In 2006, when I published my first bunch of stories titled The Soul in There, I positioned six tales separately that could have been included under one heading, each with its own title. The decision to place them separately came after a lot of wrestling with myself and discussion with others. Each was written between other stories, but I clearly knew from the beginning that they would constitute a running series. But I also thought that their placement between other stories might function as strophes to them, and that if my audience read the stories sequentially, as I always do collections of short stories, they’d perhaps follow the thread and at some point see their relationship to each other. So that’s what led me to arrange them as I did.
Recently I’ve heard from people who read the book that they didn’t read the stories sequentially and thus didn’t see the relationship of all six. Because the word “raccoon” was in three of them, they figured they were related, but not the others. So I’ve decided to include the six on this site under the simple title “Fleeting.”
The racoon is the main character, complete with imputed thoughts, in the first two vignettes. In the third, what remains of it is discovered by a boy named Chris and Chris’s Uncle Richard. Chris is the main character of the next three stories, the last of which ends with an epiphany and an affirmation, though the future of course remains impenetrable.
In the first vignette the raccoon, roaming around a campground, sniffs some aromas that beckon it to an apparently vulnerable tent. The tent’s bottom zipper is broken and held together with a line of tools, mostly wrenches and vice grips and safety pins, which present quite a challenge to the hungry little pest.