Tag Archive | Short stories

A Stranger on the Train by Karen J Mossman

Originally posted on The Magic of Stories -October 20, 2018

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Jenna heard the song on the radio and the sweet rawness of the words transported her back two years when she met a stranger on a train.

She was travelling to London to visit Aunt Ivy and running late. She pulled open a carriage door just as the whistle blew. Too late, she realised she was in a first-class compartment and there was a lone occupant inside. He looked up with surprise. “Sorry,” she said, not meaning to invade his privacy. The train lurched forward throwing her into the seat and almost into his lap. “I’m so sorry,” she said again.

He was very handsome with the deepest brown eyes she had ever seen.

“It’s okay, as you’re here,” he said. She hadn’t expected to hear an American voice in the heart of England.

Jenna sat down in the seat opposite. The train carriage was small. Outside it was hot and clammy and not a day for travelling. The open window made little difference to the humidity and trying to draw him into a conversation was proving difficult. Giving up, Jenna settled back to rest and fell asleep.

Waking up, she found the train stationery and Nino, as she later learnt, was nowhere in sight. Pulling out a magazine she read the problem page and was part way through someone’s acne breakout when he opened the door. He looked like an Adonis dressed black.

“Hi,” he drawled. “It’s so damned hot in here, I thought we could use a drink.” He was carrying two cans of cola.

“Oh, thank you,” she said. “Just what I needed.”
“I don’t think the British have heard of air conditioning,” he said as he sat down he pulled the ring off the can.

“Well this weather is unusual,” she replied taking in his square solid chin and small nose. Those deep-set eyes set her heart racing when he looked at her.

“Sure as hell is,” he said taking a long swig.

“Are you on holiday?” she asked.

“I’m working. You?”

“I’m visiting my aunt. I erm…” For a moment she contemplated telling him and then thought, what the heck, he was just a stranger. “I’m escaping a broken romance and my aunt says she has just the remedy for a broken heart.”

For the first time Nino looked interested. “Why would anyone break your heart, honey?”

His eyes softened and the way he called her honey made her pulse quicken.

“Because Pete found someone else who was more exciting and prettier than me, the bastard. We’d only been together two years.” She shrugged. She still couldn’t believe she had meant so little to him. Feeling the familiar lump in her throat, she grinned as if she had said something funny.

“I’m sorry,” he replied sympathetically.

“So,” she said with exaggerated brightness. “My aunt is going to take me out and has promised me a good time. In fact,” she knew she was babbling now, “tomorrow she’s taking me to a concert at the Lords Hall.”

Nino raised his eyebrows, “Lord’s Hall, no kidding?”

“Yeah, you know it?”

“I’m going too.”

“Well, that’s a coincidence! I’ve never heard of the singer which isn’t surprising as my aunt has weird taste in music sometimes but hey, if it gets me out…”

“Sure does. And you never know you might enjoy it.”

“Yeah, bloody singing Eyetie who probably thinks he’s God’s gift to women.” Nino looked amused. “He’s got a foreign sounding name, so I hope he sings in English.”

“He does. His name’s Santario and he’s all right.”

“Thank goodness for that. We have front row seats, so I can hardly sneak out if he is rubbish!”

The journey flew by as they chatted, and Jenna felt a fleeting disappointment when he didn’t suggest they meet up at the concert.

***

Surprisingly, Lord’s Hall was packed. Jenna wondered how so many people had heard of him when she hadn’t.

“You’ll love him, I promise.” Aunt Ivy gushed at Jenna’s scepticism.

“Ladies and Gentlemen.” A disembodied voice announced as the show began. “Please welcome on stage Mr Nino Santario!”

The auditorium erupted into a standing applause as the singer appeared. The only person still seated and not clapping was Jenna. Shocked, she stared at the stranger from the train.

He was wearing all black again, jeans, tee-shirt and a leather jacket with tassels that swayed as he moved. He had talent and Jenna was soon up with the rest of them applauding, dancing and enjoying the performance.

Back in the present, the song on the radio ended. Jenna let the memories wash over her. After three encores, she and Aunt Ivy had been invited back stage. Everyone was vying for his attention, but he only had eyes for her.

Later they had dinner, Aunt Ivy smiled, declining his offer to join them, she had to go home and feed the cat. She didn’t have a cat. After they had eaten Nino asked if she had ever been to a casino, she hadn’t, and it was a great experience.

For his next concert, Jenna had sat in the wings and he was even better close up, especially when every time he came off stage, he kissed her!

She followed him around various interviews and photo shoots. She was even with him when he recorded the songs for his debut album.

