There are a lot of emotions I associated with this piece: sadness, hopefulness, hopelessness, abandonment. Did you feel an array of emotions as you wrote this piece? Is there one emotion that really stuck with you?
Yes. The fear of loneliness as we get older. I think that leads to all the other emotions I put into the story and also the power of even just one friend or person can be enough to overcome it.
Why did you choose a fox? Did you consider any other animals or was it just the fox?
I feel a connection to foxes. I saw one near a CVS once. Later, I went back and saw its den. When I got close it darted out right past me and sat nearby. It showed no anger or fear. I felt like it was lonely and out of place which haunted me. I am writing ones about other animals too. Sometimes from the animal point-of-view, but sometimes from a person who encounters it.
That ending tore me to pieces. I haven’t cried reading a piece in quite a while. Did you think about the kids finding the fox alive? Or was the intention to always find the foxes deceased?
I did think about having it being seen in the distance running through a field or something similar, but it didn’t feel realistic to me. One time, I found a fox’s skull near a den with clumps of fur. I felt sadness and wondered what happened to it. It wasn’t happy, but maybe it wasn’t alone. There were a lot of tracks nearby. I felt like the story had to end this way, but the comfort of not being alone offered some brightness to it.
If you had a message for readers about this story or writing in general, what would you say?
It took me a long time to realize that I should write what I loved and what touched my heart. I thought who would publish stories about animals, but I began to realize that even if they didn’t at least I loved writing them and I felt strong emotions while doing it. I like the saying, “If no tears in the writer, no tears in the reader,” by Robert Frost. I felt the sadness writing this story. I am glad that The Ginger Collect publishes stories like “Homeless.” I am honored and grateful to have it included in their journal.
Do you have any previously published pieces you’re particularly proud of?
I like The Rescue. It was published in X-R-A-Y Literary Journal.
You can read William Falo’s piece “Homeless” in Issue Eight of The Ginger Collect!