My upcoming book of short short stories, Shake Away These Constant Days, originated as a project called Our Band Could Be Your Lit, in which I wrote a story under 1000 words every week. To generate this much content, I based the stories on songs suggested my musicians and writers from around the world. The original idea was 100 songs, 100 stories: find the creative common ground between two mediums and cultivating the virtue found therein.
Until September 25th, I'll be doing a blog post a day about the stories in the book. After that, it's all up to you.
Originally OBCBYL #6. Dead people are only interesting if they’re more like actual people instead of corpses. Everyone from generic zombies to specific Bernies follow this rule.
I myself had just finished reading Kevin Brockmeier’s brilliant novel The Brief History of the Dead and could think of almost nothing else when needing to write a story based on "Ghosts of the Garden City." The book is what my friend Sam would call, I think, post-mortal fiction, and the song is an instrumental with intensely sad glockenspiel--or whatever--and the word “ghost” in its title. Serendipity was too much.
The story is set in a world similar to Brockmeier’s, a land of the dead that isn’t heaven, hell, or purgatory. The difference is that his has a rational explanation that works to further the plot with its mystery and then, later, with its logic. Mine’s more just like, “What the fuck is going on. Well, I guess we’ll never know.”
The story almost didn’t make the cut, but upon rereading it, I’m glad it did. There’s a sense of lingering that you don’t need to be dead to understand. The end of the story says it best, and I don’t want to ruin it, but I will say when I lose something I tend to cling tightly to the things I still have as opposed to trying to get back what was lost. I don’t consider this giving up, but I don’t know if it’s right.
Tomorrow: A story named "After I Threw the Ball At Thomas Hernandez and Before It Killed Him" that is based on the song "Jesus Christ" by Brand New. Suggested by writer Adam Gallari.
SATCD on Goodreads
Pre-order the book so we can go back to the gold rush.