I went to school with a great kid named Micheal "Pickle" McCarville. I remember sitting with him in Confirmation Class and enjoying lots of laughs. He may have been one of our class officers but my mind is a little foggy thinking back to high school. I know he was the student Editor of "The Searchlight" our school newspaper, a place I won my first writing award. The Faculty Adviser to the Searchlight was Mr. Kelly, one of my favorite teachers of all time. I wish I knew where he was so I could tell him that.
To my delight, I found out on Facebook that some of Micheal's friends still call him by that nickname.
The truth, the whole truth and the entire truth of this story "Mental Notes from Catechism" is this: Pickle and I once got in trouble for laughing at a Brady Bunch episode which had a frog jumping into a pizza (see below and check at about the 20:00 mark) and the convenience store around the corner sold some fantastic "Big Buddy" bubble gum. (I loved the grape flavored one). Another true fact is that short stories need conflict. Where's the conflict in that?
Matchbook also asks for a critical thought from each of their writers. Here was mine: Truth
After 35 years, I became a sober individual and it has subtly affected my writing just as anything in my life subtly affects what I put to paper. The fellowship I'm involved in is based on spirituality, which causes me to reflect upon my own and what happened on my path. "Catechism" is 50% fiction and 50% non-fiction, and yes, Pickle was a real person.
Very grateful that Matchbook took my fiction. They publish great work over there....so have fun reading over here at this link, Matchbook Literary Magazine.