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 Berková
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


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Best, The Lion,
and Children of God
by Beate Sigriddaughter


Best

Then show me the best frog, the best fox, the best sea lion, the best angel, the best worm, the best grain of sand, the best ant, the best rose," the unicorn challenged.

"Ah," its human friend interrupted at last. "That I can and will do for you."

He took the unicorn to a flower show. Some roses were best, while others were mere honorary mentions. He also took the unicorn to see the best bull from the stock show as he was led, reeking of unfamiliarity, in circles underneath the crystal chandelier at the Brown Palace in Denver.

And still the unicorn was skeptical. It lay down in the nearest parking lot to contemplate unrated stars, and clouds, and the moon, to the rustling of uncategorized leaves.


The Lion

The unicorn didn't approach the lion until he looked well satisfied, though his teeth were bloody still from the latest shred of the once-upon-a-time gazelle. Some blood had stiffened in his mane as well.

"Tell me," the unicorn asked, "would you ever roll dice at the foot of a cross with someone dying on it?"

"Don't be absurd," the lion said.


Children of God

The unicorn sat next to God on a hill overlooking a lush meadow. Two tiny boys in bright red shirts bobbed through tall grass with butterfly nets.

One boy caught his own left hand in his net and carried it proudly. The other boy still prowled intently and wide-legged through the tall green and waved his open net, waiting for something to catch.

"Aren't they lovely?" the unicorn exclaimed, touched to its core.

"Yes," God said, but there was also sadness in God's voice. "Sometimes I wish I were surrounded by adults who would tend this garden with me, instead of always wanting to play in the same oil field."




Beate Sigriddaughter lives in Denver, Colorado, and Vancouver, British Columbia. She currently writes mostly about a feminist quest for the holy grail set in contemporary times, as well as about the unicorn represented in the above stories. To earn her living, she works in Kafkaesque surroundings amongst numbers and papers.


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