Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lost Convoy

The sixth chapter in Monorama is "Lost Convoy," which is a post-Earth adventure in which the evacuees quickly discover that surviving the end of the world was only the beginning.

The most fun I had with this one was coming up with the names, because they all came from people I either knew or came across while working for a bookstore.  One of them was a co-worker, another a regular customer, and there were many random people whose names I just happened to love, and finally someone who used to work there, but before my time, and I somehow still managed to form a relationship with them, because that's just the kind of guy I am.  Yes, someone you should be really afraid of.

I'm not going to lie.  "Lost Convoy" is very blatantly an homage to Lost, one of my favorite TV shows of all time, filled with character flashbacks and larger thoughts on what it's all about, and "it" is the human experience.  Since it's a short story, "it" ends up being about how we react to a situation like the end of the world and not lose ourselves.  In fact, each of the characters in this story are remarkably sanguine about what's just happened to them, and not just because they're trying to deal with the predicament in the title and somehow being exactly the people to handle it.  There's interconnectedness and perhaps coincidence and maybe fate in their pasts, and at least one charismatic individual who unexpectedly is a better person than he appears (yes, Sawyer was always a favorite of mine).

"Lost Convoy" was an effort on my part to write a longer piece of short fiction, because as anyone who reads this collection will know, when I do short stories, "short" is the optimum word, and when I don't, then I end up with a novel, or at the very least a novella.  "Lost Convoy" is the longest piece of short fiction I've written, and maybe it's still not so long as to seem impressive to anyone with real experience in the form, but it retains all the characteristics of my fiction, regardless of form, in what I consider an ideal state, so that you care about the characters, things happen, and there's a message lurking somewhere in the background.  Even if you take the one that's most obvious, that there's always hope even in the grimmest of situations, hopefully you'll come away with something other than the impression that yet another writer having touched on the post-apocalypse.

"Lost Convoy" was the showcase of a previous version of this collection.  I like to think that it still is, even if some entries are flashier or longer.

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