Forgettable

Forgettable
by James Davies

One hundred and eighteen men died when the Kursk submarine exploded on August 12th, 2000. There were no reported survivors. Then again, I have a pretty forgettable face.

In London, every winter is cold. And expensive. It’s hard to get a job here, especially if you don’t officially exist. Back in the Motherland, I could’ve gotten a job easily, but I wasn’t going back.

So I had to resort to robbery again.

I dodged a double-decker bus as I crossed through the roaring traffic. A cyclist swore at me as he shot past, barely missing me. I considered violence, but dismissed it. Bigger things were at hand.

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White-Out

White-Out
by Sean Moreland

The night was star-punctured; the snow, luminous. Despite this, the dark beyond the arc of the pickup’s headlights seemed as thick as tar to Adler. Armies of pine stood at shivering attention on both sides of the highway, their snow-laden shapes phosphoric in the glare of high beams.

His father had once told him that at the age of three, Adler had become upset that the snow at night was not black like the sky it fell from. The old man, now five years dead, had reassured him that the snow was the same white as the stars, because that’s where it actually came from.

Intergalactic snow. His father always was full of shit. He might even have made up the whole story, just to convince Adler what a chickenshit he had been as a rugrat. That definitely sounded like the old man.

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In the Mirror, Darkly

In the Mirror, Darkly
by Milo James Fowler

The first time, he explained it away by saying he made faces while shaving because it was the only way to reach the stubble under his nose and around his jawline. Yet Maureen could have sworn he’d been horrified by his own reflection. Maybe he’d just discovered another gray hair.

“Hon?” She leaned against the bathroom door frame and watched him scrape his face with the razor, shoveling the foam like snow from the driveway of their western Michigan split-level.

“Yeah?” Dave paused, looking at her mirror image.

“You’d tell me if you were having a midlife crisis, wouldn’t you?”

“I wouldn’t have to.” He winked and resumed shaving.

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Divine Organ

Divine Organ
by Madeline Popelka

1. Haruspex: The Body is a Forecast

First, there was darkness. Then came a light, followed by the sputtering of a blue screen above Jake’s eyes. There were two words on the screen: “Stay awake.” Then came an angry shriek of pulsing metal. A short silence followed, then a tinny voice vibrated through the headphones.

“You doing okay, Jake?”

He almost nodded before he remembered they had told him to stay still. Even if he had wanted to move, a plastic harness kept his head tightly clamped to the narrow bed. He pressed the little green button they had given him to hold in his right hand.

“Great. Hang in there for ten more minutes and we’ll be done with the scan.”

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Better

Better
by Fredrick Obermeyer

This story has been removed from the Acidic Fiction archive at the request of the author. To contact the author regarding reprints or permissions, email the editor (editor), who will forward your request to the author directly.

Roll the Sky

Roll the Sky
by Yegor Chekmarev

I really wish I could remember simple things, like Daddy’s face. Then I wouldn’t have to hide behind the stones and statues whenever he comes by. If I knew Daddy was back to see me, I could finally hug him and tell him everything is okay.

See, there’s this man walking alone down the main winding path. He’s dressed in a dapper black suit with his gray hair parted. When he comes by, I hide behind an obelisk. I don’t know who this man is, but I have a good feeling about him. I’ve had a lot of good feelings before, but this one is the strongest. I found fresh flowers on the ground earlier, and I know Daddy came by not too long ago. Who else are they for, if not for me?

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Descent into Darkness

Descent into Darkness
by John H. Dromey

Although exigent circumstances sometimes required her to travel, Agatha Blake was not overly fond of flying. Then again, she wasn’t exactly a homebody who thrived on doing household chores, either. That’s why, more often than not when she set out on a journey, she was quite content to leave her broom unattended in a dark corner of her closet.

Persuaded by the entreaties of two distraught families, Agatha had agreed—albeit with a great deal of reluctance on her part—to follow in the footsteps of a honeymooning couple who had disappeared from the face of the earth. She had to go to great lengths, quite literally, before she could begin the investigation in earnest.

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Medication

Medication
by James Essex

Jared’s medication was getting too expensive. When he picked up his next 30-day supply at the pharmacy, he had to spend the rest of his pocket money for the entire month. His wages would all go toward rent and utilities, with a little left over for groceries. He wouldn’t be able to buy anything else, not even a used book or a movie ticket. It would be a rough month.

The side effects were getting worse, too. The occultist had warned him that some patients experienced hand tremors and headaches, but she neglected to mention how severe they would be. Whenever he tried to use a pencil, his handwriting looked worse than a three-year-old’s, and after he dropped two glass tumblers in the past week, he had to start drinking out of shatterproof plastic cups. Sometimes his eye sockets ached so much he thought the pressure would crack his face open.

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Her Father’s Eyes

Her Father’s Eyes
by Simon Kewin

Caitlin had her father’s eyes. She kept them in a jar on the mantelpiece. Most people preferred a clock up there, or maybe a nice vase. Something to wedge bills behind. Caitlin liked the eyes better.

You’re not really going out like that are you? You’re dressed like a whore! What will people think?

The voice was angry and heavy with disappointment. It was a particular skill of her father’s.

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The Haven City Incident

The Haven City Incident
by Wendy Nikel

Tripping through the pitch black, it took the small band of survivors hours to reach their destination. When they arrived, Kora put out her arm to stop Lex from running into her. He grunted as her hand jabbed into his belly. Tyrone punched him and raised an index finger to his lips.

Maybe Kora should have apologized, but she didn’t, not tonight. Tonight they’d search the factory and maybe eat some decent protein, even if it was in the form of coagulated meat which, before The Incident, she would have never touched.

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