Issue #62

Spring 2017 | May 1, 2017

In this Issue:

Once Upon a Time the Animals Disappeared
from the Wild by Khadija Anderson

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It happened slowly at first, so incrementally that only locals noticed. Amongst the first to disappear were the Caribbean Monk Seals. They showed up in a public swimming pool in Jamaica. Around the same time, Barbary Lions began to roam the souks of Algeria and Morocco, and the Arabian Ostrich loitered by the Torah Ark in a Petra synagogue (which wasn't a huge surprise because the rabbi knew that Ostrich meat was forbidden to Jews).

Most of these animals lived in far flung places so many people didn't notice. They weren't indifferent to their disappearance they just weren't paying attention because really, why would they? Read more...

The Conspiracy by Guido Eekhaut

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At four in the afternoon the Avenida Corrientes is the favorite dwelling place for the idle clerks, pimps, pen-pushers and gamblers of Buenos Aires, a city that only exists — as many whisper — by the grace of the Madonna and in the imagination of an old, blind poet. The latter, filled with a vision that his eyes could no longer behold, described the city as a collection of merely accidental and almost useless details: a blue enamel tile veined with brown, a basalt spire to commemorate some obscure mariner, a suburban villa lost between pines, a sword hanging in a bar by way of a forgotten trophy. Read more...

Hoag's Object by Brian Biswas

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What happens when two galaxies collide? One destroys the other and it is not a pretty sight. Usually the vanquished galaxy is annihilated. Sometimes it is transformed into a galaxy of unusual shape — a donkey, a bird, a goat — and then flung far from its intended path. But the most interesting collision is not even a collision. It occurs when one galaxy passes close to a second and is ripped apart by gravitational forces. The remains of the first galaxy are then captured by the second and form a ring around it. The resulting structure is called a ring galaxy. They are rare cosmological entities, only a half-dozen are known to exist. Read more...

Treasure Map by Rose Biggin

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It had been difficult to acquire the map. Obtaining it had been dangerous: it had involved a heist, a chase, and more than one tunnel. But they had the map now. That, the captain assured the crew, had been the difficult bit.

"I have here the document, safely out of my vault!" said the captain. She held the map triumphantly for her crew to see. Although contemporary with the company (it had only recently been drawn), the map was stained various shades of brown, because the ship's mate who manned the crow's nest had spilled their tea all over it. That was why the captain had decided to keep the map in her private safe. But now they were here, and the map could come in useful. "We are here!" cried the captain. Read more...

The House Above the Bay by Ali Hildyard

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We had not come so far as we had hoped, but the house above the bay was the first real house we had seen. True, there had been flashes of brick and stone at intervals between the trees, but these were little more than impressionistic flourishes, hastily abandoned as we passed by, to leave windowless walls and muddy piles of red sand intermixed with leaves. The house above the bay was different, even if, in its own way, it was also incomplete. Beyond the gates, a gravel path wound sharply downward, at the end of which stood an enormous roof like a flattened beam, carved from a block of slate, one end almost touching the ground. It was raining, heavily and silently; an unbroken sheet of water slid from the base of the roof and folded on the concrete path beneath it. Read more...

If Ever Something Happens by Sharon Mertins

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In this house, there is always music coming from the chimney, syrup dripping where there should be coffee, spider webs decanting where there should be wine.

There's a relatively short giraffe that collects words in the living room. He arranges and disassembles them obsessively, starting every day at midnight. He lets them sit quietly from three to eight, whilst drinking tea and twirling his thoughts inside his mouth like noodles.

In this house there are miniature athletes that train for everything backwards. They run down the corridor and up and down the staircase, not knowing where they're going, each following the rhythmic panting of the one behind him as they all count from eight hundred to one, and then start all over again. Read more...

Four Stories by Antony Johae

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Last Promenade

We had come from the hotel and were walking up a slope, tall old houses on either side of the narrow street. I had never been here before and, noting a self-service restaurant, thought it might be a place to eat when I came on visits to meet my mistress.

I looked behind me and saw a distinguished well-dressed woman looking in our direction.

"Do you know that woman?" I asked my companion.

"Yes," she said glancing round. "We must separate." 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.