Todd McHugh has murdered his wife and is hoping to seek refuge in Mexico.
“Sleeping at the Rum Cherry Motel” was one of the first flash fiction pieces that I ever sent out for publication, and I was fortunate enough to have Twisted Sister Lit Mag publish this 2016 product (2016 was a very productive year for me).
The plot revolves around Todd McHugh, who is on the run from Marquette, Michigan. Todd made the mistake of murdering his wife and the police are in pursuit. Hoping to eventually reach Mexico, Todd stops to rest at the Rum Cherry Motel. Unfortunately, his stop at this roadside, pay-by-the-hour dive costs him dearly.
I envisioned the Rum Cherry Motel as the sort of motor lodge that is usually found shuttered along the major highways of yesteryear. This piece also explores one of my daily fears and a source of much anxiety for me.
You’ll quickly realize I was watching too much I (Almost) Got Away with It when I wrote “Sleeping at the Rum Cherry Motel”.
“Sleeping at the Rum Cherry Motel” can be read via Twisted Sister Lit Mag online.
That’s my picture up there. I’m not totally sure why I look so angry. I may be thinking about how much I hated the Crypt Keeper as a child.
I grew up faithfully watching reruns of The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt. Unfortunately, I missed the boat in terms of writing for either of those programs. I do consider both to have been wildly influential when I think back to my earliest thoughts about becoming an author and I’m grateful my parents let me watch those shows as a kid (although there were probably some nights early in my childhood my mother wished she hadn’t let me watch those shows). If you’re familiar with either program, then you know what genres are my focus. I thoroughly enjoy science fiction, suspense, the twist ending, and some horror or supernatural elements as well. Honestly, when I was a kid the Crypt Keeper scared the hell out of me. As an adult, I’ve really learned to embrace the puns.
Historical fiction is a favorite of mine as well, and the root of that is shared with my profession. I am an educator by trade, and I teach American History. I consider some of the best writing I’ve ever done to be within the realm of historical fiction and I really enjoy saturating my mind in the research end of those projects.
I would make the argument that storytelling is in my blood. Even my sister mulled, very briefly (about 45 minutes), launching a career as a screenwriter! My last name is one of those Irish (and, apparently, formally Manx) ones with a wonderfully researched history -“the story-teller’s descendant”. On of the first day of school each year, I do share that “my name is Mr. Scully, and that rhymes with Kelly”, just so I do not hear the myriad of mispronunciations on the first day.
Several years ago, I started a blog similar to this one to highlight my middle years as a teacher. If that aspect of my life is of any interest to you at all, you can still find that blog online. During my summers, I really have time to pursue my writing projects and this blog will highlight some of that work. My first attempts to sit down and write extensively occurred when I was 15, but only a few years ago did I make setting time aside to write a priority. I’ve also benefited wildly over the years from many willing readers among my family and friends. The direction and feedback from those individuals has been invaluable.
Outside the world of the written word, I am an educator, basketball coach, lecturer, and (very, very occasionally) a landscaper. I have only ever known Western Pennsylvania as my home.
Although I love a good novel, I am absolutely unable to resist the power of the short story. The latter is really what I hope to be remembered for one day.
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