Other Stories in this issue

Not A Smart Way To Start A Negotiation

by Michael McGlade

About the Author: Michael McGlade is an Irish writer with 90 short stories in journals such as Spinetingler, The Big Click, Plan B, and Both Barrels anthology by One Eye Press. He holds a master's degree in English and Creative Writing from the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen's University, Ireland. Represented by the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, he's currently writing his debut novel. Find out the latest news and views from him on


They removed the rich woman’s handcuffs and the scratchy cloth hood that had been tugged roughly over her salon hair. Elizabeth was wearing a low-cut evening dress, glossy as a new peeled egg, and her bugged-out green eyes were sharp as stinging nettles.

The two men standing in front of her were in their early thirties, and around the same age as Elizabeth. Both men wore matching suits the dark color of freshly tilled cemetery clay. The short man was hardly four feet tall and Elizabeth in her stilettos towered over him. The other man was six-six and two hundred and fifty pounds of piano-wire-tense muscle.

Elizabeth had been gagged with duct tape and the smaller of the two men tore the tape away and she winced.

“That should save you a salon visit,” Small Guy said.

The handcuffs had discolored Elizabeth’s wrists to the color of blueberry jam: she bruised easily, not used to the hard life. Now she began to sob uncontrollably, her thin body racked with shudders, tears beading down her pale cheeks.  

Both men glanced uncomfortably away from her.

“Quit the act,” Small Guy hissed. “You’re fooling no one.”

She ceased weeping and stroked a ribbon of chestnut hair behind her shoulder with her trembling hand.

Story Comments

Dec 10 - Earl Staggs

A delightful story. Thanks for a fun read.

Dec 10 - Gloria B.

This was different. Great description and language. Enjoyed it!

Dec 10 - Nina Ritter

Quite suspenseful! I truly enjoyed the unfolding of the story. Fan-tastic work!

Dec 11 - Elizabeth Varadan

Good story, well-developed.

Dec 12 - Ricky Sprague

A brisk, spare, and fun story with some very good dialogue. Nice job!

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