The Oak Tree

Quick Rant

This is slightly off topic, but how many of you are submitting your own stories to journals and magazines, paper and online? I submitted a story months ago and only heard back from one place.

I think the fact that it takes so long for places to read our work is crazy, and we definitely shouldn’t pay extra to guarantee they look at it. If it’s a small publisher, is it really wrong to assume they have to read our work regardless?

The point is that I’m trying to find places to submit to. I usually use entropymag.org for reference, but I want to hear back from you all who have submitted work and actually got a response.

To those few places I’ve submitted to and actually heard back, and even got invaluable feedback from: Thank you! To the few places I’ve submitted to that are still “In Progress” on Submittable: Take your time; I’m in no rush.

Let’s get back on track!

This was previously untitled, so forgive the terrible place holder. I liked how this one came out, and I think I’ll revise this at some point and turn it into something longer. We’ll see.

I’m still going strong with these short stories. I have the day off today and I got all my errands out of the way so I can spend the rest of the night writing. I hope to get another two or three stories done, and when I go upstate for New Years Eve, I’ll have even more.

The Oak Tree

The old man sat under a large oak tree, every day, hoping the large branch over his head that he carefully picked out would snap. It took a while to find the right tree.

As a young man, he studied physics in a lab. His employer paid for the apartment he and his wife spend fifty years together in. With his work came an overwhelming depression. It became clear that the secrets of the universe would never be revealed in his lifetime, or anyone else’s anytime soon. Life, he thought, was meaningless without the truth.

His wife, who loved him regardless of his nihilistic views, passed away recently. They never had children. She physically couldn’t; he proposed a week after she sobbed in his shoulder. He bought the ring the day after, but knew enough to give her some time. Their marriage was built around love in its purest form.

The tree couldn’t be too far from his home, either. If he managed to make it to five o’clock unscathed, he didn’t want to have to walk to far. The branch also needed to be big and heavy enough to snap and fall quickly enough with no chance of escape or survival.

He couldn’t wait to be back with his wife. Sometimes he wondered what it would be like to have children. More often than not, after watching the children run and scream and beat each other up in the park, he felt relieved he could leave the world in peace.

A young boy approached the old man and asked, “What are you doing here by yourself?” The old man, who hadn’t spoken to anyone in months, who honestly forgot what his own voice sounded like, replied, after careful consideration, “I’m waiting for this branch to fall on my head.”

The unsure boy laughed at the absurdity of the old man’s response. “That’s an oak tree,” he said. “My dad’s a park ranger and he says that tree will be here after I die.” The boy ran off and the old man got up and contemplated his views on children all the way home.

 

Lastly: If you have your own story to submit, please see my submission guidelines. I’d be more than happy to look at your work and publish it. I’ll try to have another story tomorrow night so keep a look out for it.

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