I am super glad this story has been published. Now you can read it! It has been around, in one form or another, for many years. In its current and cosmically final form, it is a short short of 1,100 words. The setting comes from a new subdivision in Greensboro, North Carolina where I lived for the first several years of my life. It seemed a magical place to me, these split-levels dropped onto piles of raw dirt, and I ranged around this environment with a remarkable freedom. The characters and circumstances otherwise are entirely made up.
The story originally was much longer and more complex. The long version was narrated by a boy who suffered from a severe stutter. Also, a dwarf lived in the suburb. This bearded little man, named Harley Peoples, was mysterious and feared, but ultimately a heroic character (a big scene involved his diminutive barbecue skills as witnessed through a divider fence). Sounds pretty awesome, right? But they had to go, they just didn’t work with the true heart of the story (the stutter kid lives on in a sequel). Stories sort of write themselves, or at least, with each revision it is important to clear your expectations and old notions and consider: In its present form, what is this story really about? What is the core? Is all directed at that core?
Good art has a lot to do with editing, taking things away. Once I chopped the extraneous characters the story in its most potent form emerged. So check out and enjoy WE WERE GODS.
6 replies on “Latest Published Short Story: “WE WERE GODS,” in Issue #4 of Twelve Stories”
Robb, I just love what you’ve done with this compact, evocative piece. It feels so perfect now. The ending is spot-on. Bravo!
I loved this! The storyline is highly engaging and leaves you with a sense of approval for the boys who overtook the Bargers. It takes you back to the childhood days of the local bullies and how a plot would have to be made in order to rid of them. Kudos to you, Robb! Amazing and well-written!
We were Gods – a well written and fast moving story. Very vivid and exciting. I enjoyed it very much. Your story is about a different time in our lives when kids went about exploring and investigating things out doors and getting scared about strange people and things, imagening, dreaming, wondering, questioning. Thanks for taking us back.
Bravo! Love this story, Robbie.
I could almost feel the boys adrenaline pumping throughout the story. Ah, to be that young and fearless again. A part of me went out to the Barger boys (our innocence at that age protects us from the harsher truths).
Life is filled with mysteries and engaging characters. (Hugs) Indigo
At that age, our heart goes out to all of them. But I worry a bit about the crew. Thanks for the comment, Indigo. :)