Property is one of the best short stories I have ever written.
Simple premise: A guy stuck on a tube train thinking about his life and how he’s trapped in it.
I returned home from work in my new build flat after a terrible train journey, necked a few shots of vodka and wrote it in an hour or two. It didn’t need much editing. There is was, raw and brutal.
People I know (friends, I suppose), have become angry at me after reading Property. It’s because of the twist. The twist creeps up on the reader and emotionally (not literally) guts them.
In that respect, I think it was pretty successful.
The reviews have been kind, too.
I was so possessed, so incensed when I stabbed those words out one harsh letter at a time, that it’s almost as though it was written by someone else.
It was the second short story I released on KDP. After the relative lightheartedness of Dot Matrix, I wondered whether it might be a commercial misstep to release something so dark. But I did it anyway, because the moment you start trying to second guess what your readership will like, it diminishes your work. Besides, if I was in this for the dollar, I’d be releasing books on how to write a novel, not actual works of fiction themselves.
It’s written in second person. People find it jarring. That’s the point. It’s also supposed to be uncomfortably close. You did this. You did that. And you’re like, ‘No I didn’t.’ But you did, because I wrote it.
And here’s a thing you probably didn’t know. It’s part of a trilogy. The other three stories are in Pills – Breeders and Standing Ovation. Which is a pretty good reason to pre-order, right?