The point of most Mad Scientist stories is to have them hoisted by their own petard. They should be tragedies where they create the circumstances for their own downfall due to their recklessness (or madness/obsession).
Now I could do this with a straightforward ‘devoured-by-their-own-monster’ ending but that feels a little cheap. Too predictable. Of course it would work and be amusing (despite the mayhem, it’s one of the more light-hearted things I’ve written) if Virgil Ther just gets gobbled up. The story would be short-ish (probably 4k words), light but fun.
Or I could go deeper. Make Virgil even more mad, have him completely go off the rails. But here we’re getting into shaggy dog territory. Short stories need to be focused. So I’m leaning towards a predictable, amusing ending rather than something longer.
The thing is, I rarely know where these short stories are going to end up. Dirty secret and probably why my endings consistently need work. There are a few that I knew the ending before I began: The Island of Lost Gods, Wake Up Call, A Reaping. But for a lot of my short stories, I just sat down and wrote. I discovered the ending as surely as the reader did. This story is a lot like that.
Did I really write 28 short stories last April? How the heck did I do that?
Well, just need to keep moving forward. I’m just glad that the juices are flowing and the writing is fun again. That said, I need to get novels edited and out for submission/sale soon. Keep moving forward…