

Temperament: Playful,Self-Assured, Alert, Fiesty, Quick, Independent.

In the nineties, I was the proud owner of two Scottish Terriers. We got them as tiny puppies when they were six weeks old. The first puppy that caught my eye was an adorable little female. We named her Joy. We found her at an expert Scottie breeder who knew her stuff, and loved dogs. This was in the spring of 1993. She lived on a farm near to Strafford,


Can We Just Have One 
More Talk...One More Story?

Lane Dooling

© Copyright 2017 by Lane Dooling

Most of us have gone on a roller coaster ride but the "Sandwich Generation" adult is in for a bumpy ride...with so many of our parents living so long and wanting to stay put (in their homes). Come take an honest, sentimental and emotional journey down this unique path...

I can remember like it was yesterday when my stepfather, Alan, hustled through the front door as I was preparing our family Midwestern Thanksgiving meal and exclaimed “I am really worried about your mother’s memory.”. . .



William Larsen

© Copyright 2017 by William Larsen


Photo of a medic and wounded soldier in Viet Nam.
 June, 1969. I was lying in a hospital bed in Long Binh, South Vietnam: jaws wired, tracheotomy, tubes strung like guidelines into my nose, throat, chest and both arms . Earlier in the month, the army Brass had dropped us near a battalion-sized NVA bunker complex. Swarming our hundred or so iron-clad bodies into the jungle next to it, we were met with an avalanche of blazing fire. Several of the Grunts got hit and if Nam taught me any one thing it’s this: when Grunts get hit, there’s one word that rips from their lips right along with “AGGHHH”, “please God” and “motherf....r”, and that word is, “MEDIC!”
I had heard it before. Heard it way too often. Heard it and responded as my hard-ass blue-collar father taught me-- head-first into the fight. For some time that strategy had worked. I waded through the ruptured guts of others and came out clean. This time was different. This time I got hit as I crawled into a clearing to reach two Grunts who had gotten cut down in the NVA ambush. Crawled straight into a sniper round that caught me flush on the chin, shattering my jaw in over seventy places. One second I was firing my M-16 into the jungle applying a little preventative medicine; the next, I was part of a three-man heap. . . .


The Despicable iPhone and Me 

Margaret Valenta

© Copyright 2017 by Margaret Valenta


Photo of the St. Charles streetcar in New Orleans.

Once upon a time, long ago, when I was a teen-ager, I’d come home from school eager to telephone my friend Diane.

I’d pick up the phone and a pleasant woman - present on the line and not a recording- would say, “Number please.” I’d give her Diane’s number and she’d ring the residence. When Diane answered, we’d spend a long time talking. The phone was free and the service not expensive. Very simple.

In today’s world, that telephone is called ‘a land-line. . . .’


One Pound! 

Martha Yarborough DiPalma

© Copyright 2017 by Martha Yarborough DiPalma


Photo of the St. Charles streetcar in New Orleans.

This summer you’re going to stay with your cousin,” Dad said. I noticed he had taken out his handkerchief from his back pocket and was wiping his eye. Was he crying? “Your mom is sick and needs to go to the hospital for a few weeks.” What? Mom? Sick? Seeing Dad with his handkerchief and hearing his words, confused and excited me as a ten year old, but his usual calm self helped me relax. . . .


 Independence Day

Eileen Sateriale

© Copyright 2017 by Eileen Sateriale


Street scene in Quebec.

I remember one 4th of July when I went to visit my friend who lived in New Jersey. I made friends with her when I was in college and single. I was now visiting her and both of us were married. I was afraid of the visit not going off well because I was worried that her husband and my husband wouldn't get along. . . .


Joseph Strauss

The Mighty Task is Done

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer


Drawing of Joseph Strauss.

Joseph Strauss was a tenacious man. Despite his small stature, he was a giant of a man his whole life; an over-achiever who was driven to do great things. And, as his signature achievement, the Golden Gate Bridge, attests, he was able to accomplish them. . . .


Our Forgotten Veterans

Robert Flournoy


© Copyright 2017 by Robert Flournoy  

Poster with a WWII era housewife.

On Memorial Day, and Veteran's Day, I try to visit the Confederate cemetery here in Franklin, TN, to pay respect to the forgotten veterans of our country's most costly war.

Farm boys who may or may not have owned a mule to plow their 40 acres, and answered their country's call just as valiantly as did the boys from Ohio and New York who also paid the ultimate price on the hallowed ground of the Franklin battlefield where 9,000 men were killed or wounded in what has been described as the Civil War's deadliest 5 hours.

