A little over 8 years ago, right after the car accident that mangled my life for a day and years, I wrote a short story over the stretch of several recuperative months. I called it “Sorrow of the Future” and it was not very good. I see this now clearly. The problem was its unfamiliar (especially being that I penned it) brevity. The story was overly sparse in relevant narrative. It was minimalism to an ineffective level. The story was like a really pretty female model who has the body of a 12-year-old boy. Bleh. Sorrow of the Future could have been so much more. I was fresh out of a 3-day coma. I wore a cervical collar for several months. My head had taken an inhuman pounding that left blood spilling out my right ear. I could not be blamed for writing such mediocrity, and yet…the story was unique.
After recently finishing my 6,000-word (unrelated) fictional romp, I embarked on retracing and tackling Sorrow of the Future again, 8 years later now that I’d like to think my cerebral healing is more advanced. I’m rewriting the story and trying to inject as much apocalyptic meat into it because it is lifeless in its present incarnation. I say this because the story is about the end of the world, with a touch of surreal darkness. In fact, I wrote it long before I saw a splendid Spanish film, Before The Fall, which had the same tone as my story in that it dealt with personal darkness as a parallel pantheon to the coming end times.
But as I reread Sorrow of the Future, another possibility, and new path, a fresh narrative dawned on me. I cannot wait to see how this story turns out.
I am fascinated by the end of the world and I am trying to capture its stark fateful slab within the context of the narrator’s concurrent existential demons. Capturing the end of the world is an authorial test in that one must describe an utter void that will not reflect the slightest bit of light or hope. Writing this story is to shape something in the absolute barrier of a concave pit of which escape cannot be part of the narrative. It’s an awesome chore.
Rest assured, it will no longer be called “Sorrow of the Future.”