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Weekly Challenge freebie #6: Whither Must I Wander

cover3So here’s the sixth Weekly Challenge story. Starting to think I can actually pull it off and do 52 of ’em? Me too. But hey, now I may have jinxed myself!

This story is dedicated to McGinty’s Public House in downtown Silver Spring, MD—and their plentiful supply of Starr Hill IPA, from which much inspiration did spring (Panera Bread having yielded little but scorn for my writing implement of choice, though it was delivered alongside an excellent sort of caffeinated bliss).

And also to Bonham, TX, from whence much real-world evil. Long story there, or several of ’em.

On with the show!

Whither Must I Wander


Jake’s just an average guy. Or at least he used to be. Sometimes it’s impossible to escape the past–and sometimes other people think whatever’s happening is brand-new, no matter how old the story truly is. All too often, trying to explain will only make matters worse.

And chances are nobody’s listening anyway. Which might be exactly what you want…


[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. Shelley Bricker

    That was an interesting story! There is a part of me, not sure what percentage (it changes with documentaries I watch from time to time), that believes we aren’t even close to being alone in this universe. I had an experience as a child with strange lights and a rising cigar shaped object in the night. I have no other experience that I can remember other than watching Close Encounters and feeling “home”.
    Your style of writing is so enjoyable. It feels like a treasure hunt with how you give us bread crumbs on the way to the “whole” story. My most favorite line in this story was “The image is too sharp. It cuts my mind.” There are so many levels to those words and I love it! Thank you David for another wonderful story that will fuel my dreams and give me things to think about in the day!

    • David

      I did see a strange light in the sky once. It moved, too. I took pictures, but…it’s just a light in the sky. Didn’t even convince me.

      Glad you liked the story! {8’>

      • Shelley

        I saw a strange light once in February in Ohio. Found out later it was the sun = )

  2. david wolf

    Hi, David–Well, this one caught me by surprise. Oddly, I just had read (earlier yesterday) an article in the local newspaper about a guy still haunted by his long-ago contact and examination by crab-clawed humanoids. I had no idea it would relate to this story of yours! (I was really surprised by the turn this story took!) My only crit: The maturity of the voice in this story confused me when I saw, on the 2nd page, that the narrator is a teen; later in the story, it’s the adult looking back on all that, so there the voice is appropriate–and also excellent. Maybe (suggestion) you could put a frame around the opening part so we know it’s the adult looking back on that event? Other than that, I loved the story itself, the unspoken implications, the unresolved matters, the tone. It’s just about perfect.

    • David

      Thank you very much! I enjoyed writing it. I thought about the frame idea, but I don’t want to tell the reader too much up front. I did try to vary the voice a bit as I went along, but since I also wanted it to seem “the same” for continuity it was probably a doomed effort. {8’>

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