The Beefeater and the Donnybrook

 

Update: 4.11.17 – Hi, from a sunny day in April, beside the lake,

Janice and I have been travelling and have both been down with a cold lately. My blog activity has been limited, though I have been able to keep up with daily writing. Today I heard from editor and literary paragon, Charlie Fish, that another of my stories has been accepted for his award-winning site, Fiction on the Web.

Feedspot has named FotW a TOP 20 short story site on the internet!

Short-story_20_transparent_216pxHere’s what Charlie says about FICTION on the WEB: “It is a labour of love. Every single story on here is hand-picked and carefully edited by me. I don’t have a staff, and I don’t make any money. I do this because I want to give authors a chance to get their work out there, and I love sharing great stories with the world.

FICTION on the WEB has been online since 1996, which makes it the oldest short stories website on the Internet.”

Here are a few snippets from my latest story:

The Beefeater and the Donnybrook

By Mitchell Toews

Copyright Mitchell Toews ©2017

MICAH JAMES WAS shorter than average and had an interesting kind of face. His eyes were recessed and penetrating and his complexion had the weathered texture and ruddy colour of a mountain climber or a big game hunter. He was neither. Micah James was a quiet, middle-aged family man – an engineer working for the City of Halifax in Canada.

The Jameses were leaving together soon on a long-awaited trip to London. His wife, Marion, had planned the trip from the packing process through tipping and all conceivable forms of disaster planning.

[SNIP]

“Ok, I’m on it! Walk will do me good.” Micah said, giving Marion an assuring glance and summoning up some energy for the trip. It was fine – the kind of little blip he had been secretly hoping for.

[SNIP]

Twisting in his crouch, Micah was eyeball to kneecap with a pair of creased black pants, gold piping on the sides. His eyes followed the stripes up to a white satin tunic and topping that, a dapper red fez. Then the voice again, but softer, “Are you alright, mate?”

[SNIP]

He waited in line at the reception desk, listening to an instrumental version of a Bob Dylan song. It was piping out of a speaker in the tile ceiling above him and he laid his head back to peer at it. Thinking of his own rapid descent into hell, he picked detritus from his oily beard; bits of styrofoam and other rancid urban spod. His thinning hair hung in limp disarray and the belt of the raincoat had come loose and was dragging on the ground behind him like an obedient, filthy snake.

[SNIP]

See it on FotW on May 19: an ever-worsening yarn that plays out on the streets of central London. 

Other stories that have appeared on Fiction on the Web:

Nothing to Lose

July 8, 2016. A baker and former hockey player reminisces on his colourful history as he delivers buns in the dusty Manitoba sun.

Heavy Artillery

Oct. 30, 2016. The story of young Matty and his characterful neighbour encountering a travelling salesman in the sleepy Manitoba town of Hartplatz.

The Preacher and His Wife

 Jan. 23, 2017. In Hartplatz, rural Canada, a neighbourhood scandal brews when young Sarah reports that her grandmother’s engagement ring has gone missing.

Literary Shrapnel

What I want this over-achieving metaphor to do is to corroborate the idea that small harms, in abundance, can do a lot of damage. Back me up here, metaphor.

The shrapnel flying through the air in my writing room most days consists of those uninspired, tired-out and much repeated words that somehow infiltrate my stories. Yours too?

“Luc,” she said. He nodded, shrugging off the look he got when he looked deeply into her smiling – now frowning – face. He sighed and paused, exhaling deeply. He looked a bit more – both while shrugging and also as he began to whisper. It was a slow, deep, shrugging whisper, predicated by a frown. Luc smiled, then exhaled – you could call it a deep sigh. Or a slow shrug. Really more of a shallow pipsqueak of a bobbity-bibbity, itsy-bitsy, baby shrug – a sighing, smiling, frowning, nodding, grinning, pausing shrug that he pulled up from deep in his sigh-filled shrug-sack.
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“It’s not how it seems,” she said. And with that, Imogene dove on top of the sizzling grenade.

If the passage above does not push your cart, I’m not surprised. No one wants to write that way. But I’m willing to bet that you can go back and find examples of shrapnel-filled passages of your own — even in your published material!

I can. I did. I do.

Shrapnel words and the need to eradicate same came to my attention through one of the fresh tweets of Rayne Hall. @raynehall

I was blind to these deadly offenders and Ms. Hall snapped me into reality. I now have a regular step in my editing process to hunt down and defuse the ordnance hidden in my prose.

