I wrote Terminals A, B, and C are Without Power while waiting for my flight out of Toronto International airport. There was a brief announcement about one of the terminals having lost electricity, followed by instructions for passengers on where to proceed. Of course the “terminals” in the piece are much different than those we frequent in airports, and the story was originally much longer than what Short Fast and Deadly (April, 2012, p.18) published (the name implies the brevity which they like, so…), but I really like the idea of the truncated piece. I love the menacing, sinister vibe going through this piece (almost like the current with which the victim is being tortured), and the juxtaposition with the urgency of the interrogators at the sudden loss of power. As a reader of this piece I feel like I’ve just walked into something awful, made even more so by the interrogators’ panic at the malfunctioning torture instrument, but not at the human being who is suffering. And so this is what Short, Fast, and Deadly did to this story, which was originally an offshoot from Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony” and that “apparatus” that slowly killed its condemned subjects. It took the original story, which clocked in at somewhere over 3,000 words, and sliced it down to just a bit over 100. Or, rather….I did that.
Many thanks to Short, Fast, and Deadly editor Joe Quintella for taking this piece for the April, 2012 issue.