The Revolutionaries @ Looseleaf magazine
My short story, 'The Revolutionaries', is featured in Project 40 Collective's Looseleaf magazine!
I'm very excited about it because it's one of my few stories that takes place in an all-Canadian setting. It might even be the first, until I discover an older one in my files.
It is centered around a group of ardent young wannabe revolutionaries on a road trip from Saskatchewan to BC during the counter-cultural movements in the midst of the Cold War. It gave me the chance to weave a narrative of youth, idealism, rage, and ultimately personal flaws together. I enjoyed the writing process immensely and this is probably one of my better pieces. It also draws some inspiration from the stories of Jack Kerouac and The Motorcycle Diaries of Che Guevara, mixed in from trips that I made in Alberta and the Okanagan Valley.
Look out for more from Looseleaf here!
Short excerpt from my story:
We were off again. We were racing past the badlands where the paleontologists arrived with their university interns in the summer, digging in the soil for fossils. Bits of carbonized bones showed up, strange skulls from strange times. I remembered going to the exhibition in town once as a kid, where dinosaur skeletons were reassembled for the crowds, jaws big enough to swallow grown men staring back at us with blind sockets. And there was my father, who leaned in close. “In the old days people thought they were dragons,” he said. The odd mention of dragons reminded me that he had not always lived in the Provinces, but that he had been a tinker’s apprentice in a small shop in Hong Kong before finding passage on board a westbound ship en route to Canada. I tried to picture him somewhere other than Saskatchewan, but in his neat shirts, surrounded by ticking clocks and the old timers who drifted in cheerfully with invitations to lunch on congee, he felt frozen into the landscape. The world that he sometimes told me about, the refugees fleeing across the border into the New Territories, the gangs that prowled the tough working-class districts, and the Victorian names of the streets in a small corner of what had once been part of the Ching Empire felt like yet another fairy tale, almost as fantastic as the rumours of jets flying overhead in the north, capable of arriving in Russia with a payload of missiles marking the end of the world.
“You there,” Jerry/Kah Long was at the wheel again, turning around to me at a traffic light. “You’re daydreaming again, aren’t you, you didn’t answer my question. What’s it about this time?”
“Nothing important,” I began, but the lights turned green and Jerry/Kah Long had floored the gas, racing to make up for lost time. The Revolution wasn’t going to wait, he often said, Revolution with a capital ‘R’ wasn’t a dinner party. I looked straight ahead, trying to ignore that fact that Candice, beside him, lightly laid a small hand on his thigh, which poked through his worn-out jeans.