Drift Stumble Fall by M. Jonathan Lee


Richard Brown has had enough of his life of commitment, resentment, routine and responsibility. Staring out of his window, he enviously observes the tranquil life of Bill, the neighbour living in the bungalow across the road.  From his lounge, Bill keenly watches as Richard’s young family grows.

Yet underneath the apparent domestic bliss of both lives are lies, secrets, imperfections, sadness and suffering far greater than either could have imagined. As the two men watch each other from afar, it soon becomes apparent that other people’s lives are never what they seem.

What inspired the story

My second marriage was breaking down and I was desperate for some kind of escape. It took me to the idea that people look at celebrities and wish, dream, yearn to be them with no idea what their actual lives are like yet we’d swap in a heartbeat. It’s that belief that the grass is always greener which was why it was important to set the story in snow, so there would be a contrast. There is no grass in the story. That makes everything neutral and balanced. Plus, the snow was helpful in stranding the two main characters. I left myself the luxury of letting the ending go one of three ways. I think the one I finally picked was the right one.

— M. Jonathan Lee M. Jonathan Lee
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