I have a new flash piece out at Nature Futures, “Self From Self.” It should be available for free until mid-April 2023. You may be able to download the pdf from Nature even after it goes behind the paywall.
This is another very personal story. It reflects the years of my early adulthood playing World of Warcraft, my sometimes fraught relationship with my parents, and my own personal journey through parenthood. It’s a story of loneliness and worry, but also of friendship. It also includes a few of my favorite lines.
Missiles carved trails through the smoke that fogged the valley. Hot brass fell like summer hail. … For 15 glorious seconds, mechs — friendly and enemy alike — shed limbs like dandelions shed seeds, until nothing moved in the valley but the parachutes of the surviving enemy pilots.Self From Self – Me
The opening of this came easily. The ending took a fair bit of revision to excavate. The title took days of searching until I finally broke out the Shakespeare search engine and went hunting. I’m not sure how I found the passage from The Two Gentlemen of Verona, but it seemed like it fit.
And why not death, rather than living torment?The Two Gentlemen of Verona – Shakespeare
To die is to be banished from myself,
And Silvia is myself. Banished from her
Is self from self: a deadly banishment.