Read September’s stories here…

Aug Stories

Hello,

September’s theme is On The Road. Both stories involve the road in some form. In Four Lanes an accident has a mysterious effect on the man and woman involved. In Mile Marker 13 a strange passenger seems hellbent on terrifying the man stuck driving.

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Four Lanes – Jessica Wren

When Ashleigh Owens runs into the path of Chris Sterling’s 18-wheeler truck the two form an unbreakable link that transcends the barrier between the dead and the living.

Sample

I couldn’t stop in time. There was no way I could stop in time. Chris Sterling repeated this morbid mantra every time Ashleigh Owens appeared in his mind’s eye. She always appeared just as he last saw her. As the image of her last seconds alive came to him with increasing frequency, her face became clearer in his mind.

An eighteen-wheeler can’t stop in a split-second. He could tell she had once been pretty, but had the haggard face of a person for whom harshness of life had taken its toll. When she’d looked up at him, her mouth turned up in an eerily peaceful smile just before the truck he was driving collided with her small, thin body. He had watched in horror as she ran across two westbound lanes, somehow dodging other vehicles. Chris desperately tried to apply the brakes, but to no avail. Ashleigh stopped suddenly—Chris remembered wondering how she had stopped so suddenly from a full sprint—stood in the middle of the left eastbound lane, and turned to face the oncoming log truck. Her body landed about twenty feet away on the shoulder of the highway.

Chris knew that he would relive that sickening impact every single night for the rest of life…..

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Mile Marker 13 – Ian Williams

A night time drive turns into a terrifying journey.

Sample

An unlit road full of winding turns and brooding hills lay ahead of Danny as he turned off the motorway at 2am. The rain was coming down in dense sheets and visibility had been reduced to less than two car lengths ahead of him. Despite switching his headlights on to full-beam he could barely see a thing.

His journey had started four hours earlier and he still had another three hours to go. Within that time the roads had begun to blur into one long stretch of tarmac. Leaving the main motorway had helped break the monotony for a short while. But soon it became clear that his concentration was waning again.

Turn after turn, he watched as the lines on the road ventured closer to his wheels. They were teasing him, drawing him near, only to push him away again. His grip on the steering wheel tightened each time he fought to stay on the road. It was a dangerous game to play. If he lost just one round, he would end up in a ditch.

The moment his eyelids fell shut for the first time he knew he was in real trouble…..

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Thanks,

From the Mayhem, Madness and Mirth team

August’s stories have arrived!

Aug story pics

Hello,

August’s theme is Forgotten in Time. Here we have two short stories that take very different approaches to this theme, with each exploring the idea in a new and refreshing way. Peaches tells the tale of a freak tsunami which has left all but a quaint little farmer’s market standing, and how the shared experience of discovering it brings a group of friends even closer together. Forget Me Not is about Danielle (written in the 2nd person) and her struggle to cope with the devastating loss of a partner. She sees the accident again and again, never able to escape it.

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Peaches – Jessica Wren

After a freak tsunami devastates the East Coast, Bryce and his two closest friends must stick together to survive. A fantastical farmer’s market strengthens the trio’s bond.

Sample

2048, Georgia

I have asked every man in the Eatonton Camp about Peaches. No one remembers it. One fall afternoon Colyn and Tim, my two best friends who were also workers at Eatonton, found the ramshackle building that had once been home to a farmer’s market.

I got the impression that the building had not been affected much by the hurricanes, or even that freak Tsunami in 2018 that had swallowed every house, park, shopping center, school, library, hospital. Washington was not spared, and neither was New York, Boston, Charleston, Savannah, or Miami. The government has determined that the cost of repair would be too high, and therefore moved its center of government out west to Dallas, where they remain to this day. Some cleanup and restoration has been done to the East Coast, but nothing is the same. Those trapped in the areas east of the Mississippi after the tsunami were left to their own devices.

My friends and I consider ourselves lucky to have this job at Eatonton. We spent many years cleaning the area that had been Georgia in our youth. After about thirty years we have made some progress, but the East still has a long way to go.

