Jason Baltazar’s story “The Questioning Bell” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 26 May 2017.
Most of my stories start with an image, in this case a boy looking down onto a narrow, abandoned city street. It seemed so lonely. I started to explore the idea– who was this, what kept them at the window, why were the streets empty? I’d recently read about the yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia in 1793, and so the idea of some manner of city-wide epidemic crept in. As the story developed I kept thinking about the ways fear can make us retreat into self and cut us off from empathy, which helped guide it along.
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