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Just One Thing with Helen McClory

We're in love with Helen McClory's story, "An Apocalypse in Seven Stages" -- this November's featured flash. Here, she shares with us just one thing about the writing of the story, as well as a snapshot of the van where she was living when she wrote it:

"I wrote 'An Apocalypse in Seven Stages' while volunteering on a horse farm in central Portugal, far from anyone I knew. The farm was out on its ​​own down a dirt track, miles from the nearest hamlet, and the farmer could only put the electricity on three or four hours a day, which meant I had to concentrate with my writing - the piece came fast, bashed out on my laptop and refined only much later when the editors here took a look at it. The farm was beautiful: the wildflower bloom in full swing, and I'd walk to the stables in the morning on a path through a sea of purples and whites and yellows, high as my waist. I worked hard all day and at night I'd walk back to the camper van that was set aside for me, rushed by utter blackness between the trees and the expanse of the sky. In the dark field where the van was parked, somewhere an acre away, the mares would be ruminating, and in the farmhouse the farmer slept. I was alone there, truly. It was a sensation I've yet to work out the shape of, completely. What I remember most was an intense feeling during my time at that farm that the world beyond it could have ended and I would be none the wiser."


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