It was a lot of fun writing my last short story The 8th Slice. I’ve been reading a fair amount of darker material lately. Tales written in a Lovecraftian style and others containing subtle understated horror. This is a genre that I would love to study in depth.
The story itself came to me while running. They often do. There is a point of singular focus on a long run where my mind clears and an idea appears. If I can pull it in and wrap some structure around it, I can spend the rest of the run writing it in my head. When I get home I dump it all into a file to work on. I know other runners take dictation devices. I think I’d feel self conscious talking to myself (as opposed to cursing or repeating a mantra) but it might be worth pursuing. It is the worst feeling to get to the end of a run, exhausted, and have the great bits slip away in the fog of pain and exhaustion. Like waking from a dream and grasping as the threads blow away.
Back to the story. A friend once admitted she had a dream in which she poisoned me. We played online games together and it became a running joke for years. It was her birthday and I thought it would be a cool idea to write her a story. Naturally it had to involve poison. I wanted it to be set in a dreary Scottish town and include other characters from our gaming guild. I worked in a few subtle references to various events and assassinated some personalities. I think it turned out pretty well.