Rejected Works

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Je suis triste.

Submitted: August 05, 2013

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Submitted: August 05, 2013

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Rejected Works

Written by Moody Glum

 

Firstly, I spiraled downward through pitch black expeditiously while more of my pages fluttered away into oblivion – there went my introduction! My plot twist scattered! My character development tarnished!

And secondly, I crashed into a dark, smoky little pub, where the floor was littered with pages, all with bleeding ink – limbs after war.  One wretched, set of pages slouched on a tattered red booth, weighted down under an empty beer bottle.  Another still-standing tale was at the bar, chatting with the bartender, a handsome bottle of whiskey cloaked in a black label.  The still-standing tale was smothered in scarlet lipstick from obvious “good-luck” kisses, but the ink of her words was faded, her paper was already yellow, and it was easy to understand the kisses had proved futile.

“Where am I?” I inquired.

While their initial response was silence, the whiskey bottle finally spoke.  “The last place you’ll ever be.  This is the place where stories come to perish.”

The still-standing tale looked my way and winked her upper corner.  “Hey, sweetie!” she flirted.  “What are you about?”

“Self-reflection,” I answered.

She scoffed.  “Those are always the first to go.”  She turned to the whiskey bottle.  “I bet he’s gone in a day.”  She turned back to me.  “What’s your title?  I’m ‘Candy Girl’.  I’m all about coming of age and bull-shit like that.”

“I can’t remember my title,” I said.  “What happened?”

“Don’t you remember?” the whiskey bottle responded.  “You were rejected, time and time again; that’s the only way you end up here.  Everyone said ‘no’ to you.”

And I did recall the fall; everywhere I went – they all said ‘no’, some politely and some coldly, but in the end it was all the same answer.  Every journal, magazine, editor, and publisher - the bastards all said ‘no’.

“How do you think he’ll kill himself?” Candy Girl asked the whiskey bottle.

“Who knows?” he answered.  “I always guess wrong.”

“Why is it so empty in here?  Thousands of us are told ‘no’,” I said.  “Where is everyone?”

“Most of us never even make it to paper, anymore,” Candy Girl answered.  “We’re sent wirelessly into our battles and judgment.  And the rest of us, that wind up here, are…”

“Gone forever,” the whiskey bottle said.  “There was one tale, ‘Raging Tides’ was his name, he searched feverishly through his pages for the mistakes in him, flipped his pages so fast that the friction caught him on fire; he burned to ash over there.”

I saw the black burn marks on the wall, and in the marks were darker burns that formed what was perhaps a final message: the word grammar.

“Remember ‘The Little Black Bird’?” Candy Girl said.  “Poor girl couldn’t take it more than a night here, so she threw herself into the shredder in the back.  There was ink everywhere!”

“Who can forget?” the whiskey bottle said.  “I remember ‘Perfection’.  She was my favorite, beautiful, beautiful little story.”

“Only half-finished, though,” Candy Girl added.

“What happened to her?” I asked.

They looked to the story under the beer bottle in the red booth.  “That’s her,” Candy Girl said.  “I believe she may have just died right there.  Maybe just now.  Her creator never came back for her, so she ended up here, and I think she just died.”

“Where did her creator go?” I asked.

“She started pimping out her other stories to erotica,” the whiskey bottle groaned.  “Making lots of money now.”

Candy Girl nodded.  “If there was a sex scene somewhere in me I’d be getting read now.”

“So what happens?” I asked.

“You will perish here,” the whiskey bottle declared.  “Sooner or later, they all do.  And you’ll wonder what could have been different in you that would have gotten you accepted.”

“But I’m a good story!” I cried.  “I have depth and a learned lesson!”

“Doesn’t matter,” Candy Girl said.  “Journals don’t want that.”

“Then what do they want?” I asked.

“Something complicated and confusing,” the whiskey bottle answered.  “Something ambiguous with lots of long, multi-syllable words, something that the reader probably won’t understand at a first or second read.  Something that those that don’t write would fall asleep to.”

“Why?” I asked.  “Why would they want such things?”

“Who knows,” Candy Girl said.  “They desire those works, for they make the power of words better, more meaningful, more intellectual or profoundly artistic and wise, or at least smarter and wiser than the story industries that earn profit.”

 


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