Dear So and So,
Often a story is written long before the author even puts pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard as so many things these days are down electronically. The skill of an author and the magic in the novel comes in the untangling of the story from wherever it is that stories reside: the subconscious, the universe, black matter. Whether it would even be possibly for stories to come from black matter is uncertain to me because I’m not a sciene-y sort of person; if I were, I would be applying for med school, not writing a letter to a literary agent begging in my own, unique way for you to remember my name.
Don’t consider me vain enough to assume that this story, Twins (Working Title) is semi-autobiographical. It’s not. It came from wherever it is that stories come from—a quick search on Google informs me that dark matter, not black, is something very complicated that only people who speak Scienceese would understand but simply boils down to not-where-stories-come-from—and all I did was untangle the mess it came to me in. Scout’s honor.
In the story, two sisters, twins, have just graduated from high school. One, Alice Klein, afraid of that her future is one her parents have forced upon her, takes off in a panic. She’s looking for something that’s tenuous at best, a coming-of-age quest at worst. The other, Amanda Klein, is left behind at home, irritated with her sister for leaving, irritated with her parents for pushing her sister to leave, and irritated with everyone else who keeps bugging her about her feelings on the disappearing act her twin just pulled.
The story is dual-narrated in first person, alternating points of view between Alice on the road and Amanda at home. The story moves in chunks as it goes back and forth between the road and home, the different plots denoted by text type and styles of speaking, but is tied together through flashbacks, shared experiences and occasional overlaps.
As Alice moves farther away from home, panicking as she finds that the person she thought she was falls away the more distance she puts between herself and her past, Amanda tries to blaze forward, relishing in the extra freedom that comes with cutting the apron strings of her twin. Alice begins boldly but flounders, driving from town to town without direction, afraid to go home empty handed and Amanda flourishes, finding new friends, a new boyfriend, a new self, that is completely free and unconcerned with the fact that she ever had a twin sister that was closer than air.
Spread out only over the span of a month but _____ pages—____ pages full of humor and entertainment, as well as moral rectitude and deeply entrenched themes and lessons—, the stories eventually come back together as the lesson of life is revealed and everyone moves on because that’s life and the ending is only happy for the time being.
Previously, my writing has been published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, a university press through University of Arkansas-Monticello, a short story for which I received no monetary compensation—thank you very much, over-achieving family members—and titled, “The Forgiveness Turtle.”
I would love it if my plea for attention even brought a smile to your face, let alone plucked at the heart strings of mercy and persuaded you to take me and my story seriously.