I have many irons in the fire regarding my writing projects — first drafts of different novels that need revision, outlines that have yet to be turned into first drafts, and manuscripts that are still in the first draft stage. Yet one project I’m excited to announce is a science fiction tale that I will publish as an Amazon Kindle short story eBook in spring 2015.
This short story is, as I mentioned before, science fiction, but set in a dystopia with influences of Edgar Allen Poe. When I fleshed the story out for a writing workshop, I somewhat tweaked this premise. The story is now about an underground journalist who interviews a government scientist about the revolutionary process of transferring DNA from “morally sound” people into criminals to reform them, and therefore reduce the overpopulated prison system. The manuscript is in its final stages. I am seeking out beta readers and getting the draft proofread before publication.
Here is the first page of my new short story eBook:
The street was as quiet as the dead that lay in the cemetery. Jacob crouched outside the metal gate in the shadows. The moonlight waxed silver onto the graveyard’s greenery, giving off a choral glow of peace and terror. Jacob’s heart pounded, believing the silence teased him into thinking the street was empty. He moved his hand to his side, above the holster that cradled his gun.
It’s never been safe out here anywhere, anymore! Times sure have changed since I was a kid. Back then, we went everywhere and did anything. Now, the government is always watching the population. Criminals are running wild in the open, while someone like me has to go underground to do my job.
Jacob extended his arm – covered with the sleeve of his leather jacket – and glanced at his digital wristwatch. 10:10. He returned his attention to the street. The wind escorted the fallen leaves along the deserted sidewalk, scratching the pavement.
She said she’d be here at 10. She did say over the phone she’d be running late.
Jacob moved his hand away from the gun and adjusted his collar. He paced in front of the cemetery gate, his mind an agitated rush of thoughts.
Down the street, two uniformed soldiers with ammunition strapped to their bodies marched on opposite corners of the intersection. The rigidity required of them as the militia hardened their faces. The shadows that their hulking physiques cast swept the concrete.
How I conceived the story
I first came up with the idea for my short story when I was in high school. Back then, I wanted it to be about two thieves who go into a morgue seeking the body of an infamous criminal. When alive, this criminal owed the two thieves $1 million, which is buried with the body.
If there’s one lesson to learn from reading this post, it’s to keep your old idea notebooks and file excerpts from old drafts, whether in your computer or as hard copies. These ideas and excerpts might turn out to be good story ideas some day, whether two months or a few decades from now.
Some years I revisited this premise and revisited that premise into its current one when I took a short story workshop. Colette Petersen, a Central Florida-based freelance writer and teacher, ran this workshop, and I recommend it. Colette is the author of the book 30 Isn’t Old and the eBook Love Your Day Job. It was four-week free course at the Herndon Library Branch of the Orange County Library System. Week one’s writing assignment was to make a list of five stories we want to tell, and then choose one story from this list and write as much as I can about it in one hour. From there my fleshed out my science fiction story.
Keep you eye out on my blog as well as my social media on updates about my new short story eBook! As well, get my current short story eBook Eve the First: A Fairy Tale Revision, also on Amazon Kindle.
Teresa Edmond-Sargeant is an Orlando, FL-based writer, journalist, author and poet. She is the founder/owner of Heathermoors Books & Words, a freelance writing service that customizes content for local publications and small businesses in Central Florida. A former staff writer in North Jersey, Edmond-Sargeant won two NJ Press Association Awards. She is the author of a poetry book “How Fate’s Confusion Connects” and an Amazon Kindle short story eBook “Eve the First,: A Fairy Tale Revision”.