Tis Pity He's a Writer

Richard Daybell – Novels, stories and short humor

Naughty Marietta and Other Stories

NaughtyCover2I fell in love with Marietta that week. Marietta was beautiful, sensitive, vulnerable. Her silken hair wafted in an eternal breeze. Her diaphanous gowns clung to her supple torso. She never walked, she floated; she never talked, she murmured. Marietta was Corey, of course. That was pretty transparent, but she was a new mysterious Corey, a Corey that was at once naive and slightly naughty.

Naughty Marietta — one of ten stories celebrating love and hate, life and death, meatloaf. Other stories tell of smoking cessation through voodoo, a body in a cranberry bog, an unfortunate discovery at a Parisian bistro, a visit from a vodka-swilling grim reaper, a tawdry affair among the healthy, wealthy and wise, and twin fortunetellers with different outlooks on the future.

Murray Middlebury Has an Affair  The Middleburys were healthy, wealthy, and wise – sure candidates for living happily ever after. But Murray had a dirty little secret.

Giving Up Smoking with Madame Zorene I chain-smoked on the way to my appointment with Madame Zorene, wondering if each cigarette might perhaps be my last.

Bistro By now, Louis would have reached page two of Le Monde, would have finished his jus de pampelmousse, and would be settling into his cafe au lait and croissant. These things might be considered trivial by some, but they characterized his morning ritual, and rituals should not be kept waiting.

Naughty Marietta It was Tuesday –and, believe it or not, a dark and stormy night – a month ago tomorrow that Corey announced she was going to write a romance novel.

Death Visits Aunt Agatha Aunt Agatha was ready to buy the farm, so to speak. She’d plucked her last chicken, milked her last cow. Monty wished she’d get on with it. Not that he disliked Aunt Agatha or anything like that. Her lasting into the weekend was an inconvenience, that’s all.

Up There on the Top Shelf  We humor Father; we let him make his potions, but then we take them away from him and put them up there on the top shelf. So he can’t get in trouble. But didn’t he anyway.

Aunt Nancy’s Burden Her burden, as she now referred to Uncle Ed, continued to cling to life in his stubborn, self-centered way. The doctor who had given him only days to live last fall did, however, die.

Face Down in a Cranberry Bog Looking down, I saw it – him. A man, clad only in red boxer shorts, lying face down in the cranberry bog. I waded a foot or two into the bog, and standing over him, in water up to mid-calf, I lifted his head to look at his face. I wasn’t an expert on bodies, but I was pretty sure he was dead. I hoped it wasn’t because he had ignored all those signs and waded into the bog.

Leland Armbrewster’s Big Day A small nick disfigured Leland Armbrewster’s nose, marring what was, in all other ways, a park-perfect statue and a pretty darn good tribute to the man who had selflessly served the town of Hooksville for decades.

Just a Bunch of Tomorrows Bessie and Cora were twins as well as fortunetellers. They shared a bungalow from which they told fortunes, mostly to the young women whose husbands were off trying their best to wind down World War II.

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