April 2, 2018

Sarina Dorie’s New Novel, “Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches”

Sarina Dorie’s New Novel, “Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches”

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased and honored to publish a two-part excerpt from Sarina Dorie’s latest novel here at the Café. The third in her “Womby’s School for Wayward Witches” series, [click to visit her website for more details]  it’s a wonderful story, immediately engaging, skillfully mixing fantasy with reality. In short, Sarina is a really great storyteller! Chapters 1 and 2 appear here today, and Chapters 3 and 4 tomorrow. Here is a synopsis: You think you know the world of magical boarding schools?  Not from a teacher’s perspective at a school for at risk youth. Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches is a whimsical urban fantasy. Like any twenty-two-year-old who grew up obsessed with fantasy novels, Clarissa Lawrence expects all her Harry Potter fantasies to come true when she is invited to…

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March 26, 2018

“The Potter,” A Short Story by Cheree Mann

“The Potter,” A Short Story by Cheree Mann

  The seventh-floor studio apartment in the Soho District of New York was $4,000 a month and had been vacant for three months. The previous renter was an artist and left everything behind. He had 220 wiring installed for his kiln, which sat proudly on high-temp blocks. The electric potter’s wheel sat wanting for attention and shelves lined the north wall that still displayed thrown bisque-fired pots patiently waiting for their glazing. The west wall held an apartment-sized refrigerator, sink and small granite countertop that presented a hot plate, coffee pot, and a mug tree, which held a single cup. Bare wooden slats squeaked under the pressure of footsteps, dusty from layers of dried clay splashed on the floor. The greatest attribute of the studio was the windows. Total glass along the east side allowed…

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March 20, 2018

“The Unexpected Gift” by Jennifer Gaye Peterson

“The Unexpected Gift” by Jennifer Gaye Peterson

The sound of whispers and shuffling feet fell from the welcoming side of a dark burgundy curtain. Its mass was hung and stretched across the full width of an auditorium stage. Hidden behind its thickness was Samantha, sitting nervously, at a baby grand piano. She was silently rehearsing a selected piece of music in her head while at the same time trying desperately to block out the noise. It was the night of the eighth annual music recital at Benton Junior High School, and her first time to play in front of a large audience. Slowly, the heavy curtain opened with a lazy glide across the stage floor. The snapping sound from the spotlight quickly broke her concentration and instantly engulfed her. Frozen and unable to move, the sound of her pounding fear grew louder…

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March 13, 2018

“Jolly Old Fellow” and Other Poems by Robert Joe Stout

“Jolly Old Fellow” and Other Poems by Robert Joe Stout

Hotel Doorman Passes the Time of Day, Mexico City  “New, that one’s suit, bargain sale somewhere but see, the woman with him: style, not ‘a la moda,’ just herself…and him? chingada! beltless jeans, baseball cap, leftist for sure (they’re all alike), that one hiding fat with shawls, ah! look, politician—silk shirt, chin shaved so close it shines (narcos buy Rolex watches, Chargers t-shirts, whores wear open shoulder blouses, spandex pants), banker that one, necktie with a bit of swirl (see the clasp?) and here? aerobic miss (who else could wear jeans that tight?) Faces lie but clothes? Clothes don’t hide what people want to hide. “   Lennon, after the First Hamburg Tour Drank orange juice, ate eggs his foster mother fried, watched re-runs on the telly, sketched obscene cartoons. Beyond the ironed curtains, Naugahyde,…

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March 4, 2018

“Prisoners of the Multiverse” – A Short Story by Jacob M. Appel

“Prisoners of the Multiverse” – A Short Story by Jacob M. Appel

“Prisoners of the Multiverse” is taken from a story collection entitled The Liar’s Asylum, just published by Black Lawrence Press. It first appeared in the New Orleans Review. ~ The defining and indelible event of our pre-college years—for me and for my cohort of honors-level classmates at Laurenville High School—was the suicide, at age forty-two, of our twelfth grade physics teacher, Vance Rottman.  We wouldn’t have been surprised if dowdy Miss Ayler, who so worshipped Virginia Woolf, had filled her pockets with stones and vanished into the Rappahannock.  Or if the fastidious Latin teacher, Dr. Ismay, had fallen on a vintage sword like his defeated Roman generals.  But the image of Vance—for that was what we all called him—bolting himself inside his gear-packed office, where only months earlier he’d rigged a working model of the…

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February 26, 2018

“Where Are The Bones?” – The Novel is Published!

“Where Are The Bones?” – The Novel is Published!

We’re pleased to announce that Harry P. Noble, Jr., has published his first novel, Where Are The Bones? This is a special event for a number of reasons, and if we sound proud of our involvement, you bet we are. Harry sent us the manuscript for Where Are The Bones about a year ago. It was a novella in length, and several of us baristas began reading it and couldn’t put it down. “In Where are the Bones?, Harry P. Noble, Jr. transports the reader on a fresh journey to Texas in 1843. Add mystery to a raw frontier, and you’re in for an intriguing adventure.” – James D. Best, author of the Steve Dancy Tales It turned out to be a fascinating tale, based in large part on true events that occurred in San Augustine, Texas,…

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February 21, 2018

‘Sceaux,” a short story by Salvatore Difalco

‘Sceaux,” a short story by Salvatore Difalco

We sat side by side in the quiet café, a stone’s throw from the Parc de Sceaux, famous for its Château. Outside it rained. A woman passing with a dark blue umbrella stopped and peered at us. For a moment I thought she was going to come and join us at our table. She looked familiar, her face somewhat twisted, possibly anguished. Clearly the battle to remain an individual in the angst-ridden city had taken its toll on her. “Do you know her?” you asked, staring at a spot left of my head. “I do not,” I said, turning to see what it was you stared at. The waiter. “Monsieur,” he said, clicking his heels and bowing his head. “A bottle of rouge, please,” I said. He stared at me for a moment, his eyes…

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December 20, 2017

Reimagining Kristen Roupenian’s Short Story, “Cat Person”

Reimagining Kristen Roupenian’s Short Story, “Cat Person”

Editor’s Note: From time to time, fiction and real life converge like a solar eclipse. The “ME TOO” movement and a short story by Kristen Roupenian entitled “Cat Person,” published recently in The New Yorker, have crossed paths and set the world on its ear. It’s a timely story, to be sure, but it’s also something of a literary fete: the author’s first short story, controversial as hell, accepted by the country’s most prestigious magazine (and one of the few still publishing fiction), which immediately landed Roupenian a book contract with Scout Press, reports the New York Times. Like Roupenian, Rachael Allen is a college student who found herself able to relate to the short story and draw some shared experiences into a complex skein of perception, emotion and experience that reaches out beyond the…

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June 11, 2017

Making the Connection Between Creativity and Spirituality with Alethea Eason

Making the Connection Between Creativity and Spirituality with Alethea Eason

Alethea Eason is an artist in both words and images. Each of her visual collages here is accompanied by a poem or a flash fiction.   Atlas of My Body The river finally flooded, unearthing lost spaces of my geography. My feet filled with myth. My legs freed to carry me to the then and now. I pursue a fevered safari with the radical prison of time discovering the chandelier of my hair, my breasts’ awakening orchids, the lucky coin of my navel, my vulva’s whimsy box. The river moved all that was obscured. Time and myth concurred to find a radiant key to open my heart, the legend that makes sense of all the rest, The atlas of my body uncovered and easily read. * The Charms of Eleanor Dearest E ~ You write…

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