New Fiction - Salvation, OR
Hey, I'm excited to share a new story that I've been working on for a few months titled "Salvation, OR." This story has a lot of different elements to it - there is a horror/thriller/speculative side of things and there's the sort of social realist narration that grounds it. The fictional town of Salvation, OR where the story takes place is based partly on the experiences I've had living in white, liberal places like Portland and Humboldt County. I think it's a shared experience for people of color in these quietly hostile kinds of places to feel very stark contradictions between the outward appearance and rhetoric of those place and the actual conditions that exist there. The way Portland can have this reputation as a really liberal or progressive place - and white people there do tend to talk of Portland as a fantasy or paradise for them - but at the same time Portland is and has always been hostile to people of color, especially black residents whose neighborhoods are still being gentrified, whose businesses are still unfairly targeted by regulators, who are still targeted for violence by police and white supremacists.  

At 10,000 words, this will probably be the longest story in my upcoming Portland Diary book. If you read the previous story I posted here, "Mansion", you'll find it shares some themes with "Salvation, OR" - there's racial violence here and violent resistance by people of color; there's a trans woman character who tries her best to navigate this violent landscape that she can never really escape; and there's the fundamental question of how to live when we experience these different forms of oppression, how to respond, and how to protect one another. 

Finally, I want to note that this is a draft (just like the previous stories I posted here) and remind everyone that I welcome any comments or criticisms you might have might. At this length and at this early stage of editing, the story is bound to change, perhaps even in radical ways, so feel free to let me know if any part of the story doesn't work for you.