November 24, 2021

An Excerpt and News from Mbizo Chirasha

An Excerpt and News from Mbizo Chirasha

Editor’s Note: Mbizo Chirasha is The Fictional Café’s Poet-in-Residence. We have featured his work for two years now and are closing in on the end of his term. You may have noticed that we have featured less of his work this year, which, we are sad to say, is because Mbizo has been fleeing his home in Zimbabwe and trying to find asylum in another country. Due to his criticism of African politics and corruption in his writing, he has frequently been a target of violence from his government. We have partnered with a few organizations to help him find a safe place to live and write, but he continues to meet challenges. Mbizo has recently published a new book, which we announced earlier this year. Here is an excerpt from his book, called, “Along…

Continue reading →

November 22, 2021

“Professor Crow,” A Short Story by Salvatore Difalco

“Professor Crow,” A Short Story by Salvatore Difalco

Things were a little hazy. I had resurfaced after an entire year. I knew it would take time to get my legs underneath me, and not enough of it had passed yet. Not by a long shot. Nevertheless there I stood, out in the world again. How much had it changed? How much had people changed? Had anything changed at all? I’d soon find out. The red floor was sticky. When I lifted my heel you could hear it.   I looked around the dimly lit tavern. Sparse crowd, folks still wary, or paranoid. We might still be doomed. We were doomed. Likely somewhere in that spectrum, not forgetting our recent ineptitude and iniquities as well as our successes. Dudes reeking of ganja wheeled about the place with bleeding eyes and slobbery mouths. The bald endomorphic bouncer, in a black turtleneck with a large gold crucifix hanging between his pectorals, stood by the door keeping six on them like an elephant with…

Continue reading →

November 18, 2021

“Once Upon a Dog,” A Short Story by Bob Calverley

“Once Upon a Dog,” A Short Story by Bob Calverley

One day Chief Warrant Officer Walters of the 99th Assault Helicopter Company would complain that the Tet Offensive began a month early for him. But on New Year’s Day, 1968, the company’s gun platoon, known as the Headhunters, was still basking in a lull that had begun a couple of weeks before Christmas. No one had been killed or wounded. Not a single rocket or mortar had exploded in Nui Binh Base Camp. Only one helicopter had been hit by ground fire. On New Year’s, the Headhunters returned to the base camp shortly before lunch after a long-planned combat assault was called off. Then they were given a rare afternoon off. Led by Walters, the gunship pilots decided to visit a Filipino engineering battalion stationed in Nui Binh. After lunch, most of the Headhunter enlisted…

Continue reading →

November 15, 2021

“Heather, Ludwig and Nathaniel,” An Excerpt by Derrick R. Lafayette

“Heather, Ludwig and Nathaniel,” An Excerpt by Derrick R. Lafayette

LUDWIG I was surprised she’d read the first chapter. My tutor usually found small detours in any narrative I put forth. It reminded me of looking at a sheet through a magnifying glass, judging the components that hold it together. Inside my glasses were three strands of hair, dust, and a fingerprint, yet, I blinked away the annoyance and kept going. When I finally finished chapter two, I emailed my document to her. She unearthed a cellphone twice the size of her hand, stuck her face into the screen, and scrolled with her pinky. “Do you know what a journeyman is?” the tutor asked slyly, leaving a hum of arrogance in the question. “A nomad?” I responded, unsure. “Ah, but you do know what failure is?” “A worker or sports player who is reliable but…

Continue reading →

November 8, 2021

“Orphan Smile,” The Poetry of Gopal Lahiri

“Orphan Smile,” The Poetry of Gopal Lahiri

Orphan Smile    How hard it is for the stars to weave a story.    It breaks through the wall and chain,  and then in turn, with eyes closed.    Words filter into dark rooms,  unnoticeably, to the tune of the evening.    It is not unexpected, nor is it striped,  wood pencils sketch grey and grey sky.    Each strum is a haze that thins and fades,  the one who sings with all the heart  for a while, is now trapped in the web of memory.    Each mirror reflects the orphan smile,  what remains is the rising smoke of the pyres.      Ancient Palms    We must learn to read, to hold them ever  among the corn fields of the golden year.    Before our eyes, the deep unique shadows  take me up…

Continue reading →

This is your site

Welcome to the Fictional Café! Your baristas are interested in all genres of short fiction, poetry, excerpts from novels-in-progress, your photographs, art, and audio or video podcasts. We encourage you to share your work for publication in the Fictional Café. Click on the Join/Submit button above to learn more.

Archive

Facebook