April 8, 2018

“Stinkbugs” by Michael Colbert

“Stinkbugs” by Michael Colbert

The stinkbugs came in when Sandra’s sister was dying. Every night after cooking dinner, Robert sat down on his couch to watch “Breaking Bad.” A hum announced itself and his eyes alighted on the perpetrator, a flat brown bug that jetted across the ceiling and then lazed on a new perch. He caught them and released them and wondered how he could eradicate the stinkbugs from his apartment. One time the stinkbug was green. Robert worked at a small furniture startup called Simple Build in New Haven. They sold couches and coffee tables that were easier to put together than products from Ikea. Robert was in marketing; their chief audience was millennials, except all of their furniture was too expensive for millennials. As a result, most of the people who bought their products and liked…

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April 3, 2018

“Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches” By Sarina Dorie, Part 2

“Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches” By Sarina Dorie, Part 2

As promised, following Chapters 1 and 2 yesterday, here are Chapters 3 and 4 of Witches Gone Wicked. If you like what you’ve read, the author has a special, limited time offer for you. You can have a free copy of the ebook in exchange for writing a brief review. If you’re interested, please go to InstaFreebie to claim your copy. Once you’ve finished, please thank Sarina by posting a review on Amazon or Goodreads.   Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches by Sarina Dorie Chapter Three Encounters of the Witchkin Kind   I had hoped that once I came to Womby’s, everything would be clear to me: I would understand where I came from and how my powers worked. Now that I knew my best friend, Derrick, was in this realm, I…

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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 6, 2018

What The Heart Knows: Sarah Kersey’s Poetry

What The Heart Knows: Sarah Kersey’s Poetry

Boxing Ring Pendente lite Fistful of regrets ever poised for a jolting uppercut. A heart too raw to consume.   I am resigning from the ring, rescinding my vows of fidelity snugly held by my finger.   Groomed for whole life to Drag the way a smoker expands his periphery.   Disintegrate by half life into its most potent parts and the rest will flee from the hearth between my hips.   Divorce Decree Loosened stiff muscles too tight for commitment. Experience exfoliated my face. Stripped reptilian seduction off my cheek bones. Sheared seven inches of hair off my head, and your scepter is severed.   Now, finally, a breathless eternity panting, arresting in its afterlife; bond broken. I am exhausted. I exhale. I cry for a time before I tricked myself into a vow…

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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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