July 29, 2018

“Trash Picker” by Frank Diamond

“Trash Picker” by Frank Diamond

Emma actually stopped Paul on the church steps. Blocked his way. Emma, Paul’s former sister-in-law, and her posse had been waiting, though Paul had not given indication to anyone from the old neighborhood that he’d be attending the funeral. He’d been disconnected from his troubled history for like . . . hell, forever, it seems. Still, they guessed Paul would show. And why shouldn’t he? Michael is his son. Was. Was his son. He is grieving, Paul is. Can’t they see? Maybe, but they don’t care. Here they are at the top of the steps under a bright September blue that kind of reminds Paul of the 9/11 day. Beautiful, beautiful. Emma, now a middle-age plodder, and two lugheads bulging from their Sunday best, with arms crossed upon bellies. These must be her sons; the…

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July 17, 2018

At the Intersection of Nature and Humankind

At the Intersection of Nature and Humankind

Fabrice Poussin’s Photography Fabrice Poussin loves his camera, and it is quite clear his camera loves his subjects. He shoots in both color and black and white, and it quickly becomes evident that his eye finds many diverse visual subjects from the intersection of nature and humankind in front of his lens. Please click on the individual photos to see a full-screen view. Ancient Feast   Bearing the Future By the Garden   Dance   Fire and Ice   Her Composition   Jail for the Senses   Last Smiles   Lost Hope   Saving Dreams ***     Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and dozens of other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch…

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July 13, 2018

“Elephant Tadpoles” Part III by Victoria Merkle

“Elephant Tadpoles” Part III by Victoria Merkle

Editor’s Note: Here’s the conclusion to Tori’s novella, a work which Fictional Café is quite proud to have premiered. Elephant Tadpoles by Tori Merkle Part III It was amazing, for a while. There was a new adventure every day in with my gallivanting group of unchained artists. We bounced from place to place, absorbing each one and carrying its thumbprint to the next. I was pursuing my art. I was in love. I was free of rules and expectations. I was being who I wanted to be. After the first year and a half, the need for a stable income settled in. Our savings were nearly gone, put into food and camping equipment and art supplies. Aiden couldn’t find a venue for his music. I couldn’t sell my paintings. We ran out of money to…

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July 11, 2018

“Elephant Tadpoles” Part II by Victoria Merkle

“Elephant Tadpoles” Part II by Victoria Merkle

Editor’s Note: Here’s the second instalment in Tori Merkle’s novella, “Elephant Tadpoles,” which began on Monday. The concluding Part III appears here on Friday, July, 13. Elephant Tadpoles by Tori Merkle Part II Summers at the Hayward Estate in the British Isles were lustrous and tender. The property felt endless to me, the rows of grape trees in the vineyard stretched on and on until they blurred into the soft green hills beyond them. I wished I could trace my finger along the landscape and feel its nooks and crannies. I thought there must be entire worlds hidden in the ravines between the hills. There were more than enough ravines to explore on the property, though. The stone-walled house had three peaks like a castle, and ivy spun up the sides and the columns that…

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July 9, 2018

The “Magus Elgar” Contest!!

The “Magus Elgar” Contest!!

As promised, here is the “Magus Elgar” contest with real prizes you can win! It’s a simple contest which only requires your having listened – or listening once again – to identify a character’s name. And that character is . . . [drum roll] . . . THE DRAGON! The first Coffee Club member to correctly identify the dragon’s name will win an advance copy of the “Magus Elgar” soundtrack CD  <<< and a Fictional Café baseball hat >>> plus some other swag we haven’t quite worked out yet. But it’ll be good stuff, and you’ll want it! This contest is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. If you loved the first three episodes of “Magus Elgar,” and you love Fictional Café, you definitely want to get into this contest!    …

