fiction, on writing

Dante’s Barn: A Short Story About the Gauntlet of Adolescence

Publication. That great Other reads your writing and deems it worthy to print. I’m pumped to share with you my short story is out today on Fiction on the Web, the oldest internet short story platform in existence (since 1996). They have a feedback field for readers. No sign-up necessary. I hope you’ll read my story (3 minutes) and click a reaction (3 seconds). Please! I’d be so grateful. To read it, click here.

The story originally came out on my blog, but I reworked it extensively and had my beautiful writer’s group give it a make-over. “Dante’s Barn” explores a pivotal evening in a young man’s life when a snow storm and a flat tire become more than just annoyances. They are prisms through which he sees his world afresh. I’ve always been interested in coming-of-age stories because they teem with metamorphosis moments, the cocoon magic we all hope will play upon us and make us better people.

But I also like ambiguity. Jude, my protagonist, my son of humiliation– it’s unclear whether or not he learned the lesson. Even I don’t know if he learned it, and I wrote him. Jude has become real to me, and like real people you can never tell just what they’ll do with information.

Some other flash pieces: horror, metafiction, and a piece I dusted off.

 

9 thoughts on “Dante’s Barn: A Short Story About the Gauntlet of Adolescence”

  1. Good story! I left a reaction on the website :). I feel like this is just one of many lessons Jude will have to go through before it sticks in his head. There’s a reason we repeat things over and over again in school to learn. Maybe Jude will start to see the things that shape a person as a human being, and start to see why his dad acts the way he does. It’s easy to assume that Jude’s father is a selfish person when viewed through Jude’s eyes, but he’s got his own story to tell. Does he only care about football because he’s a jerk? Or maybe it’s because he’s drowning out all the feelings surrounding the death of his wife. Who knows.

  2. Congrats on being published! That’s a big deal!! I thought the story was sad, but I fear that is because I am in too deep in the parenting experience. Am I Jude’s dad? Am I Jude? Maybe a little bit of both.

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