You can now read my contribution to the upcoming anthology Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder, edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto, on CrimeReads. I’ll be reading this story at the book’s launch at Housing Works on June 5.
You can read the story there, but of course, please click here to check out the anthology, which features stories by Julia Elliott, Danielle Evans, Brian Evenson, Sasha Fletcher, Amelia Gray, Elizabeth Hand, Yuri Herrera, Henry Hoke, Carmen Maria Machado, Benjamin Percy, Adam Sternbergh, Helen Phillips, Laura van den Berg, Charles Yu, and more.
I’m not sure what inspired me to write this story. I originally wrote a very different version of it for a zine I used to publish (“a zine I used to publish” — a phrase that fills me both with pride and with profound embarrassment) back in the 1990s. It had a readership of five, if I include myself. I think this was a story that freewrote itself to life. By which I mean, I started with a word and followed it with another, without any plan or object, and I let myself get pretty damned silly about it, giggling to the finish line. It’s also likely this song was in the background as I was scribbling away.
Thank you, Mr. McLean!
“Withhold the Dawn” is then perhaps my first foray in noir crime fiction, done long before I thought of myself as any kind of crime fiction writer. When I read that Catapult was putting this anthology together, I pulled the story out of mothballs and overhauled it top to bottom.