Issue #82

Spring Issue | May 2022

In this Issue:

The Work by Bob Thurber


When the work calls, you pack a bag and go. Though anticipated, you've made no arrangements. Likewise, you tell no one you're leaving. Days later, when you arrive at a small airport in the middle of nowhere, the work is waiting, dressed as a chauffeur, displaying a whiteboard with your name misspelled. The work greets you with a tip of the hat and a nod. The work offers to carry your luggage, though all you have is a canvas satchel with a few personal items, and your typewriter in its hard-shell case. Read more...

Book, Some Stray Woods, and Appetite by Nikolaj Volgushev



I pick out an old book in a winding bookstore, it's a novel by a writer whose books I thought I had all read and re-read but here is one I had never even heard of before, a heavy dense beautiful book, yet when I bring it to the cashier he only shakes his head and apologizes, I cannot sell you this book sir we don't carry this book in our store, Read more...

A Recipe for the Last of Days by Laila Amado


Don't look over your shoulder. Don't even try to turn your head. Behind you, in the window frame, the sky boils and burns. It thunders with the hooves of a thousand horses. Black manes, blue manes, manes the color of hurricane. The world is ending in the boiling froth on the mouth of a horse in full gallop.

Have you always wanted to make homemade bread? Warm, crusty, chewy, delicious loaves? This is the perfect time to start. Read more...

Swimming through Shadowlands and Hungry House by Keith Hoerner


Swimming through Shadowlands

Deep below the lake's murky surface, there sits—intact—a house. A two-story structure of Carpenter Gothic details like elaborate wooden trim bloated to bursting. Its front yard: purple loosestrife. Its inhabitants: alligator gar, bull trout, and pupfish. All glide past languidly—out of window sashes and back inside door frames. It is serene, and it is foreboding. Read more...

The Dutiful Son by Dafydd McKimm


When Johannes receives the news that his father is dying, he rushes without delay to be by the old man's bedside. All throughout the journey, the trains and buses seem to arrive just in time, delaying him not a moment; indeed, it appears to him that time and space themselves—as if sympathising with his plight—collaborate to compress so that one moment and the next are somehow closer and each stride he takes stretches across acres, so that in no time at all, and thanking Providence for his expedited journey, he is at the apartment door, flinging it wide and saying "Papa, I'm here." Read more...

Tick-Tock Man Syndrome and An Autopsy of Creation by Perry Ruhland


Tick-Tock Man Syndrome

My partner was actually the first to come down with a case of Tick-Tock Man Syndrome. She was out at the bakery, buying pastries for our breakfast, when she felt a terrible pinching behind her eyes. In an instant, the bakery vanished. It was as if, she later told me, her sight was a television, and something—someone—had changed the channel. Read more...

Spin, Box Office, and Makeover by Cheryl Snell



The man under the black bowler twirls its brim. The pinch of thumb and forefinger courts a gust of wind, if that's possible. There is rotation: faster and faster it spins, until the hat begins to rise. Read more...

Interlude of the Angels by George Everet Thompson


I can see the angels all in a line that ripples without end until the sight of it fades away into the desert along with the train tracks. The angels are beating their wings slowly, like a film in slow motion, a sonorous fanning that has gone on for a million billion years and will keep going on for just as long until the wind from their wings beats everything, absolutely everything down into a dust so fine that it vanishes altogether. 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.