Electric Literature does a weird thing where they give a different title to the webpages that have their stories than the story actually has and use that in their promotion for the story. A couple years ago, they did this with Elizabeth Campbell’s story, “The Big Bang” giving an alternate title of “A busted family in a broken universe.“
That phrase, “broken universe,” caught my imagination and I began with the title, “The universe is broken” and began imagining what, exactly, this might mean. At about the same time, there was a news story about some subatomic particle coming back with a different mass than theory predicted and mashing those together with a dose of emotional angst left me with this story.
Feedback on drafts of the story came from Lori Barrett, Aaron Frankel, Diane Gilette, Davy McNell, Laura Nelson and Dan Portincaso.