I wanted to write a post today to mark the publication of my novella, ‘Shattered’. I thought perhaps I should, I dunno, explain why I wrote the story the way I did, perhaps apologise for its brutal honesty or something.
But for now, I think, ‘Shattered’ should stand on its own.
Yesterday, while skimming the notebook I wrote it in—making sure I’d not forgotten anything—I found a note I penned in the middle of the night on 25 July 2012, during the YA Crush tournament. I wasn’t in the best of moods that night, due to lack of sleep and some recent events, and yet I managed to scribble these halfway coherent words, which still hold true today:
Dear Team Kilt,
I’ve no funny graphics or pics of ‘me’ shirtless or in a leather jacket (or both) to share with you.
Just a few words is all.
We come from two different worlds, youse and me. Some things are the same—sports and films, for the most part.
Other differences are huge. In mine, ghosts are violet and everyone younger than me can see them. In yours, ghosts, if they exist, are fleeting glimpses of wispy white.
In your world, Flight 346 is just another routine transatlantic trip. In my world, the Twin Towers still loom over Lower Manhattan.
The tragedy here is that you’ll never be a part of my story, even though you’re a part of me.
Because if you were real, the world of my story would be better. No grey Glaswegian sky could darken my days. I’d wake in the middle of a Scottish winter night and find you there, waiting with a cupcake, a goofy video or just a ‘Hi, I’m thinking of you.’
With you in the world of my story, I’d never be alone. And then there’d be no story.
It’s through the magic of Twitter and Tumblr that we meet, befriend one another, and occasionally flirt. This, I dunno, wormhole of sorts that connects our universes has been a lifeline.
The Me who knows You is a happier, saner, whole-er Zachary than the Me who doesn’t know You.
Ach, I’m giving myself an existential headache talking like this. I guess what I’m trying to say is: Team Kilt, I may never be able to bring you to my world, to write the story of Us. But that only makes you more precious to me.
And then I must’ve finally fallen asleep, cos that’s where it ends.