The Blind Poet’s Dog

by Emily Mosher

Everyone who is anyone knows Homer and loves Homer and invites Homer to perform at their Royal drunken feasts. But I know that Homer is a pain in the ass.

Homer is my master, but we cannot simply have a congenial, professional servant/master relationship, oh no. Because Homer says that he is a ‘people person’ and he apparently wants ‘even his manservant’ to feel ‘involved’ in his ‘art.’

So I must listen to him practice his epic poems over and over again. And I must provide an opinion on the practice because Homer always says, “Your opinion is important to me, Argos!”

And I always reply, “I have no opinion, Sir.”

And he most often says, “You know what they say about opinions, Argos.”

And if he says that, I always reply, “Yes I do, Sir.”

But he will always go ahead and say, “Opinions, like a certain something else, are something which everyone has!” And then he will laugh. Continue reading

September Stories at the Confabulator Cafe

It is often said that all stories have already been told, we’re all just rehashing the same plots over and over with our own unique perspectives.

So this month at the Cafe, we intentionally did just that. We were giveb the prompt to write a retelling for a fairy tale, mythological story, or urban legend. So see if you can recognize the original tales these stories came from this month. We hope you enjoy these strange and different retellings of common tales.

We also have another new guest author, so please give a warm welcome to T.L. Brown.

We’ll have stories going up every Monday and Thursday this month. Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, September 3: “The Blind Poet’s Dog” by Emily Mosher
Monday, September 7: “The Labyrinth” by Christie O. Hall
Thursday, September 10: “Goldilocks and the Three Empty Cryopods” by Dianne Williams
Monday, September 14: “Skinwalker” by Anita Young
Thursday, September 17: “The Prince and the Poltergeist” by Sara Lundberg
Monday, September 21: “The Sleeping Strategy” by Neil Siemers
Thursday, September 24: “Red Cap” by T.L. Brown

Death World One

I finally found the exit. We had to double-back from the Interstellar 405 to find the damn thing. The wormhole was not well marked, let me tell you. Earth is out in the middle of nowhere and there are hardly any beacons out there. It was not a great start to our vacation.

The kids were in the backseat, hitting each other, pushing, pulling each other’s face tentacles. It had been a long trip to the Sol system. But goddammit, we were going to spend two weeks as a family. No vid screens. No comms devices. Just us and a whole planet full of untouched, pristine nature.

Landing couldn’t come soon enough. It was either that, or risk injuring one of the kids when I lost my mind from their fighting. Which is to say that I set the ship down in the first piece of wilderness that I could find. We lucked out and the view outside of my window was breathtaking. We’d parked on a beautiful stretch of tangerine desert dotted with plateaus. A greenish-blue waterhole off to one side supported some kind of silvery-grayish-green shrubs all around us. It was absolutely perfect. Continue reading

Uncovering the Truth

“I finally found the exit,” Tasha said.

 

“Exit?” I rolled my chair over to the table Tasha had claimed as her home base and leaned over her shoulder to see what she meant. While her English had come a long way in the last year she’d lived in the States, her vocabulary slipped any time she got too excited about something.

 

“Do you mean the entrance? The way in?”

 

Tasha’s fingers flew across the keys as she wrote several new lines of code. She was so absorbed in the hack that she ignored my question. I watched in awe, trying to figure out Tasha’s plan of attack, but she switched tactics too often and pulled out a few new ones I’d never seen before.

 

Hacking was like dancing, moving with your partner, adjusting your footsteps to match their stride, adding extra twirls because you knew it would make them smile. It was easy to get lost in it, to forget what was going on in the real world around you.

 

I waited an extra twenty minutes before Tasha looked up and smiled at me.

Continue reading

Don’t Let Me Drown

by Sarah Bredeman

I finally found the exit. Through a barred door with creaky hinges toward the back of my mind, where I mostly don’t go because the cobwebs of unpleasant memories are thick.

The spiders are long dead, of course. Only their gray, dried carcasses remain, hanging by threads or wound tightly in ancient silk strings strung across dark corridors and pressed into hard-to-reach corners. The spindled legs fold into hollow bodies and beady eyes, once shining with sabotage, are dull now. Those corpses still cast wide shadows, though, and they aren’t any less frightening than before.

It started with the drugs. I’d had them a long time, a potential prescription treasure chest with my name on it, sitting forgotten in my medicine cabinet. But really, before that, I suppose it started with the feeling that I was drowning on dry land in a stream of my own salty tears, because I was raped. I was drunk, he was drunk, I don’t really remember a whole lot and most people made it clear that I was asking for it. Then, the panic set in. Continue reading