Over at Death by Killing, Chris Rhatigan is running features on his top five short stories of 2010. Yesterday, he featured "The Toll Collectors" by yours truly.
"The Toll Collectors" was the first short story I ever wrote, and its path to publication was a rocky one, full of false starts, folding publications, and even a shady character under an assumed name who disappeared into the night without a word. I was beginning to think that story was cursed -- that it'd never find a home. But then it wound up in front of David Cranmer at Beat to a Pulp, and all that changed. It's gratifying that since then, the story's been so well received.
A couple notes:
If you'd like to read "The Toll Collectors", it's still available on Beat to a Pulp. Or, if you'd rather, you could download it to your Kindle (or free Kindle app!) along with seven other stories for the rock-bottom price of 0.99! And if you'd like to see what inspired the story, check out this site, which is dedicated to the stretch of abandoned Pennsylvania turnpike on which it takes place. I stumbled across it when I was doing research on abandoned rail lines for my short "The World Behind", and once I saw those pics, the story sort of wrote itself.
So thanks, Chris, for the recognition; I'm glad you enjoyed it.