Princess Sparklemittens

“Breaking announcement from the White House!” The emergency broadcaster’s voice crackled over the radio. “The First Daughter has lost her kitten. Everyone is to stop what they are doing and look for Princess Sparklemittens. She is a grey, short-hair tabby cat. She was last seen wearing a pink collar with a purple bell.” The broadcaster repeated the message several times before the line went dead.

Karen, a middle-aged woman in a one-piece skirted bathing suit clapped her hands, signaling all of the children that it was time to come out of the water. “Jenny, you take the little ones back to the house. Keep them entertained while the rest of us search for Princess Sparklemittens.”

“Yes, Auntie,” Jenny said. She gathered a baby on each hip and then had the toddlers form a single file line as Karen began to organize search crews.

* * *

The President paced the oval office. “I should be out there, searching for Princess Sparklemittens. What are we going to tell Sophia when she wakes up from her nap if she hasn’t been found?”

The Vice President clasped the President on the shoulder. “We’ll find the damn cat, Sir. You have more important things to be worrying about right now.”

“But you know what happened the last two times Princess Sparklemittens was lost. We nearly didn’t find her in time.”

“That is why this time, we’ve engaged the entire county in Operation Tantrum. Somebody will turn up the cat. We’ve never let you down before, have we?”

The President massaged the bridge of his nose. “No, you’re right.” He pressed the intercom button on his desk phone. “When Princess Sparklemittens is found, I expect to be notified immediately—no matter which foreign dignitary I am currently meeting with.” (more…)


The Woman who Slipped Below

“Help!” they cried, running toward my tower chair, stumbling over little sand dunes on their way. An older man and woman, and a middle aged man.

“She’s drowning!”

I stand and scan the lake where they are pointing. The surface is glassy. Unperturbed. I grab my red rescue tube and slide down the ladder. I run toward the three.

“Where?” I shout.

“Just there!” they say, they all point to the same place in the lake.

“I don’t see anyone!”

“She’s flailing, man!” Says the older woman in the tankini. I scan the lake and the beach again. The half-dozen other beach goers are looking at me.

“Go!” she says. (more…)

December Stories at the Confabulator Cafe

Hello, readers. I hope you all didn’t mind our quick catnap at the Cafe last month. With NaNoWriMo in full swing, our staff was a bit overworked and needed the time off.

But we’re back and ready to regale you with new stories this month.

For December, we like to do what we call “freestyle month.” That means anything goes. Stories can be short or long. They can use a prompt from previous months, or they can be completely original. They can be about Christmas, but they certainly don’t have to be.

We hope you’ll peek in from time to time this month and read what the Confabulators have found to share with you. Here is the December schedule.

Saturday, December 2: “The Woman who Slipped Below” by Emily Mosher
Saturday, December 9: “Princess Sparklemittens” by Eliza Jaquays
Saturday, December 16 “Deadly Seduction” by Isabel Nee
Saturday, December 23: “To Catch the Christmas Spirit” by Sara Lundberg
Saturday, December 30: “Prison of the Mind” by Dianne Williams


Hope your holidays are safe and happy, and we’ll see you next year!


Will of Bequest

The wrong aunt had died. At least, in my opinion. Aunt Fiona had never been a welcoming woman, and she’d become truly frigid toward me a few years back. Truthfully, I wished she was the one who’d died, not my gregarious and soft-hearted Aunt Josephine. But Great-aunt Josephine was the eldest sister, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been too surprised to find myself walking across the cemetery grass at her funeral—or, “life celebration.”

True to her nature, Aunt Josephine had insisted on festivities in her honor, although any liveliness during the burial ceremony was quashed with an icy glare from Aunt Fiona. As Aunt Josephine’s closest living relative, she was the one in charge of the actual funeral arrangements, so the burial had a definitely somber air. She had begrudgingly allowed for a feast afterward, and welcomed friends of the family with a resigned glare.

I’d been “accidentally” avoiding her all afternoon, partly because I’d brought my boyfriend Jimmy Martins along. I didn’t think it was the best idea, but I liked the company. My brothers certainly had no qualms about bringing their girlfriends. They’d also ignored Aunt Fiona’s increasingly disconsolate expression as they trooped up to her with their girlfriends in their coquettishly lacy black dresses.


The Night Chats

The night chats were announced with a key and a location. No words were ever exchanged. No maps were ever printed. There’s no painted sign hanging over the door or bunting strung to draw attention. There was just a new place in the shadows where one did not exist before.

Lani entered at the arranged time, through a doorway at the back of the day market. The air still smelled of spices and dyes and dung in the fading light. The aroma of trade.

The pushers met her first on the other side of the door, while her eyes and her skin adjusted to the cool air.

“Hey. Hey you. You wanna sleep?”
“Hey, wanna dream?”
“Nightmares! Quality nightmares here!”

She brushed past them with their somni-pills and their potions. Their oily promises left a residue on her skin. (more…)