Closed for the Holidays

Hello friends. The Cafe is currently closed for the holidays. The Confabulators have all settled down for a long winter’s nap, so there will be no January stories.

We will return with new stories next month. Enjoy the New Year, and we’ll see you soon.

Thanks for stopping by!


The Last Christmas Tree

Needle grew up like most trees. He started as a seed from a pine cone. He was raised in a greenhouse until he was big enough to survive outdoors, where he was planted in the ground.

As Needle grew, he heard rustling amongst the other trees, who had been planted in neat rows alongside him, that they lived on what was called a Christmas Tree Farm. Silver, Needle’s sister at the end of the row, tried to point to a sign one windy day, where she swore there was neat lettering that said so.

Needle didn’t know what a tree farm was, but he was happy. He got plenty of water, and humans came by and made sure to keep all of them pruned and healthy.

Trees have no concept of time. Time is a human construct. All Needle knew was that he lived for a time in what humans might call contentedness.

But as the weather turned from hot to cool, there was the horrifying sound of machinery and the wailing of trees in the distance. Rumor flew on the wind, and all the trees near Needle held their collective breath.

But the danger seemed to pass, and life returned to normal. Snow, rain, pollination, and heat. Needle continued to be content, except for every now and then when the sound of horror came around again.

The rest of the time, the trees didn’t think about it.

Until the day they had no choice. (more…)

Frozen Reflection

The windowpane was cold against her nose. Her breaths puffed against the glass and the condensation caught and froze. Outside the snow piled deeper and deeper with each passing moment. She drew a finger through the newly formed frost. Please. She mouthed the word as she spelled it out.

She pressed her forehead to the pane and her hands on either side of the word. For a moment all she felt was the chill of the glass and then slowly she felt the soft touch of icy fingers brushing tentatively against hers. She pushed through the glass and clasped hands with her reflection.

And then her reflection was upon her. A tangle of frozen limbs as they toppled over.

“You’re so cold.” (more…)

It’s Snow Problem

Karen woke up with dreams of home spinning around in her brain. A planet, a city she hadn’t seen in two years now. They bothered her as she sat in an alien marketplace, watching the hustle and bustle of the day. It was 80-degrees Fahrenheit in the area and she’d pulled out her t-shirt collection.

Her friends Yarley and Lolali sat beside her. Lolali picked at a mat in her fur while Yarley tapped her fins on the low table.

“Don’t you have snow here?” Karen asked. “I know we’ve had wind and rain. But I never see snow.”

“Snow?” Yarley asked.

“Who would want it?” Lolali asked, dropping a bit of fur on the ground. “The climate control is very good here. Rain helps the plants and the atmosphere. But snow? That’s just a nuisance to everyone.”

“I like snow,” Karen said. She was a great lover of all things that others found a nuisance. She felt she had to speak up for it. “Besides, it’s traditional at Christmas. At least on my part of the planet back home it’s traditional.”

“It’ll never happen here,” Lolali said.

“Why not?” Karen asked.

“Because your people don’t have the political clout to convince someone to reprogram the climate control system just for you. Your snow holidays happen at the same time as another race’s monsoon days, and still another’s dry days.”

“Besides, snow is awful,” Yarley added. “How can your people like to be cold? Is it the fur?”

“Well I have to do something,” Karen said. “I need Christmas-ish things around.” (more…)

Betwixt Hearts

The woman may have come into Wendy’s tent trying to look common, but she had wealth written all over her. Even dressed down in dark trousers and a blouse, Wendy could see that about her. Her clothes fit too well. Her hair was too clean.

“Do I have something you need?” Wendy asked as the woman sat at the opposite end of the rug cover the dirt inside the tent.

“I reckon you do.”

“And you are?”

“Elizabeth Wagner.”

Ah, Wendy had heard the name Wagner around the town, in the weeks she’d been doing her work on the outskirts and nearby farms. It seemed that Daddy Wagner owned about half the town, and wasn’t all too well loved. She hadn’t heard anything about a family, but rich men usually had a few daughters to barter.

“Well, Miss Wagner, what brings you to me under the cover of night?” (more…)