The short story, First To A Hundred, by Jodi Cleghorn, appeared in Issue 8 of Tincture Journal. After writing Post Marked: Piper’s Reach together, and after many times making Jodi cry, she had not succeeded in making me reach for a box of tissues to wipe away the tears.
But she did it with this story.
I read early versions and drafts, and it languished for ages without finding a publication until Daniel Young of Tincture took it on.
I strongly recommend you go and buy a copy of Tincture and read the story as it is so beautiful. Then drop in here to read this version. As I was creating it, the voice of Dougie came through, almost unconsciously. It wasn’t until I was half way through that I heard the voice more clearly and channelled it for the remainder.
It’s a long story, but well worth the read.
Below is the poem. You will need to read it as a two-panel cartoon (L-R) then down the page.