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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!

Nabu Carnevale - Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep by Kurt Newton

This story was first published in White Knuckles magazine, 1995, and in subsequent publications.

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Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
The highway streamed out of the solitude of the night and rushed beneath her.
Natalie Rivera was on her way home after a long visit with her sister. Her sister had given birth earlier that day, providing Natalie with her first niece and a glimpse at her own dwindling mortality: she was now an aunt. It was an eighty-mile drive to the hospital, but she would have driven eight hundred to celebrate the blessed event. But it was now well after midnight; she had to work in the morning. A couple more exits, she told herself, and she would soon be home.
But as Natalie drove, the longness of her day began to catch up with her. The low drone of the highway. The smooth hum of the engine. The night... the endless pattern of black sky, black trees, black asphalt. For a moment her e…

Nabu Carnevale - Chicken in a Can by L.L. Hill

Hazel took a breath and opened her truck door. Cold air flushed the warmth out of the cab as she stepped out. Lungs locked, her diaphragm heaved, stretched, pulled, and failed to draw in frosty air. Minute flakes landed on the rime blooming on her eyelids. Neon orange flashed -41C. This was January weather before Christmas. Light behind glass doors was shrinking when her lungs sucked frigid air in.
Broken pottery crashed. Hazel turned in a wide step. Across the Alaska Highway a rental truck and trailer were stuck between ditch and snow-covered road. She watched the driver kick the shards away and stomp the root ball under the tire.
She smiled. Turn disaster into triumph, Hazel thought as the door slid open. She clomped inside, small snow clumps falling off. She waved as Constable Quinney headed out, nose over coffee steam.
“There goes the Stop sign again,” Quinney said.
“Again? Maybe you should hang one from the light post and take the old one down the Signpost Forest,” Hazel said. She lo…