I love to give stuff away. Here are a few free stories for anybody who wants to read them.


Short story, TOM: or, An Improbable Tail (c) Ruth Sims
FREE READ ebook at AllRomanceEbooks: http://tinyurl.com/bknlb6

This is the tale of the naked god/boy/man William found in his apartment. When he told it to me he swore on his mother’s grave that every word was true. The oath didn’t mean much, though, as I knew his mother was alive and well and playing the slots in Vegas. There are a few things you need to know about William before you read his story.

One: He hated making decisions. If his mother would come every morning and lay out his suit and tie and socks for him it would make him happy, as long as she didn’t stay long enough to nag him.

Two: Well, actually, it’s part of No. One. He’s a lawyer because his father wanted him to be a lawyer and he didn’t want to bother making a decision about what he wanted to be when he grew up if he ever did. Lawyering was okay. It paid damn well, and there was a certain snob appeal to being with Rutledge, Rutledge, Kirkwood, Jones, and Connaughton. He didn’t yearn to be a white Johnny Cochran or a reincarnation of Clarence Darrow. Which was good, because he did corporation work. Mergers, contracts, corporation minutes of meetings that never took place, that kind of thing. “As the corporation goes so goes America,” Rutledge Senior was fond of saying in stentorian tones. That gives you some idea of RRKJC. William often said he was the only one in the office who didn’t starch his underwear. …


Short story, “Mariel” (c) Ruth Sims
— Blithe House Quarterly http://www.blithe.com/
(sadly BHQ is no longer being published, but this last issue is still available online to read)


The terrified mouse scurried down the sides of the earthen pit and two-year-old Alejandro crowed happily, glad to have something to play with. His mama had put him there for safekeeping, so he could not wander into the woods or the fields while she worked. He reached for the fuzzy, moving toy. An instant later a scrawny cat dove into the pit and pounced on the mouse, chasing, biting, hitting the shrieking creature. Little Alejandro shrieked too, screaming for his mama. She did not come. The cat stared savagely at him, the mouse struggling in her jaws, and then leapt away, up the sides of the pit.



Alejandro shivered and wondered, How can this be? How can I be cold?

The Cuban sun poured its heat upon the warehouse in the port of Mariel, where he milled with hundreds of other “undesirables”- whores and homosexuals, for the most part. He and the rest of the desperate, sweating men and women had one goal: stay alive long enough to get out of Cuba.

He had not thought of the pit, the mouse, and the cat for many years; now he saw it as clearly as if he were at a cinema. The warehouse was the dark pit. He and the others were the mice. Fidel was the cat, toying with them, promising they could leave. Alejandro was certain it was only a game, that they would be machine-gunned before they could escape, or the warehouse would be burned with them in it. He had heard that several warehouses in Mariel housed others Fidel wanted to rid himself of. Madmen. Criminals and drug dealers. Murderers and thieves. Political dissidents. But they, the homosexuals, had the dubious honor of being the most hated, the ones he wanted most to be rid of. One way or another.
Short story “Mr. Newby’s Revenge” (c) Ruth Sims
Fall 2008 archives–MystericalE at http://www.mystericale.com/08

Of course Mr. Newby had a first name. But it is immaterial, and by the time this story takes place there was no one in the world who knew what that name was except himself.

As an infant he had been found wrapped up in a blanket on the steps of St. Dinadan’s Orphanage for Boys, without even a note pinned to his diaper. Though he was officially given the name of a saint, the adults at the orphanage always referred to him in private as “Unfortunate.” As he moved from infant to toddler to school age, the other boys, both large and small, gave him other names, most of them unkind. “Ugly.” “Fatty.” “Stupid.” “Retard.” “Queer.” “Moron.” “Lard Ass.” “Four Eyes.” “Faggot.” They regularly put him headfirst into toilets and garbage bins.

Through it all, he smiled.

Pete Carson, two years older and much larger, was the worst of his tormentors. Once he yanked Mr. Newby’s pants down in the schoolyard in full view of the giggling girls in St. Cecelia’s Orphanage for Girls, next door. Mr. Newby’s round face turned red, tears filled his blue eyes. Even then, he smiled. No matter what his torment of the day, he always just picked himself up when it was over and soldiered on. Always smiling.

He had smiled from the day of his birth….


The young woman sat up in the hospital bed, held her new baby in her arms and with trembling anticipation drew down the triangle of blanket that covered his face. She paled. “No,” she whispered. “I don’t want him. Take him away.” She shoved the infant in the direction of the nurse and the frowning doctor.

“He is your baby, Miss Newby,” said the doctor, stressing the shame of her unwed state. “You have to take him.”

The young woman looked up pleadingly. “Can’t you keep him? Find him a home? I don’t have anywhere to take him. And he’s…” She glanced down at her preternaturally grinning baby. The word ugly stuck in her throat.

“I’m afraid not, Miss Newby,” said the doctor. “It would be…impossible.”

For the next five weeks Mr. Newby’s mother cried whenever she looked at her smiling infant son.

“All I wanted,” she sobbed, “was a baby who looked like every other baby, not one that looks like a garden troll.”

