Story Behind the Story: Number of the Least (#SFWApro)

My short story Number of the Least is now out in the fourth issue of Fever Dreams. So as usual, here’s how it came to be.
The ultimate inspiration lay, IIRC, in Fred Clark’s Left Behind critiques at his Slacktivist blog. For those who haven’t heard of them, they were a wildly successful series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, chronicling the events of the Rapture and the End Times, as conceived in LaHaye’s view of Revelation (Clark goes into some detail on why it is not, as sometimes described, a literal retelling of the book). Clark strongly disagrees with LaHaye’s conservative theology and his analysis makes great reading for the most part (I do not agree with him that you can draw any conclusions about the readers from the books. As I’ve said before, you are not what you read).
Anyway, one of the points on the LB posts was that becoming Antichrist is a really bad job. Sure, you have a fabulous life for seven years, but then you face eternal damnation. So what would drive someone to take the gig?
Those seeds lay and germinated until at some point, I got the mental image of a schmucky guy dismayed because his change is $7.77 instead of $6.66. It’s never $6.66, not for him.
And so the somewhat absurd story of the wimpy guy who dreams of being the Antichrist began taking form. It firmed up fairly quickly, in fact. The main changes other than general tightening were removing some of the sex references and making it clear just why it ends the way it does.
And that’s pretty much it—it’s a short story, though I’m really pleased with it. Read it for yourself—it’s free!

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Filed under Story behind the story, Writing

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