October 11, 2022

“The Anchored World”- An Excerpt

“The Anchored World”- An Excerpt

Fictional Cafe is pleased to share with our readers an excerpt from a just-published, highly original new work by Jasmine Sawers. Please see our interview with the founders of Rose Metal Press, which follows the excerpt. ** The Weight of the Moon The moon fell from the sky last Tuesday. I rolled her into the shed and gave her some water. “Thank you,” she said. “Don’t you worry about it,” I said. I patted her sorest-looking crater. I got some lotion and rubbed it on. “Thank you,” she said. Everyone was so worried. “The tides,” they said. “The rotation of the earth on its axis,” they said. “The migration of the birds, the turning of the seasons, the visibility at nighttime. Where is the moon? The end is nigh. Judgment is coming. Repent.” They don’t…

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August 9, 2022

“The Guacamole Incident,” by William Torphy

“The Guacamole Incident,” by William Torphy

Horace reaches for the party-sized plastic tub, hits it with his thumb and pushes it off the coffee table. The tub falls face-down, sending gobs of guacamole exploding across the new cream-colored Berber carpeting, instantly transforming its surface into an abstract painting of green clods and speckling red.   He slides off his lounge chair and kneels next to the goopy mess. Silvia will be home soon from her therapy appointment. There’s going to be hell to pay and he needs to think quickly. Grab something to sop up the carnage— a rag, a towel, a sponge. Maybe something like a trowel to first scoop up the worst of it. Armed with a spatula, he attempts to spoon up the chunky clumps but he only manages to spread the catastrophe further. He tosses the guac-covered spatula…

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April 6, 2022

“Trade an Honored Word,” by Michael Tyler

“Trade an Honored Word,” by Michael Tyler

Sam lays beside, a strap released and delicate to the touch, bare back to the sun with a touch of whiskey to give the afternoon a kick.  Charlie ties her hair back and applies lotion to Clay’s nose as he regales us all with tales of Amsterdam misadventure. A girl at each window, feigned desire amid fatuous aside from each passing native. Clay took a girl to a room, she cried as he undressed, he paid and let her be. She took his hand as she closed the door and returned to the window, he waved as he passed and that was Amsterdam.  Clay has a fight in two days and Charlie notes he’s looking gaunt. He says it’s worth it for the adrenaline alone and it will not keep him from the whiskey. Charlie’s…

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March 9, 2022

“Counselling,” by Brandan Hingley-Lovatt

“Counselling,” by Brandan Hingley-Lovatt

Editor’s Note: We keep the author’s original spelling when it differs from U.S. English. In this case, Brandan’s UK spelling of “counselling/counsellor” with two Ls persists throughout this work. If I were to write my suicide note I think I’d sign it “I’ve never liked anyone more than myself and I like myself this much.” A parting statement which I think is honest. I can picture it—the note attached to my shirt with a safety pin, my limp body hanging from the ceiling; a plastic bag wrapped around my head for good measure.  Anyway, my counsellor says, “There are a lot of bad people in the world but there are good ones, too.”  I agree but respectfully say that the good ones are too small in number so it doesn’t really make a difference.  My…

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November 19, 2020

“The Blind and the Seeing Are Not Equal” by Ikjot Kaur

“The Blind and the Seeing Are Not Equal” by Ikjot Kaur

Before I stopped seeing, I started dreaming a lot more. The dreams, if they can be called that, gradually increased in frequency and intensity. The whimsical visions of my dreams spilled over into my waking life, the line between the two states smudged. In the unravelling, I discovered a senseless, feral urge to read.   Books multiplied on the shelves overnight, in the dark, while I was asleep. I wandered into used bookstores and rifled through the pages with a hunger for ink. I pored over the manuscripts in my office, the paper rustling under my fingers. Boxes filled with paperbacks arrived at my doorstep. I cracked open their spines. Words crept under my front door, slid over the carpets, climbed into my bed. I read passages out loud, swirling the syllables around my mouth like sips…

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August 11, 2020

A New Call for Submissions

A New Call for Submissions

Fiction writers, rejoice! Our fellow writer and Barista Jason Brick, after struggling through the Portland riots to get back to his computer, is launching a new publishing project, Flash in a Flash. It’s a twice-weekly email that delivers a single flash fiction directly to subscriber inboxes. Although you can write about anything, Jason asks that you keep it to 1,000 words or fewer. When you go to his submissions page, be sure to sign up for his list so you’ll be the first to see your story when it’s published. Jason is our most active barista in terms of publishing the works of other writers. He has published three flash-fiction anthologies, each featuring 100 different writers’ stories (think about that!), and is planning a fourth with the works from Flash in a Flash. He also publishes…

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January 15, 2020

“Hue,” Colorful Flash Fiction by Kasondra Perez

“Hue,” Colorful Flash Fiction by Kasondra Perez

Southern California is the same hue as your eyes. Brown rutted brush where the goats will chew out the fire breaks so maybe we won’t burn up like your rage on a Saturday night after maple colored scotch.   I remember white blankets of soft ice covered the town where I went to school. Everything was touch and go, where winds would pick up like a whip and snap you forward on the walk from your dormitory, coming up again on the return like a violent slap to the face of pitch cold, kind of like last night with your words, never actually, but reaching into my grey matter and thumbing at the tabs of files until pulling out one labeled Insecurities. You took that folder and studied it like admissions counselors studied my manuscripts. Scrutinized and memorized. …

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December 10, 2019

“Acquaintance,” Flash Fiction by Ramisa Alam

“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 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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