Sheldon was sitting in his customary place, partly hidden in a corner of the Snug. He nodded at me as I looked in before going through to the Public bar. He was a large, squat man, bald and heavy-jowled, with a hooked nose and large moist pink lips. He would sit between seven and nine of an evening, nursing a pint of ‘mild’, occasionally exchanging brief pleasantries in a hoarse whisper. Rumour had it that he’d been a concert pianist of rare talent, his career cut short by an accident in the middle of a tour, although I’d seen no proof of this. Of course, what distinguished Sheldon was that, come rain or shine, he always wore large curved sunglasses.
But I was privy to a secret. Years earlier, a storeroom heater had ignited some blankets and smoke had quickly filled the pub. I’d collapsed, choking, when I’d been lifted up and carried on strong shoulders, out through the fug and into the fresh air. As the rescuer lowered me down, I accidentally knocked his glasses off and in the second it took him to replace them I saw something I’ll never forget – Sheldon’s empty eye sockets staring at me.
Featured in the book, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories
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4 thoughts on “Sheldon’s Secret”
A sudden jolt of electricity! Wasn’t expecting the ending…
Hi Cari, thanks so much for checking out and ‘liking’ a number of my stories. It’s nice when someone actually reads them – as opposed to ‘roboclicking’ down a list of my posts! Also, thanks for the feedback on this story. It’s an old one and doesn’t get many views, but I like it, and the ending always gives me the creeps, even though I wrote it!
Incidentally, there is a chap at my local pub who looks JUST like Sheldon in the story, although I never saw him before I wrote it. He doesn’t come in very often, but when he does I always think ‘Sheldon’!
It’s amazing how random people and small things motivate writers to create stories. I have just come across your blog, and it’s one of my favorites already. I’ve bookmarked it so as not to miss new stories…
Sheldon is really quite a character!
Thanks so much Cari! My next post, scheduled for Wednesday is actually an article on how I write these stories! Thereafter it’ll be back to (flash) fiction for a while!