July 15, 2021

“Seal on the Run,” A Short Story by Ewa Mazierska

“Seal on the Run,” A Short Story by Ewa Mazierska

Whenever Robert and I travel to Scotland, to our house in Aberdour, we go for a walk towards Kirkcaldy, where one can see seals lying on the rocks. Sometimes we are accompanied by a friend named Scott, who spent many years in the British base in Antarctica. He entertains us describing the lives of different types of seals. What all of them have in common, however, is that they are patriarchal. Dominant male seals take possession of their territory by forcing other male seals to lie down in submission and fight with those who dare to challenge their power. Once these macho males announce themselves as winners, female seals start climbing to the beaches, waiting to be impregnated. In this way, their life in harem begins. It is a slow and passive life: waiting for…

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July 12, 2021

“A Walk in the Woods,” A Short Story by Robert Perron

“A Walk in the Woods,” A Short Story by Robert Perron

Johnny knocked at the kitchen door, side of the house, just like when he and Mike were kids. But this fall day they were thirty and Johnny wore his deputy sheriff’s uniform, olive jacket over beige shirt, a badge on his left breast. In the driveway, his Department of Corrections sedan. Mike turned the inside knob and pulled open the glass-paned wooden door. “Should I put on a pot?” he said, lips crinkling to a smirk, knowing the visit wasn’t social, certain it had to do with his soon-to-be ex-wife. Every day papers in the mail, his lawyer, her lawyer, the town, the state, the county. Now a visit from the sheriff’s department. Mike’s parents’ kitchen of faded linoleum, paneled cupboards, and fixtures from the forties centered on a square, wooden table with four chairs….

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July 10, 2021

“House of Many Ways” by Diana Wynne Jones

“House of Many Ways” by Diana Wynne Jones

Hello and welcome back, Fictional Cafe listeners! It’s time for the House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones. Since so many people enjoyed Howl’s Moving Castle, I thought it would be fun to pull up another epic from the hands of the same gifted author. Charmain Baker has led a respectable, and relaxing sheltered life. She has spent her days with her nose in a book, never learning how to do even the smallest household chores. When she suddenly ends up looking after the tiny cottage of her ill Great-Uncle William she seems happy for the adventure, but the easy task of house-sitting is complicated by the fact that Great-Uncle William is also the Royal Wizard Norland and his magical house bends space and time. Though she is supposed to clean up the mess…

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July 5, 2021

“Meeting in the Middle” — Poetry by Alison Jennings

“Meeting in the Middle” — Poetry by Alison Jennings

Meeting in the Middle, Lebanon, KS The center of these United States lies in this heartland space, where love does battle with our hates, where politicians court their base; yet there should be some room for peace: our modern civil war must cease. Lies in this heartland space proliferate, become more lies. It’s something that we need to face or else this fragile union dies. How can we mend the social quilt? Can democracy be rebuilt, where love does battle with our hates? Let’s hope it has the upper hand. The intervention of the Fates may be required for us to stand on principles, but not take sides, to have a chance to heal divides. Where politicians court their base, there’s no chance for compromise. “Dog whistles” emphasizing race – or victimizing Anglo guys –…

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June 24, 2021

“Who Must Be Fed,” by Julian Warmington

“Who Must Be Fed,” by Julian Warmington

It took only a moment for her hunger to overwhelm her. In place of her contented satiation, there was a desire to feed that now burned inside of her, familiar yet new. It ached, burning inside. Instinct overrode any logic lingering in her mind. She needed to feed. She already knew that the usual fruits and nectars wouldn’t satisfy this craving. There was something more she needed, something vital and warm that would complete her. This was what she had been born to one day consume, and she was ready. With a flutter of her gossamer wings, she leaped into the air in search of the nourishment she craved. She flew for some time, her mind singly focused on seeking. It wasn’t long before she picked up the smell of a source. The sweet, heady…

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