In this collection of short stories by Thomas Ryan, you will find mystery, humor, abuse, murder, and romance of a different kind. Each story shows a different side of our human emotions, and their unexpected endings make these stories memorable.
“Ruth” – Ruth is a woman who has been abused by her husband. She has been beaten, mentally and physically, to the point that she believes it is her fault. When she discovers her husband’s dark secret, he commits suicide rather than being exposed.
Ruth is arrested for killing her husband. When she is on trial for his murder, the judge doesn’t feel one bit sorry for her. If she was so abused, she should have just left her husband and filed for divorce. Then we get a picture of the judge’s life.
This was my favorite story. Ruth’s husband got exactly what he deserved. The judge? There are probably more out there like him than we think.
“The World’s Biggest Bun” – Herman declares that he is going to make the world’s biggest bun, but Gunter points out to him all the reasons he can’t. Gunter then decides that he will be the one to make the world’s biggest bun. Herman’s revenge causes Gunter to lose more than his pride.
This humorous story fought for the place of the one I liked the most, but it ended up getting second place.
“Nightmares” – Writers block is something that no writer wants to get. Vincent is afflicted with this cursed thing, and it has been brought on by a nightmare that just keeps on going. He dreams that a woman is murdered and then it comes true. Overwhelmed by guilt at not being able to stop these murders from happening, his ability to write goes out the window. Until he figures out that he can use these nightmares for inspiration for his writing. But that isn’t all they inspire him to do.
“The Artist” – Claire has the privilege of represening an extremely talented artist, but his wife keeps getting in the way. In didn’t even come close to figuring out how this one ended.
“The Dementia Man” – An old man who apparently has dementia wanders into a dairy. The police are called. On him, they find a note that says he is being held captive and will be killed in forty-eight hours. Will the police find out what is going on before it is too late?
“The Affair” – Ellen’s marriage has become boring. What better way to bring life back to your marriage is there than finding an exciting new lover? When her teenage children notice something strange going on with their mother, and her romantic role-playing has some unintended effects.
“Mending Kittens” – Dependent on each other, Jimmy and Alicia are both homeless. Their lives are made up of drugs, alcohol, prostitution, and Alicia’s “mending” of kittens. She has no clue just how her practice of “mending” kittens has affected Jimmy until it is too late.
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Amazon Link: Short Stories
How fortunate, Ruth continually reminded herself, to have a husband who was so supremely confident of the correctness of his opinions.
He was a blithering mess caught by a black widow spider, and the longer the nightmare continued, the more entangled he would become in her web.
The muscles at the bottom of her neck tensed when she saw her mother look around nervously like a bag lady guarding a stolen supermarket trolley full of aluminum cans.
New Words Learned:
cogitate – think deeply about something; meditate or reflect
interment – the burial of a corpse in a grave or tomb
scarpered – (British) ran away
solipsism – the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist
waffle – (chiefly British) speak or write, especially at great length, without saying anything important or useful
About the Author:
Thomas Ryan was born in Auckland, New Zealand. He has been a soldier in a theatre of war, he has traded in Eastern Europe, trampled the jungles of Asia, and struggled through the trials of love and loss. Armed with these life experiences, Ryan turned to writing thriller novels and short stories.
Ryan considers himself a storyteller, a creator who has enthusiastically plunged his psyche into the world of creativity and fantasy. With the reader in mind, he weaves colourful characters into the threads of his riveting storylines. Taking readers on a thrilling journey is what motivates Ryan as a writer.
Find out more about Thomas Ryan and his books on his website, www.thomasryanwriter.com.