The tsunami caught us all completely unaware. When you think of tsunamis, you think of them hitting Japan or India, but not our coast. I can’t explain how it happened. You can look it up if you want to know. It was something about an island in the Caribbean collapsing and creating large pockets of displaced water. That seems like a load of bull to me, but I’m not the scientist here….

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Forget Me Not – Ian Williams

You are Danielle. You live in terror, forced to relive the same moment of your husband’s gruesome death over and over.

Sample

Day 1

You hear Ryan screaming again, hear his voice become taut and strained as the life leaves him. A feeling of falling is made worse because you know you’ll hit the ground a second later. Then, when you do, it’s like the sky has come crashing down upon you. You hear something crack inside your own head, but you don’t feel a thing. Something has broken, something you know will leave you less than what you were before.

Breathing is difficult now, slowing to a shallow intake and delayed exhale. A warmth radiates throughout your body that seems to be getting stronger as Ryan becomes weaker. You wish you could reach out to him, that you could touch him somehow, feel his presence before it is gone. But you can’t move now.

Eventually you’ve faded, strayed too far from consciousness and not even Ryan’s last breath registers with you. It’s all a dream, happening somewhere else, somewhere far away. The pain, both physical and emotional, can’t touch you here, where the world is peaceful and strangely comforting. Are you dead? Is this what comes next?…..

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Thanks,

From the Mayhem, Madness and Mirth team

 

July’s stories are here!

July Stories Pic

Hello,

Are you ready for more amazing short stories? This month’s theme is Technology Gone Awry, and it’s a good’n! If you’re wondering where technology might take us in the near future, then these stories are definitely for you. How about a brand new piece of tech to help you work harder and longer, or you might prefer to lose yourself in the virtual world; either way, you’re in for a treat with these stories.

GameMaster – Jessica Wren

The lines between reality and gaming becomes blurred when the executive of GameMaster, Inc. becomes involved in a legal scandal.

Sample

The target stood on the corner of 38th and Main Street. At two in the morning, he was only one of the thousands of people who loitered in the street. He was wearing a knockoff designer suit and stared ahead as he drew on his cigar. Ethan hid behind a nearby parked car as he trained his assault rifle on his victim, whose only offense was being out at the wrong time.

“This idiot thinks he’s Al Capone,” he chuckled to himself. “That crap is going to get him shot out here anyways.” With that, Ethan felt a little less guilty for what he was about to do.

“Don’t move,” he mumbled as he aimed his rifle. A passing car was slowing down, clearly approaching the target. Possibly for a drug deal, or to offer a ride, or simply ask for directions. The only thing that mattered was that the target stayed put for the few seconds of time Ethan needed to complete the mission. The target took one more drag on his cigar before taking notice of the approaching vehicle. I am Shotgun Sutton, he thought. Ethan concentrated on his aim and placed his finger on the trigger, knowing if he acted even a second too late, he would miss his chance……..

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The Clockmaker’s Tale – Ian Williams

George is a workaholic who is obsessed with making clocks. When a salesman approaches him with a device that could make him work harder and faster, he is intrigued. Although he is given a free trial period, he soon learns that the costs for increased output is unbearably high.

Sample

The brass bell above the shop entrance rang out to announce the new arrival. George heard it from his workshop in the backroom, hidden from view behind a blue curtain hanging in the doorframe. The two distinct sides of his small business were separated by this thin material alone. At the front, he sold his wears to the general-public, whereas at the rear, he designed, made and perfected.

For a short while George ignored the new customer. He wanted to give them time to look upon his vast stock of old-fashioned clocks hanging from the walls first. Instead, he focused on his latest design, made from his favourite soft-wood and hand-carved to match an exact design.

He blew away the wooden debris from the clock casing and marvelled at his work. It was flawless, making him particularly proud of himself this time. Every movement he’d made with the chisel–matching the steady hand of a brain surgeon–had added something unexpected to the design. It was even better than he’d hoped.

The outside was nearly finished. Next, he would move onto the internal workings of brass and steel, to bring his latest creation to life. With no interruptions he would have stayed put, surrounded by wood shavings and the calming smell of drying lacquer, until he was done. Only, a potential customer had entered his world and it wasn’t polite to leave them for too long……..

