Moonman Stories

Moonman Stories

Moonman at the Wreckage

Something about the surface of the pond and how it’s so still and how’s there’s such tension, the icewater taut as a beam. And with night near there’s just the fast fading light of the day and the orange-white burning ship and the familiar parts of the sky. And the pond mirrors the ship and the sky and there in front of him the near gibbous moon and the farther stars all flat, all the same distance away, all space all the galaxies all the universe close again and his oblong head, vision warped by oxygen and gravity, still lonely for all he’s lost but seeming now to smile for a moment at the thought he’s not as far from home as he fears.

Moonman in the Snow

Because it’s winter and the pond is frozen like glass and there’s the hard press of atmosphere and the air turns white with snow falling through the orbit of his faraway home. This snow that’s white like him, that seems to go on forever into the horizon like white wrapping. Then just before dark there’re boys skating by the fire and a low plane overhead and a train whistle somewhere past the forest. He thinks of making a break for it, launching himself into an open car, staying on until the last stop, somewhere closer to where he knows he should be.

Moonman that Night

When he walks in from the edge of the pondside forest where he doesn’t know to be afraid of the shadowed dark of trees. Doesn’t know to be afraid of the haze of fog. Doesn’t know to be afraid of the sharp rattles or the howls that carry in on the wind. It’s the cold that comes out of nowhere, the moon rising out of nowhere. There’s dark magic to this place, like yeah the sun was so bright before and maybe now the fire is still so bright but there’s so much you can’t see and who knows what might happen when the fire dies out in the morning, when the moon is gone and the sun comes back around.

Moonman at a Distance

Like in the arc of the moon across the sky. Like it’s the train that’s stopped and he and the forest are what’s moving farther and farther from home. Like he’s built a horrible new ship out of these tall trees, these roots a seat, and the only direction it goes is away. Like he’s flown lightyears on a forest, this one train mile the length of lightyears combined. Like maybe he’ll always be in this night forest, this same night forest with the shadows and the howl that seems like the only noise that comes closer. Like there’s a sweetness to it, a memory. Like he’s heard it before, this howling, at home. Like a calling or a cry. Like it reminds him of his moonhome now drawing lonely distant circles in the sky.

Moonman and Wolfgirl

Something about how the full moon drew her out, how she saw his shipfire, how she figured he must be cold, how she’s always wanted someone to rescue, how she’s afraid of morning too. And how he’s lost and stranded, how his father’d helped build the ship, how he was blessed by the king of the moonmen, how he’ll be a failure when he gets home, in trouble with his father if he gets home, how he’s not used to this weather, this cold. And how she wraps herself around him, her fur a soft overcoat around his slim shoulders. How they lay there that night and together against the morning.


About the Author

Born and raised in the square-mile suburbs of Detroit, Matthew Fogarty currently lives and writes in Columbia, where he is fiction editor of Yemassee. He also edits Cartagena, a literary journal. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as Passages North, PANK, 14 Hills, Smokelong Quarterly, and Midwestern Gothic. He can be found at