Though I prefer to write novels, I have learned that stepping out of my comfort zone is imperative to improving my craft. Further down the page I wrote brief descriptions for each story, in case you want some sort of idea of what you are getting yourself into. Feel free to comment your critiques on each story or email Stephen Lundy (email@example.com) your opinions and he’ll pass it along to me!
I consider my best to be: The Gospel of Yang, We’ve Got a Boiler, A Guilty Conscious, and The Creepies from the Dream Junkies series.
High School (2008-2012)
- We’ve Got a Boiler
- A Guilty Conscience
- House of Animals
- The Child that Smiled
- For Glory
- The House
- Catagon and the Five Legged Spider
- Duel at Dinner
- Mr. Silly
- The Wishing Well
Descriptions (High School first, College second)
The following short stories I wrote in high school. At this time, I was beginning to understand the evil in the world and, specifically, my involvement in said evil. These tales typically have a dark vibe to them. In some, you can probably recognize the stereotypical angsty voice of a self-proclaimed enlightened teenager. On the other hand, I still retained the goofiness of my innocence (most of which will never completely be wrung out of me). In my defense, most of these were written under pressure of a due date. In other words, set your expectations low…
- High School Short Stories
- We’ve Got a Boiler (explicit) – In my opinion, this was the best piece of my high school career. Overly graphic (with definite angst), not for the faint of heart, although it was written precisely for such an audience. The darkness I sought to create was inspired by similarly dark revelations I was encountering as I learned more about this world. If nothing else, I aimed to depict my emotions as my own eyes began to open. I apologize in advance. [WGaB]
- A Guilty Conscience (explicit) – Definitely, my second pick. Equally graphic and possibly darker that WGaB, this tale came to me in a nightmare and I did my best to portray the tale my subconscious had eluded. Written after WGaB, this is not a tale of how one copes with evil around him but an attempt to perceive what might lurk in the mind of evil. [GC]
- House of Animals (explicit) – Surprise, surprise, I rank this short story third. Far lighter than WGaB and GC, it still holds similarity. Its yet another attempt to look at the evil of this world in a novel (or at least, irregular) way. This is a tale of how petty actions can trigger heavy consequences and how evil touches our lives even without coming from explicit villains. [HoA]
- The Child that Smiled – An easy fourth, if not higher, definitely not much competition from any lower stories on this list. This was an attempt to juxtapose my childhood with that of those less fortunate. Looking back on it, I regret not linking this to any precise event. The setting of “Africa” is vague. I may have fallen pray to stereotyping and generalizations, but I think the idea behind the tale holds truth. [CtS]
- Pride – This might’ve came out better as a poem but I wasn’t the biggest fan of writing poetry back in highschool. A very brief short story about some of the temptations one might face while finishing up one’s time in grade school. [P]
- For Glory – The tale of a boy and his dog in the mid 1800s. Nothing impressive and nothing really significant but its a great example of a dominant trait in my writing, cheeseball irony. [FG]
- The House (explicit) – Unranked and rather different from my pride and joys listed above. This tale makes no attempt at to instill any sort of resonating thought. Its just boys, a dare, and adolescant antagonism. [tH]
- Catagon and the Five Legged Spider – My shortest short story (hopefully) worth preserving. The title says it all. This is definitely the lightest story so far.
- Duel at Dinner – This is the Legend of Steak’s Visit to Dinner. The tale was totally just a response to a teacher’s vague prompt but, unlike with a lot of my prompted work, I really enjoyed this one. The only darkness here is in the dark humor.
- Discovery – Either lighter than CatFLS and DaD or equally so, this is nothing more than excruciatingly drawn out pun. Description: a hominid corporation.
- Mr. Silly – A little girl must face her fears and brave a basement to reach the freezer. [MRS]
- The Wishing Well – a lil warm Christian propoganda from before I completely gave up on religion. [WW]
- Nonfiction – A mysterious book turns a high schooler’s life upside down. The writing is trash, but I’ve always liked the concept and hope to one day remix this story into something more bearable. [Nf]
These next short stories were written in college. After my literary Dark Ages, I came into a sort of nervous optimism. The stories I wrote in college still retain a bit of the darkness, some (like the Gospel of Yang) more than others, but also recognize the valiant plight of love and kindness against the darkness of evil and bondage. I wrote far less in college than ever before in my life and, when I did wrote, I fixated on Fatebound. I think my writing improved tenfold from high school, though, I also have become more engrained in my ways (not all of which are good habits)…
- College Short Stories
- To Fear Death – Written for an Introduction to Creative Writing. The title really provides all the introduction that’s needed. Definitely not my best work, WGaB and GC are the only pieces written prior I’d rank above it. [TFD]
- A Tip for Natalie – Also written for the Creative Writing class, I put this on par with TFD. This tale was inspired by a day dream during my brief employment at Waffle House. Almost every story I wrote during this time, finished or unfinished, had Waffle House somewhere. [aTfN]
- The Gospel of Yang – After the Creative Writing class, I took a long break from short stories as I was only able to write off and on (if I wanted to keep my grades on point) but after I got accustomed to the intensity (like juggling bowling balls) I began to rebel against my regiment and steal away time here and there to attend my art. This self-rebellion, if you will, came at a time in my life when the constructs I’d been critical of more and more (like religion and capitalism) outright began to disgust me. I am convinced this is my best short story yet, (maybe even better than my high school sweetheart, WGaB). [GoY]
- Dream Junkies – This is a series of short stories inspired from my own experiences lucid dreaming. Its such an enjoyable experience, I wondered what it would be like if people learned how to do it on demand. Why would they ever stop? [DJ]