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Short Story Page

Nightmare Nice Guy

by: Cynthia Wells

In my mind, he was the greatest guy. Captain of his hockey team and an honour student. With his sparkling blue eyes, silky brown hair, winning smile and amazing charm, Ryan could easily get any girl he wanted, although he rarely had a girlfriend. When he asked me out on a date, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I had only had my eye on him since our first day of high school four years ago! This was going to be a dream date, or so I thought. . .

I had anticipated the big night all week. The air was crisp and clean. The new moon illuminated the street below, and stars could be seen twinkling in the dark night sky. It was a perfect autumn night, which was just about to get better.

Ryan pulled into my driveway right on time, eight o'clock. I walked down my walkway, toward his truck, when all of a sudden I felt my legs come out from under me! Before I knew it, I had slipped on some wet leaves and was flat on my face! Ryan asked if I was OK, with a concerned look on his face. When he saw I was all right his concern turned into laughter. I was humiliated and knew I would never live this one down.

I had changed out of my wet clothes and was now sitting in the passenger seat of Ryan's chocolate brown Chevy pickup truck. Things were going well. A conversation was flowing. That was until I brought up the subject of parents. Ryan told me he had been living with his aunt and uncle since his parents had been killed a year ago. "Good going Anna!" I thought to myself. "Make him relive painful memories!" The rest of the way to miniature golf was in silence.

It seemed all night I had been saying the wrong things, definitely not making a good impression with Ryan. He beat me by three strokes at golf, which did put a little smile on his face. It was hard to tell with this guy if he was enjoying himself.

He didn't take me straight home after golf, which was a good sign. He suggested we rent a movie and go back to his place. I was quick to agree. His house was warm and inviting, with its sunshine coloured walls and country decor. We sat side-by-side on his living room couch. The movie started and Ryan got up to dim the lights. "Would you like something to drink?" He asked, heading over to the liquor cabinet. I denied, but he tried to convince me saying I looked tense and this would help me relax. He also mentioned we wouldn't be caught because we were the only ones home. After a couple of minutes he gave up on the alcohol and sat back on the couch. About ten minutes into the movie his hand had found it's way onto my thigh. I felt a little uncomfortable after the liquor cabinet incident and now this, but I reassured myself by remembering he had a great reputation at school and was a respectable guy. He wouldn't try anything I didn't want. Seconds later he leaned over and kissed me. I had dreamed of that moment for years. We continued kissing and his hands wandered. I didn't mind at first, but when he started unbuttoning my pants I knew it was time to stop. I tried to pull away, but Ryan just held me tighter. I yelled at him to stop but he wouldn't. Finally, I broke free from his hold, and ran out of his house. Of course, he came running after me, asking where I was going. I ignored him and walked to the pay phone around the corner to call my mom to pick me up.

I still have a hard time believing the Ryan I was with that night was the same one I had been head over heels for all those years. I was mad at myself for not seeing through his nice guy image to the creep underneath. What I thought was going to be my dream date turned out to my nightmare. I guess that just goes to show people aren't always how they appear to be.

A Secret Revealed

by: Cynthia Wells

The air smelled clean and fresh, just as it does immediately following a rain storm. Bright red tulips coloured the neatly manicured garden, situated against my brown brick home. Baby robins could be heard chirping in the maple trees as they waited, in anticipation, for the fresh worms their mother would bring them for breakfast. I sat in my front porch swing, my golden blonde hair blowing in the warm gentle breeze, and watched the peaceful beauty of nature blossom around me.

It had been ages since I had taken time to just sit and watch the world around me revolve. Lauryl, my niece, is always telling me I work too much. She doesn't realize the money I'm making. Money is everything. People with money are always happy. They are invited to all the prestigious events. They have the most prominent friends, the most fashionable clothes, the most luxurious cars, they have it all! If I didn't work I wouldn't have enough money. She just doesn't understand that I have to work, as much as I can.

The telephone rang from inside the house, interrupting my quietude. I couldn't be bothered getting up to answer it. I knew Lauryl would bring me the phone if it was anyone important.

"Auntie." I heard Lauryl call. "Mr. Bryant from the office is on the phone for you."

"That wretched rattlesnake? What could he possibly want of me!?" I annoyingly asked, not waiting for a response. "Very well, hand me the phone."

"Richard! What a delight it is to hear from you! How are the kids? And Marie?"

"Everyone's well, but the reason I call is to inform you of David Wilson's death. In his last moments he scribbled a note and placed it in a sealed envelope. On the envelope he wrote the names of four people. Yours was one of them, mine was another. We're going to meet at David's in an hour to open the letter. Will you be there?"

"Of course. What a sweet man he was, he is going to be terribly missed."

"Very good. I'll see you in an hour."