Where did such courage come from? These forgotten veterans deserve a moment of respectful silence, as do the women who loved them, left at home to keep their children safe, and fed. . . .



The Last (And First) Time I Saw Paris

Karen Radford Treanor 


© Copyright 2017  by Karen Radford Treanor

Photo of Karen in the trench coat with its own stories.

"My French may be a bit rusty but I don't think it's incomprehensible", I muttered to my granddaughter.

"Well, we got here eventually," Jess said, pocketing the fancy phone with which she had guided the cabdriver to our hotel. "And probably they speak a different sort of French in the Congo, or wherever he comes from."
My travelling companions weren't going to let trivial complaints get in the way of their enjoyment of Paris, so I swallowed my grumbles and followed them into the miniscule lobby of the Hotel du Mont Blanc. Bethany had selected the hotel sight unseen on the basis of its being near Notre Dame and the Seine. It was located on a tiny dog-leg street, Rue de la Huchette, barely more than an alley. A pleasant concierge pretended to be impressed with my language skills and handed over the key to a family room on the 5th floor. . . .


A Beautiful and Haunted Tune

Evan L. Balkan

© Copyright 2017 by Evan L. Balkan

Drawing of Robert Johnson, 1936.

. . . .“Welcome to Mississippi, Birthplace of America’s Music.” So say the highway signs. Indeed, what Mississippi has to sell is a legitimate claim to being the incubator of the country’s most enduring indigenous music: the blues. And while it sometimes seems like the blues is thoroughly out of the American mainstream, relegated to festivals your weird uncle goes to, the fact is the blues undergirds virtually every facet of American music; no blues: no rock and roll, no jazz, no hip-hop. . . .


Why I'll Never Go

Back to Albuquerque


Nancy Massand 


© Copyright 2017 by Nancy Massand

Photo of a woman with a baby on a plane.

Traveling is an adventure. Traveling with toddlers redefines the term and borders on disaster. I was traveling to California with a toddler and an eight-month-old infant to join my husband, who was working there on a short term project. Our connecting flight was in Albuquerque, and in those days back in 1980 the airlines didn’t transfer luggage. I had to collect our suitcases and transport them a half mile down the terminal to another airline, with two children. We were carrying clothes for six weeks, in addition to the usual truckload of baby paraphernalia. . . .


The Black Days


Kay Harper 


© Copyright 2011 by Kay Harper 


Ad for valium.

It was March when the black days came—long, hollow days when nothing major had changed in my life, and yet a shift in my perspective had left me inconsolable. There was terror in every moment. My mind was on an endless loop. What do I do now? I can’t escape. I’ll never escape. I can’t see out. I can’t see in. It’s too black…too black.

Although I had lived many bouts of depression’s rollercoaster, I was still in denial about the seriousness of my condition. Two months prior while trying to conceive, I had stopped taking lithium—the medication that stabilized my mood. A multitude of doctors had told me that it would be detrimental to the fetus. . . .

Part Of Him Was Lost

Joni Bour 


© Copyright 2017 by Joni Bour    


Photo of a medic and wounded soldier.

William, stood quietly on the planked walkway to the Gardner General Store, and rubbed his work-hardened hands through his wild, salt and pepper hair. This was a nervous habit, he’d performed when his first son had been born breech, and when there was a cougar hunting his calves. Usually, he would pace a little, or maybe let off a few curse words, then fix to getting busy. On that day however, the trouble was bigger than a cougar, or a crop failing, hell it was the biggest problem that would ever be in his lifetime. The short man, with his hair still wild, hadn’t made up his mind if he ought to make a run for home, or wait for even worse news than what’d just been said over the static of Avery’s Philco radio. . . .


To Be Free

Joni Bour 


© Copyright 2017 by Joni Bour    


Photo of an old man in a hospital bed.

I sit writing notes, and handing off prescriptions for the Doctor to review and sign. We are waiting to move on to the next case, and I am thinking about you. I hate you, I long to be free of you, and I hate myself for thinking that. I want to love you, and I wanted you to love me. I needed you to love me. . . .


Other Roads


Anna G. Joujan 


© Copyright 2017 by Anna G. Joujan 


Drawing of Annie by the author. (c) 2010 by anna G. Joujan.

Rifling through my wallet to pull out my dimes and pennies, I apologized to the clerk. "Sorry," I told her, when I had the right amount for my gas station cappuccino, "I like to use up my spare change before leaving the country." 

