October 21, 2021

“The Star,” A Short Story by Jovan Ivančević

“The Star,” A Short Story by Jovan Ivančević

Yes I’m alive. It is a surprise for me as well as for you. I’m about to receive yet another reward. This time it is an accomplishment for my entire work. I feel ecstatic, fantastic but a little bit sad. I am going inside, but before doing so, I will look up to at the beautiful night sky. I always do that, wondering the names of the stars so far away. There wasn’t enough time for me to learn their names. The feeling of loneliness follows me, lingers, if not in me then around, always in close vicinity of my being. You might sense why it is like that, particularly those of you who have walked the same path as me. It is here, less than a cubit away, sometimes even closer, going up the spine, lurking in…

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October 19, 2021

“Professor Walker’s Leap of Faith,” by Robert Pope

“Professor Walker’s Leap of Faith,” by Robert Pope

This all began one lovely day in May as I walked the flowering roadways of Akron, Ohio. On the sidewalk of Portage Path, a street named after Native American lore from the local past, heading toward Market, which runs through the heart of our small-town city, I saw what looked like an enormous chicken coming toward me. My mind told me it could not be a chicken that large, at least the size of a man, so I took my glasses from my shirt pocket thinking it must be a man dressed for a costume party or some sort of promotional advertisement. With my glasses on, the chicken idea faded away. A powerful-looking man came toward me, yet the sensation of having seen feathers coming off him remained, putting my mind in a quandary as…

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October 11, 2021

“Artemis 7,” A Short Story by Zachary Lattman

“Artemis 7,” A Short Story by Zachary Lattman

The world watched as a cool, confident man took his place at the podium. “Good afternoon,” he said with a booming voice that filled the room. “I am Administrator Devin Cernan, and I want to thank you all for being here.” He looked down at his feet, and sighed. “Today is both a hard day, and an exciting day for NASA. In a few moments, Artemis 7 will touch down on the lunar surface, bringing NASA, the United States, and the world, back to the moon for the first time in nearly 50 years. That is a tremendous accomplishment, and it belongs to thousands of men and women, who have worked for decades to bring the Artemis program to fruition. However, today is bittersweet, as the highest priority for the Artemis 7 crew will be…

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October 7, 2021

“The Place Where the Chiefs Meet,” by Frank Diamond

“The Place Where the Chiefs Meet,” by Frank Diamond

Editor’s Note: We are pleased to announce the return of Frank Diamond to the Café. His latest short story, presented here, is accompanied by the song “To Live Again” by singer/songwriter Camille Peruto, and a reading of the story by actress Maggie Peruto. The Place Where the Chiefs Meet I am 26 and it’s the night my father died. My mother insists that I had nothing to do with it. My siblings don’t play; they curse me over the phone. They’ll be in tomorrow. At one point, I slump at the kitchen table, crying and sick from withdrawal. Crystal tugs my arm: “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” I shake loose and run out.   I should head to my apartment, but I don’t want to be alone. Dizzy’s not there. He’s heard about Antonio and decides to visit friends “in Jersey.” That’s…

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September 23, 2021

“Souls of Their Feet,” A Short Story by John E. Caulton

“Souls of Their Feet,” A Short Story by John E.  Caulton

So as not to be overheard, I stoop a little and whisper into the youth’s ear, “What’s with the mucky feet again, eh? It’s all right depicting the hoi polloi in such a way, I suppose, but the Virgin? I mean, c’mon!” The youth, not feeling the need to lower his own voice, is not very forthcoming. Half smiling, half sneering, he curtly replies, “With respect sir, my master already explained it to you, on your last visit, if you remember.” Indeed, he had, and rather bluntly too. In fact, I almost wish I hadn’t asked at all, but I simply needed to know about the feet business. We all did. I change tack. “Has he forgiven me, yet?” I ask the youth. He answers, “For asking too many questions, maybe. But for the figurine,…

