October 13, 2020

“The Trio” — A Short Story by Nick Sweeney

“The Trio” — A Short Story by Nick Sweeney

Of the men in the trio, one managed a hardware store, another was a supervisor in a factory producing plastic parts for light fittings, and the other a print shop proofer. Their white collars were discolored, verging on frayed, their shirt cuffs grubby, though they had to have a Sunday best at home. They were men out of old magazines and black-and-white movies, from a different time, I sometimes thought, yet there they came, swanning into mine. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, they converged on a corner on the edge of the industrial district, where three roads met, then, without pausing, marched into our little restaurant.  “Never call it a diner,” Dad warned me, a long time before I set foot in there to work. “It’s a restaurant.”  But with a cook, and not a chef, and no espresso machine, it can’t even be called a café; it’s a diner. There’s nothing wrong with that. In our ad in the local rag, it says we serve ‘good, honest, home-cooked food’. Those commas are the loudest items on the page. It’s not too off-the-mark to say I’m…

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September 6, 2020

“Yodeling in the City” A Short Story by Marc Littman

“Yodeling in the City” A Short Story by Marc Littman

“No more yodeling, John, I can’t stand it!” Joan clutched her ears like she was clinging to a stout tree in a hurricane.  I peered at my wife’s pained visage, a face that after 40 years I no longer tried to spare any torment, and shrugged.   “Maybe I’m calling out to you, if only you could hear.”  “Like I’m a fat cow in the Alps and you’re a shepherd?!” Joan cried. “We live in New York, John. People don’t yodel in the city.”     Peering through our expansive windows at a Matterhorn of concrete, I started to warble but stifled the urge. Taking a different tack, I pivoted to confront Joan.  “Elmer does.”  “Elmer’s a peasant, he belongs in the Alps. He and Julie Andrews can sing their hearts out!” Joan volleyed back. I took a hit but stood my ground.  “Yodeling is more than singing, Joan. The subtle pitches and measured breathing, it calms me, and it reminds me of our younger days. Remember when we used to…

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June 15, 2020

“You vs. the Apocalypse,” by Ayman Elsayed

“You vs. the Apocalypse,” by Ayman Elsayed

TITLE: You vs. The Apocalypse  GENRE: Legal, Simulation, Strategy  DEVELOPER: COVID-19  FRANCHISE: Pandemic Interactive  PUBLISHER: Ayman Elsayed  RELEASE DATE: March 15, 2020    The handling of the end of the world is on trial. Your only mission is to survive. Overcome struggles such as mental health, physical isolation and deteriorating resources by interacting with technology. Engage with others. Find a hobby. Judge your community. Protect yourself from yourself.    Single-player  Achievements  Full Remote Compatibility    RECENT REVIEWS: Very Negative. 99.9% of the 7,729,536,211 user reviews in the last 30 days are negative.    Popular user-defined tags for this product: Closed World, Survival Horror, RPG, Retro, Sandbox, Social Distancing, Crafting, Souls-like    —————————————————————————————————————–    _________    / ======= \    / __________\    | ___________ |    | |         | |    | |  START  | |   …

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June 9, 2020

“The Alarming Misadventures of Henry’s Continuing E.D.,” by Len Messineo

“The Alarming Misadventures of Henry’s Continuing E.D.,” by Len Messineo

“Have you no sense of humor?” Sylvia says. Earlier in the evening, she had jokingly referred to Henry—who suffers from male-pattern baldness—as “Cue Ball” in front of their friends at the Eagle Cove Yachting Club.  Now Henry is sulking. He might have been a good sport about it, but Henry, an engineer having a keen intelligence for machines, has none for humans, especially Silvia. He reasons, falsely, that if only he could grow hair, he would escape his wife’s withering remarks.  So, Henry sees his family doctor. The doctor writes him a prescription for Propecia.  By now we’ve all seen the ads on television for the newly FDA-approved medication. A soft lulling music plays while a voice-over—as consoling as a funeral counselor—reads a list of possible contraindications: drowsiness, burning, tingling sensations, difficult bowel movements, seizures, and on and on with the tag…

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April 9, 2020

“Review for a Canvas Fanny Pack,” by Kerry Langan

“Review for a Canvas Fanny Pack,” by Kerry Langan

Heading for Review:  Big Mistake  Reviewer Name: SheWhoIsDisappointedandIsGoingtoTellYouHowMuch   I gave this fanny pack one star because there was no option to give it no stars. If you try to leave the 5-star graphic blank, it won’t let you go to the box where you’re supposed to leave the actual review. So, just know that I gave this one star but it should be no stars. Zilch.  First of all, I ordered an apple green fanny pack from HikeBike.com when they were running that sale a couple weeks ago. Apple green, like the color of grass in July and my favorite sweater and, well, green apples! In the photo they ran during the sale, the fanny pack looks like it would match a Granny Smith. I love apple green. If you opened my closet door, you’d see that almost everything is green. Kevin, my ex, told me once that green was a great color with my brown…

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November 23, 2019

“Oblivity,” The Saturday Night Podcast

“Oblivity,” The Saturday Night Podcast

We’re excited to bring you a top-notch podcasting team from the British Isles in performance here at the Cafe. They’re called Oblivity, and that’s the eponymous title of their production as well. “Oblivity” is about a disgraced war hero who’s posted to the remote ice plains of Pluto (think banned, punished, relegated, etc.) It’s her toughest mission yet: to oversee a small, dysfunctional research team. Then it starts to get humorous. Cate Nunn plays Commander Falconer, and Hannah Wilmshurst is First Officer Christy. Hey, more fun, a female crew! What? Oh, yeah, sorry! Also starring Max Windich as Officer Burney and Ash Hunt as Officer Lowell. Here they all are. Tonight, please listen to the trailer and the first two episodes of Season One. If you like what you hear, you can slide over to…

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