I have a short story in this new fiction anthology from Arc Dream Publishing edited by Shane Ivey and Adam Scott Glancy. This project began as a stretch goal for a Kickstarter we ran a while back to fund Dennis Detwiller’s short-story collection Delta Green: Tales from Failed Anatomies. We set out to raise just $3,000 to publish the book and ended up raising more than $30,000, which went to fund a whole new anthology of original stories from eighteen authors. This new book, Delta Green: Extraordinary Renditions, is now available as an ebook from Amazon, RPGNow, and Apple iBooks.
My short story is called “The Lucky Ones” and it has had quite a journey. I wrote the first draft in 2012 intending to include it as a capstone to my collection Delta Green: Strange Authorities. It features Jill Sanders, the main character of the first story in that collection, “The Corn King,” and I intended it to wrap things up for her and for the collection. But the story proved difficult. I couldn’t crack it for some reason, and in the end I put it on the shelf and published the book without it.
When the Kickstarter for Dennis’s collection came along and the publisher invited me to contribute a story, I decided to take it up again. I threw out my old draft entirely (originally entitled “Sinecure”), started over from scratch, and this time everything clicked. The result is a story I’m particularly pleased with. It’s inspired by a true-crime story about Fairfield Pond in Connecticut, where I situated the family home of Reginald Fairfield in the world of Delta Green.
But it’s also inspired by my own life. The story is about a woman who has retired from Delta Green and left that entire world behind, but cannot escape her past. When I left Pagan Publishing in 2002, the company I’d founded when I was nineteen years old, I also left Delta Green and roleplaying game design behind. In the years since then I’ve remained a co-owner of the Delta Green IP and reviewed the projects that Arc Dream has published, but I haven’t had the time or the passion to contribute new work until this story. As Michael Corleone complained, Delta Green keeps pulling me back in.
It pulls Jill Sanders back in too, and an old acquaintance or two, with typically grim results. I really love how this story turned out and I’m grateful to plant one last flag on that sad and alien landscape. I hope you enjoy it, too.