We Used to Be Different

Sixty-two eclectic stories with sixty-two miniatures to match.

Dive into a provocative mixed-media collection from the creative and twisted mind of dark fiction author and multidisciplinary artist Elle Mitchell.

Enter stories where urban legends are real and love can be beautiful or violent, where ghosts are both figurative and literal, where bunny aliens are totally normal, and where darkness means drug addiction, zombie apocalypse, grief, cannibalism, and a hitman with OCD. Within the pages of this genre-defying collection, you’ll find an array of short stories, poems, and photographs that plumb the depths of what it means to be human. Each piece has an accompanying miniature or assemblage that brings another fascinating layer to this already unique collection.

Take a journey through the unexpected in We Used to Be Different. It’s more than just another collection of stories, it’s an experience.


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My Friends

Kids’ screams around me fade to a background noise as I approach the tank. Their parents’ calls to slow down or stop doing that become quiet.

I think of them as the soundtrack to my peace.

The low hum of the air conditioner reminds me of my apartment. It’s sparse and undecorated, save the 200-gallon tank against the wall, the plaid couch set facing it, and an old round table with a conch shell in the center.

Every day, after a long day of work, I pour myself a glass of wine, slink into the couch, and watch. Seven discus soothe and breathe life into the small box I can barely afford as they swim in a small school through driftwood.

But it’s not enough.

Want the rest of this story and the other 61 + all the photos inside?


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Signed Paperback $28.99

Ebook $7.99


Other ways:

Amazon$32.99 | $8.99


Fun fact about the cover:

The cover is the miniature for a poem called Home.

With every photo I took, I didn’t just want the miniature to look good, I wanted to capture the mood/vibe/essence of the story/flash fiction/poem. With this, the poem is just a few lines long, but the image came immediately.

It wasn’t a one person job to take this photo, because yes that is real fire. I only did two digital manipulations in the entire book (one is make an advertisement, the other is erase something so a planet could float—it’s cheesy, and I noted it).

So the hubs had to be inside, making a tiny flame for this to work. But not so tiny that it couldn’t be seen.

In came the cappuccino mug.

In came receipts and paper from the recycling.

In came frustration and laughter and hold still and how about now and that’s it! and wait no, let’s do it again.

I took over 1000 photos from different angles over a twenty minute period. The sun was shifting, the shadows were playing, the flames were peeking and dancing and swaying.

But we got there. My hubs is the best.

And so, after 4 different this could be it covers, I found the one. Let’s note that I took all 1k of those photos for the poem NOT the cover. It just made sense. It fits the book perfectly. It’s dark, but the entire thing isn’t my usual suspense/horror. It’s raw and dirty without being gross out. It’s as unpredictable as flames are. And, you know, there are miniatures throughout.


Credits: A huge thank you to the photographers and 3d-designers willing to share their work online! The use of their images in my book does not reflect their opinions in any way. Below are the photographers from shutterstock, Pexels, and Unsplash. The 3d credits have a page unto themselves due to the nature of their uses.

Benson John, Carlos Macias, Christian Lambert, Danielle Dolson, Dave Hoefler, Denny Muller, Jeremy Bezanger, Joshua Fuller, Kyle Johnson, Mbardo, Neven Kcrmarek, Petr Sidorov, Steven Kamenar, Mahir KART, Hello I M Nik, Maddy Baker, Steven Aguilar