Tagged Fiction

Daniel Rogers Part II by Charlie Thomas

Read Part I at www.forthmagazine.com/Charlie-Thomas

Not involving himself in the mess of reporters frothing over Tony Growen upon his release from the hospital—a local miracle by any standards—Chester Goldsmith focused rather on the young man standing next to the newly awakened coma patient. Seventeen-year-old Tony stood now in front of cameras and questions, bright-eyed and freshly recovered from his head injury, while his friend Daniel Rogers was quietly ushered to the outskirts of the frenzy by a woman in large sunglasses, pulling the teenager by the hand. Chester squinted from a distance, trying to make out the face of the woman. Ah yes, he smiled. That was her indeed—Daniel’s mother, Bobbi, to whom Chester hadn’t spoken in several years, not since the release of his book on Daniel…the Wonderchild. While the ignorant local press affiliates drooled over their supposed miracle boy, Chester slipped back into his car and carefully followed Daniel and his mother away from the scene.

A Visceral Affair, Short Fiction by Sophie Kipner

Her nervous toes danced under the table. She thought, on this dismal day in South West London, the time had come to confess her state of tangled affairs. She could, given the spotlight for long enough, call attention to quite a few issues plaguing the Longley family dynamic. She thought it best, however, to focus solely on the emotional affair she had been having with her parents’ neighbors’ 33 year-old son, Kingsley Stone, whom she had met three years prior at an equally dismal Christmas dinner.

Hour of the Dawn

In the summer of 1972, President Richard M. Nixon denied any knowledge of the five burglars who entered the office of the Democratic National Committee, the last US combat troops finally departed from a naval stronghold in Southern Vietnam, and I went to Savannah to die. I had never been to Georgia before. I knew of Savannah only from what I’d learned in the tones and faces of oil-painted jazz legends and in the subtle memories spilled quietly by my father years before. But in the sticky climate of that hot, political summer, I was determined to find a peace I had never known.

Daniel Rogers

Daniel Rogers was born on March 22, 2012 at 6:23 a.m. at St. Andrews hospital in Rochester, Minnessota. All the papers had reported it accurately. A picture of the Baby Rogers was on the cover of every local, national, and foreign newspaper, under large headings that read “Wonder Baby” or “Lone Rogers” or, according to translations of the foreign papers, something like “Miracle Baby.”

Questions from Codex

In the year 142,304, the original human star called “Sun” finally burned itself out, becoming the white dwarf it was always destined to become. Life on the original planet persisted for almost two millennia, adapting as it were to the cold, harsh climate of the planet they still called Earth. But finally, in Cosmological Decade 18, two full space decades earlier than expected for the Degenerative Era’s birth, the Sun’s dwindling energy had completely defused, and the original planet called Earth became uninhabitable.

"Nowhere Road" Excerpt from "That Summertime Sound"

Invisible Dan drove the car, a green Volkswagen Jetta that hurtled along I-80 in the middle of the night. We’d just coaxed him into fifth gear—he’d never driven a stick before—and now allowed ourselves to drowse, drifting on the edge of sleep as we whisked through central Pennsylvania. The Promised Land was still two hundred miles away. Columbus, Columbus, Columbus. Was there a word more beautiful in all the language than this one, which bespoke whole worlds of firstness, freshness, discovery? Westward we flew, as the word made a rosary under my breath, the engine’s hum and the seat’s vibration lulling me deeper. Then a truck slid past on the left and Dan panicked. He ground the gearbox and stomped on the brake.

The Far Touch: Part III (Continued from Issue 1 & 2)

Kendra immediately shot up and turned back to the Home. The man from the day before in the Eating Hall—the one in the long coat, turning his head about the Homers, with the strange, transparent contraption resting on his nose, making his eyes appear double large—stood now in front of the Home’s entrance.

Black-Eyed Susans

The Fall made me willing. Not just for him but for all of it. For the giggling and the grabbing and the colors we kicked all over the park. And for the chit chat at the kitchen table when five o’clock lingered into evening like the disappearing smoke of a snuffed-out match. Bobby watched the drop of fire on the candlewick flicker and interrupted me when it held still. How strange, he said, look. Look at that. The flame looks smooth like water… Like water running over a worn-out stone. He leaned toward me to light a cigarette on the candle and blew smoke in my eyes. Cut the shit, Bobby, I said. You know my Daddy used to do that before he’d burn me. His five o’clock shadow stood on end like an angry porcupine’s quills. “Don’t bring your lousy life in here,” he said.


At the bus stop bench, he looks like a salvaged medical experiment, but he sits there, with the shotgun wound in his head, and passers-by crane their necks to get a better view at the freak show which is Stuart. Remington blast leftovers. With the self-inflicted crater in his brow healed up six-months by now, he sits sweating in the hot afternoon sun and glares out boldly at traffic with his one remaining good eye. And as the cars rush by, each tinted face inside stares; stunned by the puzzling disfigurement which they can’t quite put their finger on. Though above all else, one thing is Stuart’s greatest torment to date: With a single hazel eye can he now easily divine every shift of recognition at his violence to another heart done.

Rate of Exchange

There are always clues. Sometimes it’s as simple as a new sound. It’s the clicking fingernails of a small dog scurrying against hardwood floors, when you have neither. It’s the way the air tastes. It could be that the pillows are too thin, or the texture of unfamiliar sheets against your skin. But it’s always something, and you know immediately. Without realizing how you got there, or even opening your eyes, you know that you are in a strange bed, and it is unsettling.

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