Everyone treated him like royalty. They all believed this up-and-coming star would be the next big thing. They treated him with such reverence that even he thought he was royalty at times.

Jenna remembered one radio interview where she sat facing Nino, but behind the interviewer. She decided to give him direction

“And when did you discover you could sing?” asked the man.

Jenna rocked her arms and Nino said. “When I was a baby.”

“Really? That young?”

Jenna put her fingers to her eyes pretending to wipe away the tears and Nino said: “I used to cry in tune.”

“Really?” he said again appearing to believe every word.

Nino looked at Jenna who put her hands together in prayer. “I used to cry in church.” She shook her head and Nino said, “I mean sing, I used to sing in church.”

The man nodded, “When you were older, of course?” She held up her fingers and Nino said, “Three, when I was three.”

They had laughed so much and as more interviews came, it got sillier. Jenna tried to put him off whenever he was trying to be too serious.

One day, things went too far, and they ordered Jenna out of the recording studio. Nino was up in arms and walked out too. Everyone was in a flurry about wasted recording time and who was footing the bill.

One night in the hotel room after they had laughed about the day’s antics, Nino said. “I love you, Jen.”

She caught her breath, “But you don’t even know me.”

“Honey, I’ve had the best time. That Pete must have been mad.” He kissed her neck and her skin turned to fire. “I knew you were different the moment you walked onto the train.”

“You mean fell on,” she laughed. “And, you didn’t really want to talk.”

His kisses travelling down her shoulders and she groaned.

“I just wanted to look at you,” he said, his hot breath caressing her.

Sighing and unable to resist him anymore, she found his mouth and drew him in. “Oh Nino, Nino,” she cried, wanting him more than ever.

Picking her up, Nino carried her to the bed where they fell into each other’s arms. Making love to him was an amazing experience, and she didn’t know it then, but it was to be the last time.

***

Now, Jenna stared out of the kitchen window. Their relationship really had been that good. The song faded, and the DJ said, “Nino Santario there, with Broken Dreams, dedicated, he says, to a girl he loved and lost.”

Jenna’s legs went weak, as she felt for the chair. Her heart was still broken for what she’d lost. After all this time, he still loved her!

“And if you want to catch Nino, he will be in Manchester on the 8th and 9th next month. Next we have….”

“Poor Nino,” she whispered out loud. Their affair was all too brief. He had kissed her and said he would see her later. She left his hotel and never saw him again. Later she realised she hadn’t told him anything about herself. All he knew was her first name and that wasn’t even her given name.

Going into town was a daunting task. The bus driver called out her stop and she disembarked. It wasn’t difficult finding where he was staying.

“Can I help you Miss?” a voice beside her asked.

She jumped and turned to him, “Is this The Imperial?”

“It is. Shall I escort you to reception?”

“If you don’t mind,” she said, mounting the steps with him.

“May I help you?” asked the girl at reception as Jenna approached.

“I believe Mr Santario is staying here?” Her heart was pounding making her sound breathless.

“I’m sorry but I can’t give out that information.”

“I’m an old friend of his, you see. Will you to pass this note to him? Would you do that?”

“Well I…”

“I assure you I’m not some crazy fan trying to get near him.”

“Well, all right then, but it doesn’t mean he is staying here.”

Jenna smiled. “I understand. I’ll just wait, is there a seat?”

“Yes, I’ll show you.”

Jenna waited for what seemed like an eternity, her heart thumping wildly. She formed the words in her mind. “Aunt Ivy and I were in a car crash, she died, and it left me like this.”

Then she heard his voice call her name and could imagine his face. She picked up her white stick and went to him.

The end

 

MagicofStories

 

This story is taken from Karen’s book The Magic of Stories. It contains a collection of short stories and poetry. Karen is a multi genre author and this book is divided up into different categories, from romance to paranormal, from stories in poetry to short five-line tails.

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Such Violent Delights Anthology

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Your holiday season is about to get a whole lot wickeder…

Such Violent Delights: A Holiday Paranormal Anthology

is releasing today,  November 13th!

 
Title: Such Violent Delights: A Holiday Paranormal Anthology
Genre: Paranormal romance, Fantasy
Cover Design: Jay Aheer Simply Defined Art

Eleven all new stories from twelve top paranormal romance authors. From Heaven to Hell, fae worlds, superheroes, and even through the looking glass, these holiday themed short stories bring a whole new meaning to the 12 days of Christmas.

