Issue #53

Spring 2015 | February 1, 2015

In this Issue:

The Elevator and Chapters by Michal Ajvaz

Machine 1

The Elevator

The small space in which the impoverished Count Lozensk√Ĺ lived pleased me no end. Its only problem was that it was located at the bottom of a deep elevator shaft. The elevator was almost always in use, but it usually moved in the darkness of the higher floors; from the dark heights above us came the incessant banging sound of the elevator's doors and the sound of its motor, located in the engine room on the roof, switching on and off. Read more...

A Loss of Innocence by Paul Blaney

Machine 2
A golf ball hit me smack on the back of the head. I was in the kitchen, sitting with my back to the window, which I'd thrown open to the summery morning. But for that I'd likely have had a glazier's bill to pay, as if the shock and pain weren't enough. Did I mention that I was eating waffles at the time? That's to say I'd just sat down to them. The whole incident was so upsetting I couldn't stomach breakfast after. Read more...

The Fractal Tamer by Holly Saiki

Machine 4
Hi, and welcome to the Eleventeenth Paradox Talent Contest, hosted by the Wainwright Institute for Meta Commentary Studies. We have just returned from a commercial break. I'm your host, Frannie Wilson. We've got an especially skilled group of contestants this year. Our latest contestant, Anonymous Jones, had just used his amazing unorthodox origami folding skills to turn a rusty pickup truck into a flock of beautiful shining metal birds. Our next one is Ms. Mary Q. Contrary, well-known expert handler of Sapient Fractals, Conceptual Demons and other more fanciful creatures. Read more...

Selfcontained by Judy Darley

Machine 3
She'd made him with painstaking care. He knew this because she told him so, later, when he was bronzecast and impervious to wind and rain and, for the most part, the passage of time. She'd shaped him in clay, she said, lovingly drawing out his limbs, his jawline, the sheer slope of his spine as he cradled a knee against his torso. He was one of two, she'd murmured, but he didn't know what that meant. Read more...

The Clocks by Jonathan Levy

Machine 5

There is no sound where we live but the ticking of the clocks. No wind whistles. No wood creaks in its old age. No crickets rub their wings. Only silence. And the clocks.

The clocks line the walls and stick to the ceiling. They hide behind cupboards. They tick from underneath the floor. Read more...

About Our Coffee and Other Fare

Please Note: All of the coffee served at The Irreal Cafe is fair trade, organic, shade-grown and not real. All of the food served at The Irreal Cafe is organic, vegan, locally sourced and not real. See "At Our Cafe" for more about what we would serve at The Irreal Cafe and how we would serve it if there were an Irreal Cafe.