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Bone Shop is a free, serialized online novella by T.A. Pratt, supported by donations from readers. Pay whatever you like.

If you like this story, visit to learn about the novel series.

Notes for Chapter Twelve

So I'm a solo parent for the next week. My lovely wife (H.L. Shaw in my novel bios – to keep with the T.A. Pratt initials theme – but Heather Shaw to her friends) is off at the Blue Heaven writing workshop on Kelleys Island Ohio for a week of critiquing, talking about writing, and drinking beer of variable quality. I'm glad she's doing it, and her novel is great, and I'm sure the workshop will be a big help to her.

But you'd think, given that I've known she was going for many months, I would have planned ahead a little.

I did not. I should have written this chapter of Bone Shop on, say, the Tuesday after Labor Day, when I was off work – but I was not so farsighted. Before I knew it, it was Sunday, and I was alone with my two-year-old son, which made things tricky. Normally my wife takes over kid-duty for a couple of hours so I can get some work done when I back myself into a deadline-related corner like that, but this time, I was on my own.

Fortunately, he took a nap. I wrote a couple thousand words while he slept Sunday afternoon, then took a break to chat on the phone with a good friend who called me up to console me, realizing I would be lonely and bereft (as I am), then I dove back in for the last 1200 words or so.

I had literally just finished and saved the document when my son bellowed from his crib demanding crackers and entertainment. The timing could not have been better. (Well. He could've slept for another hour, allowing me time to nap, but this is an imperfect world.) So this chapter is brought to you by my kid's afternoon nap. Enjoy!

I like this chapter. I actually wrote the scene where Artie tells Marla she has to leave his house about 10 weeks ago, so it was nice to finally get to use it, though I did tweak it a bit. Next week we'll get Artie's response to the fact that immortality has been stolen from him... it will not be a pretty response, and it will have some serious consequences. The next two weeks are going to involve huge upheavals. I'm looking forward to writing them.

Back to Chapter 12

T.A. Pratt lives in Oakland, CA, and works as an editor for a trade publishing magazine.