When I wrote this story in 2014, I couldn’t have pictured our current pandemic lockdown. I decided to post this episode earlier than it appears in my Alien Beer and Other Stories anthology because of its timely topic — social isolation. In Trog’s case, the cause is supernatural, rather than viral.
Inspiration is a funny thing. It can come to you anywhere, anytime. The idea for “A Bone to Pick” came as I drove into work, and I was forced to call my own phone to leave a voicemail so I’d remember it later. This one came as I was walking in a cemetery, enjoying the view from the highest point, and was approached by a sweet girl with none of the usual caution you’d expect her to have around strangers. The main character of this story isn’t me, but I have social awkwardness that approaches superpower levels at times; which is why the smile and high-five from a stranger was especially touching. I wish making connections, however brief, was always that easy and heartwarming.