Featuring:45367177_764733427204535_3778994608235610112_n

  • Stacey Marie Brown – Descending Into Madness (A Winterland Tale)
  • Chantal Fernando – Suck Me
  • Jessica Florence – Hero Holiday Trials
  • Amelia Hutchins – Oh, Holy Knight (Wicked Knights Series)
  • S.L. Jennings – Devil’s Darling (A Se7en Sinners Short)
  • Amo Jones – DYAVOL
  • Knox & Miers – Deck the Demons (A Halfblood Huntress Prequel)
  • Kim Loraine – On A Cold Winter’s Night
  • Anne Malcom – Buried Destiny
  • R. Scarlett – The Winter Solstice
  • Alice K. Wayne – The Nutcrackers (A Breed Christmas Short)

AmazonB&NKoboiBooks
Add to Goodreads

 

All proceeds donated to charity. Donation to Project Night Night in Isabel’s name. Help us help children in need this holiday season.

#SuchViolentDelights #ProjectNightNight #Charity

 
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Mayhem, Madness and Mirth

Jessica Wren and Ian Williams challenge each other with monthly themes on the blog:

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth

Follow the blog to be notified when new stories are uploaded each month!

 

September’s theme is On The Road

Four Lanes

Four Lanesby Jessica Wren

When Ashleigh Owens runs into the path of Chris Sterling’s 18-wheeler truck the two form an unbreakable link that transcends the barrier between the dead and the living.

Mile Marker 13

Mile Marker 13by Ian Williams

A night time drive turns into a terrifying journey.

The Authors:

Jessica Wren

jessJessica is a teacher and author from Georgia. Her debut novel is Ice, a paranormal thriller about a small town under siege.

Jessica is also working on the second edition of Ice and a paranormal dystopian trilogy: The Solomon Project, The Rehoboam Sanctions, and The Abijah Coalition. This trilogy will follow three generations of men who are singled out for brutality by the iron-fisted Conference of Independent Nations (C.I.N.). Jessica cannot wait to have this trilogy in its final form.

 

Ian Williams

ianIan is a Science Fiction writer from the UK. His first novel, Transitory, is a murder mystery/thriller set on a distant moon, where a strange alien festival is taking place.

His next book was The Sentient Collector; a futuristic tale of technology gone too far and humanity’s overreliance on AI. It was followed by The Sentient Mimic, and then the final in the trilogy, The Sentient Corruption.

 

 

Previous themes on Mayhem, Madness and Mirth – Great lttle stories. 🙂
Christmas Horror/Thriller
Man v Nature
Deadly Games
They come at night
Technology Gone Awry
Forgotten in Time

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth

Jessica Wren and Ian Williams challenge each other with monthly themes on the blog:

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth

Follow the blog to be notified when new stories are uploaded each month!

August’s theme is Forgotten in Time

Peaches

peaches1by Jessica Wren

After a freak tsunami devastates the East Coast, Bryce and his two closest friends must stick together to survive. A fantastical farmer’s market strengthens the trio’s bond.

Forget Me Not

forgetmenot1by Ian Williams

You are Danielle. You live in terror, forced to relive the same moment of your husband’s gruesome death over and over.

The Authors:

Jessica Wren

jessJessica is a teacher and author from Georgia. Her debut novel is Ice, a paranormal thriller about a small town under siege.

Jessica is also working on the second edition of Ice and a paranormal dystopian trilogy: The Solomon Project, The Rehoboam Sanctions, and The Abijah Coalition. This trilogy will follow three generations of men who are singled out for brutality by the iron-fisted Conference of Independent Nations (C.I.N.). Jessica cannot wait to have this trilogy in its final form.

 

Ian Williams

ianIan is a Science Fiction writer from the UK. His first novel, Transitory, is a murder mystery/thriller set on a distant moon, where a strange alien festival is taking place.

His next book was The Sentient Collector; a futuristic tale of technology gone too far and humanity’s overreliance on AI. It was followed by The Sentient Mimic, and then the final in the trilogy, The Sentient Corruption.

 

 

 

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -Christmas Horror/Thriller
Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -Man v Nature
Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -Deadly Games
Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -They come at night
Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -Technology Gone Awry

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth

Jessica Wren and Ian Williams challenge each other with monthly themes on the blog:

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth

Follow the blog to be notified when new stories are uploaded each month!

 

July’s theme is Technology Gone Awry

 

GameMaster

gamemasterby Jessica Wren

The lines between reality and gaming becomes blurred when the executive of GameMaster, Inc. becomes involved in a legal scandal.

