August 22, 2019

“Water,” A Fiction by Rob Swigart

“Water,” A Fiction by Rob Swigart

“Water? What do I think about water? I’ll tell you what I think about water.”  Lyman was angry.  The silence went on.  “Well?” Alford prompted. “What do you think about water?” He tried to keep his question flat, so as not to acknowledge Lyman’s fit of pique.  “I try not to,” Lyman said, at last, deflated. He put his head back and closed his eyes.  Alford did not see how this was possible. Lyman sat in it. Or rather, he lay in it. Was lying. He was lying too. Alford knew that as well.  Lyman did not try not to think about water. To try to not think about water would have meant humming meaningless jingles or reciting nursery rhymes or doing advanced algebra in his head or most likely doing nothing but think about not thinking about water, which Lyman, for one, was unprepared…

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January 13, 2020

“True Home and A Bottle of Champagne” by Samuel Ekanem

“True Home and A Bottle of Champagne” by Samuel Ekanem

 As the only human figure in the void corridor, Inem Ikang paused and wondered at her shadow, cast on the corridor walls – the corridor her only possible passage, its walls made of plywood. She had never imagined this: someone casting shadows in the absence of light. And so she started to dance, her body moving slowly, side to side, until the shadows made clearer semblances of her and she was sure they were not spirits. By the time her heart started to bang inside of her, she stopped dancing and craned her neck around the corridor, searching for light. But then she realised that there’s usually no light when there’s darkness.  She moved closer to the wall and caressed the shadows with both hands. The feelings awed her – the wall feeling doughy like half-baked bread. She caressed and caressed, and…

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January 3, 2020

“Suzy, the New Girl” Roopa Raveendran-Menon

“Suzy, the New Girl” Roopa Raveendran-Menon

Suzy, the new girl, and I became best friends fairly quickly. It took us around five days to be inseparable but I swear that I could have been her best pal the day she walked into the classroom.  I even remember the time—It was ten minutes to the first recess gong. Chubby Chandini had already stuffed half of the contents of her tiffin box into her mouth. I knew she had bought potato pancake—bits of yellow potato laced the little fuzz above her thin lips. I had buried my head in my textbook to swallow the loud chortle that had threatened to sneak out.  That was when Suzy had walked in.  It was hard to believe that she was wearing our dull blue and white checked uniform because she wore it so well, with the flair and grace of a diva. I…

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December 27, 2019

Chapter III of Dan Coleman’s “Professor of Death”

Chapter III of Dan Coleman’s “Professor of Death”

Editor’s Note: We’ve been honored to publish Dan Coleman’s “Professor of Death” short story which, due to its length, has appeared in three parts this month: Part I, Part II, and herewith, the final chapter of the author’s triptych. Please read them in order for full appreciation. **      Robert dressed in dark clothes and arrived at the banker’s estate in the East Hamptons just after 2:00 a.m., Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The site was secluded off a main road and down a winding lane. He surveyed the area with night vision field glasses. Except for a subtle breeze and ruffling leaves, all was calm, the sky moonless, overcast, therefore pitch black. Very good conditions. He exited the car near the gate and blew the dog whistle several times. No dogs on the estate at least….

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December 25, 2019

“Professor of Death,” by Dan Coleman Chapter II

“Professor of Death,” by Dan Coleman Chapter II

     In his other profession, Robert Fountain was an assassin. A highly skilled and experienced, highly paid and very well-connected killer of important people mostly of political persuasion, but occasionally a high-class criminal or two. At least he thought he was. Lately, he was beginning to wonder if it were still true. This career began long before his academic one when he dropped out of college after a year to join the Army in the heat of the Vietnam War. He was sent to officer candidate school and trained as a Special Forces commando, eventually serving three tours in Vietnam. On his first tour, he was promoted to captain two months before his twenty-first birthday, making him, at the time, the youngest captain in the U.S. Army. He was a major when he got out,…

