Moth and Rust: A Story of Parricide and Avuncular Decay

Imagine that someone you know, like an Uncle, died, but not all the way. He lingered. No, he didn’t develop a ravenous appetite for for human flesh. It’s more like his body gave up, but his mind kept going. What would that be like?

Some stories are planned  endeavors, but others, like “Moth and Rust,” come in at a full rush with dreamlike accuracy. Mostly I transcribed this from my subconscious. At the time, I was working on the idea of zombies in suburbia, mowing lawns and washing dishes, that sort of mind numbing work.

I always felt the main character needed to be a kid. A child’s viewpoint of death is so different from our own. Although I certainly skewed the narrative toward the zombie angle, you can just as easily read the story another way. What if the Uncle wasn’t dead. The narrator only thinks so. And he makes his decisions based on a distorted view of reality.

In 2007, the story won the Graversen Award from the Garden State Horror Writers. The title references a line from Matthew 6:19—Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

This story now appears at Nevermetpress as part of the their Stories in the Ether series. Click over, check it out and leave a comment.

Good reading, and enjoy the Pepsi.

Tim Kane

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