Today is the day that my short story, Eshe, gets released in Uncommon Universes Press’s first anthology, A Kind of Death: Tales of Love, Loss, and Transformation.
I’ve actually hardly talked about this? Which is definitely weird. Life’s been kind of crazy, and I’ve hardly sat down with my computer at all. Anyweys.
I want to tell you why I wrote Eshe, a story about death.
Sometimes it feels strange to say that I’m getting published in a collection of poems and short stories about death. I know how morbid it sounds, how some people definitely think, “yikes!” when they hear that title.
Honestly though, most of my stories involve death. If you’ve read any of my eight published flash fictions, you will find that four of the eight deal fairly strongly with death in some form or another.
But why do I come back to death again and again in my stories?
Death was never meant to be.
This world was created bursting at its atoms with life and wonder, every piece perfect and whole and beautiful and glorifying to God.
Yet humans rebelled against God, pushed against his kingdom, and enter from stage right: sin and death.
This world is shattered now. Death comes to all things here; from the honey bee to the forests packed with trees to the stars galaxies away to the picked rose to the blue whale to the cells that make up the fingers that type these letters.
I’m still young, in good health. Yet I am decaying, dying. And so is this world.
Little ones only weeks old die in their cribs from SIDs. Graves fill with bodies of soldiers. The hearts beating under the papery skin of the elderly stop. Sickness and violence rob families of loved ones every way we turn. We can’t escape death. Death is a present reality.
I write about death to see death rightly. It’s not romantic. It’s real, but it’s not normal. It’s not how it should be. It’s not how it will always be. It’s not the end.
I write about death to peer past this destroyed world and remember that there is another kingdom my eyes can’t see.
I write about death so that I can learn to die well.
I write about death because it reminds me to live well.
I write about death because in doing so, in a strange way, I see Jesus more clearly. I see his kindness, for only One of great love would submit to death to save a rebellious, self-destroying, dying people. I see his power, for only One of great might can redeem death itself.
And seeing Jesus more clearly gives me courage. Courage to not fear death. Courage to pray that every sinful, unfruitful thing in me be put death and that I be undone and remade again and again until he calls me home. Courage to believe that one day, death will be a distant memory, and being alive, being with Jesus, will forever be the present reality.
Death will come for me one day, but death will not get the final say over me. Only Jesus gets that.
A Kind of Death Blurb:
A princess who makes dangerous bargains with the afterlife. A man desperate to save his wife, no matter the cost. An uber driver for the undead.
Death, whether real or metaphorical, comes for us all. Yet it is not always the end. And in the depths of grieving can be the promise of hope and redemption.
The tales and poems in this anthology explore the depths of love, loss, and transformation. Whether in a reimagined folktale or a modern urban fantasy, A Kind of Death features a fine balance of tragedy and comedy, but always with a hint of wonder and hope.
As this anthology concerns matters of loss (all handled tastefully and without graphic depiction), certain stories might prove challenging for sensitive readers. Recommend reading with a hot beverage and/or a packet of tissues.
A Kind of Death is available as in paperback, hardback, and ebook.
Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and UUP.
Don’t forget to enter to win a hardback copy of A Kind of Death along with two art prints and additional book swag!
I can’t wait for you to read Eshe. <3
p.s. – here’s the Eshe pinterest board, if you’re interested.
p.p.s. – fun fact: Eshe is my favorite thing I’ve written to date.
p.p.p.s. – I get to be published with Savannah Grace again! And alongside Bethany Jennings for the first time! Whoop whoop!