"Oh!," she said, her weariness morphing into a starry-eyed smile. "Must be nice," she added. I felt at once guilty and starry-eyed for my own version of hers. . . .


Can You Have a Good Time in a Country that Speaks a Different Language?

Eileen Sateriale

© Copyright 2017 by Eileen Sateriale


Street scene in Quebec.

Sateriale Family Vacation, August 2001, Quebec City, Canada

Several years earlier our family had visited English-speaking Canada and now we were curious about French speaking Canada. We had our girls, ages twelve and fifteen help us plan the trip. I had taken French in school many years ago and my high class took a trip to Quebec City. Too many years had passed since the last time I’d been and was anxious to return. . . .


Shine Service 

Phillip Byron Jones

© Copyright 2017 by Phillip Byron Jones


Photo of Percy in 2016.

       . . . .When I was a boy my father was the consummate mentor. He taught me how to bait a hook, sight a rifle scope, pack a suitcase and get a clean shave without a cut. He was also adamant that laziness separated men from a gentleman. A gentleman acted a certain way, and always – always, had a high shine on his shoes. Years later, as a lawyer, and because dress shoes are a necessity, the need for a good shine was tantamount. And, with that, I stumbled into Shine Service and met a man that now, 25 years later, I’m glad to call friend. For the past 25 years Shine Service (and Percy), have been a regular part of my weekly ritual; no different than having lunch. . . .


The Man and the Moon


Joni Bour 


© Copyright 2017 by Joni Bour    


Photo of the Moon.

In dedication to the Moon, who helped forge history and the Bandon, Oregon, Historical Museum for their preservation of the past and inclusion of the photo of the building of the Moon.

I fumbled with my new digital voice recorder and forgot half my questions, before Thad Potter climbed out of his truck. He was thin, almost bowing in the midsection, and had a noticeable limp, proof that carrying the worries of a fish captain could crush the bones and spirit of a man, if he let it. He was friendly, and pleased to share photos of the Moon, the boat he had once owned and captained, and sold, some four years before. He seemed unaware that I had searched high and low for six months to locate him; phone calls, and web searches, even craigslist ads, had all failed me, until a Facebook request changed everything. . . .


Ravin' Mad

Karen Radford Treanor 


© Copyright 2017  by Karen Radford Treanor

Photo of a ravens.

This story is set in the early Noughties, when I was less experienced in the business of backyard fowl keeping.  I have learned a lot since then, usually the hard way.
For a long time after we moved to the Perth Hills I thought we had crows in our yard.  They flew in from the state forest across the road and they were big and black and shiny.  They said “Caw” and “Aaaar-wark” and made other corvine comments.
I happened to mention the birds to a neighbour one day and was told “Naah, mate, those aren’t crows; those are Australian bearded ravens.”. . .


Milly Dearest             


Judith Nakken 


© Copyright 2017 by Judith Nakken   



Photo of money in a rubber band.

Mama was vain, of course, and probably quite mercenary. My biological father – divorced when I was barely two – swore that the first words she said to him on the church steps that October day in 1935 were “Give me some money.” Then there were the late in life episodes of eggs and chickens and the rubber-banded legacy to my sister and me. But in those formative years before I hated her, I didn’t notice this trait. I only saw her beauty. In makeup, she was breathtaking, Lana Turner with auburn hair. Around the house, puttering with her modeling clay or water colors, even her faint freckles had a golden glow....


Well Bred Bread

Karen Radford Treanor 


© Copyright 2017  by Karen Radford Treanor

Photo of a person kneeding bread.

There is a not uncommon belief that making bread is difficult, and not a task for novice cooks. This idea has been put about by the Bakers’ Guild since 1256 AD to encourage people to buy from bakeries rather than do it at home. It was reinforced by Charles II who didn't want his many lady friends spending time in the kitchen that could be devoted to him instead. And recently further enforced by an army of self-diagnosed gluten intolerants. Assuming you are none of the above, read on....


The Day We Went On Strike 

Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of Route 66 highway sign.

I started Conway-Phillipsburg High School in 1957 in the old brick building built in 1920. The school board kept to pass school bonds for a new updated school on the outskirts of Conway, MO. but to no avail.

It was our Senior year of 1960-1961. Most of us classmates had attended in the old dilapidated building all twelve grades.

Being only silly teenagers, one school day on our lunch hour, we decided to go on strike, and protest for a new school. Our teachers didn't care because they were wanting a newer facility themselves. . . .



Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of emergency room.

A woman EMT was talking loudly to me, saying Kay over and over. She kept asking questions to see if I was coherent. She first said, "What year is this? I didn't answer her because I was still trying to figure out where I was, and  what was going on. Then she said, "Who's the president?"

I said, "Donald Trump."

She pointed to her watch, and said, "What's this?". . .


Honorable Man 

Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of Ernest and his twin girls.

My dad, Ernest McFall was born July 17, 1922.  He grew up in the Great Depression. He had three brothers and three sisters. They were dirt poor. His dad, Arthur McFall farmed and worked on the railroad. He went to grade school in a one room schoolhouse, east of Conway, Missouri. . . .


Trans-Siberia Railroad

June Calender

© Copyright 2017 by June Calender

Yurts seen from the train.

The Orient Express did not appeal to me. Book and movie made it sound too “jolly good” — tea and sherry with Lady La-de-da and Sir Secret Agent. I read that it was impossibly expensive and, by the end of the 20th century slow and grungy. But the Trans-Siberia Railroad—ah, that was a rail adventure of a different sort. Ten days long, eight or nine time zones, wilderness— gritty, only for the hardy who could endure monotonous forest and tundra. . . .


To Oregon, By Blood


Emerline E. Whitman


© Introduction copyright 2017 by Leslie Soule


Photo of Emerline Whitman.

Massacred By The Indians

The Terrible Experience of a Columbia County Girl

To the Editor of the Columbus Republican: 

As I have frequently been importuned by my many friends and acquaintances in Columbia County for my history, I will briefly give you an account in my poor way, of the journey across the plains in the year 1860, hoping that you will be kind enough to publish the same. . . .


Jerry Garcia: I Play for My Life

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer


Photo of Jerry Garcia.

Jerry Garcia used to tell a story about an incident at a concert the Grateful Dead played in San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium. Before the concert someone brought in a birthday cake, and Garcia scooped up and ate a fingerfull of frosting. Just then, the guy who brought the cake warned that the frosting was laced with LSD. . . .


Raising Kids

Steve Alexander

© Copyright 2015 by Steve Alexander
     revised 2017


Photo of a baby eating toilet paper.

If there is to be a world fit for good people, there must be parents willing to train their children to create that world and to live in that world.

I think most parents today are on the wrong track. I think they are doing a poor job of raising kids fit for a world of nice people. Most kids of today are ill behaved, whining, screaming little criminals. They run their families, they are a nuisance to others, and their parents (who were raised the same way) let them get away with it. Bad behavior is accepted as “part of growing up.” They call it “self expression.”. . .


A Lucky Day

Karen Radford Treanor 


© Copyright 2017  by Karen Radford Treanor

Photo of a person holding a bandicoot.

As previously noted, bandicoots haven’t got much road sense.  I think it has to do with their small size and their limited field of vision which just can’t encompass a huge vehicle bearing down on them.  This is the story of one very lucky little bandicoot that I met when I was still living in Western Australia. . . .


Shame of the Tugboat Edison         

David Winnie

© Copyright 2017 by  David Winnie



Newspaper article about the killings.


George Raab was unable to tell if the pounding he heard was from the whiskey he had imbibed the night before or someone’s fist on the door of his room in the Hewitt Avenue flophouse. Opening one eye, he could make out the pale, curved shoulder of a doxie he’d hooked up with the night before.

The incessant knocking was coming from the door, with a shouted voice, “George Raab! This is Deputy Nathan Beard. Sherriff McRae needs to see you, posthaste.” . . .



Burn Baby Burn?

William Wayne Weems

© 2017 by William Wayne Weems

Photo of two shotgun houses.


So I was called during a back and forth debate with Facebook comments. I am aware of the present loose use of that slur, and the contention among some folk "of color" that it is impossible for them to be racist while those of "white" skin are by their very culture necessarily prey to such attitudes. But naïf that I am, I thought my participation in the Civil Rights restaurant sit-ins during the 1960's would somehow insulate me from such a charge. . . .


Doing It By The Book

Emily Hart 

© Copyright 2017 by Emily Hart  



Photo of book cover, "The Submissive Wife."

Now I'm not saying that in Jessie Bell's place I would have gone a step further and struck the match, but then again, I'm not saying I wouldn't have.

I was completely surprised the first time.  After all, when Jack made rude little cracks at me I fired back with some smart crack of my own.  That was what we did.  Our friends thought we were cute.  Feisty.  When Jack backhanded me across the face it wasn't just the blow that knocked me off my feet. . . .


