Stories usually come to me in lines. I’ll think of a title, or a one-sentence plot point, and it will nest in my head while various creative birds build upon it with characters, plot points, and quotes. One short story began with a single line that popped in my head over two years ago:
“It’s the perfect place to hide the bodies. The trouble is, there aren’t any bodies to hide.”
I have a macabre sense of humor, and it made me laugh to think of the conundrum of a killer finding a perfect place to hide someone, a place so perfect that no one was around to hide. I pictured him in his cabin, all alone and not a soul to steal in sight, wasting his days hunting animals and wondering how the hell he was going to live his desired life of murderous splendor when there was no one around to kill.
In May of 2016, I decided to help him try to find the answer. I started writing his story, under a really bad working title: “Killing Time.” It came from an even worse line: “The only thing to kill out here is time.” I’ve nixed both from my most recent draft, a draft that is now with an editor and awaiting its latest incarnation.
The story follows a nameless, wannabe serial killer who has found the perfect place to hide a body, and his subsequent quest to add a body to that equation. It is dark and humorous, though as the story progresses, it becomes more of one than the other. This was a story that, like many I’ve written, came to me only as I wrote it. I wrote it in order, with only the basic beginning, middle, and end in mind; and it was exciting to be surprised with the turns it took in between. I hope that readers have the same experience. As I wrote, I also noticed a recurring theme of control, and how setting everything up perfectly doesn’t always yield the intended result. Around the middle of the story, this theme came together, as did my title: All the Pieces Coming Together.
I will be sharing the story in full as part of The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales, which I first spoke of last week, and plan to publish over the next few months. As with The Crow’s Gift, I look forward to sharing this story with you down the road.