If you believe affection is purely a thing of the heart, that you’d never fall in love with someone who had evil intentions, then stop right here. My chief character in a new story wished he had stopped before uncovering layers of hypocrisy and unnatural love. This is “Modern Love,” just published by Short Fiction World (http://shortfictionworld.com/Content_Mgr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33&Itemid=40). The story’s longer and more thoughtful than pieces I’ve recently published.
Some readers might think this story is self-consciously smug. But, it also has something to say about hypocrisy, government and unnatural love. Untold millions of calls have been recorded by the National Security Agency without court approval. Further, in relation to “Modern Love,” last year over 4,000 people in New York were wire-tapped by city, state and federal authorities. It leads one to ponder relationships.
The themes of pretty-ugly appearances and unnatural reality are seen repeatedly in New York’s neighborhood “worlds”, in the characters’ camouflage, and in Marcela’s joke about comic-book heroes and her talk of trust. Appearances are not reality.
Chad Plunk, SFW editor, said, “We debated for some time publishing a story with anal sex as a key component, but ultimately the imagery of a defense contractor and the media literally sharing the CIA’s ass won out.” That was my thought entirely, but in an un-ironic, non-scatological vein.