My story came out in Gallery of Worlds a few days ago!
Want a sneak peek?
“I don’t want to live this way anymore, Lila.” Jack patiently explained again. “The Traditions—they don’t make sense to me anymore. Maybe they will again some day, but right now, I’m…” he searched for the right word. “I’m defined. I just want a chance to write my own definition.”
The characters in this quote from my short story “Tallow and Tuffet” are curiously “defined”: both are characters from familiar children’s nursery rhymes—Jack of “Jack be Nimble” fame and Little Miss (Lila) Muffet. The nursery rhyme backdrop provides a sense of child-like familiarity, but the themes of searching for identity, breaking away from “safe” social constructs, defying tradition, and taking risks are ideas that young adults wrestle with as they move from the safety of socially-defined childhood to self-defined adulthood.
This fantasy story is set in “The Dell” where nursery rhyme characters live together, performing their personal traditions with acute daily faithfulness until one day, Jack’s candle is snuffed out unexpectedly. “Tallow and Tuffet” uniquely begins and ends at the same moment with both Jack and Lila experiencing a type of loss that enables them, for the first time, to begin a journey of self-definition.
Check out "Tallow and Tuffet" in Gallery of Worlds on page 39!
(Please leave me a comment here on Facebook if you read it! I'd love to hear your feedback!!)