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August 26, 2021

“Tiny Shredded Pieces,” A Story by Unimke Ushie

“Tiny Shredded Pieces,” A Story by Unimke Ushie

When my husband told me his mother was visiting London after our wedding in Nigeria when we last saw her, I remembered her not so soft hands tapping my buttocks, touching my breast and every crease around its plumpness, and saying –with a smile that did not wrinkle the skin around her eyes– “nwunye anyi, our wife, I’m just checking if your breasts have enough to support my unborn grandchildren.” I had a bland look on my face when she touched me, that is somehow the same now listening to my husband tell me of her coming to London. And soon I felt something I cannot see or name entering my body, and a damp wetness between my legs. “I’ll finally eat good food” he added. Avoiding my face. “Oh, Chikelu you know cooking is…

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August 15, 2021

“Sandy Ajax, We Hardly Knew You,” by James Hanna

“Sandy Ajax, We Hardly Knew You,” by James Hanna

The World Baseball League was born in the sixties in our suburban home in Virginia.  My kid brother and I invented it on a sweltering Fourth of July. It was a heroic invention—a vehicle by which two nerdy kids might share the aura of champions. Armed with dice, meticulously drawn charts, and a cardboard baseball diamond, Robbie and I commanded the destinies of twenty baseball teams. We played daily throughout the long hot summers—up to six games a day—and we tweaked team standings and player averages after every game. So absorbed were we in horsehide heroics that we rendered the summers neither long nor hot.      Our rosters consisted of four hundred individual players each represented by a 2” by 2” square of cardboard. Batting averages, fielding percentages, slugging potential, and base- running speed were recorded on each of these squares along…

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July 30, 2021

“BugSplat,” A Short Story by Karen Lethlean

“BugSplat,” A Short Story by Karen Lethlean

So boring. No one her age. Already run out of books. Less to do than being at home. Sandra felt her feet get heavy in loose beach sand as she tried to dispel inertia by taking a walk. “Get out and find something you enjoy. Nature is therapeutic you know.” Why the hell did her mum think therapy was required? Strange how once upon a time she and her father wandered along these same beaches, christened these walks Morning Explorations and set the task of finding The Most Terrible Thing washed up overnight. Now Sandra stared out at water, twisting her hair or shooting an imaginary gun at squawking gulls. Couldn’t even get much of a signal on her phone. Limited people about. Not even any good waves to attract surfers. Cute blonde boys she…

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July 12, 2021

“A Walk in the Woods,” A Short Story by Robert Perron

“A Walk in the Woods,” A Short Story by Robert Perron

Johnny knocked at the kitchen door, side of the house, just like when he and Mike were kids. But this fall day they were thirty and Johnny wore his deputy sheriff’s uniform, olive jacket over beige shirt, a badge on his left breast. In the driveway, his Department of Corrections sedan. Mike turned the inside knob and pulled open the glass-paned wooden door. “Should I put on a pot?” he said, lips crinkling to a smirk, knowing the visit wasn’t social, certain it had to do with his soon-to-be ex-wife. Every day papers in the mail, his lawyer, her lawyer, the town, the state, the county. Now a visit from the sheriff’s department. Mike’s parents’ kitchen of faded linoleum, paneled cupboards, and fixtures from the forties centered on a square, wooden table with four chairs….

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June 24, 2021

“Who Must Be Fed,” by Julian Warmington

“Who Must Be Fed,” by Julian Warmington

It took only a moment for her hunger to overwhelm her. In place of her contented satiation, there was a desire to feed that now burned inside of her, familiar yet new. It ached, burning inside. Instinct overrode any logic lingering in her mind. She needed to feed. She already knew that the usual fruits and nectars wouldn’t satisfy this craving. There was something more she needed, something vital and warm that would complete her. This was what she had been born to one day consume, and she was ready. With a flutter of her gossamer wings, she leaped into the air in search of the nourishment she craved. She flew for some time, her mind singly focused on seeking. It wasn’t long before she picked up the smell of a source. The sweet, heady…

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