Posted in An Authors Thoughts

MAY IS SHORT STORY MONTH!

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Checkout all the great short stories by members of the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

For Short Story Month, here’s one I cooked up over a picture I saw on Twitter:

DEAD RECKONING

Matilda Boucheron—although she preferred the moniker Tilly to the full tilt version of her name—lowered her shapely bottom onto the edge of one of two crypts resting side-by-side in the private cemetery. She slipped off one of her black stilettos and held it by the long, slender heel. There were diamond studs in a line from the top down to the hard tip, flashing in the sunlight. Tipping the heel over, she casually let an annoying pebble to fall to the ground. After wiping her black, silk stockinged foot with her hand, she slid the dangerously pointed toed, designer pump back on her foot.

“I love this place,” she said in her Louisiana syrupy drawl. She drew herself up from the cold marble. “It’s so restful.” She giggled. “I’m sorry, darlin’, I shouldn’t be so disrespectful to the dead.” The word dead was drawn out into almost three syllables.

She was completely alone in the cemetery, although she never behaved as if she were alone anywhere, always acknowledging the presence of someone watching her, and listening to her every word. In this case, it was the dead who were watching and listening, and in her way of thinking, they were enraptured with her every word.

“I keep seein’ that damned snake, though,” she continued. “I kin smell it, too. I’ll be walkin’ to the kitchen, or in the garden, or doin’ my ablutions, and there’s that smell… a stinkin’ whiff of evil… The ol’ devil serpent.” She sighed in a dismissive way, waving her hand under her sculpted nose. “I miss y’all,” she said while spreading a big smile across her face. She shook her head. “Really, I do. I promise.”

Dead Reckoning

Falling to her knees on the grass, her cool gray eyes were not fixed on anything. She ran her hands over the cold, smooth stone of the crypts, as if she were trying to comfort the occupant within. Then, she laid a white rose on the stone cross, rose from her knees, then strolled around the crypt toward the other. Gently, she laid a rose on the second crypt. Out of the corner of her eye she saw movement under a palm.

“There it is,” she said pointing. “I am sorry that spirit won’t leave y’all in peace, but I don’t think that varmint likes you. Someone must have put a gris gris on y’all.” She giggled. “Imagine that… a gris gris. Hale, you never believed in such things.”

Standing between the two crypts, she kissed her manicured fingers, then laid them on each one. The rusty face of the sun shown through the cypress trees, casting its light onto the prehistoric palms and the crypts beneath them. The diamond on her finger flashed, and she admired it, raising it up to let it sparkle.

“Oh, y’all wonderin’ about this,” she said, holding up her hand to show off her ring. “It’s just a dreegailles, a trinket. Just a little ol’ thing that I needed to help ease the pain of losing my husband and my sister at the same time.” She raised her black veil. “It goes with this.” She ran the back of her fingers under the diamond necklace. “And these.” She flicked an earring. “I do regret killin’ the snake. One of God’s creatures. But it had to be killed, even though it was only doin’ what snakes do, and that was defendin’ itself by bitin’ y’all. Why y’all wouldn’t have noticed a hurricane. Probably, cuz you were so distracted. I mean, y’all were havin’ sex in my bed. That would have been enough to distract me, too.” She leaned forward as if she were about to impart a secret. “He was very good at it, wasn’t he Kallie?” She turned to walk away, but paused, and faced both crypts. “C’est sa couillion, Hale,” she said. “Oh, I forgot.” She placed her fingers over her mouth. “Y’all never did understand Cajun, did ya? You were a fool to be with Kallie, ya cheatin’ bastard,” she said with deadly earnestness. “Y’all should never have slept with my sister. And Kallie,” she directed her eyes to the other crypt, “ya lyin’ bitch. Seducin’ my husband in my bed is a treachery that just can’t be forgiven. Y’all had to die.”

The sun disappeared behind a large fluffy cloud, easing the heat of the day. Tilly couldn’t get the image of the two of them in her bed out of her head, moaning in delight, their naked bodies locked in a climatic sexual embrace. Glancing down at her ring, she stretched a wide grin across her face, then turned to wave her fingers at the two crypts.

“The money does help ease the pain, though. See y’all in hell.”

She turned and strolled toward the gate, leaving the crypts behind.

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Author:

NOIRE MYSTERIES of Chéri Vausé - Chéri Vausé begins all her stories with just one dangerous word. She writes Noir. After teaching theology for more than 25 years, she retired to write full-time. Her genre? Everything from crime fiction to horror. She's even working on several SF stories. Cheri lives in Central Texas on a small ranch with her husband, two dogs, and four ducks.

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