Issue #78

Spring Issue | May 2021

In this Issue:

The Year Before the Invasion by Guido Eekhaut

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At 8:34 in the morning I exit from the Blue Raddison Hotel on Avenue du Printemps in the depraved heart of Paris, the area where the epidemic has hit the hardest. I leave Adolphe in the room, in pieces. I can't think of a more appropriate punishment for him — while it's not for me to punish him. However, he stubbornly holds on to his plans, forcing me to confront him time and time again with his unfortunate fate. The outcome of our interactions never varies.

"All these foreigners," he says, "are intent on visiting Père Lachèse, where they expect to find the graves of Napoleon or De Gaulle. How silly they are. Exactly like you..." Read more...

Five Stories by Marcelo Medone

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Until the End

The beautiful and innocent girl, with a heart overflowing with love and a doubt that pierces her, sits in front of the sea, plucking daisies carelessly.

"He loves me, he doesn't love me, he loves me, he doesn't love me ..."

In the end, she fatefully dissolves into the waves. Read more...

Inspiration by Julieta García González

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"I need inspiration," the painter said.

The girl rolled her eyes, raised her arms, and sighed. She dropped her gaze and stared down at the painter as he turned in his swivel chair and shot her an anxious look. While she gathered her hair back, she flashed a weak smile, but received no answer. The girl strode around the room whose walls were painted with sloppy coats of pink and pastel green. She stopped in front of one dotted with water stains, leaned against it, and crossed one leg on the other, smiling again.

"What can I do to help you?" she asked, staring at the jagged ends of her fingernails. Read more...

The Diligent Woodcutter by Kevin P. Keating

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She came again last night, the old woman, to pick apples from our tree.

Through my den window, I saw a familiar figure in a crocheted shawl shambling across the backyard. Unable to concentrate on the botany book my wife had been urging me to read, I opened the sliding glass door and stepped outside into the crisp autumn air. From the shadows I watched her pluck a cluster of small, red apples from the lowest bough and hold them close to her cloudy blue eyes. After a careful inspection, she discarded any misshapen, wormy apples and then with surprising agility filled the brown paper bag at her feet. Read more...

Driving Holes by Ken Poyner

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"You need to keep those two in front of you spaced out. Watch 'em. You can't have them go merge on you."

I called out from a dozen downtrodden yards behind him. When he whip-turned to question or acknowledge or just in startle, that is when it happened. Slap. Both holes like running quicksilver moved senselessly to the middle and before the out-classed boy could spin back around, the two were merged.

"You see," I gestured with my hands and bit down on my words, "if you don't keep all your attention on them, they will get away from you." Read more...

Three Stories by Salvatore Difalco

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The Smokers

Back in March of 2020, I took notice of a unit in the senior's building across the street. What drew my attention to it, more than any other unit, was the presence of a couple who liked to step out to their balcony for a smoke, no matter the weather. This in itself wasn't enough to hold my attention, but two things intensified my interest. On the one hand, I never saw the couple exchange a word, or even a glance, neither on the balcony nor inside the observable part of their unit. 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.