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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!

Pastor Goodman's Five-Spot Onanist by Stuart Croskell

Pastor Smith stood up behind his desk, neatly setting down his newspaper alongside my résumé. I couldn’t help glancing at the headline and accompanying photo. Another military veteran, a female ex-Staff Sergeant, had vanished off the streets of Gilead Falls.
Smith proffered his hand. “Mr Goodman,” he said, his voice a parched drawl, “it’s a pleasure.”
“Likewise,” I said, shaking his dry, claw-like paw, all the while trying to ignore my poor aching head. 
He returned to his seat, motioning me to sit down. Obeying his instruction, I covertly assessed my potential employer. He was an oddity, for sure. Ancient and desiccated, he perched inside a dusty black suit, two sizes too big. His eyes, though. Man, those amber peepers, they gave off heat. Despite the feverish summer temperature and the absence of any A/C, the Pastor seemed unaffected.
Like its owner, the office had seen better days. The green leather-topped desk was scuffed and frayed, and the chairs were alarmingly rickety, creaking ev…

Agent Chlorine by Dwain Campbell

It is the same old same old. A broken record of “Oh my God, I still can’t get my head around it.”
Normally a taciturn man of few words, Inspector Cormier of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Special Branch barrels on.
“I mean, damn it all Tim. Deadly chlorine clouds billowing everywhere, the Algerians running like scalded dogs, and the Huns all over our backsides. Yet, the one instant that stands out in my mind is you sitting up from underneath that tarpaulin, an hour after the doc pronounced you kaput, dead as a doornail.”
I nod, out of politeness and nothing more. I do not like to dwell on 2nd Ypres. Before the battle I was a King and Country keener. Afterward, just a freak show oddity. Some days I get so depressed I just want to guzzle sodium and turn myself into a pillar of salt.
“Perhaps we can get back to the business at hand, John; 1915 is well in the rearview mirror.” Save for one small Tiffany lamp, all is shadow in this broom closet near the Prime Minister’s Office. He doesn’t w…