I’m pleased to announce my second published story, “The Inspector’s Legacy” in New Maps. First in print! The Inspector’s Legacy was one of my initial story ideas. Not the first story I wrote (that was an unreadable story called “Two Birds”), but it prompted me to pursue writing.
Back in the pre-Covid days, I commuted to Manhattan by bus or ferry/subway. While sitting in traffic outside the Lincoln Tunnel, I pictured a member of the working class commuting to post-apocalyptic Manhattan while the elite lived in tall towers. The streets and subways flooded and only the service class used them.
My first job out of college was as a health inspector (actual title: sanitarian); our hero would be one too. I wanted this health inspector to be exceptional; either a quasi-superhero or a bumbling idiot (I chose the idiot). I also wanted to show part of the job; the inspections, the bureaucracy, the conversation amongst other inspectors and employees. A lot of that made the last cut, although I reduced the detail. Turns out most people found it boring. Who knew?
And the story evolved from there. Set in a wet, caste-system Manhattan, with bankers, government officials and a small army of workers providing food, water and power. Our hero, Peter (when I worked in the Health Department, two co-workers, mentors and friends were named Peter), runs into a moral issue he may or may not be equipped to handle.
I wrote it last spring and submitted for consideration to final edition of “Into the Ruins”. It didn’t make that cut, but it was accepted for the inaugural issue of New Maps, for which I am eternally grateful. New Maps doesn’t have an online presence for the actual work; if you want to read the Inspector’s Legacy or any of the other delightful stories, you can order them here.