Several years ago, I started a blog not much different from this one. When I created the Short Story page, I promised that I would dig up some old works that I had not revisited in years. I had a couple in the bank that I wrote recently and quickly published them. However, when I went looking for those old narratives, I came up empty. I used to have a lower file cabinet drawer full of old stories. Some done in pencil on college ruled loose leaf paper. Others typed out on my first typewriter, a Brother electronic typewriter that used a pen instead of the traditional letters smashing a ribbon against the paper. Submissions back then were supposed to be paper clipped together. That paper clip was rusty the last time I looked at those stories and the indentation in the paper permanent.
It wasn’t just the paper stories that were missing, but some of the stories I wrote on a computer in just the last few years. I have never had a computer crash to the point of losing any real data. Therefore, I was missing those stories because I misplaced them. I used to move documents to a CD and stick them on a shelf in the basement. But do you think I would find one of those CD’s now?
I vaguely remember throwing away the paper stories, most of them I wrote when I was a teen or very young adult. During the trashing, I was done with the dream of being a writer. I’m sure I also felt the stories were stupid.
But now, looking back, they were my creations, and I could probably fix them up enough to bring them above the level of stupid. After all, the concept of trucks, a car, and a factory machine that murdered people is rather silly on the surface. But Stephen King could tell a story and we gobble those books and short stories up.
You are missing out on some gems too.
One sleepless night while lying in my bed, I dreamt up my version of “The Last Starfighter”. An alien race comes and recruits the best and brightest teens to pilot star fighters to defend planet earth. The aliens selected teens because they were sharp, quick, trainable, and fearless. At least at the age of twelve or thirteen, that is what I thought. Our garages and barns served as hiding places for our one man (boy) star fighters. We sped off at night while everyone slept to train and drill. If I remember right, the aliens only attacked at night as well. Either that or I created some version of the nebulizer before “Men in Black” ever came along. The fight went on in secret for years!
One of my first creations was an idea based on the concept of the Guardian Angels. It was the not too distant future, and crime became a huge problem. Since so much of the crime was teens and young adults, other teens formed Clans that battled the out of control crime wave. Each school had a Clan, and the Clans had turf. Yes, there was violence if one clan invaded another clan’s turf. But otherwise, the highly trained vigilantes patrolled their turf and returned peace to the streets of our nation’s cities. This story was also a comic book concept and I had dozens of drawings to go with this story.
While nearing the completion of book 1 of the Earth First Trilogy, I wanted to get something published. It seems that many online magazines as well as traditional magazines wanted shorter. Therefore, I was determined to write a story less than one thousand words. The story was about an exotic aquarium smuggler who smuggled exotic species from other planets for illegal aquariums here on earth. It, like all my stories ballooned to thousands of words.
Box Elder was supposed to be less than four thousand words, the benchmark for most of today’s online magazines.
Finally yet importantly was a story about a hunting preserve for convicts. My young mind thought these people nothing more than animals. Instead of spending thousands over their life time to house them, we should hunt them down with special weapons on designated hunting preserves. I know, brutal thinking for a young man, but that’s how a boy raised by Michael Moorcock thinks. That story eventually morphed into the Earth First Trilogy.
I will still get a rewrite of M.E.T.S Corp under this heading in the coming months. Great story that I have rewritten a couple of times, and it just gets better. Also, as I write this, I have some ideas of where to hunt down some of those electronic versions of lost shorts, but no promises made.
So please read what I do manage to post and comment freely in the comment section. I enjoy the feedback.
Thanks for reading.