When people die, it is tragic. Sometimes there are events that happen after a loved one dies that almost seem as hard as the original pain of loss. My newest short story features that kind of event–the ripping away of the scab that has barely begun to heal. It is available right now for only 99 cents at Amazon and comes in at about 4000 words. Click the icon below to purchase (I would love you forever if you did!) it for your Kindle reader at Amazon. It is also available at bardandbook.com and smashwords.com if you don’t have a Kindle and want to print it or read on your computer.
I have not written anything this short in a while because I’ve been working on my new novel, the thriller The Little Girl Waits, which will be released in May and other longer short stories, The Land Begins to Heal and The Deep Cove Lineage (both available at Amazon.) Getting back to the traditional short story length was actually difficult. I kept wanting to elongate the story and go deeper into the back story, however you can’t do that too much with a short story.
The key inspiration for the story was a newspaper article from our local paper back in October of 2013. I was intrigued and cut it out and stuck in my ‘write about this’ pile. It is an AP article (click here to read it) that described the heartbreak of people who had lost the voicemail or greeting message from cell phones from people they loved when the cell phone company made upgrades.
Technology has given families like the Moores a way to hear their loved ones’ voices long after they’ve passed, providing them some solace during the grieving process. But like they and so many others have suddenly learned, the voices aren’t saved forever. Many people have discovered the voices unwittingly erased as part of a routine service upgrade to voice mail services.
Often, the shock comes suddenly: One day they dial in, and the voice is inexplicably gone.–From the AP Article that inspired me
It was a very sad piece that captured my empathy and imagination.
I wanted the story to be almost Rod Serling-like–just enough like our everyday world to seem very, very real, but then a twist that made us realize something unusual was at play. Of course, for me the ‘unusual’ or ‘paranormal’ event is motivated by my faith convictions about the Lord. This led me to the second main thought for this particular story. It has a large pastoral quality to it in that a major character is the pastor for this family and her compassionate tough-love. It is also her prayer that seems to set up the twist ending, but I don’t want to give away too much.
I hope you enjoy it. By enjoy it, I mean I hope it makes you cry your eyes out or at the very least go check your voicemail.