Here are 3 interesting short stories to read online for free!
These are extracts and summaries of future books, a collection of ideas and true-life stories on which I plan to build novels in the near future.
I have chosen to publish them here on my website for everyone to read freely and share their opinions, whatever that may be.
3 Interesting Short Stories To Read Online For Free
Here we go…
The Night of Coffins
It was the dead of night and….
The loud knocking on glass was deafening and it brought Marlyne abruptly awake from a deep sleep.
At first, she thought it was coming from the glass window, but then, she realized it was coming from the mirror on the wide dressing table directly across from the big bed in which she lay.
A strange long golden chain was now dangling from a hook above the wide mirror, swinging gently to and fro like the pendulum of a clock, gleaming brightly in the light with each movement.
The knocking had stopped now and all was dead quiet.
It all seemed like a dream, but Marlyne knew it wasn’t; she was really awake and had heard the knocking. She knew too that the golden chain hadn’t been at the dressing table last night when she’d sat down there to brush her long hair before going to bed. She’d been doing that each night since she’d moved back home three days ago and had never set eyes on any golden chain.
Cold shivers of fear ran through her body as Marlyne stared across the big bedroom at the mirror and the dangling gold chain.
All the bright lights were on and Marlyne could clearly remember turning them off before going to bed. She always did. She preferred the dim side-lamps on when she slept at night and those were on too!
Marlyne lay perfectly still in the big bed as her eyes darted around the bedroom that used to be her mother’s, looking for any sign of movement or a presence. Goosebumps were all over her skin and her heartbeat fast with fear.
The sleep was completely gone now, it was just the fear.
There was no one else in the room; no one else was in the big house except her. All was quiet everywhere.
Marlyne was all alone in the family’s large country mansion where she had been for the last three days since returning home for her mother’s funeral.
The funeral had taken place earlier that day and her only sibling, her older sister, had immediately flown back to New York where she worked and lived. Marlyne was to stay over a few weeks to see to the sale of the house and the attached estate. The two sisters had no relatives left and neither wanted to keep the huge property.
The doors of the house were all locked for the night and the alarms set. The nearest neighbors lived in a house up the road. They were tenants and no one could get past them without being stopped and questioned.
Marlyne was very much alone in the big mansion and as she listened carefully, the knocking never came again. All was dead quiet as it should be and the golden chain was still hanging there over the mirror, hadn’t stopped swinging rhythmically, hadn’t slowed.
‘Who had put the chain there and how had the person come into the house?’ thought Marlyne.
Heart pounding in her throat, she got out of bed and walked slowly over to the dressing table. Her blood ran cold as she recognized the gold keychain her mother had always worn around her neck for as long as she could remember.
The keychain had gone missing when her mother died at the hospital and no traces of it had been found anywhere.
Marlyne thought carefully about the things she’d found in the room upon her return. No, the keychain hadn’t been here, not even the nail from which it hung now had been there. The creamy white wall had been smooth and spotless above the wide mirror like it was around the room and the rest of the house, which had been freshly painted only a month ago.
Marlyne looked quickly around the empty room again, then crossed slowly, cautiously, over to the door and tried the handle.
The door was locked and so were the windows which kept out the cold winter winds of late November.
Feeling completely confused now, Marlyne went back to the dressing table and lifted the gold chain from the hook with trembling hands.
She stared at the gold key in her palm.
She couldn’t identify the key positively, of course, but she knew the very door it opened, had known since she was a child.
Ever since her father went missing when she was nine years old Marlyne had been seeing her mother going down into the cellars through the iron door under the stairs. She always went alone and only at night when she thought no one was watching. No one else ever went down there with her, no one was even allowed near the door, not the servants, never Marlyne or her sister.
Once, about six years ago when she’d turned eighteen, Marlyne had asked her mother directly about the door but had been bluntly told never to go near it or ask again.
Marlyne never did either until she moved out of the house for good. Now she was back, her mother was dead and the key was in her hand.
But from where had it come?
Marlyne glanced at the clock high on one wall. It was fifteen minutes past twelve midnight.
