Stepping off the plane and into my short story
Yesterday I stepped off a flight from Minneapolis landing home in Detroit, and into one of my short stories. One filled with passion, drama, and debate. It was an amazing experience.
Let's go back a bit to cover the good parts.
In 2015 I released a collection of short stories between novels called, "Mr. Memory and Other Stories of Wonder." It includes some of my favorite work to date, "A Wing and a Prayer." Three men, a Preist a Rabbi, and an Iman are working at the airport. An airport that is haunted by three birds, Zou-Zou, Mr. Pink and Yo-Yo.
This sounds like a bad joke, but I assure you that it isn't. It is a thoughtful and very interesting story of many things including religious tolerance, a brotherhood of support, scientific method, and cultural norms.
I recall that one of the biggest criticisms that "professional" editors pinged me on was in the opening page description of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. I had described the new terminal as being nearly a mile long, and that was very difficult to believe to three of the "readers" who first saw it. It is, in fact, the second longest terminal in the world today
The concept of the "God Squad", or the three human characters in the story was ridiculous. The feedback came to me that this idea, of religious figures having a place in a public airport was basically nuts. But that wasn't fiction:
Intelligent birds, now that was really stretching the limits of believable fiction.
In reality, the only part of the story that was entirely fiction to me was the villain of this tale, Nero Blackstone. A giant of a man who looks like he is wading in the waters of humanity rushing to an airport gate was purely my invention. At DTW, they were using bird sounds and bird calls to frighten off the smaller birds that lived inside the terminal as many shopping malls have done over the decades. Nero, was a bird hunter. He used his highly trained apex predator of the air to kill. I thought all of that was myth... until I stepped off my flight from Minneapolis on Friday, and back in time seven year to my short story "A Wing and a Prayer" now reissued in my complete collection of short stories.