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Cezarija Abartis

Family Cafe by Cezarija Abartis

Family Cafe by Cezarija Abartis

Our Writer of the Month Cezarija Abartis with a tense short story about the futility of revenge, "Family Café" (formerly featured in Crimson Fog).

The linoleum was green as hope in summer. On the wall were framed photographs: three tow-headed kids at the beach–probably Kittredge's kids–a calendar, a photograph of these same kids, older now by a few years. In my purse was a gun.

O Tannenbaum by Cezarija Abartis

O Tannenbaum by Cezarija Abartis

Our Writer of the Month for August, Cezarija Abartis, with her flash fiction piece "O Tannenbaum".

Ellen thought it was a lovely tree and they would have a lovely life. She and Nate had found each other, and now life lay before them–gleaming, endless, rich, complex. She noticed the bills on the table and laughed to herself: perhaps life was only complex and not gleaming and rich and endless.

Postpartum by Cezarija Abartis

Postpartum by Cezarija Abartis

Our Writer of the Month, Cezarija Abartis, with a story formerly featured in Metazen, "Postpartum".

The baby was an armful of squamous tissue, gleaming, squirming, like a glistening, beating heart. Undirected, unfocused, barely human. If she squinted and looked sideways, it could have been a jelly mass, a wet sock with fingers, a wiggling pudding.

The Bridge by Cezarija Abartis

The Bridge by Cezarija Abartis

“And after that we drove out to the countryside to the star party to watch the lunar eclipse.” He drew a star and a moon on the railing with his finger. “The ancient Chinese and Scandinavians supposed it was a dragon devouring the moon, but the moon always returned. There we were, the two of us, newly met in a population of, at that time, six billion-plus. Remember when you pointed to the Andromeda galaxy and said you’d like the myth better if she saved herself instead of waiting for a prince to do it? I thought, this woman is my hero. I thought of all the pinpricks of light above us. I thought  how we too sent off reflected light, traveling 186,000 miles per second to the edges of the universe." 

Birds and Paradise by Cezarija Abartis

There had been a time when Jim was not the senator, not the governor, not the President. Outside the window, the sky was a flat, endless blue above sand and curling waves that  moved in and out, daily and forever. Marine One had flown the family for this vacation, and now the weekend was over. Three birds kited on the winds. To a child it would seem as if the birds were delighting in freedom and skill, but Jim supposed the birds were constantly circling for crabs and small fish. The gulls screeched. When he was a child he put his arms out straight from his shoulders as if to fly. His grandfather had taken him to Gull Lake and thrown breadcrumbs on the water. When the gulls flocked to the bread, his grandfather aimed his shotgun at the hungry creatures, the crack of the shotgun staying in Jim’s memory. “Don’t like those dirty birds,” his grandfather muttered.

Found by Cezarija Abartis

Caroline was in Key West for the Conference of Advertising Agencies, searching for something–what? Truth, goodness, beauty, more clients and projects? The rose-patterned wallpaper was the meaty pink of the insides of things. Hot light streamed in through the window, and palm fronds waved green in the yard, though it was late October. Back home, kids would be planning their Halloween costumes, pretending they were superheroes or witches. Outside her open window the hues were as bright as a Gauguin painting. The sounds too were coming to her in flat, broad colors, swaths of wind, of palm fronds brushing, whispering to her. When she first saw Gauguin’s paintings, she thought his characters averted their eyes, as if they had secrets to keep. Were the secrets full of doom? She shook her head at the exaggerated thought. On the wall hung the predictable print of ocean and beach to calm the mind of the weary traveler: no pounding surf and thunderous sky, only even, golden light.

The Circus by Cezarija Abartis

My little brother’s mouth was open. Probably mine was too. We had been sent to buy milk, bread, and apples at the corner store. Mother had told us to be good, to go to Gorzock’s store, come home, and help with fixing supper. We were diverted from our task by the circus parade, and we followed the circus people down the street. I saw old Mrs. Sherburne watching the parade too. She wore a frilled sleeveless dress that showed her wrinkled and loose arms. The trumpeter marched at the front by Heineman’s mortuary, the calliope rolled on wheels at the rear, and in the middle was the strong man wearing a leopard skin across one shoulder and a bandana at his throat. He stuck out his tongue at us children, and I jumped back and pulled on Leo’s hand.