I’m going to be doing one of these a day (hopefully) to give people a bit more background & insight about the stories I’ve got out/available, to help anyone make a decision about what they want to read next, or just to give background if you’re already familiar with the story.
A short story today:
A short story of most perfidious cruelty and otherworldly horror, set in a monastery.
This is an incredibly self-indulgent story and I am proud of that. I don’t actually write that way very often with original fiction, because I like to include a degree of people-pleasing and I’m a slut for validation, and also a bit embarrassed sometimes about how completely cheesy my narrative Id is capable of being.
That said: this is self-pandering and I love it.
It took a whole bunch of elements I’m enamoured with monasticism, yearning gays having a serious self-examination and a little bit of a self-loathe (look, I spent my adolescence in the 90s and we didn’t really get Joyful Homosexuality until pretty much the end of that decade, at least, not in the media I consumed – and it’s made an impression), and body horror… and just smashed them together with wild abandon.
Alright, there’s a little more to it than that. Technically it’s a metaphor about repression and the way it eats away at you on the inside, but it’s possible the narrative image obscures that.
Interestingly I didn’t actually set out to write it as body horror, that just kind of happened, which is usually how body horror works in anything I write: I think I’m writing one genre and halfway through my hands just get their own ideas and announce, “and now it is time for something really, really GROSS”. The image kind of came along later, although it was captivating when it did.
Fortunately, that blindsiding with grossness also appeals to some readers, and this short story has the distinction of being the only one for which I’ve ever received fanart! From no less of an eminently talented artist than @misterlucian/Lucian Stephenson, so I feel quite privileged.