Short Stories

Welcome to our Short Stories, an ongoing collection of great reads. Stories that you are sure to love. Read, share and give us your feedback, and if you so desire, share one with us. We will publish it in our Short Story collection.

Today’s Short Story:  The Dirty Pond

Dirty Pond
The Dirty Pond

I paid for all the funeral costs: the accident and even the obituary. Yet, I was his black sheep. The only one he never visited, never had enough time to make a single phone call or sent a text message.
Nobody else wanted to help. No one had any money, and no one else wanted to face the shame of being Christian. He was homosexual, never visited the church, and often visited the witch’s oracles in the town hall. Although my mother once told us she saw a small fairy, she allowed my aunts and my father to persuade her not to attend the burial.
The lawyer now tells me that all that Max had was now mine, as soon as I sign the acceptance letter for his Will. There were only two conditions. Firstly, I am forbidden to partner with any other family member; two, I must leave all I have behind and live here in his house.
Why would I want to do that? I have a good six-figure job in New York, a beautiful suite by the river, and a small bar. The lawyer advised me not to reject the offer too quickly. Just spend one night in the house and see if I would change my mind.
The house is very small, with one room, and a dining hall with a cooking corner. The small lot has no trees, not even a flower plant, just a small dirty pond with an awful odor.
There is a single bed in the room, it has been neatly made, with two pillows and a covering sheet. A night table with a lamp was placed beside the bed. The only other piece of furniture in the bedroom was a small closet with one door.
A small bathroom was pegged to the bedroom. It had an open shower without curtains. There were no mirrors over the face basin or in the bedroom. And I wondered where he got dressed.
I went back to the dining hall and opened the mini refrigerator, hoping to find a beer or some sort of wine or whisky. There wasn’t any. Just a bottle of orange juice and two cans of soft drinks. What kind of drunkard does not keep beers at home?
There was a smart TV set and I turned it on, sitting in one of the two seats next to the TV stand. I saw a small notepad hidden between the TV and the wooden stand. I leafed through it to see what my brother had been up to. There were only three notes – Pablo thinks 1,800 m B, witch O, Lunes 6p.m, and a long number, 871-9898-9797.
I do not know if I were asleep or awake. a strange white light filled the room. When it finally disappeared, I saw my brother sitting in the armchair next to me, by the tv stand.
‘Say Bill do you like the little pond?’ There was nothing to like about that pond. Seems that dead people like weird things.
‘Not Max, why did you behave so recklessly, to go drunk driving? Do you know how much that has cost me?’
‘Bill, you be careful. They will want to kill you too unless you be very careful. I have not tasted liquor for more than ten years. I stopped when I joined the oracle’.
‘Why would someone want to kill me, Max? what are you mixed up into? Are you in some kind of gang or brotherhood?”
The light is coming again. Max walked into it, and was gone. why did they want to kill me? Did someone murder my brother? If so who and why?
I called New York the next day to get some more time and they gave me two more days. I visited the lawyer with a long list of questions. He received me in a back room, which I found poorly lit and a bit foul. We sat down around an old metal table with its reading lamp.
‘Who is Pablo? Was he my brothers’…. lover?’
‘Pablo is my assistant. And yes they were at one point but Pablo got married. How did you learn about him?’
‘Why, is it so bad?’ the lawyer smiled.
‘No, Max made sure that no one knew you existed. Not even Pablo. I was the only one who heard about you.’
“Two numbers are puzzling me, this one’ I handed him the first of two notes that showed Pablo’s number.
‘Yes, he said. That number is rather strange to me as well. If you want, I could ask Pablo.’ I thought quickly, why didn’t my brother trust Pablo enough to tell him about me? I decided not to and gave him the second number.
‘That I do know. It is his bank account number, he recently transferred everything to that account, just a day before he died.’
‘Did my brother drink?’ The look on his face and the notable pause showed his concern as well.
‘No, not as long as I have known him. Not in five years.’ I left the office and went back to the house. A young man was waiting for me at the gateless entrance. He was wearing a full white tuxedo that made him look taller than the five feet that he measured. He was rather dark, but what made him odd were his ears. they were longer than usual.
‘Hello, Bill, I am Tom Tit Tot.’ I burst out laughing, so hard that my stomach ached. He did not even smile. He looked at me with green eyes.
‘Was it my name, Bill? I tend to get that a lot. can we go inside where we can talk privately, it is very important.’
I opened up and led the way, still chuckling beyond control. once inside we sat down by the TV stand.
‘Bill, I am from the witch’s oracle. Your brother was murdered. and we need you to help us solve the crime.’
‘Do you have proof?’ The laughter was gone now. Something told me that I would not like what was coming next.
‘Yes, there is a camera, but you can’t use it…’ I signaled for him to pause and he did.
‘You have his murder videotaped and you won’t allow me to use it? That’s incredible.’
‘I will show you the video, but it is not acceptable to humans. It was taken by witchmera. Literal, ghost photographers.’ He placed the instrument before and connected it to the DVD. I watched in awe as two men strapped max to the seat of his car, and then poured rum into his mouth. The car was then set at full speed when it fell off a cliff.
‘How can I help? Do you know the names of these two men? and why did they want to kill him?’
‘Your brother found oil and wanted to drill, but when he told Pablo about he wanted to be partners. Bill accepted, but days later, Pablo brought the third man into the plan. This man is now married to him.’
I sat silently for a while. How would I do this, there was no way a court would accept a ghost camera as evidence. Tom was as patient as they come. He did even move a muscle.
‘So you are the elve in the fantasy story. How did they know about you?’
‘Bill, sometimes we let humans create stories to help hide our existence. I have an idea. You should invite the two men to meet with you this evening. Invite the lawyer and the police, as well.’
‘Do you think…’ Tom disappeared.
That evening the police arrived before the lawyer or his assistant. I laid out the plan to them and they agreed to stay hidden in Bill’s room.
The lawyer arrived next with his assistant and his partner. We sat down before the TV, and I started to explain my plan. I offered them shares in the oil rig, saying my brother was mistaken. I asked them to watch the video. Midway through the tape, Pablo pulled out a gun.
‘Pablo how could you have killed him; he was our client’ the lawyer asked in shock.
‘Max would not accept Martin in the project, and when we offered to buy, he closed the door. we had no choice then and now we have none either. Firstly, you will sign these papers over to us, or we will get your loving mother involved.’
The police officers had heard enough and came rushing out with guns in their hands. Both men were arrested and sentenced to murder.
That evening Tom visited me again, but this time with my brother.
‘Bill, we want to thank you so much, I can now rest in peace, Tom will be your new guide as you move back here to manage the business. Goodbye, brother.’
Max disappeared into the light.