See her take on this and more, here: Newbie Quicksand.

allfornow – Mitch

P.S. – Armed with nothing more than a bottle of gin and a modified Sharpie, Luc performed life-saving surgery on Imogene. She came to and piloted the helicopter they stole from the Cartel encampment while Luc manned the .50-cal, pouring rounds into the enemy with ruthless efficiency. As the base medics rushed her into the field operating room, she glanced back. There was brave Luc, wavering in the bright corridor. He was in a grim struggle against the overpowering urge to sigh, his shoulders quivering with effort as he fought back a shrug. 

“Resist, my love, resist!” she said before falling into the welcoming blackness.

 

Am I a Writer?

FRIENDS, THAT IS NOT my butt in the image above. It is one more famous than mine will ever be. It belongs to a writer who, like me, prefers to write standing up.

He is a writer – no dispute there.

In my case – it is more fudgy. See…when people ask what I do, I SOMETIMES say *it*. That is, I reply, “I’m a writer.” But I tend to say it quietly. With dissonant caveats – “Not making a damn cent doin’ it tho’, har-har…”. You know. Kinda sneakin’ up on it. Like when someone says, “Are you quitting smoking?” and you answer, “Trying to!” It’s a yes, with built-in wiggle room.

So, let’s go to the Tale of the Tape as Cossell used to say before a big fight:

Writing for how long?  

Well, now. Let’s define that a bit more: writing to a deadline + writing for public consumption. In those bounds, since 1997. Mostly damnable propaganda for my Mennonite employers along the way:

“Why close your jacket with BUTTONS when HOOKS are so much better? See us today for Hiebert’s Handy Hooks!”

I have been writing FICTION on the other hand – for about the last four years. Early in 2016, I achieved a kind of orbital altitude — since that time I have managed to write every day, several hours a day — between two and six hours. Mostly in the morning.

Training? 

The weak link for me. Besides a relentless English prof at the University of Victoria – complete with a proper, tweedy London accent – I have little formal training. My BA in Sociology and a certificate in Marketing from Schulich do not qualify me. I live at the far end of the wild woods and so I have neither a nearby course to take or a group to join. Otters and pine grosbeaks do what they can for me, but I am a Googling fool, on the shores of Jessica Lake, where modifiers dangle and MCs are MCs.

How much have you produced?

Again, some definition – like Papa’s shapely calf muscle. Without adding bulge via photoshop or any other form of exaggeration, I have written 100,000 words in 2016.

Blog: Core page content plus around 50 posts. The posts run from 200 to 1000 words apiece. Maybe 10,000 words in total.

Short Fiction: 30,700 words unpublished…36,000 published. Many – oh so many – rewrites and editing scans.

Novella: 16,000 words.

Paid Content: Propaganda and “the truth with attitude” for employers – 5000 words or so.

Milestones?

Using Duotrope and Submittable, I reckon I have submitted about 120 times or so. I have had 16 stories accepted and have had two other stories find success in contests.

I submit to big, well-known print journals – mostly Canadian. They have so far (almost) uniformly rejected my work. I also send stories to smaller print/online reviews; to online-only literary ezines and literary sites; and to writers’ groups and publishers that produce journals or contests. I have 18 unpublished short stories that I am sending out as slush pile fodder as well as my sci-fi thriller novella, “Tafelberg”, which will receive a rigorous adverb-ectomy this winter. Three new stories near completion.

I am actively seeking chapbook and anthology collections for my published works.

A few of the bigger journals to whom I have submitted my shabby shorts have offered sympathetic replies of the, “don’t give up” variety. Sometimes these are genuine. Other times they are intended to cajole me into shelling out another $15 for their next “opportunity for new Canadian voices”. Yeah, right. More like, “so I can buy another jar of beard wax, you hopeless bottom-feeder!”

Either way, I usually do shell out, so next time see you see a youngish MFA with a fine, shiny beard or a new plaid shirt — think of me, brethren. (To be accurate, my observation is that there seems to be far more female readers and editors, than male. Furthermore, literary journals do not appear to be a get rich quick scheme. So, respect; I’m happy to shell out a little, here and there.)

Anyway, to answer the question, after adding it all up, I`m gonna say yes. I`m a writer.

Now who wants to fight me?

allfornow – Mitch

IMAGE — Hemingway: “Damn fine legs for a dead guy.”

The Rothmans Job

February 19, 2017 UPDATE

SickLitMagazine has advised that they will be publishing a reprint of “The Rothmans Job” which first appeared (see below) on CommuterLit.com.