I replaced the phone in it's cradle and thought to myself, "David must have written a holograph just before he died! The four names must be of people he left his money to!"

I started getting excited at this thought. David was a fairly wealthy man. He was sure to leave his right-hand woman a large monetary gift. After all, it was because of me he had achieved such a high position in the company.

One hour later I stood in a large dimly lit burgundy room. Richard Bryant stood across from me with the envelope in his hand. To his left stood Helen Mitchell, another executive from work. To the left of her, with his arms folded across his chest, Keith Boswell, the new head of the department now that David is gone.

"We may as well see what all of this is about." Anxiously spoke Helen. "Open the envelope Richard, we're all dying to hear what David wanted to tell us."

Richard picked up David's fancy gold letter opener from his neatly organized mahogany desk and ripped open the envelope. Inside was a short, messily scrawled letter. It read,

"I'm sorry Helen, Keith and Anna, but I could not go to my grave knowing what I do. I have kept this secret far too long and now it is time for Richard to know the truth. I have never agreed with what has gone on at this company over the past two years. I have to admit, this was a very cleaver and well thought out plan. For so long I have lived with the knowledge of what is really going on. I have thought long and hard about what I'm about to reveal, and came to the conclusion this is the right thing to do. Richard, these three people standing in front of you have been scamming money from you and the company for the past two years. They have set up fake customer accounts to hide the missing funds, to make sure you, or nobody else, suspected anything. They are very cleaver and conniving people. Please take time to digest this information and decide on appropriate consequences. Once again I'm sorry Helen, Keith and Anna. Signed, David Wilson."

Helen, Keith and I all stood in disbelief. This was the last thing we expected to hear! Our once good friend David Wilson had ratted us out! Keith tried to convince Richard that David had made this all up. That he, for some reason, wanted to get back at all of us. Richard wouldn't hear any of Keith's explanations. He believed David, the deceased David. Richard stood with a mixture of anger and hurt on his face. He had been betrayed by the people he had trusted to run his company. The three of us looked at each other and knew what we had to do. Helen pulled a shiny black pistol from her coat pocket and aimed it straight at Richard Bryant. The gunshot echoed throughout the large house and Richard fell to the floor. We all turned and headed for the door. I glanced back at Richard, a pool of blood now forming around his limp body, and thought, "This had to be done. We couldn't lose our money."

The Beast Returns

by: Cynthia Wells

Rita painfully pulled herself across her hardwood floor to the phone in the hallway. She reached for the receiver to call for help but the line was dead. The two stab wounds in her back were making her weaker by the second. She managed to drag herself onto her front porch, hoping someone would see her lying there and get help. Help came too late. Rita bled to death.

Across town, homicide detectives were busy investigating another crime, which had occurred a day earlier. A man had been stabbed in the back and his neck sliced. This was the second murder of this sort in the past week. Police were beginning to think they had a serial killer on their hands. They knew it was the same killer because at each crime scene a message was written in the victim's blood, "Beware of the Beast." Investigators were puzzled by this message. What could it possibly mean?

Richard York sat in his armchair, a TV dinner on his lap, the television remote in his hand. A news bulletin came across the screen. "Mother of two stabbed and left to die on her own front porch. Police say the killer left the message, 'Beware of the Beast'..." Richard's mind flashed back to when he was a young boy. He was trapped on an island with a group of other boys. There was a beast. At least everyone thought there was a beast. He remembers some of the kids telling the others to beware of the Beast. Could the killer possibly be one of the boys that were trapped on the island with him? He thought the idea was farfetched but still decided to tell the police about it.

At the police station, an officer took his statement and got the names of the boys he could remember being on the island. Ralph Malloway, Jack Merridew and John Mitchell were all he could remember. He told the officer that Ralph and Jack were about five years older than him, but John was his own age. After hearing Richard's story about the events on the island, the police decided to try to locate Jack first. He seemed the most probable suspect of the three.

Jack was found to be living in an old run down house on the bad side of town. Two investigators knocked on the door of the house and heard a male voice tell them to come on in. They stepped inside and saw a man in his mid to late twenties sitting slouched in a living room chair. He wore a stained white T-shirt and faded blue jeans. He looked as if he had not showered in weeks. "Jack Merridew?" One investigator asked. Jack replied with a "Yes." The one investigator asked Jack some questions about the murders, while the other made his way around the small house. The investigator found, on the kitchen table, newspaper cutouts about the three recent murders. Various sentences in the articles were highlighted. This made him very suspicious. He continued to walk until he saw a towel wrapped around what appeared to be a knife. He carefully unwrapped the towel and saw a bloodstained knife. That was all the evidence he needed to arrest Jack.

Jack Merridew was found guilty of three counts of murder in the first degree and was ordered to serve three life sentences in prison, without parole. Psychologists are still uncertain of Jack's motivation to commit these crimes. They do, however, feel he has been severely scared by the events that took place in his childhood.

