THE SHINE JOURNAL

Flash Literature, Poetry, Art and Photography!

 “Kiss My Ass:  A Tale of Rejection”

 

by 

 

Andy Plotkin

 

 

Dejected and severely down on his luck, in desperate need of a published story in a respectable magazine, a writer knew his current submission to a well-known literary publication was his last best chance.  Just as the writer was nearing the end of his financial lifeline, the head of the famous magazine decided to review the short story himself.

Alas, however, the editor-in-chief was nearing the end of his workday.  Bleary-eyed, he stared blankly at the poor author’s manuscript.

 

Cripes, the renowned editor thought, if I read one more submission I’ll go nuts. 

 

He toyed with the idea of just throwing the story into the reject file and bolting in pursuit of some diversion.   Impatiently, he started to skim the unfortunate writer’s tale, and then began to smile inwardly.

 

The editor thought that the story was both a humorous and sad quirky account of a dispirited author, desperate for publication, submitting a short manuscript to a legendary magazine. 

                    

The publisher noted that the author in the story on the verge of acceptance fails to grasp the opportunity because of his own anger built up over years of rejection. 

 

The author is sure gutsy, the editor thought, because he tries to compress a universal human condition—one that applies especially well to the publishing world—in only a few words. 

           

Hmm, the editor mused, not exactly Dan Brown, but then again, who is?  Still, the flash fiction story—less than 500 words—has a couple of surprises and twists that will appeal to a broad audience.  

 

The editor now rubbed his chin in deep thought:  The characters are engaging, if not deeply flawed—well, one of them anyway—and there’s an underlying tone of foreboding.

 

Who is this author? the editor asked himself, as he picked up the query letter.  A former college professor, and award-winning filmmaker no less.  He has written journal and newspaper articles, screen treatments, feature stories, exhibition and sales catalogs, and a few short fictions in little known journals and anthologies.  He’s even received honorable mentions in several writing contests.  Well, at least we know anything he writes will not need too much editing. 

 

Maybe I’ll call him up right away, the editor concluded as he reached for the phone. 

 

“Is this the author of ‘Kiss My Ass’?” the editor began.

 

Three time zones away, the person on the other end of the line answered groggily, his voice thick as if emerging from an afternoon nap.  “Kiss my ass?  Who the heck is this?” asked the exasperated voice.

“The magazine you submitted your story to.  We love your—”

 

“Is this some kind of a sick joke?” the stormy voice blurted out.

 

“No, really it’s—”  

 

“Yeah, well I don’t think you’re very funny.  Magazine, ha!  Kiss my ass, whoever you are, and don’t call me again!”

 

<Click>                                              

                                                               


BIO: My bio is actually embedded in the story itself: Honorable mentions in writing contests; and short fictions in  books, anthologies, and online journals, as well as a writer in
an award-winning TV documentary.


MOTIVATION: Initially, I wrote this tale in the form of a cover letter, but one of my writing mentors thought it was good enough to stand alone as a flash fiction.

 

Photo by: Ivan Soares Ferrer

 

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" Reach high, for the stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal. "--Pamela Vaull Starr 
" It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them." -- Mark Twain
"We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting laundry. "-- E. B. White
"Tell a man that there are 6 billion stars in the sky and he will believe you. Tell him that the paint on a park bench is wet and he has to touch it to find out." -- Anon
If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it. -- Marcus Aurelius