Everyone loves stories of lost love. Whether that be Romeo and Juliet or Negan and Lucciel, when someone loses someone else, it makes us feel.
This anthology from the publisher Dragon Soul Press is out on the 28th (two days!) and we are celebrating with a release party on the 29th via facebook. Being online means anyone can attend and participate!
So this story got renamed right before I sent it in. I was doing my read through to see if it would fit into the anthology as it was. I intended to write for this anthology and started a short, nonfiction story called "r/AmITheAntagonist" named for the subreddit of the same name. I was on a nonfiction high because I had recently had a very short nonfiction story accepted for publications but then the publisher canceled the anthology (major bummer, the story was an important one and a good one).
I couldn't bring myself to finish the nonfiction story because the events are still unfolding (and will for some years) and it was just too hard to face some of the things I wrote about. So I thought I would not write for the Lost Love anthology. But a few fellow writers, and a few editors, encouraged me via comments on facebook to give something a try. The more I thought about a fiction story, the farther away the project seemed. I didn't want to force story for sure.
Then I remembered a story I wrote back in my undergrad days called "Trinity Force." A story about a poor kid named Jason who had sucky friends and a boring life. Then he met a mystery kid who he thought was a vampire. What made me choose this story when there were no romantic events or feels involved? I had a fellow writer and classmate through my senior year in my creative writing degree and all through my master's degree years named Chase. When Chase read this story, he KEPT INSISTING Jason was gay. At the time, I had not written Jason as gay and there were no (as far as I knew) romantic tones in the story. I actually got angry because every workshop, Chase asked how my gay story was coming. When people read a writer's work and put their own spin on it, it can get annoying. But I ignored Chase and finished the story.
Fastwarfward several years and I dig it out of my "Short Stories" folder on my old laptop and wonder...was Jason gay and I just didn't know it? There is a scene from the movie version of the Jane Austen Book Club where the woman ask if Charlot Lukas from "Pride and Prejudice" is gay and Austen just didn't know. I'm not a fan of the recent "everyone is gay" bandwagon, but I could see this. I too liked the idea of a character having a secret life even the author didn't know about. In Jason's case, there was some foundation for this accusation. So when I reread the story a few months ago, I figured "Sure...he can be gay and this will be so tragic!"
So here we are. I edited the story, added a few things, waved a rainbow wand and here we have a sweet, sad, story of a kid trying to figure out who he is and how to deal with lost love. There is more to the story than that. The story is also about illness and misunderstanding. All of these themes work together to create what--on the surface--looks like a regular story but is about so much more. I hope you enjoy Jason's short, melancholy story! PS. Yes, the title is a pun! 😂