The new issue of Bourbon Penn has just gone live, including my story "The Letter Hidden in the Alphabet."
I can pinpoint two inspirations for this story. The first is a kids book I saw at the library called There's a Monster in the Alphabet by James Rumford. As soon as I saw the title, the opening of this story came to me--of course there's a monster hidden in the alphabet! What a perfect image. Then I opened the book and found it was one of those times when you think you know what the book will be about, and when it turns out to be something quite different, you're glad because then it can mean you get to write that story instead.
The other point of inspiration is Italo Calvino, and especially his stories in t-zero and Cosmicomics. The narrator of those takes scientific and historical facts and theories and then recounts those events literally, often with a wide-eyed yet matter-of-fact tone. So I took that image of a hidden something within the alphabet and made that hidden letter into a narrator who recounts the history of the alphabet from a similar viewpoint.