Like a lot of writers, I have a lot of false starts: stories I began, got a few pages into, then abandoned. In the old days I would keep these starts in file folders and store them in a filing cabinet. Nowadays they reside in a file on my hard drive called “stories in progress,” which is a way of telling myself they aren’t really abandoned. They are just waiting for me to come back to them.
Sometimes I find that stories I have in this folder are actually pretty good. That was the case with “The Untied States of America” a couple of years ago. I don’t even remember when I wrote that one, but I had put it in the “stories in progress” folder, figuring it needed a lot of work. When I stumbled across it one day a couple of years ago and read it over, I realized I was wrong. The story was fine the way it was. I ran a spell check on it and mailed it out and Andy Cox at Interzone snapped it up and published it a few months later.
Which just goes to show me that there are long lost gems in that folder. That’s the case with this week’s challenge story. (I hope.) I began “How the Clouds Became Domesticated” a few years ago. I even sent out an early version of it, but it didn’t get much love from editors. A few days ago I looked at it again and decided it would be the basis for this week’s story. I didn’t rewrite it though. Instead I redrafted it. The difference is that I didn’t keep any of the old material. I trashed that old file and started fresh.
I ended up with this weird piece about a husband who brings home a cloud for his wife. And not just any cloud. His cloud is made of this styrofoam material and it hides things inside.
Anyway, I won’t give away any more. You can buy it at the usual ebook stores or you can hit the FREE tab above and read it here. Enjoy.