A Novel
Literary Fiction
90,000 words

Yonder These is the story of a man who sets out one Christmas morning to find out what it would be like if he only had one day to live a full life, from birth to old age, to escape his depressing thoughts and get out of his head for a day and see the world with fresh eyes, like he was a character in a role playing video game, out searching for all the things he missed out of in his real life, all before his day life comes to an end.

He roams the city, imagining himself ageing from newborn to old age, rediscovering all the struggles it takes to be human at every stage of life, discovering the wonders to be found all around, simple things like grass and a dying bee. But memories intrude, he can't escape the mess he really is, and even his encounters, real and imagined, with the police, with the giant from the billboard and others, and especially with his ailing father, keep bursting his role playing bubble as Yonder These. His day out of himself slowly turns into a day of immersion into heartbreaking reality with no clear answers, where the journey might prove to be everything.

The novel plays with storytelling conventions, language and form, with text that is self aware, and includes a chapter written as if viewed on YouTube. The novel is also a parody of The Odyssey’s episodic encounters on a homeward journey. Ultimately, Yonder These is just one man’s way of imaginatively escaping his misery, living life to the fullest for a day with no clear idea of what comes next.

Mud People
Tales of Horror and the Supernatural
Edited by Steve Lines

Appearing in Chilling Tales #4 Anthology
(Rainfall Chapbooks (UK), July 2018)
Speculative Fiction

Earth to earth, dust to dust, the familiar transformation of earth into humans and back again is as old as story telling itself, but gets a new treatment in this short story as mud from a vacant lot overflows during torrential rains and transforms into a woman who’s fate it seems is to live a mundane single day life working in an office. Mud People is a tale of discovery, despair, and longing, all told with subtle humor, and offers an allegorical perspective on the wonder and absurdity of being human.

Short fiction published in journals

The Nervous Breakdown


Flash International () (2010)

© Fred Mugford