September 21, 2021

“The Awakening of Artemis,” An Excerpt by John Calia

“The Awakening of Artemis,” An Excerpt by John Calia

The missile hit just as she was activating her ground control station. Drone pilot Diana Gutierrez-Adams was about to fly her first combat mission when she was thrown across the room. Dizzy from the blow to her head, she stumbled to her feet. Points of light prickled in her eyes. The pain she should have felt was overcome by the rush of adrenaline. Looking around, she realized the east end of the building had collapsed, destroying several stations and likely killing the drone pilots. She swung around toward Gabrielle’s station. Like Diana, she had been thrown to the floor but, unlike Diana, she was unconscious.  “Gabrielle!” she yelled as she took a step toward her friend. Her head spinning, she tripped forward breaking her fall with her elbows. She crawled across the room and knelt down next to…

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September 17, 2021

“Agonal Dreams,” A Post-Apocalyptic Audio Drama

“Agonal Dreams,” A Post-Apocalyptic Audio Drama

Who’s ready to get a head start on our Halloween fun with a little “Agonal Dreams” by Courtney Holloway? Due to the immense amount of submissions that we have received in the spirit of the spookiest holiday of the year, we will be kicking off our own Fictional Café celebration a little early.  However, I should warn our listeners that due to the horror genre of this audio production, these are episodes not for the faint of heart, and should probably not be listened to if you have problems with EXPLICIT CONTENT and VIOLENCE. We are posting them in order to celebrate Halloween by sharing the scariest stories we can find. With that in mind, I would like to present : The Beginning of the End, a three-part series.  The Beginning Of The End Three…

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September 14, 2021

“Camp Detroit,” Yong Takahashi’s Upcoming Book

“Camp Detroit,” Yong Takahashi’s Upcoming Book

Yong Takahashi’s dystopian young adult novel about family, friendship, and finding one’s inner strength will be published by Inkwell Publishing in 2022. https://inkwellpublishers.com Justin Grant is fourteen, living in the aftermath of a bankrupt Detroit, Michigan. Labeled as slow and a trouble-maker, he is given a government-sponsored intelligence test to determine if they can legally expel him from school. The results are not what anyone, including Justin and his mother, expect. Yong Takahashi is the author of Rising and The Escape to Candyland. She was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Southern Fried Karma Novel Contest, Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest, and Georgia Writers Association Flash Fiction Contest. She was awarded Best Pitch at the Atlanta Writers Club Conference.  To read Yong’s other works, please visit: https://linktr.ee/yctwriter *** Yong Takahashi is the…

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September 13, 2021

“Bridge Across the Ocean,” a New Novel by FC Founding Barista Jack B. Rochester

“Bridge Across the Ocean,” a New Novel by FC Founding Barista Jack B. Rochester

Today, we celebrate with Jack, our fearless leader, the publication of his new novel, Bridge Across the Ocean. He began writing it ten years ago, and needless to say it’s been through a few changes since then. Here’s a short synopsis: Jedediah Smith, Luke Lin, David Bondsman and Rick Saundersson have created the most innovative bicycle drive in history: The Spinner, a technologically advanced device that produces and stores its own energy without using batteries. It’s 2011, and it’s ideally positioned for the just-emerging city bike market, and the world’s largest bicycle maker located in Taiwan is interested. Just before they are to leave for Taipei, Taiwan, to discuss a licensing agreement with Joyful Bike, Luke is struck down while cycling and killed by a hit-and-run driver. Although heartbroken, the three friends decide to continue…

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September 9, 2021

“Party Time,” Poetry by Shoshauna Shy

“Party Time,” Poetry by Shoshauna Shy

            PARTY TIME      Everybody’s laughing at you  because you’re swinging a stick  like a fool at nothing  and because it’s June Fest   but moms made them come  h e r e.  Even Bobby Ferrell, your classroom  “book buddy” jeers.  The cake your mother served was lemon coconut for your sister  who missed out on her own party  in April when sick.  You trip on your own feet.  This makes the pitch of laughter rise –  and then ka-SHAB! – the stick  makes contact, the string snaps,   and the piñata tumbles to the ground.  Nobody understands, least of all you,   why you keep whacking and whacking   that jackass flat even after it spills  the goods. CHOOSING THE BEST TIME  TO STAGE YOUR OWN ABDUCTION      Not while your dorm mate is in Connecticut  and won’t notice how you aren’t there  but your purse and cell phone are.  Not the day…