A strange congenital stiffness in his facial muscles accounted for his gremlin smile that remained even when he was crying. She hated the way people stared at him when she took him out. Then came a man who was willing to take her away from her troubles if she’d ditch “the freak.” The choice, for her, was a no-brainer. When Father Erasmus opened the front door of the orphanage the next morning he found the basket, two blankets, a bottle, and a baby.

“Poor boy,” prospective parents would murmur to the Director of Adoptions. “So sad to be so odd-looking. No, I’m afraid he’s not for us. Oh, I wish we could take him but…you understand. He’s obviously retarded and it takes a special person to care for handicapped children and we, well, we just don’t have what it takes. Surely the right people will come along soon….”
They could not have been more wrong about Mr. Newby’s intellect.  Behind the perpetual odd smile and the guileless china-blue eyes was a brain Einstein might have envied, along with a savage hunger for knowledge and a thirst for revenge. Because he hated the rigid school classes, he did everything he could to foster the impression that he was mentally inferior. He turned in papers written in a large, loopy, crooked hand full of misspellings and mistakes, math papers where the only right answers appeared to be lucky guesses. When he was seven, the directors decided there was no point in trying to educate the uneducable and left him alone. Happily, in secret, little Mr. Newby began to educate himself.
The Gypsy’s Curse (c)  Ruth Sims
Free EBook on Lulu

Time and Age. They make bottoms sag, legs shake, and arms wobble. Every time the old chair was moved it left a trail of little Hansel-and-Gretel tufts of ancient gray stuffing. In the world of furniture it had once been a duchess. Now it was a bag lady.

H.L. (Horatio Lamar) Snodgrass IV never gave the old chair another thought after he placed it in the storage room of his office to await the junk man. He was too busy sniffing and stroking its replacement, experiencing almost orgasmic pleasure in the smell and feel of the tall-backed chair made from the hides of Pamplona fighting bulls, a chair fit for a king. Or a damn good lawyer. He was the best. When he spoke judges melted. When he spoke Justice took off her blindfold, winked, and hiked her skirt to the thigh.

His clothes were custom made. One car was foreign and expensive. Another was American and expensive. His favorite was old, low, and expensive. His wife, who was visiting her wealthy mother at the time, was petite and expensive. His boyfriend was not petite in any way, but neither was he cheap.

A series of bone-shattering blows against the door interrupted his thoughts. Normally he would have let his secretary answer the door, but since this was Saturday she was not there.

On his way to the door, H.L. had to pass the time-faded oil portrait of his Great-great-great Grandfather, Hawkins Forsythe Snodgrass and he felt a brief twinge of conscience. After all, the old fellow had brought the chair from England generations ago. Hawkins had been a famous barrister in his homeland and he became more famous in his adopted country. Part of his fame was due in part to the eccentricity of never abandoning the English wig and robe even after becoming an American citizen. This eccentric gentleman was the primogenitor of six generations of Snodgrass lawyers, each more successful and richer than the last.

“Perhaps,” H.L. thought, “I should keep the chair as a memento…but what the hell.”

The explosive knock came again. H.L. opened the door and came eye-to-Adam’s-apple with a hulking individual who sported a turned-about Chicago Cubs cap and a bushy beard. A fine gold chain led from the gold hoop in his left nostril to a large gold hoop in his left earlobe. His shirt was unbuttoned to the waist and a gold skull on a chain glinted upon a chest of black fur that a grizzly bear would have envied. Clamped between his teeth was a cigar that, judging from the smell, had been made from a mixture of rotten eggs and old rags.

“Are you the junk man?” H.L. asked.

“No, I ain’t no friggin’ junk man,” the Neanderthal growled. “I’m Vyvyan Smucker from Smucker’s Reclamation, Recycling, and Haulage.” He took a drag on the cigar and exhaled a choking cloud of smog. “Where at’s the junk?”

H.L. pointed to the chair. Like a harem virgin about to be mounted by a five-hundred-pound Maharajah, it seemed to shiver and huddle within itself.

“Five bucks,” said Smucker.

H.L. was pleased. He hadn’t realized he would make five dollars off the deal. However, Smucker did not move toward either the chair or his wallet.

“Well?” said H.L. “I haven’t got all day.”

“Me neither. Gimme my five smackers and me and the piece o’ junk are outta here.”

“What? I’m supposed to pay you?”

Smucker removed the cigar from between his teeth, dribbling ashes on the beige carpet. “Well, whadda you think?”

“Oh, hell,” grumbled H.L. as he forked over the five. “That’s the trouble with this country today. Everybody’s out to screw everybody else.”

Smucker’s eyes brightened. He replaced the cigar and thoughtfully looked  H.L. up and down. Twice. After a minute he shrugged. “Nah. You ain’t my type. Too flimsy.” He hoisted the chair up under one arm and strolled out.

“Damned cretin. Probably drags his knuckles on the ground when no one’s looking,” H.L. muttered. “What did he mean I wasn’t his type? What did he mean ‘too flimsy?’ I work out.”

End of Free Stuff Excerpts

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