Other Stories in this issue

Bitter End

by Anne Stephenson

About the Author: A freelance writer and novelist, Anne Stephenson spent much of her childhood reading about other people's adventures. Now she makes up her own.


It was two o’clock in the morning on the eleventh of August and no one, except Louise Tellier Hannington Brown, had any idea where I was.

She’d called me out of the blue a week ago, unhappy with her lawyer, her husband’s lawyer and her impending divorce. I should have hung up immediately but we’d known each other since high school and I owed her one.

“If you think Ted’s hiding something on his boat, Louise, why don’t you just go down to the marina and check it out?”

I heard the flick of a lighter on the other end of the line. Louise smoked when she was agitated. I drank coffee. Pouring myself another cup, I walked out onto my back deck. It was going to be a scorcher.

I wiggled my bare feet in the sun. The nail polish might be a little chipped around the edges, but, all in all, I was doing pretty well.

Unlike the rest of us, Louise had been racking up her assets the old-fashioned way. Ted Brown was her third, and wealthiest, husband to date.

Brilliant and ruggedly good-looking, Ted had been at the forefront of the high-tech industry, launching first one company with his partners, and then another. Now he wanted to kick back and cruise the Caribbean. Without Louise.

“His lawyer’s slapped me with a restraining order! Can you believe it?” She exhaled angrily into the phone.

“What’d you do? Beat the guy up?” I watched Marm, my three-year-old ginger cat, chase a black squirrel out of the yard.

Story Comments

May 9 - Benjamin Clark

Great story!

May 9 - Barbara Hunt

Loved your story; very well written. I was with the protagonist all the way and I thought the ending was great.

May 9 - Nancy Sweetland

Well done! The ending makes the story. Impressive.

May 10 - Janice Alonso

Really liked your story. Loved the pace and you engaged me into the mystery through an interesting protagonist.

May 11 - Carolynn Padgett

Writing is clear and I was pleasantly surprised to find the sailing terminology minimal and not a problem in the storyline. Ms. Stephenson is a good writer, and I felt only a slight stiffness in her style, which will probably disappear with some experience to lend some ease. I would be glad to read more of her work and see how she develops.

May 11 -  Carolynn Padgett

I found "Bitter End" to be a pleasant diversion and I will probably reread it a couple of times. For me, that's a lot of investment for a piece of fiction, but I think she's worth it1 I recommend "Bitter End" as a short story mystery, and Anne Stephenson as a writer.

May 13 - Frances Dunn

I liked the story. Loved the "revenge" ending.

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