|Bored children do strange things in the South.|
"Mating Ritual" is one of the pieces I'm most proud of, one that, over the years since I was first published, I've always had a fondness for deep down. It's an odd story for me. I wrote it in less than fifteen minutes without a break. It was actually more like ten minutes, I guess. Each sentence came exactly formed without need for any further adjustments. And each paragraph was structured in the exact way needed. I didn't have to stop and think, didn't hesitate or second guess a single thing about this story.
I've never had this happen with anything I've written since. I really have no idea where this story came from at all. What I can remember is that earlier that day I had told someone how during the summers as a kid I would rip lightning bugs in half with my cousins and admitted we'd then take the luminescent abdomens and stick them on our fingers and pretend we had glowing rings. Most unusual, yes.
See what you think.