The Myth of the Venerable Trauer Klouse

by Cigan Cuk

This is the Myth of the Venerable Trauer Klouse
How his fame and story came to be
Of his origin and acclaim
And the fragments that are always left to see

The year was two thousand and eighteen
Winter holidays were selling in every store
A jolly red clothed man was famous
But behind this image there was something more

Trauer Klouse lived alone
He watched the world go slowly by
His brother got all the attention
Trauer was just like a piece of leftover pie

Every year his brother was so famous
And Trauer sat forgotten
No one really cared about him
His holidays and soul were often rotten

Trauer had long white hair and a beard
He looked like a mountain dweller that lived inside
His appearance was derided by the judging masses
And his eyes were dried from tears he had cried


In a Better World

“Calling it. 7:38 AM for model AI-287B-017 – fatal error. Initiating shutdown procedures.”

“No way,” Carter said, rolling his chair across the room, peering close at the shiny screen. Jones was always little too trigger-happy when it came to Shutdown. “Where?”

“There,” Jones said, gesturing to a pulsating red frequency bar. “Inevitable resource overload.”

The readout was admittedly complex, and the graphs never made as much sense to Carter as they did to the other Proctor. Jones lived for this stuff. They all did, really. Time was a finite resource just like all the other ones Earth was rapidly depleting, but unlike money or resources, it was not one the Firm could replenish. Still, a critical error was serious business. The boss was very picky about this stuff. (more…)

The Stylist

“Nice costume!” The words flung themselves at me, punctuated with mocking laughter.

This was not a costume party. I was not in costume.

It was these children in their colorful suits and paisley prints and patterns stacked on top of patterns who were in costume.

“How do you do it?” I asked the only person in the room even near my age, though she had at least another century on me. Probably quite a few more if her stories about helping Cleopatra smuggle herself into Caesar’s boudoir in a carpet were true. Still, even if it were true, she was closer to me in age than these children.

“Do what?” Her voice was sultry and low and I knew she had to be high to resist all of this temptation.

“Keep up with all of the latest fashions?”

“It’s easy, sweetheart.” She pointed out a girl a few feet away from her that had a similar build to her. “Tomorrow, I’ll be wearing that.” She left me to approach the girl and with a single brush of her hand the girl acted as if they were bosom friends. In the morning she would turn up naked and dead and my friend would have her new outfit.


January Stories at the Confabulator Cafe

Hello and welcome to the new year. And another year of stories here at the Cafe!

This year, we have new prompts, new stories, and some new guest authors!

For the first batch of stories for the new year, the Confabulators were challenged to write an origin story of their own (or their own twist on a an existing myth).

Here’s the lineup for the month of January:

Friday, January 4: “The Stylist” by Eliza Jaquays
Friday, January 11: “In a Better World” byGreta Valentine
Friday, January 18: “The Myth of the Venerable Trauer Klouse” by
Cigan Cuk


Christmas All My Life

Dear Santa,

My name is Jessica and I am eleven years old. I am writing to you to tell you what I want for Christmas.

I don’t want toys. Mommy and Daddy buy me lots of toys. I don’t want clothes. Gramma always gets me clothes. I don’t want books. We go to the library once a week, and I am scared if I have too many books, Mommy won’t drop me off at the library anymore. I like the librarians. They are nice.

All I want for Christmas is a friend. I don’t have anyone to talk to. I get lonely a lot.

Hope you have a merry Christmas.




Dear Jessica,

I don’t normally write back to Christmas list letters, but you are a very special girl. I wanted to make sure you got your Christmas wish, so as my gift to you, I will be your pen pal. Please write to me whenever you are feeling lonely.


Santa (more…)