June 10, 2016

Danielle Benedetto’s Digital Art

Danielle Benedetto’s Digital Art

Springing                                       * * *   Danielle Benedetto is a high school senior who loves to manipulate images using over a dozen apps on her iPhone. In addition to photography, she also enjoys reading, walking around the lake in her town and philosophy. She will be attending Emmanuel College in Boston in the fall where she will study neuroscience.

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June 8, 2016

Announcing the Fictional Café’s Children’s Literature Issue!

Announcing the Fictional Café’s Children’s Literature Issue!

Kids at the Café?! Yep! Next week, we are bringing you a full issue of children’s literature featuring short stories, poetry, art and narrative for and about kids. We are very excited for this issue, which was put together by some of our very own Fictional Café members. They worked hard for months on this issue, so we are happy to be putting it out just in time for summer vacation. So pull up a carpet square and grab a juice box; it’s story time! On a historical note: with this issue, we are marking a new milestone at the Fictional Café. Our purpose in running this site is to bring people together from all walks of life – whether they are on a different continent, in a different age bracket or of a different…

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June 6, 2016

Two Poems from Hannah Carmack

Two Poems from Hannah Carmack

PFD, IC, SUI Face up, Palms open, Eyes closed. Legs spread. This is where we’ve put ourselves. Somewhere between traipsing through the cecum and dragging our nails along the soft livelihood of our stomach, we fell and ripped the sweatshop seams of our intestines open. Trapped in Abraham’s bosom, stuck between death and mediocre existence. “We’ll be going internal now.” It is a fire, lit in the esophagus that keeps us here, our bodies’ negative reaction to our natural existence. We are internal now, pushing through the perineum with coconut oil and a scrap of shrapnel. There are hands wrapped around the sigmoid, squeezing to test its tolerance. We don’t scream, but our bodies tense to build us a wall, because they don’t understand nothing is wrong. “You’re preforming well.” Yes, we are. With deep…

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June 2, 2016

William Torphy’s “The Invention of Numbers”

William Torphy’s “The Invention of Numbers”

  [Image courtesy of Katheryn Holt (c)2016. For more of her work, visit her site.] * * * Patrick had never needed to use a public phone. He noticed them occasionally, forlorn and disregarded objects in the urban landscape, but he didn’t really know if any of them worked. Still, he asked for change from the pretty dark-haired barista with the bumblebee tattoo on her neck. He handed her a dollar and she fumbled through the tip jar, smiling as she dropped the coins into his palm one at a time. He felt an electric charge when her fingertips brushed his. Maybe it was from all the appliances she handled. He left the café to hunt for a phone, unsure where one might be found. People passed by talking into their cells, staring at their…

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June 1, 2016

William Torphy’s “The Call”

William Torphy’s “The Call”

    [Image courtesy of Katheryn Holt (c)2016. For more of her work, visit her site.] * * * 202-339-6732. The phone number I found scribbled on the title page of the book I was reading, a Milo Weaver spy novel.  Normally I wouldn’t give it a second thought. Used books often contain jottings from previous readers. The phone number could belong to anyone—a friend, dry cleaner, business contact, call girl—but it had nothing to do with me. My curiosity was easy prey to fantasy, though, immersed as I was in a story of international intrigue. I was strangely tempted to call.   Ridiculous and potentially embarrassing. What would I say to the person at the other end of the line? What reason could I give for calling? Of course, I could just hang up. If he…

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June 1, 2016

Are You Listening? – June Submissions

Are You Listening? – June Submissions

Last week, I posted a teaser of our featured work for June. We continue with the idea of vulnerability this month, as our submissions focus on communication. Whether it is the basic act of trying to interact with another human being or looking to the depths of our souls and expressing who we are, communication is a fundamental component of humanity and one which we perhaps take for granted. Our fiction this month comes from William Torphy, who has written two pieces of flash fiction about telephones – our lifelines to connection and communication. What can the telephone teach us about the mystery of who is really on the other end of the call and what happens when our cell phone batteries die? Stay tuned to find out. Hannah Carmack uses her poetry to convey…

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May 25, 2016

The Vulnerability of Creating

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Singing
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Reading
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Mural artists
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Building
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Songwriting
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Sand sculpting
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Cooking
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Flair bartending
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Arts and crafts
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Photography
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Poetry reading
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Modeling

Those of us who are creators know how vulnerable it feels to put our work out there. Whether we are writers, artists, architects, bartenders, musicians, inventors, etc., the act of making something and displaying it for the world to see can be scary. It takes so much courage to be as honest as we are when we are creating – to stick our necks out there like we do. This month’s featured poet, Bonnie Amesquita, shared what it’s like for her when she’s creating: “Have you ever wanted to write something really good, a poem or some great something-or-other.  Still, when you try to spill those words on a page you discover that they’re just noise. Oh Jeez. Finally, you settle down and you ask yourself what you want to say and about whom or…

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May 4, 2016

Bonnie Amesquita – Six Poems

Bonnie Amesquita – Six Poems

Editor’s Note: We are pleased to bring you this collection of poems about faith, loss, love and growing older. Bonnie’s poetry speaks directly to the reader and reflects on the people and events all around us. Enjoy!   * * * How Do You Comfort? How do you comfort someone who grieves Sorry for your loss Our prayers are with you Sorry Sorry Words fail and sometimes offend Sorry for what? You didn’t give her cancer Cause the car crash You didn’t do anything wrong You didn’t have anything to do with it No Words don’t help They push us away Bury us with our dead Sequester our tears behind polite smiles Thank you for coming Thank you Thank you Touch hurts though hugs and air kisses are obligatory Don’t go there. Just be there…

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May 2, 2016

Wayne Hammer’s “Shifts” – Novel Excerpt

Wayne Hammer’s “Shifts” – Novel Excerpt

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to bring you the opening chapter from Wayne Hammer’s sci-fi thriller Shifts. The novel weaves elements of genetics and espionage into a story about a man, Michael Duchesne, and the potentially world-changing implications of a DNA mutation secret he’s keeping. If this teaser chapter piques your interest, you can buy Shifts on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. * * * An elderly couple walked within a few feet of the boat slip. The woman slightly rotated her frail body and hunched her shoulders to keep the chilled morning air from leaking in over the collar of her oversized windbreaker. She paused for a moment and then left her husband’s side to stroll toward the edge of the dock. When she got to the railing, she leaned over to get a better look…

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April 30, 2016

Fond Memories, Bright Futures – May Submissions

Fond Memories, Bright Futures – May Submissions

This month we reminisce about those times – some long ago, some close in our minds – that make us smile. May takes me back to my sister’s birthday and family get togethers. It takes me back to three generations of moms on Mothers Day – my grandmother, my mom and my sister. I don’t think I’ll ever buy so many flowers and Hallmark cards as I did then. We also look ahead at what’s to come. May is the month of college graduations and the beginning of a young person’s foray into “the real world.” As a former college employee, I loved seeing their bright, wide-eyed faces as they began their next stage of life. It also marks that turning point when the last breath of winter is extinguished and spring fully envelops us…

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