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Three Flash Fiction Stories
by Forrest Roth

Afterbirthing

She and I are a pre-determined number listing about just for the eventual reminders of our silliness: this exhibit space guarded by eight-foot tall steel wool pads. Someone must have known a dozen lucite-encased vacuum cleaners won't return my attention, either. So we ball ourselves up together tight in boredom, waiting in line, prone to insincere activity which keeps me from saying to her, Here we are again for the very first time.
    But reading palms, she contends, is a worthwhile diversion. Thankfully, it could be her second or third favorite with me. Because the mystical braille prompts her denial of inauspicious fortunes for crosshatched ones, such as mine, she feels my worse luck might be avoided if re-interpretation aligns itself with better luck (hers, I suppose). Except I failed confessing, under any rain to date, that it only takes a mother—that with small, delicate knife, inscribing the softening flesh upon my stepping out from her womb has conjured enough artificial destinies. Can I be forgiven at present for not mentioning it? Maternal talismans are more than awkward with no reliable later to address. And little alignment to gain.
    For an old protective rage I cannot be the merest hope of erstwhile men despite what is insisted by all of the highly vulnerable in attendance.
    Nonetheless, the bright light finds divination pleasing; my love reads away. Perhaps I let her go ahead, too. It seems she bargains on moments remaining between us to clarify what future will occur—since my later never arrives—even though she misplaces her clairvoyance. It will still prove anything in the hushed shuffle before she and I enter a grocery bag much larger than our own possible lives.



Curio

The loved ones come beached Smooth Sphere Warm mostly. Crags finger possibilities abandoned: mere sandspots taken home. Polished by Clean Preservation Shine. Assigned an Importance Place Position. They will sit Big Buddha Heavy (not Amida Sad Skinny) with Gravity Purpose Volume. Next to the Faulkner Steinbeck Whitmans. Or perhaps the Kafka Proust Shakespeares instead. But rare crusts do not beach well. Why does wandering permit itself, except when Cold Jagged Rough? Those are left collected undertide—they will learn at Briny Deep Ominous, on a shelf where the Mishima Plath Woolfs lost their spine to flood.



Vouchsafed

These habiting shoes, a book decrees, stand pat—politeness must transcend them with us—outside an open double door of many fine woods, though the toes may head toward a vestibule where dirt should not be tracked; and few refinements help elude tracking, abstain from hesitation, if stepworn stairs in longshadow obligate the apoplectic guest to fumble pointed so his senses clear away service from the alcove, to play listening games for a prize in abhorrence, the hosts' welcome long ago returning astray, or his odd hand-written thing.



About the author:
Forrest Roth is the author of
Line and Pause (BlazeVox, 2007) and curates the COMMUNIQUE Flash Fiction series for the Just Buffalo Literary Center of Buffalo, New York. His stories have appeared in various print and on-line journals, including NOON, Quick Fiction, Snow Monkey, Sleepingfish, Elimae, Alice Blue Review, Double Room, and Locus Novus.



© 2013 Word Riot

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Midnight Picnic
a novel by
Nick Antosca

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The Suburban Swindle


More about The Suburban Swindle
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