Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Story at Contrary Magazine

Biodegradable Urn from Memorial Gallery Dot Com
I'm a big fan of Glee maybe because I never had that experience as a teenager but should have. A year ago at a writers conference in Seattle I was talking about how I sob during almost every Glee episode when another writer turned to me and said "So do I"--so I guess I'm not alone. The show pushes buttons and pulls at heartstrings. Maybe I'm just a sucker and a sap for song.

When I was a singer years and years ago, I'd get so emotional on stage that I couldn't sing. It's one of the reasons I decided to stop singing professionally. I've never actually said that to anyone, but well there you go. That's just between you and me . . . and the apparently 200,000 other people-slash-spambots who come here each month. Yes, go ahead and laugh, you unfeeling Russian spambots: I cry.

I get choked up sometimes when I read my stories in public as well, so it's not just song that sets me off. The psychologists out there are welcome to chime in. I'd like to be able to read a gut-wrencher without falling apart. Crying is show-stopping in a bad way. I wish I'd been trained to hide my feelings at all costs, but I was brought up Baptist in the South--which means I was expected to share my emotional breakdown with my church family. It's too late to go back and be Presbyterian, I suppose.

I'm sharing this with you to give you a bit of the background for my new story "Box of Nazi" at Contrary Magazine--but this is only one layer of course.

Last year my partner--who has gone by many names at I Must Be Off--and I were driving through South Tyrol on one of our many hiking trips when we heard a radio news report about a Nazi who'd just died in Italy. It was big news, every hour. Where would they bury him? Why should he be given a Christian burial at all? There were lots of questions to be answered, but the main one was where would his remains be buried?

The story I wrote--"Box of Nazi"--began to take shape shortly after we returned home from our hiking trip. I wondered what would happen if a "nobody" were given the onus of burying the Nazi. I've always been fascinated by persons--real or imagined--who cannot feel. I'm also interested in why people choose to be "somebody" even if it means being evil.

So that's the background. The story may be disturbing to some. Thank you to editors Jeff McMahon and Frances Badgett. Just click the link below:

BOX OF NAZI at Contrary Magazine

I must be off,


Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire), an episodic adult cartoon about a man struggling with expectations. Allen's award-winning fiction and non-fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Indiana Review, Quiddity, SmokeLong Quarterly: the Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Contrary, Prime Number Magazine, [PANK], Necessary Fiction, and Word Riot. A finalist at Glimmer Train in 2011, Allen has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize twice.