My short story, “What He Found There,” won Second Place in the Second Annual Chattanooga Pulse Short Story Contest. You can find it by following one of the links below:
For the online article, click here.
For a super-nifty interactive PDF of the issue, click here. The story is on page 9.
I’m really excited to have won. I entered the contest on the suggestion of a friend, submitting my story the day before the deadline and expecting nothing from it whatsoever. Now I can claim it as an “award-winning short story.” That’s exciting. Plus, now that several people have read it, I feel like I can give a little background on the story itself.
For those too lazy to click above and read a mere 400-ish words, I’ll summarize: while looking for hidden Christmas presents, a boy finds a door in the closet under the stairs. Remembering some of his favorite stories, he opens the door, expecting it to lead him to some kind of fantasy world. Only, well, it doesn’t — he ends up in the crawl space of the house. The boy makes his way back to the door and finds his father standing over him asking what he was looking for in there. The boy says he wasn’t looking for anything, unaware of how truthful he’s being.
I have always loved fantasy stories. I was raised on the Narnia books, devouring all seven when I was little. As I was older, I graduated to slightly more mature fantasy like The Lord Of The Rings, but Narnia has always stuck with me.
When I wrote this story, I firmly had Narnia in mind. I thought, “What if a kid believed these stories … but didn’t have the imagination to bring them to life?” “What He Found There” is that kid’s story in a very abbreviated form.
As for the meaning behind the story, I have a very specific theme in mind, but it is certainly open to interpretation. I’ve heard a few from a few different readers, and each one has been accurate — to an extent, of course.
What about you? What does it make you think about?