Issue #73

Winter Issue | February 2020

In this Issue:

Manuscript Found by a Stoplight After a Grave Accident
by Osvaldo González Real
Translated from Spanish by Nohan Meza

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Nobody will find it strange that, after deciding to end my own life—for reasons that would be irrelevant here—I became a habitual suburban passenger, an addict of the fastest ramshackle buses.

I studied the itineraries of the daredevils (by looking at the roads with the most accidents); the personality of each one of their guards and drivers; the state of the brakes and the carburetors of their vehicles; their personal problems and criminal records, without skipping past their favorite soccer teams and political leanings. Long story short, I’ve become, from one day to the next, an accident specialist (I’ve worked for some time at an insurance company). I’m a regular visitor of the countless repair shops that permeate the neighborhoods (with that nerve-wracking hammering), turning the city—for some time now—into an immense cemetery of cars and junk-metal. Read more...

Bird Brains by Adele Gardner

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"These are the best birds I have," I lied.

"That's why I'm asking. We don't want any of those inferior birds." The man waved a peach hand at the rows of rubber ducks and the fake tree with pouches that held singing toy birds covered with incongruous plush fur. He put an arm around the shoulders of his tiny, birdlike wife. Her blue eyes, caged by light coral wrinkles and gold-rimmed spectacles, held a peculiar lost look I recognized. Read more...

Infraction by Matthew F. Amati

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"Hello? I am Jeff. I am here for my interview. Is anyone there? In the darkness? Is anyone there? Our appointment was at 9:00."

"Hello, Kevin."

"Jeff. My name is Jeff."

"Kevin, we refer you to the relevant sections of the handbook, where our policies are laid out in detail. Your violations have been noted. Disciplinary action is in process." Read more...

Four Stories by Christopher Prewitt

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About the Face

I.

In a western province, I didn't introduce myself. I let my face do the talking. The way the cowboys and the middle-aged realtors turned from me, it was clear that they could tell I had come from the mountains where for fun people jump off bridges and chase ghosts. At a bus station's urinal, a hand slapped me on the back. "That's some look you got there, bud!" a gruff voice roared. "You ought to see Shelley and make some money."

Night fell as I arrived at Shelley's. Read more...

Three Stories by Avra Margariti

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Feline Companions

I'm having a tea party with an eclectic society of taxidermy kittens. They have the most delightful rose-decorated china set--not a chip or scratch on it.

As I use a syringe to pour tea into their tiny cups, I complain about the weather forecast. Their whiskers give commiserating shivers. The kittens say their bones, too, are always chilled. Read more...

Timber by Christopher Linforth

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The tree fell on our mother. A neighbor identified it as a lodgepole pine. He was an expert, so he claimed, said he once worked as an arborist. He wore coveralls and a leather tool belt; his workman boots were dull and scuffed. He stood next to the tree and scratched his thick beard. Our mother was silent; only a stiff hand visible. 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.