The story will run in late March or early April.

sicklit

allfornow – Mitch

January 30, 2017 UPDATE

TODAY, this twisted Canadian yarn, born in absurd truth and transported on the wings of a fictional 1991 prairie storm, is published by CommuterLit – a Toronto based online purveyor of morning short stories, lox and bagels. (And they are all out of lox and bagels.) 

http://commuterlit.com/

If a Neo-Noir Xmas Tragicomedy sub-genre exists, then this story belongs there. If not, then maybe this story inspires it?

A snowy night. An unlocked warehouse. A characterful materfamilias.

The Rothmans Job – EXCERPTS
By Mitchell Toews
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A STORM LIKE THIS was rare. Snowflakes blocked out sky and sun and moon and stars. The flakes – as big as baby fists – had been falling for three days. Light and dry, they flew, then settled, then flew again – whipped by a dodgy north wind. At night, the tops of buildings disappeared except for the occasional glimpse of a red tower beacon or a snapping row of flags, like those atop The Bay.
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Through this otherworld trudged Waxman and Thunderella. Waxman led. He wore two snowmobile suits and his knees could not bend more than a few degrees. Lumbering and stiff, he plowed through drifts for his female accomplice, Ellen Thundermaker.
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[snip]
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“No way, Waxy. It’s gonna be all imported cheese and fancy wine. Crab meat. Vienna sausages…” she said, stopping to let him join in.
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“Ha-ha. Yeah – uhh, Heineken beer, Dijon ketchup, Swiss chocolate – or, you know, one of those giant bars, ahh,”
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“TOBLERONE, TOBLERONE!” she shouted out, filling in the missing name.
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“AS if,” she added, suddenly serious…
.
[snip]
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(about 2,400 words)   Copyright Mitchell Toews ©2017.

#

Waxman, Thunderella, Pegasus, Otto the inventor, the police, Pozzo, Roland, and (in absentia) Poland, all look forward to making your acquaintance.

allfornow – Mitch

Do You Fiction on the Web?

You should.

Editor Charlie Fish @FishCharlie publishes a lively, online short story compilation. Each day sees a new story – from fast-moving flash-fiction pieces to longer short fictions. The stories span all genres, styles and topics. Fiction on the Web is UK-based, but it features authors from around the world.

Charlie was kind enough to publish one of my favourite stories, “Nothing to Lose” and I’m hoping you will read it here, on: FICTION ON THE WEB. It touches on baseball, hockey, family and regret. Nothing, I’m afraid, about Donald or Hillary, so you might want to shout, “You’re the puppet!” a few times, just to tide yourself over.

http://www.fictionontheweb.co.uk/2016/07/nothing-to-lose-by-mitchell-toews.html

 

Copyright Mitchell Toews ©2016

Tafelberg

With Halloween approaching – I can hear the leaves crunching as it gets nearer – here is an excerpt from a 17,000-word sci-fi novella I wrote last year. (There’s more, should that be required.)

The story, “Tafelberg”, is one that I tried to write, “in the genre”. Now, to me, that sounds very writerly, but I am not exactly sure what it means. What I want to say is that it is written in the kinda breathy, urgent style of a serialized story, one with cliff-hanger chapter endings and — if it were a TV show — lots of musical stings, right before commercial breaks. I read a lot of comic books when I was a kid and I tried to channel a little of that dramatic over-the-topness.

Aaaaand, Action!:

Part 1 – Battle Weary

It was almost dawn and I shuddered with exhaustion, laying the hot, heavy torch on the sandy ground at my feet. Climbing up the nearby beacon tower, I reached the observation point. From there, I could see to the base of the cuneate rock slide below our position on the peak of Tafelberg. After attacking with mortal consequence all through the night, our enemy would stop and simply – even meekly – descend, at sunrise.

Down into that decimated landscape is where the kakkerlaks retreated.

Only the spiniest, hardiest flora remained – the omnivorous beetles had devoured everything else. Scant shade remained for their daylight retreat. By now all the plants that were left were inedible. Dry and spiked; impossible to chew even for these plate-sized eating machines that – like their plant kingdom counterparts in this arid place – wore their skeletons on the outside of their bodies. The remaining cacti – big Kadushi and Yatus, as well as smaller Pear cacti and Turk’s Cap stood defiantly on the rock strewn slope. Scraggly, leafless Acacia trees cowered dutifully, facing ever westward. They dotted the lower elevations as did partially eaten Aloe Vera plants. The largest, fleshy spears of Aloe were turning red-brown in the sun; the remnants looking like they had been attacked by a school of piranha.

