Kyle Kirrin’s story “The Soul Farmer’s Daughters” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 8 February 2019.
I really love time attack runs in video games (though I’m not particularly good at them), so I wanted to write a story where a character would be living—and reliving—a singular loop of events for an extended period of their life.
Originally, my plan was for the character to get better and better at the loop as time went on—sort of in the same vein as Edge of Tomorrow—but I ended up being more interested in what the character’s life (and interior monologue) would look like if they weren’t ever allowed to deviate from their past actions. Once that was all set, I figured I had to make the loop something awful to keep the narrative compelling, so I decided to have the main character repeatedly sacrifice his daughter’s life. The character considers himself a monster for what he’s done/what he’ll have to do, though in the grand scheme of things he’s doing everything he can to provide a future for his daughter.
To keep true to the origin of the story, I ended up having the vast majority of it take place within a seventeen-minute window at the very end of a loop.
Ultimately, my hope was that situating it that way would create the sense that the story is a very brief snapshot in time that gestures at a much larger whole.
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