Some Questions for Alexandra Rivera

What inspired you to write “A Promise Goes Both Ways”?

I wrote “A Promise Goes Both Ways” for my introduction to creative writing course after being prompted to create a flash fiction piece. “A Promise Goes Both Ways” was inspired by the numerous post-apocalyptic stories that exist in the media. I love seeing supernatural elements in media, but although zombies (currently) do not exist and therefore there are no facts/laws to them, I hate seeing interpretations of zombies done the exact same way every time. When watching shows and playing video games that feature zombies, I always wonder about the people who are turned into creatures and if there’s any sentience after they turn. I wanted to explore that in my piece while also writing a story about love and morality.

What was your writing process like for this piece?

I only had a few days to write this piece for my class, and I spent most of it debating on how the story should even go. I originally wanted to write a simple story that comes off as an excerpt from a much larger piece with some foreshadowing of a bad ending for the two lovers, never actually confirming their fate and leaving it to interpretation. Also, I was going to make our narrator, Hannah, the survivor of the two, meaning she would betray Sam. Ultimately, I gravitate towards creating pieces with sad endings (which I didn’t expect since I hate reading stories with sad endings), and I chose to write the version of my story that I knew would be the most gut-wrenching and impactful.

Read Alexandra’s flash fiction, “A Promise Goes Both Ways.”