Chapter 32:


The Melancholy of a Whimsical Half-Elph

Where do I begin?

I'll keep it brief!

When I first conceived this story, it was part of a short story collection of the same name. Each was based on American cryptids or supernatural creatures in the eastern United States. Cryptozoology is, without a doubt, a curiosity for me. The Snallygaster, Dewy, who was based on the Dewayo, and the Blair Witch were central to this particular story. Their lore has been traced back centuries, dating back to the settler’s founding of Frederick.

However, classically, the story took a form of its own.

Part of the way, I let Enne take the reins, with admittedly mixed results.

I don’t regret it.

Well... Not quite. The word count forced me to leave out some important context. (Another projected 15k to 20k words, give or take) There were a lot of loose ends as a result. With last year’s By The Shores of Time, I wondered if I could make the 40k minimum. This year I was trying to figure out how to wrap up the story with its 75k cap. A lot of revisions and cuts were the result. There was a lot I wanted to do regarding Alejandro’s history, Salem’s family tree, and Enne's and Cire’s relationship.

My stories always have centered on the characters, with the setting being nothing more than a backdrop. Whether you believe it fits the typical cyberpunk setting is up for debate. The dystopian aspects, the corruption from the city’s overlords, the transitional tech given by said overlords, the Snallygaster’s strange machine origins, Enne’s awakened technomancer abilities, and so on... I’d even debate whether it's what people would imagine for what is typical for the genre. It’s rather easy getting stuck to labels.

I just want to write a story everyone can enjoy!

Enne and Alejandro’s adventures are far from over. In fact, sharing them has been an experience! I hope you’ve liked them as much as I enjoyed writing them. As I’ve come to a close in their chapter, I’ve already thought about where they’ll go. The themes, the characters, and the story are all there. I just need more time. Enough of my rambling!

Regardless of what the results are, I’ll keep writing!

This competition served as a measure of how I stack with others. There’s a lot of talent and great ideas. I’m curious to see who comes out on top.

To everyone else competing, best of luck! To judges and readers alike, whether you’ve commented or liked or not, thank you for taking the time to read. I hope my story was something of an experience, whatever it means to you.

It’s all up for interpretation...

Until then, be well… And we’ll see where this all goes!

- Erii

For more updates on writing and related projects, you can find me on IG: erii1776