The Cafe Irreal: International Imagination 

Issue Sixteen

Long November by Michael Farrell
Houses in Their Backs by Sean Ferrell
Warnings Accompanying Your Inflatable Universe by Justin Kahn
They Are Translucifying by Susan Lantz
Carolina in the Morning by M.E. McMullen
Broomsticks by Mari Ness
The Girl with Glass Skin & Combustion by Michael Obilade
At the Cafe by rovesciato
Cellular by Girija Tropp
Rose Red by Andrew Wille


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At the Cafe
by rovesciato


A woman was sitting in the cafe with her feet in a gouldun of spiced white tea. Occasionally licking the ointment that condescended on her nose, she read the section of the mid-morning edition that was painted on the wall beside her —

16th street, between Cobberslop lane and E avenue:

Mr. With left the house in his finest tie, as had been selected by the previous editor and accepted by the current, and proceeded to E avenue where he turned left, presumably traveling to a place of employment. It is not known which he had determined to supplicate, however Mr. With, looking unusually tired today, has a history of making successful withdrawals.

Mrs. Addisesis put three hours into her garden and was yet clipping the hedges as the morning edition went to oils. Her husband was seen twice at the window. Mr. Addisesis also appeared once at the door to hail a cab. There were none, however, on 16th street between Cobberslop and E avenue and he did not receive a ticket.

Mrs. Stump's home has been to the market for one hundred and twenty-five and one-third days. This morning her sign, which had been upside down for seventeen days, was turned so it did not face the street. When asked to comment she told the morning edition, "Everyday my sign fails to draw attention it grows more argumentative. I want to send a cleaner message to the public." (A man did later ask this reporter if the house was indeed for sale, but did not make an offer.) Soon afterward Mrs. Stump spoke to Mrs. Addisesis over the fence and, after exchanging progress reports, Mrs. Stump proceeded to tell three jokes, at which Mrs. Addisesis was seen to laugh at one and Mr. Addisesis was heard to chuckle at three.

Here the woman stopped reading and proclaimed, "They never record the jokes in this edition. Do you hear me, Monsun, not once a joke that one can read aloud. It is all sensationalism here. From now on I'll take my tea at the pre-afternoon edition."

Monsun licked his nose and said thoughtfully, "This ointment doesn't go well with a white soak. Some palm, sirs?" he quested. The sirs began immediately to switch the jar that attached to the vents. Then, turning to the woman, he added, "If that is alright with you?"

"I have a hand towel," she answered and returned to browse over the wall.

Following this event Mr. With dried his feet and crossed the street to the pre-afternoon edition where others were already filing into the cafe, brandishing palettes, brushes drawn.




rovesciato lives in Corvallis, Oregon. His short short, "One Domestic's Theology," appeared in Issues #6 of The Cafe Irreal, and "Detected" appeared in Issue #13.


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