Other Stories in this issue

Still Life in South Dakota

by B.K Stevens

About the Author: B.K. (Bonnie) Stevens’ first novel, Interpretation of Murder, is a traditional whodunit that offers readers insights into deaf culture and sign language interpreting. Her young adult novel, Fighting Chance, is a martial arts mystery and also a coming-of-age story. B.K. has also published over fifty short stories, most in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. She has won a Derringer and has been nominated for Agatha and Macavity awards.


That day, for the first time, she went along with it. Unlike most men who came to the diner, the man who approached her that day wore a suit and tie—a rumpled suit, true, and the pale blue tie was too narrow and too loosely knotted, sagging below the collar of a grayish shirt with the top button left undone. Even so, there was something dignified about him, something formal. He’s the doctor, she thought, the one who runs the clinic across the street. He looked about fifty but could easily be forty or sixty. She always had a hard time guessing the ages of people in this town.

He walked over to her table. “Hello, Annette. Good to see you again.”

She hesitated, then shook his hand. “It’s good to see you, too.”

Smiling, he pressed a hand on her shoulder, briefly but firmly. “Welcome home, Annette,” he said, and walked on, leaving the diner, crossing the street.

It was a pleasant exchange. Except, of course, that her name wasn’t Annette, and Persistence, South Dakota, had never been her home. She hadn’t set foot in this town until last week. Yet everyone here seemed to recognize her. Obviously, she looked like some woman named Annette, someone who’d lived here once and moved away. Until today, she’d corrected people, every time: “You’ve got me confused with someone else. I’m Megan Walsh, from Minneapolis.” Whenever she’d said that, people had smiled vaguely, as if they hadn’t quite understood or thought it was some odd joke. The next time they’d seen her, they’d called her Annette again.

Story Comments

Mar 31 - Susan Rickard

Really different. Like a Stephen King story. Creepy and suspenseful!

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