John Adams’s story “Holding” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 23 October 2020.
I generally write speculative fiction that is humorous, gothic, or some combination of humorous and gothic; I tell people my wheelhouse is “Dark Shadows with space monkeys”. On the flip side, when I write non-speculative fiction, I tend to go for more dramatic moments — high-school friendships put to the test, relationships ending, managing through loss, and those moments we’d rather read about on the page than experience in real life.
With “Holding”, I wanted to merge these two ideas and write a dramatic piece of spec-fic. I have written several ghost stories before, but never one with quite this tone. To me, the piece has a sadness to it, but still remains hopeful.
The story centers on the idea that sometimes what we think we want isn’t what we actually want. I have to quote the Rolling Stones here, because they said it best: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you find you get what you need”. I think those lyrics sum up the story well.
I also wanted to provide an ending that felt satisfying even though it didn’t necessarily solve every mystery — perhaps even satisfying because it didn’t solve every mystery. The main character, Kerry, may not have all her questions answered by the end, but she ultimately finds comfort.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to Metaphorosis for giving me this great opportunity!
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