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December 23, 2019

“Professor of Death,” A Short Story by Dan Coleman

“Professor of Death,” A Short Story by Dan Coleman

Editor’s Note: This short story will take you through a few unexpected turns with each chapter. You may begin to think you are being treated to a horror/fiction story and then maybe it’s really about a romance. Or is it? In any case, we hope you enjoy each chapter. We present these three intriguing chapters of the short story “Professor of Death” – beginning tonight and continuing throughout the week. ** Things were getting a little too scary to suit Robert Fountain. He could feel the times changing around him, sense the movement of sinister winds, like the rolling in of a tidal wave, and he didn’t want to be standing on the beach when it got there. He was a man with two professions, one public, in which he was a respected authority of some…

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December 21, 2019

“American Child” – A Poem by M. Sullivan

“American Child” – A Poem by M. Sullivan

I walked along the maps of my home   around the bends of the Housatonic River   and up Mount Greylock hanging over Jamaica Plain        I’ve run my fingers over the shores of Nantucket   and felt the Mystic and run my gaze over  Watatic the high Wachusett   and felt the rumble of the Mattapan line and wandered the streets of Swampscott   and of Chappaquiddick        I remember the first bus I took to school   named the Cummaquid Chief and   how I thought as   I shook afraid that the bus would be driven by a head- dressed brown- skinned face- painted man with leather moccasins and fierce gaze        the names meant nothing to me   no  near mountain no great cove  nothing that lay in the midst of waters nor   far off among the waves there was no place I seek no place   of red rocks no…

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December 6, 2019

“Temporary Graciousness,” a Short Story & the Eclectic Poetry of KJ Hannah Greenberg

“Temporary Graciousness,” a Short Story & the Eclectic Poetry of KJ Hannah Greenberg

Editor’s Note: We welcome Channie Greenberg back to the Cafe today with new poetry and fiction. Channie never fails to surprise us with the interesting directions her art takes – nor to delight us. My Etsy Site  My Etsy site’s full of objects made from century eggs, sannakji, and puffin hearts,   But not fugu, or hákarl, especially not shark meat served alongside surströmming.  See, I couldn’t, hereafter, entirely disconnect all of my offerings of fins and tails,  Give up completely trucking with evil, especially lads revealed to be key criminals.  No lack of midwifery of unhealthy scions insures my partners keep their beds clean;  Outlandish creatures show up in my life, regularly, despite my doughty efforts.  What’s more, since I’m temporarily ineligible for base jumping, given my gestation,  I dusted off my teacup collection. I like porcelain, locally sourced,…

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December 3, 2019

“Typhoon Season,” A Short Story by Michael Colbert

“Typhoon Season,” A Short Story by Michael Colbert

Logan followed Natsumi to Japan and he was beginning to wonder why. Yesterday he wondered why when he drank bad coffee from 7-Eleven but was desperate for an iced latte. Today he wondered why when he tried to buy stamps at the post office to send his seventeen-year-old sister a birthday card.  “Kitty,” he said. “America made kitty.”  Natsumi had told him what to say as she ran out the door of her mother’s house to buy more medicine. Her mother was sick. Badly sick. With what, Logan didn’t know.  “Logan, I need to go home to Japan,” she’d said. In bed, her back was to him. He stroked her smooth shoulders, outlining the Astoria house he saw through the window. “My mom is sick.”   They were coming up on the end of their lease. Their first apartment together. They met in college, Wesleyan. He was studying…

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November 30, 2019

“Out of Time,” Powerful Flash Fiction by Lucy Zhang

“Out of Time,” Powerful Flash Fiction by Lucy Zhang

A ticking time bomb. Every tick a precious second lost–not preserved in Snapchat or Instagram–the memory of it cached in a few brain cells before a new memory purged space for itself. Ellen, twenty-nine years old and ticking, kept a bright pink box, the First Response Rapid Results pregnancy test, in a cabinet behind the bathroom mirror. She already wasted one test on a false-alarm missed period. After peeing on the tip, feeling the warmth of a droplet of urine on her finger, she had stood watching the test for ten minutes while her husband, Wes, stood outside the locked door to the bathroom. No pink. Safe.  Or not safe, she supposed. She and Wes had been trying for children for a few months now. You’re in the prime of fertility in your twenties, Ellen’s mother had…

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