August 25, 2019

“Disney Rape and Other Paranoid Ramblings,” a Short Story by Kate Rose

“Disney Rape and Other Paranoid Ramblings,” a Short Story by Kate Rose

The things I want more than anything are the things others want: peace of mind. Friendship. Money, even. That’s the one that gets to me. Oh, maybe they all do. Friendship is hard because there has to be a line. You cannot let the other person take over, but you can’t take over either—you need to dance some kind of dance. Hard. Not knowing. I have a friend whose parents were guerrilla fighters. Like most people, I used to think they were named after the ape—that’s how far I was from their, and his, lived reality. He wonders about the people his mother killed—what it was like for her—before she was dragged away when he was two. He remembers her placing him in the neighbors’ care and never seeing her again. His father didn’t get…

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August 17, 2019

“Juno Steel,” A Great New Audio Arts Adventure

“Juno Steel,” A Great New Audio Arts Adventure

We’re delighted to introduce Penumbra Podcasts to Fictional Cafe – especially upon learning we’re all more-or-less Boston creative types. Penumbra is making truly excellent podcasts, or audio arts as we like to call them because that term brings out the multiple dimensions of this work: excellent scripts, high-quality studio recording and mixing, and really delightful foley work (sound effects to you listeners). But let’s hear what the Penumbra people have to say for themselves: “We’ve always loved stories, whether they be science fiction, swashbucklers, high fantasy, horror, or mystery. We grew up passionately reading, watching movies and TV, and playing video games. But eventually we started to notice that a lot of the stories we consumed were the same ones over and over again, and we got tired of it. “Why did every boy and…

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August 9, 2019

Burbuqe Raufi’s “Life” Triptych, Part III

Burbuqe Raufi’s “Life” Triptych, Part III

Editor’s Note: We’ve been honored to publish Ms. Raufi’s “Life” novella which, due to its length, has appeared in three parts this month: Part I, Part II, and herewith, the final panel of the author’s triptych. Please read them in order for full appreciation. “Life” Part III Samuel Blank/the one with the truth. Celestial morning sunbeams covered the Pacific Ocean. Soft, salty-smelling wind blew the papers Samuel held. He sat straight, looking at something on the horizon. I don’t know whether I’m going to miss this, he thought, but it really was an unforgettable experience—finally, everything is clear as this July sky. He dropped his papers, and the wind blew them away. A young man, wearing black, caught the papers and tried to put them in order, his feet sinking into the soft sand.  The…

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August 5, 2019

“Life” – Burbuqe Raufi’s Epic Novella – Part II

“Life” – Burbuqe Raufi’s Epic Novella – Part II

“Life” Part II Angela Miller/the one who served justice for women. The storm was coming sooner than anyone expected. Garbage bins, branches, and road signs flew through the air as she drove her rented white Ford Cabriolet. She ducked her head in fear of getting hit by the flying objects. “Why did I come? Damn it. I knew this was coming,” Angela whined to herself while trying to keep the car on the road. She could hear the cyclone coming closer and closer. Her heart beat fast. Fear had conquered her whole body, and she couldn’t focus. She hit a tree, and the car stopped. She looked around. The air was thick with dust. She coughed; her lungs were full of filth. Her right leg was stuck underneath the steering wheel. She tried to free…

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August 3, 2019

“Life,” A Novella by Burbuqe Raufi

“Life,” A Novella by Burbuqe Raufi

Editor’s Note: “How could you live and have no story to tell?” wrote Dostoevsky in his short story, “White Nights.” Life is about the stories we live and tell, and the three interrelated stories in this intriguing novella by Albanian writer Burbuqe Raufi, are no exception. We present these three stories of “Life” – Sergey Volgov, Angela Miller and Samuel Blanc – beginning tonight and concluding next week. ** “Life” Part I Sergey Volgov—the man who fought poverty. Freckled and ashy pale, Sergey Volgov, a very old man, sat in the wheelchair by the window, watching the mesmerizing motion of the late autumn leaves falling from the trees and landing on the muddy ground, waiting to experience his last breath, but his beaten body resisted freeing his moaning soul. A harsh torture, as was his thin…

