Back in 1996, in the midst of one my earlier attempts at writing and submitting stories, I wrote a story called A Cause For Celebration. Inspired by the movie Independence Day, it told of a world wide alien invasion that grinds to a sudden halt when the extraterrestrials discover they have mistakenly attacked the wrong planet. The story is told from the view point of some random bar patrons, drowning their miseries and watching things unfold on TV. Of course, the story didn't sell and after two or three rejections, I pushed it aside and soon after stopped even trying to write (the general idea was explored again in 100 word Micro I posted earlier in the year).
Still, there was something about the story that I liked. While events of epic proportions were unfolding, it focused on just a handful of everyday folk and their own personal views, using the alien invasion more as background. About a year ago, when deciding to give "this writing thing" another shot, I dusted off that story and changed the background events. Rather than an alien invasion, it was now a plague overrunning the Earth, transforming people into zombie-like hordes of the infected. What remained the same was everything else: people in a bar discussing the impending end of the world. I began sending the story out again...and again it got rejected. A lot. I was on the verge of shelving it forever when it finally sold to The Nautilus Engine.
Aside from any references to the virus and zombies, this is the exact same story from 1996. When you have a chance, read it and let me know what you think.
A Cause For Celebration.