A Dream Paradise

by: Cynthia Wells

Dark gray clouds rumbled together, as if having a temper tantrum in the sky. Lightning bolted angrily, trying to break up the fighting clouds. The wind blew strongly, causing waves to erupt onto the muddy shore.

I shielded my face from the pounding rain with the sleeve of my yellow raincoat and struggled against the blowing wind to make it to my log cabin.

Finally, inside the cozy one bedroom cabin, I sat down on the beaver fur rug beside the fireplace to dry off. It was almost like a hurricane outside. It had been that way for three straight days now. I would give anything to see the sun peak out from where it was hiding, for the clouds to dry their tears and for the ocean to be calm and clear again.

I lay motionless on the beaver rug, a chenille blanket draped over my damp body. The crackling of the fire was the only sound to be heard. I closed my eyes, praying when I awoke the terrible dreariness outside would have all diminished.

I felt something warm, soft and furry nudging against my cheek. I opened my eyes to find a tiny white kitten laying beside me. The kitten spotted a small colourful butterfly gracefully flying around the room and took off after it. Rays of warm sunshine shone through the open window and a warm breeze blew in. The kitten leapt through the front doorway after it's new flying friend and I took off after them.

Outside my door I stopped and stared in amazement. This was definitely not the same place that had been plagued with a storm hours earlier. The air smelled fresh and clean with a hint of wildflowers. The grass beneath my feet was soft and emerald green. I had entered a wild garden. Everything looked made by nature, man had not laid a hand on this garden. The colourful flowers made way for a stony path. Willow trees provided just the right amount of shade from the sun. I followed the path to a relaxing waterfall. The soothing sound of the flowing water seemed to put me at ease. I sat on a large rock beside the water and dipped my bare feet into the clear cooling water. The sun's rays peaked through the trees and acted like a blanket for me. Colourful flowers surrounded me and I just sat and relaxed. I had not a care in the world. This was indeed paradise. I listened to the calming effect of the falling water and became mesmerized. I closed my eyes and lay on the soft grass next to the water. Birds cheerfully chirping, light wind softly rustling the leaves in the trees and the sound of the flowing water was all that could be heard as I slipped deeper and deeper into the best sleep I'd ever had.

A cold, wet drop of water on my temple was what I awoke to. I turned on my back and the water dripped in my eye. I wiped the water from my eyes and found myself staring at a dark brown wooden ceiling. I felt the floor beneath me and found something soft, my beaver rug. I was back to reality, paradise must have only been a dream.

The Secret Mind Of Ashleigh Falkner

by: Cynthia Wells

The crowd waited in anticipation, as the final shooter got ready to take his shot. It was all riding on Kyle, if he scored, his soccer team would win the title of best team in the district. Ashleigh felt his fear, she knew how he hated to let people down, and not getting this goal would mean he would let his team down. He glanced at her for an encouraging look, he saw it, and took the shot. The ball headed straight for the upper right hand corner. The goalie jumped for it, but it was out of his reach, and the ball flew into the net. Ashleigh ran onto the field and gave her boyfriend a big hug. She knew how relieved and happy he must feel, he loved being the star, and today he was definitely the star.

"Ashleigh? Did you hear what I said? Are you going to the game tonight?" Kara asked, while the two were walking to class.

"Huh?" Replied Ashleigh. Of course she would be going to the game, Kyle would be playing. She had never missed one of his games, and she never planned to. Ashleigh took her eyes off Kyle, greeting his new girlfriend with a hug. How she wished she was that girl, she wondered if his girlfriend knew how lucky she was. She had something that Ashleigh could only dream about, Kyle.

Ashleigh walked into her second period math class, just in time to hear the final bell sound. She sat, slumped down in her desk, listening to the most boring teacher in the world talk about math. This was not her idea of enjoyment.

"Ashleigh Falkner, you have just been chosen to represent Ontario in a North American dance contest, held in Orlando, Florida!" The voice on the other end of the phone receiver announced.

"Dancing, wow!" Thought Ashleigh. This could be her big break, what she had been hoping for her whole life! If she won this contest, she would be known all over North America. People would line up for hours just to see her perform! She would be famous, little children would want to grow up to dance like her. Adults would be asking for dance lessons, she would be popular!

"Ashleigh, to finalize the details of the contest we need you to answer this one question: If over a distance of fourteen hundred kilometres, the average speed of a bus is twenty kilometres an hour faster than a car, and the bus takes four hours less than the car. What is the average speed of the car?"

"Huh?" Replied Ashleigh.

"Miss. Falkner, this is the last time I'm going to ask you, what is the average speed of the car?" Mr. Davis, her math teacher asked, with a hint of impatience in his voice.

