September 15, 2020

“On Waking Up and Strong Desires,” by Kelly Burke

“On Waking Up and Strong Desires,” by Kelly Burke

It is Saturday morning. I woke up with a strong desire to get a haircut. On my laptop I look up local salons to read reviews and compare ratings. I find one that looks promising. It has 4.9 stars and a recent client named Beatrice wrote that the stylists are warm and helpful people. Everything on the website is written in a romantic cursive font like a wedding invitation. I book an appointment for noon. I type out my name, email address, and phone number. Before submitting the form, it asks me to select the length of my hair, long or short. There is no option for medium or other. It makes me wince a bit. Then I begin contemplating the most accurate way to describe the length of my hair. I think about how…

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September 13, 2020

“Leap of Faith” — An Ekphrasis Poem by Mark Blickley

“Leap of Faith” — An Ekphrasis Poem by Mark Blickley

Image by Mark Blickley  Leap of Faith  I’m a dead frog and I don’t say this with any pity or understanding or shame, it’s just an observation that people seem to like us, like us a bit too much because they like to push hooks through our jaws and cast us out to sea, as well as amputate us for fine dining and draw us as a cartoon shuffling cigar smoking smart ass, and they like to blame us when they choke on the phlegm in their throats, and they swear that some of us give them hideous skin infections while the evil ones enjoy tossing us into their steamy potions as the younger ones imitate us with a game of leaps and crashes, perhaps because we abandon our young and we larger ones like to…

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September 8, 2020

“Danger in Plain Sight,” a Novel by Burt Weissbourd

“Danger in Plain Sight,” a Novel by Burt Weissbourd

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to be publishing an excerpt from Burt Weissbourd’s fifth novel here at the Café. Burt is a strong writer with a background in Hollywood movies, and it shows in Danger in Plain Sight. It’s tough, it’s suspenseful and it has strong forward movement like a good Mickey Spillane novel. This is Burt’s first Callie James thriller, which climbs aboard the Weissbourd novel train behind three Corey Logan works and one non-serial novel set in Wyoming’s Yellowstone Park. In this opening scene, we find Callie James working in her restaurant when her ex-husband Daniel shows up unexpectedly. If you like Danger in Plain Sight, you’ll probably be clicking away to get some more on Amazon. The following excerpt is drawn from the first two chapters, so let’s get to it! Chapter One…

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September 6, 2020

“Yodeling in the City” A Short Story by Marc Littman

“Yodeling in the City” A Short Story by Marc Littman

“No more yodeling, John, I can’t stand it!” Joan clutched her ears like she was clinging to a stout tree in a hurricane.  I peered at my wife’s pained visage, a face that after 40 years I no longer tried to spare any torment, and shrugged.   “Maybe I’m calling out to you, if only you could hear.”  “Like I’m a fat cow in the Alps and you’re a shepherd?!” Joan cried. “We live in New York, John. People don’t yodel in the city.”     Peering through our expansive windows at a Matterhorn of concrete, I started to warble but stifled the urge. Taking a different tack, I pivoted to confront Joan.  “Elmer does.”  “Elmer’s a peasant, he belongs in the Alps. He and Julie Andrews can sing their hearts out!” Joan volleyed back. I took a hit but stood my ground.  “Yodeling is more than singing, Joan. The subtle pitches and measured breathing, it calms me, and it reminds me of our younger days. Remember when we used to…

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August 24, 2020

“The Beholder,” A Short Story by Fiama Mastrangelo

“The Beholder,” A Short Story by Fiama Mastrangelo

You blink your eyes open and stretch your arms above your head.  You’re wearing an extra-large cotton t-shirt this morning—one that you got for free in your freshman year and never threw out.  Your dark brown hair is splayed out on the pillowcase and is exceptionally messy.  I wonder if you were feeling lazy or if you just didn’t care what I would think when you decided on this look last night.  We can work on that.  I watch you get up and move into the bathroom.  I can hear you washing your face, brushing your teeth.  You turn on the shower and the noise of running water fills the room.  No steam, it’s cold water.  Hot water will age you, remember?  I wouldn’t like that at all.      I told you that your legs felt prickly last night.  I wonder if you remember that this morning, while you…

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