Feature of the Week – Nancy Richy and the Art of Telling Stories

Literary Revelations is delighted to bring you two short stories written by Nancy Richy in January 2023. Nancy’s art of telling stories is remarkable. Her creativity, her imagination and her construction of dialogue are impressive. We hope you enjoy the feature.


Nancy Richy is a prolific writer of short stories and maintains two websites on WordPress – The Elephant’s Trunk and The Rhythm Section. She is a contributing author to two #1 Amazon bestsellers – “Wounds I Healed; The Poetry of Strong Women” and “Hidden In Childhood; A Poetry Anthology”. She has been published on MasticadoresUSA, Spillwords and The Writer’s Club. Nancy has also recorded her stories which aired on the BBC radio program Upload and was invited by BBC Radio to do a live interview and reading of her story “The Eighth of December”, about the death of John Lennon.

Nancy, who resides in New York, is married with two adult sons and four grandchildren. Her greatest pastimes (besides being with her family) are music, gardening, writing and maintaining her websites. Her parents were born in Sicily and instilled in her a great love of family, friends, food and music. Nancy is a singer and also plays the piano and pipe organ. She is a self-professed Beatlemaniac and says one of her most exhilarating experiences was seeing the Beatles live at Shea Stadium in New York in 1965.

Deconstructing Christmas by Nancy Richy

It was January 8th, the second Sunday of the new year; Martha asked her husband George to help her take down the Christmas decorations. As was George’s usual reaction, he sighed heavily, a look that said “anything but that” dripping from his face. He just couldn’t help goading her.

Martha planted herself directly in front of George and began singing an annoying children’s song in a very loud voice. The lyrics had been changed and Martha thought they were so very clever; George thought they were maddening and covered his ears tightly with his hands. Martha pulled George’s hands away and sang even louder until George was ready to explode.

“Enough howling! You sound like a cow giving birth!” George shouted in response. “Well, I guess you don’t leave me much choice.” He inserted a bookmark into his dogeared copy of “To the Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf, placed it on the side table and pushed himself out of his easy chair.

“Oh, don’t be such an old cluck, George! I have reinforcements.” Martha disappeared into the kitchen and emerged a few minutes later dancing a clumsy version of the bossa nova while rattling a martini shaker over her head.

“Now you’re speaking my language, señorita!” George replied, rubbing his hands together in anticipation. Martha poured them each a drink. George took a sip, savoring the perfectly chilled vodka. No matter what he thought about Martha, she could make a damn good martini. George stoked the logs in the fireplace, enjoying his drink and staring at the flames.

“Are you just going to stand there while I do all the work?” Martha asked, her temper starting to rise.

“I’m getting into the spirit, Martha. Are you going to begrudge me every little pleasure in life?”

Martha drained her glass. “The trouble with you, George, is you’re perpetually petulant!” She struggled with the tongue twister and laughed raucously. 

“Shut up, Martha. You’re incredibly less humorous than you think you are” snapped George as he poured himself another martini. Martha suggested George fuck off and went back into the kitchen to prepare another round. Popping an olive into her mouth, she was startled to hear the sound of breaking glass coming from the living room. 

“Honestly, George! How can you be so clumsy? We’ll be drinking our martinis out of plastic cups at this rate!” 

The un-decorating rapidly deteriorated when Martha realized George hadn’t dropped his glass; it was one of her treasured Swarovski crystal angel ornaments. It landed on the hardwood floor and shattered, the slivers spreading like a crack in thin ice.

“You dumbbell! You wretched, good-for-nothing oaf! I despise you!” Martha shrieked like a wounded animal.

“Oh, stop braying, Martha. It isn’t exactly a Michelangelo, you know!”

Martha picked up George’s beloved book and threw it in the direction of the fireplace. George lunged for it and crashed into the Christmas tree, toppling everything onto the floor. Lights and ornaments smashed under the weight of his body and he cried out as broken glass tore into his skin.

Oh, God! My ass! My neck! Bloody hell! There’s glass everywhere!” he bellowed.

