Welcome to another installment of Night Walk Wednesday, where I’ll talk about the submission journey of a story from my flash fiction anthology Night Walk & Other Dark Paths. This week’s story is “Time Waits for One Man.”
This is yet another story crafted in an hour during a flash-fiction writing exercise. I remember the prompt for this one too. It was a shattered clock. That got me thinking about stopped clocks, and then stopped time, and then immortality. The story that eventually came out of all that was “Time Waits for One Man.” I write a lot of stories with biblical themes or characters, and this is one of those. Note, these aren’t really religious stories, just ones that use a Biblical character or tale with a speculative twist.
“Time Waits for One Man” is another of my patented two-people-talking stories. I love dialogue, and that’s all this story is. The setup is simple. A freelance journalist is interviewing a man who somehow survived an accident that should have killed him. In fact, he survived it without a scratch. He tells her he survived because of who he is or more importantly what he is. She’s incredulous, but as his tale unfolds, she begins to believe.
I sold this story in its first submission to Factor Four Magazine, a pro flash market that had rejected me seven times previously. I was thrilled at that acceptance and publication, and the only rain cloud on this sunny situation is that Factor Four shut down not too long after. That’s just a sad reality of publishing, and when I look back at my submissions over the years, it’s rather alarming just how many of the markets I’ve submitted to have closed their doors.
Though “Time Waits for One Man” sold on its first submission, I sent it out as soon as I had the rights back. One of those reprint submissions was to Msyterion, a market that deals with Christian-themed speculative stories. I thought the story might have a pretty good shot there. It was ultimately rejected, but I did get a nice personal note from the editor and an invitation to submit more work.
If you enjoyed the submission journey of “Time Waits for One Man”, check out its 39 siblings in Night Walk & Other Dark Paths, which you can order in print and eBook by clicking the cover below.