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Thanks,

From the Mayhem, Madness and Mirth team

June’s stories are here

 

June Stories Pic

June’s stories are out. Using the theme of They come at night, we invite you to check out two stories that will make you hair stand on end. We think you will enjoy reading about creepy creatures that can only come out of your worst nightmare. Join Daniel as he fights a hideous creature who is stalking his neighbor, and Harrison and his friends as they investigate some unexplained disappearances from a popular party spot. Just a word of caution, though. You may have a few sleepless nights listening out for the creepy-crawlies, because, after all….they come at night.

Enjoy, and as always, comments are appreciated.

Regards,

MMM writers

                          Uninvited-by Ian Williams

Reclusive Daniel is fascinated with the life of his neighbor, Jenny. When he starts getting nightly visits from an ominous creature, he soon realizes that he may be the only one who can defeat the real monster.

Here is a sample:

It was a Tuesday when It first visited me in the dead of night. I remember it clearly. It was the same day my neighbours had begun to fight worse than usual. I heard their argument through my paper-thin walls, from the first mumbled insult to the last punch–the husband was a drunken lout who lashed out all too often.

The time I was supposed to be spending counting my pennies and checking they were all still there, I was listening in instead, with my ear up against the wall. This argument was about who the girl, called Jenny, had been out drinking with that day. Her husband–I always missed his name–was demanding she tell him, ‘or I’ll beat it out of you’, he’d said.

She was a friendly woman, she didn’t deserve that kind of treatment. I’d often seen her greeting people when she left for work each morning. Of course, I’d never spoken to her, I doubt she knew I even existed. I watched through my window as she left and then returned each day. She’d be home around six most nights, but sometimes not until way past ten. Those were the nights I heard them fight.

That Tuesday was different, though. The hitting would start almost as soon as Jenny walked through the door and then settle down an hour or so later, at which point I’d hear her slam the bedroom door and cry herself to sleep. But on that cold winter’s evening the hitting hadn’t stopped.

I cried for her that night. I’d listened from the very start of it, slumped up against my wall like I was glued to it. I could hear that she was in pain. I imagined her pretty face covered in purple bruises and three times its normal size. I saw her missing teeth, her gums blackened by blood and her clothes torn to shreds; and I fell asleep with tears streaming down my face…

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                   Fire Lake-by Jessica Wren

When a group of college students disappear without a trace from a popular party spot, Harry becomes obsessed with solving the mystery. Believing the answer lies in an ancient Greek legend, Harry finds himself on a treacherous mission that even he, a respected psychiatrist, may not be prepared to handle.

Here is a sample:

The 150-acre reservoir was named Fire Lake when an observer noticed the orange glow of the water when the sun goes down. It has nothing to do with the multiple tragedies that occurred there, including the most recent in which several died and others were left with permanent endocrine and neurological damage. I was a freshman at Augusta University during the first known disappearance that occurred in 1969.

For most folks, the doomed Altamonte concert marked the end of the hippie era. At that time, my brother Henry was serving in Vietnam, and I was too preoccupied with other matters to give the disappearance much thought. I didn’t really know any of the seventeen young people who vanished into thin air after a weekend of partying. We all knew Buddy Caldwell, of course, but no one was too terribly shocked that he flew the coop. The quintessential hippie, Buddy was charismatic in the sense that he could make people believe almost anything. He had been talking nonstop about how he planned to take off to California and live in a communal compound, which would naturally include all his female friends and only two or three trusted (read: gullible) males.

The only thing I remember about the Fire Lake disappearance, other than the fact that the campus was unusually quiet without Buddy speaking in a thunderous voice about the dangers of ‘the man’ or strumming his un-tuned guitar, is a profound relief that my friend Margaret did not get caught up in whatever scheme Buddy had hatched. With very little evidence of foul play, police concluded that the gang had taken off with Buddy, and the people Margaret said met them on the shore were another group joining them. Margaret didn’t help matters by stating to the police that at around ten o’clock that Sunday evening, there was a general move for the group to go out to the shore. Margaret said she didn’t feel like going, but as usual Buddy got his way. She stated that the mystery group approached them, and as if of one mind, started pairing off. A young man had approached Margaret, and to this day she still sees the look of infinite pain in his eyes when Margaret instinctively shrank away from him…

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May’s stories have arrived!

