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Ring Once for Death

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Published: 1954
Language: English
Wordcount: 4,925 / 21 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 94.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,203
Added to site: 2010.04.01 27199

The power of the old gods was certainly nothing for Mark and Edith—a modern, twentieth-century couple—to worry about. After all—everybody dies!

Show Excerpt

chool dance tonight."

"That's no excuse for not phoning. He has the old car, hasn't he?"

"Yes. You gave him the keys this morning, remember?"

"All the more reason he should phone." Dr. Williams lay silent a moment. "Two o'clock is too late for a 17-year-old boy to be out."

"I'll speak to him. He won't do it again. Now please, Mark, let me get you the phenobarbital. I'll stay up until David--"

* * * * *

The ringing phone, a clamor in the darkness, interrupted her. Mark Williams reached for it. The extension was beside his bed.

"Hello," he said. And then, although she could not hear the answering voice, she felt him stiffen. And she knew. As well as if she could hear the words she knew, with a mother's instinct for disaster.

"Yes," Dr. Williams said. "Yes ... I see ... I understand ... I'll come at once.... Thank you for calling."

He slid out of bed before she could stop him.

"An emergency call." He spoke quietly. "I have to go." He began to

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.7 from 3 reviews: ****
Foster Dexing

Great story. Short but so eerily sweet. Reminds me very much of The Monkey's Paw short story we read back in high school. And the moral is the same: be careful what you wish for, you might get it! A quick delightful read. Enjoy

Sardo Weems

An okay story. Not a lot of tension or menace, kind of like a campfire story. The author doesn't side with either the believer or the skeptic, just reports what happens.


Uh-Oh, A curio shop has a crystal bell that was rung in certain Asian sect rituals to bring back the dead providing a living person takes the dead ones place. Warning from the propietor, to the couple who want's it, for them not to use it, but it has no clapper so he thinks it is safe to sell. A couple buys it and restores the clapper. Not good, not good at all.



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Author of the Day

Howard Reiss
Howard Reiss an especially gifted storyteller with a knack for creating fully developed characters and original storylines. He recently published his 6th novel, The Texture of Love. The Old Drive-In, Howard Reiss’ fifth novel, is a nostalgic reflection on what could have been. As our Author of the Day, Reiss tells us more about this book and what it took to write it.
Read full interview...