What Follows (The Chair) by R. Harlan Smith

On the night Frank Pearls died, he gathered his little congregation around his chair and gave each of them a little snack like a priest giving Holy Communion. They received their snacks gleefully and smacked their lips to show their appreciation. Then he settled back in his chair, swallowed another glass of whiskey, filled the glass again, and in his calm, pleasant voice,  proceeded – sometimes he would read to them from Joyce, or Kierkegaard, or Al Capp, or sometimes he would just talk to them about philosophy, but he would never tell them it was philosophy. Tonight he would talk.

Continue reading

The Talk Part Three – Driving While Black by Frederick K Foote

“Hey, Beth, you got a minute? I need your advice.”

“Greg, not really, however, I’ll always make time for a call from my ex-husband and the father of our children. First of all, you should move out of that horribly dangerous Oak Park place where you have domiciled my children. Apparently, the law enforcement thugs have a year-round open season on black people in Sacramento.”

Continue reading

Table 6 by Monica Strina

We live in Gino’s Café, Beaufort South Carolina, Minerva and I. Here’s the reason why I called her that, before you start a-wondering too: the moment she came out of me, she already had this face like she’s thinking about something all the time, so Gino said to call her Minerva – ‘Like the goddess of Wisdom,’ he says – and I did. It’s not like there was anyone else around to offer me a different name.

Continue reading