The Writing of Challenge Story #0: Trial by Fire

I'm calling this story "number zero" because it doesn't count toward the challenge. I wrote this in the early 90s. It was actually my first professional publication, and won an award. I really liked this story, enough that when I got back into writing last year I dug a copy out. But it's only just shy of 1400 words, so it's really not long enough, even for a 99 cent ebook. And it's already been published, so I can't see a magazine wanting it back again. But because it's not new work, it doesn't count toward the short story challenge.

I plan to write a couple more stories about this character. I'll get one or two more done as part of this challenge, and then upload a pair or trio of shorts as a single ebook.

But I thought it would be fun to give you this story, before writing the other - so that you know a little about where the character entered the world of my imagination. I was in college, doing my best to figure out what I was doing with myself, and not really writing all that much. I wrote this story almost on a lark, didn't think it was anything special, but submitted it anyway. A couple hundred dollars and my name on a plaque later, I learned an important lesson: the writer often has absolutely no idea whether a work is good or bad. Or if we think we have ideas, we're often very wrong.

The story originally appeared in "The Chameleon" in 1993. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed sharing it with you.