The Bones of a Story

Happy holidays! It’s not quite the holiday we all envisioned, for sure. The COVID-19 Omicron variant has timed itself in such a way that I’ll be a hermit over my two-week holiday break instead of visiting my family, having a dinner out with my husband, etc. We’re all double-vaxxed and boostered, but my mom is in her 70s and my husband’s mom is in her 80s. We’d prefer not to take chances with their health, especially since my husband works at an airport.

All that said, there is one thing still happening as planned: the release of the second issue of Starward Shadows Quarterly–and with it, my short story “Bound to Be Bones.” I’ve been looking forward to this for a few reasons. It’s the final short story published in a very lucky year for me in publishing. Plus, I find it quite an achievement that this final 2021 story is set in Ben Franklin’s privy hole.

This particular tourist attraction came to my attention not long after I arrived in Philly as an 18 year old. For maybe the first month of my freshman year, much of my university was on strike. What else was I supposed to do other than explore my new city? The privy pit–covered over with a thick sheet of plexiglass to keep idiots like me from falling down the hole–is adjacent to the Ben Franklin Museum, and behind the B. Free Franklin Post Office. The hilarity and strangeness of looking into a hole that Ben Franklin and his family used to poop into occupied a small space in my brain ever since.

I can’t say that I ever thought I’d turn it into a horror story, but during the pandemic everything seems just a little bit horrifying, no?

At any rate, do head over to the Starward Shadows Quarterly website to give “Bound to Be Bones” a read! I hope you have a very happy and safe holiday, whatever your plans include.

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