It isn’t often that a rejection makes my day, but today one did.
I submitted a humor flash story to a brand-new market called Ruthless People’s Magazine (which you should all check out, since they’re offering an extremely competitive $100 per flash story pay rate). The story is about a hapless writer who can’t get his work published, and contained the following bit of dialog:
“They bounced ‘No Quarter’ without so much as a personal comment,” he said.
I racked my brain. “Is that the epic fantasy retelling the War of the Ring story from the point of view of the Ents?”
“No. I sent that one to Colossal Fiction just the other week. ‘No Quarter’ is an existential literary prose poem about the narrator’s inability to pay at a parking meter.”
Although RPM didn’t want this story, not only did they respond within hours, but the editor included the following at the bottom of his reply:
Canto the First
Cannot park here. Cannot be here. Pockets empty. Property—now beholden to the hexing, vexing State. No quarter. No quarters. No place in this world. I stand beside this parking meter. Pockets empty. This Grey Maypole, phallic intrusion into God’s own space. I want to grip it. Shake it! Strangle it! Choke the chicken livered authority. But who am I? Am I am, at all. Rage, empty! Impotence of steel! My vehicle is carried off and I am all – up ended. Inverted! Pockets empty. The Quarter Master mocks and pins a ticket to my brow. Am I here, circular, boundaried—no. I am quarterlessly quartered and rendered/dismembered non-Euclidian. My parallels? Parked. In this Pocket Universe I HAVE CEASED TO BE.
Heh. Damned thing writes itself.
So there you go — in case you ever wondered what an existential literary prose poem might be like.
I shall have to submit more material there, and soon!