If they make one more run for us this morning, we will make it, I thought.

My shoulders hurt. The rotator cuffs – ruined long ago – now seemed to enjoy the pain they inflicted; burning like embers in a dying fire. How did a Canadian club volleyball team on a winter junket to Costa Rica get involved in this supernatural, international catastrophe? 

I switched gears; thinking not of larger whys and what ifs, but concentrating rather on the immediate and the dire.

We have enough homemade napalm left and the ignition torches are fully charged. If they surge again, we’ll burn them back and then the sun will come out fully and they can go and do whatever it is they do during the day. 

I listened intently, my head to one side, but could hear no rustle. I could not hear the characteristic whisking sound – like plastic on plastic – of the roaches as they rose up, millions strong, along the side of the mountain, walking on the backs of the multitude above them. Climbing, ever climbing they came – a single-minded horde of limitless number.

“Matt!” I heard Willem shout from the next post, to the east. I climbed down, labouring a bit. I could smell the kerosene smoke on the wind as his blow torch smoldered, burning precious fuel greedily. “Dey are going down,” the thickset Dutchman said as he walked towards me. “There is a huge pile of dem on a flat spot just below Jan’s position upwind. Dey are piled up and eating something and dere’s a group – maybe thirty – iggies close to them, hissing like fury.” He stopped talking as he reached my post.

Leguaan, I thought, pronouncing it mentally in the slurring, luxurious Dutch fashion. I had learned more Dutch – curse words in particular – than I thought I ever would. Papiamentu too, and in just 15 days.

These island iguanas were tough buggers alright, no matter what you called them. The cockroaches left them alone and lately we had noticed the lizards actually killing and eating some of the giant insects. Big iguana adults – there were quite a few five-footers around now, which is something you rarely saw before the mutation – would whip their tails furiously into a swarm of bugs, killing a few. Then  a company of smaller iguanas would run in – comically bow-legged and bright-eyed – and retrieve the carcasses. There were precious few leaves left on the trees – the voracious roaches consumed those – and so the iggies were evolving; reverting to their carnivore roots. Like us, I hoped – that we few humans left on the island of Curacao, le humain, could evolve and remain on top of the food chain. I did not like our odds – they were unspeakably bad in terms of numbers – but I did like mankind’s track record. We’re good at war – even we Mennonites, if we are forced.

We are making a new language, I thought. Tafelgesprek: Dutch, English, French, Spanish, Papiamentu and German. And, before the internet died, the language of knowledge, as we frantically researched what these enormous insects were; how we might fight them; where to find our resources and how to build our weapons.

“May I tell the boys to shut down and getting some sleep before it is too hot?” Willem asked.

“Yeah. Schlope tiet (sleep time) I offered, in Plautdietsch. “They should eat and drink first, sleep until ten and then we should be able to drive down to scavenge some avgas, kerosene and water.” I replied.

It was interesting to me; Willem – a Dutch expat – could sometimes comprehend my lousy low German. My Mom would be proud. Likewise, a few Dutch phrases: Pas Op! dicht bei; g`n dach; resonated to me.

Jan, the crew chief from the next post, was coming up to us. “Is there cold beer for breakfast?” he called, his boots kicking up yellow dust as he came towards us. Another person, a slender black teenager, jogged towards us, his low-slung camo pants exposing a swath of bright green underwear.

“Hey, ti gason! (‘little boy’ in Papiamentu)” Jan called to the thin boy, “if I had SNOT green underwear, I would not show it off.”

The boy, Boosty, grinned and shook his head. “We are all out of bug sludge, but there were hardly any big ones on our side, since midnight really. Mostly just the smaller, light brown ones. I don’t think they like all the gravel over dat way – they seem to get coated with dat yellow dust and it irridates them or somethin.” He was a local boy and spoke Papiamentu, Dutch and English perfectly (almost), as well as lots of French and a little German.

“It’s true,” Willem said, his big voice bouncing off the rock wall behind me. “Dey hate da mine dust over on dat side. Dig themselves out and wriggle (he grinned – proud of the English word) and shake dey big wings and they, well they clean each utter off.”

We stared at him, blank looks on our faces. Insects that groomed one another. Every day was a new series of revelations and astounding, incomprehensible conclusions.

What’s in the mine dust that bothers them? I wondered.

~ ~ ~

Copyright Mitchell Toews ©2016

Au Vent Fou

I LOVE THE WIND.

