Posts tagged ‘free story’


Last summer, which seems like a distant memory as I watch the snow fall, I held a gathering for my writers group. To celebrate the occasion, I wrote a story to read that night. Necrology Shorts published it.

Will Trizma was a writer of ghost stories and mined the local countryside for legends and their settings. The area abounded in both. His wife, Joan, acted as his editor and sounding board for his ideas. At times, the only comment she would make is, “You’re sick.”
Not only did he write ghost stories, but he also dreamt them. One night he conjured a most vivid story; a story from the future. But unlike most of his dreams, he could not remember this tale. The only recollection he had was that it was horrifying.
* * *
It was the evening of August 15, 1949. The time was slightly before ten as a train made its way toward West Chester. There were fifteen souls aboard, counting the crew and passengers on this quiet summer night. The steam locomotive was pushing a caboose and two passenger cars. The weather had been stormy for days and up ahead the foundation of the bridge spanning Ship Road had been undermined by runoff. Jim Purvis, making his last run in a fully-loaded fuel truck, slowly crossed the bridge. As he reached the span’s center, it collapsed leaving the truck astraddle the tracks. Jim could not believe he was still alive considering the load he was carrying. Although injured, he managed to climb out of the ravine and go seek help.
As the train slowly made its way into a depressed section of track, the conductor, Ben Elliot, sat on the caboose’s platform and began filling his pipe thinking about sharing a late dinner with his wife. He looked down to light the pipe, and once achieving a satisfactory burn, he puffed contently, and them looked up. The sight before him made his scream, “Holy sh…! He never finished the expletive.
The caboose rammed the truck, followed by the cars. The locomotive cut through the wreck until it reached the truck exploding the gas tank and turning the wreck into a funeral pyre.
* * *
Writing is a lonely profession, and years ago Will sought out a local writer’s group for support and editorial advice. During the course of a Christmas dinner attended by all the writers, Will and Joan suggested a summer party and volunteered to hold it at their house. As the day of the party approached, a spouse or two became sick and others were called away unexpectedly on business.
Will and his wife greeted their guests, their thirteen guests.
Their dog, Millie, a lab mix was her usual excited self with the arrival of every new visitor. Once everyone was there, she settled down and dozed in the sun.
The conversation was lively with all the creative minds present, and as dusk approached, Will was called upon to tell a ghost story. “Not dark enough yet,” he answered.
Dessert was served, and when there was no longer a hint of sunlight, and with the patio bathed in twilight, Will deemed the time right for his tale and went into the house. He returned with candles, one for each table, after extinguished all inside lights. “Now we have the right atmosphere,” he said. Will began his story and even Millie appeared interested, her eyes reflecting the candlelight.
The weather had been rainy the last few days, and at ten as he began to read, Will noticed a mist begin coming out of the gull bordering one side of his property. A few guests had asked him earlier about the gully and he answered that it had once harbored a railroad track.
The mist became denser and soon overtook the yard along with the guests. One by one they all fell asleep, including Millie. As the wall of fog enveloped all present, fifteen human shapes began to form. The specters slowly made their way to the dozing, and one by one, entered their bodies.
The next morning they awoke from their deep sleep and knowingly smiled at one another. Ben Elliot looked around, and Will’s eyes filled with tears. “We’ve waited sixty years for this moment.”
Millie awoke and growled. She knew there was something terribly wrong with her master.


February 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment





My reluctant readers, here is an offering to commemorate that day of love, Valentine’s Day.  As in most of my stories, there is a twist.  Love is precious in life, and beyond life’s existence.

This story was published by Bewildering Stories.

A Valentine’s Gift

by Walt Trizna

Jim Reed sat in a desolate park in a seedy section of the city and pulled the collar of his badly worn coat up as the North wind howled, he sipped from the bottle concealed in the brown paper bag and, with each sip, a grimace spread across his face while momentary warmth filled his empty belly.

That goddamned day is coming, he thought. He did not have a calendar for a calendar needed a wall on which to hang and his watch was gone, hocked long ago. Jim kept track of the date and headlines the world produced from the newspaper machines along the sidewalk.

He drank rapidly; trying to prevent his mind from wandering to the day he lost his future, his purpose, that Valentine’s Day five years ago. But he could not prevent his numbed mind from reviewing his life and recalling the day his reason for being was erased.

* * *

While in college, Jim developed a drinking problem, and it lingered after graduation. He found a job as an accountant, worked hard during the day and drank hard during the night.

A friend from work wanted to fix Jim up with a girl. A date was arranged, a Dutch-treat dinner. Jim arrived at the Italian restaurant early, sat at the bar drinking red wine when a stunning woman with long black hair walked in searching for someone. She approached Jim and said, “I’m Debbie Wilson, could you be Jim Reed?”

Jim could not believe that this woman was his blind date. He gulped down his wine, took her hand, and headed for the restaurant area. He drank less than he usually did on a blind date and just enjoyed talking to Debbie.

Before he knew it, they had spent two hours over dinner, and he was sober. He wanted to pay for dinner but Debbie demanded to pay her own way. She smiled and said, “Next time you can treat.”

This brought a grin to Jim’s face. Debbie paid her part of the bill, and as the cashier placed the change in her hand, Debbie exclaimed, “What’s this?” She looked down at the dirty white penny in her hand.

“That’s a steel penny,” Jim explained. “One year, during World War II, pennies were made of a lead composite in order to save copper in order to make shell casings.”

Debbie’s eyes brightened as she said, “This is going to be my lucky penny and always remind me of this night.”

