You've invented a rather deliciously wicked (diabolical, some might call it!) plot...how did this story come into being?
The opening line of this story—a line of dialogue—appeared in my mind long before the rest of the story materialized. I wrote down that line and tucked it into my subconscious to percolate. Then came Henry, a man so desperate to be remarkable that he claims responsibility for a heinous act he didn't even commit. When he recognizes an opportunity to be remembered, he comes up against a woman committed to her own brand of vigilante justice—who sees in Henry a kind of evil intent that warrants action, whether or not she actually believes his confession. I didn't start the story knowing how it would end—and I was just as surprised about how wicked things turned out.
If you could rewrite the ending of any contemporary or classic story, which would it be?
I really struggled to answer this question, and I finally came to this conclusion: If I could rewrite the ending of any contemporary or classic story, it would be any story written by Lauren Groff—and I would apply some magical potion to ensure the story continued on forever. I am an unwavering advocate of Groff's work, and I consider her one of the consummate writers of our time.
Read Jad's short story "The Miracle Landing."