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September 7, 2021

“The Sword of David,” An Excerpt by Charles Lichtman

“The Sword of David,” An Excerpt by Charles Lichtman

Editor’s Note: This month we are featuring four novel excerpts—debuting one each Tuesday. Our first is Charles Lichtman’s The Sword of David—a brand new novel, which came out today. In this action-packed thriller, an Israeli commando must search the globe for a long-lost biblical treasure. Hope you enjoy!       PART ONE  CHAPTER 1  Jerusalem, Present Day  “Excuse me, Ms. Klein, I hate to impose, but may I please have your autograph?” asked a middle-aged woman who was holding out a piece of paper and a pen.  “Ma’am, I’m sorry. People come up to me all the time thinking I’m the woman who saved the president. I know I look like her, but it’s not me,” replied the younger woman.  “Oh, I’m sorry,” the tourist said. “Please forgive me.”  “Not a problem,” Debra Klein replied. “It happens…

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August 31, 2021

Peter Jarvis: Realism, Art and Process

Peter Jarvis: Realism, Art and Process

Artist’s Statement: My inspiration lies in the topographical drawings and watercolours of the 18th and 19th centuries. My work is objective and realistic and true to the Italian term, veduta esatta meaning “exact view.”  My passion for and belief in the sketchbook as a means of understanding subject matter is central to the success of my watercolours. The very nature of the sketchbook in its portability and mobility on location means it is innately suitable in this pursuit and as a precursor to more finished work: it is immediate and intimate and requires the minimum of materials. The activity of drawing on location plays an integral part in my understanding and appreciation of the notion of place: placing oneself as the central reference point during location drawing. This knowledge and experience also enables me to work from photographs alone when it is…

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August 30, 2021

“T.S. Eliot Homage,” Poetry by Timothy Resau

“T.S. Eliot Homage,” Poetry by Timothy Resau

T.S. Eliot Homage  (a love poem)    Looking, now, at myself,  do you think of me, later?    When the tropical sun and high waves  wash across my thin ankles?    White-haired and crazy with spider-like legs,  stumbling over small sand dunes—  dunes I shall call memories.    Should I be calling:  — More champagne? Hashish? Incense?         Should I be laughing:  — Why have you forsaken me O Lord?    Looking, then, at myself, and you,  seeing you over my Paper-Mache shoulders—  brittle, like old bird bones,  these once worldly shoulders.    Do you think of me?  — And the angel of the Lord declared unto Mary  that she was to be the Mother of God . . .   White-haired and crazed, red bandana and erotic music.  Original, native paintings upon my clay walls, so modest—     The Mother of…

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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 23, 2021

“Drawing Mannequin,” Poetry by Julia Franklin

“Drawing Mannequin,” Poetry by Julia Franklin

Drawing Mannequin    Mischief in monochrome.  Subtle sidekick, sleek home of souls.  Cold conjuror, no-face freedom.  No life out of reach.           The Pasta Hour    Late walk,  home again.  Dark sky above,  weak legs beneath.    Fifteen-minute era  of Waiting,  Watching,  and Stirring . . .   To be rewarded  with chewy-salty  Victory,  butter-cheese-fork  Relief,  calorie-laden  Defiance,  primal-unconditional  Devotion.       The Fire    I come  not from one house,  but three.    House Number One  was festive,  dependable,  full of sweet dreams  and hypotheticals  that I shrugged off.    House Number Two  was empty,  frigid and aloof,  stripped to its skeleton,  and infected with smoke.    House Number Three  was recuperating  in the balm of springtime  and accepting,  sheepishly,  the cardboard boxes  that held its Number One face.     …

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