Other Stories in this issue

Exhibiting Signs Of Death

by Mark Thielman

About the Author: Mark Thielman is a criminal magistrate working in Fort Worth, Texas. Formerly, he spent twenty-seven years as a prosecutor for Tarrant and Dallas counties. A two-time Black Orchid Award-winning novella author, Mark’s short fiction has been published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and anthologies including the Mystery Writers of America collection Odd Partners. He lives in Fort Worth with his wife, two sons, and an oversized dog.


I pulled the RV into the parking lot of the Tort Law Hall of Fame. I never imagined that slip-and-fall cases merited their own museum, but as I motored through Berkshire, Massachusetts on the state highway, I saw the sign and then the building, I jerked the wheel hard and steered in on impulse. I’d never been an attorney, but before I retired from the police department, I’d made friends with a couple of prosecutors. We’d remained pals after they’d become ambulance chasers and mouthpieces … sorry, defenders of the Constitution. The fact that our relationship persisted testified to my high pain threshold.

I digress. I immediately thought about getting them coffee mugs from this place, maybe something with a green Pinto that turned fiery red when you poured a hot drink into it. I had to look. Besides, I needed a break. I was driving straight into the morning sun and my eyes hurt. I straddled three parking spaces, carefully avoiding the two cars already in the lot. The building didn’t have an area set aside for RVs. Apparently, this isn’t the place for hours of family fun. I climbed down and headed inside.

I pushed through the door and followed the signs to the gift shop. A young woman looked up as I came inside. She gave me a toothy smile. I was ready to vote for the plaintiff on her expression alone. “I’m Brittney,” she said. Her name tag agreed with her.

“Andrew,” I said.


Brittney smiled again at my confused look. “It’s an anagram of your name. A game my grandfather and I play with customers.”

Story Comments

Mar 7 - Susan Rickard

Love it!

Mar 15 - Susan Davis

Tricky, twisty, and tantalizing, and the tug-a-long kept me captivated to the details and the characters. I loved it!

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