Requiem: and Other Short Stories


Compelling. Suspenseful. Thought provoking...

Conversation with the Blackboard—Ellen contemplates retirement from her teaching career when someone starts leaving ...
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Compelling. Suspenseful. Thought provoking...

Conversation with the Blackboard—Ellen contemplates retirement from her teaching career when someone starts leaving mysterious messages on her blackboard...

Christmas Cards—Dory deals with her sister's death and finds her sister is not the only thing she has to bury...

First String—Andi survives a freak accident and learns a lesson in the most unusual way...

An Apple for the Teacher—As complications arise during Brooke's pregnancy, she fears a recurring nightmare is really a premonition...

Requiem—Natalie's life is in turmoil when, after 14 years, she learns her husband is coming back...
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595167470
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/2/2001
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Ellen sat on the window ledge and watched the rain flood the street gutters of Bellevue. She glanced at the ticking clock-Dr. Katz was now thirty-six minutes late. She lifted a Styrofoam cup to her lips. The coffee needed more cream but that didn't seem to matter now.

Nothing did.

The door opened. "Are you finished filling out that form?" the receptionist said. Ellen lifted the clipboard from her lap, handing it to her. "Yes…about twenty minutes ago."

"I'm sorry about the wait," the receptionist said. "When she called from her car, she wasn't too far from the office-the storm just caught her by surprise." the receptionist took the clipboard and left Ellen alone again.

Maybe this was a mistake. How could this woman help her if a storm in Washington caught her by surprise?

Moments later, Dr. Katz hurried into the office wearing a dripping rain coat.

"Hello, Ellen-may I call you Ellen?" she said. "I'm sorry I'm late."

She pressed her intercom. "Ellen Torrington's file?"

"In your top tray, Dr. Katz."

"Thank you, and please hold my calls."

Dr. Katz sat down, pulled out her glasses and reviewed the paperwork.

Ellen's heart quickened. The clock seemed to tick more loudly now.

Dr. Katz removed her glasses and studied Ellen.

"Wouldn't you be more comfortable in one of the chairs?"

Ellen didn't move-keeping a watchful eye on the world.

Dr. Katz put back on her glasses. "So, Ellen, it says here you're having delusions-"

"They're not delusions."

Dr. Katz jotted down a few notes. "And when is this murder supposed to take place?"

Ellen sipped her coffee. "Today…"

Dr. Katz looked at her watch. "Do you know what time?"

"No, I don't."

"Then how can you be certain?"

Ellen didn't answer-again taking another sip of her coffee. Dr. Katz put down her pen and leaned back.

"May I make an observation?" Dr. Katz said. "For someone who is about to die, you don't seem overly concerned."

"I don't mind if I die, today," Ellen said. "It's raining out anyway…"

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Acknowledgements xi
Conversation with the Blackboard 3
Christmas Cards 41
First String 83
An Apple for the Teacher 115
Requiem 147
About the Author 189
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2001

    Brilliantly crafted and thought provoking

    It's rare to find a book of short stories that contains nothing but impressive tales that each deserve equal praise, but Melissa M. Whitney has created such a collection. Although each of the stories contained in Requiem is worth discussing, one of my favorites is 'An Apple for the Teacher'. A young woman pregnant with her first child has a recurring nightmare in which she dies in childbirth just as her mother died giving birth to her. This one is a tearjerker, both beautiful and real. Another very different but equally impressive tale is 'Christmas Cards'. In this tale a young woman faces the death of her sister and realizes that the truth is more twisted than anything she could have imagined. This is a shocking piece that makes the reader cringe in horror as Dory learns things about her sister that she can barely fathom. With a gift for blending mundane, all too realistic situations with hints of the supernatural, Whitney makes the reader fully believe, even if just for a moment, that the supernatural explanation is the only one possible. In short, I highly recommend Requiem and other short stories and will wait on bated breath for the release of her first novel. If her novels are half as good as her short stories, she'll be a literary force to be reckoned with in the future. Please visit for my complete review of this book.

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