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The Fall of a Sparrow

I don’t do Zombie Apocalypse Stories!  I refuse.  It’s just not me.  I feel cheap, now.  Consider this my last.

…unless I do another one.

This story popped out of a discussion with a friend and bumped into a Linkin Park song that happened to be playing on the radio.  The initial idea asked for a gender role reversal.  I wanted the woman to be making the tough choices and the male character to be along for the ride.  This soon grew into seeing my son in the role of the boy.  There were initial plans for a back story for the woman – she’s actually a stripper – but this seemed unnecessary in the end.  Just in case you wonder – she was going to be a stripper who liked the job for all the right reasons and was a well balanced individual.  Even though it’s simple and commonplace, this type of character structure seems to rub people up the wrong way – strippers always have to be drug-fucked, messed up and forced to do a job they hate…that’s not my experience.  This was not the focus of this story though, so it didn’t come to fruition.

After mapping out my beat points there were two main flashes of cool in the writing.  The first was the spiderman mask.  That wasn’t planned it just floated into the story and became essential.  I have to thank my son’s spiderman mask for that.  The second fortunate accident was when I was struggling over the title.

I had been listening to the ‘BBC World book Club Podcast” and Javier Marias was on it…yeah, I don’t know him either.  He wrote, ‘A Heart So White’.  The author was being interviewed by the crowd and somebody asked him about the title of his book.  He said he often mined Shakespeare for interesting quotes that could be story/book titles.  “Fascinating’, I thought.  Also, “I could look really intellectual here!”  So I went looking for quotes about, falls and inevitability.  The Fall of a Sparrow was what I found.  Hamlet said it.  ….apparently.  Sounded great and the way I read the passage, it seemed a perfect analogy for the story.  So I sneaked it in.

The purpose of writing this story was to enter it in an anthology submission request.  This is part of the effort to build a writing, biography of sorts before submitting the novel.  One of the requirements of the submission is that it has a twist at the end.  I can hear you now, “…but your story doesn’t have a twist at the end?”…yeap…I think I wrote away from the twist.  Oh well…

I’m certainly happy I was able to flirt with a story idea outside the world of ladybirds for a while.  That was fun!  Also, it was fun to use some of the “better” (I’m not saying GREAT…just better) writing techniques I’ve learned over the last year and a half.  I hope another positive maybe that it will serve as ten minutes of entertainment for those of you who stumble across it.

In the end, I think the cover, by DUST, outshines the story.  So if nothing else, we have a nice picture inspired by a story that pinches a little bit of Hamlet for it’s title.

*Apologies for the bad layout of the story, I haven’t the know how to set the paragraphs out correctly.