August 12, 2014

A Dancing Bear, a Novel by David Free

 Editors Note: Herewith we introduce David Free, our first contributor from Australia. This submission is another first for Fictional Cafe: the premier chapter from his novel appears in two formats, type and podcast. You can begin reading, or scroll to the end of the excerpt and listen to the author in his inimitable Down Under accent read aloud to you. In either – or both – we hope you will find A Dancing Bear as delightful as we did. Please click on the arrow below to listen to the podcast of Chapter 1: Chapter 1 You lunatics, Fenton Bland pretended to think, while taking a fiery glance at his watch. What the hell am I doing here? In truth, he knew perfectly well what he was doing there. He had, moreover, no genuine urge to know the…

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August 7, 2014

Peter Pan Kitsune, a Novel by Kyla Goulet

Editors Note: We’re very proud to introduce a talented new writer, Kyla Goulet. At seventeen, she is also our youngest contributor. We asked how she came up with the idea of Peter Pan as a Kitsune, the mythological Japanese creature. She wrote: “Some powers of Kitsune are that they’re immortal and can fly, so…bingo. Peter Pan as a Kitsune? Telling his backstory and a life full of adventure, the ups and downs of being this mythical being? It sounded absolutely brilliant in my eyes.” Her writing is absolutely brilliant in our eyes. Here is the Preface and Chapter One from her novel-in-progress, Peter Pan Kitsune. *       *       * Preface The strain had just been too difficult, as if pins and needles were purposely launching themselves into his skin. He winced, and—by the looks of it—his stomach…

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July 11, 2014

Alice’s Bar and Grill by Col. Jon D. Marsh

“And just WHAT the hell do you think you’re lookin at?” Eddy doesn’t answer. He doesn’t say a word. Eddy knows what is going to happen next and it doesn’t matter if he speaks or not. It wouldn’t matter if he were the world’s greatest orator and philosopher since Forrest Gump. This blowhard is out to impress upon the world that he’s important and hell-bent on doing it as physically as possible to anyone who can’t get out of the way fast enough. “Hey asshole, I’m talking to YOU! You ooglin’ Brenda?” Eddy finishes his water with lime and lays another buck on the bar as a goodnight tip to Brenda. He knows she is going to have to put up with this stupid drunk until his buddies convince him to leave or until he’s…

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July 3, 2014

Three Things I Learned Last Summer, by Jason Brick

Three Things I Learned Last Summer, by Jason Brick

I learned three things last summer. The first thing I learned was: don’t get drunk on margaritas with your best friend’s wife when it’s just the two of you alone on the deck looking out at a once-in-a-lifetime drop-dead perfect June sunset and the air is warm and clean with a caressing wind coming in off the desert with the scent of spice and the promise of your heart’s desire. It wasn’t as if we hadn’t been drunk together before. Or alone together. Or even drunk together all alone. When it’s your best friend’s wife, and she’s been married to him eight years, you wind up doing most things together at one time or another. The four of us had gotten hammered together with fair regularity, and to say we were comfortable with one another…

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June 6, 2014

Fissure Free, a Novel by Shari J. Ryan

Editor’s Note: The following excerpt is from Fissure Free, Book Two in the Schasm Series by Shari J. Ryan. This romantic, suspenseful, and engaging sequel reunites the colorful cast of friends and family with a powerful tribute to the power of the mind and heart. After nineteen years of suffering with a psychological condition, ethereal Chloe has finally come close to finding her ultimate escape—or so she thinks as she walks the vibrant streets of Paris. Finally in a relationship with Alex, the man she fell in love with in Schasm, Chloe thinks life is finally coming together. As she battles her own demons, she attempts to repair the damaged man she’s grown to love. But as his clouded past abruptly crashes into their lives and falls heavily upon their budding romance, Chloe must fight to maintain her…

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June 5, 2014

“Balancing Act” by Jane Ward

8:45 AM Wednesday, July 15th, 2006 It’s a delicate balance, really. I want to be here early enough to beat the crowds of summer people.  Early enough that all I can hear are the waves slapping against the shore instead of the screams of small children resisting sun screen applications. Early enough that all I can see when I look over the top of my John Grisham paperback are the water, the buoys that signal how far out you’re allowed to swim, and way out, across the miles, the faint, mist-enveloped outline of Long Island. But I also want to be here late enough that the sun is shining in full force so that it has a fighting chance at blending the horrendous tan lines I’ve incurred this summer.  There’s the obvious “farmer tan” or…

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June 3, 2014

Here’s The Truth, a Novel by Susan Casey

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from  a young adult (YA) novel-in-progress.  CHAPTER ONE: Day 1   I used to think living was harder than swimming through glue. But now, since I’ve  been locked up in juvie  for the past three months, I realize that my pre-jail life was a freaking breeze. Jail will do that to you; change your mind about things. A girl can do a shitload of thinking over the course of two thousand one hundred and forty hours. Trust me. I’ve thought A LOT about what I did to get myself tossed in an eight by ten foot cell, staring out the tiny window on the back wall. And there’s nothing to look at but the tall wire fence that wraps around the place like a giant handcuff. Here’s The Truth:…

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May 7, 2014

“Call Me Harry” a Novel by Randy Cade

Note: This is an excerpt from the novel, Call Me Harry: Murderer, Bank Robber or Mayor?, which is available as a Kindle book. It is Volume 1 in The Harry Parnes Series. A sequel will be published int Fall, 2014. Harold ”Harry” Parnes, 63 years old, has just been released (again) from a prison in New Mexico. He’s walking the dirt road from the prison toward the town of Mesa Rock. A car passes by. The Toyota Camry stopped and I was glad. I was parched, my forehead was blazing from sunburn, my knee was throbbing and I was closer to panic than I had been since my first seven years worrying about the cellmeat in prison. I heard music, a thunderous, monotonous, pulsing drop beat with angry Afro Americans mumbling rhythmic pornographic curses. Hip…

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May 7, 2014

Lucky, by Jason Brick

Good afternoon, y’all. First off, I really want to thank everybody for coming on out today and giving old Lawrence the sort of sendoff he deserves. I know if he was here to see it, our friend would be just beside himself with joy at all this. Except for the being dead part, I mean. I don’t suppose he’d be too thrilled about that. Well, when Lawrence’s ma asked me to say a few words today, I almost told her no. I’m not too great in front of crowds and all. But Lawrence, well, I know he’da been there for me. So here I am. And here’s what I have to say. I sure hope it’s okay enough. We called him Lucky, the boys and me did, even back when we were all kids. And…

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May 6, 2014

Shallow, by Benjamin J. Trosper

I. Late, as always, but I suppose specters have no clock. “Would you like another Coke?” My waitress, heavy enough to be a mother with a face twice as harsh, did not bother to catch my eye, but how could she when the shadows cast over the tables were deeper than those over the bar?  I looked down into my glass. Dark fizzy foam reminded me where I was, corner booth facing glass splintered with girls. Hot and hotter underneath their sweatshirts and sweat soaked into their hair. There she sits . . . and I softly whispered to myself, as I did on the landing between staircases at home and at school, “Hey . . . Nicole.” “Mr. King of. . .” My waitress blinked, as if tricked by the light. “King of Night-marez?”…

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