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Issue number three


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Short shorts by Utahna Faith, Brian E. Turner, Rowan Wolf and Lisa Kavchak


All girl band by Utahna Faith

My all-girl band is in trouble. Not musical trouble, not financial trouble, not boy trouble, not even the trouble of looking like beautiful vampires every night and every day. We have simply done something wrong. We do not know what it is, and I am sure we did not mean to do it. Nevertheless, we are in trouble.

My father looks at me nervously. How can I be so white-skinned, ebony-haired, red-lipped and ethereal, when my mother, at my age with the same face and body, was suntanned, golden-haired, peach-lipped and earthbound? I believe I make him nervous. Yes, I make him nervous, and it's about time.

I am back in our old house, bad house, in my old room, changing clothes. What does one wear to jail? I am frightened.

The other three "Four Whores of the Apocalypse" arrive and we console one another. As we walk through the family room past the loud football game, my father looks at us without moving his mouth or turning his head. As I say good-bye he nods once, chin down, hold a beat, chin level. That is all.

We climb into the red Ford Fairlane, slide our own CD into the player and sing. I know through the terror in my stomach that we have never been so on, so hot, so perfect.

Of course we are right to turn ourselves in.

* * * * *

Utahna Faith is currently working on a series of impressionistic short stories set in various locations around the world, including Los Angeles, New Orleans, the Virgin Islands, Nice and several airplanes. Her favorite writers include Anais Nin, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Nancy Leman and Aimee Bender.


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His exegamination of poelemtics as addressed to the audience by Brian E. Turner

One should beware that one should deliver a logical exegamination to please the acacopopoleptics and endear creativity to the insensate sensual sapiens and embalm thought in the mould of the slippery surface of the shape of the world.

What did you say, sir?
You want to go to the toilet?
Well put up your hand in the proper manner.
Hurry up or we'll have a nasty mess on the floor.
Now where was I?

The conventional cast of thought lies on the skin, creating a logical construesion bisected by the fin-triangular, diametrically supposing the choppy waves on the silver, on the silver top, for therein belies the inevitable incarceration of the ineluctable modality of the invisible.

Do I make myself clear?
Indeed you may say it is all non but the sense is
perfectly oblivious if you take the trouble to listen.
I thought you'd agree.
What did you say, madam?
You don't like politics.
This isn't parliament you know.
Would I say anything that made sense if it was?
To proceed.

The current lacklustre performance of the prevalent economic theories can be put down to the etiolated visages of the personnel involved and to no other reason, for without sufficient illumination there can be no light and hence a general lack of effulgence will pervade and as a result this enervating attempt at innovation is bound to have disastrous consequences.

It's alright, you can take your seat now.
Was it a relief?
Yes it can be painful, I've had it myself.
You shouldn't have spent so much time in the pub before
you came.
Where was I?
Ah yes.

In the pursuance of our final conclusion we must pass through various trials and tribulations, highs and lows, plusses and minuses, wives and mistresses, cakes and ale, drains and swills, all praise be, for the piece that passeth shall come to pass and we shall on to our final consolation, so be it, and in reclusion let me reiterate that when I have finished there shall be no more, but do not get up and leave just yet for the recension is yet to come, as it shall be evermore, words without end, for our coming up and our going down are the same sun and we are unapprehensive about the former but not so about the latter and when we see that blazing glow of the noonday there shall be no hereafter, or there may be one according to the referee's decision, which is certain to be biased in favour of the home team, so help me doG.

That is all.

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Brian E. Turner is a native and resident of New Zealand. He's mainly written plays, many of which have been performed in local back-alley theaters. He also works in theater in other capacities, such as director and actor. His novel, The Road Goes On, has been published electronically and is available at Barnes and Noble, RoxyBooks and other internet bookshops.


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My cricket people by Rowan Wolf

All I seem to notice today are dead crickets. Stepped on dead crickets. Run over by bicycles dead crickets. Run over by rollerbladers dead crickets. Half eaten by ants dead crickets. Picked up and dropped by seagulls dead crickets. Frozen perhaps to death in the night (for they have been cold lately) dead crickets. But why today and why me? Why do they present themselves to me as such a carpet, as if I were some long lost cricket Deity happening upon my people at long last, the answer to a million cricket prayers? Why these strange sacrifices? Don't they know I am not moved in their favor by what in my book is suicide? That I much prefer things alive as long as they keep quiet? For that's why I left them in the first place, their incessant harping, fiddling, backlegging, just couldn't stand it anymore, much as I loved my chosen people and all that, just had to get out of there, back home to peace and quiet, down the road a bit, past the two outer planets, left at the dead comet, straight ahead—be sure to keep Orion on your right, sharp left at Aldebar, through the electron belt, past the sixteenth vortex (it's the one with the irregular swirl, keep your distance), fourth planet in, pick any ocean. Home. Home and cricketless. Not here on the pavement, though, where all I seem to notice are dead crickets from all kinds of slayings; suicides in my book.


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Rowan Wolf was born and raised in northern Sweden. He was a part-time journalist while in school and had some stories published at that time. He left Sweden in 1969 for Africa, then went to England and finally arrived in the United States in 1979. He is a singer/songwriter as well as a writer and currently resides in the Los Angeles area. His short story "The Melting" appeared in Issue #1 of The Cafe Irreal.


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The Story of a Town in Miniature: Maria by Lisa Kavchak

On the day the washer exploded and the dog ate her car keys, a trick her children devised by burying them in raw hamburger, Maria collapsed in a heap on the living room floor, vowing to God she would never again rise. She’d done this before—all good mothers have—so the children simply added her to the afternoon’s props, using her as a lever for leap frog and a tray for an elaborate tea party.

At midnight, Maria’s husband, the town doctor and the parish priest hovered above the still-prone Maria, whose face, over the course of the evening, had begun to radiate a beneficent calm. She looks so peaceful, said the doctor. She’s the mother of small children, for God’s sake, said the priest. What about me? said the husband. He began to weep, and the doctor and the priest, whether in profound shame or relief in the knowledge they were not him, wept too.

The next day the women of the parish organized the required rotas: one for cooking, one for cleaning, and one for the care of Maria’s children. Maria herself was scooped off the floor by two pairs of strong female hands and propped like a queen in her bed. Not one of the women will admit infidelity, but word has reached town that Maria has begun to sprout wings. Two pink nubs, firm as walnuts and fiery to the touch, appeared overnight in that delicate space between her shoulder blades. Her children, for the first time in their lives, sit neatly and quietly at the foot of her bed, while outside her window a throng of the town’s idle grows more restless by the hour, waiting for the moment Maria takes flight, earning for them the esteem—if only for a moment—all such towns seek.


* * * * *

Lisa Kavchak is returning to full-time writing after nine vigorous years of child-rearing. She lives with her family in Pensacola, Florida, where she's at work on a novel and a series of short pieces like "The Story of a Town in Miniature: Maria" that are inspired by unusual news stories she happened across while working at a radio station in the Middle East.


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