A Mutual Feeling by C.D. Watson

Behind the Scenes: A Mutual Feeling

Most stories have a story of their own, the inspiration or impetus behind their creation. The story of A Mutual Feeling begins very clearly: I woke up early one afternoon, after a long night writing, with the following line in my head:

They came for Alice on a Wednesday morning.

That was early in November 2015. It only took a few days to block out the basic premise and plot for that one line. Those came easily, as a matter of fact. Writing A Mutual Feeling took a lot longer. At the time, shorter stories like this one were written in my spare time. It wasn’t until much later (about a year and a half, as a matter of fact) that I deliberately began to schedule time for writing short stories.

The premise ended up being a lot more existential (and not quite as cyberpunk) as I’d originally anticipated, but this is what happens when the main character is a, well, character in a video game in the throes of becoming a sentient artificial intelligence. The romance ended up playing quite a larger role, too, but it is a weird romance.

Here’s the first scene:

They came for Alice on a Wednesday morning.

She hurried to the door with her chopping knife in her hand, seven inches of muted steel, another six devoted to the carved, wooden hilt. It was a good knife, perfectly balanced, razor sharp edge. A Christmas present from her husband John, who hadn’t bothered to lever himself out of his recliner and answer the door. She’d had to come all the way from the kitchen, leaving the celery for Thanksgiving’s stuffing wilting on her kitchen counter.

And now, last minute shoppers crowded the stores and she had no time to get fresh, what with company coming and twenty people to feed tomorrow evening, and pies and cakes still to be made.

She swung the door open, knife in hand, and stared at the half dozen men dressed in SWAT gear pointing wickedly intricate guns at her from the other side.

“Put your weapon down,” the lead man barked. “Put down the fucking knife!”

She glanced at it, puzzled. A strand of celery fiber clung to the edge, distorting her blurry reflection. It was just a knife. A big knife, yes, but just a knife. What was the big deal? She lifted it toward the lead man, a peace offering. His gun popped and reared back against his shoulder, and a burning zing cut through Alice’s chest. She fell down, down, down, only dimly aware of men swarming past her into the house and icy blue eyes staring dispassionately at her beneath a hard, black helmet.

When I decided to devote real time to writing short stories, A Mutual Feeling guided my way and led to the idea of compiling an anthology of weird romances. It was the first story I selected for Romancing the Weird and one of my favorites. It turned out to be so long, however, that I decided to publish it on its own, and as a novella, it works well. I hope you enjoy exploring this story world as much as I have over the past couple of years.

A Mutual Feeling by C.D. Watson

 Preorder at:
Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Available 17 November 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *