I completed a 4,500 word piece of short fiction this past weekend, and scouted around for a suitable publication to submit to. My standard go-to places for submissions were closed and not accepting any new entries. I had forgotton about one, however, Shroud Publications, LLC, publishes a number of dark fiction and horror mags, including Shroud Magazine.
The genesis for End of the Line Cafe took place one morning while seated in my favorite diner, sipping coffee and working on some freelance projects. The staff had locked the front doors because their cook hadn’t showed up for work, so I was the only customer still there, which was nice, if a little creepy. I got talking to the staff, and the seeds of a story began taking root in my head.
The story originally focused on an over-the-hill waitress who encounters a very creepy man one morning. In rewrites, the story became something differently entirely, and the waitress ended up not being who she seemed to be by any stretch of the imagination. Throw in a young man traveling cross-country in his cherry, completely refurbished Camaro, and there’s the story! Don’t want to post any further spoilers, but I will definitely be announcing if a magazine picks it up for publication. Wish me luck!