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Weekly Challenge freebie #5: Yearning for Yesteryear

cover3Here’s story number five (out of a possible eventual fifty-two) in my year-long Weekly Challenge!

I’m trying something new this week. Okay, a couple of things. First, I use language a bit differently, or at any rate my protagonist does. Second…this one may or may not have a happy ending. But you get to choose for yourself!

How’s that work? Like this: I wrote a story I enjoyed telling myself as I went along, as typically happens. Then I heard from beta readers that it was well-written but depressing. Now…fact is, I pretty much giggled my way through writing the thing. But tastes differ. So there I was, lying in bed around midnight, and I woke up with an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone. I got up, went back to the computer, typed some more, cackled a bit maniacally, and mailed it off to people–asking them to let me know whether they thought I should attach my new final scene.

Then? A reader asked if I could just do it both ways. And of course I could! But I hadn’t thought of it. So here’s the original story. If it makes you sad, or you’re just curious, I follow it with an entirely optional addition.

I figure that way it should please damn near everybody. Right?


Yearning for Yesteryear

In this one I play with some post-Apocalyptic tropes. I wanted to write from the perspective of a guy who doesn’t automatically know exactly how and why his world changed–because frankly it bugs me when I read a story in which people do. Generally they wouldn’t, would they? They only see what happens right next to them. Unless they’re on Twitter, of course.

So Thomas Carruthers knows he’s in a tough spot, but he has no idea just how bad his position truly is…


[REDACTED 8/28/2014]

I’m making all my stories Amazon-only for a while. Their “Kindle Unlimited” deal is very nice for short fiction. I hate to leave people out if they prefer buying stuff at non-Amazon sites, but…(1) nearly all sales and downloads, for me, have always come from Amazon, (2) while I’ve had issues with Amazon, they’ve been very responsive in dealing with them, (3) I can’t say that for any other online distributor (well, Smashwords is actually pretty nice), and (4) this may boost visibility at Amazon…kind of the core of my business. If you really really hate the idea, please let me know.


Published inWeekly Challenge


  1. Heather Lovatt

    Ohmigod. you’re doing FANFICS of your OWN stuff.


    I read Twilight recently. (I’m a little behind on a lot of stuff. *grin*) I’d JUST got that story’s concept in my head and I go read this fanfic of a kid who, basically, rewrote the story, with one drastic change. It makes me shake my head a bit, seeing it.

    But you know what?

    This ISN’T costing you any ink.

    David, serious question: Maybe you should start suggesting a ‘fanfiction’ club of all these stories. heh.

    To me? It’s about reader engagement. I listened to Emma Watson’s added reply to a reporter about “Harry Potter” not winning so many awards and she said: OUR prize? That readers and moviegoers watch us. Cool!

    • David

      Now THAT’S an interpretation of the alternate ending I hadn’t considered! But I don’t think I have legions of fans waiting for the chance to go write stuff in these little worlds I’m playing with. In fact I’m pretty sure I don’t.

      ‘Course if anybody did want to write fanfic in one of my worlds, that’d be fine with me. If I liked it I’d link to it. If they published it to Amazon or elsewhere I’d appreciate being credited somehow, but otherwise it’d continue to be fine with me. For the record, I don’t expect any takers anytime soon! Maybe someday. 🙂

      Now, a movie deal? Pay me! {8’>

  2. I personally like the version where the gun shots ring out. the way I see it this one leaves to positive options.
    1. He escapes from the paranoia without harming others.
    2. It is a dream and the sound of gun shots bring him back from a nightmare.
    Like your writing and your imagination.
    Thanks JIM

    • David

      Thanks, Jim! I’ll try to keep it fun around here.

  3. Shelley Bricker

    Such an interesting story to sit and think about. I’m kind of wondering if I will dream about it when I fall asleep. Glad I read it at night so that the darkness won’t leave me for a while. Mr. Carruther’s confusion was palpable. Going to the grocery store and standing in line. I KNOW I would do the same. I liked how bits and pieces of the dream were combined slowly. Just the right amount of tension ! Thanks for another great story !

    • David

      I really wondered whether people would like it at all. It was fun to write–I had no idea where it was going until suddenly I did. Which is normal for me, but this time it was more of a surprise than usual. Kinda trying to write myself into a corner just for fun, but it didn’t work. Maybe next time.

      • Shelley Bricker

        That has got to be so fun not knowing quite where you’re going. That’s how adventures start for sure!

  4. Shelley Bricker

    Oh and I really like the cover! Total despair.

    • David

      {8’> Found that image right away at and didn’t look any further. Sometimes I mess around with ’em but this time all I did was fade it out a bit.

  5. Rebecca

    I really enjoyed this one, finished last night just before sleep. The beginning kind of reminded me of one called Alone by TR Sullivan which I can’t stop thinking about. Once the big reveal at the end happened I understood the dog’s name – Santerio. It was a great clue.

    BTW I prefer the original ending. Not all books/stories must end happily.

    • David

      Thanks! The funny thing, from my POV, is that I didn’t know where it’d end up when I gave Santerio his name. I think I intended it as a sort of atmospheric redirection. But then…

  6. I enjoyed the story. I do prefer the original ending to the added one. It is more ambiguous, but I think that’s a good thing. I mean, I get that the protagonist died, but the ambiguity lies in what is actually going on in the world around him. It left me with questions that will keep me thinking about the story, which, with the added ending, would be more forgetable.

    • David

      Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. And I still prefer the original version too–but I did enjoy coming up with the other. Which doesn’t mean I’d do it again… 🙂

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