“Andrew & Quinn” was a difficult story for me to write. I was worried at the time about there being a notion that I was producing child pornography because Andrew and Quinn had the beginnings of a sexual encounter. I eventually wrote it anyway because I knew that the focus of the story was not about the clumsy pubescence and rather about the mirror that Andrew served to Quinn’s serial killer tendencies.
Imagine if you will, meeting one of your childhood friends again for the first time as an adult. What would they think of the person you had become? Would they remind you of the person you had always wished you could be, or dreamt of being as a child. If I use myself as an example, I think of who I was and who my best friend was at 13. I know that I had a very different idea of who I may turn out to be. Would he be able to reconcile our friendship to who I have become?
Part of the chilling aspect of this story for me is Andrew. I modeled the idea of Andrew around the common concept that the dead can see and hear what we do. They are always watching what we are doing according to some. I’ve known people who have died, (not at my hands of course – Quinn is not modeled after any of my own desires), and I have difficulty imagining them following my daily activities. I can only assume seeing me make coffee for the hundredth time, or watching me choose the right underwear for the day just might be its own form of hell.
For Andrew, there is an undercurrent of the reality for a large number of LGBT youth (though not exclusively). For LGBT youth, they often develop crushes on same sex heterosexual individuals. They then get to stand on the periphery as the person they are most attracted to moves on to other relationships. While this also happens for heterosexual individuals that do not receive reciprocation for their feelings, Andrew’s death serves as the homosexual/heterosexual barrier. He can only watch as Quinn moves on without him, as there is no way for him to communicate his feelings to him.
There is, however, a sweetness at the end of the story in which Andrew and Quinn are reunited. The enclave of lost souls that bustled around Quinn and kept Andrew company are not tied to Quinn in the same way Andrew was. Growing up as an only child myself, with a best friend who was also and only child, may have given me a skewed sense of what friendship means to children. We were as close as brothers or lovers (in the case of Andrew and Quinn), and yet the years between now and then have pulled us apart. For Andrew and Quinn, the complications of life that wedge friendships apart never had the chance to happen. For Andrew, Quinn was the focus of his afterlife, which spanned more years than his actual life did.
At one point I had considered turning “Andrew & Quinn” into a novel, wherein each of Quinn’s victims would get their own chapter. I hesitated to move forward with this project simply because I had too many other projects on the go at the moment. One day I may expand the story and see if there is a potential in a full novel. For now, the boys will have to be happy with their short story.
“Andrew & Quinn.” Inscribed ~ A Magazine For Writers, Volume One Issue Three. August, 2006.