Short Story Friday: Returned (revised) by S.P. Bailey

Here’s what so cool about this edition of Short Story Friday: we’re linking to a revised version of a story (as he notes below — the first short story) that was first published at Popcorn Popping. And we can do that because we let people provide feedback to what we posted and Shawn decided to use it and revise the story.

Title: Returned

Author: S.P. Bailey

Publication Info: revised version of a story posted at Popcorn Popping, April 2006

Submitted by: S.P. Bailey

Why?: Shawn writes: “1. More missionary/post-mission stuff. A great subject in my opinion.

2. This was the first ever story posted on Popcorn Popping. Heady stuff. The linked version is substantially edited–based in part on the critiques received at PP. Link to the original version.

3. I wrote it.”


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3 thoughts on “Short Story Friday: Returned (revised) by S.P. Bailey”

  1. .

    Most of my comments are about this genre of just-home-from-the-mish and although they apply to Shawn’s story, that should not be taken to mean I did not like his story. Although I will admit that I don’t like the last paragraph, otherwise this is my favorite of its type (sorry, William).

    The bigger problem I have is that these stories seem to be, typically, about impotence. People caught in the liminal, uncertain about the past or the future. And as a result, they are about nothing. There is no action, there is no significant progress, there is only discomfiting stasis.

    The genre will burn a hole in our navels unless alternate means of dealing with this period of life can be found. I grant you that it is an in-the-middle time of life and that ruminating on that has value. But essays in fiction form cannot do what fiction does best.

    I think what the future just-home story will need to do is actually take the protag somewhere. He will have to do more than muse, he will have to actually DO something.

    (Note: I recognize that most of these complaints could be applied to my story read last week. So I don’t know where I get off.)

    (Note 2: Shawn and I have dueling polygamy stories in the current Dialogue — check it out.)

  2. Th.: Fair enough. Adam is not exactly a dynamic character. Events swirl around him, he is suspended between two worlds, and he shapes the plot primarily by holding back.

    Still, “nothing?” “no action?” “discomfiting stasis?” “essay is fiction form?” Dude. That’s cold! Somehow, despite its flaws, this story works. Or is compelling or something. (I think so anyway. … Oh, forget it. I can’t possibly be objective.)

    Also, in my defense, I have eliminated all comma splices from the original version. (That’s a little joke that hearkens back to the comments associated with the original version at Popcorn Popping.)

  3. .

    Sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear enough when I said I liked your story and I just worry about the RRM genre as a whole. Most of my comment was directed towards potential weaknesses I see in this story type. Your story has those elements, but that does not make it weak — it…..

    Oh. I just reread my comment and I sorta forgot to include the part about how I liked your story and how it’s my favorite of it’s type, did I? Sorry about that.

    I liked the story.

    And I did go over to read some of the PP comments on Friday, and I have to say that I also liked the baking. I’m glad you kept that.

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