Their relationship grew into love, and six months later they were married. They bought a small house and soon Debbie was pregnant. Jim’s life had a hope he had never imagined as he watched Debbie grow with their child.

They found a hospital providing a room for natural birth, but had the facilities to cope with any problems that might occur. One day, as Debbie was preparing a special dinner to celebrate a special day, her water broke. Jim rushed her to the hospital thinking, “By the time this Valentine’s Day is over, I’ll have two loves, not one.”

After they entered the hospital, a nurse took Debbie’s blood pressure and immediately had her rushed to the emergency room. Debbie’s eyes reflected the fear Jim felt as he sat at her bedside. When Debbie began to convulse, Jim was escorted to the waiting room.

Hours later their obstetrician entered the waiting room and sat next to Jim. The doctor’s eyes never left the floor. In a soft voice he told Jim, “I’m sorry but your wife is gone, we lost the baby girl too. If you will come with me, I’ll take you to your wife.”

Jim felt horror, shock and helplessness all at once. On shaky legs he followed the doctor and soon found himself standing next to a bed and staring down at Debbie’s pretty face. She seemed so much at peace while Jim was in such torment.

The next few days were a blur; Jim drank himself into numbness while friends and family expressed their regrets. Jim stayed numb for five years, never cried over his loss, keeping the grief tied up inside. He stayed numb as he was fired and eventually lost his house. He had been homeless for two years now and just didn’t give a damn about anyone or anything.

* * *

Jim left the park and made his way into the city. He mumbled, “That goddamned day is here,” as he sat on the grate of an office building immersed in the steam, trying to stay warm. The hour was late and the street strangely deserted. Steam created an odd glow around the streetlamps. Through the mist, a small girl approached and stood before him.

“I’d like to help you mister,” she said.

Jim yelled, “Get the hell away from me,” but the girl wouldn’t budge. She just stood before Jim as her eyes filled with tears.

“I’d like to help you mister,” she repeated as she placed a small cloth sack before Jim. As she turned to leave she said something strange: “We love you.”

Jim watched through the mist as the girl departed; saw the tall figure of a woman waiting in the distance for the child. The child stood next to the woman and they joined hands as they looked back, and then melted into the mist.

Jim sat there, drinking from his bag and lifted the small cloth sack. He opened it and spilled its contents into his hand. He sat there looking at the single dirty white penny. He lifted the paper bag to his lips and then tossed it away as tears coursed down his face.

Copyright © 2006 by Walt Trizna

February 1, 2010 at 8:56 pm Leave a comment


This story was prompted by a Christmas gathering, but in no way is it a Christmas story.

Published by Bewildering Stories.

Do You Hear What I Hear?
by Walt Trizna

W** was known for his stories of murder and mayhem. Tales of ghosts and monsters were his claim to meager fame. A member of a writers’ group, he enjoyed sharing his twisted stories with the group and the support they provided. But how could they know, imagine, they were not all stories. W** carried demons of his own. Even his wife did not know the visions, the “truths” that journeyed through his muddled brain.
It was during the November writers’ meeting that the group leader, S**, announced, “In place of our December meeting, I suggest we meet for a holiday dinner. It will be a chance to relax and prepare for the year’s writing ahead.” The approval of the group was unanimous.
Reservations were made and the day of the dinner arrived. It was a rainy evening when W** set out for the restaurant. The back and forth motion of the windshield wipers gave him a slight headache. He was one of the last to arrive, greeted his fellow writers and took his seat next to S**.
The room was large with a single circular table at its center. A curious aspect was the room’s ceiling. It was domed with a most unsettling feature. From one side of the room conversations, even in the softest whisper, were conveyed to the opposite side of this domed affair.
As the meal was served, W** looked across the table to C** and G**, deep in conversation, discussing light matters. Suddenly, the conversation changed. To his disbelief, W** heard them plotting his murder. He clearly heard their voices discussing every detail. W** sat in disbelief while those about him laughed and shared stories. His friends asked if there was anything wrong, for he was visibly shaken. “I’m fine,” he replied and left the restaurant to make plans of his own.
January arrived and it was time for another meeting. S** was the last to arrive. “I have terrible news. C** and G** have met with horrible accidents. They are both dead.”
The group sat there in shock. Disbelief was soon followed by sounds of sorrow and grief.
The year swiftly went by. It was a good year with many of the members being published. Once again, at the November meeting, S** announced the plans for a Christmas dinner. The site would be the same as last year.
W** once again made his way to the restaurant, this time during a light and peaceful snow. He greeted his friends and took his place. Once again, he could hear the whispered conversations from across the room. And once again he heard his murder being plotted: this time it was T** and B** who made the fiendish plot. Once again two members of the group were visited with horrible and fatal accidents.
January found the group deep in sorrow once more. That was five years ago. And for each of those years, a Christmas dinner was held and shortly after, two more members met their demise.
Christmas neared once again, but there would be no Christmas dinner, for the only member remaining was W**. A creature of tradition, W** reserved the domed room for his private dinner. There he sat, alone with no whispering conversations to fill his head.
He gazed around at the empty seats, and his ears perked up. There were voices plotting his murder. Looking out at the overflowing restaurant, he saw a young family that he was sure was plotting his end. A fiendish smile crossed his lips. His work was not yet done.

December 20, 2009 at 8:16 pm Leave a comment



Life is full of milestones. There are dates that mark events in our lives. Some events that are happy and some we’d rather forget. We remember the date of our birth, of our marriage, but we also remember 9/11.
The following story marks both types in a woman’s life. The first was tragic, the second of unbelievable joy.
This story was published in Bewildering Stories.

December 4, 2009 at 7:05 pm Leave a comment


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