A very different life awaits the protagonist in this week’s Futures. In Transference, Jennifer Campbell-Hicks explores the difficulties posed by moving from your old body to a new one. When she’s not wrestling with such problems, you can find her in her original body writing for her blog. She has kindly volunteered to venture onto Future Conditional to explain the inspiration behind her new tale. As ever, this post contains spoilers, so please read the story first.
One thing I’ve learned about writers: we love challenges. They stretch the brain muscles and help boost productivity. Transference came about from a challenge in a writers’ group to produce a flash-length story over one weekend, based on one of several prompts. The prompt I used: Someone made a bad decision, and someone else is paying the price.
The week of that particular challenge, I had dogs on the brain. My family’s 10-year-old boxer mix had been diagnosed with lymphoma. (Sadly, he died one week later.) I wanted to write about a dog, but in a humorous way. So I added into the mix a joke that my children like about how ‘dog’ is ‘god’ spelled backward, and I had the basis for a story.
Those in the writers’ group who read the story split about evenly in their reactions. Half thought the piece was hilarious. The other half thought it was terrifying. I have a sneaking suspicion that those who thought I had written a horror story are, for the most part, cat-lovers, not dog-lovers. For the record, I am both.