Read “The Kiln” in Fiction on the Web

It’s no secret that the desire to write can be curse, especially when the issues your characters struggle with are the same ones that have haunted you. In “The Kiln,” Kevin denies the worth of his fiction and can’t summon the courage to get his stories written. His characters’ motives and decisions remain scrambled, random pieces on the pages of the notebook he can’t bring himself to part with. Authors from dysfunctional families often struggle with whether they have the right to own their own experience. The family has taught them to keep secrets, and Kevin can’t break free from that restriction—not until he meets a man who helps him understand that secrets, however well suppressed, find their own way to surface.