She couldn’t sleep anymore and the curiosity to discover what was beyond that iron door was overwhelming now as it had always been before when she was a child.
Marlyne abruptly made up her mind and walked over to the bedroom door. She drew back the iron bolt on the wooden door as soundlessly as she could, pulled it open, stepped out cautiously into the wide hallway and stood listening intensely for several moments.
Satisfied now that she was alone, Marlyne walked the short distance down the wide hallway to the stairs and headed down. The door to the cellars was on the ground floor, hidden away underneath the stairs.
The big house was completely empty and as quiet as a graveyard, but none of that bothered Marlyne. She’d grown up in it and it had never scared her.
Marlyne reached the bottom of the stairs and found the door hidden behind some piles of furniture. It took a few minutes to clear some of the furniture out of the way and the door was there. She inserted the key into the lock with trembling hands and turned it.
The lock turned over easily, twice, but the door stayed closed. Marlyne turned the handle and pushed inward. The door swung smoothly open on well-oiled hinges, but beyond it was darkness.
From the light behind her, Marlyne found a switch on the wall inside the door and flipped it. A bulb came on overhead, lighting up narrow stairs leading straight downwards below ground level.
Heart pounding, Marlyne went down the narrow stairs slowly, cautiously. At the bottom of the stairs, was another door. It was secured with two big bolts. She undid the bolts easily, pushed the door open and walked in but abruptly stopped at the sight that greeted her within the room.
An overhead light had come on automatically and the big, low ceilinged room was well lit with several bulbs.
Marlyne stared in horror and disbelief at a room full of coffins!
The room was wide and long and there were about twelve coffins in all, each lying flat on a table. Six coffins were to the left, six to the right, all with gleaming glass surfaces.
Marlyne’s legs carried her forward and she was shocked to see that each coffin contained a well-preserved lifelike body. The body in the first coffin stopped her cold in her tracks and she stared fixedly at it with pure horror.
It was the well-preserved body of a man who looked a lot like her father! His large framed photograph was all over the living room up in the house and so she recognized him well, even though he went missing when she was only nine.
Her father had been missing, had been dead, for over fifteen years now, but the man she was looking at hadn’t aged a day and only appeared to asleep. The only odd thing was a slight blue color of his skin.
Marlyne’s legs carried her on down the row of coffins and she looked into each one, staring at the well-preserved bodies through the glass lids.
There was a body in each coffin, but she didn’t recognize any one of them until she reached the last coffin and the sight of the body in it nearly made her scream.
In the last coffin, exactly the way she had been buried in the cemetery yesterday, was her mother!
As Marlyne stared in horror at the fresh corpse of her mother in the coffin, the loud knocking on glass which had awakened her in the bedroom came again and she whirled around in fear to see the glass lid of another coffin off to one side of the room opening…
1 of 3 Interesting Short Stories To Read Online for free gone. Two more to go.
The West African Coast
May 11, 1809
The British privateer came limping out of the calm waters of the mid-Atlantic Ocean, moving steadily in a northeasterly direction.
The big ship had lost three masts and its main cannon. Its bull looked battered and there was a big hole where part of the ship’s name should be.
The Essex Hill had been a new private warship when it had set sail from England about a month ago, but battles with a pirate ship and a group of slave ships, two of which it sunk, had taken its toll. The terrible storm had come after that, blowing it clean off course, pushing it into the vast waters of the mid-Atlantic Ocean.
The ship and its crew, the few passengers it carried too, were now in dire need of a lot of rest and rehabilitation and a good British port was the answer. The only such port in the French-dominated region was on the West African coast, the port of Lagos, which, incidentally, was its original port of call before heading off to South Africa.
The damaged ship came within sight of the heavily forested West African coast just before high noon and, a short time later, a huge cheer went up from the crew as a lookout spotted a British flag somewhere along the coast.
Amid the wild jubilation that followed, none of the crew members went anywhere near the two Italian priests in black robes standing by railing on the foredeck.
The priests had come on board at Port of Gibraltar and the ship’s misfortunes had started almost immediately. Most of the ship’s crew were now convinced their presence on board had brought ill-luck upon the entire ship and stayed clear of them. They couldn’t wait to see the two men gone.