 

 

 

The Clockmaker’s Tale

clockmakerby Ian Williams

George is a workaholic who is obsessed with making clocks. When a salesman approaches him with a device that could make him work harder and faster, he is intrigued. Although he is given a free trial period, he soon learns that the costs for increased output is unbearably high.

 

 

The Authors:

Jessica Wren

jessJessica is a teacher and author from Georgia. Her debut novel is Ice, a paranormal thriller about a small town under siege.

Jessica is also working on the second edition of Ice and a paranormal dystopian trilogy: The Solomon Project, The Rehoboam Sanctions, and The Abijah Coalition. This trilogy will follow three generations of men who are singled out for brutality by the iron-fisted Conference of Independent Nations (C.I.N.). Jessica cannot wait to have this trilogy in its final form.

 

Ian Williams

ianIan is a Science Fiction writer from the UK. His first novel, Transitory, is a murder mystery/thriller set on a distant moon, where a strange alien festival is taking place.

His next book was The Sentient Collector; a futuristic tale of technology gone too far and humanity’s overreliance on AI. It was followed by The Sentient Mimic, and then the final in the trilogy, The Sentient Corruption.

 

 

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -Christmas Horror/Thriller
Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -Man v Nature
Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -Deadly Games
Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -They come at night

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth

Jessica Wren and Ian Williams challenge each other with monthly themes on the blog:

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth

Follow the blog to be notified when new stories are uploaded each month!

June’s theme is They come at night

Fire Lake

fire-lakev21by Jessica Wren

When a group of college students disappear without a trace from a popular party spot, Harry becomes obsessed with solving the mystery. Believing the answer lies in an ancient Greek legend, Harry finds himself on a treacherous mission that even he, a respected psychiatrist, may not be prepared to handle.

Uninvited

uninvitedv21by Ian Williams

Reclusive Daniel is fascinated with the life of his neighbor, Jenny. When he starts getting nightly visits from an ominous creature, he soon realizes that he may be the only one who can defeat the real monster.

 

 

 

 

The Authors:

Jessica Wren

jessJessica is a teacher and author from Georgia. Her debut novel is Ice, a paranormal thriller about a small town under siege.

Jessica is also working on the second edition of Ice and a paranormal dystopian trilogy: The Solomon Project, The Rehoboam Sanctions, and The Abijah Coalition. This trilogy will follow three generations of men who are singled out for brutality by the iron-fisted Conference of Independent Nations (C.I.N.). Jessica cannot wait to have this trilogy in its final form.

 

Ian Williams

ianIan is a Science Fiction writer from the UK. His first novel, Transitory, is a murder mystery/thriller set on a distant moon, where a strange alien festival is taking place.

His next book was The Sentient Collector; a futuristic tale of technology gone too far and humanity’s overreliance on AI. It was followed by The Sentient Mimic, and then the final in the trilogy, The Sentient Corruption.

 

 

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -Christmas Horror/Thriller
Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -Man v Nature
Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -Deadly Games

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth

Jessica Wren and Ian Williams challenge each other with monthly themes on the blog:

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth

Follow the blog to be notified when new stories are uploaded each month!

May’s theme is Deadly Games

The Jumping Game

The Jumping Game – Jessica Wrenby Jessica Wren

In the future, the Sate of Florida is dismissed from the Union. Jacksonville becomes a lawless wasteland where every day is a fight for survival. Hunter Courtney sells the secrets for winning the Jumping Game, a dangerous gamble that can only result in death or freedom.

 

The Three Earth Trials

The Three Earth Trials – Ian Williamsby Ian Williams

Malosi and her team go on an adventure of a lifetime through three different versions of Earth. Along the way, they learn that legend does not always match reality.

 

 

 

 

 

The Authors:

Jessica Wren

jessJessica is a teacher and author from Georgia. Her debut novel is Ice, a paranormal thriller about a small town under siege.

Jessica is also working on the second edition of Ice and a paranormal dystopian trilogy: The Solomon Project, The Rehoboam Sanctions, and The Abijah Coalition. This trilogy will follow three generations of men who are singled out for brutality by the iron-fisted Conference of Independent Nations (C.I.N.). Jessica cannot wait to have this trilogy in its final form.

 

Ian Williams

ianIan is a Science Fiction writer from the UK. His first novel, Transitory, is a murder mystery/thriller set on a distant moon, where a strange alien festival is taking place.

His next book was The Sentient Collector; a futuristic tale of technology gone too far and humanity’s overreliance on AI. It was followed by The Sentient Mimic, and then the final in the trilogy, The Sentient Corruption.

 

 

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -Christmas Horror/Thriller
Mayhem, Madness and Mirth -Man v Nature