The following is the introduction from While You Were Out: Short Stories of Resurrection, an anthology of 15 short stories published in 2012. While You Were Out is available for purchase as a paperback and an e-book. Find it here.
My dad used to own a worthless Ford F-150 truck that he named Lazarus. Much like its biblical eponym, it would seemingly perish, only to revive again a few days later.
Once a year or so, a turn of the key produced the dreaded clicking, or no effect at all, and then the beast would sit for days or weeks, bathing in the regenerative juices of the sun, cleansing itself in the rain, rusting in what little un-rusted real estate remained above the fenders and on the bumpers, and refusing to start day after day.
But, as if the god of old two-tone pick-up trucks knew that it was its last chance, on the morning that “call a tow truck” was scribbled in my father’s planner, presumably with no destination but the scrap yard, one last-ditch turn of the key would rev Lazarus to life as if he were brand new.
Columbus Creative Cooperative collected stories about resurrection for this anthology. The only rule for the stories that were submitted was that something must die and then come back to life. The resurrected thing could be a person, an animal, a machine, or even something abstract, like a project, an idea or a relationship.
I expected that we’d sift through dozens of stories about zombies, vampires, and other typical sorts of the undead, but after all of the stories were collected, we were met with an amazing variety of stories that transcended all genres. As it turns out, we didn’t select a single story that deals with any of the typical “undead” that saturate our culture. You won’t find a single vampire or zombie on these pages.
Instead, you’ll find fantastic stories of people, hopes, dreams, relationships, animals, and even a car, that die and come back to life. You’ll find one story, “Rerun,” that introduces a whole new type of undead character that I think you’ll enjoy.
These stories are adventure, drama, fantasy, science fiction and even a couple of wonderful pieces of creative non-fiction.
Every story was carefully crafted by a writer who lives and works in Central Ohio. We collected submissions from all over North America and the English speaking world, but at the end of the day, we received an exceptional amount of qualified content from our neighbors here in Ohio, and we used it exclusively.
These stories were written by people you run into every day. They were written by your bus driver, your waitress, the local daycare coordinator, a few students and even a couple of retirees.
We’ve done our best to assemble a great variety of stories. Not every story will fit your preferences, and that’s OK, but every story is an excellent example of work in its particular genre, and I think you’ll appreciate every single one.
Writers of all levels are encouraged to participate with Columbus Creative Cooperative, whether through our publishing or our workshops. We don’t publish every story that comes through our door, but we do our best to provide an environment in which every writer can grow and develop his craft to a professional level.
Any writer who’s tried to sell a novel or submitted a story to an anthology knows well the process of death and rebirth.
Every rejection letter and failed project is a tragedy, but a few days or weeks later, we approach the blank page once again and birth a new character or revive an old one into the word processor.
Resurrection may seem outlandish, I thought it was and I wasn’t sure if we’d collect a single story, but it seems that we’re surrounded by death and rebirth. Not only Jesus Christ and Jack Bauer on 24 either, rebirth is a part of nature and a part of our relationships, our bodies are constantly regenerating on a cellular level, and there are some things in our lives, like broken down Ford F-150 pickup trucks, that just won’t die.
Please enjoy the stories of While You Were Out: Short Stories of Resurrection.
Director, Columbus Creative Cooperative
To learn more about While You Were Out, or to order, click here.