Daniel Rogers

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In the small town of Hayden, just a few miles to the north of Rochester, Minnesota, lived a man named Chester Goldsmith. Or rather, Chester was merely staying in the town, as his home was mobile—a burnt-yellow camper van to be precise, with the words “Come Talk to a Real, Live Author $5” painted in dirty red across each side. Out of the back and sometimes side of the van, Chester sold his famous book The Virgin Mary Was a Whore, which he had written and self-published almost a decade prior. His self-proclaimed historical truth was a treatise on Chester’s theory that the Virgin Mother had in fact committed acts of sexual malfeasance with a local carpenter behind the back of her scheduled courting mate Joseph. Apparently, due to the harsh societal judgments and punishments upon sexual deviancy during that time and place in the world, Joseph had agreed, upon Mary’s unexpected pregnancy, to provide for her an alibi in the miraculous story of Mary’s innocence and sudden, spontaneous child conception. Based precisely on the right time and circumstances, least of which was a dire need for social change and radical leadership due to the impending approach of the Persian Empire in the Middle-East, the people of her small town were eager to buy into the idea of a miracle child and perhaps even a messiah, further supporting her lies as actual truth. In fact, the treatise was based only loosely on empirical historical data, but rather more so on a pseudo-notion of argumentative anthropological concepts. Not to mention, a heavy dislike and rejection of the Christian sentiment on the part of the author.

The book never sold to a major publisher, and Chester had in fact only given out about a thousand copies over the decade it was in print. Nevertheless, he was madly surprised when, upon his approach, Miss Bobbi Rogers had never heard of the author or of his self-proclaimed brilliance. Known or not, Chester Goldsmith was the first “writer” to actually offer Miss Rogers a significant amount of money to write a non-fictional account of her son’s birth and early life to be sold to the general public. Chester, despite his awkward, dreg appearance and his living in a van, was actually a wealthy, what-you-might-call trust fund baby, having inherited a cast estate from his parents’ death almost 30 years earlier. Upon acceptance of the proposal, Chester had quickly obtained legal documents from a team of high powered lawyers in New York, awarding him the full legal and exclusive rights to own the story until Daniel Rogers was seven-years-old. And at the amount offered, Miss Rogers would be able to live comfortably without worry at least until that time, and perhaps longer, on the royalty advance given by Mr. Goldsmith.

During the early years of the child’s life, Chester witnessed an almost unique sentiment in the boy for animals. He noted this, though it would go largely unnoticed for quite some time, since many children were especially fond of animals. The most significant point in the work, however, occurred at age four, when Daniel Rogers had come across a dying Yellow-throated Vireo in the play yard of his preschool. According to one of the school caretakers, a reported eye-witness, Daniel had bravely taken up the bird into his hands and stared at it, a tear coming to his eye. The caretaker informed the child that it had broken its wing and that the bird would probably die. According to Chester’s account, based on eye-witness claims, Daniel closed his eyes and enclosed the bird in his grip even tighter, encompassing the small animal with his tiny fingers. After just a moment, as though he were a magician in an act, Daniel thrust his arms up into the air, opened his hands, and the small bird flew toward the sky, totally uninjured, completely healed.

The incident was reported at once to Daniel’s mother. The preschool teacher who had witnessed the supposed “miracle” was still in a state of total awe and perhaps fear, according to Miss Rogers. The other kids in the school, those that understood what had happened, had reacted in a variety of ways, some compelled by Daniel, some utterly afraid. Miss Rogers asked sincerely that the teacher not speak of the incident to anyone, especially to reporters of any sort. She agreed, though Bobbi Rogers was certain the woman would tell the tale to family and friends for many years to come. And of course, legally bound to a contract, Chester Goldsmith would be entitled to the story for his forthcoming book.

When they arrived home from school that day, Miss Rogers had asked Daniel never to do such a thing again, at least not in front of strangers. Else, he might be ridiculed and chastised his entire life, and he would be condemned to the sorry, lonely life that she herself had lived. From that day forward, through the time of the book’s publishing, when Daniel was eight-years-old, the boy had never again participated in a miracle of such things. Nonetheless, the book, entitled Wonderchild: The Story of Daniel Rogers, made several other miraculous claims of the boy’s doings. Creative liberties, Chester would tell his editor in private.
Chester Goldsmith’s book ignited yet another great wave of intrigue and news over the boy at its surprisingly well-received release by Horton House Publishing in New York. Less than a year later, after dealing with her son’s renewed fame as a miracle boy, and with the fear and shame that came along with the pointing and staring, Daniel was taken by his mother to Europe, where she used a great deal of the publishing money to engage in an operation that would leave her solely a woman—-a gender she felt more and more driven towards since giving birth. The following year, they returned to America, quite unrecognizable, and had taken up the last name Copper in the small town of Lonestar, Colorado. Finally, the Coppers were to enjoy anonymity.

Over the next several years, Chester Copperfield had gained great fame as the author he had always professed to be. He had since written three other non-fiction books, with great acclaim, though with still less success than his finest book about the Wonderchild. He had not spoken nor heard from the Rogers since the book’s release.

Daniel had meanwhile grown to be a vastly normal, rambunctious teenage boy. Now seventeen years of age, Daniel was soon to graduate from Middleton High School in Lonestar. His best friend, Tony Growen, had interested him in motocross when they turned fifteen and were legally allowed to ride in the state. As a sixteenth birthday present, Miss Copper bought for her boy a Yamaha YZ125. Daniel hardly went anywhere in town without it. One month before graduation, in the year 2030, was when the accident occurred.

Daniel and Tony were riding at dusk back to Daniel’s house for supper. They were at the local jumps, practicing wheelies, imagining they were Jasper Whim or Frank Delagrassi at ProAmp Supercross, racing in front of 25,000 screaming fans. On the way home, Tony’s boot lace had come undone. He had reached down to fix it, rather than stopping, as he might have done a dozen times before. Daniel was just ahead and saw the large pot-hole, swerving around it at the passing. He yelled back for Tony to see it as well, but by the time his friend had looked up, the hole was already upon him, and in a panic, Tony jerked the steering bar to the right, too fast, too hard, and flipped over the front wheel, launching him into the air and head first onto the cement beyond the pothole. Neither of the boys wore helmets.

Daniel sat at his best friend’s side for more than a week. Tony was in a coma, having severely damaged his brain upon impact. Results from the cat-scan and MRI and encephelograph showed very evidently what was happening. In all parts where blood was flowing, the x-ray was lit in red, veiny light. In all parts where it was not flowing, the silhouette was black. On Tony’s X-Ray, his cortex was as dark as pitch. There was hardly any blood flowing at all to his brain. Even if they could keep him alive, Tony would be in a permanent vegetative state.


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