55 Fiction

“The World’s Shortest Stories” yearly contest

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Where There’s a Will

Civilization relies on lies, half-truths, bad decisions and personal greed whether we like it or not.

The police detectives in this story are mendacious, rapacious and perpetrate all these characteristics plus many more transgressions.

an excerpt from this contemporary short story …

Ice cubes rattled as Mateo drained his Scotch. He looked at the cold contents of the glass wistfully as if contemplating a passing wonderment. Then he waved at the bartender -- ever attentive to the motion — who immediately came over to pour.

“I never have time for anything these days,” Mateo’s drinking buddy said from the barstool next to him. The pour over Mateo’s glass ended and the bartender held the bottle aloft, half tilted above the other. “Sure,” Gilroy said barely missing a beat in his soliloquy. “I mean, I never see my wife or kids, let alone my attorney,” he lifted his refreshed glass and polished off the whisky in one pull. “So here’s to ya, ol’ buddy.” He brought the empty container down and banged it on the counter with a satisfied smile. “That’s mainly because things have been going so well at work. I mean, the paper is really paying off after all those years of struggle.”

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“So how does a weekly do in a sea of them?”

“If I tell you my accountant says I have to buy an SUV, does that answer your question?”

“Certainly. A gift to the upper class: accelerated tax relief. But, it’s great to see success. Always makes me wish I’d gone into a different profession. Y’know, I almost became a newsman. I was on the journalism staff at both city college and state. My undergrad major was literature, minor in journalism. In fact, that’s what kept me out of the army when I got drafted.”

Gilroy looked at Mateo with a squint. “How d’ya mean?”

“Flunked the physical because I went to college.”

This story is 23 pages long, available in PDF format. BUY STORY NOW for $1.

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