Title- Two Degrees Closer to Hell
By- David Fingerman
Speculative fiction writer, David Fingerman, is back with a
series of short stories guaranteed to curl your toes and raise your hair. If
you’re looking for some quick thrills, let these stories take you on a ride
that will bring you two degrees closer to Hell.
An excerpt from the short story ‘Hell Mouth’
She materialized halfway down the block. I don’t know how I could’ve missed her. She wore faded blue jeans and a wife beater shirt. Dark brown hair in a pixie cut framed her face. Shouting curses into her cell phone, her free arm waved frantically through the air. She could have been quite lovely except for the look of anguish and the mascara mixed with tears sweeping down her cheeks.
I just about choked on a swallow as she turned the path and walked toward me. Trying to be inconspicuous, I needn’t have bothered. So wrapped up in her conversation, she didn’t even notice me as she tromped up the steps and marched right past and into the building’s littered hallway. I tried to mind my own business, but when she started rooting through the trash, I had to twist around and look.
“Have a good life with your whore, Frank!” She threw the cell phone down and stomped. With the phone properly decimated, the girl looked up and noticed me.
“What the hell are you staring at?”
I held up my arms in surrender but before I could utter a word she had turned away and continued rooting through junk.
She found an extension cord, the end charred black. After more searching she pulled out a three-legged chair and cleared a space by the banister. As high up as she could go, the girl looped the cord over the railing and tied a slip knot.
My heart pounded as I realized what she meant to do.
What was I supposed to do?
“Excuse me, miss?” What could I tell her, things would get better?
“Miss?” I got to my feet.
She ignored me.
The noose looked crude but effective enough. I stood in the doorway as she balanced herself on the chair and glared right at me.
“All men are pigs!”
She kicked the chair from under her feet.
About the Author
During the summer months when the sun is shining and birds
are singing, David is perfectly content to sit in his office, with blinds
drawn, typing away at the computer. His favorite day of the year is the first
day toward the end of summer that’s cool enough to pull a flannel shirt from
As a student at the University of Minnesota, David realized
that if he switched his major from journalism to speech, he could graduate that
quarter. It was a no-brainer. After 24 years of working in the court system, he
walked away to write full time – another no-brainer.
Two Degrees Closer to Hell will be his second collection of
short stories. He has also written three other novels.
David is married and lives in Minneapolis.