Preparing for Kittens

Tell Me No Secret

My new book is now available! You can check it out on Archway Publishing website here.

Tell Me No Secret

Can you keep a secret? High school student Joe wishes he’d never been asked that question. In the small town of New Haven, Missouri, murder is not a common occurrence, so when Joe kills his “best bud” Brad, a tidal wave of shock washes over the community. It makes no sense that Joe killed Brad. However, among teens, you never know what evil lurks beneath the surface.

Take a journey inside Joe’s mind as he reveals the details, planning, and tumultuous emotions that went into murdering his best friend. It’s no mystery that Joe is guilty; he admits that on page one. The question is why? What causes a nice young man to commit a murder? The answer isn’t as clear as it initially seems.

Details slowly float to the surface as time moves from the present into the past. Joe might admit guilt, but who is truly to blame for Brad’s murder? Will those responsible for heinous acts be brought to justice? Keeping a secret can be risky, but in Tell Me No Secret, a group of teen friends discovers just how dangerous it can be.

I have been blogging on my site for several months now posting short stories, poems and articles. I am excited to provide my readers with a full-length novel. I hope you will all check it out, and if you buy it, please leave an honest review.

I have appreciated the loyal following I have with my blog and I hope that continues as I expand my role as an author. Thanks for reading!

Delivery

I am not in favor or against the government; I just work for them. Hell, let’s just put it bluntly—I am owned by them. It’s not all bad, though. It’s my job to deliver tax refunds, among other things, so many people are happy to see me. Of course, it’s also my job to deliver bad news as well. They usually know what to expect. I can tell by the way they approach me—the sigh, the slumped shoulders, the slow gait. 

One of the worst things I have had to do is deliver a letter from the armed forces informing the next of kin of a young man who has been killed in battle. I see the anxious mother approaching, expecting news of her boy’s health and well-being from across distant and foreign lands. My flag is lowered and she knows I have something for her. Once the letter is in her hands, I see the moment when her eyes rove across the words that explain that her son will not be returning to his homeland. It’s amazing how the very smallest of muscles in the human face can reveal such profound emotions. The slightest facial changes tell a heart-wrenching story in a matter of seconds. I do not move as she crumples to the ground as if pierced, herself, by the same bullet that has taken away her child.

I see her many times thereafter, but I am now cursed. She despises me, because I have delivered this news that has changed her forever. Sometimes she cannot bear to face me and so she sends her husband.

“Anything interesting?” she asks from the edge of the yard.

“Nope,” he replies. “Just bills and a flyer from JCPenney.”

My metal door shuts with a squeak and the couple slowly return hand-in-hand to their front porch.

Copyright © 2021 Brandon Ellrich

Thank you for reading. If you liked this story, you may want to check out my poem Fighting or my short story Taken. And please click the follow button to be notified of new posts.

Delivery
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Better to Have Loved?

From a distance, a fleeting glimpse,
Then eye contact and some flirting attempts
Brief conversations, casual talks
Coincidental meetings, leisurely walks
Playfully joking, a touch here and there
Personal stories and secrets to share
A friendship is formed that will last forever
A kinship, a bond that cannot be severed
Through this connection grew something more
A companion to be admired, loved and adored
This deeper love remained concealed
For attacks would come if revealed
Society shuns the different forms
Of love that simply do not conform
Physically separated, broken apart
The two still remain one at heart
But the pressure from others—even family and friends—
Causes a break, and so it ends
This love so pure that felt so right
Has lost its strength and given up the fight
The only evidence of your love, it seems,
Are your thoughts and memories, no more than dreams
It was said, “Tis better to have loved and lost”
But would you do it again if you knew the cost?
Was it worth the pain from letting in
This taste of love, of what could’ve been?
Is it better to stop, conceal or hide
A form of true love?  Only you can decide.

Copyright © 2021 Brandon Ellrich

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

“She’s Perfect”

Just another “love story” before St. Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!

He drives me crazy, but I love him. He can be controlling, but we both know who holds the power in this relationship. He wouldn’t be anywhere without me. Sometimes I want to leave him, but I just can’t. We’ve been together for years and I can’t see myself with anyone else. When we first met, it was love at first sight.

“She’s perfect,” he would tell his friends.

He was proud to be seen with me. Now, though, our relationship seems casual–even businesslike. I guess we just got used to each other. He takes me for granted, and I’m tired.

We decide to go on vacation, so I hope we can use the trip as a way to reconnect. He always insists on driving, but he’s terrible with directions, so I handle the navigation.

“There’s a speed trap up ahead,” I inform Drew, knowing he isn’t paying attention.

He immediately slows down.

“Thank you,” he says. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

I do. He’d be in jail or at the bottom of a ravine, most likely. It isn’t long before his lead foot puts us over the speed limit once again. Typical. We’re going out of range for the radio station that was playing, so he changes the channel.

“There’s a chance of rain,” I say.

“Hmm,” he responds and looks toward the sky as if he doesn’t believe me.

It’s pathetic that our only conversation has been reduced to talk about the weather. He turns the channel again and then starts singing when he hears a song he recognizes. He never remembers the right words–or the right tune, for that matter–but I guess anything is better than the silence. After a few more miles, he looks down at the fuel gauge.

“Guess I should stop for gas,” he says.

We pull into the next station and he fills the tank while I get something to drink. I wish there were a way to refuel his passion, but it’s not as easy as simply pumping a lever on a nozzle. We get back on the road again and the only conversation is one-sided–me giving directions as we get closer to the hotel that he booked.

“You have arrived at your destination,” I tell him as he pulls up to the hotel.

He finds a spot in the parking garage, turns off my engine and then shuts and locks my doors. I stay in the garage while he heads into the hotel. It’s not the relationship I would hope for, but I’d rather go a hundred thousand more miles with him than lose him.

Copyright © 2020 Brandon Ellrich

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

If you enjoyed this short story, you may also like Bitter-Sweet Love.