The Cafe Irreal: International Imagination 

Issue Fifteen

The Life Of Alonso Quijano, To Rise/To Fall, & Gerontomachy by Emilio Martinez
Shuteye by Bob Thurber
Magoria by Alexandra BerkovŠ
Liquid Hotel by Michael Overa
Sleeping Prescription: Directions and Cautions by Steven Schutzman
Botanical Curiosities & The Golden Apple by Margarita Engle
Selections from O, Vozque Pulp by Derek White
Gypsy by Saeed Tavakkol
Best, The Lion, & Children of God by Beate Sigriddaughter


irreal (re)views


Liquid Hotel
by Michael Overa

The Maitre dí opens the door for a woman in a flowing satin gown, tear-drop diamonds reflecting candlelight against her skin. She moves slow and fluid across the room, pausing at the elevator to press the silver call-button. Purse clutched in smooth white hands, hands like ivory. The lobby mostly empty, large dark red couches clustered in near the elevator. Two men in dark suits talking lightly over cigars, watching the walls trickle past in cool, clear rivulets. A couple standing at the low, dark counter, speaking softly with the concierge. The noise of soft classical music from the nearby lounge, Handel perhaps, Water Music Suite. The elevator arrives, the ding of the bell drifting out over the lobby. The two men look up from their conversation, paused with their cigars barely touching their lips.

Smoke pools around the men, swirling and placid.

On another floor, the woman in the satin gown opens the door to her room, and closes it softly behind her. She stares into the mirror above the porcelain sink. She stares at her own reflection, mesmerized. Caught off guard by her own beauty. Setting her purse on the counter beside the sink she reaches out to touch the mirror, fingers creating concentric ripples on the surface of that silver-framed looking glass. Outside on the streets there is the vapor and steam shrouding the hotel, on the cold November night. Walls of the hotel like waterfalls falling in steady sheets.

A boy runs past the Liquid Hotel, running his hand along that shimmering wall, leaving a momentary trail where his hand has just barely broken the surface. He runs off laughing, the Maitre dí glaring after him.

Michael Overa tries to write interesting stories about interesting things. Sometimes he comes close. You don't have to read his stories, but he'd like it if you did.

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