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Category Archive: рассказы и сказки

Ghost Story after A.M. Burrage

Ghost Story after A.M. Burrage

Ghost Story after A.M. Burrage


It was Christmas Eve, and there were fourteen of us in the house. After a good dinner, we were all in the mood for fun and games. When somebody suggested hide and seek, there were loud shouts of agreement. The only person who refused to play hide and seek was Jackson.
‘I’m sorry. I won’t play hide and seek,’ he said with a shy little smile.
‘Aren’t you feeling well?’ someone asked. ‘I’m perfectly all right, thank you,’ he said. ‘But still I’m not playing hide and seek.’ ‘Why not?’ someone asked.
He hesitated for a moment, then he said, ‘I sometimes go and stay at a house where a girl was killed. She was playing hide and seek in the dark. She didn’t know the house very well. There was a door that led to the servants’ staircase but she thought the door led to a bedroom. She opened the door and jumped — and fell down to the bottom of the stairs. She broke her neck, of course.’
We all looked serious. Mrs Fernley said, ‘How terrible! And were you there when it happened?’
‘No,’ said Jackson, ‘but I was there when something else happened. Something worse.’ ‘What could be worse than that?’
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The ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry

The ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry

The ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry


It looked like a good thing, but wait until I tell you. We were in Alabama — Bill Driscoll and me — when this kidnapping idea came to us. It was a crazy idea, but we didn’t realize it at that time.
There was a town down there, as flat as a cake, and called Summit, of course. The inhabitants of the town didn’t look dangerous at all.
Bill and I had a joint capital of about six hundred dollars, and we needed just two thousand dollars more for our little secret plan in Illinois. We discussed this on the front steps of the hotel.
“Summit is a good place for kidnapping,” I said. “Parents love their children in small towns. And there are no curious journalists.”
We knew that Summit couldn’t get after us with anything stronger than policemen and maybe some bloodhounds. So, the idea looked good.
We chose for our victim the only child of an important man named Ebenezer Dorset. Mr Dorset was respectable and stingy. The kid was a boy of ten with red freckles and red hair.
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Monster in the lake after John Collier

Monster in the lake after John Collier

Monster in the lake after John Collier


As he shaved, Mr Beaseley examined his face in the mirror. ‘I’m getting older,’ he thought. ‘But what do I care? I don’t care, even if Maria does.’
He put on his tie and hurried downstairs. He didn’t want to be late for breakfast. Immediately after breakfast he had to open his drugstore, and that always kept him busy until ten o’clock at night. He never made much money, although he worked very hard. Sometimes, during the day, Maria Beaseley came into the shop and pointed out the mistakes that he was making. She did this even when there were customers there.
He found a little happiness every morning when he opened the newspaper. For a short time he could forget his boring life. On Fridays he enjoyed himself even more. On Fridays he got a copy of his favorite magazine, Nature Science Marvels. With Nature Science Marvels he escaped from his hopeless life into an exciting world.
This morning, exciting news came to Mr Beaseley in his own home. It came in a long envelope from a lawyer.
‘Believe it or not, my dear,’ Mr Beaseley said to his wife. ‘Someone has died and left me four hundred thousand dollars.’
‘Where? Let me see,’ cried Mrs Beaseley. ‘Give the letter to me!’
‘OK!’ he said. ‘Read it! Push your nose into it! Do you think it will help you?’
‘Oh! Oh!’ she cried. ‘The money has already made you uppish!’
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The Teacher by Catherine Lim

The Teacher by Catherine Lim

The Teacher by Catherine Lim


‘Look,’ said the teacher to the colleague who was sitting beside him in the staffroom. ‘Look at this composition written by a student in Secondary Four. She’s supposed to have had ten years of studying English, and see what she’s written! I’ll read it to you. The title of the composition is “My Happiest Day”.’
The teacher read, pausing at those parts which he wanted his colleague to take particular note of: ‘“My happiest day it is on that 12 July. I will tell you of that happiest day. My father wanted me to help him in his cakes stall to sell cakes and earn money. He say ‘I must leave school and stay home and help him. My younger brothers and sisters they are too young to work so they can go to school. My mother is too sick and weak as she just born a baby. ” Can anything be more atrocious than this? And she’s going to sit for her exams in three months’ time! And listen to this:
‘“I was very sad because I don’t like to sell cakes I like to learn in school. But I am scare, my father, he will beat me if I disobeyed him so I cannot say anything to him. He asks me to tell my principal of my school that I am not going to learn any more. I was scare my principal will ask me questions.
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The Elevator by William Sleator

The Elevator by William Sleator

The Elevator by William Sleator


It was an old building with an old elevator — a very small elevator, which could carry only three people. Martin, a thin twelve-year-old, felt nervous in it from the first day he and his father moved into the apartment. Of course he was always uncomfortable in elevators, afraid that they would fall, but there was something especially unpleasant about this one. It had a baleful atmosphere. Perhaps this was because of the poor lighting and the dirty brown walls. Perhaps it was because of the door, which never stayed open long enough, and slammed shut with a loud noise. Perhaps it was the way the elevator shuddered each time it left a floor, as if it was exhausted. Maybe it was simply too small. It seemed crowded even with only two people in it.
Coming home from school the day after they moved in, Martin tried the stairs. But they were almost as bad, windowless, shadowy, with several dark landings where the lights were not working. His footsteps echoed behind him on the cement, as though there was another person climbing, getting closer. By the time he reached the seventeenth floor, which seemed to take forever, he was out of breath.
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Concrete Island by J. Roger Baker

Concrete Island by J. Roger Baker

Concrete Island by J. Roger Baker


When he found the first one, Simon didn’t tell anybody. He hid it in the pocket of his dark grey overall suit and joined the other children who were playing in the sand-pit. That night, when his mother kissed him good night and went out, he examined his discovery.
It was most interesting: soft, but not squashy, a beautiful new color, and the scent was strange. He sniffed it again, it made him feel uneasy somewhere inside. It reminded him of something, but he couldn’t remember what.
The next day its color was darker, almost black. Later it got nasty and squashy and Simon threw it away and went to look for another.
He ran across the paved playing area and climbed down the vertical ladder to the lower level. This was forbidden territory for the children. The sun was hot.
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The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury

The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury

The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury


Ray Bradbury (1920-June 5, 2012) was one of America’s best-known science fiction and fantasy writers. He has inspired generations of readers to dream, think and create. His most chilling stories comment on the human consequences of progress. ‘Science ran too far ahead of us too quickly,’ he once said, ‘and the people got lost in a mechanical wilderness.’ Bradbury believed that one purpose of science fiction ‘is to warn about negative things that might happen in the future if care is not taken in the present’.

It was a misty evening in November. Leonard Mead went out into the silent street, hands in pockets. He loved walking in silence. He would stand at an intersection and peer down long moonlit avenues in four directions, deciding which way to go. But it really made no difference; he was alone in this world of 2053 A.D., or almost alone.
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