I have come to love it because I am, and have been for twenty years, a windsurfer. Windsurfers pay attention to the wind, for obvious reasons. It becomes an obsession – I cannot pass by a pond of any size greater than a few board lengths and not mentally assess the quality of the chop, the direction and the relative strength and stability of the breeze blowing across its surface.

The wind is the engine and it is the determining factor in all decisions the sailor makes. Windsurfing, perhaps more than any other kind of sailing is closest to the wind. The sailor holds the wind in her hands, by proxy. Rudderless, the windsurfer depends on the intimate interplay between three, critical and infinitely variable elements: the craft on the surface of the water, the fin that imparts the energy from the sail, and the sail itself. Point of sail, mechanical differences, skill and luck play key roles too, but water, physics and wind make the stew; the other factors are more like flavourings.

Windsurfing – strangely counterintuitive despite its apparent simplicity – is difficult to learn and therefore, worthwhile just for that reason. For example – the greatest speed is found across the wind, on a reach, not downwind as beginners so often suppose.

There are many other rewarding factors too. One of the best being the look on the faces of boaters and other sailors who return to shore when the wind promises to be wicked. Windsurfers rig up and go out when that happens. We pass each other, coming and going – we matching the wind’s foolishness; them practicing moderation. I am grateful for being on the fool’s side of the equation and hope to continue to enjoy this cocky excess for as long as I can.

#

In the normal course of non-windsurfing life, we generally don’t learn much about the wind. We suffer it and curse it, when it is ruinous. We savour it, when it offers cooling succor. We experience it without really understanding it. Where does it come from? How is it controlled? It is, above all, mysterious. The wind operates in anonymity; invisible except to the touch. The falling barometer can divine it but offers no real idea as to the exact time, duration, location or the strength with which the wind will blow.

The wind is notoriously unpredictable. It comes and goes – a steady wind is rare, gusts are the norm. Even in the mistrals and siroccos of the world, where breezes can be forecast with a degree of daily certainty, the wind reserves the right to variegate – if not with colours, for it is transparent, then with intensity and direction.

The Mayans worshipped several gods and one of them, named Huracán (remind you of something?) ruled the wind. Well, that is, it did its best to try. The wind had other ideas. In the Mayan tradition, it was truly wild; uncontrollable and without heed.

#

Here are the things about the wind that I have learned by sailing in it, or that I believe to be true. The wind is sticky. In fact, the air that is propelled by the wind is the sticky bit. It sticks to itself – clinging to similar molecules like an evangelist to his pew. Temperature and humidity form into homogenous clumps that travel together. These clumps adhere to shorelines and points of land; they avoid dissimilar clumps like magnetic poles. This meniscus – or surface tension – characteristic seems to me, more than any other single factor, to define the physicality of the wind.

So, as I look out to windward, I watch the colour and texture of the waves: grey, wrinkly chop (like in the picture above, with the incredibly handsome – but also grey and wrinkled – sailor) foretells of a low, powerful gust – an even more accurate telltale than whitecaps. Context clues like trees, flags, and other sailing vessels help to enrich the description. Then the gust arrives and…nothing. The next time, with the identical context clues, …whoosh! A powerful gust.

Tumbling Tumbleweeds

My theory – more of a mental picture, really – to explain this inconsistency is that the wind is like a series of passing masses, travelling like giant, invisible tumbleweeds of moving air. There is a rowdy mob of them, randomly jostling, pairing and shouldering one another out of the way. They crowd forward on the water and despite manifesting signs like waves, chop, and flag-waving they sometimes bounce right over my sail – leaving me waiting; bereft of wind power. Their stickiness and propensity to cling to a surface and then suddenly release gives them this strange variability. Like a stampeding herd they race across the surface, sometimes jumping over, other times bulling their way through those objects they encounter on their unplotted path.

I think of these invisible tumbleweeds as gleeful and childlike; or like antelope or a flight of plover – unified and unscripted, a spontaneous choir in a rapturous choreography. This is of course influenced by my personal bliss at being part of this natural symphony; of being in the wind, and I am sure the wind is as uncaring and detached as the falling snow or a single flame in a raging fire. We assign emotion and judgement based on the outcomes and our perceptions.

My logical mind knows the wind is neither angry nor kind. It just is.