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July 30, 2019

A Free Webinar for Writers

A Free Webinar for Writers

Dear Coffee Club Members: tomorrow night, Wednesday, July 31, you’re welcome to attend a presentation by Judith Briles, a writing consultant par excellence. It’s free, it starts at 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, and it’s sponsored by the Independent Publishers of New England. You needn’t be a member to sign up. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE? ~ Cheers, Jack

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July 27, 2019

“Dixon and Sparks” – A Great New Audio Arts Adventure from ZBS

“Dixon and Sparks” – A Great New Audio Arts Adventure from ZBS

It’s always a pleasure to welcome ZBS back to the Fictional Cafe, and tonight is no exception. For your listening delight, we present all eight episodes of “The Night Has Begun,” a Dixon and Sparks radio drama. ZBS audio is very high quality, so headphones are recommended. We’re also very happy to display Genevieve Shapiro’s artistic talents in the featured image (so like a record album cover) here at FC again. Genevieve, in addition to her art for ZBS audio works, created the featured image for ten-year-old Joy Son’s very first published short story, “Princess Olivia.” Thank you for sharing your art with us, Genevieve! The story: Polly Parker believes someone has put a curse on her fiancé, Clifford Barnett. Clifford and his partner, Alan Hendrix, are what’s called headhunters — they find executives to run…

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July 13, 2019

Ruby Fink is Our New Associate Editor, Audio Arts

Ruby Fink is Our New Associate Editor, Audio Arts

We’re very pleased to announce Ruby Fink’s promotion to Associate Editor of Audio Arts. Ruby began working with Fictional Café in the fall of 2016. We published her “Mickie McKinney, Boy Detective,” podcast series, which she wrote, directed and managed to get produced by bribing the actors with pizza. “Mickie” ran serially on FC in 2017. Ruby studied Film Production at Chapman University’s Dodge College, with a minor in Narrative and Dramatic Literature. She has her own production company, Faux Fiction Audio, in L.A. We offered Ruby the podcasting baristaship shortly after running the Mickie McKinney series, and since then she has been a major FC contributor and collaborator. She has brought us – and you – audio works from Jack J. Ward’s Electric Vicuna Productions, Kennedy Phillip’s “Magus Elgar,” M. “Josh” Donnelan’s “Six Cold Feet,”…

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July 6, 2019

The Saturday Night Podcast: “Kinetic Fortress: A Narrative Interrupted”

The Saturday Night Podcast: “Kinetic Fortress: A Narrative Interrupted”

As William N. Robson used to say on the “Suspense” radio dramas, “Listen . . . Listen, then . . .” as we present a surreal, ultra-contemporary podcast by JoAnne Maffia. A pseudo-biographical narrative, it delves into the mind of a woman trying to understand her identity in a world that, she feels, forces her to defend and justify it. As she grapples with her creative demons, her mind has become a kinetic fortress leading to what appears to be . . . but that’s for you, the listener, to determine. Listen, listen then, to “Kinetic Fortress.” Originally broadcast on PRX, used here on FC with the author’s permission. https://www.refoundsound.com/radio-works “Practise07” featured art painting by Tadao Ando, https://www.deviantart.com/taodao/art/practise07-319848260

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July 1, 2019

“Broken” by Susi Bocks

“Broken” by Susi Bocks

What a freakish awakening this morning. My guts felt heavy, as if they contained weighted stuff like rebar with concrete. I felt sick but unable to purge because it would hurt more coming back up. “Why risk more injury?” I thought to myself. It was going to be an enormous challenge to make it through this day if this beginning was any indication.  I pulled back the covers unmajestically to expose my left leg draped over the side, deftly anchored in between the mattress and box spring to help me propel upwards. It was not an easy feat. All the while, creepy flashbacks kept jutting into the brain space behind my eyes: struggling, hands, choking, bright lights, and a sense of foreboding as thick as pudding – a feeling of being under the control of another but not knowing who…

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