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Paddy Bostock

Noddy In Wonderland

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And indeed it was. A night even starrier than Van Gogh’s, but in this case only a seascape beneath it. Gentle, white-topped wavelets glimmered as man, woman, and dog trod the white sand. Could have been going anywhere. Could have been going to the ends of the earth.

“Sing me a song, Nod,” said Meryl, as Arnaud gallumphed into the sea.

“What kind of a song?”

“Anything that takes your fancy. Something right for a night like this.”

“Night like what?”

“Romantic,” said Meryl, squeezing his hand.

Noddy stared out across the sea.

“Don’t know any songs like that, do I?” he said.

Which was true, seeing as Noddy’s only notion of romance thus far into his life was how quickly he could get a girl’s knickers off, do the business, check his wallet, and go home.

“Must know some.”

Noddy jammed knuckles into his mouth, lowered his head, rotated his eyes, and thought. Never had he told a girl he loved her. But there had to be a first time for everything, and there were these funny feelings he’d kept having about Meryl lately, weren’t there? Feelings he couldn’t even put a name to. Was that love? And if so, what song would best sing it?

“Tell you what. Try this one,” he finally said, drawing a deep breath before hollering verse one of the Beatles’ “Love Me Do” into that starry, starry night. Using Sir Paul McCartney’s words and hoping they might speak for him. Although, Noddy had no idea of how “true” he would “always” be capable of being.

But Meryl had sussed Noddy weeks ago.

“Me luvver... me sweet, sweet luvver. No better song could you have chosen. And, if you want to know, I love you too. And I always will.”

“Yeah, well,” he said. “You asked for a song.”

 

 

 

Evelyn Cullet

Once Upon A Crime

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The sound of the van pulling up to the front of the cottage made Charlotte’s heart skip a beat. Striker grabbed her arm, pulled her off the sofa and walked her toward the front door.

He opened it wide, and put his face next to hers. “When we get outside, don’t try anything funny.”

He pulled the handle on the back door of the van, and swung it open. “Get in.”

She stood straight and stiff, her chin lifting in her most defiant stance as she braced her feet in the snow.

His hard eyes stared her down. “I said, get in!”

When she didn’t move, he lunged at her. She dodged to the side and delivered a sharp kick to his knee. He’s not getting me in that van.

He grunted and stumbled back. She spun around and made a mad dash toward the lake, but her short legs struggled in the deep snow. Striker’s long strides caught up with her after a few moments. He grabbed her around the waist and lifted her off the ground.

“All right.” He grunted under her weight. “If you wanna do things the hard way…”

She twisted and squirmed and kicked at him with every ounce of strength she had, but his grip was so unyielding, as he walked back, that only a few of her blows made contact. He shoved her into the van. She managed to get in a strong kick to his hand before he slammed the door, leaving her breathless in the dark.

  

 

Diana J. Febry

Bells On Her Toes

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My head clears as Jake, Ben and Sue slink away. They know in their hearts they go about things the wrong way. It is up to me to put everything right. Justice will be done, but not out of my need for cruel revenge. When the whole truth is revealed my actions will be seen as correct and carried out with courage and dignity.

I am so close to the truth.

 

 

Kev Richardson

Beresford At Bay

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When once home, with my mind more settled, I wrote a detailed report to Armstrong on what became known as the ‘Düsseldorf Affair’, how it had arisen and its history. It leaked, to soon become international news. American film crews wanted interviews on it, but it was ‘classified information’.

Armstrong believed that any sort of news about it was essential to the world realising ‘anti-Nazi’ activity was high in Allied priorities, so long as the real truths were never known.

The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded on truth, is something I read somewhere,” Armstrong told me. “I cannot recall its author, Berry, but it’s too true to let even wisps of truth through to film hounds. They’ll distort all semblance of it!”

 

 

Gabriel Timar

My Jungle

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“I might as well take you first,” the officer said.

I filled out the form and handed it over.

“I see you took part in the actual fighting. Did you?”

“Yes, sir, I did.”

“How many Russian tanks did you destroy?”

“None. I don’t know if I killed or wounded anybody. When you’re in a firefight, you’re trying to stay alive and have no time to count the bodies.”

The policeman put down his pencil. “What did you do actually?” he asked.

“Not much, to be honest with you. I fought at the radio station, in the outskirts of Budapest, and taught many youngsters weapons’ handling. After the Russian counterattack on November four, I became an urban guerrilla until I decided to leave,” I replied.

“The people going through this camp claimed to have destroyed one hundred and thirty-six Russian T-thirty-four tanks. Can you believe that?”

“If it were true, the Hungarian Revolutionary Army would just about now be entering the Red Square in Moscow and starting the liberation of the oppressed Russian people,” I said. I felt ashamed of the lack of truthfulness of my countrymen.

The policeman laughed. “I believe I just met the first real freedom-fighter in the Schwartzensee camp.”

The questionnaire was simple, and we processed all the new arrivals, finishing the job well before lunch. Most people declared taking active part in the fighting. They claimed twenty-two tanks destroyed among them.

“If it were all true, you guys would have taken Stalingrad with ease,” the Austrian policeman said. He winked

 

Coming Next Month

 

A Scent of Almond by Richard Barnes

Deadly Bayou by A. C. Mason