I spent the first day after Thanksgiving quite sick, and that carried over for most of this morning, and lingered as a fog over my brain through the afternoon. Finally, I started to feel better and get a clear head so I spent a couple hours pounding out a first draft for the spring's The First Line.
You may recall that I've mentioned The First Line before in this blog. Since my previous, rejected submission was dark, grim, and only uplifting if you're Jean-Paul Sartre, I wanted to go a whole other direction this time, while I look for another possible home for, "The Best Medicine." Go another direction? I sure did.
It's not often that I'm baffled my own writing. Like most writers, I have certain themes and stylistic modes that I favor. This story, "Service is Never Easy," does not fit any of those usuals. It is 2800 words that, honestly, are hard to recognize as my own. To be fair, I've used a similar voice a couple of other times, but in a much darker context. This is just too different.
Here's the point: I'm not sure how to evaluate this draft, because it's jarring to me. If you'd be interested in reading, let me know in a comment or an e-mail. I could use the opinion of a reader or two whom I respect, because at this stage I'm having a hard time determining if it even works as a story or not.
To test your own interest, here's the open:
It's never easy working for God. It's even less easy when the God you work for is a Pre-Columbian deity from Peru, whose name you don't know, and whose face you wouldn't recognize. Eat too many of the right (wrong?) sort of mushroom, though, and that's what ends up happening. At first, you're just tripping with your friends. The next thing you know, you're a damn shaman in the middle of Indianapolis.