Cover of After Dinner Conversation
Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Browse by:



Displaying: 1-20 of 263 documents


1. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
Kolby Granville

view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bookmark and Share

2. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
Arthur Jaros

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
How do you know what’s wrong with a relationship? In this work of fantasy and ethics fiction, Alchemilla is in a poor marriage with her Kestral. Alchemilla collects and sells flowers for a living. Kestral, and their doctor, think she is pregnant. While out on a flower picking expedition she meets peaceful, but fantastical human like animal creature with horns. He cannot speak, but they becomes friends and she names him Dandelion. She tries to tell her husband out Dandelion, but he doesn’t believe her. Later, he finds them together and attacks Dandelion. Alchemilla stands up to her husband and kills him.
Bookmark and Share

3. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
M. M. De Voe

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
What causes a person to feel empty inside? How do they get to that point in their life, and how do they get out of it? In this symbolic and absurd work of philosophical short story fiction, Morton is at work when he realizes a hole is growing in his belly. It doesn’t hurt, and it’s not bleeding, but it is definitely there. He excuses himself from work to head home, worried that he will catch his wife cheating on him. However the house is empty. He opts to take off his clothes, exposing the growing hole, to do martial arts movements. He is out of shape and older now, and quickly gets winded. Suddenly a bird flies in his window, then another, and another, until is home is full of birds. He tries to protect his growing hole until, eventually, he decided to let a bird into it. He quickly shoves the bird into the hole and traps it in his stomach. No telling how long he can keep it there. His phone rings, it’s his wife calling to make dinner plans. For the first time, he feels purpose.
Bookmark and Share

4. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
Joe Giordano

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Is the honestly lived life always the best? What if it leads to a life of hardship and poverty? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, the narrator is transported to 1940’s Paris and is invited to have coffee with Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus. They discuss with her over coffee their ideas on the meaning and purpose of life, consistent with the opinions of the historical figures. Each comment they make ties into the decision the narrator is struggling with in her own time, if she should choose the college major she wants, disappointing her parents and creating a potential life of struggle, or should she attempt to construct a life of personal meaning and value? After a few minutes, she realizes the decision she must make.
Bookmark and Share

5. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
David A. Cohen

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Is your higher obligation to society or to your family? Does the outcome of your choices effect their rightness, and if you should take them? In this work of philosophical short story fiction set at a fictional University, Paul is pre-tenure in his duties and hears from a friend, who heard it from a “very reliable source” that one of the more senior professors was caught selling grades for sex. Rather than being exposed, and fired, they are helping him find a job at another nearby University. Paul is upset and this, and his wife is outraged, and insists they must do something to bring the professor to justice and keep it from happening again in the future. They call the newspaper, but because they are unable to provide concrete information, and refuse to provide their own names, the newspaper doesn’t pursue the story. The professor is transferred and, years later, retires as Dean of his department. Paul hears through the grape-vine that one of the alleged victims committed suicide.
Bookmark and Share

6. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
Robert Collings

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Is it okay to lie when the only thing you are hurting is a corporation? If lying is an understood part of the game, is it dishonest to lie? In this work of philosophical short story fiction about an insurance claim, the narrator finds his car in the shop. As such, he spends several weeks getting a ride to work from his chatting friend, Sandy. On the fateful day of the story, they also pick up an additional person who gets a ride to work and sits in the back of the car. The way to work, while at the gas station, an elderly woman slowly backs into their car. The blinker light glass breaks but the car, and the occupants, are otherwise uninjured. A few days later Sandy starts acting strange and work. Eventually, he is put on permanent disability leave at 80% pay. Life goes on until, almost two years later, the narrator is contacted by Mr. Salamon, the claims adjusted for the elderly woman’s insurance company. In short, Sandy is asking the insurance company to pay him $10 million, but he will settle for $7 million. The narrator in the backseat, amazed by this, finds out the back seat passenger settled for $50,000 for his “injuries.” The narrator has a change of heart, and suddenly feels “injured.”
Bookmark and Share

7. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
Garrett Davis

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Is an eternity of punishment ever a just punishment? In this work of philosophical short fiction addressing the problem of hell, a demon, “Bub” asks the person he is torturing for eternity what he did to end up in hell. He responds that he stole a “few bikes.” This causes Bub to question his purpose and the justness in an eternity of punishment for a petty crime and walk off the job. He climbs to limbo to take a break from it all. Eventually, Hermes comes to fetch him and bring him before Satan, who punishes him for eternity for walking off the job.
Bookmark and Share

8. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
John Doble

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Are weak people more prone to follow an authoritarian? In this work of philosophical short fiction, the narrator tells the story of a man he knew in the 1970’s. In this remembered story, the narrator is a psychology student learning about the “F Test,” a test that supposedly allows you to gauge your fascist tendencies. He friend, a Vietnam Vet, disagrees with the simplicity of the test. To prove his point the friend talks to, and easily manipulates, a bohemian woman in the bar to change her life (for the better). The narrator watches and does nothing, but is horrified by how easily this happens. The incident ends their friendship.
Bookmark and Share

9. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9

view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bookmark and Share

10. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9

view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bookmark and Share

11. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 8
Kolby Granville

view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bookmark and Share

12. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 8
Verity

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
What good is a soul in the modern age? What would you lose by giving it up? In this work of ethics fiction, the narrator checks into a hotel run by the Devil so he can give the Devil his soul. The Devil visits him in his room and, at first, is confused. Doesn’t he want to trade it for fame, money, or immortality? Nope, he just wants to be rid of the thing; it’s more trouble than its worth, and doesn’t seem to serve a useful purpose in a modern society anyway. The Devil takes his soul, offers him dinner, and a free night at the hotel. The man wakes the next morning, refreshed, as a maid knocks on his door. She wants to leave the hotel, but doesn’t have the courage. He agrees to help her leave, but their project fails. He ends up leaving on his own.
Bookmark and Share

13. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 8
Joshua Hathaway

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Is it the natural desire of humans to be happy, or do they desire something else? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Tucker mistypes a keystroke at his new job. However, his computer fixed his mistake and forces the correct answer to come out anyway. As he tries to explain what happened to his co-worker his boss comes by to tell him he is being given a promotion, even though he has only been at the company a few weeks. Later, at a coffee shop, he tries to order a drink he knows he doesn’t prefer, and the barista insists on selling him the drink he likes better. He then goes home to a wife that adores him. The problem is, Tucker is unhappy. He is unhappy because he feels he didn’t earn the promotion, and that he can’t make mistakes in Rapture, the artificial work where he is living. Everything will always go his way. This turns out to be not an ideal simulation, but a nightmare-like curse where nothing feels like it was earned or has value.
Bookmark and Share

14. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 8
Michele Koh Morollo

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Does a marriage tend to be more fulfilling and successful if the couple has a child? What are the right and wrong reasons for having a child? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Vita meets her friend (Judy) for brunch and tells her, at 45 years old, now that she is married, she is planning to have IVF so they can have a child. Judy is outwardly supportive, but knows that Vita has spoken her whole life about not wanting a child. Later, when the couples meet up for dinner Vita’s husband, Gerd, argues that a marriage can never be truly complete without a child; that a child allows couples to serve additional and more noble roles. Additionally, Gerd argues, children are the foundation and essence of marriage. Judy and Nathan disagree, but when their cat unexpectedly dies, they quickly go out to get a new one to replace it.
Bookmark and Share

15. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 8
Jonathan Turner

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Is Hobbes right, in that, life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short?” Will resource scarcity always revert us to our most animalistic nature? In this work of space travel ethical short story fiction, the space cruise liner the narrator is on is hit by a rock. It is severely damaged and some of the crew is injured. They are slowly moving to their destination via “dead reckoning” but the ship will run out of water long before they arrive. At first, the captain decides to do a first round of killing, both by volunteers and by lottery, to save resources. Riots break out as a second lottery happens and water is rationed to just one liter per person, per day. The narrator is a second-class passenger on the ship, but largely built, so he volunteers to serve as security detail. He ends up killing a passenger who fights back during the lottery. As the situation worsens, gangs form on the ship. The narrator is brought in by a gang, but is later kicked out for being sympathetic to others. All seems lost when the ship’s doctor realizes he can filter the blood of the dead and use it to supplement their water supplies.
Bookmark and Share

16. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 8
JR Sloan

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
When a trigger event is very likely to cause subsequent actions, are the subsequent actions still made freely? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, William, the town fortune teller, comes out to Jon’s farm. William confesses that he foresaw his affair with Jon’s wife, told her about it, then it happened. William also says he’s unable to see his future beyond this day, so he presumes this is the day Jon kills him. Jon, however, refuses to kill him until William eggs him on. Finally, infuriated, Jon kills William. He attempts to hide the body, but not before his wife comes home. She shoots him, but does not kill him, arguing she had no free will to prevent her response. Injured, Jon picks up the gun and must decide if he will kill himself, or his wife.
Bookmark and Share

17. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 8
Frances Howard-Snyder

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
How does perception of sexual assault confirm or create the reality? In this work of sex ethic short story fiction, Viola is a college student at a local party. She starts drinking at the party, and gets drunk. She strikes up a conversation with, and takes an interest in Greg, one of the fellow college students at the party. She drinks and dance into the night. Eventually, with her consent, her friends leave the party, leaving her to continue socializing with people at the party. She ends up meeting a guy and having drunken sex with him at the party. The next morning she meets up with a few of her female friends that question her about the previous night. At first, they chalk up her drunken sex as a “we’ve all been there” moment, however, her friends ask her to recount the night and eventually explain to her they think she was raped. Viola isn’t so sure, but she is starting to see their perspective.
Bookmark and Share

18. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 8
Varya Kartishai

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
What do you need to be happy? Can changing your situation and responsibilities make you happy? In this children’s story of folk-lore short fiction, Hiro is a young boy that is feeling trapped. Because his father is the village headman, he had great duties and responsibilities. One unhappy day, Hiro hears a voice that asks him why he is so unhappy. He says he would like more time to himself. He is transformed into mouse so he can run in the fields. He is chased by a cat and realizes that is the better animal to become. He tries a day as a cat, and later as fox, but nothing seems to give him the happiness and freedom he desires. Each animal, it seems, has responsibilities. Finally, Hiro realizes that is place, and his duties, with his father and his tribe are something to be accepted and enjoyed.
Bookmark and Share

19. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 8

view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bookmark and Share

20. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 8

view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bookmark and Share