Al and the Skeleton Tree: This story was inspired by a short period of time that I lived with my father. I had a job at a local theater and walked to work every day through areas very much like Pecan Grove. The tree is real, a huge thing that forced me off the sidewalk and into the road to walk around it. I got to wondering one day about its age, how much it had seen, and how much of its history might make it angry.
I like the trio of characters in this story and how supportive they are of each other. Later edits suggested anger at racial and economic inequality from Al. It wasn’t a theme I planned, but one that emerged organically. A good lesson in letting the story live and not forcing it into a pre-conceived box.
Also, this is the birth of Pecan Grove East to mirror Pecan Grove West where Daddy Christmas exists, a story I finished last year. Like that tale, I know I am not finished with these characters or this tree, and I find that very exciting. Hopefully anyone reading will find the same excitement.
Thanks, Paul! Very interesting!
Be sure to check out "Al and the Skeleton Tree" and all the other stories on February 28!