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July 8, 2018

“Elephant Tadpoles” Part I by Victoria Merkle

“Elephant Tadpoles” Part I by Victoria Merkle

Editor’s Note: It isn’t often we’re presented with a novella-length submission, but this one was too good to pass up. What makes it extra special is that it’s the author’s first published work. Victoria “Tori” Merkle’s “Elephant Tadpoles” will appear in three segments this week – today, Wednesday and Friday. We hope you’ll appreciate it as much as we baristas did, and will share your Comments with the author. ℘ Elephant Tadpoles by Tori Merkle Part I “Come on, girls, school in an hour!” our mother, Grace Hayward, ushered our two blonde heads down the hall. I was five steps faster, my messy pigtails bobbing up and down as I skipped into the kitchen. My bare feet slapped against the dark oak floor and my plaid skirt, its waistband folded twice over, could have slipped…

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July 6, 2018

Friday Night Audio Adventure: “Magus Elgar, ” Episode 3 and . . . The Contest!

Friday Night Audio Adventure: “Magus Elgar, ” Episode 3 and . . . The Contest!

Welcome back to “Magus Elgar,” Episode 3! Last week, you had the opportunity to hear an interview with Kennedy Phillips, the show’s creative visionary and producer, and Christopher Moore, the sound design editor. Putting a podcast of this quality and magnitude together is no mean feat. It takes many talented people, and here they all are. Please click on the arrow below to begin listening to “Magus Elgar,” Episode 3. And Now, The Contest! We promised you a contest last week, and here it is. On Monday, July 10, we’ll make a special announcement via email to all 550 of you Fictional Cafe Coffee Club Members, asking a question concerning one of the characters in “Magus Elgar.” You know, like, “How many times was Deadpool killed and came back to life again?” The winner will…

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June 29, 2018

Friday Night Audio Adventure: “Magus Elgar, ” Episode 2

Friday Night Audio Adventure: “Magus Elgar, ” Episode 2

We hope you enjoyed Episode 1 of this brand-new exciting, audio adventure! Now comes Episode 2, with a bonus: an interview with the creator, Kennedy Phillips, and Christopher Moore, assistant sound designer. The interview, jam-packed with insider stories and podcasting tips, was conducted by our very own Audio Arts Barista, Ruby Fink, and edited by Chris Moore. Please click on the arrow below to listen to the interview.   Please click on the arrow below to listen to Episode 2 of “Magus Elgar.” Next week: Episode 3 of “Magus Elgar” and a Contest!

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June 22, 2018

Friday Night Audio Adventure: “Magus Elgar”

Friday Night Audio Adventure: “Magus Elgar”

For the next three weeks, Fictional Cafe is proud to entertain you with an audio adventure starring Magus Elgar. It’s a comedic fantasy that will entertain your socks off, inspired by the works of Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Simon R. Green, J.K. Rowling, and other great authors. After a magical spell throws an eccentric magi named Magus Elgar and his student into a world of science, they must apply all of their skills to find the scientific tools that have appeared in their world – before they end up in the wrong hands. Please click on the arrow below to listen to the first episode of “Magus Elgar.” If you’re dying to know more, please visit the website by clicking here. We’ll play episodes 2 and 3 consecutively on the next two Friday nights.

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June 18, 2018

“Juneteenth” by Sarah Kersey

“Juneteenth” by Sarah Kersey

Editor’s Note: On June 19, 1865, the last emancipation of the black people of the United States took place. Occurring in Texas, slavery was that day finally and completely abolished. Although little known or recognized, this final act of abolition was named “Freedom Day” and is often remembered today as “Juneteenth,” for June nineteenth. We are honored to offer you this poetic narrative  entitled “Juneteenth,” commissioned especially for the Fictional Café to recognize this day, written by Sarah Kersey.   Juneteenth I must have died, because now I am free. I couldn’t have. Not today. That general—Galveston is his name?—rode in on his steed. For some reason, I pictured Michael on the white horse in Revelation. General looked defeated. A savior’s a savior, no matter what. How could my master be free, but I am…

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