Novelettes and Short Stories (4 Book, Horror, Holidays, Romance Box Set)

By Ron Shaw

General fiction, Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal, Short stories, Religion & spirituality, Romance, Poetry, Comedy & satire, Thriller


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1. Opportunity Knocks

At dusk, three, loud knocks at her front door scared the young, grief-stricken mother of four. Huddling around her in front of a solitary space heater, Ann's three children jumped, startling her even more. For a brief second, they shivered, fearing it was death itself that had come knocking.
It was Halloween evening, but at 1010 Peyton Avenue, there was no cause for celebration. As usual, there was no candy, waiting to be dispensed to the neighborhood goblins, hobos, princesses, and ghouls, looking for sugary treats. Her children would miss this Trick or Treat.
Mrs. Ann May could barely fill the stomachs living under the leaking roof of her dilapidated, two-room rental.
This late October there was one less child for her to feed.
A week earlier, her youngest son, Russell had been struck by a soda delivery truck less than a block away from their small house. The boy lay in a coma on life support at Atlanta Memorial Hospital. If the treating neurologist's prognosis was correct, the little boy's life would soon end at the age of eight.
After the accident, staying by his side for the first four days and nights, his mother prayed as never before, begging God, someone, anyone to help her son. The doctors offered no chance of recovery. The machines were all that stood between Russell and death.
In a surreal mixture of profound grief, agony, and disbelief she anguished, dreading the decision that was ultimately hers alone to make. Compounding the impoverished family's dire situation, there was no father present, no step dad, no insurance policy, and zero money.
Frightened, the four stared at each other, momentarily frozen, hoping bad news would go away.
"You kids be quiet. Don't answer the door," Ann whispered.
Two fresh, louder, and quicker knocks answered her whispers. Wayne, the oldest, stood. Walking to the door, he softly stated, "Mom, we have to. It might be about Russell. Maybe, it's good news." Opening the flimsy door, Wayne glumly, greeted the two, well-dressed men, standing with hats in hand, "Yes, sirs, can we help you?"



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