August 8, 2019

Dayna Lellis: Telling Timeless Truths

Dayna Lellis: Telling Timeless Truths

Your Value   Instagram followers Twitter retweets Facebook likes Snapchat views Numbers we use To quantify #Popularity #Beauty #Wittiness #Worth These numbers mean #Nothing Compared to the people In your life Yearning for quality time With you They don’t need numbers To see your value    Emotional   We develop strong arms, carrying around emotional baggage for months, even years.  We mistake this for strength.   We weaken our grip on our baggage,  opening it to reveal  its untidy contents to others. We mistake this for weakness.   May Day  Unnecessary clicks, swipes, and likes are taking away  precious seconds,  minutes, hours, days of our lives,  of our budding dreams. “Just a little longer, okay?” “I’ll do it tomorrow,” you say.  Tomorrow is growing impatient. Tomorrow is ready to bloom today.   Two Vows  I’ve walked this path for eternity. Its minutiae are etched into my mind.  One random day, to my surprise, I notice stairs that reach the sky.   As I ascend, I glance below.  I see paths that swerve, with shadows galore.  Others appear straight with a sunlit glow, but on closer inspection  they have bumps as well.   I search for mine.  It takes some time. Its gentle curves are…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

August 5, 2019

The Nostalgic Poetry of Delaney Daly

The Nostalgic Poetry of Delaney Daly

Tender Continuum   This town is a perfect snow globe  on a mantelpiece, an impenetrable dome.  Waves of puddles on the stone sidewalk  swallow us down & we become a part of the rotation,  the silent timepiece,  the busted backdrop.  We will never escape it  even when we box up our  memories & drive to the shore & cradle our kin   or watch them outrun our misfortunes.   Still, this is just a thought against actions, just a minute  against an hour.  When the glass shatters & we inhale the valley fog for the last time,  we will draw breath as  the pale petal in the  summer storm wind.    Silent Orenda  Today, there is an urgency not to move. To instead, bury the worn soles of my feet in this comfortable, breathable moment,  one that I am certain will not try to control me – in the same way that the passing hours like to threaten me and hold me to the slow, choking wind,  who, with the right motivation,…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

July 31, 2019

Paths of Existence: Poetry by Yong C. Takahashi

Paths of Existence: Poetry by Yong C. Takahashi

Journey  I emerge from the mud Caked in past indiscretions Mistakes weighing me down I attempt to shake it off And decide I’d never be able to Reduce the heavy load I decide to cry until I’m whole Hoping not to drown in tears Unable to cleanse my past I praise the rain that comes but  It’s cold, dark, and unrelenting Not the salvation I prayed for When I think I may drown The sun comes and warms me I look back at the faded footprints And marvel how far I’ve traveled The old path is almost gone The rotted breadcrumbs I left To find my way back home Are washed away and I must Forge a new path to happiness  The Collector  We can collect treasures Even coveting wounds That aren’t even ours Treasures proudly displayed Spotlight shining on them Repurposed into excuses You can use not to succeed After years, they collect dust Graying, covered with cobwebs Too tired to clean the artifacts  Scrambling to recoup…

Continue reading →

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

Continue reading →

July 28, 2019

“The Kraken,” A Tale of the Sea by Kimberley M. Munsamy

“The Kraken,” A Tale of the Sea by Kimberley M. Munsamy

Daniel Dlamini, a postgraduate student in marine biology at the University of Cape Town, switched on his laptop and checked his email. It was a daily routine. He would get fried hake, thick-cut chips, and a cheap beer from the cart parked outside the harbor, dine on the edge of his boat while the sky darkened from summer to winter blue, then check his email. His mentor, Dr. Samson Saris, was on an expedition and was due to have his reserves restocked, but two months had passed and Saris could not be reached.   When Daniel checked his email an hour later, there was a new message in his inbox. With quivering lips and frenzied eyes, he clicked on the link and watched the first video attached to the email.   **  He adjusted the camera mounted to the dashboard, smiled broadly,…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

July 24, 2019

Abigail Kipp: Getting to the Heart

Abigail Kipp: Getting to the Heart

Favorite Things   A few of my favorite things fill my head  Sunlight through green leaves dancing in the dark  Rap songs on the radio ignoring what is said  Just moving along down roads lost in the mark  Watching dancers soar wishing I was too  Silver rain on bare skin cool wet slides down  The sound of white snow falling in que  Black skirts a little too short peaceful small town  And the way you looked at me like I lookedAt you lost in innocence the before  The fall when we were both completely hooked  Before we started cold trench and ash war  Moment of love I am doomed to repeat  With everyone that comes next like useless meat.   ** Two languages (free form)  Two languages And I can’t find the words Crawling in my mouth Screaming to be free  Twenty-six letters And I can’t locate The syllables That read  How you let go.  How do I write When poems are all a…

Continue reading →

July 21, 2019

” To Whom It May Concern” A Short Story by Claire Sartin

” To Whom It May Concern” A Short Story by Claire Sartin

I am dressed my best to do it, if that helps: a classy dress with large floral black and white print that falls just below my knees.  It is strapless with a sweetheart neckline, the kind that looks good on everyone.  I must have bought the dress for a special occasion, but I found it shoved in the back of my closet, unworn, tags still attached.  The dress makes it appear less meaningless.  I didn’t know of my attacker until after it happened.  I didn’t even realize it had happened until months later.  When I woke up there was just one man standing by the bed.  I heard a variety of beeps all around me and a faint consistent ticking sound that seemed to be coming either from right below my head or inside my ear.  I opened my eyes and stared up at a white…

Continue reading →