August 10, 2015

“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part One)

“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part One)

This is Part One of Adam’s Three-Part Tale. Come back next Monday, and the Monday after for more beautiful, monstrous mystery.  The door swung open with the smooth, silent urgency of a practiced hand. James Atherton, the Congdon butler swiftly took in the man who stood before him. Tall, wide-shouldered, he had a broad face decorated with a well-trimmed beard that was significantly out of vogue with modern sensibilities. His brown wool suit was crisp and clean, and his shirt was white, starched, and well-pressed. He wore a wide-brimmed hat that was also out of style, but it suited him in a rakish sort of way. He removed the cap and ran a large hand with scarred knuckles through his thick mane of dark blond hair, and then produced a calling card with his other….

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August 2, 2015

Poetry by Judith Manzoni Ward

Poetry by Judith Manzoni Ward

  “Sunday Morning Dreamscape”   The silk umbrella that covered her head had a hole in its top, in case of rain. She was meeting her husband for a rendezvous outside a phone booth. Her daughter followed, six steps behind, reciting the only two definitions of sodomy that she knew. An elevated train on the left side of the road stopped; three men fell out onto a steel track below. The daughter ditched her at a fork in the highway, went on alone to the dock to meet an old lover who would take her away on a cruise. She had forgotten her ticket; he said she could share his: number 660266. He asked if she needed a baby sling; she predicted he would marry someone young.   “The Way She Gathered Stones”   She…

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June 30, 2015

“Diplomacy” by Jane Ward

“Diplomacy” by Jane Ward

Editor’s Note: We welcome Jane Ward back to the FictionalCafé ‘zine pages with a new short story. Her first, “Balancing Act,” appeared in the June, 2014 issue. * “It’s not like that,” she said. They were sitting on the steps of the old house where Raynor had grown up, looking out at the moss-covered rocks on the front lawn, and trying to get the bottle caps to land on top of the biggest rock the way they had done when they were children. The house still reminded Tara of the house in Forrest Gump, the way its size was somehow mediated by its straightforward shape and layout, so that the place managed to appear unassuming. “It sounds pretty much ‘like that’ to me,” he told her, keeping his hand in the air after it let…

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June 1, 2015

“Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals” by Peggy McAloon

Editor’s note: The following excerpt is from the young-adult novel Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals, by Peggy McAloon, published by Wheatmark.   Elle Burton stopped at Lake Menomin on her way to school. It was her birthday. A sudden splash shattered her reflection in the water. Her hands flew out to protect her face from whatever exploded upward and she felt . . . something. A butterfly’s wings? She cupped her hands together, lacing her fingers tightly. “Let me go!” Elle’s dark eyes widened in amazement, but she didn’t loosen her grip. “Let me go! I have to be there when he’s born.” “What are you talking about?” Elle whispered, afraid she might break the spell. “I can’t talk to you . . . it’s against the rules.” The creature was now trembling in…

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June 1, 2015

The Reaper’s Daughter by K. M. Randall

The Reaper’s Daughter by K. M. Randall

Editor’s note: The following excerpt is from a newly published novel, The Reaper’s Daughter, by K. M. Randall. Be sure to watch her novel trailer here at Goodreads.   PROLOGUE Present The rolling green of her eyes was dimming fast, losing color and life to the quick click of time that beat out her days and nights, a perpetual circle that was now fading to a close. Light brown hair that had been recently styled into looping curls was limp against the black pillowcase―a metaphor for her wilted spirit, I mused, thinking offhandedly how proud my English professor would be at my thoughtful use of language. I sighed. I didn’t want to be here. When her eyes met mine, I knew she saw me for who I really was—what I really was. She reached out…

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