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.     …

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

August 9, 2021

“Finding Progressions in Mere Lists,” by M. A. Istvan

“Finding Progressions in Mere Lists,” by M. A. Istvan

finding progressions in mere lists    when none of the facts  so integral to who you are  can be reached    absenting oneself from a situation by fainting    sitting on a wood fence for hours  in hope that a new face   will show itself to talk    failures loom larger in places where little else is around    pinching the tongue of one seizuring      the flood displacement would have been  a glorified camping vacation  had he not learned of her betrayal     feigning knowledge of facts  mentioned in an offhand tone  as if you knew them already    thoughts of suicide   to stay in the game when   mere to-do lists fail     making the position clear threatens to make it vulnerable    even the sexual organs of family  are open for dinner conversation  once…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

July 20, 2021

“Incompletist,” Poetry by Tom Pennacchini

“Incompletist,” Poetry by Tom Pennacchini

Incompletist    It’s all a bit sketchy don’t you know what with the RMS and all.   Formal education and I didn’t work out but I was on my way across the country to fulfill my own peculiar  and  particular manifest destiny which at the time (at the time)? was a semi – conscious state of befuddled uncertainty laced with a lack of pragmatics that was nothing short of utter ineptitude.     (Oh essential humor I laugh to myself now at the notion of then going clear across the country to maintain my standards and my continuous quest for success in failure).    We arrived at the train station and said our goodbyes.     After you left there was a welling and a filling and at the same time a depletion of air.   I rushed outside after a constricted couple of…

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