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Introduction

The mystery story is two stories in one: the story of what happened and the story of what appeared to happen.
~ Mary Roberts Reinhart

Here at Tell-Tale Press, we hope to entertain you with quality stories from talented writers around the world. Some stories may include graphic violence, erotica, or both. They have been indicated as such before the story begins. Thank you for joining us, and happy reading!

Petting Zoo by Steve Toase

“Can I have an ice cream? Please, Daddy? I’ve got enough pocket money.”
Ben looked at the two inches of snow across the path into the wild park and shook his head. His son’s face dropped.
“It’s too cold, Alfie. If you spend your money on ice cream, you won’t have enough for the gift shop.”
Michael knelt down by Alfie, put something in his small hand, and closed his fingers over the top.
“If your daddy won’t let you spend your own money, then you can spend Grandad’s. What flavour do you want?”
Ben watched them walk over to the kiosk. The attendant looked puzzled for a moment, then opened the freezer and passed over a ready packaged cone.
“For fuck’s sake,” Ben said under his breath, but loud enough for Sophie to hear. “Why does he always do that?”
“Because he wants to treat his only grandson,” she said, lacing her gloved fingers into his.
“And because he wants to undermine me.”
She shrugged and walked them both across to a map of the park, the glass frosted to opaque.
“If it bothers you that muc…

Blue and Green by GB Burgess

At the door of the Seity Gallery, I handed my invitation to an art attendant wearing sleek black. As she noted the name on the embossed card, I peeked through the entrance. Furs, trendy specs and expensive hairdos packed the dimly lit building.
I glanced down at my imitation silk dress and plastic gemstone necklace. The soft lighting wouldn’t be enough to disguise the inferior quality of my clothes. Still, it was a step up from my school uniform, which Ms. Mill suggested I wear. If I hoped to pass for an artist, I needed to keep my high school status hidden.
“You must be the winner of the school art contest?” the art attendant said.
So much for my secret identity.
“Congratulations, Imogen. Welcome to the Two Sides Exhibition.” She looked around me. “Will your plus-one be joining you?”
I formed a plastic smile. “I’m alone.” It was either come alone or bring Ms. Mill.
The woman’s eyebrows rose. “You chose to attend alone? At your age?”
Who said anything about choice?
“I’m only here for the …