art by Jeffrey Redmond
Dear Editor, Enclosed Please Find My Story About Your Unfortunate Demise
by Luc Reid
Enclosed please find my story about your unfortunate demise. Understand, this is not a death threat. You really are going to die, and there's nothing either of us can do about it (which, by the way, is also not a death threat).
I'd like to say, for the record, that since I built this machine that tells me when an editor's death is imminent I've gotten nothing but grief from the writing and publishing community, so don't start with me. I'm not trying to be clever by pretending to be threatening your life if you don't publish my story. I'm also not trying to be a psychopath and actually threaten your life. I just thought you would want to know you're going to die soon, because I figure everybody has lines of credit to run up, authority figures to tell off, last minute confessions to make, and unlikely crushes to pursue on the off chance they'll get a pity boink.
All of which is pretty blunt and maybe even crass, but seriously, the clock is ticking. Should I be wasting your time with diplomacy or getting through this as quickly as I can and leaving you to whatever it is you're going to do with your remaining thirty-one days, three hours, and twelve minutes (as of this writing)? By the way, I hope you're keeping to your posted three-week slush times. I'll query if I don't hear by then.