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Getting Run Over While Jaywalking Only Happens to Other People

The new issue of PRISM international launches this week. Tucked inside is a new short story by yours truly called “Getting Run Over While Jaywalking Only Happens to Other People”.

Jaywalking is set in the near future of Vancouver, a few days before a giant asteroid is set to strike the earth and destroy all of humankind. It tells the bittersweet tale of Clifford Joseph Mickleson, an evangelical Christian and obsessive-compulsive call centre employee who struggles, in his final days, to make a real and authentic human connection.

When Clifford is befriended by a charismatic, slacker colleague named Jacy, he must decide whether crossing the line into the messy playground of human contact is truly worth the effort.

Here’s the opening from the story:

Seven short days before the world was supposed to end, duly and eagerly prognosticated by all the high-end seers and the various American dreamers, not to mention the modern-day Mayan disciples clustered here and there like brilliant stardust across the globe, Clifford Joseph Mickleson—aged forty-four, mostly Caucasian, of average height and mind—woke up at his regular hour in a humid West End Vancouver apartment in something of a disagreeable fog. The alarm on his phone blared on, a musical ringtone not at all unlike a vaguely orchestral version of Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love,” but in the cave inside his head, in the dark cottony world where he had spent the previous hours (closer, he believed, to the beating heart of Jesus), he was lost in raging blizzard, in the farthest reaches of the North, hurtling across frozen tundra wearing only a long, maroon-coloured singlet, not unlike the sort often worn during men’s professional wrestling matches. He was racing through the storm, away from something dangerous, something he knew was right behind him, but which he couldn’t, in his sleeping state, apprehend. Was it a polar bear? The ghost of an Inuit hunter? Whatever it was, it propelled him along until he came to the edge of an ice pack, beyond which extended the dark, mysterious recess of the frothing Arctic Ocean.

            “Shucks,” he thought, in the dream, surveying the edge of the world.

This is one of several new stories I have coming out over the next couple of months. I want to thank former PRISM Prose Editor Jane Campbell for taking this story on and providing great editorial feedback. Thanks also to current Prose Editor Nicole Boyce and everyone at the PRISM team.

The issue also features work from Julie Paul and winners of this year’s PRISM writing contests. Visit the PRISM site to learn how you can buy a copy, or check out your local bookstore or public library for some fab summer reading.

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