Other Stories in this issue

The Price of Friendship

by Mike Murphy

About the Author: Mike has had over 150 audio plays produced in the U.S. and overseas. He's won five Moondance International Film Festival awards in their TV pilot, audio play, short screenplay, and short story categories. His prose work has appeared in several magazines and anthologies. In 2015, his script “The Candy Man” was produced as a short film under the title DARK CHOCOLATE. In 2013, he won the inaugural Marion Thauer Brown Audio Drama Scriptwriting Competition. Mike keeps a blog at


The trigger was pulled twice and, as you would expect, two bullets burst forth. 

With a look of utter surprise, the little man groaned, looked down at where the projectiles had hit him, clutched at his bleeding chest, and fell to the already-stained carpet. Milner snatched what he had come for—what he had killed for—and ran out of the hotel room.

Shady Pines Motor Lodge. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? It’s not. It reminds me of every dump I ever stayed at when I was a kid during our dreaded “family vacations”: Two stories tall, with long walkways running past thin wooden doors and a safety rail that you’d better not sneeze on for fear of it collapsing. 

“Furnished rooms” the ancient neon sign boasted. Hah! If you count a beaten-up circular table with a wobbly leg and a kitchen chair straight out of Beaver Cleaver’s kitchen as “furnishings,” OK. I don’t want to think about the history of the mattress that became my bed!

Before the divorce, I wouldn’t have been caught dead in such a place. But, when you suffer through something like that, your options are limited. My ex was awarded almost everything we owned. I got tossed out on my ear with nothing but a beaten-up Ford truck with no A/C and precious few dollars to show for more than a decade of marriage. The only thing I was grateful for was that we never had any kids to put through this hell too. 

And then, the icing on the cake: Seven weeks after the divorce was final, I lost my job at the accounting firm.

Story Comments

Apr 20 - Susan Rickard

This is very suspenseful! Not your typical theft / murder story. Goes a different direction.

Apr 20 - Nina Ritter

Very well written! A couple of hold my breath moments! Ah ha to catch a thief! Never count your chickens before they hatch! Very good!

Apr 20 - Tom Barlow

Now that's a clever twist! I didn't see it coming. Well done!

Apr 20 - Jennifer Kunz

This was very good! Didn't guess the ending, nicely done!

Apr 21 - Robert Chalmers

Good little story

Apr 24 - Elizabeth Varadan

Good job!

Apr 25 - Jim Andisio

Liked it. Reminded me of an old "Twilight Zone" type theme. Like robbing a bank and finding out it's counterfeit money.

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