January 3, 2020

“Suzy, the New Girl” by Roopa Raveendran-Menon

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“Suzy, the New Girl” by 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”

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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

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“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

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“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

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“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 19, 2019

“Satiety,” and Other Poems by Brian Rihlmann

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“Satiety,” and Other Poems by Brian Rihlmann

SATIETYthere used to be  a much longer delay  between hope  and disappointment     now, I pluck the fruit  and it withers  in my hand    I know it’s bitter  before my tongue does    soon I’ll leave the fruit  and nourish myself   on emptiness    I’ll chew the blue of the sky  I’ll taste the black of the night  and be filled  ** REBORN   and when the pain finally goes as inexplicably as it came we grab its arm to drag it back  through the door like a spurned lover saying  “please stay… I didn’t mean it”  we believe if we let it go then it has no more meaning than a passing cloud a brief summer storm a dead leaf blowing down the street in the wake of a truck   it must mean something more than that we think—  we think so and thus it is reborn to scream at us through all our days and nights   ** QUIT WEARING OTHER…

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December 16, 2019

“The Man in the Iron Hat,” a Short Story by Audrey Kalman

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“The Man in the Iron Hat,” a Short Story by Audrey Kalman

The hat was a marvel, like a chastity belt or a grate over an abandoned and dangerous well. The wide curve of its bowl fit the man’s head perfectly. The thick brim jutted over his eyes, hiding everything above the horizontal plane of his vision and much to either side. It was astonishing that something intended to be worn could be fashioned of a material so ancient, so dense and pebbly and so, well, iron age. Yet the hat seemed to him the most natural thing in the world.  He didn’t wear it with pride but he didn’t resent it either. It simply was. He put it on every morning. It sat on his head through breakfast with his wife and children, through the tedious search for his briefcase, the train ride to the city, the day in the office, the ride home, drinks, dinner, TV, lovemaking—three times a week—until, just before he laid his head on the pillow,…

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December 10, 2019

“Acquaintance,” Flash Fiction by Ramisa Alam

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“Acquaintance,” Flash Fiction by Ramisa Alam

“Would you like to see the menu?” the waiter couldn’t help himself from approaching Lisa.   “No thank you. I’m waiting for someone.”  She has been waiting for quite a while. She doesn’t mind waiting in such a nice place. Smooth jazz playing and she has her phone to keep her company.     Lisa prefers this eatery to other ones nearby. This is the only place that has enough space to fit her laptop, papers and coffee mug on a table for one. Some days she plugs in the headphones, gets into the new assignment and hours goes by without her noticing. When it comes to meeting someone for the first time, this place is tops at cordiality.  She looks down at her phone to check the time.  It’s 4:54  What’s taking Nina so long?  Nina has a habit of being late, Lisa knows that. Nina must have gotten into those hairstyle tutorial videos and lost the track of time. Classic Nina!  Despite never meeting her…

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December 8, 2019

A Short Story, “Judgment Day,” by Philip Sherman Mygatt

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A Short Story, “Judgment Day,” by Philip Sherman Mygatt

On a cold, rainy April day, I put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger. It wasn’t the way I wanted to die, but I had no choice, especially after losing my wife, whom I loved so dearly. It wasn’t a random act; I had carefully planned it as I spiraled downward into the depths of insanity and deep depression. It wasn’t pretty, but I was finally out of my misery, or so I thought at the time.   I had always wondered what it was like to die; perhaps it was like getting anesthesia before an operation, or perhaps it was like just closing your eyes and going to sleep, however it turned out to be quite different. Even now as I send this message across that invisible barrier separating life from death, it’s…

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December 6, 2019

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

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“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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