This story has been around awhile, and I’m thrilled it’s found a home in the Spring 2016 issue of The Gettysburg Review. The story is better than ever, thanks to editor Mark Drew’s good ear. The nugget of fact at the heart of the story turned out to be the one thing that didn’t ring true. This reminds me of what Aristotle teaches, of the tragic poet, in the Poetics:
Hence even if it happens that he puts something that has actually taken place into poetry, he is none the less a poet; for there is nothing to prevent some of the things that have happened from being the kind of things that can happen, and that is the sense in which he is their maker.
Or to put it backward: Just because something has happened, doesn’t mean it’s the kind of thing that can happen in the context of a work of art.