November Stories at the Confabulator Cafe

In my experience, couch cushions are greedy things that pickpocket us while we’re sitting on them. Coins, socks, remote controls, food crumbs all seem to end up deep within the cracks of comfortable (or in some cases, not-so-comfortable) couches. Sometimes, though, the couch gives things back.

Our prompt for this month is “We found the lost ___ in the couch cushions.” Let’s see what the Confabulators found.

We’ll have stories every Thursday except for Thanksgiving. Couches don’t return things on holidays.

Here’s the November schedule:

Thursday, November 8: “Living Room Moon” by Emily Mosher
Thursday, November 15: “Spelunking” by Dianne Williams
Thursday, November 29: “A Matter of Time” by Sara Lundberg


Apple of Her Mother’s Eye

“Mom! We’re out of apples,” Alexa yelled, head stuck deep in the refrigerator. She couldn’t keep the panic from her voice.

“Well, take a pear instead!”

Alexa rummaged through the fruit drawer again, hoping maybe one rolled behind something else.

“Alexa Dawn, don’t stand there with the refrigerator door open.”

Mom. I need an apple.”

“I’m sorry, honey. I didn’t realize we were out. I’ll grab some when I go to the grocery store this weekend.”

“I need one for my lunch today.”

Alexa’s mom sighed. “I don’t know what to tell you. We have to leave for school in twenty minutes. I don’t have time to get you an apple right now.”

“But an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Alexa grimaced at her mom’s nonplussed look.

“That’s just an expression, Alexa. I’m sure you’ll survive a day or two without an apple in your lunch.”

Easy for her mom to say. She didn’t have to deal with The Doctor at school. There would be a heavy price to pay if she didn’t give the bully an apple at lunch time. She could just hear the eighth grade girl taunting her. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away, little sevvie.” She usually made her watch her take every bite, but now and then she’d take one bite, then throw the rest away. (more…)

Apple Heart

When I was born, I did not have a heart, so the Doctor fashioned one for me out of an apple. In return, every day for the rest of my life, I was to bring him an apple.

Until I was old enough to walk, mama delivered the apple to the Doctor, carrying me swaddled to her back so I received the credit. After I could walk, the burden fell on me. Every day, I would go into town, take a left at the dead tree, climb over the crumbling wall, and place an apple in his hand.

When it rained, I waded through mud. Every day, the mud grew thicker until the water began to pool on top of it. The standing water went from kissing my toes to tugging at my ankles, deeper and deeper each day. The rain would not let up. When it reached my waist and the only way out of the house was through a window, I begged mama to let me miss this one day, what could it hurt? My backside was on fire as I sat in the rowboat and paddled through the town, the roads hidden beneath the standing water.

I hated the Doctor. (more…)

Il Dottore

Il Dottore never changed.

Il Dottore always strode into the amphitheater, dusty black robes swirling about him, never looking to right or left. He landed at the lectern like a swooping hawk, turned piercing eyes to survey the students seated in the tiers.

Il Dottore commanded silence with that glare and not one of the students assembled there dared break the stillness.

Il Dottore had a sonorous voice, deep and booming, which resonated as much in the hearer’s chest and bones as their ears.

Il Dottore’s words commanded an unwavering attention as he spoke, and afterwards, no student could remember exactly which words, which phrases, he had uttered, only their deep and sage meaning. (more…)

Ugly Fruit

Eward Sullivan was dying.

“Isn’t there an herb?” asked Inga, his wife. “I’ve still got the silver chalice from my dowry. Money won’t be a problem.”

“No,” the grim faced valley physician told her over Eward’s head, as though he weren’t right there listening. “His heart’s just bad.”

“Nothing bad about my Eward’s heart,” she said rolling up her sleeves over her robust arms and rising haughtily. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got a real healer to see.”

She grabbed the handles of Eward’s wheelbarrow. Eward shrugged apology at the physician who shrugged in return as Inga pulled him out of the physician’s cottage, muttering. (more…)