December 8, 2019

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

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

“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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December 3, 2019

“Typhoon Season,” A Short Story by Michael Colbert

“Typhoon Season,” A Short Story by Michael Colbert

Logan followed Natsumi to Japan and he was beginning to wonder why. Yesterday he wondered why when he drank bad coffee from 7-Eleven but was desperate for an iced latte. Today he wondered why when he tried to buy stamps at the post office to send his seventeen-year-old sister a birthday card.  “Kitty,” he said. “America made kitty.”  Natsumi had told him what to say as she ran out the door of her mother’s house to buy more medicine. Her mother was sick. Badly sick. With what, Logan didn’t know.  “Logan, I need to go home to Japan,” she’d said. In bed, her back was to him. He stroked her smooth shoulders, outlining the Astoria house he saw through the window. “My mom is sick.”   They were coming up on the end of their lease. Their first apartment together. They met in college, Wesleyan. He was studying…

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November 30, 2019

“Out of Time,” Powerful Flash Fiction by Lucy Zhang

“Out of Time,” Powerful Flash Fiction by Lucy Zhang

A ticking time bomb. Every tick a precious second lost–not preserved in Snapchat or Instagram–the memory of it cached in a few brain cells before a new memory purged space for itself. Ellen, twenty-nine years old and ticking, kept a bright pink box, the First Response Rapid Results pregnancy test, in a cabinet behind the bathroom mirror. She already wasted one test on a false-alarm missed period. After peeing on the tip, feeling the warmth of a droplet of urine on her finger, she had stood watching the test for ten minutes while her husband, Wes, stood outside the locked door to the bathroom. No pink. Safe.  Or not safe, she supposed. She and Wes had been trying for children for a few months now. You’re in the prime of fertility in your twenties, Ellen’s mother had…

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November 27, 2019

Introducing the Poetry of Jessica Lovett

Introducing the Poetry of Jessica Lovett

STRING OF LIGHTS     Our hands go like this  they go up  I’m so proud of us    all of this us,    and the things that kept falling out,  the sharp hooks  of twisted girls’ mouths  are lights on a string    they’re just lights on a string.    I guess it’s probably spring  but I’d find that out at your house    look at you, with all your time        SEEING THINGS FOR WHAT THEY ARE    On the edge of a bench  the sun mutters a breeze  look at the trees; look at guy in red hat and capris  my body’s a cylinder placed on top of a moving submarine, this you’re better to believe  performative pigeons and their soliloquies  you could have me, here,  in a lot more ways than one …

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November 25, 2019

“Thistled Spring,” by David Norwood

“Thistled Spring,” by David Norwood

Robin perched in her tree and frantically counted the eggs in her nest. She feared she had taken too long hunting for worms which in turn gave other creatures ample time to steal her eggs. But, it was just too damn hard to find any food. The ground was as hard as a brick and the grass as thick as a jungle. Why couldn’t it rain just a little to help loosen the soil, or why couldn’t someone cut the grass and drive those worms out of the ground for her, she thought. Was a little help too much to ask for? But, all four eggs were still nestled together just as she had left them, and her worry began to ease.     She then scanned her immediate surroundings for any signs of intrusion. Claw marks? Chipped bark? Broken limbs? Mangled nest? Had some miscreant been lurking while she was away, it would most likely return later that night. But,…

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November 22, 2019

The Heartfelt Poetry of Ana M. Fores Tamayo

The Heartfelt Poetry of Ana M. Fores Tamayo

Home, Through the Muted Screen   Home?  My black bear dog sleeping all day long Nestled in a corner of the kitchen, yellow Against the green leaves of potted plants, Overgrown as window shades To hide the heat of summer Or glare of winter’s day.  Or is home a memory of days With siblings running on the beach of waterfronts, On boardwalks laughing, eating cotton candy, Talking of our daily conquests?  Heat radiates through windows, Warmth fills the sun drained dusty day.  The laughter of my daughter’s eyes glitters miles away through computer graphics. Glaring pictograms, even as warm and fuzzy rays Wrestle my despondent doldrums, tussling the muted screen that wrangles fuddled images. Yet suddenly, her singsong voice, her vale, Her voluptuous vapor bantering  force me to forget my mundane life, and she comes alive, splendor in that little box, electronics transforming me into completion at the sound and chatter of her song.  In answer to your Battle Lines   As I read your battle lines, I am consumed by the…

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November 20, 2019

“Thank God I Drove Past You Today,” by Mário Santos

“Thank God I Drove Past You Today,” by Mário Santos

I drove past you today. You were chatting with some friend of ours, waiting for the bus. I saw you briefly through the window of my car but, at that exact moment, I stepped harder on the gas. I saw your image, but it was just for a second. Then you vanished. You know what? Thank God I drove past you fast. I had to tell you this.  Today, I couldn’t be in your world. I’m dead tired. I’ve a deadline at work to meet in four days. Last minute problems as usual. Meetings in a row. The pressure from customers, my first manager, my second manager – that shit is full of managers – my co-workers. Not today. I’m not capable of hearing your endless complaints, your criticism about everything, your grievances. Not today. I don’t want to hear you talking about your…

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November 18, 2019

The Joyous Poetry of Kufre-Udeme Thompson

The Joyous Poetry of Kufre-Udeme Thompson

I Feel Like Dancing  I woke up this morning–– when the night was making love with the day: Mbodibo all over my body! when the sun was about to be conceived; I felt my spirit yearning; my pulses ticking, for a thing I fought in vain to understand.  Then just when the tiny sweet voices of birds–– Ebomo nkuku, kuku! began to escape the thick bushes behind my hut, resounding new songs of joy and laughter–– my feelings became clear as the mirror; I understand now my long deepest yearning:  I really, really feel like dancing! The urge far surpasses the desire for a woman, but `tis with a woman I want to dance–– Nka iferi, to be precise: the smartest and darkest of all, who’ll twist to my desired feat.  I swear, I feel like dancing! Play me the evil drum made with human flesh–– the flesh of an old woman will give a spirited rhythm; Ntap nkanam, ntap nkanam nkanam. Let Anansa sing me the tune–– Anansa, the water goddess of the Ifa Ibom nation.  I want to dance ekombi; Oh, ekombi itiad ntokon! Let me return to the past. Oyebap, oyebap Bokondo! I want to sway with the ancient; Fetch me my wrapper!  Ekombi is…

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November 12, 2019

“No Man’s Ghost” – Chapter 1 – Jason Powell

“No Man’s Ghost” – Chapter 1 – Jason Powell

WHEN THE FIRE STARTED in the Johnsons’ apartment, it probably looked worse than it was. But then it was allowed to spread and became worse than it probably looked. There were a lot of contributing factors to the spreading. The first one, obviously, was the gasoline; but a close second was Mrs. Knudson – the neighbor in apartment 6A next door. She should’ve been the first to call the fire department but at the time of the fire, she closed all of her windows and put a towel at the foot of her door and kept it to herself. She didn’t do those things because of any smoke or heat, she did it because of the sounds of the commotion. To Mrs. Knudson, it sounded like a fight next door and it made her angry….

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