My behind-the-scenes look at "Zero Hour" continues with "Enamored":
1. The idea for this story originially came back in 2006, when I saw an online call for submissions for an anthology entitled "Thou Shalt Not." They wanted 10 stories, one per commandment. I didn't want to do murder, adultery, or theft, as I figured that they would get tons of submissions for those. So, I decided to tackle the idea of idolatry instead. "Enamored" didn't make it into that anthology, but Lyndon Perry accepted it for Residential Aliens Anthology: Volume 1 in 2008.
2. The original version (what I sent to "Thou Shalt Not") was different from and darker than the version that now appears in the ResAliens antho and in "Zero Hour." Jed's role was much smaller, limited only to the scene in the antique store. Most notably, the story ended a page early, with "Eddie could hear their laughter even over his screams, even after Murlatch set the fire." I can't remember whose advice it was to change the ending, but in retrospect, I'm glad I listened. I think that having the chance for redemption is crucial not only to the story itself but to our real lives as well. After all, that's why Christ died for us in the first place.
3. This was one of my earliest attempts at "Christian horror"--a story where the entire story boils down to a decision of whether or not to follow God, where the horror comes in as the consequence of someone's not choosing to follow him, and where there is ultimately the chance for redemption through Christ at the end.