The two priests stood quietly together by the railing, staring at the distant shoreline and ignoring the celebrations going on around them.
“Finally, I’ve found you,” muttered one of the priests in fluent Italian, speaking under his breath as he stared fixedly at the distant shoreline. He was a tall, thin man in his forties.
His slightly younger companion glanced at him sharply.
“You’re still convinced she’s here?” he asked also in fluent Italian.
“Yes, I am. I can feel her evil presence strongly now,” replied the older man, still staring fixedly at the distant shoreline. “I always know that the storm wasn’t ordinary. Even the way those pirates crept up on this ship. Her demons have been trying to kill us.”
“It must have been her demon guards?”
“Think they’ve told her we’re coming?”
“I don’t know, but we will be safer hiding our movements carefully from now on. She won’t be anywhere on the coast, wouldn’t want news of her activities spread too easily again. My guess is she’s already well established as an all-powerful goddess somewhere deep in the interior, which means finding her or even getting close will be extremely dangerous, even with a lot of help,” the older man took his cold grey eyes off the distant shoreline then, and fixed them on his companion, sizing him up. “Are you afraid?”
The younger priest swallowed hard and shook his head. “No.”
“Good,” the older priest nodded once and turned away from the railings. “Come, let’s pack up our belongings and say some prayers. I want to get off this ship as soon as it drops anchor, the atmosphere here has become too uncomfortable for me.”
The two priests headed for their cabin.
2 of 3 Interesting Short Stories To Read Online free here. One Last story to go.
The Lost Kingdom of Sheba
It is the year 1786 and slavery is booming. On a large sugar plantation in Louisiana, USA, an old but powerfully built male slave kills a sadistic white slave-master for raping and beating a helpless slave woman to death.
The black woman’s murder goes unpunished, but the white man’s murder must be punished with death, that is the law. The old man was sentenced to death by hanging.
While the old man was set to be executed, word got to a British-American adventure about a strange ivory pendant found around the old man’s neck.
Mark Lawson hurries down to the plantation to see for himself and discovers that the strange ornament is actually the shield of the ancient royal house of Sheba, descendants of the queen who visited King Solomon of Israel from the interiors of Africa with so much gold and precious stones in riches as a gift.
It was a myth come alive, but most importantly, he had seen that shield before, carved on a human skin… the skin of a little boy found wandering aimlessly in the plains north of the Limpopo river in Dutch occupied South Africa several years before.
Questioning the hardened old man wasn’t easy, but the telling of the boy helped and Lawson soon discovers the old man is part of a family who are hereditary guards of the ancient royal house of Sheba.
With new hopes of discovering wealth beyond his dreams, Lawson settles matters with the plantation owner with a beefy bribe and heads off for England with the slave where he gets proper travel papers and then off to South Africa to visit an old friend with whom the ‘boy’ lived as a personal servant.
The ‘boy’ was now a big giant of a man and at the sight of the royal shield of Sheba carved into the flesh of his upper arm and a corresponding birthmark on the skin of his ribs, the hardened old man went down on hands and knees, and bowed low, worshipping him as king of Sheba or Shebawa as the native tongue called the ancient kingdom.
In all, four white men, and twelve Dutch soldiers set off north into the unexplored interiors of virgin Africa, first by ship up the eastern coast and then by foot, matching for days deep in.
Their mission? Finding the lost kingdom of Sheba and the riches that lay there.
Their journey took them beyond impregnable mountains and into a strange land where no white man had ever set foot before. A land of magic and blood.
Finding the hidden valley where the lost kingdom was located was as good as impossible in the vast new lands without the old man who had died along the way, but battling the tyrant Zulu king and his vast armies who had spread their tentacles all over the region was a war!
Their only ally in this strange land was the lovely warrior queen and high priestess of a mysterious tribe that lived in mysterious caves.
All 3 Interesting Short Stories To Read Online End here!
Well, that’s it on my three interesting short stories to read online and they’ve been free! Too short perhaps, but stories they remain nonetheless.
I hope you did enjoy reading them? Perhaps one day I might actually complete and publish them as novels. Who knows?
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