Wednesday, July 26, 2017

FROM THE ARCHIVES: "Mating Ritual" at decomP

Bored children do strange things in the South.
This was one of my earliest flash fiction stories to be published. Looking at it now, I see it could very nearly be considered more prose poetry. But then I have a tendency to get caught up in labels more often than I'd care to admit. I'm working to surgically or otherwise rip that part of me out as quickly as possible.

"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.



  1. I love this. Beautifully written, and the imagery sticks. Scanning the room, I think of bug juice. Thanks for sharing it and your process.

    1. Thanks so much Alyssa...It's really nice to know you're reading and enjoying.


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