September 10, 2015

Flashterpiece Mystery!

Flashterpiece Mystery!

Editor’s Note: Good evening and welcome to Flashterpiece Mystery! I’m Mike Mavilia. Tonight, we have a very special night of fiction. In just a moment, you’re going to see the first of three hand-picked stories – truly one in a hundred – culled from the flash fiction anthology titled, Baby Shoes. For hundreds and even thousands of years, very short fictional stories have been told to captivated audiences around the world. And yet, today more than ever, the form of the brief story holds an important place for both reader and writer alike. In a world where Twitter stories exist and technology calls for smaller circuitry in computer chips, the writing on the wall is clear: people want things small, yet powerful: concise. Enter flash fiction. We begin with a little tale called “Consummation,” about a…

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August 25, 2015

“In Leather Chaps,” Another Jean and Rosie Novel and a Special Offer!

“In Leather Chaps,” Another Jean and Rosie Novel and a Special Offer!

Editor’s Note: Last year, we published an excerpt from Catherine Dougherty’s first novel, in Polyester Pajamas. Since then, she has been nothing but prolific, publishing the follow-up in Woolen Bikinis and now the third Jean and Rosie novel, in Leather Chaps, from which we feature an excerpt. For the next two days, August 26 – 28, Cathy is offering her first novel, in Polyester Pajamas, Kindle edition, to readers absolutely free! Here’s a great way to get into the Jean and Rosie series without spending a dime. If you like the first then you’ll probably like the second and be eager to pick up the third, in Leather Chaps, causing both author and readers to rejoice! in Leather Chaps When Life Gets Tough, Women Get Tougher . . . Jean can handle the upcoming divorce, the constant hot flashes, the unemployed son, even…

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August 24, 2015

“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part Three)

“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part Three)

This is the conclusion of Adam’s supernatural, gothic thriller. Start from the beginning here.  Mrs. Holmes watched the carriage carrying the two young women away to relative safety. She was not certain what would happen, but she remembered vividly the last night before Dougal McCullagh, then called Fergusson, had… rescued her. From her husband. As the memories began to surface, she swiftly pushed them away again. Now was not the time to reminisce about days gone by. There was precious little time left, and she hoped very much to survive the night, though there was every possibility that she would not. She considered whether or not she had made her peace with that and decided that she had not. Rather, she simply could not accept it as a possibility, so it seemed an unreality to…

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August 17, 2015

“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part Two)

“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part Two)

This is the second part of Adam’s three-piece serial. Read Part One here, and come back next Monday for the chilling conclusion.  Mrs. Belinda Holmes, 44, widowed, mother of two grown boys both of whom were overseas serving with the British Expeditionary Force in France, was the only member of the staff who had served the Congdon family longer than Mr. James Atherton and she absolutely loathed the man. He was pretentious, overbearing, haughty, and he treated the rest of the staff like they were below him. In the strictest sense they were, but he treated them as if HE were their master instead of Mr. Congdon and that did not set well with Mrs. Holmes. So when Mr. Atherton came into her kitchen to await the call of Mr. Congdon, Mrs. Holmes was far…

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August 11, 2015

“A Ghost of an Idea” by Beth Roper

“A Ghost of an Idea” by Beth Roper

Editor’s Note: As Rod Serling, host of “The Twilight Zone,” might have said, “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into…” Beth Roper’s delicious short story of revenge from beyond the grave, “A Ghost of an Idea.” *     *     * Gavin Van Dam smiled faintly as he heard her high heels clacking down the entry way and the soft click of the door. His wife Amanda was leaving for her girl’s night out after many kisses and apologies. Van had finally assured her he would perfectly fine left to his own devices, and settled…

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August 10, 2015

“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part One)

“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part One)

This is Part One of Adam’s Three-Part Tale. Come back next Monday, and the Monday after for more beautiful, monstrous mystery.  The door swung open with the smooth, silent urgency of a practiced hand. James Atherton, the Congdon butler swiftly took in the man who stood before him. Tall, wide-shouldered, he had a broad face decorated with a well-trimmed beard that was significantly out of vogue with modern sensibilities. His brown wool suit was crisp and clean, and his shirt was white, starched, and well-pressed. He wore a wide-brimmed hat that was also out of style, but it suited him in a rakish sort of way. He removed the cap and ran a large hand with scarred knuckles through his thick mane of dark blond hair, and then produced a calling card with his other….

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August 2, 2015

Poetry by Judith Manzoni Ward

Poetry by Judith Manzoni Ward

  “Sunday Morning Dreamscape”   The silk umbrella that covered her head had a hole in its top, in case of rain. She was meeting her husband for a rendezvous outside a phone booth. Her daughter followed, six steps behind, reciting the only two definitions of sodomy that she knew. An elevated train on the left side of the road stopped; three men fell out onto a steel track below. The daughter ditched her at a fork in the highway, went on alone to the dock to meet an old lover who would take her away on a cruise. She had forgotten her ticket; he said she could share his: number 660266. He asked if she needed a baby sling; she predicted he would marry someone young.   “The Way She Gathered Stones”   She…

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June 30, 2015

“Diplomacy” by Jane Ward

“Diplomacy” by Jane Ward

Editor’s Note: We welcome Jane Ward back to the FictionalCafé ‘zine pages with a new short story. Her first, “Balancing Act,” appeared in the June, 2014 issue. * “It’s not like that,” she said. They were sitting on the steps of the old house where Raynor had grown up, looking out at the moss-covered rocks on the front lawn, and trying to get the bottle caps to land on top of the biggest rock the way they had done when they were children. The house still reminded Tara of the house in Forrest Gump, the way its size was somehow mediated by its straightforward shape and layout, so that the place managed to appear unassuming. “It sounds pretty much ‘like that’ to me,” he told her, keeping his hand in the air after it let…

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June 1, 2015

“Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals” by Peggy McAloon

Editor’s note: The following excerpt is from the young-adult novel Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals, by Peggy McAloon, published by Wheatmark.   Elle Burton stopped at Lake Menomin on her way to school. It was her birthday. A sudden splash shattered her reflection in the water. Her hands flew out to protect her face from whatever exploded upward and she felt . . . something. A butterfly’s wings? She cupped her hands together, lacing her fingers tightly. “Let me go!” Elle’s dark eyes widened in amazement, but she didn’t loosen her grip. “Let me go! I have to be there when he’s born.” “What are you talking about?” Elle whispered, afraid she might break the spell. “I can’t talk to you . . . it’s against the rules.” The creature was now trembling in…

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June 1, 2015

The Reaper’s Daughter by K. M. Randall

The Reaper’s Daughter by K. M. Randall

Editor’s note: The following excerpt is from a newly published novel, The Reaper’s Daughter, by K. M. Randall. Be sure to watch her novel trailer here at Goodreads.   PROLOGUE Present The rolling green of her eyes was dimming fast, losing color and life to the quick click of time that beat out her days and nights, a perpetual circle that was now fading to a close. Light brown hair that had been recently styled into looping curls was limp against the black pillowcase―a metaphor for her wilted spirit, I mused, thinking offhandedly how proud my English professor would be at my thoughtful use of language. I sighed. I didn’t want to be here. When her eyes met mine, I knew she saw me for who I really was—what I really was. She reached out…

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