The Lesson

Marion Parks

© Copyright 2017 by Marion Parks
Photo of old lady with a pistol.

You sit at the traffic light, waiting for it to turn green; the tip of your fingernails tap out a little rhythm on the metal and plastic disc inside your steering wheel. You look in the rear view mirror and pat a strand of white hair back into place, noting the network of wrinkles making interesting patterns in your face, and you smile at yourself....


Grandmother's Roses


Leslie Soule


© Copyright 2017 by Leslie Soule


Photo of Leslie's grandmother.

When I think about my childhood, what I remember most fondly, is playing in my grandmother’s backyard, along with my cousins. We’d play around the rose bushes, and dig up insects. We’d catch frogs, run around and play tag, or use the old wagon and pull each other around. We had video games, but this was the age of regular Nintendo, and when the weather got cold, we’d play Mario Bros. for most of the day. My grandmother was an extraordinary woman, who’d raised four kids, and knew all their tricks. . . .

Odd Intruder: The Biography of Richard A. Anderson


Leslie Soule


© Copyright 2017 by Leslie Soule


Painting of Richard Anderson.

When I set out to write my stepfather’s biography in the spring of 2011, I found myself standing at a metaphorical crossroad. Truthfully, I felt inadequate to the task of becoming his biographer. However, sometimes in life we are called upon to undertake tasks that we never thought would fall to us. When my stepfather died in November of 2002, ultimately due to complications from diabetes, I was a month from turning nineteen years old. I felt like Frodo from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series, accepting a ring of power and a dire quest at such a young and fragile age....



Barry Carver

© Copyright 2017 by Barry Carver


Photo of Chuckles candy.

Isn’t it true of all of us that, as we age, we find more of our parents in ourselves?

Sometimes it is an unhappy realization, but good or bad, we recognize that there is some weight to the argument that the apple never falls far from the tree. For most of us, I hope, it is also true that those everyday, throwaway memories with Mom and Dad – and probably just because so many of them were that: thrown away – become precious....


Taking Out Citizenship In Neverland

Emily Hart 

© Copyright 2017 by Emily Hart  



Sunset over the Pacific (c) 2015 by Richard Loller.

I know that Neverland is a real place.  I have visited there often. 

"Tag! You're it!"

"Who made up this stupid game?" I thought, as once again I was the first person tagged."

Being the shortest one in our neighborhood group of kids, except for the "babies" -- younger siblings ranging from toddlers to kindergarten age -- I also had the shortest legs and was invariably the first person tagged.  This meant that I would chase the others around while they took turns resting and building up their strength.  I was at a disadvantage in any game involving running, but tag was the worst....



Emily Hart 

© Copyright 2017 by Emily Hart  



Old graveyard at Summer's end.

The imagination of a seventeen year old girl,  the crisp air of autumn and the scent of apples . . . what can they conjure up?

It was the time of the changing of the guard, the season between seasons.  The air undulated, warm as gold one moment, crisp as the ripening apples the next.  The scent of chlorine perfumed bodies mingled with the odor of turning leaves and soil getting ready to sleep.  Shadows ate more and more with increasingly sharper teeth.  The pendulum movement of the Earth's breath was as rhythmical as the pumping rise and fall of my bike pedals....


The Liberation of France


Margie Hofman 


© Copyright 2017 by Margie Hofman

Photo of liberation parade in Paris.

Yes, I know we all know about it – but do we?

My friend has a small apartment in the south of France, in Nice and she made friends with a schoolteacher who is teaching French children English. The teacher herself is English and started telling them the war time story of the little boats that went out from England to rescue our army at Dunkirk – the children laughed “How was it possible to get 300,000 men away in small boats” The teacher explained that they were ferried to the big boats .

The children aged about 14 or 15, knew very little about war time France and the teacher asked if she knew anybody who had written about war time for children – as I have several stories on the internet, she gave my name.




Mausumi Phukan Baruah


© Copyright 2017 by Mausumi Phukan Baruah


Photo of the author.

Life is a pendulum between a smile and a tear” Riki says philosophically, as she makes her entrance to the Kitty Party organised at Salma’s house while Malini, Meera, Seema and others were waiting for her arrival to start the party.

Hey don’t start boring please, leave your damn philosophy with yourself, for gods sake, don’t spoil our mood in this nice party” Meera says sarcastically, always unable to bear Riki’s works. Maybe she doesn’t understand them. Her motto of life is to relax, eat lavishly, forget the tensions and enjoy life. Her body and dress sense speaks nicely of it- a Body Mass Index of 30 + and always on Designer clothes- Halter tops, Lee or Levis jeans....

