“The Caretaker” is a first for this blog. I was very reluctant when the author approached me to feature it on Fictionophile, but when I began to read it, I just couldn’t stop.
This short story begins:
Congratulations. Out of hundreds of applications, yours stood out for your “unwavering persistence to get the job done.” Well put! No doubt, you will deserve the eight-figure salary and opulent benefits that come with this job. But I must warn you: The more you read, the more my employer will consider you a threat if you decline our offer. If you have no intentions of taking the job, delete this message now before reading further.
I mean really, how can you not read on? It is a clever ploy for sure.
Without revealing too much, I can only say that the genre is one I never read (above graphic is a HUGE clue!). It only took a few minutes to finish, but I think I’ll remember it for some time. The writing held my interest, which is impressive given that the subject matter is not at all to my ‘taste’. Well done Dan Klefstad!
To see Dan read from his short story “The Caretaker”, check out this YouTube video.
You can check out Dan’s novels that are available on Amazon.com HERE.
To regular readers of this blog – Don’t worry, I haven’t been converted… LOL
About Dan Klefstad and his inspiration behind “The Caretaker” in his own words:
I am the morning newscaster and book series editor for NPR station WNIJ. After my on-air shift ends at 9 a.m., I interview authors from all over northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin — novelists, short story writers, poets, memoirists. Here’s my archive: http://northernpublicradio.org/topic/wnij-read-me
Each interview has been a master class in storytelling, and in the creative process, whether I’m interviewing someone with an international reputation (such as Robert Hellenga or Amy Newman) or a self-published writer from my neighborhood. I guess it made sense that I’d try to write my own stories. So, earlier this year, I published my debut novel, Shepherd & the Professor, on a traditional contract. Then I wrote this story, “The Caretaker” that I want to expand into a novel. The journal Crack the Spine was the first to express interest, so I went with them.
As for what inspired this piece…Let’s just say I’m a person who, like many others, works very hard and dreams of spending my “evening years” in peace and luxury — traveling the world, eating at the best tables, drinking the finest wines, and living life to the fullest. But I’m not there yet; I have several more years of work for an employer that demands much of me. But this employer, unlike the vampire Fiona, is on a mission to serve others. I am, of course, talking about public radio — independent, public service-minded journalism. It’s a mission I believe in — but, truth be told, it takes a toll. I’m sure everyone who works in the not-for-profit sector will identify with that statement.
I live in DeKalb, Illinois, with my wife Susan.