Unsold Tales

I write fiction as a hobby. A serious hobby–I’ve attended conferences and workshops, plowed through books of craft, and completed two 2-year certificates in creative writing from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago–but I’m at most an engaged amateur.

I regularly submit stories to magazines for publication, but it’s a slow process with fierce, professional competition. Some stories sell. Many get trunked. Of those in the trunk, there are still stories that I loved writing, I believe in, and that I love reading even a year or more later. Maybe others might too.

This page is my story trunk. Some of the stories have sold (even multiple times) to publications that aren’t freely readable online. Most have made the rounds among editors, but couldn’t make the cut. I’m putting the full text here so I can move on from trying to sell stories to writing new ones. To keep reminding myself that story writing started out as fun, and should remain so, without all the slow-motion drama of submissions and rejections.

Scared of Bees (full text)

From behind the glass, Aryeh squinted to study the blur of their wings. He’d read bees challenged conventional understanding of winged flight. Bee wings created vortices. They rode tiny tornadoes.

Every Day Is a Miracle (full text)

The minister quoted Psalm 23:4, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…” Make your faith bigger than your fear. Ain’t nobody’s faith that big.

I Crave My Meat a Little Rare (full text)

There’s an offensive theory that pop psychologists advocate on talk shows, to the jeers of the ogres, trolls, goblins, and harpies in the audience. They say the locust, famous for swarming and devastating crops, is not a distinct species from the grasshopper, but a stress-induced behavior. So too, they say, the inhumans among us are merely humans with “externalized pathologies.” They’re just people transformed by their worst traits. It’s a demeaning and racist idea that I never want my daughter to hear.

The Ones Who Charge the Fence (full text)

The dinosaur herds preferred not to mix, even those whose ancestors fought on the same side, but for the Summer Festival they genuflected together. It looked unnatural, but Chhronk knew overcoming their worse natures was the point. Festival was a display of peace-bringing power, like a Ceratopsian bull who made the others in his herd lower their horns.

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