What Can You Lasso With A Frayed Rope?

Emily Hart 

© Copyright 2017 by Emily Hart   


Photo of a headstone for George Bailey.

     Every year I watch the story of a desperate man and an inept angel with the faith of a child and wonder -- what comes next.  So I got tired of wondering and wrote my own next chapter.

     The house was quiet, with that preternatural stillness that comes after a party.  The guests had all gone home, singing carols as they drifted out.  The children were in bed, if not asleep at least trying to be in hopes of hastening Christmas morning.  Mary had insisted that she could see to the tidying up without his help.  George once again patted Zuzu's petals and thought of this singular night.  Already it seemed in danger of fading, just as a dream fades in the morning.  Did it truly happen?  Perhaps it was just a dream or a delusion as he had first thought....


The Mirror          


Mausumi Phukan Baruah


© Copyright 2017 by Mausumi Phukan Baruah


Photo of the author.

Shalini reached the counter hurriedly. She was a little bit late in her arrival. Mahesh was impatiently waiting to handover the responsibilities to her and leave. He had a tough night. “Hey Shalini, thank God that you have come! I thought that you might have taken leave.”

Shalini didn’t feel the need for an answer. She observed herself in her pocket mirror. Those dark circles under her eyes have made her face so dull. She got a little bit worried. Her beauty is her only asset. And how well she knows it. She adjusted her dress, applied some lipstick to bring in the fresh look and got ready for a new day....


How I Became a Writer of True Stories
(Instead of a Famous Author of Fiction)

Richard Franklin Bishop

© Copyright 2017 by Richard Franklin  Bishop

Photo of a writer working at a computer.
             Sherman AlexieSherman Alexie

Many people set out early to be something special in life - some children already know what they want to be at an very young age. . . saying: “I want to be a Policeman when I grow up !” I had no such aspirations and drifted along for years with my juvenile peers who showed the same lack of career focus. For me, later in High School and College, it was: “I’d like to become an airplane Pilot.” But the eyes would not have it - not as a Profession. And so, my career plan which had taken so long to articulate became a little Zig-zag....


Sis Frances' Secret

John McLaren McBrydes  

Submitted by Martha DiPalma, his granddaughter 


© Copyright 2017 by Martha DiPalma



Photo of a 1927 five dollar bill.

(I found the following article in one of the drawers of my mother’s old desk. It was penciled on folded, yellowed sheets, the four folds practically breaking through with age. It was marked on the back “Sis Frances.” Apparently the writer had planned to submit it for publication, probably to the Readers’ Digest, as there were superscripted numbers written every so often to count the number of words accumulated. I surmised that he had written this in 1923.)...



Little Johnny Beaman

A Madison Plains Miracle

Aaron Davis        

© Copyright 2017 by  Aaron Davis



Photo of a cabin in the woods.

Way back, back in the day there was a little boy named Johnny Beaman, who was born to the proud parents, Sarah and Mr. Johnny Beaman.

Coming up Mr. and Mrs. Beaman were the typical poor family, stricken with the harshness of poverty.

Mrs. Beaman was a typical old house wife with little education. She barely made it through grade school.

On the other hand, Mr. Beaman was a retired steel worker who took care of his family the best way he could. He had a nice garden beside the house, which sat on ten acres. This was an inheritance given from Mr. Beaman parents a long while ago....


Halloween 1939 in Clay County Arkansas

Paul Marion Fleetwood

© Copyright 2017 by  Paul Marion Fleetwood


Photo of an old house.

  Just in case the reader is not familiar with my stories; I am an old guy writing true short stories of events that happened in my life for the benefit of my great-great grandchildren.  I want them to have some knowledge of their heritage and of old Pawpaw Bob (that is what my kids and grandkids call me).  My real first name is Paul but I was nick-named Petey Bob growing up.

    I was born in Southern Missouri but my family moved to Arkansas when I was six years old.  We lived in the foothills of the Ozarks in Missouri but when we moved to Northeast Arkansas we  lived in the mosquito infested swamps near Big Black river about 9 miles from Corning....


Read these outstanding stories, or, if you'd rather, brouse among
the 1001 other stories in our bountiful Book Case,

Click Here...

Top of Page

The Preservation Foundation, Inc., A Nonprofit Book Publisher