Todd Metcalf’s dystopic futuristic tale “Kweezi and Leek Go Shopping” appears in the most recent CCC anthology,Across Town: Stories of Columbus. This insightful, complex story is a wonderful story in the Across Town collection.
Todd Metcalf was not one to lie when he was growing up. Then he discovered that when he wrote his lies down and called them stories, they became palatable even to those who knew him. Perhaps more amazing, he realized that people would willingly ask to read what he made up. Unfortunately, he told so many fabrications as part of his new hobby that no one believed anything he said. Since he was unable to capitalize on his newfound gift, much less make a decent living, he focused on the lucrative world of business as well as FBI agent, stunt man, base jumper, and comic book collector. Well, maybe not comic book collector, although he intends no offense to pannapictagraphists. Somewhere along the way, his wife and two daughters were the illusion that became reality, just as the corporate ladder became an authentic metaphor. But reality has a peculiar way of distorting one’s life and he fell back on relating stories that kept him sane while making others crazy. The journey has brought many wonderful, interesting characters into his life, with perhaps the exception of the person who adamantly claimed 9/11 was a United States government conspiracy to justify war.
Writing has become a pleasant diversion in a busy life, if not a profitable one, although, with the publication of the Columbus, Ohio anthology, the financial windfall and justification of what had previously been called a questionable pursuit is only days away. Telling stories has provided him with various accolades. He recently won the Columbus Creative Cooperative’s Flash Fiction contest and earned recognition as a finalist in a William Faulkner novel writing contest. He also has many framed letters from publishing industry professionals claiming his work is superior but not quite right for them.
At times, the complexity and direction of his stories gravitates towards the extreme, primarily to explore reader’s tolerance for outlandish tales. “Kweezi and Leek Go Shopping” is a near future, dystopian tale of two pre-adolescents who go shopping for an item not traditionally sold in the local department store. It is a disturbing vision of the future that explores both conservative and liberal biases. “Kweezi and Leek” is a political satire that is based on Todd’s service as a US Representative. There, he received first-hand knowledge of pending legislation that will soon make Kweezi and Leek a reality. OK, maybe he wasn’t an elected official because everyone knows a political figure would never admit to such a heinous profession. Nevertheless, that knowledge doesn’t detract from the truth and poignancy underlying this fact-based story.
Across Town: Stories of Columbus is now available for sale in paperback for only $9.35, and in a variety of e-book formats including Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Google Books for $4.99. The book is available for Amazon Kindle for $2.99 for a limited time. Click here to order.