On a still, hot Spring afternoon, I raked leaves near the shore of our lake. Hearing a strange noise, I looked up towards the sound to see a swirling upwelling of leaves, branches and dust. It sounded like a highway tractor with a heavy trailer load, slowing down to stop, its brakes hissing.
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Suddenly, our neighbour’s under-construction boathouse floor was lifted off of its foundation and became a giant pinwheel of plywood, spinning in slow motion and spitting nails and splinters of wood like a gattling gun. It rose up to maybe twenty feet in the air and then dropped to land mightily on the flat calm of the water. A zephyr of water carried on,  jetting away like a motorboat across the surface and then abruptly lifting off and disappearing.
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All of this happened in under ten seconds and after the waterspout vanished, the air was once again perfectly still and the only noise was the lapping of the wavelets caused by the boathouse floor landing in the lake and a few leaves and twigs falling into the water.
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I stood stupefied, holding my rake up in mid-air, looking to see if anyone else was around – to corroborate what I had just witnessed.
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Hot air, bound and then releasing in an explosion of movement was to blame. The spin of the earth put English on the rising column of air as it rove down the wooded hill and picked up the thousands of pounds of fir plywood and 2X8s like so much kindling.
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“Au vent fou,” I said aloud into the quiet, dumbstruck, thinking of the name of the Quebec windsurfing shop where I had just bought some gear, online.

Think of us, we windsurfers, when you drive your car on a warm day, your window open. Let your flat palm play in the wind like a foil, lifting and dropping in the stream of air. Then imagine that feeling; that unseen, natural power and think what it would be like to have your whole body pulled along over the water, at speed, the board slapping impatiently at the surface and the wind – a careening, magical hoard rushing towards you, raucous and eager as hounds in the hunt.

There you have it, that is the wind, and logic be damned.

Nearly Friends

ON FACEBOOK THERE IS A CATEGORY called Nearby Friends. I glanced at my phone this morning without my glasses and thought it read, “Nearly Friends”.

How would Facebook know? I wondered, addressing my fried egg via mental telepathy.

Then I opened today’s rejection letter from a literary journal.

“Aha,” I said, and the egg gave me a knowing look. The sausage looked bored and read his Manchester Guardian. Poser.

I re-read my short story rejection letter as if it were the response to a request to be a friend of someone on Facebook:

Dear Mitchell, you simpering, insignificant wad of banality;
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If you weren’t already dead (I speak of your social life, as described on FB) I would have you killed. Or maimed – at least then you’d have something to post.
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Thank you for applying to be our friend, but unfortunately, with over 12 submissions this social period, we have been unable to find a place for you and must reject your application for friendship.
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We applaud your submission – it’s adorable, really. In fact, we here at the Forlorn Recycled Paper Depot want to spend about eight seconds knitting together a few cliches to smugly show our complete and utter lack of regard (that’s one, for those scoring at home). We’d take the time to actually say something meaningful about the content of your application, or anything really but, no. Like a well-worn trollop, this is fast and easy and we know where everything goes.
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In fact, let’s all just save some time, shall we? Just re-read one of your other rejections.
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Please be sure to compost this letter – it is made with the hopes and dreams (that’s two) of would-be Forlorn friends. (And fish heads — there are fish heads in this paper too. Also bull manure.)
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Keep friending!
Marzy & Pan
Friendship Editor and Assistant Friendship Editor

“Look,” my half-eaten egg said, slurring its words slightly due to the drool of yolk oozing out over the plate. “See that clear, somewhat eggish stuff you left in the frying pan?”

I looked. Sure enough, there was a cellophane skin of egg-yuck left in the pan. I had cut it away with the spatula before lifting the egg onto my plate.

“Well, you are kind of like that clear stuff,” the egg said, continuing patiently. I ate the sausage, pretentious cableknit sweater and all, as I listened.

“We know the clear stuff is egg. It came from the eggshell; it would pass an egg DNA test — in fact there was an episode like that on TV last night (on two different CSI-style shows, actually). It’s egg, buuuut, it’s not egg. Ya know? Where’s the yellow? Where’s the yummy? Where’s the cholesterol — although I am pretty sure we as a pop culture are off of hating eggs now, but I have not listened to CBC Radio for a few days, so don’t quote me, eh?”

She — by the way, I asked and she identified as a female. Her WordPress blog name is Madame Ovary. Pretty good stuff, if a little scrambled. Anyhow, she took a deep breath as I slid her onto a piece of buttery rye toast for the coup de grâce.

“Look, buddy – don’t feel bad. You are like the cellophane. You are a Nearly Friend, just like that clear eggy stuff is a Nearly Egg.”

allfornow – m

 

Copyright Mitchell Toews ©2016