In the wastelands known as the Black Metallic Sea, a lone young girl wants nothing more than a friend. As she fights to survive, she comes to learn that friends are rare, and that the best of friends may not be the ones she expects.
About this Story
This short short story offers an interlude in the life of a few characters fighting to survive in the wasteland known as the Black Metallic Sea, on the planet of Garadia. The main goal was to write a story under 1,500. The story briefly explores the nature of friendship.
The Original Idea
In the case of this story, I cannot remember where the initial idea came from. I believe I wanted to explore the concept of friends and the story ended up touching the idea that your true friends might not always be the persons you expect. I also wanted to write about the Black Metallic Sea, a location I find interesting on the planet of Garadia. I think, anyhow, that this is where it started…
Writing the Story
Writing this story was interesting in the sense that I had a hard target of 1,500 words. I had planed to send it to a contest but knew from the start that the deadline was a tough one to meet.
I missed the deadline, but continued working on the story and still aimed for the target of 1,500 words, mainly because this is not something I had done before.
The initial version was around 1,600 words (not bad!) and any subsequent revision was about making the story tighter, about removing words here and there, rebuilding sentences, cutting down the fat (although there is not much extra in a story this length). Each revision took only one or two writing sessions to complete. In many ways, I felt like I was performing a delicate medical procedure (or what I imagine it would feel like). Looking closely at each word is not something you can easily do for longer stories and I was glad I continued with this objective, as it forced me to only keep the strict minimum.
Creating the Cover
Already having a cover template for the stories set in the system of Garadia meant that creating the cover for A Friend was that much easier. I only had to find a photo for the middle part of the cover. I ended up using Bedrock Exposed in the Rim of Hale Crater shared by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on their site. The background image is Cosmic Sparklers, also from the JPL site and the same as the cover for Logbox.
At this point, I am not working on any new material for Garadia. I have another short story in development, titled A Home, and a novel, Deficiency. I am planning on trying to complete these stories before exploring other stories in this world.
Started: September 27, 2016
First Published: October 24, 2018
Type: Short Short Story
Alpha Reading: Gaetan Clement
Beta Reading: Sylvie Danielle Paulin, Nathaniel Hardman
Editing: Kira Rubenthaler, Bookfly Design LLC (www.bookflydesign.com)
Cover: S.C. Eston, Cover images credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech