My story, “Quantum Shadows“, is now featured on Stupefying Stories Showcase.
This story is based on my interpretation of a friend’s dream in which his ex-girlfriend would appear at night and suck the life from him. After doing further research, it turns out that many people experience a similar form of sleep paralysis where they wake up in the middle of the night, sense a menacing supernatural presence, and are unable to move. Oftentimes, that presence immobilizes them by sitting on their chest, making sleep paralysis a terrifying experience.
While my friend’s dream and the concept of sleep paralysis inspired this story, I wanted to make it my own. So I combined the paranormal ambience of a parasitic ghost story with the stranger elements of cosmology and quantum mechanics. To achieve this eerie effect, I experimented with mismatching verb tenses and temporal adverbs like “yesterday” and “tomorrow” to distort the reader’s conception of space and time.
I hope you find this story both chilling and thought-provoking.
Thanks for reading my story and to Stupefying Stories for publishing it.
There may one day be an interest in researching the historically unique malaise (my choice of terms) of the last eight years. I see that you have written a few pieces on unemployment during this period. There is a factor I call the “management confidence effect” that plays a role that may have been missed. My thesis basis: I was running a small business in early 2008. We had a number of hiring openings. In March, 2008 I remember driving to the office and thinking about some factors I thought would impact my business. The press had essentially anointed Obama as the next President. Obama had expressed uneasiness about the motives of American business leaders. Higher income Americans were already under assault for “not paying their fair share”. The general attitude towards business seems very negative.
Over the next few weeks, my managers came forward with good candidates for open positions. The economy had already started a correction, looking like all past corrections. But, believing that an Obama win was going to bring disruption to the economy, and fearing the downsizing that would follow, I simply declined to hire. No big deal; just a small company making a simple decision based on “management confidence.” In the event, I can see in your data that the downward unemployment curve began to steepen as spring, 2008 approached.
But, over the years, I have discovered that I was far from being alone. Conversations with a few other business leaders tell of similar decisions made, but on a larger scale. And if this happened across most of American businesses, it would explain why a normal-looking recession became such a steep drop. Perhaps some additional research to determine the magnitude of this “management confidence effect” might help us avoid similar reactions.
I agree that further research in this area would be extremely intriguing. One are to look at might be employment in enterprises with fewer than 500 people but more than the mandated Obamacare minimum (50 employees) vs. businesses with fewer than 50 employees. I bet both grew more slowly, but the later grew much more slowly given the negative incentive inherent in Obamacare.