Martha casually finished her martini and threw her glass into the fireplace, delighting in the tinkling sound and the dancing flames. She looked at George entangled in the tree, shards and splinters of glass strewn about, and she started chuckling. Clutching the martini shaker, Martha chuckled more and more until she tumbled into the easy chair laughing uproariously. She removed the cap and poured what little vodka was left straight into her mouth. Standing unsteadily, she looked around the room. 

What a dump!” she quipped.

“Darling, I’m in a fair amount of pain. I believe I’m going to need a Band-Aid … and another martini. Be a dear and make a fresh batch.”

George started laughing uncontrollably as Martha danced around the room singing “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf? Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf so early in the morning?”

Slurring her words to the song, she fell to her knees in a dizzying fit of drunken hysterics.

NAR © 2023

Stop the Heartache by Nancy Richy

“Mr. Bennett, we did everything in our power but the injuries were too extensive. I’m sorry. Your wife did not survive the surgery … the surgery … the surgery … your wife did not survive …”

My eyes flew open and I gasped for air like a drowning man. My fisted hands clutched the disheveled sheets on my bed. I was soaked in sweat, my heart racing. The recurring dream came back last night. Gradually my heartrate slowed down and my fists unclenched. Laying on my back, I stared up at the softly whirring ceiling fan. I closed my eyes for five seconds and the tears started. It never gets better; it never gets easier.

Three years ago my darling Olivia, my life-force, my soulmate, my wife of two ineffably brief weeks died in a ghastly motorcycle accident while on our honeymoon in Barcelona. Frozen in place, I stared at her broken body; my brain told me she was dead but my heart and soul refused to listen.  

I remembered the ambulance and police arriving, the excruciatingly long ride to the hospital, the lonely wait in the eerily quiet emergency room and the surgeon’s words … those words that haunted me day after day after day. My wife was dead, my brief marriage erased and my heart crushed. We hadn’t even opened our wedding gifts.

I dragged myself to the shower, trying to wash away the dream. It didn’t work. It was time for me to leave here, escape the memories and the sadness. Our friends stopped calling long ago and there was nothing left for me. My parents were dead; Olivia’s parents wished they were dead instead of her. In this huge world I was utterly alone. It was time for me to go.

A loud thunderclap announced it was not a good day to take out the bike. I’d been sleepwalking for three years and I’d had enough; I needed to do this. For the first time in forever I removed my wedding ring and placed it on the dresser next to my phone and wallet.

“Will the bike start up?” I wondered “Or has it died, too?” I grabbed my helmet and walked to the garage. The bike was plugged in; when did I do that? In one of my rare moments of clarity? I slipped on my gloves, opened the garage door and climbed on my bike. It was pouring and I had no idea where I was going. It didn’t matter; I stopped caring. Now I needed to stop the heartache.

NAR © 2023

Published by Literary Revelations Publishing House

An independent press dedicated to showcasing the best literary work. We publish poetry, short stories, art, interviews and novels.

21 thoughts on “Feature of the Week – Nancy Richy and the Art of Telling Stories

  1. Dearest Nancy, I can’t tell you how delighted I am to see you here, featured in Literary Revelations. I am sorry I am running behind. I saw your name here yesterday and was so happy to see you in the spotlight where your beautiful stories belong. Both stories were not only realistic and relatable to too many people, I am sure, but they were vivid and heartbreaking. Your beautifully written stories always make an impact. It was not hard to visualize the miserable couple in the first story, married for years, with nothing but anger left between them. The last story was sorrowful; people die on honeymoons or right after marriage and feel their life has ended. You make us want more of your words as you develop your characters with such short stories. Congratulations, and I could not be happier for you. Big blessings and lots of love, Joni

  2. Hi Nancy, I am getting to your stories a little late, I know, but have not stopped laughing at Martha and George. It would make a great TV sit-com. It reminded me of exchanges between Michael Caine and Maggie Smith in the Neil Simon play/movie, California Suite. I could watch that hilarious movie over and over again. A classic! I love your work ☺️💕

  3. While I got to read this Nancy, I forgot to come back to it. I love seeing your stories featured on Gabrielas Site! What an honor and so well deserved. You continue to draw us in with your stories of truth and also invite us to dig deeper into our own lives.
    Congratulations on this honor! ❣️

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