Other Stories in this issue


by David Bart

About the Author: David Bart’s short fiction has been published in the Mystery Writers of America anthologies Show Business is Murder and A Hot and Sultry Night for Crime, which has recently been republished. He also has a story in the MWA anthology Life is Short and Then You Die as well as the anthology Fedora III. His short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Mystery Weekly Magazine.


Lyle tensed at the sudden sound of rushing air—flinched at a sickening thud, followed by the wet noise of a heavy object skidding over sodden leaves.

He let out his breath, the odor of moist earth nearly overwhelming him as he got to his feet and followed the muddy swath to the body. The killer’s legs and arms were oddly askew, crooked at impossible angles like a broken statue.

I’ll be damned. It worked.

Lyle picked up the killer’s gun, which had been fitted with a sound suppressor, and stuck it in his belt under an untucked shirt.

The Google plan had outlined the construction of a deadfall. Plenty of rope, a thick, heavy log suspended so it’d swing down in a lethal arc to smash hell out of whatever was in its path. Also, a release mechanism attached high up on a nearby cottonwood trunk. The plans recommended steel wire but Lyle had some shiny duct tape and so he’d used that because it works for everything.

Ten days earlier …

They hit the credit union at noon—piece of cake except for the hysterical cashier waving her arms. She’d totally lost her shit after knocking off his hockey mask, exposing Lyle’s ruined features, the woman shrieking as she clawed at his badly scarred face.

Story Comments

Oct 11 - Susan R

Nicely done! Ha ha, trickster!

Oct 11 - Jamie Stone

Great story for Halloween. Thank's for sharing.

Oct 11 - Mickey Cherry

This was great! Unexpected ending but karma will get you sooner or later.

Oct 11 - Jennifer Kunz

It was great! I was sucked in and the ending was fitting.

Oct 11 - Diana Johnson

Good, fast ride home!

Oct 12 - Frances Dunn

This was a great story, the suspense nonending. A great read. Kudos to the author.

Oct 12 - Tina Jude

Engaging story! Nicely written! Bravo!!

Nov 9 - Robert J Petyo

Great story! Loved it from beginning to end.

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