How We Write – On The Road Again
So, if you didn’t know already, Kyros and Orion have a short story collection out called Unidentified Love. It’s seven connected short stories about a human man and his alien husband. When we got the prompts, Gray, Outrunning 911, and Debating, Kyros immediately knew what the gray was: a gray alien. That put this story squarely in the Unidentified Love universe.
It’s unusual for either Kyros or Orion to write in the first person present tense, but this story pretty much demanded it. Most of our fiction is written in the third person past tense. First person point of view is a really good way to get to know a character and their thoughts.
Give it a try: pick a short story you’ve written or a piece of flash fiction or a scene from your WIP (work in progress). Rewrite it in first person and see if it turns into a stronger story. You might learn something new about your main character.
Let us know in the comments how it turns out for you.
Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
(An Unidentified Love Universe story)
“Hey, Terry, how was your weekend?” Franklyn asked as he slid onto the bar stool next to me.
Putting my head on my crossed arms, I sighed heavily before answering him. “I spent most of it debating with Janet, my oh-so-annoying mother-in-law. She swore she was going to have me arrested.”
“Arrested? For what?”
“Racing. My jerk of a brother-in-law told her jokingly that I’d been racing my Porsche on the weekends.” I waved my hand in the air. “Doesn’t matter how many times I tell her that I’m not, she’s convinced that I am. Oh, it was funny at first, but the cops have stopped me four times now because she’s called and reported me.” I signaled the barkeep and ordered another round.
“Man, I can’t believe your brother-in-law did that. What’d you do to piss him off?” Franklyn, my best bud, was clearly on my side.
“Not a damned thing!” I shouted, scowling. “He thought it would be funny to watch his mom get all worked up. He knew it was all made up, so he thought he could have a joke at his mom’s expense. I really don’t think he expected her to involve the police.”
Franklyn shook his head. “Damn, Miles really is a jerk.” He took a sip of his beer before continuing. “So what happened when the cops stopped you?
“They all agreed that they wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of outrunning my 911 if I didn’t want to get caught. But they were very stern that I shouldn’t try.” I huffed a laugh. “I mean, like I needed to be told. My Porsche may be my mid-life crisis trophy, but I’m not stupid enough to go racing it on the roads.”
“You better not,” he said, patting me on the back. “I wouldn’t want my best pal splattered all over the pavement somewhere.”
Later, on the drive home, I made sure to keep well below the posted speed limit, just creeping along, hoping another cop wouldn’t pull me over.
When I saw the flashing lights in my rearview, I groaned. Dammit, I wish she’d stop calling the cops on me!
I pulled over and waited. When I heard the tap on the window, I hit the button to roll it down, resigned to yet another lecture on my so-called racing habit.
Looking out the car window, I froze in horror.
A gray alien in a police uniform glared down at me. His suit declared him an Interstellar Police officer.
He cleared his throat, a kind of gurgling cough, before he said, “Sir, we’ve gotten several reports that you have been racing your vehicle. I’m afraid I’m going to have to take care of that problem.”
Fear grabbed me by the throat like a dog and shook me. I barely had time to register that the officer was pointing a bulbous gun at me before I found myself dumped onto the pavement.
“Huh…how…why?” I stammered.
The alien cop smirked. At least I think that’s what his expression meant. “Your wife’s mother doesn’t like what you’ve been doing. She contacted us to deal with you.” He holstered his weapon and pointed a long, four-jointed finger at me. “I must warn you though, if you tell anyone about this incident, she’ll let us know and you’ll be the next thing to disappear.”
He turned and started to walk away. Over his shoulder he barked, “You have a good evening now, sir.”
I stood up and brushed the dust and pebbles off my now-naked butt. Shaking my fist at the UFO climbing into the night sky, I shouted at the top of my lungs, “This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t married an alien!”