"Uh, forty kilometres an hour?" Replied Ashleigh, praying that was the correct answer.

"No!" Declared Mr. Davis, sounding very annoyed. "I suggest you spend more time paying attention, and less time daydreaming."

Ashleigh disregarded his advice and continued on with her dream. Dancing in Orlando was much better than listening to Mr. Davis talk about linear functions and quadratic equations.

The Sun and The Moon

by: Cynthia Wells

Many years ago the earth was covered in complete darkness. As you may believe, this did cause many problems. As people and creatures could not see where they were going.

One day as Eagleus was out flying high in the sky, he bumped into another bird, Raventus. The two birds immediately fell in love.

As the years past, the people were getting very tired of the darkness. Eagleus remembered the stories Raventus had told of her uncle and the magical things he owned. Eagleus asked Raventus to bring him to her uncle's place.

The two birds flew to her uncle's place, high on a mountain. There, Raventus showed Eagleus her uncle's cloak. Under the cloak they found two brightly glowing objects. The one on the right was brighter than the left one.

Eagleus and Raventus took the cloak, with the two objects under it, and flew into the sky. The two birds flew to one side of the earth, and took the brighter object out from under the cloak. They placed it high in the sky. Instantly, that side of the earth was flooded with light. They then flew to the other side of the world and placed the other object into the sky. That part of the earth then had light.

The people cheered when they saw they had light. They called the brighter side of the earth day, and the other was called night.

The Last Storm

by: Cynthia Wells

Dark grey clouds rumbled together, as if having a temper tantrum in the sky. Lightning bolted angrily, trying to break up the fighting clouds. The blowing wind caused waves to erupt onto the deck of the ship. I shielded my face from the pounding rain with the sleeve of my yellow raincoat and struggled against the wind and swaying ship to get to the ropes which held the sails in place. I managed to tie the ropes down and return down below to dryness.

Flashlights were the only source of light in the cabin below, since the storm had taken out the power. Dishes, among other things, were being thrown from cupboards and crashing on the floor and against walls. New bruises had formed on my body from being slammed into obstacles because of the rocking ship.

A sensation which I had seldom felt had begun in my stomach. Almost like a churning feeling in the pit of my stomach. This feeling was unfamiliar to me since I thought I had become accustomed to wonderous waves and swaying ships. I guess my inner parts hadn't encountered too many explosive storms like this one.

I struggled to make it to the rear of the cabin where I could lay down. Already occupying the bed was my sister. Her skin looked clammy and white as a ghost. She was laying in the fetal position with her knees pulled against her chest. Her usually silky looking chestnut hair was now tangled like a bird's nest. There was no room for me on the bed so I just collapsed right there on the floor.

At this point I would give anything to see the sun peak out from where it was hiding, for the clouds to dry their tears and for the ship to get off of it's seesaw and float calmly in the ocean. I could not see that happening anytime in the near future. We were stuck in the eye of this storm and all we could do was try to survive and wish time raced at double speed.

Laying on the floor of the cabin I started to feel something wet beneath me; water. No, I thought, this couldn't be happening! I tasted the water to be sure it was coming from the ocean. It was indeed salty. When I thought I had faced the worst of it all things just kept getting worse. I now had to deal with a leaking ship.

I found the water was coming from a small hairline crack in one of the cabin windows. Glancing around quickly for something that might temporarily fix the crack, I saw something. I reached to grab it when the small crack grew and the whole window shot away. Salty water gushed in and I was hurled onto my back from the initial impact of the water. My only thoughts now were to get off of this boat before it sunk.

Wading back to the bed where my sick sister lay, I picked her up, and ignoring my own churning stomach, made my way back up on deck. I knew at this point things did not look good. I tied a white life vest around my sister and put one on myself as well. The ship gradually sunk deeper and deeper into the water. I knew our chances of surviving now were very dim. No lifeboat was on board, nothing to keep us afloat after the ship was gone, other than the vests we were wearing.

The ship was now almost completely engulfed by the ocean and in a few moments we would be in the icy ocean's hands as well. I could no longer feel the deck of the ship below my feet and knew this was nearly the end. Heavy rain pounded down on my face and the salt from the splashing waves was stinging my eyes. I held onto my sister with all my might. We could not be separated because I knew I was her only chance of survival.

My body was now numb from being in the cold water and I had lost the strength to hold onto my sister. The waves pulled her away from me and she was now in the heart of the ocean, a place I would soon be. Waves splashed and caused my head to go under. Powerful rain, wind and waves were taking my breath away until I took my last breath of ocean air and allowed myself to be taken to where my sister and ship had gone. I was now at peace. The sun had come out from it's hiding place and the clouds had dried their tears. Everything was calm again.

(c) 2001 Cynthia Wells