My flash fiction, “We Who Stay Behind,” appeared today in Fireside Fiction. I’m thrilled that this little story found a home with such a great publication.
Those of you familiar with my work may find this one a little different. It’s very short (650 words) and very serious.
I wrote the first draft in one quick sitting in a coffee joint in San Francisco on Martin Luther King Day a few years ago. I was contracting for Oracle, and rode the ferry to work, thinking about Patricia McKillip’s Moon-Flash. There’s a brief section in that book where we go behind the scenes at a First Contact station. I can’t remember the precise action, but we see some of the nameless technicians who are supporting the Terran scientists who are reaching out to the natives.
Turned out my office was closed for the holiday, and no one had bothered to let me know. So I was stuck there for a couple of hours until the first return ferry of the afternoon. I decided to fortify myself with a pot of tea and fool around with a POV story about those technicians. The ones who stay behind.
It’s one of my favorite efforts, and I hope you like it.