May Stories Pic

Hello,

May’s stories are here and they’re EPIC! On the theme of Deadly Games, these stories are full of adventure, thrills and a certain amount of danger too. One is a dystopian vision of a future where citizens partake in a death defying feat, in order to escape a harsh and brutal life. The other is a fantasy tale that delves into the idea that not all legends are true, and that finding out what to believe for yourself can be the making of you.

The Jumping Game – Jessica Wren

In the future, the Sate of Florida is dismissed from the Union. Jacksonville becomes a lawless wasteland where every day is a fight for survival. Hunter Courtney sells the secrets for winning the Jumping Game, a dangerous gamble that can only result in death or freedom.

Sample

Jacksonville, 2046

The skeletal remnants of the skyscraper framed dominated the ruined urban jungle that was once Jacksonville. The glass windows had long been blown out by a series of hurricanes, but the rusty metal frame stayed intact.  Hunter Courtney’s grandfather told him, in a rare moment of lucidity, he thought it had once been the headquarters for a bank, but no one knew for sure. Not that it mattered; no one used currency for trade in Jacksonville. The only items of value were those which served a useful purpose. People bartered with homemade whiskey and wine, hand-crafted weapons made with whatever scrap metal could be found, stale tobacco products, and, if someone was lucky enough to find them, food that was not contaminated, medicine that still maintained some efficacy, or clothing still in wearable condition. The Bouncer, an old thug who also served as chief of the patrol guard, made his living off the jumping game. Due to its location on the banks of the St. John’s River, where the butchered remains of those who did not survive the jumping game were dumped, the skyscraper symbolized a false hope of escape from Jacksonville. It also indirectly provided a relatively comfortable standard of living for Hunter and his grandparents. The skyscraper was a perfect scaffold, and the game was simple: Participants were given a parachute and directed up the side staircase to the roof. The objective was to land at the base of the building. However, over the years, many participants learned the hard way that landing wasn’t at all an easy task……

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The Three Earth Trials – Ian Williams

Malosi and her team go on an adventure of a lifetime through three different versions of Earth. Along the way, they learn that legend does not always match reality.

Sample

Malosi stood facing the open mouth of the cave she hoped would take her to another world, and she wondered, is it just me, or does it look a little angry? Two long ridges, running along the top of the cave, arched downward and met in the middle, making what looked to her to be two disapproving eyebrows. It made her doubt her willingness to enter.

But enter she would, for it was a great honour. One only the bravest were afforded.

A portal to another dimension had formed between the cave’s walls every two years since the first time, forty-five years ago. And each time it had, two teams of teenagers were sent through as a test of their worthiness. To return alive was a success, but to return with the famous emblem, left behind by the first man to use the portals—a legendary man named Tala—was the ultimate show of strength.

Malosi had only agreed to take part because her best friend’s, Vale and Atamai, had wanted to try. They had passed every test and shown a talent for problem solving. The three of them were going to see what only a small group of her people had before. With Vale and Atamai in position beside her now, Malosi felt a spike of confidence. They were a tight group of friends, just the three of them……

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Thanks,

From the Mayhem, Madness and Mirth team

April’s stories are available now!

April Stories Pic

Hello,

It’s April, the month that always begins with an innocent little prank, like cellophane over the toilet bowl, a cup of flour balanced on the top of a door, or maybe a little jump scare. In light of this we’ve got stories that involve a prank or two. The difference is these pranks won’t go exactly as planned. Enjoy! 🙂

To read a story now, click on the title and go straight to it. We would love to know what you think, so comments are always welcome.

Regards,

MMM Writers

April’s Fool – Jessica Wren

April Rogers gleefully goes along with a plan to humiliate her ex-boyfriend on video. She doesn’t realise until it’s too late that her co-conspirators had much worse plans for him.

The Misadventurers – Ian Williams

While aboard a human starship tasked with holding negotiations between two rival alien races, a pair of young brothers decide to play an innocent prank on one of the visitors. But when it goes wrong they face a choice; own up to their mistake and be grounded for a month, or play it cool and hope no one notices.

Thanks,

From the Mayhem, Madness and Mirth team