You may be aware that my story One Billion Souls Served has been printed in the Fall 2008 issue of The First Line magazine. This is a quarterly publication that operates on a unique idea: every story must begin with the exact "first line" that they supply on their site.
The first line for the Fall 2008 issue was: "Roy owned the only drive-thru funeral business in Maine." When I read this line, I instantly had the general concept for the story, and I began to act upon this inspiration immediately.
Having an opening line provided for you can act as potent kindling for creativity; combine this with an enjoyable experience working with The First Line's editor, and it is guaranteed that I will be submitting work to them in the future. With their gracious permission, I am posting an exclusive excerpt of One Billion Souls Served here on my blog. Please pick up a copy of the Fall 2008 issue here: http://www.thefirstline.com/subscribe.htm and leave comments and/or send me an email; I would love hearing from you!
Random excerpt from One Billion Souls Served:
It was a foggy night in Days Ferry, Maine--a quiet night--with not a headlight bleeding through the pines. There were always a few cars following the east bank of the Kennebec on River Rd, but tonight was different if not down-right unusual. Roy was sitting still, lifeless as a corpse he'd serviced, staring out his drive-thru window. He liked to ponder the strange shadows that moved by way of moonlight and wind through the patches of birch trees sheltering his parcel of woods. He liked to imagine that they were now happy specters passing from his customers, but at times the hair on his arms stood straight up, and he feared being watched by vengeful wraiths: tonight was one of those nights. A constant dupe to his own vivid--and sadly wasted--imagination. He took pride in his work, but had no passion for it; he did not have much passion for anything and it was evident by the departure of each of his five wives. He was a respectful and honest mortician who was known as "two-coin Roy" for his insistent habit of putting two coins on the bodies of his dead clientele.
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